I'm a married mother of "3 1/2" ;) and the loves of my life are my faith and my family. I've grown in my faith over the last two years since my daughter's adoption, she is the reason why I started this blog in the first place, and I'm so looking forward to watching God move in my heart, and the hearts of others who follow along on our journey towards bringing home one of "the least of these". Special needs adoption is my mission field, whether I'm adopting a child myself, or helping other families get funded, or shouting for waiting children who need families to find them, and I hope you'll come along for the ride and watch what God can accomplish when we say yes to His command to care for the orphan, and go out into the world to be His hands and feet.

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Hello :)

Hello :)

My Better Half

My Better Half

The Crew

The Crew

The New Guy

The New Guy

Before Adoption

Before Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Good morning everyone!!! I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! Yesterday we went to Nashville and got 15 documents apostilled!!! Progress baby! Whoo hoo! While we were there we took Dylan to the State Capitol, he LOVED it...he got to sign the governor's guest list and he got to see the old Tennessee Supreme Court, the Representative's room, and the Senate room...he loves history so he was in his element! After that we walked through the War Memorial and went to the Military Museum, he loved all of that too! The "occupy wall street" protesters are camped out in the war memorial area, and Dylan walked up to a few of the guys as we were walking through and said "I want to be a protester too so I can live in a tent and stuff!" hahahaha....little do you know kiddo....

So supposedly we're getting our homestudy today. I certainly hope so because I am SO READY to move on!!! I want to be on a plane to my little ladies country! :)

Next weekend is the flea market! I'm excited! I'll be making bows like mad this weekend, and all week, getting ready for the big sale! I'm really hoping to make enough money to cover the cost of our visas, but we'll see. :)

Speaking of making money, I think I"m going to keep selling these bows even after the flea market...they seem to be in high demand, at least down here in the south. Hopefully that will prove to be a good source for making money for the adoption!!

Last thing....gift basket winners...please email me at priscilla.morse@gmail.com with your gift basket preferences. Here is what I know so far

Kellan's Mom - Baking Basket
Jamie - Movie Night Basket
J. Scott - Dinner and a Movie Basket
Michelle - Pamper Basket

If that is incorrect PLEASE let me know, they are going out mid week and the other winners baskets will not be customized if I don't hear from you by Monday! Thanks!!!

<3

Friday, February 24, 2012

You are Kind, You are Smart, You are Important.

I watched "The Help" last night...wow what a great movie! My absolute favorite parts were between one of "the help" and the little girl she essentially was left to raise, who she clearly loved as her own, and at one point the sweet little toddler said to her "you're my real mama". This little girl wasn't the *prettiest* child, she was a little bit chunky, and because she wasn't her mothers idea of perfect, her mother basically didn't want anything to do with her. Everyday, her "nanny" (the help) would hold her, look her in the eye, and say to her:

"You is kind. You is Smart. You is Important."

and she would make the little girl repeat it back to her. All that came to mind while watching these scenes was something I've read over and over again in the adoption community.

To love the unloved.

This "helper" loved the little girl, it was so clear. She didn't care what she looked like on the outside, she cared about her heart, and most importantly, she cared about the fact that this was a little girl who DESERVED to be loved. I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up when it comes to special needs adoption. They get so hung up in child's diagnosis, and what that might mean for their family, how hard it might be to "deal" with, that they lose sight of the most important underlying root of WHY these kids need to be adopted.

Every. Child. Deserves. To. Be. Loved.

Every child deserves to have a mama.
Every child deserves to have someone who while change their diaper *everytime* it needs to be changed.
Every child deserves to have someone lovingly prepare meals for them so they never know true hunger.
Every child deserves warm baths with toys and bubbles.
Every child deserves clean weather appropriate clothing.
Every child deserves to be rocked to sleep in their mama's arms.
Every child deserves medical care.
Every child deserves and education.
Every child deserves to hear "I love you" a million times a day.
Every child deserves to be smothered in hugs and kisses.

Regardless of how they look, how high functioning they are, what their diagnosis is, what they can or can't understand about what's going on around them....every single child in this world deserves everything on the list above, and a whole lot more. And they deserve to receive it from a mom and dad who give it willingly, and joyfully.

I can't wait to love on my sweet Natasha. I can't wait to look at her, everyday, and remind her that she is kind, smart...and oh so very important.

I'll do anything I can to bring her home as fast as possible. We are working so hard to get her here, and there have been many hiccups along the way. So many more than I had assumed there would be. Budgets have been blown apart by unexpected expenses, relationships tested, lots of heart ache and sleepless nights....but at the end of the day every bit of it is worth it, because every bit of it is bringing our daughter home to a warm, loving family.

We love you baby girl...we're coming as fast as we can!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Daddy's Corner...I'm late for a very important date...

Hi Natasha...It's Daddy,
I must apologize baby girl...Daddy was late getting his letter out to you this week.  The whole family has at one time or another been sick over the past couple of weeks and this week has been no exception for daddy.  My voice has been coming and going, I've had the sneezels, the runny nose and all that.  I hope that you have been keeping warm and that you have been feeling good.  I miss you so much Natasha.  I know that some people might say how can you miss someone you've never met...those are the people that might not understand the special bond that comes about when it comes to adoption.  For those that do understand...they might understand because either they have gone through the adoption process or perhaps...they are parents themselves and they just know and understand that feeling...that bond you feel for your children.  You are my child Natasha...oh sure, the ink might not be dry on all the paperwork yet...but you are my daughter...no two ways about it. I love you like I love your two brothers and I always will.  We went to the Toys R Us store earlier this week and mom and I were walking the aisles.  I was talking to mom and then all of the sudden I looked back and there was mom...all over the Barbie's...let me just say this hon, I hope you like Barbies...that's all I'm saying...lol.  The plans continue for you Un-Birthday party.  That's the fundraiser we are having in your honor.  It's pretty cool. It is designed around an Alice In Wonderland theme and we are getting a lot of support from businesses around the community and around the country donating wonderful items for us to auction off and raffle off to help raise money to bring you home my love.  We can't wait to see you.  The days are drawing closer when that glorious day becomes a reality. I keep praying that that day will come soon.  Remember my darling Natasha, that when you are missing mommy and daddy, just look to the moon and the stars and know that we will be doing the same and thinking of you too.  I love you Natasha and I will write again soon....Love, Daddy

Hurry up and wait....

I probably shouldn't be blogging when I'm miffed...but I'm hoping that "letting it out" will put me in a better mood...so here goes.

I'm annoyed. I have become a very impatient person during this adoption process, and I have been forcing myself to chill out and remember that I'm not the only person who is adopting a kiddo, and I should in a way be GLAD that the agencies, and social workers, and USCIS workers, and whoever else are busy, that means a lot of kids are getting out of the orphanage and into their mommy's arms. Yes, this is what I tell myself, but at the end of the day...I'm still annoyed.

I feel like I'm sitting here doing NOTHING to bring my girl home! I raised the money that is needed for right now, I filled out the paperwork, but that doesn't mean much when the people who have to FILE the paperwork are too busy to do so. :( I just wish it didn't have to be so hard....

Ok. I'm going to stop my whining before someone calls me a 'waaaah'mbulance...hehe

Anyhoo...Here's what's been going on this week.

First and foremost, I've been missing Natasha. How do you miss someone you've never been with you ask? I don't really know, but that's the only word I have that semi-describes how I've been feeling, and I've really hard to hide it...but this week, more than ever, I just really, really wanted to have her with me. Soon little lady....very soon I hope. <3

Anyhoo...I've been working hard on fundraiser stuff, as always. We got a $50 donation from a random stranger at the dollar store, and that was pretty cool! I ran in to get aluminum foil, and someone actually recognized me from our newspaper article (that felt weird!) and we were talking about Tasha and our Alice in Wonderland event, then this sweet lady hands me $50 and says "here, i bet you can get all the party plates and things you need here with this, right?"

Um...definitely yes I can! So here is what I got!

Tons of paper plates in black and red, matching napkins, clear forks and spoons, lots of buffet pans, black and red table covers, etc...all for free thanks to one awesome woman! <3

Oh, speaking of the Alice in Wonderland event, here are the centerpieces, we're going to "paint the roses red" with water colors....cute right?!

We have our venue 100% confirmed, I just have to stop in and sign the contract. They threw in the board room that is connected to the event room for free, so we can set up the buffet in there, and they also gave us the entire day, not just our time slot, so we can set up and everything. They have been so wonderful and we appreciate it so much!

Here is another cute idea! I've seen it used in the fundraising community online but never in person, but it might be fun! Alison bought this puzzle, and at the event we're going to sell the pieces for $1 each, people will write their names on the pieces, and someone will be assembling the puzzle as the pieces are purchased, and at the end of the night we're hoping it will be totally assembled!


I've also been working like mad on the flea market stuff...trying to get everything organized in one place while not letting my house look like an episode of Hoarders...it hasn't been easy! I'm almost done with the crafty side of the flea market, I need to make a few more bow holders, maybe some more coasters...but as of now, I'm satisfied with what I have, plus Alison is pounding out book marks and iphone cozies and designer baby wipe cases, and who knows what else she'll come up with!! It's been so wonderful to have a friend through this who is willing to help. Here are some pics :)




So, that's where we're at! I'm trying really hard to not be completely overwhelmed with everything that's going on, but it's hard. Between the house and kids and school and fundraising and paperwork...I'm stretched very thin so if you guys get a chance, send a prayer up for me. Thanks so much.

<3 Cilla

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The most generous offer....

We have been so very blessed to receive an amazing gift. A donor has offered to match donations, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $2000!

Your $1 will turn into $2, your $5 will turn into $10...will you please consider donating even one dollar to Natasha ("Xenia" on Reece's Rainbow)?

You can donate via chip in, or FSP, it is up to you. The chip in money helps us now, but the FSP is tax deductible, either way you choose, I can't thank you enough for giving to our future daughter.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Natasha's story, here is a little background.

Our sweet Natasha was listed on Reece's Rainbow as Xenia. The minute we saw her, we were smitten. She's stunning, just absolutely beautiful, and she deserved a family who knew how amazing she was, who thought she hung the moon...and she definitely found that in us! We are so blessed to call her our future daughter, and the boys big (and little!) sister. The boys are so excited to have her come home. Jack, our 2 year old, walks around with her picture, and says "Tasha kisses" and gives the picture a kiss. He can't wait to have a sister. Dylan, our 8 year old, who has the SAME BIRTHDAY as Natasha, has already informed us that Tasha will never, I repeat, NEVER find a boyfriend that is good enough for her, and he plans to run off every boy who wants to take her to the movies! LOL....in short...this little lady is loved!

But, her story isn't all warm and fuzzy like one would hope it was. The truth of the matter is, Natasha has medical concerns that go beyond, far beyond, a Down Syndrome diagnosis. She has a congenital heart defect, and I know many children with DS have heart issues, but the majority of them have surgery around their first birthday to correct these issues. Natasha will be 3 in March, and she has not had one surgery on her heart. She is described as passive, lethargic, she tires easily, she is in desperate need of medical intervention. She needs open heart surgery, she needs to come HOME.

We have done so much research, we have joined local DS awareness groups, support groups, we have gone to Nashville and met with the surgeon who will perform Natasha's surgery, we have met with the team at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital  Down Syndrome Clinic and the International Adoption Clinic....we're ready. We've done the leg work, we've found the doctors who will get our girl up and going, who will essentially save her life. We just need to get her home so these amazingly talented specialists can do their magic.

That's why this matching donation is so incredible. To think that $2000 can miraculously become $4000 blows my mind. In my head I'm saying "that's our airfare to bring her home!" or "that's our final agency payment!" ....that amount of money completely ERASES one of the biggest costs associated with this adoption.

I would never ask someone to go without to help us. That is not what this is about. If you can afford it, if it's a decision between a Starbucks latte and giving $5, please consider donating.

Thank you so much to all the people who have reposted blogs, who've helped spread the word, who have loved this little girl for a long time, long before I ever knew she existed! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for advocating for our little girl. I can't express how much you all mean to me.

Much love,
Cilla

And the winners are...

Ok, so the results are in! We have 10 winners for the gift basket giveaway!

I used random.org to come up with random numbers for the winners...everyone was assigned a certain set of numbers, one number for each entry...then random.org picked 10 numbers out of the total # of entries (165) and here are the results!
kellens momma  1-6 Gift Basket 7 (3)
christina scott 7-10
J scott  11-13 Gift Basket 10 (12)
jean carr  14
cheri  15-17
irene  18-23
morgan  24-26
nancy 27
Teresa  28-48 Gift Basket 5 (48)
Lauren  29-50 Gift Basket 9 (44)
Lydia  51-53
Michelle  54-75 gift basket 4 (55)
Wilda  76
Libby  77-88 Gift basket 1 (77)
Sara  89-91
Tanya  92-96
Jo  97-99
Beth  100-101
Viv  102-122 gift basket 2 (102)
Jamie  123-126 Gift Basket 3 (125)
Shawnda  127-129 Gift Basket 6 (127)
Blue Sparrow  130-135
Debbie  3 136-138
Mike  139-142
Amber  143-145
Anonymous  146-151
PS  152-156
Sam  157-162 Gift Basket 8 (158)
Lindsey  163-165


So to break it down, our winners are:

Sam
Shawnda
Jamie
Viv
Libby
Michelle
Lauren
Theresa
J Scott
Kellen's Momma

You guys can pick any of the 10 baskets that you want, you don't have to take the basket that you won. Please let me know which basket you want in the next day or so!

Thanks again for entering!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NEW CRAFT AUCTION DONATION: PEACE MONKEY PILLOWCASE!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I *love* all things monkey, so when I saw this, I wanted to keep it for myself! Thank you again Christina for your generous donation, it is beautiful!

Auction includes one monkey pillowcase!

Bidding starts at $10
Bid in increments of $1

Comment on this blog post to bid.

Thank you!!

NEW DONATION FOR CRAFT AUCTION: FAIRY PILLOWCASE!!!

This is so adorable!!! Thank you Christina for donating it!!

Included in the auction is one handmade fairy pillowcase!

Starting bid is $10
Bid in increments of $1

Thank you!!!

Update!

Wow!!! Life has been *crazy* the last couple of weeks! First I would like to say thank you to everyone who has entered the gift basket giveaway! It ends tonight at midnight! From now until then, your $5 donation gets you TWO entries, and as always reposting the link to your facebook page, twitter page, or blog gets you a free entry. You can find the giveaway HERE if you're interested. :)

So back to everything that has been going on lately!!! I was so busy prepping for our homestudy that I put everything else on the backburner. We had the homestudy on Sunday, and like everyone else has told me, in retrospect, I was a crazy woman for no reason! It was no big deal (stress wise) our social worker could not have been nicer, and my kids LOVED her. She even scratched Jack's back for him so he either has a new best friend, or a girlfriend...not sure which way he means it when he says "where Loooooa go??" (Laura)....in short, it was a good day. We stopped to snack on this spread that I put out since our homestudy was scheduled around lunch time.

The social worker seemed to love the goodies, not that that would have any bearing on our report, but it's always nice to make someone feel welcome in your home. Other than the homestudy, we also had a little mini photoshoot! It was awesome and I can't say thanks enough to my sweet cousin Amber for taking our dossier family pictures for us! That is another thing I can check off the list now! Dossier pictures are DONE! We had to have a picture of:
the front of the house
the back of the house
2 of the backyard
2 of Natasha's room
4 of the interior of the house
3 of the neighborhood
2 of the family

PHEW!! That was a lot of pictures but their done and I think they came out ok...here are a couple I loved from our photo session...they aren't our dossier pics, but they're keepers <3 Thanks again Amber!





We also secured a slot at the March 2, 3, and 4th flea market here in town. I've been busy crafting so we would actually have stuff to sell! That is one of the stipulations, you can't just have a straight fundraiser (i.e. just sit out a donation jar) you have to sell something! So, I've been making these hair bows to sell.



They are so fun to make!! I love it and it's really relaxing too, so that's a bonus. When I run out of ribbon for the bows, I'm going to make prayer rocks. My friend gave me one when I was sick and I thought it was so sweet. It's a little "reminder" to say your prayers, etc. I thought I could put a little spin on the note attached to them for people to remember to think of/pray for Natasha to come home quickly and safely. We have a few other crafty things we're going to be doing too, so it should be fun!

Special shout out to my friend Alison. She has been AMAZING through all of this. She has gotten stuff done, stuff I didn't even think about doing! She is fundraising, and getting donations and making crafts and just RIGHT THERE when I need help with all this because honestly, fundraising is a JOB. It's the hardest job I've ever had aside from being a mommy! There is so much work involved so anyone who thinks that us adoptive momma's who fundraise to bring our babies home are just getting handouts, please know that that is NOT the case...we break our backs for these precious angels, and they are SO WORTH IT!! Thank you Alison for loving Natasha like your own. <3

Another shout out for my friend Natalia. We just met but she is one of the nicest people, she has been so helpful and has given me so much support, and has come up with amazing ideas to help bring in funds for Natasha. I appreciate it so much and I hope we stay friends for a long time, and that our girls become friends too! Thank you so much, it means the world to me!

Oh! We picked a venue for our big fundraiser!! It's really cute, it isn't fancy, or flashy, which is what we wanted. It has a bar in the center of the room where we can do our Disney themed mocktails, there is like a "VIP" section with couches and comfy chairs, there are diner style tables and chairs, banquet style tables...it's really funky and fun. Plus there is a 60 inch flat screen tv mounted on the wall so we can play....you guessed it....ALICE IN WONDERLAND during the event. It's going to be SO FUN. We've come up with some really cute games and raffle ideas. Here are some pictures of the venue!


It has a lot of potential and once we get it decorated, it's going to look amazing!!! Plus it was in our price range!!! Whoo hoo! Alison is working on getting corporate sponsors to cover the fee so that would be even more awesome! We have had lots of places/people donate items for the auction, it's been amazing. Everywhere from Disney World to NBC/The Biggest Loser and a million places in between have stepped up to help bring Natasha home. Baby girl you are LOVED!!! Check out what Marci from Biggest Loser Season 11 sent!


That was the only season of TBL that I ever watched so this means a lot to me since I feel like I "know" many of the people who autographed the book. :)

homestudy. Here is today's "one step closer"....
I got that in my email this morning, printed it out, and I can send it off to our social worker and have all the paperwork for the homestudy DONE!

So, there you have it! You're all caught up and I promise not to take 2 weeks to update again! Don't forget about our craft auction! It ends on March 22nd, our girl's bday! You have plenty of time to get your bids in, There are tons of cool things, just scroll through the blog to see them and comment on the post you want to big on.

Take care everyone!

Love,
Cilla

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

M.I.A.

I have been so busy lately, so I apologize for not updating much lately! I had every intention of writing a HUGE blog post telling everything that's been going on, but I'm just too tired! I'll fill ever one in first thing in the morning!

Much love!
Cilla

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daddy's Corner - It's a big world out there!!!

Hi Natasha, It's Daddy!!!

I hope you have been well my darling daughter.  I know it's been really cold out where you are so I hope you have been staying warm too.  I've been doing some thinking over the last couple of days and came to realize that I have been talking to you alot about how we can't wait for you to come to your forever home and how your brothers can't wait to play with you and love on you.  All of that is very, very true!!!  We have all been caught up in the excitement of bringing you home and showering you with all the love in the world.  We've got plenty of toys for you to play with and lots of clothes...I know mommy can't wait to play Barbie dolls with you..lol.
The thing I want to talk with you about today is your side of all of this.  I know we have been talking alot about doing a lot of things with you and all the fun we're going to have....and again...all of that is absolutely true.  I want to make sure that you know that I realize that moving from an orphanage to a new home, in a new country, and having a forever family is a huge step for anyone, let alone a little girl of your age.  I want you to know that you can take your time getting used to being in your new home and take your time getting used to your brothers.  You will already know mommy and daddy pretty well by the time we get home and I know that this is such a big change for you hon so do not feel pressured to jump right in with both feet.  You take your time and mommy and daddy will be there to support you the whole way.  It's a big world out there darling and I just want you to know that mommy and daddy will love and protect you always.  We want you to know that we are going to get your heart all fixed up for you so that you are going to have more energy.  You're probably going to have so much energy that your younger brother is going to have trouble keeping up with you..lol.  I love you Natasha and will always want to do what's best for you.  You just take your time getting better and getting used to all the new things out here and we will have lots of fun growing together.  Until the next time I write you, my love, rememeber that when you're thinking of us...keep looking to the moon and the stars and know that when you do, we are looking at them too and thinking of you as well.  We can't wait to see you and hold you and love on you.  I love you...Love, Daddy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Natasha's Birthday Craft Auction!

I have been brainstorming lately and trying to come up with a way to get Natasha's Reece's Rainbow FSP account to grow. She has $722.25 as of right now, and while that is AMAZING and we are grateful for every last penny that has been donated, we need a LOT more to get to her country and get her home!!

Natasha's is blessed to be coming home to a gaggle of crafty friends and family. So many of us love crafts, and art, and scrapbooking, etc...it was only natural for us to want to combine our hobby with fundraising, so here goes!

We are going to have Natasha's Birthday Craft Auction!! This auction will start right now, and go until midnight on March 22nd...Natasha's 3rd birthday! I can't think of a better birthday present for her. Her friends and family coming together to create beautiful items to help bring her home, and the amazing adoption community coming together to purchase the items to bring her home! So much love! Our goal is to get her FSP over $1000 by her birthday! We can so do it! Will you help?

Each auction item has it's own post you can comment on to bid. We hope you enjoy and thank you for helping our little girl come home.
Customized hair bow holder
This is a stock photo to show and idea of what these look like. I make a lot of them, but my holders are not painted, they are fabric wrapped. Upon winning you will be sent a picture of various fabrics to choose from for your holder.
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid



Stylish dry erase board!
Customize yours from a selection of prints
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid


Beautiful chic letters to hang on your child's wall.
Auction includes 3 letters
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog post to bid


Customized funky coasters!
Winner can choose from a selection of prints for their coasters
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog post to bid

Perfect for parents who have adopted internationally, or military families who have lived all over the world. Each heart is made out of a piece of the map that is close to your heart. You can add up to 9 hearts, like the picture shows, or you can use less.
Starting bid: $20
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid

Adorable way for your kids to keep up with their chores!
Can be customized for a boy or a girl, and with your child's name.
Starting bid: $5
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog post to bid

Never leave the house without your keys...wallet...phone...etc again!!
Adorable way to keep your things organized!
Starting bid: $5
Bid in increments of  $1
Comment on this post to bid

Funky, adorable way to display your child's initial, or your family initial!
Item will be customized with the letter of your choice.
Frame included
Starting bid: $25
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid.


Display your child's art work in style!
Upon winning, let us know what color you would prefer, of it's for a boy or a girl, and we will customize a beautiful art display just for you!
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of  $1
Comment on this blog post to bid
Note: Auction includes one display  board. Wall word art and 2nd board not included, but you could purchase a 2nd board at the price the auction closes at.



Another awesome art piece! Consider putting a picture in the center and making this amazing creation a picture frame!
Starting bid:
$15
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog post to bid

Adorable wall hanging for your childs room.
Will be customized with the name of your choice when item is won.
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog post to bid

The coolest piece of art you'll ever have!
This would look awesome in a kids room, or any room, and is sure to be a conversation starter!
Starting bid: $15
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog to bid
Frame not included

Grow your own herbs in style!
Never forget what is growing in which pot with these chic spoons!
Starting bid: $15
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid

Customized Magnet Board
Pretty, chic magnet board you can hang on your wall!
Starting bid: $10
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog to bid
Item is a stock photo, once the item is won, the winner will be sent an image of different fabrics to choose from for their board!

Handmade Kitchen Towels

Custom made kitchen towels
These adorable towels button to your oven handle!
Starting bid: $10 (for 2)
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this blog to bid
Item is a stock photo. Once the item is won, the winner will be sent a photo of fabric to choose from for their customized towels!




Adoption Ornament

Christmas ornament/Rearview Mirror Decor/Whatever you want it to be!
Item will be customized for you.
Starting Bid: $5
Bid in increments of $1
Comment on this post to bid


Bookmarks



Handmade Bookmarks
Jumbo paperclips with beautiful ribbon accent. Auction includes 5 of these!
Starting bid: $1
Bids should be made in increments of $0.25
Comment on this post to bid.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Daddy's Corner - Daddy is confused...just go with it..lol

Hi Natasha, it's Daddy!!!
Well, my darling daughter it's been quite the awesome week.  We are getting a spot at next month's flea market here in town where we will be selling some stuff and raising money to help bring you home hopefully that much faster. Another big thing we are doing to raise funds is coming up in April. We are going to have an Un Birthday party.  An Un Birthday party?  I know, I was confused too when I heard it. You see, in the movie Alice In Wonderland, they apparently have an Un Birthday party to celebrate that it's not their birthday...or something like that...that's why I'm confused Natasha...I've never seen Alice In Wonderland...(audible gasp)...yes, it's true...your dad is a goof...there's actually a Disney movie that he has not seen. Anyway, I digress....this party is going to be really cool. There is going to be people dressing up as characters from the movie and we are going to have food, a bake sale, items auctioned off....a whole slew of really nice stuff has all been donated in the hopes of bringing you home sooner to your mommy and daddy, your two brothers and your whole, huge fan club. Oh, by the way, every time I show off your picture, people are always telling me how beautiful you are.  They say you are adorable and a few of them say you should be a model...you are already daddy's little princess.  Tomorrow is the Super Bowl over here.  It's the game played to determine the championship of football.  For me though, since my team isn't in the game...GO BEARS!!!.....I will be watching it as usual for the commercials.  There are usually some pretty cool ones and a lot of times people wind up talking the next day more about the commercials than they do the game itself.  Now, your brothers are going to try and convince you to learn the phrase...go packers...Please, my darling daughter...do not listen to them...they know not what they preach...listen to your mother and father when we say GO BEARS...lol.  Speaking of your mother...I went into your closet today to put something away and your closet is already filled with clothes for you.  You might not wear the same thing twice for awhile.  All the clothes are really cute though and I'm sure you will love them.  Well my love, as I always tell you about this time...keep looking to the moon and stars, be thinking about us and know that we are doing the same thing over here.  The time for us to be together is coming sooner and sooner.  I love you Natasha and I'll talk to you again soon. Love, Daddy

Check out my friend's auction :)

This auction is posted on my friend Christina's blog. She is not adopting the little girl who the auction is for, but she loves her so, so much! Go check out what she has to offer!!

http://loveforallchildren.blogspot.com/2012/02/saving-her-auction.html

***GIFT BASKET GIVEAWAY***



I had to delete the original post for this giveaway because I couldn't change something in the blog post URL, but this is the exact same giveaway, nothing has changed about it, it will still end at the same time. Below is a picture of the screen print I took of the comments on the original post so everyone who was entered, is still entered, I know who you are! If you haven't commented yet and you donated (I know 3 of you haven't yet!) please comment on this post so I keep everyone in one place. Thanks and good luck!

It has been brought to my attention that a friend of mine is adopting a little girl from Russia!! We are so excited for the Morse family and to show our appreciation for all they're doing, we would like to help them fund their adoption journey. I h ave been making gift baskets for years, first, as a way to save money when Christmas shopping, or as a clever housewarming gift or hostess gift, and over time it turned into a little business of sorts!

This giveaway is going to feature TEN gift baskets, all of which will be given away to those who enter. In the below post you will see EXAMPLES of gift baskets, not the exact gift basket itself. This was a kind of spur of the moment idea so I didn't pre make any baskets, but I did troll the net for pictures, and got some fabulous new ideas!


Here are the 10 that are up for grabs:

1. Movie Night basket (2)
*** This basket will feature a family friendly movie, popcorn, candy, soda, popcorn bowl, throw blanket....everything you need for a great night in!

2. Family Game Night Basket
*** This basket will feature a game that can be played with the family, candy, popcorn, soda, etc

3. Dinner and a Movie Basket
*** This basket will feature everything you need for a warm meal, complete with recipe, and a romantic movie to watch together.

4. Cold Night, Good Book Basket
*** This basket will feature a good book (selected from a top seller list/popular book list) and everything you'll need to cuddle up and relax on a cold night!

5. College Days Basket
***This basket is perfect for your college kid, or teenager...or just someone who is a kid at heart! Features lots of yummy snacks and other fun time-passers

6. Baking Lover's Basket
***This basket features everything you need to make some delicious baked goods!

7. Welcome Home Basket
***This basket is perfect for a housewarming...a very practical gift containing common/popular kitchen/household items

8. Pamper Me Please Basket (2)
***Candles, Bubble Bath, and all the trimmings. The ultimate "me time" basket!

There are 2 baskets (#1 and #8) That are always a hit, so I'm offering up 2 of them, so that's a total of 10 baskets!

Here is how this is going to work:

Each entry is $5

you can get an entry for free just for reposting this on your: blog/facebook/twitter/emailing your momma...whatever! Let's get the word out!

Please comment on THIS POST so we know who entered, and how many times:

Example: "I donated $10 and reposted on facebook" (BOOM...3 entries! WOOT!)

If you don't let us know you entered, we can't add you to the drawing! This giveaway is going to run until Feb 15th so if you enter today for $5, but next week you find a $20 bill on the grocery store floor, you can come back and enter 4 more times!

On February 16th we will select the people who will receive prizes using a random online generator and post the results promptly.

Good luck!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quick update :)

Wow life has been kinda crazy lately! (gee I wonder why? lol) I used to get bored during the day but lately there is always SOMETHING that needs to be done and I find myself wishing I had time to get bored! haha

Yesterday my hubby was off so we took a little drive to Nashville. First and foremost, we wanted to give our boys a family day, no computers, no tvs, no video games, just the 4 of us. A lot of people don't realize how much WORK an international adoption is! It's like a full time job in and of itself, and when you throw fundraising into the mix it becomes TWO full-time jobs! Sadly, that means that everything else tends to get put on the backburner and Dave and I have made a pact to never let one of those back burner "things" be quality time with our boys. Yes this adoption is an amazing journey, and yes we feel blessed to have been called to save our sweet girl and call her our daughter, but we also know that God would never want us to lose sight of the miracles that are right in front of us, our sons. They need mom and dad to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present...and it's tough to juggle that sometimes but we're making it happen. :)

While we were in Nashville, we stopped into the Down Syndrome Clinic at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and met some wonderful people and got some really useful information. We're so grateful to be within a couple hours of what I consider to be one of the best children's hospitals there is. They also have an international adoption center, and you can have your child's medical report looked over by doctors who have experience in deciphering the jargon that is used by doctors abroad. I'm sure we'll be taking advantage of that pretty soon! If you want to find out more about Vandy's DS clinic or the international adoption center, I'll post links below.

We got home around 11pm last night, the kids were knocked out, I was wired and so was Dave so we decided to keep the momentum of quality going, and we decided to just hang out together in the living room and watch a couple movies. :) It was really nice to spend time together just the 2 of us. I'll admit though, during the 2nd movie I started working on a project for our unbirthday fundraiser....I'm sorry honey but there was no way the movie "Moneyball" was going to hold my interest. Not even Brad Pitt could keep me invested in a baseball flick! LOL

So, as for the project I was working on the the unbirthday party, I made the drink menu! It's really cute and has pictures for the kids to choose from, and I gave all the drinks Disney related named. It's going to be a dry event, so these drinks are "mocktails". I'm not a drinker, but on top of that I think it would be really hard to justify having an event that almost caters to children by using a Disney theme, and then serving alcohol...that's just not classy...lol

So, that's where we're at! Tomorrow I'm going to contact our agency and see what's going on with our visas, find out what I need to do, etc...so we're plugging along!

Don't forget about the gift basket giveaway my friend has offered up. Ten awesome gift baskets are up for grabs and the giveaway ends soon so check it out. Here is the link to that post:

http://love--conquers--all.blogspot.com/2012/01/guest-post-gift-basket-rafflegiveaway.html

if you repost the link on facebook, twitter, whatever...you get a free entry so tell your friends!

Have a great day!!!



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Vandy Links:
http://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/interior.php?mid=254

http://childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/interior.php?mid=259

Anyone care to try a "Princess Jasmine"? Message me for the recipe! They are delish!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Sometimes I forget to let God show me the lesson He's teaching in "hiccups" that occur in day to day life. It's easy to let things snowball, and to make mountains out of mole hills, and give things more "weight" than they deserve. It's the nature human reaction, go into defense mode when being attacked.

I'm trying to set aside that normal human reaction, and take up the armor of Christ and react according to His wishes. That is not always easy to do.

Today it was really, really hard to do.

I won't go into detail, because details aren't necessary, but today I was made keenly aware that there is an individual out there that wants to destroy our adoption process. Before anyone gets freaked out, it isn't a big deal. There will always be people who are against you, your decisions, etc...I know who the person is and its just silly so enough about that. The point is, the "old" me would have been angry, resentful, and seeking revenge. The "new" me, the person my faith has made me become, wants nothing more than for God to touch this persons life and heal their heart of their sadness, or bitterness, or whatever painful feelings they have. It is not for me to judge or punish, God will handle that part. It's my job to pray for them.

So, today, I was hurt, and sad, and confused...but I learned to pray for and love my enemy. So, it was a good day. :)

Please remember, these blogs are amazing for fundraising, orphan adoption awareness, etc...but they are a wonderful ministry for showing Gods love, too. <3