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, September 29, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...



Guess who's going to Russia in about 2 weeks?! Meeeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm so excited to get back to my sweet girl, and SO stressed out over all the paperwork and stuff I need to do before we go! Usually people get a bit more of a heads up than this...plus we have to be prepared with our Embassy stuff just in case they end up waiving the 3rd trip. Eeek!!

So, I've been gathering paperwork, making lists, running errands, and getting nice a prepared for this journey back to our girl. We've run into couple hiccups financially, the main one being the fact that our plane tickets are $700 more than we budgeted for...each...because we have to be able to change them if the judge waived our 3rd trip...so, if the trip is waived then it won't matter that these tickets were more expensive because we'll be saving money on the back end by not going back to Russia a 3rd time...BUT if the judge doesn't waive the trip...I will have completely blown my budget. Yikes!

But on to the fun stuff!!! I picked up some of our gifts for the facilitator, translator, etc while we're in country

I found these cute little hand sanitizers with clips at Walmart, and got them for the orphanage workers. They smell sooo good!

Target had super cute gift bags in the dollar spot, 2 giftbags for a buck! Whoo hoo!

Who doesn't love chocolate? 

I also have Victoria's Secret body lotion and body spray sets, and some Starbuck's goodies thanks to my cousin giving up her gift card she got for her birthday to help offset our gift costs. <3

All of our orphanage donations came from a church in Kentucky who heard about us, and Kenzi, and the plight of these sweet orphans, and they decided to do something to help. It means so much to us that they wanted to be part of Kenzi's story, and that they wanted to do something to help. I'll have pics of all their donations soon!

I did an entire post about what we were packing for Kenzi, in case she comes home, and there were a few things I still needed to get, so here they are!

You wouldn't guess that this is my 3rd round of mommyhood because I feel, and act, completely clueless. I know I over did it with buying stuff but I'm seriously freaked out that I'm missing something! Here we have some diapers, wipes, powdered formula packs, powdered pedialyte packets, yogurt, baby food, juice, and pediasure.

4 bibs, because I think Miss Thang is going to be a messy eater...a couple pacifiers, rash cream, drop-ins, another bottle, and balm for chapped lips and cheeks.



I was too lazy to go take a picture, but this is Kenzi's coat!


Tomorrow I'm going to try and get my house put together...we'll see how that goes! I have more work to do in Kenzi's room! It will be a nice break from paperchasing. 

I'll update with more news as it comes!!
 <3

Friday, September 28, 2012

Auction Time

Hey guys! Guess what time it is?! It's auction time!!! We are SO CLOSE to being funded...and we're hoping this auction puts us over the top and we can finally....FINALLY...be done! We're expecting our travel dates tomorrow (well...today...I'm up entirely too late because I'm excited to get those dates!!). 

So auction details: The auction is on THIS PAGE and there are no starting bids, so bid a dollar, bid 10 dollars, it's up to you! So far we have:

Hair Bows
Zipper Pulls
Key Fobs
Children's Clothing
Handbags
Wallets
Bath and Body Works lotion/shower gel
Victoria's Secret lotion/body spray

and I'll be adding lots of de-stashing stuff tomorrow...ribbon, jewelry stuff, etc...I really hope you'll check it out, and so does Kenzi! <3


Monday, September 24, 2012

Silly Girl!

I could never say thank you enough to those who have donated to us, especially recently when we were REALLY starting to freak out about the extra trip!!! Thank you so much!!

I wanted to share some videos of our crazy girl with you...this is why we're doing what we're doing. <3 This girl has so much SPUNK...she needs to be out of an orphanage and free to be as sassy and silly as she wants!!


video
video

What's in Kenzi's Bag?

I've seen a lot of "what's in my bag" blog posts, or youtube videos...and it seems funny that we're all so curious about what other people carry around with them...so I wanted to do a "What's in my bag" for Kenzi!

A little background...we're in 3rd trip limbo. We were told to expect a 3rd trip, because there is a very, very good chance that the judge will say no when it comes to having it waived. We also learned that we won't know until after our court hearing if it's been waived or not...which means we have to be prepared either way! So, just in case we get lucky and escape the 3rd trip...I've packed a bag for Kenzi. I know, I know...it's a bit early but I couldn't help myself! So, here it is!

We're using drop-in, so we're only bringing 2 bottles, 1 box of drop-ins, 1 bowl, and  2 spoons

2 Hats, and 2 bows that attach to the hats! The bow on the left was bought from Beth Cole, who makes the cutest bows ever, and the proceeds when to helping the Willis girls come home!

These are some of the toys we're bringing for Kenzi. She loves dolls so that one was a given, that block was her  favorite thing that we brought (aside from our iphones!) so it's coming back for round 2. We think she liked it because it crinkled...so the little taggy toy below it crinkles too...we won that in an auction...can't remember which one! The taggie blanket on the left was made with love by Auntie Karly...she loved it on the first trip so it's going back again too! I'm not bringing any light up toys because honestly, she wasn't interested in them...she wanted our phones! So we'll let her play with the phones and the Kindle Fire. :)

This is some of the food we'll be taking for Miss Kenzi....seconds after this pic was taken her brother Jack grabbed the cookie monster pouch and took off....lol :) We're also going to bring pediasure, Enfagrow powdered toddler formula, and bottled water.

I'm seriously nervous about bath time...I've heard horror stories! But, we're prepared! These adorable  washcloths are handmade from Sylvia and Brenda. <3 We also have a rubber ducky that escaped the photo session somehow.

2 burpcloths handmade by my sweet friend Marj

A GORGEOUS quilt made by Marj! I can't wait to cuddle up with my sweet girl and this blankie!

Diaper bag and travel changing pad...I'll also be bringing a pack of wipes, and I don't know if I should bring diapers or buy them in country...what do you think?

2 pairs of Pjs...

1 pair of Converse shoes, and 1 pair of boots...I have no clue what size shoe she wears so this is a bit of a gamble! 

3 pairs of socks

One clippie. Just one. Because a mama can hope that her girl has grown enough hair to use this. LOL

3 onesies

One pair of jeans, and 2 long sleeve shirts

a VERY warm, adorable hoodie that I won in the Quinn Family auction! I'll still bring a coat just in case, but I haven't bought it yet.

I love this outfit because it reminds me of what she was wearing in her picture!

This was donated to our yardsale and I kept it. It is a little worn but I thought it would be comfy on  a long flight 

I found this in the closet and have no idea where it came from. I think it was meant to be an orphanage donation! Just in case it was donated to us for the orphanage, we bought a similar outfit in a smaller size to donate in it's place! 

Last but not least...tylenol...or knock off tylenol. I'll also need to get some benadryl ...



So there it is! I'm also going to pick up a pack of pacifiers...just in case. So what am I forgetting?! I tried really hard to keep it light, and it feels like a lot of stuff...opinions and advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

<3

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Lesson In Faith

My little ones have been fighting sleep hard tonight, so while waiting for them to finally give in, I spent some time reading the Bible. 

Lately I haven't been posting about my faith, because frankly with all the obstacles we've faced, I started to lose my faith a bit. I've come to realize something about faith...it's a constant. It doesn't change, even when we do, even when we try to sweep it under the rug...it's always there, and it constantly reveals itself to us even when we try to ignore it.

I've come to accept the fact that this journey we're on isn't just about saving Kenzi from a life in an institution. God is using this journey to solidify my faith, and to teach me something I need a LOT of lessons in...patience.

Many, many people fundraise a portion of their adoption, some attempt to fundraise all of their adoption costs. Wherever you fall in that spectrum, believe me I know how scary it can be, and how easy it is to become impatient when those numbers just won't budge. You get sick of hearing "the money will come"...you get sick of hearing "we'll be praying for you..." from people who could probably buy and sell your adoption 10 times over. It's frustrating, and maybe hurtful, and always scary wondering where the money for the next set of fees is coming from.

Do not give up. Even when it's hard, even when there are people trying to tear you down, plant fear in your heart, intentionally hurt you...never, ever give up. You've been put on this path for a reason, and the reason isn't just about your child. YOU will never be the same again...be open to the lessons God is trying to teach you through this journey!

When you see Bob and Jane get funded in 3 days when you've been begging for help for 6 months, don't get bitter...their journey isn't your journey and their lessons aren't your lessons. God might be working hard on some other aspect of their lives! 

I am not a patient person by nature. Obviously. If I was God would be teaching me something else along this path...but I have to fight the feelings of sadness, and sometimes jealousy, when I see things moving slower than I would like. It isn't about me, and what I want to happen when I want it to happen...it's about the bigger picture and the only way I (and YOU!) will ever feel any sense of peace is if we just hand it over to Him and say "Ok, God...I know you've got this...I'll just follow your lead" and we let go.

These verses have really helped to bring me peace tonight. I hope they'll help you as well.

Much Love, 
Cilla <3

eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality -Romans 2:7

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:2-4

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears. - Psalm 34:4


And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 

The Small Things

When you look at this picture, what do you see?

The picture on the left is the first picture I ever saw of my daughter. The picture on the right, is my daughter in my arms. Same dress, same uber blonde hair, but look at her face! In one pic she looks almost confused...why am I sitting here, what is that contraption that's causing light to flash in my eyes and making clicking sounds?! In the other pic, well let me assure you she was having a BLAST. She had just completely ripped down my pony tail, made my head look like a rats nest, then when that got boring she decided to bop her daddy in the head with an inflatable hammer. Girlfriend was on cloud nine, and that smile proves it!

The biggest, most important difference between these 2 pictures...on the left she was an orphan, on the right she had a mommy who is head over heels in LOVE with her!!

That fact is going to to change her life forever! 

We are only about $1800 away from being fully funded, and just a few weeks away from heading back to see our princess again, will you help?

If you follow THIS LINK you'll be taken to my friends blog where she is hosting a baby shower for Kenzi! Instead of bottles and diapers and clothes, you can purchase one of her meals, or a chunk of her airfare or hotel stay! 

Like any GOOD baby shower, there are party favors!! As boxes get crossed out, names will be drawn to receive cool party favors like gift cards, handbags and accessories, and more!

I hope you'll take a peek, and I hope you'll join us for Kenzi's baby shower!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Update

It's been a while since I updated, so I thought I would pop on and let everyone know what is going on with our girl. :)

We have been struggling for a while with getting a court date due to some paperwork issues. Today that was all settled, and we were told we would have a court date next week, and it would likely be in October. We are THRILLED!!! I can't wait to get my sweet little peanut back in my arms again!

For the last few months, we've been operating under the assumption that our 3rd trip would be waived. We had good reason to believe that it would be, and we settled on a fully number, $17,100...we hit that number with a small cushion and we were THRILLED!

Today we learned that our 3rd trip would not be waived.

So what does that mean for us? Basically, it means we need to scramble. Our new "fully funded" number is $21,000. That will make up for the extra airfare, hotel, food, etc that the addition of this 3rd trip will cost us. We don't have much time to get this money together...

This is what we're dealing with

Approx 60 days til "gotcha day"

$3,535 til we reach $21,000

That's an average of about $59 a day, for 60 days

Right now we have a Tastefully Simple party going on until October 5th, you can find it HERE (when ordering, please put my first and last name in as host!) 

In a week I will be doing what us crafty chicks call a "destash" auction...basically all the crafting supplies I have and don't need...I'll be auctioning off, along with some bows I have.

We're also selling brownies to help grow Kenzi's adoption fund, a dozen brownies is $15 shipped, so comment and donate if you want some goodies!

That's really all i got right now. What we really, really need...is a miracle. We need a lot of money, on short notice, and I've spent 9 months fundraising....everyone I know who is willing to help, already has, I have no one to turn to to help us get this money. If there is someone out there looking to change a life, or help a stranger in need...I hope they'll find us, and find Kenzi's story, and be the guardian angel she needs. Prayer is really all I have left, and I hope you'll all pray with me.

Love, 
Cilla

My sweet Kenzi, rocked to sleep in her mommy's arms.
Please help us make this her new normal.
<3

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Look What I found!

I was rifling through Dave's phone and I found a TON of Kenzi pics that I've NEVER seen before! It was like Christmas morning!!!! So here you go, enjoy!!!