Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012 - much better than May 4, 2011

Just a little quick update - today is the anniversary of the day we were told our 'Claire' was no longer available and our journey to our little girl ended immediately - but we didn't know where to go.  I know that occasionally happens in adoption stories - so perhaps this 'full circle' story will provide some comfort for those who might be in the midst of it right now

Here is a link to our 'full circle' story -

I also thought it is good to point out - our family is starting to resume to a more normal state of life and I hope to start up our fundraising network again as early as this summer!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our debt free adoption story

Last week our adoption story was featured on Money Saving Mom.  We shared how we paid for our adoption without any debt.

I think ours was a bit more challenging than we anticipated - we switched from international to domestic half way through and had spent thousands on paperwork going back and forth to EE.  Another wrench in our plan was we had over $4000 in our RR account that we of course could not use once we committed to a special needs child that was not on RR.  (We actually counted this a blessing - it was what we planned to spend on travel and of course we were not traveling now - and we were able to choose a child to donate the money too - we donated to "Gregory" - who is still waiting with over $4,500 in his account!!).  But we did have new expenses - our coordinator, lawyers, social worker, and some changes to our homestudy.

Had we known we would have ended up in a domestic adoption we could have saved quite a bit - but in that case we would not have been able to donate to Gregory..... and I think that even though it was hard, our journey was beautiful - and oddly enough - we had EXACTLY enough - like literally exactly enough!

I wanted to share our 'We Paid Cash: Our Adoption Process" story with those who might be interested.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

tiny little flip flops make me cry

So I know this blog has become kind of random.  I dont really have a direction for it - but not ready to let it close.  I use it when I have an adoption fundraising idea to share. I use it to share prayer requests and updates for our little Roo. And in this case - as a place for me to write down my thoughts in the hopes they will stop torturing me inside my head and heart.  I don't really expect anyone to really understand, but prayers are appreciated.

As I have said numerous times, I believe we are where God intended us to be all along.  I look at our little 2 month old with all of her challenges and all of her promise and know that she is who God destined to be our daughter.  I know our journey to 'Claire' was always our journey to her.

That being said, I have a weird story that I just need to get off my chest.

Last weekend we went to La Jolla CA and there was an awesome sale at a local surf shop.  We dont ever buy anything unless it is on sale - and 80% off is my kind of sale.  We got brother a button down top and big sister a pair of flip flops two sizes to big in hopes they will work for next year.  We also found baby sister the cutest darn flip flops on the planet.

They are teeny tiny, size baby 5 (about right for a one year old) in hot pink and black & white zebra stripes - and for $4 she just had to have them.

Randomly as I checked out I noticed myself fighting back tears.  I am really good at not crying when my heart really wants to. I've never felt comfortable crying in front of people and can usually fight it off. I was able to suck it down, but it was a fight.

Buying those tiny flip flops for my third child just reminded me...yet again - that there is some kind of weird purgatory inbetween where our journey to Claire abruptly ended to where our successful adoption of our little Roo began.  And dang it - it just wont go away.

'Claire' never would have worn flip flops.  They wouldn't have looked right, and they probably would not have offered the support she would need for her special little feet.

So now I see those little shoes in Roo's closet and they torture me.  I know there are several families that were mid journey to Claire's country when laws started changing.  I know some have been blessed to bring them home.  I know several are in the same boat we are.  We loved a specific child we never met, we worried for and prepared for their very specific special needs only to find out they weren't meant for us.

I don't know - I am writing because I needed to organize it outside of my head, but also maybe to encourage others to know that someone else understands. 

Thanks for reading my random story and praying if you feel inclined.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Easy way to add to your adoption fund.....

So it is funny to me that we still get traffic here even though I don't really update much.

I know lots of our readers are Reece's Rainbow families and one of the hardest things (for us anyway) was fundraising.

One thing we found that helped us save money was using (you can even use it to book your travel).  There are thousands of online retailers and they give you a percentage back in cash.  For example - we got 2% back on our plane tickets and also on our hotels the last time we traveled.  We also got cash back when we both on sites like,, and just about everything else.  We don't shop online very much but they send a check every 3 months - ours was usually less than $100 - but it was an easy thing to put into our adoption fund.

I'm pointing it out right now because on my main blog we are hosting a sign up incentive giveaway for - one reader will win $50 cash from - no purchase necessary.

I am not sure if anyone is interested - but you can CLICK HERE to enter.  You will need to sign up for Ebates (which you should anyway) and for my blog San Diego Deals and Steals (which often features national freebies too - so it isn't a bad newsletter to get either) - no worries if you aren't interested, but I just think Ebates is a 'no brainer' when you are fundraising =)


Sunday, July 10, 2011

So very thankful...........

So this appears to be the end of our very long adoption journey!  We of course need some paperwork to finalize, but that is too uneventful to blog about really.  We are so excited to be a family of five!

I will probably stop blogging here.....but I can't without about a thousand thank yous.  We have been in the process on some level for over a year.

1st - I want to thank Andrea from Reece's Rainbow (and everyone who is a part of their team!)  - while we did not end up with a Reece's Rainbow angel as we had anticipated, we are so thankful for their organization and the good things they are doing for children around the world - including advocating and educating right here in America!  Perhaps someday we can adopt (WAYYYYY in the future) an older child through RR - but for now we promise to continue donating and sharing their cause!

Thank you to our friend Yahdira who was kind enough to do all of our adoption notary completely for free! This is an amazing ministry!  If you are in the North County SD area (or willing to travel to her) please email me & I will get you in touch - she offers free notary for families adopting for their adoption paperwork!

Thank you to Suzanne, Kathleen, and Kelly (not in any particular order =)) for putting together a beautiful fundraiser - we know it was just as much for 'Claire' as it was for us, and we know you love our Charlotte just as much as you loved Claire.  We are so thankful that so much of the money raised went to Gregory (still waiting on Reece's Rainbow) - we love that God has multiplied the children who have been adopted - first 'Claire', now our Charlotte, and prayerfully Gregory.....and prayerfully even more - we know that fundraiser touched many hearts and we know it helped so many more than just our family!

Thank you to EVERY person who prayed for and supported us in a million different ways!  We had dozens of friends, family members, and total strangers who blessed us with prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support.  We are so thankful and truly humbled - we know not everyone going through an adoption has this kind of support, and we do not take any of it for granted.

Thank you to the RR families we connected with - but especially Sarah - mommy to be of 'Caroline' waiting in Eastern Europe - we shared a lot of ups and downs.  She was a great comfort in that she understood a lot of what we were going through.  We are so thankful her little girl is still available and their paperwork was submitted - we ironically both now have 'heart babies' and we are thankful for the friendship we have been able to have with them! 

Thank you everyone who prayed for us when we got the terrible news that our 'Claire' was not to be ours.  We know we are exactly where we are supposed to be, but it was (and is) terrible for our family that we will never meet her in this lifetime - we are comforted by the fact that she is loved and HER family got to her before the shut down - we can only pray she has a beautiful life and that we can meet her on the other side of eternity.  We know all the prayers for her protection have not gone unanswered - we are sure she is just a treasure in her family.  While we miss her - we are just so happy she is loved.

Thank you to our other virtual friend Ivonne - who told us about Charlotte needing a family ASAP!

Thank you to Michelle at 'Adoption Answer' who took a leap of faith with us.  She needed a family immediately and she didn't know us at all.  She is a woman of integrity who truly wants what is best for all involved - birth mother, child, and adopting family - I'm sure she was nervous not knowing us beforehand - but we truly believe God put us all together.

Thank you to my parents who took our kids for the longest 'about a week' of all time - it turned out to be 3 1/2 weeks that we took before Charlotte was ready to leave.  Our big kids are cute, but they are a lot of work - Grandma & Grandpa shuffled them around everywhere they needed to go and never complained.

Thank you to our friends who helped them out with playdates and dinners when they needed a little break.

Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House for everything they do - because Charlotte was in NICU and we were more than 50 miles from home we were able to stay with the RMH for $10 a night!  We lost a bit of money when our Ukrainian adoption did not go through.  And while our travel obviously was less expensive - there were lots of new expenses with this new adoption - we are thankful our living expenses the last THREE weeks was next to nothing.  RMH serves so many - some families are here for months at a time - even 3 weeks we are so blessed!  Thank you to the volunteers here, those who brought in dinner and brought gifts for us and our kids.  Amazing, amazing people - making the world a much softer place.

And above all else, we thank God for burdening us for orphans.  It has been a much tougher road than the traditional route to a family - but we feel so richly blessed.  We are so thankful for the daughter we made.  But we are also so thankful for the son and daughter that are so perfectly part of our family but that we simply could not have made on our own - how blessed are we that we were put together with these little ones too.  The beauty of our three kids together speaks volumes of Your profound grace, love, and goodness.  Our prayer is to honor You as they grow.  We pray what You have done with us (despite us occasionally complaining, doubting, and crying along the way) will be a testimony others will be encouraged by.  More than that, we pray we honor You as we raise them - looking at all of them so little we just can't wait to see Your plans for them.  We are just people; regular people, and we just don't know why we were so blessed.

Signing off for now ~

All our love and gratitude ~

Kate, Harry, Josie, Silas, and Charlotte Elise

Sunday, June 26, 2011

top 10 things i have learned in NICU

CLICK HERE to read my top ten list if you want =)

Please keep our Charlotte in your prayers....

Charlotte is doing ok - not bad, not great.  She is stable, but still needs a couple surgeries as well as several tests in the next couple months.  She needs heart surgery before her 2 month old birthday - it is unclear whether she will leave NICU before her surgery.

She still is working on eating from a bottle - about half her minimum is still fed through a tube and she seems to have a little reflux - making it harder for her to gain weight.

As we sit in NICU I am constantly aware of how many countries do not have this care and it is overwhelming and heartbreaking - I know if she had not been born where she is she maybe never would have made it this far.

Please take a moment to pray for our little girl, she is not out of the woods yet, please also pray for the millions of orphans world wide who need a family NOW.