Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unexpected Blessing

Today we got a check in the mail.

A check from a person who has asked us to not reveal his identity.

And for $5,000 we are more than willing to accomodate that request.

For reals.  We got a check for $5,000 today.  So, so thankful.  Our gap now to have before travel (again likely May) is $5,000 - he literally cut our gap in half.  That $5,000 seems like such a doable goal now!

We'll have another fundraising garage sale, and we still have all our online fundraisers.  Harry is hoping to get another web design client for February and I continue to make a little extra every month with my website.

Please keep our little fundraisers in mind and also of course please keep our little girl and the entire process in your thoughts and prayers. 


Friday, January 28, 2011

big week ahead!

This week is gonna be awesome! *God willing*

We live for checking things off the list.

We should have 'packet 1' all freshly apostilled and back in our hands to Fed Ex to a far away land by Tuesday - hopefully in the far away land before the end of the week!  (those who have been thru the process know how much goes into this packet and what a HUGE weight is lifted to have it done!)

Friday we have our LAST homestudy visit - that's right - the last one!!  *homestudy should be complete one week after that as well as packet 2*

We also celebrate our 9 year anniversary on February 2nd! *we would like to thank Groupon for sponsoring our nearly free date night when we really can't be spending any dinero but really think it is important to celebrate*

We'll keep you posted - please pray everything goes as expected (or even a little faster =))

Monday, January 24, 2011

Etsy store - finally!

Quick link - here is our Etsy Store!

Click Here!

thanks for checking it out & I hope you'll share =)


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Web design for Claire? And a couple other fundraisers...

Still not much to report - last week we had quite a bit of running around to do - there is SOOO much you need to do when you are requesting to let a little one join your family. They need everything from notarized doctor's notes, to multiple personal referrals, to a signed letter from the bank saying we are up to date on our mortgage, and of course everyone's birth certs, marriage certs, and on and on....anyway - we pretty much got that all done and our first set (of many) papers are likely on a plane on it's way to a little country in Eastern Europe officially requesting to adopt a specific little lady. *sigh*

So anyway, right now it is just paperwork going back and forth. Details that are likely not that interesting to those reading this.

So right now we are just trying to get travel paid for! Our goal has always been to complete our adoption without debt - we didn't start the process until we had our upfront fees and a little extra - that being said we still have quite a bit left to raise (seriously - a lot - like $10,000)

We have LOTS of little fundraisers in the works -

We hoped our $5 downloadable coloring book media blast would have made a bit more....we only sold 14 so far, which we are thankful for, but we were hoping for more - it will be ongoing and I hope you will check it out! ALL of the $5 goes towards our adoption!

We've also got a BOAT LOAD of little girls hair pretties & crocheted hats with sweet little bows & flower clips for sale - $6 - $12 - if you need a little girl gift please contact me! (see previous post)

Check out our Just Love Coffee Store - $5 of every sale goes towards our adoption!

Check out our Cafe Press and Zazzle Stores - if you need an adoption gift please buy from our store!!

My facebook friend (and fellow adoptive mommy) Kris is donating proceeds from her Discovery Toys sale to our adoption fund.

If you are a local & enjoy Kidsville Playtown - they are offering a $1 off coupon AND for every one redeemed they are donating $1 to our adoption fund too! CLICK HERE

My website makes a little money - San Diego Deals and Steals might save you some money - it won't cost you anything - also several of the ads I make a small amount of $$ if someone signs up! I would really appreciate you checking it out or even subscribing =)

Of course you can always make a 100% tax deductible donation via REECE'S RAINBOW - if you've ever thought 'wow I think adoption is cool and such a good idea but it isn't something I really want to do' - this is a small & maybe easy way you can help bring an orphan home and we would truly appreciate it!

We will also be having another 'adoption fund' garage sale, selling on craigslist, and ebay. (yes we would love donations from locals for our adoption fund garage sales - contact me!)

Harry also (as many of you know) is a web and graphic designer. He pointed out that if he could get one more 'average' client a month between now and when we travel (likely May & then again in June) we would be very close to meeting our fundraising goal! I really hope you will check out his site, if you ever need web or graphic design we'd love for you to consider him and refer him!

My apologies for the constant sales pitch - it is humbling to be in a place where we can't simply write a check for the full amount. We aren't asking for anyone to do/buy/donate anything they aren't comfortable with - but just keep us in mind - many of our items are things many of you might be purchasing in the future anyway - I hope you'll consider!  Please know every time we have recieved money of any kind/amount we are so thankful!

Thanks for reading & considering!

We'll keep ya posted!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hair Pretties for Miss Claire ~ a fundraiser!

So last holiday season we bought and made LOTS of hair accessories (bows and flowers) for little girls - we also have very cute hats and headbands that you can clip the bows and flowers on.  I had a booth at a couple craft fairs and sold quite a few - which was great!

Problem - we still have well over 100 left!! We have to sell these and if you are interested in several we can make a deal!

Here are just a few pictures to give you an idea

headbands with the bow/flower of your choice is $6

crocheted hat with the bow/flower of your choice is $12

Don't see the color you are looking for? NO WORRIES! Email me at and tell me what - chances are we have something!

Here are a couple pics....

if you live far away and need them mailed we will charge just $1 for each two items shipped (ie - if you are kind enough to buy 6 it will be only $3 to ship!) - IF YOU BUY 10 items or more we will pay all the shipping costs! (Seriously - we just REALLY need these sold!)

I see very similar items being sold at boutiques and department stores for double the price! I hope you will consider our inventory first!


2nd homestudy visit done!

This is all we have to report

Second Homestudy visit done - check!

One more to go!


Friday, January 14, 2011

2nd homestudy visit Saturday!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE our social worker?! Our homestudy is being prepared by an agency that is WAAAAAY up in Chino - normally the family has to go up to the office for the first two visits - we went up last week and we got the happy news that our social worker was gonna be in Escondido Saturday and she could meet with us if it worked for us - uh - yes please!

I also need to take a moment to thank my awesome husband - he has worked so hard and making sure all the paperwork is together.  I certainly have the heart for adoption, but Intercountry (especially this country) adoption is SO paperwork intensive, he has been amazing at making sure we don't forget anything! Thanks Love!

We have one last homestudy visit on February 3rd (the day after our 9th anniversary!) - and then it is just mailing paperwork!

Patience is hard for us at this point, we are SO excited, knowing that she is officially available for adoption and that our paperwork is still in process is so frustrating for us.  I mean, we already feel committed to her in our hearts, and for her to not be with us is just really really hard.  It's nobody's fault that we aren't ready yet, we thought the very earliest she'd be released would be February, so our plan was February and we are right no track *sigh*

Keep praying that everything comes together and that there are no delays (hey - while you are at it, feel free to pray that paperwork goes faster than is typical ;))

Keep praying for our fundraising effforts, slowly but surely we are slowly filling up our fund.  I have found that I can be even more creative with our budget and Harry has been blessed with not one but TWO new web clients in one month! We've also had some small success with our little online fundraisers...little by little!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Update on the process

We had our 1st visit - went awesome - we LOVE our social worker!  She was so kind to schedule a 2nd visit on a Saturday (yay!) this Saturday morning - our last visit will be February 3rd and PRAYERFULLY we will have a completed homestudy the following week - every day we wait kills us - but we are trying to remind ourselves this is only about FOUR weeks away! FOUR weeks!  In the grand scheme of things we know this is such a short time!

We ask for your continued prayers that 'our' Claire is safe and well taken care of while we have to wait through this process!  Pray that her country stays stable (everything looks great but we still ask for your prayers).

Also - continue to pray for our fundraising efforts and keep our fundraisers in mind!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Check out 'Muffin Tin Mom' who is helping raise awareness & funds for Claire!

We are literally waiting outside our homestudy agency as I write this - so it has to be quick - but I wanted to let everyone know about Muffin Tin Mom - an AWESOME blogger and new friend at our church!  She has a great blog about crafting, creative meals, and all things mommy - you should really follow her anyway!

But I really want you to check out her blog post TODAY - she has set up a fundraiser for Claire! Folks can donate $5 to our fund and then provide us with an email address to send a downloadable coloring book drawn by Harry - it is super cute!

We really hope you will check it out and share with friends!  It is a pretty big network and has the potential of really chipping away at that last $10,000 we are short - pretty please check it out & pretty please consider purchasing it for a little one in your life and know that it helps the little one in ours!


Homestudy Visit today!

Today is our first (yes first) homestudy visit!  We hope to have everything ready to go by the first week in February - translation - it's gonna be a long couple weeks!

We are so happy that everything is moving along so quickly - we wish we had our homestudy a little further along, but there was no way of knowing Claire would be released before February.  So we just gotta make every day count! 

Last night we had about a dozen items notarized and faxed - if everything looks good they will make their journey via Fed Ex to a small city somewhere in Eastern Europe tomorrow! Surreal....

I'm about to take the kiddos to the park for a couple hours and then it is off to Chino for our appointment!

Will update soon!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yet another 'fundraiser'

Our families budget is based completely on Daddy's income alone.  Any money Mommy brings in with crafts, ebay, or her blog has always gone into the adoption fund account.

As random as it may be - I would love for you to check out my money saving blog - shameless plug? for reals it isn't - this blog was created for a couple reasons....

1) to keep our family accountable to our finances
2) to hopefully make a little money along the way
3) to encourage others to save money and have fun while they do it

I hope you will check it out and also check out our advertisers on the site.  Some advertisers pay per month, others pay per sign up, some pay a % of a sale that comes from our site.  The amount of readers I have is very important to advertisers and I would really appreciate you subscribing and passing it on to a friend.  Even if you are not from CA I often post money saving deals that are nationwide!

Bottom line - it is a great blessing to our family if this blog grows, but it could be a great money saving resource for you too!  Thanks for checking it out!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Easy fundraiser - costs you nothing - saves you money - gives us $5!

Here is a SUPER easy 'fundraiser' we have been doing for over a year now.

We use Ebates for any purchases we make online (we don't buy much online, but even travel is on!) - thousands of retailers on on - you simply sign up and then when you are about to make a purchase online go to Ebates first then search the retailer - they will then direct you to the retailer and you'll get a portion of that sale (anywhere from 1% - 50% ) back in a quarterly check.

It is totally legit! We have been using it for over a year - we get a check every quarter (ours is usually WAY under $100 - but it is FREE money! we deposit that check right into our adoption account!) --we have never had an issue with spam and we always get the check as promised! Easy Peasy!

If you click the referral link and sign up OUR FAMILY will get $5 when you make your first purchase via Ebates  - it will cost you NOTHING - but they will give us $5 - also YOU will get a bonus $5 plus whatever your percentage back is!

Nobody is gonna get rich using Ebates but it is a little extra back and we would be so blessed if you would sign up under us! You'll save money and we'll be $5 closer to our financial goal to bring home our little Claire! If you are adopting too or fundraising for a RR child - sign up and get your referral link and do the same!  The little things all add up!

Thanks for considering!

Garage sale complete!

Quick note to say thank you so much to all that donated to our last minute 'adoption fund' garage sale - we made $346 which is not too shabby for being put together in 6 days right?  Harry added $4 out of our change drawer and brought $350 to the bank right away - yay!

We packed the minivan FULL to the brim with donations for the Goodwill and took 3 storage bins as a 'starter kit' for our March 'adoption fund' garage sale.  We held back a couple things to sell on ebay & craigslist and hope they will sell quickly and for a decent price.

Our dossier is to be submitted early in February and we will very likely travel sometime around April or May!

We are so so excited by how fast this is going, but again thought we had more time to fundraise.  This blog is going to have links to our other fundraisers and I hope you will check them out!  Our goal is to do this with as little debt as possible.  We know with things moving as fast as they are we gotta be realistic and know that just might not happen, but it is the goal!

Weird prayer - but we've searched plane tickets to her country and the prices change DRAMATICALLY month to month - we are praying that when we get our itinerary it will be on the low end (about $900 a ticket instead of the high end - about $1600 a ticket!!!) both are expensive but it would obviously be a HUGE blessing if we could travel when it is less expensive - we have absolutely no control over that so we are just praying!

Keep praying for our cutie little 'Claire' - it is surreal seeing it all start to come together!

Friday, January 7, 2011

'Marissa is cleared.'

WOW! I published the post about our garage sale and not 30 minutes later we got an email from our director that 'Marissa is cleared, we need to send your dossier'

praise of course

our only problem - as stated before our homestudy visits are not complete!  We were hoping to have them done before Feb 1st - now they kinda need to be done today - so in the midst of our excitement we are freaking out & just hoping we can do our 3 visits quickly!  Like all next week if possible!

we are waiting to hear from our homestudy agency about the possibility of that.

please pray we are able to complete everything asap!! The only thing that seperates us from our little Claire at this point is paperwork!

Adoption Fund Garage Sale 1/8/11

So excited about our 'adoption fund' garage sale tomorrow! We planned it just 7 days ago because my Aunt is having a moving sale anyway - we didn't know if we would even get any donations and we had just donated a carload of our extras two weeks before Christmas!

Well - our wonderful friends have delivered!  Thank you so much to everyone who donated - we have a FULL garage that will easily take three well packed car loads to Aunt Lori's!  We are so thankful for this boost and hope that it will help us raise money quickly!

If you are in the North County PLEASE come by! 925 Lilac Ct San Marcos CA 92069  8am - 1pm!

Update on our process - we have our first visit in Chino at the Bethany office on Tuesday afternoon.  We'll have one more in office visit and then one in our home.  Our social worker will be on vacation the last week of January which will make it difficult to finish our homestudy in time for the potential dossier submission in February - just hoping & praying that she is able to finish it quickly - all our papers are in order and we have done this before so we hope it is an easy process and papers will just be waiting for the OK from 'Claire's' country.

We of course pray that we will be able to submit quickly but also that we are financially prepared! At this point we are only about half way to the $$ needed when we travel!  We are doing everything we can to keep ourselves out of debt this time around.  We have both taken on some extra work as well as cut back as much as possible (but we aren't working with that much to begin with so it is not making that huge of an impact).

We are praying there is a HUGE turnout for this garage sale as well as the one we have planned for in March.  We also are selling on Ebay & Craigslist (we made a little over $100 last week on Ebay - yay!)

We have partnered with a few blogs who will be getting a very cool fundraiser out to lots of readers (stay tuned for details).

Anyway - please pray for sunshine tomorrow, a quick meeting & easy commute to Chino on Tuesday, and as always that our process goes quickly and that Miss Claire's heart is prepared for us!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fundraising Garage Sale 1/8/11

We are going to be doing several fundraisers for the next couple months (or however long it takes us to raise the money needed to travel) as we've said before we had all our upfront fees (for our homestudy and our commitment fee for RR).  We also had another $2,000 raised.  Thankfully there is $840 in her fund waiting for our family when we go to travel - the problem - we kinda need like another $10,000 - $12,000 (WHAT?!) I know..... travel and in country fees are where a huge amount of the cost lies.  We honestly thought that we would not be traveling quite so soon.

Our goal is to work extra, put on a couple fundraisers, and pray for a few donations through Reeces Rainbow (tax deductible by the way) - our hope is that we can bring her home without any debt....we'll see...

Since we should be able to submit our dossier in February there is very likely that we will travel this Spring!

That is A LOT of money to raise by Spring.

Here is our Ebay Store - we will have constant sales up there -  I hope you will check it out.

Also - if you are local we are helping my aunt with her moving sale on January 8, 2011

We are combining to make it a HUGE 'adoption fund' multi-family garage sale!  If you have stuff you were planning on donating to a worthy cause please email me at katehamernik 'at' sbcglobal 'dot' net and we would love to come and pick it up - items that do not sell will be donated to homeless families in the VUSD - another very worthy cause.

If you are interested in coming to our garage sale the address is 925 Lilac Ct San Marcos CA 92069

We will start at 8am and our stuff is going CHEAP!