Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just had to share some cuteness...

So we have moved from the 'my family found me' to 'homestudy in progress' to our newest spot on Reece's Rainbow 'compiling dossier' *yay* so we should have our dossier in about 6 weeks - please keep praying that 'our' Claire is just happy and loved and waits for us to get there!! We are SOOOO close!

Here is a cute little photo that I had to share - we recently sat with as a promo on my other blog - win win - we really wanted to have a 'family of four' pictures before we become a family of five.

I just had to share this last one...

see the cute little picture we are holding? *sigh* we just love her so much!

Anyway - I wanted to share & I wanted to plug our talented photographer friends!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two upcoming fundraisers - this is it folks!

So we still have our little online stores & are crossing our fingers they will keep sending a few bucks our way in the months we wait to bring our kiddo home!

But our main two fundraisers are as follows...

The LAST 'adoption fund' garage sale will be the last weekend in March at our friend's house (thanks Ben & Karen!) - if you've got stuff you want to clear out before then and were planning on donating anway we hope you'll pass it down to us!  Any funds will be deposited into the 'adoption fund' - left overs will be donated to another worthy cause. These usually only raise a few hundred dollars, but they are totally easy to contribute to & we just couldn't pass up the opportunity! Anyway - keep us in mind! This is the last adoption fund garage sale we will do so we hope it will be the best!!

More exciting than that is our BIG - bunco/silent auction of Claire being put on my our lovely friends Suzanne, Kathleen, & Kelly (thanks ladies!) - evite to follow - but locals ladies need to 'save the date' - March 19th 10am - 2pm - It will be at the Carlsbad Inn (I'm thinkin it is gonna be fancier than our wedding!)
some of the raffle items already are jewelry from Famulare Jeweler, two night stays at local resorts, gift certificates to restaurants, certificates to dance classes, art, and much more!!  Anyway - that is just a teaser - make sure to save the date!

Our prayer has always first been that 'our' Claire is safe and well loved while she waits for us.
second - that we can just get thru all the paperwork, travel, etc with no issues.
and third - that we don't come home with the debt we did with our little boy.  We would do it again in a heartbeat - but it is really hard.  We are so thankful we have had so many come along side us and see that the paperwork/legal fees/travel/etc is all part of a 'mission trip' of sorts - we will give her an awesome life once she gets here! We were a tad worried about how we would finance everything it takes to get her here!! Thank you so much to everyone =)

Email me at katehamernik 'at' sbcglobal 'dot' net if you want me to come and get/you want to drop off - stuff for the garage sale!  You can also email me if your business wants to donate something for the silent auction/bunco prize.

Save the dates!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

completely unrelated prayer request

This has nothing (really) to do with Claire or our adoption.

I've been playing phone tag with an old friend for about a week now.  Today we finally talked.

She gave me the heart wrenching news that she has been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  She has been told she is going to be ok, but that the next 6 months or so are gonna suck.  Radiation, chemo, more surgeries....

If you are the praying type - I'd love for you to pray that 'Kate's super awesome friend' is able to be strong and just get through this with dignity, grace, and just that she can be stronger than ever. I think we forget to pray for things like this until it hits our inner circle.  And anyone doing the '3-day' can count on me for a donation of some kind when you walk in October. (for reals - email me)

Nobody deserves this - but seriously - it could not have happened to a better person. 

Anyway- I'm abusing the fact that I have an audience here to ask for prayers.  Sorry for it not being a Claire update, but we didn't have much news there to report anyway....

Thanks for reading, praying, sending positive thoughts!


Monday, February 14, 2011

one more check off the list!

Heard back this morning that our homestudy rough draft looks good!  The facilitator in Claire's country says to complete, notarize and send over asap!

Our social worker says it could be completed as early as Friday.  Once the homestudy is done we can apply for the LAST piece of paper we need for our dossier.

Just a quick update I guess - not much more to report. But wanted to let everyone know - little by little we are getting there!
Keep praying!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We have nice friends....

Just a little update =)

We  have been so blessed with so much support in this process.  We've had people buy trinkets, donate to our garage sales (we have one planned in March btw - the LAST one!), and even donate directly to Reeces Rainbow! Thank you all so much!

We got a call from several friends who are putting together a bunco for 'Little Sister Claire' fundraiser at the end of March too!!  I will keep local folks updated - we also will need items for a raffle - if you have a business that would like to donate I hope you will keep us in mind!

We are SO thankful!  We started this process with the HOPE that we would not end up buried in debt like our last adoption.  We have squirreled away a small 'adoption fund' before we even committed to Claire, but it was only about 20% of the entire cost. (travel & legal fees really add up!)  We knew ultimately this was our adoption and we would simply save what we could, work a little extra, pray for a few donations - but that ultimately we would take on debt for this cause if we needed to.

We are just about $5000 shy of our goal (since travel is looking to be in late spring / early summer we are realistically off by more than that - but we will cross that bridge when we get to it! - $5000 is a nice round number)  - this is what is left and we have our garage sale & this new bunco fundraiser - hopefully we'll raise everything we need!  My hope is we might even raise MORE & we can donate to a kiddo with $0 in their fund - how awesome would that be?! Donating to another before we are even home?! Maybe I am getting ahead of myself....

Anyway - we just feel really blessed and so so thankful - we know not every family is as supported in their adoption - not everyone sees it as a missions trip of sorts - we are so thankful for our family and friends that see it as such! 

Just wanted to share! I will get the dates & info here asap!


Friday, February 11, 2011

One day at a time....

So here is a bit more info about what is going on...........

1) this has NOTHING to do with RR - nothing at all - this is a change with the country Claire lives in.  There was no way to predict it.  RR is doing it's best to get the kids committed to home with those who committed to them, but there is only so much they can do.

2) I am so thankful this country is still open for Intercountry adoption.  there are many countries with TENS OF THOUSANDS of orphans that do not even allow adoption internationally and their country men wont adopt them.  We are so thankful this country still allows it.

So her country was closed (as many are) for the holidays and the end of the year.  It reopened on February 10th.  Our paperwork got there the day before requesting 'Claire' specifically *yay*

Claire (until that date) could only be adopted by a family in her country.  She became available Internationally on February 10th. 

Oh wait.

When it reopened it reopened with new guidelines - mainly - you cannot have a child 'held' for you.  You MUST go with a 'blind referral'.  ALL that paperwork now means nothing.  Claire is NOT held for us & will not be until our dossier is submitted - in 8 weeks(ish) - assuming she is still available.

We are now technically and legally going on a blind referral - this is how it used to be done in her country - it seems they have decided that is the best way to go.  Blind referral means - you tell them what kind of child you are open to & they find a pool of kids that meet those guidelines & you meet them once you go - then you petition to adopt them there. Our hope is that Claire will be in our pool.  Our hope is she will not meet another family and be chosen before our paperwork gets there.(heartbreaking I know)

Technically she could make it into someone else's pool of kids to choose from - seeing as she is extremely adorable we are scared she would get picked.

There are potentially hundreds of people who will submit dossiers between now and when ours will be submitted.

We are just taking it day by day.  Each day she is NOT chosen is one less day we have to wait to find out.  We will get a child, just maybe not her - seriously how crazy is that?!

*side note* - we do praise the fact that we are concerned that she would have another family - not that she would remain an orphan - but in all selfishness honesty - we want her.

Statistically odds are still very much on our side.  For some reason people shy away from kids with less than 10 fingers and 10 toes.  There are millions of orphans in Eastern Europe alone (that is not an exaggeration - totally true number) - there are so many to choose from - statistically she will still be waiting.

Legally we still need to know and accept where we stand - we have no cards.

It kinda hit me in the stomach when I read on a RR message board that another little girl (only a few months older than 'Claire') was released for International adoption on February 10th - she had a committed family - the committed to her a few months before we committed to Claire and actually we considered her before we saw Claire. Her special need was that she was born quite premature and had CP - but she could walk. Arguably 'less' of an issue than what Claire has going on.

She became available on the 10th.  The same day she was accepted as a blind referral to a French couple that will undoubtably love her to pieces.  But I can't imagine what the RR family that has loved her for 6 months & put so much time/effort/money/ etc into paperwork and the process must be feeling.

Anyway - reading that story made it all the more possible that it could happen to us - that it is happening.

We know there are potential hazards with adoption, specifically Intercountry.  We take that on, but it is really hard.

I'm gonna ask that nobody writes me any 'oh God has a plan, maybe this one just wasn't yours' kind of emails/comments - I would never write that to somebody who suffers a miscarriage, I'm not saying it is exactly the same - but unless you really embrace adoption in your heart you just might not understand the depth of love we have for this little girl & we might just 'go off' on you for making light of a potentially devastating turn of events.  I know that people mean well.... I just had to put that disclaimer out there....

We will be ok, but if she is not ours - it will be hard to not remember her, wonder about her, etc....

Also - we do firmly believe God does not make mistakes. We don't need anyone reminding us of that, we know is just a hard place to sit and trust when you don't know the outcome and you REALLY want something to go a certain way...

Please pray these 6 - 8 weeks go quickly - and that it is just one more piece of our story that ultimately ends up happy.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings - I hope it helps those with questions.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's always something.....


Probably not actually, but we'd like prayer for the latest plot twist if you don't mind.

Today 'our' little girl's country reopened for 2011. *yay*

With a few new rules. *shudder*

mainly - that kids cannot be 'reserved' while you wait to get your info together this side of the pond.

Why we are panicking - because we have another 6 - 8 weeks before our dossier will be submitted (another week before our homestudy is finalized & then there are papers that cannot be done until the homestudy is finished *sigh*) - anyway - at least 6 weeks before she will be 'reserved' for us.

Why we are kinda not panicking - because she has only been on hold for us for a couple weeks anyway, and she is had not been adopted prior to that - domestically or internationally - (we can't wrap our heads around why someone hadn't scooped her up before us anyway).  And now she is older and there are younger children just praying she will just be ignored by those willing to adopt just until we get there - statistics are totally on our side, but it is a hard place for us to sit.

We would still be matched with a child, there is just a teensie chance it won't be our cute little 'Claire' or 'Marissa' as she is called on Reece's Rainbow.  Our hearts are kinda set on her, but we just really don't think God makes mistakes so we are just doing our best to roll with it....

*again - there was SO much more drama when we adopted Silas (different country) - so things really don't ruffle our feathers as quickly as they used to, but it is still scary! 

Thanks for your prayers for us and for Claire and for every child who is still waiting for a family!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last homestudy done!

Last homestudy meeting completed just moments ago!

Our homestudy 'rough draft' will be done this next week - final the week after!

Lots of little details still wrapping up but we are essentially done at this point.  Paperwork needs to go back & forth between Reece's Rainbow and our Claire's country and then we are just waiting for court dates!

We are still on track for traveling May*ish* although dates are not set at all - just an estimate.

Prayer requests -

-that all our paperwork is considered acceptable *sometimes even the tiniest typo will get paperwork sent back* we just don't want the process to be delayed at all.

-that our jobs continue to be stable (Harry actually had a freelance client push back a project last month and we just can't afford for that to happen again) - please pray for my little side job - our budget is based completely on Harry's income - any extra work he does or anything I make at this point goes into our adoption fund.

-pray for our fundraising - when we factor in our anticipated tax refund, Harry's book commission check, and the affiliate program checks I will get between now & May - we are still just under $5000 short of our goal - we think this number is totally 'doable' & we are just praying for extra momentum to get this goal met and also that airfare & hotel (the only real fluctuating items on our list) will be on the low end *what the estimation is based on* - airfare can fluctuate to her country to almost $1000 difference! (One of us will fly round trip twice, we will both go once, and of course Claire will need a one way ticket - so it could end up to be more, not that big of a deal - if we can hit our main goal of $24,000 we can easily put the rest on credit if necessary - but we would love for travel to just be at an inexpensive time =))

- Most importantly - pray for 'Little Sister Claire's' little heart - we know we were very very lucky that Silas didn't really come home with any 'issues' emotionally - she is a little older, and has a condition that might make her seem less lovable to some....we just pray she is well taken care of & that her little heart is happy, protected, and she is just doing well as she waits for us!

Thanks so much for reading our little blog =)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pray for Fed Ex

I just think that is a funny sounding title....

Anyway - we mailed off some very precious paperwork via Fed Ex to a far away land today.  I kinda wish we had taken a picture of it.  Is that weird?

It is the first set of papers from us specifically requesting our sweet 'Claire', so I kinda wish we had taken pics.

It should take 2 - 3 days for that paperwork to get there - which leaves plenty of time, it 'needs' to be there by February 10th - PLENTY of time!  Right?! Well, we've been through an intercountry adoption before and I just think it is prudent to ask everyone to pray for Fed Ex.

We celebrate our 9 year anniversary tomorrow *yay* and we have our LAST homestudy the next day *yay again*

Big week!

Keep our family (incuding our #3) in your prayers - we truly appreciate it!