Friday, November 16, 2012

Updates!

Lots of updates to share today!

Emmaus Update:
Emmaus is doing well.  From Laurisa: No seizures since surgery.  Doesn't mean we are all clear - because she's had steroids and sedation, etc, but it's definitely a good sign!  She hasn't needed a blood transfusion.  Her HGB (blood level) this morning was 7 which is borderline and if it drops they will probably transfuse, but not now.  They only expect it to rise.  

Thank you for joining us in our prayers for a full recovery and for seizure freedom for our sweet little friend.  Laurisa posted the saddest picture on her blog of Em post-surgery and I'm not gonna lie, it made me cry a little.  It's all normal and expected post-surgery (pale from blood loss, swollen, all marked up, etc), but it's still heartbreaking to see a little babe looking that sick.  I can't bring myself to post that picture so you'll have to click over to Laurisa's blog to see it.  Instead I'll post a happy one:

Keep praying for that sweet girl and her mama and daddy!

Ethiopian Adoption update:
We had been hearing rumors that, like us, many families had been looking for other options since finding out that the wait is now 4 years for a referral.  We also have seen a few referrals the last few months so I asked our consultant what our official wait list number is and we've jumped a whole ten spots to number 78!  We might even be at number 76 because she said there were two referrals for which they were waiting to hear from families.  This is a big jump, but we don't think it's indicative of a speed-up in referrals.  More a mass exodus of families choosing other programs or agencies after the 4 year announcement.

In case you are wondering what would happen if things did start moving faster than we expected, I'll explain a bit.  Our agency requires that families wait a year in between any major life events (birth, death, adopted children joining the family, etc) so we will not be eligible to accept a referral for Ethiopia until a full year after our Chinese baby comes home which could be as early as May or as late as next November.  Should we be next in line for a referral before that date comes, we will be put on hold - just as we would have been had we given birth to our next child - until a year had passed.

While we are on the subject, I wanted to share a few things we have been processing regarding the decision to adopt concurrently.  A few factors went into that decision:
- We weren't emotionally ready to close the door on Ethiopian adoption.  It just didn't feel right.
- We have invested so much time and money into our Ethiopian adoption and we want to be good stewards of the generosity of our friends and family.  We felt like it would have been a hasty decision to abandon that investment at this point.
- The only cost to us to stay on the list is a $400 home study update which we are doing with our new home study and which our HS agency is basically giving us for free because they are giving us a discount on our Chinese HS.  $400 seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of dollars we have already paid into our Ethiopia process which we would have to just count as lost if we decided to not pursue concurrent adoptions.
- We really believe that God told us to adopt from Ethiopia way back in June of 2011.  Now, whether He intended us to start that path because it would intersect with our new path or whether He intended us to do both is yet to be seen!  But at this point, in our prayers about it, we don't feel like we are done with Ethiopia.
- After all that, I will say that I am keenly aware of the challenge that being a transracial family will be and I do wonder what the experts would say about having three races and nationalities and cultures represented in our family.  I intend to do some sincere research to be sure that we wouldn't be putting our children in an additionally confusing spot as they look around and see three colors of the rainbow represented in just our family.  We have a lot to learn about this so this is not a decision we will make lightly.
But, I did find this print on Etsy and I'm kind of in love - daydreaming about having three girls from three different continents playing together.
image credit
Don't they look like they are enjoying themselves? Makes my heart happy to imagine this print hanging in a room of three sisters.  And no, we haven't requested girls only.  It's just what I tend to imagine because I grew up with a sister.

Chinese Adoption Update:
We are neck-deep in home study paperwork.  Sometimes I can't believe that I'm already doing this stuff again.  Of course, it is so much easier the second time around.  A lot of it I can just copy from the papers we filled out for our first home study, but it still feels tedious.  I was up until the wee hours of the morning last night color-coding, sorting and making lists of who and what we need to complete the paperwork and updating the things that I can do myself.
Okay, so maybe I enjoyed playing with the post-its a bit.  And I'm happy that my heavy-duty paper case is being used again.  Yes, I'm a nerd.
Last week, we joined a group of adoptive parents from Heartland Community Church and saw the movie Somewhere Between.  It's a documentary following four teenage girls who were adopted from China as children.  It was so wonderful.  It's not playing in Kansas City anymore, but if you are in another part of the country, check out the webpage and see if it's playing near you.  It's a great movie regardless of whether you are adopting, but if you are or you know someone who is, it is a wonderful resource.  Any little thing I can do to offer my son or daughter a community of people who have even the smallest amount of understanding of his or her experience will be a great gift.  Here's the trailer:


As far as our fundraisers, we are chugging along!  We are almost to $500 on our new thermometer.

- We have sold 39 tickets for our American Girl Raffle.  I'm hoping we get a surge toward the end of the month, because about half of those donations will have to go to pay for the doll and I'd like to make at least a few hundred dollars from this effort.  Then again, the fewer the raffle tickets, the better the odds of winning so I'm happy for those who have already bought their tickets - so far their chances of winning are pretty darn good!
- We have almost 20% of our goal of 100 people committed to raising $300 each in our One of One Hundred project!  That is super exciting and we are so grateful for the willingness to step up and help us expand our networks of support!  (If ever I have considered getting Facebook, it has been during these adoptions, but I think that God can make this happen with or without Mr. Zuckerberg's help!)  If you are considering being one of our one hundred, but feel like $300 is a little steep, consider partnering with a friend and each of you try to raise $150 - you would only have to ask 10 friends to give $15 each or 15 friends to give $10 each.  Believe me I know it's awkward to ask for money, but you'll be surprised at how generous people are.  We can certainly testify to that!
- We have also been selling off the bigger items left over from our garage sale on Craigslist and we made a few hundred dollars doing that this week alone!  We also were given a few more things to try to sell including this $100+ year old antique spinning wheel that has been in our friends' family for several generations:
 And this oh-so-sweet Jenny Lind bed.  I don't know exactly how old it is, but it was bought as an antique in the 80's and has been restored.  It has side rails and slats so it's all ready to go, or you could prop up the footboard and use it as a headboard and you'd have two matching beds!  They are perfect as they are or they'd be darling painted a fun color (if you can bear to do that to an antique).
cute little girl, not included

If you or anyone you know might be interested in either of these, let me know and we can talk price.

I'll wrap this up and tell you to stay tuned because I have yet another fundraiser to announce in the next week or so!  Here's a sneak peek:
Oooh! I hope you're excited!

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