Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Call for T-shirts

This is it, folks.

The last call for t-shirts. Our pre-sale site closes this evening, so if you haven't had a chance to get on over to this site and buy one, you better do it now!

As a reminder, you can order on the site, and after it closes (tonight!) they will begin production. After the turnaround (they estimate 8 days), I will get them and give them out (if you don't live near me, I'll ship yours).

With our next fee of $4,650 quickly approaching (due after our home study report is written), these shirts are a way to help with that. We appreciate 1 shirt or 10 shirts and thank you for thinking of us (and wearing a cool shirt!)

Click here to buy a shirt!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Home Study #4: Check

Well, folks. We're done with our home studies. This is great news. We're practically (not quite) done with two out of four steps of our adoption process, though the wait comes next.

We went though the normal home study process where our social worker came to our house, Nellie wiggled and squeaked with excitement, and we chatted.

Up until this point, Adam and I have been working on educational classes, 10 hours (each) had to be completed by the end of our home study:

  • Adopting an Older Child
  • Conspicuous Families
  • Finding the Missing Pieces: Grief and Loss
  • Medical Issues in International Adoption
  • The Journey of Attachment 
This home study focused mostly on these classes. Lindsay asked us any concerns we had from those classes and ways we would address any problems that may arise. It seems like the most important thing she touched on was how to foster attachment with the child.

She also gave us a book to read, The Connected Child, which helps adoptive parents understand and face the challenges that come along with adoption. Have any of you read this? Any insights? 

So what happens next? 

Lindsay will need 2–3 weeks to finishing writing up the home study report and then it will get sent off for approvals. After the home study report is completely approved, we'll need to start gathering documents for our dossier (they need to be the most current documents, which is why we can't start now), and apply for our immigration approval (more money + fingerprints). 

Thank you for joining us on this journey, we'll be done before we know it...right? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's Friday! Though it seems like a Tuesday for me. Probably because I took off most of this week. That being said, we're going to do a special RAGBRAI edition of the H54F.

1. We spent four days of this week on RAGBRAI! It ran across northern Iowa, where Adam has some family. We are so lucky we had such great hospitality while we were up there, we didn't even have to stay in a tent! This is good news when you ride your bike all day. We stayed with Adam's aunt and uncle, his cousin, and some of my friend's parents' friends (I'll give you a second to try and figure that out.) Never-the-less, it was great to see and spend time with people we don't see very often.

Me with Adam's aunt and cousin + pups
2. Iowa sweet corn. Iowa sweet corn. It's the best. The best. (Do you think I'm just copying each phrase and italicizing it?) (Do you thi...I kid.) But in all seriousness, folks, Iowa sweet corn is good. And definitely one of my favorite stops on RAGBRAI. You know, those sweet corn stands on the side of the road with coolers full of delicious, hot, (sweet) corn. I just love it. I actually had a bit of a hard time finding that primo sweet corn that I just described. See, I don't want to go into a town and get some off of a cart. I need it to be out of a van, or a truck, or (jackpot) a trailer.

That Iowa sweet corn.
3. One of the towns we stopped in, Terrill, had a pro-wrestling ring set up. I think I'm using the word 'pro' loosely, but it was excellent entertainment. We weren't sure what was going on when we first got there, but it wasn't long before Ricky, the defending champ, took the stage to take on his opponent. It was a great match (according to pro-wrestling standards), and we really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, Ricky lost, but we heard he had another shot at getting his title back. Unfortunately, we had to leave town before it started, but I'm confident he took the gold. He was nice enough to stop and pose for a picture with his newest fan.

Defending champ, Ricky
4. On our first day, we rode into a town called Hull and at the start of town, we passed by a house with a sign in their driveway that said 'Vizsla Puppies', so I slammed on my breaks and rode on in. Our pup, Nellie, is a vizsla, and I think this is something only other vizsla owners will understand (any of you out there?!). We stopped and saw the most adorable little puppy. Who looked just like our pup a couple years back. It was a great start to our 70 mile day.

Isn't she the sweetest?!
5. We're already looking forward to next year's RAGBRAI. It's not looking like we'll have our kiddo home at this point next summer, so who knows, maybe we'll try and do the whole thing. We joked (maybe?) that we have our team name, Big Jon (no h). Which is named for my friend's dad, who, you guessed it, would be Big Jon (no h). Either way, RAGBRAI is a blast, and we've already got some plans in the works.

RAGBRAI may seem like it's just riding your bike across Iowa (okay, well it kind of is), but it's so much fun. How was your week? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

High Five for Friday

I don't know about you, but dang this week felt long. I don't know if it was the busyness of last weekend of the excitement of the upcoming weekend (or maybe it's  the lesser amount of caffeine that I'm trying to consume on a daily basis), but dang, this week felt slow. But you know what? It's Friday! So let's celebrate.

1. It's RAGBRAI week (almost)! I've been busy doing some bike prep, you know, packing up the sun screen and butt butter (a true essential). We're leaving on Saturday afternoon to go up and stay with family before it all gets under way on Sunday morning.

2. We have some friends moving into their first home, so we helped them pack some stuff up this week. Their closing date got pushed back, so we're praying for a smooth, quick process from here on out.

3. We've had an awesome response to our t-shirt fundraiser! If you haven't had a chance to check them out yet, you should!

4. I've hit my last week in my "old role" at work and I'll finally be transitioning completely into my new one. I'm looking forward to getting busier and more involved!

5. This week's weather has been ah-maz-ing. I think it was some sort of cold front, but it was like it was fall 'round here. And I loved every second. I was half expecting to be preparing for a football game this weekend, but I guess tailgating to bike can be a thing? It's supposed to warm up (humidy included) next week. It wouldn't be true RAGBRAI fashion if it was too nice.

Cheers to Friday. Enjoy your weekend, and I'll check back in next Thursday. Until then, sending blessings your way! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fundraiser #2: T-shirts

It takes a village to raise a child. ––African Proverb

Oh that's nice, and it's African, so that's fine. But what does it mean? 

Well, here's what we thought: You guys are our village. Our village for love, support, guidance, laughs, and so much more. Where would we be without our village? Who knows. But definitely not here.

It's not just now that our so called, village, has come into play. You've also helped shape us into who we are by offering the same items that I listed above (we just didn't ask you to buy t-shirts then [insert chuckle]). 

So, without further ado, let me just get to the point. Will you buy a t-shirt? We love what they represent and of course the placement of that little heart sits right upon Uganda.

These shirts are $22 and 100% of all proceeds go towards our adoption fund. There is a bit of a caviot: This site is only open until July 29, so if you want one, better do it now. Once the site is closed, they will make the shirts and I'll ship them out to those who don't live near me. Click here to buy a shirt, or copy and paste this into your browser: https://village.eightsevencentral.net/shop/it-takes-a-village/

Please consider purchasing a shirt. And tell your friends.

Blessings to you!

[While you may be familiar with the Hillary Clinton book that shares the same name, I assure you that is not what we were going for.] 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garage Sale Success

We had our first fundraiser in the form of a garage sale this past weekend. And it was a great success!

We had some awesome support before and during the sale. Thank you to all of our friends who helped spread the word!

So, I know, you're probably like, on with it already! Drumroll, please: we made $661!


Unbelievable. I am so overwhelmed! I was expecting us to make, like, $250, tops. So the garage sale was a serious success.

I look at this situation and wonder how people can think it's a coincidence that this garage sale was such a success. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Hmm. . .

I'm praising Jesus for bringing so many people to us and put our cause on their hearts.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home Study #3: Check

Home study #3 has been completed! Three down, one to go.

Lindsay (our social worker) came to our house last Thursday to meet with the two of us. This time around, she didn't have any paperwork for us, and we didn't have to be separated. There really wasn't much to it. 

Her questions consisted of our family information, our past and childhood, and a bit about our finances. So we talked about where we grew up, who we hung out with, what we did in school, that kind of stuff. Then we discussed a little about our finances (basically just that she would need a bank statement) and then we just discussed the relationship we have with both of our families.

After we chatted for about 45 minutes, she had the tour the grand tour. We walked through the house, room by room and she simply observed; didn't really say anything, didn't write anything down, just observed.

One thing in particular that she did was look in every closet. I'm not exactly sure why she had to do that, but she did. She made a comment that she had to see that "this wasn't where you kept the bodies". But I assure you there are no bodies. . .

Our next home study is scheduled for July 24, which will be after we return from RAGBRAI, the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Check it out. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's Friday, you know what that means! It's time for the High Five for Friday, so let's get into it.

1. I'm still feeling so overwhelmed with all the love and support. Seriously, I had no idea so many people would be so supportive and on board with our decision! You guys, rock.

2. We had such a great weekend at the lake with family! We were able to stay Sunday night and drive home on Monday, so it seemed extra long. I still worked in the car, but it definitely made the week go by super fast. We were able to take our time a little bit and stop for lunch, which was nice.

3. I am in serious garage sale mode! If you saw my posted yesterday, you know we've got some great items for sale. And of course all proceeds will go towards our adoption fund. If you're in this area, you should try and stop by. . .even if it's just to say hi! (See what I did there?)

4. Adam and I did some serious house work this week. We've finally got all of the plaster and insulation ripped out. And it. was. a mess. I am not looking forward to doing that again. But hot dog, it's done for now! Here's what it looked like after we had it ripped out, before the clean up.

There's a lot going on here.
5.  We've officially got three home studies out of the way! We had our third one yesterday where our social worker came to our house and asked us questions, much like the last one. I'll have a post up on Monday with more details.

Have yourself a wonderful weekend! Remember, if you're in the Ames area, stop by 1201 Curtiss Avenue and find some treasures! Blessings to you!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fundraiser #1: Yard Sale

We've got a couple different fundraisers up our sleeves. . . and one is happening in this (that's right, this) Saturday!

We're having a yard sale this Saturday from 7 a.m.––2 p.m.

Hot ticket items (I mean, I hope they're hot ticket items) include:
  • 2010 Harley Davidson (you know you want it!)
  • Retro chairs
  • Entertainment stand (made by my hubby)
  • Book cases
  • Queen headboard
  • Dressers
  • Books and movies
  • Random home decor
  • Other awesome stuff! 
You can find us at 1201 Curtiss Avenue (the corner of Curtiss and 12th Street). If you're in the Ames area, stop by, and tell your friends! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

To Those Who Are New Here

Hi! Are you new here?

I recently posted the picture below on Facebook to announce our adoption and am overwhelmed by the amazing response of our friends and family! All the likes, comments, and shares have made us feel so loved.

So I just wanted to say thank you to those who have come to visit our blog. If you haven't already, feel free to check out our different pages, and don't hesitate to ask questions if any arise. I have really enjoyed talking to people about our story, especially if you feel adopting may be right for you and your family.

Feel free to stick around, I'll continue to update the blog as things happen.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, July 4, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Happy birthday America! Can you believe it's July already? This year is flying by. Since I've got the day off, I'm busy making Scotcharoos (yum!) so I'll get on with this. . .

1. It was a three-day-week for me at work. I feel like that is enough to cover 2-5. But I'll keep going.

2. We had a family picture session this week with a good friend of mine who came to snap a few pictures. We didn't go crazy, we just wanted a couple. Here's one of my favorites.

3. We didn't end up having our home study this week. Adam was working out of town every day, so it made it a bit more difficult to leave and come home. We rescheduled for next Thursday, so I'll give you an update after that happens. 

4. Remember the t-shirt debacle? Well I talked with our designer and something on the website was off and confusing the different types of t-shirt prices. So anyway, it got figured out. He also told us about a pre-sale they offer. Where they create a pre-sale site (for only two weeks) so we're working on creating something like that. I'll keep you posted. 

5. We're headed down to the Ozarks this afternoon for the holiday festivities. I think I've mentioned before that Adam's parents have a place down there right on the lake. It's so much fun to spend time with family + there are some great dive bars. 

Have a happy holiday weekend! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Go Fund Me!

That seems a bit direct, doesn't it? 

Maybe you've heard of it, Go Fund Me, it's a site used for donations of all types—medical bills, mission trips, weddings, businesses, adoption, just take a look at the categories, there are tons of them. You can even search by your zip code to view any fundraisers that are in your area.

I know that it seems like I'm all for this donation thing (well, that's because I am), but it is a bit difficult to say to someone, "My husband and I decided to do this thing that costs $40,000 so will you give us money?

I know that 1.) We truly didn't decide to do this and 2.) This thing is bringing a child home. Giving a child a family. 

I know adoption isn't for everyone, and that's okay! But adoption is one of the ways we can live out the gospel, become more like Christ. And if you aren't able to bring an orphan into your home, I ask that you consider supporting those who can—not even just us. Take a look at some adoption blogs by doing a simple Google search. There are few people who feel called to adopt who can truly "afford" to adopt. But that is the beauty of our God! 

I tend to be a worrier. I know I shouldn't worry. It literally tells us not to in the Bible. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Shout out to my Mama T for reminding me of this!)

But you know what, I haven't been worrying about the money we need to raise for our adoption. A calmness comes over me that tells me all is well. That we'll get there. And I know it may take time, but I know that eventually, we'll get there. 

I've come across quite a few adoptive families who use Go Fund Me to raise money for their adoption, and I thought, "Yeah, that's a really good idea." 

So here we are. 

Go Fund Me is very easy to use, you simply go to our page, Ugandan Adoption—The Negrete Family, click donate, and use a credit or debit card from anywhere in the world. It would also be helpful if you shared our story, so others can view the page and read about us. 

Thank you for praying and considering a donation to our adoption fund. 
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