Adoption Timeline

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fundraising and Fun!

We knew going into international adoption, that the cost was significant.  That being said, we knew that if the Lord calls you to something, He will provide.  Since we knew we had wanted to adopt, we had been saving our money to be able to put towards the cost once it started.  But, I really wanted to do a couple of fundraisers as well.  Not only would it help financially, but it would help with adoption awareness, and allow family and friends to help support and be a part of this journey.  

So...we decided on a few fundraisers.  The first one was a jewelry sale that I blogged about here . This was a fun, local, fundraiser that also helped a fellow church member.  We got to design different pieces of jewelry and now I have tons of friends that can wear these pieces and share with others when they get compliments!
The next fundraiser was a big one!  This one took the work of tons of family, tons of friends, tons of strangers!!  It was the ultimate backyard sale!  Luckily, I had a friend, (who is also adopting) who was an EXPERT at this process! So, I took any advice she had...and borrowed her tables, clothes racks, storage bins and cash box..and we got to work!!  Let me just say, that Matt and I didn't even have time to get to all the items we could have sold...because the donations were incredible!!! We had friends showing up with pick-up trucks full of AWESOME things. We had church members (who we had never met in our life) bring boxes and boxes of items.  We had big items, small items, and everything in between! So for about a month...we gathered donations.  Slowly our house, and my mom and dad's house began to be bursting at the seems.  We had everything priced and organized into categories around my parents house.  Then...we advertised.  Signs online, signs around the neighborhood, announcements through church...etc.  

Thursday night, my AMAZING parents and a couple of their friends, literally stayed up until 2am setting up everything in their backyard. My dad built amazing rods/hangers all around the backyard to hang certain was incredible.  I had a multitude of friends that came by for hours to help us keep things organized, help us sell, watch our kids and just stop by to support.  

Then, my precious niece, who has the worlds coolest Lemonade stand...brought over her lemonade stand and sold lemonade and cookies with Wyatt.  Cookies, brownies, cupcakes all made by my grandmother and cousin.  

Are yall keeping track with how many people were involved in this?????  IT TOOK A VILLAGE.  But, it was worth every minute of it. The love our family and friends showed us that weekend we will never forget.  We could not have even begun to do that on our own.  So many people, gathering together, not just to raise money, but more importantly to share with others about adoption! 

We had several families that we met that weekend who had adopted themselves...their stories were all so unique and perfect. We had random strangers truly inquisitive over what adoption looked like for us.  That was worth every bit of work and sweat...just to talk to people about what God is doing. 

The garage sale ended with a bang....a massive storm blew through right after we shut down. And once again, my parents to the rescue. Gathering items as quickly as they could to try to save them.  

Here's a few pics from that weekend...

Cutest Helpers Ever

The Aftermath of the Storm

In addition to the actual yard sale...I spent a couple of weekends selling items online and to local consignment shops.

Finally, our latest fundraiser is a T-Shirt sale.  I am most excited about this one...because 1) I live in t-shirts 2) We got to help design the shirt.

This whole process, God kept just laying on my heart to BE A LIGHT.  It seems like everyday there is something bad, something dark, on the news.  I want to be a light...I want my family to be a light.  And I want others to know that the light that shines from us, is from something within, something bigger than us.  My flesh has failed...but my heart belongs to a greater God...He is the light.  There is a song that I oldie but goodie...that I play for the boys a lot.  Here are some of the lyrics. 

"We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let's raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world"

And so our t-shirt was created....


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

Finally, we have been blessed to receive a matching grant.  I will blog more about this soon, but basically we are responsible for raising a certain number of funds, and this organization, Brittany's Hope will match dollar for dollar up to a certain amount.  Yay!! Thank you Lord!!

If you are reading this and thinking there is no way you could afford an adoption, domestic or international, please don't let that stop you, if that is where God is leading you. 

Did you know that the U.S. gives a tax credit to adopting families (not sure if it is both international and domestic) up to 13,000??  Did you know that many employers give adoption benefits and financial gifts to help support adopting families? Did you know that the number of grants out there is endless??  Did you know that with a little work, your friends and family and even strangers will support you and help you fund raise?  Local businesses, bake sales, online auctions, shoe drives, ....the list goes on.  Oh...AND, 1/3 of the cost of international adoption is travel.  So, you can look into finding a good credit card with rewards and start earning those points to pay for your flight and hotel! never know, you may have a friend or family who has extra points they can gift you! And this is just ideas for international adoptions...there are also many other support options for domestic adoptions and foster families. conclusion...I can't thank my family and friends enough for ALL their support.  Once again, IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

June 2016

June was quite an eventful month for us.  First up, my sweet baby boy turned FIVE!!!! How can it possibly be??  We had so much fun celebrating his birthday at the Sci-Tech Discovery Center. The theme was a Dinosaur Dig...and Wyatt was in heaven.  Wyatt is quite the little scientist and builder, so this place was perfect. All the kiddos got to explore the science museum, eat some donuts, make volcano's explode, and go on a dinosaur dig. 

Also in June, the Gonzalez family was plagued with sickness!!  Here's a little recap...

June 8th: I first notice swelling in Xander's cheek, and he was screaming/crying when he woke up. I thought it was a bug bite. So, gave him some Benadryl and Motrin and it seemed to help for the day.  The next day it happened again....and the next day.  So, finally after 3 mornings of this, I took him in.  They tested him for strep and mumps, though he had been vaccinated, so we thought that was rare.  The strep test came back positive pretty quickly and he was strep positive. Started Amoxil.  Within 24 to 48 hours he seemed MUCH better.  A few more days go by of health in our family, and then I get a call from his pediatrician that he actually tested positive for mumps....excuse me?!?!  How is that possible in a child who is vaccinated? (This is a hypothetical question and not meant to start any debate over vaccinating your children...please refrain from any comments on vaccination).  So, apparently mumps is rarely seen anymore because of the vaccine, and this was one of the first cases they had seen in a while. So, after contacting everyone he had been in contact with and the CDC...we thought we were over sickness. 

After that, Xander also had an ear infection, followed by another virus and a stomach bug.  And in the mean time, Wyatt got Strep too, but his took quite a while to get over requiring us to change antibiotics after 5 days of fever. 

Then I eventually got Strep and a stomach bug too...sigh.

They are going to run some tests on Xander eventually to check his immunity, because he has been the catcher of all bugs...including 8 ear infections (and he has tubes).  Plus the whole mumps thing is still a little odd.

Either way, both kids have been fever free for a good 10 days I think??  Something like that...who's counting. 

Other June events...getting ready for our ultimate garage sale.  Lots of sorting, pricing, organizing, selling thing online...all trying to help raise funds to bring Baby Girl HOME!!

And of course, if you read my previous post, we had an emotional goodbye with some dear friends of ours.

I think that somes of June....maybe.  ;)