Monday, June 28, 2010

One More Week

Well, it looks as if we will postpone the raffle for a week. This is for a couple of reasons. We have been overwhelmed since our last post, with more generous donations and outpouring of support. We want to be able to do a good job in listing these items as well as make sure that we are as organized as possible. So ... I will take this week and finish taking pictures of new items and such. We also are thinking of doing two bigger raffles instead of the weekly smaller raffles. This will be a little more fun and exciting for all involved. We have had MANY wonderful items that have already been donated, as well as others that people are working on as I type. We have had vacations, photography sessions, boutique items, as well as many other things donated. It should be a great success. You can help by taking this week to spread the word. I will try and have the raffle up on the blog by next week. So, feel free to tell as many folks as you can. Also, if you feel as if you would like to donate to our raffle (local or not), please use the 'contact us' tab in our menu and get in touch with us. We appreciate all of the donations thus far. YOU are a HUGE blessing and are apart of bringing Matthew and Ivanna home! THANK YOU!

We also have some other exciting news: we are DONE with our requirements for our home study. I just received an email from our social worker who has confirmed our second home visit for July 9th. How exciting is that!?! We are one BIG step closer to getting Matthew and Ivanna.

On another note: our medical form for our Dossier was not completely done correctly. I hope to go to the physician's office today after hearing back from our stateside team to see if she can fix all the errors. I would ask that you pray that this goes smoothly. Thank you.

I will leave you with a little sneak peek picture of an item that will be in the raffle. Can you guess?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Let's Have Some Fun ... and Bring Them Home!

Spindlenique Boutique African beads bracelet

Spindlenique Boutique Specialty bag

Starting Monday, we will have a few items weekly that we will raffle. All the items have been lovingly donated by friends and family. THANK YOU! This should be a fun way to help off set the costs in bringing home little Matthew and Ivanna. All items will have a very low cost to enter your name, and you can enter more than once. Above are two sneak peak photos of the items we will begin to raffle on Monday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Almost Done with Homestudy

I received a telephone call today from our physician who did our medical exam for both the home study and dossier. The paperwork that she filled out should be ready by tomorrow to pick up. I will then scan and send the dossier forms to our stateside helpers and the home study form to our social worker. I am now praying that the forms were filled out correctly. The home study form should be fine.

The dossier form is what I'm a little concerned over. Dossier paperwork is where the money is. This is a packet of everything anyone ever wanted to know about you, and more. It is what gets sent to the country you are adopting from. The medical exam form is just one piece of this very big puzzle. The notary seal needs to be correct. The forms need to be filled out just so, it's a little confusing on what the answers should be ... ya da ya da ya da. You get the picture. Then once the form is approved via email by your stateside helper - you get to send it to your state's apostilling office. (a notary for notaries) Soooo ... if the form is NOT filled out correctly - it delays things - as I need to get the physician to fill it out again and re-notarize. So ... let's just pray it's done right the first time.

Once the home study form is emailed over to our social worker, the only thing left to do is notarize our financial statement on Saturday. Then we are DONE with what we needed to do to get the home study completed. (except one more visit from the social worker) This is great. A home study is what is key when applying for any grants. The process can take up to three months. It looks as if ours will be done in one month from when we started. Yay!

Now ... onto Dossier preparations ...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Ivanna - sweet little girl. We are coming for you...

No pictures ... please.

A little tongue thrust.

A little younger. Notice how small and tiny her legs appear.

She is doing something that is common among those with Ds that have not had Physical therapy: tripod sitting.

I can't wait to dress her and let her hair grow. To kiss those cheeks and hold her tightly: never letting go...

Ivanna. Our sweet little girl. I wish that the orphanage did not shave the heads of the children who are more ill, but they do. I am not entirely sure why - maybe it's because they are mostly in their beds, and so perhaps it makes caring for it easier. Anyhow, this is why her hair is so choppy and short even though she is older. They routinely shave the heads of these little ones.
Ivanna needs to come home, badly. As many know, she has ASD (heart condition) requiring care by a cardiologist and most likely; surgery. She is four and a half. Her birthday is in November. She is also blessed to still be at the orphanage. If she is transferred she will not do well. This is due to her health not being great to begin with. Her muscle tone is very low. This paired with her heart condition has no doubt been the reason she is not walking yet. Once transferred she will more than likely be left to a crib to live out her life. My prayer, right now, is that she will NOT be transferred. She NEEDS to be saved, she is worthy of being cared for. I can't wait to hold her and whisper, "It's okay now, Mommy has you..."

Monday, June 21, 2010


Matthew as a baby. Sweet ... can't wait to have him home.


I just want to kiss his cheeks.

Look at his smile ... heart melting.

As it says on our sidebar - Matthew is five years old. He turned five in February and is blessed to still be in the baby house. Phillip was the first to fall in love with this little boy, saving his picture to his phone. Matthew's eyes ... they are so big and sparkle. We are looking forward to loving and hugging on him. Here are a few more pictures of Matthew, including a baby picture. He has been listed and waiting for a family for two plus years. We are excited to be able to bring him home and save him from a life within the walls of a mental institution. To be able to give him his first Christmas and watch him as he snuggles into his Daddy's arms. I'm sure Phillip can't wait to save more pictures to his phone of little Matthew - ones where he is no longer an orphan. The thought thrills my soul.

Another Thing Done

Today we were able to get one big "thing" accomplished. Both Phillip and I got through our physical just fine. We left the paperwork with the physician so that she can follow up with a few more results with blood work results and then get the forms notarized. These should be done in just a couple of days. This will complete both the Dossier and Homestudy medical requirements. I felt really bad about the long list of "do's" and "do-nots" that I left her with. Such as: DO make sure your signature date and that of the notary are the same. Or: DO NOT put in medical diagnosis codes in the blanks. I think she is new to this practice, and so we may have overwhelmed her slightly. She was very sweet and willing to do whatever is needed, right down to making a notarized copy of her license. This was a huge answer to prayer - as I have heard that many headaches can arise from the dreaded medical forms and exams. Now, we are just praying that the forms are filled out correctly so we don't have to re-do anything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet the Brownings

We were just recently asked a few questions for the Reece's Rainbow blog. We are very thankful for this ministry and for the people who offer support and encouragement through it. Just follow this link: to see the interview. You can also click on the image below. Once there you should explore the site for more helpful information or read about other adopting families.

Grab This Button

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Family Portrait

Ethan drew us a new family portrait. In order from left to right: Daddy, Mommy, Isaac, Gabriel, Ethan, Ivanna, Matthew, Elisabeth, Chloe and Justus.
This masterpiece has been affixed to the most sought after gallery around: our refrigerator.

Our First International Mailing

Today we were able to mail the first of many set of documents to the country of which we are adopting from. We sent out four power of attorney documents and one child specific petition. These all had to be notarized and apostilled. I was very surprised to see how quickly the apostilling process actually took. I had just sent out the documents to be apostilled last week, and received them back on Saturday via mail. We also were able to complete the application process for our passports on Friday, as well as get our lab draws done. We had to reschedule our physical to a different doctor. Upon confirming our appointment with our family doctor, I had found out that he does not have an on site notary - I had been told originally that he did. So, not wanting to pay for a travelling notary, I found another doctor that had one within his facility. We will be getting our physical done on June 21st.
We also started our on-line course work that our social worker (sw) is requiring for the completion of our home study (hs). We are required to do twelve hours of courses that pertain to international adoption. This sort of reminded me of those cheesy movies that you had to watch throughout high school. We finished one course tonight and now have 1o.5 hours left. Bring on the popcorn ... and the cheese ...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's the Simplest of Things

Tomorrow we go to apply for our passports - and I am on cloud nine! Ask me and I cannot really pinpoint it. I just know that after tomorrow morning I get to check 'passports' off of my "to-do" list. Small thing to some, but for me - just one step closer to bring home Matthew and Ivanna. We also have lab draws in the morning and plan to start our online courses to finish up our homestudy. I "secretly" would like to button up the homestudy courses by Monday evening. (fingers crossed) Then next week is our physicals. That should be the last of what we need to get finished in order to have our social worker complete our homestudy. He then will follow up with one more visit at the end of June. This whole process is pretty involved, but has really suprised me in how quickly it *can* move along - if your willing to put the effort forth.
Once our homestudy is finished, we hope to apply for some grants. There are not a whole lot available, as we are considered an independent adoption, but there are some. Why are we not going through an agency? Well, there really isn't a need to. The country we are adopting from does not require it, and there is an additional cost with going through an agency. I think later this weekend I will try and upload some more pictures of Matthew and Ivanna that the director at Reece's Rainbow had. I think of them often. I find myself praying for their meals to be filling, nights to be restful, and for them to find comfort in the arms of their caregivers. I especially pray that they will NOT be TRANSFERRED!!! Please join me in this specific prayer. Matthew and Ivanna are on borrowed time as far as their orphanage residence is concerned, and could be transferred at any time. If you are unaware of the conditions of the mental institutions in Eastern Europe - I encourage you to do a little research. At the very least, it will help you to remember to pray for those little ones.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First of Many Forms

Saturday my husband and I made our second trip to the notary for this adoption: the second with many more to come. We notarized some power of attorney forms for our facilitators to work on our behalf in Matthew and Ivanna's country. We also notarized a child specific petition. This simply states that Phillip and I have intent to adopt Matthew and Ivanna. Our prayer is that this will be enough to keep them from being transferred to the institution. It is not a guarantee, but we are hopeful. We were able to get all of our power of attorney forms notarized, but one. This last one requires our passport numbers, which have not yet been issued. So that particular form will go ahead with the rest of our dossier. After an initial check to be sure everything looks okay with the forms we had notarized, we send them off to be apostilled. Apostilling is simply this: notarizing the notary in preparation to send out of country. Yes, I know - a little redundant. However, this is to make sure that our notary stamp is legit. Now, it is also a bit steep to get apostilling done; in our state it is $15/page! CRAZY! Oh, and by the way, in doing international adoptions - you need to be sure that the notary's stamp doesn't touch any lines or print, and that it does not expire within eighteen months of being notarized. I am learning so much during this process.
So ... one "thing" is checked off our looooong list of "to-do's", and now we are onto the next.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

While We Wait

Well, while we are waiting to put the finishing touches on this blog - we are busy filling out paperwork for our homestudy. We had the first meeting with our social worker last Wednesday, and everything went well. It looks as if we have been approved for three children - so we are praying about adding a third child to the adoption. One in particular has my heart, but he is in a different region, which brings more difficulty into the matter. I am having a rough time accepting that we may not be able to get him. He was the first one to capture my heart. Once he is transferred to an institution he cannot be adopted out of it. So ... while I cannot mention his name or what orphanage he is in - I would ask that you pray for him. Pray that a family would come forward, and if that is to be us - that God would make it clear and provide the means by which to do it. I trust that God will lead us to that third child...

Meanwhile, I am getting so excited thinking of bringing Matthew and Ivanna home. Ellie keeps talking about how she is going to help Ivanna stand up. She and Ivanna are the same age, but Ivanna cannot walk yet. I am hopeful that with extra love and therapy and a repair to her heart that she will be walking in no time. Hang on Ivanna - we are coming for you sweet girl. Ellie can't wait to hold your hand!

Ethan has promised to give Matthew his most treasured stuffed elephant. He says it will help him go to sleep at night. (this makes my heart sing - my children are learning so much through this, and we are just beginning) Matthew - you are going to have your heart's content of boy stuff to do around here with your four new brothers!

So for now - I fill out paperwork and anxiously await the day we can announce this all on Facebook and our family blog! How exciting that will be!

  © Web Design by Poppies Blooming 2010

Back to TOP