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First, I am a horrible blogger - Second, I run my mouth too much on Facebook - Third, I need to find a better balance between the two :-)
We submitted our dossier to our adoption agency on February 8th!! Shortly after, it made the journey to Eastern Europe for translation and approval. Now we wait...and pray...and raise more money :-)
On February 14th we held a Valentine Babysitting Fundraiser Night. There were 22 children and we had a lot of fun!! Thanks to some super duper special friends who donated their time and to Gateway for allowing us to use such a fun space!
On February 28th we had a pampered chef fundraising party. Thanks to my wonderful husband for cooking and to my amazing friends who came to the party, placed an order, and spread the word :-)
I just shared this on Facebook, but also feel the need to write about it....and I never feel the need to write about anything, so this must be important!
I had the craziest dream - and I am longing to go back.......I was at an orphanage and I was holding child after child. They were all happy and seemed well cared for. A man who spoke English came to me and took me to a wall with peep-holes in it and said I had to take a look and see what was REALLY going on. I cried and begged him and said I was already so overcome with emotion that I couldn't handle anymore at that moment. He then left and I was on my own...without a way to communicate with anyone. I desperately was looking for Evan and tried to pull his picture up on my phone to show to an older child, but his picture was no where to be found. It was night and I checked bed after bed after bed searching for Evan....praying he wasn't in that building with the peep holes.
When I woke I felt as if I was in a fog. I felt as though it wasn't a dream but that I had somehow been transported and I felt complete desperation to get back to the place I was before...but I knew that was not possible...so now I sit here feeling total desolation.
I know in my heart that he is ok and that he is being cared for in his orphanage...but it is still an orphanage and he is still an orphan with no mom or dad or crazy big sister.
Since October when we first found Evan on Reece's Rainbow, I have been consumed with thoughts of this adoption, with paperwork, with fundraising, and with chastising emotions that I am not doing enough - that I'm not good enough....and despair of not knowing what to do next. I am completely over-whelmed with how in the world we are going to be able to raise the funds needed to complete this adoption. I feel like a pest for the constant posts and requests for help. I feel like I am not living up to people's expectations on how I am handling this adoption....and yes I know, I shouldn't care what people think...but to people who are dear to me and have been involved in this process with me, I really do care! I want them to know how completely grateful I am for their support and contributions.
When we made the decision to proceed with the adoption, I promised Mundo that I would be able to raise the money...that God would provide. Deep down I still believe that, but if I am being honest here...I will admit that there are many times that I have felt completely alone and that this adoption is impossible. I have been in complete darkness and have seen the light only to have it snuffed out moments later. I know that my faith is being tested and that Satan is having a great time playing with my fears, my short-comings, my self esteem, and my relationship with God. However, what he really needs to know is that deep down I do have that light in me...I do believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he has sent me on a mission to find our son. I believe that with all of my heart!! I know that in times of darkness when I am feeling alone, I know that He is with me and that it is the world telling me that I'm a disappointment and that I've been given up on.
Perhaps my dream was God's way of fanning the fire in me - to show me deep down in my soul that I am longing for this little boy - and I need to get out of my pity-party stupor and just start doing something. So that's what I am going to do...I'm not sure what exactly that something is, but today I WILL cross something off of my adoption to-do-list. Then maybe tonight in my dreams I will be able to find my son and hold him in my arms.
Ok so I am really horrible at blogging. I'm really great at Facebook though :-)
We FINALLY got our completed Home Study the middle of June. Then we were free to apply with USCIS! This is an approval process through US Immigration. We are waiting on a date to be able to get our Federal Fingerprinting completed. Once we get our approval, we can then submit our Dossier (all of the documents, letters of recommendation, physical exams, photos, etc..) to our adoption agency. Then we wait :-)
We have raised about $11,000 ($8,250 for the initial agency fees, $1,100 for the home study, $900 for USCIS). Our next payment of $4500 will be due once we submit our dossier. We still need to raise about $3,600 to meet that payment. We have 2 fundraisers in the works. A uniform sale (more information to come) and a Thirty-One online sale. Super big thanks to Emily Rowley for hosting this fundraiser party for us!! The party will be open until July 28th. You can access our fundraiser by clicking on this link:
Thoughts of you consume me...thoughts of fundraising to bring you home! I think about it almost every waking minute! Don't ever doubt that you aren't loved, my boy! You have no idea how many people are contributing to bring you home!! It is AMAZING!! Today I saw an article from Daily Mail in the UK. I'm not sure how our story got to them, but the important thing is that it did. Now people around the world are rooting for you to come home to Pooler, GA. I am in awe of how God is working in our lives and the lives of everyone that you have touched!! You are special, sweet boy....and you were created for something great! I am honored to be on this journey with you <3
Well sweet boy, you were just on WTOC....you'll understand just how big of a deal that is once you finally get to Pooler. WTOC is THE TV station around here :-) They helped us to promote the Zumbathon that Juliana is hosting in your honor. I'd better put more ice on this knee because it is going to be a GREAT time and I don't want to miss a second of it! http://www.wtoc.com/story/23994146/zumba-fundraiser-to-be-held-to-help-family-adopt-child
Today was quite an emotional day! You have been on my mind every second, which is ironic, because I found out that the people who are lucky enough to be with you every second haven't really been giving you a second thought!!!! I can't begin to tell you how much that hurts me. From the moment I saw your little face on Reece's Rainbow, I knew you were mine. The problem with this is...I am EXTREMELY protective of what is mine :-) I feel like a momma bear and you are my new little cub. I will fight for you no matter what the cost to me! I have never held you in my arms, but sweet Evan, let me tell you this as 100% truth....I LOVE you! I may not have given birth to you...but you are my son! You may have been born with an extra chromosome....but I think you are amazingly beautiful! You may be in a crib half-way around the world....but in my heart, you are right here!
I have to apologize to you that I cannot be there right now. I cannot pick you up and snuggle you and blow raspberries on your cheek like I am dying to do. But I will...I promise you...I will!!! I promise that we will make up for lost time and you will receive all of the hugs and kisses that you have missed out on and that you deserve! Very soon, all of our hearts will be complete <3
I also found out that your real name is Edgar. I suspected that's what it was from the videos that we were sent, but I didn't know for sure. We knew Evan wasn't your official name, but the more we said it, the more it seemed to stick. I guess I'm glad that I didn't get a 31-tote with "Evan" embroidered on it! Haha!! Maybe you should be Edgar Evan Orta...EEO :-) We'll figure it out sweet boy. For now, know that we love you, we'll be thinking about you, and we're praying that we will be united as soon as possible!! <3
Today Laura sold cookies at a yard sale in order to raise money to "bring her brother home". I am so proud of her, and I know you would be too! She told everyone about you...she told them you were 2 and that you had Down Syndrome, and that it cost A LOT of money to come and get you. She sat there for almost 4 hours!! But she was excited...excited for each sale...excited to finally get to be a big sister...excited that one day she will be able to look into your little eyes and tell you that she loves you!!
We had your first party tonight!! Some amazing women braved the rain and came out to celebrate your adoption. Other wonderful ladies placed orders online to help bring you home. People brought yummy treats, we all ate WAY too much, and the kids played with the paper plates. The only thing that was missing was you, but I promise that we are coming to get you as soon as we can....and from then on you will miss no more parties!!