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I am so happy being married and living with my best friend. We adopted our first child, Ari, in 2011 through a domestic adoption and our second, Jude, in 2014.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Puzzle Update - Week 2

In Week 2 we have sold 14 pieces! That makes for 20 pieces put together total. We almost have the whole bottom edge done!

How to Donate: We are selling the puzzle pieces for $10 each. If you can, please donate money in-person or by mail. If that's not possible, you can click on the "Donate" button on the right sidebar under "Adoption Donations" to send money via PayPal. Please add your name(s) in the special note to sellers. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Puzzle Update - Week 1

We're one week into our puzzle fundraiser and we've sold 6 pieces! Only 994 pieces to go! ;)

Big brother "helping".

I love starting the puzzle with these two pieces. :)

6 pieces total!

How To Donate: We are selling the puzzle pieces for $10 each. If you can, please donate money in-person or by mail. If that's not possible, you can click on the "Donate" button on the right sidebar under "Adoption Donations" to send money via PayPal. Please add your name(s) in the special note to sellers. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Here We Go Again, Part 2

Now here's the part of adoption that no adoptive parent really likes. It's embarrassing. It's humbling. Let's be honest, for us, it's the f-word.


Adoption is expensive. Plain and simple. But we can't let the cost stop us from adopting. Every child deserves a home and we will do our part to help with that for as long as we can.

For this adoption we expect all costs (agency fees, government fees, and traveling expenses) to total about $35,000. As you can see, I have my lovely fundraising thermometer back on this blog to the left. We already have a little over $4,000 of this.

The kicker that came with this is that we fall under new adoption tax credit laws. We finalized Ari's (yes, I'm using his real name...I can't keep up with nicknames) adoption in 2012 and things changed like crazy then. The adoption tax credit was paid in one large sum the two previous years. But now the government has up to 5 years to pay you the credit. And they will only pay you each year the amount that you paid in taxes for that year.

Are you still with me...? So for us this means that this year we are getting less than 20% of the credit. That leaves us with $10,000 less than what we were hoping to have to apply for Adoption #2. Ouch.

This was hard to process. It sucks, plain and simple. But we must move forward with faith. We will simply be saving, fundraising, and applying for grants like there's no tomorrow.

So our first fundraiser...the puzzle fundraiser! This is a picture of the puzzle we will be using. It's called African Landscape.

We did this with Ari's adoption and loved it so much. The idea is simple...we have a 1,000 piece puzzle. We are "selling" the pieces for $10 each. When you buy a piece we will write your name on the back of it and add it to the puzzle. Once it is completed, the puzzle will be framed in a double sided frame and hung in our child's room so they can see the names of all the people that helped bring them home.

Now, how to donate: The best way is to give us check or cash in person or mail it to us. However, if that's not possible, there is a "Donate" button on the right side of this blog that allows you to give us money through PayPal. And no, you don't have to have a PayPal account to use it. PayPal does take a percentage of all donations, so that's why it's not the preferred method. But if you're willing to donate, we're willing to accept it anyway that works for you.

Thank you for being a part of our story!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Here We Go Again

First of all, I'm the worst blogger ever. It's very easy to blog all throughout the adoption process. There always seems to be a lot to talk about then. But once the process is over it's not so easy to write a blog post on teething, toddler eating habits, walks around the neighborhood, or other random day-to-day activities. And I don't think that would be too interesting to read either.

But here I am writing another blog post. If our day-to-day life isn't interesting enough to talk about, that can only mean one thing. I'm here to write about adoption. And that adoption topic is...

We're officially adopting again!!

© Jenny White Photography
And yes, that is Africa you see in our picture. We have signed on with an agency to adopt from The Democratic Republic of Congo. We expect this to be a 1-2 year process from start to finish.

So, why Congo? Honestly, we feel like Congo chose us. We have always wanted to adopt from Africa, so when we started looking at this it seemed like every agency had an Ethiopia program. We kinda just thought to ourselves, "Hmm, okay. I guess we'll go with Ethiopia." But the more I looked into I realized that adoptions from Ethiopia are now taking an approximate of three, maybe more, years to complete. We knew we didn't want to wait that long.

All I know that happened after that is that I spent several hours every night for about two weeks researching adoptions from Africa. I truly have no clue how it began, but through a few things adding up and talking to a few connections I made, we discovered Congo. After looking into some of the facts of this country I simply couldn't turn away. I then spent a few more nights simply weeping over this country and the children in it. (And making the hubs stay up very late watching documentaries about this place. You can see some of those here and here.) Congo found us, nestled its way into our hearts, and would not let go. And I'm so happy for that.

So for those that want to know specifics, here are some of the facts that I could not close my eyes to...
  • There are 5 million orphans living in Congo alone.
  • 20% of children do not live past the age of 5.
  • Half the population does not have access to clean drinking water.
  • War and conflict have led to the death of 5.4 million people since 1998. It is the deadliest war since World War II.
  • Congo has been named as the worst place on earth to be a woman. The sexual violence and rape in Eastern Congo is described as the worst in the world.
So really, the question is, "Why not Congo?"

We have already sent in our contract and first payment to our adoption agency. We are now working on the piles of paperwork to get a home study going. This will be a lengthy process, but we are so excited to get started and take you all on the journey with us!