Translate

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Update! Last Chance Fundraising in January!

Hi Everyone! Thank you for stopping by and thank you all for your continued support throughout the last 18 months!  I have been wanting to post an update for awhile, but the last 2 months have been very hectic, and to be honest quite emotional, discouraging and stressful.  I don't really enjoy writing posts that aren't upbeat or positive or at least full of some hope! But the adoption journey is not all rainbows and glitter. :)  It's inundated with stress, disappointments and delays.

That being said... I am going to focus on the positive! Our current status: I-800 submitted to USCIS!

Next steps: Receive I-800 approval
Complete DS 260
Complete Article 5
Make travel reservations/buy tickets!
Get our Visas!
Get or SON!

Due to the fact that families do not know how long they will stay in our son's country, it is hard to have an exact figure for our "fully funded" amount. However, the best we can figure we are between $10,000 and $13,000 from having everything covered- in country legal fees and administrative fees, our child's passport, visa, and medical exams, daily costs for food and taxis, airfare and lodging, adoption paperwork and document fees, etc. We of course also are saving as much as we can to cover our mortgage and lost wages during our absence.

COMING SOON: JANUARY "Last Chance" FUNDRAISER!

We are preparing for one more shebang- huge blowout fundraiser to be held locally ! We are planning to assemble themed baskets and offer other amazing items and we could use YOUR HELP!

HOW CAN I HELP?

We have all gotten gifts that we appreciate but.. well, maybe just don't really need, right? Let's face it, Christmas is a time of impulse buying and overindulgence for MANY!  When the aftermath hits we are usually surrounded by stuff, stuff and more STUFF! Well, instead of standing in line for hours in the return lane, why not donate those wonderful treasures to our January 'Last Chance' Fundraiser?!

I'm hoping if everyone can donate a couple of items, I can assemble some INCREDIBLY AWESOME themed baskets to raffle or use in a silent auction- ANYTHING would be amazing- toys, bath & beauty, baby, sweets, teachers, candles, gift cards... Anything new (or gently used) would be appreciated and help us make it across the finish line!

Send Items to:
Greene Family Adoption
P.O. Box 219
Owensville, MO
65066

IS THERE ANOTHER WAY I CAN HELP?

YES!!! We could sincerely use your prayers on our behalf.

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING for our son, for our process and for our fundraising. We have seen many miracles happen when our friends, family and prayer warriors have prayed for us and we appreciate it so much.

I am also sending out letters this week to local businesses and organizations hoping for some volunteers to help me organize and run the event, as well as praying for some end of the year tax-deductible donations. The stress of all that we have done in the last 18 months has really been catching up with me and I know I need HELP to pull this last miracle off!

Donations on ANY AMOUNT can be made through this link:
Or to avoid PayPal fees you can make a check out to Reece's Rainbow and mail it to our P.O. Box address above. Thank you!

Donate Online HERE - Alejandro for the Greene Family

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Fundraisers! Raised over $2000 so far!

October Fundraisers! Off & Running!
Once AGAIN we are so very grateful for all those who participated in our October Fundraisers so far! I know we hot everyone with a complete WAVE of them and I am so grateful for each and every participant!
 
We have been doing fundraisers for over a year and I completely understand why we are all running out of steam and extra cash! That is why I sincerely and genuinely cry over every dollar raised at this point.
 
Please know that if you helped by making a purchase, or by hosting, by sharing or by praying, we thank each and every one of YOU!

Total Raised through Completed Fundraisers: $404
Final Adoption Bug T-shirts Payout: $370
Adopt Together Payout: $500
Anonymous Angels Matching Grant: $1,000
($500 donated/$500 matched)

 
Total: $2,274
(Since Sept. 25th)
It Takes A Village!
One Dollar at a Time!
 
We were also blessed to receive an adoption grant for $3500 from "A Gift of Adoption" in October ! This will be paid directly to our agency once we are closer to traveling. What a HUGE blessing this is! (Our ONLY grant so far!)
Here is their link:
 
October is still Crunch Time! We are so close! His room is ready, his closets are full of toys & clothes, the therapy room is all set, and we are miraculously down to needing only $10,000 to be FULLY FUNDED.
 
I never thought this day would come! My husband is working LOTS of overtime, and I'm subbing every chance they give me and continuing to sell personal items to get our last fees paid. We've taken out loans, maxed out credit cards and applied for numerous grants.
 

CURRENT FUNDRAISER:
Greene Family "Buy Now"
Going on Now- Until all items gone
 
Buy Now- including Compelled Designs Pottery Necklaces!

"Non-Auction Auction" First Come, First Serve!

Buy Now! I'm giving everyone a chance to just BUY the items they want at SLASHED prices!! We don't have the time or energy left to run a full blown auction so here is your chance to score BIG TIME and start checking off people on your Christmas List! (You're Welcome!)
 
Click Here for Facebook Buy Now!

OCTOBER BUY NOW (Fundraiser Link)

 
_____________________________________
 
Completed Fundraisers! THANK YOU ALL!
 

1. Tupperware Party (COMPLETED)
Thank You! Amount Raised: $209

Thank you EVERY ONE! Great Job sharing and Praying!

Thank you Barbara Ingalsbe for Hosting!
Buy from her directly HERE:





2. Jamberry Nail Wraps! (Completed)
Thank YOU! Hostess: Sarah Stephens!
Amount Raised: $135

Check out her Online Store: Sarah Stephens Jamberry Nails





3. Matilda Jane Trunk Show
Thank You! Hostess Amanda Petitt
Amount Raised: $60.00

 




 4. Adoption Bug T-Shirts - Completed/CLOSED
(Raised over $500 in 9 months)
 
We began this fundraiser at the beginning of the year. In fact it was one of our very first! We were very sad to hear they decided to close their doors this month and we just feel very grateful we were apart of their legacy of helping families reach their orphans! Thank you, Adoption Bug!
 
 

 
As always we appreciate every single contribution and purchase. If you cannot find something to suit your needs within our fundraisers, please consider supporting our adoption by a direct tax-deductible donation:
 
on Reece's Rainbow
 
(Our current "best guess" to be "fully funded"
is an additional $10,000)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's a Tupperware Party! Sept 27-Oct 10th!

Wow this adoption journey has taken our family on lots of twists and turns down a curvy path! Now for the second time I'm back to being my 3rd grade self, this time discovering Tupperware parties with my mom and grandma! These are really fun memories for me, and YES, I am that person who searched ETSY high and low to find the brown, orange and yellow stackable cups we had in the 70's... so nostalgic!

Well NOW here we are a *couple* of years later and Tupperware is STILL GOING STRONG and is STILL an AMAZING Choice for so much of your kitchen needs-- not JUST STORAGE!!

We will receive an amazing 40% for every product purchased through the "fundraising catalog" via our link! We are closing in on our last $10,000 for our final fees and we appreciate every single dollar!

Greene Family Tupperware Party!

Thanks for checking it out and invite a friend!

As always if you cannot benefit from one of our fundraisers, please consider a direct donation!

Greene Family on Reece's Rainbow

Monday, September 15, 2014

September Update! Keep the Change Coming!

It's been a pretty busy crazy month but here we are, still plugging along! We have had to regroup and deal with a few setbacks, but we are still working toward our goal of traveling very soon to go get our son! We cannot thank everyone enough for your love, prayers, support, and donations!

IT TAKES A VILLAGE !
 
Yesterday in a whirlwind miracle we raised $5200 needed for our new agency fees!
 
Thank you to EVERY ONE who was in ANY way a part of this miracle! I try not to bog people down with the details of our adoption process, but we simply HAD to make this payment and we could not waste a SINGLE day or risk losing EVERYTHING we had worked for over a YEAR toward! 
Talk about STRESSFUL! YIKES!
  
A VERY HEARTFELT THANK YOU!

In addition to raising those fees, we were offered and MET
a $300 matching grant!
THEN we received word that we were being offered
ANOTHER MATCHING GRANT for $500!

Sometimes there are No Words.

Sooo... we are NOW collecting donations
to meet the $500 matching grant!
 
Donations should be made through THIS LINK:

Alejandro for the Greene Family
(our link to our Reece's Rainbow FSP)
 
 For every dollar you donate, someone will match it!
That means DOUBLE THE DONATION!

These donations can be used toward our
Chippin' In Across the USA
 campaign and giveaways as well.
(You just need to tell me you donated so I can include your name).

Last month we received an anonymous donation of $1,000 !
Thank you whoever you are!!
I decided to distribute that donation evenly to all the unfinished states in our Chippin' In Fundraiser!
So here are the new charts showing which states are in line
for the next giveaway!

Updated September 15th
THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to
our FIRST 16 states!!
Total Raised so far: $2150 towards "Alejandro"!!
 


 
 
Next goal: States 17-20!
When we have four more completed states we will have another
$25 GIVEAWAY!
Every state is at least HALF WAY THERE!!

If we can get ALL 50 states to represent with $60, that will be $3000 toward our last agency fee or travel costs!

You can choose ANY remaining STATE you want-- your birth place, your current stomping grounds, home to your favorite sports team, or even just an underdog state...

Please chip in your Spare Change through our Reece's Rainbow grant page. Here is the link again:
Alejandro for the Greene Family DONATE HERE
OR
Use the PAYPAL LINK at the top right corner
of our Home Page (not visible from most phones)

We will keep collecting until ALL states are FULL!
 
Each time we complete a group of FIVE states, those who contributed to those 5 states will be included in a giveaway for a $25 gift card of the WINNER's CHOICE!  (Choose your favorite restaurant, store, a Visa gift card)

OR a $25 donation to any child on Reece's Rainbow

OR a $25 charitable donation of YOUR CHOICE!
You name it!
 
First 5 States Completed:
1. Washington
2. Idaho
3. Utah
4. Virginia
5. New York
Winner of the $25 Gift Card: Amoreena H. (WA)
 
Second 5 States Completed:
6. Oregon 
7. South Dakota
8. Missouri
9. Illinois
10. Michigan
Winner of the $25 Giveaway:  Courtney B. (MO)
 
States 11-15 Completed:
11. Indiana
12. Florida
13. California
14. Alaska
15. Ohio
Winner of the $25 Giveaway:  Undisclosed (California!)
 
States 16-20 Completed:
16. Alabama!
17. ???
18. ???
19. ???
20. ???
Winner of the $25 Giveaway: ???
 
States 21-25 Completed:
 
21. ???
22. ???
23. ???
24. ???
25. ???
 
 
 
"THANK YOU" Giveaways!
Once we have filled in ALL the STATES and raised $3000, the following will be given away:
 
  
$100 Donated to Reece's Rainbow
for any Family or Waiting Child of YOUR CHOICE !!!!
(Or any adoption fundraiser, You Caring site, etc.) 
view waiting children here:
 
 

ETSY $100 GIFT CARD
to Spend anyway you want!!


 
 
VISA $100 GIFT CARD
to spend any way you want!
As always we appreciate every penny!  And most of all we would appreciate your continued PRAYERS! 
PLEASE keep our family, as well as all the families whose adoptions are pending and short on funds in your prayers. These children each deserve a forever family!

THANK YOU for Supporting our Adoption!

 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August Update... We Think We Can! We Think We Can!

I'm not gonna lie... July was a bittersweet month... On a good note we celebrated our son's birthday with his future cousins here and yet at the same time longed more than ever to be with him.

Through a month filled with disappointments, ups and downs, and more red tape, my heart was constantly uplifted and encouraged through the amazing TpT fundraiser!

TpT Fundraiser ReCap

None of you can possibly imagine the impact this fundraiser had on our family, and more specifically on me. Its been like the ripples in a pond from a tiny little pebble, allowing your kindness to reach my heart and filled me up again.

How can I thank you?
To those involved in this fundraiser you might feel you were simply doing a good deed and helping an orphan come home to his anxiously awaiting family. You would be wrong.

This was not simply a monetary blessing, it was more. SO MUCH MORE. In addition to raising a unbelievable percentage of our remaining fees, this month-long rally for our son's future was a spiritual affirmation that we didn't even know we would be needing.

It is the reason I am still moving forward and not giving up.

A month ago when I looked ahead to July, I thought about one word: REFERRAL. For adoptive families for our son's country that is THE MAGIC WORD!! And we were 90% certain July was the month we would receive our referral, or in other words "start packing!" and "you did it!" We thought we were so close to having to arrange time off and flights and dog sitters.

(Sigh.) It didn't exactly go as planned.

I was in Wal-Mart buying luggage for Little "AC" when I received the e-mail. "(His country) has more questions. We'll fill you in tomorrow." UGH, Seriously???

In 10 seconds I went from "I wonder if he has a favorite color?" to "Oh GREAT NOW WHAT???"

Instead of getting the approval we hoped for, we received a less common second round of questions to address. His committee is being especially thorough, which is to be expected when placing a child with long-term special needs with a family, especially one currently without children. I understand their precautions and desire for due diligence. I cannot imagine the overwhelming responsibility they must feel when placing a child in a permanent home.

But it still stinks and I admit I have still been sad and angry. I have been bitter, confused and resentful. I have been a blubbering mess and I've been simply fed up. I have been impulsive and irrational and developed tunnel vision. "I WILL COME GET YOU!" and "We will not go down without a fight!" are common quotes in the metaphorical bubbles above my cartoon self's head.

So through it all, I go back to the TpT fundraiser.

We are talking about digital downloads for handouts, this generation's "go to" for what we called "dittos" back in the day. Mere collections of sight words and ABC's and other (AMAZING) fun stuff for classrooms and homeschoolers to drool over and enjoy. (I REALLY hope you snagged a bundle or two!). But in the grand scheme of things this are "just" handouts. Or are they?

"But behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

There you have it.

My Father in Heaven knew I would need this incredible display of encouragement and love. He knew I would need it this month of all months. He set things into motion long before we were dealt this blow and seemingly unnecessary delay. He planted the seed in these amazing teachers' hearts and I am so grateful they each acted on it.

They thought they were helping us pay for hotels and airfare and VISAS. But it was so much more. And that strengthens my faith and my resolve. That is what keeps me going.

I still fill with tears when I think of each of you. I look at the list of names and say my 100th prayer of gratitude, but I honestly have no idea who 99% of you are. All I know is that "KindergartenMama" and "RockinTeacher" are now enjoying the goodies in Bundle 2, I don't know if you are my neighbor or friend or my own mother.

I know the vast majority of you are strangers I will never meet.

I will never be able to thank you, but I want you to know you made a difference. This was more than a donation, this was yet another miracle along our adoption journey. Your generosity literally has changed the future of this boy, our precious son, this forgotten child of God. 

To the incredible person behind this brainstorm who reached out to her fellow colleagues, you know who you are and we thank you. You were a true gift from God.

Each and every teacher who contributed their talents without any compensation, we thank you.

Each person who shared this fundraiser with friends and colleagues, we thank you.

Each person who purchased these downloads, we thank you.

It's NOT Over Yet

Yes, we still have hoops to jump through. Yes, we still have an estimated $10,000 to raise. But I know something. I KNOW we are on the right path and we are not supposed to give up. And I will not give up. My son has not given up, and neither will I. He has been through so much in his young life and he is a fighter. And these delays are in my mind God's way of buying more time to prepare this child to receive us, to trust us, to eventually attach and bond to us.

Please continue to pray for our family. Pray we can find the right people to help us meet the current request and referral we need. (This has been a HUGE struggle and may prove very costly). Pray the professional's words will be inspired to cast away remaining doubts.

Pray for those involved in the decision process. Pray that I will continue to be buoyed up amid disappointment and frustration and anger. Pray I will feel peace more frequently and fully.

Pray for all those who have helped us over the past year get this far. Pray they will be blessed in their lives and families with all they stand in need of. I've learned it's those who struggle and hurt the most who are often first to reach out, and I pray for each of our supporters every day.

And pray for all the orphans waiting to be discovered and loved unconditionally. Pray for our sweet, precious, innocent boy whose heart is being prepared for changes he cannot imagine or understand.

And pray that September brings GOOD NEWS and successful fundraisers!

Our donation sites will remain open until we are fully funded.

Greene Family - Adopt Together

Can we donate by check? Yes, however donations given by check will be processed and posted once per month.

Checks can be mailed to:
Adopt Together
251 W Central Ave. #278
Springboro, OH 45066
      Please write "Alejandro/Greene Family" in the memo if you send a check, or the donation will not be credited to our grant.

You can also send check directly to us.
Greene Family
P.O. Box 219
Owensville, MO 65066


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Current Fundraisers ~ Bringing "A" HOME!

WOW.  It's finally here!  We are coming face to face with the final couple of months before meeting our son. There truly are no words ! With your help we have traveled this year-long journey together and we have accomplished so much ! Once again we thank you for your help~ your encouragement, your prayers, your financial donations. Each and every person who has taken the time to support us in some way has literally changed this boy's life forever.

Together we have risen to this seemingly impossible challenge and already paid over $30,000 toward our adoption.  If you are not typically a believer in miracles, you should be now.  It has been through hundreds of people stepping up and through the power of God that we are so close!

What remains now is our last installment of fees for our adoption agency. (Estimate is $11,000). If you are interested in helping us in this final stage of bringing our son home, here is a list of our current fundraisers!  We will be continuing to raise money through September and hoping to be approved for travel in October.

Chippin' In Your Loose Change - STILL ACTIVE
Everyone has loose change! This is one way to make the most of it!

Simply donate your loose change here:  
Adopt Together for Greene Family  (tax deductible)
or via PayPal (NOT tax deductible) at: deenie_lds@hotmail.com

When donating, indicate in your comment which of the remaining states you'd like your donation to go toward. For every $5.00 you donate, you will be counted in the giveaways.
There is a $25 giveaway for every 5 completed states! Once we reach $3000 there are several larger giveaways!  So far we have completed 15 states and we have a ways to go! Please consider bringing an empty container to your work or local gas station or anywhere and helping us collect change for sweet "A"! (More details can found at the above link).

Buy a T-shirt !!    STILL ACTIVE
Our Adoption Bug t-shirts will be on sale through August 8th. There are 6 different designs. Your order will be processed right away, no waiting for a quota to be met or a deadline.

COMPLETED- THANK YOU!!
Teachers Pay Teachers ~ Instant Classroom Downloads
This link takes you to our "Teachers Pay Teachers" Fundraiser!
There you can preview TWO jam-packed BUNDLES of  instant downloads geared toward all the K-2 teachers, home schoolers and parents out there! This runs through the month of JULY ONLY!  Please, please, please tell every teacher, educator or mom you know about this GREAT DEAL !! It truly is a WIN /WIN!  And a whopping 85% of the price goes to bringing our little guy home !

COMPLETED - Each Family Received $210! THANK YOU!
5/5/5 Family through Reece's Rainbow
This link takes you to an amazing movement to help not only our family, but FOUR ADDITIONAL FAMILIES who are currently adopting and traveling SOON!  Your $5 donation will be joined with ALL the donations made between July 5th and August 4th (my BIRTHDAY! ), and then each family will receive 1/5 of those donations! This is a BRAND NEW initiative to help bring orphans home, helping 5 families at a time, through $5 at a time... and we are thrilled to be part of the very first group! This will be most successful if EVERYONE helps SHARE IT and signs up for reoccurring $5 donation! To learn more, and to "like" them on Facebook, click here: 5/5/5 for Families on Facebook

Final Online Adoption Auction
Coming SOON!  Stay tuned for dates on our final Facebook online adoption auction!
To be sure you don't miss it, go "like" this page:
Greene Family Auction

Tax-deductible donations can always be made to either these:
Reece's Rainbow~ Alejandro for the Greene Family
Adopt Together~ Greene Family

Direct donation (NOT tax-deductible) via PayPal:
deenie_lds@hotmail.com

As I stated, between now and the beginning of October, we need to raise approximately $20,000 to be "fully funded."  In case you're wondering where that number comes from, that figure includes the following costs:

Placement Agency final fees and post placement costs
Home Study Agency post placement costs (4 visits over 2 years)
In-Country legal fees
In-Country agency's admin. & service fees
Orphanage fees
Airfare
Our VISA's
In-Country lodging & food (5-8 weeks in-country)
In-Country daily expenses (taxis, guide, translators, etc.)
In-Country travel
Child's medical
Child's Visa/passport
Child's airfare, parents' flight change fees/additional luggage fees
Child's needs ~ clothing, diapers, medicine
Judge/Court Fees
Translation fees
Legal Documents
Readoption fees in USA
Household bills during absence
Dog sitter cost

These are just some of the costs involved in this last stage of international adoption.
Thank you for any contribution you can make to helping us bring home our little boy!

Denise & Charles :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

COMPLETED!! Thank You! (TpT Fundraiser)

July was a bittersweet month... but through it all- through the ups and downs, through disappointments and more red tape, my heart was constantly uplifted and encouraged through this amazing fundraiser!
 
None of you can possibly imagine the impact your single acts have had. I keep thinking of ripples in a pond when a pebble is thrown. Your generosity blessed our family, and more importantly you have literally changed the future of this boy, our precious son, this child of God. 
 
To you who bought downloads, it may have felt like you were getting a great deal and making a $10 or $20 or $30 donation. But you are wrong. This was not simply a monetary blessing, it was more. SO MUCH MORE.

This month long rally for our son's future was a spiritual affirmation that we are in fact still on the right path and we are not supposed to give up. (And boy there are times you want to give up).
I still fill with tears when I think of each of you. And I want you to know you made a difference. This was more than a donation, this was yet another miracle along our adoption journey.
 
Each and every teacher who contributed their talents without any compensation, we thank you.

Each person who shared this fundraiser with friends and colleagues, we thank you.

Each person who purchased these downloads, we thank you.

Please continue to pray for our family. Pray for those involved in the decision process. Pray for our sweet, precious, innocent boy whose heart is being prepared for changes he cannot imagine or understand. And thank you.
 
------------------------------------------------------
 
JULY is our son's Birthday Month !!!
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy !!!
WE ARE COMING FOR YOU SOON !!!

This time last year we thought for sure we would be spending this birthday with him and while it is sad we aren't, the knowledge that it is his last birthday without us brings MUCH COMFORT! We also believe that God has this timed in His way, and every week we are away from our son, He is preparing US and HIM for our meeting and union to be a success. We try to focus on how far we have come since last year! We are VERY CLOSE to getting the final stages underway and making BIG TRAVEL PLANS!!
It's SOOO VERY EXCITING!!!

Well, what better way to kick off his BIRTHDAY MONTH than with an AMAZING FUNDRAISER that just so happens to be a HECK OF A SAVINGS for all the Kindergarten - 2nd grade teachers, homeschoolers, and parents that you know? 
Here is the LINK:
(This Fundraiser has ended, thank you all who made it a HUGE SUCCESS!)
 
And here is the SCOOP....
This fundraiser is too good to be true! It is simply UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE I'VE SEEN as adoption fundraisers go!  And ALL the proceeds will go toward our final expenses to bring our son home! (A whopping 85% of all sales!!!).

If any of you are familiar with "Teachers Pay Teachers" then you will know what a wealth of amazing products and resources are to be found on that website!  I have been extremely blessed to have been offered a great fundraising opportunity by none other than Deedee Wills , a Kindergarten Goddess, a Blogger Extraordinaire and Creator of all things AMAZING.
She has reached out to her esteemed colleagues and together they have donated to our cause $140 worth of resources...A. MAZ. ING.
 
Here are the amazing TpT authors responsible for making this possible! PLEASE visit their stores and show them some LOVE!!

I would like to thank each of them profusely for their generous sharing of their talents to help us become a family!

Babbling Abby
Deanna Jump
Natalie Kay
Fab 4
The Teacher Wife
Michelle Oakes
One Extra Degree
Deedee Wills
Primary Graffiti
Erica Bohrer
Sarah Cooley

Anna Brantley
Cara Carroll
Amy Lemons
Elizabeth Hall-Kickin' it in Kindergarten
Hope King
Rachelle Smith
Growing Kinders
Kim Adsit
Katie King-Queen of the First Grade Jungle
 
This will go on for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY!!!

This fundraiser will be one of our LAST CHANCES to RAISE almost $20,000 we need for our final fees, as well as our traveling expenses!!! That is a TON of mullah! But it IS POSSIBLE!!!

With YOR HELP we can spread this fundraiser far and wide! Every single town has teachers! Every single family has kids! And at this price they are a STEAL!!!
For our family and for our precious son... and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

And for more great teacher hints and ideas (and yes, FREEBIES!), check out Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten HERE!

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Adoptive Mother's Reflections


I know by looking through our blog you haven't had a chance to read much about our actual journey or about our son, and it seems most of the focus has been on fundraising.  I thought I would take a minute and shed some light on that...  

One reason is that the country we are adopting from has very strict rules about what we can share about our son.  While other families adopting from other countries have permission to share more photos and their children's names, we must wait a little longer to do so.  I admit I have been a little nervous to share even the general details we are allowed to, for fear I would somehow say too much and break a rule or jeopardize everything we've worked so hard to accomplish.  But happily the time to share is coming soon !!!

A second reason (for me, personally) has been that I feel hesitate to talk about the future when there are so many unknowns and adoptions can be disrupted at any point along the journey for numerous reasons. I have been afraid to say too much for fear of "jinxing" the entire process. As we get closer now to receiving our official referral, and to traveling, I am feeling it's time to share some of my personal feelings about our process as well as let you know where we are and what we still need prayers and support for.

So, while rather lengthy, I hope this post will help you understand our journey a little more and allows you a slight introduction to our precious, sweet boy whom we can't wait to bring home!
An Adoptive Mother's Reflections, as we get closer!

The hardest part of our adoption for me personally has been knowing I have a precious son who is in another country, thousands of miles away, currently with no language, with no way to communicate his needs, who is without his forever family. My husband and I long to be with him every minute of everyday and even though we've never met him, we miss him every minute of everyday. We go through each day with that void... as we spend time playing with our dogs, every trip to the grocery store or post office, every time we are out in the garden (which we are told he loves!), we envision him along side of us ~ playing, exploring, laughing, growing, thriving... and just being LOVED.

While I believe he is being well-cared for, he has gone the first 5 years of his life dealing with countless emotional traumas and losses, and coping with physical and developmental struggles pretty much alone. That can be tough on any child, let alone one who is Deaf and Autistic and cannot be told what is going on or be easily comforted or included. When I think of how difficult it must be for him to make sense out of his world, with limited skills, my heart absolutely breaks for him. I cannot wait to help him start making sense of all there is to enjoy and discover around him and just help him feel loved!

The Latin American country he lives in restricts adoptive families from sharing identifying photos, his name and other identifying information publicly in order to protect their children. This has been tough for me because we want everyone to meet our son and fall in love with him as much as we have! This will be our first adoption, and our first child together. We are so excited/thrilled/nervous just as all "expectant" parents find themselves. And naturally we want to share him with the entire world ASAP!

...and quite honestly I sometimes resent a little bit not being able to share his photos.  I feel that if you could see his sweet face and put a name to his story, you may be more inclined to pray for our journey, share our story, or help however you can. I wish I could share more of him with you, I really, really do.

That being said, there are a few things I believe I CAN share with you... I can tell you he is a real boy full of energy, curiosity and innocence. I can tell you he has a favorite toy- a drum that lights up when he hits it. Like many kiddos he likes ice cream, playing in the sandbox and bubble baths. And he has mastered the art of tearing shiny pages out of magazines. :)

I can also tell you that our son is a miracle! A miracle and a fighter. He was born weighing just 2.2 pounds, then spent months in the hospital, and has had several surgeries in his short life (including major hip repair and receiving a cochlear implant). Prior to surgery he could not crawl or walk or explore his world much at all- and to see videos of him doing summersaults now at age 5 brings tears to my eyes every time.

What a tough kid! In this past year his ability to chew and swallow food has greatly improved as well, and he no longer has a limited diet of oatmeal and yogurt. :) Seeing how much he has developed in the past year brings us so much joy, and so much hope for what his potential will be once he has the 1:1 attention and undivided care he so much deserves.

When I think of what an emotional adjustment he will have this fall, my heart breaks all over again for him. While we have had over an entire year to prepare for him, he will in many ways have NO preparation, NO way for his loving caregivers to tell him all the ways his world is about to turn upside down, or that it will be for his own good eventually. While we know it will be for the better in the long run, he will most likely not being thinking that when he is torn away from all that is familiar and safe to him. I completely hate that dual role we will play in the process and that he may very well see us as the enemy. We know it will take time to regain his trust and bond. We ask daily for our Father in Heaven to prepare his heart for this huge change and upheaval.

Please, if you feel so inclined, include our son and his transition in your prayers, he so desperately needs them.

The next hardest part of this process has been all the hoops we've had to jump through, all the meetings and appointments, all the notarized documents, all the questions, reference letters, background checks, grant applications, all the stress and migraine-inducing paperwork. Simply thinking of it I can feel a headache coming on so I will just leave it at that. :/

The "last but certainly not least" hardest part of this adoption has been financial. (Insert deep, heavy sigh here). To be honest one of the reasons we had originally pursued adoption through the foster care system was the cost. We were hoping to make a difference and build a family, but also being realistic within our budget. But then while we were waiting for our state to start placing children in our home, we discovered our son! And it was one of those moments where you just KNOW. You know before you even see his eyes for the first time that this is THE ONE, THE CHILD... the one soul who you were meant to be responsible for and nurture and love with every ounce of your being.  We were so excited and elated!

But... then we soon realized it would be an international adoption and the cost was a HUGE shock. Not only was he in another country, but it was one that required 5 weeks of travel involved when the time came to go get him. (This has since increased to 8 weeks!) This would be asking a lot as well. We clearly did not have the originally estimated $29,000 hidden in our sock drawer, nor did we have a long lost relative with money to burn. ;)

So first... we had to be sure we were willing to accept him with the list of challenges he had.  We had sought out a child who was Deaf so that was not a deterrent for us. However, but he had a list of other developmental and cognitive delays, physical issues, and had been diagnosed as "moderately retarded." Regardless of all this, choosing him was the easiest part! We felt strongly we had each been led to him and prepared by God to provide this child with what he needed. We knew he was already our son. But then we had to realistically look at the cost. This would be a large expense and one we could not possibly pay on our own. Were we being na├»ve (or selfish?) to think this was doable? Was it even fair to others for us to commit to our son, knowing it really truly would take a village to bring him home? This decision was much tougher.

Before we committed to our son and this process, we did a lot of research for resources (adoption tax credits, adoption loans, grants, employer benefits, local resources, adoption blogs and fundraiser ideas, etc.). It was only after the extensive research, fasting & praying, and some encouraging developments that we felt confident (and incredibly blessed) to move forward and commit to our son. When we started out we had a plan A and plan B and plan C... I believe we are on plan E or F... (or perhaps L or M) now?

Trying to secure the funds ourselves, then having to try to raise the necessary funds, and then finally having to simply pray and depend on others to help us bring home our precious son has been TOUGH. When it's all said and done this process will have cost at least $40,000. I'm not ashamed to say that is more than either of us even makes in a year. It's quite daunting.

Although the financial side of it has been incredibly difficult, it has also been incredibly humbling and reminded us who is *definitely* at work behind the scenes. The fact that we have met every challenge and been able to somehow pay all the fees up until this point, and that we are now this close to meeting him and creating a family for him is nothing short of a miracle.

There is a well-known notion within the adoption world that anything that possibly CAN go wrong during your adoption surely WILL! I'm not just talking about the annoying, time-consuming red tape and paperwork mishaps that can drive you crazy. I'm referring to all the unplanned E$PEN$E$ you can think of, because you can pretty much be sure they WILL happen during your "paper pregnancy." We've been blessed with emergency dental work, car collisions, $1000 legal citation, basement flooding, heating system failure, a chimney fire, job loss/temporary layoffs, a death in the family, serious family illness, unexpected travel, $200 per paycheck increase in insurance premiums, mechanical failure with both cars, untimely replacement of cell phones and laptop, mishaps like locking keys in the car and our dog eating a hole in every pair of pants I own, lawn mower/riding mower both breaking down, mishaps with direct deposits, mishaps with school financial aid, replacing tires on both vehicles... these are just the ones that come to mind. Some were routine expenses that came along at the worst time; some were just annoying; some really set us back. Add to that all the adoption-related expenses such as $2500 for the required psychological evaluation (we were originally told $1000), the annual increases of legal/administrative fees, and the rejection of the first 5-6 grants we applied for... you can see how stressful the financial aspect can be.

If you are thinking of adopting I will also add at this point to be prepared financially for the amount you will find yourself donating to others you meet along the way. This is not a figure you will see on most "adoption budget" excel sheets, but it should be. You just can't help it- no matter how strapped you are and no matter how far from your own goals you may be, your heart will be touched by those on the same journey who are in an even tighter spot. Another unofficial truth within the adoption community is none of us can afford our own adoptions, but we all pitch in and miraculously help finance each other's. It just sort of seems to happen that way. But honestly these families all need help, and they are in the least ideal position to be supporting each other.

(Shameless plug: If you would like to discover a new way to make a HUGE difference, just ask me or check out Reece's Rainbow for starters! [See link at end of this post] If our story doesn't resonate with you, I guarantee you there is a family on RR that will pull at your heartstrings. If you share the belief that you will be blessed as you give, you will find countless opportunities to give and to be blessed in return).

So in spite of so many generous people, and lots of personal sacrifices, fundraisers, overtime, selling personal items, prayers, loans, maxed out credit cards, and grant applications... here we are, just a couple months away from going to FINALLY meet our son and BRING HIM HOME and we are still over $18,000 short of being fully funded.

The bright side is that we are closer to the finish line than I ever imagined we'd be 6-12 months ago. This is a miracle! So many people have made this happen. The majority of fees paid have been through donations and fundraisers.  We will be forever grateful for each and every person who has somehow contributed to our adoption journey. There simply are no words to express what you have each been part of; you have truly and profoundly changed our son's life and given us the joy of parenthood we could not achieve ourselves. This realization and the countless acts if love shown on this boy's behalf have left me speechless pretty much on a daily basis.

Because of YOU we are now looking at a couple of short months and only $18,000 before we are a family. Because of you we now have children's books and toys and jammies and sippy cups that lay waiting to be used and enjoyed and appreciated. This alone is a dream come true.

I am honestly out of ideas of what to sell, what giveaways to offer, how best to appeal to your ability to help in the way you personally can. But the bottom line is we still need donations. And while this amount is completely overwhelming to me, I know it is not impossible. And I know there is someone reading this blog who can make it happen. I don't know if that is one amazing person, or 200 amazing persons joining forces and pennies together... Maybe it's you, maybe it's your coworker or neighbor or blog follower or kid's soccer coach or the lady who sits behind you in church... I really have no idea who.  But can you please help by sharing our blog and our story? Can you please help us by praying it reaches the people who have already been prepared to help us bring our son home?  

I know without a doubt we will be fully funded but I'm out of ideas to entice people. All of my friends and family have given time and time again throughout a year of fundraisers and pledging.  If you are even the least bit touched by our story and can share it with those you know, please do so. You never know who may be in a position to help us. And whether you donate, share, or advocate, please continue to pray for us and our son. Thank you!

Our current needs:
Due any day now: $10,668
By August: approx. $8- $10,000

Thanks for sharing and for your continued prayers and support!

Below are two options for tax-deductible donations, or you can contact me for directions to mail a check to avoid PayPal fees or having to use the internet.   

Reece's Rainbow - The Greene Family
OR:
Adopt Together - The Greene Family
OR:
PayPal address: deenie_lds@hotmail.com
 
Learn more about orphans and children with special needs and how YOU CAN HELP by going to this link: