These are some posts I was sent from the adoption blog.
As you will see under the post on Thursday, July 15, 2010 titled Good News they were going to receive help from “their” church and instead of just simply saying thank you she makes sure to throw a jab at the Pastor.
Room For More
An adoption journey as our family of 9 grows.
Welcome to the Parker family adoption blog!
Hi! I’m Kate, my husband is Charley, and together we have 7 wonderful kids ranging in age from 18 to 4 years old. We are adopting two beautiful little girls from Eastern Europe.
Bethany is 2.5 years old & Hannah is 11 months. Both girls have Down syndrome. They are not biological sisters, but they live in the same orphanage in a region where children with disabilities are sent to mental institutions when they turn 4 years old. Thankfully, our girls will not have to face this horrible fate.
We still need to raise $11,685 for the girls’ adoptions, so donations through my PayPal button or purchases from one of the fundraisers on my sidebar are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for visiting!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Our dossier has been delivered & signed for! It made the journey to our in-country facilitator in just under 38 hours! Woo hoo!
The next few steps in the journey will be handled by our in-country team. They will translate our dossier, ensure all the documents are acceptable for the SDA’s (State Department of Adoption) requirements, let us know if any need to be re-done (praying this does NOT happen) or if they need some extra documentation of something (praying this does NOT happen, either), and then they will submit it to the SDA.
After submission, the SDA will approve our dossier & issue an invitation for Charley & me to travel to their country to receive our formal referral for the girls & begin the adoption process over there.
Please join me in praying for a quick translation, for 100% acceptance of the dossier by our facilitation team, for a quick submission date (the SDA accepts new dossiers on specified days only) and for a quick travel date.
Please pray, too, for financial provision to go. If you would share my family’s story with your friends on your blogs, on facebook, on twitter & in real life and ask people in your social circles to consider giving $5 to help us, I would be grateful to you for doing that. I know that if people will help us to get the word out, God will move on enough hearts to raise the needed funds to complete our adoption of the girls.
Posted by Kate at 8:43 AM3 comments
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yesterday, our dossier was apostilled. Before putting it in order in preparation of mailing, I took a picture of all of our documents. This represents 5 months, hours & hours of work, and lots of money (apostilles in Oregon are $10 per document).
Never has 1.1 pound of paperwork meant so much to my family (or cost so much to send somewhere ~ $161.44)! As of my last check of their tracking website, our dossier was in Warsaw, Poland. It is scheduled to be delivered to our in-country facilitator on Friday, the 23rd, less than 48 hours after being mailed. Go UPS!!!
O/T: My little boy’s surgery went well and he is asleep right now. We’re at the Ronald McDonald House and will be leaving tomorrow to head home.
Posted by Kate at 10:00 PM3 comments
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
New Picture of Bethany
Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to update here until we got home, but I got something very special in my email this afternoon and I could not wait to share it!
Here is Miss Bethany in a photo taken this month. She is 2 years + 8 months old & soooooooooo totally beautiful to me! I cannot wait to hold this precious munchkin in my arms and kiss those little cheeks and tell her how much she is loved. The number 4 on the shirt she’s wearing is a reminder that the children in the orphanage own nothing… not even a shirt. It’s so sad! I noticed that Bethany’s diaper is on backward, which makes me wonder if she likes to take her diaper off. LOL So many things to learn about my newest daughters… I can’t wait to get started!
One of the in-country facilitators is going to see if he can get a picture of Hannah (hey, Marianne ~ he’s going to try to get a picture of Darya for you, too!) and I am praying he’s successful. I want so badly to see what my littlest girl looks like now that she’s almost 1 year old.
Soon, Sweethearts. Your mama & daddy are coming soon for you both. We can’t wait!
Posted by Kate at 7:23 PM4 comments
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
OT ~ Prayer Request
This isn’t adoption-related exactly, but my youngest son, Joshua (age 4) is having surgery tomorrow (his 20th) and I wanted to request prayer coverage for him. He’s having a minor procedure ~ bilateral inguinal hernia repair (fixing hernias on both sides of his groin) ~ but Joshua is a medically complicated little boy & “minor” doesn’t always equate to “simple” for him.
If you want to learn more about my little guy, please visit his caringbridge page. Please pray for Adam, Joshua & my safe travel (Charley & the other 5 kids stay home) & for Joshua’s peace of mind. He’s had enough surgeries that he knows the routine & gets pretty anxious about the whole thing, and I’m praying that this one goes a lot more easily for him than what he usually experiences.
On our way north tomorrow, we’ll be stopping at the state capitol to get our dossier apostilled & then we’ll go to UPS to mail it to our facilitation team in Bethany & Hannah’s country. I can’t believe the day to send that package of papers has finally come & there are no more delays popping up to stop us yet again! Woo hoo & praise God! If things go smoothly, we could travel very soon!
After the dossier is received by our in-country facilitation team, it will be translated & then, assuming there are no documents that need to be re-done and/or no new documents requested, our dossier will be submitted to the SDA (State Department of Adoptions). They will then issue an invitation to Charley & me to appear at their office to receive a formal referral for the girls & that will determine our travel date, as we will fly out a few days before we have our SDA appointment.
It’s getting closer & we’re getting increasingly excited and nervous, but for the next couple of days, my focus will be on my Joshua and taking care of him, so I will not update here until after we get home from Portland.
Thanks for praying for my little man. I truly appreciate it!!!
Posted by Kate at 11:18 PM3 comments
Monday, July 19, 2010
A few weeks ago, I laid out the expenses we still have as far as raising money for our adoption is concerned.
I just learned that the orphanage fee, which used to be included as part of the facilitator’s fee, is now a separate expense. As such, we have to come up with an additional $1,500.
It’s not an impossible amount of money to come up with, and I know God can provide the extra money we need, but since so many people have donated money to help us get Bethany & Hannah home, I feel it is is important to make sure everyone knows the “why” when they see the amount we need suddenly go up rather than down.
Instead of needing $10,185, the new amount we will need to raise in the next month (before we get our travel date) is $11,685.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us thus far ~ every donation has helped get us to where we are & we are very thankful for your generous support!
Posted by Kate at 2:05 PM8 comments
Sunday, July 18, 2010
We would really like to finish our puzzle fundraiser and we need your help to do it!
This is the 500-piece puzzle that we are going to frame in-between double sided glass & hang on the wall in Bethany & Hannah’s room.
The backside of the puzzle shows the names of people who have sponsored a piece to help get Bethany & Hannah home to us, their forever family (my daughter, Emily, has enjoyed writing the names).
As you can see, there are a lot of blank pieces… 406, to be exact. For a donation of at least $1, you can sponsor a piece of the puzzle & your name will be written on the back.
We’d love for you to be a part of this puzzle ~ we really want to have all 500 pieces filled with names of people who were a part of our adoption, and if we can “sell” the remaining 406 pieces, that will get us closer to our financial goal, too.
Will you join in? 🙂
Posted by Kate at 5:07 PM1 comments
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Charley & I forwarded the email we received yesterday to the two men who head up the adoption ministry at our church and about a half-hour ago, one of the men called to tell us that the ministry will be covering our facilitator’s fees! They are mailing a check for $10,605 to Reece’s Rainbow tomorrow!
Praise Jesus!!! This is a huge thing in our eyes, as the pastor of our church has not been an avid supporter of adoption & has hamstrung our efforts to get support within the church. It seems that God moved on his heart, though, and he approved the funds being granted to our family. God is amazing!
We will mail our dossier next Wednesday since Salem (where we have to get it apostilled) is on the way to Portland, which is where we have to take our youngest son, Joshua, to have surgery (scheduled for Thursday).
Again, PRAISE GOD!!!
We now have just $10,420 to raise before we travel (probably about 5 weeks as long as our dossier is accepted without our needing to make any changes). I know God will provide what we need when we need it just as He has done every step of the way so far. He is faithful and His will WILL be done, regardless of what obstacles get thrown in our way.
God is so good. He has not let us down despite all circumstances seeming impossible. God is the God of miracles, of impossibilities, and my family’s adoption journey is a testimony to that!
Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow!
Posted by Kate at 10:23 PM21 comments
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Cold Hard Facts
This is the situation: the executive director for Reece’s Rainbow emailed Charley and me to say that we could mail our dossier and wire $505 to have it translated, but we could not have it submitted until we have the full $10,500 for our facilitation fees.
She is giving us 60 days to raise the funds we need for the rest of our adoption ($23,000) and if we don’t have it by then, we have to release the girls ~ give them up ~ so that other families have the opportunity to adopt them.
I have never heard of anyone else adopting through Reece’s Rainbow having to do this. Other families do not have to have their facilitator fee covered prior to mailing their dossier and having it submitted, and they definitely don’t have to have the full amount needed to cover their entire adoption prior to having their dossier submitted & receiving their travel date ~ that’s why there’s almost always a mad dash to raise the final funds necessary to go! Read any other adoption blog and you will see this is true.
So why are we being singled out for this requirement? Good question. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. What I DO have is a huge plea ~~ if you are someone who has thought of donating money to our adoption, please… now is the time to do it.
Thankfully, God is not surprised by this turn of events. He knew we would receive that email today. He is not worried or panicked by being given a deadline, so Charley, the kids & I are choosing to rest in Him, continuing to trust that if His will is for Bethany & Hannah to come home to our family, He is going to make it happen. How? We don’t have any idea, but honestly, we haven’t known from day 1 how this was going to work out and that hasn’t stopped God from moving on people’s hearts to donate and He has provided every step of the way. Even when unexpected expenses came up (like the psych evaluation), the money did, too.
Ultimately, no matter what gets thrown our way, we know without a doubt that God is in control, so we don’t have to fret. “Who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25)
My family and I are looking forward to seeing how God moves. We are praying that we will be given the gift of bringing Bethany & Hannah home, but more than that, we pray that God’s will be done.
Posted by Kate at 6:28 PM8 comments
All of the personalized squares are sold for both Bethany & Hannah’s quilts! THANK YOU so much for filling up those last 5 squares. I can’t even tell you how excited Megan, Emily & Sarah are! There were lots of big smiles in my house this morning as I told them the last square had sold. 🙂
For anyone who wants to participate in this fundraiser that my girls are doing for their sisters, it is not too late. There are still 20 squares available for sponsorship for a $5 donation. We would be thrilled to have every square spoken for by the end of July when Megan, Emily & Sarah will be putting the backs on the quilts and finishing them.
Thank you for helping to make my daughters’ fundraiser a success ~ they are so happy to be helping to raise money to bring their little sisters home!
Posted by Kate at 8:35 AM2 comments
Sunday, July 11, 2010
This is a “last call” for sponsoring personalized squares for the quilts that Megan, Emily & Sarah are making for Bethany & Hannah.
As you can see, the girls have worked hard to get the quilt fronts put together & to hand-stitch the names of the families who have sponsored personalized squares. There are 5 squares still available for personalization and my girls would really love to fill all of them! Also, there are 22 regular squares that can still be sponsored, too.
For a donation of $25, my daughters will personalize a square on each quilt from you. A donation of just $5 will sponsor another square of the quilt. Donations can be made through PayPal by clicking the picture of Bethany & Hannah on the right.
Megan, Emily & Sarah are requesting that anyone who wants to sponsor a personalized square on Bethany & Hannah’s quilts please do so by July 25th ~ two weeks from today. They plan to finish the quilts by the end of this month, so if there are 5 people out there who want to have their name on a square in our Eastern European princesses’ quilts, please make your donation by July 25th. If you want to sponsor a regular, non-personalized square, there is no time limit for that ~ those squares will be available until all 22 are spoken for (or we get the girls home; whichever comes first).
Update: There are now 4 personalized squares & 20 regular squares available. Thank you, Dean family! 🙂
Update again (7/13): There is now 1 personalized square remaining & 20 regular squares available. Thank you, Carbone family, Ainsley’s mom & Aquila’s mom! 🙂
Posted by Kate at 4:02 PM7 comments
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Make a donation to help us bring our girls home by clicking here:
TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations can be made online or mailed to Reece’s Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885.
Please specify that your gift is for “Vivienne/Laura for the Parker Family”.
My friend, Sarah’s, Etsy store
100% of sales will be donated to our adoption until we bring the girls home!!!
My friend, Jenni’s, Etsy Store
100% of all sales will go to our adoption fund!!!
Megan, Emily & Sarah’s Fundraiser
The girls are making quilts for their sisters. Please help them with their project!
Puzzle Pieces For Bethany & Hannah
A donation of just $1 will ‘buy’ you a puzzle piece that will have your name written on the back. The puzzle will be hung in the girls’ room & we’ll have up to 500 names of people who contributed to helping bring our girls home. Please be a part of this project!
Just Love Coffee Fundraiser
$5.00 of every bag of coffee sold benefits our adoption fund!
Click on “buy from party” next to “Parker Adoption” on the left side of screen. 20% of each sale benefits my girls!
Gurrlie Girl Fundraiser
40% of each sale goes to Bethany & Hannah! Email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org & pay by check, credit card or PayPal.
Total Funds Needed For Our Adoptions
This amount includes money we’ve put into our adoption, money raised through fundraising on my blog & money donated to our grant fund at http://www.reecesrainbow.org/sponsorparker2.html & to the girls’ individual grant funds (http://www.reecesrainbow.org/myfamilyfoundme.html ~ scroll to almost the bottom of the page).
Megan (18), Adam (17), Emily (11), David (8), Sarah (8), Isaac (6) & Joshua (4)
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.” – my social worker shared this with me
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that He will.” – Unknown
God doesn’t give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with Down syndrome doesn’t TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family.
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I’m a saved by grace, married, homeschooling, SAHM to 7 special kids. My family is in the process of adopting 2 beautiful little girls with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe & we can’t wait to bring them home!
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Time Line of Important Dates
January 21st: led to “Vivienne” & “Laura” on the Reece’s Rainbow website… announced our desire to adopt them on this blog.
February 13th: officially committed to the girls.
March 19th: home study complete.
April 5th: sent I-600A to USCIS.
April 17th: got fingerprinting appointment from USCIS for 5/5.
April 26th: got letter from USCIS requesting statement from licensed professional (ie: psychologist) that our history of childhood abuse does not affect our ability to adopt.
May 3rd: met with psych. He said he had no concerns about our adopting & would write a letter telling the USCIS just that.
May 5th: USCIS fingerprinting appointment.
May 12th: received letter from psych for the USCIS. Waiting for social worker to come back from vacation & amend home study.
May 28th: received home study addendum from social worker. Mailed it + supporting documents to USCIS.
June 16th: heard from an officer at USCIS that our case has been approved! Woo hoo! Waiting to receive I-171H in the mail.
July 1st: got our I-171H!
July 2nd: getting ready to walk out the door to mail dossier & found out the SDA has changed requirements, so we have to get 3 more documents. Small delay, but still a delay.
July 8th: was going to mail dossier until we found out the SDA made more changes in their requirements, so now we have to re-do multiple forms & get new copies of our marriage license. Delayed again.
July 14th: given 60 day deadline from the executive director of Reece’s Rainbow ~ we have to have the money for the adoption by September 15th or she will make us release the girls to be adopted by someone else. She also said we cannot have our dossier submitted until we have the full $10,600 to cover the facilitator’s fee. We’re the first family that we know of to have this requirement placed on them. It is not a standard “rule” for adopting through Reece’s Rainbow.
July 15th: received a donation of $10,605 from our church’s adoption ministry to cover our facilitator’s fee. We now have the green light to mail our dossier!
July 21st: mailed dossier!
Heartfelt thanks to Sarah, Jenni & Julie for spending a day at a craft show selling their handmade jewelry, soaps & other crafts to raise money for Bethany & Hannah!
Psychologist Assessment (per USCIS request)
This assessment was requested because of Charley & my history of childhood abuse. The USCIS wanted assurance that our past would not affect our ability to adopt/parent the girls.
State clearance letters & fingerprinting fees
This step was done at the end of April. Thank you for helping with these fees!
Amount needed by April 1st for USCIS application & fingerprinting fee
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this goal on March 16th!
Passports, medical appts, apostille of 6 documents, postage to eastern Europe of 6 documents
Thank you to everyone who helped us to reach this goal on March 22nd!!!
Amount needed by January 31st to commit to the girls
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this goal on January 31st!