Friday, January 30, 2015

now we're cooking with fire!

Folks, we finally have some actual adoption news to share!

First, this little piece of mail arrived:

That packet of information held copies of our completed home study.  It should have taken us a few months to get that home study done, but it took us a whole year....but it's done.

With a completed home study, we can now start to look for grant opportunities.  That said, I'm honestly pretty skeptical of our ability to be awarded a grant.   Fortunately, we both have great jobs and make good money.  Unfortunately, we both have great jobs and make good money.  And rightfully so, most of the grant opportunities out there are geared towards people who make less money than we do.  For those that aren't income-based and in general, I get the sense that adoption grants are, like most other grants, pretty competitive.  But I guess you never know until you try, right?

Also with a completed home study, we get to begin the I-800A process:

Short story:  It's more paperwork and sending a decent chunk of change to the federal government.  (Thankfully, we already have that money saved up!)
Long story:  The I-800A process through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration to determine our "eligibility and suitability" to adopt a child who resides in a Hague Adoption Convention country.  The Hague Adoption Convention is an international agreement to establish safeguards to ensure that inter-country adoptions take place in the best interests of the child.  In basic terms, these are the ethical guidelines certain countries have agreed upon where adoption is concerned.  It's more paperwork, yes, but it's a good thing we're going through a Hague country to adopt.
In addition to all of that, we've been working our way slowly through this paperwork, as it's a bit less time sensitive than the I800A documentation will be:
That is our waiting child packet from our agency.  This will include some basic information about ourselves (yep, stuff we've already provided, but need to do in a different format), our research on medical support services in the area, a few different letters of reference, a listing of the special needs we'd be willing to accept, etc.
And no, all of this isn't the end to all the paperwork.
As always, thanks for your prayers and support!

Monday, January 5, 2015

also for sale

Hopefully you all had the opportunity to check out our blog post from Saturday about January's item of the month, snowmen, something new we're trying out for 2015.  It's a way for us to have our creative outlet, to not get burnt out on making any one item over and over (hello, baby bibs!), and to offer something that will hopefully appeal to you at least one month out of the year.

That said, please know that if you are looking for other handmade items for yourself or for a gift, we're still up for making items we've previously offered, so please keep us in mind!

Baby and lap-size quilts - Read up on the details if interested.

I still have about 3 of the card holders left.  I use one for my business cards and the other for loyalty cards.  I think my mom might have bought a stash to use as gift card holders too, which is a good idea too.  These are $10 each.  This picture is just an example of what they look like; I can get you a picture of what's left if interested or else I can do a custom order.

Crayon rolls - $12 each.  Again, this is just an example.  I can do custom orders of these too.

These Indiana hoops are my favorites.  This one (which was a custom order, hanging on a colleague's wall) is maybe my all-time favorite one.  These 12" hoops are $20 each.  I think I have one Indiana one left, but have since done one for a South American country, so I'm open to anything.

I have a giant handful of key wristlets left.  I love mine.  $8.50 each.

I'm pretty sure we've got a box of these puzzles left too.  $5 a piece.

Wooden string crosses.  I know we have 5 or 6 of these left too.  $15 each.

Just one of these wooden wine vase holders left.  $15.  Once this one is sold, we will not be making these any more.
If you are interested in any of these items -- seeing what's left or making a custom order -- please let me know or keep us in mind for future gift needs!  As always (I can't remind you enough!), all proceeds go into our adoption savings account to help bring our daughter home.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

january fundraiser of the month: wooden snowmen

Happy 2015!  We had a nice holiday season and are ready to hit 2015 hard.

We're hoping our adoption process moves along a bit quicker in 2015 than it did in 2014.  Really though, the blessing to our process taking so long in 2014 is that it enabled us with plenty of time to do a little bit of fundraising, selling some of our wares, and saving -- and of course, many thanks to all of you who have generously donated money to help us bring our daughter home or who have bought so many of our items over the past year.  All of our agency fees are paid in full, so at this point, we are saving towards our mandatory orphanage donation and travel expenses, which I am estimating will cost between $15,000-$20,000.  We have money in savings to cover a portion of that, but still need to save up some more money.
As you know, we like making things, but I got a little burnt out on baby bibs and crayon rolls.  While we will continue selling items we've previously sold, we wanted to add a bit of variety for 2015 by offering an item of the month.
For January, that item of the month are these lovely wooden snowmen!
Just a mix, to give you some sizing perspective
Here are the details:
$15 (+ shipping) will get you:
  • 1 large snowman (picture 1) or
  • 3 small snowmen (picture 2)
These snowmen are all made to order, meaning that while we have a small stash on hand, CJ will be making them as orders come in -- so it could take a few weeks for them to arrive on your doorstep, still with plenty of time left in the winter season though.  No two are alike.  The large snowmen run anywhere from say, 8-12", and of varying widths.  The smaller ones are about 6" tall, give or take.  Their top hats are all different.  The shades of wood will vary as well, however CJ told me he no longer has any of this darker wood, so most will be of the lighter shade.
If you are interested in a snowmen family to maybe represent your own family, we can make that work too.  Contact us (chasingpaperairplanes13 @ to discuss cost.
As always, all of the profits will be deposited straight into our adoption savings account to help bring our daughter home.
Thanks again for all of your support through this process.  We hope you'll be able to find an item or two of the month this year that suits you!