Saturday, January 28, 2012

Update time

Since we started this process we have often been asked “what is the dossier exactly?” Well I am so happy (and excited) to be able to post this picture to show everyone what exactly a dossier looks like!
 That's it everyone......
The above picture is what my life has been for the last 8/9 months! And I can't believe that we are DONE with the biggest part of the paperwork! We had everything apostilled on Thursday and then shipped it off to Eastern Europe on Friday!
Now the picture of all the paperwork is one I have waited to take since the day we started this process but the picture above is something that makes my heart fill with joy! This package holds the future for our little boy, it holds all the blood, sweat and tears we put into getting to this point and it holds our love for a little boy who stole our hearts 9 months ago. I have played this moment over and over in my head and I am still in shock that it has finally happened!! This "paper pregnancy" hasn't been easy but it has been so worth every bump we have encountered along the way, and we are prepared to encounter a bump (or two) when we travel but for right now we have a huge sense peace, pride and excitement while we wait for our travel date. 
So for now we wait and I am just fine with waiting! I am excited that hopefully soon I will be giving you an update with our travel date! I know I say it every post but thank again. Thank for all your support and for coming back to read our blog and for following our story! I hope you continue to keep following because I promise the best part of this journey is right around the corner and I can't wait to share it with everyone!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fundraiser Time...........Come Check It Out!!!!!!

HI everyone!!! The time has come where I can officially say we ONLY need 3 papers to be DONE with our dossier!!!!!!! WooooHoooo!!!! The last THREE papers will be done by Friday and then it will be off the Secretary of State office on Monday to get everything apostilled!!!! If you read my last blog post you may recall me talking about this process and how expensive it is. If you didn’t get to read the last blog post, I’ll give you a quick recap…..In the state of California it cost $20 dollars to apostille every single page in our dossier, which makes this one the MOST expensive parts to compiling our dossier!  The final price of having papers apostilled is VERY expensive and will be over $500 dollars!! Sooooo I thought a great way to help us reduce our cost and to get closer to bringing our sweet boy home, we would do a fun fundraiser!!!

Now for the fundraiser details, we asking for a donations in the amount of $20 dollars (this will pay for one page of the dossier to be apostilled)….and for every $20 dollar donation you make, your name will be written on 3 raffle tickets for the chance to win a great prize, which I will talk about next, along with the prize your $20 dollar donation will also add 10 stars to “Aaron’s Lucky Star Jar”!  Now for the fun prize, everyone who donates will have their names placed on raffle tickets and have a chance to win an awesome homemade fleece blanket (picture of the blanket will be posted at the end of this blog) and $50 dollar gift card of your choice!!!

I’m asking you to PLEASE consider helping us, we are getting closer to end and are still in great need of raising funds to bring our boy home. All donations need to be made through our Chip-In and NOT the link to our Reece’s Rainbow page. This will give us immediate access to the money for our trip to the Secretary of State office on Monday!! If you do not have a pay pal account and would rather send us cash or a check please email me at or message me on Facebook and we can work out the details!:)

Thank you in advance for any help you can give us, we are truly grateful for everyone who has supported us in or journey to bring our boy home!!!

And now a picture of the blanket……..

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Updates....fundraisers.....and soapboxes....OH MY!!!

          As I start this blog post I find myself torn….part of me wants to stand on my soapbox and preach to everyone and vent and the other part wants to keep my mouth shut and just do the same old update and call it a day…..sooo I think I will be doing a little bit of both and I will try and be short and sweet if I do get on my soapbox and talk for only a minute! But first things first, update time!!:)
          Yesterday we made a HUGE step forward in our paperwork, we mailed off the first piece of paperwork to Aaron’s country!! We sent our paperwork to a family who leaves tomorrow morning for the same country and our paperwork will be in the hands of the facilitation team on Monday!!! There is no going back now!!!:) It’s crazy to think that in no time we will be traveling to meet our boy and beginning the journey to bring him home. We are crazy excited and working hard to finish the last bits of paperwork, which we hope to ship off in about a week!!:) The light keeps getting brighter and brighter at the end of tunnel and we can not wait to get our feet on the ground in Aaron’s country!!:)
          Also before I forget we have a little fundraiser in the works!! I am still working on the details and will make the official announcement on Monday. But first a little information that will lead into the fundraiser….every paper that is signed by both David and I or by the writer of the paper has to be notarized….and then once it is given the ok by our state-side helper and the facilitation team in country, we take it to the capital and have it apostilled…..this makes it official and shows that the notary is good….well to have papers notarized is no problem we have a wonderful notary who has been super helpful, however to have the papers apostilled it cost $20 dollars per paper! Yes, you read that right…I said $20 dollars per paper!!! SOOOO for the last of our papers to be apostilled we are going to do fundraiser…….we are asking for donations of $10 or 20 dollars…and for every $10 dollar donation we will add 2 raffle tickets to the jar and with every $20 dollar donation we will add 4 tickets to the raffle jar. There will be TWO winners and each winner will win a $50 dollar gift card of their choice!:) Our hope is to raise enough money to help reduce the out of pocket costs for us on our last and final step of the paperwork process……..we have calculated the numbers and are expecting this final cost of this to be around $700 dollars...…..ok, so how many of you just feel out of your chairs a little bit? I know I almost did after calculating the number! It’s a crazy big number but it’s so worth it if it helps us bring our boy home!!:) Sooooo…. keep an eye out on Monday, I will be posting all the finalized details on here and facebook and I will need all the help I can get to pass the word along about this fundraiser! So please stay tuned to for the big announcement on Monday!!:)
          Now onto my soapbox I stand and I’m going try and keep it quick so here goes…..over the last few days I have read some eye opening things and I am being totally honest when I say that I am shocked that people can be so mean to someone they have never meet. The word that keeps popping up in all of these conversations I see is “stereotype”…….so my thought is this if you are truly worried about what “stereotype” is being placed on your child you need to stop and take a look at yourself for a minute. The only way for your child to be affected by a stereotype is if you let them be affected by it. If I grew up watching my mom be affected by what people said about my little sister then I guess I would be very hurt by this. But the fact is our children can only be hurt by what you teach them to be hurt by. No on said life is easy but if I let everyone’s opinions of me bother me I would never leave my house. My mom taught us from the moment Elizabeth was born that she was one of us and that her having Down syndrome DID NOT define her!! She is who she is and just like I am who I am. Even though Liz has Down syndrome she was still told “No,” she ate what we ate during meals and she was still expected to do the things we did just at a later age then we did it. She was never treated different because she has Down syndrome. She played sports like softball and soccer with “typical” kids her own age and she has won more battles because my mom has not allowed stereotypes to hold her back. Liz has had two neuro-spin surgeries and each time she was put in a halo, once for three months and the other for six months after to help stabilize her neck and help her heal. And even though she was in a halo she was still able to get up and go to school when the doctors cleared her and her and my mom still did their weekend running around to the grocery store or Target or where ever they needed to go. And I think that if my mom were ever worried about what people thought of my sister in her halo she would have kept her inside and shielded her from the world, but she didn’t!  And that is because she isn’t worried about some silly stereotype. This is why I love my mom so much she is wonderful and full of knowledge and not afraid to speak her mind (can you tell I get that from her) and she is for sure not afraid of so lame stereotype. So when people want to point fingers at another person and say that whatever they wrote on a blog or book or  whatever it may be is giving into all the stereotypes about Down syndrome, I ask you to take a minute and look at yourself;. why are you so badly affected by someone else’s words? Is it because you feel the same way? Or is because you are afraid you can’t protect your child from the stereotypes? Well, this is my advice to you; the best way to protect your child is treat them like your other children. Don’t make them feel like they are holding you back and don’t make them feel like they can’t do something they want to do. Protect them by showing them that words are just words, and protect them by letting them shine and by letting them show the doubters what they are truly capable of doing in life! You must believe in your child in order for them to believe they can achieve anything not matter how small or big it is. However if we keep getting so offended by stereotypes we will never believe in our children and we will begin to believe the stereotype. So I ask that when you are done reading this you take a deep look into what really makes you so upset with a stereotype and why does it affects you so much. I know that not everyone who reads this will agree with me and that is ok with me, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that’s what makes us each unique!! I just hope that maybe one person out there may read this and see that the change starts with each of us as individuals…so let’s let go of the stereotypes and stop being so mean to people!! Life is too short to worry about some silly stereotype!!!

I’m sorry if I rambled on with my soapbox but I really felt it needed to be said and I tried my best to keep it short!!:) I wish everyone who reads our blog a very happy weekend and am so grateful for all of you who have been following our journey and supported us!! I hope you all are ready for wildest part of this ride because is about to start!!!!:) Please remember to keep an eye out for the fundraiser info!!