Saturday, March 8, 2014

Galaxy Tab Giveaway!

Today we are doing our drawing! Woo Hoo! I hope you had a chance to get your name in. :) I have an amazing report to share with you.

We exceeded our goal!! We wanted to raise $3,200 by our 32nd birthdays and because we have the COOLEST, most generous people in our lives, we raised $3,520! We ended up selling 110 tickets. :)

If you weren't able to get in on this fundraiser, don't worry, there are still LOTS more coming. We are so excited to share all our exciting events coming in the next few months.

The role you've played in helping us raise this money has been such a blessing to us. We are thankful for you.

I know, cut to the chase, you all want to know who won the Galaxy Tab.

Here's the video of two super cute kids drawing the WINNING name! It could be YOU….  :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Galaxy Tab 3 Raffle Update

Yesterday, I wrote this post with all the current amounts. Then, it all changed again last night! It's a great problem to have, so all the current updates are added now. :)

Which one of our lucky friends will get this?!

If you are not familiar with Galaxy Tablets (like me some people) let me tell you about them. :) Let me just tell you, I have never owned one of these, so all my information comes to you from my techy brain Google. ;)

Some of it's key features:

  • Use it for apps, movies, books, streaming TV shows
  • It doubles as a universal remote
  • Large, beautiful display

What others are saying about it: 

"Great speed, screen color and clarity is excellent. Battery life is good too."

"I couldn't be happier with it. I found it easy to setup and use."

"It is lightweight, and full of features. I especially like the bluetooth. No more using cords to connect a keyboard and I can use it to listen to music in my car."

"This tablet satisfies everything! It fits good in my hand, has great speed, and lots of storage!"

Turns out I might just keep it. ;) 

Actually, I'm SUPER excited to see who gets to win this one. Only 10 more days before we do the drawing. Have you put your name in the hat for a chance to win? 

This is where we are at today:

-We've raised: $1,225 $1,583 toward our goal of $3,200. 

WOW! Thank you, thank you to everyone who has gotten in on the raffle!

-13 18 friends and family have entered

-32  49 chances have been sold

-There are 68 51 chances left--be sure to get yours today!

*In order to enter: Click on the donate button on the left side of the blog. Put in your information. Make a donation of $32 per chance & wait for us to choose a winner on March 7th! :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

The World to Us

We have amazing people in our life. Really, really amazing people. We are so blessed to be surrounded by people that are encouraging us, praying for us and helping us bring home a little girl we don't even know yet.

Over the past week we've been getting super fun emails. They come from our pay pal account telling me a donation has been made. Which means, I get to write down names of friends and family--near & far--anxious to see who will get a Galaxy Tab 3 soon! :) It's an exciting journey, friends. Each and every one of you who have given us such great joy!

Last night I checked the mail and found a real card {who came up with junk mail anyway?} and a package filled with goods I did not order. :) It was a great mail day! What made it even more special was opening each of them to find ways that beautiful people around us are coming behind us to show their love and support to us. A generous donation was included in the card. I can't even tell you how much it means to us to see the outpouring of love from the people in our lives. The package was filled with donated goods for future fundraising opportunities.! What a joy it will be to share with our little girl how loved she is long before she gets to us.

Then, this morning, I check my email and see another donation email--that makes for a great email day too. ;) I recognized the name of a dear, sweet friend who I haven't seen in years! Her family and her friendship have touch our lives in so many ways though, we treasure them. Her own adoption stories have been an encouragement to us too. My eyes filled with tears as I saw their generosity toward us.

This--the generosity, love, support, prayers, emails of encouragement, sharing our fundraising with those around you--all of it, is a blessing. It's hard to put into words all that it means.

To all of you, our friends and family, YOU mean the world to us.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

$3,200 by our 32nd Birthdays!

This month we are launching our fundraising for Project:Home. Our adoption expenses will total around $35,000-40,000. It’s a large amount, crazy big.

Drew and I just planned out some really fun fundraising events that we will be putting together throughout the next few months & we are excited about sharing these with you. Far away friends, don’t worry, you won’t be left out (hint: Drew’s new CD & online contests!). We are looking forward to having you join us on this journey toward bringing home our little girl.

You are such a valuable part of the process, we are so thankful for you.

Who’s ready for some crazy fun?
Crazy fact #1: Drew and I are only three days apart and our birthdays are the first week of March.
Crazy fact #2: We are turning 32! I know, it’s crazy.
Crazy fact #3: We are about $3,000 short on the amount we need for our next big “chunk” we will owe for our adoption. It’s due the first week of March.

Our crazy idea: What if in celebration of our birthdays we set a goal to raise $3,200 by March 7th! Since we’re celebrating, it’d be sweet to have some gifts too—for you! For every donation of $32 we will put your name into a drawing for a Samsung Galaxy Tab3. What a celebration this will be!

How to get in on the drawing: If you look over to the right side bar, you will see a DONATE button. It's linked to a pay pal account so all your information will be kept safe and private. :)

You can also watch our video about it on YouTube & share our video clip about the giveaway on all forms of social media. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fun Facts about Uganda

On Sunday night we had the privilege of going to a show put on by Ugandan children. It was a wonderful evening for our family. The event is part of the Tour of Light by Children of Uganda. There we learned more about traditions and dances that are part of our daughter's country. Our kids loved the drums and dances. If they are coming to an area near you, be sure to check them out and support their ministry! These children, who all have lost at least one parent, train and learn these dances for a year & have to maintain high grades in school to be selected to come here. They travel the country and perform as a way to raise support to take home to fund the programs they are offering to help vulnerable and orphaned children in Uganda. 
Part of our preparing to bring home our daughter, is to learn about Uganda and it's culture. Sunday was a great learning experience for us. :) I'm going to share some things we learn along the way too. 
A few fun facts we've learned: 
1. Uganda is the same size as the state of Oregon
Uganda population 35,873,253
Oregon population 3,871,859

Apparently, we need to prepare for crowds! :) We are hoping that the size of the country makes it easier for us to travel and explore the area outside of Kampala easier. We are looking forward to learning and experiencing as much of Uganda as we can while we are there.

2. Uganda has the worlds best bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and avocados.
For reals! It's like it was made just for me! :) I'm pretty sure I will be eating pineapples, mangoes and avocados with EVERY meal! Yum. Yum. I can't wait. Real, tropical fruit, this is going to be amazing. :) Do you think customs would notice if I had bags full of fresh fruit to bring home with me?! We also learned the other night that they have banana wine. That might actually be sweet enough for me to try. Haha!  :)
3. Soccer is the most popular sport in Uganda.
Good thing our little girl will have Auntie Ash and Uncle Ry to help teach her about her national sport. 
4.  Kampala, Uganda’s capital, is a city where you can enjoy an excellent cappuccino or latte. 
Really, I think they are speaking all my food love languages. 
5. Some more about their food: We can find some of world’s best Chinese and Indian food, or try some traditional Ugandan luwombo.  We can also try a street vendor meal, like a Rolex--watch this video to see how they are made. Roasted Cassava & Suya (meat shish kabobs) are also popular street foods. 
6. Uganda’s climate is tropical and there are two dry seasons Dec – Feb and June – August.  The average temperature is 82 degrees F.
Another little piece of heaven. It's my ideal weather year round! :) Uganda is along the Equator, so it's climate is probably very similar to Ecuador's. Anyone else love spring? Year round? 
I'm really looking forward to our time there and learning even more about this small little piece of Africa. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

An update

It's time to give you an update! Since starting this process in November, we've been busy getting all sorts of things done, here are some bullet points:

-Applied for the Uganda adoption program through A Family In Bloom Adoptions, based in Boulder, CO.

-Worked on the home study. For those of you unfamiliar with an adoption process, the home study is a key part of the process. The agency/social worker comes to your home (at least 3 times) to get to you know, evaluate your home, talk with you as a couple and with your children. Along with the visits there is also an extensive amount of paperwork involved, most of it is legal documents that show you are a safe parent. It also included a multi-page autobiography, written by each of us, sharing key moments of our lives. This Thursday we had our final home visit & once a few more documents are submitted to our agency our home study will be completed.

-Drew has been writing songs that capture pieces of our hearts about social justice issues that we are passionate about. He spent Friday in the studio and was able to complete the recording of the percussion for the 5 songs. We will keep you updated on the process with his CD, so you can be sure to get a copy when it's released.
(The studio: LaunchPad Studios)

Next steps:

-Wait for the final parts of the Home Study to be completed.

-Work on our dossier. This is a huge amount of paperwork: legal documents, reference letters, pictures and information that we need to gather for the court in Uganda & it is also used for other parts of the adoption process. Some pieces are already starting to trickle in, so the piles of papers are growing. :) Another adoptive mom told me to get a BIG binder for the dossier, because it will be thick!

-Fundraising. In the next couple of weeks we will need to pay our first agency program fee which is $5,000--which we do not have. The "nest egg" we started the process with has already dwindled quite a bit and very quickly. Ordering all of our legal documents (most of them x3) comes with a fee, our adoption training (which was really helpful & informative) and our home study have all taken a big chunk out of our adoption fund. The numbers are impossible for us, but thankfully not for God. 

-Decisions to make. There are a lot. Some of them hinge on finances, others are just decisions Drew and I need to make together regarding the process--timing, our biological children and our soon to be daughter. There are a lot of factors that go into preparing a family and a home for an adopted child. Along with the international process comes another set of things to consider: travel arrangements, length of stay in country, immigration, medical requirements, and the list goes on.

How you can help: 

- Calling all prayer warriors! As you can see from the "next steps" section, there is a lot going on for us in the next couple months. We need a lot of people of praying for us.

Pray for:
1. Wisdom as we make life changing decisions for our family.
2. Smooth and efficient processing at all government offices that will be handling our paperwork.
3. A healthy balance in all areas for our family.
4. Wisdom & guidance for our agency and Ugandans that will be making the connections between us and our daughter.
5. Ethical & honest practices throughout the whole process.
6. For the financing to come in as needed. We are trusting God has this bill covered.

I saw this picture yesterday and I felt it fitting for this process.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


And it begins. This is where we will share with you all the ups and downs of bringing home our daughter. We do not know her, her history or her homeland, but we know she belongs with us.

A little girl is waiting for her forever family. We are on our way.

Thank you for being part of this journey with us.