One Step Closer!

We have had a week now to recover from our first adoption fundraiser – our two day yard sale! We were blessed with nearly perfect weather and even more amazing friends during those two days. SO many people helped us. You donated items for the sale, assisted us with moving everything from our training center to our neighbors’ awesome yard and then back again, helped “man” the sale, brought us food, gave incredibly generous donations, and provided invaluable moral support. My back couldn’t handle it all and I was struggling a couple of days prior to the sale. Those of you who hugged me when I thought I couldn’t last another moment – and you know who you are – gave me the strength I needed to get through those final couple of hours of that second day. Dave and I got about four hours of sleep each night prior to each of the 2 days of the sale and I can see it in our faces in the below image. I can also tell it was pretty hard to for me to even stand up at that point! But what I see most in this photo is love. So very much love. Our amazing friend, Jordan Winters (on the left), came early and stayed late to help BOTH days. Our friend, Sherah, brought items to donate and then did some shopping herself! And then there is our son right there in the middle of all that love. He has no idea how much love there already is for him here. It is the love of not just Dave and myself but of many. And we cannot WAIT for him to get here so that he can bask in all of that love.

Yard Sale shot

What you you can’t see in this picture is all of the generosity of the many, many others that helped us. And, yes, I am going to name as any names as I can remember! I am not sure of everyone that dropped off items for us to sell but we are so very grateful to all of you for your donations! The other adoptive families who allowed us to come take what they had left after their respective yard sales – the Whites and the Dukes – thank you for paying it forward! Those who loaned us your time, talents, vehicles, and muscles – Shane, Brian, Lair, Allison, Tommy, Lela, Trisha, Eli, Lori, Tami, Cliff, Jordan, Dickie & Ava – you guys went above and beyond. There is no possible way we could have done everything without you!! We are more grateful than you may ever truly know.

The money we made last weekend will help go toward paying our first big payment due to our adoption agency. Which will, in turn, help get our dossier to China! Which brings us one step closer to Gabriel! It is starting to feel a little bit more real now. We also achieved another big milestone this week in that regard – we were approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to adopt Gabriel. That was the final document we were awaiting before we could send all of our dossier documents to the Chinese Embassy in DC to be authenticated. After those come back to us, we send it all along to our adoption agency in Oregon and they send it along to China. Yay! We are allowed to send our introduction letter to Gabriel at that time as well as a photo book introducing him to us and his future life here. So, naturally, we will include pictures of all the animals. Hopefully he likes dogs! We picked out a photo book we hope he will like…

BB photo book

It’s soft and floppy on the outside – hopefully fun for little hands! And we will send some stickers and a small stuffed animal – probably a dog – to him, also. We hope to get an update on him within the next month as well. We haven’t been able to ask anything yet but can when we send our dossier so that is exciting!

We have been attending our required parenting classes this past month. We have our final class tomorrow night. So now we know all there is to know about being parents. HA! Kidding aside, the classes have been incredibly beneficial and we are truly thankful for all that has been and will continue to be required of us in this process. Every single bit of it serves to help us and to help our son and we are grateful for it.

Some of you fine folks have inquired about ways you can help us. We do plan to have another fundraiser event in late February – we’ll keep you posted on the date – at our training center. We are going to have a big ol’ party in that 3000 square foot space on a Saturday night! We plan to have music, food, dancing, a silent auction, and just general fun! So if you would like to lend a hand with that, we’d love to have your help! We are also starting a new fundraiser as of tomorrow. We are calling it the “Baby Bottle Boomerang” and were given this idea by another adoptive family. If you would like to participate, we will bring you (or you can pick one up at See Spot Eat/Dogs and Kat) an empty baby bottle. During the next few weeks and months, just drop any loose change you may have into that baby bottle and when it is full, we will come get it or you can drop it back off to us. And we can give you a new one to fill at that point if you’d like! As the saying goes – every little bit helps! So if you would like to participate in the “BBB” (I know, not super creative), just let us know. And, lastly, for those that just want a simple way to help, we have added a “Donate” tab to this site. We are signed up with a site called AdoptTogether and you can make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation via our page on their site. So feel free to visit our page there!

Many of you have also asked “When???”. While we aren’t absolutely certain as there are many variables involved, we hope to travel to China in the spring. We hope it will be earlier in the spring but one never knows with this process. So hopefully in less than six months our son will finally be in our arms and no longer just in our hearts. Dave and I often make gratitude lists as we go to bed at night or when we first awake in the mornings. Since we first decided to marry, near the top of our list has always been “Our children we cannot wait to meet.” And it is still there on that list every day. It is hard to imagine that the day will soon be here when we will finally get to meet one of them. We simply have to hold on tightly to our hearts just a little while longer.

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