Wednesday, July 25, 2012

and finally.

All of the words I see around this blog are in Bulgarian.  When I requested it to translate, the translations are humorous.  Instead of "publish" it says "publication" and instead of "close" it says "closing".

This has been, without a doubt, the most surreal experience I have ever personally been a part of.  I know from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes that this little one is meant to be ours. He is amazing.

Unfortunately, I have been cautioned to post photographs in this public space.  I must follow the rules.  As much as I want to share photographs in this space, I cannot.  Our facilitator has asked that we refrain.  When we return home, I will sort through photographs to determine if there are any I can share.

In the absence of photographs, it is important to communicate how joyful this trip has been.  We have met a little child who is delayed and has issues, to be sure.  But we see enormous potential here.

It is also very, very important for me to say to anyone who reads this blog two things.  First, your child's country of origin is beautiful.  I guarantee it.  Sometimes, I fear adoptive parents "demonize" their child's country of origin (not all parents, of course, but some).  It is an easy mistake to make.  The child is not valued in their country of origin and often the bureaucracy of that country makes adoption frustrating and difficult.  Thus, it is easy to think of that child's country as just one big obstacle.

Bulgaria is a beautiful place with amazing food, wonderful people and interesting sights.  It is not a perfect country. There is prejudice, poverty, inequality.  There are thoughts about children with special needs that do not coincide with what we think in America.  Again, not perfect.  However, Bulgaria is beautiful and I am proud to be given the chance to adopt one of its citizens.  I only hope I can impart that to my son when he grows.

Second, your child has developed routines where he or she lives, and your visits are likely hard on him or her.  I have seen this with my own future son.  He does not know us. He is pleasant (though sometimes he is not!) and we can tell this time with him has been hard on him. We give him attention and presents and hugs and many things that he does not normally receive.  He has an amazing Baba and she is very kind to him.  Still, the focused attention that we provide him is not his typical routine.  Joshua is clearly routine oriented.  He starts to tug on his Baba's hand when lunch time is near.  He knows where he usually goes.  This is alternatively heartening and saddening.  It makes us happy because we see he has routine and some structure; something he didn't have prior to his new Baba.  But it makes us sad because we know he will leave this routine and he won't understand.  The transition will be hard for him.  Of course we don't want this and we will pray that it goes as smoothly as possible.

It is difficult for me to decipher all of the buttons here :) but suffice to say, we are safe, happy, and very watchful of The Bad Place.  The Bad Place has made improvements, which is positive.  But all is not well.  I will describe more in future entries.  For now, thank you for your prayers and thoughts for us during this trip.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The headings!

I am writing this entry - and the headings are in BULGARIAN :)

We are here!

Our trip has gone fairly well. It was long, of course, but the food we received on board our aircraft was delicious and reasonably plentiful.  We did get just a bit of rest as we flew.  And, to my grateful surprise, our bags were the FIRST to be off loaded in Sofia, so my constant worry about our bags was delightfully unfounded.  We found our facilitator very quickly and she seems very nice.  We immediately went to our hotel in Sofia and were asleep in just a short time.  We were exhausted.  As I write this, it is 4:30 in the morning (Bulgaria time) but we have had a long rest.

Our facilitator has filled our ears with happy stories of our little boy.  I hope she is not exaggerating when she says how adorable he is.  We, of course, already feel that way!

The excitement is enormous.  We are here.  Jon is making coffee in the coffee maker in our room.  We will meet him later today!

The European plugs have done a number on Jon's cell phone, even with adapters.  We will have to find new solutions when we come again.

Our eyes are wide open and starry as we try to take in this culture and city.  I cannot wait to see the drive later today, but we definitely can't wait to see the little boy we are going to finally meet....our future son.

Please keep us in prayer.  We will travel there in just a few hours (our time) and that is when we confront the Bad Place and our beautiful future son.  Please pray that his heart is ready to meet us and that the conditions we view are improving.

Friday, July 20, 2012


There is so much for us to do in preparation of our departure to Bulgaria and The Bad Place.  A thousand details to sort out, packing to finish, arrangements to make for our daughter, and a zillion tiny things to think about.  It is a hectic time, where I have not had much of a chance to really focus or spiritually recharge. 

I'm grateful to our pastor's wife, who took a few moments to mail us a wonderful card complete with small bible verses to keep our focus as we travel.  Verses about being flexible, trusting God, and seeking strength from Him.  We will have these with us as we begin our flight and throughout our week.

There are renewed concerns about our future son's vision (eye) problems.  We have to do all we can to ascertain his visual acuity while we are there.  We are desperately seeking a connection to the doctor in Bulgaria that has treated many children in The Bad Place to see if there is a way for us to have our future son further evaluated.  It likely does not impact our choice, but we need to know if we can determine, among other things, if he has a tumor in his head.  His increased head size was attributed to an external hydrocephaly, but it is also possible that he has a tumor somewhere.  It is possible that his visual acuity is extremely poor.  He could, perhaps, be considered legally blind - if not now, in his future. 

It is not a time to simply enjoy the boy who will someday be our son; though I wish it was, it is also a time of evaluating and learning and paying very close attention.

It is also a time of intense spiritual needs.

This is not a "typical" orphanage.  This place has improved, but has far to go.  There are children I may never see who haunt the top floors, who are emaciated and starved.  Even if I do not see them, my spirit knows they are there.  Even our little one is over two and a half years of age and is weighing 21 pounds.  For some of the children in this place, that is "fat", but for a typical child, that is far below what he ought to be. 

I do not know how we will manage the things we will see there.  I just do not know.  I don't know how we will meet this child, and then leave him.  I do not know how we will see the sea of faces we may see or the horrid need and not be impacted.  We have agreed to carry some formula with us which will be brought to some of the children affiliated with my agency who might need it.  I'm generally removed now from many of the families who have traveled to this orphanage because many of them use a different facilitator and different agencies. 

Fundamentally, we need prayer as we travel to our son's amazing birth country...and even more prayer as we go into the gates of this place. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.  We continue to be grateful for everyone who has reached out to us, who cares about us and our future son, and who will walk with us in spirit as we finally, finally, meet this precious child.


The winners of the giveaway were posted over a week ago.  We believe we have identified every winner and reached out.  Some of the items were shipped only in the last day or so, so if you have not received your item, it may have been in the last batch of items shipped.  However, if you are an identified winner and you do not receive your promised item by this time next week, please leave us a comment and we will work to locate your item and get your prize to you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


(Jon writing)

I just looked in and realized it has been almost a week since we've written.  We've been so busy getting everything ready for our trip on Saturday, it's been a huge whirlwind around the house.  Cleaning, getting things for Chelsea ready for her time with Grandma and Pop Pop, getting our own ducks in a row for our trip. 

On one hand - I'm so excited I can't see straight.  On the other hand, I'm nervous.  Not nervous to meet him really, or to travel (I've traveled internationally before).  Nervous to see the conditions of his orphanage.  Afraid to stare the truth in the face - that he is staying in a bad, bad place.  It's one thing to know it, read about it, see pictures of it.  It's quite another to have the sights, sounds, and smells staring you right in the face.

I'm really interested to actually see Bulgaria, to take in my future son's native culture.  To learn about the people, the cities I will be in.  These are things I'm going to have to tell him about when he's older, since it's doubtful he'll have too many memories of them when he's older...especially since it's not like he actually gets to see much other than the white walls of the orphanage 24/7.  At least until we can take him on a trip back to Bulgaria when he's older - that's one of those future memories I think I'm looking forward to.  Being able to share his native culture with him first hand, giving him the chance to experience it.

Hopefully the internet will be cooperative when we're there, so we can share pictures stories, and recaps of our experiences as they happen.  Not only for the benefit of the readers of this blog, but for our own memories and so we can share them with him some day.

In 48 hours I'll be on a shuttle van to JFK airport.  And until then, the whirlwind will continue.  Jenn's got a school paper to finish writing, we still have a little more house cleaning to do, and oh by the way we have to pack a week's worth of clothes, along with some toys and a couple of other misc. adoption related things.

Pray for our sanity! :)

Friday, July 13, 2012


I realized I neglected to announce - happily, of course - that we received our actual, written, stamped-with-the-country-stamps referral for our future son! 

The photo of him was an older photo and made me heartbroken and sad.  It shows a little boy, not yet walking, horribly small, with those cute cheeks, puffy and round.  Though they make look cute, they are, in fact, NOT cute.  They are a sign of malnutrition.  A slim little body with puffy cheeks. 

We read details of his biological mother.  There is no known information about his father, sadly.  I have an actual birthdate for his mother and some very basic information.  I've been told I'll receive more when the adoption is finalized.  I found that she is actually older than me, with mental impairments and a spotted history.  I was initially interested, then almost immediately sad and concerned.  I will be responsible for telling our future son about this information.  I have to find ways to fully embrace it and report to him without ever making him feel that he was to blame for anything.  I also do not want to paint her negatively - ever.  I have a background that helps with this, especially as it relates to mental illness.  Mental illness is not shameful.  It is an illness just like many other things.  It doesn't degrade who the person is or what they are like.  His mother lives in a place where medical care is not comprehensive and where medications are not readily available. 

Some may wonder, "How is this possible?  How can she have a referral for a pre-identified child?"  I've gotten more than a few "super brave" (um...YEAH.  Right.)  folks who want to tell me all about Russia and Ukraine and how illegal it is to have a photo or adopt a "pre-identified" child.  They want to warn me, or laugh at me, or convict me because I, too, am adopting a pre-identified child.

Although I know it has to be patently "out there", yeah.  We are adopting from BULGARIA.  Not Russia.  Not Ukraine.  Not anywhere else. 

I can't speak to the legality of pre-identified Russian or Ukrainian children.  It's not my place and it doesn't impact me personally.  Like I said, if it's not clear...we're adopting from BULGARIA.  The blog you're visiting is called Our Son In...say it with me! BULGARIA.  Not 'Our Son In Russia'.  Not 'Our Son in Ukraine'.  I know it can be challenging for some, but really try hard.  Bulgaria.  BULGARIA.

Bulgaria, if you haven't deduced it already, doesn't work quite like Russia or Ukraine.  This is why I have a referral, stamped by government officials, that says, in translated words, that "the adoption of the child [name given] may proceed."  We are going to Bulgaria to accept the referral of a pre-identified child, already referred to us, published openly on the Ministry of Justice's website.  This is legal and part of the process of adoption in Bulgaria.  It is the method of waiting children in Bulgaria.  We will meet our future son and accept his referral - the referral we legally and already have - in 8 days. 

I don't know about Russia, or Ukraine, or anywhere else.  I'm not qualified to offer an opinion of legality or ethics on the practice of adoption of pre-identified children, photolistings, and so on.  For our purposes, from the country we are adoption from, the practices alleged to be illegal in these other countries do not apply to Bulgaria.  Therefore, threats of "just wait and see what letters get sent to Bulgaria!" or "You're doing some criminal" or "You can't legally adopt this child because it's illegal in Bulgaria" or anything else are...well...just not correct.  We have shared the photographs that we are legally permitted to share.  We have refrained from identifying his exact location and have not divulged his birthday.  Nowhere in this blog does it mention our adoption agency, or the facilitator we are using.  This is how we were told to behave, and we have been proper in our actions.

I also want to be clear in stating that this child is NOT our son yet.  I refer to him as our "future son" because we have every intention of completing his adoption.  However, he is a Bulgarian citizen without parents, who currently resides in a terrible orphanage.  His mother terminated her rights to him a few years ago.  He is a child who has been presented to Bulgarian families for adoption and was not chosen, likely because of his special needs.  This is why I do not and will not plaster this blog with his photos or videos.  Even when we accept his referral, we will be in process to adopt this child, but he will not be our son.  Though pre-identified and certainly a boy that we care about and expect to be our child, that has not happened yet.  We respect and understand the delineation.  It is not a distinction without a difference. 

Regardless, we are traveling, in just EIGHT DAYS, to meet the little boy whose referral sits on my countertop.  In eight days, I will meet the little boy who will be our son.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The winners!!

It took us a bit longer than we expected to draw the winners, but we have done it!  Were you one of the lucky ones??  No matter what, we all share in the blessing!

Please leave a comment here if you are a winner.  (Comments are MODERATED, so you will not 'see' your comment when it posts but I am reading it!)  I will leave this blog post up for at least 3 days so winners can contact me.  I will arrange for shipment (please know that some items are being shipped from people other than myself, so there may be some delays). 

If you don't contact me in three days, we'll re-draw names of the winners and post those results.  All results were tabulated using RANDOM.ORG.

Prize #1 - Jeweled Hair Clips:

The winning number belongs to:  Allison Younger!

Prize #2 - $120 Starbucks Gift Card:

The winning number belongs to:  Little Chloella!

Prize #3 - 3 Piece Lemon Sugar Avon Set

The winning number belongs to:  Charisso13!

Prize #4 - $25 VISA Gift Card

The winning number belongs to:  Christina Schye!

Prize #5 - $25 VISA gift card

The winning number belongs to:  Sue H!

Prize #6 - Handmade Toddler Skirt

The winning number belongs to:  Christine Nichols!

Prize #7 - Handmade Baby Slippers
The winning number belongs to:  Kim (from Mulligan Stew)

Prize # 8 - $15 ITunes Gift Card

The winning number belongs to:  Mandy (from blogger - you have been messaged!)

Prize #9 - $50 Amazon Gift Card

The winning number belongs to:  Alice Kosanovich!

Then we have two "grand prizes" that require the winner to make a choice.

Grand prize number one is a choice between a Soda Stream Genesis and a Keurig B40 Platinum.  I am only going to put the photo of the prize *I* like the best! :)  But the winner is free to choose the one they like, either the Keurig or...

The winning number belongs to:  Amy Boroughs!!  (Amy! Choose the Soda Stream!  COME ON!! *wink*)

The second grand prize is another choice; this one between an Ipod Touch or a Nintendo 3DS.

The winning number belongs to:  Stacey Kellies, who may choose EITHER of these great prizes!!!! (I'm voting for the Ipod Touch, Stacey!)

Congratulations to everyone who was randomly lucky!  Remember, please leave me a note with a way to contact you to discuss shipping and so forth.  If we aren't able to "match up" winners with their prizes, we will re-draw the remaining gifts and post them in a separate entry.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Look! We did it!

I know not everything on this blog is updated (yet) but suffice to say, we are pleased and excited to announce that we reached every goal set for us.  In the process, we were able to help another family (and working on helping another!)  That is how we pay our blessing forward and spread the provision that has been offered to our family. 

We will be able to rest knowing that our adoption, through matching grants and funds, will be covered.  This does not mean that our family will not spend more money.  It does, however, mean that the calculated funds we've determined are necessary for this adoption have been provided.

Later today, we will END our giveaway and draw names through  Please stay tuned as we give out the prizes we've accumulated!  That is always an exciting part! 

Thank you for your shares and prayers and thoughts.  We couldn't be more grateful to our friends, who guided us, and all who donated and shared.  Two weeks from now we board a plane to meet a child whose condition continues to worsen and who needs to immediately be redeemed.  One area of deep concern is his eyesight.  Based on the videos and information we have, there are real concerns that his visual impairment is greater than we originally estimated.  His eyes were supposed to be patched for a long time, but they have never been, and our international pediatrician is concerned that he may be partially blind - or worse.  Also, he was reported to be "walking", however the video we have of him doesn't show him actually walking independently.  His physical condition appears somewhat improved in terms of nutrition, but it is not where it needs to be quite yet.  Though he is not one of the emaciated and neglected on the top floor of this horrendous orphanage, we can no longer accurately classify him as a "mild special needs" child.  His needs fall into a higher category and may not be correctable in some cases. 

This is why it is so important for us to work quickly, and the funds we've raised will help us to do that.  There is a surgeon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that has some success with severe nystagmus and that may be a route we must follow.  It may be too late to rescue some of the eyesight he's likely lost, but there may be time to save some of it. 

In two weeks, we will meet the child we expect to call our son, and we cannot thank everyone enough for...well...EVERYTHING.

Please stay tuned for THE WINNERS!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

it's a race!

The Great Thirty Day Giveaway has entered a race, of sorts.

First, the additional funds we've been praying for will be MATCHED by our anonymous donor!  This is an answer to prayer and this means that our goal is $1772, for a total of $6330 in our Reece's Rainbow account.  This will mean we are FULLY FUNDED.

How is this a race?

The donor who is helping us has offered us a bit of a challenge.  Our family can raise the money in next few weeks, as we agreed.

But if we raise the funds by JULY 13th - $200 will go to ANOTHER FAMILY.  No match - just some additional funds!

That's not a race though.

What makes it a race is...FOR EVERY DAY BEFORE JULY 13th that we reach our goal, this family will get $50 additional dollars.

That means, if I reach my goal by July 12th, it will be $250.
July 11th, $300.
July 10th, $350.

And so on.

It's a race to the finish; to finish our giveaway sooner and to help another family.

You can help two families by entering.  You can double your impact with matching funds.

There are great prizes to be offered.

Can we reach our goal by July 13th to help two families?  Help us!  Share, and pray and donate if you can! 

We leave in SIXTEEN DAYS to meet our future son!

Donate here:

Read about the giveaway here:  To enter, please comment on THAT entry so your donation can be properly counted.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One last prize...

We are getting closer to our matching grant challenge.

As I write this, we are $1441 away from our matching grant challenge. If we meet that goal, we will get $2500 more in our Reece's Rainbow account. We are also praying for $800 additional (not matched) for our current expenses for our first trip. We have every reason to believe that this, coupled with our own funds, will FUND US ENTIRELY for the adoption of our future son from The Bad Place.

Our giveaway continues to grow and we have a new prize to add on this Independence Day! But first, we want to recap everything up for grabs, if you haven't seen how enormous this giveaway has gotten!
We have a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

An ITUNES gift card, worth $15.

Beautiful handmade baby slippers, created by a Pastor's wife who has a heart for adoption!

A toddler skirt, handmade by a VERY crafty friend of mine!!

Not one, but TWO different $25 VISA gift cards!

 A personal favorite...a 3 piece set of Mark (by Avon) body mist, cleanser, and body butter in delicious Lemon Sugar!

A Starbucks Gift Card, worth $120!!!


Pretty pretty!  Faux jeweled hair clips -a set of two in shiny silvertone.  Love these!  They are in a gift box so you can give them as a gift or wear them yourself.  Super bling for your hair!

We have so many lovely things.  There are also two super prizes where the winner can CHOOSE their gift!

For Grand Prize Number One, the winner may choose between a Keurig or a Soda Stream!

Choose the Keurig B40 Elite for coffee, or...

The Soda Stream Genesis!  The winning name will be contacted for this prize, and you choose which you'd prefer (oh pick the Soda Stream!!  I'm so psyched about this prize!)

The grand prize for our giveaway also gets a choice.

An IPOD TOUCH, or...

A Nintendo 3 DS!

The winner of the grand prize will also be contacted to choose their gift.

It's grown, and it continues to grow, because of your prayers, shares, and donations.

This giveaway is slated to go 30 days.  But if we get to our goal sooner - WE WILL DRAW THE WINNERS OF THE GIVEAWAY SOONER.

To enter, you can share this giveaway with others and leave a comment.  (PLEASE NOTE:  COMMENTS ARE MODERATED.  YOU MAY NOT SEE YOUR COMMENT POSTED, BUT PLEASE KNOW WE ARE READING AND TALLYING!)

If you'd like, you can donate:

$10.00 - 2 entries
$20.00 - 5 entries
$35.00 - 9 entries
$50.00 - 13 entries
$75.00 - 19 entries
$100.00 - 25 entries
$150.00 - 36 entries
$200.00 - 47 entries
$250.00 - 58 entries
$500.00 - 110 entries

Leave your comment with the amount you've donated, and you'll be entered.  You can leave it HERE .

Entries should be given to our family profile, which is located here:

Share and donate!  Send thoughts and prayers!  We are slowly climbing the mountain and overcoming the fear.  We have already cleared the hurdle of our Brittany's Hope grant with your help.  Now, you can DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT by helping us reach this critical matching grant and get us fully funded. 

Thank you all for caring, sharing, donating, and praying.  Thank you for caring about us and our future son.  Thank you for making this possible for us.  We leave in (almost!!) SIXTEEN DAYS to meet him!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

it's gone. Thank you.

If you no longer see the 'chip in' widget, your eyes have not deceived you.  It has been suspended.  You may see that it says we have REACHED our goal for our Brittany's Hope grant. 

Did you see it?  Did you? 

It's amazing!  On the week of a holiday, we have reached our goal and have turned $1,000 into $2,000.  Because of how this grant works, you will not see the result in our Reece's Rainbow account.  Rather, our adoption agency will send a bill to Brittany's Hope and the funds will be released.  The part of the remaining agency fees and such will be covered with that money - money that YOU helped raise.

How to thank everyone for their blessings so far?

I don't really have an answer...except to say THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts.

There is still one more opportunity for matching funds.  We are $2,005 away from that matching grant, and $2805 away from being FULLY and COMPLETELY funded.

I want to explain that the second matching grant is coming from a friend of an extended family member.  It was this grant that I was afraid to accept, in part because the guidelines were more stringent.  $2500 in 30 days; all or nothing.  I also know that because I would have (sort of) direct contact with this person, it would be more embarrassing if I could not do it.  Not like sending an email to Brittany's Hope, or some other place to ask for an extension.  It would be like approaching your aunt or uncle to say you had failed. 

With the encouragement of others, we agreed to jump off that high ledge and try for it all.  The Brittany's Hope grant AND this matching anonymous donor through a family member. 

It's the day before Independence Day; we leave in eighteen days to meet our future son and begin the process (in his home country) to redeem gain his independence.  I wish we had grand plans and fun things to do.  We don't.  Not this year.  A simple celebration with a cookout at home, watching fireworks over the roof of our house, wondering what it will be like when we have two children.

No matter what else, we need to match that grant!  Please help us do that!  $2,005 is a lot of money, I know.  We have a widget that Jon put in our blog - a thermometer that helps you see how we're doing.  It doesn't update automatically, but Jon promises to update it at least once per day! 

Meanwhile, please pray for us.  Please pray for our future son.  Please pray for our upcoming trip.  Share, donate, and share some more. 

Most of all, thank you so much for helping us reach one goal!  For all the details of the giveaway, and to leave a comment to enter, click  here .

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another addition and update

As I write today's entry, we are $100 away from our matching Brittany's Hope grant!  We are also over 10% of the way toward our matching $2500 grant in Reece's Rainbow and under $3,000 away from being fully funded there.  Is that amazing, or what?

Soon, I will do an entry to put together all of the prizes that we have in this ever-growing giveaway.  Please know that, whenever you enter, you will be entered to receive all of the things we've accumulated!

Today's addition is close to my heart, as it is a personal favorite of mine:

This is my very favorite set of Mark (by Avon) body care products in LEMON SUGAR.  They smell SUPER amazing and sit in my medicine cabinet - I love them!

What I don't love about them is that they are fairly expensive (all things considered).  Most people do not want to spend $12 for a body mist or $10 for a body better - even if it IS great stuff. 

However, I always encourage everyone I know to SPLURGE on this if you are in the mood to do so. 

In this case, you can offer a donation and be entered to WIN this set.  It includes the three-in-one cleanser (which I have never tried), the Get Misty body spray (which I love) and the Whipped Up Body Butter, which I love even MORE.  Not only do they work terrific, but they are in one of my favorite scents!  The 3-piece set is $30; if you went to my website right now, that's what it would cost:

And if you think I get super discounts on this - I don't!  And it never seems to go on sale!  I was able to get the body butter at one point, then paid for the body mist.  It's the smell of the products that makes me thrilled; light and fresh and summery. 

Still, this three piece set goes into the kitty, along with everything else we've accumulated so far, in our effort to get our matching grants and finish this adoption!

We travel in NINETEEN DAYS!

You can share this giveaway with someone to be entered without doing anything.  You can also donate an item and that will give you an entry. 

Finally, I'm more than willing to end the giveaway early if we discover we have met our goals!  So please share...and maybe we can award these prizes early.

Please read back to previous entries for everything that's been included in this Great Thirty Day Giveaway...and if you're interested in entering, please leave a comment HERE .

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts and donations and shares.  Thank you for caring about our future son and our family!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Still more prizes!

Good Sunday to you all!  As I write this, we are OVER two-thirds of the way toward reaching our goal for the $1,000 matching Brittany's Hope grant.  Can you believe the providence of God?  We are also just over 10% of the way toward our anonymous matching grant of $2500 through our Reece's Rainbow account and just under 10% of the way toward our goal of being completely and fully funded for our adoption. 

Through the grace and provision of others, I am happy to announce TWO MORE prizes to The Great Thirty Day Giveaway, which means it keeps growing!  Did you know you can get a free entry just by donating something? 

Here are today's newest prizes, lovingly donated:

Yes, ANOTHER $25 Visa Gift Card!  This brings the total to TWO Visa gift cards up for grabs.


A Starbucks gift card worth $120!!!  Can you imagine how much coffee, sandwiches, and delicious desserts you could buy with that?

Naturally, you would not want to bother with the Starbucks card if you win one of the most terrific prizes...

I'm a huge fan of our Keurig.  We received ours as a gift - and you will too if you win.  Then it's all the coffee, hot chocolate and tea you can drink.  It's a fun little device (it also entertains children too - Chelsea thinks it's amazing fun to watch it brew)

Of course, my personal favorite prize in all of the giveaway is this:

A SodaStream Genesis!

It's okay; you can make fun of me for thinking this prize is super fun...but I DO!  I hope the winner chooses it so I can hear all about it!

It's hard to keep track of how much this giveaway has grown!  Aside from the mentioned prizes, there are beautiful baby booties (hand made!), a toddler skirt (made by a friend of mine who can sew.  Trust me, you would not want a skirt made my me), a $50 AMAZON gift card, an ITunes Gift Card, and much more.  The grand prize of a choice between a Nintendo 3DS or an Ipod Touch is a nice option for kids and adults alike.  You can go through the previous entries and see all of the original prizes and all of the prizes added. 

Tomorrow there should be at least one more great addition.  But you can't win it if you're not in it. 

Let's have fun!  Help us be fully funded and get some great prizes in the process.  That's what makes giveaways fun.  Maybe you were going to donate anyway, but why not donate for a chance to get something pretty terrific?

Thanks for sharing and donating and praying.  We leave in TWENTY DAYS!