Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shopping with a Purpose

How many people have we all heard say, "I would adopt if it wasn't so expensive."

Yes, adoption is very expensive. But so is childbirth, and daycare, and drs. bills. And just like with my biological children, it is worth every penny. We would do anything for our kids. It's just that with an adoptive mommy and daddy, we would do anything for our kids before we ever see their face.

God may call some to labor to bring these children home, but He calls us all to care for them and support the orphan. With that said, there is a blog I have just found out about that IS the exemplification of giving it all and walking in faith. This family's story is amazing. If you have time, spend about 30 minutes and read about their "Wild Adventure" in adoption. It was a blessing just to read.

This mom has opened her blog as a jumping platform to many other adoption 'stores'. To encourage us all to "shop with a purpose" for all those in our life this Christmas that we want to remember, but also would like to make a small difference in the process.

Go HERE to "A Place Called Simplicity" to view not only my store but many other family's blogs where Christmas items can be purchased. Most unique and handmade. Each one making another step closer to bringing home their children, all around the world. Adoption is an expensive process - but you can help ease some of the burden this Christmas season. And spread a little joy a little early. And I'm pretty sure that is what Christmas is all about. Adoption. Sacrifice. Faith. Joy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Give me a Two!!!

Two Months DTE!!!!!!!

ha! I bet my mom just freaked out - two months mom, not two babies...

However, in prayer time tonight at church, someone mentioned that God always gives more abundantly than what we ask for. I quickly reminded them that, no - we really only want one baby, thank-you-very-much..

So without further ado--- we are now ----- number-----seventeen!!!

Courts finally reopened and we sat, and sat, and sat - with no movement. Then last Friday the floodgates opened and referrals started rolling out! So here we are! In addition, 11 of those 16 families ahead of us have now gotten their 'on deck' email which means they should keep their phones close as their call could come anytime from now to 3 months from now! Wow.

So in honor of our 2 month DTE-versary -- the three little monkeys actually agreed on our flavor of the month --

Phish Food.

Reviews: Braeden and Addi had chocolate ice cream all over their entire mouth/lip area. Picture a circle from your chin up to your nose. That's them. So I think they liked it. But... they are notoriously messy eaters with food in a circle from their chin up to their nose quite regularly - so you can't use that as a ruler.

Seth - "it's nasty". He, obviously, is not my child. Chocolate + caramel can NEVER = nasty.

Mommy = one very happy phisherman. Chocolate and caramel make the world go round.

SO -- here's our latest question we are getting quite frequently - "so how old is she and when do you get her?"

We don't know --- she may not even be born yet. My understanding is that there are many babies in the out-laying orphanages, left by surviving parents or family members who could not care for them. Our agency runs a 'transition home' which can only house and care for 100 children. As children/babies are taken home, new children/babies are brought in from the outlaying orphanages to the empty beds. How they choose those children is beyond me. I just cannot imagine. They are then tested medically and a file or dossier is designed for each child. Once our name is #1 for a baby girl, we would then get a referral call for the next baby who's dossier is ready that fits our requested criteria - under the age of 12 months and with only minor, correctable health problems. So she could be anywhere from several weeks old to 11 months old. We just don't know.

As to when we would get her - right now our agency is still officially saying 7-11 months from DTE date to referral date. Although the last several referrals have been around 5-6 months from DTE. So we could be getting close to half-way there, or we could have 5-9 months more of ice cream trials ahead of us until we see her. Which is NOT a good thing...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lil' Olivia's - Round Two

Lil' Olivia's Store is back on!! (after a re-stocking):

As we are still raising money for our baby girl in Ethiopia - we are opening Lil' Olivia's store once more! We are now #15 in line for an infant girl and are still needing to move that thermometer on the side on up to have her referral fee ready when our name hits #1 and we first see her precious face. For those of you new to our blog - we are now over 1 year in the process and can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Ethiopia also requires 2 trips so additional funds are needed for travel. BUT - God has provided thus far and He is faithful!!

To order: Leave me a comment under this post with your requests (I get all comments as emails before posting). Then use the PayPal button to the right to pay OR you can send a check made out to "Wages Adoption" to avoid the small fee that PayPal takes - I can send you my address at time of order. ALL proceeds go straight into our adoption account and will be used to move that thermometer on the side on up! 2 months down and hopefully only 4-5 left to go before we will be needing our referral fee to accept her picture and bio as our daughter!

Banana Leaf Santa Ornament - $4
"Hand-crafted in Kenya, this unique banana leaf ornament takes hours to create by cutting banana leaves and pasting them together to form this intricate shape. Some of the leaves are painted or dyed to give santa his red coat and hat. 5" tall." Let me tell you, this little joker is a cutie-pie!

Hand-made magazine bead necklaces, made in Kenya. - $10 each.

These come in varying lengths, short, medium, and long. Some having clasps so that they can be looped or doubled. I have two of my own and I love, love, love mine. I wear them with everything. Even sometimes looped around my wrist as a bracelet. Each one is different. Great for Christmas presents!! Click picture for closer view of uniqueness.

Assortment of All-Natural made soaps - $4.50 each

I branched out with the soaps as they are harder to find and I was hoping would be a specialty item. These are the companies top sellers. They are made with natural ingredients and most boast healing qualities such as :

For Christmas Gift!!!
  • Peppermint & Aloe - With Shea butter, Baking Soda, & crushed almonds.

  • Dudu-Osun Black Soap - age long made the traditional way with all natural ingredients
  • Lemongrass & Tea Tree - Uplifting, brightening, and anti-inflammatory. Smells great!
  • Mango Butter Soap - Rejuvenating, Firming, and Moisturizing
  • Honey & Black Seed Soap w. Apricot Oil - Anti-Blemish, soothing, and healing
  • Shea Butter w/ Lavendar & Wildflowers - Hydrating, Healing, & Calming
Coconut Oil - 4 oz. $10
1 lb jar - $ 24.00

Pure 100% Virgin coconut oil. Helps regulate metabolism to encourage weight loss when used as a healthy alternative to cooking oils. Used to age-proof your skin. For flawless skin and health.
  • Coconut & Papaya w/ Vanilla - Anti-aging, Brightening, and Firming
  • Black Soap w/ Shea Butter & Aloe
  • Raw Shea Butter - Nourishing, Soothing, and Moisturizing
  • Goat's Milk & Chai - w/ Rose Extracts. Softening & Hydrating.
  • Raw Shea Butter w/ Soy milk, frankincense & Myrrh - Protects from severe dryness, psoriasis, aging, and harsh environmental conditions.
  • Black Soap w/ Oats, Aloe, & Vitamin E - acne fighting, detoxifying, & healing

Large Woven bangles - $5

Made in Mali. Unfortunately, the smaller bracelets I was selling as a set with these are still on back-order. I will post more as soon as I can get them. These are made with a water reed and wrapped in nylon threads. So they are very waterproof and very sturdy.

Stuffed zebras & giraffes - $6 each

Made in Kenya. Really guys, these are so cute when you see them in person. All hand-made.

I can also order African butters and oils such as shea butter, mango butter, Jojoba oil, cocoa butters, aloe butter.
Message me with a comment and I can give you more information if you have a special request.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Numbers speak for themselves

Sometimes numbers are just too huge to comprehend. And so easy to read quickly and not really digest. But here's a few that speak for themselves --- digest away (statistics from Richard Stearnes - "The Hole in Our Gospel"):

Average giving of American church goers (the Christians.... you know.... the ones given the mandate to "go unto all nations" and "feed my sheep" and "take care of the widows and orphans":
  • In 2005, only 5% of American Christians tithed - an average of 2.58% of their income.
  • In 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, Christians gave an average of 3.3%
  • Of that tithe going into the American church - 98% goes back into those churches and communities, with only 2% going out into the world to fulfill Christ's commandments.
So 2% of 2% of American Christian's income
goes to the world's poor, widows, and orphans.

That's about 6 cents per day from you and I.

BUT - we NEED that money right?? It's a recession and we all are on hard times ---

IF your family makes more than $25,000 a year. You are wealthier than 90% of the world's population.

For the next big numbers, just a reminder - a billion is this big: 1,000,000,000.

Amount Americans spend on entertainment and recreation -

Amount American teenagers spend, ages 12-17 -

Amount Americans spend on their pets -

TOTAL US-government foreign assistance budget -
$39.5 billion

TOTAL amount spent on all overseas ministries - $5 billion.

More numbers -
Cost to eliminate the most extreme poverty - $168 billion
Cost to bring universal primary education for children - $6 billion
Cost to bring clean water to most of the world's poor - $9 billion
Cost to bring basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world - $13 billion

Number of orphans worldwide today - 165 million.
Number of children (2006) waiting in US foster care to be adopted - 126,967
Number of children (2006) adopted domestically - 50,379
Number of children (2009) adopted internationally - 12,782

"To better understand the spiritual priorities of our churches
- and ourselves -
we have to do what any detective would do: "follow the money"
- Richard Stearnes "Hole in our Gospel"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paper Pregnancy month #2

Well obviously we have just jumped from newly pregnant to the craving/nesting phase. Or maybe I just like to say that so it will seem as if my life has been any different for the last month. It hasn't. I'm bored. Yes - it took one long year. One....long....very....long......year to get our paperwork done. And now we wait. And wait.

And make cookies. With my new Africa cookie cutter. Cause that is what my little girl wanted to take for her preschool snack day and well.... if I can't go to Africa right now - I may as well chow it down with a glass of milk.

Which actually is a lie because milk now makes me feel like puking. What kind of person becomes allergic to milk at the old age of 35?? Ridiculous. Cookies just aren't the same with a big cold glass of Diet Dr. Pepper.. But these, my OCD self must say, turned out pretty darn cute.

What I have also been doing, (since we aren't moving our name up the waiting list), and are just sitting here twiddling our thumbs at #23.... is shop. My excuse is, to spread the expenditures out. Since I was done having babies. And sold everything. People -- I mean EVERYTHING except for the cutesy dresses with "A" embroidered on them. So while I'm not trying to get completely stocked up - I will feel better with at least some basics covered.

My other excuse is that MAN I have been finding some deals!! This diaper changer (that is in our room as that is where we will have to have little Miss live for the first several months of her life here). I got for $25. No kidding.

The shoes under it were my absolute favorite for Addi - "Angel" shoes. The best baby shoe ever. Which are outrageously high but I will buy anytime I see them under $10. They are just that soft and cute. Cause I have flashbacks of uncomfortable, hard Mary Janes and the indention they would leave across the top of your foot. Uh-uh. These shoes rock.

And this cute purple sling?? With the adorable matching leg warmers (doesn't that just make you smile when you imagine them on her??) I got for FREEEEEEEE. Well, I paid shipping and a little extra for the warmers. But I had to. HAD to. Cause what good would a fashionable sling be without baby leg warmers?
And all the cute sleepers, bibs, and burp clothes inside?? (Please don't think I am that prepared. It's just that I am that lazy and don't want to trek up to the attic to put them away in bins.) All in bags of 3 for under $3 at the same consignment sale. And my husband wonders why it takes me 4 hours to do one. I look through every......single......pile. True thriftiness takes patience.

Somewhat like waiting for our number to climb up that waiting list. Which it isn't doing... Have I mentioned that yet?? Pray for me friends. It's going to be a long winter.