Sunday, December 30, 2012
How much more could they endure? Star Fleet Command please come in....Enter star date 12/28/12 (12/27/12 in the misson country) It is almost 5:00pm and Forever Mama's communication device buzzes. Area code 206? Attention Super Hero team, LOA (Letter of Acceptance) has been granted from Little B's country! Our mission is a go!!! Approval for rescue has been granted!! Several steps will still need to be completed before Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister can get on that winged transportation device, but we are 1 major step closer! So now Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister are happy campers!!!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”
“But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, “It made a difference for that one.”
So now Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister see starfish everywhere. Did you know that Disney has a plethora of these sea creatures?
These were on the gingerbread carousel at the Beach Club
This one was on one of the Christmas Tree in the lobby of the Beach Club
On the carpet in our room at The Art of Animation Resort
You see in the adoption world, the orphans are our starfish. The staggering numbers of orphans worldwide is just so overwhelming. Forever Mama knows that she can't save all of them, but can make a difference for some of them, one at a time.
Here is a part of the Star Thrower Story that is often left out. Forever Mama found it just today...
Friday, December 21, 2012
And so as the weather went from chilly to cold, Forever Mama knew she had to be bold. The email was friendly, giving trip contact info for the beach, but also asking about LOA, even though it’s a reach
A ping from the computer, let Forever Mama know that an email was there. But should she open it? Did she dare? “We have not heard news about your LOA yet.” We are hoping very soon, but are not willing to bet.
Forever Mama hung her head with a sigh, it was all she could do not to break down and cry. Forever Mama never asks for much, she just doesn’t, but NO LOA became the present that wasn’t.
As Forever Mama sat in a funk and wondered the reason, she began to remember the holiday season. Others are hurting with loved ones now gone, so much pain in the world what has gone wrong?
Forever Mama sent up prayers for those in need. With hopes that the world may now see more good deeds. So let us remember that Jesus is the reason and be kind to each other throughout this season.
So while there is no LOA for this Christmas cheer, Forever Mama and Big Sister look forward to Little B celebrating HERE next year!
Friday, December 14, 2012
Surely no more bad news after that? Wrong! Forever Mama read that across the ocean, in the country where Little B lives, 22 primary school children were injured in a knife attack this morning. Forever Mama melted into tears again. This time Forever Mama won't see someone come through the door to safety, as Little B still waits at his orphanage(where at this point he is safe).
So tonight Forever Mama will give Forever Big Sister a big hug(even if she thinks she is too old for that at 16) and hopes that you will hug all of your children extra tight tonight. Forever Mamas arms are aching even more to hold Little B and her heart breaks just a little bit more at the thought of waiting a few months longer.
Forever Mama sends prayers for all of those involved in both of these tragedies today.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
As the holidays approach, waiting becomes harder. On their very last mommy/daughter only Disney trip over Thanksgiving, Forever Mama and Forever Big sister kept thinking and saying "Do you think Little B will like this?", " Mom, can I ride this one with Little B next time?" And the temptation to buy oh so many Disney clothes "But mom, it will look so cute on Little B" and "Mom, he needs this so we can match!" as well as "Taylor, can't you see Little B wearing this?" Yes, we did buy a few things, but that will be for another post :)
On sunday, Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister went to Young Chefs Academy for our traditional gingerbread house making session. Little B, Reece's Rainbow and waiting was the theme this year.
Monday, November 5, 2012
During this waiting phase, Little B's ransom will need to be raised. The interplanetary specialists at Little B's Galactic Gift Auction have put together a variety of items to meet your holiday gift giving needs. Donations of other items to this auction by other interplanetary entreprenuers are welcome! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.528227143872446.132304.522324724462688&type=3#!/events/227424724055676/
The Super Hero Fundraiser also continues. The Build Buzz mission is complete, but the Captain America build is still in process. Spiderman waits in the wings, so please feel free to join the Super Hero Build and join Little B's team. Just click on the Super Hero Fundraiser tab.
Until the next update, Star Command out!
Monday, October 15, 2012
Remember that the 2nd Super Hero build mission is still in process. Buzz Lightyear build is complete, but Captain America's build has a slow start. Do you possess the Super Powers our team needs to help rescue Little B and slow down the villianous Duchene? Join Little B's Super Hero Team by signing up under the Super Hero Fundraising tab.
As the team moves forward in this dire mission, new team members will be needed to build up the strength to rescue Little B and fight off the villianous Duchene.
A galactic thank you and welcome to our newest Super Hero team members, the students and teachers of Elim Christian School. The world will be safer with these young Super Heroes around!
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
The Rescue Mission File has officially been handed over to WACAP's China Program Team. This team sent in the preliminary application to the US Custom and Immigration Services and Forever Mama received the biometrics appointment letter. Forever Mama was advised to walk-in instead of waiting the 3 weeks until the set appointment time. Walk in was attempted and that initial step of the mission was completed! Now the wait begins for the governmental cogs to turn and send out the USCIS approval for Little B's Rescue Mission.
Forever Mama sent in the packet of contracts, 2 passport size photos(no smiling allowed , so very scary!) and the first round of mission payments. So, the paperwork part of the mission for Forever Mama is complete! All Dossier Paperwork has been sent To WACAP and they will complete the authentication mission after USCIS approval is received. The only Mission requirements left to send in are the rest of the mission payments (of which there are many!)
So now the waiting game ensues. Will Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister have the patience to wait? Just how long will the USCIS Mission approval take? When can the authentication mission begin? Stay tuned to this Star Command Channel for further bulletins.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Check them out!
Camp Director Extraordinaire Extreme(Hailey) adds punch to the team. She can single handedly organize a rag tag group of volunteers and produce a camp of extraordinary proportions. Little B is lucky to have this Super Hero join his team. Forever Mama has known of this one's super powers for a long time :)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Inquiry about Little B- done
Received Little B's file- done
Sent in completed agency application- done
BMI waiver paperwork completed- done
Additional information requested from country and info sent- done
Waiver granted- done
Little B put on hold for us with agency- done
Pre-Approval paperwork- done
Pre-approval granted- done
Homestudy agency secured and $900 paid- done
FBI prints done and fee paid- done
GBI fingerprints done and fee paid- done
Local police clearance- done (only after I took my own notary and cried at the police station due to their not wanting to complete the form correctly)
Adoption training courses completed ($179)- done
Homestudy completed and second $900 paid- done
1-800 USCIS application and $805 check sent to USCIS- this is our current step
USCIS biometrics appointment notice received- next step
USCIS appointment completed- future step
USCIS approval received- future step
Dossier complete- future step
Dossier sent to country- future step
LID- Dossier received and logged in country-future step
LOA- Letter of Acceptance/Approval recived- Future step
TA- Travel Appointment- future step
CA- Consulate Appointment- future step
Gotcha day- Future step
I still have the entire agency fee to pay to WACAP. Because Little B is part of their Journey of Hope program, WACAP has waived the $275 application fee and $500 child deposit fee. I have applied for a $4200 grant from WACAP that Little is eligible for. My dad is also checking into transfering his Marriott rewards points to me and that may cover most or all of our in country lodging. Airline tickets will also be costly, but how costly depends on the time of year we are given for our TA and CA.
Between Agancy fees, CCWA fees, Visa's orphanage "donation", and other in country paperwork expenses, I figure the total still owed is a little over $17,000. If I, infact, get the $4200 grant then the total is $12,800. Then airline tickets will be on top of that. Hoping that the Marriott points come through or else that cost will also need to be added. Then food costs will also need to be added for an approximately 2 week stay.
All of this at times seems insurmountable, so I will just take it One Step at a Time. Thanks for folowing along on this journey. The end result will be worth the wait, the "ransom" and the anxiety.
Please remember to check out our Super Hero Fundraiser and if so led, consider joining Little B's Super Hero Team. We have a rescue mission to complete and can use all the Supoer Heroes that we can get! Thanks!
Sunday, August 5, 2012
To become a Super Hero please click on the silouhette of the little boy under Reeces' Rainbow Family Service plan. That will take you to our fund and you can click the donate button.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
So next step is USCIS. I have already sent the 1-800A form and check to WACAP. They will send it to USCIS when they receive the finalized homestudy report. So now the wait begins to get my biometrics appointment.
I have also been steadily working on sending in all the required forms and paperwork for our Dossier. I am having to wait an extra week for my certified copy of my Birth Certificate as the county office I sent the request to did not have a legible copy and had to send off to the state (Illinois) office to get one. (Of course I have 3 copies of my certified BC, but must have one that was done within 6 months of the Dossier being sent) I had sent in my Police clearance form, but the police department did not do an appropriate notarization, so I will have to redo it. I also have to get a certfied/notarized copy (within the 6 month guideline- the one I have is from 1999) of my divorce decree. I have the guardian form to send in as of today :) and I am trying to come up with 6 photos that reflect our family life (it is harder than you think!) All the other paperwork due is not in my hands (1-797c-USCIS approval, 3 notarized reference letters(these were done for the home study, but not notarized so will be sent back out for notary) and the final notarized home study report) Once WACAP gets all of these, they will get authentications and compile the Dossier and then send it off. Not sure on our timeline, but it can't move quick enough!
I will be starting a fundraiser soon for those who would like to help bring our little guy home. I will be selling puzzle pieces in order to build his "Circle of Friends" puzzle (Disney themed of course!! :) So please stay tuned!
I will also be braving the IKEA maze again either tomorrow or Friday, so pray for me!! I hope I don't get lost in there, although those swedish meatballs at their food court sure looked good!
So now it is onward we go! Thanks for coming along with us on our journey to add this precious child to our family. I look forward to the time I can share his full picture with everyone!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tomorrow is our last home study visit and we hope to review the draft. Tay has to go back to the dentist so Papa will take her there as I go to the home visit (which is at our SW house) Hopefully all will go well and the final report will be proofed soon after!
Be sure to see my Camp Walk 'n Roll video, it might give you insight as to why I am so drawn to our new little one :) I have done this camp since 1980, only missing a couple of years.
This next video is for those who are concerned with the plight of the orphan. I do not want to overload anyone with orphan info all the time. I know that we all support different causes and fortunately, my friends, that is what makes the world go around! For those of you so inclined feel free to watch my 2nd advocacy video. These are the children who have been waiting the longest. Many since the inception of Reece's Rainbow. If you know someone who is considering adoption, please share this video with them.
Hopefully tomorrow I will have an update about the final home study visit and then it is on to bigger and better things!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
As I am leaving the police building, Tay calls and her friend has an extra ticket to the One Direction concert. (My ear still hurts from Tay's screaming over this!) So I drove them to The Arena at Gwinnett and her friend's mother and I went and ate at Chili's and went to the Lego Store and then went back to pick them up. Well, of course the concert did not start on time, so we waited. I was so glad to NOT be inside. We could hear the music from outside and when the security cracked the door to update all the parents, the screaming from inside was insane! I felt for the parents who were inside!. When they came out at the end, the parents were all rubbing their ears.
So, the home visit on Monday went great. The house looked good and smelled good as I baked some cookies :) We toured the house and then went over a couple of forms and then she reviewed my background and experiences from birth. She was here for 3 hours! Our next visit should be July 28th and she hopes to have my home study draft to review. So we are almost done with this phase! Next phase is paperwork for Customs and Immigration and more forms for our Dossier for China.
Still no timeline, but things are moving right along. Tay and I leave on Saturday to spend a week at Camp Walk 'N Roll. So, I guess next on my list is packing for MDA camp!
Monday, June 25, 2012
Look through their eyes.... Please watch, all of these sweethearts need homes, but at 3:23 is a little boy named Porter. He has just been transferred to a mental institution. It is not a good place and certainly no place for a child. He has lost the caring caretakers from his previous baby home. As he looks around, all his friends are gone and he is in this awful new place. The smells and noises are overwhelming. Please share so that his forever family can see him and take a look through his eyes.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
So what seems like a long journey already, has actually moved right along fairly quickly.
Our journey began when I decided to join one of my former Pre-school students at the Buddy Walk last September. We had great fun being part of Cate's Crusaders. Before the actual walk, I wandered around and grabbed information from several tables. When I got home and opened one of the pamphlets, I was intrigued. It was a pamphlet from Reece's Rainbow. I turned on my computer and visited their site. Well, that was it I was hooked. I knew that I was being called. This is what I am supposed to do at this point and time in my life.
I lurked for a while on the site, but didn't really make a move forward until March. That is when I talked it over with my daughter and my dad and then shored up my support system and backup care plans. With my plans in place I inquired about my first child in mid March. He already had a family working toward adoption, which was great for him, but left me a little sad.
I kept studying all of those precious faces on Reece's Rainbow and branched out to other websites and, boom, there he was. Immediately this little boy fell into my heart. His special need was listed as progressive muscular dystrophy, a disease that I am very familiar with. But , this child was in China and I didn't meet the requirements. Ugh! But wait! Could it be? You can get a waiver for China's BMI limit? Ok bring it on!
The agency I am working with, WACAP, has been great. They sent me his file and then when I said "Let's go for it!" They helped me wade through the paperwork to apply for a waiver. The had all my waiver paperwork translated and sent to China, who said... we need more info :( My chances just fell to 50% I had to write Parenting Plan (that was a long one!) and send a full length picture. Ugh! I am rarely in a picture because I take the pictures, but lo and behold I found one from our Disney cruise last summer. It was of Taylor and I with Goofy. Well, we sent the plan and picture and kept our fingers crossed.
Yahoo. That was the email I almost didn't open. What did Yahoo want with me? Oh wait, it's not the company, it's the title of the email. I opened it and Yahoo! China gave approval to move forward. That was 5/22. So now onto more paperwork so that I can apply for Pre-Approval for this little boy. I had 2 weeks, but not really as we were leaving for Orlando on 6/1. I managed to finish and send out my last piece- Master Parenting Plan- 27 typed pages!- at 2:15 am and we left at 8:00 am.
WACAP had to hold my forms until all the people with waivers could be turned in as a group per China's direction. So, it was sent to China on 6/12 with an email to me saying that they hoped to hear something by the end of the next week. WACAP is closed on Wednesday, so on Thursday I had an email titled "Congratulations!" I thought "No way, it's only been a day and a half!" I opened the email and sure enough, China received my paperwork on Tuesday and met and extended pre-approval on Wednesday. How's that for quick! Uh oh! Now I need to start my home study and quick!
Enter Families First. My first meeting was yesterday and my next meeting is on Monday here at my house (thank you Molly Maids for doing an emergency clean to get rid of all the new flooring dust!) The 3rd and final meeting will be mid June. I still have many more forms to gather and fill out and when the home study forms are done, then there are a few more for our dossier. I do not have a timeline, so I do not know when we will travel and when we can bring him home, but it can't come soon enough!
My little boy is currently listed on Reece's Rainbow under new commitments. Sorry, there is no picture as we are following the regulations from his country, but there is some info. All of the kiddos listed there are given Reece's Rainbow name. He is listed as Nathaniel, after my dad. That will not be his name when he arrives home. We will combine the English name the orphanage gave him as well as his Chinese name and add the last name, Baird. Feel free to go check hs info out http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsorbaird
I will try post as updates occur. I hope you enjoy joing us on this journey!