Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wait for it........

Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister have been waiting a long time. 67 days in fact. They were NOT happy campers!

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

I see starfish....

Sit back and let Forever Mama share with you The Starfish Story- adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.
“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
Also on our bedspread in our room
The table has one as well!
On the outside staircases near in the Finding Nemo section
How about at the parks? Here is Epcot's Living Seas
See the hidden Mickey with starfish ears?
Even during the Jingle Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom. Donald's tree has a starfish topper!
At the Magic Kingdom, the New Fantasy land has several in the new Little Mermaid ride and this one just outside the ride
Here's one from the Haunted Mansion..
Forever Mama has new Christmas ornaments this year...
Now Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister are with Forever Papa (Grandpa) at Sanubel. At the beach, all shops have starfish everywhere.
And on the beach the first day, one lone starfish withered and forlorn...
Forever Mama was afraid that this little one had perished; but lo and behold, when she gently lifted him from the sand, he stretched his legs and perked up the hairs on his legs. He was alive! He was a bright red color (like the Russian red) and Forever Mama named him Gus after a little boy in Russia who just wants to come home. And I bet you can guess what happened next...Forever Mama threw the little starfish back into the sea saying "There you go Gus, now you are free!"
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...
The old man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
Will the Starfish Story inspire you? You do not have to adopt to make a difference. You can advocate, donate and pray. If others join us we can make a huge difference to all of our little starfish who are waiting for a family. No matter where they live or disablity they may have EVERY child deserves a family of their own.
Want a place to start? visit  My little starfish is there under the name of Nathaniel

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Christmas present that wasn't...

‘Twas a few days before Christmas  and all through the Baird house, Forever Mama was moping and being a grouse.Few decorations were hung in the house with some care, Forever Mama’s arm strength was just not quite there.
Little B’s room was mostly finished, including THE bed!  And visions of LOA danced in Forever Mama’s head. When down in the great room the patience wore thin and Forever Mama wrote an email- she finally caved in.

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!

For those of my friends who lost those who are dear, they watch over you now and are always so near. Forever Mama is praying for you with all of her might and wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very good night!
And to Little B who waits all alone, Hang in there son, we WILL bring you home!

Friday, December 14, 2012


12/14/12 a day of devastation. Forever Mama started the day by shopping the sales for clothes for Little B and then ran a few errands. All was happy. New clothes for an empty closet. Then Forever Mama turned on the TV and the computer. The world crashed around her. As a teacher, Forever Mama saw her worst nightmare unfold on TV. Tears began to flow. As the updates occured, a Kindergarten teacher and classroom? Forever Mama's heart broke even further. A majority of Forever Mama's teaching career has involved Kindergarten students. Why? How? Disbelief...20 precious innocent children gone as well as 6 of the teachers/staff from the school. Soon after Forever Big Sister arrived home from high school, safe and sound and Forever Mama could breathe a little easier.

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


The wait continues. Forever Mama filled out another mound of paperwork so that once LSC is received, the next step can move forward. Star command did find out that the mission paperwork is out of Translation and in process as of 11/7/12. This does not actually mean much as far as the timeline goes. Some have received LSC in as little as 5 days after moving to in progress others have taken up to 3 months. Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister are hoping for much less than 3 months!

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.
And so the house says it all. This Christmas Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister are waiting for Little B. All Forever Mama wants for Christmas is to receive LSC and to be one step closer to bringing Little B home. Until then, we love and wait for one special little boy who is waiting too on the other side of the ocean.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Next phase...

Forever Mama has received confirmation that the mission paperwork has been logged in (10/23/12). So Mission status check LID is a go! The next phase of the mission is the waiting game. This phase could last 2 to 4 months before LOA/LSC(Letter of Acceptance/Letter Seeking Confirmation) is procurred. The wait will be long, but we must remain strong!
 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!!/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

This just in.....

 Mission Control has informed Star Command that mission paperwork has been sent to Little B's country on the other side of the ocean! The team now awaits the mission paperwork log in date and asks for all Super Heroes to pray and send out positive thought powers for swift processing of this important mission paperwork.
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

Galactic update!

This just in from Galactic Star Command, Little B's first super hero has been built! Buzz Lightyear is complete thanks to a an entire school of young Super Heroes and their amazing commitment to helping others. Little B and Buzz Lightyear salute these new young members of our Super Hero team. Their efforts have also started the Captain America super hero build. Who will  finish what our new young Super Hero friends have started? These young Super Heroes have set the bar high, are your Super Powers strong enough to follow their lead?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Breaking news.....

Breaking news from Star Command...... An update from Little B's caretakers states that the villianous Duchene appears to currently only have a slow effect on Little B's muscle strength. He has remained stable during the last 6 months. He is currently still ambulatory and can climb stairs independently albeit it at a much slower pace than his fellow orphans. New pictures seen by Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister show a happy Little B showing a "V" for victory sign. Arriving in the mail today was the coveted USCIS notice of Approval. So the forward march continues. More recruits will be needed as the team marches onward. Little B's first super hero figure Buzz only has 18 more pieces until it is complete and then Captain America will begin. So join Little B's Super Hero Team and help keep the villianous Duchene in slow motion. Click on the Super Hero Fundraiser tab and help finish building Buzz and by doing so joining this courageous group of Super Heroes as they march forward to complete their recue mission.  Star Command out...

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Well it's been a tough week here at Star Command Central. The villianous Duchene seems to have sent forces here that have stretched Forever Mama's emotions and resolve to their limits. But today is a new day! While sadness and questions remain, Forever Mama is moving forward. NO forces will stop the forward progress of Little B's rescue mission. The sooner he is here with his Forever Family the better. So here is a re-cap of the mission status.
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

Just who are the member of Little B's Super Hero team?
Check them out!

Super Commander Joni is able to craft her way past the villainous naysayers and has the heart of a warrior, so do not stand in the way of her completing her mission!

The Chocolate Avenger also joins the squad.  Don’t let her sweet exterior fool you. She is persistent, will not take “No” for an answer, is able to stand up to Social Workers and International Governments alike and can down a gallon of sweet tea in one gulp! The “L” government has been forewarned, she can and will leap orphanage gates in a single bound to bring her sweet Eli!!!!! home. She is a formidable force on this team and will help ensure the success of our Super Hero Little B Rescue Mission.

Casey the Boy Wonder brings youth and boyish charm to the team. He has been trying to defeat the villainous Duchene for many years. He stays true to his course and knows one day that he will help defeat the villainous Muscular Dystrophy gang.

Wonder Mom Renee brings extra experience to the team. She too has fought the villainous Duchene and his many villainous Muscular Dystrophy mutants. Do not be fooled by her small framed exterior and beauty. Inside beats the heart of a defender of the weak and protector of those being attacked by this villainous gang. Do not mess with this Wonder mom or you will face the wrath of the mother bear protecting her cubs.

Team ONeil  joins the mission! With red and black pulsing through her veins, Bulldawg Mama can negotiate governmental bureaucracy and find fraud with the stroke of a pen and the click of the mouse. She has many frequent flyer miles on Baird airlines. She brings along 2 young members to the Super Hero squad. Wonder Girl Addison brings great creativity to the team (you should see the gingerbread houses she creates!) Running Robbie brings boyish exuberance and an unlimited supply of energy. Wonder Dad Rob has the ability to wrangle kids and critters. When Bulldawg Mama has to travel for her work related missions, the house remains standing and the kids are fed and well cared for. The villainous Duchene had better beware of Team ONeil. Their tenacity will help our Super Hero Team complete our mission.   

Super Scholar Jocelyn also joins our mission. This soon to be teacher of the greatest commands respect as she supports other's.  Little B is grateful to have her join the team!

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 :)

So are you the next Super Hero? What are the talents and powers you will bring to this team?
Click on the Super Hero tab at the top of this blog to join in this Resue Mission. Help us save Little B and bring him home to the super galactic Muscular Dystrophy clinic so that we can slow the villianous Duchene's progression on Little B.
 Remember that we are building a Super Hero Buzz and he still needs pieces. The members of Little B's Super Hero team thank you for your support and hope you will join them in this mission! To infinity and beyond!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The bed that almost wasn't.

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far, away… (Oops! Wrong story!) This is the story of the bed that almost wasn’t. Here in present day, a little boy waits for his forever family, on the other side of the ocean, far, far away (see, I still got that in there!) His forever family is staying busy during the long, long waiting time between lovely governmental forms and a fourth set of fingerprints. The forever family has decided to get a room ready for this little boy who waits far across the ocean. Hmmm, Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister decide on just the perfect theme, a super galactic Toy Story room (Oh, come on! Those of you who really know me knew that something Disney HAD to be coming!) So let the designing begin.

Forever Mama was trying to find a bed that was “just right” (oops! Another wrong story!) Anyway, Forever Mama found a marvelous Toy Story bed that was reminiscent of the current bed that the little boy far across the ocean slept in every night. Forever Mama hoped that this perfect bed would help the little boy feel more comfortable and not so scared when he came across the ocean and slept in his new forever home. So, Forever Mama ordered the bed.

Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister decided on the new colors of this super galactic Toy Story room ( after all it could NOT remain  Princess Pink!) So 3 walls were painted star command blue and one wall was painted sonic boom green. It was a perfect match for the perfect bed that was coming!

The perfect bed arrived! Well, sort of… Forever Mama excitedly tore open the box and saw the awesome headboard and the picturesque footboard. The looked perfect for the room; but…where were the bed rails and guards? Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister decided that there must be another box coming, so no worries! Well, no box came, so Forever Mama sweetly called the company and explained the problem. The ultra-sweet customer service representative said that she would call the vendor and have the rails shipped out immediately! Forever Mama was so happy! Hmmm…… 2 weeks, no box. So, Forever Mama calls the company again and Mr. debonair customer service man says that he will take of that right away! And sure enough a few days later a box arrives! Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister look at the box and it looks just the same as the first box, but surely this one had the bed rails! Nope!!! It was another awesome headboard and picturesque footboard!! Well this was a bit problematic. So…Forever Mama calls the company again, but this time  gives the customer service rep a more thorough definition of the problem (Forever mama was not so happy this time) This time the more subdued customer service representative said she would call Forever Mama back as soon as she spoke to a living person at the vendor. The subdued rep did call back and explained that now the vendor was out of stock and that the company would be refunding Forever Mama the full price of the bed and shipping and that Forever Mama and Forever Sister could keep both headboards and footboards. Her suggestion was to use the refunded money to find a nice carpenter man to build the rest of the bed (??!! Which of course would never match the perfect laminated colors of the awesome headboard and picturesque footboard) So it looked like this would be the perfect bed that wasn’t.

But wait! Don’t underestimate Forever Mama. You see all she could think of was the little boy waiting across the ocean far, far away (see got it in again!)  and that his new room in his forever home just had to be perfect. So Forever Mama went surfing (no, not across the ocean, on the web!) She found the company that actually manufactured the bed. Surely they would have the bed rails and guards!  A very helpful customer representative answered Forever Mama’s call. She could not find the information on her computer so she said that she would call Forever Mama back (here we go again!) Well, she did call back in just a few minutes with a plethora of information. The bed is sold as a kit. It comes in 2 boxes and they do not sell either box on its own. She suggested that Forever Mama call the vendor and tell them that they had another box in their warehouse for this bed (yeah, like that vendor is going to actually look?) The representative asked if Forever Mama had received the directions and parts pages for the bed and when told no she did email the booklet to Forever Mama. So again it looked like the perfect bed that wasn’t.

Well, Forever Mama was not ready to give up yet. That little boy was very important, so more surfing. Hmm, the Cars version of this bed did have just a bed rails set on sale on amazon. Forever Mama contemplated putting black bed rails on the blue bed, but then it wouldn’t be the perfect bed. Hmmm, Forever Mama searched amazon for Toy story bed rails and no luck (boo! hiss!) Wait, how about blue bed rails? Eureka!!! Amazon had 1 set of blue bed rails (“that go with the Toy Story headboard and footboard set”) So Forever Mama ordered it and hoped that it was what they needed. Finally the box arrived. Forever Sister noted that the box was different from the other boxes and the manufacturer was the same. They opened the box and….. it was the perfect bed and guard rails, bed slats and hardware for the perfect Toy Story bed!!!

So, Forever Mama put the bed together very easily (Yeah, right!) and the result was the perfect Toy Story bed for the little boy who waits on the other side of the ocean, far, far away! This perfect bed is low enough to allow him to be independent in getting in and out of bed even as the vilianous Duchene slowly takes away his strength, that is why Forever Mama fought so hard to get this perfect bed!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Step at a Time!

So I paid the 2nd half of the home study fee. Hopefully the notarized final report will be on it's way to WACAP tomorrow. In turn, I hope that WACAP has a speedy turn around and sends one copy of the final homestudy and my I-800 application and sizable check (yikes!) off to US Customs and Immigration. so as a recap, we have finished the following steps:
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

Do you remember your childhood dream of being a Super Hero? What super powers did you want to have? Well guess what?! You can still grow up to be a Super Hero! Your super powers could help save a child! Little B needs your help! He just turned 6 years old and has lived in an orphanage in Asia since he was 2 months old. He is diagnosed with Progressive Muscular Dystrophy (most likely Duchenne.) Every day the evil villain Duchenne eats away at Little B’s strength. Can your superpowers save him? Your super thinking powers tell you that this boy cannot survive long term without medical care and therapies. Your super strength reminds you that Little B’s strength is weakening every day. Your lightning speed reminds you that Little B can move fairly quickly now, but is slowly losing speed day by day. I know that you would love to use your flying super power to go over and just scoop him up and bring him home, but the villainous paperwork process stands in the way. However, do not despair! You can help and be Little B’s super hero! Help us build a Super Hero (or 2) for Little B. We are starting with Buzz Lightyear as that is Little B’s new bedroom theme. Buzz is made of Lego and has 211 pieces. Your donation can help build Buzz. When we finish Buzz, we will build Captain America! So here is how it works, your donation will add piece(s) of Lego to our super hero build and you become part of Little B’s Super Hero wall. I have a booklet that lists each piece and where it goes. You name will be listed next to the piece(s) you sponsor. Little B will forever know the names of all of the Super Heroes that helped bring him home. You are welcome to sponsor as many pieces as you wish.

Here are the sponsorship levels:

$5= 1 Lego Piece

$10= 3 Lego pieces

$15= 5 Lego pieces

$20= 8 Lego pieces

$25= 10 Lego pieces

$50= 25 Lego pieces

$75= 40 Lego pieces

$100= 75 Lego pieces
To become one of Little B's Super Heroes, donate to our RR donate button (even Super Heroes can use a tax deduction!) After you donate, please leave me a comment as to your number of sponsored pieces and the names you want in the oficial Super Hero Book! Also, let me know if you do not want your comment published. Thank you in advance to all the Super Heroes among us!

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

Home study.....

     3rd and final home study visit is done!!! All forms have been completed and turned in!! We reviewed the draft of my HS report and I am pleased to say that I am being recommended to adopt a child from China! My wonderful Social Worker June is hoping to have the final HS report done ASAP and sent into Families First where their HS co-ordinator will go over it and then it will be sent to WACAP and myself to proof read.
     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

Surviving IKEA

Today I decided to get the rest of the furniture for our new little one's bedroom. We have the bed (if they send the missing parts). It is a Toy Story bed with a new twin size Original Mattress Factory mattress (they are SO comfy!). His walls went from Princess Pink to Star Command Blue with 1 accent wall of Sonic Boom Green. Anyway, we went to IKEA. I had looked online and thought I knew what I wanted. Have you been to IKEA???!!! It is huge and overwhelming! It is the store that never ends! We did not finish there as I had to get Tay to the dentist, but I did write down what I THINK I want. I will look online to do further research before I go tackle the IKEA maze again!
   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!

Camp Walk 'N Roll 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home Study Visit #2

       Sorry I didn't get to update this yesterday, but it was a busy day. I went to my doctor to get the 2 medical reports filled out (China has a specific one and the home study has a different one) From there I went to get my fingerprints taken for the GBI (yes, I have already had them taken for the FBI, but I guess they can't share?!) Then it was on to our Central office to get a letter of verification of employment. I then had to go back to the doctor because while I remembered to get the 2 reports filled out, I did not remember to get the printed copy of the drug screening. Then it was on to the 911 call center records to request a log of 911 calls from our house for the last 5 years. Yeesh!
      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!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Tomorrow is our second home study visit. This time it is at my house. Uh oh! My house has looked like "Hoarders Buried Alive" for a long time! But thanks to getting new flooring, Tay and I culled out, reorganized and now it is better. The major problem in the house was all the dust and ick from getting every room in the house re-floored! How in the world would I get all that cleaned up in time, finish paperwork, and put the remaining junk away in just 3 days?! Thank you Molly Maids. They came in Friday on a last minute plea for help. The house shines! Kudos also to my dear co-worker and friend, Paula, who came out twice and helped me reorganize, get rid of junk and clean the garage. What a lifesaver! Thanks also to Debby and Melissa for our Archivers get together today. Just the diversion we needed to hold back the nervousness! Hoping to post a positive post tomorrow evening about our 2nd home study visit!

Friday, June 22, 2012

1st blog and 1st post so please bear with me :) I know this is long...
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
  I will try post as updates occur. I hope you enjoy joing us on this journey!