Well it has been almost 2 months since my husband and I decided to step out in faith and adopt Angelina.
It has been 3 weeks since we announced our plans on social media and I’m painfully aware that I have gone quite silent here on this blog since that flurry of excitement. I did write a rather somber update on our gofundme page a few days ago and I may still need to work out the grief from the news about Nastya here one of these days, but today is not that day.
Since deciding to adopt there have been a million small wonders the have sprung up around us, and while each little detail is dear to my heart, I didn’t know if they were really “blog worthy” moments, but let’s go with the cliché of it’s the little things that count and review the past 3 weeks!
• The day I began asking on Reece’s Rainbow (RR) facebook group for referrals for Hague accredited social workers in Wisconsin I had a flurry of fb messages and a number of facebook friend requests from Wisconsin families who are part of the RR community. Up to this point I had been acutely aware of the fact that our young family does not have any family friends in the area who have experience with international adoption for children with special needs and while social media is great for connecting with people, meeting people face to face and having real people to call up and lean on when times are hard (everyone tells me this will be hard and boy do I believe them!) was something I knew was missing. The first woman to contact me lives super close and they even have a child adopted from the same country as Angelina! One of these days we are going to meet up for coffee and talk about life. I’m excited!
• Our gofundme account has been receiving donations from friends and family, which I had really hoped would happen, but there have been tons of donations from people I’ve only met in passing and even a few total strangers. The generosity is staggering. Less than $1,000 to meet our goal.
• Because Angelina is older and potentially cognitively age level, we need to learn as much of her language as possible, but comprehensive language programs are quite pricey and we are trying to save money, not spend it. The very day we committed ourselves to this, DuoLingo started their FREE program for her language.
• In addition to the DuoLingo program, our fantastic library tried to get the Pimsleur program for us through interlibrary loan and when that didn’t work out THEY BOUGHT THE ENTIRE PROGRAM because they are awesome like that. We’ve already checked it out and I can now say “Excuse me, do you speak English?” It’s a small thing, I know, but this is a list of the small things remember?
• Our tiny town hosts the area’s 4th of July parade followed by an all day picnic at the local park. The day of the parade my outgoing husband had the grand idea of printing off info sheets about Angelina and our adoption, joining the parade, and handing them out to everyone. I think he handed out over 400. He then went on to talk to the manager of the picnic events and was given the mike throughout the day so he could give a quick speech about Angelina and the plight of orphans with special needs internationally. People donated over $900 just from that one picnic!
• Where was I during all that excitement at the 4th of July you might ask? I was off at work getting paid time and half for working on a holiday and you better believe all that is going towards our adoption too!
• A reporter at the local newspaper was at the picnic and has asked to set up an interview so he can include a story about Angelina and our adoption progress. I guess this is what it’s like to live in a small town 🙂
• Timm and I sat down to hash out fundraiser ideas and now have a rummage sale, booth at a bluegrass music festival, spaghetti dinner, and brat fry all on the calendar in the next 2 months. We may also be hosting an event at our library (yay library again!) where we would serve up a traditional dish, have a craft table for the kids to make traditional headbands like Angelina might wear, and then watch this documentary which I have mentioned before and strongly recommend you watch it.
• Along with all those fundraisers we are also doing various online fundraising including our gofundme account, ebay, and craigslist. I will probably be hosting an online tea party fundraiser soon too because why not! The ebay account was a big deal for me because although I’m of a digital native generation, I’m just on the cusp of that, so things like ebay can still be suuuuuper frustrating/intimidating but I hunkered down and got it running. I’ve warned my husband to hide or nail down anything he doesn’t want me to sell. This could get addictive.
• Paperwork. It’s not my strong point. It’s not my husband’s strong point. Honestly we are both abysmal at paperwork. It sucks the life out of us even when it is sitting in shlump not getting done – actually that is when it is most aggravating – and the fact that every single piece needed to be notarized meant that I couldn’t just tackle it in the evenings when the kids were asleep since we couldn’t sign anything till we were with a notary. Then we learned that a friend of ours is a notary! That unexpected positive news gave me enough motivation to actually get moving on the paperwork mountain and now it’s more like a mound, a really big mound.
• A design for tshirts is in the works. Hooray for having an incredibly talented sister who also happens to be a graphic designer! I can’t wait to see what she dreams up for Angelina’s shirt!
• And then there is this facebook message from a stranger, “I just saw your message that you are Angelina’s family. I want you to know I have prayed and prayed for your family- not knowing who you are, of course, but for Angelina’s family, whoever, wherever they are- for SO many years. We adopted in 2012 and Angelina has been on my heart since we were in the process. You are an answered prayer, and I will be praying you through this process each and every day.” Did you tear up when you read that? I did. I still do and yeah I might be crying just a little right now.
• I know that many people are lifting our family up in their prayers as we work hard to bring Angelina home, but to know that people have been praying for Angelina’s safety and for her future family for years before we ever saw her, well I’d say that is a pretty big thing really which is why that note gets to round off the list of small things which are adding up to one big beautiful journey.
Dellabug takes after her father and eagerly joined him for the parade while I
hid in the house got ready for work. Can you imagine this little one walking up to you, handing you a picture of a beaming girl, and saying “please help bring home my sister.” Oh man, she got all the feels.