Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nathaniel's Family Found Him!

Remember sweet Nathaniel?

He has a committed family! The other great news is that Nathaniel's grant fund is at $11,000! However, this family still needs $9000 to be fully funded. Please check out their sponsorship page and chip in a little if you can.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nursery Pictures!

As promised, here are pictures of Lily's nursery! It still needs some work but all the basics are there :)

As you walk in:

The crib:

Changing station:


Closet (kinda) full of clothes:

I love this lamp!

And of course plenty of diapers...

We're ready for you, Lily!

Still no word on our SDA appointment yet...please keep praying.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still No News :-(

Well there is news, it's just not the news we wanted. We did not get our SDA appointment today. We are now hoping to get it tomorrow. There is still a high probability that it could be as early as June 7, which is less than two weeks away! We can't book our flights, or do a myriad of other stuff, until we know our date. Please, please pray for us to get our date tomorrow! Aside from losing Riley and choosing Lily, this has been by far the hardest part of the process for me. I am getting as much done as I can while we wait, though. If nothing else, tomorrow I will post pictures of the nursery :).

We're still looking for book suggestions, so keep 'em coming! By the way, can I just say...the Kindle is the.coolest.thing.EVER. Why did it take me so long to obtain one??!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not The Post I Wanted To Write...

I was SO hoping and praying that today we would hear about our SDA appointment...but we didn't. If we don't hear tomorrow then...well, I don't know what to think! Maybe it won't be as early as we thought. PLEASE PRAY that we hear tomorrow!!

So while we wait, I've been trying to stay busy. Today I cleaned and organized the office, which has been a long time in coming. It felt good to finally get around to that. I completely neglected the house for about 6 months while I was finishing my PhD so there's a lot to dig through.

The curtains in the office and Lily's room are now purchased, washed, ironed, and hung. They look great! I am probably boring you with all these details :).

Ok, so I really DO have a question for y'all: can you recommend some good books for us to bring and read on the trip??? We both have kindles so space isn't an issue. Please leave your suggestion(s) in the comments section!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"It Is Finished"

Last week, when we were praying to be fully funded, I woke up on Thursday morning to this message from my friend, Audrey:
I've been in awe reading about your adoption for many months now… Last night I was reading the final words of Jesus on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19) and when I woke up this morning, I felt the Lord prompting me to donate so that Zara could look to Him and say "It is finished…I'm going home to my family."
She had just donated the remainder for us to be fully funded. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much, Audrey. We are praising the Lord for how much He has moved in peoples' hearts to give to our adoption fund so that we could be fully funded. I am still in awe.

And just in time, too. We haven't heard officially when our SDA appointment is yet, but it will most likely be on June 7. I will hopefully know for certain tomorrow. Please pray that we hear back tomorrow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Project

This weekend we assembled our crib!

Rob hard at work:

Proof that I actually helped:

The final product!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thank You

I can't write everyone an individual thank-you note, so here's my "THANK YOU!!" shout-out to everyone who contributed to our Family grant!
Mike & Angela R.
Kristin C.
Monica & Frank C.
Cliff R.
Melissa W.
Katie W.
Catherine A.
April U.
Erin B.
Christy C.
Jessamyn N.
Kerry P.
Leanne F.
Justin S.
Debbie W.
Daniel H.
Kiera C.
Suzanne W.
Kate J.
Matthew C.
Marguerite R.
Jeremy B.
Courtney C.
Laura S.
Kyle C.
Nicky B.
Sara B.
Tim A.
Christopher & Sarah L.
Rebecca J.
Erik & Nicole L.
Priscilla H.
Robin T.
Renee G.
David W.
Micheal F.
Kathleen G.
Becki C.
Stephen & Amy E.
Kerri B.
Elizabeth G.
Michaela H.
Hannah N.
Shanna B.
Sandra W.
Laura F.
Diana A.
Candice H.
Teisha D.
Cynthia E.
Amber G.
Theresa M.
Julia N.
David S.
Dianne J.
Henry M.
Luke V.
Rehana D.
Anthony E.
Daniel O.
Brian W.
Zaira A.
Carmen A.
Amanda D.
Melanie E.
Kayla M.
Teal M.
Janet M.
Allison S.
Laila Z.
Kelly W.
Kassandra J.
Nina M.
James C.
Mary M.
William W.
Marcella A.
Tracy C.
Deirdre H.
Sandra S.
Audrey W.
Rebecca B.
Christina T.
Terri D.
Holly L.
Another thank-you to all who contributed to either Riley or Zara's child grants....I could not get a list of your names but they deserve to be up there, too.

Thank you to everyone who gave of your time in some way.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, Riley and Lily.

Thank you especially to our church, who has been behind us 100%. I am realizing more and more how blessed we are to have a church that supports adoption.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two Beautiful Words....

F.U.L.L.Y.  F.U.N.D.E.D.

Yup, that's what we are :). And a day earlier than I had asked for! God is so good, what an amazing testimony this has been for us.

Before we started this journey, the most money I had ever been able to raise (for a missions trip) was about $1500. I thought I was crazy when I "signed up" to raise $20,000. I'll be completely honest, most of the time I doubted. I knew God was able to do it, I just didn't know if He would. Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow! And may God bless abundantly each and every one of you who contributed to our adoption fund.

Yes, it's a lot of money. It's a ransom. But isn't she worth it? Isn't Lily Anna StClair worth it?! :)

Now you know what we will name her. Her name has several meanings behind it, and I can't share all of them yet, but I will share two: 
1. Rob's grandmother's middle name is Lillian and that is the name she goes by. So our Lily is named after her.
2. A lily is a symbol of God's provision.
3. (This one has to wait until after our court date)

I want you all to know that we are fully funded because of small gifts. We did not have one large donor drop a lump sum of money on us (although I admit I was praying for that). The largest donation we have had is $2000, and we had three of those. The other $14000 has come from smaller gifts that added up. God takes even the smallest donation and multiplies it. I want you to know that. You are now a WITNESS to that!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a picture of Lily's complete Gotcha Day outfit.... :)

Oh, and THANK YOU!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Zara's" Name Still Being Held Hostage....

....until we reach our goal of being fully-funded!! We are getting soooo close, I want to finish strong here!

Here is the breakdown:
Family Grant: $11,405
Donations on the way: $3,325
Riley's Grant: $1,100
Zara's Grant: $2,690
Promise Trust Deposit: $1000
TOTAL: $19,520

This means we are $480 away from being fully-funded!!! I have been asking the Lord to provide the remaining funds by this Friday. I know it can be done. PLEASE help us by sharing, spreading the word, and donating! Even the smallest gift, it all adds up!

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. I honestly don't know how we got this close. It seems like just yesterday we still needed $15,000. But now here we are, SOOO incredibly close, let's get there! I'm dying to share Zara's name with you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seven Things Sunday

In no particular order:

1. On Friday I got hooded at the graduate commencement ceremony! Here is a picture of me with my advisor, Dr. Haskell:

And here is a picture of me in full regalia with my Dad:

2. Yesterday was Zara's 2nd birthday...we think. We've gotten two different birth dates at different points in the process, but we THINK yesterday was her actual one. We will find out for sure when we get in country!

3. Still no travel date yet. We're hoping to hear this week, but it might not be until next week.

4. STUFF. Stuff is accumulating in our house. Today we picked up our donated stroller from our friends David & Wendy, a few days ago our carseat came (thanks, Rachel & Jon, Erin, Jeremy, Kasie, Dr. Haskell and Eileen!), and yesterday I bought our crib and mattress. Also arriving last week was our diaper bag from my new friend Elizabeth!! Thank you!

5. Yesterday my mom and I went shopping for Zara and I think I have found *the* Gotcha Day outfit...or at least part of it:
To complete the ensemble I'm thinking some brown leggings and a lime green sweater (both yet to be found). What do you think?? It will be HOT, HOT, HOT when Gotcha Day comes, but in Zara's country all children must be overdressed by about 30 degrees. Otherwise we might be chewed out by some random Babushka on the street (or the orphanage nurses)!

6. We also found these at Once Upon A Child:
Oh yes, she will be a Hokie :)

7. Today I did the math with what donations I know are coming, and we are only $1000 away from being F-U-L-L-Y  F-U-N-D-E-D!!!!!! How amazing is that??? As an extra incentive, we have decided what we will name "Zara" but we are holding that information HOSTAGE until the last $1000 comes in! So if you want to know...well, please share and spread the word!
UPDATE: We just got a $500 donation so we are only FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS away from being fully funded!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zara!

Today our Zara turns TWO years old. Praise the Lord that she won't spend another birthday alone!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome to the New Blog Design!

What do you think??? I LOVE it! Thanks, Mandy, for doing this for us! Check out our little Riley button on the sidebar, too. It's perfect. And please grab our new Zara button for your own blog if you have one! Since Riley is no longer an orphan I can officially announce his real name: Maxim (Max-EEM). We were going to name him Riley Maxim StClair. He will always be our son in our hearts and we will always love him and pray for him.

I know I haven't updated much in the past few days. There just hasn't been much to say on the adoption front. We probably won't hear until next week about our travel date. We are still $5000 short on funds (though we have had some donations come in, thank you!). It is looking more and more like we will be replacing my car sooner rather than later (I have a 2001 Toyota Celica, two doors, very small, not ideal for carseats!).

A BIG praise is that we are getting a stroller donated to us by some friends who don't need it. Some other friends also collaborated to purchase our car seat, which is a huge blessing! I had no idea how expensive car seats are.

Right now we are working on getting the house ready for Zara's arrival. I spent the weekend painting the trim in her room and yesterday we had her carpet steam-cleaned. I am feeling overwhelmed by all the STUFF we have! When did we get so much stuff?!  And where to put it all?? Not to mention the fact that we have just begun to buy more stuff for Zara, and that will only continue for a while.

Ok, this post is all over the place, sorry about that!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Button and New (Temporary) Design

It was time.

Time to let Riley and his blog design go.

While we are waiting for our new blog design (thanks, Lu!) I quickly put this together. We needed some pink. And we got a new button with Zara's picture on it, too. If you have our old Riley button, please grab this new one with Zara's sweet face on it.

We love Riley and we will miss him. But it was time to let go.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Big News!

Today is a long-awaited for day. After months of paper-chasing, thousands of dollars spent, many days wondering where in the world (literally) our dossier was, I can finally announce....

OUR DOSSIER HAS BEEN SUBMITTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What this means: Our paperwork has been turned in to the SDA in charge of adoptions in Zara's country and Zara is available for adoption.

What we are doing now: Freaking out, praising God, fundraising in earnest, getting Zara's room ready for her arrival, and anxiously waiting to find out the date of our SDA appointment!

When we will be traveling: We won't know for certain until we get our appointment date, but likely it will be about 5 weeks from now. That puts us traveling the week of June 6 (hopefully).

Praising God today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Need

I don't like to talk about money; it's my least favorite part of this whole process. But we will be traveling soon (stay tuned for a BIG announcement tomorrow!) and I feel that God has put it on my heart to share about our need. After all, no one can donate if they don't know what we need, right?? So here is an update on our fundraising situation:

We are currently $5000 shy of being fully funded. We've had a few local fundraisers that brought in a total of $500. I feel incredibly blessed by how God has provided so far and we are truly in the home stretch! But we need to make it to the finish line.

We have been saving our own money as well. We anticipate spending quite a bit of that on supplies in the next few weeks as we get Zara's room and our house ready for her arrival. Being new parents we have absolutely nothing in the way of supplies. We need to buy a crib, a carseat, a stroller, bedding and much more. All that to say, we don't know how much of our savings we will have left when it comes time to travel.

I think we have a donation of $2000 coming in soon, so that leaves us with $3000 remaining. Can you help us? It would only take three donations of $1000 for us to be fully funded. Remember, all donations are tax-deductible. Any amount, large or small, is helpful. Be prepared for God to bless you because of your generosity!

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt 6:19-21

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Shoes

I just bought these for our little girl:
Her first pair of shoes :). Now I need a "Gotcha Day" outfit to match...any suggestions??

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Showered In Love

Diaper Cake!

Of course there was real cake...

My favorite bib! It says, "Star of Mommy's Blog"!

A bathing suit for the pool :)

Well, she won't be naked :)

Thank you, everyone! The shower was wonderful and so much fun :).