Sorry for my silence at the end of this week, but it was for a good purpose. This past week, our adoption process took off full steam ahead. We had notary appointments, meetings in the county auditor’s office, trips to the BMV, visits to the sheriff’s office, discussions at the clerk of courts office, and blood tests at the doctor’s office. Not to mention hours spent patiently (or not so patiently) on hold with USCIS, talking with our social worker, and texting with our stateside adoption facilitator. At the end of it all, we got most of our questions answered, signed our names hundreds of times, and completed nearly 40 documents that I mailed yesterday afternoon to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office for apostilling. As soon as these 40 documents come back, in approximately 1 week, they’ll be overnighted to another family traveling soon to Shiloh’s country, and our application to adopt will officially be initiated with his country’s government. So exciting!
We still have several big items to cross off our “needed documents” list, not least of which is our homestudy update, but the process is well underway. Our original goal was to have our documents done by the end of September. We may not make that deadline, but we shouldn’t miss it by much. Shiloh, here we come!
The paperwork process — the part we’re slogging through right now — was by far my least favorite part of Shanti’s adoption. It wasn’t the hardest part for me — feeling helpless in the face of Shanti’s grief was definitely the hardest part — but it was definitely the most stressful part and the portion of the process I had the most difficulty with on a personal level. To be honest, this paperwork-obsessed time in the adoption process was part of the reason I was so reluctant to adopt again. “You mean I have to do all that paperwork again????? Never!!”
I used this cartoon in one of our early posts about Shanti’s adoption and the piles of paperwork involved. It perfectly captures both how I felt then and how I feel now.
While this time the paperwork is going a lot faster because we’ve already done it once and know a lot of the pitfalls to avoid, it’s not any less stressful for me, not any simpler for me to slog through, not any easier for me to see the light at the end of the paperwork tunnel. It seems that every time I’m able to cross a document off the list, a problem arises with another document that removes any sense of achievement from the document just completed. Yesterday’s victory of having so many documents completed and ready to be apostilled was a much-needed milestone for me on a personal level. After two weeks of paperwork obsession, I needed a triumph to celebrate. Yes, I can do this. I’ve done it once, and I can do it again. It won’t be pleasant, but it will be worth it. Shiloh is worth it.
I think you’ll agree that this smile is worth the paperwork nightmare.
And now for a happier topic …
In the midst of the paperwork explosion, many fundraisers are in the works, and several are even going on right now! Here’s the info for the fundraisers already underway.
Shop for the latest makeup, accessory, or clothing items you need, and support our adoption at the same time! Natalie Keller, the Avon representative who is running this fundraiser for us, is donating her entire commission for every purchase from Sept. 1 – Sept. 15 to our adoption, meaning 20% of every purchase goes directly to help us bring Shiloh home. Simply click here to make your purchase.
The Quick Details:
- Running NOW through September 15th
- 20% of every purchase supports our adoption
- Click here to make your purchase.
Online Silent Auction
Jamie Lentz, one of our friends in the adoption community, regularly runs online silent auctions in support of adoptive families, and she generously offered to support us with her next auction! The auction opens September 12 and runs through September 26. Right now, we’re still in need of items to populate the auction. Anything you might want to donate is absolutely welcome. Bonus if you’re willing to pay to ship your item to the winning bidder!
Do you have a gift card to a store you don’t visit or for a restaurant you don’t like? A purse or tote bag in like-new condition that you’ll never use? A gently used kid’s clothing item your child has outgrown but that still has a lot of life left? An awesome toy in like-new condition your child no longer likes? A kitchen tool that just isn’t your thing? An art item that’s not your style? A craft kit you’ll never complete? Another item I’ve not even thought of? We’ll take it all! Leave a comment on this post before September 11th if you have something you’d like to donate, and I’ll be in touch.
Once the auction opens for bidding on September 12, I’ll be posting LOTS more about the auction, where to view the items, and how to bid. The auction is run on Facebook. You don’t have to have a Facebook account to view the items, but you will need a Facebook account to bid. So, if you don’t have an account and think a silent auction is just your cup of tea, perhaps it’s time to sign up for a Facebook account, even if you only ever use it to bid in this auction.
(Quick sidenote: we will also be asking for donations for an in-person silent auction that will run in conjunction with benefit concerts we’re planning in October and November, like the auction we held for Shanti’s adoption. If you just don’t have time in the next 5 days to put together an item for donating, never fear. We’ll still take it after the 11th, it’ll just go for our in-person auction instead. )
The Quick Details:
- Accepting donations of items through Sept. 11
- Bidding is open Sept. 12 – 26. I’ll post a link to the auction on our blog when bidding opens
- 100% of every winning bid directly supports our adoption of Shiloh
Amazon Affiliate Link
If you are an ultra-observant blog reader, you might have noticed the new “Amazon” link in our sidebar. That’s right, we’re signed up as Amazon Affiliates! It works like this: instead of navigating to Amazon.com directly, you can first visit our website and click the Amazon link in the sidebar, or any of the Amazon links in this post. Then, shop Amazon as usual. Any purchase you subsequently make from Amazon will send a percentage back to us. The exact percentage varies depending on the product type, but its generally between 1-5% of your purchase price. This isn’t a huge amount, but it can quickly add up, especially as we approach the Christmas season and more people begin making online gift purchases in preparation for the holiday season. Every little bit makes a difference!
The Quick Details:
- Use any Amazon link on our blog to get to Amazon.com
- Any purchase you make from Amazon after first visiting our blog will send us back a percentage of your purchase price
- Shop for Christmas gifts online and give both to our adoption and to your gift recipient!
A generous donor has agreed to match every dollar we raise between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15, up to $3,000. WOW! In other words, any donation made to us in that time frame — whether that’s through the Avon Fundraiser, the Online Silent Auction, our Amazon Affiliate account, sent directly to us through our PayPal link, or mailed to Reece’s Rainbow — will be doubled, up to $3,000. So exciting! Because of this matching grant, right now is a great time to make the donation or purchase you might have considered but not yet taken the time to complete.
The Quick Details:
- Running NOW through October 15th
- Doubles every donation made, up to $3,000
- Method of donation doesn’t matter!
We have several more fundraisers in the works, including benefit concerts and an in-person silent auction, as I mentioned above. As soon as I have more details, I’ll be sure to let you know. One step at a time, one dollar at a time, we’re getting there!
Arturo, Shanti, and I want to thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for the incredible support and love you have shown us since our adoption announcement this past Monday. In less than a week, you have surrounded us with kindness and generosity, in a way that completely amazes us. Thank you for your kind words, for your gifts, for your pledges of support, for your hugs and smiles of friendship. It takes a village to raise a child, and the village we have — YOU — is the best village any family could ask for. Thank you.