Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Chance for Beach Trip Giveaway

Not much time left to enter our BEACH TRIP GIVEAWAY!! I can't wait to see who wins 4 nights at this BEAUTIFUL condo!!! You won't be sorry!!! I was dreaming of this place last night....oh how our time there seems sooooo long ago! We committed to Laina just after arriving home from this very same condo in June. I believe it was a gift from God (and Katie!) to be able to stay there for a week. If you've donated, or if you do donate today, please leave your name with how many entires ($10 = 1 entry). THANK YOU!!!! I believe Katie is planning on doing the drawing tomorrow evening!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Laina's Locker: Hair Bow Holder

For all of you with little girls and a million bows....you need this!! Zoya has so many bows that I had to come up with an organization plan for them! I made this for her and I just love it because it is easy to organize and find her bows.


Isn't it perfect??
Think christmas gift or birthday gift...
handmade with love and proceeds going toward Miss Laina's adoption!

Sooooo....I have some supplies if you'd like a pretty bow holder! You can order anywhere from 1-4 frames (4 frames pictured above). You can decide what word or design or letter(s) you'd like on your bow holder. Some examples are:

*The letter of your child's first name (if you have more than one child you could do one for each)
*heart, star, flower, fleur di lis, etc.
*Words such as: joy, love, hope, diva, hair, bows
*Child's name (if 4 letters or less)

So...here's the deal. I have blue, pink, and green frames (4 of each). They do not have matting like my example above. They are 4x6 inches and the ribbon is approximately 13 inches long. They have hardware on the back to hang on a nail.  The pricing will be as follows:

$12 for 1 frame
$20 for 2 frames
$27 for 3 frames
$35 for 4 frames

+$2 for shipping (add $1/frame over 1 frame)
You can either choose a design pictured below or custom design your bow holder! If you want to custom design yours, please let me know what color frame(s), general color scheme, what picture/letter(s)/word you'd like, and what ribbon. If you like one of the ones you see, you can order that specific one. The three samples below are just single frames, just for the sake of not wanting to waste materials guessing at what others would like!

Pink and Green Fleur di Lis



Blue and Pink Heart:


Green and Pink Flower:


These are the ribbons I currently have available:

Leave a comment or email me at spbasile at gmail dot com if you're interested!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laina's Locker: Key Fobs

My super fabulous friend Teri has donated some key fobs that she has made to sell! I can attest to how wonderful these things are...especially for a mama who usually has her hands full and is fumbling all around for keys. I just love mine and I know you will too! 

If you're interested in purchasing one, the small ones will sell for $5.00 and the large ones (that's what I have) will sell for $7.00. Shipping will be $2.00 for one key fob or $3.00 for two key fobs. The current supply is 1 small red, 2 large green, and 2 small green with more varieties yet to come!

Large Red is SOLD
2 Large Green Available
2 Small Green available
1 Small Red Available


Please leave me a comment or email me at spbasile at gmail dot com if you're interested! You can use the chip-in on the right side of the blog.  Thank you!

THANK YOU!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?? A few very generous donations to our FSP....oh thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you generous people!!! Your generosity will help get our sweet girl home where she belongs!  We are so very blessed! THANK YOU!!

Signed, Sealed, DELIVERED!

DOSSIER HAS BEEN DELIVERED!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Laina's Locker: Weighted Blankets

Laina's locker is our newest fundraiser!  Laina's locker is full of cool gifts waiting to be sold.  Christmas is only FOUR MONTHS away....so start shopping now!  My great friend Shelly and I are going to be making some great gifts to sell to raise funds for laina's adoption. Shelly has already spent hours making these beautiful weighted blankets!

Our weighted lap blankets are :
*made in a smoke free home
*made from fabric washed in dye free soap,
*measure 17" square
*filled with poly plastic beads
*weighing in at 3 lbs.
100% washable and hang dry only
priced at $30 which includes shipping
(all money minus shipping will go directly to Laina's adoption fund) 
These blankets work wonderfully for children with sensory issues and are often at least 3 times the price of what you can find them for here!  The weight from the blanket helps to calm a child because it gives them a sense of where their body is in space.
To order a blanket please leave me a message in the comment box or email me at spbasile at gmail.com with your contact information and which blanket you are interested in. When that blanket has been sold I will write "sold" under that photo. You may send payment through the chip-in button on the right side of the blog labeled "Laina's Locker."
Butterflies

 Mickey Mouse-SOLD!!

Cherries

Baby

Red and Denim--SOLD!

Yellow Daisies-SOLD!

Pink and Red

Orange and Blue Flowers

Cupcakes-SOLD!!

Mickey Mouse 2-SOLD!!

Black, White, and Red

Pink and Brown Cupcake

Butterflies 2--SOLD!

Green and Pink

Monkies-SOLD

More from Laina's Locker coming in the next several weeks!! Thank you!

Laina's Locker

A new fundraiser coming soon....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dossier is on it's Way!!!

We just returned home from Harrisburg. We got 37 documents apostilled in a half hour this morning! I was worried the "apostiller" wouldn't be thrilled when we walked in first thing Monday morning with all those documents, but they were great and had our documents apostilled in record time!

Hey we were bored!

When our buzzer went off so quickly I got worried something was wrong, but they were just super fast. We double and triple checked out documents to make sure the apostilles matched the document they were stapled to...and they were! Then we gave our "baby" a kiss, prayed a quick prayer over it, and off we went to DHL!
Here is our second baby!

A kiss for good luck (what? Nancy told me I had to and I listen to everything my stateside helper says!)

Heading into DHL to send off our dossier!!

And I'd say from the pictures Aunt Jen-Jen sent, Zoya had a great time and forgot that we were even gone! (Except for her little bit of sadness at bedtime......) This little "practice" run of leaving Zoya has me feeling a tad better about having to leave her when we travel, but it was still hard!!!
She loves her Xavier!

So lucky to have Aunt Jen-Jen and X!
Our dossier SHOULD arrive by Friday, but praying for 2 days! :) Just because!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Here We Come Harrisburg!

Well Shawn and I are off to drive 5.5 hours to Harrisburg to get our 37 documents apostilled Monday. We will leave Sunday evening and spend the night in Harrisburg and then turn around and come home the following day after apostilling and MAILING OFF OUR DOSSIER!!! In case you were wondering, it has only been SIX WEEKS since we committed to Laina! What a whirlwind these last six weeks have been! WOW! We spent tonight going through our dossier one last time, organizing our documents and double and triple checking them. We wrote a check for $555.00, the cost to have 37 documents apostilled (that is in addition to the 8 documents we already had apostilled)....ALMOST $700.00 in total for gold stickers...sheesh!  But Laina is more than worth it!!

We will be leaving Zoya overnight for the first time ever :( But I figure we better get a practice run in for at least a night before leaving her for weeks [insert hyperventilating here]. ANDTHATSALLIAMGOINGTOSAYBECAUSEIMIGHTCRY!

If all goes as planned, our dossier should arrive in Eastern Europe by the end of the week!!! Prayers welcome. Thank you friends!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A True Miracle...

I've often heard of miracles happening....things that there is absolutely no human explanation for....but until today I haven't experienced a miracle quite like this. Let me explain.

We have been working hard racing to get to Laina as soon as possible so we can bring her home to get the heart surgery she so badly needs. Our dossier is done, with the exception of the i171H-the only document we cannot complete ourselves. It is a waiting game. Our officer has been God-sent...there's no other way to say it. She emailed me a couple days ago letting me know our fingerprints were scheduled for September 8th and we should get our notice by Monday and then we could walk in and get our print. Well as of today we had still not received our fingerprint notice, but knew it was on the way, so we decided to chance it and drive to Buffalo and see if we could get in. I was a nervous wreck! We decided at the last minute to take Zoya because let's face it, she's cute and who can say no to her? Apparently the mean fingerprint lady can! I didn't even finish my sentence and she had told me she couldn't help me that I'd have to go to the window. So there I sat with the nicest woman ever who sent me to another window and what do you know? She handed over permission to get our fingerprints done right then and there!!! A small miracle! Grumpy fingerprint lady changed her tune and was all of a sudden very nice....I was jumping up and down with excitement! What had taken a month with Zoya's adoption took just over a week! We had to wait for the rest of the waiting room to get their prints done before us since they had appointments and we didn't but heck we would have waited ALLL DAY!

Here is where the REAL miracle happened....I got in the car and emailed our officer from my phone telling her we had our prints done. She replied that she would look for them Monday as prints typically take 48-72 hours to clear. 15 minutes later I got another email and this is what I read with tears in my eyes...

"Sarah, God is looking out for you and that cute little girl who needs you! I happened to check the system for your fingerprint results while I was in pulling up some other ones and low-and-behold there they were! I am ready to fax your approval to Shawn so let him know its coming or let me know if you need me to wait or send it somewhere else. Normally it does take about 48-72 hours and I’ve even seen it take up to a week but somehow yours came back extremely fast."

Less than AN HOUR after we got fingerprinted we were already cleared in the system!!! Unheard of! Never happens!!! I wrote HERE about how our USCIS approval took 2 months with Zoya and we were hoping and praying for 2 WEEKS for this adoption....well God is good and I have in my (well Shawn's) hands our I-171H approval....just TEN DAYS after mailing in our application...so much for our two week prayer...God blew that one out of the water!!!!

Praising God for this miracle and the people he put in our path to help get our approval so quickly! Hallelujah!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Letter to Laina from Her Big Sister

Dear Laina,

Hi I'm your big sister! Mama and Daddy have been talking a lot about you. I like your pretty room. It has a big tree on the wall with owls and love birds. Every time I go in there I like to say your name. I keep sitting in the big brown chair rocking with mama just dreaming about you. Mama made up a song called "Where is Laina?" and we sing it just waiting for you. I know you're a baby and I think that's pretty cool because I LOVE babies and I've always wanted one just like you. I will try to be a good helper and not squeeze you too hard but you have to know something about me...when I see babies, I just get so excited and I have so much love that sometimes I squeeze too hard, but I'm working on it. I like looking in the bassinet and saying "baby" or "Laina" because that's where you'll sleep. When Mommy asks me what my sister's name is I proudly say "Laina" except it sounds like "Naina" because I'm still working on it. I've been thinking of some things we can do when you get home and I have so much to show you. First I will show you how to get Daddy wrapped around your little baby finger...but you might not need much help because you look pretty cute in the picture Mama shows me every day and I think Daddy will just melt. Also, I have to show you how to lock Daddy out on the deck because I figured out how to do that all by myself and it is a fun game to play. Oh one more thing, I recently learned how to undress myself and hide my clothes in my crib when I should be napping.  I will show you that trick first! I can't wait until you come home and we can be double the trouble but double the love! I already love you little sister!

Love your big sister,
Zoya

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mailbox Addiction...I'm a stalker!

Okay so I need to find some serious help for this addiction that has become quite a problem. I'm addicted to waiting for the mail.  I have all the symptoms of a typical addict:

Symptom # 1
Unable to meet responsibilities at home, school or office. Check! I can't focus on anything else other than wondering when the mail will come and if it will have our USCIS receipt or fingerprint appointment. (The only responsibility I can keep up with is eating large portions of frozen peanut butter pie.)

Symptom # 2
Has tried but failed to end the behavior. Check! As soon as the mail comes and the documents I'm waiting for are NOT there, all I can do is count down the hours until the next mail shipment the following day (and eat peanut butter pie while I try to drown my sorrows).

Symptom #3
Becomes irritable or irrational in thoughts when going through withdrawals. Check! I get pretty bummed and annoyed when I get the mail and the documents we are waiting for are still not there. Steer Clear! (And the peanut butter pie ONLY takes away the craving for the mailbox obsession for a few moments).

Symptom #4
You find yourself doing things you would have never done without the addiction. What? It is not normal to have your mailman's phone number and plan on a place to meet to get your mail early?? This might also be a sign of a stalker as well...not sure.  (Peanut butter pie will NOT be left in the mailbox as a bribe because it is usually eaten all up before the mail comes at noon but it's a nice thought). (Seriously though we have the best mail-lady ever...she was adopted herself and we've been able to share stories through the common bond and she so eagerly helps us when we need her help!)

"There is no cure for an addiction. Treatment and counseling can help an addict to learn how to control their behavior, withstand impulses and recognize the presence of a problem, but an addict is never cured. Treating an addiction can take years and requires ongoing support from friends, families and support groups."

Just great. It seems hopeless for me.

"Living with an addiction requires a daily commitment and there is always the possibility of relapsing. An addict that has been "clean" for even 20 years can succumb to temptation just as they did decades before."

Even better. Sorry Shawn.

***************************
The good news is, even though we didnt' receive our fingerprint notice or receipt in the mail today, our USCIS officer told me we were scheduled for our fingerprints yesterday and we should get the notice very soon and then we can walk in. We are hoping to get it tomorrow, but if we don't we will just call our wonderful mail lady and see if she can call us first thing Friday morning to let us know if our documents have  come. And then if they still haven't, well we might have to wait until next week to get fingerprints. Thanks for your prayers in advance!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

WOW!

Oh my goodness, I am blown away by this beach fundraiser!! We are sooo blessed.  Between the amount you see on Katie's blog and other cash/FSP donations, we are at $2,070!!!!  We are also at $1,140 on our Reece's Rainbow page (about $280 of that is is from that beach fundraiser number). Thank you to those of you who have donated. We had no idea we'd be moving this quickly. We are thankful and trusting of God's plan but never did we think we could possibly travel in September!!! If you've donated and we haven't said thanks yet, please know we are so grateful to you!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dreaming about You....

Dear Laina,

I made a list of some of the things I can't wait to do with you when you're home....just you and I! Here they are:

1. Take you on a walk with the fall leaves changing and pick out a special one just for you.

2. Snuggle you on the porch during a thunderstorm while Daddy is working and your sister is napping.

3. Turn on the fire and watch the snowflakes drift down from heaven from our nice warm house of love.

4. Find our own special song to dance to every night before you fall asleep.

5. Go for a late night car ride and listen to Delilah.

6. Lay on a blanket in the front yard and admire your perfection.

7. Light a pumpkin spice candle and read you Uncle Bub's favorite story, "Goodnight Moon."

8. Wrap you up in the softest pink blanket and watch you sleep for hours.

9. Sing "you are my sunshine" while rocking you in the big brown chair.

10. Stare at you long enough to memorize every crease, line, and dimple.

I have some big plans when you get here sweet girl! I think your Daddy will be jealous because I'm not going to want to share you with anyone elses arms!! I love you already more than all the stars in the sky! We are coming soon, hang on baby girl!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Got it!!

Did you know express mail is not delivered by your regular mailman? I found that out when I called the post office in a panic after our mail came today and the anticipated envelope wasn't there. The guy said well it's not 3pm yet. And I said I KNOW BUT THE MAIL ALREADY CAME!!! And he so nicely said that is because a different mailman will bring your express mail. I almost tackled the guy who walked up to the neighbors house with a white envelope but he was indeed where he was meant to be and the package was not for me! :) We waited out on the front porch as the envelope was promised by 3:00. At 2:07 I started getting really worried....finally at about 2:30 it came!! The guy was looking at us funny probably thinking what are they so eager for? I told Shawn to tell him he was delivering our divorce papers and we just couldn't wait to get them signed....but he didn't say that! LOL.

And you know you've entered the crazy world of adoption when you tell your husband (who is on his way to the post office to mail the package) "if you get in an accident make sure it's on the way home and not on the way to the post office." DID I REALLY SAY THAT? Oh my I'm afraid I did! And this isn't even the dossier!!! When we send our dossier I'm going to have to medicate myself! Aiy!

One step closer Laina!

Camping out at the mailbox....

Our homestudy is supposed to come in the mail today and then we can mail it overnight with our application to USCIS, which will then allow us to get fingerprinted, hopefully fairly soon, and then just wait for our approval....the GOLDEN TICKET of adoption.....the last piece of our dossier.....and THEN we can send our paperwork to Eastern Europe and wait for a travel date! Yippeeee! We are getting closer Laina!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Garage Sale Day! and Happy Anniversay :)

We prepared for hours for our garage sale today....we didn't do as well as we had hoped but still raised $487 toward Miss Laina's adoption!!!! We were hoping to raise our $890 immigration fees from today's sale but fell a little short. I just looked at our FSP and someone donated $200 today!!! Thank you to whoever donated....we are blessed beyond belief!  God's timing is perfect. It seems when we start to get a little worried or frustrated or anxious about how things will all fall into place, He comes through loud and clear with a nice little reminder that we should just trust and let go! Things are moving very quickly and for reasons I can't yet write about we are really hoping to travel ASAP....like possibly NEXT MONTH....IF USCIS comes through with a very speedy approval....our dossier is just about done and our only hold up will be waiting for USCIS approval. Please pray that the medical expedite letter will really speed things up for our process. Please pray that our USCIS officer will work quickly once they receive our application.

As I watched many of our things walk off the driveway with their new owners today I thanked God that we were so blessed to have so many things in the first place to be able to sell. I thanked God for friends who donated items and took their time think about us and help in their own way. I thanked God for the way he has moved in my heart to care less about material things and more about love.

I thought about how six years ago today Shawn and I stood before all of our family and friends and took vows to love one another forever. I thought about how blessed I am to have such an amazing husband who would do anything for me, and also for his sweet girls. I wondered if it meant we were old and married since we were having a garage sale on our anniversary, then I realized theres nothing else I'd rather be doing than working together with the love of my life to bring our daughter home...even if it meant sitting on our porch and selling some of our things :)

 I thought about how it was fun to make some lady so happy by giving away a little cat statue that she would sure cherish much more than I ever would have (and I'm going to keep an eye out on the new show "Hoarders" for her haha). I thought a lot about Laina and I watched friends and neighbors snuggle their babies who were twice the size of Laina. I thought about how tiny she is and how I can't believe this is all happening so quickly and how, God willing, very soon she could be in our arms!! I thought about how I know God has only revealed little pieces of His plan regarding this adoption and how I'm thankful for that. 

So although we didn't meet our goal today with the yard sale, I know we are blessed beyond measure and today helped me remember that!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homestudy Complete!!

Our homestudy is complete!! We are approved :) I should have the hard copy in my hands on Tuesday and then we can send it to USCIS and it should arrive there by the end of the week!! YIPPEEE!!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adoption Preparation is a Full Time Job!

My self portrait today
(no seriously I can't take credit for this beautiful drawing I found)
Oiy...I think I forgot how much work goes into an adoption since our last adoption. Either that or the fact that we're flying through steps and paperwork so fast makes this time around seem crazier! I think, like a lot of my friends say about childbirth, you forget the pain that went along with the process once you have your child home. I'm so blessed I'm not working right now so I can focus fully on Laina's adoption paperwork. Not working over summer is the ONLY way we could possibly have as much done as we do! We took almost all of our dossier documents to get notarized today and the poor notary's ink was running out of her stamp by the end! Seriously! And each and every document has to be perfectly perfect! There is a checklist that goes along with each and every document, which is new since Zoya's adoption...made to help adoptive parents make less mistakes....which is great, but it's a lot of pressure!! We only have to redo one, possibly two, documents out of the bunch so that's not horrible (unless you ask Shawn bc one of those is his medical form which he has redone no less than a dozen times haha). Those of you who haven't adopted would think some of this stuff is crazy....how specific they are about the documents! The good news is it's a small price to pay to bring our girl home!

So where are we with the process?  Well we are waiting for the draft of our homestudy, which should be emailed to me by the end of today (hmmm it's already 7:44pm? maybe she works late?). Once we have that we can make sure no changes need to be made. When the final copy is ready (I'd hope by Friday) we wait for the social worker to mail us the 3 copies of the notarized homestudy, including a copy of the agency license and a copy of the social worker license (notarized, in blue ink, with an expiration date on the notary stamp no less than a year away). Once we have the homestudy we can send it off to USCIS along with our birth certificates and marriage certificate and a hefty $890 processing fee. We will also send the medical letter we had written by a doctor explaining the urgency of Laina's situation and need for surgery, hoping to expedite our approval. For Zoya's adoption, it took a month after we sent out our application to get a fingerprint date. After the fingerprint date it took another month to get our approval...so that really slowed our process down. This time we're praying for a two-week approval instead of two months! Once we get our USCIS approval (the I-171H form) that will be the last piece of our dossier (which is otherwise just about done). Then we can send our entire dossier off to Eastern Europe and wait for it to be submitted and then wait some more for a travel date. Are you still with me? Are you tired yet? :)

And I'd do it all over again....wait I AM doing it all over again :)