Saturday, November 21, 2015

How Can You Help

We hope to have Teddy home in February. We still have a ways to go with out fundraising too. I wanted to write this post up to give everyone an idea of how they could possibly help us.

1) We have a tax deductible donation site set up for our family. Every penny that is in this grant account will be disbursed to our family. You can access that here:  Scheid Family Grant Account

2) I am still making magnets and taking orders for magnets. They are $1 each. You can send a check for them or make your payment to our donation site linked in the #1 above. Here are some examples of magnets I have done.

 I can take special orders also. These make great gifts for teachers, bus drivers, church friends.

3)  We are collecting used shoes and boots. We need any size you have including children's sizes. If you have old shoes around, or kids have outgrown last years boots we will take them!  If you are local to Saranac, my Mom will pick them up, you can drop off at her house at 49 Pleasant St Saranac (bin out on front porch), or the Saranac Hardware Store has a donation box for us. If you are in the Chicago area, I'll come to you just shoot me an email, facebook message, or text.   910-581-2917

4)  Puzzle fundraiser:  Would you consider donating $5 to have your name added to a puzzle piece back? This is a picture of the court house where he will legally become our son. This puzzle will hang in a double sided frame so he can always see the names of people who helped rescue him from the place he lived his first 2 years.We still have 208 pieces left to be claimed.  donation can be made to the tax deductible link mentioned in #1 up above. Just message us so we know to add your name to the back of a puzzle piece.

November Update

First let me start by saying I have been very good about updating our adoption facebook page 
I keep forgetting to come here to do a blog post and I'm sorry for that. I know some of you follow us here and not there. Feel free to request to join us on our page though. I will try to come back here at least weekly to post quick updates too.

We traveled to Bulgaria to meet our son 10/30 - 11/6. It was an amazing experience and one we won't ever forget. His country is breathtakingly beautiful. We ate lunch every day in outdoor restaurants on the Black Sea, and had lunch in the mountains at a lake on our way back to Sofia from our son's town we visited him in. 

We were able to see our son Mon - Thurs from about 8:30am til noon or a little after on a couple of the days. It was so fun to spend time with him, and watch him interact with my husband while playing. I had to keep reminding myself to take pictures and video and stop staring at them. I knew we would want the pictures and video for while we were waiting on trip 2 dates to go pick him up. :)

Once we got back home we got started right away on paperwork that needed to be updated, signed, notarized, and apostilled.  We also needed to send off for updated FBI background check so we both had our fingerprints done again. Our fingerprints were sent back to Bulgaria by DHL yesterday 11/20/15 and we will be sending the last few documents by DHL next Friday 11/28/15.

Right now we are waiting for our NGO in Bulgaria to notify us that we have a visa interview date, they will go on our behalf, and then we just wait for Article 5 approval. We hope to have this by the end of the first week of December. Usually about 3 weeks after that families hear that they have been assigned a judge to review their adoption case and a court date is assigned.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shoe Drive Fundraiser 10,000 Pair of Shoes in 30 days

Do you have any old shoes that you never wear anymore? Shoes that kill your feet and you don't know why you keep them around? Shoes the kids have outgrown? We will take them!  We are partnering with Angel Bins to do a shoe drive fundraiser. The goal is set for us to collect 10,000 pair of shoes. They can be used, they don't have to be new.

Ways to help: As your church family to donate, ask your co-workers, friends, family, your barber, stranger on the street, lol if they have any they could give you. Do you have a spot in town you could set up a collection box for us? We will find a way to get them from you. No matter how many you collect we will take them. Even if you only have one pair, we will take them. Every pair counts in this fundraiser.

We have until November 1st to get all the shoes to us. I know we can do this!  Will you please help us?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Checking In To Give An Update

Wow!!!!!!  It will have been a month tomorrow that I updated here.  Sorry about that. We've been busy getting paperwork ready to go to Bulgaria.  It is finally all in Bulgaria with our attorney there being translated and authenticated.  We have worked so hard to get to this point.  There were times that it seemed like we would never make it til dossier to Bulgaria day. 

So, what's next.........Well we are crossing our fingers that our dossier is reviewed at the next IAC meeting. They meet on Thursday's and the last one was 9/10. We know it didn't make it to that meeting, so we are hoping and praying that it makes it on 9/17. If it does get reviewed and they don't find any issues with our paperwork, we will receive verbal approval that day. Usually about 3 weeks later families receive written approval, or the written referral. Once we have that, possibly just a month from now, we will be assigned travel dates.  The travel dates can sometimes be for a date very close, or a month out from when you receive them.  They have to coordinate everything in country and set up our travel. We will fly from Chicago, IL to Sofia, Bulgaria. From Sofia, we will have transportation provided by our in country people to the city where our son is currently living. We will spend 5 days in his city and hopefully be able to see him twice each day. So, we will leave here on a fri or sat and then come back home the following Saturday. My Mom is going to come and stay here so that the girls won't miss a whole week of school and the dogs won't have to go to some expensive kennel while we are gone. 

This all means we could possibly be traveling to officially meet Teddy late October-mid November sometime. Please pray that our paperwork gets submitted and reviewed quickly and that they don't find anything wrong with it. Also pray that travel is issued quickly for us. We can't wait to meet him and get back home so we can tell the girls all about him.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Numbers Game

I want to be as up front as possible with our adoption fundraising. I think it is great when people want to help out an adoptive family financially, but I know sometimes people wonder where the money goes. At the same time, many people often wonder why adoption costs so much money. While I can't give you solid answers on the why, I can tell you where the money goes.

Home Study Application Fee  $350
Home Study  $2,050
Transportation costs for Social Worker  $66.70
Education  $200
Background Checks $27
Document Authentication $2 per document (tons of documents, too many to count)
FBI Fingerprints  $216.50
Passports  $220
Post Placement Reports (required to pre-pay for these)   $1,400
Agency Fee for Bulgaria Program#1  $4,625
Commitment Fee  $2250
Agency Fee for Bulgaria Program#2  $4,625  Due when we return from trip 1
Case Worker Fee #1  $1,750
Case Worker Fee #2  $1750
I800a  $890
Child's Visa $325
Child's Medical and TB test  around $250
Second Stage Fingerprints  $110
Hotel for trip 1  unsure, we think around $700
Hotel for trip 2  unsure, we think around $700
Food for trip 1   $300-$400
Food for trip 2    $300-$400
Airfare for trip 1 (2 adults)  $3,000
Airfare for trip 2 (2 adults round trip, and 1 child one way)

The cost seems so overwhelming at times. Honestly though, it is hard to believe that already at this point in the process, we have paid $15,805. The blue print is what we still have left to raise. It looks like it will end up being another $11,000 - $14,000. We won't know exactly the cost because air fare will vary in price depending on the time of year we travel.

I am still making magnets for $1 each. I know $1 doesn't sound like a lot, but every single one adds up to a bigger number. Once our girls are back in school for the year I will also be back working at our military commissary, where I bag groceries for customers and take them out to their vehicle. Rain, Shine, Sleet, or Snow I'm there working. We don't receive an hourly pay at all, only tips. Every penny I make there goes into a cup we have in our cupboard and once a week I deposit it into our savings account we have set up for the adoption.  If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our adoption you can do that at our Reece's Rainbow link here. Donation Link

Thanks for all your prayer and support. We honestly couldn't get through this without all of you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This is hard

I remember when I was pregnant with Natalie, and so many people seemed in awe by the fact that I wasn't freaking out with worry over her. We had found out that she was going to have some medical issues (most she did not have, for those of you who don't know the story) I just felt a calmness, and feeling of peace during my time I carried her. I'm not sure if it was because I was carrying her, and holding her, and just felt close and connected to her. What I do know, is that, both Nate and I already knew no matter what happened when she was born, we were going to love her, care for her, and protect her with a fierceness never before seen.  She is healthy, beautiful, and one of the best things that ever happened to us.  :) 

I think that is why being so far away from our little guy is so, so hard. I can't be there for him at night if he wakes up and cries, I can't hold him when he needs to be held. Does he even cry anymore for someone to hold him, or has he learned over the past 23 months, that most of the time no one is going to come. I pray every day he feels his fathers love and protection over him. I pray that the caretakers treat him with kindness and love, rather than with a sense of duty.

I so badly need trip one dates to come and be here so I can see for myself that he is okay. I can't wait to whisper in his ear, that he is loved, that he has a mommy and a daddy who will move heaven and earth to get to him, and that he has 3 big sisters that can't wait to love on him.   Getting on that plane to come home after trip one will be the hardest thing I've had to do yet in my entire life. The only thing that will get us on that plane, is knowing the sooner we get back home and finish up paperwork, that sooner we can get back to bring him home. That, and the fact that we will miss our three here at home like crazy! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movement in July with much more to come in August

I think most of you know about our LONG wait for home study approval from that state of Illinois.  The good news for families behind us in the process is that this step isn't needed anymore. The Gov. of IL signed the bill that was passed taking this step out of the process.

For us though, we finally received news over the phone on July 9th that ours had been approved. A few days later, we received a letter stating our approval.  Such a good feeling after so many months waiting.  Our agency then, had to notarize our home study and mail it to us.  The next step, was to submit I800a application to USCIS for approval. We sent that in on July 20th. We need to wait for them to send us an appointment notice for our biometric appointment.  Once we go for this appointment we should have about another 2 week wait for approval.     

This is the last and final piece of paperwork needed for our dossier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We've been lucky, in that, our agency has allowed us to send all the other paperwork we've completed already to Bulgaria. While we've been waiting for this other step, our dossier has been (hopefully) being translated so that it will be ready to be submitted to the MOJ.

From dossier submission, to travel, is usually about 2 months. We will be submitted to the MOJ, next verbal approval will be given, then written approval will be given. After that, our NGO in Bulgaria will be setting up our travel dates for trip one. It all seems like it's still so far away, but it really will come pretty fast. We won't have a lot of advanced notice, but that's fine with us. We already know Grandma will stay with the kids and pups while we are away.

So, soon you'll be seeing a post letting you all know we have I800a approval and our dossier has been submitted. Hopefully, soon after that, I'll be posting that we have trip 1 travel dates.