Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Sunshine and Lemonade!

Our fundraiser was awesome and encouraging and exhausting!! We went on a short vacation with Mike's family at their condo in Florida so I decided to make it a vacation from everything, including blogging, haha! We had a great time and I'm probably going to post some photos from that soon.

I thought I'd go back and post a few more photos from Autumn's party! If you missed it in the fundraiser extravaganza of posting, you can click here to see that first post that showcased the printables. I had so much fun doing those! I'm going to put the party package on my etsy shop once things calm down.

Anyway, I mentioned before that this was a seriously inexpensive party, especially since we had over thirty people there. :) Once we start inviting Mike's family, it becomes an Event with a capital E. Because we had it in Mike's family's back yard, we didn't have to do a whole lot for decor or activities which definitely contributed to the low budget-ness. The kids just had a blast on the swing set back there.


I realize now that I could have not done any other activities but I think the kids and parents enjoyed what we did have. Penny and my mom did some face painting. That was fun and different! They did a great job.


As the kids came in, I had them design their own cups. This was a fun little project that the parents definitely liked better than the kids, hahaha. But it really worked out well because they had their own cups to drink out of and take home and I got to do my mason jars and paper straws for the grown ups! I didn't really count on it being 90 degrees in mid-May. We were able to get most of the activities in the shade but I didn't even THINK about the crayons--they melted into a huge mess in the bottom of the container that I have yet to brave cleaning.


The one thing I wouldn't bother doing again was the bubble art. The idea was pretty fun and I'd do it at a playdate but, really, for a party? Way too much potential for disaster!!


My brother in law Kyle brought some extra entertainment! He works at one of those spirit booster places and Autumn is just getting to the age that she can appreciate his prizes. I made them put away the torpedoes because they were an accident waiting to happen, haha. But this hamster ball thing? So much fun. I didn't get to roll around in it. :(


Here's Autumn in the hamster ball! And mermaid. Mermaid had to have a bath after this.


Moving on from activities, we served easy foods. Aside from the dessert and favor table, we had hamburgers and hot dogs, fruit, and chips and salsa. I've kind of moved away from making a whole lot of things like I used to back when I first started hosting parties regularly. I tend to do a lot of a few things these days.


I love this picture. Autumn had a hard time blowing out the candles so I told Josh he could help. We all laughed because he blew out the candles with a vengeance! Even Autumn was surprised and tickled.


Oh! And this is a close up of the A lindsay made for the door. How cute is this??


Planning this party was so. much. fun. I am glad Autumn decided on a random theme! But, more than that, it was wonderful to just be around people who love us and love Autumn. I snapped a few shots of people singing happy birthday and, seriously, looking at them it just hit me that our little girl is so loved. And I'm so thankful for that. :)


Happy times!

Friday, May 25, 2012

FF2A Tally: Thank you


I'm kind of breathless right now. And teary eyed. Partly it's because of how amazed and in awe I am of all the people who have shared their encouragement, stories, verses, and financial support over the 2 weeks we did the Flip Flop 2 Adopt Fundraiser. But partly it's just...God's just really showed me today how incredibly in control He is of everything.

Do I know why He chose to give us Garrett and then take him away? No. But all along this journey of faith and grief, God's giving me all of these little signals that this isn't arbitrary. That life isn't empty and it isn't just full of random events leading me from heartache to heartache and I can take comfort in that.

Today I tallied the amount we raised from our Flip Flop 2 Adopt Fundraiser. We sold 70 pairs of Flip Flops. After I pay the FF2A people, Mike and I will take home $700 to put towards our adoption. On top of that, in the last month, we have had three friends feel led to give us large gifts that total another $750. The total is $1450.00. Which is significant.

$1450.00 happens to be the exact amount of our home study fee which is due next Friday when the social worker comes to visit our house.

Please, friends, take a moment to praise God with us because He provides. And He did it through you. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

FINAL DAY of FF2A and the Bag Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Robyn, winner of the Personalized Organizing Utility Tote! This is pretty fun, I should do it again! :D It's like being Santa Claus. Robyn is another friend from way back. She and Mike used to work together at Wright and we went to church together back in the days at Highpoint! Robyn is one of those people who has always amazed me with how much she can do--sewing, engineering, mommy-ing, Robyn's just a cool person. She even made a step stool Autumn still uses with Autumn's initials and decorations carved in it! I can't believe I don't have any photos of Robyn and her family but that's about to change because I think we're going to get to hang out this weekend for the first time since they moved away from Memphis. I'm excited! And I'll be posting photos, I am sure.

Now, the bag giveaway being over means that today is the last day to order flip flops, so if you've been meaning to, now's the time!

Details on how to order:
 


To Purchase:
Each pair is $20. If you want to pay by credit card, look to the right side bar (click here if you're using an RSS feed) and you'll see the Flip Flop 2 Adopt image.

Local purchasers:
1. Choose the Free Local Shipping option from the drop down menu.

2. Write in the style(s) and size(s) in the text box. If you're having trouble seeing the numbers, just write in the description or click the link above, download the file, and zoom in to see details.

3. Click Buy Now, and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can write in the total quantity and pay by credit card or PayPal account.

Out of Towners:
1. Choose the number of flip flops you want to purchase from the drop down menu. The shipping is included in the total price.

2. Write in the style(s)/size(s) you want. If you're having trouble seeing the numbers, just write in the description or click the link above, download the file, and zoom in to see details.

3. Click Buy Now. You will be taken to the checkout page and can complete your purchase.

To pay by cash or check, email me and we'll talk!

Delivery
The sale ends today. We'll turn in our orders tomorrow. We will receive your flip flops within 3 weeks from that date and will distribute them.

Woohoo! Thanks, guys...seriously, we are just blown away by all of you. We have have a pretty amazing tally and will post it tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Days of FF2A: Flip Flop Giveaway winner!

Congratulations to Faith who won the flip flop giveaway! Faith, like Michelle, is also an old friend. Her husband Jason was in our wedding, his mom hosted our baby shower for Autumn and Mike was in their wedding, how fun is that? It's been so incredible the friends both old and new coming together to support us! Mike and I have been calling our future baby our "community baby" because of how much we have been lifted up through the entire adoption process.

Faith, is it just me or does this feel like a lifetime ago?


Don't forget!! Today is the LAST DAY to enter the Personalized Organizing Tote giveaway! Today is also the last day to take advantage of the Thirty-One Gifts sale Tamara is offering. Click here to see details and to enter the no purchase necessary giveaway.

Tomorrow is the FINAL DAY of our Flip Flop 2 Adopt Fundraiser. You can click on the giveaway link above or any links in the right sidebar for details on how to order! I know some people have had trouble seeing the numbers on the order page. Here's something that might help: click this link and download the sheet. You should be able to zoom in and out so you can see the items better.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goal met and exceeded: Thank you!!

We sold our 36th pair this morning!! And even better, it was to my friend Michelle who has been a wonderful friend for, gosh, how many years? At least 6 or 7. Time really flies! Michelle and I often talk about how much life has changed from the carefree days of when we had cupcake parties for no reason. She runs a blog called Hospital Mom and if you get a chance to stop by, definitely do so. I love the way Michelle shares her life with her two girls, one who is a walking miracle and fighter. I'm really hoping that once life settles for us both, we might be able to meet up because I haven't had a chance to meet Addy and Rosie, although I feel like I know them thanks to modern day technology! Thank you for your support, Michelle! And funny enough, when Autumn saw this picture, she thought it was me, haha. Isn't is crazy, too, how TINY Autumn used to be??

Now. If you look over at the sidebar, you will see that we have sold FORTY EIGHT pairs of flip flops!! I got a message from Penny that she had sold and collected the money for 12 pairs of flip flops at her work!! Can you believe that? I am just floored. I have a little special surprise planned for Penny--I'll be posting about that later. :) Thank you, Penny. There are no words for how much you've meant to us all these years.

And don't forget!! You have until 10pm to enter the free flip flop giveaway--no purchase necessary. Click here to enter.

The Personalized Organizing Utility Tote Giveaway ends tomorrow at 10pm and so does the Thirty-One Gifts sale! Click here to enter.

Visit any link in the right sidebar for details on how to buy Flip Flops and help us, as Mike said in his facebook link, "acquire a small bebe to raise into an awesome new Colley!" Ha!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Days of Flip Flop 2 Adopt! Free Flip Flops and Giveaway Review!

New Giveaway
We're in the last days of Flip Flop 2 Adopt! The sale ends on Thursday. We're at 31 pairs--so close to the minimum order of 36! My good friend Cathy has donated a FREE pair of flip flops to give away to the person who orders the 36th pair! If it's you, I will contact you to find out what size and style you want!

We have two other giveaways going right now, be sure to enter even if you don't buy a pair of flip flops!

The first giveaway ends tomorrow night at 10pm. Click here to enter to win a free pair of flip flops. All you have to do is leave a comment on that post. And for extra entries, you can promote the fundraiser/giveaway on facebook, twitter, or your blog. For ease, you can share this link and enter both giveaways!


The second giveaway ends Wednesday at 10pm. Click here to enter to win a free Personalize Organizing Utility Tote from ThirtyOne Gifts. If you bought a pair of flip flops, enter a comment. For no purchase necessary entries, promote the fundraiser/giveaway on facebook, twitter, or your blog. Again, for ease, share this link and enter both giveaways!

Thank you for all the support! I feel like I'll never have the words for how much all this means to us.

Details on how to order:
 


To Purchase:
Each pair is $20. If you want to pay by credit card, look to the right side bar (click here if you're using an RSS feed) and you'll see the Flip Flop 2 Adopt image.

Local purchasers:
1. Choose the Free Local Shipping option from the drop down menu.

2. Write in the style(s) and size(s) in the text box.

3. Click Buy Now, and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can write in the total quantity and pay by credit card or PayPal account.

Out of Towners:
1. Choose the number of flip flops you want to purchase from the drop down menu. The shipping is included in the total price.

2. Write in the style(s)/size(s) you want.

3. Click Buy Now. You will be taken to the checkout page and can complete your purchase.

To pay by cash or check, email me and we'll talk!

Delivery
The sale runs for only two weeks. We'll turn in our orders on May 25. We will receive your flip flops within 3 weeks from that date and will distribute them.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunshine and Lemonade!

Oh, wow, what a weekend. The long awaited Lemonade Party was yesterday! Autumn has been asking for and planning a "lemonade party" since the day after last year's party. In January, we started doing some looking and came up with a fun little party!


Lainey and I had so much fun doing this theme. The party itself was pretty simple since I was on a pretty tight budget. We just served hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit, and chips which we put on different outdoor countertops. And cake, of course.


How cute is that cake? There's a lady Lainey has gotten Autumn's cake from every year except her first year when I made the cake.


You can see why I didn't do that again. :P Anyway, lemonade. Lindsay mentioned doing labels for people to write their names on which was great so I printed off some labels and got some twine. I loved the idea of mason jars and the paper straws. So cute.


We only really served lemon water and lemonade. Lainey had these adorable jars with spigots, too.


My brother and his wife got Autumn a cute lemonade stand for her birthday. We had a great time putting it together and decorating it. I'm particularly impressed with how well she lined up those lemon slices. Penny wanted to do face painting so I set it up as a booth and made the banner.


I made a matching banner and, at Cheri's suggestion, put it at the entrance of the back yard.


Lainey found this adorable stand, too. I set it up as a little bubble art station for the kids. I got those colored bubbles from crayola. I heard they are really messy so I thought it'd be fun to blow them onto some sheets of white construction paper. I thought about making the bubbles but decided I had enough going on, haha.


Instead of favors, I bought some candy that I put in jars I already had and put together a little favor bar. Cheri thought it'd be pretty to set up the candy around the cake and, oh, man, she was right. The photos totally don't do it justice at all.


Lindsay (who is Mike's sister, by the way) made that A on the door in the background. How adorable is that?? Here are some shots of the jars and the cards I made to put on them.


The lollipop display is flower foam with the chevron pattern from the banners (I made it in photoshop) wrapped around it. I put the crinkles in to cover up the green of the foam.


And I'll break it off here because this is getting long but I wanted to show all the printables I made! I'm going to put them on my etsy shop as soon as things calm down a bit, haha. The last one is the sticker for the favor bag. I took the same lemon as the drink tags and invite and made little thank you circles and printed them on sticker paper. I used to use adhesive circles but I have a hard time getting them aligned when printing so even cutting these out was easier overall. Penny found the treat bags in the dollar bins at Target, can you believe it?? And the placemats were just paper ones from a local party store. Not too shabby!


I'll probably put up a part two but I'm so happy with how this turned out. So is this little one! Who is, by the way, in her gift from Lainey and P'd. :D


Don't forget! Flip Flop 2 Adopt is still running! Click on either of these links for info on how to buy AND to enter the giveaways:

First Giveaway: BeeBop Flip Flops!

Second Giveaway: Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One Gifts!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Fictional Fights and Taboos


There's an author I really like. His name is Patrick Rothfuss and I've only read most of his first book. It's crazy long so I had to return it to the library but I am going to pick it back up once I'm done with all this adoption reading. I read his blog, though, and I enjoy it. Actually, the moment I knew I loved this writer was when there was this book character cage match. I know, crazy, but they did brackets with different heroes and pit them against one another for the ultimate winner. In 2010, Rothfuss's character Kvothe fought Aslan of the Chronicles of Narnia. One cool thing about the cage match? Sometimes the authors would write their version of the fight. I thought Patrick Rothfuss's version of the battle between Kvothe and Aslan was downright lovely. Seriously, click here and read it and then come back. And watch for the mention of one of my favorite characters Harry Dresden. :)

I mention Patrick Rothfuss because on Mother's Day he wrote a post that touched me. This link will take you to it but the end, which I am going to paste here? This is why I started this blog. He started the post with a conversation he had with his son about his deceased mom and then goes into a conversation with a friend who lost someone dear. This is the ending:

*     *     *

“I can’t believe nobody ever talks about this,” she said. “I mean people have bad breakups, and you know how to handle it because you’ve heard about their breakups. But nobody talks about people dying. There’s no script for something like this.”

“It’s a real taboo,” I said. “Not one of the silly little play taboos like sex, things we aren’t supposed to talk about and we do anyway. Real taboos are things nobody even thinks of talking about.”

“Somebody should talk about them,” she said.

“Somebody should,” I agreed.

*     *     *

So here we are.

Generally speaking, when I think about something a lot, I write about it on the blog. Its one of the ways I figure out how I really feel about things. It helps me keep my head screwed on straight.
But the one exception has always been my mom.

I think about her all the time, but I rarely ever tell stories about her.

And you know what? That’s a f*** shame. Because my mom was awesome.

So we’re fixing that. Soon.

*     *     *


Don't forget! Flip Flop 2 Adopt is still running! Click on either of these links for info on how to buy AND to enter the giveaways:

First Giveaway: BeeBop Flip Flops!

Second Giveaway: Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One Gifts!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Flip Flop 2 Adopt Fundraiser and Giveaway, Part 2!


Flip Flop 2 Adopt is off to a great start, friends. If you look over at the side bar, you'll see that we are at 19 sold! The minimum order is 36 so we're making great progress, thank you all for everything. The sale only runs through Thursday, May 24, so be sure to get your order in!

We want to make sure we have some good momentum on this first Monday so we're getting started with a second giveaway! To join the first giveaway, click here for details on how to win a FREE pair of flip flops, no purchase necessary.

First, I'll repost the details on the Flip Flop 2 Adopt Fundraiser:

The Flip Flops:


To Purchase:
Each pair is $20. If you want to pay by credit card, look to the right side bar (click here if you're using an RSS feed) and you'll see the Flip Flop 2 Adopt image.

Local purchasers:
1. Choose the Free Local Shipping option from the drop down menu.

2. Write in the style(s) and size(s) in the text box.

3. Click Buy Now, and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can write in the total quantity and pay by credit card or PayPal account.

Out of Towners:
1. Choose the number of flip flops you want to purchase from the drop down menu. The shipping is included in the total price.

2. Write in the style(s)/size(s) you want.

3. Click Buy Now. You will be taken to the checkout page and can complete your purchase.

To pay by cash or check, email me and we'll talk!

Delivery
The sale runs for only two weeks. We'll turn in our orders on May 25. We will receive your flip flops within 3 weeks from that date and will distribute them.

Giveaway Number 2!

Tamara, one of my best friends, is a consultant for Thirty One Gifts. Thirty One Gifts, for those of you who have not heard of them, is a store that sells cute and handy bags in a variety of styles and patterns. They also offer personalization on each bag.  Tamara has donated a fantastic Personalized Organizing Utility Tote, pictured above, to give away! It's great for anything from a diaper bag to a mobile office to a day at the beach tote. If you win, you get to choose your fabric and personalization.

Enter to Win:

Leave a comment telling me which flip flops you PURCHASED! You will receive one entry for each pair of flip flops you order so be sure to leave a single comment for each pair. Flip Flops you ordered last week count, too.

For optional no purchase necessary entries, and don't forget to come back and post an additional comment for each:

2. Tweet about our fundraiser and giveaway.

3. Post a link to this post on Facebook.

4. Blog about our fundraiser and giveaway and be sure to post a link to your blog in the comments!

The Fine Print

No purchase necessary. US Residents Only. Must be over 18. Giveaway will end Wednesday,  May 23 at 10pm CST. One winner will be selected at random using randomizer.org. The winner will be emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

Bonus
Tamara is offering a 10% discount on all orders for passingpinwheels.com readers and 20% off all orders over $75. Plus, this month's special is for every $31 you spend, you get an All in One Organizer for $5. To claim your discount:
1. Go to Tamara's Thirty One Gifts site.
2. Click Place an Order and then click Shop Now next to Passing Pinwheels/Flip Flop 2 Adopt Event.
3. Please note: Tamara has to manually deduct your discount so you won't see your discount until she manually enters all the sales.

Good luck and don't forget to enter our first giveaway!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to

you mothers who mother.

you mothers who have lost.

you who dream of being mothers.


Let Us Be Women Who Love
by Idelette McVicker

Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.
Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women who make room.
Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.
Let us be women who give from what we have.
Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.
Let us be women who live for Peace.
Let us be women who breathe Hope.
Let us be women who create beauty.
Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.
Let us be a garden for tender souls.
Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.
Let us be a womb for Life to grow.
Let us be women who Love.

Let us rise to the questions of our time.
Let us speak to the injustices in our world.
Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.
Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.
Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.
Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.
Let us honour those who have been devalued.
Let us say, Enough! with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.
Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.
Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.
Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.
Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.
Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.
Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.
Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.
Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.
Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.
Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.
Let us be women who Love.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flip Flop 2 Adopt Shipping Update with Bonus Meme Action


First off, let me just say that you guys are amazing. We have already sold ten pairs so there's only 26 to go to the minimum order! I'm keeping the thermometer on the right sidebar updated every time a pair sells. So fun.

For full information on our Flip Flop 2 Adopt fundraiser and to enter the GIVEAWAY, click here!

 

I have an update on shipping/how to buy. Since several out of town friends emailed to say they were interested in purchasing flip flops, I set up some shipping options the simplest way I could, with a drop down menu.

Local purchasers:
1. Choose the Free Local Shipping option from the drop down menu.

2. Write in the style(s) and size(s) in the text box.

3. Click Buy Now, and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can write in the total quantity and pay by credit card or PayPal account.


Out of Towners:
1. Choose the number of flip flops you want to purchase from the drop down menu. The shipping is included in the total price.

2. Write in the style(s)/size(s) you want.

3. Click Buy Now. You will be taken to the checkout page and can complete your purchase.

Thank you again for your responses. It's been so encouraging to see the link spread. We haven't had many people enter the giveaway yet so be sure to enter for your chance to win!

Oh, and last night Autumn, my mom, my sister, and I went to the Orpheum to see a Live from the Philippines dance and martial arts show. I'm half filipina and, although I am not currently attending classes, love Filipino martial arts. The dancing was amazing. The martial arts portion wasn't really what I expected, mainly beginner moves and some acting/dancing demonstrating how martial arts in the islands have evolved from pre-history, through the Spanish and Americans, to today. I was kind of hoping for some flash and trash, as an old teacher called it. :)

They showed a great video on the Philippines before the performance that I can't find online. If I find the video, I'll post it because it was seriously cute and clever. When I was googling the video, I discovered that there's a whole meme to the "It's more fun in the Philippines" slogan! I even found the flip flop picture above! Fun stuff. Here's the first Department of Tourism spot:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flip Flop to Adopt Fundraiser and Giveaway!


Friends, if you've been wanting a tangible way to help us as we walk this adoption road (although, believe me, your prayers and words of encouragement are coveted and treasured), take a peek at these flip flops and consider buying a pair before the summer starts! Here are the details:


The Flip Flops:


To Purchase:
Each pair is $20. If you want to pay by credit card, look to the right side bar (click here if you're using an RSS feed) and you'll see the Flip Flop 2 Adopt image and a PayPal button. Simply write in the style(s) and size(s) in the text box, click Buy Now, and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can write in the total quantity and pay by credit card or PayPal account.

No shipping if you are local to Mike and me, we'll get the shoes to you. If you're outside of the Memphis Metro area and want to purchase, send me an email to let me know how many pairs you want and I'll check into flat rate shipping prices and set up a separate PayPal listing for you. 

Edited to add: I'll write a full post tomorrow but I adjusted the paypal options.

Local purchasers: Choose the Free Local Shipping option from the drop down menu and follow the directions above.


Out of Towners: I looked into shipping and you have 4 options to choose from. It's pretty self explanatory but just in case...
1. Choose number of flip flops you want to purchase from the drop down menu. The shipping is included in the total price.

2. Write in the style(s)/size(s) you want.

3. Click "buy now." You will be taken to the checkout page and can complete your purchase.


To pay by cash or check, email me and we'll talk!

Delivery
The sale runs for only two weeks. We'll turn in our orders on May 25. We will receive your flip flops within 3 weeks from that date and will distribute them.


Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this! The minimum order is 36 pairs so I'm hoping to really hit the ground running. I figure the easiest way to get the word out is free stuff so...

The Giveaway 

Enter to Win:
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite style! 

For optional additional entries, and don't forget to come back and post an additional comment for each:

2. Tweet about our fundraiser and giveaway.

3. Post a link to this post on Facebook.

4. Blog about our fundraiser and giveaway and be sure to post a link to your blog in the comments!

The Fine Print

No purchase necessary. US Residents Only. Must be over 18. Giveaway will end Tuesday,  May 22 at 10pm CST. One winner with will be selected at random using randomizer.org. The winner will be emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

Thank you and good luck!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Coming up next!!


It's hard to believe but we only have one class and one book to go until we are finished with our end of the home study! The only thing that will be left is the home visit and having our social worker look over our profile book. Of course, we're a weird combination of excited and scared and a little concerned about the big fee waiting for us at the end of the home study.

God has been amazing through all of this, despite our nervousness. He's provided side work for Mike, Aikido and graphic design work for me, and incredible friends who have supported us emotionally and financially. We had one amazing friend make a large contribution out of the blue and to our shock and thankfulness [more about her in a later post ;)]. And recently, a friend of Mike's family named Lisa who, incidentally, ordered a custom word art (yay!) mentioned a neat fundraiser called Flip Flop 2 Adopt. I have wrestled with different fundraising offers and I really liked the sound of this one. It's locally owned, the amount that goes towards the adoption is extremely fair and, really, who doesn't love flip flops?? My only regret is that I didn't get in on this sooner when they had more types of flip flops in stock!

I'll have more details tomorrow BUT I'll publish the sale details tomorrow as well as information on a GIVEAWAY!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

International Bereaved Mother's Day


I don't know how I missed that there was such a thing as an International Bereaved Mother's Day! There's a Bereaved Father's Day, too, which I am glad of because I find that dads seem to get left behind a bit on these infant loss initiatives.

I've been dreading Mother's Day a bit but I don't think it's really Mother Day so much as the season, you know? Autumn turns 5 a week from tomorrow. She is graduating from pre-school on Friday which means she starts kindergarten this fall. Garrett's birthday is a month from today. I'm planning Autumn's birthday party and it's super fun but...this was going to be her off year for a big party and the big party was going to be for Garrett. So, there we go. A lot of heavy things. That's not even including all the photo searches I've been doing to make Autumn's graduation memories poster and our adoption profile book. Actually, that's a great way to lighten the mood of this post a bit:


Autumn was about 16 months old there. Already sporting a purse and a phone, hahaha. It's crazy how much she has changed but it's even more crazy how much she is the same: facial expressions, things she likes to do, the hoarding...it's so exciting (and bittersweet) to watch her grow up.

Anyway, for some reason, knowing that people took the time to declare a day for moms who have lost their children makes the weight of next week feel a little better. If you like, take a moment to visit Project Heal. I don't know how I'm just seeing this site. Or, what's probably more likely, I did see it and then forgot because last summer is kind of a blur sometimes.

There was another post on grief that I enjoyed quite a bit. I believe I've linked to Rachel Held Evans's blog in the past. She had a guest writer talk a little about processing grief with her children. It's a great post. If you look down in the comments, you'll see where I left a comment and the author replied. Nice, thoughtful stuff all around.

If you look to the left, you'll see I added a link list to the side bar. Other than Bethany, they are all grief and infant loss support sites. I will be adding as I think of resources but definitely email me or leave a comment and let me know if there's a site you have found helpful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adventures in Adoption Interviewing



I had my individual interview with the adoption agency today (Mike's is tomorrow) and hoooo, boy, what a time. So I came home (after teaching aikido and going to cycling, yay) and watched my go-to happy place video: lovely owl. Enjoy! Bet you can't watch it just once.

Most of the interview was great. I like our social worker a lot and we, well, ended up talking about enough things that we didn't entirely finish the interview, haha. But we'll get caught up on the other things she needs to ask. Oh, and she also gave me a book on sensory issues that she thought might help us with Autumn who needs a few extra coping mechanisms. I'm looking forward to getting into it but first I need to finish up the Dear Birthmother book I'm working my way through as part of the adoption requirements.

And speaking of the birthmother book, that's what kind of made today tough. At the offices, I watched a video on transracial adoption that was really good. I told Mike that although I don't have the adoption angle, he'll recognize some of the things I've said about being biracial and how odd or even painful it can be. Then I watched a short series of birthmother interviews about the decision process behind choosing adoption and what it's like to let your baby go. When they started talking about sitting in the wheelchair after giving birth and feeling terrible because your arms are empty and there should be a baby? I just lost it. Man. I know that feeling.

After they released me from the hospital, I didn't really think about it when the attendant first rolled me to the door. I was just ready to go home, hold Autumn, and prepare myself for Garrett's funeral which was going to be the next day. But when Mike went to get the car, the fact that I was exactly where I was after Autumn was born but I didn't have a baby in my arms hit me and I cried so hard. I noticed Mike running to the car that day and when he picked me up he said it was because he realized as he walked out the door how bad it'd be for me to wait. Mike's a good guy. And we're doing the right thing with the open adoption, I think. I told the pregnancy counselor, who I happened to meet after my interview, that I'm glad we aren't taking someone's baby away forever. I can't see Garrett until Heaven. But, if the birth parents want, they don't have to give up their baby until Heaven, too.

After the videos, I got to go over the various and sundry details of my childhood, my dad who was an addict or dry addict all my life, and the various criminal elements I'm related to. That was fun. You know it's rough when the SOCIAL WORKER asks, only half-jokingly, "now, remind me of what the good things were?" Blahhhh. It's fine because I've really processed all of it and I'm pretty open about my life because I think it does people good to know that you aren't doomed by your environment. But, it was still pretty emotionally draining.

Hopefully Mike's interview tomorrow will go smoothly. He is, at least, warned about the birthparent video which he said he's glad for. After his interview, I think all we have left is to finish up our books and classes, get our profile book together, and wait on the home visit. Craziness!