Tupperware and Tantrums

1010852_229993460525296_972896605_nThanks for asking me if I was going to have time to blog this afternoon, you know who you are! You have my my tremendous thanks because there’s a lot that I’ve wanted to say and I’ve needed reassurance that I’m worth hearing.

This is a special day in the world beyond my world with the homestudy for Ian’s family beginning who I haven’t taken the time to write about in a long while. My heart and prayers are with them every day all day as Anita, Keegan (Ian when he is home)’s mama does a wonderful job posting little updates on her Facebook page as well as keeping up their blog beautifully. A homestudy is the piece of an adoption that is vital to whether or not you get to bring home a child at all. This piece involves a social worker coming into the home, meeting the family and seeing the house and makes that decision of whether or not this is a place that is safe and in the child’s best interest to be. Although this post is not full of details on Keegan (Ian) I have to stick in a recent photo that his family is so overjoyed to have just received. Their son outdoors with a smile on his face looking so handsome. What a delightful future he has ahead which he is now completely oblivious to. Doesn’t that just bring to mind how little we know of our own futures in the long term.

Writing is one of my very favorite things to do so it’s very special to me that my being here is noticed. Recently a conversation motivated me to step beyond my words and become active in bringing kids home more than I have before. I’ll get to that in a couple paragraphs here.

10003217_10202112281823649_8169605874330143253_nFor a long while I have been wanting to write a post called Side Effected about how a recent med has changed me but have such a fear over how that might be received with my already judged outlook and priorities. In short, I was expecting to be keener in my responses and quicker in, less tired and freer to act in situations. That sounds like a lot to ask of a medication for seizures. But the side effects that I deal with on the meds that I’ve been on for years I imaged to combat with another medication and that hasn’t happened as I thought it would so I am praying about going back to where I was.

Nothing like remembering to be content with blessings! There’s so much good that I have in life, so many talented people young and old that God has gifted into my life that to ask more or for something different ends up on the end of ridiculous. There’s a reason that there are negative connotations to the term “miracle drug” because everyone knows that there isn’t one. Always in life, there’s something to want more of, something to want to vanish and chains that look heavier than they are.

From someone that matters very much to me I got the comment that if there weren’t the internet I wouldn’t have the overwhelming press of the orphans crisis on my heart. When we were kids I remember my mom breaking down in audible tears when there would be news on the radio or articles in National Geographic about children suffering in the world–she was an incredible hard working dedicated mother with an unquenchable love for children the world around. Her ethic as a housewife and mother is a wonderful model for anyone who would desire to take on the role of stay-at-home parent.

The Internet was not around. This person who is very important in my life does have a point though. I would be spending this hour doing something else, probably napping or folding that 4th load of laundry. Instead I pressed as much work as possible into the morning so that I could have some quiet time to write since I do have and faces or names for a very few orphaned children across Eastern Europe and into Asia and beyond those borders that, yes, if it were not for the Internet I would have no awareness over.

What’s up with the horse tied to a plastic chair? It’s my mental obstacles, of course and yours if you’re human. Don’t laugh too often, but now is OK so long as you get back to working with what you have got which I try to remind myself of now and again.

40404202845-Aura-Lee-253x300Work comes before play? Finish up your house work then write or whatever you feel drawn to. Do your homework before you go out shopping with your friends. Don’t have money? Get a job first, then go out shopping with your friends after your paycheck comes. Tired of washing cloth diapers? Potty train your child before you sell all the diapers! YES. We are working on potty training at the Harr house.

I tell my kids that all the time that we need to work before play. They protest more than I remember ever doing, but in the end I know they appreciate and have pride in their cleaned up space.

The child I want to feature today is Aura Lee, and I’m just mentioning her briefly because I have to get on to telling you about my TUPPERWARE PARTY. I have no idea how her name was selected, because that name is in no name book that I know of. But here’s a darling girl who is someone’s daughter potentially, that only through the gift of adoption. Her natural parents are either dead or have given her over legally to her country’s custody and signed that she may be adopted internationally.

 

Speaking of biological parents I want to revere of their courage to believe that they are choosing a better life for their child rather than tagging on words like abandonment or unwanted where there isn’t proof of that. Reportedly, parents are sometimes given misleading empty promises of a better life “than ever you could ever give at home.” information by who they believe to be trust worthy doctors or other authority. When the reality very well could be that, were they educated about their child’s condition, family would be able to supply the child’s needs and give them that immeasurable essential piece of survival called love. If this situation fits, it’s far from abandonment, the parents are actually making what they believe to be the best most loving choice. Unfortunately, so many more kids are given up than are kept as parents. Some parents visit their child in orphanage, but too, this is not common in many areas in Aura Lee’s country as parents struggle to meet their own basic needs if they are of poverty level or if among the high class they may be ashamed to have a child who is by worldly standards imperfect.

When I’m asked, “So how are the orphans doing?” Which I often take as sarcasm, I’ve taken to responding with, “Hungry, sick and dying.” Some of the stories are incredibly sad and can put the coldest heart to tears, just look at the In Loving Memory page to feel a bit of the loss of children who have gone on before a family reached them. This little girl however does sound to be more of the exception.

Three months older than my second son, Aura Lee is doing quite nicely and other than being a bit of a baby it’s easy to wonder why she was left behind.

Oh, isn’t she lovely?

Aura Lee is doing very well.  She knows her nannies, smiles at familiar adults.  She can sit down and stand up with help.  She does not have mental delays.

Aura has developing speech — she can make separate sounds, and will repeat after an adult.

That is all that is said about her. Other than the diagnosis that her country has given her, “Microcephaly, spastic tetraparesis” She will not have a full physical exam until you are in country to meet her a few months after you have begun the adoption to bring her home which is hard because it is at that point that sometimes families decide that a child is indeed too much for them to manage in their life here in which case they come home and leave the orphan an orphan. It’s important for me to say here that this is a situation not always the case with all countries. Quite often a full medical report is available before commitment. All countries are different, all children are unique and there are no guarantees.

My tantrum is that you say you’re not ready to adopt? Never was there a child who said they were ready to be an orphan. I damper that tantrum by saying that not all are called to see and act on the need to bring home orphans, even be they children who sound to have minimal needs compared with others.

1622048_10202305298606448_356455705_nOn to TUPPERWARE. I went to a Tupperware party last Saturday and ended up scheduling one for the Cianciolo family at my house which I 100% did not intend to do when I left my house only an hour earlier.

This is good though. By next Thursday  I hopefully will have women in my house ordering Tupperware to honor the adoption of beautiful twin boys to a family in Vermont.

This is an awesome family who I wish all the best to as they start out their first adoption journey. They are already familiar with the world of developmental uncertainty as they have a camp for individuals with such challenges and do feel strong guidance from the Lord to step out on this journey to grow their family through international adoption.

Scott and Theresa gave me a list of thirty families who they knew that would be interested in ordering Tupperware in honor of bringing the beautiful twin boys home from Eastern Europe. Those families will receive catologs and 40% proceeds off all items pamphlets right to their homes for ordering convenience with reduced shipping costs as thanks for participating in this special event. It’s been two years since I had an event that involved having a consultant come and speak with about their product.

The reason it has been so long is that no one came to the event that I put weeks entirely devoted to. It was heartbreaking, embarrassing and so discouraging to have no profit whatsoever and people to know about it. The statement that I wrote about above someone giving me that if I had no internet my passion over the orphan crisis would die has motivated for me to  try again. We have our own home, what reason is there to not open it in hospitality and good will to others? This is good. I’m excited for the Cianciolo family, for the Vantrease family and of course for this little Aura Lee who by some weird coincidence has the same name as my root blog’s pronunciation, oraeley.com

Little Aura Lee has $0.00 as many kids do who were listed just yesterday. Hopefully it’ll fill up quickly, with a fully funded figure being $22,000 for her country. The thing about kids like Aura Lee is they are the exception to sick and dying. We all die someday, I realize but what I am saying is that children who have comparatively minimal health challenges are more likely to be adopted domestically than children who have Down Syndrome like the Cianciolo’s twin boys who are in the same country. In that country anyone can adopt the child that you are pursuing while you are in the process–they are not yours until you have passed court in that Eastern European country before a judge there, by their standards proving yourselves worthy. This is a unique to that particular country situation but what a heart break for families who live this disappointment.

they had not met their child yet but had purchased toys and clothing and fully prepared believing in their hearts that this was a future that God had for them with this one particularly. For my story, excitement, anticipation so quickly turned into unstoppable loss.

Jeremiah_verseThere are millions of children needing home and if adoption is on your heart, there is a child for you and God does know who that one is to be revealed in His time. As with all of God’s business, the thrill is to work in the path that he has shown moving forward in faith with openness to see his workings. That’s a whole lot harder than it sounds! All things through Christ, which is awesome.

Tupperware party. It’s a beginning. I’m shy about having people over, I’ll let you know that right now. I want you here more than I have anxiety about you being over so please come.

If you get a Facebook invite from me to join the Cianciolo Tupperware party that’s the one happening at my house next Thursday. Please come as you are, the consultant is awesome! She’s someone from back in the homeschool days. Yes, I’ve told my husband that people are potentially coming over!

Please visit the Vantrease family blog: Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less to grab the last bits of their bracelets and art work sale. There are seven bracelets and some art pieces left which I would love to see sold by tomorrow night! There are some expenses coming up in Ian’s adoption so it’d be wonderful to have a one of a kind bracelet made by his family on your arm and maybe a piece of their artwork on your wall as soon as possible. Thank you so much.

Peace! And thanks for wanting to see writing from me. My writing is divided between two countries here, I know, I know. There are more kids, and more stories. More writings everywhere, fundraisers and talented people doing everything they can to get children home. Remind me and remind me again to stay on task with what I have to do here in my own house.

The Jenks family who I’ve written about? They’re on day two with their two daughters abroad staying in an apartment together–language barrier perhaps, but family to be all the same. Teenage girls meeting their forever parents for the first time. Imagine that! The blog is set to invite only currently for privacy even that with the girls faces not shown as are the rules for that countries privacy until post adoption.

Time to move along in my day. Please click on the image below for a direct link to my Tupperware party online which is open now thru next Thursday.

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Following Families

So Chelsea Claus reached her matching grant which I wrote about a few weeks back. She in now in country to meet her son–they will meet for the first time tomorrow morning.
Rebecca Jenks has met three matching grants and also had quite a few of successful fundraisers each bringing her a little closer to funded, she travels in less than a week–4 days actually, to rescue two older girls who have down syndrome from a country that she has never been. Both are experiencing an act of faith directly ordained of God. Seeing Him work through them and their families is amazing and awe-inspiring to all such as myself who have not made that stride and an witness to those are trekking along to keep on seeing that light at the end of another friend’s journey. These women, along with the others that I have written about drive me back to my blog hungry to write more to hold more for myself of their experience.

I’ve written too about 21 Days of Hope. Yesterday was March 21, 2014 and guess what. We made it. 23 children in 21 days! More than $23k raised for Voice of Hope and almost $50k gifted for these chosen children!

The Anita Vantrease family who I am family Warrior for currently have a Scentsy party in progress which I welcome you to purchase from if this is something that you like having in your home or work place. I always say that the time to buy is when the proceeds go to a cause. There is no better cause than to bring a child home which is your opportunity today. Please think of Keegan (Ian when he’s home) if you’re in the market for Scentsy, I enjoy their fragrance assortments but certainly caution you to keep their warmer out of reach of children! I used to use these products so much more when I did not have children. If you do have children, they do have their liquid wax covered for ya in a new innovative child friendly and oh-so-cute Scentsy Buddies.

Kree-2013-200x300Rachelle Feinland was my first (and only) guest blogger has some incredible news. So not only is she bringing home Della, they will also bring a second daughter home from Eastern Europe. She is 5 years old, and known on Reece’s Rainbow as Kree.  This family is up to the task on bringing their girls home, but it doesn’t come easy as they make it look! While keeping up with their two sons health needs already home from Eastern Europe, Rachelle and her husband Stephan have schedules to coordinate, planning to be done and in the meanwhile to stay alive and remember to sleep now and again. Go, Feinlands!

Why a second child? In their home study, Rachelle and Stephan were told that they were approved to have, “up to two children” in their international adoption, which is what they were approved for last time also.  On current events for the adoption there will be an auction page on Facebook soon and the sale of a few large items locally. What in my estimation would be a time consuming and hopefully well worth it project right now is a Family Fun Day at the local Lions Club. What beautiful weather, and the perfect time of year for that! I hope that they get a good amount of participation for this. They are also hopeful, but still waiting for approval on hosting a breakfast at church for the adoption, or maybe a lunch after church. On the local front, they are doing a yard sale the weekend after next. Mainly in the next couple weeks, be hanging out Louisiana so you wont miss out on anything for the Feinlands! OR! You could just donate online and send an encouraging note via her blog or on Facebook.

Missing a couple families from the group in Messing with your Mind: A Five Family Update? I’ll come back. I love them and have to keep up! I’m asking Stephani for an update with Zola, I know she is looking forward to a potential video update on her daughter and covets a new photo.

Messing with your Mind: A Five Family Update

 Where’s your best place to write? I’d love to know where you crank your creativity and how you make it pour out through your fingertips on demand. I think best while going through my day, I especially love being out with my kids. A favorite past time for me has always been going to anywhere in walking distance, for my two year old and I yesterday that was to the park.

A.J (pictured here at 2 months old) went the whole block without taking a break. From time to time she’d slow her pace to look up at me, only to keep on a little quicker as so much as her little legs would allow.

We’re for sure putting up fences this year. This one would walk and walk without worrying where her people are. Though this blog post I’m using pictures of my own kids, as they are my motivation for the love that I extend to other families and their ministry to extend their lives and hearts abroad to grow their families through adoption. These are my little monsters, I love them more than life!

OK. I have to get down to it. Usually when I ask where you write I’m actually wondering why the heck I can’t turn on exactly what I want to say in this time limited segment that I have available.  Today I don’t think it’s going to happen for me, as it didn’t yesterday or the week before that.

Credit for the Claus Clan was my last blog post. The fundraiser that I mentioned for them brought in $65. They have a grant or something going on right now also to get friends to pour as much money as possible into the Claus adoption fund as big exciting times are coming up. Chelsea is traveling to meet her son in seven days. It will be a number of months before he is a USA citizen, but this is tremendous. At this point in my life I absolutely cannot imagine getting to live the incredible emotions that must whirl around as a mom counts down and fumbles to pack for what certainly may feel like the biggest trip of her life. Months of paperwork, social works telling you what you can handle and how your house should look, organization to be done and maintained through the process that feels like infinity.

IMG_0694Then finally that plane ride! It’ll feel like forever, and Chelsea’s time with her son will be over before she knows it. She’ll treasure every second and relive the moments of their time together of the next matter of months lapsing between this trip and the second during which Chelsea and her husband Josh will take Levi away from his orphanage forever.

For the Claus family March 21 is a very special day–the day Chelsea and her dad leave to meet Levi, who will join the family later this year. Chelsea will travel with her dad for the first trip, then for the final trip in a few months she and her husband will go together. Right now a $500 matching grant is being held–when their fund reaches “8040” every donation after that point for $500 is doubled. This family also has some puzzle pieces yet for purchase for Levi’s adoption. Families often have keep puzzle piece fundraisers in action through the entire duration of their adoption as a fun way of remembering the names of people who have contributed financially through their adoption journey. The Claus’s have some pieces left, for $5 one can have your name on it. This makes a great keepsake for the child’s room or to be displayed anywhere around the house.

IMG_0700Keegan’s family finished their fingerprinting  and has almost finished collecting their primary paperwork for this adoption homestudy. Anita’s 81 year old mom lives with their family so she gets to go through all of the background check series of events also. This week she got to go to the police station and have her finger prints taken for her grandson who on the other side of the world. Best grandma ever! Up next for this family is wellness checks at the doctors office. Smooth sailing so far for Ian (Keegan)’s family. Very cool surprise of earlier today is that someone dropped a good portion of money into this adoption fund bringing the number from $52 to $106. This is a sweet surprise!

Obenauf family! Stephani is bringing home Zola  from a country that is a new addition to the international programs that Reece’s Rainbow works with in bringing home kids internationally. Stephani has recently learned that it will be 12 months before her Dossier is to be submitted to the country, what a hard waiting game knowing that her daughter is doing just that…waiting. After it is finally submitted, she will get an invitation to travel in six months then can return to pick up her daughter in the time lapse of six more months.

IMG_0037When I asked Zola’s mama-to-be if she, knowing how slow this process is compared to other countries, would recommend it she said Absolutely yes and went on to suggest that I should adopt one of the little girls who is my daughter’s favorite in that country. Currently the Obenauf family have a clothing auction happening. For $5, you’re helping decorate Zola’s bedroom with your name in the color of your choice written on her wall. The infant clothes in Zola’s clothing sale are brand new, or are in very good condition and have me wanting to have another infant in the house! Visit Faith Hope Love to learn about the ongoing “Hearts for Zola” event to celebrate this sweet child and her journey home.

Jenks are keeping on. They have another matching grant in the works and a Norwex fundraiser is currently active for bringing home their girls, Veronika and Emilija. Shop Norwex Products Online and select Rebecca Jenks at check out. Find the catalog here. Glancing through the catalog I see that these are super quality of the microfiber products that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the grocery store cleaning isle and elsewhere. The website is easy to navigate. Lots of great stuff, value over the long haul and for a good cause. Mrs. Jenks says that a couple of her favorite items are the Window Cloth and the Envirotowel.

IMG_0664The Feinland family has been visited by the FSP fairy recently! The anonymous large donation to their adoption fund and an approval to add a second child to the plan has us all holding our breath, waiting to learn who the lucky kid is going to be. I want to make the statement here, that through adoption parents are being blessed as much as the kids are! I am allowed to be excited for the suspense of looking forward learning who is coming home for who.  Rachelle has recently put in a new entry on her blog, “Piecing Our Puzzle Together” which you should stop in and read, because I haven’t. Tell me what it says, if you make it there before I do. My computer time isn’t until 10pm which is not for a number of hours. That FSP fairy? He or she is welcome to visit me if I ever get a turn to adopt. Della’s family got $2500! Know what? God provides! Each and every one of these families knows that and somehow he carries them through. It’s amazing, and I hang around to watch. Simply brilliant.

Editors note: As of 9:20pm, the Claus family have $140 to go in order to get that $500 matching grant. FSP needs to read $15,541 ($8,040 for Matching a Grant!) FSP: http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=Claus Blog: http://insearchofpearls.blogspot.com

This is an amazing family who has come so far.

It Ends Tonight: Updated

pd_hairstick
$100 for the adoption made in hair clip purchases! OK. They make much more than hair clips, but thank you lillarose.biz

I wrote a couple days ago introducing Rebecca and Mark’s girls fundraiser for Lilla Rose hair accessories. I wrote in utter delirium of an illness gone as fast as it came and am happy to be here yet typing away. My credit card and I didn’t get to participate in the fundraiser, but thankfully someone else out there did!

Thank you again, Deb for the work in putting up this fundraiser! As I looked through the Event on Facebook I saw product reviews and video demos advertising the products which is exactly what you need prospective fundraiser participants to see.

EmilijaThe numbers are in and the orders are out! $100 approximately in orders toward the Jenks adoption of Veronika and Emilija. As I mentioned in my last post for the Jenks, the twelve year old girls are in a country that does not allow their photos to be shown publically. What they cannot stop though, is donations and support. The adoption plans and papers move forward and time draws short in so many ways.

EmilijaThe Jenks are $275 short for their matching grant to $500. If the matching grant is made, every dollar after that will be doubled for up to a couple weeks. If they do not receive $275 within the next few days they will not get the $500. While I’m talking number, which I do not do. I want to mention that Veronika and Emilija have been waiting both for over FIVE YEARS on Reece’s Rainbow without their gorgeous faces to be seen. They have until March 3rd to make the matching grant which will be their second matching grant, the first has expired. Looking forward to watching the Jenks adoption story unfold further as the months pass. They have not taken no for an answer in hard spots and have friends like Deb come forward and offer time, skill and opportunity to bring these daughters closer to home. I want next year’s Christmas card!

If you’ve thought of donating to Jenks, do it now! With this matching grant Exact numbers must be met. $489 within this two week span between when the grant was offered and March 3 won’t be enough, will have to be $500 or the offer will not come to any worth. Their last “matching grant” was different: No matter how much they made in one week’s period, up to a certain amount, would be doubled.

The Jenks far from stand by and worry about money! They have seen GOD in action with this as their second adoption. They wooed us all bringing home their darling dynamic duo in 2012 from Ukraine. This time around is as much in his hands as the last run was.

Why a $500 matching grant rather than a $500 donation?

Because it encourages others to give to help you reach that $500 goal, which if others have donated $500 to help you get the match, it ends up being turned into $1000 rather than just $500.

It Ends Tonight

The Jenks family are quickly becoming one of the most popular Reece’s Rainbow families to donate to, they are surrounded by such a band of warriors online it’s wonderful to watch God provide.

And well deserved as they are going for adoption a second time. I fell in love with this family over their first adoption of two very young children from Ukraine. They recued a couple of precious little children with Down Syndrome only to find that it was their lives that became so much richer with the addition of these two spunky spirits added to their number.

Between them Mark and Rebecca of Vancouver WA have six children. The two who they are going for now are from a country that does not allow them to show the children’s faces or intimate details of their story.

This has not deterred donations (last night they received anonymously 3500) and here is yet another opportunity to join in blessing the Jenks family.

 

An adopting family who lives nearby us had a Lilla Rose hairclips sale and it brought in an amazing profit. I’ve never seen these before as a brand, just hand made I believe. They actually remind me of Sophist-O-Twist that my sisters and I used to wear. Looking at the images of Lilla Rose notice the feminine beaded detailing–keep your hair out of the way and look stylish while doing it? This is the way to really pull that off. They custom for hair texture and weight which is important for an effective hold. I believe that there are also instructional videos on the main Lilla Rose site.

30% of commissions go towards the Jenks bringing home 2 twelve year old girls from overseas. I have a sister who I hope to find something for. Thirty percent does not sound like much, honestly, but it does add up.

 

Click HERE I hope the link makes sense. Direct questions to Deb Wielhouwer who is an independent consultant for this company. If you love the product and feel inclinded to also sell these Lilla Rose hair accessories. Information on becoming involved in this can also come from Deb W.

with their two babies from UkraineEven if you don’t make the Jenks event, you can still consider helping them along their journey. Wednesday is a drawing for a $100 visa gift card. Donate here.

More exciting news from Rebecca and Mark is the announcement that they have a matching grant of $500. When their family adoption fund reaches $12,585 that will be received. Everyone says every dollar counts, and it does.

Online sales. For me equal frustration. I can never the right balance of excitement over the product (I only sell what I care about) and advertisement–who IS the best audience and how do I reach them?!

 

Everyone in the adoption world seems to be utilizing Facebook event invites. They do not seem to be bringing in much. I made under $20 in a Tupperware party in December. And this party? I just found out about it so I haven’t had the opportunity to tell my husband about a potential spending at the beginning of the month. Do I put in a Will Attend to support my friend and not buy because I can’t?

Guess what. I’m going to buy and call it a gift to my sister! Do you have a sister?

There are 34 “Going” and 3 “Maybe” Perhaps you could add one more, or tell a friend and be two more. 214 people did not notice that they had an invite. I would have been one had I not asked if there were an event going on for any families right now.

Looking for bigger more ideas on promoting fundraisers!

 

Because, in the bigger picture, it does not end tonight…the journey to adoption and one less goes on as there is always another child and another family to buy a hair bow for.  

 

fundraiser for the Jenks

Lilla Rose fundraiser for the Jenks