Building Families Through The Miracle Of Adoption

Sep 29, 2010

Change the world for a child

I recently had someone ask me a few questions about adoption and helping children in need.

"What do you feel are the top 5 things to consider/know when adopting?"

Speaking from experience...
1) The world of adoption changes frequently, it's critical to remain up-to-date on recent developments
2) Adoption is a Journey, not a process. Every adoption is different...if you are adopting from the same country as someone else, or adopting domestically in the same state, EVERY adoption is different.
3) It's a MUST that you work with an accredited agency! Prospective Adoptive Parents should be educated on the steps of adoption so they are not over-whelmed! What is a homestudy and how long are they valid? How long are fingerprints valid? What is a Dossier and how do you begin compiling one?
4) Find a mentor, a support group! You cannot walk this journey alone! It is not always an easy road, however, the JOY is worth every mile! I couldn't have made it without the HOT HENS!
5) What are my options (foster to adopt, domestic, private, open, closed, international) What are the pros and cons?
6) Costs? How will I fund an adoption? There are many resources and grants available to prospective adoptive parents AND the tax credit the federal government allows per adoption is over $13,000.
7)How do I educate my family/extended family (my article in Best Ever You Magazine is a great example if you haven't read it just yet)

All of the above can seem overwhelming, that's why I believe NCFA is a powerful organization. You can be confidenet the  the agencies under their umbrella are legit and they work with the entire picture of adoption....the children, the birth parents, the adoptive parents and pregnant women who realize that adoption is the best gift they can give to their unborn child. They also work hand in hand with legislation.

What else do you do to help children in need?

I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (Guardian Ad Litem/Child's Advocate in Court) with CASA. This allows me to be a voice in court for abused/neglected children in the foster care system. CASA is a National Organization

GET INVOLVED, Change the world for a child!

Sep 15, 2010

Happy Family Day Lulu Belle.

Here's my post 2 years ago when Lulu Belle was united with her forever family!

Lulu & Halle-Grace 2 years ago in Hanoi, Vietnam

Sep 13, 2010

Miss Magic's Bling

Guess who has BIG GIRL earrings? Halle-Grace had her ears pierced!
She LOVES them and makes me promise not to take them out...ever! We had them pierced while we were in California. She says she is now a REAL princess with diamond "sparkles".

Sep 12, 2010

DISNEYLAND, CA...the happiest place on earth

 They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. They say it is a magical fantastical place where dreams come to life. They say it is a place where you can experience the most wondrous events and build memories that will last a lifetime. Well, I have to say, there is truth in that advertising!
We took Miss Magic to Disneyland and Oh what an experience it was. She was the embodiment of non-stop exhilaration from the moment we first entered and saw Goopy right up until she started to fall asleep on Jason’s shoulders on the way out of the park. Halle Grace was as excited as a thousand children on Christmas Eve and as animated as Mickey himself in his most magnificent cartoons. For Halle Grace, Disneyland was one thrilling moment after another. In fact it seemed that with each character we saw; Goopy, Mickey House, Minnie, Cinawella (these are not typos but rather her actual pronouncements of their names) the enchantment only intensified. Her smile was from ear to ear and her unbridled excitement was so electrifying that you couldn’t help but become energized by it.

I honestly believe that if she even TRIED to squeeze one more ounce of fun out of Disneyland the authorities would have stopped her, telling her to save some magical fun for other children. It was simply amazing and I was emotional at times watching her experience the TRUE magic of Disney.
Halle-Grace has a funny story about Belle that we will never forget!
It also was just as amazing to see her timing be so impeccable. She obviously wanted to see Mickey House and Minnie while we were there as well as some of the princesses. She told anyone that would listen to her in the days prior, that she was going to see all of these characters. My hope was that she would in fact get to see at least a couple of those she mentioned by name. My only hesitation was that on any given day some of the characters might be in one place when you are in another, or they might not even make an appearance that day. So my fingers were crossed that she would at least see one princess and either Mickey or Minnie.
Such pessimistic thoughts... For as soon as we walked in we spotted Pluto...
Almost immediately thereafter we came across not one, not two, not three...but many princesses all together.
 According to Halle Grace they were all Cinawella…even the ones with dark hair. It was then that Halle-Grace’s true level of excitement was evident. When we approached Cinderella and put her down, she almost bowled Cinderella over as she ran up to, and almost over, her.
Cinderella had to catch herself with her hand or risk being toppled over by a bundle of pure joy and energy!!!
With Princess Aurora....then Miss Magic surprises Ariel with a Big Princess Hug
After leaving these princesses we simply “stumbled” upon Mickey House leaving only Minnie still to be seen.
By this time Mom and Dad needed a break and some lunch so we told HG we would try and find Minnie after we grabbed a quick bite. We grabbed something quick and began our search for Minnie all too aware that our time to return was soon approaching. However, we must have forgotten that our daughter’s nickname is “Miss Magic” for no sooner than we had walked back into Toonland we saw Minnie walking straight for us. We walked right up and got a couple of pics of them together and headed for the souvenir shop then to our ride.
While in the shop Halle-Grace said she had wanted to tell Minnie bye. We tried to console her and told her Minnie had to rest and visit with all of the children who were there to meet her and that she did get to have her picture taken with her. Glancing at our watches we realized we were already five minutes late for our ride. We finished in the shop and headed out when who did we see standing right in front of the shop….Minnie Mouse! Halle-Grace got to tell her bye after all. Jason scooped her up and placed her on his shoulders and headed for the gate. We didn’t even make it out of the park before she was fast asleep. She only woke up momentarily to flirt with Hunter Brunett (Dedria’s little brother) in the car before finally crashing for the evening. She was so exhausted she slept clear through pageant finals until the next morning not even waking while we removed her clothes and placed her pjs on her. What a MAGICAL day!

Obviously we had a blast and we would be completely remiss if we did not thank specifically Eddie for being such a wonderful host and coordinating our visit and for the Brunett family for graciously chauffeuring us to and from Disneyland. We are incredibly grateful to you all. Thank you very much for allowing us to spend a magical day with our daughter

Sep 1, 2010

Happy Family Day!

Today marks our 2nd Annual Family Day! Two years ago, God made our family complete with the blessing of Halle-Grace! Family Day is the most cherished day we share as a Forever Family!
Thank you Lord for our most precious blessing!!!

On Adoption Day, Sept. 1, 2008 we had three different blog entries on adoption day...enjoy reading