Sunday, August 22, 2010
Skip A Starbucks Day!
We've now raised $4100! Our family is humbled and blessed by your support of our daughter's journey home. Thank you just doesn't seem to cover it! We still have $3900 left to raise, so I'm leaving the donate button up on the sidebar since donations continue to come in. Thank you again for caring about my daughter.
What do a skipped cup of coffee, a little Chinese orphan girl, and you have in common? I'll get to that in a minute, but first, I want to tell you our story.
We had three biological boys in four years, and then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had a hysterectomy and while I mourned the fact that I couldn't have any more biological children, I was certain our family wasn't finished. My husband wasn't so sure. :) I'd talked about adopting and I always saw us with a little girl from China. He came up with a ton of reasons why now wasn't the right time to adopt. Then, on Mother's Day of 2005, he leaned over to me in church and said, "We have a daughter in China. We need to start the adoption proceedings to bring her home." I adjusted to this unexpected news (we hadn't discussed adoption for months) in about 15 seconds. :)
The next day, we began researching adoption and we picked out her name: Johanna Faith. Johanna means God's Gracious Gift and Faith is what it is taking to bring her home. We signed up with Chinese Children Adoption International agency based out of Colorado. We completed our stateside paperwork and homestudy within a few months, sent off our dossier to China with the understanding that it would be a 6-8 month wait, and eagerly planned to bring our daughter home.
Soon, though, we began to hear rumors that the wait time was extending. Then we heard that the government had cracked down on orphanages who were receiving money from the state but who weren't keeping all of their beds full and the wait slowed to a crawl. Our dreams of having her home for Christmas were dashed. And then our dreams for having her home in time for summer were dashed as well. Before we knew it, another Christmas had passed and we were still waiting. Meanwhile, the Olympics were coming to Beijing, and the word was most adoption processes would stop altogether.
As the wait stretched from 8 months to three years, I struggled with depression. I could hardly bear Christmas, because she wasn't yet there. I shut the door of her bedroom and left it closed because I couldn't bear to walk past it in the hall. It hurt to think about having a child out there whom I couldn't protect. Couldn't love. Couldn't save. Three years became four with no real change. Our homestudy expired. Our immigration petition expired. Three times. Our fingerprints expired. Four times. And China raised the orphanage and court fees by thousands while we waited. Suddenly, the cushion of money we'd raised at the start of this process was almost gone, and China was picking up speed in their child match program.
In September, it will be five years since we officially started our adoption process to bring Johanna home. We expect to receive her picture, information, and permission to travel sometime by the middle of September.
I opened her bedroom door for the first time in 3 1/2 years.
And went a little crazy ordering cute little hand-made hats and headbands on Etsy because I still don't know her size so can't buy her any clothes.
We're so excited to be able to travel soon to bring her home! But we still need to raise $8,000 to ransom her life from the orphanage. And that's where you come in!
The thought behind Skip A Starbucks Day is that if every person who reads this and feels a tug on their heart to be part of Johanna's journey home would give up a personal indulgence (like a cup of coffee) and donate that money toward our adoption instead, we could raise the money needed to bring her home to her forever family.
We know most of you would gladly donate without receiving anything in return, but I thought it would be fun to line up some awesome prizes and do a huge giveaway at the end of the fundraiser. Other bloggers thought it would be fun too.
So here's the deal: donate any amount you choose (we suggest a $5 minimum to mitigate the small percentage Paypal takes from the transaction) and you're automatically entered in the grand prize giveaway on this blog! You can look at the prize groupings below and fill out the entry form to choose which group you'd like to be entered to win. Several winners will each win one item from each group.
You can gain extra entries by publicizing this fundraiser on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and your blog! And don't forget to grab an I Skipped Starbucks button from my sidebar for your blog!
It gets even better! My blogger friends are hosting some AMAZING giveaways for donors on their own blogs. Simply by donating, you are qualified to enter EVERY SINGLE ONE of their giveaways. At the bottom of this post, you'll see the prizes pictured with links to where you can go to enter. There's some awesome stuff there, ranging from Voldemort's wand to Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series (with a signed City of Glass!) to a huge ARC giveaway!
All you need to do to enter any of these giveaways is make a minimum $5 donation (button on the top of my sidebar). If you don't have a Paypal account and would rather send a snail mail entry, please contact me via email. Thank you!!
*The Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally as are some of the blogger's contests below.*
*The Giveaways are open until 11 p.m. central time Wednesday, August 25th*
Ready to choose which group of prizes you want a piece of? Here you go!
GRAND PRIZE DRAWING:
Prize Pack One (enter for a chance to win 1 of the following):
Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set
Treasure Chest of Custom Homemade Soap donated by Pepper's Apothecary
Signed copies of The Conqueror & The Irish Warrior donated by Kris Kennedy
$25 Amazon Gift Card donated by Tracey O'Hara
Signed copies of The Better Part of Darkness & The Darkest Edge of Dawn donated by Kelly Gay
Prize Pack Two: (enter for a chance to win 1 of the following)
The Twilight Saga in paperback
Shadow Hills book w/signed bookmark donated by Catie at Book Bound
The Prisoner & Perfect Circle by Carlos J. Cortes donated by Shawna Thomas
Chest of Custom Handmade Soaps donated by Pepper's Apothecary
Earrings inspired by The Dark Divine & a cd inspired by Twilight donated by Fire & Ice
ARC of The Obelisk (written by a produce of the show 24) donated by Shannon Messenger
Enter the Grand Prize drawing here or fill out the form below. Don't forget to check the bottom of this post for additional contests your donation qualifies you to enter!
Head to these blogs for a chance to win some amazing prizes! All donors may enter every contest!
K.B. Wagers: Pirates of the Caribbean prize pack. Includes a set of the 3 Pirates DVDs, a collection of skull & crossbones soaps, & a Pirates Are Better Than Ninjas t-shirt.
Rebecca Clark: $10 Starbucks gift card
H.C. Palmquist: Voldemort's wand & a stuffed Crookshanks.
N.L. Gervasio: A print of Summer Procession (gorgeous fairy pic!) & multiple book giveaways.
Bree Despain: An Egmont Paranormal Prize Pack: Includes an ARC of The Lost Saint.
Myra McEntire: The Mortal Instrument series: Includes a signed copy of City of Glass.
M.G. Buehrlen: A Garden Gnome (And he is one handsome gnome!)
Rae Ann Parker: Percy Jackson Prize Pack: Includes 3 volume boxed set of PJ books & the Lightning Thief DVD.
Carolina Valdez Miller: An ARCS Galore Giveaway!
Avery Beck: A Starbucks gift card.
Jody Wallace: A Crocheted Amigurumi Pair (Winner's choice of one of Jody's designs ... My faves are the Zombies and the Ninjas. You really can't go wrong with crocheted Zombies or Ninjas.)
Beth Trissel: A signed copy of her new historical fiction novel Red Bird's Song
Sara McClung: A signed set of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver & Linger
Shannon Messenger: A registration to my September Query Workshop.
Rachel Hawkins: ARC of Demonglass
Kimberly Pauley: Vampire Prize Pack
Kay Cassidy: Cinderella glass slipper & ARC of Cindy on a Mission
Gretchen Stull: Paranormal Prize Pack
The final trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has been released, and I'm not going to lie. I get choked up every ti...
Honestly, this is a post I never dreamed I'd write. My hands are shaky, and I'm frantically thinking through all the possible conseq...
Today, as promised, a post on zombies. Not just any zombies. Zombie goats. Unlike ordinary zombies who stalk through the streets muttering ...