Monday, August 29, 2011

This Week's Special!!!


Simply Love GLOBE travel coffee mug
$15 SPECIAL







BUY A COFFEE MUG AND YOU COULD BE A WINNER!!!
Every coffee mug purchase gets the purchaser into a drawing for a free Simply Love t-shirt of your choice or a second coffee mug free - your choice. You get 5 entries for every coffee mug purchased and you can earn an extra 2 entries for reposting this on your facebook or blog. Just comment and let me know you posted and I'll put you in the drawing. You can get 2 entries for posting even if you don't buy a coffee mug.

These mugs are pre-order at this time as I need to sell 36 to place the order. Order will be placed as soon as I hit 36!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

iPad Giveaway Tomorrow!!!

I can't wait to see who is gonna win the iPad tomorrow. 206 individual entries. Each person got 1 entry for every $25 spent or donated from this blog (or in person). Some people have multiple entries. I'm excited to do the big drawing tomorrow night - Sunday, August 26th at 5pm. There's still time to get your name in the drawing!!! Somebody is gonna win. Why not you?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 days left

Sleek. Black. 16 GB. Awesome. Apple. iPad 2.

Yes, it could be yours. In 3 days, I will do the big drawing to see which amazing donor will win. Every single one of you has helped get me one step closer to bringing my little boy home. I have been blown away. Thank you, thank you, a million times - THANK YOU!!!!

My good friend and co-worker Casi Mattox is gonna come over Sunday evening and help me with the drawing. We will capture the moment on video and will post it on facebook and the blog as soon as we are finished. The winner will be contacted shortly thereafter.

If you haven't gotten in on it yet for your chance to win - you can do so by purchasing any Simply Love item or by purchasing another item on my blog store $25 or over or by making any donation $25 or over. You get in the drawing multiple times for every $25 you donate. So if you donated $100, you get 4 entries. And whether you win or not, just know that your donation or purchase goes toward my adoption of a sweet little 2 year old boy in Africa.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blessed by my visit to Michigan

I'm sitting in the Detroit airport right now waiting for my flight home to Nashville and I'm thinking about my quick Thurs to Sun trip here to Michigan (where I'm from). I came for my brother Mike's wedding and am so glad I did. It was beautiful even though the original location got rained out, we ended up moving it to the pastor's church who was marrying them and that worked out great. Thank the Lord for that being an option and the church being available! What a blessing. By the time the wedding got moved and happened, the rain had let up and we were able to enjoy the Huron Lady boat ride that the reception was on. It was a little chilly but really nice and the skies were clear. My youngest brother was the one getting married and he looked so handsome and reminded me so much of my Grandpa Draveling. I almost cried when I first saw him. His bride, Jamie, was absolutely stunning. They both looked like something out of a bride magazine. Gorgeous couple. My sweet, adorable niece did a very good job throwing down rose petals and I was so happy to have gotten to spend that afternoon with her. We went to the Burger King playland and then to my aunt's house so she could play with the dogs. I got to give her a bath and get her ready for the wedding and then bring her to the bride who then did her hair. Today, I got to catch part of the 1 year birthday party for the son of my best friend Stacey and got to see a bunch of friends who came while I was there. I didn't get to stay very long cause I had to get to the airport but it was so nice to be able to be in town for that. It was a great trip, even though it was short and I got to see so many people in just a few days. Got to see cousins, aunts and uncles, my mom and even some old friends.
The thing that I hadn't totally expected was the excitement about me adopting. I brought a photo album of pictures of the little boy I met on my recent Africa trip who I'm trying to adopt and it was so neat to see how excited everyone was about bringing this little guy into the family. They passed around the photo album, asked for copies of the pictures and so many people said they would be praying and couldn't wait to meet him. People donated toward the adoption and asked about his room and talked about life when he came home. It was just really neat. I have been blown away at every corner these past few weeks at the overwhelming amount of love and support. I think part of me expected more comments about raising a child by myself and thought I might get a lot of people who were doubtful about whether single adoption was a good idea. But I have not experienced that at all. Everyone has just kept saying over and over how they know I'll be a great mom and that little boy will be so loved, they can't wait to meet him, they think it's great, they want to help anyway they can and so on and so on. Even just sitting here writing about it, I'm holding back tears because I just feel like I'm the most blessed person in the whole world. I have a HUGE support network all around me back home in Tennessee and her in Michigan and even beyond that. I've gotten words of encouragement from people I knew in high school and middle school and college and all across the world. I'm blown away!!! That's the best way I can describe it. This little boy is so wanted and so loved already and I'm so thrilled that it's not just by me! The whole family and friends network in my life already love him and can't wait to welcome him with open arms. So to all of those who fall into that category who are reading this - I cannot thank you enough. You have blessed me with your love, encouragement and support more than you will ever know. Thank you, thank you, - a million times thank you!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update

I was originally scheduled to leave for Michigan yesterday for a week long visit. My brother's wedding is next Saturday and I usually go for a week in the summer to see family and friends anyway. But now that I'm adopting - I decided to shorten up the visit. For two reasons - to save money on rental car and pet care by making it less days. And two - to use M-W days off to get some adoption related stuff done that I need to do during the day. So I'm not leaving until Thursday. And my sweet best friend and her hubby ended up offering up their 2nd car while I'm there so I won't have to rent a car at all which saves like $175. So sweet of them! So Monday, I have my full physical and my doctor will fill out all the paperwork needed to declare that I'm healthy and can raise a child with no physical or mental issues. Tuesday I have my first home study appointment. I have the application all filled out and will turn in the first $900 that day. That is half of the cost and it's due up front. Monday, I will also mail a signed and notarized contract to my adoption agency. I sent my application in last week along with the application fee. Now, it's the contract that is due. I received a ginormous binder in the mail Friday from my agency filled with pretty much everything I need to know. If you try to go through the entire thing at once, it's a little overwhelming but they have it organized really well and it walks you through what you need to do and when. I'm not sure when I get the official "referral" on my boy but I'm trying to work as fast as possible on my end to get what I need to get done so that I'm not the one holding anything up. I also have a trip to India for work in a few weeks and I'll be gone for 10 days so praying I have all that I need to get done finished before I leave so that while I'm gone - no one is waiting on me for anything. Each step of the way takes time and even though they give you estimates on how long that will be - it's just an estimate and it's better to hold those timelines VERY loosely and just wait until you get the word that you're on to the next step. I can do that. God is in control and I'm just trusting Him! In the meantime, I am thankful to have met a few girls who are helping out at my boys orphanage and one of them has kept in touch with me via facebook. She loves him and he loves her and I know he's being looked after. That makes me have a huge sense of peace in knowing he is well loved and cared for during the wait time. I can only imagine the turmoil I would feel or other adoptive parents feel when they have to wait and their kids are not in a good situation during that wait. Thanks to some amazing women of God who have moved to Africa to help at his orphanage - the kids there now have a very good environment to be in while they wait for their families to get the approval. Praying for all those families who are adopting - that their wait will be minimal and their children well cared for and loved in the meantime.
As I wait, I have lots to do by means of paperwork and appointments and research. I want to be as educated as possible about being a mom and especially about things that a child could experience from 1) being adopted and 2) being from another country. I also need to find a good pediatrician and my friend Katie's little boy from AFrica goes to one she loves so I'm gonna check her out first. She also had a contact for a doctor that can read international medical reports cause I need one of those too. So it's nice that they have gone through this process and can share some of their resources with me.
I'm about to pick a weekend to do a yard sale and so if you're reading this and you have items you'd like to donate for me to sell at the yard sale - let me know. I'm collecting items and hoping to have a huge yardsale to raise additional funds.
A fundraiser concert is also in the works so stay tuned for details on that.

On a side note - I am going to buy my friends child's toddler bed that will eventually convert into a headboard for a twin bed. I think it can also be a crib too. They are getting a new set and will be selling theirs and it's literally exactly what I would have wanted - all dark wood with a high back - this isn't the exact one but it's pretty similar.


I won't get it for a few months but I'm excited to know what it's gonna look like so I can start looking for matching pieces. My grandma is also going to make a quilt and some valances for the windows which is exciting!!! I'll do some paintings to match the quilt. I'm wanting to do jungle theme since we'll have the tree of love in there with all the leaves that have people's names on them. I thought it'd be cute to do monkeys and giraffes and zebras too. I sent my grandma some samples of styles I like so we'll see what she comes up with. So fun to think about decorating his room! Even more exciting to think about bringing him home.

Praying, praying, praying for God to continue to open doors, give me direction and wisdom and be with me every step of the way. And most importantly to keep my little boy safe and healthy and well loved in the meantime.

Thanks for all the support and prayers everyone! I so greatly appreciate it. You are a part of this journey - and so many people are literally helping me to bring him home with generous donations and purchases from the blog store. I feel so blessed! Thank you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

iPad Giveaway

Simply Love t-shirts for men and women and coffee mug designs are now for sale on the Simply Love page of my blog. For every Simply Love item purchased your name will go into a drawing for a brand new black 16GB Apple iPad 2. Drawing will be held on Sunday, August 28th. Get your stylish Simply Love gear and help support adoption at the same time. Every item purchased helps me bring my little boy home from Africa. Thank you so much for your support!!!

Special thanks to Kari Gibson of mycrazyadoption.com for allowing adoptive parents to use her Simply Love designs to fundraise with!!!

2 different t-shirt designs. 4 color choices for guys. 5 color choices for girls.


Monday, August 8, 2011

No Guarantee

I am very excited to be moving forward with this process of trying to adopt a specific child from Africa that I met and fell in instant love with on my last trip. Doors are opening and I'm walking (or running) through them. I'm doing all that I can and there are moments when it's a little crazy to think about all the stuff I have to get done but I am fully in this and willing to do whatever I have to do to try to bring this little boy home. But all along in regards to this sweet little boy - I have been praying for his best interest and for God to show me if I'm his mom or if He has another family for him. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping with all my heart that I get to be his mom and so far, it is looking like that hope may become reality. But if it doesn't, I trust God. If God has a different family for him and a different child for me - I trust Him. It's not about what I want or hope - it's about God's plans and above all - that's what I'm after - being in His perfect will for my life and the life of that little boy. He loves that little boy. And he loves me. And he wants the best for us both. I hope that best includes me being his mommy. But there's no guarantee. And that's ok. I appreciate all the love and support everyone has given. I am so thankful for all the prayers that have gone up and will continue to go up. And for all the donations made to help me bring him home. It means more to me than you could ever know. Let's keep praying, keep hoping and keep moving forward - and let's see what God does.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Overwhelmed with Love

I found out today that things are moving forward and a contract was signed between my agency and the orphanage on behalf of that special little boy I feel in love with. Provided I pass the home study and all finances come through, etc - it looks very likely that I will get to be that sweet little 2 year old boys mommy. I am beyond excited. I am in complete and total awe of the Lord opening wide the doors to make this happen. I prayed that He would close doors if it wasn't His will and open them if it was. You can't get any more open than this!!!! I'd say I have the green light thus far from the Lord!!! And it is moving fast!!! I am truly in awe of His timing and His provision. He loves that little boy so much and I know He'll move heaven and earth to get him home if home with me as his momma is where God has for him to be. It's so amazing to watch the Lord work all things together. When it involves something as complex and as expensive as this - it's the perfect opportunity for God to be glorified because there's no way we can take credit for any of it. I've cried probably 5 times today - the response from everyone in regards to this adoption - has been amazing. I cannot express how blessed I feel. I have some seriously amazing people in my life. This little boy is already so loved! And I am so excited that there will be a visual representation in his room (The Tree of Love) as a reminder everyday of all the amazing, generous people who helped to bring him home. People have donated that I have never even met. Friends have not only donated but been such an encouragement! So many prayers have gone up. So many kind words, people posting my blog/donate link on their facebook, people spreading the word, helping me come up with fundraising ideas and so much more!!! And this is only week 1. Wow - I'm just blown away. In less than a week, people have donated $1920! Truly amazing. I am believing God for the rest of the $5180 I still need to turn in right away. Thank you for all the prayers, for all the encouragement and all the generosity. I don't think you'll ever fully know just exactly how much it means to me!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lots of Fundraising Options

I just spent like 5 hours adding two new pages to the blog - International Store and Paintings. I'm selling items to raise money for adoption. I paint so all the paintings you see were done by me. The rest of the stuff I've bought around the world on all my mission trips. This past trip to Uganda & Ethiopia - I ended up with way more than I intended to buy and I'm kind of glad now cause it'll help toward bringing a little one home! Moving right along in the process. Found a new adoption agency who is willing to work with me and they are already researching that little boy for me. I should know soon whether I can adopt him. I'm hopeful. So thankful for so many people who donated in the past few days and have gotten me close to my first goal of $900 which is half of the cost of the home study and is due up front to get it started. I'm planning to get started this coming week. More fundraising coming soon - ideas are churning in my head for a concert and I'll be adding Simply Love t-shirts and merch to the site hopefully next week. In the meantime, check out the International Store and the Paintings pages!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And so it begins...

Found out today that the adoption agency that used to work with the orphanage I visited in Africa will no longer be working with that orphanage or at least that's what they told me today. Also found out that a past team member is using a different agency to adopt from there so all hope is not lost. It's good to be figuring this out ahead of time because the home study may be slightly different depending on the agency so hopefully I'll know soon. Please keep praying - I'm super hopeful about this boy! I'm open to what God has but I really pray I get to be this little boy's momma.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fundraising Begins

Just spoke to a home study agency today and found out that the home study will cost $1800. I have to have half up front to start the process. And so the fundraising begins. T-shirt design and some other products coming VERY soon. In the meantime, there is a donate link now on the blog if you feel so inclined to donate toward my adoption. It's becoming more real every day. I am excited. I already have some really neat ideas for how to decorate the room. This will sort of tie in with a fundraiser - if you click on the Tree of Love tab, you will see what I mean. Thank you to everyone who has commented on here or my facebook. I am so thankful for all the positive comments and most importantly all your prayers.

Perseverance

By definition Perseverance is: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, o...