Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tag Your Friends and Win a Prize?

So far, I've given away 2 scarves and gotten lots of free publicity for the auction. Here's the next twist. (Are we having fun yet?) Tag 5 of your friends in a picture of an item you think they would be interested in. Must be 5 different friends that do not already "like" the auction. This is especially important for those items that are location specific! As usual, I will put all your names into a drawing and the winner will win a scarf in their choice of colors. Leave me a comment and let me know that you did it. I don't see all the tags on the pictures. This contest will go until 9:00PM on Sunday, July 1st.

Auction Page on Facebook

If you don't have a facebook account, you can email the auction post to 5 friends. Again, leave me a comment and let me know you did that.

Auction Post on the Blog

Here are the color choices for the scarf.

Once again, thank you all who have donated, bid, and shared. These might seem like simple things to you but they are a huge encouragement and help to me. Sara's story is getting out to new people every day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Promote the Auction and Possibly win a Prize

Here's the next "game." It's really easy. All you have to do is share the Auction link on your facebook or blog. Leave me a comment and let me know you shared. I'll enter you into a drawing for a scarf in the color of your choice. I will hold the drawing on Friday, June 29th at 9:00PM.

Sample Scarf.

Facebook Page for the Auction.

Color Choices

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's Get Some More Auction Donations and Win a Prize!

So, I had a fun idea. (At least I think it's fun....) I still need some more donations for the auction for Sara that starts on Sunday. Here's what I'm going to do: Everyone who shares the blog post or the facebook page on their facebook or blog, and asks their friends for donations to auction off, will be putting into a drawing. I will make a scarf like the ones in the auction for the winner in the color scheme of their choice. Leave me a comment here and let me know you shared and asked. I will draw the winner at 9:00PM on Wednesday, June 27th.

Blog Post

Facebook Page

Yarn Color Choices

Message me or leave a comment on the blog if you get a donation!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I want to help but.....I just don't have any money.

So, this post is for those of you who are tired of seeing all my fund-raising blogs and posts on facebook. (Disclaimer: This post results from my over-active caffeinated brain. It's not a result of anything anyone has said or done. If anything, you have all been way more supportive than I ever thought possible.)

*Maybe you're sick of seeing them because you don't think I shouldn't be fundraising. (I'm going to address that!)

*Or, maybe you're tired of them because you wish you could help and finances are just tight. I completely understand. There are so many amazing families that I would LOVE to help. I just can't right now. It frustrates me. So, in light of those feelings, I'm writing this post to give you a few ideas of ways you can help without ever spending a dime.

First of all, let me address people that don't think I should be fundraising or think that I am just asking for too much:
While you might not realize it, I am very sensitive to this position. If I could produce or earn all the money I need to adopt Sara, I would. In a heart beat. I hate asking for help. It's hard for me. I don't like to do it. AT ALL! I also know that none of my friends have a spare $30,000 sitting around to fund this adoption. I respect that.

Here are the measures I have taken to be respectful of my friends and family in this process:
*I am paying as much as possible with my own funds. Summer school starts tomorrow. I hate teaching summer school but I will be there this summer. Sara is more important than my summer vacation. I have also cut way back on my spending in order to add what I can to my adoption account.
*I am only holding one major fundraiser at a time. April was the Give Away. May was the 31 fundraiser. June is Avon. July will be the auction. The coffee and puzzle pieces are incidental and on-going.
*I am trying really hard to find fundraisers that give you a return for your donation. While out-right donations are great, and wonderful, and very appreciated, I understand that you only have so much money to spend in a month. So, if you can get a birthday gift or a bottle of shampoo that you already needed and help Sara at the same time, it's a win-win for all of us. That's why July's fundraiser will be an auction and not a Give Away. I want people to walk away with a product that they wanted for their donation.

If after all this, you still think I'm wrong to be fundraising or you just don't care to hear about it any more, that's fine! Seriously. Feel free to defriend me on facebook, hide me from your news feed, stop reading my blog. Honestly, it's ok. Not everyone has a passion for orphans or kids with special needs. I have friends that are very passionate about animal rescues. That's not something that gets me excited. I just skip those posts on facebook. It's all good!

So, back to those of you who want to help but just don't have any money....Here are some ways that I've come up with that you can still help.
*Repost my blog on your blog, facebook or twitter. I have 40 followers on my blog. I don't actually know most of them. Spreading the word helps!
*Invite your facebook friends to the fundraising events and pages. I intentionally leave them as public events or pages so that you can invite friends. You never know when someone might be looking for a way to help others or just needs a bottle of nail polish from Avon.
*Tag your friends in pictures of auction items that you think they might be interested in. The auction will begin July 1st. If each of my friends tagged 5 of their friends, almost 1,500 people would see the auction items!
*Donate an item to the auction. If you are crafty, you could make something. Maybe your employer has something they can donate. Do you know anyone that owns an etsy shop and would like free publicity? Do you have a random gift card in your wallet that you are never going to use? About 60 people a day read this blog. If all of you donated an item that sold for $5, Sara would be $300 closer to coming home!
*Join Swagbucks using my referral link. This one takes a little more effort but would still help me immensely. Swagbucks is a website that allows you to earn gift cards by doing a variety of things. One of the ways to earn is by searching. If you make their search engine your default, you can earn points randomly throughout the day. Every time you earn points for a search, I also earn those points. This site is totally legitimate! I used it to earn enough Amazon gift cards to get a Kindle Fire. Now, I am using my points to get Pay Pal gift cards which I deposit into my adoption fund. If even 10 of you signed up with my link and used their search engine regularly, I could earn gift cards more quickly. (If you install their Swagbucks Mobile TV app on your android device, you can earn enough in a month to get almost $15 in Amazon gift cards. That's without doing anything else!)

Anyone else have ideas on how to help? Leave me a comment and let me know your ideas!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Furnace Hills Coffee


Look what Furnace Hills Coffee posted on facebook today!

We are creating a new blend at Furnace Hill's. We are calling it Sara's Blend. It is made up of the finest Bolivian & Brazilian Arabica beans we can purchase. Sara's Blend is in honor of little Sara that Natalie Keller of Midlothian, IL is in the process of adopting. Sara has Down Syndrome and is from South America. This blend will be roasted like our Telunas Beach, so just a bit past medium toward dark. This blend has a fruity full bodied swallow. We will be charging $16/pound for this and $4/pound will go toward bringing Sara home. This offer is for the 400 of you on Facebook and any friends or family you share it with. Email me at and let me know how many pounds you'd like and will work out shipping & billing. Below you'll see a picture of Sara. Let's work together to help bring little Sara home. You can read more about her at (In the article she is referred to as Charlotte, but Natalie is going to be calling her Sara.). Let's see how we can help bring Sara home!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Much Needed Update---and Much Needed Major Movement

Progress Update:
Things are flying right along!!!! My dossier is almost done.

*I had my psych eval today. I have no idea how long it will take to get written but the doctor was really nice and seemed to understand the urgency.

*My FBI clearance was waiting for me in the mail when I got home last night. I have to send it to a courier to have it appostilled in Washington, DC. I will do that tomorrow. It should take a little over a week for the turn-around.

*My doctor called this afternoon to tell me that my letter was ready. I called this morning to check and ta-da! It's done! I will pick it up tomorrow morning.

*I got my USCIS fingerprints done on June 7th. I should, hopefully, have clearance from them in the next week or two.

All that to say---my dossier could be on it's way to Sara's country by the end of the month!!!

This is HUGE!

It means that I will soon be traveling to get my little girl. There are no words to express how excited I am.

As I was walking through the Houston airport yesterday, I just kept thinking about how the next I'm going through customs there, I will have something to declare---a little girl!

You can check out the rest of the process here.

Financial Update:
I'm waiting to here back from my adoption agency about my travel accommodations and plans in order to better plan a budget.

*As of right now, about $10,000 of the costs have been paid.

I have almost $4,000 in my FSP with Reece's Rainbow.

*I have another "grant" promised of $1,500.

*I will be teaching summer school which will give me another $5,000 to put towards upcoming costs.

*This leaves me about $9,500 short of the approximately $30,000 I need for the entire process.

*I have applied for about 8 grants and have only heard back from one. (I wasn't chosen for that one.) Please pray that I will hear favorably from one or two of the grants soon.

*I am planning an online auction for the month of July. Please let me know if you missed out last time and would like to donate something!

You can see my current fundraisers here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Prolonged Silence

This will be short. I'm on my kindle and I don't type well on here.

Last week was very busy with the end of the school year. Then, I headed to NY for a long weekend with the fam. Tomorrow, I leave for a much needed vacation with my friend Anna. When we bought this trip in October, I had no idea how much I would need to get away right now.

I am hoping to come back to USCIS approval, a completed FBI background check, and a signed letter from my doctor. Wouldn't that be great?

Please don't forget to check out my Avon fund raiser while I'm gone!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Avon Fundraiser

Jennifer Menges is another fellow Reece's Rainbow adopter. She has graciously agreed to host an online Avon Fundraiser to benefit Sara's adoption. She started selling Avon to help fund her own adoption but is now giving to other families. (The amazing people just keep appearing in my life!)

It's pretty simple. Click on this link and shop away. Use the checkout code kelleradoption (It should show up automatically if you use the above link.)

If that does't work for some reason, you can get to the link this way:

1. Go to
2. Click on the “eparty” tab at the top
3. Choose my name and click where it says “shop my eparty”.

The party will be available for the month of June. All orders will ship directly to your home. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for your continued support!

Meet Brady The Ironman

I used to have a rule that I wouldn't be facebook friends with someone I didn't actually know. This all went out the window when I started this process and became a part of the amazing Reece's Rainbow Community. Brady is just one of the amazing people I met.

Brady has an adorable son with Down Syndrome. He and his wife have decided to use that experience to help others by being supporters of Reece's Rainbow. Now, Brady has come up with a new way to advocate for these amazing children who need homes.

From Brady's blog:
Two months ago, Ironman announced a contest called Kona Inspired. How it works is they have given the general public an opportunity to submit a 90 second video based around the theme, "Anything is Possible". Winners receive a spot to race in the Ironman World Championship in October, but most importantly, they will race as a media athlete and have the opportunity to share their story on NBC's nationally televised broadcast of the championship this year! THIS COULD BE OUR OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THESE PRECIOUS CHILDREN'S STORY WITH THE WORLD!!!

Please take a moment to WATCH, VOTE, and SHARE our video as much as possible throughout the day from your home computer, work computer, laptop, phone, etc! We need to be in the top 2 videos at the end of the day on June 18.

Brady has made it to the semi-finals. So, the moral of the story: Click on the link below and vote. As often as you can. (As Chicagoans like to say: Vote early. Vote often.) It's a very easy way for you to promote the work of Reece's Rainbow.

Watch me!!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yard Sale Extravaganza

A couple of months ago, the women in my small group asked if they could host a yard sale to benefit Sara. I was really honored that they wanted to do that. I really am surprised and touched every single time someone offers to help or donates to bring Sara home. Truly.

In all honesty, though, I really didn't think it would amount to much. I posted some info on my blog and facebook looking for donations. I got some from a few friends at work and took a tv that had been left in my basement by a former roommate. The women had their children pass out fliers at the church picnic but I still didn't really think it would come to much. I was thinking that maybe they would raise $200-300. I was praying they would make $500. I would have been THRILLED with $500.

Friday was a yucky day. It was one of those days where it wasn't really raining but it wasn't dry either. You know....those damp days that make you cold from the inside out. I didn't get to go to the yard sale at all that day because I had to work but I worried all day about these great women. They had put so much work into this and their kids were planning to sell lemonade. I really wasn't worried about not getting money for Sara. I was worried that these women had tried to do something kind and it was going to flop.

Kelly texted me at lunch time to tell me that they hadn't had a chance to count the money because they had been so busy. This shocked me! I didn't know that people shopped at yard sales on Friday, first of all. And, the weather was just yucky. This gave me some hope that maybe we would hit that $500 mark in two days. Maybe!

She texted me after to work to ask how much I thought they had made. I really didn't know what to tell her. I didn't want to throw a number that proved to be way too high. I told her I had no idea what a person makes a yard sale. As it turns out, I REALLY had no idea how much a person makes at a yard sale. She responded that they had made almost $1,000!!!! On a yucky Friday, they made almost $1,000!!! The really surprising thing is that they didn't have any big items to sell. This was all from things like clothes, books, strollers, little things. Oh, and a sign that said help our friend bring her daughter home.

She sent the text message with the total along with a message that mentioned a REALLY funny donation they had received. (Someone gave them a huge box of condoms to sell!) I pulled over on the way home for work so I could laugh and cry all at the same time. (I don't recommend this. It causes these painful hiccup-type-things.)

I was so glad that I got to help work the sale on Saturday and see generosity and love in action. Nothing at the sale had prices. The huge sign made it clear that we were raising money for an adoption and all donations would be accepted. The little girls sold bottles of water and lemonade packets. They were very careful to mention Sara in every one of their attempts to sell lemonade.

I got to meet a woman who has been following my blog. That, in and of itself, was a very humbling experience. There are so many of you out there that are invested in this process. It amazes me. (Most of the time, I'm convinced my mom is the only one that reads this.)

Things were pretty steady on Saturday. Again, it was a lot of little purchases. $5 here and $10 there. A yard sale will definitely convince you of the phrase "different strokes for different folks." Some of the things that I thought would NEVER sell were some of the things that people were most excited about.

I'm pretty sure that Kadie's 7-year-old daughter turned out to be the biggest donor. She had bought a wallet on Friday. She showed up Saturday with it in her purse. She must have cleaned out her piggy bank because she made quite a few purchases for herself, her brother, and her cousins. She was very careful to show me that she was paying for each item she took. What a generous spirit in a little girl!

We even had some Jehovah's Witnesses visit in the middle of all the chaos. (That's another post for another time.) I was very touched when the woman doubled back after leaving to make a donation.

The grand total on the two day sale was $1,483.74!!!! Three times what I was praying God would provide. Once again, I'm learning that I need to put down the calculator and just let God work!

I left the yard sale with a little sun burn, a Cozy Coupe, a snow suit and a renewed belief that God is in control and people are incredibly generous.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm In Love

Since starting this adoption process, I have fallen in love with the people at Reece's Rainbow: the amazing staff, the wonderfully supportive advocates, the other amazing adopting families but mostly, the kids. So many of these children have captured my heart.

I have three thoughts that run through my head when I look at the kids' pictures:

1. I can't wait until Sara's adoption is done so I can advocate for these kids and donate to all the amazing fundraisers going on to help bring them home.

2. If only I had a rich husband.... (or really, any husband...) I'd have a whole houseful of kids.

3. Next time..... (Then I realize I really must be crazy.)

There are a few children I just can't get off my mind. I'd love to share them with you. A couple of them have families. I'm so excited for them and I'm really enjoying walking through this process with their moms. The others are still waiting for their moms. I can't wait for the day they are "found." Every child deserves a forever family and a loving home.

Maybe one of them will grab your heart......

Lene was just posted this week. She's so young and I know she would benefit greatly from a family. She's in a different country from my little girl which is probably a good thing. I'd be VERY tempted to bring her home, too. Lene is one of those kids that makes me think: "next time....." I really, really, REALLY hope she doesn't wait that long.

James captured my heart right along with Sara. I believe that they live in the same place. I really hope to meet him when I go to get my little girl. He's one that makes me think: "If I only had a husband...." I'm just not sure I could handle an infant son on my own. Just imagine how much this little could would benefit from a family at this early stage in his life. I pray daily that he doesn't stay in the orphanage long.

And here's one that isn't in Latin America. Denver reminds me so much of my Martin in Mexico. His picture breaks my heart. I don't think I'm equipped to handle a child with autism on my own but I know he will fit into someone's family!

Marguerite (Claudia) was one of the first children I noticed on Reece's Rainbow. Her family is in the exact same stage of the process as I am. We hope to be in country together. I've love the emails that fly back and forth between Angie and I. We have the same doubts, the same concerns, the same excitement. Angie and her husband live less than an hour from my brother's house. I can't wait for Christmas break. I can already picture Sara and Claudia playing together at the Strong Museum of Play.

Rose just recently found her family--this week! I loved her as soon as she was posted and was so excited to see that she had a family coming to rescue her! I've gotten to know her mom a little this week. I love being able to answer some questions and let her know that she will survive the home study process!!

Are you in love yet?