Below is a blog post I wrote last February. Let's just say that some things haven't turned out quite like I thought. I'm going to repost it and then update in bold where we currently are with my "plans."
Some big changes are coming to our little family. Big changes. Well, we definitely have experienced some big changes.
The first huge change is moving. We are planning to move this summer to be closer to my family. I've been almost 600 miles from my family since I finished college 15 years ago. I've enjoyed my independence and never planned to move back. But, kids change everything. There are tons of reasons to stay and tons of reasons to move but I really want Sara to be near her family and that trumps the rest of the list. We did move. And it was the right thing to do, even if it didn't quite work out like I thought it would.
My parents and I are working on a housing situation since rental options in the middle of no where are pretty limited. I have almost finished the process to transfer my teaching license to NY. (Although I'm open to lots of employment options.) I've met with a Realtor and am cautiously optimistic about selling my house here. I've been looking for jobs but it's still pretty early to get serious about anything. Please pray with us for a great job (I love the one I'm leaving here) and that we will at least break even on the house. The housing situation didn't pan out quite like we had planned. My dad lost his job just before we moved so our plans to add an apartment onto my parents' house were put on hold. My house still hasn't sold so we're living in my parents' guest room. It's probably best that it worked out this way. I don't think I would have moved knowing we'd still be sharing a bedroom in my parents' house but it's worked out just fine. My father has secured a great new job and I'm really hoping my house will sell soon. (I can lower the price once I get my tax refund back.) We should be able to move forward with the apartment addition once we get out of the deep winter freeze. It took me ALL summer and almost 100 applications but I did find a teaching job. It's not exactly what I'm passionate about but it's a smaller public school setting. The people are great and there is a possibility of a much better fit for next year. The aide that I work with is amazing and has done a great job of keeping me sane.
A big bonus of moving is access to free babysitters---aka the grandparents! I have been blessed with amazing sitters for Sara after school and on her days off. I would not be able to make it without them. I also have respite care through a local agency but Sara will not stay with them. (The emotional impact was not worth a few hours away.) My parents adore Sara and she loves them. They are pretty much the only ones I can leave her with without major tears and trauma. (Although my dad learned at Christmas that she doesn't really like to go out without mom.) Knowing that I will be able to run to the store alone occasionally or go to the doctor without a shadow is very relieving to me. I'm glad that we've had these two years together to establish our little family but it's time to accept some help. This mom is tired. I got to go to small group yesterday! Yay!
Now that I've admitted I'm exhausted, it's time to announce something else. I might just be crazy but I'm planning to start another adoption once we are settled. I have my eye on a little one but I'm hoping and praying she doesn't have to wait that long for a family. (You know those prayers. Dear God, please help me find her a family quickly. If not, please let my agency have her file in the fall. Because I want her to have a mom. Soon. But I really want to be her mom.) I swore I would never go back to Sara's country but I think adoption is like labor. It doesn't seem to bad from this side of things. It was hard but totally worth it. Sure. I'd do it again. That particular little girl has a mommy working very hard to bring her home. She should be home soon and I'm so excited for her. I'm glad she didn't have to wait for me. And, yes, I am still planning to go back to Sara's country. Crazy. I know.
Sara has adjusted so well and is becoming so independent. She loves babies and I think will do really well with a younger sibling (once she learns to share mommy). I've had people asking me for the last two years when I was going to adopt again. Reading this little girl's file and really thinking about what life would look like with another one makes me think that the time is near. As long as the transition to our new home and life goes well, I really think we'll be in a position to start a new adoption in the fall. Fall! Ha!! I was definitely optimistic. I'm now hoping to start a home study late this summer or next fall. It all depends on the timing of the new apartment and the sale of my house. Until that sells, I just don't have the funds to adopt again or raise another child.
I have set up a Future Adoption Account and will change some of my advocacy and fund raising efforts in order to be as financially ready as possible when I can finally commit and start a home study. (I know I won't save enough for the whole adoption by then but I'm hoping for enough to get me started.) I'll be adding a small amount out of each pay check to the account. I'll also be putting in any money that I make from selling items that we won't be moving. (I love online garage sale sites!) I'll be using my Swagbucks points to get paypal gift cards which I can transfer to the account. I'll also be adding some money from Scarves and Skirts for Sara and Avon for Adoptions. And once my car is paid off in the new few months, that account is really going to grow! I set up an account through YouCaring to keep all the money secure until I can use it for my home study. I didn't set it up to get straight up donations. (Although I wouldn't turn them down.) I believe firmly in working for the money I need to adopt and I will do so. The YouCaring account was set up for donations from items that I am knitting through my facebook page Scarves and Skirts for Sara. For now, my regular paycheck will go to paying down my mortgage so I can sell my home. Once that is sold, any extra money I have will go to the adoption.
I will continue to use Scarves and Skirts for Sara to raise money for friends who are adopting. When I sell items, I usually charge twice what the yarn cost me plus shipping costs. (There are a few exceptions.) I keep half of the money from each sale to cover my costs. Up until now, the other half has gone to an adopting family or waiting child. Starting with any new orders, I will give 25% of the price to the current family or child and put the other 25% in my future adoption account. For now, any donation I receive from orders that I come through my knitting page will go into my YouCaring account unless another beneficiary is specified by the purchaser. I am not at all opposed to helping others and will donate to a family or waiting child if the buyer prefers. Not everyone may be comfortable donating to a "future adoption" and I get that. I'd rather have someone make a purchase and help another family than not make a purchase at all. That helps no one.
I will also continue to use Avon sales from Avon for Adoptions to help adopting families. I have always donated my 20% commission to adopting families. Starting March 1, when a family is holding a fund raiser, they will get 15% of each purchase and I will keep the other 5% for my future adoption fund. If there is not an active fund raiser going on, all 20% will go into my savings account. Until I am ready to officially start an adoption, my Avon for Adoption money will continue to go to help adopting families and waiting children. Once my adoption has begun, I will keep the commission to help pay for the adoption.
Please fell free to use my new Amazon Link when you shop. A percentage of each purchase will go to my Future Adoption Fund.
I realize this is probably a lot more technical information than a lot of you wanted but I really strive to be honest and forthcoming about all of my fundraising efforts--whether they are for myself or someone else.
Those are the two big changes that I'm ready to vaguely announce for our little family. Who knows what other changes our future holds. Stay tuned. Still wondering if that other change will ever pan out or not. God's timing is definitely not the same as mine.