The Home Stretch!!

That’s right, we have entered the “home stretch” of bringing Ruthie home!!!!!

We received the I800 approval. We received the Article 5 letter. We have been assigned a Judge. Now we are just waiting for the judge to assign our court date!! A court date! We have finally made it! The court date will determine when we can travel. We will be able to spend 5 days, morning and afternoon, visiting with Ruthie before we go before the judge.

Our adoption hearing could take about two hours. I’m not exactly sure what all will happen during that time, but I do know we will both have a chance to speak. And we will be questioned by the judge as to why we want to be Ruthie’s parents, what we can offer her, and why being with us would be better than where she is.

I have never been before a judge before and honestly, I am kind of stressing out about this. I mean she holds our families future in her hands. Please pray for us in this. That the judge would be understanding and we would speak clearly on Ruthie’s behalf. AND for peace and calm for me!

We are ready to paint and set up Ruthie’s bedroom. Now if Mommy could just settle on the colors that would be great! šŸ™‚ We have been blessed by a friend who posted on her local sites looking for toddler bed donations. She has found both the toddler beds we needed! Such a relief to not have to find the funds to buy them or the time to search them out.

We will have Ruthie’s bedroom ready for her, but also a bed in our room for her. Remember Ruthie has never had her own room and everything around her will be new and probably scary. We anticipate she will need to be close to us for awhile and want to be available to her whenever she would need us, just like bringing home a newborn.

We still need to buy a new carseat for Ruthie and one crib size mattress. And than just pack!

We are wrapping up a couple ongoing fundraisers. If you are interested we still have several of ourĀ Hand Painted EggsĀ available,Ā Monogram Ornaments, Caterpillar Magnets made by Big Brother, and aĀ BIN AuctionĀ on Facebook.

Stay tuned for TRAVEL DATES!!!!

 

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Been Awhile

I have not been good at keeping this updated lately! šŸ˜¦ So this post will be updates.

We received our “official” match with Ruthie last month!!! Our paperwork came October 8, we also signed our “consent to proceed” that morning and sent it back. On October 13 we had all the necessary paperwork together to file our I800 with USCIS. They have received our giant packet of papers/forms and are currently processes it. This should take 2-3 weeks, obviously we are praying and hoping we’re on the quick end of that timeline. This process is so detailed and confusing! I would be lost and probably in a puddle of tears if it weren’t for our awesome agency and Cathy!

So, we are in the “waiting” game again. The good news is that we will be filing paperwork soon to get Ruthie’s Visa started and have a judge assigned!! I love being in the home stretch!!

We have several fundraisers going.

We were chosen this month for a grants through Reece’s Rainbow called 5/5/5 for Families. I will do another posting on what exactly that is, but you can check it out hereĀ 5/5/5Ā and by giving $5 help raise this months grant total to help 5 families!

We are doing a “Can Drive” through November 7. We are asking everyone to save cans for us, we will then collect them all and turn them in on November 7. Cans can be dropped off at our house anytime, we have a bin labeled CANS outside. If you are not local you can still help. Just collect cans on your own, turn them in to your recycling center, and send us a check or deposit into our FSP, there is a link on the side column. You can also share our flyer.Ā CanDrive

I am making monogram ornaments! They are made of wood and are 3in tall. Each ornament can be personalized with your choice of paper overlay, name, and date. I have several paper options available. We can discuss if you want something different. They are $10 each shipped or $8 local. More info can be found hereĀ Monogram Ornaments

There are several hand painted eggs still available. Once all eggs are purchased or we receive travel dates we will draw for the winner of the carved egg from Ruthie’s country. Info about eggs can be found hereĀ Hand Painted Eggs

Pizza Ranch has us on the calendar for Monday, November 16 for a fundraiser. We are waiting for approval from the owner since we are not a business. Please pray with us that they do allow us to hold the fundraiser and that God would bless us through it.

Zack has a few things he is working on too. Keep an eye out for those and remember any donations made to our FSP through Reece’s Rainbow are tax deductable!

MATCHED!!

Ok, so this is a bit late. And how I don’t know because really it is the greatest news so far!

About two weeks ago we asked for prayer because our Dossier had been submitted and we were hoping for a quick response. Well, God answered FAST! Little Mouse woke up at 4:30 AM on Sep 7. I remember because when I looked at my phone to check the time there was an email from our fantastic adoption facilitator letting us know that we would not be needing our 30 day count down. We had been granted our match request!

We are now waiting for all the official paperwork from our little girls country so that we may submit our next application to USCIS. This will grant her permission to immigrate to the US as our child.

So, are new prayer request is for these papers to come quickly!

While we wait I have a few fundraisers going. The Tastefully Simple fundraiser will go through September 30, we still have Eggs available, and I am preparing for one last rummage sale.

Recurring Theme

Wait…This is becoming a recurring theme.

Our home study hasĀ finally beenĀ written. It has been approved by our home study agency, adoption agency, and us. Now it needs to go to DCFS in Springfield for a one women department, Intercountry Adoption Coordinator, to put her stamp of approval on. I’ve been told this is currently taking about a month. UGH!!! A whole month! For NO reason! Illinois is the only state that still requires this approval. There is a bill, HB 3079, just waiting to be signed to end this non-sense. We likely will not benefit from it though.

PLEASE pray with us that we get our HS approval much sooner than anticipated!

As soon as that comes we can file our I800a with USCIS. This will give us permission from the US government to adopt a child from a foreign country. This process can take 4-6 weeks, so the sooner we can apply the better. We can’t submit our Dossier to our daughter’s country until we have this form from USCIS.

As you can see we will beĀ waiting A LOT this year. If there seems to be a lot of time between postings it is because we areĀ waiting. Again.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

In the meantime though we are fundraising. The egg fundraiser will run until we are out of eggs.

Judy’s shirt is available for a few more days.

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/help-the-ballard-family

We will be having our 2nd rummage sale this weekend. I will be doing a children’s clothes auction soon as well.

A friend has graciously offered to hold a Scentsy fundraiser for us June. So, be watching for that! It’s going to be awesome.

We are planning a Bike/Trike-a-Thon for August.

There are so many ways to be involved! You can find out FSP on the blog and my sister has a YouCaring account for us.

Hand Painted Egg Fundraiser

Here is a post designated to our Hand Painted Egg Fundraiser.

egg

Over the years we have purchased decorated eggs from artisans in the markets while in Eastern Europe. Zack and I have painted our own version of their painted egg. During ā€œtrial and errorā€ I learned that using real eggs was going to be a bad idea, we broke several. So we have chosen wooden eggs with a flat bottom so they can sit up and be displayed.

Each hand painted egg has a number 1-50. To purchase an egg, let me know what number egg you would like, that is also the cost of the egg.

Example; egg #2 is a $2 donation, egg #42 is a $42 donation.

Zack is very excited for his sister and wants to help, eggs 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 50 were decorated by him.

For every egg purchased or time you share our fundraiser your name will go into a drawing for a carved egg from our daughters birth country!

Thank you SO very much for helping bring Ruthie home!! We couldn’t make this happen without your help.

Eggs available are; Ā 31, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 48

Current Fundraisers

We have a few fundraisers going right now. I am so excited for each one.

Our little girl has a Prayer Warrior from Reece’s Rainbow who has now become our Family Warrior. Judy has designed a shirt that works for anyone. It says “Bent, but NOT broken!” on the back. This saying has personal meaning to Judy making it even more special to us. The shirt is available in a variety of sizes and styles including women’s, youth, long sleeve, and sweatshirt.

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/help-the-ballard-family

My cousin, Courtney, has also started a shirt fundraiser. This one has a country outline with their flag colors on the front. The back says “God has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patience and faith but it’s all worth the wait.” Oh so very true and a reminder we constantly need!

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/help-the-bellard-family

Little Moose and I still have eggs available too! This was super successful in the beginning, Thank you to everyone who jumped on board when it started! Here is the info on the eggs.

Over the years we have purchased decorated eggs from artisans in the markets while in Lith. Zack and I have painted our own version of their painted egg. During ā€œtrial and errorā€ I learned that using real eggs was going to be a bad idea, we broke several. So we have chosen wooden eggs with a flat bottom so they can sit up and be displayed.

Each hand painted egg has a number 1-50. To purchase an egg, let me know what number egg you would like, that is also the cost of the egg.

Example; egg #2 is a $2 donation, egg #42 is a $42 donation.

Zack is very excited for his sister and wants to help, eggs 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 50 were decorated by him.

For every egg purchased your name will go into a drawing for a carved egg from the capital of our daughters country.

The available eggs are 17, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36-44, 47-50