DATES!!!!!

We have our dates! We have our airline tickets! We have our apartment! We have a paper chain countdown! We have a carseat! We have beds! We are not packed…

We leave January 6! I am over the moon excited to finally meet our sweet girl! I can not wait to hug her, touch her, look into her beautiful blue eyes, hear her sweet voice in person, snuggle her in my carrier, play with her, read to her, sing to her, show her HER Mommy’s love….so many things to look forward to!

Little Moose is SO excited, I think every person he has come in contact with has heard how many days until we leave to get his sister. I mean everyone! His Awana leaders, Sunday School teachers, random people at church, Walmart employees, the cashier who gave him ice cream at the mall, all the employees at Build A Bear when we made Ruthie’s Christmas gift, I think he’s even told our cat! This little boy can not contain his joy and everyone catches it!

This weekend we will buy the paint for Ruthie’s bedroom and get started with that project! It’s going to be SO cute and girly!

I get to celebrate this weekend with some friends! I love all things baby shower related, and am so blessed by dear friends who want to shower Ruthie with love too!

We are very close to being fully funded! Our FSP needs to be at about $16,000 to be FF. We have a few fundraisers still open, they are listed here. We are hoping to finish this out before Christmas. And remember, all donations to our Reece’s Rainbow FSP are tax deductible!

 

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Been Awhile

I have not been good at keeping this updated lately! 😦 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 here 5/5/5 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. 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 here 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 here 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!

Pedal Ruthie Home SUCCESS!

Our Pedal Ruthie Home Trike/Bike-a-Thon was a HUGE success!!! I can not thank everyone who helped enough.

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So, to start, a few shout outs to our friends and family who helped with planning, donating, and the day of;

all our parents and my grandma,

our dear friends,

and the businesses who sponsored our fundraiser;

Caraotta Chiropractic Orthopedics

Midwest Mailworks, Inc

Jayz Electric

Randy Fleming Heating and Air Conditioning

Baskin Robbins of Rockford

If you are in the area PLEASE show these businesses some love!

Back to the fundraiser. The kids had a BLAST!! They looked adorable wearing their Pedal Ruthie Home shirts and riding their bikes. We had a tunnel made from pool noodles, “carwash” to go though, and bubble machines. I think some of the kids rode the whole two hours!

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Little Moose rode his bike (or any other tricycle that a child walked away from) the whole morning. We were surprised because he had been saying for weeks that he would only ride four laps and than would be too tired. We were so proud of him! After we cleaned up and were getting in the van his enthusiasm quickly turned to crushed. I asked him why he was so sad. His answer, because it was over and Ruthie never came. 😦 poor guy misunderstood and thought that if he rode enough his sister would come. It is SO hard for a little one to understand time and waiting. We have been trying to be clear that she will not be ready to come home until after his birthday. But still, he wants her now just as much as Mommy and Daddy do.

The boys AWESOME babysitter and a friend of hers did face painting for the kiddo’s. They did a great job and the kids loved that the face painters would try anything they requested.

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We also had balloons for the kids. Each balloon had a picture attached of a child on Reece’s Rainbow that is still waiting for their forever family. It was a joy to be able to share these precious kids of all ages, from various countries, and with a variety of special needs. Our hope and prayer is that maybe one of these children will find a family through their balloon. And more awareness has been raised!

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Our Silent Auction went great! Several business including Lino’s Restaurant, Woodman’s, and Royal Hobby Shop donated some awesome items. There are a few things left that will be available soon in an online auction. Be watching for that. 🙂

We have several T-shirts available in children’s size XS-L. Please let me know if you would like one (or two or three) They are $10 each locally or $15 to ship, if you want more than one the shipping will be combined.

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And finally, if you would like to raise money and do your own virtual Walk-a-Thon or Bike-a-Thon for Ruthie we would love to help you get started! I can send you a pledge sheet which you would use to ask for donations from friends, family, co-workers. Set a date, time, location of your choice and go for a walk or bike ride, collect your donor pledges, and send them to us or our Family Sponsorship Account with Reece’s Rainbow. Super simple and GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in any way to make this a great success!

Recurring Theme

Wait…This is becoming a recurring theme.

Our home study has finally been 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 be waiting A LOT this year. If there seems to be a lot of time between postings it is because we are 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.

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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 “trial and error” 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;  31, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 48

Original Women + Reece’s Rainbow = Changed Lives

Ok, I have been anxious to write this post since Friday!

Our church, Rockford First, just had it’s annual women’s conference last weekend. Side note, it was AMAZING! I think the last number I heard was over 2,600 women from around the country attended this year! The speakers were awesome. Have you ever heard of Bob Goff? I highly suggest looking him up.

To get to the point of my post today. Original Women started a thing called ‘In it for good’ last year. We were encouraged to take these cute little jars home and work on filling them with $200 before this years conference. The money would then go directly to the organizations Original partners with; Mercy Ministries, She Rescue Homes, and Zoe International. Over the years we have heard from speakers representing those organizations. The changed lives and hope restored to hurting and broken women and children is amazing. It is a privilege to be able to be a part of these organizations.

Friday during conference I was in the Family Room because Little Mouse was with me. There were a bunch of other women with little babies watching the live stream of the conference. Jen Deweerdt started talking about Down Syndrome and all the kids with special needs who were waiting for adoptive families and a new ministry that Original Women was partnering with. I knew she’s taking about Reece’s Rainbow, a friend had just mentioned it. And here I am in this little room with a bunch of moms I don’t know and tears pouring down my face. But I didn’t care, I was only thinking of my sweet baby girl.

So here’s the thing. Three months ago I had no idea Reece’s Rainbow even existed. Now, not only are we preparing to bring our daughter home, but over 2,600 other women are aware of these sweet children and that there IS something they can do.

Can you imagine! Over 2,600 women were introduced to RR in one day! How many lives can be changed if even a small percentage of those women do something?

Maybe some will be led to adopt…Less orphans, more children with loving parents and hope.

Maybe some will give…Financial help for families in process.

Maybe some will be Prayer or Family Warriors…Encouragement for families adopting.

Maybe some will be Guardian Angels…Awareness for children…leading to their family finding them!

Maybe some will tell a friend…Anything is possible!

I can not wait for next years conference! I can not wait to hear about the changed lives through Original and Reece’s Rainbow. I can not wait to be able to say, “this is my daughter, thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support”. I can not wait to share RR with other women.

We have an FSP (Family Sponsorship Program) set up on RR that people can contribute to our expenses to bring Ruthie home. I have added a link to my blog.

I am hoping that at next years conference there will be a booth set up for Reece’s Rainbow. And you can bet that I will be there sharing our story and encouraging other women to Be Brave and step Past the Wishing like we did.