Tuesday, August 31, 2010


[I meant to post this last week, but I got food poisoning! At least I'm assuming that's what it was. Either that or some strange intestinal bug that made me violently vomit for 24 hours straight. Fun! I was completely useless for packing day and open house night, and then the next morning I gingerly made my way back into the world of solids just in time to go camping for 4 days. That's my excuse.]
After many installments of Carsonisms, I'm pleased to present the very first edition of:
Sydneyisms! Miss Syd has arrived late to the talking game, and is still finding her vocab voice. Many of these words and phrases I've only pieced together through repeated context, as they sound absolutely nothing like the word she is attempting. But we are making strides daily! I have a strict rule about imitating baby talk in person, but I bend the rules when writing it out phonetically for YOU to sound out. Here are a few Sydneyisms, in addition to normal words that she can pronounce clearly:


I wah= I walk [put me down]

I do!=I'll do it myself!

Baby=doll or human infant, usually Kaitlyn or Wyatt

Abby= Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street or our friend Abby Grace

Wah=Abby Cadabby's wand

Uh= said in conjunction with a person means "I want" ie: "uh-Dada" or "uh-Jojo"

peeze=please, (of course)

I yuyumo= I love you more

apapammm= a popsicle

uhfwee=shoes (Not kidding. This one stumps us but it extremely consistent.)


ah-gah=all done

I ha= I had it first [not Carson]

I hit=I want to sit here. You move.
home= I want to go somewhere other than where we are--if we ARE at home, it means she wants to leave


Although she speaks like someone 6 months younger than her, Sydney is visibly trying to imitate words we pronunce for her and trying out her consonants all the time. Our favorite mumbles she does is when she "prays" for dinner and "counts" to ten. It's basically just cute little squeaky grunts, but she copies our inflection perfectly.


Here's some pictures from a lazy day last week with our little talker. And no, as a matter of fact, I don't trust her inside with a popsicle, nor do I trust her to wear a shirt. I can only afford so much Oxyclean stain-remover, people.

I yuyumo, Birdie.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Confession & secret dreams

Carson the chatterbox still has a few speech impediments and quirks. One of them is that he cannot seem to pronounce the word "secret." He says "swee-krit." This is a post of dreams, confessions and sweekrits. Confession: sometimes I watch Oprah. THERE. I said it. It's usually when Sydney takes a late nap and Carson is occupied. If it's an appropriate topic, I may even leave it on when Carson comes in the room. It's not very often, but often enough that once we saw the O magazine on the newsstand and he said, "Look, Mom! It's your friend!" Hehe. [sheepish laughter] Don't judge.
ANYway, a few weeks ago I caught a part of an episode about people who are extremely successful in super fun careers. One was the Cake Boss (never seen the show, but heard it's fun), one was a genius florist who designs amazing, over-the-top creations for places like the Plaza Hotel. One was a stunt woman. I didn't see the other interviews, but the gist of it was: they all followed their dreams, and because they pursued something they LOVED to do as a career, they became successful. (Which, if I may tangent, is a big pet-peeve of mine with Oprah--her catch-all theology/philosophy/spirituality. She interviews all these famous people who say they just envisioned success, told the universe their desires and it came to pass. Huh? Now there's a bunch of lovely people doing these very things and still working for minimum wage in a dead-end job. When is she going to interview them? Hey, I said I watched. I didn't say I loved.) But for these few lucky ones on this particular episode, they managed to have their dream jobs and seemed giddily happy in life.
I happen to be casually job hunting right now. Subbing is OK, but the sporadic nature of it is hard on me, my kids, and our childcare providers (aka: grandmas). I would love to have a consistent one-day-a-week job, or even 2 half-days. Combing through search engines and job web sites is a DRAG. I have acceptable skills in many areas, but exceptional skills in precious few. And no one is hiring for smart-aleck blogger--there's a gazillion of those. The process, along with Oprah, got me imagining my secret dream jobs. My dream jobs are based on the ratio of enjoyment of the activity to amount of labor involved.
Dream job #1: Be a singing cartoon voice.
My biggest dream job would include singing, because it is the activity that I enjoy the most that involves the least amount of hard work. I've been blessed to have a few occasions in my life where I got paid to sing, like weddings and such, and I'm not going to lie: it is great. Now, if I take the best part of that--the singing part--and take away the worst part of it--being in front of lots of people--then I imagine being the voice of a cartoon would be perfect! No one would be thinking about me, Brazenlilly, and what I was wearing, how my hair looked, or how pitchy I was, because I'd be in a studio able to do retakes and wear my sweatpants. DREAM. JOB!
Dream job #2: Party planner for rich people.
It might not translate on the blog, but I actually really love planning my kids' birthday parties. I love looking online at different party spreads and trying to mimic what I can. I love deciding on cupcakes and decorations. But there's always one large problem that keeps me from creating the world's most fabulous party--money. Parties that pull out all the stops cost a LOT of money. Even little po-dunk, backyard parties for siblings and cousins cost a lot of money. If I had the connections, I would offer my services to wealthy patrons who were willing to pay for the convenience of having a creative, hard-working mommy-type to throw a kickin' party. Favors, special drinks, center pieces--the whole shebang. Baby shower? SO many ideas. Kid's birthday party? HUNDREDS of theme options. Seriously, my mind is whirling just day-dreaming about this. So, if you know of anyone who fits the category, send them my way.
Dream job #3: a writer. That gets paid.
In case you couldn't tell, I love writing. Blahblahblah...I could do this all DAY! I process everything by writing. I can write for hours and be happy, other than tired wrists and shoulders. The reason I'm *ahem* one of the only one of my friends who still blogs on a regular basis is that I really, truly love expressing my thoughts and emotions about my crazy/boring life--especially my life as a mommy. I make time for it. My dream would be to be able to have these thoughts published--and actually get some money for them! Not those "publish your own book" deals that costs the writer $5K. Now, this dream I've actually semi-looked into. But to be honest? I have no idea how to go about it. If you want to drown in overwhelming internet blahblah, just google "how to get a book published" and spend 20 minutes. You'll want to cry. I know I did. So, if anyone has any leads or suggestions on how to go about pursuing this dream, I'm all ears! But for now, I will continue to write my little brains out on this here blog, and you, all three of my readers, can read for free. It'll just be my dream hobby.
So, what is YOUR dream job?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Let the waiting begin

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and encouragement on our exciting step in the adoption process. It does seem confusing to say "YEAH! We have up to 2 years left! Woohoo!" But that official wait couldn't begin until we were on the list.
I think I was misleading in my previous post, which I went back to edit for clarification, but I thought I'd take a minute to tell you about my understanding of the waiting list, the matching process and travel approval. The bubble burst is this: while we are only #15 on the list, we have been given an estimated wait time of 10-12 months for the referral of a specific child, and (recently lengthened) a further wait time of 9-11 months before we are approved to travel to Bangkok.
I want to be clear: this is BRAZENLILLY's paraphrasing of this process, pieced together from official paperwork, stories from other adoptive parents and casual conversations with our agency workers. I will probably get some of the details wrong, and I welcome any Holt Thailand parents to gently correct me when I do!
The Holt program in Thailand has been in place for over 30 years, and is a relatively small program. One thing I like about this program is that, when an infant is relinquished, Holt Sahathai (sister org) works hard to find a family member or Thai family willing to adopt the child before turning to an American or European adoptive family. It seems to take the better part of a baby's first year to thoroughly investigate these options, and for the Thai government to confirm that, indeed, this child has orphan status, an adoptive family is the best option, and the Thai government approves this plan of action. Most children are between 9-12 months when the Thai government releases their information to Holt to be "matched" with an adoptive family.
The government releases to Holt the names of children in need of homes in groups of 4-5 each quarter. These can be children of any age or need. Holt and Holt Sahathai then refer children to prospective adoptive families, also averaging 4-5 each quarter. THAT is how we move up (or is it down?) the waiting list--each quarter as more families on the list receive referrals, we will get closer to receiving OUR referral for a child. But here's the thing--that average is only that: an average. For instance, one quarter, the group of children released for referral included a sibling group of 3, an older child with special needs, and 2 healthy infants. If the #3 person on that list had not expressed an openness to sibling groups or special needs, they would not have received a referral that quarter. This quarterly process is why the #15 can still mean a wait time of up to 12 months for a referral.
Also there is the issue of gender. Evidently, more adoptive families request girls. So our openness to either gender could actually work in our favor! If we are #4 on the waiting list, and the 3 families in front of us requested girls, we could jump to #1 if a baby boy was being matched. If we are number #1 or #2 at referral time, we could be matched with a boy OR girl.
When I was learning about this process, my mind was instantly whirling and stressing, wondering who EXACTLY would be looking at pictures of precious children and comparing them to family files. How do they decide if gender is not an issue? How do they KNOW?! I believe we do have the option to decline if a child referred to us has an issue outside of the parameters we declared "an openness to." How do I know that the child referred to us will be THE ONE?! Then I had an amazing conversation with an adoptive mom who has become a dear friend. Her daughter was adopted domestically. She said, with the fiercest conviction in her eyes: "There is only ONE. God knows exactly who that child will be, and just as he created your biological children in your womb for you and your husband, he is creating this child in the birth mother's womb knowing that he or she will be a part of your family forever. It will do no good to fret about it, because He already knows." That revelation has given me such peace. It doesn't mean I don't still pray about it every day, pray for our child, his mother, and for the perfect match, but I don't WORRY about it anymore.
As you can imagine, seeing our child's face, and knowing WHO he or she is will be an emotional, thrilling and humbling experience. However, I can only imagine that after we have accepted a referral, the following wait until we hold him in our arms will be even more agonizing than the first half of the wait! I won't go into detail, but the wait from match to travel has been lengthened recently due to Hague convention laws and immigration red tape. :( But God's timing is perfect, and until it is my turn to blog from Bangkok, I will follow and pray for other families who are so much closer, like Kyle and Robin, who hope to travel in October to meet their second son from Thailand, and the Pabens, who are in Thailand right now.
Oh, also? When we get our referral, our main payment of $11,290 is due! So guess what will help me pass the time? Financial aid and fundraising! It's like God is providing all these 16 page applications to keep my mind off the wait. Isn't that so kind of Him?!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


paint 1 number 5

FIFTEEN is my new favorite number.

Why? You may ask. Because it means


I waited to post until we got this news, but our dossier went to DC and back in record time. Such an answer to prayer! It was all so unknown and SO out of our control--I told Trent I'd be happy to be on the wait list by Carson's birthday (Sept 22). Our courier came through, the papers were back in my hands within 10 days, I overnighted them to the Holt offices to be received yesterday. They were super efficient and processed it all within a day and we were informed today that it is on it's way to Thailand, and we are family #15 on the wait list to be matched with a child in the program. People. This is a HUGE step! HUGE. Getting that dossier out of my hair feels like I just lost 10 lbs. (If only!)

I will try to articulate my understanding of the wait/match process in a post very soon. (The wait is estimated to be 9-12 months, then another 9-10 months until we can travel.) But right now I don't want to articulate, I just want to

PS: I had a fun post earlier that I took off and will repost in a couple days, b/c I wanted this news to take precedent.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pleasant Surprise

Here's what happened. My sweet friend, Erin, who won the drawing, confessed that she really entered to be supportive, not out of her great love for the necklaces. She kept the Suubi necklace and told me to do whatever I wanted with the 2 silver necklaces. I decided the best thing to do would be to draw 2 more names! It tooke me a while to reprint all the names (I had thrown them away) and I was too lazy to video, so you'll just have to trust me. Thanks again SO much to everyone who entered! I know most of you, like Erin, were really doing it just to support me. :)
So, I'm pleased to announce that the winner of this Premiere Designs necklace is:
Those of you who know Myrna will no doubt be as thrilled as I am that she won! Nor surprised. She's a lucky type of gal.
And the winner of this stunning Cookie Lee necklace is:
Haha! Rory my high school bff whom I saw once in 10 years, and now three times this summer and twice in 2 days. :) How perfect. And let's be honest...not just anyone could pull this off and I know she can rock it.
Congrats to the extra surprise winners!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shout out to the Lutherans

My friend Sarah posted this prayer this morning, and it just really blessed me as we start a long day and a busy weekend. Last Sunday in the message I heard, the pastor talked about how sometimes Christians rely on Christ as our Eternal Savior, but we look to other things for logistical salvation, ie: something to just "get us through the day." When we do that, it becomes and idol. I was very convicted by that. Not that I think I have to give up coffee, facebook and blogging, but that I need to seek FIRST the strength, energy and grace from God, not rely on these supplments as my first line of defense on a rough day. This prayer just hit that thought on the head, especially the second line. I hope it ministers to you too!
It is from the Lutheran Book of Prayer.
Again, O Heavenly Father,
You have granted me strength to rise to the tasks of the day.
I thank You for Your mercy and love. Without Your power upholding me I should be unable to live.
Give me a spirit of gratitude for all Your gifts.
Above all, dear Father, keep me grateful
for the gift of forgiveness of all my sins through the merits of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Savior.
Grant that whatever need, whatever sorrow beset my day,
my faith in this forgiveness may remain steadfast and firm.
Let no grief of pain, no doubt or gloom, come between me and the certainty of Your love.
If it is Your purpose to try me this day with difficulties for the body or the heart,
grant that I may, by Your spirit, conquer in this trial and hold fast to Your mercy,
knowing that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory You have in store for me.
Make Your Word my joy,
Your counsel my guide,
Your presence my peace.
In Jesus Christ, Your only Son and my Savior. Amen

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Money Well Spent

I've mentioned a few times that in these last eight months, I've been challenged and convicted to think more about global issues. It probably has to do with the fact that my child is (perhaps? is he even born yet?) at this very moment spending the first part of his life in an underprivileged country, a country where human trafficking is rampant. It's not as easy to be US-centric when our family will be so intimately connected to another part of the world forever. Don't get me wrong--I'm still a work in progress and am continually learning how to think beyond myself. Baby steps, right?
One thing that I've really enjoyed learning about is, well, I like to call it purposeful purchases. I had heard of fair trade, and I can definitely see why that is popular. "Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability." There are all kinds of products available to purchase on many websites, and my crude layperson's summary of the industry is that it encourages those of us in wealthy countries to buy a product (at a fair price) from a person in a poor country, rather than hopping over to the mall.
But the purposeful purchase aspect, for me, comes in taking the concept of fair trade to a deeper, more personal level. It's when I know more specifically about who is making the product and how my purchase is creating a better quality of life for them. These are my favorites so far:
Punjammies are gorgeous pajamas.
Their website describes it best: Each punjammi is created in an after-care facility in India by women who have been rescued, released or escaped from a life of forced prostitution. When one manages to escaped from this life of horror, she has few options where to turn. Aside from the emotional and psychological trauma, women formerly working as prostitutes cannot easily enter schools, return to family systems or secure jobs to support themselves in India. A high quality after-care center is one of the best options a woman has at rebuilding her life. Holistic aftercare involves quality medical care, emotional safety, education and the tools to create a new way of life for herself. Empowering each woman with an opportunity to learn a marketable skill and become a part of a viable business is the purpose of PUNJAMMIES™. In providing for her basic need to support herself, she sees that she has value far beyond what the lies have told her. She begins to see her rightful place of value – a princess.

So powerful! The cost runs higher than the pj's at Old Navy (most are $35), but, seriously, did you just READ that? That kind of horror is beyond what my mind can comprehend. To be a part of that healing is worth it. What an amazing and powerful organization. And I'm telling you: check out the jams. They are adorable. I think Sariska Safari is my favorite design.
Nightlight is an organization that I stumbled on accidentally. My sweet cousin Nicole was wearing a really awesome necklace, and I asked her where she got it. She told me she got it from an organization called Nightlight who help rescue women from the sex trade in Bangkok. BANGKOK, THAILAND?! Yep! That Bangkok. The city I will be traveling to in (hopefully) a year and a half to meet and bring home my son or daughter. A city where boys and girls born next to my child will be in danger of that same trade in just a few short years. I immediately researched this group and was so encouraged to read that they are a Christian NPO whose mission is to build relationships and provide hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry by offering alternative employment, vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom.

Now, I have to admit, I won't be able to shop this site as much as I would like, because the jewelry (hand-made!) is very pricey. All the best necklaces are over $40. (The one pictured above is $45.) But I want to promote them and I'm committed to buying something from them, because I'm so blessed by their ministry. Their name is based on Isaiah 9:2: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” I will never read that verse the same way again.
The next 2 sites are also jewelry sites and have the coolest looking products! You may remember Suubi from our raffle. I purchased one of their necklaces to add to the prize package. Suubi was started when a family was in Uganda for their own adoption, and met some women who created and sold recycled paper bead necklaces. There was a need to open up the market-place for these necklaces, and this family sought to meet that need. The women in Uganda are coming up with amazing designs and impress the socks off of me. Several are $20 and under.
31 Bits is the tre chic of the recycled paper bead biz. My favorite of their products are these gloriously chunky necklaces that are a total statement piece. You may remember that Kristen Howerton wore one of their necklaces when she was on The View. 31 bits was started by college students--college students from Southern Cal! They met 6 African women, also in Uganda, and saw these women trying to support their families with meager income from truly remarkable necklaces--but there was no market. So, these college students began to partner with these women and have created a fabulous--and fashionable--organization.

These are just a few of the products that have caught my eye and my heart. I'm not saying that I'll never shop at Target or Claire's again (I mean, we are on a budget) but I love knowing about them, spreading the word about them, and giving them my business whenever possible. If you know of any other places to make purposeful purchases, PLEASE leave a comment and let me know!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Misc.

We love our splash parks!

Daddy wouldn't rest until Carson had legit soccer cleats, shin guards and soccer socks. Looks pretty good, huh? He's been doing a soccer camp each Tuesday night.

Mommy went WAY against type and agreed to a SPONTANEOUS trip the kid's museum in town. The techno room:

The bubble room:

The make believe room with costumes and a stage:
The safari guide and the toucan:
Just my colorful kids doing their thing in the backyard:

A rare moment of affection for the camera:
Our trip to the beach was a mixed bag. A post for another day. Good sand, good friends, good fun. But approx 150 cars and trucks parked on the beach and so much fog we couldn't see the ocean. Won't be going to that particular haunt anytime soon.

But turn away from the parking lot on the sand and the socked in beach and you get a lovely shot of my sweets!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And the winner is...

If you are patient, you can sit through this video of the drawing...
If you are not, I will tell you that the winner is ERIN CHUNG! What is so awesome is that Erin was only able to buy one ticket--and she won! I love it.
The second place winner is:

Kristi Templeton!
You'll notice there's no vid of the actual drawing of Kristi's name--I swear it was legit. There was some sibling rivalry happening that included a tug-o-war with the red bowl, threatening to have all of your names scattered into the wind. So I only got the after math!
THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this! I kept a very close record of everyone, spreadsheet included. Even those of you who conacted me just today! It is a reminder to me of how many of our friends and family are supporting us in this adventure. It means the world to me.
We raised over$250! It was almost exactly enough to pay for the courier in DC, all the payments there, AND the Fed Ex shipping to and from. You are amazing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forced laughter

We're having another rough day here in the T household. I'm going to try to take my own advice, think about the big picture, take a deep breath and focus on something funny. I'm using my precious 30 minutes of quiet time for this. Nothing about today is funny yet, so I'll need to pull from other situations. Last night when I was falling asleep I felt something in my cheets. It was a Mike Wazowski figurine--you know, from Monsters, Inc? It made me chuckle. It made me think of all the random places I've found things placed by my kids. I thought I'd make a list of all I could think of.

I have found:
-Mike Wazowski in my sheets
-grapes in the oven
-play-doh in my coffee
-my camera in my shoe in the closet
-Mr. Potatohead's ear in Syd's diaper (that she was wearing)
-keys in the garbage and also by the back fence
-crayon in the garbage disposal
-plastic corn on the cob in the dishwasher
-Minkee in the recycling bin
-shoes in the bathtub
-my jewelry and various toys in the toilet
-sippy cup in Carson's dresser drawer
-wooden spoons under the bed
-goldfish and cheerios every where i ever step throughout the whole livelong day
-dinosaurs under my pillow
-lens cap under the slide
-Wii driving wheel (for Mariocart) in Sydney's crib

That's all I can think of right now. What crazy placements can you add to this list? Please. I need the distraction.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Adoption status update #2

I actually have something to report! We have reached a milestone this week. Our collection of dossier documents is complete. Several of the documents have been notarized, it has been certified by the Oregon Secretary of State, and now needs to be authenticated and legalized. What does that mean? Basically it's a series of confirmations by government entities, vouching for the previous entity and acknowledging our petition to adopt from Thailand.

I know you're wondering, so here's the checklist (that I've been staring at for the last 5 months) of things included in the dossier:

1. Certificate of Documentation
2. Assumption of Responsibility to Administer Postplacement Services and Approval of Family for Adoption
3. Notarized True Copy of H License
4. Notarized True Copy of Direct Service Agency License
5. State Approval Letter
6. Letter from Direct Service Agency
7. Adoptive Home Study
8. Reference Letters
9. Financial Statement
10. Federal Income Tax Statement
11. Statement from Financial Institution
12. Verification(s) of Employment
13. Husband’s Birth Certificate
14. Wife’s Birth Certificate
15. Marriage Certificate
16. Health Certificate(s) for every member of the family
17. Copy of Passports OR Social Security Card
18. Royal Thai Government Application for Adoption
19. Four passport photos of each spouse
20. Child opinion form
21. 8-10 family photos of family and dwelling
22. Agreement to complete adoption
23. Letter to Thai DSDW
24. Criminal background checks
Sidenote: I would just like to point out that some of those things (like the health certificates from each of our doctors) were incredibly difficult to procure, and one little item on a checklist just doesn't do justice to the amount of work that was put into obtaining them. And some of them represent a form to fill out that is 6 pages long. Just, you know, for my martyr points.
As I mentioned, several of the documents had to be notarized, especially the top page, the Certificate of Documentation. This was the one step done without a fee, thanks to a sweet friend. :) Then we took it to the Oregon Secretary of State, where they (for a fee) certified it with a special seal and signature, basically vouching for the notary. Then, tomorrow morning, we will Fed Ex it to a courier service in Washington, DC, where they will (for a fee) hand-deliver our precious documents to the US Department of State, where Hillary Clinton will (for a fee) sign and seal, or authenticate the top sheet, basically vouching for the OR Dept. of State. THEN, the courrier will pick up the dossier from Hillary's office, take it across town and hand-deliver it to the Royal Thai Embassy. The RTE will then (for a fee) legalize it with their own signatures and seals. Then the courer service will (for a fee) send it back to us.
I'm very nervous about this entire process, especially having someone else be responsible for such important paperwork! Plus, the wait time on all these agencies is pretty vague. Your prayers are welcomed. I can't wait to blog that we have it back in our grubby little hands.
THEN, when we have all the stamps, seals and signatures we need, we send the dossier to Holt (along with the $3000 we raised during the yard sale!). It will be approved and translated, then sent to Thailand.
Once Holt has our dossier, we enter: THE WAITING LIST.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Fun fundraiser!

OK, friends and family, we're trying an experiment. I saw it on the Starrchasers blog and loved the idea. I am offering an online raffle as a fundraiser for our Thailand Adoption. We are continually bombarded by small/medium miscellaneous fees and need to continue being creative to keep up. So, I'm trying this out from August 1-14 to see if it might be something you are interested in. If there is a good response, we have some ideas of other prizes--everything from movie tickets to weekend getaways. :) Feel free to give me any feedback or let me know if you or someone you know might have something to donate.
Below you will see the first prize package of FOUR pieces of jewelry. The total value is over $110. For a "suggested donation" of $6 you will have your name put in a hat for a chance to win, or four for $20. (So therefore, $40 = 8 chances to win.) If you advertise this post on YOUR blog, or put it on your Facebook status update, you will get another "ticket" in the hat. Make sure I know that you have done so! Send me a message or leave me a comment. On August 14th, I will have my son Carson randomly draw one of the tickets out of the hat and I will announce the winner on the blog and deliver the prize to that lucky person. And the second winner--see below.
You can donate in person, or by sending a check in the mail. Edit: p@ypal does not like to be used for this type of fundraiser (oops!), but if you live far away from me, contact me privately (email, facebook or leave a msg with your email) and I'll contact you with an alternative to mailing a check. That button can still be used for general donations towards our adoption fund.
I have three friends who sell jewelry from different companies. Each of them has been extremely supportive of our adoption, so I thought I'd take a chance and ask if they'd consider donating to this first raffle. They all said yes! Please let me know if you would like more detailed contact information for any of them to see more product.
This first piece is one I've had my eye on for months. I first saw it on Jenny S. at church and loved it. It's called Urban Bloom. When she chose it as her donation, I tried to figure out a way that it would be kosher for me to win my own raffle, but I'm thinking that it would be frowned upon. ;) Jenny sells Cookie Lee Jewelry and I love everything I see on her. For more Cookie Lee jewelry and to contact Jenny, click HERE. The second piece is a very popular necklace from Premiere Designs. My friend Kelly started selling this line of jewelry and I've seen quite a few of our mutual friends showing up with this around their necks! It's called Round and Round. For a catalog or to find out about hosting a show, contact Kelly at grossfam5@comcast.net
As of print time, I don't have a pic for the third piece in the prize package yet, but that's because my wonderful friend Stephanie lives a lot further away than the other two jewelry specialists! Steph sells Silpada jewelry, which I just heard about this spring and the catalog made me drool. I'll post a pic as soon as possible, but I know it will be amazing. You should check out their web site.
The last number I added myself. I recently found out about a great org called Light Gives Heat who has a division called SUUBI. Suubi is the name of a group of women in Uganda who make and sell recycled-paper beaded necklaces. What they can do with this product will blow your mind. Light Gives Heat helps to market and sell the product online to increase sales and therefore provide a consistent living for women who live in an otherwise non-employable area. I thought this necklace, called "Confetti" would finish off this prize package perfectly. I may or may not have worn it several times in the last 2 weeks. :)

BUT WAIT! There's more! Kelly from Premiere Designs actually donated 2 necklaces, so I'm using this necklace as a second-prize. It is called Precious.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and be sure also to tell me if you are posting about the fundraiser! Thank you for being a part of this.