Welcome to our blog! We've had lots of people asking us to keep them posted on all the adoption happenings, so I decided to make a blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Team green didn't last long...

Well, our original plan was to be "team green" and say "no preference" for the gender on our application. But as we talked more about it and discussed the pros and cons of each gender, we came to a decision, and....

We decided that a girl would really fit into our family the best. We already have everything we need for a girl (and then some), and we have some experience raising girls. In the beginning Andrew said he wanted a boy so he wouldn't be too out numbered, but he was actually the one to bring it up again and say we should adopt a girl. I don't think he would know what to with a boy! ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update and FAQ #2

Quick update on our fundraising kickoff- it's going great! I've received over 30 donations from 30 different people. It's really been overwhelming to see God move to provide donations. A couple people that I don't personally know have even contacted me to donate items. The auction begins tomorrow morning at 10am. To participate in the auction, follow this link- http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.578658816508.2069988.57700497&l=60be722a86&type=1
To place a bid on an item, comment on that item with your bid and your email address. After 2 weeks the auction will close (with the exception of the 2 William Sonoma gift "baskets") and whoever has the highest bid wins! You'll be notified via email and will pay through paypal for your item. Please share that link with everyone you know! The more people we can get to participate, the better!

On to our 2nd edition of FAQ-

Q- Boy or Girl?
A- We don't know yet. Originally we thought we'd just go "team green" and say we didn't have a preference. But as I've been reading, it seems like it takes a little longer to get a girl, so if we say "no preference", that's pretty much the same as saying "male". We've thought and discussed it, there are pros and cons to both genders, so for now we're just leaving it in God's hands.

Q- Are you worried about raising a black child in a white home... in Rome?
A- Are we worried about it? Not really. Are we prepared for it? Also not really. We know there are probably more diverse cities to live in to be a biracial family, but when God called us to adopt, He didn't say it would be easy. I figure there are things we'll have to deal with all of our children. Other things might not be a subject as touchy as race, but we'll cross that path when we get there. I'm sure there will be some tough questions to answer. I'm working on getting to know some other moms who have adopted from the DR Congo, so maybe they'll have some advice as they go through some of these things themselves.

Q- What do Alexis and Kaitlyn think about all this?
A- Kaitlyn has no idea because she's only 2. We've asked Alexis if she wants a little brother or sister. She usually says "sister", but I think that's because she already has a little sister. We've also asked her what she thinks about sharing a room with Kaitlyn. Her 1st response was "I snuggle with her, she's my sweetheart". Each time we ask her she's excited about it. No clue if that enthusiasm will hold after the move is complete ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How can you help?

Whether you asked or not, I wanted to let everyone know how they can help!

Right now we are praying that they accept our application and that the home study will go smoothly. I won't lie, I'm really nervous about the home study. We don't have a perfect house, it's not always (ie never) up to the white glove test. It's a little nerve wracking to have someone come evaluate how you run your house, budget your money and conduct your lives. So pray for us as we begin this process.

#2- Our 1st fundraiser is going to be a Facebook auction! If you're interested in donating an item for people to bid on, PLEASE let me know. It can be anything (hair bows, homegoods, clothes, etc. Really- anything!), I would prefer that it be something that can be mailed, but it doesn't even have to be. The reason I'm looking for that sort of thing is so that people that don't live locally can still participate in the bidding and their "win" can be mailed to them! I'll be contacting some of you who I think might be interested in donating, but if you have an idea for something to donate, please hit me up! I check my facebook several times a day, my cell phone number (text/call) is on facebook, or you can leave a comment here. My email address is saragentry@gmail.com. Hey, and if you know someone that I don't know who might want to donate, let me know! The facebook album will go up as soon as I have a few items to bid on.

#3- Our next fundraiser will be a yard sale. We need 2 things for this. We need a location. Our house isn't on a main road and no one really knows where our neighborhood is. We get a little bit of traffic for yard sales, but not much. We'd love to borrow your yard if you live in a good yard sale spot :) The 2nd thing we need is your old stuff! We need donations of things to sell. We have some stuff we can sell, but the more the better. If you have anything you'd like to donate to the sale, let me know and I'll come pick it up. If it's small you're welcome to drop it off at Walgreens on a day that Andrew works (it just has to be small enough to fit in his little Maxima). The yard sale will be in October, so clean out those closets and garages... basements... wherever!

#4- You may have noticed there's a "Donate" button on our blog now. That is linked directly to our paypal account and EVERY penny that gets donated via our paypal will go directly to our adoption fund. If you or someone you know might be interested in donating to the cause, that's an easy way to do so.

#5- PRAY!!!!!

Decisions, decisions...

We finally made some! Almost immediately after announcing our plans to adopt on Facebook my friends have been messaging me with people they know who have gone through the process or are currently going through the process. One of these friends, Helen, sent me the name of a mom in Rome that is going through the process. So, I checked out her blog and the agency she's going through. Her blog (listed in the "helpful links" sidebar, was really helpful to me in listing all the expenses they've incurred as well as fundraising ideas.
As Andrew and I researched (ok, I researched and then told Andrew about my findings), we decided that Africa was where we felt God pushing us to. So I researched the options in Africa and came back to Noelle's blog about Congo. There were a few things that appealed to us about this country. One of the big things is that you only have to travel once. Most countries require you travel two times, which is obviously more expensive, and you meet your child and then have to leave them there at the orphanage for weeks/months!
So we've made our decision! We're applying to One World Adoption Services for a baby from Congo. Now that this decision has been made things can start happening! It's exciting for me to have something to do now, other than just research.

What's next?
We are working on the application today. I did the easy stuff last night (name, birthday, etc.), but I saved the harder stuff (why do you want to adopt, etc.) for today when it wasn't late and Andrew wasn't playing video games in the background. As soon as the application is sent in we can actually apply for the home study. The home study will consist of 3 visits. After that there is a truck load of paper work to get through and lots of fees to pay (not that it's the beginning of fees- the fees start with the application, and continue with the home study).
So right now we're moving forward with the application and the home study, and lots and lots of fundraising so when those things get accepted we have the money to move forward!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

FAQs part 1

Frequently Asked Questions... part 1 of who knows how many. Right now these are the questions I get the most-

Q. What made you decide to adopt?
A. I've been thinking about adoption for about a year. In September of 2010 I attended a Women of Faith conference and heard Mary Beth Chapman speak. She shared tidbits of her life. Later in the conference a representative from World Vision talked about all the children in the world that needed our help. That weekend I signed on with World Vision to help a little girl Alexis's age in Mexico. Through our monthly gift, her family gets aid from World Vision. That weekend a seed was planted. I was satisfied by "adopting" through World Vision. Later that year my dad gave me Mary Beth Chapman's book- Choosing to See. If you haven't read it, you should. It's a great book (and I don't read). In the book she talks about her life, her family's tragedy (she's married to Steven Curtis Chapman, the Christian singer- google it if you don't know what I'm talking about and want to), and the adoption of their 3 little girls from China. I cried a lot while reading that book. Not unusual for me, I'm a cryer. But their family's story really stuck with me. After reading that book (or maybe in the middle?) I talked to Andrew about the possibility of us adopting "some day". He agreed that he would be on board, but that's really as far as it got. Fast forward to last week. I had been thinking about adoption for a year. I would see videos or read little snippets and think "if we ever have more kids, that's how I want to do". Then last week, our church showed a video about a couple who was given a very generous gift so they would be able to adopt. The video made me tear up and I knew it was because this was something that God was telling me to do. After church Andrew and I talked. In the end we decided that yes, we should adopt. So I got to work researching, asking questions (facebook is a great sounding board!) and gathering up as much information as I could. It only took a year of God pulling, tugging, nudging on my heart to take the plunge. That's not that long... right?

Q. Where are you adopting from?
A. In my research I learned a few things. 1. Adoption ain't easy. 2. Domestic adoption is easier and cheaper 3. Domestic babies are fought over. Andrew and I talked about what kind of baby we would want. We decided we didn't care about the race- it could be purple, whatever. But we did decide that we want a baby- under the age of 2. We just think that will fit in best with our family dynamic and it's what we're best equipped to handle. We have experience with that age, our house has experience with that age, and our kids won't be too far apart in age. I didn't want for him/her to be adopted and 10 years older than his/her sisters who are *13 1/2 MONTHS* apart. One of the things I learned is that babies in the United States aren't easy to come by. When a mother gives up her baby for adoption she usually has dozens of families to chose from. Many of which struggle with infertility. We obviously don't struggle with that, and that's not why we're choosing to adopt. So we decided that even though there are more hoops to jump through, more red tape to go around, and more money to be spent, to go with international adoption. There are millions of orphans (give or take 150 million) that need a home. Millions of which are babies. These babies sit in an orphange, many without being held. There are many sad statistics I could throw at you, but instead I'll just say that's why we chose international. Lots of babies with no love... we have love... 1 less baby with no love.

Q. Isn't adoption expensive?
A. Yes, yes it is. No, we're not rich. We pay our bills, we give when we can, and we even go on vacation at least once a year, but we're definitely not rich. But this is something we feel God is calling us to do. James 1:27 says "to look after orphans and widows in their distress". So, that's what we're doing. We have decided on one of the more expensive types of adoption by deciding on international adoption, but again, it's because it's what we feel is right and what God is calling us to do. We plan on doing lots of fundraising to bring our baby home, and the updates for all that will be on this blog too, so be looking forward to that!

That's all I have for now, but I'm sure I'll have more installments. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. That's one of the things the blog is for :)


If you're here, chances are that you know one of us. But on the chance that you stumbled upon my blog through the various blogs I comment on, etc. I thought introductions would be a good idea.

First, I'll introduce myself, Sara. I'll be doing most of the writing. One of these days I might get my husband to update from his perspective, but since I'm at home during the day, I have the "time" to do this. Or at least, I'm making the time to do this to keep everyone informed on our adventure! I'm 26 and a stay at home mom to 2

fantastic little girls (more on them in a minute).
Andrew and I have been married almost 5 years (in December). I've been a stay at home mom for 3 years and I love it- most days. Being home all day with 2 toddlers is exhausting, but I definitely wouldn't switch jobs with anyone.

Next up is my husband, Andrew. He is 28 and works at a
drugstore in town as one of the managers. Lots of strange hours... lots of interesting customer stories. He works hard so I can stay home with our kids. I love him bunches. When he gets the chance he enjoys airsoft. It's

his only real hobby, and it's very strange to try to describe in words, but I'll try. A bunch of guys (in their teens, 20's and 30's) dress up in military outfits (some have served or are currently serving in the military) and shoot each other with airsoft guns (they look like the real thing, and they hurt, but not like bullets do). He says it's fun, so I'll take his word for it.

And then we have 2 little girls- Alexis and Kaitlyn. Alexis just turned 3 and Kaitlyn will be 2 in September.
They are best friends and worst enemies, just depends which moment of the day you're joining us. One minute they're giggling and playing in the next room, the next minutes there are tears and blood. Joking about the blood, kinda. As they get older, they're learning to play better together- including the "s" word (sharing).

Alexis is excited about the prospect of a little brother or sister. She's a little too young to understand it all, but we've asked her if she wants a little brother or sister and she gets excited about it. We've also asked her if she wants to share a room with Kaitlyn, which is something that would have to happen when bringing a new child home, and her response was "I snuggle with her, she's my sweetheart." I wonder if it's even worth having 2 beds in there?

Kaitlyn is really too young to have any idea about what we're planning, but hopefully by the time we bring our new child home she'll be excited about it!

We also have a zoo to account for- Oscar, Mayer and Teddy. Oscar and Mayer are 2 little mixed dachshunds. You wouldn't be able to guess it, but that's what the animal shelter told us, and that's where they get their names. Get it? Oscar Mayer wieners? Ha. And Teddy is our cat we (we being me, Sara) brought home after someone found a tiny kitten all by himself at my college. We had just adopted another kitten through facebook and I figured "what's 1 more?".

So, those are the introductions. Hi, nice to meet you. I hope you enjoy reading all about our adventures.