Saturday, November 2, 2013

LOA!!!!! (House changes and fundraising goodies!)

Look what appeared this past Wednesday night 
(during trunk or treat!):

This is a HUGE milestone in the journey to bring Esty home!

This paper is known as the "LOA" or Letter of Acceptance. It means that China has now read our entire dossier and has fully approved us for our sweet girl's adoption!!

It also starts the time clock in motion! We can now have a good guess as to when we will travel to bring her home! From this point in Toby's adoption, we were 14 weeks until we had him in our arms! Some families are reporting a NINE WEEK time span! That's incredible to me!!!

So we can assume February...but for life planning purposes, we are thinking January. We have TONS to get ready in our home and are working madly to get it complete. (see below!)

In the meantime, this is full on FUNDRAISING TIME!!! We have approximately $18,000 we need to raise! That number is down $10,000 from when we first began! So thankful for our Scentsy fundraiser and our Adopt Shoppe auction. They were both a smashing success! You guys ROCK! THANK YOU!

We have multiple avenues of fundraising we are working on at the same time. TODAY we are beginning a wonderful event with Thirty-One! We held a 31 party last year for Toby's adoption and it was excellent! (And I can honestly say I have never loved bags like I do now! If you need a ditty bag for travel toiletries--theirs is THE BOMB!!) You can go HERE to shop to help bring Esty home. Should I remind you that Christmas is next month and that these would make AWESOME gifts? Nah, you know that!! ;)

We also have our book fundraiser until the end of this month. Usborne books have been NUMERO UNO in our house. (and we have plenty of kids to test books!) Usborne books are the ones they return to over and over again. Especially the non-fiction ones. But they love them all, I caught Jensi this morning reading Shakespeare! Yesssss! You can go HERE to shop for books to bring Esty home.

We are also in the final week of celebrating Esty's 10th birthday with $10 puzzle pieces. See this post for details HERE. At this writing we have had 25 of the 300 people buy puzzle pieces! Do you want to add your name to her gift?

Our Chosen tee shirts will be available for purchase until DECEMBER 4th. At that time we will turn the order in and get it shipped to us so we can have them to you in plenty of time for the holidays. These are custom designed shirts for Esty's adoption that are super awesome! Click HERE to purchase.

We also have some sale tees in our shop...these are our signature "Love with Abandon" tees that we made to bring Toby home. We have adult sizes L, XL and XXL left. We have them marked down to $15 each. AWESOME Christmas present for the man in your life!

We are also waiting to hear back from some grants we applied for as well. You could pray that we would be awarded finances to shrink that $18,000!! We KNOW that God will bring her home...we are just waiting with anticipation to see HOW He does it!

As for life around our house, it's a constant construction zone! My blessed husband has been working hard EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. after a full 10-12 hour work day to change our configuration for having Esty here. I think of Jesus telling us, "I go to prepare a place for you," and that is just what this father is doing for his daughter...preparing a place for her. 

The former office/playroom will become her bedroom...and the former space where we stored extra food will become the office. My incredible inventive husband took an obsolete staircase that had been sealed off (formerly for servants, it used to come down into the kitchen) and changed it into what is now our beautiful pantry! I am so proud of him! The positioning is over the stairs to the basement, so he built a retractable floor and then stairs to the pantry that also fold up. It's quite phenomenal! Here are some pictures I took with my phone:

I really wish I had before pictures...but it was just the bottom of the stairs going up above, so it might not have been anything interesting.

Here's what it looks like with our goodies all moved in!

Oh how this frees up my kitchen cupboards something wonderful!

And now that this major project is done, we are gathering our ideas from Houzz and Pinterest to design the office in this space:

And then FINALLY we will have the room cleared out ready to become her bedroom! More on that later! 

As you can see, we are plenty busy...these house changes on top of regular life as a family of 8 with the holidays will mean that our weeks to wait to go get Esty will FLY BY!!!

Will you pray for all that must happen for us? It's easy to become overwhelmed. My heart is to stay focused on what THESE SIX children need from me first...and then to work on the adoption and fundraising and house changes around the edges. Yah, I'm gonna need LOTS of prayers for that!!!

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