Monday, July 25, 2011

Practical Matters

So, in *practical* matters, all dossier prep-homestudy-fundraising-get this child here business aside, let's get to the important stuff.  What will Katie Ruth wear once she's here?  Because please don't think that this isn't something I consider.  Nearly every day.  If she were here now, these are some things I would get for her.

It's hot here. . . she will need a cute swimsuit for all of the time she's going to spend in the pool.

Are you kidding me?  Stripes, a dress, and nautical colors?
This has Katie Ruth written all over it.

I love a dress for myself, and I suspect we will love them for KR as well.  
Easy to get her dressed, and again, it's hot here.

So cute with the red dress.  I'm a sucker for navy.

I'm not a huge fan of a graphic tee, but this is pretty self-explanatory.
Her future is bright.

The embellishment on this dress is a Matryoshka doll.  

I promise you that when it gets cool KR will be sporting some cardis.
Just like her mama!

A pink barn jacket?

And a girl has to accessorize.

I would wear these shoes. . . 
Too bad they're not available in my size too!

And yes, she's going to wear a hairbow!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Run for Katie

When we decided in my office one afternoon to do our Run for Katie, I thought it would just be a few of our friends who would run.  Never in my wildest imagination did I consider that someone I literally have never met would be willing to help our family.  However, that's exactly what happened.  There will never be a way for us to thank people who literally help us bring our child home to our family.  We will certainly try, but I don't know how you thank someone for that. 

Meet Misty, in her own words.

My name is Misty and I am a wife to Adam and a mother to Ella (nearly 7) and Elijah (2).   I'm a stay-at-home mom, a part-time radiography student at Vol State, a Girl Scout troop leader, and an avid runner.  I wasn't always a runner; in fact, until last year I had never even ran a mile before and had been obese most of my adult life.  It's very much a Forrest Gump story actually - one day I just started running!  Within six months I had lost 65 lbs. (over 1/3 of my body weight), lost 7 pant sizes, but most of all, learned more about myself that I'd learned in the previous twenty-eight years combined.  It was definitely the hardest and best year old my life. 
As if losing so much weight wasn't enough, I also discovered that I'm a fairly good runner!  Within six months of running, I had:
Ran my first 5k, coming in 3rd (out of 24 ) in my division, in 23:51
Ran my first 10K, coming in 2nd (out of 33) in my division, in 51:59
And I ran my first half - The Middle Half, coming in 10th (out of 163) in my division/top 15% overall, in 1:48:27
This year, having endured a major surgery and a tear in my achilles, I definitely won't be smashing any personal records,  Instead, I want to run for a cause.  I considered raising money for St. Jude's, but sleeping in shabby hotel rooms in Memphis before running a marathon the next day really isn't my thing.  I considered running for Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure as an honor to my mother, who is fighting hard every day with Stage 3 breast cancer; and it's not that I don't want to fund breast cancer research, but my efforts wouldn't be as apparent.  As a long time blog follower of Kim's, I was nothing shy of STOKED to see her newest fundraiser for that precious angel who waits for them on the other side of the world.  Finally, something I could do and witness firsthand the fruits of my fundraising labor!  One look at that sweet girl's face and I knew this was right up my alley!
I'm a good runner.  I'm a good mother.  I'm (sometimes!) a good wife.  But my goodness is a grain of sand compared to the goodness of the Simpson family and their  mission to adopt little Kate.  If running a marathon and raising money (or begging...whatever works) is what I can do to save her, I'm willing to run a thousand marathons!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dossier Package!

We got our dossier package in the mail yesterday!  I'm sure plenty of you are thinking, "Wow that's great!  What is a dossier package?"  Pretty much this:

We have to create five sets of documents, but really only two and send them to our adoption agency, then they send things back to us.  And everything has to be notarized and a lot has to be apostilled.  Don't know what apostilling is?  Don't feel bad.  I had to Wiki it.  And documents from out of state (ie: our marriage certificates from Hawaii or my birth certificate from Massachusetts)?  Have to be apostilled in those states.  FYI, I'm not going to Hawaii or Massachusetts anytime soon, so I'll be waiting for that through the mail.  And we need like 47 copies of every document in triplicate, signed by the mayor of the town we grew up in, but only signed in red ink on page 18.  Seriously ya'll, dumb people can't adopt, because they couldn't follow the directions.  And we have to have our psych evaluation and get our passports back and do our adoption education, and get our homestudy report, which is waiting for our psych evaluation, passports, and adoption education.

And all of this costs moneeeeeeey.  I'm very hopeful that our yard sale will raise enough to pay for our psych evals, passport applications, and adoption education.  That might be some high hopes, because it's over $1,000.  And it would be really, really great if we raised enough to pay our homestudy fee as well.  We have had a lot of people tell us they're getting things together for us, but I am a bit concerned that we live in a really small town and have never had a yard sale here before.  I think, worst case scenario, if we don't make much money and have just a ton of stuff leftover we will pack it up and have a sale at my sister's house (which is our old house, and a great neighborhood for a yard sale) another weekend.  You know, after I talk to her about doing that at her house. . .

After our dossier is prepared, it is sent to our adoption agency for their approval.  Then?  Sent to Eastern Europe!  This is a huge step in our process, and I'm excited to get it started!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yard Sale Goodies

We have already gotten several things donated for our yard sale.
Including this dress that Jack tried on . . . 

And this pony toy that connects to the TV and plays music, etc.
Oh, and the pink reindeer sweater Jack is sporting while he rides the baby toy.

Now I've started to clean out our own house.
This is the guest room. 
Good excuse to unpack the remaining random boxes I have from when we moved. 

It got scary quickly in this room. . . 
Like the paint?!

Thankfully it's been put back together for the most part.
I cannot handle multiple rooms looking like that.

Take a gander at the dining room.
Lovely, huh?

I've begun sorting things that have been donated.
I've never had a yard sale without having a garage to store the stuff in.
This will be interesting as we get closer to our sale date.
Which, just to remind you, is August 25-26.

Have anything you need to get rid of?
We'll come pick it up!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Amazing Fundraiser!

We will be having an amazing fundraiser in October, and I am so excited about it!  We are forming a team of people who are registered to run in The Middle Half, which is a half marathon that will take place in October.  The people must already be registered, because the 2,500 available racing spots in the race sold out within ten days.  I'm hoping to get a team of ten people at least, and we've already got five.

Our team will be named after our sweet girl.  On Reece's Rainbow she is referred to as "Chloe", which is not her real name.  Once she's a part of our family, her name will be Kate Ruth Simpson, and will likely be called Katie or Katie Ruth.  We will also keep her current name as a middle name so we can keep a part of her heritage.  Our team name will be Run for Katie.

We will provide great team shirts for our runners, and they will be available for family and friends to purchase in support of our runners.  We will have a grand prize, a second place prize, and a third place prize, as well as goody bags and a spaghetti dinner for our team the night before.  And we have an INCREDIBLE, exceptionally generous grand prize for the person on our team who raises the most money. . . a week's accommodations at a Marriott Vacation Club resort in either Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando, Florida.  These are wonderful, first class resorts with exceptional accommodations and amenities. This fabulous prize, which was so thoughtfully donated by my parents, will be awarded to the person on our Run for Katie team who raises the most money.  I am really hopeful that we will be able to raise a lot of money for our adoption fund through this fundraiser.  I will personally challenge each team member to raise at least $1,000.00.  That could get us to $10,000.00 with just ONE fundraising event!  I may be shooting high, but anyone who knows me will tell you that once I set my mind to something, I will make it happen!

If you know anyone who is registered to run The Middle Half who may be willing to join our team, please let me know.  If you don't know anyone running but would like to support one of our runners, let me know and I will be happy to make that happen!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Girl Was Moved Again!

She is now listed under "New Commitments" and has a link for tax deductible donations to her grant fund. 

You can find her here, along with a little description of our family.  I'm so excited!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We Need Your Help!

Our fabulous little city has an annual community wide yard sale.  This year it will be held August 26th and 27th, and we will be using that opportunity to have a sale to contribute to our adoption fund.  We will need about $25,000 to bring our girl home, and we want to try to do that without any debt.  Clearly we do not think we'll make $25,000 at a yard sale, but every little bit helps.

We need your help!  We would love to get any donations you have to contribute to our sale.  We'll come pick it up!  Please contact me either through the comments or by email at ksimp6577 at bellsouth dot net if you have items to donate.  We would be so appreciative and you will be helping us to bring our sweet girl home.  Thank you!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mama Got a New Ride

Mama got a new car!  When Chris took his buyout we took advantage of the car purchase portion and got a Nissan Sentra.  It was a cute car, but not practical as our boys are getting older.  We couldn't fit a carseat and two booster seats in the car, etc.  We looked around for a larger used car, and we decided on a Volvo XC90.  I. Love. It.  It's got a third row, which we really need.  It's white with tan leather interior, and although I generally don't love a white vehicle it looks really great.  And we can all fit without wanting to hurt someone!

She's Been Moved!

Our sweet girl has been moved. . . and it's a GREAT move!  She's been moved from the "Waiting Children" list on Reece's Rainbow to "My Family Found Me".  We're so excited!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Image via Pintrest
I hope you and your family enjoy the fourth of July.  As we plan to bring a child from another country and another culture into our home, this day brings new meaning to us.  Hopefully next year our sweet girl will be here to wave a flag and wear a little red and white dress!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's Official!

Well, welcome to The Simpson Six. . . It's official!  Chris and I have sent in our paperwork to turn our family of five into a family of six.  If all goes well, we will be adopting a sweet little girl.  Ours will be an international adoption, and we are working with Reece's Rainbow, Adoption Assistance, Inc., and Hand In Hand International Adoptions to make it all happen.  Confused yet about all of the different organizations?  You should see the paperwork!

If you're not familiar with our family, let me introduce you.

We're Chris and Kim, the daddy and the mama.  We've been married for eight years, and it's been an adventure!  Chris was born and raised in middle Tennessee, and is a good Southern boy.  I am a New England girl (a/k/a a Yankee here in the South!).  Somehow, we've managed to blend our very different upbringings quite nicely and make it work for us.  While Chris is quiet and sort of a go with the flow kind of guy, I am talkative and outgoing, and I love some routine and organization!  Chris took a buyout from a major auto manufacturer two years ago and is currently a stay-at-home dad and a student.  I'm a legal assistant for a small but busy law firm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  While our sort of unconventional system may seem unique to some, it works really really well for us.  

David is our oldest child.  He is seven and will be in second grade in the fall.  David is very, very smart (really, I'm not just saying that because I'm his mother!).  He loves science, reading, the solar system, swimming, the Black Eyed Peas, jumping on the trampoline, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, Legos, playing outside, mango juice, and Kraft macaroni and cheese.  David has had a few bumps in his seven year old road.  (You can read more about his special needs in detail here.)  He was diagnosed with apraxia of speech as a toddler and went to several years of speech therapy at Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson Center.  He has also been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, PDD-NOS, and possibly high functioning autism.  While this certainly seems like a lot to deal with, we really try to make it as minimal a part of our life as possible.  He goes to occupational therapy with an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. therapist.  He love, love, loves her and has developed an amazing relationship and trust with her.  We have seen enormous progress since he started OT, and will continue as long as he needs it.  

While I expect that we will have more bumps down the road with David, we will take them as they come.  He certainly faces some challenges that most of us don't have to deal with, but he's going to be just fine.  We are 100% committed as David's parents to ensure he has every available resource to help him, and he's done remarkably well thus far.  We don't make a big deal of his "special needs" and they are not something that we think about all day every day.  We live life where we are - David is special for many, many reasons that do not need diagnosing.

Henry is our second son, born less than 13 months after David.  He is six, and is just a joy.  I wish everyone could have a child like Henry.  He's smart, silly, snuggly, and just a good boy.  He loves baseball, swimming, reading, David, Legos, taking pictures and making movies, Star Wars and Toy Story, learning, drawing, painting, being creative, helping in the kitchen, and helping other people.  He is a little love, and is the first person to help someone when he thinks they're sad or need help.  He is exceptionally close to his brother David, and he would do anything for him or for Jack.  Henry is sensitive, friendly, and loves everyone.  He is truly the easiest child, and if I could have ten just like him I would.  

Happy Jack is our baby.  He's three years old and makes every day exciting.  He's N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.  He is into everything, and goes 100 miles an hour twenty-four hours a day.  He's so silly, happy, always smiling and doing something for attention.  He does not slow down from the minute he wakes up until the minute he goes to bed.  He wants to do anything his brothers are doing, but is likely to destroy it.  He's smart, sensitive, silly, fun, loud, energetic, curious, sneaky, and full of mischief.  He and his daddy are especially close.  Jack is always smiling or laughing.  If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, "I love him!  I want to take him home!" we could adopt six children.  Jack is full of life and drinks up every minute of every day.  He talks non-stop, tells creative stories, and will love a sister with every fiber of his little body.

This is "Chloe", and we desperately want to bring her home to our family.  I don't know nearly as much about "Chloe" (which is not her real name, and is not the name she will have when she is a part of our family) as I do about my boys.  I cannot wait until I can tell you more about her.  I want so badly to know what she likes to do, and what foods she likes to eat.  I cannot wait to show you pictures of her at the park or at her school.  I am so excited to bring her swimming and out on the boat.  I can't wait to have silly pictures of her with her brothers and to give her a big hug.  It will be a long, expensive road to bring her home, but I know we will do it.

Please sign up to follow our blog and follow our adoption adventure.  You can help to bring our girl home - we will be doing some fundraising and we will hopefully raise enough money to make her a part of our family.  Please join the journey with us!