Through Ambers Eyes » Blog

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  • Hi! I’m Amber.

    I love Jesus. I'm a wife to Steve, Mama to Reid, Eli and Henry. I'm also a photographer. We just started the adoption process to find our baby girl. Welcome to a snippet of my life. :)

Fundraiser Time!

FINAL FLYER

 

Steve & I are so excited that the day to start our fundraiser has finally come! On April 2nd we had dinner with friends who want to help us with fundraising. We talked about the timing of a BIG fundraiser,  different kinds of fundraisers we could do, bake sales, auction, dinner etc. It was a great time getting to know them better while we talked about adoption. As I was nursing Henry to sleep soon after they left,  I did what I normally do after brainstorming….I researched and looked for more fundraising ideas and I don’t think that it is by chance that I found an awesome idea from this blog www.beingmrsmurray.com/help-us-adopt/

The concept is pretty simple: 1,000 people donating $30 to raise $30,000 in 30 days. I was SOOOO excited to go downstairs and share what I had found with Steve and my parents. We do not know what the final cost of our adoption will be since we are not matched yet, but $30,000 is a pretty average number. We felt that we should continue to save, fundraise and apply for grants before we started being presented to birth mothers. We would have a hard time emotionally, if we connected with a birth mom and were unable to accept the match due to fees that have to be paid when we are matched.

In the past couple of weeks I have been working hard on designing a flyer, setting up an account with Adopt Together so that any gifts given can be tax deductible, writing a letter to share our story on Adopt Together, and lastly…printing  out the flyers. If I’m honest this has been harder than I thought it would be. We decided to print the flyers at home to save money…but boy the printers are giving us a hard time! This has been the biggest frustration. Mom and I are VERY happy that we have a bunch printed and found the best way to get the job done. The boys have been helping us print and cut the flyers and even though they don’t fully understand what is going on because they are so young, they have been excited to help us and watch me design the flyer.

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We are so grateful for the friends and family who have already donated to help us get this adoption rolling and we are excited to finally share what is going on here for fundraising as I know some of you have been asking for details.

We are so thankful for your support…Any amount that you can give, $30, $10, $5, $1 will help and be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to help financially would you be willing to share our story?  Anything you are willing to do will help bring a baby girl to her forever family…After all this fundraiser is for Nora, not for us. To donate visit: www.adopttogether.org/martinadoption  between April 18th-May 17th. I will make sure to update throughout this next month.

Here is a breakdown of what we have already paid for with our savings and donations we have received:

Christian Adoption Consultants: $2,680.00

The home study $2,030.24

In person and online training: $400

Criminal background checks: $60

Child abuse background checks: $30

Driving record checks: $20.00

Here is what is left to pay for:

Agency application fees: varies

Birth parent’s living expenses: varies

Legal fees: varies

Agency fees: varies

ICPC-Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (states talking to each other about baby): varies

Travel to pick Nora up:

A place to stay while we wait for the ICPC : up to two weeks

Your prayers for our family, Nora’s birth mother and Nora are appreciated as we start the next step in our adoption journey.

Steve, Amber, Reid, Eli and Henry

Saving for Nora

The other night Steve and I were talking about how some day we can tell Nora about how many funny things we did to save money to adopt her. So I figured I should make a list of the things we have sold or done to share with you all…:)

Ceiling fan

Patio table & benches

Stroller

Bottle returns

Racing helmet

a bajillion (feels that way) iphone repairs

Superhero capes made by my Mom

Handmade dolls made by my Mom

A guitar amp cover

Making our own food  (salsa, spaghetti sauce etc)

Making our own hair products

Adding spare change to the “sister jar

Rebate from Toyota for some settlement thing

Old dishwasher

Photo Mat cutter….

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I just set aside a pile of things in the basement to sell and add to the adoption fund. So we can add to the list above:

cloth diapers

ninja blender

high chair

studio photography lighting

Nintendo DS XLi

and I’m sure there is some more too:)

It’s fun to get rid of things to free up space but it’s more fun to think that those things will help bring our baby girl home!

 

 

 

 

Exciting!

Woohoo!! Our home study was finished on April 3rd! We are very excited to have the paper work for this part of our adoption done. So we are officially seen as competent adoptive parents! We both felt that we need to save some more money and fundraise before we start showing our profile to birth moms. So be on the lookout for our fundraiser in the next couple of weeks! We are still working on finishing the paperwork for the adoption grant and adoption loan applications and hope to get those done soon. It’s a lot of work to compile the information that they need, but we are picking away it.

In the mean time, keep praying for us as we step into the next part of our adoption and pray for Nora and her birth mom too.  Who knows…she could be growing in her mommy’s womb right now….

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Home study, research and grants and a whole lot of love

At the end of January, we finished our interviews for our home study. To review, the home study is a REALLY big stack of papers that tell adoption agencies or attorneys that we are approved as adoptive parents. Anything you would ever want to know about Steve or myself is contained in that bundle of papers:)During February our caseworker, Penny, worked on writing up the home study and compiling information. The home study was sent in to be reviewed and approved on March 1st.

While we are waiting to hear about our home study, which feels like FOREVER, we are working on filling out applications for grants. There are a lot of grants available to adoptive families and are granted in 2 ways:

1. A grant that is given in the amount of $100-$15,000 or more

2. A matching grant where the organization will match what money is donated or given to us for our adoption up to a predetermined amount.

This is another part of the adoption process that uses up a lot of paper…I mean A LOT!! We are really thankful that these organizations exist to make adoption a more attainable thing to normal families with normal amounts of money. Of course we know that God is really the one who will supply what we need on this path to find Nora.

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We are also figuring out what agencies we want to work with, pray that we will have clarity when we are researching, again we are thankful for our consultant Leah and Christian Adoption Consultants for the wisdom they offer in this area. They have supplied us with a list of trusted and ethical agencies and attorneys to work with and Leah can help us navigate the best approach. We will choose multiple agencies to present to which can help cut the wait time down.

Leah worked really hard on creating a profile book about our family while we were in the interview process for the home study. This book will be shown to birth moms with the agencies we choose to work with. It’s a really complete picture of what our story is and what life is like in our family. I think I had a HUGE smile on my face when she sent the first draft to us….it’s beautiful and something I will always cherish.

Reid has really fallen in love with his little sister even more since we finished painting her room. It was so nice to finally paint the room as it still kind of felt like the previous owners house in that room:)The boys love to play in there and talk about Nora.

room 1

 

Room 2

Room 3Eli 1

Eli 2Reid & HenryReid 2

Room 4Room 5

While we were out grocery shopping the other day Reid found the perfect dress to buy with money from his piggy bank for Nora. He has had his eye on any dress with a tutu for about a month or so, and we finally found the right one in the right price point. He bought her this beautiful, very girly, dress for $3 He was beaming for hours after that. We got back to Mormor & Papa G’s house and Reid could not wait to show Papa G what he bought for Nora. He ran to the play room and said “Look what I got Papa G! Remember, I’m going to have a little sister?!?! Well I got her this dress!!” He showed the dress to Steve with the same excitement.:)

Reid 1

Not all parts of this adoption have been easy. Steve and I are learning a lot about patience, trust and patience and trust and more trust….It’s a really stretching time emotionally, but I’m thankful that we are being asked to grow in this way. This song really spoke to our hearts in a big way. Search for “It is well” by Bethel music on youtube, it won’t be wasted time.

“Far be it from me to not believe. Even when my eyes can’t see. 

And this mountain that’s in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea. 

Through it all, through it all, My eyes are on You. Through it all, through it all, It is well.

 So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.”

While working on the applications for grants we are also going to organize a fundraiser that will happen at our church. I’m thinking it may have something to do with pancakes….but we will keep you informed. I really wish I was more consistent at blogging to keep you all in the loop, but life with three boys is….well…..pretty crazy. So I will try to update again soon but until then, we just would ask that you would join us in praying for wisdom and peace for our family and also for Nora and her birth mom. Pray for peace, safety and that if her birth mom does not know Jesus that she may know him through this process. It’s quite amazing that we Martins love people we don’t even know yet, much like when you’re pregnant with a biological baby...I don’t know about Steve…but I feel like am “paper pregnant” a common expression in adoption.:)

Lately

I keep finding reasons or excuses to not blog lately, so I figure something is better than nothing. So get ready for a few random things and thoughts……

 

In exciting news, I found the perfect crib for Nora, for free! on Craigslist! The only hurdle was that it was found on the North Shore of Boston. Thankfully, I have a lovely “cousin” who lives in Boston and went on a little drive to pick up the crib for me. The crib arrived and I LOVE IT! THANK YOU KRISTIN!!!!

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Reid has been super sweet about Nora lately. He thinks about her often.  When he saw the crib he said that he will put his hands inside the crib through the side and say hi to Nora and if he put his foot in then she could tickle him. He melts my heart. Strangely enough Eli and Henry just want to sleep or jump in the crib:)

 

We completed our home study paper work and mailed it in December 6th. The past few weeks have been strangely busy and it felt like the last few details were taking forever to finish. I have to keep reminding myself that God is guiding the time line of our adoption and not me…I need to chill out. So that is what I have done….well mostly.

 

DECEMBER 6th: We finally got the last details of the home study packet finished this morning. I went over the check list while Steve made a FaceTime call to Papa & Mimi with the boys. I had done everything but bring out our birth certificates and marriage certificate. I printed those out and checked the list again. It was complete and ready to send. I think I felt more excited than nervous, but nerves were there as well. Probably more for a silly reason than for anything serious.:)It felt scary to send in personal information and the $1,200 check. I prayed that God would provide the rest of the money we need and to help me relax. WE all hopped into the car in the ice and snow and headed to the post office in Gray. On the way over I told Reid that we were mailing out important papers, we explained that it was one of the important steps to get Nora home but that we still has a lot more work to do. He said ok and kinda seemed like he understood. I went in and Steve stayed with the boys. When I came back out and we were backing out of the post office Reid said, “Ok so now we will go to the hospbubble.” We asked him why and he said, ” I thought we could go and get Nora now.” Oh that boy, he melted our hearts again. We told him that we still have more work to do before we can bring Nora home, he seemed a little sad but understood that we can’t get her yet. What a sweet boy with a tender heart towards is baby sister.

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