Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Fundraiser!!

I found these super-cute Africa magnets and I KNEW that other families would want one, so we bought 100. We are selling them for $5 (including shipping). We don't have them yet, but since I know these will FLY out of our house, we would like to get orders ahead of time so we can get the envelopes all addressed, etc. We should receive them within 10 business days and we will send them out as soon as payment is received. To order one (or more) please notify us by leaving a comment to this post or e-mailing me at You can either send us a check (preferred method) or pay through Paypal...there is a link at the top of our blog to do this. If you choose to send us a check, send me an e-mail letting me know your mailing address.

A picture of the magnet is located on the right side of our blog. Please feel free to share this information with your friends and family as well!

Thanks for your help!

Garth and Carmen Druckenmiller

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today, June 24, 2010, at approximately 8:45 a.m., I strolled (OK, inside I was hopping, skipping, running, doing cartwheels, etc.) into our small-town post office and happily handed over an envelope which contained our notarized homestudy report, a cover letter requesting fingerprint appointments for Garth and me, a copy of our birth certificates, a copy of our marriage license, and a check for $830 to the postal woman behind the desk. I had a HUGE cheshire-cat-like smile on my face and informed her that I wanted a tracking number on this envelope that was addressed to the oh so important USCIS in Dallas, Texas. She smiled slightly at me and then went behind a partition...probably to laugh silently. She came back around with a smile and handed me the ticket that will allow me to track the package. Approximately 6 to 12 weeks after USCIS gets the I-600A, we will receive the even more important I-171H. The I-171H is one of the MOST IMPORTANT forms because it allows for international children to be brought back to the US! We will actually take the original to Ethiopia with us! Before that can happen, however, we have a few more things to accomplish, which I will outline later. In the meantime, Garth and I are starting a new endeavor to raise money...a booth at the Finders Keepers Flea Market in Uehling. For anyone in the area, you should really go take a look there. It is a really big place and there are a lot of treasures that can be found. We are trying it out for two months to see how it goes. Hopefully it will work out really well! I will also continue to apply for loans and grants, until they have all been completed.

Thank you again for your help on this journey. Now please pray that we get our I-171H in 6 weeks instead of 12 or later.


Carmen Druckenmiller

PS Don't forget about our coffee fundraiser! In addition to helping us, you will be helping support Ethopian coffee farmers. Go to to order today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You know you're an adoptive parent (or should be) if...

I got this off another blog ( loved it so I'm copying it from them...

You know you're an adoptive parent (or should be) if:

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


You will find as you continue reading my blogs that the number of exclamation points I have at the end of a sentence has a direct correllation to how excited I am!!!!!!!! I just got an e-mail from Caitlin and she has APPROVED OUR HOMESTUDY REPORT!!!!!!!! When Cindy gets back next week, she will be able to send a notarized copy of our homestudy report and we will then send that, our birth certificates, marriage certificate, and a check for $830 to the USCIS department in Dallas. After they review the information, we will be given a biometrics appointment where we will get our fingerprints taken again. In the meantime, we will be completing the application to adopt two unrelated children if a sibling group isn't available as well as start applying for grants, loans, and other funds that would permit a tax credit to those who donate money to our adoption through that route. WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again for all your prayers. They DO make a difference!


Garth and Carmen

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homestudy report take 2

I am happy to report that we were able to get everything updated on our homestudy report today and Cindy was able to e-mail it to Caitlin. I am hopeful that this time the report will be approved and we can send in our I600A form by next week at the latest so we can get our biometrics appointment made. Please pray that it is so!


Garth and Carmen

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Homestudy updates

Hello everyone! I promised that I would update you on our homestudy report sometime this week so here it is. Cindy (our homestudy social worker) received my background check on May 13 and submitted the homestudy report on May 18 to Caitlin (our AWAA family coordinator). Some of the information in the homestudy report didn't match what we had submitted to AWAA, so we had to complete a couple forms over again until they matched, so that took a few days. Once that got corrected, Caitlin reviewed the report and there were a couple things that needed to be expanded on by Cindy, so it is now back in her hands. Garth and I also had to update some of our information, which we are still in the process of doing. I am hoping that by the end of this week we will be able to have the updated homestudy report complete and submitted to Caitlin.

Following the approval of our homestudy report, Garth and I will be sending form I-600A to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), which is the application for advance processing of orphan petition. The purpose of this form, as I understand it, is to determine whether we will be appropriate adoptive parents. It will also generally speed up the part of the processing related to our qualifications as adoptive parents. The filing fee for this form is $670. Once approved, they will send us a date for our biometrics (basically fingerprints again and costs $80 each) and will send us the I171-H form. Receiving this form is the single most exciting form for paperchasing families to receive because we can then send ALL our forms (our dossier) to AWAA so they can review it all and make sure all is correct. Once that has been done, our dossier will then be sent to Ethiopia (DTE). While we can see the end in sight, there are still a few things that have to happen first, so my new goal for sending our dossier to AWAA is the end of July.

I have been asked by a few people how our puzzle is coming along. Since I have been frantically getting ready for our garage sale, the puzzle has been put on the back burner, but I wanted to inform you that we have had 176 pieces sponsored by friends and family. It is a 500+ piece puzzle so there are plenty of more pieces to sponsor if you would like to. For a brief recap on the puzzle, we have an African-themed puzzle that we are putting together as pieces are being sponsored. For each piece that is sponsored, we are writing that person's name on the back. When the puzzle is completed, we will glue the puzzle together and frame it so our children will be able to look at all the people who helped bring them to their forever home. The cost for each puzzle piece is $10. Thank you so much for those who have already purchased puzzle pieces. The puzzle that we have chosen is shown on this blog so take a look! If you would like to donate money to our adoption, you can either send us a check at the address listed along the right side of our blog, or there is a "donate" button that you can send money through Paypal. After our homestudy is approved, we will also begin the process of setting up a fund where the money that is donated will be tax deductible. I will send more information about that as we get it set up. We will also begin applying for grants and low-interest adoption loans as well.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. I will update our blog as soon as our homestudy is officially complete.


Garth and Carmen

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garage sale

Hello friends and family! It is Saturday night and I wanted to update everyone on our garage sale. After about 2-1/2 months of getting the donated items, sorting through them, pricing most of them, and figuring out where to keep all of them, I am very relieved to say that the garage sale was a huge success. Shortly after Garth and I decided to have this sale, I started praying for great weather, and the Lord delivered. All this week, the forecast was for rain both Friday and Saturday, so Garth and I started preparing to utilize our basement as well (which included putting up a handrail in the brick wall, cleaning the basement, getting tables down there, etc.) but on Friday it proved to be a beautiful day, there was a nice breeze, and it wasn't too hot. We officially opened our garage sale up at noon, but we had several people stop as they saw us setting up. We stopped the sale at around 6:00 and when we counted the money, we had made $280.50 (which was about $47/hour for the hours we were open). That's not too shabby! Friday evening it was supposed to rain so we brought in all the items that shouldn't be rained on and left the rest. Saturday morning when the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., it was raining. We started talking about taking the tables to the basement, etc. but I decided to check the forecast and it said that the rain would stop by 7:00 and be nice all day. It did just that! I LOVE it when God just works things out like that! So, we slowly started bringing things outside again. We had wonderful help from my parents, Ned and Linelle Kelley, and Garth's parents, Ted and Esther. Later, my brother and his 2 sons (ages 5 and 3) came and they also helped some. My Aunt Ruth came around noon, and she also helped out. We had a steady stream of people until about 4:00 when it dropped off. We were able to tell a lot of people about our adoption and several people took our business cards that we made with our blog web address and Just Love Coffee fundraiser, which was exciting. My personal goal for the garage sale was to make enough for our next payment which totals $830. I am very excited to tell you that we made $880 total! We are SO THANKFUL for all the wonderful donations that people made as well as all the people who came to the garage sale. It was so great to meet our goal after so many hours of preparing, as well as spread the word about adoption. I am now totally exhausted so I'm going to bed, but I just couldn't wait to share our news. Sometime next week I will update you on our homestudy report, but right now my eyes are barely staying open. Good night and God Bless!


Garth and Carmen

Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel. I knew it from the start. The first time my angel smiled at me; I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel; This angel child of mine. Though not of my creation, My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel. My heart is dancing wild; Our family, by a miracle; Blessed by our angel child.

All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman