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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adoption Family of the Week-The Bosman family


Our very first adoption family of the week is Dave and Jody Bosman (aka Jodes and Boz)! They are from Highland, Indiana and have chosen adoption as their first choice to begin their family. They are currently still paperchasing and are waiting on one document to complete their homestudy report. Jody is a GREAT blogger. I have signed up to get her blog updates in my e-mail and look forward to them whenever I see them in my Inbox. I have added a link to their blog so check it out! They have a Just Love Coffee store link on their blog if you would like to help them bring their child(ren) home.

Miscellaneous

Good morning everyone! It is 6:17 a.m. on Tuesday morning and I couldn't get back to sleep because I have so many things tumbling around in my head that I want to share. First off, I am very excited to tell you that we just met our $7700 goal yesterday! God is SO AWESOME to let us have it a day before we were hoping to have it by! Thanks to all of you who have purchased coffee, donated to Kingdom Kids, sponsored puzzle pieces, saved cans, and purchased magnets. We couldn't have done it without you.

Second, I wanted to let you know of the September dates that we are available for our baby-sitting service. They are: September 11 and 25. We are very excited to be able to give you parents a night out so sign up today! You can e-mail me at cdruckenmiller@gmail.com, send me a Facebook message, or call 685-5211 to book us.

Third, I have updated our puzzle picture on the side of our blog. You can see that we have made quite a bit of progress and only have about 100 pieces left to sponsor. In case you are new to our blog and wondering about this fundraiser, we are writing the names of all people who sponsor a puzzle piece and when the puzzle is complete, we will glue it together and frame it. Our children will then be able to look at the back of that puzzle and see all the people who helped bring them home. :-) It only costs $10 to sponsor one puzzle piece. If you would like to sponsor a piece, you can send us the money by check or Paypal.

Fourth, I am going to start a new series today called "Adoption Family of the Week". This weekly blog entry will highlight other families who are currently adopting from Ethiopia through America World. I will begin this today and then every Monday morning hereafter. There are several families who are on this journey and every story is unique so I wanted to share them with you.

Last, and certainly NOT least, I am excited to tell you that we got an e-mail yesterday from our family coordinator, Caitlin, and our dossier has been APPROVED and barring any unforeseen holdups from Ethiopia we will be DTE this Friday, September 3!!!!! We are requesting two children ages 0 to 5 either related or unrelated. On Friday we will get an e-mail with the tracking number of our dossier as it heads over to Addis Ababa. You can bet that I will probably be tracking it several times a day until it reaches there. As soon as it is official, I will be changing our short-term thermometer to when our next payment will be due. For now, however, I am enjoying seeing it filled to the top!

Continue to pray for us as we move into the next phase of this journey...the waiting phase. While we are SO GLAD to be done paperchasing, I can only imagine how much harder the waiting phase is going to be. Thank you for your support!

Carmen and Garth

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Silhouettes


Hello friends and family! Have any of you had your silhouette cut? Would you like to? Well Esther Druckenmiller, my favorite mother-in-law, does an AMAZING job of cutting silhouettes. When Garth and I first started dating, she had me sit in a chair and she just cut out my silhouette. I still have that framed silhouette hanging in my office and I love it. Well Esther has said that she would be happy to cut silhouettes for a fundraiser for us. Each silhouette will be $10 each which includes shipping. They will fit in a 5 x 7 frame (not included). The silhouette will be black and it will be placed on a white background. What we need from you is a side-view picture of the person you want the silhouette of. You can e-mail the pictures to us (cdruckenmiller@gmail.com or grdruck@gmail.com) and as soon as payment is received we will send them on to Esther. These are really nice gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or any other holiday! Order your silhouette today and have a wonderful keepsake!

Sincerely,

Garth and Carmen

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I-171H update

Today was a real test of patience for me. I think I told you in my previous "Patience" post that our mail carrier, Cass, usually comes around 2:00. Today, Garth and I mailed a letter so all I had to do was watch to see when that flag went down. At 1:55 I looked out there and the flag was still up and I thought, "I wonder if Cass just forgot to put the flag down?" So, I went out and checked. Nope, she hadn't come yet. At 2:05 I finished typing a report so I went back downstairs to see if the flag was down yet...nope. At 2:10 I went down again and this time my neighbor, Nikki, saw me staring out our door looking for the postal truck. I decided it was time to fess up and tell her why I was stalking Cass. She laughed when I told her. At 2:20 I went down again...the flag was STILL up. I came down again at 2:30 and....THERE WAS CASS! I ran out the door and ran around the back of the truck and when I got to where I could see Cass I said "I have been stalking you!" Sadly, she hadn't seen me run around the truck so I scared her probably half to death. I opened our box and RIGHT ON TOP was a letter from The Department of Homeland Security. My palms immediately went sweaty and my hands started to shake. While this is happening Cass is watching me asking if this is the letter that I had been stalking her for. I unfolded the pages and the first page is a letter that begins with "Dear Prospective Adoptive Parents". I'm thinking "Prospective? Does that mean we weren't approved?" The next page is a pink form that has the header "Request for Action on Form I-600A". Now I'm thinking that we are going to have to do something else before we get approved. My eyes are welling up with tears and my knees are starting to buckle when I get to the 3rd sheet. This is also white and at the top it says "Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition". Well by now my brain is complete mush and I'm trying to decide if that is the I-171H that I have been waiting for. Finally, I look down at the bottom right corner and in itty bitty letters it says "Form I-171H Approval of I-600A! I burst into tears and Cass asked if they are happy tears or sad tears. I gave a little shriek that Nikki heard OVER her lawnmower and she runs over. I was finally able to speak again (yes, there really are times that I can't talk)and I told Cass she was my absolute favorite mail carrier. She jumped out of the truck and gave me a big hug. Cass, who really has no idea what the letter is, eventually asks what this means so I was able to share that next year we will be able to bring our two children home from Ethiopia! She hugged me again and she and Nikki were talking but my brain was complete mush and I have no idea what was being said. I eventually said that I had to get back to tell Garth. I felt kind of bad that Cass and Nikki knew the good news before Garth, but I couldn't really do anything about that.

Tonight, when I'm done working, Garth and I will go back to Nikki's house because she also happens to be our notary (and the best notary in town, by the way)so we can get the last form notarized. Tomorrow morning I will be going to Fremont to make two copies of our dossier and then sending it by Fed Ex to Virginia where it will hopefully get there by 10:30 a.m. Monday morning. There, two people will check it over to make sure everything is correct and if all is fine then on Friday, September 3, we will be DTE! For those of you who don't know adoption lingo, DTE means Dossier To Ethiopia. Those three little letters are some of the most exciting for adoptive parents. At that time, we will officially just be waiting for a referral of our two children.

As exciting as this is, we are still about $1200 short of the needed $7700, but I KNOW the Lord will provide. I am excited to see how He will do that!

Ecstatically excited,

Garth and Carmen

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Babysitting service, I-171H

I know I didn't give you our available dates for our babysitting service fundraiser when I said I would, and I am sorry for that. I am waiting to find out when a birthday party is in September, so I don't want to commit to those Saturdays yet, but I will give you the dates for the rest of the year that we are available. This will be a first come, first service basis. To make it easier, contact me either through Facebook, e-mail (cdruckenmiller@gmail.com), or phone call (685-5211). Again, we will either come to your house or you can come here. We will travel roughly 90 minutes one way and you can pay us what you think we are worth. So here are the dates:

August 28
October 9
October 16
October 23
October 30
November 6
November 13
November 20
December 4
December 11

As soon as I find out when the birthday party is in September, I will post those available Saturdays as well. We are looking forward to being able to spoil your kids and give you a quiet night out child-free. Of course, the money that is given to us for the baby-sitting will go towards our adoption expense. We are getting really close to having the full $7700 that we have to send in with our dossier as you can see by our thermometer. Just as a recap, our current fundraisers are:

Sponsoring a puzzle piece for $10
Purchasing a magnet for $5
Giving us your aluminum cans
Purchases at JustLoveCoffee.com/DruckFamily
Donating to Kingdom Kids, and
Our newest fundraiser, the babysitting service

If you are wondering about our I-171H status, well as of today we don't have it. :-( I am hoping that I will be able to send out a new blog update tomorrow that we HAVE IT! In all my years, I don't think I have ever been this anxious for a particular letter in the mail. I have literally been checking our mailbox several times a day just in case the mail comes earlier than its normal 2:00 time frame. :-)

Thanks for everything!

Garth and Carmen

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Patience

If you know me, you know I am not a patient person by nature. In fact when I was a little girl, I was in a church play and one of the songs we sang was about patience and went something like this..."Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry. If you get inpatient, you only start to worry. Remember, remember that God is patient too, and think of all the times when others have to wait for you." As I grew up whenever I would get inpatient my mom would start singing me that song, and she still does sometimes! Anyway, on Monday I decided to see if I could get a status update on our I-171H so I sent an e-mail to NBC again. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a response that same afternoon (no patience required...YEAH). The e-mail was from the actual person who has our file on her desk and this is what she said.

Carmen,

I am sorry that I have not been able to get to your case as of yet but I am working the files I have in the order they were received and let me tell you I have received tons! Anyway, I am getting closer to your application and it looks like I should be able to get to it by the end of the week. Please be patient with me just a little longer and I will let you know when I am done. If you don’t hear anything from me by the 1st of next week please email me again and I will give you an update.


So, we could potentially have our I-171H by the END OF NEXT WEEK! As exciting as that is, we are still $3635 short of the $7700 that we need. So please pray that we will have our money by the time we receive our I-171H so we don't have to wait on sending our dossier to AWAA. This whole process has been an exercise in patience and I think I am getting better, but I don't want our kids staying orphans any longer than absolutely necessary. Thank you all so much for your support. Just as a reminder, we still have our "I Dream of Africa" magnets for sale for $5 each, our Just Love Coffee store for you coffee drinkers out there, and our aluminum can recycling, which we have already made about $35 on. For those of you who would like a tax deduction, you can also donate through Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministry at http://www.kingdomkidsadoption.org/. Under donations at the top, click on Family Grant Donation. Thanks so much!

Sincerely,

Garth and Carmen

Monday, August 16, 2010

Babysitting Service

Garth and I have decided that for our next fundraiser, we would like to offer our baby-sitting skills on Saturday evenings (I have to work Friday nights until 8:30). We would be happy to come to your house or you can come to ours, your pick. Why should you let us watch your kids? Well, I have been baby-sitting since I was 10 years old and have a LOT of experience. Garth has not been baby-sitting very much, so I would like him to practice on your kids before we get ours...JUST KIDDING! Seriously, he is really great with kids and they love playing with him. The best part is our fee...WHATEVER YOU THINK WE ARE WORTH! We are willing to travel approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours one way. Of course, if we are travelling a distance, we would hope you would take that into consideration when contemplating what we are worth. ;-) Sometime this week, Garth and I will look at our calendar and let you know what Saturdays we will be available. I will post those days on here as well as Facebook. We will work this on a first-come, first-serve basis so don't wait! For those who don't have kids, we would also like to offer our pet-sitting service. We would be happy to sit with your dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, or even fish! We will play with them, brush them (well, not the fish), walk them, whatever you want. We are looking forward to completely spoiling your children...whether they are 2-legged or 4-legged (or NO-legged!).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cross-Cultural Adoption Advice: The Do's and Don'ts for Grown-Ups

Do's of Cross Cultural Adoption

~ Do treat them like any other kid. It may be difficult and take a while for adopted children to feel like they belong within their extended families. Treating these children like they're "nothing special" can go a long way toward making them feel at home and comfortable within the group.

~ Avoid the temptation to spoil them because they didn't have everything that the other kids had in the first few months or years of their life. The most valuable gifts you can offer these children are patience, routine and consistency -- and most of all, unexaggerated expressions of love and devotion.

~ Do support them when curious strangers ask questions. When curious (and sometimes thoughtless) strangers ask questions or feel the need to comment on the circumstances of the adoption, do not let them lead you into uncomfortable territory. Instead, gently steer them back to more suitable small talk or respond in such a way that shifts the conversation to positive adoption language that in turn lets the children know that you are on their side.

~ Do respect their privacy. Adopted children have the same need for and the right to privacy as you do. They do not want their entire life story being told to strangers. If they hear you discussing the intimate details of their origins, they will likely feel embarrassed. Until the children are old enough to decide for themselves how much information they would like to share regarding their background, please respect their privacy.

~ Do treat prospective adoptive parents the same as expectant parents. Adopting a child is just as exciting for soon-to-be parents as being pregnant. They feel the same way all expectant parents do -- overjoyed, overwhelmed, nervous, impatient, and most of all, excited. Don't be afraid to ask adopting parents about these feelings. After all, adoption is neither a secret nor a source of embarrassment or shame.

~ Do acknowledge and celebrate the differences. One of the best things you can do to show your support as well as your love for the adopted children in your life is to learn a bit about the culture and history of their birth country. Read a couple of books, especially travel books. Even if you have no plans to travel there, there is no better way to get the feeling of another country.

Don'ts of Cross Cultural Adoption

~ Don't introduce them as adopted. The pain this inflicts on the children is obvious. The children are made to feel inferior, like they will never be considered a real part of the family. The rule is simple: Don't ever, ever do this.

~ Don't say how "lucky" they are. After hearing this enough times, the children can be made to feel like a lifelong charity case, rather than the cherished children they are. Yes, they are lucky, but so is any child who has a supportive, loving family. And we parents are lucky, too, to have been able to create this loving, supportive family.

~Don't assume adoption is a second choice. The reasons people choose to adopt are as varied and unique as the people themselves. While it is true that many choose adoption because of infertility, it is also true that many choose adoption for a myriad of other reasons as well. Many people choose to adopt not because they are out of other options, but rather because they believe that adoption is the best choice for them.

~ Don't jump to conclusions about the birth mother. Often thought of as weak, irresponsible, cheap, and worthless, birth mothers often suffer a lifetime of pain far greater than that of childbirth. Please don't jump to the wrong conclusion that these women are any different than you and me or that they love their children any less.

~ Most cross-cultural adoptive families know little or nothing about the circumstances that led their children's birth mother to relinquish her children. What they do know is that they love their children's birth mother because they are a part of their children and it is because of them that their beloved children are who they are.

~ Don't tell us we're sure to have "our own" now. They are our own. Those parents who choose adoption because of infertility do not secretly harbor lifelong yearnings for a biological child. Having "our own" is now irrelevant; the child we have is the one we want and it is inconceivable that we could love or want any child more. Like all parents, we have the BEST.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thermometers

Hey everyone, I have added a couple thermometers to our blog so you can see where we are at with the fundraising. The first one (and larger thermometer) will change as we have new deadlines to meet with new amounts. Currently it is the dossier goal of $7700 that we will need before we can send our dossier to AWAA and to Ethiopia. I will be guesstimating our goal date for each of these if possible. For the dossier, I don't have an exact date because it just depends on when we get the form in the mail. However, someone in our group posted how long it took to get their I-171H so I am basing it on their experience. The other smaller thermometer will be the adoption expenses overall. The $30,000 is also a rough estimate based on fees, etc., but it could be more or less depending on plane ticket costs. I will be updating these as we get the donations through our various fundraisers: the puzzle piece donation for $10, magnet sales, aluminum can donations, as well as the Kingdom Kids donations. I will only be sending out fundraising updates when we reach our goal, so please come check where we are at as often as you would like. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Garth and Carmen Druckenmiller

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