Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011, The Year in Review

Happy New Year!
Can you believe 2011 is almost over?
I thought I'd recap what a crazy, incredible, eye opening year this has been for our family.

I didn't start this blog until July, when I officially announced that we were working to adopt a little girl.  I introduced our family, and the sweet face we are working so hard to bring home.

This is us!

This is her!

We started collecting things for our yard sale, had our home study, and started planning our Run for Katie.  I met my sweet friend Misty through that planning, and she has become one of my favorite people and one of Katie's biggest supporters.  This child, from the moment we put her in our hearts, has brought amazing people into our lives.  

If you'd like to read about January through June for our family, hop on over to The Real Housewife of Bedford County.  I've posted about it there.

In August, we painted our guest room, which will be Katie's room.

We took all of our house photos for our dossier.

(Please remember, when we started this process in June, we started at zero dollars.  We had some money in our savings that we used, but Katie only had a family sponsorship grant of $87.49)

We also had our first fundraiser - a big old yard sale!

August was obviously a busy month for us, because we also kicked off Coins for Katie, which has been an astounding success for us.

In September, we sent ninety Coins for Katie cups to Erin and her first grade class in Massachusetts.

We also got lots of photos of Coins for Katie cups all over North America.

We had our biometric finger printing done, and our sweet friend Jenny and her family had a generous party where the gifts were for Katie.

In October, we learned that Sarah and Joyce have a Coins for Katie cup in their store!  I was so excited, and so proud of Sarah for wanting to help us bring Katie home.  She and her mom do some amazing things for people with Down syndrome.

I also worked on some projects in Katie's room.

We also mailed our dossier package to our placing agency!  This is a HUGE step in the process, and one that felt so good to complete.

In November, we got an amazing donation from strangers.

And if that wasn't enough, the same people blessed us again with donations they collected on our behalf from their friends and associates.

This was an incredible day for us and for Katie, and it is one I will never forget.  We raised nearly $7,000 that morning, which we could not have done without the help of our incredible friends and family.  It was an awesome day.

We also put up our Christmas trees, including one in Katie's room.

And I told you about my uncle Clayton, who is part of the reason we are adopting a special needs child.

In December, we tried to pay some of the generosity we've received forward by participating in Operation Christmas Child.

Next, our dossier package was received in Katie's country for translation!

And the girls in my office and I gave the gift of hope to four special needs children instead of giving gifts to four attorneys.  And, because they are all great guys, they loved their Angel Tree Christmas ornaments!  (And now two of our Angel Tree babies have families!)

We were gifted an incredible doll house for Jack Katie.

And I finished a high chair for Jack's Katie's babies.

And finally, we were given an incredible gift.  Someone very close to us offered to cover whatever adoption expenses we are unable to cover.  The sense of relief such a gift brings, and the incredible amount of emotions it makes me feel is indescribable.  That does not mean that our fundraising will be done - we have several Coins for Katie cups out still that we would love to get back.  It just means that the stress of worrying about how we will raise the rest of the money is gone.  And that there is virtually nothing standing between us and that sweet girl.

What will 2012 bring for us?
I hope it will bring Chris and me to Katie's country.

And I hope it will bring her home to us.

I hope it will bring us opportunities as a family to help others, the way we have been helped by so many of you.

I hope it will bring us the chance to continue to be amazed by this process and how much it has changed our family - every one of us.

I hope it will bring love to a little girl who has quite possibly never felt that, even though we have felt so much of it for her.

I hope it will bring peace and clarity as we look toward the end of this process.

For you, I hope 2012 brings what you have brought to us:  generosity, love, acceptance, friendship, support, and purpose.

I hope 2012 will bring us our girl.

Happy New Year.

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