Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Look At Baby Jansen!

There are few things more precious than that first glimpse of your baby! And while it may not look like much to you, I am absolutely, positively, 100% in love with that little profile! It may not tell me much...still don't know if we are expecting a son or daughter, still haven't seen the heart beat or felt any movement...but I have now connected with that little life - even if only through a photograph - and that has made this adoption all the more real! :)
This picture was taken on December 12th, and as I mentioned in a previous post, the due date has been moved up to June 11th at that time. So...according to my trusty Baby Center website, this means that the birth mother is in the 15th week of pregnancy and our baby is about the size of an apple. I love reading the baby center updates on our little one...makes me feel even more connected to our precious one! There's lots of information about what stage of development our little on is in...and I'm loving every bit of information I can get! :)
We are now waiting to find out when our home study will be scheduled - hopefully just after the first of the year (or as close as possible). As soon as that is done, I can start going with Janice (the birth mom) on her ultrasound appointments so I can see our precious little one in action! Please be praying that takes place soon - because I'm pretty sure the next visit will be the one where we could find out if we'll have another son or a daughter...that is if the baby cooperates! ;)
So many people have cast their votes on what the gender is of this baby...with the lions share going toward girl! I've had a few votes cast for a little boy...but they are definitely in the minority! So...I got to thinking (scary, I know!)...why not make a game-type fundraiser of it? Those who know me best know how much I love games! :) This game will be a sort of baby-pool. You will cast your vote for boy or girl at a cost of $2 per guess (yes, there are only two choices, but you can cast multiple votes). All money collected from this game will go toward our adoption fund! When the gender is detected, I will draw a name from the winning batch (if they tell us it's a girl, I'll draw from those who guessed girl & if it's a boy, I'll draw from those who guessed boy) and a prize will be awarded to the winner. Here's how it works:
  • Go to PayPal and transfer $2 to my account (karaj927@hotmail.com) for every chance (i.e. $20 for 10 chances) & make a guess for each chance (put your guesses in the memo section when you transfer the money). For example, if you transfer $20, then you could cast 5 votes for a boy & 5 votes for a girl, or all of them in one or the other, or any combination of 10 votes that you like.
  • ALTERNATE ENTRY: If you see me or David on a regular basis, you can give us the money for your chances (cash or check) and let us know what your votes are. :)
  • You need to cast your votes at the time of payment - either by telling us directly, in an email, or as a note on PayPal. Written form is best - so, if you are handing them to us in person, please put your name, phone #, & guesses on a piece of paper and give us that with your payment. :)
  • When the baby's gender is determined via ultrasound (or, in the event the baby won't cooperate at an ultrasound, at birth), then we will draw a name from the winning batch and award a prize at that time! :)
  • ALL money collected from this game will go to our adoption fund...so not only are you having fun playing the game with a chance to win a prize, but you also help us raise the money we need to make this adoption financially possible!

We are also considering adding a birth date pool, since the due date is ever moving...but we'll wait and see how the gender pool goes first. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this with me. And if you have other ideas for fundraisers, please share them with me! We need to raise an average of $4,000+ per month to make sure we have all we need financially for this adoption!

Please share this with all your friends and family! The more we get the word out, the closer we get to our goal of bringing our baby home!

Thank you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Big Step!


Today, we met with Kirk (the adoption agency director) for the first time since our journey began a couple months ago. We were excited to bring him a payment that was very close to what we hoped to make as a first payment. That, my friends, is ALL GOD! - especially when you consider that just a few weeks ago, we didn't even have a tenth of that! God has brought His people together in such a way to bring this baby home that it has totally blessed my socks off! :)

While we met with Kirk, we got further details on the birth mom and her pregnancy. All is going very well...the due date is ever moving, but some of my MOPS friends shared with me this morning that it's not at all uncommon for that to happen. ;). The latest due date is June 11th, which puts the birth mom at about 14 weeks along. This means that the first trimester is behind her - and for someone who has experienced miscarriage, this is a very reassuring tidbit of information! A FUN tidbit of info is that our baby is about the size of a lemon, according to babycenter.com. :)

With our first big payment & the remainder of our paperwork in (we were waiting on medical reports from our doctor after having physicals & tests done), we can now get our home study scheduled and done so that I can start going on doctor visits with the birth mom. :). I didn't realize it before, but apparently that needs to be done first before I can go...so we are looking at trying to get the home study done as close to the first of the year as possible.

There has been one ultrasound recently...and Kirk promised to get the pictures for us as soon as possible. So, not too much longer until We get our first look at our precious little one! I can't wait! So many of you have asked if we are going to find out if the baby is a boy or girl...and we are! For us, it's just one more connection we will have to our child. When you are in the process of adopting a baby, there's very little connection you have to that baby before he/she is born. You can't feel the flutters, movements, and other precious connections that most moms have when their child is growing in their womb. So, I take whatever connection I can get! :)

It was a real boost to our excitement level to have this meeting today...especially for David! I've been the primary one to talk with Kirk up to this point, so David got most of the info second hand. My precious hubby was grinning ear to ear with the excitement of a school boy clearly on his face as we drove away after our meeting. ;).

One of the neat things about this meeting was seeing the excitement on Kirk's face as he talked with us! It really helped to see that excitement as he said, "We've got to make this happen!". It was obvious that we are all part of a team in bringing this baby home!

Thanks to each and every one of you who are keeping up with us on here and praying for us! Your prayers are making this adoption possible! And I don't know about you, but I just love seeing how God is working everything out according to his plan! :)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeding the Multitude



I'm a bit late in getting this posted...but life has been a little crazy lately...imagine that! ;) First of all, I'd like to say a HUGE Thank You to David's brother Chuck for taking the pictures and video in this blog...David and I were a bit busy dishing out dinner, so without Chuck serving as "event photographer" we would have no documentation of this event! :) So...huge thanks to Uncle Chuck! :)


On Monday, December 5th, we had our first BIG fundraising event...a spaghetti dinner and silent auction. Chef Sebastian Mazzotta, a local personal chef, donated his time to prepare an amazing spaghetti dinner for us - complete with an amazing salad, spaghetti with choice of meat or marinara sauce, and garlic bread! Connie Marner baked and donated a delicious cake for dessert! If you live in Southwest Florida and have need for catering or a cake for an event, I would highly recommend these two! We had soooo many compliments on the food!



Christopher really earned his dinner that night! He helped the Chef by bringing things to him and helped set up by setting the tables, including salt and pepper on each table. He got to eat spaghetti with Grandma Jansen and Uncle Chuck and play with his friends during the dinner.

In addition to a super yummy dinner and dessert, we had many friends and friends of friends donate items from their businesses for our silent auction! So many great items to choose from - if it hadn't been an auction to support our adoption, I would have wanted to bid on them all!

HUGE THANKS goes out to the following for donating items to our Silent Auction (in no particular order):

  • Bradd Konert, Jr. of Gamma Tech - Complete Computer Protection Package with Setup
  • Square Head Playground - Gift Certificates for Birthday Party and Passes for Full-Day Play
  • Jodi Carroll - Lia Sophia Ring & Earring Set
  • Christine Wheeler, Photographer - Original Framed Photography Print
  • Sandee Kozlow, Artist - Original Painting
  • Goodyear of Naples - Gift Certificates for One Year of Oil Changes
  • Always Fun Fishing Charter - 1/2 Day Fishing Trip/Sightseeing Charter
  • Bradd Konert, Sr. of American Tax Service of Naples - 2011 Income Tax Return Preparation
  • Bug Stop Exterminators, Inc. - Initial Residential Pest Control Service
  • Kim Buckly, Zumba Instructor - Zumba Gift of Fitness Package
  • Michelle Jack - Pink and Blue Burp Cloths & Matching Pacifier Holders
  • Karen Strang, Hair Stylist - Beauty Bundle
  • Michele Rearden - Avon/Tiny Tillia Mother & Baby Bundle
  • Driftwood Garden Center & Florist - Gift Card
  • Bria Bare - Four Voice Lessons
  • Jami Collinsworth - Music Memories DVD slideshow/video
I just can't help but share with you a cute video of the end of the evening! Christopher was such a huge helper all through the dinner....all the way through clean-up! He even recruited a few helpers in his mission! The cute factor is just so over the top! I cannot wait to see what a great big brother he is going to be!

video

As we were getting ready for the dinner and several people were calling and texting me, asking if it was too late to come to the dinner, I started praying that there would be enough food to feed everyone! We had figured in a few extra meals for last-minute attendees...but I was starting to worry it might not be enough. But, just like when He fed the multitude with one little boy's lunch, God made sure we not only had enough for everyone there...but we also had leftovers - LOTS of leftovers! We estimate about 100+ people were in attendance at our fundraiser...which is about what we planned for. But the leftover spaghetti probably would have fed another hundred...so we decided to pay it forward and took the leftovers to St. Matthew's House so they could feed those less fortunate. They were very appreciative!

I'd like to thank EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of you who took time to come out and support us that evening, as well as those of you who couldn't come but supported us in other ways! Because of your support and generosity, we will be able to make about a $4,000 payment to the agency this week. :) David figured if we raise a little over $4,000 each month, we will have what we need to bring Christopher's sibling home! Yes, that's a huge order...a God-sized order, to be exact...but as we've seen lately, nothing is too big for God! :) I'm looking forward to seeing all He has planned to bring our baby home this summer!

We do have a few thoughts about future fundraisers...some of which are in the works! We will be having a yard sale in January...so if you have things you'd like to get rid of, we'll be taking donations for the yard sale after the holidays! :) We had some dear friends, Ken & Libby Sessions, offer to do a smoked BBQ dinner fundraiser for us...just thinking about that makes my mouth water! As soon as we work out the details with them, I'll let you know when that will take place so you can put it on your calendar! We are also working on trying to organize a pancake breakfast and golf tournament. So...if you have any connections, let us know! :)

Of course, our Avon fundraiser is still in full-swing. All proceeds from online orders and a large chunk from other orders will go toward our adoption until we have raised all we need to complete this adoption! If you are interested in helping with this, I can print or email you fundraising flyers so you to collect orders for us. Just let me know! :)

In addition, my friend Deanna Coulter has offered to do a Thirty-One thermal tote fundraiser for us in January and my friend Kaycee Mays (who by the way was the one God used to bring us to the agency we used to adopt Christopher and now his sibling) has offered to do a Premier Jewelry fundraiser!

And last, but certainly not least, my friend Jami Collinsworth, who creates personalized video slideshow DVDs from your pictures/video and choice of music, says the $50 fee for anyone who orders a DVD as result of a referral from us will go toward our adoption! So, check out Jami's Musical Memories on Facebook and let her know we sent you...especially if you decide to order a DVD! :) Your Musical Memory DVD will help us bring our baby home!

I'm just amazed and overwhelmed at how many people are coming together to make this adoption happen! God is so good! This could not happen without Him! So, most of all...I want to thank God for His faithfulness and for bringing His people together to accomplish the work He has for us in this adoption! :)