Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday: Kids Need Families


 After giving thanks on Thursday followed by the material gluttony that is Black Friday, small business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it is time to detox from accumulating and focus in on my favorite aspect of the Christmas holiday season. Giving

Today is #givingtuesday and it is a time to give back to those in need, to make charitable contributions and to invest in the future of those around us....both here in the United States and those abroad.

When we decided to adopt, we initially looked into the Foster Care system. Due to some square footage restrictions and other such things,and very wise council of a foster care social worker, we had to put that idea on the back burner. Foster Care is something that is near to our heart, but it was not the next, best step for our family. Maybe it can be your next step? If you are local and would like to help out, click here.

When we moved forward with international adoption, the plight of the orphans laid heavy on our hearts. Most of the children are not placed in a home-like foster care systems. They are in large, sterile orphanages, usually with a large number of children to workers ratio.   Amy Eldrige, CEO of  Love Without Boundaries, wrote about the importance of international adoption here. It is worth reading, especially if you have questions about the validity of international adoptions.

"None of us should kid ourselves or try to make our own hearts feel better by saying that a nice orphanage nanny can take the place of a mom or dad. Would any of us want our own babies raised in an institution? Of course not. And if it’s not okay for our OWN children, why then is it okay for the kids currently living behind orphanage walls? We all know that the longer a child stays in an institution, the more they will suffer cognitive, physical, and emotional delays which can have lifelong implications." Amy Eldrige, CEO of Love Beyond Boundaries

Here is the bottom line. There are children that need families. We are a family that is going to make room. It is that simple.


 "Every child on this earth has a basic human right to be raised in a family, regardless of country. Children are NOT supposed to be raised in institutions. It’s really not rocket science. Kids need families." ~ Amy Eldrige


" Every time we fill a bed here{their home in Va Beach, VA}, that's one less orphan's bed that is full." David Daulton, adoptive father to 9 children, all with Downs Syndrome.



So, on this #GivingTuesday, I challenge you to partner with those who cannot speak for themselves. Every life is valuable. Every life is important. While the number of children that are orphaned may seem daunting, to be able to change one life, to give that one precious soul a family...that is something we can do. If you would like to help us on this journey, you can click HERE.




Whether you are interested in domestic, fostering or international adoption, I urge you to get involved. Foster Care centers are always in need of supplies and manpower. The cost of an international adoption is at least $30,000. Don't let the cost stop one family from bringing a child home. Show Hope, Love Beyond Boundaries, AdoptionBridge, Adopt a Lovestory, all of these organizations can offer support, information and help for all types of adoptions. 

So get involved, imagine what could happen?! 








Thursday, November 24, 2016

In All Circumstances

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2016.
What a year.

In this year, I have been reminded more than ever to give thanks in ALL circumstances.
The good and the bad.

It is so much easier said than done.
I have struggled at times to truly, honestly give thanks.
Personal and selfish desires are such strong emotions.

It is easy to give thanks when things are going well, when blessings seem to pour forth.
It is not easy when things are not going your way, or the way you planned.

So, today, I am challenged again.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances.

Because when the dust settles, the blessings are so abundant. So excessive.
Health, family, love, laughter. They are all there. They are all around us.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, I choose to give thanks in all my circumstances, today and every day forward.

What are you thankful for?




Monday, November 14, 2016

Logged In



Well that was fast.

We are in.

We got our Log In Date today from China. They logged our paperwork and now we are able to start receiving referrals and our agency is going to start going through them looking for a match for our family.

We sent our Dossier on Friday.
We were logged in on Monday.

 There are still a few more steps that China will do with our dossier that includes translations and reviews, but we are eligible to start looking  for a child and be able to be matched.
We made it.

 One BIG piece of our story was completed today.

So now we are waiting and hoping and praying. Referrals can take anywhere from 3 months to 9 months.  Since we do not have a gender preference, it will probably be shorter for us, but nothing is exact in adoption...or life. Patience is a virtue, right?!?!

If you want to be apart of our adoption story and would consider buying a puzzle piece, we would be so grateful. From this point on, we will be saving and working and fundraising so that finances will not stop or hinder us from bringing our child home. One less orphan. One happy family.

Click HERE to go to our puzzle fundraiser page.


Friday, November 11, 2016

A Piece of My Heart: Dossier to China



It is an exciting day for the Fedell family. Right now, a little pile of papers, which just happen to be anything and everything that you would want to know about us called our Dossier, is jetting it's way across the ocean. It's destination is the Peoples' Republic of China. Once that little bundle of papers make it's way to China, careful hands will delivery it right over to the CCCWA (China's Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) and then...we wait.  We wait to be logged into the adoption match system and we will wait to get a referral. A referral is a child's file and paperwork that is a match for us. It means ONE LESS child will be an orphan and we can bring our son or daughter home. It is an exciting step, this Dossier to China.
We have passed the State and Federal level approvals, and now we are onto China, the home of our baby.
We are getting so close!




To celebrate this great big step across the oceans we are launching a new fundraiser.
 The puzzle above is something that we created to be apart of our Little One's room.  We love that it shows our heart here in Michigan and also our heart over in China. For a while our family's heart is in two places, but soon we will all be together. It is a long distance love story that we are piecing together, day by day. And we want YOU to be apart of this story. The story of our new child coming home.  The story of love, hope and redemption.
Our next adoption payment is over $4,000 and then we start to tackle the cost of travel, lodging and orphanage donations. It is a seemingly impossible mountain to climb, but we are trusting and working and ready to move mountains.
We want you to join with us.


Here's how it works.

1. There are 252 pieces to this puzzle we created.

2. We are "selling" each puzzle piece. You can buy one for any amount.  It can be $10, $20 or $100. It doesn't matter to us. Anything helps. No amount is too small or too big. We are grateful and thankful for anything.  (If you're wondering, the total cost of adopting from China is approximately $35,000.  We are still trying to raise around $25,000)

3. For every donation we receive, we will write YOUR name on your puzzle piece. (For those that have donated before, we will write your name on your piece!)

4. Once every single puzzle piece has been "sold", we will put the puzzle together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame in their room. It will be a beautiful reminder of who had a "piece" of bringing them home, and all those that joined together with us and became apart of our own love story.

5. If you would like to buy a piece of our puzzle, please click HERE. There are buttons on the right side of the page for any size donation and every donation is tax deductible. If you do not want your name on a puzzle piece but would still like to donated, just let us know.

We are so grateful for your help in our journey of adoption. We love having people join with us and bring one more orphan home, one puzzle piece at a time!



Monday, October 24, 2016

Doss ay what?!: An Adoption Update

Miss Macy, holding our Dossier, ready to mail to our agency in Kentucky. Was I nervous letting her hold all those documents? Yes, yes I was. 

Well, we did it. We worked for 6 months compiling, notarizing and authenticating a whole plethora of documents that come together to form our dossier (pronounced Doss ee ay)

That blue folder held by that smiling lady is in Washington D.C, waiting for Federal approval and translation into Chinese. Once it is approved and completed, it will be mailed back to our agency. From that point, all those papers, all our pictures, all our personal, financial and pretty much anything you ever wanted about every aspect of our life documents will fly their little way to China.

Once it lands in the People's Republic of China it will be hand delivered to the  China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA)

 And then, we will wait for the approval from the Chinese government.






Once we are approved for a Chinese Special Needs adoption, we are on the list!!

We will be ready and approved to start receiving referrals. What is a referral? It is a child, with all their little documents, medical information, any known family information and usually a picture or two.

How long will we wait for our referral? They are estimating anywhere from 3 to 9 months. All of this is dependent on what our wants and needs are for our child.

For us, that means we are looking for a child that is younger than Macy. We do not have a gender preference and we are pretty open to the special needs. That area is hard to narrow down, as it depends on so many things. Will that keep us in the 3 month range or will that have us wait longer? We just do not know.

So for now, the fervor  of paper work is mostly behind us. We now will wait for the Federal government and the Chinese government.

We will wait and we will pray. We pray for the baby, for safety and peace and comfort in a orphanage filled with beds of babies. We pray that our funding will come in and that we will not have any delays because of finances.

The reality of adoption is that is it very expensive. There are many people involved who are paid to do their job. It cost money to file papers, to advocate for the orphans and communicate with the orphanage.

Our next payment is $4,000.

I am not sure how we will make that payment.

But we are trusting that this is what we are supposed to do. We have had checks come in that we did not expect, extra bonuses and so far, we have covered over $9,000 ourselves.

We will be doing a few fundraisers coming up, we have grant applications out and are awaiting response and we are praying. So much praying.

We have less than 20 days left on our Adoption Bridge account. This account goes directly to our adoption agency and 100% of it goes to help cover our adoption costs.

We would love for you to partner with us, and help us empty one little bed in an orphanage.
Need to make a charitable donation for tax purposes before the end of the year? Our agency is a non-profit, so it will be a tax write off. Own a business or know someone who does and needs that write off? Send them our way. We would be so grateful.

Click here if you would like to go to our Adoption Bridge page. We would love for you to share it on your social network. The more eyes that see it, the more the plight of orphans is brought to the forefront.

Regardless, we covet your prayers.

We are on our way. One step closer to China!!




Friday, October 14, 2016

10 Things I Love About You


Today we celebrate our ten year anniversary. Double digits. 10 whole years. That is a long time, but yet, it seems like yesterday. So many things have happened, changed, evolved in those 10 years. We are no longer the bright-eyed, newly graduated babies. (Seriously. We were such babies!) New to the work world, new to adult responsibilities, new to married life.

While I could expound about some much, reminisce for hours, I decided to find just 10 of my very favorite pictures of you.  They say a picture says a thousand words, so I will let these few little memories speak for themselves.


Our very first Christmas married. You let me put you in an very ugly Christmas sweater. And I loved you for it.



We were about to become parents. Babies having babies. Little did we know the joy, love and hard work that would follow.  Now, I would tell my younger, pregnant self to savors those last few moments of just us. They were short and fleeting. Just savor.


And than we became parents. No longer was it you and I. Now it was the three of us. We were a family.



 A new house and and new baby. Colin made our family a foursome.



And than there were three. Three children that we created together. Three little lives, three little loves.  Our very first little lady.


 But in-between the moving and the houses and the babies, there was still us. 
We were in it together.



Piles of babies on pillows. Cuddling and loving on their Daddy. You are just the very best Daddy to our children, a true example of how to act and live. Our children are so very lucky.
Every day something of this sort is happening. Cuddles and loving on Daddy. They may be bigger and heavier and wrestle harder...but they still love to be on the floor with you.


Ten years later, we are still happy, still thriving and still loving deeply. 
I still like you.
Even after I have lived with you for 10 years.



 And now, we are on a new adventure. A new Fedell to bring into the fold. A new little life to call our own.
I love that you want to adopt with me, that you want to take a beautiful little life that was left alone and bring them into our family.

I loved you than, I love you now and I will love you always.

Happy Anniversary, Ryan.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Pickin'


Last week, Michigan decided to show off. 

Sunny skies, cotton clouds and just a hint of coolness in the breeze, hinting of cooler weather to come.




It was a beautiful day to head to the apple orchard and pick ourselves a peck.


Unfortunately all of Detroit Metro had the same idea, so parking and donut/cider lines were insane.



But we were able to head to the corner of the orchard and have some space for ourselves.










Apple picking with my people.

It is a fall favorite.


Welcome, October.

I am so glad to see you again!