Monthly Archives: June 2010

Monthly ebay Sales for June! Embryo Adoption Fundraising

Well I do have several items up on ebay right now, but with 2 more items shipping today, our total take-home amount for our adoption fund for June is….$559.60! Thank you Lord!

Each item I sold this month was either a donated item for our upcoming garage sale, a goodie from our closets, or book lots that I have been working on as I collect books at garage sales.

The Leevster is my assistant. I just tell him an item has closed and has been paid for and he packages the item, weighs it, prints the shipping label, and takes it to the mailbox or leaves a note for our postal carrier to pick it up. He also has learned to contact the buyer and let them know their item is on its way. He and BooBear are my photographers as well. Do you really think I could have set up all the little Sweet Streets pictures like BooBear did?

It is a team effort to gather all the funds needed to pay for agency fees, Meds, Doctors’ visits, and the actual FET procedure itself. The kiddos are very excited about having more siblings and this is their way to do something in addition to prayer.

With Hurricane Alex coming in tonight in South Texas/Mexico, it has been a different kind of summer afternoon in the Houston area. We are an hour outside of Houston, but those first rain bands off Alex have made their way to us. It is so strange to have wind this time of year. In fact, if there are wind gusts in the summer, it usually is from a tropical storm of some sort. Has it cooled the weather off, uh, not really, but it has made for a ‘book reading’ kind of afternoon. It does make me remember to check our hurricane supplies for the rest of hurricane season.

Coming soon…answers to more EA questions, pics of our NEW mailbox (especially designed by my dh as a ‘gift’ to me for my e-bay items), and more food preserving.

Today? Canning Dill Pickles & Sweet Relish

Sweet BooBear and I had some canning to do today. I spent many a summer helping my grandmother put away her garden & fruit trees’ bounty. Now that BooBear is old enough to show interest in preserving we did some more canning today. Last week, we put up 7# of green beans in the freezer using the FoodSa*ver. Earlier this week, we put up several quarts of tomatoes and today it was time to do some dill pickles.

Our garden is producing, but not like in years’ past, so we just can a little at a time as the Lord provides the produce. Pickles do not take any time at all to can, so we were able to accomplish this task during PookieBear’s nap.

Keeping our jars hot at 170 degrees:

How I store my rings. They are easy to hang in the kitchen on canning days for easy access:

Here is our finished product:

Then, the boys brought in a zucchini squash that had been hidden under the vines.

What to do with a giant zucchini? Well, BooBear started looking through our canning book and found a recipe for zucchini sweet relish. Well, I had everything on hand,

so we whipped that out too.

Zucchini sweet relish cooling:

Finally, as we were cleaning up, The boys dropped off one final basket for the day. I will get to this another day. : )

I am ready for some iced tea and a board game with the family. Have a wonderful Sabbath as you rest and worship the Lord!

Embryo Adoption Fundraising…an Old PC Game Brings in Some $$

Well, if I ever see one of these at a garage sale, I will snatch it up! Rhea has been home resting a shoulder injury and decided to clean out some old boxes that have been in the closet. (remember the Cello hats?)

Rhea told me that this NASCAR PC game would sell for a lot of money. Well, it did,
$78! Our e-bay profits so far for this month have been $464! Praise God for His provision as we save for the next adoption agency payment.

I am working to put a few more things up on e-bay over the next few days. I asked Rhea if he had anymore ‘boxes’ stashed anywhere I needed to know about? ; )
We are waiting for that phone call or e-mail to let us know we have been matched with a family. We just found out that another family from our same agency was matched this week. We are so excited for Dan & Elizabeth and we are praying that their contract process goes smoothly.
Back to e-bay listing I go & BTW, we’d love for you to follow our blog. So please ‘officially’ follow us. We’d love to ‘see’ you : )

The Leevster’s Braces



The Leevster had his top braces put on last week. He has adjusted so well and is still smiling like anything and even asked me to try to get an ‘action’ shot of him on the swings. These were taken a few hours after we came home from the orthodontist. He was in a lot of pain, but like I said…still smilin’!

More Questions Answered on EA

This above photo is of a baby girl who lived as a frozen embryo, was adopted through our agency Nightlight, and finished growing inside her adoptive mother’s womb. Isn’t she beautiful?
**Watch this short news piece on Embryo Adoption. Both the genetic family and the adoptive family are interviewed: I couldn’t embed it, but click HERE to see some cutie pies!**
Great questions friends!
Thank you for caring and praying and taking the time to learn about this not-so-well-known type of adoption. First, let me say that everyone has an opinion about how they feel about IVF. As Christians, we have found that even within our own faith there are differing stances on IVF and donor sperm/eggs with IVF. Those of you who know us well, know where we stand on these issues or at least know we have strong opinions based on Scripture on these issues.
Rhea and I have made fertility choices in our past, but God used these choices to grow us and even bring us to this very place where we are today in the adoption process. We also have or will do things in this life that God will reveal to us through His Holy Spirit in the future. Sanctification is a process for all believers and we respect each of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are on this same path with us. So, if you would like to discuss those types of issues, Rhea and I are available, but privately, by e-mail. We welcome discussion on these matters with Christian love and humility. Our focus in embryo adoption (EA) is on these little ones waiting in freezers who need a chance to continue to grow and live.
With that said, let’s wrap our arms around some of the practical questions that have been asked of us recently. Ready? : )
My sweet friend Rachel who I have known since we were both on the road to adopt from Taiwan. God led Dan & Rachel to Ethiopia and they have since adopted the most beautiful little girl!
Rachel asked: so in order to do this kind of adoption, you have to go through the entire homestudy process?
answer: No, you do not. Sadly, in fact, in the U.S.A., embryos are considered property and not children and the legal paperwork reflects this. Agencies choose to use the term “adoption”, because they consider embryos children–life beginning at conception–even if it is under a microscope in a lab. Agencies like Bethany and Nightlight, require a complete home study as they consider EA an adoption of a child(ren). The homestudy is written as a domestic home study with the educational component focusing on the EA and perparing for open adoption.

There are other programs/websites where adoptive parents and genetic parents can connect to make arrangements themselves (I can share those in later posts). In these cases, a HS is not a requirement at all. Rhea chose (& I fully agreed with his decision), to go with Nightlight Christian Adoptions and submit a full home study in order to adopt embryos.
One of dearest friends and prayer partners over the years had some wonderful heartfelt questions about EA. One question she asked was answered by Jennifer the other day (thank you Jennifer)! I wanted to share her response as well as our answers. She and her husband are working with Bethany Christian Services to adopt their embryos and they are scheduled to have their FET (frozen embryo transfer) in 5 short weeks!
QUESTION: How do they (the ministry, I guess) prevent this from becoming a “commodity” in the future (in other words, not encouraging IVF in the first place)?

JENNIFER’S ANSWER: My husband and I are also in the embryo adoption process. I know that Shannon will answer your questions, but I did want to take a minute myself to respond to your first question: “How does the ministry prevent this from becoming a “commodity” and encouraging IVF in the first place?”

Well, they’re certainly not encouraging couples to go through IVF and freeze their embryos. However, the fact is that many couples will choose to do that anyway (and often times, they will intend to transfer all of their embryos later but can’t due to becoming ill, divorces, etc). When I’ve encountered this question, I’ve tried to explain that it is the same question that would be asked to an adopting couple regarding an unmarried girl who is choosing to give her child up for adoption: “Well, if a couple adopts her child, then wouldn’t other unmarried girls would have an incentive to have sex before marriage?” But, we both know that’s just not true… Adoption has always been around and embryo adoption is no different. Couples will continue to go through in-vitro, just like unmarried boys and girls will sadly continue to go against God’s plan and have sex before marriage and become pregnant and unprepared to raise a child. And just like these unborn babies in the womb need families, so do frozen embryos. Once someone has already made the decision to create them and aren’t able or willing to have any more children, someone must be willing to carry them or they’ll stay frozen or die.

I hope this helped to explain it a bit more!

Shannon: I will post our answer–which is very similar on a future post

QUESTION: How does the cost of this compare with a typical domestic adoption?

ANSWER: In comparing costs, for us, through Nightlight, the cost will be $7000-$8000. Our Homestudy update was $1500+, the doctor, meds, and clinic fees will be $3,000+ Costs vary depending on the agency or what EA adoption route you take.

…coming soon in my next post…answers to these questions…How do you approach this topic (EA) with your adopted child? When do you tell them you have adopted them? Will the younger children –in our home–(pre-birds and bees) know that this is an adoption?

Do you have more questions? Keep them coming! It was God’s timing alone that we were led to this type of adoption. I will say though that we are excited to share about EA and educate others as we learn because God may use you to share this information with someone else! We have already been contacted by a young couple in our area who want to learn more about EA themselves. They had never heard of or knew this was an adoption option.

Finally, the Leevster got his top braces put on today. I took some pics and I will post them this week. My has that guy grown!
This is a video put out by our adoption agency; again, with both the genetic family & the adoptive family. All children you see are children born through EA.

Answering some questions

We have had some really great questions so far:

Question: Is this our 1st adoption? Besides being adopted into God’s family through His mercy and His grace through His Son? : ) Yes, it is, though we have been in the ‘process’ of adopting for about 1 1/2 years.
Question: Will you carry the child/children? or will the biological mother? I will carry the children and I will be considered the birth mother. The adoption of the embryos is finalized once the legal paperwork is finished and then they are shipped to our clinic. The children will have our names on their birth certificates from the beginning, once they are born. They are just adopted at a much earlier stage in life.

Keep the questions coming!

We are trying to bear the hot and humid summer that has come to rest here in our area (near Houston). There is lots of closet cleaning, painting, and school room/office organizing/selling to do. Those are my kind of jobs…in the A/C!!

Our Adoption Plans Announced (FINALLY!)

Well, what you see above are tiny embryos. Life. Babies. Children. They need families to help them finish growing. We are in the process of adopting embryos and are in the matching phase of the process currently with our agency. We have put together a profile which includes an autobiography of our family with photographs and a letter to the little ones’ genetic parents.

The agency will now take our profile and send it to a family who have embryos they are wanting to adopt out to a family. Then the family is given time to pray and decide if we are the right family to adopt their precious ones.
Many of you have been with us through our entire adoption journey. From when we explored domestic adoption, began the process to adopt from Taiwan, and then China. We have been blessed to cross paths with so many of you through our adoption journey. Someone once told us that although we started out on one adoption path, not to be too terribly surprised if God has us adopt by a completely different avenue, even one we wouldn’t have even imagined. Well, that friend was certainly correct.
When it was time to renew our homestudy, we had to make a decision whether or not to renew it for international or domestic adoption. We knew we would renew it because we wanted to keep ourselves available to God if He had another child planned for us. Also, our hearts still yearned to have a child through adoption. Upon going through old adoption files to retrieve information for the update, I ran across some old notes on Embryo Adoption through Nightlight Christian Adoptions. I wrote the information down almost two years ago and filed it and never really thought much about it.
I, then, took the information to Rhea and he looked at me and said, “Call the agency and let’s get more information.” After our initial phone call, research (there were lots of questions swimming in our heads), prayer and a visit with our pastor, Rhea and I both knew that to adopt these little ones was exactly where God was drawing us.
So, we are excited and now patiently waiting on God’s timing in this next phase of the process. Please ask questions! I know we had plenty in the beginning. Rhea and I loved the book by Dr. Russell Moore, Adopted for Life. Please see this link to his article about Embryo Adoption(EA) for a Christian perspective on EA.We would appreciate your prayers as we travel this road to bring a child or children to our home!

It’s in the Mail!

What you see in the photo above is our FINAL homestudy ready to be sent across the country! Since the agency has a final copy e-mailed to them from our SW, we will have a phone meeting with the agency’s SW today. After that phone call, and they receive this hard copy of the homestudy, we will be ‘officially’ announcing on the blog our adoption plans!

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