Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today was a bittersweet day for me. Our youngest (until Olga & Vanessa are here) graduated 5th grade.  We are so proud of you Tinka!

11 years ago I left my baby shower and the guests there to rush to the hospital as I had gone into labor, my water had broke and it wasn't time. We got to the hospital and they confirmed I had gone into labor, admitted me. Then everything STOPPED! Yet, they couldn't send me home because my water had already broke. They couldn't induce because their was no room in the NICU at the time. So we waited.  Later that night they finally started the pitocin and after a rough labor our sweet tinkerbell was there. She weighed 5 lbs 2 oz and was doing well. They had to give her a little oxygen and suction her a few times throughout the night but she was healthy. Her lungs had not developed all the way and she had a few close calls (okay more than a few, we were on a first name basis with the fire/paramedic crew) but here 11 years later she is healthy and happy & a graduate! She has overcome many obstacles but the stubbornness in her has pushed her along.

The picture above is the class "mascot" they were known as the Stafki Fluffy Unicorns. LOL
Not sure what's up with name but it was cute. Parents, family and friends  all gathered in the gym and watched as the graduates made their way through the gym up to their seats. And heard their principal Mr. Leitz speak. He is such a WONDERFUL principal. The children, parents and teachers love him. He retires this year and I am so thankful that both Tweety & now Tinka were in the school during his time there. He will be very missed!

We heard from some other teachers, they handed out awards one of them being the Presidential Award and Tinka received one. We didn't know until today that she was getting it. Talk about a proud parent moment. Myself, Chris and Tinka's dad John were beaming with pride of our little girl. She also received an award from the school counselor for being an all-star (conflict manager).  After those awards the 5th graders sang a song called Baby Shark they learn at camp. I think this is something they do every year as Tweety did it last year too. It's the cutest song and they get the crowd to do it with them. 

Above Tinka (in the red dress with white cover) receiving her Presidential award.

Above is Mr. Stafki. I'm telling you he is the all time BEST teacher! I wish my children could have had him from pre-school up. Tweety had him for 4th & 5th grade and Tinka had him this year. He has a heart for the students and makes learning fun. He makes the children be responsible while helping them gain confidence that they can do anything they set their minds too.  We as a family are going to miss him very much. And I'm sure the girls will be making surprise visits to see him next year.

Here Tinka is receiving her All-star manager certificate.

Here's the graduate in her classroom showing her certificates. We are so proud of you Tinka! You have grown so much, we've seen you work hard and keep going (sometimes with prodding) even when you felt like you wanted to stop. YOU earned these!!

Above is Tinka with her flowers daddy brought her. And the jacket on the head is so 100% Tinka.

Below is Tinka with her dad John. He was able to get off work and make it to surprise her.

Now as she finishes this chapter in her life, she starts homeschooling this fall with her sisters. I'm looking forward to having her home and being able to teach her, yet will miss all the people at her school. Once Olga is home we will get to see them again as she will attend the same school :)

During the hustle and  bustle of an international adoption I thank the Lord for blessings like today!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sneak Peek & Heart Felt Message


This is just a sneak peek at our upcoming auction.

Matryashka Doll Kitchen Timer

Matching Pillowcase Dress & Headband
(Pictures for sample only. The one for auction will be a 4th of July design)

This will be size of dress. Our little model normally wears a size 18-24 mth.
This dress goes down to her little ankles.

A Set of Mini or Small hair clippies.
(Picture for sample only)

* Now remember these are just a preview of what's to come*

* There will also be a mini-version of the cookbook we have been selling. It will contain @ 35-40 recipes including all those submitted by Olga & Vanessa's internet Aunties as we call them.
* Two necklaces that have been donated by Priscilla M.
* A Miche basic collection purse set donated by Amy P.
* A set of handmade cards donated by Kristina Z.
* A retired Gigi Hill purse donated by Elissa L.
* Choffey donated by Jill P.
and more.

~ We don't have any mega prizes, or big named bloggers~
What we do have is a God who can move mountains, and faith that He will provide. Please share our blog and our facebook page...

Also, due to some feedback on the cookbook we have been doing we are changing things up a bit.
We will now have 2 options:
Option #1 $20 including shipping
The full version with over 80 recipes will come in a 5x8 3 ring binder. It is full of yumminess as well as helpful hints and tips.

Option #2 $12.50 including shipping
This mini version comes in a 4x6 album of various designs. It will have over 30 recipes including those from the girls internet aunties. There are no hints or tips in this version.

We have about 10 weeks to finish raising the funds needed. Chris goes to have his medical done the first week of July and then our dossier is off. Our in country teams goal is to get us into court the first week or two of Septemeber. This will be our biggest and most expensive trip. We will be in country about 3 weeks and this is also when we pay our big agency fees.

<3 A heart felt message from Jenn <3
There is something I have to address before we start this auction....

You are not helping us because you like us (if you do that's awsome, an added bonus and I can always use another friend) You are doing this to help two little girls come home to a family who will love them forever. We used to have a pretty nice size group of people supporting us. Especially offering moral support and prayers. Yes, some also offered monetary support and donations. Some helped by sharing our fundraisers on their blogs. This meant so much to us. I can still remember crying each time my phone dinged and I saw a message saying we had recieved another donation. To know so many loved our girls and wanted to help bring them home touched my heart in a way I can't put into words. To this day when someone shares our page or blog, or our chipin goes in I stop and praise God for that person. I'm not trying to toot my horn because NONE of this is of me, there is nothing I have done or could do without God leading. This adoption is ALL HIM!

Yet, one person who holds "power" in the blog world decided they no longer thought we were the family for one of our girls and let people know this. They compared our adoption to those of another country (one which moves MUCH faster & costs MUCH less ), they listened to those who were upset by agency choices we had made, they listened to what others said about us and made the decision we weren't right because we were having such a hard time fundraising.

We stepped out on this journey like so many others, on FAITH and faith alone. We didn't have a huge following, we didn't know many in the blog or adoption world. Still truly don't. I am naturally a shy person. Ask those I go to church with. I have known some for years and still have a hard time walking around shaking hands and talking to people during that time in church. So stepping out and speaking to people even in blogland is very intimidating to me. God knew this, and I believe he touched the hearts of some sweet people to help promote our fundraisers on their blogs. The fact we didn't do it ourself and our blog wasn't successful meant we weren't prepared financially?? There are people out there who fundraise for everything from commitment costs, to homestudy costs, all the way to the very last dime they use. And noone questions them.

One person used their "power" to plant a seed of doubt in others minds and our support diminished. Seriously was gone, and in the process they ruined our name and what little reputation we had. It has taken over a year to regain our reputation and rebuild our name.  Finding out this person was so close to us has been heart breaking and to be truthful I'm having a hard time getting over it. Today's message in church talked about bitterness and I'm working on it with God, but right now it's still there.

I get a daddy & mommy WOW!! And sisters too :)

We have been matched with our girls, we have held them, hugged them, played cars, and drawn pictures with them. We have wiped their noses and kissed their cheeks. All for only a few short days. For those few days those two little girls felt the love of a mommy and daddy. They heard the words I Love You & I Want You to be my daughter. They heard a mommy pray for God to protect them, they felt the hugs of a daddy who would give his life to protect them. And now they sit and wait for us to come back.

They want me to be their daughter :)
So this is what's it is like to have a daddy to play with.

We need your help, that's the 100% honest truth. We need FRIENDS who are willing to walk along side us. Friends who are willing to rejoice with us, cry with us, lift us up and even put us in our place when needed (Love ya Steph!).

We understand money is tight for so many. I'm not going to beg for money, although if that's what it ends up taking to get these girls home you better believe I would! And I don't care what any blogger, or troll, or anyone else thinks about that.

There are things we can't discuss because of laws and such in our girls country. To be honest we are not 100% sure what we can and can't share. So we will only be sharing what we've been told is okay. And I can tell you that when we were in country we were told by the MOE, the in country team, and both orphanage directors "WE" are the girls last and only chance. We're they just saying that in hopes we would follow through with the adoption, maybe. But I'm not willing to put two little girls lives on that are you??

I know we can share their medical stuff we know that we were given by the doctors at their orphanages but due to trolls I'm not willing to post that on here. If you want to know if the need for them is urgent health wise please feel free to email us or leave a comment with your email and I'll let you know their health issues. One of our girls is doing good, the other not so much.

So all that babbling from a momma's heart to say. If you want to follow along with us, walking next to us to bring these girls home we would love to have you.

Pray for us, Share our blog and our facebook page and if God lays it on your heart and you are able donate to our chipin or our grant fund.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Hugs & Prayers

Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Splits for Dinner

There is a little boy named Ryan. If you have been on facebook you've most likely heard about him. He is not doing well and his momma has had to make some really hard choices recently. A friend of hers put out a challenge for everyone to have a Banana Split for dinner one night and just enjoy our children and be thankful for what we have. A time to remember little Ryan. Tonight our family took part in that challenge. You can visit the facebook page and read more about Ryan here. As we work hard and pray each day to bring our girls home from Eastern Europe, we are reminded to embrace the fact they are there and waiting.  Go visit the page and join the Banana Split party.  Here are a few of the pictures from our dinner. 

Thinking of You Ryan and praying for your family.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Hi and welcome to my blog. I'm Jenn also known as momma. I'm married to my best friend Chris and we have three daughters. Pooh is 14, Tweety is 12 and Tinka is 11. We are in the process of adopting two of the sweetest little girls from Eastern Europe. We made our first trip to their country in April to meet them and sign our petition to adopt. Our Butterfly is 6 and our monkey is 3. Both girls have Down Syndrome and Monkey has a lot of other medical needs. We are working to finish up our court dossier and are fundraising to finish raising the money to fully fund us for our second and third trips. For those not familiar with international adoption it is a very costly journey. We have spent thousands out of pocket and we're blessed that our Butterfly had a large grant. Our first trip was fully funded and we are half way there for our second trip. We have a couple fundraisers going on if you would like to look into them. The first is a cookbook we put together. Our girls have many extended "aunties" around the country who love and pray for them. Some of them came together and contributed treasured recipes for this book. It has close to 90 recipes along with helpful hints and tips. It comes in a 5 x 8  three ring binder.  We also have a facebook page called "Sugar & Spice" were we put up different crafty items we have made to sell. It's a work in progress, right now we have some hair clips, a couple cookbooks, and pillow case dresses. Soon we will be adding tutu bow holders as well as  aprons & hobo type purses my daughter Pooh has been sewing. We are also looking to have a giveaway/auction and can always use items donated to that. Having items donated helps keep the out of pocket expense down, which means more money goes to bringing our girls home.

You may be asking why it's so important to bring them home. Before our trip we had heard how horrible orphanages and institutions were in their country. We prepared ourselves for the worst. Our first trip to accept a referral was 12 days long. During that time we learned a lot, meet some really wonderful people and fell in love with two little girls. The girls are in two different places. Monkey is in a baby house still. We met the orphanage director, doctor, and social worker. They were all very nice. They explained all about her medical issues, why she was in the orphanage, and then asked if we wanted to meet her. We of course said yes. They took us into a little room and brought Monkey to us. As soon as they handed her to me I was in love. The only way I can describe it is it's like the first time you hold your baby in the hospital. You look at them and there is an instant bond. Next my husband held her and he too was in love. He has facial hair and Monkey finds it fasinating lol. We spent about 10 minutes with her that first day and then they asked us if we still wanted to adopt her. We said yes and signed our petition to adopt right there. They have a notary so it was notarized all on the same day. Some may ask how we knew we wanted to adopt her after a 10 minute visit and it's hard to explain because it's just a feeling you have.

When we met Butterfly we talked to the child's home director, the social worker for the home, the main doctor, and another social worker. They asked us all kinds of questions, why we wanted to adopt, why special needs, what did we do for a living, questions about our other children, about our home. Then they asked if we had any pictures, and we did. So they looked at them and said thank you for bringing them. They then gave us the history on Butterfly both her family history and medical history. They told us that she takes lessons there and that she loves music and is a smart girl. After they read everything to us they asked if we wanted to meet her still. We said yes and they brought her into the directors office. It was a small room with so many people. She sat down in a chair and we spent about 10 minutes playing with her and just getting a feel for each other. She too loves my husbands facial and arm hair. We again were in love. She has a smile that lights up the room, and she's got a sassy streak as well. After that initial 10 minutes they said she had to go eat lunch. They asked us if we wanted to adopt her and we said yes. They told her we would come back the next day to see her and she smiled. We signed our petition that day as well.

We spent the rest of our trip there doing paperwork and visiting with the girls. The children's home our Butterfly is in is about a 2 hour drive each way so that takes up a good portion of the day. We didn't do much sight seeing. On one day in between visits our translator took us to McDonalds and to walk down the walking street. That was really neat. We also got to experience our first train rides, they were 7 hours to and from the main city. We are looking forward to going back in a couple months and going before the judge to ask for her permission to adopt both girls.  We know it won't always be easy. There will be rough days, and good days. We have done foster care for a few years and we've dealt with all types of issues, RAD, anger issues, self harming, drug exposed infants, medically fragile children. Out of all the children who have come through our home only 2 have not gone back home, and that was by the parents choice. We understand the affects taking a child from the only environment they've ever known will have on them. It's scary for them. We have also seen how over time things do improve. Sometimes it takes longer than others. When we made the decision to adopt we agreed no matter what if we take these children into our home to be our children we treat them with the same love and respect we do our own bio children. We wouldn't send our bio children away if things got hard and we won't do that to these girls. We want to give them a forever family.

We hope you will follow us on our journey both bringing them home and after they are home. We do ask that NOTHING from our blog be copied or shared without first obtaining permission from myself. This is to protect our children and to respect the laws and customs of Butterfly & Monkeys country. Do however feel free to link to our blog if you find something here you want to share.

God Bless