Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Win an iPod Touch

With a BIG shopping weekend coming up and Christmas just 1 month away, I came across a great fundraiser for you to check out where you could win an iPod Touch and for such a GREAT cause!  This is another family adopting from Ethiopia and to enter to win is so easy.  Just check it out and  Enter The Raffle HERE!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home Study Done-Bring on the Next Step!

This weekend was once again a BIG weekend....seems like we haven't had a normal weekend in quite a while!  We had our home study visit and it went just GREAT, well at least I think it did, we'll see :)   Kimberly, our social worker is so sweet and is adopted herself, as well as has 2 adopted children from Korea and one on the way, still in Korea so as she is doing home studies for other families like us, she is working on her own child's adoption as well.  The one room I couldn't get back to normal shape was the spare room because it was filled with the t-shirts that you all bought but it turned out to be good because she got to see our fundraiser at work and ended up taking a shirt home herself. 

 I just love to think about all the people around this country wearing our shirts, seriously from Washington to Florida and from Minnesota to Mississippi I am shipping all over the place and it makes me so excited.  We had an awesome response to buy the leftover shirts we had and within hours, they were GONE!  So as we do not have any more left, we will be making them again and maybe even before Christmas so I will let you know when we do.  Next time around we will be making them ourselves and may change it up a bit...different color shirts and most likely will be long-sleeve for the colder months to come.  So, thank you again for everyone's support, it means so much to us and keeps us going!  So the shirts are packed up and ready to be shipped...you should be getting yours soon and we hope you love them!

Another exciting thing about this weekend was today, we are in a study at church called "Chazown" and tonight found out what our spiritual gifts and core values are and then placed them along with our past experiences to develop our "Vision" or "Chazown" in life.  I can't say I was surprised in the least at what my past, core values and spiritual gifts led to...hospitality, compassion, selflessness, respect, serving/giving, and encouragement to name a few and all leading to where we are in our life/adoption journey as we speak.  Another couple in our Life Group is going alongside Jason and I in developing our adoption/orphan ministry at our church to bring attention to the need here in our little town with hopes to expand beyond and reach out wherever we can.  We are close to having a name, mission statement, schedule of events and date of our first meeting and within the next week we should have all the information ready to share...it is SOOOO exciting we can't wait to share with you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Great Giveaway for just $5.00

So as I am returning emails from other adoption moms I came across someone's blog that had another blog linked to it trying to spread the word about a fundraiser that is just awesome!  I just love how we all can help out in bringing children home to their forever families just by spreading the word and often contributing just a little bit.  

The Rooney Family is hosting a giveaway for an adorable custom made doll by one of their friends.  The winner of the doll gets to order the doll according to requested skin tone, hair, and initial.  I just love them and for a small $5.00 donation and a post to your blog (or Facebook I would assume would be okay too) you can be entered to win as well. 
You can check out the  Etsy Shop where these dolls come from and see how adorable they are and that they are valued at over $50.  I did my part, now go and do yours and you may win...I hope I do!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4th Round of T-Shirts Are In!

 Thank You to everyone who ordered a shirt from our adoption fundraiser or spread the word for us!  We raised over $500 this round so Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!  We did order a few extras if anyone is interested.  Just let me know.  We currently have in the women's tee (as seen below) 1- Medium, 
1- Large, and 2- XL's (they run 1 size small) for $25 each.  In the men's we have 2- Larges and 2- XLs (they run true to size) for $20 each.  First come, first serve :)

I will be getting everyone's sent out this weekend once I get them all wrapped up pretty and packaged so you should be getting them soon!  I would love it if you would take a picture of yourself wearing it when you get it because I am working on a project for our future child's room to incorporate everyone who has helped bring him or her home! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Weekend!!!

We had such a wonderful weekend with our good friends The Helms coming in from TX to visit and celebrate our baby Jalen's 2nd birthday!
Jalen and Jude had such a fun time together, this was the first time they actually got to play as Jalen has always been too young to really "play".  Jalen is still talking about "Juuude!" all the time and misses him very much!  This is a picture of our boys and their beanies, such cute lil boys we have!
After a b-day party, dinner, good time visiting, church on Sun and lunch, the Helms drove home and we headed up to Norman, OK to meet with our social worker for our first visit.  She has 2 adopted children from Korea herself and one on the way, just waiting in Korea for her to travel to bring him home next year, makes me feel great to have her as she can 100% empathize with all we go through!  Our home study visit is going to be this coming Saturday!!!  we're coming along and hope to get our dossier sent in before the year ends!  We also were meeting up with another ET adoptive family, The Lincks that I had done some paintings for.  Here are 2 of the 3, I forgot to take a picture of the big one that went with them.  We are very excited to meet up again, it is always so nice to have other people to talk to that truly understand and get all of this!

We then headed back home to attend our Sun evening "Chazown" studies at church, we are learning each week how to find our vision and make it happen.  We're pretty set on what our vision is, not just to get through this adoption but to continue our lives with living purposefully and creating a voice for the millions of orphans out there.  We are heading up a group/ministry at our church and are involving other churches and I will talk more about that later but it is all very exciting  and when I look back on what my life was like 1 year ago compared to today, I can't even imagine it.  It's like trying to remember what life was like before having kids, just seems like it would have been so empty and filled with time that was spent doing nothing and now everything we do has a purpose and it feels so good.  I will never go back and promise to continue my life living with purpose the make this world maybe that more of a better place!

I would also like to plug my friend Lara's Giving Thanks Giveaway.  Go check it out and buy a slice of "pie" or a shirt and spread the word to win!  I have donated a custom canvas to her winner as well so if you like what you see above or what is posted on my Custom Canvas Website, then enter Lara's giveaway...it is for a GREAT cause!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Catching Up

Since last time I posted so much has been going on in the O'Neal house that I can hardly keep up.  So to make my mind feel a bit more at ease and get to cross something off my never ending list here is what has been going on over the past 2 weeks!
We sent in our $5,000 to Dillon for the first program fee and home study fee and now are just waiting on our social worker to contact us with a date for the home study which I am SO hoping to hear by tomorrow.

We finished our last round of t-shirt sales through Explosion Sportswear and should be receiving them soon so we can get them out to all of you who ordered.  To those of you who have asked about ordering after the link closed, we did order some extras so once we get them here and figured out I will announce what sizes we have and it will just be first come first serve.  This was our biggest order yet and we are so appreciative to everyone who ordered.  In the future we will be making our own t-shirts but probably won't start that task till after the holidays.  We also had a free T-shirt contest and my friend Kelly Jo won!

Today of course was Orphan Sunday but we are going to be hosting an event to celebrate it later this month.  We are meeting with one of our pastor's this week to get the plans set but are so excited as in the last couple months we have went from seemingly like an oddity in our small community for pursuing international adoption to feeling like we have become the "go-to" people to talk to about adoption or anything related to orphans and we couldn't be happier.  There is nothing more gratifying to me than to share education on something I am so passionate about.

My parents came down from Illinois last weekend and we got to take them to the OKC Zoo and then to the Queen of Sheba to experience wonderful Ethiopian cuisine.  They also got to meet Mimi, the owner and the most hospitable and friendly person around.  We also got to celebrate Jalen's birthday (part 1) and then take him trick-or-treating, it was a long busy weekend but we had so much fun!  Then last Monday we found out our house in Arizona finally (after 16 mths on the market for a short sale) sold and closed so we are now single home owners...YAY!!!!!!

 Now for our busy upcoming week.  Our angel Jalen will be turning 2 years old on Wednesday November 10th and next Sat, Nov 13th we are having his birthday party (part 2) and are so excited that The Helms Family will be joining us!  For those of you who don't know, Hilary and I have known each other since 5th grade (almost 20 years) and after 10 years of living across the country from one another and losing touch, we now live 2 hrs away and get to go through this crazy thing called adoption together.  It all started with a phone call back in March between us about the idea of adopting and now look it is really becoming a reality and has been a life-changing event for both of our families!  Can't wait to see ya Hil!