Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We can not pretend...

"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows what we know and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12
Image found here
There are over 147 million orphans in the world.

And now you know...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Awesome Adoption Progress Day in the life of the Rougeux family!

January 27th was an awesome day in the Rougeux household!! We got 2 pieces of exciting news in one day and I wanted to share the exciting news with you all here!!

Well it all started when I went to check the mail in the afternoon and found an envelope with this label on the front...

And in case you don't know what's in that envelope, let me explain...

As you may remember from a previous post, we had filed with immigration in early December and had completed our biometric fingerprinting with them on December 27th. So, for the past month we've been eagerly checking the mail every day for THIS piece of paper. It's a form called the I-171H and it's our approval from immigration to bring a child to the US for the purpose of adoption! And now that we've got this little piece of paper in our hands...


Of course, it happened on a Friday and so we should get more details on Monday!

Excited doesn't even begin to explain it!! Matthew and I were talking last night and I was telling him that the closest thing I can relate this feeling to was the anticipation I had when I was pregnant with Ainsley!! That feeling of "Omigoodness-this-is-really-going-to-happen-and-I'm-really-a-mom" feeling. Only instead it's an "Omigoodness-this-is-really-going-to-happen-and-we're-going-to-be-parents-to-three-kids" feeling!

However, we are also freaking out. As you can see by the little fundraising thermometer on the right sidebar we haven't even come close to what we need for our funds for the adoption. I've been working quite a bit of overtime, but unfortunately, one of our cars needed new tires and new brakes, so most of what I've made thusfar got redirected towards that. We are optimistic and excited though. We plan to put our entire tax refund towards our costs, and I will continue to work overtime to earn some money to put towards it. We are so grateful that God has provided different means by which we can earn money to put towards the costs.

So as exciting as it was that we got waitlisted, we got a cherry on top when we received an email from an awesome organization that comes beside adoptive families to help them through the process called Lifesong for Orphans stating that we now officially have established an account with them that will allow us to receive TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations to our adoption!!

Did you read that people?!?!


We understand that many people are uncomfortable writing checks directly to us, but now if you feel God leading you to donate towards our adoption you can do it directly to our Lifesong account and receive a tax-deduction for your donations!! Lifesong will then disperse the funds as we need them, directly to whomever needs to be paid for the eligible expenses.

There are several ways that you can donate through Lifesong.

(1) You can donate online from a credit or debit card via PayPal. This is a great option that is easy to do from home. Just click on THIS LINK and you will be taken to Lifesong's Donate page. When you scroll down the page a bit you will see this:
To make a one-time donation you can click that orange "Donate" button.However, this next step is VERY IMPORTANT... when you click the orange "Donate" button a new page will open. On that page you will see a light grey window at the top that has 2 areas in which you can type. Above the first, longer area, it says "purpose". In that window you MUST designate the donation towards us. Otherwise the donation just goes to the Lifesong organization itself. To designate your donation to us you must type: "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" Then above the second small area it says "amount" and that is simply where you put how much you would like for your donation to be. Here's an example:
(2) The second way you can donate to our account is by giving monthly donations to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account. You can choose that option on this page. This may be a good option for many people who may want to take an active roll in our adoption, but don't have the ability to give a one-time gift. However, you might not notice $10 or $25 dollars deducted from your bank account each month. You have the option to give $10, $25, $50, $100, or $250 per month via this account. Once again, when choosing this option you MUST type "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" in the window that says "gift preference" for the donation to be applied to our adoption.
(3) The final way you can donate to our adoption through Lifesong is through a good ol' fashioned check sent via snail mail. Please take note: The check itself MUST be made out to "Lifesong for Orphans". On the MEMO LINE of your check you MUST write "Preference: Rougeux #2607 adoption" for the funds to be designated for our adoption. Like this:

You can then send the check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Rougeux #2607 adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Needless to say, it was a good day and we are super-duper excited to finally feel like things are moving again after over a month of just waiting.

But now we know the REAL wait begins... the wait that we know is the hardest...

just waiting for a phone call...

waiting for an email....

waiting for pictures to come through our inbox of two sweet kiddos...

But wait we will...

because it's worth it...

because they are worth it....

because adoption is worth it all...

"God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sensory Play


Well I'm working on a Christmas post (I know it's January, but I give myself at least a month before I start feeling bad about it.... it's just me people, get used to it :) ) but for the life of me I can not find our Christmas pics on our computer, so I'll have to wait until Matthew gets home so he can tell me where he hid them! So for now I'll show you a little project I did for Ainsley earlier this week.

Many of you know I'm really interested in homeschooling. I'm still not positive that it's what we're going to do with our kids, but my frustration with traditional schooling can basically be summed up in the cartoon below and this quote by Einstein:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability
to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
-Albert Einstein

I was raised in public schools and I have several friends who are teachers who are some of the smartest, most amazing people I know. I'm just not sure I necessarily think that putting 30 kids who all have different strengths, weaknesses, talents and interests into a room and expecting them to all learn the same way is the best way to teach kids to learn.

So I've been casually looking into some different philsophies of learning (which can be applied in any setting by the way, not just homeschooling). I'm a big fan of Classical learning, but there isn't any Classical curriculum for preschool age that I can find. However, Montessori does have quite a bit of recommendations for toddler age. Sensory education is something that is highly recommended by them so I decided to give it a try. So the other morning I made Ainsley a rice sensory box and some homemade playdough (it's just made from normal kitchen ingredients, and since she's so young I would prefer for her to eat something that was made in my kitchen, not in a factory...). You can find a TON of these recipies and ideas on Pinterest, so I'll spare you a step by step here, even though I did take some pictures along the way. However, if any of you are just dying to see how I did it, let me know and I'll post it.

Can I just tell you that these 2 activites have provided HOURS of play over the past several days. Ainsley had her friend Koral over earlier this week and she loved it so much that her mom, Lisa, sent me a text saying she was making one for her daughter as well!! Seriously people... tons of fun! Here's some pics of Ainsley enjoying it!

They were both a huge hit! The play dough has a really nice soft consistency and hasn't dried out at all yet and although the rice is a little messy, it's actually not too bad... She's actually playing with it right now! So take the hour of time and $15 and go make your kiddos these super great, creative and fun activities!! Make it even more fun and allow them to help you make them! It's a great activity for these cold, rainy, wintery days!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Adoption Update...

Well we are DONE!!

Well, for right now anyways.

We have done all we have to do before being waitlisted.

On Christmas Eve I checked the mailbox, even though I was relatively certain that mail wasn't delivered on Christmas Eve. Apparently I was wrong. In our mail box was correspondence from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) giving us our appointment for our biometrics fingerprinting, for January 17th! Merry Christmas to us, indeed!

As you may remember from my previous post you don't actually have to go ON your appointment date/time, but you do have to have the paper stating you actually have an appointment to get fingerprinted.Obviously, the USCIS branch was closed the next day, which was Christmas day and happened to fall on a Sunday, and on Monday as well, since that was the day the federal government set aside to "observe" Christmas. So on Tuesday morning we were on our way.

It was impressively quick. We were in and out in less than 30 minutes. The people were very nice. And now all we do is wait to receive our final approval from USCIS and we will be WAITLISTED!

So here we are, waiting.... Technically we are waiting to wait...

Oh my, I seem to be catching a theme here...

Until next time...