Friday, December 30, 2016

Fundraising Update!

As of 12/30/2016, we have raised about $6500 of our $40,000 goal. This means we are about 17% of the way to being fully funded.This week we have been working on filling out and sending in adoption grant and loan paperwork. We hope to be able to begin presenting to cases soon. 

We have 2 new fundraisers coming up.

1. 300 for $100 Campaign:

We are asking that 300 people give an average of $100 dollars. We realize that not everyone is able to give and not everyone is able to give $100 but we are asking you to pray that God blesses this campaign. We are also asking you to share this blog post! We will be releasing a graphic about this fundraiser in the next day or two. We would be forever grateful if you'd share the graphic on all social media sites. You never know who will feel led to be a part of our journey.


Best ways to give to the campaign:

1. AdoptTogether: We now have an active profile on AdoptTogether. Any donations made through AdoptTogether should be tax deductible. We receive roughly 95% of all donations made through them. Our profile link is adopttogether.org/drewanddelaney
You may also mail a check made payable to AdoptTogether with Andrew & Delaney Dunnam in the memo and on the envelope. Mail checks to:
251 W Central Ave. #278 Springboro, OH 45066

2. You can donate directly to us by mailing us a check. Email me for our address at delaneydunnam@gmail.com


Our Second new fundraiser will begin soon! We aren't quite ready to begin taking orders just yet, but we will be doing a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fundraiser for Valentines Day!

We are praying for God to show up big in these fundraising efforts. We know that God uses his people for his purposes. We are humbly on our knees before God, knowing that he will do great things through our faith in Him.

Thank you so much for your prayers and your support. No words could ever express our gratitude for your love for our family.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! We hope that you enjoy the holiday season with your families!
This weekend, 12/17/16, we received our APPROVED home study back from our home study agency! We were so excited because this meant that we could officially send off our grant applications and agency/lawyer applications. 



We also received word yesterday that we are active with one of the groups that we applied to! We hope to become active with the rest in early 2017!

Prayer Requests:
-Our family, We know that when God is at work Satan is right there too, and you guys, God is definitely at work in our adoption journey. Pray that we would continue to have discernment as we start seeing situations come in. 
-Our future birth mom/family. She could be making one of the hardest, selfless decisions of her life right now, and even though we don't know her by name at this point we want to lift her up in prayer. 
-Funds. Money is a strange thing to pray for and it is humbling to have to ask for prayer regarding this and humbling to ask for help. We know that God funds what he favors and He favors adoption. He favors life and loving others. 
-Pray for all the committees that will be reviewing our grant/loan applications in the coming months. Pray that they would see the families that need it most, and while that may not be us, we pray that the families that need it most would receive it. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hard week

This has been a hard week. Not in the adoption part of our lives, while things are moving slowly (hello holidays) the adoption process is still going good. In other ways though this week has been one of the more trying weeks I've (Delaney) had in a long time! I could use your prayers.

Now for the adoption update. There really isn't much to update on. We have submitted our agency applications. We are still waiting on our copies of the home study to come in the mail. Other than that, we will be at a stand still until January. We are still raising money and saving money so that we can begin presenting to birth mothers as soon as possible.

Fundraisers:
1. T-shirt fundraiser through Bonfire Funds
-We have rereleased our t-shirt fundraiser. They are the same tshirts as before in long sleeve, short sleeve, v-neck, and youth. The prices range from $20-$30. Last time we sold 26 shirts and raised $336 dollars. We would love to be able to do this again. The t-shirts are on sale until December 19th, 2016!




2. Baby Bottle Fundraiser
-We have baby bottles for people that want them. The goal is to fill the bottle with change. They are due back to us by December 31st, 2016


3. Etsy Shop
-We have opened an Etsy shop. There will be bows on alligator clips as well as bows on stretchy headbands for sale. All proceeds from the shop go towards our adoption expenses.



4. Puzzle Piece Fundraiser.
-We have puzzle pieces still for sale. Each piece is $20.


We need to raise/save approximately $15,000 to begin presenting to birth mothers. This is around half of our estimated budget. The other half will be due closer to when the baby will come. If we were to receive an immediate placement we would need to have all of the funds available. So far we have raised or saved around $3000 that is going towards this step of the process. We also have grant applications to mail in once receive our home study.

Prayer Requests:
-Us! The waiting is about to begin and I know we will need prayers through it.
-Our Future birth family! 
-The grant committees that will be seeing our applications.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Moving on!

We are finally moving on from the home study! The home study coordinator received our FBI clearances yesterday (12/6/15) two months after they were mailed in. We are waiting to receive our reports in the mail and then we will be able to submit all of our paperwork for our agencies. At that point we will officially be active!

Once we are active we will be able to present to birth mothers. To do this we need to have funds in place that way if we were to match we would be able to pay our fees to the agency or attorney. We are working to save money and raise money.

We have several fundraisers going right now if you'd like to partner with us to bring Baby D home!

1. T-shirt fundraiser through Bonfire Funds
-We have rereleased our t-shirt fundraiser. They are the same tshirts as before in long sleeve, short sleeve, v-neck, and youth. The prices range from $20-$30. Last time we sold 26 shirts and raised $336 dollars. We would love to be able to do this again. The t-shirts are on sale until December 19th, 2016!




2. Baby Bottle Fundraiser
-We have baby bottles for people that want them. The goal is to fill the bottle with change. They are due back to us by December 31st, 2016


3. Etsy Shop
-We have opened an Etsy shop. There will be bows on alligator clips as well as bows on stretchy headbands for sale. All proceeds from the shop go towards our adoption expenses.



4. Puzzle Piece Fundraiser.
-We have puzzle pieces still for sale. Each piece is $20.


We have ordered our 20 profile books and filled out all of our agency/attorney applications. As soon as we receive our copies of our home study we will be able to send all of this in to become active. We need to raise approximately $15,000 to begin presenting to birth mothers. So far we have raised or saved around $2000 that are going towards this step of the process. We also have grant applications to mail in once receive our home study.

Prayer Requests:
-We need to receive our copies of our home study by Tuesday of next week to apply for a certain grant. This is a big prayer request.
-Pray that God would continue to provide the funds needed to move forward in this process. 
-Pray that we would receive at least one of the grants we are applying to. 
-Continue praying for our future baby and birth family.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Home Study: DONE!!

We had our home study visits this past weekend. Saturday afternoon we did the home tour and our interview together. Sunday we each had separate interviews. We loved our social worker! She answered any questions we had and just gave us a lot of useful information in general. The best part is she told us before she left that pending FBI clearance we are APPROVED! This means we have one more step down in the process. 

We also ordered our first copy of our profile book this week! We should receive that in the mail by Monday. If everything looks good on it, we will order 25 more of them to send in with our home study to the agencies. 

Our hope is that we can send everything in by the middle of December. This would allow us to focus on celebrating Christmas and New Years with our families without stressing about applications (although I'm sure there will be other stresses!). Once we send everything in we will be ready to start presenting to birth families. The only thing about presenting to a situation is that we either need to have the funds on hand or know where we could get them within 24 hours. Most agencies require you to pay a lump sum of money when you are matched and then again at placement. This means that we need to have an idea of where that money will come from!

We know we can't do this by ourselves so we want to thank everyone that has helped us prepare to bring Baby D home. We will be sending in grant applications as soon as we receive our official home study report. We will also be looking in to interest free adoption loans as a last resort. Also, keep an eye out for additional fundraisers we will have. Right now we have baby bottles that you can get from us to fill up with any spare change you have. The bottles will be due back to us by December 31st. Please be praying that we will receive some type of funding, whether it be grants or loans, to help us with the adoption costs.

We received our t-shirts from our Bonfire Funds T-shirt Fundraiser this week! We love them! We are thinking about releasing them again because we have had many people ask about them. Let me know if you'd be interested in this. 
 

Prayer Requests:
-We are still waiting on our FBI Clearances: please be in prayer for these to come in soon
-Please be in prayer for our discernment when picking out agencies to apply to
-Please be in prayer for God to continue to bless this adoption financially
-Please be in prayer for our future child and birth family

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Home Study week!

This week we have our home study visits! Please continue to pray that they go smoothly! Please also continue to pray that we receive our FBI Clearances back by Friday, November 18th as this would really help with the home study process.

This weekend we took new family pictures so that we could use them in our profile book. They turned out so good! I will make a page so that you can view more of them if you'd like! http://adventurestobabyd.blogspot.com/p/family-pictures-fall-2016.html



We have been busy reviewing all kinds of adoption information and are excited to move to the next step of the process. If our home study is approved (praying it will be!) the next step of the adoption requires us to have funds in place or have a plan of how to get the funds quickly (in some cases, within 24 hours). This step will be singing on with our agencies and then waiting on situations to present to. We can't present to a situation unless our funds are there or we have plan of how to get the funds quickly. We will be doing everything we can to get the funds, We have grant applications ready to submit as soon as we get our home study report back (assuming we are approved!). This being said, we can't do it without support from others and prayer!

We have been discussing a few fundraising ideas and the two that are in the works right now are opening an Etsy shop (more on this later) and a bottle fundraiser. The way the last one would work is we would purchase some bottles and hand them out to people. The goal would be to fill the bottle with change (or bills) and return it back to us! This is something that would even be fun for kids! Each person who fills a bottle and returns it to us will get their name on a puzzle piece!


We also plan to release our T-shirt fundraiser again sometime towards the end of the month or the beginning of December!

Prayer Requests:
-Our upcoming home study visits go smoothly
-funds to fall into place to be able to move forward in the process
-Our future birth family
-Our background checks to come back by November 18th!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We have dates for our home study!

We are officially set to have our home study visits on November 19th & 20th. We still don't have our FBI clearances in yet. They would ideally like to have these in before proceeding with the home visits but are going to try to make it work so that we don't run into having to do our home visits during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are praying for the FBI clearances to come in before next Friday November 18th!

We have officially mailed our application for our consultant group. We hope to be approved and began working with Christian Adoption Consultants.The link to their website is http://www.christianadoptionconsultants.com/ They use a multi-agency approach, meaning they will help us apply to multiple agencies in adoption friendly states that they have built relationships with. This will hopefully shorten our wait time as we will be able to present through several agencies instead of just one agency. This was a step in our adoption process that we were really excited to take.


We finished our t-shirt fundraiser. THANK YOU to everyone that purchased one! We sold 26 t-shirts and raised around $336 for our adoption. We can't wait to see everyone wear their shirts once they start arriving. We have also sold more puzzle pieces. We have sold 85 pieces of our puzzle. The puzzle has been hung up in our Nursery now as well. Our next goal is to raise/save half of our funds so that we can become an active family (roughly $15,000).

This weekend we bought a few baby items that were on clearance at various places. It made us so excited to make those few small purchases. We can't wait to have a baby in our home.

For my birthday my family got me a car seat and stroller.  We have had to put the car seat canopy on the car seat to keep our dog from sitting in the car seat! 

We officially have almost everything that would be absolutely necessary to bring a baby home if we got an urgent phone call. We just need a few small things like crib sheets, and a few more outfits and bottles. 

Prayer Requests:
-FBI Clearances to come back by next Friday November 18th
-Our home study visits to go smoothly
-Our CAC application to get there so we can begin that process
-God to continue to provide the funds we need to continue



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We have all of our nursery furniture and a new home study update!

It is National Adoption Awareness Month!

We bought our crib and it finally came in this week! We bought it online from Target. It is the Fisher-Price Newbury 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Vintage Gray. The link is http://www.target.com/p/fisher-price-newbury-4-in-1-convertible-crib-vintage-gray/-/a-50627424. We love the way it turned out in the nursery.
 
 

As you can see in the picture, We have finished putting together the puzzle. We have sold around 85 pieces now. 

We also still have our t-shirt fundraiser going on for 5 more days. We have sold 18 shirts. We would love for you to consider purchasing one. We would like to get a picture of you wearing your purchased shirt if you are not local so that we can make a collage of the pictures to frame and hang up. If you are local we want to get a picture of everyone in their shirts with the baby once we bring him/her home. 

Through the shirt collages and puzzle pieces, we hope to always be able to show our future child how many people love them and helped to bring them home. 

We are very close to hitting our goal to pay for our consultants. We needed around $2500 and we are about $300 short of that goal. The t-shirt fundraiser has raised around $200 of that as of today with 18 shirts having been purchased.





The only thing we are waiting on to do our home study visits is our background checks to come back. Our social worker will be traveling from about 6 hours away so we need those to come in before our interviews and home tour. If you would, please be praying for those to come in as soon as possible. We need to have our home study completed and the report back to us by December. 


Prayer Requests:
-Our background checks to come back ASAP
-Our home study to be completed by December
-Our future birth family and future child
-Everyone that is in the adoption process right now. We became a part of this community when we announced our adoption and it truly is a community that cares for each other. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blessings upon Blessings

We spoke with our home study case worker this week. We are waiting on our background checks to come back then we will be able to schedule our home visits. We have been busy preparing our house for this. This includes a lot of deep cleaning, organizing, and baby proofing. The paperwork that we requested prayers for last week is almost completed. We are just waiting to get 2 references back and our vet records. One of our puppies has a vet appointment tomorrow to get there semiannual shots and then we will be able to get the updated shot records.

This weekend we were blessed by several people who bought puzzle pieces and t-shirts. We are less than $500 from our December goal. This is a huge blessing because that means that after our home study is complete we will be able to sign on with our consultant group and start filling out our agency paperwork. This is such a big deal because we are looking at applying for several adoption grants that require a completed home study. They also ask about our agencies, so this will allow us to completely fill out the application and have a better chance at getting the grants. We are so so thankful for everyone that has helped us get to this point! Every little bit makes a huge difference.

We still have our puzzle fundraiser going on. We have sold around 70 pieces. They are $20 per piece and when a piece is purchased the name of the purchaser goes on the back of the piece. We plan to frame the puzzle and hang it in the nursery so that our baby will always be able to see how many people helped to bring them home. See more about this under the puzzle fundraiser tab. https://www.youcaring.com/dunnam-family-653804



We have sold 11 T-shirts!! This is awesome! We would like for everyone that is local that bought a t-shirt to take a picture with us and our future baby when we bring him/her home. We would like everyone that isn't local to send us a picture of you wearing your shirt so that we can create a collage. This fundraiser still has 12 days left if you would like to purchase a shirt. There are 4 different options of the t-shirts. See more about this under the T-shirt fundraiser tab. https://www.bonfire.com/dunnam-adoption/


Prayer Requests:
-The home study process to go smoothly and be completed by December 1st (This will be a difficult time frame so prayers for this would be so appreciated)
-Our grant applications to make it to the top of the list once completed
-Our future birth family and guidance for them in there decision making- They could be making some big decisions now about the baby, or it could be months before the baby exists, but we want to continue to keep them in our prayers. God knows who they are even if we don't yet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crazy Week

This has been a crazy week in our adoption journey. We received our phase 2 packet in the mail on Saturday. This consists of medical forms for our doctors to fill out, financial statements, references, insurance papers to fill out, lists of what all we need to have copies of, and a list of things the social worker will check in our house when she visits. Monday we were told they were having a hard time finding a social worker to complete our home study in our area. They were able to find one that can do our visits the beginning of November. She will be traveling and completing our visits in back to back days. Because of this we had to pay an extra fee for traveling expenses. That gives us roughly two week to get our forms all completed and back to us as well as our house baby proofed and completely ready for the home study. 

 

We have released our T-shirt fundraiser in hopes to be able to still pay our consulting fee in the beginning of December after unexpected fees this week. We are about $1500 short on being able to pay our consulting fee now. We ask that you join us in prayer that God would continue to provide these funds. 

Our t-shirt fundraiser is through Bonfire Funds. This company prints and ships all the shirts that we sell and we get a profit from each shirt. We created the design and set our goal of how many we would like to sell. The shirts design really speaks to our desires through the adoption process.  We are stepping out in faith and trusting God to provide. We are waiting with hope to be chosen by an expectant birth mother. We hope to love everyone throughout the process BIG. There are four different options to choose from when buying the shirts. There is a unisex t-shirt, you t-shirt, v-neck t-shirt, and a long sleeve t-shirt. The prices range from $20-$30. There is a page at the top titled T-shirt fundraiser through Bonfire Funds that has the link to purchase the shirts but in case you can't find it the link is https://www.bonfire.com/dunnam-adoption/. It will be open until November 6th, 2016. 

 

We want to thank each person that has supported us in some way, either through prayer or financial support, you are all helping us bring baby D home. 


Prayer Requests:
-Everyone we have to talk to and get to fill out papers would all be willing to get it done sometime in the next two weeks. 
-Funds: We are praying to have the funds to pay the consultant fee by December. 
-The home study process to go smoothly.
-Our future child and birth family.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A nursery for the future baby D

This past weekend, we spent our time preparing a nursery. Well what we have for it so far atleast! We have spoke about this briefly in previous posts. I plan on sharing all the photos of what we have done so far. The room we will be using for a nursery was originally a dark brown and light tan color. We wanted to paint it a gender neutral color that kept the room bright. We chose Breaktime by Sherwin Williams (SW6463). The pictures really don't do the color justice. It is a light mint color.
Breaktime (SW6463)



We also repainted the dresser and chest of drawers. They were originally two different color grays and the dresser had a black top and frame. We didn't like the black and wanted them to match so we decided to repaint them. We used Driftwood from Rethunk Junk by Laura to repaint them. After that I used a dark glaze to add some extra color in. I used Peacock Feather from Rethunk Junk by Laura on the handles and coated that with Pearl also from Rethunk Junk. I love the way the two pieces turned out for the nursery.
This is what they looked like when we bought them.


What the drawers looked like after the glaze and peacock feather handles


the finished dresser
I have already posted the next set of pictures but since it's part of the nursery I will post it here as well.  


I talked about this paint in my last post but seriously it is the best paint! It is so easy to use and is really hassle free.  

So last night we moved the painted furniture into the nursery and this is what it looks like right now. There are no decorations on the walls or a crib yet but this is what we have so far. 
 

 


 Last week we mailed our home study and should hear from our caseworker to set our interviews sometime this week. Now we are in major saving/fundraising mode. We have one really important goal and then a major goal that will happen right after that. We need about $2500 more in our savings account before we can sign on with our consultant group and start preparing our agency paperwork. Once we are signed on with our agencies we will have to have about 50% of our funds in our savings account (about 15k-20k) to be active. As soon as we are signed on with our agency and have our home study complete we will begin preparing grant applications. Active means that they can present our profiles to birth families for us to potentially be chosen. 


We still have our puzzle fundraiser going. We have sold about 15 pieces of our puzzle so there are still a lot remaining. To "adopt" a puzzle piece make a $20 donation (per piece) to our youcaring account or email me for our address. Any little bit will help us be able to bring baby D home. This will be an ongoing fundraiser until all the pieces are "adopted". Visit the puzzle fundraiser page for more information. http://adventurestobabyd.blogspot.com/p/puzzle-fundraiser.html

Our next fundraiser will be released soon. We plan for it to be a t-shirt fundraiser if everything works out. Keep an eye on the support page of the blog for more information. http://adventurestobabyd.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Prayer Requests:
-Please pray for the home study process. At the end of this process they will either qualify us to have a child in our home or not. Pray that we have peace throughout the process and that it goes quickly. 
-Pray that God would continue to provide the funds we need to move forward. 





Thursday, September 29, 2016

Weekly Update 9/29/16

First we want to say thank you for joining us on this journey and praying for us and our future child!

As of right now we are saving money so that we can sign on with our consultants and begin our home study. Those two things total about $4500.00 and we hope to have that by December so that we can send all of our paperwork in and be ready to begin the home study process in January. 

After we are home study ready, we will have to have half or more of our funds to be active. This means that Birthmoms can view our profile and potentially select our family. So we will have to have between $15,000 and $20,000 to become active. Our hope is to be active by the end of Spring. 

We have also began preparing a nursery. We had bought furniture for a nursery from people over the last year. We were able to get a dresser, and chest of drawers. We are in the process of refinishing the furniture and doing any repairs that it needed. 



Our next project is to refinish the dresser and chest of drawers. They currently look like the picture below but I want to refinish them is the same lighter gray color and get rid of the black top on the dresser. 

We used Rethunk Junk by Laura Paint. If you have any furniture you are wanting to redo use this paint!! It is so awesome! It doesn't require any sanding you just spray it down with their prep and wipe it down. On the end table I did two coats one was light and one was dark. The color is Peacock Feather. After that I used a cotton tinted glaze on top and then put tuff top on the top to add the shine and protect it. I am planning to use Driftwood on the dresser and chest of drawers and will post pictures after I finish it. 

Prayer Requests:
-Pray that God would continue to provide the funds that are needed. Over the last week or so we have been given some really cool opportunities and news that will provide some extra income. We have also sold several puzzle pieces from our first fundraiser. (see the puzzle fundraiser tab to view the details)
-Pray for our future Birth mother/family. Pray that she would feel peace in her decision making.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

One week later!

UPDATE!
  • We have officially received our packet for our home study in the mail! We have a lot of paperwork to fill out and a lot of fingerprint cards to get done but then we will officially be ready to begin our home study. The purpose of the home study is to educate, evaluate and prepare us for adoption. This process consists of background checks, health evaluations, paperwork, home visits, interviews, and collecting references.
  • We have also began contacting the two consultant groups that we are interested in working with. A consultant group takes a multi-agency approach which will significantly reduce our wait time. When you sign on with one agency your profile is presented through just that agency but by using a consultant our profile is sent to multiple agencies and could be presented on cases through all of them. The typical wait time is 4-10 months vs years.
  • As of right now we are saving money and looking at different ways that we could fundraise. Adoption is expensive. We have home study fees, background check fees, lawyer fees, agency fees, consultant fees, medical expenses, post placement fees, and travel fees that all have to be paid for in the coming months.  After our home study is complete we will begin applying for grants and having other fundraisers.  
  • The main question we have been asked is how much the process will cost. The average adoption is typically somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000. Our adoption will more than likely be between $30,000 & $40,000.We are fundraising because to be honest, we just don’t have the money and if we waited until we saved the money, it would be years before we were ready! When we started talking about our adoption journey, we were very intimidated by how much we were going to spend. We talked about the cost, thought about it and prayed about it, and felt a peace about moving forward with our adoption regardless of the high expense. We knew from the beginning that God was calling us to adoption and that he was going to provide the money for us to bring our baby home!
  •  The other question we have received the most is about where our baby will come from? In short, we don't know! We know it will be within the United States. It will also be within a state that has adoption friendly laws (meaning that the birth family will sign surrenders within 72 hours of birth that are irrevocable).
 If there are any other questions about our process that you'd like to ask please feel free and we will try to answer them.  

Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for peace of mind about the home study process and gathering the funds.
  • Pray for our future birth family. Our baby could be being formed right now. Pray that God would give the birth mom peace about the decisions she will be/is making.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Begininning


Over the last year we began talking and praying about how we would choose to grow our family. God laid adoption on our hearts before we got married and we knew it was something we would want to do. There are several different ways to go about adoption: foster-to-adopt, adoption through an agency, private adoption through word of mouth, and international adoption are a few of them. We looked into and prayed about most of the options and while they are all wonderful, we feel like domestic infant adoption through an agency is what we are being lead to do. There are many reasons why we chose this and stories about how God has confirmed that that decision is where we are supposed to be right now.

One of our strongest desires through this process is to be able to have an avenue to share Christ with people. Adoption is a part of God's word and we pray that the opportunity will come up for us to be able to get to know the birth family/birth mother of our future child and share Christ's love with them. We want them to know how much God loves them. This birth family/birth mother chose life for her baby when the world is telling her that life is a choice and abortion is ok. 

We are still in the very early stages of this process. Right now, we are just saving money for the adoption expenses and preparing our house for our home study. We hope to begin the home study process sometime early next year. Our desire is to have a baby in our home by late 2017, but we also want this to all be in God's timing. 

Please pray for us as we begin the process. There is a lot of fear that comes with adoption- fear of a failed adoption, fears of others reactions, and fears of not being able to save/fundraise the money to cover the expenses. We need prayers that fears won't stop us from doing what we feel called to do.  

We hope to keep this blog up to date with where we are in the process, prayer requests, and just any other information we may have.