Thursday, October 8, 2015

Changes to the ending of the auction...

We now have over 500 up for bid in our auction!

It took some very long days this week getting that all sorted, organized, and book info found and posted with starting bids. The hard work is worth it and we are hoping that all this pre-auction prep will help the ending go smoother. I am still working on moving the last 100 books into the correct groups but hope to have that finished tomorrow.

We also made another change. The auction will end on three different days and this picture explains that:

As each day ends, I will be tagging the winners and then moving all the books in the completed groups to a different album to get them out of the way so there will be less scrolling to get to the books that are still active. 

On October 17th, I will add up all the totals and contact all the winners with payment info and to get shipping information. 

We need $2500 for the last of our dossier fees and another $100 for Gideon's passport so that is our goal for this auction.

Please share the link! Over 500 books in our auction to benefit our adoption of older siblings from EE! Low starting bids!

Something for everyone, feel free to share. Flat $5 shipping to anywhere in the US.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Auction Starts today!

Exciting news!
Our dossier is being submitted tomorrow to the MOJ and should be reviewed at next week's IAC meeting. Usually you get 'Verbal Approval/Referral" at the IAC meeting and then approximately 3 weeks later your dossier gets signed by the MOJ and that is called the 'Written referral". Travel dates for trip 1 are usually issued when the written referral is received.

Getting much closer! Now to raise the last of our dossier fees! 
All proceeds from our book auction be be going to cover the $2500 needed now!

I'm still working on adding the last of the book info, starting bids and moving over 100 more books into the album but hopefully will have that all done today. Keep checking back and feel free to share !

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Changing Lives Auction #2

We have already begun working on preparing for our second Changing Lives Auction.
This one will start November 1st and end November 12th at 11PM EST.

One change this time is that we wanted to find a way to help others so there will be three families, bringing home a total of 4 children from the same EE country, that will benefit from this auction. 

The Collicott family is working to bring home a 5 1/2 year old boy that only weighs 11 pounds. Christopher needs medical intervention once home due to the severe malnourishment he suffered all his life in an orphanage.

The Horton family is adopting Hope, a tiny seven year old, ten pound girl who desperately needs a family.

We will be raising the funds for our first trip and helping to raise the funds for the pickup trips for the other two families. 

We look forward to continue sharing more about all the wonderful businesses and organizations that are making a difference in the world!

Sweet picture

Esther finally reached 36lbs! 
She has been home 8 1/2 months. She's a happy girl! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015


At the end of last week, our dossier was sent to be authenticated. We should be hearing soon when it will be submitted to wait for our referral. That usually comes in two steps, typically 3 weeks apart: verbal (approval at an IAC meeting) and then written (once it is signed off on by the Minister of Justice). We will receive our travel dates at the same time as our written approval. Best estimate of travel dates for trip 1 is early to mid-December.


A week ago, we still needed $9k for fees due for our adoption so our dossier could be submitted. $5k to our US agency and $4k to our foreign agency.

* We sent a $3k check to our US agency this past week, that was raised through a Spaghetti dinner and silent auction held at our church last weekend. We have an additional $1k heading to our US agency (from our PureCharity Fund), leaving us only needing $1k more to pay the last of our US agency fees!!

* After shipping costs and some manufacturing costs for a couple of the items in our auction were deducted from our total bids, we raised $2500 in our Changing Lives auction..and we are still waiting on about $300 of that from the auction so we can pay our foreign agency fees. That leaves us with only needing $1500 for the last of the foreign agency fee due now!!


With a combined $2500 needed *yesterday*, we have decided to move our book auction up much sooner than originally planned in order to hopefully bring in the last of that so there are no delays. 

* Our tentative book auction dates are October 7 - October 15th. I have a lot of work to do to get it ready in time. You can take a look through the books available here. They are very unorganized right now, and I still have to add the book info and starting bids, so please do not post any bids until it begins! We have over 400 books in our auction!

* Lastly, we are planning a very special Changing Lives auction #2 for November, with even more great items from businesses and organizations that help other causes. Plus this one will benefit, in addition to our family, two other families adopting children in desperate need to come home quickly. I will share more after our book auction is complete. We will be raising the funds for our first trip and the pickup trips for the other two families.


I could use prayer for endurance as I work to get all of this completed in the short timeline we have to work with. Prayer that we will be able to connect with businesses and organizations that will be willing to help. Prayers that many will be reached through our efforts to bring awareness of the many ways to help others and make a difference. Prayer for provision for our adoption. Jehovah-Jireh

Most of all that God will be glorified through it all! 

Thank you, friends!! <3

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Changing Lives Auction

We raised an amazing $3300 at our Spaghetti Dinner & Silent Auction event at our church!! We are amazed at the love and generosity shown towards our family to help bring the siblings home. Our event went very well and we are so thankful our church was willing to host it and help by providing the food and inviting everyone to come.


We have another $5k we need to raise this week so please take a look at our Changing Lives auction, which ends tomorrow at 11pm EST.

Album Link here:

Quick look here at the items up for bid:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Super Hero Cape & Mask Sets

Super Hero Cape & Mask Sets

We are taking preorders for the Super Hero Cape & Mask sets through Sept 30th!
Orders will be sent in on October 1st and will arrive within 7-10 days later.

Small (capes 1-29): $20 each
Medium (capes 1-15): $25 each
Large (capes 1-15): $30 each

Flat $5 shipping fee per order to the same address. No shipping fee if you are local.

For Height
Small (25 inch)
28 inch
28—39 inch
Medium (35 inch)
28 inch
34—43 inch
Large (43 inch)
24 inch
55—71 inch
**the picture shows the large incorrectly as 45 inches long

These are all the capes shown in the picture:

1 - Superman (Blue on top & red underneath)
2 - Spiderman (red on top & black underneath)
3 - Batman (black on top & yellow underneath)
4 - Green Lantern (green on top & silver underneath)
5- Iron Man (red & yellow w/iron man face decal)
6 - Robin (red on top & green underneath)
7 - Captain America (blue on top & red underneath) 
8 - Flash (red on top & yellow underneath)
9 - Superman (RED on top & BLUE underneath)
10 - Batgirl (black on top & fuschia underneath)
11 - Supergirl (pink on top & silver underneath)
12 - Wonder Woman (red on top & blue underneath)
13 - Spidergirl (Purple on top & red underneath)
14 -  Hulk (purple & green w/friendly fist decal)
15- Thor (black & red w/mallet decal)
16- Frozen (Sky blue top & Silver underneath)
17-Incredibles (Red top & Black underneath)
18-Lion Shield (Blue on top & Red underneath)
19-Cross Shield (Navy on top & Green underneath)
20 - Crown-1 (Purple on top & Silver underneath)
21 - Crown-2 (Light green top & Purple underneath)
22 - Yoda (Fuchsia on top & Light green underneath)
23- Darth Vader (Black on top & Red underneath)
24- Chewbacca (Light green on top & Brown underneath)
25- Storm Trooper (red on top & White underneath)
26- TMNT-1 (Green top & Blue underneath)
27- TMNT-2 (Green top & Red underneath)
28 - TMNT-3 (Green top & Purple underneath)
29 - TMNT-4 (Green top & Orange underneath)

Capes are made of Satin and/or Polyester and come with a velcro enclosure for easy removal. Masks are made of double sided felt. * Mask styles may vary.

To order, leave a comment here and I will message you or else send an email to: with the capes & sizes you want and your mailing address. I will send you an invoice.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Spaghetti Dinner & Silent Auction Details

You are all invited to a Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit our adoption of an older sibling group, ages 9 & 11, from Eastern Europe! This is our 3rd special needs, international adoption in 3 years.

WHEN:    September 27, 2015 @ 12:30 PM
WHERE:   Tabernacle Baptist Church, 10640 Kings Highway, King George, VA 22485, in the Gym

AUCTION:  Items up for bid include tickets to Belvedere Plantation, gift cards to Funland in Central Park, tickets to Splitsville Lanes in Fredericksburg, movie & dinner gift card, tickets to the Children’s Museum of Richmond, a one night stay at the Belle Grove Plantation…and more!

Event page

**Donations will be accepted for the meal. Just choose an envelope and place your family's donation of $10, $25 or $50 inside.

Pictures of the silent auction gift baskets will be added this week!

Belle Grove Plantation
Splitsville Lanes
Belvedere Plantation
Central Park Funland
Children's Museum of Richmond

We are working hard to bring them home!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome Nowhere

Welcome Nowhere

I have not seen the full movie yet but wanted to share...

 “Welcome Nowhere” tells the true story of one community of Roma people (commonly known as Gypsies) living in Bulgaria. After being evicted from their homes, over 200 of them are forced to live in shantytowns without proper sanitation. Despite years of promises from the government for housing, their living conditions only get worse while members of the community struggle to survive with what little they have. Documenting their fight for new homes and featuring interviews with leading Roma Rights experts, “Welcome Nowhere” paints a detailed picture of one of Europe’s most controversial issues."

It's available on Amazon and Itunes to rent or buy. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015


**Thank you to everyone who responded to my question in the previous post. It was nice to hear from you and 'meet' some that I had not known read our blog. Comments are encouraging to keep writing. For now, we will keep it open unless something changes. When we do go private, as I know we will eventually, we will be sure to add those who would like to continue following along on our journey. It is hard to be open on here with the whole world potentially reading. **

Our USCIS appointment letters arrived on Aug 31st. We went in on the 4th, a little earlier than scheduled, to get those done. We are expecting to receive our approval letters any day now! That's the last piece of our dossier we are waiting on, and it also means we have a $9k fee due ASAP, and then travel expenses a month later. We are estimating to be traveling on trip 1 shortly after Thanksgiving.


Our RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) Challenge did not take off as we had hoped. We felt we needed to put the wonderful donations to the best use to raise the funds needed...and so we have switched it over to an auction instead. Those who donated during the time the challenge was open, will have a credit to use towards whatever they win during the auction.

We chose the name "Changing Lives" because the proceeds will be helping change the lives of two children, but also because the majority of the items in the auction were donated by businesses and organizations who have a policy of 'giving back' to help others, animals or the environment. We will be sharing more about these businesses and the causes they support on our event page and the auction blog here: Auction Blog

This auction will take place on the same Facebook page that our book auctions do, and will start on Sept 23 and end on Sept 30 at 11pp EST. If you have something you would like to donate and would be willing to ship, we would be so grateful to include it. Just leave a comment with your email so I can contact you (I won't publish your email).

Please join the event page and invite your friends here: Event Page
'Like' the auction page here: Auction Page
Take a look at the items up for auction (many more, plus descriptions being added): Changing Lives Auction Album


A friend is hosting a Clever Container Fundraiser for us which ends Sept 25th. 
The FB event page is here: Clever Container Event Page

Here's is the order page. Just choose "Sutton Family Adoption" at checkout so the proceeds go to us.


Super Hero Capes

We are planning on doing another round of the Super Hero Capes towards the end of this month and into the first week of October to be sure they arrive in time for the next holiday. I will have the exact dates as soon as I figure out the details. We may have more options available this time as well. 


Spaghetti Lunch & Silent Auction
(This is a local event on Sept 27th at our church)

The planning for this has been a little slower. We finalized all the decorating ideas and gathered the supplies for them this weekend. The food is being provided and we have some of the gift baskets for the silent auction ready. I'm hoping to get kitchen help lined up tomorrow and the last of the auction items for it this week. We have never done one of these before and honestly, it makes me nervous not knowing what to expect and leading an event I would rather be behind the scenes on. Praying for a successful outcome and good fellowship as we are new to this church!


Book Auction

We are still collecting books for our next book auction! If you have any books for all ages (family friendly and in very good to new condition only, please) that you would like to send, we would be happy to add them! 

The book auction will begin on Oct 25th and end on November 3rd at 11pm EST.

We have already begun adding books to the Book Auction Album but I still have to organize them and all the book info to each one. 


We have some other ideas (handmade items) that we have been working on as well, just can't find the time to get them done. Depending on our funding needs, we may try to get a craft table at a local craft fair in Nov.


Are you tired reading all that? 

That's how I feel right now!

We did complete 5 adoption grant applications last month and have another 8 ready to mail out as soon as we receive the reference letter from our pastor. Hoping that will be ready tomorrow so we can get the last of these grant applications into the mail this week.  

Would appreciate prayer that at least one of these will come through to help ease the pressure of the fees due soon. 

We are working hard to get them home!

I ran across an old news article with a picture of some children sitting on steps at our children's former orphanage. I was thrilled to recognize one of the children as our new daughter. The picture was taken 4 years ago! We may never get baby pictures of them but I was so thankful to have this one. She is so pretty and has the biggest smile!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I am considering putting this blog on private. I'm not sure who actually reads here.

Please let me know if you read. Maybe I can do an invite to the private blog instead of shutting it down completely?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The RAOK Challenge Giveaway

We have been VERY busy this past week planning for our next big fundraiser. 

I won't share everything will need to head over to our RAOK blog to learn what that is, how it works and to see all the great prizes (more being added) that you could win! 

We have created a challenge to help raise the funds needed for the next phase of our adoption. We hope that through this we can encourage others to make a difference in the world by showing kindness to those around them.

We need your help to make this a success!

Please share the blog link, join the event on FB and follow along on instagram!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Time for an update!

Time for an update!

On August 11th, I mailed our i800a application to USCIS. We received the text/email on August 18th saying it was received and on the 22nd, we received the receipt letter in the mail showing we had paid the fee and that they had received our application. From following the timelines of other recent families, we most likely will receive our fingerprint letter by Sept 1st and our approval by Sept 18th. We plan on going in early to get our prints done. That is the last thing that is needed to complete our dossier!!

On August 11th, I also mailed our completed dossier (minus the i800a clearance) directly to our NGO in EE. That arrived there on August 18th as well. They have begun translating it so that once our final document arrives, it will be ready to be submitted quickly. It's likely that we could be submitted by October 5th, awaiting our verbal and then written referral and travel dates! Typically you travel 4-6 weeks after submission putting travel in November still possible, as long as there are no delays, and the IAC meets regularly.


We just received the invoice for the rest of our placing agency fees ($5k), due when our dossier is complete, which may be as soon as 3 weeks from now...trying not to panic.

We also have our next set of program fees ($4k) due shortly after. We *think* we have a little more time to pay those, possibly until we receive our referral, which is usually only 1-2 weeks after submitting.

We thought we would have more time, which is why our next two big fundraisers were scheduled further out. We can not move those up because we are still collecting books for the book auction and the church gym is already booked every weekend between now and Sept 27th, when our event is scheduled. 

* We are moving forward in faith that the funds will be there when needed. We have completed 12 grant applications this past week, and have a handful more we can't do until after trip 1. 

* A sweet friend is holding a yard sale over Labor Day weekend to help with our adoption as well as another family's. Pray they have many generous shoppers!

* Our first round of the Super Hero cape & mask sets ends August 25th. Still time to get your order in! We plan on doing another round in Sept and November. We have 35 sets pre-ordered so far and our goal for this round was 50. These would make great gifts!
* I'm hoping to have some of our craft projects completed next week to share for our next fundraiser. I haven't had time to sit down and work on them, as they are time consuming, with everything else that is going on right now. 

* We are thick in the planning of our Spaghetti *Lunch* & Silent Auction. It is scheduled to start at noon on September 27th at Tabernacle Baptist Church in King George, VA. We have an event page on FB where we will be posting updates as we get closer, and I will share them here as well. Some of the items are coming in already for the silent auction part. I'm excited about what we have so far and hope we will be able to gather enough to fill the rest of the baskets we have planned. We plan on visiting many local businesses this week to see if they would like to donate an item or sponsor a table. Please pray that this will be a success! 

We are hoping to get our home school started with some of our children this week and the rest the following week. Esther and Ben are both staying home this semester and I will be teaching them together, along with their younger brothers. My goal is to help Esther master all the basic preschool concepts and for Ben to master the basic preschool and kindergarten concepts as he still has gaps. I will be working on very hard on comprehension and Wh questions with Ben in hopes that it will help with his speech challenges. Esther's speech and comprehension is progressing much quicker than his has so I think she will just soak up everything I will be doing in school with her this year. 
Here are a couple pictures of Esther this week...she wakes up with her hair in her face like this every day (we are working on training it to stay back), and the back usually has a rats nest from her rocking and rolling in bed :) Fortunately she likes us to do her hair and asks for a pony right away. I have noticed her hair is getting softer since she came home. 

She's looking older!

We are working on putting some weight on our little lady. She lost a tiny bit last month now that she's so active and it's a big effort to get her to eat sometimes so we are increasing healthy fats and calories to pack more into what she does eat. Esther and Ben are complete opposites when it comes to eating. Every meal I have to remind her to eat after each bite and Ben has to be told to slow down every bite. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Superhero Cape & Mask Sets Ordering Post

Here is an easy way to order our superhero cape/mask sets!

**The current order closes on August 25th. Orders will be received within two weeks after that.** 

Superhero Capes and Masks
* $20 per set plus a flat $5 shipping per order

* Capes are 25" long and made of high quality satin and are double sided. They have a Velcro closure at the neck.
* Masks are made of premium quality double sided felt
* Would best fit 2-10yos depending on their size
* There are 16 styles available:Superman (Blue Cape and Red Cape), Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Spidergirl and Frozen (Elsa)
* Masks can be ordered on their own for $6 each plus shipping; and capes can be ordered alone for $15 plus shipping (just send us a message or comment so we can do a custom invoice)

Sets 1-8

Sets 9-16

Frozen (Elsa)

Ways you can help!

Some things I need help with and easy ways you can help! 

We have two big events coming up...A spaghetti dinner and silent auction in September and another book auction in October. 

Some things we are needing:
1. Used books for all ages in very good to new condition. We can cover media shipping to get them to us. If your church group, youth group, home school group or scout group would love a service project, they could hold a book drive to gather books to send us to help bring our children home!**
2. Unused giftcards in any amount we could use them!
3. If any of you are (or know someone who is) a representative for one of the home party type companies above (or one not listed as I know I left many out) and would like to help by donating a giftcard or product, we would LOVE to have it! We are hoping to have some themed baskets in our silent auction and need things we can add to them.
Thank you so much!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dossier *almost* complete...and Superhero Cape Fundraiser!

Today we are celebrating this accomplishment!! 
A huge step closer to our children coming home!
Tomorrow I am mailing all of this to EE to begin translation. 
I'm also mailing out our I800a form to USCIS. 
This is the last thing we are waiting on in order to submit our dossier 
and await our referral and travel dates. 

Well, that and another $8,000!

To celebrate, we are launching our newest fundraiser!

Superhero Capes and Masks
* $20 each plus a flat $5 shipping per order


* Capes are made of high quality satin and are double sided. They have a Velcro closure at the neck.
* Masks are made of premium quality double sided felt
* One size fits all (children)
* There are 16 styles available:Superman (Blue Cape and Red Cape), Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Spidergirl and Frozen (Elsa)

We will be taking pre-orders from now through August 25th. You will receive your order with two weeks after that.
To order, just let me know which capes and how many you want. I will send you an invoice for your total and your capes will be shipped directly to you.