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  • Ashley

A Few Updates

Happy 4th of July! It's hard to believe that this time next year, God willing, we will have our own little firecracker celebrating his or her first Independence Day! Wow! How crazy is that? Anyway, I just wanted to share a few updates for those of you who actually read this little blog of ours.

First...we have become very good at budgeting and trying to save money, especially at the grocery store every week. We are clipping coupons, going to three different stores if needed, and using two different apps (ibotta and checkout 51) where we can get rebates on items we buy. After using both apps for only four weeks, we have $36.25 in one account and $26.75 in the other account. We plan on cashing out the accounts and using them to put into our adoption savings account later on. We are letting them build up for now. Mom and I are trying to do more photography jobs and Vince is doing more DJing jobs. We have also been saving our change and putting it into a piggy bank...yes, a real one. It's really very cute! After three months, we have $70 saved by just collecting all the change we find. We just cashed it in and put it into our savings. Every penny counts...literally.

Second...we have been preparing the baby's room little by little. I shared some pics in the last post of some items we have purchased over the last several months. We have bought a couple more stuffed animals (a zebra and a giraffe of course) and two more outfits. We still have a long way to go, but we decided to use my old crib and dressers in order to save money. We are going to fix them up and update them a little, but overall, they are in great shape and are very safe and sturdy, so why not save hundreds of dollars and put that money into our savings to help bring him or her home. Vince thinks it is the coolest thing that our baby will be using the crib I used thirty-two years ago! We are still hoping to paint a mural on the wall, purchase a rug, and a few more items for the walls and of course toys. The nursery is definitely coming along though.

Third...while looking for my old crib and dressers in my parents' finished basement, we found a tub full of my old childhood picture books. The memories that flooded me while looking through those books was astounding! So of course, being an English teacher, I had to bring them home. It is never too early to start reading to your child! :) I then unpacked a tub of my own full of picture books I have been buying and collecting over the last several years to add to the assortment of older books. Needless to say, he or she already has a very large assortment of books. Now to build a bookshelf large enough to hold them.

Fourth...we ordered our puzzle for our first official fundraiser. We will have more on that later this week. Basically, we will be "selling" a piece of the puzzle for $5, and your name goes on the back of the piece. We put the puzzle together and hang it in our child's room, so that everyone that bought a piece is a part of his or her puzzle.

Fifth...we are starting the education training part of our homestudy in the next week or two as well as the actual homestudy. We are sending in the application this week so the social worker can start communicating with us. We hope to have the entire homestudy completed by the end of September.

Vince and I plan on being very open about the entire adoption process. It is extremely intimidating putting the details out there, but we feel that it is important for everyone to be able to follow along with us and to truly understand how the adoption process works. We owe $1500 for the first half of the homestudy, not including the online education we both have to take, the face to face training the state requires, and the fingerprints we both need to get done. We will also need to pay another $1500 to the homestudy agency after we get approved for the post placement visits and paperwork that needs to be done before we finalize the adoption in court six months after we return home from Japan. We also need to pay $8,750 to our adoption agency asap for our first payment. So by the end of September, we will need to have over $12,500 paid out. We have $5,000 in our savings and almost $500 donated so far. I'm explaining all this in order to say that we will be bombarding you all with several fundraisers coming soon. We apologize in advance for driving you all crazy! Please do not feel obligated to buy or donate. We are just doing several different types of fundraisers in order to reach different types of people. We thank each and every one of you for just reading our blog and/or sending positive thoughts and prayers our way. We expect nothing, but appreciate everything.

Well, I think that is all for now. I always think my post will be short and sweet, then it ends up being forever and a day long. :) Until next time!

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