Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Matters Most

Last week my sister contacted me and told me that she had found a picture of my brother and son from a wedding a few years back.  She asked if I wanted a copy.  I was thrilled that she found this picture and had her send it immediately. 

My brother passed away 6 years ago.  He was my brother just younger than I, and one of my very best friends.  I was really sad when he passed away.  It was one of the most difficult times in my life.

However, when I think of him now, his memory brings me so much joy.  I love that he was such a huge part of my life.  I love that he was able to be my brother.  I love that he was my friend.

If he were still alive right now, I am absolutely confident that he would be one of the most excited about our adoption news.  He would be checking in regularly to see how things were going.  He would be wanting to know more about the kids.  And he would think that adding three more kids into our family was the coolest thing ever! 

I am sad that he isn't here to experience this with us.  But his memory makes me realize how important family is.  It makes me remember how critical it is to develop and maintain good relationships during this life.  It makes me want to be the best mom I can possibly be for all of my kids. 

Because he was and IS my brother, I am completely changed.  His life and death have given me new perspective and inspired me to be a better person.

Here's to family! 

My brother with Micah. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yard/Bake Sale Results

Wow!  What a day!  We held our Benefit Yard/Bake Sale this morning and I think it was quite successful.  We made over $2000... for a Yard/Bake Sale?  Yep.  I'm pretty pleased!  Maybe beyond pleased!

It was so great to have so much support.  We had a number of people donate things to sell.  We had people bringing over tables for set-up.  We had many people donate baked goods (we had cakes, cookies, brownies, suckers and more!).  We had plenty of people that came looking for a bargain (no surprise), and a number of people that just wanted to contribute generously!

We had people donate more than we ever expected.  One lady came up to me and asked if I was the one adopting and then slipped me some money.  I thanked her without even looking at the bill.  After she walked away I looked down and noticed it was $100.  I immediately started crying.  And that wasn't the only incredibly generous donation... just the first of the day.  What amazing and generous people have been sent to me during this time!

Some people are generous with money, some people have given lots of their time, some people have kindly listened to me vent on my difficult days, some have sent me sweet notes or texts of encouragement or simple to let me know they are thinking about me.  I received messages today wishing us luck (from people that couldn't be in attendance) and phone calls and texts asking how things went.  Every single kindness means so much to me!

I intended to take pictures, but I've never been good at remembering to pull out a camera.  As a result, we got everything cleaned up and then remembered that we had no pictures.  Here are some shots that we got after everything was pretty much cleaned up and finished.

Benefit Yard/Bake Sale sign made by kids!
Micah sold lemonade.  Toria made the lemonade sign. 
Very end of yard sale... starting to clean up, last scavenging taking place.
Micah posing with some awesome yard sale finds!
Isabel posing.

Now it's time to go make a deposit.  Do you think I'll have time for a nap?


Friday, September 28, 2012

Coconut Cake, Gingersnaps, Cheesecake: OH MY!!!

Another quick post today:

Don't forget the Benefit Yard/Bake Sale tomorrow morning beginning at 8:00 am.  We will continue the party until everything is sold or the crowds die down.

Just as a little teaser... check out my amazing friend and her creations.  She will be bringing her beautiful and very tasty baked goods to the Bake Sale tomorrow.  It will be completely worth coming for!  Plus, she'll take orders.  She is a regular Martha Stewart (but even BETTER since she is my dear friend!)  :-)

Here are some pictures or her delicious work:

New York Style Cheesecake
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Gingersnaps
Coconut Cake
Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Plus!  She has crocheted an absolutely stunning blanket for the online auction we will be holding next month.  Stay tuned!



This friend of mine is incredibly talented.  You should check out her blog:

http://alipyper.blogspot.com/

And THEN bask in the glory that is Allison and sign up for her"Intro to Crochet" class!

http://harmonyprovo.com/classes/

See you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fundraising Event!!!

I'm crazy busy this week preparing for the benefit yard/bake sale this weekend as well as getting all our documents notaraized and apostilled so we can send off our dossier next week.

As a result, I'm taking just enough time out of my day to get onto the blog and post all the information for the yard/bake sale.  We've had a number of people donate items and we will also have some incredibly delicious goodies available!  Plus, my son Micah has been begging me to have a lemonade stand, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to say YES!

Hoping to see many of you on Saturday!  Spread the word!  Tell all your family and friends about it... we need it to be really successful (only 3 more days to meet our 3rd financial goal)!




Come Support Our
Benefit Yard/Bake Sale!

We’re raising money to help three
orphans from Ukraine leave their
life in an orphanage behind and
experience life with a family in the US.

They need your help!

All proceeds from the yard/bake sale
go toward adoption funds.

Join us Saturday morning 
(September 29, 2012)
beginning at 8:00 am.

11742 Current Creek Drive,
South Jordan, UT 84095

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sick To My Stomach!

About 7 years ago James and I were given some information about an adoption agency here in the states.  I called the agency and got all the information on starting the adoption process.  I created a notebook about our family complete with pictures and letters about why we wanted another child and why we would be a wonderful choice for a birth mother.  I spent a lot of time making sure everything was perfect.  I also called and got information on starting a home study.  All the preliminary paperwork was sent to us. 

After getting the family notebook completed, I was contacted by the agency.  They told me there was a baby that would be born soon and they wanted to present the birth mother with our information.  They asked if we had sent our things off.  I told them that everything was ready and I would get it mailed off right away.  I packaged everything and drove to the post office.  Then I sat in the post office parking lot.  For over an hour.  I felt completely sick and could NOT get myself to go inside and mail the package.  I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way when we had felt so many positive feelings about adopting.  It didn’t make sense to me, but I trusted my feelings and left the post office with the package sitting on the passenger seat.  I never called and set up a home study appointment and the family notebook has been in my file cabinet ever since.

Family Notebook
A couple of years later we were given information about foster care in Utah.  We were made aware that there was a huge need for foster parents within our state.  We talked to our kids about it, and they responded positively.  We knew we would be able to take care of additional children and provide a safe and loving home.  However, again… whenever I would go to move forward on fostering children it just didn’t feel right.  I couldn’t figure out why, but I trusted my feelings and postponed foster care.

Fast forward to August 2012… Although I had stopped thinking about adopting or fostering (I’d grown completely content with my life and my current family and figured we would likely never adopt), I opened an email about a hosting program and knew immediately that I needed to host very specific orphans.  There was no doubt that I needed to meet these kids, no feeling sick, no hesitation.  I simply moved forward.

We enjoyed almost 4 weeks with Albina and Alina and it became more and more evident that the Lord had directed us to THESE children.  It became clear that Albina, Alina and Maks are the children meant to join our family.  Everything led us to this moment and this purpose: to have Albina, Alina & Maks become OUR children… for me to become their Mama.

Our silly family
 Now that they are gone I’ve started to get sick to my stomach.  I get sick to my stomach because I don’t know if we’ll be able get the money necessary to adopt and bring these children home.  I get sick to my stomach because I am afraid that I will work really hard at fundraising, blogging and adoption paperwork and it just won’t be enough.  I get sick to my stomach because I am fearful that after yearning for these kids, MY kids, I will be short the money to get to Ukraine, take them in my arms and bring them safely home.  I get sick to my stomach because I don’t want to lose my kids… I don’t want to live without them.  I ache for the day that I will hear them call me Mama again.

We are coming to some pivotal points in our adoption process.  We are getting to the point where we either have the money to continue moving full speed ahead, or we put on the brakes.  I don’t like the idea of putting on the brakes.  Putting on the brakes means that I won’t be reunited with my kids very soon.  Putting on the brakes means stopping… and I don’t want to stop.  I want to RUN!

Not everyone is led to adopt children like we have been. We know that we were prepared to meet these kids and welcome them into our home.  We know that they are meant to join our family.  Our family can do a lot to bless the lives of these kids… but unfortunately, we can’t do everything.

We are looking for help.  We are looking for support.  We are looking for a community of people to come together and help us raise the funds necessary to bring these kids home.  Not in a week, or a month or a year… but NOW. 

We need help now! 

Every single day counts.  Each day we postpone affects our timeline tremendously!  The difference of one day could potentially postpone our reunion by weeks and even months.

And remember: Every dollar counts!  If everyone that had ever viewed this blog donated $10-$20 we would be more than finished with our fundraising.  It’s really that simple.  We just need a lot of people to donate a little… 

And I wouldn’t be getting sick to my stomach anymore. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

FUNDRAISING GIVE-AWAY!

Last week I was visiting with some neighbors.  Of course, the topic of conversation turned to our adoption adventure.  We started talking about fundraising.  How it was going, what I was planning in the future, how in the world I was going to get enough donations to reach our goals in just over a month (Ahhh… I just had a mini anxiety attack!)

These amazing friends offered to assist me in putting on a neighborhood benefit garage/bake sale this Saturday (September 29).  In a few days, I’ll post more information on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TruaxAdoptionAdventure?ref=ts) and on this blog… BUT if you live in Northern Utah, you should plan on coming and supporting our cause!  Or if you have items you would like to donate to our garage sale instead of taking them to DI, we would love to accept donations!  Regardless, you should come.  It will be fun!

What fundraising ideas have you seen or participated in that have been successful?  I need ideas (and unfortunately the “raffle” idea is a no-go in our wonderful state of Utah).  

I would love people to share ideas!  
I'm looking for fairly simple, draws the most attention, brings in the most money for the effort ideas!
In fact, for the best fundraising idea, we'll give away a $20 Chili's gift card!  
(We'll choose the best idea by Friday, September 28.)
Ready, set, SHARE!

I could always sell monster size zucchini… 
(fyi, if that's your fundraising idea, you likely won't win this give-away).  :-)

While I’ve got your attention, you should check out this awesome video that my dear friend created for our family.  She is amazing (and yes, she has a beautiful voice, but I’m talking amazing-ness that goes FAR beyond her voice!). 


"It costs a lot of money to adopt three children from a foreign country. I wanted to help my friends in their effort and decided that I would dedicate a song to them to help spread the word. I chose "Can't Help Falling In Love" because it not only fits falling in love in the romantic sense, it could also fit the love one might feel for a close friend or in this case a child that we see for the first time that we know is going to be a part of our family. Enjoy!"
 
*Check out more of her brilliance on her blog.  She is a great writer as well! http://cmi1800.blogspot.com/2012/09/cant-help-falling-in-love.html

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Help! Someone's Missing!

I've been having dreams lately.  About Albina, Alina and Maks.

I don't really remember too many details, but I wake up knowing they were in my dreams.

A few nights ago I had a dream that we were heading somewhere in the car.  All the seats were filled, so we started on our way.  Once we were on the road, I looked back and realized that Albina wasn't there!  I told James to hurry back to the house.  When we arrived at the house she was waiting patiently for us.  (And no, I don’t recall how we resolved the too few seatbelt issue).

Throughout the rest of the dream, everywhere we went she linked arms with me and stayed extra close by.  She wouldn't let me out of her sight.



When I told this dream to James a few days ago, Micah was in the car and overheard.

He said, "It's a sign Mom!  I think it means that you should keep Albina close to you.”

I think so too.

_________________________________________________________________

We invite you to consider how you can help save Albina, Alina & Maks.   
They need your help!   
Making a donation is easy.  
Every donation counts.  Every donation gets us closer to our goal.  
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina & Maks.

Thank you for joining us in our Adoption Adventure!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blogging vs Vlogging

You may have noticed that some things have been changed on our blog.

Or maybe not, which is okay.

Since I began this blog, I've added over 50 posts.  This means that when new people come to check out our story, it's a bit difficult to catch up without spending a lot of time!  To make it easier for people to get a quick overview, we added the "START HERE" tab.

You should check it out.

You should also check out the video that we made.  It's our first attempt at "vlogging".

Do you prefer reading posts or watching videos? 



_________________________________________________________________

We invite you to consider how you can help save Albina, Alina & Maks.   
They need your help!   
Making a donation is easy.  
Every donation counts.  Every donation gets us closer to our goal.  
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina & Maks.

Thank you for joining us in our Adoption Adventure!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm All Wound Up!

Preface:  Today's guest blogger is my daughter, Isabel .  She has such a fun personality that completely draws people in!  When Alina met her, there was an immediate connection... they became inseparable!  Thank you, Isabel!

_________________________________________________________________


While Albina and Alina were staying with us, Alina and I shared a room. On the first night I expected her to get home and be ready to pass out (she had been traveling for over 36 hours straight), but no. She unpacked all of her stuff, hanging up all her clothes, putting her little knick-knacks on the empty part of my desk, and then she gave me a small wind-up toy. I know that most 15 year olds wouldn’t be too thrilled to get a wind-up toy, but to me, it was the best thing I have ever received! We finally got to sleep really late that night, so I expected her to sleep in at LEAST until 10, but, yet again, I was wrong. She got up at around 7:30. We went downstairs and I showed her our garden in our backyard. She was fascinated with picking tomatoes! So much so, that every morning when she woke up she would shake me awake and pantomime ‘picking tomatoes’.  

Even though she woke up super early every morning, she still wanted to stay up late watching Danny Phantom or SpongeBob on my iPod. I was super tired, but that’s okay, because I like picking tomatoes and Danny Phantom and SpongeBob! 
Despite the language barrier, she was like the little sister I never had. 

Alina and Isabel

Then came the day that I had to go to Girl’s Camp. I was super sad that I had to leave Alina, but I was also super excited to spend lots of time with Albina during the last two days of camp. Emma and I took her zip-lining and then we played Uno. We didn’t really have tons of conversations (because of the language barrier) but we did have a few. She talked about her school in Ukraine, and about how she liked to sleep-in during the weekends. Even though this wasn’t an “I-got-to-look-inside-your-soul” kind of conversation, I felt like we were just talking, like old friends. It felt amazing! 


Isabel, Albina, Toria, Emma & Alina

By the time they left I had grown so used to them around that, even with the six original members of our family, our house felt empty. We don’t have Alina here singing “Party For Everybody”. And we don’t hear Dad telling Albina to eat more food every 5 seconds. 

Every day I walk into my room and I see the little wind-up toy that Alina gave to me on my desk next to her folder and I wind it up thinking about how quiet my room is now. I miss both of them so much.



I just want them back.

I want them to come home.

 
This is the song that Alina sung ALL THE TIME.  
It always made everyone laugh 
(except Albina, who would shake her head and say, "No, no, no!") 

_________________________________________________________________

We invite you to consider how you can help save Albina, Alina & Maks.   
They need your help!   
Making a donation is easy.  
Every donation counts.  Every donation gets us closer to our goal.  
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina & Maks.

Thank you for joining us in our Adoption Adventure!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We're Having a Baby?


Preface:  Today's guest blogger is my oldest daughter, Toria .  She is one of the most loving people I've ever met.  She also has one of the loudest and most distinct laughs ever.  ;-)  Thank you, Toria!

_________________________________________________________________

Once upon a time my mother told me about a dream she had.

This was quite a few years ago,
But I have an impeccable memory.
Plus it has remained in family conversation
Ever since the original sharing.

My mother’s dream was simple.
Nothing extraordinary.
Just two boys.
I don’t know if they were sitting or standing,
If they were in a room or on a cloud,
If they were talking to each other
Or if they were smiling,
But I do know that there were two.

 

This dream was told to me when it was just
The Truax Trio.
The Truax Girls.
Toria, Emma, and Isabel. 








Of course our childish minds jumped straight to:
“Mom are you going to have another baby?”
“Pleeeeeeease have another baby!”
“I want a brother so badly!”
“Well I want both a sister AND a brother!”
“Maybe you’ll have TWINS, Mom!”
And those are pretty accurate quotations.


Well, Mom did have another baby.
I got to cut the umbilical cord.
It was one of the best days of my life.
Also one of the scariest.





Mom had complications after Micah’s birth.
It was absolutely terrifying.
My nearly ten-year-old mind remembers every detail of that day
…Even the Berenstain Bears book that Mom’s friend read to Emma, Isabel and me
…While we waited and worried.

Even though Mom ended up being fine,
All of our dreams of another brother or sister were kind of shattered.
And we were mostly okay with that…
Because we had our mom
And we had Micah.

I continued to think about Mom’s dream, though.
And close to nine years later, Mom told me another story.
This was a story of a little boy, and his two older sisters
That just happened to look kind of like us. 



















 



Who knew that seeing a picture of these three siblings would progress
Into meeting Alina and Albina,
To liking Albina, Alina and what we knew of Maks,
And finally, to loving Albina, Alina and Maks.
Calling them my sisters and brother.
Because they are. 













And though they are far away,
We hope that soon they will be here.

And mom’s dream will be fulfilled.

This is the fortune Mom got the night before Albina & Alina arrived.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nerding Out

My kids are all really good at math.  They get it from James, not me.  They are nerds.

I’ll admit that I’m a nerd too.  I’m a nerd because I like Excel spreadsheets.  I mean, I REALLY like Excel spreadsheets (I’m a spreadsheet junkie).  I create spreadsheets for anything possible… groceries, menus, housecleaning, job charts, home school, scouts, schedules, etc. 

Do you want to know the reasons why I like spreadsheets? 
It’s simple.
Order.
You can put lots of information into boxes and everything stays lined up in columns and boxes.  It looks neat and tidy, and it’s easy to read.
Plus, there’s one additional advantage to the spreadsheet.
Insert the correct formula, and it does the math for me!  This is a huge plus!

Right now I have a spreadsheet with all the donations we’ve received.  It includes names, dates, amounts, totals, etc.  I like how it tracks everything for me in neat columns.  It’s a beautiful thing.

This morning (after getting my HIV and Syphilis Blood Tests taken care of for our Ukrainian medical report) I sat and admired this spreadsheet.  Then, I created some new mathematical formulas and came to some new realizations.

Here are the facts:

75% of the donations we’ve received have been $100 or less.
58% of the donations we’ve received have been $50 or less.
45% of the donations we’ve received have been $25 or less.
33% of the donations we’ve received have been $20 or less.
20% of the donations we’ve received have been $15 or less.
13% of the donations we’ve received have been $10 or less.

Do you get the picture I’m trying to create here?  If not, let me draw it a little more clearly.

The highest percentage of our donations have come from lots of people donating smaller amounts.  

It adds up, it really does.

This is what happens when we get a donation for $100.   

video


And this is what happens when we get a donation for $10.

video


See the difference?

That’s because there isn’t a difference. 

Every donation counts. 
Every donation gets us closer to our goal. 
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina and Maks.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ready, Set, GOAL #3

It’s been a busy weekend… homecoming dance for Emma and Isabel, football game, 10 mile run, house cleaning, grocery shopping, etc, etc, etc. 

I suppose now that we’ve gotten through the bulk of our weekend activities, I should announce our next goal.  I mean, there really isn’t time to rest… we’ve got to get back to work!

This next goal will go towards paying for airfare for James and I to travel to Ukraine round-trip twice, as well as the airfare to bring the kids back from Ukraine. 

I can hardly believe we are preparing for this particular stage of the adoption process!  We’re actually working toward flying to Ukraine!!!

As soon as all the paperwork is sent to Ukraine (in the next 2 weeks), we simply wait to hear what our scheduled court date is in Ukraine.  Once we receive that information, we purchase AIRFARE.



Announcing Goal #3…


GOAL #3:  $8500


We need to reach this goal by the first of October.  That’s a pretty aggressive timeline… nothing new, right? 

This process will require that 2 adults fly round trip to Ukraine twice (46,168 total miles) and 3 kids fly one way from Ukraine to Utah (17,313 total miles).  This makes a total of 63,481 miles traveled.  So when you really think about it, $8500 is cheap… I mean, it’s only 13 cents per mile!  Pretty sure that’s less than what most of us currently pay for the gas we put into our cars, right?

How many miles will you help us cover?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Forget the mini celebration... It's BIG Celebration Time

I woke up this morning and looked at Goal #2 (see thermometer to the right of this post) and thought,

"We are SO close!  It would be so amazing if we hit our goal before the weekend!!!"

I actually kept looking at the goal throughout the day and thinking, "We only lack $200 to reach our goal.  It's totally possible..."

And guess what?  Just a few minutes ago, someone came to my door with a check for...

*drum roll please

$200

WE DID IT!!!

So, I'm going to allow myself to simply celebrate for today.

Stay tuned for the announcement of Goal #3... it's going to be a fun one.  ;-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mini Celebration Time!

Time for a mini-celebration! Yahoo!! Yep, that means it is time for a little jump up and dance time. Well…. maybe not that much of a celebration; however, for those of you that know me at all, you know that I am not a blogger.  It's actually quite a miracle that I've documented this experience as well as I have.  I mean, this post is actually post #50!  I think that's quite a milestone. Which brings us to our “mini-celebration”. *dance party music

I’ve decided that for my 50th post, I will highlight our journey so far.  This accomplishes a couple of things: 1.For those of you that have recently started reading this blog, you may or may not have the time or interest in reading all 50 posts.  This will be a way for you to get a quick overview of our adventure. 2. It will give us all a chance to look back at how far we’ve come and celebrate the progress we have made so far.
You're welcome!
OUR JOURNEY BEGINS

We met 3 orphan siblings from Ukraine, felt badly about their circumstances, fell in love with them, knew they belonged in our family, and decided to adopt them.

·      http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/08/ive-seen-that-smile-somewhere-before.html

WE’RE STUNNED BY THE MAGNITUDE OF IT ALL

We found out about the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 from Ukraine.  Here are the things we discovered:
a.     It takes about 4 months to 1 year to get through the adoption process (depending on many different things).
b.     It costs a lot of money to adopt our three kids (we need to come up with between $65,000-$70,000)
c.     International adoption requires a TON of documentation and paperwork.
d.     Adoption of any kind is a huge emotional roller coaster.

REALITY SETS IN 

We very quickly realized that we didn't have $65,000-$70,000 in our savings account (what a surprise!) and knew that we had to be really creative in encouraging others to help us with the necessary funds to save these kids from a life of poverty, crime and huge difficulty.  We also knew that we had to depend on God, friends, family and community to help us!

·      http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/08/if-you-blog-it-they-will-come.html

GETTING TO WORK 

We started this blog, met with people, shared our story, and asked people if they could donate money (even a small amount is helpful!), their time, or items for an online/silent auction.  These donations are necessary in helping us with the funds needed to bring our kids home, safe and sound.

·       http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/08/1.html

FLOORED BY THE GOODNESS OF OTHERS 

We discovered many wonderful people that have donated to our kids, sent us sweet messages, prayed for our kids, and supported us in our adventure!

·      http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/09/prayers-for-albina-alina-maks.html
·      http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/08/message-me.html

REJOICING IN THE PROGRESS SO FAR 

We have a long way to go, but we have accomplished an incredible amount in a very short time (it's been 1 month since our kids returned to Ukraine).  We've reached Goal #1 and are just a few dollars away from reaching Goal #2.  We also announced donation matching earlier this week, and within 3 days we had over $1000 donated, reaching that goal! AMAZING!

·      http://truaxadoptionadventure.blogspot.com/2012/09/mathematical-magic_10.html

All in all, we are well on our way to saving 3 beautiful children! 

So again, another THANK YOU!  Because we couldn't accomplished any of this without the support and help of many good people!