I met Jennifer at a wedding earlier this year and was captivated by her heart for adoption. Hearing how she started her own small business journey with the specific purpose to fund her family’s dream of adopting a child in need was an inspiration and true example of ambition, purpose and commitment to turning dreams into reality. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “working mom.” I’m thrilled to play a tiny part in their adoption story by sharing with all of you. Please welcome Jennifer and give her some love, prayers and support as she continues to battle for one very, special little girl.
Our Dream and Hope of Adoption
Hi there! I’m Jennifer, a wife of 10+ years, a mom of two high-spirited boys ages 6 & 8, a preschool music teacher, and a soon (well in reality we still have a long journey ahead) to be mama to a little girl from Bulgaria! We have often talked of adoption, since I was a teen I can remember thinking that one day I’d adopt. My husband and I have a heart for the fatherless, compassion for those hurting, and while we’ve wanted to adopt for years, the cost of adoption had kept us from ever being able to start the adoption process. Did you know that the average adoption can cost upwards of $25,000? Yep, that about knocked the wind out of me too!
In 2012, everything changed after I went on a mission trip to Haiti and was able to visit two orphanages. No longer was the idea of an orphan simply those without parents. While that is horrible in and of itself, it’s about so much more. Orphans barely get their most basic needs met. Many have experienced more trauma and heartache in their few short years of life than most of us ever will in an entire lifetime. There aren’t enough caregivers for the amount of children in the orphanages. They don’t love on, hug and carry the kids like you and I would. The kids flew out of the orphanage with their hands up, hoping we’d simply hold them and play with them. The first child I held was a little over a year old, crying, and was sitting at a balcony overlooking the courtyard of the orphanage. As I picked her up her crying stopped, she put her sweet head on my shoulder, gripped my shirt with her little hands and simply remained like that the entire time I held her. God used that sweet little girl to show me that I had to trust Him to help us through the financial burden of adoption. These children need forever families. No, the adoption process isn’t easy, it’s incredibly expensive and overwhelming, the total time to complete the adoption will take years, but the children are waiting. Would you believe over 140 million orphans are in the world today?
I’ve always been somewhat crafty and so I began to brainstorm how to add a little supplemental income to the mix. Believe it or not it all started with coasters and a little dream stirring within after my first trip to Haiti. From there I started making various types of jewelry and custom wreaths, and now have given all my time to custom hand stamped jewelry and wreaths. I love anything that has a sentimental feeling and each piece I make for others truly brings me joy! 100% of the profit I make from selling these items goes straight into our adoption fund! We’ve also begun various forms of fundraising for the adoption. We’ve set up an account where people can make what I like to call a ‘love gift’ towards the adoption, I’ve also created an Etsy Shop to display and sell the items I make, and you can also find me through Facebook, Jen’s Gifts of Hope.
While it took us quite a while to research the various adoption agencies, and muddle through all of the different requirements and stipulations for each country, we have committed to working with All God’s Children International and will be adopting from Bulgaria. We officially began all the paperwork this past summer along with the first big chunk of money toward the adoption. I can’t tell you how special it was to mail in that first payment and officially get the ball rolling! We have seen God’s faithfulness and trust Him to continue to provide.
Do I get overwhelmed with the whole adoption process? YES! Do I have moments of fear that we’ll never raise all the money necessary to adopt? YES! But then I just remind myself that the need is great and if I can push through, keeping my focus on the end goal, possibly even being an advocate for adoption in the process… guess what? Slowly those fears begin to diminish. I’m pressing on for one little girl I don’t even know yet, fighting for this little girl who we’ll be able to give a forever family. I’m so grateful for those who are helping us along this adoption journey! Hope has been a recurring theme in our lives; hope is the courage to fight for something unseen, holding out with the expectation that piece by piece everything will fall into place. I can’t wait to see this beautiful picture unfold. I know there will be many more who will step in to help us, possibly those who read this today will want to help. There are many different ways to help, but the end result will be the same, knowing you helped there to be ONE LESS orphan in this world! And while that may not seem like making a big difference when there are over 140 million orpahns, trust me when I say it will be life changing, possibly even life saving for the little girl we’re adopting. Won’t you please consider joining us in this journey? We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us and where we are in the adoption process, you can do that by checking out our website, www.stimpsonadoption.blogspot.com
**A huge Thank You to Katy for allowing us to share our story with her faithful readers! It’s people like her that are helping us along with our journey! We are so blessed and will be forever grateful for people like her! Thank you Katy! Your willingness to help in this way means more than words could ever express! Know that you now hold a piece to the puzzle as it unfolds in this beautiful picture called adoption!
New Baby On The Way? Save Money on the Essentials
Now is the ideal time to get clever with your cash.
How much does it cost to have a new baby? The price varies from couple to couple but every survey tells us that most of us spend more than we really need to. Of course, you want your little one to have the very best but the reality is that as long as they are warm, clean and fed babies are usually quite happy with their lot.
Far too many of us spend too much money at a time when cash will be tight anyway. Some people even get into debt using expensive credit cards or personal loans to buy what they want for their new baby when most of the stuff will be outgrown in a few weeks or months. So, when it comes to the essentials there are some simple ways to save some cash.
Baby clothes: Avoid over-buying
When Kylie Jenner gave birth to her daughter this year, a video the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star released on YouTube revealed an entire wardrobe of baby clothes and racks of shoes already purchased before the child had even arrived in the world. If you’re looking to keep costs down for your little one then steer clear of this approach. Babies grow so quickly that cute onesies and expensive little outfits will soon be redundant. Instead, buy just the basics and sell on what you don’t need when your baby has grown out of it. If you want to get a headstart researching the right pram for you, check out the reviews featured on wifeknows.com
Your clothes: Steer clear of the maternity wardrobe binge
It’s very easy to spend thousands on a maternity wardrobe, as there is such a range of choice these days. However, the reality is that you’re only going to wear these clothes for a matter of months so there’s no need to go crazy. Try to wear your own clothes for as long as you can, adding layers or opting for stretchy fabrics to provide coverage. It’s also worth asking friends and relatives if they have any maternity wear they no longer need so you don’t have to spend money on new items.
New Baby Kit: Buy the basics for the first few months
It’s tempting to kit your home out with all the latest gadgets and tech for a new arrival. However, the reality is that all you really need is a cot and a car seat for the first few months. You may not even need to buy a pram initially. So, rather than splurging up front and realising that half of what you’ve purchased you just don’t need, hold back. That way you’ll be able to make better informed buying decisions when it comes to something like a pram and have more time to find the cheapest options.
Food and supplies: Become a deals expert
From discounts on baby items through to the deals available at your local supermarket, this is a great time to get interested in what’s on special. There are always discounts available for new parents, whether you’re looking for toys or clothes or diapers. Spend a little time researching where to find the lowest prices on the things that you use the most of and you’ll be able to cut the costs during those first few months, not just of your newborn but of the cost of living too.
Keeping the Family Strong Through A Divorce
The statistics are stacked against marriages as the data shows that more than forty percent of marriages end up in divorce or separation. While that is a tragic data point, we must remember that life goes on.
This is even more true for the children that are a crucial part of the family and the eventual proceedings. The point of this simple guide is to look at how to stay positive and strong through a divorce and separation and how to make sure that the family can stay strong throughout the process.
It is undoubtedly a monumental feat, but it is quite possible and very necessary as it can help to maintain peace, prosperity, and general stability over the long-term. Let’s find out more about staying healthy, positive, and keeping it together for the long haul to ensure happiness and strength for everyone involved.
Staying Positive Amid a Divorce
The first point is that you must maintain a sense of peace and calm within yourself during these stressful and usually hectic divorce and separation times. Ideally, this event is not something you have had to deal with several times in your life, and it is a singular event.
But even then, if it is a singular event, it will be all the more impactful as you do not have much experience.
It is easier to stay strong throughout a divorce or separation, but it is much more difficult to do so due to the intricacies involved in the entire process. Remember that you are conducting the divorce proceedings for a number of reasons. The main reason is usually that neither people are happy with the partnership and choose to go in a different direction.
In that event, it is necessary to ensure that you dig deep down and comprehend that it is for the best overall. It may be hard to do so at first, but it is necessary. You must accept that it happened, and only then can you move forward into the future.
It is a normal aspect of the process for you to require some time to cope and come to terms with this significant change. But remember that you must stay vital for yourself and your children.
It is not only about you and your future but your children’s as well.
The Peace of the Children
It is easy to think about yourself during a divorce and forget about the collateral damage involved in the process. By collateral damage, I mean your kids.
Your children may spend countless hours screaming and misbehaving due to the issues that this brings in their lives. It is not just your life that is going through a sense of disruption but theirs as well.
Remember to have meetings with your children and to help them cope with the process. It is easy to lash out and be hard on your precious children for no reason, fight that urge, be a better parent.
Find peace by spending more time with your children for the sake of spending time with them. You want to make sure that you are healing the hurt feelings early on so that your family stays strong even with the adjustment.
The Strength of the Family
A strong, bonded, and hopeful family unit is still possible even during and after a separation. The process is not easy and will take work but will be quite worth it in the end.
Ensure that everyone in the process feels as if there is an anchor and that everything is not being ripped away from them. Show how life will be after the event and how it is possible to navigate through the turbulent period without too much angst.
Remember that there is a life after the event and think about the long-term during and after the process.
How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes – Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen
Brittany lives with her husband and three sons in Utah. She is a playwright, composer, actress, singer, thrift shop lover, Mormon and aspiring vegan. She is the founder of the International Bloggers Association, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Cognitive Behavioral Society (’cause why not). Brittany has a B.A. in English-Writing from Denison University and has an imaginary Ph.d. in Googling stuff she wants to know. You can keep up with her at BrittanyBullen.com.