Thursday, April 25, 2013

Actual Costs of Adopting

I know a lot of people are shocked by the actual cost of adoption - some people say that it's down right crazy. Adam and I quickly realized that we wouldn't be able to do it alone, and we really have no idea how some people do. Yay for them! Whoohooo!

We looked around at a lot of agencies and none of them really felt "right" to us so we always passed them by. You know when something just doesn't sit well in your gut and you move on? That's how all of he agencies have been for us. We heard some pretty good things about Catholic Charities and their adoption program so we made an appointment to check it out. (Thank you Eddy, for sicking by with us on this visit!) The good news about the whole orientation to the program was that they didn't charge for the initial orientation, and a lot of places do charge a few hundred dollars just to sit and talk, and before we left they gave us a breakdown of all of their costs. Not so good news? Adam and I just weren't feelin' it.

I still think that it is important to give everyone a breakdown of the costs that were shown to us though, just so that everyone can get an idea of what we are facing with this adoption. So grab your coffee and sit at a table if you think your jaw just might fall off.

Application Fee: $150
Home Study Fee: $2,500
Placement Fee*: $13,000
Searches: $50
Mileage outside of Oneida and Madison Counties: $0.50 per mile
Birth Certificate Fee: $20

*The Placement Fee is only for families with an income under $100,000 annually. If you make more than this, your placement fee is 13% of your annual household income. 

I also really feel the need to mention that our home study that is in the process of being completed won't be sufficient for Catholic Charities. They said that they would need to "make addendums" to ours and still charge for the home study. Cathlolic Charities is also in the lowest 25% quadrant when it comes to adoption fees when you base everything off of national rates, so for a lot of people, it's still a pretty good deal. For us, well, our heads are still spinning. 

Just in case you thought I was pulling your leg this morning ;)

Needless to say, it's more important than ever that our fundraising is a success, not only so that we can have a family, but so that we can help others become parents too. I can't stress it enough, if you can't donate monetarily to our fund, share your empty bottles, cans and leftover seeds with us. If you planted everything and just went to the recycling center, share your time with us at our fundraiser. If you have no free time this summer, spread the words! Share our blog, share our GoFundMe account, invite people to our event on Facebook. The bigger a success we can make this for us this year, the greater the chances are that we will be able to go bigger next year - think of all the families we could help with just a little more awareness!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marvelous Mondays #43

Time for my first link party with Julie from This Gal Cooks!

I've been promising for a long time to let you know about our creative solutions to fast growing seedlings for our seedling sale, and seeing as the garlic was the first to need a new container, it only seems right that those little stinkers get to be featured on a DIY post! I'm basically going to turn this into a tutorial, because Adam and I have found that the more people who know what we've done, the more people want to do it themselves. Now if you plan on coming to our plant sale (and I really hope you do!) I'm begging you to hold out on doing this project yourself and come save these plants from me instead. Adam says, with good cause, that I could kill a cactus in a desert.

 I must admit, it's a pretty spiffy idea. I can't claim all the credit though - I did find a post on Pintrest (and I honestly cant remember where now, but the general idea is all over Google.) about how to get the top off of glass bottles and Adam came up with the original idea of putting the plants in. So I guess really, I'm just the biographer here.

First, you gotta have your garlic! Or, seeds. Or other started plants... you get my drift here. For our purposes, we've got garlic. Separate your cloves but don't cut anything! We take the skins off, just because I've found otherwise you run the risk of the skins molding as the plants grow. Apparently that's OK, but I've go a thing against mold. Yucky. 

Now for the fun part. You've got to have an empty glass bottle. Adam worked at a cafe for a while that allowed people to bring in their own wine, and I had him bring home all the bottles for a different project. This one became a bit more important simply because the garlic was starting to get root bound in their little plastic Jiffy pots and no longer fit in their plastic green houses, which in turn caused problems for other, slower growing plants that the cats seemed to think were super tasty. I'll make an actual tutorial complete with pictures for removing the tops another time, but I'll run through it all quick right now for a fair assessment. 

To remove the tops, you need yarn, acetone based nail polish remover, a full kitchen sink of cold water and a lighter, as well as the obvious bottle. Make sure the sink is full enough to submerge the bottle and fill a small bowl with the nail polish remover. We've found that the Equate brand works well, but the Up and Up brand is kind of sucky. It also has to be acetone based. Don't ask me why - I don't know. I just know it needs to be, which is fine because I was worried enough as it was about blowing up the kitchen and I didn't want to experiment outside of everyone elses parameters in my own space and run the risk of meeting the fire department. Anywho, tie off a circle of yarn thats big enough to go around the bottle where you want it to separate and then soak that in the polish remover and put it back on the bottle. My advice right here is to quickly wipe off and remover that may have dripped on the counter or down the bottle as well as on your hands. Light the string and tip the bottle so that the mouth is down and slowly rotate the bottle in circles, allowing the fire to fully circle it. Just before the fire extinguishes itself, submerge it in the water. You should hear a pop and a tinking sound, which will be the top popping off and the glass cooling. 

You can do this with any bottle, but again, we have wine bottles on hand here. 

You're going to need to sand down the new rim of the bottle at this point so you don't don't cut yourself. Any sandpaper sheet will do. It doesn't take too long - just make sure you do it over a garbage can or something to catch all of the glass dust and be careful not to breathe it in or run your eyes. (That could really put a damper on this whole project.)

Obviously the next part is the the last one - planting! We took our potting soil and mixed it with water in a plastic grocery bag first to make sure everything was well dampened. Because we didn't drill drainage holes in the bottles (that a whole other mess, I mean project, we really didn't wan to get into with our precious bottle planters.) we really wanted to make sure that the dirt was wet so the roots would be able to grow and sustain a happy plant. We filled the new container up about an inch or so shy of the top with our now wet potting soil and stuffed the garlic clove down in until it was halfway covered. Now the work it done! All it took after this is checking up on the container to make sure the top layer of soil was still damp and if it wasn't, a splash of water cured the problem. Because everything was dampened before hand, the rest of the dirt below the top layer stays that way and we don't need to worry too much. 


Happy planting! Please link back and let me know how your adventures have turned out!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weightloss Weekends!!

So I'm still working on this blogging pages thing - until I figure it out (where's my Geek Squad sister when I need her?!), check out my new tab on Weightloss Weekends for updates!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Excitement to the max!

So I'm super excited to say I can finally *officially* announce that we will be having our seedling drive at Sacred Heart and St Mary of Czestochowa Church in New York Mills!! Father Arthur is crazy excited for us and has been kind enough to offer us all the support in the world for our fundraiser. He and I are going to sit down sometime early next week and work on setting an exact date and time. He really wants to make sure that we've got our bases covered and that there is enough advertising for our event so we can get maximum exposure, so it may not be for a while yet. Rest assure that as soon as I know, you will know!

We also talked to him about making this an annual fundraiser, which he was really pleased with. Adam and I don't want this to be just about us - there is a bigger issue out there that needs addressing and we're determined to do our part. All too many families would love to adopt. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say that they wish they had access to "that kind of money" and feel like they could never adopt because of the financial burden it places on people. Adam and I want to work with our church to make sure people know if they've got room in their hearts and homes for a child to be a part of their family through adoption, well, they can do it. This being said, it's super important to us to make sure this thing is a success this year. If we can make it work for us, we will make it work for other families too!

Also on that note, if anyone wants to help out with our fundraising shenanigans, please give us a shout. We need all of the able bodies we can get! We're also going to be needing Jiffy pots, clear plastic Solo-type cups, empty cans/bottles to transplant some of the faster growing plants into so if you have any laying around that you haven't already put to use and need to get rid of PLEASE let us know! There are rumors of a crazy Bingo game in the works for after the seedlings are all sold out and a raffle, as well as a spaghetti dinner so if you would like to help out or know of anyone who might want to donate an item or certificate for the Bingo game and raffle don't be shy!

I'll end my post for the day with some sprouts for everyone - look at those beans, man!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


So, instead of baby related news, my thoughts today have been totally preoccupied with the TV series House. I saw a post on Facebook that used Hugh Laurie in a political parody (yes, yes I really want to call it a parody - leave me 'lone!) and all I could think of was "Damn. I miss me some House!" Anyone else really, really wish they hadn't cancelled the show? Cause, I totally do. Now, my husband and I have turned into total Big Bang Theory nuts. But we'll leave Sheldon for another post .... "Penny... (knock, knock, knock) Penny... (knock, knock, knock) Penny... (knock, knock, knock)" Anyways, it's Lupus I tell ya! Lupus! It's always Lupus. Or something needing cortocosteroids. Or ... or ... I need House!!


(Previous images borrowed from )

Thursday, April 4, 2013


So I heard about Bloglovin, and I figured, sure, why not? I sit here, trying to work it all out while drinking my first morning cup of coffee and immediately decided either A) I'm just too stupid to figure everything out this early and I need more coffee, or B) Zoey is seriously distracting with her big brown eyes and floppy ears laying all over my lap and keyboard.

Morning everyone!

Needless to say, I get very little done when she gives me that look and her brother comes running to do the same. Lately she has been super crazy snuggly and, well, almost verging on needy at times. I still can't figure out if its her reaction to my being upset over last weeks appointments (more on that later) or if it's something else. Spring fever? I don't know. 

I digress. Back to this Bloglovin thing. About all I've got figured out is that I need to put a link to it here somewhere so I can "claim" my blog. I figure its about time I do something and possibly slack off more on Google's Blogger, seeing as how they "lost" all of my followed blogs. (How do you lose a link? Like, it's not even there anymore on my reading list. Seriously man?) So here goes, follow me on Bloglovin!

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