Friday, December 16, 2011

Just some updates....

Happy week(ish) before Christmas!

We are very excited for Christmas here at the Marvin house. Carson absolutely loves having the tree in the house and constantly takes ornaments on and off of it. Luckily we were smart and got a ton of soft ornaments on after Christmas clearances the past two years, so our entire lower half of the tree is kid proof! We've only had one glass ornament casualty so far; hopefully that's it for this year, although we still have a little over a week to go.

We have held two different fundraisers in the past few months and I got the final numbers in and wanted to share with everyone.

The "Getting Ready for Christmas" party was so much fun and hopefully very helpful for many people. We made about $250 just from the sales percentages from Scentsy and Mary Kay. Then we made about $150 from the stuff that my sister Amy and I made. Total we made just under $400. Woohoo!  Over all it was a great night, and it was so wonderful to share our journey with so many of you.

We then got a booth at the "Snowflakes Bazaar" in Sellwood. It was a long weekend, but we had a ton of fun. Aaron manned the booth with me on Saturday and my sister Amy manned it with me on Sunday. Between my sister, myself and Aaron's grandma we had a very full table with an array of items to sell. In the end we made about $75 after the cost of the booth (every penny counts!). We met so many wonderful people working their own booths and we were able to share our story with everyone who would listen during our two days there. Thanks to everyone who bought from us and to our wonderful family who helped make this weekend possible.

We are so thankful for all the opportunities we have had to make some extra money for our adoption fund. With me (April) tutoring two days a week and some other fundraisers planned for the spring we're hoping we can meet our next fundraising goal by summer. This is the big one! We will need to have all the money raised to accept a referral (meaning we will get to see a picture of our child and say we want to bring him/her home). We know this will be quite a challenge, but we feel so at-peace with our decision to adopt and we know we need to trust God and just take it one day at a time.

We want to give THANKS to everyone and to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Here's a quick picture of Carson at the Oregon Zoo that Aaron took on their Daddy Day, while I was at the bazaar.
With Love, The Marvin's

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snowflakes Bazaar

Here we are at the Snowflakes bazaar. It's been pretty slow today. Hopefully it will pick up since church services should be finished and lunch should be done. We have such a mod-podge of stuff available. Tons of Infinity Scarves, toddler hair clips, and quilted table runners/placemats. Thanks to Aaron's grandma Dorthy for all her quilting.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time to check one thing off the list....

Our official home-study is complete!! Woohoo!!!

Today in mail came our official home-study! Which means we are ready to send our I600a paperwork off to the US government. I have no idea how long that will take to process (hopefully less time than the original fingerprints) but I do know that we are excited to be moving on to a next step in this adoption process. The funny thing is once this paperwork is processed we are given a date to get digital fingerprints done and then those have to be approved. I understand that the government wants to check us out, but come on were not criminals!

Anyhow, this is another expensive time in our process so we are so grateful to have had such a wonderful fundraiser this month. We continually want to thank all of our friends and family that have supported us in this journey. We appreciate all the money, prayers, and kind words everyday and know that we couldn't do this without you.

We love you all,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas Fundraiser

We had a wonderful fundraising event this weekend at my Moms (newly remodeled) house. One of my great friends Christina sells Mary Kay and offered to donate her proceeds from a party. So we came up with a plan to have a big "Getting Ready for Christmas Party" where we had Christina with Mary Kay and Denise with Scentsy. The plan was to help people start thinking about Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers while also helping out with our adoption fund. My sister has also made a ton of random gift items like stuffed animals, purses, scarfs, ornaments and flower pens. I'm pretty sure she pretty much sold out of her items and even has a few orders to fill!

We had a ton of food and just let everyone hang out and casually go over to the different tables where things were available. It was very low key and just felt right for a party like this. In the end the party was a huge success and we are so thankful for everyone that participated in making this fundraiser happen. Also, a thank you to everyone who came to support us and bought items towards our adoption fund.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finally some adoption news...

Today we got some great news, as small as it is, we finally got our fingerprints back. Our home study can now be completed. It will have to be approved by our agency and then we can send off our I600a paperwork to the US government. I'm not really sure how long all this will take but hopefully not 11 weeks like the fingerprints. Once all of that is complete we will be able to send our paperwork to DRC and then we wait for our referral! Woohoo! We are so happy to be moving along again. It's so hard to be waiting all the time. I know that is how the whole process works, but it's nice to have little spurts of time where we actually have something to do.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Soccer

Halloween didn't quite go as expected but it turned out to be a wonderful night. My youngest sister is a senior in high school (wow I'm feeling old) and had her senior night soccer game changed to Halloween night. It was a great game and they clinched their league title with a big win. Woohoo!  Ashley will always be the baby of the family, but I'm so proud of what she has become. I know there are great things to come from her in the future. I can't wait to see her play soccer in the state playoffs this year and in college in years to come!!
 Carson (such a funny face, haha) and Auntie Ashley

Carson and Mommy
Carson was able to quickly Trick-or-Treat at two neighbors houses before we left and then his Auntie Alyssa took our little Tow Mater (thanks for the costume Auntie Lyssa) around to the neighbors of the soccer field. He had a wonderful time and even scored a king size candy bar. He was pretty excited about it and tried to give it to everyone in the bleachers.

On the adoption front there isn't really any new information. We are still waiting for our fingerprints (I  think it has been about 10 weeks already) and hope to have them back sooner than later. Once those are  completed our home study will be complete and we can send off our paperwork to the government.

With Love, April

Monday, October 10, 2011

Carson's 2nd "Cars Birthday Party"

I can't believe Carson is 2!!! I don't know where the time has gone. I love every stage better than the last. I love all the communication and the fun times we have during day. We had such a wonderful birthday with Carson at the Zoo where he saw all the "animals". He loves going to the Zoo so it was the perfect day and with only a little bit of sprinkles.

We had his "Car's Birthday Party" on Saturday. It was so much fun to get ready for his first themed party and we had such a great time with many of our family and friends. Thanks to everyone who came and supported Carson on his birthday. Here's a few pictures from that day. (I can't get them turned the other direction, sorry. I'm working on it.)
Tow-Mater Cake
Riding his new Tow-Mater Truck

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And so we've begun....

We are moving along here in the adoption process. We were able to send in our first payment and the paperwork  that went along with it to our agency right before we left on our vacation/wedding trip to California. We had such a wonderful time getting to see family and many of Aaron's friends from high school. The wedding was beautiful and the weather down in southern California wasn't as bad as I anticipated (I'm really not a fan of the heat!).
We began our home study a few weeks ago and are just waiting for our fingerprints to be processed to complete it and then we can send in our I-600a paperwork to the US government. This set of paperwork tells the US government that we are trying to adopt a child from DR Congo. Hopefully our fingerprints will be completed soon (they've already taken the money out if our account so at least we know they are in process) and we can get this next step crossed off our list!  
Please pray for our patience as we continue this process. We are a tad anxious about all the steps it takes to complete an adoption. We are just so excited to meet our child and bring him/her home. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So today I went to the bank with our garage sale money, money from some bags I have sold recently, and with our change jar. We have been collecting pennies for a few years now and guessed we had about $20 in our little bag. We also had some other change in another jar so I decided to take it all in and just count it with our garage sale total. I was amazed watching the coin counter total go up. There was almost $30 in just pennies! Aren't pennies wonderful?!?! That pretty much made my day! Total we had $96 in change alone.
I am so grateful to everyone who has donated money towards our adoption. We really can't do this without you. I grew up hearing the African saying "it takes a village to raise a child." I definitely know that is true; and I know in our case, it's also taking a village to bring our child home!
We are getting close to having our first payment in. Hopefully we can get it in before the end of the month and start the next set of paperwork called the Dossier. The Dossier is the set of legal documents and other paperwork required for an international adoption. There are a bunch of forms that go into a dossier and from what I understand it can be a very long process. Please continue to pray for us during this process. We know its going to take a lot of organization and patience to complete everything needed, but the end of that process means we are at the referral stage and will one day get to see a picture of our new little addition!!!
I know I will be saying this a lot, but Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to everyone for your prayers, donations, and kind words. We are so excited to continue on this journey with the help of our friends and family.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

1st Garage Sale = Success!

We had our first garage sale this past weekend. I was a little nervous since it was a holiday weekend but we decided to just go for it since we had a bunch of stuff all ready to go. We held it at my sisters house because she has a prime location for garage sales. She lives on a busy street and has a huge driveway to set things up in (as well as a garage for storage).

We decided at the last minute to start the sale on Thursday. It was about 10 am and we had only pulled about 2 tables out of the garage and people were already stopping. It was pretty funny. We had one lady who hung out with us over an hour just waiting to see what else we would bring out.  We did the sale through Saturday but it seemed like Thursday was our busiest day. I will definitely do a Thursday again.  Saturday was pretty slow but the wind and the heat kept things interesting. My parents are doing a remodel at their house and gave us some doors and windows to sell. As a man was standing there wanting to buy a huge 8 x 5 ft picture window a gust of wind blew it over and it shattered all over the grass. (I gave it to another guy for free later, hopefully he can find new glass for it). We had many things break over the course of the day, but since it was so hot there weren't many people in the afternoon and we started cleaning up kinda early. We were able to organize everything that was left and nicely stack it in my sisters garage. We are hoping to get some more donations (plus everything we have left) and have another garage sale at the end of September at my parents house (another prime garage sale spot).

Thank you to everyone who donated for this sale! We made over $700 and are so excited to be 1/4 of the way to our first goal. We are actively seeking more items for our next sale. Let us know if you want us to come by and help you clear out some stuff.  ~ April

Our first fundraiser... Hood to Coast

We just wanted to take a minute to thank all the wonderful people who donated to our first fundraiser. Aaron's mom has been thinking a lot about using her running as a way to raise funds for an organization. So with only a few weeks leading up to Hood to Coast she decided to put her first fundraiser in motion. She asked for people to donate money to her in support of our adoption fund. It was highly successful and we are so grateful to everyone who participated. Terree was able to raise over $500  $680 in just under 2 weeks (I'm pretty sure thats the final count but you never know, checks just keep coming in). 

For those who don't know Hood to Coast is the world's largest relay race. It starts at Mt. Hood and runs 200 miles to the Oregon coast. Each team has 12 members who switch off running between 4-7 miles 3 times each. It is a very exciting and tiring event that so many people love here in Oregon and all around the country. Hood to Coast is very competitive to enter because more than 3000 teams try to enter the race, but only 1500 are allowed to participate. It was disappointing last year because the team didn't make it in after over 10 years of participation. But that didn't stop them and they successfully made it this year and had a blast. Even with some injuries they came in very close to their projected time; completing the race in 28 hours. 

We are so blessed to have so many people in our lives that are willing to support us in our adoption adventure and we want to say Thank You!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Home Study

We have been so nervous all week as we prepared for our upcoming home study that we had yesterday.  Aaron had done Hood to Coast this weekend and had a wonderful time (he even ran really well for not training) but that ment I was home alone, so I was frantically cleaning during every moment Carson was asleep. Once the social worker got here on Monday afternoon, I was able to take a deep breath and just focus on talking about why we wanted to adopt. It turned out to be such a wonderful time, we were very relaxed and it just felt like we were hanging out with a friend. The home study won't be complete for close to 10 weeks as we wait for our finger prints to be processed but I'm so glad we were able to get through this first step. I know that it has helped us take a step back and realize that we need to just calmly go through the process to bring our little one home. Thank you to everyone who have supported us so far, we are so grateful to our family and friends for being apart of this journey with us.

The Marvin's

Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Aaron, Carson and I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what is happening in our lives.  We have been extremely blessed with a wonderfully lively and energetic son in Carson and our home renovations are just about completed. We know now that our calling is to share it.  From the beginning of our marriage we have always known that we were going to become adoptive parents.  Through much prayer, thought, and consideration we have decided that now is the time to add a child in need of a family into ours. 

We have begun the process of adopting a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. We discovered that we found the perfect fit for our family in the DRC.  We are excited to see what God has in store for our family and our future child.  We are told in the Bible that God “knows the plans he has for you (us)” and strongly believe that our child is in our plan in the same way that we are in theirs. 

As we embark on this journey there is much that we must accomplish on our route to bring home our new baby Marvin.  As you may expect adoption is an expensive process (around $23,000), we have gone back in forth for months about when is the right time to adopt. Is it when you have saved the thousands of dollars needed to complete the adoption or is it ok to take a leap of faith and know that God will provide?
After much time in prayer and talking with family and friends we have decided to go for it!  We know it’s going to be a long journey, but we are prepared to see what God has in store for us.

We wanted to share with all of our friends and family some exciting fundraising opportunities we are planning and the ways you can help us on our journey. Here’s how….

1)   Prayer: Please pray for our new child, the orphanage, the families, the caregivers, the government officials, the agency and for us; as we will all be connected in some way during this process.
2)   Purchase a tote bag, puzzle piece, or t-shirt (or all three!!!). (Give us a call or see the blog for details)
3) Donate items for our Adoption Garage Sale.  (We are planning our first one for early September. Please call or email us and we can pick it up)
4)  Donate Money towards our adoption fund.  (For tax deductible donations make out a check to OWAS with a note stating the check is for Aaron and April Marvin and that you would like a receipt sent back. You can also send it to us (still made out to OWAS ) and we will make sure you receive your receipt back)
1400 Buford Highway Suite L-4
Sugar Hill, Georgia 30518

5)   Follow our adventure online at  THEMARVINADVENTURE.BLOGSPOT.COM 

Thank you for taking the time to see what we are planning for our family. 

Love, Aaron, April, Carson, and our waiting addition(s)                                                                                        

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Tote Bag Fundraiser

We have been making tote bags like crazy. There are a few different sizes and styles to choose from. No two bags are alike.