Missing Our Full House

These are strange days around our house…we have pockets of joy and pockets of sadness.  It is hard adjusting to a “new normal” with 2 children missing from our days and evenings…We hosted 2 orphans from Latvia(a girl and her little brother) for 4 weeks this winter cautiously hoping that we all would fit together as a family and it was clear very soon that God had been guiding my heart to these 2 children.  We were told they were not musical, for example, and the very first full day with us they were joining in with our son and performing concerts in our basement.  They each were kind, affectionate, playful and helpers.  They were imaginative in play and did well with our son and daughter…Now our son says he’s lonely without them here and our 2 year old daughter sings songs about the little girl she hopes will some day officially be her big sister.  Their artwork hangs in our house and some of their clothes and shoes they weren’t able to fit in their luggage remain in the closet and drawers like they could return home any moment…

Reality is that we have many papers to complete and much fundraising and grant writing between us and these two precious orphans.  We’ve been grateful to the friends (and even strangers) who have joined us in our efforts to bring them home.  Right now, we can’t submit any grants until we finish our homestudy (hoping & praying for the funds to finish this).  And it’s still mindboggling sometimes to remember that we CANNOT tell these children how hard we are working to get them home…Until the homestudy is finalized and the dossier to Latvia completed, we cannot share with them that we are committed to making them a part of our forever family.

Will you join us in helping bring two children into a family who lack a mommy and daddy to take care of them–love and support them?  A family who will help them to get the medical care they need (they do have some needs right now due to small size and a possible eye problem)…who will encourage and love them no matter what…We feel a sense of urgency in getting them home and are doing all we can to speed the days but the adoption expenses and travel expenses come due quickly since these are children already available for adoption and waiting…

How can you help?

Make a Tax-Deductible Gift OR Give through Paypal to Help with Homestudy

Give through paypal to help with homestudy etc: http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/Bringing-L-E-Home-from-Latvia/38396 OR to get tax deduction, mail a check with note designating the gift for Heather & Alan Brandt’s homestudy expenses to St .Elizabeth- Catholic Charities,601 E. Market St., New Albany, IN  47150.  Please put attention: Emily Baumann on the envelope.

Make a Tax-Deductible Gift towards our International Adoption Fees Online or by Mail

You can give towards the fees with our international adoption agency. To designate a tax-deductible gift for us through our international agency, go to https://www.networkforgood.org/donation/ExpressDonation.aspx?ORGID2=581703392&vlrStratCode=9p6VomJkgdTY3b3CKnSERcxiYJqslPgiWOCobRt64yo36LcH8c08P1drNeBg4SPx & please remember to designate it for Heather & Alan Brandt adoption OR mail to our international adoption agency, An Open Door Adoption Agency, include a note saying “We wish to make this contribution to An Open Door Adoption Agency. We would “like or prefer” that the funds be used to aid the adoption process of the Heather & Alan Brandt family. An Open Door Adoption Agency, Inc., P.O. Box 4, 218 E. Jackson St., Thomasville, GA 31799. Do not memo on the check a particular family or child.

Shop & Share Our On-Line Auction (Bidding is Open!)

We are having a virtual auction which includes auction items you can buy from anywhere in the U.S.  Please consider bidding on items and sharing the auction with others you know.

https://www.facebook.com/BrandtFamilyAdoption2013

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13 Days & Counting!

We are now fundraising for possible cost of medical tests for the little girl while here.  Insurance does not cover the tests (they come with limited insurance coverage for their stay here).  We’ve contacted the labs to see if they would donate the test kits but so far have heard nothing from them.  We are also continuing to try to meet our goal of $2000 to help with cost of our homestudy fees.  Right now, we lack about $1700 for homestudy fees.  Thankfully, our international agency (different than homestudy agency) waived the application fee and has accepted us into their adoption program. yay!

In only 13 days, we will meet the host kids face to face & welcome them into our home for the holidays.  We’re praying that they will have open hearts to our family and that they will feel loved and safe with us.  Can’t wait to be able to post new photos of them during the coming weeks too!

You can give through our web site or by mailing checks or gift cards to Heather & Alan Brandt, 3079 Twilight CT NE, Lanesville, IN 47136. Thanks!

http://www.youcaring.com/other/Brandt-Family-Hosting-Orphans/32158

Coming Soon to America….

The host kids will be heading to America around December 15th!  Thanks to a $103 in gifts over the past 2 days, we now have about $30 to $297 (estimated) still needed for their connecting flight fees. http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans If we don’t end up needing all that we raise for connecting flight, it will go towards our homestudy’s cost, which is estimated at $2000.  If all goes smoothly with homestudy and dossier, we could bring home the kids before summer 2013…Now with international adoption and with adoption of older children, there are variables.  The children could decide they do not want to be in our family…, but as of now, these 2 children are clear for adoption and the process’ speed will depend on our homestudy and dossier’s completion.  Once our homestudy is complete, we can apply for grants so the homestudy’s completion is very important.  

Once our 2 upcoming fundraisers are over, we will take a break from fundraising until after the kids return to Latvia.  Obviously, we want to focus on family this Christmas while they are here and enjoy the Christmas season 🙂

Current Fundraisers (which have deadlines):

Make Your Christmas Greener While Helping Bring 2 Orphans to the U.S. for Christmas (& hopefully a forever home!) Wreath & Live Tree fundraiser orders must be placed by 12/11! 

Want to order fresh Christmas wreaths for friends, family or as corporate gifts? Or even buy a fresh Christmas tree—table-size or live container or traditional?

****** To purchase, you must use this link (for purchase to count towards Brandts’ fundraiser)http://www.dutchmantreefarms.com/organization/BHAFINDutchman Christmas Tree Farms is located in beautiful Northern Michigan and has been growing Christmas trees for over three decades. We have grown into a fully operational tree farm, specializing in individual, wholesale and customized orders. Production quality and customer service have been top priorities as the company has grown and transformed.When Must Orders Be Placed?· all orders must be submitted by December 11, 2012 to ensure delivery of trees.
all orders will be paid for online and orders will be delivered to each person’s home. All the products have FREE SHIPPING.How Much Does It Raise for The Brandts’ Hosting/Adoption Fees?

The Brandt family will receive $10 per tree sold and $5 per wreath sold.

When Will the Items be Delivered?

■The customer chooses from nine different shipping dates when they place their order. Customers will have the option of shipping their order Tuesdays or Thursdays starting November 13th 2012 and ending December 13th 2012. Orders are delivered two-five business days from the ship date depending on where they are shipped. All the products have FREE SHIPPING.

https://familyofmyheart.wordpress.com/

The Great Chili Take-Out for Local Families

$475 in 5 Days?

5 days until a couple of deadlines…11/1 is when our Usborne Books & More Eshow ends.  We receive 25% of all sells through this site for kids and teens.  myubam.com/event/3427

And 5 days until we need to have raise $475 more in fees for hosting the kids(and yes, we have one more fee deadline of about $1100 due after that, 11/15).  These fees go towards flights for the kids and for chaperones and paperwork requirements.  We appreciate every gift you give.  Gifts are 100% tax deductible.  http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans

You can also give by check (write out to New Horizons for Children and put our names in the memo) and mail it to us at Heather Brandt, 3079 Twilight CT NE, Lanesville, IN 47136 and it will be 100% tax deductible without any taken out for paypal fees 🙂

Our etsy fundraiser is up and you can pick out unique gifts you can personalize for kids and teens on your holiday shopping list.  We wil be adding more items to it soon!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/AThreeStudio?section_id=12123229&page=1

We cannot move this MOUNTAIN between our family and these 2 precious little Latvians without your help & God’s help!  Please consider giving the cost of a meal out this weekend.

Thanks for those who have encouraged us and prayed for us!

Heather

 

Design Your Own Gift Etsy Fundraiser!

My friend Kari has helped us by setting up an etsy shop where you can design your own personalized products and help us raise our remaining fees to host 2 orphans from Latvia this Christmas & pursue their adoption. You can design your own water bottles, pillows, blankets, lunch boxes, clipboards, and more! More will be listed in the coming days so check it out weekly.  Please take a look & share with others you know! bit.ly/brandtfamily    or http://www.etsy.com/shop/AThreeStudio?section_id=12123229&page=1

(You can also continue to give 100% tax deductible donations at http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans)

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Staying Clear of “What If” Land & Choosing to Have Hope!

We survived our home safety visit (kind of like visit #1 of homestudy).  This is required for hosting through New Horizons for Children.  Whew!  Now on to our goal of raising $525 in the next 10 days.  I’ve been trying to sell some things online but so far no luck with that.  Praying that somehow God will provide what we lack so we can meet our 11/1 goal and then move on to our final hosting goal…

Trying not to dwell in “What If Land….” “What If” we don’t raise the money we need…This is not an option!  We are committed to welcoming these 2 children in our home for Christmas and we are hopeful God may call us to adopt them.  “What If” they don’t like us….un uh!  I REFUSE to dwell on unknowns and things that haven’t happened.

I’m boldly thanking God tonight for His provision for us.  This IS out of our means…When He provides it will be to His glory not of our hands because we can’t pull this off on our own.

Will you join us in this adventure by helping us meet our $525 goal this week? http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans

Can’t wait to meet these children & get to know them better!

 

Fall Faith Stretching…

Confession:  I’m a little scared.  I’ve never had to fund raise funds soooo quickly and with a clear deadline in sight.  This is definitely stretching my faith!  I try to look at the kids’ photos and remind myself when I get discouraged that God led us to these 2 kids…We weren’t looking for them…God led us to host them and we are going to welcome them into our lives this Christmas and show them love and help them to feel treasured as the precious kids they are!

Thanks to a gift given today, we have now have $485 left to raise by 11/1 and $1100 by 11/15.  We still need help so please spread the word about our heart for hosting these 2 orphans in our home this Christmas (with possibility of adoption) so please help by giving a little for this great cause!  If 16 folks gave $50 each (tax deductible!), then we’d have met this 11/1 goal and could move on to the 11/15 goal.  Trying not to get bogged now by the attempt to raise so much so quickly over the past few months.  SOOOO thankful for the generosity of others so far because it is certainly not because of my eloquence or anything great I’ve done that we’ve been able to make it through our September and October fees.

All donations given through 12/1 are tax deductible 100%!  GIVE at: http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans

You can also help by shopping our Usborne Books Eshow (ends 11/1) for great  teen & children’s books and other items!  We also have a wreath & live tree sale going on through 12/11(the tree sales will mostly go towards homestudy cost).

Precious & Beautiful…

This week was exciting because I was able to pick out a doll to give L for Christmas. It kind of made it a little more real that we are going to host kids  in December.  We chose a doll from http://babybeblesseddolls.com/ so we could have an encouraging Bible verse written on the doll (on her tummy under here dress.  Check out the website to see what I mean).

We chose the “My Beloved” doll http://babybeblesseddolls.com/item_1010/My-Beloved.htm

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I want so much for her (and her brother) to know how precious and beautiful they are just as they are. I find myself wondering if they’ve been told that they are precious and beautiful…

I find myself wondering if  she has ever been given a brand-new doll of her own…Whether she will act like she cares about it or just toss it aside.  It doesn’t matter how she responds in front of us to the gift because the prayers we pray over the gift and our time we’re going to spend with L & her brother are of more value, I know.

I think about the kids I’ve had in my classrooms as a former teacher and wonder about these 2 little people coming to stay with us for 4 weeks. I think of the some of the kids from hard places I’ve taught…some who were struggling to learn or struggling to make friends or struggling to control their emotions…and I remember how I’ve kids with struggles blossom when given encouragement, hope and support. With God’s help, I look forward to loving on these kids and patiently meeting them where they are…praying their hearts will be responsive to us a potential family for them.

Fundraising Update: We now lack only $1758 before 11/15 then all funds raised will go towards homestudy cost for possible adoption 🙂 Thanks to all who’ve given or are considering giving! To give through paypal: http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans ****If you would rather give through mail rather than paypal, please write check to New Horizons to Children & mail to us at: Heather & Alan Brandt, 3079 Twilight CT NE, Lanesville, IN 47136.

On to November Goals….Already!

We are happy to share that we’ve met our October 15th goal a couple of weeks early & are into our November fundraising goal. We now lack only $1758 before 11/15 then all funds raised will go towards homestudy cost for possible adoption 🙂 Thanks to all who’ve given or are considering giving! http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7020&url=brandtfamilyhostingorphans or send check written to New Horizons for Children to Heather & Alan Brandt, 3079 Twilight CT NE, Lanesville, IN 47136

Yes, the obstacles between our family & this  spunky little red head and her brother are almost gone!

Amazing Provision

Monday night I remember driving back from the grocery store and praying that God would move the obstacles between us and hosting the kids and possibly adoption.  I know that what happened Tuesday afternoon is NOT because of me or anything I have achieved on my own.  Some of my readers may be skeptics but I believe that God moved some one’s heart to give us almost entirely what we lacked to meet our October fundraising goal.  The donor gave anonymously and wants no glory for what they did.  We are so grateful for his/her generosity and kindness which has been shown to our family (and to the children for whom we are preparing our hearts and home).

Now we lack about $2278 to pay the remaining hosting fees for the kids.  Anything beyond that which we fundraise will go towards the additional cost of our homestudy and background checks, which is about $2000.  We will pay about $500 in application and review fees to the international placing agency, too.  The sooner we complete our homestudy the sooner we can complete a dossier (file) to send to Latvia if/when we want to pursue the adoption of the kids(which we are hopeful about).  Once the homestudy is complete and dossier complete, we are in a better shape to pursue grants for adoption expenses.  Whew!  Crazy when if I start thinking about the money involved in bringing children into our family but I know God removed such obstacles before and we are depending on Him totally this time because it is SOOO beyond what we can handle on our own.

We are so excited to get to know him &  his sister this Christmas!