Friday, December 28, 2012

Do you have a question?

 

It’s no secret…I love talking about adoption. I don’t mind questions, so long as you are asking with the right heart, I’m happy to share any details of our past and future adoption.

 

I want to take a minute to answer a few of the questions we have been getting so far.

 

Why are you adopting internationally?

 

Jace and I answered this question a lot when we were going through the process with Cohen. We feel God leading us to adopt internationally. Please remember that every family is different, and each situation must be looked at individually. You probably know someone who has adopted domestic, and you know someone who adopted internationally. The processes are different, but the end result is the same. We want a child to call our own.

 

Why China? Why not Russia again?

 

This was a tough decision. We had an amazing experience in Russia and we would love to do that all over again, but truth be told, it just wouldn’t work for our family right now. We can’t leave the country for a month when we have a 4 year old to take care of as well. I was concerned that the travel dates would conflict with his school schedule next year (he’ll be in kindergarten) and he’d end up missing too many days. China requires one trip and it could be 1.5-2 weeks.

 

Also, we must be conscious of our finances. Russia is a very expensive program. God gave us everything we needed with Cohen, and I have no doubt He could do it again, we just don’t feel that it's the best use of our resources at this time. With the travel time being considerable shorter, and only 1 trip necessary, that cuts the cost almost in half.

 

Now that we are both 30+, we can apply to adopt from China!

 

As you may be aware, Russia recently (as of this week) voted to cease adoptions with the United States. So, Russia is no longer an option for any American family at this time. I’m not going to get on my soapbox about this, but we do need to pray for the thousands of children in Russia who will never have a forever family because of this decision. This is a political battle and the ones suffering are the children. It’s just not right.

 

Will you get a girl this time?

 

We did not specify. Just like the first time, we really don’t care. I adore my little boy and I’d love nothing more than a houseful of boys just like him, but if God gives us a girl, we would be trilled with that too. Either way, it’s a child, and that’s what we really want.

 

When will he/she come home?

 

Not sure. We are going through the special needs program for China. What that means is we basically filled out a form stating what conditions we were comfortable with and what would work best for our family. Once we complete our paperwork, we must wait for a child to meet our conditions to come available for adoption. Could be 6 months, could be 2 years.

 

How old will he/she be?

 

As with our first adoption, we want a toddler/preschooler. I feel like Cohen was the perfect age when he joined our family (he was 20 months old). I gave a broad age range on the paperwork, so really we could get any age. The only thing we did specify is we would like for the second child to be younger than Cohen. I know lots of family who adopt out of birth order, but I don’t think I want to do that to Cohen just yet. Maybe next time we will get a teenager and skip all the potty training stuff.

 

Will you use the same agency?

 

YES! This was the easiest decision to make. We loved our agency when we went through the process the first time. They were wonderful! If you are considering adopting, please check them out at www.eaci.com.

 

How much does it cost to adopt?

 

I get this question a lot, and I’m happy to answer your questions, but I will not give specifics about my personal adoption history. Sorry, that information is very personal. The internet has lots of useful places you can search to find the average cost of an adoption (www.adoptivefamilies.com) or if you are seriously interested in adopting a child, please feel free to contact my agency (www.eaci.com). They have always been honest and up front about all costs associated with adoption.

 

Micah Shanks, a friend of mine who just recently came home from China with his son, put it best when he was asked if adoption is expensive. He said, “Yes, yes it is... But, how much would you be willing to pay to get one of your children back if they were in a foreign country? With that frame of mind we really haven't stressed about the cost. We keep writing checks and God keeps blessing us.” AMEN! At the end of the day, you cannot put a price on a child. As with our first adoption, God will take care of us.

 

 

 

Do you have any adoption related questions I could help answer? Doesn’t even have to be about my second adoption journey, could just be general questions about my first adoption, attachment, bonding, feeding, sleeping, travel, etc. Feel free to put your questions in the comments below or if it’s personal, e-mail me at justanotherraneyday@gmail.com

 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who is the best big brother around?

Big news for the Raney family! If you don’t follow me on Facebook or twitter, this is news to you.

WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN!

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Adoption Announcement for Grandparents

Jace, Cohen and I are super excited.

Cohen may be the most excited of all of us. Just look at that face!

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Jace and I have been praying about the timing for our second child ever since we came home with Cohen in March 2010. We knew we were going to adopt again, just didn’t know when. We have always sought God’s guidance when it came to the timing of our second adoption.

I think it is so funny how God speaks to us. He’s so creative and He knows exactly how to get us to listen (because He knows us better than anyone else).

Jace and I made the decision to begin the adoption process in January 2013. I was sort of giving myself and God a timeline. I did this before, and He laughed at me, I’m sure. I love schedules, so this was my way of controlling the situation.

On October 14, Cohen drew this picture in Awana. Now let me remind you, Jace and I had not mentioned anything to Cohen about adoption again. (sorry about the poor quality, I took a picture of the paper with my phone).

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Mrs. Cherakee gave this picture to me and said “do you have something you want to share?” I was shocked. Cohen is going to make an amazing big brother! Evidentially the discussion that night was about helping others and he was to draw a picture of himself helping someone else.

Jace and I took that as a sign from God and we called our adoption agency to start the process again!


Big thank you, once again, to my amazing Sister-In-Law Tricia for these amazing pictures!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Are you having a Merry Christmas?

 

I hope you and your family are having a very Merry Christmas! I still haven’t mailed all my Christmas cards. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. For now, I’m going to share a few family pictures.

 

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Big THANK YOU to my sister-in-law, Tricia, for these amazing pictures! If you are in the Baton Rouge area and in need of a photographer, please look her up. She’s GREAT!

Are you having a Merry Christmas?

 

I hope you and your family are having a very Merry Christmas! I still haven’t mailed all my Christmas cards. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. For now, I’m going to share a few family pictures.

 

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Big THANK YOU to my sister-in-law, Tricia, for these amazing pictures! If you are in the Baton Rouge area and in need of a photographer, please look her up. She’s GREAT!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Would you like to make a cute thanksgiving card?

Jace says you can make just about anything with fingerprints, handprints and foot prints. It's true!

 

Cohen had a bunch of fun making the Thanksgiving card for his grandparents!!

 

To make this card, I started with a brown tree silhouette. I just searched google for "winter tree" and found this one.



Next...Cohen put his fingerprints on the tree as if they were leaves.

 

 
 

 

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have you packed your box?

 

If you don’t know what Operation Christmas Child is, the please click on the picture below for more information.

 

Operation Christmas Child

 

Each year, the Raney family donates several boxes to this amazing organization. Last year we even followed our box online. It was given to a child in Madagascar. How fun is that!!

 

We went shopping this week for all the fun stuff to fill our boxes. We included candy, toys, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, pens, markers, notepads, and a family picture. I love doing this each year! It is a fun way to give to those less fortunate.

 

Being a homeschool mom, I also used this as a teaching opportunity. We went to the store, collected everything we needed, and Cohen dumped all the items on the floor and I instructed him to sort them by the following categories: candy, hygiene products (I explained what that meant), toys, and writing utensils and notepads. He did an amazing job of opening all the packages, sorting them by type, and laying them out so he could clearly see everything we had purchased.

 

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He loaded each basket, with NO HELP FROM MOM!! (He kept reminding me over and over again that he was in charge). I’m so happy he was really into this project. I’m also hoping that he’s learning that it is very important to give to those that are less fortunate. God has blessed us with so many wonderful things, and we can certainly give back a portion.

 

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If you are looking for a really neat way to give a little back, and involve your kids, please consider doing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are you looking for some cute Thanksgiving art?

 

I have been trying to come up with ideas for some wall art for the different holidays. I purchased some canvases from Walmart and started on my Christmas art first. I’ll show pics of that later, because I’m not in love with it yet. I think I can improve it some. I am finished with my Thanksgiving art!

 

Check out the finished product…

 

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I am planning on putting it on the mantle with some other decorations…but for now, it is proudly displayed on an easel on my dining room table.

 

All you need is a canvas, some really cute scrapbook paper, scissors, and mod podge.

 

The first thing I did was trace my adorable son’s hand and arm. I decided to do his right hand 3 times, but you could get creative with this. If you have more than one child, maybe do each of their hands. Or you could do it just once, portrait orientation and more leaves. Get creative!

 

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I laid the hands on the canvas and sort of traced around the hands. This way, I would know where the leaves needed to go.

 

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I used LOTS of mod podge!! I covered the canvas with the stuff, positioned the leaves (I should have mentioned that I cut these free hand…I did not have a pattern to follow, but you could easily google leaf pattern if you want) and then put the hands on it.

 

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I let it dry and coated it again.

 

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The final touch was the words “thankful” at the top. I printed out the words in a font I really liked, then used this trick I found on pinterest. All you have to do is cover the back of the paper in chalk. I used yellow chalk, since I was transferring it to a white canvas.

 

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If you look really, really, really close, you can see the yellow chalk transferred on the canvas.

 

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Then I took a brown paint marker and painted the words on the canvas. You could easily do this free hand if you have talent. Ask my Sister-In-Law about my artistic abilities when it comes to writing things on paper. There is no talent. I needed the help of text, chalk and a paint marker.

 

And once again, the finished product…

 

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Saturday SevenI Heart Nap Time

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Would you like to grow a seed?


Well, here is another good book to read.

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I couldn’t find the actual book on Amazon, so maybe you will have better luck at your local library.

In the back of this book, there are instructions on how to grow a bean plant.

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Here are a few pictures of our attempt.

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I’ll try to update you later on the progress of our bean plant. The beans have actually opened up and are starting to grow. Very exciting!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Did you see the real batman cars?

Thanks to twitter, I found out that the New Orleans Superdome was set to host 6 of the cars from the Batman movies. Since Cohen was Batman for halloween, I thought it was necessary to go see the cars.



Go to this site for a list of the cars we got to see and some professional pictures.

 

We invited Cohen's friend, Lyons to join us. He was also batman for halloween. Both boys wore their batman shirts and capes for the event!

 

Here are a few pictures from our fun.

 

 

It was a very fun day!! Days like this make me love my job even more!

 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do you want to see our Prek3 Yearbook?

 

Back a few months ago I saw this blog about a homeschool yearbook and I knew that I wanted one of these to help us remember our fun in prek3.

Here is our inspiration…

Source: toomanybs.blogspot.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

I spent many hours working on our yearbook and I have finally finished it! I used Shutterfly, and they had an ABC theme! Here is a couple pictures of our book.

 

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I’m pretty proud of this book. I’ve made about 15 books on Shutterfly (I usually do 8x8 books, I like this size but I have a few that are 8x11).

 

Do you want to see our Prek3 Yearbook?

 

Back a few months ago I saw this blog about a homeschool yearbook and I knew
that I wanted one of these to help us remember our fun in prek3.

Here is our inspiration…

 


I spent many hours working on our yearbook and I have finally finished it! I used
Shutterfly, and they had an ABC theme! Here is a couple pictures of our book.

 

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I’m pretty proud of this book. I’ve made about 15 books on Shutterfly (I usually do 8x8 books, I like this size but I have a few that are 8x11).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do you love our lanterns?

 

This week in school we are learning LOTS about Japan. It is part of our timeline, history, and geography. I’m making the most of it.

 

We made some fun Japanese lanterns as part of our school work, and they turned out great. I remember making these when I was a little girl, so I’m pretty excited to pass on this fun craft to my little boy.

 

Simple instructions:

Find some fun scrapbook or construction paper, fold in half. Cut strips in the folded side of the paper, leaving about an inch uncut. Unfold and open. Join the uncut ends, and staple together. Punch holes for the string, add string, tie, hand and enjoy!

 

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