A diaper bag and an ornament

While the past few days have been fairly quiet on the baby front, we did make our first real purchase for her and we also selected our 2015 Christmas ornament!

Friday through Sunday our family was in Austin so Matt could lead a weekend training session for his soldiers.  We had a great time and I believe the soldiers learned some things while being treated to some time away from post.

Most notable for our family, though, were two major purchases.  One was a diaper bag!

Over the past couple of weeks I have spent considerable time (I’d be embarrassed to reveal the actual amount of time) fiddling with each bag at multiple stores only to pretty much give up.  And then on Friday Matt and I went to baby mecca:  Babies R Us!  They had the bag I was most interested in and in an even prettier print!  After another good chunk of time, my husband convinced me to buy it.

I love it (but I still have the tags on it just in case…).


Also on our shopping list last weekend was a special 2015 Christmas ornament for our tree.  Each year we pick one that represents the most important thing that happened over the past year.  I’ve blurred out her middle name because we haven’t revealed that, just yet.  🙂IMG_4966_2

When thinking about what kind of ornament to buy we thought long and hard about 2015.  Honestly, we can hardly see anything that happened before November 4th.  It was a good year.  A great year, even.  We enjoyed and the year have nothing negative to say about it.  But it changed for us in a major way on November 4th and that is what our hearts are focused on.  Bring on Baby Anna!

Hayden has been trying to get us to buy Anna a pair of shoes for the past month and we just can’t spend that much on shoes!  (Hayden has very expensive taste in shoes.)  When we found these for $6 I finally caved.  CUTE!

When we got home from Austin, Matt and I finalized the nursery.  Matt converted the toddler bed back into a crib and I washed the sheets and added the dust ruffle, which I had to order.

Our Fundraiser is still going strong.  A few facts:

  • We are at 85% of what we had hoped to raise;
  • The fundraiser has 51 days left to run;
  • I leave here in 27 days to try to beat Anna’s arrival (unless I can’t handle it and decide to drive earlier and crash at friends’ houses because the wait is getting to me);
  • Anna is due exactly one month from today;
  • Our fundraiser has been shared 685 times (and it’s been stuck at that for over a week);
  • We have had multiple gifts under $5.  Two gifts over $2,000.  And just about everything in between and we are so honored… so very honored, and we truly want to do the best we can with those gifts.  Every dollar has been spent directly on the actual fees and what we have left over ($2,170.07 at this moment) is set aside for the Interstate Compact, which costs $2,500 (as you know by now because I say it all the time because it absolutely blows my mind that a single document can cost that much… especially when that document is basically a duplicate of a Home Study that both Texas and Virginia have to approve).

Click here to see our Fundraiser and to see if it’s received any more shares… and while you’re there, share it for us!

Merry Christmas!

(And it just crossed my mind that I updated my Facebook page and our YouCaring page that we had a few days of wondering if baby was going to be arriving early, and I never updated you: my journal and my WordPress friends.  I’ll copy and paste the update here.)

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Jennifer Hamrick

I am very happy to announce that at this moment I am NOT rushing to the airport to head to meet baby early.

The past 36 hours have had me a little on edge:
Our birth mother was exposed to a confirmed case of Fifths Disease and the ER doctor told her she needed to be tested ASAP.  If baby were showing signs of danger, mama would be induced.

I had a few flights picked out and my heart all ready in case the call came that it was “time.”
Mama saw the OB today and was tested, and has been told that as of right now, all is well.  So, I think it’s now time to get my bags packed and a few details tightened up.  It was going to be a “throw everything in a carry-on” kind of trip and I’m really glad that we are on a stand-down and that I can get my bags packed a little more carefully.

One month from today (if all goes according to plan) the boys and I will be arriving in Charlotte to spend the night with family on our last stop along the way to our final destination.  (The kids and I are driving… Matt will fly to meet us there and then ride home with us.)

Can you believe a last-minute flight from here to there is over $600!  So thankful for the generosity of fundraisers so that had this been necessary, we had some set aside.  That money is being saved for the $2500 Interstate Compact Agreement, which we don’t have completely covered by gifts, but we could have made the flight happen.  So, thank you!

I’ve said this before:  if anyone wants a breakdown of where the funds have gone thus far and what we have remaining, feel free to email me. 🙂  I feel like you deserve transparency!


About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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2 Responses to A diaper bag and an ornament

  1. Jess says:

    You know, your local adoption is the first one I’ve actually read the numbers broken down in terms of costs. I had a blogger friend adopt from Ethiopia and of course, I realized how expensive that is. But when she asked for donations to adopt from a birth mother in the US, I couldn’t figure out why she needed to raise so much money again for a domestic adoption. Thank you for explaining the process and what it all involves. You guys are the perfect family to adopt and I’m so excited to see your new little girl in your arms!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much for your super sweet words!

      If our little girl were to enter the foster care system, we could do this entire process for $2. (From what one person told us it’s literally the cost of postage on the birth certificate.) However, we want her from day 1 and she has no need for a foster family. We are her family. And because of that, we are more than willing to pay whatever is necessary to bring her home.

      Basically, it looks like this:
      Home Study: $1250
      Interstate Compact: $2500 (since we’re doing an adoption from another state)
      Attorney: $2500 (at minimum. We may have to pay more as we get closer to the date)
      Background checks: $200
      Virginia Adoption Agency to look over the Texas Home Study to compare it to the Virginia laws AND to do our training AND the birth mother counseling: $1025

      Not to mention travel: For us, we’ve been fortunate to find a great town home for $1200. The owners are giving it to us for three weeks at a 50% discount, for as long as we need it, and with flexible dates. Amazing! We will also have gas, hotel, and food on the way, but I figure this: We’d have to eat whether we are in TX or in VA, so while we’ll spend a little more on food, it won’t totally rock our normal budget. I’ll be cooking in the town home, so we won’t worry too much about the food costs.

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