Going, going, gone!

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve updated our blog and it has been a busy couple weeks! Between getting ready for the holidays and work, we have been really busy and all over the place!

One thing we want to report is that yesterday we closed our Online Auction and we are both amazed at the generosity of family and friends to help us in the race of raising money for our adoption and we are happy to report that we raised about $2,000 with this fundraiser. Wow!

The main story that we take away from the auction is the tale of the cheesecake picture below.

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The story of the cheesecake:

The top selling item that we had was a lemon cheesecake that sold for $150. This cheesecake is a legend among the people that we attend church with, and for good reason!

Okay. so for those of who have never experienced this cheesecake, I am fully aware that $150 sounds like an insane amount for a cheesecake. If i had not experienced this gem in real life, I might be inclined to agree. The amazing lady that makes this treat is named Jo. She is a dear friend of ours, and attends our church. Her husband was the realtor that helped us to find our house. Her cheesecake is delicious, and special to us for a few reasons.

Reason #1: It’s a secret recipe

We have had this discussion with people. Part of the reason that we are all so obsessed with this thing is that it is a secret family recipe. Unlike some secret recipes, this one is under lock and key. A little mystery always makes things better.

Reason #2: It’s beautifully crafted, and made with love

Cliche, I know. But you can actually taste the love and time that has been put into making it. Jo takes such care to present her cheesecake to look and taste amazing. For our auction, she presented it on a lovely serving tray. she takes pride in making sure that it is as lovely as it tastes.

Most Importantly, Reason #3: It’s a representation of the amazing community that we have been blessed with.

Our auction was a huge success. We had a ton of items that we auctioned off, and had 80 people attend the auction online and place bids. We had friends and family who got into auction turf wars over items, and had some friendly competitions. We had bids from people out of state, and internationally. The outpouring of support that we received has been so amazing and touching.  We had people generously donate more than just material goods. They donated time, energy, love, support, and community. We have made new friends, changed and strengthened relationships, and grown as a family. One of the reasons that this $150 cheesecake means so much to us, is that it represents that community of love and support that we are so excited to have.

Luis and I are so excited to share the story of the cheesecake with Baby G. We are so excited to have our child grown up with such a community of love ans support. We cannot wait until all the people that are part of our circle of family and friends get to meet Baby G, and continue to love and support us.  We know that we are still early on this path, and have miles of road to go, but with the amazing support that we have we feel confident that we will reach our destination! Baby G, we are working for you!

~Danielle

Giving Thanks

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(Luis speaking) Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday of the year, I would be lying if I said I like Christmas more, but honestly T-day is my top favorite holiday. This has nothing to do with being to just eat delicious food all day and have an excuse to have several servings and have the shape of a turkey by the time you are done eating (although that is a perk of the holiday), but it is always a good reminder of just being thankful of the big and small things in life.

As you already are aware of, this is the year we decided to adopt and it is crazy to think where we were not even a full year ago as we never thought that this would be the path that God would be leading us into. This is something we are and will always be thankful about, how our hearts were changed into hearts of adoption. We always wanted to adopt, but this time last year we were still hoping that maybe those pregnancy tests would come positive, and while seeing negatives almost every month was hard, we are now in peace and are looking forward to what next year will bring.

This year we also decided to do things a little differently than we usually would as we decided to decorate our house for Christmas on Thanksgiving *gasp!* instead. This breaks our tradition of decorating the day after Thanksgiving that we usually have as we were both raised in homes where “you should never start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving”, my Mom actually gets really mad at how TV and stores start having Christmas stuff way earlier every year, so growing up really we never started celebrating anything Christmas-y until after Thanksgiving was done and over with. We decided to start early for the first time ever for a few reasons:

  1. The last couple of years we have been moving around the Holidays. Two years ago we moved out of the apartment we lived in when we first got married (we had outgrowned our descent sized 2 bedroom apartment) and we moved into a 3 bedroom town house where we had planned on spending at least 2-3 years until we decided we were ready to buy a house, but then in 2014 we all the sudden decided the time was now and bought a house and we closed on it a couple days before Christmas (we actually moved into this house on December 26th), so we didn’t want to have to put up all the Christmas decorations only to have to pack them in boxes again, so in a sense we have not decorated for Christmas in 2 years so we couldn’t wait to actually get to do that in our own home.
  2. I work tomorrow (on Black Friday) as the bank I work for is only closed on Thanksgiving so I will be at work and we didn’t know if we wanted to wait until I got off work or just do it all on Saturday, plus I leave for a week long work training in Albuquerque on Sunday so we didn’t want to be all rushed to put everything up before I left.
  3. Really there is no #3 as #1 really is the main reason for doing this early.

Another thing we wanted to highlight is the beginning of a new tradition we decided to start as a family, all my wife’s idea. This year my wife and my cousin Ruby decided they wanted to adopt a local fire station and bring them Thanksgiving meal, they found out about this opportunity through a group they belong to on Facebook. Ruby is making the turkey and ham and Danielle is making the sides to go with it and we will be taking it to the fire station for the firefighters that are on duty and don’t get to spend the day with their families to enjoy a good home cooked Thanksgiving meal.

As Danielle and I were enjoying some coffee and pumpkin bread this morning she thought of the great idea of when we have kids (and really starting this year) of spending half of the day serving others and half of the day doing the traditional Thanksgiving stuff. This can include doing the fire station hosting again, serving at our local Soup Kitchen and feeding the needy or something related to the military as well, just really something to give back to the family. She said that this would be a good way to remind them that we shouldn’t take the idea of spending the day with family for granted as there are so many people who don’t get to do so.

I definitely married a good and smart wife!

This is just a little insight into what the Guerreros are doing this Thanksgiving and we wish you all have a happy day with your friends and loved ones!

Love,

The Guerreros

Happy Adoption Day (from the Guerreros)

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Yes! Today is one of our favorite days of the year: National Adoption Day!

Join us and celebrate with us thinking and praying about children needing homes and loving families. This year has changed our lives and our hearts so much as we’ve been preparing for adoption, and what a better time as the Holidays are approaching to get ready for a great next year.

Happy Adoption Day!

Love, The Guerreros

Online Auction Fundraiser

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It is time for another very awesome fundraiser! We know that the Holidays are quickly approaching and it will be Christmas in the blink of an eye. This is why we are setting up an online auction to raise funds for our adoption.

Rules and procedures:

The auction launches on Friday, November 27 at 11 AM. All bids that are placed before that time will not count. The auction closes on Monday, December 7 at 6:00. The last and highest bid for any item as time stamped by Facebook for 6PM MST will be the winner. We will message each person that wins each auction item. All payments can be made via PayPal, or in person. We will set up a meeting time and place to revive items. Some items may be shipped while others cannot be.

For safety reasons, unless we can figure out a non-Facebook way to post the link on this blog we won’t be sharing the link here because we don’t want the world having our social media information. We will every now and then be posting items from the auction on this blog as well.

Love,

The Guerreros

Some things we’ve learned

Adoption Awareness Month is in full gear! As future adoptive parents, we love hearing and reading stories about families made and formed by the bonds of adoption. We believe that adoption is our gift from God and something we always wanted to do, yet it was meant to be His plan from the very beginning.

Here are some things that we would like to share about what this journey is like:

What is some advice you can give to others who want to adopt?

Adopting is a long road! We’ve had many conversations with friends and family lately where we have been asked about updates on our adoption and how the progress is going. We’ve also talked with others who are in the same path or may think about adopting. One thing you should be prepared is that it is a long road and it definitely takes a lot of energy and it takes a toll emotionally as well, there are ups and downs and sacrifices you need to make. It is not a road for everyone and you have to be prepared for unexpected happening. You also need to be sure this is what you want to do, if you want to adopt a child because it’s “trendy” or you “want to save all the needy children Angelina Jolie style”, then it is probably not for you, realize that you will be bringing a child to your home, to your life, to your family and this is not like when you adopt a pet, it is a commitment for a life time. Make sure you are 100% sure that adoption is what you want to do.

Do your research!

There are many different roads you can take when you are adopting, and really there is no way better than others. You can go through the state, you can go private domestic and international, each way has its pros and cons. Before you decide, make sure you have looked into each option before you make a decision as far as which route you are going to take.

Trust in your support system

Family and friends are extremely important partners when it comes to adoption and just like anything else in life, you shouldn’t do it alone. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of love from our families and friends and we are so excited to continue sharing this journey with them. It also helps talking to others who have been through adoption. When you talk to people about the fact that you are adopting, people love the idea but for most it is a foreign concept. We have been lucky enough to know others who have gone through the process that we can call and talk to and come with questions about the process or if we just need a voice to vent. Our parents and siblings have also been the biggest supporters we’ve had and we couldn’t do it without them. So whoever your support group is (your family, friends, church, co-workers, etc) please know that you can rely on them, they are placed in your life for a reason.

And lastly, your spouse…

Just like in any marriage and in parenting, your spouse is your #1 partner in the adventure of adoption. This year has been challenging for us as we decided to begin the adoption process and we have learned to rely on each other more than ever before, not that we didn’t before, but we have really grown even closer than ever before and have really taken that extra step to solidify our marriage and our roles in each other’s lives. Men and women react to certain situations differently and it has been awesome to get to learn how to comfort each other in this journey.

Adoption is definitely a blessing and we wouldn’t want it any other way, not now and not ever, it is definitely what we feel our calling is to be as parents.

November is Adoption Awareness Month

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Yes, November is Adoption Awareness Month!

This is one of the things that we were not aware existed before we started the journey to adoption, but now it means so much to us than we thought it would. We also can’t believe we have been in plans of adopting since June…wow!

OK, so as an adoptive family, what will we do for this month?

Aside from blog posts about adoption, we are committing to donate a percentage of anything we raise in donations via PayPal to an adoption related organization. It is great to give back too!

If you have a minute, and feel lead to please consider helping us, and helping others as well:

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Happy Birthday, Danielle!

This is Luis, today I want to shout out to my beautiful wife Danielle because it is her birthday. Guys, she is an amazing wife and I know she will be a great Mom someday (we hope not too long). This is the 4th time I’ve been able to celebrate her birthday and every year I ponder and think how lucky I am and thankful I am that God put her in my life.

This year has been a great and very changing year for us. We went from renters to home owners (well, technically the last week of 2014), I (recently) switched to a different job and we made the huge decision of adopting, and that has really been something huge for us. Danielle has always wanted to be a Mom and she has never cared where our children came from, she has been wanting to love and raise a child for a long time and I can’t wait to see her take on that role.

Happy birthday, my love!

-Luis

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The Waiting Game

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Waiting is hard…

As we write this, we know that we are number 10 on the waiting list still with the adoption agency. This number 10 means there are still 10 families ahead of us waiting to begin their process of adoption. So this means that before us, there will be 10 people that will get to begin working with the agency to reach the ultimate goal of adopting a child. There are 10 families waiting ahead of us to be completed.

So we are waiting…and we will continue waiting.

Waiting is not necessarily a bad thing. Waiting means we have more time to prepare financially and continue to fundraise to reach our ultimate goal. Since we are getting close to the holiday season, we will be launching a few “end of the year” fundraisers including an online auction (perfectly timed for people to get their Christmas shopping done) and also a bake sale, because who doesn’t like baked goods in the fall?

We were told by the agency that we should be moving up the list soon, but that doesn’t guarantee that things move faster anytime soon either. In the mean time we will just continue waiting.

F.A.Q.

cool-question-marks-question-marks-25cpew0We were just realizing it’s been a few weeks since we’ve posted a blog update and while we wish we had exciting news to share this time, we don’t have news at all. Adoption is a long process and sometimes there are periods of “nothing-ness” and where you just have to wait, and wait, and wait some more. That is kind of where we are right now.

So for the time being, we thought of some questions that we get asked a lot by almost anyone we talk about adoption with.

Where are you in the process of adoption?

This is a question we get asked a lot, and it is a very understandable thing for people to want to know as when you announce you are having a child, people have a time frame, a due date, but when you are adopting there really isn’t one. Currently we are on a waiting list with Adoption Assistance Agency to be listed for a birth mother to pick us to adopt their child.

What time frame are you looking at for adopting?

This one usually pedals along with the previous question because that is one of the most unknown. We have been advised that an average adoption could be anywhere from 6 months to a year and a half, but there is really no way to know. Once we are off the waiting list and then complete our home study we could receive a call in a couple months or a year that a birth mom has picked us, and then of course depending on how far a long she is could add more time to the waiting.

So what age range are you wanting to adopt?

We get this a lot! Ok, while there are kids of all ages that need loving homes, for this first adoption we really want to adopt from birth. People often ask if we would be willing to adopt an older child (let’s say an 8 year old just to put an age to this) and our response always is that we don’t feel that is the stage in life we are. Normally when a couple has a child they start with a newborn and then you grow up as a parent along with your child, if we adopted an 8 year old, that is 8 years of parenting we don’t have! Maybe in the future we may be open to adopting an older child, but not for now.

Why would you pay $X for an adoption when there are free ones up through the state?/ Why does it cost so much to adopt?

We are grouping these two together because they usually go hand in hand with each other. Let’s face it, adopting is expensive and yes, you can adopt a child for close to nothing if you go through the state and we have explored that alternative and feel like it is not for us. Without going into much detail, but adopting through the state it is very hard to adopt an infant and there are a lot of stipulations to that (as in they may have an older sibling and can not be separated). Again, there are so many kids that need a loving home and right now we feel going through an agency is our best option. As far as cost it is justifiable as a lot of it goes towards health costs to the birth mother, services through the agency and legal fees.

Would you like to adopt a local (American) child or International?

Another one of those questions we get a lot and that are hard to explain sometimes. We have chosen to go through an agency that works with local (as in the State of New Mexico) families. We have considered international and we don’t have anything against people who decide to take that route but it is not for us. We feel there are many kids in this county who’s life could be changed by a loving family in their own country, and while there is a huge need in many other countries as well, sometime our local ones are the ones that get forgotten.

These are just some of the questions we get asked the most because there are so many different ones and we love answering your questions. We may do another one of these in the future.

Coffee Adoption Fundraiser at Beck’s Coffee

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So one of the fundraisers we have been very excited and looking forward for a couple months was the Coffee Fundraiser hosted by our friends at Beck’s Coffee, a local coffee roasting company here in town.

It was great! Ty and Ariana are so knowledgeable as far as the different roasts of beans and different blends and made for a very successful lesson for our friends and family who were able to attend and we really learned a lot that we didn’t know (and we would consider ourselves coffee snob-ish people). Music was provided by Helene and Frank from a local duo called “The Two of Us”. Overall a great event.

This is the type of fundraising events that we love! Fundraising in general is fun, and it can feel a little awkward at times because no one likes asking people for money, but when you can put an event together and have people benefit out of it…that is even better and it makes fundraising totally worth it and fun!

We were also very proud to share with those that showed up that we have raised about 20% of our overall adoption goal since we began raising money for adoption, which we still don’t know how that is even possible. When we began researching agencies and finding out the cost of adoption, the total goal seemed like something that scared us, like something we thought we might never reach, but now that we are in full gear in fundraising that total number seems less scary every day. We have faith and know that we will get there and that even though it will take work, it will make it completely worth it in the end and even though the road is still long, we are starting to see the (far) light at the end of the tunnel and we know that some day we will reach it.

Thank you so much for all your love and support so far, it is thanks to all of our friends and family that the road to adoption is becoming easier and easier each day!

Love,

The Guerreros