Thursday, April 10, 2014

Funding Our 3rd and 4th Adoptions

  As we start to gather documents for our home study update we are also starting to focus on funding for our adoptions. The total cost of our first two adoptions was around $30,000 and the process to adopt 2 more special needs children should cost very close to the same amount.
 
$30,000 is a daunting.. No matter how you look at it that is a lot of money. Especially when we are starting to build our home. Its going to take a balancing act for this to all work out but we have faith in the Lord that if the door opens He will be there to walk us through..

Although we have shared our story at a few churches, tried to set up adoption grants at one church for people who adopt after us and have shared our fundraising events we have never asked church leadership to donate to our adoptions and for us we still feel that is something we will not do.
 
We have heard that people wonder when we check out a new church if we are looking for one that will donate to our adoptions. So sad.. but we want to make sure that our actions are above reproach so we refrain from asking any church we attend or visit for donations.  Even still many members of local churches and Christians from all over have kindly donated to our adoptions and we have been Blessed by each one.
 
We really feel that we need to honor John 2:16 "And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." So although we have allowed the kids to sell their crafts and we have shared our fundraisers within the church for us this will no longer something we do.

 
 We have seen over and over in our lives how the Lord provides when we step out in faith. Our prayer is that anything we do will bring glory and honor to Him.
 
 
Lord willing with His provisions through Gooses work we will be able to cash flow  for the initial expenses.  Our goal is to get the new handicap accessible house livable, move in and sell this house to get the equity out in order to cover the remaining fees.
 
We have a plan but as with anything we trust that the Lord will provide all we need when we are in His will..
 
Here is a general rough estimate of the expenses and when they are due:
 
 April Documents for Home study: $130
May Home Study Update: $250
June Agency Application fees: $700
July  Agency fee: $ 6000
         Psych Eval: $300
        State Certs: $150
Aug Dossier prep: $300
        Translations: $600
        Half of In Country fee to submit dossier $7250
 Oct  1800 for US Immigration: $900
Nov Referral Acceptance (Second Half In Country Fee): $7250

Dec 2014-Homecoming

 Final In Country Fee payment $500
Trip 1 $2000
  2Nd 1800 for US Immigration: $900
Final Travel for Pick Up: $4000
 

 
 
  Adopting internationally again while building a home, all without debt..  
 
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
 

In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Our Next Adoptions

We have decided to go back to the orphanage our children came home from and adopt two more little ones who live with special needs.

Our prayer is that we can bring home a little boy and a little girl both living with cerebral palsy. We wont be able to share any pictures or specific information about the children until we receive official referrals (in ~ 6 months) but we can share the names they will be given once they are part of our family: Johnny and Jillianna.



Bless you all for your prayers as we step out in faith and start our next Fitzpatrick Family Adoptions!!
 
In His Light and Love~

Goose and Gillian

Monday, February 24, 2014

His Timing..

Our private agency home study and our DHS foster/adopt home study have both come up for renewal.. We said from the beginning Lord willing we would adopt at least 4 children.. After lots of discussion and prayer within our family we will be renewing our foster/adopt license and we are updating our private home study to domestic special needs. 
 
We will also remain open to adopting from a child living with special needs from DHS. We have called on many children listed on Adopt Us Kids but never heard back and we have had 8 foster placements that all went back to families (which is a Blessing but also heartbreaking). Initially we were discouraged but now we see it just wasn't His will for us at that time so we will continue to be open to DHS adoptions as well. 

We had considered waiting until we were done Baby Step 6 before being open to adopting again but we don't want to limit what God wants for us, every child is a Blessing, so we will remain open to His timing..

 It could be a couple months  or it could be a couple years after we register  chosen by a family or are placed with a child available for adoption (had parents rights removed) by DHS. All we need to do is be willing and then trust in Him with the timing of it all.. Bless you all for your prayers as we step out in faith~

In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Fitzpatricks on the GAPS Diet

We started a new blog to document our continuing journey with GAPS. We have been on GAPS as a family for 3 years but now that Genie and GiGi are home we are starting again with the intro. The new blog will be used to share our experiences and document healing.
 
Please follow our GAPS Diet journey at
 
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian


Monday, February 3, 2014

...And a Few More Homeschool Activities

We have been adding preschool activities with home made tools. Super easy to put together and great resources to use with our youngest two.
Our McKenna making a rainbow salt box. Create a "rainbow" at the bottom of the box with construction paper and glue.  Then fill the box with a layer of salt. Let the kids experiment with using their fingers or a paint brush


 
We also made rice and bead boxes...
 

 
And a shaving cream sensory bag with beads.

 

Very thankful for all the great blogs and websites from other homeschooling families!! We found all these projects by reading what has worked for others then finding a way to make the activities work in our home. Our next project will be some of the great (and super easy) homemade play dough recipes with different textures.  (For now we just use molding clay we picked up at Wal Mart ;) but we are excited to make our own!! Hope to be back soon to share what we find!!
 
Our two precious oldest playing with their younger siblings before they start their homeschooling. My cup runneth over~ 
 
Bless you all for your continued prayers!!
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
 

 
 


Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Christian (Charlotte Mason / Unschooling / Montessori Pre-school) Homeschool Day~

When we started homeschooling our oldest two many years ago we fell in love with the idea of "unschooling". We looked at Charlotte Mason and the Montessori Method and loved the whole idea of moving away from the more traditional and common approaches to education and finding ways for our children to develop a love of learning through creating and surrounding them in an educational environment all while pointing them to the Lord. As they moved up in grades we started incorporating more text book style learning for their Math and Language Arts but our hearts have always been with unschooling albeit a bit more structured than some unschooling approaches.
Our oldest love to learn through hands on activities, living books (think more library book than text book), journaling, and drawing so we still incorporate the more Charlotte Mason approach wherever we can, which is usually with their Sciences, Social Studies and Reading.
Now that our two youngest are home we get to revisit those wonderful preschool days. We will be taking a similar approach in preschooling Genie and GiGi that we did with McKenna and Mikey but altering it a bit to meet their individual needs. We will be incorporating more sensory activities, OT, speech and PT into their day and adapting our approach as we see fit.
Our youngest two have only been home a month but both have been doing beautifully with attachment and thrive on structure so we started incorporating our preschool into their daily schedule and it has been amazing!! Both kids are engaging and making steps that we never thought we'd see so soon.
We have a set up space in our unfinished (but hopefully finished someday soon :)  ) basement for their bins, pretend play, music and PT. In the dining room we have their arts and crafts, puzzles and sensory activities. But their favorite seems to be the activities we do in the kitchen.. They love food so they have really had fun being part of the food prep process.
Homeschooling doesn't need to be complicated, nor does it need to be expensive. We use the space we have. We research ( a lot) to see what has worked for other families and find ways to make what we need. You don't need hand crafted wooden toys in order to educate your preschooler (although we LOVE wooden toys ;) ) and you don't need the shelving from pottery barn to set up themed bins. Where our basement isn't finished yet we put their bins on the floor and that works just fine. ;) What matters is that the children have a calm, loving, safe environment to explore and learn.
We took some photos of what we using right now to create a learning environment for our youngest two..
 Our current Art and Crafts and puzzles that we use in the dining room. Friends donated these wooden puzzles to us for our yard sale fundraiser and we set them aside knowing they would be an great tool for our youngest. 
 Music time~ Goose and his family play the guitar and the kids love to strum along as he plays. Friends gave us a pluck box (Goose saw a man playing one in Haiti when he went to pick up the kids!) and a cajon box (originated in Peru) that are easy for preschooler to play and absolutely beautiful pieces of art.
 
 We purchased a large indoor trampoline and it has been a great asset to helping the youngest build strength and balance. We also do work on the exercise ball for strength and balance. A beautiful friend gave us a 6 foot tunnel and a ball pit with 50+balls and the kids LOVE their tunnels and balls!
This is our bin and pretend play area. (Notice the complete lack of pottery barn and the use of inexpensive Wal Mart plastic containers ;)  ) We have a play kitchen, baby doll accessories and our bins. Each bin has a theme that we can change out but for now these are the Genie and GiGis interests. We have a bin for books, balls, animals, pretend food, blocks and cars. ..(it was amazing to see Genie today with just a bit of help and encouragement he picked up his bin today when it was time to move on and put it back where it belonged. Not because we are concerned with a tidy home but because we are encouraging him to do more for himself and we are seeing his confidence grow by leaps and bounds! He is coming so far!! and this afternoon GiGi chose the animal bin and sat with me repeating the names of all the animals in the bin.. She so loves to learn!!) 
We are Blessed to be able to homeschool all our children and we are so thankful that we are able watch all four of our children blossom while learning at home..
 
Here are some snap shots of our youngest two enjoying our Christian~ Charlotte Mason Unschooling Montessori ~Homeschool. :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bless you all for your continued prayers!! Its an amazing journey and we are thankful everyday that the Lord chose us to be the parents of these four amazing children.
 
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home~

On January 3, 2014, close to two years and two months since we started our journey on Reece's Rainbow's website, Eugene (Genie) John Fitzpatrick and Ginelle (GiGi) Eldora Fitzpatrick arrived home!! They are doing really well and adjusting to everything beautifully. Bless you all for praying for our journey and please continue to pray as we work on bonding, attachment and adjusting to a family of 6.
God is so very good and we thank Him for every moment of the past couple years. We can see His perfect timing in it all and we praise His name for giving us the means, strength, endurance and wisdom to make it through this process. To Him goes all the Glory.
We are following When Love is Not Enough and The Connected Child in our attachment parenting as well as cocooning for the next 3-6 months. We are already seeing the benefits of all the Lord did to prepare us for this part of the journey. We are so thankful for the knowledge, experiences and wisdom He gave us in preparing us for parenting these two precious loves.
Our older two are handling the transition beautifully and love having their siblings home.  The Lord has prepared their hearts as well and they were ready for anything that came in the first nights and weeks and that preparation has made all the difference. They are handling it all with grace and really coming into their roles as the big brother and sister.
Thanks again for all your prayers and Bless you all for continuing to cover our family in prayer.
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian