This coming Saturday, March 9, we will be holding a BIG yard sale AND online fundraising drive. ALL donations will be matched $1 for $1 by a generous donor up to $3,500 in donations. So on Saturday you can give knowing your donation will be DOUBLED!!! Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.
A Few Common Questions:
We have received a few questions about our fundraising efforts and I wanted to address them in this update.Question
: Are my donations tax-deductible?Answer
: No. Donations made through Youcaring are not
tax deductible. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation you can send a check to the adoption agency we are working with- Angels' Haven. Remember to write "John and Allison Kaiser's Adoption Fund" in the memo section of your check
and the agency will hold up to $10,000 in donations for our family's adoption costs (fees, money for in-country travel in Eastern Europe, plane tickets, etc.). Checks can be sent to:
Angels' Haven AdoptionsQuestion:
818 Grayson Rd. Suite #200
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Are my donations refundable?Answer
: No. We don't have the ability to refund donations. Question
: What if something were to happen and the adoption was not allowed or didn't go through. For example, what if her country's government decides to change her classification to unavailable for adoption? What happens to my donation?Answer
: Alex is unlikely to be changed to a status of unavailable for adoption given her special needs. While it isn't impossible, it is highly unlikely (like the Cubs winning the World Series). But if something did happen that caused this adoption to fall through the donated funds would continue to be used toward hosting and adoption from Eastern Europe.
One Week Later
Well it has been one week since I made a round trip drive to Charlotte to drop Alex off for her flight back to Eastern Europe. I am not ashamed to admit I've not only counted the days since, but I've also shed a few tears watching them pass by. We miss Alex so much for so many reasons.
First, we miss hearing her heavily accented English phrases and words. "Papa!" “Mama!” "Bicycle!?" and "It's okay" were always music to our ears. Excited utterances, filled with an energy for the moment only children possess. And cries of "Bicycle" so quickly led to bicycle rides in the cul-de-sac, that, after more pleading, became bicycle rides around the corner, and finally around the entire neighborhood. All the more amazing as this was the same child who arrived unable to ride a bike, and within a couple hours of practice spread out over two days was asking "Papa bicycle?" every morning and riding over a mile from one end of the neighborhood to the other and back again while an out of shape papa and mama tried to keep up.
Second, her constant smile. We have never met a child who could wring so much happiness out of every moment of life. A child whose gregarious personality is so infectious it melted even my often icy heart. I swear there was a moment, somewhere just a couple hours into her first day, where I had a Grinch like experience. To be precise, there was a moment where my heart grew three sizes. Not that my heart was particularly small (or that I've ever stolen any Christmas trees), but I have been prone to indifference. However, we all discovered that with Alex around smiles came more naturally and abundantly than at any time before. And indifference was no longer possible or conceivable when confronted with a child so full of joy and energy.
Lastly, we are better for knowing her. With her around we laugh louder, we smile broader, we live better. We think, and feel, and relate differently with Alex in this family (rhyme unintended). We live better, fuller, more meaningful lives.
And yes, sometimes we worry Alex will lose patience and hope as she waits in her orphanage. I worry maybe we aren't up to the task of raising these funds. I worry about failing to achieve our dream of travelling across the ocean and bringing her back to our home. Then I am reminded that worry never accomplished anything. I am reminded that faith is more powerful than doubt; hope is greater than despair; and love is the strongest motivator in this world. Most of all, I remember how much only three weeks with Alex in our home changed our lives so radically and meaningfully. When I think about that I know it will all work out.
(Written by John K. on August 31, 2012)
On her last day in America Alex tried to do as much as she could. We bicycled, roller skated, went swimming at the pool, jumped on the trampoline, attended her Taekwondo class, and even got to eat pizza and Chinese food in the same meal (something she insisted on b/c she couldn't make up her mind). She had so much fun most of the day on Wednesday. Then the reality set in that she was heading back, and she struggled with that at night as we were getting ready for bed. We promised her we would do all we could do adopt her, but she would have to be patient. She understood.
We took a few final pictures, brushed teeth, and then went to be around 11 p.m.
The following morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and drove Alex to the airport to catch the first of two flights that would take her back to her orphanage in Eastern Europe. I managed to stay composed- mainly because Sasha came along for the ride. We said our good-byes outside airport security, hugged, and she told me "papa, its okay"-- a phrase I often say that she picked up from me.
We left the airport and drove back 3 1/2 hours to our home. The funny thing was our home didn't quite feel the same. It seems to empty and far too quiet now. We never expected to have our life changed so much, so quickly, by our decision to host Alex. However, there is no denying that all of our lives have been deeply changed for the better for knowing her. And we have no doubt that Alex is meant to be part of this family. Please continue to share the link, to donate, and to comment. Help us bring Alex home.
The picture from the party are on the sidebar of the site. A brief explanation of a few of the photos.
She LOVED the mascot! She saw the costume when we visited a few days back and wanted to see the Kangaroo then, but we convinced her she had to wait. So when she finally saw her she flipped out. Shortly after the hugging was over she decided she wanted to wear the mascot's head...
Needless to say she got her wish. Never seen a child so happy to have a hot, heavy, vision blocking object on her head. And to end with my favorite picture.
This is the image of her holding the piece of her birthday cake that shows her favorite cartoon character. She was on cloud nine the entire time.
Thanks to all the folks who helped make this possible. And please keep spreading the word about the fundraising effort. The quicker we raise the money the less time she has to spend in her orphanage and the sooner we can officially make her part of this family.
The Big Party
Well Alex is only five days away from heading back to the orphanage, but today she is going to form some great memories to take back with her (I hope the airlines haven't figured out a way to charge extra luggage fees on new memories!). Although she is turning 10 years old, this will be the first time she has ever had a birthday party or received a birthday gift. A good reminder of all the things we take for granted in this country.
To make the day special we began by getting her a cake featuring her favorite children's show, Cheburashka.
The weird looking box in the bottom corner is an example of my poor MS Paint skills, as I had to edit her name out of the cake picture. Agency rules don't allow us to post her name.
We also let her pick out all her party supplies. She went with a Spiderman theme; which should look interested contrasted with the Cheburashka cake.
We have about 10 kids committed to show up, and plenty of evites that are still up in the air-- so maybe more will show. So keep your fingers crossed that this will be an awesome party for Alex.
She has to go back to the orphanage in a week. I doubt I will be able to remain composed when I see her board that plane heading back toward Eastern Europe. But for now we are putting together the greatest birthday party ever for her. I remember an ad that stated "what do you get the person who has everything?" But the question now is "What do you get the girl who has had nothing- and can't bring much of anything back with her?" Consequently I am focusing on giving her a party experience she will always remember! When she leaves the real pus to raise funds, get grants, push through paperwork, etc. really starts. And if all goes well we will fly over to Eastern Europe in February, fulfill all the adoption neccessities, and then fly back with her. Thank you for all of your support whether donations or comments. They all mean a great deal to us.
GETTING CLOSER TO OUR GOAL
Thanks to everyone who shared the link and donated. Because of you we have raised over 12% of our fund raising goal. My math might not be that great, but I am pretty sure that means we are 1/8th of the way to meeting our goal. That means we just need to take what we've already accomplished in about a week, and do it 7 more times in the next 13 weeks. I believe we can accomplish that! Stay tuned for more updates, pictures, and videos.
What Your Donations Cover...
Home study costs
Round Trip airfare for 2 adults
In country travel
Child's one-way airfare
Child's visa, medical exams, notary fees, etc.
and a slew of miscellaneous costs that tend to pop up.
Our First Video and Pictures
I've figured out how to post video and pictures to this site, and it was definitely easier than expected. I posted a video we made the second night she was here. I apologize for my rather disheveled appearance, but it had been a long day trying to keep up with a very active child who wanted to play, run, jump, etc. The pictures include her first game of pool (which went surprisingly well), her trying on my daughter's unicorn costume (my daughter wore it when she was in Kindergarten, but poor Alex is to thin it actually fit with room to spare), and then a picture of Sasha and Alex together. I will keep posting pictures and videos of our time with Alex, so stay tuned and keep dropping by. Also, keep spreading the word and sharing the link to this page. Thanks!
Thanks to all those who continue to donate to help bring Alex Home. We are almost HALF WAY THERE!!! As of today, between our Youcaring account, our adoption savings account, and funds contributed directly to the adoption agency, we have raised a little over $12,000 dollars! We have $14,000 left to go and lots of fundraisers left to run. So please hang in there, keep spreading the word and passing the inks, and together we can get Alex home. Thanks you so much.
Refer as many people as you can to www.helpbringalexhome.com
and let them know they can help make a difference too in this child's life.
A Few Common Questions:
We have received a few questions about our fundraising efforts and I wanted to address them in this update.
Question: Are my donations tax-deductible?
Answer: No. Donations made through Youcaring are not tax deductible. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation you can send a check to the adoption agency we are working with- Angels' Haven. Remember to write "John and Allison Kaiser's Adoption Fund" in the memo section of your check and the agency will hold up to $10,000 in donations for our family's adoption costs (fees, money for in-country travel in Eastern Europe, plane tickets, etc.). Checks can be sent to:
Angels' Haven Adoptions
818 Grayson Rd. Suite #200
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Question: Are my donations refundable?
Answer: No. We don't have the ability to refund donations.
Question: What if something were to happen and the adoption was not allowed or didn't go through. For example, what if her country's government decides to change her classification to unavailable for adoption? What happens to my donation?
Answer: Alex is unlikely to be changed to a status of unavailable for adoption given her special needs. While it isn't impossible, it is highly unlikely (like the Cubs winning the World Series). But if something did happen that caused this adoption to fall through the donated funds would continue to be used toward hosting and adoption from Eastern Europe.