Thursday, August 21, 2014

My reply to Richard Dawkins

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

Yesterday, Richard Dawkins made the appalling statement that a child with Down syndrome should be aborted because it would be immoral to bring the child into the world if you had the choice.

Usually, I get offended when I read a comment like this but when I saw it last night, I had nothing but pity for him. I pity that he cannot see past his own way of living to realize that there are so many other ways to live. I pity that he has never known anyone that was blessed with an extra copy of chromosome 21. I pity that someone with such intelligence can lack such compassion and empathy.

What is Dawkins afraid of? Is he afraid of seeing the beauty in the world? Is he afraid of seeing that people, no matter how different on the outside, are really the same?

Having a child with Down syndrome is immoral? Wicked? Vicious? Vile? In what world is having a child who is different any of these things? Don’t we strive for our children to be different, to be themselves, to be unique?

Chris Burke is an actor who is best known for playing Corky on Life Goes On. Giusi Spagnolo graduated from university in Europe. Megan McCormick graduated with honors and received her degree in education. Angela Bachiller was elected as a councilwoman and now works at the municipality of Valladolid, Spain. Eli Reimer reached the Base Camp of Mount Everest. Maria Reyes Mermeladas owns a marmalade company in Colombia. Ashley Deramus is a fashion designer. Debora Seabra isn’t only a writer but graduated with a teaching degree. Pablo Pineda graduated with a bachelor degree in education and is a writer, speaker, and actor.

What do all of these people have in common? They all have Down syndrome and they’re all changing the world.

Please, Richard Dawkins, just open your eyes and experience the wisdom, dedication, and passion people with Down syndrome have and you won’t think they’re just a waste of space who should have been aborted. I challenge you and anyone who thinks a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome should be aborted to actually take the time to get to know someone who has Down syndrome. You might be surprised at what you learn. You just might realize the true value of life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sponsor a Beanie for an Orphan!

I'm still waiting on the last few pieces of paper to finish my dossier. I am hoping to have it in the mail to my placement agency by the first weekend in September. I can do it!

I posted back in April that I had Beanie Babies that I was going to give to the orphanages in Zola's country. I still have several available for sponsorship. I will bring each sponsored one with me when I travel on my first trip. These beanies will be donated to Zola's orphanage for the children to play with. Not only will you be helping to bring Zola home but you will be "purchasing" a toy for an orphan to play with. Here's a link to the original post: click

For every $5 donation, you can sponsor a Beanie and choose which one will travel with me to Eastern Europe. To sponsor a beanie, please donate to my FSP and e-mail me at or comment here with which Beanie you'd like to sponsor.

When one is sponsored, I will update the original post. Once they're all sponsored, I will also create a new post to specifically thank each and every one of you that sponsored a beanie! These are the beanies currently without a sponsor:

Congo the Gorilla

Rosalie the Bear (without the clothes)

Stretch the Ostrich

Bongo the Monkey, teenie beanies (2 available to be sponsored)

Derby the Horse - sponsored by Jenny

Stripes the Tiger - sponsored by Ivy A.

Almond the Bear

Mel the Koala (2 available, one regular size, one teeny beanie) - sponsored by Jenny

Spinner the Spider

Batty the Bat

Claude the Crab

Iggy the Iguana - sponsored by Ivy A.

Gracie the Swan - sponsored by Jaime B.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mirthful Jewelry - Take a look!

I am now selling these beautiful necklaces. They're the only ones I have right now but am hoping to expand my selection soon. I will also be creating a Facebook page for these necklaces, so stay tuned!

Each necklace is $10, including shipping! To purchase, either make a donation to my Reece's Rainbow FSP or e-mail me at and I will send you an invoice for the quantity you'd like. If you make a donation to my FSP, please send me a copy of the receipt, along with your mailing address, to the same e-mail.

Starfish Necklace (5)
I picked this necklace specifically because of the Starfish Poem. "It makes a difference to this one." Adopting Zola may not change the world and save all orphans but it will make a difference to her! This beautiful necklace has a chain that is 27" and a clasp (non adjustable). The starfish pendant is 1.5"L by 1.5"H.

Love Necklace (2)
The simple "love" necklace has a chain that is 22" (including the 1.5" word "love") with a clasp is adjustable 2".

Owl Necklace
The colorful owl necklace has a chain that is 27" but doesn't have any sort of clasp (put it on over your head). The owl pendant is 2"L by 2"H.

Dragonfly Necklace
The vintage dragonfly necklace has a chain that is 27" but doesn't have any sort of clasp (put it on over your head). The dragonfly pendant is 1.75"L by 2"W

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Who knows what this is?

Yes! I have USCIS approval, hooray! The approval came over the holiday weekend and a week before my next big fundraiser (which is now this coming weekend, I'll make a post about that tomorrow).

Many of you are probably wondering what this whole USCIS approval is. In order to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States, I had to be found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law by USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services). At the time I applied, I also had to submit a copy of my home study. The home study for Hague Convention countries includes detailed information about your health, finances, home, background, etc. Then, I had to go to a local USCIS office to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting FBI criminal background checks. After that, I had to wait. During this waiting period is when I received the letter stating my home study was missing some required information and I had to mail USCIS an updated copy.

With this USCIS approval, I am now one step closer to bringing Zola home. I still need to finish up a few forms for my dossier and then I can submit it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Non-Update Update + Two Fundraisers

I'm still awaiting USCIS approval. I am hopeful that it will arrive within the next week.

Another adoptive parent is hosting a virtual Origami Owl fundraiser for me. This mama is selling Origami Owl to fund raise her family's adoption of two children from the same country Zola is in. I will receive 20% of ALL sales and orders ship when placed. Please follow the link to place your order! The party runs through Monday night, July 23. link

On Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12, I will be having a garage sale fundraiser. If you have any items laying around your house that are unwanted or unneeded and in good condition, please consider donating them to help me bring Zola home. Please contact me by Sunday, July 7 to arrange for free pick up.

Friday, June 6, 2014

USCIS Update and Information About Dossiers

If you regularly read this blog, I owe you an apology. I haven't updated in nearly a month even though there is a reason to update!

I got a letter from USCIS the Friday before Memorial weekend stating that a few things were missing from my home study. I finally got my new copy of the home study earlier in the week and mailed it in to USCIS on Wednesday. Hopefully it will only be a short time before I have official USCIS approval! I'm anxiously awaiting their approval!

Once I have USCIS approval, I will be able to submit my dossier. Since I know many of my friends and family members are new to the whole adoption thing, you're probably thinking, "What exactly is a dossier?" A dossier is a set of documents that are necessary to meet the legal requirements for adoption from a foreign country. Each country has their own specific requirements as to what goes in the dossier. These documents include a health statement from adoptive parents (written by your physician), financial information (income, expenses, etc.), an adoption petition, certified copies of birth (and marriage) certificates, employment verification, a certified copy of the home study, results of the criminal background check, letters of reference, most recent Federal income tax return, and photographs of family, relatives, pets, and house.

Next month is Zola's birthday. I'm trying to plan something fun to celebrate her birthday. If you happen to have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I am hoping that Zola's third birthday will be her last one in an orphanage. Here's to hoping Zola will be able to celebrate her fourth birthday knowing the love of a family!

Monday, April 28, 2014

"We Met You" tee! Get yours now!

Less than 12 hours to get your "We Met You" tee from teespring! Proceeds from these shirts benefit Zola! Click here!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A few updates + new fundraiser (with a way to give to orphans)!

The update:
I finally got my official copies of my home study a week ago. Woohoo! On Monday morning, I sent my USCIS application in! It should arrive at the USCIS facility TODAY! That is so exciting to think about!

The fundraiser:
My newest fundraiser is all about giving to the orphans in Zola's country. I have 27 Beanie Babies that I no longer need. I figured that there was no better way to get them out of here than to donate them to the children in Zola's country who are still living in orphanages and waiting for their forever families!

The details
- For every $5* donation, you can "sponsor" a Beanie Baby and choose which one will travel with me to Eastern Europe. (*Chilly the polar bear, the big beanie, is $10)
- Once a beanie is sponsored, I will add your name to a "thank you" post stating which one you are sponsoring (if you wish to remain anonymous, please let me know).
- When I travel to Zola's country, I will bring all of the beanies with me that have been sponsored.
- To sponsor a beanie, please donate to my Reece's Rainbow FSP and e-mail me at or comment here with which beanie you'd like to sponsor.

My Beanie Baby collection!

(l-r): Congo the gorilla, Hoppity the bunny sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Callie), Rosalie the bear, Pouch the kangaroo sponsored by Donna J., and Stretch the ostrich

(l-r): Bongo the monkey #1 (a teeny beanie), Bongo the monkey #2 (a teeny beanie), Doby the doberman sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Logan), Derby the horse, Velvet the panther sponsored by Rebecca M., and Stripes the tiger

(l-r): (not a Beanie Baby) polar bear sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Francine), Almond the bear, Mystic the unicorn sponsored by sunflowerlove, Mel the koala, and Mel the koala #2 (a teeny beanie)

(l-r): Spinner the spider, Batty the bat, Claude the crab, Iggy the iguana, and Rainbow the chameleon sponsored by Amy K.

(l-r): Wise the owl (class of '98) sponsored by Cat H. (in honor of husband and daughter), Stretch the rooster sponsored by the Trenda family, Gracie the swan, Jabber the parrot sponsored by the Orta family, and Quackers the duck sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Faith)

Chilly the polar bear sponsored by Ilze L. (in honor of Andris). He's the $10 one, you can see the difference in size compared to regular sized Rainbow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A fundraiser that is SimplyFun!

SimplyFun develops unique and engaging board games that support the educational needs of today’s kids, parents and teachers. SimplyFun games are recognized for their easy-to-learn concepts, interactive components and specific skill-building features, that help children from toddlers to teens with language, science, math, geography and more, and are fun for the whole family.

My party runs through Thursday night (March 27, 2014)

SimplyFun received over 50 product awards in 2012!

Their games can be played in 30 minutes or less. These games are perfect both for homeschooling families and as a fun family activity before bed.

The games are high quality, truly unique, and cannot be found in stores!

Here is the link to my party: Stephani's SimplyFun Party

MARCH SPECIAL - Spend $50 and buy any or all of these games at Half Price! Mathroom, Front Runner, and or Fourmation!

Here's one of the many games SimplyFun has to offer:

Tibbars Find My ABCs & 123s
Price: $22 (SALE) regular price: $28
Teaches alphabet, colors, counting and early reading

Together in one bundle, Tibbar's Find My ABCs and Find My 123s will take your child on a learning adventure. Your pre-schooler will delight in assembling each oversized floor puzzle while learning the alphabet, numbers 1 thru 10, and colors at the same time!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hearts for Zola Reminder!!!

"Hearts for Zola" will run through the end of the month!

Every $5 donation to my FSP (click on the widget with Zola's picture on the right side of the blog) gets you one heart! We've had 16 donations so far! Can we get that to 20?! I know I promised pictures at 10 donations but we don't have the the hearts up but they WILL be up by the end of the weekend and I will post them as soon as they're up! "Love for Zola" will be running through the end of February! We have 10 more days to get as many donations for this as possible!

We're also doing a "Love Across America for Zola" fundraiser together with the "Love for Zola" one! Every time someone from a new state donates to my FSP, I will fill in a state! So far, there are only 7 states filled in! My goal is to get donations from all 50 dates! I'd love to do one for Canada, too, so if you're from Canada, please feel free to donate and let me know so I can start a Canadian map!

This is what the map looks like so far, please help me fill it in! Zola's future home state isn't even colored in yet! Bummer!