Sunday, June 12, 2011

hopes o dreams events

The neighborhood we live in hosted a "Flea Market" event a few weeks ago so we got a booth and brought out some of Megan's products to sell.  It was a rainy & cold Saturday morning which contributed to a very low turnout, but we still were blessed to sell some clothes and we got to share our story with a lot of our great neighbors.  We are very lucky to live in such a supportive community.  There is another Flea Market on Sunday, July 31st.

Equally as cool was that my parents came over the night before and worked their tails off well past midnight to help us get some products completed and ready to sell.  Then we were up and at 'em to get up the Flea Market for the 7am start time.  We couldn't thank my parents enough for all they have done to help.

We've got another opportunity June 25th in New Lenox, Illinois where Megan grew up.  Her parent's church is having its 36th Annual Old Campground Festival and we are going to do a booth there too.   Her parents have volunteered to come down in a few weeks to work in the "hopes o dreams" factory to help us prepare for that one too.  Megan's dad plays in the praise band at his church and will actually be playing a set of songs at the Art Fair, how cool is that?  Here is a YouTube video of the United Methodist Praise band.  Megan's dad Marty is on the far right.

On the Sunday before Memorial Day, Megan hosted a "tie dying" party at a friends house for her daughter's birthday.  She helped over 20 children tie die their own shirts and then put a custom design on each one.  The weather was great and the kids (and parents) were incredibly happy with the turnout.

thanks for reading, Brett

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the concept behind hopes o dreams

There is a bit of "baby fever" in the O'Daniell household these days.   Megan started tie dying shirts for a project at her school (she is an art teacher at Churchill Center & School for learning disabilites.)  She loved it so much, on the nights and weekends, she started tie dying baby onesies and shirts as gifts for some our friend's children.  Like us, many of our friends and co-workers are smack dab in the middle of the "prime-time" age for baby making.

The response has been so great, that we realized we could put all the proceeds from sales of products to help us create the family we have been dreaming of through adoption.  Many say by the time it is all said and done, we could spend well over $40,000 on the adoption.  We realize it is a huge financial commitment, and are very gracious to everyone who buys Megan's products.

Megan has been working franticly since her birthday (April 21) on "hope O dreams."  On her birthday we established the name.  Megan and Tami Cralleye were talking one day and they came up with the idea "hopes & dreams."  Megan and I took it a step further and decided to personalize it with a sprinkle of our last name, thus "hopes O dreams" was born.

Additionally on her birthday, we created the logo and bought the website address which now points to Megan's etsy account. She has uploaded dozens of her handmade products and adds more and more each week.   We underestimated the "custom order" aspect of all the products, but Megan has loved coming home each night from school and cranking out custom "baby o onesies."

School is out for Megan now, she is going to be helping at school for a week, and then she gets to spend the rest of the summer living and breathing "hopes o dreams."  She is so excited, and I can't say enough how lucky I am to be married to such a creative and loving person.

We both are so blessed to have so many caring and supportive friends, family and neighbors who are supporting us as we navigate through this very exciting time in our lives.

Thanks again for reading, Brett.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Received Our Adoption Packet Today!

Brett and I received our adoption packet today from American Adoptions!!!  YEAH!!!

In it was a big manual we need to read that explains the process and how to fill out all the necessary paperwork.  I actually read a lot of it while working out at the gym!!

It also included the home study packet to fill out along with the criminal, background, and child abuse forms.  We are currently filling out this information while enjoying the Cardinals (they are up against the Giants) and a glass of some excellent V. Sattui Cabrernet provided by the Stigalls! Thanks Elizabeth and Bill!

Photo from last night at Botanical Gardens
with Bill, Elizabeth and our God Child Liam.
The other part of the packet was a long form we have to fill out called the Adoption Planning Questionnaire.  This is completed online and is basically a ton of questions about our future child and our future birth parents.  It is where we basically hand pick a child.  It is very weird to have to check boxes indicating "yes" or "no" on a variety of questions that most parents don't have a say so in.  It includes anything from race, medical history of the birth parents, our adoption budget, how open we want the adoption to be, and a bunch of open-ended questions regarding our knowledge and thoughts about the process.  This will probably take the longest to complete and will require a lot of conversations between Brett and I.

There was also the information about creating a photo and video profile (which we are the most excited about).  We get to collect about 50 photographs about all aspects of our lives and submit them along with  some text about Brett and I as individuals and as a couple.  We submit all of this online and the agencies professionals put it together for our photo profile that is about a 4 page spread all about us.  This is what gets send to potential birth parents to market ourselves! :)  This part also includes a video camera that will be send to us after we send in the pictures to help us collect video clips of us, our neighborhood and our friends and family.  These clips are also put together by the agency's professionals as our video profile.  This is also sent to potential birth parents to help them make an informed decision.

This part of the process is what really sold me on this agency.  Potential birth parents only receive about 15 "matching families" and those family's photo and video profiles.  The agency has this awesome and complicated program that spits out matches based on all the criteria the birth mothers and the adoptive parents submit.  They are then send our profiles (video and 4 page spread) to help them make their decision.  I loved that the birth mothers get the opportunity to see us and hear about us along with all aspects of our lives. I also love that the stress of creating these items are taken off or us!  We have been through so much that the thought of how much stress Brett and I (being the creative perfectionists we are) would acquire in creating these items would put us over the edge.

So......if you are wondering what we are up to in the coming will be PAPERWORK! and of course working on items for our store on etsy!

We might we coming around to some of you for photos and video clips!

Thanks for reading and we can't thank you enough for your love and support!