Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's official.....

We hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed their holidays.  We received word on Christmas Eve that we have the official referral for the four children we are adopting from P!!  Kim and I could not ask for a better present, but we got one anyway.  We also found out that the kids would receive the picture books we sent as well as learn they are being adopted on Christmas Day!!  Our hearts were jumping for joy and Kim was crying.  My tears were all allergy related ;)

All day on Christmas we kept thinking about what their reaction would be to the news that they are being adopted and being kept together.  Would they be excited, scared or both?  We both smiled knowing next Christmas would be very different, but in a good way.  All of us are looking forward to having them home and beginning this next phase in our lives.

So, we will now start to work on our I-800.  We also still have the last part of our adoption fee to pay off which does not include what our travel and in country expenses will be.  We have applied for seven grants so far, but have not heard back from any of them yet.  With the official referral in hand there are a some more that we can apply for.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work on clearing this hurdle.

Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I-800A approved!!

We are I-800A approved!!  All we need to do is get it apostilled on Monday morning and then overnight it to our agency.  The foundation in charge of our children meets early next week, so please pray that we get the I-800A letter to them in time to review our dossier and issue the official referral.  We appreciate any prayers, wishes of good luck, etc.  For those keeping score at home, if we get the official referral in a week or so, we should be able to travel sometime in Feb/early March. 

It was in February of last year that we committed to these kids.  It has been a year that has shown us the best of people in so many ways.  Complete strangers who have supported us through kind words, prayers, encouragement and through our fundraisers.  We have come to realize (even more than we did before) that we are part of something so much larger than just our little world.  We are have been introduced to some amazing families who have opened their hearts to adoption and they have shared not only their joys, but their struggles as well.  Kim and I are better for having met you all!!

As we approach the end of the first leg of our adventure, Please consider donating to our adoption through our Just Love Coffee store:

Or by purchasing one of our handmade Kumihimo bracelets.  There are photos in the below posts.  Either of these make great holiday gifts, especially when you factor in every dollar gets us closer to bring the "Fantastic Four" home :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So much closer

We have been assigned an officer to review and approve our I-800A.  This means we are getting very close to receiving the official referral for our children, which then leads to travel dates!  The foundation responsible for our children meets next month so hopefully we can get our I-800A approval to them before then so we do not have to wait until the next meeting.  Stay tuned for further updates.

We have a couple of prayer requests.  There is a family who is adopting a little girl in the same country we are.  She is not doing well right now so please keep this little princess in your prayers.

Also, a very good friend had hip replacement surgery this week and I ask that everyone pray that he has a speedy recovery.  "R" we hope you are back on your feet very soon!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas comes a little early

Hello!!!  Thanks again to all of you who follow our adoption adventure.  This week we learned that our kiddo's will learn about us for the first time a little before Christmas.  I wish I could insert a dramatic pause, because I have no idea how to describe how this makes us feel.  It still has not sunk in.  How I wish I could be a fly on the wall when their foster family tells them that after all this time of waiting there is a family that wants to adopt you!  I would give my left pinkie (ok just the tip) to see their face as they look through the photo books we sent over for each of them.  Will they be scared, happy, excited, or indifferent?  What do they know if anything about America?  All of these thoughts race through our heads.

It does mean that for us that no better Christmas present could be given.  Knowing that any feelings the kids may have had of being unwanted or worry that they would be separated can start to be relieved.  As a little kid all I wanted was my two front teeth, now all I want is my four kiddos from the land of pierogi's.

Since the holidays are coming up let me mention that we are still doing the handmade kumihimo bracelets as a fundraiser.  They make fantastic and unique gifts for family members, friends, co-workers, teachers, librarians, astronauts, day care providers, nannies, you name it!!  Besides giving a unique handmade gift you will also be helping bring these kids home.  As we near the end of this part of the adventure, travel fees are a big thing we are focusing on (one way airfare x 4 for example). 

 If you look in the below post you will see some examples of bracelets my wonderful wife has done.  We can do a great deal of color combinations so don't be afraid to ask.  We continue to pray for all of you so please keep us in your prayers as well!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Can you hear that??

Do you hear that sound.....the sound of four more orphans about to be swooped up into a family.  It's the sound of four young children learning for the first time in over two years of waiting that someone wants them....all of them.  That's the sound of a child knowing that a mom and dad he/she hasn't met yet is loving them from 4,669.9 miles away.  It is the sound of little hearts having part of their hopes and dreams fulfilled.

This week our dossier was sent to Poland for translation and in that package are four photo books, one for each of our children, that will unveil to them for the first time they have a family waiting for them.  In our minds we dream of what we hope their reaction will be.  We hope and pray this heals their hearts a little from the ordeals and trials they have already experienced.  We hope that they will be excited to meet us in person as we are them, for there has not been a day where we do not gaze upon their photos or think about them.  If all goes well we hope that day comes in the early part of 2014.

With this step down we are approaching the final turns in this adventure we started almost a year  ago.  Some big obstacles (fees) are still to be overcome and we are applying for grants and saving all that we can.

As the holidays approach I would like to mention again that Kim makes handmade Kumihimo bead bracelets like the ones below.  We can do almost any color combination and ALL of the proceeds go directly to our adoption fund.  We sold a good number of these last year and heard a lot of great compliments so please keep us in mind for your holiday or birthday shopping.  Buying one of these will make an impact on an orphan's life.

Since Fall is upon us, we would like to also remind you that our coffee store with Just Love Coffee is still open:

A portion of each purchase goes toward our adoption process.  There is no better way to warm up on these cool fall mornings than with a warm cup of Joe, especially when it helps to bring our four children home.

Most of all, we would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support.  I would take up pages thanking everyone individually and since you probably haven't read this far down, I wont :),  Please continue to pray for us and our four children who we are working to bring home soon.  God Bless you all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some exciting steps forward...

Hello!  We have had a pretty productive week thus far.  We were able to do our biometrics appointment earlier than scheduled (yay) and we applied for some grants last week to aid in funding the adoption.  Our agency also let us know that when our dossier is sent over shortly we will be able to send photo books to our kiddos :)  This will be the first time that they learn about us! 

I can't begin to tell you how excited that makes us feel.  If only we could be there to see their faces when they find out after all of this time there is a forever family waiting for them.  So now we are working on what to include in the books.  Kim had picked up four photo books over the summer so we will make one for each of the children so they have something of their very own.  We are wanting to include pictures of the four of us, of course, but also places we visit frequently like our church, local library and the park.  We will include pictures of our house, yard, their rooms and of us doing family activities together.  We are open to any suggestions from those who have sent books to their kids before meeting them.

I'm working on a few more grants this weekend.  If anyone knows of any that don't appear on the common lists please PM us on Facebook.  We will get the last of our docs apostilled this week so our dossier can be assembled very soon.  Our hope and prayer is we will travel sometime after the first of the year.  Please continue to pray for the kids, the process, our fundraising, and all those kids who are waiting for a family.

Until next time.....

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We are making some progress....

Hello all!  It has been a busy couple of weeks here.  With our home study now complete we are gathering the remaining documents we will need to have apostilled so we can complete our dossier.  We have our next fingerprinting appointment next week so we will get that out of the way.  As we move closer to the end of the year the impact of all  of this seems to get larger and more real at times.  By the grace of God, we could have these four kiddos home in less than six months!!

We still have more money to raise so if you know anyone who likes coffee please share with them our Just Love Coffee store link:

Thank you to everyone who has purchased coffee.  Every single dollar helps get a little closer.

Our adoption video for Give 1 Save 1 is finished and we are waiting to be the featured family.  When that happens we will make sure we let all of you know.  We would not have made it this far without all of your prayers and support.  We are so very grateful and pray that God blesses you all.

Last week we went to an event put on by the parks department called the Family Outdoor Experience.  It was such a great time.  We went horseback riding and the girls rode horses for the very first time unassisted along the 1 1/2 mile trail.  They were awesome!  We saw some deer, although I wonder if they were "released" just for our ride since I heard other riders say they saw them as well around the same point.  Nevertheless, it was pretty cool.

We also did some archery, air rifle shooting and skeet shooting.  They had some great exhibits of wild birds, bee hives, animal pelts, handmade fishing nets, and native spices of Indiana to name a few.  We also met a great family while waiting in line to ride the horses.  It is amazing how just talking about adoption can bring people together.

Another beautiful weekend is in the forecast so hopefully we can get outside.  First we have to get these grant applications done!  Keep us in your prayers, you are in ours.

Until next time....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Good news.....

We are home study approved!!  Happy dance time at the ole Nicely homestead.  We just received the news last night and are very excited.  We still have some things to do, but this is a big hurdle we have just jumped.  As promised we are now selling coffee through our blog as another fundraiser.  The link is on the left side at the top.  So if you are a coffee lover, head on over and browse the wide variety of coffees!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Moving along

We are in the closing days of summer according to the calendar.  We are moving deeper into our adoption process as well.  Our home study report has been sent to our agency to see if anything needs to be corrected before it is finalized.  This is really great news!  Once that is done, we can start a new fundraiser.  we plan to sell coffee on our blog!  All of you coffee lovers out there keep your eyes peeled for that announcement.  The company that does this not only offers ground and whole bean coffees, but K-cups as well for all of you Keurig owners!

Being home study approved also means we can start applying for grants as well.  If anyone has any advise on what to do or what not to do when applying for these please contact us.  We recently got an update on the kids and it seems they are doing well.  We have celebrated two of their birthdays so far and have the next two coming up soon.  We always have a cake for them and record us singing happy birthday.  Kim and I hope we can show this to them when we meet them.  Our goal is to travel early 2014 to get them.  Please join us in prayer that the rest of our process goes smoothly.

Since we are nearing the next milestone in our adoption adventure, I would like to remind everyone that we are still selling our hand made bead bracelets.  They make great gifts and we can do almost any color combinations.  Some examples of what we have done in the past include:  school colors, adoptive country flag colors, seasonal colors, and pro sport team colors.  Contact us if you have any questions or are interested in purchasing one.  The bracelets are $15 + S&H.  Here are a few pics.

As soon as we move forward with the coffee fundraiser we will let you know.  Enjoy the rest of your summer and until next time...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Homestudy is finished.......almost

Hello all!  We have been blessed with some absolutely beautiful weather over the last week or so here in Central Indiana.  There is nothing like having all the windows open in the house, the breeze blowing through, and listening to the wind chimes!

To jump right in, we are finished with all of our home study visits and now just have to wait for our social worker to finish the report.  We hope to have that by the middle of next month.  Once we get that wrapped up, we will feel like we have crossed another significant milestone in this adoption adventure.  There are still more steps, but with every piece of paper obtained and item checked off, we move closer to getting our kiddos home.

We will start selling coffee once we are home study approved, so all you coffee lovers keep an eye out on our blog!  Kim is still making bracelets and if anyone is interested please feel free to contact us.  We can do almost any color combination.  A big seller has been ones she has done in a child's native country's flag colors. 

The kids have finished up with all of their summer camps and they had a blast.  One of our favorites was the Fire and Safety camp put on by a local police department.  The girls loved it, they learned bicycle, fire and stranger safety.  They also got to do an obstacle course and fire paint ball guns on the last day.  The Sergeant in charge did a great job with them!

We are looking forward to the rest of summer and enjoying this beautiful weather.....while it lasts.

Until next time......

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer is here and things are moving.....

Ah...the warmth of summer is upon us!  Things have been busy around the old homestead.  We have had two home study visits and they both have went well!  We have one more short visit to complete in the next couple of weeks and then this stage will be done and we await the completed HS report.

We also had another fundraiser at the beginning of June.  Our community has a garage sale and ours was a success.  We want to thank everyone who donated items and all who visited our sale.  We had a special family donate the help of two of their daughters and we are extremely grateful for that.  We feel very blessed to be touched by so many who have wanted to help.

Last weekend we attended an adoptive families reunion just outside of Cincinnati.  We had a wonderful time and learned so much from everyone there.  Most of all we made some great connections to lean on as we continue our process and more importantly for when we have the new kiddos home.  The conversations were great and what a blessing it was to watch all of the children play together.  No matter what their challenge or whey they are from, kids are kids!  Laughter has no racial, ethnic, economical, or religious boundaries.  It was through the grace of God we found this group and I know we will be back for future reunions.

We are looking forward to completing this part of our journey and are preparing for the next step in the process.  Thank you to everyone for the continued support and especially the prayers!!  God Bless you all.

Until next time.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Home study and fundraising update!

Hello all!!

It has been a very busy month for the Nicely family.  We have celebrated three of our princesses birthdays this month!!  Mother's Day was in there of course and just this last week we hosted the bake/food sale at our local home school used curriculum sale.  Thank you Mrs. Burgess for allowing us the opportunity to run the booth this year!  Also, thank you to all of the wonderful people who donated treats for the sale.  We are very grateful for your support!

It was a huge success and we all had a great time doing it.  Everyone was so supportive of our adoption!  We want to send a special thank you out to the Murray Family who once again always go above and beyond in their efforts to help us.  Our Plainfield Chick-Fil-A donated some chicken sandwiches and chips for us to sell.  So, along with hot dogs we had a pretty good menu.  Here is another shot of the awesome treat selection we had:


We had a blast!!

That same morning just as we were about to leave to get set up, Kim's phone rang and it was our social worker calling to set up our first home study visit!!  Woo Hoo, that's one step closer to the finish line!  We are very eager to start our lives with these children and our new expanded family.  We know that God is in charge and we just need to pray, relax and let go.

We are also getting ready for our next big fundraiser which is a huge garage sale on June 8th.  Folks from the curriculum sale donated some of their things so we could sell them at the garage sale.  Our garage is overflowing with books!!  Our summer is full with fun events and in between we will continue to ready the house for all of our new additions ;)

Until next time......

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An overdue update.....

It's finally Spring!!  With the changing of seasons we are continuing to make progress in our adventure.  All of our pre-home study paperwork is finished and turned in and now we wait for them to schedule our first interview.  It was quite interesting to sit down and have to write an autobiography.  You don't want to be too long or too short either in telling your story to this point.  I thought some of the questions we had to answer were pretty in depth.  I wonder what it would be like if all parents had to answer these questions before they even considered conceiving?

On the home front we are re-organizing and moving rooms around.  Our good friend Jami helped us score another set of bunk beds so we now have beds for all the new additions to the family :)  This will keep us busy as we move through May.  Our twin daughters have a birthday coming up very soon, and I can't believe they are going to be 8!!  Where has the time gone???  One of the children we are adopting had a birthday recently so we had a little party here.  Even though they are not with us physically we  already consider them part of the family.  Only distance separates us now, soon we will be together!!

The girls had a big dance recital recently and were awesome!!  They worked really hard throughout the year and it showed.  They have a music performance this week and they are really hoping Grandma and Grandpa can make it!  This summer is starting to fill up with summer camps, VBS, and a reunion of adoptive families that we are really looking forward to. 

As for fundraising we are running the food booth at our home school used book sale this month, we have our community garage sale in early June and of course we are continuing to sale these gorgeous hand made bracelets:

If you are interested in ordering one of these bracelets please email us at  The bracelets are $15 +SH.  We can do almost any color combination.

Until next time.....

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Something exciting is happening!

I apologize for the delay in updating the blog.  We have been busy doing the great "paper chase" that is apart of the home study process.  Things have been moving pretty well in that direction, and we are pleased with our progress to date.

We are people of faith.  I state that because we believe our call to adopt is part of God's larger plan for us.  We are not doing this because it is trendy or makes us cool (we are already pretty awesome!), we are doing it because we believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.  Sometimes though we get a picture in our mind of how things are going to go and you start to expect the pieces to fall into place, and THEN WHAP!!  God pulls out His divine 2x4 and hits you right upside the old noggin.  That doesn't happen to you??  Must just be me, LOL.

I write that because we have identified and committed to the sibling group we will be adopting!!  It wasn't how we thought it would go, but we know it His plan that we adopt these kids.  We are so excited to have them be apart of our family and we know that their presence will be a blessing in ways we can't even begin to imagine.  It will not be easy, but nothing ever worth having is. 

In the coming months we will finish up our HS and start to build our dossier.  Once we have HS approval we will begin to share a little more about the kids and the process.  In the meantime we are continuing to fund raise by selling the bracelets Kim makes - Mother's Day is May 12th!! - and look for other ways to help raise funds.

We look forward to sharing more in the future.

Until next time....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The ball is officially rolling.....

It has been a few weeks since our last post and we have been busy praying and discussing what are next steps would be.  We are happy to report that we have signed with an adoption agency and found a local home study organization to work with!  It has been a stressful couple of weeks to say the least.  I am not a patient person by nature so the waiting has been tough.  But, this is what I get since I pray for patience!!  God has the best sense of humor :)

So, we are doing the "paper chase" now and getting all of our required documents together for the agency and the home study.  I sure hope that one thing from college doesn't show up, lol.  No, really its just a joke (for anybody from the government who may be monitoring us).  It is quite impressive how thorough the vetting is for people who want to adopt.

Thank you again to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, suggestions, etc.  Hopefully we will have a few more updates coming soon.  We are really looking forward to the Bulgarian Adoption Reunion we will be attending this summer!

Tune in next time for the next installment of our adventure....

Same bat channel, same bat time ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Daddy/Daughter Fun

This past Monday I had the privilege of escorting my two beautiful daughters to their Valentines party with their American Heritage Girls Troop.  We were able to spend time with our friends the Murray's, do the Waltz (we so rocked it!!), do some crafts and the best part (according to them) was to have dessert for dinner!  Here are some pictures of our special night:

It was great to see so many fathers there with their daughters.  I hope and pray that there is a movement in society where we as fathers are raising our daughters to have integrity and honor themselves as Daughters of God.  We all know there are too many absentee fathers in the world to their children.  It all starts with us.  We have been given a great gift as parents, but also a great responsibility.  It is one that we can only do with the help of our Heavenly Father!

Until next time....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Midwest weather!!

What a week we have had weather wise.  We were basking in the low 50's and lots of sunshine, then heavy rains, and in a matter of days we were experiencing below zero wind chills and white out conditions due to very high winds.  Where we live some of the wind gusts were reported at 60+ mph.  The old saying about the weather in Indiana is true, "If you don't like it, stick around a minute and it will change!"

We have been looking at profiles of children that are on the waiting list.  Most of these children are above a certain age and absolutely precious.  I find myself saying a prayer for each of them as I read about them.  We may not be able to bring them all home, but at least there is one more person in the world who is praying for them.  If you find yourself with a spare moment, please say a prayer for all orphans!

I know God has already chosen what children He has for us.  We look at this journey as one where we need to build our trust and faith in the Lord.  So many folks who have been through the process have shared tremendous stories of how their faith was tested, but that the Lord provided for them when it was needed.  As humans I think we have a very difficult time not being in control, I know I do!!  I pray that I will let go of the anxiety and worries attached with this journey and just follow the path laid out before us.  God Bless you all!!

Until next time..... 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Time of Transition and Decisions

Where has the time gone??  Since our last post it has seemed as if time has just been slipping through our fingers.

I promised this blog would not only be about our adoption journey, but our lives as well.  I start with sad news.  Last Friday, my father passed away.  He was 66 years old and I know that he is in heaven with my Mom and no longer has to worry about his health issues.  I know, trust, and believe that God has taken care of him.  During this difficult time, Kim and I were touched by how many people reached out to us with kind words, support and help.  We are truly blessed by knowing all of you!

A hard transition but onto our adoption.  We have narrowed our choices for an agency down to three.  Everyone we have spoken to has been friendly, knowledgeable and professional.  What separates agencies for us has been the references of other adoptive families.  Some agency references never got back with us, some were so-so, and other sang their agency's praises from the roof tops.  We try to take all of this in stride and look through the negatives and positives to see how they would effect us.  For those of you we have reached out to, we are grateful for you for having taken the time to respond to our inquires and questions.

Our goal now is to have an agency by the end of February and start the next steps.  Fundraising has gone fairly well with the bracelets Kim has made.  So far we have sold 20+ and she continues to make new designs.  They would make great Valentines Day gifts guys, hint, hint lol.  Let us know if you are interested.

The girls are in full swing with homeschooling, dance class and American Heritage Girls!  We are so proud of them and the God loving hearts they have.  I can't wait to see what He has in store for them.  Until next time....

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New Year!

2012 was a good year for our family.  We were blessed to make some amazing new friends, travel, spend time together as a family, spend time with very dear friends and their families and heard the call to expand our family through the gift of adoption.  We truly look at this as if we are the ones being blessed!

New Years Eve got a little rowdy here, lol.  It was a fun filled night of pigs in the blanket, sweet potato fries and laughter!

Our beloved puppy Charlie turned a year old on NYE!

He is cute, mischievous, and a bundle of pure, raw energy!

New Years Day we just relaxed and enjoyed being together as a family.  There was no rush to get anywhere, which we love.  I do miss the days when New Years Day was dedicated to college football.  I am not a fan of spreading out all of the games over two to three weeks.

Later in the week, our awesome friends the Murray's brought me back a little treat from Kentucky!  ALE81 brings back childhood memories of riding down to Brownie's Market in Lebanon, IN on my bike during the summer and enjoying this sweet drink!

The response to our bracelets has been awesome and humbling!!  I want to thank everyone who has ordered them.  We have a couple being delivered this week to Bulgaria!  We can't wait to take some ourselves!  Below are some of the new designs Kim has done.  If you are interested please contact us at our email:


We hope and pray that all of you have a blessed and prosperous 2013!!


The Nicely's