Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Six Days and a Matching Grant !

It is finally starting to sink in. We will have our sweet little boy in JUST SIX DAYS ! We found out this morning that we are being blessed with a matching grant from Anonymous Angels in the amount of $350 ! Once our FSP reads $7,900 they will match it and bring our FSP to $8,250 ! Its currently sitting at $7,743 :)

We are starting to count down the days to when our journey to Owen "officially begins". In our case, we will drive to NJ on Friday. We had contemplated driving up on Thursday , but decided that Friday was better so Ethan doesn't have to miss more school than absolutely necessary. We will arrive really late Friday night, on Saturday evening we will go to the airport which takes off at 12:45 am. Then we will spend 14.5 hours flying and land in Little Mans country at 12:30am Monday (their time).

So in that case : THREE days til we drive to NJ, FIVE days til we fly and SIX days until we are in little mans country! We have to wait until court is over to visit, and share photos but once we *can* I totally *will*!:)

 I am so happy my heart could burst ! It has been a long almost 4 months since we have seen him and held him. I am going to try to remember to video our reunion, but I forgot last time so no promises :)

Our bags are packed (and loaded in the van !! whoop whoop!), We have a few little things to do- oil change, loading the tablet, cleaning the house and making it welcoming etc etc. But we are READY ! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016


I can not believe we are so close to finally being with our little guys again. Since my last post was so short- sorry ! I couldnt write I was too excited :) -  I will take a minute to back up and let everyone know how everything went down.

We had heard that the embassy was down and that It would take about a week to hear anything. By Monday  I was pumped- and ready for dates. But we got an email from our agency that it would likely take another "couple days" to hear anything-- So technically it would have been Wednesday or Thursday. I joked with some friends on Thursday morning that "technically" it had been a "couple days", but I wasn't really expecting dates. Especially by the time Noon rolled around and we hadnt heard anything. I went to pick up Ethan from school around 230, and around 330 I was checking my email when it popped up from the agency. She just said "hey can you be here the 29th" uhm what? ABSOLUTELY !  haha.

Because my phone broke on Monday I had no way to contact my husband , mom or mother in law. I decided to EMAIL them the good news-- but my mom was the only one that got it. So I wrote the blog post and shared it. One of my friends works with my husband and ran up to his floor to let him know- Imagine that for a minute LOL. And because they work for a cell phone provider call center his coworkers were giving him a hard time that I didnt have a phone :)

We started working on trying to book flights. We ended up booking for 2/28-3/22. This meant that we would have to pay for 2 more days in the apartment ($400). We were just minutes away from booking those flights (Because we were getting them at an AWESOME deal- way less than we expected!) When we got an email from the agency saying our in country team thinks we will be done with everything in about 20 days. We looked into those flights and they were $521 more. But our flights are non-refundable, so even if we are done with everything early we cant leave the country any earlier without losing our tickets and having to buy new ones to come home.  We know that we will miss our littles something awful while we are away but considering our extremely tight financial situation currently we weighed the options and chose the cheaper airfare.

I know logically, this makes sense. Our budget says this is what we can do. But my heart is already hurting. We will drive up to NJ on Feb 26 so that the littles can stay with my mother in law while we are gone. She will drive us to the airport on Sat (Feb27) and we will leave really early Sunday (1245am). We will be in country until March 22. I have never left my kids this long. I know they will be fine and have so much fun, but I really wish we could just stuff 'em in our suitcases and bring them with us.

In the grand scheme of things this will be nothing- we will look back and it wont even matter. But for now, it totally sucks.

BUT ! We are so so so excited to finally be with Owen again. We have waited so long to see him, and he has waited even longer for a family. Once we have our court decree, we will legally be his parents and I can finally blow up Facebook with all of his cuteness !! So if you are one of those people that get annoyed by people who post their kids- delete me now ;)

I am excited to fianlly get back to his country- with all of its beauty <3<3

We Leave in EIGHT days, arrive in his country in NINE.

We are still fundraising- and just $1,975 from FULLY FUNDED. Will you help us get there ? <3 <3

Thursday, February 18, 2016


We will finally get to see our sweet boy again on Feb 29 !!!!! Its not a day we will be able to celebrate every year because, Leap Year ! But Yay Yay Yay !!!!!!!! I am so so so happy right now !

Side note. Y'all know before my husband ! My phone broke earlier this week and I dont have a way to contact him but I couldnt contain my excitement- and he wont mind ;)


We are still a little short on funding....
We have a flight itinerary on hold, but he says if we dont book them today we risk them going up in price !
Currently we need $255 to pay for our flights.
After flights -- $1,800 to be FULLY FUNDED !!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Still waiting. Still raising. And Still collecting .

We had expected to get dates around the beginning of this week. However, on Monday our agency informed us that the embassy was getting an upgrade in security which delayed everything by a few days. Our in country team says we should have dates by Friday or Monday at the latest. We are still expecting about a 10 day notice, maybe a little longer. Please continue praying for us because this part has been harder than any other so far in this process. There is absolutely nothing we can do to speed things up, short of calling them every single day. And that wouldn't speed anything up, it would just annoy them :)

We have Little Mans suitcase packed and ready to go ! We are so ready to get travel dates and bring him home. And  I am praying with everything in me that we can leave soon. He has waited so very long, and I am sure that by now he thinks we have forgotten to go back for him. While part of me feels like the months have flown by since we came home, it also feels like they have drug on and on. I am sure in his little mind that it feels like forever has passed. The thought that keeps creeping up is that he will feel abandoned, again. Before we found him and before we started the process of bringing him home, he was so sure that he was too old for a family. That he wouldn't get a mommy and daddy. He asked everyone that came if they knew his mom and dad and if they knew when they were coming. Today it has been exactly 15 months since we made the call to our agency asking for his file. It has been a long and trying 15 months.

These past 15 months have stretched and strengthened me in ways I didn't know I needed. It is really hard to put into words the ways this process has affected us. But it has made us closer as a family. I have seen my sweet little Ethan show compassion in ways that most 4 year old wouldn't. His little heart doesn't understand why brother isn't home, or why its taking so long. He truly believes we should just get on that big plane again and go get him. He prays over his brother every single night, and asks if Owen is ready to come home yet. He is so sweet.

We still have our Visa board going. And we still have our puzzle piece fundraiser. Would you consider purchasing a number or piece to help us bring Owen home ? We would greatly appreciate it!

We are also collecting items for Owens orphanage. We would like to donate tooth brushes, tooth pastes, hand sanitizer, body wash/ shampoo. diapers and wipes. And possibly children's medicines (Tylenol etc.), but this may be an after thought depending on how well the other things go. We have contacted almost every dentist office locally and asked for donations of tooth pastes and tooth brushes. Two have given us a few samples, so I think we are good on those items. We are still collecting the other items. If you would like to help us with any of those items please message me on Facebook- or email me at ashtonymcbride@yahoo.com We would love the help of our friends to give his orphanage things they can use. His orphanage is run entirely on donations and they really depend on the graciousness of others to keep it running. If you can help, please do.

We are coming sweet boy, slowly but surely. Like little turtles. Slow and steady....Even when we just want to sprint as fast as possible it isnt always what we can do.

So, until we get dates we are Still Waiting, Still Raising, and Still Collecting Donations <3

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Husband :)

This morning we were expecting a check from our matching grant to hit out FSP account. This was in the amount of $250, so our FSP should have read somewhere around $6030ish. Well I just checked and get this ! It is at $6789!!!!! Talk about Miracles !! And while it may be coincidence or not, today is also my husbands birthday :) It would have been super awesome to spend his birthday with our newest little guy, but that isnt how it worked out. We are still waiting for our travel dates....and truthfully we are growing anxious. I want to travel now. Like now now . Patience has never been a strong suit of mine, and while this adoption process has helped me in that area, I am who I am ;)

To help us celebrate the amazing life that is my husband (I'm biased.) Would you consider making a birthday donation to our FSP? :D

These are the fees we have left :
$850 Round trip airfare for Tony
$850 Round trip airfare for Ashton
$400 One way trip HOME for Owen !! (covered!)
$100 Owens Medical Visit required by the embassy  (covered)
$1050 = $50/day for food
$500 for Orphanage donations of wipes and diapers to be bought in country (because they would be too heavy for suitcases)

Total $3750, But this is an estimate.

All we need to be fully funded is $2,886

Will you buy a number on our board ? We are giving away two visa gift cards in the amount of $75 & $125 when the numbers are covered.

Thank you friends !!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Collecting Donations for Little Mans orphanage ! And a fundraiser to help !!!

I  was able to determine today that our DS260 (aka Owens Visa!) was processed last Friday. At this point we are waiting for his country to complete our article 5 and issue travel dates. This should all be done soon, and we should travel in just a few weeks !!!

We still need to raise the remaining fees of about $3500 to be "fully funded" and this is how they break down so that you know where your donation is going !!

$850 Round trip airfare for Tony
$850 Round trip airfare for Ashton
$400 One way trip HOME for Owen !!
$100 Owens Medical Visit required by the embassy 
$1050 = $50/day for food
$500 for Orphanage donations of wipes and diapers to be bought in country (because they would be too heavy for suitcases)

Total $3750, But this is an estimate. Flights will change. And we will only buy as many as we have the money for. And we are going to try to fit some food into our suitcases to save on that expense as well.

Some of the other items we would like to donate are tooth brushes/ paste, hand sanitizer, children's body wash/shampoo, and children's medicines (Tylenol etc)

If you are local to Wilmington,NC I will be more than happy to meet you or If you are not local and wish to send stuff through the mail please contact me for an address to send it to.You can email me directly at ashtonymcbride@yahoo.com

Also ! A friend of mine offered to do a Norwex fundraiser for us. She will be donating her commissions to help with the diapers and wipes donations in country. Please check out the link --

Thank you so much for helping provide the necessities for these children that so often we take for granted ! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Just waiting for travel dates ! :)

Wow! Where do I even begin? January 1 we needed $11,500 to be fully funded. We have received donations and grants all month long. We have worked over time and donated plasma a few times. Last night I was told someone wanted to bless us with the remaining agency fees ($250). She is sending the check to Reece's rainbow tomorrow and by the end of this week our agency should receive it. Our agency fees are completely paid !

We are still waiting to hear from little man's country as to when our court date is. We expect to hear from them by next week, and court is usually scheduled about 10 days later -sometimes a little longer out. We still need to raise the remaining $3500 to be fully funded. This amount with cover our airfare, food, and orphanage donation while we are there. We have a goal to donate 25 bottles of hand sanitizer, 30 wipes and to purchase some diapers while in country. If you would like to help with this donation please donate to our FSP or our PayPal donation link.

We have contemplated our orphanage donation for awhile, I mean how do we say thank you for raising our child for 5 years u til we could get there ? Nothing seems adequate enough but I believe these items will be beneficial for them. His orphanage is run on nothing but donations so they appreciate all the help they get !

This month is going to be so exciting, and stressful. We are still getting everything ready for our trip. And I decided that I wanted to make 45 freezer meals to have for when we return. Having them ready and justing having to throw dinner in the crock pot each morning will be such a blessing. It will be one less thing to worry about and give us more time to bond with Owen. So don't mind me, I'll just be slaving away in my kitchen until we leave :)

$3500. Just a few weeks. And at the end, we get to welcome the newest little Mcbride and we are so excited! Ethan is so excited to have his brother home. He keeps reminding me that "Owen should be home" "why is it taking so long" "I just want my Owen to be home already". He has the sweetest little heart and I know that he will be the best big brother to Owen. <3

Thank you,friends!!!! We have come so far and we couldn't have done it without your help!!! Officially racing to the finish line!!!