Thursday, November 29, 2007

Any Scrapbookers Out There? Part 2

Yet another very kind friend who sells also Creative Memories (scrapbooking
materials) is donating 100% of the profits to our adoption from any orders placed on her website during the months of November, December and January.

After you have placed your order, just click on "Contact your
consultant" and write "TeamReno Adoption Fundraiser" in the "Comments or Message" section.

Her website address is:

You can also make some great Christmas gifts through the Creative Memories photo center such as: Christmas cards, calendars, mugs, totes, t-shirts, coasters, mouse pads, puzzles, and personal prints. The web address for the photo center is

When using the Creative Memories photo center site you will need to insert Laura's CM id #39747181 so the profits will go to the Reno Family.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving Fruit

I was telling Chris last night that whenever I try to picture our baby, I am inevitably brought to thinking about his/her birthmother. She more than likely knows that she is pregnant and is faced with hard, hard realities/questions that a pregnancy often brings. I have no idea what those are for her. All I know is that God has brought a little soul into fruition in another woman half across the world and this little soul will become ours. This thought causes many emotions - sadness, wonder, sometimes joys, although that will probably more present when we see our baby for the first time. I still have a hard time calling the child "our baby." Right now it is her baby. I still can't wrap my mind around what it is like to give your baby to someone else. How do you give a baby? Now I have worked in a crisis pregnancy center and have been confronted with the myriad of reasons/situations/etc that are behind women placing their babies for adoption, but this is real life so now that I am very much personally and emotionally involved, it is different...This might sound naive, trite or whatever...oh well...

Unexpected Gifts Part 3

We have much to be thankful for! We visited my (Anna's) dad and stepmom over Thanksgiving. One of my sisters and her husband and my brother were all there. It was so good to reconnect.

During Thanksgiving morning breakfast (yes, we were gluttons for punishment - we had a fairly large, yummy breakfast) my dad handed us an envelope. Inside was a check for a very large amount for our adoption. Everyone in my family had contributed - my dad and stepmom, my mom and stepdad, my sister and her husband, my brother, even my 13-year-old sister. We are so thankful to be so supported by both our families. Our cup is very much overflowing.

Needless to say, this relieves a fairly large burden. Between our savings, the t-shirt fund raiser and the amazingly generous gifts we have received, we are almost there!

Paperwork-wise, we are waiting for our home study to be complete. This is should happen sometime this week and then we are on to the next step (see previous posts for details on the process as a whole).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Any Scrapbookers Out There?

Another very kind friend who sells Creative Memories (scrapbooking
materials) is donating 100% of the profits to our adoption from any orders placed on
her website between now and midnight on Sunday, Nov 25th.

After you have placed your order, just click on "Contact your
consultant" and write "TeamReno Adoption Fundraiser" in the "Comments
or Message" section.

Her website address is:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another opportunity for Christmas Shopping

A very kind friend, Lauren Murray, who also happens to very gifted in creating beautiful crafty items is holding a Holiday Craft Faire. She has so kindly offered to donate part of the proceeds to our adoption. We are again so blessed. Now you have to realize that this will not be just any old craft faire. Lauren makes BEAUTIFUL things. This is a great opportunity to not only support our adoption, but also a super talented local artisan. If you are local, please stop by and do some Christmas shopping. The information is below. If you need more directions, please contact me.

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite you to my Holiday craft faire and bake sale taking place at the end of the month. I have been very busy assembling one-of-a-kind gifts and I am excited to share them with you.

I have many gifts for babies and children, vintage ornaments, one-of-a-kind stockings and stocking stuffers, beautiful jewelry, hair adornments, sachets, and much more. I will also be selling an assortment of yummy home-baked treats.

Best yet, my prices are very affordable, and some gifts and baked goods can be made to order and delivered to your door before your holiday gathering or Christmas Eve.

Please come say hello, drink some cider and shop. There will be face-painting for young ones and the young at heart.

Friday, November 30th & Sunday, December 2nd, 1pm to 6pm.

Pleasure Point Community Church

(On the corner of 26th & Portola, Look for the balloons.)

I look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Please remember that prayer is as important (if not more!) as financial gifts. Your prayer will yield fruit in many ways, including the generous financial gifts we have received. God will bless faithful prayer.

We can also continue to pray for the families in our adoption agency who had court dates (this is when the agency rep represents the family in the Ethiopian courts and the child becomes legally the family's) last Wednesday. The court dates were postponed and they don't know yet when they will be rescheduled.

Unexpected Gifts Part 2

I am sure this is starting to sound repetitive, but we continue to be amazed by how God is pouring out answered prayer. We just received a hugely generous gift from Chris' parents towards our just happened to be the exact amount I thought we would be short after using our savings and after exhausting our fund raisers(t-shirts, benefit concert, and various grants (if we receive them). Our pastor was just speaking on Sunday about how we get to participate in giving praise and glory to God in part by showing His love to others. Thank you for everyone who has been participating in this "regiving." Chris is often saying how great to sit back and watch God work...because like our friend from Kenya said - God loves this sort of thing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Register with and help us build our family!

Christmas is just around corner! This is an opportunity to help us earn funds towards our adoption just by doing your regular shopping (please note: you are not paying more for the products and services you purchase). Almost every online store you can imagine is available - Amazon, Gap, Target, Abebooks, J Crew, Pottery Barn, the list goes on.

Here's how it works:
1. Go to and register as a OneCause member.

2. You will asked to enter an organization name. Enter "National Adoption Foundation." Then finish entering your name, password, etc.

3. Scroll down to find the "Dues Crediting" field at the bottom of the online registration screen. You will see a field called "Purchases Benefit." Enter our registered email address:

3. Begin shopping at hundreds of OneCause merchants online, in stores, and through catalogs. You'll earn a merchant contribution on each purchase, a percentage of which will go toward our adoption credit.

4. Remember to begin all of your online shopping at OneCause so we earn credit!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

T-shirt order #2....

I just heard back from the couple handling the t-shirt orders. They said if we can get another t-shirt order in before Thanksgiving, they can fill it. God willing, tomorrow the court date in Ethiopia will officially make little Sakari (the baby girl they were matched with) legally their own, so they will be traveling to Ethiopia to pick her up very soon. Hence, the hurry to turn in another t-shirt order.

I have 3 t-shirts ordered...our goal is 47 more before November 20th. If you don't mind, pass this on to whoever might be interested.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Unexpected Gifts, Anonymous and Otherwise

Yesterday after church, someone handed Chris an envelope marked "A Gift for Chris and Anna Reno." Inside were 5 $100 bills. Needless to say we were stunned and thankful beyond words. At the same time, we weren't surprised, because our church is like that - they give above and beyond, materially, emotionally, spiritually and physically, without asking for recognition.

To whoever you are....thank you and God bless you!

Also, thank you to everyone to has gifted us financially and through prayer. We are so thankful for the support we are receiving!

Every once in awhile I start thinking we are crazy for even attempting this adoption on an educator's income, but as one of our friends said in an email, "God loves this sort of thing." He loves making the impossible happen.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Some recent happenings with the Renos...

Chris' catch (I mean, besides his wife) - Fishing with family off the coast

The catch on the grill with Soy Vay marinade, the day after...yum!

My littlest sister came to visit, and guess what - we went fishing...

T-shirt order

We just sent in an order for 50 t-shirts. Thank you to everyone who ordered! The order should be delivered in about 2-3 weeks. We made about $500.00. Thank you!

If there is enough interest, I can start another order. I need at least 25 t-shirts orders to place an order. We have 2 so far.

The family who is making the shirts for us has their court date on Wednesday. Be praying for them this week.


For those of you who like details...

Detailed expenses of an international adoption from Ethiopia:

America World Application Fee $250
America World - Ethiopia Program Fee $4,100
USCIS Fee $685
Dossier Authentication $400
Home Study/Post Placement Fee $3,000
International Specialist Consultation Fee $250

Dossier Translation and Authentication Fee $600
Ethiopian Visas (two adults) $60
Consul Fee for Child's Visa $380
International Program Fees (includes
child medical exams, orphanage donation,
child transition fees) $3,450

Round-trip Airfare (two adults) $3,600
Airfare for Child (one-way) $700
In-Country Package (hotel, meals,
tour guides, translator, transportation) $1,775


Also, being in education, one of my mantras for students is "Read carefully!" Of course, I didn't follow my own advice...I just learned something new about our adoption process. Forgive me if this is repetitive, but there is the next 3-7 months of our process:
(1) Wrap-up paperwork, send to Secretary of State for certification (next week).
(2) Send home study to USCIS. Wait for 171H.
(3) Send 171H to Secretary of State for certification.
(4) Send completed dossier (our paperwork) to our agency (American World Adoption - AWAA) in Virginia.
(5)AWAA sends it on to the U.S. Department of State and Ethiopia’s Embassy in Washington, D.C.
(6) The dossier than is sent to Ethiopia, where it is translated, processed and examined by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs.
(7) Our agency works with Ethiopian government officials and orphanages to match us with a child. We requested an infant 0-8 months, boy or girl.
(8) #6 and #7 take about 3-7 months. During this time we are waiting, waiting, waiting for our "referral" which is a picture and medical records of the child we have been watched with.
(9) After we accept the referral, we wait for a court date to be scheduled in Ethiopia. An AWAA staff member represents us at this court appointment, where the child is declared legally ours. (!!) There will be a very excited post appearing on our blog when this happens. Those who live close by may hear shouts of joy coming from our home...
(10) We wait 4-6 weeks for travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to pick our baby.
(11) We stay in Addis Ababa for 1 week and return with a new Reno!