Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The team!

What an amazing weekend! We just returned from a 4-day trip to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico with One organization who builds homes & community for impoverished families. This was my first mission trip ever, and I don't know why I waited so long. I had a vague idea of what to expect but the trip was nothing like I expected.

5 of us from our church were meeting up with 22 from another church in Phoenix at the base camp. We had no problems on the drive from Tucson to Rocky Point. No fake checkpoints along the way or hitches of any kind (that we kept hearing from everyone). It's a 3 hr drive to the border, then 1 more hr to Rocky Point.

We drove into the One Mission camp and set up our tents on the sandy dirt lot. There were hot showers, bathrooms, a community kitchen and even a place to do laundry so we were set! I didn't sleep well the first night...mainly because it was windy & the tent made weird noises. Then someone's alarm went off at 2:45am....but my cell phone said 3:45am so I had no idea what that was about. I found out soon enough when we woke up & not a single person was stirring at 7am (according to my cell). Come to find out, there are 2 different mayors in Rocky Point. One mayor declared one side on daylight savings time, the other on Arizona time. Turns out, the cell tower happens to be on the side that didn't "fall back". ha!

We met the people from the other church, had a good breakfast burrito & headed out to the family's place where we would build their house. The area is called the barrios (or the San Rafael subdivision). Basically, you drive down and endless maze of sandy dirt roads (soft, deep sand, not packed dirt), passing various "homes" made out of....well, anything they could find. Turns out, the place used to be a landfill. But the govt didn't clear it out. They just dumped a big pile of dirt on top of the trash and sold the land lots. As we were digging out the area for the foundation, we were digging up trash too. Not to mention the flies were horrendous. (I have a vague idea of the infamous 7 plagues, now). Very sad. Poverty in Mexico is very different from the U.S. We are fortunate to have some resources like shelters, food banks, welfare, etc. But in Mexico, if you are down & out, too bad. There's nothing & no one to help you, so you find food where you can get it (like the trash), friends or family. This was a hard working family whose father lost his job. (But man, he could stucco a building like no one's business!).

The family's home was a variety of boards and whatever else they could find, nailed together, with a cut out hole for a window. 4 kids & 2 parents made their home there. Another smaller shack became their outhouse. This was the only bathroom for the day so I only drank enough water to keep me hydrated (and very little coffee the entire weekend). ha. We met the family (who were the nicest, kindest people BTW), and began laying out the groundwork to pour the foundation. Many of the locals showed up and put in more muscle than I could even muster. I've never seen such hard working people. Seriously, they would work very hard for a long time, and finally take a break.

We had 2-1/2 days with 27+ people to build a double-wide (40'x20'). I started off mixing cement. Holy cow, what a workout! My arms & abs were burning. Nate had the job of putting a handful of fiberglass in the dirt/cement mix. Without it the mix wouldn't bond. By the end of the day, we had the foundation laid and some of the framework finished.

Day 2 we put up all of the framework, tar paper, chicken wire, tarred the roof & the first coat of stucco! Day 3, 2nd coat of stucco and finishing touches. Somehow we finished...all by 12pm! Then it was time to dedicate the house to the family. I've never seen such grateful faces.

We were blessed to get to know many of the locals and Nate had an awesome time playing with their kids. He couldn't speak Spanish & they couldn't speak English but it didn't matter.

I will never forget this experience & can't wait for the next trip! Here's all the photos:

Monday, October 18, 2010


Good news!
Our Online Adoption Tupperware Fundraiser has been extended to this Sunday, Oct. 24!! There's still time to order + 15 extra products that were added last Wed. Thank you to everyone who has placed an order. So far we have raised $342.60+ ($857 retail)!!
If you click on the link below, it will prompt you to sign in and direct you to our special Fundraising Catalog (Please order items from theFundraising Catalog, not the regular catalog. Only Fundraising Catalog orders will count toward our adoption).
For every order you place, Tupperware will donate 40% OF THE SALE to our adoption!! Our goal is $3400 to send the dossier off. Your order will be shipped directly to you, after Oct. 22.
Please forward this link to all your family, friends and co-workers.
With your help, anything is possible! Extended deadline is Sun., October 24.

Thank you so much for supporting adoption!!!
P.S. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. You may receive this invite twice as many of us have the same friends!
Many Blessings,
Don & Denise Sullivan

Delivering Meals to a Welcome a New Baby!

We're organizing meals to bring to one of our PRCC families who just had a baby! Congrats to Leanne and Steven and their new baby girl, Hayley. The family lives in Catalina. If you would like to bring a meal this week or next, please comment or email me at with the day you will deliver and we'll get directions to you.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NEW! Adoption Fundraiser Website

I finally got an official fundraiser website set up. Check it out! Add to your favorites & forward to your friends & family.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Girl Stuff

If you have a baby/toddler girl or know someone who does, here's a fun way to help another family bring their baby girl home from China! They are auctioning off many of their other daughter's clothes to raise funds. She has super CUTE stuff from Baby Gap, Gymboree, Crocs, Sketchers, etc. If we had a girl or knew we were getting one, I would be all over this. Might just bid anyway. ha.

Here's the link. Hurry ends Tues Oct. 12!!


Just wanted to throw this out there...

A friend is trying to round up items for a family who lost everything in a fire. And when I say, "everything", I mean EVERYTHING. They are in IMMEDIATE needs of many household items and also have a newborn + a 2 yr old (boys).

If you are willing to part with any items you have, please email ( or facebook me ASAP & I will make arrangements to pick up the items. Below is the list. Thanks everyone!!!!!


sofa, chairs, side tables, lamps


kitchen table & chairs


coffee maker, silverware, pots/pans, spatulas, coffee cups, towels, dish cloths, glasses


queen or king bedding/sheets, side tables, lamps


shower curtain, trash can, towels


washing maching, iron, ironing board, vacuum cleaner


diapers (NB & size 4), wipes, baby wash, clothing (3-6 mo & size 3T-4T).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

BIG NEWS!! Tupperware HOLIDAY fundraiser flyer!

Hey guys! On Wed., Oct. 13, our Tupperware fundraiser will include a special..

15 Additional Products!
Very cool stuff! Including the round, shapes toy that we grew up with! Just check back on Wed via the link below and the Holiday flyer will be available. Remember you have until Oct. 22 to order Tupperware for our fundraiser! 40% of the sales will go toward our adoption!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

****UPDATE**** My Kid is NOT a Blue Light Special!

So we talked to the teacher today & happy to say that everything went very easily & peacefully! Turns out that one of her friends (affectionately) refers to her 3 adopted kids as her "store-bought" kids..(not saying I agree with that mom, but...well whatever). So, said teacher didn't think anything about using that phrase since her own friend refers to her adopted kids that way. We explained that regardless, we did not want that term used and why. She was VERY apologetic, understanding and appreciated that we took the time to talk to her about it. I don't anticipate any more problems.

We know this teacher adores Nate and we wanted her (and anyone else reading our blog or facebook) to be aware of what is said to adopted kids. If we had yelled at her, or gone over her head without talking to her, we would have missed an opportunity to positively change one more person's view of adoption. I'm glad everything worked out the way it did.

I've heard the stories. Comments people have made to parents who've adopted kids. So far we had been spared many of those comments. Probably because everyone assumes I gave birth to Nate since he looks similar to me. However...I knew we wouldn't escape it completely.

So hubby goes to pick up Nate at preschool. There are several teachers there and all classes & teachers converge during the lunch hour. In a word...chaos! As he's gathering up Nate, his lunch box and whatever papers & crafts he did that day, while dodging other preschoolers winding up their lunch of the teachers finds out that we adopted Nate and *****drum roll*****, says...

"Oh! He's one of our store-bought kids!"

What??? Are you kidding me? Did I hear that right? Then hubby informs me that she goes on to say, "We have lots of store-bought kids in our preschool!"


We did not go shopping one day, see Nate sitting on some shelf & decide to purchase him with our half-off coupon. Oh wait. The coupon expired so I guess we'll have to pay full price!!

Now I know she didn't intend to be cruel. She has a rep for saying whatever pops into her head. But at the same time, she does need to think about the impact of her words. I mean that's just setting up future "let's make fun of the adopted boy" moments. I could just see a thoughtless kid telling him he must have come from Walmart because they found toys there that were "Made in China". Show some tact!!!

Needless to say, poor hubby was dumbfounded...speechless (and if you know my hubby, you know that's a miracle). By the time his head cleared, chaos was still around & teacher was off somewhere. So when Nate goes back to school tomorrow, we will have to have a talk with said teacher.

A friend informed me that there's a young adult book out called "The Store Bought Child" (about a girl's adopted brother who was killed in an accident). I don't know if that's where this teacher got this term but's definitely not appropriate to use for adopted kids. No kid wants to be looked at as an object or dehumanized.

This was on top of another incident earlier in the week when one of my hubby's facebook friends (from way back in high school) decided to question our decision on adopting internationally rather than domestically. It's one thing to ask. It's another to demand to know "how on earth could you do such a horrible thing" type of attitude.

ALL adopted kids...domestic or international have the right to be loved & to a family. God called us to this and He will place the child we are meant to have. We have a heart for orphans and there are many many millions of orphans world-wide who need a mom & dad.

'Nuf said.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nate's Birthday Weekend!

Blowing out the candle on his fighter jet cake!

My little man turned 4 this weekend and we did way more celebrating than I anticipated! Don was out turkey hunting with friends on his birthday (Friday) so we had his actual party today. However, I have to celebrate ON the day so we ended up at Denny's for his free birthday Grand Slam...Trail Dust Town to ride the train & see a shootout, school carnival to play endless games, and a free kids meal at Sonic..then getting the house, handmade cake & food prepared for 20 people at his party today. Crazy!! I think my "Clark Griswold" thinking totally kicked in. I'm exhausted!

Here's photos of his birthday weekend for you: