Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Adoption Tax Credit - Set to Expire - 2010 - What You Can Do

I've been reading a lot lately on adoptions, researching, thinking about adopting again, etc. While we aren't ready to adopt again just yet, it is on our minds. I had heard the tax credit was going to expire so I did some research. Sure enough the federal adoption tax credit is set to expire December, 2010. This credit is what makes adoption affordable for many families, whether it be domestic or international.

Our local Congressman, in the House of Representative, currently supports The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee of 2009 H.R. 213, which would prevent the "sunset" of the tax credit.

However our two Senators are currently not listed as being supporters or co-sponsors of the bill.

So in an effort to keep this going I wrote 3 letters yesterday which I am mailing today. One to thank our Congressman who currently supports the bill and the other 2 to ask for support from our 2 Senators.

Please I urge you to write your Senators, or call, if that's easier, to ask them to support the bill. I'm sending a copy of our Christmas card with our letter so they can see the family the tax credit helped to create.

You can track the Bill here as well as see who currently supports it.

You can find your US House Representative here.
You can find your US Senate Representatives here.

Here's a copy of my letter - feel free to use it as a template for yours, but be sure to write from your heart about what adoption means to you.

Dear Sentor ________:

My family and I are constituents in 'City, State'. It has come to my attention that the adoption tax credit is set to expire December of 2010. I wanted to write to ask you to support extending or renewing the credit. (The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee of 2009 H.R. 213).

We adopted our son from Russia in April of 2008. With expenses totaling more than $__________ (insert your number here), the adoption tax credit was a big help last year in helping us pay off a small loan we took out to complete the adoption.

Our son is the best thing that has ever happened to us and the best decision that we have made as a married couple in over 13 years.

While in Russia we were able to see other orphans, like our son, living in the orphanages. I will never forget the day we went in to his room and there were about 15 other children playing. Our son, even though we'd only met him for a few short hours the day before, immediately ran for me and started patting my legs. Suddenly I was surrounded by 4 little boys, all patting my legs for my attention. Then suddenly the most heart warming and at the same time heart breaking thing I saw was when I turned to look at my husband, who had squatted down and was rubbing the back of a small little girl who was hugging his neck as if to say "Take me, Pick me". I will never forget the look on his face that day. We would have happily taken every last child in that room if we could have.

Our hope is to one day adopt another child, but without the credit we feel that we would not be able to offset any of the expenses enough to afford another adoption, whether it be domestic or international.

I've included our 2009 Christmas photo card for you to see that adoption makes families and good ones at that!

Our son is three years old and has been home a year and a half now. He has almost passed the mark of spending more time in a family than in an orphanage. All children should have that chance.

Please support the adoption tax credit so that many families will find that adoption can be affordable, and for others like us, give us the chance to adopt again. Most importantly, support the adoption tax credit for the children who have yet to come home.



I hope these letters make a difference.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What a Wonderful Christmas!!

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. We started out Christmas Eve by having a lunch for everyone at our house. 22 guests, 2 tables, 4 new children from the last dinner we did (2007), and lots of homecooked goodies made for a wonderful afternoon!

We ate and ate and afterwards I held a Survivor style auction using items I've collected for free from CVS (mostly) using my Extrabucks (check out my other blog!). I gave everyone 200 bucks of fake money and let the bidding begin. I think just about everyone left with something, but the biggest surprise was my father-in-law who left with the most!

Afterwards we enjoyed more family time and then Troy had to go to work, everyone left and Daniel I had the evening to ourselves. We baked cookies and left them along with his favorite drink, tea and milk, out for Santa. Daniel even chose the dishes with the "reindeer" on them for Santa!

The next morning we opened tons of presents (well Daniel did!)!! He got lots of great stuff! Then later that evening when Troy got off work we met him up at Massanutten (for a free stay check out this post from my other blog). We stayed for 3 days, 2 nights absolutely free. While we already own a timeshare they wanted us to 'upgrade' and we said no way - but for listening to the spiel we earned a $100 gift card AND 3 tickets to the indoor waterpark! Needless to say we had a blast!

Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Updated Snow Count!

Seriously - we took Daniel out threw him in the snow once or twice and then he cried when he realized he couldn't make any headway in the snow and couldn't get himself out and said he wanted to come in. Can you blame him???!!!

Confirmed 24 inches in our city and it's still coming, although tapering off finally!

Blizzard conditions at Our House!

And we're expecting another 12 inches today!

Last night around 10:30 pm

This morning at 6:30 am

Car? What car?!?!

Mailbox - Not for long!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chugga, Chugga, Choo, Choo!!

Breaking news - we're expecting 12-24 inches of snow tonight - and we have at least 6 already. Yikes!!

It's no secret this year that the only thing Daniel wants is a big train (as if he doesn't have any!). So this year we thought it might be fun to take Daniel on a real train ride. We were able to combine a trip to Nashville to visit my grandmother with a ride on the North Pole Express Train with several other adoptive families.

We met Carey and Norm and their two children (private blog), Adrienne and Owen and Carrie and S. to ride the train together. The kids had so much fun listening to the conductor read a story, getting two gifts from the elves and telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

Daniel spent the first 1/2 an hour just looking out the window watching the signals as we crossed over roads and talking train talk. He loves talking about the couplings and whether or not we were in a steam engine or a diesal engine - (Thomas the Train talk! - Before long we were assured by Daniel that Bert was our front engine and Arry was our back engine!)

Visiting with my grandmother was nice. They had open house at her place of residence and we were able to visit with some additional family and enjoy meeting lots of my grandmother's friends. Santa came to visit during the open house to and Daniel happened to be sitting in Troy's lap. Well, when Santa came over Daniel kept repeatedly telling Santa that "This is my daddy, This is my daddy." Santa played along and asked if "Daddy had been good." Daniel assured him yes and when Santa asked Daniel what he should bring Daddy, Daniel paused and then said (much to the audiences laughter) "A Great Big Train!"
Daniel loves his great grandmother "CC" and we were glad to visit with her.

Here are a few fun photos from our time!

We never get bored in the car on an 8 plus hour drive!

Big boys on the train!

Presents from the Elves!

A Visit from Santa on the train!

No trip is complete without a visit to Bass Pro in Nashville!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


in snow that is!! We woke up to this yesterday morning! It snowed most of the day, but it didn't keep us from enjoying the outside world. Troy worked on scraping off the vehicles while Daniel and I continually pelted him with snowballs! We figured once he had had enough he might want to get in on the action.

I was right!

I nailed him in the back of the head (I didn't know I had such good aim!) and he came after us! He bypassed Daniel and caught me and rolled me around in the snow. Don't worry I had snow flying up at him every chance I got and finally he gave me mercy. Of course then 35 pounds of Daniel landed on top of me!

Troy also took Daniel for a ride on the 4-wheeler and while they were gone I made a pile of snowballs for their return. As they came up the street, I pelted them and I heard Troy yelling "Mama's got a pile of ammunition, duck.....".

Needless to say we had a good time!

Then today we remembered that we had an innertube made for lakes, but we thought we'd blow it up and give it a try. Troy worked really hard making the lane AND the "launcher" as he called it right at the end!! These are the results....