Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

We have so much to be thankful for! 

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Here is a Thanksgiving song for you by Gabe. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Fundraisers

Hi Family and Friends!

Some friends and family have asked how they might be able to help us with our adoption. First, and most importantly, your thoughts and prayers are so important and so helpful. Just knowing that we have people along side us as we walk into the unknown is so comforting. We are so thankful to have so much support going into this, and to know that we are going to bring a little girl into a life that is already full of people who love her, though they have never met her is amazing!

Pure Charity Funding Site:

If you are able and would like to contribute financially, we have a donation site that is located HERE - you can also access it by going through the tab on the right of this page. This is through an organization called Pure Charity. The funds they collect go straight to our adoption agency to help cover agency costs, orphanage fees, travel within China and other costs we pay straight to our agency. I added up the remaining agency costs we have and it came out to $10,965. Those are just agency fees. There are over $10,000 more in other costs including passports, visas, document fees, legal fees and homestudy fees. I will start this week applying for grants and low interest loans to cover these as well. On our fundraising site I have placed a video about our adoption - you can watch it there or here! It is so sweet to hear the kids talking about their little sister on this video. As you will be able to tell, they are so excited!

Thirty-one Gifts Fundraiser:

My sweet friend, Amanda is a Thirty-one consultant and has put together a Thirty-one Fundraiser for us. As you are shopping for Christmas, you can go to her online store by following the directions below. 25% of the sales from now until December 6th will go to our adoption. Here is the information from the flyer she created for us:

Help the Serna family bring home a special needs child from China as the new addition to their family.  To see more about their story, check out this video:

Thirty-one Gifts fundraiser
Thirty-one is a faith-based direct-sales company with stylish handbags, utility totes, accessories, and home organization that can be personalized to meet all your needs. Buy from the link (go to the My Parties tab and click on the Serna Family Adoption Fundraiser link) and 25%* of your order will be donated to help the Serna family meet their $10,965 goal for adoption expenses.  All orders must be placed by December 6, 2013.
To donate directly follow this link:

Inspirational Art Prints for Sale:

I have also created some Inspirational Art Prints using some of my favorite original images and Bible verses. These are available for purchase through my web site:
The prints for sale are located under the gallery tab as "Inspirational Prints". You can also access them directly using this link: These pictures can be ordered as photo prints, digital downloads, canvases and even coffee mugs!  Just select the print you would like to purchase, on the right will be a place where you can select the size you would like to buy, or select "View All Products" where you can then choose your print size or the type of product you would like.

Thank you all for your love, support, thoughts and prayers as we try to fund our adoption. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gabe is 8!!

On Saturday we will be celebrating Gabe's 8th birthday!

8 seems so grown up! Gabe is sensitive and caring, helpful and intelligent. He is super talented and just an all around amazing kid!

This year he has been very interested in all things having to do with spies. 

Gabe amazes us each day in so many ways!

I am so blessed that God chose me to be this kid's mom.

Gabe - YOU ROCK!!! 

Happy Birthday, little dude!

Shoebox Christmas

This is National Collection Week for Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child.
We love shopping for our shoe box children each year. Selah shops for a girl her age and Gabe shops for a boy his age. This year it was especially neat, knowing that their little sister may be the recipient of a shoe box gift. 

We spend the week praying for OCC, and especially for the children that will receive the boxes we are preparing. 

Then, on Sunday, the children happily take their boxes to our church to be sent to a child who may not get any gifts all year except this box of goodies. 

I love that the kids can take part in being part of the greater good. This is such a neat and needed ministry!

Monday, November 11, 2013

God is Good - Adoption News!

On October 22 I sent 11 of our 13 Dossier documents to the Secretary of State to be certified. (The Dossier is a collection of official papers and information about our family that has to be collected and then filed in China before we can adopt.) 

We received them back with the certification seal on October 27. That was quick!!

Then we received our finalized home study report on November 6th!!! This was a BIG thing. We have been waiting a long time on receiving this! 

Now that we have our home study report we can apply for immigration to be able to bring out little one into our country. This is called the I-800A. 

On Saturday we held an Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale. The initial adoption costs are daunting. It costs between $24,000 and $30,000 to adopt from China and until recently we thought we had our adoption costs covered. We have had a set back in our funding, though, and are no longer able to fund the entire adoption without some kind of assistance. Despite the financial hurdle, we have stepped out in Faith to follow the calling that has been placed on our hearts. One thing that had been suggested was having a garage sale. (Unfortunately, I was so busy during the sale, I didn't take any pictures - so all of these are from after the sale).

We made signs, cleaned out our drawers, closets, nooks and crannies and had some sweet friends donate items. 

The kids also wanted to do a fundraiser, so they asked all of their friends to donate a baked good and had a bake sale along side our garage sale. They were a big hit! They made their visors the day before the sale. They all say "Ask me about my little sister!" And they LOVED telling everyone about their sister waiting for them in China!

It was a great opportunity to tell others about the adoption need worldwide. 


When the day was over we sat down to count the money made from the garage sale, the bake sale and from some sweet donations to our cause. The grand total was $720.12. 
Are you ready for this?!?

The cost to apply for the I-800A (our next step) is:


God is faithful and I am so amazed that he chose to remind us of His faithfulness in such a beautiful and  tangible way. 

Now doesn't that give you goosebumps?!?

Thank you so much to all of those who helped out this weekend by donating items, bake goods, stopping by to shop, giving of your time and/or money, and praying for us. 

Now off to apply for that I-800A! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had a super fun Halloween this year!!! This year Gabe dressed up as Harry Potter, Selah was Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Mig was Spiderman!

Ever since Selah has been old enough to choose her own Halloween costumes she has chosen a Disney Princess. She has been Snow White, Rapunzel, Ariel and now Belle. She makes such a beautiful Belle, doesn't she?!?

Gabe made an awesome Harry Potter! He found these glasses at an antique shop downtown. They looked great with his costume!

Every time Halloween was mentioned, Mig said he wanted to be something different. At first he wanted to be a frog, then a tiger, then a dragon. Luckily we had all of those costumes. On Halloween morning he wore the Tiger costume, but after lunch he decided to be Spiderman. We didn't have the mask that goes with the costume, so I used some face paint instead. 

At 2:00 in the afternoon we had a Homeschool Halloween party! 

We played musical chairs, pin the tail on the mummy dog, and game called Trick or Treat. I had placed small slips of paper in a bucket. Half of them said "treat", the other half had tasks the child had to do to earn a treat! It was a lot of fun! One guest hopped on one foot 10 times, another "flew" around the room like a bat, and one had to make a scary face! We also did some Halloween crafts:

Kleenex ghosts:

and Toilet Tube bats:

After Byron got home we had homemade pizza and then trick or treated in our neighborhood. 

Mig is afraid of dogs, so after awhile he decided he had enough candy not to risk and encounter with a dog and decided to just ride in the wagon!

After Trick or Treating, we let the kids each choose one candy to eat while we watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". 

Byron and I also dressed up! The weekend before Halloween we attended a costume party. We went as an Angel and a Demon! 

They say opposites attract - right?!?

Hope you had a safe and fun Halloween!