Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Now you can donate to our adoption and get a tax deduction by donating through the Eli Project! 

Here is the link to our Eli Project page

I've spent a lot of today working on paperwork again. The next couple weeks will be full of that same fun, I can tell! I talked to our adoption facilitator a little more today and learned that we have to have everything in by November 27 to be able to go to Ukraine in January. Otherwise we will be going in April because the SDA (Ukraine adoption agency) doesn't take new applications for a couple months after November 27.  While I am worried about coming up with the money and Ukraine would be a bit more pleasant in April, we need to get the girls here as soon as we can so they can start learning English and go to school here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yesterday we mailed off the USCIS application.  I've been filling out grant applications.  Today we received in the mail dossier stuff to work on from our facilitator.  It is a lot of paperwork to process, but it is exciting that things are moving along.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Exciting news!  We were able to talk to L today on the phone.  It was the first time we have heard her voice since she left for Ukraine.  Neighbors of ours who speak Russian were kind enough to come over to our house this morning.  We made a call to the orphanage and were able to get ahold of L.  S and D were getting ready for bed and couldn't come to the phone.  Next week we'll try an hour earlier and hopefully be able to talk to them too.  We have never talked to D before, so that will be exciting.  And I know S will be happy to talk to us also.  L says that they have been receiving our letters and packages.  I'm so happy those are getting through.  I can't wait until we can actually hold the girls in our arms again.  And meet Diana!

Yesterday we had our last yard sale and made $260.  It was a lot of work, but we are happy to be that much closer to our goal.  It's getting too cold to have more yard sales, but I am going to continue selling things online.  If anyone has something that can sell well online that they don't need anymore and want to donate it to us, we'd be very appreciative of that.

Our cartwheel fundraiser story was written up about in the Daily Herald and then aired for a very short segment on KUTV Channel 2 News on Friday.  That was exciting.  Hopefully we reach readers and viewers who feel impressed to donate to our cause.  I absolutely know this is what God wants us to do and I have faith that the way will be opened for us to adopt the girls.  I know the orphanage workers care for the girls, but the girls need to leave the orphanage and live with a family, our family who loves them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You read the Daily Herald article and saw us on KUTV, now get the story from us!

We appreciate the Daily Herald and KUTV for publishing our story.  Without a community effort we will not be able to help these three orphaned sisters by adopting them.  We hosted planning to host only, not adopt.  We choose to adopt when it became clear to us that the girls are adoptable and it is God's will that we do.  Read more below.
A video a friend of ours made.
Jay and I (Arin) have been happily married for 21 years and have five children living at home. We also have a married son. We enjoy doing things like camping, hiking, biking and playing games with our family. We have felt that we have a good life and have wanted to do something to help someone in a meaningful way. Last spring we discovered an orphan hosting program and felt strongly pulled towards two sisters from an orphanage in Ukraine.

Over the summer our family was blessed to host the two sisters ages 10 and 13. Originally we had been told that the girls probably weren't adoptable because of multiple siblings in other orphanages. That was okay, we thought we would give the girls as much love and good experiences as possible for the summer to help make a difference in the girls' lives. But from the first week the girls were with us, I strongly felt that the girls needed to be adopted. The girls were so good and happy and fit in our family so well. As time went on the girls showed much love and compassion for our family and others that they were introduced to in the community. Over the summer we were able to learn from the girls that they only had one other sibling eligible for adoption, a sister age 12 living in their same orphanage. Two older siblings were too old to be adopted and two others had sadly passed away. The girls spoke no English when they arrived and we don't speak Russian. But some things could still be communicated. The last week of the amazing summer stay, while at the dinner table, the two girls started listing all of the members of our family by name and then adding their names at the end. They were letting us know that they wanted to be a part of our family. On the hour drive to the airport the two girls cried over and over again, "Ukraina no, America yes." It was very hard to send the girls home and we miss them greatly. Friends of ours were able to contact the girls via phone recently. We were comforted to hear that they are doing well, school is going well and they are healthy. They really, really miss our family and America. They say that everything was so good in America. And they love our family.  You can see the love between us in the photos on our Photo page.

We strongly feel that God wants the girls we love so much to come to our family and feel so blessed to be able to adopt the three wonderful sisters. I have felt that I have seen the hand of God in the whole process starting with finding the girls all the way through to fundraising for the adoption. Because we didn't host planning to adopt, we don't have the funds saved up and need others' help in raising the funds. We are trusting that God will touch people's hearts to donate and are very appreciate of the sacrifice people are making in donating to help get the three sisters home to their forever family. If you have the means, great or small, to help us bring our girls back home to stay, please donate.


Home Study Done!

I'm so excited.  Our home study is done as of today.  We are working on the dossier.  We can start applying for grants now!  We should be traveling to Ukraine by the middle of February at the latest (hopefully!)  We have three months to raise the rest of the money we need.  If you can help us, we appreciate it so much.  Even little amounts have made a difference.  One of my favorite sayings that I tell my kids comes to mind right now, "many hands make light work."  And that's true with fundraising too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cartwheels to Ukraine Contest is Here!

We are happy to announce that our cartwheel photo contest is up.  Are you ready to join the cartwheel challenge?  Here are the rules:

1) Donate $10 using the donate button on this blog and email a picture of you or someone you know doing a cartwheel to have a chance to win one of 10 prizes. Email your picture to: You can enter different pictures as many times as you'd like at $10 each.

2) When you donate the $10 leave your email address in Paypal's comment section so we know which cartwheel is yours.

3) We will post the cartwheels on Triple Treasures Facebook Album.

4) Have all of your friends visit the album and "like" the cartwheel they like most (probably yours!).

5) The top 10 vote getters will win prizes (prizes to be announced as we accumulate them)! The winners will pick their prize in order of most votes.

Winning cartwheel photos will be announced on November 19, 2012.

Adoption Blog Spotlights Our Story and More Updates

Visit this Open Adoption Blog to read the interview that the author, Kathryn LeBaron posted on her blog.  We are excited about this and grateful to Kathryn.

The homestudy should be complete any day now.  As soon as it is done we can start applying for adoption grants.  And we start the dossier.  I am excited to be at this stage!

We have received donations for several of our fundraisers.  I have really appreciated the supportive comments that some donors have made.  Thank you so much!

A journalist from the Daily Herald interviewed us yesterday along with a photographer from the Herald coming out and taking lots of pictures of me doing cartwheels.  My leg muscles were pretty sore after that!  That probably was the hardest portrait assignment that photographer will ever get!

The Eli Project, a charity that accepts tax deductible donations for adoptive families, has decided to continue providing this needed service.  I have been busy filling out the application for us to be one of their families and will update this blog with that information when it is available.

We are starting the Cartwheels to Ukraine Part Two fundraiser really soon.  I'm just trying to figure out the logistics of it.  That's next on my list and I hope to have it up and running by tonight.

Thanks to all who help us and who spread the word of our cause.  We still have a lot to raise, but know that adopting our three girls is what God wants us to do, and he will provide through wonderful people who donate and help us and who we are eternally grateful for!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Arin Does the Cartwheels!

Today is Cartwheel Day!

I'll be doing the cartwheels today at noon just after the costume contest at Santaquin City's Halloween Carnival.  45 W 100 S in Santaquin. 

How many do you think I can do?

I'm wondering too!

There's still time to make a pledge on the Cartwheel Page.

Monday we announce Cartwheels to Ukraine Part 2 where you get involved in the cartwheeling.  It will be lots of fun and there will be prizes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun Memory Friday

Each Friday we post a memory from our summer with the girls.
This week's memory is provided by one of our neighbors, Janice.
"We met S and L 3 weeks into their adventure. It was marvelous. My girls came home and told me they met these two girls that were staying with their grandpa for the summer. I thought nothing of it. Then when I met the host family, I got the real story.

"Our families connected in an amazing way. Our kids (and the adults) all click amazingly. We got together and had a BBQ which also (conveniently) landed on my birthday!
Arin made an amazing cake, that I may or may not have had too much of......

"The 3 weeks we had to get to know the girls was way too short. We did get in some other fun activities. We went to Lehi Trafalga and to Seven Peaks.

"Arin and Jay were amazing and took the girls to experience so many things and meet so many people that love them so much. When they get here, they will already have a great support system.

"We also got to go to the airport to see the girls off. While it was very difficult, I am so grateful that we got time with them while they were here, and I am even more grateful at the unselfishness of Arin and Jay and their willingness to bring 3 orphans into their family, so I can fully benefit by their association :)"
Thanks Janice for your memories and your support with the girls.

With Janice's family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where we are at in the process

We are still working on the home study, which is the first step.  We had our home visit on Monday.  It was much more pleasant than I had expected.  Thankfully we were able to get our house clean, especially considering Jay and I had only a few days notice that the case worker was coming on Monday and we were going out of town on a rockhounding trip together leaving the kids at home for Friday and Saturday!  We gave the kids strict orders to keep the house clean.

On our trip Jay and I almost became stuck in mud on a dirt road while searching for agate because it began to rain!  It rained so much that we came home early and cleaned most of Saturday.  Of course, the case worker was more interested in our parenting skills than our housekeeping skills.  Thankfully we both come from good families and have great children.  It was easy to answer her questions.  I don't have the results back but she seemed to be fine with us.

It may be another two weeks before the home study is complete because we are waiting to receive our insurance card.  We have had accident insurance and insurance for things like heart attacks, strokes, etc.  We've known that we need to get "real" health insurance, but it is expensive and we've been waiting until getting out of debt.  We are close on that goal.  But we need real health insurance to adopt and it is a good thing for us to have.

I had wanted to complete our home study by the end of October because several grants have October 31st as a deadline for applying.  I'll have the grant applications all filled out and ready to send so as soon as the home study is complete we can apply.

We are also in the fundraising stage.  We probably won't leave that stage until we go to Ukraine to get the girls.  We have raised about 1/10th of what we need.  We are more thankful than we can ever express for the people who have donated to help get the girls home.  Every contribution, large or small, excites us and is helpful.  If you have the means, please help our three girls come home.  You will make a big difference in their lives and their future children's lives.

I continue working on the blog and facebook page.  I plan to write up our story about how we found these girls and came to decide to adopt them.  I don't normally give my spiritual experiences, but in this case I will because those experiences explain a big part of why we are adopting the girls.  I'll put our story up in it's own page titled something like, "How We Decided to Adopt" on the blog soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cartwheel time is almost here!

                                                     Another hard training session!

Remember, this Saturday I will end the cartwheel fundraiser by doing as many cartwheels in a row as I can.  We're asking people to donate by pledging an amount per cartwheel that I pull off.  You can pledge in your head or place your pledge in the comment section on this blog's cartwheel page.  Check back on Saturday and we'll post a video of me doing the cartwheels.  There will be a 20 second delay in case of catastrophic failure.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fun Memory Friday

I asked Jay what one of his favorite memories with the girls was and he said he loved it when he would come home from work and the girls would run out to him yelling, "Papa!"  Throughout the days that Jay was at work the girls would both ask me periodically where "Papa" was.  Whenever the phone rang they wanted to know if it was Jay.  He rough housed with them and especially with S, the younger one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/10 is Here!!!

We are asking everyone to help us get our three beautiful girls home from Ukraine by donating $10 today on 10/10.  We are happy to accept larger amounts today too.  You can donate using the "donate" button to the right.  Our family loves them so much and needs them home as soon as possible.  We truly appreciate everyone's support.  We cannot do it without your help!
                                      L and S who we hosted this summer.  D stayed behind
                                              at the orphanage.  We are adopting all three.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Helped A Child T-Shirts

We are selling these dye-sublimation shirts to fundraise for $17 each.

Printed on them is:

I helped a child
You can too
Make a difference

Colors:  white, yellow, lime green, light pink, blue, off white
Sizes:  Youth 2-4, 6-8, 10-12, 14-16, 18-20
           Adult S, M L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL

To order:  Make a payment through the donate button on this blog.  Leave a message stating how many shirts, which color(s) and size(s).  Leave your name, address and email address or phone number.  If we will be shipping the shirt(s) (in U.S. only) add $3 for parcel post or $5 for priority mail if only one shirt.  For multiple shirts add $5 for priority mail.  If you want insurance add $2.  Please indicate which shipping method you want and if you are adding insurance.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A quick update

I've been really busy with filling out paperwork for the homestudy, working on fundraisers and normal, everyday life lately.  Last week we sent in our background check applications and applied for passports.

We received exciting news this morning.  Friends of ours who live in The Netherlands and who speak Russian have been trying for a while to call and get through to the girls at the orphanage.  Today they were able to talk to L for a few minutes.  It was so great to hear from her.  L was excited to hear from our friends.  They've been getting our letters, yay!  They are doing well, school is going well and they are healthy.  The girls miss and love us.  Everything was so good in America.

We were so glad to hear from them.  We are grateful to know that the girls are receiving our letters.  We miss them so much and can't wait until they are home again.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Memory Friday

One of my favorite memories from hosting L and S is when we took them to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  The first thing we did at the visitor's center was ask for Russian speaking guides so the girls would understand everything.  Two sister missionaries were found for us.  One was from Latvia and the other from Russia.  I introduced our family and then L and S as visiting us from Ukraine.  The Russian missionary asked if the girls were from an orphanage.  She said she could tell they were because she was raised in one herself in Russia.  She erased any lingering fears I had that hosting the girls could hurt them by thanking us several times for hosting them.  She told us that while she was never chosen to be hosted herself, she saw the beneficial effects hosting had on the chosen orphans.

Our family enjoyed visiting with both missionaries. We were excited to tell the Latvian sister that the orphan hosting program also hosts orphans from Lativa.  L and S enjoyed communicating with them in Russian.

                                                     Our family with the two missionaries.

                                      L and S loved the sisters!  Russian missionary is on left.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cartwheeling to Ukraine Fundraiser!

How many cartwheels do you think I can do in a row?  We're going to find out on October 20th!

One day when the girls were first here we were having a bonding moment with them.  We had been having a harder day with L when we took them biking to a church parking lot.  L started doing cartwheels and wanted Jay to do one.  He did!  As I stood there watching them I knew it would really help me bond with L if I did one too.  I hadn't done a cartwheel for at least 25 years.  As the girls and Jay watched, I channeled my inner 11 year old self and proceeded to do a somewhat decent cartwheel.  I was surprised!  And it did wonders for my bond with L which was my desired result.

Now I'm doing cartwheels to get the girls and their sister back home to their forever family.  On October 20th I will do as many cartwheels as I can in a row.  We are asking you to pledge whatever amount you want per cartwheel that I do.  So if you pledge $5 per cartwheel and I manage to do 4 in a row (wow!), then you would donate $20 towards getting the girls here.  Place your pledge in the comments section of this blog or on the Triple Treasures Facebook Page facebook page.  You can place a limit on the amount of cartwheels you will pay for.  So no worries that I might moonlight as a circus performer and can do hundreds!  When it's time to pay, you can use one of our donate buttons or hand us the donation!  Pass this along to your friends to join in the fun and let's get the girls here!

How many cartwheels do you think this crazy mom can do?!

Monday, October 1, 2012

We had our yard sale on Saturday and had a great turnout.  Thanks to everyone who came and supported us by donating and shopping.  Thanks also to the wonderful friends who helped us run the yard sale.  We could not have done it without them.  We now have about $1300 raised out of the $40,000 total we need.  There is a long way to go, but I have faith that we will make it.  I have seen the hand of God in all that we have been doing.

Today I was able to contact our case worker to get our home study started.  I was so excited because she sounds like she will get the home study done fast.  We start with a background check.  I printed out the application.  Got our social security cards out of my files to make copies and realized we no longer have Jay's.  So disappointing because I had planned on mailing everything to our caseworker today!  Jay is now down at the Social Security office applying to get a new copy of his card.  It could take up to 10 business days to come.  In the meantime we'll keep fundraising.

We have several fund raisers planned:

Let's see how much we can raise by donating $10 on 10/10!  You can donate here on the blog through the "Donate" button or at the YouCaring site that our friend set up for us.

T-Shirt Fundraiser  A friend of mine designed a neat t-shirt for us to sell.  She is hosting a boy this Christmas through the same program that we hosted the girls.