Wednesday, January 29, 2014

T-Shirt Fundraiser


    We are excited to announce that it's time for our T-shirt Fundraiser! If you have already supported our adoption, via our Pure Charity Fundraiser, I will be mailing out your shirt soon! The funds raised will go directly to our flights and travel fees for two trips to Ethiopia.

    To support our adoption in style, simply click the link below to make a minimum donation of $20.00, and we'll give you one of these cool shirts, perfect for men and women of all ages!  If you need it shipped to you, please donate an additional $4.00 to cover the postage charges. We have Youth Small, Medium and Large, and Uni-sex Adult Small, Medium, Large and XL. In the above picture, Ryan is wearing and size large, and I am wearing a small.
****Please indicate the size of your desired shirt and your mailing address while processing your donation.*****
Please email me at Ryanashlie@gmail.com if you have any questions.





Sunday, January 19, 2014

Starting 2014: Adoption Update

      We are off to a great start in 2014. Ryan has officially become a CPA and is gearing up to start his busy tax season. I am currently taking two online college courses to secure my Reading Endorsement. I just finished reading A Long Walk To Water with my 6th grade students. Many students were introduced to the Sudan Lost Boys for the first time. I am appreciative of the opportunity to instill compassion and a global perspective in the young minds of my students.
  Our boys are growing up right before our eyes! Easton will be 4 in March and Preston turned 3 in late November. Raising double 3 year-olds has been an unforgettable experience! They definitely keep us on our toes!  Easton can identify his letters and letter sounds. I love listening to him retell books with intonation and accuracy. Preston has mastered his colors and continues to have a wild imagination. Nightly, he pretends to be Superman, while jumping into a pile of pillows.   Yesterday, we spent hours outside, as the boys established their first fort in our little woods. I have fond memories of playing in the woods as a kid. I love that our boys will grow up with the same childhood memories.
      Our adoption paperwork is complete. We sent our dossier to our agency in November. We are officially a waiting family! Since starting the process in June, we have been given three different timelines. The latest one was 6 months from November, but, honestly, we have no idea when we will get our referral call. (The next step for us is when our agency calls to tell us that we have been matched with a baby girl!) There have been some changes to the process since Easton's adoption and we are prepared to wait a LONG time. However, I cannot help but to be HOPEFUL! I know that God is in complete control and has already determined which baby girl will be our daughter forever. Ideally, we would get our referral phone call in April or May and travel in June or July (I have the summer off, which would be ideal)
   Ya know what I think would be fun? A Referral Reveal Party! Kinda like a gender reveal party, but Ryan and I would share our baby girls' picture with everyone at once! Ya, I think we will do that! =)
     In just a few weeks I will be launching our Adoption T-shirt sales! For everyone who has already donated, I have a shirt for you! Our Pure Charity Online Fundraiser has been nothing short of a miracle. Thank you to all of our friends and family who have supported our adoption thus far.  ALL of the funds have gone directly to our adoption agency to cover our Ethiopian Adoption Program Expenses. We are estimating that the total adoption will cost around $28,000-$30,000, depending on flight cost and other travel expenses. Our t-shirt sales will go toward airfare ticket purchases and travel expenses. Hypothetically, if we were to leave on July 1st an adult ticket with Qatar Airlines would be $2,063.00. Meaning our airfare would be over $4,000 for the FIRST trip. Oyi. With our t-shirt sales we are hopeful to be able to purchase atleast one ticket! Hopefully we will be prepared to share our t-shirts in less than 10 days!


I'll leave you with the Fulmer Family Christmas Pictures =)










Thursday, November 21, 2013

Origami Owl!!

We are hosting an online Origami Owl Fundraiser for our adoption. They are cute, personalized and trendy! Just in time for Christmas! ����http://www.makingmemories13.origamiowl.com/parties/AshleyFulmer91726


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Remembering Kyle....Guest Blog Post by my dear friend Erin

My friend Erin and I were in the same 1st grade class. We were childhood friends, high school friends and college roommates. She is my guest blogger today, October 15th,  National Infant Loss Awareness Day. Thank you for reading her story.
Alex and I are the proud parents of three beautiful children. This is the story of our firstborn, Kyle Antonio Oliveira.
Erin and Alex. Erin is 29 weeks pregnant with Kyle.
When we found out we were pregnant on Father’s Day of 2008, we were SO excited. We immediately started dreaming of all the things we’d do with our little one. We were ready for this big adventure, and decided we’d introduce baby to some of our favorite activities while I was pregnant – taking road trips, going to basketball games, spending relaxing days at the beach or fishing, renovating the guest room into a nursery and more. I had “morning” (aka all-day) sickness off and on during the first trimester, but felt really great through the rest of the pregnancy. The months passed pretty quickly, with lots of excitement along the way: finding out we were having a boy, painting his room the perfect shade of teal, celebrating with our favorite people at two fun baby showers, and all the little preparations in between. We chose the name Kyle, and couldn’t wait to meet our boy.
Adorable Erin at 31 weeks.
Kyle moved a TON while I was pregnant.  I enjoyed being pregnant and that indescribable, crazy and sometimes strange feeling of my son growing, moving, having hiccups and changing positions. He never stayed still for long, and Alex spent many evenings with his hand resting on my belly while we read to Kyle as he kicked back. At our last doctor’s appointment on February 10th, our midwife said I was progressing and even mentioned what an active guy we were having. Any day now! When I woke up on Friday, February 13th, I noticed right away that I didn’t feel Kyle moving. I wasn’t worried, as we’d heard that once babies “drop” their movements would be fewer. I ate some cereal, laid on the couch and waited for the predictable huge movements I knew I’d feel. Nothing. We decided to just grab our already-packed bags and head to the hospital, knowing soon we’d meet our son.
We were quiet on the ride to the hospital – definitely not our norm. We both just wanted to know Kyle was ok and were anxious to hear his heartbeat, see him moving on the ultrasound screen. The first nurse reassured us as she moved the Doppler around my stomach, saying that this happens often, especially so close to the due date. But after several minutes of trying, she couldn’t find his heartbeat – and neither of us missed the brief worried expression that passed over her face. Another nurse came in but she didn’t find his heartbeat either.  It was the ultrasound technician who had to say the absolute worst words any expectant parents can hear…“I’m so sorry, but your son has no heartbeat.”
Erin at 38.5 Weeks with Kyle.
The hours and days following were a painful blur. Calling our parents, who answered the phone excitedly, thinking it was time. Starting the induction process. Visits from our priest, hospital counselors, nurses, doctors. Talk of a likely umbilical cord accident and burial arrangements. Seeing our devastation reflected on the faces of our close family and friends. But on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 9:47 a.m., the fog lifted as I delivered our beautiful 7 pound, 15 ounce, 21 inch-long Kyle. We experienced the highest high in meeting him, holding him – he was perfect. Full head of hair, Daddy’s nose, Mommy’s lips. We kissed him, cuddled him, marveled at his long fingers, his round cheeks. We memorized him from head to toe. And then we experienced the lowest low when we had to say goodbye to our firstborn son.
A memorial bench that we placed near a playground to remember Kyle.
One year and four days later, we welcomed our 2nd son, Luka Kyle. Two and a half years later, Kamila Elisabeth was born. We talk about their big brother often and look forward to being together again one day.
Today, on National Infant Loss Awareness Day, and every day – we remember Kyle. We remember the parents who have struggled as we have struggled. No parent should outlive their child. We remember the families and friends who have been touched by the brief yet meaningful lives of the babies lost.
“It is not how long a star shines, but the brightness of its light.”

~Guest blog post by Erin.

Please join us in remember Kyle by lighting a candle at 7:00pm today. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Easton!

We had an amazing day celebrating Easton's 3rd Gotcha Day! It is hard to believe it was 3 years ago today that we walked out of the transition home with our son. I took Easton and Preston to the Lowry Park Zoo with my sister-in-law and niece. We had a wonderful day animal watching and playing in the kiddy zone. Easton and Preston both referred to the day as, "Easton's Birthday". I think this will be the last year that Easton is unaware of his true Gotcha Day meaning. I look forward to explaining his adoption and our love for Ethiopia in the future. For now, we celebrate being his parents and knowing that he is forever ours.






























Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last Garage Sale EVER!!!!

 Ok, so I have facilitated 2 garage sales to raise funds for my mission trips to Africa. The first one was in 2010 and we collectively raised over $2,000! In 2012 we did it again and raised around $1,800. I promised that I would NEVER do another collective garage sale for a couple of reasons:
#1. It takes forever to organize, store, and display the merchandise.
#2. You spend an entire day in a hot Florida garage and driveway with garage salers. (People who offer you a dollar for a $10 priced item. I'm not a skilled negotiator, it makes me uncomfortable.)
#3. There is always left over crap that has to be taken away.
Basically, it's a TON of hard, time consuming work. Man, I sound negative...

Well, apparently, I have forgot exactly how much work it is because I am doing another garage sale on August 17th in Bradenton, FL. 100% of the proceeds will go toward our daughter's adoption! Honestly, she is worth it. She is worth all of the things I have complained about and we will HAPPILY have a garage sale to bring her home. We could raise $200 or $3,000- It all depends on the items that we sell and the generosity of friends and family who donate items. We will make a large sign that advertises our adoption mission and pray like crazy that buyers show up!
We humbly ask for your help. We need hundreds of sellable items by August 17th.

Here were the BIG hits at the last 2 Garage Sales:
Purses- anything in good condition, name brand is always a seller
Decent shoes- Womens, Mens and Kids all sold nicely
Baby Items- Swings, bassinets, cribs and linens, pack n' play, car seats, select baby outfits and shoes all sold!
TOYS- bikes, baby toys, action figures, games without missing pieces, trains, Disney anything, and learning games like Leapfrog (No stuffed animals please- they simply didn't sell)
Kitchen items- small appliances were the best!
Decorative items- Like new Holiday decor,  candle sets, picture frames, wall prints, and shelves
Furniture- These BIG ticket items were perfect!!! Couches, tables, desk, chairs, ottomans, patio furniture will all sell!!
DVD's- good working condition
Men items- belts, tools, ladders, car stuff, etc.
Women's items- jewelry, perfume, lotion, belts
Anything NEW or with a TAG on it is easy to sell!

A few request:
1. Sorry but we cannot handle garbage bags of clothes. If you have an old prom dress, bridesmaid dress, a suit or dress clothes, anything with a tag on it, or name-brand like new items are HUGE sellers! We would like to hang up all of the clothing items so please keep hangers on if possible.

2. Old electronics unfortunately do not sell. Large box TV's or outdated computers all ended up at Goodwill.

3. We are so appreciative for your generous donations!!!! You can drop items off at our house throughout the next few weeks. Simply email, text or facebook message me. I'll happily send you our address or meet up with you. 

Matthew 19:21
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

We are so thankful for all of the friends and family who have already come along side of us to help us bring our daughter home! 
THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 years ago today!

Today we celebrate Easton's 3rd "Meetcha Day" Anniversary! I distinctly remember every aspect of that special day. Ryan arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the night before at 11:00pm. We woke up early on July 16th and headed to the American World Transition Home for Ryan to meet Easton. It was a beautiful day. I am thankful that LeeAnn was able to join us to capture these images.  We continue to be grateful for our precious son, Easton Aschenaki. Happy Meetcha Day Son!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Adoption through fundraising!

Photo credit: Shannon Kirsten shannonkirstenphoto.com
I have had a lot of people contact me with questions on fundraising for our adoption. We want to be a resource to other families who are considering adoption. To be honest, we are taking a huge leap of faith with this adoption. We are doing exactly what we feel that we have been called to do. Whenever the weight of raising $17,000 feels like too much to bare, I simply look at Easton and I am reminded that he was worth it. When I feel defeated, I think of the orphanages in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda that I have visited over the last 3 years. I am quickly reminded that children belong in families and that our fundraising efforts will be worth it. Our daughter will be worth it. She will be worth the judgement, the questions from those who do not understand, and the uncomfortableness of asking  people for money. We have supported other families who have made the decision to adopt time and time again. We simply know that this adoption is not about us but about God's calling in our lives. We are a family who are willing to love a child as our own. Nothing should stand in the way of that beautiful calling. With 153 million orphans in our world, why would we not act on our calling to adoption?
Photo credit: Shannon Kirsten shannonkirstenphoto.com
Psalm 68:5-6a "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families..."

This week I read a great post on the Give One, Save One blog that addressed adoption without debt. We are doing everything that the post suggested and we are excited to see how our adoption is funded through generous supporters, building our daughter's puzzle ($20 to sponsor a piece), my photography business and t-shirt sales. (Stay tuned for t-shirt sales, they are still in the making).

We outlined our calling and our beliefs about adoption in our adoption announcement post.  We want to be transparent about this process and are happy to share how our family is answering the calling to adoption. We have definitely accepted the fact that our adoption could take a LONG time because we are fundraising. With that, we are at peace knowing that she will come home exactly when she is suppose to. I'm not saying that part is easy. Adoption is hard. It is a journey that requires prayer, patience and relinquishment of control. We are learning all of these things on our journey to our daughter.

A little about Pure Charity:
Shannon Kirsten shannonkirstenphoto.com
Pure Charity allows donors to give a tax deductible gift and online payment. This is a resource that we could not have provided without Pure Charity's help. Another bonus of Pure Charity is that ALL of the donations go directly to our adoption agency. Meaning no monies go through our hands. Our adoption agency, International Family Services, has graciously agreed to help us manage the money coming in by paying for our adoption expenses. Our home study agency, Sunshine Adoption and Home Study Services simply sent me an invoice and our adoption agency was able to pay them. This does take a few emails and management but basically it is simple.

The next steps:
At this time we have been able to pay for our adoption home study ($1,400) and our IFS application fee ($400). We are now waiting and praying about the next 2 steps. We would like to pay for the IFS Coordination Fee, which is $4550. Next, the US Immigration Application with Biometrics for Ryan and I (fingerprints) will be $920.  We will accomplish this as soon as we have raised enough funds. It could be within a few days, weeks or months...

So there is this weeks update on our daughter's adoption and why we are fundraising. I hope to be able to share throughout this process to encourage other families.

If you would like to be apart of our adoption journey we would be grateful for your support:
www.purecharity.com/fulmeradoption


Photo credit: Shannon Kirsten shannonkirstenphoto.com


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN!

 
Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/
 
     We are excited to announce that we are adopting from Ethiopia again! We feel that we have once again been called to adopt a child. Our hearts are filled with joy as we begin this exciting journey to bring our daughter home. Although we have not met her, we are requesting a daughter ranging from a newborn to two-years old.  We know that our boys will be great big brothers for their new little sister. Easton and Preston continue to amaze and bless us daily.


      After much prayer, we have decided to use International Family Services (IFS) adoption agency. We are confident IFS has the highest ethical standards and will work diligently with the US Embassy and Ethiopian government to match us with our daughter. We cannot wait to be back in Ethiopia. We left a little bit of our hearts there in 2010 and Ethiopia is a part of our family. While in Ethiopia we both visited numerous orphanages, hugging and embracing children of every age. Ethiopia has an overwhelming need for parents and since returning home we have diligently prayed about this. We definitely have a meaningful connection with Ethiopia and look forward to embracing the people and culture again.


      International adoption is very unpredictable. As of now, we are in the paperwork stage, which takes about 6 months. We will complete our home study and hopefully be matched with our daughter in early 2014. That means that this time next year we could possibly be in Ethiopia! We ask that you pray for our family during this exciting time.

Our hearts have been broken for orphans. We have room in our hearts and our home to bring home another child. We cannot wait to be back in Ethiopia and meet our daughter for the first time. We know that she is our calling and we joyfully choose to bring her home. 
-Ryan and Ashlie Fulmer



We want to be transparent about the cost associated with our adoption. We are estimating that the total cost will be slightly more than $30,000. There is a $13,000 refundable tax credit that can be applied for after the adoption is complete. Our goal is to raise the remaining $17,000. Please know that we have researched our agency and know that each cost is justified. During our time in Ethiopia in 2010 we learned the high cost of adoption supplies, a functional transitional home, orphanage, nannies, doctors, teachers, lawyers, and social workers. The cost also includes a home study by a licensed social worker, USCIS Immigration approval, passports and travel expenses.  
We believe that God has asked us to bring home a child and therefore the resources will be provided. Often, we have struggled with asking others to help support our adoption. Here is our belief and what God has confirmed to us: We are willing to love, raise and provide for our adopted daughter. Initial finances are not a reason to deny an orphan a home.  Although we are incapable of solely providing the initial adoption costs, we know that God has provided enough resources among friends, family, and believers. Therefore, we humbly ask for financial support. We are excited to watch how God uses His people to provide for His calling. We are often reminded that some families can afford to adopt but are not called to do so. Our family has been called to adopt and have made the choice to fundraise the initial adoption expenses. 

Fundraising with Pure Charity

     Humbly, we ask that you to consider investing in our adoption journey. We will be using an online resource to collect donations. All donations will be directly forwarded to our adoption agency. We ask you to first pray about how you can financially support our adoption.  If you feel led to give, you can then make a tax-deductible donation online, through PureCharity.com. We ask you to help spread our fundraiser link to other friends and family through social media.
www.purecharity.com/fulmeradoption
Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/


Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/



Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/

 
Puzzle Fundraiser
For every $20 donation we will write your family’s name on the back of a puzzle piece. This puzzle will be framed and put in our daughter’s room.
Our puzzle, “Waiting on the Bus” by Julia Cairns
 
 $1,000 Donation:
*Fifty puzzle pieces with your family’s name                        
*Two family photo sessions with Ashlie Fulmer Photography (Any location in Bradenton or Sarasota, may be redeemed anytime)                                                                                           
* 4 hour, full car detail by Ryan Fulmer (May be redeemed anytime in Bradenton or Srq)                                                                                            
*Our adoption T-shirts                                                                                   
*Anything else we can offer you to show our appreciation.  

 $500 Donation:

*Twenty five puzzle pieces with your family’s name                                                                                                  
*One family photo session with Ashlie Fulmer Photography (Any location in Bradenton or SRQ)  
*Our adoption T-shirts                                                                                  

 $100 Donation:

*Five puzzle pieces with your family’s name                                                           
*Two adoption T-shirts                                                                                   
 $60 Donation:

*Three puzzle pieces with your family’s name                                                        
*One adoption T-shirt                                                                                


A donation in any amount would be appreciated. 
Our fundraising website is:
 www.purecharity.com/fulmeradoption
 Please email for mailing address if you prefer to send a check. 

Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/

Photograph by: http://www.shannonkirsten.com/