Monday, May 28, 2012


June 24 4-10 at Rojo Birmingham

Rojo Birmingham has graciously offered to let us have another awesome fundraiser!!  This was hugely successful last adoption and a whole lot of fun.  They are letting us use the right side of their restaurant for our event.  We are asking for a minimum donation of $10.00 at the door. Kids come in free. Rojo is giving us 10% of food and alcohol sales that are ordered on the smaller right hand side of the restaurant (to the right when you are facing the restaurant itself). You have to order from that side or we don't get the donation. We have some great prizes to raffle off. There will be bands, bellydancers, good food and drink, silent auction (see below for the awesome items), and good company! We have lots of great auction items!!!

Here is the AWESOME line up!

5:30-Camille Thompson Davis
6:30-Devyani Dance Troupe
7:30 Heath Green
8:30 Dan Sartain


It really will be a great time. So come down, have a good time and support a great cause!

Directions to:
2921 Highland Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205-1901
(205) 328-4733

Some awesome items that will be up for auction! Total value of over $1500!!

1. A beautiful horse addle with tags still!

2. A really nice telescope! My kids are wishing we could keep this one!

3. A cutting board from Redbreast Studios

4. Some gorgeous art work!

5. A months worth of belly dance classes with Devyani Dance Company!

6. Photo sessions by By Him For Him Photography!

7. An adorable knit viking hat for a baby

8. A free childbirth class with Cristy Jenkins!

9. A set of gorgeous embroidered Dala Horses!

10. A spectacular gift basket of beaded items!

11. A gift certificate with Creative Dog Training!

12. A beautiful item from Motherly Creations!

13. A haircut from Bang! Salon

And possibly more to come!!

Auction will end at 9 pm and the winners announced at 9:30!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Yesterday we had a blast at our Memorial Day Weekend Family Fun Day!! It really was just about the most fun I have had at a fundraiser ever. We raised about 700 dollars and we still have some BBQ to sell that could push us even further! Thank you so much to Green Eggs and Goats farm for hosting such an awesome event!!

We also reached our goal of first trip apartment/transport/food costs!! YAY!!! That is huge progress! So now we are onto our next goal:first trip One way plane tickets. We have tickets over there covered. We just need tickets home for the first trip. We are guessing about 1200 dollars. That is what we paid last time. Tickets will probably be more in the summer, but we are just going with 1200 unless we hear different. So, here we go.

school fundraisers

Free fund raiser

to track your fund raising progress

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I am guessing that most of the people reading our blog know us in real life. So, you all probably know our newest family addition, Eva Marina. In case you are new here, EM came home from Eastern Europe where she lived in the orphanage with V, 3 months ago today.

Like V, EM was once known to people only as a picture on a blog. A blog begging people for their spare change and thoughts and prayers. I am sure people felt somewhat removed from a one dimensional photo of a child they have never met that was 1/2 way across the world. Much like they might feel looking at V's picture. There are so many children in need and I am sure seeing so many pictures is a bit overwhelming and it is so easy to just look away. To feel like you can't do anything to help. But you truly can make the biggest difference.

Let me tell you about Eva Marina. This is the first photo we saw-

We fell in love, but didn't know anything about her. What did she like to eat? What was her favorite game? We had no idea. And most likely, she didn't either. Because she hadn't had the chance to find out. What were her dreams? What did her laugh sound like?

This is Eva Marina now-

Her favorite foods are bananas and cabbage soup. macaroni and cheese is big too.

Her favorite game is playing "mama" with her sister and their baby dolls. Although playing olympic gymnast is a close second.

She loves to run, swing, and jump on the trampoline.

She is a complete goofball who loves to make other people laugh.

She LOVES music and books.

She loves to dance.

She thinks coloring is "awesome" as are hello kitty, playgrounds and ice cubes.

Bath time is her favorite time of day, she likes playing in the rain and at the "splash pad" park. But swears she hates being wet.

She loves to be held and sung to.

Her mix of English and Russian language is adorable.

Her laugh sounds like heaven.

And our lives would not be complete without her.

This is V (who happens to be one of EM's best friends)-

What does she like to eat? What is her favorite game? What are her dreams? I have no idea. But I desperately want to find out. We know her laugh sounds like heaven, but we long to hear her laughter here in our home.

One person can't help every child in need. But by donating just a few dollars and spreading the word, you can make a huge difference in the life of ONE child. V isn't just a picture. She is a real little girl who needs a home, a mommy and a daddy. And we need her. Please don't look away. Even if it is just a couple of dollars. Even if you just tell a couple of people, it helps change the world for one very special little girl. And that is an amazing thing indeed.

Tax Deductible Donations-

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Study Papers are finally off!

We are finally done gathering the paperwork to send off to our home study agency. One piece of paper was holding up the show, but arrived yesterday! I am anxiously awaiting 8:00, when the post office opens, to mail this giant stack of papers off. The agency is requesting a copy of the clearances we have already sent for so hopefully that won't take long. Then we can schedule the home visits!!!

Now that those papers are off I can start concentrating on the dossier, which is mostly just signing and notarizing. We already have some of it done. Hopefully we can knock it out quick.

And we already have immigration approval, we just need to do an update with them. So, hopefully that step won't take long.

We do have a couple of expenses we need to come up with before we travel. We have to wire the fee for translation and I am not sure if we will need to pay the immigration fee since we might need to update our fingerprints. So I think we need about $900 more dollars before we travel and then that is it until we need the money to actually go.

We have several fundraisers going on. This Saturday is our Memorial Day Family Fun Day! It will be awesome and if you are local I hope you can come. We also have an event at Rojo coming up on June 24th! I am hoping to be able to have more details on that soon! There will hopefully be an ongoing Art Auction online that anyone can participate in, get some awesome art, and help our daughter come home! As always we have $6 for our 6th.

Our Chip In is now Tax Deductible!!! An awesome local non profit, Circle of Hope is handling some of our donations. This way if we need the money before we travel-USCIS fees or plane tickets,etc., we can access it. This is awesome!

Please keep spreading the word. I am, honestly, a bit scared about how to make this work. But I am also hopeful. I look at Eva Marina and am awed that we all got her here. Her sister needs to be here too. So, we keep on keeping on. I hope you don't get tired of us! Thank you so much for your help! We can't do this without you. We appreciate you guys so much!

Friday, May 18, 2012

More on the Art Auction

I had posted about an art auction here, but have been doing some thinking. I have decided that the easiest thing to do would be to do the Art Auction online. That way anyone can participate and people can even upload their own photos! The bet part is that we can start right now. So here is what we need you to do-

Step 1:GET PAINTING! GET YOUR KIDS PAINTING! (or sculpting or pencil drawing or whatever form of art that you/they want to do)

Step 2:Take a photo of your art

Step 3:Join The 6 little Hogelands Online Auction.

Step 4: Upload your photo onto the auction page. Once a picture is uploaded I will put an end date on that auction item and LET THE BIDDING BEGIN! Then when we have a winner the money can be sent to the Chip In and the art will be sent or brought to the winner!

Step 5:Post about it, tweet about it, pin it to pinterest, tell your friends,neighbors, coworkers.

That is it! Simple! If one of the artists has to pay for shipping, just contact me and I will paypal you the cost of the shipping.

So let's get to creating art for a wonderful cause and help get our daughter home. That thermostat just hasn't been moving and we have to get it rising!! Thank you guys! I think this is going to be a lot of fun!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

31 party!

A good friend is helping us bring home our daughter. You can shop AND help our sweet girl. Here is what Mel has posted-

Go to and click on "My Parties", then start shopping under the event with my name (Mel DeLlanos). Rachel will be donating her commission to the Hogeland family adoption!! Its so easy & your items are shipped right to your door!! PLEASE??? Won't you help us save a sweet little girlie from spending her life in an institution? AND... WHEN we get to $300 in sales, I will be offering a SAWEET prize!! All of the participants names will go into a drawing and the winner will get to choose (from 3) a FREE (from me!) tote bag!! Please share & shop!!! If you have any questions, let me know!! We'll close this party on May 25th.

So shop shop shop!!! Thank you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hope Suds!

If you live in Birmingham you have probably heard of Cheeky Maiden Soap Company. Cheeky Maiden makes the best, all natural, oh so yummy bath products in the entire world. THE ENTIRE WORLD, PEOPLE!!! And she ships, so you can live anywhere and experience the awesomeness of Cheeky Maiden.

Not only does Cheeky Maiden make the best soaps, shampoos, dental soap, deodorant, etc., but she is also a really wonderful mother and person. This wonderful family has offered to help us bring V home. They are offering 50% of all the proceeds from their Hope Suds to our family to help bring out daughter home.

What are Hope Suds exactly and why do you have to have them? Here is what the maiden says about Hope Suds-
The secret ingredient to Hope Suds is our 100% natural handcrafted soap. (And, lots of Hope)

One whiff of our pure laundry detergent and the happy thought of the children finding a home, and you might just actually enjoy doing your laundry!

Ingredients: Borax, Sodium Carbonate, our own natural soap, hope.
How do you use Hope Suds?
You just add 1 tablespoon of the powder detergent to your laundry! Our natural detergent is low sudsing and great for HE machines, or even old dinosaur washing machines. You can use it to pretreat stains by making a thick paste by adding a bit of water and rubbing it into the stain.

Her soap really is wonderful! So, while you are ordering your Hope Suds go ahead and look around her page at the other wonderful stuff. I LOVE the shampoo bars, and the deodorant. I also love the bath salts and whipped shea butter. OK so I like everything.

You have to do your laundry anyway. Now you can be kinder to your family's skin, the Earth, and help us bring our daughter home!! Thank you guys!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Birthday Blitz!!!

First off, I wanted to congratulate Jennifer Doloski on winning the Vitamix/Blendtec giveaway!!! I will email you on facebook to figure out which one you want and get it shipped to you today! Thank you so much to everyone that entered!!!

And now for my birthday wish. Today is Wednesday May 9. I turn 33 on Saturday May 12. For my birthday I am asking everyone who sees this to consider being a part of our 6 dollars for our 6th child project. Several people have already contributed and I thank you. We still have a long way to go right now.

I am amazed, humbled, and grateful to my core with each donation. And I was just thinking about how much change people can really affect, even with simple actions. I thought about the fact that I have 499 friends on facebook. If everyone of them gave just 6 dollars that would equal almost 3000 dollars. If they shared it and just 2 of each of their friends donated 6 dollars that would be almost 6000 dollars. Right there would be almost 9000 dollars. All by small 6 dollar donations and spreading the word. *I am not saying I expect all my facebook friends to donate to us, it is just an example.*

So for my birthday I am asking for a birthday blitz. FOr people to be a part of our 6 for our 6th and to spread the word on facebook, twitter, pinterest, church, work, the playground. everywhere. Please tell the world about V.

The real present will be bringing a little girl home from an orphanage where she sits and waits to her family who loves and longs for her. Thank you for considering being a part of this!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our Current Goal-First Trip Daily Expenses

The thought of trying to raise 20,000 dollars is just a tad overwhelming.  Is that just me?  So, I have decided to break it down per item we have left to pay.  We have all of our up front costs covered which is HUGE.  That gives us the next 3 months to work on the rest.  3 months is not a lot of time, but I know we can do it.

We will start with the smallest amount first.  We spent $5500 on daily expenses last time so I just broke that up in to 3 trips.  For those of you that don't know why we are doing it in 3 trips this time I should explain.  Dale took most of his available time off work with the last trip.  So, we are going to go for the first trip (receive and accept referral) which will be 1.5 weeks or so.  Second trip we will go for back for court which will be about 5 days. Then go back after the 10 day wait.  That trip will probably be about 12-14 days.

So, First up is first trip travel/living expenses-$1, 834.
ideas for fundraisers

Thermometers to
track fund raisers

- even simple fundraisers

That looks so much better than staring at the big picture doesn't it?  Although, People have been amazingly generous this week and that has brought us to 20% of that whole big picture though! THANK YOU!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rolling Rolling Rolling

Well, things are moving.  We have started the paper chase.  This week we are still laying low because Eva Marina just had her surgery. We haven't been able to accomplish much.  BUT we did get our police and DHR clearances off. That takes forever so I am so glad to have that done.  We also have our medical appointments made for next week. My mother in law is baby sitting for me on Friday so I can go to the court house and the bank and try to get all the documents I need from them. Those papers are the biggest pain in the rear for some reason. I do not know why it is so hard to get statements just showing you have a mortgage and what the value of your home is.  But it is ridiculous.  So I dread that a little bit.  Hopefully I will be happily surprised at how easy it will be.

We also had a big surprise donation that moved our fund up a big chunk!  We also had several people who went out of their way to raise funds and donate to our girl.  I was overwhelmed in such a great way!  Fundraising has been...well...slow this time around.  I knew it would be.  How do you complete an adoption and immediately start fundraising again?  I imagine people are tapped out and a bit tired of us.  I promise I hate to be asking for help again.  If it weren't for our child there is no way I could be doing this. These donations really got me pumped and hopeful again.  So THANK YOU!!!  When I see people share our links it has the same effect.  I get all teary and covered up with gratitude.  We have some amazing people in our lives.

We have a few really great fundraisers coming up. I won't be doing any more giveaways after the blendtec/vitamix.  That hasn't been so successful.  I think we will about break even for the cost of the blender. I also added the donations for that into our thermostat and forgot we have to actually pay for the blendtec. I did that last time with the ipad. You would think I would learn. 

But I am so glad that things are moving forward. It really is overwhelming to be right back here a year later.  I can admit to struggling a bit this week with how much we have to do and how little time I have to do it.  But people are being so supportive and wonderful.  I know we had hard weeks last time and our daughter is sipping her tea in my kitchen with her sister and baby brother.  These hard weeks will be worth it. And I concretely know that this time.  I know just how very worth it this will all be.

That is my only update right now. I will be posting about some other events we have coming up soon.  Please keep sharing our story. The only way we have any hope of getting funding is for word to get out.  We have 2 possible news stories coming up but not for a couple months and we really only have 3 months before we hope to be traveling.  That is not much time!  So, thank you for every dollar, every prayer, every share.  Every single one makes a difference in the life of our daughter.  Thank you!