Thursday, October 28, 2010

We now have adoption t-shirts for sale!

We made t-shirts! If you would like to pre-order one please email me at justin at northmonroe dot com. All proceeds go to our Ethiopia adoption fund. We have adult sizes Small-XXL and kids sizes X-small-Large. They are standard sizes and unisex cut. They are $20 (adult)/$15 (kids) and available in charcoal and dark chocolate for adults, and sand for kids. You can mail check/cash (preferred) or use paypal. There is a donate button on the side to make it easy for you. Just be sure you e-mail us your order.

Justin designed these shirts and posted them for you to see. I think he did an awesome job.
If you would like to order you can also e-mail me at meredithbufkin at yahoo dot com. Also, feel free to share on your blog or facebook page if you would like to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Smile Closer :: the Smiths

We were able to return to Ruston for another fun photo shoot at the Townsend House pumpkin patch. The Smiths are another family that we had not seen since college. I love how many friends we have been able to reconnect with. The Smiths are a beautiful family, inside and out, and I am so glad Justin was able to capture some sweet shots of this sweet family.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Highlights of Our Crazy Week so Far

This has been a busy week so far and it is only Tuesday. My main focus has been working on our dossier. We have made lots of progress, and have had some frustrations as well. Here are a few of the highlights

-Sunday, my sweet friend Robin offered to watch Jax, so that I could focus on our dossier on Monday. Yay for friends!

-Another friend of ours notarized some of our paper work on Sunday evening after church, so we could get some documents in the mail Monday morning. Double yay for friends!

-Called the Secretary of States office first thing on Monday morning.

-Found out that two of the local Christian radio stations want Justin and I to come on and speak about our adoption and benefit our friends are hosting for us. This makes me a little nervous, but I think it is a great opportunity.

-Checked my e-mail and found out that our adoption education coordinator didn't think she had our Eyes Wide Open workbook. I started to worry a little, because we mailed it off last Tuesday.

- Broke out into tears in the FedEx Store!!! Maybe I should elaborate a bit. I went to FedEx to mail a couple of documents to two different places. While I was there I asked them to track our package (the workbook that I had worked on for 3 months). I was told that the package arrived last Friday at 11:27am. The note said noone was there, so they left it on the porch. I have to say this upset me greatly. I just couldn't imagine what had gone wrong, but knew I Did Not want to have to redo all that work. I tried to hold it together, but the tears just started falling. My new friend Chris from FedEx was very sympathetic and did his best to help me.

-Rejoiced when I found out my workbook had not only made it to AGCI, but was approved. Oh, I can't tell you how relieved I was! We are completely finished with all of our adoption education. WooHoo!

-Justin and I went to the police station to get a letter stating that we do not have a criminal background check. I won't even get into this, but it wasn't easy. I am praying we got what we needed, but not really sure if we did.

-Oh, and in the midst of all of this I got a call that Sawyer had an accident at school and needed a change of clothes. Great! Justin was the hero in the situation!

So, that was just a little glimpse of my Monday.

-Today the boys had their physicals for our home study. No big deal, right? Until, the doctor tells me Sawyer has a heart murmur that needs to be checked out. He said it should be fine, just wanted to check it out.

-Next, he checks Jax and says he has the same heart murmur. Seriously??

-Took both boys down the hall to have chest x-rays and EKGs. If I had any idea this was going to happen I would not have gone alone and I would have stocked a bag with toys and books. The boys did so great, though. They made me proud, except for in the waiting room, but that's another story. We were there for 3 hours.

-We don't have results yet, but I think everything is fine. We will find out for sure tomorrow.

Tomorrow Justin and I have our physicals and I am praying everything goes well. No surprises!
This adoption journey has not been easy, but I keep reminding myself that when we hold our Mia Grace in our arms it will all be worth it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Smile Closer :: the Hasleys

Justin was able to take some family pictures of the Hasleys a couple of weeks ago. They welcomed sweet Averi into their family at the end of September. She was actually born on her dad's birthday. She is beautiful and as Justin was editing these pics I told him that she was giving me baby fever. She just looks so peaceful! Oh, I miss those days! Big brother, John Reagan, and big sis, Evie are pretty cute, too.

First Field Trip: Alternately Titled DISTRACTED

This has been a busy week and I have several things I could blog about, but since it has been over a week since Sawyer's field trip, I will post a few pics from that. I love fall. It is such a busy time of year though and I wish I could hit a pause button and just finish our dossier. It is constantly on my mind DISTRACTING me from other things. For goodness sake, I can't even post about going to the pumpkin patch without thinking about it. I was so glad I got to go with Sawyer on his first field trip. I left Jax with Daddy for the morning, so that I would not be DISTRACTED. His Pre-K class went to a real pumpkin patch. We learned all about different types of pumpkins and the kids were able to pick two to bring home with them .
Sawyer picked out a pie pumpkin, first! You can tell it is a pie pumpkin because of the long stem. The "meat" inside is sweeter than other pumpkins and perfect for making a pie. I seriously learned a lot on this pre-k field trip. So far we have not made a pie out of our pumpkin and I doubt it will happen, because as I said I am DISTRACTED by other things in my life.
We all took a hay ride to scope out the pumpkins. It was so much fun hanging out with Sawyer and his friends. I made lots of new four year old friends that day.
Ok, so I just have to say please say a prayer that this will be a productive week for us as far as our dossier is concerned. I want to be able to focus on getting it done without DISTRACTION. We all have physicals scheduled and I really want to turn in everything for our home study this week. I am so ready to just focus on my family again instead of being DISTRACTED by paper work.

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Day Closer Benefit

Save The Date
We are very excited to let you all know the details of our upcoming fundraiser! Our friends have been working hard to get all the details together and we are incredibly thankful. It will be Saturday, November 13 from 11:00-1:00 at North Monroe Baptist Church. Tickets go on sale this week and are $8. This includes gumbo, salad, bread, and a drink. Kids under 12 will get a free hot dog plate. We will have some fun activities like a photo booth and jumpers for the kids. If you would like a ticket or a few tickets please let me know. All of the proceeds of this event will go towards our adoption of our little girl from Ethiopia.

We Need Your Help with Auction Items
During the lunch, our guests will have a chance to bid on various items. We need your help getting items donated. We will auction whatever you think will sell:
~gift certificates of any kind
~basket sets
~hand made goods
~tickets to sporting events
A few examples of items that have already been donated are:
~Photo Session
~Appliqued Baby Clothes
~Bonfire Dinner Provided by the Strain Family
~Decorative Wreaths

If you or anyone you know can donate anything, please let us know. We greatly appreciate anything you can do to help us bring our daughter home!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Smile Closer :: the Martin kids

Justin was able to take pics of the Martin kids last Saturday, the 3rd appointment of the day. Big Sis, Abby was a pro at smiling and posing. Big Brother Nolan was a good sport, too! We were so happy to meet sweet, baby Jace. He was pretty content to be held by Mom or Big Sis.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One Smile Closer :: the Williams family

Justin was able to capture some pictures of the Williams family last weekend. Leigh Ann is the sister of one of my dear friends, Kristin. It was so good to be able to see them all again. I can't believe how big her boys are now! It was also fun to meet sweet little Ellie Claire.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our MiMi

I shared on our blog not too long ago that Jax, our 3 year old, started calling our Mia, Mimi. He said he didn't want to call her Mia anymore, that he wanted to call her Mimi. Well, the other day I was looking at this blog and found out that Mimi means little girl or baby girl in Amharic, the language spoken in Ethiopia. I had no idea, but I love the name we chose even more now.

When we chose the name, we didn't know our Mimi was in Ethiopia, but God knew. Again, I love how God cares about the details! I think Mimi will be a great nickname for our Mia, our baby girl.

Jax wanted me to read him "Mia's book" before nap the other day. My BFF, Ashley got this little book for our girl when we were shopping in Target one day. I read it to Jax and then he wanted to sleep with it. I had to take this picture of him clutching his Mimi's book.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One Smile Closer :: the Tims family

Justin had 4 photo shoots this past Saturday in our college town, Ruston,La. The boys and I went with him, so we could visit friends and enjoy the Saturday together. The first stop was the Tims' house. We have not seen Barbara and Heath, since we graduated college, so it was wonderful to see them again. We also met their sweet boy, Carter. Here are a few of the pics Justin took.

Lots of Love and Cookies for our Girl

We had our Dossier Run Through (DRT) call this week. We are finally caught up to the place we left off when we found out we wouldn't be able to adopt from Rwanda. We have done everything that we had to do again. I am so happy to be caught up, but I am also fearful. I am excited to get started once again and get this paper work knocked out, but I can't help but think, "what is going to go wrong next?" I confessed to my listserv friends today, that I am fearful and in need of prayer. I am so, so thankful for this group of people who I have never met, but who share my heart for adoption and who understand my fears.

Last night we were all enjoying milk and cookies after dinner when Jax said "Daddy, don't eat all of the cookies. Save some for my baby." Oh, how I love his heart! He says things like this every day. He will find a toy and say, "Oh, Mia will love this when she gets here!" It breaks my heart, because I know it will be at least a year and a half or two years before "his baby" will be here to share cookies and toys with him. I know he doesn't understand this, so I try to tell him that it will be a long time before the baby comes home. Even our 4 year old has started telling him, "it will be a long, long time before our baby comes home."

This is so Hard! I decided a few weeks ago that I would try not to talk about our adoption around the kids as much as to make it easier on them. Well, they bring it up every day! They pray for her and ask questions about her. It doesn't matter what I do, she is on our minds and in our hearts. I decided today during my prayer time that I will stop trying to resist it. I will stop trying to control it. My 3 and 4 year old children don't understand time and I shouldn't try to tell them not to be excited about their sister.

Please join us in praying for the rest of our paperwork process to go smoothly. It has not been smooth up to this point and I just want to finish it. We still have a lot to do, so pray that we will make the time to do it and that we won't have anymore hiccups along the way.

Sweet Girl,
We love you so much! There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about you. You have two awesome big brothers waiting for you. They long to shower you with hugs, kisses, and chocolate chip cookies. One day in the future when you are all fighting over the last cookie, I will remind them of a time when they couldn't wait to share their cookies with you. Our family is just not complete without you. We miss you, so! Although, we want you here right now, we are going to fill out all of our paperwork. We are going to wait, wait, wait, loving you deeply no matter how long it takes. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you even more than we do. He put this love for you in our hearts. One day I am going to tell you all about Him and His love for you.
Love You Much,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Awesome Gotcha Day Video!

I love watching Gotcha Day Videos! They give me hope in the wait! They usually bring tears to my eyes, but this one especially touched my heart. I love the joy in this little boy's face when he is united with his family! Please Watch!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall, Fundraising, and Funnies

Well, I for one am happy that Fall is finally here. It is still pretty warm, maybe even hot during the day, but at least the mornings and evenings are cool. We have pulled out the jeans, long sleeve shirts, and jackets this week. I even made soup twice this week. First, I made my chicken and wild rice soup and then one day we had creamy tomato basil soup and grilled cheese. Yum! I love fall! We welcome the cooler weather, because two weeks ago this is how we were cooling off the kids.
On Sept. 26 the kids were playing in the water hose before dinner. They are so crazy!

With fall in the air we know that Christmas is just around the corner. If you are looking for some cool, original gifts that also support great causes like adoption, helping orphans, and feeding the hungry, then you should really check out this list. One of the AGCI moms put this together and I am so glad she did.

As far as the Bufkin's fundraising efforts we plan to add a few items soon. We are working on designing t-shirts and trying to decide what other items we could sell. For now we are busy with One Smile Closer. We have 4 photo sessions planned for tomorrow and many more coming up. Each session gets us at least $100 closer to our goal of $28,000, which is a huge blessing. If you live in North Louisiana and would like to have Justin take your pictures, just let us know.

If you would just like to donate to our adoption fund, we have added a DONATE button to our sidebar. This way you can just make a donation through paypal if you would like to .

Also, we have some incredible, wonderful friends who have offered to put on a silent auction and lunch to help raise money for our adoption. This will be coming up on Saturday, November 13th at North Monroe Baptist Church. We will be selling tickets to the event soon, so stay tuned for the details. For now, we are just humbled and honored that our friends would take time out of their busy schedules to bless us in this way.

Now for the Friday Funnies! This is what I found when I went into the boys' bathroom yesterday. Apparently, Woody is potty training. I just hope he learns to flush and put the seat down, because that would be a step up from the other males in our household.
I also have to share Jax's little creation. I think he may be on to something with putting a hand on the side of the garbage truck. Of course, the guy who rides on the back of the truck would be out of a job, but who really wants that job, anyway!
I love how the Joker and the Awana's Cubbie bear are looking on. I love that the Joker, Woody, and Cubbie are working together to clean up our streets.

Monday, October 4, 2010

One Smile Closer: Bella

I met Bella and her mommy, Tonya last year at Mops. Bella was adopted from China in July of 2009. Bella is such a beautiful, happy, and busy two year old girl. She is a constant reminder to me of the miracle of adoption and that our adoption will be worth the wait. Tony and Brian waited for four years for their sweet Bella, and I know they think it was well worth the wait. I am so glad Justin was able to chase little Bella around the park and get these great pictures. Thank you, Tonya, for being such an encouragement to us and for helping us bring our little girl home. I can't wait until our girls can run around the park together!

It's Back!

When we found out that we would no longer be able to adopt from Rwanda, we knew that God was leading us to pursue an adoption from Ethiopia. I said at the time that I knew it was what we were supposed to do, but I didn't feel excited about it. It really was just pure obedience that lead us to fill out another application and start again at square one. I know God taught me so much during all of that and for that I am grateful.

I must say though, that my excitement is back and I am excited about it! Yes, I am excited that I am feeling excited again! We are waiting for our new dossier packet to arrive and I am so ready to finish up and get our names on the waitlist. I have "met" so many wonderful AGCI families that have encouraged and inspired me.

How can I not be excited when I read about God working miracles in this little boy's life, since he has been home with his forever family?
How can I not be excited and rejoice when this family finally got on AGCI's waitlist for their baby girl?

I am so thankful for my new AGCI friends and family! I am also of course, thankful for the encouragement of our real-life friends and family.

And speaking of real life friends, our dear friends Todd and Megan added to their family last week. Justin and I were able to go visit them and their sweet newborn son, Ruston James, on Friday. He is such a beautiful baby boy!

We love this family so much! They have two girls who our boys love to play with. Sawyer says Jolie is his "girlfriend" which he informed me means that she is a girl who is his friend. Of course, I did overhear him asking her to marry him one day. Jax and Sarah are also great friends, although they fight like brother and sister most of the time. I look forward to the day that our Mia can run around and play with little Ruston.
These kids are so much fun! How can I not be excited about adding to our family?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One Smile Closer: The Gwins

Fall is here and the weather here is cooling off a bit, so families have started contacting us about fall photo sessions. Justin was able to capture some great photos of this fun family. I have a soft spot in my heart for baby boys, and little Carter is just so cute! He is such a happy Baby! Thanks Matt, Lisa, and Carter for bringing us one smile closer to our little girl!

One Smile Closer: The Stavnes'

Jon and Kelsey did another fabulous photo shoot on our behalf. This time their beautiful subjects were the Stavnes' family. I have been reading Amy's wonderful blog since we started our adoption journey. I thought it was so cool when Kelsey told me she was going to take pics of this family. They brought their sweet son, Elijah home from Ethiopia this summer and Kelsey was able to take pictures of this family of six!

When we started our One Smile Closer fundraiser we just hoped that we would be able to take pictures of a few families from our church and raise a little money for our adoption. In just a few short months, we have taken pictures of families in our town in LA, as well as New Orleans, LA, Shreveport, LA, and Fort Worth, TX. Kelsey also got involved from the Nashville, TN area and we are so thrilled. We are so thankful to all of the families who are helping us get one step closer to our daughter! If you want to help by smiling for the camera, just let us know!