Monthly Archives: April 2015

Jewelry Party Fundraiser!

Although we have raised all of our designated fees for our adoption, we are still saving for travel related costs, medical bills, and the ability to be on “maternity leave” when Elliott gets here.

My sister has planned a jewelry party for this coming Saturday, May 2nd.  A large portion of the proceeds will go directly to us.  Also, the food will be awesome!

Feel free to stop by (unless you are a weird internet lurker – that would be creepy) or contact Julie if you are interested in purchasing something.

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“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy”

On Wednesday evening I had a migraine.  They are sort of my curse.  At this point I get them fairly rarely, but when I do get one I tend to be pretty non-functional.  The next day I often have a “migraine hangover” as well – feeling sort of foggy and slow.

So when I woke up Thursday morning, I was moving even slower than normal.  I was sitting in bed drinking coffee and I opened my email on my phone.  There was an email from our online fundraising account, Pure Charity, with a comment from someone who had not left a name.  I clicked over to the Pure Charity account to look at the donation.

It was early.  I was tired.  I had to keep looking over and over to see if I was seeing it correctly.  I was.  The account had been paid in full sometime on Wednesday evening.  Someone donated the remaining $4500 to meet our overall goal of $35,000.  Anonymously.  We don’t know who.  Someone anonymously donated all the rest of the money we need to bring her home.

Lord, you are so good.

On January 14th I wrote a blog post titled Asking.  I asked God to provide the money needed for this adoption in ways that reveal His power.  I desperately wanted Him to be glorified as we raised money.  I almost didn’t publish that post, however, because I was scared to ask and I wasn’t sure I really believed it was possible.  I wasn’t sure I believed that He could do it.  And I wavered, over and over again, even as He was providing.

And He did.  He has done incredible things in the past three months.

Russ and I saved $9,000 in three months.
We made $7,500 at a GARAGE SALE.
We sent out 85 letters to friends and family and received $18,500 in donations.

Only God.  God who loves Elliott fiercely and completely.  I am overwhelmed and humbled to get to walk this out with Him.

We still have a few fundraising ventures going on – my mom and sister are hosting a jewelry party at the beginning of May and some dear friends have initiated a “beard for a baby” campaign.  The money raised in all of this will help immensely with travel and medical costs.

To be fully funded is amazing, however this has never just been about the money.  As I watched God provide, I have gained confidence in His provision in all of the other areas I question – can we really do this?  Can we be the parents to three kids?  Do we have what it takes to parent a child who has began life with such loss?  Will the Lord see us through this process, with the waiting and the steps and the unknowns?

And more and more, I know He will.  He has shown Himself faithful.  He will continue to be faithful.

Lord, you are so good.

An update – coming to the end of the paperchase!

I realize it’s been a bit of radio silence on the blog, but we are continuing to move full-steam ahead in the adoption process!

We had our second (and last!) home study visit on Wednesday, April 1st.  This visit focused primarily on parent education.  Before we met with our caseworker, we completed a process of education including 10 hours of online training (we actually did 14 hours – oops, should have read that more carefully!), reading a great book (The Connected Child), reading several articles, and interviewing a family who has adopted.  We talked through all we had learned, preparation for parenting an adopted child, and more during our home visit, as well as what the next steps look like.

We have all of the parts of our dossier compiled and notarized.  I scanned them in and sent them to our caseworker last week – she wrote back that they look “fabulous”.  Seriously made my month!  This has been a labor of love.  Some of the documents have taken multiple steps, all have been notarized.  It’s a lot for two very non-administratively minded people!

At this point, we are waiting for our home study to be complete before we take the next step.  As soon as we receive the completed, approved home study we will immediately mail off a copy of our home study and an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Office, which is the first step in gaining approval from the US government for our girl to become a citizen.  This approval will also be the FINAL piece of the dossier.  On average, it is running about 45 days right now to get the approval back (this includes a fingerprint appointment in the middle somewhere).  We will add this approval and the home study to the documents we already have done for the dossier and then WE WILL HAVE A COMPLETE DOSSIER.  I’m not sure I ever have or ever will be more proud of an endeavor.

As soon as we get the approval back from USCIS, we will have to get all of our documents certified by the State of Texas and the Chinese embassy, then they will be ready to go to China!  I had a great conversation with our caseworker today about taking the documentations through the Secretary of State’s office and through the Chinese embassy.  We had planned all along to use a courier service or let our agency walk the documents through, which would cost an extra $1000 – $2500.  With some research and the encouragement of our caseworker and my adoptive mom community on Facebook, I’m feeling fairly confident about us walking all of it through ourselves, saving us both time and money.

As nice as it feels to be nearing the end of the “dance of 1000 documents”, I am already missing the way it occupied my mind.  The waiting is hard.  Every day that our home study is not ready, that we have to wait for the next thing to happen or something to arrive in the mail feels long and difficult to wait through.  I feel an urgency knowing that our daughter is alive and out there without us.  I wish she knew we are coming for her.  I have to take myself constantly back to that place of choosing to believe what God has told me – that His time table is perfect, that He has all the hours of this mapped out, that none of this is wasted time.  And that He loves Elliott far more than her daddy or I do – and wants the very best for her.

Last weekend, Easter, felt monumental to me.  It was the first of the big holidays we celebrated since being in the thick of this adoption.  It was also the first of the “lasts”.  I don’t know exactly when we will get her, but I feel confident that by Easter next year Elliott will be celebrating with us.  It felt sort of monumental, as we dreamed what life will be like with her here next year.

On Good Friday we went on a family date.  Gluten allergy and Chinese food don’t mix well, so we don’t eat it much, but we have been talking a lot about how to keep her native culture a part of our lives.  We went to Pei Wei and introduced the kids to chopsticks, fortune cookies, and (yum) edamame.  And somehow it helped us feel closer to her.

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We continue to pray about the last bit of money – we are so close!  I don’t know how God will provide the last $4,000, but I KNOW He will.  We are thinking through fundraising options, researching grants to apply for once our home study is complete, and pinching our pennies.  I’m still floored that we have seen God provide so much in such a short amount of time.  I can’t wait to watch Him finish out that part of the story.