Thursday, April 10, 2014

We made it in the news!

I am so excited to say that our adoption story was featured in our local newspaper today!  A wonderful friend I've made through this adoption process, connected me with a local journalist for the Fort Wayne News Sentinel and she wrote a wonderful article about our family.  The kids are super excited to have their picture in the paper :)  I am excited to get our story out past our smaller circle of family and friends.  It's such a blessing to our family and I pray positive things will come from it.

We have no new news on our paperwork or funding.  We are in a long waiting stage, but hopefully that will be ending soon.  We are still waiting on our immigration application to be approved.  We are now on day number 32 of waiting.  At this point, it looks like it's taking people around 39-40 days to get approval, so we should be hearing soon.

I would just like to ask for your continued prayers during this time.  It is very hard for me to wait on anything in general, but having my son a world away takes every ounce of strength I have.  I am relying heavily upon the Lord each day, but thankfully, He graciously provides for me what is needed.  It might not be what I think I need, but it's what He knows I need and when I need it.  He is growing me and I'm so thankful!  I'm also very thankful for your thoughts and prayers.  You will never know how much your support means to all of us.  God bless!

~Carly

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Update

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd give you all an update.  We are currently waiting for our immigration paperwork to be approved, and that will be the last part of our dossier that is needed!  It feels so good to be at this point and I can't wait to mail our dossier off to our agency.  We need to get our fingerprints done (again!) to complete our immigration stuff, so we will be traveling to Indy on Thursday to get this done.  We will also be getting the remainder of our other papers certified by the Secretary of State while we are there.  We ended up having to redo 4 of our previously certified papers so they wouldn't be rejected when they get to the Chinese Consulate for authentication.  Thank goodness Indiana does charge to get papers certified!  A lot of other states charge anywhere from $10-$25 per paper. 

After our fingerprints are taken and the rest of our papers are certified, we just wait to get our approval letter from the USCIS for immigration.  Once we receive that, we go back to Indy to get that paper certified, and then send it to Chicago to be authenticated.  At that point, our dossier will be DONE!  I seriously can't wait to have it fully complete! 

My biggest concern right now is the funds to get our dossier to China.  We will have to pay our 2nd agency fee of $2,350 and a fee to the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) for $775 before our dossier can be sent.  We have a deadline for our dossier arriving in China and being logged in, so it is VERY important that we get these fees paid soon.  I am completely at the mercy of God's provision.  We have done a number of fundraisers, two garage sales, and I've been picking up extra work babysitting and crocheting.  I also just started selling Norwex products in the hopes of making more money for our adoption.  I feel tapped out.  I'm not sure what else to do beyond what I'm already doing. 

We still have our puzzle fundraiser going on here: Puzzle fundraiser and that will continue until our puzzle is complete.  We would love to have this completed by the time we bring Asher home so we can hang it in his room.

Would you pray with me friends?  I need to feel God's calm and peace in this situation.  I am majorly stressing about getting the funds we need in the short time we need them, even though I know God has provided up to this point.  Thank you all.

~Carly

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Homestudy approved!!

I am so excited to report that our homestudy was officially approved today!  When we first began this process, we were so overwhelmed with all there was to do so it's so nice to check off these big steps.  Now we will file an application with US Immigration.  This process can take anywhere from 30-90 days, so we most likely are going to need to ask China for a 3 month extension on the date they gave us to have our dossier to them.  We feel so blessed to have the $720 for filing and the $170 for fingerprinting.  We also already have the $450 we need to get all our paperwork authenticated by the right departments.  This leaves us with an immediate need for our 2nd agency fee of $2350 and our CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) fee of $775.  When we have the money for those two fees, we will be able to send all our paperwork to China.  We are SO close! 

I have just begun to jump into the crazy waters of adoption grant applications.  I can definitely say that after this adoption is complete, I will never want to fill out another piece of paperwork again! :)  We will apply to as many grants as we can, but there is no guarantee that we will receive anything.  We are completely relying on the Lord's provision and the generosity of those He calls to bless us with funds.

I just want to say thank you so much to you all for continuing to share in this incredible journey God has called us to!  I will leave you with a recent picture we received of our sweet Asher.  His smile melts my heart and I can't wait to see it in person.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Bracelets and updates

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to update you all and also share the bracelet fundraiser we are doing right now.  First, the bracelets :)  We are doing a fundraiser through Apparent Project, selling beautiful bracelets made by men and women in Haiti who are working to support their families.  These bracelets have hand made paper beads and are so colorful.  I love that we can do a fundraiser that not only will help us with our adoption costs, but will also benefit these families in Haiti.  Each bracelet is $8 + $2 shipping (if you aren't local for me to drop them off).  Half of the proceeds from each bracelet go to the families in Haiti, and half go toward our adoption.  If you are interested in supporting this fundraiser online, you can just donate your $8 + $2 shipping through our Paypal Donate button on the top left side of our blog.  Please make sure to email me at carlyduvall1628@hotmail.com to let me know how many bracelets you bought and where I can ship them.  If you are local and would like to support this fundraiser, please email me and we will find a time to get the bracelets to you!



We are still in a waiting stage of the process right now, but while I've been waiting, I've been able to compile our entire dossier, which is really exciting.  The next step in the dossier process, is to get it notarized at the bank here in town.  Then Jon will be taking a day off work in the next week or two so we can drive to Indy to get the dossier certified, and then we will continue on to Chicago to get the dossier authenticated.

We are also waiting for our homestudy to get approved by our agency.  Our social worker should have his report to our agency this week, or early next week and we will just wait to hear that it's been approved.  Once it has been approved, we will finally be able to apply for grants!

We could definitely use prayer for God's provision as we approach some large financial deadlines.  Before our dossier will be able to be sent to China, we need to pay our second agency fee of $2,350, our first CCCWA fee to China of $725,  and our USCIS (Immigration) fee of $720.

We know God has a plan of provision and we are trusting in Him to lead us.  We are getting so close to Asher and I'm so anxious to bring our son home!  We love you all!

~Carly

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Updates

Well, we just ended our t-shirt fundraiser and our Give1Save1 fundraiser and I'm excited to say that we raised $860 combined from the two!  We sold 33 t-shirts and had a fantastic amount of Give1Save1 supporters.  We feel SO blessed by everyone's support for us and for Asher!

I am really excited about our next fundraiser!  We will be selling bracelets through the Apparent Project.  These bracelets are made by Haitian women who need help feeding their families.  We will be getting 150 of these beautiful handmade, paper bead bracelets to sell.  They will be $8 + $2 shipping.  For every bracelet sold, half goes back to the women in the project and we get to keep half toward our adoption.  It's such a great way to support us as well as supporting these amazing women who are working to keep their families together.  Here is the link to their website if anyone would like to check it out and I will write another blog post when the bracelets are here! http://www.apparentproject.org/fundraisers/4572681975

I also thought I'd give another puzzle update since we've added another 30 + pieces!  That puts us at 220 pieces sponsored!  How incredible is that?!  Only 116 more pieces and this puzzle will be whole.  This is an ongoing fundraiser so keep praying the remainder of the pieces get sponsored.  (Those who donated $25 or more during our Give1Save1 fundraiser also got their name on the back of a puzzle piece. )

God bless!



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Where we are

Just want to update everyone on where we are in this process.  We have our last homestudy visit next Wednesday.  We had to have an extra visit because we found out our first social worker would no longer be working there and her boss had to take over our file.  After his visit, he said it should take him 2-3 weeks to type up his report and send it to our agency.  It will then take them around 2 weeks to go over it and hopefully give us approval.  At that time, we will finally be able to start applying for grants.  Grants will become my life.

At this point, we have roughly $18,000-$19,000 to raise to complete the adoption.  This includes the $7,500 grant that Asher already has with Reece's Rainbow.  Thank the Lord for that grant. 
We have had two garage sales, a puzzle fundraiser (ongoing), a Thirty-One Fundraiser, an Usborne Book fundraiser, a t-shirt fundraiser, and we are currently doing a Give1Save1 fundraiser.    We are just at a loss right now and I am fighting overwhelming discouragement on a daily basis.  I have to have faith that God will provide if this is His will for us.  We are just pushing against deadlines and huge fees.  I am starting to worry about having our dossier to China by the end of April.  That date is quickly approaching and we still have much to wait on.  We have all of our paperwork, but we have to get it all notarized, then we have to travel to Indy to get it all certified, and then we have to travel to Chicago to get it all authenticated.  At that point we can send it to our agency to be reviewed.  That review process will take several weeks.  We also need to get our fingerprints for USCIS and file for our I800.  I've been reading that the I800 process is taking around 3 months right now.  That puts us SO close to our deadline that I can't even think about it.

What does this all mean?  It means we need prayer and we need help raising this money.  I still have a lot of hope in getting at least one substantial grant, but there is no guarantee.  Please pray with us.  Pray for Asher.  Pray for these obstacles to be removed so that we can bring our son home.  God bless.

~Carly

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

T-shirt Fundraiser!

We are so excited to launch our t-shirt fundraiser today!  My brother designed the shirt and I love it!  We used John 14:18 and incorporated red and yellow to represent China.  This fundraiser will run until January 20th.  Our goal in that time is to sell at least 50 shirts.  At 50 shirts sold we will have raised $470 toward bringing Asher home!  We need to sell a minimum of 20 shirts for the order to go to print.  If you purchase a shirt but we don't reach 20, your money will be refunded to you.  If the order goes to print, your shirt should arrive on or around the 3rd of February.  These shirts will not only help us get closer to Asher, but they will help raise awareness for orphans!  We have sizes ranging from Youth XS all the way up to Adult 4XL, so there is something for everyone!  We would be so thankful if you would consider purchasing a t-shirt and also help us spread the word.   Thank you all!

T-shirt link:  https://www.booster.com/bringingasherhome