Friday, December 27, 2013

Checking things off!

I love being able to check things off our to-do list!  We had a family doctor visit day on the 23rd and everyone is healthy :)  We have all our medical forms filled out and ready to go.  We got our passports in the mail yesterday!  They came much faster than we thought.  We got our first round of fingerprinting done.  We had our second social worker visit today, which went SO much better than the last one.  We actually have a new social worker this time because the first is no longer working with them.  This social worker actually walked through our house and the boys bedroom was cleared to sleep 3 boys :)  We are getting closer to having all our documents together for our dossier, which is very exciting.  We did find out last week that we can no longer mail our dossier to the Chicago Consulate to be authenticated.  We must either hand deliver it or send it via courier, so it looks like we will have a road trip to Chi town coming up!  Everything is moving right along and I have no worry what-so-ever that we will have all our documents to China before the 6 month deadline.  It feels so good to say that!  We still need to come up with the remaining funds to finish our homestudy and to pay our agency, but God has been so incredibly faithful and we continue to be blessed by your generous donations.

We will be starting a t-shirt fundraiser, hopefully within the next week, that we hope will help with some upcoming fees.  Our goal is to sell at least 50 t-shirts, but we only need 20 for the order to go through.  My awesome little brother is designing the t-shirt and we are using Booster for the fundraiser.  As soon as we have it up and running, I will post all the details.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration and you got to enjoy time with family and friends!  God willing, Asher will be home for Christmas next year!  God bless!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have been enjoying this holiday season and all the traditions you have with your loved ones!  This year we decided to carry on Jon's family tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree and I'm so happy we did!  There is just something about a real tree and that pine smell :)

Jon and I were able to get our fingerprinting done yesterday!  It was $80 total and we were so thankful to have the money to do it.  We are continually blessed by your generosity and love for Asher.  The fingerprints we got yesterday were for our homestudy.  Believe it or not, we will have to get another set of fingerprints taken for our dossier and those will be $170 total!  We think it's a little crazy that we have to pay so much to get fingerprinting done TWICE when our fingerprints will remain the same.  We are coming to realize that there are many parts of this process that could be streamlined and made cheaper so that it would be easier for people to adopt because these sweet kids need loving families!

Next on our list is another home visit from our social worker.  This is scheduled to take place two days after Christmas, so I'm a little anxious about getting our house in order for it.  I'm hoping this time they actually look through the house! :)

We continue to receive donations and we are beyond thankful for each and every one, no matter the amount.  We haven't started any new fundraisers because we just aren't sure what to do yet.  Right now I'm focusing on getting our story out there to more people and would be so very grateful for anyone who felt led to share our story and our blog.

We hope and pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and that God would bless your new year!  Hopefully we will have our sweet boy home with us this time next year!  Love you all!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Puzzle update!

I am SO excited to see this puzzle coming together!  What a blessing to be able to put this together with my family, piece by piece, a little at a time, just the way we are putting things together a little at a time to get closer to Asher.  It is also an incredible blessing to get to write each and every name on these pieces and feel my heart overflow with gratitude and love for your generosity!

So far, we have 170 of the 336 pieces sponsored!  How awesome is that?!  That is a total of $4250 in generous donations!  Does anyone else feel as overwhelmingly happy as I am to know that this one little boy, all the way in China, is already loved so much here?  God does amazing things!

Here are some photos of our puzzle progression for your viewing pleasure :)  If anyone else feels led to add a piece to the puzzle, you can click on our PayPal Donate button at the top of the page, and donate $25.  Love you all!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Hello all!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!  I want to spend every day being thankful for all that God has blessed me with.  Believe me, it's way more than I deserve.

I just want to update everyone on where we are at right now.  In my last post, I shared the awesome news of our being able to pay the first agency fee of $2500 through an amazingly generous donation.  Now that we have payed that fee, our agency has made the whole dossier preparation process available to us.  I received a 46 page PDF file detailing every piece of paperwork required, how to obtain them, and then how to get them notarized, then certified, and finally, authenticated.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this process, it's absolutely crazy!  Worth it in every way, but crazy. 

Today, Jon and I will go to our main post office and apply for our passports.  I am so thankful that even after paying our $2500 fee, we have the money to do this as well.  It costs $135 plus the cost of photos for each of us to get a passport. 

We are also in the process of our homestudy.  We had the first visit with our social worker on the 27th and it went pretty well.  It was slightly frustrating because we spent the better part of two days cleaning our house from top to bottom, and our SW only ended up sitting in our living room.  Oh well, it felt good to have the house sparkling clean even if it only lasted a short while.

Here is what our next several steps will look like financially:

*Homestudy completion: $800
*Compiling the dossier: $450
*2nd and 3rd agency fees: $2350 and $1950
*Finger printing and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) filing: $85/ea for fingerprints and $720 total for the filing.
*CCCWA ( China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption ) fee: $775 when our dossier is submitted to China.

That is a total of roughly $7215 and most of it must be paid before we can apply for any grants.

We have been so incredibly blessed by your generosity so far, and it has brought me to tears many times.  What I'd like to ask for today is prayer.  I have absolutely no reason to doubt God.  He has provided at every step of this process, yet I find myself letting little doubts creep up and overwhelm me.  Please pray that I would trust in God, who is mightier than deadlines and fees.  Pray that I would take one step at a time and allow God to work in that step instead of trying to see the whole picture.  I won't lie, this process it HARD.  I've found myself marveling a lot at the people who do this multiple times.  I know Asher is worth it though and so I keep moving forward.

Thank you for your prayers and for your generous giving.  God bless you all!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving thanks!

Okay, are you all ready for some awesome news?!?  WE HAVE THE $2500 FOR OUR FIRST AGENCY FEE!!!!  We have been beyond blessed to receive an EXTREMELY generous donation and we are praising God for his goodness!  Just when you feel like you are going it alone, God taps you on the shoulder and says, "I'm here.  I've always been here.  I'm going to take care of my children." 

Here is the story.  A friend of mine and her husband had been setting some money aside to give and they picked us to be blessed by this amazing gift.  They had lost count of how much was there, but had decided they wanted to help us bring our son home.  They had read my post about needing $2500 for our first fee so they counted it up and guess how much it was?  It was exactly $2500!!!  Does anybody else have goosebumps?  When she told me about wanting to give us this gift, I was instantly in tears.  I was overwhelmed by their generosity and by the way God works in and through us all for his purpose. 

We have been so moved by the generosity that keeps pouring in through donations and through those participating in our fundraisers.  We can now pay our first agency fee and then we will have $600 to apply to the next fee on the list.  You guys are all becoming a part of this incredible story of God ransoming one of his beloved children and we are so thankful!

With Thanksgiving only days away, I had to share this amazing story with you all.  I hope you all will be incredibly blessed.  I want to leave you with some lyrics to a song that touched my heart today:

"Oh Father, You have given
Much more than I deserve
And I have felt Your hand of blessing
On me at every turn

How could I doubt Your goodness
Your wisdom, Your grace.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Encouraged :)

Since I wrote a post about being discouraged, I thought I'd write one about being encouraged.  That is definitely what I've been ever since I wrote my last post.  I have had so many people who have reached out to help by praying for us, suggesting different fundraisers, and giving me encouraging words.  A beautiful friend of mine lifted my spirits by suggesting I read Hebrews 11.  Hebrews 11:1 says ""Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  The rest of the chapter speaks of so many followers of Christ who had faith in things they had yet to see.  Not necessarily faith that they would get what they asked for, but faith that the God who created them and loved them would lead them where they were supposed to go and bring them through it.  That no matter what happened here on this earth, they had faith in their eternal home.  

It is so easy to get lost in the craziness of life.  The ups and downs, and occasionally, the even middle ground.  What we seem to forget so easily is that God is walking each step of each day with us.  He is there when everything seems to be falling apart.  He is there when we feel the happiest.  He is there when nothing seems to be happening at all.  He is there.  

I am so encouraged by these truths.  My God is faithful.  He loves me.  He loves my family.  He loves Asher.  He even loves my kids (including Asher!) more than I do.  It's hard and wonderful to know that.  It's hard because I love them so much, it doesn't feel like it's possible someone could love them more.  It's wonderful because I love them so much, but He loves them MORE!  

I have been working SO hard to do everything I can to bring my son home, but the fact is, I can't do anything apart from God's will.  If He wants Asher here, He will provide.  Yes, I need to put forth the effort, but it is all His doing and for His glory.

There will be many more ups and downs in this process, I know, but how awesome is it to be reminded that God is in control and He is faithful?!  How awesome is it to be surrounded by family and friends who are quick to come around me to encourage me and remind me of that?!  Love you all!


Friday, November 15, 2013


I am struggling today.  It's been a rough couple days actually.  Several great things have happened in the midst of it though.  We have our homestudy under way.  Our social worker will be making her first visit to our home on November 27th.  We got news that Asher is back with his foster family after his cataract surgery and seems to be doing well.  We got Asher's bed put together.  I go into his room often and stare at his bed and think about what it will be like to tuck him in at night and watch him sleep peacefully.  It's also hard to look at his bed because doubts still creep in.  What if we will never get to tuck him in?  What if I will never see his sweet face in person?  What if he will never call me mommy?  I am trying with all my heart to cast my cares on the Lord, but I find that I have to do it repeatedly and often.

We are still being blessed by a few generous donations and we will never be able to tell you all how thankful we are.  I received another email from our agency today reminding me, as if I somehow forgot, that $2500 is now due and we can't move forward until it's paid.  I don't know if I've explained in detail what this means.  If we don't pay this first fee now, we don't get to move forward in putting our dossier together.  The dossier is the stack of papers that need to be acquired, filled out, notarized/apostilled, and sent to China.  China gives us a deadline of when those need to be submitted, which is 6 months after they have given pre-approval.  Our pre-approval came on October 29th, so that puts us in April for having them returned.  It usually takes roughly 4-5 months (if everything goes smoothly) to complete your dossier.  What happens if we don't have our dossier to China in that time frame?  Well, we are told that they might grant us one 90 day extension, but if we don't have our dossier submitted on time, China closes our file and we lose Asher.  That's just it.  We don't become his parents and he is again put back on the waiting list.  We can't reapply to adopt him, it's over.  It's hard for me to even type those words because I don't want to admit that it could happen, but it could.  We could still lose our little boy.

I know God is in control and I still have faith that He will provide if this is His will, but I'm human and I'm scared.  I want to bring my little boy home.  Right now, after other fees have been paid, we have $400 to put toward the $2500.  Every time I sell a crochet item, the money goes in the fund.  Every time I babysit, the money goes in the fund.  Any time we have extra, it goes in the fund.  We aren't even buying our kids Christmas presents this year because we've talked to them and we've all decided that we already have more than we need and we need to be putting our money toward bringing Asher home.  We are tapped out.

This leaves us at the mercy of those willing to help bring Asher home.  We have a puzzle fundraiser where we are asking people to sponsor a piece for $25 by using the PayPal Donate button on this blog and it's ongoing.  We have an Usborne Books fundraiser that is going on until November 30th: .  We have a 31 fundraiser going on until November 29th: .

Would you consider helping us bring our son home?  We would be forever grateful.

God bless,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Waiting and fundraising

We are so thankful and excited to be moving forward in our journey to Asher!  Thanks to the generous donations of so many wonderful people, we were able to make the first half of our payment to our homestudy agency today!  We will now be assigned a social worker who will get to know us and visit our home.  This is a big deal, because without their approval, we don't move forward.

Our next steps right now will be more waiting and intense fundraising.  We still have a $2500 fee that we need to pay our adoption agency.  They gave us a 90 day deadline, which would be January 13th.  They will grant one 90 day extension, but our urgency lies in the fact that we must have our completed dossier logged into the system in China within 6 months of our pre-approval, which was October 29th.  It typically takes 4-5 months to complete the dossier and we can't begin it until we pay our agency's all an exhausting, vicious circle.

We have been SO incredibly blessed by the generosity we have received so far.  We can't wait to tell Asher how loved he was before we ever brought him home!  I have also been fortunate enough to earn extra money through my crochet business and doing some babysitting.  Every extra penny we have is making its way into the Asher fund, but we are still coming up short for our agency fee.

We will have our puzzle fundraiser going on until every piece is sponsored, and we have also started two other fundraisers.  Until November 30th, you can visit this link to purchase books through Usborne Books, and your purchase will help us raise funds.  Until November 29th, you can visit this link to purchase items through 31, and your purchase will help us raise funds.  We thought these two fundraisers were great with the upcoming holiday season, for those looking to buy Christmas gifts.

As always, please continue to pray for us as we move forward in this journey God has called us to.  We would appreciate specific prayer that our homestudy/social worker visits would go well and the Lord's will would be done.  Thank you and love you all!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Puzzle Fundraiser

Sponsor a piece and help us put our puzzle together!

We have put this puzzle fundraiser together to help us raise the funds for the first half of our adoption process.  Each piece can be sponsored for $25 and we will put your name or family name on the back of a piece.  Once the puzzle is complete, we will have raised $8400 to pay our agency fees, homestudy fee, fingerprinting, dossier, passports, and visas!  We will be gluing and placing the puzzle between two pieces of glass with a frame, and hanging it on the wall by Asher's bed.  What a beautiful way to see how God worked in the hearts of so many generous people willing to help us bring our son home!

To donate, you can either click the Paypal Donate button at the top of our blog, or you can email me at for our address to mail us a check.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for partnering with us to bring Asher home.
God bless!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Our journey officially begins!

Amazing news came today!!  We received pre-approval from China for our son!  I was starting to think it would never come, but God is faithful!  We are just over the moon excited and SO ready to move forward.  There is so much to do and so much to think about and get organized, but I'm up for the challenge :) 

Our next big steps are raising the funds for our first agency fee of $2500 and the fee of $800 to get our homestudy started.  The homestudy is when our social worker will start getting to know us and visit our house several times to make sure everything is safe and ready for Asher.  We will not be able to adopt him unless our social worker gives us the stamp of approval.  That paperwork, along with A TON of other papers, will then go to China where they will need to have final approval from the social welfare system.

I mentioned our first fundraiser, a puzzle fundraiser, in my last post.  We have a 336 piece puzzle with this picture on it.
Each piece can be "sponsored" for $25 and when you sponsor a piece, we will write your family or individual name on the back of the piece.  This can be done by either clicking on our Paypal Donate button at the top left side of our blog, or you can message me for our address to send a check.  After every piece has been sponsored, we will have raised $8400!  That money will cover everything in the first half of our adoption process.  Our agency fees, our homestudy fees, all our paperwork, fingerprints, passports, visas.  We will also have this wonderful puzzle with the names of all the amazing, generous people who helped us bring our little boy home and we will be hanging it on the wall by Asher's bed.  What a blessing it would be to have you all partner with us in completing our puzzle! 

We thank each and every one of you who have already helped with donations, support, encouragement, and most importantly prayers.  We have been so blessed by family and friends and we can't wait to share Asher with you all!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our application has officially been approved by our agency and our Letter of Intent (our request to China to adopt Asher) and family info has been sent to China to be translated and then submitted!!  We are now in a new place of waiting....waiting to hear if China will give us the go ahead.  It feels so good to finally be moving forward.  To say that we are slightly anxious about receiving our pre-approval from China would be a HUGE understatement!  We know God has this and we are not worried, just really looking forward to getting it :) 

Our next steps will require raising money.  We now have 90 days (hopefully it won't take that long) to come up with $2500 for our first agency fee.  We also need to get started with our homestudy pretty much immediately after we get our pre-approval.  Our homestudy agency is Children's Bureau, Inc. out of Indianapolis.  Their fee is $1600, with $800 needed upfront and the remaining $800 to be paid before the paperwork is finalized and sent to our agency.  We have filled out an application with Sonscope to try to have our homestudy paid for, but there is no guarantee that it will be.  Right now we are looking into the different fundraisers that are available and the three that we really like are a puzzle fundraiser, a Thirty-One fundraiser, and a jewelry fundraiser through Compelled Designs.  The Thirty-One and Compelled Designs fundraisers are selling products, and then we get a portion of those sales toward our adoption.  The puzzle fundraiser is a little different.  We have a 336 piece puzzle made with a picture of the country of China, in the colors of the Chinese flag. You will be able to sponsor a piece for $25 and in turn, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece.  As the pieces get sponsored, we will assemble the puzzle.  Once the puzzle is complete, our fundraiser will have raised $8400.  This amount will pay for all the fees we need in the first half of our adoption process, including getting all of our paperwork complete and sent to China.  We will be putting the completed puzzle between two pieces of glass and framing it to hang on the wall of Asher's room so he can see some of the names of the amazing people who helped bring him home.  The last half of the adoption process is travel and incountry expenses.  We are hoping that those will be paid through the grant Asher already has on a wonderful site called Reece's Rainbow and through other grants we will be applying for.  I will be setting up a separate post for the puzzle fundraiser soon with all the details, so please check back and consider being a part of putting our puzzle together!  As always, your prayers are greatly appreciated!  Love you all!


Monday, October 7, 2013

I was hoping for better news to start out my week, but that is not what I got.  It's not the worst news in the world, but it feels like hitting a wall.  In order for us to be able to pursue adopting this sweet little girl along with our Asher, we need to have $1200 up front and we just don't have that right now.  We have looked into adoption loans and things similar to that to pay for adoption costs, but Jon and I don't feel like the Lord wants us to go into incredible debt to adopt.  Jon is working 50+ hours a week and I am trying to pick up as much extra work as I can as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, but at the end of the day, we are just going to have to rely on God's provision and the generosity of others.  I wish more than anything that we could just pull this money from somewhere, and bring these angels home.  I hate that money is what stands in the way of them having forever families, but we must just have faith.  If Got wants this little girl to be part of our family, if he wants Asher to be part of our family, then He will provide the necessary funds at the necessary times.

We are also still at a stand-still for the paperwork from the Dr. office to proceed with Asher's adoption.  I feel in my heart that God is allowing this waiting period because He is leading us to adopt this precious girl.  Here is her picture so you can all see her sweet face :)  Please pray with us family and friends!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

The last two weeks have seemed so long!  I finally got in for my Dr. appt. this last Tuesday and everything went great.  I've lost a good amount of weight and I continue to lose :)  We hoped to leave the office with the necessary paperwork needed to finally wire our Letter of Intent to China, but no such luck.  We are hoping to be able to have the paperwork on Monday.  I've been a little frustrated with the waiting, but I've been reminded that God has a reason.  That reason might be that He has a second child He would like us to bring home along with Asher!  I was led to this precious little girl this last week: I have emailed a few people to get more info on her and on what it would look like for us to bring home two angels with Down Syndrome at the same time.  This is still all very up in the air, but we are praying and seeking to see if this is the direction God is leading us.  If this moves forward and God continues to open doors, we will be bringing home two 7 year olds next year!  What does this mean financially?  Well, we don't have all those answers yet, but it's looking like this will add anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 on to what we were looking at before.  It can be an overwhelming amount when you look at it in just a lump sum: $35,000-$40,000.  To me, it's a small price to pay to bring two of God's precious children home and give them something they greatly deserve, a family.  I still don't know how this money is going to come our way, but I don't have to know.  I just need to have faith that God will provide if this is His will for our lives and for these two little one's lives.  Please pray with us that God would give us wisdom in making this decision and faith in His plan.  Thank you and we love you!

~Carly Duvall

Friday, September 20, 2013

Well, we are kinda bummed.  We are facing a little delay in getting our Letter of Intent wired to China.  We have paid our application fees and have pretty much everything emailed to our agency, but I'm having to get my physical done now to send to China with our letter/info because my BMI (body mass index) is 6 points higher than what China usually accepts.  China has some VERY strict rules for adopting children.  They do however, give a lot of waivers if the couple is trying to adopt a Special Focus child, which Asher is.  He is considered Special Focus not only because he has Down Syndrome, but also because he has been on the waiting list for so long.  This means that our letter and info won't go to China until the week of October 1st.  Then it could be another two weeks before we hear back from China telling us if we are approved to adopt Asher.  As I mentioned in my last post, I'm terribly impatient.  I am trying to spend this time praying and worshiping to keep my heart in the right place.  God's timing is perfect and He has a reason why we are facing this delay. 

Your prayers would be much appreciated during this time of waiting and for provision.  If we get the approval from China, we will still need to come up with $7500-$8000 to get us to the point where we can apply for grants and use the grant that has already been donated to Asher through Reece's Rainbow.  We know God has this all in His hands and He will provide!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Well, the garage sale was a success!!  Between some EXTREMELY generous donations and the sales we made, we are at a little over $800 now, praise the Lord!  We are so completely humbled by and thankful for the outpouring of love and support we have received and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

More great news to share, we have all the necessary paperwork and fees turned into our agency to get this party started :)  Asher's file is on hold until all our info is reviewed, at which point it will be locked in for us.  Such fantastic news that is music to this Mama's ears! 

The only downside right now is that we probably won't hear back from China for two weeks....have I mentioned that I'm terribly impatient?  Especially when we are talking about bringing our boy home!  God, grant me patience and peace in this time of waiting and let your will be done in the decision the Chinese Social Welfare Department now has to make!

As always, we covet your prayers and we love you all!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today, and for the next couple days, I will be scrambling to get our last minute adoption garage sale together.  We have been blessed by the generous donations of family and friends and we are praying for a great turnout!  The weather is supposed to be fantastic and we will be running this garage sale as a family.  My accountant husband will be taking the money and making the change, the kids will be selling cookies and lemonade, and I will be overseeing everything :)  We decided to put this together through the encouragement of others to help get the $325 we need to submit our application to our agency and our Letter of Intent to China.

If we get the pre-approval from China, we will be facing a pretty much immediate $2500 fee to our agency to begin our paper chase.  I have had such a struggle with the fact that we need help raising this money.  There are so many opinions out there about fundraising and asking for money for an adoption.  There are those who feel that adoption is a choice you make and if you can't come up with the money on your own, you shouldn't be adopting.  Then there are those who feel that the cost of adoption is not much different than paying to give birth to your child in a hospital, except that insurance covers most of it and then you are able to make small monthly payments on the rest AFTER you bring your child home.  I am part of the second group of people, but it is still hard to ask for money, even if you are offering something in exchange.  I did a little reading on this subject over the weekend, and I came across a great article that reassured me.  The author states that when you are fundraising or asking for donations for an adoption, the money is not for you.  We aren't asking for money so we can go on a vacation or buy a new car.  We are asking for money so that we can give a precious child what he so desperately needs and deserves: a family to love him and take care of him.  God calls us to this in James 1: 27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  I have decided to swallow my pride and boldly step forth in faith, trusting that God will move and provide the funds necessary to bring Asher home to his forever family.

Thank you all who have partnered with us in this, we pray that God would bless you!

I will leave you with the sweet face that started it all.  Try not to smile, I dare you!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Today I am overwhelmed...

I imagine there are going to be quite a few days like this in my near future. 

Before I get into all that, I'd just like to proclaim the goodness of my heavenly Father!  I woke up this morning, anxious about a few things that were on my plate and God just completely outdid Himself.  He has shown me over and over throughout this last week that nothing is too big for Him.  When I doubt, He is faithful!

Today, we are getting into the nitty gritty of what we face to make this adoption happen.  I shared with you yesterday, that the total cost of bringing Asher home is close to $30,000, but thankfully, that is not all owed upfront.  It is pieced out into sections, and each section is due at a different time.  We have done our research and have had suggestions made to us about all the amazing adoption grants that are available, and there are many.  The issue we are encountering, is that to apply for any kind of adoption grant, you must have an approved home study.  Asher also has been blessed with the generosity of anonymous donors who have donated $7,514.50 towards his adoption.  However, those funds will not be available for us to use until we get our Letter of Approval from China, which comes after we have submitted our Dossier (huge stack of paperwork).  What does this mean?  It means that we need to come up with about $8,600 BEFORE we are able to apply for grants or use the grant money that Asher already has.  This is a little scary to think about, because once we get our pre-approval from China, we have exactly 6 months to get our Dossier submitted.

Right now I am trying to accomplish the things I can and contact all the people I need to, but I'm also just trying to breathe and hang on to the fact that God is bigger than anything that stands in our way.  If He wants Asher to come home to us, He will make a way!

Please pray with us today for God's will and provision for our next steps.  Thank you!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The beginning

I've started this blog to keep family and friends updated on the progress of our adoption journey and as a way for me to keep my thoughts organized!

At this point we are in the very early stages of adopting a 6yr. old little boy from China.  If we get the incredible privilege of bringing him home, we will give him the name Asher Duvall.  We chose Asher because he was one of the 12 sons of Jacob, one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  His name means happy, blessing, and that is exactly what he is!

Let me give a little back story in our road to adopt Asher (Julian).  Jon and I have been discussing adoption for about a year and a half now, and in the last 6 months we have really felt called to adopt from China.  I just assumed we would be adopting a little girl because that is what you picture when you think of China, a lot of abandoned baby girls.  Well, it turns out that isn't the case anymore.  Through my desire to learn more about China, I've come to find out that it's actually quite a wait now to adopt a healthy baby girl.  China has relaxed their one child policy, and families can have two children without fear of penalty and there are more Chinese families who adopt.  Most of the children waiting and in need of a family now are boys and girls, ages 3+, who have some kind of special need.  Special needs can mean a whole lot of different things ranging from a big birthmark on their face to Cerebral Palsy or Down Syndrome.  I never even considered adopting a child with special needs, not because I wasn't willing, but just because that wasn't really what I pictured for our family.  All that changed about a week and a half ago (yes, it hasn't been long!), when I was looking through a waiting child list.  As I'm scrolling through this list of precious children who yearn for a family of their own, I suddenly came across a sweet little face with the name Julian.  This is not his name, but they can't list his Chinese name, so they give him an American name.  He is 6 years old and he has Down Syndrome.  I can't describe to you the feeling I got when I saw his face.  About as close as I can get is the feeling you get when you see your baby on the screen during your first ultrasound.  They still seem so far away, but you know they are yours and you would do anything for them.  It brings tears to your eyes, and that is exactly what I experienced when I saw him for the first time.  Now I had the task of bringing this sweet little boy up to my husband.  Jon was totally on board to adopt, but didn't think he was going to do it RIGHT NOW.  To my utter surprise, he said "If we can do it, let's do it."  After the shock wore off, I was ready to go.  The very next day I was getting in contact with whoever I could to find out if we would even qualify to adopt him and how to get things moving if we could.

Now, just a short time later, we have been approved by the adoption agency we want to use, CCAI, and we are desperately trying to gather together the $325 we need to send with our application and Letter of Intent.  Once we submit those things to our agency, Julian's file will be on hold, for us.  Our info and Letter of Intent will go to China and we will wait to hear if they will approve us to adopt Julian.  If that is God's plan and we get our pre-approval, then we begin the mad dash of gathering documents, forms, fingerprints and such and we begin to tackle the biggest roadblock: the funds.  For Julian to become Asher Duvall, we will need to pay a total of close to $30,000.  Yes, this is an overwhelming and seemingly impossible amount, but guess what?  I serve a God who is bigger than $30,000 and if He wants Julian to come home to us and become Asher Duvall, He will provide.  I have total and complete faith in this.

Friends and family, we covet your prayers right now.  For Julian, as he remains in China and still doesn't know he has a family who desperately wants him, and for us, who are here in the US, trying our best to stay patient and wait on God's timing.  We hope you will follow along with us in this incredible journey!