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!