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: http://www.lwbcommunity.org/the-tale-of-isabella-bunny 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