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!