Tuesday, July 19, 2016

i800 filed!

It's been a busy day on the adoption front. We received the hard copy of the LOA (letter of acceptance) and signed it indicating that YES we want to adopt Josie.

At the top of this document, is Josie's name and our names. When I saw that, I became emotional because it signified the merging of our stories. She doesn't know about us yet, but soon, she will belong to a family again. We happily signed this document and indicated that we accept this match!

At the same time, our agency sent off our i800 to begin the final leg of the paperwork process. There is a chance that we will be expedited through the last steps, but if not, we are still getting incredibly close to travel. Our agency's estimate is late August or early September.

We have many documents to fill and we will start our travel plans. In order to save money and also to bring Josie here to medical care, we will forego extra touring and unnecessary travel in country. We will also try to get the most condensed schedule in country to bring her home. Eric will travel with a friend who is a nurse and she can help with the daily medical needs that we know Josie has as well as any unexpected needs that may arise. We also have our international adoption doctor available to consult while in country and she will see us day after Josie arrives home.  While most families will get 2-3 weeks notice to travel, our agency is hoping to get us to China in 1 week. That means we must be ready at a moment's notice to go.

We are continuing to raise awareness and funds through the 5/5/5 Families program with Reece's Rainbow. It benefits 5 families in the adoption process and is a great ongoing program to be a part of. We also have our individual Reece's Rainbow grant that we will use for our travel. Our fundraising thermometer has gone up a little bit, but the need is still there. Please pray as we get ready for the final steps in this process.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Today, I received a call from our agency that we have our Letter of Acceptance or LOA. This matches us officially with Josie and we are approved to adopt her. We will sign a letter early next week saying we will accept her and then we will begin the final parts of the process with our government for immigration purposes.

It's impossible to know how soon we will travel, but I have been told an estimated 8 weeks if we move at the anticipated pace. There is one part where we can be expedited due to Josie's health and that could help things along even faster. This is where we need you!!!!!

1. Prayer: we would be so honored if you would pray for us during the final weeks of the process. Not only for the adoption to keep moving forward as it has been, but for Josie as well as she is about to experience so many changes in her life. Pray for her health that she would be ok to travel and that we can meet her medical needs in country. Pray for the finances to fall into place as we are still short on travel funds. We want to be able to go as soon as we are allowed to. Pray for two grant applications specifically that we are waiting to hear back from.

2. Support: We will have a fundraiser soon that will benefit family preservation efforts as well as our adoption. Please stay tuned, it will be ready to kick off soon.
We also have our Reece's Rainbow account for donations, if you feel lead to give.
And for the month of July, we are on of the 5/5/5 families on Reece's Rainbow if you would like to help 5 families at a time, monthly.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

5/5/5 Families

I have shared before how dear Reece's Rainbow is to us. They were instrumental in helping Eve home in 2013 and they are also part of Josie's journey into our family. The grant program is 10 years old and has assisted 1600 children into forever families.

A year ago we went to a Reece's Rainbow reunion and it allowed us to meet so many families and advocates in person. I absolutely love that they want to stay in touch after the children come home.

There is a special program within Reece's Rainbow called 5/5/5 for Families that focuses on 5 adoptive families and raises a special grant just for them, $5 at a time. I was glad to find out that we were chosen as a 5/5/5 family for the month of July along with 4 other adoptive families.

I would love to find 10 people who would like to join this program. $5 donation monthly along with other supporters lifts the burden off adoptive families and children come home! I don't know what could be an easier way to be part of adoptions.

If you join the program, could you let me know? I would like to send you a personal thank you note to let you know how much this means to us.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grants, Grants and More Grants

This is so my life right now...filling out grant applications. We need to be ready to go at a moment's notice.

Monday, June 27, 2016

We are getting close!

Our agency fees are paid! Our orphanage donation is half way there! If we receive a reduction in our orphanage fee, it would be completely paid, so I am hoping that will happen. What remains, is our travel to China. Plane tickets, in country fees, various adoption related fees in country and Josie's passport/visa fees. All that amounts to what you see on the thermometer on the right column of the blog (or scroll to bottom with a mobile device).

We are anxiously waiting news if we are expedited or not. It seems like our dossier moved quickly to a certain point and now I am hopeful that we hear that it has been processed. That gives me a bit more urgency to raise the remaining funds. We are anywhere from $11000 to $13000 from fully funded, depending on price of flights (summer vs. fall timeframe). The amount looks intimidating (just a bit!) but we have conquered most of it. We have worked extra jobs, cut down our budget, used our savings,fundraised, received grants and received donations. It's been such a humbling experience to get here so far. Thank you!

We would prefer that all future donation go to our Reece's Rainbow account so you can receive a tax deduction. Our Youcaring account will also remain open until we purchase our plane tickets.

Here are our current fundraisers:

1. 100 wishes quilt

Hearts are covering the numbers that have been chosen. Pick a number, donate that amount to one of our accounts and send me a good wish/blessing that I can add into Josie's 100 Good Wishes book. I would love to have this book filled with beautiful things to read to her during hospital stays and chemo treatments. Bible verses, quotes etc. are all welcomed!

2. Don't Mess with Mama Bear shirts

Check out our Mama Bear shirts and tank tops in the Teespring shop. They are super cute and so appropriate for your next IEP meeting at school :) or for every day use with sweat pants (the official Mommy uniform)

3. Love Extravagantly shirts

I am doing one last run with these shirts with Love Extravagantly written on them. Two hearts surround one tiny little heart, which is a beautiful symbol of parenting or adoption. Lots of color and style choices. 

Please keep coming back to see our adoption progress and to see our newest fundraisers. Your support mean so much!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Praying for an expedite!

This week, we should find out if the current part of our adoption process will be expedited. Our dossier is in China and our wonderful agency is requesting a faster process due to Josie's medical needs. We know her long term health and life expectancy requires quick medical intervention here, but expediting requires the person deciding it to agree with that. There was a time Josie had frequent medical care and surgeries but lately the information has been harder to obtain. These tumors grow without chemotherapy and our local experts are urging us to expedite. So we pray that the people deciding these things will agree with the medical opinions we are presenting to them.

Would you pray for Josie as she waits? And pray for this process to be expedited for her?

We were so blessed to meet our matching grant and also to receive another grant recently. That has allowed our agency fees to be paid on time and our adoption to move forward. Praising God for this need being met!

There is still a financial need to be met to complete our adoption. As we learn how soon we can travel for Josie, we want to make sure we are prepared. Please come back to the blog to find out about our fundraisers and we also humbly accept donations through our Reece's Rainbow account, which is a tax deductible way to give.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Adoption Update

We made our matching grant last week, which was a huge financial blessing. We will now add another $2000 to our adoption. The thermometer on the right column can sometimes look intimidating, but slowly, we will get there.

Imagine my surprise, when I was notified that we received a grant that will add even more to our adoption funds and of course to our lovely thermometer. It was such a positive boost that I needed during an otherwise difficult time.

Eve was hospitalized 3 weeks ago and she is still recovering. We are also leaving out of state to visit a specialist and the preparations are occupying my mind. I want to keep Josie at the forefront of our minds at all times as we continue to parent our children at home. It will be a busy summer but it's the good kind of busy. Sports, preparations for Josie and hopefully travel. Our adoption paperwork is all done on our end so we just have to wait as China processes it.

Prayer request: would you pray that Josie's adoption is going to be expedited in China? Her medical condition can take a turn at any moment and we have everything ready to care for her tumors here.

We are also in need of funding for our travel related costs. Please check back here for new fundraisers soon. We also have an account with Reece's Rainbow that is tax deductible. You can access it HERE