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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Josie has already changed us

In the process of adoption, it's so easy to think of what a difference a family will make to a child that doesn't have one. Love, safety, security, medical care, food and opportunity to live a full life. With each of our adoptions, I have seen the changes in our children when they know they belong, but this story is not about that. I wanted to share how Josie has already given us the most beautiful gift.

This is our daughter Eve. She was adopted nearly 3 years ago with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. We knew we would encounter many unknowns as her medical diagnosis was not based on any testing, just an educated guess. Over the years, Eve began having more seizures, her body started moving involuntarily (dystonia), we found out she was deaf and we had a few crises that left her doctors baffled. We were referred to genetics to see if we could find a cause.

A few months after Eve's first genetic testing, we learned about Josie. We took a long time to discuss what saying yes to a child with cancer would mean to our family and how we would manage all her needs. We looked at the outcomes for her tumors and what life would look like for her. Welcoming Josie into our family would definitely be better for her than being alone in an orphanage. And while we prayed for clarity, we had discussions about all our children. The truth is, that we think we have control over our children's health, future and longevity of their lives. With Josie, the odds might be against her, but she really needed a family to increase those odds. It was so much easier to say yes to her, when we gave all our perceived control to God and knew that He knew the number of her days, all of our days.

Then, we received news about Eve's health. She was diagnosed with a devastating rare syndrome. It's progressive and most children do not survive into their teen years. It's awful, plain and simple. We have grieved this information but at the same time, Josie had given us a gift already. Just as we had given her life to God, Eve's life was no different. There was the peace that passes all understanding. The quiet whispers that comes from an all knowing God. He is with us, He knows this about Eve and we are to increase her odds by being her family. In working through these emotions with Josie, we were already a few steps ahead with Eve.

Two girls, soon to be sisters. We are so blessed.

If you would like to be part of Josie's journey, you find see our Reece's Rainbow account here

Our fundraising thermometer is on the sidebar, once we reach $10,700 we will receive $2,000 as a matching grant.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

We Swapped Mugs

Last night, I attended a mug swap fundraiser a dear friend had organized as part of a mug swap fundraiser we are doing online. Just a few ladies got together, brought mugs to share and we caught up on life and such.

The mugs were fun and creative, I received this fun ice cream sundae mug, it was super cute and my kids are drooling over the toppings.

The ladies were beyond generous and combined with another mug swap, I have updated our thermometer for our matching grant! When it hits $10,700, we will receive our $2,000 matching grant!!!! Would you help us get there?

Our Reece's Rainbow, tac deductible account is HERE

I can't wait to see pictures of the online mug swap when they begin to pour in!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sometimes fundraising looks a lot like work

It's funny, each of our adoptions have been funded differently, but God has provided. Always. Since this is our 3rd adoption, we didn't start with a hefty savings account but did have enough to get started. Quickly, our friends joined in and participated in our initial fundraisers. Our homestudy was funded.

After that, it's been harder to climb up the financial mountain for each fee. I took on some extra work and each of those checks have gone into our adoption account. We squeeze little things out of our budget and that goes in the account. We were turned down for our first grant....that hurt....but of course I know there are so many deserving families applying and waiting just like us. So I took on more work and worked on the next fee.

Thankfully, our church gave us a grant toward the next fee. AND they gave us a $2000 matching grant. The next $2000 we raise (when our thermometer hits $10,700) they will match that amount by $2000. This would cover our next fees and give us a bit breathing room to save up more.

Two ways you can donate:

Tax deductible donation to our Reece's Rainbow Account (starting point for the match was $48.50)
Non tax deductible YouCaring Account (starting point here was $958)

Our t-shirts are selling for 2 more days HERE and we can use the proceeds towards the matching grant also.

We are so thankful for your support. If you have any fundraising ideas, I would love to hear them. Please keep watching the thermometer and I will be so happy to announce it when we have met the matching grant!