Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Last Days to Raise Funds

We are just 3 days away from travel, which is exciting to get this close. It also means that we don't have much time to raise funds for our adoption. I sat down, crunched the numbers again, tried to see what needs to happen today, what we can come up with later and where we can squeeze money out of our budget.

 We have just a little bit time but there is also an amazing opportunity to witness yet another miracle. This Momma just can't give up when we are so close!

In the China program, travel is costly. It's a 2 week trip and you take a large donation with you (in cash) that will help with caring for the children in the orphanage. Here are the costs involved in this trip:

 Trains and Flights in country $471 PAID!!!
In Country Guide Services $1121 PAID!!!
 Hotel in Province 1 $1061 PAID!!!
Province Fees $831 PAID!!
Orphanage Donation Fee $2735 $950 NEEDED
Hotel in Province 2 $1530
Medical Exam $350

My second job helps us afford the other costs of the adoption like food and other costs while in country. Would you partner with us and get us to China and home? I will update this post as we cross off the orphanage donation fee and move on to the second hotel fee. We are so close!

All donations are tax-deductible through Reece's Rainbow.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Travel Preparations, One Week to go!!!

The last few days has been very busy in preparing for the travel. Plane tickets were purchased after an amazing financial blessing (did you see our Reece's Rainbow Account grow?) God is so good and provides just what we need each step of the way. A friend recently posted "God answers prayers through people" and I have definitely seen that in action.

We also received our travel itinerary that lists each day and what will happen during the trip. Sunday the 4th is the day that Eric will meet Josie for the first time and she will become our youngest daughter. We decided to cut down the trip to bare bones to be frugal as we still raise funds for the adoption costs. Some families take a few days to get rid of jet lag and experience cultural things before family day, but we decided to skip that and get right to business. This will give Eric a few extra vacation days later on this year too, which will help with medical things.

There is so much to do still but we remain hopeful everything will come together as it should. We want to focus our prayers on Josie and all the changes she will be going through in the next few weeks.

She will likely move from her foster home back to the orphanage for a few days before Eric has custody of her. That can be scary even in a familiar place. Then begins the slow process of attachment through language barrier.

Here are our current prayer requests:

1. Pray for Josie as she joins our family and leaves all familiar things behind
2. Pray for Eric and our friend who will be traveling a tight schedule while in China
3. Pray for all the people handling the adoption paperwork. No errors, smooth process and quick visa printing so Josie can come home to medical care.
4. Pray for those of us at home waiting for Josie
5. Pray for the finances as we are still short on being fully funded.
6. Pray for our family as we begin the journey of attachment and bonding with our new daughter

Please join us here for travel updates. Once Eric has custody, we can start posting pictures. Thank you for supporting us on this journey.

I received a private message just yesterday from a person who said they donated to our account and apologized that it wasn't more. I think so often we think that what we have to offer isn't sufficient or it doesn't matter. But at that moment, it was the exact encouragement that I needed. The timing was perfect and gave me the boost to keep working on the adoption preparations and fundraising. Please know, that every donation is appreciated and each gets us closer to Josie.

(all donation to our Reece's Rainbow FSP are tax-deductible)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Travel Approval

We received the official Travel Approval from Josie's country today. Our agency will now coordinate a few appointments in country at the US Consulate as well as in Josie's province and then we will get the green light to book our flights.

We requested the shortest in country option to forego any sight seeing to keep our travel cost low and also help Josie get home sooner. Because our last part was expedited, they should be able to honor that request when setting up our in country appointments.

This is an exciting time but there is also much to do. Medical appointments need to be lined up, packing, paperwork that always accompanies every stage of adoption and of course we are still fundraising.

Please consider joining our journey to bring Josie home. Our Reece's Rainbow account donations are tax-deductible.

We are also holding a small auction starting tomorrow on FACEBOOK . The page has an album titled "Auction for Josie" that has all the items you can bid on. It will be fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

This is it!

We learned this week that we were approved for a medical expedite for the last steps of our adoption! How exciting! And terrifying! (Just being honest) The terrifying part is raising the remaining funds we need to get to Josie.

We have worked from day one to fund the adoption and have personally been "all in" with our finances. Our other children have not complained about the extras they have missed because some of them know what it's like to live in an orphanage. They want a family for Josie.

Recently,  we were approved for a grant, that was going to get us close to fully funded, only to find out they ran out of funds until the end of the year. Then I received an email with a generous donation promise, only to find out a few days later it was a person without any intention of following through. Not sure what they get out of it but it makes my heart weary to have these things not work out.

This coming week will likely bring our travel approval and then we need to be ready to make large purchases and money transfers. 

When we started Josie's adoption, I told a few trusted adoptive Mommas about Josie and if we should take this leap of faith. I felt bad if she had to wait because of our fundraising and one friend's answer stayed with me: "Jenni, she has waited for so long, no other family is saying yes. So it's either your family with your family's timeline, or no one." She had waited and with her tumors, waiting is not good. Many other children had come and gone from her orphanage and she had to wonder why she didn't have a family coming. So it was my greatest joy to send her an album with our pictures and say that we are coming! 

Would you share our need and give if you are able to? 

Our Reece's Rainbow tax-deductible account can be found on the sidebar or CLICK HERE

Monday, August 1, 2016

I800 Approved!

I started to write a post this morning while Eve was in therapy. It included a prayer request that our I800 would go to an officer and approved without delay. These days and add into weeks quickly if we have even small delays. I saved the post to finish later, but actually, there was no need to publish it.

I called to ask about our application status and found out that we were already approved! Such unexpected good news on a Monday. We are on the home stretch and still tracking to travel later this month, early September. We are hopefully expedited at the last steps which moves our timeline up from the usual estimates.

Passports for Eric and our friend were sent off to get travel visas. I filled out travel documents for our agency and it really starts to feel real! Travel is approaching and we need to be ready.

We are not at our fundraising goal yet, but living in hopeful anticipation that we will be when the time comes to purchase our plane tickets. You can partner with us the following ways:

1. Support the 5/5/5 Families and help 5 families all at once! We are one of the July families and the account remains open until August 5th.
2. Give directly to our tax-deductible Reece's Rainbow account 
3. Participate in our Compassionate Fundraiser by purchasing a bracelet or a tote bag. It benefits our adoption and provides a living wage for a woman who made the items.

Pray for us as we work hard to cross the finish line. We can see it, it's so close. Every ounce of effort is worth it in order to Josie to have a family and hope for the future.

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.