To say that I don’t know where to begin is an understatement. But, I know on my mounting to-do-list, that I have to get this post together. I don’t want to keep anyone in the dark. And there have been so many of our friends and family and new friends and random strangers who have been blessing us that I want y’all to be in the loop. You are in this with us! You are helping care for orphans by supporting and love our family as we walk toward our daughter! THANK YOU! I won’t be able to say it enough.
Here is the jist of where we are in the adoption: Finalizing our first of many mountains of paperwork, going to physicals for each of us, tracking down my birth certificate (Thank you to my cousin Tony for getting that in person for me! Grrr!) and submitting this big mess of paperwork. After that we being our homestudy interviews which can take 4-12 weeks depending on our social worker’s case load, etc. Also it depends on our schedule. And until a week ago, it depended also on finances…
So, to break it down, we need a first chunk of $5,000 to cover random fees, application fees and our homestudy fee. When we started this process, we kept saying: “Where are we going to get the first $5000?” No idea! We had no secret stash or hug savings set aside for this. We wish we did; but that’s just not where we’ve been financially. So, we started out with about $100 in our adoption account, about 2 moths ago.
So, in the midst of doing the paperwork, we could not really move forward until we hit the 5K mark.
Our fund raising started with my sister posting a dozen or so headbands and bows on her facebook site. In less than two days, she had raised $200 for us. So, that launched us (well, her) into a crazy head band making machine with a goal of having them available for suggested donations at Rocktoberfest, our fall festival, at our church on October 29th.
While she was busy with that, I started our Just Love Coffee Site. This is wonderful, I mentioned it before; but I’ll mention it again. I signed up as a fundraiser and we have our own page of fair trade coffee available. Our friends and family can order on this site and support fair trade coffee ,an orphanage in Ethiopia and give us $5 a bag (or a portion of other products sold on the page). Our first week up, we received a check for $45 dollars! I haven’t checked our totals this month; but I know we were passed that mark already. Thank y’all so much! I looked at the list and recognized a few names; but didn’t recognize many names. Or I saw several anonymous donations. Someone came up to me at Rocktoberfest and said, “Oh, I bought your coffee!!” Never met her! So kind!
After that, Travis decided to do the garage sale in our neighborhood on Oct 15th, that I mentioned in a previous post. So, that was pure craziness. So many friends gave so generously to us! We still have some nice quality things to sell like Vera Bradley bags and beautiful parsons chairs on Craig’s list. I am way behind on getting those things listed; but have had zero time to do it yet.
We think we made at least $1400 that week (I’m a tying bit confused because we already had a stash of cash that we were collecting and sticking in a jar and it got mixed in. So, I’m guestimating low on that.) We had a friend sell her really nice patio set & just bring us the check. We were just humbled at the generosity. Travis and I could barely move the next day since we’d been up since 5 am. Stephen & Laura Lewis and Jenna Surratt also came out early to help us set up. My Mom and Dad came to help as well as our trusty crew including Sugar Scrub Stacie and Jesse & Sara, etc. Austin’s preschool teachers also came and have been hugely supportive of us. I will miss everyone if I try to even name names here on the blog. But, just so much energy and excitement.
Sidebar: A lady walked up my driveway who lives down the street, who I have never met and was holding an infant who was S. Koreanand adopted domestically. Let’s just say, I was a mess!!!)
So, on October 16th, we closed the door on the garage with still lots of stuff to sell, and packed up and went to Phoenix three days later to the conference we had won plate tickets and conference tickets to, Together for Adoption. More on that later! Amazing!
So, that brings us to last weekend, I came back from Phoenix, where my sister lives loaded up with the 147 Million Orphans Uganda beads ; 67 head bands and 21 hair clip/bows; adorable decor my sister had made for me to put out for suggested donations; Stacie’s sugar scrub; and another new friend, Sarah, made adorable coffee snuggies and donated some of those as well.
We raised about $300 at Rocktoberfest and $300 at Austin’s Fall Festival at Lighthouse Church (that is after the vendor fees were paid, etc.) I had some other random “sales” and I know so far our total is: $700 in 3 days!
So… there we are! Is anyone else tired from all of that?
Honestly, I’m/we’re exhausted. We are up and down constantly! We are so excited by God’s blessings in providing and just giving us such a big push at the beginning to keep moving and walking and trusting. We love how supportive and generous our friends and new friends are being to us! We can barely keep up with all of it and keep our current family of four rolling. In the middle of this, I had two insanely crazy rounds of weird sicknesses. I’m not exaggerating when I say: “weird”. But, again, we are just so grateful and thanking God continually. The crazy part is that Travis and I hope to help other do this, so we don’t think this will be our last rodeo with 5am garage sales or crazy headband sales in the rain either.
So, our bank account was sitting around $3,000. Two days ago, as I’m still barely coherent on day 2 of whack-o sickness round 2, Travis comes up and says “Are you waiting to open this $2000 check for any reason?” It was a check from our bank for $2k from our previous escrow account. We refinanced our house last month when the mortgage rates dropped so much! WHAT?!
So… we feel that Step 1 Financially is almost done. Now, we are hurrying to finish our papework and get cranking on our homestudy!
Only $15,000-18,000-ish in fees and about $5000-7000 in travel to go!
Please pray for us. Pray that God will continue to strengthen us and give us His portion for each day. That we will seek Him daily. That we will not stick our fingers in our ears and try to do our own things. That our family will be united and grow in God’s power and love. That Travis and I will grow in our relationship constantly as we seek Him together. That we will Trust Him through each step. That we will focus on our boys and love on them and listen to God to know what they need as our kids and how to give them Grace and not impatience and weariness. Please also pray for our growing Adoption Missional Community and the roles we are honored to have. Pray that we will have margin to support this community in a very intense time. Oh, just pray for margin and that we seek it. And please continue to pray each day that we will humbly seek His Face and be in His presence no matter how weary and worn and how many commitments we have. Pray for us to diligently seek a Sabbath of rest and reliance on Him alone!
Finally, pray for our daughter. Wherever she is. Please pray for her (I almost typer ‘our’ – I guess she feels like family, too) birth mom. Pray for her caregivers or her foster family. Pray for her health and that she will know even now of our love for her, and yet more for the love of Abba Father!