Monday, June 24, 2013

My sweet baby girl

To my sweet baby girl who isn't even born yet,

I haven't seen your face and I don't know your name, but I love you already.  I can't wait to kiss your sweet little face and hold you so close.  I'm so sad for your situation you're going to go through with your birth parents and all that you'll encounter in your first few months of life.  I won't be there to hold you and tell you everything is going to be okay.  But I promise I will be there as soon as God will allow it and I will always be there for you to make everything all better.  You have 5 big brothers and 1 big sister waiting to meet you and play with you.  We are so excited for you to be here with us and part of our family.  You are going to love your daddy.  He is so sweet and loving towards your brothers and sister.  I'm sure you will have him wrapped around your little finger very shortly after you arrive.
I pray daily for your birth parents and everything that they are going to go through that brings them to the point of you being up for adoption.  Things that are happening in their lives right now is setting all of this in motion for you to one day be here with us.  When I come to pick you up, I will get to see your village that you come from.  I may have the opportunity to meet some of your family and maybe even your birth parents.  I will take lots of pictures for you to see where you came from.  I promise to learn as much as I can about your culture and teach you about all of it.
You are going to experience a lot before you are in my arms, but just know that I love you and I am coming for you!  Until then, God is with you and He will take care of you.  No love is stronger than God's love for His children.
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb, Before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adoption Break Down

We are getting really excited about our upcoming garage sale.  We have had many items donated. We are hoping to get close to our first goal.  We know adoption is expensive and some wonder why it costs so much.  Here is a break down of the cost.  Our first goal to reach towards our adoption is to pay the first set of fees.  This consists of the following:
International Program Application Fee-  $400
Online Case Management-   $175
Agency Fee Part 1-   $2550
Home Study-   $1800
Home Study Review-  $250
Pre- Adoptive Education-  $150

This brings our first total to $5325. Once we complete our homestudy, then we start working on our dossier (the collection of paperwork used in an international adoption that has been properly authenticated and translated).
The second set of fees that are due for this consist of:
USCIS-  $720
Fingerprinting-   $170
Dossier Notary/Authentication-   $500
Agency Fee Part 2-   $1275
International Program Fee Part 1-   $3720
Dossier Translation-  $685

This brings our second total to $7070.  Once this has all been completed and paid for, this puts us on the official waiting list to receive a referral for a child.

Once we receive a referral for a child (which will be 12-15 months once on waiting list) more fees are due.  This consists of:
Agency Fee Part 3-  $1275
International Program Fee Part 2-  $2700
Humanitarian Aid-  $3300
Child's Visa-  $230
Post Adoption Services-  2700
Travel- Airline, hotels, food-  $12000

This brings our last total including airline tickets for 2 trips to Ethiopia to $22,205.  This makes our grand total around $34,600.  We will be working hard to fundraise as much as we can and work extra to put money into our savings account.  We would really appreciate prayers for our adoption and our upcoming fundraiser, which is July 4, 5, &6! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blessed with Donations

We have been so busy this past weekend collecting donations for our adoption fundraiser.  I feel so blessed by all the donations we have received.  I have been handing out flyer's to people having garage sales on Saturday explaining our fundraiser we are doing.  Many of them were very happy to donate the rest of what they had to us for our garage sale.  They were excited to help us with our adoption!  We have filled up our garage and now we are filling a storage unit that we rented.  We have also had some donations from friends.  We are getting very excited for the garage sale.  It is going to be on July 4, 5, & 6.  That will be Thursday- Saturday.  We will be accepting cash & credit cards.  I hope to see everyone come by and check out what we are selling!!  At least come and say hi!
Here are some pictures of our 10 x 20 storage unit filling from nine people donating in one day.


My handsome husband lifting and moving all the stuff we collected.
We still have about 2 more weeks of accepting donations and then it will be time for our garage sale!!  Thank you so very much to everyone who has donated!!

We are in need of some tables if anyone has any that we can borrow for those 3 days. 
I also was able to finally go and open our savings account for our adoption!!!! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Steps in Bringing Home A Child From Ethiopia

We are very excited about starting our process to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  To adopt internationally is about $30,000-$35,000.  Obviously many people do not have that kind of money sitting around, including us.  We will be doing everything we can to earn extra money for the adoption.  I am trying to start watching more children in the daycare to help earn more money and Chris is building up his business of cleaning houses.  We plan on starting the paper work in January.  We would like to have $5000 before we start.  This will help pay for our application fee, part 1 of agency fees and our home study.  I have been doing lots of research online from others who have adopted and they have great fundraising ideas.  We would like to try to pay as much as we can ourselves for our adoption, but we will do a couple of fundraisers too.  One of my favorites that I read is to do a large garage sale (which I love doing) with the help of donated items from friends and family!

On the weekend of July 4,5,& 6, we are going to have a huge garage sale and all the money will go into the adoption fund.  So, if you have anything that you would like to donate that is annoying you in your house that you want gone or would be taking to the goodwill, we would love to pick it up and sell at our garage sale.  It could be anything from baby items, clothes, toys, nick knacks, or whatever.  We would appreciate any help we can receive from our friends.  Please share this with your friends and family.  We would love to get a lot of people involved and share in our adoption journey in bringing home a child from Ethiopia.  Anyway you want to help with the garage sale would be a blessing.  I am here all the time for drop offs or we can arrange a time to come pick up any items that you would like to donate.  If anyone has any tables that we can borrow for the garage sale would be greatly appreciated.  I am working on designing some kind of a card to hand out about our fundraising garage sale to get the word out.
I also read on other blogs, that we should give our friends and family a way of donating money towards our adoption if they so desire.  So, there is a paypal button on the right side where you can donate money towards our adoption if you ever feel like your heart is leading you to.  I have also placed a thermometer to help keep track of have much we have put in the adoption account that we have made and fundraised.  I am opening the account with our first $25 towards our adoption!  Once our home study is complete, we can then apply for adoption grants to help with some of the fees for our adoption.  You can call or text me @ 317-654-0638!
God has blessed us so much by placing us around such amazing believers in Christ.  We feel so blessed by our family and our friends.          
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.- James 1:27

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Ethiopia??

Why Ethiopia??  You may be wondering why we chose Ethiopia over other countries or domestic adoption.  We have known that adoption has been on our hearts for a few years.  We just didn't know if it would ever happen.  We knew international adoption was really expensive, but our heart has always been in foreign countries with orphaned children.

We originally got our foster license hoping we would be able to adopt our nephews, but that didn't happen.  The state of Indiana would license us to adopt our nephews, but not other children.  They don't let you foster other children if you have 5 or more in your home.  We have been licensed for 2-3 years and have only had one placement for one day.  That was only because they couldn't find anyone in the middle of the night to take a newborn baby.  They took her the next afternoon and moved her.  We have never had another placement.  So adopting a infant from the foster care system will never happen for our family.

As far as trying to adopt an infant straight from a birth parent domestically is very unlikely.  It is very doubtful that they would choose a large family.  There are so many families out there who are waiting to adopt a baby locally, that we figured we would leave the US to them.

 There are a lot of countries that adopt children out to the US.  There are not very many countries that we can adopt from though.  There are only a few countries that will adopt out infants and that allow families with more than 4 children to adopt.  We have 2 friends who have adopted from Africa, we have another friend who will be starting the process soon and another friend who is adopting from Europe.  I started looking up information about these different countries that we could adopt from.  The different things I was reading and watching on the internet basically all had the same statistics.  With 150 million orphans in the world, 48 million of those orphans live in Africa, 5 million of those  children live in Ethiopia (half the size of Texas).   Half of those children will never attend school and 88% will never attend secondary school.  1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.  The average income is under $1 a day. After reading all those statistics (everything I researched, they kept coming up everywhere)and watching gotcha videos from Ethiopia, I knew that was the country we would adopt from.  I prayed about it and talked to Chris and then we both prayed about it.  We talked to some friends and they prayed about it for us too.  We know this is where God is leading us to adopt from.  This is my favorite gotcha day video that I saw!!  I bet you can't watch it and not cry your eyes out.  This is the video I was watching when Logan came up to me, looked at the tears going down my face and sat down to watch it with me.  I read all the statistics out loud and he saw all the babies and told me we need to go get one of those babies!  In my mind, I was thinking, I couldn't agree more! 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Following God's Calling

We have been feeling led in another direction recently by God.  It's not the first time we have felt called by God in this decision.  But this time we are listening and trying to accept this calling from Him.  After much prayer, we have made the decision to move forward in adoption.  We have been thinking about this on and off for the last seven years.  We just tried to ignore the calling in the past due to finances.  When you are called for something great, God doesn't stop calling you.  He's there waiting for you to respond to His will.  Our children are very excited to add another child to our family and think it is wonderful that we can do that through adoption. 

It is amazing watching people around us with their children that they have adopted or listening to others going through the process of their adoptions. It touches my heart to help orphaned children in the world.  A lot of you may know that we have been licensed foster parents for the last 2-3 years.  We aren't able to adopt here locally because we have six children.  We have decided to adopt internationally.  We have chose a country that we want to adopt from and we are still checking out different agencies.  We do have a favorite agency so far, but we want to check a few more out just to be sure.  The country we have decided on is Ethiopia.  I have been reading lots of blogs and watching many videos of others experience's going over there to pick up their children.  One word, Love.  God is love.  John 14:18 says, I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.    

So, for the next 6 months or so, we are going to continue to pray and try to cut down our debt as we start this new chapter in our life.  We ask that you pray with us in obeying God's will for His Kingdom.