Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Riding A Tidal Wave...and Where We Stand Now

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Wow.... I almost don't know where to start tonight as I sit down to write.

I feel like we've been riding a tidal wave of God's goodness and faithfulness.  He is just incredibly awesome.

Okay... I'll try to explain:

I spent some time near the end of last week catching up with some dear friends who we haven't seen in a while.  It was so great to connect with them, hear their hearts and bits and pieces of their journey with the Lord in recent months.  I also (Stan was gone on his men's retreat with his long-time bro Kirby) filled them in and brought them up to speed on our adoption journey.  The next day they came back to me and said something like this: "We talked about your adoption process and we wanted you to know that we have this kind of large amount of money that we've been setting aside, and we've been asking the Lord who to give it to.  We've prayed about it and we feel that He wants us to give it to you guys for your adoption."

?!?!?!  (Mental image: Dana's jaw drops to the floor.)

At that point I wasn't sure exactly what "a large amount of money" meant... but knowing them, I knew it was more than a couple hundred bucks. We haven't yet learned the exact total because the money is coming via a few different wire transfers into our adoption account, of which we've received the first 2.  We know that there is one left to come....but currently....the amount of the gift received so far stands at....

$6,000.  Six THOUSAND?!?!

Never would have DREAMED that God would have blown our first AND second AND part of our third financial goals TOTALLY outta the water like this.... but He HAS.  We are humbled and excited and in awe and just blown away by His provision.  Wow, God.... Just... wow.  You are so good.

Okay, now imagine this:  I had to wait almost 3 full days for Stan to get home from his men's retreat before I could even TELL him about this!!  Talk about an exercise in patience!  It was so fun telling him and the 3 other guys who had been on the retreat with him and seeing their reactions.

ALSO, that same night, we received several hundred dollars in gifts from family members in the mail, and received word that another friend in Colorado wanted to donate as well.  Needless to say...I spent the rest of the weekend with my jaw on the floor and my heart in a continual state of praise and AWE.  We are so, so blessed that our friends and family are stepping forward to partner with us financially on this journey.  And the ones of you who give $10 are just as much a part of the journey as those who give much more.  In God's economy, it's about the HEART with which the gift is given, and not so much about the total amount.  So....THANK YOU.... ALL of you.... for your partnership...financially AND/OR in prayer.  It means so much to us....more than we can say.

So, on a practical note, where does this leave us?  Well, our current adoption fund status is: $7,380.

  • Our initial goal (which was to cover our home study, background/child abuse & neglect registry checks, physicals, our required online adoption education courses, and our profile activation fee, was $2,300.  As you can see from the thermometer to the right, God blew the roof right off of this goal. :)
  • Our second goal would have been right around $2,000.  This would have included: $1,000 match fee, due upon being matched with a birth mother; $500 Interstate Compact Placement fee (Covers red tape of bringing an adopted child across state lines, in case we end up adopting a child from Kansas, since we live in Missouri); and several hundred dollars (don't know exact total yet) for the printing of 6-7 copies of our family profile to be given by our agency to birth moms who may be interested in our family.  This goal is now ALSO BEYOND met. :)
  • Our 3rd goal will be our BIG one: our $10,000 placement fee, due when our baby is placed in our home soon after birth.
  • After placement, the state requires several in-home follow-up visits by our agency, which will cost $300 per visit.  In addition, there may be medical costs for birth mom and/or baby, and there will definitely be attorney fees and court fees, all of which are yet to be determined.  At this point I'm guessing $2,000 to $4,000 in legal fees and court costs.... Medical costs, there is just no way to know yet.
  • Soooooo, as you can see on the right hand side bar, we have $3,080 of our $10,000 placement fee, give or take a bit due to the uncertainty of interim costs such as our physicals, online adoption education, etc....
  • ....which means we will still need to raise another $12,000 to $13,000 to come close to the approximately $20K that we foresee needing in order to cover expenses.  Again, this $20K figure is a rough, educated guess, and we will know more details whenever we are actually matched with a birth mom.
Annnnnd that. :)  God is so incredibly FAITHFUL and NOTHING is too hard for Him.  He seems to be swinging this door WIDE open in this season for us to walk through, so we are moving forward in faith and in awe of His provision.

I want to leave you with a quote from my good friend (the wife of the couple who has made this large contribution toward our adoption fund).  This was a section of an email that she sent me within the last couple of days that just really blessed me: 

I wanted to say that after you shared how you guys feel like adoption is a way of communicating the gospel to others, I had this thought.. You were talking about how you guys felt like God wanted you to let other people share in this experience and even though adoption might not be for everyone they can still participate in other families being able to adopt. And I was thinking about it and it's really amazing because it cost God his most Beloved Son to adopt us. So it's like you're letting all these people outside your family unit say, "We'll make the sacrifice, like the Father, to adopt someone who would otherwise be lost." It's bringing people together who normally wouldn't be brought together... kind of like grafting in. It's like you guys are grafting in this child into your family, but then by letting other people help you financially you're also grafting them into your family. And maybe the people helping you don't know Jesus yet, but they're coming to know Him through this partnership. So I'm sure you guys already know this, but I think God is really using this whole process to manifest His glory and love. And we're so grateful God lets us participate with Him - in any capacity at all - in revealing His faithfulness to others. The Holy and Perfect God has given imperfect and unholy men the ability and responsibility to share His love with the world.  So really, thanks for letting us bless you guys. 

Wow.... God is beautiful and amazing in all He does.  Holy is the Lord....and we are undone.

Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
   How unsearchable his judgments, 
   and his paths beyond tracing out! 
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? 
   Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God, 
   that God should repay him?” 
For from him and through him and to him are all things. 
   To him be the glory forever! Amen.


Friday, February 24, 2012

I would just like to take a moment to say....

No comments:
1. That today has been absolutely incredible.
2. That today we have received funds from several different directions to go toward our adoption process.
3. That I am absolutely blown away and blessed by the way God is putting it on so many people's hearts to partner with us in this journey.
4. That I have been spending almost every evening lately working on paperwork and actually kind of enjoying it.
5. That I am so, so excited.  God is making a way where there seemed to be no way.
6. That we are right now OVER halfway to our first financial goal.
7. That I just FINISHED my autobiography that I had to write as part of our paperwork packet to be turned in with aaalllllllll the rest of the stuff.  Woohoo. :)

He is so faithful.

That's all for tonight.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our First Meeting With CFS....

Our approx. 1-inch thick stack of paperwork to
be completed in the coming days. (Made prettier
by my gorgeous Valentine's flowers from my
luv.) My goal is to get it done in 2 weeks.
We'll see. :)
Alrighty.....SO... Went into tonight's meeting with Susan from Christian Family Services not sure exactly what to expect, other than that it was to be our "orientation" meeting.  And BOY, were we oriented! :)  Susan was super easy to talk with and very informative...gave us info on everything from the types of birth parents they work with to the legal procedures and how they vary between KS and MO....along with the rather monstrous stack of paperwork that we need to begin filling out.  We do this on our own time schedule - whenever we get it filled out and turned in is when our home study interviews will start.

We both left the meeting with lots of peace and just feeling good about the direction we're headed so far. see how much of this paperwork I can get done before 10pm tonight. :)


PS. News coming on our (take 2) first official fundraiser in the next few days.  Stay tuned...
PPS. Check out our fundraising thermometer to the right!  We almost have enough for the home study portion ($1000) of our first goal!  God is faithful!  Thanks to those who've donated AND who are praying for our process.  You are a part of this journey with us in a BIG way.  Love y'all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abide. Abide. Abide. Repeat.

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Tonight we WERE going to announce our first fundraiser, which was to be launched tomorrow morning.  Ran into one major hiccup this morning: Found out that in the state of Missouri, "giveaways" (have I told you we were going to run a giveaway?  It was going to be super cool and fun...) are not legal unless they're run through a non-profit or a religious organization.  So in our case, even though our funds would be going toward adoption expenses, and even though we're adopting thru a non-profit Christian agency, it's not legal because the funds would land initially with us.


So while we wait on one potential solution to this problem, we sit back, take a deep breath, and remember that God is in control.  His heart is for adoption, and He is more than capable of pulling this off in His time.  Trying to press in, to keep my heart in a place of faith and trust...reminding myself of the truth that God is BIG and GOOD and He is our Provider...and nothing is too hard for Him.

One of those days, though, that adoption and our new baby feel far away and almost unattainable...

Like I've said before, I know that this process will be a roller coaster.... This is "Abiding in the Lord: 101."  :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our First Official Financial Goal Is.....

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Hi friends!  So, here's a quick update on where we're at.  Our initial meeting with Christian Family Services is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Feb. 21.  At said meeting, we will receive paperwork (I think LOTS of paperwork) that we will need to complete prior to the start of our actual home study interviews.  When we get all of that paperwork completed, our home study interviews will begin.... which brings us to our current FiNaNcIaL gOaL, which consists of:
  • 1st half of home study fee: $500, due upon completion of above-mentioned paperwork
  • 2nd half of home study fee: $500, due at the end of our last home study interview.
  • Somewhere in this time frame, we will also be paying for physicals for every member of our household (poor JoEllen and Jerusha, who live with us, have to have them too... :-/  They are so gracious. :))  Total cost of these physicals is unknown at this point.  Estimate: $300?
  • In addition to these costs, we will also need to pay for background checks for all 4 adults in our household, for each state that we've lived in in the last 5 years.  For Stan and I, that's 3 states apiece.  For Jo, that's also 3 states, while Jerusha has been a Missouri girl her whole life. :)  Those background checks will add up quickly since 3 of the 4 of us have all moved around so much in the last 5 years.  Estimated total cost for background checks (Definitely guessing at this point - could be much more, or a little less): $500
  • Finally, upon completion of our home study, we will owe a $500 "Activation Fee," when our family profile becomes "active" - meaning, it becomes available for birth mothers to view as they are trying to choose an adoptive family for their baby.
SOOOOOO, this brings our total for our FIRST FINANCIAL GOAL to:  $2,300.  And of course, any money that we raise BEYOND this goal will go toward our NEXT goal.

Whenever we know exact figures on the background checks and physicals, I will adjust this goal accordingly.

(**Our next fees after that will be a $1,000 MATCHING FEE when we are matched with a birth mom, a couple of miscellaneous fees (in the $500 range) in the interim, and then our BIG one: the $10,000 PLACEMENT FEE when our baby is placed with us soon after birth.  These fees will be included in our NEXT financial goal.  After THAT, there will be attorney fees and possibly some medical expenses for our birth mom and baby.  No way to know for sure about those yet.**)

Ooookay!  There's the updated financial scoop for now!  :)  For all of those saying, "MAN, adoption is EXPENSIVE!" you're RIGHT!  It totally is!  BUT, that's the exciting part!  We get to partner with the Lord over His heart for adoption, and watch Him provide.  We are standing in faith that He will do this, in His time.

**StAy TuNeD in the next few days for info on a super duper FUN fundraiser that we will launch VERY SOON!  Hint: There will be pRiZeS involved for the winners....** 

 (Are you curious?!  I am reigning myself in right now - so hard to wait to tell you!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yes I do feel the need to post on every single new thing that happens... :)

1 comment:
Ha... this will be a very short post but I can't resist putting this out there... We received a letter from CFS (our agency) this afternoon saying that they had received our application and our app. fee and asking us to call them to schedule an orientation meeting.  So I called.  Left a voice mail.  Waiting to hear back.

That's all.  Just got a little excited that our process is moving forward.

After our orientation mtg with CFS, we will have a better idea of exactly when our first financial goal will be due.


The end.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Quick Note on Tali

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Hi friends, I wanted to clear up any confusion that may be hanging around regarding our situation with our Tali-bug.  For those who may not know, she was our baby girl that we fostered from birth until she was almost 2.  At that point we lost her to her birth mom and it has been a really tough situation for her.  We have stayed in touch with her family and been a support to her mom as much as we could be, but have also been very concerned about various family dynamics in their home.  Her mother is doing as well as she can given her history and her circumstances....but it is very difficult for her, and therefore, difficult for Tali.

Anyway, back in Dec (I think it was December), I ended up having a very upfront conversation with Tali's mother, letting her know (as gently and lovingly as possible) that we were concerned about her coping skills and her ability to parent Tali, and that if she ever felt like it was too much for her to handle or like it would be in Tali's best interest, that we would be willing to adopt her, maintain her relationship with her birth mom, have visits with her, etc.... but that we were willing to take 100% responsibility for her financially and in every other way...if she ever felt that it would be best for Tali.  She responded SUPER well to everything I said, was very vulnerable and openhearted with me, and while she hasn't come to a decision at this point that she would like us to adopt Tali, she has made it clear a couple of times that she appreciates knowing she has that option.

In our current adoption process, there have been a few people who expressed confusion, thinking maybe we were getting to adopt our Bug... and though we would LOVE for that to be the case, we also are excited about the opportunity to an infant privately (assuming the Lord brings in the finances to do so! :) ). If the opportunity to adopt Tali were to arise anytime in the near future, we would of course put the brakes on this private adoption process and adopt her and wait to adopt another child.  But as we feel that this is God's timing for us to move toward private adoption of an infant, we are trusting Him with Tali and moving forward with this.

We do still keep Tail usually one night, overnight, per week, and see her family a couple of other times during the week as we do various things to support her mom (i.e. errands, rides, etc.).

Anyway... I hope things clears things up for some of you.... Please let me know if you have other questions! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Annnnd The Ball Is Rolling....

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Hiiiiiiii everyone!  I'm excited to make the official announcement that we sent in our application yesterday to Christian Family Services of the Midwest.  Here is their website, if you're interested.

We feel good about this agency so far.  They have been responsive and communicative with us and have answered several initial questions to our satisfaction.

Stay tuned in the coming days for info on our first fundraiser!  I'm excited about this - it's going to be fun. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Think We've Found An Agency!

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Okay.... Gonna hold off on specific details until we know for sure, but it looks like we've found it.  We will be mailing in our application today, we think.  Pending our acceptance, things look good.  Praying for a few final details to be confirmed today.

Thanks for your prayers for our process!
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