In Other News

FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank you to all who have given and shared the link to our YouCaring page. We're still about $8700 away from our goal, but continue to add to our personal savings (through our jobs & book sales) and trust that God will provide what we need, when we need it. And as I told a family member this week: we don't need it yet, so I'm not worried. :) We are over $11k closer than we were - and that's truly stunning to us. Your generosity has blessed and encouraged us - thank you.

IN OTHER NEWS: While we continue to wait, the adoption agency (U.S. side) has given us some things to work on - like selecting 5 small toys/gifts per child (you do the math - that's 25 gifts total!) that will fit in a Ziploc bag with a personal note from us. Once we have been officially matched with the kids, we send these bags down to the agency, and they send them on to the representatives in country, who then give them to the children. Their first interaction with us... their first sense of who we are and what their future could be like. NO PRESSURE. ;) Over the last 3+ years, the adoption agency reps have learned that Peter and I need time to think and process through things (even something as seemingly simple as TOYS), so they have kindly given us a heads up even though we're still about a month out from needing it. If only the kids would do the same once they get here... ;) 

AMAZON REGISTRY: Full Disclosure - Peter and I are having a BALL getting your gifts!! We've read all the books, tried out all the toys, and tried to remember that when the kids come, we have to share. ;) THANK YOU for your generosity to our kids through your Amazon shopping! If you're planning to purchase something but aren't sure what we need most, I have tried to mark our top needs as "High" in the priority category. If you visit the page (http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/3FMEV8P5KVDOS), look for the "Category" drop down menu, and select "Priority (high to low)" to see what's on the most needed list. 


Just Keep Holding...

ADOPTION UPDATE: Still in our never-ending holding pattern. Still waiting on U.S. Immigration. Apparently that "glitch" that we found out about a few weeks ago set us back a little more than we realized. At this point, it looks like mid-July would be the earliest we will travel, so that gives us more time to prepare and raise funds and add to our savings through our jobs, so even in the midst of this frustration, there are still positives. 

* Please keep praying - that we would remain patient, that things would happen in God's perfect timing, and that we would see His hand in all of this. 
FUNDING UPDATE: We're still holding at $8,729 for what we need. Thanks to all who shared our update last week! We appreciate you helping us spread the word. 

* NOTE to those who have donated offline and through YouCaring: THANK YOU. Words fail us to express our gratitude for your generosity towards this life event. We've talked about it a lot, and how your giving has changed us, humbled us, and given us a desire to be a similar channel to fund others (in the adoption journey) in the future. Thank you for being a part of this story.

WALK UPDATE: *Quick version - not happening.* After talking with a couple of friends who handle these events for a living, and then talking to our city and trail managers, we realized it wasn't a good fit. Getting more details of what would be required gave us added peace about saying, "this isn't right for us" and confirmed the unrest that we had about doing it. You have to listen to those gut feelings sometimes. Thank you to those who talked with us, and those who expressed interest. We're not sure if we'll try something else instead, but next time we'll hold off saying anything until it's set in stone. :) 

REGISTRY: We have been so humbled by those who have purchased items from our registry on Amazon! This past weekend I realized that even though I'd set it up, I'd failed to make us "searchable" by the public. That has now been corrected, and people have been exceedingly generous to us, and our kids. (Anyone interested in seeing the gifts can find photos on Facebook of, what I'm referring to as, our "virtual adoption shower.") Thank You notes are in process. :) For those of you following the "swing set saga" - we registered for swing set components instead and will be building our own. ;)


Do You Hear The Crickets?

ADOPTION UPDATE: {crickets} We're still in a holding pattern with U.S. Immigration, and until that paperwork is complete, we cannot move into the official matching phase. PRAY FOR PATIENCE.

FINANCES: We received several donations this week (THANK YOU!), bringing us just $729 away from the next milestone ($12,000). It's been a while since I've said what this money is going towards (outside of "the adoption"), so to be very clear, some of what it will help cover:

  • The remainder of our adoption agency fees
  • Lawyer/Legal fees (in country)
  • Paperwork fees
  • Medical exams (in country)
  • 2 plane tickets there + 5 more (one-way) to come home
  • Housing (in country), with the 5 kids for 6+ weeks, and meals
Having already paid out around $40k (from 2013-2015) in fees and house prep, I admit that it's overwhelming at times, but we are so very grateful for the way you have come alongside of us to help since February. We have been humbled and blessed as we have watched how God has added to our savings for these next expenses.

A friend asked this week if there was a "bonus" to bringing home 5 at once. After I stopped laughing, I realized it was a good question. 

  • YES - it's a BONUS (in our minds) to keep 5 siblings together.
  • YES - we're not paying for 5 separate home studies with fingerprints, background checks, and medicals for every one.
  • YES - while there are fees associated with adopting more than one child, they are less, and over three - non existent.
  • YES - because we get to witness how God provides for us, and these children. 
PLEASE SHARE: Would you consider sharing our YouCaring link with your friends, church, and community?  


We're On Amazon!

ADOPTION UPDATE: For those of you who missed the news on Facebook earlier this week, last Friday afternoon we were informed that we had been "Dossier Approved" by Costa Rica. This came as a surprise to our agency, as well as to us, as none of us thought that would happen until our revised U.S. immigration paperwork was completed and sent down there (we're still waiting on that). 

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It basically means that the Costa Rican social worker and psychologist looked at our home study, application, and psychological evaluation and approved us to adopt children from Costa Rica. 

SO WHAT'S THE HOLD UP? They have sent two letters to tell us that we are approved, but that if we want to move forward with the five children that we sent the letter of intent for earlier this year, we need to be approved by USCIS for 5 in the correct age range, rather than the 4 we are currently approved for. This is the paperwork that we had the hiccup with last week, but it's in process. It was pretty exciting to see our kid's names in our official acceptance letter from the country, however! :) 

WHAT'S NEXT? Once we have the revised paperwork back from the U.S. Immigration Department, we'll send it down to our adoption agency to have it apostilled (basically, notarized for a Hague Adoption Country) and then sent on to Costa Rica. Once they have that, we'll get approval to adopt 5 - boys and girls - and moved into the official "matching" phase. Our understanding is that once we reach that stage, they'll officially ask us if we want our 5 kids, we'll say "YES!" and they will then let the kids know that we exist and that we want to keep them together. The kids will go through some counseling to help with this transition, and we should start communicating with them after that.

WHEN DO YOU TRAVEL? Isn't THAT the million dollar question?! :) Depending on how quickly everything falls into place, we could be traveling in late June or early July - or later this summer if we hit another unforeseen delay.

FUNDING UPDATE: We're currently $419 away from the $11,000 mark, and $9,419 away from our total goal.

**IT'S A RACE!!**Well, not really a race, but with the help of some friends, we're working to put together an "Adoption Walk" on a local trail to help raise funds for our travels and final adoption costs. It's currently "penciled in" by the trail coordinators for June 11th from 8-10 am. We're hoping to get some local businesses involved as well, so if we're connected on Facebook (and you live in our area), stay tuned for more details. :)

WHAT DO YOU NEED? Besides prayer and funds? ;) We've heard this question a lot, so we finally publicized our adoption registry this week from Amazon. Some of the items (like toothpaste or hairbrushes) don't have to come from Amazon, but it's the easiest way to let people know what we're lacking. We want to keep it simple - at least as we start out. Coming from an orphanage to America is going to be a little overwhelming, to say the least, so a limited number of simple clothes and simple toys (and lots of books!) is our goal. :) PLEASE NOTE: we were very specific in our choice of toys due to what we know about the kid's backgrounds, and what skills we want to work on once they are home (fine motor skills being one of them, English being another), so if you're inclined to purchase/give a toy, please stick to this listTHANKS!
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/3FMEV8P5KVDOS