WE'VE BEEN APPROVED. Officially. Finally. We are rubber stamped to adopt 5 children between the ages of 3 and 13, boys and girls, by the children's services of Costa Rica. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? It means that we've officially entered into the "matching" phase of the journey. They look at us, they look at the kids who are available, and then they decide if there's a potential match. This is normally the part that takes time - with some people waiting a year or longer to find a match. We are unusual in the fact that we knew about this specific set of siblings long before we were actually approved to adopt from Costa Rica. While we've spent the last 4.5 months praying & planning for them, they've known NOTHING about us. 

THAT'S ABOUT TO CHANGE. Once the formalities are out of the way (Costa Rica child services says, "would you like..." and we say "yes..."), these 5 siblings will be informed of our existence and they get the option to get to know us. If everyone agrees to the plan, then we have about 6-8 weeks to work on getting time off (minimum 6 weeks of in-country time), planning for travel, and MORE paperwork. If we don't hit any hiccups, that would put us in Costa Rica around the end of July. 


 We get this question a lot, and I keep forgetting to talk about it here. Yes, we have seen their files (& their photos), HOWEVER, until they are officially adopted (so not until we're in Costa Rica, and possibly not until after we are home), we aren't sharing that information. It's still a possibility that this set of siblings could fall through (unlikely, but possible) and we'd be back to waiting for another match, so until it's a sure thing - mums the word. :-) 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR FAMILY? Yes, Peter and I know their history. But one of the best pieces of advice that we have received during this process actually came from another couple we connected with (through the "magic" of the internet - and God's perfect timing!) who adopted 5 siblings from South America. 

They said to us, "When people ask, we tell them that our children's history is not OUR story to share - it's theirs. If they choose to share it with someone, that's THEIR decision, not ours. We don't want anyone to look at our children, and judge them for the choices of their biological parents.

That made a whole lot of sense to us, so unless it's someone directly involved with our kids (like a physician or legal guardian), it's become our answer as well. :-) 

WHAT DO YOU NEED? Honest answer: If we're traveling in 8 weeks, we'd love to be a whole lot closer to that $20k amount. :-) After YouCaring takes out the percentage for processing credit card payments, of the $11,271 given (none of which we've used yet), we've received about $10,400.
If giving money isn't your idea of helping - the Amazon registry is public, you can search for "Peter Koens" or "Carrie Koens" (or click this link: http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/3FMEV8P5KVDOS), and then look at the list in order of PRIORITY (High to Low) to see what we most need.

And - whether you give to the fund, send a gift, or are simply following this story God is writing - PRAY. There are a lot of changes coming up, a lot of decisions to be made, and a lot of wisdom needed. If you'd like to join this journey in prayer, we'd welcome it. :-) 

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