SO - I have been in the process of getting multiple letters written by multiple people and updating all my financial information with the adoption agency. I have to provide proof of income, evidence of who will take custody of Sunshine if I were to pass away and estimated net worth. All of this has to go to various state secretary of states to be authenticated prior to going to the US Secretary of State and the China Embassy.
(No this is not my paperwork, thankfully I only needed 1 thing authenticated)
I sent a document to the Idaho Secretary of State last Monday afternoon, I paid for 3 day shipping to get there and then 2 day shipping to return to me. I knew that I would be getting this document this week (as opposed to last week). So, I watched the tracking to ensure it made it to its destination. It got to Idaho in 2 days and sat at the sorting center for an entire day (because I paid for 3 day shipping instead of 2). It finally made it to the Idaho Secretary of State this past Thursday. Seeing as how it was already Thursday, I'm thinking that I am going to get it returned by the middle of this week, so I didn't even think about checking the return tracking. On Friday, I went out my front door to get something and I had a FedEx envelope sitting by my door. I was floored!! In less than 24 hours, the document had been authenticated, sent back to Fed Ex and returned to me!! This is impossible ... even the envelope said on it "Monday Delivery 10:30" .... so HOW did it get back to me over night?! The amazing part about this is that if I hadn't send my documents to my adoption agency by Friday, I would have had more difficulty getting it to the next step. ONLY GOD could have made this happen.
There are so many things that God's hands have been on throughout this process. From his name, given to him by the foster facility, and how it directly coincided with a sweet little girl I had been treating who went to the Father's arms. A secret fundraiser that raised the amount needed at that time to pay adoption fees. Receiving 2 grants right before another round of fees was due ... equaling the exact amount (minus $250) needed for that round of fees. To this - getting paperwork back quicker than possible. He has kept Sunshine safe, healthy and happy and allowed me to travel to China to not only help with other adoptions, but meet amazing people along the way.
Is it frustrating that I am having to do all of this extra paperwork to prove that I am a worthy parent, of course. However, with all of these pieces that God has already proved Himself (not that he needed to) ... I know that there must be a reason for it all and it gives me comfort and patience.
SO, what kind of travel time are we looking at now?
Well, unfortunately, this is still a very difficult question to answer. December is out of the question, January is slipping by and February is looming. China takes a week off at the end of January for Chinese New Year - no government workers means nothing moves forward. At this point, I am really thinking mid-February .... but there are still several more stops for my paperwork to make - any one of which could cause another set-back.
It's worth it in the end. Adoptive parents who have already gone through this process (once, twice, 3-4-5x) will frequently remind those of us who are in the "paperwork trenches" of this. I'm sure that this will be the case when I am out of the other side of this - but man, the waiting is TOUGH!!
On a separate, and amazing note, I only have $2500 left to raise to be fully funded!!! This is so incredibly amazing and I am in disbelief! If you would like to get in on helping bring this sweet baby home, please donate to Lifesong (Worthy of Much Love | mySTORY) to have your donation doubled!! $2500 more and I will be ecstatic and so ready to bring Sunshine home!!!!!
Another way to help support is to check out the items they have at Noonday. Some very special people are having a Noonday party and 15% of the profits will be sent to Lifesong to be doubled. If you are looking for some very neat Christmas gifts or hostess gift for all the holiday parties coming up, please consider purchasing items that help bring Sunshine home!! Just go to: bit.ly/noondaycaroline to check it out!!
That grants have come in and I am SO CLOSE to being fully funded!!
- That my paperwork begins to move quickly and is granted full favor.
- That I will be able to finish raising the $2500 needed to be fully funded
- That Sunshine will be healthy and happy the rest of his time in China.
WELL - I am back in the US (have been since last Thursday) ... man I really stunk with keeping the blog updated when I was in China! I really hope that that is not a preview of how I will do on the adoption trip!!
SO, let's see. The volunteer trip to China was amazing and I was desperately trying to figure out how to stay for one more week ... but, it just wasn't feasible. I was able to spend some time in the city that I will be going to when I go to adopt Sunshine, I am so thankful because I now know where some food is and things to do while we are there.
When it comes to paperwork and where the adoption is currently - well, that is somewhat of a sour subject. I was really hoping that his approvals from China would come in while I was in China ... but they didn't. Then, this past Friday, people who has submitted their dossiers on the same date that I did started getting their approvals, so I was thinking that for sure I would get approval early this week ... unfortunately, that didn't happen. Instead, the Chinese government is requesting more information. This means more letters that have to be written to support the fact that I don't have 100,000 in assets that they want (since I am single), letters that assure that someone will take custody of him if something would happen to me, letters of confirmed employment and salary to ensure that I make enough to support both of us .... information that has mostly been iterated once, but I know that confirmation is sometimes required. The disheartening part of all of this is that I don't know yet if these new letters have to go through the entire process of being notarized, authenticated by the State and then sent to the Chinese consulate prior to being sent to China .... if they do, it will easily set this adoption back a month or more ....
I found out all of this information yesterday, I spent the day trying to come to grips with the fact that I will likely not be with Sunshine by Christmas ... it is so hard. I am still working on raising all the funds needed to meet the $5000 matching grant. Around $3700 is left to meet the grant and raise the full $10,000. I am fundraising like a mad woman! Currently there is a facebook auction going on, it ends on Sunday, October 30. If you would like to join in the fun, please follow the link (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1096089613795270/)
Today was a somewhat busy day. We left our hotel in Nanchang at 9:00 am and headed out to Yichun. This is about a 3 hour van drive away. I was not thinking and didn't put my motion sickness patch on soon enough and really struggled getting there without getting sick ... however, I made it!!
We got to the orphanage around 12 and had lunch with one of the directors and 2 pharmacists. This orphanage not only houses children, but also over 100 elderly. We had luch family style with traditional dishes from this area. After feeling sick for 3 hours, I wasn't exactly up to eating - rice was about all I could handle.
After lunch, we went to our hotel to check in. It was definitely a little sketch on the outside, but good on the inside (which is all that counts)! After getting our stuff settled, we headed out back to the orphanage. We did assessments on 11 kiddos and one little girl just grabbed my heart!! She is aging out soon and I know that her family is out there somewhere!! She is super smart, but has some needs. If you may be interest in learning more, please don't hesitate to contact me!
After assessing the 11 kiddos. We had dinner, family style, at the orphanage. The food was great and we all had some great conversations with the staff. Tomorrow we leave at 9:00am to head to Jian. Hopefully sleep with come easily and we'll all be energized for the kiddos tomorrow!
Our first day of work included seeing 27 kiddos from an orphanage at the official government building. This is the office where I will go to finalize Ari'a adoption.
We hit the ground running - seeing 17 kids before breaking for lunch. It was all VERY hectic, but we made the best of our space and resources.
Most of these kiddos were ambulatory and able to get around fairly well. Various diagnoses, but they were happy to play with us all!
We ate lunch at a buffet - various meets, rice , noodles and sushi. For dinner we went to a traditional family style Chinese restaurant. If you have never seen this, it is typically a large round table with a huge lazy Susan on it - sharing all of the platters. And, as is Chinese culture, way too much food was ordered. We all came back to the hotel and some went to walk around and check out the scenery. I ended up going straight to bed as it was already past 8:00 pm and jet lag had caught up! I slept from 8:30 pm to 5 am ... it was much needed!!
So, for the next 2 weeks, this adoption blog will get a little sidetracked... I am currently in Nanchang, China and will post about the trip on here.
Let me back track a bit...
Over the summer, the Government Authority over orphans in China decided to take over 2,000 files from their shared list and divide them between 4 US adoption agencies so that they could work on updating these children's files and advocate for them to have adopted. Gladney's SuperKids sent out a request for volunteers to go on trips to various provinces to help them in this process. When it was first announced that they were needing volunteers, I really wasn't too sure that I wanted to. However, a little but later I found out that they were planning on going to the Provence that Sunshine is from ... I couldn't pass up spending some extra time learning about the area where he may have some relatives. So, I said yes... and here I am, in Nanchang, China!!
My journey started early on Saturday Morning (Oct 8) - getting to the airport around 4:45. I would have been earlier, but 5 minutes after leaving the house I coukdn't find my passport, so my sister had to turn around and go back. I ran into the house and couldn't find my passport anywhere (and I knew I had grabbed it) ... so I went back to the car again ... lo and behold I found it laying in the driveway. Somehow when I was putting my luggage in the trunk, the passport had fallen out of the car and I had not noticed. I was just thankful to find it!!
So, after that we got to the airport with no problems. I left Arkansas @ 6:20 ish and was in Chicago by 8:05. I met a good friend from college at the airport and we chatted and had Starbucks. It was great to see her ... it had been 2 or 3 years since we last saw one another!! I love that our friendship is one of those that just always picks back up right where we left it .. if is rare to find that type of friendship!
I then went back through security (which was SUPERfast .. Chicago was rockin if). And went to my gate. They decided to do a document check prior to boarding ... EVERYONE on the full international flight to China had to stand in line and get their documents checked - insuring proper visas and passports. By the time I got through to line, I was able to get in touch with 2 of the other people on my team - we ended up having seats close together.
Once we were all boarded, I found myself sitting in the aisle seat with 2 Chinese men sitting next to me. Let me tell you, the seats in coach on an international flight are SUPER tight!! Plus, being on the aisle, every time someone wants to get up, you have to get up. Every time a flight attendant goes down the aisle, you're likely to get hit accidentally. I was SO glad to get to Beijing!!!
I got off the plane in Beijing as quickly as possible because my one checked bag was staying in Beijing - donations to Sunshine's foster facility. I was trying to hurry to meet to lady from the foster home, but I got stuck in this:
A 2 hour wait through customs ... the longest line I have ever seen (other than Disney World).
Once I finally made it through, I got the big suitcase to the person it needed to go to and all was well.
I went back through security again (my goal was to go through security at EVERY airport I stop at ... so far I have made my goal!! Haha).
We left Beijing at 7 pm and I was so exhausted that I slept the entire 2.5 hour flight to Nanchang. Here we met up with the other. 2 members of our team and our translator. We drove the 20 ish minutes to our Hotel.
This is across the street from the hotel and we saw a super awesome lit up Ferries wheel and the bridge and building across from us all have changing lights. It is best to look at, but since the AC is turned off in october here in China - sleeping with the window open is a must ... those bright lights don't help with sleep!!
I am so glad that the cape fundraiser has been doing so well!! There is 1 week left to place your order for capes (Oct 1 is the deadline). If you still haven't ordered your cape(s) yet, make sure you do so today!!
I have been patiently waiting on my Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for this adoption to move forward (currently on day 29) and I hope that everyone can pray with me that it will go through in the next week. The first week of October is a national holiday in China - yes, the entire week! SO, I really am pulling for my LOA to be complete next week ... PLUS, the second week of October, I will be in China on an advocacy trip with Gladney's Superkids. I am very excited about checking in on these kiddos and helping update their files, but I don't want it to put any paperwork for the adoption behind!
The purpose of this trip, for me, is 2 fold - while I am very excited about helping with file updates, this trip is occurring in the province that Ari is from. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the culture he is from and give me a "dry run", so to say, before going back to China for the actual adoption.
So, while I have been getting ready for this China trip, catching up on work stuff and preparing the house for Ari - last weekend I threw my back out. It is crazy how something so simple (bending down to shave your legs) can lead to debilitating pain. It has taken an entire week of Dr. & daily Chiropractor visits to get me standing up straight again! I am still not pain free, but I can move so much more than I could last weekend! SO- time to catch up!
I am still working on raising the $5000 for the matching grant received - so far there is $850 towards the grant and hopefully there will be more opportunities for fundraising soon! I pray I will be able to have a successful online auction soon .. :)
Praises: The Cape fundraiser continues to do well and I am going to visit Ari's province!
- That fund raising continues to go well
- That the trip to China is very successful and safe
- That I will be able to show Jesus' love to the children I will come in contact with
Every time I hold a fundraiser, it AMAZES me the people who go above and beyond!!
This SuperHero cape fundraiser has been awesome - in less than 3 days, over 60 capes have been sold!
I jumped at the opportunity to do this fundraiser because I know SO many amazing superheros in my life. I am blessed to work with kiddos with varying challenges and they continually prove to so many that they are SUPER!
Where I work, we have this hanging up :
I also came across this picture and shared it on my Facebook page yesterday:
These 2 images fully envelop my life and my heart. Children with special needs are constantly battling something - be it a medical issue, overcoming obstacles to keep up with their friends and/or overcoming prejudices that continue to exist against these amazing kids. I feel like they can also be utilized to describe so many of the precious kiddos that are adopted.
Children that are adopted (both domestically and abroad) have often faced very difficult paths. Many of these kids have overcome not only abandonment, but malnourishment, lack of attention, decreased interaction and neglect. These SUPER kids have survived so much, but yet they face a huge challenge when adopted - being taken away from EVERYTHING and EVERYONE they have ever known. They may be taken from the only culture they have ever known, put with people (the adoptive parents) that have a skin color they have never seen, and then flown 1,000s of miles from the only place they can recall as calling "home" to be part of a new forever family. TRAUMA inundates these precious children - and THEY are SuperHeros in my eyes. Being Brave and Allowing Love In.
Thank-you so much, to everyone who follows this blog, prays for the process, participates in the fundraisers and supports us along the way! I could not do this without you guys in my corner and God continually providing for the pathway forward!
I am trying to stay up with invoices as orders come in. You should receive an email from me (email@example.com) with your invoices and a PayPal link (PayPal.Me/worthyofmuchlove) . Utilize this link and click "Family and Friends" to avoid a fee. Once your payment comes in, the orders will start going out! :) And don't forget, your donation is DOUBLED with a matching grant, so please keep sharing to all those you know who have little ones in their lives! :)
In other news, I will be traveling to China in October with an advocacy group! I can't wait because I will actually be able to visit the province that Ari is from - maybe learn a little bit of the culture. This is an amazing opportunity and I cannot believe that I am blessed to participate in.
Praises: That SO many people continue to support me in this process!
Prayer Request :
~That this amazing support continues.
~That my heart is prepared to go to China and love on all of the children who are waiting for their
I received word today that I now officially have Prior Approval for my sweet little boy!!
This is an AMAZING day!!!
What does this mean, you ask?
WELL, let me just tell you ... :)
- This OFFICIALLY means that no one else can ask for his file, no one else can be provided with his information as we are now attached to each other through paperwork!!!
I am SO SO thankful that things seem to be moving smoothly forward. I am praying that I will have the Letter of Acceptance from China by the end of this month ... that would be awesome. If I can manage to get it before the beginning of October, I may still have a change to be with my boy before or on Christmas ... and there would be nothing sweeter than that!!!
Thank-you, everyone, who has prayed for this journey!! Please keep doing so as we aren't quite to the finish line just yet!
Stay tuned in the next day or two as I have a couple fundraisers in the works ... stuff your kiddos will really enjoy!!
Praises: We are locked in - stuck together for the rest of my days!!
- That fundraisers begin to come together and over $5000 is raised to match the grant being provided!!
The day that I have been waiting for since late December 2015 has finally come ...
I have Sunshine's file in my possession!!!
This last 9 months has been the craziest roller coaster ride! I am so thankful that his file is finally here!!
To see his little face in 2 pictures that I had never seen, have all of his information down on paper, see when his last surgery was and the milestones he has met ... It is almost surreal. THIS IS HAPPENING ... THIS. IS. REAL. LIFE.
I know you guys are probably thinking, "Well, that's great ... But what is the big deal?!?". Trust me, I would be thinking the same thing if I were in your shoes ...
Low Down on the Big Deal:
Sunshine was born with a severe congenital disability - if he had not received care when he got it, it's very likely he would not be living today.
Due to being so involved, his orphanage did not believe that any family would ever want him. They believed this so much that he didn't even have a file when I first expressed interest in him. (Not to mention it costs money to put together a file ... Which they didn't think was worth spending if no one wanted him).
Initially, he had NO hope of finding a family ... Without a file, you are "unadoptable". That word is so finite, so limiting!!
I am so thankful for the people who advocated for him in China!! They were able to convince his orphanage that he WAS worthy, that their time and money WAS worth it ... Because Sunshine has a waiting family!!!
So, what are the next steps?
My letter of intent to adopt him has already been sent to China. Once they approve this, I will have Prior Authorization (PA) to officially adopt Sunshine. Once PA is received, China will then continue processing my file with his and in a month or so we will be provided with a Letter of Aceptace (LOA) ...
Once LOA is received, more paperwork will be submitted (along with a copy of the LOA) to US Immigration to officially receive approval to bring Sunshine home!!
Praises: Sunshine's file has been received!!!
Prayer Requests: That this process continues to move forward smoothly, hitting very few (if any) road bumps. Also, that funding continues to come in via. grants.
As you guys know, I was notified this week of 2 grants that I received totaling $3000. This was amazing news that I was so very thankful for. The thing I didn't realize, until now, is that my next fee just posted that is due to my adoption agency.
Anyone want to take a guess at how much this fee is??!!?
$3250 ... WOW!!! is God's timing not absolutely amazing?!!?
So now, instead of owing $3250, I owe $250 ... A much more manageable amount!!
I have applied for several grants so far. 2 have now provided some assistance and 2 have said that they are unable to help. Please keep praying that the grant providers continue to have funding coming in so that they can help adoptive families!!
So, here is an overview of the entire payment process for the adoption:
So far, $12,940 has been paid towards the adoption (including grants provided thus far). $11,625 to go, not including travel expenses (which could be up to $8,000+).
I am so very thankful for everyone who has participated in fundraisers, prayer for this entire process and continue to be so supportive! Please continue to do so! Half way there is a great feeling - but there is so much more to go!
Praise: God provided at the perfect time!! I continue to be blown away!!
Prayer Request: that other grants are looked upon favorably - gotta get this baby home!!!
I'm pretty sure I can never say "thank-you" enough to each and every person who reads this and prays on our behalf!!
You guys are amazing and God has listened!!!
In addition to the $2000 from yesterday, I received word today that another $1000 will be provided through another grant. I have also been informed that I am being recommended for a 3rd grant, but the amount is undetermined.
Please continue to pray for Sunshine's health, happiness and heart. In addition, that grants will continue to be favorably viewed and this financial burden will be completely lifted.
I received word today that all of my documents were logged into China's system! This is a giant leap forward as now my adoption agency can request his file!!! Once Sunshine's file is in hand, I can submit a letter of intent to adopt him so that my file and his file will finally be together!!
I also found out today that I received a $2000 grant, with perfect timing!! This will cover my next fee with the adoption agency!!
8/25/16 - a great date that will be celebrated for its awesome news!!!
I really cannot wait to hold this little guy ... He is already loved so much ... Slowly I am inching my way to China ...
Prayer Requests: That grants continue to be provided in order to cover the great expenses that are yet to come.
Please accept my adoption paperwork, knowing and understanding all of the love, sweat, and tears that have gone into compiling all of the information that was required. Please keep the file safe and within arms reach. In response, please provide sweet Sunshine's file with a quick acceptance of matching our files together.
All the documents got sent to China last Friday.
I am praying that they get logged in to China's system very soon so that I can get his file.
I am also praying that my applications for grants are looked upon favorable. So much money is still due and grants are the only way to my son ...
Hopefully there will be more news in the next week or so! :)
SO - after spending an awesome worship and prayer time with my co-workers, I came home today to my initial immigration approval!!! I wasn't expecting it until next week!! Now to get it to 3 different cities in Texas, back to New York and then on its way to China!
This song has been on my heart lately:
- AMAZING and loving co-workers who take the time for praise and prayer
- Immigration approval is here!!!
- Things move swiftly in getting my documents to China
- That Sunshine knows he is loved!
Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
I received the amazing news of a surprise fundraiser (that raised OVER $5400, by the way!!) and then I got home that day and had a Request For Evidence (RFE) from immigration. The home study was worded incorrectly, so I had to get it re-published from the adoption agency and it had to be mailed back to immigration.
I haven't heard anything else from my immigration officer, so I am hoping by next week I will have the approval. Once this is obtained, it will be emailed to my case worker who will get it and my home study sent to the TX office. The TX office will notarize everything and then send it to Austin, TX to be authenticated by the TX Secretary of State.
Once it has gone through the TX Secretary of State (likely to take a week), it will then go to Houston, TX to the China consulate, which I will likely expedite if I can. Once it has been authenticated through the consulate, it will go back to New York to join all of my other dossier documents and the entire package will be sent to China.
Once my dossier is sent to China, it will be logged into their system (which can take 1-2 weeks). When my dossier is finally logged in, I will be able to receive Sunshine's file! This will be a tremendous day because I have been waiting on it since December!!
SO, I have about a month until all my documents finally go to China. The adoption agency is saying that once my paperwork has been logged into the Chinese data base that it will be another 4-6 months before I am able to go to China to get Sunshine. I am HOPING that it is less time than this. I really would love to be in China getting him between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As I wait, I have been applying for various grants to help support the adoption financially. It has been very time consuming as each grant asks for different things, some want written statements for why you're adopting and others want an entire paper on how the adoption process is going for you and why you are worthy of receiving the grant. This has been a task that I am still in the process of completing. BUT, I pray that it is all worth it in the end!
- I am STILL in shock over the secret fundraiser!! I don't think it has completely hit me yet.
- Sunshine seems to be thriving in the foster facility, seeming to grow from one picture to the next.
- That grants will be generous and provide for some of the upcoming expenditures
- That no more "snags" are hit with the paperwork and that it is smooth sailing from here on
Today is one of those days that I pray I don't forget in a very long time. Today was a day that God showed his love to me, for this adoption, through my co-workers, friends, and complete strangers to me.
I spent this past weekend very stressed about how I was going to pay for this next round of fees. I have been trying my hardest to remain optimistic, but this has been very hard! The hardest part for me was knowing that the continuation of the process solely relies on paying the next round of fees ... without it, this entire adoption would be at a standstill.
I was completely blessed, shocked and left completely in awe by those people who love me, love Ari and want this adoption to be completed. A precious co-worker and fellow adoptive mom set up a secret fundraiser without my knowledge. From this past Friday until Sunday she recruited our fellow co-workers, friends, their friends, fellow adoptive moms and the word quickly spread underneath my nose.
In 3 days, they managed to raise over $5000!!! Can you believe that?!! I was kept out of the loop for 3 entire days!! When I got to work this morning I was told to check my facebook - people wanting to know why another adoption page was started. I was confused, because I knew that I had not started a new page .. SO, I got on Facebook and this was the first thing I saw :
I couldn't believe this! Are you kidding me?!! If you don't know how a filling square fundraiser works, you post a blank numbers square and mark off the square as people donate the amount within the square. You can only imagine my shock when this square was already filled! My initial thought was that this had to be a mistake ... somehow the wrong block picture must have been posted! I wasn't until I actually read the above post that it hit me that the fundraiser was already complete.
There are some times, in this process, that you just feel really alone. That you are struggling to stay afloat - under payments, beneath mountains of paperwork, in fear that at any point in time the whole thing could fall apart and you could lose the precious child that you already love so very much. This was a huge reminder that people are on my side, that friends and family really are there and are wanting to support this entire process and most of all that God has got this ... somehow, someway, this is happening!!
I am still completely in shock - it truly has not fully hit me. It wasn't until I got home after work that I was able to read all that had transpired over the weekend. People are AMAZING and I am so incredibly blessed!
Thank-you , Thank-you everyone who was involved in this secret mission! I now have enough to send all my documents to China and pray to be matched with my son soon!! My 'thank-you' could never be enough, but I pray that you wholeheartedly understand that you have helped bring a child to his forever home!
- FUNDRAISING IN SECRET!! I am SO thankful and amazed!
- That the current t-shirt fundraiser will do well
- That my request for more evidence from US Immigration (Received this afternoon) will be quickly resolved so that immigration will approve my request to bring a child to the states and then my documents can be sent to China.
T-shirts are still available for the next 4 days. They are available in kids (Hanes) and adult (Canvas) sizes.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Rom. 8:16&17
Imagine for a moment that you are just an average Jane, 30 year old, single person.
You are settling into the groove of life after moving to a new town about a year ago. You have bought a house and just got it all fixed up the way to like and everything seems to be going well.
It is at this point that you realize that it is time for you to start giving back to others. You are blessed that you now work at a place that is very active with volunteering both locally and worldwide. You realize that now is the time for you to begin helping internationally.
Your co-workers introduce you to the world of orphanages, the thousands and thousands of children who no longer have families for various reasons. Many of these children have disabilities and are struggling to survive. You realize that by going with a TEAM to another country, you can make a profound impact on a child who has very little.
SO, you decide to go to China with a TEAM of coworkers. You are a group of pediatric PT, OT and Speech Therapists who are going to bring therapy equipment (braces, wheelchairs, standers, KT Tape, special cups, etc) and knowledge to an orphanage and a local hospital.
HOWEVER, before you go, a co-worker tells you the story of a child that they came across in a Chinese orphanage who was in desperate need of surgery. They advocated for this little guy and got enough concern from the orphanage officials that they seeked out placing him in a foster facility that raises money for children to receive the surgeries they so desperately need. This is how I found New Day!!
Now, this little guy that had been found by our TEAM had a fairly large following of people here at home. They daily looked on the foster page's blog for new images of him. They were in constant prayer that his forever family would be found. I, of course, went to the blog and started looking at not only this little guy's image, but the pictures of all of the children. http://newdayfosterhome.blogspot.com/
THIS is how I found my son! I saw his image and INSTANTLY knew he was supposed to be with me. It is an unexplainable phenomenon that only God could have orchestrated! I couldn't even scroll down to another picture - I was frozen in time, enamoured by his eyes and sweet gaze. A sweet, smiling little boy with multiple issues. A child with significant impairment that most other people would just glance over and not even give a second thought. HOWEVER, I knew we were meant to be together.
How could this be?!! Remember, I was average Jane. I was just getting into the groove of life after moving and buying a house!! Adoption?! This was NOT what I was preparing for. Adoption?! But, I couldn't get this little guy out of my head!! I went to China and did my volunteering, but the whole time was thinking of this little boy that I had never met.
2 months after first seeing his picture, I decided that I really needed more information. This child was in my every waking thought and I needed to make a decision. I was able to contact a friend in the China adoption world- "we'll see if he has a file", she said. Hours tick by and then there was a reply ... "he doesn't seem to have a file". Oh, ok ... what does that mean?! How can a child who desperately needs a family not have a file to be adopted?
After making a few more contacts, it was found out that this sweet child's orphanage had decided that he was too involved, that his disability was too great and they decided to not make him a file .... deciding that he was unadoptable just the week before I decided to get more information. You see, orphanage's only have so much money - files are expensive to make- it was a tough decision. Unadoptable!? How can this be?? This child is precious and so full of life, YES he has significant issues ... but unadoptable?!
I am SO blessed that I was put in contact with an amazing advocate. "I will see if the orphanage will make a file since someone is interested in him becoming part of their forever family". Oh how thankful I was that she advocated for him ... and so grateful that the orphanage said "YES"!!!
All of this has occurred within the last 8 months. I was not planning on this, but God laid this child on my heart. For him to go from "unadoptable" to a forever family is something that his orphanage and his foster facility never thought that they would see. BUT IT IS HAPPENING!! This road had been so full of speed bumps, pot holes and hurdles ... but it is moving forward.
The largest hurdle of adoption is the financial aspect. MOST of us do not have an extra $34,000 laying around to give to various agencies to adopt a child in need. I knew this from the beginning, but, for him, I am willing to do anything and will MAKE it work! How could I not?! My SON is at stake!
So, here I am - working 6 days per week to help bring this precious boy home. With each week a little more is put into the adoption fund ... but it is not enough. I have applied for grants, but have not yet heard back from any. There have been multiple fundraisers (and more to come I am sure) ... each adding to the fund, little by little. However, with each step comes more fees due. Homestudy - $2500, Sending dossier to China - $5250, Being matched with my son - $4300 .... it is overwhelming.
Where am I in the process currently?! Well, I am waiting on US Immigration to approve me bringing a child into the country. Once I receive this approval, I can send all of my documents to China. All these documents include my certified birth certificate, a statement of my health, my finances, a statement that I am single, a letter requesting to be matched with my little boy, images of me, my family, my home and passport photos just to name a few.
Once these documents arrive in China, I will be finally matched with my son! This will be a great day! A day that I have been waiting for since I officially started this adoption journey in January. When this day comes, I will finally be able to post his picture for all to see!
I am so thankful for everyone who has joined me in this journey. I am happy to share it all, the ups and the downs. I pray that this journey continues to be shared now, when I am in China and even after we are home. This brave little boy has such a journey ahead of him and I have a feeling he will be an inspiration to us all!
AdoptTogether is a non-profit, crowdfunding platform that bridges the gap between families who want to adopt and the children who need loving homes. This platform allows donors to receive a tax write-off while still donating to families in the process of adoption.
- That fundraisers are successful! There is $3550 due in the next week or so - this will completely wipe out the adoption fund. Please pray that funding comes in!