Love china

Love china

Thursday, July 21, 2016

And the Beat goes on

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,
     so mere people can no longer terrify them.

Psalm 10:17-18  NLT

Keep on, Keepin' On

The roller coaster that is adoption continues on!

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.

Prayer Requests:
- 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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Miracle Monday

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

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Road of Adoption

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.

The New Day Story from New Day Foster Home on Vimeo.

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!

Want to know about current fundraisers?
T-shirts are now available in Kids sizes!! 
Canvas Shirts for Adults.
Hanes Tagless Ts for Kids and Adults
Only 6 days left to get yours!! 

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.

Prayer requests:
- 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!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another Birthday in China

July 6 marks the 3rd birthday of my sweet little one.

I have sent these gifts to him - along with a Oball car. I hope he likes the car and maybe I'll receive picture with his 3 shirt on.

I pray that this will be his last birthday in China and that he has a fantastic day (as it is already July 6th in China).  I am thankful that his foster facility loves him and celebrates all birthdays!

Happy Birthday, my dear, sweet boy! I am working hard to get to you and pray that the pathway becomes clearer with each day!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Baby Steps

Since the last post, there have been several baby steps forward.
The home study made it to me on June 16th with all its signatures - it just needs to be authenticated in Texas and then go to the China Consulate in Houston.

As of June 12th my application to immigration was received in Texas. I had fingerprints done at the FBI office this morning. I pray that within the next 3-4 weeks I will have immigration approval and all of my documents that make up my dossier will be sent to China. This will be a GIANT LEAP forward!!

I learned yesterday that my little one's file is at the China welfare and adoption office where it should be. The officials have decided to hold it back instead of giving it to my adoption agency. This means that they are waiting for my dossier to get to China so that they can match his file with mine as soon as they can once everything is there. This is GREAT news, as it may mean that things will go a little faster once on the China side. Once I finally get my letter of acceptance, I can FINALLY publically share his name and picture on the blog and the fundraising site!

I am in the process of applying for grants to help raise money - unfortunately all of them take considerable time and funds begin to dwindle as the year progresses. I will continue, however, to apply and pray that some come through.  My next fees include $185 to get the last 2 documents authenticated and through the consulate and then $1550 to get the dossier sent to China.

I have a new fundraising site, would love for you to check it out! Even if you are unable to assist at this time, please share on your social media!

There is also another t-shirt fundrasier! I would LOVE for everyone to be able to spread the word about international adoptions!