Are you adopting again?
Yes, we are! We keep putting it out there because we believe it is Gods calling on our lives and how we have been called as a family to live out James 1:27.
We weren't actually looking at the time but God had other plans. Louisa was on a site she frequents called Reeces Rainbow praying over the kids were aging out....like put out of the orphanage to make room for others. You can research the terrible statistics for yourself...We are not going to deal with what happens to those kiddos here. Anyway, she scrolled down and God whispered....these two are yours. Have to say she was in shock and took a few days to pray over it. She then shared with Darrell and he shared with our family. We prayed over it. It was a unanimous decision to pursue these boys.
Where are they? Do you have to go get them?
In China. Yes, we do have to get them. Darrell is traveling with our oldest daughter, Michaela and one of our sons, Michael. They will fly into Bejing, then into Harbin where the boys are and will continue to the city of Ghauzahu in the south for medical appointments and visas with the U.S. Consulate.
Why are you fundraising?
Foreign adoption is expensive....there are fees for the agencies, U.S. Government, foreign government, travel, hotels, food while traveling, visas, home study, fingerprints, physicals, translation of home study and other paperwork, follow up visits with our home study agency....I am sure I missed a bunch of things. No one gets rich in this process...it all is standard fees for the process. We feel if it's Gods will, it's His bill. But....we also feel we have to do our part in letting people know and making an effort.
We are selling coffee, Jess knitted scarves, and we are taking plain old fashioned tax deductible donations all through the Reeces Rainbow site on the sidebar of our blog. We've had complete strangers hand us money as our children excitedly tell them about our new boys, we've had anonymous donors slip money through a friend to hand to us, our kids pick up coins in the street, and have given their birthday money. We've canceled vacation, cut back on our food budget and other activities this year to squeeze everything we can out of our own budget. We knew going in this was about sacrifice and we were all on board for it.
This part has been very humbling, it has stretched our faith as we wait on the Lord. To date, we haven't missed a bill or fee....that is how we know He is in it. We would love it if you also came along side us...it doesn't have to be a lot....like I said, our kids have picked up coins off the street and donated it. God blesses everyone involved in this process when they step out....and yes, we have seen lots of blessings.
Where are you in the Process?
We are near the end. We should have travel approval in the next two weeks or so. When we receive this, we will make arrangements to travel. There is a big holiday the first full week of October where all government agencies are closed down. We expect to leave sometime in October.
What will those who stay home do while the other is China?
Well, we are holding the fort down here ... We will continue with our school work here, do some hiking, hopefully, visit with some friends here and there....and celebrate when they all get home!
How are you preparing for them?
We have purchased some Chinese tapes to learn a few basic phrases. We have connected with a family in our little town where the mom is Chinese and has offered to help us out. We've made other Chinese connections through the doctors office where Brandon had his foot surgery,d and the school Jason is taking his Post and Beam class--they are hosting a Chinese student this year.
We have made new bunk beds...we build them ourselves, were given linens and blankets, hung more hooks in the room and made places for their belongings. God has provided in big ways in this area. We are currently waiting measurements for them so we can make some educated guesses at clothes sizes. I did purchase some very discounted swim trunks for them since they will be in southern China for part of the trip and the hotel has a pool. This part is exciting ....physically preparing for their needs.
We have prayed and asked the Lord where we need to prepare ourselves. We will also start the Conqured by Love program with them...the same one we have implemented for our other children. We've also cleared our schedule of any major commitments to get them settled into our family--something they have never had. There will be many changes for them as far as food, language, house rules, etc. It will be good to focus on family. Darrell refers to this part of our journey as circling the wagons.
Right now, we have been looking for opportunities to build family unity here and we have been provided some exciting ones that fit our family perfectly...,things like hiking, a quick camping trip, free trip to an amusement park, and some ministry opportunities.....having a strong family unit helps us keep strong through the changes in our family. We try to be very intentional in our days.
Do the boys know you are coming?
Yes, they were told in April or May. They were given a cake and a picture book of our family and everyone in it. I am sure they have memorized everyone's faces just as we have looked at the pictures and videos of them over and over again. This is a picture at their celebration!
Any other exciting news?
We were just recently given a family warrior from the advocacy site that listed the boys, Reeces Rainbow. She will pray for our family and the boys as well as advocate as she feels led. This is exciting to know she is standing with us. We are hoping that she may one day meet the boys...that is our prayer for her ....more on that later.