Thursday, January 31, 2013

Big news!

I know that I haven't been the best blogger.  I always seem to be apologizing for that.
But what can I say?  Life gets in the way of good intentions.  I have 3 small boys, am in the middle of an adoption, and have other friends who are adopting and need help.  I stay pretty busy.

For those of you who don't read The Blessing Of Verity, you should go over today and read the post about 40 to Forever.  We're one of the 40 children and families who will benefit from this event.  It's an amazing project that goes through the Lenten season.  There will be devotions and prize giveaways every day!  It's going to be amazing!  Our day to be featured is February 25th (day 11).

Ok... now for the big news!

Since my last blog, we've gained our I800 approval from the US government and the ministry signature from our daughter's government. If all goes well, a judge will approve our adoption tonight in the wee hours.  (They are 8 hours ahead of us, so they will be working while we still sleep!) Our daughter will officially become a Matthews 10 days later (their mandatory waiting period for the adoption to take effect).

So please pray hard for us tonight dear friends.  We're so close to our goal!  If all goes well and our adoption is granted tonight, we will be able to bring her home soon!  We're hoping to travel in early March.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why We're Adopting

Today a friend shared a conversation she had with a person who changed her mind about donating an item for our auction when she realized we were adopting Crista from overseas.  It was very sad and it frustrated my friend.  She has a kind and giving heart and was upset that someone would refuse to help a child just because she wasn't born in the United States.

I know that many people look at international adoption as a "status thing".   While I'm sure there are some people out there who adopt from abroad for that reason (they like the idea of an "exotic" or "special" child), most don't.  In fact, I've never met a single person adopting a special needs child internationally who thought this way.

When we decided to adopt our sweet daughter, it wasn't because we were planning to adopt a child or felt that our family needed to be larger.  The truth is... we felt a connection to this little girl.  It wasn't a case of "we want another child".  It was a case of "this child needs US".

We have been criticized for not saving/raising more money before beginning our adoption process.  The answer to that question (why didn't you wait) is pretty simple, too.  Crista's file was due to be returned to the ministry within two weeks unless someone stepped up to commit to her.  At the time, we thought this meant she would lose her only chance to be adopted because she is considered "un-adoptable" in her home country.  (Yes, I know some people would argue this point, but it it plainly and sadly stated in her referral paperwork)  We searched our hearts and took a leap of faith.  We decided that this sweet girl should be our daughter and we took the first steps needed to begin the adoption process.

We didn't realize that people would focus so much on where she was born!  In our minds, that was a minor detail.  Yes... travel would be a hurdle that we would have to overcome, but our focus was on her.  She needed a home, medical care and therapy and we could give those things to her.  After all, we already have a child who has autism and has needed many therapies and interventions in the past.  We felt good about the fact that we were already educated about and prepared for many of her special needs.

I know that there are many children here in the United States who need good and loving homes.  I know that the adoption of one of those children would be much less expensive and take less time.  I think domestic adoption is great.  It's a wonderful thing and needs to happen more often.  In the past, Jason and I had talked about domestic adoption as a "what if".

We never intended to adopt a child internationally.  But God chose differently for us.

I spent many hours praying and asking God if this was the path we should take.  I asked for guidance and a sign that we were doing the right thing.  I believe his answer was "yes".  Every time I've asked for guidance, I've gotten it in the form of encouragement from strangers, paperwork "miraculously" being processed super fast, receiving surprise donations or items or funds, and many other things.

I guess what I'm saying is please don't judge us if you don't know us.  We're not looking adopting from abroad because we want a "status child" or because we don't believe American children aren't just as deserving of a loving home.  We're adopting Crista from overseas because that's where she is!  If she had been born here, we would be adopting her domestically.  Heck, if she had been born on Mars, I would be trying to figure out how to book a space flight!  (just joking... kind of)

The point is... it doesn't matter where she was born.  She's a child and we're her family.  That's really all that should matter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Please don't worry

Please don't worry about our adoption.  We're not directly affected by the Russian adoption ban.  The country we're adopting from isn't Russia... isn't even close, really.  lol  Our adoption is safe and still very much in process.  We hope to be bringing our daughter home in early March if things move quickly and smoothly.  

But don't think we haven't been affected by the ban at all. We have.  We have very good friends in the adoption community that have been devastated by this ban.  Their hopes and dreams have been dashed and the children that they love may be left as orphans... unable to be adopted even in their own country because of their disabilities.  

Of the 46 families who have gotten court decrees of adoption from Russia, only 6 had passed the mandatory 30 day wait ordered by the Russian courts.  We have been told that the 6 will be able to bring their children home.  But for the other 40 families who were still in that 30 day period... things are much more uncertain.  The US government is working to negotiate the completion of these adoptions and everything that can be done is being done by Senators, Ambassadors, etc.  There are many Russian politicians and judges who are working hard to unite these families also.  

Please pray for them all.  Pray for those families whose hearts are breaking right now.  Pray that the hearts of  those Russian politicians who passed this law will soften... and let them see that it is right to let those children be placed in the homes of those families who love them. 

And please pray that the amendment to the adoption ban will pass that allows for special needs children to continue to be adopted internationally.  The bill should be presented on January 14th, I believe.  

Last of all... please pray for all the orphans of the world.  American, European, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Colombian, Mexican... all of them.  Pray for their health, safety, and for their forever families to find them quickly.  

We have a matching grant... but

We have been offered a matching grant of $250.  But time is short.  We have until the end of the week to raise another $148.  Once the money is in our FSP, the grant donor will donate another $250!

That means we would be $500 closer to being fully funded.  If you can help, please donate to

$5, $10, $2... every dollar helps.  We're getting so close to being able to bring our baby girl home.  All of our adoption "work" is done.  We're just waiting for tonight (which will be the morning of the 3rd in Bulgaria) so our attorney Toni can file our petition and second stage papers with the minister.  Once we have the minister's signature, we can get a court date.  THAT is when our adoption will be granted.

We're hoping to be given travel dates at the beginning of March and we're SO close to being fully funded for travel.  We're saving every penny, cutting every corner, and doing everything we can to finish raising our travel money.

We're in the home stretch!