Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nothing in my hands I bring.

I admit it; I "borrowed" my title from Susanna Musser, but I simply adore the hymn she's referring to and it is such an appropriate title. 

There has been much news, but I have been horribly remiss in writing. I feel as if the time I have is not my own, but I must do a better job because so many care about us and want to know what is happening.

After the triumphant announcement of our successful court date, we learned shortly after of our pick up dates.  There was a lot of waiting to finally secure dates that worked for everyone.  They were not the dates we wanted.  We had long prayed to have Joshua home before his third birthday, but we will miss it by a few days.  Still, we are blessed because it is truly, without question, his very LAST birthday as an orphan!  Even today, he is legally ours, so he is not an orphan in the truest sense.  He has a Mommy and Daddy and sister and brothers in heaven who all love him and are anxiously and earnestly working to bring him home!

We will be bringing home our new son the last week in November:  the 24th until the 1st of December.  Our "family" day (or "gotcha" day) will be November 26th.  On that day, we will receive the son that God has prepared our family for.  It will be the end of a journey but it will be the beginning of a long, new journey.  There will be paperwork, but no more dossiers, no more medical reports, no more overseas trips, no more fundraising....

Oh.  The fundraising.

For so long, we struggled to raise the funds we needed.  We were so blessed to know that we did not have to raise it all.  We were able to use frequent flyer miles on our first trip.  We had a spreadsheet, with everything carefully worked out, and every number accounted for.  Even as certain things ran over our budget, we were able to make those funds up out of our personal savings and Craiglist sales.  We were blessed with TWO matching grants!  All in all, we raised about $10,000, about one-third of the total cost.

When we were fully funded, we sang to the rooftops.  It was such a relief!  We began the task of helping others.  Through my Avon affiliation, I've helped families raise over $800 for their adoptions - keeping nothing for myself.  Our family has donated, as much as possible, to others; through matching grants in anonymous groups, through auction purchases, through Amazon affiliates and through Scentsy.  It has been a joy to do this.  When we can purchase something that directly benefits an adopting family, we are filled with such peace.  We know how hard it is to fundraise, and we want to help.  We have been blessed, and we want to bless others.

But now, as we reach the finish line, we have learned something terrible:  We are not actually fully funded.

"Simply to Thy cross I cling..."

It was about ten days ago when we sat with our worn spreadsheet, to work out the finances that remained.  And it was sobering.  As the days went by, we slowly came to realize that our situation was not as secure as we thought it was.

First, there was a legitimate mistake on our part.  We mistakenly forgot to account for a $1,000 fee to our agency.  That was our error - pure and simple.  We had thought the grant from Brittany's Hope was supposed to take care of our last agency fees, but we were wrong. 

Next was our airfare.  We'd gotten it on good authority that we should budget no more than $1,000 per ticket, and about $400 for our son.  This was due to time of year, etc.  But after reaching out to respected travel agents all over, including ones that specialize in adoption, we learned that we were off by about $600.  Some of this has to do with how quickly we had to book tickets - because we could not finalize our plans until very close to the travel date.  Also, we had prayed we could bring Joshua home before he turned 3, so we could pay a lower fare.  But Joshua will be three when we travel, so the discounts aren't available for him.  We received a really competitive fare...but not what we budgeted.

Next, there were fees that our facilitator is charging us.  We were not prepared for these fees.  They include some costs in-country, to the tune of over $300.  We thought these were already accounted for, but they were not.

There is more - a lot more - but when we finished our spreadsheet, the number we saw was -$3,914.

We grasped each other's hands in prayer.  And God has answered already.

We immediately began emptying our closets and through some fast sales on Craigslist, we were able to recoup over $400. 

I made an offer to people in my neighborhood, to bake pumpkin pies for them for the holidays.  Yes, we leave 2 days after Thanksgiving and we have so much to prepare for.  Do I have time to bake?  Not really.  Will I do it? You bet.  My profit is $6 per pie and I have a dozen orders with more promised.  I will find time to bake these pies!  My goal is to get $100 in profits from baking.

I have a promise from family members that they can lend us $1,000 if we can pay it back after we return.  We cannot accept this money at this time because we don't have a means to pay it back.

I have no auction.  I have no fancy giveaway.  Nothing in my hands I bring.

Can you please pray for us?  Can you please share our blog with others?  Can you please consider helping us?  We leave in 11 days, but I am fearful if we cannot pay our remaining fees - can we leave?  Will Joshua languish in that terrible Bad Place, incapable of chewing, struggling to see with his broken eyes, waiting weeks longer than he ought to to come home? 

We believe our FSP needs to read an even $10,000 in order to be truly and fully funded.  It makes me sick to type that number.  It makes me incredibly frightened to think about it.  It took us SIX MONTHS to raise $6700.  And we have just days....just DAYS!  11 days!  And a holiday in between! 

Not the labor of my hands.  I cannot sell enough or bake enough pies or do enough on my own with this.  This is the power of others.

Have you see the video of our first trip?  Have you seen our beautiful son, who has managed to smile and grow even in the horrible darkness he has suffered in for 3 years?  Yes, he is in size 18 month clothing, and he doesn't yet run or walk well...but look at him! 

I  know it is 7 minutes long :)  but it is worth it!
*we flew business class on our first trip because there was no reward availability in coach/economy when we booked.  So we could have purchased 2 RT tickets, (for summertime, we were seeing airfares about $1400 a piece) or use the excess miles we had to upgrade to business class for "free".  I didn't want anyone to think that were just gallovanting around spending excess money!*

Please help us in any way you can.  We are asking you with our hands empty.  God is capable of miracles.  God has given us this son even as our little twin sons are in the arms of Jesus.  God has blessed our process throughout, and His glory will be shown at this moment.  We know this.  We have someone who is supposed to come this week to look at a saw we own, and if he buys it, then that will add to the coffers.  I don't have time to do as much as I wish I could, but I am setting up fast auctions on ebay with anything I can find. 

In addition to the button on the right, this the link to our FSP:

Thank you.  Thank you for reading this entry, for caring about our son, for praying for him and our family.  Thank you for donating and sharing.  Thank you for continuing to read our story. 


  1. This is such a sweet, humble post. God bless you! Have Hope. This happens so often. God always seems to take us right to the edge (especially financially) but he loves babies! He loves orphans!

    I know this is small potatoes compared to your cross-but just to let you know how Faithful God is --we had a kid who unexpectedly spent a month in the NICU. The hospital trips ate up my husband's entire paycheck and all the savings we had. This wasn't even the hospital bills yet, just extra gas, and fast food, and the treats we used to bribe the older kids to sit still for hours in the waiting room so that we could visit with our sick baby.

    When we finally reached the discharge date, the nurses told me that I had to have her prescription meds ready before she was released. I was so worried. There was no money, I didn't even know how we were going to get groceries for us to eat that weekend--I couldn't imagine how expensive these meds were going to be. We'd worked so hard to get her home and now this last hurdle seemed impossible.

    I got home from the hospital that night and two of my blog readers had sent checks for $100 each. Totally unexpected. The next day we went to the pharmacy before picking up the baby. The pharmacist had called the hospital on his own and changed our baby's meds from $120 a bottle stuff to $21 dollar stuff.

    God is with you on this journey!

  2. I just wanted to let you know I watched the youtube video today and he is so beautiful!!! I am praying for you and your family :)


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