Sunday, August 29, 2010

more waiting...

Just a quick note to update you on the adoption front...

We found out on Friday that all of our documents have been translated and were handed over to ICBF in Colombia on Aug. 23!!!  We were just praying for the translation to be done, and were pleasantly surprised that it is already with ICBF.  We are now waiting on approval from Colombia.  This could take a few months(or beyond,) though I pray not, I am prepared to wait AND not freak out about it, because I know that God has a plan and His plan is greater than mine!!!
Yes, that is what I learned from our last adoption and it is helping me wait out this one.  It's all a huge leap of faith and I know God will be there to carry me through...even when it doesn't 'feel' like it, or when things don't go as "I" plan, I WILL TRUST HIS PLAN!  He knows Luisa, He knows her needs, He will take care of her, He loves her more than we do,  I WILL TRUST HIM!!!
So there ya have it, adoption 101 in a nutshell!  Learned the hard way, as most of my best learning has taken place.  And now shared with you at no extra charge!

I'll be sure to update when we get that approval, but until then...we wait..........................!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"affording" adoption...

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him."

Derek Loux
{Click here to read their story.}

We cannot afford adoption.  Children cannot afford us to NOT adopt.  What are we to do?

We did not do any fund-raising for Anaya's adoption.  We applied for a few grants, none of which sent us any money.  We did receive a few donations of cash toward our adoption from friends and family, but most of the $40 ish thousand dollars were paid for by the sale of our land in Hamilton.  Completely worth it.  But...
When we felt God nudging us toward adoption #2, we knew we had NOTHING.  No home equity, no savings{at least not $25k, heck who am I kidding, there wasn't 1k for that matter!}we had no idea where that money would come from.  So we decided to go with a domestic adoption agency that asked for no money down, and had very low fees that we had to pay when we accepted a referral of a child!  That way we figured we could save up some money and go about it being "good stewards."

We started the year out with our "beans and rice adventure" and saved a bit of money.  We have 'cut back' spending on going out to eat, dates, sitters{this is when it stinks to live away from my mom,sisters, grama..!}, clothing,{Starbucks...I can't remember the last time I paid for a coffee!} etc... and we were able to pay for our home study, and all the 'little fees' that go along with that(ordering birth certificates for everyone, finger printing fees, mailing) to a total of about $2,000.  We were "all set!"  no worries, we had it under control.  We then decided to wait to save up more money and move ahead...

BUT...But God.  God laid it on our hearts to adopt a little girl with a special need{more on that at a later date} living in a foreign country!  Ummm God?  We don't have the money for this.  We didn't plan on it costing this much, this can't be what you want for us...that would cause us to go "in debt" and we are desperately trying to be debt free {and we were, save for Ryan's school loan, which is a post for another day...}  But after several months of prayer, we knew that this is what He had for us.  We decided that since it was HIS idea, we would take a GIANT leap of faith, step out of the boat of "financially secure, all of our ducks in a row, we have a plan..."  and go for it!
I wish I could say that the money came flooding in, that we asked and it was given.  It wasn't.  So, now what?

We opened a no interest credit card and put the next flood of fees on it (application fees, agency fees, USCIS fees, psychological exam fees, shipping fees, Hauge training fees, etc...) all of the 'big stuff'  that make international adoption so expensive, to the tune of around $5,000.

We decided to start some fund-raising efforts, to say we are humbled to do this is an understatement, {but...I for one, can always use a little more humility in my person.}  We also applied for several grants.  The next batch of fees needed to be paid in cash so we couldn't use our credit card.  We NEEDED God to come through, we had no other options!  To our surprise, we received the first grant we applied for through our agency for $1,000!  We also got several orders for shirts and coffee in the first few days.  {We have raised $350.00 thus far from our sales.}  We received a few cash donations from friends and were able send in our first Colombia fee of $1,750!  YAY God!!

Our dear friends set up a garage sale to benefit our adoption {read about that here.}  With the money we received from that sale and another small grant that came in, we have our next Colombia fee of $1,750 AND the post adoption report down payment of $1,200.{which we were unaware of, as it was not on any other paperwork..and it has to be paid in cash!} WOW!!  God usually provides, when we need it, but this time, we have the money in advance!  God came through big time!

Now, we are saving up for our attorney fees which need to be paid in cash once in Colombia which are $1,500.  We are hoping to do another garage sale in our 'hometown,' on September 10 & 11.  If anyone would like to donate to that sale, let me know, we'd be happy to take any of your stuff "off your hands!"
Then we will go on to save for the "misc. in country fees"  which are approximately $2,000.  Then there will be the biggie of our travel expenses!!!  The agency estimated that to be around $10,500!!! {I don't know if they figured our kids traveling too or not so it could be more!}  Yikes, I could hyper-ventilate just looking at that figure, but instead we are going to trust God.  We have several grant requests out there, some we know we will not receive anything from, since they never even responded to our request.  Some we are hopeful we will get.  Either way, we are not concerned.  This is God's child, He will provide!

It really all came down to what we value, we would love to own our own home, drive nice cars, have stuff.  Things that aren't bad, and things that people go into debt for every day, but we know someday we will stand before God and He is not going to care about our stuff.  So, while some may think us "irresponsible" for not being able to pay our daughters ransom {that is in essence what it is} or that our children won't have their college tuition paid for, we feel completely convinced that this is what matters most!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Here is my little cowboy ready to leave for camp!
Jayden on his horse Dixie during the 'shodeo'
Here he is with his partner, who happens to be one of his cousins friends from our hometown!  
Saying goodbye...
Here is our little cowgirl!  She was so excited to ride that horse!  The girl leading the horse asked Anaya if she knew the horses name, and Anaya said "caballo!"  Yeah, all of my spanish lessons are paying off!

This was Jaydens second year {click here for last years post} at Cowpokes horse camp at Grace Adventures.  We have been so impressed by this amazing camp just 2 miles from our house.  If you have never been there you should definitely check them out.  We are blessed to know several of the staff, they are wonderful people and we would HIGHLY recommend any of their camping programs.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Many hands do make light work! We froze umpteen bags of blueberries, and corn.  I also tried my hand at canning pickles, and blackberry freezer jam.  My mom and Grama came and helped us earlier this summer to make strawberry freezer jam.  I plan to do peaches and applesauce yet too.  Then we should be all set, for a while I guess, or maybe not, these kids can eat!  I shudder to think of our grocery bill in a few short years!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

80 years...

This is my awesome Grama, "Grama Great" as the kids call her.  She just turned 80!  Today we celebrated with an open house in her honor.  More than 100 people came out to wish her a happy birthday!  She has such a servants heart, and I miss her like crazy!  Before we moved, she would come over one day every week and help with the younger kids so I could do school uninterrupted, help with the laundry, sort the socks, (there were only like 3 socks without matches when Grama was on duty! I have a whole basket full!)  It was her joy to find those lonely socks and get them back together!  Easton fell in love with her then, she would feed him his lunch and he loved it!  She always came with candy bags for them, and left doing "last tag" (where she would hit them and run!)  Yes, we still get to see her, and she still takes care of the kids every once in a great while, but boy do I miss living close by!  She volunteers at LOVE INC. and teaches 2 year old Sunday school at her church!  She is amazing at 80 and we love her to pieces!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

God's garage sale...

I just need to share the amazing event that occurred this week.  I am calling it God's garage sale, because quite frankly, I have done garage sales and I kid you not, I have gone into debt paying for my add in the paper and not even made enough to cover the add!  BUT GOD...

Psalm 66:5 Come and see what God has done,
       how awesome his works in man's behalf!

and yes that is a sneak peek of our baby girl, and the words on the bottom say "Bring our friend home!!"  How cute is that?

This is Brendan, (Lee's son,) and below is Abigal, (Charity's daughter) and Lexi Beth (Lee's daughter) or "Lexi Death" as Anaya calls her.  Missing are Max (Charity's son,) and Gabi (Lee's daughter) who sold lemonade and cookies.  These kids were amazing, they made $50.00 for Luisa through their sales alone!!! 

This is Abigal our big helper, holding her cousin, baby Ryan, he is the sweetest little thing and I am in LOVE with him.  Truly, I cannot keep my hands and lips off of the poor thing, but he still smiles with every part of his body when I talk to him, so I think he likes me too!!
My God given gift in human form friend Lee (on the left below) decided to hold a garage sale and give the proceeds to us for our adoption of Luisa.  She posted about it on facebook about 2 weeks ago, and asked if anyone else wanted to bring things to donate.  You would not believe the response we had.  It was amazing the amount of stuff that was dropped of, many really nice things people parted with in order to help us bring our daughter home.  Then there was my friend Charity(on the right), who came early and helped set up, and sell both days!  We could not have done it without her!  I wish I had a picture of Karen (Lee and Charity's mother in law love) who graciously allowed us to use her garage and helped so much, and Laurie who came to help set up, and ALL of the amazing friends who contributed so much to our cause.  I was brought to tears several times because of the generosity of our friends and complete strangers.  We were able to have many great conversations, tears and hugs with complete strangers about adoption and faith, we were all touched by this sale!
Would you believe that God gave us just shy of $2,700.00!!!!  I seriously was crying the first day when I ran some of the money inside because our box was overflowing and realized we may make $1,000.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that we could make that much.  EVER. at a garage sale.  Then a mere 2 hours later we closed up shop and I counted the money, I had the shock of my life when I found several $100 bills that were not in there before, and I knew we didn't have any 'big ticket' items.  We priced to sell the mass quantities and it worked!  So, I know that someone gave us a VERY large donation, however no one will "fess up"  so: to whom it may concern..."Thank you, you are truly helping to save a life and we are incredibly grateful!"  We want to thank ALL of you who had a part, no matter how big or small.  Our next fee is now covered and we are so blessed by the way God's people have reached out and helped us to pay the "ransom" for our daughter!  Thanks so much for loving us in this way!
"1 John 3:18...let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."