Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's Almost Here!

Hard to believe, but our garage sale is this Friday and Saturday! And it looks like the weather will be awesome! So, so thankful for that!

So far, eleven families have donated--not just one or two items, but car loads full! Every time we think we are done, we get a call or text from someone saying they have this or that and it turns out to be boxes worth! So very thankful for each and every one of you, whether you are donated items, tables, baked goods, or time! To say thanks doesn't really begin to cover how we feel, but please just know we couldn't do this without you!

My super cool sister made us this flyer to post/send out: 

Isn't it great? It's hard to fit everything on there but just so you know, we pretty much have everything from wool socks to fishing reels to 8-track tapes to our own small purse store!

Seriously, ask us if you're looking for something in particular. We probably have it. (FYI after the garage sale because I'm paranoid I will probably take down the flyer from here, but wanted to post so people would know where the garage sale is happening!)

Once again, I'm just going to post what we need in the next couple of days:

-As always, prayer. Prayer that we remember it's not about us and everything we've done, but to give God the glory for whatever the outcome is--and to be thankful, for whatever that outcome is. Every little bit that we earn ultimately is not for us, but it's for our son/daughter somewhere on the other side of the world. 

-We may possibly need another couple of tables. It's hard to know until we actually are able to set everything out. I know we're getting a few more tomorrow, but we really just don't know! 

-If anyone is available, we probably will need a couple of people on Saturday. The weather looks like it will be really nice, plus it is our neighborhood (and another nearby neighborhood) garage sale weekend so I am thinking it might be busy. Maybe. Hopefully. We'll see. 

That's all I can think of for now. Thank you to everyone again! Hopefully we will see you sometime this weekend! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Now we can explain this #pieceofthefamily business!

Ok. As previously discussed, we need help to bring our child home from China. (By the way, cannot wait to not say "our child" and actually start using their name.) 

Many of these things I've mentioned, but here are a few more details. I'm kind of a list maker, so here is what we're doing so far:

1) Most importantly because it's most immediate, we are having a garage sale on May 1 & 2! I'm not broadcasting the whole thing online, because, you know, posting our address for the whole world to see isn't too smart. But, I can tell you, we have a lot of stuff! If anyone wants to donate still, you can drop it off and wedge it in the front door or else we will be home all next week to prepare. Things for sale include electronics (computers, TV, cables, etc.), kids items (toys, clothes), housewares (linens, frames, etc.), books, movies, clothes, and more. 

Most specifically needed: tables and a non-rainy day! If you have tables we can borrow, please let us know. And if you could pray for a nice day, we would appreciate it! Thank you everyone who has brought us things and offered to help so far, we are so grateful! We will have a couple postings locally, so you can check out more details there or ask one of us! 

2) If you happen to find the time, try googling ways people funded their adoption and you'll be amazed at the creativity! Then, if you're like me, realize you could not do even a fraction of that and feel very woe is me. To reassure yourself that you can still do some crafty things, on a whim you decide to crochet a blanket. Your friend catches you doing it and insists (INSISTS) that you make lots and she will sell them in her shop. You roll your eyes, because you never really planned on being a crocheting lady, but do it anyway because you're a tiny bit scared of her. You make a few, give her the first delivery...

Unrelated, D got a camera for graduation. 
and BAM! Within 24 hours, most of them have sold. Moral of the story: I have a new side job, and sore fingers. It's not much, but every little bit helps! 

3) #pieceofthefamily puzzle piece fundraiser (get it?):
  • We bought a 252 piece puzzle (here if you want to see the picture)
  • One piece is $20
  • When you purchase one piece (or however many), we write your name on the piece.
  • Once all the pieces are sold, we will have raised over $5000 toward our adoption! 
  • After the names are written on all the pieces, we will frame and hang it in the nursery. That way, we will be able to show our son/daughter how many people loved him/her and helped bring them home! 
  • If you're interested in this, please let us know. We haven't started selling any pieces yet, but hope to sell all 252 over the next year or so. 
4) #pieceofthefamily benefit: Honestly, I'm not really "in charge" of this one. I know I keep saying it, but all I know for sure is that it is August 15. Ladies, mark your calendars because there will be all sorts of vendors, trunk shows, etc.! August is wayyyy far away, and I'm not really focused on it yet!

Most of these things we weren't planning on doing, at all. It's really sort of crazy how God just sort of drops things in your lap! For example, I never planned to crochet, or do any sort of craft thing, at all. Now I am. And more amazingly, people are buying them! We never really had to ask people for donations for the garage sale, at all--friends and family just brought stuff or told us what they were bringing! I talked to my friend about how I didn't know how we were going to come up with the money, and she said "ok, I'm doing a fundraiser for you, and here's when it will happen." Friends, family, acquaintances--they were ready to help and we had no idea what we even needed. We still don't, most of the time. 

Both of us are just amazed, as in jaw-dropping, eyes bugged out amazed at how things are coming together. By no means do we anticipate this whole adoption thing to come so easily together, but the way we feel affirmed in our decision to adopt is indescribable thanks to our family and friends! 

Pun Intended

Get it?
We've sort of danced around the subject now for awhile, but since we've found ourselves answering this question a lot recently we thought here would be a good place to address it.

Adoption is expensive. Different types and countries cost different amounts, but our adoption to China will be around $31,000. (There are a couple things in there that are variable, such as travel and in-country expenses that we can guesstimate but can't predict an exact number.) We've been blessed financially, and both of us consciously work hard to use the gifts we've been given wisely, but we've been humbled enough to realize sometimes that isn't enough and we do need help. After looking at the timelines and praying/thinking about it the last six months or so, (and hearing from countless friends and family members who want to help), we've set our goal to raise $7500. That number will actually cover our home study ($2500) and most of our travel fees (airfare and in-country expenses).

This was not an easy decision to make, and's super awkward. We really struggled with whether or not to ask for help, how much to ask for, and how to ask. And when people ask what we need...we really don't know what to say. Some extremely wise friends, who also adopted internationally, told us that if people want to help then let them, because to turn away their help would be to turn away God's prompting in them (I paraphrased).

So, what does this mean for you? Honestly, we aren't asking you for money. We're asking that you pray with us that people will help support us in this journey--and if that means financially, great! If not, there are other ways and that's just as great! But, ultimately, we now have an answer for what our needs are.

In an effort to be completely transparent, you can find a list of the fees and such here. If you have specific questions for us, just let us know.

How do we plan to achieve this? Click here to read how.

Friday, April 3, 2015

New and Improved, for now

Many of our friends and family members have asked if there's anything new in regards to The Process. Honestly, I can tell you right now, the answer is a big, fat no. Once we switched from our original country decision to only China, things slowed down. And by slowed down, really, it was more of a screeching halt.

You see, we were going to apply to two programs simultaneously as suggested by our original agency: one to Taiwan and one to China. We would be allowed to apply to Taiwan immediately (and we were on the fast track to get our home study done by end of 2014 to submit paperwork by May 2015) and then work on the China application once we were both 29.5. (In China, married couples have to be 30 years old to adopt but you can submit application at 29.5; in Taiwan, married couples have to be 26.) By dropping Taiwan, we are now waiting until July 10 to submit our application to the Waiting Child Program (WCP) for China. We had hoped to start our home study in May/June but a few other things have come up that were unplanned, so we'll be waiting to do that too.

Clear as mud, right? 

Honestly, if we had known that things wouldn't be moving as fast as we'd planned and hoped, we probably would have kept the news to ourselves a bit longer. Since we're so anxious to get things moving, I'd imagine some of you are too (or maybe it's just the grandmas and grandpas). It is a bit depressing, since if we had kept our original plans in place we'd be done with our home study and almost ready to submit our dossier. However, then we also would have a much longer wait for a really, it's six of one/half dozen of the other.  

I digress. 

Anyway, here is our new, and improved, timeline: 

  1. May 1 & 2: Garage sale for the adoption at our house. I plan to post more about this in the next couple of days. We have many family members and friends who have dropped things off at our house, so we're excited to see how God uses this day. Please, please, please pray for good weather. If it isn't good weather, rain dates are May 8 & 9.
  2. May 16: Derek's MEES graduation at UW-Madison. (Not related to adoption process, but still just as important!)
  3. July 10: Derek's 29.5 year old birthday! There will be cake. And's the day we can submit our official application for the WCP and the Medical Conditions Checklist.  
  4. August 15: #pieceofthefamily fundraiser/benefit day, which is being thrown for us by my amazing friend Shana. We are beyond thankful and still shocked that she volunteered to do this for us, but I am excited to see what the day will bring!   
  5. Sometime in May/June/July: Derek has another work trip (length TBD) to China on the calendar, which kind of throws a wrench into when we had planned to start the home study. As long as I get another picture like this one though, I'll let it slide. 
August 2014
The gym shirt really makes it, don't you think?
I think the best analogy (at least the one I've been using) is compare it to an engagement. When you first get engaged, it's this huge announcement, lots of questions (that you probably don't know the answer to), and a bunch of plans and dates you have to set...and then it's a long wait until the next flurry of activity. In some ways, adoption is similar to that! We decide, and then wait, and then do a little bit, and then wait, and then do a lot, and then wait, and so the cycle continues. 

I say this is our new and improved timeline, and we hope that it will go according to our plan...but ultimately we need to remember "A man makes a plan in his heart, but God directs his path." (Prov.16:9)

So who knows? It may change tomorrow.