Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bringing Jaelynn Home

Yesterday we received our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from Chin@ to adopt our girl. We are still in shock as we were told to expect to be waiting between 90 and 120 days. Yesterday was day 46 from our Letter of Intent and day 38 from our pre-approval. God is so good in giving us this miracle. This now means that we should expect to travel in the next 10-15 weeks.

We are beyond thrilled that in just a short amount of time Jaelynn will be in our arms forever. As exciting as this is we still have one giant obstacle in front of us and that is funds. We have been humbled and blessed as we have raised such a large amount starting at zero. We are so thankful for friends and family who have helped us fundraise through yard sales, t-shirts, buying coffee,  and our spaghetti dinner. We have come such a long way but with this new exciting news we still need $4,000 fast. This is so out of my comfort zone but right now the need is urgent.

Here is how you can be a part:

We still have about 10 t-shirts left in various sizes. The shirts are $25 with shipping so leave a comment to find out if we have your size!
Pictured above is our shirts that feature John 14:18

We have lots and lots of bracelets for sale. Each bracelet is $5 and says "Bringing Jaelynn  home". The wide bracelet has it printed in white and the thin have the letters embossed. 

If you are a coffee lover head over to Just Love Coffee where a portion of your sales will benefit our adoption. 

Our last fundraiser is a puzzle where you can purchase a piece for $2 and we will write your name on the back so one day Jaelynn can see all the names of those who helped bring her home. 

All purchases and donations can be made through the paypal link on the right side of the page. Please consider how you can be a part of bringing this precious one home. In a Show Hope sponsor video Mary Beth Chapman says it best when she says. "Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to do something." How will you be a part of this beautiful story that God is writing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

God Can Do Anything, You Know....

We are now on day 33 of waiting for our LOA (letter of acceptance) from Chin@. I can not believe we are so close to meeting our sweet and sassy Jaelynn. We are raising the last of the money needed to bring her home. This has definitely been an experience in learning to trust God. When we began this adoption, we had no money saved for something like this. The biggest reason being that we never thought we would be adopting, much less adopting internationally. For our family the "call" to adopt was very specific. After our daughter returned from Chin@, the pictures of Jaelynn just captured my heart. I really can't tell you exactly why, other than to say that it was all God. My daughter took hundreds of pictures of beautiful children, but every time I saw Jaelynn's picture my heart melted and I wanted to know everything about her. What is funny to me is that the pictures she took of Jaelynn were not "good" pictures of her, don't get me wrong, she is a beautiful little girl, but the pictures that Katie took of her were not the best. Whenever Katie tried to get a picture, Jaelynn would do something goofy like drool water out of her mouth or do something funny with her eyes. Maybe this is why I fell head over heels in love with her, because I could see her silly personality and knew she would fit right in with the rest of our goofy family. The first step of filling out the application for our adoption agency was a big step, as we were actually putting action to what we were feeling called to do. It was a very vulnerable place, because even though we felt that God was in it, I thought, "What if God closes the door?". I knew I would be heart broken. Instead of doors closing, it seemed that all along the way we have received confirmation that we are in fact Jaelynn's family. It started with a complete stranger with a love for orphans and specifically a love for Jaelynn designing and purchasing approximately 150 t-shirts to help us kick off our fundraising efforts so that we could move forward and begin the home study process. Then a huge yard sale where many people from our church  donated items to sell. God has shown Himself mightily over the last several months, but tonight, two things specifically stick out in my mind. Let me give a little background. When you begin an adoption you meet a whole new world of people. When I say meet, I have not actually met most of these people in person, but through the Internet and the ministry of Show Hope. One family who I will meet in person one day after we bring our little girl home, has become so precious to me. This family has adopted a little boy who was best buddies with Jaelynn. A few weeks ago I was reading through my friends old blogs, blogs that were written before I knew who Jaelynn was. In one blog my friend describes a little girl who is friends with her son (she was in the process of adopting at the time) but does not yet have a forever family and she was heart broken to know that soon she would go to Chin@ to get her son and leave Chin@ knowing that his friend still needed a family. She was praying that God would raise up a family for this little girl. My friend wrote this blog on June 19, 2011, the exact day that my daughter, Katie, walked into a room and met her... Jaelynn. The day this blog was written, God was beginning a work in my family that I could not have ever dreamed. I am so thankful for all of those people who knew Jaelynn and prayed for her and for her family. It is humbling to know that people we don't even know have prayed for us in some way.
The second thing that is on my mind tonight is a financial need. On Saturday I was going through our mail and I opened an envelope from our mortgage company. It was a notice informing us that our house payment was going up by about $200 per month. I was so discouraged, as we are doing all we can to pay some bills off and save money for the time I will need to take off from work. Well my husband was doing some Internet searching and he saw a very part time job opening at our local high school as a study hall monitor, between 4-6 hours every week. This would take care of what we need to cover the increase in our house payment. He applied for the job online yesterday and this morning received a phone call asking for an interview and was offered the job, right on the spot. They understand that my husbands first job priority is his position as pastor at our church and they are also aware that we will be traveling to Chin@ in a few months. Sometimes I feel ashamed at my lack of faith and need to remember the words of one of my favorite verses..... "God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Ephesians 3:20 (The Message). I just love the way The Message phrases that verse!
Thank you for praying for our family. Our LOA could arrive in anywhere between the next 20 to 90 days. We are asking God to for 20 to 40 days...... He can do anything, you know.