Some Thank Yous and Our Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Pre-Travel Sale

This is going to be my last blog post about money, as it relates to this adoption. Some of you might want to stop reading right now, but if you’re a friend or family member or a follower of our adoption journey, I am asking you to hear me out 🙂 After this post, I’ll be on to talking about bigger and better things – things like bonding and attachment in adoption and some ways in which you can be praying for us as we go to China to adopt FangFang – in short, the beginnings of the real work of adoption and parenting. Before I do that, though, I’m going to write about finances one more time. Money isn’t the most important thing, not even close – but it’s important, and it matters, and what we do with our money is a reflection of what truly matters to us in our hearts.

First, we want to say a huge thank you to those who have already contributed toward the costs of our bringing FangFang home. Those of you who have bought artworks or offered financial gifts have played a huge part in making it possible for us to complete her adoption. THANK YOU. Not only has your financial support been so incredibly helpful from a practical perspective, but it has been a tremendous encouragement to us. We know that you want to partner with us in doing something that reaches beyond just us and beyond just you, in bringing our precious girl home and into our family. All children deserve families; she deserves a family; and we are grateful for your part in making that a reality. We know that you are with us for real. Not just when it’s convenient and not just when it costs you nothing, you are truly with us. Thank you.

To the friends from high school who have reached out and contributed, thank you. To the friends from college who have given gifts and purchased artworks, thank you. To our moms and dads and brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles, we thank you. To friends from our church in Chicagoland and friends from our church here in Missouri, thank you. To our friends in the art community, thank you. To friends who may not fit into any of those categories, thank you. So many of you from so many different times and places in our lives have come together to make the completion of this journey a reality. We see you standing with us, and it makes such a difference to us. We know, and ChenFang will know, that even before she was here, even before she was officially a part of our family, she was loved and cared for by so many.

We are so close to being fully funded to cover the rest of the costs associated with finalizing ChenFang’s adoption. In an attempt to get us as close to that number as possible, we are offering some additional artworks for sale in Matt’s etsy shop. He uploaded a number of prints over the weekend, all of which are priced to sell – there are 6 images remaining for $40 or less. These are a couple of my favorites.

shell-print

book-brick-print

If you’re doing some Black Friday or Cyber Monday Christmas shopping this weekend, would you consider purchasing a print or a painting for someone on your list? If you’re sharing with others a list of items you might appreciate receiving as Christmas gifts this year, would you consider including one of Matt’s prints or paintings on that list? It would be tremendously helpful and a great encouragement to us.

Or of course, if you would like to make a straight financial contribution, you may do that, as well, at this link, or there are instructions in this post for mailing a check.

Thank you all for partnering with us, for helping to bring our sweet little girl home and into our family. It means the world to us.

adoption progress

Friends, we are getting close to the end of our adoption process, and it has been such an amazing journey. It was just over 9 months ago that we first saw her sweet face. We received pre-approval to adopt her – and then spent about a month wondering if we’d be able to proceed with adopting her after Matt’s heart attack. Those days were so intense. Once we finally heard that everyone involved had signed off, and we could move forward, we celebrated, and then we walked through the home study, our initial immigration approval, and pulling together all of the documents necessary for our dossier.

DTC pic

We rejoiced when we got our official Letter of Acceptance from China, and it was so satisfying to check off the boxes for the few US immigration approvals that followed. We expect to have the last of those, our Article 5, on Monday, and then we’ll really just be waiting for our Travel Approval! We’re so close I can practically taste the amazing food!

chinese-food

And along the way, we’ve learned a book’s worth of information about osteogenesis imperfecta and how to care for this sweet girl, and we’ve gotten connected to an amazing community of parents caring for kids with OI, who, I know, will continue to help us as we seek the best medical care possible for her.

We’ve also paid a huge portion of the costs involved with our adoption. Our home study is paid in full. Our US immigration fees are paid in full. All of our document notarization, certification, and authentication fees are paid in full. Our fees to the China Center of Children’s Welfare and Adoptions (CCCWA) are paid in full. All fees due to our placing agency are paid in full. We’ve gotten our entry visas for our upcoming travel to China. And we have the funds to cover a lot of the remaining costs.

That is in large part due to many of you, our friends and family. We started this process with the expectation that we would be able to fund more of this adoption ourselves out of our savings – but then when we had to pay the medical bills from Matt’s heart attack, those savings were depleted significantly. We’ve still been able to put a lot of our own savings and earnings toward the costs of adopting our precious girl, but the fact that we weren’t able to pay as much as we’d thought from our savings has made us even more grateful for the contributions so many of you have made. If you haven’t received a personal thank you note yet, it will be to you soon. We truly appreciate the support that so many of you have given us. Our matching grant goal was met within a couple short weeks, and so many of you have contributed outside of that, as well. It is obviously a practical help, but it has also been tremendously encouraging to know that we have friends and family walking with us in a real way on this journey!

Because we have already received so much support from so many of you, I almost don’t want to put this out there. But we have been honest thus far, and we want to continue to be real with you. Our hope is also that God will continue to write this story – our story, our baby girl’s story, and ultimately His story – in such a way that His faithful provision will be apparent, and we want that to be evident to those of you following along through this blog. And so, we’re going to share this – we are still in need of funds in order to cover the remaining costs to complete our little girl’s adoption.

As I wrote above, we do have a significant amount of funds on hand to cover these remaining expenses. However, the expenses are large. The following remain to be paid:

  • our international flights
  • in-country hotel, travel, and food expenses
  • in-country guide fees
  • a mandatory donation to our daughter’s orphanage
  • official adoption finalization expenses

We are well over halfway there, but we still need to come up with the remaining funds to cover those expenses. We have 2 more grant applications out there, but we don’t anticipate those fully funding us. We’ve been looking into some loan possibilities, as well, and I’ve been working some extra hours. We are pursuing every pathway available to us to to secure all the funds necessary to complete our baby girl’s adoption. And as part of that, we come before you once again and humbly ask if you would consider making a contribution toward our adoption costs? We would be honored if you would join us on this journey in that way. You can contribute via Paypal, make a tax-deductible donation through our myStory page or by sending a check to Lifesong (full instructions to ensure it is credited to our account are contained in this blog post), or purchase an artwork from Matt’s etsy site, and those funds will go straight toward these remaining adoption expenses.

situation-and-circumstance-overcome

To those who have already contributed, again, we say thank you. You have been such a blessing, support, and encouragement to us. We are more humbled and honored by your participation with us on this journey than we could ever express. And if any of you readers have been considering contributing or are considering it now, please know we would so appreciate donations in any amount. We look forward to someday being able to tell our little girl about the many friends and family who came together to make it possible for us to bring her home and adopt her into our family, to be forever our precious daughter!