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.

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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.

An Adoption Update

I haven’t posted much about our current adoption journey since our announcement, but rest assured, that does not mean that nothing has been happening!

On the contrary, in the last couple months, we have completed all required home study visits, obtained all of the financial and medical documents necessary for our home study and our dossier, done psych evaluations, watched and discussed 12 hours of required adoption parent education videos, driven all over town to obtain required signatures, and e-mailed back and forth with both our home study and placing agencies more times than we could count. And now our home study is ALMOST done! Last weekend our social worker from our home study agency sent her draft of the home study to our placing agency, which then reviews it to make sure it meets their criteria and will satisfy all of China’s requirements.

This home study step is a BIG one, and it will feel like a huge milestone once it’s out of the way. Not that it will mean we’re done (or even close), but we’ll be much closer to getting our little girl! Once our home study is complete, we can get all of our documents certified and authenticated and file our I800A form, which is our request that the United States government approve us to adopt a child in China and classify her as an American citizen upon her arrival back here in the States with us – and the approval of that application is the very last document we will need for our dossier!

And while we have been working hard here in Missouri to make progress on all the requirements for our adoption, life has been moving right along for our little girl in China. In an unexpected turn of events, we learned shortly after we received our pre-approval that her orphanage had transferred her to a wonderful foster home in China that specializes in providing care for children with OI – what a blessing! She’s now able to be with people who are informed about her condition and able to help her grow and develop. It wasn’t long after her move that we saw photos of her sitting independently – something she had not been able to do prior to that point! They’re also teaching her about God and His love for His children. In the photos her foster home posts online, we’ve seen smile after heartwarming smile. We were so sad to see that she broke her femur a couple weeks ago, but fortunately her foster home has a good relationship with a nearby bone hospital, and she was able to have surgery there. We’re so glad that she’s able to spend the time until we can get to her with this wonderful group of people who are better equipped to provide care for her than most orphanages are and will truly love and care for her.

One other aspect of this adoption journey on which we’ve been working has been gathering the funds we’ll need to complete the adoption. In addition to our savings and the extra hours I’ve been working, Matt has put together a collection of recent art works for the final show at Imago Gallery and Cultural Center. All works have been discounted significantly (generally around 75%), and honestly, we’d love to sell out the show, with all proceeds going toward our adoption costs. The closing reception will be this Friday evening, June 10, starting at 6:00, and if you’re in the area, we’d love it if you’d stop by. Matt will be giving a talk, and we’d love to see you!

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