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!


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.


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!

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!