Saturday, November 21, 2015

National Adoption Day

Every November 21st is National Adoption Day!

Here are a few things you can do to celebrate today.

1.) If you know of anyone involved with adoption (whether that be an adoptee, adopted family, or a birth parent), then give them a good word of support today or say a prayer for them. Tell them you are happy to celebrate National Adoption Day with them. Hint hint: we love prayers and encouragement. But seriously, reach out to anyone you know!

2.) If you have any desire to learn more about adoption or extra free time, then we encourage you to educate yourselves about adoption. Today is a great day to start to do so. Check out our bookshelf:

3.) Get out your favorite drink, whether that be wine or hot chocolate, and toast with your family to the beautiful reality of adoption and muse the mystery of adoption in your own life. While not the same as being adopted by a family, we are all adopted children of God (cf. Romans 8: 23). It is interesting to ponder what this may mean for how we think about adoption and how we should teach our children about adoption. Perhaps we will explore this theme in the future in a later piece.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fundraising and Savings Update #4 Plus "Two Coins for You"

Fundraising and Savings Update #4

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We just wanted to update you about how the fundraising and savings are going. Through your support and working two jobs now (Dan started working full-time at the end of August while still writing his dissertation), the Lord has really blessed us with a miracle of provision. Before we offer a reflection on all of this, we will just cut to the chase: we currently have raised $11,252 from donations and we have saved a total of $7,296 towards the adoption for a grand total of $18,548!!! Therefore, we are in great shape for the adoption and just in time for some of the biggest expenses coming up (placement agency fees of $4,500 plus when we get matched we will pay birth parent expenses that could be anywhere from $0-$3,000 or more [see our adoption costs page for more details]).

Now, we just want to reflect upon this blessing. We are so humbled by your generosity. With any gift or donation of any size, we realize we are on the receiving end of a sacrifice to make this gift possible. This naturally reminded us of today's Gospel passage of the widow from Mark 12: 38-44. In this passage, we read the following:

"Jesus sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
'Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.'"

Now, as we heard this, we couldn't help but think about our generous benefactors and feel like we are on the receiving end of that widow's generosity, as we know many of you who gave are in financially tight places, like the widow. You may have not given your last two coins, but we know you have sacrificed in the spirit of the Gospel and we are humbled. You are making possible this beautiful adoption.

We think the best way we can re-pay you is to make sacrifices, in turn, like you and the widow. We are working hard at saving all we can for the adoption, but more importantly we are trying to cultivate in our hearts a self-sacrificial love for the child who will be placed in our arms, for the birth parents, and for everyone. It starts with prayer, offering up inconveniences and sufferings to the Lord, and just trying to do loving acts of kindness, when we can, to those around us - even when this is difficult.

So, inspired by your generosity and the Gospel, we would like to continue this path of sacrifice by simply loving you with what little we have this week - "two little coins" of prayer. If you dear benefactors, or anyone who reads this blog, are in need of a prayer, then please feel free to email us using the "contact us" tab and send us your intentions. We will write your intention down in a private journal and keep you in our daily prayers (coin #1) as well as offer up our difficulties along the road of adoption for you (coin #2).

widows-mite.jpg (300×240)

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Next Steps after the Home Study

So now what happens after the home study?

Now we put a basket on our doorstep and wait for the stork to drop off the baby, haha :) Nope - there is still more to do! But we really have come quite a long way, and are so grateful for everyone's support and prayers.

Here's our to-do list going forward:

1. Catch our breath and take a breather for a week or two.

2. Apply to St. Joseph Adoption Ministry (Kansas City, KS), which will be our matching & placement agency, meaning that they are the ones who will connect us with potential adoption situations and once (God willing) one works out, they will handle the legal paperwork to make us the adoptive parents of our new son or daughter. The application process for them is nowhere near as long as the home study, since they receive the full home study report from our Maryland agency. But we do need to do some extra things like get a letter of reference from our pastor, attend an infant CPR course, etc.

3. Create our "profile book" which is a picture + text book about us, what life is like in our family, where we live, what we like to do, etc., that will be shown to birth parents considering an adoption plan for their child, so they can see if they want to choose us. Basically the most important crafty project we've ever done!! Is there a patron saint of really, really important crafts? Hmm.... Christ worked in a woodshop so . . .Christ send us your craftiness!

4. Once we're accepted by St. Joseph's and have our books ready to go (multiple copies to send multiple places - our future baby could be born in one of a number of states), then we're in the waiting pool, ready to wait and pray that God would send us the child he has chosen for us. We will be officially a Waiting Family, although we have been waiting for a child for quite some time! So we think this a misnomer.

We will keep you posted! Again THANK YOU for supporting us throughout this pilgrimage, cheering us on, and giving us spiritual and material support. It has been a true journey of faith, hope and love so far. Please continue to pray for us.