Treading Lightly

Two days ago I woke up to wonderful news.  Whitaker found his family.  One little boy who has been waiting for far too long, who was on the brink of a death sentence… his crime?  Being born with a disability.  But his sentence has been postponed.  A family has stepped up to pay his ransom and to free him from his life behind the bars of a crib.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  He moved the hearts of His Church for one sweet child… and Whitaker is now found, destined to be loved and cherished forevermore.  No longer to be called an orphan… but a beloved son.  How beautiful, how marvelous, how I couldn’t be happier for this boy.

And yet, there is a tension in my heart.  I want to be so careful not to alienate the hundreds of beautiful people who were involved in this miracle.  I had more views on my last post for Whitaker than I have ever had on any post, and that’s actually really saying something!  Over a hundred people shared him on Facebook, and who knows how many others shared.  I know phone calls were made and hearts were moved.  Over 20,000 people saw his sweet face and I alone had a dozen families request more information about him.  (I know I wasn’t the only one receiving inquiries either!)

It was such a swift and beautiful movement, with all of God’s people moving in harmony and in tune to His will.  And from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who saw that post for praying and sharing and loving Whitaker, of being a part of his miracle.  I could not be more grateful for all that was done, and yet, there is still apprehension, because I know.  I know that what I wrote three days ago for Whitaker is true now.  One is not enough, two is not enough… millions.  That’s how many orphans are desperate for homes.  Millions.

I had one precious lady email me back after Whitaker found a family and she told me that even though he was going to be going home with someone else, his story still touched them enough and now they are looking to adopt another child from his same country.  That made my day, because they really got it.  They saw Whitaker and they knew he wasn’t alone; they knew that there were hundreds and thousands of children just like him.  And they knew that we can’t just stop at one.

So to the other eleven dear and precious families who contacted me about the possibility of adopting Whitaker… rejoice with me that he is going home.  But please, I am begging you, let’s not stop here.  Can we move forward?  Can we keep looking?  Perhaps God led you to Whitaker, so that Whitaker could lead you to your own child.  Perhaps not… but isn’t it possible?  Now you know about Whitaker’s plight, the one he shares with countless other children.  Winter is coming, death sentences and life imprisonments are soon to be dealt out to hundreds of children across his country.  These children should never have to see the inside of an adult mental institution, let alone live in one.

Please take that spark of love and compassion etched into your heart over the weekend and use it to just take one more tiny step… See just one more child, pray over one more fragile soul.  Almost all of you who contacted me did so with a caveat, or a hesitation.  You weren’t sure if you could adopt Whitaker because of a specific family circumstance.  And you might be right, but guess what?  There are so many children you would be able to bring home.  Let me show you a few…

Available to Single Moms

I heard from a few of you sweet ladies, who said you would have taken Whitaker in a heartbeat if you could qualify.  Friends!  Good news!  There are so many sweet children you do qualify to adopt, who need just as much love and are in just as difficult situations.  (And equally cute I might add!)

BeauregardBeauregard: Look at those intensely adorable cheeks!!  You can see such personality in that little face, and what a joy his caregivers say that he is.  A precious gem just waiting to be found.  His needs sound fairly mild, and with all that he is able to do, he will absolutely thrive in a family.  Beauregard also has an agency grant available!

Koda: Wow, this kiddo just steal my heart.  It kills me that he hasn’t been adopted yet!  He has Cerebral Palsy, just like Jacob Koda(and they are the same age!) but his CP is so incredibly mild!  He can run and play??  Hello!  That’s amazing!  His needs are easy and he looks so full of life and ready for someone to love, just like our son did in his referral picture.  This kiddo will be a huge, huge blessing to his Momma one day!

DarrenDarren: This cuddle bug is also in Eastern Europe like Whitaker, and just like Whitaker, he will spend his life staring through the bars of a crib with little affection or stimulation, no therapy and no chance for anything else..  In addition to that, Darren is in serious need of medical attention.  He has hydrocephalus, which will likely continue to worsen, leading to an excruciating and slow death.  UNLESS he is adopted!  This condition is so medically treatable, if only he had a family coming for him!

IsabelleIsabelle: Gorgeous, just gorgeous.  She has a grant of over $4,000 (and growing!)  What a beautiful child and what an amazing addition she would make for any family.  This girlie is also in Eastern Europe, but she is getting therapy and learning new skills!  This is remarkable and will make her transition to family life so much easier.  Oh I hope she finds a Mommy, she is just too precious to stay hidden away in an institution forever!

Already Paid for Adoptions

I had one or two families specifically say that they had never considered international adoption before just because of the sheer cost.  I will say that we had pretty much none of what we needed to pay our children’s ransom when we started our adoption process last year.  But God provided every last penny.  That’s a huge leap of faith, and I understand feeling uncomfortable taking it.  But you don’t always have to…

AndruisAndruis: With a grant fund of over $21,000 his adoption is all but fully funded.  This precious boy has waited so long.  What an amazing gift to find him a family for his birthday this New Years!  Like so many of these children, his delays seem to be largely due to a lack of love and care.  He will truly blossom in a family.

Vaughn: What a handsome young man!  Vaughn is also the same age as our Jacob, and what a magical age to adopt this is!  He Vaughnis reported to be a very healthy child, and his file is with a wonderful agency in a great program to adopt from.  He has nearly $17,000 in his grant all ready to go toward the cost of his adoption.  Likely this is not fully funded, but close enough that money will be no issue, especially with the fan club he has behind him!

ClariceClarice: Oh this lovely girl breaks my heart!  She is such a dear, lovely girl.  We know people who have met her and have so much information on her development and personality.  She has over $15,000 in her grant, very close to being fully funded, and she has been listed for such a long time!  Just like our daughter, she’s got a great following and it’s likely that the rest of her adoption will be swiftly covered if a family steps up.  Clarice is running out of time, her family must file paperwork before next summer or she will be in a mental institution for the rest of her life.

Mild Medical Needs

I had two lovely families ask about adopting Whitaker, but they weren’t sure if they could due to his medical needs.  Both families felt led toward international missions where they would have low access to quality medical care.  What a wonderful calling!  So many of the kiddos we advocate for do need that access, but certainly not all of them.  Adoption and missions do not have to be mutually exclusive callings!

JamisonJamison: Take this boy for example.  His only needs?  Mild mental delay and a speech delay.  Really!  That’s it!  So he’ll need some occupational and speech therapy, but there is absolutely no reason a family could not adopt him and also move overseas for mission work later down the road.  Not to mention he just has the most charming smile.  What a handsome young man and what a gift he would be to the family who steps up!

Lana-Photo-5-May-2013-224x300Lana: This lovely lady has Down syndrome.  Otherwise she seems to be quite bright and healthy.  A family would be looking at therapy to help her reach her full potential, but other than that her needs are so mild and manageable!  She loves pink, loves games, loves helping and being a part of activities… she is just a sweet girl longing to be loved and to be a part of a family.  Oh how she would thrive if she was adopted!

Alexandra-218x300Alexandra: The only real medical need she has is her HIV+ status.  This is not contactable in a family setting and is incredibly easy to manage!  Children with this diagnosis have potential to live totally normal lives with the medication that is now available.  There are so many deserving children with nothing but this diagnosis who would be such a delight to any family.  Most contract the disease at birth from their mothers; they are otherwise totally typical kids!  HIV is truly a special need that almost any adoptive family can easily manage.  If you don’t know much about it, here’s a great place to start.

Available to Large Families

A few of you inquired whether or not Whitaker was available to large families, and I was very happy to report that yes he was!  So many large families and families with lots of little ones, have adopted internationally.  Here are some other sweeties for whom family size is also not a an issue.

 

ilianaIlliana: Oh my goodness, isn’t she a doll!?  Absolutely beautiful!  Can you believe that this dear girl has spent most of her life in an adult mental institution?  And she is doing, so so well considering!  She is independent in almost all self care tasks, she demonstrates attachment and emotionally healthy responses, she is so bright!  This girl would just thrive in a family, and she would probably love some siblings to dote on!  She needs to be adopted soon, before she ages out!

ClydeClyde: A bit of a blurry picture, but you can tell he is precious.  Clyde is so young, still just a baby!  He will benefit greatly from early intervention that many of these children are not blessed to have.  I remember just a year ago when tiny babies like Clyde were scooped up in a heartbeat.  But adoptions have slowed greatly, and now they wait and wait.  I hope he doesn’t have to wait.  I hope his Mommy and Daddy see him while he’s still tiny!

DagmarDagmar: Not nearly as tiny, but still just as in need of a family.  Dagmar is in our children’s country.  That means that in just a few short months he will become unavaialable for international adoption.  He’ll age out of the system and be stuck in a mental institution for the rest of his life.  Friends his need is urgent!  He doesn’t have long.  A family must file paperwork for him before January!  He has over an $8,000 grant!  Please, someone see how worthy his life is of saving!

 

Friends… I could go on and on and on with countless categories and thousands of children who you would probably qualify to adopt.  If you don’t meet the international income requirements, have you ever considered domestic adoption?  You can adopt from foster care without being a foster parent.

There are many, many little ones waiting for a family literally right in your own backyard.  Their adoptions are virtually free and there is no set income requirement.  I have researched almost every possible type of adoption, and when I hear someone say “I’d love to adopt but…” their reasons are usually not quite valid!  If you don’t think you’d qualify to adopt, but you really want to find out contact me.  Seriously, I can at least point you in the right direction and I’d love to help.

And also remember, finding families for waiting children is important, but praying and assisting families who are adopting is just as important!  If you love Whitaker please hop on over to his family’s blog and send some prayers and encouragement their way.  Thank you!!  Love to you all in Christ…

The Short List

I’ve written about a lot of the hard stuff in adoption… but there is one hardship that outweighs all others: not being able to adopt more.  I will never really “get over” those children we left behind, the ones I saw and held and played with.  The children I ached for who perhaps have no one else in the world who aches over them… some faces are etched into my memory so distinctly they may never leave.  Others are a faint whisper… I can’t see their faces anymore, but I remember their precious little lives.  Dozens upon dozens of little lives that we encountered just hidden away, treasures never to be discovered.  Knowing that only the most blessed few will ever see the outside of those walls or feel a mother’s embrace… the weight of it haunts me.

This post is long overdue.  I was an advocate first before an adoptive mama and I never intended to stop advocating, but I have.  Three months have gone by and I have done little or nothing to shout for the children we left behind.  Honestly, my emotional tank has been running on less than empty, and advocating is emotionally exhausting work.  Work that I just haven’t had the energy for.  But while I sit here feeling tired and empty… there are children all over the world who are in desperate, life and death situations.  There are children who literally live a life of nothingness and children who endure unending loneliness and emptiness that I could never fathom.  And they deserve more from me.

I haven’t done “enough” simply because I’ve adopted or because I’ve raised incredible amounts of money or because I’ve been a part of giving visibility to children so they can come home.  I don’t think I’ll ever look at the numbers and say, “Well, my part’s all done now. Time for something new.”  It’s not just a duty, this caring for orphans, it’s a love of mine.  It’s a passion, a passion born out of a knowledge that I can’t unknow out of pictures in my mind that I can’t unsee.  And with that being said, I am starting my advocacy efforts anew, and I’m going to do it by introducing you to my short list.

We brought home two children from Ukraine this year, for that I am eternally grateful.  But two is not enough.  I would have brought home a dozen if they had let me.  Before we started the process we spent countless hours looking at the waiting children around the world who needed families.  We narrowed down that list several times… but how can you possibly choose?  You really can’t… not any more than you can choose the children who are born to you.

And yet, here I am stuck with this list of children in my head who I loved and wanted desperately to save.  Children I pleaded with God to make mine and He told me “No”, for reasons I may never understand other than that He had these two in mind instead.  He knows what is best and we don’t.  There is no point at all in pondering the whys, but still… my short list didn’t just disappear with our successful adoptions.  It’s still there, haunting me.  And now that we’ve traveled and met more precious little ones… the list is a bit longer, and likely it will keep growing.

I need to share this list with you, they are the children of my heart, the children I so desperately want to love and hold and never will.  But maybe, just maybe, someone will.  There is a family out there for each of these precious children.  If only we can help them find their little ones, the little ones they may not even know exist.  And that’s what advocacy is about, finding families.  So that each of these can know the love and joy of a family.  I want to give these children the same chance as my Hope and Jacob have.  You already know my dear ones well, so now I am going to introduce you to my short list… the little ones I hold close to my heart but that you may not know…

I’m going to start with Whitaker.  This is the first picture I ever saw of him.

whitaker

 

I was drawn to him immediately, and no wonder.  With those gorgeous blue eyes and that perfectly adorable face.  He’s about the same age as our Evangeline, so every time I’d see him I would just see her lying there alone.  He also has Cerebral Palsy, a special need we had always felt drawn to.  Everything about him cried out to me.  It was always hard to keep scrolling through the pictures once I got to Whitaker because… all I wanted was to linger on those sweet little cheeks.

He has been listed for years now.  And he is no longer a tiny baby.  In fact, he just turned four years old.

whitaker 2

Dear friends… four is not a happy birthday for these little ones.  This is the age where orphanages transfer children like Whitaker to adult mental institutions to live out the rest of their lives, or more likely, to die.  Between neglect, abuse and starvation, well over 90% of these precious ones die within a year of transfer.  From what I know of where he is going (a particularly bad institution), he will not make it – and if he does, he will be living a life of agony.  Can you imagine the sentence that has been placed on this fragile, innocent child?  Can our comfortable, blessed lives take such a truth?  Or will the shock of it cause us to feel  nothing, to let this reality bounce off of our backs?

Will we mimic our Lord and Savior, and accept the burden of this child’s fate as our own?  Will we fight it, or will we return it to him so that he must carry it himself?  My friends, we are adults.  We are wealthy, privileged, blessed and loved.  Our cups are overflowing; together we can shoulder his burden and it will do nothing more than benefit our own souls, while perhaps causing mild discomfort to our temporal lives.  This is nothing!  But if we look away, if we give this burden back to this dear child… it will break him.  It is too much for him.  But for us?  For our Lord who goes before us?  This is nothing.  It’s time to bring him home.

His orphanage director will not transfer Whitaker if there is a family in process to adopt him.  Transfers happen in the winter, so we are looking at one, two months at the most, to find his family.  Once a family commits, he will be given more time to stay at his baby house while the adoption is completed.  This is his only hope.  He needs a family now.  His adoption is going to be almost fully paid for.  Money will not be an obstacle for the family who steps up.  If you are interested in prayerfully considering this boy as your son, what you need to know is listed below.  Otherwise, please take a tiny piece of this child’s burden and share him with those you know.  Email, Facebook, print this out and share it with your Church tomorrow, call your friends and family.  Be the voice he doesn’t have.

For more information on advocating for or adopting sweet Whitaker, please contact me by email or on Facebook.  I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

***UPDATE!! WHITAKER HAS A COMMITTED FAMILY!  THANK YOU!!***

For Prospective Families:

  • More information about Whitaker can be found HERE
  • His country requires parents to be married
  • You must be able to meet the minimum income requirements for international adoption (assets can be included)
  • Total expenses average about $25,000 for his adoption
  • He has a large grant, that is growing thanks to a generous donor/advocate.  He will be nearly fully funded by the time a family travels for him. Money will be no concern for the family who moves forward.
  • Adoption will take about seven months to complete
  • Time in-country averages about six weeks.  Families can opt for multiple (shorter) trips
  • There is an option for only one parent to travel if it is impossible for both to leave due to work constraints

The Verdict is In….

Just a few short weeks ago we met a little boy who captured our hearts forever.  This morning we sat before a judge and those whom the government has charged with his protection and care and asked that we be made his parents.  After days of feeling sick with anxiety over this milestone it came and went with little fuss or difficulty.

After less than an hour of discussion and deliberation the judge read us our verdict.  I’ll paraphrase for you…

He’s handsome…

IMG_0349

He’s determined…

IMG_0818

He loves to play and have fun…

IMG_0336

He is all boy…

IMG_0843

He’s compassionate and loving…

IMG_0035

He’s resilient and strong…

IMG_0048

Most important of all… he is our son.

A Hug for MamaPraising God today for his tender mercies, that he would grant all five us the desires of our hearts.  The desire of Jake and I to grow our family through the redemption of adoption, the desire of Evangeline and Stephen to have a new brother and the desire of Juri to be loved and cherished no matter what, for the rest of forever.  Thank you Lord for this great thing you have done!

We Have a Court Date!!

Woohoo!! Good news all around today!  First I woke up to see that our grant fund had jumped about $300 overnight!  We are now only $123.00 away from meeting our matching grant that we just started yesterday.  I am so unbelievebly blown away by the generosity and love from all of you!  Thank you thank you thank you for loving on us and our new kiddos!

More good news, we have a court date for Juri!  Monday the 23rd, God willing, he will be officially made our son!  I am beyond excited and thrilled.  The thought of leaving Janna is hard, but I know she’s in the hands of angels while we are gone and we need to get this process finished so we can take her out of there for good.  Not to mention I’ve been really missing my sweet boy.  It’s so hard to have my babies in different places!  Can’t wait till our big family is all together for good.

As far as our visit today, Janna had her worst day yet.  So few smiles, and even fewer giggles.  She was just staring the whole time, and she was vocalizing again, which she never does with us anymore.  It was hard.  Praying that tomorrow’s visit will be back to normal again.  We probably have about four more visits and then it’s off to Juri’s region for court!

After court there is a ten day waiting period where we are legally his parents but we cannot yet take custody.  This is so that if the prosecutor or anyone else wants to contest the judge’s ruling on the matter they have time to file paperwork for that.  Usually that doesn’t happen, but it is a mandatory time frame we have to go by regardless.  During his ten day wait we will need to come back here to go to court for Janna, so we will keep busy for sure!

Thank you again everyone so much!  Now that we aren’t in limbo land anymore just waiting for things to happen, I feel much more energized and ready to tackle the rest of this process.  We are really close to meeting our matching grant and then I can write the super fun post about Janna’s new name!!  Click here to read about our matching grant and to learn how you can help!

Six Weeks is a Long Time

Six weeks is a long time, and I have been hearing that a lot lately, usually closely followed by “What will you be doing all that time?”  Haha… well as six weeks is long, so is the explanation to that question!  So instead of answering everyone individually here is a quick play-by-play of how our time in Ukraine will be spent.  But do remember, this is just our very best estimate of what it will look like.  The adoption process is very fluid in Ukraine and everyone’s process and timeline looks a little bit different.

Days 1-4: Arrive in the country’s capital and head to our first DAP appointment to get our first referral.  It takes a couple of days for all the paperwork to be complete.

Days 5-9: Travel to the first child’s region (region 1) to meet our child, be there 3-4 days to accept their referral.

Days 10-12: Train ride back to the capital to pick up second referral, be there about 2 days.

Days 13-20: Travel to our second child’s region, (region 2), be there for about a week to visit and accept their referral.

Days 21-24: Travel back to region 1 to have court, be there a few days.

Days 25-32: Travel back to region 2, have court, be there about a week.

(A quick note on court.  We have to go to court for a judge to determine that we can adopt the children.  After court there is a 10 day waiting period before our adoption becomes final and we can take custody of the children.  So, that’s why we have another week or so of just visiting before the paper chasing starts!)

Days 33-36: Travel back to region 1 and do paperchasing for a few days.

Days 37-40: Leave that region and go back to region 2, do the paperchasing there.

Days 40-43: Take custody of children in both regions (which involves more back and forth if you hadn’t guessed!)

Days 44-47: Travel back to the capital for medicals, Embassy paperwork, visas, etc…

Day 48: Fly home!

Now that works out to an estimate of about seven weeks, but you get the idea.  Remember you have to take everything I say with a grain or two of salt because these are just my best estimates, and have absolutely no bearing on what might actually happen when we get there.  I’ve never done this before!  And no one’s process is like another’s.  Although we all have to have these elements in there somewhere, when those things will happen are totally on the timeline of the government officials we will be working with.  We also have two local holidays in June that may or may not cause mild delays.  We shall see!  Thank you for following our journey, we are so excited to share it with you!!

If this is a dream…

I don’t want to wake up!!  We finally received our travel dates on Monday.  HOORAY!!!!!!  I would have posted sooner, but life has been a whirlwind since then!  We leave in less than two weeks, on Memorial Day!  We are so incredibly excited and busy and nervous and happy!  I can’t believe that the day is finally arriving, after waiting so very long.  This isn’t a dream, but last night I did have a memorable one!  I dreamed we saw our sweet son.

We went to his orphanage to go pick him up and he was so excited to meet us.  He loved everyone, including his new little brother and sister.  It was just lovely!  We were talking a perfect mix of Russian and English.  Apparently, he knew exactly all the phrases in English that I didn’t know in Russian, so we were able to communicate flawlessly!  I know this is (quite literally) all a dream… but it was lovely nonetheless.

And then our fairy tale meeting was abruptly interrupted by some kind of war going on (hmm… I wonder where my mind got that idea from).  I bring it up, though, because it leads to a really cool part.  So in all the chaos, eventually Jake and our other two kiddos where taken onto a submarine and I was knocked unconscious.  When I woke up they were gone and Juri was being held by a girl whose father was from the opposing army.  She looked about 12 or 13 and she was saying terrible things to him about how she was his mother now and how we would never love him.

I went right over there and took him out of her arms and told him over and over “Я твоя́ ма́ма.”  He relaxed into my arms, feeling completely safe, and there he stayed the rest of the dream as we went off to find the rest of the family :)  It was all so nice, and it made me even more anxious to hold my son.  I miss him so much and I haven’t even met him yet!  There are lots of things to be done before we go, so I will try to update a little before take-off, but hopefully not too many posts from now we will be across the Atlantic!

Adoption Q&A

Hey everyone!  Wow!  Thank you SO much for the overwhelming flood of support and love we received yesterday after announcing our adoption!  We really cannot be more thrilled to bring this boy into our family and sharing our joy with you has been a much needed blessing!  We have only just started the process, but we are already knee deep in paperwork and weary!  With all the transition this summer, adding an adoption to the mix is quite a lot to bite off, but we want to get to our boy as soon as possible, so here we are!  We got some great questions yesterday about our sweet boy and the adoption, so I put together a little Q&A for you!

Juri in the Ball Pit

 

Where is Juri?

Juri is in Eastern Europe.  We cannot reveal his country of residence in order to protect his privacy.

Is Juri his real name?

No.  Juri is an alias that was used to advocate for him.  It is the name that his many fans know him by, so we will be using it for now until the adoption is completed.  We cannot reveal his birth name to protect his privacy.  If you are wondering how Juri is pronounced, we say it “Yur-ee”.

How old is Juri?  

He will be turning six in November!

How did you find him?  

As most of you know, I have been advocating with an organization called Reece’s Rainbow for quite some time.  He was listed on their website, and he really stood out to Jake, so we prayed about it and God opened the doors for us to pursue his adoption.  Reece’s Rainbow has also set up a Family Sponsorship Page for our adoption.  You can see that here: Juri for the Mueller Family 

Does he have any special needs?  

Yes.  Juri has mild Cerebral Palsy.  It affects only his legs, and makes it very difficult for him to walk.  The last update we have on him is that he does not have much motion in his legs at all and that he is learning how to walk with a walker.  We are hopeful that with braces and regular therapy he will eventually be able to walk on his own!  Also, because he is an older child who has spent his entire life in an orphanage, there will be some delays and emotional trauma associated with that.  We feel very privileged to have the opportunity to walk him through these challenges and help him reach his full potential.

Do you have more pictures?

Yes!  We have LOTS of pictures AND a video!  But I am not going to give them to you all right away.  We have to make them last a while before I get new ones, so you will just have to be on the look out for more cuteness!

When will he come home?  

Adoptions from Juri’s country take about 5-8 months from start to finish.  We are praying that he will be home in time for Easter.  We could be travelling as soon as January or as late as March.  It depends on how fast we get all of our paperwork in and how long it takes it all to be processed and approved.

How will adopting an older child affect your younger children?

Of course, we cannot know for certain how adding Juri will affect our family dynamics.  As with any addition to a family, you just don’t know what your new normal will be!  We have done a lot of reading and learning about this specifically, and we believe that Juri will be a  blessing to our whole family, Evangeline and Stephen especially.  I just read a blog post the other day that absolutely sums up my thoughts and what I have witnessed over the years in adoptions like ours.  It’s long but I encourage everyone to take a look; it’s very eye opening!  Read it here: How Adoption Effects Bio Children

How much will it cost?  

Our adoption will cost approximately $25,000.  This includes six weeks of travel, homestudy costs, facilitation fees, medicals, etc.

How will you pay for the adoption?  

That is a great question!  The honest answer is, we don’t know.  The other honest answer is, we trust that God will provide.  If He wants to place Juri in our family, He will get us there one way or the other.  We don’t have the kind of money an international adoption costs.  Even just the (relatively) small upfront costs we have already paid have been a stretch for our family financially.  We definitely have the money to care for him once he is home, but shelling out 25k in a matter of 5 to 8 months?  Very few families I know can do that out of pocket and there are SO many children needing a good home.

So what’s the solution?  Well, we have already been blessed with Juri’s Reece’s Rainbow grant fund.  This is the fund that was held for him before he found a family.  It has almost $2000 in it that we will be able to use toward the costs at the end of our adoption.  We will be as frugal as we possibly can from now until Juri is home so we can put as much of our own money into this process as possible.  But the reality is, we are still looking at $20,000 (give or take) that we need to get him home that we just do not have yet and do not know where it is going to come from.

We will be putting together some fundraisers in the coming months for Juri’s adoption, please stay updated and participate as you can!  We don’t have any put together yet, but donations can be made at any time to our family’s Reece’s Rainbow Grant Fund.  Gifts made to Reece’s Rainbow are tax deductible and 100% of the money will be given to our family to use on adoption expenses when we travel.  Tomorrow I will put together a totally separate Q&A post on fundraising for you all.  So if you have other questions about this very necessary aspect of our adoption, feel free to ask!

Why not adopt out of foster care?

Because our son is not in foster care, he is in Eastern Europe!  To us, every orphan needs a loving family.  Our decision wasn’t about where we wanted to adopt from, it was about who is our son and where is he so we can go get him?  In the last several months we have been doing a lot of praying and, trust me, lots of looking on databases of children waiting for families (from the U.S. and all over the world).  We considered taking blind referrals and every other which way you could imagine going about an adoption.

I can’t explain it other than it has become very evident to us in the last few months that Juri is our son.  God is opening the doors.  So we are going to go get him!  Yes, foster care would be so much cheaper and easier for many reasons, but if we adopted from foster care we would not be able to adopt Juri.  We are not opposed to foster care, in fact, we would love to go that route one day!  But for today we are being called to this little boy half way across the world.  We are not counting the cost, because he is more than worth all of it!

Thank you all for taking this journey with us!  If you want to stay updated you can subscribe to our blog using the handy button on the right hand side (just above “Reader’s Favorites” and just under Stephen’s adorable newborn picture that sorely needs to be updated!)

%d bloggers like this: