Monday, October 31, 2011

Where we are and what He's up to...

Hey everyone.  Maria decided that we needed to update y'all on the status of the adoption process, so here it is. We now have a completed Home Study!  We received our notarized copies today, which means the ones that were being notarized & apostilled (a stamp that is affixed to documents by a state or federal office that denotes to a foreign country that the document is a true, official document of the United States or state government) should arrive to our adoption agency any day.  The apostilles take a little extra time to get done... it is government agencies after all!

All of our state background checks came back good, like we knew they would, and now I need to get the FBI clearance ordered. The next step is to complete the US Customs & Immigration paperwork. Basically, this paperwork is the beginning steps to ensure "Finn" will be considered a US Citizen as soon as we bring him back to the US.

The next huge step is getting all of our dossier paperwork together to get sent to the country. Once they get all of these items, and it is a laundry list of notarized documents, they will issue us a travel date to go meet our boy. We can't wait!

Continue checking out the fundraisers, and if you know of a possible way we can raise money, let us know!

~ Chris

Okay, it's Maria now. :-) So everything is going great! It took forever to get our MS background checks which slowed our home study down a bit but hopefully we can get things back on track now.

I just want to thank everyone for all of the support, prayers, and encouragement along the way. We know that this is the path that God has chosen for us and it just means so much to have y'all behind us! A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I were sitting at our kitchen table after the girls were in bed and I wanted to get inside his brain a bit about the went a little something like this:


"Uh oh, you said my name, what did I do wrong?" as he is typing on his laptop.

"Nothing!   I just want to know how you feel about the adoption."


"Well, how do you feel about it?"

".....ummm, good..."

"No, I mean how do you FEEL about it?"

"Good. I feel good about it." -not a good enough answer for me. ha.

"Chris, I mean, do you feel like it's right?"


"I mean, does it feel that this is what is meant to be?"


"Like there is no other choice? That this is all normal and that we are meant to have a child with Down syndrome and that we are to go to another country to get this child??"


"How does this feel so's so crazy?"

And he stops typing...and says, "It’s a God thing."

And I couldn't agree more.

I KNOW that God is in this. I KNOW that God has brought us to this. I KNOW that He will see this through. But when you are doing what you know God wants you to do, you become a target and the spiritual warfare begins. So it just helps to talk to Chris about the adoption, to get that little extra encouragement, to lift each other up. It helps to have our friends and family behind us.

Just the other day, Chris, the girls, and I were going to the base...I was under attack; spiritually...I was feeling that maybe I wouldn't be enough for this child. We stopped at a red light and as I prayed to God for peace, I looked out my window and there, stopped right beside us, was a van filled with individuals with special needs. Directly beside me was a woman with Down syndrome making eye contact with me through the glass and she began to wave and smile. I slapped Chris on the leg and he looked and waved back. Then he was like, "well, wave back, MARIA!" ha. I was so caught up in my "God moment" but I did wave and gave her a big smile. That precious woman warmed my heart and God used her to reassure me that this is His Will. This verse came to my mind in that moment, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13.

So please continue to pray for us...that God will continue to meet the needs of this adoption...that "Finn" will remain healthy...and please pray that he may "know" us when we arrive to meet him...that God will start planting us in his heart.

God bless you and thank you for joining us on this journey.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Least of These

Matthew 25:35-36,40   “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.   The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

That’s why.  The orphans of Eastern Europe pretty much fit into this scripture perfectly.

                In 2008, God began to whisper to my heart the needs of orphans with Down syndrome.  I remember looking up orphans in general and somehow I started searching the special needs children.  I was instantly drawn to children with Ds and my heart just ached for them.  Some of the most precious, sweetest people I’ve ever known have Ds.   During that time, Chris was in S. Korea and over the phone I shared with him that one day I would really like to pursue one of these orphans.  The timing wasn’t right and so I tucked that desire away.  Never in a million years would I ever believe that we would be going through with this…and yet, here we are.  I am so amazed at how God changed my husband’s heart for adopting one of these children.  Chris just did not feel the same calling as me.   Earlier this year, a couple that we know from church, the Colemans, started the process of adopting a child with Ds from Eastern Europe.  I was shocked that there was a couple that shared my same desire!   So, I followed their journey and was just so happy to watch God provide a loving home for a sweet little boy, very deserving of a life and a family.  So, once again, I sat down with Chris and told him my desire to adopt one of these children.  I asked that he pray for me and that I would also pray for him.  I needed him to pray that God would change my heart and remove the desire to adopt a child with Ds and that I would also pray for him, that God would give him the desire to adopt one of these children.  A few days later, Chris started searching the Reece’s Rainbow website and inquiring about a few of them.  I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when God takes care of business! 

                So I thought I would answer some questions for ya!  If you have any questions, please email me and I will be more than happy to answer them!

                So why did my hubby NOT want to adopt a child with Ds?  Not for the reasons you may think.  My husband is a very loving guy.  He loves his family like there is no tomorrow.  He is so protective and will do anything for us.  That applies to our son with Ds as well.  By adopting one of these children, Chris knows that he will witness some heartache, bullying, and cruelty from heartless people to our child and it’s really going to be difficult to remain calm and set a good Christian example to those who need it!  

                Why international adoption?  Chris and I have always felt that God has called us to adopt internationally.  Maybe one day we will do a domestic adoption as well because we truly do want a large family… but for right now, we are being obedient to God by adopting internationally.  We feel that God’s love knows no borders, that all orphans are equal and that they all deserve a chance, no matter their country.  These children with Ds are listed as “children with no promise” and that just breaks my heart.  They deserve a chance and a family to love them!  They are perfectly capable of living a great life. 

                Do we know that we could possibly be taking care of this child for the rest of our lives?  YUP!  Trust me, we have thought about this adoption from every possible angle.  It’s not something that we jumped into without thinking about the future.   Our heads are not in the clouds… However, we are very excited to get this little boy home!  We do know that there will be challenges as with any adopted child.  There will be an adjustment phase for everyone.  We will be hopeful, though, that everything will go smoothly, that he will fit into our family quickly, and we will do our best to give him a home that he deserves! 

                Why is international adoption so expensive (around $27,000)?  I wish it wasn’t.  I feel that many more families would adopt if money wasn’t a factor.   It’s very stressful seeing that huge figure but we feel confident that everything will come together!  Thank you so much for your donations!  I’m guessing that we have about 5 months or so to gather our ransom money for our little boy.   If you look under our fee breakdown tab, you can see how the fees are broken down.  Our last fundraiser for Papa Joe and the “Finn”-ishers brought in over $600 which is exactly what we need to pay for Finn’s passport!    Once we receive all of the pledges, we will update our thermometer to reflect that.

                More questions?  Email them to me!   We welcome them!

Families to pray for:

1.  The Colemans:  This is the family that just completed their adoption that I mentioned earlier..  Their little adopted son, Mikha, is having some serious heart problems requiring surgeries in the very near future.  Please pray for them!

2.  Bobby and Lura Jepson:  It has been wonderful getting to know this couple who are doing their very best to bring children into their home through adoption.  Doors open and then they close.  It’s very hard doing adoptions while living overseas so please pray for them.  They are going to be AWESOME parents!!!

Thank you again for your love and support.  Means so much to us!!