We were happy to have our last home study visit with our social worker on Saturday. Now to the next step of the process... sending our dossier to Ethiopia! We are now free to apply for adoption grants & interest-free loans as well. Yay!
As we near the end of our home study process (only one visit left!), we are getting to the waiting part of the journey. In the next month or so, we hope to send our documents to Ethiopia. And when that happens, we will wait for a referral. We have no idea how long that will take. As we wait (and pray for this little one!!), we will be applying for as many grants as we can to help offset the costs of adopting. But we know God has called us to this, and He will provide.
And so, today is the grand opening of my Etsy shop! This is just a little way of doing what I enjoy and trying to raise money for our adoption at the same time. And so, all proceeds from this little shop will go directly to fund our adoption. Thanks for passing the word along. Maybe you will find some sweet Christmas gifts in the shop! Come on in and browse...
We've got rustic and upcycled...
We've got encouragement...
"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13
We've got vintage Christmas...
And we've got baby...
There's more to come, so I hope you'll stop by 4onemore on Etsy and share the news... that every dollar spent helps bring a little one home from Ethiopia!
It's Monday again, which always has me curious as to the newest family over at Give1Save1. Head on over there to bless the Hatfield family this week as they bring 2 kids home from Africa.
A friend shared this Adoption Link Up at the Satisfaction Through Christ blog. It looks like a great way to be encouraged and to learn more about the adoption process through other families that are on this journey too.
And finally, just wanted to say that our home study visit on Saturday went well. We have two more this month, and then we're done with that part of the process! Next step: Dossier to Ethiopia!! Moving right along!
It's a brand new week... there's a new family over at Give1Save1 for you to encourage with $1 (or more!). Make sure you watch their video ~ very fun!
I loved the video's opening statement:
"Adoption is the gospel with flesh & blood." So true. Such a visual. Starting out the week with this truth brings great thankfulness and hope!
"In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:4-6
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32
what is this saturday?
We're finally ready to have our first home study visit! Most of our paperwork is complete. Just waiting on our background checks from Canada to come in. When our home study is complete (6-10 weeks?), we can send our dossier to Ethiopia. During that waiting time, we hope to begin applying for grants and an interest-free loan. So pray that the visit on Saturday will go well. Thanks!
We haven't had much to say about the process as of late... because we're drowning in paperwork! We essentially have 2 sets to complete.
The first set goes to our local agency so we can begin our home study. The second set will need to be notarized and certified in Harrisburg before it can be sent to Ethiopia. This is called the dossier (dos-ee-ey). Oh yeah. Learning new words and new things everyday with this process.
Remember Give1Save1 that we have been telling you about? If you wonder if $1 a week can make a difference, you will want to check out this post with family updates. It's great!
Yes, we have written our first big check for this adoption process. We contracted with an agency in Texas that has an Ethiopia program. Soon we will write another check for our home study, which will be done by a local agency. And so it begins.
We are thankful that God has placed adoption on our hearts. And we are thankful for the ways He is paying for it. Our parents' yard sale last month. Several random gifts from friends. Change from sippy cups. Sales from our JustLove Coffee Roasters storefront. And to let you know where we are in the process, check out the fundraising thermometer on the sidebar. As of today, we have $947.48 toward our agency fee of $4950. Can't wait to see what God will do! Thank you to all those who have given, prayed, and encouraged! You are a part of His story in the life of this little one.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
We are so thankful that God is sovereign and completely trustworthy. And so we continue to trust His leading. God has put adoption on our hearts. And so we did our part... researched and prayed and read some more... and decided to go for a Russian adoption. Those kids really need to be rescued. They have a bleak future. But as we started the process, God put situations in place that caused us to step back and slow down. What? Not Russia, Lord? Where, then?
More research into programs and agencies... more prayer... seeking His direction and peace.
We are not particular about what country we need to adopt from, but the adoption program and agency we use needs to be a good fit for our family.
So now we are waiting to hear back if we qualify for the China Special Needs program. If not that, then it looks like Ethiopia. There are many needs everywhere. Different parts of the world. Millions of orphans. We can't change the world, but we can change the world for one.
We have been able to check many things off our list as we wait: physicals, police clearances, Hague-compliant international adoption training, etc. This will help us to be able to move quicker when our exact adoption direction is clear.
Oh, and if you're filling sippy cups for us, we will print new labels when we know what country we will be adopting from.
And so, we're trusting that this path is the one God wants us on. We're believing that God will lead us to just the right little one for our family. A little girl that will be our beloved daughter and we trust that, one day, she will put her trust in Christ and become an adopted daughter of the King!
We're traveling down this adoption pathway, and many of you have asked where we are in the process. So we wanted to fill you in on the main points of this journey.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.
International Adoption 101
We applied to an adoption agency in May and are in the process of collecting documents to begin our home study. This would include FBI clearances, state criminal checks, medicals, reference letters, marriage and birth certificates, and income information. It's basically a paper chase right now and waiting for government agencies to return the clearances in a timely manner.
The next step will be a home study with a social worker to verify for authorities that we are suitable parents and are going into this adoption with our eyes wide open.
When our home study is complete, we will then gather documents for our dossier which is then sent to Russia to be translated. The Russian government will send us information on a child in their Baby Home that we can adopt. This is called a "referral". Then comes 3 trips to Russia! Trip 1 is for meeting our little one and signing our intent to adopt her. Trip 2 is for the court process. Trip 3 is for bringing her home!
Thanks to those who have encouraged our family by buying coffee from our Just Love Coffee Roasters storefront! Don't forget to pass the link along and let your friends know that for every bag of coffee purchased, our family receives $5 toward adoption expenses.
Several dozen sippy cups have also gone out throughout the State and even internationally! We thank you for your willingness and excitement to have a part in bringing our little one home to her forever family.
We are brainstorming other options for raising money. International adoption isn't cheap. But it shouldn't be. It's a perfect picture of our spiritual adoption when we were rebel orphans. Reconciling us with God the Father was costly. It required Jesus Christ to humble Himself by taking on human form so that He could live the perfect life we couldn't live. He died as a substitute for us, and in His death, He absorbed all of God's wrath that was meant for us rebels! But this does not mean that every person automatically becomes a beloved child of God. You have to trust in Christ's finished work of redemption. You cannot continue to try to achieve God's favor in your own strength. You have to admit that you need Him. You need His forgiveness. You are a rebel orphan. You need the Father to adopt you into His family. You are not automatically born into God's family at birth. What a picture! What a cost! What a love!
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end
Lover of my soul
I want to live for You
by Pat Sczebel