Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Funds Raised

Steve and I have been so blessed by the amount of donations and assistance we have received while fundraising for Hokey Pokey Gocke!!  God has been using our friends, families, and even people we don't know to bless us through this process.  At our recent garage sale, we had a total stranger ask if she could pray for us... it was an amazing experience!
We have currently raised $5,650 of our needed $12,000... almost half way there!! If you would like to help support our adoption, we have so many opportunities and ways to do so!!

  • Financial Donations: We have already been so blessed by the numerous donations that we have received from people! God is so good! 
  • Buy some of Mamaria's Spaghetti Sauce:  I am selling my homemade family recipe of spaghetti sauce. It is delicious if I may say so myself! I am selling them for $5 per jar or a whole batch (7 jars) for $30. 
  • Donate Air Miles: The majority of our adoption expenses are going to be for our travel to Taiwan. After doing some research, it looks as if United Airlines has the cheapest flights. So if you have some air miles with United that you are not using, please feel free to donate! You can also purchase miles and donate them.  http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/transfer/default.aspx
  • Prayer!! I know this doesn't count as a financial way that you can help us, but prayer is seriously the most helpful thing for us right now! 
We love you all so much and are so appreciative of everything that we have had done for us so far! 
God bless you all!!


So my lunch break today at work was very productive.  It involved looking at pictures of Taiwanese children online, and just falling absolutely in love!! Now I am a firm believer that all children are beautiful... but my heart is especially attuned to these little ones right now! So I thought I would share as I look forward to bringing home little Hokey Pokey Gocke! Is it just me, or does the one squinting her eyes with the pigtails look like she could definitely be mine?!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

God's plans, an African impala, and our child

For those of you that know me, you are probably aware that I like things to be planned out and to go exactly according to plan. God knows me pretty well... I mean, He created me and all... but I think He has forgotten this little fact about me.
When we began this process back in February, we so badly wanted to adopt from Taiwan! I'm familiar with an orphanage there in Taiwan, The Home Of God's Love, and know several people who have adopted from this particular orphanage.  However, in May, the Taiwanese adoption laws changed. Since no one knew exactly how these new laws would affect adoption, the orphanage, as well as many other orphanages in Taiwan, decided to place their adoption program on hold.
To say the least, we were sad about this change in plans, but felt God leading us to pursue a domestic adoption. So we began the process. About three weeks ago, our paperwork was completed and our profile began to be shown to birth mothers.
This past week I received an email from one of the women that works for The Home Of God's Love.  They are opening their program back up again and would like to go ahead and process our application. My jaw dropped and I had no clue what to say.  I immediately contacted Steve and we shared a little lunch-date-phone-conference. Those of you that know Steve and I well know that I am more emotionally driven and he is the rational one who keeps me in line.  So I fully expected my wonderful husband to inform me that we can't switch now and that we should just move forward with the domestic. But to my surprise, about two minutes into the conversation he said "Let's do it... let's switch back to Taiwan." Utter shock! We discussed it more and both fully agreed that Taiwan was always where our hearts were and we would have to be crazy to now jump at this opportunity.
A dear friend of ours shared a story with us last weekend... not knowing our circumstances and what decisions we were about to face. He told us about the African impala. The impala can jump up to ten feet high and a distance greater than thirty feet.  However, if you place a three foot wall in front of them, they will stay put.  Why? Because they can't see where they will land, so they will not jump. This whole week, in all of our decision-making... I just keep hearing God say "Don't let not seeing where you will land keep you from jumping." So we are going to take this leap of faith and switch back to Taiwan, knowing that God knows exactly where we will land! God has thrown several wrenches in our plans... and is stretching me about as thin as I can go in the patience department... but I couldn't be happier with where He is leading us! While we see this process a little bit at a time, He sees the end and knows exactly who our child is!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What a Week?!

So we have had an eventful week with our adoption!  

We received a phone call from our caseworker late Wednesday afternoon informing us that a birthmother had looked at our profile and really wanted to choose us as the family to adopt her baby!  I will say I was quite speechless! Our profile has only been being shown for three weeks, and we already have a potential referral?! The second sentence out of her mouth was not quite as exciting.  She explained to me that this particular case would be quite a bit of expenses due to the birthmother's expenses that she was requesting assistance with. Illinois does not have an amount cut off for birthmother expenses, but they do have a time frame cut off.  You can start paying four months before the baby is born and continue until the baby is two months old. This birthmother had just hit the five month mark.  So including the month of the baby's birth (December), that would be seven months of paying her expenses. 

I went home to discuss the situation with Steve, and we were both in agreement that we were not financially able to accept this referral, as we did not have that amount of finances for our adoption. After we made the decision that the answer would be no, I had such a peace... the kind that only comes from God.  I was not upset that we had to decline a referral (surprisingly). I know that this was not the placement God has intended for us, and I know that He has our perfect little one out there somewhere for us!

Furthermore, the fact that we had been picked only three weeks after our start date of being shown was quite encouraging for our spirits! I know that God has the perfect birthmother in store to choose us for her baby... and I have placed all of my cares on His shoulders as He leads and guides us through this!!

Thank you all for your love and encouragement!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Waiting Time!

So it has been a very long time since I have posted anything.  I knew this blogging thing would be more than I could handle!

A lot of people have been asking for updates on our adoption, so I thought I would give all the new details. We completed all of our home study requirements... including medical evaluations, essay questions (a lot of them), two in-person interviews, and online training regarding adoption-related topics. It took us longer than I thought it would. It looks like adoption professionals do not make the the best adoption clients!

In the meantime, we also worked on our profile.  This is the book that birthmother's will look at when deciding who they would like to adopt their baby. Having viewed hundreds of profiles, and actually sat many times with birthmothers as they look over the profiles of families, you would think this would be simple for me.  Nay-Nay! It is very difficult to put together a book about yourselves, making yourself look perfect, but not too perfect; smart, but not nerdy; adventurous, but not too out there. When it came down to it, our completed book was a pretty accurate reflection of Steve and I. If you would like to view our profile, please follow the below link.  Please feel free to share.  If you know a young lady that might be considering adoption, again please feel free to share.

We have also worked on getting the baby room ready. Since we will not know the gender until who-knows, we had started out thinking we would do a gender-neutral color for the nursery. But we have differing opinions on what is and is not gender-neutral. So we decided that we will paint three of the walls gray and leave the final wall until we know the gender.  Purple for a girl and green for a boy. It is going to be quite a unique nursery, and I am excited to see it all come together!

We have come up with a name for our baby. It is Hokey Pokey Gocke. We hope you like it! I hope you know we are joking... but we enjoy calling the baby that until we know the gender.  We do have some names picked out, but still aren't sure about a girls name.

We have also been continually working on fundraising.  If you would like to order some of my sauce, I am still selling it, so please let me know. We are having a pretty large garage sale this weekend, and am hoping it goes well.  If you live near, stop on by for it!  We are also looking into no-interest loans in case we do not raise all of our needed funds by the time the baby is born.

Please pray for our family as we continue to grow. We are now in this waiting period of waiting for a birthmother to choose us. Hopefully it will go quickly!!

Thank you everyone for your love and support!