“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20
Several people have asked us what they can be praying for, as we approach our travel date, so here is a specific list:
Preparing to leave our comfort zone and experience a new culture (exposing our boys to extreme poverty and trying to prepare them for what they will see)
Travel (4 separate flights over 4 days to get to Kampala, Uganda with 2 young children and multiple time changes)
Health for all of us
Transitions and attachment as we bring Ki into our family
Adoption process and paperwork in Uganda (favor from the Judge, Immigration and US Embassy) Currently, things are running fairly smoothly and things are being processed within 5-6 weeks so pray that this is the case for us as well.
Establishing relationships with the orphanage and caregivers as well as other adoptive families that are in country.
Finances (we paid all of our adoption fees and now just need to cover travel expenses and bills while we are gone!)
God to be glorified and His word to take root in the heart of the Ugandan people!
We are still learning what it means to trust God completely and lean into Him daily. The process of adoption is not for the faint of heart, and we have discovered that being on our knees before the Lord is the only way we can bring our son home.
OK…so this is not the good news you may be thinking but we had two very encouraging things happen over the last week.
1. We just got our last “pending” approval from the powers that be. What this means is our finger print check via the US government was cleared and they have confirmed that we are who we say we are and that there are no red flags in our current or past history. This would have held up our return trip with K if an issue was to be found.
2. Through fellow adoption groups and my Facebook stalking skillz…we found the website and Facebook page for K’s orphanage! First off…for them to have a website and Facebook page is off the charts unreal! We did not find any pictures of K, but being able to see where he is living right now is a huge relief! Many of the below items are nothing like what we are being told in our adoption classes, as they, for good reason, prepare you for the worst. We feel grateful and blessed that he is being cared for in this type of environment. Here are a few facts we learned about the orphanage:
It was established and the building was built in 2013.
Currently, it is home to 17 children, and will only ever house 30.
It has a Christian foundation and funding.
It appears as though all children are well feed and in good health. (very plump…for lack of a better phrase)
Thanks for all of your prayers, support, questions on updates of our status, and for the continued financial support. We still have 1 more adoption agency payment, and are beginning to plan financially to live in Uganda and pay our bills here while we are gone. We will post more details around that soon.
This whole asking for money thing is really difficult and it becomes a little messy. We want to be completely honest with you about our finances and our need for this adoption, and we want to be held accountable for the way we steward our finances and the donations we have received. We have experienced what we like to call “adoption guilt” which is where we question every purchase we make because we feel guilty that the money could be going toward Ki instead of the coffee date that we had or the movie that we rented or the extra chocolate chip cookies at the grocery store.
Please know first of all that all of the donations we have received have gone directly to adoption expenses. We have been diligent to keep accurate records of incoming donations and outgoing adoption expenses. These expenses include agency fees, document fees, physical exams and travel vaccines. Our total adoption costs are about $38,000.00 and we have paid $16,600.00 of this with $8,000.00 being from fundraising and donations. We are budgeting and setting aside money every month to put towards future costs, as well as our tax return and profit-sharing from our employers, and we are applying for multiple grants to help cover our costs.
As many of you know, my dad passed away a couple of months ago and as a result my mom has moved in with us. She is currently occupying one of the kids bedrooms upstairs in our home, but we are planning to finish our basement so she can have her own living quarters. She has graciously offered to pay for the entire remodel. None of your donations will be used to complete our basement (this is that whole vulnerability part, as I know some might question where this money is coming from).
Finally, just a short update on where we are in the process…WAITING! Yep that about sums it up. We are still waiting for a court date and are hoping to have one sometime in May. We have decided to take 1 trip and stay the entire time in country as a family to allow bonding time with Ki. If timing works out, then my mom will travel with us and help with the boys in Uganda.
Thanks for letting me be real and raw here and as always, thanks for your prayers and support. This is a long and hard journey, but worth every struggle, tear, and heartache to bring Ki home.
In the big view of life I’m learning that I am relatively young, unless you ask H…then i’m big and old! The 30ish years of life I have lived have led me to “learn a couple of things,” which will probably … Continue reading →
This past Friday night, we hosted a spaghetti dinner and silent auction, was a night that our family will not soon forget! Our hearts were filled to the brim by close friends, family, neighbors, gym buddies, and strangers. We drove home that night knowing 100% that we are doing something God has called us to do. The support from these people was overwhelming to say the least. A thank you is not enough…but its all we know how to do so…thank you for believing in us, our family, and our hearts! That means more than any $$ ever donated!
H is our “busy” kid. He is ALL boy and tries to defy gravity by climbing the shelves in the living room until he gets stuck like a cat in a tree. He races back and forth down the long corridor from the front door to the dining room at full speed, only to crash into the wall without stopping. He jumps down the stairs landing on all fours instead of taking them one at a time. He is constantly on the move and rarely sits still.
All that to say, the other night we were all cuddling on the couch before bedtime watching some football (we typically have to corral H into this quiet activity) he then got very quiet and looked very concerned.
H: We need to pray
Me: Ok? (as I give Justin a questioning look)
H: Everybody hold hands (we quickly comply)
Me: What do we need to pray about?
H: Ki (he states matter-of-factly as Justin and I exchange more questioning looks)
Me: Ok, what do we need to pray about for Ki?
H: I don’t know mama, we just need to pray.
So, Justin led our family in a short prayer about Ki, asking that God would be with him, protect him and provide for him until we can bring him home. This must have satisfied H because he shouted “Amen” and pronounced quiet time was over!
We firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in our family, and it brought tears to my eyes to know that He quietly prompted our busy boy to “Be still and know that I am God,” and to surrender to that prompting.
Asking for money has never been a strong suit of ours, but here goes….We are in need of $25,000.00 by April in order to bring K home. When we started this adventure, we thought we would have 12-18 months to save and fundraise our adoption costs. However, things have been greatly expedited and we will hopefully be traveling in April for our first trip to Uganda! There is a lot of corruption surrounding US adoptions and there is talk that Uganda might stop issuing US visas to waiting children at any time. Here’s a breakdown of our timeline…
1. We wrapped up our Home Study this past week and are waiting for it to be sent off and approved by the US government (this can take 1-2 months)
2. Our dossier (all of the legal paperwork required) is complete and we are mailing it off to our adoption agency this week!
3. Once the above 2 things are complete, we can request a court date in Uganda. Our adoption agency is shooting for a date in April.
4. Once we have a court date, we will make plans to travel to Uganda and get guardianship of Ki! We will have to complete some legal stuff while we are there, but mostly get time to bond with him and get to know him. Then we will have to leave Ki with some friends in Uganda and return to the States while all of our paperwork is processed and approved. This can take several weeks if not months and we are not able to stay in-country for the entire process due to our young boys and our job requirements.
5. When everything is approved and processed, we will return to Uganda and bring Ki home! We plan on taking H with us on this second trip and all he talks about is traveling on a big plane to go get his brother.
So there you have it…and this is why we lay awake at night with my head spinning!
Cutting to the chase…we do not have $25,000.00. We are hoping for a good tax return and are saving every penny we have (the grocery budget has been cut to the bare minimum and we are all learning what it is like to eat rice and beans on a regular basis), but it is still not enough. We are planning a couple of fundraisers (we will keep you updated on those). We NEED your help. We NEED money and we don’t have the luxury of time.