Lifesong Matching Grant and LEGOS!

Are you on Facebook? Stop by the grid fundraiser to show your support, pick a number and wait to see if your family won an awesome trip to Legoland (or at least 4 annual passes, which is still REALLY cool). If the grid is filled, our matching grant will be completely met, and that will be $8,000 (minus the prize cost- still REALLY cool) for bringing home our boy. All donations will need to be sent to Lifesong with our family name and number (4544), and the details can be found in the group description.

Thank you for your continued prayers and participation in the crazy journey God has planned for

 

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One less orphan. But.

You know that moment when you get into the back of a taxi with your sobbing child, who looks nothing like you, who keeps looking out the back window and cries uncontrollably for the duration of the ride? Or that moment when you realize the taxi driver, who doesn’t understand enough English for you to possibly offer an explanation, is suspiciously eyeing you and your husband in the rear view mirror? The best part is that I know some of you really DO know what that moment is like, and the rest of you can imagine.

I’m really not sure how best to sum up the goodbye party from yesterday. The long term benefit is that James was given an opportunity to say goodbye and he will have video and pictures of him with his friends to look back on. The short term result has been that he is keenly aware of his losses, and though we are glad he is able to grieve openly, it is extremely difficult to comfort him well while the language barrier and newness of our relationship is getting in the way. We need prayer for these things and take comfort in the knowledge that we aren’t walking this road alone, or first, for that matter.

The orphans. I’d love if some of you would share links to your blog posts about your orphanage trip or some of your thoughts on your orphanage visits in the comments on this post. Perhaps some of you will read these and be moved to action or prayer. There were about 17 children in James’ group, with varying degrees of special needs and institutional behaviors, and each one should be in a family. As we handed out balloons and stickers and the playtime was underway, most of them made some attempt to catch our attention and interact with us. One girl would come up every few moments and show me where she had placed a sticker on her body. Her face was marred by a massive scar, but she was a smiley one. One small girl would come up and insist that I separate the sticker from the backing for her. Several kids approached us and made sure to double check that we weren’t their mommy and daddy, also. One very small boy (3?4?) seemed to have learned that he could get attention by reaching up skirts or pinching legs, and when my attention wasn’t on him, he would plow into other children. Anything for a bit of attention.

The chaos in that room. The needs going unmet. The utter brokenness that had brought each child together in that place. There aren’t words, friends.

It isn’t right.

I think we all know it in our hearts, but we need to start moving. The least of these is worth our time and our effort and our own discomfort… But I don’t feel like preaching at you all, so I won’t.

I feel more like begging.

He’s worth it, he’s worth it, he’s worth it.

Do you like our (not-at-all-related-to-Hinduism) mantra?

This past week involved rushing to take care of the immigration update necessities. We’ve

-made appointments for medical evaluations (blood draws, urine tests, TB tests)

-resubmitted Live Scans (fingerprinting and $$)

-filled out home study update forms- our former home study agency went out of business (awesome!) so we have to resubmit items in addition to the items that we would have already had to resubmit (employment verifications, discipline agreement, financial report, etc)

-received word that the official “child match” document from the TRC has been mailed to us to fill out and make James our matched son “officially” on paper. This is not the thing we have been waiting for to travel to pick him up, but it is actually just an additional thing that we need to fill out that we didn’t remember we were still waiting on. This doesn’t affect the waiting in any way, but I wonder if it might be an indicator that we are nearing the front of the line.

Mmmm, typhoid-y
Mmmm, typhoid-y

Additionally, I finally went to have vaccinations for travel (Jason finished his months ago) a couple of days ago. Tetanus and Hep A required shots, but thank goodness Typhoid is in pill form. I passed out after the shots and spent too much of the morning at Kaiser, all the while reminding myself that at least I’m really professional at something(so what if it’s passing out?), James is worth it, and I’m far from alone.

November 3rd is Grace Ev Free’s Defending the Fatherless Sunday, so we are excited to see how that day might stir the hearts of others toward orphan care. We would like it if you’d join us that morning!

Expiring Paperwork and other Expected Hair-pullers

We were reminded (read:learned) last week that our US immigration paperwork expires on December 27th. This is a typical issue for families with long wait times and means that we must have our homestudy renewed. Homestudy renewal entails putting down a chunk of change (naturally, right?), being live scan fingerprinted again, showing proof of employment and finances again, enduring the frustrating process that is medical paperwork again(yay! another TB test!), sitting down with our social worker again, and signing several other pieces of paperwork that reaffirm we are who we say we are, still, even a whole year later.

In SOMEWHAT related news, we are praying that we will be able to pick up James in November and blow off all of these deja vu dealings. Jason spoke to a woman today who has a ministry over in Thailand and has been struggling to gain approval to adopt an orphaned girl that she met during her stay. She recounted that she knew the girl’s parents, they passed away, she expressed desire to adopt the girl and was told that since no paperwork exists for the child, she is not adoptable. How broken is this world?

Dear family and friends of prayer, would you pray with us that God would move these mountains if it is His will, both in our case and this orphaned girl’s case? If it is not His will, would you pray that we can shake some of the frustration that comes along with this sort of news? Would you ask Him to empower the other woman to care for this little girl, red tape be damned?

Ransom Money – A Look at a Church Adoption Fund

One of the ways that J and I are interested in funding the adoption process is by obtaining an interest-free loan or grant from Lifesong for Orphans. We haven’t yet heard whether we have been accepted or not, but we are praying that is the case.

In the meantime, our church takes part in an adoption fund with Lifesong, and so, it is always interesting to read stories about the impact that such church funds can have on the lives of adoptive families. To give you an idea of what that can look like, the following article gives details about the His Kids-Our Homes adoption fund.

“The blessings go way beyond any financial support because the family is just knowing that the church cares.”

Dave Blaske, His Kids-Our Homes Adoption Fund Director