Plus One Coming Soon!

Plus One Coming Soon!
Plus One Coming Soon!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Home Study....check!



What Have We Been Doing?
 
  
 
 
We've been very busy!  
The first leg of our adoption journey has been the application and the homestudy.
I've heard  the word "Homestudy" a lot in my adult life and always assumed it was a study of your home......not exactly.  The homestudy involves them coming to your home, yes....but that is the easiest part! The main part is lots and lots of paperwork.  Getting passports and visas and birth certificates and marriage certificates.  Physicals for everyone in our family.
Our homestudy with Lifeline has also involved a lot of research and interviews.  Including reading an entire book as well as lots of online information.  The agency wants us to be as prepared as we can be.  In our spiritual walk.  In our relationship with our children.  In our relationship with each other.  Aware of the upcoming challenges we will face in bringing home a child who didn't have the best start. 
Some of it has been frustrating.  Waiting on people to call us back. Waiting on the mail carrier. Answering questions that seem repetitive and mundane.
But.......we have finished.  Our caseworker, Maggie, is now compiling all of our government clearances and documents and will begin compiling our "Dossier"
A Dossier is the collection of paperwork the Chinese Government requires from us to be able to adopt a baby.  A very special document included in our dossier is our "consideration list".
A consideration list is basically a "Want" sheet. Do we want a boy or girl, or either. How old? What physical limitations or problems would we be open to?  Every physical malady you can think of is listed with Yes* No* or Will Consider* next to it.  It took us several week to think and pray thru that list.  If we say yes, or will consider, that is something we could deal with for the rest of our lives.  We have 5 biological children,and that has to be taken into consideration when filling out this form.  What can we handle, while still being the best parents we can be to ALL of our children?
We have completed that list, and while we did mark No* a couple times....we are relying on the fact that God know exactly who our daughter is....so Yes* or Will Consider* was marked the majority of the time.  We live in a country (and even a city) that is VERY well equipped with doctors and hospitals that rival the best in the world!
 
So now we are beginning the part of the journey where we will be doing a lot of waiting.  Once the dossier is sent to China it can take several months before it is logged into their system with the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption).  Once it is logged in, we are placed on the waiting list to be matched with our girl.  They take our consideration list as well as where we are on the waiting list and are matched accordingly.  Even if we are matched quickly after our dossier is logged in, it takes 4-5 months for the dossier to be completed. Meaning, translated, checked and double checked.  We cannot make a move until our dossier is complete.  So we have the possibility of knowing who are daughter is, but having to wait months before we can make travel plans to go get her!  Once our dossier is complete and we have a successful match (One we agree to), we start getting ready to travel. Lining up our visas as well as Isabelle's.  Making consulate appointments and buying plane tickets and hotel rooms.
 
Many people have asked about the financial side of things.  
In the first few weeks I posted about a lot of fundraisers...and we had a GREAT response!  But I know how quickly one can bombard their friends, so I have slacked off a bit.  But we are heading into the time that we have to be ready.  We are sending off some large payments with our dossier, and then as soon as we are matched we have to be ready to purchase tickets, make another $3500 agency payment, pay the Chinese government a large sum as well as paying for our final immigration paperwork.  Of the $34,000 we need to raise, we have raised approximately $12k.  Which is amazing!  As we are moving toward the $34k mark we will be doing more fundraisers as well as applying for every grant and scholarship known to man! 
God is supplying our needs and is giving us encouragement through friends and family.  We continue to feel God is calling us to bring Isabelle home, and we are excited to continue this journey!
Please continue to pray with us.   That God would guard the hearts of our children here, as well as our little girl on the other side of the world.  Pray that our hearts as parents are softened toward our new girl...that we would love her as though I birthed her myself. Pray that the Gospel would be made known through this.  That we aren't doing this because we don't have enough kids...but because Christ first loved us, an how can we not obey His call on our lives.  We know that He is in this business.
Pray for our finances.  Pray that payments are able to be made on time, and without any added stress.
 
If you have wondered when the best and most helpful time to give is...it's now.  All gifts are put into a separate account that we pull from every time we need to make a payment or pay a third party fee.   Being able to plan fundraisers according to how much is left to raise is crucial.  If you would like to donate now you can through 
PayPal at abigailweems@yahoo.com
or through our PureCharity account at www.purecharity.com/bringing-isabelle-home
 
Thank You for being here with us.  
You are all the family and friends that Isabelle will know and love.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The First Month

The First Month

       Well, we are officially a month into the adoption process!
We are constantly getting confirmation that we are following the path that God wants us to take!
Our children are VERY excited (although I'm sure the newness of the idea will wear off, as the process takes more time!)
  Lauren has rearranged furniture in her room to accomodate a new little sister, and Adalynn is drawing Izzie new pictures every day!
We are currently "In" the homestudy process now. Gathering every officially document we have (and don't have) as well as meeting with our caseworker, Maggie
Tomorrow Maggie comes to the house. She will conduct her second interview with Steven and I, as well as her first interview with the children.
The kids are excited to meet Maggie and talk with her, Mommie and Daddy are exhausted from getting the house ready! (I forgot to mention we are also having a yard sale fundraiser next weekend, and our house is full of STUFF)
   
Fundraising is going slow but steady. I want everything figured out NOW! While Steven holds fast to his faith that God is bringing our girl home, we just have to obey. I'm relying on and learning from him....   
Our fundraisers so far are a "fill the board with dots by pledging money" fundraiser, as well as a tshirt fundraiser. Our first big fundraiser will be the yard sale this weekend. Our church is AWESOME and is allowing us to use the church property as home base, as well as supporting us with donations. We are praying for great yard sale weather!

This past week Steven and I applied for our passports....little did I know they mailed off our ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES! but by the time I realized she wasn't handing them back they were already sent down the chute. She said no worries they would come back...but goodness, we need those! 
Here is a picture of Steven and I getting ready for our passport photos. Let me tell you...those pics are just georgous! 
  
Please continue to pray with us. Pray for our family, that stresses associated with the process are minimal. Pray for the finances, that God would make a way for us in a way that only He can.  Pray for our children's hearts as they prepare for Izzie, and pray for sweet Isabelle, that she would be protected physically and emotionally, and that our path to her would be smooth.

Much Love

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Why we are adopting!?!

Because He first loved us....

 Have you ever had a nagging feeling, and it seems like everywhere you turn, and everything you see and hear reminds you of the thing that's nagging you?
Enter Holy Spirit
 My name is Abbey Weems, and I have been married to my husband Steven for 15 years. We have 5 biological children. Luke (13), Emma Grace (11), Lauren (9), Troy (7), and Adalynn (5).  We live in Leeds, Alabama where my husband serves as a senior pastor, and I am a preschool teacher.
We have always said, in a lofty, unspecific way..."We would love to adopt when our kids are older", never talking specifics or gathering information. We were happy in our lives.
Then God stepped in.
Over the past year, it seems like everywhere I turn someone is talking about adoption. We have friends who have adopted. Sister churches have adoption fundraisers. I went to a yard sale that turned out to be a fundraiser for an adoption.
Then last fall we were faced with an immediate need for a baby we knew. Immediately Steven and I said we would offer to adopt the baby. I think our readiness to offer shocked both of us....but nevertheless we offered.  The baby has since been taken in by a family member and will be loved for the rest of his life...which is a happy ending!...but we were disappointed.
How could I be disappointed?  I have 5 beautiful, healthy children. I have a husband who loves me. This baby boy found a home with family that loves him.  How could I desire something else?
The Holy Spirit
 God sent His Son, to save US! Orphans.  We could do nothing on our own to save ourselves, yet he gave us a way. He paid the ultimate price to save us from our humanity, and bring us into His family.  All we have to do is praise Him. Praise Him and tell His story to our community and to the nations.  
Steven and I feel led to open our home to another child. Not by birth. By adoption.
We are commanded to care for widows and orphans and the needy. 
So we have decided to go, and bring one out of her orphan status, to become a Weems
Why China?
 We have been researching, and reading, and going to meetings, and listening to podcasts.
We have prayerfully considered foster-to-adopt, private domestic adoptions, and international adoptions.
After MUCH prayer, and in consideration of our family's current status..we have decided to adopt a daughter from China.  Many of the children in the orphanages are malnourished or have unresolved physical problems. Their only hope of escape is through adoption.  And our hearts, and our children's hearts, are ready to answer that call!
Our Journey Begins
 We have now officially been accepted into the international adoption program through Lifeline Children's Services. We will soon begin our home study which will take about 3 months.  We are excited to get started on this journey, and will need the help of our friends and family. We are asking for our friends and family to come alongside us and support us in several ways.
In PRAYER-Please Pray for our sweet Isabelle. Even though we haven't seen her sweet face yet, we can pray for her. For a hedge of protection around her heart and her body. Pray that the Lord would protect her. Keep her  physically safe.  Let her know God's love, even as an infant.
           Please pray for our sweet family. That God would continue to lead us in the way He would have us go. That our children's hearts would be protected and loved. That our marriage would be strengthened, and that our love for each other would be made stronger.
       Pray for those who will be watching our journey. That we would share the Gospel in this process. That God would be made known, not just to those we know, but to everyone we come in contact with. We are all orphans, and Christ died and rose again to make us part of His family!
In SERVICE-We will be embarking on lots and lots of fundraisers. That will probably need help from our friends and family.
In FINANCING-Y'all, adoption is expensive. An International Adoption from China is approximately $34k. We will be applying for every grant and scholarship we qualify for, but we will be asking for donations. This goes directly into a pure charity account (not directly to us ) https://www.purecharity.com/bringing-isabelle-home We don't like asking for money, but we know God has called us to this, and He will provide the way for us to bring our Isabelle home!