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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.