Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where we are now

The adoption process has so many steps and so much to it, so I wanted to let you know what's going on right now.

We have chosen an adoption agency -- All God's Children, International (AGCI)! We are very excited to begin this process with them.

We have been pre-approved for adoption. That basically means that based off of the preliminary information that we have provided, they believe we will qualify for their program.

Next, we need to turn in our official application along with the application fee and a few other smaller things (pictures of us and our home, etc.) Within 90 days of receiving our application, we will have to pay for certain fees to the agency and pay for our home study -- totaling at about $9,300. God can do it.

We have some fundraising opportunities already in place.
- We are sending out letters to our friends and family to let them know about the adoption and what they can do to help (pray, give)
- We are creating this blog and adding a "Donate" button on the side so people can give online. If you are purchasing anything off of, there is also a link that will donate a percentage of your sale towards our adoption.
- Our church will be holding coffeehouses once a month, and all donations will go towards our adoption.
- We are going to be selling t-shirts at the coffeehouses and hopefully on this blog soon.
- Brandon will be selling his cd at the coffeehouses, and the new Christian bookstore in town "All About Love" will be selling them soon.

We're working on a few other things, but we need more ideas! If you know of a surefire way to raise money, please let us know!

There are many grants out there available to us (and we plan on applying for just about all of them), as well as low-interest and interest-free loans. However, just about all of those sources require our home study to be completed before we can apply for their funds. We are really praying that we can complete this adoption with very little debt accumulated.

Adoption has three major stages, or "trimesters" if you will. The entire process will last around 18 months or so.
1) Paperwork/home study
2) Placed on the wait list until we are matched with our children
3) Finalization/court/travel to Ethiopia twice to bring them home

We are in stage one! Each stage has its own struggles and joys. I hope you will keep up with us on our journey!

Just a glimpse...

Here's a glimpse into the adoption process from a family who used the same agency we have chosen. I can't watch this without getting emotional.

God is working

So Brandon and I went to our bank yesterday to set up an account specifically for fundraising purposes. We sat in the woman's office and the conversation goes something like this:

Us: "Hi! We would like to open an account."
Her: "Great, what kind of account would you like?"
Us: "We're not quite sure, maybe you can help us. We're adopting..."
Her: "You are?! From where??"
Us: "Ethiopia."
Her: *rummaging through her drawers, pulling out a picture* "THIS is my daughter."

We currently live in Wentzville, Missouri with the population of about 25,000-30,000 (around 90% white). Since we moved in June, we have met only one family who has adopted internationally. But here, in our bank, we are now sitting down with what we think has to be the ONLY person for miles and miles around who has adopted a daughter from ETHIOPIA... and they are in the process of adopting again.


We got to talking and she mentions that she lives in Troy, the town I teach in (which is around a third of the size of Wentzville), and there they are very good friends with another couple who has ALSO recently adopted from ETHIOPIA.


Then, a little while later, the other family that she mentioned happens to stop by the bank, and we were able to meet them and their children.

God is good.

We exchanged contact information, and I'm very excited about everything. :)