Well, can you believe it?! Its finally happening - we are sending our first initial adoption installment tomorrow! With it accompanies a rather large pile of paperwork that we had to read and sign off on. With this first check, we actually have a shortfall of $260.00 but we are going on faith that it'll come in this week!
So what's next, you ask?! Here's what I know. Sometime in the next few weeks we will be assigned a Family Coordinator. Once that is in place, we will work with him or her to work our way through the paper trail. Not only is that a lot of papers and tasks assigned to us, but it also means a lot of money - about $6K more to be exact. We are working on how to come up with that big number now! It'll involve our own contributions and hopefully a large garage sale in July. Our goal is to be through the paper trail by August! In the meantime, we are celebrating this first big hurdle and look with anticipation for God to guide us through the next challenges to come. Thanks for hanging in there and if you feel led to help us out financially, please check out our Crowd Funding Page here at Pure Charity! Resting in His perfect will - MusicalMom
Its been way too long since I posted an update! The holidays and then getting extremely sick just stopped me in my tracks!
Now, nearly well and getting a handle on being back to work and school, I finally am able to breathe a tiny bit and give an update on our adoption process.
To date we have fund raised $1,040!!!! That's exciting news! To break it down, those amounts came from:
Pure Charity Crowd Fundraising: $720 (check it out here! https://www.purecharity.com/cotogna)
Christmas Roll Fundraiser: $320
Yes, this is below our goals in this area. I ended up not advertising for the roll fundraiser beyond word of mouth and that still netted $320!! This change in plans was due to just feeling overwhelmed with the holidays approaching. Yes, probably the holy spirits prompting too because I became very SICK. If I would have had more than the 4 orders I had, I would have had to cancel at the last minute!
So here's where our numbers are for our first deadline February 20th.
$2,400 (due Feb. 20th - first deposit down to American World Adoptions)
$1,040 currently raised
$900 our contribution from savings
$200 VISA card I earned from a Christmas Verizon deal
We are SO CLOSE!! Here's the good news - AWAA will let us do this in two payments if we need to. Even so, we prefer to stick to the deadline and not change it. That and the 5 months from March till July I have money budgeted to help us finish most of phase one (in other words there's not any money there to make up for this shortfall in the following months).
We are BELIEVING that God will come through - one way or another!
That has prompted our next fundraiser - a Super Bowl fundraiser! I'm working out the details but I will be posting all about it this week! It'll be an inexpensive way for many folks to get involved and maybe win a nice cash prize too!
Beyond the money, we are also working on getting our house ready to pass an inspection. That means finishing our family room (its open beams right now - yeah, no drywall!). I'll post more on that later.
In any case, we are getting so excited to see God move and work this year! He's good - He's called us - He will provide!!
Thank you all for keeping us in prayer - for praying for our daughter Tori who is right now in an orphanage or foster home in China and who is praying for her own miracle - a family.
It costs a lot to adopt from China. The low end, $29,500 and high end over $40K. No, I'm not kidding. Its a lot - a whole lot! If you want to see for yourself, take a look at our adoption website here.
So, now that you'd had a bit of sticker shock, just how are we going to pay for it? In all honesty, we don't know. Oh, we have a plan, but the last I checked I can't see the future so really, I don't know.
Even so, here is a rough idea of our plan.
1. Pray. Pray a lot. Pray that our adoption will be on the low end of costs and pray God will provide!
2. Cut back. For the next 18 months, are aren't planning any family vacations, weekend trips or many dinners out. Along with that, the cables getting cut after the Super Bowl (oops - sorry kids! Take this as your warning!) and any way we can decrease our basic expenses we are and will continue to do.
3. Save. We personally hope to contribute $10K to our adoption from our own savings plan.
4. Apply. After our first phase in the adoption process is complete and our home study is done, we then will qualify to apply for grants. I've got a running list of grant options, currently numbering over 20 different groups and charities.
5. Raise. We plan several fundraisers. First is our crowd funding campaign! You can find a link to the right here on my blog or here at Pure Charity, Beyond that, our next fundraiser starts next week! I'll be selling my mothers homemade kaiser rolls by the dozen for delivery on Dec. 23rd for your Christmas holiday celebration! In the months to come we plan a puzzle event, online garage sale (ongoing beginning in January) and we're still throwing around ideas for summer. All in all we hope to do about 5 fundraising events.
Our hope is to fly sometime early in 2018. Much of that hope depends on the money. I hate that. I really, really hate that loving another child, expanding your family and giving someone hope and a future is dependent on money. Still, I rest in a great God who looks after all that I have no control over.
So with that, we step out in faith. We move forward, never back in this journey to complete our family. Because after all, our Family Makes 7.
I have to tell you I don't like asking for help! In fact, I really, really hate it! I was raised that I need to to be able to stand on my own two feet. This was excellent advice and I thank my mother for being an incredible example of that. And yet, there are times when its good to humble ourselves and seek help.
Posting our crowd fundraiser was my family doing just that - seeking the help of others to come alongside us and help us to bring Tori home. Was it easy? No. Is it scary? YES!! You see, there have been times in my life when I have overstretched myself; when I have launched into a ministry or event and it flopped. Those experiences taught me to be cautious to stay in God's will. It took me years and a lot of soul searching and good counsel to help me see why I was doing too much, and why they flopped. It was part me being codependent and part that I was not doing what God had called me to.
All of that produced scars. Scars of doubt on my soul. So, as you may imagine, doing a campaign to help raise the money we need to adopt our daughter brings up a lot of those failures and fears. I have doubted if we are in God's will, I have doubted my own ability to succeed and yet, Chris and I see how God has orchestrated this time for us to adopt. So I gotta let go. I gotta do our part and watch as God does the rest. Its scary and its a battle of our faith but we are holding tightly to His promises and the desires He's given us.
So with that, what an update! We are so thankful that our first goal was reached!
That first goal was simply getting a donation and you got that done! Thank you so much to those who have contributed to our campaign!
Now, what is the second goal?Our first down payment is due Feb. 28th, with a stack of paperwork and $2400. We know we can meet this goal! Here is how we hope to meet it:
Crowd Funding - $1,000 First Fundraiser - $500 (see details below!) Our Family Contribution - $900
So, what is that first fundraiser you may ask? I'm going to be selling dozens and dozens of my mother's famous keiser rolls for Christmas! If you've had the privilege of tasting these, you know how GOOD THEY ARE!!!
We aren't set on the price yet, but I am thinking $10 a dozen, or $18 for two dozen. Let me know if you think that's a fair price.
We plan to have them ready for delivery to your home on Friday, Dec. 23rd or early Saturday, Dec. 24th!
We can do this! God is good, He is great and He will provide!
Again, thank you SO MUCH to those who have contributed thus far! We pray you will follow our updates and see God work in this!
Also, please consider coming alongside us and helping us bring Tori home! We need prayer, wisdom and your help!
Its October 22nd, 2016. Okay, okay, I know its been 3 years. Yup 3 YEARS since I posted on our adoption blog. Well, a lot has happened.
First off, its my birthday. No really, it is. I am 47 today! I'm having a 'mom' day - aka look back to my first post about the pj's and fluffy blankets (that part of me has NOT changed). My family celebrated with me a few weeks ago with a long weekend riding horses at a ranch in Leavenworth. It was wonderful - my horse-loving daughter Sarai and I hope to go back next summer and volunteer a week.
Anyhow, back to 3 years. Why has it been 3 years? Well...in all honesty I'm not really sure. Much has happened. I went back to work on a more permanent basis as a school bus driver. Its an awesome job! My kids have aged - we graduated our first born who is now attending the local community college. One of my boys is now in full-time public school, and the other two are still homeschooled. Along with that, we've done a ton of work on our fixer-upper (and yet, it still isn't ready to pass a home inspection!). Plus I'm in the process of applying to grad school. So, tons going on.
Yet, life is always busy. Why the adoption wait? I guess it comes down to fear. Fear of the money (or lack thereof), fear of the changes, fear of the unknown. All of that comes down to faith, or my lack of it.
A few months ago I had enough of lack of faith and we finally put our application in! Upon review, our application was stalled because my BMI did not meet the standards for China (yes, that's embarrassing and totally shaming to me). So I had to work to get my BMI down. Thankfully it wasn't much. Now I'm working on lowering it further. Its a process.
So yes, we have applied. I am now working on the paper chase, slowly. We have 4 months to put in our intent and our first deposit to the tune of $2,400. I think it'll happen - I pray it'll happen. There's a plan, now I'm just hoping life won't get in the way.
With that I an researching grants, fundraising and all kinds of adoption cost reduction options. Though our goal is to do this adoption debt free, we are willing to seek a loan if needed for the final expenses. We pray to get through phase 1 and 2 without any debt - God let it be so!
Soon I will post some links for you all - ways to help us along in this journey. Though we would love for you to partner with us in reaching our financial goals, what we seek more is your prayer support! Please pray with us! Pray for our waiting daughter, for our children here and for God's timing in it all.
All I want for my birthday is faith. Faith that I do not question God's calling. Faith that He will provide. Faith for my family to be complete.
So, what is the process to adopt? What does it take? Where do you start?
I started with an internet search. I started reading adoption websites, blogs and adoption support groups. That lead us to America World Adoptions.
I love AWA. I have spoken with them many times over the years, attended an evening informational meeting and we've gone as far as filling out the pre-application. Still, we haven't jumped into the process yet.
The reasons for the delays have to do with the requirements to adopt from China, which you can find here. Our main hurdles have been income and passing a home inspection.
Like I said before, the recession really took a hit on our family. We were fortunate that both of us kept our jobs, but my husband, who is by far the main breadwinner, had close to a solid year of employment where he never saw a 40-hour work check, coupled with several winters with very light work. It was hard on us.
The good of all that was that in the process, we stopped spending (not that we were big spenders, because we weren't! Even so we learned how far you can cut back!). We became huge fans of Dave Ramsey (check out his website here) and we have slowly been working towards becoming debt free. We aren't there yet, but we are on our way!
During this lean time we committed to being rid of most of our debt (not counting our mortgage) before we applied for our adoption. This is because our goal is to adopt without debt, which means all that money that was being thrown towards debt is going right towards our adoption!
The other biggie is that we bought a fixer-upper. That's fine and all, but if you have walls with open beams, yeah, you aren't going to pass any sort of home inspection. So, we are busy around here remodeling things on our own so that our home can pass! Its frustrating, frantic and loud at times, but it'll be worth it.
That leads me to December 25th, 2013. That is our goal - that is when, after all the presents are opened, after the cinnamon rolls have been ate, after the excitement of the day has calmed down, we will gather around the computer in our pj's and apply. December 25th, 2013 - its going to be a great Christmas gift!
Just so you know that's 187 days. 187! I can't wait!