Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

The last few weeks of December were spent gathering the last two things we needed for our dossier.  I finally received the last piece of paperwork (which took two weeks to get, ugh!) I needed from my doctor on the Monday before Christmas.  Yes!!  We mailed everything out to our placement agency on December 27th, they received it today, and we hope to have our dossier overseas by early January.

We look forward to what 2014 holds!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Puzzle Update #2

It has been a few weeks since I showed an updated photo of our puzzle fundraiser.  Here is the most recent progress that has been made.  Thank you RenĂ©, Kevin and Karen, Terrence, Steve, and the Perez family for becoming pieces of our puzzle.  We have put together more than 20 pieces in the last ten days or so and have made some good progress.
If we do not make our January 1st goal, we will keep this going until it is done and keep you updated every so often on its progress.  You may click here to learn more about it.  We are about a third of the way through with the puzzle and appreciate each of you who have helped us get this far.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

To My Unadopted Daughter

A Christmas letter to our little girl, who we have not yet had the privilege of meeting. A reminder that there are children this Christmas who are waiting for a family, and families this Christmas who are waiting for their child to come home. 

To My Dear Unadopted Daughter, 

 Today is Christmas day, and I am sitting in our living room watching your future siblings play with their presents. I am hoping that wherever you are, someone has given you a gift this year as well. My prayer for you is that you are safe, and warm, and loved. How much I wish you were here with us this Christmas, but we are praying that by this time next year, you will be safe in our home. I wonder sometimes what you will look like. I dream about the day when we meet for the first time. I wonder if you will like me, or if you will be afraid of me at first. I know you will love your brothers and sister. Your sister can't wait until she meets you. She often asks when her sister is coming home. It is hard for her to understand why the process takes so long, and why it has to be so expensive. I wonder the same thing myself. Please know that we are doing everything we can to get to you as soon as possible. Christmas time in America is a happy time. There are lights, and music, and food and gifts. Do you celebrate Christmas in your country? I can't wait to learn about the world you live in, and share with you the world I live in. We had a special Christmas breakfast this morning. Your future mother made something called monkey bread. I don't know if you know what a monkey is, but trust me, it is not made from a monkey. It is a kind of sugary bread. I think you will enjoy trying it. I pray for you daily and ask God to keep you safe. In my heart, it is already as if you were my daughter, and I know that in God's time you will be here. Until that time, my daughter, be well. Know that we love you, and are doing everything in our power to bring you home. I trust that by next Christmas you will be here, and that will be the best Christmas ever. Love, Your Future Dad.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Puzzle Update

Here is a quick update on the progress of our puzzle so far.  Cole has been really excited whenever he has been able to add pieces to it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to Seth, Becky, and Julie for your contribution!

As you can see, we still have a ways to go.  There are still 90 pieces to put together.  We have a couple more puzzle pieces "promised" but need more help to finish it by our goal date of January 1st.

If you are new to our blog, are just hearing about our puzzle fundraiser, would like to learn more about it, or want to participate, please click here.
 Puzzle before it was begun
 The first two pieces
 The first six pieces
 Working on it together

 The first ten pieces...making progress :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013


*Disclaimer - This post is a little different from most of the ones I publish.  If you are curious, read on, but please don't say that I didn't warn you! :D

Have you ever had a day (or days), week, or month of discouragement and/or frustration mixed in with a few "Are we crazy?" and "Now what?" thoughts?  Mid week last week, those were my thoughts on the subject of this adoption.  The excitement of our immigration approval was not over, but it had dimmed somewhat in light of the fact that we.were.stuck.  We could not make anymore big steps forward until we had the money to do so.  I have tried not to focus on money on this blog, instead making it more about our adoption journey, but the truth is that adoption is expensive - expensive to the tune of a minimum of $25,000 - $35,000 and money that we, and the majority of adoptive families, don't have lying around.  

By Abe Ezekowitz (My private collection)
[GFDL ( 
On Thursday morning, I talked to our contact at Lifeline and was told that once we have our dossier in Hungary, it usually takes only a few weeks for approval, and we enter the referral stage of adoption.  Referral can be a process that is very fast (within a month or two), or it can drag out for several months.  It is dependent upon a few things, one of them, the availability of a child that is a good match for your family.  While this information came over the phone line, I was thinking "Ok, this is great news! We are getting closer, but we don't have the money to move forward right now, so it still seems so far away."  That same day, we got a phone call from an agency we applied to to get an interest free loan for adoption expenses.  (The year after a completed adoption, an adoptive family is eligible for a tax credit to help offset the costs of adoption.)  Lifesong and We Care For Orphans are partnering together to give us a $5,000 loan.   This loan is given to us now, and we agree to pay them back using some of the tax credit we will receive after the adoption.  Every time it has appeared that we would hit a wall regarding the money we need to move forward, God has brought it in from somewhere.  In this instance, it is more than we needed right now, and will also help us to cover some other upcoming expenses.  We are so thankful that God is using Lifesong and We Care For Orphans to help us move forward now.  We hope to have our dossier in country in the next few weeks.  

By Ryan Child
You may be asking still.."What about your post title?  What does "TUG" have to do with this?" When I was a teenager, my pastor taught us to use the acronym TUG for answered prayer.  It means "Thank U God".  No, it isn't the best English, and yes, I know that "you" isn't spelled that way, but I never forgot that and still often use it today to cross off an answered prayer on my prayer list.  I just wanted to say Thank you God for answered prayer!  Thank you also to those of you who have been praying with us regarding the loan/grant applications we have mailed out.  Please don't stop praying!  This was the only loan application we sent out, but there are still several grant applications that are pending.  We still need $15,000 - $20,000 between now and the time we will travel to get our child. Please pray that we will be awarded some (or most) of this money through grants and the rest through fundraisers and extra income.  Right now, we have no idea where this money will come from, but every time we have needed funds to move forward, He has provided them.

I read this week Ez. 37:1-10 where Ezekiel is told to preach to dry bones.  There was no life there, but Ezekiel went forward anyway because he knew that is what God told him to do.  I hope that if you have some "dry bones" in your life that this post about seeming "dry bones" in our lives will encourage you.  If you have no idea how what is happening is going to work out, even though you know you are doing what God has called you to do, may I encourage you to move forward anyway in this thing we call faith.

  Thank you to those who have helped us financially so far.  Our puzzle fundraiser is still going on, and we still need more pieces to be purchased!  Will you help Cole put more pieces of his puzzle together?  To read how

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Be A Piece Of Our Puzzle

Several weeks ago, Mark and I saw an idea for a fundraiser, using a puzzle.  We talked about trying it but have not gone ahead with it and our son beat us to it. :D  About two weeks ago, Cole won a puzzle as a prize in junior church.  He has wanted to help us get the money we need for our adoption expenses and asked if he could use the puzzle he won for it.

Here Is How It Works

Cole wants to put together his puzzle.  Each piece costs $5 to put into place, so we are asking you to donate $5 toward our adoption expenses.  For every five dollars that you donate, we write your name on the back of a puzzle piece, put it into the puzzle, and you become a piece of our puzzle and our adoption.   You can donate $5, $10, or more.  Your name or your family's name will go on the back of as many puzzle pieces as you "buy".   Once the puzzle is completely put together, we will put a clear puzzle sealer on the front and back and hang it.  It will be our visual reminder of all the people who helped us bring our child home.  Our goal is to raise $500 by January 1st, 2014.  Cole is very excited about being able to help with our adoption expenses.  Will you help him put his puzzle together?

You can donate via Paypal.  Please indicate "puzzle" on your Paypal donation.  We will keep you updated on how the puzzle is going together. If you would like to participate but do not have a PayPal account, please contact me at, and I will email you our mailing address. Thanks in advance!