Tag Archives: adoption

The Worst Years

My Worst Years

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesusabizanda/ (changes mine)

The two years before this one have been the pits. The absolute worst. They haven’t been the worst years of my marriage – those were the seminary years – but they’ve been filled with suffering, pain, depression, and doubt.

The pattern of pain started with postpartum depression after having my second child. It lasted for several months, and while I am fulfilled as a mom, it just left me feeling empty and alone.

Then, on our road to adopting a beautiful 4-year old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we found out his birth mom was alive and had taken him home. A mixed blessing filled a hurting heart.

For some reason, my marriage wasn’t so hot by this point. It didn’t worry me, but we needed help. After a marriage counseling intensive, we were able to heal tremendously and move forward.

Then, my mom found out she had breast cancer, and she went through a year of hell to be free of cancer.

It was in the middle of her treatment that I found it I was pregnant with Katherine. Oh boy, did this surprise make me cry out to the Lord in doubt and fear.

He didn’t mind that I yelled at him inside. He patiently listened while I ticked off the reasons I could not have another baby. He assured me that He was giving me a gift, a gift I was afraid to accept.

He intended all of this for His own glory. My story is His story, the story of Him always, always drawing me closer to Himself.

I don’t have a conclusion here, or a poignant point. It’s all been said in His holy word, after all. I’m just laying this out there because it is. It was. It may be again soon. But He doesn’t change. He’s there, holding me close. An unmoving rock of grace and mercy.

How Much Money Did We Lose in Our Adoption?

I’m a big fan of full disclosure.  In fact,  I might be honest to a fault (maybe because I fear judgment from man instead of trusting God knows me? Anyway,  that’s for another post.)

Because you are a faithful pray-er and contributor to our adoption, I want you to know: how much money did we lose when our adoption fell through?

Short answer: none of your money was lost,  and we only lost about $1200 of our own. 

Long answer: Brad and I spent about $1200 in application fees to various places before we started doing any adoption fundraising. Those monies are gone, but I don’t lose sleep over this.  If it cost that much to care for an orphan,  then we got off cheap.

When we started raising funds,  some of you were so faithful to give right away!  We had a few beautiful friends who gave checks to us personally,  and we still have your money ready to be used for the adoption God has for us. 

We had another few generous souls who insisted God convicted them to give until our boy was home,  and they donated to our Abba fund. Here’s what I love about Abba. That money is used for adoption. Always.  But we still have our account ready to be used for our adoption when the time comes. And our balance is still the same! We never had the opportunity to use any of these funds because our adoption fell through so early in the process. 

We had still more dear friends who purchased from our craft shows.  We didn’t raise a ton from these shows because of costs,  taxes,  and a theft, but it still was a great use of our time to spread awareness for the fatherless!

So there you have it.  The full money trail. While some have lost so so much in the DRC adoption crisis. … money,  security, children, family living on one continent… we have been protected from much. Please pray for those who have been called to lose much for God’s children. ..and especially for His dear ones themselves.

I see Zeka’s face and think of him every day. 

We are still pursuing adoption this year! Pray for our child of you think of it,  would you? 

Thank you for all of the prayers,  kind comments,  and support for our family.

We Have a Child Match! Time to Send a Stack of Papers

We’re so excited to announce that we’re matched with a child in the DRC!!! We will call him Z. We will not be posting any photos online or using his real name to ensure the integrity of our case. But if you see us in person, we’d be happy to share!

From this point:

– we send a big stack of papers over to the DRC via our agency. Pray for us to finish this week. The few we have remaining are confusing and stressful to fill out.

– an investigation is being done to get all of Z’s necessary paperwork and background checks. Then, our lawyer there will be applying for a court date.

– after we pass court (hopefully!), the US embassy will hold the case for 3-6 more months and do their own investigation.

– then I think we go get him and bring him home (we’re unsure but hoping for about a year from now)!

Upcoming Needs:

– we’re still working toward our donation goal. We have to send all of our saved funds with our dossier, which will  be very soon. To donate to our fund, you can click this link, read our story, and hit the green button on the right. Thank you!

– we are collecting items for a garage sale slated for March 29. So many friends have come through, and we’re selling some of the bigger items on craigslist.

– on the day of the sale, we need helpers! We could use about 10 people who are ready to serve. We will start around 7am and hope to close up between 1 and 3.

Thank you so much for supporting us, encouraging us, praying for us, giving money, bringing over your old couch, and just being there if we need to tell you all of the details!

Fighting the Comfort Idol

Part of the reason I chose my word of the year last year had to do with fighting my idolization of comfort.

I love to just be my old self. The fleshly self.

I have always been a very negative person. When I’m just seeking my own comfort, I can see it staring at me through a wall of frowns and pessimism.

My poor husband sees it the most because around him, I don’t have to hide it.

Last week, I was sitting in my chair, about to open my Bible. The day before, I had decided to start reading 2 Corinthians because of its theme on suffering (and I thought I might need to hold onto that amid our adoption!)

Instead of opening my Bible first, which is what I usually do, I prayed first. I prayed for deliverance from the gigantic black hole that is my emotions sometimes. I asked for God’s power to fight my comfort idol, to be really satisfied in Him – and GRATEFUL!

Then, I opened up to 2 Corinthians 1…. where I was blown away by a treatise on comfort! Oh God your faithfulness astounds me!

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1: 3-7, ESV)

Y’all. I just don’t have the words. I want to memorize this:

 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (v. 5)

I really have nothing else to say. I think He said it all.

Adoption Fundraising Efforts

Please continue to pray for the DRC to open up exit visas for the adopted children! Your prayers are being heard – let’s nag the Lord as he calls us to do!

We are so thankful for your continual prayers on behalf of our adoption. We are thankful that God is leading us to move forward to see our child home!

Where we are:

– The state of Texas has received our paperwork, and we are waiting for an appointment to get another set of fingerprints (why does this not make sense to me?). They will send us a very important approval called I-171H. This document will say that we are allowed to adopt internationally.

– Fundraising! Here are the fundraising paths we’re pursuing, how you can pray, and how you can give!

Making Money

One of my jobs is as a professional actress. It sounds really silly to say, but it’s true, and it’s not as glamorous as you think! Although this work is hard and sporadic, it is lucrative work. And, all of the money I earn through acting is going into our adoption savings. God already provided immensely this fall through this route, so would you pray specifically that I would find favor to earn more of this work? Especially the jobs that are high pay/low time?

Selling Stuff

This past fall, my mom and I worked non-stop to make goodies that we sold at craft shows. Some dear friends helped us in so many ways, too! We were able to raise over $2,000 in profits through these shows!

In March, our neighborhood will hold our annual Spring neighborhood garage sale. We are going to capitalize on the advertising and hold a sale at our house. We have asked friends for garage sale donations, and our friends are coming through! I’m not sure how much we will sell/earn, but we would be blessed to raise $1,500 this way!

Adoption Grants

There are a handful of organizations that specifically raise money with the purpose of giving it away to adoptive families. For our family, it makes sense to apply to two of them. Would you pray we would receive favor to have a matching grant of $1,000 (meaning we would also raise $1,000 that they match) and a free and clear grant of $3,000?

Asking for Cash

There have been so many who have already asked how, how much, and where they can give money to help. What a blessing to have dear friends and family step forward to give before we’ve even asked! We haven’t yet sent out specific support letters (although we will), but if you’re already ready to give, we have a fund where you can make a tax-deductible contribution. We have partnered with the ABBA Fund for this purpose. You will make a grant to them preferenced in our name, and when we have an adoption expense, we will ask them for a grant from the fund. Our page is here, and you can donate by clicking here.

*Also, if you work for a company that matches charitable donations, you can use the ABBA Fund to double your contribution!

The Lord has already provided in ways that have blown me away, and I am confident He will continue to do so!

How Much Do We Need to Raise?

Part of our expenses are not fixed: travel. We are estimating about $8,000 for this, but of course it varies widely and the time in-country might be longer after the exit visas open back up.

So, we estimate that we will need about $30,000 – $35,000 to cover all of our costs. We are aiming to cover $15,000 of these costs ourselves, and we are hoping to raise the rest! It’s a huge undertaking, but I feel at complete peace about it.

Another expense that we are planning for is selling our used SUV and purchasing a used van. Our SUV can’t really have three carseats and boosters safely clipped into the backseat. Although we might be able to make it work for a time, it is not the safest choice. After selling our SUV, we think we will need another $8,000 – $10,000 to purchase a used van. (We will pay cash for this–> please let me know if you’d rather donate toward our van fund.)

What’s the Timeline?

Financially, we have enough in savings to get through the step where we are matched with a child (can’t wait!) and submit our dossier to the court in the Congo. So our needs for the next couple of months appear to be covered. Beyond that, we are totally relying on the Lord!

We’re hoping for fingerprints and state approval by the end of February, although I feel impatient for this step. Once we’re matched with a child, our court date in the Congo could be as soon as 6 weeks and as long as 6 months! Wait, wait, wait is our new MO.

Overall, the closing of the exit visas has made the timing of our adoption all speculative, but I would see it as a huge blessing if we were able to hold our child for the first time in 2014!

Thank you as always for praying with us on this journey.


Announcing the Next Member of Team Pete!!!

We’re so thrilled to announce that WE’RE ADOPTING!!!

We are already in the process of adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, commonly called the DRC. I’ll let this video answer some of your questions:

We thank 620 Studio for their video design!

We will post soon with more updates, but for now, please celebrate and praise Jesus with us!