This was our family's adventure to bring Eli home. But if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. “The LORD shall add to me another son.” Gen 30:24
And so now this is our family's adventure to bring Eli & Kai home. As we're adopting both boys into our family forever.
An adventure is defined as an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.
Jesus said “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” - Mark 9:37
I can't help but be excited for 2012 & all that God has for us!
And we still have 2012 CALENDARS!!!
I have been asked what the inside looks like, so I took some pics to post for everyone. Please remember these are 8.5 x 11 spiral bound, nice quality, full color wall calendars. Each month highlights a different family & their beautiful adoptive children.
Plenty of space to write appointments on...
January - June
July - Decemeber
Thick & sturdy enough to stand. These are nice calendars!
So please don't miss your chance to get one. Only $12, plus S/H $3.50 for one & $1 ea additional. Orders yours today via our Chip-In button or Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well I am still researching social workers, so we can decide who we are going to hire to do our home study. Today I finally got to talk to a couple of them. I really liked this one lady that has been doing home studies for adoptive families of chinese children for over 11 yrs. Please be in prayer that we choose the right SW.
Then while talking to our agency coordinator this afternoon about our paperwork and home study, I was informed of a New Years blessing... We have been awarded a Brittany's Hope Grant of $2,000!!! Praise God! Now Brittany's Hope is a 'Pay It Forward' grant foundation and what that means, I have been told, is that they will set up an account in our name for people to donate into. When we have $1,000 in donations, Brittanys Hope will grant us $2,000 towards our travel expenses or orphanage fee. And Brittany's Hope is a non-profit, so anyone wanting to make a donation as a tax deduction can do so thru this opportunity. Yay!
God is so good! Every time I might have the hint of discouragement or not even, just concern, He provides some type of blessing to remind us this is His plan & He will bring it to completion. I am so grateful!
And for those who haven't gotten their 2012 calendar, we still have some left.
Or if you want a chance at a FREE Kindle Fire... we are still accepting Donations for that Give Away too.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and support. God bless everyone as they ring in the New Year. We are off to a bonfire with friends. Catch ya in 2012!
We are so blessed to celebrate Christ's birth as fellow heirs to the kingdom of God. And we are so blessed to have celebrated Christmas this year together with four kids at home in our new resident state of Texas, and one kid waiting across the ocean in China. :)
Can't wait to hear that Eli hopefully received his Christmas Care Pkg & the news of us becoming his forever family. As a family tradition we opened gifts to one another on Christmas Eve. But in the spirit of St. Nicholas's Giving our entire family gets stockings on Christmas morning at our house, and today was no exception... the kids found Eli's stocking under our "Advent Tree" where dad put it because Eli is family and we are preparing & awaiting his arrival, just as we have been preparing & awaiting for Christ this season.
Zoe & Levi enjoyed exploring Eli's stocking and we are putting his things up for his travel backpack home...
And if we didn't have enough things to praise God for, I must share a wonderful blessing we just received... When I opened our blog to write this post, I noticed it looked like our Chip In fund was bigger. So I hurried to log into Eli's paypal account and found that we received a $100 Donation TODAY, on Christmas day!!! Thank you so much to the GIVER of this Gift. May God bless you tenfold! That is the second $100 Donation we have received this week... Christmas week. God bless tenfold the Corsicana family, who blessed us earlier this week too. Praise the Lord of all things, praise His Holy name! As we are trying to finish selling the calendars and raise the rest of our first agency payment of $3,000 these Donations are a huge blessing and encouragement.
I know I am a coffee junkie! Starbucks could become my middle name. But if you are like me, may I ask you to consider this... Just Love Coffee is a company owned & operated by an adoptive family that supports other adoptive families. We have registered with them to receive a portion of proceeds from sales through our adoption store front https://justlovecoffee.com/about/beneficiary/adventure4eli/ going towards bringing Eli home. So please, if you buy coffee check this out, try some & help bring Eli home while we still drink coffee. It's that easy! We're gonna buy the coffee anyway, and this way it blesses lots of people at the same time. Oh, and BTW, for my non-coffee drinkers... they have cocoa too! And a neat gift shop...
We are also sending money to the orphanage for a cake for his Birthday because it is in 2 weeks. Don't want to overwhelm him, but don't want his birthday forgotten either. Just want him to know he is loved!
Thank you to everyone praying for our Eli and for our adoption process. We appreciate & need all of them!
Just wanted to announce that there is only 20 mins left untill we draw a name for the $75 Gift Basket Give Away of Starbucks, Specialty Chocolates, earrings, incense burner, gift card, snowman decor, cookies...
Please Donate $5 to get your name in drawing or $10 for three chances before 10pm CST & help us bring Eli home!!!
And if you Donate & x-post to your fb wall or blog & send me link, I will put your name in again for FREE...
Donate using easy Chip-In button on right side of blog or Paypal to email@example.com
We are so excited!!! Since we have never adopted before, this is a new feeling of elation and emotions... I have been told I am "Paper-Pregnant"... lol That would explain why I am so excited I can hardly type I guess... lol
The real work starts tomorrow, but at least for tonight we can celebrate CCCWA pre-approving us to adopt our son. Woohoo!
Please check out our fundraisers, as we need funds ASAP.
I think today is business day 7 and we are anxiously awaiting PA for our son...
I have been reading all the good news posts about acronyms I don't understand yet on all the yahoo adoption groups, and I am happy for everyone, but hoping we get the call soon too. I so want to hurry and order a care pkg for him for Christmas. I want to make his Christmas with finding out he is loved from a far & give him the hope of the future... sigh
Trying to keep busy and not think about it... But it's hard!
ALL the 150 calendars we had printed have now arrived. And we just mailed 49 calendars & have 21 pkg'd & waiting to go out. If you haven't got your 2012 calendar yet, please order one from us! They are only $12, plus S/H ($3.50).
We have two other fundraisers going on too. Anything to keep busy and raise support & funds...
Our newest one is a KINDLE FIRE GIVE AWAY - $10 Donation gets your name in drawing & $20 Donation gets your name in 4 x's. I will also put your name in an additional time with a donation and x-post on yoru blog or fb page. (Send me link)
And only 4 days left until we are drawing for the big $75 Gift Basket of Starbucks, Chocolate & more at 10pm Sun Dec 18th. So be sure to get your name in that drawing for a $5 Donation, or $10 gets your name in 3 x's, before it's too late. Again, I will also put your name in an additional time with a donation and x-post on your blog or fb page. (Send me link)
I have seen so many neat items for fundraisers and been Christmas shopping myself thru all your blogs. Love it!
We also opened the adoption bank account today! Yay! Our bank even let us put a sub-title on the account... "Adventure 4 Eli". It's not on checks or anything, just there for the bank & us to see and keep seperate from out personal account. But still was very neat.
So while we still wait for out PA call... we are trying to keep moving forward. Thank you everyone for your support already. We appreciate all of it! And keep watch for news soon...
Woohoo!!! The 2012 Adoption Success Stories Calendar are finished, uploaded to printer & now on their way!
I will have some in 2-3 days, the rest will be here by next week. Either way, plenty of time for Christmas. Everyone please be sure to order yours today for delivery before Christmas. Offer & price while supplies last...
2012 Adoption Success Stories Calendar are $12 each, plus S/H ($3.50 for one, plus $1 per additional calendar). You can place order via the Chip-in button on right side of our blog www.adventure4eli.blogspot.com or Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please specify “Calendar” & quantity ordering). All proceeds go towards bringing Eli home, specifically to the first agency fee of $3,000.
Great gift idea too! What a neat way to share the wonderful joys of beautiful children & adoption 12 months a year, with a different family’s success story every month.
I would like to thank my friend Jennifer LaHaye Kurts, who is a very talented professional photographer & graphic artist http://www.kurtslahaye.com/ for designing all the months in the calendar. I am telling you they are gorgeous!
And a HUGE THANK YOU to all 12 families that sponsored months in the calendar & shared yoru beautiful children and families with us. Because without you, there would be no calendar.
I've been teary eyed all morning after receiving an email from Angela (Ladybugs 'N Love) with new pics!!!
Although he is absolutely beautiful & the first pic is wonderful, this next pic means more to us...
Look at his face! He loves holding this dog. Because we love & show dogs as a family hobby, and have 8 dogs in our home, we really wanted to know that our son liked dogs. But we were told many of the orphans in China are not exposed to dogs & so many are afraid of them when they first come home. Well we wanted to ask if he liked dogs in our 10 Questions, but decided not to... But God knows all & is in total control!!! His plans are exceedingly & abundantly better than we could ever ask for. Out of the three pics we received, one is of him holding a dog. Thank you Jesus!!!
It warms our heart to know that he is loved and cared for by a foster family. I can't help but cry when I think about the lovely lady who is acting as a mother to him... I already appreciate so much all that she has done for our son.
The other email I received this am was from our agency coordinator stating "Your file has been locked to him and the CCCWA is assessing now- cross your fingers and toes and keep praying."
It can take 5-7 business days to get PA, but I was told we should hear back by end of the week...
So I am asking everyone to please pray!!!
Last night we decorated the family room and Christmas tree. And we all kept mentioning "Next year when Eli is here..." or "Hope Eli ..." or "We have to get a stocking for Eli", etc, etc, etc.
Praying this is his last Christmas without a family of HIS OWN to celebrate with...
Well I have to get back to these two kiddos here- Zoe is studying biology & Levi is doing his math lesson on the computer. I love homeschooling my kids. I am also working on raising the $3,000 agency payment we need when we do hear back about our PA. We are still taking orders for Calendars & donations for the $75 Give Away Gift Basket. But I am supposed to be working on Steve's idea for the next fundraiser. Watch for it.
$75 Gift Basket includes:
1 lb Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee
$10 Starbucks Gift Card
Ceramic Coffee Mug 17 oz Frappuccino Earrings
Ferrero Chocolate Collection 5.5 oz
Ferrara Chocolate Orange 6.17 oz
Russell Stover Chocolate 2 oz
Royal Dansk Wafers 3.5 oz
Ceramic Incense Burner
Snowman Kitchen Towel
Snowman Christmas Ornament
Please Donate & Help bring Eli home!
$5 Donation will get your name in drawing
$10 will get your name in 3 times *Donate w/ Chip-In Button or Paypal to email@example.com Advertise on your fb or blog & get name in extra time (send me link)
We will be drawing to Give Away the Gift Basket Sun Dec 18th 10pm CST
We WILL SHIP!
We got the orphanage call update we have been waiting 19 days for... Thank you Angela & Kelly from Ladybugs 'N Love From Above!!! http://ladybugsnlove.com/
AND our adoption agency is LOCKING in our son right now & submitting to China for PA (Pre-Approval) for us to adopt him!!! OMGoodness! The flood of emotions...
They have 48 hrs to translate & get all our docs to China. Then we wait 5-7 business days for PA. So we need lots of prayers!
Meanwhile, we need the first agency payment of $3,000 when PA comes back.
Who wants 2012 calendars???
And for those interested: He is in a foster home, which is why the update took so long. He is a very happy outgoing boy, loved by everyone. He even goes to school. He's good at math, but needs extra help with words... sounds like a Patton to me. (lol) He loves music and to sing, again must be a Patton. His favorite colors are red, green and yellow. He turns 10 yrs old next month and we can't wait to get more pics of him!
Well today's blog will be three announcements of very different news:
First PRAISE THE LORD is that we have made our goal of $600 by the end of November. Woohoo!!!Between the Chip-In / $11 for Eli donations, a "Spare Change for Eli" can that Levi made to help bring his brother Eli home and put in our den and we've all been adding coins to, and a generous donation of $500 by an adoption advocate family friend we have our first goal of $600 for our official application. God is good!
Second news report: We are still patiently awaiting an update on a 9 yr old boy we are very interested in. Praying and wondering why it's been 2 weeks since our agency requested an update and still no news. We also have not received any info from our orphanage call we ordered either. So I can't help but think "Lord, is he not our child?" Then hubby says it could be God telling us no, or it could be the enemy trying to keep us from him. Pray! So why do I keep thinking about other boys... especially one little one... So you see, we need prayer for clear direction to our son Eli. And I want to thank those of you that I know are praying for us. It is much appreciated!
And third announcement is that even tho there is no progress on the Lock-In front, there is progress on the calendar... It is full!!! Yay!!!
The 2012 Adoption Success Stories Calendar has 12 months of wonderful families and beautiful adopted kiddos!!!
The sponsoring highlighted families are busy submitting their great pics & stories, and the giving professional artist is busy creating it all into one great calendar for everyone to share and enjoy.
So now it's time for everyone to place their orders... because as soon as the layout work is done, this thing is headed to the printer. Don't miss out!
What a great way to share the wonderful blessing of adoption 12 months a year, and what joy to share a different success story every month. :)
All proceeds will be going towards our adoption to help bring Eli home, specifically towards our $3,000 agency fee first payment.
Calendars cost $12 each, plus S/H ($3.50 for one, plus $1 per additional calendar).
That's only $1 per month!!! (Not including shipping, but the more you order the cheaper shipping per calendar will cost.)
Thank you to the 12 great sponsoring families, we couldn't do this project without you & I can't wait to see your beautiful children on each month.
*Permission to cross post. I'd love to share these stories with the world...
In closing, please remember this is the season of advent... I'd like to share a thought which came to me as I am writing this update, and that is that the meanign of advent is a preparation season for our savior. And that has special meaning and new perspective to me this year. As adoptive parents we spend a season of preparation for our children to arrive. Many of us are doing it right now. And in a sense, we are viewed as their saviors. But something to consider is tho Jesus is our savior and therefore blesses us, how can we be a blessing to him as our children are to us. I don't know if I am expressing my words well tonight, I am so full of emotions. But I know I love and appreciate my Lord and Savior so much and I pray I can be a blessing to Him and please Him this Christmas season by taking on a spirit of giving to as many as I can in lots of ways.
God bless you all tenfold for your giving spirits!
Well for those praying & following our adventure 4 Eli, we did not get the boy we hoped transfered yesterday. Turns out the other family, from the other agency, chose to proceed with adopting him. So we are happy he now has a family (Yay! That's ONE less!), but still praying to figure out which boy is our son.
We did request an update on a boy a week ago. Because his file was 5-7 yrs old. Our agency put in the request to China, but no word as of yet. We also put in for an orphange call for him thru Ladybugs 'N' Lovehttp://ladybugsnlove.com/ So we are hopeful for good news soon.
We appreciate all the prayers & support, it means a lot, and will keep everyone updated with news. Please keep praying 4 Eli, cuz God knows who he is...
On the fundraising side, we have gotten several sponsorships for months in our "Adoption Success Stories Calendar 4 Eli". We are awaiting a few more folks to choose which month they want. But at present we know we have 5 months still available. So if you are successful adoptive parents and would like to help us out we'd love to share your children's story on our calendar. For a gift of only $37 you get your children/family on a full page of the wall calendar; plus you get a FREE calendar!
Please email us to sponsor a month.
Donating Adoptive families will submit-
Plus one single photo of the adopted kids (optional):
Family city and/or state (optional):
Adoptive kids’ first or first & middle name:
Adoptive kids’ Gotcha Day:
Adoptive kids’ place of birth:
Adoptive kids’ Special Need if applicable:
One line testimony sentence:
*All design and art work provided by professional photographer/artist for each month sponsored. Photographs can be snapshots or professional & need to be 250 or 300 dpi. If professional pics, you need a release from the photographer.
and hopefully praying. :) I thought you'd like an update.
Steve & I had our physicals done yesterday. The drs office is waiting for the lab results before notarizing the medical forms. Once we have those in hand, we will send in our package to be able to "Lock" our son.
Next, our agency contacted the agency with the boy we wish to adopt yesterday. The other agency did not say No to the transfer. But that they needed to make sure there were no interested families in their own agency and then would have an office meeting to consider if they all agreed to transfer his file. They said they were open to transfer tho, and would get back to our agency in a couple days.
So we took that as good news! Yay!
Next news was an encouraging message I received from a dear friend this am, who shared their plans to make a nice size donation to help our adoption. That is all I can say at this time. But I praise God for his continued encouragement!
Then later this morning I received a message that the agency with the boy we want, has one family reviewing his file now. They hope to know by Monday if the family wishes to move forward or not, and they'll let our agency know as soon as they know if he becomes available for transfer.
We are not discouraged by this news, because we know adoptive parents review lots of kids files. We ourselves have several boys files we have considered. So IF he is indeed meant to be our son, as we hope and pray, he will be available for transfer to us. Perhaps we just need to wait... :)
And the next tid bit of info is a glimpse at a fundraiser I hope to do, if there is enough interest.
Adoption Success Stories Calendar Fundraiser for Eli
*Our goal is to raise adoption awareness and while raising funds to help bring Eli home.
We will offer adoptive families, with children already home, the opportunity to tell a little of their story by submitting pictures and info of their kids to be spotlighted for a month of choice in the calendar, for a donation. **They will also receive one FREE calendar with their sponsorship.**
2012 Wall Calendar (8.5 x 11)
Donating Adoptive families will submit
Plus one single photo of the adopted kids (optional):
Family city and/or state (optional):
Adoptive kids’ first or first & middle name:
Adoptive kids’ Gotcha Day:
Adoptive kids’ place of birth:
Adoptive kids’ Special Need if applicable:
One line testimony sentence:
*All design and art work provided by professional photographer/artist for each month sponsored
We will then also be taking orders for the calendar sales to anybody & everybody. They will make great testimonies on your own wall, share your adoptive friends’ stories, but think Christmas gifts too. J
Once we have all the months sponsored and info submitted, we can order the calendars to be printed, hopefully in time for Christmas. J
We’ve seen this fundraiser done for pet health & rescue awareness, how much more important are the orphans.
The donation amount we’ve seen for sponsoring a month for your family’s story was $50, but we’re open to suggestion at this point. We also think we can sell the calendar for approx $12, but would need to add S/H.
We’d really like to hear feedback both on who’s interested in sponsoring a month to spotlight their kids’ story, as well as how many folks are interested in purchasing a calendar of this type… And if there is enough interest we can begin immediately and get them done in time for Christmas.
Well that's all for today. Actually that was quite a lot to update. But I am looking forward to the responses.
We want to adopt an 8 yr old little boy (SN: post-op club feet) that is on an agency "individual list", but not the agency we are already working with. Our agency told me today that they can, and are willing to, request the other agency to transfer the child if we are committed and paperwork ready. Now the tough part, I had asked the other agency a couple weeks ago if he was available for transfer and was told no, but that we could switch to their agency. However, we have a peace about our current agency and desire to stay with them thru our adoption adventure. So our hope & prayer now is that with all our paperwork ready for Lock, and proving our commitment, the other agency will be swayed to say yes to our agency. And then prayerfully, CCCWA will also agree.
This is the boy that when we first saw his picture, we believed he was our son. But when he didn’t seem available to us, we searched and searched the older boy listings trying to find our son and make a commitment. Wondering why this seemed so hard. We have multiple boys files and have even asked for update on a boy we were considering. But then today someone posted something about the 8 yr old on one of the yahoo groups… and my heart leapt. So after a few emails, phone calls and questions, we have decided to pursue him. We have dr apts tomorrow and are going to overnight all our docs to our agency tomorrow, and have them go ahead and request his transfer.
I am asking everyone willing to support us in this, to please pray over the next 24 hours. Please! And we will send out update with any news we receive.
Announcement of our Adoption is out and we have begun our first Fundraiser... $11 for Eli
November is National Adoption Month… in honor of that, we have begun our first fundraiser & am asking those that are able & willing to donate $11 for Eli.
We are trying to raise $600 by the end of Nov to cover the “official application” fee.
Anyone interested in helping can donate via Paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org (please specify "gift" to prevent fees), or use the convenient "Chip-In" button on this blog; or you can email us for a mailing address.
We are also pleased to have our Dr appointments for Steve & my physical exam on Tuesday! Praise the Lord we got an apt and our insurance all changed in time.
We are praying about a certain little boy right now. We have a couple other files too. We hope to have answers & our paperwork into CHI next week, and be matched and Lock-in our son. As soon as a decision is made, we will let everyone know. We appreciate all the prayers and encouragement we have already received from the adoption community. Thank you & God bless!
***Note: If anyone has any questions, our adoption agency is Children's House International www.childrenshouseinternational.com. Our coordinator is Heidi Hawkins email@example.com.
In researching some Chinese stuff tonight and deciding on a theme maybe for Eli and/or a fundraiser we are planning, I came across the following info and it really touched my heart and screamed "That's our Eli!"
What do Koi Fish Symbolize? When considering a topic as historically rich as koi symbolism, one must look at the legends and myths surrounding the koi fish to discover it's true meaning within the context of Japanese and Chinese culture.
Dragon's Gate on Yellow River
According to Chinese legend, there was a place called Dragon's Gate at the top of a large waterfall on Yellow River. Carp would swim up the river, against the current to reach the base of the waterfall. Although many would try, only a few were brave and able enough to attempt the final leap up the waterfall. It was said that if a carp was able to complete the journey through Dragon's Gate at the top of the falls, then it would be transformed into a powerful dragon.
In Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol of great power.
The story symbolizes that anybody who is able to persevere through great trials can accomplish their highest goals to become great.
This is the first of what I hope will be many blogs about our ADVENTURE 4 Eli.
"A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step." - Confucius
We have just begun looking into something we NEVER expected to do... ADOPT! We currently have four birth children: Cory James (19), Drew Jacob (17), Zoe Bell (14) & Levi Joel (10). Each of our children are a blessing, and each has their own story and lesson of faith we've learned one way or another. Steve & I will celebrate our 22nd Wedding Anniversary on Nov 20th. Steve recently retired from active duty military service after 22 yrs in the US Air Force. We have been quite content with four kids, and had planned NO MORE. But when God calls you to do something, you might kick and scream a little, but you eventually obey and look forward to the many blessings that follow. Although we have many questions and uncertainties, we have FAITH that what God wills for our family will happen IF we simply walk out the adventure in faith.
At this time we feel a leading towards finding an orphan boy age 7-10 yrs old from China. We have found an agency to be our tour guide on this adventure: that is Children's House International. We are praying about several possible boys, and waiting for God to show us our son. At this point we have only submitted a pre-application and received a few boys files. Oh, and looked at a ton of pictures. :) We do not know all that lies ahead or even much at all at this point... except that we are trying to be obiediant followers of Jesus Christ. And as we begin the real paperwork & fundraising, we will appreciate all prayers and support anyone can offer!