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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So happy!

I just mailed 3/4 of our Dossier to our agency!!!


We sent it all packaged via USPS Registered mail because it's over 6 months of work to bring our son home. Wow! I didn't anticipate these emotions... (sniff, sniff) and we just couldn't risk anything happening to it. And the postal employees were so patient with me. I had never sent anythign registered before. You have to cover all the edges with that brown tape. Then the clerk was a really good sport when I asked to take a picture. :)

But we're not done yet...


Fingerprints were done yesterday! Woohoo! Just waiting on USCIS approval... I was told both over th ephone and via email, that our case has not yet been assigned to an officer, and that it will be handled in the order it was received. But I am trusting God to move the mountains of paperwork.

Then we will rush to Austin (again) to certify our  I-797 & homestudy. Then they will go to the Assistant Stork in DC to be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy,  before making it to our agency to complete our Dossier.

Now onto the next hurdle... we owe our agency $3,000 and will owe another $1,000 with submission of our Dossier. That's $4,000 (not counting authentication expenses of approx $265). We have $1,200 raised and waiting in the bank. So we just need to raise $2,800 more to pay our agency and be able to submit our Dossier to China once the last docs get there from DC.


Please sponsor a puzzle piece for $5 and be a part of bringing Eli home!

We have received sponsors for 15 pieces so far. Yay! That is $75 less. The puzzle is 1,000 pieces and we'd love to get sponsors for all the pieces. But we really need to raise the other $2,800 we need to submit our Dossier to China. So only $2,725 to go or 545 more puzzle pieces.

You can donate via Chip-In button on right, Paypal to adventure4eli@gmail.com or contact us to mail a check or give us cash.

Thank you to everyone that has already helped us over the last 6 months. Especially for our prayer warriors. May God bless you all tenfold!

One dedicated momma,
Sherry

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

pieces while we wait

After calling USCIS today because the mail lady still didn't deliver a Biometrics appointment notice for our fingerprinting to be done, I discovered that our case has not yet been assigned to an officer...

???

Ok Lord, trusting you here!

But after being put on hold, the nice voice on the phone did give me some good news, in that she informed me that our Biometrics appointment has been set... for Tues May 29th. The notice was sent on Monday.

Monday, really? We live in TEXAS, why didn't it arrive today???

Sigh!

I sigh because tomorrow both hubby and 18 yr son are off work, and we could drive up to Dallas and WALK-IN... if we only had that piece of paper stating we indeed had an appointment... (sniff, sniff)

So we wait for the appointment notice to arrive in the mail. Then I guess we figure out when we can find a morning to all drive up to Dallas, between multiple work & school schedules... Lord help us!

So I turned my attention to our next BIG hurdle... money.

Besides the final 2 certification fees, 5 authentication fees and coordinating courier fees needed soon; we currently owe our adoption agency $3,000 (due upon home study approval) and we will owe another $1,000 due with submission of Dossier to China.

Praise the Lord for the $905.08 we rasied last week!

But that still leaves more than $3,000 to be paid before we can send our official paperwork to China for us to adopt Eli.

Thus our newest Fundraiser...

"The Pieces that bring Eli home" 



Will you be one of the PIECES that bring Eli home?

For just $5 per piece you can have your name written on the back of a piece.

or someone else's name  :)


This 1,000 piece puzzle of China Town will be constructed once all the PIECES are sponsored,
then glued together and placed in a double frame
so Eli can see all the people that helped bring him home.


Lindsey Hayle was the first supporter. Thanks!


You can use our Chip-In button, Paypal, mail a check, give us cash, whatever works for you...

*Please remember Paypal, which includes Chip-In, deducts a small fee from each donation.

We would love to write your name on one of these 1,000 puzzle pieces and tell Eli how you helped bring him home to his forever family.

We are running against a deadline here... China asked our paperwork be to them by June 15th.

That's just 29 days away. Can we do it?

Can we get sponsors for all 1,000 pieces in 29 days?

If we can at least get 600 pieces with names, we'll have the $3,000 we need to submit our Dossier.

Please consider helping us and being a part of this miracle to bring Eli home.

And we already have folks who have volunteered to help us construct the puzzle. Fun!

Thank you so much for all that have already given and supported us both financially and in prayer. We certainly still need prayers... they are priceless. :)

Faithfully,
Sherry & family

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 months and counting

Today is 5 months since China pre-approved us to adopt Eli... And that also means we only have one month left until our deadline to submit our Dossier to China! Eek!

So what have we been doing???

Well, last week our family was gone to Houston, TX for our annual vacation to the Boston Terrier Club of America National Specialty Dog Show. We look forward to this every year. And every year it moves around to different parts of the country. This year we were fotunate it was so close...

And while in Houston we managed to go to the Chinese Consulate and get 8 documents for our Dossier authenticated. We got there at 8:30 am Monday and there was a long line... But when the doors opened at 9am, we moved along pretty quickly and were done dropping off docs by 10am. Then Steve went back Friday and picked up our authenticated documents. Yay!



and during the week we also managed to fundraise, fundraise, fundraise...

Many fellow Boston Terrier exhibitors were supportive and some very generous. Below I will TRY to abreviate our week of blessings & fundraisers towards bringing Eli home.

The biggest and most wonderful thing of the week would have to be the painting! "Love Brings Eli Home". Adrienne Hullender donated her heart, time, supplies and talent to help create a beautiful work of art, which our children Zoe and Levi actually painted. Adrienne came up with the idea and sketched the design. And when it was all done, it was auctioned off fri night for $200 to Yuko Shinoda of Japan. :)  Thank you Adrienne & Yuko!!!















We were also blessed by another surprise from Adrienne, in that she gave a beautiful necklace she won earlier in the week to be auctioned off at the Awards Banquet Fri night and donated half of the proceeds to Boston Rescue and half to help bring Eli home... the necklace sold to Pamela Preston for $400! So that was another $200 towards helping bring Eli home!!! Thank you Adrienne & Pamela!

Two fellow Junior Handlers also painted and donated a painting of their own which raised $6. (Don't think the boston community was ready for their beautiful artwork of a boston in a tank. Although it was cute!) Thank you for your hearts John & Conrad Kurts, with Adrienne's help.  :)

In addition to those monies raised, we also held a couple Give Aways of our own. Thanks to Mollie Smith who donated a Boston Cool Coat, which Pamela Preston won, and Vicki Wilt who donated a necklace, which Merrilee Burgess won, along with another necklace I had, which Kathleen Brewer won, we rasied $84. Thank you to everyone to made donations and helped us drawn winning tickets.









Of course we mentioned the beautiful hand painted purse donated by Vicki Wilt already, which raised $205 and our Give Away winner was Kathy Hullstein. Thanks again Vicki & everyone to participated!!! The purse is gorgeous and the $205 much appreciated!


We also had the privelege of selling Boston Cool Coats for Mollie Smith who hand made them and donated 20% of all sales towards bringing Eli home. We sold 6 coats in Houston and therefore raised another $50. Woohoo!

Our local chinese restaurant Summer Palace donated fortune cookies, which we filled a jar with and gave away during the week next to our change jar, which managed to bring in $30.08. Hooray!

And so all combined fundraising efforts, plus $130 in random donations by generous people, brought in a total of $905.08 during our week in Houston at the BTCA Nationals. Thank you Ellie Bennett for giving us space on your vendor booth table to advocate & fundraise! And thank you everyone to supported us in any way!!! We really appreciate it!

Praise God!!!! Woohoo!!! That is almost 1/4 of what we need to send our agency to submit our Dossier to China. We still have a few other expenses to get the Dossier authenticated too. But we are getting there. Slowly, but surely. God is providing all that we need to bring Eli home. And we pray that the Lord bless all those that have given and blessed our efforts tenfold. Thank you all!!!

Sincerely,
Sherry and family

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Love Brings Eli Home"

We're in Houston, TX at the annual Boston Terrier Club of America National Specialty Dog Show this week. So I'm posting from my phone. Will post more when home, but had to share this...

A fellow Boston enthusiast, Adrienne Hullender, is also an artist & decided to help with our fundraising efforts. So she designed a painting, sketched it & asked our kids, Zoe (14) & Levi (10) to paint it...

Adrienne named it "Love Brings Eli Home"

It is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love it!

It is being auctioned off to the highest bidder today & the first bid is $100.

Yesterday we drew the winner of the beautiful "Vicki Wilt" handpainted Boston Terrier purse & the winner was Kathy Hulstein.

Today we also draw for a boston terrier sized cool coat, donated by Mollie Smith, & two boston necklaces.

So thankful to the Lord for creative ways to fundraise & supportive people to help. God bless them tenfold.

Gratefully,
Sherry



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

6 months into our Adventure

Yesterday was May 1st

5 months since we said YES

made a commitment to Eli

asked our adoption agency to submit Letter Of Intent for us to adopt him as our son.

Tomorrow will be May 3rd

6 months since we "officially" started this Adventure and


Friday is May 4th, 6 months since we first saw Eli's picture and precious video.

Today is May 2nd

the day I FedEx'd our I-800A to USCIS applying to US Immigration to allow us to adopt Eli.


Yay! One more step closer to bringing our boy home.

Today is a good day indeed.

So happy to have FedEx'd our application to immigration!

But before I even sent it out, we got a small blessing from heaven...
as Steve was leaving for work at 6:45 am this morning there was a butterfly on our front door.
I opened the door and there it was,
and it just stayed there as we walked out onto the front porch.
I didn't get a picture, but it felt like God was there and brought so much peace to me
and made us both smile.

Butterflies often symbolize new life
and I believe this morning was a step towards our new life as a family with Eli.

Then 3 hours later I had just posted about it on my facebook and was telling Zoe about the butterfly and Zoe says "You mean the one right there?" and points to the front door...


Wow! It came back, at just that moment...

Call it what you want, but I believe it to be a "God smile".

Thank you Lord!