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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Moon Festival


China is on holiday for the next week.

Taken from the Families with Children from China North Texas group:
One of the most important celebrations in China, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is an evening celebration when families and friends gather together to light lanterns, eat moon cakes and appreciate the full moon when it is at its roundest and brightest. In China, this full moon is symbolic of a bountiful harvest and the reuniting of family, much like the American celebration of Thanksgiving.

To read about the traditional Chinese Autum Moon Festival go to: http://www.chinavoc.com/festivals/Midautumn.htm

We are going to Dallas tonight to celebrate with fellow adoptive families. We've been looking forward to this for a month now. And I can't help but wonder what the boys are doing in China...


Maybe taking a walk and finding butterflies which give them hope of their new lives...


 Maybe singing songs of celebration...


Or being loving and kind to fellow orphan brothers and sisters.

Whatever they are doing, I pray they are enjoying their holiday and making memories to last a lifetime. I pray God is preparing their hearts to leave China, their homeland, all they know. My heart longs to hold them and tell them it's all gonna be ok, and I HOPE they accept me to be their mamma to do just that.

Praise report, was we had enough in savings and funds raised to pay Eli's orphanage donation fee and both boys' visa fees. Kai Joseph's orphanage donation fee will be paid by two grants: $2,000 Brittany's Hope grant and $3600 from Reece's Rainbow funds. Thank you all for your generous gifts.

Update: Both boys' I-800 was approved by USCIS and we are awaiting the National Visa Center's approval and then they will cable GZ, China. After we get that approval, our agency will submit our Article 5. That takes two weeks. Then we await the BIG letters... TA... Travel Approval.

In the meantime, we are preparing the boys' bedrooms and packing. We have lots of fundraising still going on too, because we have lots of travel expenses still to pay and the in country legal & medical fees.

Please check out our Faith Believe Necklace, Adoption Bug & Show Hope t-shirts, Just Love Coffee fundraiser, Reece's Rainbow is still accepting tax deductible donations, and we still have LOTS of puzzle pieces left.

Plus, our big TWO LESS JOY FEST benefit to bring Kai & Eli home is Sat Oct 20th at 7pm.

Prayers are needed and apprciated. Thank you all for your continued support.

Last week was a very emotional week for me. You'd think I was pregnant... crying at the drop of a dime. All I could think about was the boys and needing that LOA and how were we gonna get them home. I know God is my provider and He has certainly provided a lot to be thankful for.

THANK YOU!

Sherry & family


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

LOA

 

 
We are doing the happy dance here....
 
We have LOA for Kai Joseph!!!!!
 
Hallelujah!!!

Good news is good news

We just received the following email from Brittany's Hope:

"Congratulations... your family has reached your Seedling Gift grant goal!" ... Thank you SO MUCH for going “above and beyond” to help more precious waiting children find their forever family"

Woohoo! Praise God we not only reached our $1,000 goal, we exceeded it, raising $1,255 to help more orphans! Thank you to those that gave & may God bless you tenfold!

Brittany's Hope will award us a $2,000 grant to our agency when travel plans are in place. Hallelujah!

Also, we had the wonderful opportunity to Skype with Kai Joseph


Wow! What a blessing!!!

He is such a great kid and we are so blessed to be called his family. We just fell even more in love with him as we watched him and he us. He wanted to meet everyone and see everything. He was so proud of the photo book we sent him, he had to show us every page. It was so sweet!

He asked "When you coming?"

Oh, broke my heart...

Well, yesterday we received word from our agency that our USCIS officer called and said that hehas and is holding our I-800 paperwork, waiting for a signed copy of Kai Joseph's LOA.

Yay! That saves us two weeks time when LOA arrives. Thank you Jesus for a wonderful USCIS officer. Please bless him Father!

Our agency also said they are hoping to hear about our LOA very soon...

Praying

Believing

China celebrates one of it's most important holiodays this weekend: The Autumn Moon Festival. This will shut China down for a week I am told...

So Lord, we need Kai's LOA this week... Please Father, in Jesus name!

After we receive his LOA, we will email it to our USCIS officer. He will approve our I-800 and forward it to National Visa Center and the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China. That takes approx 1-2 wks for approval, and we wait for Article 5, which is estimated at another 2 wks.

That all goes to Beijing for TA (Travel Approval), which takes about 2-5 wks...

But after we get TA, we will be making travel plans,hotel reservations & buying plane tickets to leave in 2-4 wks!!!

So if you add it up... If we get his LOA this week, we could be traveling to China in 6-8 wks...

Which would put us in China in November, which has been our goal all along.

Praise God ALL things ARE possible to those that BELIEVE!

Speaking of Believe, we are believing God to continue to provide the much needed funds to complete both these boys adoptions and our travel to get there and bring them home. So please check out our Faith Believe Fundraiser

 
 
We also have Adoption Bug & Show Hope T-shirt Fundraiser
 
 
We also still have lots of puzzle pieces that need sponsored. You can use the chip in
 
 
 
There are also still two different ways to make tax deductible donations. Reeces' Rainbow & I Care, both info and links are on the right side of the blog.
 
We are so appreciative to everyone for the prayers and donations. We know God is using HIS people to bring both these boys home. We are just grateful to be a part of the great miracle God is doing.
 
Anxiously waiting three letters, L. O. A.
Sherry 




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

He Knows!!!!

Wednesday afternoon on Sept 19, 2012 at Shepherd's Field, China; 13 year old Joseph is told he has a forever family!

His first looks at his forever family...
Oh, how I wonder what he thinks of us!
Sara is showing him a map of where he is & where we are.
He's not one for pictures they say.
Why are you following me? lol
This pic is my favorite... look at the smile on his face!
He's sharing the good news with his teachers & friends.
Thank you Pam Baker, co-founder of Shepherd's Field!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shooting Star

God is just so AWESOME!
 
The last few days have been kinda emotional. No news on our paperwork & we're entering 11 months waiting for Eli, past a normal pregnancy gestation, so I guess I'm a bit hormonal.
 
But on our way home last night,
from volunteering at Global Heart giving food to the needy,
Steve & I BOTH saw this HUGE shooting star fall right in front of us.
 
 
We both pointed saying "A good sign!"
 
So today I wake up to new pics of Eli
He caught a butterfly. Love it cuz they symbolize new life.
 
 
Today we also got our two I-800 receipt notices from USCIS with received date of 9/11.
 
I also received the following pics of our gift pkg that is headed to China for Kai this weekend with some fellow adoptive folks going to get their little boy Henry. Thanks Gretchen!
 
Fleece Pants, Batman Hoodie & two Long Sleeve T-shirts

and a little note of encouragement
 
Plus hopeful news is coming for Kai very soon...
 
Check back for more info!
 
Good night for now,
Sherry
 
P.S. We are still in needs of funds and have several fundraisers going on.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Selling a Cow on my tip toes

You are probably wondering about the title...

I posted this prayer request in my DTC group and a fellow adoptive mom said "Praying and trusting that God sells one of His cows for you."

and another said "Miracles happen every day...you just have to stand on your tiptoes and look for them :) God's got this one."

That made me stop, smile and praise God that HE owns the cattle on a thousand hills and I know my God shall supply ALL our needs.

Ok, so now, the prayer request:
I received an email from our agency that states our request for Kai's orphanage donation fee to be waived has not be requested yet, like we thought it had. Our agency now says they will not send waiver request until AFTER we get Kai Joseph's LOA, and we need to be fully prepared to pay the $5,600 fee in full when we get his LOA (expecting any day now). They went on to say they have only seen this done once and it was for child aging out day of adoption.

I want to stop here and say, that we were suggested to request the waiver by other adoptive families who have seen it happen for older children and children with more moderate to major special needs, such as Kai's complex heart condition. So we were encouraged we really might get his fee waived or maybe reduced. So I have not been worried about his fee at all...

And I am committing NOT to worry now!

But I am asking for your prayers...

We are prepared to pay Eli's $5,600 orphanage donation fee and both boys' Visa fees of $300 each. But now instead of the $6,200 check I THOUGHT we had to write within the next week... we now have to pay $11,800.

But Praise God, who is always in control, because we received a $5,000 donation last month to our I Care account. We had thought that would be used for Kai’s travel expenses, but I just spoke with Dan at International CARE, Inc and we can put the $5,000 donation towards the orphanage donation fees. Hallelujah!

But we also need to come up with the other $600 for the rest of the Orphanage Donation fee...

Dan also said anyone wishing to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to help pay for the orphanage donation fees can send check to I Care and they will process quickly to send to our agency to go towards these immediate fees because we will still be little short. So if interested, please send checks payable to:

I Care
P.O. Box 1603 Bel Air, MD 21014
*Please include a note stating for "Patton Adoption Fund"

or you can donate via PAYPAL, but Paypal deducts 3% fee from donation
http://www.intlcare.org/helpingus2.html
*Please include message stating for "Patton Adoption Fund"

Or please consider sponsoring a puzzle piece...

for $5 each you can get your name on the back and help us pay the boys' orphanage donation fees.

See ChipIn on right or go to http://adventure4eli.chipin.com/orphanage-donation-fee

But at the very least, I am asking everyone to please PRAY!


Kai Joseph at Shepherd's Field 4 yrs ago
Kai Joseph still at Shepherd's Field 2012...
praying for a family of his own.
Thank you & God bless you ALL tenfold for your time, prayers, support & gifts!

Trusting in my Daddy God to sell a cow,
Sherry

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting closer

I just got an email from our agency case manager that says Kai's case is in review as of 9/6!!!
 
That was almost a week ago...
We are getting close to getting his LOA!

Thank you Jesus! Keep praying folks, it's working. Thank you!


Monday we sent I-800s for both our boys to USCIS (US immigration) because we have Eli's LOA, and we have a GREAT USCIS officer who agreed to allow us to submit I-800 for both boys together and email a scanned copy of Kai's signed LOA to him once we receive it.


USCIS only get a "COPY" of the LOA and it takes 1-2 wks to get from their lockbox to our officers desk. So this way we are not loosing anymore time waiting on Kai's LOA.

And our I-800s were delivered to the USCIS Lockbox Tues at 1:11pm. So as long as we get Kai's LOA emailed to our officer by the time they hit his desk, this is what our timeline looks like after I-800 approval. he told me abotu a week after he gets it to issue approval...

Next step is NVC Cable (see chart).


To be honest I am still trying to figure out these last few steps, so don't ask me... lol

But what I do know is that I serve a BIG God who LOVES our boys and is going to bring them home I BELIEVE before the end of the year. I am praying for November travel because it gets REALLY cold in the northern part of China in Dec and the price of airline tickets doubles too.

But either way... we are getting close!


Not long now Kai & Eli, before you two will be united with eachother and with us, and we will be family forever... All by the hand of God.

To HIM be the glory and the honor forever!

Thank you everyone for your prayers. We still need them!
  • Pray for Kai's LOA to come within a week, then I-800s to process quickly and so on and so on.
  • Pray also for both boys hearts & minds to be prepared. We are so concerned about this matter.
  • Please pray for funds to complete the adoption & travel to China and bring them both home.
  • We are praying about our application for a Show Hope grant to be accepted. We understand a decision will be made the end of this month. So we need favor and blessings from Show Hope.
We do still have LOTS of puzzle pieces we need sponsors for, so we can put this puzzle together.


Please DONATE $5 per piece (use Chip In button) and we will put your name on the back and when Kai & Eli come hoem they can see the names of all the people who helped bring them home.
*Please include message as to what you want written on your pieces.

Sherry

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mystery over...

Well according to China anyway.... lol

Today is two weeks since we received the phone call that we got LOA for Eli.

And well the reason you have not gotten another blog update since then, is because we were on hold just waiting because the DOB on the LOA did not match any of the records for Eli we or our agency had. So we have not be able to move forward with his adoption...

Our agency notified the adoption afairs office in China to report the error, only to be told it was not an error. So we had to wait for China to investigate and send proper records with the correct DOB (or at least DOB that matches the LOA) before we could move on with the adoption paperwork.

We were hoping they would discover the mistake and send a new LOA with the DOB that matches all the records we have. But instead they sent all new records...

Yep, we got the email from our agency yesterday that the DOB on our LOA is correct and they now have records to match.

So what does all this mean?

It means China just made Eli a year older...

on paper that is.

We have all the records to show he is 10 yrs old. So our current plan is to just go along with it, so we can get to China and bring our boys home. Then we will work on correcting it before we get his US birth certificate.

The other good thing is we recieved three new pics of Eli with the news. Yay! We love new pics!

Passport photo
most likely taken early this year cuz we bought him that jacket for CNY


We believe this was taken this summer.

Heard word that he went to camp with orphanage.
So now you are probably wondering what what's next...

Well we need to submit our I-800 to USCIS (immigration) requesting permission for Eli to enter the US and become a citizen. But we are waiting on paperwork from our agency to be able to do this.

Previously our agency wanted to wait for Kai's LOA to come and thus send both boys' I-800s at the same time. Which sounds like a great plan to help time their adoptions in China together. But because time is ticking away. We are now at present hoping to submit both I-800s to USCIS, and then email Kai's LOA when it comes. Just so we can get the paperwork moving. Waiting for agency response.

Please continue to keep our boys in your prayers.

Kai has been sad lately we are told, because several children from Shepherd's Field have been adopted lately. Which is wonderful for those children and their families. But hard for our boy, who still does not know he has a family working to bring him home. And more friends are leaving soon.


 
end of summer fun
that's Eric helping...


making memories


 
his hand print
  

  

Lil' buds Henry & Eric are leaving soon


 
his big buddy Aaron just left too
 
super cool in sunglasses
I'm told he only wears the shirts we sent

We want to thank God for all He has done to call us, and provide for the calling to adopt these two boys into our hearts (already done), our family (kids already call them brothers) and into our home (as soon as we can get there).  :)  To God be ALL the glory! We feel privileged to be called.
 
Our biggest prayer request ow is we need LOA for Kai... like NOW!
 
Next on the prayer list: we are still fundraising. We have enough between savings and fundraising to cover Eli's orphanage donation fee. We're praying to get Kai's waived. We also have enough to pay for both boys' Visas and pay for fee to file Kai's I-800. We are literally saving every penny we can to brign our boys home. But we still need to fundraise.
 
We have a new Chip-In (on right side of blog) to try and raise the "In Country Legal fees" which we're told are approx $1,300 per child, for a total of $2,600 for both boys. We have the puzzle started, but it still has LOTS of pieces NOT sponsored. So please make a donation to the Chip In and get your name on the back of our puzzle pieces for Eli & Kai to see all the folks that help bring them home. Asking $5 donation to sponsor each pice.
 
We still need $380 donated to our Brittany's Hope Grant to get the $2,000 grant towards travel. If you're intereested in helping with that please follow link on right side of blog. All donations are Tax Deductible.
 
We also have the Reece's Rainbow Sponsors page, that is also Tax Deductible and the I Care account if you wish to mail a check. See info for both on right side of blog.
 
Next prayer request is that we would be blessed to receive a Show Hope grant, which we applied for in June and Show Hope will be making a decision at the end of this month.
 
Now we also have Adoption Bug & Show Hope T-Shirts availabel, follow link on right side; and Just Love Coffee link too.
 
We're also working on 3 fundraisers, more info to come soon. But we will have a beautiful necklace for sale; a new 2013 Adoption Success Stories Calendar; and on Sat Oct 20th will be Two Less Joy Fest, a Benefit to bring Kai & Eli home at our church, with night of christian music & entertainment.
 
So as hard as it is for me to sit, God is moving. Now I just need to see some paperwork moving too.
 
Thank you all again for your prayers. We could not do this without them.
 
Humbly yours,
Sherry