China or Bust!

Today’s the day! I’m sitting in the admiral’s club at the airport, sipping on my jamba juice, and trying to think of what to write. I have so many things to share, so many thoughts going through my head, so many emotions… I also am realizing that this will be a short post, since I’m typing on my phone.

So… First, let me say thank you. Thank you so much for all of your love, prayers, encouragement, and support. You have gotten us this far in our journey, and we appreciate you! Please continue to think of us as we travel to bring Evan home.

This morning, Chris and I took Austin out to breakfast. We talked about our trip, and were trying our best to get him to understand that we’d be gone for a while, but that when we return, he’ll have a brother. I think he gets the brother part…. It’s the period of time he doesn’t get. At one point he told us we’d be gone for five weeks (as he held out his hand to show five fingers)! Thankfully it will not be five weeks. We know he’ll have a great time with his grandparents, and he has lots of fun in store for him.

When we dropped him off at daycare, we took our last photo as a family of three…

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We are excited to explore China; less excited about flying there. Thrilled that we’ll finally get to hug the son we’ve been praying for; anxious for him, as he is about to lose everything he’s ever known. I cant tell you how eager I am to hear his voice, his laugh, and even his cry. I can’t wait to introduce him to his brother via a video call next week, too. There’s so much that we’re anticipating….

We know you are excited for us, and eager to meet Evan. When we return home, though, we will be in a period known as “cocooning”, where we will be focusing on establishing bonds and attachments with Evan. We will be staying home as much as possible, and limiting outside interaction. We want you to meet Evan and show him the love you’ve been pouring out on us, but we ask that you bear with us during this time. We don’t know how long it will take. If you do stop by, please keep your visit brief, do not hold Evan, and any gifts need to be given to us to give to him. I know it sounds weird, but it’s very important that we do things this way until Evan understands that we are his primary caregivers. Thank you for your support in this way!

First Friday Funding Figures – Update # 3, December 2014

It’s the first Friday of December. Time for a funding update! I feel like it’s been a very long time since I could accurately give you an update. There was that minor thing of changing agencies, and having to redo our numbers. And there were fundraisers that we were waiting on totals from. But today, I have numbers to share, and am excited to show you all of the progress we’ve made since our last FFFF in August.

Again, here is the key.

Again, here is the key. Nothing’s changed here.

These next few images will look a little different that what was posted in our first updates.

This is a high-level view of how our costs break down:

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And this is how our fund is looking:

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I need to total up the Interest and Cash back line. I think I forgot to do that last time, too! My bad. I’ll make staying on top of that one of my New Year’s resolutions!

So, as you can see, things are moving along. Our adoption is about 31% funded! We have been incredibly blessed with lots of friends and family who are donating not only their time to volunteer with us, but also items to sell at garage sales, and of course, cold-hard cash.  Y’all are absolutely incredible. The outpouring of support for this dream of ours has truly been amazing. We can’t thank you enough, and hope that you’ll stick around as we move closer toward bringing our child home. We are starting to realize (and hope!) that we will probably be completing this adoption sometime next Summer. Seeing how time has been flying by lately, we know Summer will be here in the blink of an eye. That being said, we’re going to be kicking things up a notch. Maybe 5, 10, or 20 notches. Let’s say we need about $36,000 when all is said and done (that’s the middle-ish of our Total Estimated Expenditures), then we still have about $24,800 to raise and save. That’s a big number, but it’s much better than where we started. So, what’s on the menu in the coming months? We don’t know for sure what all of our plans are, but we hope to continue to work the concession stands at UNC Charlotte (This time for Women’s basketball), I’ll add some items to my Etsy shop, we plan on having yard sales, we’re going to push our Puzzle Project hard, and keep selling our friendship bracelets full-force! That, along with our cash back from credit cards, interest, and all the saving we’ll be doing by eating ramen 3 days out of the week (I still haven’t mentioned that little detail to Chris!), hopefully we can grow the momentum. Do you have any fundraising ideas for us? Please let us know!

I’ll post some other updates, soon. I don’t want this post to be any longer than it already is. Thanks for checking in, and as always, thanks so much for following along with us, and for your support.

First Friday Funding Figures – Update #2, August 2014

It’s the first Friday of the month. So, that means time for an adoption fund update! This month most of our fundraising has been focused on Threads of Hope, as well as a few events that are coming up. Our Chosen Marathon team, weMartinsAdopt, is growing, and we are about to volunteer at our first UNCC Football game this weekend! So, even though those line items are blank, they should have numbers in them soon! And the interest/cash back line item is one I always forget to grab, so I’ll have to update it a little bit later.

We are still working though some details on our contract with the agency, so would appreciate your prayer around that. Praying that we can come to an agreement quickly and smoothly from this point out. I’ve been feeling rather anxious about how long this is already taking just to get things moving. So prayer for a calming of my heart would be awesome as well. Thank you!

So first, the Color Key and Fees. Not much has changed here.

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and here is how much we have raised:

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So, again using $34k as our estimated cost, you can see that we are at about 22% funded! That’s a big jump from July, and we are extremely thankful. Selling my townhouse gave us a big boost, so I’ll have to remember that I won’t see the numbers grow that much from month to month, but I am hoping we can just keep that forward momentum with our fundraising.

We are grateful for all of the fundraising opportunities we’ve been given, and for the generous and supportive hearts of our friends. You are making more of an impact than you think. Trust me on that one. And THANK YOU!

Adoption Grant Approved!

I love being a part of Forest Hill Church for so many reasons. Chris & I had lunch with a pastor from our church today and really just talked about ideas and goings on and life.  It was really great to just sit and chat with him. Over the last 20 months or so, we’ve really started to feel connected to the people at Forest Hill. And it just keeps getting better.

The church, through the grace of God, is able to provide for us on so many levels. And today, I was able to pick up a check that will go straight to our adoption agency to help us further our adoption process. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful? The $2,000 is exactly what we needed to get our home study process going. And we were planning on getting that our early next week. The Lord’s timing is so perfect. I can’t wait to see how else He shows up for our family during this time in our lives. 🙂

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