Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Info Needed

Although we'd completed the letter they requested, they'd sent it to their Beijing staff to look at and see if it needed more information before resubmitting it. They came back with a few more suggestions, so we will complete those today on our end. They've also requested a letter from New Day, our employeers, to help. What ever it takes, that's what we'll do!! Although all these "hoops" are sometimes a bit frustrating, we are happy to comply if it means the difference between a yes or a no!! I'll let you know when they've officially returned the requested paperwork to the CCAA. Hopefully we won't have much more than a weeks wait to get their reply. Thanks so much for standing with us and keeping this situation lifted up!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update on Pre-approval

I just thought I'd let you know that we heard back from our agency yesterday. They said CCAA had contacted them asking for more information regarding the income situation. They felt that the income was too low even for Beijing, but didn't turn us down, only asked for more of an explanation. They asked us to do a special letter stating that although our address is technically in Beijing, that we didn't really live in Beijing, but a very small farming community quite some distance outside of Beijing. We included the low rent and costs of food, etc for our family letting them know just how cheap it was to live here in the village which didn't even come close to comparing to living in the US or even Beijing. We are hopeful once they receive this letter, that they will then give their approval. We believe that obviously they are considering it or they would have likely turned us down right away. Soooo........keep this situation lifted up and we hope to hear a response in the next week or so. Absolutely positive, of course!!! As soon as we know--you'll know!! Thanks guys!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Huge Blessing!

Yesterday we got up to find a large donation towards our adoption. I can't tell you how excited we were and how much it blessed us!! Although we already sent them a personal thank you, we wanted to publicly thank them and allow all to share in this blessing! Some of you who follow New Day's website may remember them. They are Caleb and Christy Phillips. They were recent volunteers to New Day who were here about 6 months, leaving this past February. Caleb worked in volunteer services and Christy worked full-time for the foster home in the preschool. They both blessed so many while they were here in countless ways. In our Sunday morning meetings, Caleb often took turns teaching, readily volunteering. Christy really blessed us by teaching the children's portion of our meeting each week. They were also very involved in reaching out to the local Chinese in our community who were in need of assistance. I'm sure there were plenty of other things they did that I haven't named. Basically folks, they were just a huge blessing to the local Chinese of village and to all of us foreigners! We miss them so much! They have been called to full-time work on the field and had returned to get things in order and seek their next assignment. Knowing they are also raising their own support for their work, well......it just blesses us so much more. This is a couple who also have to raise funds and see fit to bless us as well! It really speaks volumes to us and to so many others! I also have to tell you that they have a wonderful idea of another way to help out our adoption in an even bigger way, however, we are not allowed to yet share that until certain permissions are given to proceed. I will let you know as soon as I can though! A big thank you and hugs to them as they prepare for their next assignment!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Contest Date Change

When we began this fund-raiser, we were told that our pre-approval paperwork was to be filed immediately. Apparently then our agency decided we needed paperwork for the paperwork--that took a few weeks to accomplish. Then, we thought it'd be filed after that, but another delay developed and they decided we needed pre-approval on the US side due to our income being below poverty level since we didn't have US based jobs and income. That took a few weeks too. We certainly aren't unhappy with our agency, as we feel they are just trying to cover all the bases, which is good. Perhaps with getting the US approval, it gives us another bargaining chip with the Chinese side of things, who knows?!! However, with all these delays, we've decided we need to move the contest date back. Soooo many wonderful prizes have been donated and we just want to take advantage of that knowing if we tried to do another contest later, chances are people aren't going to want to donate again even though things were delayed. We've been told that others have done the same in similar circumstances. We hope you understand and hopefully it isn't too concerning or offensive to those who've participated. We wanted to let you know that so you weren't concerned when you saw a different date on the website. After much consultation between ourselves and Valerie, we both felt it was something that should be done and also agreed that the ending date should be moved to sometime around the Labor Day holiday. Thank you so much for following our journey and participating in this fundraiser to help bring our daughter home!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Answers to Some Questions

I know many of you are wondering some things. Like how come we aren't posting much? It seems so secretive and unclear. What if the adoption doesn't go through, then what about the funds already given, where do they go? When will we have some more news to post? All of these are certainly legitimate questions so I will answer them each as best we can. So here goes:

I have thought that it would be better to post more often and have been thinking a lot about that. Frankly though, I don't quite know what to post. We don't yet have any more progress to post. We haven't a name or picture to show you. I can tell you this though, our waiting paperwork for pre-approval was filed on 6/15. We were told that to expect a wait of a couple of weeks before either receiving a pre-approval or for them to ask further questions regarding our application. We are told by our agency that once pre-approval is given, we will be allowed to name the child. Oh, how we long for that day!!

Others have voiced concerns about if the approval doesn't go through, then what happens to the funds? And perhaps that's what many people are waiting for--to hear of official approval. While we completely understand those concerns, we have thought about and talked about that. Rest assured if that was to happen, we would donate the money to another worthy cause. We've considered another adopting couple, New Day Foster Home or other 501(c)(3) organizations. All these would be good options and we'd certainly be open to special requests by those who've given. I have to tell you honestly though. We are only expecting to hear a YES!! We have long felt led to adopt this girl and have waited more than a year for paperwork to be completed since first filling out Waiting Child paperwork. While any adoption takes a lot of work, perseverance, and a tremendous amount of paperwork, we were told before we started all this that ours would be even more difficult living in a foreign country. The fact that we aren't in the states, already we have all these financial issues based on a non-US income. Since we've already been through this process twice already (but with much less complications as we lived in the states then), we realized what a mountain we may be looking at in order to complete this particular adoption. Frankly speaking, what is a bit of paperwork, frustration, and hurdles to overcome compared to a child you feel led to make a permanent member of your family?!! All of you who have adopted children know exactly what I'm talking about. In your heart, they are already a member of your family. We will climb any mountain, cross every stream, leap whatever hurdles before us, go to the ends of the earth in order to make this child a permanent member of our family!! We do not want to look back and regret not doing everything in our power to make that happen. We don't even want to think about "what if they say no?!" I have to be honest--we would be totally devastated! At least we'll know in our hearts it isn't because we failed in some way to do our very best to make that happen. We've stepped out in faith and trust He will make the way. To be honest, in the natural, it seems utterly impossible! But so many things in our lives have looked impossible or just plain stupid--in the natural! Take our move to China for instance. In the natural, it was not a smart move. Randy had a very good job and was only 5 years away from receiving a full retirement benefit. Knowing He was calling us to full-time work here, we sold our house, car, and auctioned off nearly all our possessions--with the exception of a few family keepsakes. People often voiced their opinion saying things like they felt we were making a mistake and why don't we just wait 5 years when we are set financially?! While that'd been easier, we knew we couldn't do it. We felt His leading--no matter the cost--simply to trust and follow His leading. We have done that and not regretted it one day. It has not always been easy, but He has ALWAYS provided for our needs and kept us safe sooooo many times. We've stepped out in faith and He's ALWAYS provided. It seems that each time, the task He's called us to is bigger as we come to trust Him more and more. I guess that's why they call it faith!! Thank you for journeying with us in this seemingly impossible (in the natural)walk by faith!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One Big Hurdle Overcome!

We awoke this morning and checked the email as usual. Only this morning we had wonderful news! One of the big hurdles we needed to overcome had just been accomplished. We received word from our agency this morning that we've gotten permission from the USCIS (Us Immigration) to proceed. We technically didn't qualify financially with them either since we don't live in the US and have a US based income. Although it is, no doubt, a good law as one should be above poverty level to adopt. However, seems there should be some exceptions built into it for just such cases. I guess though, we're not exactly normal! Anyway, we are praising and shouting! Now for the next hurdle on this side--China! Our paperwork with them was filed today. They also need to approve us and we should have the answer to that in a week or two. I'll keep you posted:) Keep this lifted up as it is a huge hurdle! If we are denied/refused--we're done and cannot proceed with this adoption. We're pr*ying for and believing for favor and expect to see it come to pass!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Could Be Yours ...

I want to say it again, the items that have been donated for this give-away are INCREDIBLE! I am astounded at the generosity of the talented and blessed people who have donated to make this fundraiser happen. Many of them are stay-at-home-moms and some are that AND in the midst of an adoption journey of their own. Most of the prizes, if not all, are hand-made items that rival and surpass anything I might want to buy in a store. In fact I'm going to start doing all my shopping on etsy!

Here is an update with photos and descriptions on 2 GORGEOUS necklaces donated by my friend Shawna at FireFly Photo Jewelry. Can you believe this gifted artist lives just up the road from me? Wow. I hope this creativity is in the water and that it's flowing my way!
Thank you Shawna! Check her out at her etsy shop Firefly Photo Jewelry by clicking on any of these blue links!


Every night before bed I tell my girls "I love you all the way to the moon and back." This necklace is a perfect reminder to any mom about how much love we have for our children. A 3/4 inch double sided photo pendant is next to a moon shaped sterling silver disk holding the ever popular quote from the children's book. A little freshwater pearl completes the look. Pendants dangle from a 18 inch sterling silver chain.

Handstamped adoption necklace- Born In My Heart.


{Perfect necklace for the adopted mom}
A handstamped 7/8 inch sterling silver disk with words {born in my heart}. Overlapping is a silver heart with a clear crystal in the center.
Hung from an 18 inch sterling silver chain.

You like these don't you?!
It Could Be Yours ...
There are MANY ways you can gain entries to win. So here is the basic outline:
  • 1. Receive ONE entry simply for leaving an encouraging comment for Rita and her family on this post and pr*ying for them!
  • 2. Receive ONE entry for your suggested donation of $10.00 OR you can get FOUR entries by donating $25.00! (look at the Chip-In--We NEED You!)
  • 3. Receive TWO entries for posting about our fundraiser on YOUR blog and linking it back to this blog.
  • 4. Receive TWO entries for grabbing our fundraiser button (sidebar!) and posting it on your blog where I can see it! (*leave a comment to let me know where I can find it.)
  • 5. Receive ONE entry for posting about our fundraiser on FB and linking it back to this blog.
  • 6. Receive ONE entry by becoming a follower of THIS blog, "www.blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com"
  • 7. Receive ONE entry by stopping by MY blog and leaving an encouraging comment (Valerie) www.almyfamilyjournal.blogspot.com (Hey, I love to meet new people and I would love for you to stop by to say hi. I cannot wait to meet you and hear about your journey!)

So, really you have the opportunity to get 12 entries!!!! (AND extra entry(s) for donating an item!!!)

Make sure that you let me know about each entry (and make sure I have a way to contact you--in case you win so we can get your prize to you!)
You do not have to leave separate comments for each entry. Just tell me which ones and how many total you qualify for in your comment, and that will be fine! :) Thanks!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Little Victories

I have a sign in my living room. It's small and silver metal and simple. I bought it when my husband was on a hunting trip out West. It was one of those weeks that I decided to redecorate the house ... and ended up settling on hanging a wooden cupboard and the sign. (Ha!)

But I find that sign speaking to me so often ... just so quietly ... out of the corner of my eye. Beckoning to me with its four simple letters    
p  *  r   *  a   * y

As I sit here today thinking on what to post ... it reminds me where to start ... where to end ... but most importantly where to remain.

I'm hoping to post frequently in order to keep everyone up to date on where things stand. I just wish that things would move more quickly and in their favor. The Rippee's are still anxiously awaiting the chance to submit their pre-approval paperwork. However, as is often the case it seems, there has been a delay with more needed paperwork. AND then paperwork for the paperwork. Does this sound at all familiar to anyone who has been through this or journeyed along with someone who has?!  Oh how frustrating.

We are asking you to keep "thoughts" going up for them regarding the red tape concerning their income which does not fit within the guidelines of the U.S. standard of living. Obviously ... they do not live in the U.S.!  A waiver needs to be granted on the US side ... and then also on the other side as well. This is SO important right now as decisions are being made that could effect their ability to be able to adopt, based solely on this one factor that assumes that they reside in the States. Because they live in Ch**a their standard of living is so significantly different than that in the U.S. Let me assure you, The Rippees ARE able to provide a loving home where this child WILL be well provided for! If the exchange rate is figured in, there really is no issue. They need the officials to see this, to understand this, to give their stamp of approval over this. Once this is cleared, then they can move on to the next phase (whew!) And hard and fast rules are amazingly waived at times ... let this be one of them.

So, I am asking that instead of looking at that big whopping end number on the Chip-In (to the right,) please know that little victories make the way to the bigger ones. I'm pr*ing that we can collectively bring together ... $2000 as the first hurdle to cross and to encourage Randy and Rita in their journey. I know it is possible, I've seen it happen for other fundraisers and I am remaining positive with excitement for this one. And if you need further incentive, scroll down through the previous post of prizes! If you have felt led to give, please consider doing so now. It will be so encouraging to The Rippees to see the mountains moving for them and also to so many others as they see it happening too.

When they are far enough into the process they are hopeful about applying for grants. But they need to get to that stage in order to apply. Let's help them get to that point. I happen to have the radio on right now, are you familiar with this song by Chris Tomlin? Add in the obvious word in the blank:

Our ___ is greater 
Our___ is stronger
 ___  you are higher than any other ...
Our___ is healer
Awesome in power.
Our ___ ... our ___ .
And if our___ is for us
Then who could ever stop us?
And if our___ is with us
Then who could ever stand against us?

I just LOVE that song! What an encouragement! And what a blessing to hear it right now. Is it a coincidence that it happens to be on right now?
I don't believe in coincidence much.
Remain with me ... with our thoughts held up for The Rippee's--for the little victories ... that will become the BIG victories!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Prizes!

38 prizes!  (and counting!) 

Can you believe that?! And your chances of winning one of them is SO great at this point!!!--too good maybe ... sure I want you all to win ... REALLY! But I also want the outpouring to be so much deeper. Oh I wish I could share more about this adoption because I know that your hearts would be on fire. However ... there is great excitement in the unknowns as well ... a step out in faith that I promise you will not be disappointed in!

Won't you jump in and join us?

There is a little over one month before the Chip-In closes on July 12th for this fundraiser. 
• Leave an encouraging comment for The Rippee's for an entry HERE on this blog!
(They would LOVE that! And they DO check this site ... I just moderate it for content and manage it by chairing the fundraiser and organizing and all the spiffy design stuff.) 
• Blog once or twice or more,
• Post the button on your sidebar,
• Of course we'd love you to Chip-In as well if you can.  
See the post below for a complete list of ways to earn entries. (And make sure to leave a comment as to how many entries you are earning so we can keep track as we go!)

There is SO much good that can happen from just a little giving. Pooled together we will flood them with our generosity and love and make a little girl's dream a reality.

Here are the latest THREE prize additions!

Sharon Ankerich--SewShay
The Rainbow Roll

I was SO excited to receive an email from Sharon offering one of these adorable AND handy art supply  organizers for this auction! She is such a blessing to so many people and very generous as I've seen her donations on other fundraisers as well. Sharon and her family are currently in pursuit of the adoption of  their daughter ShayLeeJoy and every dime that she earns from her beautiful and clever creations goes to help bring her daughter home! Definitely make a point to click over to her site and check out her other items as well. Her fabric choices are beautiful, the hard part will be deciding on just one!

The Rainbow Roll is a great way to get your child's art supplies organized and ready to travel. All the colors in the rainbow fit in this handy little roll. It holds 16 regular crayons, twistable crayons, or pipsqueak markers (skinny ones). This little roll is very compact and will fit in your purse, a small backpack, or your coat pocket. It is made from 100% cotton fabric and features 16 individual pockets for crayons or markers. When rolled up, it is secured with a covered button stretchable band. Sharon will be choosing a special fabric combination for the fundraiser winner of this prize.

(Valued at $18)


ella bella designs
Adoption Announcements

Jenna at ella bella designs is donating her talents of creating beautiful custom adoption announcements! As an adoptive mother herself (and in the process of bringing home #2 right now!) she realized that there was a need for custom designing for adoptions announcements in particular. Amen. Have you ever tried to find an adoption card let alone an announcement?! It is not a short and easy process! However, the winner of this prize will have their adoption announcing in good hands! And if you are not the lucky winner or if you don't want to wait or take the chance, you simply MUST stop by her site!


Jewels of My Heart
"A VERY sweet person" has donated a bracelet of the WINNER'S Choosing from Daleea's 3,000 Bracelets Campaign to bring her daughter home!

You may remember Daleea from the earlier posting of prizes. She generously donated 2 sets of adorable cards (see the first post of prizes below listed under her name.)
She and her family are immersed in so many beautiful avenues in order to bring their daughter/sister, Isabella, home. Her 3,000 Bracelets Campaign is a fundraiser set apart and extra-special from her other work in order that each bracelet that is sold in the Campaign (3,000 in total) will be a beautiful legacy to her daughter about the journey her family embarked upon to bring her home. It's simply beautiful.  Imagine the joy you'll feel every time you look at your beautiful bracelet realizing it is a link in a 3,000 bracelet chain linking a child to their forever family! 
What a gift! Check out ALL the beautiful choices at her site. You really should have more than one!