I know you all have been waiting to hear, believe me, so have we!! Though we were supposed to hear in early May, we didn't and sent them an email early this week. We got up this morning to a response. They turned us down for a grant and we are disappointed by this news. We'd hoped and prayed for a large grant hardly even considering the idea that they'd completely deny us a grant. I guess there are other more needy families out there than us. We don't know what their criteria is for making these determinations except that they said they have to turn down 40% of the qualified families each month. Naturally that doesn't help our disappointment much, but we aren't looking to them as our source anyway, there is One much greater whom we trust and rely on to supply our needs. Obviously this grant organization is not one of the ways He is using to bring our daughter, Elizabeth, into our family forever. Though we don't know how He will bring it about, we continue to put our faith and trust in Him and do all we can as He leads us in the right path and direction He has planned. Continue to keep our situation uplifted as we are now awaiting our travel arrangements (TA) and we still have much funds yet to be raised to bring her home.
I'd also like to say a few things about the reason we changed and had to up the cost of the adoption. I'm sure many of you are wondering and we certainly do not blame you as it seems unusual. First of all, in the beginning when we began this adoption journey, now 2 years ago, we had deducted a few costs from the total amount thinking it would be unnecessary in our case. Things like the post adoption fee, which we thought we'd pay AFTER the adoption and come up with somehow later. We were wrong in that thinking and found out only recently that it must be paid upfront and they've already asked for it and we were able to send in the check for it. In addition, the law in China has recently changed and if we don't get TA before August 1st, we are required to do many more additional post placement reports up to 5 years. That also added another $1,500. Both of these are now paid as they required them upfront a week or so ago. If we come in under the August 1st deadline, they will refund that extra $1,500 and we can use that for other costs.
Another thing we deducted is air-fare costs or at least partially. We thought if we had to, we'd just one of us would go and save on those costs so that we could just complete the adoption with one parent knowing many before us have done the same. It wasn't until recently that we learned it would be nearly impossible in our case however. Not only is much more paperwork necessary, which would not be a big deal, but the biggest reason it is not possible for us to do this in our case is the US citizenship issue. We found out that if only one parent goes, it messes up the automatic citizenship when they enter the US soil. The child then is required to go through the regular naturalization process and that takes a loooooong time which makes it pretty much impossible for us living in China. Just taking her to the US and trying to return to China in a month or so could be challenging enough for us. For those who already live in the US full time, it's not a big deal, just a matter of waiting.
Another issue is most all the fees are based on an infant or child under 2. Since Elizabeth is 10 years old, on some things such as air-fare, buses, or train fares, even food costs, we need to pay full adult prices which adds a bit to the total as well.
I have to tell you we REALLY didn't want to have to change that total, but found there wasn't much of an alternative. It is what it is--even if we don't like it much! We consulted Lindsay and Valerie on their thoughts after we realized this total was not all that close to the real amount. They also felt we should change it to reflect the correct amount so everyone knew we still had much to raise.
We'd like to ask you all--do you have ideas on how to raise that much money?!! This comes especially in light of the news about the grant denial we received this morning. For those of you who've done it, how did you do it?! Can it be done in our situation while living here in China--possibly with the help of Lindsay and/or Valerie there in the US? Do you know of people in your churches or other organizations that would be willing to help us do a fund-raiser? We have a relatively short amount of time to raise these funds as we are hoping and praying that we do indeed get TA before August 1st to avoid all these extra costs involved in the new law requiring more post placement reports. So you can also keep that uplifted in prayer as well. Please do not hesitate to contact us, Lindsay, or Valerie with ideas you have to help us in our fund-raising efforts. Thank you all for standing with us and seeing through this incredible journey to bring Elizabeth into our family forever!!