Thursday, May 23, 2013

Piece of Our Puzzle

We have officially kicked off our first fundraiser to help offset the costs of our adoption! If you have not already received a letter, prepare yourself. It is probably already in the mail! We are hoping that our family, friends and loved ones will want to be a part of this unique "puzzle" God is piecing together ever so precisely. We have sent out letters containing a representative puzzle piece and a current photo of our family with special significance to our waiting children. The puzzle pieces being sent are symbolic of pieces to two puzzles that will stay at home. Each piece is up for sponsorship by anyone who would like to express their generosity financially. The pieces being sent out are not the true pieces, but a tangible representation for each family to keep if they choose. We chose to keep the actual puzzle pieces with us so that we could keep in contact with the whole. As each person or family sponsors a piece we will add their name to the back of the piece. Eventually we hope to complete both puzzles to be placed in our home for our children. Once completed they will be placed in a double glass frame, showing the names of those who lovingly helped bring them home on one side and an African themed picture on the other side. We feel this will be one of hopefully many special gifts for our children to look upon and feel the love surrounding them. 

We debated back and forth if we indeed wanted to place a price on each piece or if we merely wanted the hearts of all of you to be the deciding factor of what to sponsor. Your hearts won! In keeping our humility at the forefront of our hearts and our minds set on Christ, placing a price did not seem in accordance. We pray that you will prayerfully seek God's guidance in whether or not you choose to sponsor a puzzle piece and in determining how generous God would lead you to be. Then it is up to you to comply in obedience. Could you sacrifice for our children? Sacrifice is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of us. The thought of it makes us uncomfortable because sacrifice is associated with pain. It could be as simple as sacrificing a weeks worth of Starbucks. It could mean going as far as sacrificing an entire month of dinners out! Is the equivalence of a month's worth of cable television or a month's worth of smart phone usage too painful to relinquish in order to help change the lives of orphans in need? We certainly are not asking you to cut off your services! We are simply asking that you share our perspective for a moment if nothing else. 

Although we did not choose to place a price on any one's giving, we did think it would be helpful to express the goal in which we must meet to bring our children home. We have listed various steps in the adoption process and costs associated with each.

$6000 - America World Adoption Agency Program Fee (paid in 3 installments): 
$1800 - Home Study
$500-$1000 - Background Checks
$240 - Adoptive Parent Training
$890 - USCIS Application Fee & Fingerprinting
$1350 - Dossier Notarization, Certification, Authentication, Courier, Translation
$4500 - Ethiopian International Program Fee 1st Installmen                                       
$9000 - Ethiopian International Program Fee 2nd Installment ($4500 per child at time of referral)
$2400-$4000 - Trip #1 Airfare (2 adults)
$40 - Trip #1 Visas
$1400-$2500 - Trip #1 In Country Travel/Lodging Package
$2400-$4000 - Trip #2 Airfare (2 adults)
$40 - Trip #2 Visas
$500-$2000 - Trip #2 Airfare (one-way 2 children)
$1400-$2500 - Trip #2 In Country Travel/Lodging Package
$460 - Embassy Fees (2 children)
$3350 - Post Adoption Fees

$36270-$43670 - TOTAL

We will put our goal at $40,000 (give or take a few thousand dollars) on our fundraising thermometer! Did I just mention something about a pill being hard to swallow? It is daunting to say the least, but we are not backing down. We would like to lean on you. If you choose to give, and we certainly hope you will, you can give in one of three ways. You can give cash, check or pay by Paypal through this blog. Please keep in mind that Paypal will retain their own convenience fee, which is approximately $.52 per $10 transaction. We will periodically update our blog with those who have graciously given and the progress being made towards completing our puzzle. Stay tuned!

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