Our puzzle is finished!! Thanks to everyone who donated! Our puzzle donations paid for the bulk of our referral acceptance. We still have about $12,000 or more to pay for our two upcoming trips (one time for our court date, possibly in October) and one time for our Embassy date and to bring them home (hopefully before Christmas!!). The kids had a great time working on the puzzle—we’re almost sad it’s done!
We are currently getting the puzzle framed so we can put it up in our upstairs hallway. I have some verses I want to put above it and I can’t wait to show you! The matting we are putting around it will be white on the back side, so if anyone still wishes to donate toward our adoption, we will write your names on the back of the matting since the puzzle pieces are filled. What a great problem to have! Donation information is located on the blue Fundraising tab above.
We met our match! Lifesong for Orphans had offered us a matching grant up to $2000 and we have received more than that in donations, so Lifesong will be granting us an extra $2000! Thanks so much to all who are supporting and praying and to Lifesong’s generosity! Here is our updated puzzle….do you see it starting to take shape??
We won’t be updating the puzzle for another 2 weeks because we will be going on a family trip to OK. The first part of our trip will be 4 days at New Life Ranch‘s Family Camp. We are excited to spend some time at the camp I worked at one summer almost 20 years ago! (Hard to believe I’m that old, I know!) There are ropes courses, zip lines into the river, archery, horseback riding, hiking, as well as family worship times and a late night outdoor movie. We are looking forward to some family bonding time away from Wi-Fi and cell service! 🙂 Soon, when our other kids come home from Ethiopia, Erin, Liam, and Maura know that there will be a bit more attention on our new kids as we bond and learn to communicate with them. So we thought it would be a good idea to spend some quality time with them now as extra reassurance of our love for them and each other. After family camp, we will go on to visit my family in OK for a few days and then head back home to Lincoln.
We hope you all had a blessed 4th of July! The kids had a great time decorating their bikes and riding in our local parade, ending with the fire truck hose down, of course! These are great memories to savor! (Please excuse the iphone photo! And, shhh, don’t tell photographer Michael–he would be appalled! Be sure to notice the hero cape on our youngest–she FLEW that day!)
We had a great Father’s Day today! Among other things, we celebrated with Frosty’s at Wendy’s because they were donating $0.50 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for every Frosty purchased this Father’s Day weekend! Dave Thomas started Wendy’s and has a great organization that helps find permanent loving homes for children in foster care.
Here’s Michael’s new adoption/Africa t-shirt purchased through Ryan and Ashlie Fulmer‘s adoption fundraiser. (Pic taken with iphone :)) Ashlie is in Ethiopia right now with her baby boy Easton!
And here is our weekly puzzle update! Every piece of the puzzle represents $10 that has been donated toward our adoption since we sent letters out in May. Getting closer to Africa…..!! (Click on the puzzle button at top right of the blog to see past updates.)
For those of you searching to see how our puzzle fundraiser is going, I apologize for taking so long to update our blog. I have begun work on my thesis for my MA that I started 15 years ago, which has taken a bit of my time the last couple weeks. I will blog more about the thesis at a later date, but please pray for inspiration and perseverance as I write. I am researching and writing an exegetical study on God’s heart for the fatherless. It will be a long process, but one that I feel God has convicted me to do, and one that I am excited about! If it is truly His idea, then I believe He will see me through for His glory!
I am checking in with Lifesong weekly to get updates on the fundraising, and here are the first 2 weeks’ puzzle pictures (Each puzzle piece represents a $10 gift toward adoption expenses — Michael):
It may be hard to see but we have Ethiopia done! 🙂 The kids are really enjoying being involved in this as well. Thanks so much for those of you who have donated!
We are in the fundraising portion of our adoption. There are several ways to help us out–something for everyone! We are selling coffee, naming puzzle pieces, and working with Lifesong for Orphans to meet their match offer of $2000! Click here to read more details on our fundraising options. If you did not receive a letter from us in the mail, you may view our letter here as well as the official Lifesong letter that goes with it.
I wanted to highlight here our first puzzle pieces that you can see on the right of our site. For every $10 donated towards our adoption, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece. Our kids were eager to get started on the puzzle and eager to help with our adoption, so they each donated half of their birthday money to help bring their siblings home.
Our “bio kids,” as they are called in adoption world, are ages 6, 8, and 10. They have been so excited all along the way about our adoption! Liam talks about when “my boy” will be here. Maura, the youngest, often suggests that she has “outgrown” a certain toy or clothing item, but that we should save it for “our baby” coming. And of course our firstborn, Erin, has offered multiple times to “help take care of the kids”! There has never been a moment where we sensed that they were hesitant or concerned about our changing family structure. Now, granted, they are young and don’t truly realize what all will change–none of us do, for that matter! And we have tried to be honest and explain that when the kids come, there will need to be extra attention paid to our new children to assimilate them into our family and our culture and even our language. But we have promised to make an effort to spend some special times with each of our children individually. In fact, we are going to an adventure camp this summer called New Life Ranch down in OK for some extra family bonding time before our family as we know it changes forever!
We are so proud of our kids! It is obvious that God has put adoption on their hearts as much as on ours! God is weaving our family into a beautiful multi-colored tapestry and we can’t wait to experience “even more than we can ask or imagine”!