Friday, April 11, 2014

Fully Funded!

He did it! As of Monday, April 7, we are fully funded. God has provided!

Between the Bring Em Home Chili Cook Off and the blessing of a sizable tax refund check, we have crossed the finish-line of our fundraising. We are financially ready to travel to bring our son home! Now we just need LOA (letter of approval) and TA (travel approval). It looks like we will travel in June.

We are so excited!

Bring 'Em Home - the final event

Saturday, March 29, was our biggest and final fundraising event for this adoption. The Bring 'Em Home Chili Cook Off was a success! All together this event raised $2,793.00.

To read more about this event go to

Saturday, February 15, 2014

How are you doing this?

I have heard this question many times since my last update. Starting 9 months ago with $0 and now being over $22,000 into this adoption doesn't make much sense. People seem to assume that we just have a lot of money sitting around. One of the most common statements I hear from others is,"You guys are so amazing! We could never afford to do what you are doing!"

Every time I hear this I get uneasy. I want to put my hands on people's shoulders and shake them while yelling, "But we're not! And we can't!" But instead I smile awkwardly and repeat my response of, "We're not the ones doing it." But the words just don't carry enough weight.

We are not doing anything amazing. God is. We have agreed to work hard, to move forward in faith, and to move beyond fear, but nothing we are doing feels particularly spectacular. Heavenly Father is the one bringing the miracle.

For those of you curious about what adoption finance looks like to a family with no money previously set aside, skim over this list:

change for china $18.50
cash donations $60.00
unplanned refund check $602.58
secretary of state check $25.00
ipad sale $150.00
Mary Kay party $91.25
change for china $26.09
budget savings $1750.00
change for china $22.51
garage sale $747.07
jewelry sale $209.00
donated jewelry $140.00
change for china 20.07
birthday cash $100.00
yard sale $620
change for china $19.07
honey-do-helpers $822.67
change for china $9.88
yard sale $227.70
honey-do-helpers $502.00
Chosen marathon $2503.25
Mary Kay open house $340.00
change for china $34.51
recycling $28.00
garage sale $293.49
honey-do-helpers $410.00
maxim respite care $90.43
recycling $35.00
change for china $21.44

This list goes on and on.

So far in this adoption we have had $3,662.26 in unexpected monies just "show up" in our mailbox. This includes things like a check from an overage in an escrow account, unexpected reimbursements, planned expenses coming in lower than expected, having something break under warranty and being able to replace it for less and contribute the difference, etc. These have all been what some people would call "tender mercies."

We have been able to sell personal belongings to the tune of over $600. We've been able to generate over $2,500 from making cuts in our personal budget over the past 9 months. And we've been blessed with over $3,800 of side business through our business Honey-Do-Helpers.

Our fundraising events have been successful and full of blessings. Garage sales and other events have generated over $2,500.

Participating in the Chosen Marathon generated over $2,500 for our adoption.

We are literally watching the money we need come in pennies at a time. Change for China was our very first fundraiser and it has contributed over $250 in pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters. Just a couple months ago I asked our family members to set aside their recyclables for us. Once a month or so I take the collection to recycle and watch as again, pennies, dimes, nickles and quarters add up. All together our 4 families have created over $77 just by not putting our drink containers in the trash for two months. I have learned in a very literal way that every penny counts.

When we began this adoption we did so on a leap of faith. We could plainly see that we "could not afford" another international adoption. But we knew this was what we were being asked to do. So we moved forward simply asking that He show us what to do. "Just bring us the work" was our prayer. We have stood ready and willing to do anything He leads us to. But He has done so much more.

We watch in awe as our friends, family and even perfect strangers unite around us to bring this little boy home. We have been brought to our knees by the faithful actions of our friends and family. We thought this journey was about our leap of faith and our own obedience. We have been awe struck to see the ways our Heavenly Father has brought so many others into this story.

We cannot afford international adoption. But God can.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Face lift

I'm sure you noticed the look of this blog has changed. The race is over and now it's time to prepare to fly! We have about 4 short months left to prepare for our travels to China! Our sweet boy is getting excited to meet our family. And we are making the final push with our fundraising.

Here's the latest fundraising update:

To date we have raised over $22,940.00  toward our adoption! That is one BIG exciting number. To look back and realize we really did not have a penny set aside for this adoption 8 months ago and to realize where we are now is such a blessing. God is good.

We have about $9,795 estimated expenses left to go before our son steps foot in the United States. Here's the breakdown of our estimates of what is left:
-$340 visas for Brad and I to enter China
-$3600 airfare
-$950 in-country transportation and guide fees
-$1,500 hotel
-$2,000 remaining program fees
-$550 medical exam for Ty in China (required for embassy and consulate to exit the country)
-$300 possible vaccines
-$230 visa for Ty to enter US
-$325 courier fee for paperwork in China

Most of these monies will be needed at the time of travel. Obviously our visa fees and airline tickets will happen shortly before we leave, but pretty much everything will be needed in about 4 months when we board the plane.

So the fundraising wheels are continuing to turn. We are coming, little boy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Run

We did it! Team Running to China finally made it out of the ocean just before the Chosen Marathon race. And Brad and I were able to travel to New Braunfels, Texas to run our strongest half marathon to date. We crossed the finish line just a few minutes after the 2 hour mark and averaged a nine to ten minute mile pace throughout the entire race. It was a pace we felt happy about.

The Chosen Marathon is an amazing race held in a beautiful location and well worth our travel to Texas. The energy and atmosphere was indescribable. Race day always has a different energy and is very exciting no matter what you are running for. But the way this race was done was inspiring. I would do it again in a heart beat.

We arrived in San Antonio Friday evening and traveled to New Braunfels to pick up our race packets. Then we had just enough time to scoot on over to the reception that was put on for participating families. This race was founded by a Christian woman and is sponsored by a Christian organization called Abba Fund. The Spirit was strong as the founders shared their story and the motivation behind Chosen.

Brad and I scored our carb-heavy dinner after the reception before settling in to our hotel. Saturday morning we headed to the race nice and early. New Braunfels is a quiet rural area and we wondered if we would have any trouble finding the free parking area in the dark.

No problem.

Music blaring, police cars at every intersection directing traffic, and giant flood lights everywhere. Wouldn't see that in a rural neighborhood in California at 6am...

It was overcast and dark. But the energy was high and everyone was excited to race. We were greeted by a man who had seen us on the flight the night before and he and his wife wished us luck. We chatted with a few runners who were participating just for the race and others who were running for their babies or their friends who were adopting.

The race was preceded by a prayer and the National Anthem. I like Texas...

It was humid and surprisingly warm. Brad and I worried what it would be like once the sun came up.

About 10 minutes before race time

Fortunately the cloud cover kept it cool and a nice breeze began when we approached the river.

Mile 9 crossing the Gruene River
Our course ran along side the Gruene River (pronounced green for any of you other Yankees that didn't know either). It was beautiful.

While there were a few serious runners the grand majority of participants were novice runners or walkers. It was a great group to be in. Everyone was cheery and supportive. Every step carried the positive attitude and "we're all in this together" feel of the adoption community. It is hard to explain, but it was awesome.

All along the course there were huge signs reminding us of what we were running for. The final stretch to the finish line was amazing. I had a great video, but because of a technical snafoo, it is gone. But imagine 2 dozen 10 foot tall signs with images similar to these all along the final turn to the finish line.

I cannot say it enough, this race was awesome.

And the icing on the cake: Team Running to China has contributed $2,525 toward bringing our son home.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We're almost to shore!

Team Running to China has completed 5,139 miles of our goal! Our race is just 5 weeks away. We can get to Guangzhou! If you or someone you know is running or walking let them know to contact us about their miles and help us get out of the ocean. We are almost there!

Garage sale take 3

Last weekend we set up for a third and final sale.

Almost everything was left over from the previous two sales. So it was not surprising that this sale did not raise as much as the first two. But at the end of the day we had well over $200 more to add to the adoption fund, a sizeable donation to the Good Will, and a clean garage restored to its pre-fundraising order. It was a successful day.