It has been 6 months today that we submitted LOI (Letter of Intent) for Joey. It was a HUGE leap of faith for us and we had no idea what the journey would bring.
These past 6 months has been CRAZY. We have been in a flurry of activity getting another home study done and doing all the insane amounts of paperwork together for that and our dossier. We've had doctors appointments, fingerprints, and been to the notary and Fed Ex more times than we can count. We've had our final copy of our homestudy temporarily LOST thanks to Fed Ex, and have had so many delays that are typical for an adoption process.
It's no coincidence that this first phase of the process has come to a close as we hit the 6 month mark. Friday was a huge milestone, our Dossier was finally "DTC", which means "Dossier to China". A Dossier is basically our life on paper, everything from finances, to family history to health information to marriage information... you name it, it's in the Dossier. Everything had to be notarized, then certified by the Secretary of State and then authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in New York. (Interesting side note about the last step- The Chinese Consulate doesn't accept MAIL, so we have to hire a courier who we pay to accept our paperwork via mail and then walk into the consulate for us, drop it off, go back and get it when it's done days later, then mail it back to us. See what I mean about CRAZY?!?)
Everyone wants to know, what happens next? Here are our next steps in very general terms:
LID- Once China has our dossier, they will log it into their system and they'll give us our "Log In Date". That basically means they are acknowledging that they have our paperwork! Waiting for LID usually takes a few weeks to a month.
LOA- Once we have our LID, then we wait for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance), which is basically China officially giving us permission to adopt Joey. (We already have PA for him (Preliminary Approval), but LOA is much more official). LOA usually takes 2-3 months, and for me was the most excruciating part of the wait last time.
TA- Travel Approval. Between LOA and TA, several big important steps have to happen that can take several months. Once we have TA, we can then plan our trip to bring him home!
We are still guessing that we'll be able to travel to bring him home sometime this fall, with October as my best guess right now. It's all so variable, though, so we'll just have to wait and see!
One of the biggest challenges in international adoption is cost. Especially when this is our third adoption in 5 years! We've estimated that if both of our boys travel with us to China, we'll need a total of around $37,000 for the adoption process. That's a huge number to have to come up with in less than a year's time!! In fact, the cost of adoption is one of the biggest reasons why many people choose not to adopt. But we're proof that it's very possible; in fact, taking a leap of faith is an opportunity for God to shine and move mountains!
I believe in being as transparent as possible because one of my greatest hopes is for people to realize that we are just a normal family who simply said yes to adoption, and you can do it too!. We are not special and we certainly don't have $37,000 to spare. We are a one income family and Jeremy is a mechanic, and money is tight. We had NO MONEY set aside for this adoption when we started and no plan for where it would come from. NONE. ZERO. But we had faith that Joey was ours and the money would work itself out.
So it's been 6 months since we started, and in that time we've been blessed with many donations from friends, family and anonymous donors. We're blown away by the level of support we have! We also have had several friends do some jewelry fundraisers to help raise money, and of course we held the garage sale to fund raise as well. We've also applied for over 20 grants and been blessed with 5 grants so far!
Today is 6 months to the day that we said yes to Joey. In those six months, via donations, fundraisers, a garage sale and grant money, we have raised over $30,000 to bring Joey home!!!! Yes, we have raised nearly all of the funds we need for the entire process!!!
Folks, there is only one explanation. Yes, we had to put forth some effort on the grants and the fundraisers, but we cannot take any credit for the fact that over $30,000 has come in in 6 months time. We give all credit to God. He called us to this particular little boy. He called us to step out on the water, take a huge leap of faith financially and simply say YES. He asked us to trust him and let Him work, and boy did He!!!
We share this because we pray that more families will no longer consider the financial aspect as a reason to say no to adoption. If God is whispering to your heart about adoption, then listen. He has a plan that's so much bigger than we can imagine, if you give Him the chance to shine!
We feel confident that the final funds we need will come; we don't know
how, but we're leaving it up to our mighty God who is moving mountains
to bring our new son home.
If you'd like to contribute, we are still taking donations for our matching grant. You can find information for that here: Joey's Matching Grant