Friday, October 30, 2015

On to the Finish Line- We got our TA (Travel Approval)!!

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2a)

And what a race this has been! We can finally see the finish line...and Jesus is definitely there, standing with Zach, as he waits for his family to come get him. And running with us as we count down the days to China. We will keep our eyes on Jesus! We got our TA this week and plans are finalized as of today. We are going to China in 19 days! We will leave on November 18th, welcome our son into our family on November 23rd, make it all official on November 30th and fly home December 2nd!

It's hard to believe it was a year ago TODAY that I flew to China for the first time, having NO IDEA what God had in store for my family. What a life changing trip that was. For us. And for Zach. God pulled the trigger and I took off running. Looking to Him every step of the way. To try to determine where He wanted us to go with this. It has been quite the adventure this past year--fundraising, paperwork, more fundraising, more paperwork, waiting, paperwork, and waiting some more. It's hard to believe we're almost at the finish line! We just have one more stretch to go. 19 DAYS!!

The race is not over, yet! We still need your prayers! Lots and lots of prayers, please. Prayers for all of us and we prepare to welcome Zach into our family. Prayers for God to prepare our hearts for his home coming. And prayers for Zach that his heart is prepared to join our family. That he feels God's love and peace, instead of fear and anxiety as he makes this huge transition.

We want to thank each and everyone of you who have been a part of our journey so far. Please continue to follow the blog, as I plan on posting more before we go and while in China. There will be some specific prayer requests to come, too! China, here we come!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fundraising. Check! (no pun intended!)

I typed this up a couple of weeks ago, but just realized I never posted it! From a few weeks ago...

Holy Cow! What a whirlwind the past few months have been. God has been SO GOOD in providing for this adoption. When we started out, we knew he would guide us as to what we needed to do to raise funds and that he would bless our efforts and provide every penny we need. We had no doubts. BUT, we did not expect to be this blown away by his awesomeness! To look back and see the amazingness (is that a word?), it is nothing short of a miracle! He has provided over $30,000 for this adoption in just a few short months! I mean, that's a salary for some people. It's simply miraculous, I think!

We just finished our final fundraising event- a Both Hands project. While our goal for this fundraiser was initially set at $10,000, we were pleasantly surprised to find out (another little miracle from God!) that there was a grant through an organization called Reece's Rainbow in Zack's name for a little over $2000! Which means that whoever adopted him would be granted that money to go toward his adoption. I mean, WHAT!?! Someone had been advocating for our son and we didn't even know it! A friend of a Facebook friend who is active in orphan advocacy, who happened to be advocating for Zack and wasn't aware that we were in the process of adopting him, told my FB friend about this grant. She in turn told me. Thank you, God!! What an amazing surprise. So, we really only needed to raise about $8000 in our Both Hands project. We have met that goal! Praise God! Funny thing is we considered canceling the project on a couple of occasions. Once in the beginning when we were struggling, and I mean struggling to find a widow who was in need of help and was willing to accept the help. Who knew it would be SO HARD to find someone to help! It took us about 6 weeks and several candidates to find Mrs. Francis. We are so grateful for her allowing us to serve her! The second time we considered canceling was the night before we mailed out the sponsorship letters. We were so stressed at this point, as we were knee deep in the final phases of paperwork, Todd was still recovering from his accident and we had a to-do list a mile long of things that needed to be done to get our home ready for Zack to come home. We just couldn't fathom how we would be able to organize this project, too. It was horrible timing. We almost called the whole thing off, but after praying about it over night, we just couldn't bare the thought of calling Mrs. Francis and disappointing her. So we decided that we would go through with it for her. And, of course, God blessed our efforts! And we were able to bless her.
Take a look at the video we made to show the projects we did at Mrs. Francis's house.

And...if you're wondering about the puzzle...well that is finished, too! It took us FOREVER to put that thing together, but we got it done, eventually. We still have to write all the names on the back and frame it, but it's on our list of things to do! Here's a picture of the completed puzzle.