Donations

Donations to our adoption fund can be made directly to:

Adoptions Related Services, Inc.

8 South Main Street
P.O. Box 201
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

717-227-9560 (phone)
717-227-9562 (fax)

info@adoption-related-services.org

Also, if you prefer, you can donate by sending a PayPal payment to fourmilefarm@wcc.net, and marking it as a “gift to friends or family” so that we don’t get charged a fee.

Any donations sent to PayPal will be used for our airfare and hotel costs while in N’s country.

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It’s official – we are hosting N for 8 weeks this summer! (2015)

As of today, we are fully funded to host this summer! Thanks be to God who supplies ALL of our needs. And He can do it for YOU too, should you step out in faith and say yes to hosting. It will forever change the life of a child, and the life of your family.

N called on Skype today and we had a nice long 40 minute talk. A very exciting talk! I am not allowed to share the details at this point, but I will say that he talked and talked and talked! After we receive our referral, I will tell you what that was all about. 😉

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It’s killing me not to be able to post his picture on here, so here is his cat, instead.  The hairball.

Progress!

$500 – a gift from one of N’s former host families – thank y’all SO much!

$200 – an anonymous gift straight to the YouCaring fundraiser – thank you!!!

$20 – from a local friend. ANY amount is a blessing, and it was given from the heart. Thank you!

So to reach our goal of $2200 by tomorrow so his ticket can be purchased, we just need $1321! (<<<click there if you would like to help!)

Then, we have until May 15 to raise the remaining $975.

 

 

Keeping with the theme…

“What seems impossible for us, is NOT impossible for God.”  Many of our friends and family encouraged us to sign up for hosting this summer even though clearly it will be impossible for us to come up with the money ourselves. We prayed about it, and agreed to sign up. The orphanage director told N WEEKS ago that he will be going to America this summer, even though we’d only put him “on hold” due to our hopes that we’d be traveling overseas on trip 1 BEFORE summer hosting.  The adoption has not moved fast enough for us to be able to travel before summer hosting, unfortunately.

If we get to host N this summer, it will CLEARLY be because of God and for His glory. Not because we’re scrounged up the money on our own. NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM!!! 

I just received word that we need to come up with $2200 of the amount owed TODAY. Or in the next couple of days at the latest, so that tickets can be purchased for the children who have host families.  Waiting longer just means the tickets will cost more. They MUST be purchased soon.

Will N get to come stay with us this summer? I don’t know. All I know is that I trust God, no matter the outcome.

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I have not mentioned my health problems to anyone but family and one friend.  I have been having thyroid problems for several years. They came to a head last year at this time, and just days before N arrived for the summer my meds kicked in and I was able to function again.  At this time, the medicine that was working fairly well for me is no longer being manufactured, so in the last couple of months I’ve had to try something new. It did not work. At all. I’m barely functioning and at times I’m in a lot of pain. I’m not saying this for sympathy, but just to ask you all to pray that we can find a new med that is effective.  I have found it physically impossible to do any fund raising since Easterfest.  We do feel that this is simply another attack to discourage us and get us to give up on this adoption. Well, that’s not happening, no matter what!!!!

Prayers needed please…

We’ve finished our dossier and it’s ready to be sent overseas!!! I left very early yesterday morning and drove three hours to Austin to have these papers apostilled.

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Our Dossier.

That stack of papers represents eight months of blood, sweat, and tears! No, really, it was more like money, tears, time, energy, focus, neglect of household chores, tears, money…. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 😊

We are SO thankful to each one of you who helped us financially to get it finished. It will be on it’s way to a special country very soon.

We are experiencing another “run of bad luck” which we know is really not bad luck at all. More of an attack to discourage us and slow down this adoption and prevent us from hosting again. One thing after another is going wrong with our vehicles, with the latest being a flat tire just as I arrived home from Austin yesterday. I’m so thankful to have made it home first!!! But, it’s one of the tires that was on this car when we bought it last February, which means that we don’t have a warranty on it and will have to pay full price for a new one. Things things are adding up quickly and putting us in a bind, which leads us to our next problem.

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The deadline for us signing up to rehost is May 5. If we decide to rehost, we must come up with a huge chunk of the money right away. Half, I think. There is NO WAY we have the money for this.

However, if we don’t host him again this summer, he’s facing a really tough summer. It will be around two months still before we can tell him we’re working on adoption paperwork, so he will have no idea why we aren’t hosting. We’ve told him repeatedly that God provided the money for us to host him each of the last two times, and he will wonder why God didn’t provide this time.

If everything goes as fast as possible, the soonest N might be asked if he wants to be adopted is mid to late July. At that point, we would be contacted to be given permission to discuss adoption with him. Until then, we could seriously jeopardize this adoption if we mention it. So we can’t say, “look, you can’t come this summer because we spent every last dime on adoption paperwork. But, you’ll get here here eventually. Maybe October, November, or December.” If we can’t host him, we can’t tell him why.  A couple months ago NHFC recommended that we put him “on hold” for summer hosting so that some other family didn’t sign up to host him. This all seemed like a good idea at the time, but his orphanage director immediately found out we’d put him on hold and told him “you’re going back to America this summer to the same family!!” So, he was overjoyed, and now we hate to see his hopes dashed.

Not only will not hosting cause him to feel seriously rejected, but many orphans are sent to “camp” for the summer. This is not a camp like American kids go to. There are a few great Christian summer camps for kids but not in his area. We don’t know for sure that he’d be sent to camp, but either way he’s facing boredom, lack of supervision (which leads to all kinds of trouble) and the general consensus is that for orphans in this situation, drugs, alcohol, and sex are going to be the most common activities over the summer.
The children that are being hosted arrive at the end of June…. So we’ve got a dilemma. Do we try to fundraise $3000ish or do we keep working on adoption funds? Could we possibly do both? With God all things are possible! We WANT to host him again, because what parents DON’T want to spend the summer with their child????

Please pray that we make the right decision. And that it would be CLEAR what God wants.

Immigration Approval!

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I had a long post written when the house and a power pole both got struck by lightning and the power went out!

We’ve got immigration approval!

And for the last two months we’ve been attending a new church that we really like and the pastor there is willing to help us with referrals for grants so I can now start applying for grants. It is only by God’s provision through so many of you that we’ve made it this far without a grant! Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers and donations!

We can soon send the dossier to a country far away and wait two months for translation. And THEN soon afterwards N will be asked if he wants us to adopt him, and we will finally be allowed to discuss this with him!!!! CAN’T WAIT.

We are still fundraising however we can because we don’t know if or when we’ll get grants. I just finished up making two silver Alabama quarter rings for some special adopted boys.

Speechless.

{{{{{An ANONYMOUS DONOR sent $5100 to our adoption agency}}}}}
which means we are current on what we owed and can start moving forward again!!!!!
We can get about a thousand papers notarized, appostilled, and sent overseas!!!!!
I can’t explain how in awe of God we are. It blows our minds that ANYONE would do that. That is A LOT of money!!!
Thank you God!
Thank you whoever you are!

Two links

i want to put these two links on the sidebar but can’t seem to figure out how to do it from an iPad…

So frustrating.

So, I’m posting them here in hopes that when I get access to a computer I’ll remember to put them in the sidebar.

Our YouCaring donations link.

And our Amazon Affiliates link. Do not use the old one! Shopping through this link costs you nothing but gives us a small percentage to put towards the adoption. Every little bit helps! —– well, scratch that idea. This iPad mini is getting old and doesn’t want to copy and paste anymore.

Easterfest 2015

Our booth at Easterfest in Kerrville Saturday went fairly well! Despite freeeeeezing until noon, it was a lot of fun thanks to Several friends/family. Bridgit paid the booth fee and Kendra the natural born salesperson is the only reason anyone bought anything. Virginia brought us a box full of wooden signs to sell from the now closed down cowboy gift shop. The Baker family helped with the cost of soap making supplies, which can get expensive really fast! Thank you ALL so much. I hope I didn’t leave any one out!

We made about $320 total for the day. Every little bit is a help and a blessing!!

I failed to get a picture of our booth, but here’s Kendra filling in at the kids’ activity booth. Our table is behind but you can’t really see it.

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PLEASE PRAY – March 20, 2015

We sent a check for $1000 to ARS yesterday to cover “post placement deposit”.

Next we need to come up with $5,180 for:

Dossier translation
International wiring fee 
Visitor’s Visa
Agency Fee

We are at a complete standstill until we are able to send in the entire $5,180.

Please pray that the Lord would meet these needs!

One possibility is that we were invited to sell goat milk soap and coin rings at an Easter Chili Cook-off in Kerrville on April 4th. So, for the last week I have been spending every spare moment making soap and rings. The soap had to be made first since it takes 3 weeks to cure. While it’s curing I can make rings. Then, later on I will be labeling and wrapping soap.  I am hopeful that we will do well and sell a lot, but not overly optimistic as these types of things have never been overly successful in the past when we were just selling soap (not fundraising).   We are BLESSED to have a sweet friend who is paying the entry fee for us. We are sharing a booth with her.

Young Living Essential Oils!!!

I am SO excited!! I was blessed to win a Young Living Basic Starter Kit from Virginia Graham!

I had been wanting to become a member of YL so I could get the discounted member price, but didn’t feel like I could spare the initial cost of  ordering a start-up kit/signing up. So, this was a real blessing!

Now that I am signed up, if any of you out there would like to order your essential oils through me, you can get my discount, AND it will help me earn points to save money on future orders. Essential oils have been a HUGE blessing to our family starting in 2008 when Erinn first got sick with Lyme Disease. She was nauseated all day every day for those first two years. Virginia came to our rescue with peppermint and lavender essential oil, and they were a huge help to Erinn.  So much so that we didn’t go anywhere without them! To this day she has a bottle of each in her purse at all times.

Then last summer (2014) when we first hosted N, I got a bottle of Peace and Calming and it was like a MIRACLE. Seriously. I cannot tell you what a lifesaver that was. Our hyper wound up boy would just calm right down and relax.

Please contact me if you’d like to order!  On my own, I know there’s no way I can keep up with the $50/month minimum order in order to qualify to receive  “Essential Rewards”.  Adoption expenses are our priority right now! 🙂

Feb. 7 – HE DID IT!!

God is so GOOD! I am just so speechless at how He provides for the orphans.

He wants the orphans in families.

He moved on someone’s heart to give us a large donation to help with the I-800A!! So, as soon as the home study copies arrive in the mail (hopefully by midweek) we can immdiately send in the application with a check for $1955. (2-9 ETA, I made a mistake on the check amount. It will be $955 now, the rest later. So, it’s good we have the full amount now!!)

Thank you ALL for praying and ordering rings, and spreading the word about the rings. We are continuing to save for the $3250 due to our adoption agency ASAP. We do not know how long it takes to receive grants, so in order to keep things moving we are continuing to fund raise.

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Our adoption coordinator has set up an hour long phone consult on Tuesday morning (the 9th) to get things moving on our dossier, despite the fact that we do not have the money for this yet. This will be a time saver! N turns 15 next week, and we are ALL ABOUT getting him home as soon as possible. He’s gone far too long without a family, and he LONGS for a family.

End of winter hosting 12-14-14 through 1-11-15

Whew. I’ve never more fully understood the term “roller coaster of emotions”! The Friday before N left, was the Gillespie County Livestock show. We were there most of the day, and while he enjoyed it greatly, he also was stressing over his upcoming departure. He had some angry outbursts when things didn’t go his way. I requested prayer for Saturday on FB, and it was MUCH better. We talked about why it was not ok to lash out in anger and calmly gave consequences each time, and he rapidly improved. He stayed home with Kris Saturday afternoon while Erinn and I went to the 4-H auction.

The last week was so hard on him and all of us emotionally that I took a nap when we got home from the airport, slept 8 hours last night and woke up still exhausted. Leaving is so hard. He frequently talks about wanting to live here forever, and we tell him we want that too, but “Your country says we are not allowed to talk about it”. He says that he wants to show goats in 4-H and I answer with “Wouldn’t that be great? I hope you can one day.” We’ve told him how much God loves him and He has a plan for his future. To trust God, and pray! We’ve shared how God has provided for him to come here twice through the generous gifts of friends and family. Even people we barely know! He was amazed at all it took to get him here and how much he is loved.

My 11 year old niece stayed with us 5 days and N was very nervous about it before she got here. By the time she left, he didn’t want her to go! “Oh no! Gabby’s leaving? But she’s so much fun! Another cousin is coming? Oh no! I want Gabby to stay. No more cousins.” Then Tana arrived and he soon realized that Tana is a lot of fun, too! One day, he’ll be able to believe me when I say “you’re going to like this person”, rather than stressing over meeting someone new.

It’s hard to believe that this is the SAME KID who we could not take to a family gathering at Mamacita’s in Fredericksburg this summer because of his behavior. Kris’ dad is in the hospital and when we went to see him, N stood quietly for thirty minutes (in ICU!) and politely answered questions. Amazing!!!

I have to get one more document together for the home study to be complete. We are so thankful for God’s provision through all of you – the home study is completely paid for. That includes a check for $1050 which covers the required post placement visits!!! I got that check sent off two weeks ago.

This summer N would not even attempt to play any card games or board games with us. But, Kristl and Brad gave him Rodeo-opoly for Christmas and we were shocked when he agreed to play it with us. He had a lot of fun, and from there, he agreed to try lots of other games. He did well at everything except Phase 10. He didn’t like that one enough to give it another try. This is a Game Playing Family, so it was fantastic that he finally joined in.

We bought a used trampoline in November, hoping it would help him release some energy, and it was a huge hit! Best $75 we could have spent on him. image

Christmas Hosting 2014 – end of week 1

I love this blog post from a mom with five kids who is adopting… This is exactly how I feel.

“What wrecks me is this: God doesn’t seem to be concerned with what I can handle, but rather with what HE can handle!”

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Well, our first week of Christmas hosting is complete and we are scratching our heads, wondering WHO IS THIS CHILD AND WHERE IS THE CHILD WE HAD THIS SUMMER?

After 3 or 4 days, he settled in and showed some of his old struggles with sharing, having to do things he didn’t want to, trouble dealing with the word “no”, etc. nothing major at ALL, though.

Kris took him to the gun show in Fredericksburg on Saturday after he’d been here a week, just to look, and he was great. Then he took him to WalMart, and he was great. We wondered… What’s changed? Why the difference? But, hey, we were thrilled, and praised him for such good behavior.

Yesterday, Erinn had a doctor appointment, and we went to Walmart afterwards, and HE DID GREAT. I should not be so shocked, but his behavior in stores this summer was unbelievable. He was SO overwhelmed with all the STUFF and just couldn’t understand why I didn’t put every single thing he asked for into the cart. We had to “abort the mission” on more than one occasion.

God has answered our prayers in an amazing way! I know that we’ll still have issues now and then, but for now, we’re enjoying this new calm kid.

My brother, sister in law, and their two precious boys (6 & 3) came for a visit this weekend. N was so worried and stressed up front. We had many long discussions, with LOTS of fears coming out on his part. His experience with kids in general is that they steal and/or break your stuff, bully you around, etc. So, he took all his clothes out of his room, which is where they’d be sleeping, and put them in our room. I told him that they are NOT going to steal his clothes, and insisted he put them all back except for a couple outfits to change into after showers. He was not convinced, but he did as I asked. And sure enough, when they’d gone home, all his clothes were still there!! Gasp. 😉 And the boys didn’t mess with him at all. In fact, they were pretty entertaining and cute! And it didn’t kill him to have to greet the visitors properly!!
So, it was a great weekend, and hopefully eased some of N’s fears about family members and friends visiting.

We’ve been learning to make rings out of coins, from a generous friend (Randy) who started making these as a fundraiser for us.

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N has been loving this process of learning to make rings. We (mostly him, because only one of us can use the tools at a time) have been practicing a lot. Here’s his first ever ring. He accidentally used a Virginia quarter instead of a Texas one, so asked me if he could sell it online.

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Our sweet friend Bridgit bought it from him and he was THRILLED!

So, next , next he wanted to make a TX ring for himself, but changed his mind and made one for Kris instead. And with that, we were out of Texas state quarters because they are really hard to find.

Eventually, Randy was able to gather up a few more TX quarters with the help of some of his friends, and he also brought N a dremel type tool to make the ring polishing process go much faster.  N was amazed that it was a gift for him. As soon as Randy left he said, “I know he said this is mine, but you and Dad can use it whenever you want to.” Hey, sharing! That’s progress.

home study

Almost exactly two months since our home study VISIT, it has been submitted to our adoption agency for review. Finally. It’s tempting to be upset that it took so long, but, God is in control.

We were sitting at the airport waiting on N’s flight to arrive on December 14 (for 4 weeks of winter hosting) when we got the first rough draft email. Woohoo!

He’s been here 2 days and so far, it has been much easier than last time. No rough adjustment period.

Progress!

We’ve survived our home study visit, and it was no big deal. 🙂

Kris has gone back to work and is feeling good!

We’ve got three (3!) fundraisers going on and are madly baking for our third bake sale this Saturday.

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Thanks to Kyria for organizing the tote bag fundraiser:

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Thanks to Fallon and Carolyne for organizing the Scentsy fundraiser:
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And thanks to all our friends who donated the items in our FaceBook auction!
Click the link to go see what all is up for grabs at some really low prices.

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OK, my baking break is over. I burned up my hand mixer, so I’m using my Bamix, which is kind of like an immersion blender. It is working fine on the cupcakes, but all the cookies had to be mixed by hand. I need to borrow a folding craft type table for this weekend if anyone close by has one… we have two long tables that won’t fit in the car, so the kind I need to borrow or buy is a CENTER folding table. I don’t want to spend $40 on it unless I have to.

 

Bake Sales and Garage Sales

While Kris has been recovering from his surgery we’ve been very busy having bake sales and a huge garage sale, thanks to the generous donations from friends.

Boy, when something big comes up in your life (adoption, emergency surgery, a month off work unpaid, etc) it really is a faith building experience. We are continually amazed at how God uses His people to meet the needs of others. I pray that we will also be quick to jump in and help when we see a need.

Our prayer has been that God will provide for us in such a way that NONE of the fundraiser money will have to go to pay bills, and He has done that! We are so blessed. (Edited to add: Kris’ employer, who NEVER in the past has paid sick leave or vacation day, has paid him thirty hours a week so far while he’s been unable to work. Thank you Allen Keller Co!)

ALL fundraiser money has gone and will continue to go to hosting and/or the adoption fund.

On Friday a lady from a local newspaper came and interviewed us for an article in the paper, right in the middle of our garage sale. We may have been a little distracted. 😏

And the list of Bizarre Things grows longer…

We had a fairly quiet week from September 7 through 14. It was nice!
*Kris’ mom got to go home from the nursing home she’d spent a week in after the hospital!
*We got the appointment for our home study visit, and Silly Me… I wondered how we could wait 3 weeks! What will we DO? 😉 I’ve been SWAMPED with paperwork and now, just sit around and wait?? (Other than some major house work, and planning fund-raisers.)
*BAKE SALE, GARAGE SALE, SILENT AUCTION… those were the three things I was going to work on, but God had other plans…

On Sunday the 14th, Kris’ stomach started to hurt. He went to work Monday and it hurt all day. He is such a hard worker and HATES to call in sick. Tuesday morning he dragged himself off to work, feeling worse, but was back in 15 minutes. The bump of his truck was just too painful! So we decided to try to get him a doctor appointment, but couldn’t decide which one to call.
Then the Lord gave us the idea to call the surgeon who had done Kris’ diverticulitis surgery two and a half years ago. He “just happens” to only see patients in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there “just happened” to be a 10:45 opening. So, in we went, second guessing ourselves the whole time. Is it really this bad? Why’d we get an appointment with a surgeon? Aren’t you supposed to go to a regular doctor first?
Long story, made a little shorter: the doctor immediately suspected appendicitis, DESPITE the fact that Kris had an appendectomy in the eighties.
SAY WHAT? Apparently, doctors used to leave a “stump” behind when removing the appendix. And that stump can cause appendicitis. So, he was admitted to the hospital Tuesday evening and had surgery Wednesday evening. The size of the mass in his intestines required the surgeon to remove a foot of large intestines and 3 or 4 inches of small intestines.
What are the chances of having an emergency appendectomy TWICE in your life????

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Winter Hosting 2014

Our winter hosting fundraiser is up!
An explanation for those who have asked why we’re going to host when it seems that all available funds should be going to our other endeavor, which I’m not allowed to mention publicly:
This is very important to N for several reasons. It will get away from a situation where he is being bullied, and it will give him hope that maybe he will get a forever family after all. He told me that many kids he knows have been hosted more than once by the same family and then they were their forever families. “Why not me? No family likes me,” he said. Even though we aren’t allowed to mention a certain word to him, this will give him hope. And hope is a powerful thing.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12

For four weeks this winter, he can experience the love of our family again and feel like he belongs.  Click here to see the link.