Monday, March 26, 2007

Another Family's story

Please take the time to go and listen to another family's adoption story that was recently featured on Focus on the Family. It is sooooo worth the time (and have some kleenex nearby). This is not just about an adoption--it is more about seeing the hand of God at work in the life of a small abandoned boy.

The website is: . Then just click on the link that mentions the Focus on the Family broadcast. It was on FOF for two days and at the end of the second day, they brought little Levi on (he's 4 now) and interviewed him for a few minutes.

Friday, March 23, 2007

We had to take SaraGrace up to the University of Michigan for her bi-annual heart echocardiogram yesterday (she is doing great!!). Since we were about 45 minutes from Detroit, we thought we would take the risk of going to the BCIS fingerprinting office and see if they would permit us to be fingerprinted a few days early. We prayed for mercy and to our relief, we saw that they were not busy. We stepped up to the desk, explained our situation and asked to be printed. The guy said, 'No. You can't do that." Jeff said, 'But it's a three hour round trip for us to come back in a few days." The guy leaned back in his chair, stretched his arms behind his back and said, "Well, we're very busy today. That would really mess us up." Hmmm.... A quick survey of the room would quickly negate that statement...but all we could do was leave in disappointment.

So....we will return on Tuesday for them to spend 10 minutes taking our fingerprints.

Enough of that.... I'm sure that Jacob would not mind sharing his blog with another little one in need of some prayers. She is a baby girl in Vietnam who has a very serious heart condition. When I saw her picture, it reminded me so much of how SaraGrace looked before her surgery. The wonderful doctor in Singapore who operated on SaraGrace has already looked at this baby's medical records, and wanted an Echocardiogram done on a CD so that he can view it before he decides if she would be able to have surgery. Things look pretty grim for this little girl. We were able to get two doctors at U of M to look at the medicals and both thought that this baby had probably waited too long and had suffered irreversible heart damage. But as the wonderful women who saved SaraGrace's life (Amy and Joyce!!!) always say..."we will not give up until she draws her last breath." God has been moving in some very amazing ways to put people in place to help this little one but she still needs some extra prayer warriors! I wish I had time to type out the whole story, (and maybe at some point I will), but the "Reader's Digest" version is that a month ago, this little girl was in an orphanage with no hope. No one in the US knew she existed--but God did. Today--one month later, He has arranged:
--an adoption agency to help her
--a wonderful Vietnamese man that is helping her get the medical testing she needs
--a pediatric heart surgeon willing to operate on her at no expense
--a hospital willing to consider donating their costs
--a caregiver from the U.S. to go get her, take her to Singapore, and stay with her for surgery. (This caregiver has lived in Singapore, traveled previously to Vietnam, and has worked for an organization that arranges surgeries for children overseas)

All she needs now is a visa, a plane ticket, and a plane ticket for her caregiver. Amazing!!! The biggest obstacle, though, is whether or not she is even operable. So if you want to pray for her, please pray that she can have surgery. :) Here is her picture...she is precious.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and He will care for me"

When God led us to Jacob, we were just getting ready to leave for China to get Jordan. We had to borrow almost the entire amount of Jordan's adoption, so when I told Jeff about Jacob, he looked at me incredulously and said, 'Where are we going to get the money for that?" We both knew that if God led us to do something, He would provide, but honestly, we had never faced a deficit quite this large when it came to our adoptions. We knew that we had no other places from which to borrow. We couldn't take out another loan because the payments would be too much for us to handle.

Our agency was so wonderful. They allowed us to take the step of faith we needed--and only required us to pay a retainer to the attorney in Guatemala. Thankfully, the attorney was also willing for us to pay less than the normal amount--and it was agreed that we would be allowed to pay the remaining $12,500 in two installments, rather than one. I doubted that spreading it out would help--but what could I say?! :)

The time came to pay the first installment and we did not have any money. Hmmm....Our agency didn't say anything...the attorney didn't say anything. We decided not to say anything either! :)

A few weeks later, our agency rep said that she believed that God was blinding eyes because no one had mentioned that the money had not been paid.

In the meantime, we filed our taxes and got our adoption tax credit money on its way to us. It helped get us to our goal, but it was still short of what we needed--and it left nothing to pay on Jordan's debt.

Jeff also got a new job--and a signing bonus--which helped--and the wonderful ministry that had Jacob on their website, , gave us a $1,000 grant.

Still, on paper, it didn't look like we would have enough. The day that we were told that Jacob's paperwork was completed, our rep told us we would have to make the large payment to our attorney and the agency. With a thumping heart, I called Jeff to tell him we needed to come up with the money. He said, "Karin, I think we just might have enough in our checking account!" I was floored! He called back later to verify that we did, indeed, have just enough to cover the amount needed.

We still have travel expenses, but we are hoping we might have enough frequent flier miles to use for that, so it shouldn't be too bad. God is sooooo good. When we started this, I couldn't imagine how we could possibly make this work out, but God is faithful. I do not want any of you to think it is normal for us to have an extra $12,500 in our checking account! This was truly God's provision and I want Him to get the credit for it!!

...I own the cattle on a thousand hills...Trust Me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory. Psalm 50:10,15

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Amazing News!

We just received the amazing news today that Jacob's case has exited PGN court and Jacob Anthony is officially OUR SON!!! :) Wow...we were not expecting that for a few more weeks! Our little guy is coming home soon!!

We still need to wait for the US Consulate in Guatemala to issue us a travel document and visa appointment, and our agency said that since the Consulate is closed most of March, we will probably not receive this for 6 weeks. Normally, it would be much quicker--but it really doesn't matter since we are having our own Immigration delays here in Michigan.

After much prayer, we decided not to contact our senator's office about the fingerprint situation. Despite the fact that it is absurd to be forced to re-do them, the time that it would take to sort it out would probably be longer than the time it would take to just wait the for the normal processing. We are scheduled to be fingerprinted March 27th and will be making the drive to Detroit that day. We are hopeful that we might get approval a few weeks after that--praying for that anyway.

Probably our biggest concern at this point is babysitting when we go to Guatemala as the timing looks like it may fall during the time my parents are in Africa on a mission trip. I'm sure God has a plan! :)

Now that Jake's homecoming is getting closer, I am suddenly realizing that we haven't had a young baby in the house for awhile is the high chair? Where is the changing table? Where are the baby gates? haha The girls are very excited--and Molly watches the video of baby Jake every chance she gets. I'm thinking that Jordan will be a whole lot less excited about the little intruder for awhile. He is still 'establishing his territory' and not too happy about sharing. He will learn, though. Eventually, Jordan will be glad to have a brother amid all the estrogen-laden siblings in the house. :) Speaking of Jordan, some of you have asked for a recent picture, so I am adding one to this post.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Immigration woes...need prayer

Immigration sent us a receipt for the checks we sent (one for fingerprints, one for the application form) and a form letter stating that our fingerprint appointment letters would be arriving soon.

When we sent the application, we had included a cover letter explaining that we probably did not need new fingeprints, but were unsure of the rules. (I had read all the fine print they provided, called their 800 number, and still could not ascertain whether or not we needed new prints.) After mailing the application and money, we received an email from them stating that we did not need new fingerprints.

In exasperation, I was just going to let it go--get the new fingerprints--and not fight them anymore. However, our agency has urged us to try to get Immigration to do the right thing, so I sent them an email this morning asking them to process our paperwork without new fingerprints. We are awaiting their response.

It is so frustrating not to be able to reach them by phone. I just keep reminding myself that God is in control! :)