How is the adoption going?

Well meaning people ask us all the time how our adoption is going, and the answer is… we wait. We have officially been in the adoption process, from deciding to adopt, to updating paperwork for over 2 YEARS! Yes, yes you read that right. We originally decided to adopt when our youngest had just turned 1, it took us about a year to apply, finish our homestudy, and raise enough money to send our paperwork to Ethiopia. Now our paperwork has been in Ethiopia for just over a year, which means some of it is starting to expire and we are having to renew paperwork and fingerprints. (Which by the way just adds to the cost!)

Much has happened in 2 years; because of the wait (official wait times have just been increased to 18 -24 months, with the expectation that they will continue to increase) we  have decided to adopt domestically while we wait for our Ethiopian child.

Well guess what? We are expecting to wait a while for that one too… too many adoptive families and not enough birth moms are working with our agency. The average wait time for our domestic adoption is about 12 months.

And so we continue to raise money, now for both adoptions and pray hard. If you would like to be a part of our latest fund raiser, and look stylish in the process, buy one of scarves from Kuwait. Follow this link… https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150653003067408.400894.578377407&type=3Purchase a scarf for $20 to help support our adoption. Use the paypal button to donate $20, in the memo section add the scarf number and we will send you the scarf...

That is the short story, if you want to hear more, let us know and I can give you the long answer.

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An Update

We have officially been waiting on receiving our referral for 4 months now; so of course people are asking, “How are things going with the adoption?” I keep telling people that I am so thankful that we have kids and are in a busy season because it has made the wait easier, but that is really a lie. I didn’t think that it was a lie at first, but now I am realizing that I was just saying that so I did not have to really share what my heart feels. Which is… we do not know how long we will have to wait, our agency has recently officially increased the wait times so we are looking at 10 – 18 months, with 4 of them down and the feeling that wait times will indeed be increased again before we have our next child home. In the mean time, I cry while putting away unused “baby items” around our house as our current children grow out of them, get a pang in my heart when I hear of another mom who rejoices over the new life formed in her, and tear-up when we place an extra plate and cup at our table to remind us of the place at our table that our next children have, while it reminds us of the place that is set for us in heaven when our earthly life ends.

Josh and I have prayed and thought really hard about if it would be a good decision to open up our age-range and only request 2 children from Ethiopia. The problem with that is… because of the age-range we would be requesting, the process would take longer, and we are not ready to displace the age order of our current children by opening up our age range. (Plus, we are not approved in our homestudy for more then a 3 year old.)

The longing, and unrest has been compounded by the fact that our agency will now allow for families to build their families through other means while waiting for their Ethiopian adoption to be completed. We feel called to adopt at this time, so having another biological child felt like taking things into our own hands, and as we started to initially investigate domestic adoption, we felt like it was too far out of our price range. But, we have been in contact with a domestic agency here in Arizona, Family Child Care, and have found out that they are within our price range. The great thing is that our homestudy is completed and we will only need an update… So while we wait for our child from Ethiopia, we are going to pursue a domestic adoption. The average wait time through this agency for placement is about 11 months, and I am praying that I will be able to rest in God’s timing as we move forward. Please, pray with and for us as we embark on the next stage of our journey.

Almost There

In February 2010, we began a journey that would change our family forever. We had always known we would adopt at some point in our lives, we had talked about it, prayed about it, we knew it would happen. It was just a matter of when. That when came 15 months ago.

After deciding on an agency, landing on adopting from Ethiopia, we started the process of applying and raising money. At the beginning, raising over $30,000 seemed insurmountable. We were church planters with 3 small kids at home, we didn’t have $30K, didn’t know anybody with 30K just laying around.

We’ve done rummage sales, applied for grants, talked with friends and family, put in our savings and tax returns in hopes of getting there.

On February 25th, we were halfway there. In 12 months, we had raised $15,000. We decided to start a puzzle fundraiser. We set a goal of raising the other $15,000 by today (in 3 months). Here’s what our puzzle looked like:

As of today, here is what it looks like:

We only have $5,400 left to raise!

There are a couple of ways you can help. You can buy a puzzle piece to help us get our child home to be part of our family. Each piece is $10.

You can contribute towards our adoption in a few different ways:
  • Use the PayPal link on our adoption blog to donate any amount (the direct link to PayPal is here). (A small processing fee is taken out of the donation.)
  • To give a tax-deductible donation, please send a check to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40/202 N. Ford St, Gridley, IL 61744. Please put our last name in the memo section Reich/#1685 adoption. *Note:  In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization.  This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use. If you give through Lifesong please let us know, so that we can follow up with you. You can also give online at http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/donation.html just put add Reich/#1685 adoption to the comments. (Again, a small processing fee is assessed if you give online.)

For every $10 donated, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece, and our next child will forever know the loved ones who helped to bring him/her home.

You can help us get the word out. Cut and paste the message below and put it on your Facebook wall:

Help piece together the Reich’s Adoption! The Reich’s are on the countdown to raise the remaining $5400 ~ it’s as simple as $10 for a puzzle piece! Be a part of bringing their next child home to his/her forever family! Go to http://bit.ly/j7U0Lp for details and donate today!

Or on Twitter:

Help my friends complete their adoption, buy a puzzle piece for $10. There’s $5400 left to raise. Go to http://bit.ly/j7U0Lp & donate today!

It Takes A Lot of People to Adopt

The longer the process of our adoption goes on, the more I’m reminded of how hard adoption is and how it takes so many to make it happen. The money, the stress, how tiring it gets. It truly becomes a community project.

From rummage sales, phone calls, supporting us, helping us raise money, the list goes on and on.

Not to mention the folks that are praying for us and the child who will one day be a part of our family.

I was reminded of this today. A good friend posted on his blog that he would be donating $100 and was challenging his friends to donate $10 to help us complete our adoption puzzle. Now, people I have never met are sending me messages over twitter letting me know they are donating and praying for our family. It truly is humbling.

Have you gotten involved yet? $10 helps get us one step closer to making one less orphan in the world.

Adoption Update…

Seed Adoption – Ethiopia Project

This is an exciting thing that is happening Ethiopia. The goal is to help equip, resource and train Ethiopian churches and pastors to care for the orphans in their country.

For more information, check out www.seedadoption.org

Rummage Sale Update

We had our rummage sale on Friday night and Saturday morning and it was a huge success. We were able to raise over $1,200. The crazy thing is that most of the large items that had been donated (couches, beds, book shelves, entertainment centers, bikes and tables) did not sell. So, we will be selling them on craiglist to raise more money.

We are humbled and blessed by how many people not only donated items, but gave up time on Thursday, Friday and Saturday unloading items, setting up the sale, working the sale and then tearing it down.

Thank you for the hours you put in and for helping us get closer to making one less orphan in the world.