And as of last week Friday, I can say that we have boarded that train and it is beginning to pull out of the station . . .
|Our precious Thomas Joseph!|
If you are in our private adoption group on Facebook, you know the full details, but to share quickly, God moved some more mountains on this adoption journey and February travel, which once looked impossible, is happening!! Last week we received Travel Approval and our Consulate appointment and our sweet Thomas will be placed in Pete's arms on February 22nd!! Since this was hoped for, but totally unexpected, we are not totally prepared and this week before travel will be filled with last minute packing, trips to Target and getting every last piece of paperwork in perfect order to make the trip as smooth as possible.
I am 28 weeks pregnant and although I did get clearance from my OB to go, I am staying home. I do not think the reality of that has hit me totally yet and I am not sure just how I will be when I am saying good bye to Pete at the airport, knowing that I will not be there on Gotcha day or the days following to bond with Thomas. I am not one to listen to others' concerns too closely and so the myriad of family members who mentioned that I absolutely should not go, really did not deter me. Honestly, Saturday night I was pretty convinced that I should go and be there. I prayed that God would give me clear direction. Then on Monday, at the end of mass the priest was mentioning about the possibility of no public mass due to weather on Tuesday and he said something which stuck with me. He said that sometimes prudence is the better side of valor. And I realized that I needed to be a bit more prudent about the whole trip. I am on the cusp of my third trimester. We would have to take Felicity back to the same orphanage that she herself came from, and so I would not be only dealing with one grieving toddler (Thomas) but I could also be dealing with one very confused, scared, and traumatized toddler (Felicity). And,oh, yes, I would be doing so while very, very, very pregnant. So I am staying home.
Thomas will be HOME, on March 4th. We will begin cocooning him and working to help him feel a part of our family. And then on May 3rd, Hope will be born via c-section. As we enter this time, I ask that you pray for our family in some, very specific ways:
1) Pray for the finances to come through for our adoption. Any moment now, we should be receiving the final bill and cost list from our agency. Within days will we owe approximately $12,000 for our travel expenses, in-country fees, etc, etc. We did not receive ANY of the grants that we had applied for, so every penny that is due will need to come from us. We have a YouCaring page where we can receive donations and I keep track, on there, of every penny given to us even outside of the page, but here is the thing:
I am not really sure we should ask for donations. As much as I want our adoption to be fully funded. As much as I am grateful for every donation that is given to us, there is just too much want and need in our world for me to feel that our need is more necessary than another. There are families abandoning their children because they cannot afford their medical care and feel that the only way to save their child's life is to abandon him/her. These families need our help. There are children dying because of starvation or inadequate water sources. These children need our help.
One of my biggest questions and fears going into this adoption was "How in the world would we pay for it?" And after all that we have been through on this journey, I feel like that one lesson I have come to learn is that there are worse things that could happen than going into debt for this adoption (sorry Dave Ramsey). After getting our second grant rejection letter, my first thought was, "It is ok, Thomas is worth the debt." There are many things in life that are not worth the debt; a bigger house, a new car, the latest gadgets. But Thomas? Oh, yes, he, he IS worth it. And we will survive with it. We will pay it off and be ok. And Thomas will be with his family and an orphan no more. Totally worth it.
So, if you feel led and only if you feel led, you can donate to our adoption at our YouCaring Site here. But again, only if you feel led.
I am also still selling these beautiful bracelets I made in honor of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month. The proceeds will be split between our adoption and Morning Star Foundation that cares for orphans with significant heart defects and helps families to pay for their child's heart surgeries so that families may not feel that their only option is to orphan their child. You can purchase it here.
But, mostly, just pray for us. That God provides in the way He wants to.
2) Pray for Pete and Joshua's travel in China. Pray they do not get sick. Pray they remember NOT to drink the water :-)
3) Pray for me while they are in China. Pray I am able to get everything done that needs to get done for Thomas' arrival and for Hope's arrival. I want the time between Thomas' homecoming and Hope's birth to be unencumbered by extra chores and to-do lists. I want that time to be about Thomas and family.
4) Pray for Thomas, especially as he transitions to our family. Pray his attachment goes well. Pray for our time of cocooning him before Hope is born. It is a special time, but can often feel very isolating. It is a time when our child is put before all other relationships with other people. I know sometimes it is hard for people outside our immediate family to understand why we pull back from everything, but Thomas and his adjustment is our priority during this time.
Thank you all for being a part of our journey! We are so appreciative of you all!