February 19

I’ve thought about this post more times than I can count. It feels surreal to even type but…we are leaving for India MONDAY. As in, 5 days from now!!!! The past 18 months have led us to this moment and honestly, it’s really hard to process. We’re excited, thankful, and overjoyed. But also a little nervous/anxious about traveling across the world and meeting our daughter for the first time! Basically all the emotions are being felt over here J Please pray for our safe travel and for everything to go smoothly while we are there. Also please pray that God will prepare our daughter’s heart for the difficult transition from her orphanage to our arms. One of the best days of our life will most likely be one of scariest for her, which is hard for me to think about.

We are so beyond ready to see our sweet little girl’s face and can’t wait to introduce her to you. THIS IS HAPPENING!!!! Family of 5 here we come!

Setbacks

I didn’t want to write this post. In my mind, I had it all planned out. The next post I would write would have a court date with lots of exclamation marks, as I told you how excited we were to finally go to India to meet our daughter and bring her home. But here we are, with no court date…still lots of uncertainty on the horizon.

Let’s rewind to early December. As our last blog post explained, we received our court petition from our Indian attorney and sent everything back, signed and notarized, within a few days. We waited in anticipation to hear back from him. The days seemed to drag on. Finally on December 17 we received an email from our agency stating there were some problems with the petition and that we would need to redo everything. As you can imagine, we were heartbroken. Our dreams of possibly having her home by Christmas were crushed and there were still so many questions. No one knew for certain exactly how our petition needed to be completed. The next few weeks were filled with a lot of back and forth emails and calls with our agency, trying to make sure we did it right the second time. We finally got the green light from the attorney that it was correct and mailed it off again at the beginning of January. So I’m writing almost an identical blog post to our last, as we’re in almost identically the same spot. It’s not what we had hoped or planned for. If I’m being honest, I cry just about everyday.

BUT GOD.

Our church started a Bible reading plan this year and we’ve been reading about the Israelites exodus from Egypt. God performed miracles to free the Israelites from slavery and lead them to the promise land. But during their journey from Egypt, things get a little tough and they begin to doubt and even say they’d rather go back to Egypt! The Israelites remind me of myself. When things got tough and didn’t go as planned, I questioned God. I was filled with anxiety and stress, wondering if we would ever make it to India. He’s been gently and persistently calling us to trust Him. None of our setbacks are a surprise to Him. He has been so faithful throughout this entire journey and made Himself known to us in huge ways. Literal miracles have occurred over the past year. How quickly I forget!

So we trust. I’d be lying if I said it’s easy. I tell people that God gives us enough grace to get through the day. Then His mercies are renewed the next morning. I feel compelled to not waste this time of waiting. I’m not sure what that even looks like, but leaning into God and trusting him with our timeline seems like the right place to start.

(Please pray with us that we would get a call from our agency this week and that we would receive a court date.)

Best Update Yet!

It’s official…this is the most excited I’ve been to write a blog post! Drum roll please…we received our court petition this past Friday, December 1st. This means our case is ready to be brought to court! We scurried to get all the documents signed and prepared and Fedex’d them back to our agency yesterday. Those papers were the last documents we had to send before we travel! I repeat…we’ve sent off our LAST ADOPTION PAPERS before we get on an airplane!!! Once our attorney receives those papers, he/she will give us a court date. From what we’ve been told, our court date could be within the next 4-8 weeks. Just to refresh your memory, we are required to be present at that court date and we will stay in India around 3 weeks to finish the process. Our daughter will be with us for most of those 3 weeks. Words cannot describe how excited/anxious we are to finally meet this precious girl who has stolen our hearts.

We’re in full-on nesting mode over here, trying to get things in order before we leave. I’m not sure the butterflies in my stomach will go away until we’re finally with her in person. Please be praying that we continue to trust God’s timing and that finalizing trip details will go smoothly. We are going to India SO SOON! Ahh!

The Love Tree

                                                  

Hi friends! We’re super excited to share this Love Tree with you!! Baby girl Knapp is so close to coming home and we are slowly but surely getting closer to our fundraising goal. We thought in light of the holiday season approaching, we’d combine our fundraising efforts with a bit of holiday festiveness.

We’ve handcrafted 150 India-themed ornaments, each numbered 1-150. The number on each ornament is the suggested dollar donation amount. For example…

#1 = $1.00

#5 = $5.00

#122 = $122.00

and so on…

If each ornament is claimed, we will reach our fundraising goal!! How awesome would it be to celebrate Christmas with a completely funded adoption!?

If you are interested in joining our adoption journey by donating please follow the steps below!

*Click HERE to go to our fundraising website.

*The available ornaments will be listed by number and category. (we’ll keep updating the numbers as they’re claimed)

*Select your ornament # and then click the DONATE NOW button at the top of the page. Fill out your information and make sure to list the ornament # you’ve selected in the message box provided.

We will ship all ornaments #30 and up! And if you’re local to us, we’ll deliver! (If you have a preference on ornament design just contact me and I’ll help you pick an available ornament of your choice.) Please feel free to ask if you have any questions! Thanks everyone!

Why we’ve chosen to adopt (take 2)

The answer to, “why we’ve chosen to adopt”, has progressed since we first started the process of adopting from India. To be honest, in the very beginning we made the whole adoption about us. How would this affect our life? How hard would the process be? How much would it cost? What if she didn’t “fit” into our family? Is this what God wanted us to do? We were so wrapped up in ourselves!

But what we were missing was that there was another human being on the other end of this adoption. A little human being who did not get the choice to be in the situation she was placed in. A precious little soul so deserving of love.  Our eyes slowly started coming off ourselves and began focusing solely on what was best for this little girl. SHE became our reason to adopt. What initially felt like a sacrifice turned into the biggest of blessings!

It’s hard to say now that we even chose adoption, because it seems that adoption chose us and has become a huge part of our lives. God has moved in our hearts to make us see that this small life of ours is indeed not our own and that it was bought for a price. We cannot ignore that this truth has freed our hearts up to stepping outside our comfort zone, which has allowed us to meet the most amazing Indian girl. We also know that we love because He first loved us. The fact that we even have love to offer our daughter is because of God’s love for us.

So why have we chosen to adopt? I would now say, 15 months into this process, that we have chosen to adopt because there is a girl in India who deserves a chance to thrive. She’s not just a number. She’s a beautiful, sweet, unique individual who we are beyond thrilled to welcome into our family.

Time for Court

Just wanted to give you all a quick update on what’s been going on lately! We received NOC (No Objection Certificate) on October 13! Yay!! We found out last week that our case has been assigned an attorney in India. Now we are waiting for that attorney to write up an affidavit (aka court petition). The petition will be sent to us either via email or physical mail and we’ll sign it and send it back. Once our attorney receives the petition, he/she will register us in court. After being registered in court, we wait on a court date. And that will be when we buy our plane tickets because we will need to be present for that court date. We plan to be in India for around 3 weeks. During those three weeks we will have to apply for our little girl’s passport and wait for it to arrive, as well as travel to New Delhi to finalize things in country. We’ve been told it could take months to be registered in court and receive a court date, but we’re praying things are on a fast track! We can’t wait to share photos of her and tell you her name publicly, but we have to wait until after we pass court. Please be praying we get the court petition this week or next! Regardless of how long this takes, we know that God works all things together for our good. So we can rest assured that our adoption timeline is good and perfect for us. (but trust me, this is a daily struggle to believe!!) It’s one of the many ways God has refined us through this process. I hope to be back with another update really soon!! Thank you for your prayers!!

End in Sight

Hey friends! Just want to give you all a quick update on where we are in the adoption process! Things are getting more and more real as each day passes and more than ever, we’re so eager to travel to India to get our little princess! And we’re ecstatic to see that day coming into focus for us. To give you a somewhat clearer idea of what the India adoption process looks like, here is a very broad rundown of the steps involved:

Right now, we are waiting to receive word that we have NOC (#10 on the list). This stands for No Objection Certificate. Once we receive that, we wait to be registered in Indian court. Once we are registered in court, we wait to get a court date. When we receive that court date, we will TRAVEL! Each state in India differs in its policies, so although travel is listed as #14, for us court is when we will travel. We expect to spend 3 weeks in India, finalizing everything needed to bring our girl home with us.

If I’ve spoken with you the past few months you’ve probably heard me say this over and over, but THIS IS SO WORTH IT. Worth the time, worth the paperwork, worth the stress, worth the tears, worth every single penny. The deep, deep joy we’ve experienced over this past year has been something I cannot explain. God has truly changed Nick and I in so many ways. And this is just the beginning! What a blessing God has given us.

So here are some prayer requests:

-that we would receive NOC within the next few weeks
-that we would be registered in court in October
-that our court date would be in December! (Our huge prayer request is that she will be home by Christmas)
-that the rest of our funds will be provided (waiting to hear back from a grant we applied for and are applying for another soon)

Guess What?!?

Confession time. We’ve been keeping a secret for over a month now and I can finally tell you…

WE ARE MATCHED!!!!!!

On Sunday, July 9th we received a call from our agency. My stomach immediately started doing flip flops when I saw their number on my phone screen because I knew they wouldn’t just randomly call us to chat on the weekend. They excitedly informed us that they believed they had found a little girl who would be a perfect match for our family. I kind of blacked out after that and don’t remember much of our conversation haha! All I heard was that she was adorable and that we were going to get an email with her photo! Within minutes we were staring at a photo of the MOST PERFECT BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL. The moment we had been anticipating for almost a year was finally here. It’s hard to even put into words the emotions we felt in that moment. The only thing I can compare it to is when I gave birth to Raye and Wilkes and saw their faces for the first time. We instantly knew she was our daughter and fell in love completely and unconditionally. We can’t give much information about her at the moment but hopefully soon! Now that we’re matched we are working hard to get the ball rolling to bringing her home. We just sent off our dossier and are waiting to hear back from USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) that we’ve been approved to bring her to the United States. There are lots of things that need to happen before we can travel to get her. We’re thinking it could be February or March when we get to go but we’re praying that she’ll be home by Christmas. As you can imagine, now that we’ve seen her face its become harder to be patient in the waiting. But we’re clinging to God in our moments of anxiety and worry. We find peace in knowing He is taking care of her in the midst of our waiting.

Please pray with us that the remainder of this process goes quickly without any major setbacks. And also that we would be able to bring her home by Christmas!

Financial Update

Let’s talk money!! Nick and I have wanted to write this post for awhile, because we want to be open and honest about every part of our adoption. First and foremost, we want to thank our incredibly supportive network of family and friends. We have been so humbled by the outpouring of support over the last 10 months, financially, emotionally, and physically. It’s actually very difficult to even put in words how much it means to us. The only thing I can even think to relate it to is God’s love for us. We’ve seen our friends take on this financial burden and rally to find a way to help. We’ve seen sacrificial giving and true servant’s hearts in a way we never have before. I could go on and on, but God has used this fundraising process to draw us closer to Him through the actions of others in such a sweet way.

Our church family hosted a pop culture trivia night in March and close to 100 people showed up! Dinner was served and we even had a silent auction. And a few weeks ago our church hosted a huge garage sale for us. Both of these events took weeks and weeks to plan and in the end, close to $5000 was raised. We truly feel so loved.

Between these fundraising events and other donations (including a $5000 donation from a friend of a friend who we’ve never even met!!!!), we have raised half of our goal amount. Just to remind you, the total amount we need is $40,000. We’ve been applying for grants and are waiting to hear back from one in particular which looks to be promising. If you would like to donate, there is a button on our homepage or even at the bottom of this page that says “DONATE NOW”. Just click that and it will walk you through the process of giving. Thank you to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has donated. Please know that there hasn’t been one dollar taken for granted!

We are confident that God will provide the rest of the money for us. He has already been so faithful!

Any Day Now

Update time! Alright, so let’s back up to our last blog post. I told you guys about how we had finally been uploaded into the database that would match us with our daughter and that we could get a call anytime. Well, I kind of spoke too soon. We found out shortly after that yes, we had in fact been uploaded. BUT we had to wait for Indian consultants to approve our submission into the database. We were told it could take anywhere from 5-8 weeks. So we waited. On May 10 we received an email from our adoption agency giving us the great news that we had been approved! It took about 5 and a half weeks. They told us that they would start looking for potential matches the next day! This was a huge YAY moment! After months and months of hard work, we finally felt like that was nothing preventing us from being matched.

With that comes a whole new set of emotions. We started calling and emailing our agency more frequently wanting updates on how the matching process was going. We received an email this past Friday from our agency, which was a little sobering on the timeline but gave us a realistic expectation. They stated that they hadn’t seen a potential match yet so to be safe emotionally we need to assume that it will still take some months to find one. But they’re hopeful that we will get matched sooner than later because of the wide range of medical needs we are open to. They are checking every day, as new children are added to the database throughout the week. So we can safely tell you now that we really could receive the call any day!

In the meantime, we are working on our dossier because once we are matched we only have 30 days to submit it. And we are also looking for and applying for grants.

Please pray with us that our daughter will get uploaded into the database soon and that our agency will be able to match us quickly. God is teaching us a lot about patience. And that even though we think we know what’s best for us, His plan is truly perfect.