As of today, May 13, 2014, we are excited to announce that we are fully funded for our total anticipated adoption expenses! It is only through the generosity of our family and friends that we are at this point, and we are humbled beyond belief at the outpouring of love and support from so many.
From the beginning of this journey, from that first day we met Jazhel (Isaac), we believed God intended for us to embrace him as our fourth son, and asked us to completely trust Him with this one. So, we trusted, not knowing how all the details would fall into place, not knowing how we would fund the process . . . and He proved, once again, that He is indeed trustworthy, without a doubt!
We are grateful for your prayers and for letting God nudge you to share generous financial gifts to bring us to his point!
Isaac has one more appointment - his Visa Interview - this week, and that should be the final piece to finish the puzzle . . .we will be making travel plans very, very soon!
Update: Sunday, April 6, 2014
WOW! – we do not have the words to express our gratitude for the support we have received concerning our adoption of Jazhel (Isaac)! So many have helped us, prayed for us and with us, and given generously toward our expenses. Thank you for this amazing outpouring of love!
To date, we have just about $21,000 toward our total expenses! Our fundraiser itself totaled approximately $8000 in gifts, and we have been receiving other individual donations since December. The grant we received from Brittany’s Hope Foundation was $4000. All these together have brought us to this amazing total.
We anticipate a grand total cost of $25,000 -$27,000 by the time all is said and done and he is officially adopted. This includes upcoming travel expenses and also adoption lawyer fees once we have had him home for 6 months.
Our best guess is that we will be traveling to the Philippines in June – maybe late May, at best. We are waiting for more information back from US Immigration, and Jazhel is currently going through his final Medical and Visa appointments so that he will be all ready to go and they can plan travel dates for us!
We are anxiously waiting to get a date and time for our first Skype session with him!
THANK YOU, Thank You, Thank You!! We can’t say it enough!
February 18, 2014: We have been approved by US Immigration and by the Philippines for the adoption!! Now we will be finishing up paperwork over the next 3-4 months or so before we can bring him home!
For updates as we make our way through this amazing process, check out our blog:
ONE MORE RITCHIE!
We recently found out . . .God has been up to something for some time now, and it's all starting to make sense!
He is blessing us with the opportunity to grow our family through adoption! On August 3, 2013, we met a young man who was here on an Orphan Hosting trip from the Philippines. He hadn't been matched with a family yet, and his 3-week trip to America would be over in 4 days. At 8:00 that Saturday morning, we got an email from a friend that knew about his situation and was letting us know about an open picnic that all the host families were having in Rochester, Illinois that very same day - "just in case" we were interested in meeting him.
You see, the DAY BEFORE we received our friend's email, I - once again - checked out an adoption website. Not having a particular connection to any certain place in the world, I saw the drop-down menu that said "Pick a Country."
"Pick a Country?" I thought. "How do we just randomly pick a country? God, if this is truly your plan for us, then you are gonna' have to pick a country for us!"
At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, He showed us the country He picked for us! And never would the Philippines have been a country we had reason to be drawn to! But oh, are we drawn to it now!!
We have had our foster care license for 3 1/2 years now, and have found that we just weren't as available to that ministry as we hoped we would be. We only were only available for two placements in that amount of time. Several times, Derrick and I both said it was beginning to seem it would be more fitting for our family to go ahead and adopt.
This was all part of the plan, too, because . . .since we already had our foster license, this sweet Filipino boy was able to stay with us for two days before he left! That was such a gift! He fit right in, and the boys all love him. And we do, too. The hardest part, though, was that we weren't to say anything about our interest in adopting him . . .he isn't supposed to know anything until the process has us "approved" as adoptive parents and "matched" with him. The kids are just told they are on a cultural trip to America.
For this reason, we have to speak in vague terms and will call him "J." (He has a Filipino name that is uncommon to us Englishers anyway.) He is 11 years old and fits right in between Josiah and Nathanael. He has a wonderful smile and loves to laugh and tease and joke. He sang along with Christian radio in our van and loves Bible stories. J. also showed us a few magic tricks he learned from older friends at the orphanage! He often wore a jacket - in AUGUST - especially in the AC, because he thought it was too cold. Uh, oh to our Illinois weather!
Thank you for sharing our excitement by reading our story. Prayers for this process and this new chapter for our family will be appreciated!