Monday, August 15, 2011

Fundraising Golf Scramble? ... Check!

Over the last four months, we have been planning our fundraising golf scramble, and this past weekend, we were able to see the fruits of all that work.  On Saturday, we hosted the Sojournings Adoption Golf Scramble at the Jeffersonville Elks Country Club in Jeffersonville, IN.  It was an amazing day even though the Lord made it very clear around 6:00 that we were DONE with golf for the day.  Most teams finished 15-16 holes of the 18, and then the clouds opened up with some vicious storms.  We had one team still on the course, but they were able to get into a shelter.  Ironically, they were the only team who DIDN'T get wet.  Other teams came blazing into the clubhouse running to get clubs and personal items into the clubhouse before the deluge.  Since we were done with the round of golf, we decided to go ahead and begin raffling off the items people had bought tickets for earlier that day.  My heart dropped because I realized that my raffle list was still in the cart I was driving around.  I blasted out of the clubhouse toward my cart.  I was soaked within seconds, but that bag (with all our adoption paperwork, my computer, chargers, iPod, adoption receipts, records, etc.) HAD to get inside.  I grabbed the bag, darted back inside and laid the bag in the floor, expecting the worst.  As I flipped open the front flap to my Timbuk2 messenger bag, I saw that the only water inside that bag was what was dripping off of my arms and face.  AMAZING.  I got everything out of the bag just to make sure there wasn't a puddle down in the bag... there wasn't a drop from the storm.  So, needless to say, I am thankful to Timbuk2 for making a quality product.  We finally got everyone rallied in the clubhouse and had a wonderful time with the post-round raffles and prize distribution.

All in all, I have to say that I am glad the golf scramble is over.  The Lord was once again tremendously gracious with this fundraiser.  We raised a little over $4,000 on this event.  That includes business sponsors, registrations, games, etc.  It was an administrative/planning fiasco, but the outcome was remarkable and we give praise to God for his provision during this adoption journey.  This event put us over the $12,000 mark, getting closer to our goal of $23,000.  Again, a testimony to the grace and provision of our Lord.

We are thankful to everyone who supported, encouraged, prayed, and helped us with this event.  I could use the rest of the day to think of everyone who helped, and I'm sure I would miss someone.  Liz and I are thankful that you decided to support our adoption journey by playing golf.  Throughout the day, my dad took pictures, some of which you see here.  Liz and I hope to show these pictures to our Congolese baby someday and reminisce about those who helped us get him/her home.  You are amazing, and we thank God for you all.

Update on our Adoption:
Our next major project is to get our dossier paperwork together.  We found out last week that we can go ahead and send in our paperwork and get it in the translation wait line (our dossier has to be translated into French).  This will also get us on the wait list for a child, which we have been told is at about 6-9+ months for a boy infant to 18mos.  With the golf scramble last week, we didn't have time to start getting our dossier together and notarized, so we'll hit that this week.  We also just got confirmation that our Lifesong Grant application was received and is being processed.  We should hear back from them in the next couple of months, and we will let everyone know how that goes.  We also got our appointments for biometric fingerprinting for our USCIS paperwork.  This will be the next step in getting our I-600a processed.  So... all that to say that things are moving right along.  It seems like there is so much to do that the waiting times so far seem short.  I expect that this will be different now that the golf scramble is over and we are submitting our dossier and on the wait list.  We are trusting the Lord with his timing for our journey and look forward to whatever the next step(s) is/are.

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Information on our Adoption Process

Ok, so things just sped up... at least compared to what we were expecting.  We mailed our I-600a to USCIS last Monday (8-1-11), and yesterday (8-4-11), we received our I-797c from USCIS.  This form (I-797c) is really only a recognition that USCIS received our I-600a and that they are going to process it.  (You like all the technical lingo, huh?)  The thing about all these numbers and forms is that we can actually send our dossier to One World Adoption Services (OWAS) to be put in the list for translation.  Once we get them our dossier documents, they will also put us on the wait list for a referral.  Then, once we get our I-171h back from USCIS (the actual pre-approval I think), we will send it to OWAS for translation.  While this is happening, we will be waiting for a referral.  If we get a referral of a child during this time frame, our dossier will be moved to the front of the translation list and we will send our Tribunal Letter to be paired with our dossier and translated.  At that point, it will be a matter of finances and God's good grace to get us to Congo and get our Congolese boy home.

So, what is the time frame, and how has it been sped up?  Good question.  We don't know yet.  But I can't tell you how excited we were to know that we can be put on a wait list this early.  We totally didn't expect that.  It may not mean much even at this point.  We may still have to wait for several months before anything significant can happen, but to know that our dossier can be translated and that we get put on a wait list was encouraging to us.  I suppose the wait list is just that... a wait list.  But it is still movement in the right direction as far as we are concerned.  We're praying diligently that the Lord will continue to help us emotionally through this process and not let the excitement of such news cause us to fall even harder if we get bad news.  In the meantime, we are going to bask in riches of God's mercy to keep us excited about our process.  Please continue to pray with us and we look forward to bringing our Congolese baby home.

Adam and Liz<><