Saturday, March 18, 2017

Big News!!!

Hey Friends & Family,

Michael and I have some big news to share with you! On Friday, I received an email from a different adoption agency that works in Liberia and they have 3 precious little ones that they have been unable to place with their forever family. It sounds like they are very motivated to find a home for these kiddos. After a powerful message at church tonight, we have decided to pursue these children and are asking for God to either move some mountains in our way or shut the door if it is not meant to be. So onto the news that everyone wants to know. Melvin is 10 years old and a very handsome young man. Marie is 7 years old and looks like quite the little diva. Favor is 4 years old and she's beyond cute! We would love to welcome these kiddos into our family!!

But, we need God to move some mountains to make this happen! The first is that we can raise the last $700 we need to pay for our home study to be redone. There will probably be some additional funds needed to start the process with our placement agency, but I don't have those totals yet. Second, we need our home study to be approved for 3 children and we would need to figure out the room situation since we only have 2 bedrooms in our home. We do have a nice sized loft, so that may work as a child's bedroom or our bedroom.

Please, please lift us up in prayer. We are asking for God's wisdom as we move forward and that all the financial/logistical details will be worked out.

Thanks everyone!
Blessings,
Michael & Carey

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Caffeinated Fundraiser!

Hey Friends,

Michael & I have exciting news to share! We are doing our first ever coffee fundraiser which is pretty crazy because neither one of us are coffee drinks, but we know a lot of you LOVE the stuff! So this one is for YOU! Anyone can order because the coffee is shipped directly to you! All proceeds will go towards redoing our home study, which we hope to start soon! Check out our page & let us know if you have any questions! Thanks friends!

http://www.justlovecoffee.com/Beneficiary/Profile/4970

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hi Loves, 

We pray that you all had a FABULOUS Christmas & a great new year so far!! Many people have been asking for an update on the adoption, so here goes. 

Before Thanksgiving, we received word from our agency that the program in Sierra Leone was in trouble and the possibility of us completing our adoption was uncertain. The whole story is extremely complicated and very messy, but I'll explain the best I can. 

Adoption agencies located in the U.S. must register with the government of a particular country and have that registration approved in order to complete adoptions. From what we have heard, the process can be very long and drawn out depending on how quickly the government works, so a lot of adoption agencies have found a work around. They will partner with an organization in that country that is already established with the government and work under their registration, which is exactly what ECAS did. Unfortunately, the organization that they chose was corrupt and extremely unethical. I won't go into all of the gory details, but they lied about our agency and now the government has blacklisted ECAS. At first, our agency was hoping to partner with another organization here in the states that had their registration, but that has since fallen apart too. In fact, we have been hearing a lot of rumors that ECAS will be closing their doors in the next couple of months. 

So what now???

Good question! We are working with ECAS to hopefully get some of our program fees back although I am starting to doubt that they will follow through on their promise, but we aren't giving up hope just yet. I am planning to contact the financial director on Monday, so hopefully he will be able to give us a better idea of what we can expect. Beyond that, we contacted several agencies in Minnesota and found out that we will need to completely redo our home study since we are switching agencies as well as countries, which is unfortunate. Thankfully, we have found an organization that comes highly recommended and they have also blessed us by discounting their rates for adoptive parents that already have a completed home study. Lord willing, we will have the funds available in the next couple of months, so we can get the ball rolling again! 

So what country???

LIBERIA! This part is SO exciting friends! When God laid Africa on our hearts, Michael & I wanted to adopt from Liberia. We couldn't explain why since neither one of us have ever been there before, but it was just this feeling that we had. Unfortunately, Liberia was not open for adoptions at the time, but that didn't stop us. Michael checked with a group of missionaries that worked in Liberia and they believed that the country would be opening back up again, but felt that it would take a couple more years for that to happen. We started to think that maybe we got our signals crossed or we would adopt from Liberia later, so we pressed forward with Sierra Leone. As we continued on our journey, God brought 2 amazing ladies into our lives that both have ties to Liberia. We didn't think anything of it at the time, but God was slowly moving the pieces together! In 2015, Liberia re-opened their country for adoption, which is faster than anyone could have expected! Of course, we were already committed to Sierra Leone by then, but now God has closed that door. As hard as it is to face starting over again, Michael & I are overjoyed to see how God is answering our prayers! We started this journey wanting to adopt from Liberia & now it could actually happen! HALLELUJAH!!! Some people may question our decision to press forward with Sierra Leone when God laid Liberia on our hearts, but honestly we just want to serve God and decided to move forward on that path until God told us otherwise. Plus, God doesn't waste anything that we go through. He's using our journey to prepare our hearts for our kiddos & we're going to have an amazing story to tell them about how hard we fought to bring them home!

So there you have it! We'll keep you all posted on any upcoming fundraisers as we can!

Blessings, 
Michael & Carey 

Monday, September 19, 2016

God's on the move...

Happy Autumn Friends ~

Michael and I pray that you are all doing fabulously! Summer was extremely busy for us this year and so many amazing things have happened since our last post that I felt it was definitely time for an update, so here goes...

As most of you know, Michael and I moved into a beautiful new townhouse on Memorial Day weekend and we absolutely love it here! It's in a great neighborhood, we have a playground next to our complex and plenty of room for Snickers to run and play! A total Godsend! We'll post some pictures soon! :-)

In June, I started researching and applying for various adoption grants which was definitely more work than I expected, but I was determined to do whatever I could to help bring our kiddos home. Once they were submitted, I left it all in God's hands, but I honestly didn't expect to hear from any of them since I have heard from friends that grants are very hard to come by. On August 3rd, we received a phone call from an organization called Pure Gift of God and were told that we were accepted to receive a grant from them in the amount of $5,000. WHAT!?!?! We were completely blown away!

The next day we received a phone call from our social worker with news that there was a mistake on our case and we had been matched with the twin 9 year old girls that we are currently sponsoring, but what should have been great news wasn't good news at all. The girls' status was a lot more heartbreaking than we had been previously told. They were sexually abused their whole lives and had began acting out in a very serious manner that had everyone concerned. Our social worker felt we could handle one child with this level of special needs, but not two. In fact, our agency has made the decision to remove them from the adoption program until they have more time to heal. As much as our hearts broke for these girls, we both felt that God was saying to us not yet. That He has our children all picked out and we just need to be patient! The good news from all of this is that we discovered we had been given some bad information and that we don't have to have our large invoice paid off before we can be matched, so right now we are at the top of the list and could receive our referral any day! We are beyond excited! Our hope is that we will be matched by the end of the year, so we can travel down to Africa to meet our children! Praise the Lord!!

On August 8th, Michael and I attended a meeting at EBC to learn about an organization called Safe Families and how we could help. Safe Families is an incredible organization that comes alongside local families in crisis and matches them with vetted Christian families that can provide support in a variety of ways! We loved the idea and are in the process of being vetted right now. Our role will be to host children while their parent or grandparent take a respite, search for housing, have surgery, enter rehab, etc. Michael and I have gone through the necessary training and are almost ready for the home visit. Once that is done, then we can start picking up needs that are emailed to us, which is so exciting!

A couple weeks later, I received an email from an organization called Families Outreach stating that we had been selected for a $2,000 grant and the funds were sent directly to us! Normally, grant payments are sent straight to the adoption agency to prevent the funds from being used for something other than an adoption, but this organization was different. The crazy thing about it is that I had been praying that God would bring some extra money in to cover our upcoming immigration fee of $890 as that is a payment that doesn't run through our adoption agency and He totally did it! God is SO good my friends!

So what's next on the adoption front? Good question! We are hoping to finish the immigration form this week and get that off in the mail since it can take a little while to process. Once that is complete, we will send the remaining grant funds to pay down our 2nd invoice and then start our dossier, which I can only describe as a crazy amount of paperwork! From what I understand, it will take us some time to get everything together that we need and to have all the necessary documents notarized, but hopefully that will be the last huge amount of paperwork that we will have to do for the adoption. In the meantime, Michael and I will continue fundraising as well as applying for more grants. We just finished our first garage this past week and raised over $600! Woo Hoo! Our hope is to launch another fundraiser this fall/winter, so keep your eyes open for that! :)

That's it for now!

God Bless,
Michael & Carey

Monday, June 27, 2016

God's Not Dead!!

Hey Friends,

I apologize that it has taken us so long to share a new post with all of you! There has been so much that has happened since our last message! In late February, we received official word that Burundi was not going to work for us after all. Even though, we asked upfront about all of the regulations to adopt in the country they somehow neglected to tell us that any long term medications were not allowed and I will be on asthma medications for the rest of my life. It hit us both pretty hard, but the enemy really did a number on me. For about a week, he raked me over the coals and filled my head with lies. Thankfully, God never left me! Even when I was at my lowest, He was there with me every step of the way. After crying out to Him, I felt this power rising up from within me like I was a warrior and I needed to put on my armor to kick the devil's butt, which I did! Satan really doesn't want us to adopt our kiddos, but nothing is going to stop us now! We just can't wait to wrap our arms around our children and love them forever! 

Okay, now on to the good news! Our agency recently launched a new pilot program in Sierra Leone and we qualify for it! YAY! We also finished our home study in April, so that is finally done which allows us to start applying for grants. Praise the Lord! We've applied for about a half a dozen so far, so please be praying that some of them come in. If we can get our first invoice paid off within the next couple of months, then we will be matched with our kiddos and we can hopefully travel down to meet them by the fall of this year! So exciting!!!

Well, it's getting way past my bedtime, so I should close for now. Our summer fundraiser is coming up soon and you will not want to miss it! For $5, you can help us create a sweet memento for our children that will serve as a reminder of all the people that helped bring them home! More details to come! Stay tuned!

Blessings to you all!

Love, 
Michael and Carey