Monday, July 18, 2016

Authentications Roadtrip!

Today was authentication day!  For a China adoption, the papers that make up your 'dossier' all have to be notarized, then the notary has to be authenticated.  For Alabama, you have to authenticate the notary at the county level, then at the Alabama Sec of State office, and then you have to receive a final authentication at the Chinese Consulate in Houston.

Today I took our documents to the county office for authentication...


Then we headed off on a road trip to Montgomery- me and the munchkins!!


Considering how many road trips these kids have endured recently, they were all so well-behaved!  Seems that even Laila is finally getting the hang of road trips!! :)



We even made a stop or two for history lessons.  Given all the events of the last few weeks in America, I thought it was important to talk to the kids about the historical events that occurred in Montgomery.  We talked about the slave depots, segregation, Rosa Parks & the civil rights movement.  Sadly, we also talked about the things that have happened recently and how important it is for all of us to love as Jesus loves.  To love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.



 
Then we headed back with a stop for ice cream to celebrate one more step closer to Hongjie!!



Tomorrow we'll send these on to the consulate! And hopefully there's a fingerprint notice waiting in the mailbox from immigration in the next day or two!

What a fun and productive day!! :)

We're coming Hongjie!!! We love you!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

So excited about this!!!

You guys I am so excited about this fundraiser for the orphanage.

Why?

Because every bracelet sold provides 1 week of clean water to a person in Africa!!

That means these bracelets raise money for the orphanage AND make clean water available to a person in need!!

And? I have already bought a number of these myself and Matt & I wear ours daily!


In Chinese, the one in the middle says 'beloved'.  We specifically chose this in English and Chinese because not only does it serve as a personal reminder that each of us is beloved by God but also that our new son is beloved by so many already!!  

Through Friday I will take special orders for the designs below as well!

These bracelets will sell for $12 each plus $1 shipping.  We will take custom orders until this weekend, then I will place our large order w Mudlove.  I will order extras in some of the more popular styles but if you want to guarantee a specific band color & phrase PLEASE pre-order!

These will ship out mid-late July as soon as we get the shipment from Mudlove.  And if you are local, we'll deliver them to you & save the shipping charge. :)

Email me at fanniewilks@gmail.com or Facebook message me to place an order.

Thank you to everyone who supports us on this journey!!



Saturday, June 25, 2016

All About Hongjie's Orphanage & How to Help!

For adoptions from China one of the big expenses is the orphanage donation.  And while the word "donation" is used, this isn't a voluntary donation.  It's a mandatory donation to the orphanage the child is coming from.  The money is used to help care for the orphans that remain in the orphanage's care.  


A year or so ago, Guangdong province opened a number of 'safe rooms' to provide a safe way for parents who felt they had no other option, to abandon their sick child.  Within only a few days the orphanages became overwhelmed by the influx of special needs children.  (http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/babies-04012014140949.html) & (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2595184/Heartbreaking-moments-parents-say-goodbye-sons-daughters.html)
Hongjie's orphanage is one of the orphanages that received an overwhelming number of newly abandoned children during that time. A friend recently visited his orphanage and has been kind enough to share pictures with us.







So many children!! Precious babies, precocious toddlers, & amazingly adorable children!! This orphanage is quite large and working so hard to care for the many, many children.








And this is where we get to be a blessing!  This is where the church can help to be Jesus' hands for these precious children.  Many of you have asked what you can do to help us along this journey.  The answer is this: help us raise the orphanage donation!


I have great news!  The amazingly popular shirts that helped raise Laila's orphanage donation are back for a limited time!!  We will, once again, use this design to help raise the required orphanage donation for Hongjie's adoption.





These shirts are $20 each w/$2 shipping per shirt.  Offered in children's size 2t, 3t, 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, 10/12 and adult sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, & 3XL.

Colors available: white, heather grey, cobalt blue, & purple



To order: email me your order (fanniewilks@gmail.com) & you can make a donation in the amount due to our Adopt Together or Paypal account provided on our blog.  I am taking pre-orders through July 13th and will then put in the order.  I expect to have shirts back & mailed by July 29th.

We will also kick off a mudlove bracelet fundraiser that we will begin taking pre-orders for on Monday!

And lastly, for the fellow Cityhope friend who left this anonymous donation on our window and helped to propel us onto this journey, your loving donation is the first one added to the orphanage donation.



If you want to contribute a straight monetary donation, we encourage you to make it tax-deductible by using our Adopt Together account.

Thanks so much to everyone supporting us and cheering us on and praying us through this process.  We love you guys!!




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How Long Does it Take?

This is the question I've been asked a lot since we announced that we will be adopting again.  The truth is that right now, we don't know how long it will take.  Both of our previous adoptions were expedited due to the kids' medical conditions, but even though Hongjie has the same medical condition as them, a lot has changed with regard to timelines and expedite approvals since their adoptions in 2013 & 2014.  Since we also have a number of people following along who plan to adopt themselves in the next few years, I plan to share each step along the way so that you guys will know how it all works. :)




The steps are all the same as our previous adoptions.  It may look complicated, and to a certain extent it is, but it really is just a step-by-step process that keeps going and going until we finally get to head to China for our boy! 


We had begun submitting the paperwork to update our homestudy before we officially said yes to Hongjie.  All of the paperwork required for our homestudy has already been submitted to the social worker at our agency.  Our social worker will visit us at our house today and we hope to have our homestudy approval by next week (which would us on to Step 4 of this lovely chart).


Once we have our signed homestudy in hand, we can submit our application for immigration approval to USCIS and begin the process of authenticating our dossier documents.  A "dossier", for those who are unfamiliar with international adoption, is a package of different papers that comprise your application to adopt with the country.  I'll do another post about the dossier and authentications soon.


We expect to bring Hongjie home sometime between October and December.  The timeline will become much more clear once we make it to Step 8.


Thank you so much to all who are excited to see us bringing home this special boy!  We are so grateful for your excitement and support.  A few of you have asked if we will need help in getting this sweet boy home, and our answer is YES!!  For right now, your prayers for fast paperwork and for him to receive the transfusions he needs are greatly appreciated.  Soon, we will provide info on other ways you can help if you'd like.






Just look at this sweet little guy...  He's so pale!  He needs us to put a smile on his face and transfusions to put some color in those lips.  Oh we can't wait to go get him!!