First, a quick update for those following our journey. We were fingerprinted in early November and found out yesterday that our fingerprints have been approved. We are currently waiting on a hardcopy of this approval. Once received, we will have it notarized and state certified and then send it along with several other documents to DC to be certified at the US Secretary of State level and authenticated by the Chinese Embassy. After we get these documents back, we can FINALLY send months of paperwork to our adoption agency. And then the unknown wait really begins to be matched with our child.

In the meantime, we are entering the phase where the adoption fees start rolling in. This is the part of adoption that is hard for me to discuss – the financial aspect. How do you put a price on the life of a child? Each one is priceless and absolutely worth it. But someone (or many people) did determine there was a price involved. The fees for adoption through China include fees paid to our social worker’s agency, fees paid to our adoption agency, fees paid to the US government for paperwork, and fees paid to the Chinese government as well as a required orphanage donation. If you have been wondering about the cost to adopt from China, it averages around $30-35,000. Woah. That number can be staggering if you look at it in its entirety. But when you look at the face of your child, that number melts away so quickly and you realize you would go to the ends of the earth and do whatever it takes to bring that child home. So you break that number down and you approach it in small hurdles. What is the saying about how you eat an elephant? (Side note – who would really want to eat an elephant?) You do as much as you can to whittle down that number. For us, we have been selling anything and everything we can find that isn’t necessary to daily function in our house. If there’s something you’ve been looking for, let me know as we more than likely are trying to sell it. Both of us have been working extra hours. We will be applying for grants in the coming months. And we more than likely will do some other fundraisers as well.

And here is where we introduce our first fundraiser. I’m calling it the Love Tree.

emsie-and-ornaments

Do you see that Christmas tree filled with ornaments? Or were you distracted by the beautiful girl beside it? I borrowed that tree from her and have decorated it with 100 different ornaments. And we need your help to UNDECORATE it in the coming weeks. I have spent the last several months working most evenings on handcrafting 10 different varieties of ornaments. Some of them have a connection to China and others have a connection to hearts – 2 themes that have been prominent in our lives the last few years. A lot of love and care has gone into making each ornament. We kindly ask that you consider purchasing an ornament (or several!) to adorn your Christmas tree or to give as gifts to friends and family.

You can purchase ornaments via my Etsy site HERE.

I’ll be posting pictures over the coming days and weeks of the progress we are making in emptying this tree of its ornaments.

And here’s a first look at all of the ornaments:

Thanks in advance for your support in our first fundraiser. We fully believe that it takes a village and we are so very grateful to those of you who have chosen to come alongside us in this adoption journey, walked with us through the last year of heartache and joys, and for those that have been with us long before adoption was even on our radar. Our wish for you this season is tremendous love – may you receive and give this love just as it has been given to us.

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