Newsworthy Week!

Last week was an AMAZING week!  We found out our USCIS approval was pending more documents being submitted (that we thought was covered in our homestudy).  We submitted the evidence by email and received notice our approval would be given that day.  We had no clue we’d receive the USCIS approval in the mail just a couple of days later!  We were able to notarize a copy of the USCIS approval on Thursday and scan it for our agency so they were able to email it to the adoption facilitator in country this week.  We have no clue when our complete dossier will be submitted to the orphan court for the region where the children live whom we are trying to adopt.  Please join us in praying that they are already translated & that the facilitator submits the dossier to the orphan court/ministry this week (I know it’s crazy to pray that it is submitted this quickly but I like to dream BIG!)

This week, we also learned that we were chosen to receive a $2000 grant and two matching grants.  Matching grants depend on us being able to find friends, family (and strangers) to give gifts to meet the fundraising goals.  Our first matching grant challenge deadline is May 31st & we must raise $3500 (which then will be doubled!).  All gifts must be in before that date and must be mailed to the grant organization.  For more information on how to give to help us meet this goal go to https://www.facebook.com/events/186692738150871/ & follow the instructions exactly so that your gift will count towards our challenge.

Right now, we don’t know how soon the next stage of adoption will go.  We may have to wait until July or even later to travel.  Our kiddos really wanted to be here by summer (and of course, we’d love to have them home from trip 1 too) but at this time we don’t know what will happen.  We appreciate prayers as we wait to see what is in store!  Please pray for everything to go smoothly & quickly!  

Heather

Birthday Party Wishes…

This weekend, we celebrated our son’s 6th birthday (his 5th birthday in our family. We brought him home from Russia in December 2008).  It was exciting to give him cupcakes that were safe for him (and yummy with chocolate!) on his restricted diet (for health probs).  We had fun with my parents visiting us, too.  Wonder what my sweet boy wished when he blew out his Lego candles?

colin birthday mama no tongue

Celebrating Colin’s birthday, my thoughts turned to 2 little Latvians who have birthdays coming up this summer and I can’t help but wonder….Will we be able to celebrate either of their birthdays with them this year?  They have had many more birthdays apart from us and I’m hoping & praying we can love on them for this year’s birthdays but it’s all unsure right now. I’m “wishing” (well, make it more like hoping & praying!) that we can celebrate their birthdays with them this summer in either Latvia or the U.S.

We are waiting waiting waiting…for our USCIS approval which is what our submission to court hinges upon.  Our dossier would be translated more quickly if we already had the approval; as it is the translation will not be rushed because we are still waiting on our USCIS approval.   Once our dossier (and USCIS approval) is translated & submitted to court, our next step will be receiving the referral of L & E which we then will accept.

Fundraising Update: We had an on-line auction which helped us with our dossier fees.  We still have items for sale (local & anywhere if interested! https://www.facebook.com/BrandtFamilyAdoption2013) While our auction didn’t raise as much as we’d hoped, it did raise about $2,300 (minus a check that bounced which we’re still hoping the buyer will make good on). We are thankful for the money we raised!

We’ve been blessed with some generous gifts from friends in the last few months which also helped with our dossier fees.  We were able to pay for our dossier fees through the blessing of our auction, gifts, tax refund and tightening our belts even more in the past 2 weeks.

It is very tight here (financially) but we are thankful that we’ve made it to this stage of our adoption journey & are hopeful that God will provide what we lack for the remaining stage (court and facilitator & translation & driver fees in country plus travel, lodging & food for 3 trips to Latvia).

We are hoping to receive a matching grant and/or grant soon which will help with our remaining expenses. Right now, we estimate at least $24,350 to $29,350 more in fees & travel related expenses.(We have already paid over $10,000 in homestudy & adoption related fees). Some of this estimate is variable (depending on what time of year we travel for each of the 3 trips).  Some of it is more of a set-fee (about $14,350 remaining in-country fees).

Hope we’ll have good news to share soon but for now please pray for us during this waiting time and for the 2 children waiting for us in Latvia.  They do know we’re trying to bring them home but I’m sure it is all confusing to them as they wait on an unknown timeline…

If you would like to give (before we find out about matching grant), check out the tab at the top of our blog, https://familyofmyheart.wordpress.com/to-give/

Thank you for your prayers & encouragement during this difficult waiting time!