I’ve only recently become a video chat kinda girl. There is something about attempting to act naturally while talking to my computer and seeing myself at the same time in the smaller window that triggers my latent Junior High self conscious insecurities. And where are you supposed to look anyway? If I look at the camera to try to make “eye contact” then I can’t see them. And if I look at them on my screen, it looks like I’m just doing other work and I’m sure they wonder if I’m even listening. And God forbid an echo starts to happen and I can hear my own voice! That’s when I start to hyperventilate and just hang up to write them an email instead.
But I digress. My point is that I HAVE become more used to it lately – in fact, I’m hooked.
We have recently begun video chatting with our future daughters in the Philippines. Oh how wonderful it is to “see” them in real life! To FINALLY hear their voices and watch their faces and see their joy! Our adoption road is rounding the last corner and we’re all almost home.
We are waiting on Passports and Visas for them and then we’ll be heading that way. (And no, before you ask, I don’t know when that will be. We are at the mercy of the Philippine Passport Office and the US Embassy for this one. It is completely out of our control.)
So, being out of control, we are waiting (and waiting and waiting) and preparing. I’m making lists and checking them twice. It’s just how I roll! Here’s an idea of our recent preparations.
We’ve been warned the girls will be expecting rice. Lots of rice. I’m talking rice for 3 meals a day! So we’ve picked out a nice, highly rated rice cooker. For some reason getting this rice cooker here was a big deal to me. It’s a little thing I know, but it feels good to check it off my list. You want rice? I got rice!
2. Girlie Stuff!
I was blown away a few weeks ago when my fabulous sisters and my mother threw me a wonderful Adoption Shower to celebrate their coming. We received so many blessings that day with everything from beach toys to finger nail polish, to airplane ride activities, to adorable little girl clothes. We’ve got necklaces and bracelets, books and kites, hair bows and hula hoops. We’ve even got two dainty tea sets! Bring on the girls!
3. Cebuano, anyone? Maayong buntag!
The girls learn English in school and are speaking quite well. But as anyone who has lived in a foreign country knows, it’s a little lonely when you feel like your real thoughts are just not being communicated by your limited language skills. So this is where video chatting comes back in. Courtney and I have reconnected with a Filipino friend from the past who lives in Cebu and teaches Cebuano to foreigners. We have been video chatting with her for 5 days a week over the last few weeks and she’s teaching us some basics of the language. There’s no universe where we’ll be fluent anytime soon, but it has been SO very helpful to get comfortable with the vocabulary and say a few basic things. When I told the girls it was ok if they struggle with English and we are trying to learn a little Cebuano too, they looked so very relieved. We want them to see us make an effort in their direction too. Sige, sige!
4. Packing suitcases full of blessings
We want to bless the Philippines. In addition to our own travel needs, we are asking the Lord for a SURPLUS over our own expenses in order to respond to the requests we have had to bring supplies for the ministries we are connected with on the ground. Things such as:
- Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Soap, Hand Sanitizer, etc. to donate to the Feeding Programs serving the poorest of the poor.
- Band Aids, Neosporin, First Aid, etc. for several orphanages
- Children’s Shirts, Shorts, Underwear, Shoes, etc. for the orphanages
- Toys, Games and Sports Equipment, etc. for the orphanages
- Sound Equipment and a Keyboard for a local Worship Leader.
I want to ask, if you have any connections to help answer these requests, we have extra luggage space and would really like to load it up with heaps of blessings. Keep in mind many of the smaller items can be purchased in the Philippines after we arrive if you’d like to donate financially towards these needs specifically.
5. Travel Fund
I’m so happy to report: All our agency fees are PAID IN FULL! We credit that to the Lord’s gracious provision and to so many friend’s and family’s kind generosity. We are speechless at this reality! So that just leaves us with Travel Expenses and Adoption Finalization expenses a few months later. Here are our Estimated Expenses remaining:
|Airfare – Courtney||$1,500|
|Airfare – Karena||$1,500|
|Airfare – for girl 1||$750|
|Airfare – for girl 2||$750|
|In Country Travel||$700|
|Total Travel Fund Need:||$7,500|
|Court/ Attorney/ Naturalization Fees:||$3,500|
We have thought and prayed much about sharing these final needs. On one hand this has been a LONG road and every last molehill of money just feels like a mountain to us. Yet on the other hand we think of so many who have already honored us with their support to bring us this far and we are grateful. We hesitate to even bring it up again. But in my heart I feel it is right to present the need and ask if you’d consider helping us finish the race STRONG and get us There and Back again. I’ve setup a fund at You Caring to show the progress.
Would you consider donating even a small amount or helping us by sharing our fundraising page?
We’re almost there but not there yet.
Can I ask for prayer? Is that too generic? Maybe some encouragement? I have to say there have been moments in this process of late when we’ve felt the extreme weight and pressure of this and our heads feel like they may explode. From the pressure? From waiting? From the need? From the unknown? From the known? From the spiritual battle? I’m not sure why, or even what we are experiencing exactly, but we’re fighting hard in so many ways recently. Just a moment of honesty from my heart and I hope you have ears to hear me. Thank you for your love through it all. We’ve almost brought them home!