Hopeful News

Throughout this process, we've had a pretty equal share of moments of certainty and moments of doubt.  And almost all of what we feel we've known since last October when we found the photolisting of the Ticos has been based on faith and on what the Lord has been speaking to us.  There have been times when it's been really hard to separate the Truth from the longings in my heart.  But over and over, the Lord has reminded me that none of this was ever my plan.  This is all His doing.  And the things that have happened so far on the journey--they are things that only an all-powerful God could pull off!  All glory to Him!

Which brings me to yesterday...for the first time in this process, we have something somewhat tangible to validate what we've believed that God's been doing all along!  I so wish that I could share every beautiful detail--and someday I will!  I think I'll probably have to write a book, though, to fit it all in!  But, for now, I will say that for months, I have been specifically praying for 2 things: 1. that God would cut the threads from our hearts to these kids if they are not ours and 2. that if they are truly ours, that God would put a seal on them that no one can mess with!  And based on the things that we're hearing from Costa Rica, God is working in our favor!  Based on the letter that we wrote, CR believes that we are a good fit for the kiddos, and they wanted to know when our dossier will be down there!!!!!!

Costa Rica does not generally "hold" kids for families whose paperwork is not in-country.  But they have read our letter, and they are waiting for our paperwork!!!!  We didn't expect this--not without our dossier being down there!  It is tangible, hopeful news!

So, here is how you can specifically pray for us:

1. Immigration: We have to apply to US immigration to get their approval to adopt from outside the US.  It's supposed to take 90 days.  We've been hearing that for some families, it has been taking 6 weeks.  We are asking God to do that for us--6 weeks!!! 

2. Psych Evals: We have to do this while we're waiting for the immigration stuff to be approved. Pray that we find a psychologist who is both thorough and efficient.  The write-up for Costa Rica needs to be super detailed, but we need it fast!

3. Our home study:  Pray for our social worker.  She lost her dad unexpectedly last week.  She has been so good to us, and our hearts hurt for her family.   And also pray that we can somehow get the final copy THIS WEEK!  Then we can send our immigration stuff out and start applying for grants.

4. FUNDS:  We still need to come up with about $27,000...and with CR strongly considering us for these kids, things could move fast once our paperwork is there.  (They could also move slowly....oh, adoption...thanks for all the gray hair.)  We have a few more fundraisers up our sleeves, but they are most likely not going to get us $27K.  SO, pray that God blesses us with grants!

5. Pray that we can keep up with all of this stuff!!!!!!

**P.S.  THANK YOU to all of you for making our T-shirt fundraiser such a success already!  Just in pre-orders, we are set to make over $1,000, and literally, checks are arriving every day in the mail!  A week and a half ago, we had only raised $6000---we're already over $8000 now, and that's with only some of the shirts paid for!  We have received checks from people I haven't seen since high school, family friends, and people we've only met once!  We even got a check for $1000 last week from precious friends of ours!!!  God is so good!!!!!

The time has come for another fundraiser.  This adoption stuff is expensive, and with only about $7,000 of our estimated $35,000 raised, things are about to get real!  So, Michael designed some cool t-shirts that we will be selling.  Our requested donation: $20  All proceeds go directly into our adoption fund.  Specifically, the money we earn from these shirts will help pay for our USCIS application (where we get approval from the US government to adopt internationally), our dossier (which is a bunch of paperwork about us that includes really expensive psychological evaluations), and some of it will go to our wonderful agency, Lifeline Children's Services, for all the work they're doing on our behalf.  And if we make enough from the t-shirts, some of the money will go toward our airfare (for 4 going down to CR and 7 coming back!), our room and board for 7 people for 8 weeks (!!!!!), and our kids' passports.  So, in a nutshell, if you buy a shirt or 2 or 3, you're literally helping make it possible for our 3 Tico kiddos to come home!

We have 3 color options for grown-ups...
 sky blue
All lettering will be white.
Available sizes: S-2X (These are standard men's T-shirt sizes.  They're ring-spun, so they're really soft.)

We have 2 color options for kiddos:
 sky blue
Available sizes: Youth XS-XL

**If we get enough interest, we can order toddler sizes in these colors as well.  They offer sizes 2T-5T, and we would probably need to special order these.

We can take cash or checks for the shirts.  We can also take credit card, but there's a $.50 transaction fee.  And we also have our PayPal donate button on the blog.  You can make the checks out to me or Michael!  If you have a specific color/size that you want, let us know ASAP.  We are getting ready to put in our order!  (Email me at audratipton04@gmail.com or message me on FB!  Or you can just comment at the bottom of this post!)

ALSO--We have cookbooks for sale!  A precious friend from church took it upon herself to put them together and sell them for us!  We didn't have to even lift a finger!  They're $20 each.  If you're interested in purchasing one, you can message me on FB or email me at audratipton04@gmail.com.  Checks for the cookbooks can be mailed to us, but need to be made out to Canal Fulton Christian Fellowship.  (We're so thankful for a church that supports our fundraising endeavors!!)

Thank you for helping us bring our kiddos home!!!

Here's an awesome song about how agonizingly hard it is to wait for our kiddos...

"I'll find a way to get you here if it takes my fleeting breath..."