Monday, August 26, 2013

Help Finish His Story

We found out that our LOI (Letter of Intent) was sent to China today!!!  In a few weeks, we should get PA (Pre Approval) which means Ava will be officially matched with us.  At this point, we will be able to tell her that she is ours and that HER Mama and Baba are on the way.

Looking back over Lily's timeline from almost 2 years ago, we have so much left to do.  It is overwhelming to think about the paperwork and clearances and fees that we still have left.   The adoption process will be long, emotional and resource intensive. We cannot continue to go through this process without encouragement, prayer and financial support from our friends and family. We would like to invite you to journey with us throughout this process.

Someone told me last week that God was using us to write His story.  Gosh, I hope it's not a
comedy :)  I want our story to reflect His love.  I want it to inspire people to do more and be more for Him.  I want this story to have a happy ending! 

 Will you partner with us and support our family in bringing Ava home ?  Please help us finish His story!

We are committed to funding this adoption without any further debt. Ava and Lily will both have medical and mobility needs because of their Muscular Dystrophy.  We have to be sure that we are able to provide for all 4 of our children once Ava is home.  Another adoption loan is impossible at this point.

If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 or more - any and all funds will help! Our goal is to raise $35,000.  100% of your financial support will go toward our adoption costs, thanks to Adopt Together.

We also need your encouragement and prayer support!  Paperwork can be tedious and overwhelming, the waiting is so hard and traveling to the other side of the world...well, we love that part,but it can be scary.  We need a community of supporters to walk through each step with us.

Will you join our community of supporters?

We are so grateful for the love and support you have already shown us.   We want to continue this  journey together and share the joy of bringing our daughter home with you!

Trent, Kristie, Mary Ashtyn, Reece, & Lily

Ways to support the Bamberg’s throughout the adoption process:
  1. Prayer. Commit to praying on a regular basis for Ava, for us, and for this process to go quickly and smoothly. Once we are home, pray for Ava as we start doctors' appointments to get more information about her Muscular Dystrophy.
  2. Encouragement. Check-in with us. Send us letters and emails. Help us to remember what the work and the wait are for.
  3. Financial. We are working to raise $35,000 to cover the costs (agency fees, government documents,orphanage fees, travel to China) involved with bringing our sweet girl into our family. You can contribute by going to:
Adopt Together is a non-profit created to help families raise the funds needed for adoption.  Your donation is tax deductible.

We realize that some people do not like to donate online,  here are instructions for check writing:
Make your check payable to AdoptTogether and put the Bamberg's name on the envelope and in the memo and mail it to: 
251 W. Central Ave #278
Springboro, OH 45066 

We have been overwhelmed with the love and support so far.  There are no words that will ever be able to thank you enough.  Our family is looking forward to finishing this journey with you.  His story will be even sweeter because we are in it together!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School

These cuties survived the first week of school!!  Not only did they survive...all three of them REALLY enjoyed it.  Mary Ashtyn loves high school, Reece is excited about his 7th grade schedule, and Lily is Lily...she loves everything!! 

 9th, 7th, and 2nd Grade

The bigs hate taking this picture, but we've done it since Mash started school :)    

Excited about 2nd Grade
Of course, I have NO pictures of the bigs inside the school.  Could you imagine if I burst in to take pictures??  Oh, the horror!  LOL 

Second day them so very much!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finding Ava

I saw Ava's pictures for the first time in March (the same month we found Lily 2 years earlier).  Her big smile caught my attention immediately.  I was actually checking the Special Focus list for a friend of mine that God told me needed a little girl...He just hasn't told HER yet!!  LOL

After I had my friend look at "Frannie's" pictures, I didn't think much about her for the next two months. She was so cute, I just assumed she would have tons of families asking for her file and putting her on hold. On May 12, she was posted on one of my Facebook groups.  For some reason, I didn't even notice in March that she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy.  I went to the advocacy site where she was listed and read more about this sweet girl...

Sweet Frannie is described as active, outgoing and having a ready smile.  Her file states that she gets along well with others and is a lovely girl.  She is also said to be very helpful with her teachers at school and with younger children.  She was sent for rehabilitation therapy and improved greatly. 

She is now said to be able to walk quickly with the help of a walker.  Please read just a bit about sweet Frannie from her file:

She desires father, mother and siblings, admire mates who adopted by foreign
family. In order to make her have a happy and warm family, healthy grow, we agree to

I commented on the Facebook post about her to share how blessed we are by Lily and would be willing to answer any questions about raising a child with Muscular Dystrophy.  I also emailed Annie, the advocacy site administrator, and offered to do anything I could to help a family who may be interested in "Frannie".   Annie sent me her complete file plus a link to 15 videos of this sweet girl.  She also told me that only a few people had inquired about Frannie.  She and I agreed that it was probably the MD diagnosis.

As I watched the 15 videos of her, my heart was broken.  Watching this little girl get herself dressed and out of bed with no one to help her really got to me.  Trent was the same way.  We both said if we had the money, she would be ours.  Financially, it was just impossible, right??  We talked about her for the next 3 months and struggled with what to do.

God was opening doors, but we kept trying to slam them shut.  Surely, He didn't mean for us to have 4 could we afford another adoption...2 kids with Muscular Dystrophy, come on God, really?   Us??  How??  We know everyone is thinking it and even saying it, believe me we asked ourselves these same questions over and over and over!

While we were on vacation in June, we talked to Mary Ashtyn, Reece, and Lily about her.  Their instant excitement was surprising.  Oh, to have the faith of a child.  "We can do it...we can have fundraisers...please, let's bring her home...she can sleep with me...what can we name her...I like being the only boy...3 girls, awesome...can we get her...please let's get her...I want to be a big sister...are we getting her...are we getting her...are we getting her".   My kids are the best and I am so proud of their hearts.  They never questioned, never doubted God's calling.  It took Trent and I longer to give in and take that step of Faith.

In June, we put our girl on hold, doubting ourselves the entire time.  We had shared her file with several families interested in adoption, but no one could move forward.  She had been listed with Lifeline for months and we knew her file could go back to China anytime.  Putting her on hold would mean an extension and her file would stay longer.  In July, we tried to back out and asked that if anyone else wanted to place her on hold, please let them.  The response was heartbreaking...noone else had even inquired about her :(

As we struggled with our decision, small grants came into Lifeline and were designated for Frannie.  People we barely know sent us donations for our adoption....people who said they felt led to help.  We actually held onto these checks and thought we would just have to return them.  We really thought we were going to have to say no.

While we were in Maryland for Lily's study, her MD doctors looked over "Frannie's" file and asked for more information.  On August 1, we were shocked to get more blood work done and another picture and video!  The day before we saw these videos another donation came in the mail.  Then, we see this sweet little video, "Frannie" was dressed up in Chinese silkies wearing a little necklace and bracelet.  The SWI (orphanage) even sent more information about, writes neatly, speaks fluent Mandarin, adored by everyone.  It was so obvious they wanted her to have a family and were doing everything they could to help her. 

As we watched the new video about a million times, we sobbed.  Oh, this sweet girl had our hearts!!  She zips across the room so fast using her little walker.  As she gets to the camera,she gives this huge smile.  It's almost like she knows...there is a family out there for her!  It's not every day they dress you up and make new videos.  She's eight years old and a smart girl, she had to have some idea.  At this point we are heartbroken to have to walk away from her.

On August 2, we get an email that "Frannie" had another grant designated for her!!  All of these grants and donations were not even close to fully funding her adoption, but the timing was amazing.  As we struggled with not being able to afford another adoption, God was showing us that He can do anything.   We were broken and ready to take that step of faith...FINALLY!!

On August 4, we started telling our families.  Was that easy?  NO!  Did some of them think we had lost our minds?  OF COURSE!  It took us another week to share our great news with everyone.  Most people have been so supportive.  In just one week, we have been able to send in our first payment (THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED AND PRAYED...we love you!!) and have most of our paperwork done to submit our Letter of Intent (LOI).  When this is sent to China, we will get pre-approval and be able to share pictures and videos.

We've taken a huge step of faith to get Ava home, but are already amazed at God's blessings.  If everything goes well, we hope to travel next Summer to bring her home.  Trusting Him completely and excited to share how He will take care of us each step of the way.

I can't get the links for our fundraiser sites to post on this blog, so I wanted to share them here...

We just got accepted by Adopt Together,so that donations can be tax deductible!!

Click here for our Adopt Together site 

We are so overwhelmed by the support we've had already.  You'll never know how much it means to us!  God has given us complete peace about bringing Ava home.  Please pray for all 6 of us!!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 
 Romans 15:13

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's sooo good!

It has been a great weekend!!!  We've been sharing about our newest daughter, Ava, and have been so thankful for all the support and encouragement.  I'll get to that in another post, but right now I have to share about Lily's power chair.

So excited about going to church!

She went right into Sunday School and pulled up to the table all by herself.

Lily was all smiles when we got to the sanctuary and she was able to go to her seat all by herself.  It was amazing to see her able to control where she was going and make decisions for herself.  I'm also happy to report that she is still being very obedient...for now :)

Giving her Zone friends a demo of her power chair at church tonight.
Love my nephews' faces as they watch her spin around, they were so excited for her!

Intense game of HeadBands during the church fellowship :)

Reality really hit us at an ice cream social we had after church tonight.  Lily rolled along beside me and picked out her own ice cream and snacks.  Not on my hip with both of us struggling to get a plate...beside me and holding her own ice cream.  WOW!!  After we ate, she wanted to go to the gym.  So, we let her...BY HERSELF!!!  As we sat and talked with our church family, I looked up to see my sweet Lily coming back to the fellowship hall.  Huge grin on her face and shouting, "I'm back"!  As she checked in and turned to go back to the gym, I cried a little blubbered like a big baby!!  

The second check in was just as sweet.  I did notice that one of her foot rests was crooked.  Uh Oh,not a good sign.  The last time it was crooked, she had almost climbed our refrigerator in her chair!!  Long story short, she "had a little crash in the wall" but our church is still intact with no major damage.

As Reece, Mash, and I turned the corner to leave, we found Trent and Lily at the water fountain.  My sweet husband may have been a little teary eyed as he watched Lily getting some water.  

Why would we get so emotional about this???  Our sweet girl took a drink of that water and said, "it's sooo good"!  She has never been able to get up to a water fountain before and get her own drink.  It's the little things that most people don't think twice about that mean so much to Lily.  I love watching her world open up to so many new things.  As we rode home, she told me she played follow the leader, tag, and raced with all the kids in the gym.  Just normal things, like drinking from a water fountain...but so big for our girl.  

Friday, August 9, 2013


For several months, our hearts have been broken for the little sweetie that I mentioned here.  We've prayed for her, cried for her and checked to see if anyone had moved forward to bring her home.  Each time we checked, she was still waiting.  Trent and I talked to several families about her, but nothing ever worked out.

Why???  She is a beautiful little girl who deserves a family.  Her file says that she wants a Mama and Baba and brothers and sisters.  She sees other children leave with their families and she wants that...she deserves that!

 As we prayed, God was opening a family's heart to take a huge step of faith....


We're going back to China, y'all!!!  Trust me, we are as shocked as you are :)  God just wouldn't let us walk  away from her.  Many will think we've lost our minds...nope, just our hearts.  Adoption has changed our hearts and we are broken for the orphans.  Once we get pre-approval and can share her pictures, it will be obvious why we couldn't let her go. We plan on naming her Ava and are still debating her middle name.

Our family made this decision after careful consideration and lots of prayer.  It wasn't something we decided easily or quickly. God has shown us through several different ways that He intends for us to add Ava to our family.  She has also been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy and we are fully aware of what that involves.  We are at complete peace adding Ava to our family and can't wait to bring her home. 

The biggest obstacle in our decision has been finances.  After Lily's adoption only 20 months ago and her medical bills, we can't rely on loans or savings to bring Ava home.  We have several fund raisers in mind and covet your prayers as we start this journey.  It's a huge step of faith, but we know God has big plans for Miss Ava!!

If you feel led, please visit our first fundraiser site:

Help Bring Ava Home!!!
(click on Ava's name above)

We've had over 1,000 hits on our blog in the past 2 days.  If those 1,000 could donate only $10...Ava would be so much closer to coming home.  We would really appreciate it if you could help us give this sweet girl all the love that she deserves.

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.  (Psalms 68:5-6)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ready to Zoom!!


We have a very happy girl at our house.  She woke up proclaiming that "today is power chair day"!   Once the chair got here, she could barely wait for the salesman to finish making adjustments.  We all had to tell her to stop driving while he worked on it.  She grinned and said, "I'm just ready to zoom." How cute is that??  

Zoom, Zoom

For NINE years, she's scooted in her crouch walk or been pushed or pulled by others.  Today, she was the leader and we all had to follow.  It was the sweetest thing to hear her giggle and shout, "follow me, guys."

 "We're gonna have a little walk, come on guys...follow me!!"

Silly Lily leading the way...of course, she had to keep stopping to spin around :)

She loves the independence, but her favorite part of her chair??

Miss Priss has to approve all the pictures.  She looked at these and was quick to say that she looks just like Mulan today.  Oh, how this girl makes us smile.  Totally amazed by the peace that God gives us as we enjoy every day of raising the best kids in the world!!!  Two years ago, I could not imagine being excited over my baby getting a power wheelchair.  Today goes down as one of our best, only tears of joy to see Silly Lily so happy and independent.    God has changed us so much through Lily and I am so thankful!!!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A New Driver at Our House

Big news today...Lily's power chair is on the way!!!  

It will be delivered on Thursday.  We are so excited for her to experience the freedom that her new chair will bring.  Trent and I are breaking out our running shoes, Silly Lily is already challenging us to races.

Trying out a power chair at Children's...of course, Lily's chair will be BLUE!!!

If any local friends see a blue blur, it will be our girl racing by!  Our world will be changing big time...can't wait to see how well our perfect child behaves now that she can get away from us :)

In December, we'll have  ANOTHER driver, Mary Ashtyn will get her learner's permit.  Can this Mama handle all this independence???  Lots of prayers, please!