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

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