Monday, June 8, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

Hello, everyone!
Sorry it has taken so long to provide an update; there has been so much happening and not enough time in the day to write about it all!

So, there will be a lot of information in this post, but keep reading because you'll want to know it all!

First off, The Beautiful Offerings tour was a huge success! Not only was it a night filled with awesome songs and times of worship, but the people themselves were a huge blessing to our family. Big Daddy Weave even prayed over our family and offered words encouragement on their personal tour bus after the show.

Without the sacrificial help of our friends, family, and complete strangers, however, this concert would have never happened. We'd like to thank them, once again, for everything they did to make the night such an unforgettable one.
Thank you to Kim Mangels (and Muse Productions) for the huge task of booking and organizing the concert and ironing out all the details we would have never even thought about.
Thank you to Matt and Amy Mangels for your help, support, and all the food you provided.
Thank you to the Cross, Ron Ball. Rowans, Mays, Highs, Kevin Arnold, Hugh Shiveley, and Joyce Foutz for adopting the hotel rooms for the artists.
Thank you The Sweet Tooth for providing your cupcake truck during the show.
Thank you Blue Springs Hy-Vee for the donations of food and water used before the show and at intermission.
Thank you Drury Inn for the discounted room rates.
Thank you Chipotle for the catered dinner for the artists.
Thank you The Metro Voice for the written article and support before the concert.
Thank you Life 88.5 for advertising for the show and for the loving support throughout the process.
Thank you New Life Assembly for hosting the concert.
Thank you Duncan Road Church for being our church family and loving us so well during this time.

Secondly, the garage sale we hosted at our house the day before the concert was also a bigger success than we could have imagined!

Thank you to everyone who donated items to be sold. We had so much stuff that it took us hours to unload it all and we didn't even know everything that we had.
Thank you Tyra Lefholz for helping us collect money and negotiate prices with people. It was so helpful to have another saleswoman!

Now, for some financial information from the weekend.
The total that we took away from the garage sale and the concert (minus the expenses) was just over $9,000! That is about one-fourth of the total of what we need to bring JiaJia home!
We are so grateful to have made so much over the weekend, however, we still have a long way to go until we are completely funded.
We made $9,000 that weekend, but we have already spent $9,000 in the process on the fees associated with the forms, paperwork, and organizations. So, while that money covered everything we have done so far, we don't have a reserve to pull money from moving forward.
And the fees associated with the next step are probably the biggest ones we'll have.

With that lead-in, now it's time for an update on where we stand in the legal paperwork process.
Our homestudy is officially finished! Praise the Lord! That is a huge step in the adoption process. All of the immigration papers are completed and submitted and we are just waiting on the dates to get fingerprinted.
For those of you who like pictures and flowcharts, we just finished step 4 and are waiting for approval (step 5):

With the completion of the homestudy, a new door opens for us: grants! We are now at a point in the process where we can now begin applying for all the different grants out there for adoptive parents. There are a lot of grants available and we are planning to apply for as many of the ones we qualify for as possible.
However, each grant requires different things. Some require essays, some require a completed application specific to that grant, some require pictures, some require reference letters, some require financial statements, some require fees, and some have no requirements- they leave it to you to decide what you think is necessary to “win” their grant.

Please join us in praying that we not only chose those to apply for that would be beneficial to us- some of them require application fees and lots of time spent on paperwork, but seldom chose a recipient- but also that we would not be emotionally and physically drained by the process. As we have already discovered, it can be exhausting filling out form after form, and there are a lot of forms to fill out for grants! 

While we wait for our fingerprint approval, we will be applying for grants to fill our time. Then, as soon as we receive the approval, we will submit our dossier to China. So far, all the legal paperwork we have done has been through the U.S. Government and our adoption agency. This will be the first of the legal information we will submit to the Chinese government.
For those of you not familiar with adoption speak, our dossier is basically a huge packet of every piece of our past, present, and future. It contains medical records, background checks, marriage and birth certificates, letters of intent and references, forms, proof of home ownership, insurance, and employment, our homestudy, passports, financial statements, and photos. It's basically our entire lives in a giant folder. We will submit all of that to the Chinese government to review and (hopefully) approve.
Submitting our dossier is the big fee we referred to earlier.
It will cost us $6,000 to submit our dossier to the Chinese government. 

So, that can only mean one thing, right? That's right; another fundraiser is in the works!

JiaJia's birthday is July 24 and since we cannot celebrate with him this year, we would love to celebrate him with friends and family and host an event to help bring him home so we can celebrate with him next year! 
Saturday, July 25, we will be hosting an all-day kickball tournament in the Kansas City area. A lot of the details are still to be confirmed, but start organizing teams and mark the date on your calendars. 
There is also a Facebook event page on our Facebook group that will be updated when details are confirmed.
The Facebook event page can be found at:
In case you haven't already, head over to our A Mama and Baba for JiaJia Facebook page and “like” it to stay updated:

We also still have t-shirts available! You can order them in person through any of the family members or online through our Etsy shop at
Use code “KCPRIDE” if you're in the KC area and the shipping costs will be taken off and we'll deliver them to you in person.
Use code “WILSON6” to buy five and get the sixth free, since we have a new appreciation for families of six! ;-)

If you aren't a wearer of t-shirts or are not in the KC area to participate in our fundraisers but would still like to help us financially, we have a link to our personal PayPal account in the sidebar on the right-hand side or by clicking here. Donations made to this account go directly to offset the costs associated with the adoption process.

As always, we would appreciate your prayers!
Please pray for speedy response times and ease in dealing with the governments.
Please pray for JiaJia as he is ready to come home and is telling people at his orphanage that he is leaving next month. As much as we would love this to be true, it is not true at the moment. Pray for understanding and peace in the process as this little man doesn't fully understand why we can't come get him now.
Please pray for financial provision as we come to the point in the process where each step will begin costing larger and larger amounts of money, leading up to the eventual huge purchase of two round-trip and one one-way international plane tickets. 

So much has happened that we almost forgot a huge moment we finally had!

The pictures aren't great, but we had the chance to Skype with JiaJia! ?
For those of you following our journey, we didn't think this was going to be a possibility because our homestudy didn't look like it would be completed before Min Ju, the lady at the home doing the social media, left Alenah's Home. 
God reminded us, once again, that His plans are bigger than we can imagine and an exception was made very last minute and we had our first real interaction with JiaJia!

Thanks for taking the time to read all the exciting things that are happening!
Hopefully, there will not be as long between this one and our next blog post!