The road since adopting Eliana in February has been anything but smooth. We knew when we chose to adopt a 14 year old that this would be one of the hardest things we have ever done. Living in an orphanage for 14 years has left her heart, soul and mind beaten and battered. Although she appears to be happy at times the true condition of her heart comes out in various hurtful forms at home with our family. It has been a roller-coaster ride to put it mildly and no one in this home has made it through the ride without getting wounded. We still believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY that she is our daughter and her heart is worth FIGHTING for. Because of this we have agonized in prayer about how best to help her. We are confident with intense counseling and therapy the damage that Satan meant to destroy her can be healed and used for God's glory.
So with that being said we wanted to update you on an urgent prayer request/need. After much prayer and wise counsel we have decided to send Eliana to a ranch for intense counseling and therapy. The ranch she is going to only works with internationally adopted kids and they are highly experienced and successful at helping these children deal with and overcome the hurts of their past. It is a Christian place and she will attend school there as well during her stay. She will have the opportunity to continue horse therapy and have private weekly counseling in addition to the daily therapy she will do. We do not know how long she will be there but we will be working with her and the counselors on a weekly basis during her time at The Ranch via the phone, letters and emails. When her counselor feels she has progressed enough to be able to return home we will work together with them to develop a plan to transition her back home.
As with anything in life that provides high quality care the cost is great and in this case insurance is not accepted. However, we see this as an investment in her future as we know she cannot function as a stable family member, wife or mother someday in her current state. We are in need of a financial miracle. God has already provided in one big way by having a friend donate their miles and book our airfare, allowing us to fly for free. That is HUGE. But the ranch costs about $4,000 per month for her to go there. So basically, we need to raise $4,000 in a few short days. I don't know how this is going to happen but at this point we know this is our only option.
So we are asking you to please consider doing a few things:
This was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made but we know in the end this will be one of the best decisions. When we introduced the idea of the ranch to her to say that we could feel the Holy Spirit as we talked would be an understatement. I'm pretty sure it was just the Holy Spirit talking to her and my lips flapping. She was the most honest she has ever been with us and she knows she needs help. She knows her heart has been hurt badly and that she cannot be truly happy until she deals with all the pain she carries. Please pray for her heart to believe what WE shared and not what Satan will tell her. Please pray for her as she makes this transition. She is excited about going to the ranch but also nervous.
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So many miracles have gotten us to this point that there are too many to mention. However, the greatest miracles have to be raising $30,000 in less than a month and completing all of our paperwork and approvals in two months. It was been a whirlwind but we are finally here and the day has arrived! We have Eliana!
Eliana was so excited and nervous all mixed up in one. She was standing in the doorway of the building when our van pulled up and we immediately recognized her. She is very sweet, polite, and still taking everything in. She has never been given this many choices (like what do you want to eat, where do you want to go, etc) so it is all just a bit overwhelming to her. She is pretty quiet except for when she talks with her friend Eliza in the U.S. or she has called her Nanny at the orphanage that she is closest to last night and tonight. She talks rapid fire when she is talking with them. Overall she seems to be very happy and just has normal concerns about moving to a new country. This afternoon we took her shopping. We gave her a purse yesterday with some stuff in it and money inside the wallet. So we took her shopping today so she could spend her money. She bought a pair of pink high tops with a panda bear sticking out of the tongue of the shoe. They are quite funny but apparently popular here. Then me, Eliana and Whitney stopped at a hair salon in the mall and had our hair washed and dryed. It was quite the experience. Eliana had never had this done and was very hesitant but after she was done she loved her hair. It is very pretty. All the stylists were men and they were all talking about my pink hair and took turns coming over to inspect it. I couldn’t decide if they liked it or thought I was a freak.
We are very thankful though that today Eliana’s adoption was finalized. This is the final step in the adoption process. This is the day that had to come before her 14th birthday. So her adoption was finalized 5 days before she could no longer be adopted. Praise Jesus! There are pictures of this special day I just don’t have them yet. Many of you on Facebook are following all of the pics that The Archibald Project is posting. This is great because this is all the pictures we have. To see them all just click here.
Thank you again for all of your love, prayers, support and encouragement along the way. It means more to us than you will ever know. Please keep us in your prayers as we learn to communicate with Eliana and especially this Friday when she takes her first flight ever. We will be going to the city where she gets a Visa to come to the U.S. She is nervous about flying and we will no longer have our guide with us to translate. Love and hugs from across the world!
When we adopted Lilli earlier this year we knew that we were called to adopt another daughter in the future. We assumed we would choose a child younger than Lilli and we were just waiting and praying about that. However, God's plans sometimes don't match up with "our" plans. Earlier this week we found out about a girl who is 13 years old that desperately desires a family. She has lived in an orphanage her entire life and watched her best friends all get adopted last year. She has kept in contact with them via Skype and begs them to find her a family too. The "place" where she lives never started paperwork for her to be able to be adopted because they didn't think anyone would want her. In this "place" once a child turns 14 they can NEVER be adopted. Even if they have a family waiting for them if the family does not have their Gotcha day before the 14th birthday they will NEVER be adopted. This girl is turning 14 at the end of February. Because the "place" she is at just started paperwork for her to be able to be adopted it has left a VERY short, almost impossible time frame for anyone to be able to get through all the necessary steps to get to her in time.
Our family (and that means the kids too) have prayed and we are going for her. We are trying to expedite every possible step so that we have a chance at getting to her before her birthday. Nothing is guaranteed. Her file is still not even in the "system" yet so we cannot even be officially matched. There is a huge chance that when it comes in we may not be allowed to be matched with her because of the short time frame. It is a very detailed process that needs to occur in two months!! So I'm not going to try and list all of the things that need to happen but I'm just asking you to pray for miracles. And I mean one miracle after another. We are prepared that there may be another family who is ahead of us in the process who might want her and be able to get to her faster. If that is the case we will gladly let her go to that family. The most important thing is that she gets a family. However, we cannot sit by and wait because there is no time for that so we will be charging forth like mad dogs until the door gets slammed in our face. So please pray!! Pray first that she gets in a loving family before her birthday. Pray second that if it's us that He miraculously gets all of our paperwork through EVERY stinkin' step it's gotta go through at record, miracle breaking speed. Pray third that He provides the money we need to make this happen.
The boys are praying their little hearts out. I asked Ayden (8) why he would want to adopt this girl and his response was "Because she doesn't have a family and that's not right. Jesus wants everyone to have a family. We have a family and she can be a part of it. Go get her." Needless to say, the boys are all on board.
The lady at our adoption agency said to me yesterday, "You realize you're pretty much asking us to do the impossible, to move mountains." My response was, "Yes, I realize that. But that's not a problem for God. He's in the mountain moving business."
Ready. Set. Pray. (Read The Whole Story)
We believe that God is calling for an adoption revolution that centers on his love for the "least of these". By purchasing this shirt you are becoming a part of the adoption revolution by helping to bring another child into their forever family!
We believe that Love's Ideal, Love's highest goal, is that every orphaned child be able to have a "Forever Family".