What’s been done, and what’s ahead.

November 23, 2013 by The Rippke's

Well, here’s something I can honestly say I haven’t done in a long time. Or ever? Gotten up voluntarily at 5:30am…on a Saturday!? Well, semi-voluntaryily. Thanks accidental 5:30am alarm. I’m up though. There’s a noise that won’t let me go back to sleep…it’s annoying. It’s a noise we haven’t dealt with since our married college days, but two back to back international adoptions have brought it back. That lingering “how is this going to work?” feeling. The “but…what if…” conversations that we thought we’d never go back to. But we’re there. And it’s not a surprise. When we saw Solomon’s face in August we knew that saying yes meant being here again. Way out of our comfort zone. But God has provided every single penny, through work, donations, and fundraising, right on time. And there’s been an overwhelming peace in the expensiveness of the past four months.

Because a crazy long list of people have carried us through and are making Solomon’s adoption possible.

And now as we get ready to make the last, and largest, agency payments the feelings of “but…how…” are creeping in and trying to disrupt the peace. Maybe it’s that after everyone’s amazing generosity we’re just sorry to bring it up again…and feeling like you’re probably really sick of hearing us talk about fundraising and asking for help. Maybe it’s the holiday season that magnifies the stress of it all. Maybe it’s some other things being thrown off around here that are trying to shake that peace. Most likely it’s all of it. Maybe it’s just that after nearly four months of fundraising I’m feeling guilty for bringing it up again. And maybe more than anything I’m just ready to hold our boy.

But, the peace is still winning, because God hasn’t been late with a single penny. And He won’t be. Whether that’s donations, or people “tagging” Solomon’s bag, or Christmas cards, or a second job. He will continue to show us that He is the one who provides. Not just for adoption, but for everything.

So in an attempt to be transparent, and because it’s no secret (hello, it’s posted on the AAI website), I want to show you what you all have helped provide and what’s still ahead financially. I feel like we blab about agency fees a lot, but to most people that probably doesn’t mean much. There are new processes in Ethiopia that weren’t in place when we brought Elsa home a year ago. Actually they even weren’t in place when we saw sweet Solomon waiting. Of course these added steps cost money, and the added time means added in country care costs. So basically I’m just going to list this out like is listed online and show you where we are exactly so if you’ve given you can see where it’s gone. Or if you’re someone out there thinking about adopting you can see what it looks like financially (and how God provides). Or if you’re one of the people who have ever asked us what it cost, well here you go. Oh, and a real quick sidenote. I really wish I didn’t even need to say this, but I do. Adoption is not purchasing a kid. Please don’t ever ask an adoptive parent “how much their child cost.” There are about a million people and  gov’ts and agencies and care givers and doctors and lawyers involved in the adoption of a child. The money goes a lot of places. And that’s why it’s SO important to work with ethical agencies, working with ethical people/orphanages, in ethical countries. That’s a much larger topic, but I feel the need to at least give a quick little note because I’ve heard “how much did he/she cost?” too many times. Anyways, the fees y’all have helped us cover to bring Solomon home, not including things like shipping, notaries, or doctor visits:

Application fee: $300 (paid)
Home study and post placement retainer: $2400 (paid)
Contract fees: $5500 (paid)
Orphan petition (USCIS filing): $890 (paid)
Program/home study acceptance (begin dossier): $4500 (paid)

Um, that’s $13,590 that you guys have helped us with. In just over THREE months. That is crazy!! God is so good. And bigger than agency fees. You guys are amazing. THANK YOU. When there’s no wait list  prior to a referral there’s no “saving period” between fees, and it gets nuts, fast. There are no words for how thankful we are. I love thinking about the web of people God is weaving together all over the world to bring him home, to set the lonely in families. All the stories. All the ways God is using Solomon and all of you for His glory. And all the work and hours it takes to earn the amount of money that you have opened your hands and given towards our adoption. It’s humbling. Solomon buddy, you are SO loved!

So here’s what’s left. We’re coming to the end of all these agency and government fees, just a couple of big payments left. This is where some of the new fees come into play due to longer/new processes. We have a little of this already saved, but the $5900 will be due soon after we get our immigration letter back. Hopefully this week! Once we get that letter we can sign the formal referral/placement paperwork and get everything sent off for PAIR. This should all happen/be due before Christmas. So we basically need to raise a little more than $4000 by then.

Referral fee: $5900 (December)
PAIR (USCIS investigation): $320 (December)
Remaining balance due at court submission: $3500 (Hopefully early 2014!)

So we continue fundraising. Bear with us a little longer. I’ve got the sweetest little four year old sitting next to me now (good morning girl) so I know that swallowing my pride and posting this post is worth it. And if you’re a fellow fundraising adoptive family reading this, they’re worth it. And God will provide. I know it’s exhausting and stressful, but God is bigger!! So here’s a recap of what we’re doing right now, and if you’ve got any fundraiser ideas for us you just let me know haha.

TAG HIS BAG
There’s still room on Solomon’s suitcase for names! In case you missed our posts about Tag His Bag here’s how it works. To get your name on Solomon’s bag you just make a donation of any amount. $3, $17, $25, $50…whatever you want. You can use the paypal link in the right hand column of our blog to make a donation. Or if you want to send it through snail mail just let me know and I can send you our address. We did this for Elsa and it was SO fun dragging her suitcase through the airport and to Ethiopia with everyone’s names on it. Now it’s where we keep all her keepsakes, sort of like a hope chest.

CHRISTMAS CARDS
I mentioned these a couple posts ago. This is our third year fundraising in this way, and it’s SO fun. I’ve added some new Christmas card designs to the Etsy shop this year, and there are all the designs from previous years as well. They come in multiple colors, and you can get the file in 5×7 or 4×6. It’s easy, here’s how it works: You send me the pics, I send you the file, you print wherever you want (shutterfly, target, costco, etc.). Or, I have print packages in my shop as well. Easy peasy! Oh, and of course there are still all the adoption announcements, and other adoption design pieces as well! http://liftedfromthewater.etsy.com/

 

 


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  • Our Story

    The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water." - Exodus 2:10

    Read More»

  • Our Timeline

    • ELSA'S TIMELINE
    • Application: 10-30-10
    • Began Home Study: 01-25-11
    • Completed Classes: 02-08-11
    • Home Study Approved: 03-08-11
    • Sent i600: 03-18-11
    • Sent Revised i600: 03-30-11
    • Sent Dossier: 05-26-11
    • Dossier Approved: 06-03-11
    • Girl: 103 | Boy: 81: 06-03-11
    • FDL: 06-06-11
    • Girl: 102 | Boy: 78: 06-10-11
    • Girl: 95 | Boy: 72: 07-15-11
    • Girl: 91 | Boy: 68: 08-19-11
    • Girl: 85 | Boy: 65: 09-16-11
    • Girl: 80 | Boy: 62: 10-24-11
    • Girl: 80 | Boy: 63: 11-22-11
    • Girl: 77 | Boy: 60: 12-22-11
    • Girl: 74 | Boy: 60: 01-31-12
    • Girl: 70 | Boy: 55: 02-29-12
    • Girl: 64 | Boy: 51: 03-30-12
    • Girl: 63 | Boy: 49: 04-30-12
    • IT'S A GIRL! REFERRAL! (switched agencies, got the paperwork a few days later) 05-04-12
    • Sent in dossier 05-21-12
    • Dossier approval 05-29-12
    • Requested I-600 re-fingerprinting date 06-11-12
    • Mailed referral paperwork 06-19-12
    • Dossier sent to Ethiopia 06-19-12
    • Got re-fingerprinting date 06-22-12
    • USCIS refingerprinting 07-10-12
    • WE GOT A COURT DATE!!! 08-08-12
    • Left for Ethiopia 08-13-12
    • Arrived in Ethiopia, met Elsa!! 08-15-12
    • Court Date - PASSED COURT! 08-17-12
    • Left Ethiopia for the US 08-20-12
    • Submitted to US embassy 11-07-12
    • BF to US embassy 11-26-12
    • CLEARED! Nate to US embassy 11-28-12
    • Nate and Elsa Banke home 11-30-12
    •  
    • SOLOMON'S TIMELINE
    • Saw his profile 08-11-13
    • Sent AAI our inquiry 08-12-13
    • Said YES and sent formal application! 08-20-13
    • Formal contract submitted 09-16-13
    • Finished home study visits 09-16-13
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