Friday, October 19, 2012

We Are DTC!

DTC... Dossier to Ch*na!!

Today we got the email that our Dossier is headed to Ch*na! Our agency sends dossiers on Fridays - we were expecting an email with a tracking number so we could track the package on its way to Ch*na! The message we got was a little different... someone from our Agency is headed to Ch*na and will hand deliver our dossier on Monday! We are so very excited!

Please pray that we get a quick LID (logged in date) so we can receive our referral!

Tonight we celebrate this good news and we offer our praise to the One who has brought us this far.  I love this song - I hope you enjoy it, too!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our Amazing Race...

A few weeks ago we had our "Race for Makenna" - we had hoped to fund a significant amout of our upcoming expenses through this fundraiser.  At this point, we think that all the sponsorship donations have been received and once again God has provided for us exceedingly, abundantly more than we expected!  Before I give you the total raised I want to give you some background...

The costs associated with the adoption process are broken out and are applied and different stages.  Our goal for the first fund raiser in June was to raise enough money for our home study - God provided enough for the home study, our passports and our Hague training.  The next large payment was due when we sent our Dossier to the agency last week - over the summer we began focusing on the money needed to submit our Dossier to China - through fundraisers and personal savings we were able to send that out as soon as the paperwork was ready last week!  The next payment needed is when we accept our referral (when we receive our daughter's paperwork and file our Letter of Intent to adopt her to China).  After this we focus on our travel and in-country expenses.

We initally planned the timing of the Race to coincide with our Dossier submission, but with the additional yard sale, some generous personal donations, and our pinching of some pennies at home, we did not need to use any funds raised from the Race to submit the Dossier.


What does that mean??

Along this journey we have prayed that God would provide everything we need when we need it - He has been faithful to us and blessed us at every stage.  In our human nature, though, we have prayed that God would just maybe provide some in advance...  that is just what HE did!  Over the past three weeks in addition to the sponsorships and donations received from the race, we have received gifts from friends and family - - all together HE has provided just enough to cover all the fees for our referral (our referral that we have yet to receive!).  What an encouragement to us - He is preparing the path to our Makenna!

It's time to raise the thermometer - are you ready??? 

The total raised through "Race for Makenna" (drumroll...)
We are currently 55% funded! 
I hope there is a smile on your face!
It is so exciting for us to see God providing, to see our friends and family willing to journey with us so that there will be one less orphan in the world!
But... can I be honest?

I said it from the very beginning - it's not comfortable to ask for help.  We don't like relying on others to bring our daughter home - it feels weird... 
Then there's a big BUT...
                                              we couldn't do this without all of YOU!
We started this journey - a journey we were CALLED to walk.  We walk in obedience and trust - trust that God will continue to provide everything we need.  As uncomfortable as we are NEEDING your help, we know that this is where God wants us - we aren't called to be comfortable.  We are called to care for widows and orphans - that means different callings for different people.  For us... we are called to adoption.  God doesn't call the equipped, HE equips the called.  For us... that means providing the money we need to bring Makenna home.
We have prayed about each fundraiser we have approached, and we believe that each has been an opportunity for us to share our love for adoption and to raise awareness of the orphan.  The past six months have been busy - busy with preparing our dossier and busy with raising the funds needed to get us where we are today.  As we prepare the next phase of this journey, Jason & I feel like it's time to take a break, time to be still and focus on our attention on praying for our daughter and preparing our family for her homecoming.  God has used many wonderful fundraising opportunities to get us HERE - and we trust that he will provide everything we need to get us THERE.  For now, we are going to take a break - wait on the Lord for His leading.  We still have a way to go - there's another 45% of that thermometer to fill - we need to see how HE wants to get it filled!  We are excited to see what God has planned for us over the next several months, and we are so glad that you have chosen to journey with us! 
With a very grateful heart,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Promotional Hope

A few weeks ago, we received a message from the LeSuer Family. Jennifer and Nate LeSuer adopted a beautiful daughter from China in September 2011. Last Spring, as God was pulling at our hearts about taking the leap of faith to adopt our daughter, their family's adoption story showed up on my Facebook wall. I watched the video and found myself a teary mess at the end. It's a beautiful story, so I'm sharing that with all of you today - I encourage ALL of you to watch this wonderful video:

Fast forward to September 2012... The LeSuer Family has started a business - "Promotional Hope".

promotional Hope Logo

I'll let the LeSuer Family tell you about Promotional Hope (taken from their website):

Promotional Hope was born with a special little girl named Hayley Grace. She is a rambunctious, beautiful three-year-old little girl that has stolen our hearts. She is a little girl once abandoned halfway around the world, and now we are blessed to be her parents. We have seen the difference adopting a child can make first hand. Through this love for adoption, and seeing the worldwide need to save these children, we started our company Promotional Hope. As some of you may know, adoption is very expensive. When we adopted our daughter, we were only able to do it through grants and fund-raisers. By purchasing promotional products, all the proceeds we make will help support families that are adopting. These products, such as, pens, USB drives, cups, apparel and more can all be customized with your company’s logo.
Check out their website here! 
The LeSuer Family selects a family to support for two months, during that time, the "Family of the Month" receives 50% of the sales proceeds. We are excited that the Jenn and Nate have chosen our family to support for the months of October and November! I've been told that their son, Aiden, played a big role in that decision - Aiden and our son, Matthew, are in the same grade at Penn View.
This is a very unique fundraising opportunity - there are many that will have no need for promotional products. But... I know there are many out there that purchase pens, pencils,mugs, bags, etc. for their business - - whether to give to customers or employees. Christmas is right around the corner, so if you are in need of customer or employee gifts, please consider checking out Promotional Hope! There is a lot of information on their website, but if you are looking for something in particular or want some ideas - the best thing would be to contact Jennifer LeSuer directly:
or call 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mission: Paper Chase - Accomplished!

Today was a big day in our adoption journey!  In May, we began compiling a large stack of documents called our Dossier.  This consists of birth certificates, marriage certificates, physical forms, employment letters, financial statements, police reports, reference letters, family pictures, home study report, USCIS approval and more!  Each document is newly issued or written, it is notarized, then authenticated by the Secretary of the Commonwealth in Harrisburg, PA, then it is certified by the Ch*nese Consulate in New York City.  We were thrilled to get all the paperwork completed in five months - yup... COMPLETED!!  Today we received the last set of documents back from the NYC courier that processed them through the Consulate for us.  Our Dossier is done... 78 pages to provide all the information needed to prove we are ready and able to raise our Makenna! 

The final papers were delivered this morning - I came home for lunch to scan and copy and everything and compile all the paperwork.  After work all the paperwork was laid out and organized..

Then it was packed neatly in a wonderful FedEx envelope...

And driven to the nearest FedEx drop off location...

As I type, it's on its way our Family Coordinator's office in Virginia.  Tomorrow morning it will be delivered to her office where it will undergo critical review to check everything for errors and accuracy and then...

Next Friday, October 19th, it will begin its journey to Ch*na!

I mentioned in an earlier post on the blog that the adoption journey is broken down into three stages.  If you are keeping track, we are done Phase I - Paperchasing- Mission Accomplished!  Next steps??  We wait for a referral (the referral is the file we receive to review when the agency finds a child to match our family).  We don't know how long we will wait - it could be any where from days to months.  The waiting will be hard. very. very. hard!  We are excited that we have finally finished something, but we know this also means that this is no longer "in our hands".  Sending that paperwork off is bittersweet - it's awesome that it's DONE but letting it go and leaving it up to someone else is a little tough!  We hope and pray for God's mercies as we wait  - we trust that He knows our daughter, He knows each hair on her head and certainly knows her path to us and when she will make her way home.  It's one thing to know it in your head, it's another to trust it in your heart.  Tonight... we are one BIG step closer to bringing her home! 

I hope you will wait with us - I think it is going to be well worth it when we see that sweet face!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thank you!

I have been behind in posting a BIG shout out to all our Race for Makenna participants from this past Saturday - you are all amazing and inspiring!

If you have been reading our blog you know that we had a "Race for Makenna" fundraiser last weekend to help with our adoption expenses.  The morning started off cool...

but once the sun came up over the trees - we were blessed with a beautiful day - Thank you Lord!!

Although our group of walkers, joggers and bike riders was small, young and young at heart, boy were they mighty!  (and so inspiring!)  We had 7, 10 and 12 year old's riding 10+ miles on their bikes!  Such a great group of kids that really want to part of the journey to bring a new friend home!  Our own two kids each rode ten miles - we are so proud of them!  Thank you to our friends who came out to walk, ride, or jog  - but most importantly, you came to stand with us and support us!  Thank you!

I was especially blessed by my parents (Makenna's waiting Grammy and Poppy!) - they have stood by us every step that we have taken and Saturday was certainly NO exception! When we first started planning a walk fundraiser - they immediately answered the call with a YES we can do that!  They set the bar high and set out on an adventure last Saturday to walk TWENTY (yes... 20!) miles!  They started at 7:00 AM and finished at 3:00 PM - and YES they did it!  They walked 17 miles and biked 4 miles (I was kidding with them and suggested that they jump in the Perkiomen Creek for a swim to make it a triathlon!) Your math was right - they actually did 21 miles in eight hours!  All for the love of a granddaughter they wait along side us to see.  I wish I had a picture of them to share (although my mom is probably glad that I don't!). When I think the next step of this journey is hard... now I just need to remember what they have done and all the hard steps they endured to support us!  We love you both!! 

After standing guard over the snacks for five hours (seriously, I bought way too many apples - plenty to make applesauce)...

It was time for our family to hit the trail on our bikes! 
Jason really wanted to do a thirty mile bike ride for the race, but we also thought that it was important to do the race together as a family.  So, the weekend before, Jason got up early on Saturday morning to do his thirty mile ride before he went to work - yup, he rode 30 miles!  But on Race day we decided that we would ride together with Megan and Matthew - we left Plank Road and headed to Collegeville (aka:  Wawa) - we promised the kids that we would get hoagies for lunch.  We were quite hungry and they were yummy!  Before putting the helmets back on to head back, we shot a quick picture (ignore helmet hair!!).

It took me a while to get all my thoughts together to share with you about our day - the past few weeks have been mentally and emotionally exhausting (I'll share more in an upcoming post).  We were really hoping to have a large turnout so that we could raise enough funds to get through the rest of our adoption.  So initially, I was sad and a little disappointed.  But, like everything else, God is continuing to provide exactly what we need through this process.  We still don't know what the exact numbers of funds raised are - over the next few weeks we should receive everyone's contributions and the thermometer on the blog will go up!  My initial disappointment has been replaced with peace... peace that God will continue to provide for our family, for Makenna, and our adoption needs.

THANK YOU to all who came out and walked!
THANK YOU to all who came out and biked!
THANK YOU to all who came out and jogged!
THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for us!
THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored someone who participated!


THANK YOU to God who has given me exactly what I need for TODAY!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Donation Link

We have so much to share about our Race for Makenna today, but right now I'm honestly too tired to think quite straight!  We have had a long day, including a 10 mile bike ride, so we're ready to relax for the rest of the evening. 

Thank you so much to all our friends and family who came out today to support us in our Race to bring Makenna home - you are all so important to us, and we feel so blessed to have your support.

There has been some confusion about finding the form to make an online donation directly to our agency - so I wanted to repost that link below: 

At the top of the form there is a drop down box for Designation, select
"Eternal Family Program"

At the bottom of the form there is a notes box, please enter
"Jason & Jessica Benner"

For those that sponsored Megan and Matthew - they worked hard today and did a full ten mile bike ride! 

I will post more about our day shortly...