Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy as we have begun this exciting journey to bring our child home. “…To whomever much is given, of him much will be required…” –Luke 12:48 Adoption is something God has called us to do. We are an average family, humbled that God would chose us to raise this child. For many years, we knew we would one day grow our family through adoption but we didn’t know when. In the Fall of 2013, we felt the time was right. So, we began the international adoption process through Gladney Center for Adoption. Here is a tentative timeline until the day travel to pick up our child – our precious gift from God.
- Two weeks ago we mailed our immigration app (for us to be parents of an immigrant): 60 days +/- until approval
- After immigration approval, we mail our big package of paperwork to China (called Dossier): up to 90 days to approve
- Once we are approved by the Chinese government, we can share more info about our child. I guess it becomes a bit more official. And once approval comes, we’ll mail our child’s immigration app to USCIS: up to 90 days to approve
- After immigration approval, we wait for travel approval from China. I’m told it’s about 6-8 weeks from immigration approval until we travel.
The biggest news, while we are waiting on our immigration approval is,
We Are Being “Matched” with a CHILD!! So, we should have very exciting news to share with you all SOON. (Side note: We do not know if it will be a boy or a girl).
To be completely transparent about the finances with you, international adoptions are expensive. Like most other adoptive parents, left to our own finances we would likely be prevented from adopting. However, we believe God has called us to adopt. Therefore, we have faith that God will provide and part of that provision is you. We firmly believe that God will bless those who support us on this journey – support through prayer and financial giving.
Statistics show 33% of Americans consider adoption; 79% of those are concerned about the costs, the biggest deterrent; less than 2% actually adopt. Initial adoption costs are not a reason to deny an orphan a home. Month to month we are able to provide for another child. The initial adoption costs is where we are giving you an opportunity to change a child’s life not only temporally, but forever.
Our monetary goal is to raise AT LEAST $40k over the next 8 months. Our adoption costs are about $34k (less $7500 we have already contributed). The other $13k+ of our goal will go to Journey of a Joyful Life (JOAJL) ministry to help care for special needs orphans in China. In addition, any funds we raise in excess of what we need will be donated back to (JOAJL) to assist giving children in their care a forever family.
Will and I have joyfully contributed $7500 from our savings so far and hope to be able to contribute more as Will’s business grows. Also, $2600 was raised at our recent fundraiser plus a few friends and strangers have donated about $1100. God is so good and faithful to provide! After these contributions, we have reached $11,200 of our goal and have $28,800 to go.
- When we accept a referral of a child (within the next few weeks), $7850 is due.
- When we complete our Dossier for China, $1750 is due for translation to Chinese and for preparation & authentication of U.S. docs – (submitting in about 6 weeks or so).
- The next big fees are due in China and are about $7200. These fees include the orphanage fees, adoption processing expenses, U.S. visa & medical exam, and U.S. immigration visa. Travel costs are estimated to be about $7500 for a 17 day trip with multiple flights from USA to child’s providence to Guangzhou to USA. Guangzhou is where the adoption will be finalized – visa and passport issued.
- There are a few more adoption costs upon returning home for attorneys fees, translation of legal documents, etc. totaling about $1800.
If you would like to be a part of the journey, please visit orphancarenetwork.org/bowling-family. Any contribution you make is tax deductible through the The Orphan Care Network which is a 501(c)3. And rest assured, any donation, no matter how big or small, will be greatly appreciated. Please know we are blessed and humbled by your investment in God’s kingdom! Thank you in advance for your support and we celebrate that you will be blessed for your generosity!
Sincerely and Joyfully,
Will & Ashley
Melodie Chandler, Director (and momma) at JOAJL, is in China working with special needs children. A portion of your donation will go to assist children in her care. To find out more about what Melodie is doing, visit: www.journeyofajoyfullife.org