"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Christian Warrior Wear

I'm so excited to share that we started a company to help fund the adoptions, Christian Warrior Wear (www.christianwarriorwear.com). Not only do we need extra funds for the $40K that we need to bring home Peter and Rebecca, we also wanted to start a company that would challenge Christians to be bold in their faith.

With Bill working on another start-up, time and resources were a huge consideration for us. Regardless, we felt God's leading and, after much prayer, Christian Warrior Wear is ultimately how we saw God directing our funding efforts for the adoptions. Neither of us have experience starting a t-shirt company, so we were glad to connect with the guys at Grunt Style who really went out of their way to get us going. You can read more on our "About" page: http://christianwarriorwear.com/about.

Bill designed the nine shirts on the site, as well as the entire website (he even made the intro video)! He had never done a website before, so he chose to use Squarespace, which pretty much guides every step. I was surprised that Squarespace made it so easy. The trickiest part for Bill was learning Photoshop to design the images and logo!

As for the shirts, here are some of the styles he came up with (the first two are my favorites because they are about adoption!):

There are a few other shirts on the website (www.christianwarriorwear.com), so be sure to check them out. All of the shirts are $22 and we make about $13 off each shirt after production costs and related expenses.

As for the adoptions, our dossier is now official on its way to China! We are DTC! Next, China will log it in and give us Provisional Approval (PA). Mid-week last week, we sent our I800 to Texas, where it has to sit for at least two weeks before heading to Missouri. Hopefully, the PA and I800 will be processed at about the same time, then we can apply for a GUZ number for Peter and Rebecca's visas! After that, we get Travel Approval and can plan our journey to China! We are hoping for this entire process to be completed within 40 days- by June 1st. That gives us one month before Peter turns 14!

For those who missed it, please check out our intro video that shares our adoption story! Also, please like our Christian Warrior Wear page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cwarriorwear?fref=nf and Twitter: @cwarriorwear.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Compiling the Dossier

I realized that almost an entire month has passed since I last posted. It has felt like a week has gone by! The truth is that there has not been a lot happening over the past month, as we have been waiting on our USCIS forms to process and to get final approval.

One hiccup occurred in the approval process that caught us off guard. There was a question about the necessity of a child abuse clearance for Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa that I traveled to years ago on a mission's trip. This is a third-world country, so I thought it strange/impossible for them to have any such registry (it turns out that they have something like this for child labor abuse issues, but not anything like we need). The funny part was that I actually had to pull out some 10+ year-old french to communicate with the Burkina Faso Embassy in Washington D.C. (though they did not understand exactly what I was asking for and I had to resort to email)!

For standard adoptions, the USCIS approval process takes between 60-90 days after the 2-week wait for biometric fingerprint appointments. However, once it was clarified that I did not need a child abuse clearance from Burkina Faso, we requested an expedite (since Payton will be 14 on July 1st so we must have the adoption finalized prior to that date) to reduce the wait for formal USCIS approval.
After receiving the approval in just four business days(!), we notarized, then overnighted, the document to the Secretary of State for authentication. It is still not back to us yet, but we hope to have it in a day or so. It will then head to the Chinese Consulate for final approval.

After we have the Chinese Consulate stamp of approval on the USCIS form, we will overnight all our dossier documents to our adoption agency where they will be compiled for express mailing to China! This can take about 2 weeks, but, again, we are hoping for an expedite. Upon arrival and submission of the documents in China, we will be given a log-in date (LID) where we wait for a Letter of Approval (LOA) for both adoptions. After that, the National Visa Center (NVC) sends a letter to the US Embassy in China. Then we get the Article 5, where the US Consulate reviews Payton and Yana's travel visas and gives Travel Approval (TA) to buy tickets to China! Yippee!!!

With all these steps, we are shooting for about June 1st for travel. That leaves less than 60 days to raise the remaining funds (~$28K) for the adoption! It is a hectic time with lots of paperwork to look after, as well as final plans and preparations to make, but we are feeling at peace with everything. (I have been overwhelmed by the support in the adoption community, as well as our wonderful friends!)

(Here is a fun photo from our trip to the zoo today with the in-laws!)