How God is providing for Tommy

September 4th, 2012

 

Hurray, hurray!  We get to tell you how God is providing for us to bring Tommy home!  We just love it when God shows what He can do!  He is so faithful to His children!

Adoption funding is a tough one for most adoptive families, and we’re no exception.  It’s just plain not a comfortable topic of conversation!

We do want you to know that we refuse to worry about the finances.  Our eyes are fixed expectantly on God for when and how the needed funds come in.  He’s our Father, He knows what we need, and He has always been faithful to provide exactly what we need.

Because international special needs adoption involves far more cost than just finances, this will be a record of more than just financial need and financial provision.  We plan to keep a running list of the expenses at the end of this post as we pay them.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

~One of the first provisions God made for Tommy came to us two weeks before we learned that we qualified to adopt him.   I did not hesitate when Joe asked whether we were ready for another adoption.  Now that Joseph, our oldest son, is working full time, and the rest of us are in the swing of the new school year…

 

…it has made such a difference to have a helper here to do extra tasks.  I prayed that God would send someone who likes to work as much as I do.  He sent four quiet, pleasant, thorough, efficient, diligent young women to call on, and between the four of them, they’re accomplishing a total of 8 to 10 hours of extra housework each week.  We are able to fully focus on the many hours of homeschooling and other projects and still have a thoroughly sparkling clean house!  They are charging little to nothing for doing this work, they provide their own transportation, and Joseph, our oldest son, is paying for them as part of his contribution to the household.  This has been such a blessing to our family!  It doesn’t make life cushy, but it does make it work!

 

~It struck me recently that not too many years ago, I would have said that since I have a weak back, and am not very athletic or muscular, that I doubted whether I could handle the demands of caring for an increasingly weighty non-ambulatory child.

[Interestingly, I also would have said that I’m not the type to be comfortable with therapists making regular visits to our home, let alone mother’s helpers finding all the dirtiest spots in our living space, and that I need at least eight hours of sleep at night in order to function!  Haha!]

Do you know that I don’t have any sign of back weakness or pain?  My back and arm muscles have grown noticeably stronger over the past six months.  There is no doubt in my mind–no doubt!–that God will continue to strengthen me as I care for Tommy as he grows heavier but will most likely need lifelong assistance with his mobility.

“He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

It’s true.  We are living it out everyday!  He fills in the gaps for us one way or another.  Praise Him!

 

~Never could we have guessed back in the spring that our planned week in the mountain cabin would become part of the story of our next adoption.  God knew all along that we would need that week at that precise time in Tommy’s story, with the opportunity to take a break from our cell phones, computer work and to-do lists, catch up on sleep, move at a very relaxed pace, talk, read, stay up late and watch this year’s meteor showers, hike and explore, and drink the whole box of tea that the owner gave me, with a cute new mug and the injunction to rest.

Mom?  What’s with the new place?  I’m not too sure about this…

 

A new favorite game.

Here a Set,

 

There a “Set,”

 

Everywhere a “Set,”

 

“Set!”

 

If you’re going to get sick anyway, a cabin in the mountains is the very best place to be.  Lots of comfy places to fall asleep.  No public.  No work to do worth mentioning.

Most of us found this out by personal experience the week we were away.  *blech*

 

There’s also no better spot for watching the rain fall.

 

Vacation for us means time to sit and watch the rain fall if we want to.

 

 On the next to last afternoon of our stay, Joe took all the children…

 

…to a wildlife park and petting zoo…

 

…so the mama could clean that cabin in solitary silence within an inch of its life, from top to bottom, before we went back home.  

 

Aaaaah.  It’s been years since I’ve had that pleasure.  

 

The day was a win-win idea.

 

It didn’t take long for our littlest munchables…

 

…to feel relaxed and comfortable in the cabin.  And that’s good, because its owners have invited us back again!  Yippeeeeee!  Thank You, God, for this wonderful provision for our family! 

 

 

~We’re using a different US placing agency and a different Eastern European agency than we used for Katie’s adoption, because of who had requested Tommy’s file.  This means we are not working with the beloved sister in Christ who was our attorney for Katie’s adoption.  God allayed our apprehensions about the new EE agency by providing two informative adoptive moms who had experience with this particular agency.  The best part is that I was already friends with these two moms!  One of them had just gotten home from EE two days before, and readily made time for the questions we had before we made our final decision regarding our EE agency.

 

~Our new US placing agency, About A Child, offers a discount for special needs adoption.  Because of this and a few other factors, this adoption should cost several thousand dollars less than Katie’s.

 

~We’re so grateful for both social workers who are helping us through this process, both from our placing agency and from our home study agency!  Both of them are warm and supportive and completely “get” why we’re passionate about this kind of adoption.

 

~Another adoptive mom sent us a video of Tommy that was taken very recently.  What a precious gift!

 

~The owner of the above-mentioned cabin wrote, “I was serious about the apostille offer. I know how hectic it can be when you are homeschooling and doing paperwork for an adoption.  If it suits I would be happy to run to Harrisburg for you.”  Wow!

 

~Joe’s brother put his accounting firm’s notary at our service when we adopted Katie, and is doing so again for Tommy.  Since his business is located only ten minutes from our home, this is also a time-saver!

 

~Friends, so many of you were willing to give right away at the beginning, before your donations could be tax-deductible.  We are so awed at your generosity!  [We’re also amazed because we thought we’d probably killed off the last three blog readers with this post, heh heh!] This is a timely provision, as those funds are needed right away at the beginning. Your gifts this first week will cover nearly all the cost of the initial agency fee!  Wow!!!

Thank you for allowing God to use you to propel Tommy’s adoption forward without delay!!

Listing these initial gifts in order…

$100 from a blog reader
$454 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$70 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$500 from a family in the process of adoption (We are so touched when we see adopting families give to others’ adoptions!)
$25 from a family in the process of adoption
$10 from a blog reader
$150 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$40 from a blog reader
$50 from an adoptive family
$20 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$151 from another adoptive family
$12 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$5 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$120 from a blog reader
$100 from an old friend
$75 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader who has been faithfully giving to Katie’s care fund for months
$250 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$40 from a blog reader
$1000 from a blog reader
$15 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$30 from a blog reader
$5 from a blog reader
$50 from an online friend
$100 from a blog reader
$100 from an online friend
$100 from an online friend
$25 from a blog reader
$500 from an online friend
$100 from a blog reader
$163 from an online friend
$100 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$20 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$150 from a local friend
$800 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$20 from a blog reader
$700 from an online friend
$75 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$1000 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$163 from an online friend
$100 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$163 from an online friend
$500 from an online friend
$50 from a blog reader
$20 from a blog reader
$70 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$100 from an old friend’s yard sale
$100 from an online friend
$30 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$30 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$5 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$200 from extended family members
$500 from a blog reader
$4 from a blog reader
$10 from an online friend
$100 from an online friend
$100 from an online friend
$100 from old friends
$100 from an online friend
$20 from a blog reader
$200 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$250 from another adopting family
$10 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$15 from a blog reader
$100 from a friend who keeps giving over and over again
$100 from old friends
$300 from old friends
$10 from a sweet eight year old boy
$30 from a blog reader
$150 from an online friend
$10 from Sweet Sisters’ Soap sale
$50 from a friend
$125 from extended family members and their church
$500 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$50 from an online friend
$150 from a blog reader

 

~We didn’t have the tax deductible donation option set up with Lifesong for Orphans until pretty late in the fundraising process, but we were so grateful to be able to offer it before the end of 2012!

A few generous friends have given this way…

$1000 from extended family members
$1400 from an online friend
$250 from old friends
$100 from blog readers
$80 from nearby friends
$300 from friends in the process of adoption
$500 from blog readers
$516 from blog readers
$25 from a long-ago friend

 

~Several people have come forward with creative fundraising ideas and offers to help them come to pass.  If there were prizes for lame fundraising, we would surely get the blue ribbon!  So we are grateful for every single person who is offering help and counsel, as well as those who are donating items and setting up fundraisers!  We are so humbled to see your kind hearts extended toward Tommy!

 

~Four blog readers pooled their funds to offer a $1000 matching gift challenge.  This challenge is running from Sunday, September 16th to Sunday, September 30th, or until the goal has been reached!

 

~Those who issued the matching gift challenge:

$500 from an online friend
$100 from a family member
$100 from a family member
$300 from another adoptive family

 

~Those who responded to the matching gift challenge:

$25 from a local friend
$30 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$50 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$50 from an online friend
$28 from another adopting family
$50 from a blog reader
$10 from a blog reader
$5 from a blog reader
$15 from a blog reader
$85 from a blog reader
$20 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$100 from a blog reader
$30 from a blog reader
$150 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader
$25 from a blog reader

 

~A blog reader from Europe wrote with an astounding offer,

“I wanted to offer you 4 round trip tickets to [Eastern Europe] when the time comes for you to travel.”

What a wonderful provision!!!

 

~Our home study social worker is only charging us for a home study update rather than for the full home study that we’re getting.  She also offered to expedite it at no extra charge.  This was a direct answer to  a very specific prayer, and it will save over a thousand dollars!

If there is an extra fee for expediting anything else during the adoption process, we will pay the extra to expedite as long as we have the money in hand to do so. 

 

~Some of you have offered items for our auction fundraiser!  Not only that, but one friend offered to set up a simple temporary website for the “It’s Tommy’s Time” auction, and another friend will gladly administrate the auction for us.  This is an unbelievable answer to prayer, as I was beginning to question the wisdom of attempting such a project during our school year!  I am praising God for you!

UPDATE:  The It’s Tommy’s Time auction added $2002.50 to Tommy’s adoption fund!  We are praising God and so thankful for each of you who participated!

 

~A blog reader has set up a Barefoot Books fundraiser, donating all her proceeds to Tommy’s adoption for one month!

 

~Another adopting mom set up an Avon fundraiser, donating all her proceeds to Tommy’s adoption for two months!

UPDATE: The total proceeds to Tommy’s fund from this Avon fundraiser was $360.40!  THANK YOU to everyone who ordered products through this fundraiser event!

The Menges family received an unexpected gift for their own adoption expenses and felt led to round up the Avon proceeds to a total of $500!

THANK YOU, Jon and Jennifer!!

You all have blessed us so much by what you have done!!

 

~A friend from our church fellowship has set up The Tommy Candle fundraiser on her etsy store!  God has blessed her generosity and hard work far above what any of us had imagined!  As of 1/25/13, the total amount she has deposited into Tommy’s fund is $1553!  She decided that the funds that came in after Tommy’s adoption would go to Tommy and Katie’s care fund.  THANK YOU, Becky!!  God has used your offered gift far beyond the financial help to bring Tommy home.

 

~Another family from our church fellowship has pledged ongoing support from their family business to help Tommy come home, and not to stop there, but to continue to help other children still in his orphanage and elsewhere.

 

~Our two older girls are excited to be making some small batches of glycerin soap to help bring Tommy home.

 

~An online friend who lives a state away from us blessed us with some home-cooked meals for the freezer, to free up a little more time.

 

~A blog reader from Australia kindly made the Bring Tommy Home button that now sits on our sidebar!  It just links people to our blog; it is not linked to the Chip-In.

She also made the Tommy Candle button for us!  My non-techie self appreciates this more than I can say!!

 

~A friend I first met almost twenty-five years ago surprised us by putting together a date night gift bag for Joe and me, with a candle, mugs, napkins, and various tempting dainties.  She enclosed a note explaining that she remembered us mentioning how the enemy used the stress of the adoption to attempt to drive a wedge between us.  She wanted to minister to us, and she did.  Thank you, M!

 

~A friend we’ve known for almost twenty years held a small yard sale and donated half of the proceeds to Tommy’s fund.  Three boxes of leftover clothing from her sale will go with us to Tommy’s orphanage!  Thank you, J!  

 

~We have received some wonderfully informative advice and even offers of adaptive equipment for Tommy, including two adaptive strollers!  This special needs community is THE BEST!  Thank you to everyone who has been reaching out to us with your help!!

 

~We got Tommy’s first gift in the mail from some very dear friends who are also special needs adoptive parents!  Aren’t they adorable?

 

~Two different people brought bags and boxes of clothing for us, until there was a small mountain in our living room! I was joking that since it’s difficult for me to get out and shop, God sent the store to me!  We paid nothing but several hours’ of sorting time for about four large bins’ worth of very nice quality clothing, much of it for Tommy.  Thank You, God, and thank you, friends!

 

~As we begin walking the road toward Tommy, it’s a tremendous blessing to hear that so many of you are praying.  Since we’re prepared for the enemy to make some fuss about Tommy coming into our family, we are so grateful that we’re not being sent on this mission alone!  Bless you for every word of support you have spoken to us, and for every prayer you pray to the Father for us!  We thank God for you, with joy!

 

~Any funds that are comng in after Tommy’s adoption is fully funded are going toward orphanage donations and Katie and Tommy’s care fund, which helps with extra expenses like adaptive equipment and orthotics.

 

 

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

 

Two lilies of the field, wearing dresses given by one friend and hair bows given by another~

 

 

Expenses

$184.52  Clearances for home study

$141  Physicals for Joe, Susanna, and Joseph

$3500  Agency fee plus Hague review fee

$36  FBI clearances for the dossier

$1750  Home study and post-placement reports

$975  Fee to Homeland Security with our I-800A

$31.25 Fee to send the I-800A by express mail

$184  Fee for courier service to have FBI clearances apostilled in DC

$195  Apostille fee for dossier documents

$84.85  Cost to ship dossier to Eastern Europe in two days

$6000 Dossier agency fee

$1523.56  Round trip airfare for Susanna

 

 

 

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28 Responses to “How God is providing for Tommy”

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you, friend, for your encouraging post! I can’t express how it spoke to my heart this morning. I love hearing how God is moving mountains to bring Tommy home. Thank you for the reminders of His faithfulness!
    Much love to your beautiful family, Amy

  2. Deanna says:

    Susanna,

    Joy!  That’s what this post did for my heart today.

    I have a proposal for you for a potentially big fundraising opportunity.  I hope to talk to you about it soon!

     

  3. Terri White says:

    How absolutely wonderful to hear!!!  We are praying for you and for Tommy!!

    Thank you, too, for always pointing out our Father’s bountiful faithfulness and care!  We are in the midst of a project that He has led us to and 5 minutes before I saw your post, we hit a major obstacle that must be dealt with immediately.  My dh went to make some phone calls and your post so encouraged me, I can not thank you enough!!

  4. Dear Susanna, Congratulations to you and your family.  God continues to bless you.  I can see how Tommy is going to fit so snugly into your family.  I have followed your journey for less than a year, but I have read your blog from beginning to end.   It is very striking for me to watch your spiritual journey as well as you physical journey during Verity’s birth and Katie’s adoption.   I know that you and your family have the admiration of so many for what you have done for Katie and the other orphans at Pleven.  May I say, however that I think the hero of the story is Katie herself.  Only God can know the depths of her suffering and the will of her soul to live so she can be a conduit of grace!  I am not a young mother anymore and I enjoy your family’s story about large families, homeschooling, a more simple life and resting in God’s love.  I am the mother of a daughter who was born with a congenital disability.  I identify with your struggles with Verity’s diagnosis and how you were challenged in many areas.   I also had to go through those struggles.  I learned more about life from my experiences with disabilitiy than any other life experience.   Thank you for continuing to share your family’s life and warming up this mom’s heart.  Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. Cheryl

  5. Aaaaw! O.K. I’ll try to be patient! ;o) LOL! (((HUGS)))

  6. Leah says:

    where are people donating to? do you have a chipin?

  7. Cheryl says:

    I admire your son, Joseph so much for helping out the way he does. My 19 year old son put off college for a bit so he could help care for me as I went through cancer treatments.  Even though it was hard for me to ask for help, I felt very blessed that he did not even think twice about staying home and helping.  He has since started back and is doing very well! :) Does Joseph plan to go to college in the future?  I will keep your family in my prayers and I look forward to the day that Tommy is home with you all!

  8. Gaye says:

    How I love watching God moving within your life.  When efforts begin for a “givewaway”, raising funds to help Tommy join your family, I have a crocheted baby afghan I’d like to donate.

  9. Susanna says:

    Cheryl, both Joseph and we agree that it’s right for a wage-earning young man to feel a sense of responsibility to help the household that’s supporting him. So even if we only had three children, we’d have the same arrangement, similar to the one Joe had with his parents when he was a wage-earning young man, one of three children in his family. Does this make sense?

    Joseph is saving money to go to a two-year computer programming school, since that is one major area of giftedness for him and he is extremely advanced already. I hope he doesn’t read this comment because it will embarrass him. His plan is to go to school next year, but in any case, he doesn’t believe it would be right to go into debt for it, so he’ll work until he has the money up front. They put a lot of pressure on him to start this year, but he was adamant. We’re proud of him. :)
    Thank you SO much for praying for us and for Tommy!

  10. Susanna says:

    Thank you so much, Gaye!!

  11. Susanna says:

    Leah, thank you for asking! Yes, we have a Chip-In on the front page of the blog. Could it be a web browser problem? We can see it in Google Chrome. Joe also says that if you want to donate and cannot find the Chip-in, if you would go to the Paypal site and donate to the susanna@theblessingofverity.com email address, it would go to the same place, but just not show up on the Chip-in. (Good thing he’s here before I try to answer this question! :) )

  12. Susanna says:

    Cheryl Schalk, thank you for not admiring us! One of the hardest parts of this journey is having people praise us for what *GOD* has done for Katie and for the rest of the children. Thank you for taking time to write, and bless you!

  13. Susanna says:

    Deanna, if you have a big idea, I’m excited about it without hearing anything more! Thank you so much!

  14. Linda says:

    Susanna!  I’m so happy you’re going for Tommy!!!  Praise God he has a family!  Can’t wait to watch this journey unfold!

  15. Alexandra C says:

    This post brings so much joy to my heart!  It is amazing what God can do!!  Praying for your family and Tommy — there are already so many miracles in your story and I know God has many more to unfold over this adoption!!  PS The picture of Verity and Katie at the end of this post is absolutely precious!!  What beautiful sisters!

  16. Jamie Garcia says:

    You are adopting Tommy?! That is so super fantastic, Supra-natural-God-will-provide-tastic :)
    We will help and pray as much as possible! God bless!

  17. Emilie Roush says:

    Will you share what you have named Tommy?  Or do you have to wait?  Thanks!

  18. Kim says:

    Thanks so much for the update!  Rejoicing to see you’re up to 13%, and all the other provisions from our Father.  We are very  much “tuned in” to see how He unfolds it all!  Glory to His name!

  19. Kim says:

    Oops, correction~15% LOL!

  20. Rita from Spain says:

    Susanna, I am so excited for you and so excited for Tommy and just can not wait for him to get home where he belongs….
    The cabin looks AWESOME. And while I won´t admire you (I know you dislike that..lol) I DO have to say WHERE do you get the energy? Wait I know from where…..But still….. I AM glad you are getting help though….
    Ut oh..I think I just MAY be thinking you are pretty fantastic person a bit..sorry…: )
    Hugs!

  21. Susanna says:

    Emilie, we’re going to wait a bit longer, but thanks for asking!

  22. sabrina says:

    Thanks for sharing how God is providing for Tommy’s adoption! I love the picture of the girls. Katie looks like such a big girl!

  23. Jane says:

    Hi Susanna,

    I am a Barefoot Books ambassador, and I would love to host an online fundraising book sale for your adoption.  I have followed Katies adoption anD transformation from the beginning, and can’t wait to see what the love of afamily will do for Tommy.
    Do email me if you are interested, but either way you and Tommy will be in my prayers… Praying for a smooth adoption for you all! 

  24. linda says:

    It seems evident to me that the Lord has greatly blessed you for sharing your life with the children who need you to show a Christ-filled to them. I admire you and thank you.

  25. Susanna says:

    Jane, thank you so much for this very kind offer and for praying! Emailing you for more information…

  26. Kristi says:

    So, so happy for your family! I will keep you all in my prayers! My children will be excited to follow along, my daughter still asks about Katie :)

  27. Dawn Wright says:

    So I am gone for a couple weeks in the mountains ourselves…..and NOW I GET TO FIND OUT YOUR WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SOOOO EXCITED FOR YOU ALL!!!!!!!  Love how God is providing!!!!
    PRAYING for you all as you try to get all the paperwork done, and get to your new son!!!! 

  28. Anna T says:

    Dear Susanna and family,

    YEA!! You’re adopting Tommy and PTL for no more back pain — woo, hoo!!  I have been absent for a bit with getting back into our “school” routine and other unplanned things.  So very happy to read about Katie and see pictures of your vacation to the mountains.  Also LOVED the “house” that your children made and Verity’s smiling face (I can still hear her “hi”, so precious).  

    Love you and I’m praying for you as God brings you to mind : ) !!  

    Anna (and family)

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