Our daughter Everly is 9 years old. She has lived in an orphanage in China just as long. She is beautiful, has the most precious voice and she is missed here more than words can say.
There is not a moment that goes by that I don't think of her and wonder how she is doing. This is pretty normal for all of the adoptive mommas and dads that are living half way around the world from their kiddos. The empty seat at the kitchen table, the extra seat in the car, a room filled with one that should belong to two. Brothers missing their sister. A sister missing her other half. Momma and Daddy missing a piece of their heart.
Oh, my heart. It soars at the thought of her. Soars at the thought of holding her for the first time. Seeing her toothless grin as she is missing one of her permanent teeth. Memorizing the lines on her hands and every freckle she owns.
I am so thankful that I get to be her momma. So thankful that God chose this family to live out life with this beautiful girl. No matter the road. No matter the journey. I am thankful.
I think about her and smile. I think about her and cry. My heart skips a beat. It drops and twists and turns when I think of her. When I think of how well she is or isn't being loved. How much or how little she is eating. What she endures, what she has seen. Prayers are sent every day for her. Prayers from this mommas heart, silent prayers from a tenderhearted father, from protective brothers. And the prayers of a 7 year old sister that would just break you.
It is hard to be a momma of a daughter halfway around this world. For part of me will be there with her until we are united. Oh, what a glorious day that will be. Beautiful indeed.
As we embark on our dossier being thisclose to making its way to China, a typical time line from here is once we are logged in by China and the CCCWA we have about a 4-5 month wait before we can travel until we get our Everly.
This is where is gets tricky. We need about 16,000.00 for travel. We have decided that it would be in everyone's best interest (and safety) that Shannon travel too. To put it in to perspective... Wouldn't you expecting mommas want your husband in the delivery room? Well, this delivery room: International airfare, hotels, incountry travel, orphanage donation, medical exams, food, flights home.... yeah. All that adds up.
We have been given some pretty amazing opportunities to raise money for travel. God has been so good to us, our friends have been so good to us. There is not one day that we are not thankful. Not one. single. day.
So without further ado... Here are the fundraisers that we are doing currently and ones that are up and coming.
#1 We have a fundraiser going on RIGHT NOW for winning one of 3 iPad minis. These were so graciously donated to us and we are so thankful!!!
The link to your right will direct you to a page where you can buy chances to win. The more chances you buy, obviously the more opportunities to win one of these pretties. Once you select your entries and fill out your information it will direct you to a paypal account where you can submit your payment. Once that is complete you will be entered and given a number. We will use a random generator to select 3 winners and your ipad mini's will be mailed to you :)
#2 T-Shirts: Parker and Ashley Simpson so graciously donated their time and skills to create this one of a kind t-shirt for our family. **COMING SOON!!!***
*As most of you know the song by Hillsong called "Oceans (where feet may fail) is one of my favorite songs and also the song that is so close to my heart as we bring Everly home. It is a perfect reflection of waiting and yearning for our daughter to come home... Hence the anchor of HOPE...
#3 We will be hosting an online auction that is going to be AWESOME. Donations range from haircuts and color, prints, oils, jewelry, ahhhh and the list goes on and on. It is going to be awesome!!! More info on that the closer to time :)
#4 Another awesome friend has offered to host a "Back to School Cut-A-Thon" for your kiddos at a salon in North Charleston the second week of August (final date to be determined and confirmed). What a great way to send your kiddos back to school! A fresh cut and some love for our girl!
So I know it seems like a lot. I feel overwhelmed too. $16,000.00 is ALOT of money. But it is nothing in the eyes of God. And I have faith that we will meet this. And our girl will come home. I cannot wait for all of you to meet her. Heck, I cant wait to meet her!
This money isn't for us to go on a lavish vacation. Not for us to shop til we drop.
No, this is going to bring our daughter home where she belongs. Home. A word that precious child has yet to know. Home. Safe, warm, where everyone loves her and where there will always be someone that has her back.
Thank you for being the hands and feet. Thank you for keeping our family in your prayers. Thank you for the encouragement and the love. We feel them. Please continue to pray for Everly and the children that live with her.
Until they all come home...