The Heacock Flock

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Travel Approval and Prayer Requests

I have read on many blogs that people call adoption "paper pregnant."  Well, just like being pregnant seems to take a long time and then at the end things quickly progress, thats exactly how this adoption process has been.  Although we really haven't waited that long.  I know some couples who wait years and years to adopt.  We fortunately have waited 13 months.  On June 28th, I received an email from our agency that our TA (Travel Approval) was issued in the CCCWA system.  However, we were advised that our actual TA would not come for maybe a week.  On Monday, June 30th we received the phone call!  The "it's go time" phone call in pregnancy, the "you have travel approval" is the equivalent in adoption.  After receiving TA we had to submit 5 potential dates to the consulate for our appointment, there's no guarantee any of those dates.  They review the dates with their schedule and then they respond.  We were hoping we would hear on Tuesday.  We didn't.  We heard on Wednesday, which was still very exciting!  Our CA (Consulate Appointment) is scheduled for July 23, which means we will pick up his visa on the 24, and fly home and be home on the 25th!  Once we had those dates in tact we started looking at airlines and making an itinerary.  In the end, we fly on July 11 and we will be home the 25th!  We will meet Jaren on Monday the 14th.  My goal is to blog in the evening and try to keep people updated.  We have a long list of prayer requests, so I'm going to bullet them.  We are so thankful for all of the prayers.

  • For our kids at home:  Jason, Josie, and Jolie. I have never been away from them for more than a sleepover.  Pray for their hearts to have peace and for them to enjoy all the fun we have planned for them while we're away.  
  • Protection:  Please pray for a hedge of protection around our kids, our home, our family.  Pray for safety on our long flight and all the traveling while in China. 
  • Process:  Pray that each step of the adoption finalization would go smoothly, the medical exam, the visa pick up, the consulate interview etc.  
  • Jaren:  Pray for his heart to be ready to be loved and to be a part of a family.  Pray for that LONG flight home, changing planes, his ears on the flight, our communication and bonding with him!
  • Health:  Keep our children and us from illnesses!  Give us the strength we need.  
  • Patience:  Traveling is exhausting and being in a foreign country adds a new level of anxiety and stress.  I hope we look back on the time with fond memories and that our kids would have extra patience with all the changes in their schedule.
  • Family & friends:  THANK YOU to our families and friends for stepping up in a big way and filling in when we cannot be with our kids.  We are so blessed to have such a support system.  I pray for extra energy, strength, and grace for each of you who are helping with our kids.  
Important Dates:
  • July 11-Fly out of Eugene
  • July 14-Meet Jaren!!!!
  • July 18-Fly to Guangzhou
  • July 23-Consulate Appt.
  • July 24-Pick up Jaren's Visa
  • July 25-Van to Hong Kong and then fly to San Fran and then to Eugene!!!  HOME!!!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adoption Cost Breakdown

Adoption is hard.  In every way it's hard.  Today, I'm talking about why adoption is financially hard.  A lot of people hear that adoption, especially international, is expensive.  However, most people don't know what goes into the adoption process that has made it a lucrative expense and has discouraged many from adopting.  Here is a rough, unprofessional, first time adopting , here's what I've learned break down of international adoption, specifically from China.  I can tell you that a lot of the cost depends on the country from which you adopt.

Agency Application Fee $300

Program/Agency Fees $8,500-$9,000

Homestudy Fee $1,800

I800 fees $800

Vital Records necessary for homestudy/dossier $200

Airfare/In Country travel expenses $8,500-$9,500 for 2 people 

Orphanage Donation $5,600

Truly, these are just the big picture items. This list is not an exhaustive or complete list.  I'm forgetting the passport fees, gifts to take to the orphanage, the shipping fees for all the documents, medical exams, all the documents being notarized & overnighted, and a list of things I haven't even experienced for in country expenses! I have never met a family who has said "we have plenty of money so we are going to adopt."  Almost every single story is a story of a family who is stepping out in faith and responding to a call put on their hearts.  Every family is relying on God to work through His people to be part of His plan.  And I have learned that when I am proud and think I can do everything on my own, I'm stealing God's glory and what He's doing at work in His people.  I read a Corrie Ten Boom quote, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."  God is faithful.  God is good.  My God reigns.  

Monday, June 16, 2014


Why am I ever amazed at what God does? Last Thursday, my friend Britny texted me and said I want to do something for your adoption.  Can I bake a cake and auction it?  Let me give full disclosure, Britny is a gifted baker.  I of course told her yes!  One of the hardest parts of adoption is the financial burden.  I loathe fundraising.  I feel terrible asking people for things.  However, if I can make something, sew something, sell something that you want and/or need then that's a different story.  Britny graciously made a decadent dark chocolate salted caramel cake. It goes to auction on FB. Then,  she tells me theres an anonymous donor who just bid $300!  I have never met this person.  They live over two hours away.  When I messaged this lady she tells she felt like the Lord was leading and prompting her to do something that day and what a blessing it was for her to give!  Unbelievable.  Honestly.

Fast forward a week...I get another text from my friend Rachel.  She tells me, "I would love to do something to help fundraise for your adoption."  I humbly replied thank you. Then, not only would she like to do something but she has already thought of the thing.  Rachel decided to launch a t-shirt campaign to support of our adoption.  She asked me for a word, theme, or verse for our adoption.  I told her I liked maps/world maps etc and that I would want it to focus on all adoptions, not exclusive to China adoptions, international, but also domestic, local, stateside etc.  Rachel threw out the word "chosen" and I loved it.  We talked about a variety of verses that would encapsulate our heart for adoption.  Then, on Saturday night I told her I wanted to change our verse.  I said I was gravitating toward Ephesians 1:4-5.  She suggested we sleep on it, pray about it, and wait to see what the teaching is at church the next day.

Sunday, June 15th was Father's Day!  We went to Ekklesia, our church, and Phil Comer was teaching. He said he titled this message "Father like the Father."  One of the first points to come out of his mouth was that we need to welcome our children, just like the Father chose us and adopted us into His family. I couldn't believe it.  Phil repeated the theme that we are all CHOSEN by God. That in love He chose us. He adopted us into His family.  I knew that would not only be our t shirt fundraiser design but really a reminder for us in this adoption process.

We are chosen.  We have set a lofty goal of 75 shirts in 10 days! Will you pray about supporting us through a tank/tee purchase?  Will you pray for us as we are in the final stretch of our journey? 

10 days to sell 75 tees/tanks!  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Journey to Jaren

For years I have made a resolution to document my family through this blog.  It's been 2 years since my last blog post and when you wait 2 years to post something it better be big news!  Not that it's any surprise to most, Jeremiah and I are on a journey.  We are in the final stages of our international adoption process!  I hope to write out our story in detail....but for those of you who are reading this as a sneak peak to meet our littlest one, I can tell you this update.  We hope to have article 5 pick up this Thursday, June 19th.  From here we wait for TA (Travel Approval).  We have been told this can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.  We are praying for 1-2 weeks!  Would you join us in praying for God's perfect timing? Until we have more travel information, here is Jaren.  He just turned 2 on June 2.  He's precious. We love him.  We have loved him since there was just a hope of him.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Start of a Long Journey

Every year I choose a word of the year.  A word I want to focus on.  A word I want to grow in.  In 2013 I chose the word joy.  I wanted to know, really know, true joy.  I know that happiness is based on circumstances, things that can come and go, change with any given moment.  But joy is something people have. Something people are.  I wanted joy  The first thing I learned in 2013 about joy is that joy often comes with deep sorrow.  In February 2013, we tragically lost Grandpa Jack to a sudden, fatal heart attack. That was deep sorrow.  Grieving.  Sadness. Heart ache.

Let me back up a little bit.  When Jeremiah and I first started talking about starting a family we knew we wanted three kids.  Until one day I asked what he thought about four.  He replied "I kinda figured we would have four."  We never felt settled about having another baby and time went on.  Jolie turned three and we found ourselves still talking and debating about that fourth child.  And looking back, I see God's timing in it all! In the Spring of 2013 I just happened to read Kisses from Katie.  Then, a dear friend of mine recommended this documentary on Netflix about international adoption.  I'm addicted to documentaries so I watched it that night.  Then, I was driving to Grandma Jo's one night and I heard a pastor on the radio say this one line "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."  I knew that it was for us.  I knew deep in my heart we were supposed to adopt.

That's where our journey started.  We officially sent in our application to Agape Adoptions in June 2013.  And on December 19th we "met" Jaren.  The beautiful part of all of this is his given name at the orphanage is Jack.  When we read his file and saw Jack written on the top we knew he was meant for our family.  It took us until June 2014 to rename him.  And keeping in step with our other three children, Jeremiah picked out his name.  And I love it too.  Jaren means "to cry out to the Lord, to sing out of rejoicing." That is something only The Lord can orchestrate.

As we hope to be in Kunming, China in less than 6 weeks, I will be updating the blog with pictures, details, prayer requests, and of course our trip in China! Thanks for being part of our journey.
Jaren at 2 years old.  We cant wait to see him smile.  

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I blinked and now I have a 6 year old

It is so cliche to say that time goes by so fast.  I remember other moms telling me they had a six year old and I thought those kids are so old.  I remember watching Jamon "play" on the floor with some baby toys and longing for the days when he would play with friends, ride his bike, play catch etc.  Well, I blinked my eyes and now I have a six year old.  I look at Jamon and often forget that he is only six years old.  He is so responsible, kind-hearted and intelligent.  What a blessing.  When I was pregnant with him I vividly recall praying and pleading with Lord to give my son a tender spirit before the Lord.  Jamon is an answer to my prayers. 

For his birthday he wanted a fishing party so his other friends could learn how to cast.  This past Spring and early Summer Jamon has been able to go on quite a few fishing trips.  He's gone to Lava Lake, Diamond Lake and up the McKenzie River.  It's funny how in the years past I always spent so much time and energy planning birthday parties, themes, games and favors etc.  This year I literally did a simple invitation and food.  And the kids played.  It was the easiest and most fun birthday party.  Who knew a mean game of Sharks & Minnows would be the highlight of a party. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tea time!

We have a Hello Kitty book where Hello Kitty and her Grandma have a tea party.  Josie and Jolie love it.  Because of Josie's love for this book and all things fancy, for her 4th birthday she wanted a tea party.  I loved it.  It was the kind of thing I daydreamed about when I first learned I was having  a little girl!  I loved that Josie was so excited about the tea party.  But, who am I kidding.  That girl is excited about everything! 

I scoured Goodwill, St. Vinnie's, and Value Village for mix-matched tea cups and saucers.  I borrowed Angie's nice tea server set and my mom's fine china for the mom's to use.  All the little girls were asked to bring a special friend with them to the tea party.  There were a number of special dolls and teddy bears who joined us for tea.  Each girl had her own place setting and I made pink cloth napkins from some free fabric I was given years ago.  I should add that Josie insisted on a pink and blue tea party.  She has loved pink and blue since she was two years old!  It's funny how some things stick with them. 

I think I had just as much fun planning and hosting the tea party as Josie.  When the girls first arrived with their moms we had each one decorate a hat with some fake flowers.  That was a huge hit!  The girls loved it.  We then moved into the dining room for our tea. We tried to do the savory and then the sweet.  My sister-in-law Anna helped me prep the food, which was delicious!  I'll do another post on Josie being four years old, but today I just wanted to record what we did for her big day.