That's us, obsessively checking our emails.
Over and over and over again. For pretty much the past month. Well, we did pause for a short period, because his country was closed for a government holiday, but man, we kicked it back into high gear immediately after they reopened.
No updates yet, except that we know they are processing our travel dates. Based on when we got our Article 5 (officially - there was a delay, thanks to a bug in the new computer system the consulate was using. All of us families were delayed a few weeks), we are about halfway into our travel date wait. It's looking like March traveling is more and more likely for our little guy's homecoming, although there is a slight chance we could still travel this month, as everyone claims that we are being "expedited" somehow, because of all of our delays. We are cautiously optimistic that by our birthdays this year (April 13th for me, Heidi, and April 25th for Mike), our little Theo will be home with his forever family.
As we get closer and closer to his homecoming, people have started asking how they can help, both our friends here locally and those across the world. To be honest, this is a difficult question! We truly appreciate everyone's support and willingness to help throughout this whole, long, difficult, emotional process. I honestly cannot put into words just how much your support has meant to us. We've become blubbering fools more times than I can count, just overwhelmed with the love, compassion, and generosity that has been shown to us.
We think we have some things pretty well prepared for our little guy. We have both a small bed and a crib, waiting for him (we'll wait to see what he's using in his country and do the same here). We have buckets of clothes stored away for him (one way the delays actually helped us - he should be wearing the same clothing size Rascal #3 was when we started this process, based on the latest weight/height measurements we were given, which means we have a TON of stuff saved for him). We have generous donations of toys and books waiting. We have an incredible team of medical professionals and therapists who are ready and waiting for his homecoming, so they can help us evaluate what he needs and get us started relatively quickly with helping him. We have child care providers waiting in the wings, ready to step in and help with Rascals 1, 2, and 3, so they can continue their daily routines and activities while we care for and bond with Theo.
So, when we're asked "How can we help?," I really have a hard time coming up with an answer. My hesitation is two-fold, honestly. We've been so touched by the help we've been shown so far that it is hard to ask for or accept more. Secondly, what would be most useful for us at this point in time is hard to ask for.
About a year ago, we announced that we were fully-funded. That was true at the time. But then we had to redo our homestudies. And our fingerprint clearances for the state and federal approvals. And update and renew our USCIS approvals. And get new doctor's clearances for the whole family, which also meant new things like x-rays and blood tests. Not because anything had changed.....but because they'd expired. All of that added up to quite a large amount of money.
To be completely honest, the way I would like to answer the "How can I help?" question is with....well.....money. We have our physical needs and local, physical support needs filled (as best we can predict, of course). The biggest unknown factor right now really is the money. Theo's country has a habit of giving very little turnaround time to adoptive families - often you are given a week's notice to book flights and hotels and make arrangements. We'd built a "buffer" (if you will) into our budget to accommodate that possibility, since last-minute travel can be so incredibly more expensive than planned travel. However, with all of those delays and renewals......that buffer is gone. We weren't planning on asking for financial help - we were just going to figure out a way to make it work, somehow - but if I'm going to be completely honest in response to the "How can I help?" question.....money would help. It would help us with our travel costs, and it would help us provide for more immediate care and help once we get home with our little guy.
This is NOT, in any way, a direct plea for financial assistance. This is, however, an honest answer to the question we keep being asked by our family, friends, and community. If you do want to help by donating, we would greatly appreciate it.
Any donations that come in above and beyond what we end up using for travel costs and our last round of agency fees, we will donate to the adoption costs of another family who is also adopting from Theo's country. That amount will just depend on how much notice we are given and what our travel costs end up being.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support, from the very bottom of our hearts.
There are two ways to donate:
- Reece's Rainbow (tax-deductible donation)
- Through our personal Paypal button, which is on the right hand side of our blog, just under Theo's picture.