Adopting Grace

The journey to bring our little girl home

Browsing Posts tagged auction

Blessed Again


The dinner and auction are over and were a huge success! After weeks of not enough sleep we went into it just praying God would make it what He wanted it to be…to bring the people, weather and atmosphere He wanted. And it was beautiful. It rained all morning and part of the afternoon, which concerned us a bit, but God provided a 40 foot donated tent to completely cover all the auction items and a completely covered (gorgeous!) lodge for the dinner. We assumed we’d just have to find the silver lining in a rainy event, but at 5pm as the band began to play we watched the clouds part and wonderful sunshine come through and enjoyed dry weather for the rest of the evening! We had a great turnout, an amazing band, delicious food, totally awesome friends and family to work with and the auction worked! We had tried so hard to be organized so the check out at the end of the auction would go smoothly and quickly and, even with a few hiccups, we got all the prep work done in the scheduled 30 minutes and had everyone checked out in another 30. It was truly amazing!

The support we received from our friends and family was so encouraging and, through them, God provided another HUGE chunk of the resources we’ll need to bring Grace home. Between the proceeds from tonight, the matching grant and donations that have been sent in from around the country we are now at about $18,000! We were told to expect a cost of between $20-24,000 which 4 months ago sounded like an impossible bill, but today is so close to being met. And while we praise God for continuing to provide for us financially, I’m more in awe of how He’s taking care of us on a day-to-day basis through this. It’s been a very stressful time, but just when we think it’s getting to be too much we’ll have a friend call and offer to watch the kids while we do some task or someone else will call just to say they are praying and ask how we’re doing. Others have offered pretty much every resource you can imagine, just when we needed it to take the next step in this process…and all of this is done for a little girl they’ve never met but are praying fervently for. It’s humbling to be in the middle of this whole thing and truly amazing to see how God is working around us and growing our faith. And we continue to pray that He is letting Grace feel his presence as strongly as we can.

By coincidence it was also my birthday. This is by far the biggest party I’ve ever had and one of the best birthdays I can remember. Philip and the kids surprised me on Saturday with an ice cream cake (I’ve always wanted one of those…yum!) and singing and I kept catching myself trying to imagine what it will be like to celebrate next year with Grace here too. I’m really looking forward to it.

P.S. We just got confirmation from FedEx that our dossier was received in Ukraine!

All Falling Together

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The dossier is on its’ way and should be in our facilitator’s hands by next Tuesday!!! It was exciting and scary to put that in the mail. We’ve worked so hard to get all those papers together that I didn’t want to trust some random employee to take good care of it, but I knew I had to. So now we’re watching the FedEx site each morning to see where it is in its journey. So far it’s still just ‘in transit’ but I’m hoping as it continues we can watch it move across the world.

The dinner and auction are coming together well. We have over 50 items for the auction and I want at least half of them. Some of our friends are especially artistically talented and I’m loving the things they’ve made for us. It’s been a ton of work and pretty stressful at times, but then I’ll get a few phone calls or emails and I can see again how God is putting it all together. As I took a few minutes to just sit down while the kids are napping I was wondering why I hadn’t heard back from the Parks and Rec director about a question I had for our reservation and how I was going to manage to do all the work on the day of the auction…and then the phone rings and it’s the director with all my answers. A few minutes later I get another call from a friend who wanted to help with anything we needed that day. I know God is in control and I know he’s going to do whatever he wants with this event, but when we get those little glimpses into how he’s working it’s so encouraging!

Please keep praying for God’s timing in this whole process, for protection for our paperwork as it travels, for good weather for the dinner/auction on Sunday and for Grace’s health and protection while she’s waiting for us. Thank you!

Medical Counseling


We had an appointment with a spina bifida specialist in Iowa City this morning to talk about what we can expect to face with Grace’s care and what we should tackle first. She was wonderful to talk us through the condition in a more technical way than is easy to find online and to give us ideas of how to start care for Grace when she comes home. Since we could only show her a picture and give her the limited info we have, we obviously didn’t get specifics, but she could tell us that because of her head shape and age that Grace probably has hydrocephaly and a shunt. Basically this means that her spinal fluid is not able to regulate itself like it does in the rest of us and this can cause problems by putting pressure on parts of the brain. One very common outcome of this is that SB kids typically have some form of learning problem, frequently in processing details and working with abstract ideas. However, in her experience they are typically very smart kids who do really well in reading and memory work. She also mentioned that one of the first things we should do when Grace comes home is to get her kidneys checked out because SB sometimes results in urine being pushed back up into the kidneys and this can cause damage. She went over quite a few conditions that could be present because Grace probably hasn’t received treatment for different aspects of the disability…it’s good to know they are a possibility and yet it’s scary to hear all the ‘maybes.’ I found myself several times during the appointment just trying to remember to breath and trust that God will get us through whatever we’re facing.

Although she is a medical doctor, she also has experience with adoption as well and talked us through a few issues we need to keep researching. Like we’ve heard from so many, she told us the relational issues are likely to be harder to face than the medical ones. I had it in my head that I should probably be expecting ‘Big Grace’ to be emotionally/developmentally more on scale with ‘little Grace’ than Josiah, even though she’ll be closer to his age. Dr. McBrien said we should probably lower that expectation to more like 12/18 months old because of how long she’s been in an institution. She also encouraged us to continue looking for pre-adoption counseling so we could be more prepared for the ‘artificial twinning’ of Josiah and Big Grace. They will be very close in age, but will be drastically different in a lot of ways which could cause stress. While all of this was a bit overwhelming to have to absorb so quickly, it is incredibly helpful to be able to think through it now and adjust our expectations and find the resources we know we’ll need soon. Thankfully, we are in an area that offers a lot of excellent medical and educational resources and the social worker that met with us today informed us of some financial help that will offset some of the treatments/home modifications/health costs that we are facing.

On another note, our newspaper interview ran this week and it was wonderfully written. They also did a great job of helping us publicize the dinner/auction. Just a reminder to all you locals that if you’re planning to come we’re requesting an RSVP by July 1st so we can plan accordingly for food. You can email me at or call at 319-447-7938. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and we have some wonderful items that have been donated to the auction. It makes me want to bid on some, but that might be a little counter productive! :)