Wednesday, August 17, 2011

God moves mountains!

We are so thankful that God has answered our prayers and Zoey will be joining our family! Every day I wake up I want to shout it from the mountains - truly "The king's heart (including Holt International's powers that be) is in God's hand"! It is truly evident that God's plan is for Brad and I to be Zoey's parents. We are so blessed…

I'm not going to lie, was a VERY long and trying 7 weeks of uncertainty but it was ALL worth it in the end. But we'd do it all again for Zoey! I know that there were many praying for us during this time and we are so thankful for those prayers. Even with all of the uncertainty and stress, I never had a sleepless night and that is truly a miracle. (honestly, I did loose some sleep at times but I never went totally without!) Our faith has definitely been increased.

You might be wondering how we came up with the name Zoey Bin. "Bin" is part of her given Korean name and it means "shine". We wanted to keep part of her Korean heritage and we also wanted a name that had meaning to it. While searching for first names, I discovered that Zoey means "life". What a perfect combination - we hope that Zoey's life will shine and that our story will inspire other families to adopt.

(by the way, we have decided to add a "y" to Zoey's name because the spelling had caused some confusion as to the correct pronunciation. Plus, we figured "Searls" is hard enough to live with.)

I love the updated photos we received of Zoey. She looks like such a happy baby! Since we can't have her with us now, I'm thankful we have the next 9+ months to continue our bonding and other adoption issue research and study. There are many complicated issues the older a child is when they are adopted especially from a foreign country…but that's a topic for another post. Until then, I'm content knowing she is taken care of and obviously happy in her current situation. We love you, Zoey!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

fans of Zoe - part 2

Tomorrow is the big day and we can't wait to hear that God has moved that mountain for us to adopt Zoe into our family!! In an effort to remember the conversation with our agency  last Thursday, we recorded the entire thing on Brad's laptop. These are screen shots before the phone call of our message to Zoe…when we were told we'd have to wait 4 more days for the verdict…and after the phone call. It pretty much sums up how we felt at the end…

I'm long overdue for posting photos and an update of the amazing fundraiser that my dear friend Julie organized and hosted for us last weekend. We have never felt so much love and support from our friends, community and church family as we did that day and the week leading up to it. It was great to meet new friends and be able to express our thanks for the support…although I feel like we can NEVER express our gratitude and thankfulness to everyone who was part of the fundraiser. To everyone who donated items for the garage sale…those who volunteered their time helping us organize and price the items (what a JOB)…everyone who was involved the day of the fundraiser…our vendors who donated and were a part of our big day…and especially my dear friend Julie and her husband who did so much to prepare for the fundraiser. It was truly a LABOR OF LOVE and totally overwhelming - in an AWESOME way - and I thank God for all of you! It was a day we will never forget.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

fans of Zoe - part 1

I wanted to post an update on the fund raising efforts that have been so incredibly encouraging to us while we have waited for the verdict on Zoe's adoption over the past 6 weeks…(which have really felt more like 6 months)

My incredibly talented and artistic sister came up with a great idea to raise support for our adoption…re-purposing furniture and creating must-have treasures from random items! Like the above antique plate/candle stick-turned cake stand and these bowling ball-turned-ladybug lawn ornaments! She presented us with a very generous adoption donation when she came to visit over July 4th.  

THANK YOU so much for your hard work, sis – Zoe and us feel the love and appreciate all that you do!

Stay tuned for a post about the amazing family adoption fundraiser that my amazing friend Julie hosted and organized for us!

Monday, August 08, 2011

a petition update…

Every day that passed and we didn't hear anything from our agency was excruciating. So, Brad called our agency on Friday to check on the status of our petition. Of course, he had to leave a message…

He heard back from the president's office later that day. The two contacts at Holt we sent our petitions to happened to be out traveling last week. Go figure. From the conversation, it sounded like she was aware of our situation and ended the conversation saying that the VP should be calling us "to talk" early next week. That could be today. I'm trying to distract myself with work and stay focused but THIS IS NUTS.

On a POSITIVE note - I'll be posting about our amazing fundraiser soon. We have been blessed with so many amazing friends and outpouring of support! (I'm really thankful we had that to work on last week as it was a BIG distraction for me.) Please keep praying!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Announcing the iPad Raffle winner…

A cheesy iPhone video documentary of the iPad Raffle drawing…totally legit. 
We were all excited (including PJ) to draw the winning ticket!

A BIG thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets. 
You helped us raise $1,575 for our adoption expenses!

Monday, August 01, 2011

out of our hands…

it's been an absurdly long month but I'm happy to say that our petition is finally on it's way to the powers that be. it's out of our hands and in God's. all that is left to do is pray and wait for our answer.

we were able to include a grand total of 63 support letters with our petition.
(our goal was to have 50)


we are so thankful for everyone who took the time to show us their support. we could not have done this without YOU and our petition would not have been nearly as effective without all of YOUR letters.

so, here's what the petitions ended up looking like…
1. a personal letter from Brad and I to our agency
2. a section of "what if" scenarios and our family plan for each possible scenario
3. our "support system contact list" - a chart listing our family/friend's names, what you have committed to do to make Zoe's adoption a success and your contact info
4. a HUGE section of the 63 letters of support we received

and of course, I applied my skills as a designer for added impact…I have to say, we are pretty happy with how everything turned out. 

what do we do now? WAIT some more…hopefully this week will fly by since I'll be helping Julie get everything finalized for the BIG ADOPTION FUNDRAISER she is hosting for us this Saturday. (we hope you all can come!) 

Please pray for the following:
1. that our petitions will arrive safely and make it into the hands of the correct contacts.
2. that our contacts will actually READ the petitions and be impacted positively by our determination.
3. that God will use what we have presented in a miraculous way and they will make an exception for our family's case.

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:23-24