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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Welcome Give1Save1 readers!

Hi there. :)

We are so honored and thrilled to be the featured adoptive family on Give1Save1 this week! Thanks for stopping by and joining us on our journey to our son, Michael. We're grateful you're here. As our thanks to you, we're holding a little giveaway at the end of the week. See all the ways you can enter at the bottom of this post!

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Now, allow me to introduce us. We're the Goldens- Dan, Kelsey (that's me), Max and soon, Michael (the reason we're all here today). Dan and I have been married for almost nine years and Max became part of our family through domestic adoption in June 2012.

When Max was about a year and a half old, we felt God calling us to add to our family through adoption again and just days after submitting our preliminary application, we saw Michael's beautiful face on Bethany Christian Services' waiting child list. Nearly two months later, we were finally approved to adopt from Uganda and we signed our contract with Bethany on December 31, 2013.

After we signed our contract, we got what we had been waiting for- Michael's file. Up until then all we knew about him was three short sentences and we'd only seen one picture. We knew upon reading his file he was the child God had planned for us.

We've been racing along trying to get everything done so Michael can join our family soon. We accepted our official referral last Friday and got the news that our lawyers in Uganda, along with our adoption agency, are working hard in the hopes that Michael will be home by June!

As you probably have guessed, we never would have imagined the process would go so fast, but we are so excited that he will be here with us soon!

Michael, along with about 400 other children, is part of Bethany Christian Services "These 400" campaign. If you think you may be interested in special needs or older child adoption too, please email me at kelseydgolden@hotmail.com. It would be my honor to get you in touch with the right people.

Thank you for sharing our story and helping us on our journey to Michael. Our hearts are filled with gratitude.

Now for the giveaway. We're offering an awesome prize package for everyone participating in Give1Save1 this week. No donation is necessary, but you get 10 extra entries if you do!
 
 
 
Our prize package includes:
  • Classic necklace from Johari Creations with handmade Ugandan paper beads - Value $25
  • Thirty-One products wristlet - Value $25
  • Premier Designs earrings - Value $25
  • $10 bid credit toward Art For Adoption, beginning April 17 - Value $10
    Total prize package $85!
Winner will be drawn Saturday morning and I'll post instructions on how to claim your prize then!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kantha Quilt Insta-Auction To Help Bring Michael Home!

Y'all, I am so excited about this, our first big fundraiser for our adoption of our son in Uganda!

We are auctioning 20 handmade Indian quilts on Instagram tomorrow night starting at 9 PM EST, hosted by my awesome friend Courtney at @thelottofus.

In the meantime, you can share the image below on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and tag us with #bringbabygoldenhome and hop on over to Courtney's Instagram and comment on the photo to let her know you shared. You will be entered to win a $25 Visa gift card!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

To my adoptive mamas

In the past couple of years I've had the great fortune of forging a new community for myself - a community full of hope, perseverance, heartache, more tenacity than I've ever seen, and support like I've never experienced.

A community where the burden is shouldered together, where the sadness of having your child halfway across the world is met with grace and a voice that says "I understand your heart," where the loneliness of empty arms and empty beds is understood.

A community where encouragement abounds, where women come together in the name of God seeking justice for little souls, a community where it's okay to just say "this part sucks."

Adoptive mamas, I'm talking about you. 

I see you fight. I see you struggle through another day, another month, another year of waiting. I see the brave face. I see the weight on those shoulders. I see you. 

Instead of sitting here writing and praying about my own heavy heart, tonight, mama, I pray for yours. Let me help carry your burden tonight.

And know you're not alone.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Adoption Update #3

Hi, dear friends!

Things are moving on at a steady clip for our adoption. We are so excited that we could be traveling to Uganda as early as June! Currently we are knee deep in fundraising, with several planned on our own and several being planned by friends. God has blessed us hugely through you guys in our fundraising so far. We pray he continues to bless our efforts as we work diligently to bring our son home!

We are working on making a big push over the next two months- in April we will have $25,000 to $27,000 in fees come due, more than $15,000 of which we didn't anticipate needing to pay for many months! At this point, we need to raise another $8,000 to $10,000 before those fees come due.

Praise God things are moving so quickly with our adoption, but that means we have to step up our efforts to fundraise! Here's a rundown of the fundraisers coming in the next two months:

Pure Charity. We have a profile set up on Pure Charity where friends and family can make tax deductible donations toward our adoption. All money raised through the site gets paid directly to our adoption agency. 

Give1Save1. We are overjoyed that we've been selected to be their featured family the week of March 24. I've followed their blog for a long time and I am so grateful they would choose to feature our family. I'm planning some fun videos and giveaways for that week.

Kantha quilt auction on Facebook and Instagram. I've ordered 20 beautiful handmade quilts from India and will be planning more details as soon as they arrive. Stay tuned for dates!

Art for Adoption Auction. We've had many kind friends and family members offer to make something for us to auction off April 17 - 23. There are a few goodies already listed, but many more to come.

Johari Creations. I recently signed up to be a Johari Creations ambassador, selling jewelry, accessories, and other fair trade products made by artisan women around the world. I am booking trunk shows for people in Nebraska and Kansas, or you can order from their site and provide my name at checkout if you'd like to support our adoption through this method. A win-win for all.

Etsy. I'm still making dog beds and collars and all profits from my shop are going toward adoption expenses.

Yard sale. We're holding a yard sale in Emporia, Kansas in June. We're looking for household, clothing, etc. donations. Please get in touch if you're in the area and you'd like to help in this way.

And for Omaha friends, our small group is also planning a yard sale as well as a couple of parents' nights out.

If you'd like more info about any of these fundraisers, please send me an email, Facebook message, or Tweet. Thank you all again for your ongoing support and help to bring our son home. We are so grateful.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adoption Update #2

Friends,

We come to y'all humbly and ask for your prayers. We got another update about our adoption this morning and things went from crazy to insane.

As most of you know, we are pursuing a little boy who was on our agency's waiting children list. We have only been in the adoption process since October and just got approved in late December. We originally had anticipated this process taking two to three years, but that shrank to nine to 12 months when we decided to pursue this little boy.

We got notification this morning that the organization in Uganda who matches children with families has decided to exercise their ability to approve our match earlier, which again has cut our timeline considerably. It is now looking like we could travel to Uganda for court as early as June.

Because of this, our fees are due in a much shorter amount of time. What we had originally thought was going to come over two to three years is now going to be due in a matter of months. As of right now, we have about 1/3 of what we will need.

Will y'all pray over this with us?

If you feel called, please consider donating to our adoption fund and sharing with your friends and family.

Thank you, dear friends, for taking this journey with us.

Love,
Kelsey, Dan, Max (and Baby G)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You of little faith

I have a confession. Adoption makes people crazy. Okay, okay. Adoption makes me crazy.

I can't entirely explain what it feels like. There's so much scrutiny from the agency and referral country, there's the penny-pinching and the fundraising, there's the worry about our son in Uganda. It's overwhelming and it can make me act nuts.



For weeks after we learned of our son in Uganda, I would spend night after night laying in bed worried about him, wondering how long it will take to get him home, where all the money's going to come from, etc., etc., etc. I would drag through the day so exhausted from worry, thinking "if we could just tell people why it's so important he get into a family quickly, maybe then they'd help."

I keep begging God that things move along faster, that I will sell more things from my shop, that we will get a response from the letter we sent to friends and family, anything to get us a little closer to him and when nothing would happen, my heart is crushed. I start railing so hard against the process, against God, against everyone, that things grind to a halt.

My heart aches so deeply for this little boy 9,000 miles away and I want so desperately to be with him and give him everything he needs that I forget about everything else. I get tunnel vision and all I want to do is wrest control from God when the very thing I should do is be leaning on him.

On Friday while reading a book I'm slowly making my way through, I read a reference to Matthew 6:26-27 and again on Sunday, our pastor quoted the same scripture:

 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Friends,  I think there's nothing in this world God loves more than His children and James 1:27 says that pure and genuine religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress. That leads me to believe that my Ugandan baby holds a special place in God's heart. He wants this little boy to know family, to know love, to get the care he so desperately needs.

I love this little boy so much, but he has a creator who loves him so much more than I will ever be able to. His needs, and ours, will be provided for. And I will let go and trust.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adoption Update #1

If there's one thing I can tell you about adoption is things never go entirely according to plan.

A few months ago we thought we'd be adopting a child from South Africa and it'd take two to three years. But just two weeks into the process, we saw a face on our adoption agency's waiting child list, a beautiful face belonging to a little boy in Uganda ,but virtually no information about him in his profile.



Before we were approved for more info about him, waited and waited for a letter from my spine surgeon say that yes, I am capable of parenting. It took five weeks and finally arrived. Turns out, the agency needed more info in the letter. So we waited (again) for a new letter. Finally, two months after we first saw his face we got the info we'd been waiting for.

Adopting a waiting child means some pretty huge changes in the game, especially in terms of time. Instead of taking two to three years, he could be home in as little as nine months. That means an extraordinary amount of fundraising to do in a very short amount of time. We're we prepared to take that on?

Yesterday, after two weeks of praying and talking (and asking a ton of questions of our agency, who has been very patient with us!), we made a decision.

We are pursuing him!

I wish I could tell you every little thing I know about him and show you his beautiful face. He is gorgeous. But we've been urged to keep this info off the Internet. Talk about a test of character for me! I have trouble keeping even the littlest bit of exciting news to myself.
What's next in the process is our first home visit next Friday. We will have two more over the next couple of months. Once our home study is completed, hopefully in late April, it will be submitted to Uganda for early approval while we work on our dossier.
In the meantime, our agency knows that it is our hope to adopt this specific little boy and any families who inquire will be told we're pursuing him. Additionally, once our home study is submitted to Uganda for early approval, his profile will be removed from their site. In a few weeks, a social worker is going to visit him on our behalf and at that time, the orphanage will be told of our plans.
We never imagined that so early on in the process we would know who our child is or that the process would be so much shorter! Like I said, things never go entirely according to plan.
In the meantime, we covet your prayers. Some things you can pray about specifically are:
  • For his health and safety.
  • For our hearts. It's been extraordinarily difficult knowing who he is, but being so far away.
  • For peace and patience. There's a lot of uncertainty in the process. Please pray we are able to take it one hurdle at a time and not get overwhelmed.
  • For finances. Because of the incredibly short timeline, this will be an ongoing need and concern.
We are so thankful to have such amazing people on this journey with us. Your support and prayers are appreciated beyond measure.

Lots of love,