Monday, April 30, 2012

Money, Money, Money--Where are We at Financially?

"Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given. "
~Mother Teresa
Oh, yes, friends.  That quote from Mother Teresa rings clear in my heart today as I write to you about where we are at financially in this adoption. With any adoption, the financial end of it can be a burden, a curse, a headache, a heartache, and even a blessing.  The truth is, any adoptive parent would rather have the focus of their future child not equated with $$$ or a "price tag" or a "fee".  Money is NOT what we want to deal with.  Money is not what we want our topics of conversation with others to be about.  When others ask us about how our adoption process is going, we don't WANT to tell you about the money we have raised or even worse, the money we still have to raise.  We don't want to be asking and asking and asking for financial help.  We don't enjoy sitting at home crunching numbers with our budget trying to see where we can still cut corners to save a little more without also making our life situation for our current family so bleak that we feel stressed all the time.  What we DO want is for our friends, family, and strangers alike to fall more and more in love with Nora and with orphans around the world.  We want peoples' hearts compelled to care for those less fortunate when we share our story of adoption.  We want to stir up the call from Christ to care for the orphan.  We want to pass along the hope we have to give our love and home to another little child who needs it.  We want our adoption to be about a child--specifically Nora for us-- not about money.  Yes, I would much rather talk to you about raising funds of love, kindness, understanding, and peace than about money itself, but alas, no adoption can really be completed without money, so here you go...

We are continually amazed at the work of our God in this area.  We have been called to adopt Nora and we have seen God rally His people to help make that a reality.  Financially, we simply can not do this alone.  We have placed, and continue to place, our own money into this, but we also know we can not come up with the big picture of money all on our own right now.  We also believe in allowing others to come alongside us on the journey and be an active participant in Nora's life already.  As I have said before, God calls us all to care for the orphan and many would love to do that, but do not yet feel called to actually bring one of these beautiful children into their home.  There are many ways these people can still answer God's call...financially sponsoring orphans, mission trips to give them hugs and playtime, feeding them meals, and even donating money towards families like us who have answered the call of God to be a forever family.  We have been blessed to have so many of those people send us their financial gifts.

On top of helping us financially in our adoption costs, it has also been awesome to see how God has raised up people to simply have a heart for Nora because of their financial contribution.  This is where Mother Teresa's quote becomes reality--by giving financially, people have fallen more and more in love with Nora.  There is an investment that goes beyond's an investment of love, prayers and hope.  Nora needs that.  We need that.  We need the money, but we also need the support, love, and hope to be rallied around this process.

With our fundraiser meal coming up this weekend, we would like to give you a very clear picture of where we stand financially (hopefully for the last time).  If you look to the right-hand column of this blog entry you will see our original goal of $25,000 has now become $29,000.  Let me explain why that has happened.  With any adoption process, there are many things you learn along the way.  Many changes happen that are unexpected.  Some fees you figure on paying, end up being less than expected--many become more than expected.  There are trips envisioned and budgeted for, but then there are ones that come up unexpectedly with higher flight and baggage costs.  There are lawyer fees that fluctuate beyond your control.  There are monthly fees for Nora's care that obviously add up with the longer she stays there (and, again, we have NO idea how long we will be paying those--this is Haiti).  There are homestudies that end up having to be updated unexpectedly (just to give you perspective, that one example was a $900 setback).  There is just no way to know for sure what this adoption will cost us in the end.  We had high hopes of it being around $25,000 at the beginning.  When all is said and done, however, it could also be over $31,000.  When we took a look at what we have already spent and combine that with what we believe are estimates of what we still have to go, we are looking at that $31,000 figure.  However, we still are placing our new goal at $29,000 with the hope of Nora coming home sooner than later which would decrease our monthly payments and a few other fees along the way.

Of that $29,000 we have $20,927 raised between what we and others have contributed.  That means we have $8,073 left to raise to hit our more realistic goal.  On one hand that figure still seems large, but on the other hand, God has brought over twice that amount in so far, so this is certainly something we think He can complete!  There is nothing that will put a smile on our faces quicker than knowing the financial end of this adoption is past us so we can focus on simply being a Mama and Daddy to Nora...and encouraging the giving of our family and friends towards other children in need.
So, what can you do to help us reach our financial goal?  There are currently three options we have for you.  First would be attending our fundraiser meal this Sunday, May 6th, at 12:15 p.m. at Maple City Chapel.  We will be serving up Haystacks and Ice Cream (with homemade strawberry topping--yum!!!).   Anyone is welcome to attend and we would LOVE to have a chance to visit with you face to face.  It's a great way to have a delicious meal out and have your payment for the meal go towards bringing Nora home.  We will be showing a slideshow of updated photos of Nora as well as letting everyone know where we are at in the process.  It will be a wonderful time together!

Secondly, if you live farther away or won't be able to make it to the fundraiser meal, you can always still send in a financial donation to our account at Lifesong.  Many of you have done this already and for that we are so thankful!  If the Lord would be encouraging you to continue your earlier support by giving an additional amount, then please still follow the directions here.
To send in your tax-deductible financial gift through the mail:
-Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. Write "preference Thieszen #2263 adoption" in the memo section of your check in order to direct your donation towards our adoption expenses.

-Send your check to: Lifesong for Orphans, Attn. “preference Thieszen #2263 adoption”, PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford Street, Gridley, IL 61744
              *Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use

To send in your tax-deductible financial gift online:
-To donate through Lifesong's PayPal account, go to Scroll down until you see “By Credit Card (” and click on the "Donate" button. Type in "preference Thieszen #2263 adoption" in the Purpose line.
               * Where 100% of your donation from a check goes to us, if you use PayPal, you will be charged a 1.9-2.9% service fee. The amount actually received by Lifesong for Orphans for our adoption will be decreased by that amount.

Lastly, if you need to, you can also give a check or cash directly to us and we will put it into our adoption fund account, however, those financial gifts would not be a tax-deductible donation.

Above all, friends, we are so excited to see God at work in this adoption.  We are continually drawn to Him to get us through this whether it is financially, emotionally, or spiritually.  We are so in love with God and what He is doing in our lives right now.  It is a blessing to be a part of the Lord's work.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support--both financially and prayerfully.  We thank God for you and pray your lives are being enriched ten-fold as you join us on this journey of adoption.

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