Saturday, June 20, 2015

Be Brave, Little One

Early in 2015, I decided that I wanted two words to define my year: Courage and Discipline. Throughout the year, I have waned in and out of faithfulness to those words and how God wanted to grow me in those areas.

Lately, however, I have been thinking a lot about courage and how brave Donny and I, our current kids, and our little boy waiting for us in Ethiopia will need to be to see this adoption process to completion and to begin life as a family of six.

His life has already held so much pain - too much that any one and a half year old should have to experience. His first pain came so early. He will need to be brave.

We are entering a phase of parenthood that is totally unknown. God has entrusted us to help be part of the process to heal his heart. We will need to be brave.

There will be much we won't understand. There will be much we won't know. We will all need to be brave.

We know our courage is not perfect, and our bravery will wane. I am thankful, however, that the One who we put our courage, faith, and trust in does not waver and does not wane. My bravery will fail. My God will not.

Psalm 121:1-5
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. 

Be brave, little one. Someone is waiting for you. We are waiting to love you in the flesh. Until then, our Lord will watch over you. He is the truest Father you need. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The State of the Friederichsen Adoption Funds

Now that we have accepted our referral and await our little guy's homecoming, we have been putting energy into funding the final part of our adoption which will cover the enormous expense of traveling to bring him home. 

We want to be totally transparent with how we, by God's grace and provision, have funded this adoption up to this point. Below you will find a summary of how the Lord has provided beyond measure for our every need to bring our little guy home.

Our adoption expenses over the past three years have come in three waves. When we began the adoption process in 2012, we used personal savings to cover our initial agency and home study expenses. During 2013, we received a matching grant, held an adoption auction and yard sale, and received charitable donations which covered our second major set of expenses - our international fees that we paid upon accepting the referral of our little man. Now we face the final and MOST EXCITING set of expenses - the ones to travel to GO GET OUR BOY!!!!

We are seeking donations, grants, and other ways to fund the remaining costs associated with our adoption.

To continue with our transparency, here's where we are financially:

As of today, we have personal savings ($4038.50) and some remaining grant money ($1410.41) which together total $5448.91.
Our agency estimates approximately $11,300 in travel related expenses. This will include two trips to Ethiopia, travel, lodging and food while in country, and funds needed to bring our little guy home.

We are currently praying for and seeking the remaining $5851.09 needed to completely fund our estimated travel costs.

We have applied for two more grants, been rejected for one of them already, and we are not sure when we will hear from the other grant agency. 

In the meantime, we wanted to remind you that we have an adoption fundraising account with Lifesong for Orphans in which individuals and families can partner with us to bring our little boy home by donating any amount of money to our adoption. You may donate by clicking 
click the "Donate Now" button on the top right corner of this page, or CLICK HERE . 

One of our greatest desires right now is to be rid of the financial concerns associated with completing our adoption so that we can give all of our energy to preparing to bring our soon-to-be-son home. Will you consider giving little or big to make that happen? Any amount will make a difference. If you have friends who are adoption-minded and might be interested in helping us bring our little guy home, feel free to share this post and need with them.

One more note of transparency: We are considering taking Hunter and Millie with us on our first trip to Ethiopia. Any funds given to Lifesong for Orphans on our behalf will only be used for necessary adoption expenses. We will make decisions about the financial feasibility of taking our kids with us once we see how the rest of our necessary funding comes in. I wanted to be upfront that your donations are only covering what is necessary and outlined by our adoption agency. We will figure out the kids' expenses as we go along if we decide to take them.

Many of you reading this have given to our adoption in the past, and we are so thankful. It was incredible to have grant money and past donations to 100% cover our HUGE referral fee. You helped us to be able to say "yes" to our little guy without having to worry about finances, and that was a HUGE gift to our family.

Now we seek the ability to freely say "yes" to booking those plane tickets when we get the phone call. Will you help send us? We are ready, and we will trust the Lord to provide for our every need. He has been so faithful through this long process, and we trust his faithfulness to bring us to the end when we will finally have our boy in our arms, forever a Friederichsen.

Feel free to contact me at kim (dot) friederichsen (at) if you have any questions about our process. Again, you can donate RIGHT NOW by clicking the "Donate Now" button on the top right-hand corner of this blog post.

We hope with all of our hearts that one of our next blog posts is to tell you that we have gotten the call to go MEET OUR BOY!!! Until then, please continue to pray for our family and our little guy across the world. We long for the day we will be together - a family forever.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

After the "Yes" - What Now?

Thanks for following along in our adoption story. Most of you have been following since the beginning. Did you realize that we are coming up on three years of being in the adoption process? Donny and I had our first serious conversation about adopting on June 5, 2012, and we sent our application in to our agency on July 11, 2012. It's been a long journey, and it is not over yet - not by a long shot.

A lot has happened since accepting our referral at the end of February. There has been an investigation by the US Embassy and Immigration services to verify our little guy's orphan status. That went well. We had more fingerprints taken (no, they haven't changed since the last time we had our fingerprints taken - when will the madness end???!!). We received, authenticated and sent to Ethiopia the final letter from the US government needed for our dossier of paperwork that is three years in the making. Our dossier of paperwork was submitted to the Ethiopian court system, and our case was reviewed in a preliminary hearing in Ethiopia earlier this week. Needless to say, lots has happened in the past 3 months.

So what now??? Now is the most exciting and most nerve-wracking wait thus far. We are waiting for our phone to ring with a call from our case worker saying that we have been assigned a court date to travel to Ethiopia to meet our soon-to-be son. When will this happen? I have no clue. It could be weeks or as much as two months. I hope it's not more than two months, because the courts in Ethiopia close in mid-August for the "rainy season." This is a much-dreaded season where all cases waiting for court dates are put on hold for six weeks until it stops raining. There are quite a few families in our agency that are in a similar spot as we are, and we are ALL praying for court dates BEFORE the August rainy season closure.

Would you join us in praying for a court date in mid-July? That would be very fast according to the pace that current assignments are coming, but nothing is impossible for God. We will continue to trust his timing as we move forward in this process, but a mid-July court date would likely mean he would be home before the school year begins which would be incredible.

Thanks again for following our story. It's not over yet, and we ask for your prayers. Our hearts long to have him home. We are heading to IKEA tonight to get things for his room. I am an expectant mom in full nesting mode. The Lord continues to prepare our hearts for the arrival of our new son, we are preparing our home for him, and we pray we are united as soon as possible.

One of the last major steps in the process of bringing him home is raising the final funds necessary to complete our adoption process. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 07, 2015

The Ugly Cry at Shop Rite (Referral Part Three)

We waited. And waited.

And what did I do while we waited? Paperwork. And more paperwork. 

Our dossier and homestudy were due for an update. We knew these updates would be needed soon, but we did not know our referral was coming so fast. The day after our referral, the kids and I went on a mad dash to get a host of paperwork produced  and notarized. We traveled to four different towns to get medical forms, proof of employment letters, police clearance forms, and more. I was not about to let anything slow down our ability to say "yes" to this sweet child once we received news of his revised medical measurements. 

Later that week, we met with our home study provider for our home study update. We met with her on a Friday and went straight from that meeting to get an updated set of fingerprints taken for our home study update. Fingerprints. I can't count how many times we have had our fingerprints taken. 

On our way home from fingerprints, we stopped by Shop Rite to get a movie at the Netflix kiosk. As is a common Friday night tradition in the Friederichsen home, we had promised the kids a pizza and movie night. We were all together, so I dashed out of the van to pick up the video. I was out of the car for less than 2 minutes. When I returned to the car, before I even opened the door, Donny was holding his phone up to the window.

An email. The email. His measurements were clear. We could say "yes." He was to be ours. 

And I started crying right there in the Shop Rite parking lot, looking through the window at Donny's phone, and I hadn't even opened the van door yet. The kids were watching me and asked why I was crying. I was wearing sunglasses, so I asked them how they knew I was crying. They said my face got all scrunched up, and they could just tell.

Basically, I was crying the ugly cry in the Shop Rite parking lot.

We still had not told the kids we had received a referral. Donny and I dashed home, pulled out the pictures, sat them on the sofa, and introduced them to their soon to be brother. It was so much fun. We took lots of pictures, and they were so excited.

But we weren't done yet. There were more papers to be signed. Now that we could accept his referral based on his new measurements, we had about 15 documents to sign and notarize to make it official. We headed to our local bank and spent the next hour (at closing) with a sweet bank representative who notarized every signature in our referral packet.

And we were done...for the moment. Ready to send off our papers saying that we intend to be his Mommy and Daddy, and we intend for him to be ours. We had received and were accepting the referral of this sweet little one. By God's grace, he would no longer be an orphan, and we would no longer be Friederichsen, family of 5.

So we celebrated. Pizza, popcorn, ice cream and a movie. And lots of tears and smiles.

The next morning I took our referral papers to the post office to be overnighted to our agency. Letting that packet of papers go was one of the most nerve-wracking things I have had to do in this process. And off the papers went. Done. And the hope of adoption was closer than ever. There is more waiting ahead, but we will do what it takes to bring our sweet little "soon-to-be Friederichsen" home. 

Pizza and Popcorn to celebrate!!!

Followed by ice cream!!!

Ready to send off all the papers required to say "yes" to our darling little boy.

Check it out, baby!!! We are coming for you!!!