This entire journey of adopting our children has been a step-by-step matter of faith. So many people say they would like to adopt but don’t have the money. Well, let me tell you, we don’t either. We are not those people who have $50,000 saved in the bank, or those that have big ticket “toys” that they can sell. No, we are the ones who lived paycheck to paycheck, counted our pennies and felt we were living well when we could go out to dinner. One year ago we were living on one paycheck… mine… that of a secretary in a school district that hadn’t given raises for a while. Our “good car” was a very loved 1997 Jeep that the paint was flaking off of. (The “other car,” well, we won’t talk about it except to say that no air conditioning is brutal in 100F summers in Texas… we know this from experience.) We were both still in school, and we were living in an apartment that we could only afford with the help of school loans, but anything cheaper we didn’t feel very safe in.
And then everything changed.
We tried to justify why we shouldn’t host 2 orphans for the summer. It made no sense, for all of the reasons above, and more. The more we fought it, the less successful we were. So, we gave in and said “yes.” We would bring a brother and sister from Latvia into our home for the summer. Our hope was that it would lead to adoption, but for now, it was just for 5 weeks.
In a matter of weeks, our lives were turned upside down. Before the kids even got here, Chris was offered a job, and he wasn’t even looking. And it was more than double what I made. I was suddenly able to stay home for the whole time the kids were here. And the $6000 that we needed to raise to host them… not a problem. It all came in, be it from our measly savings account, mega-garage sales, t-shirt sales, or generous friends.
But, a few weeks into our hosting experience we realized that this was not going well. We realized that these two children were just not the ones for our family. In the end, dear friends of ours stepped up and asked if they could adopt them. We were thrilled. Those 2 children are now home in the USA and starting to settle into their new lives.
So, we started over. And the Lord led us to a picture of two precious sisters. And everything we’ve done for the last 9 months has been to bring them home.
- Thousands of dollars, reams of paper, and weeks of work spent on applications and our home-study.
- Police clearances from 6 states and 1 foreign country
- Physicals, tests, and numerous papers to be notarized by our doctor
- Piles of paperwork sent to Austin to be apostilled (something like an international notary)
- Fingerprinted 3 times (one of which was denied for Lydia and had to be redone… in Dallas, of course)
- Countless FedEx envelopes crisscrossing the country
- Fundraising forever! T-shirts, garage sales, “$2 for 2 girls on 2/22″, and donations from super generous friends and strangers!
- (Did I mention we also bought our first house in the mean time??)
It has been quite a journey. In April we found out that the girls had agreed to meet us and we were indeed traveling to Latvia! Extreme excitement, extreme panic as we had so much money still to raise. (And a remodel project to finish… which is being discussed in my upstairs as I write.)
But today was another amazing fundraiser, another amazing outpouring of love from our church. With just 11 days to go before we get on a plane to meet our kids, our church hosted “The Bischoff Bake-off & BBQ”! Burgers and hot dogs on the grill, a ton of goodies for a bake sale. The shining moment was auctioning off some of the prime baked goods (including a cheesecake I made), as well as the Elders and Admin team for the church. I’m proud to announce that my cheesecake brought in the highest bid, going for $350!
Before the sale started we were about $3300 shy of what we needed for this trip. Our little church of maybe 80 on a Sunday morning poured out their love all over us and two girls they’ve never met. The final tally for the day was $4346.81! We are so blessed and overwhelmed with their love and generosity! God is so good!
As today closes, we are a mere 10 days away from getting on a plane to meet our girls, fully funded (for this stage), and abundantly loved. To everyone who has bought a cookie, made a $2 donation, donated or bought something at our garage sales, or wears a t-shirt exclaiming that “He sets the lonely into families”… Thank you.