IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING! (& I NEED YOUR HELP) January 05 2018, 1 Comment

Wow. It's finally happening. I was seriously beginning to think I was I would never get the call. But it came - sort of. Ha!

Just before the holidays I got a call from my agency about a 3-year-old little boy who is in need of a family. A boy, you guys. It wasn't an "official referral" call - that will come soon. This was just a notification that they are planning to match us. They wanted me to know so that I could change some things before the official call: He is a little outside of my "approved" age range and has some specific needs that I will have to add to my Home Study and immigration paperwork. He. A three-year-old little guy. Can you believe it? I still cannot!! I don't know his name, or much of his story, but I know he's waiting.

This Christmas was magic. For the last 3 years Mercy has gotten tons of wonderful gender neutral toys and generous gift cards, but this year was different. This year, the gift tags on his presents said "Our Little Man" and "Benefield Boy". He got trucks and trains and boy clothes and it was so much fun! This kid is so, so loved. 

Now, it's the in-between time. This little one has had all the paperwork filed in South Africa for him to become adoptable internationally. It's sitting on a judge's desk until the federal holidays there end - around January 10. Even then, I don't know how many cases are before his - there is likely a slight backlog from the vacation. Because the case is still pending, I almost kept this news to myself until everything was for sure - but I just couldn't. So many of you have been on this wild ride with me for so long, and I wanted to share what I know with you, so that we can continue to journey together. Your support has sustained me.

WHAT'S NEXT: My agency told me to expect to get the official referral call sometime at the end of this month or in early February. More waiting that I was not anticipating, but I'm trying to count it as a blessing - more time to prepare! If you pray, please pray that there would be no delay in his case and that all would go smoothly over the next few months of government filings and bureaucratic hoops both here and in South Africa.

After the official call, I will have some time to look over his full case file and learn all that they know about him and his life until this point. I have SO many questions...all the ones that can be answered will be answered at that time. 

After I officially accept his referral, there will be about 8-12 weeks before my mom and I travel to South Africa, then 6-7 weeks in country to complete the adoption and get his passport. I'm very much looking forward to my time getting to know my son in South Africa. I am so glad we will have an extended time together before traveling back to the US. I should travel to South Africa in April or May, but seriously, if I've learned one thing in the last 3+ years, it's that I cannot hold tightly to a timeframe. Geez.

In this in-between time, I need your help.

 First of all, even though I truly believe that bringing this little guy into my family is the best long-term solution for him (as he cannot stay where he is), I feel an enormous amount of guilt for the act of taking him from all he's ever known and bringing him half-way around the world. The trauma that act will inflict kills me. I know it's for a greater good, but I lay awake dreading the pain in his little heart and the fear he will feel. Please join me in praying for him to have a peace that passes understanding, quick attachment and moments of joy in the midst of grieving. For me, I need wisdom to meet his needs while we are getting to know one another and endless buckets of love and empathy.

Financially, I only HAD about $7500 left to raise for the adoption expenses before I moved to Texas. Having to re-do my Home Study and immigration paperwork set me back an additional $5000. Not the best timing, but I'm really not complaining! So, I need to raise/make/save an additional $12,500. Whew. That's a big number. But I started out needing nearly $40,000!


I came up with an idea to raise some funds that I'm calling Flip the Flag. Here's the idea: I've hung 100 flags in Little Man's room. The flags are each numbered 1-100. To give to the fundraiser, choose a flag number and you'll donate that amount (for example if you choose flag number 65, you'll give $65). After I receive your donation, I will flip your flag over and write your name (or a note from you) on the other side.  Access the Flip the Flag Fundraiser here: NOTE: If you wish to add a short message for him during checkout - you'll see the word "MESSAGE" and a text box on the Cart page - you can type a note there.

After the fund raiser is complete, not only will I be well on my way to getting him home, but when he comes home, he will have 100 reminders in his room of those who already love him, want him, and lift him up. Let's do this!

*If you would like to give more than the amount on your flag, you can simply add the "Give More" product to your cart and choose an additional amount you'd like to donate. Thank you all so much!

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness" - Desmond Tutu