Since we sent in our application to Holt last March, we knew this week was coming. We knew that at some point we would have to come to pretty much everyone we know and ask them, point blank, if they could help us financially afford this adoption. To be honest, that realization was a hindrance to fully committing to the process. It makes me a little nauseus still.
As I pictured what it would be like to be so vulnerable and present ourselves and our need to people, I wondered how everyone would respond. No, actually, I wondered what everyone would THINK. I've fretted off and on about that for 1o months. But also? During that 10 months, we've had to do some lower-scale fundraising. (You know, $8,000, as oppose to $20,000. Everything has become relative!) And I have been floored over and over by the generosity,the support and the graciousness that has been shown to us. My faith was so small when we jumped over that ledge last March. I imagined only our closest friends and families would give, and even then possibly out of obligation. Never could I have dreamed the various people in our lives that have given so abundantly and so JOYFULLY.
So now, we've decided to just go for it. To ask everyone and anyone we know. Instead of me sitting at home with my address labels, trying to decide if this person or that person would be able to give, would be offended by the question, would be interested in this "cause," I'm not deciding for anyone. We're going to let YOU decide that! If I have your address or access to your address, you probably have or will receive the letter below. But I come to you, as my blog readers and present our request before you. I love when I hear about a surprise reader. A new friend, an old friend I've lost contact with, an acquaintance. YOU. Yes, YOU! This letter is for you.
We found out this week that we did NOT get the third and final grant we applied for. This one mass fundraising push and a garage sale are the only plans we have left to cover our remaining costs. (We are prepared and planning to take out a loan.) So, here goes...everything! If you have questions or would like an addressed, stamped envelope sent to you, email me: jen_tompkins[at]comcast[dot]net.
Dear Friends and Family,
As we enter this new year of 2011, we’re filled with excitement, because we are looking forward to the addition of another family member in the Tompkins house! Many of you know that we are in the process of adopting a baby from Thailand. The journey is long and fairly unpredictable, but we’ve been told that we will probably be matched to OUR child this summer and bring him or her home at the beginning of 2012.
Our adoption story truly began years ago, when those carefree newlyweds Trent and Jen discussed a shared interest in adopting internationally at some point. After our daughter Sydney was born in 2008, we decided to pursue it more purposefully. However, we were stopped in our tracks by the financial burden, ranging between $25,000 and $40,000! We sadly set aside our plan, thinking it was just not feasible.
Then last January, a severe and devastating earthquake struck Haiti. Due to a variety of circumstances, we were especially heartsick with grief and despair over this particular catastrophe. We began hearing with new ears and seeing with new eyes the extreme need for godly adoptive parents and the overwhelming statistics of orphans, both in Haiti and around the globe. That tragic event was a catalyst for the Lord to speak to us—more clearly than I can possibly recount—that His will in our lives was to open our home and our family to a child who needed and deserved nothing less than a secure home and a loving family. Both Trent and I agreed that we were frightened about the monetary cost, but that we had an unbelievable peace that we were being called to adopt. We chose together to TRUST our great God, to be obedient, and to make this leap of faith. Over and over, we felt Him telling us: “You will not be in this alone.”
Although it was not possible to apply for adoption from Haiti in those following months, for us it was not specifically about having a Haitian-born child. It was the fact that we wanted to love a third child, and that child did not need to be grown in my tummy! We fell in love with the Thailand program of Holt International and have experienced nothing but confirmation and support from both Holt and our families as we have begun our journey.
One aspect of the adoption process that has been a bit hard to swallow is the humbling nature of asking for help. And yet? We do need help! We are willing to humble ourselves as we keep our eye on the goal of bringing our baby home. Over the last year we have seen support in a vast variety of forms come flying at us, and the givers of time, money and prayers have given with such joy! It truly does feel like our little Thai baby is being welcomed by an ARMY of God’s people, imprinting themselves on our hearts and our baby’s life forever.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:20-21
Would you consider being a part of our child’s story? There are two primary ways that you can help.
We covet your prayers for our precious child, whose name and face are not yet known to us. Pray for health, safety and a loving, secure foster home while he or she awaits the finalized adoption. We also request prayers for our child’s birth mother, as choosing an adoption plan for her child must have been the most agonizing decision of her life. We will be connected to her and cherish her always. And lastly, we desire prayers for our current family, especially Carson and Sydney, as they anticipate the life-changing transition to a newly adopted sibling!
2. FINANCIAL SUPPORT
We have approximately $20,000 left to pay in agency fees, legal fees and travel expenses. Will you consider making a tax-deductable donation to help us pay these remaining costs? We have learned that even small amounts add up very quickly towards a large goal! Any amount you could give would be so appreciated.
Lifesong for Orphans (www.lifesongfororphans.org) has graciously set up a fundraising account for us. If you would like to be a part of bringing our Thai baby home forever, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and March 1st to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on our behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received. They have guaranteed that 100% of the donations will be placed in our account; none will be taken out for administrative costs.
1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong for Orphans. You can preference how the donation will be used by writing “preference Tompkins #1664 Adoption” in the memo section of your check.
(*Note: In following IRS guidelines, we must say that your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.)
2. Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Tompkins #1664 Adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
3. You can also pay online through Paypal by going to Lifesong’s donation page: www.lifesongfororphans.org/donation. Scroll down and click on the yellow “DONATE” button, and be sure to clarify your donation purpose: TOMPKINS #1664 Adoption
Thank you for considering an eternal investment in the life of an orphan—soon to be our future kiddo. We’ll give you an update with details and a picture of our little guy or girl as soon as we can. It is our prayer that this entire process will be for HIS glory!
In His Grace,
Jen, Trent, Carson and Sydney T.