We received an email from our adoption agency Friday. It explained that because of the changes in the Japan program made by the Department of State, adoptive families will now be required to go to court while in Japan. Though we are incredibly thankful that our agency and other agencies are working so hard to keep this program open, and to continue to make it possible for families to provide homes for orphans overseas, this new procedure does not come without costs. Having to go to court to adopt a baby will mean an estimated $10,000 in attorney fees that we did not anticipate. Also, the time we will have to spend in Japan is now undetermined, and therefore the extra travel costs are also undetermined. This news was a huge blow to us. We had raised over half of our funds before we found this out.
We said at the beginning of this process that we planned to keep walking forward until God closed the door, and that door has not been closed yet. We have proven that we can raise money; we’ve saved about $23,000 so far. And as a good friend pointed out this week, this is not a frivolous, self-indulgent goal we are pursuing. We are fighting for the babies sitting in orphanages overseas right now. The children who will be institutionalized until they turn 18. The birth mothers who have chosen to give their babies life in the hopes that a family will step forward and care for them. We are fighting a much bigger battle than our own personal desires. If we don’t continue to fight for this, international adoption will die out, and the ones who suffer will not just be the American families who wished for one more baby. It will be the children who never know a loving forever home, and are destined to a lonely, dangerous life, and forced to make decisions they would never otherwise choose, for their very survival. Check out these statistics provided by Unicef:
Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home.
In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit sucide before they reach age eighteen.
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
When we are reminded of this, how can we give up? Those babies need us all to keep fighting.
I am so uncomfortable asking for help, but I am pleading with you, if the thought of those unwanted babies stirs something in your heart, please commit to supporting our family in this fight. There are lots of ways you can help.
* Buy tickets to our upcoming Family Fun Night event. They are $25 per adult and $10 per child and they include a catered meal, an outdoor viewing of the movie The Greatest Showman, concessions, games, and an opportunity to see and bid on lots of fantastic donated silent auction items, all in a gorgeous local outdoor event venue. We need to have our numbers figured out by this Sunday, June 10.
* Bid by proxy on our silent auction items. If you aren’t able to make it to the event, browse the auction items that will be available and contact me to give me your bid. It will be added to the other bids that night and winners will be announced the following day. New items are being added every day!
* Donate an auction item. If you own a business, have products or services to donate, or can think of a creative donation to offer, please contact me and we will put it in our auction! Everyone who donates will be recognized both at the event and on the Facebook event page.
* Donate to our tax deductible fund.
* Pray for our family, the Tutterrows who are still in the middle of a two month long battle to bring their baby home from Japan, and for the future of international adoption in general. We covet your prayers and support right now as this has been an extremely frustrating and discouraging season.
* Share, share, share our story and the invitation to our event! We need a minimum of 50 adults in order to make the event worth the money invested in it. This is not a church exclusive event, it is open to our entire community, and anyone who has a heart for orphans! Our goal is at least 100. We need your help spreading the word!
We are so thankful for our community and the support our family has been shown in the past. We are humbly asking that you continue to support us, and fight for the orphans who are powerless to fight for themselves.