Friday, August 18, 2017

Handmade, with Love, for Maggie

It's incredible to ponder that our friends have raised $6,000 for our adoption so far. There's no way we could be where we are in the process without this help. There are few words to explain how grateful we feel. THANK YOU, precious friends!

It is with great excitement that we kick off our next fundraiser to help bring home our baby girl! We want Maggie to have something personal and handmade when she comes home and we would love for you to be a part of it. Our idea is to have a quilt made in a very unique way, and a local friend has offered her quilting expertise as a gift!

Here's how it'll work. We have chosen material for the quilt, and squares have been cut. Our idea is to sell a square to anyone who would like to be a part of her homecoming quilt. Each square sells for $50. You will receive a permanent, black, fabric marker to write anything you want on your square. It can be a Bible verse, words of love and encouragement, anything to make that square personally yours and filled with love for our daughter. After you complete your square, you will return it to us and the squares will be sewn together to make a beautiful patchwork of love! If you are an out-of-towner, we will happily mail the square to you.

Our goal for this fundraiser, based on fees due over the coming weeks, is $4,000. We would love to hit this mark by selling 80 squares. Will you please help us do this? Beyond the fundraiser itself, it would be such a gift to have lots of love branded all over her quilt!

We are selling the squares now and will continue over the coming days. I'll let you know when we get close to our goal of 80 squares sold. Once this has happened, we will let our friend begin sewing the quilt together.

You can pay for a square through PayPal (please click "send money to family and friends" to avoid fees) to, or you can mail us a check (email me to request address), whichever is easiest. Please put a note on your payment that it is for a quilt square.

We think this quilt will be such a treasure for years to come. We look forward to reading her the names and notes of so many who helped bring her home. It will be a constant reminder of how cherished she is! Please, please purchase your square now. You'll be helping to bring Maggie home and it'll be a great way to show her she's loved!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We Haven't Forgotten

We were so blessed to attend our local "Run for One" event last night. Wonderful people came out to support Lifeline's ministry and specifically to rally for "Rafe," the little one we continue to advocate for. The Pounders family organized the entire thing and it was a huge success! You can read more about "Run for One" HERE. If you weren't able to join us last night but would still like to register, in order to support the work of Lifeline and receive a really cool t-shirt, you can click on "run where you are" and sign up.

As I mentioned, last night's run was in honor of Rafe. This is an opportunity for me to share, again, who this amazing child is.

Rafe is a little boy who lives in an orphanage in China. He has no one to call "Mama" or "Baba." He was born with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect, left abandoned, and remains in this circumstance with little hope. The Lord put his precious face in front of us last year and has called us to be his voice. We pray for him often. We beg for a family to step out in faith. Until a loving home is a reality for Rafe, we trust that his little life is in his maker's hands. Please read about him HERE and share with anyone who may consider praying for or adopting this child of God.

Because no family has chosen to pursue him, his file has returned to the shared list in China. There are many implications for this but notably that Lifeline no longer has his file and there is not a designated agency who can be a voice for him. We are, essentially, the only ones putting his face out there. His file sits with thousands of others, going unnoticed, the same way Fuyi's did. We can't stop posting about him. We can't stop praying for him. We can't stop telling the world that there's a dark truth about too many kids silently yelling for help. If you are interested in learning more about this child, please contact me. I have his medical file as well as some (adorable) recent videos of him.

We have been asked why we aren't adopting Rafe. Why have we chosen another child to adopt? Our answer is not simple but we want to try to give some clarity on our decision.

When Seamus and I knew we were being called to adopt again, we prayed many times over Rafe and the possibility of bringing him in to our fold. God made it very clear that His plan for Rafe was not one that included our home. It was the same message we received when hosting Fuyi. It was confusing because we adored her and truly fell in love with her. We knew she needed a family and we had one to offer, but we just knew Fuyi wasn't our daughter and that God had other plans for her. The same is true for Rafe. He needs a loving family. We have one. We are willing. But again, God is making it clear that He has other plans. We can't rely on God's plan being one to suit our desire... to find Rafe another family, the way He did for Fuyi. Nonetheless, we know God's plan is perfect, that His will is always better than ours and that His sovereignty over this child's life should never be doubted.

So, we move forward. We begin a new journey to bring home our own child, a different child with Down syndrome and a sick heart, one who was also going unnoticed. But we never forget Rafe and what God has called us to, on his behalf. We continue to pray. We continue to advocate. We ask you, once more, to please consider the joy that would come from embracing this child.

"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." (John 14:18)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Where We are in Process

You may be wondering where we are in the process and when we expect to travel.

We are wrapping up our home study this week! The home study is always the longest part of the process but we have a rock star social worker and we are pretty familiar with all the paperwork and checklists. The past few weeks have looked a little like this...


This week we will be submitting our Letter of Intent to China, asking for pre-approval to adopt this particular little girl. God-willing, they will respond in a couple weeks telling us we can proceed. It's at the point of receiving pre-approval that we will be able to share her picture!

While we are waiting for pre-approval, we will submit our I-800a application to Immigration. This is requesting permission to adopt an international child. The entire 800a approval takes about 2 months from the time of application.

A little side note on funding... When we receive pre-approval, we will have fees of $1,210 due. Part of this goes to the orphanage and the rest to another department in China for a liaison fee. We also have to submit $945 to USCIS (US Immigration Dept.) with our application this week. That's a total of $2,155 due over the next couple weeks.

Will y'all please help us reach this amount by purchasing raffle tickets HERE? We were so amazed yesterday when our friends called to say they had set up a fundraiser for us! The love we are feeling is incredible. And y'all. The raffle item. It's a Mom's fantasy... dinner cooked and delivered for your family for an entire week! AND! There isn't just one winner. There will be 5 winners picked on August 25th! So get your pony in the race and let's bring this baby girl home as quickly as we can! Y'all are the bestest.

If there aren't any major snags in the process, and we raise each fee in time for the due date, we could travel in early spring!

Prayer warriors, please pray for protection over our girl while she waits. Pray for her heart and for miraculous healing before she comes home. And if you would pray for our family, we'd appreciate that too. The process can be taxing and we truly need endurance, perseverance and patience only given by the grace of God.

More fun news... We'll be sharing her name soon! EEEEEK!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fundraising Information

I'd like to make a few points about our fundraising goals, in order to be clear and transparent.

This adoption will cost approximately $35,000. This includes all agency fees, immigration, China fees, legal documents, required post-reports, and travel expenses for 2 people.

We had a balance from previous adoption efforts and were able to use it for our immediate fees due. We paid $1,200 for our home study update and $2,812.50 for our first agency fee. Praise God we had that left over and didn't have to wait to start the process! This leaves a balance needed of almost $31,000.

We have created a thermometer on this page so you can see our progress. We will update it often and will share on FB periodically. It shows the $31,000 still needed and any donations we've received.

If you feel led to give but would like to donate directly to our agency, on our behalf, you may do that. Unfortunately, the donation still is not tax-deductible but you may prefer to give through that route and we will still receive the benefit. If you choose to do so, our agency is Lifeline Children's Services. Please indicate "Seamus Loman family adoption" on payment (check memo, etc.).

Any funds that we are able to set aside and save will go toward our adoption expenses and these amounts will be reflected on the thermometer as "raised."

We will share soon about our first upcoming fundraiser, as soon as the details are ironed out! Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all the encouragement we've already received! Please let us know what questions you have along the way. We are so grateful for your willingness to help and we want to be completely honest and open about everything we do!

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I'm so eager to get my heart on paper, yet I fumble to find the right words. My only goal for this blog, beyond simply releasing my emotion through writing, is that God would receive glory and praise for His wondrous work. Our witness of His gracious saving of souls is never to be hidden. Lord, let these words never be my own, rather your Spirit testifying to the love you so freely offer to a hurting world. God continues to work so mightily through us and we never grow weary of giving thanks for such a humbling privilege. We are entering a new season of ministry, another call that is so clearly from the Lord. My hope is that through my writing, through your reading, only Jesus would be given all praise due.

Our hearts burn for the orphan and God has been so faithful in using us to be His hands and feet for these vulnerable souls. He has accomplished so much and continues to work in amazing ways. I can't wait to share some of the "smaller" things He's doing! But for now, we have some pretty big news to share. And while everything He calls us to is exciting (and sometimes overwhelming), this definitely tops it all. We are beyond excited, nervous, and completely relying on the grace of Jesus. He's calling us back, y'all. Back to China. Back to those precious faces that are forever imprinted on our minds and our hearts. We have begun the process to adopt another. There are too many waiting. There are just too many who don't know love. There's too much room in our home. There's too much joy in bringing the gospel to another nation. There are so many more who need to learn about our adoption in Christ. No, we can't change the world, but for the child who will soon enter our home, her world will change forever. God seeks one lost, while leaving 99 behind (Luke 15:4) and we are humbled to be His feet that go for that lost sheep. He has called us and we answer, "Yes."

There is an image-bearing, child of God who lives in an orphanage in Jiangsu Province, China (the same province our Samuel is from!). She is only 1 year old and to no fault of her own, was born in to circumstances that would change the course of her life forever. She was born with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect. The story of her abandonment is tragic. It has wrecked us and drawn us to love her all the more. God can and will use her story and that extra chromosome of hers to shed light on His overwhelming love for us (Romans 8:28). We will be her voice. We will go for her. We will adopt her. God-willing.

We don't know how any of it is going to happen but we know a great and powerful God who says that all things are possible in Him. We think about our current life circumstances... our 5 children, keeping a home, schooling our children, our careers outside of the home, our lack of time to adequately care for a child with special needs, our depleted savings account, and Jesus faithfully reminds us that this journey is all His. We have a hundred reasons why this doesn't make sense. But God. There's nothing more important than living out His word through a life that reflects His love for us. We may not have the future figured out (or even today, really) but we know God is faithful and always provides through His will. I never, in a million years, thought I'd hope for a child with a sick heart or Down Syndrome. And now I find myself wanting more and more to see through the same lens God sees through. I find myself praising God for the many ways I know He'll bless us through it.

That being said, we need our village. More than ever. We have learned over the years to ditch our pride and let people help. We have learned that this ministry of orphan care is OURS, meaning yours and mine. God has given us all different gifts to live out His command to care for the orphan. We are so thankful for our gift to GO, to open our home, and share life-saving, Gospel truth to the weakest on earth. By design, God hasn't given us every gift, and what a beautiful design that is! We rely on the rest of the body to see this through. Without our community, she will never come home. We are taking one more step forward, remembering all the support we had through and after previous adoptions. The meals, babysitting, prayer, financial gifts and encouragement... these make it possible for us to go again. Your gift and your role in this adoption is not less important than ours.

If you would begin to partner with us by praying for our family, we'd be grateful. Please share our story. Please share our need to raise approximately $35,000. Everyone can be a part of bringing her home! We will be aggressively fundraising over the coming months and taking one step through the process at a time, as we raise funds for that particular step. Fortunately, we did have a small balance from our previous adoption efforts so we have been able to pay for our home study and first agency fee. We are planning our first fundraiser now and hope to announce it soon so we can make our second agency payment and send fees due for immigration approval. For now, if you feel led to contribute, please do that through the "donate" button on the right side of this blog (if you are on your phone or tablet, you must click on "view web version" at bottom of page to see the link). We could potentially travel to get her in 6-9 months but it will depend on how quickly we are able to move to the next step.

Thank you for your prayers and for considering a donation towards bringing this baby girl home! We are forever blessed by this community and know that together with God's provision, we can do this. We look forward to sharing more soon!