Today, we're doing something special on Once Written, Twice Shy. My friend and fellow writer C.J. Redwine is trying to adopt a little girl from China. She's rounded up a bunch of bloggers to help her raise money for the adoption fees. She's asking everyone to skip their Starbucks (or other treat) just for today and donate that small amount to her fund to bring their daughter home. Everyone who comments and donates from this blog (you must let me know in the comment section that you've donated) will be put into a drawing to win a $10 Starbucks card from me AND put into a drawing to win some fabulous prizes from C.J.'s blog.
Winners drawn on Thursday, August 26.
Here's C.J.'s story:
We had three biological boys in four years and then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had a hysterectomy and while I mourned the fact that I couldn't have any more biological children, I was certain our family wasn't finished. My husband wasn't so sure. :) I'd talked about adopting and I always saw us with a little girl from China. He came up with a ton of reasons why now wasn't the right time to adopt. Then, on Mother's Day of 2005, he leaned over to me in church and said, "We have a daughter in China. We need to start the adoption proceedings to bring her home." I adjusted to this unexpected news (we hadn't discussed adoption for months) in about 15 seconds. :)
The next day, we began researching adoption and we picked out her name: Johanna Faith. Johanna means God's Gracious Gift and Faith is what it is taking to bring her home. We signed up with Chinese Children Adoption International agency based out of Colorado. We completed our stateside paperwork and homestudy within a few months, sent off our dossier to China with the understanding that it would be a 6-8 month wait, and eagerly planned to bring our daughter home. Soon, though, we began to hear rumors that the wait time was extending. Then we heard that the government had cracked down on orphanages who were receiving money from the state but who weren't keeping all of their beds full and the wait slowed to a crawl. Our dreams of having her home for Christmas were dashed. And then our dreams for having her home in time for summer were dashed as well. Before we knew it, another Christmas had passed and we were still waiting. Meanwhile, the Olympics were coming to Beijing, and the word was most adoption processes would stop altogether because China didn't want unfavorable international attention on their orphanages.
As the wait stretched from 8 months to three years, I struggled with depression. I could hardly bear Christmas, because she wasn't yet there. I shut the door of her bedroom and left it closed because I couldn't bear to walk past it in the hall. It hurt to think about having a child out there whom I couldn't protect. Couldn't love. Couldn't save. Three years became four with no real change. Our homestudy expired. Our immigration petition expired. Three times. Our fingerprints expired. Four times. And China raised the orphanage and court fees by thousands while we waited. Suddenly, the cushion of money we'd fundraised at the start of this process was almost gone and China was picking up speed in their child match program.
In September, it will be five years since we officially started our adoption process to bring Johanna home. We expect to receive her picture, information, and permission to travel sometime by the middle of September.
I opened her bedroom door for the first time in 3 1/2 years.
And we need to raise 8k to cover travel and the cash required to pay the orphanage for Johanna's freedom.
From Becky: This is where you, my fabulous, generous readers come in. If you could skip your Starbucks, Egg McMuffin, donut or whatever else you might normally buy for yourself today and donate that amount to C.J's cause, we'd really appreciate it. We suggest a $5 minimum to offset Paypal charges.
Click on the button above to take you to C.J.'s blog page where you can donate
to be in line for the $10 Starbucks card from this blog and
THANKS SO MUCH. C.J. and little Johanna Faith thank you, too.