Saturday, March 23, 2013

Concert Pictures

We were so blessed to have two photographers at the concert.  Rebecca and Heather did an beautiful job capturing the night in photos!

Friday, March 22, 2013

It came!

Our immigration approval came in the mail today!   
I contacted our agency to let them know and they started the process of getting all of our dossier docs certified and authenticated.  That should take 2-3 weeks and then our dossier will go to China!!  Praise God!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dossier Docs & Fingerprinting

In the midst of concert planning, two fairly big things happened in our process.

First, we mailed all our dossier documents to our agency!
Once we get our immigration approval back, they handle getting everything authenticated, certified, and translated.  That takes 2-3 weeks.

Second, we had our biometrics appointment with USCIS.  
Our understanding is that it will take a couple weeks for them to process our fingerprints and send us our immigration approval (also called our 800A). **Update, it came 4 days after our appointment!  

So fun to check off those two big things and move closer to bringing our little son home!

The photographers are working on pictures from the concert and we hope to get them from them this weekend. In the meantime, here are a few pictures Matt took before the show.

Lots of guitars, lots of cables. 

Financial & Puzzle Upates

A few notes regarding adoption finances:

1.  A common question regarding donations has been if it is tax deductible.  Unfortunately it is not.   When you donate towards our adoption, though 100% off it goes directly into our Adoption Bank Account (the exception is that if you use paypal, they do take 2.9%.  We feel like it is worth it because it is so easy to use.).  This bank account is separate from our accounts that cover day-to-day expenses. So you can be sure that your money is used only towards adoption expenses.  If you have further questions regarding adoption expenses or where your money goes, please let us know. We want to be transparent and open about it.

2.  We're updating the thermometer today to reflect a more accurate total.  This adoption will cost approx. $35,000 and so far, we have $18,355 (that includes donations and money we have put in).  And, just an interesting piece of info - of that $18k,  $12,000 has already been paid out in agency fees/dossier fees/fingerprinting fees/home study fees/etc.

3.  Included in the amount mentioned above is newest puzzle update: 

Puzzle Update, Week 20 
41 pieces have been sponsored since our last update!!  
Total of 609 pieces = $6,090

Monday, March 18, 2013

Concert Totals and Thank Yous

Saying "thank you" just doesn't seem to cover what we want to say about Saturday night.  So many people worked so hard to make things fall into place - and you all are a part of our little guy's journey home. As Van said, you are running the race with us!

We hope you were touched, moved, and blessed by the amazing music from Shelly, Christa, and Nicole.   As I write this, I can't even think of words to explain how beautiful their music is and especially how beautiful they were performing it live.  And the band - Mike, Pat, Kevin, Houston, Paige.  You guys are phenomenal.  As I sat in the front row, I was just totally taken back (and in tears a good bit of the time) by the beauty of the music, the lyrics, and by a God who would orchestrate it all.

Several people asked about the video we showed, so here it is, friends.   Watch it again.  With Kleenex.

And, without further ado, we are so excited and thrilled to share with you that 

approx. 280 were in attendance


$5,623 was donated to our adoption!!


46 T-shirts were sold = $690!!

which means

$6,313 was the total!!!

Wow, friends!!!  Thank you, Lord!!

We have pictures coming soon!  
Check back for that later this week.

Some particular people we wanted to thank:

Anyone who donated any amount: we are grateful beyond words!
Van Fletcher - not only were you our voice Sat. night, but you were there every step of the way loving on us.
Anne Fletcher - you made the space look amazing, but beyond that you helped us have vision, you encouraged our souls.
Shelly, Christa, Nicole - truly no words for how amazing you are - both at music and at generosity
Mike, Kevin, Houston, Pat, Paige - wow.
Graham Bruns, Hal Darby, Chuck Britt - thank you for making everything sound great. What a gift!
Julie Anna & Ben Kaufman, Leslie Larson, Sarah & Jesse Durst - you worked the musician tables so joyfully and diligently. Thank you for your sweet service!
Dave & Leslyn Kim, Jim & Emily Hapner -we really put you to work at our T-shirt and donation table, thank you for so faithfully and joyfully serving.
Rendall Family  - you greeted like pros, you guys were perfect for this job!!
Shirley Tucker - thanks for filling our bellies with amazing delicious dinner despite me telling you the wrong time.  You are amazing.
Anne Larsen - you lifted a huge work load from us by organizing the snacks, friend!
Pam & Ray Rein - you helped with so many things - set up, clean up, snacks. Wow!
More than a dozen people who brought snacks - they were delicious, thank you
Mikey Harmon & Adam White - thank you for being our concert security - huge blessing!
Clean Up Crew - we were shocked at how quickly clean up happened.  Thank you for staying late and making that happen!
Mom & Dad Harmon - you were there to help with whatever we needed - set up, lunch, clean up, kids.
Mom & Dad Wilson - thank you for keeping the kids most of the day on Saturday, for bringing food, and for being quick to help us with anything we needed

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I just got home from practice for Saturday's concert. It's 9:20pm.
The sweet musicians are still there and will be for a while,
working so hard to get all the microphones and instruments working and sounding the right way.
It is such an amazing gift they are giving us by doing this concert.
You are going to be so blessed by what they do on Saturday.

If you haven't registered yet, click here to register and get your free tickets.

We are completely excited to share this night with you!!

Thanks to Su Soutter at The Intentional Home (a wonderful blog about living intentionally. highly recommend it!) and Steve West at Brookhaven House Concerts (he hosts really amazing house concerts in his home here in Raleigh. check them out - there is one in April.) for sharing about our concert on their websites.
If you got here from them, welcome!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A good mail day

In this season of waiting, checking the mail each day is a chance for something big to happen,
for another step in our process to get crossed off.

Today was a good mail day, friends.

Among the regular junk mail and bills, there were some treasures.

a card and check from a sweet friend, puzzle pieces sponsored
family portraits from Season Moore to display at the concert
a stack of pictures that we ordered for our dossier


our fingerprinting appointment!
eek! squeal!  so excited to get this!
Monday March 18th is our date.
Then we will wait to get immigration approval back.
Each step we move forward feels so good!

And, those family portraits from Season Moore,
here are a couple of sneak peaks.
It was very cold outside the morning that she took these 
and our kids were not very cooperative, to say the least.
But Season is amazing and still got some good ones
to donate for us to display at the concert.
If you have never checked out her website or seen her work,
click here to see it.
(and by the way, if you click and go to her website,
the music you'll hear is Christa Wells,
who you can hear in person on the 16th :)
Thank you, Season!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A peek at our day....

I'm a little intimidated at the idea of making cinnamon rolls from scratch. When I've tried it before, it hasn't gone really well.  But, we love some fun breakfast on Saturday mornings here in the Harmon house.... so alas it's time to try again. And this time I have two helpers.  The dough is rising as we speak and hopefully we can get them made and in the fridge tonight to cook tomorrow morning. Yum (I hope).  

And this little man is always ready to show me a "caw." 

I'm so grateful for this life.
Being at home with my kids is hard and it does wear on me.
But I love it so much.

I think a lot about what it will look like when #4 comes home.  I read this article today (click here to see it) and it was helpful to me in thinking through the "storm" that may come along with his first few weeks/days/months at home.  The author says:

Many adoptive families thought the wait time was hard until they stayed home for 3 months straight working on attachment and how to eat pancakes for the 12th straight meal. Arduous and time consuming, redeeming what is broken takes everything we have to give and beyond.

It does seem hard to wait, but I know that the real work in adoption (or parenting in general) is once that baby is home.  That's when the rubber really hits the road.  That's when we will really face the heartbreak that is involved in adoption - that this precious boy was abandoned and now is going to be removed from all that he has ever known to come home with us (we are his family, but he won't understand that for a while).  We will have to face the fact that he wasn't snuggled or smothered with kisses like our other children were.   We will deal with how he doesn't know English, how he can't eat the foods we eat yet, and whatever medical issues he may have.  Friends, these things will be hard.  You may find us barely sleeping and in tears on some days.  Redeeming what is broken takes everything we have to give and beyond.

But it's worth it.  It's a little bit like Jacob working so hard for Rachel.  "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her." (Genesis 29:20).  
We already love this boy so much.

With that, I'm off to paint some little girl fingernails, finish up some cinnamon rolls, go to a dear friend's first birthday party, and soak in and savor this time with much gratitude. 

Puzzle Update, Week 17

Filled in some more orange pieces this week.
The rest of the orange ones are sorted.  I love days where I have 30 minutes or an hour at the end of the day to sit down and work on it.  Each piece that goes in feels closer to bringing our boy home.  And, it's good quiet time to pray and think about God's amazing gracious goodness towards us.

42 new pieces sponsored since our last puzzle update!!  Wow!!

Total of 568 pieces sponsored.  Wow.  Thank you!