As most of you know, the Bells are in the process of adopting our daughter from South Korea! Matthew and I have felt the Lord's calling to adopt "one day," for as long as we can remember. In June 2016, we felt His leading to begin the process. We knew that we wanted a girl (Emma "needs" a sister!) who is younger than Ethan. After much prayer and research, we initially went with the China program, through our agency, Dillon International. The children China has waiting for families seemed to be the best fit for our family. We wouldn't be able to send our dossier to China till May of 2017, after we had both turned 30 (China's rule), but we started the process.
In January of 2017, I received a call from our home study social worker, asking if we would be willing to review the file of a little girl from South Korea. I had to ask again - "a girl?" You see, Korea has about 95% boy referrals; therefore, they don't allow families to specify a gender. This was one of the main reasons we chose China over Korea. Yes, a girl! Our family, not even currently in the Korea program, had received a referral for this little girl! This is one of many confirmations that the Lord chose us for her.
A few days later, we sent our official acceptance paperwork to Korea. Thirty days after that, we owed $25,000 (on top of agency/homestudy fees we had already paid). Our bank was so gracious to offer us a loan, to pay the $25,000 in time, while acknowledging it's for an adoption and offering us a lot of patience and flexibility, while we wait for God's provision. He has been providing through some grants we have already received, through generous donations from many of you, through our t-shirt fundraiser and through Premier Designs jewelry. We also will have two trips to Korea, which, with the help of airline miles and hotel points we're accumulating, we hope will only cost around $6,000 total. The way Korea has their process designed, first, we will go for family court. During that trip, we'll be able to meet Emberly for the first time! Then, we'll come back home and await final approval, to go back to get her. That wait is usually around a month.
Another confirmation from God is some news we just heard this week (May 30, 2017). We have received a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans in the amount of $2,500! In other words, they will match what we raise through this site and through checks sent directly to them, on our behalf, up to $2,500! Most of you know that I'm a rep for Premier Designs jewelry. Premier strives "to honor God and enrich every life we touch," and they support many different ministries and missions all over the world. Before we began the adoption process, I knew that Lifesong for Orphans was one of the ministries Premier supports, so they were at the top of my list when I began writing grant applications! It's so humbling to me, to see this come full-circle. Part of Premier's profit of every piece of jewelry sold goes to these different ministries, and now one of these ministries is helping to fund our adoption! I'm just in awe of how God works and so thankful.
The following is Lifesong's explanation of God's heart for orphans, and it echos our hearts, as well. We hope that you will consider how the Lord is leading you, personally, to fulfill James 1:27.
"God desires orphans of all nations to be adopted into Christ-honoring families so they can hear the Word of God and ultimately be adopted into God’s eternal family through faith in Jesus Christ. While God calls us to fulfill James 1:27 and “visit the fatherless” not all are called to adopt. Some are called to pray, some to give financially, some to go on mission trips, and some to adopt."
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Bell 6760”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.