Bell Family Adoption

Christa Bell
Christa Bell Magnolia, Arkansas

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.
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Raised to date by 15 people
 of  $15,000
73 days left

My Story

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.
Read more

Court Date and First Trip Scheduled!

September 28, 2017

We are SO excited to have our court date scheduled! (And, of course, had to celebrate with DQ!) This means we know when we get to meet our baby girl for the first time – something we’ve been wondering and guessing for months! We will fly out on October 28, arrive in S. Korea October 29, and meet Emberly October 30! We’ll get to have another meeting with her, probably on November 1, then we attend family court on November 2. After this, we’ll fly home and await our final decree. This could be anywhere from 3-5 weeks. As long as there are no unforeseen delays in the court process, we are #BringingEmberlyHome before Christmas!!! 

Our first flights and hotels are booked. We are so thankful to the Lord that He is providing, and we trust that He will continue to provide for our two trips. We can’t thank you enough for your encouragement, financial support, and prayers. We are less than $400 away from reaching our matching grant goal with Lifesong for Orphans! The matching grant is $2500, so once we reach that, they will double it and send us $5,000! Would you ask God if He wants to use you to help us reach that? Lifesong will continue accepting gifts for our fund beyond the $2500 as well.

Will you join us in the following specific prayer needs? Please pray…

-That the process will continue along and no delays will occur in the court process

-That Emberly will continue to be healthy and that God will prepare her heart for the grief that comes with leaving her foster family

-For Emberly’s foster family – strength from day-to-day and during their grief after she leaves their home

-For attachment and bonding between our family and Emberly

-That God will provide the rest of the funds needed for the adoption process and traveling

-For traveling mercies, regarding safety and jetlag

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Emigration Approved!!!

August 4, 2017

Today, we received word of the next step in the process – Emberly’s emigration permission (exit paperwork) has been approved! This gives us a better guess at when we will travel for our first of two trips to Korea – end of October or sometime in November! On this trip, we’ll get to meet our daughter for the first time with (2) one-hour long meetings, and we will also attend family court. Please be in prayer for the court process, as a big part of the timing is up to the judge we’re assigned. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support!

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Emigration Permission

July 5, 2017

Our process with Emberly, as well as our Lifesong Matching Grant Fundraiser, are coming right along! You have given $100 through our “mySTORY” page and another $469 through Gobena coffee, which means we’re $569 of the way to $2500 that Lifesong will then match, to equal $5000! We are not able to see the names on the Gobena orders, so if you’ve ordered coffee, thank you!!!

As you may have heard, Emberly’s emigration permission (EP) was submitted on June 21! The South Korean government has a quota each year of how many children may be adopted, and of that, a certain percentage may be adopted internationally. To mangage this, they submit the EPs in batches throughout the year. Last year, they submitted a batch every other month, but this year, they have been slower. We were so thankful to hear this news on 6/22!

The next step is EP approval, which takes an average of 2-3 months. The last batch only took around 45 days for approval, so we’re praying they continue that trend! If each step continues to move quickly, she could be home by the end of the year! 

The same day we heard we were EP submitted, we also received a nine minute long video of Emberly, with an update! She is the very definition of “active toddler”! It was so fun to watch her play with dolls, use bowling pins as drumsticks, and attempt to climb up a slide! Her fine and gross motor skills are amazing for her age. It’s been a few years now, since we’ve had a toddler in the house, so she’s definitely going to keep us on our toes. We can’t wait!

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support!

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Comments

$100

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Sep 28, 2017

$200

Jason and Tara

Sep 28, 2017

“So happy for you guys!”

$400

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Sep 28, 2017

$108

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Sep 13, 2017

$250

Rick & Marla

Sep 3, 2017

“Can't wait to meet Emberly someday!”

$10

Tasha

Sep 1, 2017

$50

Ginger

Aug 30, 2017

“Love, Granna and Grandaddy, Nana and Papaw, and Ella :)”

$500

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Aug 28, 2017

$250

Ken

Aug 24, 2017

$109

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Aug 17, 2017

$50

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Aug 10, 2017

$438

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Jul 18, 2017

$250

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Jul 17, 2017

$20

Sally

Jul 5, 2017

“We are praying for you guys! I'm excited for you!”

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Jun 10, 2017