Dear Family and friends,
As 2020 comes to an end, and we welcome in a new year with joyful expectation, we wanted to share some updates from our family, including our adoption update, and a couple of photos.
Like so many others, our year has been filled with many ups and downs, and unexpected twists and turns. On the joyful side, we (Jorge & Jen) celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary! We continue to grow in love together and are grateful for the precious gift of marriage God has given us! We love journeying through life together, and the life we’ve built as a family, along with Spunky Samuel! This year Samuel entered 4th grade and he is still homeschooled. We just celebrated his 10th birthday! He is growing into a fine young man who loves Jesus, loves people, and loves learning! We’re excited to see what God has planned for him! We are thriving by remaining devoted to our passions and using our talents…Jesus, family, homeschooling Samuel, Jorge in IT, Jorge and Jen with photography, and serving The Lord as He leads us in the daily rhythms of life, as well as in the journey of adoption!
Many times our adoption journey has felt like a wild roller coaster ride, with lots of unexpected twists, turns, and upside down loops! We’ve laughed, we cried, and yes – sometimes we wanted to get off the ride before it was over, but a firm resolve remains in our hearts to continue our ride to the end! We’ve learned from so many adoptive and foster families this is not uncommon.
As you know, we were faithfully pursuing Savannah’s adoption. However, we learned early this year, for reasons beyond our control, Savannah’s adoption could not proceed and her file was closed. This was very difficult for us, but we had the joy of sending Savannah a gift from our family. It included a letter we wrote, had translated into Cantonese, and printed in a pretty pink, fuzzy journal. We told Savannah about Jesus’ relentless love for her and His free gift of salvation, we wished her well and told her she will always be in our hearts, then we prayed a blessing over her, and Samuel signed our names in Cantonese! We sent the journal containing our letter, along with a heart pendant that had the word LOVED stamped on it. We were overjoyed when we received pictures of Savannah reading her letter, holding her necklace, with a peaceful smile that is engraved in our hearts forever! We thank everyone who has encouraged us in our journey, prayed for us and Savannah, and financially helped us with sacrificial gifts. Please know your labor of love, financial partnership, and prayers in our adoption journey are not in vain.
While that chapter in our adoption journey closed, we remained open to God’s direction for our family. We took time to process the loss of Savannah’s disrupted adoption. After several months, MUCH PRAYER, and many family discussions, we unanimously felt God was leading us to continue on our journey of adoption. Some may wonder why? While the journey has not been quick or easy, the reason why we continue is simple. We love Jesus, and we surrendered our lives to Him and whatever He calls us to do. We each individually feel led to do our part with making a difference in the life of a child who needs a forever family. So we continue to say, “Yes!”
We are excited to share a new chapter in our lives. We are pursuing the adoption of a young girl who lives in an orphanage in Colombia. Her alias name is Samantha and she just turned 9 years old. Thankfully, the donations we previously received from so many generous people like you were held by Lifesong for our family’s adoption. When we decided to pursue adoption again, it was a tremendous blessing to have funds available to complete several of the required steps. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ve accomplished:
July-August: Submitted letter of intent (LOI) to adopt Samantha and received Colombia’s pre-approval.
September-November: Completed all of the steps required for our updated Colombian home study. Received our approved home study. Sent required documents to USCIS to notify them of our country change.
December: We’ve been working on the many steps required for our Colombian dossier. We also began applying for adoption grants to help with our adoption expenses.
We continue working with ECFA (our local home study agency), and Nightlight Christian Adoptions (the international agency). They know the journey we’ve been on, and the finances previously invested. While those funds cannot be refunded because they were for services previously rendered, and forms filed with set governmental fees, they both graciously agreed to reduce their agency fees for this adoption. We are so very grateful! Also we changed countries from Hong Kong to Colombia for a few reasons. First, the decision was made with much prayer, and we believe this is the path we should pursue. Second, we believe due to Jorge’s Hispanic culture, and many Spanish speaking family and friends (including Jorge, and Samuel – I/Jen am the slow poke with foreign language learning), it will make the transition into our family a little easier. A BIG benefit includes the timeline. The wait time is much shorter, so we could potentially travel as early as Spring of 2021 to finalize the adoption and bring home our daughter! We will share more details as soon as we are able.
Adoption is a hard journey, but the children waiting for their forever family are worth every minute of work, every financial sacrifice, and every effort made to love and grow together as a family. Our sincere hope is we can demonstrate the love of Christ in words and action! We would be forever grateful for your continued prayers for us, and “Samantha”, as we persevere on this challenging journey. Also, if you feel The Lord is putting it on your heart to partner with us financially in any way, we will be deeply grateful! Thank you to those who have reached out to ask about our journey and how to give to our adoption fundraising, we appreciate you!!! The link to follow our journey is included at the bottom of this letter. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for every prayer, encouraging word, and financial gift you’ve sacrificially given…we love and appreciate you!!!
We remain steadfast as we reflect on God’s Words in John 14:18:
“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.”
Regardless of whatever 2021 brings, we will continue walking with God, cherish His blessings, and pursue His plans for us!
With love, joy, and gratitude,
Jorge, Jen and Samuel Uriostegui
You may donate by sending a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Uriostegui 8004”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744. You may also donate online via credit card. For online donations, STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount.
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.