The Olsen Odyssey – Our Journey through Adoption

Abigail Olsen
Abigail Olsen Madison, Wisconsin

Listening to Adventures in Odyssey is one of our favorite past times on long road trips.  We chuckle over Eugene’s mishaps and Mr. Whitaker’s life-lessons never get old!  Our current trek through adoption is one of the greatest adventures in our marriage so far. (“Greatest” in terms of length, significance, and excitement) – proving to be life-changing in more ways than one!  We hope you find our story encouraging and enlightening.  (We do plan to update our adoption story regularly – so make sure you check back for more details!)

Our journey toward adoption began long before we were married.  Adoption is written into the fabric of who we are.  We believe that adoption is a picture of God’s love for us.  He has chosen us, Jonathan and Abigail, as a son and daughter -bringing us into his family – loving, guiding, protecting and giving us an inheritance that goes with his name.  As God has richly poured out his love on us, in turn, we are excited to pour out our affection on our future children!  

Adoptions can cost anywhere from $17,000-$40,000.  Sadly that big price tag frightens many amazing potential parents away from adopting.  When we first looked into adoption a few years ago, we were quickly disheartened by the cost as well. So we prayed and trusted for a miracle.  This summer we felt like God was asking us to step forward in faith so we began our Home Study and presently we are in the “waiting game.”  We are waiting to be matched with an expectant family and attempting to raise the rest of our funds to process the adoption.  Last week, God generously blessed us with a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans which will match up to $4,000 of funds donated to our adoption! (If you want to make a tax-deductible donation, see below for directions.)

There is an ancient proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  While we have hoped to build our family for several years, it is now our prayer that adoption would plant a life-giving seed in our child’s birth-family and that our family would grow into a life-giving tree of love as we look forward to adopting again in the years to come – maybe internationally or maybe through foster care – however God leads.  

To be continued…

How to get involved:

  • Pray for expecting parents considering an adoption plan for their child(ren)
  • Educate us as new parents – Comment with your favorite parenting book/resource.
  • Donate to the Olsen Adoption Fund – see below for directions.

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 “Olsen 8135”, 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 63 people
 of  $28,000
191 days left

My Story

Listening to Adventures in Odyssey is one of our favorite past times on long road trips.  We chuckle over Eugene’s mishaps and Mr. Whitaker’s life-lessons never get old!  Our current trek through adoption is one of the greatest adventures in our marriage so far. (“Greatest” in terms of length, significance, and excitement) – proving to be life-changing in more ways than one!  We hope you find our story encouraging and enlightening.  (We do plan to update our adoption story regularly – so make sure you check back for more details!)

Our journey toward adoption began long before we were married.  Adoption is written into the fabric of who we are.  We believe that adoption is a picture of God’s love for us.  He has chosen us, Jonathan and Abigail, as a son and daughter -bringing us into his family – loving, guiding, protecting and giving us an inheritance that goes with his name.  As God has richly poured out his love on us, in turn, we are excited to pour out our affection on our future children!  

Adoptions can cost anywhere from $17,000-$40,000.  Sadly that big price tag frightens many amazing potential parents away from adopting.  When we first looked into adoption a few years ago, we were quickly disheartened by the cost as well. So we prayed and trusted for a miracle.  This summer we felt like God was asking us to step forward in faith so we began our Home Study and presently we are in the “waiting game.”  We are waiting to be matched with an expectant family and attempting to raise the rest of our funds to process the adoption.  Last week, God generously blessed us with a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans which will match up to $4,000 of funds donated to our adoption! (If you want to make a tax-deductible donation, see below for directions.)

There is an ancient proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  While we have hoped to build our family for several years, it is now our prayer that adoption would plant a life-giving seed in our child’s birth-family and that our family would grow into a life-giving tree of love as we look forward to adopting again in the years to come – maybe internationally or maybe through foster care – however God leads.  

To be continued…

How to get involved:

  • Pray for expecting parents considering an adoption plan for their child(ren)
  • Educate us as new parents – Comment with your favorite parenting book/resource.
  • Donate to the Olsen Adoption Fund – see below for directions.

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 “Olsen 8135”, 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

Both Hands Update

April 16, 2019

Here’s a peek into our Both Hands project day:  https://youtu.be/U2IaR8ZdX2s.  We were blessed with clear skies and a great crew of volunteers!  

 

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Tomorrow is Project Day!

April 12, 2019

We are thankful for every one of you who have helped us reach 50% of our goal for our Both Hands Campaign!  Tomorrow is the big day!  We will be painting, washing windows and building a fence for Ms. Karen. (Click on this link to read her story: https://bothhands.org/project/olsen-8135)

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of busyness around this event.  It has been challenging to remember the true purpose for this event in the midst of preparing all the things necessary to finish this event.  Last night we were reminded that our fundraiser and service tomorrow is not an event but part of a relationship.  We have the cool opportunity to be a part of a community who cares for its own and to demonstrate the true nature of what it means to be in the Church – a life-giving body who looks out for one another.  James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”  But it’s not just about religion, it’s about the relationship.

Want to be a part? It’s not too late to give. (Scroll down for directions)

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Both Hands Project

March 26, 2019

We are gearing up for our Both Hands project on April 13!  Here is a little information about the sweet lady we will be serving:

Ms. Karen is a caring mother of three grown children, grandmother of two, and pet-rescuer. Having been on her own for 29 years, Ms. Karen had to boldly raise her younger daughter (now a veteran) and son (a mechanic) as a single mom. A car accident injury and multiple surgeries left it difficult for Ms. Karen to keep up with needed home maintenance tasks. Our team is looking forward to helping her check off some of these items on her list!

Both Hands, a partner organization with Lifesong, helps adoptive families raise money for their adoptions.  We organize a service project for a widow (or widower), then we and our volunteers raise support for our day of service.  All of the funds raised go towards the adoption.  And the really cool thing is that we get to help someone out while raising funds at the same time!

For more info check out our project page: https://bothhands.org/project/olsen-8135!  Want to get involved? Leave a comment.

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One Hand for the Fatherless & One Hand for the Widow

February 16, 2019

We are excited to kick off our next campaign with Both Hands!  We are raising a team of volunteers to do work on a widow’s house in our community.  Volunteers will raise support for their day of service (similar to participants in a 5K race) and all of the proceeds will go to bringing home our child.  And any money raised beyond our need will be given to another adoptive family!  It’s not just a fundraiser, but an opportunity for our community to come together and show love to someone in need!  You can learn more on our project page:  https://bothhands.org/project/olsen-8135.  One hand to serve the orphan and one hand to serve the widow ~

 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…”

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Celebrate With Us

February 14, 2019

Today is the last day of our current campaign goal and (with our Lifesong for Orphans matching grant) you have helped us raise $18,000 ~That’s just $2000 short of our goal for this campaign!  Thank you

Tomorrow starts another exciting sojourn in The Olsen Odyssey – so stay tuned…

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Welcome back to The Olsen Odyssey! 

January 27, 2019

 We are honored that God has called us on this journey and blessed by the depth into which he has plunged us in understanding his character.  We already mentioned that adoption is written into the fabric of who we are – painting a picture of God’s love.

Patient Love:   As we wait to be matched and as we wait in anticipation for our child to be placed in our arms, we are encouraged knowing that we serve a God who identifies with us.  God the Father is also waiting in eager expectation to welcome home his children.  As the apostle Peter explained, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 

Selfless Love:  Even if you didn’t grow up in church, you are likely familiar with John 3:16.  The first part reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” Ask yourself – To whom did he give his Son? Our Lord not only identifies with waiting adoptive parents, but also with the heart-broken mom selflessly following through with an adoption plan for her child.  Acceptance and Sacrifice are both loving acts.

Celebrate with us:  Our story had not been live a week, before we were overwhelmed by the kind support and incredible generosity of our friends and family!  Because of you, we have reached over 80 percent of our current campaign goal which includes the matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans.  Thank you (you can still give a tax-deductible donation by clicking the “Donate” button or by sending a check to the address below.)!

Stay tuned for details on our Both Hands project.“One for the Widow. One for the Orphan”…

How to get involved:

  • Pray for expecting parents considering an adoption plan for their child(ren).
  • Educate us as new parents – Comment with your favorite parenting book/resource.
  • Join our Both Hands Project Day Team.
  • Donate to the Olsen Adoption Fund.

 

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Jan 30, 2019

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Tami

Jan 17, 2019

“So excited for you! Praying for the whole journey. ❤️”

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Elijah

Jan 5, 2019

“My prayers for you both are more like "thank you's" to God because I feel He has the details all worked out. May God bless your family and your adoption journey abundantly! May you both be surprised by His goodness! With love, Elijah”

$20

Sara

Jan 4, 2019

“Congratulations”

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Jan 3, 2019

“Roger or Sven are good names😉”

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Jan 3, 2019

“I am excited for you both as you embark on this journey. I pray that God blesses your family.”

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Rob and Sheryl

Jan 2, 2019

“We are soooo excited for you! Congratulations!”

$100

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Jan 2, 2019

“I'll be praying for you! You are going to be amazing parents.”