“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress . . .”
It seems appropriate to be writing this blog post on Father’s Day, after so many months of inactivity. I really started using this blog in early 2006 to keep people updated on our adoption of MelodyJoy. Which is why it makes sense to resurrect the blog now . . . because we’re planning to add another child to our family! The fortune cookie mentioned in my last blog post (February 12) was prophetic. In fact, just two days ago we received our referral, one of the most significant landmarks in adopting from China.
How did we arrive at the point of wanting to adopt again? Late in October, we attended our first Steven Curtis Chapman concert. During the concert, as he always does, he hit the topic of adoption hard. The next morning, AWAA (the agency we used when we adopted MelodyJoy) hosted an adoption seminar close by and we gave our own testimony about adopting. Afterwards, Jeannette asked me whether we should consider adopting again but we dropped the topic pretty quickly!
That got the ball rolling, though, and I decided to look at the World Association for Children and Parents website because we had heard that WACAP offers large grants to families willing to adopt waiting children. That turned out not to be true in our case but it’s what led me to their site. While looking at pictures of “waiting children,” I noticed Jillian and her sweet smile caught my eye. She was described as being about six-years-old and having a mild case of cerebral palsy.
I told Jeannette about Jillian but the conversation really didn’t go anywhere. Over the course of a couple of weeks, though, Jeannette came around to the idea of adopting Jillian, partly because each of the boys expressed support when she asked them about it. MelodyJoy, however, was firmly against sharing “her” family with another child! About five or six weeks after the concert, though, she changed her tune, realizing it could be fun to have a sister and so we started seriously looking into it. Since then, Melody has been fully on board, praying regularly for Jillian and for the process we’re going through. We plan to take her with us to China when we go to get Jillian.
Unfortunately, I can’t post any pictures of Jillian right now. We’ve been asked not to put pictures of her online yet. If you’d like to see a photo, send me a message and perhaps I can mail one to you.
We covet your support as we work through all of this. Here is an abbreviated list of the things that we’re concerned about . . .
· Jillian’s health and that we’ll be able to find the care and the physical therapy she’ll need when she comes home. Also, possible developmental and speech delays.
· The language barrier . . . honestly, in some ways our biggest worry is how we’ll communicate with this little girl who probably doesn’t know a word of English.
· Schooling. We are hoping to get Jillian enrolled in a great Chinese Immersion Program at Ben Franklin Elementary School (about 15 minutes from our house), but she’s on a waiting list and there’s no guarantee that there will be room for her when she arrives here.
· Attachment issues. Jillian is currently in a foster home, and we’re going to turn this little girl’s life upside down, taking her away from the family and friends she knows.
· Money, Money, Money!
International adoption is always expensive but our costs this time are much more than last time and our resources are more limited. A bad combination. For instance, when we adopted MelodyJoy, the required orphanage donation was $3,000. Now it is over $5,000. Travel expenses are likely to be double what they were in ‘06. In all, the total is sure to exceed $30,000.
We have received a $2,200 grant from WACAP and are applying for more through other foundations. We’re also working on some different fundraisers and will try to keep you posted about those.
In the meantime, we would love to have your financial support of any level if you’re willing and able. You can make a tax-deductable gift through WACAP, designated for “The Muntz Family Adoption.” If this interests you, please send me a note and I can get you more information.
In any case, please know that we appreciate your support in whatever form it comes. Thanks for being behind us. Thanks for your prayers for Jillian and for us.