Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Support Us!

This is by far been the hardest part of our journey...humbling ourselves and asking for support isn't something Nick and I are super comfortable with! I had to get over what others may say and how we may be judged by those who may not understand. In fact, I needed a pep talk from my friends Kristy and Emily (who are both on their own adoption journeys) before I actually mailed our letters out. Many of you have received this in the mail, but my mom indicated she learned a lot from reading it so I thought I would include it here as well for the ones who weren't lucky enough to get it in the mail...lol! Blessed are the gifts, the givers, and the ones who cannot give.

Dear Friends and Family,
What a crazy five months it has been! Our hearts have been burdened and we have been called to act! As most of you know, Nick and I feel a calling by God to adopt. We have felt led, specifically, to adopt a special needs little girl from China. My passion for international adoption started long ago. Only recently did various life circumstances lead us to seriously seek God’s will for this area of our lives. What started out as a desire to adopt internationally has led to a deep burden for the millions of orphans of this world and God’s call for us all to ACT.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Interestingly enough, the following verse shortly precedes James 1:27:
“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

After diligent research into several domestic and international adoption agencies, we began the adoption process in late February with Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI) and have enrolled in their Waiting Child Program. This means that we could potentially welcome a special needs baby girl into our home in as little as a year. Many will wonder why we have chosen this route. We, ourselves, don’t fully understand it and cannot adequately explain it. However, after months of fervent prayer, discussion, and research, we feel an unexplainable peace and confidence that this is what God wants us to do.

We have taken to heart the following passage. Jesus says,
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Orphans, in our opinion, are among the “least of these”. In our world today it is estimated that there are more than 143,000,000 orphaned children. Often sick and medically fragile children are left to die. In some orphanages, the death rates are as high as 20%. Asia has an estimated 61.5 million orphans. In China there are more than 40,000 orphanages with an estimated 3 million orphans. Two in five babies entering the system die. In response to concern of over-population in China, the government enforced a "one child" policy. Compounding the problem is the cultural response to boys and girls. The birth of a boy is celebrated, while the birth of a girl is not acknowledged.

Similar to sending out support letters for a short or long term mission, we are sending out this letter asking you - our friends and family - for support in the mission that we are on for the rest of our lives.

First of all and most importantly, we ask for prayer. We need to be lifted up in prayer for wisdom in our decisions and for God to make our paths clear. We anticipate that God will open and close doors along our adoption journey and that this process may be a very difficult one. Your prayers of support will undoubtedly be a blessing to us and we thank you in advance for them!

Second, there is an undeniable fact that international adoption is very expensive. The average cost for an international adoption is $25,000-$30,000, not to mention the incurred costs that undoubtedly will arise in providing for a special needs child. Immediately, we need to raise $5,000.00 just to cover the first program/home study fee and dossier preparation. The cost has been, quite possibly, the most challenging obstacle for us during our months of prayerful consideration. We have faith that God will provide, but also realize that “a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone” (James 2:24), so we are in the brainstorming stages of developing adoption fundraising opportunities in order to raise necessary funds to move forward with this process. We welcome any fundraising ideas that you may have and also humbly ask that you participate in the fundraising process any way that you are capable. We realize that not everyone receiving this letter is in the position to make a financial donation, but maybe you will consider organizing a fundraiser such as a garage sale on our behalf or even donating your “junk” for us to sell.

Not everyone is called to bring an orphan into their home, but God is very clear about his instructions for us all to care for orphans:
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

Thanks to the generosity of our dear friend Michelle Matarazzo, we now have a custom-designed adoption blog (www.petermansloveadoption.blogspot.com) that will allow us to share our experience through this journey, as well as provide resources to better understand the desperate situation millions of orphans around the world are faced with today. We also have a PayPal account linked to our adoption blog for those of you who feel led, after prayerful consideration, to contribute financially.

God already has a baby in mind for us - a baby without a family, love, or adequate care. We need to bring our baby home! Please help us!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

With gratitude and love,
The Peterman Family - Nick, Katie, Gavin and Ethan

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