Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adoption Updates and Opportunities (His Presence and Peace in the Waiting)





Our Adoption Journey has brought so many joys and sorrows over the past two years. 
This past week alone the adoption process has made me cry raw tears of joy and gut-wrenching tears of sorrow. It has made me question God's timing and His presence. It has ultimately strengthened my Faith in Him and my assurance that this is, in fact, His calling in our family's life. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a little girl in Moldova who is part of our family, and we also now believe that she will be home soon.
 
We wanted to give you a brief summary of the past weeks events so that you can pray with a greater urgency for our Emma and for us as we listen for God's voice and walk in His Will. 
Last Tuesday, we were beyond surprised to receive a referral for a four year old beauty from Moldova. I literally bawled as I read the referral letter to my husband over the phone. She even looked like our two year old daughter, and her shirt was covered in butterflies. For all visual purposes and the immediate feeling of love I felt for this precious little girl, I pleaded to God that this be our Emma Charity. Our agency sent us her medicals and advised us to get it reviewed by an International Adoption Doctor. We met with our Doctor on Thursday, and the findings from the medical report were not good...in fact, they were beyond heartbreaking. I do not wish to go into detail about her illnesses, but because of a certain diagnosis, we were not able to accept the referral. My heart grieved for this precious life, and I so desperately wanted to just love and hug her. On our home study, we requested a female, age 2-4, with minor correctable needs. This referral did not fall within those parameters as she was classified as severe special needs. 
 
We left the appointment confused, hurting and at a loss for why we were even given the referral by our agency. We cried, we prayed, we begged God for wisdom. We heard His answer and we said, "No". It still brings tears to my eyes to even write that word "No" because why would anyone ever say "No" to a child. I have struggled with guilt, shame, and heartache over that "No" for several days now. Then Sunday in our Sunday School class, our teacher talked about how often God tells us to say "no" to a "good" thing because He has a "yes" for us yet to come. The lesson and message spoke to my heart and provided the peace I needed as I wait on His timing to bring Emma to us. 
So, we wait. Our agency told us that the referrals would keep coming as Moldova seems to be moving and progressing with their International adoption referral lists. To us, this means it is time to get ready. we need to prepare her room and we need to prepare financially. When we receive and accept a referral, we owe $2650. When we travel on the first trip, we owe $5500. When we travel for the court trip, we owe $6000. We have already paid $11,000 in various fees, and we only have $560 remaining in our adoption account. So, this means we need to raise a lot of money :-). In addition, we still need to raise money for travel costs, which we estimate at another $10,000 total. These numbers seem overwhelming to me, but we serve an Overwhelmingly Generous God who we believe can and will provide the needed funds.
 
Please pray for our family and pray for our Emma for protection. if you would like to consider helping us bring our daughter home there are several ways that you can support our adoption financially.
 
In the next few weeks/months we will be posting several fundraisers. To start, I will be making custom wreaths and scarves to sell. I plan to post those on our Facebook adoption page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Charity-Our-Adoption-Journey-of-Love/109287085793253?ref=ts&fref=ts
 
One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http:/www.justlovecoffee.com/TheBurrells
 
For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Thank you so much for helping in this way. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee, hot cocoa, or tea. The coffee is absolutely delicious! My hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.
 
We also have an online store where we are selling tshirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive $8 to put towards our adoption. Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family. The link to our store is: http://www.adoptionbug.com/burrellmoldovanadoption
 
If you feel led to just donate directly to our family, we promise you that 100% of your gift will go towards her adoption. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell (please email me at christinaburrell@hotmail.com to request our address) or through paypal at the paypal address: christinaburrell@hotmail.com
 

Emma Charity’s Adoption Fund:

We have developed a list of tangible financial needs that we will incur during our upcoming trips to Moldova. 
 
* Referral Acceptance Fee: $2650
* First trip fee: $5500
* Second trip fee: $6000
* Buy a Plane ticket (we need 5): $1700 each
* Buy half of a plane ticket: $850 each
* Buy a meal in Moldova: $20 each
* Hotel Night in Moldova: (approximately 20 nights): $100 each night
 
Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God's provision and timing on the entire adoption process. Thank you dear friends and prayer warriors. 





Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting and Trusting that God's delays are "loving, purposeful and deliberate."

The Adoption Process can be SO very frustrating at times. And to be quite honest with you, the waiting absolutely stinks. We feel like we have been on the journey to bring Emma home for forever. In reality, we have been in the adoption process for three years now. And, unfortunately, we just learned yesterday that the wait may be another year or possibly two :-(.

To give a little background, Darin and I have felt very strongly that God has called us to adopt a little girl internationally since we first got married. We began the process to adopt in 2010 working through Russia. In 2012, Russia shut down all adoptions to the United States. We were heartbroken, but still we felt God's strong calling on us to adopt from the Eastern Europe area. Our church does Mission work in a small country called Moldova (which is located in between the Ukraine and Romania). Moldovan girls are targeted for the illegal sex trade and our church helps support and build transition homes that rescue these girls from such a terrible fate. http://harvestchurchmissions.com/moldova-missions/

When we first moved to North Texas a year ago and began attending our awesome church, we felt that God wanted us to support the mission work that the church was already doing in Moldova. We assumed that our calling was to support through financial means only. However, we later felt God calling us to not only help financially but to also adopt a little girl from that country. Our Emma currently lives in an orphanage in Moldova, and we have been praying daily for her protection and for the process to go quickly so we can bring her home to our hearts and family very soon.

We just recently finished all paperwork and completed our Dossier for Moldova this May. We were told that the wait time once our Dossier arrived in Moldova would be 3-9 months for a referral. Unfortunately, that wait time has now greatly increased. We received an email from our agency yesterday that said the Moldovan Ministry was being swamped with many dossiers and they do not have the staff needed to process them. The Ministry has advised that the number of dossiers that will be formerly registered (Your Dossier must be registerd in order to receive a referral) will be limited. Agencies can continue to send completed dossiers to Moldova and they will be translated. However, they will not be registerd until all registered families have been matched.

As you can imagine, I cried tears of frustration when I read this email. Our Dossier will be among those translated but put on hold until other referrals have been given to those couples who are already registered. They are anticipating that the wait time will be extended from the 3-9 mths to about 12 months from the time that your documents are registered and reviewed by the Ministry. So, for us that means 12+ months until we are matched with Emma.

I am sure that many families will back out and stop the process or switch countries even. But, we will wait for our Emma no matter how long it takes. We have been called to adopt her, and she is in Moldova. We will not stop fundraising and we will not stop praying her home until that joyful day when her homecoming becomes a reality.

This morning, I woke up to a devotion entitled "Waiting". God is always right on time to speak truth and to encourage my heart. The devotion said, "There is so much learning in the waiting. We learn patience and long-suffering and tolerance when we wait. We learn forgiveness and self-awareness and we learn how to slow down. When we wait it is one more example that life is a journey to be walked through not a destination to be won. That is the grace in life: that even in the long night before the morning, there is goodness even there." (www.incourage.me)

God continued to bring peace and blessing to my broken and frustrated heart throughout the day. Later this morning, my Spiritual Mentor, Prayer Partner, and Dear Friend shared this with me from Jennifer Kennedy Dean's "Living a Praying Life" Bible Study. If Jesus had come when Martha called him to heal Lazarus instead of waiting like he did, then Mary and Martha would have known him as healer but not as victor over death. "They would have been more certain that ever that Jesus is Lord over illness. But they would never have known that Jesus is Lord over death. The Father is always teaching us the lordship of Jesus in deeper, more experiential ways. 'Jesus is Lord' is the truth that anchors everything. When it appears from earth that God is delaying, He is really putting pieces together that you had not though of. He is engineering circumstances so that His power and glory will be on display. When God builds a waiting period into the course of your affairs, it means that what He is doing requires it. His apparent delays are loving, purposeful and deliberate."

I am so thankful that the God I serve is loving, purposeful, and deliberate in every detail of our lives-in the good, in the bad, and in the periods of waiting.

So, dear friends, we will press on. We will continue to raise the money we need to complete the adoption (we estimate our needed expenses right now at around $17-18,000). We will continue to pray fervently that our home in South Texas sells (freeing us from that added financial burden). We will update our documents when they expire during the wait time. And, most importantly, we will pray and trust. Trust that even now, God sees the Big Picture-the Final Masterpiece so to speak-The brilliance of our family when Emma is home. We fully believe that He is orchestrating every piece of paperwork and every government official to match us with the little girl whom He has chosen to be part of our family. Yes, we long for that day desperately, and we wish that it was now and not a year or more from now. But, we have no other choice but to trust God. He has never abandoned our family before: He elminated our debt; He walked with us and breathed peace into our hearts when we Savannah died; He provided a new job for Darin; He blessed my womb and gave us three beautiful children despite the doctor saying that I was incapable of becoming pregnant; and He continually gives us Beauty from Ashes and Joy in the Morning. My God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His faithfulness in times past gives me the assurance of His goodness, His power, and His promise to never abandon us.
 
Not for a Moment will He forsake us!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlQNFQ9RWG8

Romans 8:28 (Message)

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."


We ask for your support in praying for Emma. Please pray that she will be surrounded with loving caretakers and that she will remain healthy while in the orphanage. Also, please pray for our family that we will have perfect peace while we endure the long wait. Join us in praying for our South Texas home to sell and our expenses to be covered by the time we receive her referral.

If you are interested in helping us financially there are several fundraisers currently taking place that I will provide the links to below. Also, to help raise the funds needed, I am selling custom cupcakes through my "Taste and See" (Psalm 34:8) Bakery". You can message me for flavors and prices.

There are several opportunities below if you feel God leading you to contribute to our adoption. We thank each of you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.

Arbonne Fundraiser (Until July 15th)https://www.arbonne.com/shop_online/vpPresentationCode.asp and enter code 821883 Or call Kathy at 919-561-1125 Or email Kathy at kathyenvp@gmail.com
Emma Charity’s Adoption Fund:

We have developed a list of tangible financial needs that we will incur during our upcoming trips to Moldova. If you feel led to give, you can choose a need to meet. 100% of the money that you donate will go to meet that need. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell or by donating through Paypal. Please message me if you would like our mailing address or Paypal address.

Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God’s provision and timing on the entire adoption process.

· Buy a Plane ticket (we need 5): $1700 each

· Buy half of a plane ticket: $850 each

· Buy a meal in Moldova: $20 each
· Hotel Night in Moldova: (approximately 20 nights): $100 each night
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Coffee Fundraiser:
One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family, is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/TheBurrells
For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Thank you so much for helping in this way. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee. The coffee is absolutely DELICIOUS! My Hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.

TShirt Fundraiser:
We also have an online store where we are selling t-shirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive around $8 to put towards our adoption costs.Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family.

Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Arbonne Angels for Emma Fundraiser


Dearest Friends and Family,

I am excited to have partnered up with Kathy Bailey, Arbonne Independent Consultant, for our latest fundraiser to bring Emma home. This fundraiser will run July 1 - July 15.



We feel so blessed because Kathy is donating 100% of her commission to our cause from our online show. We will receive the commission from every item that you purchase and you will have a fabulous product to remind you/link you to our princess from Moldova, Emma Charity. 

Arbonne is dedicated to bringing beauty, health and prosperity into your life & the life of others. Arbonne invites you to live beautifully through botanically based beauty, health and wellness products.

To purchase on our fundraiser clickhttps://www.arbonne.com/shop_online/vpPresentationCode.asp and enter code 821883

Or call Kathy at 919-561-1125

Or email Kathy at kathyenvp@gmail.com

It is our hope that each time you use your awesome Arbonne products you will say a special prayer over our family.

We will be offering two amazing Spa/Aromatherapy products: Awaken Sea Salt Scrub and Unwind Bath Salts.

Awaken Sea Salt Scrub, Item#: 7089 The exfoliating action of this sea salt scrub — enhanced with the Awaken Essential Oil Blend — sloughs away dead surface cells revealing brighter, healthier-looking skin Key Ingredients: Avocado and sweet almond extract 

Unwind Bath Salts, Item#: 7091 The calming and soothing effects of a warm luxurious bath enhanced with the Unwind Bath Salts. These mineral-rich salts allow you to relax, let go and release pent-up tension.

If you are already familiar with Arbonne and have any other products in mind, you are not limited to the Awaken and Unwind products for this fundraiser. Kathy will also donate 100% of her commission of any other sales.

Thank you so much for your consideration and for helping us spread the word by sharing the link and the party information. May God pour out His LOVE and BLESSING on each of you!! You can follow our journey here:www.emmacharity.blogspot.com
Darin and Christina Burrell


Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I800a APPROVAL & Dossier COMPLETED!!!

Hello dear friends! We received our i800a approval letter last week! Yay! Darin and I made a quick trip to Austin on Tuesday and had all of our dossier paperwork apostilled (the official stamp made by the Secretary of State office). And, yesterday (Wednesday), I mailed our dossier to our agency. We are prayerful that our dossier will be on its way to Moldova by the end of next week :-)!! This is super exciting news for us. 

We are starting to prepare Emma's room now. It is going to be full of bright yellows and turquoise, a room that radiates JOY and LOVE. I will post pictures as we slowly decorate. Hopefully, the decorating will help the time pass quickly as we wait for her referral. Our agency told us this week that the wait is now 3-9 mths for referral. Since they became Hague accredited in January, the Moldovan government has been swamped with paperwork and is trying to organize and process the orphans and their information. This has delayed the time for referrals by a few months. We are confident though that God has already chosen Emma for our family, and we believe that her referral will come at the perfect time. 

In the meantime, we will be having a few fundraisers to raise the funds needed to complete the Adotption.



Because of the additional costs that we will incur in traveling twice to Moldova, we still need to raise approximately $12,000. We have faith that God will provide for our adoption completely. He is always faithful, and He has chosen Emma to be a part of our family.

There are several opportunities below if you feel God leading you to contribute to our adoption. We thank each of you in advance from the bottom of our hearts. 

1 Thessalonians 5:24-25 
"God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us."


Emma Charity’s Adoption Fund:

We have developed a list of tangible financial needs that we will incur during our upcoming trips to Moldova.  If you feel led to give, you can choose a need to meet.  100% of the money that you donate will go to meet that need. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell or by donating through Paypal. Please message me if you would like our mailing address or Paypal address.

Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God’s provision and timing on the entire adoption process.

·         Buy an Apostille fee: $10 each form ($100 total)


·         Buy a Plane ticket (we need 5): $1700 each


·         Buy half of a plane ticket: $850 each


·         Buy a meal in Moldova: $20 each


·         Hotel Night in Moldova: (approximately 20 nights): $100 each night

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family, is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/TheBurrells
 For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Thank you so much for helping in this way. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee. The coffee is absolutely DELICIOUS! My Hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.
We also have an online store where we are selling t-shirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive around $8 to put towards our adoption costs.Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family.


Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Adoption Update and Opportunities to Give

We wanted to update you on our adoption process. We are currently waiting to receive our i800a form back from USCIS. We have completed our fingerprinting. Once we receive this form, we will have all of our forms notarized and then take a day trip to Austin to have the paperwork apostilled. Once that happens, our agency will send the forms to Moldova. The wait time in Moldova for a referral could be anywhere from 2-6 months. Moldova requires two trips of approximately 10-12 days each. On the first trip, we will meet Emma and spend time visiting her in her orphanage. We will then return home and wait two-four weeks to return to Moldova. On the second trip, we will have court and go through the official adoption ceremonies, and then we get to bring our precious baby girl home.

Because of the additional costs that we will incur in traveling twice to Moldova, we still need to raise approximately $12,000. We have faith that God will provide for our adoption completely. He is always faithful, and He has chosen Emma to be a part of our family.

"A Person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse."
Phillip Yancy

There are several opportunities below if you feel God leading you to contribute to our adoption. We thank each of you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.

Emma Charity’s Adoption Fund:
We have developed a list of tangible financial needs that we will incur during our upcoming trips to Moldova. If you feel led to give, you can choose a need to meet. 100% of the money that you donate will go to meet that need. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell or by donating through Paypal. Please message me if you would like our mailing address or Paypal address. Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God’s provision and timing on the entire adoption process.

1 Thessalonians 5:24-25
"God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us."

Ways to Help:
· Buy an Apostille fee: $10 each form ($100 total)
· Buy a Plane ticket (we need 5): $1700 each
· Buy half of a plane ticket: $850 each
· Buy a meal in Moldova: $20 each
· Hotel Night in Moldova: (approximately 20 nights): $100 each night
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family, is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/TheBurrells
For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee. The coffee is absolutely DELICIOUS! My Hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.

We also have an online store where we are selling t-shirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive around $8 to put towards our adoption costs.Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family.
The link to our store is: http://www.adoptionbug.com/burrellmoldovanadoption/

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stella & Dot Fundraiser: Buy Your "EMMA CHARITY" jewelry now!

We are so blessed to have a new friend, Ashley Jones, who has provided us with a wonderful fundraising opportunity for Emma's adoption. Ashley sells the beautiful Stella & Dot jewelry, and she is hosting an online jewelry party for us and donating her comission to Emma's adoption.

She and I have selected a few pieces from the Stella & Dot line that will be the "EMMA" line. Each piece holds special significance to our family regarding Emma's adoption. The Odette collection is the "INFINITY" line. Emma Charity which means "complete" or "infinite" "love". Adoption is similar because you share God's infinite love with a child who has no one...crossing borders and loving completely. Within the Odette collection there are two infinity necklaces, three pairs of infinity earrings, an infinity bracelet/cuff, and an infinity ring to choose from. These items can be viewed here: http://shop.stelladot.com/style/b2c_en_us/catalogsearch/result/?q=odette

We are also offering the TREE OF LIFE charm necklace which signifies family and being rooted together in Christ despite distance or circumstance. It is available in sterling silver or bronze. http://shop.stelladot.com/style/b2c_en_us/tree-of-life-necklace-sterling-silver.html 
http://shop.stelladot.com/style/b2c_en_us/tree-of-life-necklace-bronze.html

And, lastly there will be a child's bracelet, called the "Little Dottie". We chose this piece for all the precious little girls who love to dress up and wear jewelry and who will love that they have helped bring Emma home by choosing this special piece.
http://shop.stelladot.com/style/b2c_en_us/little-dottie-bracelet.html

How can you shop?  It’s easy!  Head to www.stelladot.com/ashleyjones.  At the top you will see “Find your Hostess.”  Click there and type in Christina Burrell.  At that point you can browse the site and shop away!  You may find all the beautiful jewelry overwhelming so we chose a few pieces that have special meaning and will tie us all together for Emma.  The show is open to shop now and will close on April 29.

We will receive 100% of the commission from every item that you purchase and you will have a special piece of jewelry to remind you/link you to our princess from Moldova, Emma Charity. It is our hope that each time you wear the jewelry you will say a special prayer over our family.

The online party will remain open until April 29, 2013, so place your orders soon. Please feel free to share this blog post and the party link and details with your friends and family. Every order brings us closer to our Emma.

If you would like a flyer or more information on these items mailed to you, then please email me at christinaburrell@hotmail.com If you have any questions, you can also call me at 956-566-6756.

Thank you so much for your consideration in buying an "EMMA" piece and for helping us spread the word by sharing the link and the party information. May God pour out His LOVE and BLESSING on each of you!!

Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy

Friday, March 8, 2013

ADOPTION AUCTION IS LIVE!! March 8-15, 2013

We have been so blessed to receive many wonderful things to auction off for Emma's Adoption costs. To everyone who has donated an item, we say "Thank You" from the bottom of our hearts! Each gift is a blessing.

The auction is now live. You can view the items here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200641005888837.220131.1270923703&type=1

To bid, simply make a comment under the picture. The auction will run until Friday, March 15th at 10:00 p.m. (CST). At the conclusion of the auction, each winner will be contacted via email with instructions on how to pay for the item. If your item needs to be shipped, there is a shipping cost. Please pay for your items within 7 days via PayPal or a Check or Cash.

Please feel free to share the link with your friends, family, on your blog, etc... The more people who bid, the more money we will be able to raise for Emma's adoption. If you have any questions, contact me at christinaburrell@hotmail.com

Thank you to everyone for your continual support, prayers, and love.Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy