Happy West Virginia Day! The Mountain State turned 152 on June 20th and to celebrate we are releasing a special t-shirt.
Home. As our beloved daughter, this beautiful state will become her new home. She will grow roots here. She’ll taste the sunshine and chase the fog. She’ll experience white winters and blazing autumns. She’ll find summertime lakes and wild flowers and county roads. She wasn’t born here, but this will be her home. Here. With us.
All the profit from these shirts will go to help us help us take our little señorita home on down a country road! The shirts are soft and vintage looking and are sure to become one of your go-to articles of clothing (toddler and infant shirts are slightly different in shade and not as vintage looking).
All shirts in all sizes are $25 each.
Styles and Sizes:
Adult Unisex T-Shirt ($25): Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and 2XL
So. YOU, specifically YOU, can be a part of this. A tangible part of uniting us with our child, whoever and wherever she is. From orphan to beloved daughter.
UPDATE: Rumor is that we will be traveling very soon and we only have 35 pieces left to fill our 500 piece puzzle. You can be a part of bringing our daughter home in a very cool way (read about it below). You can reserve a puzzle piece in our ETSY shop by clicking here. Please do! Let’s bring her home.
Friends! I am so excited to share with you our first real fundraising opportunity! OK. Maybe you’ve heard of this before, but we are doing a puzzle fundraiser!!!
Here’s how it works:
– We have purchased a 500 piece puzzle in hopes that family and friends interested in supporting our adoption will “purchase” all of the pieces – the pieces will then represent those who helped bring our daughter home, those who are forever a part of our story.
– Each piece is a minimum donation of $20. You may choose to be one piece of the puzzle or several – completely up to you!
– YOUR name (or chosen word/initials) will be written on the back of each piece you represent.
– Here’s the fun part…Once completed, the puzzle is going to be hung in our little girl’s room as a beautiful keepsake of this adoption story we are living out. Even better, the frame will be double sided! So, we’ll be able to take it off the wall, turn it around, and point out to our daughter the names of all you wonderful folks that helped bring her home, that helped make our family possible. How amazing is that?!
Here’s what it looks like:
(Now…I do have plans to alter it ever so slightly once every piece is in place, ya know, to make it personal and all.)
So. YOU, specifically YOU, can be a part of this. A tangible part of uniting us with our child, whoever and wherever she is. From orphan to beloved daughter. If we sell all 500 pieces, and I pray that we do, that will raise around $10,000!!! That is huge! It will cover a very large portion of our daunting overall anticipated amount (which is around $46,000). Guys. It’s so hard for me (us) to ask for money. It’s humbling and scary and convicting. But this is such a beautiful thing, such a worthy investment. It has very little to do with us; it’s so much bigger. Join us? Pretty please?
Here’s a link to our fundraising page, where you can donate online (be sure to write “puzzle” somewhere in a memo line or in a comment). Or if you prefer to give offline, you can click here for other giving options. If you desire more than one piece (oh, that’d be grand!) we’ll hook you up with one for each $20 donated. Easy peasy! Or flag us down next time you see us; I’m likely to have pieces in hand if you’d want to sign them yourself! We’ll be running this fundraiser until all the pieces are sold, but it’d be great to have it all put together when the time comes to submit our dossier (at that time a huge chunk of money is due…eeep!).
…this is such a beautiful thing, such a worthy investment. It has very little to do with us; it’s so much bigger. Join us? Pretty please?
And really, anything helps. If you cannot afford to financially contribute, we completely understand. Would you still consider praying for us (and/or click here for other ways you can be involved)? We covet your prayers – this process is exhilarating, but terrifying if I’m going to be honest.
Thank you for your support. We truly value every one of you. And know she will, too.
The need is great and the opportunity is greater. The cost is high but the return on investment is immeasurable. Link arms with us now, let’s whip this home study together and get busy bringing our little lady home.
Over the last 10 days, we’ve written individual autobiography papers, we’ve been fingerprinted, we’ve listed references, and we’ve filled in countless blanks on dozens of papers and signed our names like it’s our job (it kind of is). We’ve hunted down birth certificates and pay stubs and checking account statements. And I could bore you to death with a list about four times longer than this.
If paperwork is what it takes to bring her home, than bring it on. We’ll sign our name and fill in blanks until our hands bleed.
Right now we are in the midst of the home study application. After applying and being accepted by our adoption agency, the home study is basically the first big thing we’ve taken on in our the adoption journey. Our first step is to complete the application which involves everything from psych evaluations to FBI background checks and lots of signed and notarized paperwork. After the application is submitted and processed, there will be several in home visits, spaced out over several weeks, conducted by our home study agency. Finally, all of the information and paperwork will be compiled and our home study finalized. After that there will still be lots of work to do (ever heard of a dossier?). But one of the larger hurdles will have been cleared.
From start to finish, this process will take several months and cost several thousand dollars. Ouch! But with every stroke of the pen and phone call made and appointment required, we just keep wondering where our daughter is and what she is doing right now. If paperwork is what it takes to bring her home, than bring it on. We’ll sign our name and fill in blanks until our hands bleed. And every time we write the name Boekell on any of the forms, we think about writing her name on the paperwork when we bring her home. We’ll write the name Boekell then, too, and we know we’ll weep then just like we do now.
No matter how a family is brought together, there is always a cost. But it’s worth every penny.
And if it takes several thousand dollars for a home study and tens of thousands more by the time it’s all said and done, so be it. No matter how a family is brought together, there is always a cost. But it’s worth every penny.
And speaking of pennies… would you please thoughtfully consider giving some of your hard earned pennies (or maybe even dollars) to bring our daughter home? This can be your story too and we don’t think you will regret it. The need is great and the opportunity is greater. The cost is high but the return on investment is immeasurable. Link arms with us now, let’s whip this home study together and get busy bringing our little lady home.
We are pursuing adoption for several reasons, but the primary reason is our belief that God, through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, has reconciled a beautiful group of people to himself from wildly diverse backgrounds and from the ends of the earth. As children of God, we have been adopted into His family. And Jesus traveled far and paid a high cost to make that adoption a reality. Caring for the orphan is not just a biblical command, it is a reflection of the very image of God. In Jesus we are called and equipped to bear the image of God as worship to His infinitely valuable name and we do that by reflecting the diversity of His large forever family in our little forever family and by caring for the widow and the orphan. This is our primary joy and motivation in our desire to adopt.
There are many other reasons. Family is one of the single greatest gifts we have ever known, and we believe our family will be enriched by the addition of another sweet face. We desire to stretch our own understanding of what it means to love unconditionally. We desire that our current children know that the bond of family is not determined by blood or even by race or geography or history. We desire to raise awareness among our family and friends and others for the desperate need of forever families for so many orphaned children all over the world.
We are currently part of an Ugandan adoption program and hope to bring a child home to our forever family in 12-18 months. But the adoption journey is anything but predictable and there are bound to be curves and bumps in the road but in the midst of it all, we feel an overwhelming sense of joy and peace and we’re beyond excited for everything that lies ahead whether it be bitter or sweet and likely both.
We’d love for you to travel with us on this adoption journey.
Paul is a pastor at Redemption Church in Huntington. And a photographer on the side (this used to be his full time job). He was born and raised in Huntington and is a graduate of Marshall University where He graduated with a fiancé.
Sarah is a homemaker (& budding matchbox car racer). And she was that fiancé who became a bride on October 18th 2008. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer and commercial photographer and now she wrangles a mess of little men. She was raised in Milton (WV) and graduated from Marshall University with a husband.
Isaiah was born in October of 2010 and loves jumping off of things.
Ezra was born in July of 2012 and loves his family of stuffed foxes.
Abraham was born in March of 2014 and, at least for now, has the squeeziest cheeks in all the land.
We enjoy telling stories, traveling to the beach, cuddling on the couch, cookies with sprinkles, making art, and kitchen dance parties. We are passionate about family, truth, community, authenticity, joy…and most passionate about Jesus Christ, the one who makes all of these things possible.
We’d love to extend to you the opportunity to be involved in our adoption journey. This is bigger than all of us and we’re excited to walk together with others in this process. We believe that anybody who gets close to this is going to be changed for the better. Please join us. How? Let us count the ways.
Prayer: Maybe not everyone who reads this will be the praying type, but if you are please join us by lifting our family up in prayer. We don’t believe any of this is possible apart from the sovereign grace of our wonderful God. If you would like to stay informed about how you can pray along with us, you can sign-up for our newsletter by clicking here.
Money: To bring our child home is going to cost us around $41,000. That’s a lot of money and we don’t have it lying around either. Would you please consider investing financially in this journey? If you would like to give to us person, you can contact us here. If you would like to give online, you can do that by clicking here.
Events: We will be hosting several larger scale events: a yard-sale in the spring, a dinner in the summer, and an art auction in the fall and maybe some other fun stuff as well. You can link arms with us for the homecoming of our child by attending, advertising for, volunteering at, or supporting these events. We’ll let you know more as the events approach.
Fundraisers: Get your t-shirts! Get your raffle-tickets! Get your puzzle-pieces! Get your bid in for a photo-shoot with boekell photography! We’ll be hosting a wide variety of fundraisers and you’re participation will be a great way to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in this.
Etsy: We’re going to be selling art (some of it made by us and some by our friends) in our Etsy shop. All the profits will go directly to the adoption process. So buy some cool stuff and pave the road home for our child at the same time. Visit our Etsy shop by clicking here.
Art: Speaking of art, maybe you’re an artist and would like to offer your talents up to help give a child a forever family. We’d love to sell your work in our Esty shop or at our art auction this fall (2015). If this is you contact us by clicking here.
Air Miles: We don’t have this set up yet, but we will most likely be able to receive the donation of air miles as our first and second trips out of the country approach. Maybe your extra air miles can buy our child’s plane ticket home. If your interested in this, you can contact us by clicking here.
Social Media: This one is easy, following us on social media and interacting with the content posted there will be a huge encouragement to us along the way. And also with just a few clicks, you help spread the word about this adoption journey. If you are so inclined, share our any and all of our social media content and feel free the share the link to this website. Social media is like word-of-mouth on steroids and the team cannot get to large in this adoption journey, so follow and share at will.