Workout fundraiser update.
We had a great workout fundraiser at Surefire Fitness.  We were amazed and overwhelmed by the support and love for our kids.  Thank you for being our people.  We are grateful!!

I mean, seriously.  LOVE!!!

 It was an awesome time.  Great workout.  Great people.  Lots of fun!


The kids had a blast!!!  They were in charge of making it difficult for the runners 🙂  The were armed with water guns, pool noodles and water balloons.  They succeeded in their quest b/c most of us were drenched!!

Naz Long and Matt Thomas from the ISU basketball team came out to join the fun.  Special thanks to Naz and Matt along with Nate Loenser, the director of player development, for supporting our kids! For a couple college guys that easily could have chosen to spend their Saturday morning in multiple other ways, I was impressed.  They worked out with us, took pictures, signed autographs, and took selfies 🙂 

We had a fabulous support crew.  They sold t-shirts, took pictures, directed parking, and also worked out.  Thanks family!

Our littlest supporter, Leo!

Through free will donation and t-shirt sales, the workout raised over $6,000 for our kids.  Amazing.  So humbled and grateful to be a part of such an amazing community.  Thank you for supporting two little kids half way across the world.  
Ben Dillow.
Please remember that name.  And remember this face.


Ben Dillow passed away last week in Congo.  Without his family.  He was denied a medical exit letter in July and his body just couldn’t hang on.  This is the reality of life in DRC and the reality of the exit letter suspension. His death could have been avoided.  Read the letter his family wrote in his honor and pray for them and the children who can not come home.

Adoption update.

Their has been lots of advocacy on behalf of all the families stuck (all 700 of us).  Our kids aren’t coming home soon.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  But we are hopeful that they will come home. If you want more news on DRC adoptions and the advocacy campaign go to the Both Ends Burning page.  Get lost in the family stories and compelling videos.  Every child deserves a family.

Adoption Fundraiser

Posted by Wulfekuhle Family | Africa Adoption, Families

I need to do an adoption update.  Nothing has really changed.  This is my life motto right now:

So there’s that.  Walking by faith.  The path looks dark and bumpy and curvy.  But we have faith that God will make Himself known through this journey; after all, that is the point of life, right?  Not to make it easy or good for me. Or to make it all work out in the end.  Nope, to make Himself known. Today we are choosing faith that this is good.  And tomorrow, we will choose again.  
At least there are fun things to do while we wait 🙂  Like this workout fundraiser on Saturday at Surefire Fitness!!  Surefire is my workout home.  I love it.  And the owner, Jeff, is so graciously hosting a workout that supports our adoption!!
  • Who: YOU!
  • What: This event is a killer workout, a huge party and a ton of fun all wrapped in one!  Jeff will be planning a workout that proves to be fun for everyone.  Surefire is never boring.  There will be a DJ; I mean, how cool is that?  We’ve got lots of awesome door prizes, like salon gift certificates, photo packages, admission to the fair, free golf and lots more.  We will be selling our adoption t-shirts.  Bring your kids and spouse.  There will be something for everyone, and you don’t have to work out!  Just come.  It’s free, and you can give a free will donation if you want to.
  • Where: Surefire Fitness, Ames IA
  • When: THIS Saturday July 26 at 9am
  • Why: Because we want you to be part of this journey.  We are so grateful to those who have stood by us and supported us since this journey started.  This isn’t about us.  It’s about two sweet children half way around the world that deserve to be raised in a family and a big God who deserves to be worshipped and praised.  Come join us!!
Want more details? Check out the event Facebook page and let us know if you are coming!
It’s March.  I can’t believe I didn’t blog in February….since it went on, and on, and on.  I need spring.  I NEED spring!!!!
Adoption update, or lack of adoption update.  Not much is happening in regards to the process.   We are still waiting for things to start moving again.  
We did celebrate both kid’s birthdays in January.  First up was Ms. Mo.  We know she likes Care Bears, so she got a Care Bear cake.  We celebrated with another family who is also adopting from the same country.  So thankful for good friends and support in this process.  And of course, there were party hats and noise makers!

On Mr. Bo’s birthday we went out to dinner as a family and celebrated at home with cupcakes (made by Oma) and balloons.  Reese picked out the balloons and thought he would like trucks and balls.  I bet she is right.

It was a little sad celebrating birthdays for kids who aren’t home.  I would give anything to know if they were celebrated on their special day.  But, our kids at home need something tangible to do and this was a great excuse to do something fun as a family in honor of their brother and sister.  We took a lot of pictures and videos to share with the kids once they come home.

Jan/Feb also marked one year since we saw their photos and accepted their referrals.  We didn’t enter this process thinking we would have referrals for over a year and counting with no end in sight.  We thank God for the strength to continue trusting, continue fighting, and continue loving two sets of brown eyes that we have only met through pictures.  Kids deserve forever families.  We will keep fighting until they are home.

We recently sent our second care package.  My favorite part was the stuffed bear in the back.  When you squeeze the bear, he repeats a recording of our voices.  Ms. Mo got a couple dresses and lots of girly things.  Every picture we have of her, she is wearing a dress and it is usually pink.  Her ears are pierced and she is always wearing bracelets.  She will fit right in with Reese 🙂 Baby Bo got toys, books  and a little brother onsie.  We also wrote a letter to Mama M and sent her a couple gifts too.

I wish we could send more, but this barely fit into the backpack!!

Cade sent his love with the backpack.

“Cade, open your eyes.”

We get new pictures of our kids every couple months.  We just got new pictures.  Oh.My.WORD!!! Bo is flashing the CUTEST grin I have ever seen.  Our kids rarely smile in the pictures we receive, but this time Bo is absolutely cheesin out.  I love it!!  It is a treat to receive pictures with Mama M in them. She is gorgeous and you can tell she adores the kids.  Her eyes tell a story of love and care that I am so thankful for.

On Friday we got word that Mo came down with Malaria.  This is fairly common over there and Mama M caught it fast so she wasn’t hospitalized and is on medicine at home.  Reality is, kids in orphanages die of this ever day.  Kids like Mo who, if she wasn’t under the care of Mama M, would have probably suffered and died alone.  Please pray for our kids….that their health would be restored and they would come HOME!

And here are pictures of our trip to the Science Center with Oma, because it is one of the only times we left the house in February.  Seriously.

We have had a great Christmas season, preparing for the birth of our Savior.  We have been doing Advent reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible and a fun activity each day to countdown until Christmas.  Gingerbread houses, cookies, visiting Santa, popcorn rides, movies, hot chocolate…the kids have been LOVING it!!

In the midst of the fun and hustle and bustle, we are missing part of our family.  They are half way around the world, with no timeline as to when they are coming home.  We miss them.

We are so grateful for a reason to celebrate.  And we celebrate His birth, the Savior of the world who came to save us from OUR sins.  He came into the world to die for US.  And that gives us hope.  His children are not forgotten, and neither are ours.

We turned our photos of this Christmas season into a video for Mo and Bo.  It was therapeutic for me to do something for them.  Someday I hope they know, in the midst of such a joyful season, how much they were missed.

P.S. Mo and Bo are not their birth names, nor are they names we attend to use once they come home.  They are nicknames based on the names on their birth certificates.  Also, their faces are blurred to protect their adoption and future adoptions in their birth country. I would love to share the real version in person!

At the time of our last update, we had just passed court.  For all of this to make sense, here is your adoption 101 class for the day.

After you pass court, you file your I600 (petition for orphan visa) with the US government.  When your I600 is approved, your case gets passed to the US Embassy in-country for an orphan investigation.  This investigation is estimated to take 3-6 months.  When and if your case passes the investigation, your child(ren) have visa interviews and visas are printed.  With a US visa, the kiddos can then enter the United States.  The last step is for the birth country to issue an exit letter, so that they can leave the country to come home.  There are little steps in there…but those are the big ones.

Now that you have the background info, I’m going to resort to bullet points.  Because I could ramble forever.

  • We applied for our I600, and received approval at the beginning of Sept. Our paperwork was then sent overseas to begin the orphan investigation.
  • On Sept 27 our children’s birth country decided to suspend exit letters for up to a year.  Without an exit letter, parents can’t take their children out of the country.
  • The country isn’t technically closed, as the court processes, investigations, and visa issuance’s are still continuing.  But again, the children can’t come home without an exit letter
  • In November, we learned that our daughter had passed the orphan investigation and her visa interview is set for December 23. We haven’t heard anything about our son.
  • Somewhere in there we received updated pictures of our kiddos.  They were wearing clothes we sent them and playing with toys from their care packages.  LOVE!

What does all this mean?   Honestly this is very scary for us.  We love these kids.  We want them home. They won’t be coming home anytime soon.  Please pray for this country and all the children in need of forever families.  Pray that the suspension ends SOON!  Pray for our children, that they would remain healthy and feel loved.  Pray for their foster momma, “M” that she would love generously and provide a safe and nurturing environment for our kids. 

The confusion, corruption and disorganization of their birth country seems insurmountable.  Promises are not kept, deadlines are not met, rules are not followed.  But we love this country.  It has given us two beautiful children that we can’t wait to hug and tuck in to their beds.  

We are so thankful for our agency.  They are organizing crucial meetings between officials in-country and continue to advocate for adoption and orphans.  We are thankful for friends who pray for us, support us, and listen to our fears and doubts.  We are thankful for our God and His all sustaining, never failing mercy and grace.   

So we trust, and pray, and wait…

Wait
by Russell Kelfer


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”



“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.



“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.



“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”



Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”



He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.



“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint. 



“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.



“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart. 



“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.



“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.



“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

Lucky

Posted by Wulfekuhle Family | Africa Adoption, Families

I get this statement a lot in regards to our kiddos from Africa…

“Those kids are so lucky to be coming into your family”

And I think I truly understand where people are coming from.  Thanks to the never-ending love and grace of our Father, they will have a family, food, a home and they will be loved.  But they really aren’t lucky.

Lucky isn’t losing your first family.  Our kids will probably never know their birth mom, what she looked like, or even her name.  Your first family is a large part of who you are.  Losing your first family is not lucky.

Lucky is not losing every sight, sound and smell that is familiar to you.  Can you imagine losing everything you know to come live with a strange family, who doesn’t look like you or talk like you?

Lucky is not fighting for survival on the streets at two years of age.

They are not lucky.  But they are fighters, they are loved, they are blessed and they are ours.  We are the lucky ones.

__________________________

I wrote this post back in August and it sat unpublished for four months.  And then today I ran across this blog post, and it explained it perfectly.

“(Adoption) is such a work of God’s grace and mercy that out of such brokenness and heartache and loss could be hope, restoration, and redemption. Yes, I see that, I promise I do. But that’s not lucky or winning the lottery or getting the best deal in life. It’s beauty from ashes… but you can’t discount the ashes.”


Read the post HERE.  Don’t discount the ashes.

_________________________

Also, I really need to post an adoption update. Soon, very soon.  I even have one half-written.  By saying this, I am hoping it won’t take me four months to publish.  Public accountability 🙂