We stand amazed

We currently have $4074 in our adoption account! WOW! that will cover our upcoming country fee and the fee to file our I-800 (request to the US government to consider our daughter as our daughter!) Our homestudy is being finalized in the next few weeks… all our documents are in!
We stand utterly amazed at how fully God has provided so far, without any grants even! When we started to consider this endeavor we were more than daunted when looking at the cost – over $20,000. And yet just six months later, our agency fee is paid, our homestudy is paid, many documents and small fees…. and we have our next two biggest costs already paid for! Next we will just have a few more legal costs (passport, visa, ect ) our airfare to get our girl, and then our cost for three weeks in Serbia. We are praying that we will be able to choose our own housing and stay with friends in Serbia rather than the agency housing. That could greatly reduce our costs. Either way, we know God will continue to provide as He already has!

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Fundraiser!

So we’ve been trying to think of some fun ways to involve people in the adoption. We’ve already paid over $6,000 in agency fees, and have our homestudy fee of $2,000 coming up. We’ve tossed some ideas around and all our friends loved this one the most: PANTS!

What?

Thai pants! Breathable, cute, fun, lots of color choices… nobody comes to Thailand without buying a pair. But not everyone can come to Thailand, so we’re bringing Thai pants to you! We have a FB page for the event, and Jasmine will be bringing about four suitcases of pants to America on the 12th. Get your order in by the 10th and help bring MiMi home, and get yourself all styled up for spring and summer! We even have kid sizes!

Link to the Event on FB with pictures of the pants

We hope you will take a look, and maybe spread the word! It’s easy to share the event on FB. Maybe you and your friends could make a group order and have it all shipped together! Either way, thanks for continuing to pray for us and the process of bringing our sweet girl home!

Payments can be made through PayPal (jjtell89@gmail.com)) or by check to:
Jasmine Tell
1221 Ocotillo
Parker, AZ 85344

All our love, The Tells

Update

We’re at a bit of a pause right now. We need three background checks to come in for our homestudy to be complete. One of those takes at least twelve weeks and we’re only about 9-10 weeks in to that wait. Once we have our homestudy we will be able to set up a donation link through an organization that helps family’s fundraise for their adoptions. It will make all donations tax deductible. But until then, many have asked if there is another way to donate. It’s not tax deductible, but you can donate through our paypal account – Joseph Tell at jjtell89@gmail.com.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us! It’s hard being paused at such an early point in the process, and we’re eager to move forward with gathering our dossier and getting it ready to be submitted!

All in God’s timing.

Love, The Tells

Progress!

We are making progress! An important part of our home study and dossier was getting our Thai Police Clearance check. Previously it could be done in Chiang Mai, which meant we went to four police stations until we finally learned that they can now only be done in Bangkok. We did manage to at least use the experience to be fingerprinted for our FBI background check. Quite the experience being fingerprinted at Thai police station… outside under an awning.

Once we knew Bangkok was our only option, we decided to make the best of it. We took a night bus down on the day before Joey’s birthday. It took some searching but we found the right station and office, and were super impressed by the quick and streamlined process. Once that was done we had the rest of the day to have some fun and celebrate Joey! We flew home to Chiang Mai that night, a totally successful trip.

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Night bus to Bangkok

On Monday, November 3rd, we had our home study! The events leading to our home study were truly providential. Another family was already flying the social worker from Bangkok, and generously offered to pay for her housing and transportation, which left us only with the actual home study fee! We were nervous and excited to finally do this huge step – the home study visit. We’d collected lots of documents, installed smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and cleaned the house top to bottom. Our social worker arrived and we immediately felt at ease. She was super interested in our work, having a family member herself who is affected by disability. She was an adoptee and had some great insight! The visit passed quickly with lots of laughter, especially when I tried to explain each one of my thirteen siblings. That will make the home study a fun read!

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I finally wised up and pulled this photo out to help our poor social worker keep everyone straight!

The other thing we’ve been working on are our education credits. Hopscotch and the home study both require 30+ educational credits. That includes seven online adoption classes. At night, after the kids are in bed, we’ve been plugging along on them. Since we are so overexposed to adoption, they actually haven’t been all that helpful yet, but there have been some interesting things. We also have to read about 4-5 books, and have been trying to squeeze those in on the weekends. It really does feel a bit like a first pregnancy… so much prep and research!

Next up we are waiting on several important items from the US. We need our FBI clearance, and several State clearances. Please pray those come quickly! Another huge prayer request is for wisdom on how to have everything notarized. In Thailand we’ve heard we can only use the US Consulate, but they are supposed to charge $50 per document! We have well over 15 documents to be notarized. That is a big chunk of change, especially hard since we could have our bank do it for free in the US. So please pray that we can distinguish the best way to handle this. We’ve been praying about several avenues and just need some wisdom!

Please also be praying about the financial aspect. It really is a daunting amount of money, although well worth it. We need to pay the social worker $2000 this week for the home study. Our adoption designated savings are now down to $500 so it’s a little daunting. We need the home study before we can start grant writing. So we’re tightening our belts and remembering that our little girl is worth all the effort. We’ve started talking to the girls about her this week and it’s all feeling so much more real. We’re really doing this!

Thanks for praying and supporting us, friends!

We’re adopting!

Adoption has been on our hearts for a very long time. Jasmine’s family was made through adoption, with her seven adopted siblings and her two adopted nephews. We talked about our desire to adopt during our very first date, and it was always something we knew we would do. Now, the time has come! This year we both turned 25, which is the requirement for adopting internationally. It is with great excitement that we are starting our adoption journey!

Already we’ve had lots of questions, and we’d like to answer some of them!

Why are you adopting?
We believe that adoption is a beautiful way to make a family. We believe strongly in caring for the orphans of the world. As Christian’s we believe God calls each and every one of us to be part of caring for orphans. That certainly doesn’t mean everyone should adopt, there are lots of ways to care for orphans. However, we know God is calling us to live this out through adoption. More than that, we want another child, and adoption is a beautiful way to do that! Over and over we have felt God telling us this is what He has planned for us, and we are so excited!

Who are you adopting?
When we first began talking about adopting we both knew we wanted to adopt a child with special needs, a child who would be less likely to be chosen by other families. We both have a background with disabilities, and it’s our main work here in Thailand. We have known many good friends with Down Syndrome who have been a huge blessing to us, and through various factors we have felt God telling us that our new child is a girl with Down Syndrome. In fact, we have been pre-matched with an almost two year old girl with Down Syndrome. We can’t share very much about her yet, but we can tell you she’s a cutie!

Where are you adopting from?
We have spent much of this year researching our options. We even applied to adopt in Thailand last year, but did not meet their requirements at the time. As we waited to meet their requirements we really felt that God was not calling us to adopt in Thailand at this time. (It could still be part of our future tho, and we’re open to God’s leading!)
The country that kept coming up was Serbia. We met all their criteria and they met all of ours. The only agency that is licensed to work in Serbia also happens to have a program just for kids with Down Syndrome, and they have a lot of experience working with expats living overseas! Plus, they have a great reputation and we feel confident in their integrity. Serbia also recently joined the Hague Treaty and has done everything in their power to ensure that their adoption program is above and beyond as far as ethics go. This was another big factor in why we chose Serbia.

How long will it take?
That is the age old question with adoption, and it’s really hard to tell. We will be doing our home study in November and gathering our dossier to submit in December. After that it could be anywhere from 6-12 months.

How much will it cost?
That is another good question. International adoption is expensive, and adopting while living overseas is even more expensive! We have already paid $5,625 for our agency service fee. (We are using Hopscotch Adoptions.) We’ve already paid $200 for classes our agency requires and have been working our way through the seven required classes each evening after the kids are in bed. We will be paying $2,000 for our home study in November.  We still have about $10,000-15,000 left to cover the country fee, US Immigration fees, travel costs, and costs for having things notarized, certified, and to add an apostille to each docusment. It seems like a large amount of money, but we are committed to doing whatever it takes to bring our daughter home. This summer we were able to save half of the agency service fee, and we sold our truck to raise the other half. We’ve been saving from our monthly donations and setting aside any and all spare money for this. After our home study is complete we will be applying for grants and starting some fund raising projects. If you feel led to be part of the finances of bringing our girl home, please let us know!

Finally, thank you for all of your love and support so far! We’ve been gradually sharing our plans with friends and family and have been very blessed by the outpouring of love and support. It means a lot!

With love,

Jasmine, Joey, Ilyria, Cordelia and the newest Tell