Friday, February 8, 2019

A "piece" of the puzzle


It has been MONTHS since I have sat down and written. Some because we have been busy loving
life, but also because I cannot find the words to write some of the time. We have taken the last months to grieve the loss of our girl. We are not over it, I don't think we ever will be. We still talk about her often and love her so much it hurts. We celebrated her birthday last week. It was a beautiful evening with just the 5 of us remembering her and our time at the shelter and how God has worked in our lives to get us to this point of adoption. We imagined that we would celebrate her birthday all together here in Wisconsin this year. We talked about how special it would be last year at this time... God had other plans though. God has (and IS) written a beautiful story through us getting to this point. Not without heartache and not without many questions, tears, and doubts, but also with so much grace, and laughter, and happiness, and love, and so much encouragement from our tribe. You see, nobody said this road would be easy and nobody said it would be pain free, life is messy sometimes... BUT, God told us to do something, so we are going to do it even through the pain and the heartache. Then, hopefully, there will be happiness and tears of joy and so much LOVE on the other side of all of this! We do not know His plan, but we trust Him and His plan, and we will continue to move forward.

Family Update, in case you are wondering...

 Isaac finished up his soccer and basketball seasons and had a blast doing both! He was Captain Hook in the 8th grade play and did an AMAZING job!! All while making the A honor roll first semester!! That boy. We are SO proud of him. His first year back into public school with a crazy busy schedule with sports and a lead roll in the play and making the honor roll. He sure brings a lot of light and laughter into our home. We are in the super awkward teen years so that is where most of the laughter comes from HAHA! #sorrynotsorry! :) 

Carter also played both soccer and basketball and loved being connected with his friends a little, while still home schooling. He is doing very very
well and loves working at his own pace. He is also excited to join his brother and his friends at Sturgeon Bay public school next year! He has spent a lot of time on the ice,
 fishing and has even tasted his work. He loves being outdoors at every chance that he can get! He will be doing clay shooting for school starting next week and he cannot wait! C just turned 13 a few days ago so I am guessing more awkward teen moments coming up. Now with 2 teens lol.

Mady has surprised me with school this year. She usually needs a little more encouragement to stay on task and get her work done but this year she has owned it! She loves both Math and English and continues to excel in
both. She just got done reading the book "The Secret Garden" and we have loved talking about it out loud together. She is planning on doing both softball and soccer starting this spring and summer and is excited to do both. Who knows what next year will bring with school, she is still on the fence about homeschooling vs. public school yet but we will keep praying about what that all looks like for us next year.

Adoption: We don't have any new updates, really. All of our paperwork is where it needs to be and now we are just in the waiting stages of it all. We are approved for ages 2-14 and up to a sibling group of 3. They will randomly match us when the time comes, however, we were told a few weeks ago that because of our time spent at The Children's Shelter of Cebu, we would not be allowed to be matched with any children from there. Why? We do not know. We can choose to be mad and upset and angry (which we are) or we can choose to continue to trust the process and move forward (which we are). We knew the chances of being matched with a child from CSC were slim but it is sad to us to know that it isn't possible (according to the PH government, with God all things are possible so we are excited to see how this all shakes out!! :) ).

We do have a super fun fundraiser going on right now. If you haven't liked our Schulz Family Adoption page on Facebook yet, please do so. That is where we will post any updates as we get them and also post where we are at financially as we raise the last of the funds needed for our adoption. If you are not on FB this is what the fundraiser is all about...

*This is how the fundraiser works*
1. We have a 1000 piece puzzle, “Be the Change...”.
2. We are “selling” each piece for $20. You can buy 1, 2, 3, or 10! There is no limit!
3.To purchase/sponsor a piece you can send money through our paypal account (https://paypal.me/jakepamschulz), mail a check (PM for address), or donate on facebook using the “donate” button. (or the "shop now" button on the Schulz Family Adoption Page)
4. Once you purchase/sponsor a piece (or pieces), we will write your name on the back of the puzzle pieces you “sponsor”. 
5. As the puzzle pieces get sold/sponsored, we will begin putting the puzzle together. Once every single piece has been “sold”, we will glue it together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame for our childs room so that they can always look back and be reminded of who had a “piece” in bringing them home!! 
The picture below is what the puzzle will look like when it's completed. We have been blessed by having 182 puzzle pieces sponsored so far!! Only 818 more puzzle pieces to sponsor and the puzzle will be finished and we will be completely funded!! Yay! We cannot wait to share the finished puzzle with everyone! God bless you all. Love, The Schulz family 


**For those of you curious about the expense breakdown**
~Application Fee: $350 (PAID!) 
~Home study/Wisconsin Social Worker fee: $6,500 (PAID!) 
~Dossier/US Processing Fees: $7,000 (PAID!) 
~Adoption Program Fee: $13,360 (due when we accept a match, could be anytime now!!) 
~Travel Expenses: $5,000-$10,000 (The amount for this will depend on when we travel, how many travel, and what is needed during travel)
~Post Placement: $2,000-$3,000










Monday, October 22, 2018

Faith

What is faith?

We found out a few weeks ago, from the Philippines, that our request to be matched with our girl, was denied. Again. To say our world has been shattered would be an understatement. Our hearts hurt in a way that we haven’t felt before. I have had to try and answer questions from our children that I don’t have the answers to. We have had to bravely say that this is what seems to be the best for our girl right now even if we can’t believe it or see it ourselves. I have had to hold our little girl tightly while she is crying and asking “why won’t they let us bring our sister home”. We have seen some hard-sad-days recently. I still cannot talk about it out loud without getting teary. It’s hard. Life is hard. Adoption is good, why isn’t the Lord letting us adopt our girl? Why isn’t this good thing working out how WE want it too?

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…

If you have any sort of knowledge of the bible, when you read my question “what is faith”, Hebrews 11:1 may have gone through your head (Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.) The dictionary says that it is a belief or trust in something or someone. I have been thinking a lot about faith and what it means to me lately. And faith to me is believing without a shadow of a doubt that God’s plan is sovereign and He is perfect. Therefore His plan is perfect. It isn’t in HIS plan that we adopt this little girl that we love so much. We don’t understand why, but we trust that He does. Even though it is hard and it hurts so badly.

We are glad that when we heard our “no” a few weeks ago, someone else heard their “yes”. We are glad that our girl has been matched with another family so she isn’t going to be waiting long to be with the family God has chosen for her. That is good news. That is what we prayed for, if not us, someone else. So for that, we are grateful. Through our pain and hurt and tears, we can truly be happy that another family has opened their hearts to adoption and that our girl will soon have a family of her very own. This family doesn’t know it yet, but they will soon realize, that they have been matched with a super sweet, talented, smart, beautiful, and awesome young lady.

We do not know what the future holds. But we are so glad that God does. We are giving ourselves some time to grieve this loss. But eventually we will pull up our bootstraps and continue to follow what we believe God has called us to… adoption.

Please keep praying for “our girl” and for her new soon-to-be family. Adoption is beautiful, but it can also be hard. Especially for the older children with so much trauma. Keep praying for our family as we grieve this loss and heal. And as we look to God for direction on where to go from here. Thanks friends <3




Friday, August 24, 2018

Is it really the end of August already!?!

I have been asking myself this question for days now. Where has the summer gone!? We have had a fun and busy summer doing the things that we love while enjoying the company of family and friends, old and new!

The boys have started soccer and they couldn't be happier being on the pitch again. They have been looking forward to this for a long time and we are excited to watch them play a sport they both love so much.

School will be starting soon. September 4th to be exact. I am so not ready. I'm not sure why, but my momma heart is having a little bit more trouble with this year starting. Maybe it's because I have only 1 more year before a high schooler? Maybe it's because I thought we would have another one starting this year with us? Maybe it's because I have 2 homeschooling and 1 leaving to go to public school? Or maybe I just love being carefree with the kiddos all summer long :) Whatever the reason, Jesus and I have been talking a little bit more then usual, and I guess thats not a bad thing, is it... If you are a teacher, a momma, or a student, know that I have been praying for you. I hope we are ALL praying for our kiddos, our teachers, and our fellow mommas out there as a new school year begins!

With August coming in full force brought us our adoption appeal as well!!  We were able to get all of the requirements done and sent in a few weeks ago. We are still waiting on any word on how that will turn out. We remain hopeful but guarded at the same time. Please pray with us that we hear something soon and that God will be glorified, no matter what the outcome. The tears still come and go, but God has given us all amazing peace and for that we are thankful.

We hope all of you are doing well and that you are finding peace and comfort in our Lord Jesus no matter what you are going through. We are praying for you. We love you! ~The Schulz Family




Monday, May 21, 2018

6 Months "Home"


It is crazy how fast time flies. I cannot believe that we have been home in the US for 6 months already. We endured the coldest and snowiest winter we have had in recent memory and were missing Cebu a little more after we got 30 inches of snow dumped on us in April!!! We are glad it melted quickly though :) A lot has happened in the last 6 months but also on some levels nothing at all. I will try to update y’all on as much as I can remember :) I know some of you have been wondering what’s been happening with the Schulz clan… 

House: We are home owners again!! We have been renting the last 6 months and are so grateful for the place and space. We have had fun in the country and roaming many acres. We move into the new place the first weekend of June. It is in the city of Sturgeon Bay (and for you locals, we will be “westsiders” this time!). We are grateful for the home that the Lord has provided for us. It is “big enough” for our family now​ and also has plenty of room should​ the Lord allow​ our family to grow in the future. (But not too big someone has to clean it, am I right!). 



Children: We finished up our 2nd year of homeschool a couple of weeks ago AND SURVIVED!!!! We are super grateful for the homeschool experience and are glad that we were able to do it well. The kids all enjoyed being homeschooled and I LOVED watching them grow. 

   
     Isaac will be attending 8th grade at Sturgeon Bay public school next year. It is still up in the air for Carter and Mady on where they will attend
​, they both WANT to be homeschooled again next year, 
so we are praying about what next year looks like for them. It literally changes from going back to school to being home schooled every other day.
    
     Mady is enjoying softball this spring and is already talking about doing it again next year she loves it so much! We are glad that she has found something that she can enjoy to do with a team. 

     The boys are not playing a spring sport but are going to enjoy some golf lessons, soccer camp, and some strawberry picking this summer. Both boys are excited and cannot wait for soccer again this fall. They have really missed being on a competitive team the last 2 years. 


Jake: He has been learning up a storm at his new gig at Therma Tron X here in town. He is loving the challenge of learning a new job and he also loves being back in manufacturing. He spent all of April and half of May in South Carolina at a job installation and loved being hands on. The lucky duck was able to enjoy beautiful weather while his family froze in WI ;) We are grateful that his trip was a great learning experience, but oh so glad to have him back home with us! 

Adoption: Ugg. Well, we don’t really have any update yet. We have been at a stand still since we heard the ​"​no"​ in February. Our agency has agreed to appeal the "​no"​ decision for us this August, so we have held out hope that we still have a chance with our girl. We are not sure how that is going to end up​,​ but we are grateful that the Lord does. We keep praying that “our girl” will indeed, be our daughter soon. 

     Somedays we miss her so bad it hurts. It is hard to breath a lot of the time. The promises that the Lord has for us, he also promises for her and he loves her way more then we could ever imagine, so for that, we keep on keeping on. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers during this process. To say it is a frustrating process, is such an understatement. 

     We do have all of the Philippine adoption paperwork completed and our dossier is complete as well. We are now just waiting on August to get here before our agency will send it to the Philippines for us.

     Again, thank you for your prayers, it means so much to us to know we have so many in our corner. Our God is a God of miracles and we are trusting Him for one in this case too. We know He can move mountains and we cannot wait to see how He is glorified on the other end of this crazy adoption journey of ours!! Please continue to pray for our girl and the others that are at the shelter waiting for their forever families.

FUNdraiser: We were able to raise a little over $1300 in our fundraiser with ONE MISSION. THANK YOU to everyone who donated towards our travel expenses. That gets us at least 1 ticket, hopefully 2 depending on airline prices once we are actually able to travel. If you wanted to help with that but didn’t get the chance, we will be doing something else once it gets a little closer to travel time as well. Stay tuned for that and thank you for your consideration towards helping with our adoption :) 

Family Fun: We are having so much fun reconnecting with friends and family. It’s so nice to have our “tribe” close again. We have a few camping trips scheduled for this summer. We are excited to be able to enjoy God’s beautiful creation together as a family and also with friends! Our first trip is here in Door County over Memorial Day weekend. I am not sure of the exact number but there will be 30+ of us laughing the weekend away and praising the Lord for godly friends. (if you are in the Door County/Peninsula State Park area on Saturday, come say HI to all of us!! Sites 562-569ish)

I believe that is our life in a nutshell. We are committed to keeping everyone in the loop as far as the adoption goes, so stay tuned to the blog for updates (or you can ask us if you see us out and about. We love to share how God is working in our lives!).
​​
We love you all!!  ~ Pam and fam 




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Adoption Update


Hello all,

   It is with heavy hearts that we tell you that we have been denied the girl we had requested to adopt. We were told that due to birth order we will not be able to precede with this particular girl. We are heart broken to say the least.

   We have more questions then answers at this point. None of it makes sense. We were approved to move forward with the age range of 6-14 and we are now being told that we cannot adopt out of birth order, so the child we would be approved for would have to be younger then our youngest (age 8). We truly believe that every child deserves a family, but our hearts hurt for the child that is at risk of aging out.

   We are continuing to trust that Lord has a perfect plan for us, and for the girl that we thought would be our daughter. We pray that the Lord provides a loving family for her soon so she doesn't have to sit in an institution any longer. As much as we love CSC and love how they take care of the children there, a family is a better option then an orphanage.

   We also feel strongly that a family (even out of birth order) is better then the risk of aging out. We do not understand the Philippines decision but there is nothing we can do at this point except pray for a miracle. Will you please pray with us. Pray for a miracle that somehow they will change their mind and allow us to continue to pursue an older child. Can you pray for this girl that she will be given a family soon. If it isn't ours, we pray that it is another family that will love her as fiercely as we do.

 
Where do we go from here....

   We are continuing to move along with the adoption process without a match at this time. We have our fingerprinting appointments scheduled for next week and then our immigration papers will be processed and all of our paperwork can be sent to the Philippines.

   We will not be requesting another child at this time. We are going to allow our hearts to heal for awhile. We need our hearts to heal for awhile in order for it to be fair to another child who might come into our home and to our children and Jake and I who have pictured life with this girl in our family. We are going to pray through what the Lord has for us, and we are going to continue to pray that the Lord still allows us to adopt this girl. We are going to give it some time and see if we can't "re-apply" (for lack of a better word) for this girl if she doesn't have a family yet in a couple of months. Our hope truly is, that she will have a loving family by then OR that the PH changes their minds about us.

 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We will keep you updated as much as we can. We love you all.

~Jake and Pam