Monday, February 6, 2012

The Schultz Family

As most (well, hopefully ALL) of you know, I am passionate about adoption and the efforts many organizations and individuals put forth to help find loving, permanent homes for children.  In my role as adoption advocate I have had the good fortune to meet many wonderful people who themselves have had an interest in adoption. One such family is the Schultz family here in Joplin, MO.

I first met Shannon several years ago at the local YMCA.  We became running partners and our friendship grew from there.  Occasionally Shannon would ask me about our adoption experiences and expressed an interest in someday also pursuing adoption as a possible way of building their family. 

That "someday" finally happened three years ago when they adopted their daughter, Lili, from Taiwan.  And now "someday" is here again.  

But, instead of my telling you all about them, why don't I let Shannon introduce herself to you and tell you their story?  Please read what she has to say and act as you feel led. Then, please tell anyone you know who might also be interested in helping them out.


Update (Feb. 8, 2012):  Shannon has been informed that there is a donor who is willing to match all donations - up to $5,000 - that the Schultz family receives toward helping with their adoption expenses!

The Schultz Family


"We are Tobin, Shannon, and Lili Schultz. Tobin is a teacher and football coach at Joplin High School. Shannon is an elementary special education teacher who is currently staying home full time with Lili.
Lili is 3 years old and was adopted from Taiwan in December of 2008.
Lili - isn't she a cutie??

We always knew we wanted to adopt. In fact it was something that we discussed regularly on our dates before we were ever married. We had been married for 6 years when we decided to begin growing our family. Lili’s adoption was fantastic and about as smooth as they come. We have so enjoyed being a family of three, but are now ready to expand our family once again.

After spending much time in prayer, we felt convicted to sell our home and move to more modest accommodations. We believe that we should live debt free and we are committed to Shannon’s continued ability to stay at home working with our child(ren).  We also feel led to add another child to our family through adoption.  We sold our home so that we could use the money we made to finance our next adoption.  After visiting with the orphanage in Taiwan, we followed their advice and took the next steps by spending nearly $2,000 to complete a home study and I-600A. 

Shortly after completing the necessary paperwork and sending it to Taiwan, we received a letter stating that the orphanage would no longer be offering second adoptions, as they are choosing to focus solely on childless couples.  This fogged our vision.  We believed ourselves to be working within the framework of God’s plan for our life and started down the path to another adoption through significant life changes and financial commitments. We were devastated. We prayed together that God would show us the direction He wanted us to take.

The very next day, we received an email about Elijah. Without going into too much detail, it is absolutely evident to us that God had Elijah in mind for our family all along, and this was all part of his plan. Elijah has stolen our hearts, and we so desperately feel that he is part of our family already.

The cost to adopt from Ghana is much higher than in Taiwan, and we do not have near enough at this point. We will continue to do fundraising, but we must send a large upfront payment upon acceptance of their referral of Elijah to us. If we do not have the money to send we cannot move forward in the adoption process. We are humbly asking for prayer and financial support to help us make our family complete.

Elijah was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, and needs to be home as soon as possible in order to have doctors attend to his medical needs. We feel so strongly that this is our child that we are taking a HUGE leap of faith and trusting that God can, and will, provide."

I would like to help the Schultz family get the funding they need in order to bring Elijah home.   If you would like to join me, please send your donations to The Schultz Family, 2906 Indiana, Joplin, MO 64804.  Then, please tell your friends about Elijah, as well.  We want to get him here as soon as we can so he can get adequate medical attention as soon as possible! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do to make this world a better place!

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