Welcome to our adoption fundraiser. We are Brett, Katie, Porter and Reed Hoffman and currently we are living in Shanghai. We have been fostering a little girl from China since January named Ellie. Would you please help make her officially a Hoffman forever?
For the last 5 years we have been trying to grow our family, praying God would bless us with more children. In those years before moving to China we had been seeing many doctors for our secondary infertility with no real answer to what was happening(or not happening). Doctors also did not have a clear answer for the miscarriages I had suffered. Those years were filled with many tears and confusion. We were not sharing our situation with many people; we didn't want the sad looks or people not wanting to share their joy of pregnancy with us for fear of hurting us. Honestly too, I couldn't handle sharing without bursting into tears. In those years of tears God shared a verse with me that I clung to: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I was unsure of what that future was but I knew whatever happened I could trust in the Lord.
In 2013 when we received word of our move to China we decided to put our infertility treatments on hold and focused on our big move.
When we arrived in Suzhou we starting meeting families who had adopted children from China. At this point, adoption wasn't something we had put much thought into. When I read stories about adoption I head things like "I had a passion for adoption?quot; or "I felt called to adopt". None of these things we were feeling so we though it obviously wasn’t for us. God had a plan though(Jeremiah 29:11). Seeing these new friends who had adopted had started breaking down the walls we had around adoption. Maybe we could do this, maybe God’s plans were not our plans, maybe he was going to give us the child we had prayed for but not in the way we had envisioned.
After living in Suzhou for a year Brett got a new position in his company and we were moving to Shanghai. Exciting times but starting over is always scary. With a bigger city brought more things to get involved in. In the fall I signed up for a Bible Study Fellowship group. God's plan was churning away…though we didn’t know it. In this group I meet a women named Mai. Mai had a passion for orphans. In one of the group meetings Mai mentioned she was doing an adoption seminar. I thought, what could it hurt, just go hear what she has to say. After the seminar Mai and another BSF group member and I went to lunch and I shared our story, tears and all. These women listened, encouraged, and prayed for me right there in the middle of the restaurant booth.
Mai was involved with a local foster home in Shanghai that cared for orphans. These children were from orphanages all over China that needed medical care in the local Shanghai hospitals. I went with Mai to visit with these orphans on multiple occasions. Mai encouraged me that adoption wasn’t so scary, that we could do this. I came home and discussed with Brett the idea of fostering a child in hopes to adopt. There was still fears but Brett was very open to fostering so we decided to just take a leap of faith. On my visits I meet an adorable little girl named Qing Fu. So in December, before leaving to the US for Christmas, I took Brett and the boys to the foster home to meet Qing Fu. We discussed with the boys bringing her home to live with us for a bit. They were very excited, especially Porter who had always wanted another sibling.
On January 8th we returned to the foster home to pick up Qing Fu, who we decided to give the English name Ellie. We had no clue what we were in for, what a rocky ride those first few months were. Ellie has hirschsprung disease so this brings about many bowel issues and dietary restrictions. It was a huge learning curve for us; trying to understand what food had affects on her digestion, why this diaper rash wont go away, why was she waking so much at night. We visited many doctors here but there are no specialists in her condition so we got the best advise we could and the rest was trial and error. I am not going to romanticize it though, love grew, it wasn’t instant. In the beginning I felt like such a caregiver, not a mom to her. I spend many days cooped up in the house or driving to doctors appointment an hour away. Even through all these long days and nights love grew and grew. Now 6 months has past since we brought Ellie home. She is a smart, silly, cute, and stubborn little girl with a smile that will light up a room.
In February we started the adoption process. We were told an average adoption costs $20,000-30,000. Since we moved to China we have been able to build up a good amount in our saving account which we were very excited to be able to do. Again, I think it was all part of God’s plan because we have had the money to start paying the many expenses of the adoption process.
To date we have spend $11,710. This includes adoption agency fees, home study costs, training costs, US government agency fees, etc. Still to come is $19,575. This includes translation services, document authentications, orphanage fees, Chinese government fees, medical exams, a US visa, travel expenses around China to finalize the adoption, and post placement visits and fees.
Now this is the part I hate to type. We are in need of your help because well…did you read above, adoption is stink'n expensive! One of the many things I have learned here in China and in the fostering process is you have to get out of your comfort zone, put yourself out there, and be vulnerable. So here we are, bearing all and asking you to be a part of our journey.
Thanks for taking the time to read our story.....stay tuned because I am super excited to share with you, in the next day or so, this really cool way to support Ellie.