Smith Family Adoption

Campaign Created by: Lauren Smith

The funds from this campaign will be received by Lauren Smith.

Goal: USD $28,694
Raised: USD $ 19,141

Ephesians 1:5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great delight.

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

We were once orphans, without a heavenly Father and praise the Lord that He has adopted us into His family. His word is clear: care for orphans as He cared for us. In essence, this is why Lauren and I have chosen to adopt. 

Our lives are completely and eternally changed because of the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection and ascension to the throne of God. We are adopting to give a little boy or girl the chance to grow up in a home where he or she can hear the good news of the gospel and come to know Jesus as personal Lord and savior. 

As we began to look into adoption, we quickly learned that the volume of resources and information out there about it was overwhelming. Should we foster to adopt? Or adopt domestically? Or internationally? If so, what country? A Hague convention country? Or one not part of the Hague Convention? The questions led to more questions and we had to pause and take a step back. We decided to speak with those in our lives who had adopted to hear their personal experiences and allow the Lord to guide us where He wanted us to go, instead of us trying to drive this train.

Through these conversations, we learned of an agency whose focus was international adoption and had testimonials of successful placements. In our initial meeting with Lifeline, our coordinator made a plug at the very end for a new pilot program they were starting in a small country in Europe called North Macedonia.

When she mentioned the program, a little fire was lit in our hearts that we weren't sure was real or not so we asked our brothers and sisters in the Church to join us for about 10 days of prayer for discernment (as there was an upcoming deadline to join the pilot program). During that time, that flame began to grow and was confirmed by some very clear indications from separate people's words from God that this flame was of the Lord and blessed by Him.

At the end of February of this year, we officially submitted our application to this pilot program and began the process to adopt from North Macedonia! We have included in this link (click or tap to view) a short one page overview of the country and the program with which you can familiarize yourself. 

The process to adopt internationally is both long and costly but we are confident that the Lord has and will provide everything we need for it. That's where you, our family, friends, coworkers, and brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, come in.

We need help. And we're asking that you give of your time and resources to help us. How?

First, would you join us in continual prayer? Specifically, endurance as we go through this process, favor with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in getting approval, favor with the Macedonian immigration office in getting approval, and provision of a child with which we can be matched to consider adopting. 

Second, would you consider helping us financially? This can be accomplished in one of three ways. 

A) Give directly to our goal, either one time or monthly until the funds are raised. This website has to keep a small percentage of the funds you give to cover processing fees so we would prefer for you to mail us a check at the below address:

The Smiths 2409 Alycia Ave. Richmond, VA 23228

Or Venmo at @LS3591

If giving through the website is easier and more convenient, no problem!

B) Sell something! This could mean something you create, a talent or skill you can share with others, or services you offer. The money made can be donated towards our goal. 

C) Host a local fundraiser to involve your community in raising financial support for our adoption. 

Lastly, if you know you want to help in some way and are not sure how, please reach out!

As we continue this journey towards adopting a little boy or girl, thank you in advance for partnering with us in the work the Lord has called us. 

- Connor and Lauren


UPDATES

Interview #2, Home Study, & i800A
February 3, 2024
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In December, we traveled to our social worker's office to complete our second round of interviews. After completing that, we waited about 3 and a half weeks for our home study packet to be written. Once approved, we put together our i800A application which went to the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) to approve us to adopt internationally. 

This past week, USCIS has confirmed receipt of our application and is in the process of reviewing it! This process typically takes about 6-8 weeks for approval.

Simultaneously, we have begun gathering more documentation and information that will make up our Dossier. This Dossier will go to the North Macedonian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for their review and approval along with our approved i800A application.

Prayers are appreciated for timely approval from USCIS as well as wisdom in navigating the process with Macedonian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.  

Interview #1
October 21, 2023
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This past weekend, we met with our Virginia social worker for day one of our interviews needed to complete our home study. We will have our second day of interviews in two weeks. The interview went very well and after day 2, our home study packet will be written, reviewed by our agency, and sent off to immigration for their review. Prayers for a smooth process of submission and timely review by immigration! 

Mini shoots available!
August 20, 2023
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THANK YOU to everyone who purchased a t-shirt to help support our adoption! We are ALMOST FULLY FUNDED with all that’s left being the cost to travel to N. Macedonia when the time comes down the line, Lord willing, to go meet our matched child. 

To that end, our wonderfully talented friend Rebecca Obenschain has agreed to spend a day this fall offering YOU a chance to purchase a mini shoot to get high quality photos taken. She’s graciously agreed to give all proceeds to our adoption. 

Rebecca will be taking photos on Saturday, September 9 at Bryan Park in Richmond. Slots are available all day in 15 min increments so please message us on this website if you’re interested in a mini shoot. And please share if you know someone who might be interested!

Home Study Paperwork Complete ✅
June 11, 2023
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We are almost done with the paperwork step of our process! Up next are in-home interviews as a family and individually with a Virginia social worker to get our home study packet approved, which will be the bulk of what makes up our dossier that will go to North Macedonia for approval to enter the matching system. 

Thank you everyone who has partnered with us in prayer and financially thus far. We have raised almost $10,000 which is absolutely incredible one month in! Family and friends have started hosting fundraisers for us which means so much. 

Update #1
April 30, 2023
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updateImage We are working through the Home Study process right now! We are finishing paperwork and training and will begin interviews soon. 

PRAYER REQUESTS

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