Schwind Family Adoption

$20,485 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 25 months
Hello from the Schwinds! My name is Steve and my wife is Lisa. We have two beautiful daughters, Zodi and Elsa. My wife and I are working as volunteers with a medical organization called Mercy Ships and have done so for 12 years. Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to some of the most marginalized people in the world by providing free surgerical services to the poor and medical training for health care professionals throughout Africa. We live and work on a hospital ship. I am the Staff Development Manager onboard and my wife is the crew dental hygienist and dental clinic manager. 
Our ship travels to developing countries throughout Africa spending 10 months at a time in each country. Our children attend an accredited school on the ship with 50 other children whose parents work in various capacities onboard. We love being a part of this incredible organization that brings transformation to people's lives everyday. Our ship is currently docked in Tamatave, Madagascar. Check us out at  www.mercyships.org

From 2013-2014, our ship was docked in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo. In our free time, my family and I would lead teams of crew members to two orphanages where we taught Bible lessons, did arts and crafts and played outdoor games with the children.
Towards the end of our 10 month field service, we began discussing the possibility of adopting two children we had met in the orphanages. 
Our two daughters had been adopted from Ethiopia 10 years ago and now it appeared as though God was putting it on our hearts to adopt two more children.
We learned that two of the little boys from the orphanages had been adandoned and there were no traces of any living family members. These two boys would likely grow up in these institutions never knowing the true meaning of the word "family." With much prayer, together we decided to move forward by starting the adoption process of Thierry and Moise. At the time, we were told by a local lawyer that the process would be quick and only take 4 months. Little did we know that it would take 2 years and counting and cost much more than we ever imagined. 

Last July, we received custody of the boys and moved to Congo to care for them over the summer. In August, I needed to return to work so I flew back to Madagascar with our girls. In November, the adoption still wasn't complete so I flew to Congo for a month to try to accelerate the process. In December, Lisa returned to Madagascar after being seperated from our girls for 4 months. I have remained in Congo now with our two boys since November. It is not easy being separated as a family but we have faith that the adoption will eventually be finalized and we will all be reunited.
Although Congo is a poor country, the cost of living is extremely high and because of this, nearly all of our savings have been used up living here and flying between Madagascar and Congo. In fact, in two months time, we will have nothing left. In addition to our adoption expenses, it has become very costly to support half my family in Madagascar and the other half in Congo simultaneously. I anticipate that my wife and daughters will soon need to join me here in Congo and eventually all six of us will have to fly back to the United States to get U.S. citizenship for the boys.

All of this will cost money that we don't currently have. Would you please consider contributing towards our adoption expenses, our cost of living in Congo, flights for my family to join me here and flights home to readopt our two boys in the States?  

We would be incredibly grateful for any small amount you could give to help us provide Thierry (age 2) and Moise (age 3) a forever family with the Schwinds.
It looks as if the adoption will take at least another seven months to complete, and considering our savings account will be depleted in just two months, we are in desperate need of help. A family member suggested we create this gofundme account.  We appreciate their suggestion as we're not sure where else to turn.

Would you partner with us in helping bring Thierry and Moise home?
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A huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all those who gave towards our adoption. Your giving has literally made it possible for me (Steve) to stay in Congo caring for Moise and Thierry while I wait for their final adoption papers.

It looks like I will likely have to stay in Congo at least until August. Lisa and the girls are planning to join me in June.

The money you have given will go towards various adoption expenses, flight tickets for my family to join me in Congo and flights for the six of us to return to the States together.

We will keep you updated as to when the adoption is complete.

Thank you again for your outpouring of love and support on behalf of our family.

Steve and Lisa
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We are just under $1000 from reaching our goal. An enormous thank you to all those who have given so generously. And for those who couldn't give, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We're getting closer to the adoption being finalized in writing. We are hoping it will be complete by April. As soon as it is, we will be able to better identify the boys in pictures on Facebook.

Thank you for all your love and support!
Brothers and best friends
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Adoption Update: The adoption process continues. Our power of attorney is out of the country for seven weeks attending a Bible storytelling workshop. We are happy that he is able to get this training but, in the meantime, our adoption process will slow down in his absence. Our goal this month is to get four legal documents written by the courts. Please pray that we would successfully acquire these papers before March 21.
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Although being separated as a family is a challenge, God has made his presence known to each of us in his own unique ways. How comforting it is to know that God brings good out of all things in his time.

Romans 5:3-4
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.

Thank you to all who have chosen to walk this journey with us.
Longing to take walks w/ my family of 6
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Read a Previous Update
Caroline Hoffmann Smith
24 months ago

Praise God!

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Robyn Ferguson
24 months ago

Look foward to seeimg your whole family someday soon x

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Jeannie Stoker
25 months ago

I am so sorrywe can not contribute at this time, ive had an anurysm follwed by massive stroke which created a great debt but we will pray Gods will for your family. Bless you for adopting these precious children, we have adopted four and one of our daughters have adopted five, what a blessing it is!

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$20,485 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 25 months
Created January 29, 2016
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SS
$100
Sandra Schuitema
12 months ago

Hope to see your family when you get home again!!!!!

GT
$1,000
GoFundMe Team
23 months ago

We’re excited to be able to Give Back to campaigns that have touched us here at GoFundMe. We wish you the best, - The GoFundMe Team

$100
Anonymous
23 months ago
$50
Anonymous
23 months ago
$100
Anonymous
23 months ago
Caroline Hoffmann Smith
24 months ago

Praise God!

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Robyn Ferguson
24 months ago

Look foward to seeimg your whole family someday soon x

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Jeannie Stoker
25 months ago

I am so sorrywe can not contribute at this time, ive had an anurysm follwed by massive stroke which created a great debt but we will pray Gods will for your family. Bless you for adopting these precious children, we have adopted four and one of our daughters have adopted five, what a blessing it is!

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