Zak and Brandis Adoption

Great news! Our process is going faster than we thought, which is great as we get to go meet our kids sooner than thought at this rate! BUT now we need the remaining amount in only 3 WEEKS!

Can you help!?! can you share to your friends asking if they can help? Any amount is greatly appreciated!

Here is our story: We want to be real with everyone and help you understand us better in our request for help. I am going to be very vulnerable here and share a lot about us and where our money goes. It may not be needed for many of you but for a few it is as we are asking for all your help. We are not rich at all; but we are blessed with exactly what we need to live on. At this point we are paying each installment as it comes in and we are not sitting on a mountain of money asking for you all to provide. God has been using His people to provide what we have been able to raise so far. He did bless us both with jobs that we earn paychecks to pay bills and put a portion to the adoption fund as well. I work hard to run my It Works Business and provide for our bills and adoption fund as well. I say this as it has been brought to my attention people think I don't work and I sit around all day. I do work my business from home but I do work hard and am dedicated to earning a paycheck for our adoption. All my It Works party money, bonuses, and a portion of my commission's checks are going to the adoption fund. The other portion of my commissions check pays our bills. Please know I do work and I work hard to help bring my kids home. Zaks paychecks pay the bills and provide food. If you see me investing into my appearance I want you all to know I do trade services and don't pay cash but use product that is part of my business. We have been living a very basic non-lavishing lifestyle. We gave up our beautiful home to live in a small rental, dropped non needed conveniences and entertainment. We sold most of our furniture in our fundraising yard sales and our place appears as if we are newlyweds again. We are surviving on Ramon noodles, cereal and toast. We decided not to go on our only planned vacation for the year to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary and stay home and save the money toward our adoption. We have sacrificed a lot and given everything we possibly can to our adoption fund. We don't say this to ask for pity or anything at all. We say this as we don't want anyone who is giving to our fund to think we are not doing our part. It is hard for us to ask for financial help. Yes, I share our fundraising posts a lot but it is because I am staring into the faces of our children and that pushes me to ask. I am sure you all would do anything for your children as well.

I also want to discuss another topic that is sensitive to us. We do not want anyone to think we are adopting because were doing "the cool Christian thing to do". We are not adopting internationally because Brad and Angelina did it or that we are adopting a child of a different skin color for attention. We have been told and been hurt by these statements that we are adopting because we want attention or kudos. International adoption is a hard long process. It is hard on your marriage, physical health and emotional health and depletes your finances. This is not anything we would survive going through if it was for attention.

I again, am going to be very vulnerable here on another topic. Yes, we are unable to have biological children. We are infertile. Please don't ask us for details. Asking us about our infertility is the one question we do not like to answer. But we want to point this out as this is proof we are not adopting for attention. We did discuss adoption before marriage and did always have it part of our plan. But our plan was to have a few biological children first to get a good grasp on parenting first. Then when were older and more financially set we would adopt a child as there are so many that need families. OUR plan was not Gods plan.

He created us infertile and we did struggle over that for two years. We were married in 2009 and started trying to build our family in 2010. A few months went by getting negative pregnancy tests. We were told its normal and many couples can't get pregnant right away. A year hit trying and it was hard being that we had dreamed of being in a different season of life at this point in time. Another year went by still with no pregnancy. Can I tell you a couple going through infertility HATES pregnancy tests and that horrible negative answer!
We consulted an Infertility doctor who was able to determine we would only be able to conceive through Invitro fertilization. And not only the normal procedure that costs $10,000 but an even more complex version that cost $20,000. We have seen this process before and heard many failure stories of IVF. We knew this was a gamble which we could lose a lot of money.

We prayed over it and we knew adoption was the way we were meant to build a family. Our original plan was not Gods plan. We were happy to go down His path and are now blessed that this is the way to build our family. Don't get us wrong we had hard times of bitterness and frustration but God helped us through our hard days and reminded us the need of Adoption. We started studying adoption and the relation to God adopting us as His children by His saving grace. We now view adoption completely different than when we started.

We decided domestic (in country adoption) was not meant for us. We prayed over many countries including the United States and Foster care but our hearts broke for Ethiopia and we knew that's where our kids were. God has clearly confirmed to us that our Children were in Ethiopia. During the wait of the International process we did pray over many domestic adoptions that came available and many special needs children. We prayed but the door was shut on all of those; either through the birth mom not choosing us or the process of adopting them not fitting us to pursue the child. We cried over many children needing homes that we were told "no" over. God knew the whole time what He was doing though.

As the Ethiopian adoption program shook and some things came to surface we knew our path of adoption from Ethiopia was changing. We also had our hearts opened to not wanting just a baby to fulfill our desires. In our change of view on adoption we prayed over older child adoption. I have shared on this before so I will not go into detail on that but will say it lead us to the perfect children for us. We now have our children's information that we have been waiting so long for. As we have shared before our daughter is eight years old and our son is one year old. We are blessed!

So yes, I shared a lot of intimate information about us and hope this gives many of you insight into why we need your help to start our family. God will provide regardless, but we would love to have your support and let our children know you helped bring them home. Even just ten dollars is a huge blessing to us so please don't feel if that's all you can do that is tis meaningless. Every dollar helps!

We also understand not everyone is able to give financially so to you we ask that you support us through your prayers and sharing of our posts with a description of how you know us and asking your friends to support us if they can.

Thank you all for your support and those of you that read this full post you are our biggest supporters so thank you!

I can't express my gratitude enough! Thank you!

We waited, God promised. We Cried, God comforted. We were angry, God corrected. We felt numb, God shook us. We prayed, God Answered.

We have officially been in the adoption process for two years this month and over that period of time God molded us, broke us, shaped us and sculpted us for this day! God specifically started to speak to us about the older child that was waiting. Waiting as hundreds of families waited for infants and toddlers; us being one of them. This concept did not make sense to me. We are waiting and they are waiting; we want children and they want parents. God spoke to us about our reasons as to why we were adopting. We were taught that our call to adopt was not about us becoming parents and fulfilling our desires but was about a child in need. Really though we now know that we didn't even comprehend our desires as we requested a sibling set under the age of 4; we now see that truly the Holy Spirit intercedes for our true hearts desires.

Over the past two years many adoption options came to our attention which we prayed fervently over. This made the process harder most days because we would get attached and it get ripped away or be told by God to wait. Wait, Wait, Wait! "Gods timing is perfect," we were told. Yes we believed this to be true but that didn't make the wait any easier. Now:: now we sit here gazing into two sets of eyes and into these beautiful faces exclaiming with JOY that "Yes, Indeed Gods timing is Perfect!"
Yes we have TWO very beautiful additions coming into our family!

Three weeks ago we were told about a sibling set waiting. Waiting for parents to love them, waiting for their forever home, waiting for Hope. We prayed over this eight year old girl and her one year old baby brother. "God are these the children we have been waiting for?" Through His Word and a multitude of counselors God spoke to us "Yes, these are the children you will call your own." Haha actually the words given were "uh, No Brainer!"

We are overjoyed and thrilled and LOVE talking about them.

Right now we need your prayers and financial support. God made it very clear that we are to pursue these two children from this specific country, Ethiopia. With that comes a hefty bill of $32,000 within the next THREE months! Do you believe in Miracles? We sure do!

So we are going to be fundraising and applying for many adoption grants. In the mean time we ask friends and family to collect spare change and participate in fundraising events as they are able to do so.

Also our It Works business that God has blessed us with is a great way to help fund as well. We are both close to promotions and need just a bit more support to hit those bonuses. So hosting a party helps immensely.

Thank you for your support! We love you all and again we are very excited!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 2:20-21


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Brandi Johnson 
American Fork, UT
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