Archives for October 2012

Little Faith, Big God

A little fishing boat, on the ocean, in the middle of a storm. I think I would have been scared too. But Jesus was in the boat!

“And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:26

We have been floating along in a little boat of our own as we have been preparing to travel to Colombia to finalize the adoption of Cameron’s baby brother, Cooper. The financial burden of the trip has caused a bit of anxiety as we have drawn near to the actual travel date. Even though we know that Jesus is in the boat with us, it doesn’t stop us from worrying about the wind and waves that seem to threaten us at every corner. We felt led  to send out letters to our friends and family sharing our need, we created a Facebook page promoting our cause to 800+ friends, and made sure that our Church family was aware of our financial need and was praying with us. Our prayer was simple, “O Lord, please lay it on the hearts of our friends and family to help by give a few dollars toward the cause.” If enough people gave a little, we figured that we might come close to meeting our goal.

This morning Jesus smiled and said to us, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”

Following our church service this morning, it was announced that the 2nd & 3rd grade Sunday School class had made us some cards. The whole class shared their love and prayers for us and for Cooper. They wished us well on our journey and repeatedly exhorted us “not to worry” and “to be happy.”

In addition to the beautiful expressions of childlike faith and love, there was also another card. A card that once again reminded me of how small my faith is and how BIG our God truly is. The message simply stated, “Your financial needs and desires will be covered. God’s grace and bounties to our company will provide the rest of all your financial needs in this adoption.” With one wave of His mighty hand, God showed Himself strong through one of His servants whom He had already been blessing and preparing to meet this need in our lives.

The only one in our family that seems to truly understand the way God works in these matters is Cameron. Each night we pray with him. Mary Ann and I always pray, “God, please provide our financial needs” and “God, please protect and care for Cooper.” But when Cameron prayers, it always sounds a little different. Cameron never asks God for anything, he prays, “God, thank you for the money to help us get baby brother” and “God, thank you for taking care of my baby brother.” It is a subtle difference in vocabulary, but a huge difference in faith. We pray as if the request needs God’s attention. Cameron prayed thanking God for having already answered.

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

We are extremely grateful to the Lord and for the saint that He is using to bestow this incredible gift. If God has laid it on your heart to give, please know that all of the donations given will be designated for our budgeted expenses as well as any unforeseen expenses related to travel or the potential extension of our stay in Colombia due to processing delays. Any additional money raised beyond our actual expenses will be donated to Lifesong for Orphans to help another adopting family.

Please continue to pray for the final items of paperwork to be completed quickly. We know that God has the perfect time chosen for our travel. We submit ourselves to His perfect will.

Awaiting His Coming,
Patrick, Mary Ann, Cameron, and soon to be Cooper

New Facebook Page

We have launched our Facebook campaign site for raising the final money to complete the adoption of Cameron’s biological baby brother! If you have any a chance to check it out, please stop by and show your support by liking it. We will be posting updates throughout the reminder of the adoption on this page as well as our family website. Please be praying that all of the final details come together.

Travel Date Soon Approaching

Dear Family and Friends,

As most of you have probably heard by now, we have been given an incredible opportunity to adopt the biological brother of our first adopted son, Cameron. Since last November we have been working tirelessly to complete an adoption process that normally takes 3 to 4 years. There have been many hurdles, but God has guided us through and we are now only a few short months from uniting Cameron and his baby brother, David Garcia Morales, whose new name will be Cooper David Mulvehill. There is still much to be done and we believe that God has a part for our family and friends to play in this special event. There are two ways that we are asking for your help.

First, and most important, please pray. Here are a few of the things that we would ask everyone to lift up to the Lord during these final months:

  • Pray for Cooper’s health and well being.
    We know that he is in a foster home right now and is being well cared for, but we would just ask you to pray that God would place a special hedge of protection around him in these final months.
  • Pray for the last few items of paperwork to be completed quickly.
    We are still waiting on a few documents from our government/state and the approval of our I-800 allowing us to take custody of Cooper. Pray that all of these documents arrive quickly so that we can travel to Colombia as soon as possible.
  • Pray for our trip to Colombia.
    We may have to be in country for as many as 8 weeks. Though we where only gone about four weeks last time, there have been a number of changes in the process that could keep us there longer. Please pray that God will prepare the way.
  • Pray for God to provide the financial means to complete the adoption.
    The estimated cost for completing an adoption from any international country can range from $24,000 to $40,000 dollars. Though there are still some unknowns regarding our length of stay in country, we are estimating our total cost for adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, lodging, attorney fees, etc. to be around $28,000 dollars. Through several God ordained opportunities we have been able to raise $19,000 dollars toward these expenses! We are asking that you pray for God to provide the remaining funds needed. We would like to ask that you pray about what part God might have you play in the provision of these funds.

That brings us to the second way that we would ask you to consider helping. We know that many of you were so gracious to help us only a few short years ago with Cameron, and it is a bit humbling to be asking for your help again. However, I know that I can’t allow my pride to get in the way of what God wants to do in Cooper’s life through you. We have prayed and worked for the past year for God to provided as only He can. As we approach the travel date, we find ourselves relying completely on His provision for the final finances needed to complete the journey. Will you please pray about making a tax-deductible donation to help raise the remaining $9,000 dollars? We are reaching out to as many of our friends and family as possible because we know that even the smallest gift, given by many, can accomplish much.

We have partnered with a wonderful ministry called Lifesong, a trusted Christian organization that will be administering the funds on Cooper’s behalf. All of the funds received (100%) will go toward the payment of our adoption expenses and will be completely tax-deductible for you. If you would like to be a part of uniting these two brothers and seeing God bring Cooper to Himself through our family, please send your gift between now and December 5th to the address below. Though we do not have a travel date yet, we hope to go before the end of the year.

Please make checks payable to “Lifesong” and send your donation to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attention: Mulvehill #2857 Adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Make sure that you preference how the donation should be designated by writing “Preference: Mulvehill #2857 Adoption” in the memo section of your check.*

You can also give online by visiting and clicking the “Donate” button in the “Give By Credit Card” section of the page. Again, be sure to designate your gift by writing “Preference: Mulvehill #2857” in the purpose field of the processing page.**

Thank you for considering an investment in Cooper and Cameron’s lives through prayer and your financial gift – it will be an investment with an eternal return! “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20) If you would like a complete breakdown of the expenses related to our adoption of Cooper, see the cost breakdown listed below.

We know that God has a special plan for our family and want to thank you in advance for your prayers and financial support. Our prayer is that God will bless each of you in more ways than any of us can even imagine.

Awaiting His Coming,
Patrick, Mary Ann, Cameron, and soon to be, Cooper

Lifesong Support Letter

*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
**Please note that PayPal does charge an administrative fee (1.9% to 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction). The donation to us will be decreased by the amount of this fee.

Below we have listed the fees related to a typical adoption from Colombia. Not all of these fees apply to our adoption, but it will give you an idea about how we came to the $28,000 total listed in our donation letter. The reality is, there have been a number of fees that we have paid that are not on this list. That is the nature of the process, every case is a little different. There is also a lot of money that goes into the creation of the dossier that aren’t necessarily listed below. However, it is a good guide. We have been blessed to have a lot of people in the process looking out for us and that has helped to keep our cost down.

Summary of Fees

Bethany Fees: $9,050-$15,350
Country and Shipping Fees: $3,465-$5,365
Attorney Fees: $3,000-$3,500
Humanitarian Aid Fee: $0-$11,000
Process and Immigration Fees: $1,499
Travel Fees: $7,470-$11,480
Total: $24,848-$48,194


Below is a break of the different fees listed above:

Bethany Fees (Varies by Branch): $9,050-$15,350

  • Application Services $550
  • Home Study Services $1,700-$3,000
  • Program Fee I $3,350-$5,600
  • Program Fee II $1,650-$3,200
  • Post Placement/Post Adoption Report Fee (six reports required) $1,800-$3,000

U.S./Colombian families will receive a discount of $1,000 from their Bethany fees

Country and Shipping Fees (cost of services for the adoption of one child): $3,465-$5,365
Cost varies by program

  • First payment due to Bethany at Dossier submission $2,065-$3,965
  • Second payment due to Bethany at referral acceptance $1,000
    • The Country Fee may be refundable commensurate to the amount of work completed and as determined by the Country Partner. After the placement of the child occurs, this fee in non-refundable
    • Country Fee includes but is not limited to the following:
      • Coordination of case in Colombia ($1,500)
      • Adoption House Administration Fee ($1,000-$1,500)
      • Legalization Fee for Embassy Letter ($40)
      • Translation of dossier ($525)
      • Translation of referral documents with legalizations ($650*)
      • Translation of future post-adoption reports ($350*)
  • Shipping Fee Due to Bethany at Dossier submission $400
  • *Translation for second child/sibling is additional $850
  • There is no additional processing fee for an additional sibling

Humanitarian Aid Fee: $0-$11,000

  • Paid only if the family adopts through an Adoption House

Attorney Fees in Colombia: $3,000-$3,500

  • These fees include the management of your case as the attorney guides the family and paperwork through the judicial system in Colombia. May also include guidance with documents and forms the family will need to sign.
  • Paid in cash direct to attorney (USD or Colombian per attorney’s request)

Process and Immigration Fees (Third Party Fees): $1,499

  • USCIS Filing of Orphan Petition (I 800A) $720
  • Fingerprinting ($85/person for every person 18+ in the home) $170 (for 2 adults)ï‚· US Embassy required medical exam $185/child
  • US Embassy – Child’s Visa $230/child’s case
  • Adult Passport Fee (for 2 adults) $194

Travel Fees (Estimated costs for two adults, one trip and travel for 1 child) $7,470-$11,480

One trip of 7-10 weeks. Costs are approximated and subject to change.

  • Airfare $2,000-$3,000
  • Airfare for Adopted Child (estimated): $800-$1,200
  • In-country Lodging and Transportation $4,620-$6,930
  • Colombia Visa’s for two adults $50-$350
  • Meals and Incidental Expenses Varies by family

Long Awaited Introduction

The sound is not as good as I had hoped, but if you turn your speakers up you can hear some of Cameron’s responses to seeing his baby brother for the first time. Precious, precious moments.