Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Last Thanksgiving

As I prepared for Thanksgiving at my parents house, I was feeling a little less exited than I usually am.  I was not feeling down or sad, just not the same exuberance as I usually do around this time of year.  We had tons of fun and ate lots of wonderful food.  We spend many hours making beautiful memories with family and friends.  And we acknowledged how incredibly blessed we are to be saved by Jesus Christ.  It was a beautiful day and we were encouraged and emotionally strengthened by it.

Something was missing.  Two little pieces of our family were missing.  No wonder I felt a little off!  We are connected to our children in Ethiopia and not having them here to celebrate God's awesome provision just did not feel right.  In our hearts we are a family of five....but there were only three of us at Thanksgiving dinner.

O how I prayed for those kids throughout the day.  I always pray for there safety and salvation.  I pray that their hearts are being prepared for all that God has in store for them.  I pray that they will know that we are their mommy and daddy.  I had a very specific prayer request on Thanksgiving day.  I simply prayed that their little bellies are full.

I know the circumstances that bring children to the orphanages.  I know that my kids will live some of their lives hungry and it breaks my heart.  I have peace that today that their father in heaven is feeding them.  He loves them so much and he will take care of them.

Praise God that this is our last Thanksgiving as a family of three.  This is the last year that we will only have one baby to feed mashed potatoes and turkey too.  Next  year we will be telling three children to play nice with their cousins and trying to get three kids to go down for naps.  Next year we will have our kids that we have been praying and longing for.  We will know that they are warm, fed, and safe in our arms.  They will be loved and every child should be.  We will have two more things to be thankful for and we can't wait!

On a lighter note, here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving celebration!
Three for now !

I love her...

The ladies in the kitchen 

Gavin is so much fun with the kiddos!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am reading through Ruth right now.  I was sitting outside on this BEAUTIFUL morning listening to Irelyn swing back and forth while I read.  After I read a chapter, I open my MacArthur bible commentary to get a little deeper into the passages.  Throughout Ruth chapter 2, Ruth talks about going out to the grain fields to glean.  I was thinking that this word must mean pick up or collect.  When I looked it up in my commentary I found that it was not just a verb, it was a way of life.

To glean is something that not only the poor and needy did.  The rich were expected to leave the ears of grain from the last harvest for the orphans, strangers, and widows.  It was part of the culture to leave some behind for those who desperately needed it.  Not only did Boaz leave what was left from the last harvest, he told his men to leave some ears of grain from the current harvest for Ruth.

This got me thinking about how the world would be different if we all took care of each other.  How awesome would it be if the body of Christ took care of one another.  If it was normal for us to give of our "blessings" for others to "glean."  This is what God had in mind when he put this story on Samuel's heart to write down in the bible.  If we would just take care of the orphan, widow, and stranger maybe there would not be so many hurting.  If we would just give a little, the ears of grain left over from the last harvest, we could really make a difference in the lives of the least of these.

Ruth and Naomi were desperate.  They were both widows with no one to take care of them.  The care that Boaz showed them not only fulfilled their physical needs, it showed them who God is.  They saw the love of Christ in Boaz's actions.

What a beautiful reminder of how adoption is not just the process of bringing more children into a family.  It is following the call that God has given each adopting family.  It is giving of yourselves to help the least of these.  It is showing the love of Christ to a fallen and sinful world.  It is God using the storms of the process to sculpt his saints into people who look more and more like Him everyday.

It is frustrating, beautiful, heart-wrenching, life-changing, and joyful all at the same time.  I love the place that God has us in and I am so thankful that he cares enough about us to stretch us in the ways that he is.  I found myself praying today that as we draw closer to our referral he would take us out of our comfort zone once again.  We can not wait to see the children that God has hand picked just for us!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A little more info

I talked to our family coordinator who was able to give me a little bit more information today.  She told me that our dossier is getting translated right now which takes about two weeks.  It will then get sent to Ethiopia which takes about a week.  When it is in Ethiopia, we will officially be referral ready.

Although she is still saying it will be anywhere from 0-6 months to receive a referral, she did tell us that most families are getting there referrals in about a month.  So it looks like we are about two months away from a referral!

We are beyond exited and can't wait for these little one to change our lives!  The next step of this process is called waiting....and waiting....and waiting.  I will try to blog at least once a week with some fun stuff about our family.  Some of the blog posts may be unrelated to adoption.  If you have any questions about adoption, please ask and I will do a post about that question.  I am not really sure what to write about while I wait for news.  Thinking of things to write about will help me with the wait.

Friday, November 16, 2012

When will we get our referral?

Our dossier has made it safely to our adoption agency.  We are FINALLY moving forward in this process! I got an update from our case manager today that our dossier is currently in translation and will be sent to adoption avenues later on today.  This means that we will be ready for a referral next week!

We have been told that we have 0-6 months ahead of us of waiting.  That is pretty broad if you ask me. So basically it could be in a couple weeks, or a few months.  What a way to drive a mama crazy!  My tired little heart is hoping for a referral before Christmas   To say that I am ready to have my children home is an understatement.  Some days I doubt whether I can last one more day without seeing their little faces.  Then I remind myself that this is all in God PERFECT timing.   We don't have then yet because God does not want us to have them yet.


Monday, November 12, 2012

No more yard sales for now:)

We have been collecting stuff for almost a year now.  Our garage has been full and we have been very blessed by it.  We have also been a little overwhelmed with the clutter that has taken over our garage since we started this adoption process.

Winter is coming and we live on a dirt road that gets pretty nasty when it rains or snows.  We want to be able to park our vehicle inside the garage so that we don't have to trudge through the mud to get to and from our house.  So we have decided to stop collecting yard sale stuff for now.  We are going to see where we are in the adoption process in the spring at which point we might start collecting to have another sale. We will just see how it goes.

In the mean time, we will still collect items to sell on craiglist.  So anything that you want to get rid of that you think would sell well on craiglist like furniture,  electronics, and collectibles we will be more than happy to take off your hands:)

These yard sales have sure been a labor or love for us and we are so thankful to all of you who have helped us get enough stuff collected to make them worth while.  We are of course praying that our process goes so fast that we will have our kids before it gets warm enough to do another yard sale.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dossier Submitted! Take 2

It has been over a month since we first sent our dossier to our adoption agency.  Today at 1:04pm, I sent our dossier to our adoption agency once again.  Our coordinator will receive it on Friday.  We are praying that everything is correct and we will have no further hang ups in the dossier department.

When our dossier coordinator gets it, she will get everything in order to send over to Adoption Avenues(the organization that finds our referral).  She told me back when we first sent our dossier in to her that this would take a few weeks.  She has promised me that she will speed things along for us this time around:)

Hopefully in a week or two I will be blogging with the wonderful news that we are referral ready!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Whats in our Lifesong account?!?!?!

First of all I want to sincerely thank every person who has donated so far.  We are so blessed by all of you and it brings us so much joy to know that we are not in this alone.  We have wonderful family and friends who are supporting us through every step of this adoption.  The total amount that we have raised(including the matching money of $4,000) is $11,352!  Can you believe it!  This is so much more than we could have ever imagined.

So many people contributed to this fund.  It was amazing to watch God work through lifesong and through His people.  One of the ways that he especially amazed us was when someone donated $3,000, completely  matching our original "matching amount".  Here is how it happened.   Friends of ours came into possession of a bunch of stuff that belonged to their father(he passed away).  They had a car and were praying about what to do with it.  When they asked the elders in our church if anyone was in need of a car, they discovered that there was someone who had $3,000 to spend on a car and would love to buy within the church.  They knew how much our matching grant was for and thought of us.  So our dear friends made a deal that if this family that was buying a car would write a $3,000 check to Lifesong, then they would give them the car!

How amazing is God!  I can not say that we were surprised because we know who God is and we know that he will provide.  We are just overwhelmed by the way these people and all of the others that donated are being God's hands and feet.  This is what God calls us to do.  He does not say "you have to adopt" or "donate $3000".  He simply wants us to wait on His direction and act.  Every single one of you that are helping us bring our children home could have spent the money on something else.  It is not easy to be generous...but when we are, God blesses us beyond our wildest imagination.

So where are we at now?  Well we are a lot closer to being fully funded!  We are $11,000 short from having enough money to bring our children home!  That means that we have raised, and made(Gavin has been so blessed with work) $30,000 in the last ten months.  Only God can make that possible.

We are only $1,000 short for the referral fees.  We will then need to  make two trips that will cost about $5,000 each.  You can still donate to the Lifesong fund if you feel led to!  It will remain open until we bring our children home.  We are also going to be having another yard sale.  I am not sure when, we will just wait and see how fast the process goes.  If you need to get rid of any junk, just let me know!

Prayer Request
We have a special prayer request today.  We have friends who have been fostering a little girl since she was two days old.  She is now about 16 months old and they have still not been able to adopt her.  Their court date keeps getting moved further and further down the road.  These people ARE her parents and the thought of her getting taken away is really wearing on them. They need prayer for spiritual and emotional strength.  They also need prayer that this little girl will become adoptable soon and they will have her in their arms forever!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lifesong Before Christmas

We are quickly coming up to our November 5th Lifesong deadline  at which point I will reveal to all of you how much is in our account.  This is an unofficial deadline and funds can still be collected after November 5th.  We can continue to collect funds all the way up until our adoption is complete!  What a great way to give a tax deductible donation.  This grant has been such a blessing!

I just got an e-mail reminding me to tell all of our family and friends that if you want your donation to show up  on your taxes for 2012, you need to make sure that your check is post marked by December 31st.  If it isn't, it will still end up in our account.  It just won't be recorded on your taxes until 2013.  We are so exited to share with all of you the amount that is in our account! Just a few more days!

Irelyn and I had lunch outside today. She sat in the swing and had her peanut butter and honey sandwich and was just so sweet.  I am keeping busy and having a surprisingly easy time not thinking about when the recommendation letter will come back from the Secretary of State.  God is blessing my day with my little girl today.  I snapped a few cute shots!