Monthly Archives: April 2013

Paperwork, Paperwork, and………… MORE Paperwork

 Yep that title pretty much sums up our lives for the last two weeks. Plus all of this….IMG_5898Notaries, Dossier meetings, sending off our passports for renewal, twice. Yea, TWICE. Caleb’s was returned just days after sending it out for “not signing the application”, to which I may or may not have given him a hard time for 😉 , and then mine showed up in the mail the next day, with no signature. ooopppps. LOL

We also had to pay to do 12 required hours of online “adoption training” courses…. The packet I purchased totaled 13.5 hours, unbeknownst to me until after the fact. Dah. Maybe I needed the extra hour and a half of training.. =)

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We set up a table at church the last two weeks to let others know what we are doing and how they can help. Everyone was so sweet and supportive.IMG_5970Our girls LOVED doing a table at church, and helped update our total funds raised..IMG_6117

  $9,680!! nearly halfway there! PRAISE GOD!!!!

We had to complete most of those things I mentioned by yesterday because it was our last home study visit!!! (enter sigh of relief) It went really well. The lady is super nice, we spent most of the time going over what she has to write for a very detailed biography of Caleb and I, to put into our home study packet. I can’t imagine they could have thought of anything else to ask us about ourselves and our families!! Seriously though…They wanted to know everything!!! Including our siblings names, dates of birth, occupation, relationship status, children, ect… I couldn’t remember what year my youngest sister was born. (oh come now…dont judge… there are FOUR of us!! and I knew it was 1988, or 89) =) Anyways, I left it blank thinking Id just fill it in later, well I forgot and apparently it was almost a major red flag. She asked why it was blank, and I told her “I forgot” to which she replied, “oh, ok I thought maybe you were estranged or something.”  So, just to clarify, and as added proof, here are me and my sisters just two months ago HAPPILY celebrating my 30th bday =)IMG_6102

 

See how much we love each other 😉

Ok, so for part of the home study she had to meet with us separately…. I went into the kitchen to play on my phone as Caleb and the lady talked about his childhood and upbringing and so on… somehow they got onto the subject of Caleb and I playing connect four… so Caleb yells, “We haven’t played since then right??” To which I immediately reply with no further explination needed….”nope”

It was so fun sitting down and talking to her and reliving how we first met, including explaining the story of connect four….. ALRIGHT, I know, I HAVE to tell you now. Long story short, we had been married like two months and were still in lala honeymoon land. We were at a missions conference in Atlanta, Georgia and we were in a game room with everyone else from the conference for down time. Connect four was one of the games set out and Caleb and I sat down to play. We are both pretty competitive people in sports, games, life in general.. the best thing we could have done was to marry each other so that we would always and forever be “on the same team” =)

So we sat down to play connect four, and I beat him. No biggie. Then I beat him again. Best two out of three….three out of five….. five out of seven… and so on… he made me play him 16 times…..and I won every time. At first it was fun and funny, and then, It wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t want to win, or even play anymore and He was determined to beat his new bride at least once to save his dignity…. I had enough of connect four and started to cry!! Caleb felt so bad when I started crying and telling him I didn’t want to play anymore. He walked me back to my room. Yep I said MY room. We were asked to sleep in separate hotel rooms for the conference, him with the boys, and me with the girls because there was an unmarried couple on the trip who needed to room separately, which was probably why I was so emotional. (You should never take a newly wed away from her hubby.) He was sweetly consoling me down the hall saying “Its okay babe, we don’t have to play connect four anymore” What a thing that would have been to overhear in the hallway of a hotel. LOL Its funny now. We laugh about it often. I wonder if the home study lady will red flag that one?? LOL

So what does that have to do with the adoption, nothing. But It was nice to take a five minutes to think about something else =) and.. if your walking this journey with us you should prob know a thing or two about us. Please continue praying for us, for paperwork to be complete but not become too overwhelming. For it to be approved when sent to where it all needs to go. For a relatively smooth process….. for Belle. For the orphanage to open their hearts to allowing her to be in a forever home. and for funding to continue to come in…..Thank you!!!

EPHESIANS 3:20

      “GLORY BELONGS TO GOD, WHOSE POWER IS AT WORK IN US. BY THIS POWER HE CAN DO INFINITELY MORE THAN WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE.”  EPHESIANS 3:20

He did!! This is the verse I felt like God was speaking to me before our fundraiser. For about a week this verse kept coming up everywhere!! And it was absolutely true!!! Walking in to yesterdays event we had NO IDEA what to expect. We knew God had called us to take this journey, and that He would be faithful. What we didn’t know was how YOU would respond. 
Yesterday we were so encouraged and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, family of friends, friends of friends, friends of family, acquaintances, and even complete strangers!!!! (Did you get all that?!?!)  =)
I know that there is no way I can track each and every one of you down to THANK YOU, but I pray you know just how much it has meant to us! I hope each and every one of you have returned to our blog for an update and are reading this right now. If you are….IMG_5884Truly, sincerely, THANK YOU!!! Thank you to all who prayed, gave, posted, tweeted, sent texts or emails, annoyed your friends, made “events” on Facebook, reposted, retweeted, and reannoyed your friends all on our behalf.
I can’t even begin to tell you what your donations mean to us.. Well maybe I can begin  😉  It means we can continue moving forward, and we are that much closer to the end of our journey. It means feeling comforted by the fact that so many are praying and standing with us. It means brining our little girl home!!!
So the BIG question… how did we do???
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     Yesterday (and even up into just a couple of minutes ago) we raised:
                                                      $7,730!!!!

 

PRAISE THE LORD!!!! ISNT IT AMAZING?!?!?!?!?!!!!! My favorite part about all of this was seeing God move through YOU. It both challenged and encouraged me.  There were so many great moments with many tears of joy. I’ll share just a few:
We had a man show up to the church whom we had never met. He walked in introduce himself, and handed us a donation. He knew we were going to be there and wanted to stop by.
A dear friend we hadn’t seen in quite some time and her husband stopped by and not only gave us a generous donation, but also asked us to pray with them about adopting!! We all stood in a circle and held hands and cried and prayed together. I can’t wait to walk with them on their journey!! LOVE YOU!!! 😉
Another donation was from a young woman who just gave up everything she has to live with orphans in Africa!!! and she gave to us….. so humbling.
Another couple had been setting aside money and waiting for God to reveal to them when they should donate it to meet someone else’s need. Um, challenged!! Caleb and I used to do this years ago,  =(  I think its time to start again.
So many more stories that I could tell, and there are tons that I know I am unaware of. Whom ever you, are wherever you gave from, I know it was from your heart and I know God will bless you for your generosity. Thank you!!
 Chinese bible I will one day pass on to our little one

Chinese Bible I will one day pass on to our little one

As for not meeting our goal, we are not worried. We know our God will provide all our needs! Please continue walking this journey with us, its sure to be an amazing one!

Gods promises to us about giving:
Luke 6:38- “Give and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over,will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”
Matthew 6:19-20- “Each of you should give whatever you have decided. You shouldn’t be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver. Besides, God will give you his constantly overflowing kindness. Then,when you always have everything you need, you can do more and more good things. “

 

147,000,000…… MINUS ONE

IMG_5823Today is a big day in our adoption journey. We have set a HUGE goal. We need 2,000 people to donate $10 in just 24 hours!! This would almost give us enough to have our adoption FULLY funded, giving us the ability to move forward in our journey with a little lighter load to carry. I feel like we are standing in the shadows at the base of a huge mountain looking up.Mountain_peaks,_Lahul

It looks like a crazy intimidating hike, and it will be, but my hope is, that in twenty four hours we will be standing at the top enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful view, and praising the Lord for all that HE has done to get us there. 3166402789_ec849695ee_z

Im hoping you are reading this post today because you saw info about our adoption posted somewhere and you are here to help. We are truly believing in God for a miracle today, He is the only one who could do this. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”

We ask you to pray for us and also to ask HIm, what is your part? We are asking all to pray, but can you repost to your social media networks to help spread the word?? Can you be one of the 2,000 to donate $10?? Its easy, click on the “donate today” button to the right of this post. Can you give more than 10?? maybe $10 per family member?

WAIT!!! After you have prayed please continue to walk with us on this journey. We still have a long way to go. The mountains are high, the valleys are deep, and we need people who will stand beside us praying and encouraging us to just take the next step. We are all called to defend the fatherless and there are approximately 147,000,000 of them in the world. Together we can make it MINUS ONE!!!!
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You’re gonna have all of me

To say we’re “in a weird place” right now is an understatement. We find ourselves living almost parallel lives. We have to go about our normal day-to-day routines; working, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning house, running 5k’s, ect..

 

ok, so the 5ks aren't so "day-to-day" ;)

ok, so the “running 5k’s” aren’t so “day-to-day” ;)

And we have to do all this as if we aren’t in the middle of the biggest, most faith-stretching thing we have ever done in our whole lives. All the while, having to do a hundred million things pertaining to the adoption process,

waiting to get required  bloodwork

waiting to get required blood work 

finger prints and background checks

finger prints and background checks

passport photos for all (not sharing mine)

passport photos for all (or in Rowan’s case, “mug shot” LOL

AND putting our whole hearts into it, as it requires nothing less.

Since “officially” starting the process I’ve lived out two opposite extremes: The first was unhealthily letting the adoption consume my thoughts at every single moment to the point where I was completely overwhelmed and on the brink of tears at all times. Then I pulled back so far that I didn’t even allow myself to even think about the adoption for about two weeks. I am now somewhere in the middle, and it’s still tough to find the right balance. Honestly, ignoring the adoption was easier. I think apart of me is scared to put my whole heart into it, because of all the “WHAT IF”s… and I know this is just an excuse, a way to try to feel a little more comfortable and “in control” of a totally out of my control situation. God is in control… and he’s not asking me to do this for my comfort.

I heard a pastor once say that partial obedience to God is still disobedience. “Ok God, I’ll do pretty much what you ask…….” If we aren’t willing to give full submission to His will, we are ultimately saying we don’t fully trust Him. OUCH……

I heard a song in the car last year and God spoke to me through it. (NO, not “Jesus take the wheel” 😉 I don’t know what the writer of the song meant for it to be about, but for me, it is about our adoption journey. A letter and pledge to our daughter to pursue her and love her whole heartedly in the journey to bring her home.

You’re gonna have all of me: by Matt Hermit

Afraid to love, something that could break. Could I move on if you were torn away? I’m so close to what I can’t control, I can’t give you half my heart and pray He makes you whole.

You’re gonna have all of me, you’re gonna have all of me. You’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing any fear. You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough. Enough to mend our broken hearts, but giving you all of me, is where I’ll start.

I won’t let sadness steal you from my arms. I won’t let pain keep you from my heart. I’ll trade the fear of all that I could lose, for every moment that I’ll share with you

You’re gonna have all of me, you’re gonna have all of me. You’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing any fear. You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough. Enough to mend our broken hearts, but giving you all of me, is where ill start.

Heaven brought you to this moment, its too wonderful to speak. You’re worth all of me, you’re worth all of me. So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed. You’re worth all of me, You’re worth all of me.

..giving you all of me, is where I’ll start.