Thursday, July 7, 2011

Control freak meets faith

I am a control freak for the most part. If you know anything about my childhood, then you know why I feel a need to be in control. I do not like surprises, I get nervous when someone says they will do something and does not. I hate waiting on someone to pick me up, because I was left waiting to long, way to many times. I NEED CONTROL

and yet...

Controlled situations are not where you usually find God, He is not in the perfectly planned events or the every-detailed-covered kind of life. He does not say to trust Him when we are really trusting in ourselves. He is not does not move in BIG ways when we only give Him little safe windows to work in. And yet we somehow trust ourselves more than the God who can move mountains and yet loves us deeply.

Planting a church in the middle of nowhere (I actually really like nowhere) took some faith on our part, but honestly I was not really that worried. Maybe that had to do with the peace God gives us when we are in His will and that everything seem to fall into place before there was time to worry.

I have to admit that the adoption has take an huge amount of faith.

1) it is something I have wanted to do for YEARS. It is hard to want something so badly and know there is no way we could do it on our own. umm... like impossible on our own.
2) We started off our desire to adopt with a small credit card dept and nothing in savings. The control freak would say that is probably not the right time to start. We did pay everything off and save before we were able to make big announcements, but the decision came to adopt when we have nothing.
3) we are going to have 6 children. Like 6, six, sáw, shan, , سِت sittä, bảy, enam, chwech, seis, (that is 6 in the most obscure languages that I could find. Probably countries were they traditionally have 6 kids, but in America people tend to ask WHY)
4) There is really a lot that can get messed up and there is nothing a person can do to control it. We are at the mercy of many.

So what does all of that mean. It means that our window for God to work is really big, so big I have watched Him work in so many ways during a journey. I am sure if I would have lived my safe and controlled life I would have missed being present to watch God work. We are told to make markers of ways that God has worked. I have decided to keep track of all the blessings we have seen on this journey. I hope to look back and remember all He has done. Along the side of the blog will be the specific ways we have seen God work. I am sure there are many more unseen ways too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our Adoption Shirts

We started the adoption process thinking we would do a ton of fundraising, send out letters, ask our friends to jump into our crazy adventure....

and then God stepped in and quieted my heart. There is no doubt that we are on a journey to Africa to adopt possibly 2 children (another area where God has changed our hearts). This journey will be somewhat of a quiet one. We will sell shirts, do a garage sale and I will work (as in a job) faithfully to get my children home. God has given me great peace in those few things. We feel peace in knowing without a doubt that God will provide what we need.

The Shirts

A friend of mine, who happens to be a fellow doula, home birth mama and is a sweet family in the pursuit of a child in Africa, has designed this shirt for our family (well her talented husband did the design). We will be selling the shirts for donations towards our adoption. Adults are $25.00, Organic is $27, Recycled is $30 and children's are $18. You can purchase them on our blog or by contacting us. They may not be ready until late April, because of printing. The shipping time will be fast after that.

They are designed to be on a brown shirt, but I think eggplant may look good to, so I will look into that. Africa and the lettering stay the some color, but I can pretty much print them on any color.

How you can get one or more for free... Run or walk for us at any local racing event. We will offer a free shirt and fund raiser sheets to anyone willing to run/walk to help us raise money.

  • Raise $50 and you will get a free shirt
  • raise $150 and we will pay for your entry fee into the race of your choice (under $30 please)
  • raise $300 and we will pay for any entry fee
  • raise $500 and we will throw in 2 more shirts or help cover some other costs of the run ( example..gas, one night in a hotel, food).
  • All people that donate over $50 to your race will also receive a shirt.

I think our adoption agency offers tax receipts, but I will need to check into how that will work with the shirts.

The back of the shirt

This will be on the back of shirt and speaks to the heart of why we feel led to adopt.

"Learn to do right; seek justice.

Defend the oppressed.

Take up the cause of the fatherless;

plead the case of the widow."

One last note

We ask that you pray with us on this journey. Please join us on this journey as God leads you. Pray with us, pray for our child/ren, pray for the Ethiopian government, pray that our journey filled with peace.

Thank you for being great friends and family!!

Friday, April 1, 2011


There were clues when we pulled in the driveway.. A paper laying on the sidewalk, a shinny quarter laying underneath it. I picked up the paper to figure out what the kids had left on the driveway, while we are on our date. The writing told me it was Josh. On the top it said, "Save a Child" there was a picture of a lemon. The bottom said, "Lemonade for $.50" I walked in the house to find all the kids were all lined up on the bed watching a movie. I held up the sign and asked if they did a lemonade stand. (Normally they would have been in trouble for doing one while we were gone.) They said they were doing a lemonade stand to raise money for the adoption. They made the lemonade with some other neighborhood kids and sold it door to door and on the street corner. Telling their customers that we were adopting from Ethiopia, which brought in more than just $.50 per cup :). The adoption jug now has a lot more dollars and quarters in it.

It makes it so much easier to know that our kids are excited about their new sibling/s. There are a million reasons people choose to adopt. One of our reasons is that we hope it builds character in our children. We want them to see the joy in helping others and beauty of a multicultural family. I hope and pray the excitement continues for a long time. I hope we teach them that all children are precious to God. I am excited that we get to ride along in this journey together.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It is 5:48 on March 16th and I am once again struck with an overwhelming need to pray for the child that will be mine some day. It is comforting to know that prayers are answered across oceans. I pray that God protects my child, blesses his mother and keeps them both safe. I can not imagine what she (the first mother) is going through.

Is she sick?
Is she hungry?
Is she aware that there is a white mother that prays for her often?
Does she already know that she will have to give him up?
Or has she already let him go?

So many many more emotions.

As much love that I feel for the child I have never met, I feel sorrow for his first mother. My heart goes to her and what she has given us. I pray that her journeys find our God, so that we may all dance together one day. What joy I will have to know that they will be reunited. What an honor I will have to raise him up on this earth.
My heart is so overwhelmed to pray.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Good, the bad, and bronchitus

Last week was a hard one. I have been sick for the last 12 days with bronchitis. Thanks to great medicine I am finally on the mend. Because I was so tired and we had no food to make dinners (that I would not have made anyways) Jeremiah did his first trip to the store for our weekly groceries. We have been using E-mealz, so the list was already made for me. All he had to do was go and get it. He offered to take 2 kids with him to get the groceries. Thankfully he is fine with asking for help. He made it home with the right items and 2 very tired children. I see it as God preparing us all to work together as we add more members to our already big family.
The Bad
Last week I received an article from a friend that is also adopting from Ethiopia. It was discouraging. Thankfully God decided to let me hear about it when I was already sick and not able to process it very much. Here is what is going on.

"Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption. Adoption agencies and children’s advocates are concerned the cutbacks will leave many Ethiopian orphans without the last-resort option of an adoptive home abroad." (find the rest of the story here )

That came as very discouraging news. What we have found out since then is that we will be able to do the home study, receive the referral, go see our child and then there may be a long ...long...long wait until we can pick up our child. So our child will know that we are their parents, but they will be stuck until they can be approved to come home. There is corruption, but this is not the best way to handle it. I am praying for a miracle at the point. I am excited to see how God will move in this situation.

The Good

We have officially moved into the inner circles of the adoption world :) We received a letter from our agency stating that they have processed all of our papers and we will be given Family Coordinator!!! I each step makes this seem much more real. Like a pregnant mom that hears the heartbeat for the first time.

The adoption has continued to progress at a good speed. I am so excited to meet our child.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tax return is here!

We were waiting on our tax return to begin the initial paper work with the adoption agency. They have sent the "Welcome to Ethiopia Program" e-mail, so now comes the first paper chase. This last week were able to start our first adoption training online (Tama finished and Jeremiah is working on it).
We are required to have at least 10 hours in training in order to adopt. This will take care of 8 of the hours.

In this next couple of weeks we will be assigned a case worker that will be with us for the remainder of the adoption process.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Baby Steps

Here are the steps we will need to take to get our child home.

1)Send initial paperwork and program fee to AWAA. (DONE!)
2)Apply to USCIS (no idea what that means) and complete the Home Study (that will take months).
3)Collect Dossier documents and send our Dossier (completed documents) to AWAA for review. (Have no idea what that means, but I bet we will find out). :)
4)AWAA will send our Dossier with a letter of recommendation to the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs for translation and processing.
5)Referral Day!!!!-Accept referral (child) once received , wait to receive court date. (I have seen that take forever too. Hopefully not for us.)
6)Trip 1 - Travel to Ethiopia to meet child(ren) and give consent at court
(About 5 -7 days in Ethiopia)
7)Trip 2 – Travel to Ethiopia to complete visa paperwork and bring child(ren) home
(About 4 – 5 days in Ethiopia)
8)Complete post adoption reports and paperwork, and apply for other government documents for your child.
9)Your adopted child now has proof of U.S. Citizenship!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


We are moving along slowly, but ahead of schedule. Last week I was able to mail in our home study application. A wise adoption alumni advised us to do as much of the little stuff while we wait to raise our first set of funds. The home study may take 6 months, so starting it early seemed like a good idea. I am excited with every step that we take towards our child. Today I was thinking that he may already be on this earth. That thought helps me move forward in the monotony of the paper chase. By the end of Feb. we should have our first $5,000 saved to start the process with the adoption agency.
Please continue to pray for our family and our son in Africa as we navigate this journey. Pray that we are wise savers and the finances come quickly. Pray also for the family of this child. My heart often goes to that mother that will let go of her child. I hope to honor her in all the ways I can.