Friday, February 28, 2014

Celebrate Jenn's 40th Birthday Month!!

Happy March everyone!!  This month Jennifer turns 40 and in honor of her birthday, we are doing a month long fundraiser.  We found this great website that allows adoptive parents to choose 6 T-shirt designs and receive a portion of the sales for each T-shirt.  We are so grateful for such a wonderful fundraiser and we are excited to be a part of it!

So, if you are ready to shop for a new T-shirt for summer, you need to go through our family's link for adoption bug:

We are so very grateful for any prayers and support!  We will keep this fundraiser going through the whole month of March.  

In adoption news, we were received our official Pre-Approval (PA) this week, so we can send our little guy packages now.  We are also on our way with our home study and we will prayerfully have that completed soon as well as the remaining dossier documents.  This is such a different process than our Ethiopia process which was so indefinite and obscure for who and when and how long.  I feel like that experience prepared us for the steps that we would go through this time, just at a much faster pace.

I will keep everyone posted about our progress and news.  Thank you so much to everyone!!

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."  Proverbs 24:3-4

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Huge News!!

So, I've noticed that whenever I don't write anything for a couple of months, then I am making a big announcement.  Short of moving to another state, this is pretty big and exciting news!  

I will try to make this long story as short as possible.  When we moved to Texas, we were already discussing the possibility of adding on a second and simultaneous adoption.  We knew that Ethiopia was still going to be a wait for a referral more than likely and we were excited about the possibility of adopting a waiting child from another county in the mean time.  So, we knew that we weren't going to do anything definite until we were a little settled in Texas, so we prayed and did a webinar with our agency about a new partnership in China.  We definitely knew that we were interested, so we prayed some more and settled into our new home.  

One of the things that we have always felt very passionate about is that we wanted to be a family who could adopt a child who needed a home.  We did not want to be a family who needed a child to fit into our criteria or meet our need.  This may seem like two ways of saying the same thing, but basically we did not want to create a perfect on paper child and wait for that child to appear.  We wanted to be very open to children who need homes.  For anyone who has gone through adoption you know that this is difficult since you have to fill out tons of forms stating what age, gender, and array of disabilities that you are open to.  

So, fast forward to January and we were ready to begin our home study update process and decide what our home study was focusing on.  We talked to our agency about joining the China program and she asked us if we were interested in pursuing any of the waiting children listed on their website.  More praying, discussing and we decided to pursue a beautiful little boy on the waiting children list!  So, we started madly working on the paperwork since we have now been matched with him and we are working towards getting to go and get a child whose picture we have already seen and whose beautiful little face and heart we are already praying for!!  I want to be careful about how much I share on here about him to keep his details private, but he will be four years old next month and he has had spinal surgery and he walks with braces and a walker.  He is the cutest thing ever and the update received in December calls him a "ball of fire".  

Part two of our news is that we also started getting some emails from our agency about the changes happening in Ethiopia as they work very hard right now to make sure that all adoptions are done ethically.  Although this is always good to make sure that children are protected, while the changes are occurring it usually means lots of slow downs and extra red tape for the families in the process.  Our agency was offering a short term help to parents in the Ethiopia program who wanted to transfer programs to allow our agency fees to transfer.  Although it seemed like such a disappointing way to end our almost three year process of trying to adopt from Ethiopia, we terminated our contract with Ethiopia and switched completely to only pursuing a China adoption.  We of course had very mixed feelings about this after planning and praying for a child from Africa for years, but God asks us to trust.  He does not assure us that we will understand the reasons.  

So, for now please pray for our process, our preparations and most importantly our sweet little boy's heart to be prepared for this big change that he probably does not even know about.  We are looking into some fundraising that we will post about here soon, because we are flying through the process since we are trying to get him as quickly as we can and that does mean that all of the funds are coming due more quickly as we already have a referral.  We have such faith and peace, though about God's provisions for our family to grow in this way.  

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and following our journey.  We will keep you posted on our progress.  Oh, and I guess we will also change some things about our blog since we are no longer "blogging our journey to adopt a child from Ethiopia from our home in St. Louis".  

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.   Jeremiah 29:11-13