"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." Jeremiah 29:11

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Signs from God

We had a wonderful Christmas with our family. Hope you all did too. We have so very much to be thankful for.

It was a really neat week with several little "God" moments :-) We have a check due to our agency in a couple of weeks for a sizable amount of money so Chris and I were discussing where we were going to come up with the funds when lo and behold I received an email from our financial planner the same afternoon. I have a beneficiary IRA that was left to me when my Mom passed away and there are required minimum distributions that have to be pulled out by the end of this year per federal guidelines. The amount I'm required to pull out of this IRA is within $5 of what we need to write the agency check for! Isn't God great?!

Then we went to dinner last week at Judge Bean's and ran into a friend we haven't seen in a while who just got back one day before from Uganda and had adopted two children! He was a wealth of information and a real blessing to chat with.

The next evening we took the family to a Predator's Hockey game and stopped by Five Guys Burgers and Fries to grab a quick bite to eat before the game. While ordering I turned and there was another Dad who happens to be the hubby of one of the fine ladies that runs 147 million orphans. They have three adopted children. I worked with him years ago at an old job so we were able to catch up and again discuss our upcoming adoption. I love how God puts exactly the right people in your path in His time.

We finished the second part of our homestudy today and it went very well. We hope to have that piece of the process complete in a couple of weeks. Thanks to you all for your prayers.

And last but not least, I talked with my sweet friend Gina today who brought her new little boy Mamo home last week. Mamo has been very sick and they've spent several hours at Vanderbilt Children's hospital running tests the last few days. Fortunately, it was only a simple virus and he's doing much much better now. Mamo, we're so very glad you're well and home now with your forever family.

Valerie & Chris

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. We hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends as we celebrate our Savior's birth. Happy Birthday Jesus!

The Hulshofs

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Application Approved!

Woo hoo! Got the email today that our application has been approved with Celebrate Children International so we are now able to enter into a legal contract with them as our agency. One more small hurdle tackled and now onto another stack of paperwork :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fraternal Twins?

Chris and I are open to either gender but our daughter Averey has definite opinions about adopting a girl. For one thing, she and I are outnumbered by Dad, three older brothers and our dog Sox. She says we need more girl power in the house.

Perhaps her cutest comment though was "Mom, adopt a girl who is six years old just like me. Then everyone will thing we are twins!" Isn't that adorable? I told her I didn't think others would confuse them as twins and she said "Why in the world not Mom?" Kids, you have to love their innocence.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ordinary Hero

Our friend Kelly just got back from Ethiopia yesterday. She visits the orphanages and takes pictures to bring back to the states and advocates for these children to be adopted. Her blog is ordinaryheroblog.blogspot.com. The stories of her trip are so awesome. It was wonderful to read about the amazing things God is doing there in the lives of the people.

Our Homestudy

We've finished part 1 of our Homestudy but part 2 (actual homevisit) is coming up December 28th! Keep us in your prayers please.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Little Blue Today

We had the first part of our homestudy today and things are moving right along. Still a little more paperwork to turn in but we're getting there. I found out today that the little one I had my heart set on has been chosen by another family. It hurt even more than I thought it would but as Chris wisely reminded me, Thank God she was chosen by another family who will love her very much. I know God has our child already picked out for us and I can't wait until we meet him or her. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Please watch this video. It tells the tale of many who wait for someone to love them. You can't watch and not be moved. Praise God that He has not left us as orphans but has instead forgiven us through His mercy and grace so that we might remain His forever.

Why Adoption?

This is the number one question we receive when we tell others we are adopting.  To be honest, it's the first question Chris and I asked ourselves as well.  The answer is because God wants us to.  I know there have been many times in my life when I've had to make important decisions and I questioned which road to take.  I've prayed about the decision but still have trouble knowing if it's my will that's leading or God's will.  Sometimes it's hard to hear Him.  In the case of our adoption, it was not.  He shouted to us loud and clear!  Chris and I often joke that we've felt like God has been stalking us through this process :-)  Every time we turn around we run into some situation where adoption is involved.  We know this is God working in our lives to affirm this decision.  We don't believe in random coincidences...we know all of these little things are simply God putting people or events in our path to remind us that this is the road He has chosen for us and He is in control.  Neither Chris nor I have ever taken such a radical leap of faith as this and while at times, it is a bit frightening, it is also exhilarating to be right smack in the middle of His will and let Him direct our paths.  God is so good and we can't wait to see what He has in store for us!