"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

Friday, February 25, 2011

Another God Thing...I Just Love Those.

Many of you read from my last post that I met a lady named Yvonne at Chick-fil-A who bought my Ugandan beads right off my neck. What I didn't share in the post is that her child's basketball coach is also adopting and was having his Chick-fil-A fundraiser last night. She mentioned his name and I was shocked to learn that it was a former boss of mine - we'll call him J. I thought surely it must be another guy with the same name. She insisted on giving me his email and number so we could connect. I should have called sooner but got busy as I have a way of doing. Well..this morning I got a comment on my blog from him. Yvonne showed up last night at his Chick-fil-A dinner too and she was wearing the beads she bought from me! She told him about me and my blog, he checked it out and realized it was me and also saw a picture of our mutual friends KJ on my blog! KJ was instrumental in leading his family to adopt. What a small world. So I have now learned that not only one of my former bosses but two, are now adopting! And we learned all this because God placed Yvonne at the table behind us at our fundraising dinner. Isn't it cool how God works?!

Also, wanted to give a shout out to my dentist. He called me this week after learning at our last cleaning that we're adopting, and asked if he could donate some toothpaste and toothbrushes to us to take to the kiddos in Ethiopia when we travel. I said absolutely! I went by to pick them up and he gave us approximately 480 tubes of paste and almost 100 toothbrushes! And then our sweet hygienist walked me to the car to take the boxes and saw the Ugandan beads in the car and bought a pair! Thanks Dr. C and Nancy. We SO appreciate your support and your heart for orphans.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Save the Date...April 17th

Our family will be hosting a fun evening including dinner, silent auction, games for the kids, and a slideshow/video presentation to help raise funds for our adoption and hopefully to introduce you (with pictures) to our new son or daughter. It is our prayer that by that date we will know the sweet child that God has chosen for us.

It is our prayer that we will have a wonderful time of fellowship with friends and loved ones while dining, shopping and telling you our story of how we came to our decision to adopt. I will be sending out a formal invitation with more details later but wanted to give you a heads up so you can save this date on your calendars. Sunday, April 17th from 5-8pm at the Tennessee Baptist Convention Building at the corner of Maryland Way and Franklin Road. Can't wait to see you all there!



Friday, February 18, 2011

A BIg Thank You and a Request for Prayer

Thanks so much to all of you who joined us at Chick-fil-A last night. We had a wonderful time with friends and family. We had friends that arrived just before 5 and friends still coming after 8. What a blessing you've all been to our family.

I also met a very sweet lady last night named Evonne who loved our Africa shirts and struck up a long conversation with us. I was wearing a pair of my Ugandan beads we're selling and she loved them and bought them right off my neck :-) Also several of the children's school friends joined us and one of them bought Averey's necklace off her neck too! Thanks to you guys for your sweet support. Also a big thanks to Chick-fil-A for hosting - you guys are great!

On another note, I received an email today from a new friend who lives close by and is also adopting. She didn't give details but said that she's in tears because she fears something has gone awry with their adoption and she asked for prayer. Please pray for this sweet family that God will smooth out the rough edges and help them feel His presence and sweet peace while they're hurting right now. We're praying that everything works out. I'll refer to her as the DV family. There is great power in prayer so I thank you in advance for remembering this family.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fingerprinting is Complete

We have now both finished our fingerprinting for the immigration office and received word that our Dossier was cleared through the Ethiopian Embassy and has arrived back safely to our agency. So next, it will make it's trip across the ocean to Ethiopia to be translated into Amharic. God is Good.


Come Out and Have Some Chicken Nuggets With Us!

Just a reminder that our Chick-fil-A Benefit Night is tomorrow night. Join us at Chick-fil-A in Brentwood on Franklin Rd between 5-8pm on Thursday February 17th. Mention our name or hand the associate our fundraising card and we will receive 15% of this evenings proceeds (drive thru orders also count). Do you have a big office that likes to order out? Please have them mention our name when they call their order in on this day. There will also be buckets by each register to drop in donations if you like (100% of the bucket donations go to our adoption fund).

Thanks for coming out to enjoy this special time of fellowship and food with our family. A big thanks also to Chick-fil-A for their generous support! We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow night :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Trip To the Mailbox Paid Off Today...

I received our fingerprint appointment forms this afternoon in the mail. Woohoo! We'll be going first thing in the morning. I also received word from our courier that the Ethiopian Embassy was open today and everything has been officially authenticated. Dossier is now on its way back to our adoption agency where it will be sent on to Ethiopia for translation into Amharic. Movin' right along.

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and are spending it with those you love.


Friday, February 11, 2011

We Are Officially On the Waiting List!

I received an email this morning that we are officially on the waiting list as #21. I'm not sure exactly what that means in terms of how long we'll have to wait to receive a referral (pick a child) but it doesn't sound like too big of a number. My understanding is that we may be able to move up the list some too since we are open to adopting a boy or a girl and are not specifically looking for an infant. We'll keep you posted.

I also recieved an email from our courier service. I was able to get our dossier authenticated at the county and state level here because we reside in Nashville where the TN Secretary of State's office is located but to receive the National authetication, the dossier has to be stamped at the US Department of State and is then approved at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC. By virtue of it being sealed by an authorized representative of the US Department of State, the Ethiopian Embassy is able to authenticate (seal) it which prepares it for exit from the US and readies it for registration once it enters Ethiopia. Our courier advised us today that everything was approved yesterday with flying colors at the US Department of State (Yes!)but when she went to the Ethiopian Embassy to pick our paperwork up today, the gates were locked. She believes that they may be closed for a staff meeting or an obscure Ethiopian holiday. She said that it was fairly common for them to close without notice. It's a little frustrating but she's going to try again on Monday. This is probably just the Lord trying to teach me another small lesson in patience - patience is not one of my strong suits :-) It is also yet another reminder that this whole process is out of our control. It is in God's Hands and His Alone. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes "God always teaches us patience, when we do not have time for the lesson." ~Anonymous. I can SO identify with this :-)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Dossier Has Been Sent to Washington DC! WooHoo!!

I have anxiously been waiting for the last two forms from our agency to complete our dossier. They were sent 2 day air on Thursday (via FedEx - Booo - for those of you who don't know, we own a UPS store so I have to say that :-) ). I waited all day yesterday and didn't leave the house because I wanted to get it so we could complete the dossier. It never came or so we thought. As I was walking the dog this morning I noticed a big white piece of cardboard in our holly bush at the end of our yard and went to investigate. You guessed it, there sat our FedEx envelope frozen and sopping wet. Apparently he delivered it late yesterday afternoon onto the porch but didn't ring the doorbell as he was supposed to so it blew off the porch and sat out in the rain/snow mix we had last night. I brought it in and peeled off the cardboard. The pages were so wet, I couldn't touch them without wripping them so I brought out the blowdryer. Fortunately the documents were typed so the ink didn't fun. I contacted my agency and they said as long as it's readable, go with it so we did. They look awful but we're hoping the Embassy won't be too picky :-)

After that, it was off to get authenticated. I had to take the dossier to the Davidson County Clerk's office first and then on to the Tennessee Secretary of State's office for their authentication seals. Then I went to the UPS store and made all the copies and shipped them off. Our dossier was exactly 100 pages long! Then multiply that times 4 required copies. I killed a lot of trees today but I'm so glad it's complete and sent off. Here's a picture of the completed dossier (minus the national seal of course).

The next step is the US Department of State in Washington DC. We sent it to a specialized courier service and they'll handwalk it to the US DOS to recieve the national seal and then it will be overnighted back to our agency where it will be reviewed once again before being sent to the agency attorney in Ethiopia. From there it's translated into Amharic and can be submitted to court once we choose a child and that child's paperwork is ready.

The best part about sending in the dossier is that we are now considered "paper ready" and can go on the waiting list to receive a referral. I have been praying for our child all along but it will be so wonderful when we can accept a referral because then we'll know if it's a boy or girl, how old they are, what their sweet little face looks like, etc. We can't wait! Keep those prayers comin - we can feel them. Love you guys!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

A little more progress...

Today we received our I797C from USCIS. This is basically a receipt stating they have received our I600A and it is being processed. We should receive our fingerprinting appointment soon (I believe in Nashville, this usually comes 4-6 days after you receive the I797C). Yea!

We also received our Educational Toolbox from our adoption agency, Celebrate Children International. Oh boy, lots more reading!

They included this cute little monkey and board book for our kiddo when they get home. How sweet.

Look at this sweet little shirt for our little one! We don't have a referral yet so we have no idea what age they will be. Hopefully it fits :-) It says "Special Delivery from Ethiopia."

And lastly, here are pictures of my favorite 2 books in the toolbox :-) "It's All About Good Hair" - a guide to styling African Hair. Thank you God for this because I have enough trouble with my own hair and I'm completely in the dark about African hair. The other is "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla". This just makes me smile :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dying to Self and Being Raised to New Life In Christ

My babies gave their hearts to Jesus in December and were baptized last night. The whole service was precious. We spent time worshiping the Lord in song and then our pastor spoke briefly about what baptism represents - the public profession of one's faith after they've accepted Christ as their savior. It was a precious time with friends and my church family. My mother's oldest friend was there too from out of town. This was especially meaningful to me because my Mother went home to be with the Lord almost 2 years ago now. I was glad to have Marti (or MiiMii as the kids call her) with us to celebrate this wonderful time. The first time my mother and Marti ever met was at their church when they were in the 2nd grade and they were both being baptized. What a neat story that it would all come full circle generations later :-)

Our church still meets in a school so we have our winter baptisms at our church office. We have a beautiful handmade wooden baptismal and we have them in our youth room which is a converted garage hince the background.

Averey's little toes sticking up as she went under :-)