"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, April 29, 2011

Upcoming Events - Yes More Fundraising!

Sometimes I feel like I'm beating a dead horse with all the fundraising we're doing :-) I'm sorry but it just takes a lot of stuff to raise $40,000 which is the approximate costs for bringing both girls home including travel expenses, visa, agency fees, in-country fees, etc. A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have been SO supportive of us throughout this process. We love you and appreciate your willingness to come alongside our family and help bring our girls home.

We are having a BIG yardsale on Saturday May 14th from 8am-1pm (in fact the whole subdivision of Brookfield is having one so come out and buy some goodies!) Please contact me at v_elaine@yahoo.com for address information if you need it.

We are also hosting the Hulshof Adoption Benefit Golf Tournament on Saturday June 18th at Windtree Golf Course in Mt Juliet, TN. All you golfers, be sure and sign up for this tournament - it's going to be a blast. More details to follow on this.

Lastly, we are still selling the Ugandan beads and the 147MillionOrphans silicone bracelet cuffs (see pictures in the right column of this blog). The beads are made from recycled magazines by the women of Uganda in Africa. They are beautifully colorful and make wonderful graduation and Mother's Day gifts. 1/2 of the proceeds from the purchase goes back to the women of Uganda who make the beads and helps to provide them with a sustainable income and feed their children. The other 1/2 of the proceeds goes to our adoption fund. The best part about purchasing them for Mother's Day is that you not only give something nice and unique to your own Mom but you also help our family and mother's in Uganda! The necklaces are $25 and the bracelets are $10 or if you purchase one of each, you get the special price of $30 for both.

God continues to bless our family throughout this process. We have definitely had struggles and obstacles but God has also moved in our lives in some AMAZING ways. Please continue to pray for us through this adoption journey.

Until they are all home,

Prayer Requests

We learned this week that our paperwork was submitted to court on 4/21. YEA!! We are praying for a June court date and should learn sometime mid-May whether or not we will be able to travel in June to Ethiopia. The courts are closing for a few weeks so the judges can take vacation time however they should open back up in mid-May. They will close again for all of August and September for the rainy season. So we are really praying we're able to get a June or July date - otherwise, we'll have to wait until October :-(

Our agency director is currently in Ethiopia for a wedding right now and she is hoping to have time to take a package to each of our girls. I had SO much fun shopping for little toys, clothes, snacks, etc for them. We are praying she's able to make the trip to their orphanage and bring them their surprises and the photo albums of our family so they can see what we look like. Abekeya also has a mild case of pneumonia and is taking antibiotics so we are hoping Sue will be able to check on how she's doing while visiting. Please pray that her little lungs to heal up quickly.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Pictures of Our Daughters!

Sorry so many posts today. I've been so busy with the silent auction and dinner, I'm behind on blogging - trying to catch up today.

Here are a few pictures of Hannah and Abekeya (Aby). We are not allowed to show their faces on websites, facebook, or blogs (any public online source) until we've passed court and they're legally ours, hence the hearts over their little faces for now. Please keep them in your prayers. I pray it won't be long until they're ours and we can show everyone those sweet smiles :-)


Sweet Sisters

Hannah & Abekeya

Aby - Our Future Soccer Star!

Hannah on the Slide

Aby on the move

Hannah by the Tree

Last Night's Adoption Dinner & Silent Auction was a Big Success!

Thanks to all of you who came last night to our Adoption Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction. Also a special thanks to all of you who contributed items and/or helped us with the dinner. What wonderful friends, God has blessed us with. We raised approximately $3300 profit after expenses to go towards our adoption fund! God is good and He funds what He favors :-) It was a very special night for our family and we really enjoyed sharing it with all of you and introducing you to our new daughters :-) Here are a few pictures from the event.

Valerie & Chris

Awesome Blog Post on Sol Deo Gloria Blog This Morning. Check it out!

My sweet friend Kelley (who has been AMAZINGLY supportive to our family throughout this adoption process) has an AWESOME post today on her blog. Please check it out here. www.mytwosons-kelley.blogspot.com or you can click on it below in the left lower column in "My Blog List". The title of the post is "But I Know NOW". Amen and Amen Kelley.

"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.“ Proverbs 24:12

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Sneak Peak at a Few of the Silent Auction Items

We are really looking forward to our Adoption Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction Sunday night. A HUGE thank you to so many of our friends for donating wonderful items and for supporting us through this adoption journey. We have SO many items that I can't list them all but here's a just a few! I don't have a final count as we still have items trickling in but I think we're up to around 70 items!

Gift Cards to:
O'Charley's, Stoney River, Logan's, Melting Pot, Carmike Cinemas, Shanks Family Eyecare, Jensen's Shoes

Gift Baskets/Packages:
African Adoption Basket
Disney Princess Tote full of Princess goodies
Toy Story Tote full of Toy Story goodies
Disney Rock n Roll Basket (includes Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, & High School musical items)
Chocolate Lover's Dream Basket
Movie Night Baskets
Adorable Rubber Ducky Baby Basket - it is SO cute y'all
Bath & Body Works Basket
Italian Dinner Baskets
Sparkle Cupcake Birthday Party Package for 12

Handmade Items:
Handmade Recycled Glass Jewelry
A few different Hand painted Artwork Canvases
Handcrafted Wooden Pens
Beautiful Framed Pictures and Cards photographed by one of our talented friends

And much more! Looking forward to spending this special evening with everyone.


Friday, April 8, 2011

YEA!! It's finally happened! We have referrals!

Yes, the title says referralS as in plural :-) We are adopting two precious little sisters, ages 4 and 5. Abykeya is 4 and goes by Aby (pronounced Abby), and Hannah is 5. Our hope is to be submitted to court next week to get on the docket and then we could possibly have a court date sometime in June. Wow! It's finally happening :-) We will now be the happy (and perhaps slightly frazzled) parents of 3 boys and 3 girls. Never in a million years did we think we'd be momma and daddy to six children. But as with everything, God knew and so here we are :-)

Thank you thank you for all your prayers. Please keep them coming and please pray for our daughters. We have all already fallen in love with them - the kids were bursting at the seams to tell all their friends about them today at school. Our hearts yearn to hold them and make sure they are fed and warm and comforted, etc. and it's hard to not be able to do that for them right now. We know though that God loves them even more than we can so He will take good care of them until they can come home to us. We just can't stop smiling and praising "Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" Ephesians 3:20

Valerie & Chris