Our growing family

Our growing family

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lovin' Life!

We have had a GREAT couple of weeks around here in the Dufries house. We have seen so many friends and family members over the last few weeks and we get to see even more over the next week!!! We had a nice, relaxing Christmas day with family and we woke up the next day to SNOW!!! We couldn't believe it...we took the kiddies outside and played in the snow for awhile. They only lasted about 30 minutes before they got cold and wanted to go inside...but it was long enough for us to build a snowman and play in it! Todd was off of work for 10 days too so we had a lot of family time at home baking, playing games, and relaxing! It was just what we needed after a VERY busy fall season for our family. Todd and I both said several times (ok at least ten times) that we really HOPE and PRAY that our "baby Ethiopia" will be here next year to celebrate Christmas with us. That would be the best Christmas present ever!!! Keep praying for God's timing and provision in our adoption journey! We see and feel him working daily through this adoption and we are excited about what 2011 has for us as a family!!! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Exciting News!!!

WE GOT OUR FINGERPRINT APPOINTMENTS AT USCIS!!! The letter came in the mail yesterday...we will be fingerprinted in Charleston on Friday, Jan. 14th! This is the LAST document we need in order to send our whole Dossier (big pile of documents) to our adoption agency(AWAA) and they will send it to Ethiopia. Once the embassy in Ethiopia receives our Dossier then we will be given a number and put on the waiting list for a child!!! Please pray that after we get fingerprinted, it will not take long for USCIS to mail us the MOST IMPORTANT document...the I171H. We hope you have a happy holiday season...our's just got a little sweeter:)

Monday, December 20, 2010


Why do bad things happen to "good" people...why do so many people die of cancer and other diseases everyday...why are so many people controlled by drugs and alcohol...why is there so much hatred in the world today...why is there so much genocide, famine, and disease on the continent of Africa...why are there so many orphans out there without a family to care for them...

If you are like me, you have probably thought and even said one of the statements above in the past year, month, or even week. There is so much sin in our world today. I have often wondered why God doesn't take all of it away...

This summer Todd and I were shocked to learn of our friends' struggles in their marriage...sin had corrupted their marriage and it was broken. My heart was burdened for my dear friend as she struggled to make sense of it all...as she struggled with her new reality as a wife. I wanted so badly to take all of the hurt and pain away and tell her it was "ok" when it obviously wasn't. I wondered over and over again why this had happened to them...why...

Todd and I had many deep, honest conversations about the state of our own marriage during that time. We realized how over the five years of our marriage we had allowed "the world" to creep in and take over parts of our relationship. We recommitted to praying together and spending time in God's word together on a weekly basis...and it changed us as believers and as husband and wife. When we started to seek God together on a daily basis, we began to see that God had big plans for us and our family...we realized that God was calling us to love deeper and harder than we had ever imagined...we realized that God was leading us down the road of international adoption.

The other day, Todd and I were talking about how quickly our lives have changed in just six shorts months...how what we thought was "important" a year ago, suddenly seems so trivial now...how everything we saved in our bank account was now going towards bringing our "baby Ethiopia" home instead of the nice vacation to a tropical island. We both agreed that God used our friends' broken marriage to convict us of sin in our own lives and made us reexamine our own hearts. God used the sin and pain from their marriage to bring GLORY to HIS name. Their heartache and pain was used to bring us back to daily walking in communion with the Lord. While, we would NOT have wished that this tragedy in our friends' lives would have ever happened, I now wondered where Todd and I would be without that "wake up call" from God. Would we be seeking God on a daily basis...would we be walking by faith down this adoption road...

God uses the good, bad, and ugly in this world to bring honor and praise and glory to HIS name...we might never know why tragic things happen to us or the people around us but we must trust that God is in control and HE will use our hurt and pain to bring others to salvation through Christ.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when HIS GLORY is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Precious is...

Precious is...
* putting on Christmas music and watching my kiddies dance and sing (or at least make noises)

* watching Leah Bear read books to Jay Tyler

* seeing my husband pray with Leah Bear before tucking her into bed

*hearing Leah talk about the cross and how "Jesus died on the cross so we can live"

* staying home with our kiddies to be in the "little moments" of their lives

* my loving husband who is a servant in so many ways...I love that man MORE and MORE each day...you rock Todd!

* watching God provide financially for our adoption each week and month that has passed by so far

* hearing Leah say "mommy why are you wearing a scarf...scarves are for snowmen silly"

* watching Jay Tyler consistently share with his big sister and other friends...he is already developing a little servant's heart

* hearing Leah Bear talk about "baby Ethiopia" and the love she is already developing for a child she has never met

* reading the scripture for the Jesse Tree each day with Leah and bonding with her through God's word

* following God's plan of adoption and finding pure JOY even in the difficult moments

* watching God answer prayers for our family and friends...HE IS SO FAITHFUL to his promises

* the Christmas season...so thankful for the birth of Christ and my salvation through Him

Friday, December 10, 2010


So past few weeks have been hard in some ways but also just so precious in many other ways. Our children are so precious in God's sight and in OUR sight. We love them so much. Leah melts my heart weekly, if not daily, when she talks about "baby Ethiopia" and her love for our child, whom she has never met...oh that I would have faith like a child! Last night, Leah and Jay Tyler had their preschool Christmas program. Leah actually sang a few songs (or at least moved her lips a little bit and did some motions) and Jay Tyler didn't run around or leave the stage...so Todd and I counted the program as a huge success for our kiddies...we have lofty expectations of our kiddies I know:) Anyways, on the way home, Leah heard Todd and I talking about our homestudy that we needed to put in the mail so that we can get our fingerprint appointments for the adoption. She said "Mommy next year I want my baby Ethiopia to come to our school and watch me sing and I want him (she assumes we are adopting a boy) to have my bed and I will sleep in my sleeping bag."...MELT MY HEART! This conversation reminded me that God is not only preparing Todd and I for this adoption but also preparing Leah and Jay Tyler too. God will use this adoption to soften our hearts towards loving and serving others no matter the color of their skin or where they are from in this world. What an awesome way for Todd and I to model LOVE daily to our children...to speak to them about how God adopted us into His family and loves us more than we could think about loving our "baby Ethiopia". I'm looking forward to watching our family grow in love for Christ and each other through this adoption journey in the months and years ahead.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homestudy is officially...DONE!

We have had a few bumps in the road with our homestudy and I have been frustrated at others and myself over the last few weeks but yesterday we got a wonderful email from our family coordinator at AWAA...she wrote that our homestudy had been reviewed and was officially COMPLETE!!! This is big news because the homestudy is a BIG part of the Dossier that we will send to Ethiopia for the adoption. The homestudy also has to be complete before we can get fingerprinted at USCIS. We have finished and been approved for all of the other documents needed for the Dossier EXCEPT being fingerprinted and getting the I171-H document so we are excited about sending our homestudy to USCIS and hopefully getting a fingerprint appointment in January! I know, I know...you are really confused at this point...just know that God has faithfully provided for yet another part of this adoption and we are really EXCITED! Please pray that God would grant us grace in trying to get an appointment quickly and swiftly from USCIS. We thank God for how quickly we have been able to get our other paperwork completed without too many hurdles or bumps in the road.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two months into our journey...

So yesterday marked two months that we have been on this adoption journey and we still continue to be amazed almost daily at the power of our great God. In just two short months, he has softened the hearts of several family members and friends towards His adoption plan for us. He has provided financially for us in BIGGER ways than we could imagine. He has also continued to teach Todd and I ALOT about daily surrending our ways for HIS ways. We are learning a lot about patience and perservance and being CONTENT at exactly where God has us in this adoption journey. It is going a little slower than we had hoped and we have had a few more "bumps in the road" than we anticipated so far but God is sovereign and faithful to HIS people...and we are so glad to be HIS chosen people for this chosen journey!!! We are in the process of finishing up the final touches on our homestudy and many of the papers for our Dossier. We hope to get fingerprint appointments at the USCIS office in Charleston in December. Please continue to pray for us and specifically for our homestudy and fingerprint appointments. Thank you for loving us and following us on the this journey to bring our "baby Ethiopia" home!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Update...and a side story

Well, we are almost two months into the adoption and we have been amazed by all that God has done through us, friends, and family. We have been extremely blessed financially in such a short time and we are very grateful! On the other hand, Todd and I are learning a lot about PATIENCE. It seems like it is taking forever to get documents back from state and federal agencies and that is making our overall adoption process longer and more stressful. We are waiting on one more document to complete our homestudy. When our homestudy is finished, we can mail it to USCIS and get an appointment in Charleston to get our fingerprints. We have several other minor documents to collect and get notarized too before our Dossier will be complete. Todd and I have learned (and are continuing to learn) that this adoption is going to be in God's timing and not our own. We have to pray about being patient each day and put it in God's hands. God knows exactly when we will bring our "baby Ethiopia' home and we must trust that HIS plan and timing are far better than ours.

Also, in an earlier blog I mentioned that we were going to do a "Thankful Heart" tree during the holidays to reminds ourselves of ALL of the many things we have to be thankful for on a daily basis. Well...let's just say that "crafty" idea is not going so well...the first day Leah cried for almost 30 minutes because she didn't want to holepunch her leaf and hang it on the tree. She wanted to carry it around even though I tried to explain ten different reasons why we were putting it on the "Thankful Heart" tree. Then over the last week, Jay Tyler has managed to sneak in the dining room and get almost everything off of the tree and destroy it...he's such a boy!!! So, needless to say, the "Thankful Heart" tree is looking pretty empty and uneventful!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Confirmation is the word of the day for us at the Dufries house. When we decided to adopt from Ethiopia and made it "official" six short weeks ago, we KNEW that it was God's plan and not our own. We have had several people doubt our intentions and decision and each time I have boldly said that Todd and I truly believe God has called us into this adoption and it is HIS plan and not our own. In the past six weeks, God has confirmed HIS decision for our lives in several ways. So far, the biggest way we have seen HIS plan confirmed is financially. I went to the bank this morning to deposit our yard sale money and I asked the teller to print out how much money we had put into our adoption savings fund in the past six weeks...I WAS BLOWN AWAY when she gave me the piece of paper. In six short weeks, we have raised $4100.00. That is not a typo...in SIX weeks God has provided over $4,000 through extra work for both of us, donations to our adoption fund, and a VERY successful yard sale. We praise God for ALL of it! We did not raise this much money in six weeks, God did because He loves us and wants HIS plan to be carried out through us. When we are faithful to God and his callings, He will bless us in ways we can't even comprehend. We know there is a LONG road ahead, but we also know that God will go before us and behind us in this adoption journey and we TRUST that He is in control. We are so excited about what God is going to do through us and this adoption. I have already seen hearts soften towards Him and I know there is still so much more to come! Thank you God for choosing us!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful heart...

November is one of my FAVORITE months of the year for several reason...1) I LOVE college football 2) I LOVE fall weather and wearing jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt 3) I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving...it is by far my favorite holiday. I started thinking about how I wanted to make the holiday special in our house this year specifically with our chidren. We have SO SO much to be thankful for each and every day and Todd and I want our children to see and understand that important concept at a very young age. It is the little "things" in our life that we are truly grateful for and thank HIM for on a daily basis. We don't strive to have a big, fancy house or really expensive things such as cars, jewelry, etc. We aren't worried about what we wear or where we buy clothes. We are concerned about LOVING and SERVING Christ on a daily basis in our family, community, and the world. We are going to have a "Thankful Heart" tree in our dining room during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Each day for about a month, each one of us are going to write something we are thankful for on a decorative piece of paper and hang it on our "Thankful Heart" tree. I'm excited about reading and reflecting on our answers over the next couple of months. I wanted to end this post with ten things I am truly thankful for today...
1) My salvation...Christ loves ME...He daily forgives me, encourages me, and LOVES ME! He died on the cross so that I may have life abundantly here on Earth.
2) My husband...Todd truly loves me unconditionally with my many faults. He works hard daily to provide for us financially. He has a servant's heart at home, in the community around him, and for the world. He is the biggest teddy bear and I love his "bear hugs"!
3) "Leah Bear"...she is so much fun to watch each day. She is growing so wise in her "old" age of 3. She already has a little "momma's heart". I am thankful that she is a healthy, energetic little girl.
4) Jay Tyler...I prayed for several years that God would give us a little boy and God granted that wish and HE IS ALL BOY! I am thankful for Jay Tyler's "full of life" spirit. He is nonstop when he is awake but I love it! I love his giggles and smile...they melt this momma's heart all of the time.
5) God's provision for us financially...I have been staying home with our children for about a year and a half now and God has been so FAITHFUL to provide for us each month. We have been able to pay our bills and give to others every single month and that is a BLESSING. In this "bad economy", Todd's income has actually increased and we both know it is a BLESSING FROM GOD. I have enjoyed every moment...even the tough times...of staying home and I know it is God's will for our family!
6) God's PLAN for us...God has led us down the road of adoption and we are SO THANKFUL for this opportunity to love and serve the world around us. We are SO EXCITED about seeing God work through our adoption. We literally can't wait to meet our precious "baby Ethiopia" hopefully in 2011.
7) The ladies in my life...God has granted me SO MANY beautiful, spiritual, FAITHFUL, convicting, PRAYING ladies that I can call sisters in Christ...ladies that I know I can turn to in times of joy, praise, thanksgiving, doubt, fear, and need. I love you ladies and you mean more to me than you will ever know!
8) Daily bread...literally...daily bread. There are many many people around this country and world today that cannot feed themselves or their families. They don't have the means to get clean water and food today and IT BREAKS MY HEART. I want to do MORE each day to meet the needs of these people....to feed "the least of these" in Christ' name.
9)Our HUGE support team...When Todd and I made the decision to adopt internationally we honestly were not sure who would support our decision and pray a long side of us and help us in the many ways we were going to need help over the next months and years ahead. Once again, God was FAITHFUL and LOVING towards us. We have been overwhelmed by the abundance of love and support from friends, family members, and people we barely know if our community around us. We have felt your love and prayers on a daily basis. We asked for donations for our upcoming yard sale/bake sale and over 25 PEOPLE have volunteered to take the time to put together donations and bake goodies for us! WOW...we are so grateful!
10) My precious mother...she is the most hardworking and loyal person I know. She GIVES and GIVES and GIVES more than anyone I know...she cares for my family unconditionally. Thanks so much for EVERYTHING mom. I hope and pray that I can be half as great and faithful as you in the years to come for my own children.

Monday, November 1, 2010

One month into it...and some fun Halloween pics too!

Well, it has been one month since we "officially" started our adoption journey and we have seen God's hand in SO MANY things this month. Over and over, God is showing us comfirmation of this adoption through big and small ways. It is so cool to follow God's lead and watch amazing things happen for HIS glory! Here is just a few of the things that God has blessed us with this month...

1) We were able to save almost double the amount we had planned to save this month due to both of us working a little more and spending A LOT less!
2) My dad is "on board" with us adopting from Ethiopia!!!
3) Our sweet sweet friends, Blake and Emily, made the first "official" donation to our adoption fund and it was MUCH MUCH more than we would ever have expected. THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR GRACIOUS DONATION!
4) I have met one sweet friend that is adopting from Ethiopia, I am going to meet another mommy with two children tomorrow that are adopting from Africa, and I have emailed, Facebooked, or talked to at least TWO other ladies that are ADOPTING from ETHIOPIA and live in SOUTH CAROLINA. Hopefully, we can get all of these precious families together in one house to celebrate one day!!!
5) LOTS of people are donating items to our yard sale and making baked goods for our bake sale in a couple of weeks!

Here are just a few pics from Trunk or Treat at our church last night too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Running the race...

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the SIN that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.." Hebrews 12:1-2a

This has been one of my favorite verses in the Bible for many years but this summer God really used this verse to convict Todd and I both of sin that had so "easily entangled" us and conformed us to the world. It is hard, dare I say even impossible, to do God's will when we are so entangled and caught up in the sins of our flesh and of this world. When we repented of our sins and did away with temptations around us, we quickly began to see the "race marked out for us" by God. We began to see God's great plans for our marriage and family. After a few shorts months, it was evident in many ways that God had called us down the road of adoption. Our "race" mapped out by God was going to include a precious child from the continent of Africa. What an AWESOME GOD!!! He clearly states over and over again in HIS word that he has great plans for His children...if only we would be still and listen...if only we would do away with the sins of our flesh and fix our eyes on Him...if only we would focus on His promises and not worldly promises...if only we would faithful and obedient to Him. Todd and I feel so humbled and honored that God has chosen and called us to run this race towards international adoption in Ethiopia. What a privilege to save the life of a child and bring that child into our home to love and nurture for the rest of our lives. What a sweet, sweet picture of HIS faithfulness to us now and in the years to come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have had an AWESOME DAY...and it is only 3pm! I see God's hand in so many things in my life right now and it is amazing to be a part of it all. I have seen HIM answer several prayers just today...in ONE day!!!

First, this morning a girl named Leigh sent me a message on Facebook about adopting a child from Ethiopia. She found me on Facebook through a mutual friend and she and her husband are adopting from Ethiopia too and she lives 15 minutes away from us!!! We are meeting for lunch on Monday to get to know each other and she is going with me to a women's retreat in February for women adopting children from Ethiopia!!! She also knows of two other families adopting from Ethiopia that live in Columbia, so we are going to try to all get together soon!!! Todd and I have been praying for the opportunity to meet other couples who are adopting internationally like us for support on our journey. Thank you God for that answered prayer today!!!

Also, my dad came over today and expressed that he is happy for us and proud of our decision to adopt a child from Ethiopia!!! THIS IS A HUGE ANSWERED PRAYER! I was concerned about how my dad would react to our decision and we have been praying for weeks that God would soften his heart to our decision and HE DID!!!

GOD is so GOOD! Today confirms that Todd and I are walking down the path that God wants us to be on right now...HE is mapping out all of the details and answering so many prayers a long the way. I feel so honored and humbled to be a part of this journey!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homestudy update...

Our homestudy went very well. It was not nearly as long or stressful as we thought it would be so that was a huge blessing! The lady from Adoption Adovacy, June, that we met with has adopted four children of her own so she was very encouraging and informative. She spent time telling us exactly what needed to be done and in what order, which is crucial for the length of our adoption process. She reminded us, mainly ME, that this adoption journey is a marathon and not a sprint. I need that reminder ten times daily:) Overall, it was a smooth process and just one more reminder that God's hand is in this WHOLE process. Now off to do some more "pregnancy paperwork" while the kiddies are at preschool...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Convicting quotes by Tom Davis

So in July I read the book Red Letters by Tom Davis. God used the words written by Tom Davis to convict my heart and challenge me to love deeper and harder than I have ever loved. I want to share some of his words in this post. WARNING: THESE QUOTES MIGHT CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER...they changed our hearts and lives forever!

Statistics on Africa from Tom Davis:

"Every HOUR at least one THOUSAND children DIE in Africa."
"Africa has more occurences of genocide than any of place in the world."
"The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa is expected to kill more people than World War II, which cost 62 million people their lives."
"Just in Ethiopia alone, there are currently at least 4.3 MILLION orphans."

So as Christians, what are we called to do? How can we help those in need in our neighborhood and around the world? Tom Davis writes:

" We are God's hands. What God cares about, we ought to care about."
"We are to do the work Jesus commands us to do-feed the hungry, heal the sick, provide shelter for the homeless."
"More than anything else, we are called to reach out in compassion. We are called to touch the untouchables. And it is that very touch-a touch not unlike that offered by Jesus-that gives hope."
"Interruption to our lives brings change, and change is uncomfortable."
"We make a living by what we get, but WE MAKE A LIFE BY WHAT WE GIVE."
"Every child behind the tragic statistics we've included in this book belongs to GOD. They are HIS sons and daughters."
"Following Christ is all about helping the outcast."
"Far too many of us take the easy route, the path of least resistance. The path of doing nothing. I don't think this is because we're evil, or because we want to see harm come to others; it's just easier. Safer. But is silence really "safe"?"

I encourage you to reach out and make a difference in your world today. Open your eyes...there is SO much need right around the corner.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You've got questions, we've got answers...

Well, it has been about a week since our BIG news spread to everyone. We have had a lot of questions which is good because that means people are interested in our adoption journey and hopefully the more people know about the process, the more they will want to support us along the way! Here are the most frequently asked questions...with our best answers!

1. What age will the child be when you bring him/her home?
We chose the age range of 2-24 months old.

2. Did you ask for a boy or girl?
We did not specify the sex of the child. We would love to have another boy or girl.

3. When will you bring your child home?
The adoption process from start to finish is estimated to take between 9-18 months. We are hoping and praying to bring our little child home from Ethiopia by the end of 2011!

4. How much will this adoption cost?
It is estimated to cost about $28,000-$33,000 from start to finish.

5. Why did you pick Ethiopia?
We both had a heart for the people in Africa. There are millions of people in Africa that are literally "dying by the minute" from diseases such as malaria, HIV, and AIDS. Lots of countries in Africa do not have clean running water, food, and shelter. AWAA, our adoption agency, adopts children out of Ethiopia and Rwanda. After a lot of prayer and discussion, Todd and I chose to adopt from Ethiopia. There are at least 3.4 million orphans in Ethiopia right now so the need is endless there.

6. Will your child have HIV or AIDS?
While it is possible to adopt a child with HIV/AIDS, each child is tested and screened with the same medical testing that we have in the United States. A family will not unknowingly adopt a child with HIV or AIDS. Every family requests what medical or special needs they are open to and willing to accept and then they are referred a child from our adoption agency based on their request. We did not request a child that has special needs or major medical needs.

7. What have your families said about you adopting internationally?
We have spoken to some of our family members in person and have sent the majority of them our support letter. Overall, they have not responded with an abundance of excitement but some have been supportive, some have had questions, and some have not spoken to us yet. Todd and I both understand that for some of our friends and family it may take months for them to process and understand why we are adopting. It took us months of praying and processing the idea of adoption for us to decide to do it so we don't expect everyone to jump for joy the first time we tell them our news. For some of our family members, it may even take them seeing our child for the first time to be supportive of our decision. Overall, we love our family members and friends and would LOVE for all of them to support us on our adoption journey but we understand if they choose not to do so. We didn't decide to adopt based on anyone else's thoughts or decisions. We trust that God is going to use our adoption to soften people's hearts and see Christ's love through our words and actions. We believe God will provide the family members and friends that we need to help carry us through this journey!

8. Are you worried about adopting a "black" child? Do you realize how hard it is going to raise that child?
This is the most frequently asked question and we have tried to answer it as best as we can right now. Of course, when we chose Ethiopia, we knew that we were going to bring home a "black" child. We both believe that Jesus loves ALL of the children of the WORLD and the color of the child's skin DOES NOT MATTER to him or us. A "black" child deserves to be loved and provided for as much as a white child. God calls us to love, serve, and help others no matter what their skin color is or what economic class they are from. We know that there will be MANY challenges a long this journey but we are confident that God will provide the strength, wisdom, and guidance needed for each day, month, and year ahead. We see this adoption as an opportunity to break racial barriers and model for our children, friends, and family members how to love another person unconditionally and without prejudices against them. We will be the first to admit that we don't have all of the answers right now but that is ok. We are focusing on one day at a time and we will conquer each hurdle as it comes. At the end of the day, LOVE ALWAYS WINS!

"Red and yellow, BLACK and WHITE, they are precious in HIS sight...Jesus LOVES the little children of the WORLD."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homestudy here we come...

Wow...things are CRAZY right now in our house. We are so excited about our new adventure into the world of adoption. We have set up our homestudy visit for next Tuesday afternoon so we have several things to get ready before that day comes. We have also started some of the "pregnancy paperwork" which can be VERY overwhelming. Looking at EVERYTHING that has to be signed, mailed in, taken somewhere to get notorized, etc. can be overwhelming so I am trying to check one thing off at a time and not look at it all at once. I need to take everything one day at a time and one piece of paper at a time. I know God is going to provide the strength and perseverance needed for EACH day and even EACH piece of paper in this entire process. Please pray for our homestudy visit next Tuesday. This is one of the "major" hurdles to get over in the adoption process. Also, pray that all of our "pregnancy paperwork" would go as swiftly and easily as possible. Thank you so much for your love and support through this journal!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our little man

So Jay Tyler got his adnoids out this morning and he looked so precious and innocent in his gown and BIG RED socks. It was sad to have to give him away to the nurse when I knew he was going to be in pain. When I saw him in recovery, he reached out his arms for me and I melted. I love that boy with all of my heart!!! I am so thankful that God has made this procedure and recovery as painless as possible for Jay Tyler. He came home and took a short nap and then ate a LOT of food so he must feel pretty good!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It all started with a $5 book...

You are probably wondering what gave Todd and I the idea to adopt, especially internationally...well it honestly all started with a $5 book from the Family Christian bookstore that was on sell at the register. I read the back of the book and decided to buy it one July afternoon and it was one of the most convicting books I have ever read. I could not put it down...I read it in a couple of days....which is quick considering I don't get a lot of "free time" to read with my precious two kiddies to care for daily. The book is entitled RED LETTERS by Tom Davis. RED LETTERS urges Christians not only to read the words Christ spoke in the gospels but to most importantly LIVE those words in our everyday lives. We, as believers, settle into thinking that going to church on Sunday, praying occasionally, and helping "when we have time" is what living our faith is suppose to look like...but Tom Davis challenges us to be Christs' hands and feet by loving others as much as we love ourselves. That means feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and providing shelter for the homeless. I will share more from that book in another blog, but I want to continue with our adoption story...

So after I finished the book, I lightheartedly said to Todd, "So, what do you think about adopting a child from Ethiopia?"...totally expecting him to say, "NO WAY...are you crazy?" BUT instead Todd looked at me and said "Why not, it's something we can start discussing and praying about...". I was SHOCKED!!! So I began researching adoption, reading several blogs about families who have adopted, and mostly importantly praying about adoption A LOT. Todd and I prayed together and discussed international adoption in more detail over the next month and decided maybe it would be best for us if we waited until Todd changed jobs, we had another child of our own, and saved up all of the money to pay for the adoption in full...but secretly we both just kept feeling God tugging at us and saying "Take this leap of faith, I will work ALL of the details out in MY time...TRUST that my ways and my timing are better than yours..."

So, throughout the next month, God kept laying adoption on both of our hearts through prayer, bible study, random conversations with people, the radio, and books that we were reading. I honestly could NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Todd and I talked again and realized that we were letting fears and doubts overshadow God's perfect plan for us. We had the comfortable and easy life that we always wanted and dreamed about...nice house, two cars, healthy children, good paying job...why would we "rock the boat"?!? God was calling us to step out of our COMFORT zone and into his plan...a plan that will bring more JOY than we could ever produce ourselves. As Christians, God doesn't promise that if we follow HIS plan, it will be swift and easy...but He does promise that IT WILL BE SO WORTH IT.

So, we got information from two international adoption agencies and began researching both of them. We chose one and then prayed about which country in Africa to pursue...and we chose Ethiopia. We filled out paperwork to start the adoption process and sent in our $250 to America World Adoption Agency and three days later got the first of many JOYFUL phone calls to come saying that we were accepted into the program and would start the adoption process immediately!

So...here we are...rising up to God's calling on our lives and trusting that God will work out ALL of the details that will follow in the next year or more. We hope you will walk a long side of us as we pursue this adventure. Todd and I are both firm believers that "it takes a village to raise a family..." so we are going to need your support and most importantly prayers over the next days, weeks, and months ahead.


Dufries...party of 5!

We have BIG news to share with you! We are expanding our family to five. I know you are probably thinking..."Wow, Amber is pregnant again!"..but I'm not pregnant. Todd and I have decided to ADOPT a precious child from the country of Ethiopia in Africa!!! We received a phone call on Thursday, September 30th with the incredible news that America World Adoption Agency (AWAA) has accepted us into their adoption program. WE ARE THRILLED! We have requested a child in the age range of 2-24 months old. We did not specify a gender so we could be receiving a little boy or girl.

It is going to be a long road...one that is going to require us to trust in the Lord daily, pray diligently without ceasing, patiently wait for HIS timing, and lean on our family and friends for support. It is estimated that adopting a child from Ethiopia takes anywhere from 9-18 months from start to finish, so hopefully we will have our precious child in our arms by the end of 2011. I am going to be "blogging" through it all so that you can stay informed and know how to pray for us and support us on our journey to bring our child home from Ethiopia.