Our growing family

Our growing family

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!