Our growing family

Our growing family

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.