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!