Saturday, June 23, 2012

Drinking from my Saucer... Again!

Still my favorite quote from Women of Joy... "I am drinking from my saucer because my cup is overflowing!"  It's been quite a week for us!  I feel like my mind has not rested at all.  There's so much happening with our adoption and a lot going on at work, too, so that makes it hard for me to sleep soundly and to turn my mind off, I feel like I am always trying to solve several problems at one time.  God really blessed us this week with new pictures of Ethan (thanks to my cyber friend, Jeanine, who worked a little magic and got some super cute pictures of my little guy.  I love that they are not posed by the orphanage staff and we know exactly when they were taken.  He is getting cuter and cuter and I cannot wait to hold him and kiss him.  I loved the reaction of Tim and the girls, too.  Tim is always very matter of fact... "This is the best picture ever of him!" and the girls kept saying "He's just soooooo cute!"  Everyone has commented on how big he is getting, but I think we are going to be surprised that he is still little. 

Blessing number 2:  our 1800 approval came, which means our government has given us permission to bring Ethan home and will allow him to become a U.S. citizen.  Now we have to put together a packet of original documents that were previously faxed and/or emailed to our agency and some copies of paperwork that we will take with us when we travel.  I am a little annoyed that we pay a lot of money to our agency and they can't make all these copies themselves, it's a little ridiculous to have to mail so much.  Anyway, can't get bogged down with petty annoyances.  We are now waiting for an email that contains a pdf file from the National Visa Center and that will be the final piece of the paperwork puzzle!  Praise God!  Then our agency sends it all to China and we wait 2 weeks for our Article 5 paperwork.  Then we will wait for Travel Approval.  And last we will get our Consulate Appointment, which determines our travel dates.  So, we are getting very close! 

Blessing number 3:  Our Adoption Ministry Garage Sale at Lifepoint was a huge success.  We worked with the 3 other adoptive families to raise money for our adoptions.  We had so much stuff!  So many generous donations of things to sell and then so many people who came to support us!  Amazing!  I normally do not like garage sales at all, but this was very different!  Great times visiting with our friends and talking about adoption as often as it came up!  No worries about people getting tired of that topic!  My girls worked so hard to help.  I am so proud of them.  They are so excited for Ethan to be home and they all want to pitch in and help.  We are so blessed to have such awesome kids!  It was so neat to see how many "customers" gave extra money just to support our cause.  That just warms the heart!  We also had the chance to talk to several families about adoption and met a family that will be hosting 3 sisters from Latvia this summer.  Very excited to get to know them.  Isabella and Becca love hearing about other kids' coming over like they did.  God is great!

Very sleepy tonight, so I am not going to mess with pictures...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

God is So Good!

Fiddling for the Fatherless was a huge success on many different levels!  First of all Brett did an amazing job, just as we knew he would!  That kid is so special to us!  I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time, just watching him.  So thankful that he and Ryleigh are such good friends after all these years!  Second, we raised $2463.65!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  God is so good!  We have no idea who gave what, but we do know the crowd was generous and we are so incredibly thankful.  We are so blessed!  Third, our church family is such a blessing.  They share there time, talents, and love so freely and so abundantly.  Our praise band was awesome last night!  Kelly leads Lifepoint in such an unselfish, kind, Godly way.  The ministries that are so alive and making an eternal impact at our church are great. It's not about "what can the church do for me", it's about what can the church do for God, just as it should be!  I'm blown away!  Fourth, we were so blessed by each and every person that came last night.  It's so humbling to think so many people wanted to come out and show their support.  I can't begin to thank everyone enough!  Fifth, and maybe most important, a mom asked us about adoption and wanted more information on the process!  Praise the Lord for changed hearts and for those who answer His call!

 There are a few families from our FB DTC group that are in China right now and one that is adopting a little girl from the Changzhou SWI where Ethan is.  They are going to visit the orphanage next Thursday and try to give Ethan a hug and kiss and the message that his mommy and daddy are coming soon.  We are not going to get our hopes up about getting pictures of him, since that seems to be such an ordeal, but just knowing that this amazing famiily is going to possibly see him and give him a little love makes my heart want to burst.  It's so exciting to follow the blogs of families who are traveling, especially this one that is going exactly where we are going!  We should be able to get a lot of good advice from them!  If you are interested their blog is

We are getting ready for the Adoption Ministry garage sale next weekend.  It's going to be fun to spend all that time with our fellow Lifepoint families who are adopting, make some money, and get all the stuff out of our garage.  We have done a clean sweep of our house and the pile is quite large!  Praying for another successful fundraiser.

We have put a lot of time into filling out grant applications.  We are applying for ones that we know people have gotten so we know they are for real.  It's very tedious and time consuming, but if we could get even one, it will be worth it.  We will most likely apply for a loan through the ABBA fund, too, because they give no interest loans to adopting families. 

Please continue to pray for our family and our fundraising efforts, our travels, and Ethan's transition into our family.  Pray for the millions of other orphans around the world and for the families who are trying to adopt. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 112 Was Lucky!

We finally got the call from GWCA that our LOA arrived on Friday!  Day 112.  That's a stinkin' long time!  Last week was such a long, hard week.  We even called GWCA on Thursday just to check on things and they said there was no news and no way to know when China mailed the letters.  We had heard that letters very rarely arrive on Fridays, so we were dreading another weekend of waiting.  Then Friday, our FB DTC group starting posting that people were getting the call that LOA's had arrived.  At lunchtime, I thought we would have surely heard if ours had come, but then someone posted that GWCA doesn't usually make the calls until the afternoon and sometimes as late as 5:00.  So there was a glimmer of hope.  We had an appointment to get to at 1:30, so we left the house, but knew they would call my cell first.  We were at the High School talking about Isabella and Becca's 6 year plan, trying to make sure that they begin their freshman year with a good plan and take the classes they need to get them where they want to be after high school.  It was scary and exciting all at the same time.  So, during the meeting, my cell phone rang and it showed GREAT WALL on the screen.  It was so exciting!  Liz, from our church was sitting next to us and Amanda, another adopting mom, was in the building, too, so we immediately got to share it with two people who were excited for us!  It was such a huge relief to know the wait (at least that part) was over! 

With all the excitement and good news, we also received bad news that Tim's other college class was cancelled.  So, good-bye money for China.  It's a super desperate feeling right now.  We are within 10 weeks to travel and there's $11,000 we thought we were going to have that we don't now.  Praying hard that our two events coming up are very successful, not just financially, but at spreading the word about adoption, too.  I just can't stop thinking about all of the great information we learned at the Summit conference.  I feel so compelled to keep advocating for orphans.  So, that is what our family will do.  And we won't stop because EVERY child deserves a family.