Thursday, January 13, 2011

* Update & Fundraisers *

I feel like we're finally getting somewhere on all this paperwork! I'm happy to say that by no later than Jan 31, we *should* have ALL our paperwork done for the homestudy! Once we turn in all our documents, we should get our home study back 2 weeks after, and then we can apply for the I-600A (which is the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition and also allows us to get our FBI fingerprints and whatnot). That says it takes 3 months to get, but I've heard that it really doesn't take that long - I'm praying not! When we get that back, we should have everything for our dossier to turn in! Then we have to get everything notarized and State Certified (which I had no idea how expensive that will be!). After that, we send it off to the adoption agency, who then sends it to a courier in Washington DC to be authenticated by the US Department of State and the Embassy of Ethiopia, then sent off to Ethiopia! Then we will officially be on the waitlist! :) Anyway, that's the update on the paperwork (boring, I know!)...

We also are in the process of a few fundraisers! (to keep up with our current fundraisers, please click the "Current Fundraisers" tab up at the top!) We're still selling tshirts! We also are in the process of a new fundraiser - Yardsale for Hope! March 4 & 5, we are having a HUGE yardsale at our home. One of our goals this year is to simplify our life and get rid of things. We have so much "stuff" that we don't NEED. The kids are so content and happy with literally almost nothing (seriously, the imagination in my kids' minds can have them playing together for hours - with no toys!) I want that to continue as they get older. I want them to be grateful and thankful for what they have and to grow up knowing that they don't NEED stuff to make them happy...

Anyway, upon going through stuff and deciding to get rid of things, my friend Christine gave me the wonderful idea of having a yardsale. She had helped her friend, Lovelyn with a yardsale to help raise funds to bring home her ADORABLE son from Uganda. So we decided to do that as well and along with all of our items, we're collecting donations from anyone wanting to get rid of stuff. We've been absolutely amazed at the generosity of people!! Family, friends, and people we don't even know! It's amazing and humbling, to say the least... Whoever says people are not kind and generous anymore hasn't met our friends and family! We've been amazed at the outpouring of love and support in the past few months and feel so incredibly blessed!! I know I say this a lot, but isn't God AWESOME? :) He loves our little boy or girl so much that He's doing everything He can to help us get to him/her. This child is SO loved!

While blogging this entry, I was listening to Pandora, on my favorite station of "Steve Fee" and the "Desert Song" by Hillsong came on. I love, love, LOVE this song, but never really paid much attention to the ending.... Until now. It's absolutely perfect...

"And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow"

So many people have been blessing us with thoughts, prayers, amazing comments and messages, monetary donations, and donations for our yardsale. We are literally blessed beyond belief! Many times we're just left in disbelief at night, wondering how we'll ever be able to not only say our thanks to everyone, but how we'll ever repay them... My prayer during this "harvest of blessings" is that we are able to turn around and bless others throughout this process and LONG afterward. That we are able to sow the seeds that we have been given by our faithful and loving Lord... Which is another vision of ours (or rather, God's vision that He's asked us to do), but I'll get into that later! ;)

Love in Christ,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Nothing new going on adoption-wise, but I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a very happy and blessed new year! We rang in the new year with hearts full of hope! Hope for our future. Hope for our friends and family. Hope for orphans. And mostly, hope for our child in Ethiopia.

(yes, we spent our New Year's Day at the beach in beautiful 80 degree weather!)

We love you all and appreciate each and every one of our faithful supporters. Your prayers, encouragement, donations, and just "being there" is so very appreciated! And to think - this is just the beginning!