Thursday, June 30, 2011


What is 47, you ask? Well, it's our number... ON THE WAITLIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our dossier has been finalized and authenticated in Washington D.C. and we were officially put on the waitlist today! Now we get to sit back and wait impatiently patiently for a referral! Honestly, as impatient as I am, I am thankful to finally make it to this point. We are done with paperwork (for now) and get to wait (although, I'm sure in a month, I'll be wishing I was busy with paperwork!). It could likely be several months, but we can pray for it to go faster! Average wait times (for little babies) have been 6-7 months. God knows the exact day and already has our child picked out. We just have to wait for Him! And, thank goodness He loves me so much that He won't mind me asking everyday "Are we there yet?" ;)

Thank you all to EVERYONE who has helped us get to where we are now. It is because of your help, donations, and lots and lots of prayers that we are at this point! Thank you!!!!! Please continue praying for us along the way!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One year ago....

Exactly one year ago tomorrow, on June 28, 2010 at 12:09 in the morning, I woke up from a dream. I had dreamt about singing praises to God. I woke up and for the first (and so far, only) time in my life, I heard God speak to me. Audibly speak! Despite being startled and confused, I immediately knew Who it was. No doubt about it... It was my Father. And I remember it like it was yesterday! He said "Great things are going to happen to you." And I of course had the human response and asked when and he responded with "Just wait." (You can read more about the dream in my original post last October HERE, if you haven't already.)

Who would have known that a year from that moment, we'd be well into the process of adopting a precious child from Ethiopia? After that dream is when we started feeling more nudges toward adoption and later, specifically toward Ethiopia. What was crazy was 2 months after my dream, Ilana drew this picture (keep in mind she was just three! ;) ):

A picture of our family, with one addition, labeled "baby sister". Except, according to Ilana, it wasn't a baby but a younger kid that we were going to "get". Not have, but get. She had no idea that Michael and I had begun discussing adoption. She had no idea what adoption even meant, but she just KNEW that we were going to "get" a new sibling for her. Some may say it's just coincidence and that it's just a little girl wanting another playmate, but if you know Ilana, you know that she's always had some amazing intuition... God was beginning to break her heart for orphans, just like He was doing to Michael's and mine...

So, here we are! June 27, 2011... Our dossier is currently in Washington DC being authenticated and we will be placed on the waitlist probably within a week. It's just absolutely amazing to think back on our journey along the way and how God has literally provided EVERY single step of the way. That God has been there, walking through each process with us, holding our hands, guiding us toward His will for our life. His will for our family.

Lots of people tell us "Good for you!" "You guys are doing something great!" "That child is going to be blessed!" I appreciate it, but ultimately, I want people to see the good that GOD is doing. 

I want HIM to get the glory. 
I want HIM to be recognized through every single step of this adoption process. 

HE's doing this. 

HE broke our hearts to make us see the fatherless through HIS eyes. 

And really, WE are the blessed ones, that He called us to adopt. 

WE are the ones who are going to be blessed by this amazingly, beautiful child God PERSONALLY picked out for us. 

If people get just ONE thing out of our adoption journey, my prayer is for them to see God's amazing hand throughout it. To see His provision, His guidance, and His little miracles along the way. Sometimes I honestly just burst into tears in thanksgiving, wondering how in the world did we get SO stinkin' lucky to do this?!

We are BLESSED!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wow, how awesome is our church?

So, Monday evening, we got an awesome call from our brother-in-law, Jeff, who is an elder at our church, First Alliance. The elders of the church had their monthly meeting and they had voted on something pretty awesome!

First of all, First Alliance Church is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination. This allows our church to participate in one of the largest missionary organizations in the world. Needless to say, the church is very involved in missions. For the past three years, First Alliance has hosted an annual Run4aReason, which is a 5k run that benefits the church's mission projects.

Fast foward to Monday night... Because of the elder's vote, they decided that this year, some of the proceeds from the Run4aReason will go towards our adoption fund!!! What a HUGE blessing! God is SO good and we cannot thank our church enough! It's really awesome to have the church be a part of our adoption process!

For any locals who are interested in supporting this event, it is on August 6, at 7:30am. You can get information HERE or on the Facebook event page (where you can "attend" and share with your friends) HERE. Please help spread the word and help this run turn out to be a HUGE event! :)

Which makes me realize I guess it's time for me to start getting into running... For those of you who know me, know that I hate running and exercise of all kind! Michael, on the other hand is a runner and always has been. He's the crazy kind of runner that LOVES it so much that he'll literally run 6 miles or more at 2am, just because he felt like running... Needless to say, he's really looking forward to the 5k! Guess I'd better learn to love it, because I definitely want to be involved in running it with him!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lookie, Lookie!!!!!

I received a very exciting package in the mail today! Look what it contained!!

That's right! We got our documents back from being state certified (minus one document that will be sent directly to our agency)!! Which means.... In just a couple minutes Ilana, Aydan, and I are headed over to the post office to overnight all our documents to Children's Hope, along with the dossier fee and authentication fee check!

From here on out, if the documents are all good, they are out of our hands and will be bundled by our agency and sent to the U.S. Department of State to be authenticated and then sent on to Ethiopia! I will update once I get any update or when we are finally put on the waiting list!!!

If you only saw me now, you'd see me literally dancing throughout the house in excitement. And yes, Ilana has been staring at me like I'm nuts... She said "Are you THAT excited to get me a brother or sister, Mommy?" To which I exclaim "YES!!!!!!!!!" And she said "Well I'm excited, too. I can't wait to get my brother or sister. But you just look weird!" Yes, y'all. I am crazy. Crazy in love with a child I haven't even seen! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost there!

Well, it's been almost a month since our last blog entry. We went home to Indiana a week ago to see my dad and surprise my mom. It was a great time, despite the circumstances, and such a blessing! While we were gone, we finally received our last document needed to complete our dossier!! 

(This isn't the actual document - it's the letter that was with it. :) )

Despite getting all our paperwork, it seems as if Satan is trying hard to keep us from getting everything done, adoption-wise. We've felt like we've been under spiritual attack the past few weeks with all sorts of unexpected expenses. Expenses have been coming up right as we need to come up with the $4100 dossier fee, plus $180 to have them state authenticated, along with all the postage to send them everywhere(which adds up - overnighting paperwork is NOT cheap!). 
First it was our car, which died on the way to Michael going work. After having it towed, found out it needed a new battery and whatnot. $180 later (yes, the same amount needed for our authentication), it was fixed. Then, while in Indiana, we found out our van needed a new battery as well (goodbye $100). Thankfully we found that out on our own and Michael did the labor himself, which saved us some money. Yesterday, on Michael's way to work, the car was acting up again. After another tow to the car repair place (thank goodness for roadside assistance), found out the NEW battery died and the alternator has an issue. It was going to cost almost $400! While we could afford that, that was the extra money from our own personal account that was going towards our dossier fees (we set up a separate account for the adoption). I began to panic and have an emotional breakdown. This, on top of everything that's been going on in our life/family was icing on the let's-male-Amanda-break-down-cake...  I knew we could get a new alternator for MUCH cheaper, and that my smart, handyman hubby could do it himself, but the issue was getting it back home. We'd already used our roadside assistance and couldn't use it again and Michael would be stuck at work (an hour away) unless I came and got him. My sister and brother-in-law came to the rescue and despite their busy lives, Jeff went and picked up Michael from work at the end of the day, took him to the auto body place and used THEIR AAA card to have our car towed home so we wouldn't have to pay for a towing fee. What a huge blessing that was! Thank you, guys!!

On top of rescuing Michael, Jeff also rescued me out of my self pity. He said that instead of crying, I needed to be "rejoicing to God that we are considered worthy of this attack!" It really opened my eyes and made m realize that's exactly what is happening. Satan's attacking and trying hard to throw unexpected expenses at us so we CAN'T afford the adoption. He's trying hard to attack our family through sickness, long work days, and such. *And as the song that is playing on Pandora right this very moment says "I don't care what the world throws at me now, it's gonna be alright! 'Cause I know my God saved the day, and I know His word never fails, and I know my God made a way for me! Salvation is here!" (by Hillsong United)* Satan KNOWS God has a huge plan for our family (God already told me that in my dream almost 1 year ago: "Great things are going to happen to you.") and he KNOWS that God is using this adoption for His glory, and Satan doesn't want that! So he's gonna try to stop it. But, what Satan doesn't realize, regardless of what he does, our family is strong. Our family is ready. Our family is prepared. In Ilana's words "We have Jesus in our hearts so we're like super heros!" And in the words of my big brother, Andrew "Bring it on, Satan. We're ready to knock your socks off!"

In James 1: 2-3, it says " Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." Ironically, this is the same book and chapter that says "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."! God's call for His people is to care for orphans and widows! And while we're trying to answer His call by adopting, Satan's trying to cause trouble to keep us from it!
Regardless of what Satan throws our way, God IS going to provide! Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." He has provided for this adoption EVERY single step of the way! This is His plan for our family!!! He's confirmed it in more ways than I can imagine, and if you want to see where, just go through and read our blog. Way too many "coincidences"! 

Anyway, off my soapbox now... :) Back to having all our paperwork done. We got everything notarized last night, thanks to a great lady from our church, Mary Howard! What a blessing she was to meet us at my sisters' and notarize all our many documents and she didn't charge us a penny. Thank you, Mary, if you read this! Everything should be on our way to the Department of State in Tallahassee today to be state authenticated. Hopefully we'll get that back soon, and then we will be overnighting our completed dossier to our agency to be bundled and sent to Washington D.C. via courier, to be authenticated. And from there, Ethiopia bound!!!!!! I will continue to update you all along the way!