Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Chazown, Grant Update, and Cookbooks!

First of all, just a cute picture of my sweet kiddos at the library.

Fridays are usually our library days (their favorite place to go... They get it from both their daddy AND me! We're book geeks!)! Fridays are also our Friday Hope Days. The kids always wear their Hope Shirts and is the day I'm always looking forward to checking my email as we get a weekly update from our agency. Unfortunately still no referrals, but that's ok!

So... Michael and I have been doing a study together online and reading a book by Craig Groeschel (amazing pastor!! He's got many great sermons online at . We're a big fan of the sermon series "Weird"!) called Chazown (pronounced khaw-ZONE). It's an amazing book/study so far and it's all about determining God's Chazown (which means vision in Hebrew)

"God will call you to do something you can't do on your own, so you will have to
take a step of faith into the unknown. The only way you'll accomplish it is to trust
 completely the heart and power of God. That way, when God accomplishes His 
vision through you, God will get the credit.... 

If you have the ability to accomplish it without God, then it's not God's
Chazown (vision) for you, and God won't get the glory for it." 
- Chazown, by Craig Groeschel  

Made me think of our adoption experience... I'd wanted to adopt for years, since I was a child even! Briefly, after marrying Michael, I looked up about adopting and found out that the average costs of International adoption cost in the thousands. I chalked that off with a "Well, maybe someday when we're much older and actually have the money to do it!"

5 years later, God began nudging us more and more, so I began research again, and obviously, the costs of adoption had not gone down at all. As we felt led to Ethiopia and found the average cost to be between $25,000-$28,000, my heart sank... I knew God wanted us to do it, but I was like "Really, God? You want US to come up with twenty thousand some dollars? HOW??" I looked through our budget and finances and had no idea where we'd come up with that much.... I mean, over several years time, yes, but in just months or a years time?! It literally was absolutely impossible, and I'm not exaggerating. I'll be honest! The cost of this adoption is more than half of Michael's annual income, so it's obviously not just pocket change...

The more I researched, prayed, and felt nudges from God, I prayed, "You're right, God. It IS impossible. Impossible for us to do it on our own. So if we jump in with both feet, You're gonna have to provide a way to make this happen..." So, on October 21, 2010 we took a huge leap of faith and applied to Children's Hope International. I knew He would make it all happen somehow but still doubted throughout the process... Michael has been my rock throughout the whole process, never doubting God's provision and always reminding me to trust God and be patient....

Here we are, almost a year later and we have gotten almost the entire amount needed and are just a few hundred dollars short. God is completing this Chazown (vision) and even though it was impossible, He has made it/is making it possible. HE gets the glory!!!

God's vision for our life is not finished, yet, with this adoption. We're feeling called to do much more and hopefully in the coming years (or in God's time) we'll be living His vision of orphan care and missions work!

As for an update on our matching grant... We got SO close to our goal of $2500 (matched to $5000) and are just a few hundred dollars short! Isn't God awesome?! We are SO SO thankful to everyone who was so generous and gave! THANK YOU!!

And................... Look what I received this afternoon!

COOKBOOKS!!!!!! The kids were as excited as I was! 

 All 10 boxes worth!

 All nicely boxed up - 22 in a box

 Front Cover

Full cover from the back - Comes with stand to hold your cookbook up!

Don't they look great?! I am SO excited to have these and I know lots of other people are as well! If you've already bought and paid for yours, it'll be shipped out first thing tomorrow morning! These have more than 300 of the Martin family (my side of the family) favorite recipes! I'm so glad to have them all in one book and not on my computer or scribbled onto a piece of paper! And if you're interested in one, it's not too late to order, as we ordered plenty extra! We've got about 40 extra up for grabs, so if you want one, you better act fast because I've gotten several more orders! :) 100% of the proceeds will finish paying the costs of our adoption! Costs are:

$20 for 1
$40 for 2
$60 for 3
$75 for 4

$90 for 5
(Prices include shipping!)

You can order on the right hand side of the page, if you scroll down a bit, you'll see where! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Update and Deadline

Hey, everyone! I realize it's been over a month since I've blogged! Things have been crazy busy around here, which honestly, has been good... We're still no further up on the waitlist than we were last month, unfortunately. :( But I'm trusting God and know that His timing is absolutely perfect, even if it's not what I want... Knowing He has it under control is comforting to me...

So, on August 12, Michael and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary! It's been a great 6 years and I'm so thankful to have gotten to spend it with him. I'm frequently reminded why I love him so much, from the little things like seeing him serve God, watching him grow as the spiritual leader of our household and watching him interact with Ilana and Aydan. Seeing him as such an amazing daddy or seeing him help out in the nursery at church makes me fall in love with him all over again. I swear that man has an amazing gift with precious little ones and it makes me realize how lucky I am to be able to be going through this adoption journey with him... For him to be so on fire for adoption that he's already thinking ahead to our future adoptions makes me love him all the more! God had a great reason for putting the two of us together and in the words of Sid, the sloth, "He completes me!" :)

We were also busy last month with helping organize our church's 5K, starting homeschool with Ilana (she's starting 1st grade curriculum this year! :( *sniff, sniff* My baby girl is growing up WAY too fast) , planning for our homeschool co-op, and poor Michael has been working lots. He's been getting lots of overtime, which is nice, especially if he has to take unpaid leave to travel to Ethiopia, but boy do we miss him!

In the adoption world... Like I said, we haven't made any progress on the waitlist, but we did get our first round of vaccines... Well, actually I did... Thanks to the good ol' Marine Corps, all Michael needed was some oral vaccines (Typhoid). I, on the other hand, needs everything, even a tetanus shot. Since I needed so many, they're splitting them into 3 sessions.... Leave it to me to get the weird reactions, though! I swear, if there's a 1% chance of getting ANYTHING, I'll be the one to get it! I don't even know if it was a normal reaction or not, but a few hours after getting the shots, my arm began to go numb and for a few days, I could feel the muscle and insides of my arm (which was sore), but I could not feel anything from the outside! I could pinch to the point of drawing blood, but not feel a thing. It was actually pretty cool!

Also, just a quick reminder, because I know many forgot when the end date was and have asked. Our matching grant through Hand in Hand is ending SOON! For those who don't know, this is the last of the needed funds to be fully, 100% funded for our adoption - all $28,000! Hand in Hand will match any amount, up to $2500, for a total of $5000!! As of last Friday, we had only a little over $800 raised. If you feel led to give, we would be SO thankful! You have until tomorrow to send write out a check to Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc. and send it to the following address:

Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc. 
Michael and Amanda Nunez
18524 Juniper Street 
Gardner, KS  66030-9147


Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone who has given since our adoption journey has started. We are so forever grateful for all the thoughts, prayers, encouragement, and donations. I know it's cliche to say we couldn't do it without you all, but we seriously couldn't have...  God has used so many people to help us through this journey and I know I will never be able to fully explain our gratitude and thanks. This journey has been so humbling for the both of us, especially in the money aspect. Neither Michael or I have ever been ones to ask for money and I'll be honest, it has been difficult. VERY difficult, especially knowing what some think or have said. I just want to make sure people realize just how thankful we are... My biggest fear is for people to not know how appreciative we are. For not only the donations, but for the thoughts and prayers along the way, and most of all, the overwhelming support from our friends and family and even people we have never met. It's incredible, and again, so humbling... I feel like thanks is not enough, but please know and remember how much we love and appreciate you all....