Friday, May 31, 2013

Hidden Treasures!!

Another Hidden Treasures auction is upon us!
Tomorrow the bidding will begin to help bust two more little ones out of Garnet's orphanage.
Go check it out!


What were you doing when you were looking forward to your sixteenth birthday? 
It is such an exciting time of life; you were probably in the middle of high school, learning to drive, enjoying the opportunities that came to you.
I was raised by awesome parents who made sure that I had good opportunities... As I looked forward to my sixteenth birthday, I had so much to enjoy. I played the harp in the local youth symphony. I entered music competitions. I was preparing for an orchestra trip to China.
I also met my husband the summer before I turned sixteen, and spent the next three years becoming best friends with him before our marriage when I was nineteen.
Turning sixteen was one of those exciting, magical things that I looked forward to so much.

Not every teenager looks forward to their sixteenth birthday, though.
Ally turns sixteen in August.

When she turns sixteen, there won't be a big party. She won't be starting on a lifetime of opportunities and success.
When she turns sixteen, her chances of being adopted are OVER. That is it. All she has to look forward to is being rejected in her own country.

Because her birthday is SO soon, somebody needs to move fast. Someone needs to have their home study done and be ready to hustle.

Would you pray with me that she would get the best sixteenth birthday present ever? Would you pray that she gets to know the love of mom and dad? Would you pray that she does indeed get the lifetime of opportunities that most of us enjoy (and that I often take for granted)?

She isn't the only one aging out. Go to Reece's Rainbow, look at the older children, and pray! They need homes just as much as the little ones.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Only God...

Ever since we committed to Garnet, we have had the feeling that God might grow our family by more than one child in the coming year. We prayed and prayed about adding another child from the same orphanage to our adoption. We promised ourselves that if God opened the door to another child, we would absolutely walk through it.

But God had other plans for us...

Our family will still be growing by 2 in the coming year...

Meet our newest addition, snuggled up in Mama at 19 weeks.

This little person is due in October. We are so excited to meet this little munchkin!

We are very thankful for how God is growing our family, and that Garnet will have two sweet siblings to come home to.

We are thankful for our home study agency which has proceeded with appropriate caution, but has allowed us to continue the process. The advent of Baby has in no way diminished our excitement about and love for Garnet!
And being in the middle of an adoption process sure makes a pregnancy go fast

We appreciate your prayers for both the pregnancy and adoption process as we continue with both, especially that the timing of travel and delivery would be better than we could imagine.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Who doesn't love some good news? (And James 1:26-27)

Click on the "Penny" button on my sidebar... and you will see that her family is now adopting another little girl along with Penny! Her name will be Julia. Isn't that sweet?

Penny's family is still raising funds, and my guess is that they will be needing a little more now. Go look at their Reece's Rainbow profile and give them a couple of bucks.

It is awesome to see God's people stepping up to love orphans.

James 1:26-27

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

One more little thing

We passed our FBI background checks! One more thing is out of the way! It's good to see even tiny amounts of progress.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Benjamin's family travels soon!

Here is their latest blog post.

Where are we?

I want to bring you up to date on our process.
It has taken us longer than we expected, but we are happy for any progress that we have made.
On Monday we finally had our last meeting with our home study SW. It went really well, and she gave us a good feel for how the rest of the home study process will go. At this point, she will write up the home study document, send a draft over to our case manager to check and make sure it meets requirements for Garnet's country, and then submit it to a judge in our state. Our state requires that every home study be approved by a judge, and that adds a lot of time. She says it can take up to 9 or 10 weeks; we are praying that it will zip through at the top of every stack! After it is approved, we will receive our certification in our state.
Next, we send everything over to USCIS. This is the point where the US government approves us to adopt. This can take from 1-3 months as well. When we (Lord willing) receive that approval, we package that up along with other documents to go over to Garnet's country. This is the point where her country approves us, and at some point after that we should receive our first travel dates. 
This puts us traveling several months later than we originally hoped. I feel like we have moved EXCEEDINGLY slow, but that might just be me experiencing the real speed of the process.
We had several reasons for wanting to get our first trip in this summer. Please pray with us as we consider how later travel will affect our plans. Please pray that God will help us to be efficient, but patient with the speed of the process. Please pray that God will give us peace in all circumstances, even as we see things going contrary to our plans. We know that God's plan is better than anything that we can imagine, and that we are so privileged to be His instruments doing His work.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What we've been up to...

We're still looking at houses, though now we're looking a little more closely at how to get more out of our current condo.  When you start to look around and ask "how little do we need to do X?" you get very different answers than you get to the usual question of "how much do we need to do X?".  There's a big perspective change involved, and it's one that we are working on (well, certainly myself, the Mrs. is better at this than I am).  We want to keep doing adoptions into the foreseeable future, so aiming for maximum-family on minimum-money-and-space is a good perspective to acquire sooner rather than later.

I started full-time work this past week.  It's a good job, but I really miss seeing Ivan in the middle of the day.  Judging by his reaction when I get home, he misses me too.  We'll see if God brings us opportunities to change the papa's-gone-all-day-every-weekday dynamic.  I don't like it, and I think it's healthier if papa can be around at least some hours during at least some weekdays.  We'll see.  We are thankful for God's provision of this employment.

But seriously, anybody want our loveseat?  It's in good shape, and I'll hear any reasonable offers...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Penny and Benjamin update

Benjamin's family is fully funded!!!!! They are still collecting funds for equipment that they need for when he gets home, but all of their travel is covered! Praise God!

Penny's fundraiser is going well, I think they need somewhere on the order of $1000 to be fully funded. They are so close! This is very exciting.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Penny, Benjamin, and a lot of Matthew 6

Do you remember Penny?
 We originally wanted to adopt her, but were beat to the punch :-)

Over at the blog A Perfect Lily, there is a little fundraiser to help Penny's family bring her home.
 They've got this great thing going complete with an iPad giveaway. We are so happy to see Penny's family so close to being fully funded! You should stop by, read their story, and maybe give a little bit through the Reece's Rainbow family sponsorship page.

There is another family who also needs help. They were in the process of adopting their son Jonathan and found out 5 weeks before they were going to bring him home that he had died. Their hearts were broken at the death of their son, but they made the decision to adopt another child from his orphanage. Things have been moving pretty fast for them, but because of the way their travel dates fell with their schedule and the holidays in the country that they are adopting their son Benjamin from, they ended up needing more travel money than they raised funds for. They need around $3000 to be fully funded for the extra travel that they will have to make.
Would you please consider going to their Reece's Rainbow family sponsorship page and giving just a little bit, maybe $5? Their travel is coming up very soon and every dollar will help to make this smoother for them. I don't have any iPads to give away so you are just going to have to do this without hope of an earthly reward ;-)

Even if you can't give, please pray for these families! They know that God is more powerful than money problems and I can guarantee you that they appreciate your fervent prayers for them and their children even more than money.

  “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21, 25-34

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Still Here

I realize that I have become one of those infuriating bloggers who doesn't update their blog. Sorry.

Things are actually going really well. We just had a very pleasant and non-stressful home visit with our SW and we have scheduled our last home study interview. We have several pieces of our dossier in progress, and we are looking forward to delving more into that.

Garnet is starting to feel like an absent family member and less like a project. We miss her! We talk about her at meals. We pray for her. We feel like things are going so SLOW on our end.

Other than that, there's not much going on around here. We are holding off on buying anything for her (clothes, crib) because we don't know what is the right size. Those will be projects for after the first visit.

We keep doing our daily things and looking forward to progress in the process. Waiting is in God's hands, too!