Thursday, September 26, 2013


In the midst of sorrow, we have some excitement...
We mailed our USCIS packet today!
Lord willing, we will be approved soon.

I can't title this post.

Like I said in my last post, sin is real. The effects of sin are real, too. There is real pain and sorrow in this world. It is not a figment of our imaginations.

But Jesus is the resurrection and the life. In that lies our hope.

It has been a crazy week.
Papa's father died suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday. He was a godly man who had his hope in Christ. In that we rejoice. He was kind to everyone he knew. The family and his whole community are mourning the loss.

There is not much more that I am prepared to say about it right now. I am confident that someday we will be able to look back and see, at least to some degree, how his sudden death really was in God's perfect timing. But I don't think that we are supposed to be able to see that now. I think that right now what we are supposed to do is thoroughly cast ourselves upon Jesus.

I am 37 weeks pregnant. 

Lord willing, we send our packet to USCIS today.

Saturday will be the memorial service for Papa's dad.

It would be fair to say that the mixture of great joy and great sorrow is very confusing and difficult for us to sort through.

We are praying for Papa's mom, who is obviously grieving a lot, and needs love and support from all sides.

We are praying for the child that I carry, for health for both of us while my body weathers the shock.

We are praying for our USCIS packet, that it will be handled in a timely fashion so that we can move on to dossier material SOON!

In grieving Papa's father, I realized something...
If anything were to happen to Garnet, I wouldn't want to be in emotional limbo. I want to be completely invested.
In order to do that, we are going to start calling her by her first name, the name we will put on her birth certificate.

Meet Ana (short for Anastacia, which means resurrection).
Because Jesus lives, we live. Because Jesus leads us, we love Ana and can't wait to have her home.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Thursday, September 19, 2013

From the Adoption Universe

Here is a collation of some of my recent adoption related thoughts...

Orphanages and mental institutions are BAD. Some of them don't do as much damage as others, but in none of them do children have parents who are looking out for their best interest. In many of them, they have no one who is looking out for their best interest.

Go read this post by Julia at Micah 6:8.

Tommy Musser, a boy who was in Garnet's orphanage but is now home with his family, is in the hospital with serious digestive issues. Keep them in your prayers!

Lots of fundraisers are going on to help families bring their children out of horrible places and into the loving arms of their families.

Hidden Treasures starts in October. If you have anything to donate, you should do that!

Julia at Micah 6:8 is running another big fundraiser to help lots and lots of families. Go read their stories! Fall in love! Help them out!

The Unroe family is bringing home three little ones from Garnet's orphanage. Their plate is seriously full; they are busy being good parents to their 18 children at home as well as to their 3 children who are still abroad!

There is a lot more I could say.

Sin is real. Horrible things are happening to children around the world.
But God is more powerful. We are thrilled and blessed to be instruments in His hands, doing what He would have us to do, no matter how great or small.
To God be the glory!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


So, our state has now approved our home study!  We've got the paperwork for the dossier together, and we will get to pitch a packet to USCIS soon. 

As I was explaining to a friend from church (regarding baby, house, adoption, job, teaching, etc.), "God just gave us all the blessings all at once, so we're pretty busy..."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I am putting together a photo sheet for our dossier for Garnet's country, and I thought I would share with you as well...

Our not-so-photogenic abode:

Well, okay, the front is not so bad...
The music room. I don't do too much performing these days, but that harp used to get a lot of use!
Here is our main room. What do we like? Books. And apparently leaving toys all over the floor.
Our bedroom. All three of us share it... for now...

Papa and Mama (on our anniversary!)

Our only ex-utero, in-country child. Let's call him "Tater" (short for potato, short for... you don't really want to know :-)
Mr. Tater again. He loves to be outside!
Our classic family picture, in which Tater is much smaller... we will do another set this fall, I expect.
 Now the real question is...
Does Mama look like that slender lady in the family picture?
The answer...

Mama, for real, at 35 weeks pregnant. This one does not go to Garnet's country :-P

 So there you have it.

Our house does have a couple of other rooms, but they aren't very photogenic either. I really didn't want to document my kitchen... Hopefully they will take my word for it that we have one.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Six months ago, I had no idea what an apostille was.  Now, I know the ladies at the capitol building by name.

BUT - I think we have all our papers together to start assembling our dossier!  We're still waiting on state approval of our home study (to the best of my knowledge), but we can be ready for the next step.  Now, if only the new house were ready...