Monday, August 30, 2010

Puzzle Results: WEEK ONE!


Here are the results after 7 days of fundraising:


A HUGE thank you to those who have already donated!!!

We have 70 puzzle pieces sponsored and have raised $350!

We're on our way...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fleeting Moments.

We started this blog as a personal journal, to put into ink all the emotion, fears, anxieties and JOYS that this journey brings. To remember the good, the bad and everything in-between. So, please bear with me as we track on in this adventure, I feel like my footing is slightly slipping.

At numerous times during the past few days I have had fleeting moments of sheer doubt regarding finances [or lack there of] and moments of panic regarding the overwhelming paperwork.

But, then I remind myself....

Just.To.Breath.

I dream of the day we meet our babe.
And the day we take our little one HOME.
Thoughts of pure joy as we get to cuddle and hold him close.

...and every doubt and fear is erased.

A smile creeps onto my face, because I know...it WILL be ok.

By God's good grace, the paperwork will get done, a home study agency picked out, and finances raised.

I feel better already, thanks for listening...dear friends.

ejh

Monday, August 23, 2010

Many pieces, one puzzle.

Our adoption process has officially begun, thus so has our fundraising efforts. We have a substantial amount of money to raise over the next year. It's overwhelming when we sit down and look at the costs of international adoption; however, we fully believe this is God's calling and
He will provide.

We're learning to trust [whole heartedly.]

First and foremost, we ask for your prayers. We cannot do this alone. Please pray that God will guide us, grant us wisdom, patience and peace. Please continue to lift up our little guy and his family too.

Secondly, we ask that you may consider financially supporting us on this journey. We'll be doing numerous fundraisers throughout the upcoming months to raise finances required to bring our kiddo home! [i love typing that!]

Now...onto the fun part...

In effort to raise funds needed for our home study and dossier, we bought this 1,000 piece puzzle. Appropriately titled, "Waiting for the Bus" by Julia Cairns. A beautiful depiction of African culture...

We're inviting you to "sponsor" two pieces of the puzzle for $10. With each piece of the puzzle you sponsor, we'll write your name on the back and put that piece of puzzle into place. A permanent reminder of the part you played in this season of life.

Once all the pieces are sponsored and the puzzle complete, we'll frame it in double sided glass and display it in our house. It will be constant visual reminder of all those who prayed for us and financially supported us in this journey.

We'll post updates periodically as pieces are sponsored and added.

*If you wish to sponsor puzzle pieces, you may do so by clicking on the "donate" Paypal button located on the right side of our blog or you can send it to our home address [please email us for details.]

Thanks for loving us well.
We're humbled at the love and support we're already received.
The body of Christ is a beautiful thing...


.ten dollars. 2 pieces. one step closer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Q&A

We are so grateful for the out pour of love and support y'all have graciously given us in the last few days. We're so blessed.

Our excitement swells as we dream of the future and as we're in a standstill with paperwork until later this week.

We'll revel in the moment, knowing the next step is a slightly tedious one [however, it's one step closer to bringing our kiddo home!]

What a joy your emails and comments have been to read. There were two questions that many of you asked, so I thought I would answer them here.

Q: How long is the adoption process in Ethiopia?
A: Our guess is about 18 months. Things are always changing in Ethiopia and the process could always speed up or slow down. The next phase is one of paperwork, which should take 3-4 months. Once our paperwork approved the wait period currently is 8-10 months to receive a referral for a baby boy. We'll have to travel to Ethiopia twice, once to go to court and once to bring our kiddo home.

Q: Boy or girl? Age preference?
A: Our preference is for a boy, 0-12 months. With that being said, we're open to what God has in store for our family.

We should be receiving more information from our adoption agency in the mail later this week.

Lately I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not just dreaming...this feels so surreal, and I love it!

Off to enjoy the rest of this Sunday.
blessings to all.
em

Friday, August 20, 2010

Approved!

Our two weeks miraculously turned into 18 hours!

I received the phone call just before 11 this morning.
Let's pray the rest of the process goes this fast....

We're celebrating over here tonight!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

a plea for patience.

We received an email confirmation that our application was received.

The two weeks waiting process begins NOW.
[not 4 days ago, like we thought....]

and so i pray....
Dear God,
Grant me patience.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the beginning.

[WARNING: long post!!!]


Adoption has always been in the back of our minds as something we wanted to do...someday. This is how that "someday" turned into...now.

Friends from Calvin have been working at a children's home in Haiti. I've always had a desire to travel internationally and ever since my days in Romania I've had an itching to go [somewhere] again. Somewhere to love on children that were abandoned, alone, and overcome by poverty. Jim and I decided we wanted to go to Haiti, to love on the kiddos at Children of the Promise and see Jenny and Jamie.

Our tentative plan was to go in January. My application was complete and references written. I was psyched! [Jim was on the youth retreat while I was doing this...and was going to complete his application upon returning to NC [that was before we had a flood and went to Michigan!]

But, the more I thought about going to Haiti, the more hesitant I got. Not about the trip or loving on the kiddos, but about leaving them. I knew a part of my heart would be left behind and I didn't know if I was strong enough to go....without an adoption plan in place.

Jim entertained the thought, but brushed it off.
I was persistent.

We agreed to put in our primary application to Children of the Promise following our trip home to Michigan. On July 28 we submitted it...and waited.

REJECTION. We knew the requirements were strict, but we weren't quite ready to hear you had to be 35 years old and married for 10 years. We were a bit off on both ;)

So now what? We didn't feel a calling to adopt elsewhere...was God telling us to wait? to have biological children first? to adopt from another country?

A few days later God spoke loud and clear to me. [One of the most distinct times in my life I can recall hearing His voice] He was saying "NOW" "Trust me".

However, Jim didn't hear that same message. :) How were we on two different pages and serving the same God? Lots of emotions were involved. My heart was already wrapped around the idea of welcoming an Ethiopian child into our lives. We tried to compromise...and I agreed to multiple different scenarios.

But, God was persistent.

We prayed constantly. Together. Individually. For God to make HIS will known to both of us. That we may be like-minded.

On August 3, 2010 I came home from work...completely exhausted [and slightly cranky]. My husband greeted me with a huge grin. He embraced me. He said he had been talking to God and was now at peace. He too, heard the call.

I can't describe the emotions. Pure joy.
[with a touch of financial fear].
But, we feel we're right where we are suppose to be. Finances still intimidate me. But, we're learning to trust a God who is orchestrating His plan in our lives....and it feels so good.

Our application is almost complete. We should know in two weeks if we qualify [we know we meet Ethiopia's requirements], we just need to be approved by Children's Hope International.

It's been an amazing journey so far.
I'm trying to be patient and enjoy the ride!
with love,
em

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peace.

I never imagined choosing an adoption agency would be so difficult. I know we can't fully grasp how difficult this process will be, however; I didn't expect the challenges to arise so early.

However, God is faithful. We continue to believe this is what he is calling us to do. So, onward we go! Head held high.

I told a friend last night that I feel like I'm having a, mountain top experience, feeling "high" on life. True joy. My heart is running over. Perhaps because I am completely at peace with life, with God's calling? Or because adoption from Africa is a passion of my heart. There has been a lot of raw emotion around here;)

I know this, "mountain-top experience" can't last forever...but, I'm embracing it for the moment.

It's amazing how powerful this adventure has already been in our marriage. As our wedding vows said, "I promise to love you unconditionally, to challenge you, dream with you, and support you. I promise to faithfully uphold you in prayer and stand with you through all of life’s trials. I promise to laugh with you and celebrate the joys of life. I promise to grow with you and find joy in the uncertainties of the future as we discover God’s unveiling plans for our lives."

Can I get an, "Amen?!"

Uncertainties, joy, trials....I feel like those words were not only meant for the last three years of marriage, but ring so true for the here and now.

What a joy it is to pray together for the child God already has planned for our family. To pray not only for the little one, but for the mother who is making one of the hardest choices in her life...

a truly humbling experience.





Tuesday, August 3, 2010

His Plan & our part.

This is the just the beginning of our adoption story. We believe God is calling us to adopt from Ethiopia, [although we had differing thoughts on timing], God said now. To trust HIM. For this is HIS will. His Plan. His Perfect Plan.

Some moments I feel like we're completely crazy.
And, I'm totally ok with it.

Although fears & anxieties are present, we will trust and obey...and enjoy this crazy journey we're about to embark on!

More to come...

With joy,
em