Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Three stockings hang over our fireplace...a silent reminder of who isn't here this Christmas. Yes, it makes me sad. Yes, it makes my heart ache. Yet I can't bring myself to take it down. He is a part of our family, and until he's home, his presents will wait under the tree and the stocking will remain. How we long for the day when our family will be together. Merry Christmas to you and your families. May our Lord bless each of you this Christmas and in the year to come.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Official...

We are heading to Ethiopia and in less than 2 weeks!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!
We also got an update on our sweet boy, who is now 12.17 pounds and almost 25 inches long. They reported that "he is playful, joyful and eats well." =) What a Christmas blessing!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Voice for the Voiceless

Please take a few minutes to watch AGCI's new video (don't forget to pause my music at the bottom of the page). How will you join us in being a voice for the voiceless? As I was recently reminded by our friends at My Crazy Adoption, "If you are a Christian, then orphans is your thing."


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tentative Travel Dates!

Our case worker called yesterday to let us know that the next embassy appointment for our agency is set for January 11th. If we are in this group we would be leaving around January 8th, arriving in Ethiopia on the 9th, and meeting our son on the 10th! We're trying not to get too excited until these dates are confirmed, but we are looking at flights to see what options are available. Hopefully, we'll hear a confirmation later this week and can go ahead and book our tickets!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We'll be home for Christmas

We found out yesterday that we for sure will not be able to travel in December. This week has been an emotional roller coaster. We were very hopeful that we might leave on Christmas, so it was heartbreaking to discover that we'll have to keep waiting some more. However, today's a new day, and I'm tired of being sad about it. To that measure, I've decided to post the top ten reasons that we're happy to be going to Ethiopia in January. (If you happen to be in that Dec. travel group, please ignore any negative statements, of course we'd love to be on that plane with you!!)

10) My birthday is in January...what better way to celebrate!
9) The Ethiopian Christmas is in January, so it's possible that we'll get the rare opportunity to join in that celebration (credit to Audrey for thinking of this one).
8) I've heard that airports are crazy this time of year.
7) We can celebrate Christmas with the other members of our family.
6) We have more time to get organized and prepared for our trip.
5) We have time to collect more donations for the orphanage (credit to Shannon for this one). We are collecting diapers and formula, especially soy formula, to take to Hannah's Hope. Let us know if you want to contribute!
4) We get to travel with awesome families like the Pell family and the Titus family, who have also already passed court and are just waiting to travel.
3) Isaiah gets a couple more weeks to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of Ethiopia and to be loved on by his special caregivers.
2) Since we won't be traveling during the busy holiday season, more people will be able to celebrate his homecoming with us (we'd love to see you at the airport!)

And the number 1 reason we are happy to be traveling in January to Ethiopia....

1) We serve a completely sovereign, always loving Creator, who does not make mistakes and whose plan is always perfect. Do you think Joseph was happy when his brothers sold him into slavery? Of course not, but what they meant for evil, God meant for good.
But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." Genesis 50:19-20
We trust that God has a plan, and even though we don't understand, there is a reason that we will travel when we do, and we're thankful that the One who can see the entire picture orchestrates everything accordingly.

Now come on guys, you know you want to chime in. Remind us, along with the other families waiting with us, why it will be great to travel in January!

Friday, December 4, 2009

We Passed!

This morning, our case manager called to share the wonderful news that we passed court! Isaiah is offically our son!! We are so excited and so incredibly grateful. The Lord is so faithful!
They are trying really hard to get us into the next travel group, but for that to happen all of Isaiah's paperwork will have to make it to the Embassy by next Friday, which is crazy fast. We know it can happen though! IF it did, we would leave for Ethiopia on Christmas Day! How amazing would that be! If not, we'll go sometime in January...either way we'll know something by Friday. Thank you so much for all of your prayers!! Please keep praying for the other waiting families, and especially for the Pells, another NC family who will have their 3rd court appointment next week.

Our agency encourages us not to post pictures until we are home so we will have to leave you with this little sneak peek...


Hang on sweetie, mommy and daddy will be there soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No News

Our case manager told us that they didn't receive any news today from our court appointment. We are hoping to hear something tomorrow. A big thank you to the many many people who have been praying for us! We love ya'll and will keep you updated as we hear anything. In the meantime, check out this video.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Court

Tonight as we sleep a judge in Ethiopia will decide if Isaiah will officially become our son. We desperately need your prayers. Many families from our agency have not passed court this week, and at this time they don't even know why they didn't pass. As a friend reminded us, adoption is a spiritual battlefield. Let's go before the only One who is able and willing to work on our behalf. Please also keep praying for all the families who heard disappointing news this week and all those who are still waiting to get their children home.

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.
Proverbs 21:1
A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely.
Psalm 68: 5,6a

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Happens Next


Now that we have a court date, everyone is asking what happens next. A very good question indeed...

On December 3rd, (sometime in the early morning hours our time, keep in mind they are 8 hours ahead of us), our case will go before a judge in Ethiopia. We will not be present for this, instead someone from our agency goes on our behalf. When we pass, Isaiah is officially and legally our son! We may or may not pass the first time. Many families have not been passing lately, and it is usually for a reason that is completely out of our control. For example, someone from the MOWA (kind of like our social services here in the US) has to write a letter for the court case. If they do not write the letter in time, you fail court and are rescheduled. Some families are rescheduled for later in the week while others are pushed to a month or so later. So passing court is the first hurdle. After passing, (and celebrating like crazy), we wait for an embassy date appointment. From what I understand, the staff in Ethiopia has to receive our court degree and then gather numerous documents including little Isaiah's new birth certificate, passport, medical records, etc. All of these documents have to arrive at the Embassy at least two weeks prior to our appointment. What does this mean? This means that we'll probably get a tentative embassy date, and then wait for it to be confirmed when they receive all the documents. If they are there in time, we book our tickets! WooooHOOO!

Right now we are guessing that if we pass court the first time we will probably travel sometime in January. There is a December 28th embassy date, but to make it, all of our documents would have to be gathered with super sonic speed and this does not usually happen. However, we know that our Father will work out His perfect plan, in His perfect time, and nothing is impossible for Him.
11 days...Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

THE UPDATE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR...



WE FINALLY HAVE A COURT DATE!

DECEMBER 3rd!!!

WOOOHOOOO!!!!

PRAISE TO THE ONE WHO HEARS AND ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS!



The Valley

My friend Tarren recently sent us an encouraging email. We are so thankful for her, and for all of you, who have been constantly praying for us and encouraging us in so many ways. Tarren reminded me of a song we used to sing back in the day, and after listening to it this morning, I thought I'd post the lyrics in the hope that it might encourage some of you as it has encouraged me. This is my prayer this morning...

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why you brought me here
But just because you love me the way that you do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If you want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials
Bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire if you want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear you answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering your love put you through
And I will go through the valley
If you want me to.

"If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Latest

We are still waiting to be assigned a court date, but on Friday we received this little update on Isaiah:
"His personality is bigger than his size; he is happy most of the time and has great eye contacts. As far his case, we are waiting for court date.”
Although it's not much, it's something, and at this point we are very grateful for anything. Hold on sweet boy, we will get there one day. In the meantime, we are so thankful you are happy, and your personality is shining through. We can't wait to meet you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome Home Derek!!

A beautiful reminder of His faithfulness and what lies ahead. Thanks Michelle!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inspired

I just stumbled across this inspiring blog: http://joiningthejourney.blogspot.com/

Check out their amazing story of adopting a sweet little girl, who happens to be HIV positive, from Uganda.

You can also read more about this little girl and how she was introduced to her forever family here.

From Joining the Journey:
Adoption is the road less traveled and there is a reason for that. IT is a TRAGEDY. For domestic adoption, there is a birthmother that is leaving a child behind...HEART WRENCHING. For International adoption, (typically) a child has been abandoned, and his/her heart KNOWS that and LONGS for a mommy and daddy. IT IS NOT EASY and prepare for your heart to BREAK several times along the road. If you want to feel the Lord's presence more than ever, see the face of Jesus in a child, and experience the HEARTBEAT of Christ TAKE the road less traveled.

To support their orphan ministry check out http://147millionorphans.com/pick-me/

It's so exciting to see what the Lord is doing through their obedience. Thank you Suzanne, for sharing your story and for the awesome reminder that
Obedience trumps worst case scenario!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tagged

My friend Whitney tagged us forever ago, and I'm just finally getting around to responding. I'm supposed to answer the following questions with one word answers...so here we go!

1. Where is your cell phone? Near
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Friend
4. Your father? Kind
5. Your favorite food? Dessert
6. Your dream last night? Scary
7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Faithfulness
9. What room are you in? Living
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Kidnappers
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? BarnesandNoble
14. Something that you aren’t? Tall
15. Muffins? Chocolate
16. Wish list item? Isaiahhome
17. Where did you grow up? Todd,NC
18. Last thing you did? Talktosister
19. What are you wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? Football
21. Your pets? Lab
22. Friends? Love'em
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Content
25. Missing someone? Isaiah
26. Vehicle? Honda
27. Something you’re not wearing? Scarf
28. Your favorite store? Thrift
29. Your favorite color? Can'tchoose
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? Brian
33. One place that I go to over and over? Chick-fil-a
34. One person who emails me regularly? Jennifer
35. Favorite place to eat? BennettPoint

Ok, so I only cheated a little bit.
Now I tag:
Sarah at http://thestoryofafamily.blogspot.com/
Audrey at http://ourjourneyjohn1418.blogspot.com/
Rebecca at http://milfammilwaukee.blogspot.com/
Rebekah at http://rebekahandwillmcgee.blogspot.com/
Anna at http://hopperhouse.blogspot.com/
Shannon at http://dotcox.blogspot.com
You're it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Great is His Faithfulness

Lamentations 3
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"How can I justify..."

I was reading some old Frances Chan blog posts and came across a YouTube video of Chan's wife in a Uganda orphanage. She was holding an abandoned baby in the brief 30 second clip. Below the video, Chan wrote this:

Why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was, how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?


This is a drastically different mindset from everything I'm accustomed to learning and a terrifying thought for me. To actually do what Chan's doing (to live literally from paycheck to paycheck) takes real, solid faith, but it's amazing to consider how that step of faith strengthens that very same faith further.

Along the same lines, I read the following in an article on Chan. It encouraged me, so maybe it will do the same for you.

Despite what is clearly a flourishing ministry, Chan remains an anomaly. He lives in a tract house in one of Simi Valley's down-and-out suburbs with his wife and four children. He rides a 1995 Honda Elite scooter to work. An avid surfer, he emits a laid-back Californian coolness.

According to one comment he made in a sermon, Chan gives away about 90 percent of his income (though his church administrator preferred the phrase "most of his income"). Chan doesn't take a salary from his church, and his book royalties, which total about $500,000, mostly go to organizations like International Justice Mission.


Proverbs 30:7-9

7 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.


I have never prayed for God to give me "neither poverty nor riches," yet there it is as plain as day. Rather, I find myself chasing retirement like everyone else around me.

With regards to the same issue, John Piper said this in Don't Waste Your Life:

Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life. (Don't Waste Your Life, 45-46)


-Brian

Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Encouragement

"If the Lord makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts... He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord's people have always been a waiting people." -C.H. Spurgeon

Thanks to the McBrides for sharing this quote!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Hard Week

This week has been tough. We found out on Thursday that our adoption will be delayed, due to some changes in the process and some particular aspects (that we can't discuss) of our case. With this information came the realization that we might not be able to bring our son home by Christmas. Talk about heartbreak.
However, despite our sadness, we realize that we have a choice. We can choose to be depressed, or we can choose to rejoice in the fact that many other families in our agency received the good news of court appointments this week. We can choose to despair, or we can choose to believe what we say we believe: that God is in control of each and every detail and will unite us with our son at the exact perfect time. So we will keep hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, and praising Him throughout it all. We'd love your prayers, as we daily fight against the temptation to be overcome by worry, fear, and sadness. Thank you for walking through this with us.

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start

But it's now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

'Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness
'Cause I still believe in Your truth
'Cause I still believe in Your Holy Word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
For even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see You prepare

But it's now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

'Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness
'Cause I still believe in Your truth
'Cause I still believe in Your Holy Word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Well the only place I can go is into Your arms
Where I throw to You my feeble prayers
Well in brokenness I can see that this is Your will for me
Well help me to know that You are near


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgJrflQ0Qwg

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adopted for Life

Here's an excerpt from Russell Moore's new book, Adopted for Life. I must admit that I haven't read it yet, but this part was on CJ Mahaney's blog (thanks to Will and Rebekah for pointing us to Mahaney's recent adoption series).

“So, are they brothers?” the woman asked. My wife Maria and I, jet-lagged from just returning from Russia, looked at each other wearily. This was the twelfth time since we returned that we’d been asked this question. When I looked back at the woman’s face, she had her eyebrows raised. “Are they?” she repeated. “Are they brothers?”

This lady was looking at some pictures, printed off a computer, of two one-year-old boys in a Russian orphanage, boys who had only days earlier been pronounced by a Russian court to be our children, after the legally mandated waiting period had elapsed for the paperwork to go through. Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking, “Are they brothers?”

“They are now,” I replied. “Yes,” the woman said. “I know. But are they really brothers?” Clenching my jaw, and repeating Beatitudes to myself silently in my mind, I coolly responded, “Yes, now they are both our children, so they are now really brothers.” The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, you know what I mean.”

Of course, we did know what she meant. What she wondered was whether these two boys, born three weeks apart, share a common biological ancestry, a common bloodline, some common DNA. It struck me that this question betrayed what most of us tend to view as really important when it comes to sonship: traceable genetic material.

This is the reason people would also ask us, “Now, do you have any children of your own?” And it is the reason newspaper obituaries will often refer to the deceased’s “adopted child,” as though this were the equivalent of a stepchild or a protégé rather than a real offspring.

During the weeks that Maria and I waited anxiously for the call to return to Russia to receive our children, I pondered this series of questions. As I read through the books of Ephesians and Galatians and Romans, it occurred to me that this is precisely the question that was faced by the apostle Paul and the first-century Christian churches. …

When Maria and I at long last received the call that the legal process was over, and we returned to Russia to pick up our new sons, we found that their transition from orphanage to family was more difficult than we had supposed. We dressed the boys in outfits our parents had bought for them. We nodded our thanks to the orphanage personnel and walked out into the sunlight, to the terror of the two boys.

They’d never seen the sun, and they’d never felt the wind. They had never heard the sound of a car door slamming or felt like they were being carried along a road at 100 miles an hour. I noticed that they were shaking and reaching back to the orphanage in the distance. Suddenly it wasn’t a stranger asking, “Are they brothers?” They seemed to be asking it, nonverbally but emphatically, about themselves.

I whispered to Sergei, now Timothy, “That place is a pit! If only you knew what’s waiting for you—a home with a mommy and a daddy who love you, grandparents and great-grandparents and cousins and playmates and McDonald’s Happy Meals!”

But all they knew was the orphanage. It was squalid, but they had no other reference point. It was home.

We knew the boys had acclimated to our home, that they trusted us, when they stopped hiding food in their high chairs. They knew there would be another meal coming, and they wouldn’t have to fight for the scraps. This was the new normal.

They are now thoroughly Americanized, perhaps too much so, able to recognize the sound of a microwave ding from forty yards away. I still remember, though, those little hands reaching for the orphanage. And I see myself there."


It is very depressing to think that there are children like these all over the world, as you are reading this, who have also not seen the sun or felt the wind. Who have not been loved or comforted when they cried. And who may never hear the name "Jesus."

But there is hope in knowing that we have the ability to change that.

-Brian

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Together for Adoption: Dr. Russell Moore

If you are at all interested in adoption, orphan care, or the church, take the time to listen to Dr. Moore's segment from the Together for Adoption conference.

Here's a sneak peek:

"The doctrine of adoption and the mission of adoption has to start with a unity of the church. If you do not recognize the reality of the brothers and sisters in your congregation as your brothers and sisters then how do you expect those people to recognize the reality of a family that comes together through adoption?"

"We in orphan care movement ought to be the ones teaching the evangelical church in America what it means to love people more than stuff...
And we are living in a world in which we can love the poor as an idea and we can love orphans as an idea and we can love being countercultural as an idea but when it really comes down to getting rid of our stuff, even though the most impoverished person in this room... is richer than the rich young ruler. We see where all of that ends. If God gets ahold of us with an orphan care movement where we see the glory that is to be revealed and we see the fact that bringing in children into our homes and raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, when we see people who aren't simply adopting or going on mission trips or caring for orphans...once everything else is in place, when we start seeing people who are saying, 'I will live in a trailer park for the rest of my life so that I can care for orphans,' 'I will forgo having a second car, so that I can care for orphans,' 'Who in the world needs cable television when there are orphans?' When we start seeing that kind of movement, not as a Pharisaical, imposing it on one another, but when we see people freely and joyfully saying, 'This is worth it, to have another seat at the table.' You will see an opportunity for the orphan care movement to turn and say to the rest of the body of Christ: 'Let's believe what we say we believe. Let's be who we say that we are.'"

Wow. I'm challenged. Are you?

Listen to it here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting Excited

We received word last week that the courts in Ethiopia are officially back in session! We are now just waiting to hear when our court date will be. Hopefully we'll hear something soon. Congratulations to the East family, who passed court last week and to the Hensley family and all the other families who have received a court date!! We are so excited for you. Speaking of excited, this little girl cannot wait to meet her new little baby cousin!
video

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Showered again!

Last weekend, our friends from Wake Forest threw us an amazing baby shower. Here's a peek at the festivities!
















A big thank you to the hosts of the afternoon!



We were so blessed by your thoughtfulness and generosity! Thank you everybody!!

Sending out Prayers

The Wrights and the Andersens, two other families adopting through AGCI, recently found out that their baby girls have been hospitalized with pneumonia. It is unbelievably hard to know that you have a child half way around the world that you can't bring home yet. I can't even imagine how much harder it gets when you find out they are sick. Please join me in praying for these sweet families.



"You Raise Me Up"

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up... To more than I can be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blogger Buddies

One of the great blessings from this process has been connecting with other families who are adopting. We rejoice with one another, pray for one another, and truly walk through this journey together.


Our sweet friend Whitney made us this awesome t-shirt.


Check out her blog to order one! She will even customize it to your liking!


We ordered this adorable little onesie from Angie.


She is selling everything from clothing to Christmas ornaments, so check it out and see how you can support them.

Our amazing friend Audrey sent us this surprise in the mail last week.

We can't wait to put our first family photo in it after we bring our little guy home. Thank you Audrey!

And finally, last weekend we got to meet another NC adoptive family. They gave us these great shirts!



Meredith, we can't wait to hear about your referral call! We know it's coming soon!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Can't stop staring...

Aren't these the cutest little toes you have ever seen?

Showered



Two weekends ago (I know, I know...I am really behind on blogging), my family and friends from my hometown gave us a baby shower. It was so much fun to see everyone and to show off our referral picture. And of course, sweet little baby Fleming got a ton of great gifts. Thank you everyone for all of your encouragement and support! You are too generous!!




Saturday, September 26, 2009

Passing the time with music

My favorite band, NeedToBreathe, was in Chapel Hill Friday night, and Heather and I along with our friends Anthony and Stephanie went to see them. If you haven't checked out their music, give them a shot.

-Brian

Saturday Surprise!

This morning my friend Jennifer and her daughter Isabelle showed up on our doorstep with a giant surprise.




They bought us this awesome stroller!



This sweet family has been a constant source of encouragement and support throughout this journey. We are so blessed by their friendship. Thank you for such an amazing, incredibly generous gift. Can't wait to meet you at the play place ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times...


Last night we got to visit with my old roommate Sarah and her husband Aaron. They fixed us a delicious meal, and we had a great time hanging out and catching up with them. They gave us TONS of cute things for our little one. We have been so blessed by their generosity and most of all by their friendship. Thanks guys! Can't wait to buy your future kids denim ;)



Last night we also got to meet the newest member of our small group.


Isn't she adorable? It's hard to believe that our little one in Ethiopia is about this size. They are only 15 days apart! So exciting!
Congratulations Andrew and Anna! She is just precious! I think I'll probably need to hold her A LOT in order to prepare for the days ahead. =)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sent with lots and lots of love...

We were able to send a little package to our cutie last week.



Wish we could have delivered it in person, but this will have to do for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pray the Bible

There is now an online edition of Matthew Henry's Method of Prayer, which helps you pray through the Bible. An awesome resource for your prayer time, especially if you're like me and often have trouble knowing exactly what to pray in different situations.



Check it out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hannah's Hope

This is our son's temporary home. We are so thankful that he is now at Hannah's Hope, the place that many people have said is the best transition home in all of Ethiopia. Son, we can't wait to come get you, but until then, we will be grateful that God has placed you in a home where you are receiving loving care.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Best Yard Sale This Side of the Mississippi!


On Saturday, our friends and family had a huge yard sale/bake sale/cook-out to raise money for our adoption. We couldn't believe how many people donated things to sell and came out to support us. At the end of the day, the grand total was over $1500!!!
We had a great time! A big thank you to everyone who made it possible! We are so blessed to call you friends!!









They also had these awesome shirts made for us!


When they went to pick them up, both the artist who designed them and the owner of the print shop refused to take any money and said that it was their contribution to our adoption. Thank you K & K Stitch and Screen! We loved the shirts and we are so thankful for your generosity!

The Call

We have so much to blog about but first things first...here's the story of the call.
It was Tuesday afternoon, and I was doing a homestudy visit (for those of you who don't know, I work for an adoption agency). I left my phone in the car because it had become too distracting, and I was trying to stop looking at it every 5 seconds, waiting for it to ring. So I was telling the family I was interviewing that we were waiting for our referral, and we were joking about how she was probably trying to call right then, and later I realized that she actually had called around that time. When I got in my car after the interview, I had a missed call from AGCI. I tried not to get my hopes up since I knew they would be calling with our updated numbers that week, but our case worker sounded very eager for me to call her back on the voicemail she left. I called her back right away and got her voicemail, so I called Brian and said that I had a missed call from AGCI and he said, this is it, we've got a referral! I started screaming, partly because I was excited and partly because I thought he had listened to the information without me but then he told me that our caseworker had called him and he told her that we could call her back when I was out of my meeting so that we could hear about him together. (Don't I have the most sweet and thoughtful husband!)Right then she beeped in, and we finally all three got on the phone and she told us the best news ever. We have a beautiful three week old son!!! We were in shock. Three weeks!!! We couldn't even believe it. While she was telling us about him, I started driving towards Brian's office (probably not the best idea to be driving at that point but I kept thinking that I had to get to Brian so that we could see his picture together). At the same time, Brian started driving towards me since he thought I was pulled off the side of the road, and after a while Brian finally interupts to ask where I am and we realize that we had passed each other. I was so excited that I wasn't even sure where I was. Look out NC drivers!! Brian finally tracked me down and we met in the parking lot of a random McDonald's to open the email and see our son for the first time.


It was all so surreal!! All that waiting and wondering, and then just like that, we get to see his face. We were on cloud nine. He is so, so precious. We simply can't wait to hold him in our arms! Thanks for all the congratulations and comments!! It's been so much fun to celebrate this miracle together! The Lord has done it again... He has blessed us even more than we could ever imagine.

-Heather

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What a beautiful day!!

We got the call!!!! A precious 3 week old baby boy. We are in awe of God's goodness.
More to come...
-H

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Joy

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

So grateful for this special group of people who remind me how to consider it all joy.



And for my wonderful husband, who always knows how to make me smile.




-Heather

Monday, August 24, 2009

Waiting

Waiting is hard. It didn't seem so hard to me until we found out we were #1. As soon as I knew that we could get a referral at any moment, I became obsessed with my phone. I stare at it during AGCI's office hours, make my husband stare at it when I can't, and am constantly thinking "this would be the perfect time to get our call." It's hard to concentrate on anything else. At church this weekend, we were in chapter 16 of Proverbs, and our pastor pointed out some encouraging things:

1) God is sovereign over our lives. Although we can't completely understand it, God uses everything to conform us to His image and to work out His plan in our lives. This day we are right where God wants us to be.

Proverbs 16:1,9,33
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

2) We must trust Him with our dreams and faithfully serve Him in the present. God can put you in seemingly insignificant places to develop your character. After David was annointed as king, he went back to the fields and continued to be a shepherd for a period of time. It was there that God prepared him for great things that were ahead.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.

3) Consider to Whom you will answer. One day we will all stand before the Lord and will give an account for how we used our time, even the time that we didn't think was important. Martin Luther said there were only two days on his calendar, this day and THAT day. We can't do anything about the past, and we can't control the future; we can only live in the present, while thinking forward to THAT day, the day that we will stand before God.

Proverbs 16:2
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.

Proverbs 16:6
By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.

Please pray for us while we are waiting, that we will live in the present, remembering that we are right where He wants us to be.

Isaiah 30:18
Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice, how blessed are all those who long for Him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank you!

Our good friend Brittany came to visit last week and brought a present!



And then she bought our little one another gift (a Glow Worm) while she was here! The generosity and outpouring of support from our friends and family has been overwhelming. Thank you, Brittany!

-Brian

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it

So I don't usually post unoffical numbers, but I am so excited that I just can't help myself. We think that we now might be number


Here's the scoop: On Friday our friends in front of us on the waitlist got a referral of a precious little boy. We are SO EXCITED for them!!! This should mean that we are next in line for a referral! This was a great week for our agency, with many referrals and many families passing court! This means that a lot of kids will get to come home to their forever families soon!!! This video of my nephew Caleb best captures how we feel right now...


video


Congratulations to all the families who received good news this week!! We're celebrating with you!! -Heather

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Officially #...



One small step closer to seeing our son =)