Saturday, November 8, 2014

November Update

friends and loved ones,

there's not a ton to update on, as is so common in international adoptions, but there are always prayer requests. As much as I love to blog, I am nervous about how open this blog abyss is. If you'd like specific prayer requests and updates on what is happening, we would love for you to be on our mailing list. in the LEFT HAND COLUMN beneath the Facebook and instagram links is a Contact Us link. If you would just send us your email and name, we'd love to put you on a mailing list to give you regular updates.

I, of course, will post updates on the blog, but I really would love to share with you some specific ways to pray with us as we further this journey.

Also, I came across this article written by Sara Hagerty and it was so good! 
http://showhope.org/sara-hagerty/




Friday, September 12, 2014

fingerprinting

We went to get our fingerprints done a couple of weeks ago. A step in the right direction to get our I-800A approved, which is the first step before we apply for the I-800 which is the US's approval of us to adopt. 

We went to Phoenix on Labor Day, celebrated with the fam and then left at 7am Tuesday morning to get to our 8am appointment. When we arrived to a mostly empty parking lot, my stomach settled a bit. You just never do know about stuff like that.

So we waited in one line and then another and directed to one more. It was all over by 8am and back to get the kiddos we went. Next step is to hopefully get our I-800A approved. THAT will be an exciting day!

We also have been praying about when to make trip to Haiti to visit the orphanage and see the country. We feel like the end of November/first of December will be best. A part of our hearts are already there and although its been a while since either of us have traveled internationally this will be our first international flight together. Will you pray with us?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

garage sale and ibesr


We've had some exciting things happening!
By God's grace we were able to SEND our dossier to Haiti with a friend who is also adopting from the same orphanage.
It was entered into IBESR (Haitian social services) a week ago. 
Now the wait truly begins, but thank You, Jesus. He's led us this far and every step John and I have wondered how on earth it could happen? So many things could have gone wrong, but haven't. (though some things definitely have.)

Please keep praying with us for the little one we believe God has for us as well as the GARAGE SALE this weekend! 
 (more to come on that :)



Sunday, July 20, 2014




Sometimes when I drive, I sing this song as loud as I can.
This is the cry of my heart. The anthem that I sing in those moments of insecurity or unknown or fear or worry. This is the reminder of who Jesus is. 
And the build of the song, I just love it.

The orphanage received our dossier on Saturday and from there, the wait begins.

Now, we start filling out grant applications and we pray about when we could possibly make a trip to Haiti and ways to save up for the tickets. Though the wait is unknown, we feel so thankful to be done with that part of the process. 

Will you pray with us for the next step? Pray with us about when would be a good time to go to Haiti and how to afford those tickets? 

The unknown, for me, is strangely strength building. I know He knows and His timing is perfect.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

documents are finished!


We sent our dossier today! 

Truly could not have done it without a friend's help (until 12:30am last night. Thanks, Stacy!!!!) sorting through 5 copies of the same documents and making sure everything was accounted for. Such a blessing!

the last few weeks i have been feeling a little under water. like i kind of dropped off the planet for a little bit there, but it's been oh-so-worth it.
so thankful this step is done. only the beginning step towards many more, but one down!

 

so thankful to Jesus for Haitian stamped documents coming in quickly, gracious and reliable notaries, and friends who we were willing to watch our kiddos while I ran to Phoenix one morning, a friend who helps ship items and for grace from my husband during the chaos that was the last couple of weeks. it was worth it!

I can already see how God is transforming our hearts and drawing us closer to Him. He's stretching us and yet building our faith to trust that He is a loving Father who knows exactly what we need, when we need it.

thanks for praying and supporting us! please don't stop!



so i guess that means, what's next? 
we wait. and wait. but the wait doesn't start until they received those documents and Lord willing by Saturday, they will be in Haiti. 


already this song is playing and already i can see this is only the beginning of a long journey. it's so very true that during the waiting is when He does some of the most wonderful things.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

approved to adopt!


 


We have officially been approved to adopt by the state of Arizona! This slip of paper is a huge answer to prayer and came at just the right time!

This process has been tough, as we were told it would be, there's just no way around it. But, man. It has been fun! I've never seen myself as a paper-work type of person. However, in the midst of this process I remember being about 6 or 7 and spreading different papers on my parent's coffee table and pretending to call people (I may or may not have prank called 911 at one point.) It was during one of my present day nap times paperwork marathons that I took a sip of coffee and had a flashback to my six year old self, pretending to talk to people about "official business" and doing very serious work. My mug was now filled with real coffee and not water and there were actually people on the other end of the line. People who were helping me with doctor visits and police reports and references. People who knew got us from point A to B and we couldn't have done all of this without them. It was a surreal moment in the many moments that come and go. It was an affirming nudge to keep moving forward no matter how many delays.






The kiddos came with us to the notary. The second time. It was…memorable.

In the last two weeks there have been last minute papers that needed to be re-notarized, birth certificates that needed to be sent to our birth states to be authenticated (which we both have in hand today! thank you Jesus and UPS!) and last minute changes to our translations. We've also had to search all over our small town for an Authentication Stamp that some notaries have. I've probably called 7 or 8 places and every one uses a slip of paper, which is fine unless you're stamping 30 pages. We finally ordered a stamp and Lord willing, it will arrive today.

We're almost there! I know this part of the journey is probably the shortest in wait time, but it still feels so exciting to be at the end of something and actually be able to put our name in the hat and begin the process of being paired with our kiddo. We've been praying for her, wherever she is and trusting that He is taking care of her.

Please pray for the rest of the documents to come together so we can send them to Haiti with our friend when he goes, and please pray that we get the stamp today so our notary can use it tomorrow!

*update: Praise God, I just got a call that the stamp is in (to complete notaries) and I just received the translations! Thanks for praying :) 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Garage Sale!

This weekend we had our first garage sale to help raise funds for our adoption!!



We spent a lot of time sorting. A lot. It was SO worth it though and being able to put the items on tables instead of in random piles was great  We wanted to limit the digging as much as possible. We also tried to arrange things so it would draw in drive by's. We had some of those as well ;) 



THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED! What a blessing that was! We had a lot of things donated from mama's in our Mom's Group as well friend's from church who donated some incredible items.
One neighbor down the street walked by and saw us sorting, drove home, picked up a truck load of things and dropped them off on the driveway. Their items were the first to sell and they were great items! 



True friendship is sorting through endless piles at midnight ;) 




The day of the sale we had BEAUTIFUL weather! 
It was windy and people in Prescott LOVE their Friday early bird garage sales! 
It was by far our most successful day and we had such generous giving towards our adoption as well as to our bake sale table.
I wish I had taken a picture of the table. 
We had my friend's seven year old daughter man the table and she did an amazing job. She probably sold more through bake goods on Saturday than we did on other items. Just kidding. But it was close!





It went really well and by God's grace we were able to raise $2,000!!

So thankful for dear friends who helped! Could NOT have done it without them!!!!!

We're also so thankful for the generous donations that have been given. Our hearts are already so attached and we are anxious to bring our little one home. We know the process is long and we're anticipating many long days of waiting, but we are so thankful for those who have given towards this journey. Thank you for your gifts! We are almost halfway there!!

Here's where we are today:

$13,664 out of $32,000 goal! 

With the funds that have been raised we will be able to send our dossier documents with the $8,000 that is needed (I know I had said previously that it was $7,500 but it was actually $8,000!) But thanks to YOU and by God's grace we will be able to send that. That's just the first half of our payment to the orphanage in Haiti. 

Along with all of our dossier documents we are needing to get our home study back. The county court systems have to certify the documents and that will take a month. It was sent over a week ago and to send our documents by July 7 it will be a serious miracle. Thankfully we have a plan B if we aren't able to send them with our friend who is traveling there, but we praying the home study certificate gets back before then! Will you pray with us? 

The wait doesn't start until the orphanage receives our dossier. We know God's timing is perfect and maybe there's a reason we won't have our home study back yet. We're one step closer and praying for courage and faith to continue on this journey. 

Thanks for supporting us!!!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

so close!


Words can hardly express our deep gratitude and thankfulness for dear friends (some old and some new) joining and supporting this journey to bring our little one home from Haiti.

By God's provision and grace we are currently at $6,314  out of the $7,500 we need to send our Dossier to Haiti! Praise God! and THANK YOU for your support, love and faith step with us on the journey.

So many times in the last couple of weeks have we been speechless and humbled, in awe of Jesus and the people whose hearts have been moved to join us. At night when we pray with Jack before bed we pray and thank Jesus with him too. And he hears and listens and has grown to like the idea (and grasp it, kind of) the idea of adopting a little sister. We've looked at books on Haiti, found the country on the map, watched Sesame Street episodes on adoption, trying to help him make sense of it all. And he is getting it. And thanks to you, he will get to experience first hand the journey of bringing a little sibling home from another country. (though he's still convinced it will be a boy ;)


There was a small holdup with some last minute home study paperwork, but that will hopefully come together the first of next week. Once we've received that, we'll send it to be translated by an amazing translator who has graciously taken our documents on after her son graduates from high school. After we have the documents translated we'll have them authenticated in Phoenix and then…and then we'll send them on to Haiti. That's just a small (though very large) piece of the long puzzle, but there it is. And we're almost there. Can't believe it!! Thank you!


God is doing something and sometimes it's a little overwhelming, but most of the time it's incredible to watch Him work and to let go of timelines and expectations and just trust.





Sunday, April 27, 2014

THANK YOU!


The process is still moving along and there's good news!

By God's grace and awesome provision, He's used some dear friends and family to help raise our support from $0 to $2,469. It's been so incredible to watch God use friends and loved ones to help us bring our little one home. 

As we gather our documents for our dossier we'll need to send $7,500 to Haiti with our documents for our first portion of funds due. That means we only need $5,031 more to send our documents to get matched with our child. We're praying and praying that we'll be able to send that first large amount mid-May or early June. The wait to bring our child home doesn't start until our dossier is in Haiti. Would you pray about joining us in this step of faith? Whether by prayer or financially? We know it takes a village to bring a little one home and we'd love for you to be a part of the journey. The other $7,500 is due when our paperwork exits IBESR (IBESR is Haitian Social Services. They have social workers that study your dossier to see whether you meet their requirements to adopt a child.) That could take quite a few months so we're just praying for the first half. We trust in God's gracious timing!

We're are also in the process of having t-shirts to sell! Stay tuned for that! :)

We are so thankful for your prayers and support!

This morning this song came on the pandora station as the kids were playing and I was making dinner. Love a good worship song like this. 




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

home study complete!

Our final home study visit came and after a busy morning deep cleaning the house (I read so many things that said the social worker isn't looking for a CLEAN house, but a safe one, but it was all I could do ;) The kids were asleep, coffee was on and we waited for our visitor.

She arrived right on time and it didn't take us long to connect that we knew the same people; in fact, she is the social worker for some of our dear friends who recently adopted, as well as a believer. What are the chances? We were both speechless after she left; amazed at how God brings people together.

The time went well and now we're just finalizing documents and finalizing the home study. I can't believe it's already finished. We're only a little halfway through with our document-gathering (we are still gathering documents for our dossier) but we hope to be done by mid-May! That's our prayer, at least. Our kiddos have recently been boycotting their long naps which has taken some adjusting to, but so it goes.

Also, I had a friend ask if she could follow the blog through email updates. If you look to the left there's a place to put in your email. Every time there's a new post you'll get an email. We'd love for you to join us on this journey and we couldn't do it with your prayers and support. We are also stepping out financially, trusting in Jesus to provide. If you feel led to donate feel free to click on the Adopt Together tab on the left. We just received our first donation and it encouraged us to our very core. Thank you for encouraging us and coming alongside us. It will take a village to raise this little one and we're so thankful for family and friends, near and far, who are willing to step out onto the water with us as we bring our little one home. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

home study visit

Tomorrow is our home visit with our case worker.
I've spent most of the day cleaning and de-cluttering in effort to keep our nerves calm as we are interviewed and evaluated and the kiddos are met and written about.
No pressure, right? ;)


While I dusted and picked through broken books and toys they kiddos played incredibly well together. They pretended and chased and danced around the room. They ate bagels with nutella and read books and even helped a bit.



We're nearing the end of the home study portion of this journey. It's gone relatively well and we've learned so very much about adoption and what to expect. We know it won't be easy or pain-free, but what good thing happens without any pain or work involved? We're all in, every ounce of us. We know God is faithful and whatever may come in the future, we trust in Him and His timing.

I just had a chat with my brother about the process and about what took us to the decision to adopt. I found myself holding back tears as I expressed my heart (with him, I hold very little back. Part of the joy of siblings) and desire to adopt. I poured out how we could say no, we could ignore the tug on our hearts to bring a child into our home; one without a mommy or daddy, one that left could potentially fall into the system (or lack thereof in Haiti.) but I can't ignore that tug. To the average American it may seem silly to take a step like this. The way our family stands right now we could live the "American dream." We could plan fun summer vacations to the beach and pour every penny into our two children to ensure they would have wonderful opportunities and get the very best future. We could do that for them. But we don't want to (sorry, kids) We can't ignore the tug on our hearts to leave that desire behind (because, really, it won't fulfill.) and choose to change our family dynamic and culture and adopt a little one into our family in the very same way we were adopted by Jesus. If we're called to deny everything to follow Christ, then what would hold us back? I used to think that meant full time overseas missions work, but that might not have been what Jesus had for us (yet) but this, this is. And we're willing to take the risk, even if that means that "typical American dream" life is forgotten and left behind. It's worth it. They're worth it. Our little one, wherever she is, is worth it. And we're going to chase this call and see where Jesus takes us.

I'm nearly finished with a book called Adopted For Life by Russell D Moore. It's been such an eye opener for me and really revealed God's heart for adoption and how we're really not that different than those children who lacked attachment when they were born and perhaps spent those first crucial developmental years in an orphanage rather than sleeping next to their mommy's and daddy's. Before Jesus we were also alone and without attachment and He still chose us and accepted us just as His own.

So, all that to say, if you think of it. Could you pray with us for our home study visit tomorrow?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

adoption courses

Last Friday we had an awesome babysitter stay with our kiddos while we headed to John's office for the day. We needed to get started on our 7 hours of adoption courses in order to complete our home study. By God's grace we were able to finish it barely by 5pm! It was a fun day spent together as well as chance to learn so much more about the adoption process and the hurdles and trials that we are mostly likely to face. For me, it helped solidify why we were doing this and drew our hearts together even further in this process. One step further and so many more to go. We also just got word that we're going to have our final interview with our case worker next Friday! I have my doctors appointment tomorrow for blood work.

One step closer!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

start of our journey

It's been a couple of shorts months since we started on our adoption journey. Nap times have become a a chance to do paperwork, phone calls, scanning and filling out applications. (so very thankful for good nappers. Especially during these afternoons.) Here's where we are in the process right now…


-An application and fees were sent to the agency and home study mailed in and received.


We also began our home study. We've been fingerprinted, gotten two clearances, had our first home study visit and gathered multiple documents (including birth certificates and passports. Praise God John's passport only took a month to arrive!) We sent our references, got police reports, medicals and begin our 10 hours of adoption education tomorrow. (thankful for a faithful babysitter who is willing to hang out with our kids for the day!)

What once seemed like a huge list of to-do's has slowly slimmed to a timeline. We've gathered a lot of documents for the dossier, but can't really get into that until we've completed our home study.

One step closer.