Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
|decorating the house for Christmas...|
|making a paper chain to count down to our referral (we moved at least 3 spots this week!)...|
|visiting Santa (somewhat reluctantly, but he wanted to make sure Santa knows what to bring!)..|
|and finally sitting on his lap for a quick happy picture...|
|and playing at the Indianapolis Childrens museum...|
We've been busy, but we're having oh so much fun!!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
|The popcorn bucket was almost as big as him!|
|Enamored by all the animals and tricks!|
For all of you who may be wondering where we are with our adoption- We are STILL waiting on the immigration document we need in order to submit our dossier and be officially waiting. To say we are frustrated is to put it mildly. We have been flat-out lied to several times that the form was in the mail and on it's way to us only to find out last night that our file hasn't even been processed and was just sitting on someone's desk. Thankfully, we have someone working on it now who we are confident will get it taken care of... I never would have guessed that I would be more emotional during this adoption process than while I was pregnant with Evan, but I definitely am (even in just the 4 months or so we've been on this roller coaster!). As hard and emotional as it has been, we know that God has a plan in all of this. He has our child already picked for us and we are trying to remember that it shouldn't matter what number we are on the waiting list, but it's still hard sometimes. He knows what number we need to be on that list in order to match up with our daughter... Your prayers are much appreciated as we wait and learn more about resting in Him and His PERFECT timing...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
|First day- learning about how God created the day and night, the number 1, and the colors black and white.|
|All ready to start preschool! I don't have his playroom set up the way I want it yet, but I hope to buy a few things at a teachers store soon to make it look more like school.... I'll post pictures when I have it done!!|
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
|I just had to include this picture my mom took last week of E in the leaves. Too cute :)|
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
Monday, October 18, 2010
|This little guy LOVES the leaves!|
|Especially when Daddy plays in the leaves with him!|
|His old bike was getting too small- so Ty gave him his old one last weekend in Chicago. And he LOVES it!|
|Corn maze at the pumpkin farm!|
|Hay ride at the pumpkin farm!|
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
|Evan had storytime at the fire station a couple weeks ago. The alarm even went off while we were there, so the kids got a true picture of what happens there! He loved it :)|
|Ma bought Evan a soccer ball at a garage sale a few weeks ago. He is LOVING kicking it around... We may have a soccer player on our hands!!|
|Reading, Reading and more Reading... This guy shares my love of reading and it makes me oh so happy!! We spend lots of time snuggled up with his books :)|
|We made cut-out sugar cookies last week shaped like pumpkins and then frosted them orange and green. He had a blast! Needless to say, my kitchen needed a good cleaning after we finished :)|
|We made a quick trip to Chicago this past weekend to see Evan's cousins (and their parents too!). We got to see Hailey play softball and Ty play football. This guy sure loves his cousins!! He's already asking when we can go visit again!|
|They have a golf cart that they use to ride back and forth to the high school just down the road from them. E loved it! And he even drove it most of the weekend (no worries, he was only steering and Drew had control of the foot pedals!)|
|Here it is delivering him his train cupcake :) Too cute!|
Thursday, October 7, 2010
|Loving on his momma :)|
|Notice the lipstick marks on E's cheek :)|
|Make sure to look in the background! She's so creative!|
|Love his blue eyes in this one!|
Monday, October 4, 2010
We received our biometrics appointments! For those of you unfamiliar with international adoption, this is all a part of the USCIS paperwork we are waiting on in order to submit our dossier. You submit your application, and then receive an appointment date and time for your fingerprinting. We knew that our appointments would be at one of two places (both about 2 hours from our house) and that we would have to drop whatever we may have planned that day to make our appointments.
And now for the bad news:
We received 2 different appointment times! Drew's appointment is 3:00pm on a Monday and mine is at 3:00pm on a Tuesday. Seriously?!? So, needless to say, we will be making 2 trips... I tell you what- this adoption stuff is not for the faint of heart!!
And more good news:
Once our biometrics are approved, we should receive the approval form, submit our dossier, and then officially be waiting for our daughter!!
Thanks again for all the prayers.. We appreciate the support so much!!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
One more life touched by the miracle of adoption.. And who knows how many more lives will be touched through this new song...
You can click on the title to this post OR click on the above link and you should be able to view the video...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So we wanted to talk about the costs of our adoption from Ethiopia, as that is one of the most often asked questions.
There was a funny story on Jon & Amy's blog that sums up the misunderstandings and interest the people have in the financial part of adoption:
Amy was asked, by a young neighbor girl, in front of other adult neighbors,
I thought this interaction was so cute - and so telling of the misconception out there with international adoption. Yes, it is expensive, but it's not in any way because you are "buying" a baby.
Girl: How much did you pay for your babies?
Amy: You know sweetie, people don’t pay for babies. You can’t put a price on kids.
Girl: I heard it’s lots of money.
Amy: We paid money for a service, for people to help us find Jada and Adia. Just like your Mommy paid a doctor so he would help her have you. Does that make sense?
Girl: Yeah…So, how much was it?
Of our expenses with our agency, Holt, the largest portion goes to the Ethiopian Program Fee which is basically paid to the orphanage in Ethiopia. They have staff to pay for, kids to feed, agency workers to complete paperwork and assist you while you're in country, etc. If these fees weren't being paid to the orphanages, they wouldn't be able to stay open, and thousands more kids worldwide would be living on the streets, or worse yet, wouldn't survive without proper care.
Here's a breakdown of how the fees work out for our adoption:
Paperwork Fees (homestudy, agency work, post-placement, etc.): approximately $5,000
Ethiopia In-Country Fee (Orphanage, in-country case workers, child care, etc.): appr. $10,000
Travel (Ethiopia requires TWO trips: airfare, hotels, food): appr. $10,000
Various Gov't Paperwork (i-600A immigration form, Visas, etc.): appr. $1,000
You can do it (and so can we)!
For those considering adoption - I will just say this: The Lord will provide for His causes. Don't let the finances discourage you from something so amazing as helping there be one less orphan in this world. We've talked to many people who have said that they would like to adopt, but the financial burden seems to big to handle - don't let money hold you back!
There are many things that you can do:
- There is an adoption tax credit from the government
- There are many organizations that do adoption grants
- Many people send out fund-raising letters (which we have chosen not to)
- Many people do fund raisers, bake sales, sell t-shirts, garage sales, etc. (we may do some of these)
- There are interest free loans available (typically used as a "hold over" until you receive the tax credit the next year)
Clearly, the adoption expenses are more than we can handle on our own. We decided early on that we didn't want to do fund-raising letters, even though we don't think there's anything wrong with taking that path.
But, we've had many people come up to us, completely unexpected, letting us know that they wanted to partner with us, and for that we are truly grateful and blessed. The generosity of our family, friends, and church family has been amazing! Thank you so much for your support!
Today, I'm mailing some paperwork to Lifesong for Orphans, a non-profit organization that awards matching grants to families in the adoption process (and has a special arrangement to do so with our church). A matching grant would mean that every dollar donated would be doubled (up to a certain amount) - which would be amazing. The other benefit of having a lifesong account is that any money that people donate now or in the future, will be made out to Lifesong (a 501c3 non-profit), therefore will be tax-deductible, but will 100% go to us for our adoption expenses. Anyone can set up an account like this at Lifesong and I think it's a great option for most people.
If you're considering adoption, just like we have been blessed by the support of friends and family, we know God will provide for you too. As always, feel free to contact Ashley or I if you would like more information!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
|He loves his momma!!|
|Kisses from the little man- nothing better than that!!|
|Watching the ACD parade in Auburn this past weekend. All dressed up in our ND gear for the big game!!|
I had a few technical difficulties with embedding this video... I think if you click on "Watch it in YouTube" you will be able to view it!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
|He was so excited when he woke up and saw his birthday banner hanging from the fireplace!|
|Family picture before the party started :)|
|His monkey cupcakes- this guy loves Curious George and also sleeps with a couple of monkey stuffed animals every night... Drew helped with the decorating- it took awhile, but it was so worth it to see how much E enjoyed them!|
|The birthday boy!|
|Opening gifts- he didn't need much help at all this time... :)|
|Laughing at the card from Grandpa Brad and Grandma Charna- it sang the Chicken Dance song- he thought it was hilarious!|
|His big gift from Mommy and Daddy :)|
|What a spoiled little boy! He got so many nice toys and clothes... This was taken right before bed- He wanted us to leave everything "right there so he could play with them in the morning". Too cute!!|