Monday, November 29, 2010

An Unexpected Blessing

This is Drew again... As many of you know, one thing we wanted to do as we go through our adoption is to provide as much information and encouragement to others that may be considering adoption. I wrote this post a few months ago sharing about the costs of adoption. Going along with that, we received a great blessing recently!

For those who don't know, Lifesong for Orphans is a great non-profit organization that cares for orphans in many ways. One of them is by helping those who are adopting that are facing a mountain of expenses related to the adoption.

A few months ago, we filled out an application through our church and Lifesong. We just got word that our church, through Lifesong, awarded us a matching grant of $2,500! We weren't expecting this, but because our church has set funds aside to help those within our congregation who are adopting we were awarded this matching grant. Wow, what a blessing!

One thing Lifesong does is allow you to set up an account with them so that those people who have wanted to partner with you and your adoption expenses can send their contribution to Lifesong and have it be tax deductible. Since we had a few people ask us if they could help, we filled out the application hoping to just get an account for the tax deduction. But, with our church having a separate set of funds set aside to use for families adopting, we were given a matching grant. So, the first $2,500 given to our Lifesong account will be doubled!

We had decided that we didn't want to try to "raise support" as some people do (which we don't condemn at all, just a personal decision). Although we had decided not to actively fundraise, we have been amazed and blessed by people who have sought us out to see if they can partner with us financially as their way to support orphan care. For those people who have asked us, you can email Ashley or I for more details and our Lifesong account number.

For those considering adoption: As I said in the post about adoption costs - don't let expenses hold you back from adopting. I know that there are more people that want to partner with you than you realize.

We feel so blessed by our church, Lifesong, and those who are partnering with us both in prayer and financially - and we look forward to "paying it forward" for other adoptive families in the future.

Friday, November 19, 2010


We are officially waiting!!  We received our I-171H yesterday and over-nighted it to our adoption agency in Oregon last night.  They received it this morning, approved it (with no revisions- all that double and triple checking paid off!), and added us to the list!  Our agency will now send our dossier to be authenticated by the US State Department and Embassy of Ethiopia and we will be notified when it reaches Ethiopia!

For those of you wondering what #56 means (I've been asked that question several times already)...  Basically, there are 55 families in our agency waiting for children ahead of us....  They aren't necessarily waiting for infant girls (could be older children or boys), but they are ahead of us.  We will be receiving monthly updates as the list moves and our number changes....  Our agency is estimating that our wait time for our referral (child match and picture) will be 3-9 months... Obviously we are praying it's closer to the 3-month mark, but it's totally in God's hands and His perfect timing... 

Thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement through this process...  It means so much to us!!  As they say in the adoption world....  WE ARE OFFICIALLY PAPER PREGNANT!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The circus and the waiting.....

My parents asked us to go to the circus with them last weekend...  This was Evan's 2nd circus experience, and I think it's safe to say he loved this one more than the last.... 

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

Preschool at home!

 One of my friends starting using a homeschool curriculum (it's online and FREE!) for her 3 year old, and she has told me what a success it has been at their house.   So I took on the challenge a couple of weeks ago as well.   It has been wonderful for both Evan and I.  It gives us a little something to look forward to on the days when we don't have things planned and he's learning lots too.  It's Bible-based, so he is learning Bible verses as well as other preschool things.  We are still unsure what we will do for Evan as far as school (public, private, homeschool), but for now this is working great! 
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

My "Nice" Dragon

And now for some pictures that someone (I won't name names!) informed me were long overdue....
 My little dragon- he kept saying that he was a "nice" dragon and not a scary dragon..  Too cute!!  He enjoyed trick-or-treating even though he was a little under the weather this weekend....

I just had to include this picture my mom took last week of E in the leaves.  Too cute :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Orphan Sunday

True Religion from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Orphan Sunday is this weekend...  I pray that you seek God and how He wants to use you to help the millions of orphans worldwide.  We may not all be called to adopt, but He does call us to defend the orphans and fatherless.  I hope this video helped you to put things in perspective.  I know it did for me....  

"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