Monday, December 1, 2014

Finally Something to Update

Right before Thanksgiving, we received our referall for the girls. Now, we're just waiting for travel dates!

It's been a whirlwind fall...which is quickly slipping into winter. Waiting for a trip like this is crazy! I feel like our whole fall was busy getting ready for our trip. Preparations...waiting...more preparations...more waiting.

At this point, we don't know if we'll be home for Christmas. We had to quickly get our shopping done so we're ready for however things turn out.

Unlike Ally's adoption, we plan to bring our new girls home on this trip. That has added a lot to the preparations. We have to bring all of their things because we hope we'll have them during the trip and then they'll travel home with us.

Even though they'll be home, we still won't be able to share their pictures publicly until the adoption is complete. We'll be able to share what they're like and how they're doing, but their identity will still be private until everything is complete next year.

We appreciate those who still pray for us and our adoption. Being lifted up when things get crazy, is so helpful. The Lord is really the one getting us through each step and we're just doing our best to trust...so prayers are definitely needed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adoption/Ally update

Super busy lately, but I thought I'd drop in and give a little update.

I got an e-mail today that our dossier has been registered in our girls' country and that their files are being prepared. Yay! Progress! Our next step is getting referrals and then travel dates.

We're preparing for travel, and for our new girls...it's a little crazy. Since it seems our adoption trip will quickly be followed by the holidays...we're Christimas shopping and planning an early Thanksgiving with family. Crazy becomes crazier.

Ally's doing great. She had a wonderful summer and is enjoying fall. She's getting big and learning new things. She's still easy-going and super sweet...we can't imagine life without her.

Rachel took a couple of cute pictures of Ally-girl collecting leaves on the deck. So cute.






I'll update again soon if we any news. We appreciate those who continue to pray for us!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Update

I received an e-mail from our agency that our dossier has been mailed to our new girls' country!

We'll be waiting for it to be translated, and submitted, then wait for referrals and travel dates!

We appreciate your prayers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Slowly But Surely

This adoption seems slow, although in reality it's going well so far.

We got the best news this week. Jeff called USCIS yesterday and talked to the officer assigned to our case. She told him that she approved us for 2 last Friday! We should get our approval letter any day and then we can get our dossier sent!

Great news and so happy for a little progress!

We had our busiest summer yet, but the weather was great and we're still enjoying summer temps while they're still here. We had our annual Lake Michigan visit and that was wonderful. I'll see if I have a picture or two to post soon.

Thanks for checking in and praying along with us!

Update: Our approval notice came in the mail today! Hopefully we can announce that our dossier is on it's way to EE soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Small Update

Things are moving along in our adoption. Our home study update is done and we sent off our application to U.S. Customs and Immigration today. Now we've got more weeks of waiting and we've got to finish putting our dossier together. We're still praying we'll be able to travel this fall!

Our summer has been beautiful with perfect, comfortable temperatures. We haven't had a lot of days off since we need to save our days for our adoption travels, but we've tried to make time to take walks and go to the park.

The kids have been enjoying warm, free days outside...riding bikes, playing with friends, picking flowers, and catching frogs and bugs.

Ally is doing so well.. Bringing her home from Bulgaria seems like some sort of distant dream and it seems as though she's always been here. She is such an easy-going child and is such a joy to all of us.






Please continue to pray for our adoption. Pray that we'll get approved for both girls. Pray for them as they wait, knowing nothing about us. Pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts to be part of our family. Pray that there will be no delays and that everything goes smoothly for us to travel this fall.  Thanks, friends....as always we appreciate your prayers and encouragement!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wow!

This adoption has been so much different from our first one.

This adoption has been full of surprises. I feel that the Lord is going before us and calling us to continue following Him wherever He leads. When we do that, it makes life a real adventure.

Recently we learned that there is another girl in the same country, and most likely in the same orphanage as our new girl. The girls are almost the same age, both have DS, both are non-verbal and probably have grown up in the same environment. They may even know each other.

So, if all goes well....we will be bringing home 2 new girls! Wow!

Our newest, new girl is "Geneva" on Reece's Rainbow. She also has a grant for her adoption expenses, which means that we will be fully funded for our adoption.

So many people played a part in this story before we were even part of it. We'll never be able to personally thank the people who made it possible for us to adopt our girls, but we are truly thankful. It is heart-breaking that because some girls lost their chance to be adopted, our girls get a chance, but we'll keep praying that the other girls' chances are not lost forever.

Hopefully our homestudy update will be done this week and we'll be able to move on to the next step. Thanks for all of your prayers....they are needed and appreciated.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Dixie"

Now that everything is official, I can tell you that our new girl is listed as "Dixie" on Reece's Rainbow. That's where we found her. "Dixie" is just her Reece's Rainbow name. We won't find out her real name until right before we travel to meet her and we probably won't decide whether to keep her birth name or change it slightly until then.

As I mentioned before, her story is connected to the stories of 2 other girls. One of the girls we prayed for is adopted and one of the girls is sadly, stuck in a country that has closed their doors to Americans adopting. Our girl was gifted the grant that she had and that is what is making it possible for us to adopt her.

Lord willing, we will bring "Dixie" home and she will be a constant reminder for us to pray for the little girl who still lives day to day in an orphanage. A lot of people are praying for her country to open up and for adoptions to be allowed again. We'll keep praying that someday she'll have a home and a family too.

Because "Dixie" has a large grant through Reece's Rainbow, we were able to commit to adopt her. I know that a lot of families step out in faith without knowing where a single penny will come from, but honestly, we wouldn't have stepped out at this time. But God kept pointing us to her, and when we realized that a big chunk of the money was there and that she just needed a family to give her a chance before her time runs out...we knew that we were her family. We are so excited to meet her and hope that she will love having a family!

Her country requires 3 trips. We will have to rent an apartment and live there for a month, and then travel back 2 more times to finalize. Hopefully, she'll travel home with us on the first trip, and then she'll have to travel at least one more time back to finalize.

Thankfully, between her grant and the adoption assistance that Jeff gets at work, a lot of the expenses are covered. We have some of our tax refund money left that was going to go to fix and replace some things, but those things are nothing compared to someone's life. So when it's all said and done...we'll be about $5000 short. Most of what we need is airfare for the trips.

When we look at what He's done so far, we have no doubt that God will take care of this. We appreciate those who will support us through this adoption. Praying for the process, praying that God will provide for the travel expenses, and praying that there will be no delays so we meet the deadlines before she ages out.

We are just going to keep moving forward and rest in the fact that this is God's work. We're willing to do our part, but the story is being written by Him and we'll be looking forward in hope to see how it turns out.

Thank you to everyone who is part of this story...we truly appreciate your willingness to be part of it.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Ukraine 2014

Last summer, our son Andrew and his friend Trevor traveled to Ukraine, to meet the Bible Orphan Ministry team. They had a great time meeting everyone. They helped the team and spent time in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Andrew came home and began saving for his next trip. This year he went to have a nice long visit. He left in May and won't be home until the end of this month.

He rented an apartment near the church and has been able to spend time with friends he made last year.




He's had a lot of opportunities to help and minister to orphans. Some of the young people are graduating, leaving the orphanages, and heading out on their own. Andrew was able to help with the graduating orphans project. He traveled with the team to a large bazaar to purchase the gifts, helped package everything and then delivered the gifts to several orphanages.



Some of the young people they have visited have special needs and are institutionalized permanently. They enjoy a visit and a lesson with a craft.




Check out the Bible Orphan Ministry's blog to see lots more pictures and read about everything they've been busy doing this month.

The Bible Orphan Ministry would be greatly blessed by your prayers and financial support. Please consider helping them continue the work they do.


Friday, May 23, 2014

A Little About Our New Girl

I already shared that we're not adopting a baby this time. When we committed to Ally she was only 2 1/2. By the time she came home, she was 3 1/2, but the size of an 18 month old, so she was still a baby and we've had the privilege of watching her grow up into quite a big girl this past year and half.

This time we're adopting an older child. She is 15 and only has a handful of months left to be adopted. The Lord has been pointing us to her for quite a while, but we didn't know that we were going to be led to adopt her. He brought her to our attention in such a unique way, but the story is all tangled up in the stories of 2 other girls, so I can't share it publicly. God has worked miracles and worked things out in such a way that we cannot deny that He cares for orphaned children and He does indeed level mountains in order to set the lonely in families.

So, our new girl isn't such a little girl. She has waited so long without a family and we are so excited that God is giving us the opportunity to be her family. We pray that He will knit our hearts together just like He did when we were adopting Ally.

We don't know her name. We just know a few things about her. We know that just like Ally, she's a great communicator, even though she has few words. We know that she likes animals, and cartoons, and likes to help. She likes to go out and about...go on walks and go to the store. We know that she has Down syndrome and that she is said to be a sweet, spunky girl.

We also know that she needs a family...and we know that we love her already.

We are so blessed to have friends that pray for us. Thank you so much. We could never do this alone.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Open Door

We're adopting again!

As strange as it sounds...I find myself a little surprised. I really did not expect us to be adopting right now.The door seemed to be closed and we were just living life, but the Lord kept pointing us to a certain girl. We felt very clearly that He was calling us to adopt her. We prayed about it and answered, YES.

When we stepped out, the door was open...so we're going forward.

We're not adopting a baby this time and at first it seemed a bit daunting. It seemed that the enemy was just waiting to squash our faith in hearing God's call. In the beginning...before you step out...it seems so easy for him to flood you with fear and lies and to try to keep you from taking those first steps.

But the Lord is faithful. He sends His truth at just the right time. He speaks truth, faith, love, and life right into our hearts.We don't have all the answers to our questions, but God does and He's got this.

I won't be able to share pictures at this time. Our girl is in a different country and they don't allow pictures. I'll share what we do know about her soon.

We really appreciate your prayers...we're going to need them.