Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Orphan Sunday, Part II

Here are 2 more ways you could consider caring for an orphan or waiting child: (as taken from the Hope for Orphans literature, "10 Ways Every Christian can care for the Orphan and Waiting Child."

#3.  Provide for their needs. 
  • Give sacrificially to a reputable orphanage. Financial gifts can be designated for specific items and aid needed by orphans. Visit for more information.
  • Organize a drive in your church to collect school supplies for children in foster care or shoes for orphans overseas. Visit or

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food…and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? -
James 2:15-16
#4.  Support those who support them. 
  • Mow, baby sit, or organize meals for a week for foster parents. Pray with them and tell them you appreciate what they do.
  • Encourage a family adopting an older child by hosting a shower for them.

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... -
Hebrews 10:24
My personal thoughts :) 

On a personal note, these 2 are EASY.  Everyone can certainly spare a pair of shoes to send to an orphan, or a $25 gift or more towards a foster home or orphanage.  Add up how much you spend on coffee or fast food in a week or month and donate that amount -- you'd be surprised how much you could come up with (and you might be a bit healther for it!)   Or, if you have kids, teach them the importance of giving to others.  Start a change jar and donate what you get in a 3 or 6 month period to an orphanage or foster care home of their choice. is a really cool spin on a change jar that's easy for kids or your organization to do.  We have done this several times at church and the kids (and adults) really do well.  You fill the 'rice bowl' (which the company provides free of cost) with spare change.  Once it is full, you send it in and all proceeds go to feed children and provide food for orphanages... it's really easy if you commit to doing it!   

Encouragement to those adopting or fostering is also so important.  Most folks to choose to adopt or foster aren't doing it for kudos from others, but it is sure nice to know that others support what you are doing.  Many times families who choose to adopt or foster are often questioned about their motives or purpose.  Be the light in these folk's day by saying positive things about what they are doing :)  Drop off a meal, offer to help shuttle their older kids to play-dates or sporting practice, etc. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit

I'm so excited. Look what I found that is close to me!   Wanna join me?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Orphan Sunday, Part I

Sunday, November 7th is Orphan Sunday. (an initiative of the Christian Alliance for Orphans). November 8th is actually the ONE YEAR anniversary that we applied for our adoption. At the time, we didn’t realize that we applied to CWA on Orphan Sunday, but found it pretty significant after the fact! 

Back in July and early August, I was already planning to have an Orphan Sunday event complete with a meal, fundraiser, silent auction, etc. But, due to some of the uncertainties with my medical stuff, I had to cancel it. Nevertheless, the hope of advocating for the Orphan hasn’t gone away, so I’m going to take a week or so to post a few ways we can all advocate for the orphan. I’m not saying that everyone should adopt. Adoption is not for everyone, but there are other ways that all people can get involved in caring for the orphan via foster care, support, adoption, etc.

Hope for Orphans, a ministry of Family Life, has published a resource called "10 Ways Every Christian can care for the Orphan or Waiting Child."   I am going to repost their list, a few at a time, a couple days at a time.  Please take time to read and reflect on how you might make a difference in the life of a child, or how you could help or support a family through the process.  
I am not posting these to make anyone feel uncomfortable about orphans, foster care or orphan care, but to advocate and be a voice for those who cannot speak.  Most of you reading this blog have supported our family in one way or the other during the last year, and we will need your support and guidance in the coming year as well.  Thank you for all that you have done for us and for others in their journey to save another. 
Here are the first 2 ways you can consider supporting an orphan or a waiting child:  (as posted in literature from Hope for Orphans)

#1.  Pray For Them. 
  • Tape a waiting child’s picture to your dashboard and pray for the child every time you’re in a car. Visit or
  • Organize an evening prayer vigil at your church and pray for children in foster care or an orphanage overseas.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
#2. Speak Up For Them.
  • Carry a waiting child’s picture and show it to other believers. Ask if they, or someone they know, would give this child a home. 
  • Become a court appointed special advocate for a child in foster care. Visit for details.
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy
. -Proverbs 31:8-9
Watch Video:


Friday, October 22, 2010

9 Months Waiting & Update

Wow.. time flies, but how I wish E was home with us. Last year I was SURE she’d be home for this Christmas. Now I pray that she’s home by next Christmas.

Referral/”the List”

The “Referral Clocks” for our agency are moving, but not very fast for girls right now. They are still referring little girls to couples who submitted their dossiers in September of 2009… so they are about 13 (almost 14) months out for referrals. Since we are on HOLD status, we won’t get our referral until probably August next year, when Faith is 6 months old, but at the rate things are going, our delay won’t be too much more than if we were still on “the list.”

Court Hearings/Embassy Appointments

Our Agency has reported that the time from court to embassy appointments are now between 4 – 6 weeks. Last year is was 8-12 weeks, so things are moving in the right direction. They also reported that they are now scheduling both court appointments on the same day (biological family and adoptive family); one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This should speed things up as well as sometimes these hearings were days or weeks apart. 

Acacia Village

Other awesome news is that CWA has finally opened Acacia Village, which will house up to 250 orphaned children who are waiting to go home with their forever family. CWA reports that they love their new space and there are plans for expansion that will allow CWA families and missionaries to stay there as well. Christian World Foundation is still taking donations for this awesome project. Check out this link if you want to learn more

What’s Next?

We have touched base with our home study provider who will have to do our Home Study Update once Faith is born. We will then need to apply for an extension to the USCIS for our paperwork and fingerprints (they will expire before we complete our adoption process). We are hoping they grant us this extension. Otherwise, we will have to resubmit all of our paperwork and fingerprints to the tune of $890.00.

When will you have E home?

Our hope is that we could get our referral in August or September and then perhaps travel at least once by the end of the year. To complete our adoption by the end of next year would be such a blessing, especially since the Adoption Tax Credit expires at the end of 2011.

The Courts will most likely be closed next year for the rainy season (usually from August until October) when we get our referral, so we will have to wait for a court hearing date until after the courts reopen. But, if we would get our referral, then have our court date by late October… there could certainly be a chance to have E home by Christmas next year. How cool would that be?

But, if I’ve said it once, I’m sure I’ve said it a million times—I’m not in control of the timing of things. So we will continue to wait patiently for our little angel.

Thanks again for all of your support and prayers during our detour!
"Love is never tired of waiting." 1 Corinthians 13:4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thinking Biblically

We attended Catalyst this year again. If you remember from earlier posts, this is where we really felt a definite answer to adopt vs. pursue a bio pregnancy last year (little did we know that God would respond and we’d be doing both!) This year’s topic was Tension – as in the Tension in good. We’ve had quite a year of tension, and yes, we can honestly say it has been good. It’s good to feel a tug at your heart, or a tug at your wallet or just a downright tension that makes you get up and do something about an issue. Without the tension in our lives, I think we’d be content just to sit around and wait for things to happen or complain about why things aren’t happening.

One of our biggest tensions over this past year has been trying to ‘explain’ to people why we feel we were called to adopt, why we are adopting from Ethiopia, and why we are adding to our ‘seemingly’ perfect family. Then, on top of that, we got pregnant – which was deemed medically impossible. Honestly some people think we are downright nuts, and I totally understand. Adoption is not for everyone. But it is something that we’ve been called to do. But still, we have those looks from people, and the ‘what the heck are you thinking’ comments from people, especially now that we are pregnant on top of adopting. Big families are definitely not the norm these days.

That was where my head had been as we went to Catalyst this year. Not that I feel the need to explain myself or my actions to ANYONE here on earth, but it still has me scratching my head and sometimes thinking, “maybe we are crazy…”… you know??

Thursday night’s speaker was Francis Chan. Brad and I adore this guy. We had the privilege to have breakfast with him last year and he is such a genuine and compassionate person. He started Cornerstone Church in California in 1994 with 30 people and by 2000, it had grown beyond 1600. This guy donates like 90% of his income, doesn’t take a salary, and donates all of his book royalties to charities. His home is always open to anyone, any time.  Anyway, lately he has taken a slight beating because he and his wife, along with their kiddos, have decided to step away from Cornerstone Church and go to Asia to follow God’s calling. So they are packing up, saying goodbye to their family and friends, and moving to Asia for an indefinite period of time. He said he’d be hypocritical if he didn’t do what God was asking… but yet even some of his peers disagree with his decision.

What is remarkable is that he is feeling the same tension as we are… slightly different scenarios, but same type of tension. He spoke of this issue, and it made my heart happy about what he had to say, or specifically what his wife had to say. This clip is over 7 minutes long, but if you can, at least listen to the first few minutes. It made us breathe a sigh of relief… not that everyone in our circle live their lives according to scripture… but if you did, would your story fit… or would you be the weird one?

See video below to watch Francis

Catalyst East 2010: Francis Chan

Friday, October 1, 2010

This day I marry my friend (18 years ago)

“This day I will marry my friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love”

This weekend will mark our 18th Wedding Anniversary (and my hubby's birthday)!  It just seems like yesterday that we were making plans to get married.. and here we are 18 years later.  I guess time does fly when you are having fun.  I can't believe how much we have grown and matured in 18 years.  Can't wait for the next 18 as we begin yet another phase in our lives. 
Many of you know some of our bumps along the way and I can honestly say that those bumps and issues were necessary in order to make us into the people we are today.  We are definitely not the same boy and girl that we were 18 years ago!  God has opened our eyes and used us and our testimony to help others and give others hope in their marriage.  Even though it was a tough battle, I'm glad we fought it and won!  Too many people give us these days!  Like I've said before, I honestly believe God brings us to things not to defeat us or discourage, but to help draw us closer to Him and to mold us into who He wants us to be.  We are all clay in the potter's hands!

Happy Anniversary my love! 

"Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."   ~ John 3:18