Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday and waiting...

Orphan Sunday was a little different for our church today. Ben decided not to just do an "Orphan Sunday" but more like an "Orphan Month"! He started this by speaking on our spiritual adoption. This morning he spoke about God being our Father. Sadly I missed it. But I had Children's Church with two first graders and used that time to have a little Orphan Sunday of our very own. Just the three of us. It was awesome and challenging to talk with these two kids who are blessed with great families about the plight of the orphan and how even they as first graders can love orphans. These two kids now know how they can pray for the millions of orphans all around the world. This is a huge deal. Our kids today do not even know what it means to be without closets full of clothes, every type of food imaginable, baths every night, night night hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy, etc. Prayer is powerful. Let us not underestimate the power of a first grader's prayer. I am going to put a familiar verse on here to remind us all that God didn't suggest we care for the orphan and widow but COMMANDED us to care for the orphan and widow. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans an widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 We are to be caring for the "lease of these".  I hope everyone was touched by however your church did Orphan Sunday, but let us not leave what we learned in our pew but "do" what we have been commanded to do.

We are still working on getting our homestudy finalized. We should be hearing something this week. I am very anxious (I know I'm not supposed to be!) to get this done. It will be a HUGE check on my list of to do's. I am getting more and more anxious to get our dossier done and sent to Ethiopia. This wonderful day will be called DTE. I thought I would go ahead and tell you that because you will be seeing that a lot in my blog. I am SO ready for that day. But I am also dreading that day. That day will officially begin the longest wait of our lives. I will go ahead and tell you right now how you can pray for us (especially me, the worrier). I am apart of a yahoo chat group for my agency for people in the Ethiopia program. It is wonderful and mostly encouraging and informational. Truly a place to make long life friends with people you may never ever meet! This chat group can also be discouraging as well. Let me explain. A lot of people on the chat group are already DTE or have already received a referral (meaning they know who their child is and are awaiting a court date). Because of changes in the adoption process in Ethiopia wait times have slowly increased and if things continue as they are then those wait times will only increase some more. I have read heartbreaking messages from Mamas longing to know who their child is after waiting over a year, knowing who their child is but waiting for a court date, waiting for embassy to clear their child so they can finally come home. It tears me apart and I don't even know them, but I know my day is coming and what is so scary is I don't know what our path will look like. That is life though. As my friend Cole ( who is also starting the process of adoption from Ethiopia) put it in a recent blog, we don't know what the end result is going to be but we can trust and know that God is with us through it all. That blog post encouraged me so. I know that God is going to refine us and mold us and I know when that happens that it can be tough and even painful. I have a lot of growing to do. I still ask that you pray because I have really been struggling with this and other things that I will leave unspoken. Just pray, please please pray for me. Continue to pray that God would truly be leading every step of this process and that we would follow. Continue to pray for us financially as well. God has provided thus far and I know He will continue to do so but again worrier here!!! Pray that the funds would be made available through whatever means God chooses. I know that not everyone is called to adopt but maybe God is calling you to care for orphans through helping us bring our baby home. I want to insert a fellow adoptive mother's blog post here. I posted it on my facebook page the other day but said I would put it on my blog also. If you want to know how you can help support us in this adoption before the baby gets home and after please read this. I PROMISE it is well worth your time. (I only wish I could blog like her!)
Thanks to everyone for your support!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Updates: It has been a while!!!

Well I would like to apologize for how long it has been since I have posted  blog! I was reading my last post and we had just started our homestudy!!! WOW!  We are almost done with our homestudy now! We couldn't have asked for a better social worker. Her name is Maegan and she is a blessing. (She is expecting her first child so ya'll can keep her in your prayers!) I'm so excited because she will be doing our post adoption stuff also so we are not done with her yet! She came to our house for the first visit, the second visit we met her in Montgomery where she did separate interviews on me and Ben, and the last visit was last week and we had it again in our home. They all went great!!! Maegan told us that our homestudy has gone faster than normal so that is such a blessing! We are now finishing up any paperwork that has to be done so that she can write up the homestudy and get our family coordinator at America World to review it and approve it. Once it is finalized we can apply for grants and we can apply for the oh so very important letter that we need to actually bring our child home. This is something that the USCIS processes. The letter will basically be the pass for our child to be let in the U.S. when we come home. Please pray that everything goes smoothly!

We have also finished our physicals. We had to do this for both the homestudy and our dossier. Shots, a lot of blood taken, and three separate co pays (boo) and they are done! yay! Now that the homestudy is well on its way to being done I am focusing on dossier paperwork so we can hopefully be DTE (our dossier will be sent to Ethiopia) by the beginning of the year! Pray that will be so! Another big hurdle is the fact that when we send in our dossier we also have to pay a whopping $8,000! Pray for us as we raise the money for that. May you also consider praying about helping us raise that money?

Something I really really wanted to share with you is the fact that first: God is so faithful when I am not!! Second: I have the most amazing parents, family, and friends. We had our first adoption yard sale this past weekend. A friend of our family offered to have it at her house which was an awesome place to have it by the way! I want to take the time to brag on my mother. Twila Wiggins is the most wonderful mommy any girl could ask for. ( You can argue with me but I'm right! ;) ) She has worked so incredibly hard to gather things for the yard sale and planning everything. I love you Mommy! Thanks to everyone who gave towards the sale! We had such a variety of stuff! Thank you to my sister who helped my mom sort and price all the stuff! I love you! Thank you to my Daddy, brother, husband for loading and unloading stuff, Thanks to the Thornburg family who let us have the yard sale at their house, Mrs. Beverly who gave stuff, helped plan, and had a lemonade stand with cookies! Thanks Mrs. Pam for making brownies! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!! I am so excited about it because this past weekend we raised almost $900 just selling stuff and we made almost $1500 including donations. How amazing is God!!!!!!!! He is our provider! Why do I doubt??? He is so faithful! This yard sale alone is paying for our homestudy! Praise Him  Praise Him!

I want to remind everyone to continue to check out our just love coffee store. You can find it by looking at the website on the right of this blog.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We do feel them! There are days when I feel exhausted physically and mentally and miss my baby that I have never even met, but the Lord is faithful and he called us to this and will lead us through and he will be glorified through this as well! If you would like to donate please find information to do so at the right of the blog. We still have a ways to go but the Lord has provided thus far and I know he will continue to do so. Maybe through some of you?
God bless everyone of you!

"Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:9

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where do I begin??!!

We have had a lot going on since our last blog! I would have posted several days ago but me and Gabe went to spend a few days with my family. Also while I was home my best friend since childhood's Dad passed away from brain cancer. I would ask that you pray for her and her family. I love you Heather!

While I was out of town I received several emails and Ben received several calls. Our application with Lifeline Adoption Agency (the agency in Alabama who will be doing our homestudy) approved our application and sent us all the paperwork to continue on in the process. I also received the email we have really been waiting on. The email from our family coordinator! Jennifer from AWAA officially welcomed us into the program with a MASSIVE Dossier checklist. Let's just say we are overwhelmed but excited to get this process started so we can get one step closer to meeting our baby boy!

Then last night Ben text me to tell me he talked to a Lifeline social worker about starting meetings! ahhh Then he text me back to say that Megan (our social worker) would be in our area on Tuesday (in one week). So we will have our first homestudy meeting next Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning! Again, I am excited but extremely overwhelmed. We have so much stuff to get together, to copy, to sign and send in, appointments to make, house to get ready, and especially money to save and raise! I am so thankful that as I was reading Isaiah the other day the Lord gave me this scripture. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

This week will be extremely crazy as we get fingerprinting done for our background checks, fill out paperwork for homestudy, and the start of our dossier. Especially be praying for all the homestudy paperwork and fingerprinting. The fingerprinting, background checks, etc. has to get done ASAP because I was told that this can take up to 3 months! We need the homestudy to get done quickly because once the homestudy is complete we can apply for all available grants and no interest loans. This is huge!!!!!! Dossier submission = pay huge amounts of money at one time! Please pray that we would be able to get all of the things needed to complete this homestudy and to start our dossier.  So all of this is very exciting and very real!!!! Please Please Please! continue to pray for us. That is the most important thing that you can do for us!

Another way you can support us is by participating in our fundraisers. You have one week left to order one of our awesome tshirts!!!! (see the right hand side of the blog). It is an awesome way to share the Gospel and a way to raise awareness of orphan care!

We also have a store online (see the website to the right) called Just Love Coffee. Go on our website and check out all of the different coffees and other things you can buy to not only support our adoption but help support orphanages in Ethiopia!

Our next fundraiser is going to be a YARD SALE! We need your help! If you have anything you would like to donate towards our yard sale that would be wonderful! I have not set a date yet, but just ask that anything you are wanting to give away or if you are wanting to clean out, consider giving those things to raise funds to go towards our adoption! If you have any other ideas for fundraising let us know!!! Thank you in advance!

I also ask that you pray for friends of mine that are in Ethiopia right now trying to get custody of their son. The courts are supposed to close in a few days and they are waiting on one letter that is supposed to not get there for another week or so! They need a miracle if they are going to get that letter and gain custody. If this does not happen (Cimbrey) will have to decide to either stay in Ethiopia for another 3 months or come home to the states and leave her son and go back in a couple of months. Please be praying for wisdom for the Brannan family.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Thank you Jesus for your bobo's"

We try every night before Gabe goes to bed to read a section out of his Jesus Storybook Bible and we pray and put him to bed. The other night he flipped through his Bible after we read a story. He happened to come to the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. The first thing he said was where is the man's shirt? We explained that some men took his shirt in the best way we knew how! He then proceeded to ask about the marks on Jesus' body. His bobo's. Again we explained why Jesus had bobo's and that he did it for us. When it was time for him to pray it went like this: "Jesus, thank you Daddy, Mommy, "little brudder", "Arica" (Africa), thank you Jesus for bobo's". I looked at Ben and we both had tears in our eyes. It hit me; My sweet babies will both have to make a decision when they get older. They will either choose or reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and it is mine and Ben's job to teach them not by just words but by the way we live our lives in front of them. I also started thinking, if it wasn't for Jesus' "bobo's" we would have no hope, there would be no adoption. I realize that this adoption is nothing without God's adoption of us as His children. It is still amazing to me that God has called us to this and that without His power we CANNOT do anything. Through His Power we can get through every obstacle that this adoption will have, through His Power we can save and raise the funds for this adoption, through His Power we can fly to Ethiopia and meet our son and love him and bring him home to be a part of our family just like we brought Gabe home to be apart of our family on December 14, 2008. Through the Holy Spirit and God's power that he supplies we will be able to bring our baby home.
"... whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the STRENGTH WHICH GOD SUPPLIES; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11


The other day we sent in our signed agreements and $1,125 to America World! This means we have officially signed a contract saying that we understand everything that is about to happen in this adoption! As far as I'm concerned there is no turning back!!! That is scary and exciting! Most likely in a few days our family coordinator will call and introduce herself to us and explain the dossier process to us. The dossier is all the paperwork, medical papers, government fingerprinting, homestudy, etc. She will send us the packet and we will get started. Tomorrow I will contact Lifeline Adoption in Birmingham. They will be doing our homestudy. That is where a social worker will visit us and evaluate our home and family. This is a huge prayer request because this can be a little nerve wrecking and once our home study is complete we can start applying for grants and no interest loans. This week we also start our first training course on adoption. I am very excited about this!! Please be in prayer for us as we continue in this process.
* PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER. This is always the first and most important thing we need from everyone!
* our emotions as we know that this will be a frustrating process at times.
*The funds needed for the adoption. In the next few months we will have to pay for the homestudy, the USCIS (government fees), and when it is time to submit our dossier we will have to pay almost $8,000 at one time! As I have said before, we know God has called us to this and He will provide. Maybe He is calling you to care for the orphan by assisting us monetarily with our adoption? Pray for us as we save and fundraise.
*Our families and our church as we seek to make everyone aware of adoption and our role as Christians in taking care of the orphan.

I also wanted to remind you of our fundraisers going on. We will be continuing to sell T-shirts (picture, cost, and sizes to the right) until Monday, August 8. Two weeks from tomorrow. It is a very cool t-shirt that will bring up awareness of adoption!

We also have a link to our Just Love Coffee store. You can go online and order coffee or whatever you would like and part of the proceeds will go to our adoption and part will go to an orphanage in Ethiopia.
Please message me or Ben if you would like to order a tshirt or have questions about Just Love Coffee.

Pray for us also as we start planning a yard sale! (yikes!) If you would like to donate any items to sell at our yard sale please email me at or message me on facebook.

Thanks for all your support! We love you all!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We are officially accepted into the Ethiopia Program!!!!!!

First of all I want to say that God is so good. I am learning every day through this process how unworthy I am. God doesn't need me to adopt this little boy but he is allowing me to be used for his glory. I am in awe of that fact.

I started my day cleaning my house (because my parents are coming this weekend!). I tried not thinking about Sara. Sara is the intake coordinator for AWAA. Sara is the wonderful person who tells you that you have been accepted! See, yesterday she emailed me back to tell me that she planned on giving all of our application info to her supervisor for final approval yesterday afternoon. So of course this morning I thought maybe she will call today. All day I checked my email. Nothing. As I was having my quiet time this afternoon I poured my heart out to God. I cried harder than I have in a long time. For my son who I don't know yet, for the unworthiness I felt, and to let him know how overwhelmed and scared I was! It was so liberating to know my God hears me and knows every thought before I even speak it! 

This afternoon right as Ben was walking through the door to get out of this stormy weather we are having, the phone rang. I didn't think much about it, but when I said hello a cheery voice came over the phone and I knew it was Sara! She asked me if it was a good time to talk and of course I said yes! She immediately said "Welcome to the Ethiopia program!" I couldn't contain myself and cried and told her how excited I was and all she could do was laugh and tell me how excited she was for us. It was wonderful to hear someone say ok now you can officially start the long process of paperwork that you know is going to eventually turn into waiting for a referral then waiting to go meet your child! Overwhelming, but wonderful! She talked to me a few minutes about the agreements we had to sign and the program fee we have to send in. Every time I talk to someone from AWAA I am reassurred of our decision of choosing them as our agency. They are awesome and know they will be so helpful through this process, not only with all the logistical stuff, but spiritually as well.

I hung up after talking with her and started looking at the email that she sent. I looked at all the money that would be due at the time of doing our dossier (all the paperwork and homestudy stuff!). I started fretting. You see Satan knows exactly where my weak spot is. Worrying. Today during my quiet time I begged God to help me trust him even when the amount of money seems so overwhelming and impossible to pay. I also prayed that I would be able to withstand the fiery arrows that I KNEW Satan would throw at me. Please pray for us through this!

So we are super excited that we are officially in this thing! This week we will be signing all the paperwork and sending in $1,125. That seems like a lot but when you look at the grand total ($30,000) it seems so small! Once they receive the paperwork we will wait a week and be assigned a family coordinator. She will email us the dossier packet. This is (from what I hear) one of the most difficult parts of the adoption. It is a ton of paperwork that we will have to make a million copies of plus a homestudy. This is where a social worker will come  into our home a few times and make sure we are good parents and that our home is ok to live in. It seems crazy because one would think that was obvious considering we have been pretty good parents (well, we think so!) for 2 1/2 years now! We covet your prayers through this trying process and also welcome any monetary assistance as well. As I have already mentioned this is a lot of money and know God will provide it. Maybe he will provide it through some of you (if he is calling you to do so.) I want to remind you of our two fundraisers going on.

Our T-shirt fundraiser is still going on! We are going to try to get a large order before we send it in so you still have time!!!! They are $25 and I have a picture to the right. You can facebook message me, or email me ( to order one! You can use paypal to pay or mail us a check. Our address is to the right as well.

Our other fundraiser is the one I just blogged about the other day. Just Love Coffee. Our store website is to the right of our blog. Just go to the website and order! They have all sorts of coffee and other things that you can order. Check it out!!!!

As always we appreciate everyone's prayers and donations! You are truly appreciated.

"Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" Psalm 66:20

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Second Fundraiser! I hope everyone loves coffee!!

Yes, here I am again with another fundraiser! This is one that I think is really awesome because everybody loves coffee right? I heard about this fundraiser through a friend in NOLA who is in Ethiopia RIGHT NOW!!! getting her son. This fundraiser is called Just Love Coffee. It was created by a family who has adopted and wanted to help out other families who wanted to adopt by creating a way to raise money to pay for it. You can check out their website ( to read their story on how they got started. How this will basically work is we will have our own store on their website. Our website URL is Once you go to this website you are free to order from it just like any other store online. Justlovecoffee will take care of all the ordering and shipping. Another cool thing I read about them is that the proceeds from buying coffee or whatever you order goes not only to our adoption but to an orphanage in Ethiopia! We will receive $5 per bag of coffee. It may not seem like much but it adds up!

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for contributing to this adoption through your prayers and monetary gifts. We pray that God would truly bless you for helping to bring our son home. As I have said in a previous blog, we are all called to take care of the orphan. Whether that adopt, foster care, mission trip, or just give. We are ALL called. God didn't say if you are rich than go care for the orphan. He just told us to take the step of faith and adopt. I can truly say that we do not have the money to do this but God is giving us wisdom in how to save money, to find different grants to apply for, and he has given us wonderful friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ (some of who we have never met) to assist us in bringing our little boy home. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I cannot say this enough. We love all of you and appreciate everything.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Almost accepted!!!!

Well as ya'll already know we sent in our application to America World last week. I have been in agony since then waiting to hear the words that we were accepted into the Ethiopian Adoption program! As I was at the beach this past week with my inlaws I patiently waited for something! Any news!!!! As I was sitting in the living room of the beach house we were staying at I heard Ben say we got an email from Sara from AWAA. My stomach immediately started doing flips!! I was so nervous and wondering why she didn't call and sent an email instead!  I looked at the email and immediately realized that this was not that magical moment of hearing we were in the program! (darn!) Sara had a couple of more questions for us and of course a couple of more forms to fill out! One of the forms is truly a blessing from the Lord. America World gives full time pastors a 25% discount off their program fees. I am MORE than willing to fill out that form! The other is a monthly expenses form to let them know where our money goes each month. At first I thought this seemed a little redundant considering we filled out that stuff on our application but as Ben reminded me they want to make sure that we are financially stable and to also prepare US for cutting back and really taking a step back to see where our money is going and to see how we save for this adoption. Another thing Sara told me (and something I knew already) was that the first phase of the adoption (program fees, homestudy, dossier) costs around $5,000. Please pray that we can pay that at the time that it is needed. I know that God will provide as he is providing already! There were a few other things she wanted to know and so I sent her an email back answering those questions. I sent this email on a Friday afternoon knowing I wouldn't get a reply back until Monday. I truly truly believe that this short time waiting is preparing me for the long wait that I know is coming. So all that to say I hope to hear that we are accepted very soon and then we can move on to all the paperwork!!!

We ask that you continue to pray for us and pray about how you could help support us during this process. ( Buy a cool shirt!!!!) We thank the Lord for everyone's prayers and encouragement thus far and to those of you who have sacrificed by giving towards our adoption through just giving and buying tshirts!
There are times during the day that I ache to see my other son and I dream about the day I can hold him and tell him that I am his Mama. Pray for me (and Ben) as we pray for our son who may or may not even be born yet or even if he is, pray for his safety, health, and pray that he is being cared for and loved as he waits for us to bring him home.
Please continue to pray for us as we raise the funds needed, our application to be accepted so we can start the paperwork and homestudy, wisdom for me and Ben (creating a budget that will allow us to set back the money we want to save each month for the adoption, and obtaining all the info for the dossier), sprititually (Satan must really really hate adoption!!!) He will stop at nothing to tear me and my family away from his will and plan. Just pray that our attitudes would be Christlike and that we would lean on him and serve him daily!!! I have been listening to a song lately about waiting. I am sure that some of you have heard it from the movie Fireproof, but it is truly what I am feeling right now.

We love all of you and know without a shadow of a doubt that God is moving through this process and thank you again for lifting our family up to him in your prayers. 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First fundraiser!!

     We have our first fundraiser! Thanks to our awesome friend Bubba Crowder who created a tshirt for us through his organization Fund the Nations. (thanks Bubba!) Inward ladies should know him because he created our black Inward shirts! We are asking $25.00 for each shirt. You may use the paypal account or just mail us a check. (address is to the right of the blog.)  That may seem like a lot but you get a pretty cool shirt plus help us bring our baby home!

Here is a picture of what the tshirt will look like. We tried to incorporate the colors of the Ethiopian flag along with one of our favorite verses about adoption! The one where Jesus said he would not leave us here with no hope, but would come for us and bring us into his family! Praise God!

We ask that you buy 1, 5, or however many you want!!! I will start taking orders today!!!! Once we get a large order together I will send it in to Bubba where he will print the tshirts and send them to me and I will distribute. We are so excited about this shirt because it is not only a way you can partner with us in helping fund our adoption, but it is a way to share with everyone you come in contact with about the hope that they can have in Jesus Christ!!!

I am completely humbled and in awe of the support we are getting from family and friends! We just ask that you continue to pray and give as the Lord directs you! Praise the Lord for what is being done!!!!

(Be on the lookout for our next fundraiser! I will hopefully be able to post about this in the next few days! Hope you guys like coffee!)

     I want to leave ya'll with Psalm 68:4
"Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him-- his name is the LORD!"
I think we like to focus on vv. 5-6 when it comes to adoption but I don't want us to forget the v.4. The verse where we just stop and praise God for being God!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Application is submitted!

     Well, we sent in our application and $250 application fee to America World yesterday. It was a relief but also a wow moment. Like wow we are actually starting this process. Like wow we will more than likely have another baby boy in our home in at least 2 years! Another thing that has hit me today has been how much $30,000 really is. We are in the process of getting a tshirt designed by our friend Bubba Crowder with Fund the Nations. (I will be posting when we are ready to start taking orders!) So that is one way to raise money but what about the rest of the money that we need to raise! I just read a blog of a family that adopted from Ethiopia and she said that once they were accepted into the program that they had to send in the signed agreement with over $1,000. I have to be honest I started panicking a little! But I also read in her blog how God had faithfully provided everything they needed through many different outlets. I thank God that even when I have my panicky moments, He is right there to remind me that He is in control and that He will provide in His way and timing. It has been so encouraging the last couple of days hearing how excited and supportive all of our family and friends are. We will need you guys now more than ever! Thanks for all the prayers and support.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our exciting news!

      Well this is very different for me because I have never ever put a blog together, but this whole situation that we are in is a whole new thing for me and my family. And as you can tell from our title we are adopting! I want to first say how amazing it is that the Lord has put adoption on so many of my friends' hearts right around the same time as us. I praise Him for that!

     Well, I don't even really know where to start. I have been praying about adoption for probably close to a year now. I have always thought that adoption was a great thing but thought maybe not for me because obviously we are able to conceive a biological child. As I was reading blogs of people I know who were adopting, researching on the computer, and of course reading scripture, I realized that adoption is not just something people do because they cannot have children. It is the very heart of our Father in heaven. We are commanded over and over in scripture to take care of the orphans, widows, and aliens. I know that everyone is not called to adopt, but we are called to take care of them in some way or another!  I started reading books on adoption. The first was Adopted for Life (awesome) and then I read Orphanology (awesome as well). As I read scripture and these books the Lord really emphasized the fact that at the age of 8 I was adopted into His family. I was an orphan in need of a Father. Praise God that he did not "leave me as an orphan, but came to me!" I realized that God was leading us to adopt, I just didn't know when and where. After all we just moved from New Orleans to Alabama to be a first time pastor at a church! I thought, people will think we have gone nuts! lol  Well maybe we have, but God has called us to step out in faith in this journey. We trust Him to lead us and provide for us not only with the funds we need to adopt ($30,000!) but to provide for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What I have already figured out is that Satan hates adoption and he will not go down without a fight. We must put on the full armor of God so that we may withstand the devil's schemes!

     Where are you adopting from???? I guess I should tell that! I have always always wanted to adopt from China. I knew of people who had and always had a heart for that country. Then my bubble got burst. Both parents have to be 30 to adopt from China. Ben turns 30 next week whereas I don't turn 30 for 3 1/2 more years! I started praying. I thought well maybe we should wait 3 1/2 years to adopt. We kept praying and soon we realized that maybe God wasn't calling us to adopt from China right now. Ben mentioned Africa. We started praying again. We started looking at Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda. As we were praying and researching we realized that Rwanda is putting all paperwork on hold while they fix adoption laws in their country. So we started looking at an agency in Alabama that worked with Uganda. It seemed as if that might be it until we realized that you have to stay there anywhere from 4-6 weeks!! With us having a 2 year old son at home and Ben being the pastor (and only full time staff) at our church we knew that probably would not be the best situation. Then we started looking at Ethiopia and two different agencies. From the very beginning of praying about adoption I have looked at America World Adoption Agency because a friend of mine in New Orleans was using them. They are a Christian agency whose hearts are truly in the right place when it comes to adoption. Another agency we looked at was pretty much the same. A good Christian agency who would be awesome. The deciding factor was the fact that Ethiopia has now increased their wait time. This worried me because I thought "what if I accidentally get pregnant and I have to withdraw?" America World helped couples out with this scenario by changing some of their policies on that. That is why we have decided to use America World Adoption Agency and  are going to adopt a SON FROM ETHIOPIA!!!

      We cannot do this alone. We need the PRAYERS and support of our families, friends, and our new church family. We will need encouragement, prayers, and the funds to pay for this adoption. (No, we don't have $30,000 lying around!!!) If you feel led, we would love for you to partner with us by donating. I know that everyone is not called to adopt but as I said earlier we are all called to take care of the orphan so if you would like to do that by giving toward our adoption that would be an awesome thing! I will be posting some fundraising ideas sometime in the near future but in the meantime we have a paypal account set up and we have our address on the blog. Anything would be appreciated.
We are so excited about this new journey and hope you will be praying for us as we wait to bring our son (and little brother) home.
"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