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