Friday, January 23, 2009

Cell Phones, Ink Jets, and Toner Cartridges!!

Hello All!

We have had a very good, non-eventful week. We will be meeting with our social worker in a week & 1/2 for our 2nd meeting. All of our paperwork has been completed so now we are waiting for our application to be processed with AAI and to finish our last 2 meetings for home study.

Here is our 1st Fundraiser!

We are collecting old cell phones, ink jet cartridges, and toner cartridges. Save! Save! Save!
If you are in our area - we will start a large scale deal soon!
If you are in our Atlanta area - save them and give them to Caroline!

We have found a place to recycle all of these and earn some money all at the same time! It's a win! win!

So, if you know of groups that are looking for a project - here's a great one!!

On the boy front - Anna (our yellow pup-lab) mangled a mole in our front walkway yesterday. As I pondered what to do with the struggling rodent - Eli decided he wanted to shoot it with his new bow and arrow! HA!

E is still rocking the basketball court. Asa is reading like crazy. Mark has his big community event coming up soon. Dan Reeves will be speaking - if you wanna come - let us know - should be good times!

Love to all! Holla back!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Whole New World

Dear Friends,

We have made a major life decision in the past few months. We have decided to adopt!! This has always been in our hearts since before Asa was born. This past fall, Mark and I began to discuss it as a serious option and over Christmas, we made the announcement to our families!! Our plan is to adopt 2 children from Ghana, West Africa - with at least one girl!! I'm 'Ghana' get some more pink in this house!! Everyone has been very supportive. Asa & Eli are ecstatic. E is particularly excited about being a 'big' brother! We have requested 2 children under the age of 5. Ghana is not an infant program so we could possibly get children between 3 & 5. We feel very settled and at peace in what we feel like is a calling in a new stage for our family life. The community on the island is very excited.

We are in the initial stages of this journey. We have started our homestudy process with an agency from Atlanta who has a social worker/agent in Savannah with whom we are working. We've had our first meeting and have 2 more to go. The paperwork was fairly extensive and God allowed all of it to be collected easily and in a timely fashion. The only thing we have left to do prior to our last homestudy meeting is take a HIV test, TB/Skin test, and a Urine Drug screen. I hope we pass. :)

We are working with a placement agency in Washington State called Adoption Advocates International. I have 'met' our director via email and her blog and she seems fabulous. She loves Jesus and is in Ghana right now at AAI's orphanage. Our application is complete with AAI and we should hear from them soon. Once our homestudy is complete and our application has been accepted with AAI, we will then wait for a referral. This could take anywhere from 6 - 18 months.

Ghana opened to American adoptions in 2007. There is a precious community of families that network by blog who have either already brought their Ghanaian children home or are in the process of bringing them home. I have been keeping up (that reads blog-stalking) with them and have found them to be incredible, Jesus-loving, encouraging women of God. I feel privileged to learn from these women and hopefully in a few years I will be able to encourage someone in the way they have me. We never know who is watching us, right?? Some of their blogs are listed over there. Take some time and read their stories. We serve an amazing God who is calling families to amazing things.

So, what can you pray for?
1. Our children in Ghana. Although we do not who they are yet, all 4 of us are finding a strong tie to pray for them, their birth parents, their current circumstances.
2. Our home study process to be complete in a timely manner
3. For God's timing in His referral for our family. (Someone will need to remind me of His timing if it takes long!!)
4. Our finances. While we have the finances to care for 2 more children in our home - the upfront costs are staggering. We expect to pay around $26,000 (conservatively) once it is all said and done. We know that when God calls, He provides. We are beginning to do some things to help raise some of that money. There are tax credits. Please be praying with us for Manna for today.

There are so many other things to share. I'll save them for a new day. Let me hear from you!

By the way - what do you think of my new Blog!!??!! It took me forever. Seriously. I'm no Annie Downs.

Love to all!