Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Sweet' News

Romans 8:15-16 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

Well, we have told people about our adoption. It was just our close family and friends that knew we were planning to adopt, but now we have told people at our jobs, and have put it on Facebook (and we all know how quickly FB news spreads!). I admit I am nervous about possible negative reactions and comments. So far the reactions have been great, even positively overwhelming. So many people telling us they will pray with us, questions about adoption, others saying they want to adopt (yes!!!), and already a couple people asking if they can make donations. My heart is filled with joy! Praise be to God for His mercy, love, care, provision, and goodness!!

Psalm 100:5 "For the Lord is good, and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."

During my day off last week, I decided to research a possible fundraiser for the adoption. I had thought about selling's yummy and chocolate!!, it's reasonably priced (usually), mostly everyone likes it, and with the holidays coming up, it would make great gifts and great desserts (or in my opinion...a great appetizer!) It was important to me that it be a small business in New Hampshire, since NH is where I have lived all my life. After some searching, I found The Mill Fudge Factory. I emailed them to find out if they'd be willing to help us out, they got back to us right away, responded quickly to our emails and phone calls, and had some awesome flavors of fudge! Susan and her son, Noah, set everything up for us and now we are selling fudge! There are 16 flavors on the order form: Penuche, Belgian Chocolate, Snowy Moose, Holiday Mint, Egg Nog, Maple Walnut, Rocky Road, Natural Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Walnut, Penuche Pecan, Peanut Butter M&M, Cappuccino, Strawberry Fields Forever (Stawberry and White Chocolate), and Cranberry Maple Nut.
Our goal is to sell 200 pounds. I will update the blog to let everyone know how many pounds we sold. Fudge can be ordered through the site that Susan and Noah (from The Mill Fudge Factory) set up for us:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stepping Out in Faith

Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

Why is this so hard for me? It has been almost a year since God showed us we are to adopt. But yet here we are, with no certain steps towards what God has for us. I know without a doubt that we are to adopt, that there is a child out there that is waiting to have a home and be part of a family...our home, our family. It's because of my lack of faith. I don't like to admit it, I am scared of so many unknowns. How are we going to raise the $26K? How will others respond to hearing of us adopting? How will this new child fit in? How will my kids adjust to having someone else getting a lot of attention? What if this child doesn't speak English, how will we communicate? Will we be able to afford another child to put through college?

Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'."

Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Isn't it incredible that we have such a loving, caring, merciful God who is there to help, never leave our side, hear our prayers (and cries), and already knows the desires of our hearts? He already knows the answers to all my questions and all my fears.

1 Peter 4:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:24 "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it."

It's time to step out in faith and TRUST HIM; it is time to let go.

God has shown us some direction already. We feel we are to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia. (God told me this quite a few months ago, and me in my sinful self, looked for other places. I am ready to obey and listen now.) There are literally millions of orphans in Africa. We also have received information from an agency, All God's Children and possibly some information from missionaries in Ethiopia. We are still uncertain where the funds are coming from, it's in God's hands. I have been to a few craft fairs selling embroidery items that my gracious sister-in-law has made. Because there are fees to be a vendor, we usually have just about been breaking even unfortunately. My plan is to continue selling, especially with the holidays. I have been looking into a few other fundraisers. If anyone has any ideas, I would gladly like to hear them.

Just want to quickly share two things that have blessed me recently: One is a book, Successful Adoption: A Guide for Christian Families. It has many good resources and great information. There's a quote from it I especially like:

"Love goes out of its way, and the one loving ultimately benefits more than the one they have loved." - Nicole C. Mullen

The second thing that has blessed and encouraged me is a song I heard on the radio and immediately went to download. It's One Less by Matthew West. Of course I cried through the whole song, especially when he sings "brought their little girl home today". Please listen to the lyrics if you get a chance. I love the whole song, but the words that stick out to me are:

"So let worlds colide, colors fade, let your light be the miracle today" and...
"One less not alone, one less child without a home, one less birthday gone forgotten, one more soul rising from the bottom, one less broken heart in the world tonight."

Please pray for us as we follow God's will. Specific needs are: that we will know the agency we are to work with, raising the overwhelming amount of money, that the process will go quickly and smoothly, and most importantly that the little boy that is out there waiting will not lose hope, that he will know there is a great God that loves him, for him to believe that there is a family that has a place for him in their home and hearts, and to have his needs taken care of until we can get there. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.

Hosea 14:3 "In you the fatherless find compassion."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God is so good!

Phillippians 2:13 "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

God has been so good to us. We were able to speak with our representative this week, and ask more questions. We are registered for Bethany's intercountry adoption information meeting on March 4 and are really looking forward to it! We do not feel a particular country "calling" us yet (is that normal?!), but we are praying for God's will to be done and a country to be put on our hearts. I called Robert's sister, Dawn, this week, and the whole conversation was an overwhelming blessing! She has adopted four (all with special needs) children. She was answering questions and concerns before I could even ask them, it was awesome! Through her, one of my prayer requests was answered. To help with the cost of adoption, she is willing to work with us as she owns an embroidery business! Praise God!! Still so many things to think about and set-up, but with Him all things are possible!

I know I started this blog page to journal our adoption events, but I feel the need to diverge for just a moment. Even if not for the reader of this blog, but for myself or my kids that may someday look back through this. There's a song my principal, Mr. Reynolds, has taught the classes in chapel, it goes...
The Devil is a sly old fox,
if I could catch him
I would throw him in a box
I'd lock the door and throw away the key
for all the tricks he's played on me.

I'm glad I've got salvation.
I'm glad I've got salvation.
I'm glad I've got salvation.
I'm trusting in the Lord.
The first time I heard that song, I was a little concerned about my class having nightmares after hearing the first verse. Where am I going with this you may wonder? Well, I want you to know that the devil will appear when you least expect it. There are going to be times you'll be joyous, going through your day, doing what you feel is God's will, and all of a sudden something is thrown in your way. We get knocked down, then what?

2 Corinthians 4:6-9 "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

His joy is my strength!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

From the Beginning...

James 1:27a "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress."

Psalm 68:5-6a "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families."

It seems these verses has been knocking me over these past few months. Every time I hear them, they ring loudly and echo in my ears. I have always been interested in adoption, it seems it's always been part of my life. There are people in my life that have been adopted, friends and family that have adopted children already, my parents talked about adoption while I was growing up, Robert and I talked about adoption even before we were married, as teenagers. After finding out we were having twins (in our early 20's), we decided we would not have more children of our own, and if down the road we felt we should have more kids, we would adopt.

We had looked into international adoption a few years ago, and had chosen Guatemala. After receiving all the paper work and doing some research to begin the process, we found out the country's government had stopped adoption outside of their country, so Robert and I accepted it as a closed door from God. However, over these past few years, the desire has never left my heart. In fact, it has been so much stronger, even to the point where I feel it's overwhelming (and personally a struggle between God and me). After many discussions between Robert and I, we feel God is calling us to take the steps again to adopt. There are many questions we can't answer, (such as how are we going to afford this!) but we know we find rest in Jesus Christ and His perfect plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

and my life verse:
Proverbs 3:5&6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

So our journey begins. Last Sunday, January 31, Robert and I sat down at the computer and filled out a preliminary application for Bethany Adoption Services. We received an email yesterday, Friday, February 5, saying it has been successfully processed, and a social worker will be contacting us soon. We already received a phone call last night (I didn't get her name or title, I think I was too excited) from the agency, explaining what countries we do and don't qualify for. She also is going to re-submit our applications for other countries we had not originally checked off, and she will call us again next week to discuss other countries that may be a possibility for us.

That's where we are in the process now. We would very much appreciate your prayers. Again, we don't know how, but we have faith God does!