Friday, July 30, 2010

REMINDER: Raleigh Yard Sale- July 31st

Our second yard sale is Saturday, and we are very excited! There are many great things at the yard sale, including an entire matching living room set (bookshelf, end table, coffee table), several men's suits, lots of clothes, home goods, kitchen items, kids books, dolls, other books, two less than 1-year old microwaves, a tv, an entire bin of sunglasses, desk, entertainment center, microwave stand, and much more!

The yard sale starts at 7 am on Saturday on Mabry Mill Street in Raleigh, NC. (It is in the Wakefield area in a subdivision- you should see us by the fluorescent signs.) If you want specific directions email me at yestoadoption@gmail.com (but i won't be checking it Saturday morning, so don't email me the day of!).

And, if you need convincing that Ethiopian babies are worth the process, this little face may make an appearance. I know our adoption blog community is very spread out, so we would love to meet the people following along on our adoption journey!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blog Auction for Another Adoptive Family!

It is amazing the community you build just through the internet. When we started this adoption and posted our blog, another family in the same stage as us contacted us, and we became fast friends. MacKenzie and David are also an AGCI family and live in Michigan. They just got their starting numbers and are 75 for a girl, 48 for a boy, and 45 for siblings. We can't wait to see how their adoption story unfolds.

My real reason for introducing these new friends to you, is that they are having a blog auction!

July 29- August 1
they will post several things that people have donated (I even made a little something for it) and you can comment to bid on the items. This is a very creative way to fundraise, and I really hope it goes well for them!

Please check out their blog at

http://stefanichsteppingstones.blogspot.com

to be a part of their story and help bring home their baby!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Official Waitlist Numbers!!

After a day of staring at my phone and wishing for it to ring, we finally got our call around 6:30 tonight! We are so excited to officially be on the waitlist!!!

First things to discuss- our numbers!

For the girl's list, we are number.... For the boy's list, we are number.....


Will thought these numbers were funny... in case you can't figure it out, its 84 for a girl, and 51 for a boy!

Our parameters are boy or girl, 0-12 months. We were told that it could be a 9-12 month wait until our "referral"- which is when we will get specific information about a child. We will be on both a boys list and a girls list, and will know how old and what gender our child will be at the referral (so don't ask if it is a boy or girl, or how old- we don't know yet!!).

In further good news, we are so thankful that "B" is going to continue to be our case worker! She has been so helpful, quick, and approachable during our dossier period. It is great news that she will get to see us through the entire process!

Thanks for being excited along with us. We are certain this will be a long wait but know that God is faithful and the reward will be so precious!

Friday, July 23, 2010

No Numbers Yet

Well, our dossier made it on time (you better believe I clicked "refresh" on the fed ex tracking page a million times)... and we got a call from our case manager at AGCI tonight. Almost everything looked great, except for one document! We are out of town with Will's family for the weekend, but hope to get the document sent off on Monday morning.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. It is so sweet to have friends- new and old- who are truly excited alongside us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My husband is amazing (dossier sent off!)

Well, the home study arrived on our steps right before 10 am, and it is 11:15 and the dossier is already being fed-exed to Oregon.

My husband is amazing!!!


He quickly made the copies of the home study for our dossier and gave our paperwork baby to the Fed Ex people. He even paid the extra bit to guarantee it arrived in Oregon before 12 tomorrow.

We don't have a romantic picture of us at the Fed Ex office, because I am at work and he did it by himself. We will celebrate this weekend, when we go on family vacation with my in-laws. I'm so thankful that the paperwork is out of our hands, and I really hope we hear great news tomorrow afternoon, with numbers!

We have re-notarized a few things in the last 2 weeks, just to make sure every document looks the best possible and that we don't have any hold ups. Paperwork is such a tedious process, but it has really gone by much quicker (and slower, some days) than I thought. We are so thankful for the many people who helped us with our paperwork, wrote references and notarized things. Adoption is not a passive experience, and many people have to also play an active role. We are so thankful for those who have done and redone documents so we can get where we are.

Thanks, Will, for your patience with me this last week. I know I drove you crazy but you still love me and went out of your way to make the dossier submission happen. I love you and can't wait to start a new journey in our marriage!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home study APPROVED!

I can't help but be super excited, because our home study was APPROVED by AGCI and is being overnighted to us by our home study agency! This means we will have it in our hands tomorrow, and THEN can overnight our completed dossier to AGCI... and if they get it before 3:00 on Friday, then they may be able to review it THIS WEEK!

If everything looks good, then we could get a number Friday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homestudy reviewed by AGCI!!!

Luke 18: 1-8
"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"


Did you like that reference? Because I'm totally the persistent widow these days. Well, that paid off because we FINALLY heard from our home study agency today. They sent off our home study to M at AGCI, and sure enough, there were many reviews to be made. I sent them my part, and our social worker will hopefully get hers in today.


And the craziest news? There is a teeny, tiny, miniscule, slightly possible, hypothetical thought that we COULD send in our dossier in time for it to be reviewed on FRIDAY! I've had this thought before, though, so I am not letting myself hope too much! Here's to hoping, though :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bummer (Home Study Update)

I wrote this post already once... but I was pretty whiny so I deleted it to start over.

Basically, our home study social worker has written the report, and gave it to our home study agency. They have not reviewed it. Once they review it, it will be sent to M at AGCI. Then, we will get 3 notarized copies to submit with our dossier and get on the waitlist.

The timing of this will be much slower than I thought. So, there is not a chance that we will be on the waitlist THIS Friday OR next Friday. I am still sticking with my goal to have a # in July, although that chance is slim.

I saw my sweet friend Heather tonight, and she reminded me that God works out every detail and every holdup along the way will put us in perfect timing with the specific child meant for us.

So, although I am bummed that my expectations of the timeline are not being met, I am thankful that God is in control.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Raleigh Yard Sale- July 31st

I feel a bit selfish for having another yard sale, but because so many people have already donated, and we DO need the money... here we go again! We are trusting in the Lord's provision and thankful for the help of others to bring home our baby! Fund raising continues to be the most humbling aspect of adoption, but God is certainly bringing glory to Himself as the quarters and dimes add up!

Details:
Saturday, July 31st at 7 am
Mabry Mill Street (Wakefield)
Raleigh, NC 27614

If you have any items to donate, or would like to help on the day of the yardsale, please let us know. Any items we have left over will go to help this family's adoption yard sale this fall.

In case you were wondering....Our next financial steps are the money to send off our paperwork ($5000), then the US CIS immigration fees (around $800?) once we are on the waitlist, then the referral costs($4000?), then the 2 trips to Africa ($4000 per trip??). Please clarify if I am wrong!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scottsboro Yard Sale

Well, our yard sale exceeded our expectations and we are so thankful for the hard work paying off! Going into the morning, we were HOPING for a couple hundred dollars, but in my mind, I was thinking mayyybe we would get around $300-600. We had a LOT of stuff, so we priced things around $1.00 for clothes, books $.50, lots of items for a quarter, and sunglasses for $.50... we didn't want to overprice things - because honestly, it was 100% profit for us, and we'd rather sell more things than have a lot left over in the end. And our approach worked!

We started our morning at 4 am- and even though are signs listed the sale starting at 7 am, we had people showing up as early as 6:10. By 8 am, we had made around $600! We felt so blessed, and the money was still coming in!


Counting the change at the end of the day...

Grand total for the day.... $2,125.15!!! Yay God!

We couldn't be more grateful for the people who donated, spent hours sorting and pricing things, working the yard sale, and praying for the turnout and weather. Just to name a few people who significantly aided the yard sale, a special thanks to:

First of all- Janice, my mother in law who organized the whole day and the planning that went into it. Jill Green, Devon Price, Tommy & Evan McGee, Sherri Kellenberger, Karen Walker, Diane Prichard, Unclaimed Baggage Center, Sandy & Wayne Messersmith, Merri Livingston, Max & Mary Ella Croft, Juanita & Forest Brown (Gran and Bowie), Amy Brannum, Louise Henderson, Katie & Ryan Hearn, Jay & Sara Mosser. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

The day ran smoothly because of these friends, Kelly and Jack, who were such troopers!! They never complained, despite our 4 am wake up call, and were SO helpful!


And our amazing check out ladies: Janice, Devon, Sherri (and not pictured, Jill). They made a point to let every customer know that their quarters and dimes were bringing home our baby.


And, the crazy news? We're doing it again! I'll post more info later, but we are having ANOTHER yard sale, hosted by our friends in NC. It will be July 31st in Raleigh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Yardsale Article

Another friend of Will's writes a blog for Scottsboro locals, and she posted some information about our yardsale tomorrow. Check it out here.

We are in Alabama and overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends here in Will's hometown. There is so much stuff to sort, price and sell! Praise God for this community He has given us. I didn't sleep much last night (but I did dream about our yardsale) and don't imagine I will get much tonight! This is so exciting and we have been waiting for this weekend for so long.

Well, I better go back outside and keep sorting! I just wanted to post an update with the other article. Thanks, Penny!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Homestudy Update

We got our first draft of our homestudy report today- our social worker has already seen the revisions that we made, and she is sending it on to our home study agency to format it. Then, the home study agency will give it to our adoption agency (AGCI)... and THEN if there are any revisions needed to be made, those will be fixed. If not, we will get 3 notarized copies for our dossier paperwork, and send off our huge packet of documents to AGCI... and if all is well then we GET ON THE WAITLIST! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. We could be on the waitlist as early as NEXT Friday!

A family just got on the waitlist yesterday and their starting numbers were in the 70s for a girl and 40s for a boy... so we are preparing ourselves for a high starting number. The numbers will help us have an idea of how long we have until we get a referral.

I'm so excited! And, what perfect timing with the yard sale just around the corner. And, in case you didn't see already, Will's friend wrote an article about us for a local newspaper in Alabama. Check it out here. God is so good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weather Watch for the Yardsale!

Just a few days left!! It is almost yard sale day, this Saturday, and my incredible mother in law will soon have her dining room, garage, kitchen, yard, and car trunks back. We have been sooo blessed by the outpouring of support from our faith family in Alabama. So many families have donated, and Unclaimed Baggage is donating a second round of items for us tomorrow. One of my dearest college friends is taking off a work weekend to come and help out.

I am SO glad its a short work week, because already the clock is ticking way to slow. We are leaving late Thursday night and making our way south. I can't wait to hug my mother in law for all the hours upon hours of organizing and praying she has done. This woman LOVES our baby! We have an ad running in the "Daily Sentinel" in Scottsboro (which ironically, doesn't run daily) for a week, rented tables for the weekend, and a few volunteers lined up. We are ready!!!

But, there's one BIG way we could use YOUR HELP!!! Aside from coming to shop on Saturday (Scottsboro is about 45 minutes from Huntsville, AL or 2 hours from Birmingham, AL, or 1 hour from Chattanooga, TN) we NEED your prayers!

I just checked the weather and the forecast is 40% chance of "scattered thunderstorms" on Saturday! Please pray with us for good weather this weekend! Also, that the Lord would be glorified during our yard sale- that HE will be the one providing for our family, and that more families will come to know the Lord as savior through our adoption.

And, in case you were wondering, I haven't heard anything yet from our home study social worker... I am hoping we will have our 1st draft of her report by next weekend. We'll see...


Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Always Easy

Today I am praying for several families who are in the adoption process... and realizing that God doesn't call us to easy, safe, comfortable lives...

Some AGCI families have "failed" court several times in a row- they know who their child is, but due to many reasons, Ethiopian courts have not yet pronounced them legal parents yet. They are so ready to finally meet their babies and take them home!

One dear family, adopting 2 older children from Ethiopia, has received word that their Ethiopian son has "Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy" and will require much more medical care. Their life, marriage, the lives of their 4 biological children and the life of their Ethiopian daughter, also waiting for them in ET, will be changed forever. They were given the choice to decline their referral (after having this referral for many months, waiting on a court date). They said they would stand by their decision to adopt him.

Someone recently came to my mother and asked her if we realized the "pain" that we could go through by adopting. Was it worth it to risk so much?

Yes, it is so worth it.

What would we do if a biological child had a disorder, developmental delay, disease or impairment? Would we still think the child "perfect" in our eyes? Absolutely. Would we say to our biological child "I think we'll pass on you, and wait for a better one." I am not judging anyone who has passed up a referral, but I am saying that with a biological child, you take what you get- pain and joy. In adoption, even with a seemingly "perfect" or healthy child, there will be pain and joy ahead.

Now, we McGees have not been faced with these hard decisions and painful waiting periods as these other families are enduring. Yet we can pray and petition on behalf of these other families, and on behalf of the road ahead, that the Lord's will be done! Afterall, if you are a believer, have you not seen that God's plan is ALWAYS better than our own?

Please pray with me for these families today!

" but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
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