Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crafted for Adoption Preview

Hey friends,

I am proud to announce that I will be joining several adopting mamas and many seminary families at the annual Craft & Bake Sale on November 6th in Wake Forest, NC. More details to come, but for now, a little preview of what I'm selling!

Quilted Coasters - $6/set of 4
Flat Coasters - $4/set of 4
Ruffled Dish Cloths -$4 each
Dish Drying Mats/ Diaper Changing mats - $5 each
Sock Monkeys -$10 each



Can't wait to see how these crafts bring us closer to our baby!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Adoption Community is GROWING!

I am delighted to announce that another set of friends is adopting! The Fontaines are adopting domestically- they were in our small group last year at our church and we are so excited for them. The only problem is that this means they will be raising a little Alabama fan...

Our church is beginning to create an amazing community of adoption. Thanks to the Orphan Care ministry, many families are seeing the beauty and priority of adoption.

So watch out, Raleigh/Durham. There is about to be an even higher group of multiracial families here! Won't that be beautiful?? I feel like I am continually hearing "You need to meet ___ because they're adopting" or "Do you know ___, they're adopting from ____" and I LOVE IT! there are also many people who are considering adoption/ foster care and are planning to start in the next year. Wooo hoo!

I don't take for granted this community, because I know not every family has this support. I am so thankful to be where we are in this moment.

Want to meet some of our fellow Summit- adoptive parents? Check out their blogs here: Fontaines, Flemings, Hanlons, Allisons, Moores, Forrests (no blog). I'm sure there's tons more that I haven't even heard of yet!

AND if you're a local and want to help out with some of these families, mark your calendars for these dates:
1. October 30- Yard Sale for the Fontaine's adoption -7am @ Harps Mill Road in Raleigh (next to I-540 and Capital Blvd/ US-1

2. November 6- Find us, the Allisons and the Moores at the Southeastern Seminary Craft & Bake Sale... more info to come!

3. November 10- Chick Fil A Spirit Night for Allison's adoption- 5-8pm @ Falls Village on Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Friday: Listserve & a Video

Happy Friday, friends!

This has been quite the exciting few weeks on AGCI's listserve. Lots of referrals, court dates, court passes, and babies being visited. Woo hoo! Isn't it wonderful to see how God's plan for these children is unfolding? Lots of babies are getting mommies and daddies- doesn't that warm you all over?? If you're an AGCI-er I highly recommend that you get on the email listserve, it's a lot of fun to develop relationships with other people in the same agency/program! Ask your case manager how to get on it!

In other fun stuff, our friend Beth passed along this video that you should check out. It's a video about an Auburn coach who recently adopted from Ethiopia- their daughter is adorable! Click here.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Ours will be spent hanging with family, celebrating our dear friends' wedding shower, and watching football, of course! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sesame Street & "I Love my Hair"

Check out this article on ABC about a Sesame Street song aimed at black girls and their hair:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/sesame-street-writer-inspired-daughter-creates-love-hair/story?id=11908940


Please watch the video, it is so cute!

Another reason why I love this is because my awesome Mom-In-Law has been so interested in learning how to do African hair. She has been looking into taking braiding classes and what creams/lotions to use. She is ready to be a hands-on grandma, and I love it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Created to Care Conference!

Guess what bloggers, I'm going to the Created to Care Adoptive Mommy Conference!!!!!!!!

Is there a limit on allowable exclamation points?

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check it out:

http://createdtocarewomensretreat.blogspot.com/

It is February 4-6 and I think it will be at the perfect time, because we will be nearing our 1-year mark of the adoption process, and I know that after being in the process for 11 mos I may be going a little crazy.

Thanks, Will, for giving me the opportunity to get to know other adoptive mamas and learn from their wisdom as we prepare to be parents!

And, I'm looking for roomies for the trip- any takers??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Landlocked?

So, as any adoptive family knows... adoption is a major commitment, in many, many ways. Financially, emotionally, etc. Having a "family plan" for your life may be really nice to have when considering adoption. However, Will and I aren't that kind of family. You see, he graduates from seminary at some point in 2011 (May? August? December?). When we began the adoption process in March 2010, we were thinking it would be 9-12 months until we had our baby home, and even daydreamed about our little one living with us in our current apartment, which is actually student housing. Now, with the reality of a much longer wait, Will graduating from seminary before having the baby home, and soon looking for full-time ministry jobs, we are facing many decisions. Where to live? Where to find a job? Should we stay in our current apartment until we have our baby, even though student housing rent increases drastically after he graduates?

Well, being the worrying planner that I sometimes am, I emailed our case manager to ask about what would happen if we were to move before the referral. Here is her reply:

"Hey Rebekah! I hope you had a great weekend! This is a great question! Obviously, whenever a family is in the adoption process, it is best to keep life stable and minimize changes. But, sometimes, it is necessary. I would recommend that a move happen before you receive a referral for a child or after you bring your child home and not between time of referral and bringing baby home. If you were to move to another state at any point during your process, you would need to have an entirely new home study done by an agency within the new state. This means you start from scratch with all the home study paperwork, home visits, etc. It could also mean you’ll need to get new FBI checks done—I’m not sure of this and am awaiting an answer, but it’s important to know it’s a possibility. If you were to move but stay within North Carolina, you would need to have a home study addendum written as well as a home inspection of the new house. Your place would not be affected, but we could not talk with you about a child until your home study is complete, approved by AGCI, and your USCIS approval (assuming you have USCIS approval when you move) has been updated. We would basically “skip” over you until all of these things are in place. Your dossier would not be affected, as it would already be in Ethiopia. Both a new home study and a home study addendum have fees associated with them, according to the home study agency’s fees. If you move after you bring your child home and it is out of state, you would just need to find another agency to write your post placement reports."

Another AGCI-er got a similar response from her case manager:

"Yes, I would say that if you are seriously considering moving it is best to do this before your little one comes home to avoid as much moving around as possible as you are cocooning when she gets home. In terms of your dossier paperwork there is nothing that we will change on that as your dossier paperwork is essentially frozen in the state it's in and they will review this as is. What we would have you do is an update to your home study that would require a new home visit and write up to reflect the change. Also, as you look at housing it would be important to consider that your new home would need to meet all the standards in terms of number of rooms/space as your current home does. For instance, it would need to have enough space for children of opposite gender to have separate bedrooms, etc."

So, who knows what will happen with our family in the next year??... wait, the Lord does! He has been the one who ordained this adoption even before we thought to do it. He is the one who continues to meet our needs, even when we doubt his provision (read story here). He is the one who loves this baby so much more than we do, and He is the one who has a plan for us, and will get glory out of whatever happens in the next year.

So don't ask me what our plan is after graduation, or where we will move, or where Will is going to work, or if I will be working when the baby comes, or when the baby will get here. We don't know. But God does. And praise the Lord! He is the God of big and small details.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anna Grace


As I think back on many of the events in our lives that have led us to adoption, I am reminded of a Thursday evening in the Fall of 2005. I remember where I was sitting, I remember who I was with, and most importantly I remember the message.

In the back of the church building where we gathered for Encounter (a college ministry we were a part of at Auburn), I heard my friend Matt Dean deliver a message on grace. He reminded us of God's love and grace toward us in that while we were sinners, God sent his son to bring us into his family and make us his children.

That evening, and in the months and years following, I began to consider how earthly adoption mirrors gospel adoption. As I think back, I realize that evening was the beginning of the adoption journey that Rebekah and I are now on.

As he illustrated this message, Matt announced that he and his wife, April had begun the process of adopting a girl from China. That was five years ago. They have experienced ups and downs in the process. They have had two more boys (3 total), and they have moved from Alabama to Hong Kong. They have waited and longed to meet their little girl in the midst of all the changes in their life.

Please join Rebekah and I in praying for Matt and April, as it seems that they are very close to holding Anna Grace Dean for the first time.

You can follow along with them at:
http://mattdean.blogspot.com/2010/10/lately.html

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slackers (I-600A)

So, we are slackers. Big time. I take full responsibility, since (let's be honest) I handled 99% of the paperwork in the adoption so far. My excuses: it cost over $800 (which we got here but were scared to part with) and expires in 18 months (please Lord let us have a referral before then) so we weren't rushing to send it off.

After getting on the waitlist in late July, we have taken our sweet time in sending off our I-600A form, in which we request an additional fingerprinting session. After we are fingerprinted and cleared, we will receive a 'Favorable Determination" letter that is another step to us bringing home our baby. We can't receive a referral until we get this paperwork.

Well, at least it is done now! Will fed-exed the paperwork on October 1. Now, we wait to get a fingerprint appointment!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Walk To Beautiful

A friend recommended that I watch "A Walk to Beautiful" and this weekend I watched it (on Netflix).

First of all - wow. This documentary is about women in Ethiopia, and their journey to recovery after delivering stillborn babies due to improper medical care, resulting in obstetric fistula. The lack of medical care, and incredibly long labors (some 10 days) caused fistula, which involves constant urine leaking. The women become shunned from their families, husbands, villages.

"The World Health Organization has called fistula "the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth", estimating that more than 2 million women live with fistula worldwide. But, it fears even this number may be a gross underestimate" (taken from Walk to Beautiful website).

There is a hospital that treats these women, and they can perform a surgery to fix the leaking. When the women finally make it to the hospital, they are in awe that others have the same condition, and that they have have hope to live a normal life. It was such a picture of the gospel as the women were each redeemed/ fixed, and given new beautiful clothes now that they would no longer leak.

Some facts taken from their website about obstetric fistula include:

Fast Facts

  • For every woman who dies from pregnancy-related complications, 20 women survive but experience terrible injuries and disabilities.
  • In Ethiopia, there are 59 OB/GYNs and 1,000 midwives for a population of 77 million.
  • One woman dies from pregnancy-related complications every minute worldwide; 95% of them live in Africa and Asia.
  • More than 99% of The Fistula Hospital patients are illiterate. (The hospital teaches all patients the Amharic Fideles and the Oromiyffa alphabets.)
  • Number of patients treated at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital every year: 1,200
  • Number of obstetric fistula cases occurring in Ethiopia alone each year: 9,000
  • Number of new obstetric fistula cases resulting from childbirth occurring worldwide each year: 100,000
  • Number of new obstetric fistula cases resulting from childbirth occurring in the U.S. each year: 0
  • The year the last U.S. hospital treating fistula patients closed its doors: 1895.

I was so humbled during this movie. These women are precious, beloved daughters of God Almighty. The difficulties, shame, and heartache that these women have gone through break my heart. I am thankful that I watched this film, because it gave me even deeper respect for the women in Ethiopia, and I know of even more ways to pray for our child's birth mother.

I encourage you to check it out. It is a PBS documentary and the website is www.walktobeautiful.com. It is only one hour long.

Warning: It is a little graphic, so don't watch it with kids around.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shopping for a Cause

One of our fellow AGCI-ers, Megan, was wonderful enough to create a list of fundraisers that you can use to buy your Christmas gifts! Please consider supporting adoptive families when buying your gifts this Christmas season.


From Megan's blog:
After a thought-provoking blog post from my sister-in-law Laura about "Buying with a purpose", I began to compile a list of all the families and ministries I knew that were fundraising or selling merchandise to support their calling. Thank you to all the families who shared their blogs with me. Special thanks to Christi who also compiled some names and shared ideas with me! And a HUGE thank you to Laura for inspiring this list and for forwarding even MORE links my way! I hope this helps as you prepare for your holiday shopping this year. Please feel free to share this list on YOUR blogs to help raise awareness to all these great fundraisers and ultimately, God's calling to care for the orphans!

If you would like YOUR fundraiser to be added to this list, please email me at bringourangelhome@gmail.com

Apparel:
147 Gear Store
5 Million Children Looking Tshirt
A Road Home Tshirt
Adoption Rocks Shirts
Adoption Rocks Tshirt
Africa Bound Andrews Etsy Store
Change The World For One Shirts
Compassion Store
Dolka Pots Etsy Store
Each Of Us Matters & Isaiah 1:17 Shirts
Faith Hope Love Family Tshirt
Fatherless Find Compassion Tshirt
Feeding The Orphans Tshirt
From Lost To Found Tshirt
Fulmer Adoption Tshirt
Go-Seek-Love Shirts
Haggerty's Adoption Shirts
Heart of Africa Shirts
HOPE & Love Is Not A Color Shirts
I Need Africa Tshirt
I Will Not Leave You As Orphans Shirts
I'm Adopted, You're Adopted Tshirt
Light Gives Heat Store
Mocha Club Store
Nepal Tshirt
One Family & Chosen Shirts
One Less Tshirt
Only Love Tshirt
Pitter Patter Art - Custom Shirts
Poppy Dip Clothes
Red Yellow Black White Love Tshirt
Show Love Tshirt
Still One Awaits Tshirt
Twinkle & Shine Store
What Can Your Shirt Do? Tshirt
WIPHAN Store
{adoption} Shirts
Cookbooks:

Mulder Adoption Cookbook
WIPHAN Cookbook

Jewelry:

147 Gear - Uganda Necklaces
Adopting Ainsley Etsy Store
Beads of Hope
Chosen Adoption Necklace
Chosen Child Adoption Band
Coffee Bean Bracelets
Fulmer Adoption Bottlecap Necklaces
Jenkin's Journey To Ethiopia Etsy Store
JunkPosse Etsy Store
Kind Hearts & Trees of Glory Bottlecap Necklaces
Life A Bit Sweeter Etsy Store
Light Gives Heat Suubi Shop
Lovin' Much Adoption Bracelet
Next To My Heart Etsy Store
Orphaned No More - 3,000 Bracelets Campaign
Paracord Survival Bracelets
Sweet Tea Shoppe Etsy Store
Uganda Necklaces
Bags & Totes:

Craft and Couture Etsy Store
Haggerty's Adoption Bags
Hunt's Adoption Totebags
Light Gives Heat Store
One Family Tote
Pitter Patter Art - Custom Bags
Twinkle Stitch Etsy Store

Hair Accessories:

Africa Bound Andrews Etsy Store
Bring Our Angel Home Fabric Flower Headbands
Dolka Pots Etsy Store
WaxBoyd Etsy Store

Artwork:

Ahni Art
Handcrafted Metal Art Etsy Store
Pitter Patter Art
The Canvas Heart Etsy Store

Christmas:

A Day In The Life Christmas Cards
Embracing The Least Of These Ornaments
Jenkin's Journey To Adoption Etsy Store

Aprons:

Craft and Couture Etsy Store
Dockery Bambino Aprons
Haggerty's Adoption Aprons

Misc:

Africa Vinyl Decals
BabyCouture4aCause Etsy Store - Rhinestone Baby Shoes
Dolka Pots Etsy Store
Galindo's Tagsies, Burpcloths, and Binky Links
Little Wonder's Project Etsy Store
Mama Enat Etsy Store
MathesLindsay Etsy Store
Wine Glass Charms

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updated Official Numbers

Just kidding- got an email with even more updated numbers!!

Girl:


Boy:


64 girl, 42 Boy! We will gladly accept the movement!

October Official Numbers!

Well, it is a new month- which means new waitlist numbers!! This month we moved quite a bit (September we were 74 girl, 48 boy) and here are our October numbers:

Girl:


Boy:


Yep, that's 66 girl, 44 boy!

Our case manager told us that the average wait for an infant girl or boy referral is about 10 months... so if that is the case, we could know who our baby is in late spring 2011! (we got on the waitlist on July 27th). We certainly aren't locked into a formal time line, and international adoption is always unpredictable!!! We are also thankful for the extra time to save for the rest of our adoption fees, as well as creatively raise money.

Thanks for praying along with us as we wait. The wait doesn't really get easier, but God is giving us grace as we need it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Introductions

When we started this little blog, we emailed it to family and close friends so they could get updates on our process and not have to repeat the same things over and over (why Ethiopia? why adopt? why now?)...

But over the past few months our blog has been emailed out, published on our listserve, and linked to other adoption blogs... and according to my stat checker, people are reading this from ALL OVER the US and even in other countries (whats up Netherlands, Turkey, Kenya, China, Spain, etc).

So I thought I would do a little "introduction" to who we are:

We, Will & Rebekah, were married on February 28, 2009 in Alabama after meeting at our alma mater, Auburn University (war eagle!). Will is in his third year of seminary and I work for the government. He's 25 and I am 23 (in fact we submitted our adoption application on my 23rd birthday). Will is pretty athletic, and I'm pretty crafty. We decided to adopt first because we wanted to prioritize adoption in our family, and wanted to start our family while we were young and had the means to adopt.

But probably the most defining aspect of "who we are" is our relationship with Jesus Christ. If you've been following along for a little while then you hopefully have picked that up. See, both Will and I once were separated from God- living life with no hope! We continually messed up and lived selfish lives, wanting our own glory yet trying to be "good people". Then something amazing happened... God opened our hearts to Him, revealing to us that we can stop trying to be perfect. God sacrificed his son Jesus on the cross to atone for our sin. Because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, we are free from the bondage of sin! We now have new life in Christ, and although there are plenty of times when we are selfish or sinful, we have redemption in Christ.

If you would like to know more about Jesus or our story, please email us. We would love to talk to you about Him. And if you are wondering why this matters, you must understand that our relationship with Jesus is a HUGE part of who we are. In fact, the reason that we think adoption is a priority is because God adopted us! He took us, with all of our past, and made us His children. Therefore, we want to open our hearts and home to a child because God did that for us.

I hope this post helps you see who we are- and if you are a young newlywed like us, consider taking the leap of faith and adopting too!

Now, if you don't mind taking a little survey, I'd love to know a little more about you!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.
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