Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nine Months

Today we have been on the waitlist NINE months! I remember the day that we finally got those long-awaited starting numbers, a coworker told me "congratulations, it is like you have conceived!" because our estimated time frame was 9-12 months for a referral.

I have already posted about how adoption and pregnancy are different, and the timeline is just one aspect of that. But as we have been in the adoption process for over a year, and now hit a new milestone, I can't help but feel, well, expectant.

This whole time I have felt the joy and hope of having a baby in our home. This will be our first child, and we dream about the day we have a little one here. We're in a community where it seems that "everyone" is pregnant or has kids, and we are learning a lot from our friends about what it looks like to prioritize your marriage and set boundaries for discipline and such. I'm often chatting about nurseries and parenting books with friends.

But lately, it is really starting to sink in! We're going to have a child. We're going to have a child! We, Will and Rebekah, will be parents! It is exciting and scary at the same time. I ache for the long days/nights ahead while at the same time desire to cherish the time with just the two of us. 

So, let me ask you parents out there: if you could re-live your pre-baby days, what would you do in your last few months??? I would love your suggestions and insights as we prepare our hearts and home for a growing family!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two Questions- Same Answer

Last night I spent time with a precious friend, and she asked me two questions.


1. What has been the hardest thing about the adoption so far?
2. What have you learned the most so far?

Without hesitation I knew the answer - trusting God's faithfulness. It is interesting to me that my husband claims that one of my spiritual gifts is faith, yet so often I feel like I lose perspective. During this process, I have continued to ask various questions of God and the answer is always, "I'm faithful."

In the midst of the possible Ethiopia slowdown in March, I asked WHY a million times. I prayed that God would care enough about these orphans to see them come to families. And you know what my answer was?

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11) and I LOVE the Luke 11:13 ending "How much more will your father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

 So before any Ethiopia issue was resolved, God answered my prayer by showing me these scriptures, and teaching me that HE cares much more than I do, and he is willing to give me more of HIMSELF (holy spirit) when I ask. And that is what I need!

There have been many, many times in the last year when I have doubted God's faithfulness- will he really provide? Will things happen the way I want them to happen? So, he told us to care for the orphans, but will this adoption ever happen? And God has answered me by teaching me more about HIS character and giving me more of His Holy Spirit. He has given me scriptures and taught me to look back like in Hebrews 11, and recall not only the times that God was faithful in the scriptures, but how He has been continually faithful my entire life, and has given me much more than I ever deserved or needed. And being faithful does not mean that he is sticking to a plan that I have created, it is Him staying true to his unchanging character, and that He will offer new mercies every day, and that the gospel (saving me from life apart from him) is all that I need, every day, forever.

Although this growth has come with pain and lots of frustration, I am so thankful that the Lord has gracefully been teaching me, despite my stubbornness and doubts. So when my husband looks at me and says I am a woman of faith, I clearly cannot credit that to myself- it has all been given to me.

"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:20-21

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yardsale for Friends in Opelika!

Some sweet friends of ours from my hometown, Opelika AL are having a yardsale Saturday! This is going to be a BIG yard sale with a whole lot of good things that you don't want to miss out on!

The yard sale will help with their Ugandan adoption as they are hoping to bring home a son or daughter soon! Sarah and Daniel Taylor (the parents) have an incredible heart for orphan care and both work for an adoption agency in the south. They are hoping to make the orphan statistics "one less" and your purchases Saturday can be a part of God's provision for this dream!

Saturday, April 23 at 7:00am
Location: 414 N. 10th St. Opelika, AL


If you can't stop by, please pray for the yard sale- for good weather, good conversations with shoppers, and for the Lord to bless their fund raising to bring home a sweet baby from Uganda! Please spread the word as well!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Official Numbers!

Well, this month marks 9 months of officially waiting for a referral (got on the waitlist on July 27)... which means if the projected 9-12 month wait estimate for a referral is true, we are getting pretty close to seeing a baby's face! :)

Honestly, I go back and forth. On the one hand, I am trying to give myself a reality check that with the proposed Ethiopia slowdowns we are probably going to see some delays soon so I should prepare my heart for more of a wait.

But on the flip side, I'm praying bold prayers. Yes, I want Ethiopian adoptions to be ethical and thoroughly investigated. But I also think kids should be raised in homes and not institutions. So I am boldly praying that we would have a baby by Christmas. Join with me, eh? Because if we have a baby by Christmas, that means LOTS of babies will be home by then, and that means this process is moving along. So pray boldly with me. I also know that the later in the summer we get a referral, the more likely we will get caught up in court closure (courts close August & September for the rainy season in Ethiopia). I know 100% that God's timing is perfect and we will be able to see His sovereign hand in the details of our timeline.

So.... here are our April numbers!!!

For a girl: 






For a boy: 





That means that at #29 for a girl, we have moved a total of 55 spots for girls! At #17, we have moved a number of 34 spots for boys! Who knows, this might be a close race for the number one spot!

Again, we don't hold too tightly to these numbers because adoption certainly has an "ebb and flow" and there may be weeks with no referrals, and there may be weeks with lots of them! So who knows when we will become parents? I pray, pray, pray it is this year.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It Is MORE Than What It Seems!

I have mentioned before, but it is worth mentioning again! Big House, in Alabama, is trying to collect new swimsuits and new towels for Alabama's Foster Children... All 6000 of them! They will also attempt to embroider each child's name on their towel... This is no small feat. Please read below and pray and consider being involved!!!!!!!



"I have a plea to make with you. If you are my friend... if you are my family member... if you love me, like me, or can tolerate me at all, please donate to this drive for me... but not just for me... for the little boy or girl who is now in foster care because of physical abuse. Or the teen girl who is living with a foster family b/c her mom chose her abusive boyfriend over her own daughter. Or the drug baby that came home from the hospital and into foster care. These kids have SEEN IT ALL. They have experienced things many of us can't imagine. They have truly loved and lost... They have seen parents choose men, women, drugs, alcohol, and deviant lifestyles over them. Many of them come into care with next to nothing- I mean the clothes on their backs- and may never have much that is truly "theirs"... So BigHouse wants to give a small gift that WILL make a big difference! How do we know- we have done this drive for two years and have seen kids say "wow, this is really just for me"... or "Look- it has MY name on it"... these simple statements with the light in their eyes is ALL IT TAKES to know that it's worth the work and stress and begging to do this drive again. I know the state of Alabama has it in us to set the precedent for how we love our kids in foster care- will you help me??

To get involved, please donate a swimsuit or towel or money. That simple. You can go to walmart or target or oldnavy or some other store and pick out the suit and towel yourself... or you can go online and send money so we can purchase what is needed. It doesn't matter to me, but please get involved.

If you don't know any foster children personally, you may wonder "Why should this matter to me?" or "How does their life really affect mine?". Well, these kids go to school with your kids. They will grow up to be your neighbor, your coworker, your community member. Let's make a difference in their life NOW so that they can be healthy members of society later. Our swimsuit and towel drive is a small and easy start!!

So go to the bighouse website and help us! Or email Micah at bighousefoundation@hotmail.com to volunteer to be an embroiderer or drop off location!

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!"


(THANKS Micah for letting me copy your post to help spread the word! Please, fellow bloggers, consider posting this to your blogs too!)


Also I titled this "It is more than what it seems" because, just as Micah wrote, this is much more than just a new swimsuit or towel, this is a gift for a foster child to know that they are loved and thought of. This gift may be what softens their hearts for the gospel!!! For more information on Big House & the Swimsuit/Towel Drive, go to their website here. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Swimsuits and Towels

Hey friends, and welcome APRIL! One month closer to our baby! (and this date last year we formally submitted our application to AGCI! Yes, we had to wait until my 23rd birthday to submit so we did it that day! Best present ever!)

A few weeks ago I posted about Big House in Alabama and their current drive for swimsuits and towels for foster kids in Alabama. This will be a tremendous blessing to the children there and the foster families. Will you consider being a part of it, even if you don't live in AL? Even if you can't swing $25, ANY donation will be helpful. Our friends at BH compiled a list of the counties with the drop-off locations, & the number of swimsuits & towels needed and you can read that HERE on their website. Just to keep in perspective, this is the current need:

Sizes Needed
Girls:         Boys:  
6 month 27       6 month 25
12 month 44       12 month 41
18 month 36         18 month 51
24 month 24       24 month 52
2T 48       2T 76
3T 68       3T 83
4T 86       4T 82
5T 55       5T 85
Child 6/8 Small 207       Child 6/8 Small 187
Child 10/12 Medium 154       Child 10/12 Medium 203
Child 14/16 Large 87       Child 14/16 Large 129
Child 18+ Xlarge 17       Child 18+ Xlarge 31
Adult 2/4 Small 108       Adult 28/30 Small 112
Adult 6/8 Medium 170       Adult 32/34 Medium 274
Adult 10/12 Large 174       Adult 36/38 Large 166
Adult 14/16 Xlarge 170       Adult 40 Xlarge 55

For more information on the swimsuit/towel drive: 

BigHouse Statewide Swimsuit and Towel Drive 2011
What? A drive to collect NEW Swimsuits and New Beach Towels for Children in Foster Care across the state.

 When? Collections and monogramming will be held throughout the month of April across the state. The swimsuits will be packaged at our Packing Party on May 14th, and then sent to each county’s DHR for pick-up.  The Packing Party will be held at Trussville First United Methodist Church.

 Who? We will be serving our children in the state foster care system. For various reasons, these children have been placed temporarily with a foster family until a return to their family or an adoption is possible. 

 Why? In Alabama, Foster Parents receive $8-$14 a day to provide food, shelter, school supplies, hygiene products, clothes, toys, entertainment, and transportation to meetings, therapy sessions, and parental visits. The stipend they receive simply does not cover everything. One simple, basic necessity we feel every child should have is a new swimsuit; a new beach towel with their name monogrammed on it is a cherry on top! This is not much, but it is a small gesture to show these children someone cares about them, is thinking of them, and that because God loved us first, we are sharing His love with them.

 How? We need YOU to help us make our goal of collecting 6,000 swimsuits and towels a reality. Your church can serve as a donation site, your family can donate items, your friends can collect money and make a monetary donation, etc. Simply purchase a swimsuit or beach towel or both, and take them to a designated drop off station. If you would like to make a monetary donation online, please go here. For $25, you can provide a swimsuit and towel to a child in Alabama. If you know a person or a company who can monogram towels, please contact us. 

BigHouse Foundation
(334) 363-2634
bighousefoundation@hotmail.com
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