Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rejoicing Alongside a Friend

Today my friend MacKenzie got the wonderful news that she and her husband will be headed to Ethiopia this weekend to pick up their ADORABLE twin baby boys. To say I'm excited is an understatement! If you've walked beside someone in the adoption process, I think you can relate when you say that you are just as excited for these friends as you are for yourself when you imagine it all playing out. (MacKenzie and I "met" online back in May 2010, when we were both working on our dossiers. We were both newlyweds adopting our first children, and we have pretty similar senses of humor :) We got on the waitlist 2 weeks apart from each other, and she has been a huge support for me in our adoption. I can't imagine this process without this friend!)

I remember when Heather, Julie, Leigh (and now MacKenzie) all got their referrals, court dates, final travel plans, etc. Having friends who have made the full-circle of adoption is just truly amazing and I can't help but tear up at the beautiful gospel picture of adoption.

These parents have paid the ransom for these children, gone to extreme lengths to make them orphans no longer. They have made emotional and financial sacrifices (all worth it!) to bring a child who had no hope (outside of adoption- statistics in Ethiopia show that un-adopted orphans have very slim chances of life or well-being) into a family. Even greater than adoptive parents' sacrifices, God gave his only son Jesus to pay OUR ransom. We are sinners who deserve to live life apart from a holy God. Yet, while we were sinners, Christ died for us and those who simply believe in Jesus can have eternal life with Christ. We who had no hope now have hope because God paid our ransom and brought us into his family.

What a blessing and privilege to be able to see this true story played out again and again through adoption on this earth. I'm so thankful for the obedience and perseverance of my friends who have let me see into their adoption stories.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Official November Numbers

We got the email that we were again #2 boy, #8 girl.

Despite this bummer of an update, we're not completely bummed because we know our time IS coming. We know there are new babies (some of them are reportedly "very tiny"!) at the transition home that our baby will come from.

One reason for this slowdown and lack of movement is that there have been several unique situations in the past few months in which a family has lost their referral, thus putting them back on the waitlist in front of us. This is why we have been #2, then #1 (unofficially), then #2 again several times. This happened to our friends, the Forrests, after they had been on the waitlist at #1 for 8 weeks- they got bumped to #2 and she later told me that she was so thankful for that family in front of them who got back on the list- because that meant that she was matched with her Judah. If they hadn't been on the list, she would have gotten their boy, and little Judah is perfect for her family.

So although the timing is frustrating, and the slowness is really, really, really hard some days... I know that the timing will be absolutely perfect and we're going to be matched with the child God has in mind for me & Will.

This Thanksgiving we aren't celebrating the news of a specific child that we know by name and face, but we are celebrating that God has brought us through--- and is continuing to bring us through, one of the toughest and most refining journeys of our life so far. The last few months have been hard, and God is still shaping and molding us to be the stewards of the gospel that He created us for... and we know that we will be better missionaries, parents, spouses, etc because we learned that God is faithful in the easy times and the hard times. I have to reevaluate daily: does my heart ache more for a phone call or for the gospel to be made known to the people I am in contact with each day? Do I long to hear from God more than from my case manager? Can I glorify God even when I don't see what He's doing?

I'll end this with a few quotes from one of my new favorite books, Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick: 

"Rather than spending my days pursuing my own desires and worrying about my future, I need to be actively focusing my energies on God's kingdom and His righteousness." (p115)

"When God permits difficulties in our lives, it isn't because He hates us or is unable to stop bad things from happening. It's because He's interested in building our faith, changing our character, bringing us more joy, and freeing us from our fears." (p133)

"He's working to free you from your worries- not by giving you freedom from trouble, but by arranging circumstances so that as you go through them you'll experience the truth that He is everything He says He is." (p136)


Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Want to give me a hoo hoo hoooome?

Okay ladies (and gentlemen??) here is the deal: I'm going to post some pictures of what owls/wreaths I have. Let me know in the comments if you want one in particular, and I'll write "sold" next to it.

I'm going to let YOU choose how much you want to pay for them, but charge $5 for each shipping for the owl, and $10 to ship the wreath (if you are local- or live near our parents: don't worry about shipping). Whatever you want to pay above that is awesome... (I charged 1 for $12 or 2 for $20 for the owls at the craft shows, but pay what you can/want).


Chi-O Owl (red /yellow), Green & purple dot owl with purple eyes/wings, Green & Orange Owl ( all three SOLD!)

Blue & Green Owls (2 of each)- Specify blue dots or green swirls (have matching wings/eyes).


Christmas Owls- Red & Lime green, or Red stripe/dark green SOLD!

Wreath #1

Wreath #2

Wreath #3


Wreath #4

Wreath #5

Wreath #6


So, go ahead and comment if you want one. You can pay via paypal (on right side of blog) or check. If you live near one of our parents and would like to purchase one, we can work out a delivery!

Thank you for supporting us!


Fall Craft Fairs!

One of the methods the Lord has financially blessed during our adoption process has been craft sales. Last year I did a small craft fair, and this fall I have done two larger-scale fairs. It was easier to do them back-to-back (October 1 and November 19) so I knew what to expect and how to prepare.

Oxford Fest was an outdoor fair. I shared this tent with my neighbor and her daughters (her stuff is on the left), and my mom came and helped me! It was really fun and really busy!  I sold owls, burp cloths, coasters and bows.





The C.E. Hanna fair I had a much smaller booth, and it was inside. This time it was just me and Will, and I sold burp cloths, owls, coasters, and wreaths (made by Leigh!).



Overall, we raised about $600 between the two fairs! It was a LOT of work, but we are pleased! I still have some owls, burp cloths, coasters and wreaths left... so I may sell those on the blog, perhaps? I'm kind of "over" etsy at this point. So we'll see. The Lord has been so faithful to provide for us in this adoption, and I'm thankful to have a little crafting to contribute to our savings!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rumor Has It...

Rumors are going around that there are some new kiddos at the transition home that our baby will come from!!!!!! It is "very full" and one of our friends who was there at the beginning of November noted that it was NOT full then... so that means lots of referrals are coming with the new babies!!

Other good news is that families are PASSING court when they go! This is a huge milestone, showing that all the paperwork that is needed to be there, is there! Yay for positive forward movement on lots of kids - getting them out of orphanages and into homes with moms and dads.

So I'm not holding my breath for a referral this week, but hoping to hear news very soon!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Silly Husband

Conversation last night:

Will: "I hope Tori calls us tomorrow."
Bekah: "Who's Tori?"
Will: "Isn't that our new case manager?" (we just got switched from B to T)
Bekah: "That's not her name!"
Will: "Well this whole time I've been imagining Tori from Saved by the Bell... leather jacket and everything."


Well at this point we'd take a phone call from a Tori, if it meant that it was "the call!"

No news here, but maybe soon?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Collection

So we all know that I'm busy collecting formula, right? Well can I brag about a purchase I just made?? I just got SIX ready-made Similac Soy formula bottles for THIRTY CENTS at Walgreens! As in thirty pennies/ three dimes/six nickels or 5 cents each!!!! Thank you Jenny for your formula coupons!

So here is my current formula collection:


All sorted according to expiration date!


It makes me SO SO SO HAPPY to see all of this laid out. I also have lots of diapers, wipes, and baby wash in my closet that will one day head overseas to Ethiopia. As you can see, I sorted the formula today according to expiration date (that's what the different rows are) and I'm going to send the most-approaching expiration dates' formula to some soon-traveling families this week. What a joy it is to be a part of this! It blesses me so much to have friends who have sent formula, formula checks, or coupons. I think I talked to everyone in Walgreens today about our adoption and how my 5 cent formula was going to babies in Hannah's Hope.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God is Not Holding Back

I'll be transparent here, there was a time a few weeks ago where I was in a cloud of darkness, just letting my flesh be overtaken with doubt about God's goodness. I was like, alright Lord, YOU are the one who put the desire for adoption in our hearts. You said in scripture that we should care for the orphan. You have provided the way for us so far, making it clear for us that this is the path that we are to be on. So what's up? Why are you holding out on us? Why are you keeping us from being parents? We're ready, Lord! If you are going to put this desire in our hearts, then why make us wait so long?

And thankfully, I had some dear friends show me that my heart was in a wrong place, and I needed to root myself in scriptures. (De ja vu? Is this the same lesson I'm learning all the time?)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

So I need to change my prayers- focusing a little bit more on the praising, a bit less on the petitioning, amen? At some point the persistent widow needs to be thankful for what she has. I will praise God for giving me the love for our baby already. I will praise Him for providing a tangible way to be a part of restoring one orphan to a family. I will praise God for giving us the means to adopt and the community that encourages us. I will praise God for being God, and that my circumstances should not affect what amount of praise He deserves. He is not holding back good things from me at all, in fact He is pouring his goodness and mercy on me in new and overflowing ways every single day!

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:22-23


......And in an unrelated note, if you are someone who is in our circle- as in we talk, see each other, communicate in some way regularly (or not regularly), do you mind doing me a favor? Will you take 5 minutes and read this blog post:
http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/11/02/how-to-be-the-village
............And in another unrelated note, I want to give a "shout out" to my friends who have been so good to me lately. Thanks to those of you who have made me realize what a beautiful community that I have and how God has indeed blessed me with some women who speak truth into my life and care about our baby. Thanks for the care packages, stuff to take to Hannah's Hope, the cards and hugs. I feel loved, and you have been used by God to show me how much He loves me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Official Numbers

I've been a bit lazy in posting these numbers because I'm really not that concerned with the numbers anymore! After waiting at #1 for an infant boy for 5-6 weeks, we found out last week that a family who had lost their referral got back on the list, so we're now at #2 again. Even with that, I'm not too concerned because I'm finally getting to the point of not freaking out each morning that our referral may happen. I know it will happen sometime! I'd rather not be staring at my phone when it does, you know?

Anyways, for our official numbers we are #8 Girl and #2 Boy. So in total we moved 76 spots for girls, and 49 spots for boys! That's a lot of movement in the 16 months we have been on the waitlist!

In other numbers, we've been in the process now for just about 1 year and 8 months (20 months). That's a lot of months! I am positive that when we started the process that March of 2010, we never would have DREAMED of waiting 20 months for a referral. But, the Lord's timing is good and we will one day see how our child fits perfectly in our family because of God's exact timing.

Thank you, friends, for walking beside us in this journey! Your support is seriously invaluable. Thank you for not getting tired of this waiting game, and continuing to stay interested in our journey and make me feel like an expectant mother. I'll tell you, if I ever get pregnant, that 9 month wait will seem like a split second compared to this!  Thank you for praying with us and for us and for keeping my heart in check by reminding me of the gospel when I get off focus. This has been a truly refining process! I've said it before that adoption has been a form of sanctification for me- giving over my idols of becoming a mom and having control. The beautiful thing is that at the end of this sanctification process, I get to be a mom too. The Lord is so good and generous.
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