Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Name!!!

Well, we have spent the last few weeks searching through baby name books and websites trying to decide on a name for our son :) We had it narrowed down to three or four names, and I think we have finally decided on at least a first name.........drum roll, please......................

Caleb!! That is it! His first name will be Caleb. We aren't for sure on the middle name yet, as we are thinking about waiting until we get our referral and seeing if we can incorporate part of that name into his full name, but we do have a few middle names in mind.

Why Caleb?? Well, we wanted to incorporate a Biblical name, and Caleb Caldwell just has a ring to it, don't you think :) On a more serious note, Caleb was a man of faith, even when those around him weren't. We want this for our son, for him to be a man of faith. Also, the adoption journey has been one of faith for us, and we think this name is reflective of our experience.

So, you can officially call him Caleb!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Pics of the Nursery!!

The nursery is coming together! Mom made this cute little shelf and added some baskets for storage. It looks great! Now we just need a crib!

Where we're at......

Just to let you know where we are in the adoption process.....
Our homestudy has technically been complete for about three weeks now, but we are waiting on a couple of letters from our doctor so that it can be released. This has been frustrating, as we thought we had all the documents we needed from the doctor until last week. Until the homestudy is released, we are really "on hold", because our next step is to submit our homestudy to USCIS. They need our homestudy to process the document that actually gives us permission to bring our child home! It could take anywhere from 1-3 months for them to process this (we are praying it will take only 1 month!!). After they process the form and send us our approval, and after we have everything authenticated by the local, state, and national governments, we then will be ready to send it all to Ethiopia!! That is when our official wait for a referral (i.e. our child) will begin! Since we have requested a boy, we are expecting our wait will be around 2-4 months, but it is really hard to estimate for sure. Our original goal was to have all the paperwork done before Christmas, and it still could happen :) Just keep praying! We should be getting the letters this week. I have been a little frustrated with the whole process this week, and I found myself starting to have a negative, impatient attitude :(. Thankfully, my wonderful husband helped me to remember it is all in God's hands. His timing is perfect.

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Exciting Weekend for our Agency!!!

This weekend five more families received referrals for their children! This is so amazing! One wonderful lady in our group had felt led to pray specifically for referrals this we all joined in....and God did amazing things! We look forward to hearing more great news from these families!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's Official...We've requested a boy!!

Today at work I received a call from our social worker. During our conversation she explained to me that referrals are coming a bit quicker for boys than girls, and that if we kept our original request as either sex we would most likely receive a boy. So, we have decided to go ahead and request a boy.... we are going to have a son!!! It is kind of a relief to know the sex. Now we can go ahead and do more planning, shopping, you know, all that fun stuff....and, we have to come up with a name now!!! We had only settled firmly on a girl's name, not a boy's.

Thanks for all your prayers, and keep them coming for our son :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Be a Light of Hope....Partner with us to bring our baby home!

I am so excited to present an opportunity to partner with us to bring home our baby! A dear friend from high school volunteered to help us do a candle fundraiser through Home and Garden Party. The candles smell great (she sent me all the samples), and they would make great Christmas gifts! They burn for 50 hours, and are very affordable at only 9.00 per candle.
There is a link on the top of our blog where you can purchase them online through paypal or by using a credit card. You do not have to have a paypal account to purchase them online. You may also mail checks to our home address: 120 Ridgeline Dr. London, Ky. 40741. Checks can be made out to Zack or Rebecca Caldwell. Make sure to include the quantity and scent you want! We will stop taking orders November 30, so the candles will be here in plenty of time before Christmas! If you are local, candles will be available for pickup at a local venue. If you aren't local, just a few dollars will be added for shipping.
Here are a list of scents:

Warm Maple Sugar*
Spiced Apple*
Creme Brulee
Hot Cinnamon Rolls*
Butter Crunch*
White Rain
Holiday Home*
Warm Cinnamon Pumpkin*
Cookies for Santa*
Cinnamon Cider*
Winter Candy Apple*
Butter Crunch*
Fig Tea
Angel Wings
Vanilla Spice*
Mom's Apple Pie
Only the scents with an asteric are available through online purchase.

Everytime you light your candle, you can remember to pray for our child, and remember that you had a part in bringing hope to an orphan!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The first work on the nursery has begun!

This weekend Zack went on a much anticipated and much deserved motorcycle trip with his dad. While he was gone, we worked on the was a lot of work, but so much fun. We know it will still be several months before the baby gets here, but I wanted to get a head start....a really early head start :) We don't know if we are getting a boy or girl, so we painted the room a soft of my favorite colors! We also painted the furniture white. It is just a start, but I think it is looking good. A big thanks to mom and dad for their help! Here we are putting the furniture back together!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall is here!!

I love fall! It has finally cooled off here in Kentucky, and it is starting to feel more like fall time. Here is a pic of some of our fall blooming flowers- they did really well this season, despite the heat. Thank you Lord for the beauty you give to us through your creation!

Pack and Play!!

Our first piece of "baby equipment"....Pooh tests it out for got a great deal on it at a consignment store....thanks mom!

Great is thy Faithfulness...

Last night in choir practice we were singing a modern rendition of the old hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness". The words were the same, just a little different tune:

Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I hath needed, thy hand hath provided
Great is they faithfulness, Lord unto me

After we were finished practicing the song, our choir director asked us, "Can any of us think back to a time when God was not faithful?"

I know I sure couldn't think of such a time. He's always been faithful to me. And yesterday, he showed us so much of his faithfulness.

First, we found out that we had been accepted into America World's Eternal Family Fund. This is a fund that allows family and friends to make tax deductible donations to an account set up just for us. We are eligible to receive $9,000 in donations, and every bit of it goes towards our adoption expenses. More to come on this later, including how you can help, and some other fundraisers we will be doing.

Second, we found out that because Zack is a full time youth minister, we qualify for the minister discount offered by America World. This will save us around $2,000 which is a huge blessing, and not something we were counting on.

Third, when I got home from work yesterday and checked the mail, I found our police clearance forms! They came much earlier than I expected, as I only sent them last week! This is really exciting because now our social worker can release our homestudy, which opens up lots of opportunities.

Fourth, it looks like a rep. from America World is going to be able to attend the adoption fair!

Needless to say, at the end of the day, we were in awe of God's faithfulness. This has been a great week.

Monday, October 8, 2007

God Knows our Needs!!

Just last night I was teaching our teen girls about how we can approach the "throne of grace with confidence" (Hebrews 14:15-16), because we have a God who can identify with our every need, temptation, desire etc. Today, God sent a tangible reminder of that!

I was sitting at work, actually talking to my dad on the phone when a lady walked in and stood by the window to be waited on. I put my dad on hold and welcomed her in, asking how we could help her. She said she needed to see Debbie, our director, who just happened to be sitting in the room. I introduced her and walked into Debbie's office to finish my phone conversation with my dad. As I was walking to pick up the phone, I heard the lady introduce herself, and then she said, "My husband and I are trying to start an adoption ministry..." I stopped in my tracks, forgetting about my dad being on the line, and walked back into the office. I said, "I think I need to be a part of this conversation", and sat back down!

Some of you may not know that Zack and I have been trying to start an adoption ministry at our church...we felt God leading us to not only adopt a child, but to minister to those who were thinking about it, and just make the need and miracle of adoption known. Unfortunately we have had some resistance in the process of starting this ministry.... It has kind of been on hold. What is so amazing is that this lady and her husband felt God leading them to establish some type of adoption ministry, and they also attend a church here in London! They had scheduled an adoption fair type event to be held in their church fellowship hall for November 10th, but a conflict came up with another church event, and they were no longer able to use the church facility, which was why she was here at the community center, to see if we had that date available- we didn't. Because I explained our situation to her, she knew that Zack was the minster of youth at our church. I told her that it might be possible for her to have the event at our church, as many different organizations, etc. hold events in our fellowship hall. I called the church, and it was available!! She was thrilled, and we volunteered to help out with the fair, which I am so excited about! The most amazing thing (in my opinion) about the whole ordeal was that God is going to be glorified through this! We are going to be able to share the wonderful miracle of adoption with ohters!!Despite opposition from man, or other circumstances, God will have his way! It was just so affirming of our call to make adoption and God's love for all people known to others! Praise the Lord!

I won't go into all the details of our amazing conversation, but this wonderful lady and her husband have three adopted children, all adopted from here in Kentucky. She told us the amazing stories of their adoption, and it touched my heart. Their youngest child is African-American, and is not a year old yet, which is just awesome, as one day our children can be playmates! This is such an answer to prayer, because there is not an abundance of black children with white parents here in London, Kentucky, and this was something that Zack and I have been praying about, and praying for our child about. We know that most people will be accepting of our family, but we also know it will be important for our child to have someone to play with every now and then that looks like him/her, and that has a mommy and daddy that look like us! Praise God, now our child will have this!!

We are having dinner with fine couple tomorrow night, so just pray for our conversation and that God will be glorified!

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Hebrews 4:15-16

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Two AWAA families received their referrals!

Great news! Two AWAA Ethiopia families received their referrals! They have both been waiting several months, so this is just such a blessing. The David and Carpenter families are now waiting for their court dates in Ethiopia. Then they can post pictures of their children! I can't wait to see them! We praise God for his goodness to these families.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The homestudy is complete!!!

Our homestudy is complete! Well, sort of :) Our visits are complete, we are just waiting for the homestudy to be written and approved. Our social worker has been so great, we are so thankful for her! We have learned so much through the homestudy process; it has truly been an eye opening experience for us, and God has taught us so much! Thank you for all your prayers.
Next Step: Wait for the homestudy to be approved, send it to USCIS (this is the final piece of documentation they need!), then they will send us the final form for our dossier!! who hoo!!!