Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Update!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend! Spending time with the family was great as usual, and the food seemed to be extra good! We especially enjoyed playing with the kids, as we thought about what it would be like to have Caleb home with us. This year's favorite game was locking Zack & I in "the dungeon" (my grandpa's closet).

Friday and Saturday, we worked at Sights and Sounds of Christmas, an annual craft show that is held at the community center where I work. This year, we were given the opportunity to host the concession stand and take Santa photos, with all the proceeds going toward the adoption and the adoption ministry we are trying to start! This was an unbelievable opportunity, and we really could not say "thank you" enough to our good friend Debbie for giving us the opportunity! Also, thanks to Doug for being Santa (he was an awesome Santa, as you can see from the pic), to my parents for all their hard work and willingness to help however they were needed, to the Hampton family for their delicious chili and for spending all day Friday in the concession stand, to my cousin Kelly for the awesome home made pies, to sweet little LaDara, who just loves to serve others, and for my great friends who stopped by for moral support (thanks Tiffany, Tennille and Lori)! And of course, thanks to everyone who contributed to the event by buying food or having a picture with Santa! It was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun! In the end, we raised around $800!!

We can take a break from fundraising for a while now (until January), and hopefully concentrate on paperwork. We are still waiting for AWAA's Kentucky Office homestudy license renewal to come in, so we can get our homestudy sent to USCIS....so, for now, we are just waiting and praying. Keep praying with us, and for baby Caleb!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some Thoughts about being Thankful....

This past Sunday we had a community wide Thanksgiving service at our church. The speaker was a missionary to Chile, and has been for over twenty years. She spoke about how thankfulness was really an attitude- you can either choose to have a grateful attitude, and realize how much God has blessed you, or you can choose to have a negative and selfish attitude, and think about "how bad you have it".

This message really hit home for me, as over the last several weeks, at times, I have had a negative attitude towards the slow pace of the adoption, and some of the hold-ups- I have thought, why does this process have to be so long and complicated (and expensive :) . Thankfully, God has sent me reminders (like I should really need them :)in my life, and allowed me to remember all the blessings he has showered on my life, so that bad attitude never lasts too long....

Thankfulness is an attitude- Our speaker reminded us of all the heroes of the faith who chose to have a thankful heart, despite their circumstances (and their circumstances were pretty rough): Paul, David, Moses, etc.....pretty amazing, isn't it!

So, this Thanksgiving, I am trying to approach thankfulness with a new outlook, and a new attitude!

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ"

1 Thes. 5:16-18

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Candle Fundraiser Has Concluded!



Today the candle fundraiser concluded! Through this fundraiser, we were able to raise a little over $400 for the adoption! Praise the Lord! I am especially thankful to my friend Beth who presented the opportunity to us, and to all those who worked hard at selling the candles, and of course, to those who bought them...thanks so much! Also, thanks to Debbie for allowing me to have a table at the women's conference the last two weekends (which by the way, the conference was awesome!!!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Honor of National Adoption Month

This video was made by a member of our AWAA Yahoo Group in honor of National Adoption Month....it is really awesome!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Donations for Transitional Home In Ethiopia Needed!

Hey everybody! Just got this email from Laurel, our family coordinator. If you would like to help, please read, and contact me via email: rtoney_2000@yahoo.com. Thanks!


Dear AW Ethiopia Families,

We are excited and pleased to be able to announce that the new America World transition home in Ethiopia is up and running. Last week the first 13 children, who were recently referred to families were moved from Kids Care to the America World home. The home has been equipped with all the major needs and staff have been hired, trained and are providing loving care. There are still many things needed to help make the home a nurturing and stimulating environment for your prospective children as they wait the arrival of their parents. Therefore, we are writing to let you know of some of these needs and how you could help meet them, if you desire to do so.

America World employee Rachel (Duckworth) Ward and her husband will be making a 10-day trip to Ethiopia before their official move there at the end of January 2008. So if you would like to donate items for use at the transition home, please have them mailed to or dropped off at the America World--Tennessee office by close of business on Wednesday, November 21st. Items may also be dropped off at the Corporate office in McLean. Rachel will be leaving for Addis on Monday morning, the 26th.

Here is a list of suggested items:

Classic children's books
Coloring books and crayons
Children's Bibles and/or Bible stories
Hand Sterilizer (large bottles)
CD players, children's worship CD's, lullabies, etc.
DVD player and Children's Videos (ie: Veggie Tales, The Wiggles, Praise Baby)
Rubber coated children's spoons
ABC and 123 learning materials for toddlers.
Tape recorder
Little cosmetic mirror
Baby blankets, regular ones and one with hoods sewn in
Towels/soaps and bath items
Playdough
Jump rope
Inflatable balls,
Bubbles,
Lace cards, beads to string on laces
Clothing
Diapers
Baby Tylenol, antibiotics, probiotics

Sincerely,
Laurel E. Ludwick
Assistant Ethiopia Program Director

Road Block :(

Well, this morning I found out we have a minor road block with the adoption process. We have been waiting for our homestudy to come in the mail any day, so that we may send it to USCIS for their approval. Today our social worker Mandy sent us the following email:


Hey Rebecca,
I got your email and voice mail. I have been traveling a great deal for work so I apologize that I am just getting back to you. I have everything that I need from you and I have everything completed on my end. Your home study fell right at the time when we are going through our annual licensing review by the Division of Regulated Childcare. Unfortunately, the state is behind in doing their site visits. They came several weeks after our license expired. While we still meet all of the requirements set forth by the state of Kentucky, they have been slow in getting our new license to us. I continue to call each week, informing them of the urgency. With Ethiopian HS our license must be attached to the HS when it is submitted, therefore I can not proceed until it arrives. Because it is the state and they are not bound by your timeframe, or mine for that matter....there is nothing I can do at this point. I know other AW states have experienced similar circumstances that are equally frustrating. I have everything printed off with envelopes prepared...just waiting for it to arrive.
I will let you know when I am able to put your HS in the mail.
Let me know if you have any questions.


I emailed her back, thanking her for all her hard work, and I also asked about a timeframe for receiving the license. She said most likely another two weeks.

Of course, we were very disappointed to hear this news, and I was especially frustrated, as this is something completely beyond my control, and there are just so many different hands in this whole process!!( I am somewhat of a control freak :) However, before even opening the email this morning, I just asked the Lord to be with me as I read the email and to help me take the news, whatever it may be, in stride, and with peace. So, we are continuing to trust in his timing, even when we don't understand it. Who knows, the license could come tomorrow :) We have definitely seen some awesome miracles happen in our America World Yahoo Group ( an online group of America World adoptive parents), but right now it just seems like many of us are going through "adoption trials". Please keep us in prayer!

"My hope comes from Him....I will not be shaken".
Psalm 62:5-6

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Adoption Fair Went Great!!!

Just wanted to give a quick update on the adoption fair....it went great! God was so faithful, as over twenty people came to learn more about adoption! Many people seemed very interested and asked many questions, and some even stayed after to visit with the presenters! It was a great afternoon! We are now in the midst of planning our next event, and we are even working on starting a Bible study about adoption (the Biblical perspective on adoption). Thanks for all your prayers for this weekend, and keep them coming!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Adoption Fair!!!

I am so excited about the adoption fair!! It is here already!! Please be praying for this special event, as it will take place tomorrow from 1-3. We are praying that God will bring people to this event whom are interested in learning more about adoption, and that he will work through us as we share our own experiences with adoption to encourage these potential adoptive parents! I will let you know how it goes!!

Please be Praying for our AWAA Families!!

Several families that had received referrals were supposed to have their court dates Wednesday, however, due to circumstances in Ethiopia, are now going to have to reschedule. Please keep these families in your prayers. They were expecting to be making travel plans by this time, but now they are waiting to hear when their new court date will be. Needless to say, we are all disappointed for them, but we continue to trust the Lord, even through these difficult circumstances.

Monday, November 5, 2007

They are faxed!!!

I just faxed our remaining letters to our social worker Mandy!!! It feels great to have all that taken care of! Now we will just sit back and wait for our homestudy! Just wanted to share!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More Work on the Nursery!!






We did some more work on the nursery this weekend! We were blessed to find a used baby bed in the classifieds, and the bedding I ordered from Ebay this weekend came in.....the nursery is looking good....now we just need Caleb!!