Friday, February 29, 2008

Families in Ethiopia!

This weekend some families are going to be in Ethiopia picking up their children!! If you would like to follow their journey, here are the families who are there/on their way, with links to their blogs!!! If you have never seen any pics or videos of what the experience is like in Ethiopia, you need to check it out!

Here's the list:(you will probably have to copy and past each link, or check to the right side of our blog for the link!)

The Treadwells

The Harpolds

The Wegners they are in ET NOW!!!

The McIlraths they are in ET!

There are other families as well, but they either do not have a blog, or their blog is private! Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More about the National Youth Workers Conference....

Wow! There is a lot I could tell you about the conference this past weekend. We were bombarded with so much info and was wonderful!

Zack and I chose to attend an 8 hour (the time was broken up throughout the weekend) workshop on how to build or rebuild a dynamic youth ministry. This workshop really provided some key info and insight into youth ministry, and we are already busy trying to implement some of the framework that we learned about into our ministry. This workshop was all about building a sustainable ministry, which is what we want to do!

I also was able to attend a couple of sessions on the challenges of being a minister's spouse, and a session on thriving as a couple in youth ministry. I was very encouraged to know that I was not the only one who struggled some days! And overall, Zack and I were very encouraged to know that most youth ministers deal with the same types of issues, day in and day out- it is a very challenging job, but so worth it and so vital to youth! Needless to say, we are very, very thankful we had the opportunity to attend this conference!

Every night they had amazing key note speakers, such as Tony Dungy, Doug Fields, and the main guy for Dare to Share....he was awesome...but I can't think of his name right off! Also, they had some really great concerts! Sarah Groves was there....she sang, "I Saw What I Saw" which she wrote after her trip to Uganda ( I posted it a while back). It was amazing. And she signed a CD for Caleb...precious!

They also made sure to have just some fun stuff, as you will see if you keep scrolling (you have to watch this is just a little taste of a youth minister's life!)

I found myself not thinking much about the adoption process, which was a relief in a way. I know that if I am not careful, I can get almost obsessed with the waiting and wondering....which can take my focus away from my own relationship with Christ, my marriage, and my ministry.
We did have some adoption news this week- the precious Steiger family and the Cole family passed through court successfully! Also, five or six families will be traveling to Ethiopia this weekend to pick up their children...I will keep you posted!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

National Youth Workers Convention!!!

Hey Everyone!
We have been at the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati since Friday afternoon! Our schedules have been jam packed with awesome workshops and meetings....I can't wait to share all the details with you! God has so refreshed our hearts and has challenged us as well! Just wanted to check in! More to come soon :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bringing Home Levi....You must watch this video!

This is an awesome video made by an AWAA family. It documents their experience in Ethiopia. They just returned home with their precious son the end of January.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One Month and Happy Valentine's Day!

Today we have been waiting one month for our referral! I think overall that the first month has passed pretty quickly. Maybe the next few will past just as quickly (I have a sneaky suspicion the longer you wait the harder it gets :). In the mean time, Zack and I are really enjoying our time together before Caleb arrives. We realize that things will be much different once he gets here!

Today is Valentine's Day...the day to celebrate love. I am very thankful for my wonderful Valentine! Today I sent him a list of ten reasons why he is such a wonderful Valentine. I could have thought of much more than ten, of course! I am really blessed with a Godly, loving, fun, husband. For his Valentine's present, I decided to submit our engagement story to the local newspaper (in response to an annoucement they ran). I didn't know if they would use it or not...but I found out the night before that they were going to!! I was so excited! It was going to be right on the front page too! Of course I wanted it to be a surprise to Zack....and he was definitely surprised when I handed him the paper! They even borrowed a picture from the newspaper that covered the story originally in Richmond! It was great. Here is a link to the story if you are interested (and the pic is below):

Also, last night we had our annual Valentine's Banquet at church. This a banquet that helps raise money for our youth (mission trips and other various events). The youth do all the work (with help from Zack and I and a few other adults), serving, cleanup, etc. It went great- I think we had around 140 people, which was a good number. We decided this year not to use real china- this saved a lot of time! We were pretty exhausted last night and this morning, but it was well worth the effort. Tonight Zack has a basketball game, so we are offically celebrating V-day tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's In a Number?

I just wanted to share a small part of a sweet email I received yesterday from a very special couple. They lovingly researched the significance of the number 22 (our number in the boy line) and shared all the many interesting aspects of this number... I can't tell you how much I was encouraged by the thoughtfulness of this email! Here are some cool things about the number 22....(Make sure you read the very last part :)


22 is itself the aliquot sum of two numbers 20,38. (equaling 58, which is our original dossier :)


There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet

Psalm 22 (22nd in the Book of Psalm in the King James Bible), described by the New American Standard Bible as the "A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise", is the Psalm to which the crucified and dying Jesus makes reference, citing its first verse in Aramaic (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)

Sports: 22 is the number of players on the field in a Football (soccer) match, and also the number of players on the field at any one time in an American football match.

In Ethiopia Adoption Journey
The exact perfect number to be in line: while waiting for the most perfect little boy in the whole world.

We love you all, God's number and timing are perfect.

Wasn't that sweet :)

Blog Posts....

Well, I was thinking about the adoption yesterday (that is no big deal, I am always thinking about it), and I realized that we know all we are going to know for a while now....basically until we receive our referral. So I started thinking, what will I put on the blog? (Don't worry, I will always update the blog when we hear the wonderous news of families receiving referrals, court dates, etc, but for us, personally, we might not have any exciting news regarding our adoption for several months, as we will be waiting).

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to use the blog for other purposes as well- to tell you about our ministry with the youth, and other church stuff, and just daily life! So, the blog posts might have a little different feel for a while, but I promise to include adoption info as well!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our Exact Number in Line for A Boy...

Well, yesterday our YG started trying to figure out where everyone stood in terms of the "boy line". I had somewhat of an idea, but there are always a few "mystery" families that we are not sure about, so you never quite know. So, I just decided to ask Duni, our program director. Here is what she said:

Hi Rebecca,

You are # 22 for an infant boy.


Duni Zenaye
Africa Program Director

I was a little surprised by this number ( I thought it would be a little lower) but that is okay! At least now we know, and we can count down the numbers until we are #1, and celebrate with the families ahead of us as they receive their referrals!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

An Exciting Friday

Friday was a very eventful day for our agency- two more families received referrals! The Coens and a mystery family! Congrats guys!! We are thrilled for you!

Also four of the five families made it through court successfully on Friday....we were sorry to hear that the Steiger family did not have a successful court date (paperwork issue). They expect to hear some news early next week. Please keep them in your prayers during this difficult time.

With every referral we are very encouraged and grateful! God is good!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

6 Months already!

Wow! It is hard to believe that we have been on this amazing journey of adoption for 6 months now....that is right....did you notice our "main" ticker? The whole process so far has been 6 months!

We have grown so much through these past 6 months, and we know that God only desires to grow us even more! We are so thankful for his mercy and grace to us...we couldn't have done it without Him!

Hopefully in the next six months Caleb will be home with us...what a blessing that would be! But, if it is longer, we know that God will carry us until the time comes when we meet our son. And what a day that will be!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Successful Court dates!

Today two families who received referrals had successful court dates. This is great news, and is very encouraging for all of us! The October 19th families (they received their referrals on this date) will have their long anticipated court dates this Friday, February 8th! Please keep this date in your prayers. You will most likely hear a collective shout of "hallelujah" when we hear the good news of the court approvals! All of these families should be traveling to Ethiopia before the end of February!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Four Referrals for January!

Today we were notified that a total of four families received referrals in January (three in the last week)! Two families we knew about (the Harpold and Cole families) and two families are "mystery" families :) We were so excited and thankful to hear this news! Keep praying for more referrals!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

OCD is setting in :)

This is a probably just a sign that I am becoming more and more obsessed with timeframes, waiting, blogging...whatever!! But, I have changed our "wait for a referral" timer to the date that America World received our competed dossier- from what I hear, this is when your official wait begins! So, if you pay attention to that stuff, you are not going crazy, we did gain a few days :)