Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Families in Ethiopia!

Be sure to check out the links to the Coen and Harbaugh families blogs....they are in Ethiopia right now with their precious children!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Happy Day!

Today marks 3 months of waiting for a referral! So, hopefully we are halfway there...maybe only a little over three months until we receive our referral!

The best news of the day, however, is the news of long awaited referrals!!

Today, the Gibson, Ducommon, Ord, and Cox families received their referrals!!

We praise God for his goodness and faithfulness to us, and to these wonderful children and families! And we continue to lift up the other precious families who are soooo close to getting this same amazing news....the Wempe, Redfern, Moles, Tennant, Schmidt, and Juvinall families.

Monday, April 21, 2008

There Is No Me Without You

This weekend I started reading a most profound book, "There Is No Me Without You" by Melissa Fay Greene (click on the link for more info). This book is about an unconventional foster mother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where our adoption agency's transitional home is located, along with orphanages they partner with), and the orphaned children (mostly due to AIDS) she has raised. Intertwined within the narrative of this amazing lady's story are also bits and pieces of Ethiopia's turbulent history, as well as tons of statistics and facts regarding the AIDS epidemic and the unfathomable poverty in Ethiopia.

Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down!! I felt inspired, sad, angry, bewildered.....and I have only read the first 60 or so pages!!

I personally feel this is a must read for anyone adopting from Ethiopia, as well as anyone who desires to have a better understanding of what exactly goes on in poverty and disease stricken countries....extremely eye opening. Okay, this is a must read for anyone who cares. So, read it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Is anything too hard for the Lord? I don't think so!

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Genesis 18:14

Though I have been reminded of the answer to this question time and time again in my life, and especially throughout our adoption process, Zack and I were reminded of this in a mighty way yesterday as we returned home from work.

I checked the mail as usual before pulling into the garage, and noticed that an envelope from Shaohannah's Hope was among the other mail. We had applied for an adoption grant with their organization months ago, and we knew we would be hearing something from them soon. Today was the day. I opened the envelope, and read the following words:

Dear Zack & Rebecca,
On behalf of our co-founders, Steven Curtis & Mary Beth Chapman, and the Shaohannah's Hope team, we rejoice with you in your decision to step out in faith to experience the miracle of adoption. It blesses us that you have chosen to make Shaohannah's Hope a part of your adoption process, and we are pleased to inform you that you have received an adoption assistance grant in the amount of $4000.

WHAT????? We were both literally speechless....stunned! We sat overwhelmed by God's goodness and faithfulness! We were humbled by his mercy. We felt unworthy. We felt unbelievably blessed.

Nine months ago we had truly had no idea where the money would come from to fund our adoption. We had saved a little, but we knew it wasn't enough to cover all the expenses. We were trying to sell our house, save any extra money we could, etc. All we knew was that God spoke to our hearts to adopt a child from Ethiopia. We had to trust him to provide the way and the means. And oh how he has!!! What a mighty God we serve, that he would entrust such a special journey and precious child to us! We are so thankful and humbled.

I don't write this to be boastful of our blessings, but only to give God the Glory, and to encourage others.....don't let finances keep you from adopting! God will provide! He may choose to do so in different ways than he did for us....but he will provide for the fatherless, those so close to his heart. Those he commands us to love and take care of.

So, it is with deep gratitude to the Lord and to all those whom he moved upon to support our adoption that we can say: "Our adoption has been fully funded!!!"

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."
Deuteronomy 7:9

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What we're doing to pass the time....

We are a good bit into the stage where all we really have to do is wait for a referral (which is harder than it sounds). Zack and I are beginning to concentrate more on parenting skills and issues specific to transracial adoption. We have started reading "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla", a book that deals with racing healthy children in a race conscious world. We are also reading "Parenting with Love and Logic", which is a general parenting book that deals with raising responsible kids. Something we definitely want to do.

We are of course soooo excited to be parents soon....but every now and then a twinge of anxiety creeps in as well, especially since I am currently enrolled in a graduate class that focuses on growth and development throughout the lifespan. What have I learned? Parents and the parenting skills they choose to utilize have a huge impact!!

Just watch Supernanny and you will understand what I am saying people!!

You tell them Supernanny!!!

Oh well, I think it is normal to be anxious about becoming a parent. It is a good kind of stress :)