Wednesday, April 27, 2011


WooHoo!!  I just got off the phone with USCIS.  Our case was assigned an officer yesterday and she approved it this morning!!!!  The approval is on it's way to us.  Once we get it we can send off the dossier.  We are so excited about this, one step closer to getting him home!!   Keep praying!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Incredible Weekend

What an incredible week end! I love Easter (just like everyone else) but this year meant so much more to me than it ever has.  I think I know the reason.  Much like the Jesse Tree that we completed at Christmas, we went through the Jesus Tree for the forty days leading up to Easter.  Each day we read a passage about Jesus, going all the way through the crucifixion and resurrection.  While I know we remember Jesus’ wonderful resurrection all of the time, placing a special time of remembrance and reflection on it this year helped keep our focus on Christ and not on what the Easter bunny would bring.  I want to make sure that our kids understand that these celebrations of Jesus are about something much more than receiving gifts.  A friend told me last night that they gave Easter baskets on Saturday night so that Sunday would just be about Jesus and not about what they were getting in their baskets.  I love that idea!

Our yard/bake/craft sale was amazing!!  God blew our expectations out of the water (we really had no idea what to expect).  The way that our church family responded was incredible.  The friend who hosted the sale, made the comment that she felt like she was watching the book of Acts on her front yard.  Friday was RAINY and we are so thankful to the friends who helped us to load and unload the U-Haul of stuff in the yucky weather.   We’re so thankful for friends who have very busy lives of their own, but still took the time to deliver stuff for the yard sale, and to donate items for it.  Thankful for friends that housed everything at their home and tagged  ALL of the items!  Thankful for friends who made unbelievable cupcakes, and baked goods!  Thankful for friends who took time to make and donate their beautiful handmade items.  We are so thankful for the friends who got up very early on Saturday to hang up signs and set up in the drizzly, cold rain.  We are so thankful for friends who came and spent their Saturday helping us work the yard sale! Thankful for friends who came and shopped at the sale.  For friends who helped us pack everything up at the end!  Thankful for friends who bought us all pizza for lunch!!  We are so thankful for friends who let us invade their yard and home for one long day!  We are so grateful for old and new friends whose generosity blew us away!

 The body of Christ doing what the body of Christ is called to do….it was humbling to be in the middle of it all.  We are so blessed to be surrounded by a group of people who truly love God with all of their heart and that leads them to love others and carry each others’ burdens!  It was a beautiful day.  We will never forget it as long as we live...of course in the craziness we forgot to take pictures!  But it is forever etched in our memories! 

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms
 1 Peter 4:8-10


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring break week

We have been on break this week and how sweet it has been!   I didn't realize how much in need of a break we were!

On Saturday our church is hosting a yard/craft/bake sale to help with travel costs.  We are so excited about this!!  Anyone who has put on a yard sale knows it is not easy and we are so thankful for our church family who has done so much work for this Saturday!  There are some great yard sale items...but I also had to include some pictures of the things that friends have made to sell. 

Handcrafted cornhole boards!  One of a kind.

Handmade bags...they are so cute!!

Boook page wreath!!

So come on out on Saturday it is from 8-3 at 2146 E. 5th Street!

Please keep praying that we will be assigned an officer to review our case and that our USCIS clearance will come quickly.  Each day I call I get a different explanation.  We are trusting in God for timing in all of this but it is not easy, we are ready to have J home with us!!   Please also pray for the sale not only for it to be successful in how much stuff we sell but as our friend Ashley prayed last night we also want it to be a way to share Christ with others!

Happy Easter!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

All things new!!

Our J turned 19 months today!  I have been thinking about how little we know about his first 19 months and how little we have to remember it by, unlike our other two children.  By the time Jake and Elyse each turned 19 months they had hundreds of pictures taken of them to mark every milestone in their lives, they knew who their mommy and daddy were and they knew that mommy and daddy were there to love them unconditionally and meet all of their needs.  They had never been left alone and when they were left with family or a babysitter they had learned that mommy and daddy would return.  J doesn't know what a mommy and daddy are, or what they do. He doesn't know that he has a family that loves him and thinks about him all the time, he doesn't even know what a family is. Don't get me wrong... he is in a good place, and for that we are so grateful... but it is still an orphanage.  If we spent too much time thinking about what he has to overcome from the early days in his life, we would be completely overwhelmed!  But thankfully we serve a God who makes all things new.  It is God who will make Js life whole not us!

  "and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS splendor." Isaiah 61:3

We know that God is going to take the hard events in Js life and turn them from ashes into beauty so that God will be glorified.  What satan intended for evil God will use for good!

I had to include a link to a video of a recent homecoming of some precious children.  Brett Younker, a worship leader in Atlanta, wrote and sings the song The New Has Come in this video!  You'll love it!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Cool Tshirts!!

We are selling tshirts to help with our travel expenses until Monday the 18th.  So, I  just had to advertise them again.  Go buy one....and you get an awesome tshirt and the joy of knowing that it helped to bring home one little wonderful boy to his family!!!

Please keep praying!  Still no movement on the USCIS front!!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I-600A and a recipe!!

We still haven't received our clearance from the USCIS.  I spoke with them today and she said that it should be soon but we haven't even been assigned an officer to look at our case yet!   So, please pray for this clearance to come and come quickly.  We have all of our other paperwork ready to go!! 

So, after speaking to USCIS, I decided I needed to go ahead and bake something with chocolate...that always helps, right?!!   I pulled out my favorite granola bar recipe.  I found this recipe over at  and it is so yummy...I had to share!

Granola Bars

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (other options: raisins, craisins, white chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil  (you have to melt this!  I melt it for about 30 seconds in the microwave)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease your 9x13 baking pan.

2. Mix together dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the honey, beaten egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.  Mix Well.  Pat the mixture evenly into the baking dish.

3.Bake for about 30-35 minutes.  If you want them softer bake 30 minutes and for crunchier bars bake for 35 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into bars and remove from dish while still warm (otherwise you will not be able to get them out!!!!).  ENJOY!!


Friday, April 8, 2011


As I sat in an international adoption support group last night I couldn't help but think of community.  I sat there listening to these families who have already come home with their children share their wisdom with our family and love on us...I just thought to myself how blessed we are to have the community that we do! I thought back to when we began this journey and the encouragement and support we got from family and dear friends. I thought back to this week and how friends from high school, friends from college, friends in other cities, Charlotte friends, new friends who are adopting... offered support whether it was an encouraging word, prayer or financial support and I was blown away with our community! I thought of our online community of fellow adopting families who are experiencing the same highs and lows we are  and how they are there to answer questions and to cheer us on!!  I thought immediately to the two churches that have shown  Christ to us since we began this process.  The Center City Church (which is the church we attend) and the Queen City Church. Each one of these bodies of believers have loved on us, prayed for us, supported us financially and helped us to fundraise.  Adopting is not easy, as I am sure you all know. Alot of times when we have  shared we are adopting, we have gotten  mixed reviews!! You get the whole lecture on the cost (which is a post for another day!!). You get questions and comments that come out of people's mouths with no filters and it is easy to feel alone, to feel discouraged.  But when those moments come we think about all of you and the blessing that you are to us and we don't feel alone in this!  So, thank you for supporting us and loving on us and demonstrating Christ's love for us!

Happy Friday!!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  1 Peter 4:8-10

Monday, April 4, 2011

In this moment...

Why is it always easier to look towards the next thing than to focus on the here and now?  I can remember looking forward to getting  married, then buying our home, then having kids, then the kids walking and talking etc. etc.  Before I knew it I'd wished my life away. 

We have tried so hard with the adoption journey we are on, to not be looking towards the next thing.  That is easier said than done. It can consume you and it does! With homestudy appointments, and doctor's appointments, passport appointments, and paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork to get notarized, it is easy to get caught up in the next thing!! Thankfully last fall I was in a small group Bible study with a great group of women.  I had a good friend say that she was going to focus on the here and now instead of looking toward the next big event in her life and honor God during the waiting, during the dry seasons, during the hard times, during the times when control is not in our hands! She wanted to learn what he had to teach her in each moment and not miss it because of looking towards tomorrow!  That struck a cord with me.  So, as we sit  here in the U.S. and we have a child half a world away from us (which if I focus on too long brings me to tears) it is easy to get caught up in when will he get home but that could consume our thoughts each moment of the day and we would miss out on what our other two beautiful gifts are doing right now. We are trying to be thankful for each and every day, and trying to honor God in each moment!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Fingerprints and the Jesus Tree

Yesterday, Jason and I went and got fingerprinted for the I-600A which is the advance application for processing an orphan petition which is pretty much the start of the VISA application for our son.  Hopefully getting the approval will not take longer than two weeks.  Once we receive that we can send our dossier off to Holt (our adoption agency) and then to Uganda!  So, once again it is the waiting game. But we are trusting in God's perfect timing in all of this!

At Christmas time we did the Jesse Tree together as a family.  It made our Christmas much more meaningful as we focused on the real reason for Christmas and didn't worry about gifts, food, decorations etc!  I wanted to do something for Easter that had the same focus...focus on Christ and not on the Easter bunny, decorations, baskets and candy. As I was reading the book, No Ordinary Home by Carol Brazo, I found my answer...The Jesus Tree.  So since March our family has been reading about the life of Christ each night and hanging an ornament on our Jesus Tree.  The ornaments are made of felt and represent something from  each story in the life of Christ.  The Jesse Tree is a journey from creation to the birth of Christ,  and the Jesus Tree takes you through his life, teachings and miracles.  If you want your own Jesus Tree you can go over to and she can email you the template!  I used her template for the ornaments and I used the Bible readings that accompany the template.  For our tree I used burlap fabric and brown paint and  just painted a tree on the burlap.  There are many other options too.  Ann Voskamp has a beautiful Passion tree over at her blog

Have a great weekend!