Monday, September 24, 2012


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

These are the words I have written out attached above the picture of our precious 3 year old son.  After over a year of waiting for a referral we received a call from our adoption agency about two weeks ago and heard the words, "Well, it's a boy!"  God's timing couldn't have been sweeter.  Just that afternoon I had been driving home from work wondering if we would ever hear anything.  I checked my email when I got home and had another email from an adoption website telling me there was a child that might be a good match for us.  Once again, it was through another agency and not from Ghana.  As I was clicking on the red circle to exit my internet browser my phone rang.  It was our adoption agency.  "They never call, they always email.  Could this be the call we've been waiting for?!" were the thoughts spiraling through my head.  I picked up the phone and received the good news.  I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement and could hear the excitement from all the workers at our agency as they were gathered together to tell us the good news.  

As soon as I hung up the phone I called Ryan, who was at work.  Of course, he wasn't able to answer the phone!  I was running around the house saying, "We have a son, we have a son!"  But, I couldn't tell anyone because I couldn't get in touch with Ryan.  My dog had the only ears I could talk to at the time.  So, what did this crazy woman filled with excitement and good news do?  You're right, I opened up our backdoor and yelled for my dog to come in and began petting her and telling her she was going to have a brother.  Yes, I'm crazy.  She had no clue what was going on, but enjoyed the petting and attention, of course. = )  (Ryan did finally call me back and was so excited.  Who knows how many phone calls we made that afternoon.  Those were some of the best phone calls of my life.  I don't think I slept much that night, but you don't need sleep when you're on Cloud 9.  I think I had actually bypassed Cloud 9 and shot straight to Cloud 100 or something.)

I immediately began thanking God for his goodness.  From the beginning we've known we were following the will of God with our adoption journey.  He has made it evident in so many ways.  The verse I began this post with says it all.  We were called by God to adopt.  We have trusted Him and loved a child we knew nothing about.  All along, even when we grew faint and weary God has been working for the good of our family and this journey.  It's my prayer that God would be glorified through the rest of this journey, our little boy's life, and the start and growth of our family.  I am so happy that I have a face to pray for now.  He is precious in so many ways.  His little hands, his little feet, his smile, and the happiness that seems to radiate from him in that little picture I carry in my purse. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  

We were told things may go fast from this point on.  I say, bring it!  Our in country partner may be able to go to court for us as early as mid-October.  We could go meet our little one for the first time as early as November.  From then we would be looking at a 3-5 month wait period until we get to go back to Ghana and bring him home.  I pray that things would go swiftly and that we would cling to God and His promises even if the rest of our journey doesn't go as planned or takes a little longer.  I'm excited about the next chapter of our adoption journey.  I feel like this past chapter has been more like a novel in length.  Through it all, God was working.  That is enough to make it all worth it.  That precious boy is enough to make every moment worth it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Encouragement on Mother's Day

I had the privilege of sharing our adoption story and my journey, in particular, over the past two years.  Here is what I shared in church this morning for Mother's Day...

Almost two years ago Ryan and I decided to start the adoption process.  We’d always talked about adopting at some point, but we never knew we’d see it as our first option.  Ryan and I, up until that point, had not tried to start a family in any way (adoption, conception, fostering, etc.).  When we read Russell Moore’s book, Adopted for Life, and began studying God’s calling for every believer to care for the orphan, it was clear to us, that our care for the orphan was to adopt an orphan.  We never knew this would be our first choice, but time and time again God continued to grow a fervent passion in our hearts for adoption.  We had always heard about people adopting after having biological kids, or adopting because they struggled with infertility, but to adopt before even trying to conceive or knowing anything about fertility?  God’s plan for us was different.  We were ecstatic!  To use adoption to really relay the message of God’s adoption of us was exciting to think about.  God has adopted us into His kingdom.  Us: wandering, fatherless, children without an eternal home.  Adoption is such a pure example of this.

People told me in the beginning that adoption is not for the faint of heart.  Boy, were they right.  We have been blessed in so many ways in the past two years, and I, as a woman, have been tested in so many ways in the past two years.  God has been faithful and good, but there have been times where I have been very weak.  You see, when Ryan and I decided to start the adoption process we also decided that we wouldn’t do anything to prevent a pregnancy.  Well, in my head our adoption was going to go quickly, and if it didn’t I would probably get pregnant in the meantime and we’d still get to start our family soon.  God’s plan was different, though.  Don’t take that the wrong way, we were still going to adopt.  We have a heavy heart for adoption and that truly is our Plan A.  Even with this great passion and longing to adopt the enemy can still attack.  In the midst of a joyous journey there have been times of darkness; times where my selfish flesh has taken over and pitied myself for not getting pregnant or for our adoption taking so long.  God has reminded me time and time again in His word, though to “rejoice in hope. Be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)  He also has reminded me to rejoice in my suffering because it builds character and endurance. 

When I start to feel sorry for myself, I’m reminded of MY mom.  A woman who has lived through more difficult mother’s days than I’d care to battle.  11 years until adopting a child, 14 years of infertility, a mother’s day after losing her own mom, several mother’s days where my brother was in jail or at an addiction treatment center, a mother’s day after losing this same older brother when he was only 20, and now, a mother’s day where she is the legal guardian of my 10 year old nephew.  Through all those difficult mother’s days she has remained unwavering in her faithfulness to God and He has remained faithful to her.   I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has led us to adopt.  I know that God is truly going to use our journey for His glory.  I know today is a difficult day for any woman who is in the middle of an adoption process, battling infertility, lost a mother or a child, or for the woman who is waiting patiently on her mate in order to start a family.  But, God is faithful, all knowing, and good.  He knows the desires of our hearts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

God Equips Who He Calls

I am a firm believer that God doesn't necessarily call those who are already equipped with all the skills, finances, etc. needed, but He will always equip those He calls.  If those the world saw as equipped were always the ones to build great things, go and seek disciples on the other side of the world, or enter into the tremendously expensive process of adoption why would the world have any reason to give God glory?  It would be too practical and too predictable.  But when God does great things with someone so small who the world would never expect to accomplish a given task, that's where the greatness of God is glorified.  What does this have to do with our adoption?  We were/are that couple that in no way was equipped to tackle the daunting financials of an adoption.  When we started the process Ryan was in seminary working on his masters and I was about to begin my 3rd year of teaching; we had a pathetic $1000-2000 in savings.   Today God has provided us with enough funds to have met our goal of $24,000.  We are amazed at God's provision and know without a shadow of a doubt the God LOVES THE ORPHAN!

How did all this come about?  Did a check just show up in our mail box for $22,000 one day?  Definitely not.  But, to us it has felt just like that.  When we needed money we had it.  We never had to put any step of our adoption on hold because of money.  God has placed people, businesses, organizations, fundraising opportunities, grants, friends, and family (biological and church family) in our life that He has used to provide us with these funds.  So many people are a part of our adoption process and we can't wait to show our child how many people loved and cared about him/her and wanted to be a part of our family's formation.

I am truly overwhelmed with joy knowing that we have all the finances we need to complete our adoption.  At the same time I am overcome with a deep longing, knowing that our child is somewhere in Ghana waiting for us.  We haven't received a referral yet and are waiting patiently (most days...let's just keep it real...some days I'm not patient at all).  I know that my Heavenly Father has everything planned out perfectly and I have to hold on tightly to that.  He is watching over our child and loves that child more than anyone ever could.

Please pray for our adoption process to speed up and for the Lord to guard our hearts and protect our emotions during all of it.  We are so thankful to have a network of prayer warriors behind us.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  John 14:18

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let the Wait Begin...

Our dossier arrived in Ghana a few weeks ago and since then we've been waiting.  We know the wait for a referral might be a long one, but we keep reminding ourselves it's worth the wait.  We know the Lord has a precious child that will soon become a part of our family.  As much as we wish we knew who this child was, what they looked like, how old they were, among other things, we are so glad that we have a Maker who already knows every bit of this information.  While this makes the wait easier (knowing this adoption is God's will), my human tendency to have everything done in my timing sets in from time to time.  Well, let's be honest...I deal with this up and down turmoil of feelings quite frequently.  And as I'm writing this entry the song that is playing on the television is "It is well."  What a great reminder.  There are times of sorrow as we long for our family that is not united quite yet, but in this all, it is well.  There is joy and a great story and journey that is happening.  Through and in all of it may God have the glory.

You can help us by praying for the following things:
~ A speedy referral
~ A means for funds (we have some upcoming fundraising events)
~ My emotions during this long waiting period
~ All the other families that are awaiting adoptions
~ The 147 million orphans around the world

Thanks for following our journey!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dossier almost complete!!!

I'm waiting on a copy of our doctor's license to practice medicine and then we'll officially have all the documents we THINK we need for our dossier. Hopefully we have it all and it looks good. Then we'll get everything notarized and send it off for the "fine-tooth-comb-lookover"...o​h yeah...accompanied by a huge wad of $$$.

We also are applying for an adoption grant.  Pray that the organization would see our need for financial help.  From this point on there are going to be a lot more expenses, but we know how great God's provision is for His children.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hooray for checks on the checklist!

A few weeks ago we received our completed HomeStudy in the mail.  It is so beautiful and official with its signatures and seals.  In about 10 pages our lives, goals, and home were summed up for the Dept. of Social Welfare in Ghana and for our Citizenship and Immigration Services here in the US.  It was neat looking over the whole report.  I have to say we look pretty good on paper...almost as good as we look in person. ;)    Receiving that report in the mail reminded me of God's greatness and provision (1. He provided us with a home for our HOMEstudy (provision) (2.)  He, our adoptive Father, could NEVER be summed up in 10 pages (greatness) (3.) He allowed us to begin and complete this process long before we thought it would happen (provision)).  He is so good!  

Now, we are going down our "Dossier Progress Chart for Ghana" and, remarkably, seeing a lot of checks in that "Completed" column.  It is great to see how quickly God is taking us through this process.  What an evidence that this is God's will.  Since we officially began this process in October with our agency we have seen confirmation after confirmation that God loves orphans and He wants to use us to give one of His children a home.  Wow...what a privilege to be used by God!

As we continue collecting items/forms for our dossier and enter into the time of waiting for our referral please remember to pray for us.  Pray that we would have patience as we wait.  Pray we would remember that God's timing is far better than our timing.  Pray that we would remember that this is all under God's power, not our own.  Pray that the Government agencies and departments we have to submit forms through would find favor with us and act quickly.

Thanks for your prayers and continued support.  We'll update when the dossier is off and ready to go!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Home Study Here We Come...Take 2!

We only have one more interview left for our Home Study to be complete and we are absolutely pumped!  We ended up having to wait a lot longer than we expected for the start of this process.  When I last posted we were planning on moving into a cute little rental house the end of January.  We thought we would have everything ready to start the Home Study no later than mid-February.  Oh how things change!  We ended up canceling our lease with the rental house (there were many unfortunate circumstances that caused us to make this decision) and...well...buying a house.  We know our new home was all a part of God's perfect plan and are so thankful.  After finally being in our home a month, our home study started this past Monday and we'll be done by next Wednesday.  The agency told us to allow 4-6 weeks for the home study to be completed.  We were happy to hear we'd have all our interviews complete within a week and a half.  Our social worker is great and has made this part of the process stress-free and very laid back.  Hopefully she'll find us fit to be parents! = )

Now that we're near the end of our home study we're starting to collect all the information we need for the dossier  (a set of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption. Just in case you ever wondered what adopting families were talking about when they discussed the "dossier.")  Looking at our dossier checklist, in comparison with other countries, a list of 14 seems very simple.  We're thankful that much of the information we need will be easily obtainable and hopefully we'll have everything put together to send off soon.  We're praying the Georgia Dept. of Vital Records will act quickly.  Birth and marriage certificates sometimes can hold up the process.  

I've recently been day-dreaming a lot about our future family.  I am so looking forward to having a little one walking or crawling around (all depends on the age).  It's amazing to me to look around and see how God brings families together in so many different and unique ways.  I'm looking forward to seeing our whole "family-making story" from start to finish.  My hope is that through each step we can give God the glory, no matter how up and down the journey may be.

Prayer Requests: 1) pray for the wrapping up of our home study 2) pray that we would be able to follow the directions for our dossier completely and thoroughly so we won't have to back-track 3) pray that we would have patience and trust the Lord's timing 4) pray that we would remember to keep Christ the center of our marriage and family; this is His adoption!