Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two years later....

Two years ago today, Jesse and I were still in Colorado visiting our family for Christmas when, my Mom sat me down to talk.  Now, by the look on her face, I knew it couldn't be good news.  Thoughts went racing through my mind.  Then, she said it.  She told me that she had cancer, and was going to have surgery right after we flew out of town.  What?!?! I thought.  Of all the worst case scenarios that played out in my head when she started talking when we sat down, that. was. not. one of them.  I was shocked.  I was stunned.  I was sad.  She explained a little more to me, and then I brought Jesse into the room and we told him.  We all embraced, but I couldn't help but think that our life, her life, my life, all of our lives would never be the same.  This woman, who in her very essence brought me (and my sisters) into this world, brought us to faith in Christ and was the who holds our family together, was sick.  Very sick with cancer.  The outcomes were unknown.  It was scary.

I changed my flight that day, so that I would be able to stay for my Mom's surgery and some of her recovery.  Jesse went down to his parents house to spend a couple of days with them before heading back to NC but I couldn't leave my Mom's side.  I kept thinking that just the days before we had been celebrating Christmas and having a great time.  Then just the day before she told me, we had gone up to Rocky Mountain National Park where we hiked all around Bear Lake in deep snow.  She never let on that anything was wrong.  She never let on that she was sick.  That she had cancer.  That she, could be dying.

Thankfully, a few days later she had surgery that successfully removed all of the cancer (by the top oncologist in the Rockies).  My sister, who also lives out of state, flew in with her infant daughter to be there by my Mom's side for her surgery and some recovery.  My other sister came down for a day with her oldest daughter to spend time with my Mom during recovery.

The fight wasn't over yet though.  She had a painful road to recovery because of where the cancer was and how aggressive the surgery had to be.  She also endured weeks of intense radiation therapy a couple of months later.  My Mom has always been a strong woman.  She's competitive and always has been active, often out hiking any of us girls.  She's proven to be an even stronger fighter throughout this whole process though.  A few months after her surgery and therapy, my Mom had the opportunity to be a part of a Cancer Rehab program where she had a personal trainer and worked out 4 times a week.  She not only stuck with that for the time it was offered, but has since gotten a personalized training plan at her local gym and has gotten my dad on board too!  She inspires me with her strength, her faith and her wisdom.  I love that she never gives up, even when the going gets treacherous.  I am so proud of my 2 year Cancer Surviving Mom, who is stronger today than ever!

Today, I'm more thankful than ever for my Mom.  My best friend.  My hero.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Home visits: Check!

Well, two weeks have passed since our last update and quite a bit has happened.  :)

Our home has been studied, and while we are waiting for the write up about it, the hard work (for us!) is over!   We finished our autobiographies a few days before the first home visit.  Mine was a record for our social worker at 8 pages long...and I still missed some kind of big things in my life...apparently I'm wordy!  ha!:)  Jesse's was 3 nice, concise pages.

I was so nervous for our first home visit which was on Sunday the 14th, the day after the big party I'd been planning most of the year at my work.  But to my surprise, it was much less stressful than I thought it would be.  Our social worker is very friendly and easy to talk to.  She asked us questions about our life, why we'd like to adopt, etc.. and then we scheduled the next visit.  We chatted for about 2 hours, and while she did take a brief tour of our home she didn't see the locking medicine cabinet that we had installed, or the outlet covers, etc.  That we apparently, as I had originally suspected, didn't really need yet.  But it's better to be safe than sorry, right?  That's always been my motto at least....

Ok, fast forward to the next home visit which was Friday the 19th.  Our nice social worker asked us (more like Jesse because I had covered most of my life in my 8....pages....) more questions about our childhood, upbringing, family and then onto our Marriage.  The second home visit was also around 2 hours long and very, very painless.  (Not that I thought either would be painful....I just stressed over nothing really.)  Typically it takes about 4 weeks for the paperwork to be finished after the second home visit.  So sometime in mid-January or so, we should be good to go on the wait-list with our Agency!  Woot!

Speaking of our Agency, we just submitted our lifebook (basically a scrapbook with some additional things in it) for approval!  Once we get it approved, we can order the 25 copies that they will show to potential birth parents!  Hoping to find a sale on Shutterfly, or something!  (Photobooks are currently on sale until the 28th, but not sure we will get it back and approved by then...)  Praying!

In other news, it's two day before Christmas and while I am very, very sad that we can't be back in Colorado or with any family for the actual holiday...I was reminded tonight by my sweet husband that at least we have family that we'd like to be with.  So tonight, I'm thankful for my family.  Those young, old and in-between.  Those who I will see in just a few days, few weeks, few months or few years.  Those who are living and those who I had the privileged of knowing part of my life.  Thanks for being part of my family, either by blood or marriage!  :)  I love you all!

And of course, Merry Christmas!!!!!

Here's an updated prayer request list below.  Thanks for praying with us!

-For our Homestudy.
-That we continue to save and raise the remaining $9,500.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the birthmother and baby.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homestudy here we come!

Wow, a lot has happened since I updated last!  We successfully got a new printer on the night of Thanksgiving--so thankful for the people working that night!  (Who knew I'd ever patron a store then....)  Jesse successfully mailed the application to Open Door on that Friday ensuring the application fee would be waived!  (Saved=$300!!)  Then we got two different fingerprints done last week and got our homestudy app into the local agency.  We also applied to get our state and local clearances for here and Colorado.  Late last week we got the email from Open Door that accepted us into the African American Domestic Infant Program!  Woohoo!!  Witht hat email we also got the second round of paperwork.

We are currently working on our autobiographies for our homestudy agency which we will hopefully get done tonight!  We have our first (of two) home visits this Sunday afternoon!  While we are nervous, I think we will be ready for it!  So excited this is actually happening!!!  At times, I find it hard to believe, then I look through my email and see it. really. is. happening!  Praise the Lord!!!    

Here's an updated prayer request list below.  Thanks for praying with us!
-That we get our autobios done soon.
-That our house is ready for the first home visit.
-For our Homestudy, particularly the first home visit.
-That we continue to save and raise the remaining $9,500.
-That we continue to grow closer to God and each other through this process.
-For the birthmother and baby.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful

Hi friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We have much to be thankful for always, but this year is taking the cake!  We are so thankful for Jesus Christ--without His life, death and resurrection there wouldn't be a reason to rejoice ever.

We are thankful for our family!  Although the closest members are over 500 miles from us currently, we still have a bond that is inseparable and we are so thankful for each of them!

We are thankful for our friends, both those we've known a long time, short time, whether we've seen you this week, month, year or lifetime.  You are loved and we're thankful for you!

We are thankful for our Church!  It's been great to see it grow over the last few months.  It's encouraging to see the gospel lived out and preached every Sunday and every day inbetween.

We are thankful for our jobs.  I love that Jesse gets to do what he enjoys and learn more about it for the future.  I love that I get challenged everyday and get to build relationships with people!  How cool is that?!?

We are thankful for the $20,000 that together with you we saved and raised over these last 9 months.  We are thankful for you who donated money, donated time to help with our fundraisers, wrote  thoughtful and encouraging notes and of course the prayer warriors.  We know we didn't do this alone, and we have a puzzle to remind us of that!

We are thankful that our paperwork is almost completely done for the applications for our Homestudy and Adoption Agency.  Our printer broke today and we were unable to get fingerprinted yesterday, but the Lord still has His hand in it.  He's just teaching patience along the way!  And Praise the Lord that we'll still be able to get our Application into our Adoption Agency in time to get the fee waived for National Adoption Month!!! (Saving us $300!!)  We just have to get our application printed and postmarked by the end of the month!  (Prayers that we find a printer tonight, or that I stay calm enough to wait until morning when Jesse can take it to Fedex while I'm at work.....)

We are thankful for good food.  #turkeyday  And family recipes passed down!

What are you thankful for?


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seasons and some other random thoughts

Hi friends and family,

It is with a very joyful heart that we write this update.  We only have 10 pieces of our 400+ piece puzzle left to sell. (Details here.)  We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of our family, friends and acquaintances!  God has been working mightily to get us to our first goal before turning in paperwork on the 1st of December.  :)

I've been reminded a few times lately that while we are excited to enter the stage of growing our family, this current season we are in is a sweet one.  I never want to take for granted the Star Trek-a-thons we have on weekend afternoons, sleepy Sunday mornings we sometimes have (if we're not serving at Church because the service doesn't start till 10am), the spontaneous dates we go out on after I get off work on Saturday afternoons whether it's just riding our bikes as much as we want or driving around town looking for the perfect ________.  I love those moments.  I love all our moments.  Even those ones that aren't so perfect.  The ones where I misunderstood something you said and took it the wrong way and may or may not have overreacted.  I love you my husband.  I love all the time we get to spend together even when it's not much at all.  I love it when you make me lattes in the mornings.  I love it when you fill my car with gas.  This really is a sweet season and I don't want to miss out on it because I'm so excited to get to the next one.  Don't get me wrong.  I am excited for the next one.  But these 6.5 years that we've been married is creating a great foundation for the rest of the seasons of our lives.  Now, what God has joined together not be separated.

We went to see Hunger Games:  Mockingjay Part 1 last night with some friends.  We don't usually go to the movies.  Like maybe once a year or so, but usually we wait until it is on Prime or maybe Redbox to watch the newer releases.  Anyway, we had just finally watched Catching Fire last Sunday on Amazon Prime because it was free, so that worked out quite nicely.  It's kind of funny though, because I was SO adamantly opposed to the Hunger Games when the books and then first movie came out.  I thought it was so awful that it was about a bunch of killing and it was teens getting killed and killing.  I couldn't think of anything worse really.  But then something changed my heart a little when we saw the first one.  Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of killing.  Teen killing.  It's gruesome and awful and gives me nightmares, but it's not really much different than the world we live in.  We live in this fallen world where bad thigns happen.  And when I watched the first Hunger Games I realized what everyone liked so much about it.  It wasn't about the killing, and the blood.  It's about the relationships, the people who you grow fond of.  Anyway, the first one is still probably my favorite so far, but the more I process what all happened last night on the big screen I think Mockingjay might become my fave.  It's only violence is warlike, which is much less graphic than the first too for one....

Our Church just ended a (10 week?) series last Sunday on the book of Judges.  If you had asked me before it started what I thought of that, I would have had a much different reaction than I do now that it is over.  Like most of us, I had read Judges before but never put much though into I suppose.  During the series our Pastor dove right in to pull out the richness of the stories.  He brought out the humor, the tragedy, the happiness, the grief, everything to do with what happens when people follow their hearts and just do what is "right in their own eyes".

Last week was particularly a sad sermon because it went through the last 2-3 chapters of Judges, and I will spare you the details.  The whole book of Judges has the same thing happening though.  The people do what they want, then decide they need a king, God raises up a judge/king and it works for a while and then the judge fails.  Over and over and over.  It's not because God chose the wrong person for the job, it's because people are always going to fail.  We are simply incapable of not failing.  We lie, we cheat, we steal, we worship idols and the list goes on.  What Judges does offer is a little glimpse of the perfect king who was yet to come.  We as people need a king, but not one of this world.  We need a greater, perfect, steadfast loving King.  In about a month we will celebrate the birth of that King, Jesus Christ.

We enter this week of Thanksgiving with grateful heart to everyone who has prayed with us, cried with us, celebrated with us, supported us and contributed to our adoption.  We couldn't do it without our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or the help of all of you.  Thank you.

Please pray with us...
-For time to complete the paperwork before our deadline.
-For our marriage to grow closer to God and each other.
-For the rest of the money for our adoption.  Thankful we are almost 67% of the way there, but we still need the other 33% more.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.
-For our baby, who may not yet be more than a twinkle in an eye.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two weeks from today...

We will hopefully be turning in our paperwork in just two short weeks!  We still have 26 pieces of our Puzzle Fundraiser to sell which should definitely help us get to our goal of getting to $20,000 before turning in our papers.  If my calculations are right, we are currently at $19,393!  So praise the Lord!  

If you had asked me when we started saving and fundraising if I thought it would be going this fast, I would have said no, but God has definitely shown me that I was wrong.  :)  Thank for all the generous donations, thoughtful words, encouragement and prayers!  We still could use more of each of those as we are at 64.6% of the way funded for our adoption.  Turning in those papers will be a huge step but there will still be a (potentially rather long) wait and then more funds needed still.

We are praying BIG.  We believe God has put adoption, and raising children on both of our hearts for a reason and that we will be parents someday soon.  We pray that the rest of the funding is available by the time we need it.  We are praying that it doesn't take 18 months after we turn our paperwork in before we get to bring our little one home.  We pray that birth mothers choose life for their children.  We're praying for lots of other details and things too, but I just thought I'd share a few right now.

We did take some photos of us for use in our adoption paperwork and also for Christmas cards.  Here's a couple of my faves:





The other day my sister sent me this quote, which I had seen before but just love:


"Adoption is when a child grows in its Mommy's heart instead of her tummy."



Please pray with us:
-For those getting ready to adopt, contemplating adoption, who have been adopted and those who have not yet found a forever home or may not.  November is National Adoption Month.
-For time to complete the paperwork before our deadline.
-For the rest of the money for our adoption.  Thankful we are almost 65% of the way there, but we still need 35% more.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.
-For our marriage to grow closer to God and each other.
-For our baby, who may not yet be more than a twinkle in an eye.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

60% of the way there!


So we've continued to be extremely blessed with generous friends who give us baby things as well as other support and donations toward our baby fund!  We are now at just over $18,000 which is almost to our $20,000 goal for turning in paperwork on the 1st of December!  Overall, we are at $18,000 of $30,000 which is: 60% of the way to being completely funded!!!!  Praise the Lord!!!!!

We only have 29 more pieces of our puzzle to sell, so as long as we sell those before we turn in our paper work and we save like we have been we should get to that $20,000.  After we are home studied we can apply for grants (and zero interest loans if need be) for the deficit in funds.  I'm praying big though.  I'm praying that we won't have to go into any debt for this whole adoption.  Since the Lord put this on our hearts before we had even met, and brought us to this timing where we have no debt (well, except student loans but no cars or credit cards)...I'm praying that we can raise and save the money to do this totally debt free.

We started the actually paperwork this week and really made a lot of headway with it.  Of course a few things left us with more questions than answers, but overall it's encouraging to have it started! :)

I've been nesting some more around the house in preparation for our little one, although I still have yet to totally decide on the nursery arrangement...not that we have everything for it yet anyway...  Here are a couple of things I've done lately....  the top one is for the nursery and was still wet when I took a photo!  ha!  And then those are the washer/dryer we bought when we got married.  I had been thinking of either painting them with chalkboard paint or something for a while but then I found this fabulous chevron contact paper (didn't know they still made it!) and viola!  Protected and spiced up!

Prayer Requests below.  Thanks for praying big with us!
-For my sprained neck to heal quickly and completely.
-For time to complete the paperwork before our deadline.
-For the rest of the money for our adoption.  Thankful we are 60% of the way there, but we still need 40% more.
-For the caseworkers who we will work with on our Home Study and those at our Adoption Agency.
-For our marriage to grow closer to God and each other.
-For our baby, who may not yet be more than a twinkle in an eye.
-For those getting ready to adopt, contemplating adoption, who have been adopted and those who have not yet found a forever home or may not.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Only 48 pieces left, and what's been on my heart.

It's been almost two weeks since our last update and now we only have 48 pieces of our puzzle fundraiser left!  Thanks for the generosity!  We have just over $17,000 raised, so assuming we sell the rest of those pieces, continue to save half of each of my paychecks and do Fall/Christmas Photo Sessions we should be set to turn in all of our paperwork on the 1st of December still!

Last week my sweet friend (and boss' wife) gave us their Exer-sacuer (sp?)! just like the one above!  So sweet and generous!  It's so fun to see the nursery come together!  Speaking of our nursery, I made something this week...  I may have mentioned that when my Mom was visiting we found some fabric that we really liked that she is going to make a baby quilt out of!  (She's super talented at quilting, and well a lot of things!)  I really liked the look of the animals so I took pictures of the cute fabric and decided to make wall art for the room.  On my day off this week I bought the canvases and did them!  While they are not perfect, they definitely look a lot like the fabric animals and are quite endearing.  Check them out:
 Artsy pic that I took for instagram and teaser on fb....
Better pic of them all...I have since colored in the elephant's tail after taking the pics btw.  I wasn't going to release them until I had them on the walls, but I thought y'all might like to see them. :)

On Friday night a couple from Church had us over for dinner and games.  We had a great time getting to know them (and their adorable son) better.  During the course of the night our friend commented on how we've been encouraging her by preparing for our baby and getting things ready the way we have because we're doing it as an act of faith, trusting that God will provide the baby that we have prayed for.  It really meant a lot to hear her say that.

And as I continue to reflect on it, it's interesting because there are so many times when I feel like the timeline is taking so much longer than I'd like. (or "Longer than I had planned".) Or that is costs SO much money and we'll never raise it all.  Or that maybe we're wrong and God doesn't want us to raise any children.  Or that this isn't the right timing.  Or a multitude of other things that make me feel like I'm falling short or lacking faith in His perfect plan.  And then Jesse and I go about our business and live life, preparing for this baby that we are confident that God has already chosen for us, midst all those feelings of inadequacy, and we are actually doing it in faith, but not even realizing it necessarily.  What a blessing that God has given us such grace that we have strong enough faith to trust in His plan and He also gives us grace in the moments of waiting too.

Some days I just wish so much that we already had a baby.  Some days I want it so much it hurts.  Other days I go about my work and chores and God helps distract me.  It has been such a roller coaster ride these last few months, and I'm sure we are in for quite a ride coming up once we actually start the whole process.  But it's encouraging to know that our faith and trust is not futile.  We may even encourage others along the way.  God gave us this desire to be parents and He will see it through to completion.  It may not be our timing but it will be His.  And what better timing is there than perfect timing? :)

Prayer requests below.  Thanks for praying with us!
-For us to make it to $20,000 raised before turning in paperwork.
-For time to complete paperwork well before our deadline.
-For our marriage--that we draw closer to God and each other.
-For the rest of the money needed for our adoption to be provided.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Decisions

So, we have 78 pieces of our Puzzle left to sell.  It's hard to believe we are on the home stretch of this part of fundraising and that soon we'll apply and really truly be on the home stretch to adding to our family.  Thank you again for all the prayers and support.

God has been so generous, faithful and gracious this whole journey but especially in calming my heart these last few months that we've been waiting and fundraising.  Praise the Lord for that!

We've decided that we will not make a trip back home to Colorado around Christmas this year.  It doesn't seem to make sense to spend $900+ on plane tickets, when we could put that money towards out adoption.  So, our "plan" (you'll notice I use quotes because just because it's our plan doesn't mean it's His;) is to make a trip to Colorado to visit our family once our baby arrives.  :)  We will get to visit my sister and her family in KY around Christmas though, which will be great to see them and be able to be with some family!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blessings

We have been so overwhelmed with the ways that God has blessed us during these last few months (well, really our whole lives) since we announced that we are going to adopt!  Between the sweet notes, monetary donations, kind words, hugs, thoughtful messages, solicited advice, encouragement, and overall support, it's just been an amazingly humbling and wonderful experience.

Last week one of my co-workers gave us a gift, it was actually the morning of our Spirit Night.  When I opened the gift, I was totally struck because she had crocheted a baby afghan for us.  SOOO sweet!

Then, while my Mom was here and Jesse was actually in South Korea, we got an email from one of his co-workers who wondered if we'd like some baby things they weren't going to need anymore.  So, on Saturday we picked them up.  It included:
A Green Co-sleeper like this!

And a changing table just like this!  As well as some baby/toddler clothes.
We were overwhelmed with gratitude, and the thoughtfulness.  That even though we don't know what God's timing is for this baby and this adoption, that He's working out all the details of our fundraising and getting us set up with other baby things too!!  

Here's a peak at some of the things my Mom got us while she was here,
Soooo cute!  Love how it all coordinates and it super gender neutral! :)

We currently have 92 piece of our puzzle left.  (I believe!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

That's a lot of Spirit!

Thanks again to everyone who came out to our Spirit Night this week!  We had a very successful night that raised just under $500 from the Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A, and then another $150 in other donations that night!  Awesome!  And a huge thanks to John White and Chick-fil-A at Renaissance Village for letting us host a successful Spirit Night!!!

Don't forget to check out the beautiful handmade Jewelry at our online silent auction that ends on the 30th!

Update on Puzzle:  We only have 97 pieces left!  Also, funny story about it...remember when I said we had a hard time finding one with 400 pieces?  Well, it turns out, that even though it says it has 400 pieces it really has over that...by 54 pieces....for a total of 454 pieces.  Odd huh?  Anyway, we are taking those 54 pieces and writing the names of the people who came to our Spirit Night on them.  :)  Problem solved!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Online Silent Auction Fundraiser!

We have another Adoption Fundraiser that is going to start tonight and go through 10pm on September 30th.  It's an online silent auction of some of the fabulously beautiful jewelry that my Mom's cousin M.A.D. made!  It's just in time for the beginning of Christmas Shopping Season too!  :)  Here's the link to the auction:  http://www.32auctions.com/wilsonsilentauction

For more of an update on our process, etc. check out Slow and Steady wins the race that I posted earlier today!  :)

Steady wins the race!

So, our Spirit Night is in just two days!  Please come eat dinner at Chick-fil-A at Renaissance Village between 5-8pm on Monday Sept. 22nd.  Here's the original post about it with more info.

Jesse's been out of town since Monday, (actually out of the country) at a conference.  My mom was sweet enough to come and hang out with me while he's been gone.  We even got a few days where we snuck (is that even a word?) off to the Outer Banks for some relaxation.  Ok, we actually climbed two lighthouses (Bodie and Hatteras) which were pretty strenuous, especially for those like me who are terrified of heights!  But we had a great time exploring and enjoying the coast!  Love those Outer Banks!  

So thankful for my sweet Mom and our time together.  I'm pretty sure this was the last little trip we'll have just the two of us, so we packed it full of sights and climbs.  Next time, we'll **hopefully** have  little one in tow!   My Mom (and Dad) got us the cutest little first outfits, receiving blankets and more for our baby, this week.  Making it all the more real!  So excited to see their sweet little face! 

As for the puzzle, slow and steady wins the race right?  We have just 103 pieces left to sell.  If you'd like to know more about our Puzzle Adoption Fundraiser check out this post about it.  Thank you again to everyone who has contributed!  We are so thankful for your thoughtfulness, prayers and donations!  


Prayer Requests at this time: 

-For the Lord to continue to grant us patience throughout the adoption process.
-For the rest of the funding for this step, and the final amount needed for our adoption.
-For the Birthmother and unborn baby.  Although he/she may not even be conceived yet, God knows which baby will be ours.  (Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.)-For our marriage, that we will continue to grow in our relationship with God and each other throughout this process.
-For our family, as they also prepare for a new addition.


Sidenote about Adoption Language.  Here's a handy chart that I think some of you might find helpful when reading our updates about our adoption.  (Or others)

Negative Terms
Preferred Terms
Gave up her child for adoption
Placed her child for adoption
Real parent; natural parent
Birth parent, biological parent
Adoptive parent
Parent
His adopted child
His child
Illegitimate
Born to unmarried parents
Adoptee
Child who was adopted
To keep
To parent
Adoptable child; available child
Waiting child
Foreign adoption
International adoption
Track down parents
Search
Unwanted child
Child placed for adoption
Is adopted
Was adopted
Taken from:  https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/ct/adopting-families/adoption-basics/positive-adoption-language/?lang=eng

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I wish that I knew what I know now...

As I sat down to write our weekly update, I found this article and before I knew it I had all but completely run out of time to write the update.  So, please read this if you haven't already.  It's helpful for the adoptive: parents, grandparents, friends and well, pretty much everyone involved.  I'm pretty sure!  :)  http://www.scarymommy.com/things-i-wish-i-had-known-before-adopting/

Update on Puzzle Fundraiser: 107 pieces left!  Thank you!!!  Find out more info about it here.

Our Spirit Night is coming up on Monday 9/22 from 5-8pm at Chick-fil-A at Renaissance Village!  Come eat dinner and support our adoption!  Find out more about it here.

Total update:  We are 50% of the way to our Adoption total.  (read: $15,000!)  So we are a good month ahead of schedule of getting to our goal of $20,000 before turning in our paperwork.  Please pray with us that we will raise and save the remaining funds needed so we can really get this going!  Getting so much more excited.

Sidenote:  What if Adoptions cost as much as they do, because God knows we'd have to rely on Him for the funds as well as banding together with friends and family (and even strangers)?

We love and appreciate you all!  Thanks for coming along with us on this beautiful, yet sometimes messy, whirlwind journey called life!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spirit Night and more

We continue to be pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed with our friends and family and how God uses each of them!  Whether it is a sweet note of encouragement, Bible verses, advice and resources, contributions, prayers or a combination of all of those we are making to our goal, and couldn't be more thankful!  We now only have 117 pieces of our puzzle left to sell.  Thank you so much!!

We're continuing to do photo sessions, tutoring and voice lessons to help raise money for our adoption as well!  If you, or anyone you know, are interested in any of the above please let us know!

Details for our Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A!
When:  Monday Sept. 22nd from 5-8pm
Where:  Chick-fil-A at Renaissance Village, 7836 Leonardo Dr, Durham, NC
Why:  To help raise money for our Domestic Infant Adoption!
How:  Eat inside or come through the drive-thru between 5-8pm and mention that you are there for our Adoption Fundraiser before you pay!  That's it! 


 If you are in the Durham area, please come to Chick-fil-A at Renaissance Village between 5-8pm on Monday August 22nd and while you are ordering please mention that you are there to support our Adoption Spirit Night!  It's easy peasy and then we will get a portion of the sales that we bring in during our time slot!  Win-win situation!  J and I will be there for most of the night at least too!  There may even be a special guest!  (not telling who!  But you can try to guess!!)

Thanks for your encouragement!  Please come to our Spirit Night if you are in the area, and tell your friends about it too!  Great food, great service and helps our Adoption!!  :)

Cute little image I found the other day...


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How the Yard Sale went and more

So we did it!  We had our Yard Sale on Saturday.  Well, I say "we" but it really was all Jesse.  I mean, I got things together and organized with prices and all.  I even helped him set it up before 7am on Satuday but he's the one who sat out there (in the very humid Carolina heat) for the better part of the day, while I went to work.

If it wasn't for him, it wouldn't have happened...and wouldn't have worked.  We had several big items (50's table, desk, coffee table, mini-fridge, etc...) to sell, as well as a lot of little ones.  And it really was a success.  We sold most everything and the two big things we had left we have decided to hold onto for a bit longer.  (Loveseat and set of lamps)

So since it was such a success you are probably wondering how much we actually made, huh? Well we made just under $140.  Considering we only spent less than two weeks gathering items to sell, we did minimal advertising (just posted signs the night before, put an ad on craigslist and the local university listing) and didn't really have all that much to sell, we are VERY happy with the results!  Operations declutter and getting ready for Baby Wilson worked!

We have 135 pieces of our puzzle left to sell.  That means we have sold 265 in just over one month!  So, we're very happy with those results!  We are hoping to have the remaining sold by the end of September and a better estimated timeline for getting our apps in.

The Lord continues to surprise us with people's generosity as well as encouragement throughout this whole process.  We are so excited and encouraged to be on this journey.

Sidenote:  If you follow us on instagram or facebook you already know this, but we recently went to two back-to-back Durham Bulls Games (so fun!  One was with my coworkers and the other with Jesse's department) and on Monday night I actually got a foul ball!  And it wasn't coming straight for my head either!  We can't wait to go to another game and try to get an autograph!  :)

"He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”-Mark 9:36-37

Photo: "He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”-Mark 9:36-37
(I've been thinking that J and I totally need to do some pics like this soon!  <3 div="" it="">

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yard Sale and more...

So, we now have 143 puzzle pieces left to sell.  I was really touched this week when we got a note with a check in the mail that said that each member of their family was getting a piece.  This is one of the families we first me when we moved out here 4 years ago.  We've gotten to know them and their sweet kiddos, and they each wanted to be a part of our story.  So sweet.  Brings tears to my eyes right now.  Thank you, thank you to everyone who has contributed to our puzzle fundraiser!

We've decided on a date for a Yard Sale and it's coming up quickly!  It will be Saturday August 23rd at least in the morning (if not the afternoon).  I'm thinking of making a facebook event about it, but if you are interested in checking out what we have to sell just message me and I will get you our address! :)

We're still tinkering with the idea of having a pancake breakfast or spaghetti dinner or something to raise support....but then I was talking with a friend who suggested something we're really excited about: having a Spirit Night at our local Chick-fil-A!  What do you think about that?  :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Closer

We continue to be overwhelmed with how God is pulling all of this together, and with everyone who has contributed to our adoption fund.  We now only have 148 more pieces of the puzzle to sell.

We've sold these pieces a lot faster than we thought we would, which is awesome! (granted we're not done with this fundraiser yet)  When we worked out our projections and decided on the amount for the puzzle, we thought we wouldn't have sold it until December which is when we'd also saved up the other half of the $20,000 goal before we turn in paperwork.  Well...it's looking like we'll reach the goal of the fundraiser sooner than December, which also means that we may be able to turn in paperwork sooner...but we'll have to see...

Anyway, we've also been thinking of having a Yard Sale to raise a little money and also get rid of some things.  Then we also have been thinking of doing a breakfast or dinner fundraiser or something.  Anyone have experience with this, thoughts or advice or want to help put it together?

It's getting closer, and more real and we couldn't be more thrilled and excited!  Thank you all for the thoughts, prayers and contributions!  We couldn't do this without your love and support!  #babywilson

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me." Matthew 18:5

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wow!

Just since I posted that update yesterday we've seen the Lord at work through a few (read: 4) special people in our lives, who between them purchased 92 pieces!  Wow!  And again I say, Praise the Lord!!  We are well on our way to our goal!  Thank you, thank you, thank you sweet friends!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update about the puzzle

I have to start out by saying how incredibly loved and cared for we have felt these last few days since we announced our puzzle fundraiser.  Thank you!  God certainly knew what we needed this week! *hugs*

So, it's kind of funny, that when we were deciding on the number of pieces there would be in this puzzle for our puzzle fundraiser we weren't really thinking about how many pieces are in a typical puzzle.  (Like apparently 250, 500 and 1000, and maybe 300.)  Nope, I was thinking that I wanted it to equal an even number, and that I wanted each piece to be affordable enough for people to want to purchase them.  So, Jesse and I decided on a 400 piece puzzle with each piece costing $25 which equals a lovely, even $10,000 if all are sold.

So you can imagine our surprise when we googled around the internet and only found about 10 options for 400 piece puzzles.  Then we decided that we would surely have better "luck" shopping locally and went to about 5 stores....that had absolutely zero puzzles with 400 pieces.  Well, that's an exaggeration, there were A LOT of puzzles with at least 400 pieces.  Like 500, 750, 1000, 2000, 4000, etc...  So we finally called it a night and decided on one on Amazon.  We've picked up a few items for our Nursery throughout the last year, and had already decided on an Animal theme so we went with this "Watering Hole" puzzle.  (With yes, exactly 400 pieces! :)

(Watering Hole 400 piece Puzzle available on Amazon.)

We love that it's vibrant in color, full of life and animals.  It's a beautiful picture of the refreshing springs of water that God gives us to drink from.  It also reminds me of one of my favorite hymns, "As the deer panteth for the water..." And, it matches our theme for our Nursery!  Love!

So, as for a piece update for the puzzle we currently have just 310 pieces left.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far whether you are near or far!  We couldn't do this without your thoughts, prayers and financial help!  Thanks!!  If you are interested in helping with this fundraiser, here's the post that explains it better!!

~Juli

Monday, July 21, 2014

Announcing our Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser!!!!

We're excited to announce that we are doing an Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser!  While we are still picking out the perfect 400 piece puzzle for our little one's room   we wanted to go ahead let you all know about it!  

Here are the details:

- 332 pieces of the puzzle left*
- $25 per piece, and you may purchase as many pieces as you would like!
- Each piece will have the name of the person/family who purchased it written on the back.

The easiest way to pay is through our "Donate" link to the right which goes thru PayPal.  Or you can write us a check  If we successfully sell each piece by the end of Dec. 2014, we'll raise $10,000 towards our adoption and be able to start the actual adoption process!!!  And another great part is that we'll hang this special, love filled puzzle in our baby's room and be able to show him/her all of the people who helped bring them home!  

*If you have already donated to our adoption fund, we are writing your names on the backs of the pieces you've already "paid" for.  

Thanks again for helping us bring our baby home!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Encouragment along the way

J has been gone all week.  In fact, he's getting back in just about an hour.  I'm so thankful for the sweet friends who've spent a lot of time with me this week while he has been gone!  I love how God just puts people in your life to brighten your day, or week, or month ....(or I could go on forever...:)

Anyway, I am so excited for J to get home!  I sound like such a wimp because I miss him so much after he's been gone about a week, and I think of the people who spouses work crazy hours (Nurses, Doctors, Firefighters, Police, etc...) or in the Military and might be gone for weeks, or months at a time.  I just truly have a lot of respect for those people.  Because it's got to be really hard!

Just since I wrote the update on here the other day, we've had so many people give us encouragment in many different ways.  I've truly been overwhelmed by all the questions, comments, thoughts, prayers and conversations this week.  It's been especially nice timing since I'm missing my other half.

I saw this quote today and had to share it here. I love the perspective!  I googled it to try to find the origin but to no avail.

"Adoption...Not a second choice, a fallback option, or because you can't have "your own". But wholly believing you are seeking to bring home the very child God created with you and your home in mind, fully equipping you to be the very parent He created you to be."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Progress

We've had a pretty busy but good summer so far.  We had an opportunity to take a one night getaway for our 6th Wedding Anniversary in June, which was fabulous.  Then I got to go back to Colorado for just over a week to visit family!  I got to see most of our whole family, which was such a blessing!  I also got to do some photo sessions with family when I was there AND with my bestie from college and her hubby on their beautiful family farm!  Check out facebook.com/wilsongphotography for sneak peeks or to book a session!  I got back from CO and the hubs headed out to a conference in NH.  (Similar thing happened last year! ha!)  

Anyway,  we've been so blessed by family, friends and of course our jobs -- and I'm happy to let you know that we are 35% of the way to our goal of fundraising before we can actually start the adoption process!!!!!  Now, if you look at the ticker and think you see a different (and lower) total than before, you are right.  So, while we have actually saved and raised more money, we've also slightly altered our goal (from 30,000 to 23,000) due to the fact that we're pretty confident that either: a) we'll qualify and receive a zero-interest loan or grant in the amount of the tax credit or b) God will provide us another means to raise the remaining $7,000 after we actually start the home study and rest of the process.  

Needless to say, we're excited.  Still very excited for this whole journey.  Some parts of me wish that it wasn't so expensive, or that there wasn't so much paperwork or such a lengthy process for adoptions. 

But then, I'm reminded that we, too were adopted.  When God adopted me as a daughter, it was not because of anything I did and it came at a great personal cost to Him.  

Here's Ephesians 1:4-10
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ."

So, when you think about it that way, the whole adoption process seems like a piece of cake.  Well, maybe I wouldn't go that far, BUT, it does give a beautiful picture and some good perspective.

I've also been reminded in the last few months since we decided to go ahead with adoption now (instead of after we already have biological children), and then announced it, is that God is always in control.  He's in control of every detail of everything from the water in the sea, to the rocks on the mountains, to the hairs on my head.  He even knows how many ounces of water there are in the sea and the number of hairs on my head!  Crazy huh?  Crazy cool, to think that our God who is infinite in Power and Might, is also loving and full of mercy and grace.  He's orchestrated/ing the details of our lives to fit into His eternal plan.  And, I'm just so thankful for all the support that I have from our Father in Heaven, friends, family and of course my sweet hubby for this journey of adoption on our journey of life!

I've been trying to meditate on this scripture a lot lately too:

My life verse, which is Philippians 4:8.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fundraising: 1/5 of the way there!

It's been 3 months since I updated last, and a few things have changed.  We haven't completed (or even started) the homestudy portion yet.  We thought we would have had it done by now, but we're realizing that, again, God's timing isn't the same as our timing.  (Thankfully!  Because His is always better!)

We decided on an Agency (yay!) and are very excited about it, but there's a good and bad thing about it.  It's out of a nearby state, and the program we'll be joining can have a very short wait time to be matched with a birthmother.  So that presents the good and bad.  The good part is that the wait time can be (no guarantees of course) very short, but the bad part is that we need the total sum of the money available when we really start the whole process.  Otherwise it could really cause some complications and we could even wind up losing the baby.

So, that leads us to where we are right now.  In the fundraising stage.  We've been saving half of each of my paychecks, giving lessons, doing photo shoots and also have had various people (some anonymous) send us money.  We are so thankful for everyone who is asking us questions, asking for updates, praying for us, praying for our baby, our journey and also who has contributed so far in any way.  We are again overwhelmed by the love that God has been revealing to us through each of you.

We just crossed over into being 1/5th of the way there!  I may put a ticker in the sidebar to show where we are with fundraising....  (Does anyone do that anymore?  Would anyone be interested in seeing that?)

We are still booking photo sessions, giving voice lessons, and J (Rocket Scientist hubs) is looking for students to tutor at High School/University level in various sciences/math in the Triangle area if you are interested.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Part of the Journey

So it's been just over a month since we made our big announcement, and I thought it might be a good time to update on where we are with the whole process (so to speak).

We are gathering documents and saving up money for the Home Study that we actually hope and plan to have complete by the end of April/beginning of May.  I think we have decided on the company for the Home Study itself, but we are still looking into agencies for our actual Adoption.

We have been drawn to the story of Hannah, and her son Samuel lately.  She prayed and prayed for a baby and after she saw Eli at the temple that one day, and he thought she was drunk on wine but she was actually praying to the Lord for a baby, the Lord granted the desires of her heart.  Then we know that she actually dedicated her son, Samuel, to the service of the Lord.  What a beautiful story.

Similar to Hannah, we've been praying fervently for a baby of our own.  Although we don't know the timing, we are so excited to be on the journey together.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Journey to Become J Cubed

I know I said I was going to announce this last week...but I had to wait until our families had all gotten in the know!  So here it is!

You may already know that J and I have always wanted to have children, both biologically and through adoption.  While we are not sure if infertility is an issue, the Lord has led us to start pursuing adoption soon.  We realize this may come as a surprise to some of you, but even before J and I met we each wanted to adopt.  There are so many children in the world, and even in America, without homes and families.  So we would like to take one or two of those children into our loving forever home.  We’re so excited to start this journey too!

I met with a dear friend (who is also my boss' wife), who has both personally adopted as well as helped others adopt, to seek guidance with agencies, etc in the area.  We already completely a “Pre-adoption assessment” to get ball rolling.  We have a heart for adopting Domestically we are open to wherever the Lord leads us, and know that it may take over a year until we get to bring our child home.  So patience is indeed a virtue yet again!  (We have not yet chosen an adoption agency or completed the home study but hope to have those done before summer gets here.)

We covet your prayers and support as we prepare to become parents, for our child(ren) who is(are) likely not born yet and for the birthmother(s).  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

With Love,
us

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Update

Long time, no see!  There's a reason I'll share tomorrow, as to why I want to pick blogging back up, but for now I just want to update y'all on a few things.

Life has been kind of crazy these last few months.  Lots of changes.  Lots of work.  Lots of Love.  Lots of family.  Some travel.  Some rest.  Some stress.  Some sadness.  Lots of blessings.

J did get that fellowship he applied for a couple years ago. In fact, he just finished the renewal for it.  He's still busy with research and mentoring.  Also, kind of just waiting on God to lead us to where he wants us.  I've actually become the Marketing Director at that great company moved to 1.5 years ago and I love it!  This job has been the best, and seriously such a blessing from the Lord!  Love the people I work with, the guests and just everything about it!  We also started a little Photography business on the side since I last posted here.  I have a few voice students that I teach, and Jesse continues to rock at fixing things up at home!

This past weekend I took J out of town for the weekend for his Birthday!  (He just turned 33!)  We went down to Charlotte because we'd never been there before.  I found the cutest little B&B to stay at, and it was just perfect.  Great food, sweet hostess and nice guests!  We even all prayed over the meals each morning.  (not something you see everyday! but how refreshing!)


The pic above is from the Billy Graham Library (museum) where we spent about 4.5 hours exploring.  It was incredible to see how God used this man and still continues to do so.  If only we were all so obedient to our calling the Lord has given us.

We also went to IKEA.  That place is full of ideas for organization.  I just love it!  Even though it is a bit overwhelming at times!  We got somethings to help organize our kitchen, bathroom and a cube storage bookcase type thing to use as a partial room divider and for storage.  We also found this bed frame with drawers that we were going to get instead of the other things...but we measure the Jeep and it just wouldn't fit. :(  Sadly...if we were just going across town it would have been fine.  But since we had to travel about 3 hours home on the interstate we just couldn't risk it.  Maybe one day...

They have a huge Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World at Concord Mills which was really cools but a total knockoff of Cabela's if you ask me,....  Concord Mills was huge and we only stayed there a bit.  We did also find a Garden Ridge that we found a couple of items for our home in too!  Love that place!

We found some other fun things while we were away but those were some of the highlights.  It's always nice to getaway, celebrate a Birthday and recharge!  I sure do love that man of mine! <3 p="">