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.