Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Doctor who?

I know we had a doctor before this new doctor, but I've moved past the bad experience because I can see now why God was moving us away from there.

At the advice and recommendation of quite a few friends, we switched offices to a practice that is over 30 minutes away from our home. The specific doctor that was recommended would be a few months out for an appointment, but the new doctor at the practice was available within a few weeks. Since we have children waiting on us in Uganda, we chose the new doc... and I am so glad we did!

Azriel and Titus had their physicals for the homestudy this afternoon. The wait was long. The patience of the children was worn. They only had enough TB to do the test on one kid. It wasn't perfect for sure, but our new doctor and the nurse were outstanding. Here is the major "God is in this" sighting... She and her husband are African. She is from Ghana! AND she said adoption is close to her heart and was so excited to be the one that will be the doctor for all of our children!

God is good all the time...

Let me hear you finish it!

Fundraising update. 50 of 500 pieces sponsored... 3 jars collected... We are blessed. :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013


The puzzle is put together :) We can't wait to take it apart piece by piece to put our supporters names on the back! It has 500 available spots with a suggested donation of $10 each. You can donate through the "Donate Now" Uganda flag button or directly to one of us. I am going to enjoy looking at this puzzle for years to come with all our children while we talk of how God provided through each of you to bring them home!
The first TWENTY have been sponsored by a family we absolutely adore. You know who you are and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We are still collecting jars of change too. A friend of Matt's Mom filled a jar with over $70 worth of change!  Thank you! We are hoping to print up prayer cards if you would like to place one by your jar or on your fridge. Let me know if you would like one.  Your prayers for our whole family are much appreciated!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Knock. Knock. Judgement Time.

This Monday was judgment day. The homestudy visit where they make sure your house is perfect, your kids are perfect, and you are perfectly prepared to have more children. Since we are perfect, we passed. Seriously though... I knew that they weren't looking for perfection, but I sure felt like I needed to be.

The preparation had started weeks before as we cleaned, organized, and made sure all the requirements of the homestudy were met. Knives were put up. All medicines were relocated. Doorknobs on the master bedroom closet were changed to keyed locks. Those things that were to be put in the locked closet were moved there. The deck got gates. The pool got a safety net. And so on.

By the time we got to the day, I felt pretty confident, but still cautiously nervous. The day started well, other than a migraine brought on by a storm and until members started calling from the gym and my husband rushed off for a 40 minute round trip, not including door system fix time, leaving the kids to take care of 7 goats, 7 chickens, lots of rabbits, 2 ducks, 4 quail, and a dog and with the nice lady scheduled to be here at 10:30 expecting children in clean clothes not "Mom, I fell in goat poop" clothes... thank you Titus. Yes, that may just be run-on sentence written purposefully by a homeschool mom. No, I don't care if you judge me. We had been attacked and I knew it. My normal response would have been to flip my lid. Do people still say that?  However, I put on the satellite TV music station and "It is well with my soul" was playing and it was well with my soul. God is good. He's got this. Somehow, Matt got home with plenty of time to spare. The girls got the most goat milk we had ever gotten in a single morning. All the animals were fed and watered. Everyone was in clean clothes. Breakfast was consumed and cleaned up. There was even time for decorating of the front porch and all of them to wait outside for her arrival.

The others had mostly washed off when I went out today.
This was Trinity's "We Love Adoption" right in front of the welcome mat.
Do we get bonus points for awesome kids?
The visit was just an hour long. It included a tour inside and outside. Then her talking to the kids casually about the adoption, how they felt, and how they were preparing. It was more a friendly conversation with someone taking notes the whole time while asking getting to know you questions. This was not the dreaded judgment I was expecting. Were the kids on their best behavior? No. Were there things I wished I had said once I reflected after? Yes, but I guess we did okay. She mentioned grants, set our third appointment, and let me know she would be emailing me about how to care for our new children's skin and hair. Sounds positive to me!
The rest of the day and this week so far have been a roller coaster of really awesome moments, good's, bad's, and you've got to be kidding me's. Hearing from a mom that just saw our kids two weeks ago. Bank issues. Spending time with my mom and then sister-in-law and her family. Kids arguing. Previously mentioned mom emails me updated pictures of the kids! Shopping with Trinity.  Thefts from the gym... which my thoughtful husband didn't mention until late that evening, but had known about all day. That was just Monday!
Thank you everyone for your prayers, for asking us how it went and how it is going, for commenting on my t-shirt ideas on Facebook, for not saying "you are crazy", for writing heart felt reference letters, for loving us through this and not minding that it is consuming our minds and conversation. We love you guys!
And a big thank you to my husband and kids for putting up with my mind not working well, for burning dinner while I typed this up, for when I get frustrated that I have too many tabs in my brains browser open. I love you all too :) 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

I have been blessed to with a Dad who loves, trusts and cares for me. He wears his heart on his sleeve. While I was growing up, he worked hard, played hard, and made sure he was at my games, my awards ceremonies, and every life event he could. He has been a great example of everything a father should be. Father to each daughter equally... whether you were the one living in another state, adopted, or the one whose birth caused him to almost lose his wife. My Dad showed me what a father and husband should be so I would know what to look for. He is compassionate. He gives more than he ever receives. He leads his home with passion. He delights in his grandchildren. I could go on and on! One thing he has always done is point us to our Heavenly Father. For that, I am eternally grateful!
Matt is an amazing Daddy in part because of what an amazing example he had in Tommy, his Daddy, and also because he looks to his Lord for everything. I love the way Matt loves on our children. He makes sure each one knows how much he adores them... and he truly does. They care for others because he shows them how to. They can't wait to help him with a project, go outside with him to milk the goats, jump on his back when he is looking the other way, and curl up next to him on the sofa. He has taught them to fight for what they believe in, to enjoy the down time, to put others first, and so much more. I am so blessed to be the helpmeet to this man and a witness and recipient of the work he puts into being a husband and father. I am looking forward to seeing even more growth in his life as he becomes a father to the fatherless this year. Next Father's Day I hope to post a picture of him with all seven of his children :)
Happy Father's Day to all the men out there who take on this tremendous responsibility. May God bless each one of you today and every day!
Off topic. Tomorrow is the second homestudy meeting. Please keep us in your prayers!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Homeschool Convention. A birthday came and went.


The HEAV Convention was great! Matt, the kids, and I met the Duggars. The keynotes and sessions were outstanding. It is the refreshment every home educating family needs and deserves.

I think I must have had on adoption tinted glasses. I kept thinking of next year and picturing all 9 of us being there. I spoke with a gentleman who had three bios, adopted 5 (sibling group) and then 2, had 2 more bios, and is adopting 6 now (another sibling group.) I saw a family with 7 kids all wearing "147 million minus 1" t-shirts. It's amazing how many orphans are waiting! Saturday, I was walking Azriel to the restroom when we spotted an interracial family. The girl smiled at me and then I saw her brother. His backpack had the flag of Uganda on it. God is so good to give me this little moments. I don't believe in coincidence. I do believe He cares for me that much.

Her birthday.

Emma is excited that her "twin" is now her age... until next April of course where she'll be older for less than two months :) This weekend Miss M turned 9. 

I know I'm not her mama yet, but I am. Does that make sense? I wish I could have flown to Uganda today to hold her, spoil her, and make her day as special as she is. Even if I could have, it may hurt her heart more to have me come and then leave, then if she didn't even know I existed. This is her first birthday as an orphan and I pray with all my heart it will be her last!

Today, I ask you all to say a prayer for her. Pray she feels her heavenly Father's arms wrapped around her. Pray that she somehow knows deep down she has a family that is thinking of her... hoping for her... wanting her here more than anything.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Change our Family FOREVER

Even for someone who enjoys paperwork, this may be a bit overwhelming. 
Part 1: UPDATE
It's been just over a week since we committed on paper to increasing our family size through adoption. So, I guess you could say we are "paper pregnant!"
I have so many details I could share... from sending off of the contract with our first of many checks to fixing my printer so I could print off the 50+ pages of ridiculous completely necessary paperwork. I honestly think the saying "everything but the kitchen sink" should be changed to "everything but a DNA sample." Okay. Back to the purpose here. Let me share a few God moments.
I spoke on the phone for 2.5 hours (I know! Who does that anymore!?!) with an amazing lady who has adopted from the same orphanage, had four bios at the time they adopted, and they homeschool. God is so good to me. I got to connect with the director of the home in Uganda through Facebook (much more my normal.) He is a pastor and has been very gracious to answer my messages when he wakes up at 5:30AM Uganda time. The next amazing thing was how quickly the agency here in Richmond is helping us get our homestudy done. Appointment one of three is complete. I believe I have about 2 weeks worth of paperwork to complete before the home visit... and some money to raise. That is an important part, but as we look at their picture at every meal, we are set at ease because we know God wants us all to care for the orphans! He will provide.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27
Part 2: Fundraising
To quote Johnny Cash ... "I yelled stick 'em up - Give me your money, your watches and rings."
I'm not to that point yet, but don't put it past me! If you don't know me well, let me put it out there that I'm mostly totally joking.
Here is a list of ideas we have found or come up with to cover the cost of the adoption. I also plan to apply for as many grants as I can once the homestudy is complete. PLEASE feel free to say
"Ummm. You may want to reconsider that idea" or "I love your idea. Pure Genius."
 And if you say the first one, please reply with an idea you think will work so I can crush your ego too :)
1. Build a Puzzle - Buy a puzzle (500 piece maybe) and write the name of the caring person on the back of their sponsored piece. ($5 or $10 per puzzle piece?)
2. Yard Sale - Except donations, clean out our garage/closets and SELL SELL SELL!
2.5  Repeat #2 - At a later date of course.
3. Personal Training - Snap Fitness is foregoing our percentage on all of Matt's personal training sales. This means 100% of what you spend goes to bringing our children home.
4. Give 1 Save 1 Africa - Make a professional looking video with the help of family and friends to attempt to be a featured family on this amazing blog. The family this week has already earned over $2,000!
5. Survival Bracelets - The girls are going to make and sell survival bracelets (paracord) with 100% of what is spent going into the adoption fund.
6. Change our Family Forever - See video. Click here --> Change
That's all for now folks. I promise the next post will be back to my normal style with less facts!