What are you doing with your spare bedroom(s)?

Today I have had the time to clean house and listen to some sermons on adoption. I love to hear and get more knowledge about God's word and his heart for the fatherless. I want to yell it from the roof tops. THERE ARE 143 MILLION ORPHANS ON THE EARTH. That is half of the population in the US.

I listened to a series from a church in Tulsa that has started an adoption ministry. The preacher's name is Dr. Alex Himaya. He is the founding and Senior Pastor of The Church at BattleCreek, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Church at BattleCreek is one of the fastest growing churches in America. It has grown from 120 to over 2,000 in attendance in its first four years of existence. He spoke at our church last year and he is awesome. He is passionate about the orphans of this world and their church is stepping up and doing something about it. The last I heard about this church was that 40 couples had adopted 70 children! That is so cool and I think that our church could step up and do the same!

I just listened to a couple of his sermons about adoption and orphans. Click here to listen. I took notes between folding laundry.

Here are some of the things I wrote down:

If you lined up all of the orphans of the world shoulder to shoulder they would rap around the equator of the earth 3 times! Seriously, visualize that!

James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Why did God have James write this?

1. Orphans cannot repay you.

2. To teach us about the love of God. (orphans are often slow to love you back)

3. God is for adoption!

Right now there are 115, 000 children ready to be adopted in the US.

Since Clay and I have started this process we have had so many families say- "we would like to adopt one day" or "I have always thought I would adopt."

1/3 of Christians consider adopting but only 2% actually do. LETS CHANGE THIS NUMBER! IF GOD IS PRICKING YOUR HEART-PRAY FOR GUIDANCE AND TAKE ACTION!

I am so excited to change a little boys life through adoption! I see it as a privilege to get to experience something that is so close to our Father's heart.

I love this video and it forever changed the way I will raise my children.


What's next?

We are moving along in the process.

Our home study at our house went great. Our social worker is super sweet and is full of great information and advice.

The only things we have left to do.

Clay has to write his autobiography before Tuesday.

We have two more home study visits(8/27 and 9/2)

We have to have proof of dog records! Ooopps I guess I need to take Oscar to the vet and get his shots. This requirement makes me laugh.

After our home study is complete we will then mail it to the government USCIS office for their approval for the I-171 "Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition" I don't fully understand it but it is a form that we will eagerly wait on before we can mail our dossier to Ethiopia. They said it could take up to 3 months but from what I have seen a couple of months is common.

So if our home study is done around the first of September and we wait for the I-171 for two months. That would mean our dossier should be in Ethiopia in November. The current wait time to get a referral for an infant boy is now 5-7 months. So April to July we could have a referral for an infant boy 0 to 12 months old. That isn't too far off! I am so excited.


1st Homestudy visit

Sunday was an amazing day. Starting with an awesome morning of worship at our church. Have I mentioned that our church and its leadership is amazing! I love it! Brother David brought the heat yesterday with an awesome message! I love his heart and passion!

Sunday night we went to an Ethiopian fellowship that our adoption agency plans each month. It was amazing to be able to meet people that are passionate about the Lord's heart for orphans. The people there either have children adopted from Ethiopia or are in the process like us! It was so encouraging!! I was so excited to get to meet and pray with people passionate about changing the orphan crisis in our world!

A couple of families there Sunday night were inspired to adopt through this precious family's video. They hosted our meeting last night and I got to love on Levi Jeremiah. He is beautiful!! They have an amazing story. Here is their blog. They are adopting two more children soon! Look what their biological children are doing to raise money to help bring home two more Ethiopian children. I love this story. Their children get it. They saw orphans in Ethiopia and their lives will never be the same! Oh how I long for the day that my children get it! I love to see children selling their possessions to help orphans.

Today we had our first home study meeting at Panera. It was great! I just handed in alot of paperwork and they asked us some questions. They were super sweet and very laid back. Our "in home" home study is tomorrow. Yeah! I am so excited b/c I want to get the home study done and sent to USCIS, ASAP! The following week we should be able to get the individual home study interviews scheduled. Things are moving! :)


Even better news!!!!!!!

God is moving mountains!

I have always been told that our daughter had to be 2 years before we could mail our dossier to Ethiopia. Yesterday I found out that wasn't true and that we could mail it as soon as it was ready!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS ON CLOUD 9!!

Hopefully I can get it done quickly and get our son here earlier than we thought. I am pushing to have it done by November! It is out of my control b/c the gov't has to do alot but God is in control and we will have our son when the timing is right. I am just excited b/c I was worried we could get stuck in the ethiopian court closure next year but I don't think we will now! Yippy!

We did get fingerprints done today!


Good News

Looks like the process is back to what we originally thought. We should have our son somewhere from JULY to NOV 2009. Just pray that there are no big hang ups!

Our homestudy starts Tuesday so I'll let you know how it goes.


More paperwork!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I have the urge to write and unwind alittle. I feel like I need to put my thoughts in writing to see what I've done and what needs to be done. I have been doing paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. Luckily I am fairly organized with this kind of thing but I get stressed easily. With my personality I like to get things done and I don't rest until everything is completed. There are positives and negetives to that. Clay is opposite he will sit on something until it is due and not stress about it one bit.

Today I got our homestudy paperwork. We will start the homestudy in 2 weeks. We will have 4 meetings with our social worker. There is a lot of paperwork to pull together for this. One thing is a 2-4 page autobiography for Clay and I to do. I got the instructions on it today and guess what, I did it today! Today we got some official looking papers from the government too. They are very vague and tell us to be at the USCIS office at a specific location, date and time. I am pretty sure we are just getting fingerprinted but it doesn't really say that anywhere.

Here is what I have done so far for the Dossier(pronounced dosea) in case you ever hear me say that. The dossier is all of the papers we will send over to Ethiopia-probably in January.
1. Application Letter
2. Ordered new Birth Certificates for the family
3. " " Marriage Cert.
4. Got physicals
5. Proof of insurance through Merck
6. Financial info
7. Proof of income/employment
8. 1 reference letter
9. FBI records/background reports
10. Sent off I 600 gov't form(don't ask I don't know)
11.Got my passport
12. I've finished 8-10 hours of online training! Clay has done 20 mins or so

Still need:
1. Clay's passport
2. photo pages
3. I 171 approval
4. a finished homestudy report
5. 2 reference letters

Most of these papers have to be notarized so I need to do that too!

Things I have completed for the homestudy:
1. My autobiography(rough draft)
2. Income tax returns
3. Medical reports for my kids
4. copies of insurance cards
5. Police clearance

What I need to do or get:
1. Read 5 books of required reading.
2. along with lots of forms to fill out.
3. Clay's autobiography

With every check mark I put on something completed I know that I am one step closer to our boy or His boy.

Total expenses so far:

Application Fee $250.00
Online Training Fee $175.00
1st payment to AWAA $1,500.00
Tracy's Physical $15.00
Clay's Physical $15.00
USCIS for I600 $830.00
Marriage Cert and 2 birth certs $46.00
Passport Photo(2) $20.00
Passport Clay $100.00
Passport Tracy $100.00
Police Report-Tracy $29.00
Police Report-Clay $29.00
Anslee's Birth Cert $17.00
Homestudy $1800
Post placement fees: $1050

Total: $5976.00

God is still blowing us away with the money coming in. We have no worries regarding the financal end of this. We KNOW that he has called us here and he will provide!

Once our homestudy is complete we can start applying for grants and receiving tax deductable donations.

Thanks again for all of your love and support!

Happy #adoptionday2017