Sunday, June 26, 2011

You'd think we'd have it all figured out by now ...

We know adoption. Done it ... twice. We've had 3 home studies - one for each boy, and one when we became certified foster parents a few years ago. But this is a whole new ball game. I'm figuring out all the international adoption jargon slowly but surely. We sent off our application to An Open Door Adoption Agency on May 16th. A few weeks later, we sent in our service agreement and commitment fee.

Now begins the fun ... the home study! For those who have never adopted, this is the part where you give them every detail of your life from birth to present so they can decide if you'll make a good parent! :) Just teasing! Honestly, it is a very involved process ... but SO worth it for the end result (and much less painful than childbirth!)

Just to give you some idea:
Last week - Order certified copies of birth certificates for me and Scott
                     Physicals/medical reports for 3 kiddos
This week -GBI and FBI fingerprinting for me and Scott
                     Physicals/medical reports for me and Scott
                     Write our autobiographies (not kidding)
                     Complete marriage and adoptive applicant questionnaires

Also this week ... we made our first attempt at fundraising. With only two weeks' notice, we jumped in on the neighborhood yard sale. It wasn't the raving success that I would have liked, but we got rid of some junk unused items and added a little to our adoption fund!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Her name...

This is a first. I have never picked out a name so long before actually seeing the child I'm naming. But this name is ... inspired. It's been on my heart for awhile. So what does it mean to us?

Charlotte - It is the feminine version of the name Charles, which just happens to be part of both mine and Scott's dads' names. Charlotte is also a tribute to a Baptist missionary named "Lottie" Moon (short for Charlotte) who was a member of our church when she was appointed to CHINA!

Abigail - Gail is my mom's middle name. One of the meanings for 'Abigail' is father's joy. God has called us across the world to bring an orphan home. To give her a name. To give her a family. I want my daughter to KNOW that she is wanted. Loved. Cherished. Her Father's joy!

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling. 
(Psalm 68)

“How many there are … who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God.” Tungchow, China,Sept. 15, 1887 (Lottie Moon)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hanging on for the ride!

The past few years have been quite the journey for our family! After our daughter was born, we just knew God was calling us to have more children, but despite our best efforts ... things just weren't working out the way we planned. I remember often being asked, "How many kids are you going to have?" - which, based on my circumstances, seemed as silly a question as "Who's going to win the lottery tomorrow?" In my heart, my answer was always, "Four." But my head told me that wasn't possible. 

Fast forward a few years ... We have been changed - both physically (from 3 to 5) and spiritually. God miraculously added to our family through the adoption of our two sons. We are so blessed, and I can't wait to share my heart for adoption as I blog about these experiences. 

Where God's leading now ... 

Well, God is not finished yet! Over a year ago, I began to feel led to explore options for bringing our fourth child home. (Amazingly, each time a child was soon to come into our family, I felt "expectant" as if something BIG was about to happen!) I called an agency in Georgia with questions about Guatemala. After informing me that the Guatemala program was closed and finding out some details about our family, the lady on the phone suggested I look into the China program. At first I dismissed the idea, but after talking to the program directer, I just decided to pray about it. Scott and I prayed for over a year. With a "yes" in our spirit, we just waited on God to give us the green light. It wasn't until this spring that we felt the "go ahead." So on May 16th we sent off our application and began the journey to our daughter from China! We're thrilled, humbled, and a little scared! It's what keeps this faith journey exciting!!

I'm anxious to share the ways God has transformed our lives and for you to experience this next season of change with us!