On The Road!

Well, not quite. We leave for Estes Park, CO tomorrow bright and early. We are taking 4 bus loads of kids and adults to youth camp for the week. Amazing! It will be very amazing if check in goes as I've planned and prayed it would go. I had a wonderful crew of helpers there today getting all set up. The kids are so excited. I'm probably the only one a little bummed because my hubby is staying behind. I need to just move past that, don't I. I'll be so thankful he stayed home when I get home in a week and see the house completely finished! I made him a To Do list last night :-) It's only up to #12! We'll see what else I can come up with.

I'm off to do laundry and pack and make more lists!


One Little Step

That's what it seems like sometimes - little step after little step, never really getting anywhere. I know that's not true - those little steps will soon lead us to Ehiopia to bring our babies home!

We received an email today from our case manager! I was thinking we wouldn't hear anything for a week at least so that was exciting to get that email. Our case manager welcomed us and assured us that she's with us every step of the way. I had a few questions - mainly, do we wait until after the home study to start our other paperwork. hhmmm.

We also received word from our home study provider! Ya! I sent our information to the office here locally and should have sent it to the main office - bummer! So they will forward it on and we probably won't hear anything for a few days.

Princess (Pat's 16 yr old) and I leave for youth camp in Colorado on Sunday. We're gone for a week - not sure if I can get a connection there or not - Hubby may have to do some blogging! :-)


I Have Not Lost My Mind!

...even though my husband thinks so! I'm going to have a garage sale. Most of you will understand that this is a good thing. We're going to ask our friends and family to donate items and all the proceeds will go towards the adoption. My husband thinks I'm crazy cuz we're trying to get our basement finished and also get our main level finished from a recent remodel. And then I tell him "we should have a garage sale!" Bless him, he didn't even argue with me! Although on the inside I'm sure he's wishing the Lord would just zap me! :-) It probably won't happen until August (the garage sale, not the zapping). I have a lot of prepping to do but I'm excited to see God use this to help us raise money.

We're also sending out a letter tomorrow to our family and friends letting them know about our journey and asking them to pray for us. We're also asking for them to pray about financially supporting us. I've really struggled with this part - it's hard to ask for help. I sincerely believe that we are doing what we can to save money and raise money and that there are probably a few friends or family that really do want to help. I just pray no one feels guilted into giving - so if you receive a letter - please don't feel guilted into giving! Only give as the Lord leads you. I'll post a copy of our letter tomorrow so you all can read it.

Until next time - off to sort through my "trash that's another man's treasure!"


We've Got Mail!

Yahoo! We received an email today from our agency letting us know they received our contract and first payment. We received access to the online planner that gives us a step-by-step of everything we need to do (wow, there's alot!). We're really kind of stuck until we finish our home study though.

I called that agency today and the person that is in charge of scheduling home studies was on vacation but was supposed to be back in the office later today. So they said call back tomorrow - oh, I will! :-) When we originally talked to them about their agency and stuff they said it usually only takes 6-8 weeks to complete the home study so that's good - a little quicker than some of the other agencies we talked to - still seems like a long time though!

That will give us time to finish the basement and try to save up some more money because the basement is draining our stash! It's a catch 22 because we can't adopt till we finish the basement yet finishing the basement requires money! We are trusting in the Lord though - we know it's His will to adopt and trust He will provide the funds when they're needed.


The Joy in the Journey

Today was a great, exhausting day. We had a wonderful time of worship and fellowship at church and then came home and grilled hamburgers. Yummy! Even though we have tons of things to get done we did take a little nap. Aren't Sundays great for napping! Anyway then we went to work in the basement. I basically stood around doing nothing until hubby would need my help holding a board or something. I guess I did work on getting the laundry done. He finished framing the basement and then we got it cleaned up for the electrians to come in tomorrow. We still had a lot of junk down there we had to haul out to the garage. While we were cleaning and hauling things upstairs we were both griping about how miserable it was.

I then remembered something the my co-workers and I had talked about at devotions on Friday. So often when we're in the middle of something frustrating or difficult it's easy to miss the journey. We're too busy looking way ahead for the end result-so wanting to get through the icky parts. But in the middle of the icky parts God is able to bring peace and hope and joy that no one else can. He can help you to be thankful for what you have and not so crabby about what you don't have.

So we started enjoying the fact that we're even able to finish our basement and that hubby framed the entire thing himself and that my dad and him were able to finish the plumbing and soon it will be a family room with another bathroom (YAA!).

Whatever journey you're on today, don't forget to enjoy it! Don't be so focused on getting through it that you miss out on today and how the Lord wants to bless you!


Change is good right?

Ya, I changed my blog layout again. I think it's only the third time. I'm very new to the blogging world and other than completely taking control of my mind and body it's been a rewarding experience! The other night hubby went to bed before me (because of course I was roaming through the blog world)! Now that tells you something is wrong because that never happens. Anyway, I figured this blog will be for more than just the adoption, which is why I changed it a little. You'll get a peek into our crazy life too. What fun!

So my dad and hubby finished the plumbing in the basement. The electrian came today to get some specs and he'll be back on Monday with his crew. It's so exciting. Mainly because the more the basement comes together the closer we are to getting our babies!

Oh ya, we had chinese food tonight and guess what my fortune said: "You will travel a long distance soon"!! Hehehehe - I don't usually even read the fortunes and I don't believe in them at all but I had to admit that was so cool! :-)

I emailed our agency about getting access to the photolisting of children waiting. We're really praying about the age of children to adopt. Hubby has said he wants two more kids and that's it! Well, I've never experienced the baby part of motherhood (for those just joining, our kids are my step-kids) and I really want to. But I also want to do God's will so I'm hoping for a really clear sign of what we should do. Keep praying for us regarding this and also regarding the travel. We have some time to decide of course but I know it will be here before we know it!

No late night blogging tonight. Tomorrow's the Lord's day so I need to go to bed! Night-night!


The Waiting Game

We find ourselves waiting...imagine that! I need to get used to this. I actually shared with the youth last night about waiting. God had laid that on my heart that we need to wait on Him. We looked at the book of Habbakuk and how he had to trust in God's perfect plan even though it didn't seem like God was working. So, our prayer is that we would daily give this adoption to Him.

I told you a few days ago we sent in our contract to CWA. They received it on Wednesday morning at 10:30 am (or so UPS says). We have yet to receive an email or phone call. :-) Ya, I know I'm crazy. They did say in the original paperwork they usually contact within 24 hours of receiving the paperwork so hopefully tomorrow. Hopefully we'll also hear from our home study provider.

My dad is coming tomorrow to help hubby with the basement. They'll finish the framing and the plumbing. The electrican will hopefully finish that part next week and then we can get the sheetrock and drywalling done. The following week (July 1st-7th) is the FLY convention and me and daughter will be going. Hubby's going to stay home and work on the basement ALL WEEK! Maybe when we get home it'll be all done! Guys - if you're looking for something to do that week - come on over!

Hope you're waiting on the Lord in whatever circumstance you find yourself in today. Take a minute and read Habbakuk, you'll be encouraged! I especially love the end of chapter 3 - even if everything else fails and we're left with nothing - still Lord we'll praise and our joy will be complete in you!


Three Dogs

Yes, we have three dogs. Most people think we're crazy when we tell them we have three dogs. Not only do we have three dogs, but they are spoiled babies who spend way too much time in the house. I asked hubby the other day, "What if our baby is allergic to dogs". I won't repeat what he said - he really loves the dogs :-). Seriously though, that would be hard to say goodbye to the doggies if we have kids that end up being allergic to dogs. Charlie is a Lhasa Apso and he'll be 10 this year in September! He's my baby and loves spending time with my parents on the boat in Chamberlain. Then there's Allie. She's 4 and is a Border Collie/Lab mix. She's a little thing, skinny and only about 40 pounds. She's also the pouter of the group. When she's scolded she'll go pout in the corner until we give her a hug! And then there's Ed. Ed is the baby yet he's so much not a baby! He's a Lab/Husky mix and he only weighs about 85 pounds! He's actually lost 10 pounds this year. Ed is our talker - he'll have a conversation with Pat every morning about any issues he's having.

Hubby has taught all our doggies lots of good tricks; they all can give high fives, Ed plays dead like a pro, Allie rolls over ever before we say the words, Charlie sits on his little behind and begs. One trick he hasn't shown Ed and Allie is how to NOT shed! It's quite a joy trying to keep the house clean with their constant shedding coats.

Our dogs love kids. When we had our one-year old foster child they were so good. He'd pound on them and chase them and hug them and they just sat there. We've been blessed to have three wonderful faithful friends and Lord willing they'll be a part of our family for a long time!


Time Stands Still

That's what it seems like when going through this process. My boss continually reminds all of us to "live the day". I have to keep saying this over and over to myself because it's easy to long for "tomorrow" when we'll have our new children home. I know, I know - I talked earlier about the scripture that says "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in IT". It's a daily struggle to live in today and it seems when completing form after form and waiting for the next form and the next contact that time stands still.

We mailed our initial home study information so now we just wait for them to contact us to, I think, complete more paperwork before starting the actual home visits. We're working like crazy to get our basement finished - we have a ways to go but our plan is to keep that project one step ahead of the adoption and the timing should work out perfect! :-) We'll see how that plan goes! Hubby and my dad are going to do some of the work but we decided to hire out a majority of it - mainly so it can get done faster but also because Pat has alot of other projects in the works!

CWA should receive our contract and packet of forms that we just sent. As soon as they do, we'll have access to the online information and that will give us step by step. Then we'll start completing the forms for USCIS. We'll keep you posted when that starts happening.

Live the day! We thank God for this day He's given us!


A Father's Story

Since it's Father's Day, I thought I'd share with you today. As Missy talked about earlier, we had to write our testimony to be submitted to the Ethiopian government. Since this was the first time I've written down my testimony I thought it would be worth sharing with everyone. PQ

Who Is Jesus Christ to Me?

Six years ago I would have answered that question very differently than today. Back then, I wasn't a Christian and never claimed to be. I didn't believe in God. All I cared about was having a good time. The world was my god and I felt that the more I could experience and control the happier I would be.

I had been divorced for a number of years and had joint custody of my daughter. I would live one lifestyle while she was home and another when she was away. I wanted to set a good example for her but those "rules" didn't apply to me when she wasn't around. I smoked. I drank. I looked to the things of the world to fill my life. I was never satisfied and never happy. I had always felt that something was missing but those thoughts were never allowed to linger in my mind. I would force them out. I was living my life for me. That's all that mattered.

I met my wife through work. It was not an ideal situation for either of us. She was married and I was lonely. Lust, fear and distorted lies changed our lives forever. She had walked away from God at that point and I had invited her. We were married out of the church and I thought I would finally be happy. I wasn't.

The three of us started to attend church together. I always tried to get out of it, but my wife always made me go. I went along and pretended to care and understand. I had been through it before. I was confirmed as a teenager and faked it then. I could do it now. I was concerned the day my wife recommitted her life to Christ. What would that mean for me? Where would that lead our relationship? The next thing I knew my daughter had done the same. I was almost scared of them. What if they knew how I really felt?

On evening, about 2 1/2 years ago, it happened. We had just had, what I thought to be an incident that would destroy my marriage and my daughter's life. My daughter had stopped believing in Christ, and my wife had found out and submitted a prayer request to our church and her friends. I was torn between what I saw as betrayal by my wife and the pain and hate for what had happened by my daughter. I didn't know what to do. So I prayed.

I prayed to a God that I hoped existed. I prayed for answers to questions. I prayed for a solution to this problem. As I prayed I cried. The more I cried, the more I prayed. I was overwhelmed. I asked God for forgiveness for all that I had done, all the sins I had committed. I asked Jesus Christ into my life... and I felt changed.

It took a little time but we worked through our problem. I believe it was God using my family to get my attention. It worked. He used the only things I truly loved at the time to show me that He truly loves me and that He has plans for me that are bigger than I can comprehend.

I continue to grow daily in my faith. I still struggle with my faith on occasion, but God tells me what He wants from me. It's amazing to hear Him speak to me through His Word and through my family. So who is Jesus Christ to me now? I can answer openly and honestly that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior.

I wish to pass this knowledge on to my children. The fact that God loves us no matter what we have done in the past. That God is a loving and caring God and through Him all things are possible. I pray that God would speak through me to my children and that they would hear and understand that even though we are all sinners, that God loves us.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13



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God's Amazing Timing

Hubby and I have been struggling with writing our testimony of faith for our application. For me I could write about 10 pages, but I need to condense that down to 1 page. On the other hand hubby is not as wordy as me so struggles to get even 1 page. I've been searching and searching for one specific verse that has applied to both our personal faith and our marriage. I came to work today and read my daily devotion...

"When it seems like circumstances are ouside your control and the world is against you, remain faithful to God, especially when the days are dark. God promises to restore you for your own good and His glory."

"As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil." Genesis 50:20

This was the verse I was looking for! Wow, God is so amazing.

When we were first married we weren't right with God. Satan tried to destroy our families but God is faithful and brought us to Him. The power of Christ is such that He can bring healing, hope and joy to even the darkest situations. This power and love of Christ is what we desire to pass on to hubby's kids and our future children.

We rejoice today in God's faithfulness!



We had our orientation call today from CWA. The orientation counselor was very helpful with answering our questions. We talked about common issues with international adoption and an overview of the adoption process. We also talked to our home study provider and will be attending a 2-day training session next week. This is a requirement before the home visits begin. We've completed our paperwork for the contract with CWA and will get that sent in and from there will start completing more paperwork!

I was reminded today of the bible story of Phillip ministering to the Ethiopian in the book of Acts. Check it out in Acts 8: 26-40. We've also started doing research on Ethiopia. There's a good website, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia that has some very interesting information about Ethiopia.

Today was the first day that I started to think about an actual child. I know that might sound strange but for the past 4 years we've been researching and praying and thinking about adoption and it's always been a "process". Talking with our orientation counselor today about the attachment of the child and having a good balance of the Ethiopian culture, etc it kind of hit me that a child is out there, maybe born already, maybe not. But God knows what child (or children) is supposed to be a part of our family and it's just real amazing to think about it.

Join us as we pray for this child (or children) that will, Lord willing, be a Quittem in 9-12 months! Have a good night!



We submitted our application to CWA this weekend. Just today already we've received the contract information we have to complete within 30 days along with our first payment. It's very overwhelming but I think mostly because we've never gotten this far before. We've spent the past two years or so looking at information and agencies so it's exciting to actually be doing something.

There's only 17 pages we have to review and sign and send in and that's not even our home study! Pray for us as we complete the paperwork and also as we look for a home study provider.


This Is The Day

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!" Scripture gives us this great verse - one that we've learned alot about over the past year. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come - today is the day the Lord has given us and we will choose to make the most of it. That's hard to do sometimes, especially through the process of adoption. Our prayer is that our focus would be on only today, that each and every day the Lord gives us we would rejoice in it, regardless of what that day brings.

We've decided to adopt through Christian World Adoption. Their website is www.cwa.org. We'll be going through their Ethiopia program and those adoptions usually take 10-12 months. I will for sure be going to Ethiopia when we receive our referral, Pat is still a maybe. He's not too keen about flying over the ocean :-) but we'll see! It would be a great experience if all of us (Pat, Holly and myself) could go - we'll just leave that in the Lord's hands!

Have a great day!


It Begins

Thanks for checking out our site. We want to keep you up to date with our journey through adoption.

A little over a year ago the little boy we had been taking care of for 12 months went back to his birth mom. We knew it was God's will for this to happen. It was still one of the hardest things we experienced - although amazingly I think it drew our family closer to each other and to God. After that I was bound and determined to adopt - nothing was stopping me! In my heart though, I heard the still small voice of the Lord saying to wait a year. I fought with this for awhile and didn't share this with hubby. Eventually I went to hubby and said, we need to decide what to do. He said, "Let's wait a year". I started crying, not because I was sad but because I knew so clearly this was God's will.

I won't say the past year hasn't been hard. But it has been amazing knowing we are in God's will and there's been a reason to wait. So that year has come and gone already. We just got back from FL to visit the foster child we had for a year, now our God child and his family. We had such a wonderful trip.

We are now trying to determine what agency we'll use. We're both drawn towards international adoption but again, there are so many agencies to choose from. Finances are tight so that's part of our decision but of course there are so many other things to look at.

Thanks for your prayers through this process. We're excited for what the Lord has in store!