Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Plan

Top questions anyone asks us about adoption:

1. Isn't it expensive?
2. Are you adopting from the orphanage you've been to in Ethiopia?
3. Girl or boy?

1. Um, yes.
2. No, they are not adoptable.
3. Unknown, as per usj.

Adoption is crazy expensive. It's intimidating to think that we'll have to pay thousands of dollars for a child in need. It's frustrating but definitely not a deal breaker for us. There are plenty of fundraising ideas we've got our eyes on and organizations that help with adoption and interest-free loans and we'll make it happen. The first two fundraisers we have are t-shirts and prints.

Our t-shirt campaign will last for 21-days (until January 20th, 2016), and you can purchase one here! We'll make over $10 on each t-shirt that's purchased and all proceeds will go directly to our adoption fund.

Our prints are instant download for $5 each. You can purchase them directly from our Etsy account and print at your convenience.

We also have a YouCaring account where we can accept donations. We're not looking for a handout, which is why we're selling t-shirts and prints. But if t-shirts and prints aren't your thing, and you still want to donate, you can give on our YouCaring page.

We also covet your prayers. Please check out our prayer requests page to see the specific areas and things you can pray for. We can't do this without being covered in prayer for our journey, our family and the people of Ethiopia.

We are hoping to have the first $10,000 raised by March so that we can officially apply to our agency. We've been pre-approved but the director of intake has advised us to have six to ten thousand dollars ready to make the first few payments. Having this money readily available will help us to not be slowed down by lack of funds and be able to move forward quickly.

We've prayerfully chosen Ethiopia as our country. We feel connected to Ethiopia because of our past trips to this country. We know the culture and the people and the stats. Ethiopia is twice the size of Texas and there are over 4-million orphans there alone. We have fallen in love with the orphanage in our tiny little town of Ambo/Gouder and we can't imagine starting our adoption journey anywhere else.

Because Maddox is our first born, we're respecting his place in our family and we don't care the age or sex of our child as long as he or she is younger than Maddox. Realistically, we're probably looking at a child five or under, although we could have a faster adoption due to the medical needs of our child.

We're walking into a big unknown but we're so excited to move forward. It's going to be a good year!

You are the God who sees me

In the fall of 2012, my friend was bringing home two precious babies from Ethiopia. My mom was traveling back to the orphanage where Evan and I have been three times. And I was a few months pregnant with our first child. I remember the anger and disappointment that I was not bringing home a child from Africa or even in Africa at all. Our situation was completely different than what I had planned for us. We had planned to adopt first. We had planned on maybe not even having biological children. We had planned on being 25 before children were even an idea in our minds. I remember many long and aggressive talks with God on my drives to and from work. I wasn't praying, no. I was arguing and upset. I let Evan in on my complaints and my feelings and until I felt those first flutters of baby kicks on Thanksgiving (how appropriate God's timing truly is), I was still ungrateful for the new life that was being knit together in my womb. And then our baby was born, a perfect boy we named Maddox. And on his birthday, I found redemption. I found that biological children and adoption are not mutually exclusive. I found that God's timing is greater and His plans are generous and they work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

I've been keeping track of all the verses that apply to our adoption. I have a list of verses to rely on when I'll undoubtedly feel the stress and pain of the waiting. But one that I continually fall back on is Genesis 16:13. It says, "You are the God who sees me." I think about the emotional roller coaster I rode while pregnant. Some of it was hormones, most of it was insanity. And through it all, in the midst of my pain and sorrow and mourning the loss of what I thought I wanted, what I thought was best, was my faithful God who caught every tear, who heard every word, who never turned His back. He saw me. He is the God who sees me and hears every cry, every prayer, every joyful noise. And in that I put my trust because He is the God who heard my plea for adoption and for orphans and who has answered my prayer in perfect timing.

As we begin this new season of life, we are feeling every emotion and praying continuously. We're venturing into the unknown but relying heavily on our adoption life verses and continuous support from our friends and families. This entire adventure could not happen without the people who have stepped behind us and become our village. It's full of prayer warriors and people who stop by with bottles of wine just to catch up and pray and people who give and send encouragement through hugs and texts and e-mails. We're so thankful for our tribe of people and we're holding on tight as we take the first steps into the unknown.

Thank you to everyone who has come along side of us as we prepare to announce our adoption. Thank you to everyone who has shrieked in excitement over our news (we've told most of our dearest friends in person). Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and shared in this excitement. We can't wait for this new adventure and our new addition.