Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Garage Sale Success!

WOW! Tulio and I are amazed at the results from our garage sale today! We made around $830. Another awesome thing---we had a donor generously give a matching gift for our sales. The result equaling $1660. AMAZING! God is good! We started our day early at 3:30 am. I followed Tulio in our fully loaded rented Uhaul to The Woodlands Town Center. We waited behind 24 eager sellers until 5 am to unload our treasures. I have to admit, I was worried how Tulio and I were going to unload everything by ourselves. Upon entering the garage, I noticed a bunch of happy teenagers (at 5 am!) walking around the parking garage. I rolled down my window, and asked them if they were looking for something to do and they eagerly said, "Yes!" I said--FOLLOW THAT U-HAUL. We parked into our spot, told these kids that we were having a adoption fundraiser and within 20 minutes our Uhaul and car were not only fully unloaded but our spot was completely set up! It was so incredible! This fun group of teenagers was so great to us. It did not stop at them helping us set up. They brought us water three times and asked over and over if we needed more help! As I write this, I am still in AWE! On Monday morning--I am heading straight to the high school to compliment these kids! They deserve it!

This fundraising event could not have been as successful without the help of some awesome family, friends and neighbors. To you--we say thanks! You are helping us bring our precious baby girl home from Ethiopia. I can't wait to tell Ava the stories of God's faithfulness while we waited for her!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dossier/Homestudy Update

There are over 40 individual documents to collect. In less than two weeks, we have collected 90% of what is on our checklists. The home study checklist is super long as well as the dossier checklist. Lots of required reading too! Over the Easter weekend, we faxed over 35 pages to Duni (our family coordinator) for pre-approval. Today, I received an email that they were ALL approved to move forward in the process. I have felt God's assurance and presence in every piece of paper collected. Please pray that the remaining documents are sent without delay. The total cost to date has been around $ 6000.00. I know God will supply all that is needed to proceed in our journey.

Garage Sale & Dossier Update

I have been so busy sorting and pricing all the wonderful items for our first adoption fundraiser for Ava. We have rented a booth at the awesome flea market-The Woodlands holds twice a year. The kids are excited to wear their money pouch on Saturday. Benjamin already has change ready to go! Check out the results on Sunday---lots of pictures too! The last week has also been spent collecting the necessary paperwork for our Dossier and Home Study. We are close to having all the required paperwork. Please pray that the rest of the documents come in quickly!

Our Garage is FULL!

A big Thank You! to the following: The Clark Family, The Welch Family, The Davis Family, Our neighbors Suzy and Marianne and Stormy. They have cleaned out their closets and garages for our sale!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Physicals & Shots...Oh Boy!

Today was so much fun! We spent 2.5 hours with our doctor this morning getting the necessary physicals and first round of shots. What a joyous Spring Break! Tulio and I got 3 shots, 1 TB test (our kids did not appreciate the term "test) and lots of blood drawn. Abby and Ben were scared to death and dreaded the required TB test. After way too many promises made--ice cream, toys, anything you want, etc...they finally gave in! Tulio and I will have to get two more rounds before we head to Ethiopia. Can't wait!

We love our bandages!

Ben kepts his arm like this all day!

Abby was not happy about this photo session!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Passports & Paperwork

Tulio and I received our passports in the mail today! They are really cool. We also received the dossier guidelines package. It was not nearly as detailed or scary as I had imagined. I spent the better part of the afternoon starting on it. It was actually fun! There is pleasure in obedience. Every document is one step closer to our precious baby.

"I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart." Psalm 40:8

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In HIS Timing

The process of adoption is lengthy, tiring, worrisome and costly. AND, we are just starting! Today, I was reminded that bringing home our daughter is in God's perfect timing. Knowing and trusting that God, in His awesome power, knows the very plans in store for our family. Why should I worry--His eyes are on ME! Letting go of the control and surrendering is so difficult. My daily struggle--actually a lifelong battle. A very hard lesson for me! My husband is so wonderful! He sent me an email today and I had to share a little, "God is going to take care of all our needs, let's promise to keep our eyes focused on Him." Tulio always knows what to say and when to say it! I am blessed!

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Friday, March 7, 2008

Important People

We know who are ET coordinator (Duni Z.) and social worker (Beth P.) will be. We should hear from them in the near future.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Receipt of Payment to USCIS arrived today.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fingerprinting & Agency Agreement Forms

Today I mailed off a very important form--the I-600A--Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. Copies of birth certificates, marriage license, money order for $830 and lots of forms were Expressed Mailed-overnight to the Houston office of U.S.CI.S.--Citizenship and Immigration office. Included with this form is a Biometric Services request. Basically, Tulio and I have to be fingerprinted with Homeland Security. This form takes a while to process and we have to wait for an appointment to be fingerprinted. Please pray that this step is quick! In a separate package, I mailed all of the agency agreement forms and first payment today. We will be assigned an Ethiopian family coordinator soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Journal Entry II from Abby

The next morning I decided that I should mention to my family how I newly felt towards adoption. Dad was preparing breakfast and my brother and I were getting ready for a late start to school. I was eager to tell my mom what had happened in my heart at the concert the night before. Walking out of my room, I saw my mom working at her desk on her computer. Very excited I said, "Mom, guess what? I feel okay and more opened to the idea of adoption then I ever have." As soon as the words came out of my mouth my mom looked a little surprised and answered back, "really?" I shared with my mom how God had spoken to me the night before and began working in my heart. "That's good Abby because people have been praying for you, " mom said. We hugged and immediately went to tell dad and Ben. I repeated to my dad the same feelings while Ben jumped up and down at the breakfast table. He was really excited! My mom and dad explained to us the long process of adoption and where our new sibling would come from. "Ethiopia," they said. Dad explained how many orphans live in Africa-- mainly because of poverty. My heart sunk. I couldn't even imagine this. I quickly realized that we had the power to change the life of one child FOREVER. One little Ethiopian girl would have a family to call her OWN. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I can't wait to meet Ava!