January has been a really great month for us.  First we had our fingerprint appointment on the 7th and received new pictures of the girls on our way home that day.  Then our very first care package to the girls left the states on January 10th, bound for Africa to deliver the news to our girls that they have a family coming for them!  They should be receiving those packages any day now and we’re praying that we have incredible update pictures next week!

Next was the third annual Trot to Adopt 5k and Family Fun Run to benefit four local, adopting families.  We were approached with the opportunity to be a recipient family in the Trot for the second year in a row.  Initially we graciously declined the invitation thinking we couldn’t be successful the second time around.  That same day, two different friends called to ask if we’d thought about doing the Trot a second time.  One friend in particular strongly suggested we go for it and just trust God to  use it.  That’s exactly what we did.  We took a very hands-off approach, knowing if it was going to be successful for our family, it would be because God did it, not us.  In our hearts, we were hoping for around $6,000.  As we helped total the money at the end of the day, we were shaking from the outcome.  God used the race to bless our adoption with another $10,200!!!  We just can’t thank each of you enough, who participated, raised sponsorship money, helped plan, and especially those who prayed for that very special event.  We look so forward to many races to come as we bring our entire family to participate for more adopting families and the children they will bring home.

Ready for the next incredible story??

Josh and I have been looking online for a new (used) van.  Our minivan isn’t big enough for our expanding family and it’s on the bottom half of it’s last leg–in fact, it was in shop just yesterday.  As my van has been spitting and sputtering down the road the last few weeks, I’ve been praying that God would provide a vehicle for our family that we can afford without debt.  After looking online at the large price tags for a decent, used, 12-passenger van, we gave up and decided it will be best to just make due with what we have until we’re debt-free.  As Americans, we are so incredibly blessed to have an average of two vehicles per family.  Having to take both vehicles anytime we want to go somewhere as a family is such a small price to pay when we’re already so blessed.  A larger van is simply a want based out of our desire for comfort and convenience.  I can accept that.

As I sat at home with no vehicle yesterday, I received a text from a dear friend who now lives 2,000 miles away.  She recently delivered her seventh child.  As we were texting back and forth, she informed me that they had just ordered a beautiful new 12-passenger van.  Their new van won’t be ready for about eight weeks.  Are you ready for the most amazing sentence??

If you haven’t already gotten a new van, we’d like to give you our old one!

Let me first say that our current van is a 2001 with over 210,000 miles on it.  If it fit our new family, we would keep driving it until the wheels fall off.  It has been a fantastic vehicle!  Their old van is a 2006 with only 146,000 miles on it!  We’ll be able to drive that van for another 8-10 years with good maintenance!  We were in complete shock and awe for the rest of the day yesterday.  I took great joy in paying the mechanic yesterday evening as I picked up our minivan from the shop, knowing we just provided a few new tires and a much-needed tune up for whomever the Lord gives it to next.  In efforts to pay it forward and bless someone else as we have been blessed, we will be giving our minivan to a family that needs it once our new one arrives.  To be honest, we don’t have anyone in mind right now, so if you know of a family who truly needs and cannot otherwise afford a minivan please email us their story and information.

We certainly pray God’s richest blessings on our generous friends!  May God pour out His grace and provision on them as they have selflessly blessed us!

We never doubt God’s provision, but we are so unworthy of our everyday comforts and conveniences yet God, in His infinite grace, blesses us above and beyond once again.  We give Him all the praise, glory, and honor!  I pray you are encouraged and blessed as well.  Our heavenly father tends to our every need and so often chooses to also give us the desires of our heart.

I look forward to posting new pictures very soon and announcing that we have a court date in DRC!  We’re still on track to travel in May, so please pray that there are no major kinks in the final stretch of our journey.  Adopting three at once can mean three times the chances for mistakes in paperwork, etc.  We’re resting in God’s perfect timing and striving to use the next few months excellently as good stewards of our time and resources.

I’ve been working in the girls’ room; painting their kitchen set and making bow holders for each of them.  Here are their bow holders.  I still have to attach ribbon to the bottom:

P.S.  We have updated our fund thermometer to include our travel expenses–in case you were wondering why our grand total just went up $10,000.