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Unofficially Official

adoption, children, Family, Uncategorized By 02/15/2011 1 Comment

God has been working in our (mine and Josh’s) hearts for the past few weeks.  My heart has been completely torn up for Africa since God directed me to the blogs of Christie and Katie.

Let me retrace our steps…

We settled on an adoption attorney in South Carolina for various reasons and anxiously awaited all of our paperwork.  Two weeks have passed and we have yet to receive anything from the attorney’s office.  Our foster agency was going to go ahead and send our home study to the attorney’s office, but the girl who was going to put it in the mail was out for a few days last week because her children were sick….


On our way to pick up the boys from my parent’s house on Sunday, Josh began asking me questions about the whole adoption process and whether or not I was sure about the road we were taking (domestic adoption).  I told him I was still praying for every step of the journey and that if he had any reservations he needed to speak up.

He began telling me how he felt about domestic adoption after all that we’ve learned in the past month.  Domestic adoption has long lines of couples without children, waiting to get the call that there’s a baby for them at the hospital.  Basically saying that all of these babies will have a home and a family.

This is where he shocked me.  He went on to say that he feels a family like ours (already having three biological children and wanting who-knows-how-many more) should be rescuing babies from orphanages in third world countries where there really is no promise of a home or family.

That’s when I hit him with the question that was just DYING to come out of my mouth:

Do you mean we can go to Africa!?

This is where my heart was thumping out of my chest and God just confirmed every ounce of anguish I’d been feeling inside for all of those beautiful African faces that I see each time I close my eyes.

Oh Lord, did you really change his heart THAT fast!?

Indeed He did.

We spent hours on the computer with the boys that night watching videos of African adoptions, learning about the different villages where God has sent missionaries, and researching agencies who work with Africa.  We found All God’s Children International and completed the pre-application to see if we meet their requirements.

Today at 2:37, I got a call from AGCI to let us know we’re approved for their Ethiopia program!  We’re going to have to wait a few months before submitting our official application because approximately $9,000 will be due within 90 days of applying.  We’re working hard to continue paying off debt and will begin to sell everything that’s not nailed down in order to raise the first $9,000 and get the process going!  I have complete peace for the road ahead and I’m overjoyed and excited to watch God move in our journey to Africa. We will begin our fundraising right away in the form of yard sales, Parents’ Night Out events, and selling hair bows that I began making back when we were trying to adopt our two little girls out of foster care.

Please continue to pray for us in the months ahead.

We give God all the glory and continue to seek His wisdom and direction every step of the way.



Twisted Tuesday

adoption, children, Family, Uncategorized By 02/15/2011 No Comments

God has been doing some pretty radical stuff in our (mine and Josh’s) hearts in the last week or so. I’m so excited to share with you the changes happening in our adoption process but I need to wait on one particularly important phone call before I divulge. We should receive the phone call today or tomorrow. 🙂

Fourth verse for the year with Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team is one that has been heavy on my heart:

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27



A Hunting We Will Go

Family, Homestead By 02/12/2011 No Comments

One of the reasons the boys went to Greenwood this weekend is because my dad had been planning a hunting trip with Jesse.  Joshua went with him during deer season and Jesse was going to go with him for a pheasant shoot.

Oh the joys of southern living with boys!

Thankfully, Josh and I have had a wonderfully productive day.  We woke up around 9:00, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to Lowe’s to get six windows for our addition.  I cleaned the house while Josh did all of the prep work and then I went out to help.  This afternoon I stopped by Erin’s house to bring three boxes of preemie diapers I happened upon in the back room while cleaning out rubbermaid bins.  It was a treat to be able to snuggle with the babies and feed little Clara before heading back home to continue working.  Now I’m taking a breather and getting dinner started.  Josh is working on window number five and running out of day light, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

I will be so incredibly thankful when this addition is finished.  Then we’ll really be able to make room for Zoe!




adoption, children, Family By 01/31/2011 No Comments

I can tell already that the adoption process can be all-consuming if I allow it to be.  In my quiet moments, when the kids are napping, as I fold little child-size clothing scattered across my bed, as I close my eyes to pray, thoughts of her consume my mind.  I’m going to choose Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I must choose to let the God of all creation consume my every thought.  I must take captive the temptation to dwell on Zoe all hours of the day.  I feel strongly in my heart that she’s already out there, growing in the womb, so I know that if I don’t take my thoughts captive, I will succumb to them and strive (by my-all-so-powerless-self) to hurry the process along, constantly fighting the temptation to make phone calls to check on ‘things’, while my heart races each and every time my phone rings.  I can’t live that way.

There’s much to be done.

We have to file our taxes in the next few weeks and pray that we get a large enough return to finish our addition and put down the $2,000 commitment fee that will be due at the adoption agency in a few weeks.  We will have updates to do for our home study.  We’re in the process of refinancing the house.  Once our addition is finished we’ll have to move all of our living room furniture into the new living room, move all of our exercise equipment and school room furniture/materials into the new school room, and last but not least, we’ll turn the school room into Zoe’s nursery.

I have total peace that we are working on God’s timetable and nothing will happen any sooner or any later than God has already planned it to happen.

I’ve been awake since 5am when Jesse woke up again with a 103 fever and splitting headache.  I’m tired.  However, I’ve gotten loads and loads of laundry done and it feels great to have a jammie day with my boys.  Looks like tomorrow will be a repeat since we won’t be carrying our germs to co-op.



What’s in a name

adoption, children, Family By 01/30/2011 No Comments

With each pregnancy after Joshua, we always picked out boy names and girl names leading up to the big ultrasound. Josh is very picky and never liked any of my girl name choices. He was always stuck on one particular name:


In my mind, Zoe was Elmo’s friend on Sesame Street; not the name of my little girl. I never really liked it.  As we started discussing names for our daughter, I went down a long list of names with wonderful meanings.  Josh didn’t really like any of them.  He gently said,

“I still really like Zoe.”

All of our children’s names (first and middle) have significant meaning.

Joshua Nicholas: God is salvation, defender of the people

Jesse Clayton: God beholds (Clayton was my grandfather’s name)

Owen Christopher: desire born (we’d prayed for a third child and tried for over a year), Christ-bearer

I was sharing with the boys about the precious gift of adoption. I explained abortion to them and how they will have a little sister because her birth mother chose life for her baby; our baby. I had been looking up Hispanic girl names, hoping to add some of her heritage to her name. One name stood out to me and when I put it together with Zoe, I knew it was the one.

Zoe Amaris – Life promised by God

I am already aching with love for my daughter.  I can already feel her warm cheek against mine, rocking her in the still of the night; praising God that her birth mother chose life.  Speaking purpose and blessing over her even now.  What a good, good God.

I’m overwhelmed.




children, Family, Gardening, Homestead By 01/30/2011 No Comments

What a wild weekend it has turned out to be.

I was awakened Saturday morning by a phone call from my mom.  She was in North Carolina visiting my brother and sister-in-law while my dad was in Atlanta with the Army reserves for a few days.  He’s being deployed to Iraq for three months so he was tying up lose ends and meeting some of his team for the hospital in Iraq.  Saturday morning he woke up and checked out of the hotel.  He walked outside, looked around…

His truck was GONE.  We’re not talking about a little pick-up truck with a stick shift.  This was a 2009 Ford F250 4×4.  My dad had packed the truck the night before so all he’d have to do is check out in the morning.  Therefore, his suitcase, GPS, his gun, all of his clothes, army gear, dental and medical records from 17 years in the army, all of it was gone.  When the police reviewed the surveillance tapes, they saw three men with a tool bag break into the passenger side door, break the steering wheel, hot wire the truck, and drive off in under 90 seconds.  Unbelievable.

My dad was stunned and shocked and even asked one of the officers:  There were Corvettes, BMWs, and SUVs in the parking lot, why would they want my big truck?

Surprisingly, he was told that four-wheel drive trucks are the hottest commodity on the streets of Atlanta right now.  They steal them and use them to rip out air conditioning units and strip the units for copper, they drive them into the front of convenience stores, strap a chain to the back of the truck and steal the ATM machines, then they strip the trucks and sell them to a salvage yard.  Incredible.

However, through it all, we can trace God’s hand in it and are very thankful that no one was hurt.  My dad rented a car and is back home now.  He will probably wait until he returns home from Iraq to buy another vehicle.  It is highly unlikely that his truck will be found.

We, on the other hand, spent the day outside prepping our garden area, feeding the worms (which appear to still be almost frozen), and building our chicken coop.  This is what the end result should look like.

It always amazes me that Josh can simply look at a picture and replicate it. He has built our entire 20’x20′ addition on the back of our house by himself. He should have been an architect. However, his work as a graphic designer seems to suit him just fine as well. Last night we attended the ADDY Awards. This is an awards dinner put on by the American Advertising Federation. Josh’s work won three bronze, one gold, and one of only four Best of Show awards. We are very thankful that God has blessed Josh with a good job and a boss who loves the Lord. It is surely a blessing to love your job.

And lastly, by the end of the night last night Jesse was running a 102 fever. This morning, Owen was coughing like a seal and Jesse was throwing up. I’m praying it passes quickly without any more captives.

Josh should be able to finish the coop this afternoon. My Sunday School leader called her brother who has a small farm in Aiken and he wants to GIVE us four of his hens. They’ve just finished moulting and have already resumed egg production. We’re hoping to visit his farm next weekend to pick them up.  What a blessing!

Pictures to come!