Friday, December 23, 2011

Necessary


I saw this picture this morning, and it seemed fitting for this time of year.  We have so much in America, and I am so thankful for all that the Lord has blessed us with!  I think of these children's empty bellies, and I am thankful that I have never had to experience that, but my heart hurts for those skinny arms, reaching out for help.  

One of the blogs I follow has started an organization to help give these children a voice. voices4thevoiceless.org

I hope everyone has a blessed Holiday season!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coffee Filter Wreath

I've seen these coffee filter wreaths on many blogs and I've been wanting to make one for some time!  There weren't very many good tutorials out there, so my first one turned out poorly!  I came across a blog that showed a different way of making them, and it worked out SOOO much better!  Here's the natural coffee filter wreath in baby's room.
I absolutely love how this turned out!  It was super simple to make, and pretty cheap as well!  Here's what you'll need:

A foam wreath, coffee basket filters (white or natural), marker, and glue gun.  You may need 2 packages of filters depending on the size you're making.

Put the marker (or something similar) in the middle of the filter, and gently wrap it around...
Like so.

Next, place the hot glue on the bottom of filter, and hold to the wreath for 5 seconds.

  Repeat this all the way around, making sure to glue the filters close together.
(The second filter was glued right next to the first)

Half-way through!
It took me a couple hours to complete this wreath.  Dan couldn't believe how beautiful it turned out!  He really likes it in the baby room!
 I am definitely going to be making more of these.  Many of our walls that  have bare spots are looking like they need a wreath!  I am currently in the process of making a novel wreath for our bedroom.  It is pages of an old novel, made into flowers and then glued onto a wreath!  This one has taken more time, but I am excited to share the results once I am able to finish it!  Happy crafting!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A day late...  We had a good time celebrating Thanksgiving at my uncle's house.  He is a chef and owns a restaurant, so the food is always incredible!  I got to meet a cousin of mine for the first time!  My aunt and uncle adopted her as an infant 3 years ago now, and we just got to meet her now!  She is such an adorable little girl!


Today is also a special day, and not because it's "black Friday"!  Dan's 24th birthday is today!  I am so incredibly blessed to be married to this man!  He is such a wonderful husband and he makes it so easy and fun to be his wife!  I didn't have to babysit today, but Dan had to work....  :(  We'll have a fun evening together though...   

On the adoption side of things...  Nothing new and exciting yet.  We were contacted by another "birth mother" last week.  I put birth mother in quotes because I highly doubt it was a a legitimate situation.  Somebody was definitely trying to scam us; there were red flags all over the place!  They were basically asking for $$, but it was so obvious, we realized it was a scam right away.  It is so sad that people prey on hopeful parents like that.  We never did heard back from the first woman, and we are beginning to think that may have been a fake situation as well.  We're remaining hopeful though!  We know that the Lord will bring us the baby He wants us to have and on His timing!  He has, and will continue to provide for all of our needs!  We have so much to be thankful for, and although we're extremely excited to become parents, we are really cherishing this continued time of just the two of us!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thess. 5:18

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Eph. 5:20

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Updates

Dan went deer hunting this year and we were really hoping he'd get a deer, his first, so we could enjoy the meat.  Well, he got one!  A good sized one!  He got it in the first hour of being in his stand on opener morning!  It bedded right under his stand, and he was able to get a good shot amidst the branches.  I'm so proud of him!  We cooked up some venison the other night, and we were just saying how it is so much more satisfying cooking and eating something that Dan 'slayed' for our family!  :) 
Dan with his 8 pt. buck


In other news, we were contacted by an expecting mother this week!  After being on our new profile site for less than a week!  We don't know a whole lot at this point, as she has only responded to one email.  We're not getting our hopes up yet, as there have been some adoption scams out there, but we haven't seen any red flags at this point.  It is just exciting knowing our profile is being viewed!  In only 24 hours on the new profile site, we had the same amount of views our original free profile did in 2 months!  So I guess you get what you pay for!  We're just really feeling optimistic, even if this situation doesn't work out, we feel like something will come from this new website.

Please continue to pray for us!  We know the Lord will cause this situation to fall through if this is not our child.  We also need wisdom when talking with expecting parents, as it can be a little awkward knowing what to say or not say.  We are praying that the Lord would use this new website to connect with our child's birth parents!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scratch That

Well, things are going well around here.  We finally received our typed up home study from our social worker, so we were able to send our grant application in to Steven Curtis Chapman's, Show Hope.  We're excited to see what the Lord does with that!  We also found out last week that we will not be able to enter the agencies book due to a requirement we were not made aware of until now!  There are some things that we're not open too, post placement, and you need to be open to those things in order to be in their book.  So we were really disappointed finding that out, we wish we had known about it earlier in the process.  Oh well! The Lord wasn't surprised by this!  I also sent in our paperwork to an online profile listing site.  It is one of the most popular online adoption profile sites and they have a lot of success stories.  That should be up and running sometime next week.  We're so excited to see what happens with that!

I am part of a website that adoption agencies can post 'birth mother' situations looking for adoptive families.  There have been a few situations we probably would have sent our profile to, but the fees these agencies are charging are so high!  Many are double what we were expecting to pay!  It is so sad that adoption has turned into such an 'industry'.  It's sad.  There are children that need homes, and families that would love to adopt.  I wonder how many families considering adoption, don't, because of the high fees.  I read on an adoption blog that of the 34% of Christian families considering adopting, only 1% actually does.

Thanks everybody for your prayers and words of encouragement!  We really appreciate it!  It is good to be reminded that God is control of all of this.  I was reading in Proverbs the other day when I was feeling discouraged about the recent happenings.  This commonly used verse really gave me peace.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Out to eat with friends

Friday, October 21, 2011

Waiting List

We haven't heard a single thing regarding our outreach yet, and I am trying not to get too discouraged!  I am thankful that we've been busy, as it helps keep me distracted.  We aren't feeling too optimistic about the outreach program, so we've decided to join the waiting list for the Profile Book through our agency!  The waiting list is really long, we're 23rd on the list, so it would be a few months until we could even have our profile in there.  We were hoping we wouldn't need to spend the $$ to go into the book, but we're beginning to feel that it may be the best option for us.  We still plan on continuing our outreach while we're on the waiting list, and we're still hoping something would come up before we enter the book!  We'd appreciate your prayers for us during this time.  The unknowns are so difficult, and we need wisdom from the Lord throughout this process! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I love autumn...

We've been pretty busy here at our house...  Dan and I have been sick with colds the past couple weeks, so we're excited to finally be feeling better!  After being home bound for so long, we decided to go for a walk last weekend to get some fresh air.  It is such a beautiful time of year to be outdoors! We've been enjoying the cooler weather (although the past few days have been pretty summer-like) and the beautiful fall colors.  We are also going camping this weekend with some friends.
 
One of the two snakes Dan caught on our walk


No news in the adoption process.  We received our adoption cards and we began handing them out and posting them on bulletin boards. We sent them to churches in the area as well.  Also, on Monday, Dan met a woman at work who had adopted a baby a few years back, and she connected with the baby's birth mother through her own outreach efforts!  She was so excited to help us out, she said she knows 'everybody' and would be talking with them about us.  She took a few of our cards and even made a phone call to someone she knew when Dan was still there.  :)  We're excited to see the Lord continue to work with all of these opportunities!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello again...

I've been horrible at blogging as of late!  Life has been busy.  Dan and I celebrated 4 years of marriage September 8th!  It's a bit scary how fast life is going!  Dan had the week off of work, and we had a fun time hanging out, going to the zoo, mini golfing, and working on a 1,000 piece puzzle.  Dan had some health scare issues come up, but praise God, he is okay.  We haven't heard anything yet in the area of adoption.  We've had our profile up for about a month now...  I ordered some adoption cards yesterday (almost like business cards) to pass around and post on bulletin boards around town and in churches etc.  A lot of people have had success with those.  I've also been working on adoption grant applications, which are actually quite a bit of work.  We're hoping we could receive a grant to help with the second leg of the adoption, or if need be, to go into our agency's waiting family book! 
  I'd really appreciate your prayers, that God would give me the patience needed for this process.  I didn't realize that the waiting would be so hard.   It is so far out of my hands, I need to rest on the Lord!  I am thankful I have plenty of things to keep me busy though!   Also, please pray for the Lord's continued provision, for these grant applications we're sending out soon, and for the birth family that must be dealing with some tough situations.  I try to imagine what the woman considering adoption for her child must feel, and I honestly can't imagine it, so I just pray for her, whoever she may be.  I really appreciate your prayers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nearly Finished...

We're nearly finished with the baby's room!  We're so happy with how it has turned out! It was so much fun ordering the crib, and it is so beautiful in the room!  The changing table was a desk I had refinished a while back and I was using it as a sewing desk.  I realized the other day that it would be perfect for a changing table, and diaper storage!   Here's a few pictures...
Setting up the crib (My sister Rachael helped me set it up, but Dan came in for the pose!)

(My bird mobile turned into a wall decoration)

Our friends found us a brand new crib mattress at a garage sale.  I am excited to get the crib set up with bedding!
The butterfly mobile could finally get hung! 


Changing table (without the pad)

Also, Dan and I have finished our adoption profile and we're now viewable online!  We're excited to see how God writes the rest of this adoption story!  Please pray for us during this waiting phase.  I can already tell that a long wait would be difficult, but the Lord has His perfect timing, and we know that He has a particular little someone in mind for us!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Study Approved!

I am happy to announce, as the title of this post says, we're officially home study approved!  We had our final visit with  our social worker today at our house, and she gave us our approval!  She even said we can post our profiles online already!  It is crazy how fast this has all gone, and to know that now, 'any day' could be the day!  Please pray for us during this time!  It is a difficult thing not knowing when our little blessing will come, but we know that God knows, and His timing is perfect!  We're so excited to see the Lord continue to work in our adoption journey.  We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mercy

God has been showing us His GREAT mercy lately.  We had been stressed with car issues, and with that, financial stress.  We had not handled the transmission news very well when it first happened.  We were both frustrated and confused why God would allow this to happen.  But after a couple days of stress and worry, we really just started trusting God!  He's got control of everything, and He wants to show Himself strong on our behalf!  (2 Chronicles 16:9) If you're worrying about things, you're not trusting God!
Let me tell you, He really has shown Himself strong!  After receiving some council from friends and family who have had transmission issues before, everyone was really encouraging us to try flushing the transmission and getting a new filter before replacing the transmission.  We were hoping the auto shop didn't already pay for the transmission so we wouldn't put them out the money.  Thankfully, the auto shop could cancel the transmission without a problem, and we scheduled a tranny flush instead!  (a 300 dollar fix as apposed to 3,000) Well, so far, the car is working really well!  We're praying that it will continue to run for a long time this way!
Also, just the other day we received a large financial blessing in the mail to help with our adoption expenses!  Praise God!  He continues to show Himself strong on our behalf, and has been blessing this adoption since we made the decision!!  He knows what He is doing!  I feel silly ever being worried!  Our God is so GOOD! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cloth Diapers!

I am hoping to use cloth diapers with our baby, the main reason being to save $$!  There are a lot of options out there that make it much like using a disposable, with a couple extra loads of laundry to do each week!  I was hoping to buy some nice one sized diapers that are adjustable as the baby grows, but Dan wasn't too excited about spending $20/diaper!  So I made about a dozen one sized flannel diapers and a whole bunch of inserts, and bought a few one sized covers to use with those.
My homemade diaper
I found the pattern here:
http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html

I knew I'd need more than the ones I've made so far, so I was trying to figure out what I should do. Just the other day, my friend from church said she was at a garage sale and bought a huge box of cloth diapers for me!  She said they looked like really nice ones, so I was really excited to see them!  (Dan gets a kick out of the fact I actually get excited about cloth diapers!)  Here's what was in the box...
13 Fuzzi Bunz one sized diapers with inserts (I think that's the brand, they don't have tags)
11 G-Diapers, with a pack of disposable liners
6 covers (possibly home-made, no tags)
1 snug to fit diaper
1 kissaluvs diaper
1 Mother-Ease one sized diaper
1 swim diaper

   Had we purchased these all new, it would have cost about $550!  What I paid at garage sale price???
$13!  I can hardly believe they sold them for that cheap!  They are all in really good condition, too!  Also, I have another friend from church that said she'd let me use her nearly new bumgenius cloth diapers too!  So I should be set for cloth diapers now...  We've probably only spent $70 total for diapering our baby!  Not bad!

So praise God for His provision, yet again!  Even in the little things, like providing cloth diapers for ridiculously cheap!  God is good, all of the time!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our 1st Homestudy Visit

   Dan and I had our 1st of 2 home study visits yesterday!  We met at her office this time, and she'll come to our home for the next.  (Then we're DONE!)  Dan and I weren't really nervous, but we didn't really know what to expect.  Our social worker said she thought she had recognized me at the training session, and then figured out who I was!  So we had the same home town and high school in common, and she knows what kind of family I came from!  (I still can't get over how crazy that is!)  She is really nice, laid back, and we're glad to be working with her!
   So for our first visit, she basically just asked us many of the questions Dan and I answered on our individual questionnaires for our application.  It didn't feel like a job interview, where you're hoping you answered it right, but just basically like she was trying to get to know us, while also taking notes!  When she'd ask us a question about what we'd do in 'such-n-such' situation, we'd say "we've already talked about this situation, and this is our thought".  She said, "Wow, you guys must really talk a lot!"  We really do, and I am thankful for it!
   So all in all, it went GREAT!  We're scheduled for our final visit at our home for next Friday.  She said at that time, she'll give verbal consent, and then she'll type up our home study and pass it on to her supervisor for approval.  Once it is approved, we're OFFICIALLY home study approved to adopt!!!  (Paper pregnant) She said it will probably take about a month for that to happen.
   Dan and I can hardly believe how easy this has been!  God has been so good through it all!  We're just praying for patience now that we're going to be entering the waiting period.  Many people say that is the most difficult part of adoption.  We're really curious to see what kind of response we get through our own outreach efforts!  We wish we were just able to go into the waiting family book, but we're praying that things work out with our own outreach efforts.  We know one of the biggest outreach efforts is 'word of mouth'.  So please, tell everyone you know that we're hoping to adopt! :)  I know my mom is pretty good at this, out of her excitement, she tells just about everyone she knows (and doesn't know) that we're adopting!  That is such a great, free tool!  We're working on a website and profiles that we will have online to hopefully connect with birth parents.
  Also, our car is going to get its new transmission on Monday!  It comes with a hefty price tag, but it also comes with a 3 year part/labor warranty.  So that is nice to know that if it dies again in the next 3 years, we won't have to pay for it!  It will be a really nice car once its replaced, and we're excited to have a working vehicle! 



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grandma

I just wanted to update on my Grandma's surgery and thank you for praying!  She made it through the surgery!  She had quite the team of doctors in the 4 hour surgery.  They are confident that she isn't paralyzed and that her neck pain should be gone.  Praise God for an answer to prayer!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Outch!

In a recent post, I mentioned we got a new car, and were loving it...  Well, we're not loving it at all right now!  A couple days after we bought it, the transmission went out...  Seriously?!  It drove perfect for us when we test drove it, and as soon as we paid for it and drove it away, it started acting funny.  We just found out today that the transmission is shot and needs to be replaced.

It is difficult to see the good in trials like these, but we can take comfort in God's word.  Here are a few verses I've been thinking on lately...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isiah 55:8-9

 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:"  Romans 5:3-4

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Heb. 12: 5-11

James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."


It is grievous going through this trial, but I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that cares for us as His children, and this trial of our faith is for our PROFIT, and to increase our patience, (which I know will be a necessary attribute as a parent)!

Also, I have a prayer request for my Grandmother, Lorraine.  She is having a surgery tomorrow that is quite risky.  She has some major issues with her neck with bone spurs and such that are causing her a great deal of pain.  If left untreated, she'd likely be paralyzed.  The surgery is risky, but she said she's fine with any outcome, whether it works, and she is healed, or if it doesn't and she goes home to be with the Lord.    Please pray for her, and for the surgeons performing this surgery, and that she will come through the surgery with her neck issues fixed!

Also, if your buying a car in the near future, check the transmission fluid.  If it's black, don't buy it! :)




Thursday, July 21, 2011

AdoptionKnits on Etsy

After many promptings from friends, I finally made an Etsy account to sell my knitted baby items!  As you all know, adoption is expensive, and with me not working, I really want to help out with saving funds for our adoption!  I'm hoping this is a good way to do it... :)  Here's a link to my account, I will hopefully add a few more things soon. 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/adoptionknits

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1st Homestudy Visit

We heard from our social worker last week and our first home study visit is scheduled for next Wednesday!  We're so excited to get the home study completed!!! Hopefully only 2-3 visits total.  Funny thing is, my sister graduated with our social worker!  Small world... 

In other news,  we bought a new (to us) car this weekend.  We're excited to have air conditioning and windows that roll down, especially in this heat wave!  :)  Dan has been working a lot of overtime, we are thankful that his company is so busy, and that he has that option!   

Please continue to pray for us!  We are praying that the Lord will orchestrate a situation where we connect with the birth family through our own outreach efforts, and we can avoid going into the LSS waiting family book, and the $5,000.00 price tag that goes along with that!  Also, I would ask for prayer for the birth family, whoever they may be.  That the Lord would comfort and guide them through the trials they are or will be going through!

Sorry I've been so terrible at posting, but things have slowed down  a bit on the adoption side of things.  We're hoping they start to get exciting soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Update

I haven't had much to blog about lately, we have been waiting to hear from our agency about starting the home study.  Since our lovely government had shut down, we figured our background checks would be pending for quite a while.  It had been about a month since we turned them in, and they can take up to 8 weeks. 

I emailed LSS this morning and asked about when we'd be starting the home study, and how the shut down would affect us time wise.  Well, awesome news is is that our background study results were returned to LSS JUST before it shut down!  So that means our file is 100% complete, and they'll be assigning a social worker any day now to begin our home study!  

July 2nd I turned 25...  Dan says it sounds old.  :)  Dan and I had fun celebrating!  We hung out at a beach in the morning, picked strawberries in the afternoon, went shopping and out to dinner in the evening.  Great birthday!  One of my gifts was a new vacuum...  I can't believe how NASTY our carpets were when I vacuumed with this new vacuum.  It looked as if our old vacuum was doing nothing the past two years seeing what came out of the carpet!!  Needless to say, Dan and I were happy that we replaced it!

Dan picking strawberries



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Training Day

   Dan and I had our all day training session on Thursday.  It went really good, but it was painfully long!  10 hours to be exact!  There was a wealth of information thrown at us.  Dan and I started to get even more excited about this process!  The last part was my favorite; they had a panel of 3 adoptive families with their 3 adorable little ones!  It was fun to hear their stories and to know that not too long ago, they were sitting at the same meeting we were!  Things are moving fast, and we expect to hear from our social worker any day to start our home study interviews!  We're starting to work on our profile that will be seen by birth mothers so we can be ready to post is as soon as our home study is completed.  We're planning on attending the next LSS class that teaches us how to do our own outreach to find a birth mother. LSS has had more success with their outreach program than their waiting family book! 
   Also, I want to testify of the Lord's provision yet again!  We were told months ago of an anonymous donation.  Well, it hadn't come in at Bethany, and when we switched to LSS, the donor said they would be sending it to the new agency.  A couple weeks pass, and we find out our home study fee is due before we were able to attend this required Thursday class (the next one wouldn't be for 2 months).  So this past Sunday, I was starting to fret, as the fee was due is a few days, and we didn't have the money to pay for it!  Praise the Lord for a calm husband!  Dan told me I needed to trust the Lord since we felt the the Lords leading to start this process when we did, he would provide if he wants us to continue at this time.  Well, Monday afternoon, I find a message on our answering machine, our donation had come in, and our next two fees are covered!  Praise the Lord!  He does provide, and I don't need to fret! :)  Now all of our 'first half' fees are covered, and we won't have to make any payments until after we're placed with our child!  We're so thankful for the gift we received!  We're also thankful for the peace that Dan and I have had through this; God is creating our family, and we are so excited to meet our baby!

  Dan showed me this verse yesterday, and we both thought it was so cool!  Psalm 113:9
"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord."
He doesn't say he will make her bear children, but he gives her children!  The verse makes me cry...  I am so excited to be a joyful mother of children! 

  Enjoy the weekend!