Sunday, February 20, 2011

Only God...

I feel like I have been away from the blog world forever when really it's only been a week but I just feel like this past week has been such a whirlwind and it all started last Sunday at church.

I volunteer on our host team and pretty much have my position at the door handing out the "talk notes" and greeting people that come in.  I love it because I get to meet so many people but there are sometimes when I am not sure who someone is but don't want to offend them by asking if they are new if they have been coming longer than me and I have just never met them.  Last weekend that happened, I saw a couple come in with their little boy and I just said good morning and handed them their talk notes but during the service their little boy was getting fussy and so the mom brought him out into the lobby to calm down.  She said this was all new to him and then I overhead someone else say something about them being new so I jumped in and welcomed her more and started to tell her about how Jalen took a while to get used to going into the nursery but now loves it.  We started talking more and she said they had just moved here from Arizona a couple weeks before!  I was shocked because that is where we moved from a year and a half ago.  So then I asked where in AZ and she said Queen Creek, in a tone that was almost followed by an explanation of where that was, before I jumped in and said "that is where we moved here from.  NOTE:  if you are not familiar with the Valley of the Sun, Queen Creek is a small town outside of Phoenix that is mostly rural and although is growing is VERY rare that one would meet someone that moved from one small town to another...Queen Creek to Ada...what are the odds?  So then I told her if she needed anything to call me anytime and showed her that my name and number was in the talk notes under the ad about It's A Child's Life (the orphan ministry that we have started with 3 other couples at our church).  From one shock to another, she told me that they have been praying for a while now about moving here and finally had doors opened and closed where they were able to and have felt called to start an orphanage!!!!!  Are you kidding me???...that is just beyond crazy and I am getting chills again just re-typing this.  So with both of us speechless I gave her all my information and went on about my day just in awe of what had happened, yeah I can 100% say that this was NO coincidence whatsoever, I mean really?!?

I am starting to realize that the move from Arizona to Oklahoma just may have been more than my finding it on the map and saying lets go check it out and I have been realizing that for about the past 6 mths but after last weekend I started thinking back to everything that has brought us here and how it all really has just been so perfectly put in place for us and really could only be by the power of God.

In short this is how it's all played out, let me know what you think :)

-Brought to Ada, OK (2 hrs from one of my childhood best friends, Hilary) to payback my PT school scholarship with the Indian Health Service.
-Brought to an amazingly welcoming neighborhood filled with young Christian families and have since found out that 2 of the couples have hearts for orphans and are planning on adopting internationally in the future (maybe sooner).
-Church hopping and by chance one day the church we were going to was closed due to the snow so as we were driving back home saw H20 Church was open and went in to check it out...and we never hopped again! 
-Placed in a Life Group with other families we would come to find out had a passion for orphans as well and would later be part of our It's A Child's Life founding families..
-Was recommended to see a doctor whom I found out adopted 3 children from Uganda!
-Was asked to do a huge "favor" for Hilary and check out the Ethiopia program for adoption since we were going to be looking into adoption later that year.
-Placed some powerful families in our lives to allow us to launch our orphan ministry
-and now placing this new family form our town in AZ to OK and to H20 Church and to right in front of my face to talk about a heart for orphans.
...and honestly there are so many more "only God..." things that have happened that would make this post way too long but those are just some main ones.

Now this has all occurred in a year and a what's next?    Maybe we'll see at our next meeting of It's A Child's Life next Saturday.  We know that adopting 1 child from Ethiopia is not going to change the problems going on and it breaks our hearts to no end.   But... along side of adopting that 1 child we are doing everything we can to advocate for the needs and pray that God will open the eyes of many more people to jump on board with us in one way or another.  We are thrilled to have the group that we do with such strong hearts for children, and to work in so many areas of orphan care (adoption, foster care, mentorship, advocacy, sponsorship, etc).  You can check us out on Facebook HERE.
We know we are here for a bigger reason than to payback my scholarship and we can only imagine what is to come of our lives here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Win a Portrait Session...Dossier Fundraising Continues!

 This week I got an email from my friend Courtney that has such a big heart for adoption and offered to donate a portrait session & bonus gift with purchase (Valued at $200), to add to our puzzle piece awesome is that? 

Courtney lives here in Ada, OK and is super talented.  You can check out her work HERE.

SO, the way this will work (since it isn't a prize I can ship out) is if you want to be entered to win, just purchase puzzle pieces through the separate link on the LEFT column of our blog with the picture of the camera above it.  Each puzzle piece is 1 entry and you can buy as many entries as you want.
By Folsom Photography
By Folsom Photography

The drawing will be done in LESS than 1 MONTH and all proceeds are helping us have enough money to submit our dossier (and officially be on the wait-list for our child!)  which we can do as soon as we receive our USCIS approval letter in the mail

Also I have been adding more prizes to the regular puzzle piece fundraiser so check them out HERE

Sunday, February 6, 2011

500 Puzzle Pieces Needed

As of this weekend we have sold 80 puzzle pieces for the giveaway/fundraiser which has raised us $400!!!

That is awesome and we are so thankful to everyone who has contributed items to be used as prizes in the giveaway and for those of you buying pieces...THANK YOU!!!  I am planning on doing the drawing in the beginning of March because that is when it is estimated that we will have our USCIS approval letter and be able to submit our DOSSIER (a word that never had meaning before this adoption journey and now is a word that I don't go one day not thinking about).  There are still more prizes coming in and I will keep posting pictures as I receive them so still if you have anything you want to throw in, we'll take it!

Now I say we have sold 80 pieces and need to sell 500 more to meet our goal...I know that does not equal the 1000 puzzle pieces that we have but we have also raised money through our 147 Million Orphans fundraiser and with our own savings so all we need to sell is 500 pieces to meet our next financial goal.  It's a lot but we have a lot of friends and family and awesome blog followers we have never met that have already helped so much so I think we can do it!  OH... and let me know what you want written on the back of the piece(s) you buy before it ends, otherwise I will just write your name.  (some have asked for verses, other family member names, messages, etc)  I keep hearing from others and telling myself, God knows the amount we need and the timing in which we need it all so I am not worried.

Now I wanted to share a little art project I worked on yesterday that is now hanging on our wall just waiting for the 4th canvas to be filled in with another little hand print!
It's so funny to think that the little hand that will make his or her print on our wall (hopefully this year) may already be born right now for all we know.  It seems like we have been dreaming of the day we can bring our child home from Ethiopia forever and somedays it just hits me that this is going to happen and may not be too long from now!  Whether we find out who our child is in a year from now or less than 6 mths from now we are ready and so excited.

I got to see Jalen acting as a big brother last night for maybe one of the first times.  He is always the youngest when our friends kids come over but yesterday and last night he got o play with our precious neighbor Easton who is about 6 mths younger and I was so proud to see how Jalen did, I truly saw the big brother in him and am I think MORE excited for Jalen to have a lil sister or brother than anything now!