Monday, November 26, 2012

Adoption Update

We've been updating what's happening adoption-wise on Facebook, but I haven't done a good job of keeping the blog up-to-date - sorry about that.
It's been a busy month and we're definitely making great progress!  Here's where we're at -
We're waiting for Immigration Approval - they told us we should hear something within 1-4 weeks.  We're sitting at just under 2 weeks right now. So we're hoping we'll hear something any day now!
We go on Wednesday to get our Yellow Fever vaccination - this is needed before we can get permission to travel into DRC.  
We have been super hopeful that we would be traveling before the end of  2012 to bring our little ones home, but on Wednesday we got word of some serious unrest in The Congo.  I won't go into all the details, but a rebel force has taken over a city called Goma and are threatening that Kinshasa (where J and A are) is next.  The Embassy in Kinshasa is alerting Americans to leave Kinshasa - which we assume means that they aren't going to be giving permission for any other Americans to travel in.  Our Director hasn't heard anything concrete from our lawyer, JB, on this - so right now we're just speculating - which we really don't like to do.
Bottom line is that this conflict could certainly hamper progress with our case, but we're choosing to be positive and hopeful.  God certainly isn't surprised by what's happening in DRC right now and we'll trust that His mighty hand will protect our children and guide our progress towards them.

30 Days of Thankfulness - let's call this Day #17 through the end :)

We were able to spend Thanksgiving with our family in MI this year.  So thankful for the opportunity to catch up with everyone!   We have been blessed with an amazing family!  
Let me give you a recap:
LOTS of eating, LOTS of shopping (Grandma T and Abbi made it an all-night, all-day event), LOTS of talking and laughing, LOTS of kids, which of course, means LOTS of noise and most importantly, LOTS of love!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #16-20

Ok, so I'm behind again.  It's certainly not because I'm not thankful each and every day - we just have been so busy, it's been hard to find time to post.  So I'll do a little catch up today. :)
The last few days I've been so thankful for and proud of our daughters ~
Abbi took part in her high school's Miss Warrior Pageant and did a fantastic job!  Averi had her Sports Banquet and was awarded for her dedication to being the very best cheerleader she can be (despite a less than stellar situation with her squad) and Anni auditioned for and won the part of Midge in her upcoming school play, The Adventures of Robin Hood.  
Love, Love, Love them!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #14 and #15

As temperatures have dipped quite low lately, I'm so thankful for a warm home - for the ability to turn up the heat, turn on the fireplace and pour a hot cup of coffee.  There are so many who don't have this ability.  I'm reminded not to take it for granted!

I'm also thankful for JT's employer that allows him to take mornings off for running adoption errands - like today's biometrics appointment! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #12 and #13

We definitely have adoption stuff to be THANKFUL for - we now have our CONA and Adoption Deeds translated and we received the kids new birth certificates (they should be translated by the end of the week).  Our Director is working on our "Invitation to Travel" letter and we'll be applying for our Visas soon.  We're also scheduled for our Yellow Fever vaccinations this week - although I'm not sure that qualifies as something I'm necessarily thankful for! :)
We're incredibly thankful for God moving His mighty hand!  And for our Agency working so hard on our behalf!  We're also beyond thankful for all of those who are praying for us!

We literally just got our translated Birth Certificates - WooHoo!  Another thing to be super thankful for today!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Days #8-11

Ok, so we found out on Thursday that our Immigration paperwork was sent out - we now wait 1-4 weeks for approval!  The thankfulness for that has stretched out for several days now! :)  We're close! Having our little ones home before the end of 2012 is looking more and more promising!
The last couple of days I also have been thankful for our beautiful Carolina weather.  These sunny, 70 degree days are perfect in my book!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day # 5, 6 and 7

I have a little catching up to do...
Day #5 - So thankful for our new-to-us piano.  Some great friends had this in their house (it has belonged in my friend's family since she was little - so cool) and wanted to find a good home for it. :)
I was more than happy to give it a new home!  We painted it up and here it is...

Such an amazing blessing to be able to sit and play again! 

Day #6 - Despite a long line and a not-what-I-would-have-chosen outcome, I'm still incredibly thankful for the freedom and right to vote!  I don't ever want to take for granted what others have sacrificed so much for!

Day #7 - Thankful that we've received our CONA (Certificate of Non-Appeal) and Adoption Deed so quickly - other families before us have waited months for these documents and we received ours days after our non-appeal period was completed. We're rolling!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #4

I am so thankful for our Southbrook Church family!  What an incredible blessing to serve our amazing Cove kids and families alongside an amazing team of Cove volunteers!  
It just doesn't get any better than this!


This little guy cracks me up! :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #3

Today I'm so thankful for my helpful hubby!  Already he has made "big breakfast" (our Saturday morning tradition), fixed our garbage disposal, helped with laundry and now he's painting my piano.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day #2

Today I'm thankful for my morning's first cup of coffee...sometimes it's just the little things that bring such happiness. :)

My coffee routine was almost messed with this morning.  My grinder is a bit temperamental and gave me a scare.  After taking it apart and shaking it up several times it still wasn't cooperating with me.  My hubby came to the rescue just before I threw it across the kitchen - his timing is impeccable! (and obviously, I'm a little irritable first thing in the a.m.)  

This morning as I was going through the process of grinding beans, heating water in the kettle, pressing my coffee to sweet perfection - I was reminded of something a good friend shared with me a couple years ago - it's funny how some things stick with you...she was challenged to ask herself if she looked forward to her morning time with God as much as she looked forward to her morning cup of coffee.  Ouch.  
As thankful as I am for my coffee in the morning, I want to anticipate and savor my time with God a hundred thousand times more!  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November - 30 days of Thankfulness

I love the month of November - the beauty outside, the anticipation of special family holidays to come and an overall sense of profound thankfulness that just seems to bubble up this time of year.  For the 30 days of November, I want to share some of the things, little and big, that our family is so thankful for.

This November is especially meaningful as we wait with great expectation for our turn to travel to Africa and bring our sweet littles home!  As I sat thinking about all that the next months will hold for our family, I was overwhelmed with the great reality of the beautiful journey God has led us on so far.  Yes, we have so much to look forward to - a lifetime of moments and memories to make and cherish, but today I was so thankful for the road that we have already traveled.

Our adoption journey to this point has been long and filled with detours and delays we didn't expect, but the way God has used this road to grow us can't be overlooked.  It hasn't been wasted time and that's one of the things that I love most about how God works.  He uses each circumstance, each "surprise", each disappointment to draw us closer to Him, with the very specific purpose of making us more like Him!

This journey has opened our eyes to a world of need around us - not just in Africa, but right in our own community as well.  It's also opened our eyes to the level of generosity that surrounds us.  Our family and friends have overwhelmed us with not only prayers and encouragement along this road, but also with financial generosity that has given us hope and inspired a new level of generosity in our own lives.

To all who have bought t-shirts, given up Christmas gifts to give a love gift to us, stuck checks in our pockets, sent checks off to Project Feet - to the special family that has answered our phone calls and said "whatever you need" more than once - your generosity will not be forgotten.
It makes us so thankful for the community of family and friends that will surround our little ones once they get home!

This video describes beautifully our heart for adoption.  We are His hands and feet.  And we are so honored to have friends and family that allow God to move in their hearts and give because of what has been given to them. On this first day of November, we are so thankful for you.  You are our heroes and you will forever be a part of our family's story.  Thank you for allowing God to move you!