Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Christmas Song

I usually listen to Pandora radio every morning on my phone as I get ready. A couple of days ago, the song that began to play when I turned it on, stopped me in my tracks. It expresses exactly how my heart feels this Christmas. I hope you'll take a minute to watch the video below and say a prayer for all of those that will be alone at Christmas. (Hopefully next year, our child won't be alone anymore!!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Been A While

It's been quite a while since my last blog post. This is the time of year when my schedule gets incredibly busy!! For the past couple of weeks, I've been running from one singing engagement to another and from one Christmas party to another. In the past, I've been discontent with how extremely busy the weeks leading up to Christmas are for me. This year however, it's been a great distraction. A distraction from thinking about our child spending this Christmas without us.

I've also been thinking a lot about WHY we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate because God chose to send his one and ONLY son down to this earth to save us from our sins. That's a love that is almost too hard to comprehend. That's a love that humbles me every moment of every day! Why? Because I know that I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. That love is the exact reason why we have chosen to adopt. Our precious child has done nothing to make us love them (we haven't even met him/her yet). And he/she DOESN'T have to! We love our child with every fiber of our being (yes, without even knowing who they are yet)! We love because HE (God), FIRST loved us! When you've experienced the overwhelming love and saving grace of God, you have NO other response but to love. "They will know we are His disciples by our love." John 13:35

I hope you take a moment in the next couple of weeks to really think about what Christmas is all about. Sure, it's fun giving gifts, looking at the lights, decorating the tree and even eating yummy food until you almost feel sick. If that's all Christmas is to you though, you're missing it all together. "For God so loved the world (YOU), that He gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

May God bless you and your family in the next couple of weeks as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Birthday Adption Jewelry

Today is my birthday! (I'm sure you were all dying to know that!!) For my birthday, I received a few pieces of jewelry that I wanted to share with you. For those of you that may not know me well, I am a jewelry FANATIC! I firmly believe that it's all about the accessories! LOL

I awoke this morning and found this beautiful necklace from my husband and kids!

It's from a website called Many Hearts, One Beat. I love it!
Just to give you a little information about Many Hearts One Beat, "Many hearts are touched on a vast array of levels encompassing emotions from deep grief to great joy throughout the complex journey of adoption. Over the passage of time, hearts continue to heal, evolve and transform. Many Hearts One Beat offers adoption keepsakes that honor those who travel the journey of adoption - birth families, foster families, adoptive families, all who help bring a family together & anyone who believes all children deserve to know & feel, the love & warmth of family."

The next pieces of jewelry are a couple of things I purchased for myself, with my birthday money (Thank you Nanny, PawPaw, Grandpa and Pat!)

This necklace and bracelet came from a lady named Heather Hansen. I came across her jewelry on Facebook and I was instantly HOOKED!! The back of the Psalms 130:5 charm says, "Waiting".
"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5
You can find her beautiful jewelry at

I apologize for not putting the direct links to their websites on this post. For some strange reason, Blogger isn't letting me do it. Sorry!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Days It Just Hurts

I'm having one of those days today where my heart just hurts! My heart hurts because I want my 5th child home with me, in my arms. Somedays it's easier to go about my day-to-day "stuff" without thinking, every second, about how badly I long to have our child home. Today, however, is not one of those days. I took the two younger kids this morning to Hobby Lobby to pick up a couple of Christmas decorations (yes, I'm one of the crazy people that puts my Christmas stuff up as early as I possible can). As I was walking around looking at the stockings, an overwhelming ache came over my body. The thought of my child spending Christmas without us just plain hurts! I know some people don't understand how my heart can ache so much for a child that I've never even met. Well frankly, I don't exactly understand it either. All I know is that there is a 7th person that is suppose to be in this Cole household that isn't here yet and I don't like the empty feeling it gives me. Now, don't get me wrong, I have complete and total trust in God's providence and timing. God is completely in control of this situation and in that I do have peace. As a mom though, sometimes my emotions get the best of me!(Ok, those of you that know me, know that my emotions usually always get the best of me! HA!) So, I apologize to those unfortunate people that saw my emotional breakdown in the stocking aisle at Hobby Lobby! :) I can't promise it will be the last one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Food for Missions

A very dear friend of mine and her family are going on a mission trip to Rwanda. In order to raise funds for their trip, she has started "Food for Missions". Hollie is the most amazing cook, and so she decided to use her "food talent" to raise money for their family to help homeless, orphan children in Rwanda. You can purchase meals, breads, desserts....and the list goes on. (She'll even deliver it to you for a nominal delivery charge.)

In Hollie's words, "We want to make an impact in the life of the orphans in Rwanda. The money raised in this business venture will be used to directly support Africa New Life Ministries and the homeless kids in Rwanda."

Please take a moment to check-out her blog. I promise, you WILL NOT be disappointed in her food. If anything, you may become addicted (which I the artisan and pumpkin bread)!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm Not Sure What Day I'm On

Well, since I got behind on my daily postings, I'm not sure what day number I should actually be on! Ha! So, I'll just continue without a day number.

Saturday, November 12th
Write a letter to a foster care agency to tell them thank you for what they do for children. Most of the time they have a thankless job, and that shouldn't be the case.

On a side note, I had a wonderful visit with a friend of mine and her husband tonight. I cannot express to you the joy that "floods my soul" when I hear other Christians talk about their love for orphans and those in need. It encourages me in a mighty way! Praise You, God!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I've Fallen Behind

I knew at some point this month, I would fall behind in posting daily activities for National Adoption Month. Yesterday was my oldest daughter's 6th birthday, so we've been partying around here! She asked me yesterday, "Do you think my brother or sister from Russia will be here next year for my birthday?". I answered, "I hope so! I really hope so!".

Now to get back on track!

Friday, November 11th
Find ways that you and your family can help out orphans in orphanages for Christmas. Pack care packages filled with toys and items that the orphanage itself could use to help care for the children each and everyday. It's very expensive to care for all the many children living in orphanages, so every little bit that you can give will help. Many people, in many countries, work tirelessly everyday to care for these children. Brighten their spirits this Christmas by giving some of what you have to them. We ALL have at least something we can give!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 - National Adoption Month

Tuesday, November 8th

Work on your family's scrapbooks/memory books. Make sure you record every piece of your child's story.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7 - National Adoption Month

Monday, November 7th

Read adoption books or poems together as a family. There are some great children's books on adoption out there. Check with your local library and see what you can find.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6

Today we celebrated our church's 30th anniversary! It was such a wonderful day! My family has truly been blessed to be part of such an amazing group of God's adopted children. I sang a song today at the celebration titled "Thank You". As I was singing it, not only was I brought to tears at the thought of how my own life has been changed by members of our church, but I began to think about how blessed our next child is going to be blessed and changed by them as well. Everyone at Village Parkway Baptist Church has been so amazing in supporting us on this adoption journey. So, today I say "Thank You"!

Sunday, November 6th
Tell someone today thank you for what they've done to help care for orphans. Whether they've helped you with your adoption or you know someone who has/is adopting or fostering, let them know how thankful you are. Because of them, a life has been forever changed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5 - National Adoption Month

Saturday, November 5

Write out a family mission statement. Ask each member to write down ideas that they feel are important for a great family to have like love of God, respect, sharing, and/or honesty. Include goals and dreams.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 - National Adoption Month

Are you sick of my National Adoption Month posts yet?? I hope not, because we've still got 26 days to go! :)

Friday, November 4
Contact your local paper and/or news media about National Adoption Month. Encourage them to run a positive story about adoption - consider sharing your own story.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"How To Be The Village"

I came across this blog post yesterday and I HAD to share it! It puts into words what every adoptive parent is thinking. I hope that you'll take the time to read this and pass it on to friends/family.

How to Be The Village

Day 3 - National Adoption Month

Thursday, November 3rd
Have secret pals all month long! Place each family member's name in a hat and have each person draw one. Secretly perform several acts of service for this person or leave them small treats or gifts. Draw a new name each week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 - National Adoption Month

Day 2 - November 2nd
Light a candle as a family for orphans who are still waiting for adoptive families. Set the candle outside in a safe place. Ask your neighbors to join you by lighting a candle as well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

National Adoption Month

For those of you that may not know, November is National Adoption Month.

This year's National Adoption Month initiative targets adoption professionals by focusing on ways to recruit and retain parents for the 107,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families.

The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care occurred in Massachusetts in 1976, when Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week. The idea was extremely popular and spread nationwide. In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, and in 1995, under President Clinton, the week was expanded to the entire month of November.

There are numerous websites with fantastic ideas of things your family can do each day for National Adoption Month. I decided I would post an activity for each day here on my blog, as well.

Day 1 - November 1st
Begin Adoption Month by celebrating your family's story and sharing it online! Don't forget to also write it down or print it out and add it to your lifebook/scrapbook.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Name of the Game....Waiting

A lot of people have been asking me lately what's going on with the adoption. The answer.....we're now in the "waiting game". Russia has our paperwork, so now we wait. And wait. And wait. I've never been so thankful for being busy all the time. Why? It keeps my mind off of the waiting. Most days, the waiting is easy (because we are so busy most of the time), but other days, when I have a quiet moment to myself, it's excruciating. When I allow myself a moment to really think about my child just lying in a crib all alone, it's sometimes more than my heart can take. Then God reminds me that He has my child in the palm of His hand, protecting him/her. What more could a mother ask for? How joyous the day though when my child is in my arms! One month down.....5-7 months to go!

Please continue to pray for us! This is such huge task that God has called us to. It's much larger than we ever could have dreamed, but God continues to meet our needs as they arise. Pray that we continue to trust God to provide.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Alarming Statistics

Monday afternoon I decided to do a little research to find out for myself just how bad the "orphan crisis" is. What I discovered now haunts me. I can't seem to get these numbers out of my head. What's even more horrible, is actually putting a child's face to each and every number. It's hard enough to think about such alarming statistics, but to actually put a face with the number should bring us all to tears and motivate us to action.

There are between 143,000,000 – 210,000,000 orphans in the world today.

Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa.

Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans.

Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone).

143,000,000 orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home.

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but… Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system.

Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT.

Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18. 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

Lord, break our hearts with what breaks yours!

Monday, September 26, 2011

CIS Approval

It's official, in my hand I have our CIS approval! We were quite shocked that it arrived so soon. Our approval only took 24 days!! I've never been so excited in my life to open a letter from Homeland Security!

I know the hard part is about to begin....the waiting! Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray for peace and patience for us and for our child to be surrounded by people who can love him/her until we can bring him/her home to their "forever family".

Friday, September 16, 2011

CIS Fingerprints....Done

Yesterday, Troy and I had our last set of fingerprints done (I hope) with Citizen and Immigration Services. The sweetest woman did my fingerprints. When she looked at my form number (you know government forms.....they all have about a thousand digit number assigned to them) she commented, "How amazing, you're adopting". She then proceeded to ask me if we had any children at home already. I told her about our four children and I waited for her to say I must be crazy (that's usually the response I get). The response I got instead was, "I think you and your husband are awesome for doing this". I wanted to cry right then and there. You have no idea how happy it makes me when I find another person who believes in fighting for orphans. She then told me about a man and his wife that had been in for fingerprints last week. She said they had 11 children at home and were currently adopting #12 from Ethiopia. Of their 11 children, 9 of those are adopted. Wow!! Oh how I would love to meet that couple someday (whomever they may be). Praise God that people are taking a stand and living out God's call on their lives to care for orphans! Stories like that make me want to stand and shout!

Please pass my blog address along to any friends/family/acquaintances/co-workers that have adopted, are adopting or are considering adoption. I would love to talk to each and every one of them!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Too Long Between Posts

It's been quite a while since my last post! School started for the older two and then the younger two and I started Mother's Day Out. So, things have been hectic around the Cole household trying to get used to our new schedule. I have intended many times to sit down and update everyone on our adoption, but alas something comes up and the post is put off.

So, what's happening with our adoption??? Well, Troy and I have our appointment to be fingerprinted for our CIS approval on Thursday. (This will be the 3rd time we've both had to be fingerprinted during this process!) Our caseworker told me that it should only take a couple of weeks after our fingerprinting to get our CIS approval. (I'm not going to hold my breath though.) Once we receive our CIS approval, our paperwork will be headed to Russia!!!! Our wonderful dossier preparer, Kate, sent me an e-mail on Friday letting me know that our dossier paperwork was complete and being sent to our agency (Gladney). Yay!!!!

Some days it seems like this is taking forever (and we haven't even begun the REAL waiting period) and then other days I CANNOT believe it's all happening this quickly!

Please continue to pray for our family and for our child who is waiting for us to come get him/her. It's extremely hard to think about your child just sitting in a crib somewhere waiting on you to come get them. I am thankful for a God who says to "Cast all our anxiety upon Him because He cares for us"! This is all in God's hands and in His perfect time, our child will be home in his/her "forever family"!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dossier Paperwork.....Check!!!!

This afternoon, Troy is sending all of our paperwork, via FedEx, to our wonderful dossier preparer, Kate. I don't think I've ever seen a stack of paper (that I've had to fill out, sign and notarize) that large in my life!!! Now, our dossier is not complete, but we've now done everything on our part. Our poor notary's hand may fall off soon from notarizing and re-notarizing document after document. We owe her BIG! I've put my husband on a mission to figure out what her favorite restaurant/store is, cause I think a gift card is a MUST! :)

What, you may ask, is our next step? We're currently waiting for our CIS approval. CIS approval basically means we're approved to bring an orphan home to the United States (In my book though, once that child's in my arms, they're no longer an orphan!) and the child can obtain his/her visa before we leave Russia. Once we receive our CIS approval, our dossier can be sent to Russia. So.....we wait so that then we can wait some more! I'm beginning to think that God thinks I need patience. I was once told that you shouldn't pray for patience unless you REALLY want it. Well, I'm learning that it doesn't matter if you pray for it or not. God knows where you're lacking and He'll make sure He fixes that! HA!

The one thing that has surprised me is just how happy and excited I am, even when I know there's nothing else I can do but wait. Now, check with me in 6 months or so and I may have changed my tune. :)

My kids on the other hand, are not as happy as me today. They had to have TB tests yesterday so that we could complete their medical forms. Yes, I put off their medical forms until last because I knew they would NOT be happy with me. I think they're beginning to wonder what else they're going to have to do to bring their brother/sister home! :) They were troopers, though! I'm amazed daily by the strength of character my children are developing. Even after being stuck with a needle yesterday, last night they were praying that God would protect and bring home their new brother/sister quickly. I don't think there's anything more precious than the love of a child. The one thing I do know for sure, is that our child is going to be blessed with amazing brothers and sisters!

Please continue to pray for us! There are some moments when I know that your prayers are all that's getting us through. Sharing this journey with so many friends and family is AMAZING!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tapestry Conference 2011

I received an e-mail recently from our adoption agency letting us know that there was going to be FREE adoption/foster care conference (Tapestry Conference 2011) held in Irving, Texas in October. Of course the FREE part automatically caught my attention, so I headed straight to the conference website to check it out. ( I registered right then and there. It looks like it's going to be incredible, and (did I mention) it's FREE!

Tapestry is a ministry of Irving Bible Church. It is an "encouraging and supportive community of adoptive and foster families as well as those who are exploring adoption or foster care". The keynote speaker for the conference is going to be Jayne Schooler. Jayne is the author of several well-known books for adoptive and foster parents, including The Whole Life Adoption Book, Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child and Wounded Children, Healing Homes. There will be 20 different breakout sessions to choose from, dealing with everything from "Adoption Realities vs Myths" to "Practical Realities of Connection while Correcting".

If you're interested in adoption in any way, shape, form or fashion, I highly encourage you to attend. Registration is filling up fast, so the sooner the better. Besides, how much fun would it be to hang out with me at an adoption conference? LOL

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unexpected Blessings

This week, we were the recipients of an unexpected financial gift from a friend. In the eyes of the world, this gift may not have seemed like much. To us though, it seemed like the greatest gift we have ever received. Why, you may ask? Because this gift was a sacrifice for them. It brought tears to my eyes to know that God has blessed us with friends that are willing to sacrifice of their own means, to help us follow the path that God has laid before us. I cannot explain to you how that humbled us! The amount we were given was almost exactly enough to cover the entire up-front costs of our first t-shirt order. A scripture in 2 Corinthians immediately came to mind. "For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints." 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 What a mighty God we serve! I've been taught that my entire life, but now more than ever, that truth is becoming even more real to me. I wait with anticipation to see what mighty things God is going to do next, as we follow Him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Agency Approval

We received our official approval letter from our adoption agency yesterday afternoon! Our homestudy was finalized and we are now ready to attack the MOUND of paperwork for our dossier submission to Russia. We have about 2 months to get this done, because we have to wait on our approval from the Department of Homeland Security and that usually takes 60-70 days (from what we've been told).

Troy and I were out to dinner last night when I received the e-mail about our official approval. I, of course, began to cry! This is really happening!!!! (Can you tell I'm just a little excited??)

Please continue to pray for us as we begin to tackle the mound of things we need to get done now. Pray for our child in Russia. We have no idea who he/she is, but God does! Pray that he/she is surrounded by people that love and care for him/her until we can bring him/her home with us! You have no idea how much your prayers and support mean to us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


T-shirts are here!!! Let me know if you want one!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to Normal....Maybe

As I posted last, the previous two weeks were not quite what I wanted to go through. We did however, make it through (by God's grace) and we're now ready to return back to "normal". It's always difficult returning to "normal" when you've had a death in the family. I find myself wanting to call my mom and ask her if she's been by the nursing home yet. It's going to take some adjustment, especially for my mom, but I am thankful beyond words for the incredible last five years God allowed us to have with DeeDee here in San Antonio. I'll treasure every last minute we had her here! Although being with a loved one when they pass into eternity is difficult, it's one of the greatest privileges God allows us to experience. On July 30, DeeDee slipped directly from my arms into the arms of Jesus. There are no better arms to place your loved one in!

It's dawned on me these past few days that my family won't be returning to "normal" as we've always known it. Our lives now consist of paperwork, fundraising, reading and absorbing as much information as possible about Russian adoption, answering TONS of questions from family/friends and hours of prayer for our precious child. And although those things are consuming MUCH of our time, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing! I've decided I don't want to return to the "normal" Cole routine. I want to live each day to the fullest as we walk this amazing journey God has placed us on. When the storms come and even possibly knock the wind out of our sails, we will continue to put one foot in front of the other because at the end of this journey, our child awaits!! How I long for that day!

On a side note, our t-shirts arrived today!!! So, be on the look-out for my next post. I have a feeling four adorable Cole kids will be modeling them for you!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rough Week

This has been a rough week around our house. My parents are on a cruise, which leaves me in charge of my mother's aunt who lives in a nursing home here in town. She took a turn for the worst on Sunday, so I have been sitting by her side ever since. This isn't the first time I've been with someone when they're dying, but it never gets easier to do. My parents are due to return tomorrow evening and my prayer now is that DeeDee will hold on long enough for mom to get here. I think that's what she's been waiting on all week.

With all of the time I've had to sit this week, I've definitely been doing A LOT of thinking and praying. I've been thinking a lot about my family and what a legacy of faith they have passed down to me. Although I know now that DeeDee will never meet our adopted child, what a blessing it is to bring him/her into this family that has such a long history of deep faith in Christ. Although we will mourn, we mourn with hope because another member of our family will be entering into eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's amazing to me how death can be so sad and yet so peaceful and full of hope at the same time. I don't understand why I've had to spend this week the way that I have, but I know it's for His purposes and for His glory!

I don't have much to report on the adoption front, because I haven't been able to anything this week. It has been disheartening to let a week go by without getting more things done, but God has seen fit to place me here with DeeDee and there's no other place I want to be. I know that our adoption is proceeding according to His timing and because of that I will rest easy.

I do covet your prayers, though. This has been an emotional roller coaster that I wasn't prepared for, but God's mercies are new each day and of that I am definitely certain!

Monday, July 25, 2011


As soon as we first began our adoption journey, I knew that at some point I wanted to design some t-shirts for friends/family to wear in support of our adoption. I absolutely love seeing people wearing t-shirts around town that support adoption and orphan care. There is such a passion burning inside of me for orphans and nothing warms my heart more than seeing others share that same passion. Well....drum roll please....I have placed our first t-shirt order. I don't have the final graphic design yet, but as soon as I do, I will post it in on here. Please let me know if you would be interested in purchasing one. We would LOVE to see you around town wearing our adoption shirt!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Small Blessings

I just wanted to share an example of small blessings we keep experiencing along our adoption journey. This weekend, Troy and I attended a Love and Respect conference at our church (which, on a side note, was FANTASTIC!!). The cost of the conference was $40.00. Troy had registered us, but had noted that we would pay at the door. We received an e-mail Friday afternoon that informed us that our registration fee had been covered and that we should put that $40.00 in our adoption fund. In the grand scheme of things, $40.00 doesn't seem like much in our adoption costs! However, right after Troy received that e-mail, he was on the phone with a fingerprinting company. He was calling them because he had been fingerprinted with this company before, but our adoption agency had informed us that Troy needed to be fingerprinted again. He wanted to find out the ins and outs of why his last fingerprinting didn't count for the adoption. After talking to the woman for a while, she informed him that he would indeed have to be re-fingerprinted. Troy asked how much it would cost.......$44.00! I am amazed at how God is providing for us even in the small details! Please continue to pray for us as we trust God daily to supply our needs.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What a Week!!!

Our kids with their cousins on the 4th of July

The last week was crazy busy, but lots of fun! We had our home study last Wednesday and it went great! It just confirmed how much I love our adoption agency (Gladney Center for Adoption). I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone out there considering adoption!

Besides the home study, we spent the 4th of July weekend at a family reunion in Austin and then drove down to Bayside, TX (near Corpus) to spend the actual 4th with family and friends. We had such a good time! Lots of driving, but GREAT times! Troy and I drove back to San Antonio after our 4th of July festivities so that we could get ready for the home study. Once that was complete, the kids and I headed back to Corpus Christi so that we could spend time with Troy's brother, our sister-in-law and our adorable niece and nephew. (They live in South Dakota, so we don't get to see them often.) We celebrated Caleb's 4th birthday on Saturday and the kids and I headed back home on Sunday. I feel like we've lived in a car and out of a suitcase for the last 10 days, but the time with family made it all worth it!

Since returning home, I've hit the ground running getting things ready for our dossier. I can't believe it's already time to get things together to send to Russia. We got some business cards in the mail today that I ordered to give to people when they ask about our adoption. It has our family name, blog address and e-mail address on them. I LOVE sharing our story with people and our passion for adoption. Please pass our blog address along to your friends or family that have a heart for adoption. I love getting to meet and talk to people who have traveled this road or just have a heart for orphans! I am amazed everyday at how God is using this journey in our lives to draw us closer to Him and to people who share the same passion we do. I wake up each morning wondering what awesome thing God is going to do next. At times I want to shout it from the rooftop (loud enough for our child to hear in Russia.....I know what you're thinking...I'm loud enough to probably get sound all the way to Russia!!). I know Troy and I alone cannot bring all the world's orphans into our forever family, but we can ensure that there's "ONE LESS".

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home Study

On Monday, we received an e-mail from our adoption agency letting us know that all of our paperwork had been received. They said they were requesting our home study and that we should be hearing from our assigned case worker within thirty days. Well, I guess God wanted it done a little quicker because I just heard today that our home study will be done NEXT Wednesday! I can hardly believe it! I'm so excited! I'm sure I should be nervous, but I'm not in the least. I've talked to our case worker twice now, and she seems extremely nice. I'm looking forward to meeting her. I am amazed daily at how God works out even the finest of details. If there's one thing I'm learning along this journey, it's to enjoy the small victories. We serve a God who cares about the details and provides small victories along the way so we can see His glory! Please continue to pray for us as we anxiously and patiently (ok, maybe not so patiently) wait until our precious child is in OUR arms! We're one step closer!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


As of 5:30 pm, yesterday, I mailed off the last 2 documents needed to complete the humongous amount of paperwork our adoption agency needed!! YEA!!! I'm going to enjoy this small victory before I look ahead to the even more humongous amount of paperwork that Russia needs! (I'm beginning to realize that you've got to celebrate the small victories along the way so that the race doesn't seem so daunting!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Doctor, Doctor...Give Me the News.

Troy and I FINALLY have our physicals completed and the kids and I are about to head out the door to pick up the last 2 forms that the doctor had to fill out! I had NO idea that trying to find a doctor to get a physical would be such a difficult task! As soon as we got our paperwork (around the 2nd week in May), I started calling around to make an appointment for Troy and I to have our physicals done. I called our family physician that we have used for many years, and the first available appointment he had was in November! Yes, you read that right....November! So, I proceeded to get the name and number of the doctors of just about everyone we know. The absolute soonest appointment I could find was September. We were discouraged, to say the least. We can't proceed with the adoption process until these medical forms are filled out by an internal medicine or family practice MD. Fast forward to week before last (June 8th to be exact). I went up to the church to have a form notarized. As I was talking to my friend, while she notarized my form, I mentioned that I was having the hardest time finding a doctor. She told me about her doctor and told me she would call and just see if maybe they could fit us in. Not only did they find a way to fit us in, they found a way to fit us in the very next week (June 15th). I had never been so excited in my life to go to the doctor. Troy and I both LOVED the doctor that we saw (Dr. Aguillar.....just in case you're in need of a fantastic, kind doctor). Not only did he take the time to talk to us for forever, but he got all of our forms filled out in just a few days and even had them notarized for us. While we were visiting with him, he commented that he couldn't believe we were able to get in with him so fast. He said his current wait time for physicals is about 3 months. Troy and I both knew exactly how we got in so fast.......God got us in!!

I continue to be amazed time after time of how God keeps providing the right people at the right time for us to get all of this stuff done! Just today, my brother took off half the day to come to my house and sketch out a floor plan of my house for me. (I never knew his architecture degree would be helpful. LOL) God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is good!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

1st Packet....Check!

We have officially received all the forms (i.e., birth certificates, passport renewals, etc...) we need to send in our first huge packet of paperwork. God willing, we should be mailing in the packet (along with our deposit) by the end of the week! That does mean, however, that we just move on to paperwork packet #2! I completely understand now why they call it the "paper chase"!!

I have been amazed at all the people God has been placing in our path that are adopting right now as well. Some are doing international like we are, and others are doing foster to adopt. I have been blessed beyond measure to see so many people following the call that God has placed on their hearts to care for orphans! It also gives me encouragement to know that we're not going at this alone! It's nice to walk along this bumpy, bumpy road with others.

Please continue to pray for us throughout this entire process. Pray that God would give us strength, patience, peace and supply our every need along this journey. Although we don't have a name or face yet, please also pray for our sweet child. All day today, I've been reminded over and over just how precious EVERY life is to God and that he has a purpose for them all....big and small!! I long for the day that my arms are wrapped around our precious child! You have no idea what your prayers and support mean to us. We will be forever thankful!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Faith Journey

May 1, 2011, was a day that people will remember for a variety of reasons. For most, they will remember that day as the day that the news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed. For us, it will be remembered for a much different and significant reason.....we decided to pursue adoption. We have been praying about this decision for over a year now and after much prayer, we felt God calling us to "get out of the boat and step out onto the water" and follow Him. The verse that has permeated our minds, hearts and souls the last year is, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27". The way in which we care for orphans can be done in many different ways, but we feel God calling us to take one of these orphans into "Our Forever Family". We're just in the "starting blocks", as Troy likes to call it, but we're ready to run! Our 5th child is waiting for us in Russia and we long for the day that we have him/her in our home and arms! We do however, covet your prayers! We know this is going to be a long, emotional journey, but we also know that God is good and he will provide for our every need.