Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wow Wow and more Wow

Well, the one document that I was waiting for...after much much much persistence, we got our 2007 tax forms! I, immediately, sent them to my homestudy agency so now, we wait for her to type it up and get it approved! Once that is done, we can start sending out more applications for grants! We got one sent off today and we are praying hard.

Also, our fundraiser begins tomorrow, so whatever we raise, we will add to our Starfish account and it will be matched by Lifesong!!!!!!!!!!

Oh!!!!!!!!!! We are official! T drove some documents to Frankfort and had them state sealed.

Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got our FIRST DONATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yahoo! Praise be to God for His infinite wisdom and glory.

What a week

I've successfully gotten my approval on my dossier, so it is ready to mail.

T drove (thank you) some papers to Frankfort and is dropping them off at Arise for me.

I sent my Lifesong application off.

My homestudy is being written.

I've got a spot reserved (thank you, C) for Tater Day and she is picking up my stuff to sell.

Almost got my Abba Fund application finished.

M&M fundraiser....not sure what the outcome will be $$ wise (thank you S), but all the goodies have been handed out. S handed out several and then I had a church offer to use our family as their monthly ministry opportunity :) Thank you Ginger and Kristi!

Still praying for finances...seeing God's hand move all over the place. Tired, but excited to see what He is going to do this Tater Day weekend!

So, aside from the pinched behind, due to a broken toilet seat (thanks dh LOL), a tick in my bellybutton (thanks to my dogs), vomit in a bed (thanks Peach), vomit in the hall on my new floor (thanks Catfish) and a massive water leak from my dishwasher (thanks GE)........the sun is shining, God is still on the throne, He has been faithful to me and blessed me with living out my dream, daily. Now, I walk in His light, give Him all the glory and wait with baited breathe for how He is going to provide for our adoption.

Giving Him all the glory and honor!

Thank you Lord, for cleaning up after the beauties that You have entrusted to me. Thank you for a warm, happy home and able hands to hand wash dishes, thank You Lord for a God fearing husband who loves his Lord and his family. Praising You for great friends and wonderful opportunities to see You work.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tater Day Fundraiser!

We have reserved a spot (thanks to my friend), right next to A Piece of Cake in Benton, Tater Day weekend. We will be selling baked goods and drinks. 100% of the money goes towards our adoption. Whatever we raise, will be matched, dollar for dollar, by a Christian organization! Please come out and support us!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Great News in the Adoption World!

If your main concern about adopting is coming up with the money, do more worries! Between grants and the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) which was scheduled to expire in 2010 was extended for one year through December 31, 2011. This is great news and should be shouted from every roof top!!!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

When your sister says "JUMP".....

.....I scramble and hustle!

T called and told me that I need 2 pieces of paper notarized and county sealed. I had one done and the other, well, no clue as to what the paper was for. She, graciously enough, emailed me an already filled in copy and told me to GET IT DONE AND GET IT MAILED TO HER! If I mail it to her, then she will go to Frankfort to have it state sealed.

You have to have it notarized to verify who you are, you have to have it county sealed to verify that the notary, is in fact, a notary and then you have to have it state sealed to prove that the county is the county in which the notary is actually a notary.

Okay, so both papers notarized and I'm hustling to get to the courthouse to get it county sealed. Now, I'm wearing the pants and shirt that I had been painting in, no makeup, my hair all over the place and my heel-less slippers. I'm rushing down the road thinking "I have to hurry, get this to the courthouse, get to the post office, pick up my passport applications while I'm there, get home, finish cleaning the house, make sure the kids are bathed" and I was in the process of remodeling my laundry...all the day before the social worker was to come and visit for our second part of the homestudy.

As I'm driving down the road, I happen to glance at this farm and notice that two calves had broken through a fence. I, being the great Christian person I am, thought I had too much to do in too little time, so I drove on by. Well, conviction ensued and I turned around, drove up the long driveway and saw this sweet man, in his 70s working. I told him that his calves were out and that I'd be happy to fix his fence and get them back in their rightful field.

Here I go, praying this doesn't take long....walking through the pasture (in my isotoner heel-less slippers). I realized that I couldn't get what I needed done from the angle I was going at it, so I walk down the road a bit and go into the neighbor's yard...slushing through the mud and the muck. The calves were frightened and they were running in a direction I didn't want them to go in...towards the road. I finally got them going in the other direction and instead of going back through the hole they already created...they created 2 more holes. Stupid stupid cows! At any rate, as I'm fixing the fence, I looked down and there was cow manure all over my shoes...not just a bit, a bunch. I scraped off what I could, fixed the fence, blessed the sweet man and off I went to the courthouse.

I got to the place I *thought* I was supposed to go and bless their hearts...they were CLUELESS! So, off to place 2 and there was a line, all the way out the hall. I finally get in the position to ask if I'm in the right spot and guess what? I wasn't. I had to move down into the vault. Off I go, to the basement and they do what I need for them to do! Praise God. Thankfully, no one mentioned my perfume of cow manure.

I rush off to the post office, mailed my letter, got my applications and then I headed home to finish my many many things left to do before the social worker shows up.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Staying Busy

I've faxed in my dossier for approval. If it is good, then I will mail the official set to them ASAP.

USCIS received my application.

We got our KSP and we aren't criminals LOL

I found enough pictures to satisfy for picture layout for my dossier.

We got our account set up through Starfish Orphan Ministry and I'm diligently trying to finish our grant/loans papers (ugh)

1st homestudy visit went great and the second is set for Saturday. That is our home visit.

I'm doing alot of cleaning and fixing little things that need to be done before she gets here.

Trying to have faith, letting God get the glory for it all! He *will* provide in His timing! (say, repeat, say, repeat, tattoo, put it all over the house)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fundraising Help Needed

We have a great friend, who is passing on a great idea! (Thanks Stacie)

If you have children (or just like M & M's), let me know and we will get you however many tubes you'd like.

Once you eat them all up, place quarters in tube and return it to me (or call and I'll come and get them).

Each tube holds $20 worth of quarters! That adds up!

You can also donate :) and if you write a check, write it to "Starfish Ministry". DO NOT PUT OUR NAMES ON THE CHECK. Put a sticky note or attach a note saying that it is for Bart and Brandi's adoption. All donations are completely tax deductible (if you do not put our names on it...just do as I stated above)

You can give us the check or you can mail it to:

Starfish Orphan Ministry, Inc.

P.O. Box 7083

Paducah, KY 42002-7083

It will go directly in an account that we have set up with them and 100% of the money goes directly to bringing Jude home!

We are so excited to be able to see how God is going to work this all out!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A God Thing

He cares even for the smallest details.

One thing that we needed to get done for our dossier are pictures. I've looked through hundreds and hundreds of pictures and all of them have B in a hat. We can't have pics with hats. Seriously. I can photoshop the wording on our shirts, but I can't photoshop his head out LOL

I ran into a friend at church, who has started a new photography business. I mentioned our need and he said that he would be happy to photograph our WHOLE family for FREE! Wow, that is a huge burden off our shoulders! We are hoping to get them done on Saturday.

I'm so thankful for he and his wife's generosity! I highly encourage anyone to use Firelight Studios! Wes and Laura are an amazing couple and they are on fire for God (and that sweet little boy). Thanks to you both!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1st Homestudy Today

Oh, went better than expected. We are blessed to have a worker who has recently adopted 1 baby from Ethiopia and is fixing to travel to pick up her 2nd baby. She will have 2 infants, 7 mths apart. She was a great source to talk to. She had some questions for us, just our reasons and then she proceeded to tell us some good news (for now, anyways).

It was stated, by the Ethiopian government that adoptive parents had to make 2 trips to the country. Once for court (where we'd both have to travel) and then in 6 wks, to pick up our son. They are not "requiring" this right now. Now, that can change at the drop of a hat. But, for now, we only have to make one trip (Praise be to God) and that will be the trip to meet and bring home our son. B is going to go with was a decision in the making, but our worker (and T) encouraged us both to go and experience this life change.

She shared with us her story of meeting her son's birthmother. It was touching and something that I don't think I'll ever be fully prepared for until it happens. And then, I'll just soak in the moment and take pictures and just be.

Nerves are setting in, in hopes that our son "may" be home by the end of summer and money is still such an unknown. God will provide. He will provide. I have to believe that and know that His hand is all over this.

I have these secret thoughts............not so much desires, but "feelings" that we may bring home 2 LOL....maybe, maybe not. God's will be done, that's all I've got to say about that :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I am one tired chickadee

I've been working on the house, trying to get it to where I don't wince when the worker comes for our home visit. I *had* goals today, but alas...I started doing something else. I got out the leaf blower and I blew leaves off of my pea gravel, bushes, patio, and everywhere else. Them suckers wedge in and it takes an act of congress to get them out. I blew all the leaves out of my flower beds. The kids cleaned up the yard and helped me to re-position the slate rocks that cover part of my patio. Boo cleaned off the pool deck, I got all the nails driven into the balcony, so it is ready to sand and stain. I had a friend over and he helped finish the border around the front door, so now I only have to paint the door, itself (and clean up where he got a little wild). He got the laundry room sanded down, so it is ready to paint. It's been a pretty productive day.

I'm tired, but I have a sense of accomplishment. I also got all my papers notarized. I didn't get my tax form or my other income form in the mail, but we still have tomorrow. I'm all ready to for my homestudy visit, tomorrow!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


As I sit here, in my living room, looking out my window at this amazing day that the Lord has made.....I am thinking "what is my baby doing today?" Is he healthy, is he hungry, is he playing...who is loving on him at this moment? Does he know that his forever family is constantly thinking of him and praying for him?

I hear my children laughing and I know that there is a little voice that is missing and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. Soon....soon....I will be seeing my beautiful rainbow family running through the yard playing with friends or other family. Making my life even more chaotic than it already is and loving every moment.

Will my quiver be full, in my finite mind after this little one joins our family? Who knows. I'm ready, I'm willing and my arms will always be open to whomever God decides to place with us. As tired as I get and as frustrated as I get...........this is my mission field. This is my joy and going/doing/mending/cooking/cleaning/errands... I love it. Some women are called to be great corporate giants. I'm a giant, alright...when I snap, they move :) This is my purpose. Being a wife and a mother to many. This is what my God has called me to do. Praise be to him.

Prayers: continued and constant for our little man. For our 2007 taxes to come (quickly). A safe trip for us and for the social worker on Saturday (that is our first meeting). And, of course, money............

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So I panicked...

As things continue to move forward and the thoughts of my son swirl around in my head, I began to panic. Not just a bit, but a lot. I mean, total panic...the thought of how we are going to pay for this adoption is SO overwhelming.

I was told today that I wasn't a "procrastinator" but I was an "avoider" LOL I tend to be like Scarlett O'Hara and put off tomorrow what can be done today. So, I've been making plans. We are going to move Bug into the boys small room. I'm going to get my mom's trundle bed, paint and get some pretty curtains. I'm excited. She is so willing and has such a servant's heart. I'm moving all three boys into her room. I believe that it is the biggest room. It will easily fit the bunkbeds and a toddler bed, at some point. I'm making all these lofty plans in my mind when I'm avoiding the elephant in the room. Paperwork. So much paperwork.

I'm happy to say that I'm lacking 1 tax form, an income form, a vet form and 2 medical forms. I'll be getting most of it, I'll get on Wednesday. As for a couple of them, I sit by the mailbox and wait. Praying for Godspeed with those 2 documents. Those are for the homestudy. Our first visit is on Saturday and then our final visit is next Saturday.

As for the dossier..........other than gathering and completing my photo pages and getting things notarized...I've collected 98% of what I need. It is refreshing having that done. I have post it notes everywhere with what I need.

I'm still concerned about the money, but according to Matthew 17:20
Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you"

So, I'm trying to set panic on the shelf and I'm not focusing on laundry, coupons and dreaming of my son.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lots accomplished

Yesterday, I got quite a bit accomplished!

*I filled out more paperwork.

*Dropped off the forms for the police dept.

*Picked up my a copy of my water bill (why they need that is beyond me)

*Went to DCBS and got my friend to do a financial on us and she is doing a reference letter.

*Picked up 2 pair of glasses and 2 sets of contacts.

*Went to the bank. Praised God for His provisions.

*Mailed off my KSP check, my child abuse/neglect form and I mailed in our immigration forms.

*Saved a ton of money at CVS and Save A Lot (did you know they had coupons!)

It's coming along..............

Prayers: for those people, who have chosen Ethiopia for their adoptions and peace as the government continues to make some big changes. For God to provide all of our financial needs, since they have increased. Peace and continued wisdom and discernment for us to continue walking in His path. Jude..........pray for our son.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Got them all

Went to my mom's for a Feb/Mar birthday celebration and while we were there, I picked up the rest of my birth certificates and my marriage certificate. *Phew* that little part is over.

I sat last night and scoured the internet for grant programs and I got all my applications (well some) printed out and ready to fill out. I can't do much with them until my homestudy is done, so I'm going to gather what I can and send in my info, asap.

Even the small steps are one step closer to bringing our son home...where he will be safe, fed and happy.

I'll be speaking with the agency that we are going to go with and send that application in. That is going to be a huge relief. It is very stressful choosing the right place. There are so many options. I urge anyone that is considering any type of adoption to ask lots and lots of questions, talk to people (if at all possible) that have used a particular agency, check with the Better Business your homework.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A peace that surpasses all understanding

I had the privilege to talk to a dear friend today. I'm so thankful that we got to connect and I had the opportunity to talk about everything that I needed too (thanks M)!

In speaking with her, I got a completely different perspective on the adoption track. I'm familiar with adopting through the foster care system (praising Him for Gigi and Catfish), I'm familiar with international adoption (praising Him for M & J2)....domestic private infant adoption.......not so much.

Fears subsided and peace was poured over me as I said "I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my son is waiting for me." Whether that son has yet to be born, in the states or whether he is waiting for me in Ethiopia. I knew. I know. I have peace. Praise be to God.

While I was sitting here couponing (my newest save money adventure), I was talking with dh about my great conversation with M and about our options. If we take money (trusting God will provide) and the time it will take to hold our son (domestic and international are about the same)....we had a choice to make. Bless our home with a t-tiny baby or a toddler. This isn't like buying a car or finding a house. This is relying on God to determine our path and carefully walk where He shines the lamp unto our feet. Me.......I'd adopt all the orphans in the world, with a joyful heart. I'm happy just knowing that God is going to bless us again. One day, we may walk down the path again :) Only God knows that!

We have definitely feel led to go to Africa. We have peace that surpasses all understanding. I'm a leg up on my dossier. I have my first meeting with my homestudy agency in a couple of weeks. Things are moving. God is moving.

Prayers: Continue praying for our son and for the millions of orphans across the globe. Still trusting in Him to provide the finances.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Can I just say

That choosing an adoption agency is HARD! KY is so so so slow on the immigration paperwork that it needs to go in the mail, pronto...yet...we are having a hard time finding and agency that clicks with us.

I have talked to so many. Phone conversations do have an impression. I've spoken with people that have the personality of a rock. Discouraging, encouraging, informative and down right nice people. Still, I don't have that fit or that peace.

God is moving.........He is moving..........He is going to show up and He is going to do it in a mighty way.

Prayers: That God opens (flings and permanently opens) an agency that is God fearing and dedicated to these little blessings. That we can send the immigration forms off and get it through with Godspeed. That He continues to cover our son with His loving graces and mercies.


Well, I finally received some of our birth certificates, but in the second order (yes, I had to have 2 separate orders because there are so many of us) ended up at Petter's Business LOL....Luckily, my mom lives right there and she is picking them up.

The man called yesterday (albeit our phones weren't working) and left this very slow, detailed message about how and why he got my package. He also mentioned "sine I opened it" that it "looked important". Well, YES, it is important. Bless his heart LOL.

Gonna call our agency today and confirm a few things with them before sending off that chunk o' money.

Prayers: Keep our son safe, healthy and fed. Protect his birth family, if they are still with us. God's graces and mercies and for Him to give us a peace and to not worry about the money. It will be there. He will provide. Praise You, Jehovah Jireh!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Waiting Child's Lullabye

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh