Thursday, February 6, 2014

Slight Detour

We have recently been getting a lot of questions about where we are at in the adoption process and what is happening in Ethiopia. When Meg and I are asked we continually point to what seems to be our theme verse in life; Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares 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.” We are and have been perfectly content enjoying the time and blessings we have currently in the moment, knowing that when that time for kids does come things will likely change drastically. 

A couple months back talks began in Ethiopia to discuss possible changes to outside adoption and whether or not they would continue to allow it. We have been on the waiting list for about a year and four months and if they decided to close outside adoption we would have to start over with a different country and likely be on the bottom of a new waiting list. We continued to pray and still seek to trust God for his plan knowing that it is good and always better than ours. Fortunately, a few weeks ago we got an update from our agency telling us that while Ethiopia is looking to keep as many orphans in the country, they are going to continue allowing outside adoption. This was definitely an answer to prayer, but God had even more and greater things in store for us that we were in the midst of. 

About 8 weeks ago God showed us once again that he is in control, has an amazing sense of humor and an unending love for us. From the beginning my dad has told us that while he was ecstatic about our adoption he was and would continue to pray for us to have our own kids first. Well apparently God listened, and we found out that Meg was pregnant. Yes, you read that correctly. Meg is pregnant!! Even while writing this it is hard not to smile and enjoy the miracle that is life, given by the one and only with the life giving power, Jesus Christ. As we sat in the Dr.’s office yesterday and watched our child stretch, turn and wave at us we almost couldn’t believe it. God is good in so many ways that we can’t even fathom but this is definitely a taste of his goodness. So we are on a new ride and Meg has a due date of August 14th. 

We know that the first question many of you probably will have is what are we going to do about the adoption. Well, I will have to let Meg give you all of the details but our plan is still to move forward with the adoption in God’s perfect timing. We don’t know when that will be but we have always wanted to adopt and feel that adoption is at the heart of God. Therefore, the desire remains strong in us. It could be as soon as 6 months after we have our own child or years later. Only God knows, and we have found that trusting His timing is the best and most exciting place to be. We are so thankful for all of your support and prayers over the past months and years. We are so excited about the future and thankful for the 6+ years of marriage that we have had to relax, strengthen our marriage and grow in our faith. Now we are now looking forward to the change a child will bring and new opportunities to grow and learn. 

Glory to God.


Monday, July 15, 2013

still waitin...

This summer has been so nice to be able to travel and relax after a whirl wind of change with Brandon taking the job at the school. It has been very nice to have this time of relaxation. When Brandon and I left the church last summer, they blessed us with a travel voucher to put towards a vacation. We were finally able to take that trip! We headed to Kauai for 11 days right after the school year was over! The trip was amazing and so relaxing! I sure didn't want to come home! 

We were home for 8 days, I worked a few shifts at Starbucks, than Brandon and I drove up to Oregon to hang out with my parents and family. I love my family so much and really wish I lived closer to them. But it was really nice to just spend time with them. 

During the 8 days between our two trips, we met up with our social worker to update our home study. Some of our paper work only lasts about 18months and so we will have to continue to update and renew our paper work while we hang out on the wait list. There wasn't too much to do. The wait time to get children is still about 18-24 months. We have been on the wait list since September 2012- so we've officially been on the list for about 10 months... still have a bit longer. But that's ok, it's God timing anyways!

We are continually blessed by how you all still are excited for us and are praying for us! Thank you all again for the support that we receive! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I should be cleaning my house

I kept waiting to post on the blog because I always felt that I needed a new update on the adoption to justify posting on a blog that is mainly about our adoption process. Well, there is no real adoption update and really hasn't been in awhile. But I figured I might as well write on here anyway even if it's not necessarily about adoption. So instead you'll get to hear about my ramblings of life lately :)

As for the adoption stuff, we are still just chilling on the wait list. We got on in September which means we've roughly been waiting 7 months now. In November, we got a remorseful email from our adoption agency stating that due to recent trends the wait time for children is now at least 24 months. I read the email, felt as though I needed to be upset, but I couldn't seem to get upset that the wait time was now longer. I had an overwhelming peace about just knowing that this process and journey has always been in God's timing. There was nothing we could do. There is such a peace about that. I forwarded the email to Brandon, curious to how he'd react to the longer wait time. He was positive and felt the same way. We have been gifted with this season of life where we do not have kids. We can enjoy little last minute getaways, sleep in, date nights... We will gladly give all of this up as soon as we have kids but we understand that life isn't going to "start" when we have kids. We want to be joyful and productive in every season. We are thankful for where we are at and how God continues to shape us during this time. Everyday I am amazed that God blessed me with Brandon who is enjoying this journey with me!

It's been cool to see how God continues to be in every detail of our life and brings a long encouragement, especially with adoption. Few examples: I was working and a customer came in and she had a similar Africa necklace to the one I have. I commented on it and we started chatting about the ministry and adoption that she has in Ethiopia. Ha the line forming behind her wasn't very happy that we were talking but it truly made my day! Also, we recently got connected with a new couple that just moved to the valley who have adopted two kids from Ethiopia. Upon further talking and meeting with them, they used the same agency that we are using. It was really cool to see pictures of their trips, meet their kids, and hear their stories. Maybe one day we can come along side others that will also journey through adoption :)

Since we haven't adopted yet, some of our paperwork needs to be renewed this summer. So during Brandon's summer vacation, we get to take trips but also work with our social worker to update our stuff.

Hmmm, not much else has been going on here. Just enjoying life :)
Brandon has been enjoying his new job at Northwest Christian School. It's had to compare his previous job at the church pastoring to teaching at the school. They are very different. He is working hard and loving the relationships he is building there through teaching as well as coaching (during all 3 seasons of sports). As for me, I was quite surprised at how hard it would be for me in the job adjustment. When Brandon was at the church, I did a lot to partner with him in the ministry. It was OUR ministry together. Now that Brandon is at the school, it's HIS ministry. I very much feel called to ministry and love investing in people. So, I am just trying to figure out where my ministry is now. I have just tried to continue my relationships with others and use that as my ministry. Work is also my ministry. But just trying to figure out if there is something more at the church I should be plugged into. Also, for so long I worked part time at Starbucks so I could have the flexible schedule to be able to do youth ministry with Brandon. Now that he is no longer doing that, I don't really have to be in that position anymore. So, I am just trying to also figure out what my job looks like as well. But through the whole transition and refiguring out our day to day life, we are trying to be purposeful & have joy and allow God to use us in all we do.

Through my study of Genesis and the life of Joseph that I have been doing with BSF, I just love being encouraged by the fact that God is in every detail of our lives. I love the point that I heard last week that God isn't striving for our happiness or pursuit of happiness, but He is working to achieve spiritual greatness in our lives through all we go through. One day when we get to have kids, I hope to keep that goal in mind to raise our kids for spiritual greatness and not just to always be trying to make them happy and give into all that they want.

Thank you again for your continued prayers and questions. I love knowing that you guys haven't given up on our journey to get kids. We sure hope that we get more than one child and I love that so many of you share with us how you still pray for multiples for us! We are truly blessed to have you all as our community. (Now I should go clean my house....)

Monday, November 5, 2012


So I realized after Mallory text me this morning asking if we had our adoption paper work completed that I never updated our blog...

Here's the update: We are officially on the wait list!

As of September 28th, 2012, our dossier (all of our paperwork) was submitted to Ethiopia. That is our DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) date which our adoption agency uses to refer a child(ren) to each couple. As I understand it, our agency has one list and you move up according to your DTE and what the kids available and the couple's wants are.

The wait time right now for an infant boy or girl is around 18-24 months. Pretty much since we are now on the wait list we can get a referral at any point. We are hoping and praying that it will be sooner but we are trusting God and knowing that it can take at least 18 months.

We cannot wait for the day to come when we have children in our home but it is such a blessing to rest in God's timing and trust what He has for us (and taking advantage of this time of not having that responsibility yet- which we will gladly forfeit that freedom when we have children- but it sure is nice being able to get up in the morning whenever we want or to sit outside and read for hours...) Thank you all again for your prayers and interest in our journey. So from here on out, when you ask about our adoption, we are on the wait list and just keeping our paper work up to date!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

giant slacker

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." -Romans 5:1-5

I was reading my bible & journaling last night and read through this passage. It reminded me just how thankful that I am that God is taking Brandon & me through the journey He is in our lives. There is truly no better place to be than in God's will. Whether I like it or not, or think I have better plans or timing, I want to be only in His will. 

Anyway, it really has been forever since I have written on here. Life has been a little crazy and truthfully not much has changed over the past months with the adoption process. But I will fill you all in on life and what not over the past few months. 

In June, we decided that Brandon would take as job as the new sophomore bible teacher at Northwest Christian School starting in August. This decision was actually pretty hard to make. There were great things with either staying at the church or going to the school. Trying to decide between two good things is not always easy and we'd be happy at either place. Ultimately we chose for Brandon to go to Northwest. 

We "graduated" from ministry at Palmcroft with our senior class at the end of July. We were so blessed by our church family as we stepped down from leadership and we are glad to still be apart of the church body there, just in a new way. 

New teachers reported to school, August 2nd, and Brandon has been on the go ever since. He is teaching four classes of sophomore bible (the gospels & Acts), two classes of MMI (computers), and assistant coaching cross country. 

I feel as though this has been quite the adjustment for me, stepping out of ministry with Brandon. I really feel called into ministry and I "adjusted" my life and job to fit into being available for youth ministry for all these years. I don't ever regret that but now, no longer being in full-time (pastor's wife) ministry, reminds me that I have a college degree and am just a barista at Starbucks. But again, God has humbled me and reminded me (which He does often) that my identity is not in an occupation or being "defined" by something or having kids or being married to Brandon, etc. My identity is in Christ alone and my Christian ministry is everywhere. Every part of life, I need to be living Jesus and loving others! And through this leaving leading youth ministry with Brandon, I am excited for the what new ministry opportunities that God has in store. 

What all this transition has to do with adoption... Well, we are still finishing up on the last like two things we need for the final paper work. There are about 5 or so documents that have to do with Brandon's job in our paperwork. We were waiting to get an approval from the U.S. government (the i-171h form) and were hoping to get all our paperwork in before Brandon switched jobs so we could get on the wait list, than go back and change what we needed. We waited and waited for this i-171h and it never seemed to come. Brandon got into his first week or so of starting school and we didn't have the i-171h, it was looking like we weren't going to be able to sneak in the paperwork. I was so discouraged. This paperwork process has taken a whole lot longer than I ever thought it was going to take and now we were going to be taking like 5 steps back and having to redo multiple documents to finally get on the wait list. It felt so far away! 

I finally emailed my adoption agency family coordinator to fill her in on what was going on. I was so discouraged writing the email. It was such a defeated sounding email. As I was writing it, I again was reminded that the whole process of having kids is not in our hands and not in our timing. I got an email back from my coordinator and immediately couldn't help but cry. God had answered my prayers and healed my discouragement. First of all, she said that we had been approved by the government in June and should have gotten our i-171h document that we needed. I was pretty sure we hadn't gotten it but that was such a relief to know that. Secondly, she said that we wouldn't have to change any of our documents except for our updated health and life insurance policies! Praise God! We do NOT have to go back and change our financial statement, Brandon's letter of employment, home study and i-171h form! Since our home study and i-171h were already finalized, we don't have to update any of that stuff for about 18 months when those need to be renewed! Such an answer to prayer and weight off our shoulders!

That afternoon, I got out all of our adoption paperwork and got everything in order. Brandon is getting a new life insurance policy and that is the only thing that is the last thing we need to complete our dossier. While I was cleaning up all the paperwork, I found the i-171h form! We received it! Apparently through all the craziness of the summer, we got the form and didn't really realize it. Again, another answer to prayer!! 

So, long story short, everything is set to go except for the life insurance policy (which we are hoping to get finished up this next week). Than we can officially submit our dossier and get on the wait list! Wow! 

It's been encouraging to know and think about all of you that are praying and thinking of us. We are excited for what God has in store for our lives. Brandon and I are truly trying to make the most of every moment of our lives. If we have kids or no kids, we are happy to be living and walking where God wants us.
Oh and the wonderful Karen McMahon is putting on a Premier Designs Jewelry show to help us raise money for our adoption! All of the proceeds will go to our adoption. The show will be on September 13th @ 6:30pm. Karen will be having the show at her house. If you can't attend but would still like to buy something, let me know and we can put in an order for you :) Thank you all again!! (Check out the flyer below or check out the facebook event)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Car Wash!

This post is long over due! But I don't know if I have mentioned how awesome our high school students are! We are insanely loved and blessed by them!

Shelby, Caleb & Tristen and a bunch of their friends coordinated a fundraising car wash for our adoption. They did it May 19th. (Brandon and my 5 year wedding anniversary was that weekend so we were out of town and not able to be there for the car wash.) They had lemonade and baked goods there. But best of all, a ton of our high school friends turned up to help out! They raised over $500 for us! It blows me away with how blessed and loved we are! And we cannot thank each one of them enough for doing that for us!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Garage Sale & Wait Time

Seriously, I am a huge slacker for not writing on here lately... sorry!

So, let's see. About a month ago, Friday, March 23rd & Saturday, March 24th we had a giant adoption fundraising garage sale! The Nowatzki family opened their house to having it the garage sale there. Which meant weeks prior to the garage sale, their house was already getting filled with items to sell. They were so positive and worked so hard the whole time! You could just tell how they were purely doing it all out of love! We cannot thank them enough for being so willing and generous with their home and time! We also cannot thank everyone else enough for all that they donated to the garage sale! I don't even know everyone that gave us stuff to sell but I love that they we're so willing to give. We got a ton of items and probably could have done garage sales for the next few weekends to get rid of it all. With the left over things we were able to donate it all to another family that was also doing a fundraising garage sale. Anyway, after two days of having the garage sale, we raised just over $3000!! Ya that's right $3000! Every time I hear that number it just sounds so unreal to me! That's just so much!

Our super cute nephew, Ethan and niece Ella, also helped us out by selling lemonade! They are just so cute that you can't resist buying a cup! They raised over $200 themselves by selling the lemonade :)
It's just so neat to hear all the stories of people who are praying for us. A lady at church was talking to Brandon and told him that she was praying that we'd raise 10% of the cost of the adoption process at our garage sale and we did! 10% of $30,000 (total cost) = $3000! I love how God hears our prayers. It's encouraging to hear that God puts us on people's hearts to pray for us and they do pray for us! Thank you all for that! Here are a few more pictures from the garage sale:

Thank you again to all who donated their time, things, and money to our 
super successful garage sale!

On a different note, about a month back we got an email from our adoption agency sharing with us that the wait time for a child to be placed is now longer. Once we get on the waiting list (which we're not on yet, but we should hopefully be in the next month) the wait will be between 18-24 months... The main contributor for the slowdown in the Ethiopia program is do to paperwork and specifically clearances. This part of the process is out of the hands of the adoption agency and is contingent on the governmental bodies in Ethiopia.

It can be a little discouraging because it seems as though we aren't getting any closer but just further away from having kids. But we just remember that this is not our timing but God's. We remember that He will place a child/children in our home when He wants to. He is in control, we are not. I like knowing and resting in His control in my life. God has been faithful and will continue to be.

Thank you all again for partnering with us on this journey. Thank you for all of your prayers, they mean so much to us!