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!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Yay! Finally an update! Brandon and I found out Monday that we got our certification on our home study!! Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us that the home study would get approved. So this means that we can move on! So pretty much we just have to do/collect like 2 more things to officially be finished with all of the documents for the dossier. The dossier will include all of our notarized original documents (i.e. medical exams, work verifications, police clearances, reference letters, proof of insurances...) and our certified home study. All of that will get sent to our adoption agency's home office and get translated and submitted to Ethiopia. Once this happens we will than wait again and for awhile. We are selfishly praying that we won't have to wait too long to receive a referral for a child or children. It could be anywhere between 10-18 months from once our dossier is submitted to receive a referral. We're definitely hoping that it won't be even 10 month... :) But no matter what, it's all in God's timing and we're good with whatever He wants for us!

We have a few fundraising things happening ahead:

Garage Sale - Friday, March 23rd & Saturday the 24th, 2012
It will be at the Nowatzkis house. If you have anything that you'd love to donate to the garage sale, let me know! All of the proceeds of the garage sale will go to our adoption process.

Party with a Purpose- Premiere Jewelry Party- Thursday, April 5th, 2012
We will be having a Premiere Jewelry party with Karen McMahon at her house. All of the proceeds of all the jewelry you buy, go to our adoption process. Save the date! If you'd love to buy stuff and not be able to come, let me know and you can order stuff and it will still go to our adoption. So come buy and party with a purpose :)

We are still selling our shirts! They are $20 a piece. Buy one!

Thank you all again for your excitement, prayer and support for us through this process! We're so blessed to have you all around us through each step. Hopefully, we'll all get to meet our kids... soon! Keep praying!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

not really an update...

I keep putting off writing on here hoping that any day now I would have something new to update on during the adoption process, but I don't. We submitted our completed home study to the state courts in mid December. We were told that our case is open and should be approved by mid to the end of January. Well, now it's February and nothing. We can't really do anything else until this is approved. So now you're all up to date... :)

We have just really started our fundraising for the adoption. Mainly by our shirt sales. It's great seeing the people wearing our shirts. I love how people are so excited about this process too! Months ago when we hadn't told anybody that we were adopting yet, I truly wasn't sure how people would react to us adopting. I truthfully was expecting a mixed reaction from people. Everybody has been real happy and supportive! We feel very blessed to have so many people praying for us. Anyway, we are going to have a garage sale the weekend of March 9 & 10th, where all the proceeds will go to our adoption process. So, if you'd like to donate anything to the garage sale, we'd love to have it! :) It will be at the Nowatzki's house. If you have any questions or anything you'd like to give, talk to Tammy Nowatzki, Brenda Southall, or us! Another fundraiser we will be doing is a Premier Jewelry party with Karen McMahon. We are still trying to nail down a date for that one, but hopefully in the next few months! :)

God is continuing to grow us and show us many things. For one thing, God reminds us often that His timing is not ours and we need to trust in that. And in my own life, God has been teaching me that I need to be purposeful with my life now. I think so often in life it becomes so easy to look to the next thing to do really live for God. Like "when I graduate high school, I'll have more time do this..." or "when I have kids, I will do that..." But God has put me exactly where he wants me and I need to share the His love to others. I feel like for so long I complained about working at Starbucks thinking that I am more qualified for a job elsewhere. But this life is not about me. My identity is in Christ and not in my own achievements. He has placed me at Starbucks to be a light to others there. Even if I was in my dream job, my purpose there would be to be a light in that place too. Ultimately, no matter where I work or if I have kids or not, I am not defined by those things (being a barista or a mom) but my identity is in Christ and Him alone. 

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who love me and gave himself for me."-Galatians 2:20

Things we're praying for:
God's timing in our lives
We are also praying for our children. God knows who they are and where they are. 
We are hoping and praying that we will get more than one child-- siblings or twins!
Selfishly we are praying that our home study gets approved really soon

Thank you all again for partnering with us in this journey!! 
Love, Meg