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Monday, December 17, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Thank you all for your support and prayers!
Praise the Lord for all of is many blessings! This is truly an answer to many PRAYERS!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I am sorry it took me so long to find the words but we are ok. WE PROMISE! We know that God knows exactly who our child is and when he/she will get here. We are trusting in the Lord. He knows exactly what we need and He knows exactly how this will unfold for us and we just have to TRUST IN HIM!
Also, last week, we were presented with a situation about a baby girl that was born on August 17. The birth mom looked at our profile and after an agonizing week, she decided on an adoptive family and it was not us. It was a little sad but we understand that the baby girl ended up just where God intended her to be. I have to think that we were put in her life to pray about and for her, we did and continue to!
So....Adoption is hard. I never expected this much of a roller coaster. I expected to just be sitting back waiting right now. We are on a roller coaster. A roller coaster that I think might still only be creeping up the very first incline before the scary part even begins!
Just pray for us! Pray for financing and pray for peace!!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The main thing God has laid on my heart to share is this story:
The young woman pictured below is the mom of three children. The youngest (pictured) is 9 months old. Her husband passed away of cancer 3 weeks before his precious son was born. She has no family, is alone, and extremely poor. I kept assuring her that I would pray for her and I have been but maybe you all can join me. She said she only eats one meal a day. She is sort of smiling in this picture but she looks so sad. Before she, and everyone, saw the doctor, they had the chance to hear the gospel. They were able to hear the truth and had the opportunity to pray to receive Christ. I pray that she said that prayer! I pray that she has found peace in Him! Please pray that God will continue to work in the life of this young woman and in the lives of her children. The works that God is doing in Romania is wonderful and I am sorry that I don't have the words to describe it just yet. Maybe soon.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
He has provided a place in each of our hearts for adoption. He has provided acceptance and excitement about our decision from our family members. He has provided a group of friends and family members that have given us more support than we could ever imagine! He has provided so much love in so many hearts for a baby and birth mom that we have never met! In the beginning, we worried that this baby may not be as accepted into our extended family as openly as a biological child, God provided a place in everyone's heart for our child, a child we haven't seen or held. That, to me, is the most amazing thing in the world. To know that people love and care for us so much that they have stopped at NOTHING to help us realize our dream of being parents!
Over the past couple of months, we have been asking for people to donate unused and unwanted items to us so that we could have a garage sale as a fundraiser. We expected to have a few people donate a few things here and there. What actually happened was much much different. We started with a totally cleaned out two-car garage and ended with items PILED from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. The truth is, we had no clue what and how much we had until this past Thursday night when we tried to get it all out and sort through it before our garage sale on Friday and Saturday.
We had parents, friends, cousins, aunts, siblings and more volunteer to help out. So, over the course of two days, with a fundraising goal of $1,000 we set out organizing items, posting the sale to the internet, putting out signs in our neighborhood, selling, sorting, and WORKING. It was not as hot as it has been, the days were gorgeous, there was no rain, and there were people EVERYWHERE! We decided to move some stuff and sell really cheap so we priced most things at $1 with the exception of some nice furniture we had and a few other like-new things. We sold a TON and still had a TON left at the end of the weekend! We had so much left that we were able to donate the several loads of items to another couple that we know that is also fundraising for an adoption. So, your donations are benefitting not one but TWO adoptions!
We are all so very grateful!
With a goal of $1,000 in a two day sale, we managed to raise:
We exceeded our original goal by NOON on Friday!! Shocked is not nearly dramatic enough to describe the feeling that came over me as I was counting the money. I feel so blessed. Blessed in a way I have never felt before.
I have felt a love on this adoption journey that I just can't explain. I am truly grateful, with every fiber of my being, I am grateful to God for placing these amazing people (family and friends) in my life and grateful to them for giving so selflessly of their time and energy to help us!
Blessings to you all!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I have always LOVED traveling. I haven't traveled much. Especially not internationally, outside of going on vacations. So an international medical mission trip, to me, the x-ray tech, seems like its right up my alley! Traveling, Worshiping the Lord, Helping others, and Spreading the Word! I have been praying about a mission trip, specifically, for several months now. My church is sending a mission team to Haiti July 7-13 and I was a few seconds from committing myself to that trip the day before they were to buy plane tickets and it just didn't feel right. I immediately regretted not going and have felt like I failed somehow. Like God was telling me to go and I just ignored Him. I have always had this "listening" problem when it comes to my relationship with God...I ask for answers, He gives them, and I argue....So, with the Haiti trip, I knew I wanted to go, and I asked God to show me if He wanted me to go and I honestly don't think that going was my calling but in the days after making the decision NOT to go, I wondered and almost regretted my decision NOT to go.....
So regretfully, I moved on... and on Monday night, I got an unexpected call from my grandfather asking if I would be interested in going on a FULLY FUNDED medical mission trip to Romania July 2-12 with one our family friends who is a physician and goes regularly on this trip. This is the same time my church will be in Haiti! If I had committed to Haiti, this Romania trip wouldn't even be an option for me... I had to let them know by today, TODAY, if I could go or not. Well, that all depended on my job. I am the only x-ray tech at an orthopedic clinic...a clinic for broken bones where an x-ray tech is essential! I talked to my employer and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were ok with me finding someone to fill-in for me while I am out! So, I called very quickly to let them know that I would we thrilled to go!
Now, I won't be working as an x-ray tech but more of a medical assistant but I can not wait!! God answers our prayers, He does! He may not answer them the way we imagine it, but they are answered still.
John and I have prayed with all our hearts for a baby and although it will not happen how we originally pictured it, God will bring a baby into our home. I have prayed to do something bigger with my life and changes are being made to make that happen. I have prayed to be able to show His love to others through international mission work and guess, what?? I am doing that this summer!
We are so lucky to serve a King who meets our needs in every way
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Our oldest child who just happens to be a dog, has been extremely sick. So John volunteered to stay home and hone his parenting skills by taking care of our sweet baby. He hated to miss it but we just thought it was the best choice.
Brandon Day was May 11 and 12. Where weather was concerned, it was a stormy, wet, soggy, raining, muddy MESS! This did not, however keep people away!! It is my guess that there wasn't near the crowd that the City of Brandon expected but there were still a lot of people! Friday night , we only had a few people stop by but made the money that it cost us to purchase the booth space. Several people were there to help including, John's parents, my parents, my brother, my Aunt Tami, and my cousin Brandy. and one of my BFFs, Leah and her soon to be husband, Paul! We all had fun visiting! One of the MOST special parts of the evening was when John's parents arrived, they delivered a card to us from John's sister's friend. The card said that someone recently helped her out during a tough time and she made a commitment to pay-it-forward when she was able. It was the sweetest card. Inside was $1,000 cash!! We were all shocked and thankful! It literally brought us to tears! Although John and his family know this wonderful lady, I have never had the pleasure of meeting her! She did this for us and I don't even know her! I was just so touched by her generosity! God is so good and he uses His people in wonderful ways! I can't wait to be in a position to pass her kindness and selflessness along!
Saturday was much different than Friday! When we arrived on Saturday morning, it almost immediately began to drizzle rain. By 11:30, it was FULL BLOWN! We had to tarp up the sides, and move stuff away from the front of the tent so all of our shirts didn't get wet! It rained on and off ALL day LONG! Every time I emptied the donation jar there was a hundred dollars in it in various bills, although I think I know who made at least two trips to the jar, (cough, cough, Aunt, cough, Tami!). We had a lot of people buy shirts and write checks for over the amount or not want their change. It was such an amazing day! We raised a lot of money and had a really good time visiting and trying to stay dry! Most of the people that came Friday were also there Saturday as well as my grandmother and Richard, my cousin Chris and his daughter Maggie! We had a great day!
Here are some pictures, the additional shirt colors will be available to buy via the blog VERY SOON!
|Me and my mom at our tent! I think it turned out really cute!|
|Me, my BABY brother, and my mom|
|Me and my grandmother|
|Me and Aunt Tami|
|Me and sweet Maggie|
|We spent a LOT of the day doing this. This is my grandmother keeping water|
from pooling on the top of the tent and I'm not really sure
why Chris is making that face :)
|My friend's nephew, Bentley, I couldn't resist|
|Me and John's dad....his mama stayed behind the camera|
next time we will get one of her!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
|waiting to get my physical|
|John had to come straight from work|
Not only did we end up with our 25 volunteers, but we had 28, only 24 pictured here! The race was to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital and in return for us volunteering, they gave us $1,000 to help with our adoption. It doesn't stop there. We were able to team with a group of 4 that were also trying to raise money for an adoption...this is what brought us from 24 to the critical # of 25 which was required for us to get the money all the way to having 28 volunteers! So, just counting our group, Warrior Dash benefited St. Jude, our adoption, and another adoption!! God is so good!!
We are so thankful for the folks pictured here and the 4 that were not pictured for their help on Saturday! Our precious baby has so many people that have worked so hard get him/her to us and its a wonderful thought to know that this many people love this baby already!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
John and I knew from the beginning that we wanted children ASAP I even asked him about children and adoption before we got engaged. We didn't immediately start trying ONLY because we wanted to be a little more acclimated with living together and merging our lives. We never intended to be here just before our 5 year anniversary blogging about still waiting to be parents.
When I was seventeen I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was devastated as my mother can tell you. I tried to be strong, I had just been told that I would have a hard time getting pregnant when the time came. My mother and I were on the way home (I remember this like it was yesterday)from the doctor and she turned to me after about 20 minutes of silence in the car and said "So, how do you feel about what she said, how are you feeling" and I busted out crying! At the time I had no clue why I was crying. I was 17 and had a long time before having children would be an immediate goal, but that day I knew I was different and knew what I had always expected. The one thing I wanted more than anything might not happen for me. It was then that I realized that my life may not be a perfectly executed as I planned. That was before I knew that my plans were NEVER perfect but God's ALWAYS are! You see, I have a brother that is nine years younger than me and to this day, his birth was the proudest, happiest occasion of my whole life. I knew that day (May 14, 1993) at nine years old, that before I wanted to be a doctor, or ballerina, or lawyer, or rock star, I wanted to be a mommy. So, there I sat at 17 on the ride home wondering why this was happening. Although I was too young to understand exactly how that day at the doctor had changed by life, I knew I was different. I was devastated and this would not be an easy road for me.
So, in March 2008 after being married 9 months, John and I decided to start trying to have a baby. We were so excited. It was all we could talk about! March quickly turned to April and still not pregnant. We weren't deflated, I figured it would take a few months. In that month we quickly realized that my body does not work properly when I am not on birth control pills (that's how I found out I had PCOS in the first place). So, we started seeing a fertility specialist in Jackson. He decided to start us on medicine. This was exciting. The idea of fertility medicine made me SURE this would happen quickly. Well, boy was I wrong...May turned to June (1 year anniversary) then to July and before we knew it, it was Christmas! There were babies all around us. I was obsessed with getting pregnant. Charting, taking pills, fertility monitors, false alarms, getting our hopes up every month only to be devastated. There were days when all I could do was cry. I couldn't be around family because that meant babies, I couldn't be around friends because that meant pregnancies, and worst of all I couldn't even look at John without feeling like I was totally disappointing him and ruining his plans. So, at the end of December, after 9 months of obsessive pregnancy thoughts, I was mentally and physically drained. I felt horrible, I was not myself, I cried at the drop of a hat and sometimes when everything was perfect. I was done. I couldn't take anymore heartbreak. So, I stopped. Quit. I was SO done. In fact, I told we would just never have them and that would be ok. In January of 2010 I had to make the choice, my body couldn't take not being on birth control or fertility meds. I had to pick one. I had to make a choice. Birth control......or......fertility. I couldn't bare the thought of going through that emotional roller coaster again. I felt like I was in a good place. Not trying but not preventing. I was in denial. I wanted so badly to be one of those girls who got pregnant without thinking about it or to get pregnant on birth control even. We discussed adoption but were quickly re-directed by our families. After researching and taking family opinions into consideration, we decided that it was not something we could afford at the time. I laugh at that now because I just don't know that anyone can EVER afford adoption. After MUCH consideration, John and I decided that birth control was what we needed to do until we were sure we could emotionally handle the thought of "trying" again and we really only meant ME. John wasn't near as obsessed as I was. So, in August 2010, we began going back to the fertility specialist. This was a HUGE let down because I quickly found out that the medicine that made me ovulate before was no longer working. So, after months and months of getting the dosages right, we finally found one that worked. We had about 3-4 medicated cycles in 2011 and one intrauterine insemination (IUI) where I actually ovulated. None were successful. I can't even explain the devastation that a failed IUI brought. Somewhere in my head, I had convinced myself that all we needed was IUI. That it was just going to take that little extra boost. I was so wrong and so devastated that I allowed my thoughts to even go there. Again, I was stuck. Too upset and emotionally drained to try another cycle. Throughout the whole process I wanted to adopt but John just wasn't so sure anymore. Not after talking to family and weighing the costs. Well, I just dropped it. Until around September 2011. I started asking John and others to pray about our future and about adoption. In the meantime, I reluctantly made an appointment with the fertility specialist again. I did not want to try anymore but I wanted to do what John wanted. He asked me to try two more IUIs and I agreed. It made me sick to think about but I didn't want to let him down.
The day before my Dr. appointment was so weird. I was very emotional and not excited at all about my appointment but didn't dare let John see that. I wanted to give him a child if that is what he wanted. John came to me at some point that day and said..."I've been praying about this and I don't think you need to go to the Dr. tomorrow. I think we are meant to adopt. I feel like God has called us to adopt." I can not describe the relief that I felt. I have never in my life felt that way. I KNEW that God did that. I was 100% sure at that point that John was right.
Much to our surprise, our families were THRILLED! Our family was buzzing about it in NO time. We have really appreciated the way they ALL came out of the gate SUPER excited. We are meant to adopt. God has been preparing us for this for a long time. So, you see, in almost 5 years, we have not exhausted all options. There is still a lot more we could do. Adoption isn't our last resort, it is something that God expects of us and we are happy to follow him. We don't know where this journey will take us. We do know that every day we walk closer with Him. We can't do this without God and we can't do this without His people helping us daily!
The support (emotional, spiritual, and financial) we are receiving from our friends, family, church, community, blog followers, and strangers even is OVERWHELMING!! Each and every one of you are such a blessing to us! I just wanted this post to give a little history for those of you who don't know it. I hope this gives you some insight into our motives and our hearts. We want to be parents more than I could ever explain (I am sure most of you know the feeling). The fact that God chose us to achieve our goal through adoption makes me smile now that I know we are on our way. We know this journey will not be without setbacks. I like to think we are realists in that sense. We will handle setbacks as they come and with God's help, move forward. We will be parents, sooner rether than later and I couldn't be more excited!
Friday, April 13, 2012
That is an exerpt from a post that I wrote a few months ago. I was just re-reading some of my scattered thoughts and saw that and wanted to share it again.
Thanks for reading, supporting, and praying!!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I know that this feeling of being out of control is only the beginning. The only part of the adoption process, especially domestic infant adoption, that I have ANY control over is the paperwork and like I said, we are almost finished with that part. So, I can look forward to this feeling for a good bit longer, I think. I just need prayer. Prayer that I remember that it is ok not to be in control. I know that the Lord has a purpose for every moment in our lives. Sometimes a big purpose and sometimes a small one. I love those moments when you are sure of what that purpose is! I haven't, however, had one of those moments in a little while. I just pray that God reveals to me His purpose in this chapter. I pray that He reveals to me exactly how He wants me to serve in our time of waiting. Maybe it is just to produce a stronger faith, or maybe to accomplish something else all together....I wish he would send me a memo on a pale yellow sticky note. That would be nice. Until I know what it is, I will just pray for clarity, and I ask you pray for me too.
Also, fundraising is about to be in full bloom! Upcoming we have Warrior Dash on April 21, and 3 market type events the first 3 weekends in May. I expect to bring in no less than $1,000 for each event. Also, June 1-2 we are having a garage sale at my moms house as a fundraiser. We will be busy busy.
Please pray that we make a nice little, OR BIG dent in the fundraising in April, May, and June!! Pray that I chill out (the prayer of my life), and pray that we wait well!
Check out the new "SUPPORTERS" tab on my blog! People who have bought and received shirts have been so kind to e-mail, text, or send on facebook pictures of them wearing their shirts. If you are up for it, please send yours in too! I would LOVE for the "SUPPORTERS" page to be SO FULL!
Thanks to all who read, pray, support, and spread the word!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I ask that you check out their Caring Bridge site once more. It gives you some insight into how they are feeling and some updates on her pregnancy, picking out a name, and the gender and due date of baby #2!!
Also, keep the prayers coming!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
One of the questions she asked that I wanted to share with you was "How do you know that you want to adopt?" The question was directed to me first and I didn't hesitate to answer....this is kind of how it went. My brother was born when I was 9 years old. It was the BEST day of my ENTIRE LIFE! He was the most perfect wonderful well timed gift that God has EVER given me! I can't explain the love I felt for him. A love that I am sure parents feel. I know that he was given to me (and our family) to show me how big love can be! Although he is not my child, I found out that day and for the past 18 years that it is possible to look at that baby, child, boy, and man, and know that even though he is not my biological son, I can't imagine a greater, more unconditional love! Because of him I know that I am capable of loving a baby that didn't come from my body just as if they did. I don't need to have felt the pain of labor to know that they are mine. I know that I am meant for adoption, God showed me that through Jonathan!
He will be graduated from high school and 19 all in the next two months and I just know that I am going to be a wreck watching him walk across that stage and begin the next chapter of his life. I know that God brought him to me to show me just a fraction of the love He feels for us, His children. My brother means the world to me! Please pray that God will guide him in all he does, that he never loses sight of the Lord, and that he knows without a doubt that his sister loves him more than words can even begin to describe. He is so handsome and charming and I know that he will be great in whatever he does!!
I wasn't sobbing when I answered this question, surprisingly, because I am now :) but I was able to say exactly how I felt and keep my composure. Amazing!
We have our last meetings of our homestudy on Saturday. We each have to meet with her alone for about an hour answering questions about our relationship, faith, and life. Please pray that God gives us the words to explain our hearts!!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
We are right on schedule with fundraising. We decided to make a few smaller fundraising goals instead of making one HUGE goal...halfway into our 3 month goal of $7,000, we have raised over half of the money we need to meet it!! In the middle of May we are adding $7000 more to the goal....I know we can do it!!
This month, in addition to selling shirts we have been getting our story out and filling out TONS of paperwork!!
So far we have:
- Filled out our first (really our second if you count the application that isn't called and application) of 2 (or 3) applications and mailed it to our agency.
- Filled out our homestudy paperwork. I will mail this along with a check for $1,340 as soon as we take pictures of EVERY room in our house (I am doing this Monday).
- Scheduled our first of three homestudy meetings. Our first is Monday, March 26!
- Scheduled our FBI fingerprinting for tomorrow at 5 in Tupelo. $96
- Mailed our criminal background check consent forms. $66.30
- Mailed our Mississippi Child Abuse Registry check consent forms.
- Made copies of our Social Security Cards, Drivers Licenses, Passports, Birth Certificates, Marriage License, 2010 & 2011 Tax forms and W2s, and Health Insurance cards.
- Filled out a Net Worth worksheet.
- Mailed Letters from our employers verifying our employment and income.
- Scheduled our Dr. appointments for Good Friday. This will include having RPR, HIV, and TB skin tests!!
- Written our Autobiographies.
- Written our statements of faith.
- Of course made and making sure my house is in order for the homestudy visit Monday which is why I am waiting until Monday to take pictures :).
I am planning a trip to Brandon Wednesday, March 28 to deliver the gray shirts. The Southern Belle ones should be ready by the end of March and I will get those out as soon as they are IF they aren't ready before I head down....hopefully they will be!! If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at my personal address if you have it, text or call me, or e-mail me at email@example.com I assure you, we will get the shirts out as soon as possible!!
Thank you for praying for and supporting us. We are so happy to be on God's path for our lives and are thrilled by the support we are receiving from you!!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I am so thankful!!
In the prayer request area we have a few things we would like you to remember:
-Pray for the birthmother of our baby. We don't know her but we love her!
-Pray for a good report from our homestudy that will begin March 26!!
-Pray that God just helps us to wait patiently and know that His timing is PERFECT!
THANKS TO EACH OF YOU!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
So, an updated fund amount will be posted in the next couple of weeks, Southern Belle tshirts will be in and Gray shirts will be delivered. We are working on some items to sell at Brandon and Pearl Days in May and June!!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I wanted to start by explaining that to help you understand that once we got married and decided to have children, I have felt this pull from the Lord like nothing I have ever experienced. Like many times in my life, I put it off thinking things like "Next Sunday we will go" and then once we were going, "next Sunday, John and I will join a church together, as a family". We put these things off and off and off! I know now that God needed ME to make the decision to be his disciple. He wasn't going to make me do it.
When John and I were weighing the pros and cons of moving to Eupora at the end of last year, one of the huge PROS was to have an opportunity to be closer to our nephew and niece. See, I grew up VERY close to my aunt and am SO grateful for the opportunity I had to be so close! I wanted that with MY niece and nephew. Part of being so excited about moving back was to be with them and one part of that relationship I wanted with them was to not only be with them but to be in church with them.
They, as well as all of John's immediate family, are Baptist. So, in order to be with them in the church setting, I needed to join the Baptist church. John and I attended this church when we lived near Eupora before. I love this church. I didn't know all that many people in the church, but I did feel at home, and I felt like I had the chance to start over and not feel like a stranger.
So, we moved here in October and began going to church here regularly sometime in December. We decided to formally join the church together in January. We set up a meeting and were able to sit down and share our stories with the Pastor and....four and a half years into our marriage we just, in January, decided to take the steps to become members! When we went down and were presented to the church we were received with so much love on this day! We really were. It was such a nice day.
Remember, I was christened in the Methodist church as a baby, not baptized in the Baptist church....
I am to be baptized in the morning. I was a little put off by this at first. I'll be honest, I was. But that was until I realized that sometimes God asks us to do a little more than what we are doing or something that we think is a little uncomfortable. Because lets face it, the only reason I don't want to be baptized now at 27 years old is because I don't want others to judge me and think that this means I wasn't a christian before or that John, who comes from a family who is VERY present in the church, married some hooligan! But when I really think about it, none of that matters. Imagine the pain and humiliation that Christ went through for ME, for my SOUL! How petty is it of me to be "put off" by God asking me to step up and show others that I am not ashamed. I am so grateful for my salvation and that God would make such a sacrifice for us sinners. So, here I go....tomorrow morning. I just hope I don't slip!
Just like with our adoption. Yes, it is going to be hard. Yes, the process is going to be a little uncomfortable, but it is what He is asking of us.
After what Christ went through for me?!?! I am happy to oblige!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Blogging makes the far far away places seem so close!!
Through Twitter I got in touch with a local radio personality, Jason Scarborough, who is owner of Spirit Communications, Inc./The Spirit Radio Network and Host of "The Friday Night End Zone Scoreboard Show" on ESPN 105.9 FM "The Zone", who has offered to announce our cause at the Jackson Prep girls and boys basketball games. TONIGHT (February 21 @ 6:30 & 7:45). You can listen now on your computer by going to this link: http://player.streamtheworld.com/liveplayer.php?callsign=WJQSAM The games will be on until about 9:30pm!
I am thankful for all of my readers and followers, and supporters. If you are reading this, I invite you to put a link to your blog in the comments of this post so I can follow you back and a link will automatically go to your blog from mine!
Friday, February 17, 2012
I'll go on an answer the question you all are wondering. You live in Mississippi, why on Earth are you working with a Texas based adoption agency that is 8 hours from your home? Well the answer is simple. We feel that this agency offers so much to birth and adoptive parents from the beginning throughout. This agency provides a dormitory for birth moms who want to use it. They provide financial assistance if needed to those birth moms who are unable to take advantage of the dormitory option for whatever reason (ex. if they have other children to care for, if they have a huge support system at home, if they don't want to leave their pets, if they need to keep a job and can't move to the dorm). This to me is a huge reason we chose this agency. We also decided to go with this agency because of the extended care that is offered to all families, birth and adoptive, that continue after a placement of the child. They continue to provide services to these families for life! Counseling, searching for birth parents, future adoptions, and much more. It is because of these reasons why we chose to work with them. With all of that being said.....How did today go?
John and I arrived at the agency this morning and were given a table number. I roughly counted 12 tables with 6 people (3 couples) at each table. We were seated at a table with a couple from Louisiana and a couple from Kentucky. The morning started off with a brief introduction on the program and what to expect out of the day. We were then broken up into groups. I think our group had about 14 people in it. All were married couples. Our group session lasted about 2-21/2 hours. I am guessing because I wasn't paying attention to the time but when we dismissed, it was lunch. In this group, we had a case worker tell us about the process BEGINNING TO END. We went through it all with exception to the financial aspect. We talked about how the process would go from initial application to finalization of the adoption. It was very extensive and incredibly informative. This will be no surprise to those of you who know me well...but I left out of that room thinking to myself, "I want to work here. I want to do this kind of good for people on a daily basis!"
Next we had lunch and then went back into the big room as one group. From there we went over the social media and financial part of it. This section to me was less about the finances and more about the tax credit and the fact that it may not be available post 2012. I would have liked to see a little more about funding adoption, ways to fundraise, ways to network....Maybe we were the only ones in there not rolling in money and wondering "How do we pay for this and not go broke?", who knows?!?!
Next, we watched a video a birth mother and adoptive family agreed to film documenting their experience. It was touching. I expected to be a blubbering mess and surprisingly, I was not....neither was John, equally surprising.
Immediately after the video, we got to hear 2 pregnant birth moms that are currently matched with families. We got to hear their story, their expectations, their fears, their hopes, dreams, and most importantly their love for their babies. John and I both teared up a little but really did not cry. This was mainly because our table was positioned in a way that the birth mothers were staring directly at us. We both felt that they were tearing up and if we started crying or sobbing even, we might cause them to as well So, by the grace of God, we were able to listen tentatively and not be a mess, that is a big deal for us! :)
We next heard, in more detail, the services that the "Family Services" team provides each family for life. Yes, I said LIFE. Any questions or concern we or our child EVER have about adoption, the birth family, coping, grief, loss, or even family tree projects can be directed to them at no additional cost. That sounds like we will have TONS of support.
A family from Texas that had recently experienced a successful adoption with the agency 10 months ago, came and told us about their journey and how the process unfolded for them and about how they are positive that all the waiting they did was because the child that God picked for them was not born until this past April. They had one birth mother change her mind in the hospital after delivery and were devastated and were able to stand up there today and testify to us that they were thankful to her for changing her mind because if she had not, the precious baby they now call their daughter would not be in their lives.
Then, we were able to hear the lawyer that works with the agency talk about the legal process start to finish. I really won't bore you here unless you just have specific questions but basically, our fears were laid to rest in this portion.
We then, took a tour of the campus. Here, we were able to see some of the adoption fee money at work. The dorms are beautiful, the girls look so well cared for and most importantly, happy. They have a courtyard with a pool where they can have their family and support system come to visit and cookout. They have activities planned as well as group and individual counseling sessions planned. They can leave to work or go to school. All at no cost. NONE. It is a really amazing place. It is a safe place that facilitates healing and growing. It was such a joy to see these girls so well cared for in such a trying time in their lives.
Then we basically just had an open session for questions. We did have two that we asked in private after the session. Here are the questions we asked and the answers we received.
Q: What happens to the adoption fee that we pay if a private adoption just falls in our laps? (I mean after all, we are following God's plans for our lives, what if that is what he has in store for us?)
A: The money can go towards a decreased fee if we were to ask this agency to facilitate our adoption even if in another state, OR it can go towards the cost of a future adoption.
Q: If we purchase the $300 application booklet (literally a 1 inch binder FULL of forms to fill out), how long do we have to turn it in since the first 25% of the application fee is due then?
A: You have 3 months to turn the application in. If you are unable to come up with the money at that time, your position (basically your "take a number") is forfeited, meaning you get bumped behind new applicants who are able to pay immediately. They asked that we just keep them informed of our wish to stay in the program and the status of our fee payment.
John and I went into this orientation saying we would not purchase an application right away and left having PURCHASED AN APPLICATION!! We just felt compelled to do so. We followed our hearts and did it. So, information overload today. Lots of reading, filling out forms, writing, and FUNDRAISING to come!!
Here is a breakdown of the fees owed:
Based on your income level, a fee is scheduled....
Our adoption fee is $27,500. This is broken down into 3 payments:
- $6,875 (25%) is due at the time application is turned in. 3 months from TODAY!
- $13,750 (50%) is due at the time of approval. Approval happens once the homestudy is complete and reviewed. This could be as early as 6 months from now.
- $6,875 (25%) is due once you are matched. This could be any time about 6 months after homestudy is approved.
All-in-all, this was a very productive, mind-blowing, kick-in-the-gut trip. We were comforted in the accommodations provided to all families, astonished and frightened at the speed in which $ is due, and excited to be one step closer to having our baby in our arms!
All I can say after this is....you see our concerns PRAY FOR US AND PRAY THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE THE FINANCES NECESSARY to bring this baby into our home without wiping out our accounts.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
In preparation for bringing our baby home, I have started reading all I can get my hands on, talking to people with adoption experience and stories of their own. I started reading a book "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew" by Sherrie Eldridge. I don't know what I was expecting reading this book but WOW! I am only on chapter 5 and I have already been touched! To put it mildly, I feel like the Lord has a hand on each of my shoulders and is staring me in the face while shaking me saying, "Get hold of yourself, Leslie. Quit being selfish. Of course this baby needs its birth mother, of course she does!" How sobering. I know that establishing the level of communication will come much later on and I am not saying that I know how this relationship with the birth mother will go. But I do know that we are open to whatever level of communication is best for all of us; whatever level of communication God sees fit. I know that God will show me the way. He will reveal His plan to us so that our adoption plan can be centered in Him.
The book talks a lot in the beginning about the baby experiencing the loss of the birth mother. She has provided safety, warmth, nourishment, love, protection, and security to this child for 9 months. She is all this baby knows. Her voice, her smell, her body....So even in the first few days of life, the baby is experiencing one of the most profound losses a person goes through....the loss of a mother. Now, John and I haven't experienced this. We can't even imagine. So, what we have to do is be understanding and sensitive to the fact that, while we will be experiencing a joy that we can only dream about at this point....holding our baby, He/She will be experiencing a loss that seems like a nightmare to us. All I could think when I was reading that part of the book is...."This journey to have a baby is so much bigger than I ever imagined. We [our whole family] are going to grow in ways we never dreamed of.God is changing each of our hearts."
I hope this wasn't as nonsensical as I feel it was, I just had to get this out. The point I am making in all of this is....God wanted us to adopt a long time before we decided to adopt. God knows we are strong enough when we don't. We are constantly growing on this journey. There is a long way to go but God is carrying us. He is showing us that if we trust in Him, He will provide. He will lead the way. This will be perfect!
Please help us by spreading the word of our needs. We need prayer. Prayer that we are able to stay focused on God throughout our journey. Prayer that our hearts do change to meet the needs of our future family. Prayer for the birth mother and family of this child God has picked for us to care for. Prayer that fundraising efforts are welcomed and successful.
THANK YOU ALL!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
-Tell our story: Tell people we are fundraising, tell them about our shirts. Post about it on Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest (if you can figure out how...I can't!). Send e-mails! You don't have to purchase a shirt or make a donation to help.
-Make a Donation using PayPal: Click the "Donate" button of the left side of the page and enter the amount you wish to donate. It will go directly into our "Faulkenbery Adoption Fund" account.
-Make a donation without a PayPal account:
Mail a check to us at:
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Since we last blogged, a few things have happened. We submitted our information for review to the adoption agency that we have decided not to name here on our blog. 3 steps forward.
Unfortunately we were not accepted into the program to adopt a newborn-24 month old from Columbia based on a MINOR medical condition....MINOR.....2 steps back.
In the same phone conversation, we did find out that we do qualify for a domestic adoption (an adoption of a baby from the United States) through the agency. Still moving forward!
With this news comes positives and negatives....The great news is that the negatives aren't even really negatives...they are just different from the perfect little adoption idea we had in our head that wasn't really all that realistic in the first place.
- We will receive and infant
- The total cost is $10,000 less than a Columbian adoption.
- No out of country travel
- Our baby may have features more like us
- We will have access to birth family health information and photographs
- We will have the opportunity to meet the birth mother and possibly the birth father
- We will have to change our minds about our ideas and expectations of our adoption plan in order to help facilitate healing in the birth family
- Pray for the birth mother of the precious baby God has in mind for us. She could be 30 with several children, she could be 17 with her dreams ahead of her, she could be 14, a child herself. The truth is, we don't know who she is or what her future holds but we can still pray for her. Our prayer is this...that the path she is on will not destroy her. That through this process, she will find strength. That she has a support system of family and friends that love her. Pray that she will go on to achieve her dreams. Pray that she is a Christian. Pray that she is protected and safe.
- Pray that we find comfort in the process and know that a certain level of openness will be necessary in order for the baby's birth family to heal properly.
- Pray that our fundraisers will have excellent turn-outs and that our finances will fall into place. Pray that we do not have to give up this dream because of money. Pray that He will provide!!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
"I've got joy down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart. Jesus put it there and nothing can destroy. I've got joy down in my heart, deep, deep down in my heart."
My niece and nephew have been singing this song for a while now and VERY often it is stuck in my head and I sing it aloud alone and aloud to John....more than very often....A LOT! It was just a children's song to me until this past week.
I am currently in week 3 of the Beth Moore bible study on the book of James. The study is titled "Mercy Triumphs". In week 2, we studied about James, the book. This was following what, in my opinion, was a very hard week 1 learning about James, the man...Jesus' half brother. So, Beth Moore blows me out of the water when it comes to finding the words, so, forgive me if I make no sense, but I would like to share what God has placed on my heart this last week.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials of many kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3.
Counting hardships as joy? WOW, that is powerful! Most times during tough times we stick our heads in the mud and just quit...or on our pillow and try to sleep it away. I've done that a time or two for sure. I feel like a lot of times we ask "Why is this happening", "Why am I going through this?". The fact is...we don't know yet...but He does!
Knowledge of this may not make hardships more understandable, or even easier but for me, it helps to know that from these struggles I am living, I will endure...I will persevere! And if I ask for God's help in getting through these times, He will help me! I will be stronger for it. I will come out of this with more faith and wisdom than when it all started.
But don't stop reading at verse 3. Continue at least through 8. Where James says in Chapter 1:6-8 "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."
Ask...and believe that He will provide!
I know God has a plan for me. I know because He tells me in Jeremiah 29:11:
"For, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Please know that...Have JOY! Deep, deep down in your heart, and on your sleeve, and in your actions, and in all that you do. Have it! Know that at the end of this chapter of your life...you will be stronger, better, more faithful....wiser!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
We would like to have all ideas in by February 6, 2012! We will then decide which idea we like the most!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Thanks for all of your support!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Well that should have put us starting a new cycle in October. Well, I am disappointed to report that we have been stalled since finding out our IUI was unsuccessful. I am, however, excited to share how much our lives have changed since I last updated in August.
John got offered his old job back. This meant that we would have to move 2 hours away from my family but really close to John's family. This would also mean that my chances of finding a decent job in such a small town would be slim. Well, we talked about it and weighed pros and cons to both decisions. We both got advice from friends and family...strangers even. It was such a stressful decision that literally needed a decision in 2 days. Finally, after what seemed like months of praying about it, I told John that I wanted to leave this decision up to him to make a decision on. I told him that no matter what, I would be happy with what he chose and we would find a way to make it work.
Well I am excited to report that I got a wonderful job that same week! I work in a great orthopedic clinic in Starkville, MS. I work with wonderful people. I also fill-in a little at the hospital where I used to work when I can, which is not much. We live in a nice older home that we rent (the renters in the house here we own might wanna buy soon so we wanted them to stay) and John absolutely LOVES his job! We are truly happy about the decision that was made.
Although I don't get to see my family as much as I would like, I have been able to be home on the holidays and after plan to be home at least once a month!
As far as baby-making goes, with a new job, I am hesitant to take off work right now to drive 2 hours to see the doctor. John and I have been discussing adopting and even fostering children for a while now. We are committed to really praying about it and figuring out where we are going to go from here. So we ask that you help us pray that God will just lead our hearts to fulfill His plan for us.
Oh a much happier note, I have a few updates on prayer requests that I have posted....
Drew and Abby Troxler, Baker's mommy and daddy, are expecting a baby due in July 2012! Please continue to pray for this family. We know Baker is watching down on them from heaven and just smiling!
Monday, September 19, 2011
This is a verse that has been very powerful for my friend, Amanda, since August 7, 2010. As some of you know, Amanda's little boy, James Caleb DuBose, went to heaven on that day at just a little over 2 months old. His mommy, daddy, and big sister Lucy, miss him so much and could really use some prayer right now as they are soon to welcome the newest member of their family, William Warren DuBose, sometime around the end of October.
I wanted to write this to let others know their needs. You know I believe in the power of asking for prayer, and my blog has really been a great outlet for me. I feel like I can not only share my thoughts but the needs of others and that, tonight, is my intention.
Without telling all of her business, I would like to share a little about their journey. Jonathan and Amanda were college sweethearts at Ole Miss and married in January of 2006. Almost 2 years later, they welcomed a very precious baby girl into the world, Lucy. A little more than 2 1/2 years later, James was born. Shortly after, Amanda was not feeling well and went to the doctor to find she had a blood clot in her lung!! She was lucky to be alive. Amanda said that after she recovered, "Everything in our little world was pretty perfect, life was good. My family was happy and healthy."
I don't really know how to describe what happened next as it is not my story to tell. Amanda has shared with me but I can't put into words what happened, no one can that has not lived it. So, I will just simply say, James went to heaven on August 7, 2010. It was, as anyone can imagine, shocking and unreal. SIDS was given as the explanation to their short time with him which is basically no explanation at all. So many questions with very little answers. They had done everything right. He was so healthy.
They have amazing families that were able to help support them and care for them during such a devastating time. Lucy, as Amanda explains it, has been such a blessing during the entire time. She talks about her brother and asks questions. Amanda shared with me something that Lucy said that I want to share with you. This, I think, proves that God is everywhere and he guides us. While Amanda was in James' room one day, visibly upset, Lucy came in and asked why she was crying. Amanda explained that she was just missing James and wishing he was there with them and then, Lucy looked at her "without even skipping a beat and said "Mama don't be sad, James is in Heaven and we will be there in just a minute."" It was so matter of fact. How amazing!
As I've said, I share this because I am asking for prayers for this family. They have lived such a traumatic year. They have had the highest highs and the lowest lows. Having another infant in their home soon will be a huge mixture of emotions and I just ask that you remember them and pray for them often.
Amanda is such a strong person and God has used her big time. You remember Baker Troxler, I have written about him several times. When Baker went to heaven, Amanda was there for Abby. She was speaking with her, crying with her, sharing with her, and being strong with her and for her. I was so amazed at Amanda's strength. She was able to reach out to a friend in need and comfort her in a time that most of us can't understand. Amanda did. She understood and reached out her hand to help.
Amanda shared with me that she wants "people to realize how precious life is". I hope that each and everyone of you will remember this remarkable family, Jonathan, Amanda, Lucy, James, and William, in your prayers tonight and for a long time.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I wanted to share a few ways how God has provided EXACTLY what we have needed. I know that God has always provided for me, however, I have only paid attention to the specific ways in the last 4 years or so. I wanted to share some of this part of our story with you.
Since we have been married, our mortgage company, Chase Home Financial, (I would NEVER pick them...unfortunately our mortgage was sold by Trustmark to them a month after we closed) has not gotten our Escrow account right EVER! So, without our knowledge, our taxes were not being paid in our monthly mortgage and for the past several years we have owed all of our property taxes at the end of the year. Since we only lived in that house for a year, we have been paying mortgage and rent and have not had the money to fork out a large amount of money at the end of the year, especially not when we expected a refund.
So, the first year this happened to us, in 2009 (the tax year of 2008) I got a grant offered to residents of Choctaw County, among other counties (Sumner's Grant) while I was in school. This grant ended up being a way larger amount than what I expected and we were able to pay what we owed to the IRS at the time we filled our taxes. No big deal.
In 2010 (the tax year of 2009) we had an idea this might happen again and we had just sold John's motorcycle and were able to use the money we made off of that to pay what we owed.
This problem was supposedly fixed for 2011 (the tax year of 2010) and even appeared to be fixed on paper so, we didn't give it much thought at all. Boy was I wrong! The problem wasn't fixed, and still isn't fixed for all I know and we owed more money. Given, it was way less money than the two previous years, but still several, several hundreds of dollars are hard to come up with when you are on a VERY STRICT budget (trying to do Total Money Makeover while paying for 2 homes) it is hard to come up with $50, extra much less hundreds!
So, When I found out we owed, I was sick!! We had until August 11 to pay it without interest being charged. So, I saved a little here and there but the fertility specialist ended up getting all of what I had saved. Well God saw this and knew that we needed a little help. John was then put on mandatory overtime at work. He was working 12 hour days Monday-Friday and 8-10 hours on Saturday. When I saw the amount of John's check deposited into our account on August 5th (6 days before taxes were due), I knew that God had his hand in it. John's check was almost exactly the amount over his normal check that we needed!! Within about $20!
Obviously he has provided in ways other than monetary, but it is easiest to show these examples on paper with numbers. I know that God is providing daily for me. He has given me peace about everything going on in our lives! We have a renter in our house now, we are renting a small, but nice home, we have the help and support of our families. We are so blessed by Him!
"He called out to them "Friends, have you any fish?"
"No," they answered.
He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish"
He Will Provide!