Thursday, September 30, 2010

Early morning Philosopher

Garage Sales are a lot of work.  Or maybe I'm not doing it right.  Whatever the cause, we're working.  Hard.  Today is the first day of the sale.  I'm hopeful the Lord is sending a lot of customers today.  It's 5 am and I am procrastinating about waking up my family to get things set up.

I've been thinking about the theology of adoption lately as I've been sorting, planning, cleaning, and hanging clothes.  My Lord Jesus worked hard for my salvation.  It took a lot of sorting, planning, cleaning.  And although He didn't have to deal with hangers and clothes, He had to deal with men trying to kill Him.  Men in His inner circle turning their backs on Him.  Hunger, temptation, humiliation and death.  He did this to rescue me from hell.  I didn't know I needed to be rescued, nor that I was in hell.  I thought I was just fine where I was, because I knew no different.  And because in my sin, I loved hell.

We are doing this to rescue Alice from a type of hell.  She has no idea how good it will be when she's here.  She has no idea how much love she has waiting for her on this side of the orphanage.  We are working so hard and the cost is so high, because she's so worth it.  This is the price to pay to buy her freedom.  I would pay any amount to buy her freedom.  Jesus paid the ultimate price to buy mine.

We started down this journey of adoption because it's such a beautiful picture of the gospel.  Boy, I had NO idea how much it would be just that.

Jesus, the perfect man.  He gave up His everything.  He willingly gave up being with His Father to live among those that hated Him.  He paid the ultimate price for my, and your, sins.  When God said that punishment must be paid for those sins, Jesus stepped up.  He took on those sins.  From the first sin of Adam to the last sin of those given to Him.  Then to those that believe Jesus is who He says He is, He offers us a covering.  He will adopt us into His family and call us His.  We are able to enjoy all that being a child of God has to offer.  We no longer look like orphans.  God maybe opening your heart to Him today.  Pray, ask Him to save your soul.  Is God using Alice to bring about your adoption as well?

**UPDATE**I didn't post this right away because I wanted Erin to pre-read and ok it first.  Now it is almost 6 pm and the garage sale day ended at 2.  We had a good day and were blessed with great weather!  We sold a lot of clothes.  My friends that arrived at 6 AM and helped all day were such troopers!  What great friends the Lord has blessed me with.  I am humbled that they would arrive so early and stay all day...then promise to do the same tomorrow as well.  But, we had a wonderful time of fellowship. (as we almost always do with the people of our church).  Looking forward to another blessed day tomorrow.  Plus, there's much less to carry out in the morning!  Yay!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yep, we got clothes!

until the 2nd garage sale.  We have about the same number of families that have donated this time as at the last garage sale.  This time we have been given mostly clothes.  I am not exaggerating when I say we have a lot of clothes.  We have been blessed with donations of other things as well.  Just a lot of clothes.

A clothes pile taller than my couch

At first, I was worried about the amount.  Last garage sale, we didn't sale a lot of clothes.  God must have a plan for this.  As He does for everything.  I think they didn't sell well last time because they were unorganized and chaotic.

My heart races and I start to sweat just looking this picture.  Tell me I'm not the only one that feels the need to leave the room.

So, I asked a few young ladies from church to come help me organize them.  It was such an overwhelming task, that I knew I needed help!  I happened to have asked girls that LOVE to organize and love to fold clothes.  How cool is that?  We worked from 9 until 3 (taking an hour for lunch).  That was 6 of us working for 5 hours!  Thank you so much, Lisa, Jordan, and Ashley!  So, we now have a bunch of boxes of kids' clothes.  We now have 3 racks of adult clothes.  I now have 2 huge piles of clothes on my dining table because we ran out of hangers.  We are eating all meals in the living room on the floor.

My dining table is there somewhere, I promise!  If you've never been to my house, I promise it doesn't normally look this way.

I am gearing up for the job of working the sale.  I am really getting excited about doing it.  I have to be honest.  I haven't been looking forward to this one.  I'm tired of the stuff all over my house that doesn't belong.  But, I enjoy the busyness of the sale days.  I enjoy the fellowship with the sweet, sweet families that come to help.  I'm really excited that the weather is going to be so much cooler!  I enjoy getting that much closer to getting my girl.

Also, quick note, we finished the paper chase today!  I had the last of our dossier notarized.  We will go to Austin next Friday to get it apostilled.  We are now just waiting on our immigration permission.  I feel such a weight off my shoulders!  What a relief to have that done.

I'm off to make signs for the sale.  Tomorrow the sorting and repacking begins.  Thursday at 7 a.m. the fun begins!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

That's ok

Today, I called the Dept. of Immagration to check on the status of our fingerprint appointment.  Remember, that until the fingerprints are done (because they have to make sure we don't have a serious federal criminal background.  If they only knew that my husband doesn't even speed! anyway, as I was saying) the clock doesn't start ticking on the 6-12 weeks it takes to get permission to go to Eastern Europe to get our little girl.  The very nice woman I spoke with told me that there was nothing she could tell me about our case. 

So, I had resigned myself that we weren't going to get her until the spring. 

"That's ok."  I said to myself.  "That gives us more time to raise money."  (who cares! God is providing the money anyway.  He doesn't need more time!)

"That's ok."  I said to myself.  "It took me a month to get our dossier together.  Next time it will take even less because I know what I'm doing."  (who cares! I really, really don't want to have to REDO everything!)

"That's ok."  I said to myself.  "We will have her the rest of her life.  A few months won't matter in comparison to the rest of her life."  (who cares!  Babies change so much in the beginning!  I don't want to miss anything!) 

"That's ok."  I said to myself.  "God has a perfect timing for this.  I don't know what it is, but He does."  (I had no whiney comeback for that one, 'cause the logical side of me was right and there was nothing the emotional side of me could come with to argue the point.) 

My wise husband said that our job is to do what God has asked.  God will take care of the details.  (my emotional side settled down at that)  I understand the sovereignty of God.  I blissfully accept it.  I was just sad. 

Then, we checked the mail.  In it were 2 appointments for our fingerprints.  I, of course, started crying.  After working so hard at controlling my emotional side (she's a tough one to get a handle on read the argument...tell me I'm wrong) I just cried. 
October 12 at 8 am.  Erin's 37th birthday.  I can't think of a better birthday gift for my husband than for us to get one step closer. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

About that important vote...

The Ukraine government has postponed the hearing of the law for unknown time.  That means that we are moving full speed ahead.  Everything is back on!  We are still awaiting the USCIS clearance (and we are not alone...many are in this same boat).  And we are still raising the funds like mad people!

Keep praying for us and for little Alice Faith.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Please Pray

The Ukrainian government will vote tomorrow whether or not to close foreign adoptions.  I will post when I know anything.

Friday, September 17, 2010

T-minus 13 days and counting...

until ... (cue dramatic movie music)...the garage sale begins!

Donations are trickling in.  Praise the Lord.  We put a notice into our subdivison newsletter asking for donations and asking for people to come shop.  It should be in the mail tomorrow.  Hopefully, that means the donations will flood in.  If not, we still have quite a bit of items in the garage to sell.

In fact, I have set up a "work day" for Monday, Sept 27.  I have asked several young women from our church to come over and help organize the amazing amount of clothes we have been blessed with.  I asked them to all come on Friday, forgetting that I have a fundraiser planned for Friday.  Oops!  If you read this and I asked you today, can you still come on Monday?  Blame it on the "too-many-things-going-on" syndrome.  Don't laugh at me.  You'll have it too some day.  And chances are, your mama has it now.

A friend is setting up an exciting fundraiser via facebook.  It's going to be so exciting!  I'll post all the details as soon as I know them.

I have started a "Prayer Requests" section in the left side-bar.  I wanted to keep everyone posted on the specific things we are needing.  There are a lot of things I'd like to have on that list, but they are wants and the list right now has our needs

Thank you for sticking with me, telling your friends about us, and praying for us.  Every time someone gives something for the sale, or offers to hold a fundraiser, or just gives an encouraging word it means the world to me. 

I saw a little boy with Down's in the grocery store with his mother.  I wanted to talk to her, but wasn't sure she understood English.  I smiled at the little boy and he gave me the biggest smile back.  Mary was with me and she said it made her want to run to get Alice, RIGHT NOW!  It almost felt like we were putting a moving face on the picture we have. 

I can't wait to see her smile.  Smiles make every thing better, don't you think?  You can stand up to anything when that special someone smiles at you.  I know I can.  I'm so grateful and blessed the Lord put that mom and her little guy in our path today. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll have my people...

The amazing team at Reece's Rainbow is so amazing!  The adoption paperwork is overwhelming at best, but they are so good at helping and encouraging.  The most amazing woman, Lu, was working overtime trying to help those of us who need help creating blogs and headers (read that as me!).  Something changed with photo bucket and she sent me 2 different emails to help me get it fixed.  She has her own web design business, but does this for free for the RR families.  What a blessing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bank of America Crisis of 2010

I know, I said it was about to get boring but I guess not yet!

Bank of America came through, sort of.  I had emailed some other RR families about how they got their proof of mortgage.  They said they had the RR form notarized and had the bank put their address stamp on it.  Remember the issue was the letterhead.  The form had to state it was from the bank.  Well, I already had it notarized two weeks ago.  So, I walked in and asked them to put their address stamp on it.  And they did it!! It took less than 5 minutes!!

I almost did the Carlton dance right there in the lobby!  But, I decided to get out of there before someone else came along and told me that the address stamp on the form (or dancing like an 80's sitcom character) wasn't their policy.

So, there ya have it.  The Bank of America crisis of 2010 is over.  We are celebrating at Chick-fil-A.

Almost Waiting...

Soon this blog will get very boring. 

I think we are done with the paper chase and now are just waiting for the US government to give us permission to bring our little girl back into this country.  I say "think" because I found out last night that the paper we received from Bank of America should work!  And our form from the county apprasier will be here next week.

Soooo, that means we are to the "wait" part of "hurry up and wait".  I will still update on the garage sale.  I still have that little surprise I am working on.  But, far as the adoption itself, well, that's going to get boring.  Sorry.

Waiting is not a bad thing, right?  People have been telling me my whole life to slow down and wait.  My dad used to get frustrated with me because I have no patience.  Well, Dad, you were right.  Here's the situation you always said would come.  I have to wait and there's nothing I can do about it.  I like to DO.  But, I'll be ok.  I know Alice has an advocate that has her best timing in His hands.  I have plenty to keep me busy!

PS--Sorry about the header.  I have people working on getting it fixed.  I'm so thankful I have people!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tom's Prayer

Last night during family worship Tom (my oldest son-age 5 1/2-the "1/2" is very important) asked to pray for Alice.  He asked that she would be loved, kept safe, and will like being part of our family.

This morning he told me, "Mom, Alice is being loved, by God.  She'll like being part of our family cause she already is part of our family."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Hiding Place

Today has been a tough day.  When I told my neighbor that, she said "Well, you're bound to have at least one!"  That made me giggle.  That is very true.

We need a mortgage verification for our dossier.  One of three last forms before we are done.  County appraiser and our USCIS (permission to bring her into the country) being the other two.  Bank of America will not help us get this information.  Yes, the bank will send us a verification letter, but not worded the way we need it to be worded for the country we are working through.  I have gone to 2 separate branches.  We have spoken with corporate.  The issue is their letterhead.  We need the form on their letterhead.  They won't use our form.  I even cried in the bank office today.  I hate crying in front of strangers.  How embarrassing!  They won't help.  There may be a way we can work around it and Erin is going to work on that tomorrow.  I'm glad I'm not going this alone!

Also, the Ukraine government is voting whether or not to stop foreign adoptions in a few weeks.  Please join us in praying about this.  IF we can get our dossier submitted before the vote, it will not effect us.  This issue came up in June and the issue did not pass.  The administrator of Reece's Rainbow is not worried.  She said to just work at getting submitted.  We are waiting on the immigration permission from the US government.  That, at this point, is the longest expected wait.

So, as I felt trampled upon today, I remembered that the Lord has called us to this.  He will equip us to do what He is requiring of us.  His will is the hiding place.  His will is the safest place.  As we go through this storm, His will is the shelter.  We can rest.  When I remembered that today, I felt the tension go.  I know that this, too, will be worked out.  This I know for sure.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Garage Sale Time Again!

We are now "officially" accepting donations for our next garage sale.  We will have the sale Sept 30, Oct 1 (Alice's 1st birthday), and Oct 2.

We still have a full garage that I haven't gone through and organized.  I now have a full deck that I haven't gone through.  But, Lord willing, I will change that soon.  Last garage sale, I just piled it high then tricked asked with full disclosure a couple of sweet, willing friends and family to help organize it the day before the sale.  I hoping to do that again...maybe different friends this time...ones that don't read this blog...ones that don't talk to the other friends...fresh meat, so to speak.

Please pass the word.  Last time a friend sent a notice to her home school group and her church.  We had 5 families donate that we had never met!  It was such a blessing to our family.  You never know who will read an email and fell led to donate.

Hey, is it time for a fall cleaning at your house too? hint, hint

Friday, September 3, 2010

One Step Forward, One Step to the Side

It's like I'm in some weird country line dance...I was never very good at those.  I get a piece of paperwork done and get so excited that we are that much closer.  Then I realize it's not quite right and have to redo it.  Meaning, one step forward, then another to the side.  I'm still going, but I have terrible rhythm.  Trust me. 

God has a timing for this that I know nothing about.  We are still moving and really moving at a fast pace.  I am so thankful for everything He has done so far.  Praise His name!  He knows Alice...I know her picture.  He knows her situation...I know what I've been told.  He knows when she lays down and when she gets up...I know the time on a clock.  When I remember these truths, how can I fuss?  I can only do the work set in front of me.  He'll take care of all of it.  He will take care that the paperwork gets into the hands of the people He wants. 

Breathe.  Settle.  Rest in the One who put us on this path.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I heard last night that the Ukraine government has moved the date to receive dossiers from mid October to the end of November.  Just in case you don't know, a dossier is a fancy word for paperwork that proves we are who we say we are...but translated into Ukraine.  Now, I don't know what this means as far as when we will get to see her and or bring her home.  I do know that it means we may be able to get our paperwork sent to Ukraine this year.  If not it will be the end of February.

As of right now, we have 5 more pieces of paper (not including the USCIS) until I am done gathering paperwork.  I am a little excited.  I am doing a "happy dance".  You know, the little dance you do when you are excited or happy?  I won't show you mine, so stop asking.  But, I did find someone else's happy dance to give you some idea.

Now, imagine this being done by a round, rhythm challenged, over 30 year old white woman.  It's like looking in a mirror!  Ok, so I considered saving this video for another time I am doing a happy dance.  You'll just have to scroll back to find this one when I talk about happy dancing.

I know God pushed the dead line back.  I'm so grateful.  And I'm so thankful He has helped us get the paperwork done so quickly.  I'm looking forward to see what He does next.