Saturday, December 20, 2008

1 month and 2 days

Since we accepted our referral and still NO court date. In case you don't know the process, we have been matched with our little baby, but must wait to pass court before we can go get him. In order to pass court, we need to get a court date!! This is so hard, please pray for us. I can't help but think God seems to have forgotten us and baby "T". Everything moved so quickly for us to get the referral and now time seems to have stopped. I know God wants us to have him and for him to have us for his parents, but every day that goes by is one more that we are not with him. He turned 5 months old last week, we missed it. He will not be with our family for Christmas, we will miss that as well. Please pray for us to get a court date soon and for our strength as we wait and wait and wait....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday(s)

Nicky turned 2 last week....


Bella turned 10 this weekend...



We are partied out!!! Thank goodness baby "T"'s birthday is in the summer!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We accepted our referral today

So today, November 18th, 2008 we officially accepted our referral of our little baby boy. We are parents again! We are now a family of 5...wow.

Sorry, we can't show photos or share any info until we pass court in Ethiopia. Please be praying for our quick court date so we can travel soon to get him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Donations Needed

We have been very thankful for the teaching of Tom Davis, he truly opened our eyes to the heart of Jesus and how God commands us to care for orphans. We had the great privilege of hearing Tom speak a couple of weeks ago. We also got to meet him and chat a bit about his work in Ethiopia with Children's HopeChest. Tom and Children's HopeChest have opened our eyes to something much larger than an adoption of one child.

The Mission:

Children’s HopeChest believes that every orphan has the right to know God, experience the blessing of family, and have the opportunity to develop independent living skills.

Now they need our help, lets show them what we can do and how we are COMMITTED to helping the orphans and widows of the world.

Click on the link on the right of our blog to log your donation now.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Referral!!!

We got it!!

We were presented with our referral on Thursday. We are still processing it all, we did not think it would happen this soon!

We can not say much about the baby, only that he is a boy, about 4 months old, and is HEALTHY!

Praise the LORD!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for us. :) We still have a ways to go before he is home, so keep them coming.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're At The TOP!!

We just found out today that we are at the top of the list for a baby boy! Wow, I can't believe it, the call could come any day now. It is amazing how quickly this process has gone for us! GOD is great!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Movin on up

Two very exciting things on the Adoption, finally I have something to update!

  1. Our dossier is on its way to Ethiopia!
  2. We are #2 on the list and the #1 family has been presented with a referral, if they accept we will be the "new #1"!!

With the changes in the process in Ethiopia, Simon and I thought it would be at least until January before we received a referral. It looks like we were wrong! We have not really been doing any planning because we thought we had 6 months or more to wait. Well, after today we have put the planning back in gear. We also need to be ready to right a large check for the country fee, we need your prayers for that!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adoption Expo

Our church held its annual Adoption Expo this weekend. We had a great time talking with all of the families interested in Adoption. God is moving in a lot of ways to help the orphans of the world. Several of the families in our Forever Families ministry have received children. Others are jumping through the hoops as quickly as possible. Pastor Alan had a very moving message this weekend, that stirred a lot of people to stop with the "yeah, buts" and open their hearts to the possibility of adoption. We had the opportunity to pass out lots of cards for the Red Letters Campaign and hopefully increase God's work through that channel.

We found out this week that some of our new friends through church (and 4-H) have decided to adopt from Ethiopia as well! Praise God as they are interested in a sibling group!

We do not have any update on our adoption...entering week 3 of waiting...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Keeping It In Perspective

Last weekend our wonderful Pastor Alan gave one of those sermons you think about all week. You can see it here if you would like to watch the whole thing for yourself, but I wanted all of us to think of something he said. He was referring to all of the emails he has received asking him to pray for our country in the midst of this "financial crisis". He said he never gets emails asking for prayer vigils for the 2.9 million people who died of AIDS in Africa in 2006, or the 15 million orphans in Africa who do not have either parent to care for them. Wow...that really hit home. Now, understand that I have NOT been worried about this crisis. I believe these things happen, and it is just a matter for riding out the storm, but God is trying to tell us something. This passage may be telling us what is happening:

Jonah 4:10: But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine,
though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died
overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I
not be concerned about that great city?"
Could our financial success be the same as Jonah's "vine"? Are we more worried
about our selves than showing mercy to other countries, such as Africa and the
AIDS crisis? Are we sitting back like Jonah and waiting for God to punish them? Probably not consciously, but do we really care? AIDS/HIV seems to have just disappeared in the US. You don't hear anything about it in the media anymore, the antiviral drugs have made it a "condition" rather than a death sentence. This is NOT the case the Africa. The drug therapy is very expensive and nearly impossible to get to most people in Africa. As Christians we all live by the saying, "What would Jesus do?". Think about that, he would do something for these people, ask yourself, what are you doing for them?

Another reality check Paston Alan gave us was this:
If you have these four things, you are more wealthy than 75% of the
people on this planet.
  1. A roof over your head
  2. A bed to sleep in
  3. Food in your fridge
  4. Clothes in a closet

Something to ponder as we worry about our portfolio or the outcome of the presidential election...


Saturday, October 4, 2008

We're on the list!!!

As of yesterday, October 3rd, we are officially on the waiting list. We are so excited! We are #5 for a boy and #10 for a girl. Our agency has not had very many referrals the last couple of months, but they are anticipaing more really really soon.

We are getting ready for our Adoption Expo at our church, and I am trying to catch up around here after the crazy 6 weeks I have just had at work. I should have kept track of my hours...I am sure it was 50 + every week. Our budget is going to the City Council for approval on Tuesday, that will signify a slow down for me for a month or so. It has been really hard, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are going to start the process of moving our office to the workout room and moving Bella into the office. She says she is ready to move into the basement, but we are going to take it slow. We really don't need her room until the baby comes home, but we have painting and a lot of work to do to get it ready. That should keep us busy while we are officially "waiting".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Sweet Babies

Nicky refused to wear his "footy" pajamas until tonight. His big sister got him to put them on...both mommy & daddy tried several nights without any luck. These two have such a great relationship!!


Adoption Update

I haven't posted for awhile, mostly because there has not been much happening on the adoption front. Well, we do have some news. We sent our dossier off to our agency last week, upon review, it looks like we were missing one thing...a copy of Simon's passport. Darn it...I tried so hard to get everything in the first try, but I guess it was perfect otherwise. I sent off the copy on Thursday to the State for certification and hopefully they will get it to the agency early next week. We can't go on the list until then. I was kind of disappointed, but it is not a big deal considering we will be #3 on the list for a boy and #6 on the list for a girl. Our agency has not had any referrals lately, so things are not moving right now. We don't think a few days will make that big of a difference, so we are still being patient. We also have to apply with Homeland Security to bring the baby into the Country (I 600A). We did that last week and received the letter stating we can go have our finger prints done for the background check. We will have to do that in Denver at their offices so we will do it when we are down there on the 11th for our adoption training. This does not need to be done to get on the referral list, but needs to be completed by the time we travel.

On another adoption note, our Church is hosting an Adoption Expo the weekend of October 18th & 19th. Simon and I are having an Ethiopian Adoption booth along with a book table. We have contacted Red Letters and Russell Weir has graciously offered to send us some cards along with other materials they use to hand out. Thank you Russell, if you are out there!!! Also, if any of you have traveled and have pictures of the orphanages we can use, please email them to me at jess_adams24@hotmail.com. We really feel God is leading us to use this opportunity to get the word out about the need for orphan relief in Africa. If you are interested in ways you can help, read this post from a few weeks ago. Well, that is all for now, God willing, we will post next week that we are officially "waiting".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On it's way back

I just checked the Fed Ex tracker and it looks like our dossier is on its way back from the Secretary of State. Hopefully it will get here tomorrow and I will get it off to our agency. Could Monday be the day we are offically "waiting"??

Saturday, September 13, 2008

EvansFest 2008

We were in a parade today! Our City has what we call "EvansFest" every year. Last year we started having a City float (one the staff of the City makes and rides on). I was not too excited about doing one this year, but it was fun. Our theme was "We'll Go To Bat For You!". It turned out pretty cool. Here are some pics....





Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dossier off to Secretary of State

Well, the first of the last few steps....I am Fed Exing (is that a word?) our Dossier off to the Secretary of State of Colorado for the Certification! This is one of the final steps that we much complete before it goes to the Agency. I got a little tingle tonight when I realized we could be getting a referral as soon as next week! Stay posted....


Monday, September 8, 2008

Last Couple of Weeks in Pictures

We have been so busy the last couple of weeks, I haven't been able to get a second to update the blog...here we go:

We spent Labor Day at my parents in Montana. My parents have 5 horses right now. Simon rode one for the very first time!

Here is an action photo, too funny...

A couple of Bella


Nicky even got to ride!

Nicky & Grandpa talking about whether Nicky was ready to ride. He would not have anything to do with the horses until Grandpa took him out to the middle of the corral and he decided he wanted to do it and did!

We spend a few hours at a beautiful lake, the dogs loved it and swam and swam...
My uncle Terry & Nicky throwing rocks


So that was Labor Day, this last weekend we went up to Wheatland, Wyoming to see Simon's parents, grandma visiting from Australia and his brother and his family. We went to a Dachshund event and watched them race..it was so cute


There was also a High School Rodeo going on and Bella got to see the barrel racing. She really is into horses now. We are joining 4-H and she is going to learn all she can about them. I am not sure when (if ever!) we will be able to get her a horse, but for now she can learn about them.

On the adoption front, we have seen the draft of our Home Study and sent it back to the case worker. We are waiting on the short version of it to submit with our dossier to the state for certification. Once we get that done (hopefully back to us by the beginning of next week) we can send it all to our agency. At that point we will go on the list for a referral! We will keep you posted....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bad to the Bone

We are not fans of tattoo's, but Bella and her friend put this on Nicky this weekend. (I can't believe he stood still for it) The expression on his face is perfect!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our baby is getting closer....

We will be having our caseworker here on Wednesday for the final meeting on the home study. She will be looking over our house...we have been cleaning and organizing like crazy for the last week. The house looks great, the challenge now is keeping it clean for 3 days.

We had out first adoption related training in Denver yesterday. The state of Colorado requires 24 hours of training in order to adopt a child internationally. The teacher was great and gave us a lot of great tools to use with our kids now. The focus was on parenting a child with special needs. As we have found in Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew , all adopted children experience trauma when they are relinquished (given up for adoption). Children who experience trauma are considered special needs. Although we don't know what other needs our children (any of them) will have as the grow, this class gave us an idea of some of the symptoms we should be looking for. Nicholas is going through the phase again where he is terrified of the bath tub. We were really struggling with how to deal with this...the kids HAS to have a bath. Learning about sensory integration disorder yesterday taught us that when children have this, the therapy involves slowly introducing the "scary" thing to this child. We are going to try this technique with Nicky and the bath and see how it works. We will start with the tub with no water in it. He might not be squeaky clean for a couple of months, but we need to do what is best to reduce the terror he experiences with bath time. We thought it was a great class and we got to meet other families adopting from Ethiopia with our agency who are in about the same phase we are.

We also had the opportunity to meet and talk to our agency Representative yesterday. Aneata is wonderful and we would recommend our agency, International Adoption Network, to everyone! She said we will probably have all of our paperwork in by the end of September. Our agency will do a referral once the paperwork is on the way to Washington D.C. All agencies have different processes, but ours will do the referral before the paperwork is in Ethiopia. Currently there are five families waiting for a baby girl and only 2 waiting for a baby boy. Since we are open to either, we will probably be getting a baby boy. They are expecting more children to come available in the next couple of months. If everything moves quickly, we could have our baby home by Christmas at the earliest! Wow, we are going to be ready for that, but things have slowed down in Ethiopia, so we are anticipating it will be sometime after the New Year.

We made the decision last week to leave our kids here. It was a tough decision, but there are so many things unknown about how the trip will go, that we want to be able to focus on the new baby and know our kids are safe here at home. Simon's wonderful brother and sister in law, Jonathan and Jenny have so graciously agreed to keep them while we are gone. We are very blessed to have them in our lives...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jessica's Baptism

I had the wonderful experience of being baptized tonight! God is great and I am so blessed to be part of His kingdom!!!!


video

Five For 50

Did you know that:

$5 a Month Can:

  • Feed 1 orphan for a month (100 meals)
  • Educate 1 orphan for a year
  • Buy new clothes for 1 orphan

$25 a Month Can:

  • Feed 5 orphans for a month (500 meals)
  • Educate 5 orphans for a year
  • Buy new clothes for 5 orphans

$50 a Month Can:

  • Feed 10 orphans for a month (1000 meals)
  • Educate 10 orphans for a year
  • Buy new clothes for 10 orphans

Please check out 5 for 50. Simon and I feel it is very important we instill a sense of selflessness in our children. It must start with us. Our kids need to see us making sacrifices for others. Brandi is such an inspiration for selflessness. Thank you so much Brandi, you have shown me how what seems to be a small sacrifice for us, can make such a huge difference in someones life. We are going to follow your example for giving.

Bella has committed her allowance to 5 for 50 each month. We have committed to match her gift. We are also starting the process to sponsor a child by monthly giving.

If you can not help financially, 5 for 50 has other things you can do. Please check it out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RLC Blog Buzz: To Suffer With

If compassion means, “to suffer with”. How do we attach ourselves to the suffering of the poor? What does that look like and how do we implement in our lives?

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send they sway hungry, or they may collapse on the way.
Matthew 15:32

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Mark 1:40-42

These are just a few examples from scripture of Jesus' compassion for others. Nearly every passage I could find related to compassion, specifically Jesus having compassion, told of him helping the people he felt compassion for. This tells me we are on the right track! When Simon and I feel compassion, we do what we can to help those people. This weeks blog buzz is related to suffering of the poor and how we deal with it. Simon and I have a special place in our hearts for the poor of Ethiopia. The poverty experienced there is something most people in America can not even grasp. We feel lead to do something and we are actually doing it! I have had millions of times in my life were I have said to myself, "I should donate money to this or that because I believe in the charity." Or, "We should volunteer to help with this or that outreach program our church is doing." But I have rarely done anything the help. It seems to me, Jesus' example of compassion shows us that you not only have to feel "deep sympathy or pain" (Webster's definition), but you have to do something to help the people you feel the compassion for.

Getting Close

We are getting so close to having all of our paperwork gathered up. We are missing two things for the dossier and have everything for the home study done! We met with our caseworker on Sunday again and that all went well. She shared some very valuable in site into adoption. She is learning about us while we are learning about adoption from her. What a great experience! We have our last meeting with her on the 27th. This is when she will be touring our house...yikes! We have a few things to get done before she gets here. It seems the home study is moving along rather quickly. It also looks like we will be able to have our dossier down at the same time as the home study. This is all very good!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Leadership Retreat

I am home now after a 6 day leadership retreat in Breckenridge Colorado. It was a long time away from home, but worth it. I was in desperate need of a renewal in my job. This provided some clarity, but more importantly it seemed to have stirred some things in me. I will post more about these later as I still feel the paint is wet and am not sure where God is leading me right now.

On the adoption front, we received our passports. It is very exciting and it only took a couple of weeks for them to get here. I think the first two pages are so inspiring and make me very proud to be an American! We still have not applied for the kids passports. We were waiting to (hopefully) do them both at the same time. No word from Bella's dad, but he has not said no again since this last time we have asked. We are praying the Lord will move in him and soften his heart so we can take her with us. We are taking the majority of the paperwork for the dossier to be notarized tomorrow. This will put me at about 95% of the way to being ready to send everything to each state to be certified. Yippee
We have out second meeting with our case worker on Sunday...I will update on that after the meeting.

Simon and the kids were able to join me for one night in Breckenridge last weekend. Here are some photos...

We also went on a 9 mile bike ride. It was so fun, Bella rode her own bike the entire way. She is so awesome! Nicky rode in the trailer with Crissy and screamed half of the way. We are not sure why, but he did not like it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

1st Meeting with our Caseworker

Yesterday was our first meeting with our case worker, she is great. She has two adopted children and it is evident she has a passion for adoption. She made us feel very comfortable. The first meeting as well as the second meeting will be in Denver and the third and final meeting will be at our house. She asked pretty basic questions this time and she said they get harder as we progress. She said she thinks we can get this all done in about a month and a half. Now I have a deadline for getting our dossier (package for Ethiopia) completed. My goal is to have both of them finished at the same time. Once these are done, our agency will start looking for a match. This whole process could move along rather quickly if everything falls into place. It is all very exciting but scary at the same time. I am a HUGE planner and I have to accept the fact that I won't be able to plan too far ahead on this one. It is much different than having a baby...you know the due date and can plan everything around that. I am pretty nervous about how my leave from work will go...but I know that God has a plan and will take care of it for me. Simon has started looking at plane tickets...it looks like that will be his duty in our travel plans. Bella's dad still has not giving us permission to take her. We (and her) will be heartbroken if he does not agree and we have to leave her behind. We are racking our brains for ways to convince him, my last attempt was to write him a letter. I have not heard from him so I am not sure it was received very well. If you all have any ideas...let us know!!!
I would say I am about 80% done with all of the paperwork. I have been very committed and hopefully it will pay off. I hope to be ready to send all of our documents to be certified by the states (Montana & Colorado) in the next two weeks.
I will be going to Breckenridge, CO for a week for leadership training. I will post when I return!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our last week



Well, we did it...we bought a new car. We have been talking about it for about 2 years...what kind of car we would get when Simon got out of school. It took Simon about 6 months to convince me we should get a mini van. I know, all of you who have known me for awhile know I swore I would never drive a mini van. Well, lets just say 2 kids with one more coming and 2 dogs convinced me. Also those long trips to Montana to see my family and Nebraska to see Simon's family seemed a lot more comfortable in a van.




We had decided on either a Honda Odyssey, or a Toyota Sienna and started looking awhile ago. We had a horrible experience with the Toyota dealer this weekend and decided to drive an Odyssey. Well, we fell in love with the Honda. It is fabulous!!! I can't believe how much room it has and how nice it drives. The dealership was great and gave us free oil changes for as long as we own the car! We are now loyal Honda owners. We still like our Toyota...but the Honda is great. It did not come with a DVD player so we still need to get that installed, but we love it.


Bella will be coming home this Saturday. She was too homesick at her Dad's and wanted to come home a couple of weeks early. We are so excited to see her. She has been bugging us to buy a van for awhile now. She actually thinks they are cool (I am sure that will change in a few years) and Simon said he will call it "Bella's Van". He is so sweet.


We have our first appointment with our caseworker for the Home study on Sunday. We are excited to meet her and start this part of the process.



More exciting news...we have now reached
visitors to our Blog!! We are thankful for you all and happy you are sharing this journey with us.


I will post more after our meeting on Sunday with the caseworker...


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paper, Paper, Paper




The update for this week is PAPER. I am sure we will kill at least a few trees in this adoption process. I received all of the paperwork for the home study and the list of things we need to start doing for the dossier. Admittedly, and this is coming from a linear thinking accountant who lives for organization and process, all of this is a "tad" overwhelming. I am pretty sure this part of the process weeds out the weak of heart. I think I have put a dent in the home study stuff. I am attempting to do both (home study & dossier) simultaneously to speed up the process. I often think of myself as a "sprinter" when I actually need to be a "distance runner" and pace myself. Simon has drill for the Guard this weekend, in my mind it is the perfect time to work on it while he is gone.

I will send off the package to our adoption agency on Monday, along with our finger print cards to the state for the background checks. We will be writing a check to the agency for $3,510 ($1,360 for the home study and $2,150 for the first half of the agency fee). We will also have small fees ($10 here and there) for ordering copies of birth certificates etc. God continues to provide for us financially through this adoption!!

One Life!!

I love reading Lisa's blog, she posted this and I thought I would share it.






Sunday, July 6, 2008

Exciting News!!

Well, we have decided it is time to officially start the adoption. We have not reached our original savings goal, but feel the time is right. We have saved enough to pay the first half of the agency fee and for the home study. These are the first things on the list and it will take us about three months to get those things done before we have to pay for anything else. With Simon working now, we will be able to save very quickly. We have been tempted by many things, including a new car (Simon's Toyota is a 1992!) and other luxuries we have done without while Simon was in school. We decided we needed to start now to commit ourselves to saving and sacrificing. We will then have some deadlines to meet financially. God has supported our decision and will continue to provide for us financially as we move along with the process.

First step: Our application with our agency International Adoption Network along with our application fee ($250) will go in the mail tomorrow.

I guess after they receive it, we will be approved and the incredible paper chase will begin. I will be sharing the costs of everything as I am hoping it will help some of you reading this plan your own adoption. The cost seemed very overwhelming to us when we made this decision, but after much research (and prayer) we now realize it is obtainable for most people.

We are very excited to get our baby home. We originally thought we would request a boy specifically, but now feel God is leading us to specify "either". We feel strongly God has already chosen our child for us and we need to leave the door open for him to bring our baby home!!

Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
Ephesians 3:20


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Adoption Inspiration

We are so blessed by our church, Christ Community. We belong to a small group focused on adoption. The group includes people who have been through adoption as well as ones in the process. Every time we meet, I am motived and God confirms we are on the right path with the adoption. We meet once a month on Saturday nights. We spend some of our time on a book study, we are currently reading Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. This is a great book, offering much incite to how adopted children feel and the loss they experience, even if they are adopted as an infant. I never would have thought a three day old baby would experience loss and grief. Much of the book is based on thoughts and feelings of adult adoptees. This book will help us be better parents to our baby boy from Ethiopia!

We also had a luncheon this weekend featuring a testimony. The lady sharing has gone though the challenges of infertility, leading the international adoption. The adopted two beautiful kids from Haiti. I am very thankful for her story and willingness to share with honesty. God continues to provide these inspiring moments.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Prayers Have Been Answered

Simon got the job at the bank!! He will be a Credit Analyist. He is very excited about the position and the opportunity. We have been praying (and asking others to pray for us) that God would help provide the finances we needed to adopt our baby boy. This is the answer to our prayers, just getting the job in this tight job market is a blessing, but they offered him $10k/year more than we were expecting. GOD IS GREAT!!! We are thinking we may be able to start the adoption sooner, possibly August. Thank you everyone who has been praying for us on this journey.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the dad's out there. We had a relaxing day. Nicky helped me make a special dinner for Simon.












Simon, Bella, & Nicky