Thursday, December 24, 2009

Born To Die

December 24, 2009

I have just one question. Where did 2009 go? So many things happened in such a short amount of time I can hardly believe a year has come and gone. As with any year, we had the good and the bad as always. But lots of big events took place this year. For starters we sold mom’s house in Texas. This obviously was a very hard thing to do. Not physically, but emotionally. Initially we thought that a friend of moms was going to buy her house, so she didn’t bother with putting the house on the market and instead focused all her attention on doing some packing and retiring from the Texas school system. But, just before it was time to move, plans had changed and mom needed to locate a Realtor.

We put her house on the market and would you believe that the house had a contract on it in just 3 days! The LORD took care of that one in a heart beat. He is so amazing! We witnessed His mighty hand at work all around us during the entire process. The move went very well and mom was on her way to Alabama. We moved her in with us in early June and at that point spent the entire summer looking for houses that would work for all of us to live in together. But to no avail. In the mean time, the LORD was continuing His hand of provision in landing mom a new job at the middle school here (just before the school year started) doing what she loves most…teaching Special Ed. students. And while it was evident we weren’t going to find that perfect home for us, the LORD had something different planned all along. He was building us a house.


I wish I could tell you all of the details that go along with that statement. They are truly amazing. This house is exactly what we were looking for all along. (Of course it is, The LORD is building it!) Another neat thing about this house is that it not only has the perfect set up for mom, but it has lots of extra bedrooms for kids! And since we only have 2 kids….you may be wondering (if you don’t already know) that we are expecting more! The LORD has drawn our hearts toward adoption over the last year and we’ve got our sights set for a baby girl in India! We have been through the most interesting journey of our lives going through the process of adopting a child. We have filled out mounds of paper work and had our family raked over with a fine tooth comb. It has been interesting to say the least.


But we have learned so much about the LORD than we ever expected in this journey of adoption. We’ve learned more about the Father’s heart for the orphan as well as the whole concept of our own spiritual adoption in Christ Jesus. It’s been a mind blowing awakening. In my statement earlier I mentioned “kids”. We are working through the possibility of getting a sibling group of girls from India, but if the LORD wills just for us to have one this time around….then we plan to adopt again. There are too many babies out there that need a home for us just to stop with one. We’ll leave all the rest up to the LORD and just walk forward in obedience as He leads. I hope to be writing this time next year about a new member of our family!


So, lots of good as I mentioned this year but along with the good, came the bad. We had to endure yet another loss this year. I wasn’t sure my heart could actually take losing another loved one. This makes three years in a row that we’ve had to say goodbye to one of my closest family members. First it was my mamaw, then my father and this year it was my papaw. That’s too tough to even absorb. When we lost my papaw, we lost one of the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve ever known. He was a man who gave of himself to others all the time. I watched him literally give up the things on earth that he dearly enjoyed to care for my mamaw when her health was declining. With what little he did have he was always sending me checks in the mail letting me know that “he couldn’t think of anyone he’d rather give his money to”. He probably did that with everyone. Such a precious man. My papaw was loved by everyone and he is dearly missed.


The last few days, I have been reflecting on yet another who gave himself for others. My mind races to Philippians 2:6-9 that says, “Though he (Jesus) was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (NLT) Our pastor says every year “that the main emphasis of Christmas is not on the infancy of Jesus but on the deity of Jesus.” When you look at it like that you begin to realize (as much as humanly possible) all that He gave up to be born in human likeness. Jesus Christ gave up all that was rightly His to step into time to be born as a human being and ultimately humbled himself in obedience unto death.


Let’s be honest. When we think of Christmas, do we just see a baby lying in a manger, or do we see the King of the universe stepping out of heaven, giving up all His privileges to become an ordinary baby headed for the cross? Yes, He was born in Bethlehem but He was headed for Calvary. Putting it another way, He was born to die. Why? Love. It was love that drove Christ to such a humble state for our sinful account so that for all who truly believe might be saved! It’s one of those things you have to ponder deeply to even begin to conceive the slightest bit of its profundity. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. Ephesians 3:18-19 That you may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Trees, lights, presents, family and food are all nice at Christmas. But, I’ll take the humble King. Will you worship Jesus with us this Christmas? Not as an infant but as King, born to die so that we might be saved!

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just need to say Thanks!

Hey everyone!!

I wanted to share something.
The other day when I sent our Dossier off, I also had to include a REALLY BIG check with it for several different large fees that were due.

The cool thing was..... I didn't even have to flinch while writing the check from our adoption account because.....ALL the money we needed was in our adoption account!

The LORD has been so gracious to make sure we have had exactly what we need, when we need it and HE has provided the money through all of you!! So, Thank you all very much for your generous giving to help us bring our daughter home!


Here is a picture of our dossier all put together in the folder that I sent. I meant to share this picture on my last post.

















Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dossier is off!

Well, since my last post about getting our I-797C I've been a very busy girl, trying to get everything finished up in my Dossier to take it all off to have it authenticated. (first at the county level and then at the state level)

I realized early last week that some of the documents were near expiration so I was running around like crazy to get them updated and notarized again before I could drive to Montgomery for Authentication. There was another document for mom that had not yet made it to us that I was also able to get my hands on last week as well.

Anyway, it all worked out and I made my trip to Montgomery last Friday! Everything went as smooth as could be. AND...I just made a trip to Fedex and sent everything off just a few minutes ago! So, it's official....the Dossier is on its way to the Indian Consulate and then on to India!!


Please pray with us that it all gets there safely and that the LORD will start paving the way for us to get our daughter!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Got It!

WE GOT IT!!

We received our I-797C in the mail just now. SO, we have officially been approved to adopt a baby from India! Now it's time to get that Dossier to India so we can get a baby referral!!

Praise the LORD,

Brittnie

Friday, November 20, 2009

We Did It!

Mom, Jeff and I made it over to the USCIS office this morning for our electronic fingerprints. Let me just say what a neat experience this was. Since we have never been to an immigration office before, I really didn't know what to expect. We were the only people from the US there. The rest were from every other country. Met some really interesting people. I got to chat with one young man who was Czech and was applying for a visa to be an official US Citizen. He left his home and family behind and came over in 1995 to pursue a photography career and has now decided to stay officially. I was completely intrigued by his story. Would have loved to sit down with everyone in that office to find out their story as well. It's amazing how the nations can all be together in one room in Alabama. That would be a place I could totally dig working at.

Ok...I'm rambling.....sorry.

Thank you to everyone for praying. We did not have any problems this morning with fingerprints. We did it! Everything turned out great! We were told it takes 24 hours to get the results....so hopefully by Monday things will be moving along with getting our approvals. So exciting! I am loving this journey we are on. I have learned so much and have been down paths I would have never taken had we not answered this call God gave us. Thrilling ride!

One last thing I have to share. The guy that took my fingerprints today reminded me of a very amazing truth. While he was pressing my fingers onto the scanner....I glanced over and noticed a chart with the 9 different types of fingerprints that people have. You can see them here I questioned him about it and asked him if he would tell me which type I had. He shared with me that I had a very common print. So, my response was, "rats...I was hoping I had something extraordinary". And his answer was, "you do.....no one else in the world has your exact prints".

Oh yes.....I knew that! (how dumb of me not to think of that) But what I was reminded of today in that little office with the nations....was how awesome my God is. That He has created billions in His image and yet every single one of us has been created absolutely unique . Mind blowing. Thank you guy in the Immigration office for reminding me of that!

Now...there is a set ( or sets ) of unique fingerprints out there that God is leading us to in India.....so I better get busy with the next step.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Man: The Michael Oher Story/ The Blind Side

A lot of you have probably heard of the new movie coming out this Friday to theaters called "The Blind Side". Here is an article from World Magazine about the story.

All-American Michael Oher went from the streets as a 15-year-old son of a crack addict to potential NFL Rookie of the Year on the love and dedication of an adoptive family that wouldn’t let him fail. The movie that tells their story hits theaters in time for National Adoption Day—and recognition that about 130,000 Michael Ohers are waiting for a family to adopt them | Amy Henry

MEMPHIS—Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy adopted as a family motto, "To whom much is given, much is required," they had no idea just how much would be required, nor that they were adopting far more than words.........

Read the entire story here.

Also, found a great website where Steven Curtis Chapman talks about the movie and also offers some of the film clips and notes to go along with it. You'll want to check it out here. The Blind Side.

I am so very excited to see what God is doing to bring awareness to those who have no home or family. May our eyes be opened to this huge need in our own country and across the world and that we will rise up and do something about it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Immigration Update

Just a quick update on our adoption process.

USCIS (Immigration) has received our home study, our I-800A application (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country) and they have now issued our appointment date to have our electronic fingerprints done. The appt will be next Friday the 20th. So once those are done we hope to receive our approval shortly after that.

Things are looking good and moving forward!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Orphan Sunday!


Orphan Sunday at Hunter Street!

Today is Orphan Sunday. On this day, I pray that you will meditate, pray, and listen with fervor!

Orphan Sunday Passage:

Romans 8:14-29

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.


Orphan Sunday Prayer*:

Today pray that through His church, God would create a haven and a home for orphans according to the flesh and orphans according to the spirit; that what we are about is more than a niche group and more than a way to provide rest for the hurting; that we would be Gospel people willing to stand face to face with the satanic powers and to drive them back with the Gospel that loves abandoned children like us; that God would cause us to scream "Abba!" like never before. Amen.


Orphan Sunday Sermon:

Adoption and the Renewal of Creation, Russell Moore (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from Russell Moore’s closing prayer in his sermon referenced above.

____________________________________________________________

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day five. Be on the lookout tomorrow morning for one more email!


Verse Five:

Exodus 22:22-24 (ESV)

22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.


Prayer Five*:

Pray that our church will recognize that there are no throwaway people in God's economy; that we will be humbled by His love; that we would adopt, foster, fund, visit, or otherwise serve the orphan not out of altruism or social justice, but out of the Gospel of Christ compelling us -- the orphans need to know Christ, just as we do, and that they are made in God's image, just as we are. They need to know that God cares about them.


Sermon Five:

Orphan Care and Jesus, the Great Servant of the Poor, Michael Easley (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from Michael Easley’s closing prayer in his sermon referenced above.


Friday, November 6, 2009

2 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just two days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day four.

Verse Four: Matthew 25:35-36, 40 (ESV)

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’


Prayer Four*: Today, pray for street children. These children live under bushes and in dumps and sewage pipes. They may eat meals out of trash cans. Many people walk by them without seeing them or view them as pests. Ask God to open the churches’ eyes to help them see the orphans all around them. Ask the Lord to provide food and shelter for the street children.


Sermon Four: The Gospel, Social Justice and the Missional Church, Ed Stetzer (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care”

http://saddleback.com/orphanstudy/index.html

Thursday, November 5, 2009

3 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just three days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day three.

Verse Three:
Ephesians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

Prayer Three*:
Today, pray that every member of your church would remember and acknowledge and praise the Lord that before the world was made, He loved us and chose us, and that His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ and that this gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:3–5)

Sermon Three: Adoption and the Pursuit of Racial Reconciliation,
Scott Roley (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)


Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” Saddleback prayer guide

Orphan Sunday Blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

4 Days until Orphan Sunday!

We are just four days away from Orphan Sunday. Here is your verse, prayer, and sermon for day two.


Verse Two: John 14:18 (ESV) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.


Prayer Two*:
Today, ask God that of the 2 billion Christians in the world, 7% would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress. Ask the Lord to convict the church around the world that if we did this, there would effectively be no more orphans. Ask the Lord to show each of His followers that we can each do something.


Sermon Two:
The Freedom of Adoption, Scotty Smith (Watch brief video interview and read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet


* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” (http://saddleback.com/orphanstudy/index.html)


PS – Don’t forget about the concert Sunday night! Join us at 3:30 PM in the Chapel. We hope for upwards of 400 attendees! Click here for more information: http://orphansunday.wordpress.com .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5 Days until Orphan Sunday!

From one of our Adoption Ministry leaders:

We are just five days away from Orphan Sunday. God has done so much and is doing so much to lead us to defend the cause of the fatherless. I am very excited to see what God is going to do this Sunday and the following two Sundays. As we pray about and approach this time of service and testimony, let's make an extra effort to understand our Father's heart for adoption. Each day for the next five days I am going to send you a verse to meditate on, a prayer to pray, and a link to an audio sermon from the recent Together for Adoption Conference that many of us attended. Please try to meditate and pray each day and to listen each night. The sermons are so Spirit-filled and humbling; I think they will change your life and help you to cry out “Abba!” with passion like never before. Without further ado…

Verse One:
James 1:27 (ESV)
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Prayer One*:
Today, pray that the Lord would give you a personal sense of responsibility for the next 5 days (and beyond) for praying for orphans, your pastor, your church, and your community. Ask Him to break your heart for the orphans. Ask that He would help you to see orphans with His eyes and His heart. Ask Him to use these 5 days to change you and your church.

Sermon One:
Adoption: Making Outsiders Insiders, Dan Cruver (Read session summary)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jack Lavallet

* Adapted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care” SaddlebackOrphan Study

PS – Don’t forget about the concert Sunday night! Join us at 3:30 PM in the Chapel. We hope for upwards of 400 attendees! Click here for more information: Orphan Sunday Blog

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just Love Coffee Fundraiser!

Hey everyone!

We have an exciting announcement. We have signed up with Just Loves Coffee to help us raise funds for our adoption!

For anyone that loves coffee or knows someone who does,we now have coffee that can be purchased from our store and a portion of the $$ goes to help us bring our baby home! Check out our store here! Wilbanks Coffee Store

Each bag is $12.95 and we will receive $5 per bag. So, if you love coffee and you would be interested in helping us bring our baby home….we would be so grateful for any purchase(s).

You can read more here about Just Love Coffee.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When Your Parents Don’t Approve of Your Transracial Adoption

I have heard this over and over. Apparently this is a really big issue for some families. Hopefully this can be of some encouragement to those who are encountering this problem.


Friday, October 9, 2009

The LORD is up to crazy things!

Hello everyone!

After much silence on updates on our adoption process....I finally have one! But before I tell you I wanted to share what the LORD has been doing these last several weeks.

The LORD is up to crazy things! That's all I can say! When you say things to Him like, "here I am LORD...use me...send me".....you never know what's going to happen.

So, here is a glimpse of what He is doing.

#1 He is building us a house. A house that will suit the needs of all of us including my mom. I wish I could tell you all the details now....but I'll save it for another time. The house will have plenty of room for our expanding family. which brings me to point number 2.

#2. We are requesting 2 babies instead of 1. Now...we don't know that we will get 2 babies. It would have to be a sibling group...but the LORD has gotten us to the place where we have said "yes" at the possibility! Most likely we'd go back for a second one anyway...so why not take two at one time?!!

Never in a million years would I have thought my life would turn out like this or look like this....but it is thrilling! More thrilling than I would have ever planned myself. My plan was too safe, too ordinary and boring....God's plan is much more exciting!

Ok...so update on adoption process....Our home study was finally approved by DHR and is currently at Immigration. We will send in our I-800A...go in for fingerprints and get that Dossier to INDIA!!!

Please, please pray for us. We have gone to battle with an enemy who hates what we are doing. We will encounter road blocks, set backs and struggles....and we will need your prayer support.

All for His Glory,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Though I was born an orphan

A New Hymn Concerning Spiritual and Physical Adoption by Eric Schumacher

Though I was born an orphan,
Abandoned and alone,
Enslaved and bound in darkness,
Without a hope or home,
The God of grace and mercy
From his eternal throne
Ordained to be my Father,
To claim me as his own.

That I might be adopted
The Father sent his Son
To live in full obedience
And die for all I’ve done.
Now through his resurrection,
Through faith, with him I’m one.
A member of his household,
I am an heir, a son.

To soothe my fearful spirit
The Spirit from on high
Was sent to be a witness
That “Father!” I might cry.
O How I love this Father!
I’m never left alone.
For he comes to dwell with me
Until he calls me home.

If I have this adoption,
I cannot close my home
To widows and to orphans,
Abandoned and alone.
Lord, fill me with compassion
To love the fatherless,
That I might show the nations
How great my Father is!

Simply awesome! Thanks Eric!

You can read Eric's post about the new hymn here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Miracle in Franklin

No words for this one...just tears. WOW!

Friday, September 18, 2009

There is still time! T4A Conference 2009

There is still time to sign up for the Together for Adoption Conference 2009.

Click here to go directly to the site

conference-2009-posterTogether for Adoption Endorsements

We are pleased to announce that the next Together for Adoption (T4A) conference will be held at Christ Community Church (Franklin, TN) on October 2-3, 2009 (see conference schedule, childcare information, and list of hotels).

Registration for our breakout sessions is now open. Visit our Breakout Sessions page for instructions.

Join us as we explore “Our Adoption in Christ: What it Means for Us and for Orphans.”

Registration: $40 per single or $60 per married couple. Group rate is available (email dan.cruver@TogetherforAdoption.org for information). New: College Student Rate: $25 (Parents may also utilize this rate for children 9 years old and older).

With over 132 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world, what our world needs is Christians who have been freshly gripped by the stunning vertical reality of their adoption by God. If anything can mobilize the church to address our world’s orphan crises, it will be the good news of vertical adoption.

Join us as we seek to connect the dots between our adoption by God and the adoption of children. Registration is now open. Click on the animated button in the left sidebar to register.

General Session Speakers and Topics:

Michael Easley, Topic: Orphan Care and Jesus, the Great Servant of the Poor

Michael Easley recently joined the pastoral staff of Fellowship Bible Church (Nashville, TN) as a teaching pastor (read his church bio). Dr. Easley came to Fellowship Bible Church from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, where he served as president (and currently president emeritus) since March of 2005. Michael and his wife, Cindy, have four children, three of whom were adopted.

Russell Moore, Topic: Adoption and the Renewal of Creation

Russell Moore has served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since January of 2004. Dr. Moore is also a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, where he ministers weekly. He is a senior editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. Dr. Moore has also written the forthcoming book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches. Russell and his wife, Maria, have four children, two of whom were adopted.

Scott Roley, Topic: Adoption and the Pursuit of Racial Reconciliation

Scott Roley is Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church (Franklin, TN). Based on his experiences in local mercy ministry, Roley authored God’s Neighborhood: A Hopeful Journey in Racial Reconciliation & Community Renewal which traces his personal call to racial reconciliation and community renewal and shares the powerful narrative journey of a white pastor’s identification within an African-American community. He followed that book with its sequel, Hard Bargain, to be published in 2009. Scott and his wife, Linda, are parents of a multi-ethnic family and live in Franklin, Tennessee with their five children, three of whom were adopted.

Scotty Smith, Topic: The Freedom of Adoption

Scotty Smith is Pastor of Worship, Preaching and Teaching at Christ Community Church (Franklin, TN). Scotty is Founding Pastor of Christ Community church, a member of The Gospel Coalition, and author of five books: Unveiled Hope, with Michael Card; Speechless, with Steven Curtis Chapman; Objects of His Affection; and his latest two, The Reign of Grace and Restoring Broken Things, with Steven Curtis Chapman. Scotty and Darlene, his wife of thirty-five years, have two adult married children.

Ed Stetzer, Topic: The Gospel, Social Justice and the Missional Church

Ed Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence. He is also Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ed has written numerous books, two of which are Compelled by Love: The Most Excellent Way to Missional Living (with Philip Nation) and Breaking the Missional Code (with David Putman). Ed and his wife, Donna, have three daughters.

Worship will be led by Kevin Twit of Indelible Grace. Zach Nielsen, blogger at Take Your Vitamin Z, will be live-blogging the Friday night / Saturday conference. The list of our excellent breakout sessions (four breakout session slots) and other conference details are forthcoming. Childcare will be provided—limited availability, additional fee. Together for Adoption Conference 2008 audio. Review of Our First Conference.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finally!

Wanted to update everyone. I have had to resort to posting only videos while we wait and wait and wait for some movement on our adoption process.

After the home study was ready, then it wasn't, then it was....then it went to the International agency for review, then back, then ready for DHR, then not, then ready, then not......Did that make sense? It didn't to me....but that is what has been happening on our end here. We have just been riding the waves as they come.

But, FINALLY our home study is officially at DHR. Currently we are being told that DHR approval is taking 6-8 weeks. This is WAY too long for a home study to get approval from DHR before it can go to Immigration. (USCIS) In fact, it just so happens that only Alabama (maybe a couple others) has this step of going to DHR for approval before USCIS. So to me this seems like unnecessary waiting.

But, it is a step we have to take to get closer to our baby. Please pray with us that some how DHR will process our home study quickly so it can move on for Immigration approval. Once we have that, we can send our Dossier to India!

For now, we are focusing on the task at hand. The LORD has given us lots of Kingdom work while we wait for baby girl to get here. So, we are staying VERY busy!

Blessings,


PS....be on the look out for our coffee fundraiser coming soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 by 3 by 3: Exchanging the Comfortable and Ordinary for the Insane and Extraordinary

Check out this video about the Weimer Family who have grown their family 3 by 3 by 3. You can read their blog here.

Also, the Weimers are leading a breakout session for the Together for Adoption Conference 2009.



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Orphans: The Treasure of Jesus


Who Should Attend Conference 2009?

This blog by Dan Cruver ~ July 20th, 2009
from his Together for Adoption blog

As all of you who frequent this blog know, we have our next Together for Adoption conference on October 2-3 at Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. It is a conference we are very excited about.

From time to time I’m asked this question, “Who should consider attending your conference? It seems like a really niched conference.” Here is my answer to this great question: Our conference is for anyone who has been adopted. Now don’t conclude too quickly that you know what I mean by that answer.

Every Christian has entered God’s household through adoption (Ephesians 1:6; 2:19). There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been adopted by God, period. All of us who are members of God’s family were adopted.

Since Christianity has a vertical to horizontal movement (i.e., we love because God first loved us, we forgive because God in Christ has forgiven us, etc), our conferences are both about our vertical adoption (i.e., God adopting us in Christ) and orphan care and horizontal adoption (i.e., couples adopting children). Not all Christians are called by God to adopt a child, but all Christians are called by God to care for orphans in some capacity (James 1:27).

If anything can mobilize the church to care for orphans, it will be the truth of our adoption by God. When we were without hope in this world, God brought us near through adoption. Who better to care for orphans than those who have experienced this amazing grace.

If you desire to learn more about what it means to be adopted by God, you will find this conference to be very profitable. We are convinced that the more we think about God’s gracious provision of vertical adoption, the more we will see and appreciate His glory, grace, beauty, love, etc. Adoption is first about the glorious God of the universe coming to profoundly needy people in the person of His Son to give us the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

When we grow in our understanding of who this God of grace is and what He has done to adopt us through Jesus Christ, we will find our love for and our pursuit of Him progressively increasing. So, ultimately, we want to see people grow in their enjoyment of God as their Father to the “praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). If this kind of talk resonates with you, let us encourage you to consider attending our upcoming conference. You will not be disappointed.

Even though our conferences are about vertical adoption, don’t think that orphan care and horizontal adoption will be a conference afterthought. Just take a look at our conference poster. No, we believe that Christians who are deepening in their understanding of God’s gracious provision of adoption as sons will find themselves joyfully compelled to extend this same kind of compassion to orphans, both here and abroad.

Christians who love the wonderful provision of vertical adoption will become increasingly passionate about “visiting orphans in their affliction” (James 1:27), whether through short-term mission efforts, humanitarian assistance, adopting a child, or assisting others in the adoption process in some way. Certainly, God does not call every Christian couple to adopt, but He does call the church to care for orphans—adoption being one way that the church can fulfill this calling.

So if you have been adopted by God and believe that God has called the church to care for orphans, let us strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider attending Conference 2009.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winners!

Hey everyone!

Thanks so much for your participation in the "Adopted for Life" book giveaway! It was hard for me to only draw two names! I wish I could give a book to all of you.

Here are the winners......

k (aka Kristi Wilbanks) and Anna Parker.

Congratulations ladies! I will get the books out to you ASAP!

For those of you that would like to try again, you can go to the Together for Adoption site and check our their book giveaway here.

Also, Amazon has them here for $10.87.

This was fun. I'll have to do something like this again soon.

Blessings to you all,
Brittnie

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Giveaway

Hey everyone!

I have been away from the blog-world far too long and have missed it! Just as a quick update: things are about the same as they were last time I updated the blog on our adoption process. However, we did meet our second financial goal on time! What a huge blessing! We are now working on the next financial goal which is a Big One. You can check out our new goal tracker on the right hand side of the blog(in blue).


OK, I want to do something fun. I want to have a book giveaway.
I have finally finished reading
Russell Moore's new book called,
"Adopted for Life" and it is wonderful! I think everyone should read it. YES...even if you are not adopting. So, I am giving away 2 copies of the book! If you want to know more about the book click here.


If you would like to have a copy of this book, please comment on this post with your name (
and your blog site if you have one). On Sunday the 12th I'll randomly select 2 names and post the winners Monday.

Sound good?

Please spread the word!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When waiting is painful

Check out Dan Cruver's post on "Waiting"...on the Together for Adoption website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Final Homestudy Interview

Well, we finally made it to the end of our Home Study! Our last interview was yesterday and it went really well. Our Social Worker came over to our house to inspect it and to ask the boys some questions and a few other things. It didn't go like I had been anticipating all this time. It was alot easier! She didn't ask the questions we prepared for and she didn't go into the rooms I cleaned the hardest....oh well. It's over and now we can put one big thing behind us on this adoption journey!

Now, we wait for our social worker to actually write the entire home study. We will then send it to our International agency for review and then we will submit our finalized home study to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). This process is to determine our eligibility and suitability to adopt a child from a Hague Convention Country. Once this is approved, we'll be sending home study and Dossier documents to India. This process could take up to 90 days. I pray that it doesn't, but we'll see.

Can we just get a baby already?!

Please be praying for us during this process.

Monday, June 1, 2009

One Love Coffee Adoption Fundraiser

To all you families out there that are in the adoption process or about to be....You need to check out "One Love Coffee Adoption Fundraiser". Spread the word!!

One Love Logo

One Love Coffee Roasters’ two primary focuses are coffee and orphans. Rob Webb, founder of One Love Coffee Roasters, and an America World adoptive dad knows personally how expensive the adoption process is. The thought of having to raise tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a child is staggering to many. It can be the obstacle that stands in the way of a family’s commitment to adopt, and many times slows down the process of bringing an adoptive family’s child(ren) home. Many people don’t know where to start. One Love Coffee Roasters wants to be that starting point for raising money to help unite families with their children. (quoted from AWAA blog)


"We try to make it as simple as possible. One Love does not ask or require you to purchase anything. We handle all of the order processing: we set up a web page specifically for your family with the coffees you have chosen to sell, fulfill the orders, collect payment securely online, and then send you checks for your portion of the sales for each month. All that the adoptive family needs to do is to fill out the application to validate your adoption process, send the link to their One Love web page to as many people as possible to generate sales for the fundraiser, and notify us when your adoption is complete!


When the adoption is complete, your friends and family who purchased One Love Coffee can continue to do so on our main storefront and continue to support orphans with a portion of the proceeds of all One Love Coffees going to the AWAA Transition Home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.It’s that simple!


Our current goal is to sign up 100 families before September 2009, when we will officially open our doors for business. Just visit http://www.onelovecoffees.com, click on the “Sign Up” link at the top menu, complete the form, and your store will be ready to go when we launch in September."




Wednesday, May 27, 2009

But Then There's Jesus

But Then There's Jesus: A must read excerpt from Russell Moore's new book called "Adopted for Life".

I have not gotten my hands on a copy of the book yet since I am currently reading 3 other books at the moment.....but it is on my list to read next! Have heard nothing but wonderful things about it so far!

Read what others are saying here.

You can learn more about Dr. Russell Moore at his website and blog here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Adoption and Orphan Care: A Proposed Resolution

On Adoption and Orphan Care: A Proposed Resolution




Posted using ShareThis

Might He Want More Praise?

I have been lagging behind on the blog and not giving the LORD His due Praise! You'll want to check out our second financial goal tracker! God is providing!

We will have a couple more goals to meet once this 2nd goal is met. So, we are about half way there in our financial goals overall. This is wonderful news!

Please use the comment button to give God some glory!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Progress!

Hey everyone!

Just a little update here. I had my second Home Study Interview today! It went so great. I really love our social worker. She is fantastic. Very helpful and thorough and is really easy to talk with . She has made this home study thing a really easy thing for us. I am so thankful for that. Jeff gets to meet with her next week and then she'll come into our home shortly after and do the final interview with us and the boys.

On another note, things seem to be coming together very quickly! All of our documents continue to come in ahead of schedule. I received my passport today! Yea! Jeff's should be here in a day or so. Also, we hope to have a rough draft of the home study in a week or so and will then send it on to our International agency for review. All of our Dossier documents are coming together and we hope to have everything on its way to India in a month or so. I can't not tell you how exciting I am!

I know the really hard part is just ahead of us...the waiting for our baby referral. But, just knowing that we are really making good progress is encouraging for me right now. I can not tell you how the LORD has had His hand of protection over our family in preparation for this adoption. Protected upbringings, protected marriage...even the number and gender of our children are all working together exactly for the India Adoption requirements. Thrilling.

That is about for now.
Thanks for sharing the journey with us and thank you so much for your continued prayer support. We are so grateful.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Living Upside Down Through Adoption

a must read post on how adoption has turned this family’s life upside down and how the Gospel calls all of us to live upside down in some way.

Click for Article here

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some India Stuff

Hey all!

Wanted to share my heart for a minute. I have been so broken for a week. For starters, I have been following a group of Bloggers on a trip to India with Compassion International. The LORD broke my heart over India several years ago and I have been praying for that country and the people from that time on. But this past week while following the bloggers journeys, was a fresh reminder of the reality of the extreme poverty in this country and the desperate need there. As if their piercing stories weren't enough, I heard some more news Monday that broke my heart yet again. I want to share it with you, but want to give some India Adoption facts first so you'll see where I am coming from.

While researching adoption in India before we got started I learned the following things:

It is difficult to adopt from India due to popular opposition to the adoption of Indian children by foreigners.

Once a child has been abandoned, the orphanage they are placed in will make many efforts to find the birth family. They must attempt to find an adoptive family in India 3 different times. If that search fails, the baby will become available for International adoption.

However, non-resident Indian applicants are being given preference in intercountry placements.

If the baby is not placed in a non resident Indian home, then they will be illegible for adoption by Non-Indian families.

Because of this process, babies usually don't come home until they are 10 months or older. In most cases they are older because the length of adoption and process is more complicated for applicants who are Non- Indian.

India leans towards adoptive couples with infertility issues.

Can not have more than 2 children already in the home. ( in some cases they will allow 3)

Parents with two children of the same gender are expected to adopt a child of the opposite gender.

See how it can be seem difficult to bring home all these babies?

Check out these recent Adoption numbers from India:

  • 2008: 307
  • 2007: 411
  • 2006: 319

Seem fairly reasonable?
Then check out China adoption numbers:

2008: 3911
2007: 5453
2006: 6493

We are talking 25 Million orphans in India here!

Maybe I should say that again. 2 5 M I L L I ON babies that need homes! How hard should it be?

The news is that the India government agency that oversees adoptions, CARA (Central Adoption Resources Agency) has proposed new (positive) guidelines for Indian adoption. We have known about this for awhile now, because a lot of the Adoption Agencies have put their India program on hold until these guidelines come through.

But the new guidelines have been delayed since 2007. We have been praying that they would move forward this year in order to get more babies adopted and home quicker!

But, today they are still delayed. Which brings me back to my heart ache mentioned above. I inquired again Monday as to why the continued delays. One of the answers I received was that the religious groups (Hindu) view orphans suffering a positive thing because it will help them in their "next" life.

WHAT?

Gut wrenching!

25 Million Orphans suffering with little care and food and this is a good thing?

It has caused me to hit my face and begin fervently praying over these precious little ones even more!

So, this is what we are up against. We have been watching a few families bringing home their babies from India. So it's still moving....but its not an easy thing.

Please continue to pray! Not just for us bringing home our baby.....but for the 25 Million babies that need a mom and a dad, a place to call home and love, love, love!