Thursday, March 31, 2011

sweet!

A few weeks ago I got an email from a new blog friend!  She wrote about her love for adoption and orphan care and how she wanted to bless our little family and help us bring home Sweet Pea - What!?  What?  She was a total stranger until I got this email and just introduced herself and offered to give us some of the proceeds from her etsy shop!  

We thought - sweet!  Literally, her store is named Dulcitas: Little Sweets for the Home

Anything purchased during the month of April will directly help bring Sweet Pea home.  Nicole has offered to donate 25% of her profit for the whole month to our adoption!  Please go shopping!  I thought it would be fun if you got to know her a little and see a few of her little sweets, just to whet your appetite.
Nicole, tell us what a typical day for you looks like.
::
Coffee. Reading in Bed (right now I'm reading through the gospels).  Then, I go to work. I work at a Writing Center at a community college and spend my day working with students on their writing projects. After work, I zip around and pick up my hubby from school, entertain the dog, cook food, and catch up on blog reading.  On some days, I scrounge around at thrift stores, pick up little goodies, and revamp them.  At the end of the day, we like to spend some time chatting and catching up!
 What would a perfect day look like in your book?
::
I would love to start my day enjoying a fresh cup of joe with my husband.  Then, I'd probably go take the pup to the dog park (which is a good idea for all of us) and grab some ice cream cones on the way home.  I like to be a little productive each day, so I would also probably dabble in a little project and then take a snooze in a hammock.  I'd love to end the day with an outing with our friends at our favorite little tex-mex place or coffee shop.  Is summer here yet?
What's your inspiration for your work?
::
Well, there's a little thrill for me to see old (maybe even ugly) things become cute and stylish. Also, this process is a picture for me of how Christ renews us and restores us.  I'm constantly reminded of this as I'm working on a piece.  It has gone from old to new!  Also, since beginning the adopting family of the month, I'm inspired and driven by the desire to promote lovely things and help lovely families!

 Where do you see your shop in a year from now?
::

I hope that the shop continues to grow with both vision and purpose.  I hope that more people enjoy my products and that this, in turn, helps more families!  I also hope that I will keep up the creative process and only do as much as I enjoy doing.  I don't want Dulcitas to become a "have-to" job, but continues to be an outlet for creativity and also a fun way to connect with and bless others!
I think that's it!

For more of Nicole's cute stuff, shop here!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

adoption banned because of christian beliefs

We discovered a sad, but true, ruling by the UK High Court in February.  The court ruled that a couple that have been foster parents to 15 children can no longer be foster parents.  Why?  Because their Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin is a threat to children!  Not only is this ruling ridiculous (why on earth would a government not want a child to go to a loving home?), it is a sign of how we have placed political correctness on such a high pedestal that we've lost sight of rational thinking.  As Jim Daly said on the subject, "Surely the news out of the UK startles, but doesn't shock.  The Bible tells us that godly wisdom will be regarded as foolishness and that what is good will be called evil." We hope and pray that this type of backwards thinking does not make its way across the pond.

*To find out more about this, go here (Focus on the Family blog), or here (BBC article).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the lean in.

I LOVE how she leans into me!
 

Friday, March 25, 2011

how far? how fast? how long?

Isn't it ironic that there's a sign that points to Korea from downtown Spokane?!  It's fun to see little reminders of how "close" we are to our Sweet Pea

Surely in the next few months we'll be asking how far? how fast? how long? like the song from Switchfoot - oh the memories!  Feeling so thrilled to travel to Asia again, cannot wait to set foot in that part of the world as we love it SO much - but also, knowing we get to touch and see and smell our little girl, aaahhh!  Makes us giddy.

And, even though we are greatly anticipating the day we get to bring our baby home, we are now cherishing our time with only one daughter to dote and love on.  We want to soak in this two-on-one parenting we get for only a little longer!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

paperland!

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, they have all meant so much to us during this whirlwind of wonderful news and change on the horizon!  We've been busy little bee's since we last wrote.  We officially received Sweet Pea's referral package in the mail and had A LOT of paperwork to read over, contracts to sign, pictures to hold on to and more background and medical information!

On Sunday we planned to work hard on applying for another grant and another loan, in case we aren't rewarded any more money.  Instead, we poured ourselves into finishing the referral paperwork and then on Monday we had the 14 documents notarized and sent off the referral package.  Phew!  It feels good to have that done.  Once our agency received it, they finished up the package and sent it off to Seoul!  From my understanding, once S.Korea receives this package our 3-6 month wait (for the call to bring our baby girl home) officially begins.

{Our second t-shirt order arrived and I got the packages out - David's passport expires this month, oops we filed for a new one and in the pile of papers are 8 pictures of our Sweet Pea!  I'm dying to share them with you.  Can't wait.}

Through the last few days we've finished up the grant and loan applications - they have a lot of deep questions that we have to answer in length so it just takes a bit of time.  Praying God paves the way to finish our payments to the agency soon!  Since we received our referral so quickly we were caught off guard by the payments.  The agency sent us our final bill stating we needed to pay the rest of the money for the adoption, including finalization fee's and everything (even though that could be a year from now).  We feel so much peace about all this and know that God will provide.

Last Monday, the day we heard officially from S.Korea that our match for set - we received WONDERFUL news!  We were awarded a grant from Show Hope - can it be any more clear that we are on the right path here? It was such a confirmation that He will provide a way to bring our Sweet Pea home.  Hip hip hooray!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It’s a girl… AGAIN!!

We have big news, HUGE news, exciting, thrilling and down right crazy awesome news… OKAY OKAY I'll tell you --- our baby GIRL is waiting in Seoul for us!!!!!!

As you know, we were planning on waiting 10-14 more months for a referral but, God obviously had other plans for our family!  Yippy! 

Here’s a quick look into what’s been going on behind the scenes: 

Thursday evening March 3rd: We received our weekly email from our agency updating us on any changes for the Korea program usually just filling us in on any families that traveled to S.Korea or if any families were matched with a child ("referral") and sometimes a little shout out for a child who hasn’t been matched with a family yet.  In this particular email there was a little bit of information on our Sweet Pea.  After we got the email we wrote an email back to the agency asking for more details about her.
Tuesday midday March 8: We are thrilled to finally hear back from the agency with the file of information and pictures – 8 pictures!!!  During Tuesday and Wednesday our minds were wheeling and our emotions were a little up and down but we prayed… talked… sought wisdom and direction and continued to feel the peace of the Lord through the situation and decision.
Thursday morning March 10: We decided to move forward with the next step!  We scheduled a pre-adoption consult with a pediatric adoption specialist at the University of Washington – usually the appointments aren’t available for 2-4 business days but they just “happen” to have one for Friday morning!
At this point, we felt very confident that this little girl had been hand picked for our family because many of our thoughts and feelings were in line with each other and we didn’t feel fearful over anything about HER (we were told  there was a 98% chance we were getting a boy - talk about a change of mindset, but you know we love girls!)!
Friday morning March 11: We spoke with the pediatrician and have a very encouraging conversation about Sweet Pea’s medical history and all the other information we have on her.  Following the call, we decide that yes (!!!!!!!!) we will tell the agency she belongs in our family.
Saturday and Sunday we fill our family in on the exciting news!
Monday afternoon March 14: We officially hear from Korea that they are thrilled to have a match and informed our daughter’s foster family and that they too were thrilled!

Basically, since this all happened so fast and so much sooner than we expected we have just needed a few days to let it all soak in.  It’s been a whirlwind and we have been so excited this whole time, but also a little overwhelmed with the thought of so many changes happening in our NEAR future.

Like I said, we really feel God’s hand in the timing of this and want to lean farther into that peace He offers when we feel anxious or afraid. 

Hopefully I can answer a few questions you might have:
How old is she?
She's eight months old, only 10 months younger than Norah!  It's going to be a beautiful relationship between them - that might mean some interesting teen years for mom and dad though :)
What's her name?
The social worker gave her a Korean name and we are considering a few English names and trying to decide on a simple but unique new first name. For now, we'll call her our Sweet Pea.
What are you waiting for, go get her!
We're waiting for Korean immigration mostly.  We know that the agency in Seoul has already filed for the next step in the process but nothing can proceed until our fingerprints are processed - we don't know the average time but we got fingerprinted about two weeks ago.  We are also waiting for the official referral package in the mail along with paperwork that we need to complete (yeah, more paperwork!).
So, when will she be home?
Lord willing soon but, typically between 3 and 6 months from referral time - that puts us between June and September.
Tell us her stats!
Birth date: July 14, 2010
Weight at birth: 6.5 lbs.
Weight recently: 16.5 lbs.
She's got lot of beautiful black hair, and stunning almond shaped eyes - oh and how could I forget, those chubby cheeks!!
Where's her picture?!
Since things are not final we are not allowed to post pictures, so sorry!  Now you get to have a lesson on patience :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

wonderful weekend!

We had an awesome weekend - praise the Lord!  Let's see... Friday a friend offered to babysit Norah for us so we went to a local museum and then a cute little Italian place.  We loved our time away from life and just time to chat!

Saturday we all slept in (which means sleeping until around 8:30 these days) and I picked up our bountiful basket and we took time to sit and read.  We decided to get outside and enjoy the 45 degree weather - we visited a dog park and a walking trail near our place then grabbed some local coffee on the way home!  We skyped family, had pizza and watched The Social Network.
Sunday was equally as great - a wonderful service at church, crock pot bbq lunch, more skype dates, worked on adoption grant applications and just spent time being together.  We are so blessed!

Hope your weekend was relaxing and filled with moments to relax!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

a 2am feeding

Sometimes between 2am and 4am Norah wakes up hungry (now, if you know me more intimately you also know that I wake up starving, like every day and sometimes in the middle of the night - I literally get up to eat and then go back to sleep).  Last night was one of those nights.  This silly girl was wide away with hunger pains - we know which cries mean what!

I went in to get her/to fill her tummy up and she whispers "hi" then I said it back and she says "hi mama" all SO CUTE even for 2am :)

We headed to the kitchen in the dark, made some toast and she chowed down a whole banana and poof, problem solved.  When we tip toed back up to her room I said "night night" and she leaned into her crib and went tummy down right away without a peep.  I love her oh so much.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

fundraising update

Two Sunday's ago we were blessed to share a little about our adoption and sell some coffee and t-shirts at church!  It was so fun to meet new people and to get others involved in bringing home our little one.

Even if we didn't sell much it would have been a success, but we did sell much :)
We sold 8 bags of coffee and, we sold 17 t-shirts!
PLUS a few BLESSED people just felt in their heart to donate a little extra.  We are so humbled and honored to be a part of this journey.  Thank you to everyone who has donated, bought something and prayed for us along the way already!  Don't stop, we still need your help - please pray that we would be blessed with a grant or no interest loan to nudge us a little closer toward our ending goal - also pray for wisdom and direction through the rest of our waiting period on the referral list.  We are anxious to see what God brings our way!

We've sold around 150 bags of coffee!
We've sold 109 t-shirts and have about 40 more sitting here ready to ship so shoot me an email!

Thank you for all your support, we are feeling the cyberspace hug!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

snow shoeing adventure

David has been working extra long hours lately and had a court about two weeks ago.  Since he's been working like a dog he was able to take a day off last week!  Our good friends, the Hooks also had a well deserved day off and we decided to take an adventure to Mt. Spokane and try snow shoeing.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and it was pretty much a perfect day - David enjoyed sleeping in AND a nap, snow shoeing, eating, and a few hours at night alone and then vegin' on the couch with me when I got home!

We weren't sure about how the weather on the mountain would be since it sprinkled in the city and has been in the upper 30's - but as you can see the snow was thick and beautiful that day!
Here's a picture of the girls all ready for the hike!  Clara ended up taking a nap the whole hour and half hike - it was adorable.
An AWESOME family picture but somehow it's blurry on Norah's face!  BOO.  I think it may have been a snow flake?
The men and the little ladies :)  Clara is passed out and Norah is peaking her head around - click on the picture to enlarge it!
Me and Amy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the maple leaf state

A few weekends ago we were able to spend a time away with our "small" (21 people) group (and we had a few missing people!).  Since we are so close to the border we decided to make our weekend away in foreign land - oh yes, we are an adventurous group!  Packed into two condos we experienced beautiful blue skies and powder snow (along with FREE lift tickets), games, LOTS of food, wonderful conversations and a little bit of hot tubbing! 

Besides the few people puking in the bathrooms - things went really great!  No seriously though, we had a few really sick people that had to leave early to get to their own beds :(  We are so grateful we didn't catch anything too severe before David's week in court.

 David doesn't love skiing or anything ;)
 Jason, Kari, Kelly, David & Amy
 Kelly, Amy, Kari, Mel, Kathleen, Amy & Sari
 Kathleen & Dan
 Just rolled out of bed and still stunning as ever - Amy & Hollyn
Joel, Parker, Griffin & Clara

And, this post wouldn't be complete without an ode to FIF - a band that David LOVES and has loved for years.  We listened to this song a few times prior to crossing the border just to get a little extra excited!

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