Jan 16, 2011

We are Referral Ready!!!!!!

That's right!!!!

On Thursday, we received our letter from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services with a favorable determination. That means we have every piece of paper, fingerprint, and authorization needed to receive the referral for our child! Now with that being said, we are still on a wait list and it will still be a while. But the great news is we are ready!

And... some other really cool news....

Thursday I also talked with our case manager B and she stated that our dossier is now in Ethiopia at Hannah's Hope in a locked box waiting for the day that we are matched with our child! YAY!!!!
That news made this momma smile ear to ear!!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
So far ours has revolved around football and food!

Go Steelers!! Go #43 Polamalu!!!

(Just needed to throw that in!
Who can resist that hair!!!)


Jan 14, 2011

Lives ARE Being Changed!

Ever feel helpless when you see others in need?
Ever feel like you don't have enough or couldn't give enough to truly make a difference?
Well I have good news for you. You can make a difference. Each and every one of us can!
A little bit matters, every bit matters in the life of an orphan.
While the numbers and the problems seem huge ...each and every prayer said, moment spent, and dollar given counts.

I can't begin to tell you the number of miracles, blessings, and lives changed that I have read about, been told about, or have seen since we have started this process. I amazed and in total awe of His work. Not everyday for these children or for their parents have been perfect, probably not any, to be honest. But lives are being changed and God's hand is most definitely at work.

Let me share a wonderful example from this week!
Many of you have seen in some of our pictures the Feed 1 shirts that my girls and I have worn. (This is a pic of D wearing hers!)

They are from a ministry called 147 Million Orphans. The ministry helps to feed orphans in Uganda, Haiti, China, Honduras, and Ethiopia and does much, much more. The founders of the ministry are two adoptive mommas. Each have adopted children with special needs and each in the past week have seen miracles happen in the lives of their children. One child was given the ability to hear and another's viral load test came back HIV undetectable.
I won't tell their stories because I am sure I wouldn't do them justice but click on over to their blogs and read.
They are truly the AMAZING work of our creator and an answered prayer for many!

Gwen's blog http://oatsvallteam.blogspot.com/2011/01/josie-love-joseph-they-should-inspire.html

Jan 7, 2011

Our January Number

We received an email last night from our case manager that contained our new number for January.
That's right we are now in the 60s. Moving right along!
My heart jumped a little yesterday, when I saw that everyone's numbers were two lower than we had all expected. What a GREAT surprise!
Now, I am praying that this month there will be many children going home to their forever families and many more being referred.
MAYBE next month we will be in the 50s!!!

Jan 1, 2011

Prayer for the New Year

Taking a quick break away from the Christmas posting to share a small image.

I am so hopeful for the 2011. I am excited to see what God has in store for each one of us and for our family as a whole. My prayer is that God continues to challenge us and to move us beyond our comfort zones. I pray that each one of us grows closer and more deeply in love with our creator. As I pray and write all of this I know that He holds the power to completely alter our world and our way of thinking. So I would be dishonest not to say that for every bit of excitement that comes with this prayer there is a bit of anxiousness and fear. In the end however, I know that His plans and desires for my family far succeed anything good that I could imagine.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

This is what the Lord says -your Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17

We received this surprise gift a few days ago from my parents. After taking down decorations today, I placed it on a shelf in our living room. Then I stood back and gazed at the image. Oh how my heart yearns for this to be the living portrait of our family. I feel such great anticipation for the day when it will be so. I am so very thankful to God for the new path that was set before us in 2010.