FAMILY OF FIVE

FAMILY OF FIVE

Monday, January 25, 2010

QUILT





OK, here is the newest addition to our sons room. Tella, Casey and I just finished making his quilt to match the curtains. Is this a cool room or what?
BTW, we had our last home study meeting today and it went very well. Reviewed what Jennifer had written and it is being passed on to America World after only a few changes. Hopefully they will approve it. Next Step? After approval from America World, we will send the homestudy to USCIS to get approval for adoption internationally. Once this is done, then the dossier goes to America World and then (DTE) Dossier to Ethiopia. We will keep you posted. God is so good. Please continue to pray for our wisdom, courage and strength as we continue this journey.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inspiration


So I just read my sisters blog and it inspired my to tell my side of the story. My story goes back a little further about 5 years ago. My journey to Africa started as a dream to take in all of Africa's orphans. My pastors daughter and I were hanging out on evening dreaming about the future and Gods plans for our lives. That day I made a promise to my little friend that we would one day go to Africa and take in orphans, not really thinking our crazy dream would ever be more than a crazy dream. But that little the dream sparked in my heart and I had no clue in just a few short years our dream would become not just a spark but a raging fire for God that would change our lives forever.
Thought the next few years I became a little more involved in what was going on in Africa by spreading awareness anyway I could. I spoke at youth retreats about the AIDS epidemic and when I had a research paper do in school if at all possible my subject was Africa. My dream kept popping up everywhere I went. So the day my pastors family announce that they were adopting from none other that Ethiopia I was shocked. I didn't want to get my hopes up about joining them so I tried not to say anything but after a few times of them approaching me about going with them I decided if they were serious I would go. After meeting with my family and our pastors family about what this trip would do not only in the present but also how it would forever change my life the decision was made that I would go. Just a few weeks later my mom announced she would be joining us and a few months later my sister also decided to go. We began the preparation and soon the day was there, we were traveling. It was so surreal, I had dreamed about this for so long. Just as I promised my little friend years before we were traveling to Africa together to take in orphans, God had heard our small prayers.
Ethiopia changed my life, my heart broke when I saw what it was really like. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw, hunger, o so much hunger. Children actually happy to eat rotten fruit. Crowds of people everywhere, sleeping in the streets and on the sidewalks. How did this happen?! How can this country be in such despaired! I knew that week in Ethiopia that my life would never be the same, I would never be normal again. God was calling me to do something, not just donating money but something bigger. Money doesn't give crying babies hugs, it doesn't calm a frightened child when they have a nightmare, it doesn't give encouragement to so many who need hope, it doesn't tell of the amazing God that loves us so much no matter what. No my calling isn't giving money it is giving of myself. To be a servant for God. To not just show love by giving of wealth but by showing love by giving my life. This life is not my own, its Gods and I will live for him. Don't get my wrong giving of wealth is sometimes the calling and yes, wealth is very much needed but for me at this point in my life its not my calling. That is what God taught me in Ethiopia.
After coming home I felt like my heart was ripped out. I was scared that I would never go back, I felt like there was so much more I could do, but how? I never thought of my parents adopting, i just never thought it would happen. But God had planted that seed in my sister and little did I know she felt the same heart throbbing pain I had, she knew Gods plan wasn't over either. So when I found out my sister had been taking to my parents and praying about adoption I bubbled over with joy. I knew this was the plan God had for us.
So today I am patiently awaiting the word for when we travel to get my brother. The journey for me has been a long one, and it is amazing looking back at how God has prepared my family for this amazing addition to our family. God has taken a small dream of two kids and made it into a life long journey. I cant wait to see what else God has planned, no matter what we will obediently follow him.

*Tella*

It changed my life forever!!


Sisters by blood best friends by choice!


Hey ya'll .
this is my frist time blogging!i don't even know where to start..it goes back to May 2009.. I was at school outside walking the track with some friends, when my mom called,we talked then she went on to ask me what i thought about going to Africa with my her my sister and my pastors and his family.i didn't know what to say!! I was so excited i couldn't talk.=). shortly after she came and picked me up from school..we were off to get stuff done for my passport! I couldn't believe I was going to AFRICA!!! When everything was done i was really excited but scared.When Miss Cindy called telling us that we were leaving in two weeks i was so nerves sad scared but happy at the same time! (CRAZYNESS)See it was the end of the school year for me so that means exams friends graduation and stressing about grades..but my teachers were awesome and let me take my exams early. so we were off the DC. It felt like the longest ride of my life. I remember texting one of my best friends Michelle telling her i was scared and didn't know if i wanted to go. But like always she was there talking to me and i felt allot better.We got to DC it was nice we didn't have to wait in allot of lines it was pretty smooth....then the plane ride...have i told you, that was my first plane ride...i LOVED it!! it was long but so worth it..The stop in Rome was so amazing.I guess after sitting in history class reading about it all these year and then I'm in the middle of the city, that was very exciting to me!A few more hour and we were in Addis Abba.My first steps in Africa i wanted to cry i couldn't believe i was really there. it felt like a dream.We all went threw the airport very smoothly, my family waited at the gaits for all the other familys to get there..finally the whole group was there.it was time to go out in the city. =D! As we were driving threw it hit me how good i have it in America.i wanted to take back every time i was unhappy about something that just wasn't right..when i saw people sleeping on streets eating fruit that had gone bugs on it and begging for food and money.it really hit my heart! i was so happy that Pastor Don and his family were adoption and helping kids. I started thinking how could I help..how could I change someones life? I saw allot that week..allot of it scared me and made me very sad!when i came back i was a new person. I was more open and close with my mom and sister, Tella really loved Africa and i have to thank her because if it wasn't for her i wouldn't have been able to go.I tell my friends at school you know you don't know how good you have it..you have a school to go to ,family that loves you, and food to eat. but before my trip to Africa i was just like them i didn't know anything else i just knew what i wanted,took so much for granted and was just unhappy with everything..it was almost four months after our trip and god would not let go of my heart and just kept saying YOU can do something, at first i just blew it off and kept going.til one night i was sitting with my mom and i couldn't stop thinking about it and at that point i had clue what god was doing i just have to trust him and talk to my mom..before i knew it we were both crying. My mom promised she would talk to my dad about adopting. At first it was a big fat NO! but god did work on everyone's heart and wouldn't stop until we stoped living for US and started listening and living for HIM! When my mom and dad told us that we were going to adopt tella and I were so excited to be getting a little brother!!! We started doing paper work and sending stuff it's all getting more real every day.we have had 2 home studies they have gone very well..our last one is next Monday. =) so please pray for us as we get one step closer to bring our little guy home!! =)

Lots of love, Casey.





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Matthew Isaiah

It's 3am and I can't sleep with so many things going in my head..so I write:

I have taken up a new hobby of listening to CD's while traveling to/from work. Specifically, Focus on the Families-Radio Drama CD's and I highly recommend them.
I had just finished listening the the drama called "The Luke Reports" which takes us into a glimpse of what Luke had to do in order the God's word would be documented, thus shared with ALL people about the days that Jesus was on this earth with us. A must listen.....
Anyway, as I pondered the different characters, how the story was written for us to have a better understanding and direction, I began to pray for my own direction.....with my life in general, my family, work, adoption.....you know.....my little world........A bit of an anxious feeling came over me as I looked at each detail and I thought for a moment that I could never accomplish all that was before me. I decided to start the next CD's series called "The Hiding Place". Each of these CD's starts out with a snipit of the point of the story.
To begin, a mother and her two small daughters were going to visit a friend whose young daughter had died. Having seen the little girl who had died while there, one of the daughters became very frightened. That night as her father came to tuck her into bed, she began to cry to him and express fears that he, her mother and sister would die and she would be alone.
The father said, "Corey, when we are going on the train when do I give you your ticket. She replied, when we are entering the train. Her wise father said, That is just how God works.......he gives us what we need; when we need it, so don't worry about what lies ahead, just as I give you your ticket when boarding the train, God will provide what you need at the time".
This has stayed with me over the week. Of how I try to run ahead on my "what if" train while forgetting who is really in charge here. I pray the we all place our faith in Him and realize how much he cares and is truly in control.
Matthew 6:28-34 says; And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow.They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you. O you of little faith? So do no worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Isaiah 40:31 says "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wing like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
I don't know about you, but this just makes it a little easier to breath. Praying that we are always walking with the Lord, are being sensitive to His guidance, relying on Him, and truly seeing and appreciating all He has done and continues to do for each of us!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bedroom furniture

I wanted to post some pictures of our progress on our sons bedroom especially since Tella is at college and the anticipation of what her brothers room looks like is to much to wait for until the weekend. It was delivered while I was at work, so Casey was gracious enough to send me pictures. Isn't technology wonderful!!




Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Struggles and choices made

Since the Lord has called us to adopt in the summer of 2009 we have met a few challenges. The biggest and closest to our hearts has been wondering if our families would be accepting of our son and wanting to please them. This being the closest to our hearts has caused a great deal of soul searching and seeking God's will. I am reminded, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil". Proverbs 4:23&26-27

Recently, I was struggling with our decision; out of selfishness and I was "wrestling" with God as to whether or not this was His plan for our family. Tim was very gracious to allow me this time and to support me in my struggles.

I kept thinking to myself; I just finished up my nursing degree; I love my job; I want to do traveling nursing; I don't know if I want to go back to grade school for a third time; I enjoy having the girls at the ages they are now etc.....As I discussed this with God daily for almost 2 weeks He began to say to me...Who brought you through nursing school and placed you in the job that you love. I (God) knows the deepest desires of your heart....some of which you (Dawn) have even forgotten about.
I really was struggling with what others were saying vs what God was revealing to me. I really knew what God was saying, but Satan was attacking my thoughts.

God said, Dawn I have brought you to this point, I know the desires of your heart....I placed them there and I know the plans I have for you....plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be afraid, for I am with you, I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5

There are always choices to be made.....will I fully rely on the Lord without holding back.....will I hold a little back or blatantly disobey. "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard though the word of Christ". Romans 10:17 (Lesson) In order for me to continue to follow what He is saying it is pertinent that I stay close and listen.

Sometimes God calms the storms around me and sometimes He calms me to withstand the storm. Thank you Lord for always knowing exactly what I need!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

More pictures of the bedroom

Drawing by Tella
Casey getting ready to
read to brother

Dawn making curtains


Tella showing off
her painting skills



The master mind of the
project!!





WORKING ON OUR LITTLE GUYS ROOM


Today we tackled painting after Tim finished the new dry wall. Tella and Casey picked out a very bright "apple green". I think it may glow in the dark....we'll have to check later. He got a new light too and I made the curtains. The quilt is in the making. Mom has loaned me her quilting frames to finish this with, so that will be fun to use. We have purchased his bunk bed and dresser and just need to fininsh the carpet and trim before we have it delivered.
The Lord has truly blessed our family and I pray that we can be a blessing to our new son/brother.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In the beginning!

Tim and I have been married for about 25 years. We have two daughters, Tella 19 and Casey 15. Both sophomore's...one in college and one in high school.

As you can tell by our blog name....WE ARE ADOPTING....

How do people come to adopt?

I'm not sure about others, but for us, we have always enjoyed children, ours and other peoples. We have taken in foster children at one point for about 3 years and are involved in youth ministry in our church.

Our friends were adopting and asked us if we would like to go with them.

Well it is a bit more involved than that. God actually orchestrated the whole thing! First He gave us a heart for children; specifically children in need. Then He worked it out that Tella, Casey and I could go to Ethiopia in June 2009. We knew that God had something amazing for us, but really weren't sure what. It was truly an amazing experience. (more details later about our trip) The amazing thing to me was that if each of us had not gone, I don't think that we would be adopting today. He spoke to each of our hearts, but one without the other would have been easy to dismiss. In my previous job as a youth social worker here in the USA I had seen many situations that broke my heart, but I had never seen anything like I saw in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was overwhelming to say the least. The poverty, children starving and sleeping on the streets, beggars, etc.....It was more than I/we had expected to see. Through all of this that I would have seen as negative, torment....these people had such a sense of community about them; walking arm in arm, helping each other our- whether it be cooking, cleaning, or braiding someones hair; there was such a sense of camaraderie about them. This was from oldest to the youngest and it was amazing.

Once we were home, I felt God speaking to me about adoption, but I was afraid, too content with my life as it is, etc. and it was pretty easy to take what God was telling me and turn it to "well I will just send money or we can go back to build an orphanage". But, That is not what God was telling me to do. It was not the direction He wanted to lead our family.

One summer night in August, as Casey and I sat under our oak trees enjoying the evening, she began to speak to me. It made me very uncomfortably because I knew that God had been speaking to her too. Now, since it was out in the open, I/we had to make a choice. I/we could pretend that God hadn't spoken to us regarding adoption. I/we could continue on our path of doing what we wanted with "helping". I/we could drag our feet and make it impossible to work out....and a multitude of other "wrong" actions or we c0uld seek God's will for our family.

That is when He gave me this scripture:

"If any of you lacks wisdon, he should as God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does" James 1:5-8

In Joshua 1:6-9, God tells Joshua"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

So once He gave me these two scriptures, it was up to Tim and I...were we going to ask and believe....follow God's plan and be prosperous and successful OR were we going to let our fears of rejection by others because of our decision, apathy turn our hearts from God, or our own self will of just doing what made us comfortable?

Thankfully, we have made the choice to follow the Holy Spirits leading. This is not to say that we have not had struggles, doubts, questions, but if we look back in the first scripture....it reminds us that we must ask, believe and not doubt.

My apologies for the lenght of this post....there is so much I want to convey over what has occured in the last 6 months. I pray that you seek God's will for your own life, lean on Him and be an encouragement for those around you to do the same. Dawn




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