Houston We Have Progress!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011 No comments
That's right! Progress has been made! Who would have thought I would get so excited, but seriously folks the last few weeks things have felt like they were at a stand still. I got an e-mail from my case worker today saying she had finished the draft version of my home study and had sent a copy of it to my adoption agency for review!!! Like any other crazy adoption momma I immediately e-mailed my agency to verify that they had received it and to see what happened next?!?! The super sweet lady who is helping me prepare my dossier and who is also probably getting tired of getting e-mails from me :) e-mailed me to let me know that the draft would be reviewed and I should know something by Monday as to when it will be officially done!! The next step is to send in my application to USCIS, which I hope to be able to do one day next week.

As far as getting my dossier sent off there are only 2 minor bumps holding me back. The first is I am waiting for verification from my health insurance company stating yes I do have insurance and yes it covers adopted children. The second thing is my life insurance. I am trying to get a letter stating yes I have life insurance. (which is required when adopting) I sent in my payment this week but the lady I spoke with said it could be a few weeks before I am able to get verification, which is beyond frustrating! I am praying I am able to get these documents back soon and get my dossier sent off by the end of February!!!

If you don't mind joining me in praying specifically for these two things, that I am able to get the necessary documents sooner rather then later so I am able to finally get my dossier sent off and on it's way to Ethiopia!!!!! I know God's timing is perfect, and I just keep reminding myself of that.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "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"

My First Blog Link

I love reading blogs and always find such encouragement and inspiration and laughter from reading them. I read local blogs of sweet families who have adopted from Ethiopia, China and Guatemala as well as blogs from around the country. I can honestly say God has been using blogs to open my eyes to the orphan crisis and to grow that seed he placed in my heart over 10 years ago to adopt. How thankful I am for blogs :)

This morning while doing my daily blog reading I saw where Kelly was doing a Show Us Your Life Adoption Story. I was so excited to go and begin to read the many adoption stories of those who have either gone through the process, are in the middle or who are praying about making the decision to add to their family by the miracle of adoption. I think this is such an awesome idea and what better way to spread the word about adoption and to encourage those who are in the process. I think I speak for a lot of families going through it when I say adoption is not easy. At times it feels like there are so many hoops to jump through, so many set backs and other times of frustration. I know I have experienced times where it literally feels as though nothing is happening and I am moving backward instead of forward.

One of the best things I have and continue to experience through this adoption process is the constant love and reminder that my Father is in control. It has been a great comfort during the frustrating times to know that he already knows when my sweet boy will join our family forever. I just have to continue to be still. As much as I pray that things begin to move forward at a quicker rate then they have been lately, I pray more that this adoption continues to be lead by God and nothing else. God has taught my so much these last few months and I will be forever grateful for this experience and how it has grown my faith.

Please pray for the millions of orphans in the world. Pray that God would watch over them and keep them safe and happy until their forever families come to bring them home. Pray that eyes and hearts would be open and that families would take that step of faith to make the world one less orphan. Pray that churches would open their eyes as well and do what they can to bring awareness to their church body. God calls us ALL to take care of his children. That is not saying everyone has to adopt, but it is saying we ALL have to do SOMETHING!

I could go on and on about this, as it has turned into a great passion of mine. If any of you have any questions or simply don't know where to start, I would love to talk to you. Feel free to e-mail me at ethiopiaminusone@gmail.com

I should seriously come to Panera Bread more often! A cup of Chai Tea, my laptop and a big window with a great view makes for some great blogging :) Have a blessed day!

Home Study "Almost" Complete

Saturday, January 22, 2011 No comments
Well my home study went great. Thanks for the prayers! I spent two day cleaning and organizing like a crazy lady and it didn't even make a difference! My case worker spent the majority of her time here talking to me more and going over all my paperwork. She did ask me to give her a tour of my place, but she didn't even go in any of the room. She just peeked her head in and asked me where Silas was going to sleep? The hardest part of the morning was having to hand her the check for the huge amount you have to pay to get your home study done! I wasn't sure I was going to be able to let go of the check, Ha!!

There was a little funny moment that morning. For those of you who know me, you know sometimes I speak without thinking. Trust me it is something I am working on! My case worker looked at me and with a serious and stern look on her face she asked me " in case of a fire what was our escape route?" So what was my response..............."run" LOL yeah probably not the best response but she was being too serious and she needed to smile, which she did :) I ended up explaining it to her and she just said it needed to be posted somewhere where it could be seen. So any guesses on the newest addition on my refrigerator?

Now as it goes with any adoption (for those of you praying about adopting) I am waiting!! My case worker had told me she was going to work on writing my report this past Wednesday but when I e-mailed her yesterday she wrote back and said she was still trying to work on it and would e-mail me on Monday with some questions she had come up with. This of course makes me nervous because I don't want any more bumps, I just want to get my dossier sent off!!!

God has definitely been using this adoption to teach me many things. The most important thing is patience. The has always been the one fruit of the spirit that I have lacked in and he is definitely teaching me that now. It has been a great reminder that while our plans and our timing might "sound" great HIS plans and HIS timing will always be PERFECT!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I hope to post more tonight about some other new things God has been doing in my life, but right now I have a very excited little boy who wants to go sledding!! Blessings to you all!!

Change Of Plans & My Home Study

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 No comments
There is a corner in my bedroom that I have been trying to figure out what should go there? For the last few weeks I have gone back and forth with ideas. A chair, a vase w/flowers, a table and to no avail I haven't been able to decide what "fits" in this space.

Around the same time I was having my "corner dilemma" I also started having another dilemma that I seriously started praying about. To no surprise of mine, God worked it out as always :) and answered my prayers loud and clear. When I first started my adoption process I thought it would be perfect to adopt a little boy close to Noah's age. I honestly thought that was a better fit for our little family. So much so that when I first met with my case worker and she asked if I had thought about adopting a child younger I quickly said no.

A couple of months ago God started tugging at my heart about my decision. He began showing me that the special little boy he has waiting for me is not going to be as close to Noah's age as I first thought!! That's right, I have decided to change the age of my little guy. I now hope to adopt a baby boy!! It came as a surprise to me, but God made it crystal clear one night that I made the right decision. Last month Noah and I went to the airport to help welcome home a fellow Arise family who were bringing home their 8 month old little boy from Ethiopia. I can not explain to you the excitement that came over Noah when he saw this sweet baby with his parents. He wanted to run right over to them and start playing with their little boy. Right then and there I knew I was making the right decision.

Since then I have had talks with Noah about bringing home a baby from Ethiopia, and he is so excited!! He is always quick to point out things when we are at Target that he says we need to get for his baby brother. Just tonight when we were cleaning and organizing his room he came across some toy cars that he said would be perfect for his little baby brother :) It made my heart swell with happiness to see how excited he is at the thought of having a baby brother!! Honestly, without that "bump" that came up last month with my paperwork needed for my home study I would not have had time to really pray about changing the age of my future child. So as always, God's timing is perfect!!

So what did I decide would go perfect in that corner?!?! A crib!!! After realizing we would be adding a little one to our family I immediately knew that is why I couldn't figure out what belonged in that corner :)

I have been meaning to post a picture of this print I ordered for Noah's room. I got it a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE it!! It has one of my favorite verses on it. Matthew 19:14
For those of you who don't know my son, let me introduce you to his OBSESSION!! :) My child has loved trains since he was 18 months old!!! We graduated from Noah being a sole Thomas The Train kid and we have now graduated to Geo Trax!! Of course that means bigger tracks, bigger trains and less room!! Ha!! Just see for yourself!! These things take up his entire floor!! Oh boys and their toys!!
I was almost sorry I didn't take a picture of the "before" room, Ha! Toys everywhere!! Luckily I am super type A and a freak when it comes to being organized, so now EVERYTHING has it's own cube, tub, shelf or basket!! Of course I should warn you I got done with it just in time for my sweet boy to go to bed, so he hasn't had time to attack it yet, LOL Little does he know it has to stay nice and clean until my home study is done.
These are the little toy cars that Noah has declared his baby brother's toys!! I get the biggest smile on my face just thinking about my two boys playing with these cars. I bought these for Noah when he was a baby and I have never been able to bring myself to get rid of them. Never knowing "what" kept me from yard selling them or donating them as I do most of Noah's old toys. Just a reminder God always knew :)
Last bit of news. My home study is THIS Friday!! Yikes :) I can't believe it. I am trying to take the advice of all those who have already gone through this and not freak out, but seriously anyone who knows me knows this is not possible, Ha!! I have been silently stressing about this day, but am also so anxious to get it DONE!! That way all that is left is waiting for my case worker to write her report and then get my dossier finished and SENT OFF!!!! Then the waiting will begin........Psalms 46:10 Be Still and Know I Am God

New Fundraiser and Continued Fundraiser

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 No comments
A blogger friend and fellow adoptive mommy told me about a great fundraising tool that I am now signed up for!! By clicking on the button below you will be directed to www.justlovecoffee.com/SarahElliott where you can purchase fair trade organic coffee from places like Africa, Asia and Central and South America. The best part is with every bag of coffee you purchase Just Love will put $5.00 in my adoption fund. So you can enjoy some great coffee while helping to bring Silas home!! PLEASE feel FREE to e-mail this link to ALL of your e-mail contacts and tell all your friends about this great fundraiser that I will be doing until Silas is home!!

Some of you may remember when I originally posted this picture last year. I purchased this awesome Africa puzzle for Silas. My hope is to sell each puzzle piece for $5 a piece. With each piece sold I will begin to assemble the 1,000 piece puzzle. Once all the pieces are sold and the puzzle is complete I will use puzzle glue to ensure it stays intact and will then place it in a puzzle frame and hang it up by Silas's bed as a reminder of both his beautiful birth country and of all those who helped in bringing him home both financially and through prayer. To purchase a piece of the puzzle you can either e-mail me directly at ethiopiaminusone@gmail.com or simply click on my ChipIn button on the left sidebar of my blog.

I am also going to be working www.147millionorphans.com so stay tuned for more information about that.........
God placed adoption on my heart many years age. When I began praying about beginning the adoption process I knew that God would provide the means for me to bring my child home, I just didn't know how. I still don't know exactly how I am going to raise enough money, but I do know one thing for sure. God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called.

From Our Family To Yours!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011 1 comment

Our Christmas

What a crazy, busy, stressful, exciting and blessed Christmas "season" we had!!! I am still trying to figure out where in the world December went?!?! I am sure it has something to do with my INSANE work schedule that I was dealing with, the nasty cold/sick junk that went through our home on more then one occasion, moving into our new place, running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get things together for my home study and everything else in between!

Yes it was crazy and yes this past December was definitely one for the books, but it was still as blessed as ever!! A wonderful time amidst the craziness. Time spent with my sweet boy, my family and time spent reflecting on that one gift that our Heavenly Father gave us all so many years ago when he sent his son to earth for us. To live, to teach and to die for our sins. So that we would be able to spend eternity with him in Heaven!! What an amazing gift!!

Christmas morning was so much fun!! Our morning started out reading about the birth of Jesus, singing Happy Birthday to him and talking about why we really celebrate Christmas. I love watching Noah's facial expressions as we talk about Jesus and his birth. Such amazement and excitement! Oh how I wish everyone could have faith like children.

Next it was presents time!!! First stop was the stocking :) Noah was excited to see that Santa had brought him a new movie, some notebooks of paper and twistable crayons and a small yellow bus that he can play with.

Both Sam and Charlie were excited to see they got some special toys as well :) Can I just say they are two of the most spoiled puppies ever!! Noah just loves them both so much. They have been such a great addition to our family!!

Leaving cookies, milk and a nice book for Santa to enjoy when he stopped by our home!
Santa was nice to eat all the cookies, drink all the milk and left a little note for Noah to read :)
The calm before the storm, Ha!! He was so excited and I think a little overwhelmed!!
He got a pillow pet

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!!! A favorite in our home!! Noah was showing me how Buzz works, LOL

He was so happy to see he now had all the characters from Toy Story 3!!!!!
A DS!!!!!!!!
He was SO EXCITED!!!

His favorite DS game!! He is pretty good at it thanks to playing his cousins, LOL
Mario Kart for the Wii........................he was not even expecting this one, lol