Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God Moves In a Mysterious Way...Our Big Adoption News!

" Gods moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. "

* Warning: the following posts is one in which I am sharing my heart...which you will see, isn't always pretty :)

If you have been following our family, or this blog for any amount of time, you probably have one question: "Where are you in the adoption process?"

We like to call it "adoption purgatory".

We first sent our preapplication to AGCI in November of 2008, a few months before Samuel was born. Obviously, we could not begin the adoption process until he was older (um...born), so we waited. This past August, we announced our plans to adopt from Ethiopia, and launched my sewing/fundraising site. I am sure everyone who enters an adoption has some fear about fundraising. $20,000 is SO MUCH MONEY. But then, we serve the God of the Universe, is anything too hard for Him? We sent our official adoption application to AGCI in September...and eagerly anticipated our approval. Because of our income level, AGCI really had to be through in our application, and it took almost a month to receive our formal acceptance into the Ethiopian program. We were elated! We sent out support letters...many support letters, and hit the sewing, fundraising and saving money hard. We were stepping out in faith, knowing that the Lord had called us to adopt...and eager to follow that call. The first big fee of $7390 was within 90 days...we were sure it would come in much sooner.

But the money did not come.

"His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour. The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower."

"What are you doing Lord? Why? We are WILLING. We are EAGER! Our arms are OPEN! We will take the least of these. We have said YES to special needs!"

Discouragement, lack of trust and even anger at the perceived complacency, ignorance and condemnation of fellow believers began to well up in me. I was disgusted around Christmas time. All I seemed to hear was talk of flat screened tv's, cars and extravagant vacations. "These kids are ORPHANS. No mother to tuck them in, no father to protect them. You are THROWING away your life when you could be saving someone else's." was what I wanted to scream. (I warned you my heart isn't pretty!)

During the holiday season, I was really becoming discouraged. I was willing, and tried, to sell my China and the few pieces of jewelry I have, to help with costs. (Turns out they aren't worth anything). In a passing conversation, I was told that in Georgia, adoption agencies have a very difficult time placing African American babies. There are several reasons for this, but the end result is the same: a birthmother, making the most difficult and loving decision of her life, and being told there are NO or very few family profiles to chose from.

"No way. I do not believe it. People are fighting over babies here in the States, right?"

I tried to ignore the comment. My child is in Ethiopia, and I do ANYTHING it takes to get to her and bring her HOME!"

The Lord got to working on my heart, and over the next few weeks, He squeezed pretty hard. The sewing IS taking off and going well, but obviously the grand total needed would not be earned overnight! We did have days of encouragement, an unexpected monetary gift, a short note of love....but in the end....we were winding down those 90 days. And the contract fees were nowhere to be seen.

"Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain. He is his own interpreter, and He will make it plain."

We prayed hard as a family. Oh, how sweet it is to gather up your children, to kneel before the Lord and to pour our your hearts. "Lord, bring to us a child who needs us!" Is He not faithful to hear our requests? Over and Beyond!

A couple weeks ago, I finally emailed Covenant Care, a local pregnancy/domestic adoption agency, and just inquired if it was true that the have a hard time placing AA children. I was blown away by the response. Very true. So true. Yes they would love to get us on their list. Yes they would place a child with us even though we have kids. Yes, they have had situations were a baby was in a home within a week of a completed homestudy. Yes....the need is great In Ethiopia...the need is also (not quite in the same way) great here. EVERY child deserves a family." *** On a side note, CC prefers to work with families IN GEORGIA, and African American birthmothers prefer to place their babies in AA homes....just as some extra info!

Wow Lord. What are you doing? I AM GOING TO ETHIOPIA! Over the next week, I tried to ignore what I had been told (again!). My heart is at Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia. I love AGCI. I so desperately want to love the children of Africa. Last week, I emailed a few adoptive Momas who are all in the process of going to Ethiopia. I unloaded my heart. I know each of these women would sell all they have, sell the clothes off of their backs to get to their children in Africa. Surely they will encourage me to stay head strong to Ethiopia, right? They responses were nothing short of a huge burden being lifted from my honey to my heart. "..ALL children need someone who will love no matter where they are or come from i how I feel." "We know we are called to adopt children.... wherever they come from is irrelevant." "You can do other adoptions in the great is that!" "I believe that God is leading you exactly where you are supposed to be.""Do not feel like you are failing Africa."

How was Kenny feeling this whole time? For weeks, he had felt like we should pursue a domestic adoption, and all the while continue to raise and save money to adopt from Ethiopia next. This past Friday, the Lord totally confirmed that in my heart. I feel at peace. I am excited. We are right where the Lord has us to be. And the cost? We can fund it through Flitterbug sales.

Probably the biggest "didn't see that coming" moment of our whole past 6 month "waiting to get our adoption moving" happened this week. A couple, to whom we will forever be grateful, offered to fund our first set of fees to get us to Ethiopia. Shock. How confident are we in where the Lord has us in the next chapter of our adoption tale? We turned down the opportunity to sign those AGCI contracts. If you had told me a month ago I would do that...I would have NEVER believed you. We now have an "Africa Adoption" savings account. Day by day, little by little, stitch my stitch, dress by dress, coupon by coupon...we will continue to fund raise. PRAISE the Lord that He has given me the opportunity to sew. An adoption from Ethiopia can happen, it just may take a bit, a lot longer than we had planned. So has our God answered our prayers or what? He is bringing a child who needs us into our home...and He is financially paving the way for our next child to come home!

"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace. Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face."

So where does that leave us? Our first Covenant Care home study interview is next week. We are FINALLY GETTING to fill out paperwork. Once we have completed our homestudy and put together our family profile....we will be on "the list". ( do you like that, no dossier!) Our profile will then be shown to birthmothers, and she will have the opportunity to choose who she places her baby with. On a note about our birthmother. I have nothing but RESPECT for birthmothers. I have learned so much from my friend Stefanie on being a birthmother. The sacrifice they make for the sake of their child humbles me. Much of our decision to adopt domestically has to do with birthmothers! In all probably, our birthmother is already carrying this child, already hurting, already receiving counseling, already weighing out her options. She in constantly in our prayers. Though there is no way to be sure, we should be prepared to have a baby in our home by this summer. We are willing to take a child up to the age of 2, but 90% of placements with Covenant care are newborn placements.

My hands are raised, and my heart is gushing forth in Praise before the Lord! I will continue to and love the kids of Ethiopia....we will continue to support our Compassion child in Africa, continue to pray for them, continue to help support others adoption and continue to love those children, in whatever way we can. (Um...but I am not going to watch any more ET gottcha day videos for awhile...they get me too emotional :) And now.... we begin our domestic adoption. Our faithful Lord, who day, after day, after day, commands the rising of the sun and calls the starts by name, is bringing a child into our home. We are longing to love on that baby! We are longing to love that birthmother.....and praise the Lord we are getting to fill out some paper work and lug out of this adoption purgatory! :)

You all have been such an encouragement to me. Your comments, email, words of encouragement and financial donations means more than you will ever know. are now helping to bring 2 peanuts home!

"Angels, help us to adore Him; you behold Him face to face. Sun and moon, bow down before Him, dwellers all in time and space. Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise with us the God of grace!"

(Here we are, finally signing an adoption contract and starting the homestudy. Bringing our Georgia baby home!!! Hopefully, this will be the first of many!)


  1. Congratulations! You & your family will be such a blessing to the birth mother and child that will soon enter your lives. I will continue to keep you and the adoption process in my prayers.

  2. Julie, How wonderful! I saw you with the paperwork Sunday and my heart was broken b/c I thought it meant you guys had to give up your dream of Africa. That is why I couldn't ask you any questions. How precious is our Lord for taking care of us? How honest of you to share your and Kenny are going to be wonderful parents to five beautiful children soon. We are still praying and my kids are saving up their coins to give to you for your baby.
    Love you all!! Sandy

  3. That is wonderful! It is so easy to get wrapped up in what is going on in Africa, that we miss the orphans right in our backyard! But, it is all about where God is calling you. Because of the delay with Ugandan adoptions, we have also been looking into other options. But, we are still hopefull that Uganda is the place God is calling us to adopt. But, I also don't want to be blind the a different calling, if God wants to shut this door. We actually went to a Covenant Care meeting last night, held in Atlanta. We got a packet and we are holding onto it. Who knows what the Lord has in store for us! :) I am so glad to hear of your news!!

  4. Yay! So excited for y'all. Praying for God to send a baby to your arms soon! Your blog is a great encouragement to me. Keep us posted!

    Elizabeth brannen

  5. wow! so exciting! praying for everything to go smoothly for you! yes, EVERY child deserves a home and i'm so happy you're now working toward giving two children a home! and no dossier... lucky :-)

  6. All I can say is just be prepared! :) You will have that little peanut soon. Our friends who adopted through Covenant Care received a call within a couple of weeks of completed paperwork. They had a baby home about two months later. I met a couple of the staff members from there and they were great. One of them had a foster child that I fell in love with and we we praying about pursuing him but then our little Carter came along. Our thoughts are certainly not God's thoughts and His ways are higher so we just trust and move forward. We have the most precious baby boy... I can't wait to meet your sweet little NEWBORN!

  7. Yea! I am so happy for you and so thankful that you are following God's will. He is so clearly calling you and it is such an inspiration to watch you following HIM to your sweet baby. Can't wait to see what He delivers to your arms.

  8. wow, so excited for you all!! Praising God!! Congrats on your decision!! I can't wait to see your new little one, kristi

  9. Wishing you all the best on this new wonderful adventure : )

  10. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! I am OVERJOYED to hear this news!!!!!! OK...I'm BURSTING with excitement. The most important thing is to BE OBEDIENT! Your baby is out there...just follow the Lord!!! And I have a good feeling our next adoption will be right here in Georgia too!!!! Had I KNOWN the great need...I would have gone here first. BUT the Lord didn't let me discover that until I was ALREADY on the waitlist. But NOW I it sounds like our families will just flip flop for our NEXT babies!!! OK...I'm so excited for you that I could just POP!

  11. Julie, I am over joyed with your news! The Lord is good at all times! What a testimony of his provision! I love ya'll and can't wait for Pearce's new cousin to arrive! Let me know if ya'll need anything. I have all the infant stuff now :)

  12. He who can reach a child's heart can reach the worlds heart.

    -Rudyard Kipling

    Best Wishes!

  13. Congratulations Julie! I know it has been a long process, but God has been with you through it all and will continue to provide strength as He fulfills your dreams for your family. Dreams that are truly a calling from our Lord!

  14. So happy for you and the family, Julie! God has a special little one in mind for you, and we can't wait to meet him or her! Thanks for sharing your heart so honestly.

  15. SO MAD that I am just now seeing this! SOOOO EXCITED FOR YOU! God has the PERFECT little baby ready for you and it's so true, there are children EVERYWHERE that need families! (and I am jealous that you could have a baby really soon and we are still mmmooooviiinnnnnggggg slllllllooowwwllllyyyy..ha)! Really really really excited for you, can't wait till I get to read that you have a match!!!

  16. AMAZING!!! Love this! CONGRATS!!!

  17. Hi! I saw your comment on Kristi's blog and just had to come say hi! About a month ago, I started feeling this overwhelming feeling that we are supposed to adopt. I was adopted at 13 mos. After having 3 kids, I wasn't sure I would ever adopt, even though I always wanted to. Anyhow, after reading so many ET adoption blogs and helping them raise money, I just naturally felt led to that. But, I am terrified of traveling! And I thought there was no way we would have a chance to adopt domestically with 3 kids already. Then I read the blogs talking about Covenant Care and how there is such a need here for AA babies. I had no idea! I thought it almost sounded too good to be true. Then I saw your comment and read your post. It's like I am feeling the same way, like maybe we are supposed to adopt domestically.

    But what you said on Kristi's post, about how there's so much more info out there on ET adoption (blogs, videos, etc) and I have searched for blogs on domestic or videos and they are few and far between. I thought the reason I was called to adopt was to save an orphan, having no idea that right here in the US is such a need.

    I'm going to really sit down and talk to my husband about this, but I just wanted to say Thank you for this post. I will be following to see how your adoption goes. And I think you are so right.....domestic adoption needs advocates too that are out there, for people like me who just want to know what to expect. Being adopted myself, I know what a huge blessing it is and I would love to be an advocate for birthmothers who make that courageous decision!

  18. I'm sorry that I missed this post until now! I didn't realize you changed but what a blessing it is that God spoke so clearly to you!

  19. Hey, just stumbled upon your blog. We are preapplying to AGCI right now, hoping for the Ethiopia program. I will look into Covenant Care, because that sounds absolutely wonderful! I love what you've done selling dresses, too. I actually thought about doing that later on in the process, but my sewing skills will need some work first! God bless your journey, and I will follow to find out how

  20. Loved reading this story. I would be all over that myself. Too bad we aren't in Georgia. Praying for you all and the birthmother as well!

  21. I found your blog from Lucy Lane's and was soooo blessed by your story. I feel like I should first introduce myself. My name is Rory. My husband and I have had adoption in our hearts for years. We headed down the path 7 years ago or so, got through the intial paperwork and then God say "NO". We weren't expecting that! We had been unable to have children of our own and thought adoption made sense...long story short God WAS leading us down that path to put a desire in our hearts...but in the meantime He quite miraculously gave us biological children. We are currently pregnant with our 4th (due in November) and have several flames fanned over the years, most recently through some friends and family who have/are adopting. It feels weird to be pregnant right now (so thankful!) but also feel so strongly about adoption. Sounds like by reading your post you were pregnant when you submitted your paperwork? Anyway, if I read that right, then that was really encouraging to me. Also encouraging was that we feel really drawn to Africa, but the Lord has also been putting a huge burden on my heart for domestic. Who knew?! I believe God could have both planned...we shall see! I won't drag this on and on, but thank you!!! This is the first time I've clicked on your site and the Lord is using your words in my life today.:)



  22. A mutual friend just sent me a link to your blog. I will order some dresses, but first had to tell you how GREAT I think adoption is, all kinds. I have three grandchildren adopted from Korea, and one adopted through the state foster/adoption system. I praise God for bringing these children to us. You might be interested in my daughter's blog about her adoptions

  23. You and your husband are Angels! I wish more poeple would open up to adopting transracially. There are challenges to placing a child of one race with another but the most important thing is the child and providing a safe nuturing home for them so the rest will all fall in place. Hopefully you have some AA friends to guide your child along thier journey in an caucasian of luck to you~! I can relate because my best friend was raised by caucasian parents and they were the best parents a kid could have asked for =)


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