Saturday, December 27, 2008

12/27

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and was able to spend time with family. Tim's friend Jimmy was able to be home with his family, he just finished with training for the army reserves and was almost sent to Iraq. However, he has to have knee surgery, so was not sent. We are thankful that at least for now he does not have to go oversees. I'm sure his family is very happy about that as well, as they have not gotten to see him much for the past several months. I just received word that my best friend, Joey, is going to be getting married this summer. I think our summer is going to be very busy, I guess that may be good because it will help us not think about waiting for our baby as much, Maybe. So it appears that I am going to be a bridesmaid for my friend Julie on 6/6 and a bridesmaid for Joey on 6/13. I guess I am starting my own 27 Dresses!! I also think we may have another wedding before the year is out. My goodness!! Is there something in the air!! I am getting excited because my parents and brother are coming home for an after Christmas celebration, so I will be able to see everyone. My brother Chris, is going to be here for about 2 weeks and Tim and I are planning on going to my parents new home in WV for a couple days next week. Tim is getting nervous, he has to do his first sermon at our church on Sunday. Please pray for him:)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


To All, Merry Christmas. We hope that you all have a wonderful day full of family and joy. We love you all and please be safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CHRISTmas



"The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ.

The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal.

The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural.

The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a Divine Person.

That makes all the difference in the world."


- Stuart Briscoe in Meet Him at the Manger

I just thought with all the hustle and bustle, we (I) needed to remember what Christmas is really about. It's not about shopping, getting gifts, or hanging lights. It is about the miracle of Christ's birth.

Lord, thank you for everything that you do for us. Please help us to remember what Christmas really means and please help us to never take You for granted. Please keep us safe as we travel to spend time with family and help us to truly treasure You.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” — John 14:1

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12/16

I found this youtube video on another blog and I almost cried. It talks about the people in Africa and that despite all the trials that they go through that they are joyful and thankful for what they do have, even if it is not much. This really encompasses the strength and character of the African people and helps me to be thankful for what I have. It also encourages me to step outside myself and help others and stop the "I want, I want" mindframe that we get in sometimes. I amazed at the love and grace of the African people and am so very proud to be adopting a child from this amazing country. I hope that I can teach my child about Ethiopia and instil in him/her a sense of pride, but also the love, grace, and strength of Africa. If you double click on the video, it will take you to Youtube and you will be better able to see all the words.

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15

I can't beleive how quickly time is going. We just had our last meeting w/Therese, our social worker who is completing the homestudy for us. It was nice, we talked about culture and some other issues that may come up w/our child or the adoption. Our anniversary was 12/13. I can't beleive that we have been married for 5 years. It doesn't seem like its been that long. We really didn't do much for our anniversary this year as I wasn't feeling that well and we also received news that my best friends grandmother passed away that morning. I spent most of the afternoon w/Joey and her family. Please keep the Wallace/Cherryholmes family in your prayers as they grieve.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I feel a lesson on Ethiopia comming on!!

It's been awhile since I've posted any information about Ethiopia and its culture, so I wanted to share a little more with you.

MUSIC

Out in the community, musical instruments play a social and entertaining role. The single-stringed masenko is played by minstrels who sing of life around them and invent, calypso-like, topical verses on the spot. The krar is a lyre-like plucked instrument with 5 or 6 strings while the begenna is the portable harp.

Up in the hills can be found boys looking after cattle and sheep and playing on the washint, a simple reed flute played with one hand.

Ethiopian people know and love their folk songs. Singing is high pitched and shrill Sand frequently accompanied by excited ululation, especially at weddings and other joyful occasions.

No joyous occasion ever passes without the Ethiopians indulging in their unique form of dancing. There are many styles according to the part of the country, but they frequently focus on the shoulders which seductively gyrate and undulate in a frenzied display of almost competitive energy. As one dancer runs out of steam, so another enters the fray with renewed vigour

Many reggae musicians declare their importance to having some connection to Ethiopian musical origins although the Ethiopian musicians will tell you their music has more in common with Jazz.
Musical Instruments

Stringed instruments like the begena or the krar are harps while another more fiddle-like instrument is known as masenko.

Kebaro Very common in popular and religious music is the kabaro or kebero. When the women and men dance in their beautiful white robes they dance on the rhythm of the drums. I found this on youtube. It is an example of Ethiopian music. I have no idea what he is singing about but I really liked seeing the Ethiopian people that are in the video. It also shows the people dancing. I have never posted anything from youtube before, so I hope that this works.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing well. Well our home study is almost completed. Our social worker completed a rough draft and it looks good. We have completed our online training, we have our last appt w/our social worker on 12/15, and we have an appt on 12/18 to do our fingerprints for the USCIS office. We are also waiting on one reference letter. So, to our precious baby, we are on our way and look forward to holding you in our arms. I am going to focus on getting all the dossier paperwork now, hopefully we will have everything turned in sometime at the beginning of the year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

12/2

Hi everyone. We just found out today that some of the dossier guidlines are changing, I haven't looked through it all yet, so I don't know if it's more complicated. I will keep you posted. It's a little frustrating, however, we knew that there are a lot of unexpected changes and things that happen during adoption. Hopefully, this is the worst issue we have!! Please pray for us!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holy Cow it's December!!

Hi everyone. I finally have our T-shirts on our blog. If you want to order 1 you can do it by using paypal or emailing us at brakefieldadoption@yahoo.com. The price is $25 and includes shipping and taxes. We now have all our paperwork for the home study done. We just need to finish our training, get the rest of our references in and are waiting on our finger print results. We also need to have our final meeting w/our social worker. We hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We went to my friend's home for lunch Thanksgiving day and then went to Tim's mom's for lunch and out w/Tim's dad's for dinner on Friday. It was really nice to see everyone and we had a great time. We stopped at the outlet mall on the way there on Friday and found a couple cute things on sale at Old Navy. We love the HairWolf romper!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

11/22

Hi everyone. I feel like we have gotten a lot done in the past couple of days. Tim finished his autobiography and got his employer letter and I got several documents approved for the dossier, Proof of insurance, Doctor’s letter, Shanon’s employment letter, Tim’s Letter of employment, Proof of medical insurance( insurance card, Shanon’s physical exam, Tim’s physical exam, Copies of passports. On the employer letters and medical items, I have to get a county seal before they are completely ready. I also started working on our application letter for the dossier. Hopefully, I can get some more stuff done this weekend. Tim got free tickets to a fundraiser at the Underground and Mercy Me played. We had a lot of fun. Here are a couple pics. Bebo Norman also played, he is the 1st pic, but his didn't turn out well.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

11/20

I was on our Ethiopia adoption yahoo group today and I read a post about the costs of adoption that got me thinking and I wanted to share it with you.
She "compared the cost (financial & emotional) of the adoption, to the
price Jesus paid for our lives. That while we didn't have to put ourselves on a cross and shed blood, that the price we were paying to save a life was similar
in that God requires much from us. She said that adoption was a test,
and for most people, money is the thing we cling to for stability.
So, she said that the money, the tears, the emotional rollercoaster,
was the price we would pay to save a life. Like Jesus, there are
times when we cry out, "Lord, let this cup pass from me!" but then we
must say, "Never the less, not my will but Yours be done."
We need to reach that place of complete surrender and say, "Whatever
you require, Lord, I will do it!" Sure, there are times when other things get in the way, where Satan tries to set up blocks and bring us down emotionally. But that is
when we cling to God even more and continue to pray, "Lord, your will
be done!" Nothing will get in the way of His will as long as we continue to
walk in it. I have to assume that as long as my heart and mind are
focused on Him, that these trials are part of His plan to test my
faith and help me grow. Just like my salvation came at a price, so my
daughter's life and future must come at a price....And God says to
me, "This is what you asked for, now how much are you willing to
give? Your plans, your money, your future?"
I have to say, "God help me to give whatever you ask, and to do it
with a happy heart (which is the hardest part of all)."
Tim said,It's like the credit card commercials; a baby bed $500, the cost of the adoption $25,000, the price to finally see your new baby and save their life, PRICELESS!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11/19

Hi everyone. Hope you all are doing well. Today, we just mailed in our I-600A form, probably should have sent it in before now but we had to wait to get Tim's birth cert. as we had a little mishap w/it!! We are really starting to move on the home study front. I think all we need is Tim's employer letter, tim's autobiography, guardianship letter, the rest of our reference letters, finger prints for the I-600, to finish our online training, and 1 more meeting w/our social worker. We have some of the stuff for our dossier together also and now that we're almost done with the home study paperwork I will be kicking the dossier stuff up a notch!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

11/12

Sorry it has taken me so long to write a new post. We have been very busy. We have completed our two home interviews, have started our online training, completed our safety audit and fire inspection and today we just did our BCI and FBI finger prints. We have also almost finished with the baby's room and all we need to do in there is decorate and get the furniture, etc. My dad flew in on Sunday and we were able to spend a little time with him and then on Tues, he and my mom drove back to Maryland. Now they are going to start packing again, as my dad recently accepted a job in W. Virginia and they have to be there on 12/1. My dad seems to be happy about this but my mom has reservations, as she really likes it in Maryland. I am a little happier about this, as they tell me it is only a 3 hour drive from here. Much better than the 10 to Maryland and we may be able to spend Christmas together. So far, everything seems to be going relatively smoothly and I think our home visits went well. Hopefully everything continues to go well and w/o problems. Hope you all are doing well!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10/15

I sent a packet of paperwork for our home study today. I am working on my autobiography and financial statement tonight. Hopefully, I can get those out by the beginning of next week and Tim's autobiography by the end of the week. Tim hasn't been very cooperative with this though. He hasn't even started and I am almost finished. I'm gonna have to light a fire under his petutie!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10/14

This week we just received information that the orphanage that our agency gets most of it's referrals from is dangerously low on formula. Many families in our Ethiopia adoption yahoo group(yg) have pulled together and are donating money to help. One of the families held a fundraiser just a couple days ago and raised $40,000 to help. Isn't this amazing. Praise God.
On a sad note, one of the families in our group, just lost their child. She was 4 months old and had gotten very sick with pnemonia, etc. and just passed away on Saturday. This family was getting ready to travel to Ethiopia to pick her up. Please Pray for this family as they grieve. One of the YG members posted this blog site http://aholyexperience.com/ that is written by Ann Vosskamp. I checked out this blog and almost cried. This woman really has extrordinary faith and is an exellent writer. Please check it out. I haven't had a chance to read anything but the first entry that appears on her blog but it really touched me and I plan to check the rest out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

10/11 Addis Ababa-

Okay, so I didn't break out in a rash around my injection site, so I am going to assume that I don't have TB. Whew! What a relief. I asked the nurse what the TB skin test would show if I had TB and right after I asked her I thought, "I don't want to know"!! I got my shiny, new passport today! How exciting. It only took about a week, too. I was expecting about 3. Hopefully, the rest of the paperwork goes this quickly! Tim will probably get his passport on Mon or Tues since he applied a day after I did.

Addis Ababa


Addis Ababa (sometimes spelled Addis Abeba, the spelling used by the official Ethiopian Mapping Authority; Amharic, Adis Abäba "new flower," IPA: [adːiːs aβəβa]) is the capital city of Ethiopia and the African Union and its predecessor, the OAU. It is also the largest city in Ethiopia. With a population of 3,627,934 as of 2007, Addis Ababa is the world's largest city in a landlocked country. As a chartered city (ras gez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is often called the capital of Africa or the "African Capital" due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.[1] The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia. The country has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages and religious communities including Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. Addis Ababa is a grassland biome. The city is located at 9°02′N 38°44′E9.03, 38.74.[2] From its lowest point, around Bole International Airport, at 2,326 metres (7,630 ft) above sea level in the southern periphery, the city rises to over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) in the Entoto Mountains to the north.
The site was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by her husband, Emperor Menelik II, and now has a population of around four million, and an eight per cent annual growth rate.
The city lies at the foot of Mount Entoto, and is home to Addis Ababa University.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, October 10, 2008

10/10 Home study orientation



Hope you like the pick....feeling very Halloweenie today!! We just got back from our home study orientation a little while ago. We met w/our social worker, Therese, in Lima, OH, about 2 hrs away. It went really well and she was very nice. We have our next meeting the last week of Oct. and she will be coming to us to see our home and do the safety audit, etc. I am really glad that I got started on the paperwork though, because I had a lot of questions that I asked and was able to get answers on the spot. I think that I can get most of the pprwk whipped out pretty quickly. Tim and I got our local police checks completed today. They spelled my name wrong though, so I have to see if this will be an issue. Stinkin mom, only putting one "n" in the middle!!! Tim and I also got our physicals today. We have to go back Mon. morning however, b/c we had to have a TB test done and have to go back to have it read. We will also have to go back once the bloodwork is in so that they can add the results to the medical statement. We are well on our way...... On a less than positive note, our adoption agency raised the fees for the Ethiopia program. It appears that the new cost will be about $3,500 more. The extra cost is going towards making improvements in the program and taking better care of the children. .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thanks to everyone who left us comments!! Patti, it was great to hear from you! We love you and hope you are doing well! Oh, and Happy birthday!!

10/9 Ethiopia Lesson 2

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing well. Tomorrow we have our Dr's appt for our physicals and we have our orientation with our home study social worker. I am really excited about this. I also have already done quite a few things for the home study and dossier. I ordered a couple more of the books we are supposed to read from amazon.com today. I ordered 2 of them in audio form so that it would be easier and we could listen to them while traveling, etc. This will make it a lot easier for Tim as he doesn't have that "love for reading" that I do!! Tim was able to get a ticket to an Obama rally this morning. He was really excited and got some pretty good pics!

RELIGION

Religion is a secure and accepted element of everyday life in Ethiopia and the language is full of references to God. Yet there is not the ever-present feel that one can experience in a totally Muslim country for example.
On the central plateau, the Ethiopian Orthodox church holds sway, again an individual and fascinating feature of this unusual country. Priests and deacons abound in their often colourful robes, carrying their staffs and ornate crosses that people frequently kiss as they pass.

Christianity came to Ethiopia in ancient times and became the official Ethiopian religion in the 4th century. The Orthodox church has many connections with ancient Judaism. Fasting and detailed food restrictions, the specific ways of slaughtering animals, circumcision and the layout of the churches, all these things make for a very particular religious culture.

Islam is also very strong in many parts of Ethiopia, frequently existing peaceably alongside Christianity. The city of Harar, in the east of the country, is officially the fourth most holy Muslim site in the world.

Ethiopia has communities of 'falashas', Ethiopian Jews, especially in the Gondar region in the north. Many of these however have now departed to live in Israel, having been airlifted out of the country with Operation Solomon and Operation Moses in the latter part of the 20th century.

In the lowland areas, animistic and pagan religions are still commonly found among tribal peoples who live in simple and primitive communities

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lesson 1:People of Ethiopia

Just thought I'd give everyone a little information on the people of Ethiopia. I will try to post information about Ethiopia throughout the blog.

PEOPLE

The Amhara
are the politically and culturally dominant ethnic group of Ethiopia. They are located primarily in the central highland plateau of Ethiopia and comprise the major population element in the provinces of Begemder and Gojjam and in parts of Shoa and Wallo. In terms of the total Ethiopian population, however, the Amhara are a numerical minority. The national population has usually been placed at between 14 and 22 million.

It is generally estimated that the Amhara, together with the closely related Tigre, constitute about one-third of this total population. One of the most recent estimates gives the number of native speakers of Amharic, the language of the Amhara, as approximately 7,800,000. (cf. Bender 1971:217)

their national clothes are basically white, whether the shawls and light blankets worn over the shoulders by the men or the white dresses and wraps worn by the ladies

In comparison, there seems to be general agreement that the Oromo peoples form the largest ethnic component in the country, comprising around 40 percent of the population. They are a pastoral and agricultural people who live mainly in central and southwestern Ethiopia, constitute about 40 percent of the population.

The Shankella, a people in the western part of the country from the border of Eritrea to Lake Turkana, constitute about 6 percent of the population.

10/4



I can't beleive that it's already October!! Anyway, Tim and I attempted to meet with a group of people who have or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, but it didn't work out. They meet in Mason, which is pretty close to us. I guess most of the people in that group have gone through a church organization to adopt and aren't going through our adoption agency. We will try again next month. So instead, Tim and I went down to a secluded spot at the park by our house and started reading some of our homestudy stuff and one of the books we need to read for the homestudy, Raising adopted children. It was nice laying on the blanket in the shade, reading. It was a beautiful day today and I really enjoyed just relaxing with my hubby. We also tried to take a family pick in the leaves with the dogs. It didn't work out very well!! But we had fun doing it!! Tim ordered his passport yesterday. I wrote letters to send to Columbus requesting a check of the child abuse/neglect registry to clear us. I wish I could just do this at work, but they want it through the main office in Columbus. Oh well! We also need to get a local police check, so hopefully we can do that on Monday.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

10/2

I can't beleive that it's already October!! Where is the time going? We heard from the social worker doing our homestudy today. She sent us a bunch of stuff to read over and the stuff we have to do for the homestudy. It is a little overwhelming! Oh well, I thrive on planning and getting stuff taken care of. This homestudy and dossier will be done before you know it!! Today I applied for my passport and I voted. Yeah!! Now I won't have to stand in any long lines on 11/4. I think I forgot my brain when I went to apply for the passport. I went there and thought I had everything. The first thing the lady at the desk said was "do you have your birth certificate?" Whoops!! I had to drive all the way home and all the way back. Then I left my pics in the car and had to go back out. When I went in the office the 3rd time, I told them that if I forgot anything else I was going home for the rest of the day!! I hope this isn't indicative of how the rest of the paperwork will go!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

9/30

Hi everyone. Please pray for my family and especially my dad as my Uncle passed away today. My parents are trying to take care of things long distance, as all of you know that can be very difficult, so please also pray that the arrangements and finances for this are easily taken care of and with no major issues for my parents. On to adoption news. I am hoping to apply for our passports this week and contact people to complete reference letters for us.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adoption Expenses

Adoption expenses
I know that many of you are wondering how much the adoption costs and why. Here is a break down of expenses.

APPLICATION & PAPERCHASE
APPLICATION FEE- $250
1ST INSTALLMENT OF PROGRAM FEE- $1,500 ($1125 FOR US AS WE WERE ELIGABLE FOR A DISCOUNT, DUE TO TIM BEING A YOUTH PASTOR)
HOME STUDY- $1,800
ADDITIONAL HOME STUDY DOCUMENTATION PREP. FEE- $0 - $150
HOME STUDY VISIT TRAVEL FEES(COULD INCLUDE MILEAGE, HOTEL, AND FOOD COSTS)- $160
ADOPTIVE PARENT TRAINING (2 ADULTS)- $175
DOCUMENTS/BACKGROUND CHECKS/PASSPORTS- $100 - $500
USCIS FEE & UPDATE FEE + FINGERPRINTING- $830
NOTARIZATION, CERTIFICATION & AUTHENTICATION- $400
COURIER SERVICE- $150
DOSSIER SUBMISSION & WAITING
2ND INSTALLMENT OF PROGRAM FEE- $1,500
POST-ADOPTION REPORT DEPOSIT(FULLY REFUNDABLE IF ALL POST-ADOPTION REPORTS ARE RETURNED ON TIME)- $1,000
DOSSIER SERVICE & TRANSLATION- $600
REFERRAL & TRAVEL
INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIST CONSULTATION- $100 - $400
3RD INSTALLMENT OF PROGRAM FEE- $1125
INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM FEE (1 CHILD) ••- $7,500 Pd $3,750 when we turned in dossier
AIRFARE (2 ADULTS) •••- $2,400 - $4,000
AIRFARE (1 CHILD) •••- $250 - $1,000
VISAS (2 ADULTS)- $40
VISA/EMBASSY FEE (1 CHILD)- $400
IN-COUNTRY TRAVEL PACKAGE (2 ADULTS) ••••- $2,800 - $3,200
POST-ADOPTION
POST-ADOPTION VISITS•••••-$300 - $1,500
POST-ADOPTION VISIT TRAVEL FEES-$0 - $1,050
RE-ADOPTION- $300 - $1,000
POST-ADOPTION REPORT REFUND(REFUNDED IN INSTALLMENTS AS, AND ONLY IF, EACH REPORT IS RETURNED ON TIME) ($1,000)
OTHER COSTS(INCLUDE DOCTOR VISIT AND RELATED CO-PAYS, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, PASSPORT COST, POSTAGE, LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS)
$100 - $1,000
TOTAL •
$19,895 - $29,445

I know that this is a lot of money, but we feel that this is what God wants us to do and will provide a way for us to accomplish this. Also, just think of all the lessons Tim and I will get the opportunity to learn along the way!! But most of all, our child is worth every tear, sweat, and penny. (The purple is what has been paid for as of 6/30/09. I edit everytime we pay something)
9/25
Things are going good here. We mailed in our paperwork to start the homestudy. I also scheduled appointments for Tim and I to get physicals. We are supposed to also order an original birth certificate and marriage certificate from the Ohio office of vital statistics. The birth certificate is no problem and can take 3-6 weeks to get back, however, they only have abstracts of the marriage cert. and can take 4-6 mo's to get. I emailed our adoption worker and asked if the abstract is what we need. If so, I think I am going to take a road trip to Columbus to get it. If it's not what we need, we should be able to get a copy from here in Warren County and that is no big deal at all. Tim is on the roof being a "manly man" fixing what our "hurricane in Ohio" damaged last week! I'm a little scared!!! Here is a picture of my hubby hard at work!! Isn't he cute?!


9/24
I wanted to share one of my favorite verses with everyone. I think it is very fitting with all the economy issues and really fits in with some of our adoption worries. Every time I start to worry about money, etc. I read and think of these verses.

Luke 12 22-34
"Therefor I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They don not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, 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, how much more will he clothe you. O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom,and these things will be given to you as well....For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Reading this helps me to remember that God is all powerful and knows what we need before we do. He will lead us where he wants us to go and will provide us with what we need. Tim and I know that adopting our child from Ethiopia is what we are supposed to do and God will help us to accomplish this. It will be hard work and a major lesson in patience, but we can do all things with God our Savior. It will be soooo worth every minute and every struggle when we hold our baby in our arms.
I can't wait to meet you little one. We love you so much already and can't wait to bring you home. We are getting everything ready for you and pray for you every day.




Hi everyone, I was just reading a blog from another family adopting from Ethiopia through America world and I read this passage about adoption that I really like and fits how Tim and I feel. "Adoption is a mirror of what Christ has done for us. We were far off, He called us to be His own and now we have all things in Him. This child will be far off, We will claim him/her as our own, and all we have will be theirs". -The Rogers Family Blog. Today was the perfect Indian summer day. It was beautiful out! Tim and I went for a walk along the river and bike trail. It seems like the leaves started changing colors almost overnight. It even smelled like fall today!



9/19
Hi, how are y'all doing!! Tim and his dad were working on the deck today. Hopefully they will get it done tom. and we can check that off our list. Tim and I just realized that we were planning on doing the spag. dinner on Tim's brother's wedding!! I can't beleive we did that, so the dinner will have to be the beginning of Nov. We will keep everyone posted on when. Hope everything is going well for everyone.


9/18
Hi, everyone. Hope all of you are doing well. I heard from the insurance company yest. due to the many homes that have been damaged no one from the ins. co. will be coming out to give us an estimate on the damage. They spoke w/me about what was wrong w/the house and are going to do a written estimate and send a check w/o seeing the home. They said if it didn't cover it or if there was additional damage we didn't see, to call and they would add it and send an additional check. That was much easier than I thought it would be. We found out that my parents also have some damage to their home, but not very much and nothing major. It is just a pain since they are about 10 hrs away and trying to sell their home.

August

8/28
Hello everyone. Tim and I put down the laminate floor in the baby's room Wed. evening. It looks really good and Tim and I didn't have one "disagreement"! I also finished painting the family room today. It looks really good, too!. We heard from America world yest. Our application was sent to the Ohio office and they sent us out some more information and paperwork that we need to fill out. We already received the packet. That was really quick. I wasn't expecting it until next week. Hopefully, everything else will move so quickly! There is some paperwork that Tim and I need to fill out and submit to Job and Family services for approval to adopt a child in the U.S. and a couple other forms, such as releases of information, etc. Once they get the paperwork they will contact us to schedule an orientation. We need to pay for the homestudy and post placement study on or before the orientation. The homestudy is $1800 plus $160 for travel expenses. We can pay the $160 at the time of the home visit, however. The post placement cost will be $700 or less, they sent me the cost for Kazakhstan, which is more expensive. I already emailed the social worker that will be doing the homestudy to update this and they will get new figures to us. Everything else should stay the same, though. Tim, his dad, and step mom have already gotten most of the yard sale stuff out and have already had people stop by! Please pray that the yard sale goes well. Thank you, to everyone who donated items for are yard sale and helped us with the previous two.


8/25
Today I painted the upper half of half the family room. I wasn't sure if I liked the color or not so I thought I'd do half and let it simmer for a day or so!! I also cleaned out the laundry room. Whew, what a mess!! I found another box of things that I can put in the yard sale this weekend. It's amazing all the junk that we keep! I received some good news today, my dad is getting his severance package from ABX air, so that will help my parents get things together and ease their move. I am not very happy about them moving, however, it is out of my control and I will make the best of it. I am taking off a couple days next week to spend some time with them before they leave. Please pray that the move goes smoothly and w/o any problems for them and that they sell their home asap!I saw this translation of Phil 4:1-7 on another blog and I really loved it and thought it was relevant to everything that is going on right now.
Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this... you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful that the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Jesus!


8/24
I have been working a little on our blog. Hopefully, I will be able to put the t shirts we will be selling on here soon. My Aunt Susie and my younger cousins came down from Cleveland to visit with us. I had so much fun playing games and visiting with them. We don't get to see each other very often. I know that my mom really enjoyed it, as well. Tim and his dad worked on the deck a little yesterday and almost have the frame done. I have been working on painting the family room, this weekend. I am taking my time with it as we have been rushing around everywhere the past couple of weeks. We turned in our initial payment and paperwork to America World on Thursday. Our next step is to complete the homestudy. Please pray that the homestudy goes well. We will be having another garage sale Labor day weekend. Thanks for all your support.


8/18
Thanks to all of you who helped us, prayed for us, and donated items for our yard sale. We have just jumped our second hurdle in our adoption journey! This week, Tim and I will be focusing on finishing painting our house, finishing the baby's room and helping my parents get their home ready to sell. We will be having another yard sale over labor day weekend, so if you have any items that you want to donate, please let Tim or me know. We are also selling T-shirts for $20. If you want one, let us know. I am going to try to figure out a way to put a picture of the shirts and a way to purchase them on this blog, so keep checking!! Yesterday, Tim and I went canoeing w/the church. We had a lot of fun. It took us a while to get the hang of it, we kept going in circles and zig zaging across the river!! We may have to do this more often so we get some practice in!! Love you all, God Bless!!! Please keep us in your prayers.

8/14
“Where there is pain, let us bring grace. Where there is suffering, bring serenity. For those afraid, let us be brave. Where there is misery, let us bring relief. Let us be the remedy.”
~david crowder band

8/12
Hello everyone. Tim and I are having a second yard sale this weekend to help raise money for our adoption. Please stop by and help support us. If you have any items that you would like to donate, you can contact me or Tim. We are also accepting donations, if you feel led to give anything to help us with our adoption journey. We will also be having various goodies available this weekend!! We are having T-shirts made up also, hopefully we will have some done by this weekend! Also, please continue to pray for us, our journey, our future child and our child's birth parents. Thank you and God Bless.

8/10
This weekend Tim and I had a yard sale to help raise money for our adoption expenses. We raised about $300. Yeah!! We had a lot of donations of items to sell from family and some church friends and we had a lot of help getting things together, etc. Thank you to everyone who helped, it was much appreciated! We are having another yard sale next weekend, hopefully we will do well. Thank you for all your support. We are so excited to begin this journey. Please pray for us-for things to go smoothly and without problems.