Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fingerprinted! (again)

Apparently our first fingerprinting, which was local, was just for our home study.  When we submitted our i600a paperwork to the US government, we were instructed to also send payment for biometrics fingerprinting, and then wait until they sent us a time and date.

And so we found ourselves driving to Charleston, SC, early Christmas Eve morning.  :-)  Yes, the appointment we were given was at 8:00 am, and apparently the only place in the state you can be fingerprinted for this particular process is in Charleston, which is on the coast, 2 hours away from us.  If you fail to keep your appointment, your packet is regarded as abandoned (and so also your $1000 that you sent them, I'd assume).

Traffic was clear, so we arrived early.  Thankfully, they opened their doors at 7:35 and started getting people in right away.  After we passed through a metal detector and our purses, etc., passed through the x-ray machine, we were able to fill out the necessary paperwork and get those fingerprints done.

One more thing to check off our checklist.  :-)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Slow going

Not much is happening these days, in terms of the adoption process, except waiting and praying.

Our home study is complete, and now we're waiting on documents that have been submitted to the US government.  In the meantime, we're compiling (many) other documents needed to complete our dossier for the Ukrainian government.

We're not attempting any fundraising at this time, due to the holiday season, but we're trusting that God will bring in the funds as we need them.  Thus far, He has done that perfectly.  :-)

I was excited to read today about another family who is working toward adopting children from Ukraine--a sibling group of FIVE children!  You can find their fundraiser here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hope for Halloween?

While I’m mainly blogging right now about the adoption process, this blog is essentially about hope.  Hope for Yuri, hope for other children, and hope for all of us, through Jesus.  Without hope, where would we be?

Halloween is a time for hope.  Or, at least, it should be.  If we are followers of Christ, as most of us claim to be, then we need to also follow His example of bringing hope to the hopeless.  So, how do we bring hope on Halloween?

Our family has done different things, at different times in our lives—traditional trick-or-treating, Fall Fests at church, staying home together, etc.  But, honestly, in all those times, I never considered what would bring glory to God and work toward furthering His Kingdom.  I never even thought to ask, “Lord, what would please You this day?” 

So, we went on our merry way, doing whatever seemed good each Halloween, until one day we came across an idea that really impacted us—we could go out trick-or-tracting, and share the good news of Jesus with people who may have never heard!  This seemed like a wonderful idea, so we adopted it as our own and began to use Halloween as an opportunity to share the gospel.

This is what it currently looks like for us (we’ve tweaked it over the years):

I (Jennifer) usually stay home with the very little ones, and hand out little comic book Chick gospel tracts like this one (and sometimes candy) to any trick-or-treaters who make their way to our house.  Or, sometimes we’ll put a box of assorted gospel tracts out, and candy in another bowl, and put out a sign to “take one.”

Meanwhile, Troy takes the other kiddos out to a nearby neighborhood, where they go door-to-door, handing out comic book gospel tracts to all of the adults who are handing out candy.  They also give the little comic books to children and families they pass along the way.  

In this way, we usually hand out 200-300 gospel tracts in a single night.  It’s wonderful to know that the good news about Jesus is getting into hands of people who need to hear it.  What better way to give hope, than to tell others about the finished work of Jesus on the cross.


What about you?  Have you asked the Lord what He would have you to do to bring hope on Halloween? 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Home study complete!

It's hard to believe, but our home study is now complete.  Moving forward in the adoption process--it's exciting!  :-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Brothers in Need of a Home

It's so hard to hear about other children who need to be adopted, because I know we can't adopt them all.  But the least I can do is share about them, and pray that somebody will see their story and be touched by it, just as we were touched when we heard about Yuri.

I learned about these two little boys yesterday.  They are also in an orphanage in Ukraine.

They are sibling boys who turned 4 and 5 at the beginning of the year.

The younger one is diagnosed with speech delay and deformity of the chest.

The older one is diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, moderate intellectual disabilities, scoliosis, and obstructive bronchitis.  

They need a family.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Olena

This is Olena.  She is a precious little Ukrainian girl who is turning 8 this year.

This is how she is described:
She has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy; other congenital deformities of hip; profound intellectual disabilities; congenital mailformations of corpus callosum; cardiomyopathy, unspecified; optic atrophy; exotropia.

She is available for adoption.  She needs a home.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Will you pray?

There are so many more children needing adoption, both here in the US, and overseas.  Just last night, we were talking with some friends whose own kids are grown, and who are now taking the step to adopt through the state.

And then there are the pictures of children we keep getting from our Ukrainian contact.  But we can't adopt them all!  It breaks my heart to know that they will be left there, neglected in the orphanage, unless someone steps up to adopt them.

So, what about you?  Is the Lord calling you to adopt a child?  A sibling group?  Have you asked Him?

Please pray.  Pray for these kids who need a home.  And, while you're at it, ask the Lord if He would like to bless you with one of these precious gifts.





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Passports!

We now have passports for all those who will be traveling to Ukraine (whenever that may be). Now, we'll continue to finish the final items for the home study, while waiting on our criminal clearances to come back. It seems to be going quickly, so far! Praying for the funds to come in, and for perfect timing in everything. :-)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Online Silent Auction

As part of our fundraising effort, we are planning an online Silent Auction on Facebook, to take place from Oct. 1 to Oct. 10.  If you would like to donate to this, please contact me.  Also, please pass on this information to others you know who may want to donate.  If you have a store (online or brick and mortar), we will certainly give you credit for your donation.  You may specify your starting bid and required shipping.  You can find the Facebook auction here.

Home Study Today :-)

Our wonderful social worker came for our first home study appointment today. In spite of being out all night last night attending the birth of her grandchild, she drove 2 hours from Charleston to be here promptly at 8:30. Things went great, and we found out more about the process of adoption. We'll keep working to complete the things we need to do, and we'll pray for perfect timing for all of it. She went ahead and approved us for 2 children, just in case. :-)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fingerprinted!

Today, Troy, Emily, and I went to have our fingerprints done. Has anyone else done this lately? It wasn't at all what I expected. No ink or paper, and they didn't even store the prints. Apparently, this is just to check the FBI (etc.) databases and make sure none of us have a criminal record. So, that's completed, and we now have one more thing to check off the adoption list.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Working Toward Adoption

There's so much to do! I never knew how much was involved in the process of adopting, but there sure is a lot. Since we started pursuing Yuri's adoption at the beginning of September, we have been working on contacting a social worker, getting in touch with the Ukrainian adoption advocate, filling out LOTS of paperwork, getting medical exams and labs, and getting the house ready for the home study. Getting a house ready is always challenging (for us). Since there are 8 of us home all day long, we tend to do a lot of "living" in our house. Add to that our "stuff" (and especially all the educational resources), and things can get rather lived in rather quickly. PLUS, we just moved into this house at the end of April, so things have not gotten entirely unpacked yet. Our home study is scheduled for this Friday morning, if all goes well. We would appreciate your prayers, not only in this, but every step of the way!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In the beginning

This is rather daunting--entering the world of blogging.  So, why am I doing this?  Because I want to share what our family is learning and encourage others to hope.  Please be patient with me, as I'm sure I'll make lots of mistakes.  But the fact is that it's not about me.  It's all about bringing glory to God, who gives us hope.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.