Friday, August 14, 2009

Change of address

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. It only feels like that. But I think I have a pretty good reason for being out of the loop. A couple weeks back we moved into our own house. After having rented for 4 years in California, and then living with Steph's parents for the last year, it's a big change to be a homeowner once again.

We decided to do our part in stimulating the economy and built our home, so the plan of living with in-laws stretched from 6 months to a full year. But all that is behind us now, and we have spent pretty much every spare moment of the past few weeks hangings lights and ceiling fans, painting walls, assembling furniture, and pretty much everything else related to setting up a new house except for unpacking boxes. That can always come later right? :-) Steph has done an amazing job of getting things organized. My hat is off to her for all her hard work!!

So what happened to the adoption plans? This whole house thing was actually step one in the process. Now that we are getting settled in our own place, we can start moving along. It looks like we are going to wait a few months to do the home study - we want to get a good amount of paperwork done before we take that step. From what I've heard we can actually save time in the long run by gathering our papers, THEN doing the homestudy. I believe the homestudy is valid for only a certain period of time, so anything we can do now to minimize delays once the homestudy is completed can only be a good thing.

At this point we're leaning more towards Africa. We've talked to a really great agency that has recently started doing adoptions in that country. Also, we have some good friends currently in the process of adopting from Africa, so we'll be looking to them for guidance along the way.

Want to get involved? Here's how you can help us right now - pray. We need wisdom as we start this journey - wisdom that can come only from God. Please join us in asking Him to help us make the right decisions.

We look forward to updating you on each step!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Out of the gate!!

So here goes... Have never tried one of these before. If you know me well you know that I'm really not that much of a talker, so you'd have to wonder why I'm starting a family blog. Well, I promise you it isn't so we can be a family of narcissists - we're certainly not any more interesting than the folks next door. But if you're interested in peeking behind our doors, here's your chance.

So, what are we doing? The coming week is going to be really exciting for us. We moved back from Los Angeles in July 2008. At the time we decided to move in with Steph's parents until we decided where to live. They've graciously put up with us for a whole year now - it was only supposed to be three months initially. God's timing was a little longer than ours though. We started thinking about building a new home back in December, and after a month or so we decided on a neighborhood. It's taken about 6 months for the whole process from start to finish, but we're finally coming to a close. This coming Wednesday we sign a pound of papers, and we'll be homeowners once again! As the closing date has gotten closer we've gotten more and more excited. For the first time in her life Ireland will have her own room! It's going to be so fun to slowly turn the 4 walls into a home.

But we've got even bigger plans in mind, which is partly why I've started this whole blog. Since we moved back to Indy God has been working on all of us individually - me, Steph, Keelan, and Camden - to adopt internationally. Wait - more kids? We have three wonderful biological children already, so why do we want more? The first thing that comes to mind is that we are so thankful for God's blessings. Three beautiful kids, a good job, our own house... God has been so good to us. There are so many sweet kids that don't have the same opportunities that we Americans have. It's been astounding to learn how poverty-stricken some nations are, and it's been equally heart-breaking to learn how many children are orphaned in those nations. Some of them are orphans in the sense that we traditionally think of - their parents have died and they don't have caregivers anymore. But in many countries it's common for families to reach a critical mass where the parents simply can't provide for all their children. Those parents then have to make one of the hardest choices imaginable - they have to give up one (or more) of their own children for someone else to raise. God has given us a really strong desire in the past few months to reach out to those children, and share God's blessings with them.

More importantly though, adoption is an incredible picture of what God did for us. We were stumbling along by ourselves in a hopeless situation, facing a bleak future that we were powerless to improve. But God loved us so much that He came looking for us, chose us, and gave us familial rights that we could never earn. Those us of who have trusted in Christ's redemptive work on the cross and have submitted to His leadership in our lives are now part of God's family! Nothing we did on our own gave us those privileges.

So that's where we are now. We're really just starting out on this amazing journey. At this point we haven't even finalized what country we want to consider. Right now we're looking at either Ethiopia or Ghana. Part of that decision process includes talking to a bunch of adoption agencies. Once we decide on a country and select an agency to guide us through the whole process, we'll be able to hit the ground running!

We want all of you to join us on this amazing journey. Stay in touch!