November 28, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Notice I said "look" not "feel" because here in South Carolina it is still toasty warm. For example, todays high was 81°! Yikes!! I'm hoping it cools down before December is upon us because the current weather doesn't exactly induce the warm, giddy, giving feeling called Christmas Spirit. :)

I'm counting on that little thing called Christmas Spirit to move everyones hearts for the orphan and help make our events in December a success. I'm praying that through each event we are able to bring awareness to how much we have and how little our future son has. I pray that through the holiday season each person we encounter will appreciate the people that bless their lives more than the things they've acquired. In the end, our stuff is just stuff, but our families are the cornerstone to a truly rich life. For one little boy in Ethiopia, we will be that cornerstone. What a privilege! Just the thought of teaching Kipton and Kade the true reason for the season puts me in the spirit (despite the weather). :)

December Fundraisers:
3rd- Wrapping gifts at Barnes & Noble
10th- Benefit Dog Wash at All Is Well
18th & 23rd- Gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble

December Giveaway:
Photo Session with Christine Smith Photography!!
Christine is such a wonderful,talented photographer in the Charleston area. She will do a photo session at any Charleston location or at her home studio and beautiful garden.
The giveaway includes session fee and a package of high quality prints of your favorite shots!
If you're in the Charleston area, you really don't want to miss this. It'd be great for family photos, newborn shots, senior pictures, business photos, modeling portfolio, bridal/engagement shots, maternity pictures....everyone could take advantage of this deal!

Giveaway starts Dec 1st and runs to Dec 20th. For a $5 donation you will get one entry, $10 two entries and so on. Also, for every time you share the giveaway on FB, Twitter or your own blog, that earns you another entry! Just make sure to post a comment with a link to how you shared. :)

I'm also working up one other December special. I'm very excited about this one because it has the potential for us to help another organization as well! I am striving very hard to not just be a consumer this year, but more of a contributer. I'll keep you updated as things pan out.

As we prepare for these events and giveaways, please pray for Gods provision to be at work.

I'm going to close with this little quote from a friends fb to make you think for a minute...
We are just tools in God's tool box. There is no glory in the wrench. The glory is in the hands that use it.

How are you going to be used for His glory this holiday season?

November 17, 2011

Agency Orientation & Home Visit

We had our agency orientation with Brittney, our case worker from Lifeline, last Friday. Since our agency is based out of Kentucky, we did our orientation over the phone. It was scheduled perfectly so it would be during Kiptons nap time and a time when Trey could take a break from work. :) We were on the phone for just over an hour. Our conversation consisted of reviewing our Ethiopia adoption manual, talking about our education requirements (a lot of requirements), home study agency, dossier prep, fees, what happens at the time of our referal (!!!!), medical conditions, travel, and more about our adorable future son. Brittney also had to verify we weren't addicted to drugs/alcohol, in an abusive relationship or mentally insane. Just precautionary. ;) We had all of our questions answered and were offered good advice for different stages of the process. Overall, it was a great orientation! I am so excited about working with Lifeline and thankful the Lord led me to them. They are a strong Christian agency and I know they will be a huge blessing. Both the ladies who are in charge of the Ethiopia program are adoptive mamas of Ethiopian children. The fact that they have been in our shoes before us is very inspiriting.

Another big step forward for our adoption happened this morning...our first home study visit. Our social worker, Teresa Smith- a wonderful Christian woman, who is oh so kind- came to our house to "interview" to us. I have to admit I was prepared for an in depth scrutiny of our home, intense questions that would make us severely uncomfortable and a couple more worries I won't even mention. ;) To my surprise, it wasn't intimidating at all. Teresa was super personable and our entire conversation was very relaxed. (Plus, she is a fellow dog lover so we got along just fine...because we have four!) We talked about our families, schooling, church support, our daily lives and decided what specifications we wanted to put about the child we will accept. We decided that for our home study we will be open to 0-4 years of age, male or female and up to two children. We'll be more specific with our agency, boy from 0-2yrs, but we left our home study open that way if we change our minds or if by some chance our baby boy has an older sibling! Yes, I said sibling!! That's a slim chance because supposively young sibling groups are rare, but should that occur we are definitely open to 2 babes. :) Imagine going from a family of 3 to a family of 5. Wow. Ok, now I'm going to contain myself and just focus on 1 little boy coming home to our family.

Ok, back to our home see how easily my mind wanders. After our interview with Teresa, she did a quick-and I do mean quick-walk through of our home. It was so much simpler than I had imagined, but I love simple, especially in this very unsimple process called adoption. We then wrote a check to the home study agency for the first big home study fee...$875...ouch. Our final visit is scheduled for Nov. 29th. After that visit Teresa will type up our complete home study for us to review. Once that's done and we've paid $1100 more (which we're still working on) our home study will be sent to DSS for approval. So far, everything is progressing nice and smooth. I know the sole reason for our progression thus far is that we have the one and only Almighty God on our side. We owe all the glory to Him.

Here are some lyrics from a song we sang Tuesday at Genesis:

God is able
He will never fail!
God is with us
He is on our side
He will make a way!

I jotted these down during worship because they really spoke to my heart. They are ringing true more than ever. :) HOPEFUL

On a very differnt note...
I'm typing out this post from a theater seat while waiting for the midnight premier of Breaking Dawn. Shout out to all the other Twilight fans!

November 07, 2011

Our 1st Yard Sale

After a month of collecting donations from friends, family and overly generous strangers, we were finally prepared for our first yard sale. The Saturday before the sale we recruited our best friends, Kelsey and Tyler, to come help us sort and organize all the donations. As we began sorting and pricing in our garage (with the garage door open) passing cars began to stop. They thought we were having a sale then! Of course we couldn't turn them away. :) So throughout the few hours we sorted we had a mini, unannounced garage sale. That mini unannounced sale brought in $230!! Pretty good for not actually being the actual sale. :)

We held the real yard sale this past Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot of Trey's business. His business is on a main road and we were hoping this would play to our advantage. :) We had so much stuff! Furniture, sporting goods, household items, collectibles, purses, kids toys, books, and clothes, clothes, clothes. We set up early Saturday morning with the help of 8 amazing volunteers. All day Saturday there was a steady flow of customers shopping for good deals. We met so many nice people and were able to spread awareness of adoption to some skeptics. We had so much fun meeting these people and selling them awesome items to benefit our adoption. After 6 hours of intense sales, we packed up for the day. (Saturday evening, we passed out...pure exhaustion!) We were back at it again Sunday morning. Sunday was slower than the past day, but we still had a good crowd show up toward the end. Here are some pictures from the first of our yard sales.

The yard sale weekend was a blast and a huge success in my eyes. I am so grateful to every single person who donated, volunteered, shopped, prayed, bought a raffle ticket or shared our event with others.
Here is the breakdown of our sales:
Pre-sale sorting day: $230
Day 1- Saturday: $1,072!
Day 2-Sunday: $641.58
Total Yard Sale Earning = $1,943.58
Thank you Lord for providing for us. You are so good.
One step closer to sweet Kade!
(We're only $300 away from our first agency fee.)

November 02, 2011

Kindle Winner

The winner of the Kindle giveaway is......


You know who you are! The Kindle is waiting for you at Barfields Appliance. Congrats on your new Kindle and thanks for your support!

Keep following our blog for a new givaway soon!