our work

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Retrospective

I'm typing from a beautiful beachfront hotel. (A Christmas gift from my parents to our whole family - thanks Mom and Dad!). It's cool and foggy outside and the sound of the waves drowns out the sounds of my younger boys playing with legos on the floor behind me. As I went down to breakfast this morning and as I walked into the lobby, the first family I saw was comprised of two parents and three children. The youngest child, about 10 years old has Down Syndrome. My first instinct was to walk up to their table and meet them, to tell them all about our plans to adopt Ezequiel and ask them for any words of wisdom they might offer. I did not. I realize every family reacts to their special needs children differently and was just too intimidated to approach this family. I tried to watch this family without appearing to stare. Their sweet DS child drank his juice and ate his meal with great care. He neither spilled nor yelled out. He was mannerly and tidy. His family talked happily and made plans for their day. I was filled with a great pride that I, too, will soon be among the ranks of those raising such a child!
As I look back over this adoption process, I see how God has been weaving together every detail from the unpleasant delays to the "chance" meeting of a young girl who lives just one town over from mine and yet spent her previous summer doing missions at Ezequiel's orphanage. I know God is not finished with the lessons and "coincidences" that Ezequiel's life will bring into ours. From his early life as an unwanted pregnancy and his journey to an orphanage that deemed him worth saving, Ezequiel has a testimony. I can not wait until that testimony includes his ultimate arrival at his forever family and the healing that God has already begun for him coming to fruition.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

The US Embassy in Manila has received the cable letting them know it's time to schedule Ezequiel's visa and passport appointments!!!! What a wonderful Christmas gift!
We are also officially finished paying for our adoption AND related travel!! God has lavished us with gifts from friends and family, amazing fund raisers from Friends of Ezequiel, an interest-free loan from The Abba Fund and grants from both Show Hope AND Brittany's Hope. The grand total of all those efforts is well over $22,000!!! It simply blows me away to think we went from a family with a small savings account to a family with a fully funded adoption in just over five months! God is truly able and does SO much more than we ask or imagine! I realize the cost of adoption is HUGE. I understand if everyone working on behalf of the child and family donated their services, adoption could be much less expensive but, let's face it, these people all have families to care for and need to support themselves. If any of them are capitalizing on a family's desire to have a child, that is between them and their creator.
The truth of the matter is, life is valuable and precious. There is no cost too high to walk in obedience to Christ and if my Heavenly Father saw fit to give His very life blood for my soul, how much more should we be willing to give of our finances to save a child? Ezequiel is a beloved son of the King. He is a treasure in an earthen vessel.
I still feel complete amazement that God is giving us THIS child! This special boy with the extra chromosome and the beautiful face . . . this tiny two year old who just learned to walk is entrusted to MY FAMILY! We could not be more grateful!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

APPROVED (YES, I AM SHOUTING!!!!)

I received an email to day from USCIS letting me know that our I-800 petition has been approved!! I can not express the joy I am feeling in words but it is almost uncontainable!!! What is the next step? I'm glad you asked . . .
1.USCIS sends our packet and approval to the National Visa Center
2.The National Visa Center sends a cable to the US Embassy in Manila
3.The US Embassy in Manila tells the Inter Country Adoption Board to schedule
4.Ezequiel's visa and passport appointments
5.The ICAB calls our agency when both documents are ready
6.Our agency calls us to bring home our son!
Due to the fact that ICAB is closed for most of December, we are looking at a late January to early February travel date. I would, of course, love to be leaving RIGHT NOW to get our boy but I believe the Lord is altogether trustworthy. He knows every facet of the lives of everyone involved and has chosen a different travel date from the one I would prefer. I have learned one lesson well through the course of this life: His ways are NOT my ways but His ways are always the BEST! I will try to wait patiently.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday

Yesterday, I took a HUGE leap of faith . . .I'm sure the angels in Heaven sang my name and the demons shook at their very cores . . .I said the phrase "Merry Christmas" out loud, in public to a cashier with other folks in line behind me (ha ha)! I hesitate to use my blog to rant but indulge me. What on Earth is happening when a country believes the phrase "Merry Christmas" is an offense but "happy holidays" is perfectly acceptable?
Folks . . "holiday" means "holy day". The ONLY holy day that takes place in December is the birth of Christ so, I've got news for you. If you're using the phrase "happy holidays". You're still acknowledging the birth of Christ is holy, sacred, set apart and special. Guess what? You're right. It is.
Speaking of birthdays, our sweet Ezequiel turns two on December 17th. He won't be home. We won't be able to bring him a gift and watch him smash cake and smear it all over the place. I know he is in the capable hands of his loving caregivers at Gentle Hands. I am praying daily that the Lord will help us to wait with grace, never losing sight of God's sovereignty in ALL THINGS. It's so much easier said than done.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ordinary Miracle

Those of you who read my previous post regarding our "snag" with USCIS may recall that our extra paperwork cost an additional $340. Let me share with you what the Lord did YESTERDAY. Last night at church, one of the hard-working gals from Friends of Ezequiel
handed me a card. Inside the card was a check for the proceeds from a recent Lia Sophia jewelery fund raiser held for Ezequiel. You know where this is going, right? The check was for . . . ready . . . $343!!!! God added an extra $3 just to show us He has a sense of humor - ha ha!
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Choosing Thankfulness

We have hit another snag in our paperwork with USCIS. Our blessed office of homeland security decided our homestudy wasn't quite specific enough regarding our capability to parent a special needs child. We were asked to submit an addendum (called a supplement 3, to be exact) along with the $340 fee required for this form. IT IS A RACKET! I know many folks like to blame the high cost of adoption on greedy agencies or greedy foreign entities. I can tell you, firsthand, Uncle Sam gets a nice little piece of the pie. I realize the title of this entry is "Choosing Thankfulness" and it sounds suspiciously like I am headed in the wrong direction here. Let me clarify.
On a normal day in the life of our family, a surprise $340 bill would really be painful for us. We have a budget and it rarely includes unexpected expenditures in such a large amount. Thanks to "Friends of Ezequiel" the money was just waiting and ready to be used when we needed it. I am TRULY, DEEPLY thankful today . . .thank you, Friends of Ezequiel for your support. Thank you JESUS for keeping our boy safe as we wait for him. Thank you, most of all, Lord, for saving my soul.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Critical Mass

Yes, I have hit "critical mass"! As all of you adoptive parents out there can attest, there comes a time in the adoption journey when you say "I simply can NOT wait one more day for my child" and then, because you have no choice in the matter, you wait.
I am there. I am positively climbing the walls in anticipation of meeting Ezequiel.
There is nothing more I can do to the house, his room, his clothing, etc. I have read all I can read on Down Syndrome, heart defects, local surgeons and the like. I have answered the question "do you know when you'll travel" at least 1,000 times and it kills me to have to say "sometime between early December and early January" once again.
I am not now and never have been a patient person. I have prayed and asked the Lord to make me satisfied with the here and now. I am not satisfied.
I am praying that our I-800 approval is in the mailbox TODAY. If not, I don't know what I'll do. Oh, yes I do . . . I'll WAIT!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prayer Request

I just received an email from Ezequiel's orphanage. Apparently, he is becoming very stranger phobic as of late, especially if those "strangers" have white skin.
That poor, sweet baby has no idea what is in store for him - he is getting ready to be taken from all that is familiar by some crazy white lady and her tan kids and husband (ha ha). Please, Please pray that God gives him great peace. Please pray that he is
able to sense just how much I love and want him so he won't be afraid of me.
Most of all, please pray that our precious boy is not traumatized by being taken from
a perfectly loving orphanage and enveloped by our perfectly loving family.
Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tears Turned to Joy

I have not blogged in awhile because, honestly, I've been a little down and didn't feel I should share my negative attitude with anyone else. For the last 36 days, the US Department of Homeland Security has been at odds with our wonderful adoption agency regarding the processing of one of our immigration forms for Ezequiel. We knew all along our agency was in the right but getting the person at the "top of the food chain" to tell Homeland Security was another matter altogether. Finally, yesterday, after 36 days of waiting (and knowing that on day 45, our paperwork becomes inactive and we have to refile and repay) we got our miracle. I called my Congressman. His name is David Price and he is not even of the same party affiliation I am but that doesn't seem to matter when the issue is child welfare. His assistant, Robyn, placed a call to Homeland Security and within HOURS we had the approval we had waited 36 days to receive. Sometimes God does miracles and sometimes He uses the people in our lives to do them. Thank you, Jesus, for giving Robyn Winneberger a heart for our case and for getting our approval through. We now wait for the US Embassy in Manila to issue Ezequiel's visa and passport. God is awesome!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Official!!!!!

Today in the mail I received the kind of packet adoptive parents long for. It was an updated child study report and two beautiful new pictures of Ezequiel! They are on my fridge and each morning, when I open it, I'll be able to say "good morning" and pray for our boy as we wait. We have gotten the official referral from The Philippines and paid a nice fee and now we are so much closer to bringing him home!
We are waiting for our legal documents from The Philippines so we can apply for his visa and passport and then . . . it will be time to travel! Early December is not so out of reach. I am praising the Lord for all of your prayers, gifts and encouragement. God is so good . . . all the time!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Floods and Showers

Those of you who may not be up on "world news" probably don't realize that in the last few days, The Philippines has been inundated with rain from Tropical Storm Ondoy (or Ketsana). Metro Manila is flooded and the outlying areas like Rizal are positively drenched! Electricity is out all around the area and many of the poorest of the poor have lost their shacks, some their lives. Please pray for the precious people of The Philippines. When I heard the news of this disaster, my selfish mind went immediately to Ezequiel. "Where is my baby?" was my first thought. I admit my thoughts probably should have gone to the lovely family members we have living in PI and to the people as a whole, who struggle to feed their families and carve out some sort of a dignified existence amid some daunting economic hardship but all I could think about was Ezequiel and pray that he is safe. My next selfish thought jumped to our adoption process and the realization that this flood will inevitably slow down our paperwork and cause us to have a post-Christmas travel date. Yes, I know, self-centeredness at it's finest! I admit these things only to share how utterly convicted I felt about them yesterday.
Some of our friends, those who have dedicated themselves to our fundraising and who started "Friends of Ezequiel" just continue to bless us minute by minute. Yesterday they had a baby shower for us. We were blessed with diapers, wipes, a winter coat, shampoo, onesies, pajamas, socks and gift cards galore! If doing all the other work for our adoption was not enough, these ladies just showered us with more love and care than we could ever deserve.
It was on the way home that I realized in a new way how God truly does "more than we ask or imagine". It was then that the confidence in the God I serve to protect and bring our boy home safely was bolstered to new heights. Be it December or January, what's another month? God is sovereign and He is more than able! Praise to His
holy and matchless name!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Know You

Just when I was getting discouraged about the progress (or lack thereof) with our adoption, a ray of sunshine appeared in our mailbox yesterday. It was the notification from US Homeland Security of our appointment for biometric fingerprinting. Those of you who have not adopted a child internationally may wonder what in the world I'm talking about. For my husband and I to be cleared to adopt, we must submit our fingerprints and have them compared with the prints of known felons, terrorists and other derelicts of society. Despite the fact that our fingerprints never change, this process has to be repeated for each international adoption (to the tune of $870 each time). In any case, we are scheduled to have our prints takes soon and that will be one step closer to our precious boy!

I was browsing his orphanage web site (www.gentlehands.org) and looking at the pictures of the children. There is one picture of Ezequiel on that web site and it's fairly old. I'm guessing he was less than a year old when it was taken. While I was gazing at his photo, I was struck with the most unusual sense of familiarity. I looked into his eyes and thought "I KNOW you. You're my baby" and it seemed the most logical notion on Earth. We've never met this child. We don't know the sound of his voice, how he likes to be held or his favorite food. I have no idea what his hair looks like after a bath . . . but as I looked at his photo today, I KNEW him.
It reminds me of how our Heavenly Father names us and claims us before we even come into His family. We are His before we ever know Him. As we run around in our lostness without a Godly heritage, the Creator of the Universe looks upon us and says
"I know her. She's my baby". I appreciate that so much more now.
Thank you, Jesus, for claiming me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy Comes in the Morning

Right now, I am struggling mightily not to become discouraged in waiting to bring Ezequiel home.
He is waiting. He needs a family. The only thing that stands between Ezequiel and his eager family is government action. The Philippines must do their part and the US must do their part. I am a bit down right now. Looking at pictures of our sweet boy does not, at least today, encourage me. It only makes my heart ache.
Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to look at our baby and feel the joy of knowing he is coming soon. Today, he is far off and I'm sad.

"Sorrow only lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning" Psalm 30:5

Friday, August 28, 2009

Progress!

Our dossier is now in The Philippines and in the hands of our ICAB (intercountry adoption board) social worker(Thank you, Christian Adoption Services). Ezequiel is still "on hold" for our family. I have mailed in our i-800a (US government form intended to declare an orphan as a relative) and the LARGE payment that goes with that (Thank you, Friends of Ezequiel) and now, we do what all adoptive parents do best . . . . . wait.
I am not a good "waiter". I feel I must DO something to speed things along. I have prepared a room for Zeke, washed and stored clothing and even bought a few sippy cups.
What now? I am trying hard to keep my mind and heart focused on the "here and now".
It's so hard to do when I feel like a part of our family is an ocean (or two) away.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lifesaving

Yesterday was, according to several friends who asked the manager, the busiest day Rudinos has EVER HAD! We don't have any idea what our donation will be but I am so grateful to those who came out in support of our adoption. Apparently, it takes little to no encouragement to get my friends (and my friends' friends, etc) to eat out - ha ha!
Switching gears . . . did any of you know that geckos can become constipated and die? Okay, I get how this sounds crass and random but, let me explain:
My oldest son has a leopard gecko. He had it placed on sand in the tank based on advice from a knowledgeable, barely pubescent salesperson at a local pet store chain.
Apparently, when geckos eat they ingest some measure of sand each time and have trouble digesting it. We noticed about a week ago that our gecko ("Officer Byrd", named after Judge Judy's baliff -another story altogether) had not um . . .shall we say . . . "made us a presnt" in a few days. His belly began to swell and a purplish spot appeared on his underside. After much research, we found that the course of treatment for gecko impaction involves the following:
1. remove the gecko's sand and place paper towels on the aquarium floor
2. soak the gecko twice daily in warm water/clear pedialyte up to it's "belly"
for 15 minutes per soak
3. mix plain chicken babyfood, a few drops of mineral oil and a little calcium powder and let the gecko lick it off your finger twice a day
4. wait and pray everyday that you wake up to gecko poop
After repeating steps 1-4 for two or three days (and hoping to wake up to a live gecko as opposed to a carcass) you should see some "action". We did.
Anyway, I thought I'd share my new found, life saving wisdom with anyone who might need it (ha ha).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Way to Help

http://www.reecesrainbow.org/sponsoresquivel.html

The Gift Goes On . . .

This Friday (August 21st), the owner of Rudinos Pizza in Holly Springs (at Sunset Lake and Holly Springs Rd, near Harris Teeter), has agreed to donate 10% of his sales for
the WHOLE DAY to our adoption of Ezequiel!!!!! This is simply amazing!
I'll see you guys Friday over a spinach calzone!
Love,
Nikki

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grand Total

The shrub sale yesterday was absolutely an amazing success! It was humbling for Anthony and I and yet we would not have wanted to be anywhere else! Don't get me wrong,it was very hot outside. We worked for about 12 hours straight hauling, moving and loading plants. There was no restroom on the site where we held the sale so . . .uh . . anyway, I'm sure you can use your imagination on that one but honestly, it was exactly where I wanted to be. I was serving side by side with friends who love my family and love the Lord. These friends labored in the hot sun for 12 hours just like we did but they weren't "getting" anything in return. They felt a call to help us bring our son home and they heeded it. Anthony and I know that we have done nothing to earn these loyal friends who are such committed brothers and sisters in Christ. God just chose to bring them to us because He loves us. Those who came out to help, sweat and donate were a beautiful example to us of how to love, not just with words, but with deeds. You, my friends, ARE the hands and feet of Christ.
Thank You!
The total amount earned toward our adoption yesterday? Hold on to your hats, folks .
. . . $3,900.00!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SHRUBBERY SALE/ FUND RAISER

I'd like to invite all of you to come to a big event hosted by "Friends of Ezequiel".
On Saturday, August 15th from 7:30am-2:30pm, there will be a huge shrub sale to benefit our adoption of Zeke. This sale will be held at the corner of Avent Ferry and Piney Grove Wilbon Rds. in Holly Springs. There will be Holly, Leyland Cypress, Knock-Out Roses and many other varieties of pants in 1 gallon pots ready for planting.
All the proceeds (100%) will go toward our adoption. Please come out and support us.
If you aren't looking for plants, you can come out just to donate or to help with the sale.
Please don't forget to pray for a successful event!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Still Here

It has been awhile since my last post and, for good reason. We have been working on the dossier in order to have it in The Philippines in just ONE WEEK!! Yes, it's true!
Our spectacular agency, Christian Adoption Services (www.christianadopt.org) has a representative headed to The Philippines August 13th. He has agreed to hand carry our file to the Inter Country Adoption Board himself. This will cut several weeks off our wait time . . . that's the "good news". The "bad news" is that the faster the process, the more quickly we will be expected to render payment. I guess I should not call that "bad news" but should view it as an opportunity for God to "show off". We know He can do more than we ask or imagine. We look forward, eagerly, to watching Him provide for each step of this adoption.
Yesterday, our local town newspaper carried an article about our adoption on the second page. This article has moved some families to reach out to help us through donating, praying and offering practical items such as a crib or clothing to our family. Unless you have been the recipient of such an outpouring, you will never know how humbling and comforting it is. I feel almost like I did as a child when I knew I didn't have to worry because my parents would handle the big, scary things that came along. I have NO worries about this adoption because my Heavenly Father is already sending out my brothers and sisters to come along side us and take care of the details.
I close this post humming the old chorus from years ago
"God is so good.
God is so good.
God is so good, He's
so good to me . . "

Friday, July 24, 2009

Grateful, Humbled

Donations for Ezequiel's adoption are starting to pick up a great deal lately! I want to issue an enormous THANK YOU to all who have donated, prayed and spread the word. Each little gesture has landed in a pile of other acts of kindness to create a HUGE tidal wave of blessing for our family.
Ezequiel gets all of his shots on August 9th if he is in good health. Please pray that he is. He has to be fully vaccinated before he can get a visa/medical appointment.
That Christmas goal is still within reach! God has been and continues to be faithful in this adoption to the point where I just have no words to express how awed I am by Him.
He is God and does whatever He sees fit. The fact that He has chosen to rain down love and care for our family and for one little special needs boy across the ocean is further
evidence that EACH LIFE is precious to Him.

You may have all read this story many times but if not, let me share a favorite adoption story of mine:

The Starfish Story
One hot summer day, a young man was jogging on the beach. He spotted an old man in the distance crouching, standing and tossing something into the water. As the young man drew closer, he realized the beach was littered with literally thousands of starfish and the old man was tossing them back into the ocean one by one. Curiosity got the best of the young man and he stopped jogging and said to the old man,
"What are you doing?"
"These starfish became beached last night", said the old man "and if they don't get back into the ocean they will scorch and die when the noon sun hits."
"But" the young man countered "it's almost noon and there are so many starfish. What difference can you possibly make?".
With that, the old man tossed one more starfish into the ocean. "I made a difference
to THAT one" he said.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Forward . . . March!

Progress with Ezequiel's adoption has been stellar the last couple of days! We have ALL of our required paperwork turned in to the agency and we wait for the last document . . . our homestudy from the social worker. In August, we have the three visits scheduled so the social worker can write his report. We have been through this process twice before but each time, it evokes many strange emotions. I wonder if the social worker will see what a great family we are . . . how much we treasure our children . . . how badly we want Ezequiel. I wonder if he will think our house is too small or our plate is too full with the four children we already have. All of these impressions are things over which I have no control. That is probably the heart of my worry. I like to be in charge. God is continuing to teach me the same lesson again and again . . . to trust and obey. It's a hard fight but I know that ultimately, He can do it all so much better than I ever could.
As soon as the homestudy is written, our dossier goes to The Philippines and then, God willing, a few months later we have our precious boy. I know we are at a distinct advantage in adopting a child with Down Syndrome as opposed to being surprised with a biological child with the same issue. We have a choice. We have lots of time to read up and prepare and understand his issues without the deep emotions pregnancy can draw to the surface. We didn't have hopes of a healthy child only to have those dreams shattered with a diagnosis and then rebuilt with adjusted expectations. We realize this. It has given me a heart for families with biologically related special needs kids that I can't say I ever had before. When I see a family with a SN child, I wonder about them . . .when did they find out? How did they take it? Do they still wish their child was average? Have they come to see the beauty in this child and declare they wouldn't change a thing? Those are questions I'll never have answers to but I wonder.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blessings Defined

In the Christian circles I run in, I hear the word "blessing" a lot. I often sign my letters and emails "Blessings, Nikki". For the first time in a long time, I stopped today to consider the word "blessing". So often, we tie that word to things such as an unexpected check in the mail or being pulled over for speeding but getting off with just a warning. We rarely apply that word where it fits best - to our children.
The Bible is clear that a man who has a quiver full of children is BLESSED. What I love about that verse is that it does not quantify the type of children that make a man blessed. It does not say "blessed is the man who's quiver is full of healthy, able-bodied, quick witted children" or "blessed is the man who's children are outwardly beautiful and score 1600 on their SATs". Obviously, I'm being facetious here but I think you get the point. My oldest son, with his temptation to be lazy and his penchant for hiding his emotions . . . he is a BLESSING. Our only daughter, with her tendency to occasionally roll her eyes, who just ruined my decorative bathroom towel with bright orange nail polish . . . she is a BLESSING. Our 11 year old adopted son who is so very emotionally behind his peers and struggles to write a simple sentence that is coherent . . . he is a BLESSING. Our youngest son, with his limited vocabulary and speech that is at least two years delayed . . . he is a BLESSING. Ezequiel, with his Down Syndrome, heart defect and probable need for lifelong care . . . he, too, is a BLESSING.
Let me close this post with these two verses I love so much . . .
"Like mighty arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who's quiver is full of them."
Psalm 127:4-5

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why?

I just found out that a very well respected adoptive family in Florida, Byrd and Melanie Billings, were found shot dead in their home this morning. This couple has four biological children and twelve adopted children who are now without their parents.
Please pray for the children of the Billings' and for God to raise up caring family members to keep these children together. You can read more about this family
at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/10/Florida.couple.killed/index.html

One thing we know for certain, God is still on the throne. I just don't understand why He allows these things. I probably never will.

Questions Answered

Wow! I have to admit I'm a little taken aback by the wonderful, positive response to our announcement about adopting Ezequiel. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect to be chastised or ridiculed but I certainly didn't expect the outpouring of love and support that has come our way in just one days' time . . . THANK YOU!!!!!
Let me take a moment to answer questions that some have asked and some might like to ask but are afraid:
1. Why a foreign child when there are so many kids in America who need homes?
because that's where our son is, The Philippines . . .if a domestic child
drew us, we would be open to that as well
2. What will you do when you are old and Zeke can't live on his own?
Zeke will be one of five siblings. We will trust the Lord to provide
a home for him through a sibling if/when we are too old to care for him
3. How do you know for sure this is the child for you?
What we know for sure is that God has, so far, allowed this process to move
forward. We know we CAN'T rely on our feelings and we don't hear audible voices
so, we stand on God's word and move carefully through the adoption process. If,
at any time, God closes the door to this child for us, then He will have spoken.
4. What is the time frame for this adoption?
Adoption is a process prone to snags and slow downs but our heart's desire
is to have Zeke in our home by his second birthday (December 17, 2009). This
goal will take a miracle to reach based on the process itself.

Please, Please, don't stop praying!!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Want to Help?????

During our previous two adoptions, friends and family often asked us how they could help us along the way. Our first answer always was and still is . . . PRAY FOR US!!!!
Our second answer, which always makes me squirm, is DONATE to our adoption fund.
My pride runs deep and makes my fingers resist even typing the words "donate". My
desperation to bring Ezequiel home has, in this case, trumped my pride so I am humbly asking that anyone who feels led to help us, please do so. No amount is too small . . .
God can turn your "loaves and fishes" into bounty. Our prayer is that He blesses you mightily as you join with us to bring our sweet baby home.


"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? . . .and the King will reply 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you
did for Me'".
Matthew 25:37-40

A Journey of a Thousand Miles . . . make that 8,000

This is the first entry in the blog that will keep you updated and informed as we go through the adoption process . . . AGAIN! God has been so gracious to give us two beautiful biological children and two special adopted children from The Philippines. We feel extremely undeserving of yet another precious blessing but God has seen fit to lavish us with His goodness, nonetheless.
Our new child is a beautiful little boy (from The Philippines, of course) named Ezequiel.
He is less than two and was born with Down Syndrome.
At this point, we are working overtime to fill out paperwork, get medical appointments and fill all the requirements so our dossier can be sent to The Philippines for the official matching process.
We covet . . . no, we plead . . . for your prayers for our family. There are so many facets to adoption that can only be accomplished through prayer. Please stand with us as we start this
journey. Are we scared? YES! Uncertain about taking in a child who will likely need lifetime
support? ABSOLUTELY! Worried that our other four children will somehow "lose" if we bring
Ezequiel into their lives? YUP! But we serve a great and glorious God who does ALL things
well! Blessed be HIS name!


"This is religion that the Lord sees as pure and undefiled, to care for orphans and widows in their distress . . ." James 1:27