Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So We Said We're Adopting. Now What?

Well, we have already filled out tons of paperwork, and guess what? We have TONS more to fill out. The next big thing we have to complete is our homestudy. Once we go through that whole process and it is approved by Citizenship and Immigration Services, we could wait up to 12 months for our actual referral, then another few months for an actual court date so that we can travel to Uganda and get our child! Seems pretty simple right?

Well, actually the whole process from now can take from a year up to 30 months. We're praying for much sooner than later! International Adoption from Uganda is a very new process, and it's always changing. Right now, those changes are making the process longer. Overall, this will be a lengthy, stressful process with many ups and downs. And we won't be able to do it without YOU!

So how can you help?

1. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Pray that this process will go quickly and efficiently- that we won't hit any big roadblocks along the way. Pray that we will be able to raise all the funds that we need to raise. And most of all, pray for our little son or daughter. Whether he or she is born yet or not, we are praying that God leads us to the right kid and keeps that kid safe until we can bring him or her home.

2. I mentioned raising funds. Well the whole process will cost over $25,000. And as shocking as it may be, we don't really that kind of dough sitting around. It almost seems like some crazy number that can't be real or achievable. But we know God has called us to adopt, and God will not call you to things that He will not also equip you to fulfill. He will provide for us. We will do multiple fund-raisers over the next year and are going to try to be creative on how we raise those funds. We hope you will support us and spread the word when we have those, but also if you feel led to give to our adoption fund at any point, you can click the fancy "donate" button on the right. Every little bit will help.

Thank you for your prayers and support and for walking along side us throughout the journey ahead.

"The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does." Psalm 145:13b

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why are we adopting?

In 2010, we were blessed with the spunkiest, goofiest little comedian Juliet. We've loved being her parents and are so thankful that God has given her to us! Up until the beginning of 2012, Ashley and I didn’t know what we were going to do next as far as kids go. We knew we wanted more one day, but we didn't know when that would be. As many of you know, Ashley has Multiple Sclerosis and after having Juliet, it took a long time for her body to recover. We knew that we wanted to wait a while to have another kid so that Ashley could recuperate and be steady for a good amount of time before she got pregnant again.

That is not why we are adopting though.

In fact, we had talked about possibly trying to get pregnant again near the end of 2012 if Ashley was healthy. That was not God's plan.

At the beginning of this year, I (Micah) was at the Passion Conference in Atlanta with LifePoint's college students. During the first night I was there, the Watoto children’s choir, from Uganda, sang with Chris Tomlin. Chris introduced them and the camera panned over the kids. They had the biggest smiles on their face and right then, God spoke to me very clearly. "You are supposed to adopt a kid from Uganda." What? Huh? I was pretty caught off guard. I didn't know if adopting from Uganda was even possible and are we even eligible? I immediately got on my phone and began researching and saw that yes, it was possible and we did meet the basic requirements.

Little did I know that at the same time Ashley was on her way with Juliet to go eat with a friend. At a red light, she turned around and was playing with Juliet. She was thinking about how much she loves Juliet and all of the sudden she began to feel a huge burden for orphans that she never felt before. She was tearing up thinking about kids who have no one to love them as much as we love Juliet. We shared this with each other that night, and it was just confirmation that this was from God. How amazing that God spoke to each of us separately on the same night and led us both in the same direction! We continued to pray about this decision over the next few days and God kept giving us signs that this is what He wants us to do.

We searched for the right adoption agency for us and as of last week, we were approved to begin the process with them. We know it's going to be a long, tough journey. We'll have to raise thousands of dollars, do TONS of paperwork, homestudies, and get ready to add another kid to our family.

We are so excited though! We know that God has a child in Uganda for us and He will provide. While we were praying for confirmation, God led us to Jeremiah 42:3- "that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do." That is our prayer and our desire. That we would be what we are calling a 423 Family. A family that goes where God wants us to go and does what He wants us to do. In this case, being a 423 Family for us means going from 3 2 4!

Thank you ahead of time for your prayers and support as we work to bring our Ugandan child home!