Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Smile Closer

When Justin and I first started talking about adoption, which was before we were even married, I always thought it would be something we would do when we had enough money, enough time, and everything was going perfectly in our lives. Ha! As you can see I was young and naive. I guess I just grew up a couple of months ago, because we finally realized that God is calling us to do this now and that he doesn't want us to do it alone. We tried. We really did. We came up with great plans and ideas, but they were our own plans and ideas. The Lord has really been working in both of us and teaching us that this is not about us. Adopting a child into our family is about God's adoption of us into His family. We want our adoption to bring honor to our heavenly Father.

It would be prideful of us to do this all alone. We know that we need the encouragement and prayers of our family and friends. We really don't know how long it will be before we are able to bring our child home. It could be months or possibly years. We need prayer for wisdom, discernment, and patience. We will use this blog to share our prayer requests and praises. We are incredibly thankful for the people God has placed in our lives as spiritual support along the way.

We are planning to adopt a child from Africa, most likely Rwanda. One of the biggest obstacles of international adoption for us and for many couples is the financial burden. We need a minimum of $20,000 to bring our baby home. This is not going to be easy, but we know that God is in control and if this is indeed His plan He will provide. We are making a few changes in our spending and have some money saved. It is not easy to ask for help financially, but we realize that God chooses to use other people in our lives sometimes to help us experience his provision. The first fundraiser we are doing is called "One Smile Closer". We chose this title because with each picture Justin takes we will be getting closer to our financial goal and the ultimate goal of bringing our baby home. Please contact us if you are interested in having Justin take pictures of your family. Below you can see some of the photos he has taken.

Again, thank you for joining us on our adoption journey.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One Smile Closer :: baby Rome

One Smile Closer :: Anna and Andrew

Our Story

When Justin and I decided that we would like to become parents, things did not quite go as planned. We decided to be foster parents while we waited for God to give us a child. We knew there were many children who needed a loving home and we had one, so it just made since for us. We instantly fell in love with the sweet children who were placed in our home. I remember praying one day and telling God that I was completely o.k. if we were never able to have biological children. I thought we would adopt all of our children and that was fine with me. Little did I know that I was pregnant with Sawyer.
The Lord has blessed us with our two boys and we are so thankful to Him for this, but the desire to adopt has not gone away. I remember tucking Sawyer in bed when he was about 2 years old and listening to him thank God for every member of his extended family and for all of his friends. It struck me how awesome it was to have so many people who loved our children. We know full well that there are children who do not have that. There are an estimated 145 million orphans in our world today. These children go to bed each night without a list of people who love and care for them. These children have no one to call "mommy" or "daddy". These children whom God created in His image may never hear of His love.
Now that we are settled into our new home and the boys are not babies anymore, we have been talking about adding another child to our family. We feel that God is calling us to do this through international adoption. We went to an Adoption for Life conference in February that was just what we needed to motivate us to take the first step. For the last few weeks we have been talking to adoption agencies, home study agencies, and adoptive parents. We hope to apply very soon and get this process started. We don't really know when or how we will adopt, but we know God wants us to step out in faith and trust Him with the rest.