Monday, February 28, 2011

In Awe

First of all, we asked you to help us get rid of our t-shirts and you did just that. We only have 2 large t-shirts and a few kids' shirts left. Not bad, since we started with over 200 shirts. We are so thankful to all of you who ordered a shirt.

We are so thankful for God's provision for us on this journey. I have to share this awesome God story with you. Last week I received an e-mail from a friend saying that she had been following our journey and wanted to order 2 t-shirts. I hate to say, but I had not kept in contact with this friend. I was pleasantly surprised to hear she was reading our blog and that she and her husband wanted to support us by ordering t-shirts.

Saturday I went out to check the mail and found a card from my friend with a check for the t-shirts and an envelope that said "open after reading the card." It was a super sweet card and I would like to share a part of it with you.

The Lord has been very faithful to us this year by providing J with a new job after being laid-off for three months. Early on in his unemployment we felt led that when God did provide a new job we should show our gratitude by giving away his first paycheck to a special cause.
So, out of thankfulness to our God for providing that job we'd like to give you a little more than t-shirt profits to help with your adoption.
As your brother and sister in Christ it is our joy to help you bring your daughter(s) home!

Tears were streaming down my face and my hands were shaking as I opened the envelope to find a check for $750. This was from two people who we have not spoken to in years. I can't even tell you how humbled I was to receive this generous gift. It was more than just money to add to our adoption fund. It was a reminder to me of God's provision for us and His incredible love for our daughter(s).

We are excited to add another child to our family, but we know that her life will begin with great pain and loss. She will lose her birth family and home and that is a tragedy. At the same time, we know that God is writing a beautiful story for our Mia Grace. He is preparing our hearts to be her parents and He is providing us the resources to bring her home.

I share this story for two reasons. First, it is part of our journey to our daughter that I don't want to forget. When we first felt called to international adoption we were overwhelmed to say the least with the cost of everything. We were told over and over again that If God was calling us to this, then He would be faithful to provided. We were hesitant, but we stepped out in Faith and the Lord has been more than faithful to provide every step of the way. If you find yourself in a place where you feel God is calling you to something that seems to be beyond what you can do alone, please take heart. He will provide! It may be adoption, or a mission trip. or taking another job that pays less. Whatever it is that God is laying on your heart, I pray that you would be obedient to His calling. Nothing is impossible with our Lord!

It is so precious to me how He uses His people to bless each other. He could easily just provide each one of us with what we need to take care of ourselves, but that is not the way He works. He wants us to bless each other with the gifts He gives us. I am so inspired and blessed by my friends' willingness to give of their first paycheck.

We continue to stand in awe of the goodness of the Lord!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help Us Get Rid of Our T-Shirts (Updated)

We have been so pleased with our t-shirt sales. When we designed them we just hoped someone would want buy one. We were thrilled when we had to reorder in less than a week, because we they sold so quickly. It has been a huge blessing and I just love seeing people wear our shirts! It makes me smile to know that person is a part of bringing our little girl home. We still have some left, but we are running low on several sizes. I just wanted to let you all know what we have left. E-mail me at meredith bufkin at yahoo dot com if you would like to purchase one. The adult shirts are $20, including shipping. The youth sizes are 1 for $15 or 2 for $20, also including shipping. Of course, all proceeds go towards our adoption.
Here is what is left:
1 small (chocolate) Sold
1 medium (charcoal) Sold
2 large (charcoal)
1 x-large (chocolate) Sold

The youth sizes run a little big. My 3.5 year old is wearing an x-small and as you can see it is a little big on him. I tried on a youth large today and it fit me, so it would probably fit an older child or a small adult. They are all sand colored. These are on sale 2 for $20.
1 x-small
3 medium
4 large

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Super Heroes

Last week a friend of mine gave me a bunch of her son's old dress up costumes for the boys. My mom sent them new Buzz Lightyear dart guns for Valentine's Day and they also got new toy swords. They have been in little boy Heaven!
I love being a mom to my two Super Heroes. They are full of imagination and energy. Sometimes, I wish I could just freeze time. They are growing so fast and I love this age.
I can't wait to see what happens when we add a little girl to the mix. I know for sure that she will be protected and loved by her Super brothers.

These two guys just make life fun.
Today we took them to a little Mardi Gras parade at the mall and then to a Pet Parade called the Krewe of Paws.
We had so much fun and the weather was perfect.
Sawyer took this picture and I think he did a pretty good job. He may be following in his Daddy's footsteps.

Today was a good day. My heart is full.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Fun to Win

A couple of weeks ago I posted several giveaways that I entered. I am happy to say that I won two of the giveaways. Yay! It's fun to win. First, I won a bracelet from Future Mama's giveaway. I am still waiting for it to arrive. Future Mama has a really cool auction going on right now with lots of wonderful items. You have until tomorrow to bid on some fun stuff.

The other thing I won was this beautiful wreath made by my friend Leigh. She brought it to me at the Created for Care retreat and I love it. I can't wait to hang it in Mia's room. If you want one, head on over to her blog to see how you can purchase one to help with the cost of their adoption from Ethiopia.
Leigh and her husband got on our agency's waitlist the day before we did. They were on all three lists and one ahead of us on both the girls' and siblings' lists. We talked about how fun it would be to travel to Ethiopia together. Well, that won't be happening, because last week they received a referral for a 4 year old boy. I am so excited for them and their precious son!

One thing I did not win was the necklace from Junk Posse. I love all the jewelry in this shop, so of course I enter every Junk Posse giveaway I see. Well, so far I have not won, but I feel like a winner because of my sweet husband! He told me on Valentine's Day that he was going to order me a necklace from Junk Posse, but couldn't decide which one. So, I got to choose and it was not easy. But I chose this beautiful necklace and can't wait for it to come in.
She hand stamped the word Love all over the back to represent love for the orphans in Africa. The best part about it is that 30% of the proceeds goes to Into the Streets of Africa, a nonprofit organization that helps African orphans. So, I got to be a winner and help orphans. It doesn't get much better than that!
It has been a good week filled with lots of Valentine sweets and treats and nice sunny weather. We have had 70 degree weather all week. Love it!! Yes, we had a snow day one week ago. The weather is crazy in Louisiana. I don't know about you, but I am so ready for spring to be here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So Glad I Said Yes!

I didn't post anything about our Valentine's Day this year, because it was pretty uneventful. My Valentine was sick, so we just stayed at home. My little valentines and I made pizza and Valentine cookies, but Justin was too sick to join us. He did get me a wonderful gift that I will tell you about next time. Since I didn't post much on Love day, I thought I would tell you a little about the man I love.

Ten years ago this month he asked me on our first date. I was a junior in college and he was a senior. I don't remember the exact date, but I know it was a few days after Valentine's Day. Very Convenient, huh?( I still give him a hard time about waiting until after Valentine's Day to ask me out. Poor guy has been making it up to me for the last nine years. Ha! ) We were good friends before he asked me out, so I knew things would change and of course they did. Ten years later, I am so glad I said yes to that first date. I am so thankful for him and can't imagine my life without him.

When I was in college I did summer missions two years in a row and really thought the Lord was calling me to be a full time international missionary after graduation. When Justin and I started dating I remember asking him if he felt called to missions. He told me that he didn't necessarily feel "called", but that he would always be open to whatever the Lord asked him to do. That answer was good enough for me and I can say without a doubt, ten years later, that his answer was absolutely true. The Lord has not called us to the "mission field", but He has called us to things that were not necessarily in our plan and Justin has always said "yes". I know that I can come to Justin with any crazy idea I have and that he will not blow me off. He always listens to me and commits to pray about it with me.

I am so thankful that when I felt ready to start the adoption process, he was ready and excited to begin the journey with me. I think when we got married we had a nice plan of how our life would look, but now we know that God is in charge and that we just want to follow His plan. Every time we have said "yes" to God, He has been more than faithful. It certainly makes it easier to trust the next time He asks us to do something outside of our comfort zones.

I am so glad that I said "yes" to a man who is determined to say "yes" to the Lord. I am a blessed woman!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Louisiana Livin'

So, I told you all that we had a snow day on Thursday. I don't have any pictures of my children playing in the snow, because there was not enough to play in. It was not very impressive. Here is Sawyer standing by our bush to show you all the snow we got. See all that snow? Yea, neither do I. Granted most of it had melted by this time, but it wasn't really much to begin with.
So, we didn't build snow men or go sledding on our snow day, but we did have fun playing games, making fudge, and eating lunch at the mall with our friends.
Sawyer has been learning about Louisiana in his preschool class this month. So, on Friday his class took a field trip to a local restaurant to try some Louisiana food. Only in Louisiana would the kids go on a field trip to eat crawfish, shrimp, and fried catfish. I love it! Those kids had a blast and ate a ton. Sawyer's favorite was the crawfish. He kept asking for more.
Notice the live crawfish crawling on the table! He was a little freaked out by it.

I'm glad I was able to join him on this fun little field trip. Eating yummy seafood and hanging out with my sweet boy is definitely my kind of field trip!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Super Moms

I mentioned in my last post that one of my favorite things about the created for care retreat was meeting many of the women who's blogs I read. I am thrilled to now call them my friends. I have to admit that before I met some of these moms I had somewhat elevated them in my mind. They were the Super Moms. You know the moms who home school their twelve children. These moms beg God to send them children with special needs. They are always smiling and beautiful without even wearing make up. They make their own clothes, baby food, and diapers. Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but sometimes I feel like everyone has it together but me.

One thing the Lord showed me last weekend is that these women, the Super Moms, are just like me. I was able to hear many of their stories and I realized that we are not so different. They all had the same fears, doubts, and insecurities when God put a calling on their hearts. Many of them said "no" to the Lord in the beginning. They had the same excuses and human limitations that I have. It's not about them. It's not about me. It's all about God and giving Him all the glory for what He does with our broken lives.

Dr. Susan Hillis spoke about the feeding of the 5000. She said, "Our focus must be on the hands of the Provider not the provision in our hands." Oh, how I love this! It is so freeing to me. She went on to say that the Lord wants us to give Him what we have and let Him multiply it. Jesus asked the disciples to bring what food they had. Their focus was on what they didn't have. They were focusing on their limitations. How were they ever going to feed all those people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish? I do this all the time. I tell the Lord "well, I would serve you in this way if I had a bigger house, or if I had more time, or if my children were older. " He is not interested in what we don't have. He is interested in what we are going to give Him, because He can multiply it as we trust in Him.

He could have instantly turned the bread and fish into a huge feast, but instead He multiplied it as the disciples went. He could have fed the five thousand all by Himself, but He let the disciples deliver His provision. He wanted them to trust in Him despite their doubts. This is all the Lord wants from me. Believe me He did not call me to adoption because He is impressed with my parenting skills. I am not a super mom and never will be. There are no super moms, just ordinary women who give what they have to the Lord so that He can multiply it. It is so freeing to realize that I don't have to provide anything on my own. I just need to deliver what the Lord provides. I just need to put aside my own plans and follow Jesus.

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37
It is my prayer today that I will trust the one who has no limitations. I pray that I will daily choose to give Him my life and allow Him to multiply it for His glory.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Created For Care

Today is a snow day! Yay! We are all home wearing our pajamas, so I finally have some time to write about the retreat I went to last weekend. I really need to take a picture of our "snow." It is almost non existent. It is amazing what they will cancel school for, but I am not complaining. Last week we also had two ice storm warning days, so I decided to leave on Thursday night for Mississippi. I didn't want to take a chance of missing the retreat. I left so quickly that I totally forgot to bring my camera. I swiped the below pics from my friends' blogs.
I stayed at my friend, Alison's house on Thursday night. She was so, so sweet to let someone she had never met in real life stay in her home. I just love our AGCI family! I rode with Alison and the rest of the sweet Mississippi girls to Atlanta. It was a blast! I was able to meet Jenni and Katie, two fun AGCI moms who are waiting for their babies in Ethiopia. They all made me feel so at home and I am so thankful I was able to ride with them. I am praying though, that next year I have at least one north Louisiana mama to join me at the retreat.
It was so much fun to finally meet some of the women who I already felt like I knew. Kelly Jo and Alison were two of the girls I first "met" in the adoption blog world. Don't you love all of the adoption/orphan care t-shirts?
I was so glad to finally meet Leigh! She is just a couple of spots ahead of me on the girls and siblings list. It would be so awesome if we were able to travel to Ethiopia together. It was so amazing to meet women who's children will share a home and maybe even a bedroom with our Mia Grace. God is just so good!
Here is a pic of just some of the AGCI moms who attended the retreat. I feel so blessed that I was able to attend. It was an incredible thing to worship the Lord with 249 other moms who have a heart for the Lord and His sweet children.

When I first signed up for the retreat last fall, I was just so excited about getting away for a weekend and connecting with other moms who share my heart. As the retreat got closer I really wanted and needed to hear from the Lord. I needed confirmation that we were on the right path. I think it is a testimony of how much the Lord cares for each one of us, because He knew when I signed up in October, how much I would need this in February. I was able to hear from the Lord clearly. I even got to go on a Date with God. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. On Friday night our first speaker, Susan Hillis, gave her testimony and spoke truth into the lives of all the mamas there. I seriously wish this woman was my next door neighbor! She has 8 adopted children from Russia and 2 biological children. Yes, that is 10 kids. Anyway, one of her sons from Russia was with her and he told her on the way to the retreat that God laid on his heart something that He wanted all the moms to hear. He said, "God wanted us to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel." I know it sounds so simple, but it really touched my heart and the tears started streaming down my face. I so needed to hear that. I was reminded that God loves me, He loves our daughter, and He has a plan for our lives.

I did not get much sleep last weekend. I had too much fun talking with my awesome roommates, Abby and Jennifer, but I did come home feeling refreshed and renewed. Justin told me when I got home that I seemed so happy. I just felt and still feel so full of Joy. The Lord filled me up this weekend and I pray that I will continue to cling to Him and that He will continue to meet me right where I am. I am so excited to watch my friends bring their children home this year and to see the Lord's plan unfold. I met a sweet girl, Gini, who left for Ethiopia on Sunday, the day the retreat ended. She is now in Ethiopia falling in love with her beautiful daughter. I am so thrilled for her!

I can't wait to go back to the retreat next year and see what God did in the lives of these wonderful ladies. I am so thankful that sweet Andrea said yes when God put it on her heart to plan and host Created for Care.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Numbers

We received our February numbers from our case worker yesterday. January was a slow month for referrals, so I knew we didn't move much. We moved 2 spots on the girls list bringing us to 89. I said last month that I was ready to be out of the nineties. We made it out just barely, but I am thankful just the same.We did not move on the siblings list, so we are sitting pretty at number 36 for sisters.
So, I am not jumping for joy this month about our numbers, but I do have complete peace that God knows where our daughter is. She is in the palm of His hand.

I was able to go to the Created for Care retreat last weekend. I will post more about it soon, because it was Incredible!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sawyer's Wish

We were driving to church when out of the blue Sawyer said, "I wish we could just all go to Africa right now. I know you wish that too, Mom."

Then he asked, " Now, what's our number again?" I told him it was 90 or 91 and we talked again about how the numbers work and why we have to wait for Mia Grace.

I love his sweet four year old heart.