Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween and Homestudy

Hey everyone! I wanted to share some of our Halloween pictures and give you our latest adoption update. Above you will see Captain Hook (Aidan, age 4), Tinkerbell (Hannah, age 2) and our precious Peter Pan (Houston, age 10 months). We had such a fun Halloween. The kids really got into dressing up this year. (Well, Aidan and Hannah did...Houston is pretty much just along for the ride!) I am such a "theme-y" person - I just loved dressing them as a trio! (And trust me, I am already thinking about what foursome they can go as next year if Macy is home!)
And speaking of Macy.....things are moving along quickly! Our homestudy report came through this week (it said we are "more than qualified to adopt" - whew!), which means we can now finish up the last few things on our end. I have to get about 5 million papers notarized, then verified by the county, then verified by the state, then authenticated by the Ethiopian consulate- SERIOUSLY! At this same time I will start stalking our mailman for a form that I must have to complete our dossier (prounounced "doss-ee-ay" ; fancy term for paperwork that is sent to represent us to the Ethiopian government). As soon as this is done, we are officially "on the list". We have been told that once we are on the list, then it will take zero to ten months to get our referral (information) for a specific child. Since we are not asking for a newborn, we may be on the sooner end of that spectrum. EXCITING!!!!
I am getting TONS of feedback about photo shoots! THANK YOU to all of you who have contacted me or sent my name to friends. I LOVE photography, and am having so much fun photographing other families. If you are interested - shoot me and email or give me a call to set up something! ( or 615-264-8330) The fall leaves are GORGEOUS right now. And start thinking ahead about Christmas cards and gifts!
Be sure to check back on my blog this coming week. I am going to have some awesome fundraising starting up! My sister Sandi Hester ( is going to be donating her talents to help me raise money for our adoption. I am excited about what she is going to offer. I will be finalizing the details this week, and will let you in on the news soon!
Have a great week!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FUN Fundraising!!!

I have been amazed at how many emails I have gotten requesting photo shoots! This is something I LOVE to do, and am so glad it is coming in handy for our adoption! I wanted to share a few of the portraits I have taken so far. A HUGE thank you to the Stacy, Cornett, and Brown families for letting me photograph your sweet families. And if YOU would like some portraits done of your family, PLEASE let me know! I have some wonderful outdoor locations around town that I frequent. And the leaves are finally changing! Think fall portraits and even Christmas cards! For an $80 donation you will get the images on cds and all rights to them. Which means you can have them enlarged, cards printed, etc. ALL of your donation goes straight to our adoption fund. Give me a call at 615-264-8330!
Quick update: We pretty much have our paperwork done! Now we are just waiting on other people - our homestudy agency (for our report), the government for certain forms, etc. In our recent "down time" we have been thinking about a name. This is something that Jason and I always do pretty easily - we actually enjoy going through lists and lists of names! And we have decided what to name our sweet baby girl....drumroll please.....MACY! (Yes, like the department store. But that is not why we like the name!) We will most probably keep her given, Ethiopian name as her middle name. (If we can pronounce it, Jason says!) Now that we can refer to our next child by her name, it makes it even more real! I can't wait to eventually get our referral picture and see the sweet face that we have been praying for every night. Aidan and Hannah are already talking about her. Hannah, in her funny little voice, says, "Me wuv Macy". This Momma is so happy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God calls us all...

God calls us ALL to help orphans. He does not call us all to adopt; but he DOES command us all to care for the orphans in the world.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice."Proverbs 31:8-9
"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17
We would be thrilled if you felt led to support our cause financially. After emptying Jason's retirement account, having a very successful yard sale, and receiving just four donations, we still have approximately $10,000 to $15,000 to come up with to bring Baby Girl Humphrey home.
SO - I am going to make it worth your while! I am still scheduling photo shoots for Oct., Nov, and December. This would be great for a fall family portrait, Christmas card photo, whatever you want! For a donation of $80 I will do a sitting for you and your family. I will burn the images to a cd for you to own all the rights to. Schedule now!
My sweet sister is also donating some of her awesome stuff for me to raffle off with all proceeds going to our adoption. More details on that coming soon - stay tuned! You can check out her gorgeous paintings at
Okay....last thing is an update on our process. We had our last meeting with our social worker for the homestudy this week. It went really well, and now we just wait a week or two for her official report. Our TBI and FBI fingerprinting will be done next week. Once all these things are done, we can start sending off our paperwork to all the places it has to go. My goal is to get the paperwork to Ethiopia by the end of the year. With as smooth as things are going now, it is possible!!!
Thank you for all of your kind emails and prayers. We really appreciate them all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why we are doing what we are doing....

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

Click on the above video. Be sure your volume is on.

So, we continue to get lots of questions about WHY we are adopting, and HOW we came to this decision. Our "motto" for our decision is the verse ""Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12
It's that simple. God opened our eyes. From there, the decision was actually rather easy. A no-brainer, really. We would have NEVER thought we would adopt a child from Africa. But God opened our eyes, and we just aren't going to question His plans.

We are so excited. It's like when I was pregnant - wondering "what will she look like?", "what will she be like?". We love her and dream about her already. I love looking at that clock on this blog and seeing what time it is where she is, and wondering, "is she asleep right now?". We pray for her everyday. We are praying for her safety and her health. That God gets us to her at just the right time. Not a moment too soon...not a moment too late....HIS timing is always perfect.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Yard Sale totals are in!

First of all, let me thank EVERY SINGLE PERSON who donated items, cooked yummy baked goods, donated tables or came and shopped. I truly could not have done it without you. And I REALLY could not have done it without the help of my precious Mom, Dad, father-in-law Larry, family friend Skip, and gal pal Tasha. They all just about broke their backs helping me move tables and unpack (and repack) boxes. And thank you to our awesome friends Jeremy and Sarah for letting us "co-own" their truck for the past few weeks to haul donations. How lucky I am to have all of their support! The yard sale was a HUGE success!!! We had people lined up IN THE RAIN an hour early on Friday morning. Friday we made $947!!! I was amazed. We did great on Saturday as well! And then we received two HUGE donations from family members in our donation the grand total for the Yard Sale Weekend.....over $3,600!!! read that right! We feel SO very blessed! This takes a nice dent out of our adoption expenses. So much so, that we are going to have another sale in the Spring. (Surely I will have recovered by then!) So if you start finding things around your house that you need to get rid of, give us a holler! We will take it off your hands!
The paperwork is moving right along. This week Jason and I are going to work on our 10 hours of training that we have to complete in order to adopt a child. And, of course, more paperwork. And we are getting so excited! In just the past week I have spoken with so many random people (at the dr. office, in the store, at the yard sale) that have encouraged me with their own adoption stories. We know that this is God's will for our family, and we are so blessed to have the love and support of so many people.
Thanks again for all of those who helped in any way with the yard sale! We appreciate every single one of you!