Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another plug for our cookbook!

Just a reminder that we still have lots of cookbooks in stock to sell! We are getting extremely close to the $1000 mark. This includes donations, cookbook sales and proceeds from our food booth at Dalton Days last weekend. Only $6700 to go! Here are a few pictures from the finished product:

If you have considered getting one for yourself or as a gift, don't hesitate--they really are great! As a little "testimonial," one of Matt's co-workers made a recipe from the book the other night and her husband, who never takes leftovers for his lunch, liked it so much he took the leftovers to work the next day!

Remember, for each cookbook you purchase or bag of coffee you buy, you will "sponsor" a puzzle piece. I am hoping to update on the progress of the puzzle soon so that you can see the progress we have already made!

These are some verses I read during my quiet time this morning:

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say "You are my God. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
Psalm 30:14-16

This fundraising thing can be scary at times. I have had to remind myself too many times to trust. It is such a hard thing when those big numbers are looming in front of us. We know this is God's plan for us and we know it will happen in his time.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Gearing up!

Tomorrow is a big day for us. We are doing a food booth at Dalton Days, our local yearly festival. We are selling burritos, nachos, drinks and cookies. If you can come out, we have lots of food for you! If you can't, please pray for success.

Also, we are picking our cookbooks up from the printers today! It looks awesome! Please purchase one if you can. If you know people who enjoy cooking or baking, send them to our blog to buy a book. It really does have some awesome recipes!

We are getting so close to being done with our paperwork! The only downside of that is the fact that we have to have $7,700 to send in with our Dossier. Having already paid over $6,000, our savings is about as low as we are comfortable with. We have prayed about it and we really feel that God will provide through fundraising and donations. It's scary to think that we may have to wait a little while to send in our dossier, but we also know that God's timing is perfect. Although we may have to break down and get a loan for the final cost of the adoption, we feel strongly that we are not going to get a loan just to send our paperwork in faster.

We have placed a "fundraising thermometer" on our blog so that you can track our progress. The money we make tomorrow, all coffee sales and the sales of our cookbook will go toward that ominous $7,700 that we need! Wouldn't it be amazing if God provided the entire amount before our paperwork is completed!? Please pray and ask the Lord if He wants you to be a part of our journey. We are so grateful for your prayers and support.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I600a-On the Way to Dallas!

I can't believe it! Our home study came in the mail yesterday. We have been so blessed to have the home study process be only about 8 weeks long, from start to finish. Our agency has been amazing and so efficient!

As soon as the home study was in our hands we finished our I600a form and got all the necessary documents together to send to USCIS. Sending it out this morning was such an awesome feeling!

So, now what? Well, we wait for USCIS to contact us about fingerprinting. Hopefully that will happen soon. From what I understand, we should be getting a call or a card in the mail with an appointment time. After the fingerprinting, we wait for the I-171h form that indicates the INS has approved our petition to adopt. We really have no time frame as to how long this could take. It all depends on the state, really, and we don't know how long it has taken other families in here in Kansas. So, we'll wait. . .as patiently as possible!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sharing Our Story

This is a video we created to share with our church family. Thank you to all of the wonderful AWAA families who gave us permision to use their photos of Ethiopia and their beautiful children!

Friday, June 18, 2010

They're Almost Here!! Get 'em while they're Hot!!

Our big Fundraiser has officially begun!! Be one of the first to help our little guy come home!

Our cookbooks are officially at the printers! It has been a long couple of weeks, with many late nights of typing, proofreading, editing, and picture taking! We are so excited about it! The name of our book is "A Taste of Love" and will feature the Ethiopian flag with an outline of the country on the Cover.

Here's a little preview:

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Chicken n' Biscuits

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

7 Layer Bars
These recipes and many, many more will be a part of this yummy cookbook! All the recipes are fun, simple and easy to follow. There are recipes that have been a part of our family for years and others that we have collected through the last decade of married life. We, as a family, can attest to the goodness of each recipe because we use and have tried them all!
Each section divider will highlight some recipes with full color photos, like the ones you see above!
We have also included some facts about Ethiopia throughout the book. We thought this would be a fun way to incorporate the reason for creating this book in the first place! Unfortunately, we did not include any Ethiopian recipes in the book. I have never attempted Ethiopian cuisine, and I really wanted this to be a book of recipes I know and have made myself.
So--Did we wet your appetite?? Is your mouth watering for that cheesecake? Great! All you have to do is order a book and you'll be cooking in no time! We are asking for a $20 donation for each book. You can use the secure Paypal link on the left side of our blog. Please make sure you send us an email ( with your address so that we can mail it to you. You can also mail us a check at: Box 993 Meade, KS 67864.
The cookbooks will be ready by the end of next week, but feel free to go ahead and order one now! We will get it to you as soon as they are printed!
Thanks so much for all of your support!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Home Study Complete!

Oh, what a wonderful morning! We received the email for our home study agency that we were praying would come this week. Our home study is complete and they are mailing us the copies! Hopefully we will have them in our hands early next week! This is an enormous step in our process! Once we have the home study in our hands, we can send one copy along with the I600A form to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration The I171h is the form that gives us permission to bring our little boy into the United States, or something like that. This is the form is usually the last thing every adoptive family is waiting for to finish their paperwork. It could take a couple of weeks or is take a couple of months. Let's pray that it's only a couple of weeks!!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Must See!!

A while ago I shared a few "inspirational" adoption videos. One of those videos was of little Lucy Lane. Well, as of yesterday, it has been one year since her "gotcha day". This video chronicles all that has happened in the year that Lucy Lane has come home. What an amazing family and what an amazing little girl. It is absolutely incredible how God has used her adoption story!

Lucy Lane Gotcha Day - One Year Later from kristi johnson on Vimeo.

Isn't that awesome?! I couldn't stop the tears and they are still flowing. Through this process, we have prayed that God would use our story to advance the cause of the orphan and adoption. That is one of the reasons we started this blog. Not just to keep family and friends informed, but to raise awareness of the need out there. Adoption is not just our heart, but it is God's heart.

I don't think a video like this can be watched with out feeling a tug at your heart. What is God whispering to you? Is it to adopt? To give monetarily to adoptive families? To pray? Whatever God is laying on your heart, listen to it and obey!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Relaxed, Refreshed and Ready to Go!!

Hello Everyone! We are back from vacation. It was wonderful! Matt & I celebrated our 10th Anniversary aboard the Mariner of the Seas sailing to the Mexican Riviera. The girls spent some time with Grandma & Grandpa Bobo in Wisconsin. On the way home, we spent a day at World's of Fun in Kansas City. After the busy, busy weeks before school ended, it was so nice to get away and just relax.

Now we are in full adoption & fundraising mode. Our goal is to be DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) before the middle or end of July. Well, before school starts at least!!

Our home study visit went really well. I meant to blog about it before we left, but time got away from me. Our social worker had a copy of our almost finished home study with her and she assured us the 1st draft would be ready when we came back from vacation. We weren't disappointed!! It was in our inbox for our review when we got home! We reviewed it, made a couple potential changes and emailed it back to the agency. Now, when our changes have been approved, it will be emailed to AWAA, our international agency, for review. They will make sure everything is in there that needs to be for the Ethiopian government. When Nicole, our family coordinator gives the OK, our home study will be officially finished!! Hopefully this will all happen by the end of next week. Once we have our home study, we can send in our I600A--the all important immigration form!

We are also gearing up for tons of fundraising this summer. In order to be DTE, we have to send in a check for $7700 with all of our paperwork. This includes our 2nd program fee, part of our international program fee, courier services and post placement agreements. We also will have to send $830 with our I600A. Which means that we need to have $8530 in the next 6-8 weeks in order to move forward!! We can do it right!!??

I am still working on the cookbook and hope to have it to the printers in the next week or two. We are also going to be doing a food booth for Dalton Days on Saturday, June 26th!! Anyone near the Meade area, please come out and get some yummy burritos, nachos and cookies!! Our coffee fundraiser is still going also. If you want to order some amazing coffee, click the link on the left side of our blog. Trust me, it is amazingly good!! We have some other fundraising ideas brewing in our brains too! It's going to be absolutely amazing to see God work all this out in the next few weeks! I'm hoping to have some sort of graphic in the next few days on the blog so that you all can track our progress.

As we were driving through L.A. before we boarded the ship, we saw this sign!

Fun, eh!?? We wish we would have had some time to scope out this little neighborhood.