Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Update and repost

Thank you for following along. We are humbled by the notes, emails and posts we receive. We are also excited about the number of people who are following our blog. We have had visits from 11 different countries.

We are so excited about our new addition to our family, but saddened by a recent Facebook post. Which was from an orphanage in Africa, which stated, “We are registering over 2000 orphans living in the Eastern Region this December. More sponsors will be needed to care for these innocent orphans. It is truly difficult to identify orphans in Ghana. Please pray with us." Each one of us can impact the world one life at a time.

Adoption update: Department of Homeland Security has approved our right to adopt and have forwarded the approval to our adoptive country. We have been informed the African side is also working on our file. We are trying to temper our emotions with realistic expectations, but feel like we will be traveling in within the next 6 to 8 weeks.

I personally have been thinking about Emmanuel’s mom and her willingness to allow her son to be adopted. I wonder what she was thinking then and now. We may have the opportunity to meet her during one of our trips. What will that moment be like, what will we say to each other? As far as his father goes, he wanted nothing to do with him. So, at this point society would classify him as an orphan. Since we have added so many new faces, I thought I would repost an earlier post.

Emmanuel,

I am thankful for the opportunity I have through technology to write and tell you a little of your life story. Admittedly, as you can imagine I spend a lot of time thinking about you and wondering what your life will be like. I have spent time reading and studying your social report. The reality is people will try to label you and even now call you orphan. However, labels don’t tell the real story behind who you are and who you will be. No one else has your eyes, nose, smile or even your laughter. No one will be able to hug, hold my hand or call me daddy just like you. No one will be able to play, laugh and cry with your sisters just like you. No one will be able to look at your mommy and tell her you love her just like you.

Emmanuel you were never fatherless. The creator of all things formed you and molded you into his image in such a unique way, there is only ONE you. I pray over the years we become very close, and I can be the Father you need me to be. Most importantly, I pray that I lead you to the cross. I pray I disciple you in such a way you know and love the authority of God’s perfect written word. Whose authority should never be questioned but worshiped. I pray as I teach you to fish, he teaches you to be fishers of men. I pray as I teach you to follow through on your jump shot, he teaches you to follow him in every step of your life even when it doesn’t make sense.

You see Emmanuel you were never orphaned or fatherless. God has been unmistakably weaving this masterpiece together for thousands of years just so we can be together so I can call you son, and you can call me Daddy. My heart beats and yearns to meet you, but I also know with each passing day our bond grows stronger and stronger. Some call you orphan…I call you my son. I love you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Adoption T-Shirts are now available

Adoption shirts: Below are the three shirts we are selling to help cover our travel costs to Africa. As most of you know, we have to take two 10 day trips to complete the adoption.  Each shirt is $20.  There are two options when ordering. In-state and hand delivered or the shipping option which includes a $3.00 fee.  You can use your paypal or account or send us a check.  Information is located on the right side.



Why these designs: We have been CHOSEN by God, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, we have been ADOPTED into his family. We did not choose Emmanuel to join our family; God has chosen our family for Emmanuel. This process has been hard in so many ways, but NOW we can see the light and know our gift from God is months away. Thank you for joining us in this journey to bring Emmanuel home.






 
The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. And this act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel. Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”  John Piper.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Update and next steps

Thank you for your concern and prayers as we walk down this path. The adoption journey is an express lane of emotions. Full of quick turns, long straight aways, but perhaps the hardest part is you can't see what lies ahead of you to properly prepare.

 Adoption update
We have had numerous updates over the last few weeks. Things appear to be returning to normal. However, we have no idea where we are in the process on the African side. We hope to have Emmanuel home by Christmas, but realistically, it could be another six months to twelve months. We have had his room ready, clothes in closet and books on his shelves (thanks Amy) for months. The truth of the matter is HE IS in complete control and I am not. The more I study scripture and it’s affect on my life, the more I feel prayer is our communication to God and the word is his communication to us.

Growing up Jesus was a carpenter by trade which is such a beautiful picture of his character. When a carpenter sees a raw piece of wood he doesn't stare at the ugliness he envisions how beautiful the end product will be. In fact, a carpenter doesn’t use just any kind of wood. He is looking for just the right piece of wood to mold and shape. The greatest carpenter has created a perfect gift and we call him our son. His name is Emmanuel.

What’s Next
Over the next couple of weeks we will share ways you can join us in caring for the orphans and widows in Birmingham. We are excited by the opportunity God has provided us.

Why are we raising funds to cover travel expenses?
We have to make two trips to Africa.  One trip to start the court process and meet our son for the first time which will require a 10 day stay.  The second trip is to complete the court process and bring our son home.  As you know, the adoption process is expensive.  We will be selling t-shirts soon which will also help the cause.  Yeah...pride is always an issue thanks for understanding!

Prayer requests:
Emmanuel’s mother whose sacrifice is changing lives around the world.
Emmanuel - pray he will be a bright light and bring glory to his name.
Patience as we learn God’s timeline is not ours.
Travel funds- we will have to make two trips to Africa prior to bringing Emmanuel home.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27




The End of the Road...

We are thankful for everyone who prayed for us during our recent trip to Nepal. This was an incredible trip, but it's extremely h...