Monday, January 24, 2011

Knocked our socks off....

Yesterday at church, our congregation gave us an amazing gift.
A gift of love and sacrifice.
It is hard to explain the amount of love that we have felt from our church in the past two years.
The community.  The sense of belonging.  The immediate connection.
The support, when Brandon was deployed and we found out we were carrying a baby that would not survive after birth.
The LOVE and ACCEPTANCE as we waded through that journey.
We have been at several churches in our years in the military, and we have never experienced anything like this.
Today was the two year anniversary of Mychurch. We were with them at year one, in the tent. :)  We were with them one year ago, back in the tent (just for memories).  This year, they decided to stay inside, but they wanted to do something special to mark their 2 year anniversary as a church.

One of the things they wanted to do was to kick off the
"One Less Orphan" or "One Less" campaign.

This was inspired by our great college friends, Ryan and Lesli Sweeney, who made adoption t-shirts that said, "One less orphan without a family tree".  And we were finspired. And right at the beginning of our adoption process ourselves.  And it is crazy how the Lord has worked in us since then.  For years we have had a passion for helping the poor and the needy, wondering if we should begin fostering or adopting.  But this goes beyond that.  We have a passion for helping children here in Columbus and across the world.  We know that some people aren't called to adopt, but at this moment, we are.  Right now, we aren't called to foster. We certainly hope that in the future the Lord would take us in that direction.

So we are moving forward and pursuing it.  In fact, we spend all our free time with the notaries around town.  If you have a stamp, we are probably hoping we can be your friend. :)  The paperwork jungle of adoption is quite interesting.  But it's fun to wade through.  It's almost like a pregnancy.  Except it's not physical, it's emotional.  And you can't miscarry an adoption, but you can have a hold up.  It's almost like if your pregnancy was suddenly going to take 18 months instead of 9.  You might just freak out.  And I think that is how adoptive parents feel about the process. :)

So, back to church.
Today at church our pastor called us up, in all three services, to have us share our story.  I took my camera and I meant to ask someone to take pictures, but I forgot.  So we shared a little bit about Briar and his sweet time here and about our heart for adoption (and foster care).  Then, our pastor presented us with a check for FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Make sure you heard that right.  Really. No joke . Mixed with our 10,000 from Briar's life insurance, that is HALF of our ADOPTION EXPENSES right there!! (I mean, we still have a way to go, but I know the Lord is going to provide!! We are working on t-shirts now!!)  So for all of you who say, "I would love to adopt, but I don't have the money", just know that God CRAZY WAYS!! We have had people (who just make our hearts melt) who walk up to us at church and hand us money.  CRAZY!! Just amazing and incredible testimonies to the way God works!!
After church, I napped allllll day. This is me with my post-nap hair...feeling thankful for a handful of cash. :)

It is also awesome that we are done with everything except for a couple tiny little documents that we have to get notarized and a couple recommendation letters.  Other than that we are just waiting on our Home Study and we can send everything off to our agency and to USCIS (I600a form).  Pretty exciting. :)

We are so excited for what God is going to do through Mychurch this year.  Hopefully we will meet other families who have a passion similar to ours!!  We are planning to start an adoption/fostering group once a month with other couples who have a heart for the same.

Next up, choosing a name for this sweet child so that people won't call him our "African Baby" all the time.  I mean, what else do you call him?  I understand....but I think it's time we choose a name for him.  It's kind of like in a pregnancy when you get to the point where you are choosing a name.. and I think we're there....

Love you guys.

gray ric rac copy


  1. That is AMAZING! What a special church family you have. When you are doing God's work he will find a way to get it done. I can't wait to hear what Briar's brothers name is! Love you!! :^)

  2. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time and am so inspired by your journey. We adopted through Arise and brought our little girl home from Ethiopia this summer. Congratulations on your decision to adopt. You will LOVE Ethiopia! I can't wait to see your t-shirt design (my favorite thing to wear these days is adoptive family t-shirts!). We are hoping to return to Ethiopia in 2011 as well...hoping to travel into the countryside more and do some mission work. Can't wait to follow your adventure. Blessings!

  3. That's so amazing! Made me cry to read. Beautiful!!

  4. Tears, tears, tears, what an AWESOME God we have. He provides in every way imaginable for us if we allow Him too. You have been so faithful to listening to what He wants for you.
    What story you have to share with others of His gifts to you. You will should sell some of those shirts I would buy one.

  5. You all better knock those socks right back on - you still have a lot of work to do! It is an AWESOME, AMAZING, and ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING gift to receive through your church from God! I'm betting you are feeling closer enough to smell and touch Briar's Baby cool is that! My prayer is that this is just the leap you needed to get there...hope you call Pete and Levan as they know A LOT having had adopted 2 boys from Ethiopia and that this gift will really help to stimulate and grow the "BBB fund"!! Blessings are piling up all around you - how honored you both most feel!
    Love and hugs! ljw

  6. That is an amazing gift!! How generous and wonderful!

  7. God is so good!!! It's true - EVERYONE can afford to adopt because GOD PROVIDES!!!! :)

  8. That is such a beautiful story..isn't it fun to watch God provide?!

  9. That's awesome news! It shows how generous and good people are at heart, but I think it just goes to show the good that is coming out of Briar's life. What a special baby he is!


    Thought you might want to see this...

    Big Hugs!

  11. what an amazing gift. such great news!

  12. YIPEE!!!! I just emailed you a few minutes ago before I checked your blog so sorry for the redundant questions. Anyways, I'm smiling ear to ear for you guys! You all are such an encouragement and blessing to us, and we're so happy to walk through this process with you guys. I can't wait until we get to finally introduce our sweet Greer to your "African boy" someday. I think they'll be big buddies :) Love you all!

  13. What an amazing blessing! My husband and I were actually in attendance during the 3rd service. We had just found that church and happened to check it out for the first time this past week. I was shocked when you guys were asked to come up and speak, as I had just recently run across your blog through Faces of Loss and recognized your story.

    What a wonderful church family!!! I'm glad that you have been surrounded by so much support (and continue to be)!!!

  14. i love that your church did that for yall. It is what Paul talks about so often throughout the new testament, the church bearing one another's burdens and meeting the needs of others, not just building more buildings and softball fields, but intimate needs of their members. I think that makes Jesus very happy. You are well on the way and I think you are right...your child is really coming and he needs a name. God has chosen this baby to travel across the earth to be with you, he has an anointing on this child, give him a strong name. God Bless you Brooke!