Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Have A Chance to Make A Difference for an Adopting Family....

Two blogs in one day! This is not like me, but this blog is important folks!Because Kathleen's a great and close friend, I know that I can copy and paste her blog to help spread the word about this grant opportunity! Please help spread the word too. They have a chance to receive $7,000 with this grant opportunity. Help. Them. Out! Here's the details in Kathleen's words:

We are so excited to be accepted for the Hand in Hand Grant!! After mailing out many grant applications, it was SO wonderful to see a "yes" in my inbox!

For those of you that don't know about Hand In Hand.....

HANDinHAND Christian Adoption, Inc. is dedicated to helping children become part of "forever" families by partnering with Christian couples to help carry the burden of the cost of adoption through matching grants and the raising of support. We believe we can accomplish this goal by working together with private donors, churches and the family and friends of adoptive couples. We are not an adoption agency and we do not place children with families. We do work with families that have already begun the process of adoption to help make that process more affordable.

So our family was awarded a matching grant for up to $3500. So if we can raise $3500, Hand In Hand will match that amount dollar-for-dollar. We are excited to get this opportunity and we are grateful to God for blessing our finances with this grant. If you feel led to give (any amount is SO greatly appreciated) you can make your check out to:

Hand In Hand Christian Adoption Inc.

And mail it to:

Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc.

James & Kathleen Ellis
18524 Juniper Street
Gardner, KS 66030-9147
They said don't make the check out to us.... just reference us on your envelope. :)

My prayer is this: That God will lay our family on someones heart. That they will feel led to help us move toward our $3500 goal with any amount...small or large. That God will allow this grant to really bless our saving toward our adoption and toward making our family whole.

Asking for donations is HARD! I'm not one to ask for much of anything...especially money. I moved out of my parents house when I was 16. They moved to a really small boarder town in TX and I was crushed to have to leave my friends behind. I basically made life really crappy for them and decided to move back to San Antonio on my own my Jr. year of high school.

I worked at the horse race track there in San Antonio at night to make money to live off off and then I went to school during the day. It was SO hard. My stubbornness didn't allow me to ask for help and I was so embarrassed when someone would help without me asking.... It made me feel like a failure. Oh dear sweet PRIDE!!! ugh.

I always did things on my own.
So this is hard.
VERY hard.

Asking for others to help me become a Mom is so humbling, so pride-swallowing....

My faith has grown by leaps and bounds throughout this process. That was God's intentions, I know. He knows how to draw us closer to him. So now I give it to Him. This grant, this adoption, my infertility, my health, our family.... all of it. to. Him.

Thank you to everyone that "get's it". That gets how it feels to have to ask for money for something you feel called by God to do. That gets not having the ability to run out and "do" with your own checkbook. That gets what it means to be "called" by God to do something. That gets what a "Sun Stand Still" prayer means....and how much faith that really takes. Thank you to those who pray for God to lead them to give or to really "get it", or to simply pray for families like ours to become whole


This photo is for John. He's a huge Cardinals fan, so it's fitting that we would use the back of Pujols jersey for a month 5 photo!

Months that is. On the Ethiopia wait list! Only about 12 more to go. After hearing Rebecca's great news this week, I am filled with hope and even more excited for the day we see the cute little Ethiopian faces that God has for our family.

I spent last weekend with my cousins in Texas. We have always called ourselves the Jackson 5, so it was fitting that we take a photo to celebrate 5 months of John and I being on the wait list. My cousin Casey seems pretty excited in this picture. Ha!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yesterday was a GREAT Day....

I pray a lot on my drive to work each morning. Yesterday I was praying for our friends Ben and Rebecca. They have been waiting for a referral from Ethiopia for almost 17 months. I can't imagine....(but I guess I will in about 12 months when I'm still waiting....)

Anyway...I got a text message from my friend Kathleen yesterday that said "Rebecca is getting her referral RIGHT now!" Praise Jesus! I was jumping for joy! Kathleen just happened to e-mail Rebecca to let her know she was thinking and praying for her during this wait and Rebecca wrote back that they were getting their referral at. that. EXACT. moment! Holy Moly!
I immediately e-mailed and text Rebecca that I was BEYOND excited! In just a bit I got a text from Rebecca that included the most precious 14-month old face. A GIRL!!! A SWEET, AMAZING GIRL!!!
God is SO good! I've just been giddy with excitement for the Winters! Will you go over to their blog and congratulate them? You can do it here!
Seeing the face of their sweet girl makes me anticipate the day we get our referral. I can't wait for the phone to ring and see the faces of our kiddos. Hearing Rebecca's news gives me hope. We will have our Ethiopian children soon - in God's perfect timing.
Thanks Rebecca for being such a shining example of someone who perseveres. Who doesn't give up! Who trusts in a pretty Awesome God. SO excited for you friend!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Little Man and Beef Jerky

So my dad called this week and had a pretty serious question for me. Are we going to let people call our little man Jack? I said I didn't really know and asked if he had a problem with people calling him Jack. (My maiden name is Jackson).
He said something dawned on him when he was walking through SAMs....there's a beef jerky called Jack Links.

Heaven forbid our son be named after a piece of beef jerky! Gotta love my dad!

* I told my coworker about my dad's concerns and she brought me a piece of the jerky today :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Help Our Friends! Give 1 Save 1

Can you spare a $1 for a really great cause?? Of course you can! Most of us can give more than a buck. Read the details below on how you can help our friends Clint and Kathleen raise money for their Congo adoption.They are being featured on the Give 1 Save 1 website this week. I totally stole this word for word from Kathleen's blog. Here are the details of the Give 1 Save 1 Campaign. You can donate your dollar (or more) here


Every Monday i’m going to ask you for a dollar. i’m going to tell you who it’s going to and what it’s being used for. we’re mostly funding African adoption for the people, by the people. we’re just going to rain down a crazy blessing on a family, organization, orphanage, or project and we’re going to do it every week. we’re going to get huge. and the world will be changed for lots of people because of your generosity. that sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! let’s do it.
i’ll tell you who we’re sponsoring and where to send your dollar. you’ll need a paypal account to play. if you don’t have a paypal account, you just need one. it’s time. so go ahead and set one up and meet me back here. i’ll link a button to the paypal account that we’ll be blasting. then once you’ve donated your dollar spread the word to get some more dollars in here. if you have a voice, an email account, a blog, a facebook page, a twitter account or a pinboard USE IT! the only way we can make a big difference is to make it viral!

and your dollar will be saving and restoring lives in all kinds of ways. in Ethiopia one in six children don’t live to be five years old. there is a desperate need for basic food, clean water, and medicine. removing a child from an orphanage gives that child a family and a future, something everyone needs. it also frees up a bed in an orphanage for a street child. your dollar will change lives and save lives in ways you may never know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birdies for Babies Golf Tournament....

We will be partnering with Able Ministries again this year to host the second annual Birdies for Babies Golf Tournament. This year the tournament will benefit our great friends the Ellis' and the Leinen's. Both families are adopting children from the Congo.

The tournament will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, October 29th at Earlywine Golf Course, 11600 South Portland Ave., in Oklahoma City.

Registration is $80 for an individual player or $300 for a 4-person team. (cost includes lunch catered by Primos - for those of you who attended our dinner/silent auction, we are using the same place for catering).

For those of you who don't play golf, you can still help! We are asking families, local businesses, etc. to sponsor a hole for $50. It's just another way to support these awesome families.

Please join us as we hit the links to raise money for our friends adoptions. We are very excited to be partnering with Able Ministries, again this year, for the event. Able Ministries provides support and encouragement for married couples who are struggling with the pain of fertility challenges, including infertility and pregnancy loss.

For more information about the golf tournament, you can e-mail me at

To find out more about the event and Able Ministries, you can visit!/event.php?eid=205809469472296

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yesterday Was The Perfect Day....

“For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
~ Psalm 139: 13-16
Yesterday ranks as one of the best days of my life. The moment his tiny face appeared on the screen, I started to cry. I had warned our birthmother that it was bound to happen. I held her hand the whole time that we stared at his tiny features – 10 little fingers, 10 little toes, his beating heart, his hands and feet. He is perfect!

He wasn’t shy. Right off the bat we knew he was a boy. But he was a little stubborn about showing his face. He has a tad bit of peach fuzz on his head. He’s a whopping 2 lbs 2 ounces and the doctor says he’s right on track with the size he should be for the December 9th due date. He is healthy.
As soon as the nurse announced it was a boy, I called John to share the news. He told me he'd had butterflies most of the afternoon, waiting for the call. I had them too as I sat in the waiting room wondering if I’d be buying pink or blue.

The sweetest moment was hearing John refer to the baby as “his son.” Melt my heart!

We called our parents and sister’s. They were excited, yet I know they are all nervous. In the back of their minds they wonder “what if.” What if she changes her mind and we don’t bring this baby home in December. Not going to lie – the thought has crossed my mind too, however, I know God’s hand has been ALL over this. I am trusting Him. John and I believe that the sweet face we saw yesterday is our son.

So we wait. We pray. We anticipate the arrival of our first born…..Jackson!

* I better hold off on revealing the middle name. I think we've made a definite decision, but it could change!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's a....


He is perfect! I cried when I saw him! He is 2 lbs and 2 onces and we are thrilled! More details soon...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tomorrow's the Big Day...Boy or Girl??

Tomorrow's the big day! I will go with our birth mom and we will find out what the baby is. It almost feels surreal, like an out of body experience. I should be more excited. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and I can't wait to finally know. I'm going to about pee my pants in happiness whether they say boy or girl.
But the past week or two I've had my guard up. There's some uncertainty (okay, quite a bit) because we don't know if the birth father is going to try and get custody of the baby. He could end up making a big sticky mess of things and that's a tad bit scary.
I know when I see the baby during the sonogram tomorrow, when I see/hear its heartbeat and when I hear them say it's a boy or a girl, my heart will be that much more invested in this little life.
Ten fingers and ten toes that we may or may not get to spend our whole lives kissing. That's the grave reality of our situation - so much uncertainty until the baby is born and both parents have terminated their rights.
It's hard to explain loving a baby that you've never seen, held, carried in your own womb, felt kick from within you. We feel this way about our Ethiopian children and about this baby too.
The past few weeks have been full of spiritual warfare for John and I. Satan is doing all he can to get us down, to get us to stop trusting the One who is weaving this adoption story together. Satan is attacking our adoption journeys and areas in our marriage because he HATES family. He HATES the amazing story God is writing.
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in faith." (1 Peter 5:8)
We are standing firm in our faith. That our Mighty God, the one who began this incredible story, will finish it. We are putting on the full armor of God. Ready to fight our Goliath - the devil's attacks, the birth father and all that stands in the way of us adopting this baby.
"Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your guard, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Tonight my Bible study was about David defeating Goliath. There were some pretty good reminders that I can apply to this season we face - fighting for a family through adoption.
1. Take God's Word Over the Opinions of Others
2. Measure the Size of Your Obstacle Against the Size of Your God
"We tend to measure our obstacles against our own strength. Thus we often feel overwhelmed and defeated before the battle begins. I'm not suggesting that if we measure our obstacles against God, our battles will be effortless. David still had to face his giant obstacle and use the strength he possessed, but his confidence in God caused a simple pebble to hit like a boulder."
3. Acknowledge an Active and Living God
"We are often intimidated in battle because we are uncertain of our faith. We must remember we don't stand in victory because of our faith. We stand in victory because of our God. Faith in a living, active God moves mountains. He is alive, He is active, He wants to make you living proof."

So I will go to that sonogram tomorrow and I am sure it will take my breath away when I see that tiny image on the screen. The child that I believe God chose to be mine before it was ever knit together in the young girl's womb. I will cry, I will make a dozen phone calls to share our good news and I will probably even do a little pink or blue shopping.
I will put on the full armor of God, resist Satan's attacks and proclaim that my God can move mountains.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

He Knows What You Need

This morning I had to give the devotion at work. The title was "He Knows What You Need." A reminder that God has a plan for each of us and that plan is to prosper us and not to harm us. For hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Most of us have Jeremiah 29:11 memorized, but just because the Lord has great plans for us, doesn't mean He automatically gives it to us. He often withholds things from us for a season because He knows our character needs a little makeover or He needs to correct behavior in our life. But then, once He has molded us to have an image that reflects His, we are ready to receive His blessing and are mature enough to handle it.
It can be easy to become frustrated and discouraged when things aren't going the way you think they should. When your timeline isn't matching up with God's. Some people even turn away from God because they believed for something that didn't come on time - or come at all.
Last night I was doing my Bible study and trying to prepare for this morning's devotion and God gave me a sweet little nugget of wisdom to use for my devotion.
I was reading in 1st Samuel and Jonathan was about to attack the Philistines. Verse 6 says "Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, 'come let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few."
"Jonathan's faith in God was solid. He believed God could do anything but he also realized God could choose whether or not to allow him to be victorious against the Philistines. He knew God could do it, He didn't know if He would. Whether or not He did, Jonathan understood God's response to be based on sovereignty, not weakness." (Beth Moore)
I believe 100% that God is powerful enough to bless me with a biological child (if He so chooses) but so far that has not happened. For so long, I prayed, I cried, I begged God to let me conceive. Nada. He COULD answer that prayer, but He has CHOSEN not to. Can I just say that I look back at all those times I desperately cried out to the Lord and I'm thankful that wasn't the plan He had for me. If I had just gotten pregnant like I wanted, I would have missed out on this amazing ride that God has had John and I on the past (almost) two years.
There are many times in our lives when we think we know better than God - we don't! He knows exactly what we need. We just have to trust - knowing that it will be better than anything we could ever come up with.
Faith is about so much more than just hoping God will give you what you want - it's about truly wanting His best - it's about trusting in His sovereignty.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Glimpse At the Nursey

The nursery has been painted, the crib put together and the curtains hung. My mother-in-law bought us a cute table and lamp and some awesome bookshelves that we need to hang.
My friend Liz will be painting a Bible verse above the crib and I am working on some artwork for the walls.
Here are some photos of the nursery so far.

The crib and bedding...I SO love my Jenny Lind crib!

The table and lamp my mother-in-law bought.

The toy box that I used as a kid. My G-Dad built it for me. Guess what? It's already filled with stuff.

I am actually rocking in this chair as I blog. I am hoping to get it recovered ( if I can afford it) to better match the bedding.

I really wanted an old school cradle. Not a bassinet. Our friends Wayne and Annette gave us this as a gift for Baby Linck.

This was my Pooh Bear. I got it when I was about 2 months old from my Pop. It's almost 30 years old and it's in the crib for our little one to have.

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