Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday

Though our church does not take part in Orphan Sunday, churches all over America are spreading the word about orphans and the need for people to care for them.

Today I would encourage you to find a way to help orphans. I know not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone can be a part of changing a child's life.

EASY STEPS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
1. Pray for orphans around the world
2. Donate to an organization that helps orphans (There are many out there. Research and find one that you feel comfortable with and trust. I can suggest a few if you are interested.)
3. Encourage those who are adopting or have adopted
4. Go on a missions trip that works with orphans
5. Research adoption and foster care


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Micah 7:7 MSG

"But me, I'm not giving up. I'm sticking around to see what God will do. I'm waiting for God to make things right. I'm counting on God to listen to me."
Micah 7:7MSG 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Change of Request

ETHIOPIA UPDATE:
The rainy season is quickly approaching which means courts will close for a couple months or so until rainy season is over. There is no set date as of right now to when courts will close, but it is usually some time in mid August, and they usually reopen some time in October. During this time, no movement will really take place in regards to adoption unless people have already passed courts and are just waiting to clear Embassy.

WOODSON ADOPTION UPDATE:
We recently met with our social worker to update our homestudy and to discuss some possible changes to our adoption. Jeffrey and I have been thinking about making some changes to our adoption request for a while. We have been thinking about changing our request for our child's age. Wait times are increasing and like we have told you all before, it seems like we have quite a wait ahead of us. On the unofficial list, we are 70 for an infant boy and 76 for an infant girl. That doesn't seem like a lot, but we have only moved about 20 spots in the past two years or so. We discussed with our social worker about changing our request from 0-12 months to 0-3 years old. This change in request will most likely move us 30 spots immediately on the unofficial list. Meaning this could help cut our projected wait time in half.  Now, just to be clear, we are not getting on a plane to Ethiopia any time soon; we still have a big wait ahead. Our social worker seemed absolutely fine in making the changes to our request, but we have to have our homestudy say that we are approved for this change before our adoption agency can change our request. We wanted to let you all know of this because this is a big change, and although we could still be bringing home an infant there is probably a greater chance that we will be bringing home a toddler. We know that this could bring a few extra challenges, but we are confident in our decision and excited for the next steps towards bringing our baby home.

Please continue to pray for us and for our baby while we wait to be united as a family. We love you all. Please also continue to pray for orphans around the world.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

2 Years and Counting

WOW! I can't believe that it has been two years since we have started this incredible journey to our family. Just to be accurate, we applied for the Ethiopia program on May 22, 2012 and were accepted into the program on June 8th. In adoption world they don't count your wait until all your paperwork has arrived in the country you are adopting from, so by their calendar we have been waiting about a year and a half.  However you look at it, these past two years have been some of the most trying and most rewarding years of my life.

Jeffrey made the comment about a month ago that maybe this whole adoption process was designed by God to change us more than us changing a baby's life. It has definitely done that. In these two years, I feel like I have personally grown in so many ways and that our marriage has grown.

I have always been one to celebrate others and enjoy doing so, but I want to be completely honest here and say it hasn't been the easiest for me over the past two years. Jeffrey and I have been married almost six years (and I am so incredibly thankful for the time we have had to grow as a couple), but it can be hard to see people all around you starting their families and you just waiting for yours. Since we started the process, we have had friends plan to have a baby, get pregnant, and have their baby. This can be incredibly difficult because you see how long that you have been waiting. I have been waiting for a little more than 2 1/2 pregnancies ( if you count the time we started the process).  If you're reading this and you are one of our friends who have recently had a baby, I want you to know that we celebrate with you, and we couldn't be happier for you. In this time of waiting I have learned to rejoice with others even when it is difficult, but what I am even more thankful for is the experience of the pain. I have always felt bad for my friends who were trying to conceive and having a difficult time or those who have miscarried, but God has truly put these woman on my heart through this process. I don't want to say that I have developed empathy for them because I have not experienced what they have, but I have definitely developed a greater sympathy. Whether this baby is in my belly or in my heart, I have developed a longing and a very deep and real love for this child that I have not even met yet. I have learned the agony of just wanting this little one to be here, and many times when I would lie in bed at night crying, I would begin to shift my wants and desires into prayers for others who have been wanting and longing just like me. I have also learned to celebrate where I am in life!

I have learned to stop waiting for the end but to celebrate the journey. This has probably been one of the most difficult things to do. As a person who is very organized and structured, I like to have a game plan, and I like to be in control of what is going on. Adoption is one of the most unpredictable processes. Since we have started, at least 5 processes/requirements/laws/whatever you want to call them, have changed. When working with two different governments who don't always have it together, I have realized that I cannot control everything that happens; I cannot make things happen faster, so we cannot just sit and worry till the end of this. Jeffrey has been so awesome through the whole experience, and he has really helped me to see that although this is a huge part of our life, it is not the only part, and we must continue to live. Early on, there were many nights of crying, frustration, anger, anxiety, and fear, but now we rest and have peace that all of this will come to into place in the perfect timing. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those people who believe I can just sit around, and if it is supposed to happen it will. No, while we wait, we are fundraising, keeping our documents up to date, praying, and preparing, but we are doing it under the mindset that this time of waiting is still a time in our marriage and in our lives that we want to enjoy for what it is. It's not that we don't care about what is happening in the adoption; oh trust me, I still check the list on a weekly basis, but I am checking it knowing that it may not be what I want to see, but I am going to enjoy this day/ week/month/year/  for what it is and not for what it is not.

Updates have been hard for me because quite honestly, we haven't really moved much. When we applied, they told us somewhere between 12-18 months was the average wait times. They are now telling the new people who are entering the program that it is a 4 year wait. On the unofficial list that I don't talk about very much, we are still in the 70s (yes, meaning 70 people ahead of us). It's hard for me to really explain the list, but over the past two years we have maybe moved 15-20 spots. Like I said, it is all so unpredictable. There have been things put in place that have really slowed the process down, but they are hoping it will actually see it speed things up once people learn how it works. All we know is that this is where we are supposed to be, so when you talk to us, and it seems like we haven't got a clue to how much longer it is probably because we really don't. Trust us, you will all know when Baby Woodson is arriving!

We ask that you continue to pray for us while we continue on this difficult but absolutely worth it path. We ask you to pray for our baby and for children all around the world who are in need of love and care. Thank you for all your support. We are enduring this so much easier because we know we have an amazing group of family and friends who hold us up and are walking with us.

TWO YEARS DOWN!



Friday, April 18, 2014

Adoption Conference

Two weeks ago, Jeffrey and I had the opportunity to attend an adoption conference. You may wonder what an adoption conference is all about. Well, there may be many different types, but this one was more to equip parents with knowledge and strategies for once your child is home.

Though we still have a long wait ahead of us, we want to be proactive in educating ourselves and investing in our children even before they are here.

Many people adopt think that they are going to face the same challenges that everyone faces with their biological children, and although these challenges still exist, many times people who adopt will sometimes face other challenges. This can be a little scary when thinking about some of these challenges, but we want to be wise and prepare for the unexpected. We are of course praying for a healthy baby- body and mind, but when you have lived the first part of your life in extreme poverty, are malnourished, and have been in an institution, there may be some emotional, physical, and emotional needs/delays that will need to be addressed.

The conference was very informative, and Jeffrey and I are still processing much of the information, but we are so honored and excited to be the parents of this beautiful child that is waiting for us, and we are waiting for them. We want to be able to meet all of the needs of our children whether they are biological or adopted, and we know that every child and every adoption is different.

Jeffrey said the thing that he really took from the conference was that maybe God didn't call us to adopt to make this huge impact on this child, but maybe God called us to adopt to make a huge change in us. We have been so humbled, stretched, and strengthened through this process, and we aren't even to the best part yet!



Thursday, April 3, 2014

TRIVIA NIGHT RECAP

I need to start by apologizing for not posting this sooner! Life has been a bit busy, and we haven't had the chance to stop and post.
This picture captures the fun that was had by all!

WOW! Once again we have been overwhelmed by the beautiful people who love and support our family. There are not enough words to express our gratitude to all the people who came, helped, and donated. We were able to raise $3,600! This is an awesome amount to add to our adoption fund!
The McGovern's Table!
Kaitlin and Aunt Janeece
THE AWESOME GRADERS!


Hartwicks shopping at the silent auction.
                
Whether you placed first or last, you are all champions to us!


WHAT AN AWESOME TURN OUT!
We had such a fun night. It felt more like a family reunion than a fundraiser!









WE HAVE TO GIVE A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO AUNT LEAH! SHE ORGANIZED THE WHOLE EVENT, AND DID AN AWESOME JOB!
We love these guys!
My Best Friends!


Bryan and Eli

So Sorry we couldn't include a picture of everyone who attended! If you were there, we THANK YOU! Thank you for making this night so special! We could not have done it without you! We are now closer to bringing home Baby W! We can't wait for you all to meet her/him! We can't wait to meet her/him either =)

Please continue to keep our adoption, our baby, and orphans all around the world in your prayers!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

To Our Valentine

Baby,

On a day where you are supposed express your love to those you love, we want you to know that there was not a moment that we didn't think about you. When daddy and I went on our date, we talked about you often. Although there are a lot of things keeping us from bringing you home right now, nothing can keep us from loving you the way we do. Love has no boundaries. No oceans, no miles, no time frames, no governments, no waiting list will keep me from loving you. Happy Valentine's, Baby Woodson. You are far more loved than you can imagine right now.