Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why Fundraising???

I have been waiting to write this post for a while, but my sister recently setup a trivia night fundraiser to help pay for some of our adoption fees and thought this would be the perfect time.

Many people honestly have no idea how much international adoption cost. Most people we have talked to assume maybe a few thousand dollars, but they don't realize the significant amount of money that is required to adopt a child. Jeffrey and I have debated back and forth on whether or not we should have fundraisers. I am not going to lie; it does sound a little weird to ask people to donate money so you can have a baby, but the more we looked into international adoption and have read international adoption blogs, we have found that it is not so strange or unusual after all. 

Jeffrey and I truly believe that this is something that we are supposed to do, but we also feel like many of our friends and family have been led to help orphans and those in need as well. We also know that many of you have a heart for children and for adoption. As Jeffrey and I thought more and more about fundraising for our adoption, we came to the realization that sure we are the ones who are going to raise the baby, but many people would love to be a part of bringing an orphan home to his/her forever family. Jeffrey said that we should not be too proud or selfish to not allow others to help us with this amazing life changing process.

As more and more of you have heard about our adoption process, I cannot tell you how many of you have asked us what you can do in order to help us.

To be real and give you the numbers, Jeffrey and I have currently spent around $15,000.00 on this adoption. Jeffrey and I live on a tight budget and have been saving since the beginning of our marriage. This money has gone towards social worker fees, document fees, background checks, shipping cost, and more. Ahead of us, we have 4 round trip tickets to Ethiopia (We are required to go twice), adoption cost (to readopt our baby here in the US will be around $5,000), adoption agency fees, gifts to the orphanage, vaccinations, and more.  Although we know, we can financially provide for our baby when she/he arrives home; it is getting her/him home that is the challenging part =)

I know I don't really need to list everything and justify anything to you, but I feel like our friends and family should understand why it costs so much. Jeffrey and I are so honored and blessed to share lives with the most generous and loving people on the planet. We would never want you to feel obligated or required to help us, but we have provided a couple opportunities for you to partner with us in rescuing our baby from poverty and so much more.

Like I mentioned, my sister is having a trivia night to help! We are hoping to put all this money towards our plane tickets. I have included the flyer for the trivia night if you are interested. 

We have several friends and family who are unable to attend the trivia night due to distance or other circumstances but would like to help. Our adoption agency has provided a free program that allows friends and family members to donate on our behalf.

Credit card contributions can be made online at https://www.awaa.org/forms/payment.aspx Where it says select a fee, click Eternal Family Program and in the note section type "Eternal Family- Jeffrey and Rachel Woodson". I believe there is a small processing fee. If you would prefer to send a check by mail, you can message me or Jeffrey and we can send you the form and the address.
I pray that all of this information is taken the way we intend it to come across; we know many of you have asked and so we wanted to provide you with the opportunity. Thank you for considering partnering with us financially. We understand that not all are led to give financially, but we do ask everyone to join us in prayer through this process. We know that God provide in every circumstance in this journey. We are blessed to have you in our lives, and can't wait for baby Woodson to be a part of yours.
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Audio Adrenaline - Kings & Queens

This song has really been on my heart lately. It is all about loving those who are easily forgotten in the world and how we are called to love them. I have been praying lately that even after Baby Woodson arrives, Jeffrey and I will not forget or lose sight of the millions who still need love.

Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do good. Seek Justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of widows."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ethiopian food

We have been wanting to try some Ethiopian food for quite a while, but decided that we would wait until there was a celebration in order. Our papers landing in Ethiopia was the perfect excuse to get out and try some Ethiopian food. We checked out a few different restaurants but kept being referred to one particular restaurant.

This year, I have two Ethiopian students, One of my students told me how much she loved this place off Grand and how delicious their Ethiopian food was. She suggested some specific foods which I of course could not pronounce the names of and could not exactly remember. I do remember her telling me that it was made with lentils. We then had a few people at church also recommend the same restaurant off Grand and we found out it is owned by an Ethiopian women from our church.

Having stayed in Africa before, I knew the food was going to be very different from what we were used to here. I have never been to Ethiopia and like any continent, food changes from country to country. Sometimes I think people just label Africa as one big country. None of use really had much of an idea of what to expect. We invited Jon and Leah along to celebrate since they will be the baby's "God-parents". Yeah we're not Catholic, but in the whole adoption process thing we had to pick guardians for the baby in case something would ever happen to us, and they are who we picked. We also just like spending time with them, and we knew they would be good sports whether the food was terrible or not.

THEY WERE BIG SPORTS! ESPECIALLY AUNTIE LEAH. Okay, I am going to try to say this the best way I can. It was a great experience. Some of the food was great and some of the food in Jeffrey's smooth talking "It taste like when you face plant in a sand box".  We ordered the sample platters. We got one vegetarian and one meat. It was full of all kinds of food varying from lentils to lamb. Uncle Jon struggled getting past the injera (sponge like sour dough pancake like tortilla). You use this to eat everything. There were no utensils so you scoop everything up with the injera. At first it was fine, but the sour dough taste starts to become powerful as you keep eating. Jon was the first to stop. Leah and I were doing fine until once again with his smooth talk Jeffrey described the injera as "This really has the consistency of .......flesh." Thanks, Jeffrey.

Leah and I were determined to eat as much as we could, and like I said there were definitely things that we enjoyed on the menu. Surprisingly the lentil dishes were our favorites. I am praying Jeffrey and I survive in Ethiopia, and that he doesn't find any other creative ways to describe the food.

Yesterday, my student informed me that she loved cow eye balls while living in Ethiopia and that when I go I will have to try them. Oh the adventures that await us!

I know I made this experience not sound like the best, but it was really great. There was lots of laughing, and we really did find some Ethiopian dishes that we wouldn't mind eating. The next time we go, which probably won't be for a while, we will order specific things off the menu. Since this was our first time, we wanted to get the whole experience and try everything, and we definitely did!

The place was super crowded and seemed like a favorite among many. Check out Meskerem and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WHAT A WAY TO START 2013!

We can't think of a better way of starting 2013 than the way we did! We started off by finding out that our papers have been delivered to Ethiopia!

The last couple of days, we have followed our papers from Virginia to Tennessee to France to Dubai and FINALLY TO ETHIOPIA!

We are now officially waiting for the referral for our baby. We have mentioned this before that we don't know the wait time yet, but we are excited to actually be waiting for our baby now!

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND ENCOURAGEMENT. PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING! WE KNOW 2013 IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR!

Every day we are getting closer to bringing Baby W home!

Please continue to prayer for the families who have been separated from their children due to the Russian government's decision. Please pray that the children will be placed in loving homes, and pray that the families who were awaiting the arrivals of these children will find peace in knowing that God is greater than any situation and will heal their broken hearts and take care of their children who have been taken from them. I can't begin to imagine their pain.