Saturday, February 25, 2012

matched and mismatched

I have been asked a lot lately (well, not a lot, but more than usual) if we are certain that we're definitely matched with Gia.  My answer: yes!

And then I ran across this blog today.

This family is hurting because their daughter (from Korea) is now being adopted by her foster mother after they've waited 18 months to get her.  Now, this family is using a different placing agency, so I'm praying this isn't even an option for us.  Plus, Gia's foster mom is a little older, so I doubt it's even a thought for her.  Regardless, I'm so shocked and curious.

I just emailed our social worker to find out the scoop on that particular topic, so hopefully my nerves will be eased this week.

Please pray for that sweet family.  I just cannot imagine...

In other news, there is no others news. :)
We are still hanging out waiting on a green light to get our hopes up for something.  With each passing day, I know we are closer to bringing her home, and I take a lot of comfort in that.  It's crazy to think that in less than a year we will be a family of three!  I'll be honest though, sometimes I wonder if it won't be longer than a year.  Either way, we are trusting that God has given her to us and that we will be able to love on her in the coming future.

Oh, I did call our credit card company yesterday to check on our travel points because we've been paying every single bill with that card in hopes of racking up some major travel rewards.  Turns out, not so much luck with that.  It seems we have about $500 of "money" to use for travel with our points, which is not even one ticket to Korea.  Kevin was quick to remind me that it's $500 less than what we'll have to pay.  True!  If any of you out there have flyer points of some sort that you want to give to a good home, just let me know.  :)

Sending Hugs

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

legals and art collecting

I feel like my blogging updates have been skimpy at best lately.  Oopsie.

The good news is that I do have an update to share.  Yay!
Kevin and I got a really cool surprise last week when our agency sent us an updated pic of Gia.  My favorite part of the picture was that her sleeves and pants legs were rolled up.  A lot.  It was precious.  In a way, it makes me happy to think she is still so little, regardless that she's now 13 months old.  I've learned that her foster mom will send us a new picture whenever we send gifts.  So, naturally, I was about to be on mission to send a gift every week.  This time we got the picture without having to send anything.  Not to worry, there's another gift for her sitting on the kitchen table right now.  I just need to pack it up this week and mail it off.  

And then today, we got another surprise...  Holt emailed to say that her legals will be here this week.  Legals....what is that?  Hard to answer that one.  I'm assuming it's just a set of paperwork to help us fill out the remaining paperwork for Korea, the I600.  We sent off the I600a several weeks ago, and now it's time for the last form to be filed.  

The last form.
I think I really can hear the angels singing with me.  

From my understanding, there are a couple other smaller things we'll need to do before travel call, but this is the last piece of paperwork.  This is a huge milestone!  

Unfortunately, it still sounds as if we are still waiting for EPs to begin being processed, so our timeframe is unknown.  We are still praying for this summer, and I would be humbled if you all would join us in that prayer. 

Prayer.  I feel like God's been teaching me a lot about prayer lately.  Maybe it's because I just read Heaven is For Real.  

Whatever the reason, God is slowly showing me my unbelief.  I pray, yes, but do I truly believe that God hears my requests?  No, not all the time.  I have to admit that most of the time my prayers are out of obedience than actual belief that my Father is listening and anxious to hear from me.  My prayer for myself these days is that God will show me His hand in the things I'm lifting up to Him.    

Pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.     ~Psalm 62:8

Through this mini-revelation, I've realized that I rarely pray for Gia to come home.  I know that we are still waiting for a lot of things to fall into place before she can come home, so that's prevented me from fully telling God how badly I want her home.  It's prevented me from begging Him to intervene supernaturally.  Not anymore! :) 

So, as I said before, I'd love for you to join us in praying that we will see God move in a big way to get her home.  Not only in time but in finances as well. 

Speaking of finances...
I mentioned in a previous blog that our good friend Brooke is donating her talents to help us in fundraising. She has a great Etsy shop that is set up to fund her family's mission trip to India, but she has a couple of pieces completely designated to Gia.  

If collegiate art is not your thing, well then shame on you.  
But seriously, Brooke has lots of really great pieces.  Check this one out. Love it!

Any art purchased at her Etsy shop will send a percentage to our adoption.  Just let Brooke know that I sent you!  

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sending Hugs

Saturday, February 4, 2012

it's here

Just a friendly reminder to get your slot booked with the amazing Page Dollar for some really sweet pictures!  Here's her latest shoot.  

Only $100 for memories forever documented that will also bring home a precious baby girl that I'm dying to meet. :)

Feb 8 1:00-2:00
Feb 8 2:00-3:00
Feb 8 3:00-4:00

Feb 10 1:00-2:00
Feb 10 2:00-3:00
Feb 10 3:00-4:00--booked (Barnettes)

Feb 11  1:00-2:00--booked (McKay)
Feb 11  2:00-3:00--booked (Webster)
Feb 11  3:00-4:00--booked (Wilson)

Feb 12  TBA--booked (James)

Sending Hugs

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

alabama gives day

A dear friend of mine (and her hubby too, ha ha!) run the non-profit Sound of Hope.  This is an amazing organization that cares for orphans around the world.  It's humbling to know people that have given their life to such a huge task.  It's not glamorous.  It's not what many of us would choose.  It's not lucrative in the worldly sense.  But it's God's work, and it's life changing.  I get told all the time how amazing Kevin and I are for faithfully and obediently following the call to adopt.  Can I just be honest for a second?  That is easy compared to what the Jacksons are doing with Sound of Hope.  We are blessed to think that God is using us to be His instruments to rid the world of one more orphan, but Rusty and Ericka are providing hope and protection and love for thousands of orphans! 
But they cannot do this alone.  Please consider donating to Sound of Hope tomorrow for Alabama Gives.  For every $10 donated, you will be entered to win a prize.  Rest assured that your money is going to God's Kingdom work when you do click that donate button. 
Below is a blog Ericka wrote about Sound of Hope.  Enjoy reading and remember to donate!
Sending Hugs

“How did a girl from Oxford, AL end up here?” – It’s a question I often ask myself, whether speaking Thai in a Chiang Mai market, greeting women at a carepoint in Swaziland, or putting on my traditional punjabi suit before riding through Delhi traffic. My life looks very different than I ever could have dreamed it would, growing up in small town Alabama. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that my husband and I are running our own international non-profit. When we aren’t working in our office in Maylene, AL, you can find us living and working in Thailand, India, or Africa.
Back when I was a student at Oxford High School, if you’d told me I would be comfortable half a world away in Africa I would have thought you’d lost your mind. A few years later, when I was struggling in Spanish classes at Auburn University, I would have laughed at the idea of learning Thai! But sometimes, things don’t go as we plan – and I am grateful for that! Every day that I get a chance to rescue innocent children from horrors like drug trafficking, sex trafficking, genocide and abuse, I am in awe that this is my job.
Through our work in third world countries, we are making a real difference. Little girls, who suffer in extreme poverty in Africa, are getting an opportunity for an education. Little boys, who would otherwise be forced to fight as child soldiers in Burma, are learning sustainable life-skills like gardening and raising livestock. Forgotten children, orphaned and abandoned in India, are being welcomed into loving homes. And it’s all happening because someone gave a few dollars to show they care.
If you’re reading this and wondering, “What does this have to do with me?” - well, I’m getting there. You see, tomorrow, February 2nd, is the very first Alabama Gives Day. This is a day that is dedicated to the hundreds of participating non-profits in our wonderful state. Organizations like the Alabama Broadcasters Association are hoping to increase awareness and funding for non-profit organizations in Alabama. They’re also hoping to show their fellow Alabamians just how much good we can do if we all give a little!
I’m here to tell you that The Sound of Hope wouldn’t exist without a multitude of intelligent, compassionate, generous people from my Sweet Home Alabama. You see, I am who I am today because of the incredible people in this state who have impacted me throughout my whole life. It was my teachers at DeArmanville Jr. High School, Oxford High School, and Auburn University who equipped me with the knowledge and leadership abilities I needed to start my own non-profit organization. It’s the traits of integrity, honesty, compassion, and generosity that I learned from my family and my church that help the work we do succeed. It’s the poise and confidence that I gained from the Miss Alabama Program that makes me comfortable speaking to audiences of thousands about the children we serve. I could go on, listing all the organizations, jobs, and friends that have been apart of my life, but the bottom line is this - each and every person I have met along my journey has made me who I am today.
But Alabamians don’t just stop there - they are far too generous for that! I can’t even count the number of people around the state that have helped us get The Sound of Hope off the ground. My former first grade teacher used to donate $100 a month back when we were first getting started. Every time we get a donation in the mail from Alabama, I look at the name on the check and smile…because there is something special about people from my home state supporting what we do.
When people ask us how we’re so successful, my husband is quick to say, “We are only as successful as our donors are generous.” It’s the truth. That’s why on February 2nd – Alabama Gives Day – I’m hoping you’ll give a tax-deductible donation to The Sound of Hope. We may just be from small town Alabama, but together, we can change the world!