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Thursday, January 20, 2011

FOUR MONTHS!




We've been waiting for our referral 4 months today!!!
Can't believe how time is flying! Hope it continues to do so!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God is So Good!



Despite dealing with our longer wait for referral, God has blessed us tremendously and continues to show favor on this adoption! A couple days ago, I had let myself get down by some negativity that was shown regarding our adoption. For a moment, I let that negativity affect me and I questioned if we were doing the right thing. Were we acting responsible by taking on such a HUGE financial risk? Were we were truly called to adopt? Soon I was distracted by the responsibilities of the day, and put these doubts aside. The next day (yesterday), I went to check the mail, and I saw this letter…

It was from Show Hope, a grant that we had applied for around the end of October. In December, Show Hope sent us an email wanting some updated financial information and told us they would be considering our application for review, and to expect to hear something in about four months. I assumed this letter was to state the same thing. Show Hope, in case you didn’t know, is the grant organization that Steven Curtis Chapman started and has been very successful in providing aid for orphans and adoptive families. They are probably one of the most widely known grant organizations in the Christian adoption world. And because they are so popular, everyone who is or will ever be in the process of adopting, applies to them. They only allow you to apply one time because there are so many people that do apply! I actually thought about not applying to them, because of the competition, and the fact that I have never heard of anyone actually receiving one of their grants. I would read blogs about people saying that applying for grants is a waste of time unless you are adopting special needs children or sibling groups, or if you are financially destitute (whatever that means). Since we are applying to adopt a healthy child, our financial need was truly our only hope to receive their grant. So, back to the letter, I opened it first, out to of the huge stack of mail, just out of curiosity. And to my surprise, it read…
“Dear Bryan and Monica,
On behalf of Show Hope and the donors who make our grants possible, we rejoice with your family as you step out in faith to experience the miracle of adoption. Thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your adoption process. We are pleased to inform you that you have been award an adoption assistance grant in the amount of $3000.”
Apparently we are financially destitute! ;) I immediately started to cry and couldn’t contain myself to read any further. Bryan was home and just put in a work call as I started crying. I could see the look of confusion on his face as he was leaving a message to one of his clients. When he got off the phone, I just handed him the letter and said, “We got a grant!” He calmly read through the letter, as I balled, then he just smiled and hugged me. From my reaction, he thought that we had received our referral or something! I clarified to him, that we don’t get notified by mail of our referral, we will get a call, and even if that was our referral, I would have been crying a whole lot more than that!! ;) We immediately prayed together and thanked God, once again, for His provision in our adoption. I couldn’t believe that I actually read those words. In my life so far, I have made several plans, plans that I thought God wanted me to do, but I would constantly hit roadblock after roadblock. I wanted to marry Bryan as soon as I fell in love with him (in high school), I wanted to become an art teacher, and most recently, I wanted to get pregnant. All of which, happened at a later time than I wanted, or did not happen at all. I was used to constantly being rejected and hearing, “No.” or “Not Now.” But, fast forward to our decision to adopt, the whole process has been nothing but assuring that God’s hand is on it. I wouldn’t say things have been easy, but it has definitely gone much smoother, by far, than any of my other plans. There have been more moments of rest and assurance than I have ever experienced. On the days I have my doubts; God is always quick to assure me that He is with us in this! Praise God for His goodness! And thank you all for your prayers!
**UPDATE!**
Some of you may have noticed, our ticker on the front page has shown more money. Well, on Saturday, since this posting, we received a substantial donation from a family member! They generously matched our grant from Show Hope! As you can imagine, we just stared at each other, speechless, and cried, of course! I feel so undeserving of all this generosity. The Lord has really been teaching me so much through everyone's giving, and inspired me to be more giving myself! Thank you all again for giving! Big or small, every gift is a blessing that Bryan and I, and our little one to be, will NEVER forget! Thank you Lord for your provision!

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's a New Year! So, What's New?




Not much really! ;) Adoption wise, we are still waiting, and will be for a while. Our agency says we are on track for a referral in the fall and travel in the winter. We are expecting that, but hoping for something sooner. ;) The newest thing is that we are now considering special needs children. Our Korean agency is giving us the option to reconsider these children in order to get a quicker referral. These needs range from very minor specials needs to more severe. Bry and I are taking our time praying and considering these options. Right now, we have only considered healthy children, but are willing to look into minor/correctable special needs. We aren't against adopting children with more special needs, we just fear we don't have the financial resources to meet the needs they might require. But, we are allowing God to lead us to however He wills regarding this decision. We have also sent out most of our grant applications last week! We are so happy to have that finished. It was quite the job. I really felt like I was back in college, writing papers over and over again!! We have one more to send out, but then that should be it, until we hear back from them. We will have applied to 7 grants total, and have only heard back from one (Help Us Adopt.org) saying that we did not receive it. We are really hoping and praying one or two will see our need and ease our financial burden of this adoption, but we know it's all in God's hands. We have a little less than $15,000 left to raise, which sounds like a lot, but seeing how much we needed when we starting this adoption ($33,000), we have come a LONG way! God has certainly met our need and we know He will continue to do so! Well, I just wanted to give y'all an update, because I know that so many people were wondering. We appreciate everyone's prayers and support we have received. We are feeling excited that this could be the year we become parents and going to try to enjoy our last year as a childless couple! ;) Happy New Year! We were also so blessed to have spent a great Christmas and New Years with our family and friends! We had so much fun! Here are a few pics of our special time together...

Sunday School Class Christmas Party!

Christmas Tradition with the Howells!

Christmas Morning at Grandma's and Grandpa's!

Cooper's First Christmas!

Waking up to a White Christmas!


Meeting Audrey!

Bryan's Grandparent's 60th Anniversary and Vow Renewal!

Fun with Nieces and Nephews!

New Year's Celebration with the Griffith families!