Sep 28, 2012

It costs how much???

I have a lot of people asking me how much does it cost to adopt in Africa.  It's crazy expensive.  In general, families spend around $20,000-30,000 in fees when they use an agency. You may be wondering why international adoption is so expensive.  Me too!  There are lots of costs associated with adopting.

Our fees came in 3 categories. 

1.  First we had the Homestudy, Fingerprinting and Initial agency application.

2.  Next came the Agency and African Program fees (attorney).

3.  Lastly, we have travel and accommodations to pick our little girl up.

Here is a breakdown of our fees:

Agency Application Fee $300

Homestudy Fee $1300

Immigration fee
I-600A, Family pre-approval $720
CIS Fingerprinting (2 adults) $170



First portion $3000

Second portion $2000

Program Fee $3000 (subject to change since she's older/special needs)

Child’s US Visa $230

Child’s Medical Visa $400


These costs vary (average $7100 includes airfare for 2 adults and 1 child, accommodation, food, transportation in Africa for 5 weeks).  We plan to take all 3 of our bio kids (God willing) so this bumps up our travel cost another $4500.

TOTAL: ~ $27,220

So where are we in this process?  We still have to pay for our little girl's last portion of the program fees ($1500ish) and our travel fees.  Isn't God just amazing?  I could go on and on about God's hand on our adoption.

We have been on the fence on whether we should take our kids and we feel that it would be best to introduce our entire family to her and vice versa.

Goodness gracious, this is a family affair!!

We all want to meet her and show her love!  I also want the peace knowing that my family is completely intact.  We have went round and round with this decision, but this is the one that we are at peace with.  We are planning for all 5 of us to travel unless God shuts the door. 

We have already seen God faithfully provide financially in such big ways in this process and we are continuing to trust His timing!

My prayer is that God is glorified through this entire process and He opens the doors that need to be opened and slam shut the doors that need closed.  

Sep 26, 2012

Giving Up.

Throw in the towel.  That's what i wanted to do today.  I really think I'm the only homeschooling mama that doesn't enjoy homeschooling.

Sure, i absolutely love hanging out with my daughter all day.  I love shopping with her.  I love talking to her. I love the closeness that i have with her, but the sitting at the table TEACHING her--NOT SO MUCH! 

God's been dealing with my heart on this.  I am committed to this for one year, but i do not feel that i NEED to be a homeschooling Mom to be a "good christian mom".

In fact, i think as women we get caught up in what "the church" thinks we should do versus what God calls us to do.  Satan is alive and well in our churches and he loves to keep us busy doing things we think we should be doing for Jesus.

Sure, God calls some of us to homeschool, but i am a firm believer that it's not a cookie cutter, one size fits all decision.  I know some awesome Christian mamas that send their little ones to school.  School is a fertile mission field.  If we take all of the Christian kids out of the school, who is going to tell the other kids about Jesus?

I CAN trust Jesus with my children in a public school setting.. 

It says in Proverbs 16:9 that We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

So what am i going to do? 

Stand still.  Watch God work.  Keep quiet and let Him take over.  I'm going to lay low and listen to God speak to me on what He wants us to do. 

Sep 21, 2012

I-171H has Arrived

Guess what came in the mail today from the USCIS?????

We are officially approved! This is the last piece of paper that we needed.

There is nothing else we can do but wait and pray. The Lord knows when we should travel.

Sep 20, 2012

I miss running...

Many moons ago, i started this blog as an accountability fitness blog (now deleted). After all, who wants your weight plastered on the internet.  Lately my life has been consumed with adoption and homeschooling. 

Life happened.

Somewhere along the way, i put running on the back burner.  Last year, I was running a race almost every month.  The last time i ran was in 2011.

I miss those days. 

I miss putting my headphones in my ear and hitting the pavement.  I miss those moments of pushing my body to its limit and everything going on in my life, that is terrible or stressful is just gone, even if it's for a short duration.

For that short time my mind is at ease and I am just a runner trying to hit X miles in less time than the last.  There is nothing that comes in between me and the clock.

It is me, the open road, Jesus, and my music. It is when I do some of my best praying, brainstorming and planning.

When i run, i'm a better mother.  I am a better wife.  I am just better...

And let me tell you, i've been in a funk! lazy butt is running 8 miles Saturday with a friend.  I. AM. GOING. TO. DIE!! 


Stupid?? YES!

But, i've never been one to be conventional. 

Sep 12, 2012

Finding your tribe

This year I'm homeschooling.  Do i love it?  I honestly can't say that i do.  Is it homeschooling that's the issue?  Not really.

So what's my issue?  FINDING MY TRIBE!  Micah and I have lived here in Florida since 2004.  I love Florida.  It's my home.  I grew up around here, but my tribe isn't here, or at least i haven't found them yet.  Finding my tribe has been a life long pursuit.  There was a moment in my life that i had a tribe; when we live in NC.  My heart is still there.  I see glimpses of them on the internet from time to time.  I only wish they all lived in my neighborhood!

Here in Florida, I have a hodge-podge of a tribe. I'm truly thankful for these friends as they get me, but we are all in different seasons in our lives.  I am blessed to have them though.  So blessed!

I woke up this morning realizing I'm lonely, but not alone.  Does that even make sense???  I stumbled into bible study after talking myself out of it all morning, but immediately realized i was right where i was meant to be.  I think God allows seasons of loneliness.  At various times He allows us to have numerous friends and then at times He only provides a few, and at just the right time.

God gives us friends.  He has given me friends that would risk their life to save mine. Or the friend that will pull us out of the pit. One that is more like a sister.  And then there are the friends with a servant's heart, or the constant blessing.

We may be lonely, but God doesn't leave us alone. If we have one loyal friend we are rich.

When God sends us a friend we need to be humble and willing to receive the help that he or she has to offer in the way that God intends. This can be difficult especially if you are like me and  find it hard to accept help.

We feel like we don't deserve it. Our pride gets in the way. We are so intent on being strong and independent that we won't expose our needs. Yep, totally me!

We refuse to open our hearts because of a deep fear that we will end up getting hurt.
Oh my word...sound familiar?

We insist on being a rock. 

But if we insist on being self-sufficient, we will miss great blessings.  I don't want to miss God's blessings.  I don't want to get caught up in the busyness of life that i miss God--even though I'm doing things for God.  And this my friends is why i feel God is allowing this season of loneliness.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings on what God has revealed to my heart today.

Sep 7, 2012

Thank you Jesus!!

I didn't expect to hear anything until next week.  I was literally praying over this situation and the phone rang.

I can hardly write this post as i'm simply amazed at our God and how He has consistently shown up in this adoption. 

I can officially say that we have a little girl waiting to come home and i can hardly wait to meet her. 

Be still???

Today is a big day in the life of our adoption.  We are hoping to hear good news soon as a result.  My mind wanders...but, what if we don't?  What if God decides to close the door?  What if this little girl, that has already become a part of my family, isn't the one?  What if...What if...What if??? 

We pray.  We search scripture.  We trust.  We obey.  

But, what if???  What if God has a different plan?

Then, all i can do is:

I don't know the future.  I don't know what God has planned, but i pray that whatever happens may it bring Him glory.  I do know that without Him, i'd be a big mess.

Sep 5, 2012

Dear Brayden,

Happy 5th Birthday Little Man!!

We don't do big birthdays around here.  Been there, done that!  We let the kids pick where they want to eat and that's what we do.  Brayden wanted to go to Applebees.  He wanted to hear them sing to him.  In fact, that's all he wanted for his birthday.  Bless his heart.