Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

We have so much to be thankful for ... actually, I don't know where to start and I know it won't be close to a comple list but here we go...

  • I am thankful that we have a God of love, mercy, grace, and justice ... that He sent His son to go through the worst things imaginable for my salvation. I'm thankful He loves me so much that I will never be able to comprehend it.

  • I'm thankful we're on the waiting list. We are unofficially #13 on boys and #23 on girls. For those of you not in the adoption circles ... we get our official numbers from AGCI once a month. However, referrals are done throughout the month and we're moving up the list during that time. There are alot of smart people out there that keep track of where they are on the list and we're trying to get up to speed with this.

  • I'm thankful that my USCIS' fingerprints were not rejected. There was concern that my fingerprints were not good enough and they may not accept them. Our social worker Kim gave me the email address to Memphis to see a status...they responded yesterday saying that they were able to get results from my fingerprints so our FDL won't be delayed (well, any more than what Memphis is delayed to begin with)

  • I'm thankful that I'm married to a God-fearing woman, that we are able to visit with my parents and family yesterday and today and be able to visit with Amber's family tomorrow and Saturday.

  • I'm thankful that I live in a Christian nation and the heritage she has. If you listen to folks today, you would think that we're an agnostic country ... that we as a nation should not believe our blessings are from God Himself. Well, let's take a look at what our nation and Congress did in it's early days...

    • In opening on September 7th, 1774, the Continental Congress, the body that gave us the Declaration of Independence, their first motion was to open this first session with prayer. The motion was opposed ... yeah, I know separation of church and state, right? NO, it was not opposed for that ... it wasn't that the delegates were opposed to prayer, they couldn't figure out which Christian clergyman should offer up the prayer. And no, I'm not making this up ... this actually happened. Knowing how things are today could make you think I'm making this up. Please read the link: It fills my spirit to see how our country was founded. And note that the prayer was offered "through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior." To me, that's a Christian viewpoint. And to see how the delegates responded ... it gives me hope.

    • We had 200+ Founding fathers for our nation. 90-95% of them were Christians and held to Christian principles. We hear about the ones that WEREN'T (Ben Franklin, etc). The 90-95% were active in their faith and spreading that faith to others ... clear in their writings, books they used, etc. Several signers of the Constitution founded Bible societies and publicly practiced their Christian faith. Out of 15,000 samples of the founding fathers' writings between the years 1760 -1805, 3,000 were direct quotations from SCRIPTURE

    • In 1775, Continental Congress officially called all citizens to fast and pray and confess their sins that God might bless them. In 1777, they voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles which were to be distributed throughout the 13 colonies! Also, the founders considered it imperative that our soldiers have copies of the Scriptures. With few funds left in the Treasury and the soldiers short on food and ammunition, the Continental Congress ordered 20,000 Bibles to be purchased for the army with tax money (today, those same people would be in jail). And in 1782, the United States Congress declared,“The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all their writings, books they used, etc.

    • On November 1st, 1777, Continental Congress declared a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation ... please read it here: A (long) quote from it..."they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."

I say all this because it gives me hope in our country. Revival in the Bible occurred when people realized what they used to be like and say, "wow, this is what we were" ... and revival would break out across the land. If we can open our eyes to what our country used to be and say, "that's what I want" I believe God will honor our commitment to Him and heal our land.

Have a BLESSED Thanksgiving ... it's time for me to go over to my aunt Pearl's to visit and chow down!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Say a prayer for Abby today

Many of you know in the adoption/blog world know Abby's story. She has experience more in her little life than most of us ever have or want to honestly.

She will be getting a feeding tube put in today at 12:30 CST.

Please visit her site for more information and say a prayer for Abby and her parents today. Also, click the link at the bottom from Brent ... that video is amazing!


Monday, November 17, 2008

My Favorite Numbers

OK, my favorite numbers for today are...




We are officially #15 on the boy's list and #26 on the girl's. We are so grateful for this. As with everyone else who goes through this process, this is an exciting and surreal time for Amber and I. I haven't allowed the time for myself to let it sink in that we are actually on the list.

We still have our call with Julie tomorrow so hopefully we'll know more information.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wait List Worthy ..... but ....

I now know that God gave our case manager Julie His sense of humor. We got an email from her late this afternoon...

Hi Troy—I just wanted to let you know that I received your (document) today! Thank you so much!
I will go ahead and put you on the list and go over this with you on Tuesday.

So ... this is PHENOMENAL news! But at the same token, we were thinking we would know our official numbers today! Nevertheless, we are so grateful to be on the list and can't wait for our call on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend ... I'm going to be paint-boy all weekend with hopes that the living room and entryway will be painted by the end of the weekend.

The Eagle Has Landed ... Again.

I got confirmation this morning from UPS that our missing piece of the dossier was delivered to AGCI this morning. Hopefully, Julie or Christy will have time today to review, confirm, and add us to the list!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not Yet...

So, I've been refreshing email all day waiting for the email from AGCI ... I can only imagine what it's like waiting for the referral call or the travel call...

No email before heading to Bible Study ... which kinda bummed us out. Of course, it came through like 2 minutes after we left ... God does have a sense of humor. I know He's trying to tell me He's got it and to calm down.

Unfortunately, we're missing one small piece of information that there was a miscommunication on but otherwise she said our dossier looked great. The good thing is that we have that missing piece and I'm going to overnight it tomorrow. My work has a UPS account so it won't be too expensive for the cost. We said we wouldn't overnight things due to cost but we're calling this a special circumstance.

So, hopefully Friday we'll be on the list. All in God's perfect timing...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed!

We got this email tonight from AGCI...

Hi Troy and Amber! I finally received your dossier!! Yay! I will try to look this over tomorrow and let you know how it looks :)

We're praying we get on the waiting list tomorrow!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Send Off!

This past week has been pretty busy and we made great progress on the adoption's a recap:

Monday - Got an email from our social worker Kim stating that AGCI approved the home study. I spent the night sanding drywall in the living room

Tuesday - I went to Miriam's Promise over lunch to pick up the home study. We met a couple for coffee in the evening to tell them about AGCI and our adoption experience so far. They feel God calling them to adopt and AGCI is one of two agencies on their list.

Wednesday - Amber made copies of the home study and mailed our dossier in to AGCI! With our case manager Julie in Ethiopia until the middle of next week, I'm not sure when it will get looked at. I emailed the person filling in for her but have not heard back to see what the standard review time is for the dossier. I know that she is swamped doing 2 jobs while Julie is out. We're hoping to be on the lists in the next couple weeks. With the last update on October 31st, there were 24 families on the girls' list and 13 families on the boys' list. So now we are in the "waiting mode" again. If any of you know what the wait is for the dossier approval, please let us know! THANKS! We then went on to study Revelations at our Bible Study.

Thursday - Amber and I went to get our fingerprints done for the I-600A form. This was somewhat intimidating going in ... I think we were the only natural-born Americans (besides the workers) in the office. We were in and out in probably 30 minutes which was great. What wasn't great is that apparently I sanded off my fingerprints with all the work I've been doing. The worker lady had a real tough time trying to get my prints. She said they may go through but there is a possibility they may get rejected and I have to come back. If I get a letter in the next 2 weeks, that means they were rejected and I have to go back. We're praying they get through and we'll be able to get our CIS approval.

We had a big release due on Friday for work so I spent all night working to try to get that done; unfortunately, no work on the living room was done.

Friday - TGIF! I spent the night putting the 2nd coat of mud on the living room walls and then hung out with Amber after that. We just had a low-key night and she got to pick out the movie ... Corrina, Corrina. I had never seen it due to my thinking it was a chic-flick ... and it was, but I had a whole new respect for it now that we are in the midst of adopting from Ethiopia. So, it was a good choice by my wife.

Saturday - I sanded the living room walls and put on a hopeful final skim coat on the walls. We went to church and heard guest speaker Joe McGee speak. He was at church for a parenting seminar this weekend. The guy is hilarious but right on in his message. He speaks alot about how the biological makeups of men and women are different. We grabbed his product brochure as I'm sure we'll be getting some of his books/cd's.

Our friend Saul is a musician and he has partnered with a local place to try to give the 30/40-somethings a fun date night out but still get home to the babysitter by 10pm. He went on stage at 7pm, played for an hour-ish, had another artist play, and we were out of there by 10pm. We don't get out to do those types of things much so it was a fun night ... plus, it was great to hear Saul play.

Sunday - Today I plan to do the hopeful final sanding on the walls and get the mess cleaned up. The goal is to get the plastic cleaned up and the dust swept up. I gotta mow the leaves too ... it's going to be a dusty mess out there. My poor lungs have been taking in all the drywall dust so I guess they're kinda used to it by now. I also need to make a trip to Lowe's to return extra drywall, etc.

We greet at Sunday night church and tonight is a baby dedicaton service. Our good friends from Bible Study are dedicating their little 2 month old so it'll be great to see them putting her up before the Lord.

Alright, I guess I better get to work ... the living room isn't going to sand itself ... have a blessed day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good News

I got an email from Kim, our social worker, that AGCI approved our home study! This has been a patience-item for Amber and I ... we've been waiting 2 weeks for this to occur. Kim said that she'll have all the signatures, notary, etc tomorrow and that she could get it in the mail. I told her it may be worth my time to drive up to get it ... not that I don't trust the USPS ... well, I don't want it to take the scenic route around Nashville before it gets here. So, in theory, if I get it tomorrow, Amber could take it to get copies and mail off our dossier on Wednesday, her day off. I think we are just so excited to get on the waiting list ... we know that's probably a longer process than what we've experience thus far, but at least we'll be making progress rather than just waiting around.

If you get the chance, please listen to this sermon from our pastor this past weekend ... he hit a grand slam on it. Listen to the current sermon, The Church in the World at

I spent the better part of this afternoon and evening doing the first heavy sanding of my drywall mudding in the living room. It is a full work zone. Dust is throughout the house and it's already stressing Amber out. She's "encouraging" me to get the sanding done as soon as I can. We're meeting a couple in our town tomorrow night for coffee to talk about our adoption experience with AGCI. They are in process of making an agency choice and we're excited to share the journey God has us on. Wednesday is Bible Study so the first time I'll get back to the 2nd coat of mudding is Thursday night. Thursday and Friday will be mudding, Saturday will be sanding with a skim coat hopefully going on Saturday as well. Sunday will be the final sanding. At least that's the plan for now. Below are a couple pics....

This is what it looked like before...

Now ... no more wood!

Work Zone!

Plastic, plastic everywhere...

Amber always thinks it's hilarious to see me covered in dust ... I guess she's thinking what I'll look like with gray hair...