Sunday, September 25, 2011

Moving Full Speed Ahead

God’s purpose what is it?  Ever since Jon and I have discussed adoption with family, church, and friends it has been interesting to hear the responses we get.  Most are in favor and some are not.  I guess that is a typical response that anyone should receive.  Sometimes it hard to hear of someone else’s calling when it’s not a calling that you have received yourself.  All I know is that we are all different.  God uses our differences in life to fulfill his purpose.  We are now starting to realize God has a second purpose for this journey so far and many more up his sleeve I am sure.  The second calling is to share our journey that God has called us to do.  We have clearly stated to people that this is God’s calling and we have chosen to follow him.  It is going to be roller coaster ride with ups and downs and twists and turns.  One thing is for certain we will stay committed to our faith in God and trust his plans.
Last weekend Jon and I gathered all of the baby items from the house and packed them into the van and set off to sell them at a mommy market at Branch Creek Community Church.  I had realized that at this point in our lives that we were most likely going to adopt a child that was older than the baby stage.  I love babies and I know that Jon couldn’t believe how I just packed the items up and decided that I was going to sell them.  The Mommy  Market was a great day.  There were so many things that happended to me that day. 
As I drove to the Mommy Market, I was listening to some praise songs on the radio.  I felt a little emotional but in a good way.  I wasn't sad that we were selling the baby items.  I felt that God was giving me a peace about what I was doing that day.  I knew that he was going to be in control of the day.  I knew that he was preparing me for the journey to come.  I got the the church and they showed me where my table was going to be.  It happened to be next to a woman who had also previously adopted.  We had talked and shared stories.  It was great to be next to her.  As the morning progressed, I saw Alicia who is also in the process of adopting from Honduras.  I had just e-mailed her days prior but I had never met her before.  I saw her walking by and asked if that was her.  It was.  We hugged and talked some about the adopting and where we are in the process.  They had recently done a Both Hands project, where you help a widow and orphans.  I had e-mailed her to see if I could talk to her about this project.  We would really like to do this also.  We are going to be talking more about that soon. 
Soon after that, my friend Jenn passed by with her daughter that they had recently adopted.  She was beautiful!!  I just couldn't believe that they were there.  Jenn told Hayley to say hi to me.  She said "hi" with the sweetest voice and waved at me.  I immediately started to cry.  It was just a beauitful moment.  Jenn and I hugged and of course I made her cry.  She just said to me, "This is going to be you soon."  Just seeing how she was doing and just the fact that a few weeks prior she was in the orphanage.  Just to see her and how far she has come was just amazing.  It was just a blessing to see God's work. 
While I was at the Mommy Market, Jon had a to do list to get some things done for the adoption.  He had to go to the Boyertown Library to get his Passport Application completed and mailed in, and then he had to get bloodwork done to complete his Physical.  When he was done, he came to the church to pick me up and help load what didn't sell.  He came in and was surprised to see that I had sold most of my items.  I had sold all of my bigger items.  I had a baby swing left, which I knew someone had looked at it to buy, but they didn't.  At the end of the sale, I had decided to donate it to the Care Corner at Branch Creek Church.  As I walking to donate the swing, I saw this person again.  I asked her if she wanted it for free.  She was so happy and thankful!!  It was also great to see how that had really helped her too.  I had a bin left of Maternity Clothes and a few other things.  Jon had looked around and saw that other people still had a lot of items still left.  Later, I counted the money that I had earned that day.  I made $275!!!  Jon and I were shocked!!  He said how in the world did you make that much???  Praise God!!  All of the money earned was going to be going into our adoption fund to help pay for fees.  We were both just amazed that we had sold much more than we had thought.  One could say that we just lucked out and sold a lot.  I would say that God had his hand on the wheel of our lives and is directing our path and knew just what we needed.
After the sale, Jon and I drove to Plymouth Meeting area to a UPS store where we had to have our first set of Fingerprints done.  I just felt really good after the Mommy Market.  Jon said that there was something different about me.  I just seemed so lit up, smiling and happy.   I was happy.  This journey has been absolutely amazing and I can say that I see God all over it.  From things that just happen to things people say, things are coming together.  We start our homestudy Monday where we meet our social worker for our first meeting.  We have been doing a lot of paperwork to get ready for our Homestudy and to start preparing for our Dossier (the paperwork that needs to be submitted).  Things have just been coming together.  We had our fingerprints done and they said it would take 2-3 weeks before we got the results.  I recieved them a few days ago, so I can bring them with us to our Homestudy Meeting.  I also was able to get another cleaning job, which will also be a help.  I wasn't looking for it, it just kind of happened. 
We have also been working on our first fundraiser.  About a month ago, Jon was praying about direction for a fundraiser.  Immediately after praying, Sam Sandler came to his mind.  For those of you who don't know him, he is a magician and a friend of ours.  He is amazing!!!  He has appeared in theatres, churches, schools, homes, from Montana to Puerto Rico!!  He has also performed at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, Been on Good Morning America, as a guest on Good Day Philadelphia!,  and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.  We are going to be planning a show in November.  Please stay tuned for information on tickets.  Your help and support is greatly appreciated!!!  Please continue to pray for us as we continue our mission to bring our daughter home.  

To see a sample of his show please see the link below. 

Monday, September 5, 2011


As I sit here and reflect on life, I can’t help but think of where life is as I know it.  I am blessed with the most awesome wife who is so genuine and caring towards others.  Jenn gives everyone the benefit of doubt and is passionate about getting to know people.  I love her very much and cannot believe what God has blessed me with.  I have three beautiful girls Isabella being the oldest 7, Ava the middle 5, and Audyn the youngest turning two in another week.  These children are beautiful in so many ways.  Each one has their own special gifts that God has blessed them with.  I pray every day for them and ask that God uses them to fulfill his purpose in life.  God has a special plan for each and every one of us in our lives.  Of course, we all have our ups and downs and all around no one ever said life is going to be easy.  At church this past Sunday Pastor Ryan was talking about the bible character Job.  In the bible, Job was a wealthy man, an important man, a man of character, a man of wisdom, a man that was respected.  You could say Job had it all.  Until one day God allowed Satin to test Job’s faith.  Job experienced great trials in life.  He lost his wealth, his friends, his family and finally his health.  God allowed satin to test Job in ways we could never imagine.  Still through the trails Job remained faithful to God.  At the end of Job, God blessed him and gave him a new beginning.
 As I reflect on Job’s life we could all question how?  How did Job lose everything and still remain faithful?  How???  It has been clear to me that this is how.  Job experienced God like no one else did.  Job understood that through his life that God blessed him and that if he remained faithful that God would always protect him and provide for him.  See we all have a calling in life and each person’s calling is different.  God uses each and every one of use to serve his mission on earth.  If we allow God to take control of our lives we can experience God’s fullness.  Job learned this!  That is why Job remained faithful to God.  One of my favorite verses in scripture is this: 
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?   Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  Matthew 25-27
As I reflect on these verses it is quite simple.  Turn everything over to God and everything will be alright.  We know we will all experience trials life is not easy.  During life’s trials our faith gets stronger and it changes and shapes who we are.
Moving On:
As Jenn mentioned on a previous post I have felt the heart to adopt for some time now.  It wasn’t until before Audyn was born that Jenn and I had discussions of adoption.  There were many ups and downs in our discussions.  After many, many conversations I realized through prayer that we were supposed to have another biological child.  So along came Audyn.  As time slipped away and Audyn started getting a little older I felt to myself that life felt complete.  I have a wife, and three girls my life is now complete.  See, ever since I was little I pictured my life with three children.  Hmmmm ””” I”””” pictured my life with three children.   Little did I know that God was tugging at my heart.  From that point on I had many discussions with God.  I felt him calling me to adopt but I was resistant.  I didn’t want more than three children.  Little did I know it wasn’t what I wanted it was what God wanted!  There were many nights that I had dreams of orphans being left by their mother crying for help.  I would wake up in the morning and try to forget the dreams.  When I would go places with my family I would see other families with biological parents and adopted children.  The children of the adopted parents would smile at me and often they would wave at me.   I would think to myself and look around are they waving at me?  I didn’t even smile at them first.  Why is this happening?  God was speaking!  I had a dream one night where God got a hold of me.  In my dream there was a lot of crying from a child.  When I looked up I saw an orphan child crying with its hands out towards me.  As I looked a nanny was holding the orphan walking back into the orphanage.  It was vivid that the child was crying out to me “save me”.  Wow, God was speaking!!!  This dream still brings tears to my eyes and emotions as I reflect on its purpose.  It was at that moment that I didn’t resist God anymore.  I knew what God’s calling was and it was clear.  We were going to adopt.  As Jenn mentioned before in another post, she was at a place where I once was “resistant”.  I prayed for Jenn often and asked God to show her signs and to speak to her.  I did not take matters into my own hands and force this upon Jenn.  I knew at the right time God would call her. 
So where are we today?  We submitted our application to Holt International and we have been approved.  Jenn has taken the upper hand on gathering all of the paperwork needed for our home study and dossier.  Paperwork includes getting copies of marriage licenses, birth certificates, and ordering criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, and we began to apply for passports.  While compiling our paper work, our next step is to complete our home study.  Our home study will begin within the next two weeks.
As Jenn has mentioned before we don't know where all of the funds are coming from to pay for the adoption.  It's not like we have been saving money for this.  For those of you that know me, I deal with numbers daily at work.  It is in my blood to sit down and do a budget and make sure that I have everything accounted for.  I mentioned to Jenn about a month ago that I am not going to do this.  God has called us to have faith and to realize that through this mission that he will provide what we need.  I am not going to lie.  At times I feel great about this decision and other times I struggle.  This is human nature just as I described how Job was feeling during his times of trials.  One thing remains certain we will always come back to a verse that speaks clearly to us.  "Live a life that is worthy of the calling you have received."  Ephesians 4:1.  Jenn has taken a few cleaning jobs to help cover some expenses and we have some savings to fall back on.  The rest is up to God.  He clearly states in the Bible that he will help the orphans and the widows.  If anyone has any suggestions on fundraisers that could help benefit this mission, please feel free to share.  We will continue to keep you posted as our journey continues.  Thank you for all of your prayers!!