After the holidays and after three months of working and waiting on paperwork, we finally got our completed home study in the mail on January 5th. I don't think I've ever been so happy to receive anything in the mail in my life! This was the first of many documents that we'll be waiting on, but just to get this huge thing completed was, well, HUGE! Our next step was to apply to the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), so I had our application ready to go and sent that off with our home study documents right away. We just received a letter from them last week with our scheduled fingerprinting appointment, which is next Thursday, so we are excited that things are moving! I'm not sure how long the approval will take once they get our fingerprints, but hopefully not too long. After that, we get our dossier together and send everything off to Madagascar to await their approval and finally a referral of a child. Then more waiting... but we won't talk about that now. :) Just so happy that things are progressing!!
In the meantime, we got word last week that we have received a Lipscomb Bisons Basketball grant. Woohoo!! We were very excited to learn this because this has the potential to be a huge help to our family in bringing our little sweetie home from Madagascar! Here's how it works: On March 2nd, there are two LU home basketball games. For every person we get to come to the game and buy a general admission ticket, we get $10. That translates into 100% of the ticket proceeds going to the eight families that have been chosen for this grant. For each person who buys a ticket, they will be asked which family they are there to support, so we won't be splitting it eight ways, we will actually get $10 for every person that specifically identifies our family when they buy the ticket. So again, this has great potential and we are confident that God will make it a wonderful night for us and for all the families involved! We would love for any of you locals to come and to bring as many people with you as you can get there! We have had some sweet friends volunteer to be our "campaign managers" on this event for the next month, so we will be making a big push to get out the word and fill the arena, all for God's glory! So thankful for these three Lipscomb moms that are on fire and full of great ideas! There are plenty of ways that you can help spread the word, so if you are interested in helping out on another level (besides just coming to the game) then please let me know and we can give you a job! One way to help is to be a "row host". The rows in the arena seat 20, and "row hosts" will commit to getting at least 20 seats filled. You can either buy the 20 tickets up front and have people pay you back as they commit to coming, or you can just bring your 20 people to the game and each buy your tickets individually. Let us know if you would like to sign up to be a row host. We are working on flyers to hand or mail out and should have those available soon. I'll be updating the blog with more info as I get it.
Just imagine, the arena seats around 4000, so between the eight families, if each of us get 500 people there, that would be $5000 toward bringing our little ones home! That would be awesome!!! We are so incredibly thankful to LU for their heart to do this. We went to an informational meeting last week and met the other seven families that we will be sharing this night with. What a blessing to meet so many families in one night who are so willing and ready to answer God's call to care for the fatherless. I was already in tears in the first two minutes of the meeting, as Brent, the guy in charge of all of this told us that even without getting one person to the game, we were each going to be getting a significant donation because of some people who had already donated to this grant. People that none of us will know who they are, but that just have that kind of heart for adoption. Wow. That blew me away right off the bat. This day is a big deal to Lipscomb. They are opening up the arena to any agency or organization that wants to come set up and help educate people on adoption. They are going to be doing a lot of promotion for the game and are taking none of the proceeds for themselves. None. This is the third year that they have done this, and Brent told us he's gotten a lot of calls from other teams and schools that have heard about it and want to know more. They all seem totally on board with the idea until they ask what portion of the proceeds goes to the families. When Brent tells them, "all of it" they basically thank him for his time and hang up. "This is at the heart of who we are," he told us. I can't tell you how thankful I am to be a part of this school. Just another example of God working in mighty ways. I left feeling so pumped and excited to see how God works through all of our families to show His love to the orphans that He has already chosen for each of us. We are continually amazed at how He is providing everything we need, right when we need it. He is faithful and we know that He will continue proving that over and over. Thank you to those of you who have supported us and have been praying for us- we have been so blessed already on this journey. More than anything else, we would so appreciate your continued prayers for us and for the little one that He is preparing to bring into our family!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Ephesians 3:20-21
Here is our life in Instagram over the last couple of months:
So blessed to go to the Show Hope Fundraiser Dinner in November. Got to hear Francis Chan!!
Riding horses at the Sullivans farm for my birthday in November
Thanksgiving lunch with my sweet boys
Thanksgiving with the Sheahens and Koonces at Rosemary Beach
Toby Mac Hits Deep tour with great friends in December
Lipscomb Christmas party
Silas reading Twas the Night Before Christmas at the party
My mom and dad at Grandparents Day
The boys with Santa
in Georgia for Christmas
Enjoying a quiet night at home during the holiday break
Cooper's New Year's resolution. So sweet. He's worked hard at it, too!
Eli's "dream"- studying MLK- "My dream for the world is that the orphans would be adopted."
Church retreat at Cumberland Mountain State Park over MLK weekend