We are still here... waiting for word about our baby girl. The waiting is getting old now... there is angst that comes with this sort of waiting. I think about baby girl so often. But...
"I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge." Psalm 71: 14-15
"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:13-14
The verses above have been balm for my soul when I get weary in the waiting.
Praising Jesus that His timing is perfect. Praising Him that He is always working things out for my good AND His glory- at the same time! Those two things do not work against each other. Its always my good and His glory, because of that I can hope! Thats where I have to ground my thoughts, otherwise I'd go crazy thinking that God was a cosmic kill-joy, instead of the loving gracious Father that He is.
I praise God for this waiting period! I praise Him for the love that He has been stirring up in my heart for Ruby. I praise Him for the longing He has put in my heart to embrace my daughter and just... be. I praise Him that He loves her more than I do, and is taking care of her as I type this. Glory be to God!
The above photo is a glimpse of some of the things we have been putting together for Rubys room. Its so fun getting her room ready. Sometimes I sit in the rocking chair in her room, having precious moments with Jesus... I just dream about Ruby and pray for her. I so look forward all the precious moments that I will have rocking her in the chair once she is finally home!
My dear friend and Neighbor had her baby roughly a month ago and below is a photo that I took of her and her daughter. Makes me cry everytime I see it.
I was so honored to be able to take belly photographs of her every month during her pregnancy and also come visit her baby in the NICU once she was born. For a few months before my friend got pregnant, we began praying that God would make that happen. Obviously God answered our prayers, and now their daughter is here! She is answered prayer right before our eyes! Glory be to God! Our God is faithful and full of goodness. His timing is perfect. Always.
We had another yard sale to help us raise money to bring Ruby home! It was another success- praise God! During the two days of our sale, God provided $4300.00! Between both yard sales that we've had the total money we made was around $10,000.00! We are so amazed at how generous people are, and so thankful for God's goodness and provision.
We feel so blessed and humbled by all of our friends/family that came out and helped/supported us. Thanks so much!
In other news, we have been working on Ruby's nursery. Above is just a glimpse of a few details. We ordered her crib the other day and it will be delivered in July. I can't wait! I'll post more pics once it has all come together!
Hope you all are enjoying your summer! Hopefully I'll be checking in soon with good news about Ruby! :-)
Just thought that I would POP by here to share with you this extremely easy recipe for homemade Pop-tarts! I don't know anyone who doesn't love Pop-tarts- they are classic! In fact one my friends said that Pop-tarts are her kryptonite! haha!
People are always impressed when you make something from scratch that is generally bought at the store in a box... they are even more impressed when the homemade goodies taste better than the store-bought-boxed-goodies. Pop-tarts are no exception to this rule! They are easy to make, the look cute, and are delicious... so please give them a try!
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt (scant tsp)
1 cup shortening/lard/butter whichever you prefer
1/2 cup cold water
homemade jam: strawberry, blueberry or whatever you fancy
*I think that nutella would be marvelous as a filling
Stir salt into flour.
Cut shortening into flour till its pea size.
Gradually pour the water around the edges and across the top.
Add enough water till its just a little sticky.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently work it into a ball. Do not knead it! If you overwork pie crust dough it will not turn out!
Place the dough ball back into the bowl and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Once the dough is chilled, place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle or square shape. Next, using a pizza cutter or butter knife cut the dough into rectangles or squares. Make them double the size you want the actual Pop-tart to be.
*I made mine to be mini pop-tarts. Some were 3x5 and some were 2x4.
After you've cut out the Pop-tart shapes put a tablespoon or so of jam on one side of the pop-tart. Fold the pop-tart in half. Next take a fork and crimp all the edges so that the jam won't ooze out while its baking. After you've crimped the edges take a toothpick and poke a bunch of holes in the top of the pop-tart. Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remember that the baking time will depend on how big or small you made your pop-tarts. For the size mine were, 12 minutes was great!
While the pop-tarts are cooling, you can make the icing. This is so easy. Put about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and stir it with a whisk or fork to get the lumps out. Next add small amounts of water to the powdered sugar until you get it to the consistency you like. If its too think, add more water. If its too runny, then add more powdered sugar. Easy as that!
Once the pop-tarts are cool, drizzle the icing over each one. While the icing is still wet sprinkle some rainbow jimmies on them.
****helpful hint**** I had two different jams- homemade strawberry and store bought blueberry. I found that the strawberry jam tasted better but some of it ended up oozing out of the pop-tarts. I think this could have been helped if I had've added a little bit of cornstarch to the jam prior filling the pop-tart with it. The blueberry jam did not taste as good, but it was thicker than the strawberry so it did not ooze out. Anyway, do some experimenting and ENJOY! You can really mess these up! :-)
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.” ―Stephen Colbert
Hi, I'm jess. I feel like its been a while since I've been here so I needed to introduce myself. haha!
Anyway, can't really say that we have been that busy with anything in particular... just been busy with life! But I just wanted to check in here and let you know what has been going on with our adoption process.
Yesterday, we had our home visit from our social worker Karen. Dave and I had been cleaning the house all week, trying to get things "just so". Karen arrived here yesterday at 2:30 PM and immediately asked to tour our home. At 2:35 we were sitting on the couch chatting and laughing. It was quick and painless! The only thing our home was lacking was a carbon monoxide detector... which is kinda funny because Dave is a fireman and is always telling people from 911 calls that they need to get one! haha!
While Karen was here she informed us of some wonderful news. But before I tell you, you need a little back ground information...
The baby homes that our agency works with in Uganda are not yet certified. Our agency told us to continue doing all of our paperwork to get our home study done and that hopefully by the time we were finished the baby houses would have the certification needed to start adopting babies to us. The certificates could make it to the baby houses anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 years- it was really up in the air. We were just really trusting in the Lord that if He had really called us to adopt Ruby that He would indeed provide these certificates. Anyway, us and the other family that is adopting from Uganda are basically/almost finished with our home studies, so our agency decided that they needed to do whatever they could to try to help in getting the certificates to the baby houses. So here is where the good news comes in....
Our agency has hired a Lawyer in Uganda and he claims that he can get the certificates from the government and to the baby houses in 2 months! This is wonderful news! Here is why: in 2 months we will be done with all of our paperwork (immigration and our dossier to Uganda) and we will be waiting to receive a referral (a file and picture of our sweet baby girl, Ruby Grace)!!!! AND because we are the only agency that is working with this baby house there is no waiting list for children. The ONLY people on the list is Dave and I and another couple from our church. Our social worker told us that it doesn't sound like we will have to wait very long to go get our girl! We are so very excited!
Our agency just paid the Lawyer his first payment this week. So hopefully 2-3 months from this week we will have a picture of our daughter!
Would you join us in prayer over this whole situation?
Pray that God will get the certificates to the baby houses quickly.
Pray that the Lawyer is honest and actually does what he has promised.
Pray that Jesus will love, protect and nourish our daughter while we cannot.
Pray that God will prepare our hearts to be loving parents.
Pray that God would keep providing for us in the way of money to pay for all the adoption fees.
Praise God for the love that He has placed in our hearts for our daughter that we do not even know yet... and pray that our love for her would continue to grow.
I humbly ask you to watch this video, and then PRAY! Pray for Jesus to bring peace to Uganda. Pray that Kony would be caught and brought to justice. Pray for the children who have been abducted. Pray for their families. And then, show this video to everyone you know. Lets make Kony famous, not to celebrate him but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice. Thank you.
So... remember how the last time I wrote, Dave and I were getting ready for our HUGE adoption yard sale? Well, it went fabulous and I wanted to just take a moment and give ya'll an update!
A few weeks ago we began collecting items to sell at the sale. Dave and I put a few of our own things in, but I would say that 99% of stuff was donated to us. Within a few weeks our entire garage was totally full of stuff. In fact, there was just a little pathway down the center of the garage. We were still accepting donations despite the garage being maxed out, so we started bringing stuff into the house. Our sunroom became full very quickly. Thursday (the day before the sale) we got even more donations and we had to put it in the living room! Our house was overflowing with yard sale items! It was awesome!!!
Heres Pips and I (along with Dave and Josh) making Yard Sale signs.
I forgot to mention that we also had a bake sale at the yard sale. Again, about 99% of the items were donated to us. And in this photo, this is only about half of all the baked goods that were donated. People were just SO generous to us!
This is a photo of the first morning (Friday) of the sale.
This is the money that God provided to help us bring Ruby home... don't worry, we haven't carried it around with us. In fact it got put in the bank immediately! The total from both days was $6100.00!!! We were just blown away at God's provision! How often do people make more than a couple hundred at a yard sale... not too often! Only the Lord could make $6100 happen!
This whole yard sale experience was such a blessing to us. We were so amazed at how generous people were to us. What was even more amazing to me is how we as Christians are apart of this HUGE family. We were so thankful to be apart of the church family at Redeemer Church, but it wasn't just people from our church that helped us. There were Christians from other churches that heard about our adoption of Ruby and wanted to help us. Some people that donated were friends of friends, and didn't really know us but wanted to help. Im so thankful that God reminded me that when He adopts us into His family, that we aren't just apart of His family that is at the church we attend... we are apart of this bigger family of Christians that is all around the world!
These are just a few ways that people blessed us during the process..
-they donated garage sale items
-they donated baked goods
-the came over and helped us sort through items as well as price them.
-they donated money
-they came early in the morning and stayed late at the sale
- they stopped by the sale to say hi and encourage us
-they bought stuff at the sale
-they brought gifts for Ruby
These were some of the gifts that people gave us for Ruby. See the quilt at the top of the pic? My Aunt made it for Ruby! It will be so special when I get to wrap Ruby up in the beautiful quilt and tell her that her Great Aunt lovingly and prayerfully made it for her.
Dave and I really just want to say thank you to each of you. Thank you for your love, support and especially your prayers as we continue this wonderful crazy journey of adoption.
Hello friends and family! I wanted to share with you a VERY cool thing that happened yesterday. Each time a repeat this story, I'm so overwhelmed by God's grace and love towards us. I hope you will praise God with me as you read about what happened...
Yesterday after lunch Dave and I decided to go for a walk in our neighborhood. The weather yesterday was beautiful and sunny, so we just couldn't resist! We decided that while we were talking we would place garage sale flyers on peoples doorsteps as a way to spread the word for the sale next weekend. We finished our walk and came home. Then, I had to teach piano for a few hours. Dave got called into work for a few hours, and so after I was done teaching piano I was home alone. The door bell rang. I answered the door to find a woman on my porch about the age of 40. I said "hello" to her and then she began to tell me "My name is "Sally" and I live around the corner from you. Did you place this flyer on my doorstep?" She then presents to me the flyer that we had indeed handed out. "Yes" I said. Sally then tells me that she was born in Uganda and grew up in the town called Jinja (which is close to where David and I will be when we go to Uganda to bring home our Ruby). Sally then handed me a plastic bag that was holding a huge box of butter... she explained that she had been to Costco to buy butter and accidently she bought the wrong kind. She noticed on our flyer that we were having a bake sale and didn't want the butter to go to waste so she thought that we might be able to use the butter in our baking. I just thought that this was the sweetest thing. I told her "thank you" and then began telling her a little bit about the adoption process. The conversation was rather quick because she seemed in a hurry. But before she walked away she handed me something and said "I can't be there for the garage sale, but I wanted to give you this to add to your funds." I opened my hand and unfolded a $100.00 bill! My heart welled up, and my immediate reflex was to give Sally a hug- and so I did! Sally responded by saying something to the extent of "You are so welcome! But, please if you see my husband and I outside sometime please do not tell him that I gave you any money. I don't think he'd be happy." And with that... she left. I came back inside just staring at the $100.00 and praising God for His providing for us through a complete stranger.
It has been so neat to see God use the body of Christ and also unbelievers to bless us in our adoption journey! We feel so loved by Jesus, and by each of you!
Thanks for being excited and praising God with us!
A little bit of an update for ya.... we are almost done with the hardest part of the paperwork. We still have to go get physicals done, but then after that things should really get going. We have 2 adoption classes left to take, and also at some point they will assign us a social worker. I just really want things to get going so we can bring our baby girl home quickly! :-)
Dave and I will be putting on a garage sale (early Feb... probably the 3 &4) to help raise funds to bring home our daughter from Uganda. We could use your help… If any of you have stuff that you’d like to donate to help us, please send me an email or comment on this post. If you have heavier items that you’d like to donate but you do not have a truck, please let me know and we can come and pick it up. We will also be doing a bake sale at the garage sale, so if any of you do not have stuff that you could donate to the garage sale, but you enjoy baking we'd love you to donate baked goods for us to sell!
We really covet your prayers. Please be praying that:
-the process would go smoothly and quickly
-that God would provide the funds needed
-that we would have LOTS of opportunities to advocate for adoption, and with that be able to share the gospel and how God has adopted us.