If this is the first time you are visiting our blog click here to read how we got started on this journey.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! We are so thankful that you are keeping up with our adoption journey. It is so amazing to think that next year we will celebrate Christmas as a family of 7.

*Please pray for our 2 precious ones daily.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Over 30

Well, we've made it! We have over $30,000 toward our adoption. God has blessed us by providing $30,436 to this point. Who would have thought we would be at this point when we began this journey. We officially began fundraising in late March, early April. God has worked in mighty and amazing ways over the last 8 or 9 months.
God has used Yard sales, calendar sales, donations, grants, dinners and yard mowing to provide the finances we need. We still have a way to go, but we know God will continue to pour out His blessing. God funds what He calls His people to do.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Picture Changes and Life Changes

We did Christmas with Dave's family today. It was an exciting time. There are 16 grandchildren on his side of the family. It is quite a house full when we are all together. As we were opening gifts, having fun and taking pictures I realized that this next Christmas our family picture will be different. We will have two more precious children in our picture. Two children who this year probably have no idea what Christmas is. They have no idea of the gifts that are exchanged. They have no concept of the yummy treats we eat. And most of all. they have concept of the reason there is such a holiday as Christmas. They have no idea of a baby named, "Jesus." A baby who came to change the world.
I am so excited to think that by this time next year we will be a much different family. And that next year we will be able to teach our new precious ones about Jesus!!!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

That was fast!

Today we had a snow day. We have played and relaxed and had fun all day. I had not even sat down to check our email. Tonight while I was working on dinner, I decided to check my email. I opened up the computer and there were all sorts of messages- Kohl's, school etc... But there was then a surprising one...
A referral for a super cute little boy. He is almost 3 years old. We have 2 pictures of him, but at this point don't know much else.
We can not believe how quick this happened!! We are so excited. Having these pictures of both of our children makes this whole adoption journey seem so much more real.
GOD is so good... and so fast:)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our precious little girl

We are so excited to have our referral for a little girl. We have 2 pictures of her. She is beautiful. If you see us, just ask- we are more than happy to show you. We also have a tiny bit of information, including her name and age. But we are unable to post any specifics about her on our blog or facebook. For now, we will just refer to her on here as "Sister Bear" :)
We are now waiting for our referral of a little boy. We are at the top of the list, so we hope to have one soon!!
The rest of our dossier will be mailed overseas this week and they will begin processing it. Our agency is expecting all this to take 3-4 months. There will then be a bit more paperwork for us to take care of here. So we are looking at 5-6 months until we have our children home!!!
Please continue to pray for us! God has been so good through this whole process! We can not wait to see how He continues to work.

Friday, December 10, 2010


We have a sister!!! Today we recieved a referral for a little girl! She is 9 months old. We do not know anything more about her. We are waiting to hear more information, although it will be very limited.
We are not able to post her picture on our blog. But we can show it to you when we see you:)
Check back soon for more information.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My sweet Jack

The other night we were discussing our "new brother and sister." I asked the kids what they thought our brother and sister were doing. Jackson said- "probably crying for food, clothes and a mommy and daddy." I immediately felt so sad to think how possible it is that he was speaking truth. However, he quickly followed it -"soon they will not be crying for that anymore."
How wonderful to think that also is true! One of these days our precious new siblings will be home with us. They will have yummy food, clean clothes and a loving family!! Isn't it amazing that even his young mind understands all this:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our Paper Pregnancy

I am sure that when you read the title of this blog, you wondered what in the world it meant. Well, I was thinking tonight that we needed to update our blog- but the question is with what. We really do not have any new "news." We are just sort of waiting. So I thought I would share something a bit different.
I have heard that adoption is like a "paper pregnancy"- hence the name of this blog entry. A friend who has adopted twice before us, shared how adoption for her was similar to pregnancy. As I think about it, I see many parallels.
The beginning stages, with all of its paperwork, I guess would be similar to the early months of pregnancy. A time when there are many ups and downs. A time when you know you are pregnant/adopting, but it is still not real. You are not showing, you are just waiting. The paperwork and all the aches and pains that go with it are similar to morning sickness.
Well we are past that initial time and now we have moved on to wait for our "ultrasound." We have several friends who are expecting and they are counting down the days until ultrasound time. The ultrasound brings them pictures of their little one. It tells them more about the precious being growing inside of them. It makes the whole pregnancy journey seem more real. Well I guess we too are waiting for an ultrasound of sorts. We are waiting for the day when we will have pictures of our little ones. The day when we will know more about them. The day when all this will seem so much more real.
Once we have our pictures, our ultrasound, then we will begin the countdown to THE day. The day that is much like the day our other children were born. THE day we get to meet our little ones face to face. To touch them. To hug them. To spend precious days, week and years together.
There is however one BIG difference in this "pregnancy" journey, compared to our other 4 pregnancies. This one is not on a predictable calendar: a 9 month journey, with predictable milestones. This journey has many unknowns... the biggest of which is timing. We are not on a 9 month calendar. We do not know for sure exactly when our "ultrasound" day will come. We do not know for sure exactly how long we will be "pregnant." We do not know for sure exactly when we will meet our little ones.
This journey may be different. It may present its own challenges and unknowns- BUT I am so thankful to be on this road. I am thankful that God has called us to this. I am thankful for how HE is working as we journey.
Thank you for following our "pregnancy." Thank you for praying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who knew??

Well who in the world knew that the Chick-fil-a calendar fundraiser would be such a hit. God has really used this effort to bless our adoption fund. We have been so amazed. We have sold over 300 calendars so far. Each calendar profits our adoption fund $5- thus adding over $1,500 to our fund!!!
We have found that many people will even put a few extra dollars with theirs, because they know it goes to a great cause. Tonight we had a really nice surprise regarding our calendars. My cousin had asked a friend to buy one and they asked could they give a bit extra. Well as it turns out they only wanted one calendar, but they decided to "pay" $100 for it. Cool huh??!!!
We are continuing to sell calendars so please let us know if you want one or if you would like to help sell them. Our goal is 500 calendars.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We are ready

This week we made an important call to our agency. We called to let them know that we are ready for our referrals. We still need about $600, but we do not owe it until we actually have our referrals- So we are trusting God for it.
I am so excited that we are getting so close. Many of you have asked questions about referrals. So I will try to answer them-
  • Do we get to "choose" our child(ren)? No, our agency will present us with a picture of a child and a little bit of information about them. We will have a short period of time, probably 24 hours, to make a decision.
  • Will the 2 children be siblings? We have requested siblings. However, children in the country we are adopting from are typically abandoned. So there is no way to know if they are biological siblings or not. However, once we adopt them they will be siblings:)
  • What happens once you say yes? Our children will be moved from the orphanage to foster care. They will then have access to doctors, nourishing meals and a more family like setting.
  • How old will our children be? We have requested a boy around age 3 or 4. We have requested a girl under 18 months.

Please feel free to ask us any questions you have. No question is silly. We both enjoy chatting about our adoption. We are excited to be on this journey and want to share. After all, if we are open to share our experience, it may impact others to pursue adoption!

Pray for us as we await our referrals. Pray for patience, mine especially:) Also pray for our children, wherever they are, that they will be safe and that God will prepare them for the coming transition. Pray for our agency as they match us with our children. God is in control and we are trusting HIM with every step of this adoption.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

HE did it again!!

As you probably know we have been collecting items for a Yard Sale for today. Well about a week ago, I was looking at what we all we had. And really there was not all that much. I don't mean that to sound bad at all. But it is part of this "story" of how God works in HIS time. Anyway, I was thinking about how much we still needed for this payment and was comparing it to the "stuff" we had. I know, I know- I was trying to make things work in my eyes and not God's.
Well, as the week drew to an end, we had several calls. We spent a big part of Friday doing pick up of stuff from people's houses. When we finished loading up everything from here and all we had picked up we had 2 trucks and 2 trailers FULL of stuff!! God sent it, but in HIS time.
This morning we got up early and headed up to the sale site. We set everything up and the selling began. We sold and sold and sold. My husband is the BEST at selling!! I think we probably sold 3/4 of all that we had!! It was amazing.
Once we got home, we totaled up all the money from the day- $1,113!!! WOW!!! I also had some Chick-fil-a calendar money that I had been given. I sat down and totaled up what all money we have and what we still needed.
After all my crazy "math" I figured out that we still needed about $1,200 to be able to get our referrals. I was pleased to see how close we were getting.
I sat down at the computer to write this blog and my email opened up. I was awed, humbled and overcome with emotion as I watched the screen. Dave looked over at me wondering why I was at the computer crying. You see, as I looked at the screen, there was an email from Paypal. It was telling me we had a donation from the "donate" button on our blog. A precious friend that I grew up with had donated $600 to our adoption fund!!!
My God is so faithful!! We woke up today needing about $2,500 and ended the day adding so much to our fund. We are now down to only needing about $600 to proceed with our current payment.
We began this journey knowing that it would be amazing- we just had no idea how amazing!
Thank you for your prayers and support. Thank you to everyone who donated items to our sale. Thank you to all who helped us set up, sell and feed us. We are so blessed!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Yard Sale

Well it is Yard Sale time again. We will be having our sale this Saturday, October 23. We will start selling about 8 am. The sale will be on Rutledge Pike about 2 miles from I40. Just look for the signs.
We have collected all sorts of things. Please pray that the Lord will bless us with wonderful weather and lots of sales! We are about $2,500 from having referrals (pictures and information) about our 2 children.
Check back on Saturday to see results.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Golf Tournament Results

Well I have to confess, I have never been a huge golf fan. But today I had the best time. Our precious friends the Sharps and Wisharts hosted a Golf Tournament to benefit our adoption. The day was long, but we had a blast. We were blessed with gorgeous weather and 29 men who played!
There were many prizes awarded. But one category we left out was- "Cart that had the MOST fun." That award would definitely have gone to the cart driven by Gary Sharp and carrying my boys. Gary drove the cart more like a 4 wheeler and that created lots of giggles. My boys now love golf... or at least the experience they had with golf today:)
We were blessed today to add $1,075 to our fund! We are so very thankful to all who played and helped make today possible. But the biggest thanks goes to our Provider!
Please continue to pray. We have a yard sale next weekend and are still selling calendars. We need around $2,650 more to be ready for our referrals. We know God will provide that... in HIS time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Golf Tournament

Some good friends of ours are hosting a golf tournament this weekend for our adoption. Pray with us that everything goes well.
Each day we are closer to raising the money needed for our next step in the adoption. With the golf tournament, the Chick-fil-A calendar sales, and the upcoming yard sale, we may just reach this next goal sooner rather than later! The next step is to request our referrals, which basically means that we have enough money to give the go ahead to our adoption agency to find our children for us. Maybe soon we will have pictures and names of our children.
We are continuing to wait to hear back concerning several more grants.
Will you pray? God has been so good to us as He has blessed all of our efforts. We will give Him the glory!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Postponed but...

Well, we were hoping to hear from a charitable organization about a grant this week. The committee has decided to consider our family in November. Part of me is disappointed, but I know God is in control.
Despite this news, October still could be a great month for us. We have several things happening that will help with our fund-
1. We have 2 precious men from our church who are planning a Golf Tournament to help fund our adoption. The tournament is October 16 at Knoxville Municipal. Please let us know if you would like to play and we can get you the information. We ask that you pray for good weather that day. Please also pray that God will bless the tournament.
2. We are selling 2011 Chick-fil-a calendars. And yes, they are the ones with the great coupons. They are $8 each and make great gifts. Please let us know if you would like to purchase or help sell them.
3. We are having another Yard Sale Oct. 23. Please let us know if you have donations.
Thank you so much for following, supporting and praying for us on this journey. We are excited to see how God works this month.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grant Meeting

Sorry that I have not posted in a week or so... life has been busy. But now we have several things happening related to our adoption so here is the first-
There is a charitable foundation that we expect will meet about us this week or early next week. It is our understanding that the committee meets once a month. We were expecting them to meet regarding us 2 months ago and then they postponed our family to last month. Then last month they moved us to this month. Their goal is to put our application in at the time that is best for our situation. So please pray. We are so close to having enough funds to get our referrals. This grant may be the way God chooses to provide that need. Pray for God's perfect timing. We know that He knows the best time for our application to be considered.
Check back in the next day or two for another update. October is going to be busy!

Monday, September 20, 2010


We took a huge step in our adoption process today. We submitted our dossier. I know, many of you are probably wondering what that funny french sounding word means. I know you are wondering, because when we first heard the word-we wondered too. Well, a dossier is a collection of documents about our family. It is sent to our agency and then on to Africa. The powers that be then use that information to process and approve us for adoption.
We are pleased and excited to have this step taken. It is bringing us closer to bringing our 2 blessings home. Please pray for our dossier as it is sent overseas and processed.
Check back soon for more information on our process.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chick-fil-a Calendars

We are continuing to raise funds for our adoption. We have been so blessed so far by the various way God has provided for our fund. We are around halfway!
Our next venture is Chick-fil-a calendars. We will be selling them for $8. They have great coupons. Each calendar sale adds $5 more to our fund. They make great gifts.
Please let us know if you want any OR if you are willing to help sell. Our goal is to sell 500. I know that seems like a ton. But with God all things are possible!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disappointment and Trust

Well, I am a little disappointed. I know that sounds terrible in light of our post from yesterday... but I feel a tiny bit bummed. We just received an email about a grant that was supposed to meet about us next week. They are moving us to the October meeting- that is the source of my disappointment. I was so hoping and praying that they would meet and select us, thus allowing us to keep stepping forward. However, despite my disappointment... I trust. I trust knowing that God is in control and guiding each step of this adoption I trust knowing that He will continue to be faithful. I trust knowing He knows what is best for us and our future children. I trust knowing this is all in HIS perfect timing.
We have several things we are praying about right now regarding some decisions we face. Please pray for us as we follow God. Pray that we will hear HIS still, small voice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last night as we were going to bed, Dave noticed a voicemail on our phone. I listened to it and was so pleased to hear what it said! It was a message letting us know we had been awarded a grant for $3,000!!! This means we only have about $16,000 more to go... I know $16,000 is hardly an amount in the category of "only." But when I think that we started with basically nothing back in late March and see how far we have come, I am amazed and humbled. In 5 months God has blessed us with $24,000. God has poured out his blessings by means of fundraisers. yard sales, grants and generous gifts.
We are so excited and eager to see how God continues to provide for us each step of the way. Please be in prayer September 7. We have another grant who will be meeting about our family. If selected for this grant we will be able to move forward with requesting our referrals and submitting our dossier. WOW!! Just saying that gets me excited:)
Thank you again for following our journey.

Monday, August 16, 2010

School starts

Well this post is not about adoption, but that's ok. I guess this blog is just as much about life in the Thomas family as it is about adoption.
School began today. The beginning of school always makes me sad. I love have my children home and I miss this so much when they are at school. I know that school is part of growing up, but it is still hard to let go a big.
Micah started 3rd grade today. And Jack started kindergarten. They are at a new school. It is a home school Co-op of sorts. They will go to school 3 days a week for 4 hours each and then I have them home to teach the other 2. It is a great set up.
I was nervous about them starting. Micah would be meeting all new friends and leaving the only school he had ever attended. Jackson would be starting school for the very first time and he had told us multiple times that he did not need to go:)
Well we are home now and the day went great. The boys went right into their rooms without an issues. Mommy felt quite sad, but they were fine! Their teachers are both precious, wonderful women.
The cool thing about their school is not only that they are home more, but... there are other adoptive families!! While we were on campus we met several families with children from Africa and Haiti. WOW!! God is so amazing. He has put us in a place where there will be families "like ours." I am so grateful!!!
I am looking forward to a great year of this new experience!!! I can not wait to be part of teaching my precious blessings.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My precious children

I was thinking tonight about my precious children and some of the things they have said related to adoption and thought I would share...-
-Karis prayed nightly for a month or more for a brother AND sister, before Dave and I seriously began to do the same.
-Some time after telling the boys we were praying about adopting 2- Jackson comes to me. He says "Mommy, I have been praying at night in my bed about us adopting 2. And I believe God is telling me in my heart we should." WOW!!
-Micah and Jackson were discussing the space in our vehicle and how once we are home with our 2 that there will be no room for friends to ride. They decided the solution... buy a limo.
-Jackson wants to know if we get "change back" once we pay for the adoption.
-Micah wants to know IF we only needed 1 more dollar to be done paying, could we use some from our grocery budget. OF COURSE WE COULD.
-Karis prays nightly that "the grants would give us money for our adoption." ( I think she thinks the grants are a family who is gonna help us out :) )
Kids say and do the most precious things. We are so blessed to hear their sweet perspective on life!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Amazing progress!

Many of you know that we have been in process with a matching grant for about the last month. We were to send out letters to friends and family and try to raise $5,000. The grant organization would MATCH every dollar given up to $5,000. We mailed out letters and then the excitment, nervousness, and waiting began. Each week we would receive an update as to how we had done so far. Well August 10 was the last day that donations could be postmarked by. So today we recieved an email regarding how we had done...
DRUM ROLL PLEASE>>>>>> $11,426.31 That means that friends and family donated $6,426.31 toward our adoption.
WOW!!! We were so awed, amazed and humbled by the mighty work God has done these last weeks.
First of all our thanks goes to Jehovah Jireh- our provider. Thanks also goes to each and everyone who prayed for this effort and to those who donated!! We are blessed to be surrounded by so many who love and care for us and who believe in what we are doing.
We now have around half of the finances needed to bring our 2 children home. Don't forget to continue to pray for us. We are trusting that God will provide all of our needs!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Many of you have asked how we did on our matching grant. Check back on Friday for the results!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Dave has been preaching a sermon series about adoption over the course of these last few weeks. Today, my sweet, wonderful and amazing husband spoke about our personal journey toward adoption. What an amazing journey it has been so far. As I listened to Dave's heart and thought back over these last few months as well as the last few years- it reminded me of some things.
It reminded me of how God leads guides and directs. Our God is always there for us to talk to. He knows our hearts and loves us anyway. He helps us to follow His plan by gently prodding and leading. He uses things both big and small to show us His way. Our Father has been through us each step of the way and He continues to be there.
I am so very thankful that God has called us to this task of adoption. This journey has stretched my faith and patience. It is strengthen my prayer life. It is encouraging in the faith journey of our children. They can see how He guides, cares for us and provides.
God is so good! I can not wait to see how He continues to work.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


We received our 171H today. This is the document of from US Immigration that approves us to adopt 2 orphans. We are excited to have this step in our adoption process completed.
Please continue to pray for the finances for our adoption. We have almost all the paperwork that we need. We know that God will be faithful to provide the finances as well!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rita's Results

Many of you have asked how the Rita's Fundraising Event went this weekend. Well the numbers are in... $382.23. That is wonderful! We had no idea to what to expect from the weekend. The results are a fantastic surprise.
Thank you so much to Nancy and all the wonderful workers at Rita's. Thanks also to everyone who came in and bought a frozen treat. Each treat helped place a bit closer to bringing our children home. God is good!!
Please continue to pray for us as we raise the funds needed. Please especially remember the Hand in Hand matching grant, as well as other grants that we have applied for.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Rita's Italian Ice on Market Square in Knoxville has been hosting a fundraiser for us this weekend. All day Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, Rita's is donating 10%. This is great, because it is 10% of ALL sales, not only people who know us. Rita's has designated us (Dave and Carrie) as "Celebrity Scoopers." On Saturday from 12-2 we helped serve the customers. We had a GREAT time!! We also had some friends help with face painting. Our sweet friend Emily even dressed up as the Rita's mascot- Ice Guy!
We will be back at Rita's as "Celebrity Scoopers" again on Sunday from 3-5pm. You can come anytime on Sunday and 10% of your sale will be donated, but if you come while we are there 15% will be donated! So come join us for all the fun and a sweet treat.
We are so thankful that Rita's is helping us to bring our 2 children home!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fingerprints done

Today Dave and I traveled to Nashville for our biometrics appointment. Sounds fancy doesn't it?? Well it is actually not anything so fancy- it is just fingerprints. But it is a huge part of the adoption process. It is part of the information that US Citizenship and Immigration needs to approve us for adopting. We hope to get our approval soon so that we can continue on our journey toward bring our children home.
While we were in Nashville, we were able to visit with the Egly Family. You can follow their journey at www.abeautifultapestry.blogspot.com They are precious friends who God used as part of the stepping stones that led us toward adoption. We had a great time together, just not long enough.
Please continue to pray for us as we continue through the adoption process. Pray that God will provide the finances needed. Pray for the matching grant to be a huge success. Pray for our other grant applications. And also pray for our Rita's fundraising weekend July 24-25.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My 3 blessings, with 2 more to come

I am so very thankful to be a mom to the 3 children we currently have. They are such a blessing to me. I look at their precious faces and I fall in love over and over!
I cannot wait for us to bring home our next 2 children. Although, I must confess, some days it makes me a bit nervous. But I am thankful God has called us to the task and believes we can handle it:)
Please be in prayer for us as we have several grants that we have applied for and hope to hear from soon. We also have a fundraiser July 24-25 at Rita's Italian Ice. And we have mailed out letters for our matching grant. If all goes well, we should be able to ask for our referral soon!! (a referral means we will have pictures and info on who God is adding to our family).
Thank you so much for following us and praying for us on this journey!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are we crazy?

Well it may be official that we are crazy...but we believe we are being obedient. To what you may ask??? Well, we believe that God has asked us to take one step further in this adoption journey. We believe He is leading us to adopt not 1, but 2 children. I know it is a little crazy, and actually a bit scary. But we are trusting that God will take care of us.
I bet you have a few questions rolling around in your head, so I will try to answer them.
-We are planning to adopt a boy and a girl.
-We would like for them to be siblings, but are fine if they are not.
-The cost will increase but only by about half.
-We can all still fit in our vehicle. (Hey, the question about our vehicle was one of mine)
-The kids think it is great and have all actually been praying about it for awhile.
I am sure you may have other questions. Please feel free to ask. We really enjoy talking about our adoption!
We would ask that you would continue to pray for us!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Day

Today we received notification from Hand in Hand Adoption that we were awarded a matching grant up to $10,000. That means that Hand in Hand will match dollar for dollar up to $5000. If we raise $5000, they will give us $5000! WOW! What a start to this next phase. We are very excited about this grant. And, this is only the first grant application we have heard from! If that were not enough for one day, we received an email notifying us that someone had given $500 today through our blog's "donate" button. We are simply overwhelmed.

If you would like to be a part of this matching grant, please let us know. We will need to send you a letter describing the grant and how it works.

Praise God with us for these blessings.

Now, a simple housekeeping issue: from this point forward, we will refer simply to Africa when talking about where our child will come from.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We received the letter from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service telling us when to go to Nashville for our fingerprints. It happened lots faster than we expected. We mailed our stuff about 2 weeks ago and received the letter today. This is a big step that puts us just a little bit closer to bringing home our little one.
We would also like to ask for prayer during the next few days. We are expecting to hear back concerning a matching grant this week. We will update you with the news once we are notified.
Thanks for reading our blog and for praying!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We did it... actually God did it!

God has provided the money for us to complete our 1st payment!!! We even have a little left to work toward payment #2. To this point we have raised a little over $8,600 toward our adoption expenses. Isn't that awesome!!
We are now looking forward to seeing how God provides money for our next payment, which is about $14,000. Once we have about $4,500 of that, then it is our understanding that we can request our referral. That means we will have pictures of whoever God is adding to our family!! I can't wait!!! We are praying that money comes quickly. We actually have a grant that we should hear back from in the next week or so. Please pray in regards to that!! We serve a big God and we know He will provide for us.
Also, remember to pray for our I600a application to be processed quickly!

Friday, June 11, 2010


This has been a huge week for applications on the adoption front. First of all, we have filled out, paid for and mailed in our I600a application. I am sure, you are like us when we first say those number and letters... What do they mean? Well it is our application to the US government to be approved to adopt an orphan. It is a big part of the adoption journey. Please pray that all goes well with our application process and that we get our approval quickly.
We also have completed 4 adoption grant applications and are in the process of completing 3 more. Each of these grants works differently and has different qualifications. Please be in prayer for each of these grants. Pray that our applications will find favor in the eyes of the decision makers.
We are so anxious to bring our little one home and we are trusting God to provide all that is needed to do that.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Approved, sold and given

Well it has been a cool few days! First of all our Home Study is complete. For those of you who have experienced the adoption process, that is a big deal. It is basically a document all about us-our life history, the kids, medical information, finances... you name it and it is probably in there. If you want to know something about us, it is in there:) You must have an approved Home Study to proceed with an adoption.. Well- we are APPROVED!!
On another note-Remember the bedroom suite that was donated to us awhile ago. Well, it had not sold. This weekend a precious friend put it out at an estate sale she was having. And today we were contacted to say we needed to pick it up, it had not sold. I was so disappointed. I have to confess- I wondered why God did not allow it to sell and was a bit sad. So I began praying and guess what??? Not 10 minutes later, when I arrived home- the kids came to the door telling me it had sold. God is so good!!!
BUT that is not all... I sat down to check my email and a friend from high school had emailed to let me know a check was headed our way for $100 toward our adoption. So I say again- GOD IS GOOD!!!
We have been blessed this week, but we ask that you please continue to pray for us! We need a little over $1000 to finish off the first payments. We are so close. Also continue to pray for us as we complete grant applications. We need to raise between $20-24,000 in order to bring our daughter home. It seems overwhelming at times, but we are about 1/4 of the way there and we serve a BIG God!!! Thank you so much for following our blog.
Wait there is more!!! I had finished this post and had it posted and then more happened. The bunk beds we were trying to sell, sold. And so I say again GOD IS GOOD!!! I am awed and humbled by His ways.
And more- we had an extra DVD/VCR combo and Dave found someone on Craigslist who needed one. So we are now only $925 from finishing over our 1st payments:)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pray please

We are starting the process of applying for grants. Would you pray that we will find favor with the charitable organizations and their decision makers?
We will apply for several grants, and some will be matching grants. Matching grants are grants that will match any money we raise up to a set amount. It will work like this: for every $1 we raise, the charitable foundation will give us $1 up to a predetermined total. If we receive a matching grant, we will need to raise money toward that total amount so that we can maximize the $$.
We will update you on our progress as we go. We still have a long way to go, but we know that our God already knows how He will provide for our needs. So, again we ask, will you pray? Daily? Thanks in advance.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well the numbers are in...
The Salsarita's fundraiser this past weekend was much better than we expected. God used the weekend of yummy food to raise $324.99. That means that people who support our adoption gave Salsaritas more than $2,000 worth of business in just three days! WOW!!!
Thank you so very much to each of you who posted it on Facebook, handed out flyers and got the word out. We are so thankful!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yard Sale Results

We had a great day for the yard sale. We headed to the site early this morning. We had 3 trailers and 3 trucks totally full of stuff. All kinds of stuff. Furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, clothes, toys. You name it and we probably had it.
We had many, many people stop by. We sold lots of stuff. The boys even had set up a stand to sell lemonade, paper airplanes and potholders.
At the end of the day when all was totaled we had raised $1,143.28 toward our fund!! God is so good. He places people in our lives who donated stuff. He provided friends to help price, load, set-up, sell and take down. He held off the rain and sent the customers.
Thank you so much to each and everyone who helped make today possible. But most of all thank you God for you blessings!
I can't wait to see how the Salsarita's fundraiser turns out. It continues through Sunday, May 23. I will update once we know:)
CHECK OUT the progress thermometer.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Weekend part 2

Well the big weekend has finally arrived. We have priced and priced and priced. We have handed out a bazillion flyers. The trailer is loaded to head to the sale site. Information is posted on Craigslist and Facebook. So here we go...
We are trusting that God will pour out His blessings on this weekend of fundraising. Please pray that many people will eat at Salsarita's and mention our family. Also please pray that we will sell all the wonderful things people have donated to our sale.
Thanks to all of you who are helping us to make this weekend happen! What a blessing you each are.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Big Weekend

This weekend is a big weekend for our adoption fundraising.
Salsarita's Restaurant is hosting a fundraising weekend for us May 21-23. For anyone who comes to ANY Knoxville Salsarita's on these days and brings in one of our flyers or mentions the Thomas Adoption Fund, Salsarita's will donate 15% of the ticket to our fund. Help us get the word out by telling your friends, coworkers and family. I can email or print you flyers if you would like them.
We are also having another Yard Sale. The sale is this Saturday. We will be on Rutledge Pike across from Claiborne hauling.
Please pray that God will use both of these events to raise funds towards our adoption. Pray that He will pour out His blessings on these events.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On we go

We had our second Chick-fil-a dinner tonight. It was a great evening of food and fellowship. We really appreciate everyone who helped make it possible. God used the dinner and a few other gifts to help us raise $910 more toward our fund!! That means we only have about $3,000 more to go to complete all that is involved in these first steps. Once we complete these first financial hurdles, then we will begin working toward our 2nd payment which is between $13,500 and $16,000.God continues to be faithful!!
We almost have our Home Study completed. This is a huge step as it is a big part of the adoption process. Once it is complete we can apply to the USCIS to be able to adopt. We also will be able to begin applying for grants.
Thank so much for your continued prayers and support. I have felt the prayers regarding my struggles and I am feeling less overwhelmed. I am so thankful for all of you who are helping us through this journey. You are a blessing.
Oh and notice the thermometer to the left... it is inching its way up:)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


As much as I love to talk, I am not great at letting out my thoughts and feelings when it means admitting a struggle I have. But here goes...
Well, currently I am struggling through this adoption journey. I am so excited God has called us to this task... but the road is though, especially the financial part. I am one who likes to have control and have everything in a nice neat package. Well adoption does not work that way, especially for a family like us who is raising the money to adopt. I can work hard and fill out every single paper. I can read every document and do everything exactly like I am instructed. However, I can not speed things up. I also can not make money come in or write a check for this adoption.(Well I guess I could write one, but it would bounce!) That part is all in God's hands! And that is the hard part for me at times. I know that my God is faithful. I know that He has called us to this and I know He will provide. But I am sometimes like the Israelites. I doubt. Despite seeing God work in great ways in the past, I still have times when my faith falters and I fell overwhelmed with doubt. I try to work out math in my head for this adoption and it does not work. God's math is so different than my math. What seems impossible to me is possible through HIM alone!
Please pray for me/us as we trust God to provide. We have raised half of our first payment, but we still need almost $4,000 just to get past this first part of the journey. That number includes the 2nd half of our initial payment for both our adoption and home study agency. It also includes the payment for our application for our I600A, which is our application to be able to adopt an orphan. I am ready to get this first stage complete, because that puts us so much closer to adding to our family!
Oh and thanks so much to each of you for following our journey.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 147 millions orphans in this world.

-39 million of those orphans are in Africa.

I was amazed to find these statistics. There are many, many more statistics regarding the orphans of this world. It is so sad to think that these precious little ones, created in God's image, are orphans by no fault of their own.

Our God cares about orphans, each and every one of them. The Bible mentions at least 60 scriptures regarding orphans, the fatherless and adoption. They are important to Him. "The Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land." Psalm 68:5-6

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adoption Cost

Many of you are like me and have wondered why adoption is so expensive... What does all the money go to? So I looked over the paperwork we have been given and broke it down-
1st payment $6,600- Legal fees, adoption education, program fee, admin costs.
2nd payment $13,500-$16,000- Translations, dossier review, country fees(which include foreign attorney and orphan care).
3rd payment $4,000-8,000- Escort fees, visas, plane tickets, lodging
And then there are fingerprinting and readoption cost, home study fees and a few other fees here and there.

As I have been thinking about the big cost of adoption, I have come to a realization. Adoption is costly. It is a difficult road. However, as much as I wish and think adoption should be cheaper- there are a couple of huge positives to the cost. The first positive is that it helps to make sure that people pursuing adoption are in it for the right reasons and that some person with bad intentions is not just trying to get a child to mistreat. The second positive is the walk of faith that the cost makes you take. The cost is so out of the reach of most people. So when we, and others, start on the journey we get to see how God works. If the cost was cheap and the road was easy our walk would not be strengthened and our faith would not be deepened!! So as much as I would love for it to be cheaper or would love for someone to write us a check today for all $30,000- the growth would be missed. The total dependance is on God for HIS provision.
So as I close I ask you to continue to pray for us on this journey. We are mailing in the 1st half of our 1st payment. We are trusting that God will provide the rest of the payment through the fundraisers we have planned this next month. To God be the glory!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Half Way

We have had quite an amazing week!! God has provided in an awesome way this week!!
-Our first Chick-fil-a fundraising dinner raised $800.
-We received our first grant. It was for $500 from the Fatherless Foundation.
-Our first Yard Sale was a huge success! We raised almost $1200.
Thank you so much for each of you who helped us. We are blessed to be surrounded by a great group of friends and a wonderful church family!
God is so very good! I am so thankful that we serve such a faithful and loving GOD!!! The funds raised this week as well as a few donations that have come in from family, our blog and friends has put us about halfway to our first payment. We have around $3,000 left to raise so we can "officially" get started with our agency.

Please be in pray for us as we continue to work toward the other half of our first payment. We are so ready to get officially started with our agency.
Thanks so much for following our journey to bring out little girl home from Africa!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hope in the Dark

We were so very blessed to attend the Hope In the Dark event tonight here in Knoxville. It was an amazing evening! We got to hear from Mike and Beth Hamilton and Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman. They each have experienced adoption first hand. The event was a fundraiser for ministries that each of these couples have founded. God used the event to raise funds to help the orphan, HIV and water crisis in Africa.
Seeing and experiencing all that we did tonight, makes us so anxious to bring home our little girl to her forever family!!
Thanks so much to Chick-fil-a for partnering in this event and inviting us to attend:)
Oh- and don't forget to pray for the success of our yard sale this weekend! Stop by if you get a chance!

Monday, April 12, 2010

One step closer

We had our first fundraiser for our adoption tonight. It was sponsored by our local Chick-fil-a. We had a great time of food and fellowship with friends. God used this event to raise $795 towards our adoption!!! He is sooo good.
We also have so much stuff that has been donated for us to sell at our yard sale on Saturday morning. You should see it all- actually you can! We will start the sale early Saturday morning on Rutledge Pike across from Claiborne Hauling. I am sure we have something you need:) We would love to see you.
Thank you so very much to all who have helped with both of these events. Each and everyone of you is such a blessing!
Please pray that the yard sale will go well and that the weather will be great! Please also pray as we expect to hear back from our first grant really soon.
We are so anxious to get moving with this adoption process. We can not wait to have our little girl home in our arms!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Home Study

I think we mailed the last of our home study information today. Hopefully, we have not missed anything:)
For those of you are not very familiar with the adoption process, a Home Study is one of the first things you have to do. The Home Study involved a collection of all sorts of information about us. It basically tells all about our lives. We each had to write an autobiography. We had to have doctor notes stating that all 5 of us are healthy. Our dog, Sadie's, shot records. Copies of birth, marriage certificates. Documentation of finances. And lots of pages of questions answered.
The next step in the Home Study is for Dave and I to each to be interviewed and then we will have a home visit.
We are so glad to be getting this step almost completed.
We would also like to thank all of you who have been contributing items to our April 17 garage sale! And we appreciate everyone who has purchased Chick-fil-a tickets!
Please continue to pray for us! There is still a long journey ahead.

Monday, April 5, 2010

God is good

We have a praise!! Our first fundraising dinner is filling up (we have about 14 tickets left). Donations are coming in for our yard sale. We are receiving some cash donations. We still have a long way to go, but we are seeing God at work!! Please continue to pray for us.
On another note- tonight as I was getting ready to pray with our little girl before bed- she asked that we pray for "our girl." I asked her which "girl"- her response was "the one that will sleep in my(her) room." I thought it was so sweet to see that she is beginning to understand that we are adding a sister to our family:)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why adopt?

We have been asked many times WHY we are planning to adopt... Well the simple answer is, God told us to and we are being obedient! But I think that there is more information that is hoped for when we are asked that question. So here we go-
God used many stepping stones on this road to where we are now.
-A mission trip to Honduras while Dave and I were dating. There was a little girl who I adored and her dad wanted us to bring her home.
-Dave's sister has adopted 2 children and I watched as they immediately became part of our family and were loved so very much.
-The Egly family http://www.abeautifultapesty.blogspot.com/ They are friends who adopted 2 little girls from Ethiopia. They too are in ministry and managed to "afford" to adopt through God's provision.
-The miscarriage of our precious twins-an experience that had a huge impact on us and one through which God worked.
-A book called, Adopted For Life, by Russell Moore. Wow what a challenging book. This book had a huge impact on my spiritual walk.
-Learning that there are upwards of 147 million orphans in this world. Orphans who do not have someone to love them and care for them. Someone to feed and clothe them. Someone to tuck them in at night and kiss their boo-boos.
Each of these things and I am sure many others helped increase the drive to adopt and point us in that direction. I began to pray that God would clearly guide and direct our steps. At that point Dave was willing to do whatever the Lord wanted, but did not feel called to adopt. I asked him if we could spend time praying about it and of course he said yes.
We spent quite awhile praying and seeking the Lord's will. On my birthday this year. Dave "surprised" me with the gift of adoption- He had been praying for sometime and had felt God was saying YES we should adopt. SOOO here we are. Following the Lord's leading and trusting HE will be faithful on this journey.

Monday, March 29, 2010


We have 2 fundraising events coming up. Please pray for each of these events to be a success as we raise funds for our adoption from Africa.
-Monday, April 12 @6:30pm-Chick-fil-a at Knoxville Center Mall is hosting a fundraising dinner for us. Tickets are $15 each which includes dinner, dessert, drink and free food certificates. ALL proceeds from the dinner go straight to our fund!!! Please message us if you would like to buy or sell tickets. There are only 50 slots available and it should be a fun evening of fellowship!
-Saturday, April 17-YARD SALE- If you have items you would like to donate, we would really appreciate it.
Please continue to pray for us as we seek ways to raise funds. Pray for the events already planned to go well. Pray for us as we are patiently waiting to move forward in this process. Pray for a grant that we have applied for that should be decided upon really soon!
THANKS so much to each of you for taking the time to follow our blog!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Bedroom suite-WOW!

As many of you know we are accepting donations of items for the yard sale we are having on April 17. The proceeds from the sale will go toward our adoption fund. Well- this weekend we were blessed to receive an entire bedroom suite. A friend of Dave's mom knew of our sale and donated an almost new bedroom suite to us to sell!! What a blessing. God works in amazing ways. We can not wait to see how HE continues to work to provide for our needs as we proceed towards adoption!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inspired by Crazy Love

I love reading blogs of other families who having adopted or who are currently adopting. It is so neat to read of the journeys of families to bring their children home. As I have been reading I happened upon the blog of a truly inspiring family. They have grown their family through adoption and now have 10 children. I have never met this family, but I am inspired by them and the faith walk they have been on through their lives. You can read their blog http://www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/
Well Linny (the mother of this family) has come up with the idea of what she is calling "Crazy Love." She is asking families to link from her blog and tell some specifics about their family and explain a current need that they have. She believes like we do that God can provide for every need and that He is a God capable of moving mountians.
Well I hate asking for help but here goes... We are a family of 5 and we are adopting from Africa. We are tithing members of Buffat Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN-where my husband is pastor. We are currently working through our home study and all that it entails. We are anxiously wanting to begin the adoption process with our agency, but we need to make our first payment of around $7,000. Please pray with us regarding this need.
Feel free to email us with ideas of fundraisers, questions or any comments- carriethomas5@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Short and sweet

I have a book that I would love to recommend for all to read. It is called "Adopted for Life" by Russell Moore. It is an awesome book about our adoption into God's family. It also will help you to see why we have chosen to add to our family through adoption. This book had a huge impact on my spiritual walk!
I would love to hear what you think about it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pressing on

Well we have submitted a huge portion of our home study documents. WOW! What a task. We had tons of questionairres to go through, as well as documents to collect. We have been amazed with all that was asked for. We even had to have Sadie, our dog's, current shot records:) We have a few more items left to complete and submit and then we will begin having our home visits.
We are continuing to work towards funding for bringing our little girl home to her forever family. We have planned a yard sale for Saturday, April 17. If you have items you would like to donate to our sale, we would greatly appreciate it. Just let us know and we will work out getting them from you.
We are also working to plan a Chick-fil-A Fundraising dinner. Our local Chick-fil-a has graciously offered to host a dinner to help us out! We will have more details soon!
Please continue to pray for us as we travel on this journey-
-Pray for us to be patient:) It is hard knowing that there is a child out there that will be ours, but who is not in our arms yet.
-Pray for the grant that we have applied for. They should make a decision the end of this month.
-Pray for us as we seek ways to raise money for our adoption. Pray that we would have discernment regarding what methods to use.
-Pray for us as we have some big decisions to make. Pray that Dave and I would have wisdom.
-Pray that our journey would impact others!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


We need for you to pray with us concerning our next major hurdle. Before we can proceed any further with our adoption, we need to raise about $7000 for our first payment. That seems like a lot of money, but really it is not much for the God who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10)
The Lord has us in place where we are totally dependent on Him for this adoption. We started this because the Lord touched our hearts and led us here. We do not have the resources to even start the process. We are confident that He will fulfill this before our eyes. How He will do it, and who He will use to accomplish His will we don’t know. We only know this, when all is said and done, the work will have been His, and the glory will be His.
Pray with us, that we may all see His glory.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our challenge

Adoption is a much bigger and more complicated process than we ever imagined. There is tons of paperwork, which we are trying to wade through now. There are home studies, questionnaires, decisions and of course a huge financial obligation. As I think through all of this I can quickly become overwhelmed. But I believe God has led us to this point and will not leave us!

A verse that I believe God gave me as I struggled through the miscarriage of our twins is one I believe I will lean on through this journey. Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you a future and a hope." God has plans for us... as well as for the little girl we are adopting. He did not lead us to this point just to abandon us. He will be with us every step of the way.

We would like to ask for you to pray for us-

-Pray that God would keep us focused on HIM through this whole process..

-Pray for M, J and K- that they will be ready and adjust well when we bring their sister home.

-Pray for our baby girl- that she will be healthy and safe and will be in our arms before we know it! It is possible that we could bring our daughter home by Christmas.

-Pray for God to provide the finances for this adoption. The total cost will be around $30,000. This is way out of our reach. But not out of the reach of our God- Jehovah Jireh!

-Pray that others will be impacted by our journey and might choose to bring home one of the 147 million orphans in this world.

Friday, March 12, 2010

And so it begins...

We have both prayed for sometime about adding to our family through international adoption. Well we have now officially begun the journey of adoption! We mailed our adoption application in today. We are so excited!
Many of you have asked where we plan to adopt from. The answer to that is a country on the continent of Africa. We are requesting an infant girl:)
This is a huge step of faith for us. We know that we do not have the resources to accomplish this task, but we believe that the Lord has led us here- so we take this step in obedience.
Our goal for our blog is to keep others updated as we journey along this road. We also pray that perhaps God will use our journey to lead others to adopt!
Please check back from time to time to see how we are progressing.