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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Silas' birthday

Today was Silas' birthday. When he woke up this morning we tried to explain to him that today was his birthday. Dave even looked up the french word for birthday, but Silas still was not so sure what we were talking about. We held off on celebration and gift till the evening. We knew we wanted to keep things very simple, so as not to overwhelm him so tonight we had a small party at home to celebrate our new little guy's 4th birthday. We had decided that instead of cake, Krispy Kreme doughnuts would be a good fit. He LOVES them. So tonight put candles in a doughnut and sang "Happy Birthday." He was not so sure what Mommy was doing with the candles and fire. I think he worried I would mess up his doughnut.

After we had our doughnuts we opened presents. He was careful and cautious at first, but once he got started and realized there were toys in the bags and paper... he was hooked. I was so pleased with how the whole evening went.
However, it is sad to think that this was the first party ever given to him. The toys he received are probably the first things that he has had that are truly his. But I am glad that he is now home and that he is our little guy forever.
He is adjusting so very well and learning English quickly. He is a precious little guy with a contagious laugh. We are so thankful that God has placed Silas in our home!!
I promise I will try to do better at updating:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adoption Finally complete!

Today we appeared before a chancellor in court to finalize our adoption. This process officially changed their names, allows them to have TN birth certificates and secures their citizenship. So we proudly introduce you to Silas Kayembe and Moriah Makengo, two of the newest US citizens.
I don't really know what we were expecting, but this was essentially a non-event. It took longer to find a parking place and get inside the city county building than it did for the process to be handled. At any rate, its done. The last step in this journey of adoption is complete and we are happy to have 5 children: each one our very own blessing from God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One month home

It is so hard to believe that Silas and Moriah have been home for one month!! It some ways it feels like they have been here forever, in other ways it is all still so new.
It has been a great month of firsts.
First french fries
First Ice Cream- which they don't like how cold it is
First pets- Sadie and the chickens
First American haircut for Silas
First ride in a carseat
First bike ride
First Salsarita's- they love it, just like the rest of us
First playground and tire swing
First Bible Story
First Family prayer time
It has been a month of many firsts. It has been fun introducing the kids to new things. However, it is hard knowing that while their lives are so much better here... they have lost all that is familiar. New situations are still overwhelming to them, but overall they are doing well. We ask that you continue to pray for us as we grow as a family. Pray for Silas and Moriah as they learn about family and love. We will try to update again soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We are so glad to have Moriah and Silas home. Many of you have asked how we are doing...We are doing well! It is so hard to believe that our kiddos have been home for a little over three weeks now. We are slowly getting settled in and learning about each other. Moriah and Silas are both sleeping and eating wonderful. They are both healthy and doing well.
The journey to where we are now was long, but we are glad to have made it!
The challenging part now is "attachment." Before beginning this journey, I had no idea what that meant. And really even as we read and watched videos to prepare for the arrival of our children, it was a foreign concept. You see, the hard part in adopting is for the child to become attached to their new family. Both of our children are old enough that they have a past and memories. But they also have no real concept of what it means to be in a family, to be loved and to have someone always there for them. The goal we have now is to teach them that... to reassure them that we will be their forever family. Just think, they were brought to us from halfway around the globe. They do not understand what we are saying and their whole world is brand new, there is nothing familiar.
As many of you know, we are not taking the children to class at church and we are also asking that people not hold or pick them up. That sounds so very strange to someone not in our shoes, it sounded strange to us before we were here. Many of you have asked why we are doing things this way.
Think about a child you know, they walk away from their mommy and daddy and see a new person. They stop and look at the new face and in caution then wander back to mom and dad. Or imagine a little one who stumbles and falls. They begin to cry and reach for mommy or daddy. Well our two new precious ones at this point would not necessarily react that way. They will reach for ANYONE. They will let anyone, stranger or family pick them up. They will climb into anyone's lap. At first, that seems so great- they are so friendly- but the opposite is actually true. They don't know any better.
So, while all this may seem strange or foreign- we are trying to do what is best for our children. It is hard to have two precious ones that you love so very much, but who at this point have no connection back to you. It is our hope through much intentionality, through caution, through prayer and time that our children will realize we love them and are there for them- FOREVER!!
Please pray for our family as God is continuing to knit us together. Pray for Moriah and Silas to attach to us. Pray for wisdom for us as we make decisions regarding what is best for them. And please be patient... one day they will be ready to be picked up and held:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So grateful

This afternoon our church hosted a reception to welcome home Moriah and Silas. People dropped by to welcome the kids and some even gave precious gifts. As I was thinking about the blessing of these wonderful people, it reminded me of many more blessings and so much more we have to be thankful for.
We are thankful for all of the people who have loved and supported us through this journey. We know so many of you have prayed for us and continue to do so. We also know so many of you helped with the finances of bringing home our children. You donated to yard sales and purchased from those same sales. You ate Froyoz, Rita's, Chickfila and Salsarita's. You planned and played in a golf tournament. You donated through pay pal or to a matching grant. You prayed as we applied for grants and celebrated with us when we received them.
God used each of you in different ways to help bring this adoption to fruition.
We are so very grateful for each and everyone of you and the part you played in getting our children home!! We are also grateful to God for His provision and His work.
We continue to be blessed by so many of you who are checking on us, cooking for us and continuing to pray.
We know that the simple words thank you cannot not fully express our gratitude, but it is all that we have to offer. So, THANK YOU. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Introduction to our precious ones

We realized tonight that we had not updated our blog in a bit. We would like to use this post to introduce you to our children.
Silas is 3 years old. He is super ticklish and has an amazing smile that lights up a room. We can already see that he is going to enjoy being a "ham." He loves his siblings and enjoys playing. He is learning English a bit at a time and loves to copy words we say. Our favorite things he says now are "ha-llo" and "bye-o" (his way of saying hi and bye). He is a great sleeper and eater. There is not much he won't eat. He has a bit of a stubborn side. He is not a fan of the word NO. He has taken many trips to the time-out chair. But each day he is making less trips there. I think he just wants to make sure Dave and I are serious:)He is slowly learning about family and routine. He especially loves his daddy.
Moriah is almost 19 months old. She is such a cutie. She is easy going- although she does have a talent for turning the tears on and off as needed. She is more of a mommy's girl. She likes to carry a purse or wear a bracelet. She loves having her siblings give her rides in the baby doll stroller! I think she would let them push her all day if we let them. She likes to be held. She too is a great sleeper and eater. She will try any food, but some of the faces she makes are quite humorous.
This post is mostly about our new additions, but I don't want to forget about our 3 oldest kiddos...
Micah has been a huge help. He loves to carry Moriah and help Silas. He enjoys being the biggest brother. I have been amazed to see how he is growing up especially during this time of transition.
Jackson is also enjoying being a big brother. He is our peacemaker and wants to make sure everyone is happy and included. He likes giving his new brother and sister hugs and love. He likes to copy what Silas says in French and act like he is having a conversation with him.
Karis has adjusted so well. I had worried about this being a huge change especially for her, but she has handled it so well. She is 4 now, as she frequently reminds us. She says this makes her braver and "able to put pepper on her own food." She is a good big sister! She is the "leader" when she plays with Moriah and Silas and likes to teach them how to play.
We are so thankful for each of theses precious personalities that make up our "crew." They have all transitioned beautifully. Each day improves as we settle into this new part of our journey.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life so far

All five children are in bed asleep, so I thought I would take a moment to update everyone...
We have been home since Tuesday evening. We came home to several wonderful meals, a decorated home and some friends and family to welcome us home. We have since been to the pediatrician and to the hospital for standard tests. So far everything looks good from a medical stand point.
The children- all five of them- seem to be adjusting well. We have had a few tough moments, but we know God is in control. Micah, Jackson and Karis are being great siblings and are each very helpful. Silas Kayembe is a giggle box. He laughs alot and is very ticklish. He has a bit of an issue with the word "no" but we are working on that. Moriah Makengo is a vacuum when it comes to food and is very easygoing. She does have a knack for turning the tears on and off as needed.
God has been so faithful on this journey. We are so thankful for the prayers. Please continue to pray for as as we transition and adjust. Pray that Silas and Moriah will attach well and will learn what it means to have a family.
I will update again... soon hopefully!

Monday, October 10, 2011

They are home!!

Tonight we welcome home and into our family...Silas Kayembe and Moriah Makengo. It is so hard to believe they are finally here. Headed to bed, we will post more soon.
Thank you for all the prayers... Keep them up!
You can see pictures on Facebook. We will try to get some on here too.

Not long now

We left yesterday to drive to Kentucky. The trip took four hours and went great. We had dinner with some dear friends. And then came back to the hotel for the kiddos to swim. Today we are going to Bass Pro and then heading on to Indiana. The flights arrive this evening. We cannot wait!, we will try to update tonight.
Please pray fro continued traveling mercies. Pray also for a smooth transition of the children to us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2 days

Well, Sunday is the beginning of the end of this adventure. Sunday after lunch we will leave to go get our children. We will have a full van-all 3 kiddos and both grandmothers will make the journey. We will drive to Louisville to spend the night and then Monday we will drive the rest of the way.
While we are driving to Louisville our children will board a plane. They will leave the country of their birth and make the long flight to us... To their mommy and daddy, brothers and sister, to their new family and new home!
Please pray for all of us as travel takes place. Pray for everyone to adjust well.
We will keep you updated!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

6 days

It is so hard to believe that we are down to 6 days until we pick up our children! This time next week we should be back in Knoxville putting five kiddos to bed... Or at least trying to. This time next week we will begin settling into the new normal. I cannot wait! Many of you have asked if we are nervous, scared or overwhelmed. At this point we are mostly just excited. We do feel a tiny bit anxious, as this is huge. But we are trusting God to continue guiding our steps.
We are thankful that God is continuing to provide. The thermometer is getting more red! He is providing in wonderful and amazing ways- ways that can only be credited to Him!
Please continue to pray!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Travel planning

We are so sorry that it has taken a few days to pass along any further news. Life has been quite busy!! It is so hard to believe that we finally have a travel date!!
Our children will be in the states on October 10. It is our plan to take the whole family to pick them up. We have gone back and forth on that decision, but have decided that this is a once in a lifetime experience. So we will all load up in our big ole van and make the trip. Our moms have each agree to join us on the trip.
We are now busy trying to finalize hotel plans and logistics. We are also trying to make lists of what we need to purchase, questions for our agency, things to pack and calls to make.
God is continuing to work as we draw near to the day the children arrive home. Please continue to pray for things to go smoothly. Pray we all stay healthy. Pray for God's continued provision.
Only 11 days till we hold those precious little ones that we have waited for!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


We received a totally unexpected email today from our adoption agency. We had really not expected to hear from them on a Saturday and actually not until another week or so. Well, we were wrong. We received an email early this morning letting us know that the kiddos have their visas!!! We were so excited.
About an hour later we received another email letting us know that they will be home October 10!! That date is still tentative, but we should hear for sure on Monday. On Monday we will have alot more details and will begin making travel plans. Monday we should also know where we stand in regards to finances.
We ask that you please pray as all these details come together. We also ask that you pray for all of us as we prepare and plan. And lastly please pray for finances.
We will update as soon as we know more. Thanks for praying and thanks for following!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Short update

Today we had to go to Nashville to be re-fingerprinted for our adoption. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. The fingerprints are used to make sure that we have clean backgrounds. We had them done almost a year and a half ago, but they were about to expire. It was a long day driving, but we are glad to have it done.
We still do not have visas, so we ask that you continue to pray regarding them. We know that God is in control and His timing is perfect. I was reminded of this when reading our munchkins their devotion the other night.
We do have some good news though. Today we were blessed with another generous gift towards our adoption fund. God blessed us with $900 through a precious family who has also experienced adoption. God is so good! I have said it before and I am sure I will again- HE is our provider!

Monday, September 19, 2011

No news

A little over a week ago, we got words that our visas were "almost done." So last week I checked our email countless times, but we heard nothing. Today I checked in with our agency and were told no visas yet. We ask that you be in prayer for all these final details. We hope to have more to update soon!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Almost done

Could it be that we are almost done- that we are close to have our 2 kiddos home? Maybe so.
Friday I had the opportunity to chat with our agency. My plan was to discuss plans for our travel to meet our children. Do we take Micah, Jackson and Karis? What time do flights typically arrive in Chicago? How do other families do it? Well, you get the picture.
I asked all my list of questions and was processing the information, when our adoption agent says- by the way, the embassy says your visas are almost done. Great! I am thinking that means if we get them this week then maybe the children will be home in 4 or 5 weeks. WRONG!!! She goes on to tell me that once we have visas, travel could be very quick... like a couple of weeks. I immediately begin to panic(of course I try not to show my panic.)
I begin to panic because I AM A PLANNER!! In case you don't already know that about me and have not picked it up through our blog post- I like to plan. I need to plan. This quicker timeline was not part of MY plan. I still have so many things that we need to take care of and even more that I want to take care of.
Please do not get me wrong. I am super excited. We are so close to having these precious children home in our arms. We are so close to being done with paperwork and fundraising and all that goes with the journey to adoption. However, there is a tiny part of me that feels a bit overwhelmed. For so long this end of this journey has seemed far away and now we could be almost to the end.
We will keep you updated on our time line. But we especially ask now that you pray.
We ask that you pray-
-For God's perfect timing (not Carrie's)
-For our children here and across the globe as they prepare for this huge transition
-For me as I take all this in and as I try to take care of things and prepare for these munchkins. Pray that I will trust in my God and that I will not feel overwhelmed.
-For Dave, that I will not drive him crazy and also for him as he continues to lead our household and church.
-For finances. We hope to have a good idea of this week about how much we still need to complete this adoption. We think we are close, but the flight cost are still a big unknown.
We will update as soon as we hear something. Thank you for following our journey!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our God is so big

We wanted to share a quick update of how God is continuing to work. We have received two more gifts toward our adoption. They were both totally unexpected, but each came from couples in our lives. One couple who have known forever, the other we have only know a short time. The common bond between the two couples is their desire to be used by God to help bring two orphans home. As a result of these two couples we have added $1,500 to our fund. That thermometer just keeps getting redder!!
If you have ever considered adoption but thought you could not afford it...then you are much like we were. We began this journey with nothing much to put toward it. However, our God is so big! So we began this leap of faith and have seen His blessings poured out!!R

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We have really been praying about what do regarding the remaining funds we anticipate needing for our adoption. We have had yard sales, dinners, sold calendars, done restaurant fundraisers. We have also applied for every grant that we could find. There have been individuals prompted by God's still small voice who have donated. Through all of this God had blessed us with $44,000. However, we are still expecting to have a need of somewhere between $5-7,000 to complete our adoption. The amount is hugely dependant on how much longer our kiddos are in foster care, final fees and flights.
Our prayer had been to really seek what our next step should be. We know that God will provide, but what should we do as part of that. Should we plan more fundraisers, have a yard sale or... just wait and trust? Well last week we deposited $700 that came for two individuals who love and support us and from the selling of 2 items that had been donated to us. We have continued to pray and seek Him. Tonight I opened an email from a couple who has been so very encouraging and supportive of us through this journey. The email was so kind and edifying and also humbling. This couple had been blessed with a financial gift. And because of their love for us and their hearts for adoption they are going to be using their gift to send us $2,000 for our adoption!!! So now, our total so far is $46,700!
God is at work in this adoption!! He is moving and leading. He is growing the faith of our family. We are grateful He has called us to this.
Praise Him for what He has done and continues to do. And then please continue to pray for our approval and visas to happen quickly.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Embassy Update

Thank you so very much to all of you who prayed for our Embassy appointment this morning. And thanks to all those who have check in to see how things went. Everything went well. I had hoped for an "approval" today, but apparently I had misunderstood and they will not approve us until they investigate. The goal of the investigation is to make sure that the whole adoption in legitimate and that our children truly are orphans. Our agency has told us that the investigation and issuing of visas can take 2-8 weeks. I know that is a big span. However, once that is complete then it is just a matter of Exit approvals and travel!!!
Please pray for God to continue to work in all of this. Pray for HIS timing and HIS will. We really want everything to happen on the shorter end of the timeline. But we know that God is in control and He knows what is best for us and our children. Please also continue to pray for finances. We will owe our final payment soon.
Oh and I almost forgot...we received new pictures of the kiddos today. They are precious!! It was so good to see their sweet faces.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Please pray

We would like to ask everyone to be in prayer for our Embassy Appointment that takes place Monday morning (August 8) at 6am our time. Our children will be appearing at the US Embassy in Africa. This appointment is HUGE in our adoption process. Please pray that all goes well and that we are APPROVED. An immediate approval will move things forward in our process of bringing our children home!!
We will update once we hear something... we are just not sure when we will hear.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

For those of you who know me (Carrie) you know that I am kind of quirky/OCD about things. I like things even, straight and balanced...that includes pictures, furniture, checkbooks. I know... I am weird. I know you are probably wondering why I am telling you this.
Well, tonight I logged in to my email and found we had a donation through our blog. It was from my precious sister and her family. The thing that caught my attention about the donation was the amount- $66. I wondered why in the world such a number. So I then logged on to our blog to check our thermometer. Guess how much we lacked at being at $44,000?? That is right- $66!!!! Not only is this great for my crazy, weirdness, but it is great because $44,000 is the goal we originally had for what we expected our total adoption cost to be. (Our last post explains why we had to change that goal a bit).
The truly amazing thing when you think about our thermometer is that early last year when God called us to this journey, we wondered how we would "afford" to adopt 1 child. And then God led us a step further to adopt not 1, but 2- thus increasing the funds needed. It is so very amazing to see where we are financially- and ALL of it we give GOD the glory for!! I have read time and again that "God funds what He favors."
Thank you so much to all of you who have been used by God to help us come this far. I have said it before and I will say it again- I cannot WAIT to see how He finishes this up!! Thank you Jehovah Jireh- The Lord Will Provide!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I know so many of you have been praying about the grant we were being considered for. We had been told we would hear from them on or before July 26. Well that was today... I checked our email this afternoon to find that we had been awarded a grant!!! Gift of Adoption will be awarding our adoption fund $5,000!!! WOW!!! God is so very faithful. Thank you for praying and for checking on us.
Many of you have asked how much that still leaves us. That grant and a few other donations and such put us at just under our original "goal" of $44,000. When we began this journey we estimated as best we could what our total would be. However, so much of our final cost depend on how much flights will cost and escort fees. We will not know either of those numbers until right at the end. We also have incurred some unexpected expense. When we accepted our referrals for our 2 children we made a payment that moved them to a foster care home. This meant they would recieve regular meals and loving care. The payment was enough for 6 months of foster care. We have passed that 6 month mark. So now each month we are responsible for foster care payments. So that is adding to our cost. As you will notice we raised the "goal" on our thermometer to our new "best guess."
We are getting so close to having our children home and to having all our funds. It is so hard to believe how much God has provided for our adoption in the last 15 months. What a FAITH walk!!!
Please continue to pray for us and thanks for following our journey!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thankful, awed and humbled

If you read our last post you were able to see how God really worked last week to provide funds for our adoption account. He used a blog contest, friends' donations and Froyoz yogurt to provide right around $1,500 for us. We were so pleased and excited!
Yesterday I was thinking and saying how God had blessed us so last week and if we continued with weeks like that... well we would have all our funds soon. Today I go out to the mailbox and find junk mail and such, but there is also an envelope hand addressed to us. I open it and there is a sweet note to tell us that the check enclosed is to "help bring our babies home." I flip the check over. I was instantly overcome with emotion. The check was for $2,500!! It was from a very precious couple who have literally known me all my life! They have always been encouraging and supportive of us and our ministry.
As I came into the house, crying Karis asked me what was wrong- I tried to explain that my tears were happy ones. She just looked at me like that was crazy. I could not even begin to try to explain to her all that was going through my mind. God had not only "continued with weeks like last week", but He has gone above and beyond last week! He is so very, very good. I have spent the day feeling thankful, awed and humbled. Thankful for this precious couple and their amazing blessing. Awed by God's continued provision. Humbled by the thought that my God is so big and He gives me so much more than I deserve!
We are getting so close to our goal. It is hard to believe that God has provided over$38,000 in just over a year! He called us to adopt there two precious children and He is providing!!
Please be in prayer for God to continue to "give us weeks like this." As I mentioned in our last post there is a grant that could be a huge blessing for us that will be meeting in the next couple of weeks.
Please also pray for our two precious ones. Pray for their health and protection and that they will be home very soon!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More funds!

The beginning of this week was great for our adoption fund! And apparently God had even more in store. Several weeks ago we had placed 2 entries in a Blog Contest that our agency was having. We received an email today to say that we were 1 of the 3 winners! The "prize" was a grant for $500... So our fund has been really blessed! Isn't God good?
Please continue to pray for our chidren and that they will be home soon. Also please pray for a grant that we hope to hear from this month.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Froyoz and funds

It has been a great few days related to our funds thermometer!!! As most of you know this past Saturday evening, Froyoz hosted a fundraiser for our family. Froyoz donated 15% of receipts of anyone who mentioned our adoption fund. They also allowed us to set up a table for several hours with a jar to collect money. God blessed us with a total of $333.33!!! Thank you so much for all who came out to support us. It was so much fun to fellowship with everyone and enjoy yummy frozen yogurt!!
To top that off, yesterday we received a check from some precious friends with a note saying the money was to "help bring our babies home" !!! So in three days God added $833.33 to our adoption fund!! WOW!!
Dave also has been mowing our neighbor's yard and we are putting that in our fund. So between the last few days and the mowing our thermometer jumped up a good bit.
God continues to be so faithful on this journey. It is so amazing to see how God is working. We are currently awaiting news from a grant or 2. One of which we expect to meet about us between now and July 26. We ask that you please to continue to pray for God's provision. The time is getting closer to us having our children home in our arms. We are guessing that if all goes well at our embassy appointment, then they could be home in September!!!!
Thank you again for following us on this journey!!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Oops!! I thought I had updated everyone on where we are currently in our process. But I have had several people ask... and it dawned on me- I had not updated our blog. So sorry!!
We now know a bit more of our timeline to have our kiddos home. Our embassy appointment is in the beginning of August. Assuming all goes well at that appointment, then soon after visas will be issued and travel will happen!!!! I would love to think we would have our precious ones home in September!! Please be in prayer that all goes well and for patience for this mommy. This wait is so tough!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have been looking around at other families who are adopting from the same country that we are. It is so wonderful to hear of others opening their homes. While looking I found the following-

Did you know?

34% of Christain Families consider adoption

ONLY 1% actually do it

There are 163+ Million Orphans in the World who desperately need a Forever Family...

If ONLY 7% of Christian families would adopt...there would be NO MORE ORPHANS!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I600 approval

I am so sorry for not updating sooner. I have been out of town and away from regular computer access.
This last week was a big week for our adoption! We received our I600 approval!! Now, if you are like my dad you will want to know what in the world is that. I sometimes forget that even though I have learned all the adoption lingo- not everyone has:) This approval is from US Immigration. It is the last BIG hurdle here in the states. So it is a very big deal in the adoption world. We had been told this could take up to 75 days to receive. Ours took 20! God is sooo good!!
We also received 3 new pictures of our munchkins last week. They are looking so much happier and more well nourished. In one of the pictures they were even playing with the toys that we sent in their care packages!
I am sure you are now wondering- What is next? When will these kiddos finally be home? Well that is a loaded question. We have made huge progress, but there is still a bit more to go. Our approval will be sent to the US Embassy in Africa. They will then set our embassy appointment, which could be 4-5 weeks out. After that appointment then several more weeks for exit approvals. Then... travel!!!
So, we still have quite a bit more to go. BUT- we are getting so close. We hope to know more about our timeline in the next few weeks.
We ask that you pray. Pray for everything to process smoothly and quickly. Pray also for finances. We will very soon be in need of our final monies. We don't know exactly how much we lack. It depends on a few fees and flight cost. But we estimate that we still need about $10,000. God has provided in huge and amazing ways. We know that He will continue!
Thanks for following our journey. We hope to have more to update soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yard Sale Update

It has been a long, very warm day... but it has also been a blessed day for our Adoption Fund!! God blessed us with many things to sell and many customers to buy. At the end of the day we have added a little more than $1,000 to our fund!!! God is so good!!!!
Thank you so very much to all who donated items for us to sell. We had a little bit of everything. Thank you also to those of you who helped price and load. And a special thanks to the early risers who helped us set up and sell!! We are so grateful.
We also were blessed with a few individuals who have donated to our fund over the last few weeks. It is so exciting to see our fundraising thermometer going up!!
We are truly thankful to have so many people who are helping us bring our children home!!
Please continue to pray for us. Pray for our paperwork to process quickly. Pray for God's provision. Pray also for a new grant that we applied for last week.
Thank you for following our journey!

Friday, May 13, 2011


We have a few updates. Nothing major, but wanted to pass some things along.

-Our Salsarita's fundraiser raised $152.67! Thanks so much to each of you who dined there last weekend. Every little bit helps!!
-We received notification that USCIS received our forms. So now the wait begins. We have been told it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks to process.

Please be in prayer for our paperwork. Please also pray for God's provision of the rest of the finances that we will need to bring our children home. It still seems like a big amount to us, but our God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills... well we are trusting He will sell some cows for us:)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Several updates

We are so sorry for not posting sooner! Life has been a little busy.
I know many of you have asked about the grant we requested prayer for. Well, we heard from them last week and we were not chosen. We were disappointed. I especially had a tough time. I really wanted to get it. I guess more truthfully, I wanted God to provide for us that way. I had it all figured out and felt like THIS was how God should provide. I once again was reminded that Carrie's plans and Carrie's "math" are not God's. He has way bigger and way better plans. I just have to be patient to see what they are. So while the amount we still owe seems overwhelming, we are trusting that this is God's time and is God's way... He will provide!!
On another note- we mailed our I600 form this last week to US Immigration! That is a huge step. We have been told that it can take them 2-12 weeks to process. Please be in prayer for our paperwork.
And lastly- we are having a Yard Sale this coming weekend (May 14). Please let us know if you have items or if you can help us.
Oh and no word yet from Salsarita's-but thanks to all who ate there this weekend. We will let you know once we hear.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Prayers Needed

Calling all Prayer Warriors-
As you know we are nearing the end of our adoption journey... that also means we are nearing the time of needing our final payment. We are expecting to still need at least $13,000. God has been so amazing in HIS provision for us so far. We are waiting to hear from our last grant application. The grant committee is set to meet about our family on Tuesday, May 3. We are asking everyone to begin praying Monday and to pray through Tuesday regarding this grant.
Thank you so much for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fundraisers- Please help

Since we are moving closer to bringing our children home- we are also moving closer to time for our final payment. We believe we will still need at least $13,000 to bring our munchkins home. Of course that all depends on flight cost and if our baby girl can ride as "lap child."
So we have planned more fundraisers-

Salsarita's Resturaunt is hosting another weekend in our honor- Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 6-8). If you eat at ANY Knoxville Salasarita's and bring in a flyer or MENTION "The Thomas Family Adoption"- 15% of you ticket will be donated to our fund. It is an easy fundraiser- everyone likes to eat and this time... it pays:)

We are also having Yard Sale on May 14. As you are doing your spring cleaning please save any unwanted items for us. We would like to get all items by May 11 so we have time to price. We will take any items except for clothes and books (they have not sold well and are hard to display). Tools, furniture, sports equipment, bikes, knick-knacks- they all sell well.
We also will need help with pricing ahead of time. And then we will really need help the day of the sale with setting up and selling.

Please be in prayer for each of these fundraising opportunities. Pray that God will bless both weekends!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birth Certificates!!

We are so excited- We received our children's birth certificates today!! We can't read them, but we have them. Hopefully they will be translated by later this week and then we can use them. We will use the certificates and the other documents to fill out forms for the US government.
Please pray that we recieve translations quickly!
Check back soon for more updates!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hopefully more to come

We have just a short update, but we hope to have more to come soon. So here goes...
-The grant that we wrote about in our last post is giving us the chance to "reapply." We are really excited about that, since it is the last grant that we have to hear from. They will be meeting about us on May 3.
-We hope to have birth certificates this week for the kids! This will allow us to continue on with the next step in the adoption process.
-We are working on some fundraisers. Check back tomorrow or Tuesday for a "fundraising update."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not so great news- but still trusting!

I know many of you have been praying for us as we were awaiting word on a grant we had applied for months and months ago. The grant would have been a huge help toward the last of the finances that we need toward our adoption. And in my (Carrie's) plans seemed like it would be a great way for God to provide:) Well, we got word tonight that we did not recieve it. There were tons of applicants but only eight were chosen. I was a bit dissapointed. But I also was reminded that MY plans are not HIS plans!!
God has been so amazing in HIS provision of our adoption and in our daily lives. HE has provided each step of the way. He has provided every penny we have needed so far for our adoption. He has provided us a great vehicle to transport our growing family. And He has provided some additional space in our home. He is so very faithful. So even though this grant would have been great- I know God has plans. Plans that are so much bigger and so much better than mine! And I can not wait to see what they are.
Please continue to pray for us as we are getting near to the end of this journey. We are so hopeful to have our children home in June. However, we have much to do to prepare. Please pray that paperwork would go smoothly and quickly. Pray for us to trust God's timing. And then also- pray as we have one more grant that we are waiting to hear from. Pray for that commmittee as they make decisions.
Thank you so much for your love, prayers and support.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Children Of God" - Official Music Video

This is song is such a wonderful picture of what God has done for us!

Ephesians 1:3-8 NASB Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (5) He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (8) which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A bit of news

We do have a bit of news to share. This week we received a grant for $500!! We were really surprised to find our this good news. We were not expecting this at all. It came from an organization called the Fatherless Foundation. We received a $500 grant from them at the beginning of our process. Since we are now adopting 2 children, they re-considered us for an additional grant.
This puts us at $32,295 that God has provided for our adoption. We are expecting our adoption to cost around $44,000 depending on flight costs. So... this puts us almost 3/4 of the way to our goal!!! Please continue to pray for us as we see how God will provide the rest of the finances we need.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby steps

We are sorry it has been so long since we have updated. There is just not much going on right now, except waiting. We are getting excited though because we could be anywhere from 2- 6 weeks from hearing that our paperwork has been processed in Africa. Once that happens then we can began having paperwork processed here in the US. So progress is slow, but each step bring us closer to or children being home.
Please be in prayer that everything will continue to go smoothly. Please also pray as we have a grant that should meet about us soon. God us blessed us greatly on this journey. He has provided each and every payment when it was needed. We trust He will continue to do so.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Many of you have asked about the grant that was meeting about us. We appreciate you checking on us and praying for us. The meeting was postponed, but hopefully they will meet soon. We are so thankful to have so many supporters and prayer warriors!
Many of you also have asked when our children will be home. Well... that is a loaded question. It's not like when we were expecting our other 3 children and we had a due date to plan on. This process is so different. Currently our paperwork is in Africa being processed. That part of the process can take 3- 4 months. We are about 7 weeks into that. Then after that there is a form we fill out here in the states and it takes 2- 12 weeks to process. Then there is more that needs take take place in Africa, which includes final meetings there. So... it could be as early as May, but it also could be late summer. We are hopeful that things will move quickly.
Please continue to pray for us. Each day is a day closer to our children being here in our arms! Pray that everything will happen smoothly and quickly. Pray also that God will continue to provide financially. And then lastly pray for us as we prepare.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What a day!

Well it has been a crazy long day in the Thomas Family. My dad began running a high fever this afternoon, so Mom took him to the ER. My parents have just recently returned from a mission trip to Uganda, so they are checking Dad for malaria. In addition to that my great aunt Polly passed away. And then my cousin became engaged today. So needless to say the day has been a little crazy and emotional.
To top all of this off, we received quite a few pictures of our children today. This was really fantastic, because we had not heard anything in quite a few weeks and that has been really tough. We love these little ones already so the unknowns and waiting is hard. We were so excited to see the pictures! They are our only "connection" to our children, so the pictures are dear to us. Brother Bear and Sister Bear both look great! They seem to have gained weight since being moved to foster care. I felt the need to sit and study their little faces. I can not wait till they finally are in our arms!
Please pray for all that is going on in our lives right now. We know that God is in control and none of this caught Him by surprise.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We have not forgotten to post, we just don't have any "new" information at this point. This time of waiting is tough. We have pictures of our precious ones and know their names, but we must wait. Wait on paperwork to process, wait on translations, wait on forms- WAIT! I am not a super patient person when it comes to waiting- but I know God will grow me (us) during this time.
Please continue to pray for us and our Sister Bear and Brother Bear!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Care Packages Made

We spent the week looking for items to make care packages to send to Sister Bear and Brother Bear. Thinking of things to send was harder than we thought it would be. We would love to send them so much, but everything had to fit in a backpack. We also wanted to make good, practical choices.
We ended up with 3 outfits, a stuffed animal, toys, a mini photo album with pictures of us and our home and letters to the children, as well as their foster parents. We also sent a disposable camera, in hopes that their foster family will take pictures. It may be a long shot, but we would love to get the cameras back so that we will have pictures of this part of their lives.
Posted by PicasaThe kids had fun helping us choose the items and pack them. Karis insisted that she wanted to send one of her beloved pink puppies that she sleeps with, but in the end she changed her mind:)
This was such a fun "project." It helped us to feel more a part of our children's lives. We can not wait until they are home in our arms. Please continue to pray for us and for them!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Care Packages and Prayer

We found out some good news recently. Our agency told us that we can send care packages to our 2 children. We can fill a backpack for each child and they will take it with the next escort group. We are very excited to be able to do this! It makes us feel more part of their little lives. We are planning to go as a family tomorrow to shop for things to send. We have to get the backpacks together soon so we can mail them.
On another note, we ask that you pray for several things-
-For our children, as they are now in foster care. (They receive much better care there as well as medical treatment and food.)
-For the foster families as they care for our precious ones.
-For the timing of when our children come home-We trust God's timing is perfect but sometimes the waiting is tough.
-For finances. God has provided so much. In fact He provided $1,500 just this past month through 2 precious families. Pray for His continued provision.
-Pray regarding escorts and flights. There is the possibility that one escort could bring both our children home. This would mean a big "savings" in cost of flights and escort fees. However, we know that regardless of the whether this "savings" happens or not, God will provide!
Thanks for following our story!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Excited about 2011

I normally do not get too excited about another year passing, but this year is different. I am sad to see last year go and know that my kiddos are a year older and continuing to grow. However, I am happy to see 2011 come because I know that this year we are bringing our 2 children home!!
Please pray for us in the coming days. We have applied for funding for our adoption. God has really blessed us and we trust He will continue to provide the finances we need.
We will keep you updated as we continue this journey.