April 29, 2011

Restoration Hope

Jason and Brandy Hester are dear friends of Michael and I, and they have started a non-profit called Restoration Hope. They're responding to God's call to care for orphans-specifically He has called them to GO to S. Africa to aid in the orphan crisis there. Would you go to their website now and check it out?!

They've been such a blessing to Michael and I as we are hearing God call us to care for orphans by adoption. They have given God their YES before even knowing the details. I have learned a lot by watching their faith journey so far, and I'm so excited for what God has in store for their family in the future. Would you PRAY that God would lead them, provide for them, protect them in every way, grow them closer to Christ and each other, and use them to restore hope to the people in S. Africa?!

So, stepping out of comfort into faith is always scary and risky, but well worth it. I hope that if God calls me to follow Him to hard places I will say yes like the Hester's have! They have begun the non-profit, and are now in the throes of fundraising. (yucko) Just piddling in fundraising for the past few months for an adoption, I can't imagine fundraising for your ministry, livelihood, and children!! Would you please consider supporting God's work to bring His Kingdom to the children of S. Africa by writing a check or buying a t-shirt??! I got a "love" t-shirt for my birthday, and I truly LOVE it! I would recommend getting a size bigger than you normally wear. They are available on the website as well.

Another tidbit of info I'll include since I'm going to jump in on this part too...to all you sewers out there-we are making simple clothing (dresses and shorts) for the children that the Hester's are serving in Africa! If you're interested, just email me at megsmanuel@gmail.com :)

A quick adoption update on us: yesterday we finally finished our local background checks that have taken over a month to complete thanks to God and a sweet notary named Julie! Here's Myles on one of our many trips. Seriously, how do you take a still shot of a two year old?!?

And my renewed passport that we have waited on since early march came in today!! So I called our social worker and she emailed me that we are all paid up for the homestudy, but she still hasn't written it (typical I think). So a few more papers to notarize next week and we should have the "Dossier" all packaged and ready to ship when the completed homestudy arrives! My goal to ship it off to AGCI was mother's day-so now my new goal is Memorial day. I won't be surprised if it's Father's day before it gets in our hands though!

choosing joy. :)

April 15, 2011

picture updates

So this weekend is my brother, Brian's, wedding! He gets to marry a beautiful, smart, talented, sweet red head named Julie!! So tomorrow I get a sister-in-love! I'll post about the wedding later, in the meantime here's some pics of a visit we had with our good friends Jill and Matt from California and their little boy Dawson! There's a pic of me and Hannah Wallace showing off our haircuts. She and her husband, John, had a haircut fundraiser for their adoption of a little one from Ethiopia, and their little girl, Ivy, and Myles had fun playing! And our best buddies Katie and Mac Curtis at storytime at the library. Katie just gave Mac a little baby sister on thursday so CONGRATS to all on sweet RoseMary Claire's arrival!!

April 7, 2011

Home Inspection and Jewelry

Long time no blog, I know-sorry! I do this thing when I get overwhelmed-withdrawing! :) This process is emotional and the paperwork process is getting me a little flustered and leaving me feel awfully vulnerable and weak. I'm SO not type A (have I mentioned that before?! ha) but today was encouraging because we finished up our part of the homestudy with our social worker coming to our home for our final 'inspection/visit"!

She mainly wanted to see our smoke detectors and wondered which room Marlee will be in, and which one Myles will be in. I've given this a lot of thought, and I'll probably give it even more, but for now I'm going to convert his crib to a toddler bed this summer and let him stay in that until we get closer to going to pick up Marlee. Then he'll move rooms into the big boy double bed and I'll keep the nursery for Marlee. I'll just make it girly :)

We haven't heard any official word from Ethiopia about how many cases they will process after they finish up these backlogged cases and the ones they started processing before March 8th (the day they said they were cutting back processing times by 90%) There are some encouraging things being done to help them 'speed up' the process and ensure they are ethical, but we have no 'timeline' as of yet.

It's really hard to be finishing up paperwork, not knowing how long we might be waiting...like being pregnant but not knowing a due date! I know this faith journey God has me on is SO good for me, and bringing her home eventually will be SO worth it. Thanks for praying for us this week!

On the fundraising side of things, we are starting a new fundraiser with premier jewelry! My sweet friend from youth ministry days, Becky Reed, has been so gracious to give me the sales from a 2 week jewelry sale!! You can go online and look at www.premierdesigns.com and email me to order, or if you're in the area I have a catalog you can look at and order with me! We'll close the fundraiser out on April 20th. Just think of all the things you may need a gift for coming up...graduation, birthdays, mothers day, easter! We also have a few frames left, we always have coffee, and whenever the Lord leads you to donate we are SO blessed!