Wednesday, November 30, 2011
About a month ago we cleaned out the 3rd bedroom and now at that’s left in there is a desk that will be moved this weekend. I’m going to tell you a little secret, not even Chris knows, some nights I go in the room and just stand there and look at the empty room. I have visions of a little girl’s room with purples and grays or an older little boy’s room with toys all over the floor. I think about all the memories waiting to happen in that room. We are happy and blessed and we love our son so much, but I can’t help having that feeling like we are missing a few family members.
Monday I got an email from a family member that kind of hurt. In reply to us emailing her about our decision to adopt from Ethiopia, she stated that “If it is God’s will that you adopt, I will pray that He changes your heart to adopt in the USA and NOT a foreign country. We have a lot of babies here that need a loving home.” Ouch. I will state first that I agree with her last sentence, there are a lot of babies in the US that need homes…and there are MILLIONS of babies around the world that need loving homes, I don’t chose who I help by where they live but instead where I feel GOD leads me too. But besides all that, he statement hurt because to me we are expecting from Ethiopia (heck we will call it pregnant if you will) and if our “hearts change” it will be HEART BREAK! My babies are in Ethiopia, my children who I pray for and already love are in ETHIOPIA. Asking me to change where I am adopting from is like asking me to give up my kids! Still don’t get it? Praying for me to change the location we adopt from is like telling me that you are going to pray for a pregnant me to not be pregnant anymore. Overdramatic? Maybe, but this is how I feel.
Can I ask you to do me a favor? Can you pray for our brown-eyed babies? Can you pray with me that they are being loved on and cared for since we can’t yet? I know right now they are going through the worst pain they are ever going to face and I wish I could be there to dry their tears and hug them like only a mommy can.
Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thirty-One is a fun & unique line ...of products. Browse through the catalog to find everything from signature purses and totes to storage solutions that help organize your life. There's a little something for everyone. There's a fun special going on right now!! For every $31 you spend, get one All-In-One Organizer, Soft Wallet, Cinch Sac, Zip-Up Pencil Pouch or Flat Iron Case for ONLY $5! These items are originally valued from $10-$22! Buy gifts for others and keep these for yourself! Shop at http://www.mythirtyone.com/hannahcole/ and make sure to shop from "Abbey's Adoption Fundraiser"!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
About three and a half weeks ago our home study social worker emailed us about a home study seminar that will count as one of our four required meetings…awesome right?? I thought about it and then forgot about it because I was certain that we had to have our packet in by then and I was certain that we would NOT have it ready yet. Thankfully an awesome adoptive mom Beth (check her out at give1save1.com) messaged me, encouraging me to go to the seminar and informed me that we could go BEFORE we turned in our paperwork! The funny thing is that for the last two years, I have consistently felt God telling me to wait, even when I felt God pushing us to start the adoption, He still reminded me to wait. When Beth encouraged us to attend the seminar I suddenly stopped hearing the “wait” and instead heard the “hurry!”! Friday we went to the seminar and TODAY we sent in our home study PAPERWORK!!! Thank you Beth for letting God use you to encourage us! I’m so excited (and nervous) to begin the home study meetings!!
Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Still, I am overwhelmed by the needs out there...how can my little gifts, the little amount that we can afford, help enough people to make a difference? Well it may or may not make a big difference in the world, that's just the way life works. I saw a quote today that kind of made me stop to and think "Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts". Wow. You see the "burden" that is poverty and orphans is not a burden but a face...millions of faces actually! What if my dollar gives a mom one more day with her baby? What if my dollar made a child feel safe and loved? What if my dollar helped a woman escape human trafficking? Or, what is I kept my dollar and it did nothing? These are the things I think about now. My heart is restless to DO something, GO somewhere, LOVE on someone, to make changes! Right now the best I can do is GIVE and I want to give generously, I want to give in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable. When we give generously we take the power away from money and wealth and its hold on us (ok I might have stolen that from Dave Ramsey, we are doing FPU in our small group and I feel like I remember him saying something like that) and we save lives and hearts. I want to share some of the places and people that have helped build this fire in my heart and who I want to advocate for. Each of these organizations and people have a passion for helping those that can't help themselves and to love the fatherless:
Because Every Mother Matters - becauseeverymothermatters.com
Their mission is to reduce the occurrence of maternal and infant mortality by providing sterile birthing kits, holistic childbirth and development centers, and sponsorships of mothers in East Africa. I talked about them in a previous blog post but I wanted to get the word out about them again! Organizations like this are vital to stopping the orphan crisis! Right now they are trying to fund an ambulance that will help 24 villages in Ethiopia save many lives. Can you help them?
Delicate Fortress - http://www.delicatefortress.com/
Shop with purpose! Delicate Fortress sells items that are made by refugees to help stop human trafficking, extreme poverty and modern day slavery. They are unique and well made. Check them out and do a little guilt free shopping!
Give1Save1 - give1save1.com
I think this is said best in their words "every monday i’m going to ask you for a dollar. i’m going to tell you who it’s going to and what it’s being used for. we’re mostly funding african adoption for the people, by the people. we’re just going to rain down a crazy blessing on a family, organization, orphanage, or project and we’re going to do it every week. we’re going to get huge. and the world will be changed for lots of people because of your generosity. that sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! let’s do it.
i’ll tell you who we’re sponsoring and where to send your dollar. you’ll need a paypal account to play. if you don’t have a paypal account, you just need one. it’s time. so go ahead and set one up and meet me back here. i’ll link a button to the paypal account that we’ll be blasting. then once you’ve donated your dollar spread the word to get some more dollars in here. if you have a voice, an email account, a blog, a facebook page, a twitter account or a pinboard USE IT! the only way we can make a big difference is to make it viral!
and your dollar will be saving and restoring lives in all kinds of ways. in ethiopia one in six children don’t live to be five years old. there is a desperate need for basic food, clean water, and medicine. removing a child from an orphanage gives that child a family and a future, something everyone needs. it also frees up a bed in an orphanage for a street child. your dollar will change lives and save lives in ways you may never know." Um, this is super cool and it was started by an adopting Mom!! Yeah she pretty much rocks! Every week they will spotlight someone different and you can expect $1 a week to go to a family adopting a baby, an older child, siblings, and a project. Super cool...Can you give a dollar a week? Or what about a dollar a day? Think about it, pray about it!
"Sweet Sleep is a faith-based nonprofit organization which provides beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children, demonstrating God’s love for them and improving their quality of life.
Sweet Sleep’s vision is for every orphaned child in the world to lie down in their own bed reminding them they are loved, protected and cared for with hope for the future through Jesus Christ.
According to UNICEF, there are more that 210 million orphans worldwide. Today, 5,760 more children will become orphans.
Orphaned and abandoned children around the world suffer from lack of sufficient or healthy places to sleep. These children often sleep on old, broken and soiled beds or have no beds at all – forcing them to sleep on paper-thin mats or cold, hard floors, making them susceptible to crawling, biting insects and disease. In these conditions, it is nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep and the effects are staggering:
1 in 5 of all childhood deaths is caused from malaria.
90% of these children are in Africa alone.
A sagging or misshapen mattress may add tension to a child’s joints because their bodies rest on the mattress for hours at a time.
Even if a child sleeps well on a bad mattress, these injuries to their bodies only make them weaker.
Old mattresses or scraps of foam are breeding grounds for bed bugs and allergens that contribute to startling increases in respiratory diseases, including asthma as well as rhinitis, eczema and bed bug bites.
When children continuously do not get enough sleep it affects their health, makes them tired during the day, hinders their ability to do well at school and leaves them more prone to disease.
Sweet Sleep’s provision of mosquito nets to orphanages is literally life-changing to children who live in fear of death by malaria. With your help, we are able to get sweet orphaned and abandoned children around the world into healthy, comfortable new Sweet Sleep beds."
Jennifer and Chris went to Ethiopia and Rwanda last month and visited the Noel Orphanage, which is home to over 600 children. Many of these children sleep 2 and 3 to a bed. Right now, Noel needs 50 new bunk beds for the girls and 20 new cots for the toddlers. Each bunk bed cost $135 and each toddler cot cost $65. Can you help a child sleep safely tonight?? You can donate on either the Give1Save1 site, Jenn and Chris' blog or straight to Sleep Sweet's site.
Ok that's all I have right now! There are MANY more organizations out there to help, all you have to do is look.
The before picture (there was a railing there but the contractor popped it out before I got a picture of it)
The after...not great because it hasn't been painted, but you get the idea!
We are so relieved that this is finished! Not only did we make an extra room for our kids, but we just uped the value of our house because it is now a 3 bedroom house! Our contractor is awesome! He gave us a discount (He and his wife are adopting from China!) and he added an outlet in the bedroom and patched up 2 other holes without us asking! He is truly a God send!! Did I mention we found him at church?? His wife serves in the elementary ministry at our church with Chris! If you live in the League City/Southeast Houston area and need a contractor, let me know and i will give you his info! Now we just have to finish the bathroom remodel and we can submit our homestudy paperwork!!
Friday, September 9, 2011
I am so blessed to have a sister (who is also my best friend!) who took care of Jacob all weekend long so we could concentrate on the remodel without distractions! Here he is with his "friends" watching a movie at Aunt Hannah's house!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
THE CURRENT PROJECT: raise $20k for a 4 wheel drive vehicle, that will save mother's lives, and prevent further orphans from entering the world.
THE BENEFIT FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: If you or anyone you know donates $20 for this cause, you will be entered to be gifted 25% of what we raise thru this initiative, up to $10,000. You could be given up to $2,500 toward your adoption!
if we reach the $10k mark, the rules change a little bit for the remainder of funds... for every $1k we raise, you will be entered to be gifted 50%! if we make our goal of $20k, that is 10 families who could be given $500 toward their adoption!
that is 11 chances to win!!!
WHAT IF I AM NOT ADOPTING? CAN I STILL GIVE? absolutely! if you are not adopting but know someone who is, you can donate the $20 in their name, and they will be entered for the $ gift. if you don't know anyone who is adopting that is fine too, you can still donate toward the ambulance!
FUTURE PLANS: we at BEMM are all about helping mamas. there are women, in ethiopia who need our help all the time. if this campaign is successful, we will do adoption $$ give aways on a regular basis!!!
CONCLUSION: the more $$$ raised, the more $$$ going toward the ambulance, and the more $$$ going toward bringing home a current orphan! it is a win/win for everyone!!!
spread the word! tell your family, friends, co-workers, teachers, barrista, whoever! you only have one more week to enter!!!!
This is such an awesome fundraiser! Can I ask you to donate toward this? This fundraiser ends 9/4 (this Sunday) and they NEED this ambulance to save mothers and babies. If you like you can enter our names in the comment section to add us into the drawing, but if not thats ok, I just REALLY support this! Just go to the link above and click on the "donate" tab. In the "notes to seller" tab enter "ambulance Chris and Abigail Newton"!
You can also get more info from their blog at http://toliveloveandlaughtoday.blogspot.com/2011/08/adoptive-parent-talk.html
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Just Love Coffee: https://www.justlovecoffee.com/newtonfamily Love Roasters takes the two passions of its founder, ORPHANS and FAIR TRADE COFFEE, and incorporates them into one company. Their mission is to offer quality Fair Trade coffees and to use these coffees to help orphans and their forever families. They have created a fundraising program where we are able to set up our own online store! I have tried it and it is VERY good! With each bag sold, $5 will go directly towards our adoption. Your coffee is delivered to you by USPS and you get to help us adopt or child (or children)!Proceeds to Our Adoption:• Coffee: $5 will go towards our adoption• T-Shirt: $5 will go towards our adoption• Travel Mug: $3 will go towards our adoption• Tote Bag: $3 will go towards our adoption• Hat: $3 will go towards our adoption• Coffee Scoop: $1 will go towards our adoption
A Novel Idea Crafts: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ANovelIdeaCrafts I have been making jewelry for about a year and now all proceeds goes into our adoption fund!
Scentsy: https://abbeynewton.scentsy.us/ A friend of mine did a Scentsy fundraiser for us last month to raise funds for our adoption and now I have joined her team and am a Scentsy consultant! All commissions go into our adoption fund!
Here is the Women's black unisex shirt. I have 5 smalls, 6 Mediums, 7 Larges, 2 XL and 2 XXL. You can order them from the Paypal link on the right.
We are so blessed by all the support we have from our friends and families. It overwhelms me some days and I am humbled. Please know that we are pinching from our budget everywhere we can and we don't ask for donations without first taking from ourselves. In fact the thermometer to the right is not just donations but donations PLUS our own savings. No monetary sacrifice it too much to bring our sweet Z home!
Friday, August 19, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Another adoptive mom has put together a website to help provide relief for Africa from this horrible drought they are experiencing. It breaks my heart to think of my child over there right now suffering along with so many others. We are asking that you help us by donating to one of the recommended organizations on the website below. Several families (including us) have donated items for you to chose from if you donate $25 or $50. This drive is only for Thursday, August 11 and ends tomorrow night. Please give if you can!!
For more info about the drought check these links:
Monday, August 1, 2011
Right now our adoption process has kinda stalled. Yes we are still moving forward and nothing has really changed, it just seems that suddenly we are at a place where we have to wait. We have to wait on a few things before we can keep moving and it kind of feels like our feet are glued to the ground. Like no matter how hard we are trying to make a forward step, we just can't move. Thankfully though I know this is just temporary. I know we will very soon have the funds to send our social worker the check to pay for the home study, the doctor will re-fill out and re-sign our medical forms and Chris' social security card will arrive in the mail (well I hope it will!). But until all these things happen we can't move forward with our home study and this means we must wait. Anyone that knows me well knows I am horrible at waiting, seriously I'm BAD at it! I'm even worse at it if I think that I could be doing something about but can't. The worst part about my impatience is that I start to close up, especially to God. As I pull myself further from God I realize that a lot of the feelings that God has shielded me from are starting to creep back in. This scares me, I don't want to be back in that place. I KNOW what God wants for our family, for our future but slowly I feel like I'm forgetting. The feelings of loneliness and inadequacy have been trying to steal my joy about our future, trying to make me feel like adoption will never be "good enough" for me, that I will never be satisfied until I have a little baby in my tummy again. This saddens me for many different reasons, I WANT to adopt and I don't want anything holding me back from our future children, future as a family and from God and His plan. I want this to be more then just about us and our family! I just wish I wasn't so human! But even as I am writing this I can feel God's loving grace surrounding and reminding me of not only what I want but what HE wants (ha no joke the song that just came on my iPod is "Running to You" by Newsboys).
One of the few things that does help me with waiting is to have a tangible goal. Well of course with adoption there is a tangible goal, but right now the "goal" in my mind is a faceless, nameless child and well that hurts my heart! I want so badly to see his/her face and hear their voice. I'm so tired of say "his/her" so instead we are calling them Z! Yep Z! Why Z? While trying for baby #2 Chris and I were pretty set on girl name and a boy name but for some reason as we have transitioned into the adoption process, I keep coming back to a different boy name, Zachary (Zoe is the same girl name but for a different reason) and finally we decided that we will keep these names when we finally bring Z home. Both have great meanings and I feel are perfect for our child. Zachary comes from Zachariah which means remembered by God. I want our child to know that even though at one time he was an orphan, he was remembered and loved by God. Zoe means life and I want my child (well all children of course) to LIVE a life of love and fulfillment!
Something I keep saying and keeping trying to remind myself of, is that adoption, through God's lead, will ALWAYS happen on God's timeline. Every holdup and stall is for a reason. Our child will come home when God is ready for them to. I can either let it hold me down or I can use this time to prepare for the race ahead of us by praying and drawing closer to God. I choose to run to Z!!
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
- An order for jewelry which ended up being almost twice what I usually charge because they wanted me to add sterling silver components
- A donation from another adopting family who is still trying to raise funds for their adoption.
- Three other orders from our etsy shop!
- More donations for our garage sale
- A friend commiting to monthly donations AND letting me know that her small group is praying for us...in another state!
- Raising $713 during our garage sale even though it rained for most of the 2nd day (people just kept coming!)
- A blogging mommy friend reviewing one of our etsy items on her blog (check out the Made with Love Event on her blog http://ftmommyferg.blogspot.com/ )
- A friend hosting a Scentsy party to help us raise funds https://jonnamcneely.scentsy.us/Buy/SetupPrompt
- And all the help, support and prayers from family and friends
So many times during this weekend I felt defeated (like when we had just finished bringing all the donations out into the yard and then heard thunder) but God reminded me that all of this is bigger than me and He could do more than I could ever even imagine. For example, we had 4 pieces of big furniture and no one had even inquired about them when the thunder started. I knew that we could easily cover and store the other items if the rain started, but not the furniture. I panicked, then prayed (ok more like begged) and within an hour each piece was sold! I have more to say on this but I don't think I can write it as eloquently as I'd like right now. Just know that you are loved and God can do more than you could ever imagine! (Oh yeah and check out the Scentsy party!!)
Isaiah 55:8 "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts" says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."
Monday, July 11, 2011
- Proof of home ownership
- Guardianship Statement Form
- Birth Certificate Photocopies
- Marriage License Photocopies
- Pet Vax Proof
- 1040 Tax Form copy
- Reference Letters given to awesome people :)
- Driver's License copies
- Reading Agreement
- Health Insurance Coverage Proof
- Chris' Social Security Card
- Medical Exam form
- Floor Plan Sketch
- Pics of Yard areas and home
- Employment Verification.
- Home Study Questionaires (all 180 questions each!)
- 10 Forms to fill out/sign
- The Rest of the Home Study to be funded
As you can see we aren't doing too bad! Now let's just pray that all our medical retesting comes back ok and they can just write a simple note about it and be done with it! Ok I have more to say but I will write another blog post later!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Simply Love 2 Week Blitz June 29 - July 28 (EXTENDED)
Black Unisex or Junior Fit Shirt with Blue and White Pattern - $25 + $2 for Shipping
S, M, L, XL and XXL (+ $1.50)
Grey, Black or Blue Unisex Men's shirt with Red and White Pattern - $25 + $2 for Shipping
S, M, L, XL and XXL (+ $1.50)
Kids Grey Shirt - $20 + $2 for shipping
YXS (2-4), YS (6-8), YM (10-12), YL (14-16), YXL (18-20)
Simply Love Purse Tote in Blue, Brown, Pink or Black - $30 + $2 for Shipping
Brown Distressed Hat with Cream Wording - $22 + $2 for Shipping
Women's Military Style Hat in Brown, Khaki or Black - $22 + $2 for Shipping
*Buy Now Buttons are up! *
Ok sorry I got a little side tracked but hey I'm a little less stressed now that I got that off my chest. Eventually I will write a blog with all the items we have to have for the home study and dossier but right now I will just tell you that there are 27 items on the checklist for the home study and so far we have finished 6 of them. Thankfully half of the items are in the HUGE packet that we received via email and really only require us to fill them out and sign. The items left that we actually have to go and get are copies of social security cards, medical exams,copies of all 3 birth certs (oh yeah did I mention I can't seem to find Jacob's either!!), financial statement, floor plan sketch (Chris is actually pretty excited about this), pics of our house/yard areas and employment verification. Most of that list is actually pretty easy I just have to get to work!
I can already tell that I am going to love our social worker. In the attachments she gave us there is a tip sheet with tips about some of the items on the list of documents and in the last tip she reminds that "If God brings me to it, He will bring me through it!" and I couldn't agree more! In the last 24 hours I have let the stress get to me and I forgot that this is not about us, its about HIM. He WILL help us with all this. I just have to keep remembering that this is ALL in His timing not mine. Now if we can just get through the medical exam next week without Chris fainting :)!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” -Luke 12:22-24
Friday, June 24, 2011
Something else I have to thank God for is freeing me from my stubbornness about my weight. Its pretty obvious that I need to get healthy, not just for myself but for my family too. But I am VERY stubborn and if I can find a reason not to do something then I am pretty set in my ways. Thats how I have been about my weight since we first started trying for kids. I have always known that losing weight would make it easier to get pregnant, but my stubbornness would kick in and I figured, whats the point? Im going to get pregnant soon and just gain it all back. Ok I admit this logic was stupid but I was so stuck in my ways that I couldnt find a way out. Well, now what the heck is my excuse?? NOTHING! For the first time since we have been married, I am actually hoping to not get pregnant (yeah yall that know me knew I pushed Chris into having kids, thankfully he loves being a daddy and forgave me ;) so I have NOTHING standing in my way! So, Im gonna do it! I feel that God is asking me to fix a lot of areas of my life and this is one of them! I am a goal oriented person so I am going to set a goal for myself to lose 100lbs in 1 year! Yep, Im crazy. That means 2lbs a week! But Im tired of living with excuses, like "I can't because its too hard" or "I don't have enough time". I CAN do this and I CAN make time. I NEED to do this. I owe this to my husband, to Jacob, our future kids and to my family! So its been 2 weeks since Ive started this goal and Im not doing so great with only losing 2.5lbs, but I figure I need a week or 2 get used to our new lifestyle. No more excuses and no more laziness. Im looking forward to the "new me" that God is creating inside and out.
So, is God asking you to "stop making excuses and start making changes"? Don't ignore it!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
So now we wait for AWA to receive our packet and assign us a family coordinator who will give us a list of documents to get for our dossier and our home study social worker. Also we need to complete our 8 hour online training course for adoptive parents. Yay for moving faster than we thought!
Thanks again for everyone helped out, we really could not have done this without yall!!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Well I hope that gave you a little idea of who we are! Welcome, I hope that this blog helps you where ever you are in you life! More than anything I hope that this blog is not about us but about God and His mercy and His faithfulness. Now who are YOU? Leave me a comment so i can get to know you a little better!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
So what now? Well first we have to return the signed AWAA agreement packet and the first installment of the program fee ($1500) and then we will be assigned a Family Coordinator who will help us start building our dossier! We think we will be able to send in the agreement packet and the fee in about 2 weeks (unless we do really well on the garage sale!). We are Paper Pregnant!!
What the heck is a dossier?? A dossier (Doss-e-a) is huge packet of paperwork that will basically contain our life story! It will contain the home study report, Homeland Security forms, legal documents and more. I will post a list when we get the list from our FC. We will send it to Ethiopia for review and they will basically make their decision on whether we are fit enough to adopt or not from it. This process will take about 4-6 months and I am hoping that we will send it off by Jan 1st!
I wanted to get a cute picture of us filling out the application but I was too bummed and forgot, but I did get this pic...
Thank you everyone for your support we have received A LOT of donations for our garage sale this weekend and I am pretty encouraged by it all. I can’t wait to have our new little one home! Oh and by the way, we are asking for a girl or boy age 0-2yrs old, Jacob is going to be so excited!