Thanks for your support of our adoption journey. We would love for you to join us in praying that God would give us wisdom, patience and perseverance as we go through the process to adopt our children! We appreciate the many people walking this adoption journey with us in prayer! ~Jon & Bethany

December 3, 2012

the HOPE we have amidst our crazy story

Hello out there to anyone who is still following our adoption journey! Thanks for sticking with us these past two years! We started this adoption process thinking it was going to be a sprint to get done quickly, but it has certainly turned out to be a marathon, no maybe a triathalon! Either way, we couldn't have persevered in running this race without two things: the Holy Spirit of God that dwells inside every believer and the faithful friends who have encouraged us and cheered us on when we felt like laying down and giving up. We thank God for the countless friends & family who have lifted us and our children up in prayer along the way!! I hope you know how truly grateful we are for you!
Today I am going to share a blog post I wrote as a "guest post" for my friend (and fellow adoptive momma) Sarah's blog, as part of a month-long guest post series she is hosting about many lives touched by adoption. You can see the post on her blog here. 

My name is Bethany. Sarah asked me to share a little bit of the story of how God has been at work in my life and my family’s adoption story, so here it is goes...

I grew up in a very loving, very Roman Catholic home here in Louisville. I went to Catholic schools from 4th grade through high school, and basically lived in a catholic “bubble”.  I was the oldest child and was definitely the “rule follower” of the family. I went to every Youth Group event & mission trips every summer to help the poor. I had also created my own set of moral standards for myself, when many of the kids around me were rebelling in high school: I will not drink until I’m 21, I will never smoke, and I will NOT have sex until I’m married. As long as I stuck to these things, I thought I was a very good person and that God would be pleased with me. However, after graduating from high school I decided that I was tired of being the “good little girl” and trying so hard to be “perfect” and please my parents, I wanted to have fun. So I left for college and pursued all kinds of “fun” that I thought would make me happy. I jumped headlong into the party scene from day one on campus. This went on my entire freshman year at UK. If there was a party, I was at it. And boy, did I LOVE my sin. I had no conviction whatsoever. Until it caught up with me and I began to reap what I had been sowing (Galatians 6:7-9).
I returned for my sophomore year hurt, depressed and desperate for healing & forgiveness. So when my new roommate in my sorority house invited me to go to a Christian church with her, which was SO against my upbringing, I said yes. I was searching for answers and willing to try anything at that point.

For the first time in my entire life I heard the good news of the gospel: that I was a sinner in need of a Savior and that Jesus Christ had fully paid the debt that my sins deserve on the cross. And that I could never be “good enough.” I could never EARN my salvation. “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I cried my eyes out every Sunday for months as Danielle faithfully brought me back with her week after week. Finally I had found a source of hope: the Jesus of the Bible that I’d always known about, but never really known. Danielle continued to be my friend and ask me hard questions. One question especially stuck with me and pricked my heart. Danielle asked me, “how sure are you that you would go to Heaven if you died tonight?” I thought I was about 85% sure. I had been very “good” growing up and I thought that would outweigh all the “bad” stuff I had been doing for the past year. Danielle explained that it wasn’t based on me at all- it was based on Jesus alone. She shared Ephesians 2:8-9 with me, “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”  I began reading my Bible for the first time in my life and slowly became convinced by scripture that the gospel was truth and that a lot of what I’d been taught growing up wasn’t based on the word of God.

Eventually I decided that Jesus was far more precious than pleasing my parents & following the Catholic tradition of my family. And in February of my junior year, at a Campus Crusade conference for Greek students, I surrendered my whole life to Christ. I finally let go of the idols I had been holding so tightly onto, my drunken social life and my immoral relationships, and I placed my faith in Christ alone for my salvation. I memorized 2 Corinthians 5:17 and had to constantly remind myself that I was “a new creation in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come.” God was so kind and merciful in immediately giving me fellowship with believers who encouraged me in my new walk with the Lord at Campus Crusade. The believers I met helped me grow in my walk with the Lord, study my Bible, and eventually introduced me to the godly man who is now my husband!

My husband, Jon, and I had always talked about adopting “one day,” but around our son’s first birthday we decided to officially start the process to adopt internationally after praying about it for years. That was almost 2 years ago. We’ve been humbly reminded many times throughout our adoption process that WE are not the ones writing our adoption story. Our Sovereign God is the one in control; He is the author of our story and only He knows the twists & turns and how it will end. We would never have dreamed that we would lose our first referral, that the precious 9 month old baby girl who we were in the process of adopting would die, or that we would have two legally adopted children in the DRC who are both “missing.” But that is all part of our story.

 And here’s what I want to share with you: if you are a Christian and you desire to care for orphans through adoption- DO IT! But don’t go into the process all na├»ve and dreamy the way I did. I thought that because we were doing a good thing, by rescuing orphans, that it would be easy. Oh was I wrong! God has NOT promised that caring for the fatherless would be easy. But it is WORTH IT. Every single orphaned child on this earth is worth fighting for. They are worth mounds of paperwork, many fundraising events, months years of waiting and constant prayer. They are precious children made in the image of God, just like you and me! So by all means, please consider showing a child the love of Christ through adoption! But please, come prepared with the full armor of God on, ready to fight for them and advocate for them if and when Satan attacks. I have learned that adoption is not simply a “process,” it is a battle. Do not fear the battle. No one can know how the process will go for them. Every single adoption story is different, but the Author is the same. And He will not abandon you when the trials and the suffering comes. I was greatly encouraged by our friend, Matthew Delaughter’s, recent sermon at Immanuel. The text he preached from was Romans 5:1-11; my heart was especially encouraged by verses 3 through 5: Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Matthew reminded me that all the suffering weaved into our adoption story is not in vain. It is producing endurance, character, and hope as we have never known it before. The fact that we have been able to persevere thus far is encouraging to me. Why? Because I know without a doubt that my flesh would have given up a long time ago, and therefore, the Spirit of God truly is dwelling inside of me equipping me with the fruit of the Spirit to help me persevere and not give up!! Further proof that God’s word IS trustworthy and true. And I have HOPE in the midst of all the unknown because of the gospel of Christ.

 I do not know how our story will end, when it will end, or even what chapter we are in! But I don’t have to have it all figured out, I just have to hope and trust in my Creator, my heavenly Father, who went through far more than Jon and I have gone through, just to rescue me to be His daughter! Afterall, he sacrificed His only son for me.

“ But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7

We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas! Believers have so much to celebrate this time of year in the ultimate gift God gave the world: His only Son, Jesus!
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PS- You can LISTEN ONLINE to the Excellent sermon by our friend, Matthew Delaughter, on suffering & the HOPE we have in Christ! If you are in the midst of trials and suffering, do yourself a favor & LISTEN to this sermon. It GREATLY encouraged me & spurred me on to want to suffer well through this 2-year-long & no-end-in-sight adoption process. Thank you again, brother! You & your family are such a gift to Immanuel Baptist Church! Click here to go listen for free:




November 25, 2012

august 24th


On August 24th, 2012 I was scheduled to speak, alongside one of my best friends, at our church's women's fellowship night. We were asked to share about how we met, how she shared the gospel with me, and how God used our friendship for his glory and how I came to be a born-again believer in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation.
As I was in my van, about 5 minutes away from church, I got a call from Jon. He told me he had some bad news he had to tell me & asked if I was ready to hear it.
"What is it?! Is Josephine dead???"
"No."
"Then what is it?!?! Wait, don't tell me. I'm almost at church. I will call you back."

So 15 minutes before I was about to share my testimony with a room full of 100 ladies, I called him back and heard the news,
"Josephine is missing now too. She is gone. She's not at the orphanage. Either she's missing or we adopted a little girl who never existed."

It was a Friday night. Jon was packed & ready to fly to DRC to get our daughter on Sunday. How could this really be happening?? I sobbed with my friend, Danielle for a few minutes, not understanding how God could really let this be happening to our sweet little girl. Danielle prayed for me. Then I took a deep breath, regained my composure and took the stage with her.
I remember someone said they would totally understand if I didn't want to speak that night, but I knew that was exactly what Satan wanted and there was no way I was going to let him win this battle.
By God's grace, and with the help of the indwelling Spirit, Danielle and I were able to tell our stories, how God used a room in a sorority house to show me the good news of the gospel & that I could never be good enough on my own to please Him or "earn" my way to Heaven. He called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. And now, by grace I am saved through faith in Jesus Christ! I am so thankful that the Lord gave me that Philippians 4 peace that surpasses understanding so that I could share my story for the glory of God & so the gospel may go forth and save others who are lost in their sin just like I was.

 Soli deo gloria. {To God alone be the glory.}
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November 8, 2012

breaking the silence

Wow. I can't believe it is already November. I cannot believe that we started the adoption process a few months before our firstborn turned 1 and he is now over 2 and a half. I cannot believe that in a little over a month we will hit the milestone of being "in the adoption process" for two years. And most days I cannot believe that we have 2 legally adopted children in the DRC who have both been missing for months.

But all of these things are true, no matter how hard they are for me to believe. Yet I also know that God's word is true. And although I have no idea what He is doing right now, I trust that His ways are higher than our ways & I just simply couldn't comprehend it even if He did try to explain it all to me. So I trust Him. And I trust that His word is true when it says,
"I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to seperate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:37-39
and
 "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
and
"For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:17
and
"The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin." Psalm 146:9

Trusting the Lord & fighting for joy in the midst of this trial,
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July 21, 2012

sorry it's been so long

We haven't written on the blog in over a month. But that is not because nothing has been happening in our adoption.

It is because so much has been happening that we cannot share publicly at this point.

It's been frustrating, chaotic, and very sanctifying. We have had to lean on the Lord alone, because He alone has infinite power and wisdom, and He alone can resolve this situation.

We trust that God is the one writing our adoption story and directing our path, even when He seems to be leading us to our destination by a very different road than we had pictured when we set out. We want to be obedient to follow where ever He leads, like the Isrealites followed Him into the desert trusting that He would eventually lead them to the Promised Land. (Although we do NOT want to grumble and complain about everything along the way, like the Isrealites. Nor do we want to quickly forget all that God has done for us the way they did. You can pray for us to guard ourselves from these things.) We don't know what the other side of this "desert" will look like, but we know that He will be there with us- and that alone is enough. He is our source of joy in every turn and trial along the way.

Just know that we are still here, on our God-given mission to care for the fatherless. And our Heavenly Father is sustaining us and giving us grace for each day. He is ministering to us through His word and through so many believers in our lives who are pointing us to His word continually. {We PRAISE God for the community of believers we are a part of! Not a day goes by that we are not encouraged or spurred on by one of the faithful Christians God has placed in our lives, and for that we are SO thankful.}

We trust that God isn't finished with our story yet, so we press on and PRAY that He would execute justice for orphans, and, we pray, be glorified along the way.

You can continue to pray that God would give us wisdom, patience, perseverance for the road ahead. You can pray that God would miraculously knit our family together through adoption and that we would be home with our children very soon. You can pray for God's protecting hands to be wrapped around both of our children, caring for them each day that we cannot be there to do it ourselves.

Oh yes, I almost forgot... the day after we got some devestating news about our son, we received some awesome news that was somewhat overshadowed by our sorrow, but we want you to rejoice with us at all that God has done- baby girl is now legally OUR daughter!

Trusting that "this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17-18),
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June 15, 2012

lil guy's i600 approved!!

WOOHOO!! We got our official i600 approval in the mail yesterday for our son!! PRAISE THE LORD!

{For those of you are haven't been thru this part of an international adoption before, the I600 is the US embassy's approval for us to "classify an orphan as an immediate relative"!! Aka they approve of Malachi's adoption! Now we just need exit visas to be able to bring him HOME!!!

Pray that we would get a picture of Malachi & hear great news on baby girl's adoption court this week too! =)

 "Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost."


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June 8, 2012

Call to Prayer!

If you are a believer, a Christian, saved by God's grace by your faith in Jesus to atone for your sin, then we would love to urge you to pray without ceasing with us for the following requests before our Heavenly Father, who hears the cries of His people:

1) PRAY for baby R and his well-being and protection, as we haven't seen his face in 10 months and long to know that he is okay.

2) PRAY that they would take baby R's picture on Monday and that his passport would be ready on Wednesday!!!! (They've been waiting for his picture for weeks now to complete his passport. We had no idea his passport was this far along until today! Praise the LORD!!)

3) PRAY that God would grant us an appointment with the US Embassy very soon. (They are taking our paperwork over next week if they can get baby R's picture by Monday!)

4) PRAY that we would get our i600 approval before next Thursday so the US Embassy in Kinshasa can begin their final investigation and give us permission to bring our son home!!!

5) PRAY that baby girl would have passed court last week (as we were told in an email from our attorney), that her paperwork would come quickly at the end of the 30 day wait, and that our USCIS officer would be merciful and expedite her embassy paperwork!

Thank you all for laboring in prayer with us for our children and bearing our burdens with us! As we grieve with some dear friends of ours over their second child that has passed away before they could bring them home, will you pray that the Lord would protect them and us from fearfulness or anxiety and that God would uphold all of our children, and protect them from any harm, disease or neglect as they wait for their forever families to rescue them.

"You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy."

Psalm 145: 16-20

We are on a "rescue mission."Please pray that God would be pleased to RESCUE our children and all of the precious orphans in the DRC who are matched with and waiting for their loving families to come rescue them very, very soon!

The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Praying like the persistent widow for my children,
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May 29, 2012

Crying happy tears

I've found myself crying happy tears several times already today (and it's only 2:00!).

As Jonah and I were driving to Costco this morning I was overwhelmed to the point of tears as I listened to this beautiful song called "I'm Adopted" (on our beloved Slugs & Bugs cd) which I've heard a hundred times before. {You can listen to it online here- the lyrics are wonderful- http://slugsandbugsandlullabies.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/im-adopted/.}
But this morning it brought tears to my eyes as I sang the lyrics, "Love came and found me, wrapped arms around me." I cried happy tears as I thought about how much I want to do this with my 2 children who live across the globe right now. I long to wrap my arms around them and for them to know how loved they are. And I trust and believe that God will do this. He will bring these precious children home to their loving family.

Then happy tears came to my eyes when I thought about the fact that this is exactly what God has done for me in the gospel. He sent His Son to die for my sins so when I repented and believed in Christ alone for my salvation, I would be no longer seperated from God by my sin. In fact, He came and found me. He rescued me out of the pit of my own sin and rebellion and wrapped His loving arms around me. He called me to turn from my sin & run toward Him. He brought me comfort, peace, joy, and forgiveness through the cross of Jesus. I am no longer an orphan trying to "save myself", God has adopted me as his child, and I have full inheritance with Jesus, his true Son. That is a-mazing. And I did nothing special to deserve it. No one does. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. If you are relying on anything but Jesus's perfect record to know that you will spend eternity with God, then I lovingly urge you to repent (literally means to "turn away") and realize that it is a gift freely given that you can not earn. Put your hope & trust in Jesus Christ alone. Couldn't say it better than Martin Luther does in this quote,

"Irreligious people don't repent at all, and religious people repent only for their sins. But Christians "repent of their righteousness." That is what makes them become Christians- when they repent not just for being bad, but for having tried in so many ways to be good in order to avoid relying on Christ alone for their hope, worth, and salvation."

So back to the happy tears...
As we were heading in Costco Jon called me to tell me that we just got an email from our agency telling us that baby girl has passed the 1st phase of court and should complete the 2nd phase next week!! {In come the happy tears!!} Our baby girl will, God willing, OFFICIALLY be our daughter NEXT WEEK! Praise the Lord!! What sweet news to my ears! One step closer to being able to wrap my loving arms around my kiddos!

Please continue to pray with us for their safety and that the Lord would protect them from any harm, disease, or neglect. And that God would work out all of the final details (travel, 1 or 2 trips, dates, etc) for our children's good, our good, and His GLORY!

Thankful for my adoption into God's family,
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May 25, 2012

Embassy paperwork!

We sent off our paperwork (called an i600) for baby R, now Malachi R., to the US embassy last week!!
We were told the embassy usually takes several weeks to process paperwork, then the Embassy in the DRC will do a background investigation (which could take weeks) and then we could travel to bring him home!!!!!!!
Please pray with us that our baby girl would pass court this week!!! There is a 30 day wait for a no-appeal certificate after she passes court. Pray that her case could be expedited through the embassy so we can bring them both home in one trip very soon!!

We can't wait to show off their beautiful faces! However (for those of you who are curious), we have decided not to post their pictures on the blog for their own safety & protection. We know that exhortion is a big problem in the DRC and do not want to put our children at risk of being kidnapped.

Officially Mommy to 2,
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ps- Baby girl is now 6 months old! And Malachi (baby R) is almost 16 months...
Missing my babies.... Trusting that God will bring them home to us in His perfect timing. But asking in faith for that to be very SOON. I know He delights in giving good gifts to His children if we just ask, so we are asking. Daily.

May 7, 2012

quick prayer update

We have unfortunately not heard ANY news on baby girl's case or on baby R in weeks.
But for any of you out there who still read this & have stuck around all 16 months of our adoption journey thus far, we wanted to let you know how you can specifically be praying with us. {THANK YOU for your support through prayer! It encourages us more than you will probably ever know.}

1. PRAY that we would pass court for baby girl this week!! (Or even that we passed last week and we just don't know it yet!)

2. PRAY that we would get pictures of baby R. We have not gotten a single update (medical info, pictures, or otherwise) in the past 9 months other than being told that he was moved to a different orphanage. He was supposedly moved 2 weeks ago to his new orphanage, so please pray that God would be merciful & let us see his face so we will know he is alive & well!!!

3. PRAY for their continued protection, and that God would uphold their lives and sustain them every single day! We know that every day that an orphan survives in the DRC is a miracle- so we are asking God for daily miracles until the day He finally unites our family!

Praising God for my newest son & praying that baby girl will officially be "ours" soon! And that God would allow us to be united as a family and bring our children home very, very soon!!
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April 19, 2012

WE PASSED COURT!!

"When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all" (Ps. 34:17-19).

Jon & I are absolutely THRILLED and REJOICING in the Lord's kindness in giving us this precious gift!
 We found out on Tuesday that we passed court on March 5!!!
Thank you to all the saints, especially our Immanuel family, who have been pleading with the Lord with us for our adoption!
We are officially baby R's parents now!
I (Bethany) have been weeping tears of joy! Not only did we pass court, we passed court over 30 days ago AND have the No-Appeal certificate! PRAISE THE LORD! HE HEARS THE CRIES OF HIS PEOPLE!!!!

I can hardly wait to see his face again! We haven't gotten new pictures of him in 8 months! (He's asleep in every picture we have & he was only 6 months old. He's now 14 months.) We are supposed to be getting some soon, but seeing him face to face will be indescribably filled with joy! Praying it will be soon!

Please pray with us that we will also hear good news on our baby girl's case this week! As far as we know she hasn't even started the first phase of court, but we are PRAYING that she would officially be our daughter VERY SOON so we can travel in the next couple months to bring them HOME!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who has been faithfully praying with us and for us! We certainly feel surrounded in prayer right now and could not be more encouraged! God's grace is amazing- my flesh could never survive all this waiting- but PRAISE Him that through Christ I now have the Spirit dwelling inside me giving me the ability to exercise patience as we wait on the Lord. I am far from perfect in this area, but I know that by God's grace we have persevered (and will continue to) and not given up. The Spirit really is a sweet, sweet gift from the Lord! (And it belongs to all who simply repent of their sin & place all their hope in Christ alone to atone for their sin. Oh, God's grace is an AMAZING undeserved gift!!)

FILLED WITH JOY & PRAISING THE LORD,
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April 12, 2012

final t-shirt order- new colors!

We are now taking pre-orders (as in you pick the size(s) and color(s) you want and we order them for you) for our final t-shirt order!
Jon & I created our t-shirt design together on our computer and the Lord has provided steadily for our adoption through these shirts. We are so humbled and thankful for every one of you who has ordered a shirt already and all of you who are about to! When we designed the shirt, our hope was that whenever you wear it, you will help raise awareness of the global orphan crisis and God's love for orphans. We also pray that wearing these shirts would open many doors for gospel conversations and for sharing how all Christians are called to care for orphans in some way. So be ready to explain that there are 147 million orphans worldwide. That there are 39 million orphans just in Africa- around 4 million in Ethiopia and in the DRC. And that every single one of them bears the image of God, just like you and me.

 We need to order a minimum of 24, and we hope to have at least that many pre-ordered by April 24th so we can send in our order. 
If you would like one (or 10!) please email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com with the colors and sizes you want us to order for you! I will hand them out (and mail them out) when they come in.

You can donate the $20 per shirt several different ways (please don't forget to include $2 per shirt if you need me to ship them, to help cover shipping costs):
1) You can donate online through our ChipIn button (on our blog's sidebar)
2) You can mail a check to Lifesong (directions on our Both Hands tab)
3) You can mail a check to us and we will deposit it into our adoption account (email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com)
I happily wear my super soft and comfy adoption t-shirt often! So often that one of my best friends dressed up as me for Halloween and wore- you guessed it- our adoption shirt! =) Love you Jordan!

SO thankful to be an adopted daughter of my Heavenly Father,
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April 10, 2012

Gifts that Keep Giving: Thirty-One fundraiser

Did you know that the name Thirty-One comes from Proverbs 31?

I'm sure most of you have heard of Thirty-One gifts by now, but for those of you who haven't here's a brief intro:"Our stylish, affordable products are exclusive to Thirty-One. From our signature purses and totes to storage solutions that help organize your life, you'll find something to fit every personality and situation. Each season, we develop new products built on the idea that our products must be functional AND fashionable (and, of course, make great gifts!)." (taken from thirtyonegifts.com)

Needless to say, there are TONS of great gift ideas for the mothers in your life!

AND here's the best part- now through April 24th, you can email me an order for any Thirty-one items and my friend, Molly, who is a Thirty-one consultant has offered to donate a big portion of her sales to OUR ADOPTION!
You can browse the entire catalog online and benefit from the April monthly special! For every $31 you spend, get 1/2 off any purse!
There is something for everyone. Cute lunch totes, purses, organizing totes, even stationery!
I have the Picnic Thermal Tote (in the same pattern as #9 actually) and it wonderful for playdates to the park or the zoo. There's plenty of room for me to pack lunch for Jonah and myself (with room to spare for future kiddos lunches)!
I also have my eye on the Organizing Utility Tote (#4) and the Large Utility Tote (#5)! And I love the Retro Metro bag in one of the new gray prints!

Toward the back of the catalog you can see all the fun prints that are available for each bag!

So go to Thirty-One's online catalog, pick out some gifts for yourself or someone you love and email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com to tell me what you want to order by Tuesday, April 24th, and VOILA- you've gotten a great gift for someone and supported adoption as well!
We are only $4200 away from our adoption being fully funded!

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April 7, 2012

Fundraising Party Coming up!

Hey friends,
As of today it looks like we are just a little over $4,000 away from our adoption being fully funded!!! We are PRAISING THE LORD for His provision for our every need (it is truly SO humbling to see how He has provided for every step of our adoption) and we are looking forward to seeing how He provides through our next Fundraising event!

We are hosting a GIRLS NIGHT OUT Adoption Fundraising Party on Tuesday, April 24th! It will be a fun night to get away, enjoy some free food and drink, maybe WIN some prizes and shop for yourself and all the Moms in your life!
You'll be able to purchase great products by Thirty-one Gifts and Norwex (chemical-free cleaning cloths + more) and a portion of everything you buy will be donated to our adoption!! There will also be adoption cookbooks, African paper bead necklaces, and adoption t-shirts available to purchase to support adoption. So you can SHOP for all the people in your life and SUPPORT our adoption at the same time!

*Orders will be ready in time for Mother's Day!

If you live nearby & would like to come, email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com for directions & details!

We are opening up ordering to ALL OF YOU! If you would like to ORDER any NORWEX or THIRTY-ONE products, please email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com  by April 24th so it can be counted toward our adoption donations as well!! Online orders will not be able to be counted, so please make sure you email me all your order info and I will pass it on to our consultants!

Both companies actually have some great specials going on during the month of April!
source

For every $31 you spend, Thirty-one will give you 1/2 off any purse! These great-looking bags speak for themselves! (I LOVE my Picnic Thermal Tote! It is perfect for play dates at the Zoo!)

And Norwex has several monthly deals as well as package deals! For those of you who haven't heard of Norwex yet, here's little info about one of their top-selling products:
       "Antibac Enviro Cloth  This multipurpose, antibacterial, microfiber cloth removes dust, dirt, and grease from all washable surfaces, while preventing the transfer of germs to your hand and cross-contamination between surfaces. Use it dry for dusting, or damp for cleaning walls, tiles, bathtubs, counters, metal surfaces, car interiors, etc. Between launderings, simply rinse, wring out and hang to dry."(Taken from their website.)

Norwex products allow you to literally clean your entire house just using water! Check out their website to read more or come to the party to see the demonstrations for yourself! Several of our good friends have switched to this budget-friendly, chemical-free way to clean their homes and they LOVE it.


Don't forget- email your orders to me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com by Tuesday, April 24th!
Thank you in advance to everyone who is able to shop and support our adoption!

I am really looking forward to a fun night out with the girls!

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March 30, 2012

Psalm 90- how long, O Lord?

Well friends, we are about 15 months into our adoption process and I confess that I have been struggling lately with feeling weary. We were so excited to start court with baby R but it has been 5 weeks and we have heard nothing. We were excited on March 14th to get baby girl's birth certificate, but since then we have heard nothing. As far as we know we haven't passed court for baby R and we haven't even started court yet for baby girl.

Everything seems to take SO LONG in the Congo. Every day that goes by I just think about what a miracle it is that our children are still alive in such horrible conditions and neglect. And so every day lately I have been crying out to our great God to have MERCY on baby R and baby girl and please let them come home soon! Of course we want them to be home with us and love on them. But we also want them to survive long enough to know the unconditional love of a family and have a chance to hear the gospel and be saved. Have mercy on them, O Lord, Father of the fatherless!

I was so thankful to get together with my friend Bonnie this morning. She and her husband went through a very long and very trying journey to adopt their 2 beautiful children from Ethiopia. In fact, they've only been home since mid-February!! And I just praise the Lord every time I see her children, because it truly was the hand of God that brought them home from a hopeless situation. But our entire church family rallied around their family in prayer and GOD HEARD. I am so thankful for these reminders of answered prayer in my life. I need to be reminded often that God really does hear the prayers of His people. I know this in my head, but sometimes I need to be reminded in my heart.

Bonnie understands what it's like to feel like you're going to be stuck in the season of waiting and pleading with the Lord forever. And asking "How long O Lord?!" She wrote a great blog post on Psalm 90, which has been a great encouragement to me, and I'm sure it will be to you as well... whether you're in a season of suffering through a long, drawn-out, emotional battle to rescue orphans or are enduring some other kind of suffering right now. 

Psalm 90: 12-17
"So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.17 Let the favor[d] of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!"


I will be meditating on these verses each day for the next week or two (or three). And praying that God's steadfast love would satisfy me anew every day. That HE would be enough for me, no matter what my circumstances. And that His grace would be sufficient for me in my weakness (as He promises it will be in 2 Cor 12:9). I know that I, by my own strength or determination, could NEVER endure to the end of this adoption journey. But I praise God that He will never leave me nor forsake me. And because the Spirit is now dwelling inside of me because of my faith in Christ alone for my salvation and atonement, I can use the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control that God gives through His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
" I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20.

Living each day by faith in the Son of God,
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March 20, 2012

lots going on around here!

I can't believe I haven't updated the blog in weeks... although it is somewhat understandable with all that's been going on around here! But I don't want to forget any of it, so here it comes all at once...

Here's quick rundown of the past couple of weeks (bullet style):
- Our KIDS adoption shirts came in! Yay! Praise God for another way He is providing the finances for our adoption! And the shirts turned out really CUTE! See Big Brother modeling below:

- Two members of our agency traveled to the DRC to visit all the kids and meet our attorney, etc the first week of March.
- During that trip we were waiting expectantly for email with some kind of update on Baby R and baby sister including new pictures.
- On Sunday, March 4 we finally got several emails of pictures of baby girl... only it wasn't baby girl. We quickly realized that the adorable little girl in the pictures was NOT the same little girl we'd been staring at and praying for this past month. {here's where my heart sank.} We quickly emailed back with a picture of our "baby girl" and pointed out the differences. Finally they agreed- this was not the same child. They said they were "working on the situation." Those 24+ hours of uncertainty I admit I struggled against fearfulness. What exactly is "the situation"? Where is our baby girl? Could they not find her @ her orphanage because she is dead? Were we emailed pictures of the wrong little girl a month ago and this little one is the real baby girl who's had her medical, etc? What is going to happen if they can't find our baby girl? When will our kids finally be home with their family?? Oh, how we prayed. We prayed and prayed for the Lord to have MERCY on us and let this NOT be a big deal. Let it be something small.
- And HE HEARD OUR CRIES: we were emailed pictures of our original baby girl and told that she is the correct child that we have paperwork for! They found her! (Although we still don't know where exactly.) She is ALIVE and we PRAISED THE LORD! ssshhhew- crisis averted. Thank you Almighty God!
- A day or 2 after our agency had gotten back to the US, we were still trying very hard to wait for pictures of baby R. We knew they were recovering from jetlag and thought of this as an exercise in patience. But we were VERY saddened to hear that no pictures were coming- they did not see baby R during their week in the DRC.
- We understand that the circumstances were somewhat out of their control, but we are still deeply saddened that we haven't seen or heard ANYTHING about him in 7 months. Please PRAY with us that our in-country aide would go see baby R THIS WEEK and take pictures of him so we can see that he is ok. After all we've been through in the last year (losing a referral for our baby boy, baby Leseli passing away @ 9 months old, baby R having malaria a week after we got his referral, etc, etc) we obviously are concerned for baby R's life and well-being. The only pictures we have of baby R are from when he was 6 months old (and he's asleep in every one).... he is now 13 months old.
baby R's sweet sleepy eyes (@ around 6 months old)
- Will you pray with us, plead with the Lord on our behalf, that He would let us pass court for both of our children very, very soon? We've been "in phase 1 (of 2) of adoption court" for baby R for 3+ weeks now and have heard no progress yet. We should be starting phase 1 for baby girl any day now (we got her birth certificate on 3/14).
- We are also bolding asking the Lord to let us bring our children home in May. Will you join us in asking our Father for this good gift? And that He would uphold and protect them every day until they can be united with their forever family! We realize this would be a miracle. But we also know that our God is not small and nothing is impossible for Him. So we PRAY and wait expectantly on the Lord to act!
Trusting in our Sovereign God,
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March 9, 2012

our African Paper-Bead Necklaces

Our sweet friends, Justin & Bonnie, were finally able to bring their sweet babies home from Ethiopia last month! Well, we were (and are) completed OVERJOYED that God knit their family together and that they're finally home as a family of 4! When Bonnie came home from being in Ethiopia 10+ weeks she also brought home a special treat for us... 5 bags of paper-bead necklaces for us to sell as an adoption fundraiser!! Bonnie & Justin were able to pay for Justin's plane ticket to Ethiopia with money raised from these beautiful African necklaces! So they passed on some more in hopes that they would  be a blessing to us as well. We are SO thankful for their kindness and generosity!!

Each bead is hand-rolled from recycled paper (magazines, calendars, etc) by women in Africa. They are coated with some type of clear finish, so they are water-resistent but certainly not water-proof for a shower or swimming, etc. . If you want to request a necklace, you can leave a comment here, send me a facebook message, or email me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com. Just let me know what color(s) you want, while supplies last.

We are asking for a $10 donation per necklace. (Please add $2 per necklace if you need them shipped or $5 total for shipping 3 or more.)
Each necklace is one long strand that can be wrapped
once, twice, or three times for 3 different looks! 

These are all one long strand wrapped 3 times (so they could all fit in the picture!).
Top row, Left to right: multi purple (3 left), multi pastels (3 left), multi bold (15 left)
bottom row, left to right: multi bold (see "multi bold" above), multi pink/red (3 left), multi blue (4 left)

We have already been very humbled and thankful for the $680 the Lord provided for our adoption this week through my husband's kind co-workers purchasing our African paper-bead necklaces!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!  We are still $5000+ away from our goal, but we can see the Lord slowly and faithfully providing for our adoption and we are so THANKFUL!! And we still have around 50 necklaces left!

beyond thankful to be an adopted daughter of the King of kings,
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PS- Our agency was in the DRC last week and we DID get some new pictures of our baby girl! She is beautiful and looks healthy (except for a pretty yucky rash on her neck/chest). We can't wait to see new pictures of baby R when they get back to the land of the free and home of the high-speed internet connection! Plus, we are SUPER excited to get the video footage they took of our kiddos!! Ahhh, be still my soul. I can't wait to see my babies, hold them, and love on them for... forever!

March 1, 2012

A message from your big brother

Baby brother and baby sister, we have a message from your big brother, Jonah, to share with you today:


{You can watch it on Youtube @ http://youtu.be/kdMGJYxgIo8 }


Jonah is also excited to announce our newest FUNDRAISER below:

Please PRAY with us for 2 members of our agency who arrived in the DRC yesterday!!! Pray for their safety and protection and for a very productive trip! Pray they would get to see ALL of the children referred to families and get plenty of pictures and video. And pray with us that all the children, including our son & daughter, would  be united with their forever families SOON!

In Christ,
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February 25, 2012

kids size adoption shirts

We are so excited about all the interest in kids sizes of our adoption shirt! Around 20 shirts have been requested so far- that will be around $400 for our adoption!!! Praise the Lord! (We're still about $6000 short for those who are wondering.)
 Leave a comment on this post or email me {@ mrsmeach1@gmail.comif you'd like us to order one (or ten) for you! Just tell me what size(s) and color(s) you want. (We can order any color you see listed (as long as they're currently available), we just have to order a minimum # of shirts.)
 
You can donate the $20 per shirt to our adoption online via our ChipIn button (on our left sidebar) or by mailing a check to us. We will distribute the shirts as soon as they come in. We're going to order them Thursday and they said they'd be ready in 2 weeks. If you live near me I'd love to meet up with you somewhere to give you your shirt(s), but if you're out of town please add $3 to cover shipping costs (and make sure I have your mailing address!).

 

 this shirt comes in youth XS-L in lots of fun colors http://
 
We're going to try to order the kids shirts by Thursday of this week, so please let me know by then! (After that I can't promise we will have the size or color you want.)
 
We are so excited that we are IN COURT right now in Congo and should officially be baby R's parents ANY DAY now! And we're praying that baby girl would get a court date as soon as they have her birth certificate in hand mid-March!
Please continue to pray with us that God's hands of protection would be wrapped around our son and daughter, and that they would be home with us very soon! We're placing our trust in God's timing and also trusting that He will continue to provide for the financial costs of rescuing our babies. We just found out this week that we owe an extra $2400 for the court process to get our kids birth certificates. Boo. But nothing is impossible for God right? He will help us complete this adoption, but we do appreciate your prayers for provision and for us to not fear or worry about HOW we're going to pay all these bills. Please pray that we would rely on Christ alone and not our own strength to do this! We fall short, but our Heavenly Father holds us and our children in the palm of His hand and cares deeply for us. We know that He called us to adopt and that He has chosen these children for our family, and we CAN'T WAIT to have them home!!!!!
 
Baby R and baby girl's Mommy in Waiting,Photobucket

February 22, 2012

Come Home Soon baby brother and baby sister!

We got some very exciting news yesterday from our agency!!!!!
...........
???
We started the first phase of ADOPTION COURT on MONDAY the 20th!!!
What does this mean?!?
Baby R and baby girl should OFFICIALLY be OUR kids in the next week or so!!
{Well, our agency is checking to see if this court is for both kids or just baby R. We know we've gotten his birth certificate, but we haven't heard about baby girl's yet.}

Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!!
I can hardly believe it is finally happening!!!!
We are only 6-8 weeks from meeting our children face to face and bringing them home!!

It is extremely humbling for me to receive this long-awaited answer to prayer. Why would the God of the Universe ever bother to listen to me or anyone else when we pray? We are sinners, we have all turned aside and gone our own way, put ourselves in the place of God thinking we know what it best for us, and we have broken his law countless times. We have lusted, coveted, and worshipped idols like money and comfort instead of believing that the true and living God is the only true source of joy.
So why would the perfectly just and holy God who created the world and every person who has ever lived on this earth listen to us? Why does God tell us in His word that He listens to Christians when they pray? Because He is an amazing Heavenly Father, and He gave His only Son Jesus so that all who believe in Him and trust in His sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection to atone for their sin and imperfection have become children of God. I am an adopted daughter of God. He has adopted me into His family. Not because I am or was "good enough" to deserve His love, but because He first loved me (John 14:18)! He tells us that He is our Father and he delights in giving good gifts to His children! He wants us to come to him and ask for the desires of our hearts and he delights in answering the prayers of His children for our good and His glory! Ahh.. I adore my Father! And I am THANKFUL beyond what words can express for Him adopting me, for plucking me out from the deep pit of sin that I was living in, opening my blind eyes to see my need for a Savior, and showing me the grace and mercy found in Christ alone. Since I cannot express my gratitude fully in words, I give him my life. I want to live for the glory of God, and I want to be used by God to expand His family.
 As Elisabeth Elliott wisely said, "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian. But the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to God of all that I am and all He wants me to be."
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February 15, 2012

NEW T-shirt Colors and Sizes available!!

{I am pictured above wearing size Small in all 3 shirts. You'll notice the pink shirt is a "women's cut" shirt and fits slightly different than the rest of our unisex shirts.}

Current Colors & Sizes Left as of 2/15 2/18:
Smoke Gray: 51S, 2 1 L, 2 XL, 1 XXL
Light Pink: 5 4 S, 4 M, 1 L, 2 XL
Mocha Brown: 3 S, 5 3 M, 2 L
Navy: 2 L, 1 XL

Contact me @ mrsmeach1@gmail.com to reserve your shirts today! This will probably be our last batch of shirts, so hurry to get the size and colors you want! First come, first served. Once they're gone, they're gone. 

We're asking for a minimum $20 donation per shirt (add $3 if you need them shipped to you). These are great quality "fashion fit" shirts! Jon & I made the design ourselves. If you're local, shoot me an email or facebook message and I'd love to bring your shirt to you or meet you somewhere.

You can DONATE $20 per shirt to our ChipIn account online (on our Fundraising Tab) using PayPal. Just make sure you let me know what Size & Color shirts you want in the COMMENTS section! (And please add the extra $3 if you need me to ship it.)
If you don't want to use PayPal email me at mrsmeach1@gmail.com and we'll work out a different way for you to make your donation for your shirts!

We hope you enjoy wearing your nice, comfy t-shirt and each time you do you'll know you helped us get one step closer to bringing our children home and you'll be a walking bilboard for orphan care! Thanks for helping us spread the word about the 147 million orphans that need a family, God's heart for orphans, and that ALL Christians are called to care for them in some way!

We're praying God will provide for our last $6,550!
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February 13, 2012

Care Packages for our kiddos

We have the opportunity to send care packages (again) to our children!
Only the children we are sending them to are different. It makes me sad remembering that the last time we sent care packages they were for our little girl Leseli Joyce and a baby boy (we had lost our referral for our 6 month old lil boy and we were waiting for a new referral). God's grace has carried us through these last six months. While we may never fully understand them, we do trust in God's plans for our family, and that right now He is leading us to baby R and baby girl in His sovereignty. 

We are filled with hope that these care packages will arrive in the hands of our children at the end of this month. We are so thankful that two people from our agency are going to see them and are kind enough to let us send a little something to them. It is something tangible to tell them "WE LOVE YOU!" until we can get there and tell them in person.
{I honestly stressed way more about what to put in the bags the first time. And they didn't make it to our children. The exact whereabouts of our first 2 care packages are not really known at this time, so we sent these. But I am still hoping that they will find the other 2 and both will make it to our children. We shall see. Either way, it's nice to send donations to an orphange in the DRC. This time we sent a photo book/frame, clothes, shoes for baby R since he's 1, socks, bottles and cloth diapers for baby girl, and small toys/books.}



Picture frame for baby girl

While we don't know much about baby R, we do know that his caregiver speaks French, so we tried to make his photo book bi-lingual so she can read it to him. =)

The most exciting part of these care packages to me is that they will be HAND-DELIVERED by our agency!! They will get to SEE our children, check on them for us, and they said they will try to take PICTURES and even VIDEO for us!! Do you know that we only have a couple pictures of baby R from 6 months ago and that he is ASLEEP in every single one? I cannot wait to see my baby boy and how he has grown, although I'm sure it will make my heart somewhat sad realizing all that I've missed with him in the last six months of his life. We got to include a sheet of questions for their caregivers and I can't wait to hear what they say! (I think they're going to videotape their answers.) We are so thirsty for ANY information on our children since we have so little. I am trying to still my heart and pray without ceasing for our children, trusting that they will be home with us in God's timing. But I sure am excited to see new pictures of their beautiful faces!!!!


Love from their adoring Mommy,
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February 8, 2012

Did you know?

I made this blog extra using a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator with the info I saw on 147millionorphans.com.
 I want to share it with you (totally free) so you can help raise awareness of the global orphan crisis.
{Just right-click on the size you want, Save to your computer, and "add a picture gadget" to your blog's sidebar, or include it in a post. Use it however you like, but Please just leave a source link back to my blog.}

 Together, let's pray that WAY more than 1% of Christian families will adopt!

small
medium (recommended)
large

I'd love to create a custom blog extra for you!
Want to display a favorite scripture verse? Need a new blog header? Need to advertise your fundraisers in an eye-catching way??  
Go to www.blogdesignbybethany.blogspot.com to support our newest fundraiser!!
I'll create a custom design for you and EVERY dollar goes directly to our adoption expenses!
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