Monday, January 16, 2012

Thankfulness and Praise

Yesterday we were blessed in so many ways! At least 60 people received haircuts compliments of the wonderful stylists at Progressive Image Salon and Day Spa.

A huge thank you to Debbie Jones for organizing this event and for all of the stylists and volunteers who made our Cutting For A Cause event possible. Thank you to each and every person who came out to join us and who so generously donated to help bring J and L home to their "forever family". It brought joy  to our hearts to spend time with each one of you and for your support of our family. Words cannot fully express our appreciation.

We are happy to announce that the total raised was $1,533! We are still short by approximately $2,500 of what we believe we will need for travel to the Philippines. God has already moved mountains and we know that HE is faithful to provide the rest needed.

We are also so thankful for the staff at Christian Adoption Services who went above and beyond to see that our home study update be completed in a timely manner! Our homestudy is now complete and ready to be mailed off to the USCIS tomorrow along with the other documents requested. 

We are praying that we will receive authorization to travel some time in the month of March. Nonetheless, we have learned to expect the unexpected!

Ruth 1:8 "May the Lord show you kindness as you have shown me."

Jo Anna and family

Monday, January 9, 2012

Providential Provision

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

As we were so eloquently reminded this Sunday at Salem Chapel by substitute-teacher and my friend Bill Ketner, the "new" commandment given to us by Jesus is just that...a commandment. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The Greek word used there is entole and speaks of "an order, command, charge, precept, or injunction" (via Greek Lexicon). Hmm. Sooo, in other words we don't have a choice? Correct. Have I always abided by that "rule"? way. BUT, by God, I should. Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a sinless life, and paid the price for my sins (and yours as well, if you call upon his name - John 3:16) and rose again on the third day. God so loved the loved me, that I ought to love others. Just. Like. He. Did. I appreciate the chorus that the worship band sang near the end yesterday: " Oh, praise the One/Who paid my debt/And raised this life up from the dead." He deserves my unending devotion...that which I fail to do, but strive to otherwise. Part of that is to obey His command to love, just like Jesus did and still does today (love us).

Now step forward to the reason for my post -- and backward (huh?) to the verse at the top -- God's provision. One of the "names" of God is Jehovah Jireh (English translation, if you will): The LORD will provide (Genesis 22:14). Just as He did for Abraham by supplying the substitute for Isaac with the ram, He still provides for His own today. We re-evaluated our adoption financials today. Wow. Our God has already provided for us, His children for our future children by His calling. We have miraculously paid $18,405 of the anticipated minimum of $29,015 that the adoption of L and J will cost. Again I say WOW. All this is in addition and during some unexpected expenses such as a new air conditioner, car repairs, a spinal fusion surgery and 4 months living on short-term disability and a mission trip to Guatemala for our entire family. Amazing. But wait...there is more.

We still have around $10,610 to go. We don't have that much in the savings right now. We have -- being transparent here -- around half that. Yep. Now, remember we had a great poinsettia fund raiser that yielded $1200 and have 2 more events scheduled...a hair cutting event and an iPad give away. We are trusting that He will provide for us through people like you -- our family and friends -- through these opportunities to partner with us in bringing our boys home. Trust. Webster's defines that word as the "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." We know what our God is capable of....we just need to believe it despite the circumstances. We must actually have faith that Jehovah will provide. After all, He loved us enough to send His Son. I am reminded of His command to love, just like Jesus did and still does today (love US). "...(our) God will meet all (our) needs..."

We have found our home/We have found our peace/We have found our rest/In the one who loves/He will light the way/He will lead us home/As we offer all/To the One who saves us...Forever His love endures/Forever and EVER! - The One Who Saves by Hillsong/Ben Fielding


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Timely Reminder-The Great Equalizer

A Prayer from today's devotion-Dave Keesling's A Journey: Life in Real Time:

"Lord, You are the great equalizer. In Your presence, no one can stand. My best righteousness is like dirty rags compared to Your glory and majesty. Father, there is nothing I can bring to You by which I can be made worthy. I am like every other man or woman in Your sight, fallen and sinful and desperately in need of the redemption that can only come through the sacrifice of Your dear Son."

May the attitudes of our hearts be honoring to God.

Jo Anna

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cutting for a Cause Event and Adoption Update

Happy New Year!

Progressive Image Day Salon and Day Spa in Winston-Salem is sponsoring "Cutting for a Cause" as another means of assisting us with the remaining funds needed for L and J's adoption. For a minimum donation of $15 you will receive a shampoo and haircut by one of their professional stylists. They are located at 3538 Vest Mill Road, 27103. and the phone number is 336-760-1292. The event will take place on Sunday, January 15th from 2-6. Please contact the salon for more details. We hope to see you there!

Thanks to USCIS (said with irony), we now have until February 5, 2012 to submit a new home study update in order for the boys' visas to be processed! This is mainly due to L being classified as "special needs" due to his severe hearing loss. Our new home study must show the resources available to us and ways in which we will specifically parent these two little boys. Of course, not only is there now increased expenses for the home study update and the $350 processing fee to USCIS, but it also delays our travel to bring the boys home from the Philippines. Please pray that things move quickly and that we will be approved upon submission.

Jo Anna