Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or
imagine.... Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Time to hit your knees....

Well, we are almost there! The tickets are bought, meeting date is set and we are leaving to meet our son in two weeks!! The other day a friend asked me if I was nervous yet. My answer "No, I've got too many other things that are going on before that to keep me distracted," That, is SUCH and understatement!

Our move is almost complete. About 75% of our things are at the new house and Mirabelle, Tab and me spend our weeks in North Port, basically camping in our own house. Both Mirabelle and Tabetha's beds are still here and I am sleeping on an air mattress (sounds worse then it really is). We also have one TV, one couch, one LV lamp, one end table, a few dishes, and other kitchen stuff and that's about it. Every weekend we are taking more and more items to New Port Richey. Next Saturday, May 18th, is our final move and everything, has to go! Then on the 19th, the girls and I will return to North Port to spend three nights, literally camping in our own house, until Mirabelle's last day of school, May 23. The next morning she is leaving to go home to China for the SUMMER, we hope! Also on May 23, my parents are flying in to come and care
for Tabetha and the fur children while Michael are in Ecuador.  Michael and me are leaving May 26th!

Our house in North Port also hit the market May 1, so us girls are having to keep it extra clean. We had and Open House last weekend and another one is planned for tomorrow. We are really hoping for some serious traffic in the next few weeks!

Also, back in Janurary, Mirabelle applied to a private prep school in Tampa. We met with the international admissions director and several leaders who made it a wonderful day for her! Both her and I were excited when we left and over the next few months, I exchanged many encouaging emails with the admissions director while we were waiting on her test scores to arrive. Between Janurary and April she took the TOEFL four times and put lots of time into studying. When she finally came only two points away from reaching the score needed, I went to email the admissions director with copies of her score and found an email for him saying that they had reached their capacity for next year. There were no more openings for enither juniors or seniors. Mirabelle was devastated!!!!! Trying to think quick I found another prep school, this one in New Port Richey, that has a wonderful international student program! We quickly filled out the application and got all of the supporting documentation. I had wonderful chats on the phone with both the headmaster and the assitant headmaster (who has hosted many exchange students!) and was highly encouraged by their words. The headmaster assured me that if she is accepted she would have her acceptance letter and  immigration document by her departure date of May 24. This was almost three weeks ago and we are still waiting! Every day she is getting more nervous and I totally understand, so am I. This I'm sure will be one of those 11th hour situations , Grrrr...

As if, that was not enough, We found out last Wednesday, May 1, that Tabetha needs to have a brain MRI. Her eye doctor has noticed some unusall activity with her eyes and wants to get it checked out. So,  May 15, her and I will be at All Children's in Tampa for her MRI. As you might think, we are a little nervous about this and are requesting prayer for this situation.

As you can imagine, this is a lot to handle at one time. I know for myself, I'm struggling with all sorts of emotions. Excitement, nervousness and fear are just a few of them. I am asking for prayer for not only health and emotional needs but also for financial needs. We currently have two fully operational houses on one income and a six week period of hotel, transportation and food costs coming soon. We applied for an adoption grant from Show Hope and will not know until the end of May whether or not we will receive one. Though adoption fundraising, we have made about $1500, but that is simply a drop in the bucket.

We know our God is able and that out of the toughest parts of our lives, he gives the greatest blessings. "Exceedingly, abundantly, more than I can ever ask or think" Eph 3:20


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moving North!

If you read our last update I mentioned that we are moving. So here's the scoop on that...

When we were presented with Fabian's story and picture back in September, we quickly became aware the way we live life daily would change. You see, Fabian was born without any fingers on his left hand and only his thumb and pinkie finger on his right. He also had cleft lip (which has been repaired) and palate and is also missing a few toes. After doing some online research and spending three days in prayer, we agreed to move forward with him. At that point,we began the international adoption process.

In the following months, we became increasingly convinced that in order to provide our son with the level and amount of therapy he will need, it would be necessary for us to live in a bigger area. With Tabetha being born so early and all of the medical issues of her past, we knew the Tampa area would be a good choice.

Tampa has two great children's hospitals, All Children's and Shriners Hopsital for Children. Both facilities provide specialists and therapists that will be vital. In addtion to this, since Tabetha was born in Tampa, we have been blessed with a wonderful adoption support network in the Tampa area.

Michael's job is such a blessing in the sense that not only does he get to work from home most of the time, we also have the freedom to live anywhere as long as we have good internet. In addition to this, in October Mirabelle began talking to us about wanting to stay in the United States for her Senior year of high school and to go to a private school that would better prepare her to go to college in the US as well. With all of that in mind, we began looking all over the Tampa area for a house that would fit our growing family. Remember, not only will we be a family of five in the fall, but we also have five fur children. Finding a house like that was not easy!

God has provided just the house for us and we are very excited! We signed a lease on house in the North Tampa suburb of New Port Richey in a great, family-friendly neighborhood. We have spent several Saturdays checking out the area and have delighted at the sights of kids riding their bikes down the street, our favorite grocery store two miles away and the beach within 15 minutes!

We take possession on April 15 and will be moving on the weekends from then until we leave for Ecuador at the end of May.

Here are a few pictures of our new house.....


Kitchen looking into the family room where the kids can play and I can see into the back yard!
Fabian's room. I wanted his room to be blue and as it turns out, it already was!
View of the front.

We are getting more garage space!
Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us! Please keep us in prayer as we move and put our house on the market. We will update you as things happen.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


For the second year in a row, we spent our Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, SC. We have come to really love the area and although it was a little cooler than we were hoping, spending a week right on the beach is never a bad thing!

When we returned, to our great delight, we found we had received our immigration approval! This document has allowed us to FINALLY be offically matched with our son. Even before we began the international adoption process we were shown pictures of this precious boy, but now we can offically show them to you.
Fabian is three, in fact not that much older than Tabetha. He currently lives in Ibarra, Ecuador in an orphange with other small children. As you might be able to see from the picture, he has no fingers on his left hand and two on his right hand. He was also born with cleft lip (which has been repaired) and cleft palate and also has a few missing toes. We've been told he's a very sweet boy and able to do much more than one would think. Obviously, we are very excited to meet him!
Our social worker has told us that our next step of paperwork should only take about 2 to 3 weeks and then we can start planning our travel dates. In the meantime we are praying, planning and packing. Oh, did I mention we are moving before we go to Ecuador as well?  LOL!!!
More on that soon!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finally....An Update

What an insane past few months! With the holidays, Tabetha's birthday, Dawn's parents visiting and immigration paperwork, time has just slipped by. Here is a summary of the past few months.

 In December, Barbara decided to return to Brazil. She is starting her Senior year back at home with her parents later this month. Tabetha still asks about her and I know Mirabelle misses her roomate as well. We also spent a week in North Georgia with Michael's family. Tabetha got to spend some good time with her cousins and since my birthday was around the same time, Michael and I took off to Chattanooga, TN for a day to celebrate.

We returned home just in time to celebrate Mirabelle's first American New Year's Eve. We celebrated by making an arrangment of appetizers (and since have found a new favorite) and sparkling grape juice.

On Janurary 20, Grandma and Papa came to visit and celebrate Tabetha 3rd birthday. While they were here we had a large garage sale to help raise money for our son's adoption fees. Over four days we raised over $700! Almost enough to cover the check we wrote to pay for our first round of immigration paperwork on Janurary 25.

This is our first big step to bringing our son home and this long awaited Priority Mail package represented 5 months or work and waiting! We are so glad to have this important step completed!!

The very next day, we celebrated Tabetha's 3rd birthday at the park. As per tradition, she got real shy when we sang "Happy Birthday". LOL! However, the remainder of the party was filled with fun!!

We will keep you all updated as our journey to our son gets closer. Thank you for your support so far!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas auction time!!

During the end of our first auction in October, Dawn's sister sent us three large boxes filled with TONS of brand new toys and electronic equipment. So, just in time for the holidays, we are having Auction, Round 2! We know that you will love the great selection of items listed on our FB page from now until Sat, Dec 1. And remember, you don't need a FB to bid on any of the items you see. Simply comment on this post listing the item and price you would like to bid and I will be sure to include it in the bids!!

Happy Bidding and greatest holiday blessings,


Monday, November 5, 2012


Yesterday at church my friend Kathleen Potts approched me and asked if I wanted to do another Thirty-One fundraiser now that everyone is thinking holiday gifts!! I was thrilled to say yes and with great November speicals, we are ready for round two!!!

For those of you who are not familiar with Thirty-One products they are quality products, customizable and super cute. Check out the direct link to our online party

Right now through November 26 you can get any medium utility tote (great for hauling lots of little things around!) for $5 when you spend $35. And to make it even better, when you buy any medium utility tote Thirty-One will donate a thermal tote to Operation Home Front , a great project helping our injured warriors in times of need!!!!

Click on the link above and then "Shop Now" on the bottom left of the page to check our these great products. I know you will be impressed. Any remember, 50% of all proceeds from the sale go to bringing our son home :D)



Saturday, November 3, 2012

A few steps closer...

In case you all have wondered if I fell off the face of the earth, No, but the month of October was probably one of the busiest ever. Between, a birthday party for Mirabelle, a potluck at our house, our online auction, Tabetha starting dance, 5 trips to Tampa, a flea market, a home study, several doctor's appointments and several other things that I can't even think of at the moment, I'm sooo glad that October is over, LOL!!

Despite the fact that the holidays are coming up, I'm pretty sure the next few months will be calmer. We are planning on a trip to visit Michael's family in North Georgia during Christmas time, but Thanksgiving we are laying low.

In addition, we are a few steps closer to bringing our son home from Ecuador. Our last home study visit as well as fingerprint day is this coming Thursday, November 8. We are hoping that all of our paperwork and immigration form will be ready to submit before Christmas. We are wrapping up our online auction and getting ready for round 2! Several itmes were donated toward the very end of our first auction and hopefully will be popular items for Christmas. So stay tuned for new items to be up for grabs closer to Thanksgiving! And don't forget our Just Love Coffee Roasters fundraiser. Great coffee from a great company!

Fun fact:  Our son had his third birthday on October 4 (I'm already buying clothes for him, :DP) although we can't post any pics yet, I will assure you, he's a cutie!!