Calling All Donations!

We are having a GREAT BIG GARAGE SALE fundraiser on Memorial Day weekend! We have a couple of major fees coming up and we are hoping that the proceeds will significantly help with the $6,300 we will need in the next couple of months. Big gulp - that's a big number!

We would LOVE to come pick up your clothes, furniture, toys, baby items, books and more - small or large - any donation of items will help! I'm serious! All you have to do is put the stuff in a bag and we will pick it up - easy for you, big blessing for us!

It's a great excuse to do some Spring Cleaning, a great way to get rid of the stuff and an easy way to help us bring home #4!

Please spread the word! We would really like to have a big sale and it's going to take donations to make that happen! You can e-mail, call, leave a comment, or fb me (or Andrew) for pick up!


The Stepping Out in Faith

We are approaching this adoption completely differently than our previous three. It feels different. We have no doubt that this is what God wants for our family - what He has called us to. Honestly, we don't know where all of the finances will come from - we simply don't have $25,000 sitting in a bank account. That is the very scary, step-out in faith part for me and for our family - especially since I am a total planner by nature and like to know how everything is going to work before starting down a path... :)

I am working more hours at work (thanks to my very gracious boss and co-workers), selling Pampered Chef (pamperedchef.biz/alaina), and hoping to do some baking (sadly, I can't ship in the months of April - September due to the heat but locals feel free to ask!). We have signed up with Just Love Coffee (http://justlovecoffee.com/roomforanother) - they really have awesome coffee and are a great company - we get a portion of the proceeds purchased from our link. We are planning a big fundraising yard sale Memorial Day weekend (donations welcome - we will be happy to pick up your items!) and considering other events like a dinner and silent auction or a service project etc. We plan to also apply for grants. We are excited at the prospect of having people partner with us to make one less orphan in the world (and we are keeping a list of contributors to share with our new child) but it's also really, really hard for us to fund raise...humbling.

We are thankful to have had some savings and a tax refund to get us started and we are stepping out in faith and trusting for the rest. If you feel led to help bring our son or daughter home, we have a couple of different ways you can donate (besides the actual fundraisers). Our church very graciously offered to do a designated fund for our family for the adoption expenses - this is a tax-deductible way to give and it is also a way to remain anonymous if you prefer. We have also put a chip-in link on the side if you prefer to go that route. We have included a link with the break down of adoption expenses in the tabs above.

We appreciate your prayers so much! It's been nearly 4 years since we added a new family member and we are, of course, a little nervous in addition to the excitement.

God has called us - we were not looking to grow our family. We are answering His call and watching Him work! Blessings abound as our faith is deepened.


From Titus

Titus was excited to write but then giggled and said he "wasn't sure about this." Titus is our cuddly, loveable, and sometimes stubborn 3 year-old with eyelashes that won't quit. He is the youngest...for now. He has been the most unsure about having another child but totally jumped on board this year and can't wait to have another playmate. He kept it short which is totally his style.

Dear brother or sister,

I love you. I want to hold you. I want to hold you again. I want to play with you with toys.



From Patrick

Patrick is our middle son. He will be 7 this summer and also came home to us from Kazakhstan. He is a handsome, sweet, and responsible son. He is quieter about his desires but has been really wanting another brother or sister for awhile. He is a really great reader and I can't wait to hear him read stories with his new sibling! This is his first letter and he gave me permission to share it with you.

To my new brother or sister,

I have a dog names Pippi and I know how to ride my two wheeler. I like to go to the park and I like to go camping. Also I like to read and have fun and go to the Children's Museum. I have a little brother named Titus and he's really funny. I love Daddy and Mommy. I want to go to Legoland someday.

I want to meet you.



From Calvin

I wanted to give the boys a chance to write some of their thoughts to their new sibling. This is Calvin's first letter to his new brother or sister. Calvin turns 7 this coming Saturday. He is the oldest of our clan. He has been home from Kazakhstan since October 2006. He has a big heart and lots of love. I love this oldest son of ours so much - he has been the loudest and longest proponent of adding to our family! He gave me permission to share this.

To my new brother or sister:

I am having fun at home. I really want to meet you. I want you to know that I will teach you soccer. Patrick and Titus are my brothers - they are boys. We always make tents in our house. If you never saw a tv, you might like tv. Sometimes some of our aunts and uncles give us fake mustaches and sometimes we wear them. Titus is always silly to me.

I love you. I can't wait to see you. I want to see your face. I want you to learn about God. Please can you love me a lot?



The Name

I wanted to briefly mention the name of the blog. I chose it because it is the continual message I (and we) have heard from God. When I have had doubts and fears and questions, the answer that always comes has been, "You have room for another." And I know it's true. We DO have room in our home and our lives and most of all in our hearts for another. I'm thankful for that message and the picture it paints (and I'm thankful that the url was available! :)).


Paper Chase

I can definitely tell that I have three kids this time around... :) The paperwork feels more overwhelming than I remember. Finding time to chase around for doctor's appointments, background checks, and fingerprinting is challenging! Perhaps I've just blocked all of that out or perhaps it really is more challenging with having three in tow or finding someone for them to stay with (thanks, Angie!).

I know it's all just part of the process and the labor - I'm just more tired and probably more busy this time around. First adoption in my 30s...gotta love it! :)

This week I had that "empty arms" feeling for the first time this time around. My heart ached knowing that our child is most likely born and waiting. So, I'm feeling my heart expanding and exploding with love for another...one I have not yet met, one who is known by God, one who is chosen for our family. And that, my friends, is an amazing feeling.


Part 2

So, the main question we have gotten is where we are adopting from. We've held off answering as we were submitting our application and prayerfully considering where we believe our child is but I think we are ready to reveal where we think our sweet child is waiting.

The first question was domestic or international - for a variety of reasons, we felt called to international again. It's just that - a call. There is true need everywhere. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. You must go where God leads.

I mentioned in the previous post that we have had several doors close - several international and one domestic. We have kept most all of these situations private but one in particular was especially difficult. And with each door closing, we searched deeper, considered what our call is, and really talked.

We narrowed our search to three beautiful places. They all had pros and cons and honestly, I thought we had made a decision and then we made a different one. :) Sometimes that's how it works. My husband leaned on the door jam while I was brushing my teeth the other day and told me where he thought we should go and I was in, our kids were in, our families were excited.

I'm still fighting the fear and I still have moments of what-in-the-world-are-we-doing but I'm excited that we have applied to the CHINA SPECIAL NEEDS program. We would love to have a daughter but we are open to another son as well. We are currently working on gathering the necessary documents and proof of everything (China is particular) but we are just thrilled. We are waiting to get the official acceptance into the program but anticipate that in the next week or so.

China has been near to our hearts for many years and we love that it borders Kazakhstan. We will travel for a couple of weeks for the adoption and we anticipate that it will take 12-18 months (though I secretly hope for less). We have specified a child from 0-3 1/2 and have provided a list of medical conditions that we feel our family can lovingly provide care for.

Still pinching myself. Still can't believe we are doing this. Still struggling with some fear. But most of all, I'm just SO EXCITED!


The Background on #4

* This is a vulnerable post for me. I've choked up writing it. I've debated whether to post it.
I'm a bit of an emotional wreck this week. I will write about where we are applying to and why in another post. This is about all I can handle today. :) *

I keep pinching myself...we are really doing this. It's been awhile coming - you probably suspected from previous posts. However, it still surprises me. We planned to start last summer and for a variety of reasons (the main one being that God was calling me to come home and work less), we knew it wasn't the right time. So, we've been praying and seeking and asking and learning and researching and unable to shake the call that God wanted us to do this again. He made it clear that we had room for another. He also shut five doors in the last several months but has continued to keep us open - we have not been discouraged or upset, we have just known that He had something else. It felt like a testing and it definitely kept the needs of orphans ever before us.

In truth, I've been content. I love, love, love my boys and didn't feel a need to have more children except for the nagging knowledge that there are millions without parents. Honestly though, we were diaper free, we were moving on, it was time to give back in other ways -we were happy with our family of five. Little by little, this conviction and still small voice began to grow - maybe my "ideals" and "plan" weren't what God had in mind. I've argued with Him and it went something like this, "We have our hands full," "How in the world can we afford it - we've only taken pay cuts the last couple of years," "We are so happy with our three," "You've already blessed us and now we are ready to raise these kids and retire." And God's answer has been pretty consistent, "I want you to do this. You have room for another. I will provide." Still I argued, still I questioned, still I didn't see when it would be a "good time." I think FEAR has been a big part of my questioning - fear that we don't have the funds, fear that adding another will totally overwhelm me, fear of the unknown... It can be paralyzing. I've fought it this week even as we've been filling out paperwork. I've called my mom, my sisters, my friends - asking them to pray for me.

It's come down to this - I WANT this. I'm THRILLED. I have that excited, nervous, butterfly feeling in my stomach. I cannot wait to see who God has for our family. I cannot wait to welcome #4. I cannot wait to see his/her face and tell him/her that I'm so proud to be their mom and they are safe and loved and wanted.

I KNOW it will be hard. I KNOW it is stepping out in faith. I KNOW there will be times of fear and unknown. I also KNOW that God has called us to this. Our children have advocated for this and God has used them to challenge us. They have graciously and sacrificially offered all of their savings (about $12 :)) to help bring their sister or brother home - that's a love and commitment that I CANNOT wait to share with their sibling. They will be awesome big brothers.

So, we embark on this journey. Today we mail our application and we have our first homestudy meeting. It's been a whirlwind and a long-time coming all at the same time. We are trusting God. We are thankful He has provided the first amounts of funding we need - the application fee, homestudy fee, and a little more through our savings and tax refund. We are trusting him for the remaining $20,000 or so that we will need by the time this is said and done. We are planning some fundraisers and praying, praying, praying that God will provide. We look forward to telling #4 all about the people who helped bring him/her home - a testimony and a part of the story.

We are excited to see God's plan for our family. We are out of our comfort zone. We are on our knees. We are blessed already.

To Our New Little Bug

Waiting here for you.
Wanting to know you.
Praying you are safe.

Planning your arrival.
Loving you already.
Learning how to trust.

Journeying to you.
We are coming!
We cannot wait!