Monday, January 31, 2011

A Finger-Printing Crazy Morning

I just had a crazy productive morning and it's not even 10 a.m....

Our check cleared at USCIS on Wednesday and by Saturday we still hadn't gotten our letter with our finger-printing appointment. This only mattered to me because I was going to go try to get our fingerprints taken the SECOND we got the letter in the mail in order to speed things up and Nathaniel was having to fly out of town on Monday morning by 9a.m. So, if we didn't get them done before today it would be at least a week before we could try again...and putting something off a week could put us behind many weeks!

Our mail doesn't run until around 2:30 p.m., so I got online and saw that our post office didn't open until 8:30. I called them at 7:20 a.m. anyway, and someone actually answered the phone!  I told them that we were waiting on a very important document from The Dept of Homeland Security and that I needed to intercept it if possible. He told me that I would have to trace down our mail carrier and asked my address. And, what do you know? Our mail carrier was walking by at just that moment so he put him on the phone. Our very nice mailman got on the phone and he told me he should know about 9 a.m....I explained our time constraints and he put me on hold for five or so minutes and actually went to find our mail. He got back on the phone and informed me that we did in fact have a few pieces of mail from Homeland Security and that I could come get it before the post office opened!! YAY!!!!! Best Mailman EVER!!!!

So, then I call my wonderful sister in law, Audrey, and wake her up to ask her to come watch the girls...She was actually very excited to be woken up early for this bit of news and came over to save the day! Then I tell Nate as he's getting in the shower that we ARE getting our fingerprints done on the way to airport and to move quickly.  I headed to the post office to pick up our mail and would meet Nate at the finger-printing place (which is literally down the road from the airport...perfect!)

When you get letters from the Homeland Security for fingerprinting it has a pre-set appointment date listed for you. Ours was set for February 24th.  However, I had heard from many people that the office in Nashville is super nice and will let you get yours done early if they are not busy.  Well...they were BUSY....lots of people were in there and I got nervous, but went in anyway.  I told the woman our situation and she was SUPER nice and said "Of course!"...YAY! Somehow, Nate's letter didn't come in the mail, so they made him a new one with no complaints! I filled out a form and they give me my number (94) and then Nate arrived, filled out his form and got his number (100).  They were at number 89 and it was already 8:25a.m...we were cutting it close so I asked if Nathaniel and I could trade numbers and the very nice woman decided on her own to let us both SKIP the ENTIRE line. WHAT???  We were fingerprinted and out of the door by 8:35!! YAY, again!!

God was working behind the scenes this morning to make everything fall into perfect place between 7:30 and 8:35 a.m. to bring us one step closer to getting our sweet baby boy!! He IS good!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A 147 Valentine's Special!

In honor of Josie Love's HIV levels being UNDETECTABLE 147 million orphans is letting us sell this long sleeve T-shirt (for those cold February nights!) for fundraising until Valentine's Day! The Miller family is so very excited for the Mayernick family and so inspired by little Josie Love...I know she will inspire you too so, check out their story here on their blog! And shoot me an email at if you would like to order this shirt (or any of the other shirts and necklaces under our 147 tab).

It says 147,000,000 ORPHANS on the front and has a Feed 1 stamp on the back!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby Trade??

I thought I would share another jewel of a story from my sweet Ava girl...
Pretty sure she thought that we were going to trade Nora for baby Nolan.
Oh my word.

We were talking about Nolan and she said to me....
"But, what will we do with Nora?"
I asked what she was talking about and she said...
"Will we leave her in Africa??"

Then it hit me that she thought we were going to trade Nora for Nolan!
I explained to her that no, we were keeping Nora AND getting baby brother Nolan.
She thought that was pretty cool because she wants to keep Nora too...
which is a relief, because some days I wonder if she truly does :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why not, Ethiopia?

Please pause my music down on the right side of the blog and watch this video made by a family adopting a baby girl from ET.

God has broken our hearts for the orphans of Ethiopia; I pray He continues to break others.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Where We Are: Practicing Patience

Patience is a virtue that I was pretty sure I had, that is, until we started the adoption process.  Or maybe I just don't have patience when it comes to waiting on government agencies (who are notoriously sloooooow) to approve documents that are keeping me from getting our baby boy.  That's what I'm going with.

Right now in our adoption process we are patiently waiting  to receive our I-171, which is the approval of our I-600A, which is now in Texas waiting to be approved.  This process can take two to three months and once they are both approved we can send out our Dossier and then be placed on the waiting list for a referral. What is an I-171, you may wonder?? Well, it's a document from Immigrations that basically approves our family to bring an orphan from another country into the U.S. and the I-600A is the form you send to request the I-171 approval.  Our home study is also completed and is in Texas right now.  Between now and receiving our I-171 we will receive a letter stating that Nathaniel and I can go get fingerprinted.  Which, thankfully, will be a first time experience for the both of us :)

Most agencies (as does ours) require you to have your home study completed and your I-171 before you can be placed on the waiting list, and all agencies require it before you can have a's just SO HARD to wait! I have thought of 100 different ways to get them approved in a more timely manner, ranging from driving to Texas and getting on people's nerves to calling the President, however, I am pretty sure that those would be wasted efforts so I am trying to remember that patience is a virtue...

And I'll leave you with some pictures of these sweet girls as they wait for their baby brother:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We ALL want our Nolan home!

I had a conversation with Ava at dinner that just melted my heart! It went like this:

Ava:  "When are we going to bring Nolan home??"
Me:    "It will be a little while, honey.  I know it's hard to wait, isn't it?"
Ava:   "Ava wants to go to Africa and get him now!"
Me:    "Well, only Mommy and Daddy can go because it's reallllly far 
           away.We have to ride on airplane for a long time and you would
           probably get bored."
Ava:   "I can just stay with Mimi."
Me:    "That's a great idea!"
Ava:   "Will you get to see the Eifle Tower??"

So sweet and so funny :)

Christmas 2010

This year for Christmas we went to Mimi and Papa's house in Marietta and had such a great visit! We had planned to go up early, but poor Taylor had the flu so we postponed until the night before Christmas Eve to try to avoid the germs. And it worked! No one caught the flu!

We did lots of fun things like make cookies for Santa, put out food for the reindeers, and build gingerbread houses.  We ate lots of yummy food and no holiday is complete without sipping on some Russian tea from my Aunt Debbie's recipe.

My most favorite gifts to give were these handbags of hope to my sisters! Very cool bags with a very cool story...The bags are made by widows in Mozambique and you can read more about it here!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Path to Nolan

Many people were surprised when we broke the news that we were adopting (and honestly, I think we were still a little surprised ourselves!) We had thrown around the idea of adopting, but had probably talked to a handful of people about it seriously...the decision transpired rather quickly and so I thought I would fill you in on the perfect path that God took us on to our adoption decision. Not everyone is okay with their names being blasted on the internet like I am, so I'll use initials, but if you know us or them you will probably know who I'm talking about!

I don't even know if she knows this, but one of my sweetest friends, G.B., with a heart for God and a heart for orphans (let's be honest-she just has an awesome heart in general) opened my eyes to the orphan crisis and to adoption. I mean, I knew there were orphans and even thought it would be amazing to adopt ONE DAY, but I didn't really KNOW about the orphan crisis and I didn't really KNOW how God continually calls us to care for the fatherless. So, she opened my eyes, got my wheels turning and encouraged me to type in "gotcha day" in a youtube search. And I did...

When I did, I saw this sweet girl as well as followed the journey of some sweet friends who were adopting another sweet girl and my heart was stirred...

One of my very best friends, S.E., hears Gwen Oatsvall speak at church and we begin to talk adoption quite often.  S.E. is my biggest cheerleader and she tells me about all the great things being done by147 Million Orphans.  No more excuses...

Nathaniel and I start to talk about possibly adopting from Africa down the road...

Eyes opened, heart stirred, and with the realization that our excuses are just put in our heads by the devil and fueled by fear, God continues to place people in our path...

An amazing, God loving lady from church, K.B., who I consider a friend as well as a mentor was making sure that our church was aware of the orphan crisis.  She asked the Oatsvalls to speak at our church the first time and then again.  This time Nathaniel and I both go.  God gave Gwen the words to speak to my heart and gave Scott the words to speak to Nathaniel's.  I now knew this was something that we could do... and that we could do and that it was time...

We pray.  We have heart to hearts.  We read scripture. We know our family is not complete and that God has a SON for us in Africa...

Three days later we started to fill out the paperwork to apply to our agency....

Mailed our application and were told that we would here something no sooner than two weeks...

Within 24 hours our application is ACCEPTED!

Isn't God's plan perfect?! I know that God is taking many people down a path much like ours and I know he is doing big things in our life and and in the lives of so many others to bring orphans may be to adopt, to help someone out financially with their adoption, to go on mission trips to orphanages or to sponsor a child....there are SO MANY ways to help!