Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act. Proverbs 24:12

Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Pics



We had a wonderful Christmas! It was so nice to be with family and friends.
































































Eight Months Waiting!

We have reached our 8th month waiting for a referral! Yeah! We have also officially switched from requesting a baby girl to either gender. Right now, the wait time for a boy is 8-10 months. Hopefully there will be a lot of referrals in January!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some News....Maybe...

Okay….some news….maybe...
First let me start by saying that a few weeks ago, we met other couples with Ethiopian baby boys and it got me to thinking. I told Eddie that after we adopt Hannah…and years later, God-willing, maybe we could adopt a boy. We found out early this week that they are having delays with girls…hardly any girls coming thru orphanages right now. In Ethiopia, if a parent has to decide what child to keep, they will keep the girls, unlike China. The girls in Ethiopia will marry but take care of their own family in later years. Anyway, from what we can figure, the delays could push us to not getting a referral until late spring/early summer. Eddie emailed me yesterday morning and told me that we need to prepare for that. So I emailed him back and totally out of the blue asked him if he has EVER thought of requesting “either gender” instead of a girl. He emailed me back within seconds and said that he had planned on talking with me about it that evening. We had NEVER discussed that possibility with each other at all. The kicker is that we have paperwork (updates) on our counter that needs to be mailed off and could have been mailed off last week but for some reason or the other it hasn’t been…we've just been busy. Anyway, if we’re going to do this, the change of request would have to be in that paperwork. So…we have decided to TOTALLY leave this in God’s hands. We are requesting either gender and seeing what God wants for us. I feel like I have been selfish in saying all along that I want a girl…and I’m just seeing that now. So…that is our news. Chances are, we will get a boy referral soon with an “either gender” request. The boy line does move more quickly.
I do believe that someday we will get Hannah…and maybe an older Hannah, because there are so many older children who do not get to be adopted. Please keep us in your prayers! You would think I’d feel a sadness since we’ve been talking about a girl since 2005 (actually long before that but that's just when we started with the China program) but Eddie and I both have a peace about this. We will see!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Grant

Please keep us in your prayers. We found out last week that we will not be getting an adoption grant we were hoping for. Bummer...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Going a little bit crazy...

I have nothing to post other than I am seriously going a little crazy. I know we are getting so close to a referral and that's all that's on my mind these days. I am seriously stalking the yahoo group (more times than I am willing to admit) watching to see if any referrals are happening! So far it has been extremely slow this month! I know the hardest part is coming...the time after we receive a picture of our baby while we wait on a court date and travel! So please keep us in your prayers. I soooooo want to move up on the waiting list!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

America World Update...November Referrals

Here's an update from our agency.


In the month of November, there were 7 infant referrals and 1 toddler referral from Ethiopia! Please see below for the list of the DTE dates of the families who received these referrals.
Age and Gender of Child
Infant Girl
DTE Date 2/8/08
Referral Date 11/19/08

Infant Boy
DTE Date 2/29/08
Referral Date 11/14/08

Toddler Boy
DTE Date 3/19/08
Referral Date 11/14/08

There has been one referral so far in the month of December.
Age and Gender of Child
4 Sibling group
DTE Date 2/8/08
Referral Date 11/19/08

The Ethiopia staff is working diligently processing referrals. We look forward and anticipate the next batch of referrals.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No News Yet

I wish I had some exciting news to report but I don't. We are still waiting and hoping to hear of referrals so we can move up on the waiting list. Of course I will post as soon as I hear of any!
Last week we ate at the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant in Oklahoma City. I was hoping to post some pics and I even remembered my camera, but forgot to take pics once I was there! So...we are planning to go next week and I hope to take some then. We had a good time visiting with couples who have already been through the adoption process. Of course seeing their children makes me want Hannah home right now!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

7 Months Waiting for Referral

According to our little ticker above, we have reached the 7th month waiting for our referral! It's finally starting to feel like we're seeing the light at the end of this long tunnel!! There have been two referrals today for boys. Congratulations to those families! Hopefully we'll see some girls before the long Thanksgiving weekend!
Tonight we are going to an Ethiopian restaurant in Oklahoma City, called the Queen of Sheba. We have been there earlier this month and it was a lot of fun trying the Ethiopian food, although my boys, including my husband, wanted to stop for McDonald's on the way home. :) I really enjoyed it. We are meeting other couples there who are either in the adoption process or who have adopted. We are also taking some friends with us who have just mailed off their application to America World to start their Ethiopian adoption! I am hoping I will remember my camera tonight so I can post some pics!!
Hopefully I can add another post today about more referrals!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Youth Bonfire Pics


We had a bonfire for our church youth group a few weeks ago. We had a great time. Thought I would share a few pics.


































Saturday, November 15, 2008

Referrals This Week!

There were three referrals this week!! We are finally starting to see some movement which is great news! It looks like we are 8th in line for a girl. We are hoping to hear of more referrals next week! Of course I will post it if we do!! Please pray for us as we wait.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hopefully More Referrals in November!

For the past few weeks, the transitional home (TH) and the orphanages have been full. For those of you who do not know, the TH is a facility run by our adoption agency, America World, and it is where the children stay until their families come and take them home. Several families travelled to pick up their children last week and several families will be there this week also. As children are moving out of the TH, this makes room for more to move from the orphanages into the TH. It takes a few weeks to run medical tests on the children and to get paperwork ready. So it is looking like mid-November might be an exciting time for referrals!
It looks like we are still about 9th in line for a girl, however, there may be some mystery families ahead of us and we don't know if they are requesting girls or boys. We are trying to wait patiently! Sometimes it's really hard. This has been such a long wait for us since we waited in the China program for several years before switching to Ethiopia. It seems like a lifetime wait to our boys! They are ready to have their baby sister here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

6 months waiting AND....Friends starting adoption process!!

6 months waiting for our referral!!! Hoping to move up in line soon!!!
In other news though, we have some good friends, the Alstons, who have decided to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia! We are so excited for them and are ready to help them in any way we can throughout their process. The Alstons live right down the street from us. It will be really neat to have our Ethiopian daughters live so close to each other. Please pray that their adoption journey will move smoothly for them. So exciting!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Third Homestudy FINISHED!!

We had our third and final homestudy today! As I mentioned in a previous post, our homestudy expired so we had to update it. It was short and sweet and I am so thankful it is finished. I cleaned and cleaned and even had my mother-in-law and sister-in-law come vaccuum and dust for me while I was at work (I owe them both big time!). All this work and our caseworker didn't even go through the house! I felt like asking her if she wanted to come see my clean bedroom that did NOT have my husband's clothes all over the floor or hanging on the doorknobs. :) Anyway, I'm so relieved that it is overwith and now we can relax and wait for our referral!! Thank you to those who prayed for us!
As for when we might get a referral, we are really hoping for November. That would sure be a nice early Christmas present!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Doing our Homestudy....Again....

Please pray for us this week. We are having to re-do our homestudy for the third time!! We had to have two homestudies while we were in the China program. Then when we switched countries, we did an update to our homestudy. Even though we did that in March of this year, our "original" homestudy expired, so here we go again. We should be very good at this by now! And although it's not a big deal, it's still a little stressful. I'm trying to get my house clean before our case worker comes this Friday at 2:30, and of course that's just about impossible to do with two boys and a not-so-obsessed-with-cleaning husband!!! I know she doesn't look in closets, cabinets, or showers so any clutter may be thrown into those Thursday night!! And I am so not kidding! This will be a crazy week for us!! I will be very relieved Friday night. Then I can relax because this will be the last homestudy!! Yeah!! Unless, of course, we adopt again someday????? :) By that time, we'll be pros.

Monday, September 29, 2008

5 Months!!

It has now been a little over 5 months since our dossier was sent to Ethiopia. Sometimes it feels like the time is flying by and sometimes it feels like it is dragging by. Some days I have a really positive attitude and patience and other days I'm stressed out wondering how much longer we are going to have to wait. I have to keep reminding myself time and time again that this is God's timing and not mine. He has our daughter picked out for us and we will meet her only when He is ready for her to be a part of our lives. Please continue to pray for us throughout this adoption journey!! It is so hard to be so in love with someone we have never met and to not know when we will finally get to see her!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jolie-Pitt...HIV/AIDS Clinic in Ethiopia

I found this article today and thought it was worth sharing!!


Jolie-Pitt Foundation Establishes HIV/AIDS Clinic in Ethiopia
By Brian Orloff and Mary Green
Originally posted Saturday September 13, 2008 08:35 PM EDT
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Jolie-Pitt Foundation has made a $2 million donation to the Global Health Committee to establish a center to aid children affected by tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. The center will be modeled after the Cambodian Health Committee's Maddox Chivan Children's Center in Cambodia, where children receive medical, education and social services. "Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie said in a statement. As in Cambodia, where the couple named the center after their eldest child, the Ethiopian branch will be named for Zahara, 3, who was adopted from Ethiopia."It is our hope when Zahara is older she will take responsibility of the clinic and continue its mission," Pitt said in a statement. The clinic will also focus on tuberculosis care. The disease causes approximately 2 million deaths yearly, and is the largest cause of death worldwide for children and adults with AIDS. "The fact that poor people continue to die in our world today of TB, a curable disease, because of lack of access to drugs and care is unacceptable," Pitt said. The Jolie-Pitt foundation was established in Sept. 2006, when the couple donated $1 million to the Global Action for Children organization and $1 million to Doctors Without Borders.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Please keep us in your prayers!!

People have asked me what they can do to help with our adoption. What we really need is a lot of prayer. There are a lot of emotional ups and downs along the pathway to adopting. Sometimes worries can creep in and cause us to lose faith for a short time...worries like our baby's health, travelling to a foreign country, raising funds to help with the costs of adoption, hoping our baby will bond with us quickly, etc. We have to keep reminding ourselves that God is in control every step of the way. And we have seen God's hand in this process since the beginning of our adoption process . Please keep us in your prayers. Here are some things you can pray for:
*A healthy baby girl
*We have applied for 2 different grants to help with costs
*Our fundraising efforts
*Smooth travelling (we are taking our boys with us!)
*Keeping the faith!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Children Matched with Families!!

There were 3 more referrals yesterday!! Congratulations to those families!! It's amazing to hear the news that more children are being matched with their forever families!!
We are #19th in line now....and about 9th for a girl! Yeah!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Referrals!!

Looks like we are 22nd in line now!!! Keep those referrals coming!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman's thoughts on adoption

I LOVE what Steven Curtis Chapman has to say about adoption!!

"My wife and I had always supported the idea of adoption, and as Christians, we understood the importance of loving and caring for others. But what I had not yet grasped was that adoption is a physical picture of what Jesus has done for me. I did nothing to deserve God's love; in fact, I was living as an orphan, without hope. Yet God chose to pursue a relationship with me, and through the death of his son Jesus, I was adopted into God's family."
"...In our travels to Latin America, Africa and Asia, we have visited many different orphanages. If you look past the surroundings and into the eyes of the children, they all have the same look. They seem to convey, "I don't think this is what I was made for. Where do I belong?" These children are crying out for the hope of a family, for the hope of community, for the hope of a permanent love."

Why Adopt from Ethiopia??

-One in ten children die before their first birthday
-One in six children die before their fifth birthday
-44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
-Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school.
-88% will never attend secondary school.
-Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
-Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 million orphans and the country is twice the size of Texas.
-Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ethiopian Adoptions Moving Smoothly!

We are now 25th in line!! Things are moving very smoothly with Ethiopian adoptions! Please pray that it will continue that way!
More referrals are expected soon and our agency is hoping to meet or exceed their goal of 10 referrals each month. Yeah!!
We will have t-shirts available soon as a way to raise money for our adoption. Please email me at jamullins@cableone.net if you are interested in buying one. I will be posting a pic of the shirts as soon as they are printed. Shirts will be brown with either pink or blue lettering. There will be a cross on the front, along with Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future." Hopefully they will be available by the end of the week!

Friday, August 1, 2008

27th in line

Well......we found out about a couple more referrals this week, so now we are 27th in line!!! We're movin' on up!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Waiting, Waiting

A little bit of news.....we found out yesterday that we are 29th in line waiting for our child. This info isn't 100% accurate but it's pretty close. 29th seems like a long wait, but things are going smoothly with Ethiopian adoptions right now. When we hear of families getting their referrals, there are usually a few referrals at a time. So hopefully our place in line will move quickly. I have to keep telling myself though that this will all happen in God's time, not mine! He's got it all under control!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Adoption Fundraiser Coming Soon

For those who might be interested, we will soon be selling t-shirts as a way to help fund our adoption. We are working on a design and will have it posted soon!
If anyone has any fundraising ideas, please send them my way! jamullins@cableone.net

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some Good News

I don't have any big updates about our adoption however we did find out some good news yesterday. Eddie and I had been concerned about the courts closing in Ethiopia and how it would affect our adoption. They do this every year in the fall and they close for several weeks. We were afraid they would close later in the year while we are trying to get a court date. However, we found out yesterday that they will be closing in another week or two which is good for us. We can still receive a referral (a picture) during this time. Please pray that everything will continue to move smoothly for us and remember those families who will have to wait longer due to the courts closing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

No adoption news...but other exciting news!

We don't have any adoption news to share yet. We are still waiting for a referral, which we are hoping to get sometime in October-November. For those of you who don't know what a referral is, we will be matched with a child and will receive a pic of her and any info the agency has about her. Anyway, we are staying very busy as we wait for that.
We do have some exciting news though! Eddie is the new youth minister at Cross Timbers Church in Duncan. He has known for a while that he was called into the ministry. We have been praying for the right position to come along....and it finally did! It's a new church, so he's pretty much starting the youth group from scratch. The first Wednesday night we were expecting only about 5-6 kids but had 19! And the Wednesday after that we had 26! So it is growing quickly!! Very exciting!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why we are adopting

I have been asked a lot about why we are adopting and thought I'd write about our story. I have wanted to adopt a child internationally since I was in High School. I remember reading an article in my mom's Ladies Home Journal about the orphanages in China. I knew at that moment that I would adopt someday. Eddie and I dated all through High School so he knew what he was getting into way before we got married! I didn't know exactly when we would adopt but knew it was something I had to do. After we had two boys I started thinking about adoption but didn't think it would be possible for us until after the boys were older. Then Eddie and I attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert and he showed a video about his adoptions. At the end of the video, he announced that adoption info was available in the lobby. I was crying by the end of the video and Eddie turned to me and said "let's go get the info and get this started".
Because I had read about all the baby girl orphans in China, we decided to start the process with China. We were in the China program for several years. It was very discouraging hearing about the wait time increasing with every month. I started getting an uneasy feeling about our adoption and started wondering if God was really leading us to China.
About the time I was feeling uneasy, I remember watching Oprah one afternoon by myself. (I don't watch her anymore since she's so mixed up on Christianity!) The show was about the people in Africa, mainly the women and children, and I sat there and cried as I watched. Usually if something is sad to me I turn it off, but I sat and watched the whole show. I knew at that moment that I really had a heart for the people of Africa. Then of all things, it wasn't too much longer until American Idol did it's first Idol Gives Back and it showed a lot of clips of Africa. Once again, I was just drawn to it. I recorded it and watched it several times by myself. I started thinking that maybe later on down the road, we could look into adopting from Africa. It's funny to think that God could use Oprah and American Idol to get my attention, but I truly believe I was meant to see both.
Then one day while I was pretty discouraged, I pulled up America World's website just to read and see if there was anything new on their site. I couldn't believe my eyes. They were starting a new program.....in Ethiopia. When I read it, my heart started pounding fast and my eyes filled up with tears. I knew God had some different plans for us.
After a lot of prayer and discussion with Eddie, we decided that the China program was not for us. We dropped out of China and began the Ethiopian program. We lost most of the money we had paid over the years for China, but we knew it didn't matter and that God would provide a way. So far the road to Ethiopia has gone so smoothly. Looking back at our process with China, we ran into so many snags along the way. Now I can see that it wasn't meant for us and that God is truly guiding us throughout our Ethiopian adoption. People have asked me if it was sad for us to back out of the China program after we had waited for so long, but I can honestly say it wasn't sad for us. We had total peace about it and knew God was totally in control.
Now we cannot wait until we meet our little Ethiopian princess. The journey to bring her home has been a long one and a little crazy at times, but we know it will be worth it when we hold her in our arms for the first time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dossier Arrived in Addis Ababa

We got some good news on Friday! Our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia safely and very quickly. We had been told that it might be delayed in Europe for several days and if it did not to worry. However we found out it went straight from Delaware to Addis Ababa without any layovers. We have been very blessed with how smoothly things are going with the adoption process. We can feel God guiding us with every step!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dossier mailed to Ethiopia!

We received an email from our adoption coordinator today. Our dossier is on it's way to Ethiopia! Another step closer!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dossier in the mail!

Our dossier is on it's way to America World! We mailed it Friday morning, April 18th! It sure is a good feeling having all the paperwork completed!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Certification

Eddie got our paperwork certified today! So we will send off our dossier tomorrow morning!

I-171H Form!

We had some great news yesterday!! We received our I-171H form in the mail!! We were not expecting it so soon! We thought it would be several more weeks. Eddie is on his way to Oklahoma City to have our paperwork certified. Then we'll get our dossier in the mail this afternoon or early tomorrow!! Yeah!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ethiopian Adoption

We are in the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia. We are waiting for our I-171H and then we will be sending off our paperwork. We are hoping to travel sometime between October-January. We were in the China program for about 3 years but started feeling God leading us to Ethiopia. Things are moving along smoothly and we know without doubt that this is God's plan for us!