Saturday, January 25, 2014

And the WINNERS are...

We were excited to have our drawing yesterday to find out who would win the FABULOUS prizes that we raffled off as part of our final adoption fundraiser!

Stella Hung & family won the Great Wolf Lodge gift card!
John & Jill VanVeen won the brand new Vanity!
Congratulations to both of these families!

However, we want to thank EVERYONE who supported us in this fundraiser! We are thankful for the Lord's provision and how He has used His people to help make this adoption a reality for our family. We know that without the support of so many, we wouldn't be getting ready to bring home a child to her forever family!

With your help, we were able to raise $1,800 to go towards upcoming expenses as we finalize things. Also, a BIG thank you to Jason Campbell at Rocky Tops for their donation of the vanity and to our family for the Great Wolf Lodge gift card. 
If you have any countertop needs, please consider Rocky Tops of Greensboro. Their website is:

If you think of us over the next few weeks, please continue to lift us up in prayer as we prepare for her arrival...for time with the birth mom, for a safe & smooth delivery, and for the Lord's peace to be with us all. We're continuing to pray for His will and trusting that He'll be with us each step of the way. 

Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts!!
Josh, Anna & Rachel

Friday, January 3, 2014

Our FINAL Adoption Fundraiser!!!

It's hard to believe that it's been a year since we did our "Ultimate Date Night" Raffle! After over a year of fundraising, saving, completing lots of paperwork, getting matched, meeting our birthmom, waiting and LOTS of's exciting to think about welcoming a new little one to our family in about 7 short weeks, maybe sooner. However, now that we have a deadline and are still needing to save/raise the final expenses (approximately $5,000), we figure now would be a great time for one final fundraiser. :) We've come a long way and are SO grateful to have had the support and prayers of so many over this past year.

We are raffling off 2 AMAZING items--so we'll have 2 BLESSED Winners, in 2 separate drawings!!
  • A Brand New 36" Granite or Marble Vanity Top (Valued at $500)
Donated by: Rocky Tops, Inc.  Click here for Rocky Tops Vanity Information
  • A $300 Gift Card to Great Wolf Lodge (Charlotte/Concord, NC)
Donated by: Family Members

$10 donation= 1 chance to win
$50 donation= 6 chances to win
$100 donation= 12 chances to win

All ticket sales will end on Thursday, January 23, 2014. The drawing will be held on Friday, January 24, 2014. Rachel will draw the winner and we’ll announce it here on our blog, as well as via email and Facebook. All funds raised will go straight to our agency, AmericanKidz Adoption Services.

HOW TO GET YOUR TICKETS (You won't receive an actual ticket, but your name will be printed on a ticket and added to the appropriate "Raffle Box"):

1. Donate here on the blog via PayPal or AdoptTogether (tax-deductible option) links, specifying that it's for the raffle. Paying in person or via snail mail is always fine too.

2. Or, you can email us at: or leave me a message on Facebook.

3. We realize that everyone might not be interested in a Vanity and/or going to Great Wolf Lodge. But, you might be interested in one or the other. So, we're doing 2 separate drawings and you can let us know which raffle you want your tickets for and how many. (Ex. 2 for Vanity/2 for Great Wolf or 5 for Great Wolf.)

Thank you for your willingness to consider supporting us in this way. We are blessed to have others joining us on this journey. We can't wait to see who WINS!! 

Anna, Josh & Rachel

Friday, December 27, 2013

Noonday Collection Trunk Show Fundraiser

I forgot to do a post about this, but back in November, Annette Pittman hosted a Noonday Collection Trunk Show as a fundraiser for us. It was a great morning of meeting new people, talking about adoption, learning more about the Noonday products, and of course eating yummy food!

The Noonday Ambassador was Katie Eller and I was so blessed to meet her! Not only is she and her husband in the adoption process as well, but we discovered that she is using the same consultant as us, Tracie Loux, from Christian Adoption Consultants. It was so neat to be able to talk with her. What a blessing from the Lord!!

Noonday Collection has a two-fold mission. They sell beautiful products like necklaces and scarves that are made by people from around the world. This helps to create jobs for the artisans, so that they make an income to sustain their families and have an impact on their community. And, anyone that is adopting can earn funds as well.

So, after a fun morning, we were able to raise $212 that was sent straight to our agency. A big thank you to Annette and everyone that stopped by to shop and support us!

Trip to Florida...

So, how much can you fit into 30 hours?? We made a whirlwind trip to Florida to meet our new birth mom that we have been matched with, and even made it to the beach!
We flew into Tampa and our visit started at McDonald's...meeting our birth mom and her children, along with one of the agency representatives. We got them all something to eat, let the kids play and got a chance to talk. They were all very outgoing and it was a pleasure to spend time with them. After that, Josh and I headed to downtown St. Petersburg and had a nice dinner and walked around down by the water looking at Christmas lights and reflecting on the day.
The next morning we met her and another one of the agency social workers at a 3D/4D Ultrasound place. Having an appointment at the doctor's office for an ultrasound didn't coincide with our trip, so the agency set this up. Although it was a little awkward at first and she didn't talk much, it went well. The baby cooperated and we got to see her in action. And yes, they confirmed that it is a girl. She kept winking at us and at one point was sucking her thumb. We had mixed emotions, but were thankful to be included in this experience.
Next, we headed to lunch at a local place called Cheddar's. The 2 agency ladies, both of which are super nice, joined us for lunch. We had great conversation and got a chance to get to know her better. Josh was even able to pray with her before we left. I won't go into all the details of her situation, but we feel more at peace now that we've met her.
She reminded us that it's only 9 weeks until her due date. Because she is moderately high risk, she'll begin going to the doctor weekly for ultrasounds and NST's (Non-Stress Tests). So, now we wait...

Oh, but before we headed home I told Josh we HAD to at least put our feet in the sand and water for a few minutes. So, we drove over to Madeira Beach and actually had about 1 hour to relax. We walked on the beach, found some chairs to sit in, collected a few sea shells for Rachel and enjoyed the sunshine and 80 degree weather!! We thought it was fairly comical to have the A/C blasting in the rental car and then about 4 hours later, to be back home and blasting the heat. I definitely see why people like to live in FL during the winter months.

So, that's the most recent happenings with our adoption journey. We hope to do one final fundraiser starting next week. We've got about $4,000-5,000 left to save/raise over the next month and feel fortunate to have come this far over the past year or so as we've been working towards our goal. We continue to pray daily for this sweet mama and her baby. We're praying for God's will and that He'll continue to lead us all. Join us!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Ups and Downs of Adoption!

It's been 2 months since I posted a new update. But, it's not because nothing has been going on. On the contrary, there's really lots to write about. So, let me start with the facts...

After getting matched in October, we went and met the birth mom in Georgia, along with her son and other representatives from the agency, AmericanKidz Adoptions. Although it was a long and quick trip, it went well. We felt really good about things and enjoyed meeting her.

Then, more recently we got a call from the agency that she had changed her mind. She told them that while she knew she couldn't take care of another child, she didn't think she could give her up either. Josh and I were really not that upset...God had been preparing our hearts. We both felt like she might do this, and honestly we were thankful that she made this decision now and not in February. We felt like it took a lot of integrity on her part to do this, knowing that all financial assistance would now stop. We are continuing to pray for her...that God will help her be able to take care of this baby and that she'll come to know Him as her Savior.

So, after hearing about this, we were told about another birth mom in FL. It's a long story, but basically after choosing a family they had another immediate situation come up for another baby and adopted that child. So, she was back at square one--like us. We looked over her information, prayed and talked, and made arrangements to speak with her over the phone. We didn't feel complete peace, mainly just because it came up so fast and we didn't have time to get all of our questions answered. However, we felt like we should just trust the Lord for what He might be doing and to step through this next open door. So, we've made plans now to go and meet her next week. We'll also get the chance to accompany her to an ultrasound appointment.

Now, aside from the facts...there's lots of feelings. It's been quite an emotional roller coaster. Last Sunday in Rachel's Sunday School class we were studying the story of Jacob wrestling with God. I could totally relate because that's what I've been doing. But, in the end it always comes back to trust, faith and surrender. I have to believe that the Lord has a perfect plan and that He is faithful!

So, we ask for prayers in the weeks ahead....and I'll try to do a better job with updates.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Heb. 10:23

Saturday, October 12, 2013

We've Been Matched!

Well, it's been a whirlwind over the past week to say the least. But, we have exciting news---we've been matched with a birth mom and she's having a baby girl, due in February!

Last Tuesday afternoon I was checking email and realized there was an email from one of the agencies we sent our packets to the previous week. I read over the potential situation, learning about this expectant mother--her medical and personal history and about her adoption plan. I called Josh at work and asked him to read over it as well. Sometimes you have longer to decide, but this agency was going to be presenting profiles to the birth mother the next day-Wednesday. So, after reading over it and praying, we decided to go ahead and give them the okay to present.

So, last Wednesday afternoon we were wondering when and if we might hear something, but since this was our first time presenting, we weren't quite sure what to expect. However, around 5:30pm I got a call from the attorney at the agency and she informed us that after having reviewed a total of 8 family profiles---she had picked US! I think my first words were, "Really? Wow!" She told us to call her the next day and she'd be glad to talk to us more and answer our questions. So, we did....because after 24 hours we had definitely come up with a page full of questions. Our conversation made us much more confident and excited!

Last Friday we got to speak with the expectant mother over the phone, and next weekend we'll be going to meet her in person.

We look forward to loving on her and making sure she knows that we are going to love her baby! This process definitely brings up lots of emotions. Our joy will be her pain, and we are just thankful that she has chosen the gift of life for this child. Even though her choices might not have been the best, her choice to carry this baby and then to make an adoption plan, shows so much courage and sacrifice. She's already teaching us so much!

Please be praying for us and for this expectant mother and her baby! We are praying for her health and that of the baby, for the rest of the funds needed, and for our relationship with her. We know that the Lord is in the midst of it all, and we are trusting His plan.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Packets Are Out!

Wanted to provide another update...

We received our FBI clearances in the mail on August 21 & took a month. SO, not too bad for a federal agency. ;) At that point, I spent time putting our packets together. Tracie, our consultant, had talked with us back in July about agencies that they work with and which ones she would recommend us sending our information to. So, we decided to send them to 2 agencies and 1 adoption attorney, all in Florida. They work with agencies in other states, but Florida is the closest and would be easiest for travel purposes and to help cut down on the travel costs.
The packets consist of a copy of our homestudy and 2 copies of our profile, along with a cover letter from us. So, I got them all ready to send...and then we waited. Like I mentioned in the last post, Rachel started school and Josh started a new job pretty much right at this same time. So, we made the decision to wait about a month before actually mailing them out. It's so hard to know how things will go...we could be matched really quickly, or it could be a while...who knows? So, on Sept. 23rd after I picked up Rachel from school, we headed to the post office. Now's it's sort of out of our hands. We'll wait to hear from these agencies and when available situations come up that they think might be a good fit, they'll let us know. We'll have the opportunity to learn about a birthmother who has made an adoption plan and we'll decide if we'd like to have our profile presented to her. If so, we'll wait to see if she picks us and ultimately be matched!
We're excited to finally be at this point of the process and anxious to see what will happen next. We are trusting the Lord to work out all of the details and the timing!