Monday, September 30, 2013

Just telling mountains to move...

Oh hey there, it's me again. You guys, I wish you could have been inside my head this past week (maybe you don't wish you could have been inside my head, but I do) So many insane things happened. 

First I broke my toe, then I slammed my head in the car door (don't even ask..) 

But in between those events, some major mountains fell to the ground. We pretty much have been telling them to move, and well, they're moving. 

So we held our "little" cookie fundraiser, which we kinda thought might bring in a few hundred if we were lucky..but guys..people donated over $1400 to our little cookie fundraiser...

Mountain gone. 

But wait, there's more.

Justin got a call last week about a sweet couple at our church who wanted to have their neighborhood yard sale benefit our adoption...WHAT?! 

And you know, yard sales are awesome. We've had one for each of our adoptions and they're super successful, but they're a lot of work, but this one? These sweet people are just raining blessings on us and they're storing, pricing, setting up..I're awesome. It's this Saturday, if you're local-I can give you the deets. 

But wait..I'm not done. 

So yesterday I get this text from my friend Val. And Val, she's modest and wouldn't tell you this herself, but she wrote an amazing book this past year (years).  She's the Children's Ministry Director at our church, and desired a Bible study that any parent could do with their child, that is deep-not watered down like some children's bible studies, that teaches the Bible as a story and keeps children engaged.  

This book is the  (I've seen it, so I definitely know ;) ) 

Here's what those more educated than me are saying about her book :) 

"Valerie Ackermann provides a user friendly children’s workbook that will enable parents to teach the life-changing truths of the Bible in manner that appeals to children. Her book helps children understand God’s Word through their own life experiences. It provides an excellent tool for parents to walk with their children through the Scriptures and to meet and know God in a deeper way while on the journey."
-Dr. Leland Eliason, Executive Director and Provost Emeritus, Bethel Seminary of Bethel University

This is a very good approach to Christian education within the context of normal family life.  Simple organization, strong content, and addressing an area that has long been missed by traditional Christian education. Most churches tell parents it is their job to train their kids, but they don't provide tools to do so.  They guilt, but don't equip.  Valerie has equipped without guilt!  I highly recommend this as a simple, Biblical, accurate, and helpful aid for parents."                                                                                          
-Dr. Rae Larson, Ed.D, former Pastor of Education, Scottsdale Bible Church and former VP of Administration, Phoenix Seminary, Arizona

Ok Ok, so you're probably wondering why I'm telling you all this right? 

Well..another blessing came our way...

The author, Val, is giving us a case of her books..for our 100% of the proceeds will benefit the remaining costs of what we're looking at for little man (which isn't all that much, we're over the big part) 

Tomorrow I'll post specific instructions on how you can order these books.

And you're going to want to get one for sure.

Not just because it helps us, but because it's an amazing tool for parents to teach their children about the Bible. 

So stay tuned..pretend like it's black Friday and you have to wait in a long line, only this line will be an "e" line (like electronic) 

You don't wanna miss out! 

For now, make sure you head over and "Like" The God Puzzle on Facebook, and check out the Website

And make sure you check back tomorrow for info on how to order! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Calling in the troops

Oh hey guys! You probably hope I'm stepping in with an update aren't ya? Well, I kinda am, all our documents are ready to go over to West Africa, once they get there, we can receive official paperwork on our little man and can go forward with the next step (which is, in case you're wondering will be filing our i800!)

Here's the deal, you heard (read?) me write about our agency switch, we lost about $4500 in that switch, but God has been faithful to supply our needs until now, and we don't doubt that He will continue, but here's the thing...

We need $3,114.76 like...a week from yesterday..YIKES! We have to have a check to our agency for $11,500 in the mail by Monday at the what are we going to do??

Eat cookies.

Well actually..we hope that YOU want to eat some cookies!

We're holding a cookie sale!

That's right ladies and gents! Are you craving a yummy cookie? Or a dozen perhaps? Well you're in luck! This weekend we will be baking up dozens and dozens of cookies! 

Here's the scoop:

Cookies will sell for $22 a dozen (that's a lot of money you say? you're right, but they're really good cookies!) 

You can order your cookies by clicking on this paypal link:

In the notes just put your name and how many orders you'd like, and we'll get bakin'!

This sale is for locals only (Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun) 

BUT if you'd like some shipped to you and you're not local, let us know and we'll get a price for shipping :) 

Cookies will be delivered this Sunday, September 29th! After 5pm, so make sure in your notes you put where you'll be at that time so we can bring them to you! (note: if you attend Parkway Community we can deliver your cookies that morning) 

If you'd like a tax deductible donation, you can give straight to our agency:

Make the checks out to Faith International Adoptions, and writes "Nunes Family" in the memo

Their address is 
1105 Tacoma Ave. South
Tacoma, WA 98402

And if you're curioius as to exactly where that $11,500 is's a little breakdown for ya:

Country Central Authority $2,000  ( note: I edited this because it showed the country name and we're not sharing that yet)
Lawyer Fees $2,000 
Court Processing Fees $500
Administrative Costs $500
Child’s Passport and Exit Documentation $500 
Orphanage Donation $4,000 
Agency Fee 2 $2,000

There you have it folks, we're nearing the end of payments (aside from travel) and this is our last payment, and it's a whopper, and so you know what? We need some help...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

When you think you're at your end....

Ok, so. Long story short (and I don't know if we ever shared this publicly) but back at the end of July, we had to change adoption agencies for our West African adoption.  Not to go into too many details, the change was necessary, fast, unforeseen, and difficult.

We love our new agency (Faith Adoptions) located in Washington. They have been absolutely amazing to work with so far. They have a heart for the country we're working with, a desire to see a program long term there, and bonus- they have a French speaking lawyer! This is a huge bonus as the language is French over there in little mans country and so having a lawyer who can effectively communicate with those in country is amazing.

I needed to write what's happened in the last 2 weeks because I don't want to forget it.

I'll try to do my best to explain this, but my hands are shaking as I'm writing out of pure excitement!

When we changed agencies, we got a new payment schedule.  We knew this was going to happen.

They way our new and old agencies collect the money is set up a little different.

They sent us our new payment schedule, as I looked at it I realized we owed a lot of money in the next...

2 weeks..

Like $11,500...

in 2 WEEKS!

What. the. heck.

We knew we would need that amount eventually, but we didn't know we'd need it all at once..we had some, but we definitely did not have $11,500..

Doubt crept in..thoughts like "what are we doing?!" "We can't afford this!" "How are we going to come up with that?!" "Money is going to be the only thing standing between us and him"

It was a rough week or so...

Then I remembered WHO'S money it is..not mine. His.

Then I remembered this verse...

"And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19

God was just getting started...

We pulled our money together and started trying to figure out exactly how much we needed to cover the lofty $11,500 total...I'd forgotten about our Pure Charity fundraiser we did a while back (ps who forgets those kinds of things? My mind is everywhere lately!) I told my husband I can't ask for anymore money, I'm so drained of asking..I just can't do it anymore..we were going to have to do it on our own, and not tell anyone. I told a few friends about our new total, basically just to pray for my sanity because I was ready to break.

On Friday a friend of ours got an envelope to give us, the person wanted to remain anonymous, so they asked my friend to give us the envelope with strict instructions that it go towards little mans adoption..

Today at church she handed me the envelope and we opened it..

$1,000 cash my friends...(dear anonymous, you have NO idea how this blessed us and our little man)

I am still in shock...

2 weeks ago we needed $11,500...

Today we only need $2,349....

That's $9,151 in less than two weeks...

You guys, someone tell me that's NOT a God thing....

If God had a hastag I think it'd be #BOOM because that's how He does it...when we're at our end and literally have nothing left, BOOM He shows off.

Some of you might think that $2,349 is still kinda big, and I guess it is...kinda..but you know what? I just watched God provide $9,151 in like 10 days. Still crying. We're coming buddy!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

When oceans rise...

This song has been on constant repeat in our house the last few weeks. It's kind of become a prayer.

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted it on Facebook and it brought up so many emotions.  It's been my theme song throughout the adoption of little man.

The story that God is writing in this adoption is quite different than what a "typical" adoption journey looks like.  We didn't go looking for little man at all. I honestly had to google his country when we heard about him.  It's very much obvious that God lead us to him.

I can honestly say we've learned more about faith in this specific adoption more than ever...I kinda don't wanna pray for more faith anymore..because you know what happens when you pray for get placed in situations where you're forced to have faith ; )  Or patience..that too ; )

When we said yes to this adoption, we said yes to many unknowns. We're adopting from a country that doesn't really have an established program. The two families ahead of us are literally paving the road for adoptions in that country, and it's not without tears.

But He is faithful throughout.  Whenever I'm feeling doubt about what we're doing, and praying for news or movement, He shows up.  I prayed for news one night, and we got an email the next morning saying that almost all of our documents are ready to go and should be sent over within 2 weeks. That night we got to see a video of where our little guy lives, his orphanage. It was so precious because we got to see his friends, the children that he lives life with. It was like we got a glimpse more into his life.

It helped this mama's heart.

Waaaayyy back when we first sent our dossier over to Ethiopia, we prayed (and we knew) God was going to something big during our wait. I prayed for God to use the wait with our Ethiopian adoption for something big, I remember telling some of my close friends that I just had a feeling God was going to use it for something.

And He has.

I went to Rwanda

Image via WFP

Image via WFP

Justin went to Ecuador

Image via Carla Ackermann Photography 

Image via Carla Ackermann Photography 

And God's been using this time to deepen our marriage and our love for one another, which will in turn is preparing us to be parents to our little man and then to our little Ethiopian. 

Image viaWFP

You know, when you pray for God to do something big...something radical..don't be surprised when He does.  It might not look like what you think it should (it might not look like going over seas, or adopting a child) But being willing is the hardest part I think. It wasn't a piece of cake to say yes to a second adoption on a ministry salary, but we told God we would be willing. It wasn't easy to say yes to adopting from a country where a program is being build...but God has been so clear that this is where we need to be an this is our son.  

We're coming up to our 2 year anniversary when we filled out our first set of adoption how far we've come and gone in two's been insane. 

Here's to what lies ahead

Image source unknown

Maybe next time I post you'll get an update :)  For now, just keep the prayers coming, things are moving...

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