Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I stay

***update: Giveaway closed, winner Lorna Carnahan*** congratulations!!!! 

I'm so excited to have you here today, because I've had the awesome opportunity to partner with several of my Noonday Collection sisters over the next few weeks to share our hearts behind Noonday Collection, and a bonus-each one of us is giving away something Noonday! So fun, right?!

Ok, so this is my second time on the Noonday blog train.  Last season I shared about my trip to Rwanda, and what an impact that had on my life (if you wanna check it out go here).  That time in Rwanda happened almost a year ago, and it's almost like I'm just now coming out of that time and beginning to process what happened there, and beginning to process what it was like meeting some of the women behind the look book pages.

So Noonday.  I've been asking myself recently, what is my Noonday story, what brought me to Noonday, what keeps me here.

I wish I could show you a picture of our little boy, but we can't just yet! But he's one of the reasons that keeps me here, him and millions other like him.

When I started with Noonday our dossier (ton of adoption paperwork) had just been sent off to Ethiopia.  I desperately wanted to be involved with Noonday but my husband told me we needed to get our adoption paperwork off and so I waited, but you better believe the day it went off, I emailed them.

I had my phone interview with Jessica (Noonday's founder) and just got off the phone so encouraged, talking with someone who actually gets it, get's what I was feeling and my desire to do more.

Little did I know the relationships that would be formed with other women over these two years who felt the exact same thing.

Over this past year and a half, I've realized the need for orphan prevention, and what needs to happen for that to take place, and honestly-it won't be all good until Jesus comes back, but we can make a dent in it, and sustainable income opportunities for the poorest of the poor is a huge start.

That's what keeps me here. I want to stay here for the mom who thinks her only option is to give up her child, for the girls who were just trafficked and exploited, for families who need help fundraising to bring their children home, for justice to be served.

I used to feel embarrassed, thinking that people would get mad at me for asking them over and over to host, over and over to purchase.  But honestly, I don't care anymore because I met some of the faces behind the look book and they're worth it. They're worth fighting for. I will continue to tell their stories, because I honestly know that is what God has called me to do, and that's really something that's taken a long time for me to admit, that it's more than just selling you a paper bead necklace (although they're awesome and you should buy one) it's me connecting you to another person on the other side of the world who you can directly impact and who you can provide hope to.

Photos courtesy of Wurzbach Fisher Photography 

So I'm giving away a Market Tote from Rwanda.  I met the Rwandan artisans last year when some friends and I took a trip over, and recently my heart has ached to go back to the land of a thousand hills. So I thought I'd bring Rwanda to YOU! And give away a market tote! So go ahead and enter! I'll announce the winner on Friday!

And make sure you head over to Paige's blog for yesterday's giveaway and over to Baylors blog tomorrow for a giveaway too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Well, here's a little update for you finally...

I sit down to write this post with my hands still shaking, still in awe of what the last week has brought.  I want to write it down so that I don't forget, because even though it's only been a week things kind of blend together already, and the things that happened are important for me to remember.

Last week started off as a hard week, we still had no idea when our paperwork would come, we were in such a state of limbo.  I felt like we just kept telling people "hopefully we'll hear something this week" over and over. and over.

Last Wednesday I prayed so hard that our paperwork would move. I had NO idea literally what to pray for but I knew that I needed to pray. So I did. I was pretty raw and kind of mad in my prayer, but I knew that I needed to be honest, so I was.

The next day (literally like 12 hours later) we got word that our money was requested.  Now, that wasn't a huge deal, we knew that they needed our money to release the documents but had to idea how long it would take after they got it to release them. So while that was a huge relief, we still really had no news, but any news in West Africa is good news, so even though it was small we took it!

So backtrack, Thursday our money was wired.

Then Monday, that was a hard day.  Our little guys birthday is coming up in a week, and so I prayed again, I prayed boldly that we could get our paperwork filed before his birthday.  I knew it was a long shot because we really had no timeline. But I prayed anyway.

Justin jokes with me that I just need to get mad, and get "at my whits end!" because that's when stuff usually happens.  When we feel like we're at the end.

Yesterday morning an email pops up "We have your documents! They came last night!"
I just started at the email, feeling like I couldn't breathe, and my hands were shaking. I remember calling Justin crying, so relieved.  The government in little mans country had approved us to be a family. 

So yesterday we signed our documents, and sent them off to USCIS (immigration) petition for "little man" to be recognized as our son and to start his visa application.  

And then we ran (almost literally) to the post office to get that baby sent off! 

Excuse the terrible picture quality, it was dark and rainy. And I couldn't sit still. 

So here's what's next! 
We wait for US approval, and once they issue that the US will issue our "Article 5 letter" which tells the country that we can go to court, and then we go to court. 

And then we GO! 

It will probably be a few months, maybe 2, two and a half. 

But it's close, much closer.