Thursday, December 5, 2013

What This Christmas Season Brings

I love this time of year.  I cherish the time spent with family and the time spent reflecting the birth of our greatest gift, our Savior.  This year I have begun to see the Christmas season in a slightly different light.  While we are sitting in our warm homes, feasting on delicious foods and surrounded by gifts and family, there are children sitting in orphanages cold, starving, with no one to hug them and tell them how much they are loved.

When we received our unexpected, very low number in November my prayers began to change.  For the past year, my prayers have mostly centered around decisions and sadly timelines.  Josh and I prayed that God would lead our adoption journey, which He has.  Josh and I prayed that WE would not have to wait long for our son.  I did pray for our son but not in the way I do now.  In my heart I still felt like we had years ahead of us, so our son possibly was not born yet.  When we received November's number, I knew he was born.  He is alive and possibly a toddler.  Not a baby that doesn't know much of what is going on around him.  This breaks my heart.  I now pray that God has His arms wrapped so tightly around Townes.  That our son is being protected from a broken world.  I pray that my son will be fed today.  That he is clothed today.  That he is warm today.  I pray that he felt love today. That he was not harmed today.  That he is healthy today.  I pray he knows that he is not just another child, left fighting alone, without anyone to love him.  I pray that in his sweet little heart that he knows we are coming for him.  That we are fighting as hard as we can for him.

A mother shouldn't have to pray this.  This is what keeps me up at night.  Will you join me in my prayer?

I have Faith that God will heal our son's heart.  While adoption is a beautiful picture of how God adopted us, please remember it comes from broken place. In this season of thanks, Josh and I are so thankful God opened our eyes and broke our hearts close to a year ago.

Okay, so here is December's number:
We moved 1 spot...yay!  This is of course our Christmas tree.  Wouldn't it be AWESOME if Townes is here with us next year and gets to celebrate possibly his first Christmas with a mommy, daddy, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Giving God ALL the Glory

Wondering where our November picture is? 

Towards the end of October we were given the opportunity to switch placing agencies with the possibility of a shorter wait time for the age child we are approved for, 0-4.  While this was exciting news, it brought about many more emotions.  Fear, nervousness, doubt.   

Was this what God was leading our family to do?

Are we making a mistake?

Josh and I prayed about the change and nervously made the decision to switch.  I began the process of compiling another dossier, the VERY large portfolio of important documents and paperwork that is sent to Ethiopia.  This took me almost 3 months to do last time and I was not looking forward to doing it from scratch again.  But God sure had His hand in this!  We were able to complete and send off our new dossier in 2 business days, that even included driving to Frankfort to have documents authenticated. How else would this have been possible???  Now...

We know this is what God is leading our family to do!

So, with that being said we received our new wait list number yesterday!  Ready?!?!

Anyone who knows my husband knows he can't sit still.  He loves to rock and will sit in this chair and rock until it scratches the floor.  While this drives me crazy at times, I can't wait to see Townes curled up in his Daddy's lap rocking in this chair.

Big difference, huh?  I was in complete shock and even called my social worker to make sure this wasn't a mistake.  Looks like we might just have our sweet little boy sooner than expected.  This brings crocodile tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.  We do not know when we will receive our referral, it could be soon or a year from now.  I am not going to act like this does not cause me anxiety.  The unknown.  But God knows...and we have FAITH that God will show us our son's face when the time is right. 

We thought we had 2 years to save up the money for referral and travel costs.  Yeah, probably not.  :)So we are trimming fat, so to speak, and going down other avenues to have our $12,000 referral fee when the time comes.  We are also currently selling sheet sets for $35/set, beautiful cross bracelets for $24, and t-shirts for $20. 

What a great Christmas gift right? 
The bracelets come in an assortment of styles.  They are handmade and gorgeous! The sheets are available in twin, full, queen, king, and California king.  They come in many different colors and are SO comfortable. 
If you are interested in helping bring Townes home by purchasing a fundraiser item, please email me at   Also, please support us by continuing to pray for us throughout this journey.  It is exciting but HARD and all prayers are welcomed. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

First Official Number

We received our first official wait list number!  I thought it would be fun to keep everyone updated on our progress by taking pictures of our "number" in places we see our son being when he is home.  So every month when we get our updated number, I plan on taking a picture and posting.  I hope to compile all of the pics in a photo album someday, so when he is older we can show him how much we were in love with him...even before we knew who he was.

Okay, drum roll please.......

This picture is in front of our house. I so look forward to the day when we are able to bring him through this front door.  When he is finally home.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


DTE meant nothing to me 11 months ago.  Back when I was content with my little family of four.  Back before I knew what God had planned for our family.  Back before my heart was beautifully broken.  

Now it means one step closer to our son.  

We are DTE(Dossier to Ethiopia) guys!!!!  Thank you Jesus!  Friday morning our dossier was signed for in Ethiopia.  This means we are officially added to THE list.  What happens next?  We wait....  We will receive our wait list number on October 1st.  As referrals come, we will move up the list.  We are looking at a possible 14-18 month wait.  I am so excited to finally join the list but I know quickly the excitement will fade and be replaced by the desire to be off the list, to receive OUR referral.  

Currently Ethiopia is in its rainy season and we haven't seen much movement in the term of referrals, children being matched with their forever family.  Please join us in praying for referrals and speedier movement in court and embassy appointments.  These children need to come home.  The rainy season is cold and wet.  At the Transition Home, the staff usually hang the clothes to dry, as they do not have enough dryers.  You can imagine that a cold and rainy environment is not conducive to this task.  So the children are wet and cold and many sick.  They need to be home.  They need their mommy and daddy.  

We continue to be overwhelmed by the support of our community.  You guys ROCK!!!!   

Friday, August 23, 2013

I600A Approval...did I really just type that?!

I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk right now. "The phone books are here, the phone books are here!!!"  Okay, so if you have no idea what I am referencing put down your phone, computer, or any other devices and head directly to the movie store.  Rent the movie.  Then you'll understand. 

No, we did not receive a new phone book today.  It's even better.  We received our I-600A approval!  This means that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved Josh and I to adopt!  This was the last piece we needed before sending our completed dossier to Ethiopia.  Our dossier is now on it's journey.  It must go to the State of Utah and Washington DC to be authenticated then it's off across the world.  Once it is DTE(Dossier To Ethiopia) we will get our first official number on the wait list.  😊

There are days when I never thought we would get to this point.  God has shown us so much about ourselves, our marriage, and our community.  Every time I scroll through Facebook, go to Walmart, or anywhere in this town for that matter, I see someone with one of our shirts on or have someone ask how they can help to bring our son home.  I can't explain the feeling I get.  I am overwhelmed and humbled. I pray, if our son is already born, that tonight he can feel all of the prayers and love.  He is BELOVED!!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Ethiopia?

We get this question a lot.  Some reasons I can answer but some I can not.  I don't know quite how to explain it other just feels right.  

When we first decided to move forward with adoption we quickly became overwhelmed with important decisions that needed to be made.  Domestic or International, which agency to use, which country?  It was stressful and we didn't want to make the wrong choice.  We prayed that God guide us through these decisions and we felt him take over.  Many doors were closed and others opened.  Ethiopia kept coming up...and I mean over and over and over.  It was amazing.  He lead us to where we feel we belong. Once we both agreed that Ethiopia was where our son was, I was flooded with the feeling of peace.  This is the part I can't really explain.  It was beautiful.  It was God.  

I said I can give some concrete reasons as why we chose Ethiopia.  Here they are:

  • estimated 5 million orphans
  • 13% of children throughout the country are missing one or both parents
  • 1 in 6 children in an orphanage will die before their 5th birthday
  • 50% of all children in Ethiopia will never attend school
  • 88% of all children in Ethiopia will never attend secondary school
  • Highest HIV/AIDS population in the world
  • Steady increase in street children orphaned by AIDS
  • Doctor to child ratio: 1 per 24,000
  • Life expectancy: 48
  • Only 24% of households have access to safe drinking water
  • GDP: $513
These are just some statistics that helped lead our decision.  But like I said, most come deep within our hearts. 

 I do not see how families adopt without Faith.  I am so thankful for this.  Not only is our family growing in number, but we are growing spiritually.  See, we are not saving our son.  God is saving all of us.  We are already so blessed by him, and he's not even here yet! 

Update:  We have completed our portion of the homestudy.  We now wait for our agency to prepare and approve it.  I am busy gathering documents for our dossier.  Our goal is to have this sent to Ethiopia by August/September.  Once it arrives we will be placed on a wait list.  Then the long, hard wait begins.  Most families wait around 12 months.  Why?  There are so many children that need families?  I will try to explain to the best of my ability, and with the help of another ET adoptive mom.  Our agency works with a coordinator in Ethiopia.  This coordinator goes around to different orphanages and builds relationships.  Not every orphanage is eligible for International Adoption.  It is very costly for them to have this accreditation.  Of these orphanages, most have contracts with multiple agencies so our agency does not get all referrals.  Also, our agency has a place called the Transition Home.  Once we accept our referral, Townes will be moved to the TH. This home is only capable of holding so many children.  The goal here is that he gets better care than at the other orphanages.  This is a blessing.  Prior to this, families would accept and sadly their child would pass away before the chance to bring them home.  Of course this is still a possibility.  This is a third world country.  Children die every day from things we can not fathom coming from our generous lifestyles.  We pray for God's protection over our son.  This is all we can do until he is in our arms. 

Yes, I said Townes.  This is the name we have chosen for our son.  We plan to use his Ethiopian name as his middle name.  Gosh, I love him already. 

Okay, so I am going to go back to writing our Letter of Intent.  This is our letter to the Ethiopian Government explaining why we desire to parent a child from Ethiopia.  It's much easier to type this here.  I want to fully explain our heart yet be completely respectful to their beautiful country.  The country that will bring me my son.  The country that is already so dear to my heart.  Please pray for this land and the people within it.  Please pray for my son's family.  They sure do need our prayers.  Speaking of prayers, thank you.  Thank your for all of your prayers.  We feel them and it is so comforting to know we have some major prayer warriors lifting us up.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Big News from The Thurman's

That's right, we have some BIG news!  After months of prayer (and many conversations with God that always seemed to begin and end with "Are you SURE about this?") we are thrilled to announce that we will be adding to our family through International Adoption.  We have embarked on the journey to find our son in Ethiopia. 

Okay, so I know you must be thinking how in the world did this come about.  Let me give you a litte bit of a background.  Josh has always said that if we were to have a child, he would want to adopt.  I thought he was insane and was very content with our family of 4.  Last year we decided to "try for a boy".  I began to follow the Shettles Method but something just didn't seem right.  We realized that this wasn't meant for us and that we were happy with the way our family was.  Life went on.  Until one day when I began to feel a tug at my heart.  This tug turned quickly into a full on ache.  I began to research adoption and nervously sent Josh a text.  He was home within minutes.  He too had been feeling the same pull that I had been.  We both knew that God was moving within us.  We continued to doubt that this was what God wanted for our family.  Many times I asked God to "show" me.  He would and I would ask again.  Then He lead me to this...

"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act."  - Proverbs 24:12

We began to pray that He would open our eyes.

And Our Eyes Were Opened. 

We began to pray that He would break our hearts.

And Our Hearts Were Broken For What Breaks His. 

We are currently on the "paper chase" and had our home visit this week.  It went so well that Josh made reservations for the 4 of us to go to Maggiano's tonight.  The girls are thrilled.  About supper, yes, but mostly about becoming sisters to a little brother!  When asked by our social worker how excited Raegan was she proudly stated "1,000 out of 10".   Taylor can't wait to start babysitting. 

We have a very long road ahead of us and our agency is preparing us for around 18-24 months.  This is hard for a momma to hear since many nights my heart begins to ache thinking of the possibility that my son is already born and is halfway around the world.  What if he is alone, hungry, sick?  See, we are asking for a boy age 0-4 so the chance of him already being born is substantial.  So I am doing everything in my physical power to speed this process along.  I do understand though that the process of adoption is filled with so many unknowns and very hard, long waits.  This is why Josh and I have turned everything regarding our adoption over to God.  He brought us to this and we trust with everything in us that He will carry us through it.  And what a wonderful finish line we have to look forward to!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT the "blog-type" mother but I will try my best to keep everyone updated.  The average cost of an Ethiopian adoption is around $34,000.  We can not do this alone.  I won't lie...this part scares me.   But I do know that we have a wonderful support system and with prayer, God's love, and the help of friends and family we will be able to do this.  With that being said, please look for future fundraisers that we will be having.   Also, please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.  Thanks for following this exciting journey!