Monday, April 30, 2012

Where Will He Lead Us?

In recent months, Jonathan and I are becoming increasingly aware that we are part of something much greater than ourselves as we journey through this adoption process. It is proving to be a very humbling experience for us and we thank God for allowing us to be involved.

This past Saturday, we attended a conference that the Chosen ministry at our church hosted. I was amazed at how many people were there who I did not even recognize. It reminded me of the passion that God is stirring in so many individuals throughout our area to help the orphan crisis. It made me realize that, despite Satan’s best efforts to discourage adoption (i.e. increased wait times, high cost, fast-paced society so we neglect it), God is in control. He calls His people to be His Hands and His Feet and many are stepping out and doing just that! It was so rejuvenating to spend a day surrounded by others that have the same passion that we are gaining  : )

Jonathan and I are not sure where this journey will lead us. Of course we have our own thoughts and ideas, but we have been around long enough to know that He may have bigger things planned. The only thing we do know for sure is that He has called us and this is part of our purpose for being where we are right now. He makes it quite clear in his Word, that:

“…once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. For God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.” – Proverbs 24:12

Please pray for obedience on our end that we may not limit what God has in store for our family through this process. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Amazed at His Goodness

Jonathan and I continue to be amazed at God’s goodness to us throughout this adoption process. I would like to share an example of this with all of you…

Several weeks ago, we were approached by a lady in my mom’s church (her name is Julie) who had felt that God had laid us on her heart. Jonathan and I had met her once before so we knew that she is an adoptive mother herself and has a strong desire to help orphans. She has had an interest for quite some time to begin an Orphan Ministry at her church, similar to Chosen at our church. This process is now underway, as she is working with the church leadership at Highland Church of Christ in Robinson, IL (where my mom serves as the Children’s Minister).

She wanted to talk with Jonathan and I about the possibility of Highland partnering with us to assist with fundraising for our adoption. In an effort to jumpstart their ministry, she would like to help Jonathan and I, which will allow the church to have a tangible way to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus. As with all orphan ministries, her desire is to help individuals to see that they do not have to adopt themselves to be a part of the solution to the orphan crisis.

So, we are currently in the process of planning an event for late June that will serve to kick off the orphan ministry at Highland and also introduce Jonathan and I to individuals of the congregation. We will get to share our adoption journey thus far and our heart for the orphan with these people! We are so excited!

The primary fundraising will be through an organization that Julie has partnered with called “147 Million Orphans.” This company was founded by two adoptive mothers who had a desire to be part of the solution for the orphan crisis. They sell merchandise – where proceeds from every purchase help a child in need (food, water, and medicine) AND they partner with families who are adopting – where purchases made through a unique web link help to offset the costs of the adoption.

Nearly all merchandise features the phrase “147 million orphans,” which is the current statistic for the number of orphans worldwide. When you wear this merchandise, it is hoped to spark conversation about the orphan crisis. It can be used as an educational tool to those around us who have no idea about this staggering statistic. But, what we love even more is that many of the items also say something like “Love 1” or “Feed 1.” This helps to remind us that even though the numbers can be overwhelming, we are all capable of doing something to help at least one! Whether that means you buy a shirt to help provide food, medicine, and clean water - you participate in missions trips to love on them - you provide respite care for foster families - you support an orphanage financially - or you go and bring one home – no matter what, we can ALL do something to help!

In fact, to help is not an option, as scripture tells us: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

So, we feel truly blessed to be a part of this process for Highland. It is exciting to be able to help them jumpstart their own orphan ministry, to help get information out there about the orphan crisis, and the financial assistance (of course) will be much appreciated, as well! We cannot wait to see what God has in store for everyone involved in this outreach.

We would like to invite you to participate in this new fundraising adventure, as well! Here is our special web link:

Any purchases that you make by following this link (they MUST be made through this web link) will be tax deductible and a portion of your sale will be sent to our agency to offset a portion of our remaining adoption fees.

Thank you, ahead of time, for your willingness to spread the word and to help Jonathan and I bring our child home!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lifesong Grant Approval

Jonathan and I recently learned that we have been selected to receive a $2,500 matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans! What a blessing this is to us as we prepare to bring home our baby  : )

We do not want anyone to feel obligated, but if you are interested in assisting with our adoption expenses, it would be greatly appreciated. Lifesong has given us May 23, 2012 as a goal date to have funds received by to ensure timely processing.

Checks should be made payable to Lifesong for Orphans and the memo line should indicate DeNeal #2669. These can then be sent to:
Lifesong for Orphans
202 N. Ford St.
P.O. Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
All contributions made in this manner are tax-deductible.

Again, we appreciate everyone’s support of our process thus far. Please continue to pray for the many orphans around the world who are in need of a safe, warm, loving place to call home; and thank you for helping us help one.

Six Months DTE!

Today we celebrate being 6 months into this process! Even though the waiting is difficult, it is hard to believe that this time has already passed. I know we will look back someday and wonder where the time went : )

Please continue to pray for the Ethiopian government as they continue to work towards smoothing out their processes and for those beautiful children waiting to be placed into their forever families.