Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lifesong for Orphans - Matching Grant

We received notification from Lifesong for Orphans today that we are the recipients of a $3,500 matching grant!! This has been made possible by the Chosen ministry at our church. So, every dollar raised, up to $3,500, will be matched by this grant, to become $7,000 towards our adoption expenses. Any donations given above and beyond that will be given to us to use for our adoption expenses, as well. This is a tremendous blessing to our family!

We sent out many support letters, but if you are interested in donating towards this fund (your gift will be tax deductible), please send a check payable to Lifesong for Orphans to:

Lifesong for Orphans
P.O. Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

In the memo, please write DeNeal #4458.

A big thanks to everyone for your continued support and prayers for our growing family : )

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friendly Reminder (for ourselves)

I love the new Phil Wickham song “This is Amazing Grace.” If you have not had the pleasure of hearing it before, please take a moment to listen to it now:

It has been playing frequently on the radio and there is one line, in particular, that “gets me” every time.
“Who brings our chaos back into order? Who
makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of Glory, the King of Glory.”

While we wait, it gets so easy to start thinking about all of the things that we have done to make this adoption happen – paperwork, fingerprinting, fees, fundraising, etc. – that it becomes way too easy to get frustrated by the process. We begin to think, “hey, we’ve done all of this stuff, why is this not going the way we want it to??”

This song reminds us, though, that it really has nothing to do with we at all, but has everything to do with Him! He is in control of this – from start to finish – no questions asked!

I especially love how, for those of us that may be a little bit more stubborn/controlling than the average, Phil repeats who is in control – you know, just in case we missed it : )

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Enjoyed celebrating Easter with our church family this morning and my family this evening. Annaliese looked so grown up in her dress : )

So pretty!

Smart girl! Her reaction to chocolate : )
"Here daddy, you take it!"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lazy Saturday

After a busy, out-of routine week, we had a great stay-in-your-pajamas kind of day today!

After sleeping in (some of us longer than others, but we ALL slept in until at least 7:00!), Jonathan and Annaliese went to the hardware store to prep for a project, while I went to the store to get an Easter basket ready for Annaliese.

We all got home and had hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill for lunch. Annaliese and Jonathan then headed to the garage to work on the coat rack that Jonathan is building by the garage entryway. He is such a great daddy and Annaliese LOVES being with him and helping him on his projects : )

After they came in from the garage, we all dyed and decorated Easter eggs together. Thanks, grandpa & grandma for the kit!

Enjoyed another supper made on the grill and then got ready for bed soon after.

Our Bible story tonight was read along with the “resurrection Easter egg” set that we have been given. She enjoyed this so much – thanks Aunt Rachel : )
Now that she is in bed, the Easter eggs are hidden and we are continuing to take it easy. This is my kind of Saturday : )

Friday, April 11, 2014

Financial Blessing

God is so good! We continue to be amazed at the ways that He blesses this second adoption process! We know it is His doing, as we could NOT do this alone.

In case you did not know, the IRS does apparently review cases (which they had already audited in the past) and determine that they actually owe YOU more money. I could get used to coming home to an unexpected, sizeable check in the mail : )

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Soccer Has Started

Annaliese has been asking to play soccer ever since she first saw her cousins play soccer. Today she began a soccer skills class at a local rec center.

She told us that she felt afraid before it started, but really got in there like she owned the place : ) Aggression (the good kind for sports) seems to come naturally to her!

It is for 4-6 year olds, so she was able to be the “big kid” on the team for a change : ) The coach had to ask her to slow down at one point so the other kiddos could have a fair chance – she got a kick out of this : )Daddy, of course, also enjoyed this starting. He gave her a little coaching on the sidelines.

Look forward to next week...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

USCIS Fingerprinting Appointment

Jonathan and I headed to Indy for a quick trip today to get our fingerprinting done for U.S. Immigration. It is so exciting to be moving forward, rather than feeling like our paperwork is just sitting on someone’s desk!

The first time around, we received our approval letter from them just two weeks after this appointment was completed, so we are anxious to see what happens this time.

We were also thinking about how it was this trip, again on the first time around, that we went to an Ethiopian restaurant for the first time. Rather than us eating it today, we surprised Annaliese with shiro and injera. She was one happy girl : )