Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas for Little D

My sweet friends Brian and Lynne are missionaries in Uganda. I have been blessed to stay with them on each of my trips there. They are wonderful!

It turns out that Little D lives just a stone's throw from their home, so Lynne has gone to visit twice. Today, she took her three kids and they delivered Christmas to my Sweet Baby Girl!

Lynne's kids went through their toys and each picked out something to give D. Lynne took some clothes and food, too. What a blessing!! Little D has been sick, so she didn't quite feel like smiling today. Doesn't matter...she's still beautiful!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Error...

Don't you hate it when you get a great present--something you've really been wanting--and when you open it, it's defective?

When I reread my letter outlining details for my fingerprinting appointment, I realized that my roommate isn't listed on the form. And it clearly states that every adult in the house must be listed. Ugh! The form shows that I have paid for 2 people have to be fingerprinted, but then lists only one! It also says that if someone is not listed, I have to contact the immigration office before proceeding. Ugh!

The really annoying thing is that my roommate is moving out at the end of January so that I can get little D's room ready. But at the time of the homestudy, I didn't know when that would be, so she is written up as a tenant in my house--which requires her to be fingerprinted. Ugh!

Good thing I know my God is in control of all these details. He knows what is best for both of us, and so I will trust Him. At least I'll try to. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Belated Christmas Present!!

Has it seriously been just 3 weeks since I sent in my I-600a application? It feels like forever...but today I got the letter for my fingerprinting appointment! Although it's not an appointment, per se. I can go any time this week--and it's still Christmas vacation! God's timing is so perfect!

I am constantly reminded of God's perfect love for Sweet Baby Girl. He loves her more than I ever will, and He has a beautiful plan for her life! I am so blessed that I get to be a part of it, and to watch firsthand as it unfolds.

I sat in our Wednesday night church service with some of my nieces and nephews. My five year old niece is just dying for D to get here...she'll finally have a cousin her age! We were talking about one of the ushers who is from Kenya. I explained that his country was right near where D lives. My niece turned to me and whispered, "Hey, why don't we ask him to go get her for us?"

During Christmas dinner, one of my 3 year old nieces was sitting next to me. She looked up at me with her big eyes and asked, "Why did you leave D at home?" I explained to her that D wasn't at my house yet. I love that all the cousins are already caring about her!

Christmas Day was a little strange for me. My nieces and nephews are such sweet and grateful kids. I am blessed beyond measure to be their auntie! I loved watching all of them opening their presents. But MY girl was missing from the picture, and my heart longed for her.

Soon, Sweet Baby Girl!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Okay, so I'm pretty well convinced that I have the best attorneys in the world...not just in Uganda.

They have yet to see a dime (I wired the first payment forever ago, but it is still processing--go figure!) and even so, they have been working tirelessly to get things done.

Things like:
*measuring Sweet Baby Girl's height so I can buy a few clothing items for her
*emailing messages back and forth from Sweet Baby Girl to me and vice versa
*applying for Sweet Baby Girl's passport
*arranging for a probation officer (more like a social worker) visit tomorrow to verify the situation for the Ugandan court

Did I mention that they haven't been paid yet?

I love these two ladies! Lord, thank You for Dorah and Rebecca!!

Now, if the Department of Homeland Security could just step it up a notch, we'd be in business. I emailed them Friday morning (the website statement "You will receive a response within two business days" is a joke), called yesterday evening and left a message, and am still hoping Congressman Ed Royce will pull some strings (I voted for him twice, so I think he owes me!).

Even without the paperwork done, it will be a very Merry Christmas for me!! Just knowing that soon my little girl will be in my arms is enough of a present for me...oh, and by the way, her name means "Gift." Yup, a Merry Christmas indeed!

Monday, December 7, 2009

So my I-600A, the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, was received. Today I got a very official looking envelope in the mail. I ran into the house, so excited! I just knew it was going to be information on my fingerprinting date.

And then I saw it. Rejection Notice.

The form read:

"Your I-600A is being returned to you for the following reason:

The check amount was incorrect, or has not been provided."

Yeah, right. I am 100% positive I put that check in there. Did I add the total wrong? No, I double checked my math beforehand. Twice. I was in full panic mode. Until I noticed a second page stapled behind the first. It was a letter which read:

"Dear Applicant,
Due to a system problem, your attached notice was printed in error. It indicates that your application has been rejected. However, your application has been received and forwarded for further processing."

Geez. Talk about giving a girl a heart attack! For Pete's sake, can't they print out the form again? The right form? And why in the world couldn't they put the letter on TOP of the erroneous rejection notice??? Got to love the government.

On a happier note, little D asked the attorney, "When is Mummy coming for me?" The attorney told her I was working to get all the paperwork ready, and D's response was to say, "I'll pray to God that all goes well." Sweet Baby Girl is a prayer warrior!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This morning I got the last bit of information I need to feel confident in moving forward with this adoption. Sweet Baby Girl, I'm coming!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sweet Baby Girl

It's looking like things are moving in the right direction.

Every time I have prayed for my unknown daughter in the past year I have called her Sweet Baby Girl. Turns out Sweet Baby Girl isn't a baby...she is almost five years old. That's okay, though, because she will still be MY baby!

I just received some new photos this week and she is absolutely beautiful! I am just praying and waiting. If any of you would like to join me in praying, I would welcome the company.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Praying & Hopeful

Last night I received an e-mail from an online friend. She sent me information on a little girl in Uganda that she thought I might be interested in.

I am. Very.

This little sweetie isn't at Sanyu, so there is a lot to figure out--a lot of unknowns. Would you please pray with me? I know the Lord will work out all of the details if this is my daughter. I am not worried about that. Just looking for some clarification on some issues that will determine if I can pursue adopting her.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And the winner is...ME!!!

(Don't start getting all, I didn't win a baby girl...)

I NEVER win anything. Never. Until today!!!!!

Linny had a Memorial Box giveaway. I entered a couple of times...sharing what I would put into my memorial box if I had one.

And now I'm the winner! Read about it here.

I've been encouraging some of my family and friends to start Memorial Boxes. The girls in my Bible Study group and I were going through the study Experiencing God, and we were challenged to share some spiritual markers in our lives. Sadly, we all had a hard time thinking of examples of God's faithfulness off the top of our heads. Then, as I was reading Linny's blog, she shared her idea of setting up a Memorial Box. It's a wonderful way to testify to yourself and others of God's goodness in your life. You can read about them here, on Linny's post.

For the past few months since the discussion in the Bible study, I have been searching around Tom's Farms, at Home Goods, eBay, and Craigslist. Just couldn't find one that felt right. Now, my Memorial Box will stand with it's own story of God's faithfulness...that a woman who has encouraged and challenged me in this whole adoption process...a woman who I've never met or had a conversation giving me a Memorial Box! Isn't God just fabulous???

I'm so excited!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just Call Me Gideon

Okay, so I know that I should trust God enough not to ask Him to prove that He is speaking to me...but in all honesty, sometimes I just need Him to. This whole adoption process is one of those times. You see, being that I am single and this is not exactly the conventional way of creating a family, I doubted.

But God.

I love that phrase. But God. He allows me to doubt, and joyfully proves Himself to me time and time again. He is so good!

About a year ago I was doubting that it was indeed the Lord guiding me to adopt, so I decided to ask Him for something outrageous. I didn't tell a soul what I had asked for. That way, if He chose to do it, I would know that He was telling me to adopt. Three days ago, IT happened!

Someone sent me a check for $1000!

Just call me Gideon. I put out a fleece--something so irrational and improbable that only God could do it. And He did.

Today I am mailing in my homestudy documents, along with a check for $1000. Isn't He good???

Friday, October 2, 2009

On Top of the Wait List!

I received an e-mail from a Sanyu mom on Monday morning. She had heard that there were some new arrivals at Sanyu and that there was a chance that they were accepting international applications again. Immediately I sent an e-mail, and Wednesday morning received a reply from Barbara, the Director at Sanyu.

She said I would be contacted when a little girl becomes available because I am at the top of the wait list! I'm not exactly sure what this means for me yet, but it has to be good, right?
The Lord has been speaking so clearly to me this past week. Last Wednesday evening Dr. Baloian from Azusa Pacific University was the guest speaker at church. He talked about Exodus 14 and how God's parting of the Red Sea was, in essence, to prove Himself--that the people would KNOW that He is God.
I shared with my parents after service how that had resonated with me. It has been my prayer that the Lord would use this adoption to bring glory to Himself and to be a picture to some of my unbelieving friends of God's love and desire to bring them into His family. A few minutes later, I hopped into my car. The radio was set to the local Christian station, and if the pastor on the radio wasn't preaching on the same chapter!

The following morning I prayed and asked the Lord to confirm that scripture if it was indeed Him speaking to me. I was keenly aware that it was highly unlikely, as I am currently reading through the book of Isaiah and the parting of the Red Sea is back in Exodus. Wouldn't you know that as soon as I opened to the next chapter of Isaiah, though, it began recounting the parting of the Red Sea?!

Sunday morning my mom and sisters all came looking for me in the Toddler class where I was teaching Sunday School. They couldn't wait for me to get to service. We are going through 1 Corinthians on Sunday mornings but--surprise, surprise--the verses we were in that day focused on God's faithfulness to the Israelites as He led them through the Red Sea and the wilderness!! Wow!

So when I got the e-mail on Monday morning, I can't say I was really surprised. But the e-mail on Wednesday took me back a bit. I'm sure I will still need to take a trip out to Uganda to meet the children available and be "approved" by the orphanage, but "top of the wait list" just sounds so wonderful, don't you think?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Should I Wait Until I'm Married?

After reading Linny's post about Elizabeth over and over, I decided to send her an e-mail and ask her what she thinks about single parent adoptions. After all, she loves the Lord, is a pastor's wife, a counselor, and mom to many.

She responded. Not with a reply e-mail, but with a post on her blog. I bawled through the whole thing. Please read it here.

Thank you, Linny.

This morning I was reading that so often we hear God speak and want to jump into obedience. We forget that there are life adustments that need to occur before the actual "stepping out" part. For me, with adoption, those adustments would be things like: analyzing and rethinking my finances; researching orphanages; completing my homestudy. I need to prepare to be a single mom. No, God needs to prepare me to be a single mom. It doesn't mean that I am sitting still and doing nothing. But I can't hop on a plane tonight and go to Uganda, either (don't I wish!). So the preparation and waiting continue. It is such a journey!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeling the Tug

Please read this post (titled "Elizabeth") on Linny's blog. It is exactly why I want to adopt.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waiting Again

I've been going through a Bible study with some friends, and the focus is on knowing God's Will. We have just been talking about how the Holy Spirit will speak to us, and then confirm the direction through various ways. My prayer has been that I would really know the Lord intimately and hear clearly from the Holy Spirit.

Last week I sensed the Lord asking me to wait a little longer on the whole adoption plan. I didn't sense it was a long-term thing...maybe just a few months. Then, a couple of days ago, a Sanyu adoptive mom posted a letter from Barbara, the Director of Sanyu, on her blog. Here is an excerpt:

Due to an increase in adoptions by Ugandan couples and the lack of children in our home that is available for adoption; we are unable to accept any applications from international families at this time. This may change in the future so please do not hesitate to contact us again in a few months to see if the need for adoptive homes overseas is yet again a reality for some of the children in our care.

How is that for confirmation? I am not worried. God is just teaching me patience and reminding me that I need to have a willingness to be redirected by Him. He is good!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Today I got fingerprinted! It's my first real "doing something" besides just ordering a document online. The gentleman thought I was crazy for wanting a picture, but when I told him I wanted to be able to show my daughter someday, he warmed up right away. Karalyn had to get fingerprinted, too, since she lives in my house. I tried to casually but firmly make it clear that I was the one adopting...not the two of us together! It's so sad that in our society I have to worry that people may think that.

Yesterday I tried to make my doctor's appointment online but it said I wasn't eligible for a physical until 2010. So I called. The woman on the other end was so sweet, figuring out a way to label the appointment so that I would be able to get all the information I needed from my doctor without calling it a "physical." Then she started asking me questions about the adoption. Turns out that she has 3 adopted kids of her own! We sat and chatted for 10 minutes! Isn't God good? I'm so glad that I couldn't make that appointment online...I would've missed the blessing!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Next Steps

So I have decided to start gathering all the documents for my homestudy. I believe God is doing something, and that this adoption would have a part in furthering His Kingdom. However, it may be that He just desires me to struggle through part of the journey, and that no adoption for me would be what glorifies Him. Either way, I know it's up to Him. I am just His servant and will step out with Him in faith until He closes a door or tells me to stop.

I'm am just beginning to go through the study "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. If you haven't done the study, I highly recommend it. It is designed to help Christians know the Will of God--and to take the focus off ourselves and put it back on the Lord. I need to lose the idea of "What is God's Will for my life?" and start asking, "What is God's Will and what part does He want me to play in it?" My prayer is that, in all things, I would experience more of God and be able to partake of the work He is doing around me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I had a long talk with the Director of the Amani Baby Cottage. It was a good conversation. The bottom line is that my application is being rejected because I am single. Now, before all of you jump up and down and cry, "Injustice!" let me explain their position.

They have so many applications right now that they are able to find enough 2-parent families for all of their babies. I think all of us would agree that two parents are better than one (at least I would). He in no way discouraged me from pursuing adoption, but did, in a sweet fatherly way, remind me of all the challenges of becoming a single parent. He cautioned me that the field of eligible men would be very limited--even more so than it is already!

He ended the conversation in prayer. Prayer that the Lord would direct me and open doors at Sanyu if that is the path He has for me. And that He would close doors if it's not. Prayer for my future husband. Prayer for my ministry. Prayer for my family.

Let me say I was blessed by our 45-minute conversation. I am not discouraged. I think my next step is to spend the week in Panama resting in the Lord, waiting to hear from Him. Once I get back, I will either start working toward my homestudy or start remodeling my house. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Call from Amani's Director

Well, this evening I missed the call I've been waiting 3 months for! The Director of Amani Baby Cottage called and left me a message. He asked me to call him tomorrow to discuss my application. I am so nervous to hear his response...I have no idea what to expect or what to say.

Please pray that the Lord guides the conversation and that at the end, it is clear what His will is for my next steps. It is also my prayer that I can get in touch with the Director early tomorrow, as I leave for Panama Thursday morning.

I'll post more after the conversation. Hopefully it will be good news!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chip In to buy a t-shirt!

If you want to purchase a t-shirt, you can do so here. It will send the payment directly into my PayPal account and then I will order your shirt for you. Please make sure to send me an email with your color and size choice. Thanks everyone!

I just recalculated my expenses based on estimates other adoptive families have given me. I just realized that I have all the money I need for the actual adoption part! This means that in less than 8 months I have saved over $9,000! Wow! God is so good! I still need about $8,000 for travel costs (YIKES!), but it's beginning to seem a lot more feasible. Thanks for all of your support!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

African Adoption T-Shirts & Garage Sale Photos

I had these great t-shirts made for everyone who helped at my garage sale. It made all the workers easily identifiable, plus added a nice reminder to the buyers that they were supporting a good cause.

Thanks so much to Francel & Sarah Esquivel for printing these awesome t-shirts, and to Ed Plant for his cuter-than-ever drawing of my future daughter reaching up to be loved!

If anyone is interested in getting one of these shirts to support my adoption, please contact me. I can have them printed in a variety of colors, but gray and light pink are the popular favorites so far. A donation of $20 each would be appreciated, and if you live close, I'll hand deliver for free! :)

Galen printed these awesome signs to help us advertise what we were doing.

And now here's a funny story...

We wanted to get a picture of all of us girls wearing our shirts. Well, all the guys had disappeared, so my mom asked this woman to take our picture. BUT, she didn't speak English, so she thought my mom was asking her to get in the picture with us. She's in the yellow shirt. We were all trying so hard not to bust out laughing...we didn't want her to feel bad! Check out Charmetra though...can you tell she's dying???

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Garage Sale Success!

Wow! Let me say it!! In two days at the garage sale, I raised over $1300 towards my adoption! I am utterly exhausted, but incredibly encouraged! Thanks to so many of you who contributed items--a ton of things--and to those who helped set up and sell. You are all amazing friends, and my little girl will be coming so much sooner because of all of your hard work.

Monday, May 25, 2009

And More Encouragement

I had written to Barbara, the Director of Sanyu a little while ago, asking what would happen if I got to Sanyu and there were no girls available. Apparently, I sounded somewhat panicked. Here is her sweet response:

Hello Melissa,

I pray for you and with God all things are possible. So am sure when you get at Sanyu, there will be a girl God has provided for you. So relax my dear and know that you will get a child.

Be blessed!


Sunday, May 24, 2009


My new online friend, Tanya, is at Sanyu right now to be matched with a child. She posted on Facebook today that they have identified an 8-month old baby girl for her! For all of the discouragement I've been handed about the rarity of little girls, I was reminded again that our Great God can do anything. Tanya's little girl arrived at Sanyu just one week ago! That means that while she was planning her trip, saving her money, getting her homestudy done--that baby girl wasn't there yet. God brought her to Sanyu just in time to meet her mama. I love that!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Garage Sale Fundraiser

My garage sale is scheduled for Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30. I have received a lot of donations...a big thanks to all of you!!

If anyone wants to help, I would still LOVE to have more people around. I really don't like garage sales, but if this helps bring my daughter home, then of course I'll do it! In all honesty I would love the company, so if you have any time to spare, stop by for an hour or two or three or four!

At this point I am about at the halfway point! I can't believe I've saved so much money in such a short amount of time! There is still a long way to go, but I know the Lord will provide every dollar I need. He is a faithful and loving God!

I'm also working on having t-shirts printed. I think the design is pretty neat, and I'm hoping some of you will want to buy them to support my fundraising efforts. Ideally you will want the shirt because you like it, and as an added bonus you'll be supporting me! Once I get the design finalized I will post it on my blog and you can order one if you'd like!

My new online blogging friend, Tanya, is in Uganda right now to be matched with her child at Sanyu! Please pray for a smooth visit and clear guidance for her as she steps out in faith. Like me, Tanya is single, a teacher, and a Christian! I am watching her journey like a hawk and am thrilled to be able to see her journey all the way through. It is such an encouragement.

It's very late, and I have to work tomorrow. I suppose I'd better go. I'll report back after the garage sale...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I wonder if this could be the last Mother's Day I will celebrate as a non-mom?

Happy Mother's Day to all my sweet family and friends who are blessed to be mommies! I am so thankful to have you all as role models of what it means to be a good mom! And especially, thanks to my mom. She really is the most amazing full of love, sacrifice, and devotion to each one of her kids and grandkids. We are a blessed family!

There has been no answer yet from Amani. I know it seems weird to be waiting for them to answer when I really feel led to work with Sanyu now. It may not make sense, but I'm really praying that the Lord would speak through the Board at Amani. It's been my prayer from the beginning, so it's still my prayer today. The silence may be God telling me to wait. As it stands, there are no little girls at either Amani or Sanyu who are "adoptable." That means my daughter is not there waiting for me. If she were, it would be a whole different story. But she's not there yet. She's not ready for me to get her.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from a woman I met through the blogging world. She told me that little girls are "very, very rare" at Sanyu. Surprisingly, I wasn't discouraged. If the Lord has a daughter for me, it doesn't matter how unlikely it is...He is the God of great wonders! With 2 million orphans in Uganda, it doesn't seem like much of a feat to get one of them to Sanyu in time for my arrival. Does it?

On a happy note, I counted all of the money in my "Adoption Fundraising" jar. I've kept all of my spare change, recycling money, and a few tubes of quarters from friends. I couldn't believe the total--I've put $619.75 in that jar in 3 months!!! Wow! If the Lord ends up telling me not to adopt, I'm going to have a nice chunk of change to do something with...I guess 'll either end up with a remodeled house or a daughter.

I vote for the daughter, Lord!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


It has been over two weeks since my application was received at Amani, and I still have not gotten a concrete answer from them. I prayed so hard that their response would be a clear indication of whether I was to move forward with this adoption or not. Since I haven't really gotten a response, I can't take it as a "yes" or a "no." It's a I'm looking into other orphanages, and have found one that seems very reputable. It has been recommended to me by various people, including the family in Uganda who had originally (but indirectly) sent me to Amani.

The new orphanage I am looking at is Sanyu Babies' Home in Kampala. It is the oldest orphanage in the country and is very near Brian & Lynne. That means I can probably stay with them while I'm in Uganda! The Sanyu website is: www. Sanyu Babies. com

I would greatly welcome your prayers as I continue to seek the Lord in this. Let His Will be done!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So here is where I stand as of today. I mailed my application and it was received by Mary (she is in Texas and reviews all applications) on Friday, March 13. She then spoke to "The Board" (don't know exactly who they are) and Danyne (Director of the orphanage in Uganda). On Monday I received an e-mail from her which said,
"Danyne told me today to tell you that at this time, we don't have a little girl. We will be watching and praying. So sorry that this is not the time. Blessings, Mary"

I wasn't sure exactly what that meant. Am I now on a waiting list? Or since there is no match for me, is my application discarded? I e-mailed back and asked Mary to clarify for me.

Yesterday, I got this message from Mary:
"Hello Melissa,
I need to talk with Danyne early in the morning. She was at a special dinner when I called this morning. So, I will ask her directly your questions and get back to you as soon as I have some info. Can you tell me what age a little girl you would like? Is an older ie 3 or 4 ok? Let me know tonight if you can. Thanks,

I wrote Mary back with a definite, "YES!" on the idea of accepting a 4-year old. I did not hear from her today as I had hoped. So I wait, and rejoice in God's goodness to keep me "peace-filled." Yes, I am peace-filled. Not peace-ful, because to me that implies that the peace is flowing out from me. No, it's just the opposite--the Lord is pouring His peace into me. It is a constant filling, every moment of the day. I can honestly say I have peace. When I started this journey, the Lord gave me Isaiah 55:12 which says, "You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace..." And He is faithful to all His promises!

I have heard from so many adoptive parents that adoption is not for the faint of heart. I am so thankful that the Lord has been teaching me patience for so many years prior to this journey.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Application Mailed!

Today I mailed my application to the Amani Baby Cottage. I can't believe it! I have been thinking of and praying for this day for years. It's crazy!

The office that reviews the applications is actually in Texas, so the paperwork doesn't have far to go. I have no idea yet how quickly I will hear a response, but I welcome your prayers. I am pleading with the Lord to make His Will known to me through the answer to this application. If I am off the path He has for me, I pray He pulls me back now. If I'm hearing clearly from Him, I pray that I receive a favorable response from the orphanage and can proceed in confidence.

Would you join with me in prayer as I await a response?