Wow & Thanks!

November 24, 2008

Just a few weeks ago Steve was teaching our students about worship. He put into simple terms that the way we should approach God in our worship is with “wow and thanks”. “Wow” for who God is and “Thanks” for all that He has done. As I stood in the Coventry Oaks Shelter this past Friday night for the “Born in our Hearts” fundraiser event, I was overwhelmed with the phrase “wow and thanks”.

Tears streamed down my face as I looked around this beautiful room. Children, teenagers, college students, young adults, and families filled the room. It was so great to spend time with our current students and their families, former students who are now in college, friends from all different circles of our lives, and people that we had never met but wanted to encourage us in our journey.

We also had the privilege of meeting families who have adopted from Russia. I was introduced to a precious little girl adopted from Russia 10 years ago. I told her how exciting it was to see her face and meet her. Her sweet, little face beamed and it was amazing to get to spend some time with her parents and hear their story of adoption.

The whole evening was such a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ in action. For food, we had 15 different kinds of soup (all home made and brought by different people), dozens of different desserts, beautiful cakes decorated with fresh flowers sat on every table, all created by our friend Carey. College students served the soups and drinks and at the end of the night, other friends completely washed all of the dishes. Eric Hays led us in song and it was such a beautiful sound to hear all of us together with one voice singing “How great is our God.”

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Steve and I were able to share a little bit of our story; how God has directed our path, moving before us in this whole process. Then Dave and Jen Smith led a precious time of prayer, with each table praying specifically for the adoption, for us, and for our little St. Pete. It was one of the most encouraging and uplifting days of my life. It’s such an incredible story to be able to tell our little one of the hundreds of people who came together on a Friday night in November just for them. I can’t wait to tell him/her all about this amazing night and all of the people who have loved him before we ever knew him.

Thank you to all who came, who served, who brought food, who prayed for the event. We still are finding it difficult to put into words our immense gratitude. At the end of the night, I had forgotten that one of the reasons we were having this event was to raise money ☺ In my mind, I had a thought of what we would raise and then I had a “secret hope” of what we could raise. And I have to tell you, that the amount that was raised was almost double my secret hope!!!

God has truly given us more than we could have asked or imagined, which was my prayer from the beginning. He gave us more encouragement, more hope, more love, and more financial support than we could ever have asked or imagined. And while we know we still have a long journey ahead of us, we have been given a boost of energy, excitement and perseverance to keep going with joy and gratitude.

Wow and Thanks….to God who initiated all of the stirring and the ideas and the calling. Wow and Thanks to all who were involved in this amazing evening. Wow and thanks to God for how He is using people in our journey towards adoption. And wow and thanks to this beautiful calling of adoption on our lives…

Updates:

  • Our case worker told us she still has not heard that we have been officially registered. We’re hoping this week.
  • We still have not yet heard from the 2 other grant organizations we applied to for financial help.
  • After this past weekend, we are now closer to our financial goal and we are so grateful.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that we would be registered this week
  • Pray for our little one (who may be born) for warmth, touch and love from their caregivers
  • Pray that we would hear from the other 2 grant organizations

We will update our blog this time next week! Love, Kate & Steve

Lots to Look Forward to

November 17, 2008

To start things off today, here is an email I received last week from our case worker at CWA:

“Good news! I was told yesterday by our program director, after speaking to our facilitator in your region, that they expect to register your dossier on Monday, 11/17.  I will let you know when I have confirmation, which will probably be mid-week.”

This is exciting news and we are praying that we will hear the “official word” and be able to announce the news at our big event on Friday. We are so much looking forward to “Born in our Hearts” on Friday night. Steve and I spent a couple of hours this afternoon talking about what we want to share and how we want to share it. I’m so excited. Our prayer is that Friday evening will be an evening full of encouragement, inspiration, education and laughs for all. I hope you’ll be able to share in it with us.

Here is a little preview: We will have an opportunity to worship together through songs led by Eric Hays. Dave and Jen Smith will be leading us in a time of interactive prayer. Steve and I will also have a chance to briefly share from our hearts about where God has been bringing us in this journey of adoption. So many people have already been a part of the preparation and will be bringing all different kinds of soups and desserts. I am blown away and humbled at all of the people who are involved in this event. I am so looking forward to a wonderful time together! I hope you can be there. It’s going to be awesome.

Steve and I were planning on spending Thanksgiving up here in Ohio. My mom just had surgery so I didn’t think it would be possible to see them. But my parents called yesterday and said they were wanting to come up to share Thanksgiving with us. My mom also said that they are wanting to help us get started on our NURSERY!! Ahhh!  It’s still very crazy to think about. There has been this room in our house that has always been the “everything” room. I never wanted to officially decorate it because I was always hoping it would be the “baby’s room”. So, for the last 4 years, the empty room has sat as a symbol of my “empty arms”.

I know I probably should have just painted the room and turned it into an “office”. But, I could never bring myself to do it and face the fact that it may never be a nursery. So, the thought of painting and decorating the nursery is a big step for me. It is one more thing that will make this whole process seem even more “real”. I think it will be emotional and exciting, scary and so fun! Can’t wait to post pictures!

Thanks again for journeying with us. We hope that if you’re in the area, that you and your family would join us this Friday night. At the top of our blog is a link called “Nov. 21”. On this link you will find all the information you need regarding any details including how to purchase tickets. I can’t wait to share about it next Monday!

Updates:

  • We are suppose to be “registered” today in St. Petersburg. And hope to have confirmation by Wednesday.
  • Once registered, we begin the “big waiting” for our referral
  • THIS Friday night is our big fundraiser

Prayer Requests:

  • We still haven’t heard back from the 2 grant agencies we applied with. Please pray that they will accept us and be generous with their resources
  • Pray that once we are registered, the dept. in Russia would have wisdom as they select a child for us
  • Pray that Friday night would be an amazing time for all – and that God would blow us away with generosity and provision

Until next Monday, Kate & Steve

Good News & Not As Good News

November 10, 2008

Well, as many of you know, I spent this past week in Italy. Italy is an absolutely beautiful country with great people. I, along with 3 other pastor’s wives from the Chapel went to lead a women’s conference. I led the worship and shared my story of infertility. It was an amazing time and it was unbelievable how God connected our hearts to these women. Sharing my story was difficult, but it was so beautiful to see how God was able to use the pain and hope of my story to connect to the hearts of women across the ocean.

While I was gone, we found out a few things about the adoption. The first is the “not as good news”: we received word that we will not be receiving any finances from one of the three grant organizations we applied to. They said they received over 100 applications for the month of November and they only accept 6 of them. Their contributions are based primarily on financial need. We were disappointed, but we also know that we did all that we could and it was out of our hands.

We also found out that our dossier (paperwork) made it to Russia and is now in the process of being translated and registered. And even though there may be some updates to our paperwork, it will not affect our registration time. So, we are grateful for that and are hoping that by the end of the week or beginning of next week we will be officially “registered” in St. Petersburg! Good news!

But, that brings me to my next “not as good news”. And then I’ll end this post with another “good news” ☺ We also found out this morning that the new wait time for St. Petersburg is an average of 6 months, possibly longer. This means that from when we are officially registered (hopefully in the next week), the 6 month wait (or longer) begins. Russia is moving towards a “foster care” system and away from the “orphanage care” system. And because of that, there will be far less young children available for international adoption. We are excited for the change and hope that it will be beneficial for all of these babies in Russia to have more individualized care in a foster-type system. But, at the same time, it is a little sad for us because that means it will take longer than expected. But, we are still convinced that God is in control, that He has our baby set aside for us and we patiently wait for His plan to unfold before us.

OK. Let’s end on some good news! We have received an outpouring of love and support in regards to the fundraiser dinner we have coming up in a few weeks on November 21st. I am so excited about it and so grateful for all of the hard work that has been put into this event so far. I think it is going to be an amazing, encouraging time for everyone involved! I’d love for you to be able to come and invite all of those that you know – even if we don’t know them. This is going to be our biggest fundraiser by far and probably our last big “financial push.” Here is the flyer that we are handing out to people.

Please feel free to spread the word. The important thing to know is that all tickets must be pre-sold (a rule from the Pavilion). So, the best place to get tickets is to contact Sue Lindsey. SueLindsey@neo.rr.com or you can call her: 330-670-8072. If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, helping out with the night, or if you can’t attend, but would like to buy a ticket anyway, Sue is the person to contact. Additional Info will be posted in the link above called “Nov 21”.born-in-our-hearts2

We are absolutely grateful for the friends that God has given to us. We were never prepared for the outpouring of love and support that we have received so far in this journey towards adoption. Through the pains and frustrations of the waiting process, God has made His love clear to us through His peace that He has given us and through the love of His people in our lives. Thanks for sticking with us through the long haul. Please know that we could have never done this without your support, love, prayers, and encouragement!

Updates:

  • Our paperwork is officially in Russia! Now we wait for translation and registration.
  • We have heard that we did not receive money from one grant organization. And we continue to wait for the other 2.
  • We continue to receive financial support from people all over the country and we are so grateful!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that God would give us His peace and patience as we wait and trust in His timing
  • Pray for “Born in Our Hearts” on November 21st – that the event would be encouraging and inspiring
  • November is Adoption Awareness month – take time to thank God for the birth mothers that chose life and for those that have adopted from all over the world
  • Pray for our little St. Pete that he would be loved and touched and held during these next cold months.

We will update again next Monday. Love, Kate & Steve

Short and Sweet

November 3, 2008

Normally Kate is the one who updates the blog. She is a way better writer than me. But she is in Italy today and will not be back in Ohio until Thursday night. She has been with a group of 3 ladies from our church leading a women’s conference. I just spoke to her on the phone and so far things are going unbelievably well. She is scheduled to speak to a group of teenagers Tuesday night about sexual purity. She is very nervous about this, especially considering she just found out that her audience is completely non-Christian. This is the reality of any overseas ministry trip, things change on the fly. Please keep Kate in your prayers as she now has to approach her talk completely differently.

Not much news to update. So far we still have not heard back from any of the grant organizations we applied with. We are anxiously waiting to hear if we will receive any financial help from them. I also received 2 emails this week from our contact at CWA. The first one was letting us know that our dossier was finally shipped off to Russia which is a praise. But then today I just got another message informing us of yet ANOTHER change in what is required of us. It is pretty annoying because one small change holds up about 200 pages of paperwork, not to mention it pushes our process back by weeks, and costs us additional money.

I didn’t have the heart to tell Kate on the phone because I didn’t want her to have to think about something else while she was having to rewrite her lesson for Tuesday night. Please pray about this situation as well.

Thanks for keeping up with our blog. It really does mean a lot to Kate and I that people care about this journey we are on. It encourages us deeply!

Until next Monday, Steve & Kate