Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why Is International Adoption SO Expensive? (Part 2)

In my previous post I broke down the fees that we have paid for our adoption so far ($14,755). That’s a lot less than $40,000 (the estimated total for our adoption). So, where is the rest of the money going?
            Our next step is a home study update in December. Our home study has to be updated by our in-state agency yearly until we receive a referral. The fee for the actual update is $1,000. To have our home study updated, though, we also have to have medicals done again (blech!). We recently switched pediatricians and when our new doctor heard that we were getting physicals done for an adoption, she graciously gave us a huge discount on the children’s exams. She normally charges $200 per new patient, but she only charged us $135 for all three of our children! Such a blessing! Joshua and I still have to get physicals done (with more lab work) and I’m not sure how much that will cost yet, but it could be another $900 if it’s close to what it was last time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Is International Adoption SO Expensive? (Part 1)

We regularly receive two questions about our adoption. The most common question is, “Why Ethiopia?” (check out Why NOT Ethiopia? to read my response). The second most common question we get is, “Why does international adoption cost SO much?” It’s alright. You don’t have to hide your shock when I tell you that our adoption is going to cost roughly $40,000. When we first added everything up, the figure shocked me, too.

            We get some interesting reactions when we disclose the estimated total of our adoption, such as, “Isn’t that just a rip off?” “That’s just child trafficking!” and, “You know, you could spend that money better by [insert a thousand other ways we could spend a huge amount of money].” We also hear a lot from people who would genuinely love to adopt internationally but are afraid of becoming part of some racket. Hopefully, the following will help relieve some of those concerns.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fundraising Flops

            Fundraising has been a necessary part of our adoption journey. We have been extremely blessed by the generosity of others, and the amount of money raised at some of our fundraising events has floored us. But every now and then we have an idea that completely flops. One such idea was selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

We had been talking for a couple of weeks about doing a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. You can buy a dozen doughnuts for $3.75 and sell it at their suggested price of $8, thus making a $4.25 profit. To participate, you have to buy a minimum of 25 dozen. We had a coupon for 20 gift certificates if we bought a minimum of 100 dozen doughnuts, and even though t

hat was lot of doughnuts, we would only have to sell 44 boxes to break even. No big deal, surely. Saturday was going to be Sweetest Day and we decided that would be the perfect opportunity for a doughnut fundraiser.

We contacted the store where we had done our bake sale last year and asked if we could do another fundraiser. They said sure. We knew we were taking a risk (100 dozen doughnuts is not cheap) but they’re doughnuts! Everybody loves doughnuts! And it was Sweetest Day! People were going to be looking for sweet stuff anyway. AND we have two completely adorable little boys! Who could refuse when a three year old comes up and says, “Would you like to buy some dough-uts?” Well…. Apparently…. My kid is not as cute as I think he is ;) That in addition to a few other problems made this the most hilariously disastrous fundraiser we’ve done yet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Pornography Before I Got Married

I love my husband. He is a godly man, and I respect him more than any other man in the world. Though he is influenced by his history, his past does not define him. I share this information with Joshua's encouragement. We want to help others break free from the bondage of pornography. It destroys hearts, marriages, families, and society. But most important, pornography addiction destroys your relationship with God. It is our prayer that, by being transparent and honest about the struggles in our own lives, Joshua and I can help someone else overcome this sin and heal from the destruction pornography brings. There is forgiveness in Christ, and through Him there is victory.


Before Joshua and I officially started courting, he told me that he had been involved in pornography. He wanted to make that clear before I committed to a relationship with him so that I knew exactly who he was and who he had previously been. He told me how sorry he was for his actions and the way his past would affect our future, and he asked me to forgive him. His complete honesty and humility impressed me.

Joshua’s confession came as no surprise. Perhaps I was a little jaded, but at least I wasn’t na├»ve. Few men escape childhood and adolescence unscarred by pornography’s claws, and I knew that no matter who I married the likelihood of my future husband having a history of porn use was extremely high. Even so, I was not as aware of the effects of pornography as I would like to have been. I knew it would affect our marriage, but I didn’t know how much. Here are five things about pornography that I wish I could go back and tell my unmarried self:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Livin' On Love: Making Ends Meet While Living on a Single Income

When my husband and I first got married in July 2011, I was a homemaker and Joshua was working two part-time jobs that kept him away from home 16 hours a day. That lasted about a month before we realized his work schedule was not good for our marriage. I mean, we had seen each other for more waking hours before we got married! He quit his job with Riceland and continued to work for FedEx. Two years and two babies later, we were still making it on a single, part-time income. It was challenging and stressful at times. We often went without certain things that most people think of as necessities. But we were happy, our family was healthy, and we were living that way purposefully.

We had several things going for us which helped make it possible for me to stay home. We lived in Marion, Arkansas at the time, which is a relatively inexpensive area. We both went into marriage debt-free and didn’t have the stress of having to pay back loans. We also went into marriage with a little bit of savings built up (this ended up paying for our first homebirth). This all definitely helped, but even without these blessings we would have tried our best to find a way to let me stay home. It is so important to both the physical and the spiritual wellbeing of our family.

Once Joshua quit Riceland we were typically bringing home around $1600 a month. It wasn’t easy. It can be frustrating to live on a tight budget and have to watch every penny. It was sometimes lonely when everyone else from church went out to eat and we went home to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But it was so worth it for me to be able to stay home with my babies and actually see and spend time with my husband!

I know that not everyone is able to live this way. This article is not intended to convince you that being a homemaker is best (although I believe it is). It is not meant for those who have no desire to remain home full-time. I am writing this article for those of you who deeply long to be home with your family but who need help figuring out ways to make it work financially. And for those of you who are already doing these things - keep on keeping on! I want to offer you the encouragement that it IS possible and that it IS worth the sacrifices it takes to live on one income. 

Here are some of the things we did to make it possible to live on a single, part-time income for our first two and a half years of marriage:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bumgenius 3.0 Review

While I was pregnant with our first child, we decided to cloth diaper. We were living on a small income (watch for future posts on making it possible to be a SAHM on a tight budget) and disposables were not an affordable option. But, neither was dropping hundreds of dollars to buy a stash of expensive, brand new cloth diapers. In the long run, cloth is very economical (especially if you plan on using them for more than one child) but the initial payout can be difficult to work into the budget. The top brands were appealing, but we just couldn’t spend $16+ per diaper and have enough to make it through a whole day, so we planned on using the cheaper prefolds. Near the end of my pregnancy, however, a dear friend blessed us with her gently used Bumgenius 3.0 diapers and I was SO excited!

I think my friend had used the diapers for 6 or 9 months, but her son kept getting rashes from them for unknown reasons. She had taken good care of them and all 24 diapers were still in like-new condition. The Bumgenius 3.0s are one-size, Velcro, pocket diapers. We LOVED them. It was easy to get a good fit, they absorbed well, and the colors were super cute. It was a little difficult for other people to learn how to stuff them properly, but once stuffed they were easy to put on so if we were having someone over to help with the kids I just pre-stuffed a bunch for them.

HOWEVER, partly due to my wash routine and partly due to age, by the time my son was 11 months old

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Love Fights!

Hello everybody! I wanted to let you know about an adoption fundraiser that our friends over at Kentucky Brewed Tees are hosting for us. They have designed an awesome t-shirt to help raise money for our adoption and awareness for orphans everywhere. Check it out!

Isn't that a cool shirt?! It captures so much of why we are pursuing adoption. Love doesn't just sit back and talk. Love steps up and fights to defend the helpless. It really is a battle against Satan sometimes. But it's what the Father calls us to do. We are so thankful that Ben and Emilee and their team have chosen to donate their time and talent to helping us fight for and defend our little one.

Grab your shirt HERE and the proceeds will be donated to our adoption! And don't forget to share the link and spread the word!

Baby Mine

Just popping in real quick to share some exciting news!

IT'S A BOY!!!!

Our third baby boy arrived on May 7 after a beautiful labor and home birth. He weighed 9lbs 2oz and was 22 1/2 inches long. We are loving him to pieces and settling into a routine. Hopefully I will get a chance soon to write more details on his birth.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Life Is A Life: Ectopic Ethics

I recently found out that an acquaintance of mine who was due two weeks before I am lost her baby. She was seven months along. Seven months. The news of her loss hit close to home. Miscarriages and stillbirths have really gotten to me during this third pregnancy, even more so than with my first two. With my first two, I breathed a sigh of relief once we were passed 27 weeks. Premature babies born at that stage have about a 90% chance of survival. The likelihood of losing my baby was very small by that point and it gave me some peace of mind. But this pregnancy is different. This time around, at nearly every stage of my pregnancy, a friend or an acquaintance that was due about when I am has miscarried or delivered a stillborn baby. It seems that at every turn there is another reminder that there is no guarantee my baby will survive long enough for me to hold. That’s a sobering thought, and a difficult one for this third trimester mama to handle.

The news of K’s loss was upsetting for another reason, too. It was not discovered until after she passed out and was taken to the hospital that K’s baby had developed outside of the uterus. He had survived this way for seven months, but by the time they got to the hospital it was too late to save him. Had they known sooner that K’s baby was ectopic, they almost certainly would have been able to safely deliver him prematurely via C-section. And yet, if they had known sooner, nearly everyone would have recommended an early abortion, because most people believe it is impossible for an ectopic baby to survive long enough to deliver safely. How many more ectopic babies could safely reach this stage of pregnancy and be delivered healthy if we were not so quick to accept common medical claims?


            Early last year my husband and I were asked our views on ectopic pregnancies and whether or not an abortion would be acceptable in such a case. Neither of us knew much about ectopic pregnancies at the time, so our answer was based on what we did know – that life is a gift from God and that abortion is murder regardless of the motives and circumstances surrounding the act. The angry reactions to our stance were astonishing and prompted many hours of research on the topic.

            In a normal pregnancy the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus and implants in the uterus wall. In an ectopic pregnancy the baby implants somewhere other than inside the uterus, such as the outside wall of the uterus, elsewhere in the abdominal cavity, or in the fallopian tube itself (referred to as a “tubal pregnancy”). Because this is not how a normal pregnancy is designed to develop, an ectopic pregnancy will often quickly and naturally end in a miscarriage. Sometimes the baby will continue to grow where it is implanted. This poses a potentially life-threatening risk to the mother as it can cause hemorrhaging and the mother can bleed to death.

            What most medical professionals will tell you is that a baby may possibly (though rarely) survive certain types of ectopic pregnancies, but that a tubal pregnancy means certain death to the child and almost certain death to the mother if it is allowed to progress. The fallopian tube is not designed to stretch as the child grows and is not conducive to sustaining life for nine months. Most of the time, when a tubal pregnancy is left to itself, the growing baby will burst the tube. Usually the baby, left unattached to a life-source, will die and the mother is at risk for severe internal bleeding.

Except, most medical professionals (usually due to their own ignorance) will not tell you that this is what “usually” happens. They will tell you that this is what always happens. That a baby cannot survive a tubal pregnancy. Ever. They will also tell you that the mother will probably bleed to death if the pregnancy progresses far enough to burst the fallopian tube. Because the baby will “certainly” die and the mother could "very likely" die, most medical professionals will recommend an immediate abortion. There is no sense in risking the life of the mother when the child is doomed to die anyway. Or, so the reasoning goes.

            The “pro-life group” is divided on this issue. There are those who 100% believe that it is never morally ethical to purposefully end the life of a baby. Then there are those who believe that in most cases it is wrong to end a baby’s life, but that certain situations do necessitate an abortion. During our research I posed the question to a number of my Christian friends and mentors: In an ectopic tubal pregnancy, is it morally ethical to end the life of the child in order to save the life of the mother? I had asked expecting to receive affirmation of my beliefs and perhaps help with more persuasive ways of wording what I already knew to be true. I was shocked by the responses I received. The majority of the Christians my husband and I contacted replied that abortion is usually wrong. But in the case of a tubal pregnancy, a circumstance in which they believe one innocent life (the mother) will die if you do not terminate the life of another (the baby), they argued that aborting the child is morally acceptable.

            Wait. What?

            Let’s back up. Why is abortion wrong? Because it ends an innocent life, which is murder. God clearly condemns murder. “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). Electing to end the life of a baby prematurely is murder, whether you think that baby will die anyway or not. It makes no difference whether that baby is located in the uterus where most babies safely grow or in the fallopian tube where it poses a risk to the mother’s life. To intentionally put an end to the innocent life of a child is murder.

            Many of those I contacted argued that if you know for certain that the baby is going to die anyway, it would be irresponsible to let the pregnancy take the life of the mother as well. The mother could survive just fine if the baby were removed. Why should two innocents die when one can live?

            Hold up. Back up. Why is abortion wrong? Because it ends the life of an innocent person. “Do not kill the innocent and righteous” (Exodus 20:13).

            “But the baby is going to die anyway. If we go ahead and end its life just a few hours early, an innocent woman will go home alive.”

“Do not kill the innocent” (Exodus 20:13).

“But the baby cannot possibly survive!”

            “Do not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

            “But what if this woman has three other children at home to take care of? We can’t just let her die!”

            “Do not kill the innocent” (Exodus 20:13).

            Whether that child lives 80 years after birth or whether it dies at 7 weeks gestation in the fallopian tube, that baby has life. That baby has a soul. Let’s be honest. Do we really believe that life begins at conception? Do we really believe that every life is precious? Do we really believe that God meant what He said when He commanded us not to take the life of the innocent? Really? Then why is it okay to end the life of a baby because we are afraid of what will happen if we allow it to live? A life is a life, no matter how brief. No matter how short that baby’s life may be, it is still a LIFE. We have no right to end it.

We don’t always know what we think we know. We are not God and we can never know 100%, without a doubt, that a baby has no chance of survival. When I began researching I too thought that it was absolutely certain that all tubal babies die prematurely. That’s what everyone was telling me. The overwhelming majority are convinced that there is no way such a baby can naturally survive, and that we do not currently have the medical advances to intervene and save the child. Even the Association of Pro-Life Physicians states that, “There are no cases of ectopic pregnancies in a fallopian tube surviving.”[i] But what if we were all wrong? I am so thankful that there was one woman I contacted who chose to look deeper. She sent me here: Ectopic Personhood: Fact Sheet on Ectopic Pregnancy. This enlightening article corrects several myths surrounding ectopic pregnancies. Let’s look at some of those myths.

Myth #1: Ectopic pregnancies are not viable

This has been proven false over and over, in various types of ectopic pregnancies.

Valdir Gabriel – Delivered at 8 months after being carried in an area between the stomach and uterus.

Durga, the "Miracle Baby" – It was not discovered until the doctors performed a scheduled C-section at 38 weeks that Durga had been growing in her mother’s ovary. Durga was 6lbs 3oz when she was born in May 2008.

Baby Attached to Colon and Uterus – In 1985, a baby who had been growing outside the uterus was delivered live at 34 weeks.

Eva Cawte – It was discovered at a 20 week scan that Eva had implanted outside the uterus. The doctors suggested aborting the baby, but Eva’s parents decided to continue the pregnancy. In July 2010, Eva was delivered alive at 30 weeks.

For many more abdominal ectopic pregnancy survival stories, take a look at this page: Another Baby Survives Ectopic Pregnancy. For even more information, go here: Successful Ectopic Pregnancies.

“Okay,” you might be saying, “but those are abdominal ectopic pregnancies. We understand that a baby can occasionally survive an ectopic pregnancy in some places outside of the uterus. But, what about tubal pregnancies, the kind where the baby implants in the fallopian tube? Doesn’t that always mean death to the child?”

Myth #2: There are no cases of ectopic pregnancies in a fallopian tube surviving

As mentioned earlier, this is even stated by the Association of Pro-Life Physicians. But they’re wrong. Some abdominal ectopic pregnancies actually started out as tubal pregnancies. The tissue from a developing placenta is capable of relocating from the tube to various other sites in the abdomen. Many abdominal pregnancies are simply a progression of tubal pregnancies in which the tube burst and the baby re-implanted elsewhere.

Ronan Ingram – One of a set of triplets, Ronan was a tubal baby. While his sisters developed normally inside the uterus, Ronan implanted in his mother’s fallopian tube. As is often the case, the tube ruptured. But to everyone’s surprise, Ronan survived and reattached to the outside wall of the uterus, creating his own womb, and there continued to thrive. In September 1999, all three babies were delivered alive and healthy via C-section at 29 weeks. The triplets are now 15 years old.

Katie Pratt – In a case similar to Ronan, but years earlier, Katie was a tubal baby who also burst through the tube and re-implanted on the main blood vessels.

Myth #3: The mother will almost certainly bleed to death if the tube ruptures

The actual danger of a mother bleeding to death in the U.S. due to a ruptured tube is pretty small. Don’t get me wrong, the potentially severe internal bleeding is a major concern. However, “Treatment with autotransfusion instead of abortion has a success rate of 99.84%.”[ii] Autotransfusion is basically taking the blood the mother is losing, filtering it, and pumping it back to her. One study showed that in Israel the lowest survival rate for women who did not abort their babies prior to rupture was 88%![iii] In the U.S., some figures suggest that you would have close to a 97.7% chance of surviving an ectopic pregnancy. Even if you do not have an abortion before your tube ruptures, you still have an extremely high chance of survival.

Both mother and baby CAN survive implantation in the fallopian tube. Is it rare for the baby to survive? That’s a tricky question. More than half of all tubal pregnancies end in early miscarriage. The ones that don’t are usually aborted upon discovery. So, perhaps it is rare, but perhaps that is only because we don’t give them a chance.

It boggles my mind that there is not more research being done to find ways of preserving the life of the baby, especially given that in the U.S. the mother has an extremely high chance of survival even if her tube does rupture. If a baby can detach and reattach naturally, wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to successfully transplant these babies into the uterus? Hmm… That sounds familiar… Oh, that’s right. It’s been done. And it was done 100 years ago this year.

September 13, 1915, C.J. Wallace, M.D. operated on a 27-year-old woman for a fibroid tumor and discovered an ectopic pregnancy in her left tube. After removing the tumor, Dr. Wallace made the quick decision to attempt to transplant the baby into the uterus. Following the surgery, the patient was carefully monitored for two weeks and then released. The pregnancy progressed normally and a healthy baby boy was delivered on May 2, 1916.

In a 1916 issue of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Dr. Wallace relates the particulars of the operation and comments,

“Why have we all these many years been so willing to deprive these little children of the right to live just because they were started wrong. In this day of advanced surgery, with the art of transplanting different parts, and, in fact organs of the body, I wonder at the escape of so important a procedure, entailing so little danger, as the transplanting of an ectopic pregnancy from the fallopian tube into the uterus, thus permitting the child to develop and be born as was its intention before its progress was obstructed.”[iv]
His article goes on to point out that the structure of the tube is practically the same as in the uterus and that the uterus actually keeps up with the gestation of the baby for a time, thus providing an excellent environment for transplantation.

“Up to a certain point the tubal gestation is identical with the intra-uterine gestation. Up to a certain point the uterus keeps pace with the tubal gestation and actually forms a decidua, enlarges, softens, grows darker in color, and in fact takes on all the early features of pregnancy.”
Amazing! You can read the original article here: Transplantations of Ectopic Pregnancy from Fallopian Tube to Cavity of Uterus. Dr. Wallace went on to say, “I have not the least doubt that many such transplanted ectopic pregnancies will be reported in the future.” Unfortunately, he was sadly mistaken.

I was only able to find one other case where such a surgery was attempted: Tubal Embryo Successfully Transferred in Utero. In 1980 a 27-year-old woman was found to be carrying an ectopic baby in her fallopian tube. The baby was immediately removed, placed in a saline solution, and then successfully transplanted into the uterus. A healthy infant was born at term.

To me, all of this is fascinating, remarkable, inspiring. But completely beside the point. The fact that a baby does have a chance, however slim it may be, of surviving an ectopic pregnancy does not change the fact that intentionally ending the life of an unborn baby is murder. Period. It is not wrong to kill the child because there is a chance he could survive. It is simply wrong to kill the child!

We humans aren’t as smart as we think we are. But God in His wisdom gave us a command. You. Shall. Not. Murder. In the case of a tubal pregnancy, you have no way of knowing whether or not that baby could be one of the ones to survive. You have no idea whether the mother would actually bleed to death if the tube ruptured. You can’t know. But it doesn’t matter. Because you DO know what God has to say about ending the life of an innocent person. The stakes may seem high to us, but the consequences of disregarding a law of God are much more grave.

Note: For more information on ectopic pregnancy, please visit One page of particular interest may be Ectopic Personhood, in which it is estimated that 24% of tubal babies could be delivered alive. Also consider, it is estimated that roughly 40% of pregnancies diagnosed as ectopic are later discovered to be normal, intrauterine pregnancies [Presumed Diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy].

Note #2: I do not necessarily believe that attempting to transplant a baby into the uterus is the best course of action. The number of babies who safely grow where they naturally implant makes me think it might be wisest to leave them where they are while under careful monitoring and then deliver via C-section somewhere around 29-30 weeks.

[images courtesy of]

[i] The Association of Pro-life Physicians, “Are There Rare Cases When an Abortion is Justified?”
[ii] The Personhood Initiative, “Fact Sheet on Ectopic Pregnancy”
[iii] The Personhood Initiative, “Fact Sheet on Ectopic Pregnancy”
[iv] Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics pg. 578, “Transplantations of Ectopic Pregnancy from Fallopian Tube to Cavity of Uterus”

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fundraising Update - Spaghetti Dinner and Auction

With the holidays now over I finally have some time to give an update on our adoption fundraising. On November 22 we hosted a spaghetti dinner and live auction, during which we also ran a craft sale and bake sale. Everything was donated by our amazing friends and family, and really all we had to do was organize the items being auctioned.

A sweet friend from our congregation, Loretta, was the driving force behind the event. Her daughter recently adopted and, therefore, adoption is very close to her heart. She has been one of our biggest supporters, and without her encouragement we never could have pulled off the dinner. Loretta sold tickets, donated items for the auction, found a banquet hall where we could hold the event, paid for half of the rental fee, donated the food for the dinner, and cooked up a huge batch of homemade spaghetti noodles and sauce! This woman is amazing, y’all. We are so thankful for her and her efforts to help us bring our little one home.

After four weeks of preparation, the big day arrived. We had about 12 volunteers who helped set up and clean up, served the food, kept track of auction sales, and manned the craft and bake sale tables. Everything was set up beautifully in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. The food was delicious, and we really enjoyed the fellowship. We had about 50 people in attendance.

We received so many donations for the craft sale that it filled two tables to overflowing. We had originally hoped to get a table at a Christmas craft fair, but all the tables were booked so we just combined the craft sale with the spaghetti dinner. Hopefully we will be able to get into a craft fair in the spring. Laura and Kathryn donated everything for the bake sale. They made gorgeous cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, and snickers cookies that I was drooling over. We really appreciate their time and effort!

We began to serve around 1:00 and started the auction at about 1:45. Joshua had a blast playing auctioneer. He spent the week beforehand watching youtube videos and practicing his auctioneer chant. He got to be pretty impressive. Everyone was surprised to learn that this was his first time conducting an auction. We had many generous donations for the auction, including a painting by one of the members of our congregation, a set of golf clubs, handmade jewelry, crocheted blankets, movie baskets, and gift certificates from our chiropractor for $100 worth of adjustments and a one hour massage.

We had the most fun at the end of the event. At the beginning of the auction, Joshua offered two “Invasion Insurance” policies. He didn’t tell what they were for, just that they were very valuable and that you may very much regret not purchasing a policy. He started the bid at $0.25 and I think we made $2.50 off of the first policy and $2 off the second. At the very end of the auction, Joshua revealed what the insurance protected against: King Asa, the goldfish king, and his two goldfish minions. (“Asa” means fish in Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language).

I borrowed this idea from an auction fundraising blog that mentioned playing this game with a goat. We thought goldfish would be more acceptable with this crowd :) Here’s how it worked. Everyone had the opportunity to bid for the chance to “gift” King Asa to someone else in the room, unless that person had purchased the “Invasion Insurance”. If the person who was “gifted” with the goldfishes did not want to take them home, they had to pay a fee to put the fishies back up for auction. Everyone had a great time with this game, and it was hilarious to see the looks on people’s faces when they were “gifted” with the bowl of fishes. It went on for several rounds, with people having to pay increasing fees with each round to get rid of King Asa, until Joshua randomly decided that the next person to receive the gift would have to take them home (so that we didn’t end up taking them home ourselves!). Dennis was the lucky new owner of three pet goldfishes. After the auction, he immediately turned around and gave them to his grandchildren. His daughter and son-in-law were overjoyed ;) 

We were incredibly blessed by the generosity of our friends that night. Altogether, we made $877 from the spaghetti dinner/auction/craft/bake sale. The following Sunday we received donations totaling around $600 from people who were unable to make it to the dinner but who wanted to help us out with our adoption anyway. Once again, God provided above and beyond our expectations. With the money raised that weekend and the $128 raised the following weekend off of another bake sale, we were able to make an overdue payment to our agency. Now we only have one more payment of $2,666 to make and we will be put on the waiting list to be matched with our child!

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, support, and encouragement. It means the world to us and we are humbled by your generosity. May God bless you as you continue to serve Him!