Thursday, July 29, 2010

After the Baby Conference

The amount of laundry after being on the road for one week. Thankfully all our laundry was done before we left!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meeting Postponed Again

Please continue to pray. The meeting with the Ministry has been postponed yet again! In our home we are praying that the girls can come home in August.

By the way today is their 2nd Birthday! Happy Birthday Hannah and Hosanna! Daddy, Mommy and your brothers and sisters are waiting for you to come home.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meeting Postponed

The meeting scheduled for last Friday was postponed until today. We are praying that God will open the doors and allow our little ones to come home now.

Will let you know as soon as we hear!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please Pray

Friday three Liberian gentlemen are going to meet with the Ministry of Justice on our behalf. We are working quickly to get a few letters from our Senators and Governor to send as well.

Please pray that if it be God's will Christiana Tah would allow us to complete our adoption and go to pick up our children. This is a huge opportunity for us. Hannah and Hosanna turn two years old this month. What a celebration it would be for us to be able to bring them home to their forever family.

One amazing note...the Lord laid on our hearts last week before we left to contact the Ministry of Justice in Liberia. We emailed Christiana Tah and pleaded with her to allow our children to come home. Then a week or two later we hear that she has asked to speak with the adoption agencies in Liberia as well as adoptive parents that can make it to the meeting. We do not have the money for me to fly to Liberia tomorrow but with that said we have wonderful representation on our behalf!

Please pray!!!

Adoption Statistics

"The Spirit of Adoption is the visible gospel." Doug Phillips

9.876 Million People
380,000 orphans
4 % of population are orphans
43% of Haitians are under 18 years old

3.793 Million People
270,000 orphans
7 % of population are orphans
68% of Liberians are under 15 years old

United States:
311.666 Million
2.8 million orphans
0.9 % of population are orphans
25% of Americans are under 18 years old

UNICEF Statistics from 2008

147,000,000 orphans world wide

Over 40 times God tells the Israelites to help widows and orphans

"If you really want to be blessed, be concerned about the things that God is concerned about." John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church

Monday's Drive

Well Monday came and went before I was able to write what happened. At 8:00 Andrew, Jonathan, Jordan and Josiah met with AECT ( in San Antonio. AECT is a compressed brick machine company. Andrew and the boys have been looking into building us a home from compressed earth blocks. I am very excited about the possibilities of building a very large home from dirt blocks for very little money.

Andrew has been talking with a man at our church that started him on the idea a few months ago. A few days before we left for Texas Andrew found a company in San Antonio that manufactures machines that compress the dirt into bricks. So at the encouragement of us girls the boys made an appointment to meet with this company.

What we thought would be a short 30 minute meeting turned into over two hours time. They watched as the gentlemen at AECT built a brick, demonstrated the machines and walked them through the building process.

Two incredible things happened that only the Lord could have done. One when Andrew spoke with the secretary at AECT and told her we were from Georgia, she said," oh we just sold a machine to a man in Georgia." He is a pastor in Jackson, Georgia and purchased a compressed earth brick machine to take to LIBERIA to build houses for the people there. WOW ! How very exciting to see God's hand at work.

The other amazing thing was Andrew was chatting with a family at the conference who we greatly admire. Come to find out one of their sons has done great amounts of research into these block homes as well for possible use in humanitarian aid to Africa. Their son was also planning to meet with AECT this coming week for more information.

After we left AECT we headed to town to grab a little lunch and chat for a few minutes about what Andrew and the boys had learned.

We drove all afternoon and evening, with plans to stop in a KOA for the night. As we got toward the east coast of Louisiana we decided to stop at a hotel for the night. Everyone wanted to shower, I needed to wash a few clothes due to some outfits that got bloody due to an accident one little boy had, and we were just looking forward to a great nights sleep! So we found an inexpensive Comfort Inn and Suites. After we checked in the lady told us there was no laundry facility. Oh to WalMart we go. Andrew and I ran in and purchased some cheap t-shirts, socks and undies for those who needed them. All things I would have bought anyway when we got home, but this saved from doing laundry! When we got into our hotel room they had not run the air in the rooms and they were steamy! Took most of the night to cool down the rooms, non-smoking rooms that smelled like all my littles are coughing and wheezing. Not the best way to end vacation, but we wouldn't trade this trip for anything.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday at the Baby Conference

This morning we attended a session on adoption and Haiti. Several families spoke about their experiences with adopiton. It was a very moving part of the conference for me personally. I had to wipe a few tears as David Birdy and Doug Phillips shared about Rescue Haiti's Children. Afterwards I went up to speak with David Birdy. My desire was to see if he had any ideas on how to get our girls home, as he has just brought three girls home from Haiti. Sadly his circumstances were/are very different than ours. He was not able to offer any help but did get a group of people together to pray over me that the Lord would be with Hannah and Hosanna and bring them home safely and quickly.

After the morning session we spent quite a while talking with other families about adoption. I had the priviledge of encouraging other families who are just thinking about caring for orphans in a new way. We then decided to walk into town and grab an early lunch. While at lunch we met another family and visited with them for some time. Then it was back to the convention center for a 1:30 session.

We chose to hear Geoff Botkin and family at 1:30. Geoff spoke on "How to Practice Biblical Discipline in the Home". This session was a highlight for Andrew and I. Not only did Geof do a great job at laying out the Biblical reasons for discipline, his children spoke of how discipline looked in their home. All seven children rose up and blessed Mrs. Botkin for the job she has done in raising and disciplining them! Very convicting. Also a great look at why so many of the so called Christian methods of discipline are not Biblical.

At 4:00 Doug Phillips and many of the speakers from the week offered a few closing comments. There was also a time of testimony given for fathers. Many testified to God's grace in their lives. Several had vasectomy reversals, many had learned the Biblical view on the family. We were all sad that the conference had to come to an end.

Our family stayed around for hours visiting with many old and new friends. We have been invited to many homes...Texas, SOuth Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana...We will be attending another conference in San Antonio in October, at which time we will reconnect with many of these families.

Dinner was wonderful. We went to the Mexican Restaurant we visited yesterday. The waiter we had tonight came to our table to tell us in ten years he has never waited on a nicer family with more respectful children. As we were leaving at 9:30 group of Vision Forum employees came in to eat.

Well it is now midnight again...good news is we don't have to be at the convention center early. We are attending a church service for all the are still in town at 10:30 tomorrow morning. After church we will do a little sightseeing and relax. By the way San Antonio has good Mexican food but the city is not a great place to be. We were walking to our vehicle tonight after dinner and the children watched a drug deal happen, as well as the dress or lack there of is much worse than in Georgia. Well off to bed!

Friday at the Baby Conference

Today was a wonderful day.

Our first session was at 8:30 am. Doug Phillips lead a panel of couples who all had large families in a question and ansrew time. THe Allens, Valentis, Carpenters, Chanceys, Botkins and Phillips spoke about what life looks like in their homes on a day to day basis .

OUr second session was by Geoff Botkin. Geoff spoke on the 50 year anniversary of the pill. He shared the history of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and how the pill has killed millions of babies over the past 50 years.

At 11:30 the girls and I went to a luncheon/tea with Michelle Duggar. Michelle spoke about her family, her new little daughter Josie, as well as many practical thoughts on raising children.

At lunch the girls and I sat with some old friends and many new ones. After lunch we walked down the Riverwalk to find the boys eating at Subway.

Andrew spent the afternoon chatting with men from around the country. He and the children rested for awhile, walked through the vending hall to speak with many vendors like Heritage Fund, a new legal organization designed to help families in a time of legal battle. They also spoke with Hope for Orphans, Samaritian Ministries, and more.

Rebekah and I went to hear Beall Phillips interview Michelle Duggar. It was very enjoyable. Michelle is such a Godly example to mothers! I was sooo encouraged.

Around 4:00 pm our whole family went to a session on BioMedical Ethics. Wow was that challenging. Do you know what your church teaches and believes about In Vitro, surigacy, H+, artificial wombs? Many of the new technologies are downright scary. Andrew and I are still working through what we believe the Bible teaches in some of these areas. Thankfully we have Godly men who are thinking through them with us to encourage us.

For dinner we ate at a local Mexican Restaurant located on the Riverwalk. Our table was on the water. We ate too much chips, salsa and cheese dip but oh was it good!

After dinner we headed back to the convention center for our evening session. The session was incredible. Michelle Duggar received an award for 2010 Mother of the Year. Michelle is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. She is humble, gentle and incredibly wise. The Lord has greatly blessed Jim Bob and Michelle with a family that speaks volumes about what they believe the Bible proclaims about children.

We stayed around talking at the convention center with some friends of ours that live in San Antonio. We are planning to visit at their home in October. On the way back to our KOA we stopped to pick up ice at around midnight at a gas station in yucky town.There were three stray dogs living in the parking lot of this gas station that just ate the trash.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tonights Message

First of all I have been trying to post pictures for over 24 hours and can't get them to load.....internet too slow. So they will be on as soon as I can.

Tonight Doug Phillips spoke about children being a blessing. He also talked about how the pill has been used to kill more than 700 million babies, far more than abortion.

Becky Morecraft sung for us, which is always a treat. She told my little ones, who love her CDs, she sings with her sister Judy Rogers, to promote her music and she will make more for them. Abigail especially loves Judy and Becky's songs.

Geoff Botkin spoke on embryology. It was incredible! He used clay to demonstrate how the Lord forms us and how the baby develops in the first 57 days, going from one cell to 1 million cells! I learned a few things that I will share tomorrow.

Now it is after midnight and I am ready for bed. Tomorrow we start again at 8:30!

Oh by the way we have connected with soooo many families that we know and have met over the years. We are tired tonight but having a great time.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Morning from Louisiana

We all slept great last night! We pulled into the KOA a little after 9:30 pm. James, Noah, Gideon, Abigail and Eden were already asleep on the bunk beds in the back. When we arrived Jordan and Josiah showered in the motorhome, while Jonathan, Rachel and Rebekah went to shower in the KOA bathrooms.

When we finally settled in to bed it wasn't five minutes later and Abigail rolled off the bottom bunk bed with a thump! She slept with Andrew and I all night. Eden slept all night in her bed on the floor.

I set the alarm for 6:30 am but realized this morning when it went off that my blackberry does not change times zones on its own. So....we were up at 5:30 am Louisiana time. Andrew and I showered and were on the road pretty quickly.

The grass is so very green in Louisiana. Off to Texas....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pictures of our Travels

We are on the road


6:30 am - rise and shine! Today we finally head to Texas to the Baby Conference! We have been waiting for this trip for months.

7:30 am - We are leaving to go pick up the motorhome! Children are all eating breakfast and tidying their rooms.

8:30 am - arrive to pick up motorhome. Eddie was still getting a few last minute things repaired. Eddie is a neat Christian man and father of five. Andrew and Eddie had a great time chatting.

10:30 am - finally got everything finished. Andrew and I stop at McDonalds and grab a bite to take on the road, as neither of us took time to eat breakfast.

11:45 am - home to load everything into motorhome. Twelve people, clothes for seven days, food for fifteen meals, a double stroller, cameras, laptops, stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, sheets, towels, etc.

12:30 pm - on the road, gassed up and driving!

2:00 pm - beds made, everything put away in cupboards, little ones napping, older ones watching Roy Rogers on DVD.

5:30 pm - stop for gas and eat pulled pork sandwiches and pasta salad in the motorhome. Back on the road....

9:00 pm - stop for gas, cup of coffee for Andrew and a Dr. Pepper for me! Call KOA in Denham Springs to make a reservation. Will be nice to take a shower, plug in for water and electric. Motorhome has done great except the step won't retract when we close the door; boys will fix it tomorrow. Little ones are in bed and the big ones are watching Facing the Giants with me...I love that movie:)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Texas Here We Come

Tomorrow we are heading to San Antonio, Texas. Our family will be attending the Baby Conference put on by Vision Forum Ministries. I will be blogging live from the conference for anyone that is interested.

Here are our plans....

Wednesday - pick up motorhome, drive as far as we can...Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

Thursday - drive from Louisiana to San Antonio, Texas. We will check in at the KOA campground and then head over to the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center to register. At 6:00 pm we will hear the opening messages of the conference entitled "The Long War Against Babies" and "The Wonders of Embryology".

I will be posting pictures and notes as the week goes on. If any of you are also attending the conference send me a quick email and we will meet up!