Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lots To Tell...

Things have been quite busy around here lately. Here is a little peek into what Natalie and I have been doing:

-Our ornament sales continue to amaze. In four weeks, we have sold 450 ornaments! More amazingly, we have hand-painted all 450!!! I joke with Natalie all the time that we are acting like Buddy the Elf (from the movie "Elf"). I am going to start answering my phone, "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" I am pretty sure I wake up daily with the image of the outline of Africa seared into my brain. My African georgraphy is on point like never before. We are amazed at the support we have been given by our friends, families, and even people we have never met. Our child who may or may not be alive in Ethiopia right now already has so many people that love him/her. We are still taking orders if you or anyone you know would like an ornament or ten. Just let us know.

-The support we have recieved for our adoption has been nothing short of miraculous and I do not throw that word around loosely. God has His hands all over us right now and it seems to us like He really wants our child to come home a lot quicker than we expected. I am so guilty of trying to fit God into my timeline when it should be the other way around and He is sternly pointing that out to me. Now I am trying to stay out of God's way and let Him lead me where He will. We live in a broken world that is infested with war, famine, hate, and disease. These images are played for us constantly on TV and in print. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking all the good guys are gone but I'm here to tell you that there are so many who have stepped up to help us and our child whom they have never met. The idea of adoption resonates so well with Christ-followers because we are taught that Christ chose to love all of humanity and bring us into His family. It was nothing that you or I did. Figuratively, we all are like orphans: hungry, cold, poor, with no hope for the future outside of Christ.

-In other adoption news, we submitted all the paperwork for the required Home Study. It is quite a packet of autobiographies, health records, tax records, bank statements, etc. Sometimes the "process" of adopting becomes so tedious and it seems the details will drown you. For instance, not only did we have to get a criminal background check from Kentucky, but now we have to get one from Tennessee, Georgia, and New York because Natalie and I think it is fun to move every six months. When Natalie or I start to get down regarding this process, we think that our child may be cold, hungry, or in pain and we shut up pretty quickly and get back to work painting.

-Natalie continues to interview with various programs for a Pediatrics' Residency spot that will begin in June 2010. Recently, she has interviewed at the University of Louisville, University of Tennessee (which is located in Chattanooga), and the University of Kentucky. All interviews have gone great. They all loved Natalie (as you knew they would). The hard part now is deciding which program fits us best. This would be a very stressful time if we were focused solely on this. When you throw an international adoption into the mix, it can seem overwhelming. We are travelling to Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday for an interview Friday. Hopefully, the weather will be good and I can do some site-seeing in one of the South's most beautiful cities.

-In other career-related news, Natalie will finish medical school this Wednesday. Yes, she will be a doctor in three days!!! This goes without saying, but I am so proud of her and this tremendous accomplishment. I am going to post more about this later this week.

-If any of you know me, you know that I love telling or listening to stories. I love learning about people and their experiences and telling them about our journey. My friend Paul Gibson suggested a book for me entitled, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. Many of you have heard of his best-seller "Blue Like Jazz." "A Million Miles..." is an excellent read. Miller views himself and his life as a character in one of his books. He theorizes that we are all co-authors of our "story" with God. He strives to live his life as a great story so he can help others and show them God's love. I loved this book (it instantly vaulted into my Top 5 of all-time reads) and highly recommend it. We certainly have a splendid story to share with our child when that day comes. I hope you choose to adopt (pun intended) this life philosophy and make your story one that you would enjoy to listen to or tell.

Again, let us know if you or anyone you know would like an ornament. Please email Natalie at Also, if you have an child and ordered an ornament from us, please email us a picture with your child and the ornament. We would love to see these pictures. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel this week, finish medical school, paint ornaments and prepare for our Home Study interviews.

God Bless,


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