Our Little Family

Our Little Family

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hello Paperwork, Nice to Meet You!

Wow.  That is the one word I can think of to describe the mountain of paperwork I am looking at right now. Gotta admit, I've been procrastinating a bit.  It's a little overwhelming!  Alas, during this Christmas break, I shall be conquering the mountain of Home Study and Dossier paperwork.  If you don't hear from me for a while, there may have been an avalanche.

Honestly though, I am genuinely looking forward to tackling this task.  Simply because I know the faster we get through this, the faster we get on that list to receive our match!  A friend of mine commented on how adoption is like the longest pregnancy ever, and it seriously feels that way!  We could probably have three babies by the time we bring Ezra home!  But she is worth it.  There is such a love in our hearts for this small girl.  My arms ache to hold her, my eyes long to see her, and my ears can't wait to hear her tiny voice and laugh.  She is so precious to us already.  I can only imagine the love that is going to explode in our hearts when we see her picture and again when we get to hold her in person!  So you see, all of this paperwork may be a bit daunting, but it is the gateway to our very own "gotcha day".  We will gladly dive into the paperwork, go to the appointments, answer all of the questions, because it is all for the love of one small girl.

Time to climb that mountain!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We Are Thankful For You

We would like to take a moment and thank each and every one of you for overwhelming us with love and support!  We are completely undone by you all!  We knew going in to this process that we had a lot of friends and family that love us, but the over and above way you all have showered us with love is nothing we could have ever even imagined!!

Our little Ezra is so blessed and loved, and she doesn't even know how much yet!  A friend of mine commented recently on how fun it is that they get to feel a part of the process to bring her home, and how much more it is going to mean when they see us bring her home.  I love that!!  That is a community my friends!!  That is people in each others lives, invested in each other, caring for others, and walking the journey along side another!  That has to be my favorite part of this whole process!  That is one of the main reasons we started this blog.  We really wanted all of you to be able to come along this journey with us and be a part of it.

Our hearts are so full when we think about each and every one of you.  During this Thanksgiving week, you all are what we are the most thankful for.  We wish we could hug and thank each and every one of you in person, but since that is not possible, please let us say thank you this way.  Thank you for taking time, love and resources and pouring them into our family.  Thank you for caring so much about us and mostly about a little girl that none of us have even met yet.  We cannot wait to be able to tell her the story of how she came home, and about all of the people who loved her so very much.

In conclusion, we have officially ended our States and Countries Game!  It was such a blast!  And the official winning region of our game, representing the most states is.............The Central United States!!!!  It was a SUPER close battle though!  The final stats are as follows:

STATES:
Kansas  -  Janet Z. and Jenni E.
New York  -  Emily L.
Kentucky  -  Micheal L.
Connecticut  -  Reagan H.
Minnesota  -  Tish Y.
Louisiana  -  Dianna G.
Missouri  -  Scott G.
Delaware  -  Laura E.
Maryland  -  Christian E.
South Carolina  -  OJ M.
Illinois  -  Suzanna M.

California  -  Jennifer C. / Nikki B. / Wendy Y.
Pennsylvania  -  Chip B. / Wendy Y.
Wisconsin  -  Joe G. / Wendy Y.
Alaska - Marsha C.
Utah - Marsha C. / David E.
Washington - Emily E.
New Jersey - Randy C.
Arizona - Eriza C. 
Texas  -  Sarah K.
Idaho  -  Scott and Elizabeth S.
Oklahoma  -  Koi H. / Ann Y.

COUNTRIES:
Germany  -  Aaron Y.

England  -  Paul K.

Once again, thank you all so very much for journeying with us to bring Ezra home!  Have a wonderful and blessed holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

States and Fees

The Home Study is completely paid for!!!  Wow!  I can't even believe I can write that!  One by one, we are slowly checking off the fees in this adoption process.  Speaking of, to the right of this post you will notice a more detailed list of our fees, what has been completed, and what is yet to come.  Hopefully this will paint a clearer picture of exactly where we are and what we are moving on to next.  And honestly, it is mostly listed this way because I get a little thrill every time I get to write the word COMPLETED next to one! :-D

Now, on to our battle of the states!  The west came back with a vengeance this past week!  Our standings are now Western States - 8,  Central States - 8,  Eastern States - 8.  That's right my friends, we are currently standing at a three way tie!!!  We are also now counting each person representing each state, not just the state.  For example, you will see below that we have three people representing California, so California gets three votes, not just one.

We only have one week left in this battle of the states!  Who's going to win, the east, central or west???  It's anybody's game at this point!  So, if you haven't jumped in to represent your state, now is the time to do it!  Remember, it is just $10 to represent a state, and you simply had to have lived there at some point in your life.  Seven days and counting!!  May the best part of the US win!!

STATES:
Kansas  -  Janet Z.
New York  -  Emily L.
Kentucky  -  Micheal L.
Connecticut  -  Reagan H.
Minnesota  -  Tish Y.
Louisiana  -  Dianna G.
Missouri  -  Scott G.
Delaware  -  Laura E.
Maryland  -  Christian E.
South Carolina  -  OJ M.
Illinois  -  Suzanna M.

California  -  Jennifer C. / Nikki B. / Wendy Y.
Pennsylvania  -  Chip B. / Wendy Y.
Wisconsin  -  Joe G. / Wendy Y.
Alaska - Marsha C.
Utah - Marsha C. / David E.
Washington - Emily E.
New Jersey - Randy C.
Arizona - Eriza C.

COUNTRIES:
Germany  -  Aaron Y.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Home Study: Locked and Loaded!

It's official!  Our home study has started!  You know, it's funny how caught up we get in the "step by step" of this process.  So much of the time we are just focusing on what is next or right in front of us.  The whole point of this whole process however is not the paperwork or the money required for it.  The point is Ezra.  When I stop and think of her, when I picture her as a part of our family, it just makes me cry!  While this process can be long, frustrating, and filled with hoops to jump through, SHE is worth it!!!  We cannot wait for the day when we first receive her picture and get to see who she is!  Oh, then the day we get to fly around the world to go and bring her home!  But I think the thought that makes my heart sing the most is the thought of that first family of 5 picture we will take.  She is already so much a part of our family.  It's like there is a piece missing without her.  Whenever we do something as a family now, one of the boys will usually pipe up and say something like "when Ezra is here, we will ........"  Before that day comes though, paperwork and lots of it!  Here we go!

Now for the update on our States and Countries game.  Well, the challenge for the west didn't go over so well.  And, lest you all be wondering how long we can drag this game on for, we have named an end date!  The States and Countries game will officially end on Thanksgiving, two weeks from today.  So, we have decided to pit neighbor against neighbor until then! ;-)  For the next two weeks, let's see which part of the country we can get the most representation from!  Will it be the east, central or western US?  As of now, the central US is ahead with 7 states represented!  The east is right behind them with 6, and the west is represented by 1 state.  Okay, let's see who will win in the end!  (Remember, it is just $10 to represent a state, and you just had to have lived in that state at some point in your life.)

STATES:
Kansas  -  Janet Z.
New York  -  Emily L.
Kentucky  -  Micheal L.
Connecticut  -  Reagan H.
Minnesota  -  Tish Y.
Louisiana  -  Dianna G.
Missouri  -  Scott G.
Delaware  -  Laura E.
Maryland  -  Christian E.
South Carolina  -  OJ M.
Illinois  -  Suzanna M.

California  -  Jennifer C. and Nikki B.
Pennsylvania  -  Chip B.
Wisconsin  -  Joe G.

COUNTRIES:
Germany  -  Aaron Y.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Movin and Grovin!

Have I mentioned how much fun this States and Countries game is?!!  Okay, latest update, we are at 14 out of 50 states and 1 country!!

And just a quick shout out to our California peeps!  Not only did someone immediately step up for Cali, but we had TWO people represent!!  Oh yeah!  That's how we roll!!  California pride baby! :-D

STATES:
Kansas  -  Janet Z.
New York  -  Emily L.
Kentucky  -  Micheal L.
Connecticut  -  Reagan H.
Minnesota  -  Tish Y.
Louisiana  -  Dianna G.
Missouri  -  Scott G.
Delaware  -  Laura E.
Maryland  -  Christian E.
South Carolina  -  OJ M.
Illinois  -  Suzanna M.

California  -  Jennifer C. and Nikki B.
Pennsylvania  -  Chip B.
Wisconsin  -  Joe G.

COUNTRIES:
Germany  -  Aaron Y.



So for this next 5 days, we are going to focus on the western states and see how many we can get!  Do you or someone you know live in any of the following states?  Would you consider rep-ing your state by giving $10?  Let's see how many of the western states we can check off!  Ready? GO!!!

~ Washington
~ Oregon
~ Nevada
~ Arizona
~ New Mexico
~ Utah
~ Colorado
~ Wyoming
~ Montana
~ Idaho







Wednesday, October 31, 2012

11 of 50!!

Woohoo!!  We're at 11 of 50 states in our states/countries game, and hold on to your hats cause we've got our FIRST COUNTRY!!!!  This is seriously SO much fun!


So, our current stats are as follows:

STATES:
Kansas  -  Janet Z.
New York  -  Emily L.
Kentucky  -  Micheal L.
Connecticut  -  Reagan H.
Minnesota  -  Tish Y.
Louisiana  -  Dianna G.
Missouri  -  Scott G.
Delaware  -  Laura E.
Maryland  -  Christian E.
South Carolina  -  OJ M.
Illinois  -  Suzanna M.

COUNTRIES:
Germany  -  Aaron Y.

Okay, so far it looks like the east coast and the Midwest are clobbering the rest of the country!  And everything from the Rocky Mountains over is blank!  Where are you westerners?!!  Oh and California, I think if someone doesn't represent you soon, Daniel may go into mourning. ;-)  We still need 39 states, so please keep passing this on, and if you don't see your state represented, feel free to represent!

We found out last week that they have once again closed the Thailand country program to new applicants.  They accepted 20 new families in, and we were one of them!  Now it's just a matter of checking one thing off at a time to get us closer to Ezra!  Our goal this week is to pay for the Home Study and start it and all of the paperwork that goes along with it.  This is a super important step, as we cannot send our paperwork to Thailand or apply for any adoption grants/assistance until we are Home Study approved.

Many of you have asked about Ezra, if we know who she is yet and how old she is.  We won't actually be matched with her and receive her picture for a while yet.  We need to get all of our paperwork in to Thailand before we can be put on the waiting list to be referred a child.  As far as her age, she would be somewhere around birth right now, maybe just before, maybe just after.  She becomes more and more real in our hearts each day and as we do more things in this adoption process.

Thank you all for all of the encouraging notes and texts you have been sending us!  It has completely overwhelmed us how many people think about, pray for and support Ezra and our family.  Thank you for walking this journey with us.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

4 Days In...

Well, we're four days in to our 50 states game, and it is off and running!  So far we have 3 of 50 states represented.  They are as follows:

New York  ~  Emily L.
Kentucky  ~  Michael L.
Kansas  ~  Janet Z.

We still have 47 states to go, so if you didn't see your state listed, you can still jump on board!

Okay, that was the update part of this post.  Now on to something even more fun.  As most of you can probably tell I (Nichole) do most of the writing on our blog on behalf of Daniel and myself.  The following however is Daniel...

This is one of my favorite quotes, from a man whose heart burned to see justice for orphans.  A man who didn't just talk-the-talk.  He walked-the-walk.

"I wanted something to live and die for.  I wanted something to breathe and to bleed for.  I'm not interested in trying to figure out ways to make my life safe and preserve my comfort.  I mean I find myself doing that because that's the sinful tendency of the human heart, but I'm fighting against that.  That's one reason why we adopt kind of in a radical way.  I just on purpose set myself up to where I got so much pressure, I gotta run after Jesus.  I just figure if I can outsmart my flesh, and plan ahead to where I'm in crisis and I need God to show up, then I'll make it - plan it out so it's too hard to backslide.  I'm just trying to outsmart the old man that lives inside of me. Which is wisdom.  It's making no provision for the flesh ahead of time."  - Derek Loux

PS... Can I get a brother (or sister) in California to represent?!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Social Media Experiment

Many of you have been asking us how it is going with the increased fee.  Well, it's going, but we're not quite there yet.  We are completely confident that we will have the full amount by the time we need it though!  Thank you all for your continued love, prayers, encouragement and support!  We can not express in words how much you all mean to us!

Okay, so by now you are looking at the title of this post and are wondering, what does all of this have to do with a Social Media Experiment?  Well you are about to find out!  A friend of ours who just recently adopted had this super fun idea for a fundraiser, and they said we could steal it! (Thanks Hatfields!!!)  Below you will see two pictures of maps.  The first is a map of the United States and the second is a map of the world (btw, Titus is pointing to Ezra in Thailand, in case you were wondering).



Here's where the experiment begins.  Our goal is to see if we can get one person from each of the 50 states to donate $10 toward our adoption, and we thought it would be fun to see how many countries we could represent donating $10 as well!  This is going to be fun!!

The rules are as follows:

        1.  You may represent any state or country that you currently live in or have lived in.
        2.  When you donate by either clicking the "donate" button to the right or sending a
             check to the address at the right, please indicate which state or country you are
             representing.
        3.  Please pass this on!!!

In order to make this a true social media experiment, we need your help!  Would you please pass this blog post on via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc???  Let's see how far we can get this thing!!!

Every 3 to 5 days, we will post pictures of the maps with the pins in them marking the states and countries we are currently representing.  We will also post the names of each person who has donated along with the state or country they are representing.

Here we go!!!  Let's spread this thing!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Please Pray!!!

The entire purpose of this blog entry is to ask you all to please pray!  We knew starting out on this journey to adopt that it would NOT be easy.  We knew that there would be hard things to overcome and push through along the way.  Well, we've come up to the first big thing.

We just found out today that our Home Study fee is going to be double what we thought it would be.  Because our agency does not have a branch office in Colorado, our home study will be done by a local agency who works with ours.  When your home study is done by Holt (our agency), it costs $2,500.  We just found out today that our out of state home study will cost $5,000.  While we were almost at the $2,500, we are no where close to the $5,000.  We need your prayers!

I was reminded yesterday that the Lord has hand picked Ezra to be in our family.  This is a journey that He has put on our hearts to go on, and He has said all along to trust Him, have faith, and keep moving forward.  He will provide.  And I know that is true!

We need to have all of this $5,000 this month at the start of our home study.  Where the rest of the money is coming from, I really couldn't say.  But I do know this.  I have a God who cares about children without a home!  I have a God who moves on behalf of His people!  I have a God who HEARS!!  Would you please bang on the doors of Heaven with us?  Would you ask with us?  And then together, we all can celebrate the answer!!

Thank you, thank you for your prayers, love and support!  We will keep you updated on the miracles as they happen!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Scrubs for Ezra

I have been in SUCH a holiday mood over the past week!  I mean it's the whole deal, playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, thinking about gifts I want to give to people I care about.  I just LOVE this time of year!  Okay, okay, so it might be a little early for all of this, but it's been cold in Colorado recently and that always turns my thoughts to the holidays! :-D

So, in keeping with that holiday spirit, we will be selling Arbonne's Awaken Sea Salt Scrub for our next fundraiser through the end of October.  How is that keeping with the holiday theme you ask?  Well, not only is this scrub the BEST we have ever tried, it also makes a PERFECT gift!!


I kid you not when I say that this stuff is magical!  If you suffer from dry skin in the fall and winter, you HAVE to try it!  Looking for the perfect gift for a teacher, boss, co-worker or friend?  Look no further!  This is it!

These scrubs are selling for $35 with 50% of the proceeds going straight toward our adoption!!  So since you are going to be shopping anyway, why not get a head start now?!!  To purchase a scrub, you can either click on the "Donate" button to the right and purchase with a debit or credit card, or you can send a check to the address listed on the right.  Please be sure to indicate how many you would like to purchase, and we will get them right out to you!

Also, if any of you would be willing to pass around some order forms at work or among your friends, please let me know and I'll get a flier and order forms to you!

Operation "Scrubs for Ezra" is now officially under way!  Changing one little girl's life forever, one sea salt scrub at a time!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Approved!!

And with that one little word, we are official!  That's right, we have been approved and are officially in the Thailand program!  Excuse me for one moment - EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!  Just be glad you weren't in the same room as me just now! ;-)

Our next step will be to meet with our home study agency.  Time to do some paperwork!

I can't even tell you how many emotions are running through me right now!  I'm unbelievably excited, a little in shock at how fast it's all happening, scared about all that is ahead, nervous about the money needed, but mostly just ready to do this one step at a time!!  We've been telling people for a year now that we are adopting, and it finally seems real!  We actually ARE adopting!

Every day our little Ezra is in our thoughts and prayers.  She is so embedded into my heart already, and I haven't even seen her face yet!  The boys mention her all of the time.  Just in every day conversation they will say "my sister" and "when Ezra is here".  When Titus draws pictures of his family at school, he puts her in them!  Talk about melting your heart!  We're coming for you sweet girl!  We love you and want you so very, very much!  One more step closer!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That Dirty Little Word

"FUNDRAISERS"!!!!   And now comes that blood curling scream from horror movies!!  Oh the very word makes your skin crawl and makes you want to hide under your bed!

Seriously though, I wanted to address this and be completely up front with you all.  You will be seeing quite a few different fundraisers coming from us over the next few months, but this is in NO way a pressure thing from us on to you!!  We love you all so very, very much and would NEVER want to pressure anyone!  We aren't sitting here looking over our list of family and friends and seeing dollar signs, I promise you!

The point of these fundraisers is two-fold.  First, with a fundraiser, you can have a lot of people do a little and have it accomplish much!  For example, I may think that by my giving $10 to someone who needs $20,000, it is just pointless!  I mean $10 is hardly a drop in the bucket!  BUT if I give my $10 knowing I am 1 of 100 people giving $10 for a goal of $1000, well then I feel like I'm actually helping my friends to see a difference, to bring down that gigantic number $1000 at a time!  Does that make sense?  I am not kidding when I say that every dollar really does count!

The second point to the fundraisers is that we are now up against a time crunch.  Within the next three months, we need to have the full $6700 to pay for all of the Phase 1 paperwork and fees.  While we have some of this, we still need to raise a bit to complete it.  It is just super easy to take this $6700 down in little chunks at a time!

Let me be super real and raw with you all for a moment.  I genuinely wish that I had $20,000 just sitting in my back account, or that we made $1000 extra each month.  But the fact is, we don't.  I honestly think it is crazy and ridiculous that it costs $20,000 to adopt one little girl!  But it does.  There are thousands upon thousands of orphans around this globe and a very real financial barrier between them and a forever home.  And I gotta say, I'm not okay with that!!!  Every child deserves a home, and every family that longs to open their home to a child should be able to do that, without wondering how in the world they are going to be able to afford it!

So, even though on paper it doesn't look like we should be able to "afford" to adopt one little girl, we are willing to fight, to save, to raise the money, to stand and believe that it will come, and to know that it will not be because of us that it happens.  It will be because of MANY that one little girl is given the gift of LIFE!

I hope that when you see those fundraisers come up over the next few months, that you won't have to run and hide or hope that we won't think badly of you if you don't give.  I hope that you will do exactly what your heart tells you to.  If that is giving, great!  If that is sending us some encouragement and words of support, PLEASE do!!  If that is praying for us as we go, bring it on!!  This is a road that is easier to travel with many companions along the way!

We love you all and are so thankful for each and every one of you!  Thank you for being a part of our journey and for partnering with us to bring our Ezra Faith home!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's open!!! It's open!!!!

That's right folks, the country program is open!!!  Our application is in for the Thailand program, and we are officially on our way!!!  In case you couldn't tell by all of the exclamation points, I am SOOOOO excited!!!

So, if you are anything like me, you are sitting there reading this and wondering, "okay, so what does it look like from here?"  Good question!  Once our application has been approved for the Thailand program, we will start our Home Study and paperwork, shortly followed by our Dossier paperwork.  Once all of our paperwork is in and sent to Thailand, we are put on the waiting list to be matched to our little girl!  But first, lots of paperwork and fees!

And speaking of fees, we are doing a celebratory fundraiser!  As a way to celebrate the country program opening and our process officially beginning, we would like to give away a $100 Target Gift Card!!

Iconic Puppy GiftCard
We will do a drawing one week from today on October 1, 2012, and pull the name of the lucky winner!  But you are probably wondering how you get your name in the drawing for this $100 of free goodness!  It's super easy!  A $10 donation will put your name into the drawing one time.  A $20 donation will put it in twice, and so on!  We are hoping to get 100 people to donate $10 each, thus raising $1000!!  Will you please help us?  To donate, simply click on the donate button to the right on this page or mail a check to the address listed on the right of this page.

Thank you a million times over for all of your support, love, prayers, encouragement, financial support and excitement for our family!  We honestly couldn't do this without you all, and we can NOT wait for the day when we get to introduce our Ezra Faith to each and every one of you!  Here we go!!!




Friday, July 27, 2012

From Colorado

Today marks six weeks for us living in Colorado.  I seriously cannot believe it has been that long!  It seems like we just got here.  I know we have not had any updates for a while, so I wanted to get a quick one out for you all.  We have had quite a lot going on in the Chapman household during this move, so life has not been dull!

Sadly, no word from our adoption agency this quarter, which means one more quarter to wait.  The next chance for us to get in on the Thailand program will be in October.  Now some of you may be reading this and thinking, "You guys are crazy.  There are tons of kids out there.  Just go adopt one!"  But, like I said in a previous post, every family is different.  Our hearts are for Asia, and we do not feel led to pursue another country at this time.  Actually, God really does know what He is doing!  There is so much unsettled right now for us, that had the agency called and said "go" in July, it would have been a bit more then we could handle.  He just keeps directing our hearts and it is such a safe place to be.  I mean, we didn't receive a call in April, but at that time we found out about Daniel's new job in Colorado.  So, we got to move and didn't have to pay additional fees to update!  Then we didn't get a call in July, but we are already stretched so thin and have quite a bit to figure out, that it would have caused more stress instead of joy to jump into the paperwork now.  This way, we get to get all of our circumstances around here settled, and then get the joy of jumping in to our paperwork and journey in a few months!

Our hearts are never far from our little girl though.  We now have a room ready for her in our new place, and every time I walk past it, my heart pulls for a sweet little dark haired, dark eyed little one who will fill that empty room.  We even refer to that room as "Ezra's room".  :-)



Ah, my sweet little one, we will be coming for you, and until that day gets here, we will be praying for you every day and counting the days until you are home.  There is a place in our home and our hearts that can only be filled by our Ezra Faith.  We'll keep you posted on our journey!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It Takes a Village

We are at the very beginning of this journey and already we are blown away with how many of you our friends, family and even people we don't personally know, have cared and invested in some way in our lives and in the life of Ezra.  When we had originally started this blog, we had remarked that it would take a village to bring home a child.  It is so indescribable though to see that "village" start to form!  We could not do this without each and every one of you, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Our garage sale was a smashing success!  We received SO many donations of items to sell!  Our garage sale was the biggest in the neighborhood!!


We had a steady stream of people for both days and raised $800 for our adoption!!  Thank you all for your donations, support, prayers and love, and a BIG thank you to Nathan and Michelle Sherer for hosting the sale at their home and helping us make the sale fun and successful!

Our next update to you all will be from the beautiful state of Colorado!  Time to pack!  Miss Ezra needs a room!! :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Longing for a Face We've Never Seen

It is amazing how much your heart can ache and long for someone that you have never seen before.  This little girl has never been in our family, and yet it feels as though there is a void without her.  The boys talk about her all of the time.  In every day conversation they will just mention their sister, and Titus has a question almost daily about "Baby Ezra".  He is very excited that he will finally be bigger then someone! :-)

We are just taking this process one step at a time.  If you start looking too far ahead, it can make you discouraged or anxious for more to happen quicker.  Instead, we just keep asking, what is the very next step?  What do we need to focus on right now?

The answer to those questions are two things.  The first is our upcoming garage sale!  We have set the date for the Kansas City garage sale for May 4th and 5th.  And my word have you all been generous!!  Our garage is filling so quickly with stuff for the sale!  Thank you, thank you for your support and stuff!! :-)  If you are still wanting to donate things but haven't yet, never fear!  We will be collecting more things this weekend and next.  Just message me and let me know that you have something for us, and we'll set up a time to come and get it.

The second thing on our right now list to do was to check in with our adoption agency and see how the process was looking.  When we talked with them, we found out that not enough families had been matched with children from this last quarter's waiting list, so they cannot open the program to more families yet.  They will receive another list of children to match with waiting families in June and hope to match enough families then to be able to accept more families in to the program in July.  Part of me was so disappointed to hear this news, since it delays our process a few months.  But God really does know what He is doing!  Earlier this month Daniel received two job offers in Denver, Colorado, and our family will be moving to the Denver area in June.  We will be completely settled in our new home by the time we are accepted into the Thailand program and we won't have to re-do any paperwork!  Plus we will be getting a bigger home with a room for Ezra (right now we live in a two bedroom townhouse)!  I'm going to try to restrain myself from completely decorating her room the minute we are in the house, but no promises! :-)

So we are a couple of steps closer to little Miss Ezra!  We are so blessed and overwhelmed by the love and support of you all as well!!  Words cannot even express how much God is showing up and through you all!  We have SO many giving items for garage sales or sending checks in the mail just wanting to help with the process or buying Faith Bands.  God is so behind this you guys!!  It is simply happening!!  There is no striving or anxiety in it!  He is moving!!  So while my heart may be longing for a sweet little face and my arms aching to hold a precious girl, I will rest in the fact that we are in the right place and that God is guiding us to her.  But I'm warning you all right now, any pictures taken the day we meet that precious girl WILL show me crying and blubbering all over the place!!  Now - on to the next step!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Adoption and Garage Sales?

Yup!  They go together like peanut butter and jelly! While we are waiting to hear from our adoption agency, we figured we would take advantage of the gorgeous weather and put together a couple of garage sales.  There is a point to the garage sales, don't worry! All proceeds from the sales will go directly toward the last bit we need for our paperwork.  Phase 1 is almost complete!!

So, right about now you're asking, why are you writing about this on the blog?  How does this affect the general populous?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  In one sentence, we want your stuff!!  :-D  If you have any extra stuff lying around that you've been meaning to get rid of or go through, now is your chance to do it!  We would love to take it off of your hands for you!

We will have garage sales in two locations, one in California and one in Missouri.  So, if you live near either the Carter family or the Chapman family, you can contribute your extras to our sales!  If you are in the Kansas City area and want to contribute, just comment below or send me a quick email.  I'll arrange a time to come and pick your stuff up.  If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can drop any items you have to donate to our garage sale at my parent's home.  Again, either comment below or email me, and I'll give you my mom's cell number and their address to arrange a time to drop off.

The garages sales will take place late April / May, so we will be collecting items for the next 30 days, through mid April.

Now you can look at that stuff you have been loathing and groaning about in a whole new light!  That stuff is not burdensome!  It is hope for one very special little girl!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ready, Set.........

We're just waiting for the "Go"!!!!  We are SO excited about what God is doing, we can't even stand it!!

Okay, update time - not only have we reached our initial goal to start the paperwork, we are about $2000 away from the entire Phase 1 goal of $6700!!!!!  So crazy awesome!!  We'll be having a couple of garage sales here and in California within the next couple of months, and our goal is to meet the rest of what is needed for the $6700 and then go beyond!

We are just so crazy blessed you guys!!  You, our friends and family, have knocked our socks off!!  And I'm not just talking about financially (but you have floored us with that!!).  It means so much to us when we get random emails, texts, facebook comments, and in person comments, asking about how it's going or encouraging us!  Thank you, thank you for coming along side us!!  We love you all SO!!

And the Faith Bands!!  Oh man, to see people in person and see them wearing theirs, or see the pictures you guys are sending us with yours on!  It's not about the faith band.  To us, it says "we're for you!".  Thank you guys!  In case you are wondering, yes we do still have faith bands left.  If you were really wanting to get some, never fear, you still can!  :-)

So now we are just waiting for the "Go".  As soon as we get that phone call from our adoption agency saying that the program is ready for more applicants, we hit the ground running!!  And we're ready!  We'll keep you all posted on the latest and greatest as we hear more!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dream Big or Go Home!!

"You gotta have faith, faith, faith..."  That George Michael song has been in my head for days!  I can't seem to get it out, but only that one line!  What does that have to do with adoption?  Well, nothing.  We have just been talking a lot about faith recently, thus the song.

And speaking of faith, it has been five days since my last post and in that amount of time our goal has shrunk considerably!!  Drum roll please.......ladies and gentlemen, we are now only $775 away from our goal!!!!!!  We are just simply undone by the love and support you all have and are showering on us!  Thank you just doesn't seem a big enough phrase to say to you all, but we thank you SO much!!

God has been telling us over and over again, that if He is behind something, we CANNOT fail!  Sometimes when you look at those big goals though, your faith and confidence waivers a bit.  But what voice are we listening to at those times, God's voice of truth or the enemy's lies?  Don't let those lies steal your joy and peace, your confidence in that fact that God IS who He says He is!!  If God says climb, that mountain IS climbable!  Will it all be smooth sailing and easy to accomplish?  Um, it's a MOUNTAIN!!  Of course it's not going to be easy!  It will be a fight at times, there will be lessons to learn along the way, but there will also be times of great joy and victory!  And the end reward is worth the effort, the sweat, the tears, the prayers.  The end result is two-fold, one little girl who is getting the chance to be restored to being a member of a loving family with endless possibilities open to her for her to live to the full potential of who she was made to be, and the dreams and longings of our own hearts being awakened and realizing that we were made to be extraordinary!  We were made to make a difference!!

We are so excited to see what is next on this journey!  Thank you all once again, for partnering with us on our journey!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So You Want to Adopt...

This process has been SO different then I had always imagined.  In my mind, we would walk into an adoption agency, letting them know we would like to adopt, and they would be practically jumping on us with excitement because they are so desperate for families.  I mean after all, you hear all of these statistics of the millions of orphans across the globe that need someone.  Wouldn't it stand to reason that they need millions of families to love and care for these millions of orphans?  Well, they do.  However, the process to adopt is a lot more particular then you might think.  There are so many rules, regulations, and requirements that you must meet, and they vary by country.

For the past three weeks, we have been applying to different country programs and finding that they are not one size fits all.  Now every family is different, and what may be on one family's heart to do, is not on another.  For us, we have a heart for Asia.  We are wanting to adopt our little girl though one of the Asian programs.  Again, not as easy as you may think.  We first applied to the China Program.  We were turned down flat by one agency, so we went to another.  They were super helpful and tried everything they could to get us to qualify, but bottom line is that we just do not own enough stuff.  China is the only country that requires a minimum salary and net worth for adopting families, and we just didn't meet it.  The second country program we tried was Korea.  This program is wonderful, it just wasn't a fit for us since you cannot pick whether you would like to adopt a boy or a girl.  They pick for you.  Which brings us to where we are now ~ Thailand.  We met all requirements for Thailand and we can request a girl, since we have two boys already.  We are currently on the waiting list to adopt from Thailand.  They are estimating that the official process will start in March.

So what does that mean?  Where does that currently put us in the adoption process?

Well, as soon as we get the call from our agency, we hit the ground running!!  ALL of the paperwork starts!  And by paperwork I mean the Home Study and Dossier.  We have to be ready to run when they call!

As a result, we have a goal for the next 30 days, to raise $1550 through our fundraisers.  This amount will complete what we need to apply to the country and cover the home study fee.

Remember those "Faith Bands"??


If we can sell the remainder of our faith bands, we will raise the rest of the money needed for the start of our paperwork!  A BIG thank you to all of our friends and family who have already purchased some!!!  Your support of us is overwhelming!  We have currently sold 115 faith bands.  We have 485 left.  Would you help us?  Would you partner with us on our journey?  Would you spread the word to your family and friends?  The dark blue adult band is $3.50 and the light blue child band is $2.50.

It is our goal to sell all 485 remaining faith bands by February 29th.  To place your order for your faith bands, simply go the right of this page and click on the "Donate" button.  Be sure to indicate how many faith bands you would like and what sizes.  OR  send a check with your order to the address listed at the right of this page.  OR  send us an email directly letting us know how many you would like.

Thank you all for your love and support of our family and our little Ezra Faith!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ezra Faith Chapman

That is her.  That is the name that is imprinted on our hearts.  We haven't physically seen her sweet little face yet, but soon.

I am finding so many similarities between adoption and pregnancy.  It's so crazy!  This stage feels very much like when you are around the 20 week mark and you get your ultra-sound and find out - "it's a girl!".  We know we will be having a girl and even have her name picked out, but there is still some more waiting to be done before we get to put a sweet face with that name!

Why Ezra Faith?  Well, Ezra means helper.  All of our children have names that match their God-given personalities, and Ezra will be no different!  She will be strong and courageous with a heart that runs to help.  Her middle name "Faith" comes straight from what God has been teaching us through the adoption process.  Humanly, none of this is possible.  Now we could "pretend" that we've got it all under control and strive to make it all happen in our own power, but that just brings destruction, stress, anxiety, fear and anger.  No, that is not what God is calling us to.  Nor is He asking us to get all of our "ducks in a row" so that this whole process runs smoother and easier.  No, He is asking us to move forward, to take action steps.  That is faith, choosing to believe Him when He says "go".  We don't have this whole thing figured out, but He does.  It is part of our story.  So, our sweet little one will have a sort of memorial stone in her name.  Her name will always remind us and our kids of the difference between Faith and Unbelief.

Along with this theme of faith, comes our next fundraiser!  Below you will see a picture of "Faith Bands".  We had these specially made for this fundraiser.  Our hope and prayer is that if you choose to partner with us and purchase one of these faith bands, every time you look down at your wrist and see it, it will remind you not only to pray for us and our little one, but that it would also remind you to choose faith, to choose to believe!!



The dark blue band is the adult size and we are selling these bands for $3.50 each.  The multi-blue band is child size and these bands are $2.50 each.  To participate in this fundraiser to help us bring our little Ezra Faith home, simply either click on the "donate" button to the right of this post or send a check to the address listed at the right of this post.  Be sure to include the address you would like your bands sent to and how many you would like to purchase.  Thank you SO much for partnering with us on our journey!!