Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Home Study Visit

Well....It is 2:20 and she has come and gone--because she came at 1:05 for a 2:00 appointment!!! (or was it part of the observation--how do we react???) It was actually very easy and laid back. We were ready, but Molly was still eating lunch and we hadn't picked up Thomas from school, yet. She wanted to see the house, the back yard, the smoke detector and the fire extinguisher and then she sat and talked to us for a while. She asked the kids what they thought about having a new little sister--they answered in very descriptive ways, such as "fine", "good", "from China!!" (Molly). She asked if they had a problem who could they talk to about it? It took them a minute, but finally Thomas thought of "Mom & Dad"! She talked to them a little bit about the fact that their little sister will look different from them and was that OK with them--they didn't seem to be too worried about that. Then, that was pretty much it!! Overall, the kids were good--just a little 'energetic'! So, I think it went well. On to the next step......JenniferPS I told Jeff last night "We have such cool friends!!" Literally seconds after I sent the email yesterday, I got a reply encouraging us, telling us people were praying and thinking of us--and they kept coming throughout the evening and this morning!! Thanks SO much for walking through this with us. We so appreciate it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update #2

Hello everyone---Well, it has been a while and things have been moving along. We have gotten into some of the paperwork process--requesting birth certificates and our marriage license which are 'notarized' by the county, now have sent them back to the secretary of state to be 'certified' and then we will need to send them to the Chinese Consulate to have them 'authenticated'--all to make sure we are who we say we are!!! We have also been moving along in the home study process. Jeff and I both had our individual appointments with her, which went well. It was actually fun to tell her about our families growing up, our marriage and our family now--she asked lots of questions to find out about our 'growing up families' as well as our family now and what life in each of those homes was/is like.That brings me to the reason for the timing of this email--she is coming for the home visit portion of the home study TOMORROW!!!! I must admit I am a little nervous..I know we don't have to be perfect, but I still feel a little pressure--so, I have been cleaning, organizing, etc this morning and will likely continue for the next 24 hours!! I am really probably more excited than nervous, though, looking forward to her meeting the kids--I just hope they behave! And it means we are continuing to move along in this exciting process--So, please remember us tomorrow and I will send an update afterward to let you know how it went. Jennifer

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Adoption Update

Hello to All--Well, the last few weeks have been busy here in the Drake house. Since the last email, we went to Windy Gap for a week (had a GREAT time) and came back to a whirlwind of school, soccer and schedules!! We have continued to make some progress toward the adoption and I just wanted to send a quick update...We sent our signed contract back to the adoption agency last week. Along with that, we had to send a check for the first installment. A HUGE praise is that our church was able to help us with a portion of that first fee. That was a huge blessing!Then, this past Monday, we had our first home study appointment. This first meeting was at their office with both Jeff & I. The next 2 meetings with her will be each of us individually and then the 4th is the one that she comes to our house. The first one was a lot of paperwork, etc, but the next 2 will be lots of questions, peering into our lives--it is a little disconcerting, but she reassured us that she is here to help us adopt a child, not nitpick our lives. The visit to our house of course seems like it will be the most intense one, with her 'checking out' our home, family, etc.With the home study and the accepted application came the beginning of the long process of paperwork...they each gave us a list of required documents, etc. There was so much that I literally had to stop reading the first night, because I was getting a little overwhelmed. One step at a time!!!!On a fun note, the kids are really excited--Thomas keeps talking about going to China. In the car the other day, Samuel suddenly said, "Mommy, I think we need to go shopping for some clothes for our baby sister, because she probably doesn't have any." And Molly is constantly asking questions about "my baby sister from China" with the most frequent being "Can we go get her tomorrow?" Out of the mouth of babes......So, here are a few prayer requests: Patience!!! we are all anxious to bring her home.Diligence to get through all of the red tape while at the same time, not letting it become too much of a distraction from life.Finances--the numbers are looking daunting. We are truly trusting that God will provide the money at the right time. Pray that we would completely trust in Him. We have already seen his faithful provision!Thanks for all of your support and excitement. We have been overwhelmed by all of your encouragement!In Christ,Jennifer & Jeff (&TSM)---Psalm 20:7"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WE'RE EXPECTING!!!

OK, it might not be the exact thought you have in mind right now, but we are going to add a child to our family!! A few days ago, we submitted an initial application to Great Wall China Adoption agency and they called today to say we have been accepted! This is just the beginning of a very long process, but we are very excited--and as you can probably tell from the time this was sent, I can't sleep tonight! A dear friend of mine encouraged me to send out email updates to family and friends to keep everyone up to date in this process, so, as I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I thought, "Why not start now??"Jeff & I have been planning on adopting for a long time and we feel like God is leading us into the journey at this time. Even as a child/teen, I remember thinking of how wonderful it would be to adopt one day. We discussed it early in our relationship and decided it was something we would really like to do at some point in the life of our family. When I was in college, I met a family that was a mixed family of several biologic children and several adopted children and was very taken by them and still remember like it was yesterday the discussion I had with their father. Through that discussion and some time alone in prayer on a beach that evening, I was convinced that God had this in our future. Through our married life, God has continued to lead us toward this through families he put in our midst--in Cincinnati there was a family in our church that had adopted 8(!) special needs children to add to their 4 biologic. Some great college friends have adopted 2 beautiful children. And here, we have several families in our church that have adopted. Over the last few months, God has placed on both of our hearts the desire to move forward. I tell you all of this because we want you to know how led we feel to do this. We also feel led to pursue a 'special needs' adoption--something along the lines of cleft lip/palate or similar problem. We know this will bring some extra challenge, but really feel pulled in this direction.We want to include you in this entire process for several reasons. One, to ask for your prayers--we feel a little overwhelmed with the process, the certain emotional ups and downs we expect to come and the financial responsibility. We would ask that you would pray for God to lead us, in his timing, to the right child for our family. The second reason is that we truly expect to see God work through this process. We look ahead and see what look like obstacles to us, but are praying expectantly to see how God will work. We want to share that with you all so that you can see his faithfulness, too. We are SO excited and can't wait to meet our little girl--it is so fun imagining what she will be like, look like and what it will be like to meet her and then bring her home. I hope you will enjoy following the journey!In Christ,Jennifer for all the Drakes