Friday, January 28, 2011

Fingerprint Update and More

We did receive some news today on my fingerprints, and while it is not exactly what I was hoping for, I am taking it as our gift from God for today.  And I am thankful.  Our social worker, Jana,  spoke with a supervisor at the ABI who informed her that their computers are STILL down?!  But... she actually took my cards to an I.T. to see if he could get them logged in.  She also told Jana that as soon as they go through and are rejected - as we assume they will be, that the name search would begin and while it would usually take 2 weeks, it could only take 3 days if she "pushes it through."  I am thinking that this sounds great!!
I spent much of today talking with God about this, and got so excited about having a little one in our home again, holding her, pushing a stroller, buying tiny clothes!  I think God put those precious thoughts in my mind to remind me of the blessing this adoption is and of all we have to look forward to!  Thank you for your prayers.

We leave for Belize tomorrow morning!  Wow - what a privilege this is.  I am so thankful that Reese felt led to organize a family mission trip.  I am praying that we will truly be His servants this week, will grow closer to Him, will see Him at work in mighty ways and will also be broken by him as we realize how blessed we are to live this life He has given us!
The words from a Praise Chorus from last Sunday have been in my head all week, but I couldn't remember all of the words, so I googled it today and here they are!
Let our lives truly PRAISE HIM!!

Praise You
Lord, I come to you today,
With a simple prayer to pray.
In everything I do,
Let my life, oh Lord, praise You.
Praise You, praise you.
Let my life, praise you.
Praise You, praise you.
Let my life, oh Lord, praise you.
Lord, You formed me out of clay.
And for your glory I was made.
Use this vessel as You choose,
Let my life oh Lord, praise You.
Let my life, oh Lord, praise you.

How it Started

This is an e-mail I sent to several long distance friends to catch them up, and thought I'd include it here as I am sure I've left out lots of details when trying to communicate our exciting news.International Adoption has always been a desire of mine, but Reese has always said "No Way!"  After we had Ellie, he totally felt that our family was complete.  One boy, one girl - a family of four - perfect for eating out.  These are Reese's words.  :)
I am SUCH a baby person, that I begged for more for about a year, but then began to pray for contentment so that I could be the wife God wanted me to be.  And - I got it.  I specifically remember being at our Christmas Eve candlight service when Ellie was 2 and John Reese was 4 and our little family was standing there singing Silent Night and it literally washed over me - peace.  I was content and that intense desire that I had had for another baby was gone.  Now, I still grabbed every baby that I came in contact with of my friends, babysat their children and was first to the hospital after new births!  But, I was truly content.
I am so thankful for Reese and my children and this life that God has given me  - that I sooo do not deserve!

Then.... this September I read Mary Beth Chapman's book "Choosing to See."  I read the book out of a desire to see how the family was doing after their terrible loss - but God had different plans.  I KNEW when I finished that book that we would adopt.  And, I told Reese.  And, he said "No, way!"
Then, the next day (after Huntingdon's Homecoming) we went to FBC Montgomery like we always do when in Montgomery and it was their Orphan Ministry Sunday.  God is funny like that :).
When we got back, I asked Reese to read the book and pray.  The book has alot about their adoption - but the bigger message for me was following and obeying God.  During this time, I was facilitating the Beth Moore "Esther" study at church, and she really said alot about Esther being an orphan that God used in a mighty way.
So, through several more books "Radical" and "The Hole in Our Gospel" and LOTS of prayer, we decided to adopt.  Reese turned 40 on October 20 and that night, he said "Call the agency.  We HAVE to do this."  For him, he was excited, but he also felt like all of the reasons that he did not want more children were really just about "him"  -not about seeking God's direction - and these are his words - I promise.  He actually did ALL of the paperwork for the adoption (which is ALOT - but it is manageable).  This was more confirmation for me that God was leading both of us to this decision.
Ellie has been begging to adopt for years.  She has such a heart for orphans.  John Reese, on the other hand, felt like our life was just fine, and he really didn't want any changes. :)

But, God is working on his heart, and he is really excited now!  Praise God!

Why Hungary?  Because there are more than 10,000 orphans.  Because it is a new program with Lifeline Agency out of Birmingham.  Because we like the Social Worker that we would be dealing with.  And, because you have to stay in country for 6 weeks, and while this is a hardship for many families, it works for us.  Reese can manage with work as long as he has the phone and internet, and, with homeschooling, it is perfect as well as educational!
She may look Hungarian - blonde and blue eyed.   Or she may have an olive complexion and dark hair and be of the Roma population.  The other term for these people is "gypsy."  As they are nomadic and don't really contribute to society, they are outcasts and the Hungarians do not want to adopt these children.  We both feel like God specifically told us "girl."  And, we feel like she will be about 3 yrs old.  Our agency will look for a toddler.  This is another confirmation to me, that this was God, not me as I would have been drawn more to an infant.
We will name her Elizabeth Ann and call her Lizzy.  We hope to add part of her Hungarian name as well.
We are getting her room ready, but it will probably be 6-9 more months.

Sorry for the length of this, but I was very excited to share all of this with you.

Love you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More on Fingerprints

I talked with our social worker yesterday, and she checked with the ABI office in Montgomery.  Unfortunately, their computers are STILL down!  This is so frustrating.  So, my last fingerprint card is sitting on her desk to be sent to the FBI and cannot go through until their computers are up and running.
The lady at the ABI assured me that this would make their systems so much better and faster.  So, possible good news for any of you considering adoption :).
I am praying that God will let this be resolved before we leave for Belize on Saturday.  I want next week to be a special time of growing closer to God for our family, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity.  Either way, I know God will work next week and continue to work in our lives through this adoption process!  I am truly thankful that He is leading us in this way and I know that His timing is perfect.
But... please pray with me that we get some good news on this by Friday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Well, I keep hoping to kind of back track to tell how this adoption came about, but there doesn't seem time as life keeps going.  So, I will say that it is a true miracle that we are adopting as it has been a lifelong desire of mine.  I am truly so thankful to God for putting this on our hearts and answering so many prayers.
I began to pray about adoption in September, fully feeling that God was telling me we HAD to do this.  I discussed it with Reese - who smiled and said, "No, never."  His smile said alot!  We both began to pray and talk and pray alot more, and by the end of October, he said "Yes, we have to do this."  From that point on he has done most of the work and has had a total peace about all parts of the process.  We started our Homestudy with Lifeline Adoption Agency out of Birmingham in November and have completed all parts of the process that we can at this time.

However, we are still waiting for my fingerprints to go through.  This is where we need lots of prayer!  They have been rejected 3x and we are waiting on a fourth.   I just spoke with the lady from the ABI in Montgomery who said that their system is down and has been down for over a week.  They assured us last week that it would be up by Tuesday of this week.  Today she was unsure of when it would be up.

Our social worker is hopeful that all we be completed by the end of the month - which would be amazing!  We are so excited and so ready to go get our little girl.  I know this is a faith journey and I know that God is in control.  I am praying Satan away, but can tell you that he is real and we have felt that for some time through our fingerprint situation and other things meant to discourage.

The good news is that my drive to Montgomery had to have been worth it because one set from that day has already been rejected and with their system down now, I probably still would not know that I had to do another set.  So I praise God for giving our social worker the urge to call and for giving me the urge to go quickly and for keeping us safe on that cold and rainy day in the car!

I praise Him for adding to our family through this special way and for adopting me into His family, too!

Thank you for praying.  Thank you for caring and thank you for being our friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Snow

We are just trying to get this blog figured out.  If anyone has any helpful advice on adding music, John Reese is doing his best, but can't quite get that one!
So, here is a picture of the kiddos and Jake in the snow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Starting Our Blog

We are starting this blog to keep our friends and family informed during this adoption process.  We also want to bring awareness to the orphan crisis and adoption.  It feels official to now have our Adoption Blog going, so this is an exciting day for the Hamns.
My sweet children - especially my talented John Reese - has led me through this process of blogging as he loves figuring out new things on the computer.  My Ellie is singing and dancing around the room to offer inspiration.
I hope to post soon of how this miracle of adoption came into our lives.