Saturday, May 29, 2004

Aiming toward one heart

Our community group (small group, home group, Bible study) has begun studying Richard Foster's Devotional Classics. It is a collection of excerpts from "the classics" of Christian devotional authors.

This week we read excerpts from Francois Fenelon's "Christian Perfection." What is Christian perfection? It's having a will only to do God's will. And from that comes freedom, peace, and joy. I want to be free, peaceful, and joyful - where do I sign up? Oh, there it is, in the editor's reflections, a quote from the author that wasn't included in the selected excerpts: "If we feed ourselves with Jesus Christ and his word, we shall be like a vessel in full sail with a fair wind." Ahh... can you feel the breeze on your face?

After this week's discussion, I found myself consciously attempting to turn my thoughts away from their natural course. My life became less about me and more about the world. That may seem like a simple and obvious plan of action, but it isn't my instinct to be that way. I've been that way much more naturally in the recent past, but in the even more recent past, those joyful, peaceful, and loving thoughts and actions have gone by the wayside. It was so nice to feel that way again - to want to do what God wants... when that is the nature of your heart, nothing but good can abound!

I have also thought about, and I think acted upon, a quote that Donna gave from another author (Gerald May?) It goes something like this, "The kind of Christian you are is not reflected in your actions, but in your reactions." Wow... that gets to the heart of it, doesn't it? I mean, we can act like we're loving, act like we're at peace, act like we care more for others than ourselves, but we can still hold inside the selfish thoughts and attitudes of a divided heart. But if we turn our heart solely toward God, then love, peace, and care for others becomes our nature, our reaction.

Talk around the office

This week, the topic of Peak Oil has been discussed and debated in the offices near mine (and including mine). Here's an intro to the subject including what we can expect, according to this gentleman, after reaching peak oil production when the price of gathering oil costs more than it does during peak while the demand continues to grow based on population and the structure of our economy.

Speaking of my office, check out this picture of my office window - it's the flat (not angled out) one in the center on the top floor. The flourescent light on the right side of the window is the light over my desk! My officemate, Scott, is hiding on the left side behind the window blinds. The photo is from a real estate office's website - their office is on the bottom floor of our building.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Does this mean I'm official?

It's hard to believe, folks, but guess what my blog apparently did? It created a hit spike on someone else's blog! I have to wonder if it's not some strange coincidence that caused FrumDad's blog to spike some hits on the same day that I wrote a post about it. Either way, it happened, and FrumDad was excited, which is great! And then he was disappointed because he did not have time to write a new post to keep the new readers interested, and that wasn't so great. Either way, this whole blogging thing and the community that it creates is pretty interesting. I even read about some guy who has written a couple of books on blogging. There are probably more, but as I'm new to this thing, two seems like an awful lot already!

Locks of Love - our 1 year anniversary

Fifty-two weeks ago today (that's 364 days, so I won't call it a year), Beth and I donated our hair to Locks of Love, a charity that donates custom-molded hair prosthetics to children under 18 who have lost their hair due to long-term medical reasons. Contrary to popular belief, they do not provide most prosthetics to children with cancer, but to children whose hair will never grow back due to the auto-immune disorder called alopecia areata.

I have pictures to show of our "Before" and "After" looks, but they are stored at Geocities, which will not allow me to link to them from here. I'll have to determine an alternative. Until then, you can read up on the Locks of Love program and consider your own donation!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Our dossier is embassy-bound

Today I Fed-Exed our notarized, certified, and Great Sealed dossier documents to the Guatemalan Embassy in Washington, DC. There they will be "legalized" and returned to us. We'll put a bunch of other papers together with them (some photo pages, INS forms, etc.) and make a few photocopies of everything and then we'll send it all to our placing agency in Georgia. They'll send the originals to their lawyer in Guatemala who will provide us with a referral. That is, if we don't choose a "waiting child" from the list.

If we are referred a child by the lawyer, it will most likely be an infant (<12 months old) boy. Because we aren't particularly interested in having an infant, we may select a child from the photolisting of waiting children. However, there are only 2 children on the waiting list through our agency at the moment. We'll think it over, pray about it, and see what comes out as our best choice.

Stifled by cicadas

I'm missing a game of ultimate frisbee with my coworkers right now because the cicadas are out in full force. I got brave over the weekend and spent some time outside in the yard, but today they seem even more mobile and active than they have been. I ran an errand this morning and hit more than the usual number of them with my truck. And in the parking lot while on said errand, the few ornamental trees there were just buzzing with the critters. I can only imagine how many cicadas the guys are sharing the ultimate field with today. It is surrounded by mature forest.

My office is on the top floor of a 4-story building and there is an almost constant "swarm" of cicadas flying by, landing on the building, and hitting the window. They are covering the trees below and flying back and forth between them at a rapid pace. They appear as busy as ants, although they don't come close to flying in a straight line.

I know that those of you who live around here are probably tired of hearing about the cicadas - but you know what? It only happens every 17 years, so what's the big deal with a few more conversations about them? They really are affecting most peoples' daily lives (not in the way that they're keeping me from playing ultimate, but that their noise is disruptive or the stench of the dead ones is wreaking havoc with their noses) and they're pretty interesting to keep an eye on. So, I'll keep talking about them with people. I don't have any grand theological or spiritual understandings from them, but I think it's cool to find out whose yards have them and how people are affected by their enormous presence.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Friends from way back

Saturday, I got together with my friends from high school (two of which I've known since elementary school). We see each other for special events (weddings, baby showers, etc.) and the occasional get-together, like this weekend, when we haven't had any special occasions that we've all made it to recently. Yesterday I learned that everybody changes, sometimes a lot:

  • Valerie - she was the first to get married and the first to have a child. Her daughter is precious and although I barely know her husband, he seems like a great guy. They now live in Pennsylvania and they have a zoo in their yard - well, they have some chickens and ducks and are hoping for a couple of goats soon. OK, so Valerie isn't into any of that, but the fact that she even tolerates it is quite the change from the more prim and proper gal she used to be. Don't get me wrong - she is still sweet and gracious, but I'm surprised by the fact that she works on the house (building as well as painting and such) and has all those animals.
  • Mary - she's pregnant, which is somewhat surprising. Heck, it's surprising that she even got married. She and I were always the "We'll do fine on our own, we don't need no stinkin' man" and "Stay home to raise a family? Yeah, right!" types. But, we're both madly in love with our "stinkin' men" and on our way to staying at home with our children. Go figure.
  • Dana - I'll admit that Dana seems to have changed the least - she's still hilariously sarcastic and funny with strong opinions (it's hard to believe that she and I ever knocked heads (figuratively) over anything in high school, isn't it?) She lives in Delaware in a town she calls the "homosexual capital," which doesn't help her in the dating department. Although she could always meet and settle down with one of the "tourons," which is short for "tourist morons" in her neck of the woods. Would she call me one of those if I came to visit? Probably so.
  • Jill - she was voted The Quietest in our senior class. I remember her shy, tiny self lugging a huge backpack of books around the halls. Now, she's a confident woman with an MBA and and trophies for various sports teams that she plays on. She meets a lot of guys but hasn't found the right one yet - well, maybe she has, but whenever it seems like it, they move to another country or something.

It was so wonderful to see them all again and share some laughs and heartaches with one another. It's true what my mom told me in middle school when I stopped spending so much time with Mary and Valerie and worked my way through the popular crowd (I was never popular, I was a friend on the fringe) - "In the end, it's wise not to forget who your true blue friends are." Have I seen any of those other "friends" from middle school? Nope. Do they care what I'm up to these days? Probably not. Do Mary and Valerie and Jill and Dana? You bet. And that's what we all need in our friends.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The Bees Have Landed

This Sunday, our church's new bee communities will arrive. Andy and I are on the "Bee Team" and we will be there to welcome the newest members of the congregation. Neither of us have kept bees before. My interest in them came from a very short paper I wrote in a biology class a few years ago and I have since read some more articles and books about them. They are so fascinating the way they work together in community. I will have to share some insights from them in the coming weeks - I think we all have something to learn from bees!

In the meantime, you can check out the local beekeeping scene at

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Out of the mouths of babes

Yesterday, a generous friend of ours from church notarized our adoption dossier documents. She has 4 children who were all at home at the time and they watched fairly closely while their mom took care of signing, dating, rubber stamping, and embossed stamping our papers. One of the children asked her mom whether she and dad had to do that for their adoptions ("Yes") while another child asked, "If they're the ones adopting, why are you doing all of the work?"

After the signing was complete, I organized the papers and one of the other children, who had been in timeout since I arrived, came into the kitchen asking where his sword was. Mom answered where it was and stated that he was still not allowed to play with it. He asked again if he could play with it and she responded that he could not. She told him that he needed to make some good choices before he was allowed to play with the sword again. She asked him if he knew what a good choice might be and he responded, "For me to ask you if I can play with the sword and for you to answer 'Yes.'"

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lessons from a father

While checking out The Trixie Update, I followed a link to FrumDad's blog and found this really cool entry about the biggest lesson he's learned since the birth of his child. I'm at the place he talks about in his pre-dad days when he was able to say with sincerity that he knew what was meant by using the comparison of a wonderful earthly father to God's fatherhood over us. However, I look forward to the day after having children that I understand, like FrumDad does, inside my heart in new and amazing ways how God really does love us.

Status Update of our Adoption Proceedings

I emailed this letter to our families and thought it covered the bases of what some of the rest of you might want to know about what's going on with our adoption right now and in the near future.

Hi All,

This weekend, talking with Mom and Dad, we realized that we haven't kept you all up-to-date on what's going on with our adoption process. So, here's the current scoop:

We're finished with our home study (inspections, background checks, doctor appointments, social worker visits, etc.) and we were approved by our social worker and homestudy agency. Now we're gathering our documents for our dossier, which is the file of information all about us which will go to Guatemala as our representation in family court. It includes some of the background checks, employer reference letters, power of attorney for the lawyer in Guatemala, photos of us and our families (yes, you're all part of our dossier!), medical reports, birth and marriage certificates, etc.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon I'm having all of those documents notarized. After that (Thursday or Friday), I'll take them to the Howard County Circuit Court Clerk to have the notary's stamp "certified." Then I will take the documents to Annapolis to the Secretary of State to have them each Great Sealed. Each step provides proof that the previous step was done correctly and signed by a person of legitimate right to do so. Andy's birth certificate is from Washington DC, not Maryland, so I took that down to DC last week to have it Great Sealed by their "secretary of state" (not really an SOS since DC isn't a state, but it's the same idea.)

After the documents are Great Sealed, I will send them to our placing agency in Georgia, who will send them to one of their lawyers in Guatemala. The lawyer will provide us with a referral, which is currently taking approximately 2-4 weeks. That's very fast! We will receive all of the information about the referred child that the lawyer can find and we will have about a week to determine whether or not to accept the referral. We will base that decision mostly on the medical report, which we will send to an international adoption specialist at Johns Hopkins. Their office is skilled in reading foreign country medical reports and will be able to point out any possible "red flags" so that we can make as informed of a decision as possible.

After we sign to accept the referral, our dossier is officially entered into the PGN (Guatemala's family court) for processing. The adoption will be legally finalized by our lawyer before we even arrive in the country.

We will be called once the family court provides a date for us to show up in person. The amount of notice varies but is usually a week or less - so we'll have to be ready to make travel plans at the last minute. It is currently taking approximately 2-3 months from the referral acceptance date to the call to travel. Again, that's fast!

We will be in Guatemala for 3 days to complete the paperwork, most of which is necessary to bring the child into the U.S. as our own. We have already begun the paperwork for that in order to get clearances ahead of time. One of our 3 sets of fingerprints was for this part of the process, but we'll have to get the child's visa from the Embassy once we're down there.

So, all in all, it's possible that we'll have our child home by October (wow!). It's certainly possible that it could be a little earlier or a little or much later, but the timeframes I've mentioned are what our placing agency has been experiencing in the past 6 months.

Oh, and it's likely that we'll only adopt one child this time because there are no siblings available for adoption in Guatemala (it happens, but it's rare, and since we began our initial paperwork, no siblings have become available.) We decided against adopting 2 unrelated children at the same time to begin with, so we will probably have one child to start. I'm sure he or she will keep us plenty busy!

Hmm... what else? I think that's the majority of info at the moment. Please feel free to ask any questions you want - I am likely to miss telling someone something and it's not because I don't want to tell you, it's just because it's hard to remember who knows what and who doesn't!


P.S. Just remembered to mention that some children in Guatemala are in "hogars" (orphanages) and some are in foster care. The orphanage system in Guatemala is among the best in the world (if there can be a best orphanage) in terms of the ratio of caregivers to children and the methods that they use to care for the children. Their foster system is also well-regarded because children are not generally "bounced around" from one home to another - they are often with the same caregiver from the time their birth mother relinquishes her parental rights until they are adopted. Ok, that's really it for now :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Long weekend in Cape May

On Friday we traveled to Cape May, NJ, for the fourth time in search of migrating birds. Cape May is on a major migration flyway for various types of birds - hawks & falcons, warblers, and shorebirds. In the past, we've always visited during the fall. This was our first spring-time trip, so it allowed us our first view of (tens of?) thousands of shorebirds gobbling up millions of horseshoe crab eggs.

We saw beautifully-colored Ruddy Turnstones, more rare Red Knots, Boat-tailed Grackles, Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Semipalmated Plovers, among others. The hawks were in short supply and the weather was counter-productive for warblers. The weather was warm, dry, and stable, so the birds had no reason to stop and rest/eat/take cover as they would've had the weather been stormy.

We came home to more cicadas in the yard - piles of shells litter the ground underneath some of our trees while some trees have no cicadas around them. A look through our binoculars at the tops of the trees showed a plethora of black and orange beasts with red eyes. My range around the yard is now limited to cement and asphalt surfaces with a very close look at anything I sit or lean on. Once they start flying more and falling to the ground to die, my range will be further restricted. Andy is planning to mow the grass today, but he's likely going to only work on the front yard, where there are far less of the crunchy creatures to walk through and chop up with the mower.

Friday, May 14, 2004


No, I'm not talking about that other Emergent thing, I'm talking about Magicicada sp. - Cicadas! Yesterday after work we checked our trees and sure enough, they've come. The first mass made their way out of the ground the previous night, worked their way out of their shells, and unfurled their wings.

There are shells on tree bark, shells on large leaves, shells on twigs, shells on shrubs, and even shells on flower stems. And I know that this is just the beginning. Last night between Survivor and CSI, we took a flashlight outside to look for the immature cicadas digging their way out of the ground. Sure enough, they were crawling along the ground and making their way up the trees! I admit that I freaked out, out there in the dark feeling surrounded by creeping, crawling, crunchy things, but with Andy's help, I was able to turn around and run back into the house and involuntarily shake off the icky feeling like a dog drying off after a swim.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Congrats to Mariah and Kaver

Kodak's Rochester location hosts a Peregrine Falcon nest which has cameras up all over it (hey, it's Kodak) with live feeds to the Web. This morning, this year's couple, Mariah (mom) and Kaver (dad), are the proud parents of an eyas! (that's the word for a fledgling falcon or hawk) Four eggs remained unhatched but they should join the white fuzzy guy in the next day or two.

Check it out at

Fighting my teammate

On my drive to work this morning, I was thinking through a previous conversation with a friend about something I struggle with. As is often the case, when I thought through the conversation after-the-fact, I came up with better ways to say the things I meant to say. One line I thought up was, "This is a result of me wrestling with God and [blank] won." I first put my name in as the winner. Well, that didn't make sense, because I'm still struggling! No, that's not the answer. As wrestling matches go, the person who doesn't lose is the winner. Given that, God must've won our wrestling match. But no, that's not the answer either. I mean, really - why would God be happy that I'm still struggling with something?

So if God didn't win and I didn't win, what the heck kind of sport is that? We're wrestling and the only way for either of us to win is if we both win? That must mean we're on the same team. Tell me again why we're wrestling against one another??

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Adoption 201 (The Home Study)

All adoptive families, whether their adoption will be domestic or international, have to have a home study. The laws regarding how a home study is performed are governed by the states. Home study agencies may also have their own set of rules to follow.

The purpose of the home study is to "weed out" those people who clearly should not be parents and to educate the majority who should. The home study process gives the adoptive parents (and children if there are already children in the family) a chance to think and talk through issues related to general parenting and those issues specific to adoption and the type of adoption the family is considering. For example, the family will be asked, in the case of an international adoption, how they intend to keep the child's birth culture as a part of his/her life and, in the case of a trans-racial adoption, how they intend to handle intrustive and sometimes rude questions about their child's physical features. Education on these issues is provided as well.

A home study is performed by a licensed social worker. The agency used for the home study does not need to be the same agency used for child referral and placement, although one could use the same agency for both portions of the process.

We used Creative Adoptions in Columbia, MD, for our homestudy and our social worker's name is Henrietta. Before meeting with Henrietta, we had to compile a number of documents so that she would know what types of things we would need to spend extra time discussing. Below is what we had to get before meeting with Henrietta:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Physician Reports
  • Home Sanitation Inspection
  • Home Fire Safety Inspection
  • Three letters of reference
  • Employment reference letters
  • Financial statements with verification of income
  • Written plan to provide space in home for children
  • State and federal criminal background checks (2 sets of fingerprints)
  • Child abuse and neglect clearances
  • Child support payment clearances
  • Driving records

After completing that list of items, we met with Henrietta on 2 occasions in our home. We discussed our marriage relationship and our families of origin. We also discussed our parenting philosophy and the Maryland child discipline regulations. Those visits each lasted approximately 2 hours. Part of that time we met with her separately and part of the time we all met together.

Before our homestudy was released to us, we had to provide the following documents to Creative Adoptions:

  • Previous year's IRS 1040
  • Health and life insurance information stating coverage
  • Proof of rabies vaccination of our cat

Last week our homestudy report was written in draft form and approved by our placing agency, World Partners Adoption. We will receive a final, notarized copy that we will send to Guatemala with our dossier. Further information on our dossier will be presented in another post. Stay tuned!

Alan Turing

"Attempting to resolve a long-standing debate over whether any one method could prove or disprove all mathematical statements, [Alan] Turing invoked the notion of a "universal machine" that could be given instructions to perform a variety of tasks. Turing spoke of a "machine" only abstractly, as a sequence of steps to be executed. But his realization that the data fed into a system also could function as its directions opened the door to the invention of software."

--From an article in BusinessWeek Online

Turing "thought up" the idea of computer programming back in the 1930's. Imagine coming up with that idea before the days of IBM, Apple, Atari, Cingular... today it seems like such a simple idea, but what an idea it was then!

Monday, May 10, 2004


Blogger, the blogging application I use, just launched a revamped site. So far, I like the look - a little more modern, crisp, and user-friendly. If you don't have a blog but have considered writing one, check out for a free and easy-to-use app.

I'm eating lunch right now and it's leftovers of last night's dinner. I'm still amazed at what I'm putting in my mouth. And those of you who know me well will be amazed, too. It's Vegetarian Chili (Health Valley brand Mild Three-Bean Chili) over brown rice. First of all, I don't like chili. Second of all, I don't like stuff mixed together. Third of all, I really like meat and I don't like vegetables. So what am I doing eating this stuff? As I mentioned in my "Who Is A Mother?" post, I'm trying to lower my cholesterol and I'm attempting to learn to tolerate that which I do not enjoy. Most of the time, I don't enjoy what I'm learning to tolerate, although I could definitely eat this chili again (which I am doing today for lunch.) I even ate the tomato chunks, onions, and carrots in the chili - knowingly. They didn't just creep onto my fork by hiding on the underside of a red kidney bean (usually I don't allow anything to creep onto my fork without my inspection anyway); I actually chose to eat them!

Last week I found Yes, I Made It Myself, a blog mostly about knitting (which I'm not much into) but also occasionally about organic food, voluntary simplicity, and walking communities (all of which I'm very interested in.)

This weekend we transplanted some shrubs (forsythia, hydrangea) and bulbs (tulips, daffodils) from our yard to our church's property. While digging up the plants in our yard on Friday night, we uncovered numerous cicadas. This doesn't bode well for my outdoor activities over the next couple of months. Don't get me wrong - I think that they are biologically and ecologically fascinating, but that's in a, "Hey, did you know such and such cool thing about cicadas?" kinda way rather than a, "Wow, how great that they're crawling on me and getting stuck in my hair!" kinda way.

Last week, Elesa sent me an article on what appears to be a great new book that I can't wait to read. It's called Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro. The author describes a new motherhood paradigm shifting into reverse from the currently-hot "Super Mom" bonanza of acquiring every new and perfect learning device to make your child smarter and running your children to every type of activity you can dream up in your head for them to participate in. I was so happy to read about this book and that there are others out there discussing the same topic. I thought I was alone in my desire to simplify our childrens' lives instead of making them more busy and go-getter like. We have always planned to limit our kids' activities (soccer, t-ball, ballet, karate, scouts, etc.) and give them more chances to develop themselves through imaginative play and not be bombarded with piles, buckets, and bins of toys all over the house. This article showed me, "Phew... it's not just us and we're not just crazy!"

Friday, May 07, 2004

Culture Shock

So I took the Metro into DC today to take care of some adoption paperwork. I haven't been on the Metro in a long time and I haven't used it more than a handful of times anyway. First of all, I forgot how long the walk is across the parking lot when you arrive there after rush hour. I also forgot how wiggly my stomach gets when the train starts to move. Then we went into a tunnel and I remembered my claustrophobia. And I can't forget this (because it's pretty funny) - we approached the Judiciary Square station where I needed to get out and the conductor announced the doors would be opening on the right. So I got up and stood by the right-side doors. Unfortunately for me, I was sitting in one of those "backwards" seats, so I was actually standing by the left-side doors, all alone and not realizing that I was at the wrong place. I heard the other doors open, looked behind me and saw people exiting the other side of the train. D'oh! After following them out of the train, I realized that had I actually looked through the door that I was initially in front of, I would've seen that outside the door I was trying to exit was a concrete wall! Hopefully I at least gave a few people left on the train a chuckle.

Lots of the Metro ride was outside, not in tunnels, so I got to see areas of metro-DC that I don't usually see. We went by some parks with playgrounds and ballfields and by a number of warehouse-type businesses. I saw a lot of graffiti and some houses that didn't look anywhere near in the condition that the houses where I live are in. I peered through the train window feeling like such an outsider or spectator, like I was on a monorail at the zoo. I started to feel guilty that I don't experience that lifestyle on a more regular basis, but then I wondered whether there aren't advantages to the "sheltered" life that I seem to lead. By not seeing that everyday, it really struck me when I did see it and it moved my soul. Not that I wanted to go out on a missions trip or something, but just that I thought it interesting to see a different way of life and a different set of people than I interact with regularly and my mind felt instantly expanded. If I saw that every day, would I stop paying attention to it? However... my mind would still be expanded, it would just stay that way instead of instantly popping open on occasion. Hmm.. I think a permanently expanded mind is better after all.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Adoption 102 (Positive Adoption Language)

I'm not into the idea of "political correctness" for the sake of being politically correct, but I do embrace new terminology for the sake of people who are hurt by old or colloquial terminology that undermines truth or reinforces negative stereotypes.

Consider the list of terms below that are used to describe elements of adoption and notice how the "positive adoption language" on the right helps to reinforce the positive aspects of adoption - namely that all people within an adoption plan are worthy of respect and families created through adoption are just as real and important as families created through birth.

Negative language   Positive language
Real parent   Birthparent
Natural parent   Biological parent
Own child   Birth child
Adopted child; Own child   My child
Illegitimate   Born to unmarried parents
Give up   Terminate parental rights
Give away   Make an adoption plan
To keep   To parent
Adoptable child; Available child   Waiting child
Begettor   Biological father
Reunion   Making contact with
Adoptive parent   Parent
Foreign adoption   International adoption
Adoption triangle   Adoption triad
Disclosure   Permission to sign a release
Track down parents   Search
An unwanted child   Child placed for adoption
Child taken away   Court termination
Handicapped child   Child with special needs
Foreign child   Child from abroad
Is adopted   Was adopted

Adoption 101 (Types of Adoptions)

There are many kinds of adoptions.

There are independent adoptions where an adoptive couple does not use a placing agency to help them find their child. In a private independent adoption, they network and place advertisements to find a birth mother considering an adoption plan. In a public independent adoption, the family finds a child within the state social services system.

There are private agency adoptions where the adoptive couple hires an adoption agency to help them find a child who is not in the state social services system.

There are public agency adoptions where the adoptive couple hires an adoption agency to help them find a child who is in the state social services system.

Any of these types can be either domestic or international, although most international adoptions are neither independent nor private.

We are pursuing an international adoption through Guatemala with a placing agency, World Partners Adoption, in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Supplies for Iraq - 1st Shipment

Our first 7 boxes of supplies donated by our friends and friends of theirs are now packed up and ready to go to the Post Office. There are 160 pounds of supplies so far! They include, but are not limited to: 698 crayons, 20 hair combs, 2 backpacks, 132 markers, 23 tubes of toothpaste, 9 dresses, 35 pairs of pants, and 9 bars of soap. Wow, imagine the looks on the faces of the children who will receive these items! We pray that they will be blessed by them and we pray that our hearts will be blessed through our donations.