verse

"God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell" Psalm 68:6

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I am not sure if you think we fell off the face of the earth or not. We intentionally disconnected from the blog for while. It became too much to keep up with and honestly what we were going through over the last 9 months I am not sure we had the words to express all that was afoot. To catch you up as quickly as I can....

August 2010 we began the adoption process of 2 yet to be identified children from DR Congo. Early 2011 we accepted a referral for S and T and were excited about the journey God had led us on as well as the prospects of bring S and T home forever. We had hoped to travel early that summer and experienced some paperwork issues that continued to grow and between governments here and there that date was pushed to early 2012 which then got pushed further. Also at this time Laura was pregnant with our fourth birth child. (We had another miscarriage between A an J.) Anyway the first week of April we miscarried, heartbroken we coped with what then the expectation was to travel Easter 2012. We were close to buying plane tickets and all left was Visa interviews for S an T at the US Embassy. Then we got the call, the Embassy requested more information (DNA testing) that turned into a 3 month delay with document travel between continents several times coupled with a lot of turnover at the Embassy. We finally got the call early July 2012 that all was finally in order only to find out it wasn't! The embassy had lost some of our information, wouldn't you know there was another Robert Davis adopting in Congo and a critical file for me was save under his file by USCIS.

We were borderline basket cases by now. All of the ups and downs, hope come to light only to be ripped from our fingertips, 2012 has a lot I almost wish to forget. Yet I cant forget, for all of the heartache it was also some of the greatest growth of my life. I learned I was not in control, I was helpless in the situation and God used these challenges like fire to steel to grow my faith in Him beyond what I could control. He has been so faithful in providing all of the finances...sometimes at the last minute, moving mountains...slower than I would have preferred, yet in the end we can see his plan and feel His love for us. He placed us in a situation where the only explanation we had was God did it, no one else!

Now on to DR Congo! We left on July 22,2012 about 2 in the afternoon, after connections in Newark, Brussels and Angola we arrived in Congo shortly after 8PM local time on July 23rd. After getting our bags and meeting our liaison, we got in to the car and had quite a surprise...our children! S and T were in the car waiting for us. We were not sure what to do, it was dark and they had never met us. I found myself pulling out my smart phone and thanks to our 18yr old back home I had about a 1000 pictures of our family complete with videos. The hour ride to the mission seemed to pass fairly well from there on. We arrived to our room, exhausted with 2 hours sleep in 2 days, an proceeded to bathe the children, treat their skin and prepare for bed. We survived the next week by Gods grace. Overall we enjoyed the country and the people. We felt safe most of the time with the exception of a couple of instances where police had the day off. We had several challenges with S an T which is understandable given what they were experiencing but compounded by our lack of rest which never we caught up.

Now we arrive back home on August 1,2012 to our family and other children at the airport. We were so exhausted but very happy to be home with all of our children, and desperately craving a warm bath. We get home around 10pm or so to find out our dogs got fleas while we were away and the house was infested! After 2.5 hours of cleaning and treatment we finally went to bed. From then each day had its own set of challenges. We all had to adjust to what our family dynamic was shifting to. We had to learn to communicate as S and T did not speak much English and didn't understand most of what they spoke. Anything from sibling rivalries to their place in the family had to be worked through. To be honest it found like one extremely long day for about the first 6 weeks or so. Then we had a good family day at Stone Mountain Park, followed in the weeks to come by more "peace" than conflict.

Things are not perfect now but they are night and day from what they were. S and T are adjusting well as are our other children. We feel more like a family, complete, fulfilled. We feel so blessed for all God has done to call us to our children, provide the way, and grow us in the process. We are very thankful for all of our friends and family that supported us through prayer, gifts, finances, and provided a shoulder to cry on with all we experienced.Thank you to our church family,Crossroads, and our community group! You saw God at work in us and have been His hands and feet throughout this whole process, even after coming home.

As difficult as this process was I could not imagine having to do it without the staff at One World Adoptions. Susan, Alex, Terri and Allison, we were truly blessed by your support, honesty, and prayers. Your in country staff is absolutely amazing! Thank you for allowing God to use you all to put our family together! We were blessed by ministries such as Show Hope and Promise 686 for partnering on our journey with us and being a huge part of God's story! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we seek Holy Spirit for the direction He has for us going forward.

In His Grip,
Rob

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Renewed Perspective, God Will Provide!

      Its been a while since I have posted on our blog. To be honest this process has been grinding and taken so much longer than we anticipated. The heartache of not having our children home has been something God has sustained us through and taught us to depend on Him even more. At times its even been discouraging seeing the huge need ahead of us and knowing we had depleted all of our savings in the pursuit of both our children in DR Congo and our daughter Elizabeth from Latvia. It was an tremendous growth moment for me personally as I was officially out of control, unable to "fix" this. We has sliced our budget down, had more meatless meals than I care to count, worn clothes well beyond their prime, sold possessions, drastically slimmed Christmas, you get the idea. It nudged me to acknowledge that God was in control, this was His story, and He was writing it as He saw it best. This was God shaping us, showing us what culture said we are entitled to is not what we need to fulfilled life in Him. I will be honest I had a brief moment of panic just before Christmas when we started looking at airline tickets and realized it could be nearly 10,000 dollars for Laura and I to travel round trip and Sophie and Timothee' travel one way. More on this later...
     My father in law lent me a biography of George Mueller and I read it the Tuesday after Christmas. Outside of the Bible I have never in my life read a book that rocked my worldview the way the words jumped out at me. Its just a short book, 150 pages or so. I could not put it down. I couldn't help but compare my life, views, and fears with Mueller. How he was confronted with a personal God, how he had such faith and trust in HIM that he never asked a soul for money. He believed if God called him to it, God would provide. He would live a life in which God was in control. Yes he struggled at times, yes he suffered greatly, but in the end you get to see the beautiful picture of how God took nothing and built it into a ministry to over 2000 orphans. He knew it would take "X" dollars (pounds, this was England) for something, he would pray specifically for that amount, and it always showed up. Sometimes in the 11th hour of the need. I'm not saying its wrong to ask for money, but it convicted me for the money I had asked for. I asked out of need to be in control, to fix the problem. My heart should have been from a place where I went to God for what I needed, this was after all His calling on our lives. Why would we trust Him to cast the vision but not give us the road map to achieve it? Having said that, we resolved to pray and trust God to provide. He had done it to this point, now in the moments readying to travel, we could not believe anything less.
     Its funny how Holy Spirit brings clarity after we align our perspective with His and walk in obedience. In the couple of weeks after Christmas, our Promise 686 grant (which had stalled for months) was filled to the full matching grant! After months of our little funds thermometer on this blog stuck, its such a JOY to have watched God fill it! Not only that but several have responded with references for travel and it looks as though we will be able to procure airline tickets through Golden Rule Travel for about half what we were expecting. We were floored with how God provided the funds to travel, bring everyone home, and we believe cover most of the post placement expenses of re-adoption, home visits, and we hope medicals. I feel so humbled by His love for us and how He has wrapped His arms around us to let us know He has this, we just have to trust Him!
     Now we are diligently praying for our I-600 (currently sitting on a desk in Lee's Summit, MO) to get final approval, our biometrics appointment (fingerprints expire Feb 01), then subsequent visa appointments before we finally, after nearly 17 months, can bring our children home. We are so excited to look out in the yard and see all of our children home, together, living a life fulfilled by the promise He gave us. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and your prayers. God is a lover of His people, you have shown us more of His character through your actions.

In His Grip, Rob

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

News!!!!

We have news! We have news!  Finally, after waiting for months, our agency received the death certificate from our children's birth mother. The court in Kinshasa had to issue an order to have one written because her death was never reported to the government. After reading the court proceedings, I understand why. It's a heart breaking story, and a common story for a country torn by decades of civil war and unrest. Our children are true direct victims of this conflict.

December 14th, our agency sent our I600 packet to USCIS (US Immigration). We're hoping to get our approval letter in a few weeks, and then we're only 5 weeks or so away from traveling to meet them, love on them, and bring them home!!!

On the other hand, we're also only a short amount of time from needing a large amount of money to pay for travel expenses. Rob did an airfare search and found out tickets are going to be around $10,000!!

We are so excited that we'll be holding them soon! Please pray for speedy USCIS approval, for the money we need to travel, and for Rob and I to trust in God and His provision. Thanks for those prayers :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Give the Gift of Love this Christmas!

Give the gift of love this Christmas! Some friends of ours are hosting orphans from Latvia this Christmas, the final days of fundraising are upon us. Some more friends are helping fund raise for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire or one of many other awesome gifts. Today (Saturday Nov 19) is the last day. Please visit http://thehelffamily.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/527/ to donate. It only costs $5 per entry and can change the lives of 3 orphans for eternity! (You also can have up to 4 free entries, details on their blog)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:5

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?            1 Corinthians 3:16


Holy God is father and defender, dwelling in his temple, in us.

Don't we know this?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Elizabeth Came Home: 2

When I walked thru the arrival doors in Riga, I was surprised to hear high pitched squeaks before I even saw my girl coming. She ran up and threw her arms around me, I think we were both in shock that the moment had finally come. I was really there!! She was really coming here!!!


A sweet couple that I met thru Facebook offered to meet me at the airport, but went way beyond that. She worked out Elizabeth coming to Riga the day before so she could greet me at the airport, hosted us both in her home, showed us how to get around town, took us to eat at the amazing Lido, went the the Embassy appointment with us, and even gave me a bus pass that had just enough on it for every trip that we needed to make! God used her for a blessing to us in a detailed and gracious way!

Friday we had our embassy appointment. This was Elizabeth's visa interview where the US said yes or no. We got there, met our lawyer who was such a help thru the whole process, and then it was our turn to answer the questions. One of the documents was in Latvian, and the embassy official said he would go read it and be right back. We waited 45 minutes. Oh, I prayed and fought against anxiousness! Finally, he returned. Elizabeth's case, he said, was very complicated. It could look like a back door adoption, (adoption is illegal for foreign children older than 15 1/2 in most cases according to current U.S. federal law) He remarked that we were gracious to offer her this opportunity, but that she and we had to understand that she MUST return to Latvia when her visa expired. But, he believed our intentions were true and so he approved a 2 year visa for her. Praise God!!! We could come pick it up on Monday! They said YES!

Want to hear something else God did? Not until I was packing up my suitcase when we got back, did I realize that I had forgotten to take a required document to the embassy. He didn't even ask for it!!! Awed.

Well, we walked around Riga a bit more, explored the occupation museum which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone traveling to Riga, but especially those with Latvian children. Even with little English, I learned a lot about the history and perspective of the Latvian people.




Then, our sweet friend was so kind to drive us and our bags to the train station, and we were off on the train from the capital city, Riga, to Elizabeth's hometown, Daugavpils. Almost 3 hot sticky hours, and we were there! I'll tell you about our weekend, next time . . . .

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Elizabeth came Home: 1

Going back a month, I'm going to pick up the story and try to fill you in on some of the details of exactly how God made a way for Elizabeth to journey to the US and her family (that's us!!!). Here we go . . . .

Where we last left off the details, we were praying and holding on with every ounce of faith, waiting for God to come through in the last minutes and supply the document we had to have in time to travel to Latvia and get back in time for the first day of school. Well, 5 pm came and went. And I cried. Then we had to Skype our daughter. It was honestly the hardest phone call I have ever had to make, and I hope it always is. Elizabeth was so brave, but I could hear in her voice the heartache cracking.

We waited a week. Nothing. We continued to call our congressmen and federal numbers sifted from google. Nothing. God and I had some candid honest conversations. A few were raw. I began to wonder if I had misunderstood something along the way. . . .

Then we heard from our lawyer in Latvia. If Elizabeth is not out of the country before September 1st, she will have to attend school in Latvia. Game Over. So we prayed. And trusted. And didn't know for sure anymore exactly what God intended.

Then, we got a phone call. The paper was coming. And then it didn't. We waited, and  3 days later, we had what we needed! I picked up the paper and was at the airport 28 hours later! So thankful, so in awe of God's ways and the mountains He moved for us.



And it didn't stop with the documents! He orchestrated every detail and every step before us. I'll share what happened on the trip next time . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elizabeth is Home!

The Davises are Happy to Announce


the addition of our 3rd child and oldest daughter

Elizabeth

to our family!


Elizabeth and I returned home together on August 31st, 2011. We promptly drove 6 hours to the beach. And she LOVED it! Watching both our oldest and youngest girls experience the waves for the first time was a sweet blessing. Jacqueline turned 2 while we were there.

She began school last Tuesday, to today we've made it one week! She is doing great, and Rob and I feel like we're in high school again ourselves with the homework sessions :) Thank you, Mrs. Jones for all the Algebra problems. They are giving us a great opportunity to bond and parent Elizabeth. And thank you, Mr. Brock, for teaching me well enough that I can remember how to graph a function 10 year out of high school!

Remember the last post? Well, God's perfect timing was about 4 weeks after mine, and He truly made a way where there was none. Elizabeth is from Latvia, is in the U.S. on a student visa, and we are her legal guardians until she turns 18. However, legal details aside, she is our daughter, sister of our children, and we will be the grandparents of her children whenever God blesses her with them. Time is short as we're adjusting to the daily school run, homework, etc along with our preschool home mentality but it is all going really well. I will write more soon about the details of our trip.

So, for those of you who might be counting, Rob and I are now legal parents to 5 children:  17, 6, 4, 4, and 2. And, now we are only split between 2 continents. Still waiting for document corrections and then travel visa stuff for our DRC daughter and son. Thank you for your prayers!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Praying . . .


Our God is so good

He changed this sweet girl's heart

He gave our girl a desire to live in America and in our family

He has prepared the way, day by day, since January

On Sunday, I'll get on a plane. With a form required by the embassy. A form that she has to have to be allowed into this country. A form I don't have yet.

Today, I overheard Anthony "reading" aloud from his Bible.
"God is always there, because God never leaves us."
he is learning, as I am learning.

Would you pray with us? Fervently?
for SEVIS to complete what is needed for our form to be available
for Rob and I to trust in God's promises and character
for our faith to be strengthened

for Jacqueline to be in her biggest sister's arms soon

Saturday, July 9, 2011

At home with the Davises . . .

We're making room for more Davises!

Sure, sleeping in a laundry basket is comfy for a nap


But sometimes, even a small child needs their own bed.
So, we've been passing the waiting time by preparing for our three new arrivals.

All four of the youngest Davises (5,4,3,and 1 for a little while longer) are going to share a room classically labeled as "bonus" and positioned over the garage (Daddy has quickly adapted to not opening the garage door during naptime but rather *gasp* entering our home through the previously neglected front door)

Davises 4 and 1 have already moved in, and have given their new domain a hearty approval!



 Two sets of bunk beds, all the toys, and bright colors (courtesy of IKEA and Fisher Price designers) have won them over.








All that's left is painting a dresser, hanging a curtain in front of the closet, and anchoring the swing to the ceiling. Yes, I said the swing. Not joking. Really!

We had to pause on those details, though. We had another room to do!

Daddy took apart the crib. Jacqueline and Mommy watched, each shedding a tear. The end of an era . . . at least for a while . . .

And then, we got busy. Our oldest daughter needs a room!


And now she has one! I had a lot of fun imaging her dancing in front of the mirror headboard, and remembering sitting at the vanity when I was 17 . . . I hope she likes it!

Now, to pick up all the spare pieces littering OUR room :) 

I hate to leave a messy bedroom behind when I travel . . .
and I might be traveling to Latvia soon :)

Please keep praying for God to move hearts, bureaucracies, and time lines for Liza. Her first day of classes at Covenant Christian Academy is August 5th! I have faith that He will get her here on time!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Congratulations, Daddy

It's a girl and a boy!

We just received notice that we are the official and legal parents of our Congolese children!

It's an exciting day at home with the Davises!! We also have passports for each of them and our papers are being translated. It will still be a few months until we get to travel to bring them home, but it is so good to know they are ours in the present tense.

Next up, visa paperwork, immigration paperwork, and lots of waiting on both governments. Thank you each, as always, for your prayers for all of us!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saved . . .

Thank God for technology! We get to talk to our oldest daughter every week or so on Skype. Hear her voice, practice her English, joke together, and share details of daily life. And we get to pray over her. Our dear Liza always  asks for us to pray with her at the end of our calls. What does she ask for prayer for? Not her, not her friends, not her schoolwork. She always asks for her brother and sister in DRC. And for Anthony and Jacqueline, and us. And sometimes, when she is feeling bold, or just a little bit more lonely, for her to be home with us soon. I love her heart.

A few weeks ago, she wrote me a message. Checking in, on her family, on her siblings. And do you know what she asked about her newest brother and sister?

"How are they? Are they saved yet????"

Her exact words. Are they saved yet. Not are they safe, or are they home, but are they saved yet. Wow, her words I immediately snatched up and tucked away in my heart to ponder.

You see, my Liza knows much more than I. Like them, she has lost a parent to death at a young age. Like them, she has been abandoned by her other parent at a young age. I grieve over their losses and pain, Liza knows it. And Liza chose the word:  saved.

As a white, American adoptive mother, I would be shy of using that word. Who am I, many will ask, to "save" a child from their culture, from Africa, from their race. Selfish, naive, deluded? Who am I, to inflict on these children another loss, when I could fund their meals and electricity until 18. Sometimes, I might be tempted to listen. To doubt my own motives . . .

But then I hear Liza's perspective. The "many" have not experienced my children's circumstances. She has. So I'll hold on to this gift of wisdom from my oldest daughter, as I hold on to this gift of purpose from my God, who planted these three in my heart as He has planted two before in my womb.

And I'll answer her, "Yes, Liza. God has saved them, and we'll all be home together. Soon"

Then Job replied: 
"How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!"
Job 26:1-3

Friday, April 29, 2011

a brother and a sister hold on to each other



 There


Here

There is so much filling my heart, but I don't know how to share if meaningfully yet. So, I hold onto the parallels in my children, and ponder the small tokens I see of their hearts knitting together even now.
Before they've touched one another. . . .


Again, I am so humbly honored to be blessed with such amazing children.

Easter Pictures

ehhhhh are you sure about this bowtime, Mommy?


cheeseburger :)


her baby cheeks won't last much longer . . .


my sweet darlings


how small she is, how big Daddy's hand is!


exhausted from the hunt
 And our Easter scenes are brought to this blog by Facebook . . . which has refused to let me upload them all week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Papers are Submitted!

We just received word that our dossier has been fully translated (including our amended USCIS approval) and is being submitted to court in Kinshasa. That means that we are in line for a court hearing, with an estimated timeline of 4-8+ weeks. The next update we'll receive from DRC will be that we passed court. We will legally be the parents of our son and daughter for days, possibly weeks before we know it! It is exciting that the next step in this adoption process is becoming legal parents, but really it's all a formality. We are their parents, they are our children. Even though he doesn't know yet, our son has a big brother forever. Our daughter has her little sister Jacqueline to follow her always. Rob and I have been greatly blessed with five children. We pray for more blessings in our future.

For those of you who might be interested, it took 3 weeks to received our amended I-600A approval. We had to change our age range from 0-4 to 0-6 years.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring . . .

It's spring! Isn't it nice? Time to prepare for Easter, time to get outside with our families, and maybe time for new family portraits? Well, we can help you with all of that! Keep reading for the Raffle . . .

Please let me introduce to you my friend Eileen


Eileen has a sweet heart, especially toward orphans. She prayed and brainstormed, and came up with an idea of how she could help our children come home. She asked her mom to help her assemble and sell Easter Buckets to raise money for our adoption. I can't tell you how grateful I am that my daughter and son already have sweet friends loving them before they've even met :)


Eileen and her mom are offering these cute Easter Baskets (they're big!) for your special bunny!
each one is $10, personalized with the special boy or girl's name,
and include things like:
candy
plastic eggs
bubbles
play dough
balls
glow bracelet
silly bandz
the recipe for Resurrection Cookies

How awesome is Eileen! She'll even deliver it to you herself!


So, how can you get yours?
1.  leave a comment on this blog with your contact info
2. email Eileen's mom, Brooke Helf at brooke(at)inhissight(dot)org
3. sign up at the orphan care table on Sundays at
Crossroad Church of Walton County


And . . . You can enter our Spring Raffle!


Spring Raffle

Photo Session with 41ten Photography

Two Easter Baskets

Another friend, photographer Nakia Biles of 41ten Photography is offering a great prize!

Photo Session with 41ten Photography:$159 value
Includes:
*Session fee (1-2 hours of photographer's time at location of your choice or studio for newborn/maternity)
*Choice of print package valued at $99 or Photo CD with 15 images with copyright release also vauled at $99
(This can be used as a studio credit of $159 if winner wishes to apply credit to wedding package)

check out her amazing work at http://www.41tenphotography.com/


But, even if you don't win, each raffle ticket can be redeemed at 41ten photography for a free session fee!
(normally $60, no pictures included)
her current spring special is $99 for a Phote CD with 15 images


So, now you want to know how to get your tickets? Donate to our adoption on the sidebar!

1 ticket for $5 donation
3 tickets for $10 donation

then, after a $10 donation, get another for blogging about our giveaway or posting on Facebook!
Please leave a comment on this post letting me know that you donated and blogged/posted
This raffle is open now through Monday, April 18th

Easter Buckets on sale until Easter Sunday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Visit with Liza




Yesterday, some dear friends who are on a short-term mission in Latvia, went to visit Liza and meet her foster family. Thank God for these men who took time from their other work to minister love and connection to our dear girl. Just seeing you there, in her (for now) home, makes me feel so much closer to her.


Kevin, Sandis, Ventis, Craig
Liza, Inna
 We are also thankful beyond words for Inna and Ventis, Liza's foster parents. They are parents to 4 biological children and have also raised 6 foster children. They are supporting and encouraging Liza to choose the opportunity God is offering her to come to our family and pursue a college degree from a U.S. university. We count them as our biggest advocates!

We now have a lawyer in Latvia who is working on Liza's visa case. Pray with us that Liza will be able to travel to us as soon as school is out. There are many questions about whether orphan court will allow her to come on a travel visa for the summer and how that will work transferring to a student visa. And while you are praying, please pray that our school's SEVIS process will speed through all the government bureaucracy.

And if you are interested in more about Craig and Kevin's mission trip in Latvia, follow http://www.thehelffamily.com/ They have an awesome giveaway running through April 6th, too . . .

Grateful, as always, for your prayers!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Giveaway for Orphans!


Through Sunday, you have the opportunity to share in the lives of three precious orphans. Some sweet friends, two families we are living this radical life with, are hosting 3 Latvian treasures this summer. They need some help paying for the travel costs. Look at their sweet faces!

The Helfs and Reeds are running a giveaway for the next few days. Every donation of $10 is an entry, and the items up are things like the new iPad, Kohls and Amazon giftcards, and more! Just $10 right? Maybe you'll win something fun, but definitely you'll help change 3 young lives!!

http://www.thehelffamily.com/

P.S. Did you notice the new picture in the upper right bar? It's a group photo from our children's orphanage. There are in the picture. Can you guess which ones are ours?? Then, click on the picture and see where it leads you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sseko Designs Sandals

cyrus
Have you seen Sseko sandals? I must admit I've been drooling for a while. Part of what interests me so much is the story. These sandals are made by young women in Uganda who work for 9 months in between secondary school and university. This job enables them to earn money to pay for tuition, room, and board so that they can become doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers. These sandals are changing lives and communitites!

aren't they beautiful? The confidence and hope in their eyes . . .

starboard

So, you can imagine my excitement when the co-founder, Liz, said she would LOVE to help us raise money to help bring Sophie and Robert home! Amazing! Because I would LOVE to help sell sandals for her lovely young women!

Now the details! Each pair of sandals (leather bottoms and straps) is $50, additional straps are $10 a pair.
The sandals are leather, straps are fabric. The bases have loops so you can twist and tie your sandals in a different way each day, or exchange straps for a different look! Take a look at their website http://www.ssekodesigns.com/ and pick your favorite straps. Then CONTACT ME with your order. If you order thru the website, we won't get credit and you'll pay more after shipping. I will be submitting our order on March 28th.

red
Ways to order:
1. leave a comment with your name, contact info, shoe size, and strap
2. email me at lauradavis2005@gmail.com with your name, shoe size, and strap preference
3. see me in person! I'll be carrying a catalogue everywhere I go for the next 2 weeks!
4. see Debbie Davis at Covenant Christian Academy. She has a catalogue too and can take your order

When the sandals come in, we'll have a girls' night out! We'll deliver the orders, learn how to tie them on, see some great pictures, and share some snacks. I'll keep you posted with the date once we have a good idea of when they'll arrive.

Now, go have fun shopping!!



brown



Referral!!!

We are very pleased to announce that we have received and accepted the referral of a sibling set! Because we're keeping our blog public for now, we feel most comfortable keeping pictures and birth names private for now, so we'll be calling them by the names we will give them. Our daughter Sophie is five, and has the most beautiful smile and dignity. Our son Robert is three with a most playful spirit, five months younger than our son Anthony. We knew as soon as we saw his face he is the brother Anthony prays for and talks about playing with every day.

We are so thankful that they are safe in the orphanage now, that they are receiving nutritious food, and that they might begin to grow again. A family is traveling soon, and have agreed to take photos to them! So much love I am trying to pour into a few pages and simple words in a foreign language.

On our end, there has been a rush of new paperwork. Because Sophie is 5, and originally we planned on 4 or younger, we had to have an addendumm written on our homestudy. We have sent that to USCIS with a letter and forms, petitioning for an ammendment to our clearance. We have been told that this is a fairly quick and easy thing to do. Hope so! Waiting for a letter now. We also have written our Tribunal Letter to the judge in DRC officially requesting permission to adopt Sophie and Robert. If things happen in the normal timeframe, we're hoping to travel to DRC in July to bring them home.

Also, a referral means that it is $ time again! Time to pay lawyers, court costs, and orphanage fees (that means we're paying for food, electricity, and childcare). We'll be sending out letters with a bit more information about our children and ways people can help us. Time to use that Promise686 matching grant!

Thank you to all who are rejoicing with us! Rob and I can't wait to show you their faces and their hands holding ours.

Monday, February 7, 2011

free resource!

I've been waiting to post until I had time to share something meaningul. insightful. with complete sentences.

There hasn't been much time for that the past few weeks . . .

but I didn't want to miss sharing this. So, for today, just take advantage of this offer. Go to http://christianaudio.com/adopted-for-life-russell-moore and download a free audio of the best adoption book or theological book I've read in a long time. Russell Moore met my want for meaning in our wait. Dwelling on our adoption into God's family. Pondering the physical expression of spiritual eternity that happens when we welcome a child in the name of Christ.

My favorite nugget recently from this amazing book:  Jesus was from the lineage of Abraham and King David, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah, only because Joseph claimed him as his son. Jesus was from the House of David not by birth but by adoption! How eternally our adopted children inherit our heritage. How we inherit salvation through adoption, as coheirs with Christ!

So, download and dwell.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Busy

While we've been busy at home . . .

Lasma, Laura, Anthony, Jacqueline, Liza, and Agnete

our agency has been busy in Kinshasa

They've opened their own orphanage and many children have come home to new families and a group of new referrals have just come. We're #7 on the referral list, our wait moves forward, as we look forward to seeing the faces of our beloved children soon.

Here's to 2011!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pressing On

Its hard to fathom all God has done in the last few months. Our lives have changed in so many ways in how we manage money and belongings, how we see the world and hence...people, and our passion growing for what God would have for us in all things. As we have prayed we made cuts, decisions, and sacrifices as we felt God would have us to. Never in my life have I ever understood or experienced God interacting in my life as I have the last 5 months. God led us to sell our paid for 2006 Equinox and put the money towards the adoption. We felt compelled to make sacrifices in what we thought at one time were entitlements like meat at every meal and creature comforts within our home. We had people look at us with the "crazy" eye when we cut most of Christmas and gifts out. The amazing thing is how God has made our life's richer through this process. We don't miss cable, or Longhorns, or Wal-Mart 5 times a week. We still eat out and do things as a family but why spend $50 at Longhorns when $10 at McDonald's will do. Why buy the Big Mac combo when ordering off the dollar menu can fill me up just as easy. In general we buy whats practical and necessary, its been a culture shift that God has used to fund much of the adoption costs. We have been so blessed to have many of you owning the journey with us and doing your own fundraisers to help out. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Promise 686 which provides a tax deductible outlet for people wanting to help. (The donate button to the right links strait to them and you will receive a letter for your taxes). I have added a thermometer for a couple of reasons: First its to share how God is moving and to praise Him for what He has provided. Also to let you know there is still a need for finances. We are trusting God through all of this and we ask you to seek Holy Spirit if you can help bring both our children home. God is sovereign and I know it sounds so cliche' but its true...if we trust in Him , we cannot go wrong.

-Rob

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Freedom

Over the last year of our life, its absolutely amazing how God has grown Laura and I in our relationship with Him. To be honest the lives we now live I once thought impossible, something a pastor or teacher told you to strive for but it was not realistically attainable. Truthfully, until recently I never saw anyone living it. However I have watched God grow so many families in our church to this place, it has become a reality. There is so much I have felt God impressing on us to share but I have been reluctant because these things are so radically different from our normal American culture. This morning I was reading Titus 2. After reading this passage I felt that any reservations or excuses I could come up with didn't separate me from the fact I know this message should be shared with any who are willing to read it.

Titus 2 (New Living Translation)


 1 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. 2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.  3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.  6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.  9 Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back 10 or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.  11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.
 
What I want to share is how God has led Laura and I to a place in our lives where this is becoming who we are. Its a life where we are divorced from the culture of selfishness and married to a culture after God's heart. A life totally committed, not only when its convenient. It means getting our hands dirty, making sacrifices, placing others before ourselves. We are becoming further separated from our sense of entitlement each day. From things we once thought were rights like meat at every meal, a nice looking car, designer clothes, possessions, steak when we eat out, and so forth. Its like we have found a treasure buried deep in a cave that has lit our entire world. There is a freedom and profound awakening we have stumbled into from I believe by simply being obedient to what Holy Spirit has called us to and revealed in our lives how daily choices we all make prevent us from living a fulfilled life in the Spirit. I don't think we have it all figured our but I know I don't want to live another way. My desire is to share what God has revealed to me over the last year of my life and pray you find encouragement and opportunity for growth in your own life. I encourage you to journey with us and pray with us as God continually stretches us beyond ourselves and each day we find grace abounding in areas we never saw before.
 
Our prayers are with you all,
Rob

Monday, December 13, 2010

We Have Our First Grant Approval!!!!

Praise God! We have recieved our first grant approval for the adoption from Promise 686. Its a matching grant up to $6000! It provides a tax deductable avenue for donations that will be dispersed back to our angency for the adoption expenses. What a tremendous blessing to have the opportunity to recieve up to $12,000 for our adoption! Typically we all seek ways we can lower our tax burnden this time of year and we ask you to seek God if He would have you partner with us in giving 2 orphans from DR Congo a forever family by contributing a tax deductible donation through the donate button on the bottom right of this blog. All donations run through Promise 686, a registered 501 C3 non-profit. They will send you an annual statement for tax purposes. Laura and I are so blessed to be able to share our journey with you and we pray God would break our hearts with the things that break His. Defend the cause of the fatherless, love the loveless, seek out the least of these in your lives!

If you would like more information on Promise 686, their website is http://www.promise686.org/

Friday, December 3, 2010

10 days until Liza comes!

Our lives always seem busiest between Halloween and Christmas. Always.

So many preparations, so much rearranging, all to welcome the season of giving and remembering God's gift of sacrifice personified to us. This year is just the same. Except . . .

We have yet to put up a red or green decoration, anything that jingles or smells of evergreen pine. This year we are busy preparing our home, rearranging our rooms, all to welcome Liza. 10 days until we meet her and I cannot wait to become a small part of the plan I know God has for her life because He has chosen her to spend this sacred season with our family and our church. I love her already, because I know that Jesus loves her immensely!



Now, with 10 days left, we still have to pay $1,650.00 for her travel costs. You can help us by donating here http://www.active.com/donate/Christmas2010/Liza2010.  And she will need clothing and a warm coat. Lip balm and a hair brush. I hope God will provide resources to take her bowling (she mentioned she would like to go bowling in her bio) and do a few other fun things.

If you and your family have a few of these things used, we would truly appreciate them. She does not expect things with tags and most likely has never had new clothing anyway. If you would like to give her a giftcard to somewhere like Walmart or Target where she could pick out a few things for herself, she has probably never been able to shop in a store for herself before. A giftcard would also help her buy presents for her friends and caregivers/teachers to take home with her.

If you don't feel God leading you to give to her in that way, would you please consider sending her a Christmas card? Something to welcome her and encourage her?

Thank you, friends!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a . . . .

Today I am overcome with God's sovereignty. I feel very small. I feel very humble. I feel very undeserving.

We just received a letter from USCIS Department Immigration Services declaring that we have received a "favorable determination concerning orphan petition." We are now approved to welcome 2 children, male or female, ages 0-4 into our family.

The process has taken 6 weeks, although the website is charting 2 1/2 months in our region. We have moved faster than other families in the same process, and my heart aches for them. In faith, I know it's nothing about us, but must be about our children and when they need us to come to them. God called each of these families not to the first child in line, but to the son or daughter who before birth was predestined to be part of their family. I cry with joy that we are closer to our children.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Handmade hair accessories with a huge help!


Glad to report that we had a great day at the festival today, introducing our hair accessory collection and talking about ministry to ophans. Thanks to everyone who came by to talk, shop, and donate, and everyone who prayed for those opportunities. We feel blessed!

If you weren't able to come by today (because you were already committed elsewhere or because it's just too far away from you) we have a special opportunity for you, as well! For the next two weeks, that's until 11:59 pm Sat, November 13th, you can get your choice of any of our available designs for free with any donation to our adoption fund! That's right, ANY donation!!



purple rosette


yellow and red flowers

holly

headbands in assorted color schemes




Just make a donation through our paypal donate button on the right side bar and in the paypal comments on your transaction, list these things:
       - your choice of flower, rosette, holly, or head band
       - preferred color
       - choice of french clip, snap clip, pony holder, or pin for flower, rosette, or holly
       - age of headband wearer (infant, toddler, big girl, adult)
       - address to ship if your different from your paypal account.


OR if that doesn't work for you, just send me an email at lauradavis05AThotmailDOTcom with the amount and name on your paypal account and the item you would like and I can get it to you. When considering your donation, please keep in mind the shipping costs involved, as well.


Finally, for all our new friends, a little bit about why we're raising money! God has told my husband Rob and I (Laura) that we have two more children who, for only months longer, live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have no idea what their names or genders or specific ages are, but we know that today they live in a dangerous, chaotic country where they are most vulnerable and most susceptible to the atrocities that surround them. We also know that God has chosen to redeem them and place them in a family and church where they will witness daily His great Love for them.

We are deeply honored that you spend the last several minutes reading about our hearts and efforts to bring our children home. Thanks

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

sneak peek ;)

This Saturday a new collection of hair accessories I've designed will debut at the Covenant Christian Academy Fall Festival! I'm very excited about it, because they scream "fall" to me and the falling leaves outside have inspired me to wear one most days this week. So you can be excited, too, I thought I would give you a tiny sneak peek (in blurred iphone fashion) of what's in store . . .






This weekend, all our bows, head bands, pins, and clips will be available for any donation to our adoption fund!!! If there are any left, I'll have details here on Monday about how you can get one. Monday afternoon, righ after we return from our USCIS fingerprints!!!

See you Saturday, at CCA from 10-3 on the field! CCA is located on hwy 20 between Grayson and Loganville.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meet Liza!



Hello, Friends! Please meet Liza! She is a 16 year old Latvian orphan who will be spending a month with us over Christmas. She is a great student with a (I'm sure you've noticed) sweet smile. We'll be hosting her through New Horizons For Children, a pro-adoption organization that matches orphans with Christian families who show them practical, intimate, love as they experience functional, Godly family life. Liza will even have an opportunity to shadow at CCA during on some school days. We are very excited that God has asked us to have her as a guest in our home as we celebrate His Gift this coming season.

To be honest, we were tempted to say "No thanks, we're adopting from Africa. Maybe later . . . "  We could've felt justified saying "We'll help someone else . . . buy some socks or a sweater . . . " We would've been safe saying "We don't have any money. We still lack over $10,000 for our children that we're obligated to pay soon!"

Instead, by God's grace, we listened. We heard Philemon: 
So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back--not to mention that you owe me your very self. I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. v. 17-21
"Yes."

Now, we're sharing with you, because we know God desires to use others in Liza's life, and that starts now. God has resources for her and we ask that you pray fervently with us for those resources to be loosed generously on Liza's behalf. http://www.active.com/donate/Christmas2010/Liza2010 Please share this work God is doing with anyone Holy Spirit prompts you to share with. And, most desperately, pray for Liza to meet her Savior this Christmas!