Friday, February 26, 2010

Homestudy update

We received a call on Wednesday at 7:50am from our social worker and I could tell from hello that she was stressed out. She was planning on having our home study to us the Thursday before and now almost a week later, she was calling to tell me that she had somehow overwrote another family's file onto our file and she had lost everything she had typed up for our homestudy. What!!?? I tried to reassure her and be calm, but my heart just sunk. She said it was around 14 hours of typing! Yikes!!
Well, after we got off the phone , Greg called a man at Bartow Ford that knows a lot about computers and after getting some info from him, he called our sw back and it seems that it was typed on a remote desktop and our copy was still on the mainframe at AWAA. Whoo hoo!!
She got it emailed out to us by 2:00 on Wednesday and then I received a email from Caitlin at AWAA's main office letting me know she will review it and have it back to us by March 4th!
Yesterday though, she called to ask for an updated application letter, so that means she was working on it then and maybe..just maybe...she will approve it today!
That would make for a happy weekend surprise!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Sylvatus to Ethiopia

I grew up in a small town named Hillsville that is located in Carroll County, Virginia. Looking back, I had such an idealistic childhood. Parents that loved me, friends, a nice house, a good church and caring teachers at Sylvatus Elementary School. Syvatus was a small K-6 grade school that had old wooden floors and smelled like the coal that they used to heat the school and the cigarettes the principal smoked.

It is so strange what you can remember from those years of growing up. One of the kindergarten aides name was Artie and she collected thimbles. Thomas was the janitor and he was such a sweet man. The secretary's name was Lola and I always knew if I was sick or in trouble she would fill in as a mama until mine could be located.

I am sure there were plenty of academics that I was taught during my years there. I only know this because I successfully completed middle, high school and college, so there must have been a foundation set while I was at Sylvatus. The funny part is...I don't really remember learning much. Like, there is not a crystal clear memory of when I learned to read or add or learn my state capitals. It was the special things I remember like the fall festival where I would have the bejeezies scared out of me in the spook room. The talent show and 6th grade graduation were always highlights of the year. I also have some disturbing memories of having to sing Karen Carpenter and John Denver songs in music class , but that's besides the point ( it was the 80's!)

One particular memory that I have about 4th grade is watching a video on Ethiopia in Rava Quesenberry's 4th grade class. At the time there was terrible famine going on in Ethiopia, killing adults and children alike. The ruler of Ethiopia's pride kept him for asking for help from other countries and a reporter from the UK decided to report on it any way. The world was shocked that this was happening and no one was aware of it.

I remember as the images and the video ran across the screen the feelings of helplessness. I could feel the enormity of every mile that separated Sylvatus, Va from the sad conditions of Ethiopia. I was 9 years old and could not think of a single thing that I could do to help those poor people.
Photos like this is what I remember. Now, 26 years later, I can do something and I am. If all things go as planned, I will board a plane by the end of 2010 and go to Ethiopia and bring back a baby that is a victim of this same famine. See, the country of Ethiopia has still not fully recovered from the terrible times of the 1980's. There are still lots of children going to bed at night with empty tummy's. There is little or no health care for the poor. It is possible that the baby that we call our son will have became an orphan because of Aids, but it could also be from bad water, malaria or a simple infection that was never treated. His parents may still be alive and just not have any way to support a baby. There is still need for help in Ethiopia 26 years later. There are an estimated 50 million orphans in Ethiopia. 50 MILLION. They are the least of these the Bible is talking about.

I don't know why Mrs. Quesenberry decided to show us that video. Was it a benchmark for our history curriculum? Did she want us to be aware of more than our idealistic surroundings or was her heart breaking over the famine as she wanted us to feel that too? I don't know why , but I am glad she did. Our children are impressionable and we never ever know what we may sow into them that will come to harvest two and a half decades later. Thank you Mrs. Quesenberry...wherever you are.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ways to help if you are so inclined...

One of the most common things I hear people say about adoption is that they would consider adopting if it wasn't for the cost. I know it is a lot of money, but I am so thankful for the numerous organizations that will give grants and interest free loans to adoptive couples. As soon as our home study is finished ( please Lord, let it be this week!!) We can apply for adoption grants. Most of them are anywhere from $1000-$3,000 .There are many many other ways to raise money to cover an adoption. Here are a few opportunities you have to partner with us to bring Isaac home, if you feel the Lord leading you to help:

1. Premier Jewelry Show
I am having a Premier party at my house next Monday February 22 at 7:00. IF you live in the Kernersville/W-S/Greensboro area and would like to come, you are MORE than welcome to join us. My sweet consultant, Amanda is donating 40% of all sales to our adoption.

2. Tee Shirts
We have about 35 more tee shirts to sell. They are $15 and you can email me and send a check, come by( if you live close) and pick one up or use paypal.

3. Just Love Coffee
If you click on the button to the right it will take you to our virtual coffee shop. There you can choose your choice of coffee( I recommend the Ethiopian ones) and we receive $5 for each bag sold.

4. Eternal Family Fund
Our agency, America World has a program where you can donate money directly to our adoption account and you can count it as a tax deduction. We have a form we can email you to fill out and you send it in with your donation and AWAA will send you a receipt.

5. Frequent Flyer Miles
If you have miles saved up, we have heard, that we can use them on our plane trip to Ethiopia. I have no idea really how this works, but if you have miles to donate...I can find out!!

5. Garage Sale
Late May/early June we are planning to have the mother of all garage sales! If you have any items to donate (especially bigger items like furniture) We will gladly take them off your hands come spring.

We also take cash, check or charge.... :)

So far the Lord has met the need when we have needed money to pay for a fee, we are trusting He will continue to do so throughout. Thanks so much to all of you who have already given and continue to support us with prayer as well.

Micah 6:8 (New International Version)

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TOMS Shoes

Please take 3 minutes and watch this YouTube clip about what the people at TOMS Shoes are doing to help the people of Ethiopia and then go to TOMS and buy some super cute shoes that will make a difference.

It would make a great Valentine's gift (hint hint!)

Tee Shirts

We still have quite a few tee shirts we would love to sell in the next few months to help with our dossier submission fees. We have shirts in maroon and navy blue, in all sizes from youth med to 2XL. Here are a few pics of them.

Also if there are any other adoption families with tee shirts. I would love to do a tee shirt swap with you! Just email me and let me know!

Monday, February 8, 2010

When plan B becomes plan A

I dreamed last night that I was pregnant.

It is funny because I have dreamed this a lot in the last 13 years of being a mom. Except this time when I woke,up, just in that moment between awake and asleep, my heart dropped.
I was not disappointed because I thought i was preg, I would be thrilled, but because I knew that our adoption agency would make us halt our adoption plans.
My plan B ( to adopt if I cant get pregnant again) has become my plan A. I have came to the point where I can no longer imagine my life without an darling little Ethiopian baby in it.

I told my husband one day that adopting feels kinda like joining a team. You sort of learn the rules and the lingo, you pick a country and start wearing shirts that represent that country, you meet people you never really thought you would be friends with and are able to talk for hours with them. Your part of the team. The Mullis
family is part of the Ethiopian Adoption team and I cannot foresee a time in our lives where we will not be a part of that team. I think that is kinda cool.
I love that God has taken a decision to "step out of the boat" or out on faith and not only do I feel positive He will provide, He has also given us this circle of people that are also in various stages of adoption. We have a camaraderie that makes me feel even more confident in our decision and even more excited to share this journey with them.

Greg shared John 1:16 with me this week and that is how I feel about our adoption process.
"From the fullness of His grace , we have all received one blessing after another."

Sometimes Plan B is God's plan and if He gives us plan A, we will never know the blessings we could receive.

Go Team ET!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hurry up and wait

I got an email from our social worker that stated out homestudy should be completed by Feb 18th. There kinda goes my plan to be DTE by the end of Feb. She has 90 days to finish it and the fact that she is only taking about 60 really isnt bad, but I tried so hard to hurry and get all our paperwork in to her and now we are just waiting and it looks like we will be for the next 2 weeks. :(
Once it is finalized , it has to be sent to USCIS and hopefully it will not be long to get our 171H form. A trip to Raleigh for authentication and we can send it to AWAA. They will look over everything and approve it and then send it to Ethiopia.... See where I dont think this is gonna happen by the end of Feb?
I was really hoping to get our homestudy this week and maybe DTE would be a reality in Feb, but I am trying to tell myself that God knows exactly when that paperwork needs to get there and not a moment sooner would do me a bit of good.
Juts letting ya'll know there probably wont be any news to post for the next couple of weeks.

If you are praying with us, please pray that once our homestudy is approved and we are able to apply for grants we will receive some grant money to help with our international program fee that will be due here soon.

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