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A Call For Faith…

Tuesday will be a day that my family will not forget.  I was sitting at the office and checked my email and twitter account when I noted a tweet from Russel Moore (I highly recommend following Him on Twitter).  It simply read: “Russian parliament to vote on banning US adoption”   My heart stopped.   I wish I would not have called Cindy with the “I can not believe what I am reading” tone in my voice.   Her heart broke.  I should have been with her when she found out.

Within hours we were asking for your intercession and found ourselves hanging on every web page, twitter report, waiting on email, facebook updates….anything….we simply wanted to hear.   We still want to hear.  Our adoption agency has sent out one email.  Basically they said, we will let you know when we hear something.  But as much as we wanted (and still want to) hear more from them…there is simply nothing to share at this time…  We are just waiting.

Many have asked us, “Why did Russia do this?”  Below is an excerpt from an article written by Simon Shuster with Time Magazine” 2012-12-21 19:52:16

As a result, the Lower House of the Russian Government voted (Twice) to ban US adoption from Russia.   Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Duma’s foreign-affairs committee said “These parents adopt children to get extra welfare benefits, to get money, or they just began to hate this child. It doesn’t matter. There needs to be justice. It is a nationwide consensus. That is why we initiated this.”

There have been other comments…some hurt too much and cause too much anger for me to re-post.  There have been some from fellow Americans who simply say…”We are glad this is happening, because we should focus on adopting American children, stating we (adoptive parents) should be ashamed for ignoring the problem (children needing a home) here at home.”     This has been a very intense season of Spiritual battles for our family and hundreds like us.

We read one report, that stated:  Putin said yesterday that the ban on adoptions couldn’t take effect immediately because a treaty between Russia and the U.S. regulating the process requires a year’s notice to withdraw.   We began to hope.  But we were told today that courts could “unofficially” impose this immediately by simply canceling court dates.   We heard of this being the case today with one family in Russia awaiting a court date, but it was canceled and now this family is awaiting direction.

So what now?  We wait.  For now it appears that hope is the hands of Russia’s president.  As for me and my home…no president holds our hope in his hands.  We wait on Jesus.  We hope in the Lamb of God.

This is not an attack on adoption alone.  This is much bigger.  It is bigger than my family.  It is bigger than parents… this is bigger than children in need.  This is an attack on the gospel.  It is an attack on the Glory of Christ and movement behind this effort is much bigger than any government.  We are in the middle of a historic spiritual battle…please pray.

We pray.  We hope.  We wait on Jesus.   As more is made available to us…we will pass it on.   Our family has moments when everything thing feels overwhelming…then there are moments of complete peace.  Our faith is not based on mood or peace.  We trust Jesus.   We are desperate for Him…if our son comes home, it will be because our God moved men….governments.   The comforting news is, our God is able.

Pray for our Son.


Not really a set back but…

So let me begin by saying that Cindy and I are grateful to have been introduced to a group of other parents adopting from the same “region” we are adopting from.  I have been reading anything and everything I can about the weather, hotel stays, court expectations, paper work, and a world of eye opening / realistic expectations.   The past few days have been eye opening…and sobering.


Our agency at one time…shared that the process often takes 9-12 months.  Of course Cindy and I heard “9 months” ha ha.   This along with the rather fast pace that we have experienced things so far led us to believe that nine months would put us into late spring…or early summer.


We then learned that the courts that address adoption in our region, take the summer off!   So there is a possibility that at the end of May our efforts could be put aside till the Fall.  Ouch.


We were told at one point that while the courts expect adoptive parents to make three trips to the region that they often wave the final trip for many special needs children.  However…two weeks ago there was a law passed that the third trip will not be waved.  (insert deep dramatic sigh)


again…not set backs…just…you know…


It is hard to put into words how much Cindy and I (and our kids) have fallen in love with this little boy.   We love him…and we are ready for him to come home.  Please pray for endurance.


I am not sure how effective posting prayer requests have been…but if you have been reading and praying for my family, please pray for us as we move forward.  Pray for open doors and for grace.


Your friendship and encouragement mean more than you know.


Impact A Child’s World…by Christmas Shopping!

My friends Adam and Laura Swann are in the process of adopting.  They have a great website…

I will be doing my shopping here…I hope you join me!



Drum Roll Please….

There has been so much happening in the past few weeks.  Rather than writing an elaborate post, I will make this very simple.


1.  We have completed our Home Study!  It is being reviewed, so please pray for this process.  I hope that there are little to no revisions that need to be made.

2.  Our son is no longer listed on the Reese’s Rainbow website as a child who needs to be adopted, rather He has been unofficially paired with our family!

3.  For pastor appreciate day, our church gave us a plane ticket to Russia!  We are grateful to be part of such a sweet church family.  However, I am not sure how to take the big bold print that reads: “ONE WAY TICKET”

4.  We have completed our i6oo form.  (I think that is what it is called….it is times like this I am rejoicing that my wife is a social worker and can do most of this in her sleep)


Now…this is why I am writing this blog post.  We would like to introduce you to our little boy!  I am still unable to post His name, so the link I am providing you has his name listed as “Ellison”.   This will be how we refer to him until we have been officially paired with him by his local government.  If you would like to know his real name so that you can pray for him by name, message me and I will gladly share his name with you.

If you would like to see him…go to this link!  ELLISON!

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for our friends Jason and Lauren Ayres.  God is doing great things in their family as they prepare to adopt two beautiful children!  Find Lauren on Facebook for more information about their journey!
  • Pray for our friends Adam and Laura Swann.  They are adopting from Africa and have a great opportunity to purchase amazing gifts that help in this process.  For more information click HERE.
  • Please pray for our next round of paper work…While we look forward to Christmas, for adoptive families it is an intimidating deadline as many governments shut down for weeks at a time.  Please pray for our paper work to be processed without delay!
  • Pray for our son.  The four of us want him home as soon as possible.  His room is ready…now we just need him to get here!
  • Pray for the faith and endurance necessary for this process.  IT IS EXHAUSTING!  Cindy is a champ!  Caroline and Chandler have also worked hard.  God has blessed me with such a special family.

FINALLY…If you are going to purchase Christmas gifts for teachers, Sunday School Teachers, CO-Workers etc.  Please consider purchasing items from those who are raising money for their adoption.  If you would like some links I will gladly help…This helps in more ways than you could imagine.

Home study…check!

Monday we had our last home study meeting.  You might not see the big deal in this statement…but when you lack the ability to do the basics in home maintenance, then these words become more of a sense of great poetry or a beautiful song…(insert dramatic comparison here)  Knowing a social worker was coming to “look at our home” and “interview our children”  awakened something in my wife that I have never seen….it was a vision….a determination….I was afraid.


Cindy is a very easy going lady, but she quickly developed a “to do” list that has yet to be paralleled.  This was (in my opinion) the mother of all “To Do” lists…it was the collision between Christmas preparation and the horrible season of trying to sale a house…knowing that an agent wants to show the house at anytime.  I cringe thinking about it.  To any other person this is not a big deal but it is in this torrent of request vs expectations… that the “to do” list becomes a wife made accusation to your inability of basic manhood.  I am horrible at the basics.  Can I read Greek?  Yes.  Can I read Hebrew? Yes…a little.  Can I install a ceiling fan…yes, with much fasting and prayer.


There was a lot of action on Monday.  The paint in the baby’s room was barely dry, the patch on my son’s ceiling (don’t ask) seemed to have doubled in size over night…as if the patch itself was allergic to my effort…nay…mere suggestion that I did not need help in its repair.   The floors cleaned, shrubs trimmed, bathroom painted, bedroom suit delivered.  As I look back on it, all this work was almost for naught as my son decided to visit the facilities in his bedroom prior to the walk through…I was tired, but that was definitely not the smell of fresh paint.  But then, after what felt like weeks of preparation…it was over.  The meeting concluded, Cindy made our home look and feel amazing (she always does) and our kids, they shined.   The home study is complete!


While the “TO DO” list was completed…I am not sure what was more exciting, the completion of all the stuff we had to do or the fact that our home study is OVER!!!  We are thrilled!  But now reality is starting to set in.  We are just getting started.  We have such a long ways to go.


Please don’t stop praying for us.   Pray for our son…and I can’t wait for you to be able to pray for Him by name.  Cindy is asleep on the couch, I want to make sure she is ready for that announcement.


Please pray that as we move forward to work on the dossier, that we will be able to work at an appropriate pace.  We are ready to bring him home.  Thank You Jesus, that you are allowing us to travel this road.


We love you guys…more information soon.



Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the dossier (think of a home study on steroids)  This is A LOT of work.
  • Pray for the health of our little boy.
  • Pray for the care he is receiving.
  • Pray for his development…

Thank You Jesus

I plan on the title to this post to be repeated throughout the next several months and years.  Today we got an email that informed us we received the first grant for our adoption!!!!  This is great news because it is the only grant we could apply for prior to our home-study being completed.  When we complete our home-study (October) we will be able to apply for more grants.   This news came on the same day that we received our passports.  As Cindy said, “today has been a good ‘adoption’ day”.  For those of you who have adopted or who are in the middle of this process you understand what a “good adoption day” is all about.


I just wanted to let you guys know that we are so thankful that you are praying for our family.   I am very humbled that God would allow our family the privilege of opening our home to our new Son.  Thank you for praying.


Just a note…I believe we have decided on a name!  I would love to share it with you but it involves his “Real” name.   We know our son by two names.  His birth name and the name in which we first met him, we call it his American name (this was the name on his file at the American agency).  His Aunt Stephanie (Cindy’s former office mate) will be glad to know our decision :)  As soon as we are able to share this information, and a picture, I assure you we will!


Just wanted to share this great news.  Thanks again for praying!


Updated Prayer Needs:

  1. Cindy’s finger prints have another “glitch”.  They are referring to her second set of prints because the first set was unreadable.  Please pray that her prints are good and readable. 
  2. Children with Down Syndrome have multiple physical needs.  They often have some form of heart defect or cardio need.  Please be praying for a healthy heart.  Children with Down Syndrome are also more likely to have leukemia.  Please be praying for his complete health.
  3. We still have unmentioned prayer requests.  Please pray for these needs.
  4. Pray for his nurturing.


Thanks again.  We love you guys!

Getting to Russia!

I love Bobby!  for many reasons.

  1. He is a legend.
  2. He was the face of the Braves for decades!
  3. He is a legend.
  4. He leads the MLB for getting thrown out of games!
  5. He is a legend.
  6. But now in a small way, #6 is helping my family get to Russia!

No…Bobby did not write a check, but I have a friend who has been exceptionally kind to my family.  As you can tell, by the picture above, He is an artist!


He usually draws pictures and any donations that are given go to the student ministry of His church.  Now…my friend  has offered to draw pictures that you request.  All proceeds will go to help us get to Russia!  The most common donation is between $60 and $75.


If you have baby pictures, wedding pictures, or like me…you have an obsession with a sports team…this is your time to get a one of a kind sketch that will look amazing framed and in your home or office.  Christmas is just around the corner and I am sure with college football in full swing, a pic of your favorite athlete or coach will be PERFECT!  (wow…did I mention I have a used car lot?)


If you are interested, please message me on facebook or email me (  I will make sure you get connected to my friend.


Thank you for praying for my family…things are starting to pick up!


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