Monday, May 31, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

I have heard this story many times but it changed all meaning when we started our adoption journey.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he smiled and said, "It made a difference for that one."
~by Loren Eiseley~

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
~Mother Teresa~

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
~Mother Teresa~

God calls us all for his purpose and he never gives us more than we can handle.
James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

What if it were your child? What if your child had nothing and no one? What if your child had nowhere to sleep at food to one to give them a hug or protect them from the dark? What if your child had to drink water from a muddy hole? What if your child had to suffer through illness because there was no medicine, no doctor? No child should have to live that way...not yours, not ours, not the children of child.

God led us to Ethiopia two years ago through ministry at our Church. Since then He has given us such a love for the country and a burden for its people. There are millions of orphans in Ethiopia in need of someone to care for them. It is our hearts desire to follow God's call on our life and make a difference for at least one child in Ethiopia.

You do not have to like the calling on our life, but we do ask for your love and support. Trust in God, because we are and he has not let us down yet.

Tony & Carrie

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dossier Approved

Unbelievable! Our Dossier was all in order and we do NOT have to redo any of the paperwork. This means that we are approved and we are officially on the wait list. We are so excited! When we received the call tonight it was very much like finding out that we were pregnant. Well, we are not pregnant but we are expecting a beautiful little child that God has planned for our family.

So, I’m sure you are curious about our numbers… right?

We are open to either a boy or girl.

On the girl wait list we are...

And the boy wait list we are...

We had already started working on the baby's room before we got the call and we plan to work on it all this weekend in between going to graduation parties. We will post some pictures of the progress when we finish. Whoo-hoo!! Thanks for all your prayers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dossier Submission

Well, there is efficient and then there is my wife. Our home study arrived this morning in the mail, notarized and signed by our agency. Our next step is to make copies of the home study, add it to our dossier and submit the dossier to our agency for approval. Well the agency only evaluates dossier on Fridays. So, this is where my efficient wife comes in. She made copies, completed our dossier and mailed it all out within the hour to our agency with the hopes of it arriving by Friday. Our case manager said that it is very rare not to have some kind of paperwork in the dossier that needs to be redone. We are praying that everything is in perfect order and nothing will need to be redone. As soon as the dossier is accepted we will be placed on the official waiting list. Please pray that everything goes smoothly.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Our home study is officially approved! Now we are waiting on notarized copies so that we can submit it with our dossier. We had our very first garage sale this weekend to help raise money for our adoption. It was more successful than we could have imagined. I never thought we had that much unused stuff. The items that were left over are going to goodwill and we plan to use the value of the goods as a tax deduction for this year.

A side note, I now drive a silver dodge minivan. I traded my small car in on the larger car to fit our soon to be growing family. We are so excited about our approval, the garage sale and our new wheels. Mostly we are excited about our soon to be new family member.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home Study

This will be short and sweet. Our Home Study has been submitted to the AGCI office in Portland for review. We should hear something in a couple of days. We pray everything is in order so we can complete our dossier. We are a half step closer.
Here are a few pictures from Carrie's trip to Ethiopia.

Monday, May 17, 2010

School for Ethiopia

Not only are we trying to raise $25,000 for our adoption. We are also building a school for the village of Dudakahda among the Arssi Oromo people in Ethiopia. My wife is leading this project through the youth group at our church. Above is a picture of some of our youth with our Ethiopian missionary friend. He came to share his ministries work and vision for his people. He gave an amazing sermon on how we are all missionaries, and God has placed us where we are for his purpose. We are the light of the world.

Our youth groups goal is to raise $50,000 for the school. So far we have raised $43,000 in a year and a half. Some of the money was donated by church members and some through spare change in jars that are sitting on the table in the picture. My wife traveled to Ethiopia in January of this year with two teenagers and another adult leader from our church. It is so amazing to see God building a school through the efforts of teenagers.

Last October we hosted the African Childrens Choir at our church. We were fortunate enough to have three of the children stay with us in our home. We loved having them and they are all amazing proformers. Then in April the next choir was traveling through our area and was looking for a place to spend Easter. We again were honored to have three children stay with us. These young children made a huge impact on our lives and the lives of our church members. It is through the ACC and our involvement with the Ethiopian ministry that we felt God leading us to adopt one of the millions of orphans from Ethiopia in need of a forever family.

Friday, May 14, 2010


All of our paper work is filled out, notarized and we are just waiting on our home study to be approved. Then we will be submitting our dossier to AGCI to be approved. We only wish we could find a way to speed things up but we must remember that this is all in God's hands not ours.
Our friend Dr. Urgessa is here visiting us from Ethiopia. Should be a great weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hello Blogging World

Well here we are, our very first blog and I can't think of a better reason to start one. We have been so busy completing paperwork, workbooks, online classes, re-doing paperwork, doing our homestudy, as well as preparing for the end of the school year for our biological children.
Carrie is a very busy youth pastor, an incredible mother and a fantastic wife. I am a hard working math teacher, golf coach, loving father and supportive husband. Dylan is a very happy, energetic child of God who is finishing up the first grade. Delaney is our little princess and just graduated from pre-school. We are all so excited to meet our newest family member that God will be bringing into our lives.