Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Adoptive Parent Education Group

Today, Colin and I took a little drive to Eau Claire to go to a 4-hour adoptive parent education group, required by our home study agency.

It was so wonderful!

There were only two other couples there, both of whom were preparing for domestic adoptions. An intimate group, which was perfect for getting to know each other and asking plenty of questions.

The social workers leading the group were all from adoptive families. It is one thing to read material based on research, but to have education and experiences come straight from adoptive families is such a great learning experience.

We learned a ton about:
triggers of grief
trans-racial families
positive adoption language
talking to extended family
sharing with our children their birthstories
and more!

We were also given information on adoptive families and adoptive mom get-togethers in Wisconsin. This is a huge blessing! We live in such a small town, that we don't know anybody within an hour's drive that has adopted from Ethiopia. So, it is nice to know of get-togethers happening within a few hours of where we live.

Overall, a beautiful day!
(Minus the 90-something degree weather we have and will be having for over a week! HOT!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Second Meeting with Our Homestudy Agency

This afternoon Colin and I had our second meeting with our homestudy agency. We will be having 2-3 more in the future.

Today's meeting was at our social worker's office. The first half hour we caught her up with how we are doing with the paperwork process and education materials. Colin and I also had to fill out questionnaires.

The second half hour was a 1:1 meeting with me and our social worker. And the third half hour was a 1:1 with Colin and our social worker.

During these meetings we discussed our backgrounds, families, childhoods, how we met, communication, and each others' personalities.

Our next homestudy meeting is July 23rd. It will be our first in-home meeting.

I get so nervous for these, but I always pray that God gives me peace and words to say.

And He does.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You Are the Clothing of God

 As you face this day’s circumstances that may seem to demand more than you feel you are equipped to give, remember that you are merely the clothing of God. He has dressed Himself in your flesh and has given you access to His robust strength and divine power. You are His instrument and have been divinely equipped by God’s Spirit to handle whatever crosses your path today.

You are the clothing of God.

~Priscilla Shirer

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Passport Application In!

Every week, we get so excited when we can check off one or several things from our list of adoption paperwork. One more step closer to our babies.

Wednesday, Colin's birthday, we applied for our passports!

It was a simple process of filling out paperwork at the Clerk of Courts. However, it could take one to several months to be approved. These and our FBI background checks will take the longest to be returned, and we need them back for our dossier in order to send it off and be officially 'waiting'.

By the end of today, we will likely have our education reading and worksheets done that are required for our home study agency.

However, we still have to complete the education requirements for AGCI. We have 10 chapters of With Eyes Wide Open left and 7 online courses.


On a side note, Colin's birthday was wonderful. It was super hot--mid-90s--so we decided to see a movie, The Avengers, and have lunch at Wild Truffle, a favorite Italian restaurant in Appleton.

The next day, our friends Duane and Sherri invited us to join them on the Chain of Lakes for Sherri's birthday, as they rented a pontoon boat for all of us! It was so peaceful to be out on the lakes in the early evening. Very lovely.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Colin's 27th Birthday!

Today is Colin's 27th birthday!

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband, my best friend.

Do YOU have any birthday wishes for Colin???

Monday, June 18, 2012


Colin and I were at Target today searching for a baby shower gift and card and for a wedding card for family and friends.

Well, we just "happened" to walk by the shoe section and I saw these sandals in the picture above. They are BuyambaSoles brand, and are made with paper beads!

The paper beads are made by women in Uganda, and are very likely the same ones we purchase to make our Etsy jewelry. I was just flabbergasted that Target would sell these! Awesome!

Colin, my sweetheart, purchased two pairs for me. What a husband.

I did some research when we got home and found the website for BuyambaSoles. The company hopes to establish a sustainable work environment for the women that make these beautiful beads that adorn the footwear.

In addition to this, a portion of the proceeds goes to Buyamba Uganda, which supports over a thousand students in their Nursery/Primary school and high school programs.

From what I have seen on their site, their sandals are only sold at Target. They are $13.99 a pair. I think that is a spectacular deal for a spectacular cause!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Thinking of fathers, those without their father, birth-fathers, 'fathers' of sponsored children, those praying to become a father, those with an ill father, those journeying to become a father through adoption, those with a distant father, and our Father God today. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!
~1 John 3:1

Thinking of Daddy-to-be Colin Mumford. My best friend. A man of God. A sweet guy I like to call my boyfriend. A defender of orphans. My forever love.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless.
~Isaiah 1:17

Saturday, June 16, 2012

International Day of the African Child

Today, June 16th is the:

 International Day of the African Child

It has been celebrated on June 16th every year since 1991. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising on June 16, 1976. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Peterson. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured.

Today, we pray for African children.

We pray for their education.
Their faith in God, our Savior.
That through challenges, they trust and believe.
For love.
For play.
For dreams.
For self-confidence.
For laughter.
For hope.

Mother Teresa

Source: Wikipedia
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Born August 26, 2010.
Joined Heaven September 5, 1997.

She said, "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."

She founded the Missionaries of Charity, in which members must vow to give:

"Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor: the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."

For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying. She received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She refused the ceremonial banquet and asked that the $192,000 fund be given to the poor in India.

Mother Teresa stated that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy. When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family." In her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society—that poverty is so hurtable, and I find that very difficult."

Other quotes I have found intriguing and inspiring:

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, but only more love. -Mother Teresa

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

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. ~Mother Teresa

When a poor person dies of hunger it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. ~Mother Teresa
How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers. ~Mother Teresa

Friday, June 15, 2012

First Meeting with Home Study Agency and Dossier Call

On Monday, we met with our home study social worker for the first time in her office. It was a pleasant meeting--we feel more comfortable about our upcoming home study meetings that will occur in our home. And, although we were given more paperwork and education to complete, we feel like we have a better grasp on what needs to be done and when.

On Tuesday, we had our dossier call with AGCI. Our AGCI social worker walked us through the documents that need to go into our dossier- some need to be completed by us, and some, by others.

Between these two days, all of our questions were answered, and some weight has been lifted from our minds. Both of our social workers are fantastic, as they have been adamant that we can call them with questions at any time. They have been so helpful and reassuring.

We are being told that we are right on top of things when it comes to time frames of paperwork and education, if not ahead of the game. We have 6 months from our contract date to complete our home study and dossier. The special date that we pray we have completed this phase is:

November 29th!

Next steps: ordering passports, completing education (will likely take another month, give or take), our physicals are scheduled for July, and our home study visits.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ordinary Hero

Exciting news!

Colin and I have just started fundraising with:

We love their mission: to inspire and empower ORDINARY people to make an extraordinary difference in the life of a child in need.

We love their clothing: Colin and I each purchased a shirt for ourselves from Ordinary Hero, and we are in love with them! They are so soft. They look fabulous!

A few fabulous items for women, men, children, and babies:

Ordinary Hero automatically credits 40% of every purchase directly to our adoption agency account.

If you would like to make a purchase to help bring our babies home, you must click on my name (Jessica Mumford) under the affiliate drop down menu during check-out to ensure we receive credit for your purchase.

Thank you so much for helping us to reach our fundraising goal!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Proof of Your Love

My new favorite song if The Proof of Your Love, by For King and Country. The lyrics and an amazing live recording are below. Please take time to read through the words and watch the video. 

 The song is about love.

The love relationship between Jesus and us is what life is about. Following in importance, is the love relationship between us and others--family, friends, enemies, strangers, poor, rich, elderly, children, etc.

I think I get caught up in yearning to prove to God my love for Him by doing, praying, reading...and I often lack.


What if instead of trying to prove to God that we love Him, we instead let our lives be the proof to others that God loves them? That could be radical.

God loves you. Do you know that? God LOVES you!

The Proof of Your Love- For King and Country

If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breathe with every song
I bring, an empty voice
A hollow noise

If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste
With every word I say

So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How you lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

If I give to a needy soul
But don't have love then who is poor
It seems all the poverty
Is found in me


Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When it's all said and done
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When we sing our final song

Only love remains
Only love remains


Monday, June 4, 2012

Authorizations, Fingerprinting, Questionnaires, Oh My!

We had a busy day today!

We completed:
-Fee agreement
-Release for transunion
-Authorization for records check
-Background information disclosure
-Adoptive Parent Questionnaire
-SAFE 1 Questionnaire
-International services agreement
-Ordering certified birth certificates and marriage licences

All for our home study agency. More to come. :)

We are feeling....a little bit overwhelmed at all we have to do within the next six months. A lot of paperwork, notarization, reading, education, etc.

But, us being parents at the end? SOOOoooo worth every detail.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Adoption Planner and Home Study Packet Received!

If you want to hear the laughter of the God who created your soul, doubt His plan.

I have already been bitten by the discouragement bug. Yes! A mere week after sending our contracts in the mail, fear has filled my heart.

All you seasoned adoptive parents, I can hear your laughter. We are just getting started.

This path we are on, it will have many stoplights, yield signs, stop and go lights, and likely?

Speed limit signs that I will want to break, per usual.

Sorry, police officer husband, just being honest.

Last night I had some doubts:
-a lengthy waitlist
-loooong wait times
-waiting on adoption planner
-waiting on hearing back from the home study agency we applied to
-what if we don't finish our home studies and dossier in 6 months?
-what if we don't have the money to cover everything?
-are we doing everything correctly?
-are we making God-lead decisions?

And today?

We received a package from All God's Children that included our adoption planner (research on adoption and dossier information) and our With Eyes Wide Open workbook (preparation for international adoption).

We separately received a package from our home study agency that included more paperwork. Questionnaires, fingerprinting, background checks, etc.!

A lovely overseas friend donated money, as she has every month this year, and purchased an item from our Etsy shop. And we sold another item.

Can you hear God's laughter?

We are so thankful for clarity. For blessings. For love.

We have got a lot of work ahead of us these next 6 months. And it could be easy to get overwhelmed.

To want to run through a few red lights.

But we have hope in God. And He tells us He will renew our strength.

He tells us that we will run and soar.

Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. 
~Isaiah 40:31