Sunday, July 31, 2011


"Where are you at in the process?" 

It's a question we hear quite frequently ever since we started our adoption.  Most times our response is much of the same:  paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.  And to be perfectly honest, most days I don't mind the paperwork all that much.  :)

So, where are we at right now you ask?  At this point much of our paperwork is behind us.  Instead we are waiting for a few key pieces to arrive in the mail (MY passport, our fingerprint appointment with the FBI, our Power of Attorney form that has been sent to Harrisburg to be state certified and our Favorable Determination Letter from the Department of Homeland Security).  Once all of these pieces arrive, we will be ready to send our dossier along to Ethiopia!  We are hoping to have everything together and sent off before the end of the summer when we head off on vacation.  WE'RE ALMOST THERE!!  At that point, we will be placed on a waiting list indefinitely, until a child is referred to us.

Even MORE exciting, is that to date, we have raised/saved $17,000 towards bringing our child home!!!  That is more than HALFWAY to our goal of $30,000.   If you have followed our story from the beginning, then you have heard this before.  But literally, when we signed our contract only 5 MONTHS ago, we had zero dollars to put towards an adoption.  Zero.  Nada.  Nil.  (Is that right?  I'm kind-of notorious for getting those sayings wrong. :)  We simply were stepping out in faith, trusting that when God calls, He equips.  Within those few short months, we have been completely blessed and blown away by the generosity of friends, family and STRANGERS.  We have also noticed (non-coincidentally) that Charles' work has been blessed, thus increasing his paychecks.  Adoption expenses that we would never have been able to afford just a year or two ago......suddenly the money is there.  Truly only something God can take the credit for. 

So....thank you for following us and thanks for thinking to ask how the process is going.  We love sharing how God is using it to teach us about HIM and His provision!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's always amazing to me when God uses ordinary, everyday examples from my life to illustrate biblical principles.  Right now He is doing just that in the realm of obedience.  Any other parents out there with me on this?  I feel like I am living parallel lives as my worlds of training my children in obedience and my own personal obedience to the things God has laid on my heart collide.  And so, I've been asking God lately, "What is true obedience?"  "What does it look like in my children?"  "What does it look like in ME?"

I read this quote the other day in regards to training our children to obey our voice:

"As we teach our children to obey our voice, we're also teaching them to obey God's voice.  Someday, they will learn to hear His small, still voice in their hearts and they will know to obey Him because it is the right thing to do."

Isn't that what I want for them?  The ability to RECOGNIZE and OBEY the Creator's voice?  And it all starts here at home.....*sigh*.  Somedays I feel pretty ill-equipped to teach my children much of anything, particularly when it comes to weighty things like recognizing the voice of God.  In the midst of temper-tantrums, sibling squabbles and blatant defiance, it is hard to remember that the real reason I am here is not to play referee, but to point them to Him.  In. Every. Thing.

In the temper-tantrums.  In the sibling squabbles.  In the mundaneness (is that even a word?!!!?) that is life.  If I am only breaking up fights and changing the OUTWARD behaviors of my children instead of their hearts, aren't I doing them a disservice? 

Take the city of Sodom, for instance.  I have loved this verse ever since I came across it. 

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."
~Ezekiel 16:49

What?!???  Sodom was not destroyed for its sexual sins and wickedness???  Apparently, those were merely the OUTWARD manefestations of the INWARD heart.

So as I've pondered and revisited issues of obedience with my own children lately,  it causes me to re-evaluate where I stand with God.  Do I recognize that still, small voice that resides in my heart?  Do I practice first-time obedience myself?  Do I simply exhibit OUTWARD behaviors, while ignoring the heart?

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the OUTWARD appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
~ 1 Samuel 16:7

If I am completely honest with myself, I could stand to listen more closely to His voice.  There are certainly things He has placed on my heart with His still, small voice that I have yet to do.  Things that are hard.  Things that I am resistant to.  And what do I do?  I dig in my heels like a toddler.  I throw that temper tantrum.  I practice blatant defiance.  Because it is easier than giving up control and surrendering completely.  


Man I love those crazy kids!  They teach me so much about myself and life.  So despite how difficult it may be, I'm gonna take another look at obedience.  I'm GOING to commit myself to heart-changing.  Because it's too important not to.  Because I want to give my kids the best shot at growing into mature adults who both RECOGNIZE and OBEY the Creator's voice.   Because God is laying it on my heart in His still, small voice and it is the right thing to do.  Because I want to be obedient to the task that God has laid before me.  I want to be obedient to Him.


Friday, July 15, 2011

A Week in Pictures

 This week we hosted our first ever backyard Bible club, put on by CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship).  We had a great week and I think everyone that came had a fun time.  Here is a look at our week in review...

Starting out our morning....

with some music....and some dancing... :)

Sophie's just trying to keep up with the big kids.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." ~Romans 6:23

Breaking up into small groups...

"For the son of man came to seek and to save what was lost." ~Luke 19:10


~OK, aren't these next two just adorable??  Don't let these sweet little pictures fool you...  They were little partners in crime. :) ~


So there you have it!  A week of backyard Bible club.  I love that it is a typical VBS that comes to YOU!!  A great opportunity to create dialogue with our neighbors.  AND... it is fun for the kids (coffee, yummy treats, and chatting for the moms!! :)  Today we capped off our week by packing lunches and heading to a friend's pool for the afternoon.  What a PERFECT way to end our time together.    Now, back to the reality of my TO DO list tomorrow.....get passport photos, a trip to the notary public, obtain local criminal records, send off homeschool paperwork to superintendent of district, finish adoption education, and somewhere in there, go food shopping and do laundry!!!  Happy weekend! :)


Monday, July 11, 2011

When Fears and Doubt Creep In

Hi.  My name is Kirsten Gregoire, and I am an Israelite.

There.  You have it.  As I've found out, nothing brings that fact out more than adversity. Often times it is easy as Christians to look back at stories in the Bible and to harp on the fact that those Israelites had been given so much and yet still failed to trust in the faithfulness of God.  It's easy to see all the mistakes they made and to think, "Well, if I had seen God part the Red Sea, then I would have had no reason to doubt."  OR "If I had witnessed manna falling from the sky......or plagues......or the battle of Jericho, then I would have believed."

But is that really truth?  Well, as it turns out for me, it's not.

Throughout this whole adoption process, God has been so faithful.  Everytime we prayed for direction, God showed us clearly His plans.  Everytime we have needed to make a payment, the money has been there.  Everytime we began to fret that things wouldn't go through, God made a way.  And yet, still, throughout the process, I find myself continually doubting in His goodness and His control over the situation.  And, continually, He brings me back to this,

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, 'Rejoice.'  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:4-7

Last month we had our home study visit.  It was the one piece of the process that I was the most nervous about.  Not because I didn't think we were a good family, but the unknown of having a stranger into my home to "evaluate" us was a little nerve-racking!!  What if my children chose that exact moment to misbehave?  How would I handle that?  What if the social worker took one look at our home and said, "You want to fit another kid in THERE??"  What if the fact that I don't have child-safety locks on EVERY cabinet and drawer could prevent us from adopting??  I was a nervous wreck!

And then, ever so gently, God reminded me that I am not in control.  It is not my responsibility to worry about those things.  It is only my responsibiity to be obedient to Him.  To step out in faith and do what I believe He has laid on our hearts to do.  And to trust.  To trust that He will show up and make a way when there seems to be no way.  To trust that His ways are always better than mine. 

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
~Isaiah 55:9

And just like that, as I let go, our home study was approved.  We are now onto the next phase....the dossier.  We still have a ways to go before we bring our child home.  We have to await approval from immigration and the Department of Homeland Security.  We have to pray, pray, pray that our passports get here quickly.  We have to pass court in Ethiopia.  And although it is easy NOW to see God's hand and His provision, when our backs are up against the Red Sea again, I pray that we will not lose faith.  My prayer is that we will remember who our God is and His provision thus far. 

"[Our] Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is His name."
~Jeremiah 50:34

As new obstacles come up, won't you pray along with us that God renews our strength?  We love you all and really could not be on this journey without you!  All of your prayers, emails, kind words, financial contributions and such have given us the stamina to continue on.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!