Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're Making Progress!

Super excited to announce today that we are moving down the list towards bringing our baby home!!!  Last month we wrote that we were #97.  Today?  Drumroll please.....

We are officially


Now, I know that doesn't SEEM like a huge difference, however, considering the courts in Ethiopia are closed for the months of August and September, it is.  That means that within just the past couple weeks, since the beginning of October, children have been referred, approved and brought home.  That's exciting news!!!  Things are moving along nicely. 

Now to clarify, that doesn't exactly mean that 87 couples will bring home children from Ethiopia before us.  It just means, that as children become available, our agency will begin the process of looking through the list for a suitable family that meets the necessary criteria for that child.  

Please pray along with us as we wait out the next several months.  Hoping to move into the 70's by November!  Thanks for all your prayers and support!  We are still selling Christmas ornaments to help off-set the cost of our adoption.  Email me if you are interested in purchasing one. 

Thanks so much!!!  Have a great week!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Week!!!

We were celebrating Joseph this week....Gregoire style!  Yes, in our house, that means birthday WEEK!  A whole, glorious week of all things birthday.  Special plate, favorite foods, movie picks, parties and so much more!!!  Here is a look at how we celebrated our newly six year-old:

Hot Chocolate in bed followed by birthday breakfast at Friendly's

Joseph's birthday dinner request:  hot dogs and french fries :)

Birthday boy

It's movie night.....followed by a sleepover in the basement.

Happy Birthday Joseph!!!

A baseball-themed party

Joseph wanted nothing more than to play baseball with his friends in the backyard.

Love this picture!!!

What a fun birthday present....digging up dinosaur bones.  Thanks Pappas'!

We love you so very much Joseph Charles!!  Thanks for being the sweet, boisterous and incredibly passionate little boy that God created you to be.  So thankful for these past 6 years with you.  

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 Reasons You Should NOT Adopt :)

Reason #1:  ADOPTION IS TOO EXPENSIVE -  One of the most common questions we have heard throughout the adoption process has been, "Why is adoption so expensive?"  And quite frankly, we don't know.  A child needs a home......a family is willing to provide one.  So, where does the problem come in???  Here's the thing though that we have learned.....regardless of how much an adoption costs, we have a heavenly daddy who is in the habit of providing for the things He favors, and He favors the adoption of orphans into forever families.  We have seen evidence of this over and over in our own lives.  When we first made the decision to adopt, there was no secret fund.  We did not have money set aside, or a savings account set-up for this.  Charles remodels bathrooms and I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama of 4 kids.  Some months, we  JUST.  GET.  BY.  And yet, within just a few short months, God has provided over $18,000!!!  People, get excited with me!!!  That is incredible!!  And we cannot take credit.  Not one iota.  :)

Reason #2:  MY HOUSE IS NOT BIG ENOUGH - Well, mine isn't.  Period.  In case you have never been to our home, we live in a 1,700 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath townhome, AND WE ALREADY HAVE 4 KIDS!!  There are certainly days when I wonder how we will make it work, but then I am reminded.  And humbled.  And grateful.  Grateful for the roof over our heads, and the clean water that we drink, and the closets full of clothes.  And I am reminded that we have so much.  So very much.  And it is in those moments, that I am able to look at what we have with a new perspective.  So....we may have to wait a little longer in line for the bathroom.  Maybe we have to re-organize closets, even give away some of our "stuff" to make more room.  But you know what?  I'm OK with that.  Because in the end, I know that it won't matter how big the house, or the amount of "things" that adorned it's walls.  It will be the love and the memories that were formed there.   

Reason #3:  WE HAVE A LOT GOING ON ALREADY - Oh, how I can relate!!!  This was the VERY thing I said to God when I felt Him laying the idea of adoption on our hearts.  "But God!!!  We already have so much on our plates!  Why this?  Why NOW?"   To tell you the truth, there are days when I wonder "Can we really do FIVE kids?!!!?"  Heck, some days I wonder if I am even equipped to do one! 

But then, I am reminded.....

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
~2 Corinthians 12:9

Nothing pleases God more then when one of His children, willingly acknowledge that they NEED Him. That they can't do it on their own.  When we do this, we surrender our lives to Him, and in the end, it brings glory to the Father.  

Reason #4:  WE ALREADY HAVE KIDS....."OF OUR OWN" - Sadly, we have come up against this thinking.  People constantly seem perplexed as to why, a couple, who seemingly has not struggled with infertility, would adopt.  Especially when we already have 4 bio kids.  But the truth of the matter is, there are 147 MILLION children in this world without a mommy and a daddy.  Without a family.  Without a home and without food to eat.  That statistic just doesn't sit right with me.  And it shouldn't with you either.  Especially when I look into the innocent faces of those four littles whom I birthed and wonder, "What if the roles had been reversed??"  What if it weren't "them", but us??  What if my children were just another statistic?  Would their lives matter enough for someone to take a chance on them?

Reason #5:  ADOPTION INVOLVES TOO MUCH "RED TAPE" - Let's be honest.  Sometimes it does.  :)  The journey to adopt can be a difficult one with many ups and downs.  Although we have not experienced any of this yet (and Lord-willing, will not!!), we have known others who have.  The potential "problems" that could come up, many times, are enough to scare people away.  But in reality, getting pregnant and having babies "the old-fashioned way", isn't without risk either. Pregnancy can be physically draining on the body, and unfortunately, we are not always guaranteed a healthy, happy baby in the end. 

Now, please let me clarify.  I do not think that everyone is called to adopt internationally.  I don't even think that everyone is called to adopt.  Period.  But for some of you, the very reason you read this blog may be that God is also laying the idea of adoption on your heart.  And you have so many reasons why it just couldn't work. I have been there!!!

Or....maybe it is not adoption at all.  Maybe God has placed another plan on your heart. He uses us all differently you know?  In order for us to truly BE THE BODY, we all have a different function, and that is OK.  What has He placed on your heart to do?  And what are your excuses?

This week I finished up reading the book of Jonah.  Although I am obviously familiar with the Sunday School version of the story, I had never actually read the book for myself.  Oh, how I could relate!!  More than I cared to admit.  Jonah??  Really??  Oh, why couldn't I be more like Paul!! :)

In the book of Jonah, the prophet is instructed by God to head to Ninevah to tell the people of God's impending judgement.  It was a people who were far from God.  Who were down-right cruel to the Israelites.  And Jonah?  Well, he didn't like them much.  And although you would have thought he would have taken great pleasure in this task, Jonah knew something about God.  He knew God's compassionate and merciful side.

"I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity."
~Jonah 4:2

And because Jonah knew this, because he did not want to see God's forgiveness extended to the city of Ninevah, he had some excuses of his own.  So, what did he do?  He ran.  He ran from God, as far as he could go, in hopes that God would not ask of him to do this very thing.  Oh My.  How I've been there before.  Every one of those reasons you see at the top of this post, are me running from God.  They are MY excuses.  MY insecurities.  MY reasons for not doing the very things that I knew God had placed on our hearts. 

The good news to this story, however, is that God does not give up on us, even in our short-comings.  He pursues us.  Even when we don't want to be pursued.  And once He's gotten our attention, He sets us right back on the path He wants us to go.  Of course there is more to the story of Jonah.  A thrilling storm at sea.  An adventure into the belly of a great fish.  A city on it's knees in worship.  But that's for you to go and read on your own.  To see how the story ends.

For now, I am praying that you would ask Him, "What is it that you would have ME do?"  For His glory.  For His fame. 


Without excuses.  Without running the other way. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

A Perfect Fall Day

Today we had off from CC.  We took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed to Harris' Dairy Farm for a little field trip.  Join us as we take a look back on our adventure!!

Harris' Dairy Farm

We LOVE having Daddy home during the days!  He got to join us today.

Feeding the cows.

Milking barn.  We even got to see how the cows were milked!!

Looks like Sophie is having a meaningful conversation with this cow!!

The kids had a blast learning all about the cows.  Of course the highlight was the cows pooping.  We're still talking about it over here. :)

Our motley crew. :)

At the pumpkin patch.

We were chauferred out to the pumpkin patch via tractor.  Through the creek and everything.  Super fun!

My four littles.  When is number 5 going to join our ranks??!??

A ladybug for our little lady. :)

After lunch and a fall craft, the kids LOVED playing and splashing in the creek.  They were covered from head to toe in mud, but they sure did have fun!

We ended with a candy scramble.  Yikes!  A bagful of candy just a couple weeks before Halloween.  What were we thinking??

We ended our field trip back at our house painting pumpkins. 

So that was our day!  A nice little break from the norm on this perfect fall day.  How did you spend it??

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24


Friday, October 7, 2011

Contact Info

So, somehow I am able to figure out how to create a blog, but I am unable to figure out how to comment on my own post!! 

Soooo.....if you commented that you were interested in ordering an ornament (or are planning on it), instead, email me directly at ckgregoire2@yahoo.com

Thanks so much!  And...if anyone out there in blog land can walk me through how to leave a comment, that would be great too. ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall Fundraiser!!

So, the next part of our fundraising endeavors is to begin to raise money for our referral (the referral is the part where we get matched with a child!).  It is the monumental point in this process when we first get to see a picture of our sweet baby.  Although we still have a ways to go before we get to that place (approximately a year - 18 months), we are excited to get to this next step. 

In the meantime, as we wait, we are continuing to pray that God would provide the funds needed to continue.  As I was reading in the book of Amos this morning, God reminded me of the importance of looking back at history to provide assurance in the present. 

"I brought you up out of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness to give you the land of the Amorites.  I also raised up prophets from among your children and Nazirites from among your youths."
~Amos 2: 10-11

Over and over we see these reminders throughout scripture.  God calls attention to all the things He has done for the Israelites, not because they are incapable of remembering on their own, but to give them assurance in the present.  To remind them of His faithfulness.   And although I like to think I am different, I am not.  My memory is short-term.  As quickly as God answers one prayer, without the continual reminder of His history of goodness to our family, I forget and begin to worry about the next obstacle.  Praying that "He who began a good work...will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)"

So, looking forward, I am excited to unveil our newest fundraiser.  Drumroll please........My wonderfully talented father-in-law made these Christmas ornaments:

Fall Fundraiser - "One Less" Christmas ornaments

We literally called him with the idea and about three hours later he texted us a sample picture.  He is truly gifted.  A week later, he had made 30 Africa-shaped ornaments for us to sell, and my mother-in-law painted them!  Amazing! 

Our "One Less" ornaments will be selling for $20 apiece.  Message me if you're interested!  ALL proceeds go towards bringing our baby HOME!!

Just as a reminder, there are still a few other continuing fundraisers going on.  Here is a re-cap:

-Photography:  Many of you may know, that Charles has been asked to photograph several weddings over the past couple years.  It is a hobby that he thoroughly enjoys (and one that he is quite good at too, I might add!!).  We’d love to photograph your next event!  Family portraits in the park, pregnancy pictures, weddings, family reunions……all proceeds will go towards bringing our child home!  View sample photos by visiting http://thegregoires.blogspot.com/p/photography.html 

                                -Looking to BUY or SELL your home?   Now I KNOW I've gotten your attention!  I'm sure you're wondering what in the world this could possibly have to do with our adoption, but here it is:  Our good friend, Mary Pappas, is also a realtor with Prudential Rittenhouse Realty Group in Harleysville.  She is highly motivated to sell homes and just so happens to have a heart for adoption!  Mary has offered to donate HALF of her commission towards our adoption costs for anyone who buys or sells a home with her!  Now THAT'S a good friend! :)  I know you will LOVE her!  Mary is incredibly personable, honest, hard-working and absolutely loves people!  If you are looking to buy or sell your home, and are in need of an agent who will work for YOU, you may contact Mary at mpappas@prudentialrittenhouse.com or by phone at (215) 262-4458 (cell) or (215) 256-6543 (office).

We actually just had our first home sold through Mary Pappas!  Thank you Jamie Courts for thinking of us when purchasing your NEW HOME!  And special thanks to our good friends, Mark and Mary for their extreme generosity and heart for the orphan!

                                -Just Love Coffee sale:  Purchase coffee and support our adoption, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!  Just Love Coffee knows coffee, and they just so happen to have a heart for orphan-care around the world!  Visit www.justlovecoffee.com/TheGregoires.  $5 from every bag sold will go to bringing our child home.

                                -Book Sale:  Have any little girls in your life?  Looking for a way to combat the message that our society gives them about beauty?  Stephanie Farley, author of the book, "God Made You Beautiful", has offered $2 from every book sale to go towards our adoption.  Perfect for Easter baskets!!  Visit her website at http://www.godmadeyoubeautiful.com/ to place an order today!  Just make sure to include a note that it is for our adoption.  Thanks so much Stephanie!

                               -WOODEN STACKER TOYS:  We really do have some great friends!!!  Our friends, Josh and Tember Heft make homemade, wooden children's stacker toys out of completely organic materials.  They are absolutely beautiful!!  They have offered $5 from every toy sold to go towards our adoption.  You can check out their site at  www.tickitackitoys.etsy.com  Thank you Tember and Josh!!!  <3

We are working on a few more fundraisers for this fall/winter.  We will update you as we add any!  Thanks so much for your support!  It is truly because of the generosity of others that we are even able to BE on this journey!!!  So, so, so, so thankful for His provision (and His continual reminders of it!)!