Many have asked if we are still pursuing the Ethiopian adoption now that we have adopted Camilla. The answer is a resounding, YES! When we started the domestic adoption for Camilla we did so as a concurrent adoption. This means it was an adoption while in process of another adoption. This was exciting and scary. We were knowingly committing ourselves to a domestic adoption while waiting for our international adoption from Ethiopia. We did not feel the Lord was calling us to chose one over the other but both.
The scary portion of this comes with the responsibility of multiple adoptions, particularly the financial aspect. So many have been exceedingly generous and faithful in their giving towards these adoptions. In the beginning we were in VA and our church family stepped forward with donations of time, money, and stuff! Since moving we have had support from folks from all over, US and abroad. It’s been amazing to witness God’s provision.
We are currently in the waiting stage for our Ethiopian adoption, waiting for our referral. October 2015 will mark 3 years since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia and we have been on the waiting list with our agency. When we began we didn’t think it would be this long. God is good. He rearranged our plans. We now have a beautiful daughter adopted domestically we didn’t initially “plan” on.
As we wait, He’s been faithful to continue to provide for our adoption. We came home Easter weekend from a lovely visit with family and friends in VA to the joyous news we have received a generous grant from HeritageLink Adoption Foundation. What a tremendous blessing this grant is for us! Another family who had also received a grant from HeritageLink had posted and shared the information and we decided to apply. It has been amazing to see others within the adoption world who have helped, advocated, and shared the blessings they have received. We are so grateful for this grant and being ever closer to bringing home our child from Ethiopia.
Are you ever struck by the extreme goodness of God? I mean, stopped in your tracks, your thinking, whatever you are doing and wonder at His goodness? I’ve been having those moments more frequently lately which is grace in my life because with three small children (homeschooling two and an infant) I often can feel like I’m just treading water.
Camilla has been officially home with us for 6 months. She’s an extremely happy and healthy little baby. She’s our loudest, happiest, most smiley, best sleeper, child thus far. She fairly well defines the term “good baby”. When having children, biological or adopting, you never know what your child will be like. The Lord’s blessings and grace in this child He has given us has been remarkable. Mind you our first two are quite a load of fantastic themselves. The Lord specifically answered prayers that many covered Camilla with before she was even born. When we left the hospital with her she was healthy, when we came home with her she was healthy and sleeping like a champ. She’s attached to us without any problem at this time and is delighted to wake in the morning and go to bed at night. She’s been delighting in her big sister and brother. She’s a mommy’s girl first but obviously adores her daddy. She jumps with the best in her doorway jumper. She has also vocally begun adding to the Sunday morning worship services
We (mainly I, Liz) are still adjusting to being a family of 5. Yet in so many ways, because Camilla is such a good baby, we are rolling along at life’s normal fast pace. We’ve been delighted to have her meet two of Matt’s college buddies and their families and also family friends from VA. She’s had the fun of Christmas with family and even tore open a few gifts with gusto.
While these things are blessings and not taken lightly, I digress to my original point. God is good. Camilla could have easily been in competition with her brother for most difficult first year. She could have had many unknown health challenges. Even so, God is good.
We’ve been having some road blocks on the way to finalizing that honestly haven’t made sense. Until today. Once again I am struck by His goodness. He’s got this. He set apart Camilla for our family. He’s taken care of her and our family. There is no power on earth that is greater than our God. In the midst of frustrations that our completely out of our control, He reigns. I *know* these truths and it is good to be reminded of them. Many of you have continued praying for our family, thank you. Your prayers have not gone unnoticed, thank you!
With the 4th fun and getting our big kids to VA yesterday we are just now getting a moment to update each of you. Below is the final video from our big kiddos. What a joy it has been to share and rejoice together with them as the Lord has provided each step of the way.
As we laid our heads to rest on Friday, July 4th we had received $522 over the week with Give1Save1! Saturday was full as we woke the kiddos up early to drive them half way to meet my dad and friend (brave men and grandpas!) who then made the final trek back to VA.
As I got the kids ready to get on the road the Lord had another reminder of His love and provision and then again when we arrived home. Yesterday we received additional donations bringing the total to $1027! God wasn’t done blessing us as we reminded once again of His extravagant love…the total donations received this week was $1277.
In May, after looking at the numbers and seeing what would be the minimum that we would need we began praying the Lord would provide $2000 before we traveled for baby. How the Lord loves to lavish His blessings on His children and how feeble my faith can be. Since beginning that prayer we have received $2409 in generous gifts! We are amazed, once again, by His goodness and grace. We hope that others are encouraged by His faithfulness to provide! We are humbled and so grateful to each of you who have prayed with us, supported us by sharing our story and financially giving, and generally walked this adoption journey with us.
Last picture as a family of 4!
Baby will be here Thursday, if not before! So excited to walk this next portion of this adoption story and have so many of you continue to love on this little one!
We apologize for missing day 4 update for our Give 1 Save 1 total, we had a bit of excitement yesterday. First, below you should find the kids update video for day 3 (1 more video coming). In the four days as the featured family we have received $522 in donations! What a tremendous blessing!
As for the excitement, we received a call from the attorney yesterday that baby *might* be on the way and we needed to be ready to go. Haha, I repeated back to her what she had just explained to me and then tried to stay relatively calm (eh, not so much) as I began calling Husband, a dear friend who would help with the big kids, our adoption consultant, my dad, and our hosts in GA. All were ready and willing to do what we needed to get us where we needed to be. An hour or so later, after making all these calls and beginning a frantic packing session, that baby is holding tight for now. We’re “on call” and my phone ringer is at an obnoxious volume level, so if you hear me as I’m running last minute errands, sorry!
Yesterday’s events definitely put into perspective that we may plan and the C-section may be scheduled but that doesn’t necessarily mean all will go according to plan. Once again, leaning on Our Father who knows all and sees all. :) Happy 4th to you all!
Today was Day 2 as the featured family on Give1Save1. Y’all, how blessed we are to see the Lord work. Thank you so much to each of you who have shared, gave, and generally supported us. The total donations we’ve received thus far is $407! Y’all, that’s incredible! We began asking the Lord to provide $2000 before we traveled, at the beginning of this week we still needed $868. In just 2 days we are almost half way there! How encouraging! So without further ado…Thank you, once again, from the Hodgsons!
We know the day is not finished yet but for our kids, day is done. :) Throughout this adoption journey we’ve had our kids do quick video updates of donations. We think they’re cute (some of their facial expression crack me up more than once!). Moreover, we’ve found that by doing these little updates it encourages others to see what the Lord is doing AND it teaches our kids to recognize the Lord’s provision for bringing home baby brother/sister. Part of this journey is showing us the character of the Lord, He is Jehovah Jireh. Even at our kids ages (5 and 3) they are seeing that God uses His people to bless us. Therefore, He can use us to bless others! What an amazing reality for our kids to witness.
To each of you who have prayed, shared, and given, thank you! So without further ado, Day 1 as the family of the week total $152!
*For daily updates scroll down to post below to see what God is doing!*
Y’all, I’m so excited to announce that we have been chosen as the “featured family” this week Give 1 Save 1’s blog. This is a such an honor and an amazing opportunity to raise the remaining funds we’ve been asking the Lord to provide before we travel next Wednesday. I had the delight of meeting one of the editors at an Usborne party. It was one of those moments you think “I know this person!” and spend the next little while going through your memory files to figure out how you know them. She started sharing about their family and love for adoption and it all came together. She’s on Give 1 Save 1! This adoption journey has been a sweet reminder of the family of God in the larger sense. So neat to meet this sister face to face! She encouraged me to apply to be a featured family and as typical I procrastinated…they graciously accepted us as a last minute family!
Let me introduce you to Give 1 Save 1. I like to think of them as a blog using social media to the glory of the Lord by helping families who are adopting. How do they accomplish this? Their “about page” will give you all the ins and outs but basically they are “mostly funding adoption for the people, by the people”. Each week they sponsor a family, spreading that family’s adoption story. They also ask folks to donate just $1. You see, when many folks give just $1, it adds up. Go like their Facebook page so you can learn what the Lord is doing in other families lives through adoption.
Many of you have already been sharing our story and so many of you have supported us financially as well! It’s hard to find the words to express the magnitude this has blessed us. In just 11 days we will meet our little one, face to face. We will give him/her a name and this whole amazing journey will begin a new chapter in our story. We started asking the Lord to provide $2000 before we travel in May. The Lord is faithful and we have received $1132 in donations towards our adoption since beginning that prayer.
If you’re visiting for the first time, hello and thanks for taking the time to get to know our family and our adoption story! You may want to check out “our story” page, the calling to this domestic adoption, and then some questions answered.
Will you share our story again this week? Will you consider being part of our week with Give 1 Save 1 and consider donating just $1 (you can use the donate link on the sidebar or below)? Will you pray with us that the Lord would use this week to provide the remaining $868?
A few years ago I was introduced to Tropical Traditions and their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. What a blessing it’s been to our family! As we’ve used this coconut oil more and more we’ve been recognizing that it has many uses not limiting itself to cooking. If you’ve never used coconut oil it is a bit surprising at first to realize that at room temperature it is actually more of a solid. When warmed/heated it will become the more expected liquid state.
While pursuing this adoption I have been doing what I can to continue eating healthy. One way I have been able to do this is to make much of our food from scratch. Popcorn is a family favorite snack. We’ve been using this recipe for a few years with great success. The Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is so simple to cook with, has a fantastic flavor, and smells heavenly! When trying other brands that are not virgin coconut oil and are mass produced we quickly realized there is a superior quality offered Tropical Traditions Gold Label vs. the alternatives.
As we prepare for our little one’s arrival we are hoping to use an alternatives to commercial formula. We have a trusted medical professional who has shared a recipe for a homemade formula that she herself has used with her little one with great success. In almost all recipes coconut oil is an essential ingredient to aid in baby’s digestion. We will certainly be using the Tropical Traditions coconut oil that we’ve come to love and trust for its superior quality.
Although it is higher than what you may find at your local store, I think it’s worth the extra for the quality of what you receive in the Gold Label. If you sign up for their newsletter they are often offering sales to lower the price and make it even more affordable! Another reason I am willing to spend a little more is Tropical Traditions founder, Brian Shilhavy, has purposefully chosen to boldly speak his personal testimony (in multiple languages!) and shares Christ on his company website. I respect him for doing so.
If you are interested in learning more about Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil products or want to purchase some for yourself visit the website here.
Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil: http://coconutoil.com
Now for the fun…Tropical Traditions is graciously sponsoring a giveaway for Love Had A Plan Readers! Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada that are at least 18 years of age.
Entering is super simple! Just visit this page: a Rafflecopter giveaway and follow the possible entries here. Winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24hrs or new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends on 7/8/14 at noon.
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. Additionally, some of links included in this post may contain referral links.
It’s been longer than I’d like since we’ve had an update. Husband and I were blessed with a day’s getaway last weekend. For Christmas last year we had won an auction for a night away and decided now would be a perfect time to use it before baby comes. I can’t quite find the words to explain how incredibly relaxing and refreshing this 24hours of focused Husband/Wife time was for us. I was reminded how blessed I am to have this man to do life with, grow with, cry with, and simply enjoy. He truly is a perfect gift from the Father for me. I know, I know, enough sappy talk.
We are in full swing of preparations for baby’s arrival. Husband has been hard at work finishing projects around the house, while I’ve been nesting in general. I started getting out baby clothes to know what we had and then realized I had nothing to put them in once they were out! This prompted the painting project (that seems like it may never end) of the $20 dresser I bought over a year ago that’s been sitting in the garage waiting for a fresh coat of paint.
The “big” kids are getting more and more excited about their Virginia vacation. We’re working on lists for things to pack and not forget. Getting them ready for their big time away and wondering what it will be like to come home and be a family of 5. There are many folks in VA ready and excited to see and love on them.
Last weekend my sweet sister(in-law, but I’m delighted to think of her as my sis!) and dear friend hosted an adoption reception for our VA church family. Isn’t the table lovely? Only wish we could have been there with them!
We’ve been so excited to see how the Lord continues to provide for this adoption. Yes, we’ve said that quite often and what a good and right thing, don’t you think!? Seeing the Lord’s faithfulness not only blesses us but we’ve had so many folks say how encouraged they are to witness His faithfulness. Today we received more donations in the amount of $245! This brings the total to $1032 of the $2000 we are asking the Lord to provide before we travel. He is good!
(Can I just note that my kids faces throughout this video are a bit hysterical!)
Finally, check back over the next week as there will be two surprises you won’t want to miss! We’re excited to see what the Lord will do before we travel in just a short time now! Folks, 2 weeks from today baby is coming!