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!
Today we’ve had the delight and privilege to celebrate the father’s in our lives. Both Husband and I have been blessed with fathers who love the Lord, have taught us and shown us His love, ultimately pointing us to Him. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me Husband who does this for our children as well. He loves them, cares for them, disciplines them, provides for them, holds them when their scared, prays for them, teaches them the Gospel and delights in his chillins. What a gift they have in their daddy. We celebrated with a tasty meal followed by a water gun fight. Fun seem to be had by all and the kiddos are good and worn out this evening. 🙂
Here’s my handsome hubby with our kiddos. Next year, daddy of 3!
Also, wanted to take a minute and update on the Lord’s continued provision for this adoption. To date He has provided $787 of the $2000 we are praying for before we travel! To Him be the glory! What an amazing joy to witness so many joining in our adoption story! Thank you each for your continued prayers and support! It’s coming soon now!
June 15 Thank You from Liz Hodgson on Vimeo.
During a recent grocery trip to Aldi my 5 year old daughter overheard the cashier ask “would you like any cash back today?” I politely declined, only to have her interrupt to say “Mommy, we DO want cash back! We’re adopting!” A precious response, even if a bit misguided on the ways of money and cash flow. She’s watching and taking in the big picture of bringing home baby sister or brother.
We’ve said it multiple times as we’ve walked this road, we’ve been so blessed! We’ve seen the Lord provide and meet needs throughout the process. We’ve been humbled by the generosity and genuine excitement of others as they share in this little one’s adoption story. We are now 8 short weeks away from meeting our little one. The c-section is scheduled for July 10th and our flights are booked for July 9th! The excitement and anticipation is growing.
Thanks be to the Lord our flights will be free due to miles and points with Southwest (more on this in a future post!) and we’ve been graciously offered hospitality for as long as we need while in GA. Both tremendous financial blessings. The flights are even direct and this time we will travel together! I’m so thankful to have hubby along for this trip! We will be staying with the same dear family I stayed with when I met the birthmother in April. Their home is quite convenient to the hospital and we will be near grocery stores and such to pick up any odds and ends. Moreover, we will have the encouragement of fellow believers as we enter into a unique and potentially highly emotional phase in this journey.
As the travel date approaches we have two specific requests:
- We are prayerfully asking the Lord to provide the remaining $2000 prior to our flight out on July 9th. Will you join us in this prayer? We know He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and we’ve seen Him provide already in mighty ways!
- Will you specifically pray as often as you remember and are led for baby’s protection in the womb? Pray that as this little one continues grow in the womb that his/her Maker would watch over them, protect them from harm, and grow the baby.
Perhaps you remember the hymn and often sung as a children’s song “Trust and Obey”. To jog your memory…
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
For me this refrain is an excellent summation of the themes of our adoption process. We have obeyed. The Lord called us to adopt and we said “Yes!”. Now comes the trusting piece. I have found myself wrestling with the Lord, the last few weeks especially. There have been tears of joy and frustration. As I look at different details and elements I begin to question the Lord. “Father, are you really going to provide all we need for this adoption?” “Father, do you see what’s going on here?” Basically I’m asking “Are your promises true? Are you really who you say your are?” It goes back to the garden when Eve first questioned if the Lord really loved her or if maybe, perhaps, she could do better in loving and caring for herself.
As I’ve wrestled with the Lord, He has graciously and gently reminded me in timely ways who He is. Continue reading
Thanks to a generous donation and raiding of a change jar I, Liz, will be flying down to GA in April to meet our dear expectant mom. She tentatively has another prenatal appointment scheduled for while I will be there. If the doctor keeps this appointment date I will attend the appointment with her. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to meet and establish more relationship with her prior to the birth of baby. Please join us in prayer for this time that the Lord would be present and showing her His love through our interactions. I desire to love her well, not just so she is reassured that we will indeed love this baby with all our hearts but so that she might know the love of our Father. What an awesome and weighty opportunity!
My favorite part of homeschooling the kids is being able to devote time daily to scripture memorization. We’ve recently committed Psalm 139:14 to memory.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
It is indeed a praise that has been singing in my heart of late. I know this is true of myself, my dear husband, my kids, and of this child that our expectant mom is carrying at this time. This child that is growing in the womb at this time is known by our Father! Even more so, he/she is fearfully AND wonderfully made!
I’m not scared or anxious (which is only by the grace of the Spirit) but I have been pressed to pray for baby and his/her health and safety in the womb. We are aware that some health choices that are not ideal. Adoption is so different from experiencing your own pregnancy and watching and controlling everything you can during pregnancy. It definitely makes us lean on Him more. I rest in knowing He knows this little one even now and is forming him/her each day as they grow in the womb.
Sorry for the long absence, seems life gets going at a fast pace, as I’m sure it does for all of you.
A few updates:
1. We are homestudy and profile ready! This is VERY exciting and we are so thankful. Basically what this means, is if there’s a baby (domestically) that needs a family we can legally peruse adoption. Our profile is basically a scrapbook with letter for birthmothers to read and get to know our family when choosing a family for her child.
2. Today we go to the USCIS office in Grand Rapids, MI to get our fingerprints taken for the Ethiopia adoption. This is a praise as we are able to apply for one renewal for free! The kids will get a fun overnight with Grandma and Grandpa and we will get a night away too. Thankful to have them nearby and their willingness to watch the munchkins.
3. Our renter for the house in Salem is leaving at the end of October. She has had some major life issues come up and we felt we needed to extend grace and let her out of the lease. For me (Liz) this is a HUGE stretching and growing experience in trusting the Lord.
We leave in a few hours for our fingerprints but first wanted to humbly ask for prayer. Frankly, the title of this post should be “falling on our faces in prayer”. First, please pray that all goes smoothly with fingerprints this time. I have been using the Corn Huskers and will continue during the two hour drive, so hopefully the prints will be bit easier to get. Second, we have actually been surprised by the need for families to adopt! We have seen at least 10 situations over the last two weeks of birthmothers and babies. We want to be able to say “Yes!” to any baby that might need a family. At this time, however, Matt and I are seeking wisdom and peace to continue submitting our profile until we have a renter for the house in VA. The Lord knows our needs and He has faithfully provided in the past. Will you join us in asking the Lord to provide a renter? Also, please pray for my (Liz’s) heart as the Lord teaches me to trust in His timing and not my own. We know that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective, so we thank you all for lifting us up! Blessings!
Since we moved to MI we needed to complete an update to our original homestudy for the Ethiopia adoption. In the Lord’s provision and providence we were able to use the update to complete necessary paperwork for the domestic adoption. For those of you who are wondering what does it matter, let me explain. Each state requires adoptive applicants to complete a homestudy with a licensed social worker to be approved for adoption. This is true if adopting domestically and/or internationally. The homestudy requires A LOT of paperwork, several visits from a social worker to your home, and a fee of $2000 or more. An update typically requires one visit from the social worker, a few pieces of paperwork, and a fee about 1/4 the cost of the original homestudy.
When we first arrived in MI we were given a name of an agency just outside of Detroit that America World had some positive feedback from other MI families. We made contact and were pleased to learn we would only need an update. When we said “yes!” to domestic adoption and began concurrent family planning we contacted the social worker again who graciously told us we could do an update without starting over again for the domestic adoption requirements. This is HUGE! We’ve come to learn that it’s up to each individual agency/social worker if they will accept the original homestudy or require you to start over. We’ve also learned that in MI homestudies are only valid for 12 months. We are so thankful for our social worker who has been so gracious and has worked with us.
At this time she’s approved us for our concurrent domestic adoption, which is a required step to be in compliance with our contract with AW, and is working on our update. We found out all four of us needed new medical physicals and 2 of the 4 of us have completed ours. The other two will be done by the middle of the month. Once the social worker receives these we will have a completed homestudy update which qualifies us for several things:
1. We’ll be eligible to begin applying to agencies and adoption attorneys for our domestic adoption!
2. We will be eligible to apply for our renewal for our fingerprints and USCIS approval for the Ethiopia adoption. This paperwork has to stay current, even if you are still in waiting stage. Each family is eligible for one free renewal, which will save us almost $900! Praying for a timely update, smooth sailing with paperwork and favor in the hands of those who are reviewing paperwork!
Overall, as we look at how close we are to begin the domestic adoption and that we will still be moving closer to our Ethiopian adoption, we’re so thankful!
We apologize for the lack of updates these past few months. We are slowly settling in here in MI. In some ways it feels like this has always been home and then there are days when I am asking the clerk at the grocery where the PB is and I bust out a “y’all”. I get the look, if not a flat out “you’re not from around here, are you?!” I, personally, hope the y’all is permanent and that I can instill this in any future Hodgson!
So in the midst of moving to the in laws and then to our own home we learned that the wait time is steadily increasing for Ethiopia. We recognize that this is completely out of our control. We trust that our agency is doing what they can, as well. In the meantime, we pray and anticipate the day we bring home our little one from Ethiopia.
Have you ever noticed that once your heart and eyes are open to the things of God you notice them all over? What a privilege to see Him working and moving. Everywhere we look we see adoption! It’s so neat. We’ve been learning that there is a great need for families willing to adopt African American and Biracial babies in the US! This is remarkable as the abortion statistics among the AA communities are staggering. To know that there are mother’s carrying their babies to term, searching for adoptive families is an amazing answer to prayer. The Lord is at work!
While we’ve been waiting the Lord has been moving in our hearts. For me it’s not just a simple stirring but a clear roar. We feel led to adopt NOW, in addition to our Ethiopia adoption. There is a clear calling on our hearts to be one of the families who says YES! to domestic adoption of one of these babies.
Our agency allows families who are in the Ethiopia program to apply for concurrent family planning. Basically, we are able to pursue the domestic adoption while remaining on the wait list for our Ethiopia adoption. We hope to bring home an infant boy or girl from a domestic adoption in the next year. We will still move up on the wait list at America World and stay “current” on our paperwork, waiting on our child from Ethiopia. The main stipulation is that the child adopted domestically has been in our home for 6 months and we have an approval from our social worker after bringing home baby (i.e. another homestudy update) to continue with Ethiopia adoption.
We are excited to begin the journey of domestic adoption! Will you join us in rejoicing there is a need for families to adopt minorities domestically? Please join us in praying for these brave birth mothers carrying their babies to term and searching for families? Please pray for us as we answer the Lord’s call on our hearts. Your prayers mean so much to us!
We have several updates coming soon but for today we would appreciate your prayers as tomorrow we go for fingerprints. This set is taken using the Live Scan technology like is used with the USCIS prints we had taken almost 1 year ago. For those who may have missed the first round with us, my (Liz’s) prints were only successfully taken thanks to a whole lot of grace, a ton of Corn Huskers Lotion, and a determined contractor. Would you join us in asking the Father that our prints will be successful on the first attempt? Thanks!