"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things to Look Foward to!

I'm behind on updating this! Here is what is happening....

We have preliminary court date set for February 26, 2012.  We are so so very happy that we have a date and that gives us something concrete.  It's a bit reassuring to have a date and know that the case is still progressing and we haven't been lost or forgotten!  In all honesty though, we were hoping we would have had the PH (preliminary hearing) in January so we could travel in February.  And in my sinful heart, it was hard at first not to be disappointed even though it was such great news and something to be so thankful for!  But my God is a god of grace and the One who provides.  He provides that grace just when we need it and calms the aching heart.  So, by His grace, I am so at peace with this date because I know that His timing is perfect.  Maybe I don't know why it is going to be timed out like this, but regardless-I know it is just the way it is supposed to be.  The agency told us to expect to travel for court one month after our PH.  So, we are praying for a March court and travel date!!! It would be so lovely to not have to wait until April. (And just a little information....the PH is the one we do not have to be present for.  It is the court hearing that basically declares Elliana as an orphan.  A representative from our agency and the orphanage will be present. Once she is legally declared an orphan, then she can legally be declared OURS at the second court hearing, which is the one we DO need to be present for.)
 On March 11, Elliana will be 5 months old.  I realize the sweetness of being postponed a bit later than we would like is that we will see her when she is 5 months old--a time when she will be smiling and possibly laughing.  Holding her head up and interacting with us.  Now, don't get me wrong...I wish I could go see her and hold her RIGHT NOW--but since we only get ONE trip to see her before we bring her home, it will be nice that she will be a tad older so she is alert and active.  I wish we could go over once a month and see her.  It's hard to know that for the first 8-9 months of her life we will only have seen her one time.  In the years ahead, maybe that will not matter as much.  But still, right now it is no fun and stinks pretty bad. 

Today is a great day.  Some families at our agency have court! (yay! excited for them!)  And they were so so kind to take some photos for us of Elliana!!! :)  I am a crazy email checker right now because I want to see those pictures!!!!!  You have no idea how excited I am.  So, if you live close...you will get to see her beautiful face again soon:) 

And because blog posts are always better with pictures....here is what we have been up to:

Went to Hobby Lobby and bought an "E" for Elliana's side of the room!  I can't wait to put it up!

Cleaning out the garage, Brent found a world map puzzle from my teaching supplies.  It's made out of foam.  Raelynn pulled Africa out right away and started saying "Af-ica" and Declan enjoys teething on it!

I LOVE this new shirt I got!! You can order yours here: arecklassabandon.bigcartel.com
Erica, who is selling these, is actually our travel agent and a really awesome gal who has a big heart for our Lord, adoption, and Ethiopia.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Provides

I think the repeating theme of our adoption is God Provides.  Over. and. over. again. 
When He has abundant plans for our life; when we allow Him to direct our steps; when we trust in Him and take a leap of faith, He will provide.  And why should we be surprised? We shouldn't! 
If God loved us when we were sinners, and reached out and gave us life--while we were dead and at enmity with Him, then why are we so surprised when He meets the needs of His children over and abundantly? While we were dead in our sin-so dead we didn't even see our need for a Savior-God sent His Son to live a life on our behalf and then die in our place. 
He did that for me.
The rest is just easy for Him. It is pleasure for Him. And it brings Him glory.
A few extra dollars? He's got that covered.

We applied for a grant from Show Hope in October.  Thank you to those that knew about this and were praying for our application to stand out and have favor.  We were hoping to get something from them, but didn't expect to get a lot.  They have a lot of applications and only so much money each application period to give out.  We were amazed floored overjoyed speechless when we opened the envelope and saw that Show Hope has granted us their maximum giving.  four thousand dollars.
ALL glory and praise go to God for His provision!

Can I just take a moment to remind you (in case you missed it earlier) that God provides and cares for His children?  If you have a desire to adopt but are scared about the money side--we were there. I don't know too many people anyone who has an extra $30,000 laying around.  But nothing is impossible with God and I hope if you have any inward nudging from the Holy Spirit, that you examine those if they are truly from Him and do not quench them.  Ok, off the soap box.  But there will be more to come on that another day I'm sure. :)
 (And that goes beyond money.  If you are nervous to adopt because of emotional reasons and the huge change and probably hard transition it will bring, God will of course provide for you in that too.  His grace is sufficient.)

And I will leave you with this quote I came across...a great quote, but I found it especially perfect when I read it yesterday just after we received our letter.

"Life isn't ever normal.  Timing isn't ever perfect.  Conditions are never really right.  If you know there is something God wants you to do, move forward anyway.  Dare to do what you can because you serve a God who can do more than you can even imagine" -Holley Gerth

Here is a link to the website.  It's Steven Curtis Chapman's ministry:  Show Hope

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Orphanage Donations

We will be taking a suitcase full of donations to the orphanage in Ethiopia.  We have checked into it and they are in need of:

clothing, shoes, bedding, hygiene products, medical supplies, lice treatment, and toys (these would have to be small for our suitcase!)  But, if you would really like to help donate but don't have time to shop or don't know what to get--they have recently told families that donating money is a great way to help.  They will use it as they see fit as what is needed the most and are also trying to purchase computers.  We will collect all donations and take them with us.  They don't have to be brand new clothes--you can go to a second hand store or clean out your own closets at home. 

Let me know if you'd like to help! Thank you!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Any News Is Good News....

 Eeeeek! So excited!! I saw an email last night just before going to bed (and with all my might said this blog post could wait until the morning!) that said  "Case Filed" in the subject line.  Our email shows the first couple words of an email before we actually open it.  I read 'Congratulations!' Oh boy, I couldn't get that email opened quick enough!

The words I read don't change anything.  We still don't have a court date and still don't know when we will go to court and travel to see our sweet baby girl.  However, at this stage in the process, ANY news is good news! It's just something to hold on to and know that things are progressing along. 

So what did the email say? 
Our case was filed with federal court on Thursday, January 3, 2012. We are now waiting for the Ethiopian courts to schedule our first hearing.  Our agency said we should receive the dates for our first hearing in about 2 weeks.  We do not need to travel for the first hearing.  From my understanding, this is the preliminary hearing and the director of West Sands in Ethiopia as well as a representative from the orphanage will appear to represent us.
And the best part of the email said this: "You should plan on traveling in as soon as 6 weeks."

YAY!!! :)

In other news....
Checked in to immunizations.  There are no safe vaccines for nursing mothers for malaria.  BUT, the lady at the Maricopa County Adult Immunization Center (so I'm assuming she's pretty knowledgeable) said that malaria mosquitoes only bite at night and there are none in Addis Ababa, which is where we will be sleeping each night.  So she said as long as we don't stay over night anywhere else, I should be fine.  The agency told us to wear 100 deet at night at 30 deet during the day.  Hep A is safe for both of us, so we will go to get those.  However, yellow fever is not safe at all for me either because that is passed on to the baby and can make their teeth black.  So, we'll be passing on that one too!

Printed off our 20 page packet for travel that the agency sent us.  We have lots of information including a packing list, information on cultural norms, weather, and what we can bring for Elliana.  We also will be taking an extra suitcase (or 2...just depends what the airline will allow) full of items for the children at the orphanages.  How fun!! If anyone has any children's clothes they want to donate or diapers, we would be glad to take them. (But check with me first so we can get a variety and don't have more than is allowed).

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More Sweet Words!

This is the room our sweet Elliana is in!!!

I asked the mama of Elliana's roommate about how the babies are being cared for in the transition home.  I thought it was great info that she told me and I was happy so I wanted to share it with you! It also speaks volumes of our agency.  We just love them and know sweet Elliana is in good hands.

She said:
"The care of the babies is very good. You can see the two nannies in the room in our pictures. They work 12 hour shifts. There are six children total in the room. [two toddlers and four babies] The beds are cushioned with lots of blankets and pillows. They keep the babies warm with blankets, and they seem very comfortable. They get regular bottles and diaper changes as well as changes of clothes. I didn't witness any baths, but they all seemed well washed."

Again, it's all so nice to hear.  Every little bit helps. 

Thanks for reading!

Tax Deductible Donations

Now that we are in the referral process, some of you have asked if you could give donations.  Thank you!  We appreciate everything--no matter how big or small in your eyes it is.  In our eyes it is huge and we appreciate the examples of generosity we have seen from so many.  Every little bit helps us and we are so grateful for those that are being faithful by allowing the Lord to use you to bless our family.  Words couldn't ever explain the gratitude that fills our hearts.

When those of you have asked me recently about a donation, I reminded you that it is tax deductible if you donate directly to the agency.  If you donate to us (on the side of the blog) it is not.  However, if it goes to the agency, it get applied to our fees and is subtracted from our totals.

If you are feeling lead to give, or if you are one of the people I said I would post this for, here is the address you send the check to:

West Sands Adoption Agency
c/o Koni McGregor
1240 East 100 South   Unit #1
St. George, UT
***MOST IMPORTANT: Write in the memo line: Brent and Allison Frazey
(and if you let us know, then we will give them a heads up)
Another option is using their website to use your credit card on a secured pay pal site.  Here is the link:
****MOST IMPORTANT:  in the "purpose" box please enter: 'To benefit Brent and Allison Frazey'
If you would like a tax deduction receipt, then you need to include your name and address on a paper with your check or with pay pal you automatically enter your address, so they will have it.
Thank you!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Comforting Words...

Oh, I got such good news today!!!! I just wish I could reach through this computer screen and squeeze the fellow adoptive mama that confirmed without a doubt that Elliana is in the transition home.  Elliana shares a room with her little girl.  She just returned last week from her trip and sent me a photo of the room.  I saw the exact color and shape of the crib, the color of the wall, AND the pillow case pattern (which was floral--not easily mistaken) as in Elliana's referral photo.
I sent her the picture we have and her name and this is what she said:

"Yep! That's her! What a cutie. She is tiny. She is doing well. Saw her get her diaper changed and take a bottle. Seemed to be doing good!"

Ahhhhh!!!! Those words are just music to my ears.  I was in touch with a mama that is going over for court on the 22nd and is going to get some pictures for me!!! :)  Can't wait to get those!

Isn't this beautiful? Andrea, my sister, surprised me with it! I LOVE it!

In other news,  Brent and I have decided to leave Declan here.  We were planning to take him because he is exclusively nursing, but you can't take babies into court. It's even looked down on to take babies in public.  And a $2,500 plane ticket is an expensive baby sitter (which is what we would have had to do!)  So after much prayer, we can say (ok, I can say--Brent was fine and supportive either way) that we feel comfortable and at peace with leaving him here.  We'll start him on solids sooner than planned so he will be nursing less.  I will take LOTS of batteries and my lovely medela and be super obsessive about pumping! (Sorry if that is TMI for some of you!) 
For our faithful praying friends, please pray that God would give me peace and enable me to trust in Him completely.  I don't want added stress while I am on the trip, which could affect my supply.  And "stress" is just a word for sin in this case.  That sin is worry and lack of trusting.  So I would greatly appreciate your prayers.  One dear friend of mine who I sought council from said the greatest encouragement to me: "God knew the timing when He chose your little girl for you, His hand is on all the logistics, too."  My prayer is that Declan will pick up where he left off and I will continue to produce milk to pump and freeze for Elliana.

Right now the plan is that Mimi (Allison's mom) will come stay at the house with Raelynn.  Declan will go to Grandma and Tank's house (Brent's parents).  They live about 10 minutes from our house and we will have them get together during the week so that will help both of the kids with the adjustment of us being gone.  We don't know how well the internet will work in Ethiopia so just in case we aren't able to facetime with them, we will record some videos to be played while we are away.  Hopefully Raelynn's best buddies Jackson and Josiah will be available for a play date that week too, so she can see familiar faces! :)  This was a hard decision, but will make our trip much easier and we can totally focus on Elliana. 
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Now that we have made that decision, next on our list is figuring out immunizations!  Some take several weeks to become effective, so we need to figure out which ones we are taking.  We have learned that none are required, but we will most likely take some.