Welcome to our blog! We've had lots of people asking us to keep them posted on all the adoption happenings, so I decided to make a blog. Enjoy!

Friday, June 29, 2012


If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already know we had some issues with the tshirts that we ordered. We finished paying for them a few months ago and at the beginning of this week learned that we would not be receiving them. So we were sort of up the creek without a paddle, because we really needed them in time for our benefit concert tomorrow.

Being an avid Pinterester (is that a word? probably not...), I knew there were lots of ways I could make my own shirt, so I decided to make 4 for our family to wear at the concert, so we could all match. As I was buying the supplies for this on Tuesday night I saw how inexpensive it was to buy the supplies and the lightbulb went off. I decided I would make shirts to sell myself! So for the past 3 days I've been cutting out stencils and painting nonstop. We've got 60 tshirts ready to sell!
The supplies- tshirts, freezer paper, sponge brushes and fabric paint.

LOTS of time spent tracing and cutting out the Africa pattern... 
I'm starting to see Africa everywhere I look! 

 The first two I painted, for Alexis and Kaitlyn.

 Making progress... I also made an Africa canvas to sell tomorrow night.

 I love that I got to pick out lots of different colors! These are the regular fit shirts.

 And these are the fitted tee's, they were a little more expensive than the others, 
so we didn't buy as many of these. 

We also bought a few toddler and children's tshirts that we'll be selling, and some bibs! 

If you're interested in purchasing one of these shirts, let me know! I have sizes Newborn- Adult XXL (tomorrow night I'll have 12 month- XXL available), in varying colors. They're $15 or 2 for $25, and the bibs are $5. If you need the shirt shipped, just add $1 for shipping. You can email me at saragentry at gmail dot com to place an order. If you want a specific color, I can get it for you! AND if you are adopting from a different area of Africa and would like the heart in a different location, I can do that too!

Things to be praying for-
Please be praying that our fundraiser tomorrow night is a HUGE success! We've put a lot of work into it and would love to see a big turn out. Also keep Elizabeth in your prayers, as well as her caregivers. We're waiting on a document from immigration and Andrew's passport, so pray those things get here quickly so they can be on their way to Congo!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I don't know how many times I've read in articles, books, and blogs about adoption that it is not a journey for the faint of heart. I don't think you really get that until you're in it. I mean, really in it. We've been on our adoption adventure for almost a year now. It was July of 2011 that we decided God was definitely calling us to adopt and we started researching domestic vs. international, Africa vs. Asia, all the different agencies.

The official process- paperwork and all that fun stuff started in January of this year. We had applied to our agency (who we've now left) and were accepted, and we started our home study in January. That took about 3 months with all the paperwork and meeting with our social worker 3 times. Things had been (until last week!) really slow... we were fundraising and it was taking forever. We were gathering documents needed and when we got the funds, moving to the next step. We assumed it would be at least another year before we saw our daughter's face and maybe even another year before we went to get her.

At times I wondered if we were even suppose to be adopting. Was God not providing the funds because this wasn't His plan? Or were those thoughts Satan trying to weasel his way in? We decided to push through until every door was closed, and if that happened, it'd be God.

And then I learned more about the woman I'm working with now (D) and how she was finding referrals in a few days. To me it made sense.... there are SO many orphans in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). That's when I started vaguebooking on Facebook about prayer for guidance and wisdom. We lost a good chunk of money leaving our agency. It would've been great if we were able to go this route to begin with, but obviously we'd have no way of getting connected to these women who live and work in DRC without the connections I had because of our agency. God definitely had His hands in this! As I was praying and trying to decide if this is what we were suppose to be doing, we decided were 91% sure it was. I was on my way to the library to scan and email contracts to D, when I received the phone call from the campus pastor at our old church letting me know that they were giving us $1,000. Since pursuing this, and getting connected with our facilitator (V), I've definitely felt God confirming that this was the right move for us.

The referral for Elizabeth was official on June 14th, just 3 days after emailing D for the first time. What a mighty God we serve!

Since then it's been nonstop, I've been driving all over town, making copies, getting documents scanned, to the post office, to the bank, back to our house, back to the post office, back to make copies. Seriously, it never stops! We did get to take a "break" yesterday to celebrate Father's Day. We took the girls to 6 Flags, which was a lot of fun, but we learned they aren't a fan of water parks, so next time we'll skip that part of the park!

On Saturday we received a letter from Immigration, letting us know they got our application for fingerprinting, and they got our money, and we'll be getting another letter from them in 2-3 weeks with an appointment date to go get the fingerprinting done. Yay! We have 3 documents left to get in our possession before our dossier will be done and ready to translate. One of them is a form that will come after our fingerprinting appointment. The other is Andrew's passport. We were slackers and waited to renew it, so now we're getting it renewed and paying extra to expedite it so we don't have to wait on it. The 3rd is our GBI report (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), that our old agency has and should be sending to us now that we've terminated our contract with them. Praying that they don't make things difficult, I've heard they are tough to get a hold of these days with so many people leaving....

We are hoping to have the dossier done and sent in by the end of the summer. That's fast, but that's what we're praying for!

When I'm not running around like a crazy person (really... crazy. Ask the guy behind the counter at the post office today who I cried in front of.... or the customer service people at Kroger who have dealt with the Western Union mix ups for me, while Alexis and Kaitlyn whine, cry, touch everything, and/or dance in the way of other customers), I'm working on fundraising stuff! I've been working on crafts to sell at our benefit concert (June 30th at 6pm for my local readers... come out and help bring our daughter home!!!-- and invite your friends!)

We're also still collecting donations for our yard sale. The yard sale will be either the 1st or 2nd weekend in July, depending on when Andrew can get the morning off work. We'll keep you updated on all the fundraising!

If you could please keep us in your prayers, we would really appreciate it! Pray for us, pray for Elizabeth, pray for her caregivers, pray for funding, and pray that all the government agencies involved will be speedy. If you'd like to pray specifically, pray that everything will go smoothly and quickly and we'll have our baby girl home for Christmas! That's best case scenario, but that's the case we're praying for!

p.s.- Thank you SOOOOOO much for all the prayers and support thus far!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Drumroll please!

This is definitely the biggest update we've had so far! And we're so excited to share our news. It still feels a little unreal, so as I write this, I'm not 100% sure when I will publish it.

Are you ready??? Drumroll......

We have a referral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Her name is Elizabeth (she spells it Elisabeth), she's 1 year and 9 months... and she's perfect! What we know about her so far is that she was abandoned and she was found in the market, and was given the name Elizabeth. Right now, we think we'll keep her name because it's an American name, and it means "God's promise" *and* it's my middle name and Kaitlyn's middle name :) We haven't decided on a middle name yet. Alexis and Kaitlyn think he middle name should be Alexis :p

We do have a picture, but aren't able to publish it publicly, so it can't go on Facebook or the blog, but if you'd like to see her, let me know and I can send you an email or Facebook message... or if you see me out and about, I have it on my cell phone :)

So for the last 3 days I've been running around like a crazy person trying to get all of our paperwork done, copies, scanned, emailed, etc. I've also been checking my email like a crazy person... thank goodness for smartphones!

"What's next?" is the question we are getting the most after telling family and friends about Elizabeth. The answer is paperwork, paperwork, paperwork... and waiting. Right now we're getting the last pieces of our dossier ready to go and then we'll be waiting on our fingerprinting (for immigration- we've done 2 sets of fingerprints already, for FBI and GBI) appointment, which should happen in the next month or so. And then we'll have to get the dossier translated into French and when that's done we'll send it all done to the Congo. Once they have everything down there, they'll submit it to court, which takes a couple weeks. After we pass court there is a 1 month waiting period for appeals (this is when birth parents/family can make an appeal). At the end of that month, assuming no appeals have been made, we'll apply for a visa and passport for Elizabeth and then we can travel!
We are hoping, praying and crossing all fingers and toes that this will go as smoothly as possible and we'll be able to travel before the end of this year. Obviously we want our daughter home as soon as possible, and if her adoption is complete in 2012 we'd definitely be eligible for the tax credit, which would be amazing!

After we finish the paperchase race, we'll be working on fundraising, hardcore. Traveling to the Congo isn't cheap, so we still have a long way to go!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Big updates and answered prayers

For those of you on Facebook, a couple of days ago I asked for prayer for wisdom and discernment concerning our adoption. Thanks so much for all your prayers! Earlier today I updated to let you know I had a couple big updates to share.

So, I won't leave you hanging any more, I finally have time to update. The biggest update is that we've decided to leave our current agency and we've signed on with an independent facilitator that works in the DR Congo. We made this decision for several reasons. About a month ago there was an update from our agency that was disconcerting (if you really want to know I'd be happy to tell you, but no reason to rehash it all on the blog), it just didn't sit well. I'm a member of a Google group of parents that are all adopting from Congo through One World and I read a lot of things that didn't sit well about their experiences (from people that have completed their adoptions and those who are waiting for their referrals still). One of the women on the group that had already completed their adoption mentioned that if she had to do this all over again, she would do it independently through this woman. She used to work at the US Embassy in Congo and has a lot of connections through that. She has a heart for adoptions and is offering her services to parents as a consultant. She will be working with us through our adoption process and connecting us to the right people. 

Another reason we're leaving is the wait time. The wait time for referrals keeps growing. That added to the issues they're having right now and a lack of communication, we decided to switch now before we've invested any more money (because the money we've paid to the agency we're leaving is non-refundable). Because we'll be adopting "independently", it is significantly cheaper, even if you take into account the money we'll lose leaving the agency. 

We signed on with the facilitator today and we will keep everyone updated on how things are progressing.

Speaking of progressing... we have some fundraising updates too!

Our tshirts should be ready by the end of the month, in time for our benefit concert on the 30th. 
I'm really excited about the concert. Chris Hayes and his buddy Vic Rockhill have graciously agreed to play as the headliners. They both went to Berry too, and now Chris works as a foster family consultant. I knew that he was a talented musician, and when I found out where he worked I asked him if he'd be willing to help me out by playing at the benefit concert. What I didn't know was how much he would be helping me out! He's been a HUGE help getting this thing put together. He found another act to play that night and has been so helpful in promoting the event. Thanks Chris!!! If you are local and haven't seen the Facebook event yet, you can see it here. Please share the event and invite your friends! We've got some great performers playing and Pal's has some awesome drinks (coffee, frozen coffee drinks and smoothies). We'll also have our t-shirts for sale, as well as some other Pinterest projects crafts. 

During our week on Give1Save1, we raised over $700, so a BIG thank you to everyone who donated and/or shared on their Facebook page! 

And the big fundraising news is that we've been blessed to receive a grant from our old church's Adoption Fund for $1,000! I am seriously blown away by how awesome our Church family is, even though we don't go to that church any more, I love all of them and love what the church is doing. I really miss it many weeks, but I feel like the church we landed is where we're suppose to be right now. So even though we aren't members of that church family anymore, we're still part of the Church (big C) family and I love that! 

The thermometer to the right -----> has been updated with the grant, Give1Save1 and various other fundraising (if we're friends on FB, you know I've been selling things from around our house that we don't want to sell for garage sale prices... old wedding gifts, furniture, etc.), but the total number hasn't been updated to reflect our big change. We'll have a more definite "final" number when we're matched with a child. 

Thank you so much for all the support we've received so far. As we continue this journey, we will need your continued support, especially your prayers! Pray for us, pray for our little girl, pray for her parents, pray for her caregivers, pray for our new facilitator, pray for funding.... pray, pray, pray. 

And if I haven't said it already....... THANK YOU!!!!