Friday, July 30, 2010

What's in a name?

Now that we have our referrals, we have been thinking about names

We plan to give our kids American names to go along with their Ethiopian names, but the question remains, “Should we call them by their American names or by their Ethiopian names?”

Reasons to call them by their Ethiopian names:
- In a nutshell:  Heritage
- We think their Ethiopian names are beautiful… BEAUTIFUL!
- They were given to them by their birth family and are extremely special.
- We certainly do not want to make them feel as if we think their Ethiopian names were not “good enough” or that we did not like them.
- They are used to them. It’s what they’ve always been called, and it would be strange for them to have to learn new names at 3 and 4 years old.

Reasons to call them by their American names:
- In a nutshell:  Practicality
- Their Ethiopian names would be unusual and difficult for people to remember, pronounce, and spell. We have experienced this some with Deke and Mattea. For some reason, people have trouble figuring out how to spell Deke’s name. (Apparently, it’s more difficult to spell than we originally thought!  “Deek”,  “Deak”, even “Dink”) And poor Mattea has her name mispronounced almost every time anyone has to read it. We’ve even made it a game to try to guess how it’s going to be pronounced – especially when we go to the dentist! (It’s Muh-TAY-uh, by the way. LOL) I can only imagine how many times our Ethiopian kids will have to re-pronounce, spell, and re-state their names! I just don’t know if they should have to do that their entire lives.
- So that they won’t have to answer questions or explain where their names came from every time they meet someone new.
- In the Bible, God gave many people a new name to mark a turning point or new phase in their lives. (Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Cephas became Peter. Saul became Paul.) This is definitely a new phase in their lives, and I believe it would be appropriate to receive a new name.

Really, the only reason we would call them by their American names is so that their lives could be simplified. It really does get old having to repeat and spell your name for lots of people. That’s a pretty big reason. So, I think we’re leaning toward calling them by their American names, but we certainly are not completely committed to that yet.

We’re praying about it. We’ll see…

A little more on the referral...

There are very strict rules about what you can share about your child(ren) before you go to court and they become legally yours.  So...  I can tell you that we have a 3 year old girl and a 4 year old boy siblings.  In their pictures (which we are not allowed to show yet!) the brother has his arm around his sister.  They have the most unique and beautiful features.  She looks like a precious little angel, and he looks full of mischief - which means he'll fit right in with his new roomie Wyatt!  Actually, upon seeing his picture for the first time Wyatt said, "He looks FUN!"  (Heaven help us all!) 

We can't wait to get to meet them in person!  We are now waiting to be assigned a court date. 

After we pass court we will come back home and have to wait again to go back and pick them up and bring them home forever.

So, the waiting begins again...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Friday afternoon we received our referral phone call!

Siblings: 4 year old boy and 3 year old girl!

They are beautiful, and we are all in love!

(More info to come in a later post...)

Monday, July 19, 2010

UPDATE to "God answers prayer! (duh!)"

I was so happy last night at church when some special friends gave $200 toward our adoption to bring our total to $2,000!  (The exact answer to my prayer!) 

But, as always, God's ways are greater than my ways and His thoughts greater than my thoughts. He had been working in ways I had no idea about.  We found out today that there was $1,600 more given to the adoption fund at our church.  $3,600 dollars when my prayer was for $2,000! 

The prayer for $2,000 seemed like a big prayer.  For me it is big, but God not only answered, He showed me once again that my ideas are too small.  He has more planned for us than we could ever ask or even imagine.  How much do we miss out on because we allow ourselves to have such small expectations of what He is willing to and wants to do?  (How much have we already missed out on?)

I pray that I will not miss out on even one more thing that God has for me or for our family because I do not dare to dream God-sized dreams!

Thank You, God, for always blessing beyond our expectations.  We are continually humbled by Your grace and love.

God answers prayer! (duh!)

Since my "So, how's the adoption coming along?" post we have received $2,000!  (Thanks to ALL who have given!)
I was praying for $2000 a week - and that's exactly what we got.  (Maybe I should have prayed for $3,000 a week?  Just kidding!) God knows exactly what we will need and He knows exactly when we are going to need it.  And we are so thankful for generous friends who love God and love us! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

“So, how’s the adoption coming along?”

How many times a week am I asked that question? And I LOVE it! We are incredibly blessed to have such great friends who ask us that very question virtually every time we see them. (And I am not being sarcastic – I really do love it!) I can honestly say that things are going extremely well. The dossier is completed and now in Ethiopia. So far, so good. Our primary concern at this point is the money we need to complete the process.


We have had a heart for adopting for years, but we had several reasons (a.k.a. “excuses”) for not actually taking any action. Of course, those included money, already having 4 kids, money, and … umm, well, money. (Yes, “money” was always a major excuse!)

Late last summer and into the fall, we began gradually telling friends that we were considering international adoption. We did lots – LOTS - of research on the internet, prayed about what we were to do, and then requested an application from the agency we felt most comfortable with. We filled out the application from our agency and got it ready to send in. But even through all of that, we were not completely committed to following through. We hadn’t had a “no going back” moment. There were so many questions and uncertainties about “how” it would all work out. And not only were there logistical concerns about the process, etc., but we also had to consider the tremendous changes that would come to our family – permanent changes that would affect every single member of our household.

But on January 3rd of this year, we made “the decision” - the decision to step out in obedience, relying completely on God to provide all the resources we need (money - and beyond). As we were driving home from church that day, we decided that we would fully commit - we would proceed with what we felt God was leading us to do with complete reliance on Him to make all the details work out. No safety net. No way we could do it on our own. We mailed our application a few days later (along with the $250 application fee - which seemed like a huge amount at the time yet now feels so tiny!)

Of course, we have been in situations before where relying on God rather than ourselves was our only option, but I humbly confess that we didn’t go there willingly. The only reason we were in those situations was because God had placed us there, leaving us with no other choice but to trust Him for the outcome. We were living like many other American Christians – claiming to have faith but never really allowing ourselves to venture into a situation we couldn’t “handle” with our own resources or abilities. We knew this was our call to LIVE as if God really is who He says He is – to live by “faith”.


We’ve completed our dossier, spent over $12,000, and are now in the process of waiting for our referrals. God provided those funds in a variety of ways. Friends have donated generously and sacrificially, a little of it has come from sales of our fundraising items, and a good bit of it has come from our own personal finances.

We are now faced with some upcoming deadlines with high expenses, and we’re needing God to provide miraculously. This amount will not be raised through our own efforts or “selling stuff”. I am convinced that God desires for others to get involved in bringing our children home - to be involved in rescuing orphans. I confess that I have been torn between trying more “fundraising” ideas or just asking for gifts from others. A part of me wants to “work” for the money – by “doing stuff” to encourage others to give. I want to offer something to people for the money they give. But even as I research ideas and rack my brain for clever ways to convince people to give, I keep hearing God say to “just ask”.

It's a very difficult thing to do - even though I know my reason for asking is a worthy one...

Through this process God has already shown me so much about what adoption truly is, and I know that I have only begun to understand the beauty of God’s plan. Every day I come to a deeper realization that I will never in this lifetime truly understand all that adoption means. The more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know! But I have learned a few things along the way, and here are a couple of them:

     *The worst type of poverty is not the physical kind where kids do not have clean water, nutritious food, shelter, or opportunities for a better life (as horrible as that is – and totally inexcusable, because we have resources to change it… but, alas, that’s a topic for another day). The worst type of poverty is not having a “family” who adores them – a family who loves and cherishes them above all else and above all others in the world. True poverty is not having a single place in the world where a child knows they will always receive unconditional love and acceptance by people who would lay down their very lives for them – not having what we know as a “home”. All that other “stuff” can be provided by strangers, but the love of a family is priceless and cannot be bought.

     *Giving to help a family adopt is not just giving to someone so they can “do something they want to do”. It’s not just donating to a “good cause”. It’s not merely making a “charitable contribution”. It is literally providing the ransom for children to be united with their forever family. And everyone who gives becomes a part of the family who adopts, because they have helped the family become whole. The adopted child’s life will forever be changed because of each person’s gift. (I look forward to our adoption being complete and helping other families rescue their own children and bring them home. I just can’t wait to be a part of that!)

I know that God wants other people to be a part of our adoption journey. It will bring more praying, loving, caring people into the lives of our children. It will cause more people to consider adoption as something God may be calling them to do. It will allow people who cannot adopt at this time to still be a part of God’s amazing plan of adoption.

Our next monetary obligation will be due when we accept our referrals – about $12,000 to cover visas, our first trip (parents only) to Ethiopia for our court date, and program fees. At this point, we do not know how long or short our wait for our referrals will be. Our paperwork is in Ethiopia and has to be translated and taken to the Ministry of Women and Children for processing. It could be soon or not so soon. So we wait on God’s timing….

Once that has been completed, we will need about $26,000 more for embassy fees, visas, and travel fees in order to travel and pick up our children. (This amount includes travel expenses for our other children – we believe it is very important for them to go so they can see their brother and sister’s heritage and so we can all “come home” as a family, and we feel that God has said He will provide it).

Thinking about needing $38,000 is CRAZY to me!

My friend Amanda says that she believes our children will be here before her baby is born – only 18 weeks away. I don’t know if that is true, but if it were it would mean that we would need to receive over $2,000 a week for the next 18 weeks in order for that to happen! (And even if it isn’t before the arrival of her newest addition that we receive our children, I have prayed all along that it would be by Christmas of this year.) That is absolutely a God-sized goal, and one that He will definitely receive the glory for because there’s NO WAY we could claim any credit for that!

So, I am going to “ask”.  And I am doing it because God has said to do it…

"Will you please contribute to our adoption needs?"

We need a total of $38,000.

As one big number, it is intimidating, but with many giving and God blessing, it is completely doable.
This goal could be achieved in a variety of ways:

38 people who give $1,000 = one-time $1,000 gift OR $250 per month for 4 months


76 people who give $500 = one-time $500 gift OR $125 per month for 4 months


100 people who give $380 = one-time $380 gift OR $95 per month for 4 months


152 people who give $250 = one-time $250 gift OR $62.50 per month for 4 months


254 people who give $150 = one-time $150 gift OR $50 per month for 3 months


If 100 people who would partner with us and commit to being responsible for ONE of the following amounts, it would put us within $100 of our $38,000 goal!

12 donors @ $1000 = $12,000
28 donors @ $500 = $14,000
29 donors @ $250 = $7,250
31 donors @ $150 = $4,650

100 DONORS = $37,900

Even if you cannot commit to one of the above amounts, please know that any amount will be greatly appreciated, and God sees and blesses every gift his children give no matter the size. And even though we obviously need to acquire that amount of money, we need your prayers even more – and that’s something ANYONE can do!

I have put a goal tracking chart in the side-bar to keep track of where we stand in relation to our goal. So, please check it often to see how we’re doing…

After you have prayed about how much God would have you give, you may need to know how to make your donations. At this time you may make donations through our PayPal "donate" button or by check through our church's “Adoption Assistance Fund”. All donations made through the Moffett Road Baptist Church Adoption Assistance Fund will be tax deductible for you and 100% of it will be available to us for our adoption expenses.

Please make checks payable to:
Moffett Road Baptist Church (“Adoption Fund” on memo line)

Mail to:
Moffett Road Baptist Church
5555 Moffett Road
Mobile, AL 36618

Also, we would greatly appreciate it if you would let us know by e-mail ( what commitment you are making so that we may correctly estimate our remaining needs.

Thank you!
The Pierce Family

Monday, July 5, 2010

What a journey

Alabama to Virginia to Tennessee to Paris to Dubai to Addis Ababa!
Our dossier has made it to Ethiopia!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dossier to Ethiopia!

TODAY is the day!

Dossier to Ethiopia!

DTE - Yeah!

DTE (Date To Ethiopia) for all our paperwork is today, July 2! The dossier is now working it's way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from McLean, VA. Cleared through the State Dept. & Ethiopian Embassy in D.C. yesterday, now on the journey that will match us with our 2 children - the ones God has chosen from the beginning of time to be Pierces!