Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Haul Out the Holly

"30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God  31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."  Luke 1: 30-33

The Stoves household is buzzing with excitement!  It's Christmas time!

Little Mac is showing an unmatched enthusiasm for all things, "Christmas."
He loves to point out the lights on houses as we drive past, and he will let you know if they are on the right or the left.  He also loves to watch Christmas movies every day!  At this very moment, "Polar Express" is playing on our TV for probably the fifth time this week!

Big D is also busy taking in all of the sights and sounds of the season. 
It is such a joy to watch him experience his first Christmas.

Last week we sat down as a family, on a comfy palate in the living room to watch our first Christmas movie of the year.  I would love to say that it was a meaningful, timeless classic...but alas, it was "Elf!"  Who doesn't love Will Ferrell acting like he is five years old?

We also enjoyed a fun, family evening of decorating our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas carols.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fantastically, Fun Fall

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1

As November draws to a close, and we enter the Christmas season, I thought I would reflect on all of the fun times we had this fall.

Big D attended his very first football game:  Auburn vs. Mississippi State.
Little Mac & Mommy continued to do at-home preschool.

 Big D learned to sit-up & crawl.

Little Mac & Big D enjoyed playing together on pajama days!

We made our annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

My Dad gave me my annual Halloween pumpkin filled with goodies!
YES, it is a Mickey Mouse pumpkin...and NO, I am not too old for that!

We attended my sister's Halloween Barn Party.

The boys had a great time Trick-or-Treating

We went to see Disney on Ice!

Clay had his very first choir performance at church!

We went to Auburn's homecoming game.

Big D experienced watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time.

Little Mac enjoyed watching the parade with one of his cousins.

We also enjoyed sharing Big D's first Thanksgiving with family.

We hope that you all had a Fabulous Fall!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Update on Adoption Process

I just wanted to update everyone on the progress we are making with our adoption paperwork.

1st Home Visit:  Our first home study visit by our social worker was 1 1/2 weeks ago.  It was wonderful!  We absolutely could not be happier with our social worker.  You can see her love for Jesus and for these precious children in what she does.  I really wasn't sure what to expect as the big day arrived, but it was so easy.  The home visit lasted about 3 hours.  She toured our home, met our children, and we chatted about the upcoming adoption process and about ourselves.  It was especially fun to reminisce and share about our relationship.  We talked about how we met and fell in love in high school, we talked about our proposal and engagement, our beautiful wedding, our children, and how God has led us to this journey of adoption.  We also had opportunity to brag on each other.  It was truly a blessed time!

Finger Print attempt #1:  After our home visit, Randall and I decided we would go to the sheriff's office to have our finger prints done, since Randall had to take a half day off of work in order to do the home visit.  We are trying to make the most of those times off work.  Well, first we had to print out and fill out paperwork to take with us.  Of course our printer at home was out of ink, so we went to Office Depot to print.  It took forever!  Finally, we had the paperwork ready to go, and we headed to the sheriff's office.  Once we arrived, we learned that finger prints are only done from 1:00-3:00 Monday thru Thursday.  This was not the information we had been given on the phone!  Randall had to get back to work, so we are still trying to find the best opportunity to get our finger prints done. 

Physicals:  I had my physical done a couple of weeks ago.  It was a piece of cake.  Only issue there is that I now have to go back to do my TB test.  I couldn't do it the first time, because with a TB test you must return to the doctor and have your results read 2-3 days after the test.  Of course, I had my physical on a Wednesday, and my doctor's office isn't open on Fridays.  So yes, I have to go back to complete my physical.  Randall is trying to figure out a way to get his done without having to miss any more time at work. 

Writing and Signing:  We still have a lot of paperwork to read and sign, and copies to make.  We also have to write our autobiographies in the next couple of weeks.  I don't know why, but this is very intimidating for me.  Oh, well.  I just need to sit down and get it done. 

It's all going really well.  And I can see God's hand in all of it!  I can also see how Satan would love for me to get distracted and discouraged over the speed bumps along the way, but he MAY NOT have my joy!  I am so thankful that God has chosen us to walk this path.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's National Adoption Month

"He defends the cause of the fatherless," Deuteronomy 10:18a

November is National Adoption Month, and I just wanted to share a little about what you can do.

Adoption is part of God's plan!  After all, He adopted us!  Praise Him!  And He calls us to care for orphans.  So how can we do that, practically speaking?  There are a number of ways:  adoption, foster-parenting, mission trips, volunteering with local organizations, donating to missionaries who care for orphans, supporting families who are adopting or have adopted, praying, etc...  The possibilities are endless!  Most importantly, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit!  Get in the Word, find out what God says about the fatherless, and ask Him to reveal His plan for you in this regard.  No, God does not call everyone to adopt, but He does call ALL of us to care.

Here is a great song about adoption.  The video helps put faces and names to the numbers and statistics we often hear.  It reminds me of something Randall said when he came home from his trip to an orphanage in Honduras, "all these kids want is a mom and a dad."  Praise God, that is something we can provide.

Pray and ask God what His role is for you in showing compassion toward children, like these, who do not have a family of their own.