Thursday, October 28, 2010
7 days left!!!!!!!!!!!
We have plenty to keep us busy until we leave from still trying to recover from the yard sale, our house is still messy and the garage is still full! We are slowly, but surely, recovering!! :) We are washing clothes for the orphanage, packing toys for Daniel Mamo, packing a bag for him (in hopes he stays with us a few nights:)! The kids are going to be staying with grandma (Phil's mom) and Memaw and Papa (my parents). Phil is trying to learn a little about Skype so that we can all see each other and they can meet their new brother/grandson. One thing I learned on the last trip though, is that Ethiopia technology is not always turned ON. LOL We will see how that plays out. We hear that there IS an Internet Cafe very close to where we are staying, so I should be able to Blog this trip! Hurray!!
So here is what is going on right now in Ethiopia...
There is a nice lady also adopting from CCI, that is there RIGHT now, at the same orphanage as Mamo! She took over a musical card for us with a photo from us and a message that reads "We are coming soon- Love Mom and Dad"! I wish I could see him open the card! :) I think all of the kids will love it... it plays the Lion King song or something like that!! :) There is another lady who is en route (she left yesterday), who will also be at his orphanage and has promised to pass along some HUGS and KISSES to him! This is VERY important because now, he will see some other mommies and daddies come in and out of the orphanage. Up until now, there has been little movement at this orphanage with the courts being closed! Now that they are reopened...Here WE ALL COME!!!
I am also so excited to return the favor of hanging out with these special families children on our visit over! We have gotten to know many families adopting from here and it is amazing the friendships we have formed over Strabucks coffee, from email exchanges, from cell phone conversations and Yahoo chat! We are obviously so excited to see our Mamo, but also so excited to meet all of the other children too!!! :)
So, here is what we think the week will look something like next week.... We leave next Thursday evening and fly to Washington (Dulles). We stay the night there. :) Friday morning we leave Dulles at 8:30am and arrive Saturday morning in Ethiopia at 8:30am! We are staying at the New Flower Guest Home, and can't wait to meet our Buffalo, NY friends who are also adopting from our son's orphanage, and who are also staying there! :) Where we are staying is supposed to be close to a lot of restaurants, an internet cafe and believe it or not some type of mall. I laugh at that, because I can't wait to check that out... we definitely didn't see any type of "malls" where we stayed and where we visited last trip! I promise to get pics! :)
So, from there we guess we will check in, hopefully shower, then head over to see/meet our little guy!! :) Oh, how we can't wait! We initially thought we would get him and bring him back to our guest home with us, but as things often happen in Africa, there have been some modifications to this plan. We are going to be allowed to go to his orphanage and play with him everyday, but we cannot bring him back with us. Our court date is Wednesday, November 10th, so please being praying that several things happen. #1 that his father shows to court and does the necessary paperwork and #2 that the judge overseeing our case approves our case and makes him a PAYNE! #3 This will be the day that we are allowed to meet with his father, if he will meet with us, to learn of some of his history and how to keep a relationship with him!
****If #1 and #2 happen, then we can go back to the orphanage and spend the rest of the trip with Daniel Mamo at the Guest Home! BUT, we have to officially make him a Payne first (Then, I also legally can also show all of you his handsome pictures!!)!
:)OK, prayer warriors, we got 13 days left to pray for God's favor for this adoption of this sweet little angel! :) He's Almost Ours!!! :)
On the financial front, things continue to look promising! We are still selling Uganda Beads (Great Christmas gifts, great teacher gifts, etc...) and remember their purchase touches 3 different ministries! (Daniel Mamo's adoption, 147 Million Orphans and Amazima ...aka Katie Davis)! Get your beads soon! If you are thinking you are going to get some for Christmas presents, can you please get them SOON??? :)
We are also still selling our CHOSEN adoption T-shirts...we will sell them until they are all gone! Better get yours soon!!! (We have contemplated a re-order so if you want a size not on here, let us know and we will consider it)!
Shirt Inventory that we have left are:
Ladies small(4), Ladies Medium(10), Ladies Large(4),kIDS 18-20 (2), Mens/Adult Small (1), Mens/Adult Medium(1), and Mens/Adult XL (2)!! (If you have already emailed us, then we have already pulled back your shirts for you!!)
We are sooo close to our goal!!
We know HE funds what he favors, and he has constantly provided for this adoption! Thanks to all of you who have supported us, and thanks to those of you who choosing to help us bring this little boy, from half way around the world, and into our arms! It means so much to have all of you helping, sacrificing, giving yourselves and praying for our family and this little boy!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
This past weekend, Friday,October 22nd and Saturday the 23rd we had a HUGE Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale!!!! When I mean HUGE, We are referring to THREE ENTIRE garages full, plus the inside of our first floor of our home! OVERFLOWING with treasures, is an understatement! Thanks to EVERYONE for all of your donations!!!
I was worried a few days earlier that this was TOO BIG! We had a lot of people tell us they were coming to help us on Saturday, but I was FREAKING out about HOW we were going to set up and work 3 separate yard sales on Friday!!! We sent out an S.O.S for help for Friday am, and boy oh boy did our ANGELS show up!!! 6am came early and I am FOREVER grateful to all of you who joined in to help us pull this off!!! We are so blessed!
We have all heard the old African Proverb that "It takes a village...", well our village is the BEST! I can't even begin to thank everyone for all that you helped us with! I had friends show up a few nights before when we were literally drowning in all of our stuff....( seriously, sitting in the midst and just blankly staring at an unbelievable amount of stuff)! Our friends took charge and helped sort to 3 different garages and tag items to create some type of order! My BFF Meg, took charge of ALL of our print and online advertising! My friend Alicia and her father in law made our signage for the sale and some yummy chicken tortilla soup for lunch! My sweet sis, J-Rae, made some AMAZING posters and banners for our sale!!
Our Angels showed up and set up the sale and put out our signage!!! My neighbors, Janet McGirr and The Lefflers really stepped it up by letting us have their garage for 4 days, not to mention getting up early the days of the sale to help and let us use their driveways!!! MY friend Candy, Dave, Shelley, Katie, Melodie and Brayden were here early with the chickens ready to work!
Our kids got up early to help us before they went to school! Phil's parents were here and helped the ENTIRE SALE- what a BLESSING they were (and they worked sooo hard!!)
My friend Meg, my Rock, helped in so many ways that I simply don't know where to start! She was the backbone behind the organization of this sale and my sanity! (She has me hooked on some Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks now too!!!)
My friend Lily had to work Friday, but she sent her parents to help us in her place!! They were so much fun and such a HUGE help!!!
I know I am forgetting someone, and if I am I am so sorry... These were our Friday Angels and there were so many...and I was worried HOW it would work out!! I have to remind myself constantly, that I am not in control! This adoption is God's plan for our family, and he has been providing everything that we have needed!!!
I wished I had taken pics of how many shoppers we had-- it was AMAZING and OVERWHEMING! I am talking at least 60 people at one given time standing in our 3 yards!!! There were cars lined up the street on Friday as far as you could see!! It was CRAZY!!!! And soooo wonderful!!!
We raised $1900 smackers Day 1!!!
We sold sooo much the first day, but to be honest, when we went to put it back in the garages at the end of the day, it looked as if we hadn't sold anything!! This is how much stuff we had from all of your donations!!! There were even some items still in bags in our home, that had yet made it out to the driveways!!! Oopsey!!!
Day 2--- So tired-- That alarm was NOT our friend when it sounded at 5am! Ready to go and do it all over again!!! If I attempt to list who all came and helped, then I will surely leave out at least 50 people in my list... that is how much support from all of our family, friends, Sunday school class, friends from recent and past employers, neighbors, and friends of friends who showed to help and to shop!!!
We sold many Adoption T-shirts and Uganda beads and we continued to sell, sell, sell stuff!!! Big shout out to Buzz Leffler for cooking us a BBQ lunch!!! Thanks to all of my family who came and supported us!!! We could have not "ordered" better weather-- it was simply gorgeous both days!!!
There literally was something for everyone at this sale!!! And we had a lot of fun!!!
It was also awesome how many times I was able to talk adoption!! God is busy at work in this community and I pray I was able to provide some encouragement to others who feel this journey is being placed upon their hearts!!!:)
So, how did we do day 2???? Would you believe we raised another $1600???!!!
In 2 days, we collected $3500 in donations towards this adoption of little Daniel Mamo through this Yard Sale!!! We could have NEVER, done this without our Village of Chosen Family and Friends!! We are truly blessed!!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and from this sweet face!!!
Leftover items went in a lot of directions-- some items went to the dump for items with holes and deemed unsaleable or undonateable. GoodWill and ARC were recipients for a lot of stuff! We pulled out shoes and clothes to go to the trash dump in East Africa that we will visit very shortly. We pulled out items for our son's orphanage AND we are donating a whole lot of AWESOME items (half of a garage full) to another sweet mom, Wendi Green, and her family, who are about to have a Yard Sale too, to raise funds to help bring THREE kids home from my son's orphanage!!! So, not only did your donations to our sale benefit us in funding this OUR adoption journey, but they will continue to bless sooo many other people, here locally and abroad!! How cool is that? Our Living a Better Story Journey continues to bless others and touch others that we could have NEVER imagined!!
We are ALMOST at our goal!!!
TWELVE (12) days from today, we begin our first journey, 7700 miles, to see Daniel Mamo and to prayfully make him part of our family!!!! We can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again to EVERYONE for being part of our journey -- you were CHOSEN to be a part of something BIG and we LOVE all of you!!!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Slightly Overwhelmed!!!! But we are overwhelmed with JOY!!!! Recruiting helpers for our Adoption Fundraiser yard sale THIS Friday and Saturday!!!
We need helpers to work this sale PLEASE!! We especially are in need of HELP ON Friday!!!! We will start setting up at 6:15am...(ugh, I know)! Can you help for 30 minutes before you head out to work? Or can you come for a few hours?? We will need as many people as we can recruit from the hours of 6am-12 noon!!! We will need someone to even help put our signs out Friday am! (Thanks Alicia and J-Rae for our signs!!)
Here are pictures of our garage.... Thanks to everyone for your donations!!! They are still coming too, so No, it's not too late....keep it coming!!!!
Our house looks like this...We are officially candidates now for the Reality show "The Horders"! LOL
Again, look what all we have already???? You guys all ROCK!!!!
There is sooo much to list what we have, but here is a stab at it. We have TV's, microwaves, a dorm refrigerator, a twin girls bed/trundle/dresser/hutch/desk, an Ethan Allen twin headboard, an Eliptical trainer, 2 weight benches, an exercise bike, 4 or 5 sets of Pottery Barn bedding, Pottery barn towels, PBshower curtain, PB curtain, PB rug. We have full mattress, queen mattress, patio furniture, dining room table, a Dora Jeep, a Butterscotch horse (the big one that moves that everyone wanted last year for Christmas).We have car seats and booster seats... two are the Britax Marathon brand).
We have a full mattress, a queen mattress, a kitchen table, patio furniture, Tv's, cameras, bedding sets, lamps, pictures, etc.... (most of that is en route to our house and will be arriving tonight or tomorrow....Hmmmm.. where is that gonna go???? I am telling you we are candidates for that reality show.. I keep telling myself just a few more days of living in the clutter!!!
We have chalk boards, kids vanity sets, ballerina sets and so much more!!! We have TOYS galore! We have TONS of home decor, kitchen items, collectable items...we have albums... you now the ones we used to lsiten to music on when we were kids!!! LOL
We have TOP brand clothing-- a lot with TAGS on them! Talbots, Lands End, Loft, Black and White, Gap, Polo, Banana, Gymboree, Seven brand, Cashmere,Calvin Klein, etc.... So much and too much to list. I know I left off a WHOLE Lot of stuff! Again, too much to list!!!!
We will also be selling the Beautful Uganda beads.. (Think Christmas gifts!!)
And our Adoption T-shirts!!!
Remember, crazy as it may sound, we are still accepting donations!!! We have several more trips of donations coming everyday this week, so clean out those closets and get rid of that piece of furniture that you have been contemplating getting rid of for some time!!! Thanks to everyone who has donated their goodies!!!!
Don't forget to stop by the sale and say Hi! We are hoping to be selling breakfast and lunch on Saturday and the weather forecast looks GORGEOUS!!!!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
We don't know how long this will take... Our prayers are the new office is fast, efficient, and gracious and that all of our paperwork is what they need to approve our little guy coming home!! We are going to celebrate when this last piece of paper's arrival at the Ethiopian Restaurant in Nashville!! Anyone want to come with us??? We pray we are going REAL soon!!!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Everyone PLEASE start praying :
#1 that our travels to Ethiopia are safe
#2 That Daniel Mamo will be able to open his heart to us
#3 That we begin to bond/attach with each other while we are in Ethiopia, and that it will be a smooth transition
#4 That his father (his mother is deceased), shows up for the court date
#5 That his father will have peace in his heart, as he is faced with this gut wrenching decision to allow us to parent his child
#6 That his father will meet with us and provide us with some background information regarding our son and his family and that he may want to have a relationship with us
#7 That his father will allow us to help him or any other children that he has in a way that blesses him and his family
#8 That our case passes Court on the FIRST try, without any additional information required! (We will then be able show all of you his picture!!!)
#9 For our safety while we are in Ethiopia
#10 That God will continue to STRETCH us while in Ethiopia, and show us how we can help these beautiful people (we will be visiting the trash dump)
We will also need prayers that on November 13th that all 3 of us, will all be able to "hold it together" as we LEAVE each other. We will be leaving Ethiopia without our son for a short while, until we secure our next Court date!
We will then begin to ask for you to pray that we go back with Gods speed to bring our son home as soon as it is HIS timing to do so. There is a CHANCE that Daniel may be home by Christmas... We will have some paperwork still out, so some of the timing will depend on a piece of paper floating around out there.
We have been sooo Blessed that this has happend so quickly for all of us!
No doubt about it, that this was all God's plan. How else can you describe how quickly all of this has happend? How else can you describe that just a few months back my son and I met this little guy in an orphanage the day after he arrived? How else can you explain that THIS orphanage was an unscheduled visit for our group... and that hours before we met him that we decided to go there.
The night before I met Daniel Mamo, I told God that this was too hard. I wasn't sure I could do this (adopt). I was sad by the things I had seen and hadn't really felt a connection that I thought I would feel. I was sad, I was mad at the poverty and sickness I had seen and I just didn't think I was cut out for all of this.I was feeling numb. To be honest I was really ready to just go back home. The next day, he put this little guy RIGHT IN OUR PATH... and that day, we as a family of 4, were forever changed.
Hang on little one... we are coming to see you!!!! 22 days and counting!!!!
Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers and your continued prayers!!!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
We had JUST started thinking seriously about adoption, researching countries and praying where God was going to lead us. My husband had agreed that we could add to our family by adopting, but we didn't know where we were going to adopt from. (We were NOT looking in Africa yet at this point).
I watched the sweet play my daughter was in and I was reminded the bible story that I learned in Sunday School so many years ago of how Jesus fed the hungry when the people had nothing to offer. A small boy had 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread; the crowd laughed at the boy. How would this small amount feed 5,000? And then Jesus smiled at those who didn't believe and he MULTIPLIED the loaves and fishes in abundance! After everyone was fed there was still more food than the hungry people could eat! I was reminded THIS day, that we would NOT be alone on this journey. I began to hear him say to me "More than enough". I had peace wash over me as I watched my daughter portray Mary, and as she handed out the food to the crowd that HE multiplied. I was reminded right then and there to be obedient and to be faithful in what he was telling us to do. We began to say to each other in our home that he has told us "More than enough", each time we got overwhelmed by that daunting number.... This was our PEACE, and when we realized that we had to put the fear of that number in HIS hands. He had told us to do so; so we did.
We want to say Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported us on this journey! Many of you have blessed us with your prayers, your gifts, and your presence on this journey with us! We wanted to give everyone an update on where we are today on our fundraising...
We have been able to pay for our home study, pay for all the fees associated with our Dossier filing, pay for our I600a fees, and we have paid our application fee with CCI. We have paid our CCI Agency fee and our Home study review fee. This week, we sent the check for our Humanitarian Aid fee. Next week we pay the first half of our In-Country fee. All that leaves us with is the second half of the In Country fee, which will be due when we travel to ET (prayfully Nov/Dec), and our Travel expenses. We BELIEVE we have MOST of our travel expenses covered. With that being said, we are ALMOST there! We have been able to PROVIDE ALL the fees needed when they came due.... he has provided MORE THAN ENOUGH....and he is definitely funding what he favors, just like he told us. He told us he would do it, and HE has been faithful!
We only need about $7,000 of the $30,000 we were initially hyperventilating about!!! Can you believe it??? Keep in mind we started this in August! Thanks to everyone who has supported us! We were humbled to ask for your support and we want to say THANK you from the bottom of our hearts. We are not done; but we are CLOSE!!!!We realize that not everyone is not called to adopt, so we appreciate your support of our calling to adopt!
Here is a question we get a lot!!!!***UPDATE on our bead fundraising*** How much of what we raised came from bead sales???
We have raised $5,000 for OUR adoption by selling UGANDA beads and the cow horn earrings!!! By selling these necklaces, we raise money for other causes at the same time!! (Each bead purchase touches 3 groups- One is our son, one is 147 Million Orphans and the other is Amazima Ministries!) We have raised $3162 FOR 147 Million Orphans who is a local group here that ADVOCATES for the ORPHAN through creating orphan awareness. We have also raised another $3162 FOR Katie/Amazima Ministries (via 147 Million Orphans)which employs the women who make those GORGEOUS UGANDA beads and Katie's feeding program that feeds 1200 kids a day!
We are still selling beads and they make GREAT Christmas gifts!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Again, we believe this journey is so much more than about us adopting ONE orphan from Africa. We believe we are supposed to SHARE how we got here.....
We have heard all kinds of things like, " I would like to adopt but, my husband says no because of finances", or "he doesn't think he can love a child that is not his biological child", to "I really want to look at this but my husband just says NO". Well, guess what? My husband wasn't jumping up and down when I first brought this idea to him! He wasn't like, yes, let's fill out our paperwork and get it done! I remember talking to other women in our adoption community, and guess what? Their husbands didn't just JUMP IN at that moment they brought it up either. It starts with prayer, and ALOT of it. And you have to PUSH them out of their comfort zone. And PRAY! I had one mom tell me that it took her husband 2 years to say YES! I was so scared that was going to be my husband, but luckily God moved in his heart pretty darn fast! :) If you have heard the calling to seek adoption PLEASE talk to some of us that are going through it or have gone through it to help provide answers. As most of you know I am in SALES, and so when my husband said NO WAY, I just smiled at him and said Ok, He just doesn't have enough information YET to say YES! :) And I have talked with many people that this role was REVERSED! Sometimes the husband is LED first to this calling.... and the ladies are the one's left to "catch up!"
There are 147 Million Orphans out there that need a forever home! If you could please open your hearts to the possibility that it could be YOU and your family. At the very least, please support someone, anyone who IS adopting. You can call your local church and ask them who in your congregation is adopting and SUPPORT them with a gift of any size.... You can google adoption blogs and support someone by donating on their paypal link! 34% of Christian families consider adoption, but only 1% actually do it. I pray that 1% grows.... there are sooo many kids out there and that NEED a FOREVER family.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It's getting cooler outside so we scrapped those short sleeve tees for some cool FALL gear!!!!!!!!
Take a look at what all of these AMAZING ( CHOSEN) people came up with for our Adoption Tshirts!!!!
This ladies CHOSEN shirt is a bit fitted so you will want to order up a size if you want a little extra room. I am ordering a SMALL; the fit pretty true to size, but it you want some room you may want to go up a size! This picture represents the actual shirt!! The white shirt that is under the black shirt is BUILT in!!! Woo Hoo! How COOL is that! :) I Love, Love, Love this shirt!!! This is my new weekend gear that I will be in ALL the time!
You know our family will be sporting these at the Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale that will be happening a few weeks from now! :) This ladies long sleeve CHOSEN shirt option sells for $28! The sizes are XS-XL.
On the back of the shirt it reads: "147 Million Orphans Minus One" which represents two things...
#1) This is how many orphans there are in this world today. There are 147 MILLION orphans and sadly that number is going up everyday! Our desire is to bring ORPHAN awareness to others so that they may realize their calling to adopt or to support someone who IS adopting!!! If 8% of all Christians answered God's calling to adopt,then there would NOT be an Orphan Crisis!!! Lack of finances are why some people do not answer God's calling to do this.... Ask someone you know that is adopting HOW you can help them! :) If you are considering adopting and wondering what that path looks like, we would LOVE to talk with you !!
#2) "Minus One" represents our bringing HOME our little guy, Daniel Mamo Payne!!
We are so anxious to answer God's calling to add to our family! "Minus One" also represents EVERY child that has ever been adotped and those that are being adopted!!! This also signifies that YOU had some part in the "MINUS ONE" movement of bringing our litte guy or someone else's child HOME-- International or Domestic! :)
The words on the back at the bottom are hard to read on this picture... It says: "I will not leave you as Orphans, I will come to you." James 14:18. This is one of our family's favorite bible verses! :) We agreed whole heartedly this had to be on the back of ALL the shirts!
So what do the words CHOSEN, the continent of Africa and the Heart represent???Obviously, we are being called to Africa, hence the continent representation, where there are estimated to be 22 Million Orphans. The HEART represents Ethiopia, where God called my son and I to visit in July, where we fell in love instantly with Daniel "Mamo". He had arrived at his orphange just the day before. This was also an orphanage that we were NOT supposed to visit... it was not on our trip iteniary, but where God led us and where we fell in love with the newest member of our family! :) There are estimated to be over 6 Million Orphans WAITING to have a FOREVER family in Ethiopia alone!
CHOSEN.... Has so many different meanings to our family... Keep reading....
(Daniel is so getting one and we hope to have him dressed in his as we land on Nashville soil and when many of you will meet him for the FIRST time!!!) They are like the mens shirt (basic black, beefy long sleeve t-shirt) and they sell for $15! They come in sizes Small(6/7), Medium(8/10), Large(10/12), and XL (14/16)! They look like they RUN SMALL! I thought the SMALL looked more like a 5/6, so keep that in mind! Our little guy will get the SMALL ONE! It will be a little big, but that's ok!!!
Ok, CHOSEN reprents a lot of things to our family! I posted the meaning behind CHOSEN on my last post...so CLICK HERE for the meaning behind it!
Basically, this shirt CELEBRATES ALL OF YOU who have joined this journey with us! We have ALL been CHOSEN to bring this little guy half way around the world into our arms! We couldn't have come this far without ALL of you! We were all CHOSEN to be on this journey together! Everyone of you have had a part in this journey...and we are so THANKFUL for your PRAYERS, your SUPPORT, Your Donations, Your Bead purchases, Your Gifts, your garage sale donations, and Your kind words of encouragement along the way!!! :)
We are accepting PRE ORDERS NOW!!! Let me know what size shirt and what style you are interested in! I need to know how many to buy and what size and style you are interested in! You can pay later, or now, but go ahead and let us know your sizes PLEASE and we will SAVE a shirt for you ( and your family!)!!! We have a PAYPAL link on our blog or you can get a check/cash to us when the shirts come in!!! :)
SO WHO WANTS A SHIRT? OR TWO?
Shirts will be ready in time for the Payne Family Adoption Yard Sale ( October 22nd and 23rd!), so feel free to stop by and buy yours that day and come out and be a part of our JOURNEY to bring this precious boy HOME!!!
Join our JOURNEY today!!! Thanks again for your SUPPORT!
Friday, October 1, 2010
The word CHOSEN represents so many things for our family!!!
We were CHOSEN to be at our church the day our church launched the "Living a Better Story Campaign".
We were CHOSEN to receive that 35$ from that CHOSEN anonymous donor from our church that day.
We were CHOSEN to take our $35 and multiply it to help a local girl, Katie who lives in Uganda, with Amazima Ministries!
Our family and friends were CHOSEN to help us by donating items for a yard sale, in which we raised $563 for Katie's ministry!
We were then CHOSEN and begin to PRAY and research over Spring Break the desire we began to feel in our hearts to adopt!
We were CHOSEN to stand randomly in front of the continent of Africa (at our hotel on our Spring Break trip) as the backdrop of our family picture on our blog(we did not even realize this until we posted the picture...that was sooooo NOT on purpose!). We were not even pursuing or looking to adopt from Africa at this point....
We were CHOSEN to have an opportunity to decide about a Mission Trip traveling to Ethiopia, Africa this summer, in which we had 48 hours to make the decision to go or not go!
My son and I were CHOSEN to be on this trip with 20 other CHOSEN and AMAZING people.
Many of YOU were CHOSEN to help us financially to go on this trip!
Many of you were CHOSEN to donate toys, clothes, soccer balls and cash for this journey for the orphans we were about to visit in Ethiopia, Africa!
Those of you that were CHOSEN were part of God's plan to lead us to our son in a country half way around the world!
We were CHOSEN to go to our sons orphanage the day after he arrived there.
Our plans to go somewhere else that day fell through and we were CHOSEN to go to this unscheduled orphanage.
We were CHOSEN to meet Mamo, where we fell completely in Love with him. Instantly.
My husband's heart was CHOSEN to answer YES to God's calling after I texted him from Africa and told him about meeting Mamo and asked him if he could welcome him into our family.
He was CHOSEN the next day to contact our Home Study agency to set up our first appointment, while we were still half way around the world.
Our agency was CHOSEN to agree to let us pursue him, even though we weren't 100% paper ready.
We were CHOSEN to hear this news hours before our first homestudy visit!
We were CHOSEN to complete his paperwork diligently (at lightening speed) to be ready when the courts would reopen, which we were told would be sometime in late September/Early October.
Our paperwork was CHOSEN to be submitted to the courts the EXACT day the Ethiopia courts re-opened after their long winter break!
Many of you were CHOSEN to support us by buying the Uganda magazine beads for yourselves and your friends, which in turn offsets some of our adoption costs!
Some of you were CHOSEN to help us sell MULTIPLE beads and took it upon yourselves to tell your friends and help us raise money for not just our adoption, but also raising money for 147 Million Orphans and for Katie's Ministry.
Many of you were CHOSEN to donate or are donating TONS of STUFF for our upcoming Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale, that takes place later this month!
A Lot of you were CHOSEN to offer your help at this upcoming event!
Some of you were CHOSEN to have the creative ideas for this tshirt design, the creative skill to create the shirt and the ability to help us pick some AMAZING shirts that signify this AMAZING journey!
As you can see CHOSEN means so much to our family... we have been on this journey to bring our son home from Africa,
and we KNOW we were CHOSEN to be on this journey, which no doubt has been a journey of a lifetime!
We are delighted that we have walked this walk with so many of you who have CHOSEN to support us with your prayers, your time, your love, your guidance, your support and your gifts!
This shirt is to CELEBRATE ALL OF YOU and the rest of YOU who are still joining our journey to bring our son home!
This CHOSEN shirt recognizes your role in helping us bring our son home from half way around the world and into our arms!
We couldn't have done it without you!!! We have been so grateful of all the friends, family and strangers that GOD has CHOSEN to be a part of something that we know HE favors! And we are anxious to see who else has been CHOSEN to join this journey with us!!!
"Do not be afraid, for I AM with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth."
So..............we know NOTHING about the T-shirt business so here is our idea... We are asking for pre-orders at this point... You don't have to pay now...........we just need to get an idea of WHO is interested, how many you want and WHAT sizes you are interested in? This will help us when determining WHAT sizes to order and WHICH style of shirts we need more or less of!!! So please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in the next few days so we can put our order in for these shirts early next week!! Thanks Y'all!!!
***We are looking at a longsleeve womans shirt, a mans longsleeve beefy tee, and kids sizes as well! Price points will be around 25-30$ for the adults and hopefully $15-18 for the kids shirts! Please let us know if you are interested! Payment is NOT due now! Just trying to get an idea of how many to order!!! We can't wait to show you the shirts... All profits will go towards our adoption costs!!!
The BIG unveil will be early next week!!!
Blessings to ALL!
The Payne Family :)