1,000 Days of Waiting

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Today we have officially been on the adoption waiting list for 1,000 days.

When we originally began this journey we anticipated waiting about half that. We continue to be baffled by how long this journey has taken and we often find ourselves discouraged. We were recently notified that we are #4 on the waiting list but the road ahead still looks to be long.

A little over a year ago I attended an adoptive moms’ prayer and had the opportunity to share what the Lord has been teaching me and it serves as a good reminder for today. I hope it is an encouragement to all:


Dear Friend –

What are you waiting for?

What is it that has you up at night worrying? Wondering. Questioning.

Is fear of the unknown creeping in?

Maybe you’ve heard God’s direction and now it feels like there’s no indication of what He’s going to do next. Maybe it’s been days. Maybe it’s been months.

Maybe you’re starting to question, “Am I even on the right path to begin with?!? Is God ever going to work this out for me?”

Maybe you’re tired of people questioning what you’re doing in the midst of your waiting.

Maybe you’re beginning to feel desperate for something, anything, to happen so the waiting doesn’t seem like such an endless abyss.

Tired of waiting on God, maybe you’re contemplating taking matters into your own hands.

Have you ever considered Sarah in the Bible? She waited 25 years to see God’s promise of a baby fulfilled. I always knew Sarah had to wait, but it was just this year that I actually did the math! Talk about a testing of faith! Did she have times of wondering? Questioning? No doubt! We know that at least one point she took matters into her own hands. How did that work out for her?

When God makes a promise, He is faithful. Friend, hang in there. Stay the course. Stand firm. Don’t settle for less than His best. Trust in the God who sees ALL. Who knows ALL. His ways are so much higher and better than ours. Our view is so very short sighted and we lack patience. Turn that worrying into praying. Turn your questions into prayers. Resist the devil’s temptations for you to try to manage the situation.

If you’re anything like me, you like to have a plan. A schedule is comfortable and details make you happy. The unknown is super uncomfortable. I urge you to relinquish your grip. There is so much comfort in resting. Even in the unknown. Allow yourself to be wrapped up in God’s arms of comfort and rest. Wait for him to show you the next step. After all, it’s often so much more about the journey than it is about the destination. May he find you faithful.

The other day my son was playing the piano and I heard him playing “What a Friend We Have In Jesus.” I went in and sat next to him so I could soak in the lyrics as he played:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Friends, let’s no longer forfeit peace and bear needless pain! Let’s promise each other tonight to take everything to God in prayer. Over and over again if necessary. Even if it takes 25 years to see the answer. He loves us oh so much and sees our worries. He wants to bear those griefs for us.

Rest.

Trust.

Relinquish.

I leave you with a familiar verse from Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Yep. Very good reminders for me.

Thanks for walking this entire journey of almost 1300 days with us. When we came back from Haiti and said “yes” to God he began a good work in us and he will be faithful to complete it. So happy we can share this journey with you.

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Adoption News and Read-a-Thon 2017 Update

The totals are in! Once again we LOVED doing this fundraiser and are so thankful to everyone who supported, participated and sponsored. This was our third and final Read-a-Thon and it saddens me to know we won’t be doing it again. We were thrilled with our first in 2015, blown away in 2016 and incredibly grateful this year. We came home from Haiti 1,111 days ago and began believing that if God was calling us on this adoption journey he would make the way possible. This fundraiser brought us a mere $812 away from our goal! Praise God! WE’RE SO CLOSE and are FULLY CONFIDENT that God is able and faithful to provide all that we need.

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This year the Read-a-Thon had 25 participants, well over 30,000 pages were read, countless people were sponsors and $4,011.83 was raised!

In other adoption news, we recently updated our home study (which God provided an anonymous donor to pay the fees for!) and got our I-600A renewal approval letter on May 1st. We’re thanking God for the provision and the extension. This extension is good for 18 months. Last we heard from our agency we are #7 on the waiting list. While this whole process is taking so much longer than we ever anticipated we are trusting in God’s timing and his perfect plan. We can’t wait to meet the newest Hodgson! Thank you for journeying with us.

Read-a-Thon 2017 is Right Around the Corner! Register TODAY!

Third time’s a charm…isn’t that what they say?!?! It would be amazing if this year we brought in the (hopefully) last bit of money we need to raise, wouldn’t it? Praise the Lord, we had much success with our 2015 and 2016 Read-a-Thons and we’re excited to kick off again! We have so much fun with this and we hope you can join us!

Dear Family, Friends and Fellow Book Lovers,

In honor of Read Across America Day and in support of adoption, let’s get reading! By participating in this Read-a-Thon during the month of March, your family will help give the gift of a forever family to an orphan. Proceeds raised through this Read-a-Thon will enable us to pay for fees and travel expenses for our upcoming adoption.

Read-a-Thons are a fantastic way to reinforce good reading habits in your family. Start them young and never stop! Young and old alike are encouraged to take part!

Please use the form below to register. Then, click the link below to download the Read-A-Thon Kit which contains everything you need to know as well as the forms necessary to begin acquiring pledges. Let me know if you have any questions! Please feel free to share this post. The more the merrier. Happy Reading!

If you don’t want to participate as a reader, we’d love for you to consider sponsoring our children. They love doing something to help raise money for adoption and they are crazy-amazing readers!  Contact me if you’d like to help in this way!

Here’s everything you need to know: download and print this Read-A-Thon Kit.

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Thanks for joining us!

 

Adoption Update

 

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I haven’t written much about our adoption process because there isn’t much to tell. Boy, does this journey feel slow and long! I did a little calculating today:

It’s been 931 days since we returned from Haiti.

Long before that, we tried digging in our heels and telling God we were done growing our family. But, he softened our hearts and urged us to trust him. We agreed to trust him and he has grown our willingness and our desire to have a bigger family. Saying yes was scary but as the months and years go by, God has given me a genuine longing to have another child to call ours. I long to carry and birth and nurse another child.

But first, adoption.

We said “yes” to God and adoption shortly after returning from Haiti and he has been with us every step of the way, guiding and encouraging. We didn’t know this journey was going to be such a long, seemingly endless road, but we utterly and completely trust in God’s timing. 633 days ago we had finally completed the mountain of paperwork and were officially on a waiting list. We moved up about one spot per month on the list until we suddenly came to a screeching halt. No adoptions have been processed for months (maybe even close to a year?) due to changes in their government and adoption board. Praise God, the new adoption board has been sworn in as of November 4th and everyone is hoping to see some major movement in the coming weeks and months.

 

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Our immigration paperwork will expire at the beginning of April 2017. We will need to get an updated home study in order to renew that paperwork. That means we will need to traverse another mountain of paperwork and appointments to get all of that updated and renewed. God graciously provided the funds necessary to make this update happen through an anonymous person in our church. We were so incredibly surprised and thankful when we heard this! God hasn’t forgotten us and hasn’t stopped providing just as he promised he would.

As I was walking this morning, I listened to “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. I could sing this out loud from the depths of my soul. “I will serve You while I’m waiting. I will worship while I’m waiting. Though it’s not easy, I will wait. I will move ahead bold and confident…every step in obedience.”

We still have a long road ahead of us with no end in sight. Please be praying with us and for us as we wait. Thanks, friends!


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/3768562″>John Waller – While I'm Waiting (Official Music Video)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user1363081″>Provident Label Group</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Read-A-Thon 2016 UPDATE

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I am so thrilled to tell you about what God has done! We had so much fun during the Read-a-Thon in March and were so glad to have so many readers and sponsors participate. The combination of my love for books and my heart for orphans is almost too much. I am bursting with excitement!

Going into this fundraiser, I prayed that God would allow us to double the number of participants that we had last year and raise a lofty $5,000. This seemed far-reaching, but I prayed boldly. Well, let me back up, I fretted at first. I obsessively checked my email for news of newly registered participants. I fretted. I worried. One day, God clearly convicted me of not trusting him to provide and that instead of fretting, I needed to start praying. I shared that with Ben that evening and committed to trusting and praying, believing that God could do exceedingly, abundantly more. The very next morning, I checked my email and the number of participants had gone from 10 to 21. I felt God’s blessing and comfort in the reminder that God’s got this. He promised to provide for this adoption and no amount of fretting is going to accomplish anything.

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So, I’m happy to tell you that God answered my prayers! We had 31 readers, over 25,000 pages were read and we raised $5,945.78. We are blown away and incredibly humbled and grateful. Little by little, our needs are being met. Praise God!

We’ve worked hard over the past two years, and many of you have labored alongside of us and given generously. It means so much to have our friends and family support us on this journey. We have also been blessed by complete strangers: members of the family of God who are sensitive to the plight of the orphan. It’s a pretty incredible thing to be a part of.

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I was in awe this morning at all that has gone into the rescuing of ONE orphan. The time. The prayer. The fundraising. The fund-giving. It’s a lot! God brought to mind the parable of the shepherd’s concern for the ONE sheep that was lost. The Good Shepherd will go to great lengths to ensure that even just ONE of His children are saved. He loves us that much. I smile to think of his abundant love for the orphan that will one day be a part of our family.

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Thank you to the many who have walked this journey with us. Isn’t it exciting to be part of what God is doing?!?! I hope you are as blessed by it as we are. Thank you.

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*Leaping* for Joy

Tonight I am blown away and humbled.

We are going into our March adoption fundraiser with 30–YES THIRTY!–registered participants. Thirty precious people, reading their hearts out, to help us on this adoption journey. Each of those 30 people will have numerous sponsors behind them to encourage their reading and to support our adoption. This is crazy exciting and super encouraging!

God is so good.

When we worry about the details, when we’re scared about the future, when we’re unsure how He’s going to provide, but are willing to submit anyway, He shows up and gives far more abundantly than all we can ask or think. He surrounds us with encouragement and blesses our desire to obey. He uses dear friends to hold us up and carry us. He gently comforts and reassures us. He follows through on his promises. He provides.

Ephesians 3:20

This evening, He laid these words of Ephesians 3:20 on my heart and as I opened up my Bible to read it, my eyes fell to verses 14 and 15 first: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” He is sovereign over all and he knows and names every family and each member of them. He knows precisely who makes up the Hodgson family on earth and in heaven.  The children we have not yet had the privilege to meet have been named by God as “Hodgsons” before the creation of this world! He’s got this! Chapter 3 goes on to talk about the “love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”. He loves us so much! God’s word was such a gift to me this evening and I hope that somehow, if you’re reading this, it encourages you as well.

Tonight I have tears of joy and thankfulness and my heart is overflowing. To God be the glory!

Read-a-Thon 2016 is Right Around the Corner!

We’re doing this again!! We had much success with our Read-a-Thon last March and we’re excited to kick off again!

Dear Family, Friends and Fellow Book Lovers,

In honor of Read Across America Day and in support of adoption, let’s get reading! By participating in this Read-a-Thon during the month of March, your family will help give the gift of a forever family to an orphan. Proceeds raised through this Read-a-Thon will enable us to pay for fees and travel expenses for our upcoming adoption.

Read-a-Thons are a fantastic way to reinforce good reading habits in your family. Start them young and never stop! Young and old alike are encouraged to take part!

BW Cody and LillyannaBW AllieBW EthanPlease register below to participate. Then, click the link below to download the Read-A-Thon Kit which contains everything you need to know as well as the forms necessary to begin acquiring pledges. Let me know if you have any questions! Please feel free to share this post. The more the merrier. Happy Reading!

If you don’t want to participate as a reader, we’d love for you to consider sponsoring our children. They are so excited about doing something to help raise money for adoption! Contact me if you’d like to help in this way!

Here’s everything you need to know!
Download and print this Read-A-Thon Kit.

BW Lillyanna Reading