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!

 

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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

What’s new with the adoption?

At least weekly, someone asks us where we are at in the adoption process. I am so thankful for family and friends who are praying us through and who are invested and interested in the journey. While lately we usually feel there really isn’t much news to share, we have been busy preparing. In October we found out we were #10 on the waiting list and have not received any news since then. Our agency says we will probably receive a referral by late summer but there are no guarantees.

I have been working a Norwex business since February and all income has gone toward the adoption. I am thankful for this inspiring work and for a way to earn some extra money!

We have completed all necessary paperwork thus far and have received our I-600A approval. We also are officially ready to travel!

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Per our home study, we needed to make our basement bedroom legal with an egress window so we would officially have 4 bedrooms. So thankful I have a handy hubby who isn’t afraid to cut a hole in our foundation! It turned out beautifully!!

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I did some baking to raise money toward our adoption over the holidays. Lots of cheesecake, pie and caramel corn was cranked out in my kitchen!!

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Last week we received a letter from Show Hope stating that we had received a grant toward our adoption! We are so thankful!

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This week the baby of our family officially moved out of the crib making room for somebody new. The girls have been anxiously awaiting the day they would get bunk beds but Allie got a little nervous that the ladder will be too wobbly. In the end, there were smiles all around. 🙂

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So, to sum up, while it seems “nothing” is really happening, things ARE happening and we get closer and closer every day to bringing our child home! Stay tuned for information regarding our 2016 Read-A-Thon fundraiser coming up in March!

On Family Pictures & Waves of Grief

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Hodgson Family ~ Fall 2015

Family pictures are a tricky thing for me. I treasure photos greatly. I enjoy the art of taking pictures, looking and re-looking at pictures and capturing precious moments. However, whenever it comes to family photos, though there is a smile on my face, my heart is divided. I can’t help but think of our precious sons who should be beside us in our family pictures. It almost seems wrong to capture a “family” photo without them! However, this is our family, at present, and I desperately want it captured nonetheless. I even go so far as to think, “What if this is our last family photo together?!?!” Because sometimes it is, and we just never know. On the flip side, I thank God for the family I have here and that gives me reason to smile and capture this moment. I suspect I will always feel the void, the struggle and the pangs of sadness.

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Christmas 2011 ~ Our Last “Family” Picture with Andrew

I didn’t anticipate grief flooding in this Christmas season. The waves definitely come fewer and farther between, and this one came unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere. Dear friends were sharing their burdens of loss and pain during Sunday School one morning. Their hearts echoed what was all too familiar to me. I bit my lip and wrestled through class, thinking I could hold it together because I’m typically not much of a crier. I ducked my head and made a beeline for my spot on the pew for service,  I just couldn’t shake this deep sorrow that filled my heart. Images of the day we lost Andrew flashed through my mind. The throbbing ache in my arms, desperate to hold my children close, was there. I wondered and worried about how my surviving children would deal with the deaths of their brothers into their adult years. The memories, thoughts and tears wouldn’t stop. This Christmas a dear friend gifted our kids with Christmas outfits, and I kept thinking, Andrew and Isaiah should have matching outfits too! It just didn’t seem fair. I simply could not hold back the tears that came in torrents down my face. I had to walk out of that service and go home. I felt unable to stand up under the weight of the grief. It felt so bizarre to be feeling these gut wrenching emotions, seemingly out of the blue. I suspect these moments will always come. It’s all part of the journey. I’m still not used to it and am surprised by grief.

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December 2015

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Four Beautiful Children in Christmas Outfits

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Christmas 2015

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Here’s to 2016! Happy New Year!

In 2015, family pictures, Christmastime and ringing in the New Year held another new set of emotions for me. Throughout the festivities, I kept wondering if, perhaps, this was our last Christmas as a family as we now know it. Would we be sharing our celebrations with a new son or daughter next Christmas season? If God would allow us to add to our family in 2016, we would be so grateful. I treasured this season with my family a little bit differently, not knowing what 2016 would hold.

By the grace of God, and with hope, I do know Who holds 2016. I’m thankful for His faithfulness. I’m trusting in His provision and timing, glad that He can see the big picture that I can’t. He gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.