Jesus said “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” - Mark 9:37

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time for More Give Aways

We started FOUR new GIVE AWAYS last weekend at the dog show.
TWO specifically for dog loving peeps and TWO for everyone.
You can enter the drawings by donating via our Chip-In to the right of blog.
Please make a note as to which ??? Give Away drawing you'd like to be entered.

DOG CRATE PAD
 Exclusive Bunny Foo Foo Fleece Blankie
Hand made & Donated by Mollie Smith-Symphony Boxers
Size: approx 26” X 35”, 500 vari kennel or 400 wire crate. It is double sided fleece with 100% cotton batting inside. 
$1 Donation = 1 chance; or $5 Donation = 6 chances
We'll be at Houston & Ft. Worth Dog Shows. Drawing Mar 25th in Ft. Worth


BOSTON TERRIER PURSE


Hand painted & Donated by Victoria Wilt of Heartbeat Bostons.
 $5 Donation = 1 chance; or $20 Donation = 5 chances
Drawing May 10 at the BTCA National Dog Show in Houston.


STARBUCKS GIFT BASKET

$35 Starbucks Gift Basket
Includes 1 lb. Starbucks Komodo Dragon Coffee and Set of two – 16 oz. Komodo Dragon Starbucks Mugs
donated by our oldest son Cory Patton 
 

$2 Donation = 1 chance; or $5 Donation = 3 chances

Our new BIG Give Away to help bring Eli home is an...

Ativa Mini HD DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERA

 $149 Value
2.5" LCD screen, full 1080p HD, 128MB internal memory, SD slot, 5MP still image 

$5 Donation = 1 chance; or $20 Donation = 5 chances

We've had a busy week or two. We shipped our Birth Certificates & Marriage License to be authenticated by the respective Secretary of States last Thur. Waiting for those to return.

Yesterday our social worker sent us the first draft of our home study!!! Woohoo! We got to check it for errors, but we're still waiting on one more state background clearance to come back. When it comes in, the Home Study can be sent onto the agencies. Then we can file our I-800A with the USCIS (US Immigration) & send off the remaining dossier documents for authentication.

So as you can see, beginning to be able to speak the "lingo" and use the acronyms... lol  So must mean we are getting closer to bringing Eli home.  :)  But also means we still need A LOT of prayer and finances too. Thanks again to all our supporters in both prayer and finances. To God be the glory!

Blessings from grateful hearts,
Sherry & family 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What we have been waiting for...

WE HAVE NEW PICTURES OF ELI!!!!!!!!

Two months after Eli's birthday, we finally received the pictures and update from his Christmas care pkg, his Birthday cake & his CNY package tonight!!! Woohooo!!! Praise the Lord!

But the events of the eve upon receiving the email from Angela of Ladybugs N' Love may give you enjoyment too ... So Zoe, Levi & I were sitting in Applebees almost finished with our dinner, when my phone chimmed. I look at it's an email from Angela subject: "Eli's Pictures!!!!!!" I think I yelled right there... Then Zoe, Levi & I spent the next 10 min fighting over my phone to look at all the pictrues. lol  The poor waitress was trying to get our payment and Zoe's handing me napkins telling me to wipe my face because I am crying... tears streaming down my face. Steve was at work and due to get off very soon. And the kids want to see the pictures on the computer monitor instead of mom's phone.
So we rush out the restaurant and hop in the van to head home.
I stick the key in the ignition and nothing...
Seriously?!
Really devil, you are NOT ruining our night.
So we call Steve and we sit... in the COLD van waiting for him to come save us... and we looked at the pictures over and over until my phone almost died. lol 
Good news, it was an easy quick fix and we got home. 

Below are the four pictures we received from Eli's birthday party. We were told there were a lot of people at his birthday party, so the pictures didn't turn out very good. But he had a great time and got all his care packages. Yay!  :)

Eli is in the purple jacket pictured on the left next to his cake.
Again look for him in the purple, left side of picture, holding a piece of cake.
It kinda looks like he is abotu to get frosting smeared on his face. Which we're told is tradition.
Eli in purple on the far right with the huge piece of cake.
Looks like the birthday party was a blast... cake & presents!
And notice Eli is holding the photo album we sent him, with pictures of us...
The keyboard behind him we sent him also, but he is holding our pictures!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

We also received three beautiful pictures that HE DREW FOR US!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ God is so good!

We were sent this translation:
"daddy, mommy, Feb 5, 2012"
Translation: "daddy, mommy, Feb 5, 2012"
And our favorite... Translated:
“daddy, mommy, big brother, big sister, I love you all”
He loves us!!! Woohoo!!!  :)

The orphanage said we will get the drawings on Gotcha day, but sent pictures of them for us. My heart is leaping! This is one happy family over here in Texas. :) After waiting since before Christmas when we sent the first care pkg... two and half months is a long time to wait. But these were worth it!

 Well, I am overwhelmed with emotions. We just LOVE this boy so much already! Can't wait to bring him home. So thankful to Ladybugs N' Love for their perserverance to get pictures for us.

Eli is our son... he knows it... and is claiming it just as we are!

One very grateful mommy, daddy, big brother & big sister,
Sherry & family

Homestudy, Passports & Blessings

Well this has been a busy, but blessed week.

If you read our blog, then you already know that we were wonderfully surprised by our pastor & church family taking up an offering for our adoption at the end of church service last Sunday. This was an awesome gift, not just in the practical money sense, but to know that we are loved & supported by our new church family. In addition to knowing that God is still working for our good to complete this task which we are called, to bring Eli home. And so if you read our blog then you were, like us, waiting to hear the amount of the blessing...

Well last night at the end of bible study our pastor handed Steve an envelope with a check inside for $800! Woohoo! Praise the Lord!!!

Soon we will need to be sending off our I-800A to the US CIS (Citizen & Immigration Services) and the filing fee for this application is $720, plus $85 for each household member over 18 (Steve, Sherry & Drew). So this $800 blessing will cover most of that $975 we will soon need. Thank you "That Church" family! God provided for this need before we even had to ask for it. Praise God who is the Alpha & Omega! He is the beginning & the end of this Adventure for Eli!

Tuesday evening Steve & I drove to Dallas and met with our social worker for our last required meeting. Everything is going very well. I like our social worker VERY MUCH! She cares about preparing our family for this adoption. She also cares about not just the adoption and Eli, but also about each member of our family. She asked how the kids were doing... ALL of them. :) Anyway, the meeting went great! She is going to begin writing our home study report. This could take up to three weeks. We are still waiting on one last state (LA) background clearance, and one more reference letter to arrive. But when all that arrives and she completes her report, we will be well on our way to having a completed home study and be able to move to the next step. Sending our I-800A to USCIS.


Oh, then Steve & I went out on a DATE in Dallas... We ate Indian food and found a yummy frozen yogurt place. We also enjoyed the drive and talking together all eve. Nice to get away sometimes. :)

So today we sent off our passport applications. I realize this may seem a little late. But it's hard to find time when Steve, me, Zoe & Levi are all available at the same time during business hours, plus there is the money aspect. So we are just praying all the timing works out. But we had a wonderful morning with the kids getting hair cuts & passport photos made. "NO SMILING!" the guy said, so all our photos look like mug shots Zoe says. (lol) Then we filled out applications and went to the clerks office to send everything off for ALL four new passports. Zoe & I had expired passports; Steve being military, never needed one; and Levi hasn't ever been outside the US.


The awesome thing tho is, despite the fact that it cost us $510 to apply for four passports, God had provided that money too. Yesterday Steve setttled a personal debt we owed for a lower amount, and the difference we saved allowed us to pay for us to apply for our passports today. Woohoo! Praise the Lord for his continual provisions!

So that's the current update on our Adventure for Eli. Thank you everyone for your continued prayers! Please don't stop becvause they are helping!!!

Love in Christ,
Sherry and family

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One word for today is BLESSING.

It was a normal Sunday morning church service. But as Teen Mania's ATF 2012 slogan says "Normal Is Not Enough"...


And as Pastor Mike Howell began to close his message he announced the Spirit was leading him to take up a special offering. Not for himself, not for the church he said, but for someone in our church... then he said: for Steve Patton & Sherry who are working to adopt a little boy.

Talk about TOTALLY UNEXPECTED! We hadn't told Pastor that we needed money... or that we'll need close to $1,000 just for USCIS in the next two weeks probably. We hadn't even talked about the adoption much at all this morning. But Pastor Mike asked Eli's name again, and a couple things about him, and then told the church that Eli was from China and that tho he didn't know much about him, or what province he was from, that God did, and to please be obiedient to give what God asked to help us bring this boy home. Then he said to think of the amazing things Eli might do for God.

Wow! Blew us away to see our new church family bring their offering gifts and lay them in the chest on the alter. Now I don't know how much was received yet, but the amount doesn't matter for this post. Because it was a BLESSING... a spiritual and emotional blessing of encouragement. To have our new church family love us and encourage us, and to once again be reminded that God knows and is still in control was a huge blessing to us today.

Thank you to everyone that gave and God bless you all tenfold, in Jesus name, Amen!