Birthday Boy!

Dressed up as Green Lantern..happens to be his birthday!

Birthday dinner

Yum! Fried Calamari!

Brothers having a laugh

Lemon Buttermilk cake...don't ask me why he's being a bird! 

Can we ever get a serious picture? :)

Micah giving Nick his own helicopter for his present.

18 years ago...Nicholas was born...the only dark haired boy of the bunch! With Luke just having turned 6 when Nicholas was born and the others stair stepped down he joined a loud boy- filled home. I remember my Mom asking if I was ever going to put him down b/c I carried him around so much. :)(okay, maybe it was because he was 3 and I was still carrying him around) What a whirlwind the last 18 years have been. We are so blessed to have Nick in our life...our home has had much laughter and joy with him in it! Yes, he drives me crazy sometimes and I drive him crazy but I love him (and all the boys) with all my heart. We are excited to see where God leads him as he heads off to college in the fall!

Care Packages!

It has been an eventful last couple of weeks! One of the exciting things is that we sent 4 
CARE PACKAGES to our children in Ethiopia. As we speak they are being taken by a family who is flying to Ethiopia today for their own court date. They will be giving our children their packages and taking pictures and videos of them!! Included in the care packages are clothes (see the cute girl clothes! Boys clothes are cute too but I've never bought girl clothes for our kids!), markers, paper, beanie babies (we selected ones of ours in very good shape :)), balls, playdough, pictures from Micah and letters from me. We also included a photo album for each child with all our pictures in it. This will be the first time they see us. I wonder what they will think! 

Where are we in the process??

I mailed off our application to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Dept). Included was our homestudy, birth certificates and marriage license. We will receive back in the mail (hopefully in a few weeks!) appointments for all of us over 18 to be fingerprinted. After that we wait in the mail for the I-171 form which states we are allowed to bring orphans into the US. Once that is done our dossier will be complete! 
Once our dossier is turned into our agency we will wait for a court date in Ethiopia!
We will go to Ethiopia at that point to meet our children for the first time and go to court to become their parents legally. 
Then back to the US while the children stay in Ethiopia. We wait for an Embassy date when we go back to Ethiopia and get the children's Visa's and bring them home!! 
This could all happen in the summer or fall. Praying it happens sooner than later!!

As you see there is alot of WAITING!  

There was a very good post on the Ordinary Hero blog today that I wanted to share:

"I will leave you with a bit of encouragement from Jesus Calling Devotional today......

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today's agenda. If it isn't, release it into My care and go on about today's duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything and everything in its time. 
A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. 
(Eccl 3:1, John 16:33)"



Remember awhile back when I talked about waiting...

Well... what I was referring to was that Randall and I were reviewing the files for a sibling group of 4 from Ethiopia on our Waiting Child List. We have spent the last two weeks praying and looking over their info and this past Wed. said a definite YES to adopting them into our family!! (due to confidentially purposes we can't share pictures on our blog until after they are legally ours). Today I mailed our official acceptance paperwork!

Please pray for these sweet children in Ethiopia who are WAITING and for us as we prepare to bring them here. We are EXCITED along with a myriad of other emotions that are hard to explain but know God has drawn us to them and HIS TIMING is perfect in doing so. 

Our next steps are to get our homestudy updated, submit paperwork to USCI (immigration dept) and then submit our dossier to Ethiopia. We are hoping all this goes quickly but just a very rough guesstimate is maybe a June court date? After the 1st court date in Ethiopia there is a second trip to Ethiopia to pick up the children's Visas from the Embassy and then bring them home. We really have no idea though so would also ask for your prayers that everything moves along as quick as possible.

I will post more later but wanted to let the CAT out of the BAG! :)


Ordinary Hero

Check out Ordinary Hero for AWESOME apparel for the WHOLE family. We receive 40% of every purchase which adds up to help us bring a child/children HOME.
Just click on the banner at the right or link below and shop till you drop knowing that YOU are making a difference! YOU can help to CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE!
(choose Tracy Autry under the Affiliate drop down bar when you checkout!)


Thank YOU!


LEAPING out of the boat!

Well... I haven't fallen off the planet just haven't had any inspiration :) The times I have had some words to write I have been elsewhere (like McDonalds with Micah).

I know I haven't written about our adoption journey in a long time.... even though this blog is supposed to be about our Journey to Ethiopia! :)

We would covet your prayers this week as we might be LEAPING OUT of the boat! 
This has been a week of WAITING which is hard for me. As I was talking with Randall about this he said WAITING doesn't mean being inactive. Still moving forward with the YES' we get and seeing how GOD moves. I don't need to rush God! His timing is perfect as He sees the whole picture. Sometimes I think if I don't move things along "it" won't happen. All I do is mess things up! 

Once again in my Bible study book by Charles Stanley, 30 Life Principles, he says, "No matter what God reveals to be His plan, He will make sure that everything is in place for it to come to pass. Your responsibility is simply to obey Him right now."

We have an AWESOME fundraiser coming up! As soon as I get all the info. I will post it. Every little bit helps to give a child/children a home who are WAITING. 

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; 
   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. 
For the LORD is a God of justice. 
   Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, 
   is God in his holy dwelling. 
God sets the lonely in families,
   he leads out the prisoners with singing; 
   but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Psalm 68:5-6

Valentine's Day roses from my Hubby!