Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Coming to a Closure!!

Wow! What an amazing year!!! I can not believe that it is a few days away from saying good-bye to 2011!!  In some ways, I am sooo happy to say good bye, but other ways we reflect on and wonder if we should have done differently. We will continue to keep our heads up and say bring it on 2012! What a fabulous CHRIST mas we had!! We had lots of fun parties to go to and family gatherings to attend, we baked lots of goodies and made some homemade ornaments and gifts. The kiddos received way too much stuff and I am to blame for most of it!! Through it all they were very appreciative and knew that Jesus was the real reason!! We discussed many times what it is going to be like next year with a new sibling and the joy he or she will bring!! We will keep our traditions and add lots of new ones! Boy are we excited to share the love of Jesus and his birthday with our new China baby!

God is so good!!! The month of December was a great month for Sow To China!! We have raised our next goal of around $5600.00 to pay our next two payments and our dossier payment. I know that you have to be thinking, "They have got to be getting close to their overall goal???" Well, our next goal amount is not determined just yet because we will be taking Carson and Hailey with us to China to meet their sibling and we are not sure of the expenses for them just yet. We can say that we are half way there!! About 8 months ago we were wondering how in the world are we going to get the money to make the agency payments? Guess what, God provided and they are all accounting for!! Hallelujah!!! Thanks to everyone that contributed and prayed for us!! The next goals will be based on in country expenses while in China which consist of flights, travel, hotel, official fees, visit to orphanage, etc.... We have no doubt that God will continue to provide. We have come this far with his hand and have continued to be faithful and trust in him. We don't deserve the joy that we are receiving from this journey, but knowing he is getting the glory for this, we will take the joy all day long!!


 In the past few days of being on Christmas vacation with my family, we have played with new toys, games, passed around the tummy bug and finally taken all the Christmas decorations down.
While packing up some of the ornaments that were made this year, a china doll ornament, china ornament and a cross that was made for me by a sweet friend, Averie, that is Hailey's friend, I read a letter that Averie attached with the cross. She is 8 years old and has a heart for Jesus!!! I received a text from her mom one Sunday morning asking if we were going to be in church and I replied back, yes, we would be there. She explained Averie had something for me. Shocked, I definitely wanted to find out what she had for me?? Her attached letter read...

Dear Mrs. Julie,
The reason I made the cross is because you are always doing fundraisers and making stuff for other people. So, I decided to make you something.  You know, because no one makes you anything. If you don't like it, you don't like it. But, I hope you like it.
Sincerely,
Averie

What an angel she is!! Of course, I loved the cross and it will be placed in our baby's room! More than anything, I love her heart and her love to give to people!! She brought tears to my face and I realized, I hope Jesus feels this way with me!! I hope he understands that we are doing this for him and not for us!! I hope that he has happy tears for us!! We believe in him and we believe in his sacrifice for us!! What can we do for him? What is most important to him? Is it the one more toy that my kids had to have just because? Absolutely not, it is shining for him and living for him, it is spreading his word!! This sweet orphan that we are going to  rescue will love him and know him, just as he wants us to teach he or she and others! There are no orphans of God!! We are all his children and we will always need his love!!

I have had some time to think about what will be the next fundraisers??? Oh my, not sure yet! We have applied for a few grants, but your not always guaranteed, but we will prayed for and considered. I am sure some handmade items will be coming out soon for the Spring holidays and our Sow To China shirt will be posted soon along with other fundraising t-shirts!! We will be praying for God to lead us to where we need to go and what we need to do to gain a few more steps closer to our China baby!!!

Thank you all so much for all your prayers!! We appreciate it so much and love you all dearly!!

God Bless you all and I hope and pray that 2012 will be a blessed year and you will live for Christ!! Believe me, you will not be disappointed, but filled with so much joy that it will send you on a fabulous journey!! Remember what he did for us.....

Blessings and Love,

Julie

Hope Ethiopia: 100

What an amazing story witnessing God's hand at work!!! This is the latest post from Lifesong for Orphans! What an amazing organization they are and the things that they do for orphans are quite amazing!!

Do you remember that Hope Ethiopia:100 challenge we gave you? The one where YOU all completely exceeded our goals
And that one phone call where an AMAZING donor committed to match ALL donations (up to $130,000) to Lifesong Ethiopia through the end of 2011?
Well, we found out about that donor on November 17th! That's 45 days to raise $130,000... which made this goal seem next to impossible... in OUR eyes! However, as you all know... GOD had different plans for THESE kids -


and these kids -
 
Plans that we could never had imagined... plans to give them hope and a future! 
Thanks to an AMAZING TEAM of individuals and their fundraising efforts, coupled with the provision of our Lord, THE MATCH HAS BEEN MET! Did you hear me? All ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS has been donated for the children at the Adami Tulu and Ziway, Ethiopia schools! 
We stand in complete awe of our MIGHTY Jehovah Jireh! 
Thank you fundraising team for your efforts, for the way you never stop advocating for these children, and for our faith in our Lord God Almighty to provide for ALL of their needs! 
Thank you donors who stepped up to the challenge and did not let the dollar amount get in the way... but trusted that EVERY one of your dollars mattered! 
Thank you to all of you who advocated for these children, pray for them, and have invested in their lives... it will surely be an invest with an eternal reward! 
Check the Adami Tulu site often to learn more about The Project, the fundraising priorities, and what's in store for 2012! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its been a whole month!

I can not believe that it has been a whole month since I last updated our blog! I guess you can tell that I have not been twiddling my fingers. Well, we had the last 3 fundraisers for the year. We had 1 at Sirote and Permutt, my mother n law's office, and it was a great success!! We raised over $800.00 and are still delivering orders!! We appreciate her very much to take the time to help us get it set up and sell the handmade items while I was at work. Everyone was so sweet and thoughtful and complimented us on all that we had made. God is so good and has blessed me with a crafty side and I am so thankful for it!! It has been alot of fun and just knowing that a little piece of what we have made has gone into so many homes and given as gifts to so many. I pray that the blessings that we received from making it all carries on and it taken by each recipient. The next fundraisers were lots of fun, both were at friends homes and we raised close to $800.00 at both combined. God is so good!! I thank Christy Sparks for allowing us to come into her home and set up. What a fun Shopping Palooza it was! I am so thankful for Christy and her sweet family!! Just to be with friends and praise Jesus for what he has given us and just knowing it was a "God Thing" that we all made it back to another show together was fabulous!! Candi Boissel was there selling Thirty One and she had a great turn out!! I am so thankful for her and her friendship. It is funny how we have met so many people through this journey and some have just touched our hearts in so many ways!! I just think the world of her and I feel like I have known her for years!! Thanks to my mom as well for coming to the party and sitting with me! And thanks for delivering orders after the party!!
The fundraisers for 2011 have come to a fabulous end! We are so blessed and thank Jesus everyday for entrusting us with this journey! We continue to ask for guidance and for him to be the pilot, because we can try and take over, but it will not be the same as how God wants it to be!! PTL!! We have raised enough money to take care of our next payment to the agency and the payment for our dossier to be mailed to China. Oh my, that is a huge relief and a huge praise!!!

So, what's next? Where do we go from here? Well, during the fundraising period, we have been compiling more documents together to be added to our dossier. We have been to the Immigration Department here in Birmingham and had our finger prints done, which was painless and done within 15 minutes!! We have applied for 2 grants so far to Lifesong and Show Hope. We pray that these go through and we get some guidance from those. We have about a 1 month 1/2 left to wait on our approval from Immigration. When we get our approval from Immigration, our dossier will be complete and mailed to China! After about 2 to 3 weeks after China receives, reviews and logs us in to China, we will receive a log in date. When we get the log in date, shortly after, we will hopefully begin the matching process!! Woohoo! So far everything is right on track, we hope that it stays on track, however, if we do come across a road block, we pray that God will continue to let his light shine through us and we continue to build our faith in Him!!

This is just a little note that I shared on Facebook this morning...
Last night Steve and I were discussing that our house is not decorated like it usually is every year, one tree has nothing but lights on it and all of our fun decorations to sit out are still in boxes in the attic, our outdoor decorations are not out, a wreath fell off the window and still sitting on the ground, we have not mailed out Christmas cards just yet, however, the work and time that so many have put into making all those fabulous handmade crafts has paid off!! It does not bother us not to have ornaments on one tree or a decoration not on that step, because next year, we will have another precious angel to celebrate the real reason of Christmas, Jesus Christ!! With that said, we have made our next goal and are a step closer to bringing home our China baby!! Without him, nothing is impossible!! We want to thank everyone that has had their hand in our journey thus far and also thank everyone for the prayers!!

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:1,4



We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Just remember the reason for Christmas, it is not about how many lights you can get up or how many tree's have all the ornaments or just how many presents you expect to get, it is about our one and only Saviour, Jesus Christ and what you can give back!! Please continue to keep us and our journey in your prayers! This time next year we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus with a precious little one and there will be one less!!

Praise to be the Lord!!

Blessings and Love!!

Julie

Saturday, November 12, 2011

By God's Grace

O.k. So, I have been a little frustrated for these past few hours because I could not post to our blog!! So, know that I have finally figured it out, I can post about all the exciting things that have been going on!! Of course it is about fundraisers and more fundraisers!! For these past few weeks since setting a date of 11/11/11 for our 1st Annual Adoption Open House, we have been working everyday to get things made and the house decorated, cleaned, cleaned and did I mention cleaned? I think Steve vacuumed the house at least 3 to 4 times a day. I can speak for him, he is glad that the Open House is finally come and gone!! I will get back to the Open House shortly, I wanted to share a few more great things that God has sent our way! By God's grace he has placed us in loving families, a truly loving church and home! God is so great and is getting every bit of the glory and we are overflowing with so much joy that it is so overwhelming. I explained to our preacher that we are so undeserving of the joy that he has provided to us and continues to provide to us! We are learning that being obedient to doing work for the Lord is rewarding with the joy!! We are all adopted into God's family and to be able to extend that love to an orphan is a God thing!! Praise him!!
So, we have a sweet friend that told us months ago that she wanted to do something for us, well she presented us with a check a few weeks ago. She had sold her complete set of "China" to help us bring home our "China baby"!!! What a blessing she is and we just love her dearly!!

Last Sunday was Orphan Sunday, and church service was fabulous! Our great church recognized us and others that have been adopted or fostered or in the process of adopting/fostering and had some really great things to say and sweet prayers! The service was great, the slideshow was great and you could definitely feel the holy spirit!! This is how our Sunday went !!

"First I have to say that God is so good! Yesterday was one of the most
important and touching days that Steve and I have experienced through out
this process! Church was fabulous, the preaching was fabulous, Jennie's
testimony was great, the songs were great and just feeling the holy spirit
in church was overwhelming!! I may be crazy because I don't take things
lightly, but make a "story" out of them. We had plans to attend the St.
Aloysius Fall Festival and we did. We got up early Sunday morning and got
ready,( might I add got ready an hour early because we forgot to change the
clocks back), headed to church with all of the fair stuff, had a great service,
got to the festival unloaded and just sat there and watched the kids play.
There were tons of games for the kids. We sold enough to pay for the booth
fee, supplies I bought Saturday, Carson won (4) 2-liter drinks, that will
be used Friday night ( I will not have to buy any for the Open House) and he
also won 4 movie passes and free Top This ice cream that will be used
Sunday after all this is over!!Throughout the day, I was just thinking about getting home and getting thehouse decorated and making some more stuff. When I finally sat down andthought about the day, I thought to myself, I have thought about the"icing" of the day all day long and not the "cake". God had his hand in our entire day! I thank him so much for that!!! Not only did he provide the
festival, but he provided the funds to pay for it, the supplies I needed
for the Open House and a whisper through my children saying, "Here are 4
movie passes, take a break on Sunday afternoon!" This child will be coming
home soon!!!"



We received the Spirit of adoption, the assurance of our inheritance. For we are the children of God and have been adopted into His family. inspired by Romans 8

O.k So what everyone has been waiting on results from the "1st Annual Adoption Open House". For the open house we made swags, wreaths, garland, frames, camera straps, crayon rolls, chalkboard mats, burlap ornament, burlap pillows and crosses, wooden crosses, decorative lanterns and tons of food!! It was so much fun! I can tell you that God provided tons of customers! I know at one time, it was so hard to even move a step without bumping into someone! This was so successful and we praise God for it!! We have had so much support and love through this process!! Believe me, my house was full of stuff from the dining room to the living room to the foyer! It was, as my daughter says, like a mall!! At 8:30, the last customer left and we sat down and took a breather and started counting the money! A sweet friend of mine, Leslie, was calling the amounts out to me to add up and I was typing each number into the calculator. Now, I will tell you that we prayed for a crazy amount to raise of $1500.00. Yes, I know, how in the world and is she crazy? Well, as I was typing, tears started flowing and Leslie looked at me as I was crying. I handed her the calculator and it showed a total of $1741.00!! In my wildest dreams, did I think that was possible!! Every lost hour of sleep and every late night of working and making one more frame as a customer was coming in to the open house, I knew every minute was worth it!! Yes, I would do it all over again and will do it all over again!!! Praise Jesus!!! He is so good!! We also attended another craft show today at Hepzibah Baptist Church! It was super fun and great to meet great people that love the Lord!! Now the total is $1866.00 between both fundraisers!! 

So, what is next?? A few days of rest!! Then we will be going back at it for an "Open House" at a friends house and a craft fair at my mother n laws office, Sirote & Permutt. Then we will be enjoying the last few weeks of December with our sweet family and friends!!! 

Now a few updates on the adoption process itself. We have completed the Home Study!! Praise Jesus!! It has arrived at Immigration and will be there until the middle to end of January. While we are waiting on the results of that we are preparing our documents for the dossier to be sent to China. Which is a little bit more of paperwork, passports, originals of our marriage certificate, birth certificates and reference letters, pictures of our family, etc.... When our approval comes back from Immigration, our dossier will be sent to China and hopefully within 2 to 4 weeks, we will get our LID (log in date). At that time, we will be able to start the referral program and start searching for our child!! So exciting!! We can not wait!!! We are also applying for grants through different agencies. 

Please continue to keep us in your prayers!!! We are loving this journey!!! God bless you all!!! 

Praise and glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through adoption in Christ, God invites us to enter His kingdom. We are adopted children of God. 




Blessings & Love,

Julie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Updates from September & October

I feel like I am so far behind from everything that we have had going on especially during September and thus far in October. I wanted to make sure that I kept you guys updated on our progress. During the month of September we had a fundraiser on Labor Day. We went to Pinson for the Butter Bean Festival and raised $400.00. We met some great people and enjoyed butter beans and cornbread!! The people we met are doing some really great things for our gracious God. We received our Sow To China sign and displayed it!!! 

My birthday was September 19th and I received a fun party from my wonderful coworkers!! This party included a fabulous cake and a birthday card. I opened the birthday card and to my surprise they had collected $400.00 to go towards our adoption fund!! How great is our God!! I am so blessed to work with such wonderful, caring people! It was a huge surprise to me and to Steve as well when I told him!! With the money that was donated we were able to make our next payment!!!! 

As you could see from the last few posts, I posted some pictures of the new frames that we are making to sell to raise money as well. Well, Ordinary Hero, a non profit organization in Tennessee contacted us about making some frames for them. What a blessing it was to be able to package up 30 frames and mail them to Tennessee. God is so good and I hope that the joy I received from making them is also received by the purchaser!!! 

The events in October so far have been such a huge blessing. I have told several people that we don't deserve all the blessings that God has given us. I want to share just a small dose of what has been going on.......   October 1st, we attended the 1st Annual Adoption Craft Fair held by Grace Life Baptist Church at Shadow Lake. We worked so hard to prepare for it and we raised $650.00!!! It was such a blessing to be with our family, church family and friends. The blessings received from the fair was far bigger than we could imagine!!! The next weekend we participated in Valley Creek's Craft Fair. This was so fun for all of us. Steve grew up at Valley Creek and was baptized there. He enjoyed being there and spending time with Carson and Hailey. He was able to see lots of people he had not seen or talked to in a while. The kids were able to walk across the street with Steve to see the house that he grew up in and play in the field that he played in. His heart was happy!! 

On Monday, October 3rd, what a great night it was!! We will never forget this day!! Carson and Hailey both accepted Jesus into their hearts!!! This was the happiest time to us! God is truly working in our families lives and it is so overwhelming and our hearts are so full of joy!! The kids were baptized at Shadow Lake the following Sunday, October 9th. What a glorious day it was to share these wonderful baptisms with our family, friends and church family. You can see God's lights shining down!!! We love these kiddos so very much!! We pray that we will continue to be the parent's that we need to be to raise Carson and Hailey the right ways!!! We also pray that for this child we are adopting that he or she will also be raised the best parents that we can be!!

 
The 1st Annual "Swing for Adoption" Golf Tournament was held this past Thursday. Steve planned and planned for this event and did such a great job!!! It went great!! We had 11 sponsors and 5 teams. Brother Joel Frederick and Robert Pelfrey spoke and did a fabulous job!! You could feel God wrapping his arms around everyone!! This day could not have been planned out any better. God had his hands in it for sure! I asked myself several times, "What is going to happen if it rains?" God told me really quickly, "I have it under control!" And guess what? He did!! It was amazing to me to watch the day go on. It rained while we ate lunch and cleared up just in time for Joel and Robert to speak then off to play golf. We raised $1500.00!! What a God thing it was to be able to do it this day!! We thank everyone for sponsoring a hole, playing on a team, praying for our journey and contributing to this day in anyway. We are thrilled that he has chosen us to take this journey with him! 







So, what's next for us? Lots of fundraisers to come!! 
Friday, October 21st - Thirty One Party  
Sunday, November 6th - St. Aloysious Fall Festival
Friday, November 11th - Open House at our home
Saturday, November 12th - McAdory Middle School PTA Fall Festival

We are super excited about what is in store for us through the holidays! We are extremely excited to announce that we are almost half way to the midpoint of our goal! What a blessing that is, we never thought we would even make it to where we are now. With God anything is possible!!! 
We are so thankful that God has put each and everyone  of you in our lives! The joy is overflowing and we hope that it is shared with each of you. We have lots of hands in this journey and I want to thank you all!! 

Blessings and Love,

Julie

Monday, September 26, 2011

Final homestudy visit is completed......

Woo!! What a day!! For the past few weeks we have been trying to plan our last two homestudy visits with our most fabulous social worker in the world and it just has not happened until TODAY!! We finally completed our last home study!! It took about 3 hours to complete in our home. She spoke with Carson and Hailey for a little while and then asked Steve and I some questions in regards to our take on how Carson and Hailey will adapt to having a new sibling that looks nothing like them and was not born here. The kiddos were fabulous and believe it or not, Hailey did clam up some. She was precious with her answers and Carson was very thoughtful and honest. He did a great job as well. Our  precious child that we will be bringing home will be so lucky to have them as a brother and sister!! We gave her a house tour and showed her where the babies room would be then back to questions!! Through answering all the questions and being faithful to God with our answers, we felt a huge weight lifted off of us when it was over. We thought and said to each other, we really stressed over this and cleaned as much as we could and we have made it through it! PTL!! God is so good and we have to remember, he is carrying us on this journey, why worry? This is fun for us!! This is an exciting part of this journey that is allowing us to reach out to so many people. To be able to share our story and experiences with our family and friends is such a blessing!! God is awesome!!

So, what's next? Well, we will wait a few weeks for our social worker to type up our homestudy report, then it will be sent to Immigration. It will then take Immigration up to 90 days to complete their process. During those 90 days, we will be finalizing our dossier and applying for grants. When the homestudy comes back from Immigration, it will be attached to our dossier and mailed to China. It will take China approximately 2 weeks to review and will then send us a LID (log  in date).  When we receive our LID, we will get to start the fun part!!! We will start the matching process of finding the child that God wants us to adopt and take care of!!! How exciting is that!!!! So, we are looking at January before we will get our LID. We are so excited! Please continue to pray for us and our journey!! It will be here before we know it.

What's next with fundraising? Well, we will be at Grace Life's 1st Annual Arts n Crafts show this Saturday at Shadow Lake from 8 til 2. We will have "Sow to China's" crafts out there and will be adding lots of new items as well. We will have the 1st Annual "Swing for Adoption" golf tournament on Thursday, October 13th at Timberline Golf Course. I have listed below the details on that as well. If you know of anyone that would like to attend, sponsor a hole or participate with a team, please contact Steve at the number below.



Time
Thursday, October 13 · 11:00am - 2:00pm

Location
Timberline Golf Club
Calera, Alabama


More Info
4 Person Scramble
Cost $100.00 per player
Registration 11:30
Shotgun Starts at 1:00

Deadline for Early Entry: October 7, 2011

Enjoy a complete program of special events, 18 holes of golf (including cart), box lunch, soft drinks, water, door prizes, bonus round of golf to be used at a later date and a mulligan package (3)

All for just $100.00 a player

- Closest to the pin challenge
- Top 3 teams will be awarded

To help us properly plan for this event, please pre-register by calling Steve Boyd at (205) 288-1726

Sponsor a hole for $100.00 - If you are not interested in playing golf and would like to sponsor a hole, please contact Steve Boyd as well.

All proceeds will benefit Steve and Julie Boyd's adoption fund. 




We will also be having a few other things that I have listed below as well.

- Thirty One Party - Friday, October 21st
- Open House - Saturday, November 12th "Sow to China's" items

I am sure I will think of more things to do as the time passes!! God surely has blessed us!! Thanks so much for all your sweet prayers and thoughts!!

Blessings and Love,

Julie

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just waiting.........

Well, we are currently waiting for our scheduling of our last 2 homestudy visits and our CANs clearance to come back, then we will have a complete homestudy!!! Hopefully, fingers crossed, that will be by the middle part of September! God has been so good to us and has taught us lately over and over again that this is going to be done in his time. He has taught us that we have been so busy that we can not forget who is helping us with this journey and not to try it on our own. God is so good and he has revealed so much to us through this journey!! We have had a few fundraisers and have been so very blessed with the outcomes and how financially we are on track!!! We were able to experience for the first time this weekend the Butter Bean Festival in Pinson!! We had a great time, but boy was it alot of work to prepare for!! We were blessed to be able to meet some really great people and enjoy some great food!! The wonderful things that people had to say about our journey and how they would continue to pray for us was wonderful!! There is nothing more important and powerful than prayer!

I have attached below some pictures of the new frames that we are making to sell as a fundraiser item and boy have we had tons of orders thus far!! I have fulfilled orders, made orders for Butter Bean and when I added up the total outstanding to fulfill, it was 50!!! Praise the Lord!! He surely has blessed us with the hands to help from beginning to end!! The frames hold a 4x6 picture at $10.00 a frame.


















The next few fundraisers will be the Boyd Adoption Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 13th and I plan to have a Pampered Chef party as well. Please continue to keep us in your prayers!!! We are a few steps closer to bringing home our sweet baby from China!!! We are so excited and blessed to know that God is getting the Glory and we are getting the Joy!!! Until next time.......

Love and Blessings,

Julie


"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared" 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Steve's Individual Interview and Boyd Adoption Yard Sale II

Steve had his individual interview a week ago today and it went great!! Steve said that he did fine and answered all the questions with no hesitation. I knew he could do it!! We have a fabulous social worker and she is so easy to chat with and discuss things with at any point. She told Steve that he was a great "story teller "!! Which means when he is telling a story about the kids or just inspirational moments in his life, he adds so much excitement and joy to his stories! I prayed for him before he went in and he was in their exactly for 1hr 1/2. He called me as soon as he got out with a big smile on his face. You can always hear a smile and I definitely heard it!!! We have been through so much paperwork, so much reading and so many discussions with so many people, but one thing never changes and that is the love that we have for adoption and just how big our heart has gotten for this journey. God is so good and has truly given us so much joy and so many blessings thus far on our journey!! We just can not express it enough!!

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” 


So, Round 2 of the Boyd Adoption Yard Sale!! We were blessed with so much stuff!!! Oh, the stuff, it was amazing!! If you are on Facebook, check the pictures out. It is just crazy at how much stuff was donated!! God is so good and has placed so many kind, loving people in our live!! We are just amazed at what he has placed in front of us!! We made $500.00 off this yard sale and still have sweet kind hearted people donating and buying a few things from us!! We had another successful yard sale!! God said "Hold my hand and walk joyously with me through this day. I know every step of the journey ahead of you, all the way to heaven!!" What a glorious God!!! 


What's next? Well, we will be having our home interview soon!! We have sent in our discussion questions and are waiting to get a confirmation date for that and hope to combine with our last home study interview in regards to an overview on the training and reading that we have done. (Steve will have his finished this weekend!!) After that has been completed, we will then have a waiting period until the middle part of September. At that time, our CANs clearance should be back in and we will then have a completed home study. Then our dossier will be mailed to CHINA!!! Super exciting!! This Fall is going to be full of events and surprises!! Looking forward to it!!


God Bless you all and thanks so much for your continued prayers!!


Blessings and Love,


Julie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So, why are we fundraising, you ask???

I felt the Lord leading me to write in our blog about why we are fundraising. It has been on my heart that some may think that every time we turn around we are having some type of fundraiser and "asking" for donations. For Steve and myself, this is not easy to do, but the Lord has laid peace on our hearts that it is the right thing to do. Believe me, if our dream of stroking one check had come true, we would do it. But the good Lord did not have that in his plans for us. But then that is where you guys come in. Fundraising invites our family, friends, church family and those we don't even know, into a bigger story. Our story becomes theirs as they become invested in, and changed by our fabulous journey!! Some may even decide to adopt and some may even give. By God's grace, many will understand the heart of Jesus and hear the gospel as they witness the miracle of adoption through our story.  We are doing this for the glory of God!!! We love him so much and thrive on learning so much more about our Savior and why he wants us to go on this journey. Now, you ask me, "Would you trade this for a $25,000 check to make things easier?" Absolutely not!! This experience is continuing to show us that we do serve a powerful and generous God and our faith is growing tremendously, so no we would not trade that for a $25,000 check. 

Upcoming Fundraisers:

We are currently doing a fundraiser with Ordinary Hero. This non profit organization was established by Kelly Putty in Tennessee. She has a fabulous and inspiring story. Check out her blog and the store and find out why she wanted to help so many in need including adopting a boy from Ethiopia!!! :) 


Celebrating Home, Friday, August 12th. Jenny Nelson will be the host and is opening up her beautiful home to my family and friends. Super excited!!!

We will be participating in the Butter Bean Festival in Pinson on September 2nd & 3rd, Grace Life's Arts/Crafts Fair at Shadow Lake on October 1st and Homestead Hollow in Springville on October 7th, 8th and 9th. 

Steve is also planning a Boyd Adoption Golf Tournament at Timberline on Thursday, October 13th. Brother Joel Frederick and Robert Pelfrey will be speaking at this tournament!! PTL!! 


“The Bible tells us that God is writing a big story, a story centered on Jesus. If you’re in Christ, God is at work directing your little story to fit into the plot of the big story.” – R. Moore, Adopted for Life


Blessings and Love!!!

Steve and Julie


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yard Sale!!!

Just to give everyone an update as to how the Boyd Adoption Yardsale went, well after getting to bed Friday night or Saturday morning at 1:00 then up at 5:00, started yardsale at 6:30 and ended it at 3:30, finally got the yardsale cleaned up around 6:00. My feet are killing me!!! Through the short sleep time and the tired feet, God was so good!! He is a gracious God!! We set ourselves a goal, well me met our goal plus some more!! Wow!! Praise the Lord!! I just want to thank everyone that donated items and/or came out to support us!! We are so blessed and God gets the Glory!! How exciting!! Only getting closer to bringing home our China baby!! We have alot of stuff left so we have decided to have Round 2 Boyd Adoption Yard Sale which will be on Saturday, July 30th. My sweet sister will just have to look at that stuff in her basement for 2 more weeks!! Carson and Hailey had a great time at the yardsale! Hailey sold drinks and Carson did some, but fished alot!! 


Also, I will have my individual interview tomorrow. I am a little nervous about it because I am thinking in the back of my mind "INTERVIEW". Ugh!! Who likes interviews, not me!! But, then I think, it is all for the GLORY OF GOD!!! What an awesome God he is!! The joy never leaves either one of us! Steve and I both are just overflowing with joy and happiness throughout this process!! Prayers are much needed!! 


One more thing, we have signed up on Ordinary Hero to do a little fundraising there as well. They have some great stuff including jewelry, clothing, accessories and lots more. Check it out. www.ordinaryhero.org


I will update everyone as to the status of my interview and then Steve's interview when his time comes!! 


Blessings and Love,


Julie

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Interview Time!!!

We made our first goal and made our first payment!! God provides and we are so thankful!! After making our first payment towards bringing home our China baby, we set up our initial interview with our social worker at Lifeline. We interviewed with her on Wednesday at 2:00. We left there around 4:30!! I was a little nervous going into speak with her and answer her questions. So, I thought I would be prepared and take my manual (227 pages) and my own binder that has copies of documents already provided to Lifeline. It helped somewhat, but knowing that when I prayed that God would be there for us and help us through this interview as he has lead us to this. Well he did and it was fine! God held our hands and kept us calm and relaxed. The questions were simple, yet broad and hard to answer. When you have to dig deep to talk about yourself, it is a little difficult to do. (Especially for me!) Steve did a great job and was complete security for me! I could not have done it without him sitting near me. We got through all the questions and then asked a few of our own questions. A few about the forms that we need to fill out and a few about the orphanage and waiting children. The last question was, " Is it difficult to arrange for our children to travel to China with us?" The answer was "No, absolutely not." Of course we will have to raise more money for them, but so far God has provided for everything and we have no doubt about raising money for them as well!! The social worker told us exactly what we were thinking, "Why wouldn't you want to take them?" Not only would they be getting a once in a lifetime trip, they would be meeting their new sibling and making memories along with their parents!! What a blessing to hear her say that was so reassuring to us!! God is so good and the joy that overwhelmed us both after the meeting was incredible!!! When we left there, we went home picked up the kiddos and went to church. We were able to talk about the visit with the social worker a little bit and discuss our upcoming individual interviews that will probably take place next week. Please keep us in your prayers. We need as much support as we can get from our wonderful family and friends of Christ!!!

On Saturday July 16th, we will be having a Boyd Adoption Yard Sale. If you have any items that you would like to donate for the yard sale, please let me know. We will gladly come and pick up. We pray that this yard sale will be a huge success and the Lord will provide!! We will continue to pray that prayer and leave it all in the hands of our Almighty God!! I will be posting pictures of our fundraising tshirt soon that will be available for purchase.

We just want you all to know that we love you dearly and appreciate the donations to our fund, to our yard sale and most of all the prayers!! God is so good to bless us with such wonderful family and friends!! I will update you all after our individual interviews and the outcome of the yardsale.

Blessings & Love,

Julie

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Latest Update........

It has been a few weeks since the last update. I wanted to update you guys on where we are in our adoption process. My finger prints were finally received!! We both received a letter from DHR in Montgomery stating that our background/criminal history was checked and was clear!! :) We have completed lots of paperwork and are in the process of reading a few books and getting some training done. The book that I am reading is quite thick!! Steve chose the thinner one and left the thicker one for me!! :) It is called Adoption Parenting. It has some great short stories! It really puts things into perspective and how our lives are going to change and how to raise a child that is from the other side of the world!! We both pray that we retain the information that we are learning from all the reading, studying and researching. Through it all we are doing our best to keep Carson and Hailey updated as well. They are still super excited and love praying to God about our "China Baby"!!

When we are not reading/training/studying, we have been doing a few fundraisers. We have sold small crosses, large crosses, crayon rolls, chalkboard place mats and a few other things. I have been taking pictures at our local ballpark for Allstars, photographing children and selling candles. All proceeds from the photography to candles to handmade items are going straight towards the adoption. We have been so blessed with the response that we have received on all three different fundraisers! God has truly worked through our buyers through the different fundraisers and we have enjoyed every minute of it!! We have faith in God and trust him and will continue to keep patient as he is guiding us!! God is so good!!! This weekend we will be selling our handmade items at Tannehill State Park at trade days. Hopefully, fingers crossed this weekend will be a success!!! God bless the buyer and the seller (us)!! We have almost made it to our first goal!! We hope to meet our first goal by the end of this weekend!!

I have had a fabulous week so far and it all started with church and the fish fry this past Sunday. I have had so many friends come up to me and say that they are praying for our adoption journey!! It has really made our heart smile and God surely has sent his messages through our dear friends and family. We are truly blessed!!! Every time I hear someone say that they are praying for us daily,  it just makes our hearts smile!!! Our relationship with God is growing more and our faith is growing too!!  God is so good!!! What a glorious day we have to look forward to!!!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Will update everyone at the end of this coming up weekend!! Can not wait! Keep your fingers crossed and prayers coming!!

Blessings and Love,

Julie

BTW- We are able to take donations on our blog now through paypal. Thank you so much!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fingerprints

Well, we mailed off our finger prints last week and I can tell you that before mailing them I said a special prayer that God would carry them all the way and bless them every stop!! The process of getting the finger prints done and completing our CANS paperwork was simple compared to what we are about to start working on. When we arrived at Homewood Police Department to get the prints done the sheriff asked if we had enough change to have 4 sets completely and of course we had a $20.00 bill. He told us that we had to have $10.00 a piece to have them completed. We could only go back one at a time and we had to pay separately. Well, if you know my husband, that did not sit well with him. He stomped, huffed and puffed out the door. :) It was funny to me, but the sheriff did not like it. He said to me, "He does not have to be so grumpy about it."  I am doing yall a favor." I told him that we do not understand their policies and procedures and will gladly comply, but will do so in our way. He looked at me funny and I just smiled. He ended up being a pretty nice sheriff and I enjoyed having my finger prints completed and Steve as well. So, we got into the truck and finished signing some additional paperwork and packaged it up. I told Steve to make sure he signed everything!!! He assured me he did and I double checked and he did. Well, Monday, SBCN in Virgina contacted me and said that everything looked great except for one thing, You forgot to sign one page!!  Well, I felt like crawling in a hole, because I had been on Steve to make sure he signed everything and I double checked his signatures on all pages and failed to have someone check mine!! Steve thought it was quite funny!!! :)

God has put us on this journey and our faith sure has been tested lately!! The devil has been trying to show himself and we just continue to pray that God will continue to shine through us and show us the way!! It is amazing at how just reading back through this blog lightens up any darkness that may be trying to shine through. Steve shared with me a scripture yesterday that has kept my head up and kept us both full of joy!! Just hearing him say that yesterday lit up my face and my heart! Hearing God's word and digging into the bible for scripture to help us through the tough times is quite amazing!!

Psalms 78-23; Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven.

And another inspirational thought I read and posted to facebook this morning!!

o be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-through your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6


God is so good and I am just amazed at how he continues to whisper and echo this sweet things to us!!!! God bless you all and keep us in your prayers!!! 


Love and Blessings Always,


Julie

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Fundraiser - Gold Canyon Candles- Fundraiser will run 1 month!!

These candles are fabulous and great gifts!! I have a few that I love and have lasted forever!! All the scents are fabulous as well!! If you are interested in purchasing a candle, please post a comment and I will reply to you! Thank you and God Bless!



Gold Canyon provides The World’s Finest® candles

8 oz candle $16.50
16 oz candle $20.50
26 oz candle $24.50

Ginger Lime: Bold citrus and a spicy blast of ginger make this an intriguing and distinctive fragrance that will enliven any environment. 
Cinnamon Vanilla: Genuine cinnamon and natural vanilla creamed together to create a combination of sweet and spicy. 
Cranberry Orange: This unique blend is reminiscent of tart cranberries, fresh citrus orange, blackberry and warm spicy cinnamon.
Cedar Woods: A naturally soothing scent of the earth’s most gracious gifts—sweet bergamot, calming jasmine and fresh cedarwood.
Clean Sheets: The warm feeling of crisp, clean sheets captured through a breezy blend of fruits and florals with touches of musk.
Apple: Fresh & crisp with the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Experience a juicy apple with notes of fresh peach for extra sweetness.
Sugar Cookie: Sweet cream, butter, sugar and vanilla baked to a golden perfection. A customer favorite you must experience for yourself!
Moroccan Amber Vanilla: This scent journey brings a sultry sensation with alluring hints of smooth sandalwood & amber. An appealing layer of creamy vanilla, sun-warmed woods & earthy patchouli create magical Morocco. 
Sparkling Apricot: Fresh apricot notes accented by mango and a unique nectar accord are the spirit of this sparkling fragance.
Citrus Cream: A fragrant fusion of tangerine and grapefruit accented by gentle hints of berries, plum and vanilla. 
Grass: Fresh-cut grass captured with notes of rain-softened foliage, geraniums, lilies and light hints of fresh orange and rose.
Lavender: Enjoy the soothing fragrance of cool lavender. A classic floral bouquet used for thousands of years to help set a relaxing & therapeutic mood throughout the home.
Pumpkin pie: Indulge in the fall season’s favorite treat all year long with the perfect aromatic combination of pumpkin spices and rich cream. 
Sweet Pea: A fusion of sweet fruits—pineapple & nectarine—softly layered around a heart of organic sweet pea and lilies.
Pomegranate: Expreience this bestselling fragrance of fresh pomegranate—a fusion of peach, strawberry and green apple scents.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Happy Happy

Just wanted to give a brief update!! We were scheduled to be at the Birmingham's Largest Yard Sale today to sell our handmade items and it was postponed due to the weather. Wow!! Oh how God works!! What a blessing that is to postpone it! I knew that I was pressing for time and had to stay up and get things done to be there and I was not very prepared for it! My goal was to complete 50 crosses and 30 chalkboards and so on. Well, I had not even made it even close to those numbers. My goal seemed unreachable. Well God had other plans, so he postponed the yard sale until next weekend and sent 10 orders my way to deliver this weekend!! I am in awe over the response he has sent my way! Thank you Jesus!! So, Steve and I took Friday off to get some things done and now I am over half way to my GOAL!! God is so good and he will never fail you!! We are super excited about the yard sale next weekend and can not wait to see what God has in store for us!! God has given us rest and peace during this adventure and boy have we learned so much! Our "surprise party" only keeps getting better!! I love being in God's court and not mine!! Today will be another day of painting and tomorrow will be a day of paperwork! Oh, the paperwork!! Dear God, please give us the focus to pay attention to every detail and every word. Give us the peace and patience to know that this paperwork leads to a very special person that will be forever changing our lives and will come to know you, precious God!!!

Thank you all for supporting us and praying for us!! We need prayer so very much!!!

Blessings  & Love,

Steve and Julie

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Sow to China" Fundraising Items

                                                      Magnetic Chalkboard - 11x14 $10.00
                                                       Crosses $15.00 - choose any colors