The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Besides waiting, not a whole lot has been happening with our adoption. So, we were glad when our adoption agency approved our home study this week! One more step done!!
It feels like we should be almost ready to send off our paperwork, but we have more waiting ahead of us. Our home study was sent this week to the intercountry adoption coordinator for DCFS for approval. (This was a step we previously didn't know about or forgot about somewhere along the line.) So, hopefully, she will approve it quickly and it can be sent off to USCIS so we can get our I171-H!!

Through it all, I hope to become a better "waiter". For those of you who know me well, you know that patience is not my strongest attribute (no comments, please!). I like to get things done and move on to the next thing. I don't like things hanging over my head that need to be accomplished. And I don't like uncertainty. I also don't like waiting for other people to do what I need them to do. Unfortunately, adoption includes all of these.
I am learning to be content in the wait. I am learning to trust that God is in control and will see to it that every detail is taken care of. I'm learning to sit and wait for Him to move in His timing.
Old habits die hard - I'm certainly not claiming to be good at any of this. Probably will never be my strength. You will probably never stand in awe at my patience with things out of my control.....or anything else for that matter. Thank goodness God is patient with me, and maybe through this journey He can teach me to be more like Him.

Friday, July 25, 2008

By Hayden

I am very excited about our adoption. I can't wait till the baby comes home. It seems like a very long wait. Please pray for our process. You can also pray for its mother and father in Ethiopia.
Also pray for the baby's health. Pray for our family while we wait.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just for fun

We saw this on someone else's blog and thought it was so neat, we decided to give it a try!

What do you you agree?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Waiting Game

This post is an effort to answer questions many of you have had about where we are in the adoption process!
We are currently in the "paper-chasing" phase of our adoption. This is where they collect more information about you than you ever knew about yourself and then notarize it! (yes, please notarize how much I weigh - be sure to get that documented!) We've collected financial papers, medical forms, recommendations, employment verifications, insurance verifications, pictures of our family and house, and the list goes on. We've met with a social worker 4 times and she is in the process of writing an oh-so-interesting home study which includes all the details of our lives! We are anxiously waiting for her to complete this step since we can't go any further without it. (Is there a polite way to say, "Hurry up, you're holding up the show!".........I didn't think so)

Once our home study is complete (next week...?!), we will make necessary corrections and finalize it to send off to USCIS (immigration) and we will wait again (wait is a popular word when describing adoption!) for them to send us our I171-H form which states we can in fact adopt an orphan and bring them home! Please pray for this to be processed quickly - we recently heard of a family who waited 3 months!

This will be the last thing we need before we can send our dossier (all of our papers, home study, etc.) to Ethiopia. - THEN we will officially begin the wait! From that time our agency estimates that we will wait 7-9 months for the referral of an infant of either sex. Once we accept our referral, we will travel 8-12 weeks after that.

Whew - it's quite a process....makes me tired just typing about it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

On my mind.......

I've been thinking a lot about apathy lately......Apathy towards others and apathy towards the many needs of those around us. (I am speaking more to myself than anyone here....)
How often do we actually step up and do something that costs us something ?- I mean really costs us. We are people who use most of our time and resources to pursue our own comfort without actually really stopping to reflect on what we could be doing for others. I would venture to guess that on a day to day basis not many of us are actually living with other's needs in mind.

Part of the problem is this: We have bought a lie. We have bought the lie that we cannot make a difference. The problems around the world (or in our own neighborhood for that matter) are so big that there is nothing we could do to make it better. It paralyzes us and keeps us from doing anything at all. So, we all sit and wait for someone else to make it better.
We get emotionally moved when we see the starving children on TV or when we watch a documentary about how someone ELSE made a difference......unfortunately, very few of us actually make the effort to follow that example and do something ourselves.

I want to be different (I am not yet, I assure you). I want my children to be different. I want to use the resources, time, and abilities God has given me to do good in the world while I am here. I want to trust God enough to know that even when things look impossible or feel scary, He will take care of me. He will take care of my family.

What each one of us can do feels small to us, but here's the thing: God isn't small. He can take our meager offerings of service and use them together for good. If each one of us do the part He asks of us, just imagine the possibilities.

...once our eyes are opened we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act. (Proverbs 24:12)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We do!! And we need you to drink it!
Ethiopia's major export is coffee. However, most coffee farmers in developing countries live in poverty because their coffee is not sold at a fair trade price. Here's the good news: You can help!
Our family is selling coffee from an organization called 963 missions. They only buy coffee at a fair trade price. There are five different kinds of coffee (one specifically from Eastern Africa, but some from other parts of the world as well) and a cocoa that is grown in Ghana. Here is the other good news: When you purchase their coffee from us or through our website (link to the right), you are also helping us with our adoption expenses ($22-25,000 - yikes!). We keep 40% of what we sell that will be donated directly into an account to help us bring our baby home. (BTW - The Sample pack is sold at their cost and does not benefit us when you order it.)
Now, I know lots of you drink LOTS of coffee.....please consider helping in this way. Our kids are taking ownership of this project and would love to talk to you about your order, or you can order online - either way, we are appreciative!
This will be an ongoing project for the next year or so, so if you like it, come back and order more. You can also sign up for their Monthly Obsession, where the coffee is automatically shipped to you every month.
Thanks for your support of us and the coffee farmer!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Getting to Know Us

I realize that many of you who are reading this will already know about our lives.....this post is mostly for those of you who don't know us or are getting to know us through this adoption journey. When reading other people's blogs I always love knowing a little bit about them, so here goes.....
We are Nathan and Kathy Garrison. We have been married for 16 years (am I really old enough for that!?!) and we have three great kids. Haley is 12 (7th grade) , Hayden is 11 (5th grade) and Emma is 9 (4th grade). Nathan works as a physical therapist at a local hospital and Kathy works as a second grade teacher at a Christian school.

We decided to adopt towards the end of April 08 and sent in our application to America World the first week of May. Things have been moving along pretty well with our paperwork process......we are currently waiting for our home study to be finished! We have requested an infant 0-12 mos. of either sex from Ethiopia. (although Hayden is really hoping for a boy!) We did not request a boy or a girl mostly because this entire adoption is really God's and we figure he has a plan of exactly who he wants to put in our family anyway!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why Adopt?

Why adopt? There actually isn't a good short answer to that seems bigger than what I could adequately explain in a blog post, but I will try.

This adoption is really a faith journey for us. We feel so blessed with all we've been given in our lives and feel like God wants to use us in this way. God has blessed us with so much and we feel like it is our responsibility and privilege to share it. I am not just talking about material blessings, but blessings of faith, family, health, good marriage, church and wonderful friends. If we, with all of these blessings, are not to reach out to others, then who will? To whom much is given, much is expected.

As I have researched adoption I have learned much about the desperate state of so many orphans around the world. I can no longer pretend that I don't know. I can no longer sit and hope that someone else does something about it. I realize that we are only adopting one child and that will not change the world . It will, however, change the world for that child and for our family. And maybe it will inspire someone else to do the same.

We do not have all of the answers to how this will work, how it will be paid for or what it will look like for our family when this new little one comes home. However, we do trust that God has those answers and because he has called us to this, he will provide. We are trusting in him for the answers we don't have. I can't wait to see what he's going to do.