The Garrisons

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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How are we going to do it?

I have written a couple of blog posts in my mind since we got our referral, but it's been a little crazy here and I've yet to sit down and write them out. Some of them have been reflective, and others more mundane, but I've found that the things people ask us the most are you going to do it?? How are we going to 'do life' with 7 kids? My best response to that right now is to tell you to ask me next year when I've actually done it!! But here are some logistics we are working on....

We are blessed to live in a home that already has 5 far no one is sharing a room. We are also blessed to have a little unfinished space in the basement that will fairly easily be finished into another bedroom. So - here are the bedroom plans (as we know them now!): The two little boys will share, the two little girls will take Emma's current room and share, Emma will move to the new bedroom in the basement, and Haley and Hayden will stay put. The crazy thing is, I'm not sure we are even going to feel crowded.

Our vehicle situation is a little up in the air. We had planned on waiting for a larger vehicle, but this is no longer an option. Our 7 passenger van will not allow me to take all of the kids for school drop off, activities, etc. We need to get a new vehicle by the time the new kiddos come home. Will you pray with us about this? We are trusting that this will work out, but it wasn't in our original plan (or budget). We are on the lookout for a good deal on a 12 passenger van that is in great shape!

And the rest, well....only by God's grace. He put this in our laps and we are trusting that he has it all worked out. We know he will be faithful to give us grace for each day and wisdom to parent all 7 of our children....we don't want even one to feel left behind.

It's a wonderful thing to sit in a place where you know you can only succeed with God's help. This is not about me, or we'd surely be in trouble. I have no doubt that I am not capable of any of this. But I know who is, and good thing he's in charge.

I am humbled beyond what I could describe in words that God sees fit to use little ole me as part of his plan to redeem these sweet children's lives. (and if he can use me, trust me, he can use anyone!)

To those of you who have been supportive or offered encouraging words, we are so thankful. To those of you who have prayed for us and for our kids, we are even more grateful. We need your support and prayers during this big time of change for our family. For those of you who would like to pray, here are some specific requests:
  • For our children in Ethiopia. They have lost everything that is familiar (except each other). We pray that they will have a peace and understanding of the situation. We do not want them to feel confused or afraid. We pray that God will begin to prepare their hearts to receive the love we have for them and weave us together as a family.
  • For our family here. Please pray that God will prepare us in every way for the changes that lie ahead...for our kids at home, and for Nathan and I as parents. Pray that God will continue to give us peace and also wisdom in our parenting.
  • For provision. We have many expenses ahead of us...changes to the house, a new vehicle, not to mention two trips to Ethiopia and preparing to have three extra children in our home. We are done fundraising, simply because enough is enough...not really because the funds are all there. Please pray that God provides for every need we have....we know he will.
  • For our travel. We will be traveling with 4 children the first trip, and bringing 3 home the second trip. We are praying that God will silence these children during the trip....oops...did I say that??:) Seriously, we are praying for good travelers and for those who will be sitting near us!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

IT'S A.....

BOY....and a GIRL.....and a GIRL!!!!!

Yes, WE RECEIVED OUR REFERRAL!!!! And yes, you counted correctly, our referral is for THREE precious children. Some of you probably remember that our original request was for two children, but God had other plans....and we are so glad.

On Wednesday of this week we received a phone call from our agency's program director asking us if we would consider a referral 'a little outside of our request'. We had previously communicated to her that it was difficult for us to ask for certain ages and genders, because we really just wanted what God had for our family and to be a family for children who needed one. We had communicated that we were somewhat open - although we never mentioned three children!! Anyway, she went on to tell us about three siblings they wanted to keep together and were looking for a placement for. She told us that as she prayed for these kids, our family's name came to mind and she wanted to give us the opportunity to review their files for our consideration. To say I was shocked would be an understatement!!! We got off the phone agreeing that Nathan and I would talk and pray about it, and I would call her the next day.

After much conversation, prayer, consulting our kids (who were ALL for it), and talking to our social worker, we agreed that we wanted to move forward and review the kids' files. So, we took the next step asking God for either road blocks or open doors according to what He knew was best for these kids and for our family. (So far, only open doors!) Our social worker agreed to approve us for three children (instead of two) and do the necessary paperwork. This is what we anticipated could potentially be the first road block, but far from it. She agreed, and then even phoned back later to tell me what sense she thought this placement made for our family. To say this was a surprise....well, another understatement!!

So, on Thursday, I phoned our agency and told them we were ready to see the file! I was excited, overwhelmed, nervous, humbled, grieving (for their loss), feeling both inadequate and blessed all at the same time. Their pictures came through email.....they are precious. We can't wait to be their parents!! The children are a 1 year old boy, and two girls, 4 and 5. Perfect for our family....a buddy for Elijah and the two girls will have each other. Only God.

I have to share with you one other little detail that was like a little gift to me in the midst of all of this. The night before we got the first phone call, I shared with my girls that I really liked the name S******.... Love the name for a little boy, has a Biblical reference...just like it. Well, when we received our referral, I opened up the file and this little boy has that very. same. name. (can't share names until after we pass court). I couldn't believe it....what are the chances?? It was like God whispering in my ear that He was in the details....and I know He is.

Please pray for our kids....they have lost much and endured more than I can imagine in the last few months. We would appreciate your prayers for their little hearts. We are humbled and amazed that God is using us to be their family. We know the road will be sometimes difficult, but also feel a great peace that these are our kids. Thanks be to God....for this indescribable gift!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Jeanene Stephens!
Jeanene will receive a 16 GB iPad!!

selling or purchasing tickets, donating, or helping to get the word out!

Here are all of the tickets.......

And the moolah those tickets generated to help bring our kids home.....

Emma helping to mix the tickets before the drawing....

and Elijah eating the winner's ticket.....
(duh...don't they do this in ALL the raffles??)