Friday, December 30, 2011

And the Paper Chase Begins again....

I can't believe I am even typing this, but it's been a year and we need to renew our Home Study. We sincerely thought we would have traveled to Ethiopia or in the process of preparing to travel to meet our Little by this time. Instead, we begin the paper chase again.

This time around things are a little easier. We do not have to gather as many documents and we're a little more experienced this time around with the process. :)

We remain faithful and thankful.

Here's a sweet video I watched again to remind and encourage us on this journey. They are a fellow AGCI (All God's Children International) family. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry HOT Orlando Christmas and OFFICIAL December Numbers!

Merry Christmas from us to you! We had perfectly blue skies and 85 degrees outside on Friday, a beautiful Sabbath in the lower 80's and for today....looks like we had a fresh rain over night which has left us with beautiful and clear blue skies! 

We're especially thankful this year for the birth of Jesus. 2011 has been quite a year for us. We may not always understand the narrow path we are on, but we are clear Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God our Father has all details figured out for us. 2011 proved to be a year to learn patience and reliance, more than we ever have, on our heavenly Father. 

The journey to adoption, and specifically international, is not easy. Sometimes it seems like time moves at a snails pace. Sometimes it all seems so distant and not remotely tangible; but then you receive a Christmas card of a friend's forever family, see a video of a family united, see Christmas pictures of fellow agency families with their littles, or are reminded of the STAGGERING numbers of children around the world needing loving homes. We're going to continue the marathon because we've been called. And just like all things which work together for the good of those who love our will be a GLORIOUS and PERFECT day for our family when we see our little's face for the first time! 

We will remain faithful.

So if you wonder how we're feeling this Christmas, this song says it all (except our journey is to Ethiopia):
(Merry Christmas by Third Day)

Official December Numbers



We wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!
one less

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be an Angel for Someone in Need this Holiday Season

Step 1: Grab Tissues.
Step 2: Find a Kmart or any layaway near you this holiday season.
Step 3: Give thanks for all the blessings we take for granted every day.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

If you're like me you might be rushing to tie up those loose Santa ends!  EEEK!

Ok, so I have an idea for you guys! 

Pencil Rolls for your kids!

These aren't just any kind of Pencil Rolls...but ones that support one of my best friend's adoption journey! Check out Kera's ETSY SHOP HERE

If you'd like to learn more about their super cute family, check out her blog: 
Hopefully they'll be moving from "x4" to x5" sooner than later!!! 

Ok, I'm off to do some more Christmas sewing...LAWDY am I behind!!!

(fun to see the ornament I made last year for friends and family...hopefully 2011 will be the last Christmas without our little!)
You can see our post about this ornament HERE.

Merry Christmas from our Casa to yours!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Year Ago this Sabbath...memory lane

As we begin Sabbath this evening I find myself reflecting on "where" we were this same weekend last year. I know we believed we would begin traveling to Ethiopia this spring, but instead AGCI has officially updated their website to state wait times are now 24-42 months. For me, this is placing what we thought was happening into black and white. We knew the time had lengthened, but it's not been in writing yet. So that's hard to take. 

Wednesday, we started our Christmas season with our 4th annual tradition. We went to Northland Church for The Story Tour.
Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman have a special place in our hearts as they stirred our hearts to adoption many years ago. Selah...what needs to be said??? They are amazing in concert. Francesca...WOW! This concert was amazing! Helps us focus on why this season is really important. Christ came and died for our story and our wounds. As I struggle with the wait, I am reminded to the song of Job from the musical story tour. Job's broken praise. In the midst of losing everything...I haven't lost everything like Job, but as I struggle to understand why our future baby's room will remain empty for many more months...I want to be like Job. Job still raised his eyes to God and gave praise. Give praise even when the world would tell us there is not much to give praise for. I choose joy. I choose to praise God even though I do not understand.

Now, as I reflect on where we were in the process this weekend last's our post from the December 11th, 2010 weekend:

It's that time of year when the holidays make everything feel so magical. I'm usually racking my brain for the perfect gift to give. 

This year...all I can think about is our baby.

We decided late October we were being called to adoption. Last year we attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert and heard their family's story and journey. Since, the idea had been tugging on our hearts. What is interesting is that Tim nor I ever shared that the burden to adopt had been placed. 

For me, the need grew stronger when attending a Women of Faith Conference in Atlanta, GA with some of my girlfriends.

For Tim, the need grew stronger after having lunch with his father where Dad Reiner shared a story he had heard on NPR. The story of Scott Simon; Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other.

One Sabbath afternoon in October Tim asked to talk. It was then we realized the same desire. 

Initially, we believe we were being called to China. Little did we know then, this was not God's plan. Since, God has led us to Ethiopia.

I could explain "why Ethiopia" for quite a while, but the simple fact is....there is a need.

In Ethiopia there are over 4 million orphans.

4 million.

It's hard to imagine the number.

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 
Psalm 82:3

Since that one beautiful Sabbath we have become part of the All God's Children International family, nearly completed our home study and have been reading all we can to educate ourselves.

A "little" of the paperwork we've faced and we have much more to go.

This Sabbath, I find myself so thankful for the support of family and friends as we begin our journey.

I will keep our blog as up to date as possible as we continue our journey.

One Less has begun.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Buy a Brick. Build a School.

How about this Christmas we all buy at least one brick? One of our AGCI momma's daughter was the voice of Zala. Isn't her voice precious? She's already a little world changer. 

Consider skipping brunch with friends and buy a brick this Holiday Season. Your $20 could be the last brick needed to build their school. 

Melkam Gena!
(Merry Christmas in Amharic - main Ethiopian language). 
the reiner casa

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm Racing for Gina and Abby!

Help me fundraise. It's fun and it makes you feel good.

Hi Everyone,
I just signed up for the Race for Donna in Jacksonville, FL on February 12th, 2012. I am part of Team Gina. Gina McReynolds is the wife of Tim's childhood friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer while 28 weeks pregnant with their third little. Her little bub just turned one and she is still fighting with an amazing faith and fearless attitude. In addition, Heidi and Becca (my sisters 'in laws'), have a dear friend who is 28 and just graduated law school. In October, she too was diagnosed with breast cancer. I cannot imagine being young like these women, having bilateral radical mastectomies and then fierce chemotherapy.

Please consider sponsoring me on this run. It's my very first half marathon and first run I am taking seriously and training. I am taking the training seriously because Gina and Abby are special women in a sea of many other brave women who have or are battling breast cancer. Please select the link above for more information on Gina and how you can sponsor. Any help is beyond appreciated. Please feel free to share this email and link with others.

Much love,
Erika Reiner