Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father ... James 1:17

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby #5

Here she is...... Mary-Aster

And here we are the day we met her!!!

Happy day!!!  
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  His faithful love endures forever.  Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?  Who can ever praise Him enough?" Psalm 106:1-2

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deja vu ...

Do you ever have those moments of deja vu where you feel like you've read something on a blog post before ....

Do you ever have those moments of deja vu where you feel like you've read something on a blog post before ....

Ha Ha .... really though ... this blog post might feel like deja vu of the one I typed on November 21st (last paragraph) because it is the same story for tonight.
As we sleep tonight, our court case will be reviewed by the judge AGAIN!  We're praying that the 3rd time is a charm, although, I have to honestly say that I am keeping my expectations low and guarding my heart.  I know there was last minute scrambling trying to get just the right document in just the right format and that our agency is doing everything that can humanly be done.  And more importantly, I know in whom I believe  and am convinced that the Lord is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him (2 Tim 1:12).

This past week has been interesting because I have finally quit wrestling with God over this.  I have a new found joy in this journey because I have the opportunity to build faith that can only be built through an experience that causes me to be completely and totally be dependent on Christ.  Like NO OTHER time in my life, I am completely calling on Christ and His power in my weakness.  Thank you Lord for this blessing of building my faith!

I can't wait to post about day 3 of our trip because that is the day we met our little girl.  But, it won't be the same unless I can include pictures of her - which I can't do until we pass court and she is legally ours.

And so, here are the same verses from my friend Sydney that ended my November 21st post (deja vu):

Psalm 91:14-16
Because he loves Me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him My salvation.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rhythm of Life = FAITH

Our family is learning a new rhythm of life - in a good way, but sometimes good is also hard.  It seems as though our family has been in a transition of some sort for 6 months or more. We have had 4 or 5 major family changes in less than 6 months.  They are good changes, but they are challenging changes.  They have been changes that have forced us to depend on God above everyone and everything else.  I am not learning the lesson very well, clearly, because boy can I feel the refining He is continuing to do in me.
We got another call on Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) and found out that more is missing from our court documents than we thought - a specific letter with specific information has to be obtained before we can get the recommendation letter (which we are also waiting for).  Our case was rescheduled (again) for December 3rd.  Oh how disappointed I was - and honestly still am!  I had a very hard time finding anything to be thankful for and I spent most of Wednesday questioning God and asking a lot of whys!!  I don't think God is upset with me for being sad, disappointed and frustrated - after all HE made this mama's heart and HE has filled it with great love for Mary-A!  I still don't understand why it is taking so long, why HE has chosen this path for our journey, why we seem to be moving in the wrong direction, why God doesn't move the legal mountains to make this adoption happen by Christmas (which HE could do), I don't know the answer to these and many more whys - but what I do know is... it doesn't really matter WHY - what matters is that God is in control!! God is sovereign!! God is good!! and God loves Mary-A even more than I do!!  I am learning to rest in these truths.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
   Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
   and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
   nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
   I will bring your children from the east
   and gather you from the west.   Is 43:1-5

The other transition of our life I won't go into right now, but suffice it to say,  it too is bringing challenges I do not feel equipped to handle.  Our security rug was pulled out from under us and we have been left with decisions that we were not prepared to make and disappointments in relationships we never anticipated.  Beth Moore said "Please set me free from the false security that comes from having more of anything than I really need." (Eccl 4:6) -- when I first read this, I immediately thought of the financial aspect - but as I thought about it and reread it, I realize that God only reveals to me, He only gives me, as much of the future as I need.  If I saw more than what is 3 ft in front of me, it would not require me to have as much faith to take the next step. 
We are faced with exciting opportunities, a beautiful journey of the heart and a tomorrow that asks us to have MUCH faith -- to trust God with our family, our future and our hearts!!  God is at work in a big way, and we trust that He is preparing us for something bigger than we know.  The trials and difficulties we face today and tomorrow are just building blocks for us to be stronger and closer to each other and to Him.
As you think of our family, will you please pray that decisions would be very clear, that God would move in a mighty way so that we may bring Mary-A home soon, and that above all HE would be glorified through our family. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sad News

We did not pass court again! Our case has been rescheduled for December 1st.
"Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His ways!" Romans 11:33

Monday, November 22, 2010

No news!

I didn't forget to post, I just don't have anything to post. No news yet from Ethiopia and so we wait. I've decided I'm not a big fan of waiting!

Romans 8:26-28
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. for example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Court travel - Days 1 & 2 - Court Tomorrow

We arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday night. Everything went very smoothly at the airport getting our luggage, getting our shuttle to the hotel and getting checked in at the hotel.
Sunday morning we returned to Beza International Church where we had worshiped with our dental mission team last month. We felt right at home and truly enjoyed our time of worship. We met up with our new friends, Levi & Jessie who selflessly serve and care for the Drawn From Water children.

Before we left Texas, the mission trip team donated Christmas gift for each of the kids at the Drawn From Water house. We were SO excited to deliver the trunks full of gifts to Levi and Jessie. We also returned to Korah to deliver some pictures that were taken on the dental trip and visit with friends we made last month. After a little shopping, we got cleaned up and went to dinner with Levi & Jessie and their sweet kids to celebrate Jessies's birthday. They took us to a great little restaurant and we had an amazing night of fellowship and good food.

Monday morning we checked out of our hotel, loaded up the van and headed out for our LONG drive and journey to meet our daughter. We had been warned about the bumpy, rough roads and about 2 hours or so into our trip, we hit those roads. They were bumpy and rough like I have never experienced bumpy and rough --- it was like pieces of the road were missing. On top of that, the road was about one lane wide, but it was really a two way road (and sometimes 3 cars across), and the sides of the road were lined with locals walking with their goods to market, donkeys, goats, school children and herds of ox.

The scenery and experience of rural Ethiopia was surreal. I can't begin to describe the beauty of the patchwork fields of yellow meskel flowers, purple tef, tan wheat and red soil. The beauty of the people chopping eucalyptus trees, carrying bundles of firewood on their backs, the little boys shepherding the herds of goats and young girls collecting water in jugs.

I loved watching the little children in the doorways of the tukuls that dotted the countryside and the school children holding hands as they walked for miles talking and laughing on their way to school in a nearby village. I felt like I was in the middle of a National Geographic special - it was truly amazing.

After about 10 hours of driving (we did stop for a yummy breakfast) we arrived in Nekemte. We checked into our hotel and then left to tour the emperor's palace and to visit the YWAM Nekemte orphanage.
YWAM does an amazing job at their orphanages of loving on the children, and this was no exception. The orphanage in clean and tidy and the nannies are the best. After a short visit we left and drove a short distance to see the sight of the new Widows and Orphans home that is being finished. It is beautiful and the view from the back is breathtaking.

Now it was back to the hotel to work on a little water issue. When we turned on our faucet the water that came out resembled Coca-Cola. This presents an issue since I have a real issue with showering every morning. It seems that the hotel had been without water for a few days and they were working on getting the water to come out of the faucets clear. Since we weren't sure this was going to be taken care of by morning, my sweet husband bought a case of water and planned to pour it over my head in the morning so that I could have my daily shower. Fortunately, the water was clear in the morning and I was able to take a regular shower. Well, as regular as the showers get in this kind of accommodation. It is really quite humorous -- a square tray in the floor with s shower head coming out of the wall is the shower -- no, no shower curtain. You are close enough to the sink and toilet that you can take care of all of your morning business at one time. It's greatness. But, now I've skipped forward to Day 3 - and this is THE big day. So I'll wait and do Day 3 next time.
PRAYER REQUEST: Tomorrow (Monday the 22nd) is our second court date. As we sleep tonight, our case will be reviewed again by the judge. We are prayerful that our letter of recommendation will be there and we will officially 'pass' court. We should know tomorrow morning, one way or the other.
Psalm 91:14-16
Because he loves Me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him My salvation.”
(thank you Syd for sending me this verse!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We're Home

We returned home from Ethiopia yesterday. We met our beautiful daughter on Wednesday and she stole our hearts!! She is precious and God has blessed us beyond what we could have imagined. I plan to blog about our days in Ethiopia and our experience of meeting Mary-A, but for tonight I will just give a quick court update.
Everything went smoothly at court with her birth mother relinquishing rights and for us consenting to the adoption. The judge was kind and gave our case a favorable ruling, but there is one document that comes from a specific governmental department that was not ready. Our understanding is that there have been numerous new people hired in the department and that this has caused a delay in getting the letter of recommendation that is needed to officially 'pass court'. Our case was rescheduled for November 22 and prayerfully the letter of recommendation will be ready and Mary-A will legally be ours.
Thank you for your continued prayers. They carried us through the difficult times of this trip and buoyed our spirits like nothing else could!
"Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:3-5

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We meet our daughter today!

I'm laying in my bed in Nekemte, Ethiopia. It's 1:00 in the morning. So many thoughts are rushing around in my head and heart. Today we meet our daughter! I won't even pretend that I can articulate what I am feeling. All I know is that God has gone before us this entire trip and He is preparing our hearts and Mary-A's heart right now as she sleeps-as she sleeps in her orphanage for the last night. Lord, please let her like us!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ethiopia Here We Come!!

Travel day is finally here! We are walking out the door and headed to the airport. I will send updates whenever possible.
Please pray for safe travel, peaceful hearts, amazing union with Mary-A (Nov 9th), God's blessing on meeting birth mother (Nov 9th), and successful court date (Nov 12th).
Can't wait for everyone to see our beautiful daughter!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ethiopian Necklaces

In 3 days we will be on our way back to Ethiopia. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it! I am obviously thrilled to finally be meeting our sweet Mary-A, to hold her, squeeze her, and kiss those adorable cheeks. But, there is also a thrill in my heart to be returning to Ethiopia. This country did something to my heart and I can't forget the beauty and graciousness of the people. I am so grateful that God allowed us to experience our child's birth country prior to meeting her, because I truly believe it gave me a deep desire to keep her connected to her amazing birth country.

Many of our friends and family have purchased a magazine bead necklace from me as a way to support our adoption. We were able to get some of these necklaces in Ethiopia. After being there, I appreciate the colors captured in each of these necklaces because they remind me of the vibrant colors that were all around us in Ethiopia. Each of these beads is hand rolled from a strip of magazine paper and the end result is truly gorgeous. We have decided to sell these ETHIOPIAN magazine bead necklaces as a way to support our adoption and ask our friends and family to continue praying for our family and Mary-A over the next several weeks as we travel to meet her, go to court to finalize our adoption and then return to Ethiopia with our other 4 children to finally be reunited as a family!! 1 necklace is $25 or 3 for $70. I will be happy to deliver them or ship them - just let me know! Thank you for all of the amazing support, prayers and encouragement as we travel this journey God has chosen for our family!

Monday, November 1, 2010

High Highs and Low Lows

We will be on the plane bound for our daughter in Ethiopia in less than 4 days! I am SO filled with emotion there are no words to adequately express what is in my heart.
However, the enemy is hard at work trying to distract and discourage here in the Porter family. We refuse to let him!! We have experienced some unexpected circumstances this past week, but I was reminded of the first verse we learned last year:
Gen 50:20 "You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
We are also holding steadfast to:
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Satan may have thought he pulled the rug out from under us, but we will land on our feet through the power of Christ Jesus!
We rejoice in all the unknowns that this weeks holds because we know that God is going before us. And we look forward, with sweet anticipation, to all the firsts that next week has in store because we know that Christ Jesus and ordained them from the beginning of time.

Thank you for continuing to pray for our family!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

17 Days - but who's counting

We are so grateful that we have already been to Ethiopia because that helps us know what to expect from the air travel, country, and accomodation side of things. There are many other details to be sorted out and put in place!
We will be leaving DFW on November 5th. We are planning to worship at Beza International Church on Sunday and meet with new friends we made on our last trip. Monday morning, we will drive 12 hours on very bumpy roads to meet Mary-A. It will be 3 days round trip as we have to have her back in Addis two days before court. Our court 'hearing' is on November 12th, and Lord willing, we will officially be her parents when we board the plane that night to return home (we will arrive back at DFW on Nov 13th). You better believe that if we pass court there will be the most beautiful picture of our daughter for you to see!!
I can hardly wait to hold her, love on her and kiss her!! I can't really believe it's happening and so fast!! The holidays are going to be so amazing this year - THANK YOU LORD!! We are still praying to have her home with her forever family by Christmas and for my sister-in-law's wedding. What a time of celebration it will be!!

Specific Prayer Requests:
- safe and healthy travel
- God's guidance and words when meeting her birth mother
- court to go smoothly & that we'll pass
- peace as our family prepares for this transition
- Hannah, Luke, Katy & Emily will be blessed and changed by this journey
- we will be gracious, patient and kind
- God will continue to prepare us to be adoptive parents (for the 1st time) and parents again (for the 5th time)
- speedy Embassy appointment after court (to bring her home)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


We got the phone call yesterday afternoon.
We have a NOVEMBER 12TH court date!
We are SO SO SO excited!!

Thank you for praying so faithfully for our family.

God is Good and His timing is perfect!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Days 1 & 2 (actually it's only 1/2)

Mission Trip - Day 1
We spent our first day at Kingdom Vision International orphanage. This is the orphanage our dear friends, the Alexanders, got their first little boy from. As our vans drove in, the kids were so excited and swarmed around. They ran up and hugged and kissed us - so so beautiful. There are 85 children at this orphanage from infant to teenager and they were all amazing. After handing out Dum-Dums and bracelets and hugs and kisses, it was time to get down to business. Three dentist examined teeth and I got to work with a sweet friend in what we affectionately refer to as the 'hygiene hut'. I got to learn (and try to say) each child's name and then we gave them each a toothbrush, toothpaste and taught them how to brusha-brusha-brusha. IF they brush their teeth it is done on Weds, but since most of them didn't even know how to hold their toothbrush I doubt it happens too often. Their eyes lit up as if we had handed them a treasure! Some of them even walked around the orphanage brushing their teeth they were so excited. Some of the team painted the hallway and toddler room -- other played games of soccer and chase and others did crafts with the older kids and still others held and rocked babies. There was lots of holding and rocking and yes, I shed a few tears too. My heart hurts for these precious children that are so beautiful and so in need of and deserving of love. And my heart hurts because I know our little girl is so close but so far and I want to be holding her. I want her to know that we are coming for her, I want someone to love on her and hold her until we can get there !! It is a heartache that I can't explain --- I hurt for these children with no one to call mommy and daddy and I hurt for our little girl that doesn't know she has a mommy and daddy!! I hope someone with a child waiting at KVI knows that we loved on them until they can get there just as I pray someone is doing for our baby!!
Well, I got half-way through the first day and I haven't even explained the sheep slaughter on this day or touched on Day 2. We'll pick up at the sheep part tomorrow.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Out the door ...

We are walking out the door to catch our flight to Ethiopia. The emotions have never been higher and I just received an email that our paperwork is officially filed with the courts. We continue to pray for God's favor in a speedy court date!!
I will update from Ethiopia as much as possible.
Thank you friends and family for your prayers --- we are off to the country that will bring us our children!
Praising God for this opportunity and praying that HE is glorified in all we do and say.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9 Days and the emotional roller coaster starts!

We (Craig and I) leave for our first trip to Ethiopia, a mission trip, in 9 days. We are blessed to be part of Ethiopia Smile - a group of 66 dentists and non-dentists going to Ethiopia to be the hands and feet of Jesus (more about the trip www.teamalexander.blogspot.com). My heart can't even begin to grasp what we are going to experience - and I am so excited, anxious, grateful and yes, a little unsure.
I have spent a majority of tonight crying at the thought of saying 'bye' to my 4 precious children here in Texas - I can't even get a handle on the tears. I know this is an ordained trip - God has been at work from the beginning and I know that He is a good God. But I have a mama's heart that loves deep and is going to miss my little crew here at home SO MUCH!!!
In the back of my mind I also can't quit thinking about courts opening in ONE week (yes, I'm counting) and what that means for our court date. We will be turning around to travel again once we receive our court date for sweet A - will that be in a couple of weeks, 6 weeks, a couple of months?? Only God knows!!
This is a time of transition, stepping out in faith, and trusting the One and Only True God. I know He is teaching me that I am NOT in control -- the adoption process has been and continues be a refining experience like no other.
The easiest thing for me to do in the next couple of weeks would be to run, turn and avoid the emotion that awaits, but I know that Christ gives me the strength to face all of the emotions head-on, to go directly through the hard stuff - the fun stuff - the joyful stuff and the sad stuff - and know for certain I will be better on the other side.
So, if you think of us, we ask that you pray for the following:
- travel safety
- timely (quick) court date
- my emotional stability
- God's glory to shine at all times during this trip

We will do our best to post updates during the trip.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tapestry of Life

Life and routine has returned to a majority of families. Today was the first day of school for public schools. But here at the Porterhouse, we have 2 more weeks of summer. Our summer has been hot and chaotic and hot and crazy and, did I mention HOT? With the drama of moving, settling in to our lovely new home, and finalizing adoption plans, we haven't had a chance to just relax , refresh, and spend quality family time together. So the next 2 weeks are dedicated to that. We plan to see movies, do some puzzles, eat good food, indulge in ice cream, and take a mini-vacation to the lake house. Craig is going to take a few days off, we are going to unplug and just enjoy being together with NO boxes to unpack, NO landscaping projects to finish, NO schoolwork to organize but instead LOTS of sun, boating, wake boarding, surfing, swimming, fishing, laughter and fun!!

I am thanking God for His provision in so many little details - little things that may not mean much if I try to explain them, so I won't try - but, trust me when I say HE has made Himself known in our lives and HE has made it clear how much HE loves us. I am more aware now than ever before of God's sovereign hand in my life. I need to remind myself frequently that living in this specific house, homeschooling my 4 amazing kids, Luke's baseball team, art school, church, friends, sweet baby A, precious boy F, gymnastics, museum school, the amazing people at YWAM Ethiopia, our homeschooling community, our adoption community ... not one thing is a coincidence or 'luck' ---- it is all from HIM. Only HE can knit the threads of our crazy family together into such a beautiful, comfortable, amazing tapestry that we are blessed to call life.

Adoption update:
Ethiopian courts are closed for rainy season. The doors are locked and nothing will happen for 5-6 weeks. Once they open we are prayerful that we will receive a court date quickly (see prayer request below). After we receive our court date, Craig and I will travel and get to spend time with our baby girl, and attend court. When the judge determines our paperwork is in order and that he/she is comfortable with our family adopting baby girl A we will have officially passed court and baby girl A will legally be a Porter (and we can finally share her gorgeous pic). At that point we will reluctantly leave our little girl (for just a short time), return home and wait a few weeks to receive our embassy appt. Once we have an embassy appt we will ALL travel and bring our baby girl home -- 6 plane tickets there, 7 coming home!! I am giddy just thinking about it!!!

Prayer request:
Will you join us in praying very specifically that once courts open, we will receive a VERY early court date? It is our prayer that we will be able to take a family picture with Baby A for Christmas. I want so badly to buy her a sweet Christmas outfit that matches her sisters and walk into our church on Christmas Eve as a family. Thank you for surrounding our family in prayer!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's official!!

We have officially accepted a referral for a one year old little girl. She is GORGEOUS and I can hardly wait until we are allowed to share pictures of her.

Craig and I with his office manager who has notarized more documents for us than one person should ever have to!! A HUGE thank you!!

We are prayerful that we will be able to adopt a toddler boy in 6-12 months. Next step, court date this fall!!
Thank you Lord, YOU are Good!!

Now we're at Joe T's to celebrate (because that is where we always celebrate)!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stay tuned ....

Exciting things are on the horizon - I am hoping to have a wonderful update to share in a few days!!!

Jeremiah 29:11-12
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rough waters

Things have changed a little in our adoption story. I'm sad to say that we have run into some complications with our 3 year old boy. I am not sure how much information I am allowed to share publicly, so I will not share much except to say that it appears there will be a some what lengthy waiting period before he can be adopted. My heart is SO sad and I don't understand why, but it is not my place to ask why, it is my place to trust God's plan. We don't have all the answers but we do know that our God is sovereign and He loves this little boy waiting for a forever family. We are praying through our options of how to move forward and will keep everyone updated as we proceed.
Please pray for:
- complete clarity for our family: "Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. Is 30:21
- protection for both our 1 year old girl and 3 year old boy: "He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart" Is 40:11
- Christ to make a way for our adoption of 2 children: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4

During my quiet time this morning I read the following verses and it was as if the Lord were speaking directly into my soul:
"Listen to the Lord who created you... you are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west." Isaiah 43:4-5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


We are officially in our new home - it's been a challenging experience, but one FULL of blessings. The most difficult part is all of the things that were second nature at the other house: turning on the lights, throwing away trash, brushing teeth, getting a drink .... take effort and thought which makes them feel difficult (thank you Julie for helping me articulate my anxiety). If you take that and multiply it by 6 individuals struggling with the basics, a day can be exhausting. But, we have internet now, so I wanted to send a quick update that we are here. Pictures are coming soon - promise!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



We went here:

To get these signed:

Because we've been matched with:

We will be receiving official referral paperwork on an adorable 3 year old boy and beautiful 1 year old girl. Until we sign the referrals nothing is official, but we are already head over heels for these little ones!!! YWAM Ethiopia is still waiting for one document on the little boy and then the referral paperwork can be completed - praying that is SOON!!!

Today we drove to Austin (7 hours round trip) to visit the Secretary of State's office. It was the last step in finishing up our second dossier. Funny, because when I was putting our first dossier together, I am pretty sure I said "I will never do this again!" -- and whadda ya know? I just did!!! Funny how seeing two beautiful smiling faces can motivate!!

The time line from here is a bit complicated because of a new regulation requiring the orphanage to obtain the kids' birth certificates BEFORE a court date will be assigned and rainy season is approaching which will close courts for about 6 weeks. All of that said, we know that our God is in control and just as HE ordained these two children to be ours, HE knows what lies ahead and when we will get to hold them ---- we can hardly wait!!

Specific prayer requests:
- missing paperwork on little boy to be received quickly
- orphanage to obtain birth certificates quickly
- timely court date
- God's protective hand to be on both of them

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west .... everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:5,7

Friday, June 25, 2010


Craig made it home safely and he brought all the kids the most beautiful Chinese pajamas!! (Hint: look closely - notice anything?)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prayers please

We would covet everyone's prayers over the next few days as we have some decisions to make regarding the adoption. Craig is still in China so he is praying during the night while I am sleeping and I am praying during the day while he is sleeping. We can hardly wait for him to return so we can pray together!! Specifically, will you please pray with us for the following:

1) God's will to be revealed
2) complete clarity
3) undivided obedience

James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Our church kids camp starts tomorrow. While this is technically 'kids' camp - we are making it into family camp. Craig is corralling 12 third grade boys (bless him), Hannah is going for her 3rd year, Luke is going for his 2nd year, and this is Katy's first year. I am coordinating crafts for the camp and so Emily Jane is my little side-kick (but don't tell her that, she thinks she is old enough to be a 'real' camper). The theme this year is fantastic - it's called Seeds & Fences - they will be studying the life of Joseph and it is going to be truly wonderful. The boys' groups are vegetables and the girls' groups are fruits. So we have a brown (and pink) pineapple - Katy, an orange orange - Hannah, and blue corn - Luke & Craig. Which leads to the next picture - I bet not many of you are the proud owners of a cornhead and we have TWO! They are blue now - seeing Craig wear it makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants. I'll make sure to take pictures.
We have our hootenanny attire, our homemade glow-in-the-dark shirts, and our premier movie night glam wear (can't wait to post pics of Luke - his costume is GREAT!). We have shorts and shirts in orange, blue and brown (and pink). We finally found Crocs for everyone (does anyone wear these for anything other than camp?). We unpacked towels from moving boxes and will take sheets off the beds tomorrow (all the others are packed in boxes) and we have enough colored hairspray to live in the 80's. We will write on the car windows in the morning. It's official - I think we are ready!!!
We are truly looking forward to the next 4 days together. Craig's travel schedule for the rest of the month is insane -- more on that later -- we are really going to cherish the days we all have together just having fun: blobbing each other, having a whip cream fight, fishing, worshiping, and learning more about God's provision in our lives.
Oh how I want my kids to understand God's sovereignty in their lives -- He knew why it would be so important for us to all be together this week and weekend -- He knows and will provide as the next few weeks play out in all their craziness - more on that later, remember?- He knows where our children are in Ethiopia and He knows when we will meet them. It thrills me to think we will hopefully have more children by camp time next year.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Camp pictures to come - and more on our move. We are in for a FUN BLESSED FOUR DAYS at camp!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What can a box hold?

Our lives are in boxes and boxes and boxes ... and I've discovered that boxes can hold more than books, dishes, toys and linens, they also hold memories!! LOTS of memories. I am usually a thrower awayer -- I am more likely to toss something into a big plastic trash bag (the black kind so the kiddos can't examine the contents) than keep it. But packing the house has been different, I am finding it hard to get rid of things because I feel like I am throwing away the memory. So, we are moving many more boxes than I thought we would but that makes me happy because we are taking our memories with us to here ...
This is the new home!!! It fits our family so well, and God has been amazing in providing so many things that we asked for - very specific things. We will have a few weeks of transition - we'll have to be out of our house, but we won't be able to take possession of our new home yet, so we are calling it vacation. We will spend some time at the lake house and probably visiting family -- who knows maybe we'll rent an RV and travel around.

Adoption update:
We are still next on the list for a young sibling group. Just to recap what that means - we are approved for up to 4 kids between birth-4 years old. The reality in Ethiopia right now is that one of the governmental offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is closed for undetermined reasons and for an undetermined amount of time. As long as this particular office is closed, no referrals can be issued. As disappointing as this is, I KNOW without a doubt that God is in control and HIS timing is impeccable. I have been reminded that this is part of the process, trusting, faith building, not to mention preparing here at home for the tangible changes of having more kids. I have been challenged in the past few weeks to articulate our hearts for orphans and for Ethiopia. Lots of questions from friends and well as strangers has challenged me to be bold and courageous - to speak up for those that can't speak up for themselves - to explain the heart of our family. This has been increasingly more difficult recently because I have been reminded that this goes against a large population of society and the look from strangers when they hear our story reminds me that there are SO many that need to hear of Jesus' love - for them and for our world! I continue to praise God for calling our family to this journey, it is thrilling to hear my children talk about their siblings in Ethiopia, to see the excitement in their eyes when we talk about it, and to reach out to children that are different than them. God has placed His hand on their hearts and HE is changing them and I am SO grateful because it is far beyond anything I could teach them.
This delay in referral also gives us the chance to raise more money to cover the remaining adoption expenses. Please look at the pics of the new t-shirts we are selling from 147 million orphans. They are SO soft and cute. I also have plenty of Uganda bead necklaces in stock.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Exciting Changes and New Shirts

We've had a busy few weeks. Our house has been on the market (again) and we have been praying faithfully for God's perfect timing and wisdom. Fortunately, we accepted an offer on our home and are schedule to move the first few weeks of June. This has been a long time coming -- many have supported us (my neurotic cleaning and pacing) and prayed with us for this to happen. The story is funny, really. It was a week ago, on a Saturday morning, when we had a busy day planned. We had a birthday party to go to, Luke had his last soccer game of the season, we were trying to get everyone ready to be gone for most of the day... Now, Saturday mornings with 4 kids, are crazy enough, but add all of the stuff we had to get together and the fact that the house had to be left spotless - "just in case" - it was nutty! I'm in the bathroom of all places and the doorbell rings. I just knew in my gut that it was an unexpected showing. So, my sweet husband invited them in, explained the situation and we all went about our own business. Us getting laundry put away, kids dressed and loaded and them looking through the house and whispering so we couldn't hear their converstaion. God's sense of humor is great, because that is the couple that is buying our home. Funny huh? I still say it was Craig that sold the house - he has a way with people and he told them all about our home, from his heart. Now, we ask that you continue to pray for God's guidance as we decide what home to purchase. We have a beautiful home that is a possibility, but again, we are just praying for God to show us where to go. It will be wonderful to be moved and settled in a new home before summer and before traveling to Ethiopia. There will be many things I will miss about our sweet home - and the memories here are irreplaceable. After all, this is the home that 3 of my 4 babies were brought home to, the backyard where they all learned to ride their bikes, the itty bitty kitchen where we made some great Thanksgiving meals and the living room where we loved on each other daily - but.... it is time to move forward knowing there are many more sweet memories to make in a new (bigger) home with more children.

In other exciting news .... we are NEXT on the list for a young sibling group. I guess we could get a referral today or in 6 months .... I am sensing a theme of God's timing in my life! Until HIS time to show us our kids, I dream about their faces and think about what it will be like to hold them and hear all the kids playing together.

Also, wanted to let everyone know about CUTE CUTE CUTE new shirts. Thanks to 147 million orphans we have new spring shirts to offer. I have changed the pics on my blog to show these cute new colors and styles. Don't forget - I still have Uganda beads!! They are so pretty and you'll love how they go with anything.

Maybe my next post will have a picture of our new home ... wouldn't that be fun? Or maybe even news of a referral .... only God knows!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Through a series of unfortunate events (mail being stolen in our neighborhood) I have had the privilege of email correspondence with the local hom*ela*nd security office handling our I-600a application (fingerprints). They have been helpful, courteous and timely!!! So timely in fact, that I just got an email that informed us that our fingerprint application has been APPROVED!!! Our formal document (I-171H) is on its way in the mail -- our case has been processed and we can officially wait for our referral. I have chills and tears and am filled with joy!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blessed for the Ride

"Please fasten your seat belt, keep your arms and hands in the car at all times, and hold on tight. Welcome to the international adoption roller coaster - you are in for the ride of your life!"
Anyone that is involved in Ethiopian adoption has heard the news posted today at the Court in Addis Ababa. Adoptive parents must appear at their child/children's court hearing. What this means for us adoptive families is that we are now required to travel twice. Once for the court hearing and then again weeks/months later to bring our children home. And so goes the ups and downs of international adoption. I was quite sad when I first heard the news, but through several conversations with God, a godly husband and a sweet godly friend, I am seeing the upside of this announcement.
First - I feel excited, honored and humbled to even be on this roller coaster ride. I am so glad to be a part of the Ethiopian adoption experience. What if Craig and I had said 'no' to God or what if we hadn't listened to the calling HE placed on our hearts? We wouldn't be experiencing this exhilarating ride at all. Oh what we would have missed out on already!!
Second - we serve a BIG God - a HUGE God - a God so gigantic HE created everything out of nothing and yet HE cares about the details of my life. God was not surprised by this ruling today and HE holds our children in HIS hands until we come get them, whenever that might be.
Third - I refuse to let Satan discourage or disillusion me. The enemy is a joy killer and I say "through the power of Jesus Christ - get behind me" I will continue to have joy and be encouraged!!
Last but NOT least - I am grateful for the opportunity to have my faith tested, strengthened, and deepened in a way that it would not otherwise be. We can only grown spiritually when given trials and problems that require faith and dependence on God's power. "Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
Genesis 50:20
"You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives!"
In other news .....
I still rush out to the mailbox as soon as I hear the postal truck because I am waiting waiting waiting for our I-171 fingerprint approval. Any day now, I am just sure of it!!

To keep my occupied in the mean time, we are putting our house on the market this weekend. It seems so simply to type and say those words - not simple to actually make it happen. A little more paint, one more wallpaper border, new carpet and it will officially be in MLS and have a sign in the yard. We are SO grateful to have found a house that is perfect for our family and so we pray our current house sells quickly!! The housing roller coaster has been another ride that we have ridden several times. I am pretty sure it was the kiddie ride getting me ready for the crazy ride I am on now.

Prayer requests:
- quick, quick, quick sell of our house
- arrival of our I-171 soon
- receive word on our children soon
- God's loving hand on our children until we come for them
- peace in our home during this potentially chaotic time

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finished Fingerprint Friday

The Lord showered us with favor on Friday. Not only were we able to get our fingerprints successfully done, but it was very fast and friendly. Once we get our official I-171 - fingerprint clearance/approval - we are officially on the waiting list! We are SO excited and fully trust God for His timing in when we will get our referral.
"So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:39
Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, and scriptures that have uplifted my impatient heart. And, thank you sweet friends for not only taking care of our kids during these times but also loving on them!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Failed Fingerprint Friday

No fingerprints on Friday (insert my VERY sad face) but it wasn't because we weren't there! This was the biggest snowstorm in over 30 years for North Texas, and what are the chances it would happen the night before our longed for fingerprint appointment?

My sweet Craig got up early and spent an hour digging our cars out of the driveway, trimming and tying back tree limbs so we could open our gate and getting his car unstuck so we could go to our fingerprint appointment. The sweet part, really, is that he knew there was no way this gov't office was going to be open - but he really did it all because he loves me. Not only did he drive us there, but he sat outside the closed doors and darkened office of the USCIS Support Center while I repeated over and over, "I bet they're just running late. I bet they'll be here by 10. A lot of government offices are opening at 10. Maybe they're going to open." It was so pathetic in fact, that I mistook a lady in some kinda gettup with leg warmers and knit hat, for a USCIS worker because her jacket had patches on it. Turned out, when she got closer, they were Harley Davidson and NASCAR patches. He called the USCIS 800# at least 5 times trying to get more information and one time even ask if the supervisor for this particular Support Center had a cell # that we could call. Craig was pretty sure I had lost it at this point. So, if you look up desperate in the dictionary it says: "Jamey Porter on Friday, February 12, 2010 trying to get her fingerprints taken" Then my wise and obviously much more spiritually grounded husband said, "This is God's timing because He knows one of our children hasn't been born yet."
The good news is that there was a sign on the door (posted from the night before when they closed early) that we could come back anytime M-F between 8-2 and our appt would be expedited. They were closed today - Craig is not able to go Tues - Thurs, so we are going to give it another shot Fri morning. I plan to have my happy little self sitting outside that office at 7:45 am!!

I can't wait to share what the Lord CLEARLY spoke to me Sat morning during my personal quiet time with Him. Your hint is: Numbers 13-15

Also - if you placed an order with me, your order is shipping tomorrow. If you live in Arlington I am ready to deliver!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fingerprint appt tomorrow ... maybe

I'm laying in bed posting from my iPhone because I'm too cold to get up and go to my computer. As we lay here, we just heard another tree limb break. That's because Texas trees are not meant to stand up under 10 inches of snow (and the snow's still falling). This is the biggest snowstorm in Texas history. It's really all fun and exciting, except that we have our fingerprint appt in the morning. Ugh! We can't seem to find definitive info as to whether the USCIS office will be open or not, so we are just praying that God will part the icy, snow covered streets and allow this to happen. Bottom line, however, is that I know that my Lord has plans for me (and our family) and they are plans to prosperous us, not to harm us; to give us a hope and a future with our children from Ethiopia. But I trust in YOU O Lord, I say 'You are my God !'" (Psalm 31:14)
We have precious friends (thank you Team Alexander) willing to take 4 extra kids in the morning while we venture out for this appointment- we promise to bring plenty of Shipleys donuts. I do not worry about getting there because I am married to 'adventure man'. As long as the USCIS office is open, Craig will make sure we get there!!
Please pray for God's favor in the morning!!

On a different note - 147million orphans has a new red Feed 1 shirt for me to sell. Pic is in right margin - check it out... Super cute!!

There goes another limb breaking! Yikes!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The journey ...

I have had numerous random thoughts floating around in my head lately. I want to get them down so I can remember all that my Father is teaching me (and our family).

One of the things I love the most about our adoption journey so far - are the tears. I love that Craig and I both can cry about almost anything. All it takes is the starfish story (if you don't know what I am referring to, please leave me a comment and I will post it), a verse, a testimony, a prayer, a song, talking about ALL our children, praying for ALL our children, for goodness sake - we cried during the kids movie "The Spy Next Door". I love that God is breaking our hearts for the things that break His. I love that the tears flow easily, generously and freely and that Craig is not embarrassed by it but excited about it. It makes me smile to imagine the tears of joy that will flow the day we see the faces of our children when we get our referral and especially when we FINALLY hold our children.

We can't explain it, but God has beckoned our hearts to Ethiopia, we can't explain it but we feel called to siblings, and we can't explain it but we believe they are under 4 years old. The truth is siblings under 4 are not very common - this requires FAITH on my part. Faith that God is in control - faith that HE has called us to this very place in the journey - faith that HE has called us to this journey in the first place. Honestly? my first reaction was to arrange the pieces and 'fix' it. We could adopt a single baby and not wait, we could adopt non-related children and just do the extra paperwork (for sure sign of crazy thinking), we could ... we could .... then God gently reminded me that I may make the plans, but HE guides my steps and we must commit our plans to Him in order for those plans to succeed (paraphrased from Proverbs). I believe in the very depths of my heart that God has always known are children (our 4 here, our 1 in heaven and our children in Ethiopia), and HE is preparing our children, to join their forever family. I know that God is placing His hand on our children and will bring them to us and us to them when the time is perfect. "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." John 14:18. Sometimes I ask God what our children look like, I ask Him what their personalities are like, I ask Him to just give me a little hint WHEN I will get to see their sweet faces, I ask my Father all kinds of things about our kids .... and I can't wait for HIS answers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What are you going to do about it?

Many of you are familiar with this wonderful book, "The Hole in Our Gospel". I read it numerous months ago, but my mind keeps going back to many of the things I read in it. They have been swimming around in my head, I have been praying about them to God and I have been journalling about what God wants from me. Here is the question that really grabbed me. "What are you going to do about it?"

From Hole in Our Gospel:
"The question for us is whether we are willing to make that commitment - to live and act differently, and to repair the hole in our own gospel ... one who is determined to be the gospel to the world around him, it involves an intentional decision. It doesn't just happen. We won't really become change agents for Christ just by going to church every Sunday. We will have to make some "on purpose" life choices and then change our priorities and behavior. Only then can God transform us and use us to change the world. In the end God works in our world one person at a time...just one person at a time. You have the opportunity to be that person to someone who needs what YOU have to offer."
"What are YOU going to do about it?"
"What is God asking of you?"
"Are you willing?"

"But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." James 2:18
Over the past year we have been asked numerous times - Why adoption? Why Ethiopia? Why siblings? I personally have struggled to articulate the calling God has given our family. I love these words from Pastor John Thomas of Fish Hoeck Baptist Church in South Africa. When asked about the AIDS ministry of this church, Pastor Thomas said:
"This was not something we chose. It is something God put in our path. Wherever He leads, we will follow."
I pray this is true of the Porter Family ... wherever You lead, LORD, we will follow!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More choices !!!

I have added a few new fundraising items that you will LOVE! Check out the frayed baseball hat and the cow bone earrings. I know it sounds weird 'cow bone' - but they are beautiful!! An awesome addition to your Uganda bead necklace!! Something for him and something for her.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ordering t-shirts this week!

I'm placing another t-shirt order from 147 million orphans this week. If you want one, order now!! Several men & women styles to choose from - Youth and Toddler shirts available now too!!! Don't forget Uganda magazine bead necklace are still for sale.
Thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Belated Birthday Present

Okay, so it is a few days late to count as a birthday present, but ... WE GOT OUR FINGERPRINT APPOINTMENT in the mail today. I am SO excited. I can't imagine what I'll be like when we finally get our referral and see our cute kids.
Thank you LORD for being a completely sovereign and good God!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birthday Present

I am hoping for a birthday present in the mail tomorrow .... our fingerprint appointment from USCIS. Is that asking too much?? As of tomorrow, we will have been waiting 3 weeks. Now, I understand the national average right now is 2.5 months and we were told to expect 7-9 weeks, but a girl can still hope, can't she??

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I am SO excited .... through our partnership with 147 million orphans I can now offer Uganda Magazine Necklaces. I can not guarantee how long they will be available, but I can guarantee you will NOT want to miss out!!

These incredible necklaces are made by the beautiful women of the Karamojong tribe. Each is hand crafted from re-cycled magazines. Your purchase of a necklace serves two needs - it helps these women maintain a sustainable income for their families and it helps us bring our children home from Ethiopia. What a wonderful story to share each time you wear them! If you have not had the opportunity to see these necklaces before, trust me - you will not be disappointed with their unique beauty.

I am hoping to place an order at the end of the week, so hurry click the button on the right to order!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Next Step ...


Bad News: Our mail was stolen during the Christmas holiday.
Good News: Our Homeland security Notice of Action was not in the mailbox that day. The next day we received our official notice that our I600A document has been received and is being processed.

What does that mean? It means we will soon receive an appointment day and time to get our fingerprints done and then (drum roll please)... we can send our dossier to Ethiopia and the wait will officially begin. I've never been so excited to hurry up and wait.

I have to share my favorite Christmas gift of 2009! Here is a picture of it:
Money from my niece's piggy bank to help bring her new cousins home from Ethiopia. In her words "I've always wanted dark skin" and she is SSSOOO excited to have cousins with dark skin - I guess it is the next best thing.

Some fun pictures from our Christmas holiday!!

Christmas Eve at Home

White Christmas Eve at Pantego Bible Church

Christmas Eve at Pantego Bible Church