Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ummm, What???

This adoption journey began over a year ago. We had decided that we would adopt another little girl because that made the most sense. We named her Everleigh Kate. I bought a few clothes and some really cute blankets. We had TONS of hand-me-downs. TONS. We were excited...

And then today Andy and I went on a date. We were kid-less, foot loose, and fancy free so I decided to ask him a crazy question: What do you think about adopting a boy instead? You see, this had been weighing on my mind for several months now. I believe God put it on my mind. Without any hesitation Andy said yes. Apparently God had put it on both of our minds, but we hadn't shared it with each other. Yay for communication!

When we pulled into the restaurant I immediately emailed our adoption agency and told them we would gladly accept the referral of a boy or a girl. I received an immediate response back stating that our decision "will help for sure".  There is a longer wait for a girl than a boy, but that is not the reason for our change of heart. We really just asked for a girl because we thought Grace needed a sister and we already have four boys. Today we realized it isn't about "what makes sense", it's about what God wants.

So from this day forward we are on the list for a boy or a girl and we can't wait to see their face and bring him/her home. It's like being pregnant and waiting for the ultrasound! We are excited about the next little Knoll (boy or girl)!!!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Well I haven't blogged in months and quite frankly it's because I'm way too freaking busy. Those of you who have had or currently have a toddler know that they are crazy little crack heads. My soon-to-be two year old is running around tearing off her clothes and diaper while scribbling on the wall and smashing her food into the carpet. I just haven't had the time or the energy to blog more than once every few, okay, every four months. So here is the huge adoption update y'all have been waiting for...I've changed the title of my blog!

Ever since we began this journey to adopt again from Ethiopia my husband, Andy, has made the joke (way too many times) that once we bring our next daughter home we won't be able to go to a restaurant without paying automatic gratuity. It's true, two adults plus six kids equals automatic gratuity. On the plus side, we will never have to calculate gratuity again! Oh the beauty of it all!

Okay, so here is the real update. We have been officially waiting almost two months for a referral (to be matched). We expect that we will have another 6-9 months to wait, but we are finally seeing a lot of people getting their court date, receiving their paperwork, and receiving referrals! That means things are beginning to pick up and we are moving closer to a referral. International adoption is a crazy roller coaster even when things are running smoothly.

I'm okay with the wait. God knows which little girl will be our daughter and that's worth waiting for. I think Grace needs a little more time to be the baby of the family. As I'm writing this she is tearing her clothes off. I taped the diaper on so hopefully that will hold. Anyway, she needs a little more attention and I have a million things to get done before Everleigh arrives. I am probably one of the only moms waiting for a referral and okay with it. Don't get me wrong, every time I hear of someone getting a referral or bringing home their baby it makes my heart ache to get Everleigh. Her crib is already up and I've begun getting her a few things too.

Speaking of Everleigh, I've had a few people ask how it's pronounced. It's Ever-lee. We are thinking her name will be Everleigh Kate and then we will add her Ethiopian name as a middle name if her bio parents named her. We did not keep Grace's name because it was "Fayo" which when pronounced here it resembles the word for "ugly boy" in Spanish. We live in Texas so we didn't want her to be ridiculed. She was not named by a relative so there was no special meaning to the name she was given anyway. Names are a touchy subject with adopted kiddos where some people think it's critical that their child has a connection to their heritage (I can see this especially with older kids). We want to be sensitive to the situation and will determine her final name once we know her background. Just a side note, I wanted to name her Violet and Andy nixed it. Boo!

So next time you hear from me it may be when we get matched or when I think of something random to talk about. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fantastic News!

We have been so blessed the last couple of months with our Both Hands project and today I want to reveal the total raised so far. Here it is...

Andy and I are overwhelmed with thankfulness! We are thankful to God who decided to bring us on this journey and who is providing a way for us to bring Everleigh home!!! We are thankful for every person who sponsored our volunteers to work on a widow's home and we are thankful for every person who gave up their lives for a Saturday to bring our girl home. Andy and I are so humbled by HIS love and the love of those who sacrificed their time for a widow and orphan.
Many people have asked us about what the next steps are and I want to be totally honest about what's ahead and how the money raised is being used. Right now we are waiting for our approval letter from immigration and an agreement between our home study agency and adoption agency to arrive in the mail. They both should arrive this week (hopefully today or tomorrow) and then I will take all of our dossier paperwork to be authenticated by the our state. Our state has to acknowledge that every notary who signed our dossier paperwork does indeed exist. Once that is done, I will send our dossier to our agency who will also authenticate it. $8,725 will be sent to our agency from Both Hands to cover the cost of our dossier submission to Ethiopia. I hope to have our paperwork to our agency by Monday, December 15th.
Once our dossier is in the Ethiopian government we begin waiting for our referral. I contacted our agency about how long the referral wait will be and they explained that even though they receive referrals from all over Ethiopia, two of the largest regions are restructuring their adoption process. They went on to say that a normal referral time is 5-7 months, but with the restructuring it could be longer. We know that this is all in God's hands and we will receive our referral when the timing is right. However, you will probably still hear me gripe about the wait :) Grace's referral was only 7 weeks which was crazy fast, but I do not anticipate such a quick referral with Everleigh.
When we receive our referral we will owe approximately $4,000 in order to accept our referral (paid for by the Both Hands project). The rest of the Both Hands money will go toward the cost of transition home fees, medical costs for Everleigh, other miscellaneous cost, and travel expenses for the first trip. Our Both Hands account will remain open for the duration of our adoption for anyone who feels called to send in a tax deductible gift to go toward the remaining expenses (about $5,000-$7,000) can do so.
I'm posting the link to our Both Hands Website so you can see the awesome work our volunteers completed.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Both Hands Project

Well, a lot has happened since a last blogged (about a million years ago). We were accepted by Both Hands to work on a project to raise funds for our adoption! YAY! We have been so busy since then recruiting team members, finding a widow, and planning the project. Life has been such a whirlwind and a blessing these last 5 weeks.

Andy and I have the sweetest most accommodating widow named, Ms. Wanda, whose home we will be working on November 16th. She is allowing us to come in and work on her home because she "wants to help bring this baby home." A lot of our workers for the day are excited to have the opportunity to help Ms. Wanda because she has impacted their lives. She is a truly remarkable woman!

Since we began this project, God has assembled the most awesome team of workers and we are simply amazed by the response! I just had someone else join our team today with a little over a week until our project! We even have a friend flying in from Ohio to help! These volunteers are asking for sponsorship to work on Ms. Wanda's home and all the money goes toward our adoption. How cool is that?! They are working on a widow's home to bring an orphan into a forever family!

We are forever grateful to God for this opportunity and for the sacrifice these workers are giving to help a widow and an orphan. We are excited to see the impact they are going to make. They have already impacted our lives with the love they have unselfishly poured out onto us.

All of the money raised for this project is tax deductible and 100% goes toward our adoption. We are using this money toward the dossier paperwork fee of $8,250. This will also put us on the waiting list for our daughter! Any money left over will be used for the remaining portion owed for the adoption process and our travel expenses to fly to Ethiopia twice.

If you would like to sponsor our project or would like to learn more about Both Hands Foundation please go to our website

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Praise the Lord! Our Contract is Submitted!!!

When we began the process of adopting we knew we had A LOT of money to raise. $32,000+ is daunting when you think of it in one lump sum. Andy and I decided we just needed to tackle it a little at a time as the Lord guided us.

We began brainstorming ideas and praying about how to fund raise. Andy came up with the iPad mini raffle and because it was so successful with our last adoption we decided we should try it again. Andy wanted to set the goal of $1,000. I thought maybe we should be a little more ambitious and said $2,000. Neither of us really thought we'd reach that goal (not that we doubted God). Little did we know, God provided people in our lives who not only gave, but gave so sacrificially that we exceeded the goal!

We had Johnathan draw the winner on his birthday. We told the winner that they had won. They asked us to keep the money! Seriously? Yep. They knew the struggle of fundraising for an adoption. God placed them in our lives for such a time as this.

With the donations from the raffle and from other donations, we were able to submit our contract yesterday! This was no small chunck of change! THANK YOU to everyone who made it possible!!! We will also be able to submit our USCIS paperwork once we receive our home study!!!! We had a goal of submitting our contract on October 1st so we are ahead of schedule! God is so good!

Speaking of our home study, we just received word that our social worker received FBI clearance for Andy so they will be printing up our home study this week. Things are finally falling into place!

We now have to raise $6,250 for our dossier. Once that is submitted, we will be put on the waiting list for a referral. Our goal is to have the money raised by the end of the year.

In order to raise additional funds, we will be having a garage sale on September 21st. We have received so many wonderful donations and we will continue to accept items until the day of the sale. So if you are local and have things you would like to get rid of please let us know and we will come and pick it up!

We have also begun filling out the application for a Both Hands project. This is a really cool opportunity to help a widow in our community while raising funds for our adoption. You can see what it is all about here

So how can you help?

-PRAY! Please pray that our USCIS application and review goes smoothly, that our garage sale is a success, and that we are accepted for a Both Hands project.

-If you are local and have things to donate to the garage sale let us know!

THANK YOU again if you entered the raffle, donated items to the garage sale, gave a donation, or have prayed for us! We appreciate you!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This week has been a bountiful week. I am so grateful for everything and everyone God has blessed us with.

Our washing machine broke (and it is still broken), but our sweet neighbors have stepped up and are letting us use theirs until ours is repaired. This saves me time and money because I don't have to go to the Laundromat in town. You can imagine the grief of not having a washing machine with five kids and about a billion loads to do everyday, but God has provided me with great neighbors and is changing my heart from grief to gratefulness. It has only taken me 35 years to accomplish this and I'm still learning :)

We found out that Caleb's car has a break line problem and it has to be completely replaced and his exhaust needs to be welded. Fortunately, my parents gave Sam a car this summer and since he can't drive yet Caleb will use it. We are selling Caleb's car and putting the money toward our adoption contract. Once our adoption is completed we will give him the money toward a new car. God is providing!

People continue to donate toward the raffle.  We are receiving a donation that once combined with the sale of Caleb's car will cover the cost of our agency contract! It is amazing what God is doing!!!

I am in awe of the sacrifices people are making on our daughter's behalf. You are making a difference and we are grateful! There will be one less orphan very soon!

People have asked us how they can help so here we go:

          -Pray! We need to raise about $10,000 to be put on the waiting list. Please pray that God gives us guidance on how to fund raise and doors will be open for grants and a Both Hands project. Please also pray that we can be good stewards of our money and budget wisely. Please also pray for Everleigh and her family. We don't know the trauma they have been through.

          -Local friends: We will be having a garage sale in late September or early October. If you have items you can donate we will be happy to pick them up!

          -Enter the iPad mini raffle at

          -Post our raffle or blog on your Facebook and other media outlets

Update on the process:

We are continuing to wait on Andy's FBI fingerprints, but once they arrive our home study will be complete!!! Yay!!!

We will sending in our application to USCIS (immigration)  and our application to Both Hands once we receive our copies of our home study.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


Adoption is one of the hardest most rewarding journey's Andy and I have ever experienced. As the days pass there are so many questions that race through my mind. When will we have enough money to turn in our paperwork? How old will our daughter be when we get her referral? Has she been born yet? Will she have any special needs? What kind of trauma has she and her family been through that results in her being placed for adoption?

You see, in international adoption there is always something traumatic that occurs to the child and their family. Whether it's the death of one or both parents, extreme poverty, abandonment, or rape there is always a reason these kiddos are put up for adoption and it's sad.

The beautiful thing about God is that he has a plan for these precious kids and he's watching over them. I'm often reminded of Psalm 121 when I begin to dwell on the questions that plague my mind about the little girl we are going to adopt. One of my friends, Kristin Haden, shared this with me when we were adopting Grace. She inserted Grace's name into the Psalm and I just have to share it with you.

Psalm 121
Grace lifts up her eyes to the hills-
Where does her help come from?
Her help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let Grace's foot slip-
He who watches over her will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over Grace- the Lord is her shade at her right hand;
The sun will not harm her by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep Grace from all harm- he will watch over her life;
The Lord will watch over her coming and going both now and forevermore.
Now it's time for me to insert Everleigh's name into this Psalm. It's so difficult not knowing what's happening with our baby girl half way around the world, but God knows and he's watching and taking care of her. I just need the patience to wait on his timing and remind  myself that she's in His hands. Jeremiah 29:11 also helps me with this.
Jeremiah 29:11 (with Everleigh's name)
"For I know the plans I have for Everleigh", declares the Lord, 
"plans to prosper her and not to harm her,
 plans to give her hope and a future."
God is so good! He sends me encouragement in his Word and through the people I come in contact with every day. I am thankful for all of you who read this blog and give me encouragement. Thank you!
Update on our process:
We were able to pay for our home study update with donations from some generous donors. Now we are just waiting for Andy's FBI clearance to come in. We are not sure why its delayed, but hopefully our social worker can get it this week. Once that is done, our home study will be complete and we can apply for grants and for a Both Hands project.