Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Journey to Ethiopia

Words can't express the emotions that we were going through leaving home on Thursday!  The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leave Eli at home but also we were so excited and ready to meet Jeremiah for the first time.  Through prayers from family and friends and clinging to some of my favorite verses, God was my rock and I handled leaving a lot better than I thought I would. 

God continues to teach me that he is in control and works out every detail! We found out that our travel agent was on our flight to Ethiopia.  When we got to Ethiopia our phones would not work, and we had to wait in line for about an 1 1/2 to get our visas.  Nerves started to creep up wondering how we were going to get in touch with our host to let him know that we were there at the airport and not to leave us!  Once we got through the visa line our travel agent was waiting for us. She had already let our guide know that we were there and even looked for our baggage for us! Of  course all 4 pieces that we checked were missing.  Our agent, who has been to Ethiopia before, even took us where we needed to go to tell the airlines about our luggage. GOD IS SO GOOD! God was working things out through our travel agent and gave us peace. 

We arrived at the transition home late Friday night.  The transition home has a computer connected to the internet that we can use so we were able to email family to let them know we were here.  But we haven't been able to upload pictures so we will do that once we get home. 

We saw Jeremiah for the first time Saturday morning!  He is so precious with big sweet eyes. He is so tiny! I am so used to Eli always being a big baby that holding Jeremiah feels like I am holding a newborn!  We got to feed him a bottle and he fell asleep on me for a little bit. I loved every minute of it.  He is perfect.  God planned in advance for him to be apart of our family.  We got to keep him for a couple of hours before they took him back to feed him again.  That afternoon we went to a couple of museums to learn about Ethiopia's history and we ate a very nice pizza place.  Later that night we ate at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant where we got to eat some local food and watch a band and dancing.  They pulled Justin and I up to dance with them.  I lasted about 5 seconds and of course Justin put on a show and had the whole place laughing and taking pictures.  I took a video of it and will show it to everyone when we get home. 

Today, Sunday, we finally got our luggage and got to hang around the transition home all day to play with Jeremiah and the older kids in the court yard.  They are so precious and all are so sweet!  Tomorrow we go to court so continue to keep us in your prayers that everything goes smoothly!  Thank you for all the love and support you have shown already! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fundraising Tshirts

Check out these two tshirts we now have available to help fund our adoption and bring Jeremiah home. Each shirt is made by Tultex and is unisex. They are 90% ringspun cotton and 10% polyester. They  are nice and soft.

We have the shirts available for $20 in sizes XS-3XL for adults. I am working right now to see about youth sizes.

All the proceed will go toward our adoption fundraising account.

There are a couple of ways to order. First you can send us a message on Facbook with the size, which shirt you would like (Ethiopia or I Love Orphans) and your address and we will take care of it. Second you can email us at justinandjessicabarnes@gmail.com and give us the same information.  Last but not least if you see us let us know you want one and we will get you fixed up. After we have confirmed your order with you you can mail us a check or cash to 623 Avalon Drive Hartselle, AL 35640.

Ethiopia Tshirt-Front
$20
Ethipia Tshirt-Back

I Love Orphans-Front
$20
I Love Orphans-Back

Friday, June 22, 2012

Still Waiting....


It has been a couple of months since we have updated everyone on how the adoption process is going. First of all thank you for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for patience, wisdom, and guidance for us as we wait for Jeremiah. In an earlier blog post we talked about going ahead and giving our adopted son the name Jeremiah. We did this so that we could pray for him by name and not just pray for "our son in Ethiopia"

I wanted to share with everyone how the adoption process is going so far. As most of you know our dossier (paperwork) has been in Ethiopia for a couple months now. Basically once that paperwork is in Ethiopia we are placed on a wait list with our adoption agengy. In April we started at #42 on the wait list. That means that there were 41 other families on the wait list in front of us just with our agency. Not all families are adopting an infant, male like we are. Some may be adopting a 12 year old, female or a 8 year old, male..etc.  Nevertheless we are all placed on the same wait list.

In May we moved from #42 on the wait list to #38. This month we moved from #38 to #37.

Initially we thought we would get a referral somewhere between 6 to 9 month after our dossier reached Ethiopia. We have since been told it may be closer to 9 to 12 months. At this time we really do not know how long it will be until we get our referral. We realize this may seem slow to some ( and sometimes it does to us too) but we know God's perfect timing in all things. He is sovereign over all things. He knows exactly who our son will be and the date we will get him so we rest on that.

After we get our referral we will have to wait about 3 months before we travel to Ethiopia to meet Jeremiah for the first time. During that first visit we will have to go to court and take care of a lot of legal issues during that week. After that week is up we will have to come back to the US (without Jeremiah) and wait another 2-3 months before we can go pick him back up. We are not really looking forward to having to leave him for 2-3 months but we know it is something that has to be done.

The family is doing great right now. Eli is getting big. He turns 14 months old in a couple of days. He smiles all the time and lights up our world. It is clear that God has a sense of humor, and knew that we were going to be adopting, as Eli being our biological son looks nothing like us ( see picture below).  We joke that our son from Ethiopia will look more like us than Eli. Jeremiah will at least have same hair color as us.



Lastly we wanted to thank everyone that has come along side us and helped raise funds for our adoption by purchasing merchandise though 147 Million Orphans. We really appreciate each and every person that has helped. We love seeing people in their 147 shirts. You are not only helping us but advocating for orphans all over the world.

Below are a couple of different fundraising shirts that I wanted to get peoples opinions on before we get them printed. Let me know which one of the shirts below that you like the best. You can let me know by leaving a comment on Facebook. Once again our aim here is not to make a ton of money on these shirts but to advocate for all orphans and raise awareness of the great need for all Christians to answer the call to help the fatherless.


Ethiopia Shirt-Front

Ethiopia Shirt-Back

I Love Orphans Shirt-Front
I Love Orphans Shirt-Back










Saturday, April 14, 2012

Waiting....Waiting

Hello Everyone

We are playing the waiting game. Our dossier is now in Ethiopia and we are #42 on the list for a child with our agency. Not really sure what that number means because not everyone on the list is adopting the same age or gender. Our agency has told us we should get a referral in 6-9 months. With the referral we will get a picture of Jeremiah, his age, etc... Once we receive the referral we will travel to Ethiopia three months later for our initial court dates.

We are putting together an exciting fundraiser with the help of some friends that we will be letting everybody know about soon. You can also check out 147 Million Orphans site for some cool new items.

In the meantime please keep us in your prayers. Eli is excited to meet his brother.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Adoption Update

It has been a while since we have updated our blog. We have been busy finishing up all the paperwork for the home study and can now say that we are finished with it (yeaaaaa). We are now finishing up all the paperwork for the dossier. This is the paperwork that has to be sent to Ethiopia along with the home study. Thanks to everyone who has had to do a reference for us and we want to especially thank everyone that has ordered from 147 Million Orphans to support our adoption fundraising. We have raised over $400 by selling 147 merchandise.

We can not wait to bring Jeremiah home. Yes we have a name picked out for our little guy. We have not seen him yet and don't even know if he has been born yet but we know the Lord already has him picked out for us. We are not sure how long the process will take. We are hoping to have him by early 2013 but it could be earlier or later.

Please keep us in your prayers.

147 Million Orphans is adding new shirts and merchandise so check them out below.







Monday, November 14, 2011

Click. Shop. Help Us Adopt!

Hey Everybody

Please click on the link below and check out the 147 Million Orphans gear to help us with our adoption!

Purchase 147 Million Orphan products here and 147 Million Orphans will send our adoption agency 30% commission of all sales that flow through this link. You must use this link above for us to receive credit. 


Thank everyone so much for their help.

 God bless,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Children of God-Third Day

Just ran across this video by Third Day that exemplifies the doctrine of adoption better than I would ever be able to. Check it out. It is powerful.


We are the saints
We are the children
We've been redeemed
We've been forgiven
We are the sons and daughter of our God