JOHN 14:18

Monday, January 9, 2012

Moving Forward...Saying Goodbye....

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year to you all! We hope this letter finds you well!
We wanted to send you a letter since there have been some significant changes with our adoption.

First of all we can't thank you enough for your support and prayers in our efforts to adopt from Ethiopia. We have felt so loved, encouraged, and blessed by all of you! Unfortunately, since March of last year the process has not been going well. At that time Ethiopia virtually shut down their adoption program due to corruption and has reduced the number of inter-country adoptions by 90%.
When we first heard the news about 9 months ago we were hoping and praying that the program would open back up. It has not. The process is moving, but very slow. When we decided to begin the adoption process over a year ago, we were told that we would have our child home by the end of 2011. However, due to the recent changes in Ethiopia the wait is now approximately 3-4 years. We have dear friends that have chosen to wait, with the hope that the process will speed up. In our case we have been praying fervently asking God for direction, wisdom, and peace about which direction to take. After much prayer we have decided to end our adoption journey. We feel like this is the right decision for our family at this time in our lives but will always be open to whatever God may have in the future for us in regards to growing our family.
Over this last year we have fallen in love with Ethiopia, made amazing new friends along the way, and have seen first hand how loved we are by friends like you. Most of all God has opened our eyes and hearts to the plight of orphans all over the world and we will continue to help them and fight for them. In honor of Nahla we have begun to sponsor a little girl from Ethiopia and look forward to sponsoring more orphans and children living in extreme poverty. We will not forget them!

What God is doing now and what we have to look forward to in 2012 is already remarkable:

  We've sponsored more children in Ethiopia.
  All the finances that were donated by you went to America World Adoption which is an amazing non profit organization that helps to find children homes from all over the world and also brings teams to visit, and bring love to orphans (Visitingorphans.org)
  Ministry doors have flung wide open for us in the area of purity, accountability, speaking and ministering to other couples
  (I.E. we are starting 6 more men’s accountability groups in 2012)
  Nikki and I have the honor of leading worship at our church
  Josiah continues to be a wonderful source of love and ministry for us

 So with our plate full and hearts at peace with where God has us at this time we want to give thanks to all of you for everything you have done to help us with our adoption! For those of you who supported us financially, We know that you gave to us with the purpose of your money going to our adoption. Your money was sent to America World (our adoption agency) before the significant changes and slowdowns happened in March. We would like to send you your donation back since we are no longer adopting in case you would like to use it for another purpose. Those of you that helped us with our yard sale we'd like you to know that all that money was also given to America World Adoption for our cost of the initial phase and that donation has blessed the organization to keep it going.

Thank you again for your prayers and support and the blessing you have all been to us through this journey.

We love you all,

Jared, Nikki and Josiah.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our new home church...our new family

For the past few months Jared and I have been attending a home church.  We have always wondered what a home church would be like and when we were invited by a wonderful friend we thought, why not check it out? From the first day we stepped foot into this warm, cozy home, we have felt very welcomed and loved. There are maybe between 30-40 members who are SO on fire for Jesus. Jared and I have attended very large churches for as long as we can remember so this is definetely a change. But a very refreshing one! The first day we attended, the  youth led worship and both Jared and I were brought to tears. Their worship was so authentic and simple. There prayers were so heartfelt and real. We were blown away! Everyone is so full of joy in that place. One of the first things I noticed was the radiating joy that shined on their faces. You really can feel the love in that place! Something else we really loved about this church was the incredible deep love and concern for orphans. There are four families that have adopted internationally, and another who has been a foster mom. The church has also just commited to fully funding a school and orphanage in Nepal. After a couple of months, it was clear to both Jared and myself that we had found our new church home.
The support and love we feel from this church is like nothing we have ever experienced.
We feel blessed!

May 7th Rummage Sale Fundraiser!!

It's time to clean out your closets and mark you calendar  for a fun day of shopping and eating to help us raise money for our adoption!! Our sale is set for Saturday May 7th and possibly Sunday too (depending on how much stuff we have left over)
We hope to have lots of great stuff to sell, as well as a yummy bake sale and a BBQ later in the day!! So if you have anything you would like to donate towards our sale please let us know! We are collecting any household itmes, as well as baked goods, bottled waters, hot dogs, and buns. We will collect food items the night before or morning of the sale.  We would love it if you could help us by telling your friends about our sale so that they can donate or shop too! We think it will be a fun day and hope to have the opportunity to also share with people about our adoption and the orphan crisis in Ethiopia and all over the world.
Please contact me at nicolepimentel5@yahoo.com if you would like to drop some things off!! Thanks again in advance for getting the word out and for your help!!

Lots of Updates!

So the month of March has been a crazy one with many ups and downs! To be honest, I haven't felt like blogging in a while because of the roller coaster ride of emotions this month has brought us so far! As many of you may already know as of March 10th of this month MOWA (ministry of womens affairs) made a statement that they were going to bring their recommendation letter amount from 50 per day to 5. These are the letters needed in court in order to pass court and proceed with an Embassy clearance (visa for child). With out this letter everything stops and they projected that the wait could be years due to this new procedure change. Since finding all of this troubling news out we have recieved many updates from our agency letting us know that things are looking positive and this new 5 letter procedure has not been put into practice yet. Maybe it won't at all...hopefully! You can read all of the news regarding this and stay updated with what is happening regarding adoption in Ethiopia at http://www.jointcouncil.org/
So all of this crazy news has brought with it many tears, moments of doubt and sadness. These last few weeks have been challenging for sure but it has also been a time of really trusting God, surrendering everything to Him, and praying, praying and more praying. We really want what will be best for the orphans in Ethiopia whatever that may be. So we continue to pray and hope for some updates soon regarding all of this. Will you pray with us? We are resting in Him and trusting....
On a lighter note we have some very good news to report regarding our fundraising! Before last week we had raised a total of $7000!! Thanks to God and the amazing generousity of our family and friends!! Last Sunday an amazing group of friends at our church, who we consider precious family to us, tithed for the month of March towards our adoption!! In one months time they raised $5000 to help us with our adoption costs!! Amazing!! We are so blown away by the love of these dear friends! Words can't describe how loved, supported and thankful we feel! So once again I am reminded that God is so much bigger than money and will provide for us to bring our daughter home! So far we have spent $11,000 in adoption fees and have raised $12,000! It is so amazing to watch God at work!!
Thanks again friends for your love, prayers and support!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nickels for Nahla update

It is amazing to see how God is providing for this adoption! It is so inspiring to see so many people want to help out and get involved in helping us bring Nahla home! Even people we don't know and have never met have been requesting the Nickels for Nahla labels! So I think we have about 40 or so labels out there with families collecting change to help us with our adoption costs!
In May we plan to have our large rummage sale and in June or July we will have our benefit concert in Santa Cruz! Fun stuff ahead so stay tuned! If you would like a Nickels for Nahla label let me know and I will send you one!

Dossier on it's way to Ethiopia!!

It's hard to believe that the long process of putting our dossier together is over! I keep feeling like there is something I need to be doing or a document thats needs to get notarized! It is a really nice, peacful feeling to have it done and know that it is on it's way to Ethiopia! It was sent yesterday and will be traveling through many countries until it finds it's way home to Ethiopia. January 28th was our offical DTE date (dossier to Ethiopia) which means that as of that day we were put on the official waiting list for our daughter! Now I need patience to wait for the day we recieve our refferal which will be 7-11 months from now. It feels hard to wait but I am also thankful to know that waiting means many other families are also adopting orphans and providing them with forever families! It feels me with so much joy knowing that so many people desire to adopt and bring hope to children who would otherwise end up on the streets or grow up in an orphanage with hundreds of other children. So waiting is a good thing :)
Thank you all again for your prayers and support! We will keep you updated as things move along!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nickels for Nahla

So my dear friend Kristin designed some adorable labels called Nickels for Nahla, that you post on a coin jar or any other type of container. Kristin gave them out to our Bible study group so that our friends could fill up their nickels for Nahla jar with coins to help us raise money for our adoption. We have already collected a full coin jar from one of our friends and are surprised how a little bit of spare change can add up! Josiah is having so much fun putting extra coins in our jar. It's a fun way to get the kids involved too!
If any of you would like a cute Nickels for Nahla label to help raise money for us with your spare change let me know and we will mail you one! We can even mail you more than one if you think of someone else who might like to join in. I am going to post a very cute picture of Josiah with his jar :)