Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mission Trip Fundraiser-Community Garage Sale

Friends and Family,

Braden Woods is having a Community Garage Sale on April 3rd. If you have anything we can sell ALL the $$$$ will go to purchasing needs for the orphans we visit in Ethiopia and Uganda!! I will personally buy things like formula, food, clothing and bedding for the children.
We are looking for valuable items like furniture, working electronics, toys, children items, or anything that will sell!!!! Thanks for your support!
I will let you know the address, days and times items can be dropped off. I am MORE than happy to come and pick up items too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

AWAA Family Passes Court!!

Happy Friday!
I wanted to share that a family in our adoption agency passed court today. We are so happy for the Trevino Family. We have been praying for them for months now. Their son is absolutely precious and it is very encouraging to see a family so close to bringing their child home.

Click Here to see their blog!

Love, Ashlie

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We know that God has been orchestrating our family long before we considered adoption. Today was a tough day as we encountered our first BIG change in our adoption journey. We were warned early on in our journey, that processes/paperwork requirements/etc change frequently in international adoption. We knew this and accepted it, but it's still very disappointing when it actually happens.

Today we received an email from our agency about a MAJOR change in the Ethiopian Adoption Process. Ryan and I will now be required to travel TWICE to Ethiopia. The first trip, we will both have to testify in Ethiopian court our desire to adopt our Ethiopian child. This will happen 4-6 weeks after we receive our referral (picture). Then, we will have to leave the country (without our baby!) for 10 to 12 weeks. At that time, we will be able to return to Ethiopia to bring our child home.

We're feeling disappointed about this change, but we aren't feeling defeated. So we have to go twice? Yes. So we have to pay to travel twice? Yes. Is it going to be harder? Yes. Is it going to hurt more? Yes. Will it all be worth it? YES!!!!!
We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us!!!

Please say a special prayer today that we trust in the Lord and are able to bare this set back.
Ashlie and Ryan

Sunday, March 7, 2010

2 Months Waiting

Today is officially our 2 month waiting period. Guess it's time to head to Publix for another pint of Ben and Jerry's! A fellow blogger suggested Cherry Garcia, sounds like a good plan to me!!!

Awaiting Easton Video

It's a little tearful but I really enjoyed everyone participating in the making of this video! The words you said are so encouraging during this waiting period. Love you all!

The Words I Couldn't Say at the Shower

This was the "Thank You" letter that I sent to everyone at the shower. I just thought I would share it on the blog, since the words mean so much to me.

Dear Friends and Family,
During Easton’s shower I planned to
share my heart with you, I wanted to tell
you how excited Ryan and I are for Easton’s arrival
and tell you how your support means the world to us. I
wanted you to know that this journey has been the
highlight of our lives. I wanted you to know that
having a team of people providing for Easton gives us
peace and we couldn’t imagine doing it without

Having a baby shower without being pregnant was not as I imagined it. I dreamed of having a typical shower with a round belly, baby games, and hearing stories of labor pains. Obviously, that is not how things turned out. What I wanted to tell you was that now I can’t imagine my shower any other way. Being chosen to adopt a baby from Ethiopia is exactly what God had planned for Ryan and I. The shower wasn’t how I imagined, it was better!!!

At the beginning of our journey we desired to have a child. We did not desire to save a baby from hunger or sickness. We didn’t adopt out of charity or pity. We simply wanted to be parents and raise a child. When we chose Ethiopia we looked at a lot of research. It all boiled down to the age of the babies, time and cost. Although, we didn’t choose Ethiopia because of the orphan crisis, we now cannot deny it. What we have learned, from the UNICEF Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey, is that one out of every 20 children born alive die in their first month of life and one out of ten die before reaching their first birthday. Malnutrition and preventable diseases, such as acute respiratory infection and measles, are the main causes. UNICEF also estimates that one in ten Ethiopia children, about 4.6 million are orphaned. We realize that adoption is not the answer to the orphan crisis; however, we know that Easton will be one less statistic. Being called to serve orphaned children isn’t just a good idea, it is God’s commandment to us, in Psalm 83:3 it states, “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.” We believe that once our eyes have been opened we must act. We must do something, either through adoption, supporting an organization, joining a mission trip, or sponsoring a child. We pray that you not only support and pray for our journey but you start your OWN!

Lastly, I wanted to share my appreciation and love for Ryan. I wanted to tell you how lucky I am to have a husband who supports my passions and has dreams of his own. At the beginning Ryan listened to all of my thoughts, cried with me, and developed his own passions for Ethiopia and orphans. I cannot wait to see him hold Easton in his arms, he’s going to be an amazing father.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and love. Easton’s nursery is ready, we could bring him home tomorrow!! I promise to keep you updated on our progression in the process. We are praying for patience as we go through the waiting period.

With Love,
Ashlie, Easton’s Mommy

P.S I hope you are enjoying your CD. The music we chose comes from the songs at church and the radio that have inspired us and helped us through our toughest moments. We hope you find them as inspirational and moving as we do.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Children's Hope Chest

Introducing Buzuayehu! This is our sponsored child who lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We are always looking for organizations that we believe in and can support. We have found a true treasure!!!! Children's Hope Chest was founded by Tom Davis in 1994 after the orphan crisis in Russia. Their belief is that every orphan has the right to know God, experience the blessing of family, and have the opportunity to develop independent living skills.

Before sponsoring a child, we asked some very important questions about Children's Hope Chest, specifically about the allotment of finances. Here are their responses:
What are the administration fees of your organization?
Our admin fee is 20% which is the standard for organizations like World Vision, Compassion International and us. We are audited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability ([ ] - please go to their website and check out their standards), who verifies that what we say we do with the money we actually do. Our admin for the year in 2009 was 19.5% and for 2010 we expect it to be around 17%. This is well within what is considered "acceptable" for non-profits. If you look at the typical church, their admin costs can run upwards of 40%.

How much of our sponsorship goes toward the children?
$28 of every $34 dollars you give goes into programs supporting children and our work in the field.

What benefits go to a sponsored Children’s HopeChest orphan?
Your sponsorship provides four benefits including:
• Direct assistance for emotional, environmental, educational and medical needs.
• Letter writing between child and sponsor. This includes translation and delivery.
• Discipleship classes providing opportunities for a national believer to share Christ through word and deed.
• Birthday and Christmas gifts and parties.

We believe this is the perfect organization to sponsor a child through!
To sponsor an Ethiopian Child click here: Children's Hope Chest Ethiopia
We are excited to be apart of Bezuayehu's life! We will be writing letters and sending pictures to her =) We plan to meet her when we travel to Ethiopia to bring Easton home!
With Love,
Ashlie and Ryan