Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Last week, a friend whose son was in the same orphanage that  Hai-Leigh is in texted me.  She asked if I was sure of the orphanage she was in and explained that it was a poor orphanage and that she did not feel like they would have had the resources to care for her when she was first born.  Hai-Leigh was born premature weighing only 2.86 lbs.  My friend suggested that she may be in another home there that was better prepared to care for her at this size.  So I looked up this place and it turned out they had a Facebook page.  I scrolled through every one of their pictures until there she was...weighing only 3 lbs and wearing a tiny St. Patrick's day onesie.  I knew it was her because of the description and the tiny mole above her right eyebrow.  I immediately messaged them to see if she was still there.  Unfortunately, she is not, but they were able to share some new information with me.  And this morning, I woke up to the most beautiful blessing...487 pictures of her from the time that she was with them.  I scrolled through each of them this morning with tears pouring down my face.

I mean, look at her in this crown...

And this bow...

Look how tiny...

It was obvious that she was constantly being loved on. I think those were the pictures that got to me the most. 

And just look at how much bigger and healthier she grows...

All of these moments that I felt like I missed out on, in a way now I haven't.  You have no idea how grateful I am for this!  One day I will be able to look back at these with her and show her how much she was already loved even before she came into our lives, and there will be fewer gaps to fill in.  Gosh, I'm crying again as I type this! God is so good!

In addition to this wonderful email, I opened up another email last night that read these words, "Hi Dustin & Andrea. Surprise! We were absolutely shocked to have just received your original, hard-copy "Letter Seeking Confirmation of Adopter (LOA)!" This is a big step in adoption and means that Chin@ has officially accepted our request to adopt Hai-Leigh.  We now move towards travel.  This makes me very excited and nervous all at the same time.  Once our next set of paperwork we send off is filed, we are given a timeline of 9-12 weeks for travel, which means it is very likely we will have her here by her first birthday.  However, it also means that we don't have much time to raise the remaining $17,000 plus + that it will cost to finalize the adoption.

Thank you so much to those of you who have already supported us and have helped us to bring her home.  We sold over 100 necklaces and received $1125 in donations on our Pure Charity site over the past week and a half.  This has given us the $3,510 that is needed at this time. It is so awesome to watch how The Lord provides what we need when we need it.  We trust that he will do the same for the remaining balance, and we will work hard to do our part in raising these funds.

This morning, I read today's Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and (as usual)  it was too good not to share with you.  It talked about giving thanks in times of adversity...

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.  That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.  There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances).  This is a spiritual act of obedience-at times, blind obedience.  To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships.  Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties remain.
    Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts.  You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstance, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective.  It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity."

The scriptures that went along with it could not have been more fitting for this day...

Ephesians 5:20 "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Psalm 118:1  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever."

I'm thankful for the challenges that this adoption has brought and will bring.  These obstacles allow God to reveal himself to us in ways we never could have imagined and in turn, we are able to give Him the glory for all that He does.  

My cup runneth over this morning, and I am so grateful for the many blessings in our lives!  What about you? What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

For This Child I Have Prayed

Last Wednesday afternoon I was getting ready for church when I got a call from our adoption agency.  Seeing their number made my heart nearly jump out of my chest, because I knew what it meant.  It was the call that we have been waiting for over a year now.  They had a file of a little girl that they wanted us to review.  After several days of prayer, consultation, and paperwork, we made a decision, and I am elated to introduce you to our daugther...

Hai-Leigh Joy Tharpe!!!

She is eight months old, and we are praying that we can have her here before her first birthday on March 14th.  She has an incredible, but heartbreaking story that I am sure I will share with you one day, but right now I just want to share our excitement.  Please be in prayer with us throughout the rest of this process.  Our specific requests are for her to be well taken care of and know that she has a family that loves her and is anxiously waiting for her.  Also, a big prayer request is for us to have the remaining funds (An estimated $20,000) needed to bring her home by the time Chin@ is ready for us to come so that neither of us have to wait a second longer than necessary to be together.  We have friends who have traveled in as early as 10 weeks from the time they were matched.  Of course each situation is different, but I've heard that things are moving kind of quickly right now in Chin@ and that doesn't leave us a lot of time to raise the rest of the money.  We want to be prepared when the time comes to go get her.

"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart." (1 Samuel 1:27)

We are so grateful for this answered prayer and are trusting that the Lord will see us through the rest of this process.  I know that he has great plans for Hai-Leigh and cannot wait to see her story unfold.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.  If you are interested in how you can help, please watch our Facebook for upcoming fundraisers. We have also created a Pure Charity fundraising page which is designed for raising money for adoption.  You can click here to make a donation.  (I have also added a link to this blog.)  Any donations made through this site are tax deductible and will go directly to our adoption agency.  We will keep you updated along the way.  God bless.