Saturday, August 2, 2014

Check out our short video!

Thank you Trent Elders for making such an amazing video! 

On August 28th the Elders family will be hosting a silent auction and free concert for us. Invite your friends and family, all are welcome! It will be a backyard BBQ with a concert put on by The Mercy Wheel.  We thought we would give you a little background on our adoption story. Follow the link to see more!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Waiting" Period

Yesterday was a big day. Today is even BIGGER! 7/22/2014 we submitted the most important paperwork in our lives. The dossier that is sent over to South Africa, the last thing before getting matched with our adopted child is COMPLETED!!!! Well, basically. As with everything in this process, nothing is as quick or simple as we originally thought. We keep saying that we are learning a lot, because we totally are. This has been a fun, long, detailed ride so far and we know it's only the beginning.

On Saturday we received our USCIS 797 approval to adopt our child from an immigration standpoint from South Africa. We received it a little earlier than expected...which was a great surprise! So, we had to get 26 documents apostilled (basically meaning we needed to bring our notarized documents in the dossier over to a secretary of state to have someone place a seal/certificate saying that we had a legal public notary witness on each of the documents.) Confused yet?! We were too. Austin got that done, we had to have 3 documents re-notarized because the notary's signature didn't match their records. SO many details. Anyway, after all of that, Austin proudly hand delivered our dossier to the global office of our adoption agency. They said they would let us know this morning if it was all set and sent off to South Africa! Turns out, we are missing a copy of Austin & I's passports. We have one, but need another. Something so simple and small...blocking our completion. Austin & I are taking care of that small detail this afternoon, and then turning it back in to the agency. Our agency said it will be in the mail traveling to South Africa by Friday. YES! YAY! WHEW! Hopefully by the end of the day I can breath a sigh of relief :) :) So glad Austin is so even keeled. Because I am not!

What comes next? Once South Africa receives our plethora of info, we "wait" for them to process it and refer a child to us! (To our agency, but ultimately to us.) :) :) I keep putting the word wait/waiting in parenthesis because Austin and I don't view it like that. Will we need patience in these next 12-18 months while waiting? YES. Absolutely. BUT we want to view this time, as God's time. He has a child already planned for us, and however long it takes is how long it is supposed to take because it's His plan and not ours. Is this SO much easier said then done? YES. I know I am all positive right now, but I know this will a hard period of time. The good news is, Austin & I are a team. We love being married, and having our family of two. We will enjoy and cherish the time where it is just us two until our child joins our family forever. We also have a lot to continue to learn on how to parent an adopted child. And We want to learn as much as we can about South Africa, this beautiful birth country of our baby! We want to be able to teach & show our child where they came from and we want it to be a part of our family's life! So yes, we have a lot of "waiting" time but we have a lot to learn and we will continue to prepare our hearts and minds for our little one. :)

In His Love,
Austin & Meg

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dossier almost Done!

It has been a long time since the last post! Hard to believe we've already celebrated the Fourth of July! The month of June specifically was quite a blur for us. Lots of documentation that we had to get in order. After we completed our home study, we felt very accomplished and thought our adoption process was nearing it's "waiting period" while we waited to get matched.

 Well, we were wrong. We had NO idea all of the work for our Dossier was about to begin. The Dossier is a packet of information that includes our home study, as well as many other forms, letters, pictures, etc. that describe/reflect Austin & I. We had to get tax forms for past years, referral letters from our friends and family, police and medical clearances - just to name a few. We felt as though we had already done all of that work for our application to adopt, but now we were going into even greater detail than before, specifically for our child's birth country of South Africa! It was easy to get overwhelmed at the daunting task, but Austin's calm and strong leadership skills helped us organize our thoughts, and track down necessary paperwork. We again had to rely heavily on others around us. Not only did our amazing friends and family write recommendation letters for us, but much of the needed documentation was also to be notarized. Meaning a third party had to be present when signing the required piece of paperwork. Our close friend is a notary and her help has been tremendous. Our individual doctors also have been happy to help in this crazy journey!

About two weeks ago we got our fingerprints done. That was the final step we had to take individually for our USCIS approval. Instead of ink being involved, there were scanners that just scanned our fingers, and the print showed up on the screen. It was cool to see technology used in that unique way. Now, we wait for USCIS to process our fingerprints and give us the last form we need for our Dossier. We are thinking in the next two weeks we should be receiving that. Then, we need to send all of our documents (it's at least got to be 100 pages by now!) to the Secretary of State to get apostilled and we will send it to our agency to look it over and then off to South Africa it will go. What a great feeling that will be! Our target is for that to all be done by August. Before we know it August will be here! We pray with God's faithfulness we will have that step accomplished by our goal date, if not, His plan is wiser than ours!

Meanwhile, Austin & I have also gotten to experience a couple of weddings this Summer which has kept us busy! My amazing brother and his beautiful wife tied the knot in Wisconsin in June, friends got hitched in Georgia and this weekend we are New York bound for my college roommates wedding!! Lots of love surrounding us :) Best events to go to! So much fun to get to experience them with my husband and best friend! Brings back the best day of our lives.

I hope everyone is enjoying a fun, safe summer! I'm sure it's going as quickly as ours is, summer always has a tendency to do that...unlike winter...

In His Love,

Meg & Austin

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Spring is here! (Technically)
We are so grateful for the warmER weather finally arriving. What a difference the sunshine makes in my life! The energy, the use of sunglasses, happy doggie walks, staying up many positives. Not to mention the promise of new life - gone are the days of the dead, cold winter, I'm welcoming the Spring! It's hard for me to believe it's already April. You know it's bad when I find myself writing the date starting with "2"... February has been over for awhile!  It just reminds me I need to work on being thankful for every day God gives me and appreciate the daily blessings I'm given. It is too easy for me to just let the days pass by without giving thanksgiving to my awesome Creator.

This past Saturday, our adoption t-shirt fundraiser finished. The fundraiser was a major success! Praise God! We sold a total of 78 t-shirts, raising over $1,700!! Austin and I are so overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone who participated. It was a super humbling experience to reach out to the community and ask others to take part and help us in our personal adoption journey. I know every one has their own, for lack of a better term, "stuff" going on and for people to sacrifice their time, money and resources to care & help US and be a part of our adoption is so selfless and beautiful. I can't explain how grateful we are for those who have already supported us. God is faithful. I over-think and over-analyze everything and through this process already I am reassured at every turn that God is faithful and is working through so many people near and far from us. THANK-YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

We have submitted all of our paperwork, and our awesome references have already sent in their reference forms! Austin & I have also gone to the Dr. and have both been given a clean bill of health. All great things! Now we are waiting on clearances from both MI and IL - just to prove we have no outstanding warrants or any criminal activity pending in the two states we have lived in. Usually it takes a couple of weeks, it has already been one week so hopefully soon! After Bethany Christian Services receives the clearances our lovely social worker will be scheduling home visits. This process was quite busy at the beginning, but we know the "waiting time" is coming. We are praying we won't view the time until we receive a referral as "waiting" but rather just enjoying the time of being a family of two, learning all we can about a country we now find so dear (South Africa), and striving to walk closer to our Heavenly Father. (Easier said than done we realize-hence the major prayer needed!!)

In His love,

Meg & Austin

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Starting off...


This is Austin & I's first post and first attempt at blogging. So bear with us! For those of you who do not know us, we reside in Hudsonville, MI with our two pups. Our reason to start our blog and share our journey with others is ... We are expanding our family by adopting a little one from South Africa!
We have learned a lot already...thanks to partnering up with Bethany Christian Services. We have completed orientation and have been accepted into the South African program. The next step is a Home Study. That process involves a social worker visiting us on numerous occasions to talk with us about our lives! We also have started gathering all the paperwork. Although it's early on in the process, there is a lot of training to be done! As well as a lot of fundraising to do....the cost of adoption is expensive, which we all know, BUT we know God will be faithful and will make a way with he help of our community of believers!

If you you would like to donate to the cause and would love a cool t shirt or sweatshirt as well, Austin & I have designed some that you can check out at

Thanks and love you all!