Today, Alyssa and I visited the notary to get some final papers notarized for our new region. Following the advice of our agency, we have decided to change regions for our adoption. After we lost Kaylee, we didn't have a strong reason to stay in the region we were in. Global recommended a change of regions as this area is supposedly known for much smoother adoptions. We have an online friend who adopted from this region and had nothing but glowing things to say about her experience there...so, we are trusting God that this is a good decision and that He will bring us the child that is meant for our family. We will send the papers to the secretary of state tomorrow for apostilling, and then they will be on to Maryland. From that point, they will be sent out of the country. We won't put a timetable on things from that point, but we are hopeful that things will move efficiently.
Alyssa is busy with work (as usual!) and continues to be blessed by working full time with people with special needs. (She works to get funding, housing and services for people with disabilities.) I was able to meet a couple of her clients on Sunday at church....what a blessing! These two women had such a sweet innocence and undeniable love for Alyssa. That was very cool for me to see. Alyssa has also had the privilege of organizing and being a part of a local adoptive mom's group that meets a couple of times a month or so...the group continues to grow every time they meet and she is finally not the only mom there who hasn't adopted yet! This has been a great resource for her and our family as she gets to learn so much from a lot of sweet families who have gone through this process before us.
(A beautiful painting Alyssa did for a friend!)
Sam was voted homecoming queen at VCA this past week! Victory does things a little differently...the teachers nominate the court based on Christian character, school and community involvement and academics. So, it was definitely a privilege and honor for Sam to be thought of so highly by her teachers. The students then vote from the nominees and Sam won! I would say I am surprised, but frankly I am not...she is a wonderful young lady who has the respect of adults and is loved by her peers. She is in the middle of thinking through her options for college (she is a junior now) and is strongly considering Indiana Wesleyan, Grace and Huntington. We are planning to take her on a few visits next month, so hopefully God will give her some clear direction through that trip.
Cade went to his first dance this Saturday (VCA's homecoming) and had a great time! He is also starting to get involved in the youth group at Liberty and will be going on their winter retreat in February. He also starts high school baseball practice in February. I'm excited to see him getting to do so many social things and I think this is going to be a great spring for him.
Logan just got his second grading period report card and once again got straight A's! We are so proud of him! He is really growing up and we are seeing him mature all the time. He has a good group of buddies this year and is really enjoying his fifth grade class. Hopefully, he will be able to play spring soccer this year. He is also getting involved with Liberty's 5th/6th grade ministry and that has been great...he has close VCA friends in the group and that has really helped him engage with church.
I hope everyone doesn't mind me bragging on my family....they are all great and special in their own unique ways. I am still getting to know them every day, and I am more and more proud of them all the time!
In terms of me, it has been a great month. The basketball team hit a rough patch for a while with players out of the lineup for various reasons, but we have won our last four games and are really growing as a team. The conference tournament and state tournament are this month and we think we have a good shot in both tourneys. It's been a fun season. Last week, I had the great privilege to speak alongside Rick Jones at VCA's spiritual emphasis week. After prayer and consideration, we chose to specifically address the boys of Victory. We have a strong conviction that if God wins the hearts of young men, he can do amazing things in our school. We worked together on a sermon series entitled "Modern Warfare" that elaborated on the spiritual battle that young men must fight. At the end of the week, we offered an opportunity for commissioning as a warrior for God...a true man of God. Over 50 boys between 4th-12th grades responded to the challenge! What a blessing that was only a result of the outpouring of God's spirit on our school. I hope to post video of these sermons on my blog (derekchirch.blogspot.com) sometime in the coming weeks. Great week at a great school!
(A shot from our big win @ Portage Christian, our rivals!)
We have plans in the works for more fundraising and we hope to post more on this soon. May the Lord bless and keep you all and make His face shine upon you!