Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Updates, Pictures and Encouragement

So what has been going on here at the Monks home?  Tonight we had our final interview for our home study.  Things went very well.  Our dossier is almost complete, and we will be working to get that sent off.  I am so excited!  I can see daily how God is working and saying, TRUST ME

Below are some random pictures of Abby and Gracie.  I love looking back at all of our pictures.

Gracie with her art projects from Barry Stebbing's class
March 2010

Yes, she loves elephants

I love this picture of Abby and Bella
Enjoying the sunshine

I have been doing a Beth Moore journal called Believing God, and I completed it this morning.  There were 5 key points throughout that I want to leave you with:

 God is who He says He is.

 God can do what He says He can do.

  I am who God says I am.

  I can do all things through Christ.

  God's word is alive and active in me.

I hope these words bring encouragement to you.  Wishing you a wonderful Easter as we celebrate our Savior and what He did for us. 


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Great Ethiopian Coffee

We ordered some coffee off our coffee website to check it out and also to see how the process worked.  We received the coffee a few days ago and I tried it out this morning.  I am no coffee connoisseur, but I thought it was great. 

I recommend the Ethiopian Harrar or The Blend Formerly Known As Valentine.  Remember, you can place an order for coffee (or other coffe related items) by clicking on the Just Love picture referenced on the right side of the blog.

Please email us on our email address link on the right side of the blog if you experience any issues.

Dehna hunu (good bye in Ethiopian),


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Home Study

Tuesday night went really well.   We were blessed to be able to do it together instead of having separate interviews.  We  bounced things back and forth off of each other as we answered questions.  I defintitely felt surrounded by God's grace.  As we sat there talking with our sweet home study specialist (Kay), she encouraged us and gave us a little boost of confidence.  It was also nice for us to be able to reflect on our marriage and think back to us starting our family.  So many wonderful memories already.  I look forward to the next chapter in our life as well.  We will have our in-home interview next Wednesday.  She will come to our home and also interview Abby and Gracie.  After that, we will be finished with that step! 

This has been a challenging week for me.  I have so much on my mind I want to share, but it will have to wait for now. 

I will leave you with a verse that has been on my heart:

Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself,  "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." 

Lamentations 3:22-25

We love you all,


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will you Pray...

Please pray for us today!  Our first home study interview is tonight at 5:30.  Thanks!


Monday, March 22, 2010

You Have Helped Us Break 13,000 Miles!!

We now only have 12,961 miles left to reach our goal.

Just to let you know, we are also selling Merchant Value Passes that include Kentuckiana coupons and discounts for only $20. Just a few coupons and you make that money right back.  There are excellent restaurant and golf coupons, just to name a few. 

We will only be selling these for a limited time, so please let us know if you are interested in purchasing one. 

You can email us @


Saturday, March 20, 2010

An Afternoon at the Zoo

Yesterday was beautiful wasn't it?  We had a wonderful day.  After school, we decided to take a trip to the zoo.  This was our first time going this year.  I think we always enjoy the first visit after winter the most.  The animals were active, and because Gracie has such a love for elephants, we spent most of our time watching them. 

My beautiful girls

Wishing everyone a blessed day.  Hoping for more sunshine!



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coffee Clarification. . .

To let everyone know - we receive proceeds for everything that is sold on our coffee website - including the t-shirts and bags, etc.

This is wonderful organization that also provides support to orphanages in the countries that are involved.


Monitor Our Progress

As an additional note, we have decided a way to communicate our progress on this journey.  This will help gauge where we are in reaching our goal through all the fundraising.

We have settled on showing it in MILES.  The shortest distance between Louisville, KY and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is ~7,600 miles.  Therefore, a round trip would be ~15,200 miles.  We converted our financial needs into miles and now have an easy way to show our progress (OK, OK, I love math and geography).  We will continue to show you how many miles we need to reach our goal.




Our first home study interviews are scheduled for Tuesday, March 23rd.  After our final interview in our home, that portion will be complete!  It seems like it is all coming together quickly.  We had our doctor's appointment today, and our doctor was so encouraging.  It is great to hear that from people that don't know us personally.  He wished us the best and is willing to help wherever he can. 
It is interesting to me how much our life will change within a year.  Just to think I am going to be a mom to  4 CHILDREN!  I am overwhelmed yet so happy.  God has given us more than we deserve, but I am so thankful for it all.  When I take time to think it all through, I get so emotional.  My God is so faithful.

Thank you to those who have ordered coasters already! Below is picture of the first batch complete, stamped, sealed and ready to go!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Selling Coffee!! See the Link to our Website!!

Wow!  We have yet another opportunity to raise money in order to bring our children home.  It is very fitting that this fundraiser has it's roots in the very country we will be adopting.  We have hooked up with an awesome organization - Fair Trade Coffees.  The company was formed by a business man in the coffee business who was adopting from Ethiopia (the birthplace of coffee).  He used his experience in coffee to develop this company to not only help out other families adopting, but also uses proceeds to help an Ethiopian orphanage and families adopting not just from Ethiopia, but from anywhere in the world.

Please see our link below to begin ordering your coffee!!  You can buy either whole bean or in ground.  All is taken care of by the website ordering process.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today I got a call to schedule our appointment for our first interview for our home study!  Yah!!  We are getting very close to completing our home study.  Thursday we have our doctor's appointment.  We are required to get a letter for our dossier verifying that we are in good physical health. 

I completed about 100 tiles so far!  Tomorrow I will seal them, and they will  be available. 

Although there are some changes going on with Ethiopian adoptions, Vince and I are completely at peace.  God knows our needs.  He is bigger than anything we are dealing with. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

More Home Study Completed

Well, the weekend flew by!  We were able to finish our autobiographies and get them in the mail.  YES!  That is a great relief.    Each day Vince and I work a little more on the paperwork we are able to complete.  We still have a ways to go but are progressing quickly.  We also picked up our tile and the rest of our stamps.  We are going to be selling coasters to help with the fees for our adoption.  I already feel so blessed by how much our family and friends have been willing to help us.  Please pass along to anyone who might want to buy some!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Autobiography Phase - ugh

Kelli and I are now working at the same time to complete our autobiographies.  It is very difficult to write about ones self.  I have written 3 pages of notes and it still does not contain the necessary ingredients of my life.  It is difficult to determine what to include, what to remove, or what major events has shaped my life.  Kelli and I will complete these soon because we have to mail them off!! 

Beginning the Journey

It has been a long journey to get us to the place we are today.  Vince and I have talking about adopting for as long as I can remember.  Maybe even while we were dating.  I think God placed it on our hearts for so many reasons.  Most of all to bring him glory for what he can do.  His ways are perfect. 

Last year when we made the decision to home school, things were changing for our family. I quit my job to be at home. Abby and Gracie were having to adjust to being home with me and learning at home. It is hard to put into words how much at peace I am with where we are today. God was speaking to both of us about where He was taking us.  

Currently we are working on our home study and paperwork for our dossier.  The dossier is a very detailed list ofdocuments and letters.  It will be what is sent to Ethiopia for review. 

There will be much more to come.  I have to admit it has been a challenge to get everything down in writing.   My thoughts don't come together like they used to!

Happy Thursday to everyone!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.