Friday, November 30, 2007

More News!

Today came even more news from Lauren. She originally thought our paperwork (passport included) would be submitted to the US Embassy on Wednesday. Now, she got a legal update saying it would be Monday or Tuesday (of this next week, yep, that's the 3rd or 4th). Okay, breathe, Sheryl, breathe.....

That means the US Embassy will issue pink within 1-4 days. Yikes.....after waiting so long, everything is clicking into place and flying past me. We will likely be traveling the week of the 10th or 17th. Not sure which one yet. My Dad's birthday is the 12th, so that would be an awesome time!

We have packed Jett's bag and finished most of our Christmas shopping today.....we are working on getting all of our paperwork in order and being ready to go at a moment's notice. Thank you to all who are standing by for the call!

We also found out that our "pink slip" will be issued via email to US personally. This is not the way this was done prior to Nov. 19th of this year. The Embassy used to notify the lawyer and agency with a hard copy of the document. So, we'll be the FIRST to know! Hallelujah!
Thank you all again for your prayers. We covet them daily!
Well I guess it is time for me to chime in on the whole issue on the blog. Sheryl has done such an amazing job of keeping us all on top of things with the adoption. I have kind of remained in the background and allowed her to handle the administration and paperwork. The details are overwhelming at times and yet, we find ourselves at this point. Thank you to my awesome and loving wife and partner in this journey, Sheryl for all the work and many hours of paperwork and calls and more calls and more paperwork and etc.

Two years ago this journey began with a comment from our friend Jason Waltman. As Sheryl, Kaitlyn, Madison, Jason, and I sat in the almost finished back bedroom in the house Jason asked so when are you guys going to adopt? This somewhat coaught us off guard, except the fact that God had provided way more house than we needed after our house burned in January 2005. Jason and Jenny Waltman became some of our closet frineds as a result of the incredible work they did to get us back in our house and then continued to support and encourage us.

Soon after this conversation the possibility of being a foster family for children from Eagle's Nest who needed medical care here in the states was a reality. After the opportunity passed and there was no need for a foster family, Jim and Donna Houston from our church brought us word that they had found a little boy for us to adopt. We were not even really thinking about adoption. Although I must confess the thought had crossed my mind a few times on the field with little children I had met. Now with a real possibility of adoption looking us right in the heart we committed it all to prayer and received different answers. Sheryls word from the Father was yes adopt this little boy the team in Guatemala had nicknamed "Jet" after my intials. My answer was somewhat different and has changed my life forever!

The Father responded to me with a question, "Why not bring this little boy home into your family?" Wow! What an overwhelming question to try and come up with a real answer to God. There are no good answers to that question except, "Here am I Lord use me!" I began this journey with my face to the ground asking for wisdom and understanding. I have come to this point with an overwhelming sense of humility and thankfulness.

God the creator of it all has chosen to bless me with two beautiful girls that have literally rocked my world. They are the most amazing creations in the world and precious to my heart. I have been amazingly blessed. However, God the Father has chosen to sculpt my heart in a way I never dreamed with a hole that only will be filled by Jett! By the way my dad's nickname at work when he was alive was "JET" which are the intials in my legal name...the team in Guatemala at the time had no idea! Since then my heart and life have been worked on very much by the Father.

Today I find myself having found an awesome desire to be a father to the fatherless. With the two children God has blessed us with our hearts are opening up to the world. My heart is now ready, at least as much as it can be, for the exposion that is about to happen through the addition of a child whom the Father is placing in our lives to change the world! I have no doubt that the time we have endured waiting and struggling through the adoption process has produced an endurance and strength in Him that will carry us into the future with extreme faith. I pray for wisdom and discernment to lead and love like the Father. I also pray that God will allow me to bring home the nations! At this point why not! Why wouldI not trust His heart and be His hands? Why would I not allow Him to bless and all I need to do is love His children and teach them His words.

Please pray with us as we go very soon to bring Jett to our home. Pray for Sheryl's sleepless nights that have already begun as she commits his life to prayer and diligent teaching. Pray for Kaitlyn as she steps into the role of the oldest child and teacher's helper. Pray for Madison as she learns what it is like to become a big sister. And pray for me as I seek the Father's heart to build a family after His heart with a passion for His World and a passion for His Word!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

JT's Rotator Cuff Surgery

JT had surgery 2 weeks ago tomorrow for a torn rotator cuff surgery. He is recovering very quickly say the doctors! Yesterday, he went for his follow-up appointment, and his recovery was much further along than his counterparts nearby. In fact, the physical therapist asked him to slow down the process a little. Nope...we've got a little boy coming, and we're sticking with the plan!

The pictures above (from Venezuela in May) explain how JT's shoulder got to this point! To God be the glory for doctors who can repair these things!

News on Passport

We JUST got an email from our social worker, Lauren. She said that the paperwork on the passport for Jett would be submitted on Saturday..yep, THIS Saturday. That means that they either have or will have the new birth certificate before then. The passport takes 3-4 days to process. Then, the lawyers submit the b.c. and passport to the US Embassy. Time is passing quickly, and we love it! Thank you all for your encouragement. Keep praying!

So Much Encouragement!

In Acts 2, we find a beautiful picture of the a community! We weren't made for isolation...we were made to be together as a family in Christ. Isn't that amazing? When we spent some time in South Africa in August, we experienced "community" as never before. Our team had spent hours in team building exercises to prepare for such a time. We lived together, ate together, prayed together and ministered together daily. It was an intensive time of community that will forever be etched in my memory.

In the same way, our friends have been a major part of our community here in Birmingham. Since we posted our good news about getting out of PGN, I have gotten dozens and dozens of emails not to speak of phone calls and hugs along the way. I am so blessed by all the encouragement! Thank you all!

Speaking of encouragement, I received an email from another mom who is adopting from Eagle's Nest in Guatemala. She just went to visit her sweet little girl Kendall (you can see her blog at and was able to see Jett too. At the orphanage, the nannies call him Enrique. Apparently, he crawled right up in Deidre's lap and wanted her to tickle him. She even sent me a few pictures of the occasion! I was so thrilled. Although I don't know Deidre personally, she took the time to encourage me in my journey. Now, that's community. Thank you Deidre!

Please continue to pray that the process will run smoothly and according to God's timeline. We love you all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Out of PGN!!!!!

It's official....WE ARE OUT OF PGN!!! Josiah Jett Turner (aka Edwin Enrique Bautiste) is now OURS! We are all so excited and so thankful to the Sovereign Father who's timing is perfect.

On Sunday, our community group at church prayed for the adoption and many friends and family members have been intensely praying on our behalf. We have begged and pleaded for God to get this paperwork signed. We have been increasingly impatient in the process. Just yesterday, our friend Jim Merriwether pointed us back to the account of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible. Abraham, without hesitation, was willing to give up his son as an act of obedience to God.

So, I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I gave Jett up to the Father and His timing, His control. I even emailed Jim back and said that this is NOT what I WANTED to hear but it is what I NEEDED to hear. Thank you Father for using Jim to speak to our hearts. What a blessing.

It was indeed difficult to give up our plans for Jett. I continually gave him up before the throne all day yesterday. Then, we get the good awesome is our God!!!

Now, here's what happens (to the best of our knowledge):

1. Lawyer obtains a new birth certificate from Jett's city of birth. This will have our last name and his current first name (Edwin Turner). We will be listed as the parents. The birth certificate usually takes 2-3 days.
2. Lawyer uses the new birth certificate to apply for a temporary passport for Jett. We are unsure about where this takes place and how long it takes but it seems to take 1 week or so.
3. Lawyer submits birth certificate, passport and other documentation to the US Embassy in Guatemala.
4. Several days later the US Embassy issues a pink slip (noted for the color paper it is on). The pink slip gives us a date to appear before them with Jett. Generally, people are given 1 - 1 1/2 weeks notice before their appearance but lately, we've seen people get 48 hours notice to 5 days. Yikes!!!
5. We start packing, get our girls taken care of here and make airline arrangements.

Whew! God is so good, and we give Him all the glory!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Health Update

Here's the latest photos of our son. We get a health update monthly from our adoption agency, and this month, he weights in at a staggering 31 pounds. Okay, he's small. He's also 39 inches - growing well in that area.
We have used his measurements to figure his size to be 4T although we'll have to use a belt to keep the pants on him! He wears a size 8 shoe, so they say right now. We may get to Guatemala and find out differently. Our plan is to take a measuring tape with us just to verify his height and weight. We've bought all 4T sizes for the trip so hopefully, they'll fit.
Our community group at church held a prayer shower for us last night. It was a beautiful time with our adopted family. We are so grateful for each and every one of them. We'll count the ways.....
-we are overwhelmed that God gave Jason Waltman the foresight and wisdom to ask us when we were going to adopt as we moved into our new home (at the time, we had no plan to adopt....this was 4 months prior to beginning the process).
-we were struck with unconditional love as Pansy Merriwether prayed for their new grandson (Jett).
-we were reminded through Jason's prayer and JT's words that Jett will be brought out of Guatemala so that he can reach the nations for Christ.
-my friend Laura's prayer that we would bond and attach smoothly and swiftly .....please Lord!
-we are daily thankful for friends who email and call just to say they are thinking of us and praying for us....Katchuks, Robersons, Waltmans, Stewarts, Hardys, Merriwethers, etc, etc, etc.
-for our adopted family at Brook Hills who has surrounded us with their love, support and encouragement.
Father, as I approach your throne this morning, I am humbled and absolutely filled to capacity with the love you have given to us. When our house burned down almost three years ago, you were preparing our hearts and our home for this time. At that very time, you had a little boy in Guatemala being handed over to an orphanage, so that one day he could join our family. I am in awe of YOUR timing and YOUR plan. Thank you that I'm not in charge....thank you for YOUR perfect will. Thank you for surrounding us with family and friends who lift us up in prayer.
Lord, use Jett Turner to shake the nations for your glory. As he comes out of what is familiar....Guatemala, his nanny, Eagle's Nest, his what is unknown....Alabaster, Alabama, The Church at Brook Hills, mission trips around the world.....may You and You alone guide His every step. We know that You have a special plan for our son, and we give him back to You so that he may glorify You in all that he does. May his life reflect You as he goes to the nations.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Traveling soon????

We were able to talk to Lauren yesterday, and our adoption agency has spoken with our lawyer Pedro. He indicated that, because of our abandonment case, we should travel to Guatemala within 2-3 weeks of getting out of PGN. We are eagerly anticipating getting out of PGN this week! is finally getting closer!

This was GREAT news for us and confirmed in our hearts that we WILL be bringing our son home by Christmas! So, his room is ready and we are making a photo album to show him the house and family before he gets ambushed at the airport. We're writing the details in English and Spanish so he'll have some idea of what's going on. Here are a few pictures we're showing him SOON!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

On the Director's Desk.......

Today, our social worker called to let us know that all of our paperwork is sitting on the director's desk waiting to be signed. From this point, it generally only takes another week!!! Hallelujah - we are NOT going to get kicked out!!!
Our only concern at the moment is the timing of the trip to Guatemala and JT's surgery next Friday. As many of you know, he has a torn rotator cuff, and he needs this surgery in order for his shoulder to heal and rehabilitate. We are so grateful for Kim Tyler who works at St. Vincents and has helped us tremendously throughout the process!
JT will have to be immobile (his shoulder anyway) for 2 weeks. Those of you who know JT know that this will be my main job....and it will NOT be easy. He is determined to work hard and get his shoulder back to work as soon as possible. We are hoping that the call to go to Guatemala will come after the 2 week period. Even if it does not, JT will just go in a sling! Oh joy!
We will continue to update the site as we get news. We know that these are the next steps:
1. Out of PGN (official news that we are OUT). This means Jett is officially OURS.
2. New birth certificate issued in his town of birth with our names listed as parents and his last name changed (so, he'll officially be Edwin Turner). This should take only 3-4 days.
3. DNA - now, since we don't have DNA (we went through the 2 year abandonment process), we don't know what the Embassy will interview, just documentation, etc.....???? This will probably only take 1 week but could be sooner or longer.
4. Issuance of Pink Slip - this is a BIG deal. It will give us our date to travel to Guatemala to pick up our son! Many people have had a week to 1 1/2 weeks to travel; however, 2 families recently had 2-5 days notice!!!
Thank you all for your prayers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Still in PGN

We just got an email this morning saying that we are STILL IN PGN!!! We are so grateful as this means we haven't been kicked out! Praise God.
If we don't receive word by Thursday of being out of PGN, our social worker will call and see where we are in the process. That will give us an idea of how much longer we have. We are just SO grateful right now for the news!
This morning we read that another couple in our Guatemalan adoption group just got their pink slip. They have been out of PGN for one month, and they received their pink slip today which says they have to be in Guatemala THIS Friday. Okay, I may have panicked a little....that's short notice considering we all thought it would be at least one week's notice. But, we're ready!!!
We're clinging tight to God's promises and know that He is in control. JT has finished working on an addition to the playground and we've started buying Christmas presents so that we are fully ready. We love you all!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Birth Certificate News

On Friday, we met with our social worker Lauren at Lifeline to update our home study and ask questions about traveling to Guatemala. We found out that one of the critical points in the adoption is getting the new birth certificate. The new certificate can take a while depending on which city our little boy was born in.
The first orphanage Jett was in was located in Guatemala City. They had told us that his birthday was Nov. 25, 2002 and that he was born in Guatemala City. However, according to our new birth certificate (we received it this summer), Jett was born in Escuintla on February 10, 2004.
We're so thankful that he wasn't born in Guatemala City as that would slow down the new birth certificate significantly. The younger age was a huge blessing as well.
God is in total control, and we are not. Thank you Father!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

7 Weeks in PGN

Today is the 7 week mark in PGN...okay, it's 5:47 am and there's no way Lauren would call this early, so I'm affirming that we're still in PGN. I did talk to Lauren yesterday about updating some paperwork, and she informed me that we should receive a legal update either today or tomorrow.
So, now we wait.....I would love for her to call and say "You're out of PGN!!!!" But the reality is that she may say that we've been kicked out. I dread that...I worry about that....I'm sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I know that it's an hourly process of giving over my worries to God. He alone is in control, and nothing I can do will change the perfect plan He has for us. I am one who totally accepts His's His timing I'm often arguing with Him if I know better. Oh, dear Lord, please help me to accept Your timing with a grateful and cheerful heart!
Please pray intently with us over the next week for good news...once we're out of PGN, Josiah Jett Turner is offically OURS. He will get a new birth certificate within weeks with his new name: Edwin Turner (they only change the last name) and our names will be listed as the mother and father...isn't that awesome!!!
We've begun the process of buying a few things...clothes and small take with us to Guatemala. We're excited and guarded all at the same time. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement now more than ever!!!