Thursday, June 14, 2012

Africa Bound!! Hanna Project!!

As many of you know Africa hold a very special place in my heart. It all started four years ago in Little Rock, AR while I was at our National Association. A friend of mine kept talking about this organization called "The Hanna Project". She told me that they were going to be giving a presentation late in the day. When it was time for the presentation I was beat from walking the convention center all day. I told my friends that I had decided not to make the trip back down to the convention center. They gave up and begin to walk out of the room on their way to the presentation. Something in my mind and heart kept telling me to go. I put my shoes back on and decided to catch up with my group and go to the presentation anyway. Boy am I glad that I did. It was absolutely fantastic! My heart was moved and I begin to weep as I watched a forgotten people struggle to find hope in a dying world. I was hooked. I felt in my heart that I would take this journey at some point in my life. Little did I know that it would be seven months later.

I took an application home with me from the National's and sent it right in. The director of The Hanna Project contacted me and we chatted on the phone about my eagerness to get on a team for the next trip. He asked me to take on a project in my home church that involved collecting school kit items. School kits consist of a pack of pencils, pack of pens, two packs of paper, ruler, erasers, color pencils, and sharpener. These kits would go to Africa and be given out at the village schools. What cost us $3 at the dollar store cost African parents a weeks wages. I took on that project and collected over 200 school kits from our church.








I set up a meeting with the director of THP and personally delivered the school kits and was able to sit down ant talk about the trip. I was accepted as part of the Save A Live III team to West Africa. I can not tell you how excited I was. We left for the trip in February of 2008! Here are some pictures that I was able to take on that trip. 




































This trip changed my life and ministry forever! It has been four years since that trip. I have had a desire in my heart every year since to return. Unfortunately, the timing just has not been right and the doors did not open for me. Well, this year they have. I sent in my application and have been accepted! I will be a team member on the Save A Life VII team to Africa in August! I can not tell you how excited I am to be going! I love the people and have longed to go back there. Especially since Lauren and I have decided to adopt from Africa. It means even more to me now. We will be leaving the US August 30th and coming back September 10th. I can't wait to see what God is going to do.

This project will take place in the area of Bondoukou and will consist of both medical and building work. Our building team will be replacing a roof on the local school while our medical team will assist in eye care and provide much needed basic medical care in the surrounding villages. Please consider making a gift to help me impact lives in the city of Bondoukou. You can visit my fundraising page at http://www.hannaproject.com/fundraising/profiles/zackanderson Most of all we need your prayers. Pray for our team to be ready mind, heart and soul! Also, pray for the people of Bondoukou as we reach out to them in many ways. May God bless and keep you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BIG BIG DAY!!!!!!!!

It has been forever since my last blog entry. Oh my, where to start. We have been so busy with so many things. Trips to see family, Memorial Day, Our first adoption fundraiser, planning VBS, planning Mission trip to New York and the list goes on. I am so glad to be able to post something today. Since this is the first post in some time, it will be a long one lol.

video

I will start off telling all of you about the miracle that was our first adoption fund raiser. A few months ago we decided to have two yard sales to help raise money for our adoption. Each step of the adoption process takes a certain amount of money. We have been gathering enough money for one step at a time. Once that step is complete we begin gathering for the next step. We decided to have one yard sale in Paducah, Ky where my wife Lauren is from, and one here in Owensboro, Ky where I am from. Our friends and family began cleaning out their attics and donating those items for our yard sale. My fist thought was, will this really make us any money? You know me, always the realist. Well, by the time June 3rd got here my Father-in-law's garage was packed to the max. We had so much stuff I could not believe it. Then the overwhelming thought of, how in the world will we ever get rid of all this stuff really hit me. lol

video

Our family and friends worked extremely hard unpacking everything and getting it separated and tagging it all. After a very long hard day of unpacking, organizing, hauling, and pricing we were ready to drop. We went to bed excited about the next day. When we got up early the next day I really did not know what to expect. I got up at 6am and was out side by 6:30am. When I walked out we already had people out there looking to buy stuff. 10 hours later we had sold hundreds of items to hundreds of people and walked away with a grand total of $2,056!!!! Can you believe it? Our God is so great! 


This fundraiser made is possible to take our next step. This step for us is the most important step. Today, we are sending off our I600a form. This form will be sent to our governments and they will determine if we will be allowed to adopt internationally or not. This is huge for us!    
We are asking that all who read this blog please pray for this paper to fall into the hands of a Christian person. Pray that they will really read the letters of support and consider them seriously. This is so important to Lauren and I. We want our baby home with us ASAP. The more steps we knock down, the closer we are to holding baby Anderson in our arms. Thank you so much ahead of time for praying.
Our next big fundraiser will be here in Owensboro on July 28th. We have a garage packed to the door with hundreds maybe even thousands of items that we will be selling in our garage sale that day. I can't thank all our friends and family enough for all they have done. We look forward to what God is going to do.

Baby Anderson, Mommy and Daddy are working very hard so that we can see you soon. I have faith that this will happen and that we will hold you in our arms very soon. We love you!

We recognize that adoption may not be possible for everyone, so this might be one way to partner with us in fulfilling our dreams for ministry and family. If you would like to donate toward our adoption, you can make out a check to
             Zachary or Lauren Anderson
Mail to: 2825 West Wayside Dr.
            Owensboro, KY 42301
 PLEASE PUT ADOPTION IN THE MEMO.


Friday, March 30, 2012


Hello friends and family!! I just wanted to give you a quick update on what is going on in the Anderson household as of late. Well, we are moving full steam ahead! Running around collecting paper work for the completion of our home study. It's interesting trying to track down old information, but nevertheless it must be done.

Once again our wonderful adoption worker Meredith has been a great help to us in every way. She has given us a great fund raising idea that I believe can be very fruitful. This one is for all of you coffee drinkers, or those who know someone who loves coffee. There is an awesome organization called "Just Love Coffee Roasters" who helps people raise money for adoptions by donating money from all items sold on our online store. They will donate a portion of everything that you buy from the link I am going to provide. I bet that you didn't know that the coffee bean originated in Ethiopia did you?

While in Ethiopia we hope to be invited to an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony! Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most enjoyable event you can attend.
The ceremony starts with the woman, first bringing out the washed coffee beans and roasting them in a coffee roasting pan on small open fire/coal furnace. The pan is similar to an old fashioned popcorn roasting pan and it has a very long handle to keep the hand away from the heat. At this time most of your senses are being involved in the ceremony, the woman will be shaking the roasting pan back and forth so the beans won't burn (this sounds like shaking coins in a tin can), the coffee beans start to pop (sounds like popcorn) and the most memorable is the preparer takes the roasted coffee and walks it around the room so the smell of freshly roasted coffee fills the air ...
The roasted coffee is then put in a small household tool called 'Mukecha' (moo-ke-ch-a) for the grinding. Most restaurants at this time incorporate modern coffee grinders into the process, this is to save time and it does not take much from the ceremony. For those interested mukecha is a heavy wooden bowl where the coffee beans are put and another tool called 'zenezena' which is a wooden/metal stick used to crush the beans in a rhythmic up & down manner (pistil and mortar).
The crushed fresh roasted coffee powder then is put in a traditional pot made out of clay called 'jebena' (J-be-na) with water and boiled in the small open fire/coal furnace. Again the boiling coffee aroma fills the room, once boiled the coffee is served in small cups called 'cini' (si-ni) which are very small chinese cups.
As you sip your first cup of coffee, you've gone through the full process of watching seeing the coffee beans being washed, roasted, grinded, boiled & now the culmination you're drinking them. By now the process is finished at most restaurants, but traditionally Ethiopians stick around to get at least a second serving of coffee and sometimes a third.
The second and third serving are important enough that each serving has a name, first serving is called "Abol"; second serving is "Huletegna"(second) and third serving is "Bereka". The coffee is not grinded for the second and third serving, a portion of coffee powder is left on purpose for these two ceremonies.

This is the kind of coffee you can buy from Just Love Coffee Roaster to help support our adoption. Please go and visit our site Here and take a look around! Thank you all so much for the support! Please remember to share our blog and get the word out! May the Lord bless and keep you.

Baby Anderson, the more I read about your country and culture the more I want to share it with you. I can't wait to have Ethiopian Christmas, or have our own Coffee ceremony and keep your family traditions going. I love you and am praying for you daily. Daddy










Thursday, March 22, 2012

Home Study Down!!


Well my dear friends and family, our home study is done! First weight is off of our shoulders. Meredith, our adoption worker came to our home Tuesday evening to complete our home study. OK so many of you have asked, "What is this home study all about?" Well, here you go.

The adoption home study is a detailed written report of your family compiled and prepared by a social worker. The adoption home study requires the prospective adoptive family to gather different documents, answer several questions, and explore their reasons for adopting. Through a series of visits and interviews the social worker can get a complete picture of who you are and what life is like in your family. The adoption home study is a part of the decision making process for both the prospective family and the workers. Not only can the adoption home study help the worker place a child into our home who would best fit into our family, but help the family and the worker decide if now is a good time for our family to adopt.

I have to say again that Meredith is so awesome! She is so much like Lauren it's funny. Very outspoken and tells you just like it is. She had made the whole process very comfortable and easy for us. As Meridith was leaving I asked her if she thought there were any problems that would keep us from adopting and she said no. In fact she said we will be just fine. She also said i could quote her on that in this blog lol. We are just so very excited. God has provided every step of the way for us thus far and I know that He will continue to.

Lauren and I are looking forward to this experience. Not only bringing our child home, but also learning about the Ethiopian culture and lifestyle. We want to be 100% open with this adoption and teach our child about their heritage. We are looking forward to connecting with the adoptive families who have Ethiopian children and learn from them. Our Holidays will be exciting and different. We are looking forward to involving our families in this process as well. A lot to look forward to in the coming years.

Our home study will be typed up and delivered to the adoption agency in about two or three weeks. In the mean time we just have to tie up a few loose ends as far as some paper work goes. Our next step is to fill out a I-600A Form. The I-600A is the first form you will fill out with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is completed before an orphan is located or has been identified for an adoption by you.We will have to get a birth certificate to show proof of citizenship, Proof of marriage and the proof of ended previous marriages. Photocopies of divorce decrees, Completed home study with a recommendation by the state agency, and Fingerprints of all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the home. That may not be everything. lol We will see.

We are so blessed to have so many friends and family supporting us. This is still a very long road with a huge financial commitment. We know that God will provide.

Please remember that you can donate to our cause if you feel that is what God would have you to do. We have a personal PayPal account set up and the link is below. Just select an amount and hit pay now. Every penny will go toward our adoption process to bring Baby Anderson home! Anything we receive over that amount will be donated to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Owensboro. Thank you!

Baby Anderson, I can just imagine how you will be and our times together. I can't wait for all of it. The good and the bad. Can't wait to teach you about God's ways. Looking forward to holding you when you cry and supporting you when you fall. I look forward to celebrating your achievements and watch you become a great person. I love you

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Good News!!






Well friends, what a week! Our home study is fast approaching and we are so very excited to have Meredith coming to our home. This is an important step for us. After the home study you can begin the process of applying for our adoption grants and start our fundraising efforts.
The home study is $1,500 and that is a lot of money for us to come up with. I started this past week finding things that could go on eBay. Things like a GPS, Baseball cards, a BodyBug and so on. I was able to collect around $210 from that. Not to mention our angel who dropped $500 in our mailbox a few weeks ago. We knew that we had around $700 for our home study but were racking our brains to figure out how in the world we were going to come up with the other $800. lol If you have not figured it out by now, I am the worrier. lol
So we are cleaning house today and I look at my wife and ask her how in the world are we going to come up with $800 in the next 2 weeks. She looks at me and says, well I don't know but why are you worried about it? You know God's got this. lol Just like my wife. She has much more faith than I do at times. It's like God's voice came out of thin air and reminded me of something I had thought of a few days ago. Get rid of your old gold jewelry. Lauren and I both had gold that we no longer wear or it was broken or kinked. We started going through it and found several pieces. We took it off to see how much we could get out of it with gold prices being $1660 an ounce. We get there and the guy writes us a check for $1,224.00!!!! I almost fell over! We were so excited. OUR HOME STUDY IS PAID FOR!! What a relief and huge weight off our shoulders! Now we can rest our minds and look to the next step of this journey.
Last night we had an opportunity to go to a class on Raising a Multiracial Family. It was awesome. We really enjoyed meeting new people and seeing all the adopted children. We were able to meet a couple who have adopted a son from Ethiopia. He just melted our hearts. It made us long to have Baby Anderson home with us asap lol. We were able to friend them on Facebook and are planning to keep in touch with other families who have adopted from Ethiopia. Looking forward to new friendships.
So, as you know we want to share this journey with the world. We want God to be seen and tell others what He has done for us. I have started asking people on twitter to re tweet our blog to as many people as they can. Well, that has been more successful than I imagined. Last night Leah Remini tweeted me asking about our adoption and what she could do to help. Leah played Carrie on the hit tv show "The King of Queens". I told her to please re tweet our blog. Well, she DID!!! It went out to 174,000 people. Our blog blew up and people from all over the country begin to read it. That is pretty cool I think. So a big THANK YOU to Leah for that. She is not the only one. Others like The Bowling Family, Mark Lowry, After Edmund, Dean Hopper, Ernie Haase, Catalyst, D6 Family, The City Harmonic, The Perry's, and The Nelons have also re tweeted our blog to over 254,000 people! Over a quarter of a million people! How awesome is that! God in deff in control and we can't wait to see what He does next! God bless, and please continue to pray for us and Baby Anderson.
Please remember that you can donate to our cause if you feel that is what God would have you to do. We have a personal PayPal account set up and the link is below. Just select an amount and hit pay now. Every penny will go toward our adoption process to bring Baby Anderson home! Anything we receive over that amount will be donated to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Owensboro. Thank you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

WAYS TO HELP!!




Hello everyone! The response to our blog has been overwhelming to say the least. God is so good and His people are faithful! I want to start by giving God all glory and honor for what He has and will do during our adoption process. He is truly faithful and able to do great and mighty things.
As many of you know, the financial burden of an adoption is a considerable one. After reading many blogs about adoption journeys, I have come to see that this is a worry and concern for may families. I have also learned something else. In every blog that I read I see people, church family and friends coming together in unity to fulfill God's plan for adoption. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of
our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their  distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
I want to share with you what God has allowed. 

We decided to do the only thing that we can do about the financial situation. GIVE IT TO GOD! I mean, that should be a no brainer right? lol  It's amazing how faithless we can be some times. Well, about a week ago I felt that God was telling me that I should really try and promote this blog. I kept feeling like the more people that read it, the more people will see God's hand in it all and He will be glorified. I had an idea to start using two of the biggest social media sites out there. Facebook and Twitter. In the last week, our blog has been retweeted by people like Mark Lowery, Ernie Haas, Dean Hopper, The Bowling Family and Catalyst to over 55,000 people!! Can you believe that? 55,000 people have had access to our link! We have had tons of people accessing our blog from all over the US and many different countries.

Well, I have been asking God to move in the hearts of His people and those who are reading to bring them closer to Him in some way. Then it hit me. God is allowing me access to thousands of people who may want to help us in our journey. Many people are looking for opportunities to help with something like this. I then begin to think, what if only half of those people donated $1.00 toward our adoption effort? We would have already raised our funds. lol How awesome would that be. I called PayPal and asked about putting a donate now button on our blogs but they said I would have to have Non-Profit status. Well, we don't so that was out. Then I thought, why can't I just add my personal account with a pay now button? People who want to give online can and people who want to give directly can just send to us.

We are going to accept donations! If you want to help us bring baby Anderson home from Ethiopia and fulfill God's plan for our family then please feel free to donate any amount. Every little bit helps. Our fist step is to pay for our Home Study. That is going to cost $1,500. That money will be due in about a month. We have been selling items on ebay and I have been selling my old baseball cards to help in the effort. So far we have around $700.00. We sill need another $800.00.

We are already fully invested in this process and are planning other opportunities to raise funds as well.  We recognize that adoption may not be possible for everyone, so this might be one way to partner with us in fulfilling our dreams for ministry and family. If you would like to donate toward our adoption, you can make out a check to
             Zachary or Lauren Anderson
Mail to: 2825 West Wayside Dr.
            Owensboro, KY 42301
 PLEASE PUT ADOPTION IN THE MEMO.

OR you can just click the pay now option below and choose an amount. Anything raised over our adoption amount will be donated to Care Net pregnancy center of Owensboro.


Amounts

Another huge way to help us is to partner with us in prayer! Pray for us and our baby! Pray for the health of our babies Mother and the health of our child. God knows what He is doing and we trust Him 100%. Thank you all for praying or donating. May God receive all the Glory and Honor! Great things are coming.
You can follow my wife's blog at rosebud76.blogspot.com

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fundraiser #1

I am writing to announce a big fundraiser that is in the works right now. The weekend of the huge Hwy 68 yard sale (June 1-3 in Paducah) Lauren will be having a yard sale at her parent’s home. I know everyone has a box of stuff sitting in their house somewhere labeled “yard sale” but you either don’t want to mess with it or don’t think you have enough stuff to warrant a yard sale (that's always us). Here is your chance to get rid of that box of said stuff! We will be accepting donations of items for the yard sale to help bring home Baby Anderson from Ethiopia!


Also, for those in the Owensboro area, we will be having a yard sale too, the details haven't been worked out yet but if you have a GREAT location for a yard sale in an area that has a huge yard sale weekend and would be willing to let us set up then please contact me!

You can email Lauren if you have any questions, rosebud76(at)gmail(dot)com
Thank you so much for your time to read this and your prayers.



Lauren and Zack



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Wayside Dr W,Owensboro,United States

Friday, March 9, 2012

WE HAVE DECIDED!!!!!!

Great news today. Well, first let me say that I am sorry for not updating as promised last night. We got home very late and had to get packing for our trip to Atlanta this morning.

As all of you know, we had our meeting with Meredith from Adoption Assistance, Inc. last night in E-Town. I have to say that God is in this process big time! He is showing Himself clearly in this whole thing. Meredith is a God send. I know for sure that He connected us for a reason. She is amazing for sure. Lauren absolutely related to her right off the bat, and she was so down to earth and real. She pulls no wool over the eyes. She told us all that we needed to know and then some. She took her time with us and answered all of our questions. Many of our worries and concerns were laid to rest.

We spent a great deal of time talking about the pros and cons of both domestic and international adoption. We talked about all the countries available to us and the pros and cons of those countries. We talked about cost, fundraising, grants, loans and everything under the sun lol. We left our meeting with 100% of the information that we came there seeking. I felt that God was right there in the room as we were talking. I was moved by Meredith's own adoption story as she opened up and took the time to share it with us. I was anxious to leave toward the end of our meeting because God had already confirmed to me what He wanted us to do and I could not wait to pick Lauren's brain to see if she had the same feeling.

As many of you know, I have a love and passion for the people of Africa. I had the unique opportunity to visit there in 2008 with The Hanna Project on a mission trip. I came back changed forever by what I saw and experienced there. I fell in love with the people and children of Africa. My heart longs to go back there and be with the people. I have wanted to go again with the Hanna Project but have not had the opportunity. Well, about 3 months ago the fire and passion I have for Africa was rekindled. I felt that God was calling me back to Africa. I contacted the Hanna Project and found that they were taking applications for another trip to Africa in September 2012. This was a perfect time because it's after our busy summer months with our church youth group. I knew that this was the perfect time to take the step, so I did. I now have my application in and am awaiting to know if I made the team or not. I have been drawn to the children of Africa since 2008. In fact, every child that we have supported through world vision, Holt and Feed the Hungry have been from Africa. Africa holds my heart.

While talking with Meredith my heart begin to swell as she talked about the children of Ethiopia. I listened to her stories about the orphanage and the children there. About how the children get there. About how they live in extreme poverty and sometimes the Mother dies in child birth and the Father can not afford to feed the child. My heart broke but at the same time filled with excitement as God confirmed in me that we needed to adopt from Ethiopia. I just knew it without a doubt. When we left the meeting I asked Lauren what she thought and she agreed 100%. Ethiopia it is!! She has the same feeling as I do. She knew before we talked after we left, that our child would be from Ethiopia. I can not tell you how excited we are.


Now the process begins! We have all our paperwork in and are now ready to begin our home study. We set the date with Meredith for March 19th. Meredith will come to our home and meet with us and take a tour of our home. It brings us one step closer to Baby Anderson. This process will not be easy. There will be rough days and trials that come. There will also be good days and exciting days that will come. In the end, we will have the child that God has handpicked for us before we even knew it. It will all be worth it.

I am now going to ask for your help. We desperately need your prayers. The most important thing through this whole journey will be the prayers and support of our friends, family and church family. I know that God would not open this door just to shut it before we finish. Thats not how He works. I believe that it is natural to be worried about the finical aspect of this whole process. It is not cheap. We are looking at around $26,000 altogether. This includes two trips to Ethiopia. Right now it looks like a mountain, but I know that mountains can be conquered and even moved with prayer. For now, it is a mountain. So far we have $500.00 of our $26,000 mountain. We are going to take this mountain one step at a time. The first step being the home study. The home study will cost $1,500. Then we will focus on the next step. God will provide.

We plan on sharing every part of this with the world. We want to give God all the glory for the work He is doing and will do. (Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure).

Baby Anderson, I feel as if i already know you. The time is nearing when we will meet and I will hold you in my arms. Your Mom can't wait to meet you. She is an amazing woman and will love you with a love that is unexplainable. I will love you that way to. It won't be long and you will be safe at home for good. I love you!




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Wayside Dr W,Owensboro,United States

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Exciting day!

Well today is the day!! I am so excited and a little nervous. Today we meet with our adoption agency social worker. We will be driving to Elizabethtown this afternoon to have our first meeting. We will be talking about all kinds of stuff. We will be getting info on international adoption as well as domestic adoption, financial information, and Q & A time. We have many questions to ask and are praying that we don't forget any. Please pray for us as we make our trip today. We want to be sure and not miss anything. Pray that we will get the info that we need and this will be the agency for us. We do have a few back up agencies in case this does not work out. I will be posting a follow up blog later tonight to keep everyone posted and may even have a video. Thank you for all the prayer and support.

Baby Anderson, we are moving one step closer to finding you. I love you and can't wait to meet you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A sincere thank you!

I am so thankful and humbled by the overwhelming response we have received from so many people in support of our decision to adopt. I am just blown away at the number of people who are reading mine and my wife's blogs. I just wanted to express my thanks. God bless, and please continue to read. Please watch video below!!

VIDEO TO YOU
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Wayside Dr W,Owensboro,United States

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Anticipation is killing me lol

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (Psalm 130:5 KJV)
Hello everyone, it has been a few days sense my last blog. We have accomplished a lot over the last few days. I am so excited I can't seem to focus on much else. I have to remember that I still have a life and responsibilities lol. It's just that i have been wanting to be a Daddy for so very long! I have to keep relying on Psalm 130:5. Wait on God's timing for it is perfect! I know that God has this in His right hand.
When I have read this verse in the past, the waiting part makes sense, but I guess I never payed much attention to the soul part. When I read the verse this time it made perfect sense to me, especially the soul part. Waiting with the body is one thing, but when your soul is waiting it's something all-together different. This kind of waiting is an urgent, exciting, hand wringing waiting. A burning deep down in my heat type of waiting.
This kind of waiting has been even more evident this weekend as we are in Paducah celebrating Lauren and Huston's (My Nephew) Birthday. Seeing the excitement in the eyes of my little Nephew as he gets ready for everyone to come in the kitchen and start the singing is priceless. He runs in here and tells everyone "Party Time"! lol It's awesome to watch Huston and my Niece Lilly do what they do. They are both so different in so may ways. It's funny to watch. I also watch my Brother and Sister in law as they parent. They are great parents and I see that unconditional love in them as they love their children. I look at all they have learned and how different they are now than they were when Huston was first born. I can't wait to experience all of that. The ups and downs of Parenting as well as the learning process that comes with it all.









YouTube Video


I can't help but think that this time next year we will have a little human being to parent. WOW! What a responsibility! Bing responsible for another life has to be a huge weight. Even though it is a huge responsibility I am more than ready for it. I keep thinking about what the Bible says about raising children.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 KJV) I believe that with all of my heart. My life and Lauren's are a testimony to this. Many of our friends lives as well. Our parents raised us up in the admonition of the Lord and we love Him today. Did we make our mistakes? YES, but we knew where to turn for help and restoration. Our Lord Jesus Christ and His church.
Even thought we know that this is going to be a long process, we are ready for it. In fact I welcome it. This process means that we are getting closer to meeting baby Anderson. I can't wait for that day!
Baby Anderson,
Mommy and Daddy are one step closer to meeting you. I can't wait to look into your eyes and tell you that I love you and that you are home safe and sound. What a day that will be. I may not put you down for a week....or two. lol Love Daddy!
You can follow my wife's blog about our adoption HERE
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Redbud Dr,Paducah,United States

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amazing blessing & Getting out of God's way

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Proverbs 3:5-10 KJV) 

These verses seem so clear and easy to follow. I have preached on these verses and counciled people to follow this advice. Trust the Lord because He holds all things in His hands. He owns all that we see. He knows us like the back of His hand and knows what plans that He has for us. Still we find ourselves struggling to follow the advice of Proverbs chapter 3. Why is that I wonder? I believe it has something to do with what my good friend Daniel Reeves said. He said, "We don't follow God's Word because we don't really believe". Think about it, when push comes to shove we tend not to trust God's Word. We are not sure if what God has promised is true when faced with real life trials and circumstances that require supernatural help. 

 Having said all of this I must admit that I have fallen into this category already this week. I knew that God had spoken straight to my heart about Lauren and I adopting a child and starting our family. I had no doubt in my mind about it. Here is the thing. I immediately began to worry about finances. It's amazing how quick I forgot what God promised me. He said that He has a plan and will provide a way. I guess to be honest I just did not believe that. I mean what else can I say? If I am racking my brain and worried about how in the world we even start this process with no extra money, then I am not trusting God? I know we live on a tight budget and I know exactly what is in our bank account. The problem is that I was putting limitations on the God of the universe. I was showing Him that I was going to try and figure this out on my own after just asking Him to help us. Lol How crazy is that? That's just what we do. We live in a world and a socioty that no longer believes in the supernatural power of God. We like to talk about it and even teach it, but when it comes to putting it to practice we quickly lean on our own understanding. 

 I am so thankful that God does not give up on His children, but gives them miracles instead to prove His Words. I have been stressing over finances all day. We are filling out a long list of papers so that we can begin our home study. Well, the study alone is $1,500. Not to mention the background checks at $40 just to get started. I already told Lauren that we would have to wait until we get paid again before we can send in those background check because we just simply do not have the extra money. My wife bing the better half of me said that we should step out and go ahead and send it in. I was against that decision because I was leaning on my own understanding. Here is the miracle. I get home and see a box on the front porch. It is the VBS material I have been waiting on. I then check the mailbox and there are three pieces of mail. A card and two pieces of junk mail as always lol. The card caught my attention because it had no stamp or return address on it. It just had Zack & Lauren on it. I open it up and it is a beautiful card that says BABY on it. I open it up to read it and out falls some money. $500.00! I was floored! I read the card in tears and it was from Jesus. 

Here is what it said, "Let me start by saying how proud I am of both of you. I have heard your prayers and felt your sorrow as we battled infertility together. I know your heart and rejoyce at your desire to become parents. It does my heart well to see my children imitate their Father. After all, I have adopted you, and I love you with all my heart. Becoming a Mommy and Daddy won't be easy, but remember I am with you always. I am excited to begin this exciting new chapter of your lives with you. Cherish, nurture, love and care for this precious gift as I have cared for you. I love you with a never-stopping, never giving up, always and forever kind of love! Jesus"

 I can not even begin to tell you how I felt. Rivers of joy, love, humility, and excitement overwhelmed me. All I could do is weep and sob into my hands. I have never felt so much love. I felt God's arms around me right then and there. It's something you would just have to experience. I understood at that moment what Proverbs chapter 3 was talking about. Our way of thinking is to limited compared to our Father's. We can not begin to live this life and handle everything that comes our way on our own. We need to be dependent upon God. When He speaks to our heart and tells us what to do and what He is going to do, we must trust it. He is not limited like we are. He will finish what He starts and give us what we need to accomplish it. I will trust God in this process. I have to. Without Him it will be impossible. 

 Baby Anderson, I can't wait for you to know our Savior. I have so many things to teach you. I can't wait for you to feel His love and care for you. I love you so much and can't wait to see you face to face. It will be a God moment for sure. I am praying for you and your Mother. Dad

Taking the BIG step!

Well, where do I even begin? I started blogging some time ago but after a while life seemed to get in the way, so I had almost forgotten about it. That is until now! I have more reason to blog now more than ever! My wife Lauren and I have decided to adopt! I am so excited that I can't hardly stand it. Let me start with giving you a little background first. That might help lol.

Almost 7 years ago God sent the most amazing woman into my life. Lauren was a Godsend and the woman that I knew I had been praying for. We have been married a little over 5 years now. During this time we have talked a lot about our future. Children were always a topic of conversation and a huge part of our plans. We both love children and want to be parents. In case you don't know us personally, I am a Youth Director for my home church and Lauren is our Children's Church Director. WE LOVE KIDS! Youth ministry is my passion and I can't see myself not working with young people. We finely decided about 2 years ago to begin trying to conceive children and start our family. My wife was diagnosed with PCOS about ten years ago and we knew that she could have trouble having a child. We knew it would take some time and patience. Well, it never happened. We just assumed that it was the PCOS and that we just needed to keep trying. After some time my wife suggested that I go visit a doctor and have a complete exam to make sure that everything was ok on my end. I went to the doctor and awaited the test results. I was devastated to learn that I was part of the problem. I had some major issues that would keep us from conceiving a child. The Doctor could not understand why this had happened. It is not common in men my age that are healthy. He said that it would take many more tests and many thousands of dollars to see what was going on and even then, we may not be able to fix it.

I was devastated, hurt and angry. God knows how much we want children! Why in the world is this happening to us? I just could not wrap my head around it. I knew in my heart that I would be a Dad. It's something that I really wanted bad. Lauren had mentioned adoption to me a few times in the past. She shared that when she was young that she had felt in her heart that she would adopt a child. I on the other hand had never even considered adoption. I knew that I would have a child of my own flesh and blood. Adoption is great and I support it 100% but it just was not what I had intended for me and my family. I could not have been more wrong.

As youth workers we take our kids to a lot of Christian events like concerts. A lot of these Christian artists support organizations like Holt International, Feed The Hungry, and World Vision. These ministries reach out to children all over the world and finds them sponsors that will give $30 a month to help provide a better life for them. My heart went out to them and Laurena and I decided to sponsor a child. It was a great feeling. Before you knew it we were sponsoring a child at every event we went to lol. Well, about three weeks ago we took our kids to Winter Jam in Indiana. Once again they had a presentation on Holt International. I find myself with another packet in my hand signing up to sponsor a little girl from Africa. I was so excited to have her in my hand and so was Lauren. Last week we received her packet in the mail a long with all of her information. When I opened that packet and begin to read about this young girl God spoke right to my heart. It was so clear and direct. He said, "Zack, don't you see? I have a plan for you and Lauren. You will have a child, but you have to trust me. There is a child I have in mind for you. It may not be what you had planned, but I know what is best for you. You will adopt". At that moment I was a peace. I had no fear. I did not fear the cost, the waiting, the finding, or the let down. All I knew at that moment was that God had been preparing us to adopt a child.

I sent my wife an e mail letting her know that I had come around. I was ready to adopt and start our family. She has happy to say the least. In fact, she had been praying hard for me and the whole adoption thing for a long time. It was an answered prayer for her. She knew God was in control. We are so excited to adopt. We have been talking with friends who have adopted children. We have been looking for agencies that will be a good fit for us. We have narrowed it down to three agencies. We have begun the application process with two of them. I knew it was going to be a long process and a lot of paperwork, but it's even more than I thought lol. We are well on our way.

We want to share this blessing with whoever wants to follow our journey. We will need our family, friends and church family now more than ever. I know we have that support and we are so grateful for it. We have not decided if we want to choose the sex or let the chips fall where they may. We have already started narrowing down names. That's a fun process lol. For now, we have decided to call him or her "Baby Anderson". I want to thank my wife for putting up with me. She is truly my soul mate. I love her with all my heart.

Baby Anderson,
I know that we have not met yet and you have no idea who I am, but I can't wait to meet you. God is preparing the day and time that we will meet. I can't wait to hold you in my arms and protect you with my life. I can't wait to sing to you and rock you to sleep. I am looking forward to teaching you about the Lord and His ways. You have a huge loving family who can't wait to meet you. I am praying for you every day. See you soon! Dad