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Author Archives: Christy McCosh

Praying Koby and Si Home

The latest on our adoption journey via Derek’s blog…….

The Way Word

It’s been a while since we updated anything on our adoption. Part of the reason for the delay is a series of tumultuous events in our life shortly after returning from Ghana. Perhaps we’ll be able to share more about that later, but for now, we are simply concentrating on walking in obedience to Christ and getting our new sons home!

As most of you probably know, we traveled to Ghana in mid-September for our court date. It was important to us to meet Koby and Kwesi before we went to court, so we traveled and met them the day before our court date. Emotions were turning with nervous anxiety for us and for them, I’m sure, as we sat and watched them enter the gate to our hotel. However, we warmed up to each other quickly, and Christy and I fell in love with them again as we…

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Confessions from a Control Freak

I am just dying to tell you what God has done for us during the past two weeks!  But before I get ahead of myself, I need to confess something to you:  I am a control freak.  OK.  I said it.  That’s the beginning stage of recovery, right?  Admitting I have a problem?

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’d like to share some ways that my control manifests itself.  Keep in mind that I am only going to share the first few things that pop in my head, otherwise, we’d be here all day.

1.  I believe the roll of toilet paper should be placed with the paper coming OVER the top of the roll.

2.  I believe the towels should be folded and put away with the edges uniform and all turned the same way.

3.  I believe the way I load the dishwasher is the most effective, therefore everyone should follow my lead.

I’m stopping there, but believe me, the voices in my head were urging me to continue.  I realize that these things are insignificant, but sometimes I get really worked up when they’re not right.  That leads me to this….what is ‘right’?  Who decides which way is the right way?  Ultimately, aren’t all these trivial things that I obsess over just MY preference?  MY opinion of the way things should be done?

I must confess to you that sometimes I try to control things that only God should have control over.  God has reminded me this week that He’s got it all under control.  I need not worry!  This is what I’m dying to tell you!

We are traveling to Ghana SOON!  After we purchased our airline tickets, our adoption fund was ZERO.  Enter Christy into the scene….you know, the controlling Christy.  When I talked to the lady guiding us through this process, she said that we would need to take $3,500.00 with us to pay the remainder of our legal fees, filing of the I-600, food, hotel, etc.  WHAT?!?!?!?! We did not have it, and we only had a month to get it!  I just had to figure out a way to come up with the funds we would need while we were there.  Of course, I prayed and asked God to provide it, but doesn’t He need my help?  I mean, after all, I am a good helper. 🙂

Captain Control here swung into action.  I posted in this very blog that we needed help if anyone felt compelled to give.  I facebook-stalked all my friends and begged people to host Pampered Chef shows to help us raise funds.   We co-hosted a movie night with our good friends, the Scotts.  We asked for donations through a gun raffle.  I whined about it to my husband (that one was really helpful).  I did book some Pampered Chef shows, the movie night was a success, and we have sold some tickets for the gun raffle.  I’m not saying that God can not bless our efforts, but He has reminded me that He owns the cattle of a thousand hills.   And when we ask for His help, He hears us.

God’s ways are so much better than Captain Control’s.  While I flew around being BUSY, God was calmly working everything out for our good.  We received word last Monday that we were awarded a $1,000.00 grant from the North American Mission Board Adoption Fund for Ministers (a part of the SBC) .  Praise be to Him!  Later that week, we were given $1,000.00 from someone whom we dearly love.  Praise be to Him!  Lastly, this past Sunday, all the Sunday School classes at church took up a secret love offering.  They sweetly gave us $1,692.00.  All praise be to Him!

Did you add those gifts up?  $3,692.00!  What?  Yes!  God provided $192.00 MORE than we needed to take on our upcoming trip!  And He provided it right in the nick of time!  That’s our God.  He is always on time.  He does not need help from little miss control britches here.  He just wants our trust.  He wants our obedience.  He simply wants us.

Maybe you are at a point in your life where your control has gotten you nowhere.  I hope you are reminded today that letting God lead and control is the best and safest place for us.  His ways are always higher and better than our ways.  His ways are RIGHT.  Let Him have control.

Father, thank You for always being in control, even when I try to take that away from You.  I am so thankful that You sent Your Son to adopt me into Your family.  I do not know where I would be without that love.  I pray for safety as we travel to see our boys for the first time.  I pray that as Derek and I spend time with them, that Your love will spill out of us all over them.  I pray that the court date will be successful, and I pray that the remaining time we wait for them will pass quickly.  Father, I pray that You will keep Ivy, Sophie, and Levi within Your hedge of safety and protection.  I pray for their Grandparents who are lovingly caring for them while we are away.  Thank you for their amazing support and encouragement.  Lord, You know the control freak in me has a hard time leaving them for so long.  But You have reminded me that this thing we are doing is right, and You are good and faithful in ALL things.  In the precious, redeeming name of Jesus I pray, AMEN.

Fundraising for the Fatherless

This is a great way to help us and possibly win something for yourself!

The Way Word

Christy and I traveled to Ghana in September, and on September 18 we were granted the adoption of two new sons: James Koby McCosh, and Josiah Gerrad McCosh. Praise the Lord!

Now we are trying to get misspellings corrected on our court decree so we can file the paperwork with USCIS to get approval for visas to bring Koby and Si home!

That means airfare for two to Ghana and for four back home. So we are still in need of raising some funds.

The drawing for the raffle of the antique Russian sniper rifle will be next Friday, the 19th. The winner will be contacted and announced right after the drawing. Get your chance while time remains!

Image

We were blessed by the generous donation from a church member with this antique rifle toward our adoption. The gun is a Russian M91 7.62x54R. It is the original design of the…

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We Need You

Friends, I come to you today with a request.  We need you.

In a few weeks, Derek and I will be traveling to Ghana to meet our boys for the first time.  While we are there, our adoption cases will go to court.  If all goes as planned, we could possibly bring our two little boys home around Christmas time!  But there’s one small problem…..we need funds.

Like I’ve stated in previous posts, international adoption is not cheap.  Here is a breakdown of our adoption costs:

   AMOUNT             PAID        BALANCE
Home Study 1800.00 1800.00 0.00
Online Adoption Classes 150.00 150.00 0.00
Submission of I-600A 720.00 720.00 0.00
Biometrics/Fingerprints 170.00 170.00 0.00
Passports/Travel Visas 450.00 450.00 0.00
Legal Attorney 1800.00 500.00 1300.00
Power of Attorney 2000.00 100.00 1900.00
Children’s Medical Exams 150.00 150.00 0.00
Birth Certificates 70.00 70.00 0.00
Submission of I-600 720.00 0.00 720.00
Children’s Passports 450.00 0.00 450.00
Children’s Visas 800.00 0.00 800.00
Airfare for two trips and hotel costs        ??? 0.00             ???
Remaining balance (not including travel expenses): $5,170.00

Through the generous gifts of individuals and my Pampered Chef business, God has proven Himself faithful time and time again.  We have been able to pay every fee when it was due….and we started with ZERO!   However, when we purchase our $3,000 plane tickets in a couple of weeks, our adoption fund will once again be ZERO.  After our court hearing in a few weeks, we will have to pay our Attorney in full.  We will also have to pay for the submission of our I-600.  Those two items alone total $2,020.00.

So I ask, will you partner with us?  Would you be willing to host a Pampered Chef show?  Would you be willing to donate financially?  Would you be willing to share this blog with those who could help?

We are trusting God to provide…..is He tugging at your heart to give?
Blessings to you,

Christy

Oh, How Time Flies!

Good grief!  Where has the time gone?  I’ve not shared a thing since April!  I don’t know how that happened.  I am usually overflowing with words.  Just ask my family. And my friends. And the people in line at the grocery store. And the cashiers at said grocery store.  I know they’d agree. 🙂

So, I guess I need to bring our adoption journey up to date for everyone.  Here’s the latest:

  • On May 30th, we traveled to Nashville for our biometrics appointment.  To quote my good friend Ginger, “that’s adoptionese for fingerprinting.”  Our U.S. pre-approval to adopt arrived in the mail this past Thursday, June 14th.  What a relief!
  • Our yard sale with the Scott family was profitable!  We were able to raise over $1,100!  Much thanks to everyone who donated items to our cause.  And a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us sort, price, haul, set up, and tear down.  We could not have done it without you!  We also thank our friends who endured the torrential downpour that morning with us.  Anyone that would sit huddled under a canopy in the cold dampness or sort clothes in the church trailer while a severe thunderstorm warning was underway is nothing less than a true friend. 🙂
  • Our Dossier, which contains our approved homestudy, birth and marriage certificates, passport photos, and a lot of personal information about Derek and me, is in an airplane on its way to Ghana as I am writing this!  It will be hand-delivered by Whitney to the attorney in Accra along with our downpayment for his services on Tuesday, June 19th.  How exciting!
  • Our trip to Ghana has been postponed a bit.  We thought we were going to be able to travel sometime this month, but now it looks like it will be late August or early September.  The airfare should be much less than the going rate of $2,500 – $3,000 per person presently.  This should also give us some more time to raise needed funds.

To all of you who have been so gracious and helped us in this process….THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  For those who are wondering if we still need help, the answer is yes!  We still need to raise about $10,000 – $15,000.  There are so many ways you can help us bring these boys home.

  • Financial support is always greatly appreciated!  Donations can even be accepted through our blog by clicking here or on the donate tab above.
  • Book a Pampered Chef show!  We can do an online show, a catalog show, or a home show….whichever is easiest for you!
  • Donate items that we can sell.  Example:  A very dear man in our church donated a WWII era rifle that we, along with the Scotts, are going to auction.  How exciting is that?
  • Share our story and our blog with people who might be able to help us!

We trust God.  We know that He will continue to provide the resources we need to give these two orphans a forever family.  Who knows?  Maybe He’s tugging at your heart to get involved.

Much love to all of you!

Christy

Are We There Yet?

I know you’ve heard it.  You’ve probably even asked it.  Those four little words spoken during a road trip, “Are we there yet?”  I really don’t mind being asked the first time, but after the hundredth bazillionth time, it becomes mildly irritating.  So much so, that I usually just quit answering the question and try to ignore my kids altogether.  I know, I know,  Mother of the Year award-winner right here.

The day always starts out with great anticipation of reaching our destination whether it be the beach, the mountains, or the Grandparents.  Admittedly, I’m usually tired (and maybe a wee bit grouchy) because I think it is important for our house to be clean from top to bottom before we leave.  I can not stand the thought of coming home to a nasty house.  Anybody out there with me?  So, by the time we get in the car, I’m ready for a nap.  But not too deep of a nap, because I still need to help Derek drive. Isn’t that right, honey?  🙂  And then it starts.  We’re one hour into the drive and I hear it.  “Mom, how much longer?  Mom, are we getting close?  Mom, are we there yet?”

To tell you the truth, I have asked those very questions about our adoption.  How much longer?  Are we getting close?  Those of you who have been following our journey faithfully may be asking the same thing too.   Here’s an update:

1.  Our Home Study is complete, and we have submitted our paperwork to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  They will complete a background check on us, and declare us either fit or unfit as adoptive parents.  Once deemed as acceptable parents, we will begin the adoption process in Ghana.  (Glad they didn’t make us do this for our biological kids…just sayin’.  LOL!)

2.  On Saturday, May 5th, we will have a massive and hopefully profitable yard sale with our good friends Dwane and Ginger Scott.  All proceeds will benefit both of our adoption funds.  If you have any items or funds you’d like to donate, please let us know!

3.  In June, Derek and I will be traveling to Ghana to meet our boys for the first time.  To say I’m nervous and anxious may be an understatement.  This is the first time I will have traveled anywhere like this, and I will definitely be out of my comfort zone.  I must confess I have lots of issues….but especially with germs.  And bugs.  And did I mention germs?  But the prize waiting there for us will be worth it.  To see those precious faces up close, to wrap our arms around them, to know that these children will soon be orphans no more will cause any discomfort to fade.  However, leaving them will break our hearts.  It may be 6 months, 9 months or even a year before we are able to bring them home.    Please pray for us while we begin the process of waiting.

That brings me back to my initial thoughts.  Waiting.  You know, just like on a road trip, we have started this adoption process with great excitement and anticipation.  We are now at that point in the journey where the road seems to stretch out far ahead of us with only an estimated time of arrival.  We know a good thing is ahead, but we so often get weary of waiting. And driving. And waiting. And driving.

But we don’t have to do this all alone.  In fact, we’re not even the ones driving.  Our Heavenly Father is directing and guiding this journey and has been from the very beginning.  I pray that we will not whine to Him about how long it is taking or asking if we’re almost there, but that we will be joyful and will continually thank Him for taking us along on this journey with Him.

For those of you who are waist-deep in the process with us, I pray you will not grow weary.  There’s a great destination ahead.   Let’s be encouraged and found faithful to Him while we’re waiting!

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:9


Love,

Christy

I Really Needed That!

As I sit here typing, I am listening to the sound of my new washing machine.   You may be thinking, “so what?” or “big deal”.  Believe me, I’m not bragging to you all about my new appliances.  I’m getting ready to brag on my great God.

Around Christmas time, I mentioned to my sweet Mom that I would like to have a new washer and dryer….one that would wash really large loads.  But since we are saving every penny we can for our adoption, I knew that was a dream that would have to wait.

A few weeks ago, my Mom called and asked if I would be interested in a washer and dryer that a couple in their church wanted to give away.  She continued to inform me that it was a front-loading set, and it was only a few years old.  God had provided for my want with this free gift!  Without hesitation, I told her “YES”!  Within a few days, the set had been delivered to their home.  Now we just had to get them from Georgia to Tennessee.

Mom and Dad decided to bring them home this weekend.  The plan was for them to drop them off at my in-laws house, and then we were going to travel there and bring them the rest of the way home.  But my Dad decided en route that he’d rather just go ahead and bring them to our house today.

Hang on….here’s where it gets good.  In the meantime, I thought I’d wash a load of jeans.  I started my 20 year old washer, and it went through the first cycle.  But then I noticed that the washer was not rinsing or spinning.  You guessed it.  My washer broke today.  The very day that my Dad felt led to bring the set to the house.

My God works everything out for His glory and our good in His time.  Yesterday, I didn’t need the washer.  Tomorrow, I would have been pulling my hair out.  I needed it today, and today He provided.

What about you?  What is going on in your life that you need to trust God about?  God cares more for you than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field.  He provides for them, so won’t He provide and care for you even more?   God knows exactly what you need.  (My paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34.)

More important than any washer or material thing, God has provided for our greatest need through Jesus.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)   He died for me.  For all my sin.  I am so undeserving, yet God knew that I needed that.  But it’s not just for me….it’s for you, too!   Have you accepted God’s free gift to you?  “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Thank you God for meeting our physical needs, but most importantly, I thank you for meeting our deepest need.   On this Easter weekend, I thank you for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of your Son and my Savior.  

 

The Least of These

Our church hosted the group His Little Feet last week.  They did something to me….to my heart.  They put little faces, little hands, and little feet on the word ORPHAN.  We say the word and don’t give it much thought most of the time.  We know it means someone who has lost one or both of their biological parents, but unless we have been affected by it personally, it’s just another word.  Shame on us.  Shame on me.  God forbid I ever say it again without thinking of the enormity of the problem.

143 million children are officially classified as “orphans” today.  They live in orphanages and foster care group homes.  Those statistics are according to UNICEF. Another 20 million children are in the classification of “displaced children.” These are children that are not in any institution.  In Eastern Europe, less than 50% of the children will live to their 21st birthdays.  In African countries, there’s a concerted effort to keep children alive past their 5th birthdays.  Orphans are used to fight wars, and if they were unfortunate enough to be a child born with Down Syndrome, in some countries they have bombs strapped to their chests and used by terrorist organizations as a human bomb. (Taken from the website The Orphan Foundation)

What will it take to get our attention dear brothers and sisters in Christ?  Why are we not more concerned with the least of these?  Is it because we are comfortable living in our air-conditioned homes and driving our air-conditioned vehicles?  Is it because we’ve never experienced the pangs of hunger?  Is it because we’re worried what people would think if we had a child of a different race?  Is it because we are afraid of the cost?  Is it because we choose to turn a blind eye and really just don’t care?  God forbid.  If we call ourselves followers of Christ, we must care.  Our hearts should be filled with compassion and concern.  But it mustn’t stop there.  We should swing into action.

So, you may be asking, “How can I help?  What could I possibly do?”  As the directors of His Little Feet shared, there are four ways you can help:

GIVE.  You can give to advocacy groups just like His Little Feet.  You can also give to those who have committed to adopt.

SPONSOR.  The needs are enormous.  You can sponsor a child through organizations such as Compassion International, Holt International, World Vision, or Feeding the Nations.  Not only do they provide food, clothing, and shelter, they also share Jesus with the children in their care.  Sponsorships cost an average of $30 – $40 a month.  About $1 per day to make an eternal difference in the life of a child.

GO.  How about using your vacation time to serve the least of these?  Contact Visiting Orphans to see how you can be the hands and feet of Christ to orphans around the world.

ADOPT.  Adoption Agencies such as America World Adoption, Bethany Christian Services, and Holt International are ready and waiting to help bring a child into their forever family.  Our dear friends at Hearts4Ghana are working hand-in-hand with us to bring our boys home from Ghana.

Why am I so insistent on encouraging my fellow Christians to get involved?  It’s simple.  Our Faith demands it.  Scripture teaches over and over again that we are to care for the poor, the widowed, the orphaned.  So are we going to live what we believe?

Look into the face of Gracia….a little girl who was orphaned at a young age along with her four brothers.  She stayed with our family while His Little Feet was here.  Tell me, could you look in her beautiful face and just walk away?  There are millions just like her.  Are you willing to help?

She loved riding the bike

Taking pictures with the girls

So sweet!

Loving the American Girl collection 🙂

Thankfully, Gracia has a forever family waiting on her in Honduras.  And Gracia will always have a permanent place in our hearts.

I’ll leave you with this:

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

– Matthew 25: 34-40 (NKJV)

Much love to all of you,

Christy

What a week……….

Since the last post, we have had quite a week. A week which included severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings, a missed homestudy appointment, a resignation, and a sore throat.

Let me start at the beginning of my list. Last week, it became apparent that spring is trying to get ‘sprung’. Tornado warnings in February. Really? Well, after the storms on Wednesday, Derek and I decided we were not going to stay at the house if tornadoes were in the forecast. So when Friday rolled around with a TORCON rating of 9/10 (I really do not know what that means, but it sounds really bad), we high-tailed it to the church basement. We weren’t the only ones there. Our church secretary and her family had the same idea. Needless to say, all the kids were bored, but I kept Jeanie entertained with the songs I could think of pertaining to storms. She was highly impressed. I could tell. So was the frog that came inside to listen….the one that almost caused me to have a stroke. Jeanie is now aware that I am a bonafide sissy. 🙂 Thankfully, the storms went around us.

Because of the storms, our last homestudy appointment had to be rescheduled for Monday, March 12th. Lord willing, the weather will be pretty, and we can get this paperwork wrapped up! After the homestudy is complete, we will compile our dossier and it will be on its way to Ghana!

Now about that resignation. Our Associate Pastor and his wife, Kevin and Debbie, announced their resignation Sunday. They have been faithful servants of Gum Springs for over 9 years, but now they have been called to serve in Louisville, KY. Even though we are going to miss them like crazy, we know God has a work for them to do there! They are on this adoption journey as well, and you can read more of their story at Forever by Grace.

And don’t forget my sore throat. I need (want) some pity here. I am feeling better now, thanks to Tylenol, Mucinex D, and lots of sleep. Lots of sleep. Yeah, you don’t want to see my nasty house right now or the loads of laundry waiting on me. Housework has no pity on the puny. 🙂

All kidding aside, I am so thankful that I serve a God who is not affected by unpredictable weather, missed appointments, life changes, and my sore throats. I am thankful that when life seems crazy, we can trust in His faithfulness, His goodness, His mercy, and His compassion. Aren’t you?

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Praying you are reminded of God’s faithfulness and goodness to you!

I love you all,
Christy

Blessed

Hi everyone!!

Just wanted to give you all a quick update of this week’s happenings.

As you know, adoption is not free, but we are trusting that God will provide every last penny we will need to bring James Koby and Gerrard home.  In my last post, I shared how I felt led to sell Pampered Chef in an effort to raise adoption funds.  I had my very first show last night, and it was a huge success!  My mother in law, Carolyn, graciously hosted the show for me.  Let me tell you…she outdid herself!  She gave out over 100 invitations and also encouraged donations.  God truly blessed her efforts, and we received $575.00 in gifts!  I estimate my commission on Pampered Chef products to be around $135.00.  That brings Friday’s total to $710.00!  God is so good!!

Last Friday, while Derek was on Facebook, I noticed he had 1800+ friends.  OK.  I do not know how he has that many friends.  I only have around 650.  Something just doesn’t seem right with that picture.  I’m pretty sure I’m a lot sweeter than him.  Just kidding, honey.  I know you’re older than me, so you’ve had more years to make more friends.  😉  You know I love you.  Back to my point…..  I simply said, “Derek, did you realize that if each of your facebook friends donated $10.00 to our adoption, it would be fully funded?”  So Derek posted a statement similar to that with a link to our blog’s ‘donate’ page.  I did the same thing, but since I have so few friends, I had to suggest $25.00.  *grin*.  Once again, God blessed us.  Over the next couple of days, our friends had graciously donated $625.00.  God is so good!!

I mustn’t leave out that when we first announced we were adopting in December, we were given a total of $600.00 from two very dear couples.

If you’re keeping a tally, that brings us up to $1,935.00!  That is 1/9 of what we need!  I’m speechless.  Actually, it brings tears to my eyes as I type this.  To think that our friends would be so generous towards us is humbling.  We are so undeserving, yet you have given…you have invested in the lives of two orphans you’ve never met.  We could never thank you enough….they could never thank you enough.  But the Creator of the Universe, He has seen your generosity.  I trust that He will remember it and bless you.

As a visible reminder for us and the boys, and in honor of you,  I am preparing a scrapbook for each of them.  For each one who has given, your name and the date you gave will be placed inside.  I pray that as the boys grow, they will be blessed to read and see how God provided for them through you to become Just Like Us.

I love each of you!

Christy

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