A Court Date…

Oh Happy Day!

The last few months of waiting have been…. well, there are not adequate words. Waiting is just plain hard.

During the last few months we have literally walked through the adoption process. Step by step. The process takes you through every different emotion. Some days are filled with accomplishment after certain documents and paperwork is completed. Other days are filled with nothing and and you feel like all you do is wait. Some days you hear good news, other days you hear nothing. You wait for updates; sometimes obsessively (as in checking your email every 5 minutes, even at 2am and 3am and 4am). You know exactly what time it is in Africa and you know when it’s 11am your time, it’s 8pm in Uganda and the day is over.  The days are filled with everything from anticipation & excitement to confusion & frustration. Days of clarity and days of loneliness. And days where you better believe with all your heart that God’s timing is perfect. Or else you will loose your mind.

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During this time, paperwork is being completed. Lots of it. Documents being prepared. Files beings made. Cases being built. Probation officers approving and signing these files and cases. Affidavits being prepared and printed and signed and notarized. A million times. Court case being filed. Judges being assigned. All for the final thing: THE COURT DATE.

Waiting for the court date is like waiting for labor to start. Except you don’t know when your due date is. So how could you possibly know when labor might start? Which means you really have no idea when you will receive your court date OR when the court date will be. So you wait. And it’s really not even a comparison at all, haha!

This sort of waiting takes patience to an entire new level. I call it God-is-refining-me-through-a-tortuous-process-patience.

Well wait no more…

The time is here: WE RECEIVED OUR COURT DATE!

We are so darn excited! I wasn’t expecting to receive our court date yesterday. But it came. I read the email a million times. Even though it was only 2 short sentences. It was the best two sentences. Ever.

Now we prepare for our trip. List making and packing are just the beginning.

We also have the logistics of leaving our 4 littles while we are away.

Here’s what I’ve learned recently (because I’m learning an awful lot during this journey). God is sovereign. His timing is perfect. He specializes in details. And He knows the desires of our heart.

Our court date is the best date possible. During this time, we have an amazing team of family and friends who will be holding down the fort back home. They have every detail covered from the kids schedules to meal plans to transportation. What a relief and a blessing! One of my sisters will be flying in from Norway in preparation for my other sisters wedding. My kids will be cared for and loved by the very people I prayed could/would be able to watch them. Had we received an earlier court date, none of this would have possible. Now we will all be back home for my sisters wedding! Praise God!

Please pray for us as we prepare to travel for our court date! We will keep you updated…
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The Gianelloni 6, VERY soon to be 7 :)

We Wait…

Here we are. The fundraiser was a great success. The money is raised. The paperwork is complete.

Now we wait. We wait for a court date.

We wait with patience. Joyful hope. And excited anticipation.

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Thank-you for being a part of our journey!

Love, The Gianelloni 6, soon to be 7….

Love At First Skype…

OK here it is. My sweet skype session with Solomon. This was the first day I met him face to face. It was the first time he learned he was being adopted. It was an instant love. The living expression of what it means to be adopted into a forever family. In the video he says three things: “I love you mommy”, ” I am happy”, “Thank-you mommy”. This is an edited version (the original video is a lot longer with a lot more tears). There is also a 3 second delay and a bit of interpretation, but you can still hear his precious voice and get a glimpse into our instant bond. One of the most special moments I’ve ever experienced!

Love At First Skype

Brother’s Brother and A Finished Puzzle…

Guess what? We finished the puzzle. All 1,000 pieces are put together. If you participated in this fundraiser, THANK-YOU! We are grateful beyond words. Your name is written on the back of the puzzle and we will always remember the role you played in our adoption journey!

When we started this fundraiser on July 5, 2012. (You can read our first post HERE).  I remember thinking “OK, Wow! 1,000 puzzle pieces. That’s a lot of puzzle pieces. Here we gooooo” :)
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We literally watched the puzzle piece donations come in piece by piece. Whether it was $10 for one piece or $100 dollars for ten pieces, we were in awe as we watched the puzzle start coming together.
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Rit & I had many late nights together (mostly Rit) where we worked on the puzzle for hours upon hours. We talked. We prayed. We bonded. I remember one night, I stood over the kitchen table for atleast 2 hours and I only got 5 pieces finished. Rit found 30 pieces. Haha!

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I choose a puzzle that was literally 1,000 different shades of black. In one of our delirious, blurry eyed, puzzle-piece-putting-together nights, Rit asked “Couldn’t you have just painted his face a few different colors before you took the picture?” Haha! Note to any future puzzle piece fundraiser people: Don’t order a 1,000 piece puzzle that is all the same color scheme. OUCH!
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All joking aside.
If you purchased a puzzle piece, or ten, or a hundred, we want you to know this:
We are thankful for you!
We appreciate you!
We are blessed by you!
We thank-you for your step of faith!
We pray for blessings over you and your faithfulness! 

We know that your donation was a sacrifice and an act of love!

“For in You the orphan finds mercy” -Hosea 14:3

I truly wish I could handwrite a thank-you note to every single one of you that purchased a puzzle piece. Whether you are a family member, a close friend, or a stranger, we are so touched by your generosity. To my sweet bloggy readers who don’t know me, thank-you! Our blog has created a family of readers and I am so very thankful to have your support!

Our first donation came in from my cousin Casey and her new husband Jordan. They were on their honeymoon in Italy. Our final donation came in from our family friend Beau. He’s a young and in his 20′s. His mom sent him our adoption video. He was so touched, he purchased the last 100 pieces. Thank-you Beau for your heart of gold, your generosity, and your sweet gentle spirt, evidenced by such an amazing donation!

Each and every donation touched our hearts in a special way. I wish I could tell about all of the amazing letters and donations that were apart of this fundraiser. I will share one personal story regarding this fundraiser. I’ll try to keep it short:

7 years ago, I read the congressional testimony of a father who lost his precious newborn daughter Lyla after receiving her Hep B vaccine. Lyla’s dad Michael Belkin has taken on a strong role as a vaccine safety advocate. I have followed his story for years. His story made a huge impact on me. I have read his daughter’s entire story & many of his testimonies. I have admired and respected his work, his many organizations, and his drive to fight for truth. I had no idea he knew me. One day, we received a donation from him for puzzle pieces. I could not believe the full circle moment. Both of my passions had come together. A father I had researched under for years and spent many nights praying for, was now participating in our adoption fundraising. How did he know who I was? Does he read my blog? I had so many questions. I still don’t know. I just know that it was another confirmation that the things our family fights for (vaccines, autism, orphans) all serve a purpose in what our family has been called to do. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Ensure justice”. -Proverbs 31:8-9 If you are reading this Michael Belkin, thank-you! Your daughter’s story changed my life 7 years ago!

I wish I could share all the stories. Every single person who purchased a puzzle piece has made an impact on us. You helped us bring an orphan home to a forever family!

I’ve learned that people care. People want to help. People want to make a difference. Some of our most touching donations came from single moms who said “I don’t have a lot of money, but I wanted to give something”. Inclosed would be $10 for a puzzle piece. I would weep. Why? Because $10 makes a difference. (Read: Mark 12:44).

See the thing is… this is not about us. This is God’s story. He started it by birthing a passion in my heart (adoption), which came to fruition when I said yes to stepping out of my comfort zone (going to Uganda) and finally meeting the face of an orphan.

I’m excited to finally show the face of the sweet orphan boy who changed my life forever. We affectionately named him Brother’s Brother. His name is David. Shortly after finding out that he was declared ineligible for international adoption and would not be coming home to our family, he was adopted by a Ugandan family and left the orphanage. God knew all along how the story was meant to unfold. David led us to our son Solomon.

If you do not know the story of us saying goodbye to Brother’s Brother and then Introducing Brother’s Other Brother, you can read those updates here:
Saying Goodbye to Brother’s Brother & Brother’s Other Brother

So here we are. A completed puzzle of the face of a world changing boy.
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We love you David! We pray favor over you. We pray protection over you.

We claim these scriptures over your life:
“For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield”
-Psalms 5:12
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” -Jeremiah 29:11

Thank-you David, for showing us a love we never knew existed. Your 1,000 puzzle piece picture will hang framed in our home. You will always be a part of our family.

You will always be “Brother’s Brother”.

A Thousand Thank-you’s!

The past 5 month have been a fundraising blitz! When we began this adoption journey, we knew that we had about $20,000 to raise. This daunting number did not phase us, as I shared in a previous post, we knew God had called us to adoption and we knew He was going to provide. We just had to say YES and take a step of faith.

Taking a step of faith does not mean saying YES and then sitting back and “trusting” God to provide all of the money.

Taking a step of faith means saying YES and then getting up and walking that faith out, step by step, fundraiser by fundraiser, fb post by fb post, idea after idea after idea after idea.

As of today we’ve raised about $16,000.

HOW?

What I’ve learned through this adoption journey is that people have TONS of questions. They want to know all the “hows” & “whys”. I understand that. Lately, everyone wants to know “How did you raise $16,000 in 5 months?”

I’ve prayed about how much detail I should go into over the financial aspects of adoption. I never wanted money to be the focus, so throughout all of our fundraising efforts, I never really discussed dollar amounts. But the truth is, adoption is expensive. The cost seems to be the #1 reason why many people feel they are not able to adopt. I know it was for me. I shared in a post (HERE) how I have always had a heart to adopt, but always felt (knew) that we could not afford it. It wasn’t until I met the face of an orphan while on a trip with a world changing family. That family spoke truth to me concerning the financial aspects of adoption. I’ll share again exactly what was said to me because I will never forget what I was told. The answer was simple and profound and instantly changed me: “God is the father to the fatherless. And He is not a dead beat dad. If He calls you to adopt one of His orphans, He will provide the resources”. (Thank-you Dwight & Linny Saunders of International Voice of the Orphan)

And so it began. Our journey to adoption. You can read every update (HERE). We launched our first fundraiser (the puzzle) on July 5, 2012. December 5th is in one week. That’s exactly 5 months of fundraising. How did we do it?

My simple answer and where I’d like to leave it: God.

It. Was. All. God.

And a thousand God-appointed details, ideas, visions, gifts, & talents in between.

I’m only going into detail in hopes that if you feel called to adopt, that this post will encourage you, inspire you, and and confirm to you that God WILL provide the funds needed to adopt one of His children!

And it’s the least I can do to THANK all of the many people involved in helping us!

Puzzle Piece Fundraiser: 1,000 pieces sold at $10 a piece. My friend Glori gave me this idea after we randomly sat by each other in the dark of a movie theatre. We whispered ideas back and forth. I find it ironic now that the title to the movie we were sitting in was Brave. Little did I know I was about to embark on a brave journey of fundraising.  A few days ago we had 99 pieces left. Someone just purchased the final 99 pieces. The puzzle is finished. I never dreamed it possible. Woo-hoo! Rit & I spent many many bonding hours putting this puzzle together. Rit became a puzzle master :) To learn more about the puzzle piece fundraiser, click (HERE).

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Love Never Fails T-shirt Fundraiser: My amazing friend Faith had a vision about a shirt. She contacted a talented artist to design the shirt. The design turned out exactly how she had envisioned it. We added LOVE NEVER FAILS to the bottom of the design (a vision of my dad’s). We had it printed on a high quality tee. We hoped to sell 100. We sold over 300 at $25/shirt. There were high costs involved (in purchasing the shirts), but overall it still raised a lot of money and was a great fundraiser!
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Garage Sales: I had two sets of amazing friends offer to host 3 different garage sales. Our family friend Mrs. Barb, who I had the pleasure of going to Uganda with this summer, hosted two garage sales. My sweet friend Karen and her husband Frank hosted another garage sale. All were a lot of work and selfless undertakings. All three garage sales were a success!
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Pumpkin Pies: My talented friend Vanessa is a baker extraordinaire. She bakes beautiful pastries and cakes. She offered to sell pies for us. She handmade 40 pumpkin pies over Thanksgiving at $20/pie. What a labor of love. Yum!
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Sugar Cookies: Vanessa also made sugar cookies. Not just any sugar cookie. Beautiful, custom, handmade, designer sugar cookies. $20/dozen. Yum again! And a piece of artwork!
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Photography Sessions: Rit’s childhood friend Missy, of Melissa Cannon Photography offered to take mini-photo sessions. She is a talented photographer and captures great photos.  She dedicated two separate weekends taking pictures and gave us 100% of the proceeds. We are so blessed by her kindness.
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Matilda Jane Clothing Fundraiser: One of my longest and bestest friends Aline, offered to give us a percentage of all sales on a clothing fundraiser. Hurricane Isaac hit the day of the event, so the sales were greatly affected. But it was a sweet offer and a good idea for a fundraiser. And the clothes are so stinkin’ adorable.
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Saints Bracelets: My sweet friend Brandi handmade Saints bracelets. A beautiful piece of art for the Who-dat nation!
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BeBe’s Kitchen: Her cooking is amazing. During our time in Uganda, she cooked in many of the villages. She cooked gumbo for a couple hundred slum kids on the streets of Kampala and came home and started BeBe’s Kitchen. It’s been amazing to watch her ministry grow and we are so grateful for Mrs. Barb. She cooked homemade meals and sold them locally. She blessed us with two weeks of profit from those many, many delicious meals that she cooked.
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Bread For Life: My closest friend Robin. We went to Uganda together. My life getting turned upside down is because of her  Her love for orphans brought me to Uganda and I was forever changed. Her ministry Bread For Life raised the initial amount of money we needed in the very beginning stages. We needed a large amount of money quick and her ministry raised it in one night. It was then that I knew God was in control
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Donations: Rit & I have been awe as we watched our daily mail arrive in our mailbox and over paypal. We have received donations and letters and notes of encouragement from people all over the country. From dear friends and family members to total and complete strangers. Day after day we have been humbled at how the Lord has orchestrated each and every donation.

A Right Hand Man. Or two. Or more: I have had so many amazing friends who offered to help. It was as simple as saying: “How can I help?” I cannot think of anything more valuable than a team of people who love and support and encourage and help you. My friend Danielle has become my right hand man planning our upcoming event. She sends out emails and texts and phone calls and runs errands and checks off her check-list like it’s nobody’s business. My soon to be sister-in-law Jordan is the dream personal assistant that I wish I could pay to shadow me everyday. Organized. Precise. Fun. And my brain when I loose it. She will meet me at PJ’s on a Saturday morning and help me organize 100 t-shirts that I have no idea who they belong too. There was a certain day when I temporarily lost my mind in a sea of t-shirt sizes and colors and spreadsheets and orders and packages and deliveries. She saved me from drowning. And my sweet friend Renee, who I named my fundraising CEO. She never wanted the job. And she probably doesn’t feel like she did much, but she just made me feel better. And sometimes that’s all I needed.

SO HERE WE ARE…

This weekend we go into our final fundraising efforts with only $4,000 left to raise for our adoption. We are believing God for big things at our event this weekend. Not only to help us raise the final amounts of funds needed to bring Solomon home, but to greatly bless the home where Solomon lives. The same home were 29 other precious orphans live. So once again, we will walk in faith on Sunday December 2nd and believe that God will provide the resources needed to drastically change the lives of these 29 orphans who are in dire need. Food, water, clothing, education, & medical needs. All of the things our society takes for granted, we can meet these needs in a single day through a single fundraiser.

We have already been amazed as we have watched the donations come in for our silent auction and raffle. Friends and strangers have donated everything from iPads, overnight hotel stays in New Orleans, getaways in wine country in Santa Barbara, CA, artwork, jewelry, spa packages, products, clothing, clothing gift cards, restaurant gift certificates, and much more. You can learn more about the fundraiser (HERE)
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Bringing Solomon Home…

 LOVE NEVER FAILS

presents our kickoff fundraiser

BRINGING SOLOMON HOME

Sunday December 2, 2012

2-5pm

Northlake Christian School
70104 Wolverine Drive Covington LA 70433

Bring your whole family out for a day of food, fellowship, & fun!

 *Enjoy a home cooked meal from BeBe’s Kitchen
*Learn about Amani orphans, see the need in Uganda, & become a sponsor for these children
*Help the Gianelloni Family meet their fundraising goal as they work to bring Solomon home to his forever family

*Silent Auction, 50/50 Raffle, Deck of Cards Surprise Giveaway

*Children’s Activities & Space Walk

*Vendors will be on site with baked goods, jewelry, and plenty of gifts to complete your holiday shopping.

All donations are tax deductible

FOR ADVANCED TICKETS PURCHASE,

PLEASE FOLLOW PAYPAL LINK

ADULTS: $10  ($12 at the door)
CHILDREN: $5  ($7 at the door)
UNDER 3: FREE

 

Saving Amani Orphans, One Child at a Time 

A Video of our Journey

We are so excited to bring you this visual story of how our hearts were gripped for the orphans, and ultimately – for Solomon.  Please take a moment to watch and be a part of our very special journey to bring him home to his forever family.

 

 

Brother’s Other Brother

An adoption update so unreal that only God could have written this story.

About a month ago, a girl named Katy contacted me. She lives in my town and heard about our adoption. She was writing to let me know that her mom was in Uganda adopting a girl named Margaret, and she asked if we would like her mom to go visit Brother’s Brother at his orphanage. I said yes and we started communicating with Katy & her mom Dana. We had an immediate bond, both being families from the same city and adopting children from Uganda.

We were all very excited and anxious for Margaret to arrive in the U.S. The day we found out that we were not going to be able to adopt Brother’s Brother, Margaret arrived from Uganda with the missionary that runs the home where she lived. We cried tears of joy and sadness as we looked at the pictures of Magaret’s arrival. Joyfulness that Margaret was home with her forever family and sadness knowing our hearts were not going to experience that same type of homecoming with Brother’s Brother.

The next day I shared our adoption update about Brother’s Brother. You can read it (HERE). It had only been 24 hours since we had received that devastating email, but I felt it was necessary to share. Within a few hours, Katy sent me a personal message that was almost hard to believe.

Be prepared to be blown away!

 

Jessica, 
I am so sorry for your loss. I know you must have a million emotions running though you. The original little girl that my mom traveled to Africa to adopt fell through. Her birth mother was still alive and changed her mind about Lily coming to join our family. In your sadness remember how much God loves you and that he works all things for good. I’m sitting next to proof of God’s love right now, Margaret. Lily will always be in our hearts and I miss her even though I never met her as I’m sure your kids miss Brother’s Brother. I don’t want to overstep, especially in your time of grief but I need to tell you about a little boy. His name is Solomon and he is 4 years old. He lived with Margaret at the House and Margaret took care of him. The past couple of weeks my mom kept saying that she wished you could be Solomon’s mother. My mom said she knew Solomon was supposed to be here and she’s been wondering if you would be the one to give him a forever home. He’s hilarious and full of life and love. I don’t want to pressure you but if you would like to see pictures and videos of him we’d love to show you. This is something that has been on our hearts and minds but my mom didn’t want to tell you since you had Brother’s Brother. The missionary that runs the House is here right now and he would love to talk to you. Also, we would love to get together with you and have you meet Margaret. We are praying for you and your family. 
-Katy

 

I honestly don’t remember reading the entire message. I just remember through tear blurred eyes, writing “Oooooohhhhhh Katy, I am bawling right now. YES, tell me all about Solomon!!!!”

And so it began. Our journey to bring Solomon home.

There are so many unique details to this story, that ONLY God could orchestrate it. Sometimes my feeble little mind thinks it understands God’s greatness, but I now know that the Lord works in a realm that I cannot even begin to comprehend.

Today I met with the amazing Missionary that runs the House where Margaret came from and where Solomon lives. His name is Ross and he is one of the most amazing selfless men I have ever met. He is in town only because he flew on the flight home with Margaret. His ministry is amazing. He takes in orphaned and abandoned children, where they are raised in a Christian home with lots of mommas and aunties and other children. The women are taught jobs and trades. They run a grocery store, hair salon, gardens, etc…The children are loved and schooled and fed and cared for. These orphans are raised in a home, not an orphanage or an institution. He then places them in forever homes, so that he can bring more abandoned & orphaned children into his loving home.

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE ADOPTION JOURNEYS

Our situation with Brother’s Brother was different in that we were waiting to officially be matched with him. We were waiting to receive our referral of him. That is why we could not announce his name or show pictures of him. And while we took every step possible to  receive the referral, we ended up not getting matched with him. I wrote about that situation earlier in the week. My heart for this boy has not changed. We believed and we walked in faith. And we trusted God. And will still do.

This new situation is unique in that Solomon has already been referred to us. Now we just have to bring him home. And we will continue to believe and walk in faith. We trust God.

Today I was also privileged to spend the day with 8 year old Margaret. She has been caring for Solomon since he was a baby. She told me today that she used to bathe him, dress him, cook for him, and look after him. They had a very special bond. Dana was heartbroken when she had to leave Africa with Margaret knowing they were leaving Solomon behind. But she also knew in her heart that Solomon was meant to live here.

I can’t think of a greater gift to give to Margaret and Solomon than to reunite them together. Knowing that we can bring Solomon home and reunite him with the only caretaker he’s ever known, his “sister” Margaret, is one of the most amazing honors I have ever had bestowed upon me.

I knew there was a sense of urgency in our fundraising efforts, without knowing exactly why. A lot of families do not begin fundraising until they have been officially matched with a child. We did things different. Even though we were not officially matched with Brother’s Brother, we walked in faith and raised the funds. I’m thankful that we diligently fundraised, as at this time we have the exact amount of funds we need for this advanced stage of the adoption process. And the Lord knew we would need it NOW!

NOW! As in it’s happening NOW!

I do not know the exact time table, but I do know this. I trust God’s timing.

I want to thank everyone who prayed for Brother’s Brother. His name was David. Out of respect for the privacy wishes of the orphanage where he lives, I will not show his face. But for those of you that have seen his face, he is a beautiful child of God. Please continue to pray for the sweet boy that forever changed my life.

We will continue the puzzle piece fundraiser with David’s face, as a reminder of the boy who forever changed me. Even before we found out about Solomon, my sweet friend Sara wrote to me and said:“Keep fundraising and working hard for the perfect gift ya’ll will soon receive. And let’s finish that puzzle of David! Because he represents the great faith that you had and a call that you guys answered to adopt one of God’s children”. I couldn’t agree more. David has given us a faith that we didn’t know existed. And he will continue to be apart of our fundraising process (we still have A LOT to raise) as we bring Solomon home!

Did you know in the Bible, that David’s son was Solomon? Our son David who will live in Africa forever, opened up our hearts to receive our other son Solomon. Wow! I am blown away.

And without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you Brother’s Other Brother: Solomon.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think”
-Ephesians 3:20

Saying Goodbye to Brother’s Brother

This is not a fun post to write. But it’s necessary, as it’s part of the journey.

When we began this adoption journey we knew that nothing was certain. We also knew that it didn’t matter if we knew what the final outcome was going to be, because for us, this journey was about saying YES to what God called us to do and trusting in His perfect plan.

I don’t understand everything that happens. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know a few things for sure. There are 147 million orphans who need families.

  • I know that I had to meet the face of an orphan who needed a forever home for me to begin the adoption journey.
  • I needed a child placed in my life in a personal way, to light a fire in me and get me to start walking the walk and not just talk the talk. I’ve always said I wanted to adopt a child. But I had very real and valid “excuses”. When I met this child, none of those excuses mattered anymore.  I was going to do everything that I could to try to give this child a forever home.

And so we did.  We did everything we could. And I know that’s all God asked of us. He asked for a willing heart, I said yes, and the rest was in His hands.

We began the adoption process in mid-June. Our home study and paperwork were completed in record time. Everyone who worked with us was amazed at how quickly our paperwork, fingerprints, and applications were approved. Within 1 month, the orphanage received all of our paperwork. We knew we had done our part. The rest of the process was no longer in our hands, but in God’s.

PART OF THE ADOPTION PROCESS: 

Before a child can be matched with a family, they undergo a thorough investigation process to make sure the child is 100% available for adoption. There are many things that determine availability, like if the child still has family members that claim them, etc…

During my time at the orphanage, (many of you know the detailed version of the story), I was told that our sweet boy was in fact available for adoption. It was because of the information I was told and the urgency in his story, that I said YES.

Yesterday we received an email that he is no longer available for international adoption. I am not able to go into all of the details, but the final report from his investigation has determined that this child’s best option for alternative care is through in-country foster care. Why? We don’t know exactly. Does it make sense? Not entirely.

We may never know the answers. And it may take awhile before I understand how this journey will unfold.

I do know this: We still have a child at this orphanage. It may not be the one we thought it was going to be, but we are still going to be matched with a child. And I believe with all of my heart that God knew who this child was going to be from the beginning. And He has been preparing our family for this child, even when we thought it was going to be a different child.

The sweet boy we thought we were adopting has forever changed me. He showed me a love in my heart that I never knew existed. He will always be apart of my life. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that his life will always be intertwined with mine.  We bonded in a special way. Those memories will always live in my heart. That sweet little boy has changed my entire family in ways that we never thought was possible. His pictures will remain hanging all around our house. We will still pray for him every night. My children will still consider him their brother, and I was always feel as if he is my son. He may just grow up in Africa. Why? I don’t know. But I do know that God knows best.

Who knows, maybe God knew this sweet boy was going to grow up one day to be a mighty leader for his country.  And God knew that this boy needed an entire community  and a couple thousand people fervently praying for him.

Will you please continue to pray for him? Many of you know him by name. Pray for him by name. If you have pictures of him around your home, keep them up. Pray for his hope and his future. Pray that a family in Uganda wants to foster him. Pray for that family, that they would raise him up to be a mighty man of God. Uganda needs mighty warriors for God! I am believing for great things to come from this precious little boy.


I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I have a pain in my heart that feels empty. However, when I first read the email from the orphanage yesterday, I was overcome with peace. In a supernatural way, a total and complete peace filled me.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” -Philippians 4:7

I am so grateful for the peace that only God can give.

Then I read the email for the second time, and I wept. And I wept for somewhere around the next 15 hours. They weren’t necessarily tears of sadness, but tears of realization. Realizing that life was suddenly going to be different than expected. Right in front of my face, through the words in an email that took 30 seconds to read, my life was significantly changing.

I feel like I’m walking a fine line between two different mindsets. I’m filled with expectant hope and joyful anticipation for the child that is yet to come. And I also walk with a sense of sorrow and mourning, knowing that the child we’ve been praying for will not live with us in our forever home. And that breaks my heart.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9

I am thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who picks me up and carries me when I feel weak. I’m thankful for God’s grace. I’m thankful that I don’t have to understand everything.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. -Isaiah 55:8

I trust God has the perfect plan for our family. Even during the times when it doesn’t make sense.

Will you pray for us as we wait for the referral of our child? Will you pray for us as God continues to prepare our family for this child? Will you pray for my heart today?

We love you!
The Gianelloni Family

Fleur de Lis Bracelet Fundraiser

Need a great gift or just a perfect accessory to any outfit for yourself?
Purchase this gorgeous, handmade black wrap bracelet with hammered gold fleur de lis for just $35!

As with all of our fundraisers, all proceeds will go towards the adoption expenses.
Click the donate button above and specify in the notes that you are ordering a bracelet. Please include $5 for shipping if the item needs to be shipped.

THIS FUNDRAISER HAS ENDED. THANK-YOU FOR TAKING PART!

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