Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who is She?!?!

Well, another family in our agency was matched with their little girl!! She sounds absolutley adorable! She is seven months old and waiting for her new family! This family has pictures of their daughter and the other children in the baby home . . . is our daughter in those pictures?!?!?!? I can't stand it! I would love to look and see if I see her even though I have no idea who she is!! Sounds crazy! I am so anxious to find out who she is and know everything about her. How old is she? Is she really tiny or big and chunky? Does she have really tight curly hair or wavey curls? Patience has never been one of my gifts! I guess now I just have to keep working on our dossier and praying for this little girl I haven't even seen, but can't wait to meet.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I love this place!

This weekend has been a perfect example of why I love this place! We have had 54 hurricane evacuees at our church since Thursday. They are all from the Houston area. I have watched as our entire community has come together to take care of these kind people who are displaced for who knows how long. We have more food at church than anyone could imagine. We have had people around the clock staying at church to clean, feed, and just care for the visitors. People have come by the church with homemade food, towels, blankets, games and books, toilet paper, you name it. Several of the evacuees stayed in Hamilton three years ago during hurricane Rita. They came back. They headed straight for Hamilton because in their words, "Here we are treated like real people." This community is the body of Christ and I love being a part of this body! The people are good and kind and loving, they are sacrificial and accepting of all, they are family. I am proud and honored to be a part of this community.

Friday, September 12, 2008


We'll we're working on what's called our dossier! Basically, it is mounds of paperwork! Everything from a letter from the Sherriff to our birth certificates, to reference letters, bank letters, doctor's letters, it's a ton! All of these things then have to be notarized and once all of it is together then we have to drive it to Austin and get it authenticated by the Secretary of State! We also have to be fingerprinted! Once all of that is done then we send it to Washington to the Secretary of State and to the Country's Embassy from which we are adopting. I am now officially going to be organized!! Following a great tip from another family adopting, I am buying a big fat binder to keep everything inside and organized! It is really coming together!

I read two wonderful blogs last night, one about another family from our agency who is in Africa meeting their new nine year old son! He will be coming home with them on the 18th! Another from a family (also with our agency) who had their match meeting this week and got to see their new son and daughter! It is so wonderful to see these children finally be connected with their new families! It is amazing!! I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Keith's adoption story . . .

In the spring of 1999 I was asked if I would be interested in going to a certain African country to be a part of a Sports Ministry Team. I was hesitant at first because I had never been out of the country! After much time in prayer, I felt as though God was encouraging me to be a part of this missions experience. Our team primarily worked with kids by administering basketball camps throughout the country. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the people and especially the children. I learned that 1 out of 10 of the children in this country is orphaned due to poverty or illness. I saw children living on the streets, rummaging through garbage dumps for food, and working as though they were adults. Everyday, I looked into the eyes of children begging for coins. My heart became attached to these children at a level that’s hard to describe. Towards the end of my time there, I realized God had something larger in store for me than the mission trip alone. God was calling me to help further.

I met missionaries there who had adopted twins and I couldn’t get enough of those two. However, it wasn’t until I was about to board the plane to go home that I realized what God was trying to tell me. As I sat in the terminal, across the way was a couple who were holding a tiny baby. I went over to get a better look and it was like God was giving me a vision of a future for my family. The couple was from the U.S. and they were adopting from this African country. I talked to them momentarily and just felt that would be Sharon and me someday.

After arriving home, I told Sharon about my epiphany (so to speak). She laughed. I did a little as well because I knew that we were not ready to do such a thing. I simply prayed that God would speak to her like He spoke to me… at some point, some day, down the line. Well, almost eight years and two children later, that some point, that someday, down the line came about and God conveyed to Sharon the same thing He told me. I’m thankful for God’s timing. Words fail in describing my excitement that God’s call to help a little one in need and grow our family is in the process of being fulfilled. We covet your prayers and support in this journey we are on. God bless you, and our family – especially our daughter half way across the world. - Keith


It is very overwhelming and humbling to think that our little girl might already be at the baby home in Africa! I can't help but wonder how she got there. Were her parents under unbelievable stress? Were they even alive? Does she have siblings? I just pray that whatever the circumstances her birth parents know that she is safe and will be well taken care of at the home. I pray that she is safe and healthy, that she is receiving love and care from the workers in the home, that she is playing happily with other children there. There are so many things I pray about and think about now. I just can't wait to meet her! We received all our paper work! The most important form an I-600 that takes five months to get approved!! That stinks! I know it will go by quickly. In the meantime we have our dossier to complete. It covers everything you can imagine! All of a sudden I have a lot to get done!! It's fun though knowing that each day will bring us closer to traveling to Africa and meeting out daughter!

Raffle! Raffle! Raffle!

We have been approved by our agency!! This means that now we can move forward and fill out more paperwork and that we are even closer to being matched with a little one!!!! It also means we can begin the process of raising money for the adoption and applying for grants.
We have created an ipod raffle online in order to raise money for all of the expenses. (We swiped this idea from some of our friends!! )
A contribution of $25.00 will purchase a raffle ticket, or contribute more for more chances to enter the raffle!! Just click on the chipin button above to contribute. The ipod is the red ipod nano, which gives to the Global fund for AIDS for Africa.
We greatly appreciate any contributions made toward helping bring a little girl home to a forever family!

First Day of School (actually Aug. 25)

Today Carter headed off to his first day of second grade! I can't believe it! He was so grown up! He walked right to his locker, put his stuff away, and walked in like he had been there forever! I am so glad that he loves school! He is very excited about this year because his teacher has a blow up pirate ship in her room as their reading center!! She also has a six foot blow up pirate named Pirate Pete!!(Pete mysteriously disappears occasionally and winds up in the strangest places, yesterday it was the girls restroom!) Their first unit is pirates and needless to say, Carter is sold! He has an amazing teacher, who is creative and fun and excellent so we are very happy!! Dakota, however, does not start until next Wednesday and is not happy that he can't go now! I know it won't last forever, but right now, both my kids LOVE school!!!! YEA!!! Still no word on the home study approval. Maybe later this week

Adoption Update . . .

We have completed our home study! The social worker has finished her report and now we wait. The committe/panel of people at Buckner have to meet and review our home study and our application. If everything is satsifactory, then they will approve us and we can move forward with grant applications, fundraising, and the dossier (government application, etc.). I have no idea how long the review process will take but hopefully, just a few weeks. One family has already returned with their little girl and another family leaves the first of September to get their nine year old little boy! A third family has a court date in Africa in October and two other families are waiting for referrals (when they are matched with a child). The process is working and children are being brought into wonderful families! Please pray that the process will work and will go smoothly for all of the families and children.

Monday, September 8, 2008


This summer we have had some interesting hair experiences! Carter has decided he loves having a mohawk! It is not cut in a mohawk, just styled that way! His daddy loves to fix it up with lots of gel (Keith is living vicariously through his son's full head of hair!!). Dakota, and his friend Tyner decided one day to cut their own hair! They were so proud! We left it for about a day until he decided he wanted his head shaved so the lovely triangle shows up really well once we buzzed his hair! They are crazy!! I wouldn't trade them for anything though!!

Growing Up!

This week he has summer music camp at church and it is great. It is his first year to be able to attend and after the first day he loves it! Dakota is not happy about having to sit this out. He thinks he is just as old as Carter. Several months ago, as they were going to bed, Dakota looks at me and says, "Carter is 7, I am 4." Yes, I said. Then he comes out with, "I'm, seven in my mind." All I could do was agree! He really believes that he is just as old as Carter and it just kills him not to get to do the same things. It is a challenge to "keep him four"! He is growing up so fast.

Why Africa?

Many people have asked, "Why Africa?" (Due to the sensitivity of the country where we are adopting, we can't talk about a specific place. Call me and I can give you more details!) In 1999, Keith went on a mission trip to this particular country and fell in love with the people. He was also disturbed by the number of street kids. He came home wanting to adopt. I was not ready to even discuss it! Fast forward nine years and two boys later! Some friends of ours are adopting from Africa and David is, as his wife Amy put it, relentless! He sent me email after email, picture after picture until I finally actually sat down and listened to God (not David!). One in ten children in this country are orphaned through either poverty or illness. We are not having any more children biologically because we would have twin boys and I would have to be put away! I have always been interested in teaching about and working for racial reconcilliation. I have also always had a place in my heart for Africa, don't really know why. Dakota (our youngest) has been asking when are we going to get a baby sister for over a year (all of his fiends have sisters and he doesn't understand why he can't have one!). He has been told over and over, we are not going to have one, our family has boys, etc. Well, needless to say, all of this came together for me and really opened up the idea of adoption. I always thought if I did adopt it would be domestic because there are so many kids here who need families and I never thought I could give a child from overseas things they needed such as their heritage/culture or trips back, etc. A friend of mine told me last summer (very sarcastically) when we were talking in general about adoption, "Those things are so much more important than having a family!" I wanted to punch him! He was right. When I mentioned to Dakota that we could get a little sister but she might look really different than he and Carter he wasn't so sure. When I told him that he could be a big brother to someone that didn't have any family , he was very excited and came home and told his brother and dad that we were going to be a family for a little girl who didn't have one! I thought if the four year old could get it then so could I! So after much prayer, lengthy conversations, and gathering information we began our journey to adopt! We are very excited and can't wait to bring home our little girl!

So Much to Tell!

The Felton family has had a great year so far and is anticipating more excitment. We have started the journey of adopting a little girl from a country in Africa! We are very early in the process and have much to learn, and from what we understand, a mountain of paperwork to complete! The basics are: we have requested an infant girl, the process should take between six months to a year, she will be somewhere between three months old and eighteen months. We are all excited, especially the boys. Dakota can't wait to be a big brother and Carter is excited about being a big brother two times! We will explain more and catch everyone up on how we arrived at this decision in the days to come but for now, know that we ask for your prayers for our future little girl and for all those waiting for adoptions to go through.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dakota's First Day of School!

Dakota started his first day in the four year old class at St. John's Luthern Preschool on Sept. 3! This is his, "Hurry up and take my picture, I have things to do" look! He goes to school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 - 11:30. He loves it! He attended the three year old class last year and so he is a pro this year! He loves school and all of his friends are in his class so he has a blast! However, I'm not sure the teachers will make it, out of 21 students only 5 are girls!! It is a great big crazy group of boys!! I hope they make it!! He and Carter also started soccer this week. They love soccer and they are both pretty good (if I do say so myself)! Hopefully we will have our first game this Sat. but with the hurricane moving in, we may get washed out.