Tuesday, December 6, 2011

REFERRAL DAY!!!!! We got the call!!!!!!

November 17th... A date that will now forever hold a very special in mine and Pete's hearts. It was on Thursday, November 17th at 2:29 pm that we got THE CALL we had been waiting for since March of 2010, when we began our adoption journey!

We were thrilled to hear our family coordinator tell us over the phone that we had a 20 month old SON waiting for us in Ethiopia! She gave us his birthdate (estimated) of March 28, 2010, which I immediately realized was within days/weeks of when our miscarried child would have been born. Something additional that I just realized this week? The seminar we attended when this process started was on March 27, 2010, and it was on the ride home that afternoon that we decided that YES God was indeed leading us to grow our family via adoption. We were on board. The very next day is our little boys estimated birthday. Just further confirmation of how God is in the details.

After we hung up the phone we had to wait for 30 minutes before the email finally arrived with pics of our little guy. In the meantime we went to pick up Hannah from school. On the way there, we saw a RAINBOW in the sky! It hadn't even rained (and it never did)! Again, another sign that God does fulfill His promises :)...

On the ride back to our house we told Hannah that we now knew how old her brother was and what he looked like. Her repsonse? "But he can't write on the walls with crayons!" LOL A typical toddler she is! Since then she has affectionately come up with multiple things she plans on teaching him and doing with him. But back to that day...

So we got home and gathered around the computer. Hannah sat in Pete's lap as we pulled up the pictures of our little guy. My first response was a huge laugh because his little face looked so serious and he looked like a football player in a toddlers body! :D Hannah just smiled really big and eventually got bored of us ooohing and ahhing over him and went to play :).

The following Monday we met via phone with an international specialist in Houston to discuss his medical profile, etc, and once we confirmed that all was well we officially accepted the referral with excitement!

It has been 2 weeks and I'm still just reeling in the fact that we have a SON halfway across the world. I've already been shopping (yes I'm bad, but I can't help myself!) and we are sending a care package to him this week with a photo album, a couple of shirts and two toys which Hannah picked out for him :).

This is an exciting yet busy time in the Cummings household. You wait so long for that phone call, but as for me I hadn't really thought through what came next. NOW we wait for a court date. We are hoping and praying to go in January to meet him and go to court. Once we go for that first trip, and pass court, we wait to be cleared for an embassy appointment, for which we take the second trip and then travel home with HIM! :) At best (which is what we're hoping for) we would have him home by Easter. I am specifically praying for him to be home for his second birthday...March 28th. You prayer warriors out there can pray with me... For you others, maybe you can still send positive vibes our way ;).

So I think about this little person every day. Its amazing how my heart is already falling in love with someone I've never met.. It proves to me that love for your children can grow in your heart just as much as it grows in a pregnant womans belly...

I'm super awful at updating this blog but I will try my best to do so more often. Even if it means catching up all at once with 2 or 3 posts in one day, like I am trying to do today. ;/

We appreciate prayers and well wishes as we continue on in this amazing adoption adventure! We hope to hear within the next few weeks about when our court date will be. I will be yelling it from the rooftops I'm sure once we hear! Because then I'll know exactly WHEN we will meet our son for the first time! Aaah! So exciting just to think about!

So what song have I chosen for this post? It has been so hard to think of a song that puts my emotions in to words. So I think today I will break my "blog rule" and not put any lyrics but instead a scripture that has been pressing heavy on my heart lately....

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."          Micah 6:8

Thanks again everyone for your support and love during this process!

<3, Marcy

Motion of Mercy

So I started this post on November 10th, just 7 short (yet long) days before our big referral call (the day we were matched with our child in Ethiopia-saw his precious face for the first time). I didn't get much written but I had already attached the song and lyrics about which I wanted to write.

In the weeks leading up to the referral I had some pretty neat quiet times in which specific scriptures kept coming up regarding adoption, serving, etc. I felt like something was about to happen but couldn't put my finger on it. This song for whatever reason just stirred my heart during that time (and it still does) to the point where I couldn't sing along without getting choked up. I still feel like God is up to something bigger than what we realize, and I'm just hopeful that we will be listening and responding in the way He wants us to.

I have posted the song below. The part that specifically speaks to me is about "living for the lost, giving till it hurts, no matter what the cost 'cause you loved me first. That's the motion of mercy...." Gets me every time. Over the past 6 months I've felt/been impressed upon three themes. First, SIMPLIFY. Second, SERVE. Third, MERCY. Not sure how to tie them all together in some sort of functional way, and perhaps I'm not supposed to. Yet. But nonetheless this song hits me in the gut and I want to share it before I write the big "Referral Day" entry because those weeks leading up to that day were very spirtually significant for me....

Here's the song....

"Motion Of Mercy"

I was poor I was weak
I was the definition of the spiritually
Bankrupt condition
So in need of help

I was unsatisfied
Hungry and thirsty
When You rushed to my side
So unworthy
Still You gave yourself away…

That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heart

Now I’m filled by a love
That calls me to action
I was empty before now I’m drawn to compassion
And to give myself away

That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heart

Living for the lost
Loving ‘til it hurts
No matter what the cost
Like You loved me first
That’s the motion of mercy

God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soon

That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heart

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Will Praise You In This Storm...

So the last few weeks have been rough with this whole WAIT thing. Yeah so I did great the first maybe 9 months or so on the waiting list. But then we would near the end of the estimated wait time and our agency would extend it again. And then again. And then more families ahead of us in line would change their age requests, knocking us back down the list. Again. And again. Ugh. So last week we hit the big 12 month mark on the waiting list, a point we were never supposed to get to back in the start, when we were expecting about a 6-8 month wait. Adoption is hard. Growing our family is hard. Is it worth it? Of course. Would I recommend others to do it? Yes but I would strongly emphasize that if you don't have faith in God, a faith that is true to the very core of your being, you will struggle to survive. I don't know that you could. There are days that I feel I am barely hanging on and I have God in my corner. Can't imagine not having Him to lean on, depend on and trust.

Hannah is starting to ask more questions, to think more concretely about this whole "sister" concept. Yet there are days when I don't even want to talk about her sister because I'm unable to explain why she won't "be here to play tomorrow."

I can't believe its been so long since I've written. The last post was filled with so much energy and newfound hope, and we are still very excited about pursuing TWO kiddos now. But the wait for Ethiopia has just been pulling at my heart more and more each week that passes without movement or news. Hannah keeps us entertained of course. She is so smart and so funny and I swear one of these days we'll have a teacher calling saying "Hannah told us ______" and I'll just be mortified! Ha!

I try to see this time as a time to grow, to learn more about myself, about adoption, about transracial adoption, about attachment, about God. Some days I do better than others. Trying to balance my already busy life is challenging enough, but then there is the constant nagging on my mind to check the yahoo group for any news, to see if there are any  updates from our agency, etc. Its typically to no avail but it doesn't stop me from checking 40 times a day. Literally.

Each day I wake up and think "today? could there be movement today? could we move up the list again today? could today be our day?"  Please God?

There is a war raging out there for our kiddos. Our enemy seeks to kill and devour. He doesn't like adoption. He doesn't like the message it gives to others regarding the parallel of God's adoption of all of us in to His eternal family. Well I am tired but I won't be giving up this fight anytime soon. God's not done with our family, which is obvious based on how much the enemy is fighting against us.

Many songs pass through my head on a daily basis, based on the mood I'm in that moment or what I've read that day. Today I choose to share the lyrics to "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns. I know that we are so blessed to have our health, our family, our friends... Many many people have it so much worse off than us. But this is still a "storm" in our story. So this song tugs at my heartstrings right now. Despite how hard it is to wait and to long for our children, I know that God is good and that He will provide for us and answer our prayers of sending people to love on our kiddos until we can get them home. Enjoy the song....

"Praise You In This Storm"  -Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
[Chorus x2]

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Divin' In!!!!

WOW have we been on an emotional rollercoaster or what?! God has been busy with our family lately! I will try to make all of this short and sweet. ("yeah right" says those of you who know me best!)

Soooo as stated in our last blog, we transferred to the new Honduras program. We have been very excited and anxious to get started on all the paperwork. Well it took about a month to finalize documents for the transfer. On the day that it was finalized, we got an email from our adoption agency asking if we would be interested in a concurrent adoption. A what?!

A brand new option had been approved literally THAT WEEK that would allow for those adopting from Ethiopia to either get pregnant (which you typically are not allowed to do) OR to adopt another child either domestically or internationally. This option was given becuase of the extended wait times in Ethiopia. Soooo... Basically they said that we could keep our place in line in the Ethiopia waiting list and pursue a little one from Honduras at the same time!

What?! I laughed out loud when I read the email... Pete's response? Well initally he just shook his head, and then at some point he said "and who would take care of all these kids?!" haaaa...

Ok so drum roll please.... Like I said I want to keep this short and sweet. SO here we go....

We are now adopting a little girl from Ethiopia, age 18-28 months AND a baby boy from Honduras, 0-15 months!!!!!!!

Yes that is correct, the Cummings family will be a family of five sooner than later!

Now don't panic...there has to be AT LEAST 6 months between placement of each child, so we will have transition time. And only one will potentially be a baby, so don't think of it as bringing home twins. Hannah will have adjustment time between the two. I think most people are thinking "how can they handle that? they can barely manage Hannah!" Yes this is true, we are tired and quite scattered. But something I have been reminded of this week is that if we are pursuing things that we can accomplish via our own powers....we must not be pursuing all that God wants us to pursue. He wants to provide for us. He wants to show us how HE can accomplish what we could never do on our own.

So how will we handle three kiddos? With God's grace!!! He wouldn't be leading us down this path if He knew we couldn't do it. And He is definitely the mastermind behind this, because we would have never pursued this option on our own. And He continues to confirm the decision to both of us in so many different ways.

So we would appreciate your continued support and prayers as we continue on in this crazy adventure called adoption! We still have no idea when we will get a child home...we hope desperately for a referral from Ethiopia soon but there is just no way of knowing.

As always I have to add in lyrics, and when I heard this song it felt like my heart jumped out of my chest in excitement. I'm ready to dive in, with God as my life vest!!!!!

Here is the link to the video/audio:      http://youtu.be/hXqXIicm8uU


by Steven Curtis Chapman

The long awaited rains

Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground

And carved their way to whereThe wild and rushing river can be found

And like the rain I have been carried here to where the river flows, yeah

My heart is racing and my knees are weak

As I walk to the edge I know there is no turning back

Once my feet have left the ledge

And in the rush, I hear a voice

That's telling me it's time to take the leap of faith

So here I go


I'm divin' in, I'm goin' deep

In over my head I wanna be

Caught in the rush, lost in the flow

In over my head I want to go

The river's deep, the river's wide

The river's water is alive

So sink or swim, I'm divin' in

There is a supernatural power

In this mighty river's flow

It can bring the dead to life

And it can fill an empty soul

And give a heart the only thing

Worth living and worth dying for, yeah

But we will never know the awesome power

Of the grace of God

Until we let ourselves get swept away

Into this holy flood

So if you'll take my hand

We'll close our eyes and count to three

And take the leap of faith

Come on let's go

So sink or swim, I'm diving in

So sink or swim, I'm diving in

So sink or swim, I'm diving in

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where You Go, I'll Go....

So I think all of us know by now that God’s plans don’t always go in the exact way WE plan for them to. For the past year Pete and I have been on this journey towards our princess in Ethiopia. We have been happy, and I can honestly say that the wait, though hard at times, hasn’t been too pressing on us because we’ve been so busy with our other little one at home!

 Let me preface all of this by saying that when Pete and I began this journey, the only thing we were sure of was that God was calling us to adopt. We never felt led to a specific country. However, had we chosen ourselves, our first choice would have been a Latin America country because of where we are in life right now. We live in a city of 95%+ Hispanics, we've learned a good deal of Spanish, I work with all Hispanic kiddos…. However, when we pursued that route the door closed because they only had older children available. So long story short we ended up in Ethiopia and have been very happy waiting for our little one to come home.

Soooo here we are, possibly within just a month or two of a referral (although its all unknown)… And I get an email from our adoption agency announcing the opening of their new Honduras program. My heart skipped a beat. But then I thought “Marcy you’re crazy. Don’t even think about it!” Soooo I deleted the email and went on with my day. Welllll about a month later I decided to call to get more information. Why? I have no idea. Of course Pete said “why do you want to torture yourself?!” SO I expected to get off of the phone with the Honduras rep with a confidence to carry on in our journey to Ethiopia. Instead my heart was racing and my mind was thinking all sorts of crazy things. Not only do we live in a Latino community, but my best friend and her family, with whom we spend many of our holidays, are from Honduras. So of all the Latin America countries to suddenly open….Honduras? really? And why/HOW could I even be considering this when my heart, my thoughts, my PRAYERS have been for my little African princess???

I’m trying to make this brief but its so hard because my heart has been on quite the ride these past couple of weeks. So I guess here’s the bottom line. We have decided to switch programs. We are now adopting a little girl from Honduras. Really? Yes, really. Will this extend our wait time? Most likely. Will we lose money? YES. A LOT. : / However, this will not deter us from pursuing this path. We prayed and prayed and somehow just felt like this was where God was leading. And that He would continue to provide.

SO are we crazy for switching after waiting this long, after getting so close to a referral… And to have to paperchase all over again, pay out more money….are we crazy? You know I keep going back to the lyrics of several songs and the ones that spoke to me last week (as we were making this decision) were “Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. When you move I’ll move. I will follow.”

 I may not understand why God would have us go through a year with ET before this, but I don’t regret a moment of it. The support I have found through other adopting families in the Ethiopia Yahoo Group has been priceless. With Honduras being so new there are few families with which to share this experience, and there are just so many unknowns. But I’m not fearful. I'm excited. I feel like this is the right path for our family.

Our little Hannah is already learning Spanish so its neat to think that even if our newest addition can only speak her native language, we will all still be able to communicate with her. That's exciting. Growing our family is exciting. I know that all these prayers I have prayed for my little Ethiopian princess have not gone unheard. God has known all along where our daughter is. My prayers were not in vain. I will continue to pray for her safety, health, and for her to be nurtured and loved until we can get her home.

We would appreciate your prayers as we begin the process of gathering some additional paperwork, updating health documents, etc. in an attempt to get our dossier (stack of paperwork) to Honduras by the end of the summer. We are still hopeful to be matched with a little girl (12-30 months old) by the end of this year, but we have learned that the adoption world is anything but predictable...

So I chose to tell our story via blog so I wouldn't have to answer the same questions a million times...although I would if it meant spreading the word about adoption and God's love for the orphan here in the US and across the world.

Thank you for your support and I hope to post updates more frequently... Though as I said earlier our little Hannah keeps us VERY busy! :)

If you or anyone you know have any questions about adoption, domestic or international, or foster care, please don't hesitate to contact me. I love to share with others how adoption has and continues to change our lives, and it was through hearing someone's else's story that we were also led into this amazing journey.

Much love,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'll Stand By You...

As always in my blog I have to include a song with powerful lyrics. This is a lengthy blog entry...I recommend clicking on the video link so you can listen to this inspiring song while you read. I think the lyrics are symbolic of what it means to give and serve others.

Sooooo... we are about to begin our 6th month on the official waiting list for our adoption. We have actually moved up the list much faster than anticipated! We are now tied for number 5 on the toddler list (10-24 months) and tied for 2nd for a girl 18-24 months! By "tied" I mean that there is another family who had their dossier (information packet) arrive in Ethiopia on the same day. Technically we don't know which of us got logged into the system first, so we'll see who gets the referral first) :) And our "referral day" is the day we get to see our daughter's picture for the first time via email! It is the day we are "matched" with her and see her pictures, medical information, etc.

We are very excited (ok so I am excited, Pete is sort of in denial that it's happening this fast) :D but we now realize that we need to start really pursuing the financial side of things.

Pete and I will need to travel to Ethiopia two times. The first trip will be for our initial court date, and we should be there about 7-10 days. Once we pass court we will then be given an embassy date, at which time we will travel back to Ethiopia and actually get to bring our little one home with us! The two trip rule went into effect Jan of 2010 and has made things a bit more complicated (and expensive) BUT it was for the protection of the orphans in Ethiopia. Sadly, there is a lot of deception and child trafficking going on in their country. We are blessed to have found an agency that researches each child's history in depth and ensures full legitimacy in every area. This may take more time than we'd like, but we know we are getting a child legally and ethically.

So here's the nitty gritty... the cost for our two trips to Ethiopia is going to be about $15,000 (just in travel fees, this does not include adoption fees). Could be more, could be less (we hope!). Airline tickets are the bulk of this expense. We will not get much of a heads up as to when we will be called to travel, so we will have to purchase tickets without the luxury of advance purchase discounts, etc. Also, at this point it looks like we will be traveling during the summer, which is apparently the most expensive time to fly, specifically late summer.

In addition to travel fees, we have at least an additional $6000 to pay towards the adoption itself, which goes towards the staffing and supply for the transitional homes (where our child stays once referred to us), the medical care she will receive there, the consultation we get with an international adoption specialist (ours is in Houston), and other administrative needs of the agency itself. America World Adoption Agency is very transparent about all of the fees and where the monies are used. If you are interested in more details about the cost of our adoption you can visit the website at http://www.awaa.org/programs/ethiopia/cost.aspx 


Pete and I have been blessed to have paid every cent of this adoption ourselves thus far. We have had the support and prayers of family and friends every step of the way which is priceless. Though financial donations are always welcomed and appreciated, we are actually seeking help in a variety of different ways....

1. FREQUENT FLYER MILES!!!! We are hoping to find several people who are willing to donate frequent flyer miles which we can apply towards our tickets to Ethiopia. These miles will need to be the type which can be used on any airline (you would have to check to make sure) because we will not know which airline we'll be taking until the very last minute, and we most likely will fly on several. So if you or anyone else you know, perhaps a business traveler, etc, would be willing to donate some or all of their miles it would be such a blessing!!! UPDATE: We just had a family recommend that we use United or Delta miles...they were able to use their miles with only a 48 hour advance warning! If you are interested in helping us with miles contact me directly for more information!

2. PRAYER!!!! Some people don't think of this as a "tangible" way to give but I beg to differ! Prayers are much needed on this journey of ours. Here are several specific areas in which you can pray for us:

• Pray for our adopted child, that she be safe and nurtured until we can get to her and get her home!

• Pray for the remainder of our waiting, that the right child will be referred to us and that everything just falls into place.

• Pray that during this wait time we prepare ourselves emotionally and spiritually for the transition that is about to occur, including reading, researching, and praying!!!

• Pray for safe travels, that we would not fall ill (many do) and that Pete can survive having his long legs crammed into the little seats! (he really does dread that part!)

• Pray for our family, specifically Hannah, as we prepare to adjust to being a family of four instead of three.

• Pray that as we arrive home with our newest addition that she is able to adjust and that "attachment" goes well. Many orphans have difficulty with the bonding/attaching process.

There are many other prayer needs but those are some basics...your prayers are needed and will be FELT as we find our way through the remainder of this adoption journey.

3. Financial donations are accepted and appreciated. I have been told that all monetary donations are tax deductable but make sure to write on your check the purpose of your donation. You may also want to check with your CPA to see if you need any additional documentation. If you feel led to assist us in this way, you can either write a check to us or send it directly to our agency. Our agency has a new program called the "Eternal Family Program" in which individuals can donate funds towards our adoption with or without their identity being known. The online link to that is below. ALL donations in their entirety will be used directly towards adoption expenses.

4. Last but definitely not least, you can SPREAD THE WORD!!! Share our story with others you know. Pete and I believe that we were all born orphans into this world but that God has adopted us into His eternal family. This is beyond our ability to fathom, but through this process we are beginning to see what an amazing picture of True, Pure Love adoption really is. We want to share the story of adoption to all who are willing to listen.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and consider how you might help us grow our family by bringing home our little girl from Africa!!! We are so appreciative for the love and support of family and friends across the country. God has led us down here to Brownsville, TX, and we have met many amazing people along the way, but our journey is far from finished. We are excited to see what He has in store for our ever growing family!

If you have any questions regarding our adoption, or if you just want to touch base with us feel free to email anytime! Also, if you have friends who are considering adoption either domestically or internationally I would love to share our story with them! My email is mossylou@hotmail.com.

Thank you SO much for joining us on this journey!!! Can't wait to share the news of our referral!!!

Much love,


Pete and Marcy Cummings

2867 Sweet Street

Brownsville, TX 78521

Donations can also be sent to:

America World Adoption Agency

Attn: Accounting Dept.

6723 Whittier Ave Suite 202

McLean, VA 22101
Checks can be made payable to: American World Adoption Agency or AWAA

Make sure to put in comment line "Pete and Marcy Cummings adoption"

To donate online visit the following link and under "Select A Fee" scroll down to "Eternal Family Program" www.awaa.org/forms/payment.aspx. Write our name in the comment section.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

While I'm Waiting...

I can't believe its been so long since I've posted anything! Wow I've been BUSY with my Hannah Banana! :) Well we have been officially "waiting" on the waiting list for our little girl for 4 months now! Isn't that crazy?! We are number 7 on the toddler girl list! So exciting!

We had a great Christmas! Hannah loved seeing family in Kentucky and seeing snow was wonderful! We were ready to get out of the south Texas heat! I'll post a few pics of our sledding experience! Hannah LOVED sledding! She's quite the little adventure seeker!

Pete and I have been busy trying to balance work and home this month. We hope to get things in line at work so that I can take some time off when our little beauty joins us (hopefully) this summer! I can't wait to be home with her and Hannah! It will be quite an adventure I'm sure!

I daily try to figure out how working moms do it...keeping a clean home, cooking meals, tending to the childrens' needs, all the while staying on top of things at work. I am so blessed to be in the line of work I am, helping children with needs every day. It is extremely rewarding. And now that we have our own business I have the flexibilty to be home when Hannah is sick or if an emergency arises. That is priceless. Yet I find myself worn down, tired all the time, dragging at work and I feel like I can never catch up with paperwork or housework! I want to start exercising, eating better, knowing that it would help give me that extra energy boost... But it's getting started, getting over that "hump" that's hard for me.

I figure that while we wait on the arrival of our little girl it is the perfect time to try to incorporate more discipline into my life in all areas. Typically during pregnancy people gain weight, slack off on exercise routines, etc, but now that I'm "paper pregnant" maybe I can do the exact opposite! I am hopeful.

God has blessed us so much and I have confidence that this adoption will be completed in His perfect timing. We still have a lot of preparation to do emotionally, spiritually and physically (where is she gonna sleep?!) :) so while we wait there is plenty to be done!

There is a song that comes to mind frequently during this time of waiting. I want to make the most of this wait time....take a listen.

So while I wait I will strive to know God better, to imitate Him, to love others how I know He wants me to, and to serve... 

Below are a few pics of our little blessing...