Saturday, July 31, 2010

$1000!!!... WHAT?!

Okay, remember the whole Inexhaustible Love t-shirt sale that Kalisha, a former student of Joshua's, so generously headed up for us over this past month?!

I am not even kidding when I say that this sweet girl has raised $1,000 to go towards our adoption fund!!!!! This is just crazy amazing to me!!! Simply put.... we are blown away!!!  Between other former students of Joshua's and our friends and family she has rocked this thing and brought in so much money for us! I'm thinking sales might be in her future?!

It's an incredible blessing and encouragement to watch God work through an eighteen year olds generosity and creativity. Joshua put it best when he said " In education classes in college they always say to leave a positive impact on your students even if you never know how much it meant to them. However, they never tell you how amazed you will be when a student forever impacts you!"

May God bless Kalisha for her kindness and willingness to go above and beyond helping bring this child home for us! She is getting ready to head to college this fall and we wish her the best of luck and know that God is going to use her in BIG ways to impact the lives of many! She's beautiful on the inside and out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's OFFICIALLY begun!!!

Today is a big day here in the Helms House! We reached the oh so desired $6,000 mark in our adoption savings account! You know what this means?!... WE ARE MAILING IN OUR OFFICIAL APPLICATION TODAY!!!!  That's right folks, we are actually "officially" starting this crazy process!!! While it seems for the past couple months we've already begun this journey with all the prep in saving, NOW it really begins! Yipee!
I have to wonder if some of you are sitting there thinking to yourself, "Now what?!"... Well, I don't have all the answers, but what I do know is this:

1. We turn in our official application with AGCI and wait to hear back from them. They say they'll contact us within three business days of receipt of the application.

2. After that, they help us get set up on the next steps of this process. Pretty much, we become pregnant with paperwork! I'll keep you posted along the way as far as what we're having to fill out and go get done- but the gist of it is that we'll be working on our home study and dossier (I'll explain what that fancy word is later.).

3. This also means that the check writing will begin for agency fees, finger printing, home study fees and the list goes on.

I also wonder if many of you thinking to yourselves, "Aren't they still going to have to come up with more money?!"... And the answer is YES! This was just the first financial goal we were trying to reach. Truthfully, I don't know what the next financial hurdle will be- but once I know the amount, I'll be sure to share! (o; Once our home study is complete it opens up the door for some other avenues of funding. We have three organizations that we already have grant applications filled out for- but they can't be turned in until the home study is complete. Our prayer is that these grants will provide some much needed help along the way for expenses. 
We've said from the beginning we feel like God is only revealing on step at a time in this journey. The first step is checked off and we're onto the next! We are simply amazed at how God has gotten us this far through people like YOU and we can't thank you enough! Continue to follow this crazy journey of ours... after all, it's just getting started! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Making Memories

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I love building memories that I hope Jude will look back on and smile! He's just now getting to the age where I think fun experiences will really stick with him. We went camping last weekend with some friends of ours and it was such fun! I think Jude would agree! He made comments on how he thought it was silly to sleep outside and how the bugs were so loud at night (which they were!), he thought the spring water was freezing but he had no intension of getting out, and he was in heaven because he got to play outside ALL DAY LONG! I love watching Jude's facial expressions when he's about to do something for the first time. That's what being a parent is all about anyway, right?... watching your kids eyes light up?!
All this to say, I can't wait to watch our next kids eyes light up! After much prayer, we've decided to check "boy" on our application! If you know our family, I think you'd agree it's fitting for another boy to join us! So this means family memories of brother's growing up together! Rough housing and adventure will fill our home and I wouldn't want it any other way! I desperately hope to always provide laughter, love, and fun for our kids! We may never be able to afford elaborate vacations, but we can provide creative getaways that let our boys just be boys! After all,  laughter and spontaneity go a long way in the life of a little one, right?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've mentioned this before, but our kitchen calendar has become the "note pad" for all that God is doing in this adoption process. We're determined to document how this story unfolds and all the blessings that God provides along the way. So each time a person gives, or a prayer is answered, or a big step in the journey is taken, I write it on the calendar in red. The plan is to eventually find a cool book or journal or something to transfer all the "red" into and give to our kiddo one day to show how God brought them to us. Also it serves as such a reminder of God's faithfulness to provide! Every time I walk into the kitchen and just glance a the calendar and see so much red staring back at me I almost tear up in amazement! I think I often forget all the little things that happen in life that are truly God showing Himself to me but this go around, I'm determined to write it all down! Here's to the RED in just the month of July!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another blessing...

So I open my email this morning to find this:

"Joshua and Hilary,

I just wanted to let you know that our go group had a bake sale/auction tonight and raised $155 to go toward your adoption!!!
I'm going to bed tonight feeling so blessed to be part of people's lives who would donate to people they've never met.  I'm so thankful to have been part of this evening.
I'll try to get the checks in the mail tomorrow!

What?! Is that not just awesome?! We had NO CLUE they were doing this at all! I'm telling ya, this whole process is quite possibly the most humbling and incredible blessing to watch unfold right before our eyes! Cathy is a good friend of my mom, and her go group (life group) just decided to do something like this to support us?! It just goes to show once again that God uses His people to accomplish His plan. We know this adoption is His story and we might think at times it seems like a pretty impossible story to accomplish... but God is faithful to fund this thing as long as we're faithful to say yes! 

A BIG THANK YOU to Cathy's go group and all who donated! We are so very thankful and blessed! Truly, speechless! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random things I'm thankful for lately...

Jude has recently become a fish in the pool! As a lifeguard instructor, you can only imagine how proud this makes me of the little man! He's swimming underwater and jumping off the side like the one and only Buzz Lightyear! I see a future Jr. Lifeguard in the making! And maybe a soccer player too if his daddy has anything to do with it. 

I love evening talks with our neighbors outside while our kids play in our cul-de-sac.  It makes it feel like summer. Jude thinks shoes are over-rated and goes barefoot most nights. I love his dirty feet and his sweaty hair, it makes me feel like he had fun. I love that he is becoming more and more "boy" with each passing day and before too long he'll be a big brother! And a great one I might add! He has such a tender heart for babies. 
I'm thankful that when we prayed asking God to surround us with people who knew about adoption or were adopting that he put the Pratt's and the McBride's right in front of us, living within minutes of us... both of which have adopted boys from Hannah's Hope Ethiopia- where our kiddo will be from! The wisdom, experience, and heart that they have for adoption and Ethiopia are such a blessing! 

Again, with the recent scare with Jake, and the reminder of how quickly life can be flipped upside down, it just reminds me that I'm so thankful for family, both the one I was born into and the one that God has blessed us with through friends! I'm thankful that Jake is doing awesome! I'm thankful that "family" gathered around in prayer and God answered!  What a blessing! 

I love that God continues to simply remind me how the only thing that's truly important in life is loving Him and loving other's.... this truth is the most freeing, uncomplicated, foundation I have to stake my faith in. I like waking up in the morning with the challenge of "How am I going to love God better today and love other's better today?"... for so long I thought it was my job to change other's when it was me that I needed to look at! Why this took me so long to learn, I have no idea. But I'm thankful that I'm soaking this in lately. 

So there you have it, some things I'm thankful for lately! 
What about you? 

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days that you look back on and hope you never have to experience anything like it again!

As most of you know, my sister and I are super close. We know what a blessing it is to have the kind of relationship we have with one another and we don't take it for granted. She's my big sis and I admire her and value our friendship a whole heck of a lot! We live literally one mile from each other and our boys, Jude and Jake, are the best of buds- practically brothers. Jake is near and dear to my heart seeing as how he prepped me for motherhood. When we moved here to Dallas I was pregnant and Jake was only a couple months old. We lived with Phoebe and Scott literally up until the week that Jude was born. The moments spent with Jake as a baby were some of the most teachable, sweet times of my life in preparing me for being Jude's mommy. Truly I have a connection with Jake like none other!

There have been numerous occasions when I'm out and about running errands and I have both the boys by myself that I proudly claim Jake as my own... just cause I love him so much and truly consider him like our own kid! His laughter is contagious and sounds the exact same as it did the first day it gurgled out of his sweet body when he was just about 4 months old. He gives hugs freely and he smiles with his big brown eyes. I love this boy, a whole bunch!

Again, yesterday was one of those days you look back on and hope you NEVER have to experience again! At 4pm perspective on life came crashing down on my family! How quickly the world can be flipped upside down when a precious life is hanging in the balance! Jake was taken by Care Flight after falling down a flight of stairs, hitting his head, causing him to have an impact seizure and loose consciousness.

I got to the sea of flashing red lights right as they were loading Jake into an ambulance to wait for the chopper to arrive. I immediately asked a paramedic where my sister was because I wanted nothing more then to see her and wrap my arms around her!  Being sisters there is automatically an unbreakable bond. Combine that, with doing this whole "mom thing" together day in and day out and my heart physically ached right there along side of hers! I hurried through the front door of the house where she was and immediately saw her and made eye contact with her, seeing the fear and worry in her eyes. In that moment I just remember thinking how proud I was of her for being Jake's mom and doing everything she could possibly think of to help him! We hugged and it took everything in me to not just loose it. It's one of those moments that will forever be sketched into my memory.

Phoebe was able to go with Jake on the Care Flight. I stood next to the field as the chopper was taking off, soaking in the scene, overwhelmed with thinking how life is truly fragile. How none of us know what tomorrow holds. As they flew away the realization that there was nothing else to be done besides pray, brought a strange sense of peace with it. It was comforting to put the burden in God's hands because I knew His hands were better then ours! I'd just like to say that God does answer prayers.... and there were A LOT of people praying!

Jake regained consciousness shortly after the paramedics took him onto the ambulance. He screamed through his entire helicopter ride (which under normal circumstances he would have been screaming in pure excitement... oh how he loves helicopters!) and Phoebe said it was the sweetest thing she could have heard in that moment because she knew he was breathing! She was suppose to sing at church this weekend (which obviously didn't happen because of this whole ordeal), but the song that she was going to sing couldn't have been more fitting and the lyrics were all she could think of while in flight. Here are the words: "Jesus all I have is You, You're the hope I'm holding to, I might weep, but sill my faith rests in You. As the heavens hold the skies, it's your hand that holds (Jake's) life and Your love will lead me on when all else is gone." How awesome is it that God had her singing this weekend and singing that song so she could find strength in it in a time of desperation. I think it was just one of many answered prayers.

The rest of the story could get long... so I'll sum it up by saying- Jake is well! He's great actually! After several hours of observation Jake came back around and was 100% his normal, talkative, alert, self by 10:30pm last night! As a matter of fact, Jake doesn't have a single bruise or mark on him from this whole ordeal! We can't find a bump or red mark on his head anywhere! Jake's angels were working overtime yesterday in providing a soft landing to catch his fall!

All this to say, sigh... my perspective was given a new lens yesterday. I was reminded of the importance of relationships. I was reminded to tell Jude each and every day how much we love him and how much Jesus loves him. I was reminded to live each day sold out in living the life God has called us to. It confirmed to Joshua and I again that right here and now where we are at in life in pursuing this adoption because we know God has called us to it, is exactly where we're suppose to be! I desperately want to live in a way that if tomorrow I loose Jude or Joshua or whoever, that my strength is in Christ alone! I want to live having loved God and other's well so that when the day comes that I see God,  I have no regrets. Perspective... it's a good thing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Big Step Coming Up!

From the get go we have laid the timing of this adoption at God's feet and it's just been amazing to watch and see Him bring this all together, when truly there are times where I think "No way is this possible!". $6,000  seemed so far away two months ago and now it's smack dab in front of us! It's become almost tangible all the sudden and not a "dream" or "hope" but a reality! Once we receive all the money raised from the adoption auction it'll bring our savings to $5,330.67! PLUS we still have to see what the t-shirt sale brings in that Joshua's former student is doing for us and there are a couple other God-send things in the making as well that could bring in a little extra!

This is just crazy exciting to me!  Mostly because it means that in just a matter of time we will officially become pregnant with paperwork! Paper chasing might not sound terribly exciting to you- but to us, it means "We're coming little Ethiopian one!". I know this journey truly began on the evening of March 25th when Joshua and I both shared the unexpected burden we felt on our hearts of adoption. I also know this journey took another huge step forward on May 10th when we prayerfully sent our Helms Happenings- Ethiopia Edition newsletter out letting other's know of what God was calling us to do. One God given step after another in this process has gotten us to where we are today. But I truly feel like the biggest step we'll take so far in this process is going to be when we actually turn in our official application with AGCI! There is just something about officially beginning the actual process of adoption that makes it feel all the more real! There becomes a timeline put on the process and there are checkpoints along the way that mean you're one step closer! Once that official application is turned in typically it's 9-12 months until you bring your baby home! Oh what a glorious day that will be! It could be next summer!!!! ( I just said "Ahhhh!" in excitement while typing that!)

So we are getting our booties into gear finishing up paperwork that we can already have filled out so that when the day comes and the money is in the bank... we hand it over! We already have all the grant applications printed out from the three different organizations we want to apply with (I'll have to share with you about these organizations in another post, they're just awesome!). We have them partially filled out, but they can't be turned in until our home study is complete, which is one of the first things on the to do list once we get this ball rolling. We have a good chunk of the home study application and paperwork filled out, it's jammed packed of time consuming questions that we're knocking out one at a time. The funny thing is, here we are trying to stay ahead of the game and have this stuff all filled out and we're going to turn it all in just for them to hand us back another stack of paperwork to fill out! It's kind of like laundry... never ending! But I don't care... bring it on! (o;

Anyway, I just wanted to share that I'm excited about our next step in this journey and I hope it's sooner than later! I love that God is only revealing one step at a time in this process and that there is still so much unknown in the story He is writing- because I know He knows how this all plays out!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting Uncomfortable

Isn't it funny when it seems like every topic of conversation, every story you read, and every circumstance in life is all revolved around the same "theme"? Like God is desperately trying to grab a hold of your attention and reveal His truth in those moments?

Clearly God has been trying to get my attention over the past several months because again and again everything keeps coming back to "Love God, Love Others"! It all started with simply asking God to break our hearts for the things that break His. Take note... He answers prayers! Hence the whole adopting an orphan thing going on in our life right now! (o; God asks big things of us... things that aren't comfortable and stretch us. He tells us to love the unlovable, hold loosely to our worldly processions,  let go of our plans and trust His, give more then we have. He also promises to meet us in that place of being uncomfortable and bless us! 

Loving God and loving other's sounds easy and simple. It's not. But when we choose to trust and rely on God and not our own strength, we allow God to meet us. A sweet friend of mine, Becky, said it perfectly when she was talking about trusting God's will for her life... 

She said, "I felt my intuition change, which is a cool thing. It is kind of like walking in the rain. With the first drizzles, you run and try to cover yourself with your hands. You fight the drops. Then as you realize that your efforts are in vain you slow down, open your arms, and just let yourself get drenched. To me, that is what giving into God's will is like. It isn't always neat and clean, but it feels good.". 

I can't imagine missing out on these divine moments we've had over the past two months of watching God provide had we said no to the burden of adoption that He placed upon our hearts. I have to wonder how many times I've missed His blessings in the past out of fear of getting uncomfortable? I don't want to be a complacent Christian that lives the comfortable life. I want to be in a place of complete reliance allowing God to do His thing!  

So I'm asking you to get uncomfortable and trust. Does it look crazy sometimes? Sure. But Christ's love is pretty crazy. And sometimes you might find that getting uncomfortable feels really good. Asking God to break our hearts for the things that break His, flipped our world upside down... what might it do in your life? 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

God Blows Our Socks Off... AGAIN!

Okay, where to start?!.... You know when you're just so overwhelmed with excitement & gratitude that you can barely get your thoughts together? That's me right now. My thoughts are jumping all over the place with what I want to say and I'm unsure of where to begin.

I guess a good place to start is with THANK YOU! The generosity, support, prayers, and encouragement we have received surrounding this adoption process from the beginning has truly been amazing! With the Adoption Auction closed now (besides the farmhouse in East Tenn. being open until tomorrow evening), both Joshua and I are able to take a step back and just say, "Wow!". We are humbled by the generosity of friends and family who both donated their services/items and those who placed bids! As of now, if the bid on the farmhouse stays at $600, the auction will have raised $1,455 to go towards our adoption savings! Is that not just crazy exciting?! This means that in the past two months God has provided a total of $5,014!!!! Yes, this makes my eyes tear up in amazement!

BUT WAIT! There's more!!! Believe it or not, God is at work in even more unique ways to fund this adoption! This past week in the middle of the craziness going on with the auction, I got an email from a former student of Joshua's. Her name is Kalisha and she was in his Joshua's class a couple years back when she was a sophomore.  She is quite possibly the sweetest girl ever! Anyway, she has completely blown us out of the water and offered to head up selling t-shirts with our "An Inexhaustible Love" logo on them! She has other MHS students of Joshua's that are willing to buy shirts to support our family and she has offered to take care of all the ordering & organizing that goes into selling these! Is that not just awesome of her?! Truly she is such a reminder of 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."!

She wants our friends and family to be a part of this t-shirt fundraiser and so I'm getting the word out! If you are interested in buying a shirt, the cost is $20. She needs all orders received by July 15th so that we she can go ahead and place the order with the t-shirt company. If you live locally (the North Dallas area), once the shirts are received she is planning on setting up a day to be at McKinney High School for everyone to swing by and pick up your order. If you don't live locally and you would like one, I'll pick it up for you and gladly mail it your way! Wouldn't it be awesome if her creative way of helping us raise money totally blew her socks off too?! So let's help her, help us! (o;  If you are interested, please be in touch with Kalisha by email at

Monday, July 5, 2010

Adoption Auction!!!

Check out our Adoption Auction!!!! Just click here!

Bidding will be open from Tuesday morning (July 6th) until Friday evening (July 9th). Please be in prayer with us that this would go well and help us save to get one step closer to turning in our official application! We're hoping to have $6k-$8k saved up and we currently have about $3,500... we're coming along! We know that this whole process is all in God's perfect timing and we're trusting that he'll bless our efforts along the way in being obedient to the burden He's placed on our hearts. We're coming Ethiopian babe, I promise!

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