Dear Friends and Family,
That’s right, folks! The good ole’ “Helms Happenings” newsletter is once again making an appearance! And, you might notice the new sub-title… Ethiopia Edition! It’s been more than three years since we last sat down to write an update and, while our lives have changed so much in that time, one thing remains… we want to glorify God.
This past year Joshua and I have been challenged to take a closer look at what it means to “Love God and Love Others” (Matthew 22). It seems a simple enough concept, but we can’t tell you how often we’ve both been given an entirely new perspective. We’d love to tell you about the many things we are learning, but for now, we want to share news about one of the important doors God is opening in our lives.
Two months ago, in the midst of discussing plans for more children, both Joshua and I, had our hearts unexpectedly burdened for adoption. This came as a complete surprise to us, as we had never discussed the topic before. I LOVED being pregnant and always assumed that once we were ready for more children, we’d just get pregnant again. As we prayed through our doubts and fears, the burden just became heavier on our hearts and His truth about loving orphans became undeniable clear (James 1:27, Proverbs 24:13, Isaiah 1:17, John 14:18).
After educating ourselves and asking God to lead us, we have decided to pursue an international adoption from Ethiopia! Big breath… just saying makes our hearts race with excitement and, truthfully, some fear. We have identified an agency that we love - All God’s Children International - and have sent in our pre-application and received approval to proceed with our official application and home study. Thus begins a heap of paperwork and significant financial investments!
Based on some wise counsel from the agency, we have determined that our first step is to save between $6,000-$8,000 before submitting our application for the expenses that will occur early in the adoption process. Our current income does not allow for much savings, so we have been grateful that God has already provided an opportunity for me to teach some lifeguard instructor classes, dog-sit and babysit. In addition, Joshua was recently accepted as an AP Reader (grading AP Exams from all across the country) this summer. These extra jobs will cover the costs of the application and home study fees.
We will continue to save where we can and be creative in bringing in extra income, including the possibility of adoption grants and low interest loans. While this will help, the total adoption may cost anywhere from $22,000-$26,000, so we will have to trust God to provide. If you are interested in helping support our efforts, either in prayer or financially, we would encourage you to visit our new blog – www.helmshappenings-ethiopia.
We would appreciate your prayers during this journey and ask that you’d also pray for the child God has chosen for us. Thank you so much for being a part of this unfolding story of inexhaustable love.
Joshua, Hilary, & Jude