While we are in the home stretch of this side of this adoption, we know the rest is just beginning. As difficult as some of the things we have walked through have been, I suspect some of the challenges we face as the family tree of our children changes will be much more intense. It’s a spiritual battle.

We leave on Sunday. This Sunday. May 24th. Our “Gotcha Day” as it is called in the adoption world is May 26th. We will pick the children up from their foster parents, and for all intents and purposes,, they will become part of our family. I can’t help but feel in a spiritual way, they always have been, but now it will be official! What an amazing moment that will be, as we, for the last time descend the 85 steps and roll out of the street Siri can’t quite pronounce correctly to head to our new home away from home….as a family. One, giant, family of ten. I can’t wait!

As Amy and I have reflected on this impending day, we continue to be overwhelmed with an amazing sense of gratitude. I thought I’d take this last post on this side of the new beginning and mention some key people & groups who have walked with us so faithfully. This is always dangerous as I don’t want to leave anyone out…..I will do my best to keep this simple.

Children’s House International
Well, this wouldn’t be happening without you. Thank you Nina & Rebecca for believing in us and for asking us to take a risk on these kids. Without your encouragement, I’m not sure we ever would have asked for Poland to bend the rules for us. Thank you Rebecca……You answered every question; you responded to my texts & called me from your cell phone in a parking lot. Heck, you even came to visit us here in Indiana. God knew what He was doing when He connected our family with CHI & you. We wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else.
And our friend, Grace. Wow how much you have worked for us even before we knew who you were. Of course, you were already famous in our minds, but meeting you was one of the most special moments of this process. Our kindred spirits and mutual love for God and orphans is incredible. To see you advocate for the children, to go to bat for them is unmatched. We will try to express it, but you’ll never know how much we appreciate & love you. You are a friend for life and an honorary Carlson :-)!!

JSC Foundation
You were the first granting agency to believe in this call of God.

Help Us Adopt
How grateful we are you came along side of us so quickly.

Families Outreach
You came on a day we needed it.

Kaitlyn’s Fund
You people are amazing. NO ONE prayed over us and this process like you. You were a partner in this thing and we will never forget that.

Brittany’s Hope
Connected through our agency, but what an amazing gift!

Hands of Hope
Thank you for the ministry you do for Indiana families. You are spreading the love of Christ in amazing ways.

A Child Waits
We are so grateful for you. Always concerned for us and our children. Your hearts for them and us are incredible.

Gift of Adoption
You finished this race for us. We can bring our children home without financial worries. You’ll never know the peace this has brought us.

The Ladies of GRACE
I still do not have words to say what you have done for us. I am speechless.

The Journey Church
What can you say about such an amazing church family. You have loved us, supported us, prayed for us, walked with us, hurt with us when things were shaky, rejoiced with us when good news came, sacrificially given to this cause – no one has given collectively more than you, and now you’re letting us go to finish this process for a VERY LONG six weeks. There are so many of you we could name….probably all of you who have done something significant or played some important role in this journey we have taken together. You are with us…..and we have felt it the whole time. We thank God every day for you. Always know we NEVER take you for granted.

To our Families
More than I could say. Your opportunity is before you….to be grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins to these precious children. They will know you and love you like no other. You will be part of making them who they are. We chose this for our family…you didn’t. We know that. We are grateful you have come along side of us and welcomed these children, albeit only in spirit so far, you will soon hug their necks and kiss their faces, changing their family tree and heritage with us. We couldn’t do this without you.

Special Friends
I won’t name you here for your own privacy. And I’m certain a few of you would punch me in the nose if I did, but you know who you are. It is rare for a pastor to have such close friends. People he can be himself around. People who will hear his heart. People who won’t freak out when he thinks out loud or says something stupid. People who will love his family. People who will stand beside him through the thick and thin – especially when others are abandoning. People who will travel halfway around the world to support what God is doing through his family. You have valued our journey. You have let me shut up and bend. You have saved my truck. You have loved my kids like a grandparent. You have befriended my wife. You have told us the truth. You have encouraged us with care and prayer and love. You have walked beside us in some crazy things. You have shaken your head at insane ideas. You have empowered mission even when it really was crazy. What you have done is nothing short of miraculous. We have not missed that. I know we don’t say it enough, but you are special to us. You mean the world to us. You show us Jesus. Thank you. I only hope one day we will be as much Christ to you as you have been to us.

Our Father, Jesus Christ His Son, & The Holy Spirit
Thank you Father. The love you so powerfully demonstrated has modeled for us what it truly means to love unconditionally. Jesus, you went to the cross for us; you intercede for us; you stand in the gap for us. Forever you will be praised. Holy Spirit….thank you for the miraculous work of grace you continue to process in our lives. Without the work of grace you’ve done in us, we would never be able to give the love of God to others. May we be humble and grateful and submitted to your will & plan forever.

In Gratitude,
Jeff & Amy