Friday, December 4

One Year! {...and a quickie little update}

OK! We've officially hit the one year mark! One year jumping through hoops, dotting i's, crossing t's, cutting through red tape...and now...waiting. In some ways it seems like forever and in other ways..I must admit, it's actually flown by!

The year has been full and rich we are thankful! SO THANKFUL!

Mr. J. loves, loves, loves his job! He works mostly from home; loves that 30 second commute just past the coffee pot in the morning! And...working in his sweats isn't such a bad deal either!

Aside from my "norm" I spent a good part of the past year chasing paper, organizing our fund raising efforts and (last but not least!) stalking adoption blogs. I have been decorating Justice's room (which has been a blast!) I still have some clouds to paint on the ceiling and a few touches here and there..but they may have to wait til we get through the holidays!

Mr. J. and I are excited to be celebrating 20 years of marriage on the 16th! Wow!!!! We are going to celebrate with a romantic trip to excited!....

T and J are doing well. They are pretty busy....the salon is a lot of work and is thriving! They have had several fashion shows and photo shoots this year too which is keeps things extra busy. They plan to travel to Ariziona and celebrate Christmas with J's family. J's family recently welcomed their newly adopted litttle boy, to the family so they will have fun Christmas with them for sure!

Big K. is loving life! He transferred to UT Austin this fall and is living in an apartment just off campus. He's got three awesome roommates which we are thankful for. He has been soaking every bit of college life..going to all the Texas home games and such..... He has been pulling amazing grades (working super hard!) and is looking forward to winter break. He will be home next week and through the New Year. Can't wait!

Little J. is going to celebrate her sweet 16 on Monday and is getting her drivers license! (YIKES!) She is a very busy girl...babysitting jobs, student counsel and practicing her lines...( She was recently rewarded the part of "MEG" in the school play, Little Women!)

As far as Baby J and our adoption:.... We are waiting. We've been on the wait list 8 weeks (this Thursday) The average wait for a toddler age child is 4 months. We are ready! SO READY! (We'll keep y'all posted!)

So... that wraps up this quickie little update....hope to update more throughout the holidays!

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.  ~Jane Howard

Tuesday, December 1

Waiting a good wait.

So, you've all heard the saying, "fight the good fight", right? Well...(as of today!...AGAIN!) We here at the Mathews house are resolved to wait a good wait. (I can speak for all of us because I manage our blog.) :)

Today, while stalking our favorite adoption blogs, I came across this quote and it reminded me and inspired me! (thanks "Journey to Ethiopia"!)

"Waiting is one of God's most powerful tools of grace. God doesn't just give us grace for the wait. The wait itself is a gift of grace. You see, waiting is not only about what you will receive at the end of the wait. Waiting is about what you will become as you wait."

-Paul David Tripp

The quote inspired me to be mindful during while waiting to enjoy the journey as we look forward to the "destination". To trust in His timing for our family and for our daughter because after all, His timing is perfect! (and mine?...not so much.)

What He has started, He will finish. What He calls us to....He equips us for.. He's got us. He's got Justice. He's got this....

The message here. Be still and know. (Yes and amen.) Be patient. (oh no! Not that again!)

I have this little book that I refer to a lot. This is what it has to say about patience:

Patience is: a gentle endurance. A tranquil waiting or expectation. Composure during a long siege. A tolerant understanding. Knowing that God has everything under control. Waiting without complaint for God's perfect timing.

Oh...I like that. And I want some more of that in my life. But seriously, I don't like praying for patience. (you know why, right?!... Because every time I pray for patience...I seem to end up in the longest line, the worst traffic or on the phone with the most irritating/irrational customer serve representative on the face of the planet!)

So...I am not hoping for or praying for more patience. I am hoping AND praying to wait well. (do you think there is a difference?)

"Let patience have he perfect work that you may be perfect and entire and wanting nothing"
James 1:4

"Walk worthy for the calling with which you were called"
Eph 4:1

Sunday, November 15

One (1) Month {waiting}

One (1) month waiting=CHECK! (But who's counting?)

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”


Thursday, November 5

Justice For All {Her Song}

T. James wrote this song early in our adoption journey. We can't wait for the day when our daughter Justice can dance to her song!

We hope that it blesses you and fills your heart with compassion for the orphan.
Justice For All
Written by T. James

You had a picture and we had ours
it was selfish
not selfless
but after seeing where they live
hearing them pray for
someone to save them

I say go and don't look back
cause I cant wait to see her face
I say go and don’t look back
I cant wait to see her face

Even though they've got dirty hands and feet
they've got the purest eyes
hearts that want to be free
Even though they've got dirty hands and feet
they've got the purest hearts
and their eyes will set you free

So I say go and don't look back
I cant wait to see her face

Her name is Justice
yes it's true
she's my sister

Her name is Justice
yes it's true
and I love you
Her name is Justice
yes it's true
Her name is Justice
Yes it's true

it's Justice for all
Justice for all
Justice for all
it's Justice for all

So I say go and don’t look back
I cant wait to see her face
see your face

Friday, October 16

Humanitarian Aid {Donations Welcome!}

When we travel to Ethiopia to pick up baby J. Gladney requires that we bring $200 worth of humanitarian aid items for orphans in Addis Ababa. We would like to bring more! ALOT MORE!

Here is the list of the immediate needs of the orphanages and foster care facilities that we will be visiting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

1. Infant clothing (new); Boys and Girls; sizes 0-12 months.

2. Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers, Extra Large Case – Size 1, 2, or 3; $37.99 each (no tax or shipping on Use Referral Code: THCE5959 and get $2.00 off the order) Even though diapers are readily available in Addis, it is more expensive to purchase them there and they tend to leak.

3. Huggies Natural Care Wipes (Unscented); 576 count; $19.99 ***no tax or shipping on

4. Nestle Good Start Supreme DHA/ARA; powder; 25.7 oz. can; $27.99 per can ***no tax or shipping on

5. A + D Original Ointment, Diaper Rash and All-Purpose Skincare Formula; 1 lb.; $9.49 on

6. Purell Hand Sanitizer NXT Refill, 1000ml Item # 2156-08EA $10.95

7. Purell Hand Sanitizer NXT Dispenser, Item # 2120-06EA $9.99 ea.

8. Lubrisilk, 16 oz. Item # 00166PEA $8.50 ea.

9. Baby bottles; small and large size Gerber plastic bottles preferred (solid colored bottles that come in a multi-color pack of bottles). Replacement nipples for the bottles are also needed.

Thursday, October 15



Yep...that's right...WE ARE ON THE WAIT LIST!!!!!! (just got word about an hour or so ago....)

No more stalking the mailbox or the EMAIL shift over to stalking our cell phones!

Right now the wait for a referral is an average of four (4) months for a child ages 13 mo and older... So now....We are no longer waiting to wait. WE ARE OFFICALLY WAITING!


Monday, October 12

GOT IT! {CIS Approval!}

We have received our CIS approval (AKA I-171H) letter!!!!

Today we will get it off to Kate (KBS) via FedEx (OVERNIGHT!) with a prayer and a hope that we will hit the waitlist in a matter of days!

Halleluiah! We are one more step closer to having our sweet baby girl in our arms!

Sunday, August 23

One Less Thing! {Fingerprints}

On Friday, we had our biometrics (a fancy name for digital fingerprints) done!

Now, we just wait for our USCIS approval letter. It is our LAST piece of paper for our adoption.

As soon as we receive this approval will be just a few days and we will be WAITLISTED!

Wednesday, August 12

CIS Appointment {hurray!}

We have our fingerprint appointment for August 21! Once this is done...all we do is wait for our CIS approval and then our dossier will be complete!

Once Kate gets the dossier will be off to Ethiopia and we will be (finally!) done with the paperchase and placed on the offical wait list!!!!

Thursday, August 6

Eight (8) Months

Today (August 5, 2009) marks 8months. (That's right....another one bites the dust!)

Eight (8) months into the adoption process...And counting!.....

Thought the "8" on a race track was appropriate...this sorts feels like a race sometimes.

“…. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-3

Friday, July 10

Gladney Approved! {YES!}

That's right! We are officially Gladney approved! (and it only took alittle over 7 months!)

For those familiar with the adoption know that this is a big hurdle! A VERY VERY EXCITING MILESTONE!

The next step is completing our dossier; which of course includes CIS approval. (other than that...we are just missing a couple little things that should be quick and painless and do-able by next week sometime!)

Once we've got that dossier done, we will hit....WAIT LIST!


Sunday, July 5

Seven (7) Months {...and counting!}

Today (July 5th, 2009) marks 7 months. Seven (7) months into the adoption process...

And counting!.....

(PS. Adoption is not for whimps!)

...For we live by faith, not by sight.
1 Cor 5:7

Tuesday, June 16

More on Paperwork! {good news, bad news}

The good news is that our Gladney file seems to be complete (except for our home study which is being revised and CIS approval) Both of which are completely out of our hands. So-it seems like we should have Gladney approval any time now?

The bad news is that we got an update from Kate at KBS and we've got several changes and document re-do's for our dossier to deal with! (two of which are life & health insurance documents which were like pulling teeth to get our hands on in the first place! UGH!)'s all "do-able".....we just thought we were done with paperwork! (Silly, right?)

We thought we were moving on to new things like decorating Justice's room, shopping for toddler gear, collecting humanitarian aid items, learning Amharic, etc....

Words like diligence, determination and perseverance come to mind.....

Off to the paper chase....

(comments, insight, encouragment AND prayers are appreciated!)

Friday, June 5

Six Months {...and counting}

Today (June 5th, 2009) marks 6 months. Six (6) months into the adoption process...

And counting!.....

...For we live by faith, not by sight.
1 Cor 5:7

Thursday, May 28

Paperwork & Waiting to WAIT

Today we are sending the last few pieces of paperwork to Gladney (minus 1 little piece of paper unless we have a miracle in the mailbox today!)

AND we are sending off our dossier paperwork to Kate (minus 1 piece of paper unless we have a second miracle in the mailbox today!)

We are leaving for a week long (much needed and much anticipated) vacation. (more on that later...) So- even though we are missing these two small little pieces... we thought it best to get everything else on it's way before we go...

This stage in the process...the... "Waiting to WAIT" is not much fun. AND The PAPER CHASE has not been all that much fun either to be honest.
We are looking SO forward to being Gladney approved and placed on the WAIT list....(this is our current short-term goal in the adoption process)

Once we hit the wait list....

The average WAIT for a 13month old and up (we are asking for 13mo-3year old) is approximately 4 months! (not too bad...)

Wednesday, May 20

Writers Block! {HELP!}

So we've been working on our dossier. We are so close! Just need to write this darn Adoptive Parent Statement....Oh Boy!

Does anyone have any tips? We are suffering from serious writer's block here!

Over an hour watching the cursor blink.....type. delete. type. delete....


Happy Birthday Kyle!

Kyle in Austin-Spring 2009

Friday, May 15


We are happy to report that the FBI moved at super warp speed fast on our request for FBI clearance! We are clear...with no arrests! Happy Day!

(Gotta love the Department of Justice Logo!) We see Justice everywhere!

Wednesday, May 13

Home Study Complete

We had our home study today! Not only was it was actually....enjoyable! Our social worker was super nice....

We learned a lot about Ethiopia and the process...about the children....there wasn't enough time to ask all the questions that we have.

It won't be long and our homestudy will be on it's way to CIS, Gladney and then to ETHIOPIA!

Now we're cooking with gas! :)

Tuesday, May 12

Home Study! {Tomorrow}

Yep!!! It's true....we've made it to our home study! (it's tomorrow!)

We are super excited to be passing through this major milestone in the adoption process and should be well on our way to wait list very, very soon!

We can't wait to be finished with paper chasing and start decorating! We have tons of cute ideas for Justice's room (including a sky painted ceiling and joyous yellow walls....)

We are starting to research the best strollers, car seats, highchairs, books, toys, etc....It's easy to forget how much gear little one's require and oh what cute, cute, cute gear there is out there!!! SO MUCH FUN!

Anyway....just though we'd give y'all an update on our progress. Please remember us in your thoughts and prayers. (pray that our home study will go well, and that the paperwork will be processed quickly!!!)

Friday, May 1

JUSTICE JARS! {Pray, Give, Help}


We have been busy making these cute little jars using recycled jars of all shapes & sizes, decorative papers, stickers, threads, buttons, bling, glue, paint, and a whole bunch of love!

Over the next few days & weeks we will be delivering JUSTICE JARS to friends and family.

It is our hope that JUSTICE JARS will serve a three-fold purpose:

1. As a tangible reminder in your home to prompt you to pray for our adoption process, our daughter Justice and for the millions of orphans world-wide.

2. To collect donations to help with the travel costs to Ethiopia.

3. To raise money for humanitarian aid items that we will hand deliver to orphanages that we will be visiting while we are in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, April 29

Fingerprints {FBI Clearance}

Getting your fingerprints is kinda fun (and messy!)

We sent our FBI clearance request with our finger prints today.

We sent them overnight FedEx with "INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION. PROCESS ASAP PLEASE" written in BIG letters on both sides in black marker.....

Wondering if our idea of ASAP and the FBI'S interpretation of ASAP are the same? Sure hope so!

Sunday, April 12

Happy Easter!

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there.
~Clarence W. Hall

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.
~Robert Flatt

Where man sees but withered leaves, God sees sweet flowers growing.
~Albert Laighton

But from this earth, this grave, this dust,My God shall raise me up, I trust.
~Walter Raleigh

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time.
~Martin Luther

Tuesday, March 31

The Mr. and Mrs. {the story of us}

We met in the summer of 1989 while working at a night club.  Was it love at first sight?....Pretty close to it! After a whirlwind courtship, we were married in the winter of 1989.

We jumped into family life with both feet! Jeff was excited about his new role as husband and Father and needless to say, Tyler was thrilled to have Jeff as his Step Daddy.

We celebrated the birth of our second son Kyle in the Spring of 1990.

In the fall, we took a family trip to Arizona to visit Jeff's parents. We fell in love with the Valley of the Sun and decided it make it home in Spring of 1991.

In June of 1991, we bought our first home and shortly after we started attending a Bible Church
. It was there, that we made the decision for Christ in June of 1992.

In the Winter of 1993, we joyfully welcomed the birth of our Daughter, Jordan.

In the winter of 2003, we made a bold move and relocated the family to Texas! ('s the bold move that pays off!) We love, love, love Texas!  (Really, we do!)

Today, we are super excited as we wait for our new daughter to join our family. We can't wait to make the trip to Ethiopia to bring her home. (and we are praying it will be sooner than later!)

Along the way- The past 19 years have been filled with joy (and sorrow), ups (and downs), peaks (and valleys) all "par for the course" in marriage. (Hey...Marriage is not for wimps! can be hard work sometimes but it is worth it!)

Through it all...we are committed to our marriage and to our family. We look forward to watching our kids continue to grow and thrive, to becoming Grandparents (someday), perhaps traveling the world a bit and even growing ..together.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I Cor 13: 4-8

Tuesday, March 3

Why Ethiopia?

• One in six children die before their fifth birthday

• 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old

• 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition

• The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years

• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.

• Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa

• In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)• Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)

• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.

• Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.

• Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.

• In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. Surely you will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them"

Psalm 10:17-18

Saturday, February 21

Nunc Pro Tunc! {now for then}

The best news!

The judge awarded our plea for Nunc Pro Tunc! (Now for then) So, after being "illegally" married for 20 years.... We have now been Legally married for 20 years!

With that, now we can move on with our lives and forward with our adoption process full steam ahead!

Friday, February 20

Here's to Hope!

Today our new attorney will take our second plea to court. (Did I mention we hired a new attorney?) Anyway...we like him and he seems to have things under control although we are NOT putting our trust in the justice system, our attorney, or any judge. Ultimately- GOD is in control....

So....(breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth...)We've done all we can we put in in God's hands.

1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Archaic To have confidence; trust.
3. To look forward to with confidence or expectation

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.—Romans 12:12

Friday, February 6

Watch out world!

It's official! Our baby is now well on her way to being licensed in the State of Texas to drive a motor vehicle! That's right folks!- Jordan got her drivers permit today!

The world as we know it may never be the same! (just kidding!)
Love you girl!

Thursday, January 22

No slam dunk here

The outcome at court yesterday was not favorable. AND was far from the slam dunk our attorney promised. The judge (for whatever reason) denied our plea in court.

Long story short- It looks as if we may have a fight on our hands. We are very disappointed, but far from defeated.

Our attorney says, " may take months" and "...will be costly" and (interesting enough) "...this is just ridiculous and feels like an obstruction of Justice" (more on that later)

And so....we fall forward. We are seeking additional counsel and praying for wisdom and direction, etc.

We trust that our steps are ordered in His perfect timing.... AND that at the end of this journey all of "this" will only make holding our daughter in our arms more sweet-that this "injustice" will only give more power to the meaning of her name.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything"

James 1:2

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified beacuase of them, for the Lord your
God goes with you; he will nevere leave you nor forsake you."

Deut 31:6

Wednesday, January 21

Light at the end


In regards to our recent "document drama"......There is light at the end of the tunnel! We have a court date in Washington state today! Our attorney says; " should be a slam dunk". So, God willing- we will be on the other side of this trail by the end of the day!

This unexpected development has proven to be good for us in the long run. (He really does work all things for good!) It's been a good reminder of what we say we believe about faith. It's been an opportunity to live what we believe.

Walking by faith and not by sight sounds simple enough while life is going along as "planned".
But it's when the rubber meets the road that we find out that true faith not only requires
decision, but action.

Thankfully, His power is perfected in our weakness and His grace is enough!

We are grateful for the many friends and family who have offered wisdom, and encouragement
and who have even helped us to see the humor in this whole mess.

We want you all to know how much we love and appreciate each one of you!

Looking forward to posting a good report soon!.....

"Life is 10% circumstance and 90% attitude"
-author unknown

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
James 2:25-26

Tuesday, January 20


  1. Jeff was once a flight attendant
  2. Christine used to play the flute
  3. Tyler is a two time high hurdle state champ!
  4. We (collectivley) have lived in 6 states
  5. Jessica was barista at Starbucks
  6. Jordan wants to be a neo-natal nurse
  7. Kyle is left handed


  1. Morgan
  2. Shannon
  3. The Walkers
  4. The Hoppes

Sunday, January 18

Every little bit helps


Choose (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition iPod models and iTunes Gift Cards, and Apple
gives a portion of the purchase price to the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.
You make choices every day, from the clothes you wear to the music you play. Now
making a choice means making a difference.

With every iPod shuffle, iPod nano, or iTunes Gift Card (PRODUCT) RED purchased,
a part of the proceeds go directly to the Global Fund. Listening to music never felt
so good.

Tuesday, January 13

Document Drama

In the midst of paper chasing, we are experiencing what is noted on our time line
(to the right) as "document drama". Going in, we knew that through the adoption
process, we were sure to hit a few speed bumps. feels like a road block!

While we won't go into the specifics of our latest development, let's just say that
it has been a shocker! It came way off from left field and is dis-concerning to say
the least. The worst thing is that "it" is holding up this already long and
daunting process.... It is adding days, weeks or possibility months!

Thankfully, so far, we have done pretty well. We have kept our wits about us
(for the most part) and not allowed "it" to bring division. And although a bit
stressed and stretched (Christine did go into the ugly cry once or twice...)
we are still standing as a strong and united front.

The good news and the long and the short of it is that this road block can be fixed.
It is nothing that a good attorney, a few thousand dollars and a month or so won't cure.

So, as we walk through this unexpected trial, we ask that all of you out there would
pray! Please pray specifically for God's favor over this "road block", for continued
strength to push forward, grace as we wait....

Pray for our baby girl who is currently somewhere in Ethiopia waiting for her forever
family to find her and bring her home. Pray that she would be safe, well cared for and
loved in the midst of her circumstances.

"...for we walk by faith and not by sight"
2 cor 5:7

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because
you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must
finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything"
James 1:2