Friday, December 21, 2012

Meet Our Son!!!!

We woke up to a WONDERFUL Christmas surprise this morning.  We received PA - (Pre-Approval) by the CCAA for us to adopt our little boy!! So we did not want to delay any longer! We wanted to introduce you to our son, Shepard. :) We think he is just PRECIOUS and cannot wait to meet him in person!!

We have chosen to give him the American name, Shepard. The name Shepard means - "A Gentle Leader".  The Lord has been such a Gentle Leader to us during this whole process of leading us to adoption again and through this adoption. We also believe it is a very good declaration over our son for his future!!

We will keep his Chinese name as his middle name.  We can't post it here on a public blog.  But we feel since he is 5 years old it will be important to keep his Chinese name as well as for him to have an American one! :) We're not sure if we will give him another middle name to go with his Chinese one or not...but for now...he is our little Shepard boy!! :) Next...we will be working on a care package to send to him!! We can't wait to send him some special things from us!!

What a wonderful Christmas present to receive today!! We could not WAIT to share with you all!! Thank you for your prayers and support in helping us give this precious little boy a forever family.  What a blessing...for all of us!!! Praying you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

We Are Logged In!!!

Real quick just had to share with everyone that we were "officially" logged in with the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) today - December 17th!! We are very excited about this!! We should be receiving our PA (pre-approval) for the little boy we have been matched with by our agency.  As soon as we get that...we can share with everyone his precious little photo we have!! :)

Thank you all for continuing to pray for smooth paperwork and financial provision for the rest of what we need for the adoption!! (We still need to raise about $22,000) God is SO faithful!! We know He will provide!! We can't wait to watch all that HE is going to do!! Thank you for your faithful prayers and encouragement! It means the world!!!

We'll keep everyone posted as soon as we get info! Thank you SO MUCH for keeping up on our process!! We'll post again soon!
Mark & Buffi

Thursday, December 6, 2012


We are so excited to share that I just found out today that our Dossier went to China last week. This is such awesome news!!! I'm waiting to find out the exact day it went...but I do know it went out last week!! :) Soon we will find out what our LID (Log in Date) is.  Once all that takes place...China will match our paperwork with the little boy our agency matched us with.  Once China gives us PA (Pre-approval) for us to be matched to him...we get to share his precious face here with you all!!! We cannot WAIT!!! AHHH...our paperwork is finally in China!!!

After 7 months, 80 families, OVER 240 hours of editing around 6000 photos - We have "officially" ended our $50 Family Photo Fundraiser!! WOW!! What an AMAZING 7 months it has been!! Because of God's provision of those wonderful 80 families we raised close to $7000 to go toward our adoption expenses!! This is AWESOME!! There are so many people who have helped us make this happen....but we'd especially like to thank Dawn Miller Eaves Tara Hall, andMarissa Hooven for helping us with locations for our photo shoots and Jennifer Daugherty for camera equipment. The photos would DEFINITELY not have been as good without you ladies helping us out!!! Thank you ALL for so much support and encouragement!! We are praying about how to continue with Family photos in 2013. We'll keep you posted!! Can't wait to see what God is going to do next!!! Please continue to pray for provision for our journey!!!

Grafted: Preparing the Way for Adoption
I am excited to share with everyone a new book that my husband has written titled, "GRAFTED: Preparing the Way for Adoption." 
If you or someone you know are considering adoption....I believe it would be an encouragement to you! Our hope is that 
it will help families prepare spiritually to bring a new child into their family through adoption. Adoption is God's heart!!  If you know of anyone in the adoption process, please forward this to them... I believe it could be a great encouragement to them. You can purchase the paperback or Kindle version on Amazon. Details below!

If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can borrow the ebook for FREE for a limited time!!

For a paperback you can order it here:

For the Kindle version you can order it here:

Mark and I have been working on a project to help some of our friends The Bohlingers raise money for their adoption.  We've created a 2013 Calendar highlighting children from all over the world who have been adopted.  Its an awesome calendar!! All the proceeds will go to their adoption expenses!! Thanks for taking a look at it on  Amazon here:

That's all we have to share for now!! Let us know if you have questions!! PLEASE continue to pray for our process and God's provision.  He has provided SO MUCH already!! We are almost half way to our goal!!! It's going to be exciting to see how He is going to provide!!!

We appreciate you all so much!! Blessings!
Mark & Buffi

Monday, November 5, 2012

We Got Our Approval!!!

So excited that we received our I-800 USCIS approval today!!! This is wonderful news!! Now we can get our Dossier ready to send to China!! We have to get our dossier certified and authenticated. Once that is done...we will be DTC - Dossier to China!!! YAY!!

Please continue to pray for no paperwork delays!! We know the timing is all in God's hands! We will keep you all posted on what we find out next!!! Thank you all for the prayers!!! We're grateful for each and every one of you!!!
Mark & Buffi

Monday, October 29, 2012

Waiting Again...

I wanted to give you all a brief update of what it currently going on with the adoption process.

We went a couple of weeks ago to Birmingham to get our Bio-metric fingerprints done for Homeland Security.  Mark's parents had to do this with us.  (Hopefully that is the last thing they will have to do in this process with us!) Anyway...we got a notification last week that Mark's mom's fingerprints were unreadable....AGAIN! :( That is the 4th time her fingerprints have been unreadable in this process.

We are very grateful that by contacting Homeland Security and explaining the situation - She has unreadable prints, and is on dialysis and it it very difficult for her to get away for a two hour trip like that.  They were very helpful and allowed us to provide background information in a different way.  We pray that all this paperwork moves through the system quickly and allows us to get our Dossier to China SOON!!

What exactly is DTC? means Dossier to China and it is really the place we want to be at next...quickly!! Please pray that all our paperwork comes together without any snags and that we can get it to China ASAP!! This would be the only thing that could hinder us being "officially" matched with the little boy that we were referred from our agency.  We do know it is all in God's hands and timing...we just really want to see Godspeed on these papers!! :) I will keep everyone posted!!

We are coming to an end of our $50 Family Photo Fundraiser.  It will be ending after 7 wonderful months, at the end of November!! We have met some AMAZING families through this process and are just blown away at God's provision through this fundraiser.  All the glory goes to the Lord for it...because it was His idea for sure!! We're grateful for all the families who participated to help us.  At the end of November...we will have photographed close to 85 families! That truly boggles our mind!!! It has been a blessing though!! Thank you to the families who participated!! YOU have helped us raise close to $7500 to go and bring our little boy home!! YAY!!!

We are getting close to the $12,000 mark for fundraising.  We praise God for His provision so far...and we look forward to what the next few months hold.  There are great opportunities for God to do some wonderful things and we look forward to see what He is going to do!!

Many of you have asked when we will be going to China to get our little boy.  This is something we really will not know until we're logged in over there and know more so where our paperwork is in the process.  Our guess is it will be sometime in the spring of 2013.  But we do not know specifics. We promise to keep you all posted!!

-  Please continue to pray for the paperwork to move through quickly!

-  We have applied for an adoption grant...please pray for favor regarding this

-  We still need to raise at least $23,000 more.  It will come! We're not worried...we just want to lift this up     to the Lord and ask Him to bring the provision! It really is expensive.  Thats sad...because so many more people would be open to adoption if it were not for the cost.  We would love to see this change in the   future. But until then...we pray that other families will step out in the boldness of the Lord and trust HIM to     provide for these children.  It is an eternal investment!! It is definitely storing up treasures in Heaven!!

Thats it for now! As we get more details and info...I will make sure and send them your way!!! Thank you all for your love and support! It means the world to us!
Mark & Buffi

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We've Seen His Face!!!

Ok y'all...I cannot give you any details...but what I can tell you is we've been given a referral by our agency and we've accepted this referral and we are in the process of sending in our LOI (Letter of Intent) to adopt this precious little boy!!! AHHH!! HE IS PRECIOUS!!  It is so exciting and we would love to shout all the details from the roof tops...but we can't.  We have to make sure it's "official".  We pray all the paperwork goes through and that nothing hinders us being officially matched with him there in China!! can you pray?!?! Pray that we get our paperwork and info where it needs to be in a quick and timely manner and that there are no delays!! (We don't want delays to possibly have us loose this referral because of timing.)  Pray for all the finances we need to continue to come in!! We are SO amazed at God's provision.  I'm telling you...God is SO blowing us away by his continued provision!! You guys, our dear friends and family, have blessed us SO MUCH by helping to support us in this process and all you have done means more than you will EVER KNOW!!!

As a matter of of the fundraisers that was done for us by Kid's Kloset Consignment sale has just overwhelmed us!! They were able to give over $800 toward our expenses!! WOW!! To all those that donated during the Kid's Kloset sale...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Every dime is going to help us get to China and bring our precious little boy home!!! :) 

We cannot WAIT for all the paperwork for our referral to be final, so we can share his sweet face with you all!! Until then!! We SO appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement as we press on to carry out our Fathers heart to care for at least this one special boy that is close to HIS heart!! 

We'll keep you posted as we get news!!
Mark & Buffi

Friday, October 5, 2012


I am SO excited to announce that the children's book we have written and had illustrated by our precious friend Stephanie ready for purchase online at here!

We are SO excited about this book being available!! Not only is it just a wonderful Fiction story for children and families to read together....but it is going to help us raise funds to go toward the adoption of our precious little boy from China!!!

So spread the word and share with as many friends and family as you can about this special book:
Buy this book to raise $$ for our adoption! 
Let us know if you have any questions!!! God is faithful and we LOVE being able to share this journey with all of you!!

I cannot say very much...but what I CAN tell you is that we are VERY CLOSE to knowing who our little boy is from China!!! As soon as we are able to share with you all the news....we WILL!!

The next thing we do is go to Birmingham in two weeks to have our  Biometric fingerprints done for Homeland Security.  We are in the process of getting our Dossier ready to send to China!!

Lots of great news today. We will keep you all posted!!
Much love and appreciation!!
Mark & Buffi

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Exciting Things Going On!!

I have to admit...the waiting process in adoption can be very challenging and stressful at times.  But we are SO grateful that God gives us many projects and things to do in the process of our waiting!!

Not only have we been doing the $50 Family Photo Fundraiser to help raise funds for our adoption (God has done some AWESOME things through that!!)...but we have written a children's book that we are self publishing on Amazon to also help us raise funds for our adoption.  We are SO EXCITED that the book is almost ready.  It will be ready to purchase in the next few weeks off of just in time for November - Adoption Awareness Month and also CHRISTMAS!  It will make a GREAT Christmas present for any child or grand child you know! Better will be great for ANYONE who has a heart for adoption or for helping orphans!

We are just thrilled about this project and we pray that it is a blessing to many adoptive families...but we also pray that it inspires other people to step out and adopt, or maybe even help organizations with the mission to help orphans!!

It will be released really SOON...but I wanted to show you all a few sneak peeks of some of it!! As soon as it's ready to purchase...we will share with you all the link so you can purchase it if you'd like...and you can share the link with they can purchase it as well!!! We cannot WAIT to see what God is going to do!! Here are a few samples. You can click on each photo to make it larger so you can see it better.  We sure love you all and are so grateful for your prayers, support and encouragement. They mean a TON to us!! We will keep you posted!! Here they are!!

Add caption

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Quick Update

Hey guys!! So sorry for the lack of posts.  This process just takes a little bit of time and we don't want to overwhelm everyone with updates unless we actually have info! :) here it goes!!

We finally have completed our home study...whoohoo!!...(took 6 months this time, 7 months last time around.)  We are waiting for our social worker to finish it up so we can begin compiling our Dossier - More paperwork! :) We did FINALLY get Mark's parents fingerprints straight. was a little touch and go there for a bit...but it got worked out! Praise God!! :)

We don't have any new info regarding being matched yet with our little boy. BUT...we did get a very encouraging email from Lifeline this week that I wanted to share with you all.  We anticipate that it will not be long before God shows us our precious little son!!  Here is the note we received:

The Lifeline Team is having an amazing time in Chongqing and tomorrow will travel to our new orphanages in Fuling and WanZhou. We have seen several of the children whose files we have received and are preparing to match. We appreciate your patience as we continue to receive updates on children, have our questions answered about them and progress with the matching process.

On another encouraging note, we have received word that we will be receiving files from a few more of our partnership orphanages in the next few weeks. We are so excited to see files continue to come in. Please remember that matching will be a process occurring over several weeks, not just one matching event. We are confident that we will have referrals for our families, we are just unsure of the timeframes at this point. Your social worker will be contacting you in the next few weeks for an update on your family's status.

Give thank to the Lord, for He is good,
For His steadfast love endures forever;
to Him alone does great wonders,
His steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1&4

The Lifeline China Team
This is VERY EXCITING NEWS and we look forward to being matched.  We know it is in God's hands and timing and we pray that HE direct the hands of the Lifeline Team to the child that He wants in our family!! We will definitely keep you all posted!!

Our fundraising has been going wonderful!! Thank you ALL SO MUCH for helping us with our $50 Family Photos, and our bracelet fundraiser...AND now to the Kids Kloset Consignment Sale!! We don't have the final amount yet of all that was donated there...but we should have that amount very soon!! We will keep you posted and be sure and let everyone know!! God is SO FAITHFUL and never ceases to amaze us in His hand of provision!! As you can see from our fundraising "thermometer" to the right...things are doing well!!! We love every time we get to raise that bar!!! It is just an immense faith builder!!! 

One thing we are SUPER EXCITED about is we have a Children's book coming out in October that we will be selling on as a fundraiser.  We wrote the story about 4 years ago...and our friend Stephanie Presley has just finished with 17 original illustrations that absolutely bring this book to LIFE!!! We are diligently working on the book daily now and hope to have it ready for everyone to purchase in early October!! 

We will be sure and post the link here so you can go directly there to purchase one if you'd like.  Its a wonderful gift for Christmas, or even for November - National Adoption Awareness Month!! We cannot WAIT to share it with you all!! It is SO exciting!!

Thats it for now!! Hopefully we will have another good update in a couple of weeks.  We truly look forward to seeing the face of "our brother." (Thats what we all call him now, until we learn who he is and pray about what we will call him.)  We promise to keep you posted!!! Y'all...let us know if you have questions!! Thank you again for following our journey and for praying for us each step of the way!! This is indeed a blessing for us to be on this journey!! Have a great weekend!!
Mark & Buffi

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gratitude and Grace

We are SO excited to be sharing with you guys something SO AWESOME God has done!! We feel so blessed to have such amazing friends around us with such hearts for adoption and hearts to help these precious little ones find their forever families!

We have dear friends who are the owners of Kids' Kloset Consignment sale in our area.  They have such amazing hearts to help connect families with children in need and they have decided to sponsor a family, beginning this fall, for each of their sales.  For the Fall 2012 sale...they are sponsoring OUR family and taking donations to help us raise some of the money needed for our adoption costs!! THIS IS AMAZING!!! We were in tears as Tiffany, one of the owners, contacted us to ask us.  God is truly amazing...and when people are obedient to follow His leading and His heart....GREAT things happen!!! They even set up a page on their website to let people know!! You can check it out here! If you live in our area...please support this wonderful organization.  We are so excited about what God is going to do!!! We cannot wait to keep you posted!!

As always....we need grace as we wait through this process.  There are so many highs and lows as we wait. There are a couple of things we ask you to pray for.

1.  We feel like in the next month to six weeks or so that we might find out who our little fellow is.  We are not 100% sure...but its what we are anticipating.  Please pray that we will sense God's leading and know for sure when He has placed before us our little boy!! As our pastor long as we stay out of things ourselves...and let God do it...we won't get in the way!! That is our prayer...that our not get in God's way!! We want to have open hearts and ears to sense what He is telling us and when!!! We need to hear CLEARLY the voice of our Shepherd!!! ;)

2.  Also...would you please pray for Mark's parents fingerprints to come back quickly? Mark and I have already received our suitability letters from the state...but his parents fingerprints were rejected because they were not clear enough for them to read.  SO....we had to get them printed again...and send them again.  Our wait to get our suitability letters back took 3 months....PLEASE pray that it does not take an additional 3 months for his parents to be approved now.  We need them to be clearly read...and quickly approved and back to us.  These delays are out of our hands...but GOD is there in the midst of it all and He can keep their paperwork moving forward!!! We really appreciate your prayers concerning this and we will keep you posted!!

That's it for now!! We were incredibly excited to share with you about Kids' Kloset!! We know God is going to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever think or imagine!!! And all those families will have the opportunity to sow into the life of a precious little boy and help to bring him home!!! So AWESOME!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Home Study ALMOST Complete!!

So sorry for the lack of posting info on here. During this part of the process....its just a waiting game right now. I will tell you to please be praying for all of our CA/N (child abuse and neglect forms) to come back from Alabama, and Tennessee, and for all of our reference letters to come in. So far...that is all we are waiting for to get our home study paperwork finalized!!!

We did have our last home study on Monday, July 23rd with Karla in Birmingham. Karla was our social worker when we adopted Sadie!! She is SUCH a blessing!!! We are working on our I800A form now. The I800A is:

"the Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, the convention country being China is this case. USCIS will evaluate whether not we are suitable to adopt a child from China."  

It is just another form of paperwork we are required to fill out and get approval from. We are once again "hurrying wait on it's approval." Which is the nature of adoption!! :) Thanks for keeping all our paperwork process in your prayers!! We want things to go as smooth as possible!!

Well...We just cannot praise God enough for His faithfulness!! We are scheduled all the way through November doing family photos!! This is a HUGE blessing! God is providing through ways we would have never imagined!!! AND...we are meeting some amazing families in the process!!! What a BLESSING!!! You can see the slideshow to the right of our blog here. These are a few pictures of family pictures we have taken. Its been such fun!!!

You can also see where we are at in our fundraising process on the thermometer to the right. We are just totally FLOORED that God has provided that much money just since FEBRUARY!!! That is just under 6 months...AMAZING!!! We still have a way to go...but HE is able to meet above and beyond what we could ever think or imagine!! He is definitely up to something and we feel so blessed to be in the middle of what He is doing!!

We are also working diligently on our children's book. Stephanie Presley has sent us some samples of what she has done and it is SO AWESOME!!! We get so excited every time we talk to her!! Our goal is to be able to sell this children's book as a hard back gift book, or an ebook off of So keep your eyes and ears open for when it is ready!! Our goal is for it to be ready in October!!

We are still waiting to see the face of the precious little boy God has for our family. We truly feel he is in one of the orphanages that Lifeline has partnered with in South China. HOPEFULLY they will be matching from those places within the next month or so. I can guarantee that we will let you all know what we can as soon as possible!!! We are praying daily for him and for his transition and our transition!! We cannot wait to meet him!!

That is it for now. I just wanted to let you know where we are in the process!! As we get more news...we will keep you posted. Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers, support and encouragement. It means the WORLD to us!!!
Mark & Buffi

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just Waiting....

It's been a month since I've updated with a post.  Its the nature of the adoption hurry up, to wait!! :) We have had our third home study and are waiting to schedule our 4th and final one.  We look forward to getting our home study complete!!

I think while we are waiting, I am going to look toward our trip and start to plan a little for travel.  We need to get our three kiddos their passports.  (Our passports are still good.) And we are looking at ways to cut down the amount of stuff we take to China with us....AND looking at luggage for the trip.  Our luggage is on its last leg and we aren't sure it'll make that long trip again!!  After our last trip there...we definitely have a better idea of the type we need!! :) There are some really awesome colorful luggage that will be easy to spot in the airport too!!! (That was one thing last time that we realized...there is a TON of black, blue, and burgundy luggage when you travel. It's hard to spot your own!! LOL)

Anyway....other than continuing to do family photos to raise money...there isn't a lot that is going on in our process.  As soon as we get something happening...We'll be sure and post!!! Thank you all as always for the much needed prayers!!!
Mark & Buffi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hague Compliance Training COMPLETE!!!

WHEW!!! I am thrilled to post that we have completed the TEN HOUR online course that is required by families adopting from Hague Compliant Countries. (For info on what the Hague Training here!) While it was an incredibly long training and at times challenging to push was FULL of very helpful and informative information.

Mark and I knew it would be difficult for us to actually make time in our schedule for 10 hours of online training.  So...we partnered with another family in the process of adopting from China.  Our very dear friends Frank & Tonya Bohlinger graciously invited our family to spend the weekend with them to do the training together!! Our kids were amazing as they played and did lots of swimming while us four parents diligently went through the training!! It was very helpful to have another family to do this with!! Frank and Tonya have a blog as well!! If you're interested in following their can check out their blog here! (Thanks Frank & Tonya!! We had a BLAST!!)

We still have a little more reading to complete and then we'll be able to go through with our third home study! We are looking forward to it!!

So...just wanted to keep you guys posted on how the fund raising is going.  First of all...let me just say...God NEVER ceases to amaze me!! He always proves Himself faithful and will go far above and beyond anything we could ever imagine!!

Since I've started doing the $50 Family Photos as a fund has been a HUGE blessing of provision. (In the last three weeks God has provided around $600 just through taking family pictures!! Praise God!)  I have LOVED connecting with some precious families to do their family pictures and am FLOORED that I am scheduled to do family photos through the 3rd week of AUGUST!! YES...AUGUST!! WOW!! God is SO AMAZING!! I currently have around 25 families scheduled to do pics with!! I am having a blast.  A couple of families I've done have children they have adopted. Here are a couple of my favorite pix:

These precious kiddos are adopted from Guatemala! LOVE them!!! 

This adorable little fellow is from India!! He was a BLAST to capture!! FULL OF LIFE!

These are just a couple of samples of what I have had the privilege to do over these last few weeks!! God is providing for our adoption expenses in just a wonderful way! Thank you to all the families who have connected with us to do pictures! We feel honored and blessed to capture special moments for you!! Thank YOU for helping us raise funds to go and get our little fellow in China!! We can't WAIT to take our first pictures of him!!

Thats it for now! We'll keep you all posted as things change and as we get more news!! Thank you all for continued prayers as we move forward on this amazing journey!! Love and appreciate you all!!
Mark & Buffi

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Quick Update!!

Well....I have some GREAT news to share about our Yard Sale fundraiser that we had to help raise funds for our adoption costs!! God is SO FAITHFUL and NEVER ceases to amaze me.  We had so many people donate time and "stuff" for us to sell in our yard sale...and we had SO MANY FRIENDS come by and support us at our yard sale!!! It was SUCH a blessing to us and if you're reading this...THANK YOU so much!!

We were able to raise $1000 - heard that right - ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS at our yard sale last weekend.  That is amazing!! We have never made that much at a yard sale before.  But God is SO FAITHFUL and owns it all!! He brought in the people and provision and we are so grateful!! We sold about $930 worth of stuff and Sophie and Sadie made about $77 selling drinks and bracelets!! WAY TO GO GIRLS!!! Here are a few pics from the day!!

(Here are the girls working hard!!)

(Silas decided to jump in the picture here!!)

(Our Adoption Fundraiser poster helped people that were shopping know what all the proceeds were going to go toward!! It was a great way to communicate!!)

(This is just a small sample at the end of the day of what things looked like.  We had SO MUCH STUFF!)
 (Thanks again to EVERYONE who helped us!! It would not have been as much of a success without all of our friends and family. Thank you so much!!)

WELL....Mark and I are going to have to take a Friday night and a full Saturday and possibly a Sunday to get our classes completed for the home study.  There is a TON of material that needs to be covered and our nights are so full there is no way that we can get it completed.  So we've decided we're going to pick a weekend to get all of our educational requirements completed.  Once we do...we can schedule our next home study! Hopefully we can get that going very soon!!

We are thrilled to know about the 8 new orphanages and children's homes that our adoption agency has connected with.  They said there are about 3000 children that will be available for adoption.  We just KNOW our son will be from one of these places.  We are thrilled about this.  If you would like to read about what our agency is doing in these areas...check out this link: Lifeline in China

Thats it for now!! Once we move forward some more...we will post the info!! We LOVE to share our journey with our family and friends!! If you have any questions...let us know!! Blessings!!
Mark & Buffi

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Snails Pace

It does seem like things are going at a snails pace sometimes during this adoption process. I want to be sure and keep you all updated on the status of where we are.  Here is a little bit of info.

Fingerprints Completed:We got our fingerprints completed this week and we will have our 2nd home study next week. Hoping it goes well.  We look forward to it as usual.

We are doing well on our fundraising.  Thank you ALL for the help and prayers!! They mean so much.  We added a little goal thermometer to the right of our blog so you can see where we are in our fundraising.  We'll do our best to keep it up.

We have a new fundraiser that we are doing other than the bracelets.  We are doing $50 Family Photos.  We'll take the pictures and get them to you through a thumb drive/disc or through an online photo sharing program.  We definitely aren't professional photographers...but we think we can get you some good family pictures.  Here are some we took this week.
What a SWEET family to work with!!! They are our first ones to participate in our family photo fundraiser.  If you live in our general vicinity and would like to participate in this fundraiser...leave a comment or email us and we'll connect with you to get it scheduled.  We know that God will provide.  He is faithful. We hope that this will be a blessing to you guys that participate as well.

That's all our news for now!!! As soon as we get more info regarding our adoption process...we will let you know!! Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!! We feel SO BLESSED to have such amazing friends and family!!!
Mark & Buffi

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Quick Prayer Request....

Hey guys...just wanted to ask you to pray for something for us.  We just got a bill for $650 where we had our blood work for the physicals required for the adoption.  We were told prior to this appointment that this would be covered.  It isn't our doctors office...Its the lab and our insurance. Please be in prayer that this will be taken care of and covered.  I have been on the phone on and off all day trying to get it worked out.  I'm expecting to see God move on our behalf and make sure this gets covered and taken care of by our insurance.  Thank you all greatly for covering us concerning this!!
Mark & Buffi

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's Going On?!?!

In the adoption process...there is a commonly used phrase that is used to describe the process.  That is where we currently are.  We "Hurry up...and Wait."  The home study is FULL of a gazillion pieces of paperwork to fill out and LOTS of assignments to work on to complete.  We have been quickly getting as much done as possible...then we wait.  So there isn't a ton to share right now.  But there are a few things I want to let you know and some really awesome little 'kisses from heaven' we have received.  I'll start this time with those sweet blessings and end with some of our process this time!!

For those of you following our remember last post I told about the most awesome surprise we received...that we still had $1800 left over in our account from our last adoption over 5 years ago!! We were SO FLOORED and just extremely blessed!! Well...after I posted that....I got the coolest note from a dear friend.  This is what she said:

"Buffi - I read your blog and was blown away by the 1800 dollars you didn't know you had! That brought to my mind the Lord's habit of giving us so much more blessings (100 fold!) than our pain when we surrender it to Him!!! Thought you might enjoy this: Because every letter of the alphabet has a numerical value, every word also has a numerical value. For example, the word Torah (Tav-Vav-Reish-Hei) has the numerical value 611 (400+6+200+5). There is an entire discipline of the Jewish known as Gematria that is devoted to finding hidden meanings in the numerical values of words.

For example, the number 18 is very significant, because it is the numerical value of the word Chai, meaning life or living. Donations to Jewish charities are routinely made in denominations of 18 for that reason."

Isn't that the COOLEST thing?!?! We were so blessed by reading that special note from our friend!! We couldn't help but share that special meaning behind the $1800!!

The Precious Heart of a Child:
Y'all....our bracelet sales are doing amazing!!! So far through bracelet sales and donations...(including our special $1800 gift) we have been able to raise $4900 so far!!! WOW!!!! Isn't that awesome!! If you'd like to know more about our bracelets or to purchase here for more info!

Some special friends of ours from Georgia, The Masons, wanted to purchase some for their family...and they also took 10 of them to sell for us!! (What a blessing!!! By the way, the Mason family adopted Eden in China when we adopted Sadie. Sadie and Eden are both from the same home town in China!! They are also adopting again and if you'd like to follow their journey as they get ready to travel again, click here!)

Anyway....we got the sweetest note from them last week!! Eden had taken $5 of her own money and bought a bracelet to give to her 9 year old neighbor!!! Isn't that the most precious thing?!?! Her very life was changed by adoption and now she is reaching out of her heart to help change the life of another!!! So PRECIOUS!! I just HAD to share that!! Be sure and stop by their blog to visit!!

Well...we are getting ready in a couple of weeks to do our individual interviews with our home study.  That will be on April 23rd.  In the meantime...we are working on getting our fingerprints completed, our criminal back ground checks and all our required classes and reading.  

In case you are is our required reading (Other than The Connected Child) and our required classes.

1. We have to read all of this regarding China:  and all of this back ground and history on China -

2.  We are required to take "The International Adoption Clinic Seminar" - This is to help prepare families to travel internationally and to bring home an internationally adopted child.  We did this class last time and it was VERY HELPFUL!!!

3.  We are also required to go through an 8 hour Intercountry Adoption Training Class. - This was not a requirement last this will be new to us.  We look forward to doing it!! We just need prayer to find the time to sit down and go through it!!! 

Mark and I may need to take a "crash weekend" to finish all our required materials so we can complete our home study!! As SOON as we get all this complete and our home study complete...we will begin our trek toward our info being China bound!!

Orphanage Partnership:
We are VERY excited that Lifeline - Our Adoption Agency - has partnered with three orphanages in China!! They will send our International Adoption Clinic doctors and medical professionals to all three orphanages to do check ups on all the precious children there who need forever families...and they will be getting files and pictures ready for these little ones to begin to help them find their families!! Lifeline will go there sometime this summer.  Our home study should be ready by we may find our little boy at one of these places!!! If you'd like to read about Lifeline going into these orphanages and where they are...check out this link - click here! This is a very exciting thing and we look forward to what the next few months hold!! Stay tuned!!

That's it for now!!! Keep praying for us as we continue to raise funds for our adoption costs. (We still have about $35k to go!!! - GOD CAN DO IT!!!)  We are having a yard sale the weekend of April 28th!! Praying for LOTS of people to buy LOTS of things!! :) Every single cent makes a difference!!! We are definitely counting our pennies!!! 

Your prayers and support mean SO MUCH to us!!! Thank you!!! We will do all we can to keep everyone updated!! Much love to you all!!!
Mark & Buffi

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


It has been a while since my last post.  I did this purposefully because I was waiting on some news to share with everyone!!! We have just been blown away by God's faithfulness!!

The paperwork process takes quite a while to complete before there is even any news about our new little boy God is bringing to our family.  We pray for him daily and cannot WAIT until God shows us who he is.  Undoubtedly he is a very precious boy!! :) Until then....our goal in our postings is three fold.

1.  To keep our family and friends updated on the process so you can all be praying for specific needs.

2.  To give God glory for each and every thing HE does through this matter how little or big. There is power in the word of our testimony and we ALWAYS want to be faithful to share all He does for us!!

3.  To document this process so those that may be considering adoption will see all that it entails. We want to encourage others to step out and's not too overwhelming to step out and do.

With that are our latest most exciting updates!!! There are two extra special things we are SO EXCITED to share!!

HOME STUDY #1 - Complete
We completed our first home study last week.  We enjoyed visiting with our social worker and sharing the answers to the questions that is on our hearts!! She also checked out our home to make sure it was a good environment to bring in another child!! She also interviewed Sophie and Mark's parents. Not a bad visit at all!! We have 3 more visits to go!


We got our medical check ups complete! Went well.  Our tests came out good, Praise God!! (Aside from Mark REALLY needs to get his eyes checked out! LOL!) Jack and Peggy got their medicals done as well!! We'll have those back soon!!  Thank you all for praying!!

He STILL never ceases to amaze us in this process of provision.  Thank you again to you ALL who have purchased bracelets from us and who have donated to our adoption fund. Since my last post....we have had $1100 more been given towards our adoption expenses.  We are BLOWN AWAY!! Thank you all dearly for your hearts to help change the life of this precious little boy!!

ANOTHER amazing thing...that I was waiting to tell you is news that we got from our social worker that just really overwhelmed us and once again helped us see this 2nd adoption has been in God's plan the whole time!! When we had our home study with our social worker...She told us that we still had money left in our account at Lifeline from when we adopted Sadie FIVE YEARS AGO!!! We still have $1800 - EIGHTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!! left in our account from when our adoption was complete last time.  WOW!!! That money was left over from the grant we received from Shaohannah's Hope (Stephen Curtis Chapmans adoption grant foundation).  Y' you just know how unbelievable this is!?!? That money has been sitting there for five years...just waiting on us. We praise God with all that is in us for this.  Just a testimony of HIS faithfulness.  When HE gives the vision to do something...He has the plan for the provision!! We thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts for being used by HIM for His master plan in our lives and in the life of our new little boy!! Isn't this so exciting!!!

Thank you all SO MUCH for praying for our friend Stephanie Presley as she works on the artwork for our children's book we will be selling this fall to help us raise funds! She sent us her first piece for the book and we are SO EXCITED!!! She has done an amazing job with it. What a special artist she is!!  Its not 100% complete yet as she will be tweaking this a bit....but we were SO EXCITED to show you all.  Let us know what you think!!
Stephanie is a HUGE blessing!! She is donating all her time and energy into this artwork for this book!! We think she is doing an AMAZING JOB!!! We are praying and believing this process will be a blessing for her too!! If you get a chance...drop by her Facebook page - and leave her a note of encouragement! (You don't have to be friends with her to leave her a message!! Just send her a private message!!)  I know she would be SO BLESSED to hear from you!! It would mean SO MUCH to their family to know so many people are praying for them!! As I stated before...They live in the United Kingdom ~ Wales as missionaries.  We are so blessed to call them friends!!

We are continuing to pray for her as she continues to pray through the artwork and complete it for the book!! We know God will use every stroke she makes to make this artwork amazing!! It will be truly inspired by HIM!! We are very excited about this and couldn't wait to share it with you!!

We will keep you all posted as we get more info and as more things happen.  We are just thrilled to be on this journey and that we are able to share it with each one of you.  If you have ANY QUESTIONS...please let us know.  We LOVE to share about our process and would love to talk to any of you!! Love you all dearly!! Thank you again for your prayers and support.  You will NEVER KNOW how much it means to us!! We love you all dearly!! Have a wonderful week!
Mark & Buffi

Friday, March 16, 2012

Paperwork and Progress!!!

This week we have been diligently working through paperwork and getting everything checked off of our check lists so we can complete our home study.  Here is what we've done in the last week:

1.  We have completed our physicals at the doc (should get tests results back today).  Mark's parents have to complete this as well.  PRAYER NEED: Pray that all our physicals would come back good and there would be no hold up or delay with them...and that our insurance will cover the tests that are required on these physicals.  Some of them like the TB test and the HIV tests aren't usually covered through routine visits.  But...we're believing they will be!!

2.  We have filled out our CA/N reports (child abuse and neglect forms) for each state we've lived in since we were 18 years old. Mark's parents had to do this as well.  Between the 4 of us there are 5 states that we had to send CA/N forms to.  We were told it could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 4 months to get these back..YIKES!! PRAYER NEED: Please pray that these would NOT take very long to get back.  We are believing that it will only take the minimum of 6 weeks!! We'll keep you posted!!

3. We have our first home study visit this coming Tuesday.  Honestly...doing the home study visits were our favorite thing to do last time.  We really look forward to this portion of it.

4.  We've noticed this last week that as we are going through this process that it is causing Sadie to think a lot about her being adopted and exactly what all that means.  While we have been very open with her about it...she is just beginning to really understand it.  PRAYER NEED: Pray that God gives us wisdom to help her with her questions that she has regarding it....and that He helps her process it in her 7 year old mind.  We have begun to read the book "The Connected Child" - it is required reading for the adoption process.  (For all you adoptive parents out there...this is a wonderful book!! I totally recommend it!!) This is wonderful timing for us to read this because it is helping us help Sadie through this process!! Thanks for your continued prayers as we walk her through this discovery process.

5.  We have a PRAISE report!!! Yes...stepping out in adoption is definitely a step of faith...especially financially.  But we just had to give God glory for his provision over the last week. We currently have $2600 due this week for the beginning of our home study.  God's timing is so perfect!! Just this week, we received a $500 check in the mail from a family in Birmingham, we counted up all our change and had over $60 worth of change, AND through our bracelet sales so far...we have raised over $350 toward our costs! (Thank you to ALL of you for helping with our bracelet fund raiser!! We still have more and would love to sell more!!) With that said...God has helped us raise over $900 in a week to go toward our $2600!!! That is HUGE!!!   THANK YOU ALL for praying and for your support!!! PRAYER NEED: Please continue to pray for God's provision each step of the way!! We KNOW HE will provide!! He owns it all anyway!!

This has already gotten longer than I planned!! I just wanted to give you all an update for this week!! Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you all again for your prayers of love and support! They mean SO MUCH to us!! Love you guys!! We'll keep you posted on whats going on!! Blessings!
Mark & Buffi

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Bracelets Are Here!!

We are SO EXCITED!!! Our Bracelets finally came in today and we LOVE THEM!!! We have two different ones.

1.  "I Support Adoption" (purple & blue)

2.  "What if...I Say Yes?!" (teal & yellow)  - This statement means... "What if i say yes to what God has placed on my heart to do?!?  (It could be anything.) For is adoption...but whatever it is that is on YOUR heart...say YES to God and step out and matter what!! "

We plan to use these to help us raise funds to go toward our adoption expenses.  We would love to receive a $5 donation for each bracelet.  If you would like to donate $5 toward the adoption of our precious little boy from can mail your donation to our address at P.O. Box 306, Capshaw, AL 35742 or email us at and we will make sure to connect with you to give you one! We can mail as many of them to you as you would like.  Just let us know and we will make sure and get them to you!

We are also looking for 100 people that would be willing to help us sell 10 of these bracelets each.  If only 100 of us took 10 and got donations of at least $5 each...that would at least be $5000!! What a blessing that would be!! We would LOVE it if you would like to help us in this way! But getting even one is a HUGE blessing!! We are just grateful for anything you could do!!!

Thanks for helping us spread the word...not only about supporting this adoption but also about supporting adoptions in general!! If you have questions...let us know!! We are so excited to share these cute bracelets with everyone! We are praising God for HIS creative ideas and ways for bringing our little boy home!! Have a WONDERFUL weekend!! We look forward to hearing from you!
Mark & Buffi

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Well....this week we have heard from our social worker to get things rolling!! We are very excited about that.  She told us that at Lifeline they had been praying for families to step up and adopt little boys...especially in the age range we are looking at 4-7.  Which that is just another blessing and confirmation for us to hear.  She said there were so many little boys that get overlooked because most people want to adopt the girls.  Honestly...I did not realize there were so many boys that were needing adopting there...I thought it was mostly girls.  We learn new things all the time!! :)
We also found out from our social worker we can begin to do our fingerprints and begin the Home Study process with  DHR.  This time around because Mark's parents live on our property...they have to participate in the background checks with DHR and the ABI and FBI fingerprinting.  It makes sense...but we didn't even think how our living situation would make things slightly different this time around!
I am most excited to share with you all the awesome things God is doing to provide!  We were SO BLESSED by a lady at church on Sunday.  She came up to us with such joy in her heart and gave us money that she had set aside to go toward bringing our little boy home.  You will NEVER KNOW how much every single dime is cherished and a testimony of God's faithfulness!! It is such a blessing!! Thank you SO MUCH!!

Some more amazing news that we got this last week! My Aunt, who we all call Cha Cha, is SUCH a blessing as well!! She is SO GOOD at coming up with fundraising ideas and stuff.  She has helped us raise a portion of our first $2600 due NOW!! I was So blown away!! God is faithful once again.  When HE sets forth a vision...HE also sets forth the provision.  I just HAD to share that because it is such a testimony of the awesome things God can do!! aunt does awesome Easter if you'd like to pre-order some for your kiddos...let me know! She can do them at any price for you!! They're awesome!
For almost 4 years we have been trying to get a story illustrated that was given to Buffi from the Lord.  It is basically Sadie's adoption story and it is a beautiful story that would make a wonderful children's book.  Through the years we have tossed around several ideas of things we could do with the book but it just never surfaced and nothing ever came of it.  (Not even thinking God may use it to help us with our 2nd adoption!!) Anyway...I am honored and SO BLESSED that our friend Stephanie Presley said she feels like illustrating the book is something she would like to do to help with our adoption.  Stephanie and Todd are missionaries in Wales and have an amazing ministry themselves there. 
 It just blessed my heart that she would be open to take the time to illustrate this story.  I KNOW that just like the words of this sweet story are God breathed...these illustrations will be as well!! Pray for her as she starts these pictures that God will inspire her and so that it will be exactly as He wants. And while you're praying for her...pray for their family as they minister in Wales!!   I know they would truly appreciate it!!
We believe once this book is will be a blessing to ANY family who has adopted, who wants to adopt, or who loves to read to their children or grandchildren precious fairy tales!! We hope to get it finished and ready to sell to help us raise funds for our adoption.  Please be in prayer for this.  We will keep you updated on the progress and would LOVE IT if you would like to purchase one when it's completed!!

We have a few other things planned for fund raisers!! We'll keep you posted on it!! As always...we so appreciate your prayers through this process. Prayer makes it possible!  There is something new everyday for us to work toward and it is exciting to watch God move.  We look forward to the day when He shows us who our little boy is!!! I cannot wait to see his little face!! :) Blessings on you guys!! We will keep you posted!!
Mark & Buffi 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sweet Responses from our Kids

We talked to Sophie, Silas & Sadie a couple of weeks ago about adopting a brother.  When they found out they all three were elated!!! Immediately  Silas asked if he would get to go to China this time and we told him absolutely!!! With lots of enthusiasm...he exclaimed "YES!!!"  (Last time we had to leave him home and he was very upset about it!!) Sophie and Sadie were both very excited at the thought of a little brother...but no where near as excited as Silas was.  He talked 90 to nothing all night that night about it...about all he was going to do for his brother and with his brother when he comes home. It really blessed our hearts!

The next morning after we told the kids...Silas came into our room BRIGHT AND EARLY carrying something in his hand. We were not even out of the bed yet.  He said "Mom, Dad...I dreamed about my brother all night long. I couldn't stop thinking about him." He then handed us a can of money and told us he had counted up all his money - $16.20 and he wanted to give it to us to help go get his brother.  My heart just about jumped out of my chest!! It was a precious moment I will never forget.  Priceless!! I cannot wait for Silas to get his brother either.

Sadie was also very excited...but she was more excited about making sure she helps name him.  LOL.  They all have "S" names and we'd like to continue that theme.  Sadie very confidently and adamantly insists that we need to name him "Samuel" (which we haven't decided yet...but that is her firm choice! :) She likes that name so much...she has gotten her teddy bear and named it Samuel.  She carries it around and talks to it.  She and Silas both let the teddy bear sit between them in the car.  They talk to "Samuel" like he's a real person.  It is the cutest thing!!! I just couldn't help but share those stories with you!!

Sophie is older and much more mature this time around.  When we went to China last time she was 9...which means she was 7 when we started the process (Sadie's age).  She has a greater grasp now on what we are doing and how it is so much God's heart.  It really blesses us to see the maturity of the Lord in her and God's heart blooming in her as well! It blesses this mom and dads heart!!
Thats it for now.  Just had to share a couple of sweet stories.  Those are memories we will want to always remember!! Until next post...thank you all again for praying for our journey.  It is such a blessing to share this with our dear friends!! Love you all!

Mark & Buffi

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What If?

What if seems to be a question many of us ask when we feel a leading to step out in faith.  But the "What if" is many times filled with doubt and fear not faith.  As a family, we have been challenged to look at our life and ask, "What If". Not what if God doesn't come through, or what if we fail, or what if something terrible happens and so on.  But we have been challenged to ask, "What if we say yes" to what God is asking us to do and step into His destiny for our lives?  What if we are obedient and step out in faith and see God do AMAZING things and change our lives and the lives of many? We are challenged and are stepping out into something God has placed on our heart....again! :)

The last year - to say the least - has been a very challenging year. We know for many people it has.  For us there has been a great sense of feeling unsettled, a little lost. We have continued to press into Him and have continued to put our hands to the plow and work and serve.  Our pastor always says "when you don't know what else to what you know to do until you know what else to do".  This has been our motto for the last seven years.  It has been the word that God has used to light the steps of our path because we have not known what else to do. 

But within the last seems as if there was something more going on....something we just didn't understand.  Our dear spiritual dad and friend, Pastor Joel McGraw told us something years ago, that the Lord reminded us of recently.  He said "Sometimes, like the Eagle, the Lord puts thorns in our nests in order to catapult us into the next thing He has for us."  He proceeded to explain that when we're comfortable...sometimes we won't step out to do things God is calling us to do, so God places thorns in our "nest" and makes us uncomfortable so we'll spread our wings and fly.  

Looking back at the last year....We believe this is what God has done with us.  For over a year...Buffi has fought the thought that God was telling us we needed to adopt a little boy.  She kept this inside for over a year.  God kept bringing it up to her....but she kept pressing it down and basically saying...that's not our plan...we're done...don't want to do that God.  But everywhere she turned...God kept bringing it up to her. She couldn't shake it. 

So in December 2011, Buffi came to me in TEARS. She didn't want to be disobedient if this was what God was saying.  She proceeded to share what she had struggled with for over a year....that she had been  prompted to tell me that we needed to pray about adopting a little boy.  I was INCREDIBLY SHOCKED at this.  If you know know if she actually says is definitely something to pray about and not quickly dismiss. :) (Its a stretching for her)

So we took the time of prayer and fasting in January to pray and seek God concerning this.  She and I both did.  We needed God to confirm this.  At the time we were considering domestic adoption through DHR/Foster Care.  Because there are SO many children HERE who need families. 

After the fast...neither of us spoke to the other about it. We both still needed confirmation from the Lord.  We felt God was leading us...but just needed to feel a release and had not felt that release yet. 

Then, out of the blue...we received and email from a lady in church.  She just wanted to let us know God put us on her heart.  She was praying for us concerning adoption.  A little taken back by it...we emailed her and asked what exactly was she praying for concerning adoption with us.  After all, we had not spoken to very many about what we were praying about.  Her reply was like God's words piercing our hearts.  She said bluntly, God had put it on her heart to pray for us concerning adopting a little boy.  We were floored...but was God's confirmation.  

Within a day or two of getting her email...we also received an email from Lifeline Adoption Agency with a list of boys who needed adopting from China.  At that moment...we felt release.  For some reason...God has placed China in our hearts.  We know there are so many children in the US that need families...and we were considering this...but for some reason...when China was brought into the equation...we knew that was what God was saying. 

It would be SO much easier and a LOT less expensive if we went domestically...but we don't know the whole picture. We don't know the whys of God's leading...we just know His leading.  

SO....with that LONG STORY...we wanted to let you know we have turned in our application to adopt a little boy from China.  We NEVER DREAMED God would have us walk this way again...but it so resonates in our hearts.  We want to be matter how daunting or overwhelming it may seem.  We know that God gives provision for His vision.  As our pastor says...this probably isn't even about us.  Its about what God is doing in our KIDS hearts through this...about what  God is doing in others hearts as they see God's faithfulness through the process.  We are just vessels who want to be obedient.  

We would appreciate your prayers for us as we walk this journey again.  We were told it would be 12-15 months (going through Special Needs).  Of course, we know how that goes and it could definitely be longer.  Anyway....we need lots of prayers for Gods provision through the process.  We KNOW He is faithful though. He's done it once for us and He'll definitely do it again!!

PLEASE join us on this journey! Sign up to receive email updates and continue to pray for each step of the way. It is exciting when you allow the miracle possibilities of "What if" to flood your mind! We cannot WAIT to see what God is going to do....and we cannot wait to meet this special little boy He has chosen for our family!