Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mission Trip to Portugal


So, I don’t remember if I ever posted about this trip last November so I’m going to post about it now.  I also want to announce that I am going back on another trip to Portugal in October.  This crazy summer and kindergarten prep hasn’t given me much time to even think about the fact that the trip is coming closely and also that I haven’t thought about how I am going to pay for it. 

I am hope to write this and show you a little more about why I love Portugal and why I’m going back.  I hope you will feel led to pray for the people of Portugal and the trip.  If you also feel led, you can help fund my trip by sending a donation to the church.  Every little bit will help!

First Baptist Colleyville

Att: Susan Evans

5405 Pleasant Run

Colleyville, TX 76034

Please put Portugal Missions in the memo line and my name somewhere in the envelope but not on the check. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


And now, a little about sweet Portugal!


As usual.  The pictures are out of order so let me tell you a little about this trip and then you can see the sights.

5 people from First Colleyville went to Coimbra Portugal last November to bring Thanksgiving to Portugal.  We were working with missionaries there MG and Cristi.  They think of great ideas to engage people and create community.  So we went to cook Thanksgiving dinners and invite people over to the house to feast and fellowship.  We cooked 5 American dinners for 5 different groups of people and they came over, visited, we prayed together and they built stronger relationships with the missionaries there. 



I saw this bag on the train.  It made me laugh. 


I love Europe so much.  The history, the architecture, the food.  It’s wonderful.  We were in the city of Coimbra for the majority of the trip but the last day we went to Lisbon and toured there.  I have pictures from both cities.




Here we were touring a castle.


A little “restroom”.  I’m assuming this is a men's room.


Lots of hills to climb!


A beautiful church with no roof.




The churches in Europe…. amazing.  Most of the early history of architecture revolves around churches- but that’s another post!


This elevator was designed by the guy who designed the eiffel tower. 


There is no starbucks in Coimbra but there was in Lisbon- so I went a long week with no soy vanilla chai.  Long.  Week.


This is actually the Madrid airport.  It’s architecture is fantastic!  I love the use of color.  The seats are horribly uncomfortable.


A little game after dinner.


I don’t make pies normally but I did here- it was thanksgiving after all!  I was very pleased with how it turned out.


This was a beautiful bridge in Coimbra.


The whole group!




So many beautiful doors in portugal.  I could make a whole blog post about doors.


This is what so much of the city looked like- beautiful buildings, mosaic tiled streets that were full of pedestrians.  LOTS of walkinghere.


I think Michelle was too tired to move.


We got to tour a really cool underground city… or former city.




This was one of my favorite cafes- or at least my favorite decorated cafe.



Another one of my incredible pies :-)


Sometimes we were so hungry yet so busy, we had to multitask.


Pumpkin cake balls.  So American.


My friends always look cute in selfies and I look ridiculous.  Not sure why.


Lots of stairs.


Where’s Michelle?


More stairs.


Dance contest!


Not all the pies turned out perfectly.  I’m sure I didn’t make this one.  I’m also sure we covered it in whipped cream and called it delicious!


The Thanksgiving Buffet!


Y’all, this city is so beautiful!  Everywhere you go it looks like this. 


This was the little hotel room that Mike and I stayed in.  It had an upstairs and downstairs.  Super cute and every corner of space was used.  There was even a miniature kitchen.






And this- there were cafes everywhere stocked with delicious pastries.  Like seriously, there were more delicious cafes on every corner than there are Starbucks around here.


And I’ll end with a beautiful church. 


The October trip is a little bit different than the Thanksgiving trip.  I am going with 4 photographers who are taking family photographs for lots of different families.  The last day we will have a party and give them photographs as a gift.  It’s a great way to minister to families and create community.

I know you are wondering why I am going- since you can tell my photography skills are nothing to celebrate. 

I’m going to assist- to cook or clean or visit with families as they wait for their turn… anything and everything that I can do to help, I will.  Maybe I’ll learn some photography tricks too!


Please let me know if you have any questions about the trip and please be in prayer for us as we prepare and especially for our friends who are already in Portugal- most of the prep work falls on them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Adoption Day!


This post is super late- but that’s pretty typical around here! 

Back on May 16th we adopted our Zoe.  You will have to scroll back a year and I believe I talk a little about when we got the call to pick her up from the hospital as a foster baby.  We didn’t know much of anything when we took her home at 14 days old but we didn’t care- she was our baby for as long as the Lord wanted her to be!

adoption announcement

So, after fostering her for a year, her parents rights were officially terminated and we became a number in a stack of paperwork waiting for the adoption.  There were a few things we had to have inspected at the house but mostly, we were waiting for someone to make a copy. 


Then, once we got “approved” for adoption we went to the CPS office and signed paperwork that basically got rid of CPS but we still had to wait for a court date.  Then a month later, we got court scheduled.


On your court day, you all go to the courthouse and stand in front of a judge and it’s official! 

We didn’t know what to expect at the courthouse or how long it would take.  I had asked for a lunch appointment because I really wanted to go to a fancy restaurant in fort worth to celebrate after (typically the adoption cases are first thing in the morning).  They had graciously accommodated my request and I think I made lunch reservations for 1.5 hours after we were schedule to be in court. 



So everyone goes into the court room and stands in front of the judges desk and he asked us a couple of questions about how we felt about Z and asked C a question about being a big brother and that was it!  We had already signed all the paperwork and so the judge just asked if we wanted pictures. 


He was so kind to take as many pictures as we wanted and never made us feel rushed (I believe it was his lunch hour) and stayed and visited with us.

The bailiff brought out a present for C- the piggy bank- and that just made his day!



Visiting with the judge.


Our attorney presented the information to the judge. 


We loved our attorney!  If you need a name of a great family attorney then let me know! 


Here’s our first official family picture!


Here we are with our amazing CASA worker and attorney.  Y’all, look into being a CASA volunteer.  It’s a great way to work with kids who need help.


And our caseworker for our foster agency, Mark with Arrow.  We highly recommend Arrow for a foster/adoption agency. 


So from start to finish- our journey from foster to adoption was 14 months.  It was a rollercoaster but I’m so glad we had that experience and I’m so glad we have Z.  She’s pretty much the coolest baby ever and I can’t believe we get to raise her. 


If you think you are not cut out to be foster parents or adoptive parents, think again.  It’s not about YOU.  You don’t have to have your whole life together.  You just have to be willing to let your world be shaken up a little bit.  So, pray about how the Lord wants you to help orphans.  There are so many different ways you can help!

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