Big News!!!

We’ve seen a face.

We’ve seen sad little eyes that we want to make happy.

That’s right friends, there is a little girl that we are pursuing!! Unfortunately, we have painfully little information about her. What we do know is that she is 2 1/2 years old, and she needs a forever home. We have a picture of this beautiful little girl, but for her safety and other reasons it is against policy to post it online at this time.

We have taken some big steps in the last few days and in with those big steps came a big bill.

We have been so blessed by you all in our fundraising so far. Financially, we were where we needed to be as of last week. But with this little one coming up so suddenly, our financial schedule has been sped up a bit. It really boils down to needing to sell some puzzles pieces. Soon. Our new short term goal is to sell 300 puzzle pieces as fast as we can. We are asking for your help. We are so excited for this opportunity and more excited to see how God will move in this. We believe in Him, He is able.

We love you all and would appreciate your support in this next stage!! 😀

Chasing the Son

Here is a few updates:

We sent out our i600a (petition for an orphan) and are anxiously awaiting the approval and paperwork that will stem from that. By “anxiously awaiting” I mean I pretty much sprint to the mailbox the minute I see our mail lady, which isn’t until almost 5pm every night!! And in all reality I’m not expecting anything till late next week…oh well though, I suppose that little bit of sprinting is good for me!

We have our Etsy store up and running! We have T-shirts and Metal Stamped Keychains for sale. Every purchase helps get closer and closer to our huge financial goal and more importantly, our little girl! Here is the link to our store…. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TapleyEverAfter

We also have an amazing opportunity to have a team in the Chosen Marathon & Half Marathon (October 26). The race is here in New Braunfels, Texas and it is an event set up to benefit adoptive families. We are so excited to be a part of this run! So, team Tapley Ever After will be running to help bring home our little girl, to help her into her forever family. If you would like to walk with us, run along side us OR “Sleep Walk” (sign up with our team and just sleep in!!), please sign up under our team. We will have much more info coming up for that…BUT if you sign up this week (before June 9th) you can help us win a contest against the other teams: Whoever gets the most runners on their team will win a “significant bonus towards their adoption fund!” Here’s the link to go sign up 😉 http://www.chosenmarathon.com

We also still have PLENTY of puzzle pieces left, if you’d like to have your name on the puzzle you can click the tab above this post or to the left where is says “buy a pc of the puzzle”. We cannot express how amazing it is to see all the names going on this puzzle. It has been such an amazing fundraiser, BUT it’s not done yet, so if you haven’t gotten your pieces, go for it get them while the getting is good! 😉

With all that…we have welcomed summer into our house with open arms. Zeke finished up Kindergarten like a champ and is a little sad to not have to go to school, but is ok trading school for time at the pool. Titus is excited to have brother around all the time again, and is loving the summer life. Jesse was telling some friends the other night how in Alaska if the sun is shining, we are out in it making the most of the long days and the little warm sunshine we get. He reminded me of one of my favorite summer sayings, “If the sun is shining and you aren’t out playing in it, then you must not love Jesus very much!” All that to say, I haven’t lost my Alaskan mentality, when the sun is shining we are out in it in some way. Yes we use sunscreen and drink a lot of water but I’m tellin you…I was made for the heat!!

We can’t begin to express how full our hearts are, the love and support we get from you all is overwhelming in the best way. Jesse and I just sort of sit back and laugh (me, with tears in my eyes) sometimes at what the Lord is doing. He is so good and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. This journey is long and we are so blessed to walk this journey along side some of the best people!

On our way to Schlitterbahn. Who does't love having a water park 5miles from the house?!

On our way to Schlitterbahn. Who does’t love having a water park 5miles from the house?!

A crazy beautiful year

Im feeling very reflective today…One year ago today I drove out of my hometown and left all that was familiar in the rearview mirror. The boys and I boarded a plane and said goodbye to Alaska and Hello to Texas. Jesse was already in Texas (he drove all of our stuff down) waiting for me and the boys to arrive, while we knew God called us to leave our comfort zone (our home, family, friends, church family and all things familiar) we had no idea what that would look like. Fast forward a year and I am in awe. In awe of all the things He has set up before us. I feel so blessed to have an amazing church family, an amazing group of friends and a support system that just makes me laugh…how did we get so lucky, so blessed?
Now don’t get me wrong, this was hard! I cried many a lonely tear wondering if I would ever make friends and wondering what in the world we were supposed to be doing here. Why He moved us to Texas and What for!?
When we began church shopping we found and fell in love with Northpoint Church. This church body became our friends and our family. We love NPC and the people, we love the heart and mission of the church and are so glad to be apart of this body. We are thankful to the people of NPC for accepting us with open arms and loving on us when we need it and holding us to a higher standard of life.
In the fall Zeke started Kindergarden and I started at a new gym. Who knew that a gym could be a community of people that I could grow close with and find great friends! That’s exactly what happened. There is a weekly bible study at the gym that I was invited to and I tell you what, it really helped me deepen these friendships and allow me to have a place of my own. These girls are amazing! And again I am so thankful for them and the community we find at our gym.
As I look back on the year it’s amazing to see what God has done! He has strengthened our bond as a family. We are a family of four that has had to rely on each other for many different things. We have also had so much fun being tourist in San Antonio walking the river walk and in Austin watching the bats fly from the Congress St. bridge. We went to the circus, floated the river, spent many lazy days at the pool, went to a pumpkin patch, we did Sea World, Six Flags and Schlitterbahn, we went to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving to see Granny and the rest of the Tapley Family, we celebrated Christmas with Wassailfest, and we bought a house and have eaten more than our fair share of BBQ! It has been a crazy beautiful year, on top of all that family of four fun, we began our adoption process. Who would’ve thought last year when we left Alaska that we would be adding to our family!! Not us, but God did!! Nothing surprises Him!
In all reality I look back on this year and see growth. Change brought forth growth in our family. Not only Spiritually but within our family. How exciting is that! We love living here in New Braunfels, we love the heart of this town and the community we joined.

It’s home…

The boys at Wassailfest

The boys at Wassailfest


Jesse and the boys visiting Granny in OK

Jesse and the boys visiting Granny in OK


Z & T with Santa Shamu at Sea World

Z & T with Santa Shamu at Sea World


Jesse and the boys in Austin at the Capitol Building

Jesse and the boys in Austin at the Capitol Building

Why Africa? Why international?

One of the questions we get asked the most is: “Why adopt from Africa? There are so many kids here in America that need help, why not help one of those?” The simple answer to these questions is…We weren’t called to adopt a child from America. We are called to adopt a child from Africa.

I was talking with a friend recently about how we get asked this all the time, and she said, “Jeanette, you don’t have the calling to adopt domestically. There are others called for that. Don’t worry, someone else will accept that calling.” Honestly, most of the time I don’t think about it, I just think about traveling to Africa and all the steps we have to take to get to get our little girl. ANYWAYS, the whole point of this story is God calls us to different things. As of right now we are called to adopt internationally, we are called to go to Africa and get our child, to support and care for orphans. A couple weeks ago we got to witness God speak to a couple’s heart as He called them to adopt domestically. It was just a really neat thing to sit back and watch because it was like God showing me, “Look Jeanette, I am taking care of my children here as well as those in Africa. I am in control. Just sit back, trust me, and do what I asked you do to.” I love that! I love when He just shows himself to me over and over.

Little update…We have sold 225 puzzle pieces!! WOOHOO!! Thank you for all your support both financially and in prayer. There are only 775 pieces left so get yours today 🙂

Me modeling our Tshirt ;)

Me modeling our Tshirt 😉

AND we have started selling our fundraiser T-shirts! We have men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes available. They will be $20 for adult shirts, and kids shirts are $15. We are currently taking orders. You can use the donate tab to buy, and add $3 for shipping cost please. We will ship anywhere!! If you are local, no shipping cost is needed, we will deliver to you!

My amazing cousin sporting her sweet tee!

My amazing cousin sporting her sweet tee!

PLEASE take a picture of you in your shirt so we can save it and add it to our scrapbook!!

And the Pieces Fit

I think I am like most people and music has always had a special way of speaking to me. “The Pieces Fit” by Considering Lily has always been a favorite of mine. It reminds me of countless discipleship meetings in youth group, among many other people and fond memories. When Jesse and I began talking about this puzzle fundraiser, this song stirred up in my heart. Here is a verse and chorus. It is on iTunes if you’d like to hear it!!

I was like a story without an ending, a mystery with no clue
A maze where each direction is deceiving, with no one to lead you
I was confused till his answers reached me
Unaware till he came to teach me
It was a match made in heaven from the moment we connected

His grace for my shame
His death for my blame
His stripes for my pain
And the pieces fit
His joy for my grief
His hurt my relief
My doubt his belief
And the pieces fit

And now the moment that gives both Jesse and I butterflies in our stomach, a lump in our throats and tears in our eyes…Our First Fundraiser…*drum roll please*

The Art Work

The Art Work

Here is a 1,000 piece puzzle, painted by a phenomenal artist named Jodi Queenan. We are selling the puzzle pieces for $10 a pc. We will write your name on the back of the puzzle piece, and as the pieces sell, we will assemble the puzzle. When the puzzle is finished, we will frame it in a double sided frame so that we can turn it over and see all the names of those who helped bring our little girl home! As we complete this fundraiser it will bring us almost 1/3 of the way to our financial goal!!

Jesse and I Praying over this fundraiser.

Jesse and I Praying over this fundraiser.

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The Pieces

If you would like to purchase a piece of the puzzle scroll to the bottom of the page and Click the “Buy Now” button under the Buy a Piece of the Puzzle heading.

**If you are on a mobile device and would like to purchase a puzzle piece you will have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click “view full page”**

Thank you! Thank you for making The Pieces Fit.

One meeting down…way more to go!

After a month of gathering what seemed like endless paper work, filling out a questionnaire that asked some deeply personal questions that made us sit back and really think, we had our first meeting for our home study today. It went really well! And we have our next meeting where she comes to out house scheduled for a few weeks from now.

As I was getting ready this morning it kinda hit me, this is it, we are really in the adoption process. Until today I feel like we have been all talk but today was the first of many meetings and it made me so excited! We are actively pursuing our little one!!

This morning as we sat down with our case worker and discussed our childhoods, our marriage, and how we parent, I learned a lot about myself and Jesse. Due to so many people praying for us, we weren’t nervous at all; we both just had such a peace. We were able to talk to her like a friend and just hope that she would like us 🙂

So the next steps are that she will come do our home visit in about two weeks, then her report within the following two weeks. After that, we send it to our agency to be reviewed and then we’re really off and running!

We just want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the prayer that has been being poured out over not just today, but this entire process! It has been needed and very comforting.

AND even more good news!! Our first fundraiser came in the mail today, so watch our “Tapley Ever After” Facebook page and here for more details on that!

Jesse says “Tapleys out” Good night Y’all 🙂

 

And so it begins…

I can tell you when my heart changed. When God began to shake it up. Wreck my idea of perfect.

A new sweet and dear friend handed me a book. She said, “Read this one! It will change your life!” We laughed and as I looked at the cover I thought how is this going to change my life? If you would’ve asked me in that moment how I felt about the orphans in Africa I would’ve told you “It’s sad. They deserve better. Our church goes there and does good work.” Now ask me that question…I dare you…I’ll tell you. My heart is broken. It literally aches, and I need to do something about it!! Half way thru the book I shut it (slammed it shut with tears in my eyes) and said to Jesse, “We are going to get a little black baby or maybe sponsor one. I don’t know but something is going to happen.” A month later Jesse and I know without a doubt we are going to go adopt a little child (hopefully a little girl age 2-4) from Africa.

Our church works in a little country in Africa called Burundi, our church’s mission is a home and a family for every orphan in Burundi. We thought, “Hey! Maybe this is why God called us to NPC (Northpoint Church). He called us here so we could help the church with this mission! Let the adoption research begin…On the very first phone call we hit a road block. We are too young to adopt from Burundi. The country of Burundi is very strict to adopt from, and for VERY good reasons, but their law is that both parents must be at least 30. It is a very reasonable age, but was a devastating blow. It hit us like a punch in the stomach. We knew God had stirred us in this direction but was He calling us to wait? Three to four years isn’t too long but, MAN thats a long time!! In a bible study I was learning about men and women of great faith that had to wait…Noah built the Ark for 100 years; when God called Abraham and Sarah out of their hometown with the promise of a child and a nation, they had to wait 25 years just for Isaac to be born. It is hard to complain about 3-4 years, and while we don’t want to push anything, we felt the doors close on Burundi (at least for now!).

We began to pray and ask God for our child and not just FOR a child but WHERE our child was. We opened our heart and we know that we can love more and now our family is incomplete. We are ready, this process is scary and lengthy, but we are willing. We also feel like it was time to check into the Democratic Republic of Congo. So we began to look into the Congo and felt like it was the right place for us; that our little one was there somewhere. Now in early March we are in the process of our home study. Today I went and saw my sweet friend at the bank who so kindly notarized some papers for me and we are checking things off our “checklist” and looking forward to each step we need to take.

One thing we ask is support, we ask that you pray for us. This is going to be a long year (or more) with many ups and downs that we most assuredly will not be able to handle without the Lord’s help. We cannot ask enough for your prayers. Not just for us, but for our little girl who is half a world away. We don’t know her yet but we are already praying for her, for her safety, for her heart, for her health and well being. We will begin fundraising very soon as this is a very expensive endeavor, and while it is very hard for Jesse and I to ask for help…We need it. We will be fundraising by selling t shirts and other things, using social media and by asking for good old fashioned donations. We understand that not everyone will be called to adopt or to go to Africa but we do know that we are, and that we can’t do this alone.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Provers 3:5&6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct  your paths.