Monday, May 23, 2011

Ethiopia or Bust

Well, tomorrow is the big day!  On our 14th Anniversary we will head to Ethiopia to meet our sweet Selah!  Please keep us in your prayers as we travel over the next couple of weeks.  We specifically ask for prayers that we will pass court on our first try and that we will be able to bring Selah home this summer!  Thanks to all who have played a part in making this journey possible for us through your support and your prayers.  There will be one less child without a family because you let God use you!  

a big weekend for micah

Micah finished up his baseball season AND graduated from preschool this weekend!  I can't believe we have a kindergartener and a 5th grader now!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

just gotta be honest

My name is Jenny Dixon, and I struggle with stubborn independence.

As Americans, and maybe even just as humans, most of us don't like admitting that we need help.  Most of us do everything we can to be completely self sufficient so that we never have to ask for it.  And if we can't be completely self sufficient, we go out of our way to make sure others at least think we are.  Admitting that we need help sometimes exposes our weaknesses, and we would prefer that people not know we have any of those.

Our journey over the last couple of years has forced me to do away with this silly notion.  If you know me very well, you've witnessed my life long struggle with stubborn independence (you can stop laughing now mom).  God in his goodness is slowly helping me chip away at my wall of independence, and I find myself being extremely blessed by each new hole in the wall.  See, He never created us to be self sufficient.  We made that up all by ourselves. 

There are 2 reasons this is on my heart this morning. 

1.  As we approach our first trip to Ethiopia (6 days!!!), I can't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude.  SO many people have contributed in small and huge ways to make it possible for us to add Selah to our family.  The number is so overwhelming that it would be impossible to thank everyone personally.  When it's all said and done, there will have been hundreds of people who played a part in placing one adorable little girl into one crazy family.  Is that not incredible?  We've received checks from strangers, cash from 2 sweet boys that had been saving up,  Kenny Chesney tickets to auction, multiple checks from my dear friend who is a single mom of 3, money from friends who were in the midst of their own adoption, money from Micah's friend's birthday party where the gifts were donations to our adoption fund, and the list goes on and on.  

side note: If adoption is on your heart, don't let stubborn independence stand in the way.

2.  We still need help.  Even with all of my progress, my stomach still hurts a little bit when I type that :).  There was a time when we felt pretty good about where we were financially with the adoption, even with the addition of an unexpected second trip.  Between our own savings, the sale of our house, and what people had contributed through our fundraising, my photography, etsy site, and cookbook sales, we felt like it was pretty well covered. But, as the building of our home in West Circle has FINALLY gotten underway, we've had to use more of our savings on the front end of that than we expected.  (Some of you may think I'm divulging way too much personal information on a blog, but I did say that I was just gonna be honest).  Because these new developments with our house created a new financial need for our adoption, some of our good friends had begun planning a benefit dinner/silent auction for us and the Davis family.   The tickets were designed, the location was decided, donations for the auction had been made........and then a tornado swept through and devastated our town on April 27th.  After that, it felt a little silly to try to rally people around a fundraiser for 2 families in a town where hundreds had just lost everything. And so, we are left needing several thousand more dollars to complete our adoption. There.  I said it.  Let me also say that we are not worried about this.  God has been faithful through every step of this process.

I know what some of you are thinking.  You're thinking that it's completely distasteful to straight up ask people for money.  You're thinking that we should not have started two "projects" that we couldn't "afford".  You're thinking that was a little reckless.  And believe me, I understand.  The same thoughts try to go through my own head.  But as a recovering stubbornly independent person, I have learned to take those thoughts captive.  That's why I made a conscience decision this morning to lay my pride down and just admit that we need help.  If you could see the face of the 6 month old ethiopian princess that is waiting for us on the other side of the world, I think you would be willing to be "distasteful" too, if it meant finally bringing her home.  And if you could see the faces of the people in West Circle, you might understand the "recklessness" in our willingness to move there in an attempt to be Christ in that neighborhood.  And if you were "recovering" like I am and being blessed by the holes in your wall of independence, you would understand a little more how I could dare to be so open about our situation.  

So, we are auctioning 2 Kenny Chesney tickets for the May 25th concert in Tuscaloosa.  Every $10 donation gets your name in the drawing one time.  Entering the drawing is one way you can help.  I'm still selling cookbooks, taking pictures, and creating custom invitations.  We've gratefully accepted a lot of gifts, but we've also worked very hard to bring our baby home.  

Thankfully we do foresee a time in our not so distant future that we will be able to be the people doing the blessing.  Right now, we are the recipients of the blessings, and please know that we are so very thankful.

My encouragement to you today - don't be afraid to ask for help.  I'm sure my husband is laughing as he reads this.  If I had a dollar for every time he's said that to me, we wouldn't need another dime for the adoption :).    But the freedom and humility that come from being willing to admit that you're not self sufficient are worth the painful steps it takes to get to that place.  Just gotta be honest. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The walls are going up!  By the end of the week we should have stairs and a second floor. 
 And we leave for Ethiopia one week from today! Gonna be a wild and crazy summer for the Dixons!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

playing catch up

It hasn't been all that long since I posted, but so much has happened in one month!

1. We received our court date for our adoption of Selah!  We will be boarding a plane on May 24th (our 14th anniversary) and begin the journey to Ethiopia.  We will meet Selah for the first time on May 26th and have our court date on May 30th.  She will be 7 months old when we meet her.  Needless to say, we are EXTREMELY excited and slowly checking things off of our "to do" list.  Preparing for a trip to Africa involves many details.  Thankfully, we have one administrator in the family (Duane) and one willing follower :).  

2.  We closed on our home loan and have begun the building process in West Circle!  I will try to post occasional photos of the progress over the next few months.  We know that another transition brings many unknowns and our new neighborhood will not be without it's challenges, but after a longer than expected waiting period we are more than ready to see and experience what God has planned for us there.

3.  Our city was hit by a tornado that left a path of destruction you truly must see to believe.  It will take Tuscaloosa years to recover from the storm that came through on April 27th, and many families will never recover due to the people that they lost.  So many families lost EVERY material possession they owned.  Thankfully, our God can create beauty from ashes, and He is doing that here.  People are more aware than ever of the needs of their neighbors.  Christ's love is being shown to people who may have never experienced it before.

Stay tuned.  I will do my best to update often as we approach our trip, travel, and return!  Internet service may or may not be adequate for blogging in Ethiopia, but if it is I would love for all of our friends and family to be able to be a part of our journey either on this blog or our adoption blog,