Thursday, October 4, 2012

Where The Lord Guides, He Provides!

Lifesong For Orphans/Both Hands Foundation sent us our accounting of donations to date this afternoon! We are completely BLOWN AWAY by the generosity of those who are donating toward our adoption. We are in AWE! The goal is finally within reach! Money is no longer a barrier to bringing our children home! A year ago, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was calling us to adopt...Then in January, we were certain He wanted us to adopt two children, not just one. Although this doubled the financial burden, we knew that if this was truly God's will, then He would provide the funds because it was not something that we would be able to finance in our own power. To God be the glory! He is moving in the hearts of His people. It is amazing to see people coming forward in obedience and giving of their hard-earned finances to bring two orphans home to their forever family...a father, a mother, and two siblings. Knowing that people are so graciously investing into the lives of A and S and entrusting us to be their parents gives us a renewed desire and energy to be the BEST parents that we can be...both now and when A and S come home. We are eternally grateful to the amazing people who are giving! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

Both Hands / House Of Heroes on WLTZ

Monday, October 1, 2012

Both Hands/House Of Heroes Project

We had three LARGE work days with a total of 115 volunteers--friends, family, and complete strangers. The turnout was inspiring!
Friday--September 21 Local Organization, Church Friends
Friday--September 28 U.S. Army Combative School, House Of Heroes, Church Friends
Saturday--September 29 Both Hands, House Of Heroes, Friends, Family

Carroll Both Hands Project

Our Both Hands Project was a HUGE success! All of the planned work was completed and is beautiful! Our widow Mrs. Collins was blessed, her 21-year Army veteran husband was honored, the volunteers had a blast serving others, and the two children we are adopting from lnd!a are being brought closer to home due to the sponsorship of this project! It's not too late to donate. 100% of the funds donated goes to the adoption! To donate, click on the Both Hands donate button on the side of this page, or visit We pray that God will continue to be at the center of this project and that He will receive all the glory.

Special Thank You to my awesome brother who used his time and talent to create this video!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ORIGINAL Referrals

Today we received the ORIGINAL referrals of our two children in the mail! We had signed our names across a colored copy of each referral back in July, but this is more official! We get to sign our names across the photos of their faces and on each page of the referrals to indicate that we accept the children and want them to be members of our family! These two children have waited eight years for a family to accept them! Lord willing, their time has come!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

House Of Heroes--Celebration Of Heroes Concert

PLEASE JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF INCREDIBLE MUSIC! House of Heroes presents A Celebration of Heroes With Tim Maggart and Friends...
Concert is Friday, September 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM. Phenix City Activity Center located at 1500 14th Street, Phenix City, AL. Tim Maggart will be performing along with new country artist Kristy Lynn from NYC, fiddle player Demetri Moon from Nashville, The Neal Lucas Trio and Justin Belew.
Tickets are only $10. IF YOU PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FROM US (Jeff and Amanda Carroll), THE PROCEEDS OF THOSE TICKETS WILL GO TOWARD OUR ADOPTION, helping us bring our two children home from India! Contact us at: *This is a family event, so bring everyone!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Chandelier

My friend and fellow adoptive mom, Gwen, who happens to be allergic to cats, dusted this chandelier! You should have seen Mrs. C's face light up when she saw her chandelier all cleaned up and sparkly! (Both Hands/House Of Heroes)

The Truth Radio 88.5

Now is the time for media and press releases! House of Heroes arranged for us to do a brief radio interview with 88.5, The Truth, to discuss our adoption, the partnership of Both Hands and House Of Heroes on our project, and ways in which people can volunteer/donate! The interview was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, but when we arrived, the entire block and surrounding area had no electricity. The station was shut down. This was not completely surprising...It seems like every time we try to share our story, there is a roadblock. Fortunately, we were rescheduled for today--Wednesday. Susan from House of Heroes was supposed to join us, but came down with a sickness, so Kelly from HOH filled in. She did an awesome job! The interview was prerecorded and will be aired tomorrow morning between 7:30-8:00. We were able to share more than I had anticipated.
I got the best text from a friend who has been working by my side day by day on this project: "I'm praying for you and your interview right now, good luck. May the Holy Spirit speak through you, guiding your words, so that others might become involved in worldwide adoptions. Bringing Glory to God." Awesome! It made my day to know that someone out there is covering us in prayer! We are so grateful to The Truth for giving us a platform to share what God is doing in our lives! Thank you to those who prayed for us this morning. Please continue to pray that lots of people will be listening tomorrow morning and that God will use what we said for His Glory. Tune into 88.5 or listen to the live stream here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Both Hands Project Letter Stuffing Party

Our official Both Hands Project Letter Stuffing Party was held after church last Sunday, September 9th. Papa John's Pizza graciously provided lunch for us and a sweet friend, Mary Ann, made some awesome cupcakes for dessert! The purpose of Both Hand's letter stuffing parties is for all volunteers who will be working on the widow's home to send out letters to raise sponsorship like one would do in a 5K race or golf-for-charity event. However, instead of running or golfing, the volunteers will be working on a widow's home. The goal is for the adoptive family to mail out at least 300 letters and for each volunteer worker to mail out 25-50 letters. Because we are adopting two children and need to raise at least $40,000 more in order to complete our adoption, we have to be even more ambitious than the average project to reach our goal. Since all of the materials will be donated by local merchants, 100% of the funds raised will go toward the adoption of two children... One hand for the widow; one hand for the orphans. We were expecting a HUGE turnout to our Letter Stuffing Party, but only our care group leaders and two others showed up. We had printed 1000 letters for the event. It was a bit heartbreaking to go home with eight uneaten pizzas and most of our letters unsent. We are praying that volunteers come forward with willing hearts to send these letters out to their contacts. We are seeing God use this project in amazing ways already at the widow's home...God tells us that His heart is burdened for both the widows and orphans. We KNOW that He called us to take on this project, so we are trusting that He will honor and reward our efforts. We KNOW that His heart is burdened for our orphans, A and S, and that He will provide for their homecoming. It is all for His honor and glory. He will have to make it happen...and that's the beauty of it all!

Jeeah's Hope/Lifesong Matching Grant Update

Praise the Lord!!! Our $3000 matching grant from Jeeah's Hope and Lifesong For Orphans has been fully maxed out! Precious friends, both old and new, contributed generously to the matching grant. Each donation was matched dollar for dollar turning $3000 into $6000! We were able to release those funds immediately to cover adoption expenses! WHAT A BLESSING!

It is both humbling and inspiring to see people give sacrificially toward our adoption in order to bring two orphans home to their forever family. Thank you to all who gave. We pray that God will abundantly bless each and every one of you. We intend to create a book similar to a baby book for each child listing the names of all the people who helped to bring them home. What an impact that will have on their precious lives!

Notice Of Action

It's been four days since our biometric fingerprints, and we received our I-797, Notice of Action, in the mail from USCIS today! Our I-800A application was approved meaning the U.S. has approved us suitable to adopt 2 children from a convention country! Our agent gave us a weekend homework assignment: Fill out Form I-800 for both children to determine their eligibility as adoptees. So many forms and steps to keep track of! Another little step closer! For more information on the I-800, click here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012--USCIS I-800A Biometric Fingerprints

We made the two-hour drive to Atlanta today for our scheduled appointment with USCIS to get biometric fingerprints taken. Huge milestone! Now that we have been fingerprinted by USCIS, an officer will be assigned to our case. He or she will review our homestudy and our fingerprints, and if all are acceptable we will be issued an approval to adopt from a Hague Convention country. We will wait anywhere from 30-90 days for this approval...

July 19, 2012...Accepting the Referrals

To accept the referrals of the children, we both had to sign our names across every page of a colored copy of the referral packets. In the near future, we will sign our names across the originals.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Received word today that we were finally registered in lnd!a on September 1st! Huge milestone! We officially owe a foreign country $32,000.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Story of Xavier

Now is the perfect time to share the story of Xavier in China!

I have never met Xavier, but he has had a huge impact on our adoption story.

In the spring of last year (2011), when I was still pregnant with our baby that never joined us in life, one of my friends was advocating for Xavier on Facebook. Xavier was an almost one year old "special needs" orphan in China with two clubbed feet and he was BEAUTIFUL. I was captivated by his face and his story. I started researching clubbed feet because I didn't know much about that condition. I was amazed to discover how the feet can be completely corrected and the child would be able to walk and run normally. After our miscarriage, I continued to see postings of Xavier on Facebook and started to wonder if adoption could be in our future...Could I love a child who was not born to me? What were different special needs? Could I accept a child with special needs? What would my children think about adopting? Would they accept another child in our home? I bookmarked the different websites with postings of Xavier and followed his progress throughout the entire summer as he was admitted to the House of Love to get his little feet casted and corrected. I frequently shared his story and progress with my children to educate them about orphans in the world, to expose them to "special needs," and to see how they might respond to the idea of adoption.

Fast forward to the fall...We had moved from Cherokee County to Columbus, GA in August. I had been bombarded by adoption for months. It was everywhere I, books, magazines, billboards, signs, sermons, was FREAKY at times! There can only be so many crazy coincidences before you start to realize God is trying to tell you something. At that point, we KNEW we were being called to adopt, but had no clue what adoption agency to use and were having trouble selecting a country. I was feeling a strong pull toward lnd!a, but lnd!a seemed to be a dead-end because it was a closed country--it was not accepting new applications for intercountry adoption. It was overwhelming.

One morning in October after weeks of research, I fell to my knees crying and prayed that God would give me some direction in which way to proceed with an adoption. That afternoon, I took my daughters to their first horse lesson at Mrs. Beth's barn. When their lesson was over, a lady came walking across the barnyard with two precious Chinese children trailing behind her. At that point in time, "adoption" would cross my path at least once a day, so I giggled knowingly and thought, "I wonder what God's up to now?" Beth introduced me to Tiffany and her children. I told Tiffany we were considering adoption. Somehow in the conversation, she mentioned that her son had been special needs with clubbed feet. I was excited to see how he was walking so one would have ever guessed that he'd had clubbed feet! I told her that I had recently researched clubbed feet because there was a little boy named Xavier in China with clubbed feet and I had been following his progress. Tiffany said, "Well, I write a blog about a boy in China named Xavier with clubbed feet, but it can't be the same Xavier." I hurried home after the lessons, pulled up my bookmarked websites, found the blog entries that I had been following, and at the top they said "by Tiffany"!!! For months, up in Atlanta, I had been reading about a little boy in China assuming that the blog was being written in China...But no...It was being written by a lady in Columbus, GA who happened to live a few blocks from where I had just moved, and God had placed us at the same barn at the same time! The first thought in my head was that maybe we were supposed to adopt Xavier, but then I saw that he had been MATCHED to a family! I was so excited by that news!

The next morning, Tiffany called me. She said it was unusual for her to call people she doesn't really know, but she had woken up that morning feeling like God wanted her to talk to me about adoption! Within 30 minutes, we were meeting at the McDonald's down the street to talk. She told me about the adoption process, about her experiences, and about the adoption agencies in town. I told her I was interested in lnd!a, but it seemed like a dead-end. She told me about her friend in town who had just adopted two children from lnd!a and connected me to her. We are now using the same agency that she used for the lnd!a portion of our adoption!

I later asked Tiffany why she thought God had placed Xavier in my life the way he did...She said sometimes God will use a child (even if they are not meant to be yours) to tug on your heart to lead you where you need to be. She said these "coincidences" are called Red Threads in the adoption world and that I should write every one of them down. Each adoption is different with its own story...The Red Threads will weave together to tell our own unique story of how God led us to our children. I told Tiffany that I would love to let Xavier's mother know someday that I feel like he played a part in our decision to adopt...and opening our minds to consider "special needs." I don't know what it was about Xavier, but God definitely used him to get my attention, to tug at my heart, and to lead us to the ultimate decision to adopt! What a special boy!

In February, I located Xavier's adoptive mother and got to share with her how God was using Xavier even before his adoption! Reading about their adoption journey on Facebook and their blog throughout all of the challenges has been inspiring. Xavier's mother never lost faith that everything would work out in God's perfect timing. Even their last bit of funding came in just three days before travel...right on time. As I am writing this, Xavier's mother is on an airplane to China to get her SON!!! There will soon be ONE LESS ORPHAN! Please pray for safe travels and that Xavier will bond quickly with his new family! One day, I hope to meet this sweet family and the little boy who moved our hearts! They only live a couple of hours away! Amazing!

To follow this family's adoption journey, click here!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


We first heard about Both Hands Projects (partnered with Lifesong For Orphans) last November and knew beyond a doubt that God was calling us to do one of these projects. It seemed like an overwhelming and daunting task, but just like with our adoption, we knew that if God was calling us to do it, He would provide the means and show us the way. When God creates a need, He satisfies it.

Both Hands Foundation was founded on the verse James 1:27--"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress." The projects provide a means to fund raise for the adoption by blessing a widow through home improvement projects. One hand is for the widow, one hand is for the orphan...and BOTH hands get good and dirty while working hard for a day.

All projects begin with an adoptive family...Us. We locate a widow in need. We walk through her house and yard to determine the scope of work. We form a group of workers and people who are willing to send out letters for sponsorship. The sponsorship works like a 5K race or golf charity event. The only difference is that instead of asking people to sponsor us while we play, we are asking people to sponsor us while we work on a widow's home. All money donated through sponsorship goes directly into the adoption fund which puts two orphans into a forever family. All supplies are donated by local merchants. The team works on the widow's house for a day to fix things that she would not otherwise be able to do. The widow is served, the orphans are brought one step closer to home, and the volunteers are blessed by giving their lives away for a day. It's a beautiful thing!

We have been praying for God to lead us to the right widow since February...the one that we can have the most significant impact on both physically (her house), spiritually, and emotionally. We have encountered a few closed doors, but discovered House of Heroes along the way. House of Heroes is located here in Columbus, GA, and their mission is to honor and thank veterans for their faithful and sacrificial service to our country by doing home improvement projects and repairs to their homes. When we approached them, they were thrilled to hear about our adoption and Both Hands Foundation and told us they had house files for many local widows! We looked through several folders, but were drawn to one special lady, Mrs. Collins. The day that Jeff had contacted House of Heroes, a local church had also contacted them. They had a widow in their church who was in desperate need of help on her home, but the project involved much more than their small church could handle. They wondered if House of Heroes knew of a crew that would be willing to take on Mrs. Collins' house. That would be us! For the first time ever, Both Hands will be partnering with House of Heroes!

On Friday, we met Mrs. Collins for the first time. Two other men from our church care group who have expertise in the construction industry and a heart for being the hands and feet of Jesus joined us as we toured and inspected Mrs. Collins' home to determine the scope of work. Her house is in desperate need of repair, and I mean desperate. We also sat down with her to find out about her life. Her husband, a military veteran of 21 years, just passed away seven weeks ago. I know she is grieving and lonely. I am beyond honored that God has chosen us to improve her living conditions and to pour some love into her heart. She showed us a paper which states the military awards that he had received throughout his career, and proudly showed off a photo of him in his decorated dress uniform in front of the American flag. We found out that his birthday was December 27, 1944...which is the same date that our children were placed in the orphanage in lnd!a on December 27, 2004...60 years later. I just love how God interweaves the lives of people together to create a story so beautiful, intricate, and amazing that man could not make it up. It's all for His Glory, and it's awesome to see it all unfold!

The next few weeks will be busy and exciting as we plan our project and watch it come to fruition. Our official work date is September 29, 2012! More details to follow...

To watch an awesome video from the founder of Both Hands telling about the inspiration behind the project and how it works, click here.

The Veteran...

The Widow's House

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Field For The Fatherless

An inspiring local family who has adopted two of their own children felt led to donate this year's proceeds from their blueberry field to the four "Project 5x7" families that are adopting from lnd!a. We are so grateful and humbled that they chose to share the fruits of their field with us to bring us one step closer to being the forever family to our orphaned children. Turntime U-Pick Blueberries is located in Ellerslie, GA. After a beautiful drive through the countryside, we spent a peaceful morning picking the most delicious blueberries. I could feel the presence of God in the field. As I picked berries, I spent time praying for the precious lives posted on the board that would benefit from the generosity of this sweet family. The Lord abundantly blessed the blueberry field this year, and we received more money than expected. Furthermore, it was placed in our matching grant account, so the money was doubled. What a blessing! It is amazing to watch God provide! Read the story behind A Field For The Fatherless... The Collected Hord.

News Article:

Friday, August 3, 2012

The New Jeeah's Hope Website

The website of Jeeah's Hope is up and running! This adoption and foster care support group in Columbus, GA, has been a tremendous source of encouragement and education to our family before we began the adoption process and now as we are progressing through it.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little S!

Our little lady turns eight-years-old today! We do not know for certain that this is her actual birth date, but it is the day that she was given. We have wondered if they celebrate birthdays in the orphanage? Does she know that today is her special day? Has she ever tasted birthday cake? If she hasn't before, wait 'til she finds out her mama is The Cake Lady! Haha!

When she gets home, she will be sharing a room with our Little A...bunk beds. I found a matching set to Little A's bedding on sale last week (over 80% off--clearance plus coupon)! I ordered it and it arrived just in time for Little S's birthday. She'll have her first pretty bed! The things we take for granted here in America!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Home Study and Dossier

THIS is what we've been working on for the last six months...anything and everything someone would want to know about our public and personal lives.
It was mailed off on Friday, July 20, for legalization!

Jeeah's Hope/Lifesong For Orphans Matching Grant!

We have been blessed with a $3000 Matching Grant from Jeeah's Hope and Lifesong For Orphans! These two wonderful organizations have partnered together to match dollar-for-dollar everything we raise from our church, family, and friends between now and September 13th,up to $3000! If you would like to help support our adoption financially by making a tax-deductible donation, 100% of the funds will go directly to cover adoption costs--nothing will be taken out for administrative costs.

Please read our story and instructions for donating below...

“Father to the fatherless… God places the lonely in families...” --Psalms 68:5,6

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you may know, we are in the process of adopting a brother and a sister from India into our family. We began the adoption process last November, and are estimating that we have about 9 months left to go before bringing them home. We have been praying fervently for these two children since February, and would love for you to join us in praying for them as we wait to meet and adopt them. It has been amazing to see God’s fingerprints in our lives and how He led us to this decision to adopt, to the country of India, and to these two children.

Why Adoption?

We have always wanted a large family and had discussed adoption in the past, but never seriously. On Good Friday of 2011, we went to the doctor for the first ultrasound of a new pregnancy and learned that the baby had no heartbeat. As the shock and devastation set in, our minds drifted to the significance of Good Friday. If our hearts were hurting so badly over a child we had never met, how much more pain must God have felt that day when He gave up His son for us? Now that is Amazing Grace! As we grieved that week, a friend sent us the verse, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” --2 Corinthians 12:9. Amazingly, we felt God’s peace during that time of heartbreak. We took the advice of articles we read and gave our baby a name… Grace…because we had truly felt God’s grace during a difficult time. The next week, we drove past a sign that we passed frequently but had never noticed before. It read, “Adoption: The Perfect Reflection of God’s Grace.” We couldn’t believe it! That whole summer, “adoption” kept popping up everywhere…television, movies, radio, magazines, books, sermons, friends, Facebook…we could not escape it. Furthermore, God used a recurring theme of “grace” to mend our broken hearts, to make us stronger as a family, and to give us a desire to be the “forever family” to 2 orphaned children. We learned how the Bible often relates our redemption in Christ to adoption. God has taken those without a “family” and made us part of His family by means of His grace. After all of these experiences, we truly felt called to adopt.

Why India?

During Jeff’s time of working in Kuwait (2009-2010), the family visited him 4 times. Over the course of visits, Amanda and the girls became friends with Indian women who were housekeepers in the apartment building. The women shared hardships of how they had left their families behind in India due to poverty in order to make a better life in Kuwait. The money earned was sent back to their families in India. One woman, Mrs. Freida, had a significant impact on the family. She would hug and kiss the girls daily. She had such a deep sadness from being away from her loved-ones in India (including grandchildren), that it was like she adopted us as her family for a short while. She wept in our arms when we had to return to the USA. If we could have taken her with us, we would have. She said she would pray that God would bless our family. Once we made the decision to adopt, we wanted to pick a country that had special meaning for us. Because of the sweet women of India who had cared for us so lovingly, and because of India’s overwhelming poverty, famine, drought, and natural disasters, we knew India was our country. (There are an estimated 143 million orphans in the world today. India has the largest number of estimated orphans and vulnerable children in the world — 31 million.)

In addition to prayer support, we also need financial support to complete the rest of our adoption journey. Our initial adoption costs for 2 children which include adoption fees, document preparation, home study, air fare, travel, attorney fees, etc. are estimated close to $50,000. Through saving and several fundraisers, we have raised around $10,000 so far. As with prayer support, we would love for you to consider how you could help us reach this goal as well.

Jeeah’s Hope of Columbus, GA and Lifesong For Orphans has graciously given us a matching grant to help facilitate raising more of our funds. These organizations have agreed to match up to $3000. This means that any amount you feel led to donate would be doubled up to $3000. Our prayer is that this grant will help us get even closer to bringing our children home, and we would love for you to be a part of this rescue journey.

If you would like to give to Lifesong on our behalf, there are a few things to note. First, the gift is tax-deductible. Secondly, we have a deadline for the gifts to be received at Lifesong by September 13th. Finally, 100% of the funds donated to Lifesong on our behalf will go directly toward our adoption process; nothing is withheld for Lifesong administration costs.

Here are the instructions on how to donate along with some specific prayer requests.

1) Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. Please remember to put in the memo line how you prefer the funds to be allocated by writing: “Preference Carroll/ #2919 Adoption.”

(*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.)

2) Mail checks to:

Lifesong For Orphans

Attn: Carroll #2919 Adoption

PO Box 40

Gridley, IL 61744

Specific Prayer Requests:

--Pray for our children in India--health, safety, emotional well-being, etc.

--Pray for their orphanage as they seek to care for our children until we can get there.

--Pray that the remainder of our process will go smoothly and that we will trust in God’s timing.

--Pray that God would supply the remaining funds needed to adopt these two children.

We want to say thank you up front for your prayers and financial investment. We are confident that adoption is what God always had planned for our family at this time in our lives. We are glad to be able to recruit family and friends to help in this endeavor. We pray that God would be more glorified because of this journey He has given us. For more updates and details, follow our adoption journey online at