Friday, March 30, 2012

So, Where Is and What Is The Good Shepherds' Fold?

Ok, be honest, before we get into answering the title of this post, do you really know where Uganda is?  Joey has always enjoyed geography, so he certainly knew before Sarah. :)

The safe answer of course is that Uganda is in Africa, but really, where in Africa is Uganda?  See the map below:
Uganda is bordered by Lake Victoria, where the Nile River begins, Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.  Over the past few weeks, you may have heard about KONY 2012.  Regardless of your thoughts about the organization behind this project, it has certainly received a lot of attention - right now it has over 86 million hits on YouTube ( - and it does capture a lot of the truth about the continued devastation and crisis in this part of our world.

Uganda is the "Pearl of Africa" where the East African savanna meets the West African jungle, and The Lonely Planet has voted it as the #1 Best Destination for Travelers in 2012 (  But we digress, we are here not to sell travel packages but instead to give you some information about the orphanage where our adoption process is occurring.

Here are some statistics from the Good Shepherds' Fold (GSF) regarding children in Uganda:

  1. One out of every four households in Uganda have at least one orphan.
  2. 57% of Uganda's population are children below the age of 18.
  3. More than 3 million children in Uganda live below the poverty line.
  4. In 2007 there were over 2.3 million orphans in Uganda.
The Good Shepherds' Fold was established in 1994 with the purpose and primary vision of evangelizing orphan and destitute children of Uganda with the good news of Jesus Christ, while also providing for their physical, spiritual, educational, and medical needs.  GSF is located approximately 15 miles west of Jinja in the small village of Buundo.  Currently several missionary families work alongside over 60 Ugandan staff each day in the ministries of GSF.  In addition to providing a home for more than 90 children (newborns to 18 years old), GSF offers a Christ-centered education to more than 300 children each day in its primary school.  These school children also receive breakfast, lunch, medical care, and a great deal of love each day.  Here's an aerial image of their property.

The statistics about the number of orphans both domestically and overseas are mind-boggling, and if we are not careful these mere statistics can make us numb to the reality that every child matters, regardless of these statistics, regardless of their race, regardless of their socioeconomic situations, regardless of geographic location.  You may remember the old church song from childhood - "Jesus loves the little children.  All the children of the world.  Red, and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight."

If you have not done so already, would you consider joining us on this journey to making a difference and allowing our family to provide a forever family to a child or sibling group?  Would you consider giving toward the needs of our family to make this journey and process become a reality in 2012?  God has already provided 45% of our need, and we trust in His faithfulness and provision to meet our needs for the remaining 55%.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

We have definitely learned firsthand over the past few months that the adoption journey oscillates between “busy stages” and “waiting stages”.  It seems at times we are so busy with applications and paperwork, and then at times we sit and wait and wait and wait.

We currently find ourselves in a “waiting stage” as we are the next family at the Good Shepherd's Fold (GSF) to receive a referral – this could come today, next week, next month… we certainly appreciate your prayers for the wonderful folks at GSF and that the right match will be made for our family in the Lord's timing.

Based on what we know at this point, here is the simplified path that lies ahead for our family:
  • GSF Application: We completed this step in October! J
  • Home Study: We completed this step in December - many thanks to Lauren Johnson at the Harden House!). J
  • GSF Consideration: Our family was approved in January! J
  • Immigration Paperwork: We have started this process with the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS); we are still waiting on final approval for our I-600A.
  • GSF Referral: We are waiting for this to come.  On our application, we indicated that we were open to a single child or sibling group of either gender (though we prefer a girl) at or below the ages of our current children (six or younger).
  • Acceptance of Referral
  • Court Proceedings in Uganda: Both Joey & Sarah would have to be in country for around two weeks to appear twice before the Ugandan High Court in order to receive legal guardianship of the child(ren).; one of us would then need to stay an additional three weeks or so in order to completed the required immigration and departure paperwork with the U.S. Embassy for entry into the U.S.
  • Adoption: Once we return from Uganda, we would begin the legal process of formal adoption in the U.S.

 Thank you again for your continued prayers and support of our family.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why Adoption, Why Uganda, and How You Can Help Our Family

We have briefly provided the context in our decision to adopt, the connection to Uganda, and how you can be a part of this journey with our family. Much of the information below is from our Fall 2011 Edition of The Beesons Blurbs.  

God’s heart is both for our nearby neighbors but also for the nations, and specifically over the past year or so, we have sensed God moving us to consider international adoption.  We investigated both domestic and international options, and we continually felt moved to consider overseas options, especially with our previous international experience.  Toward the end of August 2011, Joey had a meeting with one of our pastors, and the issue of adoption was discussed.  He encouraged us to start with the connections that God had already placed in our lives.  One of these connections was with a family who ministered at NICS.  Around the time that we returned from Indonesia to the States, Mark and Amy Gwartney left the States to work at a children’s and baby’s home in Uganda, called the Good Shepherd’s Fold (GSF).  We are now on the journey to adopt from GSF!  This is a faith venture for sure on many levels, but we rest in the fact that we know that God will provide the needed direction, wisdom, and resources for this process.  For more information you can visit GSF’s website at

We are actively moving forward with the process of legal guardianship and private adoption through the Good Shepherd Fold (GSF) in Uganda.  There are a lot of unknowns and challenges potentially with this process.  However, we are moving forward while the door remains open.  What better way to take care of an orphan than to make them a part of our family?  We are excited about the chance to allow a child or sibling group to have a loving, caring home and family. 

We understand that this will take personal sacrifice.  As full-time missionaries, we continue to rely on the support of friends, family, and churches as we continue to serve with the Network of International Christian Schools.  We also understand that not everyone is in a position or feels called to adopt.  You can be involved in a tangible way by directly supporting our family with both your prayers and your financial support.  Fortunately, NICS is a non-profit organization, which allows our family to raise additional support if/when needed.  Therefore, we can accept donations through NICS.  This allows you to financially contribute to our family as well as receive a tax deduction with your gift.  

Your support of our family places us in a more solid position to be able to provide a loving home to a child or sibling group who would otherwise not have one

If you desire to financially support our family, you may:
  • Send a check made out to “NICS” with our project number #01401 in the memo section to the Network of International Christian Schools, 3790 Goodman Road East, Southaven, MS 38672 USA.
  • Or, you can donate online at  Select “Missionary Support” and enter our family’s name or project number (#01401).  Other helpful information for giving tax-deductible donations to us through NICS can also be found on this website.

 We look forward to hearing from you soon, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We would love to hear from you!  Thanks and take care!

Joey, Sarah, Zoe, Micah, and Caleb

What Is The Beeson Blurbs?

Ok, so what exactly is The Beeson Blurbs?

Many people have been following and supporting our family and ministry, since we first launched The Beeson Blurbs back in 2003.  Simply stated, The Beeson Blurbs is our family ministry newsletter.  Our family has finally moved to the 21st century, and we have now launched The Beeson Blurbs blog.

We hope you enjoy it!