Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Please Save the Date! 7 p.m., November 9, 2011

Yeah! It's scheduled! It's actually on the calendar. Now, we (that's the royal "we"; in reality, it's just Caleb and Lisa) just have to finish the tweaking of Grafted. Since September 30, they have been working on color and sound correction, which we weren't able to squeeze in before last month's deadline. We've also added a couple of extra clips.

We have given ourselves a deadline and scheduled a showing for 7 pm Wednesday, November 9, at our church. Everyone is invited and there's no cost, so please feel free to tell others, especially those who have been affected by adoption or might be interested in adopting in the future.

Thank you to all those who have been praying for and encouraging us. We are so blessed to be a part of our church family (and "extended" church family). We hope you will be able to share the evening with us.

Premier of
Wednesday, 7 pm, 
November 9, 2011
Our Church

Friday, October 7, 2011

We Made It!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know: We received an email from the SAICFF Team saying they had received our DVDs and we would find out the results on 1/13/12. So, we assume this means they've accepted our entry into the competition, and now we wait to see if they will accept it to be shown as part of the Film Festival. We will be notified on 1/13/12, but the Film Festival will be 2/23/12 - 2/25/12. We are praising God for His mercy and grace, still resting in His Providence. Thank you for your prayers, and we would appreciate your continued prayers that the gospel and the message of adoption would be spread. Also, Emily Frye told me that November is Adoption Awareness Month.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last but not least... the Greens

The Greens are long time members of our church and the last couple we interviewed for Grafted. They are the proud parents of Justin and Peterson, who arrived home from Haiti the week after Mother's Day.

Greg and Cara were one of the couples at church when it was founded in April, 2006. In December, 2006, they moved to Florida so Greg could attend chiropractic college. While in Florida, they began the long adoption process. During the > 2 year process, they were able to visit the boys in Haiti, but due to bureaucratic red tape and logistical nightmares, they weren't able to bring Justin and "Petey" home until May of 2009. Since their homecoming, Greg completed school, then a 10 week internship in Rhode Island, where the boys experienced snow for the first time. Finally, Greg became Dr. Greg in March 2010, and they moved home to Texas.

Since then Dr. Greg has been starting up his practice, which is growing. He shares his health and wellness tips here. Both Greg and Cara are also wonderful chefs, and their famous "green" pot is usually one of the first ones emptied at our Sunday fellowship meal. They also love organic, and have a small garden in their backyard. The Green family loves cats and they have given a home to 3 of them. While Greg is busy helping his clients, Cara is busy educating their boys and caring for their home.

Here are some of photos of our day with the Greens:

Petey and Justin on their bikes.

Greg answers questions during filming.

The boys help with their yummy garden.

Thank you, Greens, for spending your day with us.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet the Bauchams

Dr. Voddie and Bridget Baucham were the next adoptive parents we interviewed. Since they were having some work done on their home, we interviewed them in our home. Voddie and Bridget are the proud parents of 7 children: Jasmine, Trey, Elijah, Asher, Judah, Micah, and Safya. The last five are all under 7. To say that the Bauchams have a busy household is an understatement!

We are blessed to have Pastor Voddie as one of the pastors of our church. Not only does he preach, but he also preaches at other churches and speaks at conferences all over the world. In his "spare time", he also writes books: The Ever-Loving Truth, Family Driven Faith, and What He Must Be. He is working on others at this time, as well. Bridget home educates the youngest five, while Jasmine and Trey pursue continuing education in areas of interest. In addition, Trey works outside the home, while Jasmine is Bridget's "right hand girl," helping Bridget care for the younger children and the Baucham home. The Bauchams also manage to fit in hospitality, teaching home Bible study groups (Pastor Voddie does this one) and hosting New Members' classes. I'm just not sure when they find time to sleep.

Pastor Voddie and Bridget bring a unique perspective to Grafted. They are the only family interviewed who have adopted domestically, and they are the only family who has gone through the adoption process not just once, but 5 times! Along their adoption journey, they have studied and learned about marriage, family, children, and especially about adoption. They bring not only their vast experience to the film, but also Pastor Voddie's theological understanding of the doctrine of adoption. Pastor Voddie, like Pastor David Shiflet, fills the dual role in the film of both theological expert on adoption AND battle tested adopted father.

Thank you Pastor Voddie and Bridget for spending your day with us, and Pastor Voddie for a second day of interviewing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mourning into Dancing

Driving home after midnight on Friday night, knowing we were only able to finish burning and mailing half the required DVDs, we all assumed this meant our entry would not be accepted. We still don't know if it will be allowed to enter the competition. You can imagine how easy it was to be discouraged. We all worked so hard, especially Lisa and Caleb who did the computer part of the editing. There had been so many obstacles, yet it seemed God allowed us to overcome every one. I felt so confused. God could have kept us in the dark about the September 30 deadline, but He did not. He could have prevented us from finishing the film, but He did not. He could have kept Richard Rector from finishing his music, but He did not. He could have not brought the Horners to us at the eleventh hour to help finish the music, but He did. Is it ironic to anyone else that a burning wildfire didn't derail us, but a burning computer disk did? So why were we not able to burn a DVD?  I don't know, and that's what confused me. We kept taking the next step, until midnight. So, what now?

By the grace of God, we prayed. Weary, disappointed, and confused, we prayed. As Randy was praying, he quoted something Pastor Voddie said that we used in the film (It was so hard to limit 30 hours of film to 81 minutes!) Pastor Voddie reminds us that the adoption is about the child, that adoptive parents are making themselves "available" to adopt a child. But if, in the providence of God, He chooses for that child to stay with his birth mother, or to go to another adoptive family, then we have to "celebrate God's Providence", even when it doesn't feel good. "If you can't say "Amen!", you oughta say, "Ouch!."

And that's when it happened. Who are we to say what's best for this film? Who are we to say what needs to happen next? What if God has other plans for this film? Other venues where it will be seen? What if the process we went through to finish the film and the sanctification God has wrought was the goal? Who are we to question? One of the things that grieved me (Pat) most was that God's grace enabled me to trust Him with my mother's eternity last February, but somehow I didn't want to trust His decision about this film. That's when God turned our mourning into dancing. I just started weeping. Not because of sadness or disappointment, but rejoicing, because God turned my heart from confusion and disappointment to peaceful trust in His plan. God's loving kindness is everlasting.

And here we rest, confidant that God will do what is best. We will wait to see if SAICFF accepts our entry into the competition. Caleb and Lisa will begin making some sound and color edits that they weren't able to finish before the deadline, and we hope to have a showing for family and friends, maybe next month. We will try other avenues to share this message with others. And we will wait on Him and what He will do.

Oh, and look to our next film project, Lord willing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Already and the Not Yet...

I promise I am not making any of this up. I couldn't. I'm guessing if you're reading our blog, you want to know the answer to the question, "Did we make it?" Well, the answer is: Already and Not yet. Yes and no. We're not sure. How can we be "Not sure"? I am so glad you asked, because it's a rather long story.

As you know, Richard Rector was composing our music, and doing a wonderful job. Well his time got cut (WAY) short because of our mistakes. He worked so hard to get as much done as possible, then he asked the Horners from our sister church to help with the editing and electronically adding more instruments. Zachary Horner is a gifted composer, so we were going to use some of his music and John Urback's as well. They worked so hard, up until the wee hours on several nights. On Thursday, we had much of the soundtrack and began to add it to the movie. We went to bed about 3 am on Friday morning, having a "finished product" that we weren't quite happy with, so we went over to the H's house on Friday for a final run through, and possibly a little editing. We finish editing (we want to do a little more fine tuning in color and sound, but the movie is edited) about 4:00 pm, plenty of time to get it to the post office, right?

Yes and no... First, our movie is 50GB, and our DVDs were 8GB, so we had to compress the files. That took over 2 hours. Finally, we're done compressing; now we can burn the DVDs. No problem, right? Before you burn the DVDs, they have to be formatted. Who knew that formatting a DVD would take another 2 hours? Meanwhile, we've downloaded the compressed file to a second computer to start it burning a DVD as well. Guess how long it takes to format? Over 3 hours! By now we're at 9:00, with only one DVD burned. You have to have 6 DVDs to enter the festival, and we have one. We continue to pray through this whole thing that God would somehow work this out. Our tech-savvy children tell us that once a DVD is formatted, it doesn't take as long the second time. I'm used to 5 minutes to burn a CD, so I think there's still hope... We put the second DVD in the computer estimates 19 minutes to burn. Great. The Post Office is about 30 minutes away. We think, we'll get 2 done, the men can go to the post office and get in line, while the women stay at the house, burn another DVD; the second computer will keep burning its DVD. Then the women will follow in a second car to the post office, with the desk top (plugged into a converter for power) and the laptop in the car, with the desk top, so we can burn DVDs on the trip to the post office. Armed with another burned DVD, the women get into the car and plug in not one , but 2 converter boxes, both of which worked 5 minutes ago when Jenny Horner started her car. Neither one of them will work with the computer plugged in. But by this time, we're already driving. Jenny is driving, I have a powerless desk top on my lap in the front seat, and the girls are in the back seat of the truck with the lap top, running on quickly dwindling battery power. While we're racing (well, our hearts were, anyway) to the post office we get a call from the men: They were able to mail 2 copies of our DVD and the soundtrack CD. YEAH!!!!! But, it's 10 pm and the post office workers won't wait for us to bring any more DVDs, but Randy has another idea.

Some businesses have their own mail meters, so they can stamp their own outgoing mail, which includes a postmark. Randy knows someone who has one of these meters. SO, we all head back to the house hoping to finish burning the DVDs and get to this friend's by 12 MN (Thank you Mrs. C for being willing to meet us!!), then send these other DVDs in a separate package. Are you getting tired yet?

 We get back to the house, plug the laptop in as it's dying to keep that burn going. We plug the desktop in to burn 2 more DVDs, only to find out that, since we turned off the computer, we now have to reformat the disk. Another 2-3 hours! The laptop is almost finished formatting and burning its first DVD , and we're getting close to midnight, so we have to leave to try to get the envelope stamped. We figured we'd send what we could with a letter explaining that the others would follow, and hope that they would accept the entry. We were hoping that it would at least be accepted to be considered for a showing at the festival even if it wasn't accepted to be in competition for a Jubilee award. For us, to glorify God through sharing the message about adoption has always been our goal. Earthly awards are affirmation, and certainly a great encouragement, especially to young film makers, but they are hay and stubble (pretty cool hay and stubble, but still...).

While we are driving to the friend's, at 11:50, the laptop comes up with an error message: "Formatting error." So we start another disk burning. We arrive at the friend's and get the precious timed postmark. It is five minutes until midnight; we have 2 DVDs and the soundtrack mailed in, and another DVD that can go into our envelope with the postmark. That is the best that could be done. We could not control the computer time. Next time we will know, and Lord willing, not cut it so close, but, providentially, we were only able to get 3 DVDs burned. Since then, we've tried to burn 3 more DVDs, 1 on the laptop and 2 on the same desk top that successfully burned the first 3. ALL had formatting errors. How does that happen? In the providence of God, we didn't start earlier, and even late, we haven't yet been able to get more DVDs burned. so God obviously has other plans that have not yet been revealed. We wait on His will in His timing, and we praise Him for His sovereignty.

So, did we make the deadline? Yes and no. The already and not yet... We don't know. Will they accept the entry because some of the DVDs and the application were on time, and the rest follow? We'll keep you posted. But the next post, after we all wake up for real (I couldn't sleep while this story was rattling in my head), AND after we go see Courageous, which we've been waiting to see since we saw sneak clips at last year's SAICFF academy, I'll write about how God changed our mourning into dancing over how all this turned out.

God is good, especially when His plan differ from ours, because it reminds us that we are adopted and our heavenly Father is He is doing what's best for us, because we can't see what's best for us.

We don't know what we don't know - Part II

We left off yesterday with the contract on our house. Now to August:

August was spent editing, preparing for our move and trying to make sure we wouldn't be homeless. We had done a little bit of looking, but, since our house hadn't sold in 3 years, and this was the worst market yet (road widening was going on right behind our home to make a 4-lane road that would lead to brand new homes across the street from our 5 year old home), we hadn't settled on anything. We found our home, asked the sellers to be ready to move out in less than 3 weeks, and they said, "Yes." So we packed up and moved to our own "Green Acres." Well, they're brown now, but we're praying for rain. 

So now we live in a county where 2 towns in 2 other counties are closer than any town in our own county, and we love it. But I digress; I was talking about our film making adventures. During our brief stay in our new home, it rained for the first time in months. Yeah! And our power goes out. Not so Yeah! Computers need electricity. Oh, well, Mom gets a night off from cooking; let's go "to town." The power goes off another 2 times, then come the Texas Wildfires. We're out of house for 9 days. We got back in our home, then a week later realized when our film is due. You know, I think they actually changed the SAICFF website because of my question. And now we're  praying and asking God to give us strength, wisdom, and everything else we need to finish. So far, He has supplied, so we're continuing to move forward.

I ask you, would you have started this project if you knew all that when you started? Honestly, I hope, after seeing all God has allowed to be done to pull this film together, I hope I would trust Him enough to try. God always knows how much I need to know. When will I ever learn to completely trust Him, that I don't need to know any more than His Providence has already revealed?

So why did I share our long saga? Because through it al,l God has supplied our needs, whether it be encouragement, photos, editing knowledge, or music.