Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ready, Set, GO!

The past month has been a whirlwind of events for James and me.  I'm not even sure where to start with this month's update, but I can say that we are nearly ready to leave for Guatemala, which is awesome.  It is so nice to finally see the past two years worth of work come together, and be able to see the end (or should I say beginning) in sight!  Here are the four big things that happened within the past week.

First of all, we applied for Riley's passport when she was eleven days old because we will need it in order to begin the application process for visas before we leave for Guatemala.  Can I just take a minute to say that it is near impossible to take a passport photo of an infant?  Here are just a few of the requirements for a passport photo of an infant:
- Must have completely white background (no shadows)
- Shoulders must be straight and shirt (or onesie) can not be bunched on the shoulders
- Hands must be at the infant's sides (or at least out of the photo)
- Face must be looking straight forward
- Eyes must be open and looking at the camera- HAH!
- Mouth must be shut
- Both ears must be visible (nearly impossible with Riley's chubby cheeks)
Now I must add, that if the infant has a cold or stuffy nose it adds another whole aspect of fun to the mix.  It took us a total of three hours of photo shoots on three separate days to get it right.  Not to mention the postal worker helping us apply for the passport said our photo was unacceptable (there was a shadow in the background).  All of that to say that we applied for her passport and received it in less than three weeks!!

Can you tell how thrilled she was to receive her passport?

We had a yard sale the week before we moved and it went extremely well!  We were able to get rid of all of our furniture and large appliances, as well as most of our other belongings.  By the end of the two days, we just had three small boxes of things left to donate!

Third, we were able to sell our home in Statham.  YAY!!  We closed on our house at the beginning of last week, and moved the last of our possessions in with family, where we will be staying for the next couple of weeks until we leave the country.  The sale of our house was a huge answer to prayer, and takes a humongous weight off of our shoulders.  We thank all of you who have kept us in your prayers over the past several months.

Fourth, and last, we found a very loving home for our dog, Jac.  He was adopted by our (former) neighbors who he always loved to sneak off and visit.  His new owners already have two dogs, and will even be taking Jac and their pups to doggie day care once a week to socialize with other dogs.  As hard as it was to let Jac go, he will be more spoiled at his new home than ever.

Now that Riley has her passport, we will be able to begin gathering official records, documents, criminal histories, etc. in order to apply for our visas in Guatemala.  We will then pay the Guatemalan Consulate in Atlanta a visit to approve of our documents before we leave the country.  We will also be shipping our car, with what belongings we are taking inside, to Guatemala a few weeks before we leave, so that we can meet it when it arrives to the country.  James will be finishing his work with the fire department as well within the next few weeks.  We will also be finishing our fundraising as we have less than one thousand dollars left to raise before we leave.  After that we will finally be able to start a new journey in Guatemala.

Enjoying the fall weather of the States before heading to Central America

We thank everyone for their prayers and support during this entire journey so far.  We are excited to continue to share with you as our real journey is really just beginning.  We hope that the next time we write an update, it will be from Guatemala!

In Christ,
James, Ellie, and Riley Carr

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, October 3, 2014

Introducing Riley Marie Carr

We are thrilled to announce that Riley Marie Carr arrived on September 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm.  She was 7 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches long.  We are ecstatic about the arrival of a healthy baby girl and are already so in love with her.  We are so thankful for a safe and healthy delivery, and to be chosen as parents of Riley.  We can't wait to be a part of this little girl's life as she grows up.

First photo as a family of three.
Now that Riley is here, we were able to get her official birth certificate this morning.  On Monday, we will be applying for a passport for her which could take up to 6-8 weeks, but lately has been taking about three weeks to get by mail.  After we receive that, we will be able to visit the Guatemalan consulate in Atlanta and have paperwork for the three of us certified in order to obtain Guatemalan visas.  Once all of that is approved, we will finally have the green light to leave for the mission field.  So that is the timeline we are on in a nutshell.

In the meantime, we are closing on the house we live in now on Monday, October 13, and moving out on the 14th and 15th.  We will be staying nearby with family until all of our paperwork has cleared to leave the country.  We will be having a yard sale October 10, and 11 to get rid of the belongings we will not be able to take with us when we leave.  If you are free those dates, please stop by! We will have furniture, clothes, decorations, electronics, small appliances, etc. for sale then.  The yard sale will be held at 331 Simeon Rd. Statham, GA 30666.  We have less than $2,000 left to raise before we leave for the field, and we are hoping to be able to raise a good bit through the sale.

So that is a quick update about where we are today, and our plans for the next few weeks.  We are still looking for a home for our sweet dog Jac, since we are unable to bring him with us.  If you know of anyone looking for a good family dog, please don't hesitate to pass word of Jac on to them.  He would be a great indoor dog, and would also do well outdoors in a yard with a fence.  Thank you all for reading our blog, and to all of our friends and family for supporting the work God has called us to in Guatemala.  We could not ask for a more supportive circle friends and family.  We love you all and can't wait to see what God will do through your support.

James and Ellie Carr

Psalm 139:13-14
"For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well."

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