About Us

We are Chris and Megan. First and foremost we love our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are daily humbled by His plan for our lives and love seeing what he does when we trust him. We have always wanted to adopt but had planned on having biological kids first. We felt God calling us to adoption first and after lots of prayer are excited to be starting our first adoption! We love the people and culture of Uganda and are excited to bring that culture into our family. We seek to honor God in our adoption and eventually in the way we raise our kids. We covet your prayers as this will be a long but exciting journey to our forever family!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Empty Arms Are Empty Arms

Yes, we chose this.  Yes, we were told starting out how long this process would be. Yes, we knew we would still be a family of 2 for Christmas this year. But, empty arms are still empty arms.

I wasn't told how bad I would ache. I wouldn't know looking at our beautiful tree how much would feel missing this year. Two ornaments hang in anticipation of a little to know they were thought about long before we had a face and a name. We don't know him...her...them? but we wait with heavy expectation for the Christmas when they delight in the lights, songs, food, family and friends and ultimately in Jesus.

Advent has had a deeper meaning this year. I understand the ache and the anticipation just a little clearer. The excitement of the celebration is fogged a bit with the "not yet." I've found myself prayerfully whispering, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come" and simultaneously "Bring them home, Lord Jesus, Soon." I ache with the groaning world for our savior to come and also for our family to grow.

We've received different reactions when we say that there is an ache this season but earlier this week an instagram "friend" reminded me that empty arms are still empty arms. She knows this same ache and just expressing the simple understanding freed me to ache with anticipation.Regardless of how we got to this point, our arms ache to hold our child/children close and tell them about Christmas. We ache to buy the presents we know they'll love, sing songs that bring big grins, to celebrate advent as a family.

Each week of advent the words have sunk a little deeper.

We have hope in Jesus who has come and also in His final triumphant return. We have hope in one day growing our family through adoption.

In knowing Jesus a little more, we have found deeper peace. In relinquishing control, I realize it is an illusion. In giving up and letting go, we have found more peace.

But coupled with this hope is joy. Joy that Christ was born, he has saved and he now reigns! We have joy in the wait and hope of our family growing. We will one day revel in the joy of littles laughing and signing along side us. We have joy as we walk deeper and deeper into a dependent relationship on Jesus who has come that we might have life!

We love more deeply. As we have walked farther into the adoption process I've come to love Jesus so much more. As we've studied attachment and bonding issues I've seen more clearly my heart that struggles to know the infinite love of my Father. I see my depravity and it draws me deeper to Him.

Merry Christmas to our sweet child/children! Christmas has arrived Uganda!! We pray, if you're born that you would know how deeply loved you are by your loving Father. We pray for your birth mom and dad that they would know Jesus' deep love this Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Somewhat Unconventional Spring Break

Huh? Spring break....yeah we know it's a ways away but we have been planning our spring break since October!!

Let me back up a bit, we have an amazing orphan ministry at our church, it's actually the reason we switched churches a little over a year ago. We knew we were going to need support and wanted our child to grow up and be celebrated in their adoption both legally and in Christ. Project Hope has become our family, they've rallied arounds us and we've been able to rally around families and individuals who are passionate about caring for orphans both locally and globally.

A while back the leadership of Project Hope began dreaming of how to globally care for orphans well other than just through international adoption. One of the venues they began investigating was how to empower local churches abroad to care for their orphans well, to teach on the importance of permanence to families who had taken in children and how the gospel is the center of all of this. Most importantly, we want to show how God is for permanent families whether it is through reconciliation, reuniting previously separated families, domestic adoption etc, and through empowering families to keep their kids when resources are limited.

So that brings us to Spring Break '15! Chris and I were asked by the Project Hope leadership team to pray about going with a small group to Rwanda for 10 days. It immediately didn't seem possible for Chris to go with work and school but after talking with his advisor it is looking like we will get to do this together!! We have been praying for years to find a way to do global ministry together and we are so excited for this trip! This will be the second time both Chris and I have gone to Rwanda but our first time being able to go and minister together!! See this beautiful place, Chris took this picture when he was there in 2011. I love how well it captures "The Land of a Thousand Hills"

Our Goal:
This trip will be a vision trip to learn how to come along side overseas local churches and help them care for orphans in their community. We will be partnering with Saddleback Church to learn about their vision and implementation of global orphan care in Rwanda through the PEACE Plan. Our goal is to utilize aspects of what we learn in Rwanda together with the vision and heart of our church to modify and create our own vision and plan to participate in global orphan care.

Our goal is to work behind the scenes to minister to and encourage Rwandan church leaders who are caring for orphans in their communities. We will learn how Saddleback has helped to educate and encourage permanency in local families. Our goal is to encourage the local church to find families and then support those families so kids can get out of orphanages and into local, permanent homes as well as helping the church to find resources to keep kids in their families. Our daily, minute by minute goal is to be able to pull out at any time and still have the work go on because we are not coming into rescue or provide but to encourage and support the local church. In this, all glory goes to God and the work is sustainable and long lasting.

When we return, we will begin dialoguing with the Project Hope team, elders and missions team to prayerfully consider our church's involvement in caring for orphans around the globe. Rwanda has done an amazing job of getting kids out of orphanages and into Rwandan families so we are excited to learn how to come along side and encourage other churches in other countries that our church partners with to do the same.

We would love you to fervently pray for us and the other team members as we plan, travel and then hopefully create a God honoring, global orphan care ministry in our church. Our church has never had a ministry like this so we are excited and somewhat anxious to step into the unknown and be part of the beautiful mess that is to come. We are so thankful to be part of a church who cares so deeply for the vulnerable.

Specifics of the trip:
Length of Trip: 10 days at the end of March/beginning of April
Estimated Cost: $3000 per person

If you feel led to give, we will be fundraising for our trip. All donations are tax deductible, if unused the donations will go to the rest of the team and then to the short-term missions fund.

You can make checks payable to Grace Evangelical Free Church and write "Rwandan Missions Trip" and our names Chris and Megan Negrete in the memo line.

You can send to us (please email us for our address: negretefamilyadoption@gmail.com) or you can send directly to our church: Grace EV Free, Attention Jeff Khalil, 12717 Santa Gertrudes Ave, La Mirada, CA 90638.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Biometrics Appointment Complete!

Another check on the checklist, another task marked off!!

We submitted our I-600A less than 3 weeks ago. We were told to expect up to a 2 month wait for our biometrics (fingerprint) appointment. I prayed and prayed we would receive our appointment date by the end of this week. I came home Monday to 4 letters from USCIS with our appointment date set for noon on December 12. It was such a direct answer to prayer, exceeding our request for an already speedy process!

Silly government people who assign random times during normal working hours. We both couldn't do it but we've heard from numerous other families that they will often take walk ins. So today, I left school early and we rushed over to the office...we got a little lost on the way, stupid iphone lead us to the completely wrong place!

When we arrived we were told we had to speak with the immigration officer to see if he would allow us to walk in. Thankfully we saw the nicest immigration officer there is and he did everything he could to get us processed! In the meantime he asked us about what we do, where we're adopting from. He was excited that we will have the "United Nations" in our family!
We waited about an hour and a half but ultimately got it done!

So now we wait and pray we can receive our official I-600A approval before Christmas, can you think of a better Christmas present than that??