Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vilis and Juris

Some of you will remember Vilis from here. There's another little boy in Vilis' country who needs a family, too. His name is Juris. 

It was brought to attention, today, that Juris has an $11,485 grant. You may remember from my earlier post about Vilis that he has over $8400 in his grant.

Together these boys have $20,000 in grant money. It costs $22,000 to adopt from their country. Now, math is not my strongest subject, but for very little cost Vilis and Juris could come home as brothers! Will you help find their forever family/families?

Two blessings...waiting for someone to notice them.
Two of the sweetest, squishiest faces I've ever seen...waiting for a Mommy.

Join me in praying their forever family finds them and don't forget to ask God for that family to be close enough for me to visit them. That Vilis has a piece of my heart.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Worth Fighting For?

"A man dies and appears before St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven. St. Peter looks at the fellow and says, “Before I can let you in, I need you to roll up your sleeves.” The man is puzzled, but does as he is asked. St. Peter examines the man’s arms and asks, “Where are your scars?” Still confused, the man answers, I don’t have any scars.” With tears in his eyes, St. Peters asks him, “Was nothing worth fighting for?”

I read this quote, recently and it has stuck with me. There are times on this journey to our boys when I question our sanity. I'm going to be really honest here. I'm a people pleaser. I want people to like me. I want to have their approval. I don't like conflict or "rocking the boat." I'd have to say the same is true or truer for my husband. Our goal is for people to see Jesus in us, in our lives, in our home, in our actions. 

I'm reminded that Jesus promises that in following him, we will alienate people from our lives. Well meaning family members will not understand what He has called us to do. Friends who are concerned for Eli and Julie and all that they will  be "sacrificing," they don't understand. They haven't heard the clear voice of God, calling us to fight for OUR sons. 

We will stand before God himself and he will look at our lives and ask, "Where are your scars? What did it cost you to follow my son, Jesus? Did you lose friends, the respect of family members? Did they call you radical, because of your obedience? Did you love much and risk plenty for my son's name? Did you make Him famous in all the earth?" 

I cannot tell you why God trusted us with this journey. Why did He choose us to be the parents to two more amazing children? I can only tell you that we were willing, open to His call and His plan, longing to be in the very center of His will for our lives. We have counted the cost. We are aware of the sacrifices. We are also anticipating the JOY that comes from obedience. We are adding blessings to our home. We are choosing life for our boys. 

You may not understand. I only ask that you keep watching, keep praying and please, if you don't have something encouraging to say, keep quiet.

Our boys, Joseph and Samuel, are worth fighting for. They are worth every piece of paperwork, every doctor's visit, every fundraiser, every setting aside of our pride to ask, plead, beg for the family of God to help us rescue them. They will be worth every battle scar we earn on this journey to hold them and call them our sons. This journey has been and will continue to serve as a constant reminder that this world is not our home. We're just passing through, foreigners in a land, not our home. 

Won't you join us on this battlefield? Samuel and Joseph will not be orphans much longer, but there are millions more like them, who need homes. They need advocates, parents, people who will travel a path less taken to show them the love of Jesus. The love of the one who died so we could each be adopted into God's family. He thought we were worth fighting for, worth dying for. He has the scars to prove His great love for each of us. Listen for His voice, ask what he'd have you do.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...they're worth fighting for!

Hidden in Christ,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Update on 1 of 1000 event!

I need to give an update on our 1 of 1000 event! It's going well, but we've lost some momentum in the last couple of days. We need you! We need each and every person who visits the blog and reads our story to give $13. If we can find 1000 people to give $13 each we will be funded and able to go and get our boys when the time comes.

So far, we've had over 40 people participate in our 1 of 1000 event and we've raised over $1000. Not too shabby for a few weeks of sharing.

Will you be a part of our miracle? 

Will you be a part of Samuel's miracle?

Will you be a part of Joseph's miracle?

If you'd like to be a part of bringing our boys home, you can make a tax-deductible donation here or on the right hand side of this page thru the donation box. $13 is really not a lot of money, but it will make a huge difference to us and to our boys. 

To everyone who's already given and to those who continually pray for us, "Thank you." Words can never express our gratitude for your willingness to help "ransom" our boys. 

Will you be 1 of 1000?

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My heart aches for my boys...
Sweet Samuel, Mommy longs to hold you, to kiss your precious cheeks, to breath in your sweet scent, to know you. I can't imagine what these first three and a half years of your life have been like. Alone, orphaned, makes my heart ache...I see beauty. I can't wait to call you my own, orphan no more. You'll be our "baby." Our youngest son, treasured and cherished.

My heart aches...
Precious Joseph, happy, even now. My, too tiny, little man. Nothing about you looks six years old and yet, you are. You have lived six long years alone. You have adapted to your environment, out of a need to survive. My arms feel empty, without ever having held you, they feel empty without you. I know that you are going to bring so much JOY to our home. I see it in your smile and hear it in your giggle. Others look and see delay, I see a boy whose waiting on Mommy and Daddy to come and teach and love. You, my little man, are going to thrive and flourish and sparkle when you finally know our love. I can't wait.

My heart aches for these, my sons. My boys born on the other side of the ocean. They are waiting.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something.

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Forever Family Friday

I look forward to FFF every week. I hope you do, too. I love that God allows me to share these children and their stories. What I don't love is that we need to have a Forever Family Friday post to begin with. I don't love that there are so very many children to choose from. I don't love that the list is unending and the need is great. You may think I waste my time with these posts, but these children are finding families! I don't know if any of them have found a family as a direct result of a post here, but I do know that the prayers of God's people are a powerful tool against the enemy! Prayer changes hearts and opens eyes and gives children a chance at forever.  

Here are some of the children from previous Forever Family Friday posts, who have families, now!


Pauline was my first Forever Family Friday post and her family is in country now meeting her! You can read about their journey and see new pictures of this beautiful girl with her forever family at their blog. 


There was much rejoicing in our home when sweet Nathaniel was chosen to be a son! His family blog is set up a little differently than this one. When you go their click on the Update link at the top to read the latest news on Nathaniel. This family is so motivated and moving quickly toward bringing Nathaniel home!


Okay, so Sterling was part of a post about the number one special need. I'd still love for you to check out his family's story and pray them through the process of bringing this sweet baby home.

From that same post Eddie and Tanner have also found families, these precious boys, who've waited and waited are finally chosen!

Sweet Lina was chosen this week!

Her family hasn't been "announced" yet, but I'll link you to them when they are! Rumor has it Lina's not coming home alone!

Lots of the children you've seen here on our blog are still waiting and since this is Forever Family Friday I will show you the child who is heavy on my heart this week.

Sweet Sasha...

There are no words for how my heart aches for this beautiful boy. I am storming Heaven on his behalf. He's waited long enough. At 6 years old, I'd say he's ready for a Mommy and Daddy. Will you join me in searching for them? Search your heart and your home and ask God if you are Sasha's family. Share Sasha's picture, share his profile, and pray, pray, then pray some more!

Believe me, there will be rejoicing here, when Sasha's forever family finds him!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

If you feel led leave these families an encouraging word or give a gift to help bring their little one home.

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adoption Video!

Click here to view this video

So thankful to my friend, Rebecca, for making such an amazing video about our family. I hope you'll watch it and consider sharing with your friends. We're still running our 1 of 1000 event. Will you be 1 of 1000 people to donate $13 to our adoption grant? If just 1000 people donate $13, we'll be funded! You can make a tax deductible donation on the right hand sidebar of this page. Thanks for giving, sharing and most importantly for praying!

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What does your FAITH look like?

This is Sasha. He turned 6 years old in April and this photo was taken in the past two weeks. Does he look like a six year old to you? He looks like a child of God who is starving to death in an orphanage on the other side of the world, while we decide if his life has value. You are accountable before God for what you know! Now, you know about Sasha. What does your faith look like? How does God require you to respond?

Will you give here? Will you pray? Will you share Sasha's picture with everyone you know? Will you ask God if he's calling you to be Sasha's family?

Does this picture break you heart? It should. I promise you it's breaking God's heart. Every Sasha of the world breaks God's heart. He sees them. He's waiting for us to do something for them. He's waiting to see who will put their FAITH into action and save Sasha and the others like him.

My prayer is that Sasha will be saved. That he will be set in a family and nourished back to health. I pray that he will have a Mommy and Daddy who love him and teach him the things of God.

It's time to Do Something, church! Rise up and take your place on the battlefield. Sasha's life is depending on your action or inaction. Do not turn away!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something...God is watching.

Hidden in Christ,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Heart Full of Gratitude

We had great success at our fundraiser, yesterday! We had a yard sale/bake sale/craft sale/hotdog sale and car wash. All total we raised $1905! It was a Success! We are so thankful for all of our friends and family who came out and helped with the big event. There's no way we could have done it without you! How blessed our boys are going to be when they come home to so many people who love them already.

I am always amazed to hear other people tell our story and talk about our boys. I can hear the love and excitement in the voices of our friends and family as they share about Samuel and Joseph. It blesses us to know that they are passionate about seeing our boys come home and join our family.

I am, especially, thankful to God for allowing us to walk this road. We are finding Jesus in the most unexpected places. In the generosity of friends and strangers, we see Jesus. In a willingness to sacrifice time and resources, we see Jesus. In every extra mile driven to come out and support our family, we see Jesus. In every encouraging word and uplifting phone call, we see Jesus. In every item priced, donation given, truck loaded, cake baked, item sewn and car washed, we see Jesus. It has been our hearts cry to be the hands and feet of Jesus and in the process, we have experienced blessing after blessing from His hands and feet here on earth. Thank you.

The road less travelled really is the place where we meet Jesus face to face.

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Forever Family Friday

So many little faces

So many

Here's a sweet little face that is often overlooked.

Michael just turned 3 last month.

He waits.

Another adoptive Mom met Michael recently, here are her words:

"Michael is often overlooked because he is so quiet. When I went over to him, he was quite surprised to receive attention. He was thrilled to be snuggled. I think he would have sat in my lap all day. He can walk if you hold his hands. He seems very healthy. He is in a very high functioning room with typical kids. Very, very sweet loving boy!  He would look deeply into my eyes, like he was looking into my soul! It was very hard for me to put him down!   I sure hope this helps find him a family!"

He's a snuggler.

Be still my heart...a boy who snuggles.

Every Momma's dream.

Is Michael yours?

Will you share his sweet face and help find his Forever Family?

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Update: Michael has a family!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All Children are Created Equal...or Are They?

We've spent the last three days at the beach with our kids, Eli and Julie. As I watch them play in the ocean, I marvel at the miracle of creation. That our Creator, who made the ocean in all of it's expanse and the beauty of the night sky, also knit together two precious children in my womb. He made them and knows them intimately, even more so than I do, the Mom who's been with them since before birth. God allowed them to be born into a family who loves them and into a Nation where freedom and prosperity reigns. These two beautiful children have certainly been blessed by the circumstances of their birth. Blessed with love, freedom, family and friends. They have never known a day of need for anything and have a Mom and Dad, who go out of our way to make sure they have the things they want, too.

As I watch them playing and laughing and enjoying life, my mind wanders to the other side of this great ocean, where my other children wait. Joseph and Samuel grew in another belly in another country. The circumstance or accident of their birthplace left them with little freedom and no chance at a long healthy life. I know you caught it...I don't believe in accidents. God knew what He was doing when he allowed our boys to be born in EE. He was allowing them a chance at life. Had they been conceived here in the land of the free, they would most likely have been aborted before they could breath their first breath. Instead God purposed for them to be born. He created them with a plan. From the foundation of the world, God knew these boys belonged to Marty and I. He just had to figure a way to get them from conception and into our home.

Our boys live, now, in a place where they have no freedom and are treated as "less than." They are outcasts. They have known pain, loss, hunger, need so great it would crumple some strong American children. This is their reality, for today.

But God. God is orchestrating a beautiful song out of the lives of Joseph and Samuel. It's a song about how He sets the lonely in families. A song about how He loves us, Oh, How He love us! A song that says no matter where you are born, when God's people do what they are called to do, what they were redeemed to do, then we will see that every child is created equally. God's beautiful plan to prove that every life has value is a plan of redemption, a plan of adoption. It so perfectly mirrors our own adoption into the King's family.

Joseph and Samuel are fearfully and wonderfully made, they just don't know it yet. Joseph and Samuel are loved, they just don't know it yet. Joseph and Samuel are sons of the Rhodes' house, they just don't know it yet. They won't realize what's happening when we bring them home. They, like so many of us, may never fully understand the circumstances we will save them from or the blessing that we will bring them home, too. That's okay with us. Just like it's okay with God. He loves us more than we can imagine and He has created us equally.

Two sets of children, born oceans apart, bound by the location and circumstance of their birth. Each set, each child, loved by God. Each life telling a story that only it can tell. Each one created with a plan and purpose, to show the world, How Great is our God! I do believe all children are created's just up to us to show them.

Love an will change your life,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1 of 1000!

Marty and I have the most amazing family and friends. My Mom, our family and some of our close friends had dinner last week and Mom said something about if 1000 people would donate $13 each we'd be fully funded. I linked our FSP on facebook that evening and mentioned the same fact. This morning, I woke up and found that while I was sleeping, Rebecca (our friend from dinner) had created a facebook event inviting people to be one of 1000 to donate $13 for our boys to come home.

Until you've been in this process, you have no idea how difficult it is to trust God to speak to the hearts of his people to give on your behalf. It was encouraging this morning to wake up and see $13 had been donated while we slept. I know it might not seem like much, but it was the exact amount I needed this morning. The exact amount of encouragement. We've been a little over 2 weeks without a donation until today. I had been a little discouraged, but just kept thinking our big fundraiser is this Saturday and we'll bring in some money then.

I'm out of things to offer, right now. I can't offer the type of reward God promises, anyways. I can invite you once again, to be a part of our journey. To be one of 1000 in this strong army of God to help bring our boys home. There's a link on the right hand side of the blog. It has a donate button. You can click the button and follow the link to make a tax deductible donation directly to our grant at Reece's Rainbow.

Thank you in advance to each who will give, for your sacrifice for our boys and our family. Thank you, Rebecca, for believing in us and helping every step of the way. Thank you, God, for the right amount of encouragement every step of the way.

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homestudy Approved!

We had our third and final visit for the homestudy this morning and we're approved :) We should have our notarized copy to send to USCIS in the next week or so. Of course, we'll need to be able to pay for our USCIS application. It's around $900, so we'll be announcing a new fundraiser, soon. For today, we are enjoying the satisfaction of completing this very important step in the journey to our boys.

Thanks to everyone who was praying for us this morning, too. We had a real sense of peace and no stress when it was time for the visit.

That's all for now.

Love an orphan, it will change your life!