Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Golf Tournament Update!

Our Golf Tournament is coming up, quickly. If you've never been to a golf tournament (I haven't), then, you may not have any idea how one works. Let me fill you in and tell you about how you can be involved, even from the other side of the country. How does a golf tournament raise funds? I'm so glad you asked. There are two ways.

First, (and most obvious way) golfers pay to participate. We're signing up 4 man teams and the cost to register a team is $160. We do have to give some of that registration fee to the golf course, but you get the idea. There's a registration form linked on the tab above. Or you can just click here and it will take you directly to the form. If you're local and want to play, all the details are there. Simply print the form and mail it to me or bring it the day of the event.

Second, businesses can sponsor a hole for $100. A hole sponsorship gets a business (or church) a sign placed at the hole. I'll also have a list of sponsors on the blog, shortly. I may even get crazy and add them to the facebook event. Some businesses sponsor one hole, some sponsor more. We keep the entire $100, minus the cost to print the sign, for our adoption. How's this sounding so far?

Well, you know, I couldn't leave it alone. This seemed like a great opportunity to advocate and help bring "K" home. This is the part where you come in, the part where God inspired an idea for a third way to make our event successful. For $50 you can sponsor a hole! What will your sign say? I'm hoping that you'll hop on over to Reece's Rainbow and choose a child or family whose name you'd like to have on your sign. Not only will the child or family of your choice go on the sign, but I'll add a picture and the web address to their grants. Oh, and did I mention that $20 from each $50 given will go to the child or family grant, you choose. Everyone wins.

Obviously, the people participating in the Golf Tournament have a heart for orphans. What better group to have the child or family you're advocating for in front of? How do you give your $50? I'm asking you to use the chipin on the right hand side of the blog. Make sure you leave me a note with the name of the child/family you are sponsoring a sign for. The chipin is not tax-deductible and goes directly to our paypal. I'll need to pay for the signs and pictures, so need access to the funds.

Thanks for helping bring our girl home and for helping advocate for waiting children.

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

Hidden in Christ,

Back to Reality

Vacation was wonderful, refreshing, restful. Yes, restful, even with 4 children, along. We're so blessed to have great kids. I know, you all are here for the pictures, so I'll let you enjoy them. Then, it's back to reality. Waiting children, fundraising, advocating...that's where I'm heading. I hope you're coming with me!

A family picture, not because it's great, but because we're family!

The parade is magical and they love it!

Vaylo loved Eric and Julie loved Ariel! They were great with the kids and even asked to hold Vaylo.

The rides were great!

Vaylo riding Dumbo with Daddy.

Disney was great. We ended up only doing two days in the parks, because we really loved our resort. Swimming was everyone's favorite part of the week...

Samuel loves to be thrown in!

I love this boy!

His two favorite things, Daddy and Water. What more could a boy want?

We are so blessed to have this time and these memories. We're anxiously awaiting the day when our family of 6, becomes a family of 7. It's hard to explain, but at random times, during our vacation, we'd look at each other and say that we missed "K." I know, she's never been here, but we love her and we're sad that she's missing this time. I know, God has a plan and His timing is always right, trying to rest in that, as we wait for our girl. 

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of our whole family, but mostly of our boys. This is redemption. Not only are they not orphans anymore, but they are sons with all the rights and privileges that come along with that title. No longer just existing, but living life to the fullest! So thankful for the wide open spaces of grace that God allows us.

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, September 13, 2012


It has been brought to my attention (not that I don't notice on my own) a couple of times this week, that I have amazing friends. Seriously, our life is full of really good people. Our social worker was asking if we had anyone willing to watch our boys and I began to list the people who would line up for the opportunity. She said, "What a blessing. A lot of families with children with special needs have a difficult time with child care." My friends and family love our boys (and Eli and Julie)! I think, they'd like me to plan long trips, so they could pass my kids around.

I am able to call, text or message my friends at the drop of a hat and they show up. They're willing to do the mundane things, like run to the post office, so that the winners in our auction will get their items sometime this year. They're willing to take Eli and Julie, for a day of running errands and grocery shopping, so they don't have to make the long drive to the doctor's office. They'll drive a couple hours on a Sunday to hang out. They drag themselves out of bed after working 3rd shift to come and tickle little toes in the van for just a few minutes. They come to Eli's soccer games and cheer him on. They fundraise and advocate and encourage and pray. They don't need to be in the spotlight, they just want to help. They love us, plain and simple.

We are blessed. Not every family has the awesome support system that we do. In fact, I'm guessing from what I've heard that we are the exception and not the rule. Why has God blessed us with good friends? Probably because He knows my limitations. I'm pitiful and couldn't do half the things we do, without our friends. Today, I wanted to take a few minutes and say, "Thank you" to my friends, life is sweeter, because of you.

If you know a family, who may be struggling, who may feel alone or abandoned, the sweetest thing you can do for them is just show up. Speak encouraging words to them. Let them know, you're praying for them and that you're willing to help. Even if they never take you up on the offer, sometimes, it's just nice to know that someone cares enough to offer.

We chose this world of special needs, some arrived here, unexpectedly. They need us. They need friends. They need to know they're not alone and that they still have a place where they belong. Who can you love, today? Who can you encourage? Who can you be a friend to?

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

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Waves of Grace

Marty and I recently dealt with someone, who we love, saying very ugly things about our boys and our reasons for adopting them. I've had some time to distance myself from the comments and pray about where they came from. I believe that in order to truly understand adoption, we must understand our own salvation. The error that this person made was too assume that we "maybe" wouldn't be offended by their comments? I mean, these aren't "really" our children. We only "adopted" them. Waves of grace...

Marty was able to share that Vaylo and Samuel are as much our children, as Eli and Julie. Yes, you will bring out the fight in us, if you attack our children. We have made many sacrifices for our boys, including crossing an ocean, one that we would cross again a thousand times, to bring them home. We have spent more on their medical bills, since their arrival 3 months ago, then, we've spent in the entirety of Eli and Julie's lives. This is not said to make much of us, but much of the love of Christ in us. A love that spends itself on behalf of the weak. Waves of grace...

This is how God feels about me and you. He made the ultimate sacrifice of sending Jesus to die for us(his adopted children), to pay the highest price imaginable. He would do it, again. I promise you, that we belong to Him. To say that we are any less his children, disregards and devalues the sacrifice of the cross. Waves of grace...

Vaylo and Samuel are our sons. To think or speak about them in a way that indicates you think differently, disregards the love we have for them and the great lengths we will go to for them. All of it inspired by the love of Christ and his provision for us. It is an awesome responsibility to walk in this calling, to love all of our children well. Hopefully, when people see our family, they witness first hand the love of Christ. We're not perfect, but we love each other fiercely. There are no second class citizens in our home. We are all the same because of the amazing grace that has been extended to us. Waves of grace...

It is our continued prayer that when people look this way they see the waves of grace that our boys are. Their little lives testify to grace, to love, to mercy. They are like fresh water over dry land. They bring JOY and love and fun everywhere they go. What once was lost, now is found. What once was broken is being restored. It is our greatest privilege to have a front row view of these waves of grace...

Hidden in Christ,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Our Sunshine Girl

Nights like tonight are the reason why we do what we do. The reason why we holler so loudly, even when it feels like no one is listening. Tonight, we were invited to the Rogers' Family Farm to meet Caleb and Jessa (Bernadette) for the first time. I wanted to greet them at the airport, when their feet hit American soil, but Marty's Grandfather passed away this week and we were busy with family.

After months of praying for and advocating for Jessa and Caleb to come home, here they were. Not on the other side of the country or 3 hours away, but just a short drive down the highway. I was greeted by a smile as bright as the sun and treated to many kisses, hugs and invites to sit on the couch beside our sunshine girl.

My heart is so full and as I talked to Marty on the drive home, we were amazed, again, at God's provision. His care for the orphan. This little girl was so very close to life in an adult mental institution. She will be 16 this year and would have been transferred shortly after. But God...

God began to whisper into Erika and Mel's hearts about crossing the ocean, again. They looked and saw potential and a child worthy of love. They saw beauty where others had failed to recognize it.

Then, because my friends are such amazing Christ-followers, they thought why not save more than one child. Again, they allowed God to fill their hearts with hope for the ones forgotten. God had another precious gift waiting for them. He reminds us of our Vaylo, just waiting for a chance to try on love and see how it fits. I think, the fit will be good and Caleb will blossom in this home. 

For nine years, he waited to be chosen. God has already begun the healing and restoring work in Caleb's life. He is going to shine, just wait and see.

We did what friends do. We had dinner and cake and let our kids run wild and play. All the while my heart was full of the goodness of God. As I looked around at each of our blessings and we have a few between us, my breath was taken, by the faithfulness of God. His word is true and every promise is Yes and Amen. 

I'm so thankful that Erika and Mel responded to the voice of God and chose to "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter." Proverbs 24:11

Jessa, Caleb, the Rogers' and Rhodes' family will never be the same, because we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! We know that His mercy endures forever!

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

Hidden in Christ,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last Day

Today's the last day of our Facebook Auction to bring "K" home! It's going so well and I can't wait to update the ticker as the donations start to come in. Don't miss your chance to be a part of this really fun, fundraiser!

We're having a blast on the facebook page. There's a q-tip selling for $30, plus a monthly donation of $15. We have backpacks, selling for $100. Plus, Barbie's, Scentsy, Jewelry and more. Some items don't have bids and bidding starts at $1, so you may find a great deal! There are over 100 items up for grabs, so don't miss out!

Here's a reminder of why we're doing all of this!

She's waiting and she's worth it! Our sweet, little girl...

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

Hidden in Christ,