Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Blog!

Our new blog is up and running and there's a giveaway happening! Head on over and check it out! Follow us and you'll be entered to win a Keurig Vue. I may cross post some updates for awhile, but most of our new posts will be over on Our (Planned) Trip to Holland.

We're so thankful for each of you, who has faithfully followed and supported us on this journey. We're hoping you'll all continue with us on this next big adventure.

There's also a new video of our family on the sidebar of the new blog.

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

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We met our match!

Just a quick update, that we met our $300 matching grant and once the matching funds are deposited we'll be able to write our home study agency a check for $1400. They will, in return, release the documents I need for our dossier. Praise God!

Our USCIS paperwork has been mailed, just waiting to hear about a fingerprint appointment date. I'll keep you all posted. Thank you to everyone who gave and prayed us over this mountain. Now, we can move forward, toward our girl!

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

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I'm kind of sad to do this, but changes are coming. In just a few days, we'll be moving over to a new blog. I'm not blog-savvy and I have been completely unable to remove the background from this blog. I feel like K deserves to have a less boyish background. I, also, feel like our family is in a new season that is going to last long beyond our adoption. Instead of starting another adoption blog, I'm going to blog about life in our "new" land. I hope you'll join us and continue our journey to K with us. This blog will remain open and simply have a post that directs to our new blog. I may occasionally post an update on the boys here, but everything else will be happening on our new blog.

Keep an eye out. I'm hoping to have everything up and running by the weekend. By the way, we've almost met our $2,000 goal. We have a matching grant of $300 available, right now. $270 is still available in matching funds for any donation to the chip-in on the right hand side of the blog. This money is covering the last of our up-front costs. If you can help or have already helped, thank you so much. We couldn't do this without you.

Hidden in Christ,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Samuel!

This is his first birthday with our family, his 5th birthday. The first of many birthdays, celebrations, milestones that we will celebrate on this journey through life with Samuel. We are blessed and I want to do a post with pictures from his birthday party and all the fun he'll have, but it will have to wait til next weekend. His party is happening a week from today. This evening will do our traditional birthday celebration here at home. Our family will have cupcakes, balloons, gifts and sing "Happy Birthday" to our Samuel. Just us. A Mom, a Dad, a sister, three brothers, we'll celebrate life, together. It won't seem significant in the grand scheme of things, but our hearts will be full and Sam will know that he is loved, cherished and chosen.

This morning, though, I'm torn. I had no idea I would feel this heavy weight, today, but I do. For you see, my joy is her sorrow. My blessing is her burden. My load is sweetly light and hers must feel enormously heavy, especially today. Who is this other person that my heart grieves for today? It is his first mother. She carried him in her belly. She knew the weight of him, the feel of him, more than that, she had longed for him for years. She was infertile and after years of no babies, she finally carried a precious gift inside her. He was her long awaited, often hoped for, silent prayer answered and then, he was the child she couldn't keep.

He was still a gift. A gift she didn't realize she was giving. She was a reluctant giver in this story and, today, especially today, I am thankful for the gift. The sacrifice she made. She gave him life, but was too afraid of who or what he might become to remain his Mother. My heart is overwhelmed with the knowing of all she missed, with the sadness of what could have been for my sweet boy and his other Mommy.

If I could tell her anything, today, it would be that he is loved. He is loved for who he is, just the way God created him. He is part of a family, a cherished son, brother, and friend. He will be celebrated in the little victories and the big ones. That extra chromosome that she must have thought ruined his life is the very reason he, now, has a family. God knew. God heard what must have been the agonizing cry of her Mother's heart. He moved obstacles and used people and prompted hearts to bring her son home. He heard. I want her to know that Samuel is loved and that God heard.

I wish that she could know this precious child. How he loves power tools, cars, animals, helping his Daddy on the farm. He loves his sister and his "baby" (what he calls Vaylo). He wants to be like Eli. He needs kisses and hugs the way most of us need air to survive. God knew. He protected him from the very moment he was conceived. He orchestrated a better hope and future for our boy. Her's and mine. Always. Hers and mine.

I promise a happier post, next week, full of fun and celebration, but, today, I would be remiss, if I did not acknowledge this pressing from the Holy Spirit to pray for Sam's first Mom. Will you pray for her comfort and strength as she faces the rest of today?

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

So Encouraged!

Today, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God and the faithfulness of friends to allow Him to use you. Check out the ticker at the top of the page. We're about $100 away from having the funds we need to submit our USCIS paperwork. Then, we just have to knock out the $1400 for the home study agency, so they'll release our dossier documents.

You all did an amazing thing, yesterday. The money is awesome, but even more than that, you shared our need, again and again. You encouraged us with messages and comments and phone calls. You prayed for us! We're so blessed not to be alone on this journey. We're blessed that you choose to link arms with our family and continue to walk this path with us.

There's a little girl on the other side of the ocean, who must feel so alone and abandoned. She got left behind. Her very best friend in all the world was chosen and she was left to wait. What must her world feel like, right now? I know, that it grieves my heart to think about it. What a wonderful day is coming, when we get to cross  the ocean and tell her that not only has she been chosen, but God has worked out the details for her to come home to her brother. It's a miracle in the making and I'm humbled that God is allowing us to be a part of it. I'm thankful, too, that you're choosing to be a part of K's miracle, too.

Thankful that we serve an on-time God! He has an appointment with K's circumstance and He continues to show-up and show-off for her. She is not forgotten. God knows her name!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Very Discouraged

Here it comes. Run away, now, if you dislike the posts where I'm brutally honest about how I feel.

I'm just gonna jump right in. We paid to expedite our home study. We were told that would take 6-8 weeks at the most pending our backgrounds coming back in a timely fashion. They did. We finally have our home study in hand today, almost 12 weeks after the contract was signed. We won't be getting a refund of our expedited fees ($500). We did, however, receive an additional bill, today. A post-placement agreement (for our follow-up visits after K's adoption is complete) that says we'll pay $1400 for our 4 post-placement visits. Here's the kicker and yes, it feels like a kick in the gut, they want their $1400, now! As in, they are holding 2 pieces of paperwork that we need for our dossier hostage until we pay the $1400.

My anxiety level is through the roof and I'm looking at our account and realized that we're still $600 short of what we need to send our USCIS application in. Now, we do have a golf tournament that's happening on Saturday, but most of those checks are going straight to Reece's Rainbow to our grant. In other words, we can't access it until we have a travel date. Are you following me? We can't take the next step in this process without another $600, rapidly followed by $1400 donated to our personal account.

I'm asking you to pray. Pray and believe with us that God is going to meet this need. That God is going to give us grace to continue to walk with integrity this path that He's placed us on. Pray that we will represent Christ well to the people who look this way. Even, when our flesh cries out, "That's not FAIR!" It's not fair. Not even a little bit, but God...

I think, God is looking for a chance to show-off. We're in that place, right now, of complete dependency. We have nothing left to give. We can only humbly ask that you help us. There's a chip-in on the right hand side that goes directly to our paypal account. We're just going to drag the mountain into the presence of the Lord and pray that it will melt like wax.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Do Something!

From time to time, we get some backlash regarding our adoption. People get really angry and up in arms over the fact that we're adopting internationally, when there are children in the USA that need a home. I've addressed it here before. My simple answer is this: Our family is walking where God has called us to walk.

I read a verse today, that made me think of this. In Proverbs 29:27 (from the Message version) the Word says, "Good people can't stand the sight of deliberate evil; the wicked can't stand the sight of well-chosen goodness." I have often asked God why does it bother people, so much, that we went overseas to get our boys and now, our girl? Honestly, it's usually the people who aren't doing anything, at all to help children here at home or overseas, but that's a whole different conversation. Then, I read this verse and it began to make sense.

Well-chosen goodness offends people who aren't doing anything.

Did I really just say that? Yes, I did. I think, we need a wake-up call. If someone is doing something that offends you (especially when it directly lines up with the Word of God) it's time for some serious self-evaluation.

When God opened our family's eyes to the orphan crisis, He showed us children with special needs in Eastern Europe. I wanted to go to Africa and Marty wanted to go to Haiti, but God sent us to Eastern Europe. We don't get to choose, God chooses for us. We saw deliberate evil happening in orphanages and institutions across the ocean and we couldn't stand the sight of it. God said, "Go" and we went. We're continuing to go.

Whatever it is, wherever God is calling you, wherever He has shown you deliberate evil, simply DO SOMETHING! Have no doubt that once He has opened your eyes to truth, you are accountable to that truth. If He is calling you to foster care, then foster. If He is calling you to adopt, then adopt. If He is calling you to pray, then pray. If He is calling you to support an adoptive family (whether through fundraising, giving or advocacy), then support them. Whatever He's calling you to do, do it to HIS Glory and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.

It matters to the children who are waiting for a home. It matters to the boy with the story no one would believe. It matters and God is watching how we respond.

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

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Homestudy is Coming!

I have reviewed and approved the final draft of our homestudy and am currently waiting to receive my notarized copies from our homestudy agency. Hoping for Monday! Next step is USCIS for their approval for us to adopt "K." Last adoption this process took us over 70 days, so please, begin to pray for favor, now! We have seen families in and out in 30 days, recently. We'd love to be one of them.

Please, don't forget about our Golf Tournament and all the ways that you can be involved. Make sure to check out our wall of kids. 3 have been chosen, so far. Pray that their families will see them. I am believing that God is writing a beautiful story for each of them. I hope, we all get to witness their miracles.

I also hope that we all get to see Ian find a home. I look at him and I see a treasure. I know, that God has good in mind for him, as He does for each of us. There's just something special about this boy. Please, share his picture and help us find his Mom and Dad.

I found out recently that Ian doesn't have a grant on Reece's Rainbow, because they only have his file for a limited amount of time. That means he needs a family, now. Please, don't let his file go back. Let's don't reaffirm what other's think about Ian. He is worthy of love and a family. Someone, please, choose Ian to be your son. You'll be choosing well.

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

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Three Handsome BOYS!

I'm so thrilled that the first two children added to our signs for the Golf Tournament are boys. I love little boys. Last year, I wrote a post about the number 1 reason a child stays an orphan. You might be surprised to know that it's simply being born a boy. So, my heart sang as it realized that the first two chosen to be represented for our golf tournament were boys. I would love to see a wall full of boys! Don't hesitate to add the girl of your heart, either, though.

While we're talking boys and special needs, I want to show you someone who's been heavy on my heart for a couple of weeks. My dear friend shared him on her facebook wall and my heart skipped a beat. If I'm quite honest, so did Marty's and we knew we needed to find this boy a family, fast.

Isn't he wonderful? This is Ian. Ian is 7 years old and such a handsome guy. His special needs are such a non-issue, that I have to believe he waits simply because he's a boy. Where are the families who want to raise the next generation of warriors for our faith? I believe there is no greater calling or privilege on earth than to raise a Godly man. Our world is sadly lacking men of honor. Ian could be one! Ian could change the world, if given a chance.

Ian spent the first 19 months of life living with his biological family. Then, he went to a baby orphanage, until he was 3 years old. Finally, he was transferred to an orphanage for older children. He had a rough time, but has settled in. He's going to school and learning new things. He's a good helper and loves to watch cartoons. Sounds like a lot of seven year old boys, I know. The only thing Ian's missing is a family. Even the very best orphanage will send you away one day, with no where to call home and no arms waiting to catch you when you fall. Ian deserves better than that. The Church CAN do better than this for Ian.

Are you Ian's family? Will you share his story? He needs the Church to do what she is called to do, to care for the widows and orphans in their distress.

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

Hidden in Christ,