Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I have no idea what kind of summer is coming.

There will be a lot of kids involved.

I am ready.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the mom of the family I have been writing about...the family God has been yelling at me about.

Don't you love it when God yells?

They are so thankful, humbled and in AWE at what God has done, through YOU....to help bring Julia here.

Yesterday though...my sweet friend called me with more news.


A complete stranger to my family, covered my family's remaining hosting fee.

This doesn't happen to us.

I couldn't speak. Or breathe. 

So....I cried.

A. Lot.

Because you see....

I never wanted to ask for help or donations for our own hosting.

We were saving. A dear family who knows L had given us a grant of $500.

We are having a yard sale to raise money.

Doing whatever we can to save and in the process help others.

The reality that someone donated the remaining fee makes me dizzy. 

I want to thank this person - someone I don't even know. 

See this precious girl..she made these cards for our family today...this is the part you have played...this is the soul you have impacted...

We don't know who you are but want you to know we are so thankful for your willingness to be hands and feet here on earth.

I am in awe. Steadfast in His hope. I am rooted in by faith. Even when I know I am so very flawed. Thank you...thank you....thank you...
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Simple Things

Counting down the days (literally) until the end of school (25) and making plans for L to come end of June. While she is here we are planning a fun time and can't wait to watch her get to experience new things for the first time. 
One of the most humbling things for us with Sveta was watching her experience things she never had before.

Simple things like:

The grass.
Being able to have her own room.
Being allowed to have a cup with her meals (they were always given drink after their food)
Eating cold things. Like Ice Cream.
Waiting for the ice cream truck to drive through the neighborhood.

Fireworks on July 4th.
Shoes that fit.
Bubble baths.
Warm water for her bath. Instead of cold water. Recently, I asked her why she would scream when we first tried giving her a bath. She said "mommy, the water was always cold at my "old house" and I was scared"
A flushing toilet. (instead of a little bucket/seat)
Underwear she didn't have to share.
Bedtime stories.
Swimming in a pool.
Having her hair brushed. Gently. Instead of quick/rapid tugging.

Being allowed to get her own water from the refrigerator...whenever she wanted. Even if it was a well used cup. She didn't care. 

She would find plastic cups in the pantry. Fill them with water and sit in that little chair. Each time, with a different pair of shoes that were beautiful to her. This one brings tears to my eyes. Oh, the things we take for granted.

Having a closet with clothes that fit. Not a cubby with a number. (She was #6)

Her first time watching brother play hockey.

Falling asleep, content, in a big comfortable chair, after playing outside with her sister.

People say Sveta is lucky to have us.
But the truth is, we are so much luckier to have her.

So many simple things we take for granted. 

Looking forward to having L here and all the fun times ahead.

Planning a yard sale for May 11th. For area friends it will be held in Athens. We are going to welcome donations of yard sale items and hopefully have a big success. 

We are so thankful for any donation amount.

All proceeds over what we need for hosting expenses will go into Circle of Hope's Eyes Wide Open program which provides adoption support to eligible families.

For more information on Circle of Hope please leave a comment in the comment section with your email and I will reply to you via email.

Thank you for your continued prayers for L.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guess Who's......

Coming to visit us for the summer?!

Meet...Beautiful L!

Last week, after weeks months of prayer and thinking insanity had taken a permanent seat in my mind because its been a mind boggling three months.....waiting on clear direction from the only voice we should ever listen to, our Father in Heaven, we made the decision to host L.


In the midst of chaos and our limited understanding of His plan-

He has given us peace.



L is living in Eastern Europe and is chosen to be one of the kids coming to the U.S. under a hosting organization called Children's Cultural Connection

Many of you know us personally, walked with us during our adoption, and know how adopting Sveta completely, amazingly, in a humbling & altering way, changed our lives and opened our eyes to the fatherless. 

Sveta made us open to WHATEVER God chooses to lay on our hearts.

Whatever, God! We are here waiting. Ready for you to yell GO.

Right now, He has asked us to host L. 

We said yes!

We are excited about L spending the summer with us and know we will be beyond blessed by having her spend six weeks in our family. 
This will be completely new to us - hosting. 
For about a year we have read about hosting and thought about it but the timing was just never on track. 

Until now. 

From Children's Cultural Connection website: Hosting is a wonderful opportunity to bring hope and show unconditional love to an orphaned child. The child experiences the love of a family, many for the first time. They learn about functional families and functional relationships. Whether or not they are able to be adopted, it's our hope that the children are blessed by a relationship with the families for years to come.  They learn English, get eye and dental care, and experience the simple childhood pleasures that they have never been able to experience before.

A family who knows L has generously offered a $500 grant toward hosting L and we are now working on the rest of the hosting expenses, $2200, which covers L's airfare, visa, passport and health insurance while here. 

We are saving up money as quickly as we can but any support we would be tremendously grateful for.

We are planning a few fundraisers to raise the money for hosting. 

It is very humbling to ask for help. 

We would rather help others.

I truly feel it does take a village of God's people saying "Whatever, God!" 

to accomplish any of His commands to care for the fatherless.

We are humbled and thankful for your help.

Our fundraisers have to be quick but we have a couple planned in the next few weeks. Working on details with a yard sale and hopefully a couple of other blessings.

 They will be local to our area. 

Thank you for keeping precious L in your prayers.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spirit of Adoption

Often, I go back to the time when my eyes were first opened to adoption, and more specifically, to the fatherless. God completely shattered my heart over children left behind. Children who had suffered abuse, both emotional and physical, who had been discarded by the ones who were supposed to be protecting them. I would crumble in a sobbing heap unable to process all that He was showing me.

Eyes wide open was something I was (and still am) thankful for and would never want to go back again to living in a realm of not knowing a reality so close to His heart. Early on though, it was often times too much. My mind was filled with swirling emotions, spiritual warfare through those closest to us, and an overwhelming feeling our lives were to be changed forever.

I begged for God to show us what it was we were supposed to be doing. Adoption seemed like a far out there idea that "other" people did. Then there were the little seeds of fear, doubt and worry...what ifs - what if it was a mistake, what if this messed up our entire family, what if, as someone we knew said "the child is all messed up?"

The final "what if" came - What if we said "no" to something God was telling us to do out of fear of the "what ifs?"

We are all "messed up" on some level, aren't we? I am not worthy to be in His family AT ALL. But that is the truly amazing thing about my Father in Heaven. He gives me what I DON'T deserve and doesn't give me what I DO deserve.

By Grace, He has adopted ME into His family. This is the Spirit of Adoption.

It was my great pleasure to plan your adoption as My sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5)

I love you my child, for you love My Son and know that He is from Me. (John 16:27)

God doesn't guarantee healthy biological children and all the "what ifs" faded away as fear was replaced by words like "provision", "prepare", "steadfast", and "heal".

During that time when all those questions were swirling in my head there was also the huge statement looming over, something people kept telling us - that we were being "called" to adopt.

We didn't really feel that way.

God showed us he wasn't "calling" us to adopt. Its much simpler - we obeyed and said yes to what he was telling us to do. It was more of a commandment. He said GO and we said YES.

Our adoption was no surprise to God. Because we live in a fallen world, Sveta wasn't able to stay with the mother God intended. I believe because God loves her so much, as he does all of his children, he placed adoption on our hearts and brought her into our home. She didn't grow in my heart...quite simply, she was always there.

I have a friend - she is on her own adoption journey which began suddenly in January, quite unexpectedly to her and her husband but to God it was no surprise. She tells me for over a year the Lord has woken her in the middle of the night and compelled her to pray for her child - for one not even in her family yet. She had no idea why this was happening but prayed obediently for a covering of safety over her child, not knowing at all what it meant. In January, through a series of events God very clearly showed her their child. He was always there, in her heart, purposed for their family. God makes no mistakes.

I suppose I look at it like this - regardless of how children come into our family they are wholly meant to be exactly where He has placed them. I am excited and honored that God gave us a child through adoption just as much as the three He gave me biologically.

Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus isn’t ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:11) 

I love to encourage others who are adopting and yes, am that person who will continue to yell for the fatherless because that is what He has pierced my heart with. I know there is no adoption without suffering. It would be a complete lie to say all adoptions end well. That all adoptions transition perfectly. Families need truth, support, and guidance from others who are speaking to them through the spirit of God and not fear based opinions.

From Russel Moore: "The hard questions about adoption, and the easy ones too, are only with us because there is something wrong with the world. We have adoptions because we live in a world groaning under the curse of sin and death."

God never makes mistakes. If He has placed the fatherless on your heart he will complete the work he has begun. "Let's be the people of Christ, and , like him, let's teach ourselves to welcome children into our homes, even those our culture tells us we're not supposed to want." Russell Moore, Adopted for Life.

I am so thankful He welcomed me into his family through my spiritual adoption, with all the baggage that came with my life. That He chose me to be a part of his family.

It overcomes me how He places children into adoptive homes and knows the precise moment hearts will be moved to say yes. Knows the exact timing of when those children will first lay eyes on their mothers and fathers. He knows exactly who is meant to be in the lives of the families to offer support, love and guidance and who are meant to exit. He brings everything full circle.

In our own family he has brought people in through a series of incredible events, and we now see a glimpse of where we are headed, where he is leading our family and what He is equipping us each to do . It's truly an amazing time. I can't wait to share more!