Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making Sense of Your Life

My friends are probably all tired of me telling them about these great podcasts I listen too, as are you, because I believe I've mentioned them a few times.  But as you can tell, they inspire me!  It's like having church in my car every week!  I look forward to my hour trips in the car so I can soak up as much wisdom as I can from these God-fearing men and women who share about Christ's love for them...and fully understanding what that means.

A friend texted me to listen to a podcast by Francis Chan, called "Making Sense of Your Life."  After the initial ego-crush, and confusion as to what she was trying to tell me...I uploaded it from

So here's what I gathered from this, and how it pertains to where I am in life right now.

     With this adoption, there have been up's and down's.  Good and bad.  Positive and negative.  Encouragement and questioning.  This questioning piece has been getting harder and harder for me to swallow.  I haven't been able to really pinpoint why I can't seem to let go of people's negativity or hurtful comments or questioning to what we are doing.  Maybe just because it plain hurts...

But this is what I now know.  If we are living life according to the Bible, according to the words that are written in Scriptures and preached around the life won't make sense to most people.  

How do we plan to financially take care of this child if we can't afford to adopt him now?  We will continue to work hard at the jobs God has blessed us with, and we won't worry, because God "will provide according to His glorious riches." (Phil. 4:19)

Why are you fundraising to bring home a child?  Because we have been called to "take care of the least of these"...and for us, that was stepping forward in faith to act upon this child's behalf.  Not everyone is called to do that.  Some are called to advocate for these children (which is another perk of fundraising), some are called to donate out of their financial blessings, some are called to provide medical care for the orphans...we are called to bring Blake into our home and the only way we can is with your help.

You are going to be so overwhelmed and tired with raising 2 children so close in age and one with special needs?  I'm sure I will.  As is any mom.  But again,  I have no fear, God is with me.  The creator of the Universe LOVES me.  AND He says to ask anything of Him, and to be anxious for nothing, but in everything be thankful.  

Why don't you adopt a child from the US?  I guess because we were called to this little boy.  If we had been called to a child in the US, we would have moved forward on it, just as we have with this International adoption.  God's love has no boundaries.  God's call to "defend the cause of the orphans" is not limited to this land-lock of space.  For God so loved the WORLD....

I am not going to try to defend all our reasons to adopt with logistics, etc.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit moves in your heart in whatever way and that you respond in humble humility.  Only then can you begin to understand and make sense of my life in Christ. Praying for you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What started as a trip to the store.

Okay, so I am always nervous sending Jerad to the grocery store with a list because he always comes back with a few extra items.

Oreo cookies.

Ice cream.

French bread.



All things NOT on the list.  Anyway, this particular day he and Leah ran the errands to get out of the house, while I stayed with Autum.  Well, after a while I thought "they sure have been gone a long time..."

Oh well, I was enjoying the peace and quiet, so was quick to diffuse that thought.

Upon arrival home...Jerad quickly hurried to Autum and Blake's room with some bags and then returned to put the groceries away.  I waited until he went outside later and quickly went to explore.  Here is what I was greeted with...

It made me smile.
My husband is a man of few words, so since our initial decision to adopt, I've heard very little as far as his level of excitement to getting to see Blake soon.  Which for me, is the norm, I don't assume anything.

Upon seeing these little purchases, my heart leaped for joy.

He is getting excited.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giving Back

Today I received the chance to pay forward the efforts you all have made in regards to our adoption.

This was the day of our 4th Annual Triple Threat Youth Triathlon in town.  I have directed this event with the help of the Hillsboro Recreation Commission and Tabor College volunteers.  Thank you Cross Country Team for all your help!  We had 35 kids swim 100 meters, bike 4 miles, and run 1 mile as part of the event.  Keep in mind, these kids are ages 6 to 14 years old. This year we decided to donate all proceeds from this day toward our Hillsboro Playground Committee Fund.  There are a group of people in town who have taken it upon themselves to raise money to improve and add to the kid's playground equipment at Memorial Park.  (trust me it needed some attention)  Well, because of my interest in keeping families active, I thought this event would be a perfect contributor to this effort.

Like I said before, I am so excited to present them with a check in the next few days, to help raise their fundraising thermometer up a bit.  It's only a small contribution, but it is something.  And that is the mindset I've had in our fundraising efforts for Blake...every little bit counts!

So thank you to all the participant's, parents, volunteers, the Hillsboro Recreation, the local businesses who helped sponsor the event, my mom, sister and her boyfriend, the Playground Committee, and all those who made this event possible for the kids in this area and surrounding states!

Here are a few pics to share from today:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fundraising Opportunities

First off, I'd like to give a 'shout-out' to Representative Bob Brookens and Senator Jerry Moran.  I was encouraged to contact our representatives to make inquiries about our paperwork at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Sometimes having your 'higher-up's' make calls can help move the process along.  Well, the day I contacted both of these men, I received phone calls back asking how they could help!  I was so blessed by this speedy response.  I was planning to hear back in a week or so.  No, both men jumped into action on our behalf and are doing what they can to help us out.  Can I just say I'm so thankful for men like these who are representing us on a larger scale, yet not forgetting about us on the smaller scale!  Thank you! 

So, since our paperwork is 'resting' at the National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit, Missouri.  We have been working endlessly on upcoming fundraising opportunities.  Here's what we have lined up so far:

Now--Still taking comments on the Channel 3 news story--so if you haven't commented do so now, if you have let others know (CLICK HERE)

Sept. 2nd-- Garage Sale in Cherokee, OK (Thank you Terri for all your work!)  at the Baker Bldg.

Sept. 13th--Raffle Ticket Sales at the Hillsboro High School Volleyball Game (at home) for the TV -Go here to read more about this.

Sept. 11-Sept. 19th--Change Jars will be located at local businesses

 We would love to see you out and about at any of these events.  We are so grateful for the donations made to the garage sale, USD 410 for allowing us to sell raffle tickets, for the businesses allowing us to place cans at their stores, for the donation of the TV, for the people commenting on our blog to get to 1000, and for all the support and encouragement we have received on this journey so far. 

We are getting closer, thanks to God's mercy and grace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little Ivy

You know how I told you that just seeing Blake's face was the connection we had to know he was our son?  Well, this family had only this picture.

Yet they knew she was to be their baby girl.

Well, they got to see her for the first time this week.  She is SWEET!
Are you ready?

What I intrigues me about this family's adoption is to read about her size, her interests, her abilities, and so much more...because she is only a few days younger than Blake.  So I'm eating up all she says about this little gal, as I anxiously await Blake's paperwork to keep on moving through the National Benefits Center.  We are waiting on approval of our fingerprints.

We need our 'golden ticket!'

So anyway, here are a few more pictures and this family's blog if you want to jump on over and see more!  And pray for them while they are in-country and away from the rest of their kids and family.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Little Family. Part II

**IF YOU ARE wanting to comment to contribute to the 1000 comments for $1000 challenge, go HERE.***  If you are wanting to enter the 46" Flat Screen LCD TV Giveaway, go HERE.**

Okay, so I posted a week ago about how this journey to adoption came about through 2 families who were adopting children from Reece's Rainbow as well.  If you missed it, go read here.

Well, the Farley's and the Kelley's made up the first part of our family tree.  And as we progressed into this adoption process more, we came in touch with 2 other families:


I first came to know about Lisa, through Danielle. Okay, focus here...this is another crazy connection.  Lisa and Dave Warner committed to adopt "Cliff "(aka Joshua).  Joshua's little baby face picture was what drew Danielle and her husband Ash to begin praying about possibly adopting a special needs child through Reece's Rainbow.  So naturally, Danielle began to follow Lisa's blog about their journey to "Build their Village."

Fast forward a few months, Danielle and I begin conversing about adoption for Jerad and I.  I told her we were very interested in Blake.  She immediately referred me to Lisa's blog and this story.  
Wonderful News! (view the video at the bottom)

This video had me in tears and melted my heart! (you can see that in my comment)  At that moment I realized this adoption journey had become more than a desire or dream.  It had become real and I was already in love with this little man, Blake.  He was our son.  No questions asked.

I got in contact with Lisa, only to find out that Blake and Joshua were in the same groupa, in the same orphanage, and the same age.  I was thrilled to find out she was traveling soon to Eastern Europe to get Joshua and her mission was to capture new pictures of Blake for us.  And the story goes on..

Now on to Sterling.  And Erin.

I am not completely sure how I first got in touch with Erin.  But she and her husband, Brian, both committed to adopt Sterling just a little bit before we committed to adopting Blake.  We are traveling to the same country.  So we became friends through the crazy madness of the paper chase, notarizing, confusion of process, etc.  She became an invaluable resource, as she has been one-step ahead of us throughout this whole process, so I have been able to rely on her for 'what to do next.'  She and her husband have submitted their paperwork to Sterling's country and are anxiously awaiting a travel date.  This will be their first child, so they are super-excited!  The bedroom Sterling will be living in, the clothes he will be wearing...let me tell you, this boy will be super-spoiled and is super worth it!!  I can't WAIT to see pictures of them with their little boy. 

So...this is what the community of adoption feels like.  Not only do you become drawn to these little kid's faces, but you have a natural attraction to the other families adopting too.  Again, in my opinion, it is a tapestry only God can orchestrate...based on timing, place of adoption, and many other key elements.  

So if you are considering adoption, realize you aren't just adopting a child but a 'whole family!'

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Little Bitty Me

BIG, HUGE Glorious God.
That is the message preached by Louie Giglio this morning that I so desperately needed to hear.

Many of us mom's who are in this adoption journey to save these children, blog about the ups and downs of this process...the paperwork, the chase, the inconsistencies, the unknowing, the waiting, the traveling, the money...and on and on.  I know, speaking personally, that I can get caught up in this process. Very easily. You get comments good and bad about saving a child's life.  About the good we are doing.  About how happy people are that we are living by faith.  That we are such a good family.  That they wish they could do something so noble. 
These are the amazing things that are happening:

This is Liliana.  She is 11.  She weighs 10 lbs.  She now has a Forever Family who committed to her just in the past week.  This family raised over $22K in 24 hours to help bring her home.
Or Emory.  He needs some medical assistance ASAP.  A family recently committed to making him their own to help meet his medical needs in the US.

Wow.  It takes gracious people to do such a thing, right?  These people must be great people, right?  And I'm sure they are.  But what we tend to get lost in is this.  God is working these miracles and moving these mountains...

I was reminded of this, this morning, through a dear friend's text which stated: "We have been following your journey, and it amazes me to see how God is moving."

This must be the message God wants me to hear today.  Because Louie Giglio only smacked it in my face even more.  I will not lie to you, it is VERY EASY to get caught up in the 'good feelings' of doing something great for someone else.  It is easy to accept all the compliments and praise we have received.  But what we stated from the beginning of this journey was that we wanted to 'Glorify God through this, allow His will to be done, and bring attention to these orphans."  Plain and simple.  The words "we" and "us" are not included in that statement anywhere.

So what I wanted to share with you today as you see God work through our adoption is:  As He is revealing Himself through the speediness of our personal journey with paperwork, and moving financial mountains for others, and as He is calling other families to adopt these suffering orphans...He is not saying LOOK AT THEM!  But, He is saying  LOOK AT ME! 

**And thank you to the sweet donor, whoever you are, who deposited $500 in our grant fund last night.  What a blessing.  And we praise God for your generosity.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

While We Wait.

**IF YOU ARE wanting to comment to contribute to the 1000 comments for $1000 challenge, go HERE.***  If you are wanting to enter the 46" Flat Screen LCD TV Giveaway, go HERE.**
We are at 408 comments so far!  Keep spreading the word!!

Pulling big toys out of storage for Autum to finally play with.
Meeting up with old friends.
Playing at Grandma and Grandpa's with friends.
I never thought we would get to this point, but our paper chase...up to this point, is nearly through!  So, that leaves us some time to play!
Autum loves riding on Leah's scooter.

Catching Crappie and White Bass with Daddy.

Playing with neighbors and eating rocks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blow your Socks Off

**IF YOU ARE wanting to comment to contribute to the 1000 comments for $1000 challenge, go HERE.***  If you are wanting to enter the 46" Flat Screen LCD TV Giveaway, go HERE.**

I have never in my life been so blown away...  

Keep in mind we live in Kansas, and I did live in Northwest Oklahoma for a I've experienced wind.

...By God's goodness.  You know in this town, you could probably step inside most people's homes and see something on the wall that says "walk by faith"...."faith.  love.  peace.  joy."... "Do not trust in your own understanding..."  You get the idea, right? 

Well, I thought I did.  I knew what faith was about.  Pray to God for peace.  Pray to God for my needs.  Trust that He loves me and He'll give me what I wants.  I don't ask for too much from Him.  He won't ask too much from me.  But what I've only recently understood is that faith is nothing like that.  Faith is having to rely on God for EVERYTHING.  No exceptions.  Hand it all over, no looking back, lay it all out there, be fully exposed, I have nothing to  I have never been to that place, until this adoption.  I have never put myself out there so much that I could do nothing else but...have faith!!

But let me tell you...the minute you are FREE!!  And be prepared to have your socks blown off by God's blessings.  Over and over again God has revealed His presence in this adoption process...He has shown up in everything we have done so far...and He has blessed it!  Beyond anything we could have imagined!  I look back now and realize all the ways that God has desired for me to let let Him lose control in Him....but I haven't.  And, man have I missed out!  I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I haven't shed a few tears over this realization as of late.   

What have I been doing my whole life?  This is what I could have been experiencing.  So learn from me.  Don't just hang pretty pictures on your wall about living by faith. 
In the words of Nike..."Just do it!" 
And then...hold onto your socks!

Update:  We walked in today to get our fingerprinting appointments (a week early).  The waiting room was filled with people so we realized we were going to have to wait.  Jerad walked up to the window to ask how long the wait would be and she told us to come right in...we were fingerprinted and out of there in less than 20 minutes!  Again, my socks nearly blew off!  See what I mean?  Now we wait for our "Golden Ticket"...the paper that says we are allowed to travel.  Following the arrival of that, we send our paperwork to be apostilled at the Secretary of State's office and then we mail our dossier across the ocean blue.  Then the wait is on for our travel date.  If all continues to go as it is...we should be able to travel in the next 6-8 weeks.  Just typing this makes me happy and scared all at the same time.  We are SO close...yet so far away in fundraising.  We have events planned the next 3 weekends so pray for people's hearts to be softened to our adoption and life we are working to save! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just us and the Angels

**IF YOU ARE wanting to comment to contribute to the 1000 comments for $1000 challenge, go HERE.***  If you are wanting to enter the 46" Flat Screen LCD TV Giveaway, go HERE.**

 A dear family sent us a devotional called "40 Days with Jesus- Celebrating His Presence," by Sarah Young, as part of our journey to adopt our son. I decided to take a break from my book study of Isaiah, and read through it after we submitted our paperwork to immigration, USCIS.  This is the hardest part of the adoption journey, I've heard, is the waiting.  So I thought maybe the 40 days I'm waiting could be focused on specific 'time with Jesus.' 

So I began Sunday as Day 1. 

What I want to share with you is Day 3 and 4.  To quote a section from Day 3: "If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb.  I will even give my angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways...keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My presence.  Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you."
I can't speak enough to the idea of God equipping us for the climb, and preserving us in all our ways.  I have been completely humbled the past week, humbled beyond words.  I can't put to words the emotions I've experienced in complete awe of the blessings God has bestowed upon our lives.  My prayer has been for God to work on people's hearts to soften them toward adoption and for them to see God's hand and willingess to provide when we step out in faith.  I believe He has been working behind the scenes to do just that.  First, it was my dear friend Malinda, who pitched the story to KSN News.  Then it was the news anchor, Stephanie Bergmann, and her cameraman, Rob who covered the story.  Then it was the generous donor who pledged to donate $1000 to our cause for 1000 comments..which we are still working on by the way! Then it was the hundreds of people who have commented in support.

Then day 4: "You are my beloved child, I chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you.  Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you.  If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment."   I have had to constantly surrender this adoption process over to God, sometimes several minutes at a time during my day, because fear, worry, concern begin to creep over me.  Worry for what's next, concern for raising enough money, fear of what might happen.  Things I can't control.  The line about concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate...was HUGE for me this morning.  That is my focus for today.  And I just wanted to share.

I feel like we have received a glimpse of our glorious future in Heaven, through the generosity of you kind folks.  We are humbly thankful and forever indebted to you by your generosity and prayers.  We hope to 'pay forward' the kindness to others that you have blanketed upon us.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thank you, Channel 3!

UPDATE: Okay, we are at 398 comments between here and our facebook page!!  So keep spreading the word.  We are so blessed by the encouraging words you are sending our way and by God's faithfulness and presence in all of this!
AND, thank you for the sweet donations you are making to our Reece's Rainbow grant...we do not know who you are--but are GREATLY appreciative!

Okay, more goosebumps coming your way...are you ready?

I will honestly admit this week has been more of a 'downer' for me as we are waiting on paperwork to be corrected, waiting on USCIS to assign us an officer, trying to come up with new fundraising ideas, etc.  Just not a lot of fun, exciting stuff this week...especially after Leah's Lemonade Stand success last week!  So I listened to a great podcast Thursday while driving to Hutch, to work, about being "Surprised by God's Willingness", from the Village Church. (check it out on iTunes)  Anyway, it hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.  In short, prayer can change things.  Ask, Seek, Knock.  Those are the 3 child-like images Scripture uses to illustrate that we should ask God boldly, and live in faith knowing He will respond appropriately.  So that is just what I did.  I prayed unceasingly the past 2 days...then..

My phone rings at 9:45 am this morning and Stephanie Bergmann is on the other end.  Yeah, who would have thought?  A sweet friend of mine made some connections and pitched our story of adopting Blake to the news station. They contacted us. I happened to be at home today. Stephanie and Rob drove up in the pouring rain.  Jerad and I shared our story of falling in love with Blake.  We took some pictures.  And you can see how it plays out at 6 pm tonight on Channel 3. Or visit after the news airs to see the story online. Check out the story here.

But...the story does not end there.  Another person, who desires to remain anonymous, found out about this news story and challenged all Channel 3 viewers to comment on this blog that you watched the news story at 6 and they will donate $1 for every comment...UP TO $1000!!!

Whoa!!!  I was in a teary-mess when I found out this information.  I'm glad the UPS man didn't show up today with more paperwork, he would have seriously wondered what my problem was...!  I probably wouldn't have been able to tell him through all the tears, anyway.

So leave here with this...prayer changes things.  Believe me.  Trust in that, then hit the words "comment" below and leave us a message!  Help us Bring Home Blake.

If you desire to donate to our cause, hit the donate button at the right and it will direct you through the Reece's Rainbow, tax-deductible donation process.  Or hit "Chip-In" and donate a few bucks to help us with our initial adoption fees.  (Chip In is NOT tax-deductible)  If you donate, let me know and I'll get your name in our TV Giveaway!

A Little Family.

So I want to introduce you to our 'adoption' family tree.

It all started for me here.

Danielle was having a HUGE giveaway as part of her fundraising efforts to bring home him. Meet Sergey. 

I had some time one afternoon so I read through her blog and their adoption story.  Which lead me here.

After reading the ministry of Reece's Rainbow and their efforts to save orphan's with special needs, my heart begin to melt to butter.  I was hooked!  Something made me email Danielle and inquire of the 'process' and her own personal experience.  She was overjoyed and excited to share her journey thus far, with me.  She even agreed to pray for Jerad and I and whatever may happen with the possibility of us adopting someday.  We continued to email back and forth for quite some time.  I followed her blog religiously.  One week, we decided to take it a step further and we fasted for 2 days straight in solid prayer to draw closer to Christ and focus on Him even hopes of gaining some clarity of thought about this situation.  I'm not sure I got a definite answer out of it, but I had some of the most personal, soul-squeezing, convicting, hope-giving, joyful, peace-making, Scripture-reading, prayer times ever in my walk with Christ.  

During this time.  I learned about this little guy. Meet Isaac. (aka Vladislav)

And this family.

Are you still with me, here?

See Isaac was Danielle's "Prayer Warrior" child.  She vowed to pray for him everyday until a family committed to him.  She was even considering the possibility of adopting him.  But little did she know, a dear friend of hers was already falling in love with this precious little boy, dressed in girl's clothes.  Meet the Kelley's.  Jaime and Danielle had been talking on the phone at night, praying and fasting over their own personal decision to adopt about the same time that Danielle and I had been praying and fasting over our journey to adopt, as well.  Danielle should have a few extra jewels in her crown someday for her efforts on both Jaime and I's part!

Well, the rest is history.  As you can see, we are all knee-deep in this journey together.  Literally, knee-deep.  We are up to our knees in paper.  Up to our knees in fundraising efforts.  Up to our knees in the craziness of waiting.  And we are down on our knees in prayer, every minute of every day, for our little children and for each other's children.

This is how the Body of Christ is supposed to feel.  Supposed to work.  Supposed to be.  I feel a crazy connection to Danielle and Jaime already, and we have never even formally met.  But our 3 little boy's have brought us together in only a tapestry God could weave.  So please pray for my 'new' family as we move forward in the calling God has laid before us.

I can't wait to introduce you to the rest of my family sometime soon...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Every Little Face

Many a time people have asked me how we came to the decision to adopt Blake, what were the determining factors.

Did you choose him based on where he lives?                            

Did you choose him based on the region that was easiest to travel too?                        
       No.  His region will require an-18 hour plane ride, followed by a 15-hour train ride...

Did you choose him based on his disability?

Did you choose him because of cost?
        No.  The cost to travel to his country and the legal paperwork costs to adopt from his country are about mid-range compared to other countries.  But we knew that God was calling us to adopt this child, so we knew He would provide.  (much like the story of the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish)

Did you choose him because he is a boy?
      Kind of.  I won't lie to you and say that I spent just as much time looking at the girl's pictures on the RR website as I did the boys.  We were really wanting to add a boy to our family so we spent most of our time researching boy's.  Although, there were a few little girls on the website that caught my attention.

I honestly can only answer your question to why we chose him with:  it was God's working in our hearts. 
God placed this little boy's picture in front of our faces and there was an immediate connection.  I can speak this for both Jerad and I.  We had looked at several cute little faces on the website, but I distinctly remember the night that Blake's picture popped up.  I remember saying "Ohhh, he is so cute!"  Then turning the computer screen for Jerad to see, and instead of his usual, "yeah, sure"...he grabbed the computer screen from me and lifted it up for a closer look.  My heart begin to flutter, something about this little boy caught his attention too.  He would later tell me that he felt like "that was his son" at first sight!  

So explain to me how a child that lives across the ocean, who we have no information about, who we have never met or seen, who has Down Syndrome...could grip our hearts so tightly?

This was the picture that was originally on the RR website with Blake's description.

What we would later learn is...Blake had already been matched to a familyA family that was working very hard to bring him home.  They were fundraising like crazy to make ends meet.  Well, for some reason or another, they were not able to adopt himSo during the first few months we were looking at RR, Blake's picture was not on the available site of Down Syndrome boys, 0-5.  But as we were praying and fasting for discernment whether to adopt or not, God was working things out in another way.
So that at the perfect time, in the perfect way, we would find this picture.  The picture that melted our hearts and spoke to us in an ever so clear voice.
"This is your son."
Meet our son, Blake.

**After discussing this idea of 'love at first sight' with several other adopting mommy's...I would learn that the immediate connection for them was experienced much like ours. There is an immediate connection.  A feeling of love for this child much like we have for our biological children.  As I look at the pictures of the children other families were called to adopt, I did not feel the heart tug for them, as I did for Blake....and they will say the same thing.  See, only God could work such a feeling in our hearts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This One's for the Kids Winner's

Thank you to all who entered the Kids Giveaway!

Thank you to all the wonderful people who donated their time and effort to providing the prizes for the lucky winners to receive!

So enough stalling...the winners are:

The Wii and the Little Girl's Package

The Baby Girl's Package
Tami Driggers

The Boy's Package
Angela Jost

The Big Girl's Package 

The Room Package
Jamie Driggers

Let me know how to best get you your prizes!  Again, thanks for your support! 
And thank you: Malinda J, Terri, Cindy B, Amy J, Carisa F, Kenna B, Ashley B, Mom, Peggy B--I couldn't have done this without you!! (I hope I didn't forget anyone)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Leah's Lemonade Stand!

     I have to say my little redhead girl is quite the salesperson.  I wish I had a recorder for all the sales she pitched!  She was running out to meet people at their cars as they were pulling up telling them about her 'secret-recipe' lemonade (which I refuse to share)..that they could choose from strawberry or lemon, lemonade.  There were also cookies (thanks to Sierra, or sweet neighbor who surprised us with these treats that morning  They were yummy, by the way!  That was our breakfast before we headed out the door to begin our day, Friday.)  On several occasions I heard her respond to the question of how much her lemonade cost, by saying "It's by decoration only!" Most people figured it out. She was quick to impose rules for those who came back for seconds with a..."that's another dollar, sir..."  or, "you didn't pay yet"....for those of you who know Leah, you can just picture this being said I'm sure!
Anyway, her sales skills paid off as we pulled in almost--drum roll, please...


Even Autum was in a great mood, chewing on her lime!
Whoa!!!  Can you believe it??  Leah and I prayed that morning before we left that people's hearts would be softened to our adoption of Blake, and that His supernatural favor would be upon us.  I would say, He came through, in a bigger way than I could have imagined!!  As He always does.  I was blown away by everyone's generosity and support.  You made my daughter's heart swell.  She was grinning from ear-to-ear as we walked to the bank this morning to deposit her 'goods.'  Thank you for helping her experience God's goodness and provision, first-hand. 
What a blessing to us all!  I honestly was going to be happy with $100!  Leah still isn't sure if the burning on her hands from squeezing all the lemons and limes was worth it yet...she mentioned that again this morning.  

Ohhh well, just another excuse to wear a Dora the Explorer Band-Aid! 

Praise God.  He is so gracious.  We pray He blesses your lives as much as you have ours.  You are in our prayers.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Football season begins tomorrow night!!!

Today is the first day of the BIG Giveaway!


       46” Flat Screen

TV Giveaway!!*
($700 value)

  • ·        Dynex™ 46" Class / 1080p / 60Hz / LCD HDTV
  • ·        Ultraslim design (4-9/10" deep without stand)
  • ·        178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles
  • ·        Incredible contrast ratio (2000:1 typical)
  • ·        1080p display
  • ·        Two 10W speakers
  • ·        Inputs
    --Include 2 HDMI (side), 1 composite (side), 1 component video (side), 1 PC (side), 1, 3.5mm PC audio (side) and 1 RF.
  • ·        PC video input
  • Best Buy Brand         

Giveaway Entries

1 entry for $5

5 entries for $20

10 entries for $30
         (can enter online by donating through Chip-In account at right--please let me know you entered the drawing this way so I can get your name in the drawing)

Rules to enter:
1. Can enter at the HHS Volleyball game, Sept. 13th.  May pay with cash or check there.  If prefer to pay with check online, please email me and I will give you directions on how to do that.
2. Must live within 65 miles of Hillsboro to enter the giveaway.  If you live outside this area you must be willing to come pick up the TV within a week of winning the prize or the TV will be given to the next drawn winner.
3. TV was purchased at Best Buy--you can see a visual of the actual TV by clicking on this link.

Please help us Bring Home Blake!! Your donations are greatly appreciated!  And who knows, you could be enjoying football season on a HUGE flat screen TV!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Sweet Reception

Meet Stacie Joy.

Meet her new parent's.
Stacie met her new parent's today in Eastern Europe.
These were the words her new mommy wrote on her blog this morning:
"...We walked into the room where lots of 'official people' were...directors, teachers, our facilitators.....and Stacie. Behind the desk with the director. I hope I never forget these first moments of finally seeing our daughter. She walked around the desk to us and Andrew and I knelt down. She stood in front of me and reached out her hands, so we held hands and then I gave her a hug. This little girl held on so tight. As much as we were hoping for a good reception I was not expecting this. She hugged so long and held on so tight as if to say, "what took you so long?" From that point on she clung to me for the rest of the time we were in that room. My one arm almost lost circulation because I was afraid to move it away from her :)"
What you may not be able to physically see through this beautiful child's eyes is that she is HIV+--as are many of the children in Eastern European orphanages and institutions.  

Your first reaction might be "No way!  What is that family thinking bringing a child with HIV into their safe home?"  Or "what if their other children get infected?" 

These are just a few of the questions people adopting children who have AIDS or are HIV+ may have to face, day-in and day-out.  Visit to get these questions and more answered.  You might be surprised by just a few of these facts.

   1. You cannot contract HIV through casual contact such as sweat, tears, snot, feces, urine.
   2. There has NEVER been an accidental transmission of HIV or AIDS in a normal household setting.
   3. “ Don’t spend time worrying about weird and obscure ways of transmitting the virus. The simple
fact is that if no one shared needles and everyone wore condoms, the HIV epidemic would disappear. ” ---Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins
AIDS Service at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

   4. Some of the greatest challenges individuals with HIV will face are related to social stigma and
ignorance about how the HIV virus is transmitted.
After reading the Project Hopeful website and the information above....look at these innocent faces who are still desiring a family to bring him/her home FOREVER!  Consider becoming a Prayer Warrior for any of these children, or pray for God to work on your heart about possibly adopting one of these children.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where we are at in this process.

I get anxious reading my fellow adopting parent's blogs, because a few of the families are only 1 day away from meeting their child for the first time.  Some families are only weeks away from traveling.  Some have just sent their dossier via UPS to Eastern Europe in hopes of receiving a travel date soon.  And some are anxiously awaiting their USCIS approval.  We aren't quite there yet...but getting REALLY close. 

So what that means for us...
1. We hope to file our petition with immigration early next week.
2. We hope to receive the rest of our dossier documents in the next 2 weeks.
3. We hope our congressman will make the phone calls needed to expedite our immigration paperwork.
4. We hope to travel October/November-ish!!

What this means for you...  
1.  Pray. Pray.  Pray.  We need you to intercede on our behalf for the processing of our paperwork.  For a speedy process with immigration and the filing of our petition to travel to Blake's country.  For our family as we endure speed bumps and roadblocks throughout this process...pray for us to love God more than any of these issues that may arise.

 2. Pray for our marriage.  These times can be stressful and unlending to quality time together, just the 2 of us!  We are planning a 'stay-cation' in a few weeks, where the girl's will go to grandma and grandpa's and we stay home!  (yes...we are getting old, but this idea sounds so amazing right now!)

3. Pray for Blake's health and for his caretakers to have compassion on him and his needs to be met until we get there.  Pray for his government to remain stable enough that we can get over there and back safely.  Pray for the other families adopting, for those who have not answered the call to adopt, and for those that are already home after adopting. 

4. Finally, pray for our fundraising efforts to be fruitful!  We are not quite halfway to being fully-funded.  So we only have until October/November--ish to come up with the rest of the money we please share our story with other's.  Advocate on the behalf of Blake.

Here are a few more opportunities for you to do that...
1. Read this blog Leah's having a lemonade stand Friday, Aug. 5th beginning at 9 am.
2. Starting Monday we will begin taking raffle entries for the 46" Flat-Screen TV Giveaway.  Drawing will be Sept. 17th.  More information on that later this week.
3. Garage Sale in Cherokee, OK--Sept. 2.  If you have any items you would like to donate, let me know so I can get those down there for that day!
4. Coming Home Fundraising Party in September
5. We'll see if we need anymore fundraising efforts after that...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Leah's Lemonade Stand

Leah's Lemonade Stand
Friday, August 5th 
Starts at 9 am
Garage Sale on N. Cedar in Hillsboro
  • We have been researching the best lemonade recipes for the hottest days.
  • We have been making postcards to hand out to everyone we know.
  • We have been making posters, decorating signs, and printing pictures of Blake for everyone to see.
  • We have been walking around the neighborhood handing out invitations to friends.
  • And we have been praying for people's hearts to be softened toward Leah's efforts and the Bring Home Blake cause.
  • So...if you have some spare change, want to drink some really great lemonade, and make a little redhead's day...then come see us Friday!
  • We'd love to be able to tell Blake you had a part in saving his life!
  • Thanks,
  • Anna 
  • PS--Plus, shop for some really great buy's at Sharon's garage sale.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We've Moved

We haven't moved in the sense that we are in a new home.  If you know us, we've moved enough in the past few years, it's time to stay-put for a while (that's if you ask me.)  Jerad may have other opinions, coming from a family that changed houses 9 times in the year's that he lived at home.  Me, I stayed in the same house from 3 year's old until I moved out.  Anyway, we have moved from 1 page on the Reece's Rainbow website to another 'home.'
We were here:
This is for families who are just beginning the adoption process.  They are buying more ink for their printer after receiving all of their homestudy documents and still trying to figure out how to pronounce dossier (doss-ee-ay).
Then there are these folks who have probably met with their social worker to begin the homestudy process.  They are frantically acquiring all the signatures and official documents needed to finalize the homestudy.  They are also probably beginning their check-off list with the dossier paperwork.  

That brings us to this page. This is our new home.  We are only 3 documents away from having this complete.  Hopefully after tomorrow we'll only be 1 document away, minus the "Golden Ticket" from immigration, from sending our dossier across the mighty sea!

I can't wait until this is our new home.
If things continue to progress like they are (which is very unlikely with adoption), we will be heading to Eastern Europe in late October, early November.
And our last home will be here.

Which my prayer is to be living on this page by Christmas.  Will you join me in this prayer?