Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas

What a WONDERFUL Christmas we have had!  We were able to travel home to MS to spend Christmas with our families.  We flew on military Space Available flights for free, praise GOD!  We flew on a C5 on the way there...and a C17 on the way back to Germany.  fun, fun. ;-)  If it's free, it's me!

Our families and friends were so understanding of our lack of money to be able to buy nice gifts this year.  I pretty much handmade every gift given, with the exception of gifts that big G bought at her Christmas store at her school.  All of those gifts were $1-$2/gift and they came from her sweet little heart.  I absolutely LOVE what she bought me this year...a beautiful snowman candle holder and an adjustable pink "diamond" ring.  Mercy, I love that little girl!

Little G had a blast visiting with her grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  She is a little stinker and she could not have been more adorable or sweet.  She had them wrapped around her chubby little fingers!!

While we were home, my childhood friend, Craig, printed us some adoption t-shirts and he did such a great job!  They are selling so well!  We still have some left in medium, large, and x-large and plan to make another order soon so that we can get more smalls and XXL.  Let me know if you would like to purchase one!  You can find them on our fundraising page. 

It was so hard to leave our families and come back home to Germany.  Time flew by way too fast but we are grateful that we were able to make it home.  I'm just not ready for Christmas to be over.  I told my hubby that I am going to celebrate Christmas during January as well.  I'm want to leave my tree up for the entire month and I would leave it up through February too, if my hubby would let me.  Then I may as well leave it up for March and if I leave it up that long, I should probably just leave it up until, well, my little boy can see it.  I'm holding on to Christmas because I want him here so badly to be able to celebrate Christ's birth with us.  I want him to know that I am an orphan too, adopted into my heavenly Father's family.  I want him to know that if I could have one Christmas wish, it would be to have him here with us.  God, I pray to you, please see this adoption through.  Please God, please bring him home to us.  We are working so hard, saving everything we can, praying with all of our might, trying to stay as positive as we can, fighting Satan and his disapproval and attacks every single day.  Adoption is hard. Very hard.  But I know it's worth it.  Finn is worth it.

I can't wait to get his ornaments started on our tree!  Let me share my tree's history with you!  When Chris and I first got married, we tried so hard to have a beautiful tree but no matter how hard we tried, we failed!  It always looked so blah.  I started off with burgundy and white bulbs before we got married.  I wanted to add more color to it so I bought blue.  Then I realized I had a red, white, and blue Christmas tree.  I'm very proud of my country but I did not want a patriotic tree.  So I kept adding to it after we got married and it was just a disaster.  So we had an idea to try to make our tree as ugly as we possibly could!  It became our mission every year and now our tree is called "the ghetto tree".  Our original ghetto tree had to be replaced the year before last.  Now we have a white Christmas tree.  I LOVE it!  Every year, we buy the ugliest ornaments that we can find, if possible, to add to our tree.  My best friend, Shana, has the most beautiful tree in the world....And I'm trashing it with the ugliest ornaments I can find! hahaha.  I imagine that she has an ugly little tree in her garage for our ornaments and then moves them to her beautiful tree when we come for a visit. ;-)  No, she insists that she loves that I do this.   She sends me beautiful ornaments and it's totally changing the look of my tree, too.  It's not "ugly" enough anymore.  I'll see what I can do to fix that. 

Speaking of my friend, Shana, God has led her family to adopt a child with Down syndrome as well!  I am so excited for them and can't wait to hold her little one in my arms!  Our boys will be best buds!!  Please follow their journey here.  They can use all of the prayers and support they can get!

Anyway, I pray that all of you have had a very merry CHRISTmas!!  God bless you all and thank you for your prayers and support!  Love and Hugs!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  Thank you, God, for your wonderful gift of Jesus Christ!  He IS the most wonderful gift of all.

To our Finn, this is your LAST Christmas spent in an orphanage.  We are coming for you, sweet boy!!

Now to get these excited little daughters of mine asleep so that Santa can come! :-)

Love to all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finn's Birthday

I have had a feeling today that something is happening or should be happening... I keep looking at the date and it seems so familiar.  December 8.  December 8...  And then it clicked.  I know that Finn has a birthday during the month of December.  I don't know the date.  All I know is Dec. 2008.  Could today be the day?  I wonder if it's possible that I can sense my son's birthday...I don't know. 

We are coming for you, sweet boy.  You will never have to spend another birthday in an orphanage ever again.  Whatever the date may be, I pray that you are hugged...that you have a toy to play with...that someone tucks you in warmly at the end of your big day... We love you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The value of a dollar...

Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

Yep, DAILY. I really have to take up my cross daily and follow Him. I have to constantly remind myself of what is important in my life. The big picture.

This adoption journey has been a crazy one, for sure. It's also been difficult, at times. We have learned so much about ourselves and others during this process.

We have truly learned the value of a dollar. We know that it takes almost 27,000 of them to save the life of a little boy. Our little boy's life is valued at $27,000.

When it comes to money, this is what we have experienced.
1. Spending every dime we had on THINGS (before children).
2. Spending every dime on saving for the future.
3. Spending every dime on saving a little boy.

When I got out of college, I bought whatever I wanted! When Chris and I got married, we traveled, bought new vehicles, etc. We did save, but we didn't save as much money as we could have saved. When we bought our first home, thankfully we had saved enough for a good down payment...but our desires started changing and we definitely hit the saving mode. When I think back to this time last year, we were pinching pennies with no thoughts of adoption in our near future. What was so important that we were saving for? Retirement. Yes, I do want a comfortable retirement with my hubby but that is SO far away, yet so close... I would LOVE to see the world with him and have experiences that we can't have with children in tow. But what it all boils down to me right now is that if I can't be surrounded by my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren when we retire, I doubt very seriously that I will enjoy retirement, no matter how "rich" we are. We will invest our money God's way, and teach our children that God provides for our needs... not necessarily our wants. It just so happens that God wants us to invest our money in a little boy who may not live to see his 6th birthday if he is not adopted before he is transfered to a mental institution. Getting him home is as good as gold to me.

Where are we now? Chris and I have taken up our crosses. We have decided to hand over everything that we thought we needed for a happy retirement and trust Him with this investment. Every single penny. Literally. I'm not going to lie, it makes me nervous...but I have faith that God has called us to this for a purpose and He will not let us down.

I have learned that money does not truly make me happy. This time last year, we were comfortable, yet we wanted more. The money we had back then just wasn't enough. I think it's that way with everyone; we all want the American dream. We have had a comfortable life and it's nice to know that we can have our bills paid and still take fun family vacations. It's nice to be able to see Europe while we are over here but this season in our lives has come to an end. And that's okay.

So what makes you happy? What are your treasures? I know that I find true happiness every time I get a hug from my sweet girls, when my oldest tells me that I smell like "cookies and perfume", when my youngest says her favorite word, "ungee" (hungry), and plays her favorite game of "uh oh" so that I have to pick up her sippy cup a million times, when I watch the girls play together (they are currently crawling around on the floor together as I write this), when my hubby tells me that he loves me and I can know for a fact that he means it and will mean it forever, when big G talks about God and I find her in bed reading her children's bible to herself, when we join friends for dinner... I find happiness in just having our basic needs met...And I will find so much happiness when we bust Finn out of that orphanage. I can HARDLY wait!

We have experienced giving at its best! Thank you so much for those of you who have given whatever you can give to us...Through words of encouragement, prayers, actions, donations, everything. You are truly a blessing to us! I don't think I could ever thank you enough.

**So here's an update on our process: We didn't make the winter cut-off for getting our Dossier completed and submitted to Finn's country. Very sad about this but we expected it. We got around 75 documents notarized only to have to start over on several of them the very next day due to changes that very night. But now we have until Feb. 1 to get it completed. We will continue saving our money and fundraising. Once Feb. 1 arrives, we will submit everything and wait for our travel dates! Hopefully we will meet him towards the end of Feb. or during March. Chris went to Frankfurt, Germany this morning and filled out an Application for Immigration to get pre-approval for Finn's US citizenship.  One step closer!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Where we are and what He's up to...

Hey everyone.  Maria decided that we needed to update y'all on the status of the adoption process, so here it is. We now have a completed Home Study!  We received our notarized copies today, which means the ones that were being notarized & apostilled (a stamp that is affixed to documents by a state or federal office that denotes to a foreign country that the document is a true, official document of the United States or state government) should arrive to our adoption agency any day.  The apostilles take a little extra time to get done... it is government agencies after all!

All of our state background checks came back good, like we knew they would, and now I need to get the FBI clearance ordered. The next step is to complete the US Customs & Immigration paperwork. Basically, this paperwork is the beginning steps to ensure "Finn" will be considered a US Citizen as soon as we bring him back to the US.

The next huge step is getting all of our dossier paperwork together to get sent to the country. Once they get all of these items, and it is a laundry list of notarized documents, they will issue us a travel date to go meet our boy. We can't wait!

Continue checking out the fundraisers, and if you know of a possible way we can raise money, let us know!

~ Chris

Okay, it's Maria now. :-) So everything is going great! It took forever to get our MS background checks which slowed our home study down a bit but hopefully we can get things back on track now.

I just want to thank everyone for all of the support, prayers, and encouragement along the way. We know that this is the path that God has chosen for us and it just means so much to have y'all behind us! A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I were sitting at our kitchen table after the girls were in bed and I wanted to get inside his brain a bit about the went a little something like this:


"Uh oh, you said my name, what did I do wrong?" as he is typing on his laptop.

"Nothing!   I just want to know how you feel about the adoption."


"Well, how do you feel about it?"

".....ummm, good..."

"No, I mean how do you FEEL about it?"

"Good. I feel good about it." -not a good enough answer for me. ha.

"Chris, I mean, do you feel like it's right?"


"I mean, does it feel that this is what is meant to be?"


"Like there is no other choice? That this is all normal and that we are meant to have a child with Down syndrome and that we are to go to another country to get this child??"


"How does this feel so's so crazy?"

And he stops typing...and says, "It’s a God thing."

And I couldn't agree more.

I KNOW that God is in this. I KNOW that God has brought us to this. I KNOW that He will see this through. But when you are doing what you know God wants you to do, you become a target and the spiritual warfare begins. So it just helps to talk to Chris about the adoption, to get that little extra encouragement, to lift each other up. It helps to have our friends and family behind us.

Just the other day, Chris, the girls, and I were going to the base...I was under attack; spiritually...I was feeling that maybe I wouldn't be enough for this child. We stopped at a red light and as I prayed to God for peace, I looked out my window and there, stopped right beside us, was a van filled with individuals with special needs. Directly beside me was a woman with Down syndrome making eye contact with me through the glass and she began to wave and smile. I slapped Chris on the leg and he looked and waved back. Then he was like, "well, wave back, MARIA!" ha. I was so caught up in my "God moment" but I did wave and gave her a big smile. That precious woman warmed my heart and God used her to reassure me that this is His Will. This verse came to my mind in that moment, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13.

So please continue to pray for us...that God will continue to meet the needs of this adoption...that "Finn" will remain healthy...and please pray that he may "know" us when we arrive to meet him...that God will start planting us in his heart.

God bless you and thank you for joining us on this journey.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Least of These

Matthew 25:35-36,40   “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.   The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

That’s why.  The orphans of Eastern Europe pretty much fit into this scripture perfectly.

                In 2008, God began to whisper to my heart the needs of orphans with Down syndrome.  I remember looking up orphans in general and somehow I started searching the special needs children.  I was instantly drawn to children with Ds and my heart just ached for them.  Some of the most precious, sweetest people I’ve ever known have Ds.   During that time, Chris was in S. Korea and over the phone I shared with him that one day I would really like to pursue one of these orphans.  The timing wasn’t right and so I tucked that desire away.  Never in a million years would I ever believe that we would be going through with this…and yet, here we are.  I am so amazed at how God changed my husband’s heart for adopting one of these children.  Chris just did not feel the same calling as me.   Earlier this year, a couple that we know from church, the Colemans, started the process of adopting a child with Ds from Eastern Europe.  I was shocked that there was a couple that shared my same desire!   So, I followed their journey and was just so happy to watch God provide a loving home for a sweet little boy, very deserving of a life and a family.  So, once again, I sat down with Chris and told him my desire to adopt one of these children.  I asked that he pray for me and that I would also pray for him.  I needed him to pray that God would change my heart and remove the desire to adopt a child with Ds and that I would also pray for him, that God would give him the desire to adopt one of these children.  A few days later, Chris started searching the Reece’s Rainbow website and inquiring about a few of them.  I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when God takes care of business! 

                So I thought I would answer some questions for ya!  If you have any questions, please email me and I will be more than happy to answer them!

                So why did my hubby NOT want to adopt a child with Ds?  Not for the reasons you may think.  My husband is a very loving guy.  He loves his family like there is no tomorrow.  He is so protective and will do anything for us.  That applies to our son with Ds as well.  By adopting one of these children, Chris knows that he will witness some heartache, bullying, and cruelty from heartless people to our child and it’s really going to be difficult to remain calm and set a good Christian example to those who need it!  

                Why international adoption?  Chris and I have always felt that God has called us to adopt internationally.  Maybe one day we will do a domestic adoption as well because we truly do want a large family… but for right now, we are being obedient to God by adopting internationally.  We feel that God’s love knows no borders, that all orphans are equal and that they all deserve a chance, no matter their country.  These children with Ds are listed as “children with no promise” and that just breaks my heart.  They deserve a chance and a family to love them!  They are perfectly capable of living a great life. 

                Do we know that we could possibly be taking care of this child for the rest of our lives?  YUP!  Trust me, we have thought about this adoption from every possible angle.  It’s not something that we jumped into without thinking about the future.   Our heads are not in the clouds… However, we are very excited to get this little boy home!  We do know that there will be challenges as with any adopted child.  There will be an adjustment phase for everyone.  We will be hopeful, though, that everything will go smoothly, that he will fit into our family quickly, and we will do our best to give him a home that he deserves! 

                Why is international adoption so expensive (around $27,000)?  I wish it wasn’t.  I feel that many more families would adopt if money wasn’t a factor.   It’s very stressful seeing that huge figure but we feel confident that everything will come together!  Thank you so much for your donations!  I’m guessing that we have about 5 months or so to gather our ransom money for our little boy.   If you look under our fee breakdown tab, you can see how the fees are broken down.  Our last fundraiser for Papa Joe and the “Finn”-ishers brought in over $600 which is exactly what we need to pay for Finn’s passport!    Once we receive all of the pledges, we will update our thermometer to reflect that.

                More questions?  Email them to me!   We welcome them!

Families to pray for:

1.  The Colemans:  This is the family that just completed their adoption that I mentioned earlier..  Their little adopted son, Mikha, is having some serious heart problems requiring surgeries in the very near future.  Please pray for them!

2.  Bobby and Lura Jepson:  It has been wonderful getting to know this couple who are doing their very best to bring children into their home through adoption.  Doors open and then they close.  It’s very hard doing adoptions while living overseas so please pray for them.  They are going to be AWESOME parents!!!

Thank you again for your love and support.  Means so much to us!! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

“God Moments”

                I just love how God speaks to me.  He speaks to me in ways that are so obvious because sometimes I’m just so hard to reach.  This adoption has God all over it.  I am so thankful that He keeps giving me signs that He’s in this because we cannot do this on our own.  He has been faithful and because of this, we have the strength to keep moving forward.
                Our friends, Ashley and Shea Coleman, have been so supportive of our adoption process.  They have recently adopted a little boy with Down syndrome and God has used this family to reach us.  Ashley is a ballet instructor and she has asked if she could sell tutus for us in her studio so that she can donate the money to our adoption.  So we started brainstorming on colors and she wanted the basics…pink, hot pink, purple, black, and green…. So I started looking at tulle.  Turquoise kept standing out to me… so I put that on my list.  It was getting close to midnight so I finally turned in for the night.
                As I tried to fall asleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about tulle colors. Ha… my mind never shuts down… but I wanted to suggest turquoise blue and lime green tutus because that is one of my favorite color combinations.  And here is where it clicked:
The only picture that I have of Finn is of him sitting in a blue and green swing, in a blue and green outfit, on my blue and green blog page, with an RR name of Finn which is a name that is dear to our hearts.   WOW.  God really knows how to get my attention!  There has been so much more that He has revealed to me and I can’t wait to share that as well, when the timing is right!
                Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, donations, support, everything!!  Please keep praying for us!  Hugs to all!
(Still up next:  The Least of These…)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And Here He Is!!!!!

We are now able to show our beautiful little boy’s face on our blog!!  YAY!  Isn’t he handsome?!  Look at those sweet eyes, those precious little hands ...  He is truly one of God’s masterpieces. 
So we have a few fundraisers going on right now.   Every amount that is donated will help us get him home as soon as we can!  The country that we are adopting from can be pretty quick so we need to have the funds ready as soon as possible.  We are in the midst of getting our home study typed up so that we can review it and then we will continue working on our Dossier package that will be submitted to his country.  So much paperwork!!   So when his country reviews the Dossier, they will invite us to meet Finn.   We can hardly wait!  Thank you so much to those who have already donated to our Finn.  You have blessed us so much!  Thank you to those who continue to pray for us and encourage us.  Above all, we need prayers and we feel confident that God will provide!
Here are some fundraisers that are listed under our Fundraisers tab.  On that page, you can see our active fundraiser buttons to click on.
Our friend, Joe Copous, is running a 16K in Paris on Sept. 25th.  We are taking pledges per km or lump sum.  No money is needed now and an email will be sent to you once “Papa Joe” completes the race! 
We have an ongoing Scentsy fundraiser by Jody Clark.. She is giving 100% of her commission to us to help us bring Finn home!  110v and 220v warmers are available!
Just Love Coffee is a website that helps families fund adoption.  You can buy bags of coffee from them and they will give us $5.00/bag!
We have 2 different donation buttons on our page.  One is a Tax deductible donation for Reece’s Rainbow and this money goes to Finn for us to use to adopt him.  We get 90% of that donation.  If for some reason Finn becomes unavailable to adopt, we will still be able to use those donations to adopt another child.  We will not be able to receive the money until we are traveling to get Finn.  If you would like to donate to this grant, click on his picture to the left side of this blog.   We also have a Non-tax deductible button that goes directly to our Paypal account and we can use this money to get certain things paid for before we travel.   You do not have to have a Paypal account to donate,  you can use a credit card or an e-check through both of these methods.
If you have any fundraising ideas, please share them!  If you feel that you may be able to do a fundraiser for us, we will definitely appreciate it! 
Thank you all so much!  Your support is awesome!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Will Praise Him

First of all, I just want to say THANK YOU for all of the prayers, love, support, everything!!  We are so blessed to know such caring people.  God has really blessed us with so much support and it helps…A lot.  Every word of encouragement and every prayer gives us wind in our sails. 

So, here's another piece of our adoption journey! 

I had been living in CA with my hubby and 2 dogs and we were married almost 4 years by then.  Chris and I were extremely happy and content with where we were in life.  We were not in any kind of hurry to have children, although we knew we would eventually take the leap!  At the time, my sister was pregnant and I wanted to fly home to see her before she gave birth.  So when she was around 7 months pregnant, I flew to MS and stayed a week with my family.  It was a wonderful week, but towards the end of it, I remember sitting in the living room with my daddy.  He was sitting in his recliner and we were chatting a bit about life.  He asked me, "so when do you feel that you and Chris will have children?"  He completely caught me off guard!!  I stuttered around a bit and said, "Well, I'm not really sure…we are pretty happy right now, we really aren't in any hurry..."  My dad then said, "I just can't understand that, Maria... when I had the 3 of you, my life became complete.. I can't imagine life without y'all..."  WELL, that got my thoughts churning.  For my daddy to say something like that to me, wow... it made me feel so loved... I could FEEL how much he loved me just through those words and I knew then that I was ready to have children of my own.  I called Chris, told him what my daddy had said, and we began our journey into parenthood... Our sweet girl was born in May 2005 and my daddy was right, I could not imagine life without her.

            My family flew out to CA in rotations to meet our sweet daughter.  I absolutely LOVED having them visit us.  My parents came out on the 2nd rotation and just loved all over their grandbaby.  However, during their visit, my dad started feeling bad.  His lymph nodes started swelling and he knew that something was very wrong.  I could tell that my mother was very worried about him.  She told me the symptoms he was having and I talked with him about letting us take him to the doctor.  He refused, saying that he would be fine and that there was nothing to worry about.  Well, after making it back to MS and going straight to the doctor, he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and sadly, he passed away 7 months later.  God so graciously gave my daddy the perfect words to say to me.  Because of this, he was able to hold his sweet granddaughter.  I miss him every single day.

            Life with G has been wonderful!  I love her so much that I really can’t put it into words!  All I knew then was that I wanted more.  I had to have more children.  My husband and I discussed how many children we would want to have and we both agreed on a dozen of them!  J 
So we got pregnant pretty quickly once we made the decision to go for number 2.  13 weeks later, I lost the baby. I was floored, crushed, confused, hurt, you name it, I felt it.  I just could not understand why it happened!  But with God’s help, we got through it… and surely it wouldn’t happen again…

            Chris ended up having to take a tour to S. Korea and was away for 1 year.  It was the longest year of our lives!  Once he returned home in Feb. 2009, we had to pack everything up for our huge move to Germany… We left MS on Easter Sunday with our sweet G and everything we owned and made the long flight to our new home at Ramstein AB.  AND, I was 6 weeks pregnant!  Life could not be better.  I had my husband back, G was on cloud 9 that her family was back together, and we were so excited to have another child.  Then it happened, I lost the baby.

            So by now, we really started thinking that adoption would be our only way to have more children.  Those two miscarriages left a huge hole in my heart that needed to be filled…  It had to be filled.  I prayed and prayed for God to allow us to have another child.  We had everyone praying that prayer for us.  God heard those prayers and our sweet little G was born in October 2010.  Praise God!

            I felt complete.  I actually told people that little G had filled a hole in my heart and that I knew that if I could never give birth to another child that I would be okay with that.    A few months after making that statement, the hole came back.  This time, I knew that it was not for another biological child, it was for an orphan.  I knew that God was issuing that official call to adopt and little did I know, God was working on Chris as well.

Up next, “The least of these…”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Beginning: Our Desire to Adopt

First of all, I just wanted to thank you so much for your encouragement, prayers, support, everything!  All of you have been so wonderful to us!  All of your kind words mean so much.   I am planning on printing out every encouraging word and putting them in his adoption baby book for him to read one day!  He will be so happy to know that so many of you are praying and pulling for him!  God bless you all!!
Our home study was a success!  What a relief.  I have to say that I really had no idea how it would go.  First of all, I couldn’t get little G to take a nap to save my life!  She fought sleep ALL day and that was so unlike her.  Maybe she was sensing my stress?  But anyway, she went from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM with no sleep, missing 2 naps.  THEN, I started feeling a migraine coming on.  The kind of pain that usually progresses until I can’t even form words right.  Thankfully, with your prayers, everything went perfectly!  My migraine subsided before it got bad and Garridee did very well!   Our social worker had dinner with us and little G sat quietly in her highchair chomping on her green beans.   We provided a lot more food than usual so I’m sure that’s why she was so happy!   After dinner, we took him on a tour of the house and while Chris finished up the tour, I slipped away to put her down for the night and she slept the rest of the evening.  After the tour, we sat around our kitchen table and he reviewed our very lengthy questionnaire that we completed, while big G got a free pass to play Wii for the hours that he was interviewing us.  Conversation was very easy and it went very well.  Before he left, he gave us a verbal approval and said that his writer will type everything up!  So now you know what a home study is like! J
So here’s another piece of our story..  Shortly after we were married, we moved to Travis AFB, CA.   K-love Radio Station was located not too far from where we were living and we got invited to attend a private concert for Steven Curtis Chapman at the K-love studio.  We were so excited!  We were in a group of about 40 people and we got to enjoy a private concert as he sat on a stool without a stage and played his guitar acoustically, mixing in new songs and some of his older ones.  It was amazing!  Afterwards, Steven Curtis Chapman spoke on adoption and the foundation that he and his wife started to help provide financial support through grants.  The foundation is now called “Show Hope”.  On our way out, Chris ran out to our car, grabbed his guitar and had Steven sign it for him!  Such a memorable night…  On our way home, we both shared with one another how we felt that God was calling us to adopt and we felt that we would...And now, here we are!   This was the beginning of our desire to adopt.
More to come!!  Up next,  how we praised Him in the storm……

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We're Going Live!

We are going to start circulating our blog address!  This is a huge step for us, as we are able to now accept donations through Paypal.  These donations would be non-tax deductable at this time.  When we get our Family Support Page through Reece's Rainbow, we'll be able to accept tax deductable donations.  They are a 501 organization, so you can donate to us, while at the same time, reducing your tax liability through the charitable donation!

God Bless!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"My Family Found Me"

There is a precious little boy living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe and he’s waiting for us.  He has the most beautiful eyes, the sweetest little hands, so much potential.  Our little boy has been blessed with an extra chromosome; our son has Down syndrome.  He needs a home and we are going to do everything possible to make that happen for him!
                Our hearts are overflowing right now as we feel that we are in God’s will.  We have learned that at times, there is nothing more frightening, yet nothing more rewarding, than taking leaps of faith and trusting that God is in control.  I know that many of you have so many questions right now and we will be writing many blogs to answer them.  We can’t wait to share with you how God has worked this situation!  We will start from the beginning and give the full story in the days and months to come!   Promise! 
I will begin with this for now:  We both felt that God was leading us to adopt a child.  We knew we would, eventually, but the timing never felt right… until now.  10 years later, 2 beautiful daughters later, 2 miscarriages later, a huge move to a different country later, and God issued the official call.  We are so excited to go on this journey! 
We found our son through Reece’s Rainbow.   Their mission statement is this, “to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.”   As of right now, due to privacy and a desire to protect all children listed on Reece’s Rainbow, they are unable to release official names publicly, so they refer to him as “Finn”.  Also, his country will have to remain unnamed in our blog but will be referred to as Eastern Europe.   We can’t wait to find out his real name and see how we can incorporate it into a name that we have already chosen if we were ever blessed to have a son. (This explains the blog title!)  Being that he is 2 ½ years old, we are pretty sure that he will probably be attached to his name so we would love to incorporate it into his name somehow.
I just can’t wait to hold him in my arms, to see some personality on that sweet face, to show him a mommy’s love.   I want to rock him and let him know that we are his forever family.  We want to do our best to give him a life, to try to erase some of the damage that may have done to him.  From what we have read in blogs of other adoptive parents, special needs are not viewed positively and these children are shunned and hidden away, locked away in a mental institution when they reach the age of 5 for the rest of their lives.  God, please, please let us bring him home!
So we ask of you to pray for us.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!  We need all of the positive encouragement that we can get!   We have already had a Scentsy Consultant step up and offer a fund-raiser for us and a friend of ours has offered to do a 10 mile run in Paris, France to raise funds for our adoption!  We are currently selling items on a site called Ramstein Yardsales and have raised $2000 so far!  We have had friends from our area volunteer to help us with our sweet girls while we travel to Finn’s country.  Someone even donated a laptop to us anonymously to sell as a donation to our adoption fund!  God is truly lining everything up for us!  If you have fund-raising ideas, please share them with us!  Every bit will help with the $25,000 that we have left to fund this adoption.  
So that is all for now.  We are so happy that we are finally able to share this news with everyone!  Thank you so much for supporting us on this amazing journey!  We hope to be posting Finn’s picture soon!  J