Friday, April 27, 2012

Send a child in Ghana some love!

Our little dolls are quickly filling the suitcase with your generous donations!  We have 22 that still need to join in the trip to get to their new homes!  The money goes towards our adoption costs and the dolls go with us for orphans in Ghana! (a HUGE thank you to the sweet ladies who are so lovingly making these!)

You can sponsor a doll by using the button below.  Suggested $10 donation. Be sure to tell us in the notes section at check out how many dolls your donation covers!  Thank you!!
***UPDATE: all dolls have been sponsored! thank you!!!
You can also send us a check if you don't want to do Paypal- just let us know! (

Saturday, April 14, 2012

To God be the Glory- pt 2

In the last 24 hours, God has blown our minds!!  Would you believe that through the generous hearts of others, God gave Emma $1043.32 and a 2 cent euro :)  in ONE day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We saw such generous hearts and precious little ones who emptied their piggy banks (hence the euro) so "Emma could go to the airport and buy her ticket!" as one little one put it. 

I am humbled that we almost didn't have her go because of a lack of faith.  I am humbled that He is so gracious and humbled by so many who have taken part in our journey.  To God be the Glory.

Emma is beyond excited and has learned an amazing lesson (as has our whole fam).  She's taking over to type a message:

Thank you for showing me that if He wants you to do something or be somewhere, He will provide everything to get you there. I'm getting my nail kit ready to take to the girls in the orphanage! :)

We are still raising the last of our costs- which is the travel expense for Chad, myself, Kadre and Attah (Ethan and Em are ALL set!!), so see our last blog post for some ways to help!


Friday, April 13, 2012

to God be the Glory---join in the fun!

About a month and a half ago, as I would be praying about our trip, I kept feeling this sense that Emma should go with us.  Long ago, we had decided to take one child and as Ethan is the only boy and it seemed to make sense to take him.  He had already raised his money, so that was all set. 

I approached Chad about the idea and to my surprise, he thought it was a good idea.  I figured he'd suggest that we should just keep it as is because really it was kind of a crazy idea.  We prayed some more and decided this was the right thing to do. 

One morning as I was thinking through the craziness of this- the cost (we are still trying to raise a bit left of our own costs for the adoption), the shots, visa, passport, getting permission to miss school... it just seemed like the wrong idea. 

So I asked God, "How in the world is this going to come together so fast? And why now, Lord?  Why didn't you give us this sense earlier when we had a lot more time?"  I sat there listening and as clear as day, these words were pressed upon my heart:

"So that I may be glorified." 

Wow.  How was I to argue with that??  It was humbling to be reminded that He would use us, use the story of our lives to bring Him glory.  So with that, it was settled and off we went!

In one week of sharing that Emma was going she had $1000 from generous people.  ONE THOUSAND dollars??

To God be the Glory!

One night we were sitting rolling coins for her and Ethan asked what would happen if she didn't get all of her money.  Would she still be able to go? 

Okay, so you know those moments as a parent when your kids shock you with their maturity and faith beyond yours?  Yeah. this was one of those. 

I looked at Emma and before I could think of what to say, she said, "Eth, if God told Dad and Mom that I was supposed to go, then He'll provide all the money."  Yep. Exactly.  That is JUST what I was going to say. ha!  Well, that put me of little faith in my place!

To God be the Glory!

Emma wants to paint the nails of the orphan girls when she goes, so a friend gave us an idea to do the same here and do it as a fundraiser!  She painted 100 nails and raised almost $400 that day!

And we continue to get emails of how people can donate (many of you waiting for THIS post!)  Emma has also received donations from people we don't even know because of others that have shared our story!

To God be the Glory!

So here's a couple fun ways to jump in if you would like to be part of this story.  We are so VERY VERY grateful for the generosity of so many!  Emma has $1600 and needs to raise about $800 more.
She will be doing another mini nail salon this week, but also has a couple other opportunities for you to join in.

A few gracious women at our church have offered to make these adorable little "cuddly" dolls.  You can sponsor one (or more!) for a suggested donation of $10.  The money will go towards Emma's trip, and the dolls will go with us to give to children in Ghana!  And if you like to knit and can help out in that way, let me know and I can connect you with person who has the pattern for them.

Help us fill the suitcase with them! (click on the pic below if you want to see it larger)

We have 50  43  30 dolls that are available to sponsor! Be sure to tell us in the notes section of check out how many dolls you want to sponsor.  You can send your doll to Ghana by donating via the button below:
($10 suggested donation per doll)

Another way you can join in is to buy a t-shirt!  We designed these t-shirts to help with the rest of our costs.  It also shows our appreciation for the many who have helped to bring our boys home because it really does take a village.  We will cover Emma's trip first, then any other funds will go towards our travel.

They come in unisex (charcoal color).   All will have a light blue lettering and design.

***Adult sizes run pretty true to size. I wear a small and bought a small unisex.  Chad fits a unisex medium. For the ms. sizes- they are more fitted.  I fit a small, but prefer a bit bigger, so I will order a medium.   Please check the youth measurements.***  t-shirts will be ready in about 3 weeks from order date.  WE WILL PLACE THE FIRST ORDER ON TUESDAY, APRIL 17.

adult shirts:

colors and sizes

youth sizes:

 I'm also working on some prints to sell to help with our remaining costs.  You can find those at
Below are just a sample of what you'll find...

If you just want to donate in any amount, you scroll to the bottom and click on the donate button:
Thank you for joining us!! 

To God be the Glory!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

the post that is long overdue

There are so many moments that are etched in my mind from our time when we first met our boys.  Those moments when emotion seizes your heart unexpectedly and the memory is forever imprinted on your mind. 

I have needed to write this post for a long time.  Numerous times I have started blog posts, but always get stuck.  I know it is because God has a message for me to write.  Even today- I came to write about something else, but it was as if something took over and I was watching myself type those first sentences without really knowing I was.   I have struggled with how to write this as I pray it comes across the right way. 

Can you hear me on this one point?  Please, please, whatever you read here- it is never ever meant to make you feel guilty for not adopting.  Please don't compare yourself to our life or anyone else's for that matter.  I am responsible to act obediently to what God calls me to do.  And so are you.  However, that may look similar or very different.  One is not better than the other. 


If you are a Christ follower, you and I are responsible to care for the least of these.  You and I will be held accountable for what we do and do not do for them.  And what you read here may cause you to feel tension.  Tension is good- it causes us to seek God's face as we work it out in our lives.  I have found that tension usually means that God is calling me to act in someway.  But tension is not guilt and not comparison.  It is finding God's will for you and your family.  Okay, with that said, here's my story. (oh and this has been brewing since the moment this occurred- so this is directed at no one in particular- just God's words through me, I pray)

It was day 2 of being in Africa and we were anxious to see the boys again - and see them in the daylight!!  They were even more beautiful as we could see their bright eyes and smiles.  I did a quick look over- the mom thing to do I guess- making sure there weren't any open sores that needed attention.  As I did, I noticed some scars and my heart ached as I wondered who was there to hug them, kiss them and get them a band aid when they got hurt?  And quickly I knew that the physical pain was nothing compared to the absence of belonging.

We brought the boys a frisbee and Kadre's eyes just lit up.  He was all over that!  In an instant, Kadre and Chad started playing frisbee, and Attah and I sat and watched them.  We quickly learned (as we had heard) that Kadre has great hand eye coordination and is talented in many sports.  Moments into their playing Kadre showed some fancy throwing and I did the sideline mom cheering thing.  Because for Pete's sake- they have missed this all their lives and if he could even pick up that frisbee- I was going to cheer him on!  But, what arrested my heart was the moment he caught it after a pretty tricky throw and he looked over at me.  (okay, now I've got myself crying and need to go grab a kleenex- hang on). 

Oh friend, he looked over at me and it was a thousand words in one expression... "Did you see it? Did you see the good job I did? Do you think it was good?...  Do you think I am good?  Do you think I am good enough? Do you really want me?"  There was so much in his face that I could hardly handle it.  I was choking back tears and praying for composure.  It was as if I was looking at a 4 year old little boy seeking the love of a mommy and a place to belong.  I smiled back through my tears and then clapped and cheered probably a little to loudly- but that's what moms do in one way or another.  (Now I will say that our boys were treated well and loved by the ladies at the orphanage. But everyone, everyone wants and needs to know that they are special and valued and wanted--and that is what families were designed to do.)

Then later as I watched him, I would catch him watching us and looking at Chad with adoration in his eyes.  I have to say, I did not expect this.  And--- this was not the response of our other son as he took time to warm up.  I also know that life will get tough and what we saw will be deep inside, but will not always be expressed in this way.  Or may not ever again.  But that's not why I wrote this.

After that moment, I looked around and saw so many older children and my heart broke. And God whispered, "Do you see them? They're beautiful; aren't they? They do have a place to belong- in my heart.  But many of them need a physical place.  They need a family that chooses to love them and teach them how much greater my love is for them.  As you have experienced.  Remember this moment, because you will be a voice for them as I call you to be." So here I am today, finally acting in obedience.  I know, I'm a bit uh, stubborn slow.

Someone out there needs to read this because God is calling you to adopt.  Someone is being nudged to consider adopting an older child (they consider this 6 and up) or special needs child  but you are afraid.  Someone is being prompted to get more involved in orphan care in a hands on way- there are so so many ways. 

But I can also tell you that we were afraid to take that step- and at times I am still terrified! Babies are my thing. Girls are my thing- we have 3 and only 1 boy.  I grew up with sisters. Do you know what age I am most uncomfortable with? 9-14  The ages of our boys are 8 1/2 and 11!  So, I don't say this to you lightly.  I don't know all the issues that our boys are coming with.  I don't know how to parent them. Goodness, I don't even know how to parent my own children! ha!  I don't know how this will affect our family or our other children.  I don't know what risks we are putting our family at.  And if I dwell on all the don't knows and what ifs, it will paralyze me.  Because that is what the enemy wants to do.  Paralyze us with fear, so that we won't act. And it works, doesn't it?

But, dear friend, our God knows.  And He IS  big enough.

What I do know is that there is a great need.  I know that we have room. (not just physical space).  I know that we have love to give.  I know that whatever I do, it should not be in my own strength anyway.  I know that God gave the greatest sacrifice for me--for us, for the orphan.  And yet, He knew the pain I would cause Him. He knows the pain I will cause Him over and over again.  And He still chose to love. Still chose to sacrifice--with His LIFE. And He's calling us to do the same. 

Sacrifice is just that.  It is not fitting it in to our schedules with a little inconvenience or a bit of missed sleep.  It is not fitting it into our budgets.  There is no "fitting it in" at all.  Sacrifice is being all in.  It is laying it down.  It is giving things up.  It is never comfortable- if it is. not. sacrifice.  It hurts- at times excruciatingly.  But it brings peace and freedom just as the cross did.  It is obedience and obedience to the One who gave it all is always worth it.


What is that step of obedience for you?

Oh friend, if you are still with me- thank you on behalf of the orphan and goodness sake you get an award for sticking it out- I know this was long!  I pray God has touched one heart through this post.  Know that I am always up for a mocha or a phone call and would love to hear your story. Thanks for listening to mine.

Be watching for other posts- some fun stuff! I promise they won't all be this long! :)