Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Recap

December 1 - This has been a wonderful past few weeks in the adoption world, some friends of ours came home w/ their two sons from Ethiopia, another church family is there now bringing their child home, some new friends are in Latvia bringing their sweet girl home this week, we got our referral, another family that is adopting a boy from our girls orphanage is almost finished w/ their homestudy, another should be traveling either with or just behind us to get their two girls, and another friend got travel dates to Ukraine for their daughter. So happy to see all of these children soon to be one with their families forever! ♥

December 2 - Just received our official invitation to travel by the Latvian Ministry. Court dates coming soon!!!

December 5 - Front page of yesterday's paper had a story about two girls adopted from Latvia by a couple in Murfreesboro. Talks about the what all they went through but now they are healed, successful adults with a future. Thanks Kelly Kirkland for showing it to me. Ann Kimmel - tagging you in case you missed the article.

December 6 - Happy 10th birthday to my sweet Adelina. While she not yet my daughter on paper she is the daughter that the Lord has placed in my heart. I love her like I've always had her and cannot wait until she is home forever. Celebrating not only her birth today but that it is her last birthday in an orphanage.

December 7 - I want to share something cool with you all but follow along because its a lot lol. This is how awesome our God is. I met Renee Yoder Skibinski at an adoption fundraising seminar when we were still adopting from Nicaragua. She's also the one that led me to my girls. Anyway, I met Kate Hamernik through Renee on a fb fundraising group. Kate is a recently adoptive momma. Kate has a friend Kristen Gray Coffee that she met at the hospital while there with their newborn adoptive daughter who had some serious medical stuff going on. Kristen was also their adopting baby Eli who had Down Syndrome. Kristen's family is now heading back to adopt another boy just 6 months later. So I friended Kristen today through Kate who I met through Renee because I donated an item to their fundraiser today. Then, Charlotte Freeman, who is another soon to be Latvian momma that I met through the New Horizons for Children program bid on it . Do you see how this works? Adoption has networked all these families and is helping to bring all of these kids home. I am just amazed at God's awesomeness!!

December 11 -
Latvia host kids are arriving today. So excited to read all their host family status updates. I wish my girls were coming but I did get to talk with them this morning and to hear them laughing and happy and reaffirming to them that we are coming next month is enough because I know soon they will be here forever :)

December 12 - Apartment shopping in Latvia :) Wish I had a court date so I could make definite plans. Hopefully this week we will get them!

December 12 - Just got back from Seans 7th grade winter concert followed up by taking the kids out for ice cream. The band did a wonderful job with all the music. Proud of my trumpet player Sean Butler

December 15 - Made my morning to look through the New Horizons for Children arrival photos and see all those kids that have found a place in my heart with their host families. All those kids I was posting that needed host families, they are there :) Oh, and my girls friends from their orphanage are there too. Now let's pray that bonds and connections are made and that these children find their forever families this winter.

December 16 - Got to chat with my daughter on the other side of the world today. I love technology :) Her response when I tell her she will soon be a Butler? "cool" LOL

December 19 - Bummed to know we have ran into another delay. The lady that gives out court dates for the orphan court it sick and the attorney says we may not have dates until next month. Such a let down. I want my girls home and it's hard for them to understand all this. Makes me wish we hadn't told them we were coming yet.

December 21 - Okay my Latvia families are getting on me to get to packing while we wait :) I am needing some warm clothes to take for the girls because when they come stay with us the orphanage most likely won't let them bring clothes. So I'm needing some 10's for Adelina and 12's for Dajana if anyone has any pants, long sleeve tops, or sweaters lying around. We have coats. May need boots but I can't remember what size shoes they wore :( They will be spending the majority of two weeks in an apartment with us there in country.

December 29 - Well seeing as we still don't have court dates travel for January is looking slim. Maybe we will be planning a two week vacation to Eastern Europe for Valentines day? Trying to put a positive spin on it :)

December 31 - Signed onto my account that I communicate w/ the girls with and got to see some Christmas photos that Dajana's dance teacher uploaded of her. Oh how my heart aches to hug my sweet girls but it did bring me some joy to see how great she looks and to see her smiling. It won't be much longer I hope.

December 31 - It's midnight in Latvia and New Years is a big holiday for them. Happy New Year Adelina and Dajana Butler!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Recap

Since I have not blogged in a good month I decided to go through my facebook posts and pick a few out to summarize what we've been up to lateley.

October 31 - As I was putting my boys costumes on them I couldn't help but wonder if my girls did any trick or treating festivities today. They knew what Halloween was when they came but I wonder if they got to have any of the fun that the boys are going to have tonight?

November 7 - Matthew's craft from Sunday School yesterday was a paper plate w/ leaves on it and they names of his family were on the leaves. I was so tickled to see that he had told his teachers to put his sisters names on there too :) My boys are always saying they want their sisters to come home. Hoping to hear some news of some kind this week.

November 8 -Was happy to get a message from my daughter yesterday. It's the first one she has sent that was initiated by her. she was asking how we were, doing the hugs thing, etc. This is a huge step for her to be reaching out. It warms my heart to know that they are finally realizing that we really do love them and are that we aren't giving up on them. Now come on Latvia, we are waiting for you!

November 18 - Got a little update that makes me feel like our referral is coming soon! Is it too much to hope for next week?


November 23 - D just sent me an email in all Latvian. That girl is making me work to talk to her LOL. Mama's heart it happy to hear from her.

November 29 - Praising Gods PERFECT timing this morning! We have received and accepted our referral. Now we wait for travel dates!

November 29 - Okay looks like we won't be going to Latvia until late January. I'm actually okay with it though because thinking of all we would need to do in order to get us there in two weeks was overwhelming and the host kids would have been stateside so the girls would not have been able to tell their friends goodbye. I really, truly have watched all of this unfold in His timing and it has been awesome to see how it's come together. Feeling very blessed :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just a little update


Wanted to share with our 2 readers out there that D is out of the hospital and back at school.  PTL!  We still haven’t been able to talk with her but I’m happy to know she’s better and at school again.  This news came from A who we talked to on Tuesday.  She sounded very well and happy so that made of course made momma happy.

As far as the adoption, things seem to be slowing down in Latvia right now.  I don’t know if it’s the number of families that have traveled lately or if people are on vacation in the winter time there but I really think this part of the waiting is the hardest.  At first I thought we’d have them by Halloween, then I thought by Thanksgiving, but now I’m just praying for Christmas.

I am not a patient person and this is really difficult for me.  Our caseworker says we should be hearing something from the ministry soon.  I’ve been checking my email several times a day just looking for confirmation that they even have our translated dossier.

On that note, we are still raising travel funds.  We have a big, all day scrapbooking event planned for November 12th.  Details for it can be found here.

We are also looking for items for a silent auction to be held that day as well.  If you have something you’d like to donate please email me at  We are looking for anything from gift certificates to tickets for sporting events.  Whatever you have that you are willing to donate.

We are getting closer to getting D and A back with us.   Blessings friends!

Monday, October 3, 2011

12 Hour Adoption Scrap-A-Thon



Our church has offered to let us use their student center for an adoption fundraiser so we’ve put together this fun craft event for the community.  Please help us get the word out by sharing with your friends.

You can also view the event on facebook and invite your friends that way too by following this link


craft fundraiser flyer copy

Have a very blessed week sweet friends!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thank you really isn’t enough


The words really don’t do my feelings justice.  I am so much more than thankful for all of you Smile

I wanted to update everyone on where we are and what’s going on.  First off thank you so much to every single person that has supported us and prayed for us in this adoption.  Without that we wouldn’t have made it to where we are now.   A big thank you to everyone that read and shared the previous blog post from a few days back. 

That was a very difficult day for us and while the situation is still not good it was better than we had thought at first. We are praying for God’s hedge of protection around D and A while we work through the details of getting to them.  At this point we cannot even communicate with one of them as there are no call allowed where she is at.

As a result of that post and you reaching out we received $300 in donations and MOST of that was from people we don’t even know but came as a result of you all sharing.  THANK YOU FOR THAT!  While we still have a long way to go that was such and encouragement to us.  We also received several emails and facebook messages with words of encouragement and we really appreciated reading those.  It’s helpful to know we are not a lone and there are other families dealing with some similar things.

We were hoping to have another yard sale this weekend but it’s going to be too cold here.  Maybe next weekend.  I’m sure the neighbors think we are nuts as often as we do them but if we are free on the weekend I say it’s a missed opportunity not to make some money lol.

There is a big fundraiser in the works for November 12th that the ladies are going to love so please save the date and I’m going to work on a post for that one this after noon.  If you are a crafter of any sort this one will make you super happy Smile

Praying for all of you and your families as you walk beside us through the longest and hardest journey of our lives this far.  We love you all.  Blessings to you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What stands between us and them...


This is going to be a long post and its going to be brunt, factful and honest.   If you are along for the journey with us then please, grab your favorite beverage, sit down, read it, pray, donate, and share it.  If you aren't well stop reading now because that's just what this post is about.

Basically we are in a very tough financial position.  We are $16000 into this adoption journey but after we sent our dossier to Latvia it basically put us back at zero.  We have around $25000 needed to fully finish up this journey to our TWO daughters.  Roughly $10k is needed just for the first court visit which could be as soon as early November. 

Our original plan was to take out a home equity loan but we recently found out thanks to the economy the home we've been paying on for 8+ years basically has NO equity in it WHATSOEVER.  So that option is done. 

The backup plan was to cash in my 401k which would take care of about 1/2 of what we are needing but it would still be helpful none the less.  Well I have since found out that "adoption" does not qualify as a "hardship" therefore it can not be withdrawn.  Go figure.  They must think orphans have life easy.  Kinda dumb if you ask me, you can take out a withdrawal to catch up on your house payment but not to give kids a home.  What's wrong with this picture?

So we were hoping for a big miracle because we possibly could be traveling in the next 4-6 weeks and only have maybe $1k of the $10k that we need for that trip when I found out some more not so good news today so now we are really praying for a big miracle and fast.

There are details that I cannot share with you in order to protect the privacy of our  girls but what I can tell you is that they are broken, they are damaged and they need healing.  Healing that can only come with being loved unconditionally and having someone to walk through the ups and downs of life with you.  Someone to hold your hand, hug you when you are sad and rejoice with you when you are happy.  My little girls NEEDS THEIR MOMMA AND PAPPA ASAP!!!

Right now we are waiting for a court date but we need to be financially ready to accept that date when it comes so that travel arrangements can be made and we can get to the girls sooner that later.

Our current goal is to reach that $10,000.  If we get that we can at least get them back here then we will worry about funding the 2nd and 3rd trip as the time comes.

I realize that this number is HUMONGOUS but together with our mighty God we can do it.  I realize that we are asking A LOT of our friends, family, and any one else reading this but I can't help but think that the future of these kids are on the line and if we all come together the number is not that big.  I just keep thinking how many orphans could find a home if everyone gave up just a little.

Would you consider donating $1, $10, $100 to bringing them home?  Please pray about it.  If you've got a few bucks leftover in your paypal account maybe you'd consider donating that?  And I plead with you to please share this post with every single person you know.  Post it on facebook and ask your friends to post it.  If just 1000 people read this and gave $10 we would meet our goal.  Or if just 500 people would not eat at McDonald's one night this week and instead donate $20 we would be fully funded and ready to travel.  It's a small price to pay to give two children a home forever.  To know they are loved and that they have a room and a bed of their own.

If you would like to give a donation there is a paypal button to the right of this post that will allow you to donate via paypal or credit card if you don't have a paypal account.  There is also information on mailing a tax deductible donation in the sidebar.  Or if you'd like to mail a donation directly to us please email us at for our mailing information.

I want you to know that it is almost embarrassing yet humbling to put this need out there but we know that we cannot do it without the help of other people.  God has called us all to care for widows and orphans and for us to not share our need with you to bring these girls home we would possibly be cheating you of the chance to do something with that command. 

The ticker at the top of this blog will be continually updated as we work towards our first court fees.

God has put so many people in our lives as a result of this process.  New friends that I will be forever thankful for.  We know this adoption is a huge undertaking and perhaps we are not as well off as some  believe we should be to adopt two more children but we met the requirements of the homestudy to provide for them and that is what we fully intend to do.  We are very well off compared to the majority of this world.  We just need help getting them home.

On a final note, I want to share with you the words from my devotional today.  I've felt so helpless knowing I couldn't run to them and rescue them with the news I received today and then I read these words:

RELAX IN MY EVERLASTING ARMS.  Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My Almighty Presence.  When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there.  Look to Me and My sufficiency; rejoice in My radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you.

Thanks for reading this long post.  Maybe your cup is empty, maybe it isn't, or maybe your cup runneth over and you want to share :)  Blessings friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our dossier has made it to Latvia!


This is a much overdue post but the title pretty much sums up where we are at.  Thanks to another family that is in the adoption process and was traveling back to Latvia for court our dossier was put it into the hands of the attorney on September 12th.  Now it is in the process of being translated and once that is done it will go to the ministry when we will receive an official referral.

This sweet friend also took the time out of her trip to visit my girls and deliver some packages to them.  D was away at school but A was there so she was able to look through the things we sent to them.  It was an awesome visit because no one had “officially” asked the girls if they wanted to be adopted by us yet so the attorney and social worker were able to do that at this visit.  She said that A had been holding her head down most of the time (she’s very shy if she doesn’t know you) but when they asked her if she wanted to be adopted she looked up with a big smile on her beautiful face.  I have the photo, someday I’ll be able to share that with you but rules are rules.

So we are making progress and hopefully it won't be too much longer until they are home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hope Quilt Fundraiser


I was searching the internet today for some different fundraising ideas for adoption and I came across a lot of really neat ones but one in particular stuck out. People were selling puzzle pieces for $5 each and would write the contributors name on the back. When all the pieces were sold the puzzle would be placed in a double sided frame and hung in the baby’s room. I thought this was a neat idea but 1) we aren’t adopting a baby and 2) I have no idea how to get my hands on a Latvian puzzle without spending a fortune. Then the grandest idea hit me! Smile I would LOVE to make the girls an adoption quilt that showed them how many people helped to bring them home. And since I love being crafty this is right up my alley.

Each square will cost $5, you can purchase as many as you’d like to go in their quilt. Each HOPE square will have the contributor’s name written on the back with a fabric marker. We’d also love for you to send us a scripture or some kind words for us to include with your name. Once it’s time for the quilt to be assembled we will transfer those names and scriptures to a book so that they will always be able to look back and see who contributed to them having HOPE and a FUTURE.

One twin size quilt takes about 391 5” squares. We’d love to sell 782 squares so that each girl can have their own HOPE quilt. Think we can do it?


I don’t know 782 people so we are going to need your help! Please share this on your facebooks and even better share it on your blogs and help us get the word out.

You can buy your HOPE square(s) through this PayPal button. Please leave us your name and note or scripture in the message area so that we can add it to your square.

This graph will be updated regulary to reflect how many squares have been sold

school fundraisers
8/13 - 82 Squares sold so far!

We are $2400 short of being able to submit our dossier to Latvia for translation. Once this is done we will receive our official referral. We will then need to have around $10,000. This will cover travel fees, visas, attorney fees, lodging and some other stuff so our current goal is to raise $12400.

Thank you all for sharing our cause and supporting us as we travel this long and bumpy journey to bring our daughters home and complete our family.

Some updates


I just wanted to update everyone and let them know that we are now down to needing just a mere $2400 more in order to send our dossier to Latvia. We will be having a yard sale this Friday and Saturday if anyone has anything they would like to donate to it.

We are also planning a car wash for later this month. Possibly in two locations if we can get enough volunteers to help. If you would like to help with this event please let us know. Older kids can wash cars too. I’m hoping Sean will be able to get some of his friends from his Sunday School class to come out. If anyone has any connections with a location in Spring Hill and/or Franklin that would be great otherwise I’m going to start calling around.

Every little bit really does add up. Every $5 makes a difference when you think of the $65 we paid each for drug testing yesterday, or the $10 for background checks, or the $190 to have my passport expedited. And that doesn’t touch on what we are paying for the actual adoption. It’s crazy that it’s such a high price to bring these kids to families.

I’ll be looking into and applying for some grants this coming week too. We had to have our home study finalized before that could be done and then while the girls were visiting this summer I didn’t have time to work on any of it.

We tried to call the girls at their orphanage but they are gone to the city for camp until next week. They still do not know that we are adopting them but the director at NHFC is checking to see if we can tell them when we call them on Monday since we are a good ways into the process already.

On another note, school starts back this week for my boys. Sean is going into the seventh grade, can you believe it? My first born is growing up too fast. He got his schedule, locker assignment and met his teachers on Monday night. Then Matthew will be starting kindergarten in a little less than two weeks. They stagger their start days so it’s not so overwhelming for the little ones.

This is a photo taken of all of our kids before the girls left. The photography was done by Ricky Gongwer so give him a shout if you are looking to have your families pictures done. You can find him on facebook. The kids thought he was really funny.

*oops, can't share the photos anymore since we are officially in process*

That’s it for now. Happy hump day friends!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What’s next…


Well those five weeks of summer came and went in almost a blur. The days flew by and our house was very busy with lots of noise but without even knowing it that chaos became a comfort.

D and A flew home on Thursday morning. Leaving them at that airport and watching them walk through security while they kept looking back to see if we were still there was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was a blubbering mess that day. Not much could be said that wouldn’t make me tear up.

It’s been two days now without them and our house is quieter but it’s a sad quiet. Not the quiet that I begged for some times during those summer weeks. The stillness is a reminder that my little girls are gone. We’ve closed the door to their room because walking by and seeing it empty is hard. Watching my four year old sit sadly and tell me that he misses the girls and wants them back is hard. Sean fought with them like they’d been siblings their whole lives while they were here and he’s missing them so much too, he says it’s boring here without them. That’s hard on my heart. Watching my husband cry is hard. We are praying for God to sustain us during these hard times.

We are now focusing on finishing up our dossier and hope to have it completed by the time we get our approval from USCIS. Burying myself in the paperwork is the easiest way to cope as I know it’s going to bring them back sooner. The good news is that we had a good head start because we’d finished our homestudy and filed our i800A before they even got here. Once our dossier is submitted things tend to move pretty quickly so I hear. We’d get our referral and then a travel date usually within one to two months. The girls will be able to return with us after the first court date as “hosting” again but will have to return for final court on the third trip.

That’s both wonderful and scary because while we want it to go fast so we can bring them back sooner that means we need to move fast with our fundraising. Prior to being able to submit the dossier we have to send $1500 to our agency for casework fees (paid), the remaining agency fee of $3000 (paid), a $2300 translation fee for the attorney in Latvia, and a $1000 post placement retainer ($500 remaining).

I’ve got a couple of ideas in the works but in the meantime if you’d like to make a donation to help us reach this present goal of $2800 you can do so either via the PayPal button on the right side of our blog or if you’d like your donation to be tax deductible you can send it to our agency and put our family name in the memo line of your check. Our agency is not 501c accredited at the moment but their application has been submitted and should be approved this year so all donations made in this year will be deductible (They will be retro approved to January 1). The address is:

Adoption Related Services

8 South Main Street
P.O. Box 201
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

There have been so many clear signs through this time that we know we are following God’s direction and that He is going to provide what is needed to get them here. We are so thankful to be part of His great plan for these children. Please continue praying for Dajana and Adelina and for our family and the finances as we work towards bringing them back to us.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Looking for a few items


These past three weeks have got by in a blur. It’s hard to believe that D and A will be leaving in a little more than a week. It breaks my heart to think about putting them on that plane and putting so much distance between us and the connections we’ve made with them. They have come a long way in the time they’ve been here and I pray that some of the things they’ve learned will stick with them until we see them again.

While it is very hard to think it about them heading to their home in Latvia, it is something that we need to prepare for. There are a few things we need for each girl and I wanted to put those needs out there just in case someone that reads this blog wanted to do something to help. A few of the items have already been taken care of.

  • One 26-28 inch rolling suitcase for each girl

  • One large backpack for each girl

  • Tennis shoes/sneakers (we plan to purchase these for them after we measure their feet and would like for these to be new)

  • 4 pairs of socks each

  • 4 pairs underwear each

  • Hygiene products

  • One hand towel and wash cloth set-NO large towels do to lack of dryer space each

  • One dressy outfit each

  • 2-3 winter outfits (we don't know their sizes, so if you have second hand clothes for girls ages 8-12 we would gladly take it off your hands to have them try on and then either return remaining items or donate them to someone else on your behalf)

  • One winter coat, size 10/12 each (one has been donated already)

  • One scarf each

  • One set of gloves each

  • One winter hat each

  • A small photo album for each girl

  • Board games that they can take back home; this actually may be better if it is the travel sized games and we were told repeatedly that the children in the orphanages love UNO and other card games

  • Other toys that don't require batteries

  • Small items for children who didn't get to attend the trip; items such as silly bands, beaded jewelry, or small items that can be found as Christian bookstores, like bookmarks and beads are recommended

I love these girls and they have touched my heart and changed me in so many ways in just a few short weeks.

New Horizons has also put up a photo listing of the “unmatched” children. These kids are still here in the United States for a little longer and are available to meet if you are looking to adopt. If adopting isn’t on your radar right now perhaps you will consider hosting a child over Christmas. To view the photo listing visit this link and use the password “praying”

I will be doing a large post soon to recap our hosting experience and share more photos. Have a great week friends! We love you all!

Saturday, July 2, 2011



The day we’ve been waiting on for weeks has finally came. Thursday we made the trek to Atlanta to meet our girls. I wasn’t really that nervous until standing in the airport waiting for them to come up the escalator. That was when I felt the butterflies. When I saw their tiny little selves come off the escalator I had so many feelings that my eyes got teary for a few minutes before we even greeted them.

They were so sweet and gave Danny and I both gifts. I think they had an inside scoop on us because they gave me a coffee cup and Danny candy. They knew how to get us from the start Smile

Photo removed

These girls have energy like I have never seen before. They want to play from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. They love apples and Toby to pieces. They have no problem calling us Mom and Daddy already. I’ve seen some nurturing moments between them and the boys as well.

Photo removed Photo removedPhoto removedPhoto removed

Tonight we are going to enjoy family movie night and popcorn. Dajana has been asking for popcorn lots.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

You are more than just a number…


Sean was looking at a photo of the girls that we have had pinned to our refrigerator since we found out about them in early May and noticed under the photo were their names and the numbers D91 and D92.  He asked me, “mom what do those numbers mean?”.  While I’m not sure if the numbers were assigned by New Horizons for the hosting program or if this is a number in the Latvian “system” to keep up with them it kind of made me very sad to think about it.  These kids are more than just a number.  They are real, they have hearts, and they need a family.  I understand the need to keep things systematically organized and I guess it’s all in the perspective that you look at it from but I don’t want to think of them as a number, or as another statistic.  I want to them of them as mine.  My heart is invested in this so deep already.  We will be making our trek to Atlanta in just five days to pick them up and meet them for the first time.  Please keep the girls in your prayers over the next few weeks as their trip here is going to be a very big transition for them with lots of hurdles to cross, language one of the biggest.

Also, PLEASE friends DO NOT MENTION OUR ADOPTION PLANS TO THEM!  These kids just think they are coming to America for a vacation and to be exposed to what a life would be like in a Christian family.  While they may already have the hope or idea in their minds we don’t want to encourage it at this point.  This is a major no, no per our Hosting Agency because there are LOTS of ups and downs in adoption and something can always go wrong.  We do not want these girls being left to pick up the pieces wondering what they did wrong should that happen.

While we are on the numbers note, I just want to give a big praise to God for his financial provision in this so far.  It seems like things are going a little easier in that aspect than they were previously and I can only take that as a sign that we are on the right track. 

Our updated homestudy ($1500) was finalized on June 23rd and we will be mailing our I800A along with $890 to USCIS on Monday.  PTL that we have the funding to do that.  We also almost have the complete amount needed for our next payment ($1500) to our adoption agency.  Literally just shy of it by around $100.  I’m hoping to have a few people take advantage of a fresh blog look and cover that difference.  This payment covers the case management and dossier coordination costs.   If you’d like to make a contribution towards these costs you can do so via the donate button on the right side of our blog.   If you’d like to get your blog redesigned just send me an email to

The next payment (following the one above) will be a big one, $5300 to be exact, but that covers our final agency fee, dossier translation, and processing fees.  This will have to be paid prior to submitting our dossier to Latvia.  I’ve got complete piece about it though.  I know that God is going to provide the means to make this happen.

I like being very open and honest about the costs involved in our adoption because I am hoping that it helps others to see that if you take the process one step at a time it is completely possible for the everyday middle class families like us to bring these kids home.  If you’ve thought about adopting but are fearful because of the money involved set that fear aside and go for it.  Give it over to God, let Him take you by the hand and walk you through the journey.  He will travel the road with you, even the bumpy ones, and get you to your destination if you just put faith in Him.

I pray that you all have a very fulfilling and blessed week.  I know we will with becoming a family of 7 for the summer starting on Thursday.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

14 days remain…


That’s it! Just two weeks until we pack up in the car and head to Atlanta to pick up A and D. I’m feeling excited, nervous, anxious, and fearful all at the same time. Kinda crazy!

We are still preparing for their visit here with us this summer. We are making their welcome signs for the airport this weekend and will start labeling different things in the house in both English and Latvian. Their room is ready and very girly looking. It’s the first girls room I’ve put together and I like it. Very bright and colorful. I did leave the walls empty so that maybe they can pick out some pictures or something they might like for their space. We’ve received some clothing donations to help get us through the first few days of their visit until we can go shopping too. Thank you so much everyone that has stepped up to help in these areas. The hosting fees have also been paid. However, there are still a few needs for both girls that I thought I would put out there just in case anyone is wanting to help but didn’t know what they could do.

The following needs are requirements that we MUST send home with the child. They can be second-hand, but must be in good condition. They must not be brand-name as this could cause bullies to harass them when they return home. We learned that most items they return with will become community property. If you are able to donate any of these items we would GREATLY appreciate it; or if you would like to give gift cards to stores like Target or Wal-mart that would be excellent as well!

  • One 26-28 inch rolling suitcase for each girl

  • One large backpack for each girl

  • Tennis shoes/sneakers (we plan to purchase these for them after we measure their feet and would like for these to be new)

  • 4 pairs of socks each

  • 4 pairs underwear each

  • Hygiene products

  • One hand towel and wash cloth set-NO large towels do to lack of dryer space each

  • One dressy outfit each

  • 2-3 winter outfits (we don't know their sizes, so if you have second hand clothes for girls ages 8-12 we would gladly take it off your hands to have them try on and then either return remaining items or donate them to someone else on your behalf)

  • One winter coat each

  • One scarf each

  • One set of gloves each

  • One winter hat each

  • A small photo album for each girl

  • Board games that they can take back home; this actually may be better if it is the travel sized games and we were told repeatedly that the children in the orphanages love UNO and other card games

  • Other toys that don't require batteries

  • Small items for children who didn't get to attend the trip; items such as silly bands, beaded jewelry, or small items that can be found as Christian bookstores, like bookmarks and beads are recommended

O.K. So, we hope we didn't overwhelm you! The funny thing is that we still have SO much to share. In the meantime we hope that this gives you enough information to pray and consider until our next update!
Thank you for reading this blog and for loving us. Your support, is the greatest blessing and source of encouragement. And, since we believe it is God who prompts you to support us, we ultimately praise Him for giving us all we need to do His work.

Thank you! We pray you will also be blessed this week!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Three days left


Just in case you missed our previous post, I am doing a drawing for a Limited Edition Large Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty-One Gifts. One dollar = One Entry. The door closes to get your entry on May 31 and the drawing will be held on June 1


So far there are 72 entries. Every little bit adds up and it really does make a big difference.

Since we changed adoption agencies we are basically starting from scratch financially. God is providing and I know He will continue to as long as we are in His will but we do have to be proactive on our part as far as fundraising goes.

Just click on this link to take you to our fundraizer page where you can make a donation of any amount/get your entries for the tote.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Please be praying specifically for D and A to be open to being a part of our family and for the adjustment to be easy on them. We are counting down the days until they will be here for us to meet and love on in person. Just 33 days!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A new direction but with a view of the finish line


Dearest friends,

I am just overly thrilled to be writing this post to share with you. After much prayer and consideration Danny and I have decided to pursue the adoption of two Latvian girls that we learned about as part of the New Horizons for Children summer hosting program. We’ve thought about it hard and we just do not see any reason why we should not make these girls a part of our family. Some have advised us to “wait and see” how it goes this summer but in our eyes it’s not fair for them to have to “try out” for us. Our own children are loved unconditionally and we wouldn’t put them out for anything so to us these children need someone to love them that way too. No matter what. They’ve been through enough without needing to impress us and the more I learn about the orphanages in Eastern Europe the faster I want to get them out of there as soon as possible. The good news is that we already have our homestudy, we just have to update a few things in it.

The downside to this is that our present adoption agency cannot help us. This means we are out what we’ve paid to them so far and are basically starting from scratch. Only this time we need to act quickly because we have actual children waiting on us!

I have a fun little raffle that I want to do to kick things off. If you read my previous post you will see my whole thought process about how much $1 really can do if we all just come together to unite in a cause. Well my cause is two precious young ladies, 9 and 10 years old, that need a mother and father. Will you please join in and unite with us? Donate if you are able and pray if you are not?

Last night at a Thirty-One consultants meeting I received this limited edition Large Organizing Utility tote. IT CANNOT BE PURCHASED FROM THE CATALOG! The only way to get this bag is to spend $31 in month of June and then you are able to purchase it for $9.

However, we have a need and I think you all are just going to want to get your hands on this bag asap right? So , how would you like to get a chance to win it for $1? Purchase as many chances to win as you’d like! I will put all the entries inside of my littles carry all and we will do a live video draw of the winner on May 30th. The raffle is for the tote itself. The contents shown are not included.

**EDITED** to add that Leigh Walling of Sew Many Blessings has offered to monogram the bag for free for the winner. Thanks Leigh! Be sure to stop by her blog and see all the cute things she has to offer :)


To get your entries just click on this link to take you to our fundraizr page where you can donate any amount that you’d like. You will receive one entry per $1 donated.

Please share this raffle on your blogs, facebook, with friends or wherever you can. Leave a comment with a link to where you shared this post for an extra chance to win. We really need to make a big impact to kick things off quickly for these angels.

Blessings abound when we are obedient to the Lords calling. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Good News and Great News


Hi, yes it’s me. I’m sure you’ve long ago thought that I’d given up on this blog. It has been several months since my last post and we have been in a whirlwind of business. I started back to work FT and it just seems like our days and nights fly by with stuff to do. Both Sean and Matthew are playing baseball this spring season. Sean has had a pretty good season himself but I can’t say the same for his team, lol. He’s great at playing first base and has really show his skill at pitching this season. Now Matthew, that is some funny stuff right there. The boy who has spent his first 4 years of life at the ball fields watching big bro play, I just knew would have a clue as to what to do. But nope! LOL. First game he hits the ball off the tee and runs right through the field towards second base. It was a funny sight to see for sure! I took some pics but I haven’t taken them off the video camera yet. I will do that soon too. I promise Smile

Now, onto our NEWS!

The good news is the WE ARE FINALLY FINISHED WITH OUR HOMESTUDY! You know that one little song that goes “this is the song that never ends, and it goes on and on my friend”? Yep I know you have it in your head now, lol. You can thank me later. But anyway that’s what this has felt like! We’ve had some things that had to be cleared up and documents tracked down and things notarized and it always seemed like there was something else we had to get but I am so relieved and thrilled to say that IT IS DONE! This means we can finally move on… and with that, we have some great news.

We have decided to host a set of siblings this summer from Latvia as part of New Horizons for Children hosting program. These are orphans that want to come to America for a few weeks and experience life here in a loving Christian home. Our girls are 9 and 10 and have came one other time and speak some English. We are very excited about this opportunity and are keeping our minds and hearts open to what it could mean for our adoption in the future. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give their names or not (there are funny rules about that stuff) so I’ll just refer to them as the girls for now. The older of the two likes dancing and gymnastics and is a bit more reserved when it comes to people so please pray that is a barrier we will be able to get past with her. I really want these girls to feel like they are part of us while they are here and to give them the best family experience possible. The younger one is a little more outgoing and loves to read (I think she’s like me, lol). We will be picking them up on June 28 and they will stay with us through the first week of August. We've had to dip into our savings a bit in order to cover the $3800 in hosting expenses but I really feel like God put them and this opportunity in front of us and it is so far off our original direction and there were some timing things that just showed us how this is all falling into play so that was enough confirmation for me. Here is a photo of them taken off the NH facebook page. One look at this picture and these girls had a special place in my heart.

With that being said, we are still saving and fundraising for our adoption (wherever it leads us) and I had a really great idea that I’d like to try out. God calls us all to care for the widows and orphans and I realize that can be done in many, many ways but when it comes down to adopting it’s just plain expensive and very hard for the average family to come up with the funds without lots of help from others. So I thought wouldn’t it be neat to see how far your dollar really can go in this economy? I mean, times are tough right now and it’s hard to always give even when you really want to but if we all dug down in the couches or looked in our cars I’m sure we could find at least a dollar in spare change.

So I am designating Fridays as “How far can $1 go?” day. Bright and early tomorrow I’ll post a link that you can use to donate $1 (or more if you want) towards our adoption expenses. If you will share that link via twitter and facebook or any other social media that you use just think of how many $1’s that could be! I’ll update the blog as the day goes with how it’s adding up. I think it’ll be kind of fun to see how it works out. This is one of my long term ideas for after our adoption is complete too in order to keep advocating for the remaining orphans and helping their families bring them home. It’s so sad when you think of how lavishly we live, even what’s not lavish here is a mansion to these kids. I pray that America will wake up and see that we really can make a difference. I could go on and on about why it is so important to get these kids out of the orphanages and into families but I’ll save that for another post.

So, that’s what we’ve been doing and are currently doing Smile Have a blessed day my sweet friends!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our homestudy is almost finished!


We had our homestudy visit in December and sent in the last bit of paperwork last week so now it’s in the social workers hands and we are just waiting on our report.

It feels good to have this step behind us and moving forward.  Please keep praying for our family in each step of this journey.

Life has gotten a bit busy lately and sometimes we I get frustrated that we aren’t working on moving the adoption along faster but then I have to remember that it’s all coming together in God’s timing and to have patience.  I seem to forget that often.

I got an email the other day from Camie.  She’s the wife of the family that we stayed with when we went to Indianapolis to check out MLJ and attend the fundraising seminar.  Such a sweet person and I’m always glad to hear from her.  She had some other fundraising ideas that I’m checking into.

We are ready for this cold air to move on so we can get busy with events and yard sales again.  The kids are tired of being stuck in the house too.

Friday night we will be getting out and celebrating a birthday though!  Sean is going to be twelve.  I just cannot believe that I am this close to having a teenager in my house.  Lord, please prepare me because I don’t think I’m ready for this.

Have a blessed day everyone!