Friday, October 25, 2013

We have a DATE!!!

November 5, 2013 
we will be leaving on a jet plane.

Traveling half way around the world to meet our daughter for the first time.

Our sweet daughter we love so much and have never touched.

I'm so overwhelmed with emotions and having a hard time focusing on anything else right now.

I am focusing on soaking in as much time with my 4 older sweeties right now.

Trying to have some quality time, make fun memories, and shower each other with lots of love. 

I'm hoping I can keep it together to say goodbye to these bumpkins! 

And, then, my sweet baby girl will suddenly be placed in my arms and again I will be forced to keep it all together.  

Be gracious with me...I'm going to fail miserably at both these tasks!

Oh sweet princessa, momma and daddy are almost there!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Be Inspired!

In case you missed the big announcement, we have officially moved to the top of the waiting line! We will be the next family receiving their travel date!

I am officially thrilled, terrified, anxious, excited...

You name it, I've probably felt it this last little bit!

I've been so focused on the financial piece of our puzzle. It is an important piece, but it isn't the most important.

A sweet friend of mine shared this video with me today.

It was EXACTLY what I needed to see. 

Please watch it and be inspired!

One of our prayers is that through our adoption other families would get excited and their hearts would be stirred to prayerfully consider adoption for their own family. 

We can't change the world, but each of us has the potential to completely change one child's world!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Matching Grant

We have been given the gift of a $350 matching grant.

What a blessing!

Our FSP needs to read 


Once we raise the $350 they will match it making the total $700.

That amount will cover one of our plane tickets over to get our baby girl!

Can YOU help us meet our goal today?

Make a TAX Deductible donation HERE

Thank you!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Is this it???

As a new week is about to begin, I can't help but wondering if this is our week! Please, let it be!

I'm not sleeping much.

My mind doesn't focus on much else at this time.

I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for what is about to happen. However, can one ever truly be prepared? At this exact time I find myself worrying most about my other four kids.  How am I going to kiss them goodbye knowing it will be weeks before I hug or kiss them again?

They are going to be well loved and cared for and probably will have a great time playing with the cousins.  But, I also know there will be moments they miss us.

Or, what about when they get scared and I'm not there to squeeze them.

Or, what happens if they get sick or hurt.  I know they are going to want mommy.  But, I won't be there.  They'll get plenty of hugs, kisses, and love, but not mommy love.  

I feel guilty.

I feel afraid.

I feel sad.

Just typing this makes my heart ache and tears flow from my eyes. I'm going to miss them so much!

But, I'm going to a sweet baby who has never had a mommy to hold her when she's scared.  Or rock her when she's sick. Or kiss her when she has an owie.  I'm going where I need to be. 

When all is said and done, the memory of mommy being gone for a few weeks will quickly fade and life will return to normal for them.  

Life will never return to normal for the fifth. That's the point. As time goes on she will forgot feeling afraid, lonely, and abandoned.  As each day passes, those memories will forever be replaced with hugs and kisses and more love than she even knows exists.  

Soon, baby girl, soon!

Mommy loves you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Gentle Whisper...

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you
How gracious he will be when you cry for help!
As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
Isaiah 30:18-19

We have been experiencing His graciousness in such a real way.

We ask, He answers, and yet we still catch ourselves trapped in the cycle of worrying.  

It's such a disturbingly comfortable place to be in.


Maybe by worrying I feel like I have some sense of control. Because, you know, worrying always gets things done, right?? Oh, wait...

Then I wake up and I recognize the cycle I've once again succumbed to and I rest my soul back in the arms of the one who truly has everything under His control.

It feels good.

I feel refreshed, calm, peaceful.

I cry to Him for help.  He hears my cries.

Sometimes, like today, when I've been worrying about the financial reality of our adoption, He gives me a tangible reminder through the generous gifts of others.

Most other times He just gently whispers in my ear...

Do not let your hearts be troubled....
John 14:1 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Oh how quickly it goes....

Is it possible! We are 5th in line!


I cannot believe how incredible fast this is all going!

We are so excited, scared, anxious, etc.

But, our arms ache to hold our sweet angel.

I find myself daydreaming about what her eyes will look like.  Or how soft her hair will feel when I touch it.  Or what she will smell like.  Will she cry when I first hold her? Will she like to be cuddled (oh I hope she will.  I'm preparing myself for the possibility of her not liking to be touched much, but I'm praying for the opposite!)

But, I am also filled with great anxiety.  The unknown is sometimes overwhelming.  The thought of leaving my other kids for 3 weeks is terrifying.  They will be in great care while we are away, but I've only even left them for a weekend once.  I'm not sure how this will go.  I wish we could figure out a way logistically and financially to bring them with us, but I know it's really not an option.  It would be much to difficult and stressful to bring them along (not to mention safety concerns!)

Please keep praying for us.  Keep sharing our story. We need your support! Check out our fundraising thermometer on the right.  Y'all have been soooooo generous, but we have a ways to go! Can you help move us up?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Number 10

Two more families received their travel dates today!

We have officially moved into the #10 position!

Next it's single digits.  Can I get a WooHoo??!!

The families today were submitted 7 weeks ago and travel NEXT WEEK!
Eek, I'd be freaking out! It really is a good reminder that I need to tighten up a few loose ends just in case we don't get much notice either! Oh, it'll be so exciting!

Now, I'm off to call the bank to start the process of getting our money situated.  For some reason, the U people want new, unmarked bills so we have to specifically order them from the bank.  I don't want to get caught scrambling with that part in the end! We need to bring approximately $15,000 in cash with us.  Scary! Anyone want to travel with us just to be our personal body guards??

I really liked the 2 steps closer today!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pumpkin Hats For Your Lil' Pumpkin

Wouldn't your lil' pumpkin look so cute in this hat?!?

A very sweet lady from our church volunteered to knit us some hats to sell in order to support our adoption.  Way too sweet of her!

And just look at these hats!

I mean it, look at how stinkin' cute there are! 
(Honestly, they are MUCH cuter in person...I may not be known for my photographic abilities...I try!)

You know you want one!

They would fit babies to toddlers.  They have a nice stretch to them.  She also said they will wash up with no problem! 

Seeing as it is the beginning of fall, you better get your sweetie all decked out for the season! You won't be disappointed!

To order one (quantities are VERY limited at this time!) all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

1. Make a $18 $15 payment to our FSP by clicking right HERE!
(These identical hats are going for $20-$24/ea on Etsy right now!)

2. Forward me the confirmation email HERE!

3. Wait for your fun package to arrive! I will do my best to ship within 24 hours! I don't want you to miss any time enjoying this cuteness!

Come on, join our team today! Order your cute hat and help bring our own cute package home!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2 weeks and counting...

It has official been 2 weeks since we were submitted.

This waiting business is hard.

I've learned the following:

1. I am terribly impatient!
2. Who are we kidding? There is no number 2! I honestly hate all this waiting.  It's like torture!

It seems like there was a bunch of us who all were submitted at the same time.  Now, no one is being issued dates.  It's painful to watch more names (Ok, maybe not painful because that just means there is one less orphan soon!!) be added to the list and no new dates given.  It's time to start checking off some names! Let's get going people! Mommas and daddies are aching to hold their kiddos!

I know, I know, this is just how it goes.  Hopefully soon we will have several dates handed out.  There are a lot of people who have been waiting much longer than us - I need to be patient and wait my turn.  But, I don't want to ;)

While we wait, we need some new fundraising ideas.  We've done lots, but still have a loooong way to go to be fully funded! Anyone want to help us out? Don't forget about our giveaway going on.  Read about it HERE!

If you'd like to make a donation to our baby, please click the following link:

Prayer Requests:

*Pray those travel dates start coming fast and furious!
*Pray for our still great financial need
*Pray our baby girl stays safe and healthy while we all wait!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


We received word today that our dossier has been submitted to the DAP team!! This means that all our paperwork we've painstakingly been plugging away at for months is now in the hands of the official department of adoption team! Eeeekkk! I just can't believe it! We are getting so very close to holding our baby girl!

We don't know exactly how long we will have to wait now.  The next thing we will get is our travel date.  This could come in 3 weeks or in 12 weeks.  More than likely it will come some time in the next 5-7 weeks and then we would travel 2-3 weeks after that notification.  It is so close!  Part of the unknown is that they recently came out with a new expedited petition for adoption.  Families who are adopting children with certain disabilities can be allowed to use this new form.  Charlotte's disability is one of those allowed.  However, it is so new that we aren't exactly sure how it will speed things up.  Nothing we can do about it anyway, so we will just pray that the Lord gives us the green light when it's the right time.  We are not worried about it...just dying with anticipation!! It's just like a waiting on a pregnancy and not knowing exactly when that baby will make their debut! Very exciting!!

Now, in all this excitement is reality.  We are still about $15,000 short of being fully funded!  We've been working so hard! I sell at the farmers market every Saturday, Dave is working extra shifts at his second job, held a garage sale, selling our stuff, doing benefit night at Pizza Ranch, etc.  We are willing to work and work HARD to bring this money in! We've also applied for numerous grants, but we are concerned that our travel date will come too quickly for decisions to be made by the organizations.  Grants are typically only disbursed a couple times a year and most have to happen before we travel.  For all the grants we had to have a completed home study, so our window of opportunity was/is very small!

Can you help us meet our goal? Would you be willing to pray for us, donate financially, or give us any fundraising ideas? We need your help bringing our girlie home safe and sound!

A HUGE thank you to all who have helped us raise so much already!  God has blessed us!!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The LORD answers prayers...

And my God will meet ALL your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. James 4:19

By now you've probably read about our mixer fiasco from earlier today.

Less then 2 hours later and the LORD has answered our prayers!

I was sitting on the couch reading the 12th book in a row to Niko when I hear a knock on the door.

Eden answers the door.

"Is your mom home?"

I moment of panic sets in.
Who is here?
I look awful today!
My hair is in a pony tail. I have no make-up on. I'm wearing a ratty t-shirt.
My house is a mess. 
I've been sick. My kids have been sick. I had lots of baking to do today.
We were just making do today!

No one was supposed to stop over today.

I went to the door and saw 3 very sweet faces.
Faces of a family I have grown to LOVE this past year!
People I am so thankful I get to live life with!

They had a surprise!
I saw their grins and heard the words

"You need to keep baking to bring that little girl home!"

I no longer cared that I looked like a train wreck or that I was sweaty from baking all day in this heat and humidity.
I hugged them both.
My heart swelled.
I could hardly contain my amazement.

After a brief conversation I carried my new pride and joy inside.
I no longer could contain my joy!
I wept!
My husband was gone, but the kids were there.  They had been with us earlier in the day when the mixer broke. They had prayed with us earlier.  Thanking the Lord for all that He has given us and putting our trust in His provisions and proclaiming His victory over Satan.

I hugged my three older kids and we prayed together thanking the Lord for providing for our needs so quickly!

Minutes later, my husband came home from a men's night at our church.  The guys had gotten together to do their yearly golf scramble and steak dinner. He came home with $200! At the golf scramble, the guys could buy mulligans and all the money went to us! We had NO IDEA they were doing this for us!


Goodbye My Old Friend...

I remember so clearly the day we first met.

It was Christmas some 15 years ago.

In a little wrapped box contained 15 little letters

K-I-T-C-H-E-N-A-I-D  M-I-X-E-R

I was so excited to meet this new friend that Christmas.  My love of baking had just begun. I was just learning the joy of making bread and the satisfaction of making cakes that people loved to look at and eat!  I had really wanted a Kitchenaid, but as a poor college student it was well outside my budget! My parents surprised me with one that Christmas.  I am so rarely surprised.  I tend to pay attention to tiny little details so not much sneaks past me, but this one certainly did surprise me! I wasn't expecting such a nice gift at all! I remember jumping up and down and being so excited! That trusty mixer and I have been together for a long time.  My joy of baking grew (not to mention my skills! I thought I was good back then, but truthfully I probably wasn't the best!).  Up until today, there have been few days that my mixer friend and I didn't spend some time together.

That all ended today...

My good ol' friend blew up today.  I was busy mixing the last of my dough for the 4 dozen buns I needed to whip up today when I went to turn it off, but before my hand reached the knob there was a loud and heart breaking CLUNK! My poor mixer said it was her time to be done.  She had mixed enough cakes, whipped enough frosting, and kneaded her last batch of dough.  So sad!

Goodbye old friend! You will truly be missed!

Ok, so the events of my story are completely true...just written in a little tongue and cheek.  My poor mixer did bite the bullet today.  Now, any other time I would just be totally bummed about it, but not necessarily as discouraged as I am feeling today.  Remember, I recently began selling baked goods at our local farmers market.  It was much more successful than I had even imagined.  Now, without a mixer my baking days are done.  

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy" James 1:2 NLT

I will CHOOSE my attitude in this!

I will NOT remain discouraged!

I WILL trust in the LORD!

We feel like Satan is wanting to discourage us and our efforts.  We firmly, without hesitation, believe that God has called us and has blessed our adoption.  Satan is none too pleased!

I could easily get really upset and anxious over such a seemingly small thing as a mixer breaking.  

It looks like we will be traveling in about 8-10 weeks if nothing major comes up.  We are so thrilled!! I can hardly stand it! But, we are about $15,000 from being fully funded.  A lot of money has come in, but we have a LOOOONG way to go in a short period of time.  We've been working our tail off fundraising.  We never want to be accused of sitting on the side lines just asking people to fund us.  We have worked hard and are willing to continue to work hard!  The farmers market is A LOT of work, but worth it in the end by the amount of money it brought in for our baby girl.  Now, unless the Lord somehow blesses us with another heavy duty Kitchenaid type mixer, those days are done.  We just can't justify taking that amount of money away from Charlotte.  Our profits would never be worth the work and time it takes.  We will keep working hard and TRUST that the Lord has an alternate plan to bring in the funds.  

If you have any good ideas for fundraising, please share with us! We need your help!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

He has favor on us!

On Saturday I sent our home study to the United States Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS).  I paid the big cost to have it overnighted by UPS.

I know, I know, overnighting things through the postal service is much cheaper, but for some reason, when you send it USPS it gets delivered somewhere else in USCIS and has a tendency to be lost for 7-10 days! You would think one government program would want to support another government program, but, logic isn't always evident...and I digress...

So, like I said, I paid the big bucks to overnight it through UPS and I tracked it and saw it was delivered yesterday.  I gave them a day to get it logged in and then gave them a call today to check on the status.  They said they had it and our fingerprint letters were sent out today.  The letter should arrive in the mail next week.  It will give us an appointment date and time to head to their offices in Fargo to get fingerprints.  We won't wait for that date.  We will go the next morning and hopefully they will let us be printed early (most people have great success with going early!).

After she told me that our letter went out I asked her if we had been assigned an officer yet and she said, "No, you won't get an officer until we get your fingerprints back." So, me being willing to beg, asked her about the possibility of getting a medical expedite.  Our doctor had included a letter of support regarding a medical expedite due to the fact that Charlotte is so tiny and the real possibility of her being in heart failure.  The lady I was talking with on the phone said that a supervisor had to make the decision of approving a medical expedite or not and that she would happily transfer me to her supervisor.

I spoke with the supervisor and explained the situation to him.  He asked a few clarifying questions and then said he would call me back in a few minutes.  Ten minutes later he called and said he assigned us an officer and that he told her it was to be processed as a medical expedite! I was stunned! He explained that we still had to do our prints first before they could do anything, but after that it would be expedited! God is so good! This saved us weeks - possibly months of waiting! Praise Him!

Then, today, I was mailing off my entire dossier packet (our dossier is just all our necessary documents for the adoption) to be apostilled (remember, this means to have them verify the notary is true).  I was going to overnight it to Bismarck and then pay to have them ship it back to me and then turn around and overnight it back to Bismarck because there is a very sweet family heading over to U to pick up their 2 boys at the end of the month.  They were going to hand carry our dossier and hand it off to the in-country facilitators.  Yay for not having to pay international shipping!

Anyway, I was thinking it seemed such a waste to pay all those overnight shipping charges when I was shipping it right back to where it came from anyway.  I had the brainstorm to see if my friend could just pick them up when the secretary of state was finished apostilling them.  I really wasn't expecting them to allow someone else to get them, but they said it was no big deal! And, my friend said she lives 5 minutes from the capital and she wouldn't mind grabbing them for me!  Yay yay yay! Another big blessing today!

This picture is me in the post office this evening.
My entire dossier is in that envelope.
 I was putting my paper baby in the mailbox.
I was anxious! That paper baby is everything (but 1 document) that I need to go get my real baby! I worked long and hard creating that paper baby. Now, I anxiously put it in other peoples hand.

I kissed my paper baby.
I prayed over my paper baby.

I  slid that baby down the slot...May He continue to show favor to us!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Farmers Market

I spent Friday mixing, measuring, baking, cooling, and packaging. It was a lot of work. 

It was tremendous fun. 

I was tuckered out! 

Our adoption is going so quickly! Yay! One day I was praying and asking The Lord for some additional fundraising ideas and He really spoke to me about using my gift of baking to help our cause.  

Those who know me know that I LOVE to bake.  It's one of the few things that make me feel proud. I really get such joy about of watching people enjoy my baking creations.  So, I decided to take my baking out of the walls of my home and to our local farmers market.

I'm really shy. 

New things make me super nervous.

This was terrifying to me.

But, for my daughter, I did it. I baked my heart out, I talked with strangers, and I tackled something new and scary.  I am so thankful I did it! I had a BLAST! People enjoyed my goodies (at least I think they did!). The Lord greatly blessed this endeavor! 

Next week, I will be back. Selling more deliciousness and telling people about this wonderful little girl I get to call my daughter!

Come see me on Saturday and buy yourself a treat! 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

He could be yours...he could be mine

It's with great sadness that I must report Anthony's body was found this afternoon in the Red River. Please keep his friends and family in your prayers.  So very sad!

I'm sitting at my deck table drinking a hot cup of coffee listening to planes and helicopters fly back and forth.

My heart aches.

This little boys name is Anthony.  He is 11 years old. He is 5 feet and 94 pound. He has autism. He was last seen wearing a grey shirt with black lettering and plaid shorts.  He is missing.

He went missing yesterday afternoon shortly after 2pm.  He told his grandma he was going out to play in the yard and when she went to check on him he was nowhere to be found.  Police, firefighters, boarder patrol agents, volunteers, etc. searched until nightfall with no sign of this sweet boy.  They have resumed searching today.  

This sweet boy is a neighbor of our dear friends.  We heard about is disappearance almost immediately.  Instantly the kids and I stopped what we were doing and prayed.  We hopped in the Suburban and drove around searching for 2 hours.  I stopped anyone I saw outside.  Talked to construction workers, people walking dogs, etc.  No one had seen him.  When we had to stop searching full search crews were being assembled to search on foot.  I had 4 small kids by myself so we stopped to get out of the way. 

While we drove I continued to pray out loud.  Eden is the only one who is old enough to fully grasp what is happening (the boys are clueless and Braelyn thinks he will be fine because he can find honey to eat.  I'm not going to disrupt her childlike thinking.  Her world will change fast enough.  I don't need to speed it up!). Eden gets the seriousness of it.  She prayed and looked right along with me.  We begged the Lord.  We pleaded with Him to cross our path with Anthony's.  We cried together.  We asked questions together.  We asked God why together.  We have full confidence that the Lord heard our prayers, but for reasons unknown to us He didn't answer our prayers yesterday. 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declared the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9 

Today they are still searching for Anthony.  They live just outside of city limits on Rhinehart Dr. in East Grand Forks, MN.  He is surrounded by farm fields, shelter belts, ditches, ponds, creeks, and the Red River.  He is drawn to water, ATV's, campers, and vans.  If you live in that area, check and double check your property.  He could be anywhere!  Check, double check, triple check.  Just because he wasn't there an hour ago doesn't mean he isn't there now!  If you see him call 911 immediately.  Remember, he has autism.  He may not willingly come to you.  It's ok to stop him and hold him until the police come.  He may kick and scream.  He won't understand what you are doing.  It's ok to keep him safe!

My heart is heavy.  For a lot of reasons.  One of them being that very soon we will be bringing home our own special little girl.  A little girl who easily could walk away in an instant without knowing the danger just around the corner.  It's too close to home for me.  Literally and figuratively!

He could be your child.  He could be mine. Let's find this little boy!  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We are EAGER

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
Galatians 2:10

Some other adopting families that I know are facing a mountain of negativity. A whirlwind of ridicule and negativity.  Their choice to adopt hasn't been received well.  It's things such as:

"You are ruining the lives of your other children!"

"Who do you think you are that you can handle this?"

"Let other countries deal with their own problems.  Stay out of it!"

and so on and so forth!

It's hurtful.  It causes deep wounds.  It shatters trust.  It leaves people feeling alone.

We've been fortunate to not have experienced a lot of disapproval in regards to us adding to our family through adoption.  Notice the A LOT?? We've had some.  Some of it absolutely rooted in some truths.  Things we needed to discuss and pray through as a couple.  Some of it out of fear for us.  I get that.  We have our own fears. Some of it out of a lack of understanding.  I get that, too.  We are not asking ANYONE to necessarily full grasp our reasoning.  It's ultimately between me, Dave, and our Heavenly Father.  Following the Lord doesn't always make sense.  It isn't always easily explained.  We have FAITH!

One day I was really struggling with the fact that we do have people who are opposed to our decision.  I, by nature, am a peace making people pleaser! I do not like people to be upset with me or to disapprove of my choices.  I was having a rough day with the fact that I was not pleasing everyone (I know, I know, I am NEVER pleasing everyone.  It was just an exceptionally challenging day).   I specifically wanted to find some verses to meditate on in this regard.  I wanted to add them to my truth pack (Whole other post for another day to explain a truth pack) so I could read them frequently.  I had specifically searched words in my bible app such as "against" disapprove", etc.  I was finding some, but my soul wasn't satisfied.  I knew I was to keep looking.  I then searched "oppose".  I scrolled through a few verses and then I came to the Galatians 2:10 verse.  The Lord put that verse on the list for me.  I am unable to explain how clearly I knew the Lord was speaking directly to me.  I was moved to tears and then to rejoicing! That verse should have NEVER came up on a keyword search "oppose".  It's not in that verse.  The Lord put that verse right before my eyes.  He needed to speak loud and clear to my heart.  I heard Him that day and I still hear Him today.  He is PLEASED with us.  He wants us to continue to follow him through this journey.  This is one way we will live out the Great Commission on our home. We WILL continue to do what we were EAGER to do from the beginning!  The very thing we set out to do!


Prayer Requests:
  • pray we get the finalized home study by the weeks end.  It is almost done! There needs to be a few corrections and then we should be set! Our social worker goes on vacation next week so we would like it before she leaves!

  • pray that she is willing, without hesitation, to make ALL the corrections our facilitation team has requested.
  • pray our USCIS final approval goes quickly! That will be the very last thing we need to finish state side!

  • keep praying for our Charlie Jo! Momma and Daddy are coming soon baby!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

T-Shirts and Bracelets!!

Our t-shirts are ready for you to buy and love!  They say


in 7 languages

Ukrainian/Russian (same spelling for both)
Haitian Creole

The very bottom says

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans...

They are standard fitting t-shirts in sizes L-XXL.
(currently sold out of size SMALL and MEDIUM)
We did not order any child sizes this first order.  If there is enough interest, we will order some child sizes as well.  

The shirts are $20/ea. $15(if you are not local, please include a few extra dollars for shipping if you wouldn't mind! :) )

**Make any size donation to our FSP or paypal account and I will ship you a shirt!**

To purchase:

1. Donate to our FSP and forward me the confirmation to my email.  Please include your address and shirt size(s)!

2. Make a direct payment to my Paypal account.  Account name Just click on the "send money" tab on your account and follow the online directions. It's easy peasy! :-)
Double check that your paypal shipping address is correct and please include your shirt size(s)!

3. If you are local, please send me an email and I will deliver! :-)

Also, don't forget about our BRACELETS! These are $5/each $2 and come in grey, purple, or yellow!

Follow the above directions for ordering!

They say
One Less 
John 14:18

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Can't People Just Be Kind?

I have this little girl.  She changed my life 6 short years ago when she introduced me to this wonderful thing called Motherhood!  

She is my 1st born. She showed me a love I never knew existed.  Let me tell you about her.  She is...


There is one other word I would use to describe her and until a couple months ago other people would say this about her as well.  Now that has all changed  My independent and confident daughter begged for a pixie cut.  She knew what she wanted.  She didn't care that is different than any other little girl her age that she had met.  Maybe that's why she wanted it? I wasn't as excited.  I wanted that stereotypical little girl with hair I could style and put in bows.  She didn't want that.  She didn't like that.  There was NO good reason for not letting her cut her hair.  We did it.  We had a blast.  She LOVED it.  She was so proud of herself.  I was so proud of her.  Until she left the safety of our four walls.  My sweet daughter has been laughed at, pointed out, and teased.  She's been bullied.  For only one reason...she CUT HER HAIR SHORT! She went against the flow. Not in defiance or rebellion - in absolute confidence.  She no longer can go to the park, the store, a restaurant, or even church without someone commenting on her hair. There is no safe place outside of our home. Some have been kind, but most have not.  She is often called a boy.  Not by mistake, but in a teasing sort of way.  My confident little girl no longer loves her short hair.  She asks me most days after combing her hair if she looks like a boy. She puts bows in it - I'm guessing to try and stop some of the comments. She has handled it all with more strength and grace than I. It breaks my heart that she now wants to grow her hair long.  It's not because I don't like her hair long.  I honestly could care less.  It's hair! It breaks my heart because she still wants her hair short but she is already, at the very tender age of 6, experiencing the intense pressure of our society.  This is my child who doesn't go to daycare and is homeschooled.  It's everywhere.  It's unavoidable.  It's with God's grace we will teach her to face this society head on, maintaining her confidence and teaching her where her confidence comes from.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth
Psalm 71:5     

This is my sweet girl and she is...

It's only a short time until I will be bringing another BEAUTIFUL girl home who is going to look even more different than what society deems acceptable.  What will life be like for her? Why can't people just be kind?


Monday, July 1, 2013

One of those days...

Today has been just one of those days.  A day where I am feeling anxious and afraid.  I haven't had many of those days, but today is one of them!

Reece's Rainbow is wonderful for having such an amazing and supportive online community.  They've been there to answer my many questions and help encourage us along the way.  It's amazing how united one can feel with strangers who are all on the same journey.  However, this has been the source of my hard day.  Today was filled with hard times...unfortunate realities of adopting children from orphanages.

Today we learned about a little boy who passed away in his orphanage.  He just couldn't hold out any longer for his mommy to come save him.  Another recently adopted child passed away from heart problems.  Thankfully she didn't have to die alone. Her mommy wasn't there for her first breath but she was there for her last.  She was able to be ushered into heaven while her mommy held her in her arms.  Another family was just waiting for their travel date when they learned that their intended child was suddenly picked back up from the orphanage by the biological family.  That is both exciting and sad.  Exciting for the child who will be reunited with the biological family, but yet a little scary as to what the future holds and if this child will be returned to the orphanage.  It's also sad for the family who feels like they lost their baby.  They will continue on with a blind referral, but they will grieve their loss.  Another family went to visit their intended child only to learn that his file was inaccurate and his medical needs were so severe that they were unable to continue with the adoption.

I've kissed my babies more today and hugged them a little longer.  I've said many prayers for our sweet Charlotte.  This journey is one of uncertainties.  I'm grateful to serve a constant Father who loves me! I will cling to Him and His promises right now! My anxieties may be great, but I know my Lord is powerful!

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. -Psalm 94:19

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. - Psalm 112;7

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. -Psalm 56:3

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more -Psalm 71:14


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Want to match our girls?

They have their cups labeled, lemonade made, and the sweetest smiles on their faces! Our girls are all set to do their Saturday lemonade stand! Grandma and Poppie are here for a visit, but they didn't want to skip this Saturday.  Eden said it's too hot not to have a lemonade stand! There drive and excitement is inspiring! Will you help make this day even better for them? Who wants to match their efforts today? Will you consider financially matching what they make? As always, ALL proceeds go directly to Charlotte!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lemonade Please!

Our girls are 6 1/2 and almost 5 years old.  They are old enough to understand what we are doing and where their new sister is coming from (the boys are only 3 and 1 1/2 - they don't quite get what is happening yet).  We have a desire to include them in the process as much as possible.  We strongly believe it will teach them lessons that will last a lifetime.  Hence, the lemonade stand...

When we did our first lemonade stand I thought it would be amazing if we could bring in $50.  I thought the girls would be so proud of that and really feel like they are a part of the team bringing their sister home.  Well, to my amazement, the first lemonade stand brought in $105! We were shocked! We were able to share our story with many people who were amazed and excited.  On each cup I had placed a label with a link back to our blog so people could follow our journey.  We were so encouraged by how excited people genuinely were for our family! Seeing the girls excitement, Nana stocked the girls up with new lemonade pitchers, lemonade, Kool Aid, and sugar.  The girls couldn't wait to get back out there!

Fast forward to the next Saturday.  Another sunny day, another smiling lemonade stand staff.  This Saturday we were again amazed! We made $156! We truly are humbled! We had people stopping two or three times because our lemonade was "soooo good!". The girls were so proud!

Yesterday was a hot, humid day.  After dinner the girls asked if they could set up a quick stand.  We said, "sure!" Their first two customers gave us $61! We couldn't believe it! God is certainly blessing our styrofoam cups of lemonade!

When we first started this I knew fundraising was something we needed to do, but I honestly struggled with it.  We were the ones wanting to adopt yet we were asking others to help us.  It took some praying and processing through this with The Lord for me to feel more excited about it.  That would be a whole other blog post, but I'll try and quickly summarize some of my thoughts.  I know I've said it before, but we believe that all Christians are called to take care of orphans and widows (James 1:27).  We also believe that looks differently for different people.  One way it may look is people being willing to use their own personal resources to help another family provide a loving home.  It's certainly not the only way, just one specific example.  Through our little lemonade stand on our front lawn we have seen first hand how excited people are to share their resources with a special child! 

Another blessing we have experienced is helping people see the possibilities for them to adopt in their own lives. We've all heard of other people adopting internationally, but if you were like us, we had a strong desire to adopt but didn't see it possible - strictly from a financial stand point.  The awareness this little lemonade stand is raising is amazing! We are hoping to inspire others to step out in faith and commit to bringing home a child in need! I can't tell you the shock on people's face when we tell them our story.  It's not a shock of disbelief that there are babies who need rescuing or even a shock that we have 4 biological children and are still pursuing an adoption (that doesn't seem to bother anyone! It actually seems to make them more excited! This came as a huge shock to me!).  They are truly shocked that they get to meet and talk to a family going through the process.  It is just something people read about or hear of t.v. not something many people often get to have conversations about and ask their questions.  It has been wonderful to be able to explain how other families can get more information regarding the adoption process and how this is our way of living out the Great Commission in our home and how we are stepping out in complete faith trusting God for the big unknown! We are prayerful that The Lord is always glorified during this process! It is nothing of our own doing - all His!!

Thank you for all your support!

Prayer Request:
-Continue to pray that our home study can be done within the next couple of weeks
-Please pray our passports show up very soon
-Please continue to pray for our financial needs.  We have a very large check to write any day now and still need to raise some funds for it.  Large donations or small donations all add up! 
-Pray for our sweet Charlie Jo!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

YOU did it!

Y'all amaze me! In just 2 short days and with only 5 GENEROUS donations we have met and exceeded that $1,000 mark!  Woohoo! And as promised her name will be...

Charlotte Josephine

We plan on calling her Charlie Jo.  We chose Charlotte because of its meaning.  Charlotte means "free (wo)man".  We thought this name was very fitting for our sweet girl and how we want nothing more than to free her from a life of being in institutions! As far as Josephine goes, I had a great grandmother whose name was Josephine. We also liked the meaning; it means "God will increase". And, my mom, sister, and niece all have the middle name Jo.  Lots of good things behind her name!

Now, with all that said, as the mommy, keep in mind I do reserve the right at any time to change her name! ;-) We may hold her for the first time and the name just doesn't seem right.  Or, we may learn her actual full name and LOVE IT!  There's no telling! But, for right now, we are pretty set on Charlie Jo and think it is the perfect name for that sweet girlie! 

I was also asked why we were not keeping the name Treva.  Treva is not her actual name.  It is an alias used to protect her identity.  Her country of origin takes great pride in protecting the identities of their children.  Even if I did know her actual name I wouldn't be able to tell you.

Now, as far as our fundraising sites go, we will still need to keep it listed as Treva.  We will stick with the "Team Treva" theme.  She will always be listed on Reece's Rainbow as Treva so to avoid confusion we will keep everything else the same.  Avoid confusion?? Not sure I'm actually doing that! Anyone else confused?? Hopefully once we get home for good we will all be able to call her by only one name...her own name...complete with the last name Scott!


Prayer Requests:
-I sent off our I-600a to the United State Citizenship and Imigration Services today.  The process working with them can be lengthy. Please pray that it will go miraculously fast!
-I had my physical today and Dave has his in a few days.  Please pray that the doctors fill out the forms correctly and the there aren't any issues with them.  
-Keep praying for our sweetheart!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

And her name will be...

Yesterday we started a fun little challenge over on the Reece's Rainbow Facebook group.  If we received 10 new donations or if our total amount given was at or above $1000 we would reveal our daughters name! Four generous donations later and we have more than doubled our previous amount!! We are just shy of the $1000 mark! I am so humbled! Thank you for joining Team Treva! That sweet little girl has so many people loving and supporting her.

So, who is going to send our fundraising thermometer to $1000 or higher?? We can't wait to share her name with y'all!



Monday, June 17, 2013

Feel Free...

Feel free to....
  • Say CONGRATS! We are excited and we want you to be excited too!
  • Be concerned with how everything will turn out in the end.  We would be lying if we didn't say we were a little concerned, too! There are a lot of unknowns and things that could go wrong. Everyone has heard an adoption horror story or two!  Just like a pregnancy, I won't breathe a true sigh of relief until I have her in my arms at home! However, we are not afraid!
"They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7
  • Ask us how things are going! We want to talk about this with you.  We want to be an open book in this process.  Please ask any questions you might be thinking!
  • Pray for us! Pray for us a lot! We need it.  Our kids need it.  Treva REALLY needs it!
  • Share our story with others.  Please don't feel like you need to ask our permission. If you know someone who might be interested, please give them our information or link them right here to our blog!
  • Enjoy this picture of the 5 people who mean the world to me! Knowing that Treva is going to have this family surrounding her, loving her, and teaching her is what keeps me going - late nights and all! We are so blessed!

Prayer Requests:
-Keep praying for our Home Study
-Pray our passports will get here soon! There is a big chunk of paperwork I am unable to complete without our passports.
-Pray for Treva - pray specifically for protection in regards to her heart and how it's functioning. 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Why fundraise...

Recently a couple of people have likened the cost of international adoptions to child trafficking.  At first I was able to just brush it off, but the more I thought about it the more it bothered me.  I'm going to do my best to explain the costs and why it is NOTHING close to child trafficking.  Quite frankly, the costs are high to avoid such a tragedy!  It is also important to note that a large percentage of the money spent stays right here in the United States.  We are absolutely not just handing another country $25,000 in exchange for one for their orphans!

Social Worker Application Fee $500

Passport Renewals $220

Home Study Fee $3500 (this is VERY high compared to the national average.  There is no competition in this area.  We had only one choice in Grand Forks!)

Reece's Rainbow Voice of Hope Fund $250 

Reece's Rainbow Application Fee $25 

USCIS Fees $890

Marriage Certificates $35 

State Police Clearance $30  

Various Postage $200

Apostille Fees $450 (When we started I had no idea what this meant.  Basically, almost everything needs to be notarized.  Then, before we send it off to the country we have to send it to the office of the Secretary of State of ND to be verified.  In ND, they charge us $10 a document to be authenticated.)

Travel to Europe $2500 (2 adults rt is about $1250 per persn)

Adoption Fees $9000 

Donation to Orphanage (required) $0 (included in your facilitation fees)

Travel in Country $500

child's Medical Appt for Visa $110

child's Visa Application $230

child's Passport and Expedition Fees $600 

Living in Europe for 5 weeks $3500

Travel to America $800

Travel Items $250 

Emergency Fund $1000 

Estimate for 1 child $24,590

As you can see, adoptions are really expensive!  So does that mean only the wealthy are called to adopt?  We don’t think so! We do know that God has called us to adopt!  We cling to the truth of this verse:

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27 NLT

We don’t think that everyone has been called to adopt, but we do believe that God’s word is clear about caring for orphans (and widows).  We’re fundraising to give others an opportunity to give as they feel led, according to their conviction and experience the blessing that comes with caring for one of His own.  Also, we simply could not afford the expense of adoption.  We are convicted that God called us to step out in faith, knowing full well that our finances could not sustain such a high cost.  If you feel led to give, we would be ever grateful, but if you don’t, that’s ok too.  We know not everyone will be called to give financially.  We need prayers, encouragement, love, and occasional help with our other kiddos!  No matter what your decision, that is between you and God, just as our decision to make a step of faith was and is. If you do feel led to give to our adoption, on the left hand column of this blog are three different ways to give. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about what they all exactly are and how they benefit us!  Thank you to everyone who has already supported us in so many amazing ways!


Prayer Requests:
-Continue to pray our home study will be completed FAST.
-Pray for financial blessings
-Pray for Treva's health while she waits to come home.

PRAISE!! Last time I asked you to pray for the mountain of paperwork we wanted to complete in a single day.  It was a late night, but we did it!!