Philippians 4:12

Faith in life through good and hard times

And Now The Fun Starts….



Last weekend, we enjoyed a peaceful relaxing weekend in Savannah. Although there were extra plans. We had our first three interviews with our Home Study agent.

Today I got news that all three children will remain in states custody. Which means….GREEN LIGHT!!!

I need money and I need it yesterday!

Three beautiful children are counting on me to work a miracle(with God of course) and bring them home together. They are still separated and have not seen each other since October. Our Darlin is scared that her brother and sister will not remember her. I could not imagine!

Our GoFundMe link is below. Please share the link, this blog post, whatever! I need your help! I need my village to help bring my kids home. And my village is an array of strangers with a love for orphans and a desire to help children get to their forever home!!

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Sometimes Stress is Good, Sometimes…Not So Much

I seem to start off most of my posts with:
So…..

I am in the habit of writing like I am speaking to someone; which, if you are reading this, I guess I am.

We are:
1. Trying to sell our house
2. Trying to buy a house
3. Trying to raise money for an adoption
4. Going through a Home Study
5. Filling out paperwork for the adoption
6. Waiting for news from the Orphan Court in country
7. Waiting on a date for traffic court
8. Trying to get a house clean enough to show while living in it with the 5 of us and 5 large dogs.
9. Trying to run a business
10. Trying not to kill anyone during the previous 9 things on the list.

Let me tell you something I have figured out:
If I was raising money to pay for my dog to have hip replacement surgery, I would have people donating left and right! My GoFund me page would be shared from Florida to Alaska. Yet, when I am trying to raise money to help with the cost of adopting 3 children from an orphanage in Europe….
Did you hear that? It was a pin dropping a mile away!
I have, according to the statistics on GoFund me when I share on FB and Twitter, 388 friends. Now not all of them can afford a big donation, but let’s say those 388 friends donated $5(a grande latte at Starbucks), I would have the money to completely pay for my Home Study. I need that complete before I can apply for grants. $10 and I would have enough money to pay for my HS, and my first Adoption Agency payment.

I am not complaining. Ok. I am. But seriously, how many Christians does it take to fund an adoption? Well, I personally know a couple that could outright pay for the whole thing and not break a sweat. How much have they donated? NONE

On to the house, made an offer on one 3 days ago. Haven’t heard a thing. Cleaning our house like I’m expecting my MIL so we can list the darn thing and hope it sells. Youngest son, we will refer to him as…..Goldfish. His attention span is about 10 seconds. He cleans like I do. Cleaning, find something you forgot you had and start remembering when you got it and why and then 45 minutes later you haven’t moved beyond that. 4 hours!!!!! It took him 4 hours to clean his room. That’s not including the 2 hours he spent “cleaning” it the day before.
Princess, her room is clean. Beds are made. Dishes done. Blankets folded. Floor swept and swiffer mopped. Guinea pig cage cleaned, food filled, waters filled.
Swag, brought up the dishes from his room and fed the chickens. Um, yeah, that’s pretty much it.
Dearest Husband, threw away empty boxes I had saved to pack then proceeded to lay on the couch playing Madden on his phone.

Currently, I am sitting in a diner, waiting on Princess while she attends her first dance. Seriously, NOT READY FOR THIS!

Oh and while all of this is going on, I have an appointment next month with a CD specialist who, is out of network and I have a $2000 deductible, and it’s 5 hours away. And my appointment is at 9am on a Monday!

If my sanity is still somewhat intact by the end of this month, it will quite literally be a miracle. Only the grace of God will see me through the multitude of obstacles set before me in such a short amount of time to accomplish.

Please continue to pray that things go in our favor where God intends it. And give me the strength to handle the disappointments that I know will come.

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When Your Worst Enemy is Your Own Body!

Since I was a small child, I have always had stomach problems. Along with that, I had exertional asthma and seemed to always be sick. At 5, allergy testing said I had a few food allergies; Purple grapes, eggs, and milk. I grew out of those “allergies” but continued to have issues.
I was constantly sick. Strep, tonsillitis, yeast infections, and once puberty hit, so did the migraines. At 16 I had my tonsils removed and the pathologist noted “something abnormal, but of unknown ideology.” When I was 17, appendix was removed, pathology report, same notation. Go to a GI doc who tells me my symptoms are consistent with IBS, but read a celiac panel. After that came back abnormal, next came endoscopy.
DING DING DING
Celiac Disease
Fast forward 4 years:
An adult, on my own insurance, pregnant, I had to switch GI docs. New doc says “you don’t have celiacs!” So I go back to normal diet.
Migraines and abnormal female issues. “IBS” symptoms come and go.
3 children and 12 years later, I start having seizures. Suffering daily from chronic fatigue, muscle pain, “brain fog”, and headaches. 3 neurologists later, no medical reason can be found for my symptoms so I was diagnosed with Essential Myoclonus.
GI symptoms always present since, you know, I have “IBS”, it got to a point where I could not eat anything without getting sick.
Allergist appointment and new GI appointment scheduled. Testing came back no allergies, endoscopy result: Celiac Disease
Now I wait to see a Celiac specialist to determine how to proceed with my dietary future. For now, I think I may go paleo.

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The Domestic vs International Adoption debate

“There are plenty of children here in the States, why would you adopt internationally?”

There are over 1 million orphans(abandoned/orphaned/or taken) world wide. There are many countries that will not allow international adoption and the children there suffer. There are families waiting on the blessing of children and there are families waiting to share their blessings with children.

Whether you adopt domestically or internationally, you are providing a family for a child(ren) that they might not ever have. Older children are almost never adopted. In some countries, children age out of the system at 16, while here in the States it is 18.

Sibling groups are another situation. How many people go into the adoption process thinking they will find that “perfect” child for their family. Well, for us that “perfect” child comes with two young siblings and a lot of baggage.

Whatever your case may be, if you are not adopting, have never adopted, or would never consider adoption, you really have no voice in this matter. We are called to help children and regardless of their race, ethnicity, country of origin, baggage, or beliefs, they are children that need us; Children whose families were taken from them or who gave them up.

If you have room in your heart for a child, does it really matter where they came from? And if you think adoption is good, but only if you adopt from your own country, then you seriously need to take a look at your motives. Why is one child better than another?

As a Christian, my “family” is across the globe. In small villages; large, crowded, dirty city streets; in orphanages, children’s homes, foster homes, and without homes; in chapels, barns, huts, and cathedrals.

I do not judge the couple that wants to adopt a young couple that is adopting a child with similar feature on the intent of knowing they can grow up never knowing they were adopted. Just as you cannot judge me for adopting children that do not look like me. They will know they were adopted. Hopefully they will stay in touch with the family that could not take care of them. They will know their culture and ours. They will know that we flew halfway around the world to bring them into our family. We will love them through the struggles and through the cuddles.

Love thy neighbor.
Take care of the widows and orphans.
Love thy brother and sister.
Take care of the least of these.
Show My love for you, by loving others.
Be the church.

The Great I Am tells us that we have this responsibility. To tend to the needs of others; wherever and whoever they may be!

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Fundraisers and Crowdfunding

We are partnering with a wonderful organization that will help us raise funds as well as support a wonderful mission. Apparent Project hand makes bead bracelets made from recycled materials. They are made by artists in Haiti as a primary source of income for their family. Mostly single mothers, they rely on this income to house, feed, and clothe themselves and their children.  If you are looking for a fundraiser to help you or your organization, I highly recommend this great cause!

Donations

We have a site on YouCaring that we are using to help raise initial costs for our adoption. Once our home study is complete, we will be working with AdoptTogether.org for crowdfunding.

We have also set up a T-Shirt booster Love a Lat!

I am also a designer/consultant for both Origami Owl and Your Inspirations at Home. I am using 100% of my commission for our adoption.

While we are in a battle for these children, we pray daily that the court will move swiftly to bring our babies home!!

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My heart flew over the Atlantic

We said “see you soon” yesterday, because goodbye seems too final. We had some laughs and smiles before the tears and hugs started. She wants us as much as we want her. She tried everything she could to delay our departure. Then tried hiding in our group to avoid being shuttled through customs.
We have met the daughter that I did not give birth to; the sister that my daughter always wanted; and the family member that seems to be a flat piece to our puzzle!
I cry when I think of what she has gone through in her short years and what she must go through when she returns to her home country. I worry for her as decisions are made by adults who have no emotional connection to her. I pray that they will take into consideration her words and the documentation of years of neglect and abuse. I also pray that my heart can handle any decision that the court makes. While there is nothing more in the world that I want than for her to be home with us forever, it is all in the hands of others. I pray that God softens their hearts and makes the decision that is in the best interest of the children and that I can have peace with whatever they decide.

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Countdown to Departure

Hosting is almost over. We are not looking forward to saying goodbye. D has become a part of our family and it will be terrible when she is not here.
She is withdrawing a little bit. Seems a bit sadder. I wish I could tell her that we are working to get her back to us permanently, but it is against hosting rules.
We need help and are working on fundraisers. Our hearts are bigger than our pockets. Please, if you take time to read this, consider donating to our YouCaring page. That is the bare minimum we need to get the ball rolling. Every dollar helps!

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We are IN LOVE and cannot wait to ADOPT!

Hosting our amazing 15yo girl has been such a blessing!! She is more than we could have hoped for. Our daughter has bonded with her and they are two peas in a pod. She loves our animals, our family, and our friends. While she has been here for almost three weeks, it feels as though she has always been a part of our lives.

We are still waiting to hear from the Orphan Court on their final decision on whether the children will be available for adoption. December was the final court date.

Our girl has shared with us that they were removed from the home due to physical abuse. Her step-father beat her mother and all 4 of the children. In one instance, he threw chemicals into the 3yo boys face, causing him to lose vision in one eye. Our girl, D, is in need of surgery to correct a skeletal malformation that hinders her breathing and limits her physical activities. There are no specialists in her home country that do this surgery. In addition, she was left with an earring back stuck inside her earlobe that was never attempted to be removed. She has been neglected by the only person she had, her mother.

She has also explained that while she loves her mother, she is angry that she has not done what is needed to get them back. Having been in the system for over a year, her mother only recently got a job, and the apartment she has rented is only one room. It is not big enough for her and children.

On January 11th we have to say goodbye. It is not something that any of us want to do. She has expressed her desire to stay with us and that she feels like we are “home” for her. After that date, we get to officially tell her we want to adopt her. She hopes to come back this summer for hosting, while I hope she gets to come back by then to live permanently.

With expenses ranging from $30k-60k we need all the help we can get. Below is a link to donate, once we have raised $100 our site will become searchable to anyone wishing to donate to adoptions. We need a completed home study before we can apply for grants. If you would like to donate directly to our agencies, please send me a message and I will forward you the necessary information to donate. Donations to these agencies must be over $100(their policy, not ours).

Please pray for us and for these children.

Thank you and God bless!

DONATE

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Why don’t they have Adoption registries?

Wedding, baby, wish lists, new house, everything under the sun, but no adoption registry.
Some may be getting a baby. So you can use that. What about those of us adopting older children?
We don’t have showers. We have bake sales. No registering for items you need. We have fundraisers to help bring these children home.
So, I am starting a “baby registry”. That will have things that do not go on a baby registry. We are adopting a 15yo, 4yo, and a 3yo. Our youngest bio is 10. So we need two FAA approved 5point booster seats to fly them home with. We need beds since we are going from 3 children to 6. Those beds need sheets. We need clothes! Lots of clothes! I have some clothes from my youngest, but it will be years before the newest can wear them. I have only one girl, so there haven’t been any clothes saved as hand me downs. And we are adopting a girl that is 2.5 years older than our bio daughter.
So, maybe I will contact these online retailers! Ask them for inclusion. After all, they are new additions to our family and should have gifts and a party too! Maybe I’m being selfish for them. Maybe I’m being selfish for all of us adoptive parents that struggle to meet financial goals and apply for grants, host parties, bake cookies until they can’t stand the smell of flour!
All we need is support. Not financially. Although that helps. But that friend that says, “hey let me do this for you!” That’s what we need. The friends that say “they are doing a wonderful thing,” when other “friends” are questioning your decisions.
I LOVE my friends that have told me I am crazy, given me a hug, and told me that they will help me in any way they can!
I love the new friends I have made on this adoption journey! They are and will always be forever in my heart!

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Counting Down to Christmas

The days are getting shorter but they feel like they are dragging!
In just over 1 month, we will have our D here at home for the first time! We will get to love on her and let her know that she is special.
We still have some money to raise for hosting, but we will have that covered.
Now we are working to raise money for our home study, adoption costs, Skymiles, and the length of time we will need to stay in EE.
I pray that the courts move quickly and we have all three of our EE children home for next Christmas!!!

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