Thursday, December 20, 2012

All I Want for Christmas

Can't believe Christmas is less than a week away!  What an exciting season!

Yet... there is a yearning this Christmas that has never been so strong.  5 Decembers ago, we had a (surprise!) miscarriage.  There has been a special place in my heart ever since then for Baby Flagler. 

Especially this year: we've come SO FAR in the adoption process.  Lots more paperwork, doctor visits, fingerprints, home visits (x4!), fundraising, final approval, and w a i t i n g. 

Are there things that I want for Christmas?  Sure. 
But there's ONE thing that I really, really, really, really, really, reeeeeeaaaaaaaally want!


Any guesses?

Source

In Mariah Carey's words:
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There's just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
You baby

In all seriousness, in this Advent time of anticipation, I'm anticipating... that phone call or email that will change our lives forever.  It's a very special place to be in this season of celebrating Christ's birth.  Jesus was a miracle baby!  And we're waiting for our own miracle to arrive!
We've been praying for a 2012 baby.  As there are only 12 days left in 2012, we are starting to realize that God leading us to pray so specifically might not have been so we would see our prayers answered... it might have been for our faith to grow through these prayers. 
God has definitely been drawing us closer to Himself, and for that, we will always be thankful!  Whether or not our prayers for a 2012 baby are answered, we know that God can do it, if He chooses... but even if He does not, our faith in Him will not waiver. 
(The passage from Daniel 3 illustrates a similar confidence in the ability of God and surrender to His will... God's taken me to this passage several times recently.)

I want to focus on Christ during this season... not my yearning, my anticipation, my desires.  Not on our future child(ren) or our calling to adopt.  This is the celebration of Jesus's birthday. 
I will choose to celebrate HIM!  Can you help me if I get distracted?  Seriously. :)

Source: google.com via Mari on Pinterest

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red and Yellow, Black and White...

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

I grew up singing that song... did you?  
It's a nice song to sing, but it's even more important to believe the words in the song. 

When we started this adoption journey, 2+ years ago, we were open to lots of things, but pretty limited when it came to the type of ethnicity we would 'accept'.  It never felt right, but we knew there were members of our family who would have a serious problem with a child 'of color' being in our family.  And we want our children to be loved as much as they possibly can... from us and from our family members and community. 

A few months ago, things changed.  We had gotten several emails about children available, and they were different races than us.  We didn't respond to those first few emails.  But in June, there was an email about an African American boy.  Something was different, and I knew we were supposed to respond.  I called Matt (who was up at Liberty for school that week), and we discussed it and agreed to spend some time praying and we would talk about it when he was finished with school that week. 

On my way to meet Matt, I literally saw 4 trans-ethnic families.  (You know how you notice things more when you're looking for them or thinking about them?)  At the restaurant we met at and came to our decision, there were 3 other trans-racial families in our view.  In a small way, it was like God was saying, "it's not as different as you think."  We both came to the conclusion that we would respond to that email.

We texted our immediate family members, and they all responded in very appropriate ways.  Some with joy and excitement, others with concern.  None of their responses were wrong... they are entitled to feel how they feel.  For the most part, we know they are looking out for us--and even for our future children.  

Ever since then, we've joyfully responded to almost every email, no matter the type of skin the children have.  (The only ones we haven't responded to have been if there are significant extra costs involved...) I'm so glad the LORD changed our hearts.  I'm so glad He reminds us of the truths in the lyrics in childhood songs. 

This is 2012 (almost 2013).  People are people, no matter what kind of skin they're wearing.  Children without families need families... whether they're red, yellow, black or white.. green, purple, or tie-dyed. 

More importantly, the Lord has been placing people in our lives whose families don't necessarily share the same genetic material.  We know plenty of families who represent different parts of the world, and we're getting to know even more.  Our children will have some hardships (all children do).  But they won't be alone in their struggles.  No matter what color our children are, they will be LOVED... by us, by our family, and by a community of believers who already love them.  


 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Liebster Award: 11 Things

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by a new blog friend, Ashley. She blogs over at Expecting Miracles so go show her some love. Thanks for thinking about me, Ashley!

  This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers...the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

11 Things About Me:
1.  I don't like eating meat from a bone. 
2.  I love to travel and learn new things about different people and cultures.  
3.  Fall is my favorite season because I can wear sweaters and flip-flops at the same time.
4.  Matt and I met in 1997 when he was in 7th grade and I was in 9th.  When we first met, he was scared of me because I was kind of a punk. We had band together that year in school. 
5.  My best friend is Ginger who I met when we spent the summer together on 'Summer Project' with Campus Crusade for Christ in Gatlinburg, TN.  
6.  I used to love riding horses and hanging out at a horse barn and everything that involves.
7.  I have super sensitive smelling powers. 
8.  We've lived in our house for almost 3 months and haven't done anything in our yard.  I'm afraid we're going to get kicked out of the neighborhood. 
9.  I love being a big sister to my 2 younger sisters... and so thankful that we have all become close friends. 
10. I am NOT a plant person.  Every plant that has ever been under my care has met an early demise... 
11. I confuse myself by being an introvert who loves people and a task-person who is not nearly as organized as I used to be. 


Ashley's Questions For Me:
1. If you had to choose one of your 5 senses to give up, which would you choose?
    This is hard, but I think I would give up smell. 
2. What is one thing on your Christmas wish list this year?
     A Pyrex dish with a cover and a carrier so I can make stuff and transport it easily.
3. What was your favorite subject in high school? Least favorite?
     English was my favorite... anything science was my least favorite.
4. If you were a crayon, which color would you be?
    Purple Mountain Majesty... why?  I have no idea.
5. What is your favorite home cooked meal?
     "Mrs. Judy's Chicken" which is Parmesan-crusted chicken in small pieces. 
6. What is your favorite movie of all time?
     Way too hard to choose just one... favorites are LOTR trilogy, Gone with the Wind, 
    Sound of Music.

7. Do you have any tattoos?
     No. I'm a chicken. Matt has 4 or 5, and I've been with him for 2.  Does that count? :)
8. Have you ever traveled out of the country?
     Many, many times.  My earliest trip was when I was 9 months to London.  My longest 
    time overseas was 9 months in Central Asia.

9. What is your dream vacation?
     Alaskan cruise.
10. What scripture or quote has been the most encouraging/inspiring to you in life?
     Ephesians 2... especially the first 9 verses. 
11. What is one of your goals for 2013?
    I don't really do goals. (Maybe I should.) But one of my hopes is to complete our first
    adoption!





My questions for my Nominees:

1.  What is your favorite thing about the Christmas Season? 
2.  Do you like shopping? 
3.  Where is the farthest you've been from home? 
4.  Aside from your spouse or child(ren) (if applicable), who is the family member you are closest to? 
5.  Would you rather eat out for a week straight or have someone make you meals at home for a week straight? 
6.  Who are your top 3 non-profit organizations to joyfully give money to?  (In other words, is there an organization you enjoy giving to?) Why? 
7.  Describe yourself at the age of 16 in 3 words. 
8.  What's your favorite part of a beach vacation? 
9.  Last movie you saw in the theaters?
10. Most helpful thing you could pass on about money management? 
11. What's your favorite Christmas song? 

My New Nominees*:
Mindy at Mindy's Non-Adventures
Jeannene at La Casa de Pacheco 
Kristin at Kristin With an I
Debbie at the Lowthers
Gracia at A Committed Follower

If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow...
1) Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves.
2) Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked
3)Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate
4) They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post
5)Bloggers must be notified of their award!
6) No tag backs!

*I understand everyone is busy, especially during this time of year. Don't feel like you have to participate if you can't find the time. I would love to learn more about you, though, if you can!
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

LoveGave Hope



$100,000 in 58 hours?!

The LoveGave organization, which is awesome in itself since it's a collaboration of multiple churches in the Charleston area is taking on a cause that's dear to our heart this year... the fatherless



PLEASE take time to check out LoveGave Hope between now and December 8th.  If you're local, you can go to the West Ashley or Goose Creek Wal-Mart to be part of it.  You can also always watch online (always entertaining!) as they are live-streaming, and you can give online as well.   


Our goal is to raise $100,000 in 58 hours to provide hope for the orphans in our area. You know what?!
God can do it.  
Will you be part of it? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Very Special Evening

Many have asked about our fundraising dinner and silent auction.  I've still been processing it so wanted to take some time before I wrote.  

From the beginning planning stages, I felt that this was something the Lord prompted us to do... and that it wasn't supposed to just be about us or our adoption journey. I wanted it to be about adoption in general and a night where God would be glorified and where He would use the stories of others to prompt some to consider adopting. I don't know whether or not the latter happened, but I definitely think it was God-honoring.  

A room full!
Like all big events, not everything went according to plan.  There were 2 families we asked previously to share their stories who weren't able to swing it.  Then, a few hours before it started, one of the families that was planning to come to share their story called and said they wouldn't be able to make it.  Many others were kept from coming due to sickness, work and traffic.  We didn't follow the timeline exactly.  Some moments of me in front of the microphone were definitely awkward.


But, overall it was super-encouraging!  The food was delicious thanks to a great deal from Sticky Fingers, who also hooked us up with the great location... the grand ballroom at the Holiday Inn, Mt. Pleasant. The room was beautiful thanks to some special ladies who decorated!  


  
Kathie and Theresa... decorators extraordinaire! 


What made it incredible was all the people who were able to make it.  We had friends from all different seasons of our lives in the same place, and that is always special.  It was even more special because these people were gathered together in support of our future child.  Just the presence of so many people (around 70) meant more than we could have imagined.  We are not alone in this journey, and this past week proved that. 



Everyone enjoyed music from a friend, Brian Vanoy.  And our friends, the Hyatts, shared about adopting their son Will from China.  We also had some new friends, the Fischers, share about doing foster care and adopting through the state.  I'll never forget their stories... 

The Fischers have had over 30 children in their home through Foster Care and have adopted 4!
Also, we weren't planning on sharing about our adoption at all, but there were many new faces and some had never heard about our adoption process... so we did end up sharing.  Actually, Matt shared out story, which is incredibly touching to me because of how much he has changed towards adoption.  Hearing him share his heart in front of the folks gathered did something in my heart that is hard to explain.  I wish we had recorded the whole evening! 

The Silent Auction part also went well.  We didn't make anything off the dinner portion, but we made about $1,500 on the Silent Auction (with possibly more still coming in).  Though it didn't finish off the final adoption costs as we had hoped, we are very thankful for the wonderful evening we shared with so many people who are special to us and who already love Baby Flagler. 

 
Aunt Valerie, Aunt Laura and Uncle Steven hard at work!
Thank you so much to everyone who came and made it such an unforgettable evening!  And we missed those of you who couldn't make it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Closing out BBQ & Bids

I promise a more detailed update soon.  But for now, I'm copying the Thank You post I did for the event...

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this fundraiser! 
So far, we've made $1,466 towards our adoption! 


We do have a last chance offer for a couple of items.  

If you are interested in any of these items, you can do a "Buy It Now" Option through Monday, 12/3 at Noon.  First person who claims these items at the price listed (by Monday at noon EST) gets it! 

Buy It Now Price: $185

Buy It Now Price: $7 

Buy It Now Price: $10

Buy It Now Price: $75

Also, if you weren't able to participate but want to make a donation towards our adoption, you can do that through this link.

Thank You! Thank You!  Thank You!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Last Fundraiser Approaches...

We believe this will be our last fundraiser.  With the grants we've applied for and continuing donations coming in, we are prayerful and hopeful that the fundraising stage of this adoption is coming to a close.  Through many fundraisers and donations, over $14,000 has been raised! 

As most of you know, we are praying specifically for our child to join our family by the end of the year, so that's another reason we hope this to be the last fundraiser... we hope to soon be spending most of our time bonding with our bundle of joy!  

We have $5,000-7,000 remaining.  Can you please help us finish out this remaining goal? 

Can you come to the dinner, for the whole shebang?  
Can you tell your friends and family about this event?
Can you donate something for the auction?  
Can you shop from the auction?  
Can you make a donation? 
Can you help? 


Here are the helpful links: 

Purchase your ticket (by 11/27 at noon so we can give numbers to our caterer):


Shop the auction online (Now through Noon on 11/29)...  (43 items and counting!)

Make a donation

Share about this event.  


Thank you so much for how you have been part of this adoption process so far!  Please know that we appreciate each and every one of you... each donation of $10 or $1,000 has been special to us!

 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Online Auction has Started

Hey Everyone!  The online auction for our BBQ & Bids Christmas Adoption Fundraiser has started!  The online portion will continue through noon on 11/29.  

Please help us spread the word!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

God's Trying to Teach Me Something...

I haven't done a great job at the daily posts about adoption, but that's okay.  Life continues, and it's a little tricky to blog daily without internet access at home.  

Anyway, without going into any details, there's a lot happening on the adoption front.  Lots of emails.  The kind that say "are you interested in this baby" and we respond "of course we're interested" and then we hear back "____ families are interested in this baby".  Then we wait.

It's a beautiful and maddening thing.  It's soooooo wonderful that there are other people who want to be families for these children.  It's a beautiful thing that these precious lives are soon going to have families who love them and dream for them.  Maddening because we want to be the family.  

I get really caught up in emails.  Matt and I both do... it's probably comical to observe us these days... constantly checking emails, texting each other, calling each other for updates (depending on which one has email access at the time).  

But I had a good reminder today.  Something I KNOW but needed a good smack in the face with, to be reminded of...  

God is not giving us a child through an email.
It has nothing to do with how many other families respond and our 'odds'. 
HE has chosen our child(ren), and these are just the means
of getting us to him/her/them...
God has already designed our family.
Not the agency.  Not the waiting list.  Not a system. 

I was re-reading my friend's blog earlier, and I ran across this: 
You see, it was never about probability or circumstances or anything else. It was about God's plan. These girls were ours, are ours. It didn't matter how things played out....they were ours either way. And what a blessing to know that. We didn't become our girls' parents by default; we also didn't become their parents because their birthmom chose us. We became their parents because God chose us. He chose our family; He chose us for each other. (And not because we deserved it, but because He is SOOO good to us:))

Timely, wouldn't you say? 

By the way, if you're coming to our BBQ & Bids Fundraiser, you'll get to meet the family above and hear their story. 

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Prayer

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.


Lord, help me remember that YOU are my hope, where my soul finds rest.  As I woke up in a 'blah' mood, emotional and raw, I thank you for reminding me that YOU are my rock and my salvation, my refuge.  Lord, thanks for allowing me to pour out my heart to You. 

We've been officially 'waiting' 7 months today, Lord.  You know that.  You know what you have planned for us--the child, the birth mother and possible father that we will get to share our lives and Your love with.  I have NO control over any of this, so please help me to truly trust You and focus on all the wonderful things you've given us... the MANY things we have to be thankful for.  Help me not to wish away this time just waiting for what's next.  

Thank You, Lord, for knowing the beginning and the end... for being above time.  Thank You for not being affected by earthly timelines and expectations.  Help me to remember Your timing is perfect... 


*I don't normally write blog posts in prayer form, but I felt led to leave it this way AND actually hit "publish" on this one.   God knows the parts of this prayer that went unwritten as well, but I hope and pray there's a reason I'm sharing this.  Maybe it will be timely for others as well.   

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fundraising Update

In the last week, special friends have given over $3,000 in donations through Lifesong.  As each email came through about donations, I cried.  It's truly overwhelming to experience love and support in such a tangible way.  We have known God will provide, and we trust Him to, yet it's still humbling and powerful to see Him do it! If you've ever considered adoption and been intimidated by the cost, don't be.  God provides. 

As of now, we only have about $7,000 left.  



As we move forward to our BBQ & Bids Fundraiser, we are hopeful it will be our last fundraiser.  
Can you help us spread the word?  Can you come?  Can you donate something for the auction? 

 It's going to be awesome!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Waiting + a Giveaway!

This "waiting" thing is maddening.  Some days are easier than others, but days like today, when we are waiting on an email or a response to an email or an update... I mean, these days make me feel like I'm going crazy. 

I *force* myself to be productive at work, to "be anxious for nothing", to talk with God continuously about where we are.  It's hard.  It's also faith-building, but in the going-crazy sort of way. :)

I'm thankful for other things to occupy my time (like my job which is in a very busy season, like fundraising events, spending time with friends and family, and networking with other adoptive families).  I'm thankful for my husband who is a man of great faith.  I'm thankful for our agency...

...and I'm thankful for friends who pray for and with us.  

One friend (who I look forward to meeting in person soon!) is even doing a giveaway on her blog for join her in prayer for adoptive families currently waiting.  It's a really cool thing.  Please check it out.  
For a chance to win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card:
Go to this link and view the list of waiting families in SC with our agency. Choose a family (other than us), read their story, and spend some time praying for them. Pray for their future child, their birthparents, and their hearts as they wait. Leave her a comment to let her know who you prayed for.

To partner with her in this, I will give another opportunity for you to win something as you pray for another adoptive family:
  •  Follow the instructions above (adapted from her website).  Then leave a comment here (on our blog) with the family you took a few minutes to pray for.  We will give away 2 tickets to our upcoming BBQ & Bids Christmas Adoption Dinner.  
Her giveaway ends tomorrow.  Ours will go through Saturday at 5pm since I'm just now posting this.  
  

National Adoption Month, Day 7

Infant adoption is only part of the picture.  It's a part that gets a lot of attention, but foster-care adoption or state adoptions have been tugging at my heart as well.  It's not out of the question for us.  

What about you?  

This link is helpful when it comes to thinking through different fears people have about adopting from foster care.  

Today I found out about the SC Heart Gallery.  Pictures and descriptions of over 300 children in South Carolina who are currently waiting for their forever families. 


Would you take a few minutes and pray for these children?  Pray that they are safe in their current situation.  Pray for their forever families to find them soon.  In the meantime, pray for them to be loved!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day Special for Fundraising Dinner

We haven't sold any tickets yet.  :/ 
So, in honor of Election Day AND to get this show on the road, we're offering a special.


Today only:  Buy 3 tickets, get 1 free! 
That way, you can bring friends and have even more fun! 


Purchase tickets here (change the quantity before you hit "Checkout").



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Church and Orphans

Yesterday, Matt and I had the opportunity to share briefly about our adoption with our church.  Yesterday was orphan Sunday, so we were asked to share our story and spend time praying for orphans from stage.  (We were far down the line of people asked, but it was cool anyway!) 

I can't explain the JOY and passion that I felt while hearing Matt talking with the Lord about orphans, adoption, and the parts we play.  His heart has changed so much, and I'm beyond thankful!  It's further proof that GOD is doing this... not us.


We are so grateful to be part of this church.  There are 3 other families who have adopted in our church.  Of those 3 families, we've been in Community Group with two of them.  What a blessing!  And one other family (that we know of!) is starting the process.  It means so much that we have this support system... that our child(ren) won't be the only one(s) who don't look like Mommy & Daddy. :)

Even more awesome is that our church is doing a HUGE event in December to raise awareness and funds for local orphanages.  Check out the video below.




Sunday, November 4, 2012

National Adoption Month, Day 4

This says it all.  
Thanks to my friend Tanya for passing it along to me.
It can be purchased here.


And if you want more along these lines, read this book:

 

National Adoption Month, Day 3

I'm starting to realize that not everyone is obsessed with passionate about adoption like me.  To some people, it's something they "could never do", something they think is limited to pets, thought only rich people could do, or don't think about at all.    





I'm so thankful for all the different ways that adoption has become part of my life:
  • I'm thankful for the neighbors up the street who adopted a kid when I was in elementary school then immediately became pregnant so raised two kids almost like twins. 
  • I'm thankful for the F______ family who I met while I was in high school and had the opportunity to babysit for in those days. 
  • I'm thankful for the professor at Anderson who was single but had two adopted daughters (can't remember which country).  
  • I'm thankful for having full-out lectures about adoption during my time at Focus on the Family. 
  • I'm thankful for having friends who are adopted.
  • I'm thankful for friends who have adopted or are adopting. 
Whether my interactions have been very limited or up-close-and-personal, I'm thankful for each and every exposure I've had to adoption.  It has helped it become more normal to me.  Our new normal.

What about you?  What are your experiences with adoption?  Does it seem very foreign to you?  Something God is calling you to be part of?  Something you want to know more about? 

     

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fundraising Dinner & Silent Auction


Thursday, November 29th 6:00pm

at Holiday Inn, 250 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt. Pleasant, SC


$15 per ticket*

includes full BBQ Dinner 
catered by Sticky Fingers, 
live Music,
Adoption Stories,
and a Silent Auction

 Purchase your tickets here by 11/26. 

 * Free ticket if you donate an item for the Silent Auction.

Friday, November 2, 2012

National Adoption Month, Day 1


Have you heard that November is National Adoption Month? 
My Facebook feed is FULL of reminders, and for that, I'm thankful.  


I'm going to try to do something adoption-related on this blog each day of November.  Shouldn't be too hard since most of my life is consumed with adoption these days anyway. :)

To start, I'll share with you that our story was shared with a very special community--the Alumni of Focus on the Family's semester long leadership program.  I am a proud Spring 2003 graduate of the program, then known as "Focus on the Family Institute", and many special friends were made that semester.  MANY special friends from that season have been part of our fundraising so far, and we are eternally grateful for that.  

You can read our story here.  (Highlights below)

Tricia's Story

Adopting has been something I've wanted to do ever since I attended the Institute in 2003. After knowing several families with adoption in their stories, it also always seemed like such a practical way to live out the Gospel. When we got married in 2007, adoption was something that Matthew and I knew we would do 'someday' when the Lord led us.
After a year of marriage, we were living in Thailand teaching at a Christian school for Thai children, and the idea of adoption strongly gripped my heart, but Matthew wanted to grow our family the 'old-fashioned way' first. After two more years without a child the 'old-fashioned way', and many prayers and discussions, we finally decided to pursue adoption.
In September 2010, our adoption journey began. It took over a year and a half to get home-study approval due to some health-related issues and our messy finances. Now, two years later, we are home-study approved and waiting for the child that God has chosen for our family.

How have you seen God at work through your adoption journey?

The adoption community is like no other. With all the variations—international, domestic, foster-care, family and special needs adoptions—adopting creates a wonderful opportunity to learn about how God is at work being a "Father to the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5).
There are countless blogs, organizations, orphanages and families who have felt God's call to "look after orphans" (James 1:27). It has been eye-opening. We have been humbled by God's financial provision but also heartbroken and overwhelmed by all of the need that exists. We know ours is just one story of the millions God is writing. It's so much bigger than us.

Also, you can learn about two other Alumni who are passionate about adoption, Thea Ramirez and Katie Overstreet.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Coming Up! Can You Help?

Save the Date!
Here's what we know so far:
  • Thursday, November 29th, starting at 6:00
  • Catered by Sticky Fingers
  • at Holiday Inn, Mt. Pleasant (250 Johnnie Dodds Blvd)
  • You'll get to hear others' Adoption Stories
  • We'll have Christmas Music (hopefully LIVE)
  • We'll have lots of items to auction off (with online pre-auction starting Black Friday) that will make perfect Christmas gifts for your friends and family
  • We are excited!!! 
  • We need help... can you help us make this happen?  

We need Auction Items!  Here are some ideas:

  • Gift Cards for Any Amount (Target, Best Buy, Restaurants)
  • iPad/iPod
  • Kindle
  • Hotel Room Stay
  • Etsy Shop or other online gift certificates
  • Amazon.com Gift Certificate 
  • Craft Items
  • Gift Baskets 
  • CDs
  • Anything that you would want to get or give for Christmas
Any businesses/persons who donate will receive ample recognition unless otherwise requested. 

Even if you're not local, you could make a special donation here and make a note that it's for us to buy an auction item (and what it's for if you have a preference).  We appreciate ANY help!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Middle of the Night Musings

I have not slept much the last couple of nights. 

So many things on my mind like our next fundraiser, starting an adoption grant agency, orphan care in general, different paths to adoption, different families who have adopted recently or are in the process of adopting.  

This is so much bigger than our current adoption!
God won't let me let it go.  The trick for me will be praying through all these things instead of just thinking and planning.  I'm better at the latter but learning about the former.  

A new friend who I've made through this adoption journey, Rachel, recently posted about a family doing a giveaway fundraiser like we've done... Which led me to their blog and their story.  Another story of God setting the lonely in families.  This couple has now started an organization that seeks to be a voice for orphans around the world.  They also take care of an orphanage in Uganda.  Huge way to tangibly live out James 1:27. 

You see, I keep learning about all that God is doing through other people, and it grips my heart.  It makes me wonder what He has planned for us.  Multiple adoptions, special needs adoptions, waiting children adoptions... Then I look around and realize we are limited for now.  We can do what He has called us to do for now.  We can be faithful to what He has called us to do now.   We/I don't have to worry about doing it all.  

Then I read this post.  I hope it's as encouraging to you as it is to me.  "Whatever" we do for the least of these, we do unto Him."

Thank you to everyone who is on this journey with us.  Thank you for "whatever" you are doing!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

30.

Yep, I've entered into a new decade. 

Lots of people have asked me if 30 was a big deal for me, and I can honestly say no.  I can understand how it is for some people, but it hasn't been for me.  


I've actually felt 30 for awhile. ;) 

Celebrating 30 was fun, and my friends and family helped make it very special.  We had our housewarming/birthday party on the 20th.  During that weekend, I had some quality time with my sisters, best friend who came to town from West Virginia, Mom who came down from North Carolina, my husband, and everyone else who came to our party.
With my honey at movie night.
On my actual birthday, I got to worship with Matt and Ginger at our church.  It had been about 2 months since I had been able to be in the service, so it was extra-special.  (Though I probably should have stayed and helped fill in all the gaps in the children's area... but that's another post.)  After the church gathering, we had family dinner at Grandma's with homemade birthday cake, cards and presents from family. My mom even joined us which was a treat!  
Thanks for birthing me 30 years ago, Momma!

Then, we ran some errands and spent some of the gift cards I'd gotten.  I'm not really much of a shopper, but I do like using gift cards.  Got some clothes and some stuff for the house.  Then we went home and watch The Interpreter which I had been wanting to watch. After that movie, we packed up leftovers from the party and took them to Mark & Steph's for movie night.  Mom met us over there again which was wonderful.  We watched World Trade Center and used their internet to check for Facebook wishes.  Birthdays definitely have changed since Facebook. :)  Ginger also made a fruit pizza which we had with the party leftovers at movie night.  It was delicious! 



After movie night, I enjoyed being able to go home and not worry about having to get up early for work.  Ginger and I had a breakfast date at Bear E Patch the next day then ran some errands before she had to leave town.  But it was a great way to end a wonderful weekend. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

30th Birthday and Housewarming Party


Last weekend, most of our favorite people were able to be here and celebrate with us!  Thank you so much to everyone who came! 
Ginger and Lauren finally got to meet!
We had a nice drop in with turkey/pumpkin chili, a Fall salad, honey/corn muffins, Brunswick stew, ham biscuits, regular chili, cinnamon rolls, and S'mores!  Special thanks to Emily, Gail and Mark who made all the yummy food!  And special thanks to Ginger, Valerie & Laura for doing all the setup work!

Family by our new fire pit!
We especially enjoyed getting to spend time with our family and friends from out of town and the friends who are local who we hardly get to see.  We loved having the combination of friends from church, work, Cares, the old days, and even our brand new neighbors.  And we missed all of you who weren't able to make it.