Sunday, February 7, 2016

Your Kids Did What?

Sometimes I forget what a dramatic turn our lives took when the Lord first spoke adoption into our hearts...13 years ago!

I forget the shock when we discovered the cost.

I forget the reams and reams of paperwork we would need to complete.  Oh, wait, I had no idea there would be so much paperwork.

I forget the ache to hold a child I've never met.

I forget the hours upon hours of poring through the Scriptures seeking wisdom.

I forget how 'easy' life was.

I even forget the rallies of the enemy.  Oh, how he battles against us.  He wants us to believe the lie that what we're considering is crazy.  He wants us to doubt our decision by taunting us with the shiny things of this world.  He reminds us of our own weakness and fallibility.  He discourages us with the words of  naysayers: 

*What about YOUR kids?
*You'll never be able to put YOUR kids through college?
*YOUR kids will not get everything they deserve.
*You won't have time for YOUR kids.
*You're cheating YOUR kids.

So many voices, so much confusion, many times I thought how sweet it would be if God would just give us this...

Know what I mean?  A clear path with no obstacles, the knowledge of exactly when and where to go next, and the absolute assurance that it will all end well.

I know that God is faithful.  I know that He keeps His promises.  I know that His Word is true.  But my flesh wants constant gratification.  My flesh cries out, "Will we be okay?  Please, Lord, show me something, anything to let me know the trials are only 'light and momentary troubles."

And then I started to see it.  The manifestation of God's goodness through it all.  The mercy in every tear shed.  The faith grown in walking the trenches of trauma.  The compassion and forgiveness undeserved.  The redemption.

His goodness was seen  not only through the receiving of a child long awaited and prayed for, and the healing of a broken heart, but also in the actions of our big kids, the bios, the three amigos, the original Krew.

Nearly 13 years have passed since we first took a leap of obedience, a plummet outside the comfort zone, a walk on the wild side.  

Since that time, our oldest bio son, Kuyler, and his bride Caitlin have graduated from college, and they love and serve children in their church.  They recently told us they want to do the craziest thing ever in case of the unthinkable untimely passing of Clayton and I ~ they want to be the guardians of their siblings.  All.nine.of.them.  Poor Kuyler.  He has been ruined.

Our second born, Kolton, and his bride Allie are in college, and they have a heart for missions.  We've had the privilege of hearing Kolton testify about the mighty work the Lord has done through missions teams traveling outside the borders of this country.  His heart is moved desperately for children and the difference the gospel makes in their future.  Poor Kolton.  He has been ruined.

Kenzie is in college, and her groom Josh has entered the civilian ranks after serving in the military, and they too love the Lord.  Of the three bios, Kenzie has spent the most time at home with her siblings, and accepted much responsibility in helping care for them.  We've heard people say she probably couldn't wait to leave home, but since her wedding less than two months ago, she has requested her siblings come for sleepovers on two occasions.  Poor Kenzie.  She has been ruined.

My older kids will tell you that although their teen years weren't 'typical,' theirs was the only family visiting the college campus with a string of young dark-haired siblings trailing behind their nearly-middle-aged parents, and life hasn't always been easy, every sacrifice has been worth it.  This is not to our credit.  This is the work of the Lord.

As for my failing memory, maybe it's less forgetfulness and more a sense of peace.  

In fact, we are enveloped in peace as we wait to bring our newest treasure, Kaison home!

When I watch my older kids with their siblings, and when I see them loving others as Christ loves, it brings me to joyful tears.  Family runs deeper than blood.  And they get it.  They get that we aren't given life and breath to serve ourselves.  So little of what we spend our time on really matters, but investing in a life matters forever.

Thank you, Jesus, for ruining this family.

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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Approved - 100% Tax Deductible Giving Through AdoptTogether!

As we anxiously await news of dossier movement in China, I am completing grant applications at the speed of life!

We entered this adoption journey certain that God was in the lead, and trusting that He would provide the adoption costs in His perfect time.

We are diligently praying for fundraising opportunities, spending hours on adoption assistance grant applications, and seeking His direction every step of the way.

We are excited to announce that we have been approved to fundraise through AdoptTogether!

Every dollar designated toward our adoption costs is 100% tax deductible!  It's a win/win!

Take a peek at our page here!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

God's Story Never Ends With Ashes!

Of one thing I'm perfectly sure: God's story never ends with ashes 
~Elisabeth Elliot~

This tee can be ordered HERE!

Such truth spoken by a very wise woman!  I am privileged to offer this shirt to help bring Kaison home.  It will be available through January 29th, and each tee sold will bring us closer to our fundraising goal!  Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Be Kind

I've lost enough loved ones to realize this life is short!  We aren't guaranteed tomorrow, and we never know what it will hold.  I'm not talking about tucking tail and running in fear; I'm speaking of making the most of every day and considering the legacy we will leave today.

We will never regret extending kindness, even when human nature tells us to withhold it when unreciprocated.  

I've been pondering what this looks like as a believer.  
1) Do I love only when loved?
2) Do I forgive only when forgiven?
3) Am I kind to those who hurt me or my children?

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18

Church, we are held to a standard of living as Christ.  

We radiate joy!  

Or do we?

Would anyone really want to come into our camp?  Are we clenching our fists and sporting a frown while passing judgmental glances...even at our brothers and sisters?

Or are we extending our hand in greeting to everyone we see?  After all, we might be the only glimpse of kindness they get.

Think of it this way:  When you walk into a room of people (not close friends and family, but people you know), do you bring them up, or take them down?  Will folks breathe a sigh of relief when you leave the room, or will they miss your presence?

I know, we all have a story, some written in tragedy, some simply circumstances of inconvenience.  We can't choose our trials.  We can only choose our response.  Do we mourn with those who mourn and celebrate with those who celebrate?

Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15

My heart is so heavy over this, and I know it starts with me!  The conclusion I've drawn is that to act without kindness and courtesy is a matter of pride.

It doesn't mean we all have the same passions or agree on every issue.  We are, after all, uniquely crafted by the Father.  We have different personalities and appearances, but one thing is universal: how we treat one another.  

Like it or not, we are accountable for everything we do...or don't do.

After all, we have hope, y'all!  This life isn't as good as it gets!  This is only preparation for eternal life with Christ!  That, my friend, is something to celebrate!

Monday, January 4, 2016


We received great news this morning that our dossier is logged in!  So now we wait for LOA, which could come in 30 days...or 90+ days.

Meanwhile, we are applying for grants and gearing up for more fundraising.  December was c.r.a.z.y., and we'll soon have the pictures to prove it ;-)  

We've also set up a donations website through Pure Charity.  Know what's really cool about this?  It is an easy way to give, and every dollar donated is 100% tax deductible!  Once the fundraising concludes, Pure Charity will send the proceeds to our adoption agency, Lifeline Children's Services, to apply toward our account.

It is ridiculous that an adoption process is upwards of 40k, but it is unthinkable that that is all that stands between a precious child and his forever family.  Praise God that He is our Provision!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

I just love this color combo!  And I love 1 John 4:18!
I've decided to run this tee concurrently with the other one until December 16!  That's only one week to claim your shirt.  If it's a hit, I can always relaunch it, but in case you want it near Christmastime, I'm promoting it as a short run.

This tee comes in...

 women's fitted

 long sleeve
Place your order HERE.
You can still order this tee as well...
 women's fitted
You can order them Here.

December 16 is right around the corner!
And since you're still with me, why not some new pictures of our treasure...


Friday, December 4, 2015

Don't Worry

The adoption process has many phases.  Right now we are in the waiting phase.  Three documents are being authenticated and will soon be sent to China (DTC - Dossier to China) to meet up with our original dossier from Kohlby's adoption process.  

It's called 're-using your dossier.'  This is the first time we've re-used a dossier.  Once we are DTC we wait for LID (log-in date), which marks the beginning of the wait for LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China asking if we formally accept the referral of a particular child, our son.  (Ummmmm, let me think. YES!)

The wait for LOA is the perfect time to complete applications for adoption assistance grants.  My goal is to complete one application per week, which wouldn't be a big deal...if we didn't have a wedding in two weeks, or Christmas in three weeks, or weren't launching a new health practice, or holding a bake sale, or you know...

In fact, we've already received word from our first grant application:  Decline.

I would be kidding if I said my heart didn't sink a bit with the news.  After all, adoption is ridiculously costly.  Is there anything worthwhile that isn't though?

And so we carry on.  But not dragging our feet in sadness or bitterness.  With hope!  Because this grant wasn't a deal-breaker where adoption is concerned.  Neither is the next one.  Or the one after that.

Only the Lord knows exactly how and when this adoption will be funded.  We are literally holding one fundraiser after another, and even if every single one of them failed, we would not worry.

The God who created every.single.thing loves a little boy lying in a crib in China.  And He loves the family racing to bring him home.  He has made a way to redeem a life of brokenness, sorrow and loss.

Isaiah 40:28 says...
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

We can't possibly know all He has planned, but we know He is faithful and true.  All we have is His, and we are merely stewards.  The Lord can be trusted with what belongs to Him...
...and if we believe that, then there is simply no room for worry.

To Him be all glory!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One Foot in Front of the Other...

It seems like only yesterday we joyfully said "Yes" to adoption again.  And yet, as we enter the Advent season, we are reminded of the number of Christmases our children have spent without a family.

This Christmas is no exception.  By God's grace, this will be the last Christmas our treasure Kaison Joel (Yahweh is God) spends without his family - us!

We are committed to praying fervently and working hard to raise the necessary adoption funds.

Our newest fundraiser is this beautiful tee:

We are running this tee until December 16.
To check it out or place your order, please go HERE.

Also, for our local friends we are holding a rolling bake sale through the month of December!  The only days we can't bake and deliver are the 17th through the 20th (kind of a big deal going on then!) and the 25th.  Leave a comment or email me for more info!

By God's grace, our newest treasure will come home soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Call to Action

Can I ask a favor?

Would you pray for us?

I came across this quote from John Piper today, and it hits home ~
Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for.
-John Piper

We've experienced a lot of battles in the war of this life.  We don't usually ask why; we just fix our eyes on Jesus all the more.

We knew that this adoption journey would require faith like never before.  We knew it would be necessary to trust the Father for the funds to get our little guy home.  We want him home quickly, obviously to smother him with love, but also to address his medical needs.  And praise the Lord, the process is moving along quickly.

We have worked tirelessly to raise funds, and we'll continue to do so.  To date we've had 8 fundraisers since starting the process in July, and we are so thankful for all who have participated in them, from entering drawings, to purchasing t-shirts and baked goods!

And in our flesh, we fall short.  Every.single.time.  We understand that one of the main reasons folks don't adopt is the cost.  After all, who has $40,000 laying around?!?  We certainly don't.  And yet, the Lord has provided the funds for all of our children to come home.  He has used some pretty creative means to provide, through His people.  And as we get one step closer to our son, I tremble at the notion that we still need to raise another $34,000.  It seems impossible from our perspective.  But we are so feeble and so limited, unlike our mighty Father, for whom nothing is impossible!

And so it occurred to me, why not rally the troops to pray?  Would you commit to pray?  For our family.  And for others who are responding in obedience to the Word of God, even though it is not easy.  We are not promised comfort or ease, but there is a promise we can count on: He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Our family has grown over the last ten years...

...and as long as we have breath, we will serve the Lord at all cost.

Prayer doesn't change things; it changes us.  We want our desires to align with the Fathers; we want to testify to His goodness, no matter the circumstances; and we want to praise His character and sovereignty.

We treasure your prayers, and we'd also like to pray for you, if you would leave a comment with your request.

"Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude -- an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God."
- Arthur Pink

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made in Purple!

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made by our awesome Father!

We have chosen the theme Be the Change because we believe if we truly want to see change, it starts with ourselves.  It isn't enough to desire change; we have to take steps to make change.

And we have chosen Psalm 139:14 because our son is a very special little boy. He has spina bifida and bilateral club foot, just the way God made him for His glory!

We want to get him home as quickly as possible to not only address his medical needs, but to fulfill his true need: the knowledge of the love of his Heavenly Father and his family!

The Lord commands us to love, and we have a tremendous love for children who have little to no hope without a family.  Each t-shirt sold will bring us a little closer to our adoption fundraising goal to bring our son home.


We have this design in women's fitted, unisex, long-sleeve, youth and hoodies!
If you'd like to order between now and December 3, you can do so HERE!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!

I love this verse!  So I was thinking, why not wear it?!?

We designed this tee (in youth, long-sleeve, hoodies, women's fitted and unisex), to run through December 1.  Maybe you need to do some Christmas shopping yet?  

I'm thinking about running this in purple because I so love the purple tees!  I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, please take a peek at this design here.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One Step Closer

Today we received a long awaited email!
Our 800a is approved!
To break it down, once our postman is so kind to deliver the approval, we will have 3 documents to authenticate before sending them to China to meet up with the rest of our dossier. 
We are so thankful for the Lord's perfect timing and provision! 
We have not been delayed up to this point due to lack of funds, praise the Lord!
When we send our dossier, we will also need to send a chunk of funds to the tune of several thousand dollars. 
For that reason,  we have held one fundraiser after another...
Including this one:

Yes, we are offering to help with your Thanksgiving baking!  We have several orders already, and we will gladly take lots more!  After all, I have help:)
This is one of the many ways the Lord is providing for our fees, and we are so thankful for everyone who prays, encourages, holds our hands and supports us in so many ways!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

She's a Winner...and a Champion

We drew for the smart watch giveaway October 15, notified the winner, and received an unbelievable reply!

First, we are so thankful for everyone who shared and contributed to our fundraiser.  When we said yes to bringing our precious son home, we were depending 100% on the Lord to provide the funds for the adoption costs.  A lot has happened since then, but our faith hasn't wavered.  God is good, all.the.time!

We are committed to work from sunup to dark-thirty, fundraise till the cows come home, and pray unceasingly to get our little guy home.

When we hold a fundraiser/giveaway, we are always always prepared to order the item from Am*zon and ship it directly to the winner!  So please know that when a winner chooses to pay it forward by donating it back, we are always always surprised and blown away!

All that to say, when we drew SAMANTHA'S name, I sent her this message: 
You won the watch! Congratulations! I need to know if you'd like the Apple or Galaxy and your shipping address��

I was surprised to receive her reply:

I am going to try to sell it and give you the money.


We had a long conversation, and in the end she paid it forward, meaning that we now have another $450 to apply to our adoption costs!

Thank you, Samantha! You are a rock star!

As always:


Monday, October 12, 2015

More "Be the Change" tees!

"Be the change you hope to see in the world"
This really is our theme to bring Baby K home, so we've decided to add 2 new colors and more styles!

How about red and purple?!?

These two tees will run until November 1st.
Each color comes in unisex, women's fitted, long sleeve, hoodie and youth sizes.

*Women's fitted runs a size small*

Unisex - $18
Women's - $20
Long Sleeve - $23
Hoodie - $38
Youth - $18

To HIM be all glory!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Have You Got The Time - a Giveaway!

Have You Got The Time...
for a fundraiser giveaway?

The winner can choose either this
Original Apple Watch 42mm  - Silver Aluminum Case, White Sport Band Edition
·         Dimensions: Height: 42.0mm, Width: 35.9mm, Depth: 10.5mm, Case Weight: 25g (1.65 x 1.41 x 0.41 in inches, 1.05 oz)
·         Gorgeous anodised aluminium case; Ion-X glass
·         Retina display with Force Touch; Composite back, Splash and Water resistant in rain, exercising, etc (but not to be submerged in water, as it's not waterproof!)
·         Sport Band with stainless steel pin; Digital Crown
·         Heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope; Ambient light sensor

or this

Samsung Galaxy Gear S R750 Curved Super AMOLED Display Smart Watch - Black

·         2G: GSM 850 / 1900, 3G: HSDPA+ 850 / 1900
·         2-inch Super AMOLED Capacitive Multi-Touchscreen
·         Tizen-based wearable platform, Dual-Core 1 GHz Processor
·         S-Voice communication
·         Internal Memory: 4GB, 512MB RAM

To enter:
*$10 = 1 entry
*$25 = 3 entries
*Each FB, IG or blog share = 1 additional entry
*Runs from October 3 to October 15
*Winner's choice of Apple or Galaxy Smart Watch shown above (each valued at around $400)
*This item is not donated, and the cost will come from the funds raised
*Use the PayPal "donate" button under the watch in the upper right-hand corner of this blog (view in "web version" on your mobile device) or email me for other options

Our homestudy is complete, and now we need to submit our 800a extension application and 2 agency fees, totaling $3700

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
Phil 4:6

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thank You!

Our first Be the Change t-shirt campaign raised $1141, thanks to YOU!

The campaign closed at 11 p.m. September 24, and your shirts will be shipped within 2 weeks!  We'd love for you to send us a picture of you wearing your new tee!  

As for where we are in the adoption process, our home study will be finalized this week, and we will submit our USCIS application.  We've been doing paper work at breakneck speed because:
1. our treasure's file was going back to China
2. our USCIS clearance expires next month
3. we get to re-use our dossier

For those reasons we are fundraising like crazy.  We fully trust that God has a plan to provide every dollar we need to get our little guy home soon.

Change begins with us!

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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Change Begins With Us

Our hearts beat for children who have little to no hope without the love of a family, and no hope whatsoever without Christ.

14 years ago we surrendered our lives to the Lord.  All we are, all we have, all our days we surrendered.  

We didn't know exactly what that would look like, but we've pursued the desires He's placed in our hearts.

One of those pursuits is orphan care in terms of ministering to prospective and adoptive families, and adoption itself.

The Lord often stirs us to move and even draws us to a specific child at the most inopportune times.  In view of circumstances, resources and abilities, it seems illogical at best.  But in view of Scripture, it is a simple act of obedience in response to a command to love.

It is with much joy that we announce our newest treasure.  We are so privileged to be a small part of God's redemptive plan for his precious life.

We treasure your prayers throughout the journey to bring him home.

As with many times before, we are totally relying on God's provision for the adoption costs.  Introducing our first "Change Begins With Us" fundraiser~

These uber-cool tees come in unisex and women's slim fit, and are only $18 and $20 respectively.  
There are only 4 days left to get yours.

Click here: Be the Change

To HIM be all glory!

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