Saturday, May 29, 2010

You have all listened to me talk about how our 10 year old, Sydney, has a heart for orphans. God has burdened her for them and I am so thankful she is following her dream. She designed her own shirt (with a little help) and just received them back yesterday. This is our 3 year old modeling for her. They are $15 each and all proceeds go to feeding the orphans of Ghana. We will be traveling soon (I pray) to bring our 2 angels home. When we go, Sydney will be taking all of the money donated to her to buy food and supplies for the orphans. Thank you to so many for supporting her mission and for praying for her. She needs you to pray. Some days she feels very defeated (thanks to our enemy) and needs encouragement. Each time someone sends an email to her or buys a t-shirt or leaves a comment, it makes her realize she can do this. She realizes she isn't too young. We are teaching her to put her faith in God, but she needs us to encourage and lift her up along the way. So check out her blog here and help her help the orphans.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Fatherless on Father's Day



Father's Day is coming up and it reminds me of a few different things. First of all, my earthly father. He is so loving, caring, helpful and taught me how to love Jesus and follow God. I am thankful each day for both he and my mother. God truly blessed me. Next, I think of my Heavenly Father who loves me more than I can even imagine. He loves me unconditionally. He loves me so much He sent His own Son to die on the cross. I am amazed by the life He has blessed me with. I have 5 beautiful children, a wonderful husband and loving, supportive friends. I have more materially than the majority of the world and have never gone hungry or without anything a day in my life. I want to share my God and my Jesus with the world. I want the people of the world to know His love for them, for you and for me. I want the children of the world to know about Jesus and how much He loves them. I want the children of the world to have homes, to have food and clean water. I want to fulfill God's calling on my life. I want to do the mission He has given me. I want the world to know how many orphans there are and what we all can do to help them. Pray for them to find forever homes, pray for them to have food and clean water, pray for them to hear about Jesus' love, pray for the way God wants you to help Him help the orphans. Pray for the adoptive families across the world trying to bring little ones home. Or if you feel God calling you to adopt, let me pray for you and with you. This adoptive community is so incredible. I have met and made so many unbelievable friends and prayer partners. I am so thankful for that. What a blessing! Lastly, Father's Day reminds me of the fatherless. The children around the world who do not know their Heavenly Father, the ones who do not have an earthly father to hold them tight at night. I watch my own husband and the father he is to our children. I long for the day our African babies will be here and I can watch him hold them tight. I cannot wait for the day when I can watch our children wrap their arms around his neck and say "I love you, Daddy!" My husband and the men of the world are showing our children the love of our Heavenly Father. Let's step out for God and step up for the fatherless.

In honor of Father's Day, we are selling our brown adoption t-shirts for $15 with $5 shipping. Help us spread the word about our Father who did not leave us as orphans. He adopted us. Let's speak up for the orphans by spreading the word.
Adult sizes: small, medium, large, xlarge, 2x
Child sizes: xsmall(2-4), small(6-8), medium(10-12), large(14-16), xlarge(18-20)
Chocolate brown shirts
Front: I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
Back: Will you come? Yes, I will come because Jesus came for me.

This shirt is not designed only for adopting families. I know it says I will come because Jesus came for me, BUT anytime you help someone else adopting, you are helping an orphan.
All money raised from our shirts will go to bringing our children home. Once they are home, any extra money will go to another adoptive family, then another and so on. Let's pass it on!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Needed to hear this today

This family serves in Northern Uganda. I love reading her blog. It is always so simple, but so powerful. Click here to see what she wrote today. Are you willing? And am I willing?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No news

I have sat down several times over the last week to post and I keep drawing a blank. We do not have any updates. Our representative traveled to our children's original region 4 weeks ago today to try to schedule court. As of this morning, we have no news. So, we will wait and we will be patient and we will keep our faith in God for He has perfect timing. I know that, but sometimes it is hard. We long to have our precious children here. It seems there is nothing standing in the way. We have done everything we can. Now I am trying to re-organize the house, enjoy this beautiful summer weather with our children and finish up our homeschooling year. All of this while praying for my sweet babies to come home. Join me in prayer, please.

People always ask "Isn't it hard to wait?" Yes, it is hard, BUT through this adoption I have learned to trust my sweet Jesus sooooo much. I have turned to Him and put my complete trust in Him. Since receiving our referral three months ago, we have not had any true updates. We did receive new pictures from our agency, but nothing else. We were so thankful for these 2 photos. I can tell H is growing. Her little cheeks are filling out and it makes my heart happy. I'm not sure if she is talking yet. We probably will not know until we get there. There are people we have known that traveled to pick up their children, but they did not see ours. They were in a different foster home. All of these unknowns have just made me trust Jesus more. I know they are His children. He loves them more than I can ever imagine. We have just been chosen to lead them on this earth. So during this time, we find our peace in our Saviour. The one who came to die for our sins also came to rescue my children. I am so thankful God adopted me into His family and so thankful we have the opportunity to adopt these children into our family. We know this is just the beginning for our family. God commands us to care for the widows and orphans. He doesn't ask us if we want to. He COMMANDS it!!! And I know not everyone can adopt. I understand that, but I believe there is something everyone can do to help. Spread the word about someone who is adopting, donate $10 (or more), wear an orphan awareness t-shirt. The possibilities are endless! Let's follow Jesus into the homes of the broken and let's follow Him into the world!!!

And for anyone interested, our t-shirt sales have been AWESOME! You can click here for complete details. And don't forget about our daughter's vision to feed the orphans. You can help her by going here for details and her own t-shirt design. (They should be here on Friday so all orders will ship soon!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Love is Not a Color Giveaway

This video was designed by a family I have only met through the world of adoption blogs. They have a true heart for orphans and are in the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. With the video they designed a new t-shirt, Love is Not a Color. Click here to check out their story. This shirt is fabulous and so, so true!! Love isn't a color and I am so excited to bring my two African babies into our home. People have asked, "Are you worried because they are a different color?" NO!!! God blessed me with these two children in the same way He did my 3 biological children! He chose me to be their mother and I am ecstatic. God sees no color and neither do I. That's a huge reason I love this shirt so much! It speaks truth! Well, Kim in her generous heart has opened her shirts up for other people to fundraise. As many of you know, our sweet Sydney has heard God calling her to care for the orphans. She designed her own shirt, Why do we eat like kings and queens when they have nothing?, and is raising money to buy supplies for the orphans. Initially, she will take her proceeds to Ghana when we travel. Yes, she will be going to Africa. She is so excited!! In addition to her own shirt, she is going to sell Kim's shirts. Check out this video then visit Sydney's blog. She is doing a GIVEAWAY for one of these shirts. Post this video on FB or on your blog, send her an email to or post a comment and she'll put your name in the pot. The lucky winner will be announced on Monday. In the meantime, order a shirt or two from her. All monies will go straight to the orphans. Unbelievably, she has sold almost 60 of her own shirts. Not really unbelievably, but God believably!!! Thank you to everyone for showing their support for her. Please continue to pray for her on this journey.

Sizes: Ladies M(4), L (6), XL(8), 2XL(10), 3XL(12)
Mens - Medium, large, xlarge
$25 each
You can order through her blog or me. I'll forward all orders to her. You can use the donate buttons on either blog, too, to pay for your order. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feeding the Orphans t-shirts

Check out our 10 year old daughter's blog, Feeding the Orphans. She has designed some really cool t-shirts to raise money for the orphans and to make people more aware of their plight. They are $15 each or buy 3, get 1 free. Thus far, she has sold 50!!! Thanks to everyone for helping her help the orphans and please spread the word!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children of the World

I received an email this morning that the Children of the World International Choir would be singing at a local church tonight. I looked them up and realized these children were orphans from Uganda, Nepal, and the Phillipines. Instantly, I knew we would go. I was so excited! And it was so incredible. To see their faces and hear some of their stories, all while they sang worship songs to our Heavenly Father! It was amazing! As I was sitting there, I longed for my African children to come home soon. To be honest, though, that was not what lingered. I realize I am not doing enough. James 1:27 says to take care of the orphans and the widows. I realized sitting there I need to do more. I need to give Jesus my all. Did you know 6,000 children die each day from unclean water? This is PREVENTABLE!!! We can do something about it. The time is now. It is our time to step up and step out for the less fortunate. God's heart breaks for the orphans. Ours should, too. Six months ago, I had no idea of the orphan plight. I knew I wanted to adopt, but it was for me, not for God. Over the last few months I have learned how tragic unclean water is to so many people. In the past, I never wanted to know. I wanted to turn my eyes and ears away and live in my own little, perfect world. No longer! I want everyone to know what children have to endure. I want them to know so they can help. More people need to be told. Check out this organization. Or Blood:Water Mission. The possibilities to help are endless. We all just need to find what makes us passionate and live out for it. Live for Jesus! Be willing to sacrifice everything we are and everything we have for Him! This is scary to me, but my prayer is I will have the courage. The courage to stand up and say YES to whatever God wants me to do. Will you join me?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Check out this video! Awesome!

Evyn's Gotcha Day + Adoption story from emily Vogeltanz on Vimeo.

A small reminder

We received new pictures of our sweet children in Africa today. What joy it brought to our family to see new ones, to see how much they have changed. With that, though, is the longing to hold them. (Please keep praying for our court date.) However, God keeps reassuring us that He is guiding us, leading us, and protecting our children. My prayer over the last couple of months has been that our son (he's 5) will protect his little sister (who just turned 3), that he will look after her in the foster home until we can get there. As I looked closely at our new pictures today, this is what I saw. He is holding her hand. To me, it is God gently reminding me that He hears my prayers, that He is protecting my children, loving them, caring for them and ultimately they are His children. We are only being given the gift of them on this earth. We are to raise them up to be strong for Him. Thank you, Jesus, for this gentle reminder today!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Waiting Game

As a waiting mom, some days are harder than others (as most of you know). It is a bit different from being physically pregnant because you know what to expect and when to expect it. With adoption, it is all a waiting game and there is no definite time. Yesterday was a harder day for me. It started with breakfast when Aiden, our youngest, wanted to sit in my lap while he ate. As I pulled him up and kissed his head, I was gently reminded that my 2 African babies are not here and I cannot hold them tight or kiss their heads. A bit of sadness. As the day wore on I was gently reminded of their absence. There is a void here. There are 2 empty places at our table and I cannot wait to hear 5 children playing in the yard. The children were playing outside while I cooked dinner last night and the sadness became overwhelming. My heart physically hurt, I could feel the actual pain in my chest. I went to their picture, cried, and just prayed for them. My Heavenly Father, their Heavenly Father loves them so much more than I could ever imagine. I lifted them up to Him. Then, I felt God telling me to go get my Bible. I knew He would give me the passage and He did! This is what I read:

Zechariah 4:1-7 - And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, "What do you see? I said, " I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." Then he said to me, " This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of "Grace, grace to it!"

When I read this I knew the two olive trees were my children in Africa and they will be brought home by God's Spirit, by His plan. Not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit! God has a plan to bring our children home and all the other adoptive children home. He will make a way and we need to trust in Him. Is it easy? Not at all. However, we can all do it through the grace of God, through His strength. I am so thankful I have Him to hold me up on days like yesterday, to encourage me along the way. I am so thankful for all the parents in the world making a difference with their children. For teaching the kids right from wrong, for bringing orphaned children home or for helping others bring children home. We can all make a difference. Just like the body of Christ, we are all an integral piece to form together. Thank you to all the mothers this weekend and to the women in this world who have been "mothers" in spirit, but never physically. We have all played an important part. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Underestimating God

Have you ever underestimated God? Well, I have and my most recent time was this week. When our daughter approached me last week about starting her own blog, Feeding the Orphans, and designing t-shirts to sell to actually feed the orphans, I was skeptical. Not to her, only inside! I was afraid people would not buy her shirts because we are doing a t-shirt adoption fundraiser. I was nervous about her not succeeding. Being her mother I didn't want to see her heart be broken. However, I know her and she is in tune with God, as my husband says. So I felt it was my responsibility as her mother and God's child to help her. She has been more than successful, she has sold 34 shirts in 24 hours. If you are wondering, did I read that right? Yes, you did, she sold 34 shirts in 24 hours!!! And she had 120 hits on her blog! So this mama can honestly say I was wrong to be skeptical. God can use anyone to further His kingdom, to spread His word, to reach others for what breaks His heart. And the orphans break His heart deeply. I want to tell everyone thank you so much for supporting our adoption, for praying for us, for supporting sweet Sydney in her vision, for buying her t-shirts. The utter joy on her face when she received an email with her first sale was worth millions. I have never seen her so excited and it brought tears to my eyes. God is using her and I almost discouraged her. Never again will I doubt what God can do through children. He can use any vessel that is willing!!!

Crazy Love Challenge

Linny at A Place Called Simplicity is posing a Crazy Love challenge today for families fundraising for their adoptions. Once you go to her site, you can see all the other families participating. Let's bring some babies (I really mean kids) home. Personally, we are a family of 5, adopting siblings from Ghana, West Africa. We received our referral of a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl two months ago. Right now we are waiting on a court date so we're getting closer. This mama cannot wait to hold them tight. :)

Our t-shirt design is on the sidebar. We have teamed up with our dear friends, the Beebes. They are also adopting from Ghana, but are waiting on their referral. Please join us in prayer as we follow God's call for our family. If you are interested in shirts, send me an email or leave a comment.

Details: $20 each w $5 shipping or buy 4, get 1 free and free shipping
Child sizes: xsmall(2-4), small(6-8), medium(10-12), large(12-14), xlarge (16-18)
Adult sizes: small, medium, large, xlarge, 1x, 2x, etc

We cannot express in words how thankful we are to everyone who is praying for our sweet children in Africa and who has helped us thus far. We know this is just the beginning for our family. And thank you to Linny for this Crazy Love challenge!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 - pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Feeding the Orphans

Our 10 year old has a heart for orphans. I have shared this before, but as we are nearing (I think) our time to bring our sweet children home from Ghana it has become even more evident. Last week, she expressed the desire to help the orphans have food and necessary medical supplies. It burdens her heart to think so many of their illnesses and deaths could be prevented. So she has started her own blog to help them. Check it out, Feeding the Orphans. You can find all of the details there. Her idea, though, is to sell t-shirts (that she designed) to raise money to take to Ghana with her when we travel. She will purchase food and other needs for the children. Once she gets home, she wants to continue this. Right now she is asking for everyone to pray for her to know how God wants her to do that. God has given her this heart, a heart for Him, and a heart for orphans. I know He will lay out the plan He has. Please pass this along to everyone.

Her t-shirt design is at the printer now. We should have the final draft by next week. They are $15 each or buy 3 get 1 free. All of the money will go to provide food, etc. when we travel. She will be taking pictures for everyone, too. As soon as we have more details on the shirt, I will post and so will she. Thanks to everyone for your prayers for God's guidance over this.


outline of Africa

inside: Why should we eat like kings and queens when they have nothing?


Malaria kills more than 2,000 children each day.

More than 2,500 children die each day from water-borne illnesses

20% of Africa’s children die before age 5

33% of children in sub-Saharan Africa are underweight

A child dies every minute of measles in sub-Saharan Africa

There are 15 million HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa

41% of sub-Saharan Africans live on less than $1 per day

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can make a difference.

My life is not my own.

Monday, May 3, 2010

T-shirts have been ordered

We ordered our Africa t-shirts today (you can see a picture a couple of days ago). They should be in by the first of next week. We ordered extras so if you want one send me an email, We have all sizes for kids and adults. Help us spread the word about the orphans of Africa! They are $20 or buy 4, get one free. The proceeds will go to help us finish raising the money for our adoption, but also to buy supplies for the children of Ghana when we travel.