Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Viral Baby!!!


OK, So I started dancing AGAIN this morning!!!  

Our video for our family adoption story went live on this morning!!!

There is the obvious in this...we do not have the funds required to bring our son home and we are praying for God to move mountains and to be able to break the record for donations in a week!!

But...There is more!
This video allows us to share our story, 
the one God wrote, 
the one that has messed us up for the orphan, 
the one that has lead us to perusing a life of giving a voice to those without one!!

It shares the truth about the need for adoptive families for older boys.  

(please hear me...all children matter and deserve a loving, nurturing home!!!  
You may be called to infant, toddler, older, healthy, special needs adoption...all matters!!)

But God has lead us to our sweet boy, and it has lead us to the knowledge of a demographic of children that people need to know about.  

I pray that though our family journey...eyes will be opened...hearts will be moved...and families will step out in faith for what God puts on their hearts!!

Please watch our video...consider giving a dollar...and share the link with EVERYONE you know!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Still Dancing!!

Our case worker told us early this past week that our home study was complete, needed to be co-signed and notarized, and we should have it by the end of the week.  

I waited patiently....

ok...I waited....not so patiently:)

It was the last document we need to have a finished dossier (file) to be sent to the Philippines and I was VERY eager to have it completed.  We also need it to apply for some grants:)

By the time Friday came around, I was beside myself to learn if it was completed.  I called our agency about 20 minutes before closing time on Friday.  

I learned so many wonderful things!!!  It was another dance around the house moment!!

Not only was our home study finished and already mailed to us, but OUR DOSSIER WAS SITTING IN THE MAIL BIN TO BE SENT OUT!!!  With the holiday it may not go out until Tuesday, but it is packaged and ready to go!!!  

Also, I learned that the issue with Aaron's birth certificate has been RESOLVED!!  

There were two tidbits of not so good news...but I will rejoice with the good and continue to leave the difficult in God's capable hands.
1.  the Inter Country Adoption Board for the Philippines is backlogged and they are not sending referrals very quickly.
2.  We need to have our I-800A form (United States immigration application that determines our suitability to adopt a child from a Hague convention country) sent immediately with $805.  We cannot get our referral for Aaron without it!!!  

Let me tell you about our faithful God!!!  

We currently owe $700 in agency fees for this leg of the adoption, and need the $805 for the immigration form.

Last week we were blessed with $200 in generous donations.


On Friday we were given $150 towards our fees...and on Sunday we were given $800!!!



Once our referral comes in officially matching us with Aaron...we need the largest chunk of the money...almost $10,000.  

We missed the deadline to send in the application for the JSC foundation grant for June.  Now that we finally have our home study I went online to apply for the large grant we have heard so much about.  Instead of being able to open the application...we were told that they are not accepting applications at this time.  What a difference a week makes!!

After a brief moment of was time to remember that God is completely in control!!
This must not be the avenue that HE has in store for us:)

We have our adoption video airing Thursday for give1save1 and pray that God will miraculously move on our behalf.

We also have a yard sale coming up on June 16th!

And, we are filling out paperwork for other grants.

We seem to still be on track to travel in September.

Oh how I wish I could turn the hands of the clock:)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Dance!!!!

I am sooooo doing the happy dance right now!!!! 

There is a gal over at Give1Save1 who has devoted her blog to advocating for children and HELPING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES RAISE MONEY TO BRING THEIR CHILDREN HOME.  

We learned about her blog and this fabulous opportunity to fundraise through a sweet friend who is adopting a little boy from Aaron's orphanage.  

ANYWAY... Each week, Give1Save1 posts a video of a family adopting a child from Africa, Haiti, and Asia.  Then the link is shared on Facebook, twitter, blogs, etc...everyone is encouraged to give a dollar (because everyone can give a dollar right!!) 
to save a child.  

The key to success in this fundraiser is to have it go viral.  

To participate you need to make a video and fill out a questionnaire.  

I cannot thank the person enough who made our video!!! 

BECAUSE....We were approved!!!!!  

Our family video will be posted on the give1save1 blog for a week starting 

Thursday, May 31st around 10am!!!

I cannot wait for ya'll to see it!!!

Would you please consider posting the link next Thursday on your blog, Facebook, twitter, or any other social network and ask your friends and family to do the same?  
And, would you consider giving a dollar?

Families have raised between $200 and $6000 in one week!!!  

As I have shared before...I think the part of this adoption that has been the MOST stretching for me has been the finances.  I know God has hand picked our children...and HE will lead us to them.  

I also know that where He guides...He provides.  

But...sometimes it is scary.  We have waited such a long time.  And now that we know who our sweet boy is, we just want to get him home!  

Right now we need $700 to get our dossier (file) to the Philippines.  The next step requires several thousand that we do not have as of yet.  

BUT...God is in control and I am trusting Him to move mountains!!!! dancing!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Full House

We have had a fun couple of days!  

I love love having a houseful of children!  
It certainly helps when the children are polite and easy going:)

  I have had 7 children since Sunday and I am loving every minute of it.

Our extra five (and their parents) are going to be missionaries to Venezuela very soon.  We are hoping that they have the opportunity to meet Aaron before they leave for language school in Costa Rica!

Each time we have large sibling groups just feels right...natural...wonderful.  
It confirms the call to on my heart to have several more children.   

Yesterday we tried cake pops with some of my out-takes from the previous post.  

We learned that the cake balls need be smaller and cooled longer than our patience allowed.    

Today my oldest was at district council with pastors and missionaries from our district.  She was there to support her friend that is doing a 5k for her birthday to raise money to free trafficked girls through 
Project Rescue. 

We were down to 6 children...

so, we added our favorite two year old to our group so her mommy could have a much needed break.

 Are those faces priceless or what!?!  

I finally caught that winning smile!!

This sweet boy walked around with this little one for a very long time.  He has also been emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up after himself, and doing school work WITHOUT being asked.  
His parents can be very proud:)  I embarrassed him by saying that he will make a wonderful husband and father one day.  

  The youngest pumpkin is a snuggle button and Miss Joy certainly LOVES her snuggles!!

We have girls over all the time and are quite accustomed to their silly play...

But the boys...

We don't get to have over as often....

But oh how much fun they add to the mix!  

And how they bless my heart!

We got our gaming groove on again after dinner tonight.

Girls can be silly...

but watch out...they might bite:)

Never a dull moment around here

don't let those smiles fool you...they are up to no good!

As these two certainly are:)

sweet cuddles before bed
Dear Jesus...Please bring our son home soon and continue to grow our family as we seek your will!!!

This Mama is getting VERY anxious!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We Can Have Cake!

Several years ago one of my dear friends was asked by a young teen, that we both know and love, if she would make her wedding cake when she gets married. 

Without much thought of where life might take them...the answer was yes.  

During a family Christmas celebration this year a certain beautiful young lady became engaged.  
And you guessed it...She needed a special wedding cake.  

The friend that promised a cake now lives on the west coast, and the bride-to-be on the east coast.  Because there was a rumor that I have baked a cake or two...I was asked to bake the cakes in preparation for a cake decorating marathon scheduled at my home this past week. 

In the meanwhile, my friend worked for hours and hours on the west coast making these beautiful sugar flowers!  She shipped 31 of these beauties to me.

Frozen cakes are easier to work with so I started several days before the the big race.  
(In hind sight...It may have been wise to begin a bit earlier!)

The bride has celiac disease so the top layer needed to be gluten free.  This wasn't a concern for me. 
 I have lived several years gluten free and have baked quite a bit.  

BUT...I never baked something that needed to hold it's shape for fondant.  

The first batch tasted good but stuck to the pan and ripped.  
I tried a boxed mix that tasted like cardboard. 
My third batch looked great in the oven and then when I removed them craters formed in the center.

UGG...I became frustrated and decided to take a little break from the gluten free tier.  

So, I moved on to the vanilla tiers.  
Unfortunately, I had many out-takes with these tiers as well, but what a learning experience it has been!!

I learned that I should never try a new flour at a time like this....triple check your measuring spoons before adding baking powder, a heating core is needed when baking anything larger than a 10 inch round, and 14 inch rounds rip very easily.

Oh...and don't forget...if you bake too many in one day you cannot stack them in a small chest freezer without smashing some of them.  BUT...clean Pizza boxes work great for safe stacking:)

The top shelf housed the (successful) gluten free top tier, the second shelf housed the second tier of the cake...
and the bottom...yep...those would be GLUTEN FREE AND VANILLA OPPS CAKES!!! 

The chocolate tier went much better.  
My first batch was an out take as well because I was talking to a precious 5 year old while adding ingredients.  I was caught up in telling her that we cannot eat this cake but when she comes with her siblings to stay with me next week...we will make our own chocolate cake.  Little did I know until it was in the oven that I forgot to double one of the ingredients and not only did my little friend have cake that night, but her family took the remainder of the 12 inch round home to devour later:)  Silly Miss Joy!

The rest of the layers for that tier went super well and I even had batter left over to make cupcakes for some of our neighbors.  My chest freezer in the garage was filled to capacity with pizza boxes housing all the 12 and 14 inch cakes!!

Wednesday night I picked up my friend and two of her beautiful children at the airport.  

  That night we made 9 batches of homemade fondant

The next morning we got organized.

My friend started making the branch while I made 10 batches of buttercream frosting.  

 We decided not to assemble the cake until we arrived at the reception hall, an hour from my home.  So, we had to model the height of the cake to mold the skeleton for the chocolate branch.  And then construct the bends horizontally so that it could be covered in chocolate clay and hardened.

(Can you see our personalities shining through in our wardrobe?  My friend is an artist and works in pretty clothes...I am not...and work in comfy clothes with scary hair:)


Each tier was covered in white fondant.  

I don't have photos of the next steps because we worked full out for 4 hours at the reception site to construct the layers, apply the branch and sugar flowers, and apply fondant rope between the tiers.

We made it in the nick of time!!!!

The finished product.

We love you sweet friends!  May this be the beginning of a fabulous Godly marriage!!

And please don't say the C-A-K-E word around us for a little while:)  
I think my friend and I have had our fill for quite some time!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rock Star

There are those times when I am just humbled and blessed beyond words.  

I have been given the privilege of once again being present for a miraculous birth.  I am forever in awe of the way God created our bodies and how He brings new life.  

I must say that my girlfriend is a Rock Star in the birthing department!!  

And she had some great support!

JW was born on May 14th at 1:02am.  He weighed 9 lbs,  3 oz and is sooo very gorgeous.  

Proud Auntie could not wait for him to arrive!!  
He may already have me around his finger...just like his big sister!

 Love you friends!!  Thank you so very much for allowing me to share in this priceless moment!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Remembering Revealed

I have heard it over and over again..."Adoption is not for the faint of heart".  

Although so very true, I simply can not imagine our family without it. 

It is worth the paperwork
It is worth the hoops that you must jump through
It is worth the faith walk for the finances
It is worth the time spent on your knees crying out to God
It is worth the emotions...
because it matters!

I mentioned a few posts ago about our day of remembering.

(Mélika and Jacob)
It was the anniversary of our son's home going.  It is a day that we look at photos, watch some very amateur home videos, and thank God for the time we had and our cherished memories.  

This year revealed much to this mama's heart.  

As many of you know...The death of our son is what started our life pursuit of adoption.  When Stéphane and I got married we always wanted 2 children, a girl and a boy.

We were so very blessed to have both early in our marriage and truly believed our family was complete.  As you can imagine, when our son died, some dreams were shattered as well.  We were no longer able to have children together biologically and our hearts were leading us in different directions.  

My hubby was heartbroken to lose his son and his heart went into self preservation mode....meaning we should not have other children because it would hurt too much.  I, on the other hand, wanted to heal by having a house full of children.  During the year after our son's death I spent much time crying out to God for another son.  It is not that I did not love or want daughters.  It is simply that I grieved the loss of the bond that I had with my son.  

When we moved back to the states we learned about the situation with Kylee.

I was so very excited and surprised when my hubby, the one who didn't want to hurt, was ready to put himself out there again.  Kylee was in our home for a year, and then she returned with her birthmommy.  Once again...we experienced hurt, loss, grief.

Once again hubby and I wanted to heal that hurt in different ways.  

You need to understand something about my line of thinking...

I truly believe that God is completely in control and HE has hand picked the children that are to be part of our family.

God brought our sweet Kylee back to our family two years later....because it was HIS plan!

We know that all struggles and difficulties are worth it because HE brought her to us and HE will equip us for all we need as we raise her to be a warrior princess for HIS kingdom!!

The adoption journey for Miss Kylee was painful.
And, with good reason, my hubby was not so sure he wanted to adopt again.

Can you guess where my heart was...say it together...yep....A HOUSEFUL!!  

It took several years of crying out to the Lord before my hubby was able/willing to put his heart out there again.  Please is not because he has a hard is because when Stéphane loves, he truly loves with all of himself!!!

He has love and compassion that is unending.  I know few people willing to be so very vulnerable in how they love.  This amazing man that God has so graciously blessed me with knows how to love in such a deep/selfless way!

So when he loses that loved one...the hurt is great!

SO, fast forward a bit...
understanding that God chooses our children, we understand that all those baby opportunities that we wanted so very desperately...were not God's choice for us.

We understand that He has hand picked an older child to be the next addition to this family. the title says...remembering this year revealed something all of it's own.  

Remember I mentioned earlier
 that the year after Jacob died
I was crying out to my heavenly father for a son...


I have been waiting for my son the same amount of time Aaron has been waiting for a mama...
almost 12 years.  

I have been overlooked by birth mommies and have watched younger couples be chosen...
Aaron has been overlooked by adoptive families and watched younger children be chosen.

I don't know what it feels like to wait your entire life for a family.
I don't know what it is like to grow up in an orphanage,
I don't know what it is like to not have any personal belongings.

But through this journey, God has been preparing our family
and a little boy,
for such a time as this!!!