Thursday, November 17, 2011

"God Funds What He Favors!"

People frequently ask those adopting, "How can you afford to adopt?"

As I have poured through scripture, my response is, "How can we NOT afford to adopt?"

God's Word is very clear on how we should use the money He has blessed us with.

He commands us to care for the orphan.

It may look different for each believer.

For some this means to adopt.

For some it may mean to sponsor a child in an orphanage or an orphan that needs specific medical care.

For others it may mean to help those that are adopting.

These are just a few of the scriptures found in God's Word that relate to adoption and the orphan:

James 1:27
Psalms 10:14
Psalms 68:5-6
Zechariah 7:8-10
Jeremiah 22:3
Proverbs 23:10-11
Isaiah 10:12
Deuteronomy 27:19
Job 29:11-12
Deuteronomy 14:28-29
Hosea 14:3

With that being said, only 3% of the people that adopt actually have the finances needed to adopt sitting in an account waiting to be used.  The rest of us have to be creative, frugal, intentional, and trusting that God will provide each and every penny that is needed!

So, as our family begins to walk this journey to bring our daughter home, we've asked for God to show us how to save money, cut our spending, and raise money.

Two of the ways that God has shown us for raising money has been through two organizations.

147 Million Orphans
Just Love Coffee

We are so excited to partner with these 2 organizations!

Gwen and Suzanne at 147 Million Orphans are two amazing women, with 13 children between the 2 of them, who love the Lord and who love the orphan.  God has also given them a heart for helping families that are trying to adopt by supplying a way to earn money while still helping the orphans around the world!

Jason and his wife at Just Love Coffee also had a desire to help families trying to adopt as well as give back to the orphanage they adopted their children from!

I will be posting separately on these two amazing groups but I just wanted to share with each of you how you can help us.

I have added the links to each site on the side of our blog.

When you click on the 147 button, FROM OUR BLOGS ONLY, you can order gear directly from 147 and have it shipped directly to you.  Our family will be able to earn 30% of all sales and it will be paid directly to our agency.  This will pay for our agency fees and international adoption fees.

When you click on the Just Love Coffee button (which I'm trying to fix the link), it WILL take you to our coffee shop. (  Here you can purchase bags of coffee from around the world.  For each bag of coffee you buy, our family earns $5 towards our adoption.  What we rasie is mailed directly to us.  This will be especially useful when we need to purchase our airline tickets, our hotel/food/in-country travel costs, Khloe's Visa and medical exam and her ticket HOME!

We humbly ask that you pray and ask God how you can help us.  And if you wouldn't mind, would you tell your friends and family about us and our fundraising projects?  Often times people want to help, but they just don't know how.   If you have a blog, would you post a link to our blog?

Please know that we will be praying blessings over each of you and your families!

"God Funds What He Favors!"  (gwen and suzanne @ 147 Million Orphans)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Promises Spoken- part 3 (final)

If you just happen to be checking out our blog today, before you read any further, please go back and read about Promises Spoken part 1 and part 2.  (Sorry you'll have to scroll down because I have not quite mastered all of the ins and outs of linking)

So as Kurt and I prayed about where God had brought us, we knew that this detour may or may not be a door closing permanently on adopting from foster care, but at this time in our family's life, the door was closed.

It had been months since I had checked any waiting child list other than AdoptUSKids.

One evening I decided to look at WACAP's waiting child list for girls in China and a little girl who's file we had looked at in the spring was back on there list.  She was a hearing impaired little girl, cute as a button.  I showed Kurt that she was back on the list and he told me to email and inquire about her.

It was during this wait to hear back from WACAP that we remembered why we had to also close the door on China at this time.  And while discussing this, we received an email that said she was no longer on the shared list and that they just hadn't taken her picture off yet.

By this point, we really had no idea what God was up to.

WACAP already had our checklist of special needs that we would be able to consider.  It was a much bigger list than with Jackson.  With Jackson we knew we wanted to adopt a hearing impaired little boy.  But now, God had shown us so many things that we could handle.  girls, sibling groups, etc..

While discussing with Sydney and Jadon about adding another child or children to our family we often discussed age of children.  We were now at a place where we felt like we could inquire about children, specifically girls up to age 10.  This was huge for us.  When we were adopting Jackson we were looking for under age 3 years old.

We replied to the Family Finders coordinator, thanking her for letting us know about the little girl we had inquired about.  And asked if there happen to be any girls up to age 10 or sibling groups available in a different country.

We anxiously awaited her reply.

On Friday, September 2, 2001 the reply came.

Her reply was something like's unusual to see girls referred from this country with the types of individual needs your family is open to, BUT, there is one girl I know of that you might be interested in...

And there she was!  Our daughter!!!!

She is everything we dreamed of! 

She is 4 1/2 years old, only 6 months older than Jackson.  She has amniotic banding.  She was also described as the leader of her friends...and a bit bossy! 

She should fit in perfectly around here!

The process will be long and unlike anything we experienced with China.  It can take as long as 2 years to get her home.  And unfortunately, it may be a year before we know that SHE is officially ours.  There are no pre-approvals and there are no guarantees.

She is from Thailand and we are simply in love!

We are naming her Khloe, which means a tender shoot or a new, fresh bud.

We will have a blog to follow her adoption, just as we did for Jackson, so that one day we can print it out for her. 

When trying to come up with a name for her blog, I really wanted something that God had spoken to me so many years ago.  And I really needed scripture that God had spoken to me as well.

That scripture was revealed to me and I knew what her blog would be.

"God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?"  Numbers 23:19

You will be able to follow our long, journey to Khloe at Promises Spoken

Sydney and Jadon will be blogging as they feel the need to at Kisses for Khloe

We are so thankful that we have friends and family that support us and have already welcomed Khloe with open arms!  We covet your prayers during this time of God growing our family.

We don't know when we will be able to post her pictures, but it may not be until we have an official referral.

But I can promise you that she is breathtaking and radiant...a tender shoot!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Promises Spoken part 2

Yesterday I left off with China changing some of it's adoption procedures.

With these changes we knew that if we wanted to still adopt from China we would not be able to use our social worker. Since adopting Jackson we have come to love our social worker. We feel that we have built such a relationship with her that if we ever needed to seek her advice on adoption and our family dynamics she would be honest and caring.

With that being said we had to make the choice to not pursue an adoption from China.

We began to ask our social worker questions about other adoptions. Adopting from places that we said we'd never go. And slowly God began working on our hearts and breaking down barriers that we had built.

During our entire process of adopting Jackson the joy that we felt simply from knowing that we had heard God's call and CHOSE to obey Him was overwhelming! And with that experience we knew that we couldn't turn our backs on God's voice.

So I emailed our SW and asked her if she could change our Homestudy to a domestic adoption. She was thrilled!

But it wasn't just a domestic adoption, God had asked us to go where we said we'd never go! And we accepted the call excitedly!

We began the process to adopt from U.S. foster care. We began looking at sibling groups on AdoptUSKids. And there was an older boy and girl we kept coming back to.

We begin making phone calls to sign up for the MAPP classes. By this time we had stopped looking at waiting children on WACAP's list. We found out that the classes would be offered on Saturdays for over a month and would be all day long!

And so the struggles began. The classes basically were for the entire soccer season that involves out of town competitive games for 2 children in 2 and sometimes three different places each Saturday, not including Jackson needing to be watched.

Having adopted before and having read numerous adoption blogs, we knew that the adoption road is not always a smooth one. Sometimes it takes twists and turns that you don't expect.

Trustworthy, available babysitters are not easy to come by. And so we contemplated and prayed.

I continued to make phone calls to register for the classes and found out that the Saturday classes would not be available but the Tues/Thurs classes were going to be open instead.

And so we came to a standstill. Because of the rules for the attendance for the classes we knew we weren't going to be able to take the classes.   Kurt's job requires him to be at Commission meetings every other Tuesday which would put us over the limit of what he could miss from the classes.

There we were!

In a place we said we'd never go!

Asking God what He had planned for our family.

Because at this point we were willing to go anywhere He called us.

I do believe that sometimes God asks us to do the impossible simply to give us an opportunity to obey Him.

We knew this when we began our adoption with Jackson. We knew we had to prepare the big kids that even though we knew God had called us to adopt Jackson, China could still say no. And if they did, then we had done what we had been called to do. And that is when Sydney at age 8 says to us "you mean like Abraham and Isaac?" Exactly!

Promises spoken to a mother's heart.

Promises spoken to Abraham and then later called to do the impossible and to trust Him!

To simply go where God calls you even if you can't see beyond the next turn.

So we obeyed.

And God turned the corner!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Promises Spoken-part 1

I am so thankful to finally be able to post this story.

Or at least the first part of it!

It has been almost two years in the making for us but yet planned before the beginning of time by God.

While we were in China adopting Jackson, Kurt and I both felt God beginning to speak to our hearts about adopting again. We had such a wonderful experience with Jackson's adoption and we knew that we wanted to come back to China.

Our friends that we traveled with while in China were all adopting older family was adopting a 7 year old boy with a cleft lip/palate, another family was adopting a 4 almost 5 year old boy with limb differences and the third family was adopting a 4 year old girl that was deaf.

God was truly opening our eyes and hearts to older child adoption as well as opening our hearts to different special needs.

On Gotcha Day we sat and watched our new friends experience a heartbreaking Gotcha Day! We sat for 30 minutes fighting back tears for this little boy who was so scared! And fighting back tears for his new parents and little brother as they had to endure his pain and fear! All the while we were waiting in anticipation for Jackson to arrive. It was all the things you pray that you wouldn't have to experience. But God was in our midst. And God gently held this boy and transformed him before our eyes.

I am sure that all of us can say we haven't been without adoption struggles this past year and a half. But here we are, coming out on the other side.

OUR original plan was to begin pursuing another adoption after we had been home for 6 months. But we began to hear God whispering to us to be still and know.

I have to honestly say that I was having a difficult time "hearing" that or perhaps I was struggling to listen.

Thankfully God blessed me with a husband that I can fully trust. A husband that I know God is leading.

And so we waited.

Shortly after mid-October China began their new policy to allow families to begin adopting a second Special Needs child using the same dossier we had just used for Jackson.

And so we searched, and I obsessed! And Kurt waited. And Kurt was still.

Then we found out that our fingerprints had expired.  (We had no idea that you could file a free extention the first time)

And by then it was mid-January and we found out we would have to use our dossier by our Gotcha day (a few weeks away)  Meaning we would have to have found our daughter and submitted a Letter of Intent for Pre Approval to adopt.

But we had not found our daughter.

And so we were still.

Well, Kurt was still.

But, I...not so much!

Kurt called it an obsession.

I called it a Mama's heart longing to find her daughter.

A Mama hanging on to the promises that God had spoken to her many years before.

By now it was spring and we began searching for our daughter.

I can't begin to tell you how many files we poured over.

But it wasn't the same as it was with Jackson. When we saw him, we knew he was our son.

Our daughter was no where to be found.

At least not here.

And that's when China changed it's rules.

And God changed our hearts.

We hope you'll check back tomorrow (hopefully) to hear the rest of His story!


The older I get, the more I dislike Halloween. I much prefer Thanksgiving! Fall is my favorite season but in Florida, it's so hard to capture outside what my heart feels like on the inside when I think of Fall!

We've had a few days of crisp cool air in the mornings.

But nothing that lasts!

Costumes are so hot to wear here. Not to mention the outrageous cost of them!

We tried to convince the kids to be soccer players.

No such luck!

After we came home from school the kids got their costumes on so we could go to Kurt's work for Trunk or Treat.

I managed to snap a few pictures.

But not without tears.

Jackson has really gotten into Nerf guns and just didn't understand why he couldn't use a Nerf gun with his costume.

But he managed to dry his eyes once he realized we were on our way to see Daddy.

It turned out to be a quiet night.

After trunk or treating we came home and visited 3 houses on our street and then came in and changed for dinner out!

Thankfully the kids didn't get much candy!!


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Round and Round

The night before we were to head to Shands to get Jackson's 2nd Baha we found out that the Baha had arrived but that the bilateral soft band was on backorder until the end of November! Ugh!!

We kept our appointment and Jackson was tested in the sound booth for an hour! They were able to get more testing completed. He did amazingly well! His speech recognition test was at 92 percent at 5 dB!!! Simply amazing.

On a different note, when we went to see the ENT he told us that he is not the one that completes the evaluation but that the speech pathologist and craniofacial team does. He did agree that Jackson should be further along in his speech.

We also found out that our ENT actually only specializes in the "E"!

He is referring us for an MRI, a psychoneuromotor evaluation and the velopharyngeal evaluation. We are scheduled to go in January for these.

Jackson has also been re-tested to see if he qualifies for the Language Impaired class. We are hoping to find out soon. He will also receive an evaluation for OT services. He is beginning to try and form letters when he writes but they want to give him as much as he can before he starts kindergarten.

Jackson is such a trooper! Thankfully he loves school and his friends!