The story of our adoption so far...
Our friend Kevin Feiertag did the video for us. Check out his website.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Project HOPEFUL is an AMAZING not for profit organization whose goal is to educate, encourage and enable families adopting children with HIV/AIDS.
PEOPLE magazine did a 5 page article on Project HOPEFUL and the founders family!
I had the privilege of meeting the founder of Project HOPEFUL, Carolyn Tweitmeyer, at the Together 4 Adoption Conference a couple of months ago in Texas.
Project HOPEFUL has been very informative and encouraging as we have been in the process of our adoption.
It was such a blessing to meet Carolyn and the Project HOPEFUL team. I immediately fell in love with them and was so in line with their vision. I felt such a strong connection and desire to join this cause that I believe is the heart of God. In talking with the team I learned of their need for associates in every state, and so Bart and I are excited to be the California Associates for Project HOPEFUL.
Please pick up a copy of PEOPLE magazine this week and check out the article.
God is really doing some beautiful things for the little children HE loves!
So thrilled to be a small part of it.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Thank you for allowing me to vent yesterday.
I believe everything I said to be true, however I do know that one thing was missing in the post, and that is HOPE!
Our God is all about HOPE. So I want to be all about HOPE.
I want to share with you some details of our story. When Bart and I set out on this journey we asked God to use our story to encourage others in our church, our family and our neighborhood, to REALLY consider adoption.
So this blog is definitely NOT meant to beat anyone up, but instead to encourage,
and hopefully encourage people to wrestle with their own thoughts of adoption.
I specifically want to share about the financial side of adoption because from what I have seen this is where people decide they just can't adopt.
So here is our story...
When we first heard God calling us to adopt now, we were not in a very pretty situation financially.
I know a lot of people think your husband is and Orthodontist, you have a big house-of course you can afford to adopt.
Bart has only had a job for 5 years.
Before that we were students-for 13 years! Students with 4 children already.
We had to buy his business, we have tens of thousands of dollars in school loans, we bought a house at the height of the market.
We were in NO place to be spending $18,000 on an adoption.
But we knew God had called us to this.
So, we sold this car
And bought this car
Then we sold this car
and bought this car
That cut down monthly payments by hundreds of dollars.
I mean who are we trying to impress, our neighbors or our God!
Then we cashed out Barts retirement.
I know CRAZY right? I don't think so!
We KNOW that God is going to take care of us!
Then we began to feel imprisoned by our home. We knew bought it in greed.
We did not seek God when we purchased our home. We wanted it and we bought it.
Well, we decided we were finally ready to let it go. We began looking into a short sale, or just trying to figure out a way to fix our mistake. We fasted and prayed!
About 2 weeks after we decided we would sell our home we got a letter in the mail that our interested rate had adjusted and our payment decreased CONSIDERABLY.
Once we let go of the house and gave it to God, He allowed us to keep it.
We are able to host small group in our home every week, and it will be used to glorify HIM, not ourselves.
God has been using this process to bring us to the end of ourselves, to humble us, and we are SO grateful for it!
We also just did a fundraiser I blogged about which was awesome.
Then the day after our fundraiser we had a check in the mail for over $3000 from our vehicle lease that we turned in! They told us we were going to owe them money, and instead we got a big check! When Bart deposited the check and the $ from the fundraiser it put us $50 over what we owe our Agency! Our adoption is paid off! Glory to God!
One thing I have learned in this process is
GOD WILL PROVIDE!
If finances are what is holding you back, the bottom line is, you aren't trusting God.
Nobody wants to hear that, but it is the truth.
Also there are other options.
Domestic foster/adopt programs don't cost anything-in fact they pay you.
Don't let money hold you back from obeying God.
HE will make a way!
The other thing I have learned is that the adoptive community is AWESOME!
They encourage one another, support one another, and LOVE one another.
We are willing to share ideas, and stories.
So fellow adoptive families PLEASE reply with your stories of how God has provided for you!
Together lets encourage others.
And if you are in the Southern CA area and are interested in adoption PLEASE contact me.
I promise I will walk with you every step of the way!
I will help you fund-raise, I will encourage you, I will even do paperwork with you! :)
Well I hope I was able to offer HOPE and encouragement to someone today!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
This post is written through tear blurred eyes.
It is written through an aching heart.
Yesterday my 12 yr old daughter came home with a sad story to tell.
Her teacher was asking about the adoption, wondering when we were bringing her sister home. One of the boys in her class asked if the adoption cost money. My daughter said yes. Another boy sitting behind her leaned near her ear and said
"why would you pay for someTHING nobody wants."
I was cut to the core when I heard his EVIL words and the pain in my daughters voice.
I asked her what she said to him and her reply was
"nothing, he wouldn't have listened, and I didn't have anything nice to say, so I didn't say anything."
I am so proud of my daughter. I don't know that my response would have been quite so humble!
So this literally had me up ALL night tossing and turning.
How could a young boy be so cold? I thought about where he would get a thought like that.
Why would he believe that my daughter is unwanted? We want her desperately!
And then my thoughts turn to these...
The MILLIONS of orphans that are not being adopted.
Our society has said with our actions -
You are unwanted-You are unloveable
So I DARE YOU!
I DARE YOU...
to look into these eyes and see a hurting soul that needs someone to say
You are valuable-You are precious-I LOVE YOU
I DARE YOU
to tell these beautiful children that you just can't afford them,
while you have 2 cars sitting in your driveway, and you drink coffees that cost more than they will ever make in a month.
I DARE YOU
to tell them that you just don't think you could love them like you love your biological children.
I DARE YOU
to tell them that God has not called you to welcome them into your home,
because He has. He has called you over and over again through HIS Word.
The day we stand in front of our Maker and answer for our life here on Earth,
are your excuses going to be acceptable to Him?
I warned you in the beginning, I am aching, I am angry, I am TIRED!
Tired of excuses.
Why are we letting Hollywood answer the call to be fathers to the fatherless.
Brangelina gets it. Why don't we?
We have been adopted by Him. We, as Christians are the most well-equipped to adopt!
We understand what it means to be loved unconditionally.
We understand what it means for someone to give up EVERYTHING for us!
Christ did not just die for us. Christ had ALL of the wrath of God poured out upon Himself, so that we could call Him Abba Father!
It is us whom He has entrusted to care for the least of these, because He has cared for us.
He came to us in our pain and affliction. He healed our broken hearts.
All He has asked from us is to Love Him back, and Love Others.
If there are 1.37 billion people in the world who consider themselves to be Christians, how are there 150 million orphans?
Maybe it IS you! Maybe you HAVE been "called" to adopt.
Adoption is a privilege, not a punishment.
I believe God loves nothing more than pouring out His love, grace and mercy on His children.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I am SO excited to show you the AWESOME t-shirts our friend (and amazing worship leader) Keith, designed for us. We think they rock!
They are not country specific, and you don't have to be an adoptive parent to wear one. These are going to make cool Christmas gifts so hurry and get your order in.
Shirts are $22 and the price includes shipping!
1 John 4:8 God is LOVE
1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.
When we obey God and answer the call to adopt- LOVE Wins!
We had a great time at out Family Movie Night Fundraiser on Saturday night!
We had about 20 families show up to support us.
We had a silent auction. Lots of generous people donated some really cool gifts!
We also had a bake sale with lots of yummy goodies.
I could not have pulled it off without my dear friends Jenn and Jenny.
Thank you ladies for all your hard work!
We feel so blessed to be loved and supported by many.
We were able to raise $3000 that night.
And we also will be selling the above cool tees!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We had a great Halloween!
Here are some of my kiddos and friends at a Trunk r Treat on Saturday night.
My oldest and his sweet girlfriend dressed as soccer players with their friends.
They grow up way TOO FAST!
Great fun carving pumpkins in our backyard!
The last few years our church has been taking Halloween fun back into the neighborhoods.
We took our kiddos door to door, the old-fashioned way and invited neighbors and friends back to our house for a fire and s'mores in the front yard.
We had a blast!
In So. Cal. the trend has been for churches to do big "Harvest Festivals" and invite their congregation to come on Halloween. The down side to this is that Halloween is the one day of the year you can actually go door to door to meet your neighbors and not feel awkward at all!
We were able to meet a lot of people in our neighborhood that we otherwise would not have had the chance to meet. It was great bringing Halloween back to the neighborhood!