Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sun Stand Still

I love our church for so many reasons but the messages that we listen to each week are always so moving and so applicable to life that I wished everyone could see them.  Well, I shouldn't say "wish" because everyone can see them since they are always posted online for free and can be watched any time.  I am so thankful for Pastor Craig Groeschel and highly recommend tuning in sometime to see for yourself but the past 2 weeks we have been blessed to watch Steven Furtick speak in place of Craig and this week's was just too good not to share! 

I know we all have "Sun Stand Still" prayers but we need to realize that those are the prayers that God wants us to have and those are the prayers that will glorify Him and allow BIG things to happen.  I was so encouraged to hear the above message as being in the middle of an adoption and part of starting a non-profit organization, there are a lot of intimidating times but I am not discouraged and know that especially after hearing this message, this is what we are here to do, this is part of God's plan for us and we will not let anything get in the way of it.

We had our 3rd meeting for It's A Child's Life last weekend and it did not go at all how we expected...it went so much better, but it definitely did not go according to our plan.  We assumed that since we more than doubled our attendance at our 2nd meeting, for sure we would have even more for our third...or not!  Besides our founding group and a couple of our loyal friends/supporters, we had 2 DHS caseworkers and a caseworker from the Chickasaw Nation youth and family.  We almost canceled the meeting because we found out that our captive audience was at their foster care lesson at the same time as our meeting but instead we sat around and started talking.  This talking lasted the whole 2 hours and resulted in us being so much more equipped to reach out to this area of orphan care and make some amazing changes that will help so many children in so many different circumstances.  I will share more as it all unfolds but we are so excited!  The first thing that will come of our meeting is happening tomorrow.  My husband and 2 other great guy friends of ours will be taking 4 boys who are in the foster system fishing and to grill out for dinner.  These 4 boys are in need of a male mentor and I am so excited for these 3 great men to show these 4 boys a great time...this is just the beginning!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fundraiser Winners!!!!

After almost 2 months of posting about our Puzzle Piece Fundraiser going on, we were able to raise $1,930!!!!
Thank you so much to everyone who donated items to be used as giveaway prizes and to everyone who bought puzzle pieces.  I will be posting a picture of the puzzle we are going to be putting together soon so start thinking about what you would like to say on the back of the piece(s) you bought.  You are all a part of our puzzle to adopt our child and we want to make sure each of you are included in it which will be hung in the child's room someday!  If you just want your name I will do that or else let me know what you would like written.
Now, onto the winners.....we drew 20 names, 19 for smaller prizes and 1 for the Folsom Photography portrait session.  And the winners are.....

Kathleen Ellis:  animal print bag and Africa car window/bumper sticker
Mary Marxer:  Thirty-One "Fun in the Sun" tote
Kathleen Duty:  The Missing Linck T-shirt
Fran Carey:  Bath and Body Works gift card and glass bead necklace
Brenda Abel:  Tree of Hope T-shirt
Ryann Wayne:  2 shirts from 147 Million Orphans and bumper sticker
Lauri Rowe:  Green and blue Thirty-One thermal lunch tote
Lari Hall:  I-Tunes Gift card and Africa car window/bumper sticker
Tiffany Anderson:  Imaginiff Game
Jen Herbst:  t-shirt with Africa cut out sewed on
Kelly Jo Pickard:  3 handmade kids shirts with silhouette of Africa and an adoption teddy bear
Ginger Emrich:  Mary Kay Satin hands gift set
Joe Coomer:  Opened Eyes T-shirt
Ashley Barrett:  Handmade baby blanket and an adoption teddy bear
Heather Osborne:  Tan leather purse
Kami Weems:  handmade pink and white clutch
Erika Prusha:  Starbucks gift card, an adoption teddy bear and cross-stitched pillow
The Densons:  The "Love" t-shirt with the picture of the globe on it
Sarah Habuda:  A hand painted custom canvas from me :)
...and now for the photography winner........
Kel and Leanne Penny!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS everyone.  If I have the prize in my possession, I will bring it to you this week, otherwise it will be mailed to you from the person who is donating it.  If you want to see a picture of what you won, go HERE Thanks so much for playing along and ultimately for supporting us.  We would not be where we are at without each and every one of you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

An Amazing Weekend....Update!

From Saturday morning until this afternoon we have been blessed over and over and over again and I am just still in awe of it all!

First I do want to mention my thoughts on the recent news of adoptions in Ethiopia.  This adoption process is such a roller coaster and with everything that may or may not be going on in Ethiopia with the possible closing of 90% of adoptions I somehow have a huge peace with it all.  Yes it is heartbreaking but not for us personally, just to think that there are children that need forever families and they may end up being deprived of that.  I am 100% on board with ending child trafficking and unethical practices as well as doing whatever to help family preservation but the sad truth is there will still be children that won't have families stepping up for them.  There will still be children that won't be able to be adopted by another family within their own country, so we are their last resort, we are their plan C and when that is taken away imagine what will happen?  Growing up on the streets? In over-crowded orphanages?  Die before their 5th birthday or younger?  That is what I am scared of and why I pray that this doesn't take effect.  We will know more this week but for now nothing has been set in stone so on with our Ethiopian adoption! So for now, please PRAY pray PRAY for these children and for God to speak to the officials of this government as well as other countries who have gone through or are going through the same issues to make decisions that will be in the turly best interest for these children.

Okay I've said my peace and now I have some exciting news to share.  Saturday morning I had 2 wonderful women over for breakfast and a planning meeting for our next BIG fundraiser.   Amy is adopting a 13 year old boy named Jimmy from Haiti and Christy is getting ready to submit her application to adopt from Ethiopia.  We all live in Ada and are so excited more than anything to do something to get the word out about what we are doing and what the needs are that are out there in general for children in this world.  Soooo....we are having a western themed benefit night complete with a dinner, door prizes, entertainment, and silent auction.  Because we are here in good ole Oklahoma we thought we do something we know our town loves, BBQ!  So we will be selling tickets and giving more details VERY soon but mark you calendars, Saturday, April 30th 5:00-8:00pm for our Lil' Buckaroo BBQ adoption benefit to Bring Our Lil' Buckaroos Home!
I also want to help spread the word for our friends The Linck, The Ellis, and The Habuda families as they are having their adoption fundraiser dinner on April 16th in Moore, OK and tickets can be bought here.

By Saturday afternoon we got this is the mail..... Our much awaited Notice of Favorable Determination letter from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services which means we can submit our dossier as soon as we have the full $5,000 raised!  Yay!!!!!

As of Friday evening we were still just over $2,000 short of the $5,000 needed to submit our dossier and by this afternoon we were blessed so greatly by a couple wonderful friends of ours and now we just have $950 left to come up with!!!!  All I can say is there have been many tears of joy and thanking God for all he is doing in our lives.  I said in my last post all about our history of moving to Oklahoma and how amazing this last year and a half has been, simply life changing! But it is just never ending, we seem to keep having more and more real, loving, caring, down to earth, God loving, servant hearted (is that even a word?)...people put in our lives that it is almost overwhelming!  Our blessings this weekend both came from friends who we love and respect so much and the meaning behind each donation was just heart warming and very humbling!  I don't want to say too much about the details but have to say it will be going down in our journal of this journey.  Thank you SO so SO much, there are not even words to say to express our gratitude!