Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cookies For Sale

Mmmmm. Ranger cookies. Made with real butter, whole oats, pecans, and coconut these cookies are delicious! As a family, we can easily go through six dozen in just one sitting-- they are that addictively yummy! I bet you would like some huh? Well, for a limited time, we are selling cookies to help bring our "little cookies" home. Corny I know--- but I thought it sounded cute. ;)
Freshly baked cookies are ready to be mailed out!
Get your dozen for only $10 (includes shipping).  We will ship anywhere in the US.
If you would like to buy cookies please email me.
Blessings!  And enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2012

When You Least Expect It

The saying is true.  Blessings come when you least expect it.
I am in awe of our Lord and what He is doing through all of you!
I would have shouted out a huge thanks earlier except that I was truly speechless. 
Today we received over $300 towards our two little ones adoption funds!
Praise the Lord!
Each day we are one step closer.
Four or five documents required for the dossier are done-- only about a bazillion left to do!
 With how fast I have seen our government whip out documents like our background checks for our home study, and Galina's new birth certificate, John and I have discussed the possibility of Rachel and I traveling sooner than summer if we get our I-600 back in record time.  With that thought comes the excitement that our boys get to come home sooner, but that also leaves us less time to save money and fund raise.
Thankfully we will be getting our tax refund back in the next few weeks, and after all is said and done, it would be amazing to be able to raise at least another four thousand dollars.
As I think that in the back of my mind and decide whether to try selling cookies or go ahead and pre-order the window decals, or do a book raffle, you all go and put your money where your heart is.
Your act of generosity was the gentle reminder that no matter what I do, it is all His anyways.
And He will provide whether I know how or not.
He promises that what we give out of love is not a drop in the bucket. He multiplies it to further His kingdom.
He works in our hearts to join together as the hands and feet of Jesus.
Thank you again.
Thank you for giving me the encouragement to go ahead and order the window decals.
Thank you again for all the suggestions for fundraising.
I applied to put Blogher ads on our family blog Smiles and Trials since they will only consider a blog that is older than three months.  Hopefully they will get back to me soon.
Now, I am thinking of either selling cookies chock full of pecans, oatmeal, and coconut because they ship well and they are absolutely to die for yummy, or doing a book raffle next.  I have a stack of Christian books including Kisses From Katie, One Thousand Gifts, Too Small To Ignore, Erasing Hell, Plan B, Redemption from the Orphan Justice Center, Compassion, Radical Womanhood, When Helping Hurts, Red Letters, Reckless Faith, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, and When the Game is Over it All Goes Back in the Box that I thought I could part with for a book raffle.  
Not sure yet. . . . 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just Praises!

Praising God for another $65 donation! Thank you for your precious gift or gifts if it was numerous people!  
I recently got a wonderful email with new pictures of D from just a few months ago.  Isn't he the sweetest?  From the looks of it, he is going to fit right in. 
After seeing this picture of D on this toy car, we bought a similar one at the Goodwill store (only $4 can you believe it) for when he comes home.  I stashed it up in my closet or else Dennis would thrash it long before D got home.

Another interesting thing about this picture is the hat.
It looks very much like the hat we got for Dennis to wear when we first adopted him.

Lots has been happening behind the scenes.  I have sent off for copies of our marriage certificates.  I've been  working on the documents for our dossier.  And our SW emailed to tell us that she is making the last corrections on our home study.  We have another big praise too!  Our home school teacher has a friend who is a notary that has offered to do our notaries for free! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Big Thanks!

My daughter was reading our blog and I looked over her shoulder and noticed that $10 was donated to our Family Sponsorship Page on Reece's Rainbow.  Thank you so much!  What a huge encouragement this is to us!  Thank you for partnering with us!

I sat humbled and speechless by God's amazing provision, and I thought back to this that I read last night.

Don't let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.  Put your money where your heart is.  It's not a drop in the bucket.  Every act of generosity creates a righteous ripple effect that can change the course of history.  It will also change your heart.
~~Mark Batterson's book Primal

Thank you for your generosity.  It is indeed going to change history.  It is going to change these two little boys' lives forever.  Blessings!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Come on...

you know you want to smile. :)
Here is Baby D before his cleft palate repair.
He is such a cutie-- I could just eat him up!
This fundraising thing is hard.  It is humbling to say the least.  It is pretty much my thing because John works all day.  As a stay at home Mom, I have the desire to help out as much as I can to help bring our boys home.  John is the breadwinner and does an amazing job of providing for our family, but adoption is still expensive.  Really expensive.  Homestudy costs, immigration fees, fingerprinting, notaries, apostilles, agency costs, foreign fees, plane tickets, etc.-- I have yet to find one adoptive family who just happened to have 30k laying around.  
One thing I did this week that will save us lots of money was change our full coverage auto insurance on our vehicles to just liability.  After calculating what we were paying for coverage vs. what our cars are actually worth, it was a big chi-ching.  Baby steps. :)
I trust that God is in the driver's seat.  He has put the desire in our hearts to do all that we can to bring these boys home, and we want to be obedient to that call.
If you have any fundraising ideas that I can do at home in my spare time (because you all know I have lots of it-- wink wink) please leave a comment.  I would sure appreciate it.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thank You!

Thank you Denise A and Andee!  You are the highest bidders of the flower dishcloths and hair clips!.  Please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flower Disclothes And Flower Clips

Check these out! Julia crocheted these two flower, cotton dishcloths.
Not only are they pretty, but they make clean up a breeze by catching every crumb they pass.
They also make excellent hot pads!
The bidding on this three piece set will go through Friday, January 27 at 8 pm. PST.

Here is something new.   A friend of ours loves to make things by hand too.  She made these three flower clips that look adorable clipped to the side of your hair.
It is so thoughtful of her to donate these items to help raise funds towards Doyle and Fischer's adoption.  Thanks Sarah!
The bidding for these flower clips will end at the same time as the flower dishcloths.
Thank you for following us on this journey.  Thank you for your words of encouragement, your prayers, and your willingness to partner with us.

It is Official!

Look here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My emails keep coming back to me undelivered.  I got both of your messages but you probably haven't gotten mine.  Can you email me again using a different address?
Also, praise God for another donation!  Today I sent over our Family Sponsorship Info for Reece's Rainbow..  Hooray!

Together We are Doing This!

Good morning friends!  It was so hard to get out of my cozy, warm bed this morning, but I did knowing that there was still coffee from yesterday in the pot that I could microwave instead of having to make a fresh pot which I am still feeling too lazy to do.  Ohhh how life is so much grander when I count even the smallest of blessings. 

Another blessing is the 14 or so "pre-orders" I have received for the window decals.  Thank you so much!  Unfortunately right now with so few orders, the cost of the decals are still around $30 each.  But together I know we can make the goal of 100 decals.  If you haven't or even if you have,  please check out these window decals again and consider ordering one with the proceeds going towards helping to bring our boys home.  Share with friends and family--- or even consider buying a decal for a friend's upcoming birthday or even Christmas next year!

Aside from the window decal fundraiser, I have noticed the money raised in the Chip In box grow.  Thank you so much for being a part of two precious orphans lives-- your love offering is their redemption.  Your inconvenience to take a moment to give a few dollars means a lifetime of them knowing the love of a family. Priceless!  

Together, we are the hands and feet of Christ.  Together we can make a difference for not one but two little boys.  I get asked all the time, "Why adopt a child with special needs?"  Well, we weren't always open to adopting children with special needs, but the Lord changed that.  Little by little he has showed us the joy that all children bring to a family.  He has been graceful in making sure that the blessings far outweigh the challenges with all our children.  His love for me is deeper than the deepest ocean regardless of my flaws.  Why?  Because I don't think He sees my flaws as flaws, but rather I believe He sees my weaknesses as opportunities to show His strength... that in all things, He is enough. 

2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God's grace is sufficient for us all.  His power is made perfect in all of our weakness.  I am blessed, honored, and excited  thrilled to be a part of these boys' lives just to be a witness to how the Lord is going to move in their lives.  I invite you to join us and be part of it too!   I share from experience that your words of encouragement to me, my family and any family for that matter that is adopting is more valuable than you can even know.   Blessings to you and have a great day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Window Decal Fundraiser

Please check these out!  Here's our newest fundraiser to help with costs in bringing home our boys!
Window decals for the back window of your car!
Aren't they cool?
I designed these with the help of my kids and couldn't decide on just one-- so I am going to be selling all four!   With costs anticipated to be nearly 30k to pay the ransom to bring home our boys, every little bit that is fundraised brings us one step closer.  
With just a week or so before our homestudy is in our hands, we will be able to soon send off for our immigration approval!  We hope and pray that Rachel and I will be able to travel in June to adopt Doyle and Fischer.
Do you want to dress up your back window?  Do you want to help bring home two orphans?  Do you want to make a statement?  Do you want to share your faith with everyone you pass on the street?  
Well you can do all four by purchasing a decal for $20.   
With four different designs, there is something for everyone!
And they make excellent gifts too!
If you would like to purchase one of these window decals which are approximately 9 in X 6 in. please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com telling me which one you would like to order.  
If we sell 100 of these decals, $1000 will be raised towards Doyle and Fischer's adoption after costs.
That would be amazing if we could reach our goal!
Other ways you can help-- repost or link this on your blog, Facebook, etc.
Thank you, thank you, thank!




Just in case you were wondering, this is what the decals will look like on your window.  Of course, this is just an example and not the actual design, but I wanted to show you  in case you wanted a visual.

Thank You!

Toni-- you are the winner of the Matryoska Doll Tote Bag!  Thank you for partnering with us to bring home Doyle and Fischer.  Please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com.  Blessings!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Matryoshka Doll Tote Bag

Why didn't I think of this sooner?
We are adopting from Ukraine, so why not a Ukrainian/Russian themed bag?
This is my last bag for awhile.  I need to order more or try to sew some from the material I bought.  Thankfully, Julia is almost finished with her latest project.
Stitched with love, I hope this bag finds a nice home.
The bidding will end on Sunday, January 22 at noon PST.
Thank you!

Thank You

Thank you Allison from GA!  You are the highest bidder of the owl bag.  Please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com.  We appreciate your giving to help bring home our boys.  Blessings!

Two Little Monkeys

Hmmmm, will they even fit? 
Will these toothbrushes be their first?

My heart sings for these two precious little boys.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turquoise Owl Bag

Another bag is finished-- this time an owl bag!
Each time I make one of these particular bags, I smile.  Mama and her baby-- too precious.
This bag is one of a kind-- just like the two little boys we are praying home!  
Bidding is open for this owl bag and will end on Friday, January 20 at 8 pm. PST.
Blessings and happy bidding!

Thank You!

Thank you Carol G!  You are the highest bidder for the flower tote bag.  Together we are making a difference in the lives of  this little boy, and this little boy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Prayers are Being Answered

Hopefully, very soon, like later today soon, I can share who we are adopting!  So excited we get to commit!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bright Flower Bag

This is a new design!  The colors are fun and bright!
Once again I am auctioning off this bag to help raise money for our adoption.   
This bag would make a cute diaper bag, book bag, or even a purse!
Hand stitched with love too!
Please consider bidding on this one of a kind flower bag in support of bringing home two orphans!
The auction will end on Wednesday, January 18th at noon PST.
Thank you thank you thank you!

Thank You Again!

The bidding is over for the pot holder and towel set that Julia crocheted.  Thank you Carol G. for your generous bid.  You are the winner!  Please email me at thereed8@yahoo.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thank You!

The auction is over for the Brown Flower Tote Bag.  Thank you all so much for participating.  Deb is the winner!  If you would be so kind to email me at thereed8@yahoo.com so I can get your address.  Blessings!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Welcome a Child, welcome Me

John was fingerprinted today.  That means we are 99% done with our restudy paperwork.  Hallelujah!

I don't think I can thank you enough for your prayers and support.  You know who you are.  Thank you.

A lot of you have emailed me about who we are specifically adopting.  Honestly, I wish I could tell you. There are still a few things being worked out in regards to us being able to officially commit to these particular boys, but when we do, I will be shouting the news from a rooftop!

I know it doesn't make sense to you. . . hey, it doesn't make sense to me either, but it is what it is.

Meanwhile, we press forward.  The social worker is coming to visit.  I will send off for marriage certificates, etc.  Tomorrow, the bidding for the brown ruffle bag ends.  It is amazing to see how the bid has grown over the last few days.  Thank you for that.  We all know that the bag itself is not worth so much, but that the money raised for it is going to help bring home two children who do not know the love and joy of a family.  It has been a blessing to see you all join us together for these boys.  In case you missed, Julia also donated something to be auctioned off.  Bless your heart Carol for starting the bidding.  Please take a moment to go and look at the potholder and towel set made with Sugar and Cream Cotton yarn (which won't melt.)  The bidding for that ends on Sunday- - your support would not only help financially with the adoption costs but it would also encourage Julia that she too can make a difference to help orphans.

Since there really isn't too much to share right now, here are a few things you can read.  But I warn you, they are not easy to read.  If you are anything like me, they will make you want to scream.  How can person treat another person like this, much less a child? 

Matthew 18:1-5
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.   And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Girl denied transplant because of her intellectual ability

Be the hands and feet of Jesus

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Prints are Great!

Thank you for the newest donations!  It is hard to explain the feeling "We are in this together"- - but I feel it nonetheless.  We may be the ones adopting, but you are very much a part of bringing them home.

Today I was fingerprinted.  It was the easiest and quickest experience yet.  Actually I was quite surprised when he told me how great my fingerprints were since I had always been told how bad they were.  I think I know who I will be going back to see when we are fingerprinted yet again for our dossier. :)

Our social worker is coming out this weekend.  Yay!

Towel and Pot Holder Set

Just look at this beautiful towel and pot holder set!
Julia crocheted it!  I'm sure I am a little biased, but I think she is very talented.  The towel top is her very own design!
This set is the next thing we are auctioning off with proceeds going to help bring home two orphans.
Munchkin 1 is not even one years old yet and munchkin 2 is around three years old. 

Bidding will end on Sunday, January 15 at noon PST. 
Please leave a comment to place bid.
Does $20 sound like a reasonable beginning price?
Remember, all of the donations are an investment into the lives of two very precious children.
Thank you so much, and thank you Julia for making this set.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just a Few More Trips to the Doctor

As part of our home study update, the kids all have to have medicals filled out.  Even though the doctor agreed to fill out forms for the kids that were seen 6 month ago, seven kids still needed check-ups.  Thirteen shots, five office visits in the last week, and a few follow-ups still to go, and I can close this chapter of the book.  I CAN'T WAIT.

I hope that John and I can get fingerprinted in the next few days.  Now if only the social worker would schedule her visit.  Patience Christine, I remind myself.  As I mentally have our timeline planned out. . . I pray that it is God's timing first.  Since we home school, the summer is the easiest time for us to travel- - Rachel and I that is.  Yup.  That is one of our answered prayers.  There was always this concern if we adopted again, who would stay with the children and how would John get that time away from work?  It seemed like an impossibility, and then poof, I learn that I can travel with John's consent as a married individual.  So. . . we are filling out our paperwork so that I can travel to Ukraine without John while he stays here with the children.  If it works out in the end that he can go, then he will.

Rachel is coming with me to keep me company and help bring back our two little boys.  For her sixteenth birthday, we promised to help make it possible for her to see Sasha (her boyfriend) this summer too.

Thank you for the most recent donations to bring home two little boys.  What a blessing you are to them, and to us for sharing in this commitment to make them orphans no more!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Two Little Munchkins

Aren't these children adorable?  They all have something in common too.  None of these children have parents.  All of them need a family.  That's right.  Need.  I look at each of my children and see how each one fits into our family.  Each of these children do not have a place to call home, unless you call an orphanage a home.  Sure it is where they live, but they do not get the love and individual attention that they would get if they were in a family.  They are missing out on hugs and kisses, bedtime stories, bubbles in the bath, wagon rides, tickle time, blowing out candles. . . all the things childhood is supposed to be about. 

Hmmm, maybe two of these little munchkins have a family coming for them soon.   Lord willing.













Brown Flower Ruffle Bag

Thank you for our first donation! Nothing is too small... as I have seen over and over God multiply His children's efforts to further His kingdom. It is beautiful to see that others want to be a part of bringing home our two little ones from Ukraine. Hopefully you feel as blessed to be part of their homecoming, as I am to know that we are not doing this alone. For the last few days, I have been working on this latest bag. It has been carefully, and prayerfully stitched with love. :)
Bidding starts today.
I hope that the bidding will begin at $20.
You can continue to bid through Saturday, January 14 until noon PST.
Please leave your bid in the comments section.
Thank you!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Sorry for being so vague... I kind of did it intentionally. Yes we are adopting. . . again. :)  Why?  Well, there are lots of reasons.  We love our family, we love children, we are passionate about orphans, and last time I looked there are still millions of them out there, and room in our house and hearts for them.  Yes, I know, I know.  We can't save the world. . . but that is not what we are trying to do. God blessed us when He first adopted us, hence the blog name.  Now when we in turn go out and adopt a child, we are doubly blessed all over again.  Why?  Children are a blessing.  Even when they become teenagers. :)

You might ask us, "Why would you adopt another child?" And I would ask, "Why wouldn't we?"  You might say, "Your family is big enough."  And I would tell you, "There is always room for one more."  You might argue, "How can you love and feed them all."  And I would declare, "God is enough."  "With God anything is possible."  "With God, everything is possible."  We do not do what we do on our own strength.  If we did, our lives would look drastically different.  It is only with His amazing love and grace and patience that we can do what we do.  I'm not saying that with that grace we get it right all the time. . . but we try, and so if God is willing to bless us by adding to our family, we will welcome the blessing.

Now logistically we do not have everything figured out yet.  Finances are of course a big challenge.  They are for any adopting family... and I find that so sad.  How many more orphans would be in families if it weren't for the thousands of dollars it costs to bring home a child. But I can't say that I am surprised.  Once again God, through example, showed us that the price of saving a life is very high, just look at what it cost Him to save me, and you, and her, and him.  His son.

The cost of adoption is the ransom paid to save an orphan from languishing in an orphanage.

And honestly, we began this journey without being fully funded.  Some might say that is foolish.  Go ahead, I wrestled with this at first myself.  I am a planner and I like to know everything. . . have all my ducks lined up in a row, before saying yes.  After all, that is what the world teaches is the responsible, smart thing to do.  But then, where does faith come in?  Am I faithful that God will work out the details?  Am I faithful to begin a journey when I don't know the exact path we are taking?

John reminded me once again that this life on earth is very, very short.   It is our chance to show our love, our faithfulness, and our desire to live our lives for Him.

So, we do begin this process with a lot of unknowns. . . but trusting that the Lord will walk this journey with us, and hopefully put on the hearts of precious others like you, the desire to partner with us.  We have already paid the fees to have our home study updated. . . the Lord provided that at the perfect time.  Baby steps.  Thank you Lord.

Over the next few days, I will be slowly sharing the details of this adoption.   As I share, I will also be praying that the Lord will meet the financial needs for this adoption.  Might those needs include you partnering with us to pay the ransom for a precious child. . . or two?

As it is, a few of those unknowns have already been revealed to us.  God is amazing like that.  ~~smiling~~  I can't wait to share.

Ephesians 1:5
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.  This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Our Exciting News!

We are updating our home study!

Why?  Because we are adopting again!