Friday, October 24, 2014

Paper Chasing Hurrah!

Oh my goodness we are so grateful for all the kind words and encouragement we have received in the last 48 hours.
I can't begin to express how much it means to us.
We have been BUSY. 
Coming around a second time makes the paperwork a bit easier in that we understand what we are doing this time, BUT the paperwork has quadrupled in four years.  Crazy stuff! 
Thankfully our stateside facilitator is absolutely the best in the world (Nancy T.) and she is willing to answer every single one of my three million and one questions with the patience of Job.
Even though we formally announced this week - we have actually been in process since the beginning of October which means we are close to the end of much of the paper chasing.  We have one more Home study meeting, have finished all of our required classes, are finishing the medicals, Rob's passport arrived two days ago etc. etc.... Three weeks of paper chasing .. WOO HOO!!
Many of you have asked for our timeframe.... Well.. the short answer is April/May for travel... Lord Willing! 
That gives us 6 months to pray for our girl.
6 months to cover her in prayers.
Join us!
And since it is Fatherless Friday... Here are a few of the fatherless who would really like to have a home!
41001155308 Ronald
Marv (2)
He ages out in January... Oh Sweet Boy - Where in the world is your Mama??
Jasper (1)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I pray nightly over Aaron.  I pray over him and as I do I pray for Ben and Elijah and our list of Compassion International children we have supported over the years.  He knows the names.  Juan, Yacouba, Anish, Abi, Josefina, Jhuevica.
I added a name.
A girl name.
He was listening.  Who was that he asked? 
A little girl who doesn't have a Mama and Papa.
That's sad.
Do you think we could be her Mama and Papa?
Oh no. 
Why not?
Because you are MY Mama and Papa.
Oh sweet boy.  Forever and always we will be YOUR Mama and Papa.
I know nothing about braids and bows. 
But I know this little one needs a Mama.

And I know our hearts are exploding inside for her.
Lord Willing, we are working hard to bring her home.
We fully understand the issues and risks involved.
She is in a country that is currently in turmoil.
She is in a country where you can't officially put a hold on a child until you are there in person and hold their referral in your hand.
We get this.
It terrifies us.
We are moving ahead.
In Faith.

All three of our boys are on board and supportive.
Pray for us.
Pray for her.

Please.  Pray for her.

Monday, October 20, 2014

There is Another

I rarely ever look at the girls.
Ever since I have known about Reece's Rainbow I have always gravitated to the boys.  All my Angel Tree babes have been boys.  Most of the children over the years I have advocated for have been boys.  We are parents to two biological boys and one adopted boy.
Boys are easy in my mind.
Wild. Fun. Active. Easy.
It isn't that I don't want a girl.  I've always always wanted a little girl. It's just that they totally terrify me.  I don't know anything about bows and braids and princess dresses. My fingernails aren't painted and the only time I ever ever dress up is for weddings, funerals and conventions. I am lost when it comes to girl clothes and accessories.
So whenever I look at the lists... I almost always look at the boys.
But even looking at the boys over the last four years has been pointless. The door has been closed.  We didn't qualify.
Until this year.
And this year has been overwhelming and crazy and adoption was absolutely the farthest thing from our minds.
If we were going to adopt again it would have to be next year at the earliest.  Because no way.  NO WAY could we add one more stressor into our lives.
Then I saw her face.
A little tiny girl with boo boos on her knees.
And my heart exploded.
And the Holy Spirit screamed - SEE HER!
I shared her picture with Rob and I did what I always do - I wrote about her on my blog and I posted her picture on Facebook and I set out to get her account out of the 0.00 department. 
And as soon as I did I panicked.
What if someone saw her?

What if someone wanted her?
What in the world have I done?
I knew we were in trouble when Rob started to ask questions. Serious questions.  And we began to consider.  And shake our heads.  And consider again.  All the reasons why not came to the table.  All the arguments against.  All the rational, logical positions one must take when considering bringing in an almost five year old into your home.  We went through them all.  Sifting.  Sorting.  Considering.
Could we?
Should we?
And just when we both were ready to look the other in the eye and say go...
She found a family.
Our little girl with the boo boos on her knees.
Praise God for her.
Sorrow for us.
But on that day.  When the door closed for her.  Another face.  Another little girl.
I saw her and again heard the screaming in my heart.  SEE HER.
I closed the screen.
I didn't share her with Rob. I didn't blog.  I didn't put her on Facebook.
I pushed her deep into my heart and tried to ignore the hammering.  The pounding.
Days.  A week.  More. Her little face in my dreams.
We were weary tired.  Writing 16 hours a day.  In the midst of it all, we had to travel to South Carolina for a convention.  Rob drove.  It was work, but it was good. Healthy. Hours and hours of driving meant hours and hours of talking and sharing and dreaming.  Aaron between us.  Enjoying him.  Enjoying each other.
On our drive home our conversation steered.  Turned. Became serious. A discussion about faith and how we live our lives.  Rob was talking.  I was listening.  Hearing him sharing his heart and hearing the screaming in my heart.  Our little girl with the boo boo knees became part of our conversation.  How close.  How very close we had come to leaping.  A tiny push was all it would have taken Rob said.  Just one tiny push and he would have been over.  And in that moment I knew.  I needed to share. I needed to share with my very best friend in the entire world about a little girl who was robbing me of peace. 
Rob, there is another.
..... to be continued.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fatherless Friday

See this sweet soul?

Marv (2) Marv (1)
He needs a Mama.
He just turned 13 and desperately wants a Mama.
Is there room at your table?
A place in your heart?
Would you consider calling him your son?
See Him!
Sweet sweet boy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Old Farm Day ....

He loves Old Farm Day in our county.

Animals.  Tractors. Hot Dogs.


I mean what more does a fella need??
To all of you who have been lovingly helping the Boyers and the Voigts - Thank you!!  Please don't stop.... Neither of them are fully funded so if you haven't had a chance to fill up their cups... PLEASE DO..
I leave you with some babes who have never experienced a Farm Day.  They don't know what a hot dog tastes like.  And the only animals they may have ever seen are stray dogs and cats and some birds.
ALL of them are supposed to be on the Angel Tree this year.... BUT... They don't have Warriors. 
They have no one to fight for them.  Pray for them.  Advocate for them.  Raise funds for them. 
There are only 16 days left in this month and way too many children who are not matched with a Warrior.
It is NOT hard.
It just means CARING about ONE orphan through the month of November and December. 
It means being their voice to your neighbors, friends, family. It means helping to raise money in their grant account but PLEASE don't let the money part scare you off... 
Warriors work together.  We work to get every single one over the wall!
Will you be a Warrior this Christmas for an orphan?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unchartered Waters

I blogged about them HERE just a few days ago.

Their Mama is crossing the ocean.
Two little babes who not only are going to have their worlds rocked but are also going to rock their world if they are able to get out!
Please please pray for these babes and this family.
Pray for the facilitators as they navigate through these uncharted waters.
Pray because there are so so many more children who have been moved out of the war zone but their paperwork did not come out with them.
And Give.
A host of people rose up in the last few days and gathered a matching grant for this family.
A matching grant for $1,500.00.
If the $1,500 is matched the family will be $3,000 closer to being fully funded.
To match it - their grant account needs to read $17,542.00
As of right now $1,288 still needs to be matched.
Please let's get this grant matched and pray these babes home!

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all peoples see his glory.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blended Voices

My favorite part ....
Father and son singing praise songs together...
Practicing to lead worship on Sunday.
Their voices blend so well together.


It is my favorite favorite part when he comes home!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Motherless Friday


These two little girls have a Mama who is trying so very hard to cross the ocean for them.
Last month she did a giveaway on her blog to try to raise money and she received a total of 6 donations.  SIX.  She had to offer to refund the money to the donors who gave.  That is really sad. 
She is leaving in a few weeks and is so very short on funds, To say she is terribly discouraged would be an understatement.
Please won't you help her out today?
Would you make a donation - she has $595.00 in her grant account and is leaving on November 1st.
Can you do something to help Missy bring her girls home?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday Flash

Ben's home for a few days!
Happy Happy Mama!
We are working on some new projects in our house....
And we are anticipating a surge in interest in our curriculum after November.... 
I can't share anything yet about WHY and WHAT WE ARE DOING and it is taking everything in me to keep my mouth shut..
And that is my Thursday Flash...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our God is So Big!

I've got a story to tell.
One that reminds us that stepping out in faith sometimes puts us on paths that twist and turn. 
It's about a family.
A big family.
The youngest 19 years old.
It's about a Mama and Papa who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds and who have raised Godly, mission-minded children. A few years ago they looked around at their emptying house and felt the Lord tap on their hearts.  You have room for more.  A precious babe in Rus*ia. 

They raised funds.  They did the paperwork.  They traveled to meet her.  Spent thousands and thousands of dollars. They held her in their arms and claimed her as their daughter.
But Rus*ia closed and their sweet Adalyn became lost to them. Unreachable. An iron gate erected in their path.
Oh how their hearts grieved.  They cried and prayed and advocated, but the door stayed shut.
Then last December they saw a picture of two little ones.
A brother and a sister.
When I was across the ocean last year, I had the amazing privilege of seeing the little boy.  He was in the same groupa as one of Carla's babes.  I wrote about him here.
The Boyers saw Charlie. They saw Lola.
And the Lord whispered GO in their ears.
So they began again.
Trusting.  Believing. 
A walk of faith.
This walk seemed easy.  They were in a wonderful baby house and the process was streamlined and fairly easy. 
What could go wrong?
War in the very region where their babes were located.
War that closed off that region from adoption.
War that has put all the children behind the same iron gate that contained their first babe.
How could this happen two times??
Two times?
Affecting three children.

Lost again. 
But God.
By miracles only He could perform... Charlie and Lola were removed from the war zone to a safe place.
But removal didn't mean that adoption was still possible.  Their paperwork was still in a war zone and over there... that is NOT a small problem.
But God is making a way.  They have been invited by the country to come.  On Saturday.  HOW SHOCKING AND AMAZING IS THAT? The door has been opened. ONLY GOD! 
It's not going to be easy. Their faith is going to continue to be stretched and challenged. But the door has opened and Cindy is boarding a plane on Saturday.

They are still about $5,500 short of being fully funded and would be forever grateful for donations but most importantly - a covering of prayer.

Please please pray for the Boyers.  Pray for Charlie and Lola. Pray for the facilitators.  Pray these babes home.  If the Boyers can get these two babes out.. then the doors might open for others to follow.  There are so many babes right now caught in limbo. 

Please please pray!!

Pray because Our God is So Big!

And HE is making a way.


Monday, October 6, 2014

One Less Lost Boy

One of our Lost Boys has been found!
I've known for a while and have been having a very very hard time keeping from shouting from the rooftops.

He's going to an amazing family....
You see they already brought a Lost Boy home - Heath/Bogdan last year.
And while they were there they met Pearson and absolutely wanted him. 
And now they are going back to get him!  I am so overcome.  Pearson has a family!
One less Lost Boy at that institute. 

One more opportunity to open those gates and breathe life and hope into that place.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

We will be finished.
Four long and grueling years of writing non-stop and around the clock.

I started writing for BiblioPlan 8 years ago.  I was teaching a Classical Medieval history class at our homeschooling co-op and was using the BiblioPlan guide as my resource material.  I had some material from the former teacher of the class but beyond that - I was on my own.  The guide was great but it was only a guide. I had used it with my own boys and loved it but again - it was just a guide. 
I had to make maps, question pages, timelines.  I had to find hands on activities.  I had to research and study the material in order to teach it.
Hundreds of hours to teach one Medieval history class.  The next year I taught Early Modern and Modern history in the same year.  The following year I taught Modern and Ancients.  My hundreds of hours became thousands and thousands of hours.
The owner of the guide happened to have her son in that first Medieval class.  She saw what I was doing.  We started partnering together.  At first I just created the material and received a commission.  Eventually it became a full partnership.  Now we own the company. Rob edited my material on the side - when he came home at night from building houses.  The more I wrote though the harder it was for him to edit and maintain a full time job.
So four years ago we made a big decision - We wanted to take the material I had been writing and create a full-fledged Classical Christian history/literature curriculum which included writing our own history books to go with it.  So Rob stopped building houses (we had our own building business at the time) to help me write full-time.
We thought it would take a year.
We thought it would be easy.
We were wrong on both counts.
We are finished.
What we set out to do four years ago is finally done.
BiblioPlan is now a full-fledged four year history and literature curriculum designed so that a child is able to cycle through it three different times.
Each of those four years has been designed in a way so that a 1st grader can do it as well as a 10th grader.  Leveled material for the different age groups.  Rich enough for high school credit but fun and engaging for the younger ones in the family. 
Fourteen products for each year.
56 products total.
Today we are putting the final touches on the final two products.
There have been times in the last four years when we wondered if there was even a light at the end of the tunnel.
There was.
We are there.
And we are very very glad!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Yes and No Post

Yes, we are back from Myrtle Beach.
Yes, Aaron got to go down to the beach.
Yes, it rained as soon as we got down there.
No, he did not get to use the brand new shovel and bucket we bought him to play in the sand.
Yes, he had a wonderful time anyway on our trip.
Yes, he thought Ripley's Aquarium was a great alternative to the beach.
Yes, I could have stayed at the Aquarium all day just sitting peacefully in front of the tanks and watching the fish swim by.
Yes, we had a great convention.
Yes, we talked to a lot of schools.
No, absolutely no one had any idea who we were but most of them were open and excited to hear about us.
Yes, I am glad to be home.
No, I don't have any more conventions this year!
Yes, I am very very glad about that!
No, we are still not finished writing but we are very close.
The End.
P.S. If you are looking to help a family in need...
July 31 2014c
Michelle Barrett is two weeks from travel and is short by over 9,000 dollars.  Because she is a single mom she has struggled to get any grants. 
We really need to support her!!
You want to know why???
Besides the fact that she has stepped out in FAITH and is ADOPTING a special needs little guy....Three years ago she adopted two siblings from the U.S. Foster System.  The little boy has ARTHROGRYPOSIS and the little girl has limb differences.
That makes her a SUPER MOM!!
Anyone who adopts a child with arthrogryposis has my love and support!!!
Please won't you sow into her adoption?  She has fundraised like crazy and has raised over $20,000 for this adoption.
Let's help her finish the job!
Here are two ways you can donate...
The grant account needs to read $11,775 to be fully funded.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Raining in SC

Rob and Aaron and I are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina today.
We are running a booth at the Southeast Christian School Convention.
It's a convention for teachers and administrators and as part of the three day convention - they build in free time for the teachers which means the vendors get free time too.  This afternoon is free time/beach time!  Woo Hoo!
Aaron is so excited.
Two nights in a hotel and time to play at the ocean. What more could he ask for??

We were hoping to have all of our writing finished before this convention but time moved too quickly and we aren't quite done.  The deadline is hanging over heads like a little black rain cloud.  We are trying to let it go for a few days though and just enjoy our time with our littlest. 
While we are gone.... I'll entertain you with some cute pictures of Aaron and his favorite dog, Summer!
Would you believe that about 6 years ago that dog knocked me over and broke my arm and hand?

Would you believe that in the four years Aaron has been home she has never knocked him over?


She's not the brightest dog on the block ... her retriever skills are atrocious... she thinks covering herself in stuff we shall not name here is the best fun...

But she is gentle with him.
And he loves her.

Sweet dog.  Precious boy.