Thursday, January 29, 2015


You read that right!!
We are submitted.... 
Our dossier is in the hands of the power that be across the water and now we just wait for an invitation to come!
I'm a wreck.
No.  Seriously.
I've been weepy all morning.
Tears are just leaking down my cheeks.
Joy.  Terror.
We could travel in 6-8 weeks.
Middle of March.
Right smack on top of two conventions where I'm SUPPOSED to speak!
South Carolina and Tennessee
Harper trumps conventions.
It's insane in my house.  Rob's fixing Ben's bedroom in the basement so Elijah can move down. Then he has to strip wallpaper and paint Harper's room (Elijah's old room).  Then he has to fix another area in the basement for Ben when he comes home for the summer.  Drywall dust is coating everything.  Stuff for the auction which begins on Sunday is in piles in my living room.  Our to-do list is out of control.
We have no control from here on out.  We don't know when we will travel and once we are in country we will just go where we are told to go and sit when told to sit.  In Harper's country there is NO HOLDING a child so there is NO guarantee we are adopting her until we have referral in hand. 
Joy.  Terror.
Pray for us.  Pray for her.
Please, Please pray.
Thank you, Jesus!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Ship - By Aaron

The Ship

By Aaron.
His first watercolor.
We weren't sure we wanted him to watercolor it.
His sketch was so nice we worried that it would get messed up if he put watercolors on it.
I  A.G.O.N.I.Z.E.D!!!!
I'm a wimp that way.
But he wanted to try it so..... we mixed some colors and practiced on a separate board and he took off..
And after I stopped being paranoid, I had a blast sitting next to my little son watching him work... helping him figure out colors, whispering encouragement, enjoying the moment. 

I mean this was his FIRST watercolor!


He blew me away.
No. I do not want to sell it.
Yes.  It is going up for auction.
Sunday.  February 1st.
Along with a whole host of other items.
The Orphans Treasures Auction and Giveaway benefitting three families adopting three treasures is going to be a BLAST!! 
Tons of cool items for everyone in the family...
Including Aaron's 2nd watercolor masterpiece...The sweetest fire engine you have ever seen!!
NO sneak peak's on that one... you will just have to wait!
Stay tuned people.....
Stay tuned!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fatherless Friday

I wish.
I pray.
I pray for a family for Dagmar.
Tomorrow he turns 16
A family must file a I600 with USCIS before tomorrow to able to adopt him.
Please Lord!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sneak Peek

Shh... don't tell...
It's a sneak peek at a few of the items going up for auction starting February 1st...

Don't tell anyone I'm showing you...
But I thought you might like to see...

There is going to be something for everyone...

This is just a tiny taste... of our auction to benefit three families..
Bringing these three precious treasures home...
30520133224 30520132428 
I hope you enjoyed peeking inside...
The Harper
We have currently over 60 items ready for auction and way more than that we need to get listed before this monster begins! 
You won't want to miss this.. Aaron's working on some pictures to sell and my dad is putting together a complete train set that will RUN and we have the entire Signing Times DVD/CD set worth $600.00 and some really nice jewelry and clothes and tons of books for pleasure and for homeschooling and toys and a beautiful handmade quilt named THE HARPER and another beautiful handmade quilt and on and on and on...
We are still accepting auction items and if anyone wants to throw in for a Giveaway to run alongside the auction (electronic style and gift-card style prizes) we are not turning anything away!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

I'm knee deep in auction-listing.  If you come to my house you are going to have to wade through the mess!  Yesterday we were dressing G.I. Joe dolls, sorting through Legos, taking pictures of vases and books and other whatnots. We are looking in every nook and cranny for things we can sell!!
Our on-line auction will be benefitting THREE families and will start February 1st. 
Donations are gladly being accepted. Anything you want to donate. Just take a picture, send me a description with a suggested starting bid.  After the auction is over you will mail it to the highest bidder (you cover shipping as part of your donation)!!  Easy Easy.  Please don't send your stuff here... I won't be able to find it in the mess. 
On Thursday I made a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride trip to Richmond to get some papers apostilled for the adoption.  I was in a race against time because I had to get the papers to Texas by the next day so they could be carried across the ocean with another family who is adopting. Thank you Stephanie Barnett!!

My not-so-faithful GPS told me I had arrived about a half a mile before I had actually arrived. Thankfully I had done this before so I knew Garman wasn't right.  But the landscape had changed in 4 1/2 years.  Buildings were standing where parks had been and finding the right building was quite the challenge.  Can I just say that Richmond drivers like to honk their horns a lot!  Parking was a nightmare.  I drove and drove whispering prayers.  Please God, let me find a spot.  Please!!  Around and around until I found a public parking lot about a mile from the building. I pulled in to discover I would get the pleasure of paying $14.00 for 2 hours. Sweet.  A mile hike on slippery sidewalks just added sweetness to the journey.  Then I couldn't figure out which building it was because I had to enter from the back. When I asked a kind man on the street which building was the Commonwealth of Virginia building he pointed me in the wrong direction.  My papers cost $15.00 but I was grateful that I was in and out in 15 minutes. A mad dash back to my county and a trip to the post office to get them overnighted cost another $35.00.  Money flying out the window without pause.  You do what you have to do. 
Which is why my house is knee-deep in mess!
So stay tuned!
The Orphan's Treasures Auction is coming soon!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Going Back

I first saw his picture 3 years ago when the ministry team sent me pictures after they had visited.
Grady. Wearing a green Puma shirt. 
I knew he was one of the Lost Boys because the Hartmans had met him when they were adopting Judd (Brady on RR). 
He had just been transferred in right before they arrived. The director wanted them to see him.  Adopt him. He talked to them.  Recited poetry.  Stole their hearts.
But the little Lost Boy the Hartmans went over to get demanded their every waking minute for days, weeks, months, years.  He was hurt and needy and in desperate need of healing.  They poured into him. They added another babe to their family.  And they prayed for Grady.  Prayed and grieved for the boy they left behind.
For three years they grieved.  And yelled.  And prayed.
Last December when I was there I begged God to let me see the four Lost Boys listed on Reece's Rainbow.  I was granted the privilege of seeing only one of those boys.
Wearing the same shirt. 

Sweet sweet boy who was ever so frail.  He looked battered to me.  Battered and weary. 

It was evident to me that they cared about him.  Several times they picked him out.  Helped him participate in the activities they were doing. I tried to get a good picture of him but I was limited in what I could do.  None of these picture do him justice. 
I came home and shared my pictures with the Hartmans.  I shared with them every single tidbit I could give them about him.  My words soaked into them.  Soothed them.  Saddened them.
We yelled and prayed.  Prayed and yelled. 
And God began to work on hearts.
Their hearts.
First Melanie.  Then Ben.
He's YOUR son.  Go back and get him.
Go back!
They listened.  They are going.
I have no words.
Two Lost Boys now have families.
Grady and Pearson.
30520133224 30520132428
Both families already have a Lost Boy in their home.
Both families are going back.
I truly have no words.
Stay tuned.... an on-line auction to support the Hartmans, Drakes and our family is coming soon!! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


This morning I called the immigration office to see if we had been assigned an officer yet.  I've called every week for a month now.  When the lady on the phone told me we had been assigned an officer and would I like to be transferred to her number I started shaking. Yes. Yes. Yes. 
Let me just say that our newly assigned immigration officer ROCKS!!  When I asked her how long until we were approved she laughed and said she had already approved us!
We are approved!!
We still need the official paper in our hands, but verbal approval is sweet sweet sweet!
I'll be honest. I'm thrilled we have approval, but I'm not throwing an approval party today.  Every adoption has twists and turns that are scary hard and require huge doses of prayer and clinging.  We had more than our share of them with Aaron's adoption.  So many that I have been hoping that we could possibly get a pass on this one because of it.  But that is not to be.  In the last 24 hours we hit a turn that was a bit shocking to my soul.  I spent a rather sleepless night last night doing a whole lot of praying.  I'm not comfortable sharing at this point but would beg you to please please pray for us as we journey down this road.  I'm clinging and praying to the One who holds both Harper and our family in His loving, tender hands. 
He is good.  No matter what!
As a final aside... I cannot wait until I get to share some really cool news about a sweet boy who has waited way too long for a family. 
He's got one now.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Disappearing Pieces

Remember our puzzle disaster?? The hole in our plan??
Well back before Christmas we started over.

Aaron's job was to build the birds!

Nice job, buddy!!

Quit taking pictures Mom and get to work!!

Many hands make for light work!

Dad got into the action the next morning...

Last piece...

Isn't it fun???
As soon as we finished the puzzle, it started disappearing.
I mean just about half of the puzzle is gone!!
The kindness of each person on this puzzle touches us deeply.
Thank you. 
Thank you!!
An auction for Harper and two other orphans is coming soon!  Exciting! Exciting!
We are working out details and gathering items etc etc.
I've never done an auction before so this is going to be a wild ride indeed!!
Stay tuned!!
P.S. If you have anything you want to donate to the auction send me an e-mail at!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

No Presents

It is soon his 16th birthday but there will be no cakes or balloons for him.  No presents.  Nothing. In fact turning 16 for him right now is a disaster!!
He has only a few days left and then he ages out. January 24th.

Is there room??  Anyone???  I so very much wish I could say I've seen him or someone else has seen him.  Last December when I was there I looked and looked but he was not in the group of boys they allowed me to meet. 
That has made it so hard to yell.
Oh Please please please someone SEE Dagmar!! 
He has only a few days left.
And someone PLEASE go get this boy!!
50102222707 Ian  Ian
He became available this week and my heart just stopped.  This is Ian.  He has arthrogryposis like Aaron.  It only affects his legs.  I've seen videos of this boy and several families have seen him and from what I've seen and have been told.... HE IS A TREASURE!!
You want to know what truly breaks my heart?
Ian has been available for adoption for years.  He has been asking and begging for a family for years.  Every single time the facilitator has come to his orphanage he has asked if she has found him a family.  For years.
But only this week was he listed on Reece's Rainbow.
Please let us not make him wait any longer. 
He is smart, is in school and can take care of all of his personal needs.  His legs are affected but he can walk.  He CAN walk!! 
Please someone SEE Ian.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Still Racing

Several weeks ago I shared with you about these two boys and the family who is RACING to go get them!
Pic 2 Nov 2013 (2) Dang Sheng Long
Well... they are still racing!  In fact they are leaving in NINE days.
Unfortunately they are still many many thousands of dollars short.
Adopting two children from their country costs 40,000.  They heard about the boys in September and have been frantically trying to get to them ever since.
That is NOT a lot of time to raise 40,000.
This family knows adoption.
They understand special needs.
They have been there and done that over and over again.
I met them in real life and I was so impressed with their easy-going way of handling their children.  Each child is precious to them.  Each one.
I know that Joshua and David will be well-treasured.
The bare minimum of what they need to bring the boys home is to have their Reece's Rainbow Grant account read at least 10,000 and more realistically 15,000 dollars.  That's after emptying every single bank account, every penny bank, taking their credit cards to the limit and just about selling the shirts off their backs.  They are willing to give it all up to get their sons home.
Their grant account reads 5,161 now making them at least 5,000 short (and that's the bare minimum). 
If you didn't help when I yelled before... would you PLEASE help now?
Joshua and David have NO future where they are now.
Only by God's grace were they found and listed for adoption.
Let's be the continuation of that grace and help get those boys home where they belong.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Panic Button

I don't know what happened but on Thursday afternoon while Rob and I were driving Aaron to Shriner's in Philly, someone out there hit my panic button.
It wasn't nice of them.
Since we finished writing our Year 3 we have been enjoying a little bit of a break these last few months.  Not that we have stopped working.  It will be a long time until we can truly stop writing for BiblioPlan, but we have not had a deadline hanging over our heads so our writing has been less intense and much more pleasant.
But riding in the car and articulating to each other all the things that need to be done in the coming months set off my panic button.
I haven't gained my calm yet.
We are adopting Harper at a rather difficult time of the year in terms of our business.  It will be Convention season and it is usually the time of the year when our phone rings off the hook. Back in the fall, we signed up to attend almost double the amount of conventions this year BEFORE we knew we would be adopting.  BiblioPlan is going to California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia.... OH MY GOODNESS... Seriously???.... Ooops... forgot Missouri, New Mexico and Tennessee...

I'm not scheduled to go to all of them (Thank the Lord!) but I am going to a good many and some of them are right about the same time we may be heading across the ocean.  Yeah.  That's a little stressful.  We are definitely praying and considering how we are going to work out all those details!  Plus, I teach six classes a week so we have to find coverage for my classes.  Arranging for the conventions AND my classes is making my head spin.

Rob's to-do includes a ton of writing projects for BiblioPlan and rearranging the house so that our little girl has her own bedroom.  Aaron was perfectly willing to let Harper sleep in his spare bed but the Social Worker didn't like that idea.  So we are having to do some work in the basement for the older boys and then he will need to paint and arrange Harper's bedroom. 

We sat in the car on our way to Philly and talked through the lists...

It was sobering.

Despite the panic... our trip had some definite highlights...





Remember the Boroughs family?? Two years ago we helped them bring Maddie home.... and then last year after they insanely jumped the cliff for Yul, my dear friend, Elizabeth Dehority, committed to getting them funded??

Well let me just tell you that all that yelling and all that fundraising was totally, most definitely worth it!!
I LOVE these two!!

They are precious precious precious!
They were absolutely the highlight of our trip.  Hugging and talking to Amy was sweet too.  I cherish each of the times we have been able to get together.
Our trip to Shriners involved Aaron getting fitted for new braces...

Did I mention that that we have traveled to Shriners 31 times since Aaron has been home.

Yeah.  Those long drives make all of us a wee bit crazy!

We go back in six weeks to get the braces.  Sigh!

 One more item on our to-do list!

My panic button has been hit!