$1500 MATCHING DONOR (and a slight moral dilemma)

Seriously. You read it right! Someone (who wishes to remain anonymous and who I’d like to give a big fat kiss) just let us know they would like to match up to $1500 of donated funds towards our adoption!!

This means that whatever you can give is doubled until we reach this goal of $1500!!!!!!!!!

The miracle of this gift is that we need exactly $3000 for our next payment due. God is good and He works in ways we don’t understand. He is providing and we knew that if He called us to adopt, then He would provide as well. We aren’t just sitting back and hoping it all comes together….we believe that we are to work as hard as we can, pray constantly and leave the rest up to Him.

Again, if you are for adoption and want to help…pass the word! You never know who is looking to help out an adoptive family 🙂 Send this blog link out with a prayer and watch as God moves and once again surprises us with blessing!!

PS – we are having so much fun thinking of baby names once again…but I’m having a moral dilemma (OK, maybe not moral, but close!) about boy names. Both my boys are M names. Do I stay with a M name or move on to DIFFERENT names that don’t start with a M??? See! It really is almost moral 🙂 And if you think stick with M names….send me ideas!!

One more step…

Several friends have been asking whether or not we have an account specifically set up for them to donate money towards our adoption. As of today, why yes we do!

We specifically went to a bank that is not where we currently bank so that there would be no mistaking adoption money and our regular household money. We want to have integrity with the donation money and we value your support so much!

Now you can go to the DONATE button and donate through Paypal and it will be deposited into our Adoption Fund! How cool is that? (Thank you so much Tom Engle!!, who BTW has a small business and would love it if you called him for computer help!!)

To be honest, asking for help from family, friends, strangers….it’s hard. Who really wants to be on the “asking” side?? On the other hand, I realize that by opening up this dialog, this opportunity for YOU to give, it gives you the chance to be truly vested in this little baby that will soon join our family. Wow. So crazy.

So here’s the skinny….

$5750 due at the beginning of this process (along with boatloads of paperwork)…Paid!

$5000 due when we are matched with a birth parent…need $3000 still (I have taken a part time babysitting job and will have $2000 by the end of August).

$9000 due when the baby is placed with us!

There could be a little more when it’s all said and done, but that is the bottom line, best-case scenario numbers.

I would love to blog as we go and report numbers as they go up. To watch and see how God pulls this all together and how our faith is increased as we watch Him work!!

And I’d love to hear any of your adoption stories out there…how did you fund your adoption? I know there are a million and one ways and I look forward to hearing your ideas.

JUST LOVE COFFEE!!

We’ve been thinking, praying about how we’re going to finance our upcoming adoption. Do we fund raise? Do we not? Do we pray God drops $15,000 in our laps sometime soon? Do we take out a loan?

We were able to pay our first payment of $5000 last month and we need our next $5000 payment by the time we are matched with a birth parent. That could be before the end of the summer, or it could be next spring. There is much uncertainty when it comes to adoption. But this morning I read a quote by A.W. Tozer that said, “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.”

We can’t do adoption by ourselves. We need God’s help and we the help of others who believe in adoption. Who believe that even though we can’t save all 147 million orphans, we can save one.

Some have asked us where we are adopting from. We are adopting domestically from Oregon or Washington. Why? Because of international adoption laws, we can’t adopt from another country due to Tad having Hepatitis C. He had Leukemia at the age of 12 and the hospital gave him a blood transfusion with Hepatitis C in it.

We are already a family of 6 and since that’s considered “large” we most likely wouldn’t get chosen for a “healthy” baby. But….we would get chosen for a “drug” baby or special needs baby. We’ve had experience with both through foster care. Drugs don’t scare us and in fact, our last baby was a meth baby and we loved him fiercely. We know that God will place the perfect child in our family that needs a forever home. We trust Him and can’t wait to meet this new precious little soul. (we will get a newborn)

All this to say….We NEED YOUR HELP! I hope you are as excited about this as we are 🙂 This fundraiser is called “Just Love Coffee” and you can go online, buy ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE COFFEE (from all over the world) and help us at the same time!

A percentage of what you buy will go directly to fund our adoption. Super easy and you can help by:

1. Buying coffee for yourself or as a gift

2. Spreading the word! Share this blog, share the link on FB, Twitter or your own blog/venue.

I admit, I only put $1000 as a goal….such a weenie. Our end goal is really $15,000! Why I put $1000 – I have no idea and now I can’t figure out how to change it – serves me right for being of “such little faith!”.

Go HERE to shop for your coffee and please help us spread the word!!

Bless you for having hearts for adoption!!!

(and if you feel led, we will always accept money gifts that will go straight towards our baby)

Camp Tilikum!

We spent 4 hours gallivanting around the grounds of Camp Tilikum, letting the kids show and tell about their week there so far. Tilikum has a soft spot in our hearts because both Tad and I got to spend some summers there as kids ourselves. Yes, we were even in the same group one year…memories.

Thinking solely of this blog, I stop at the bottom of the driveway and whip out my iPhone on the first day. I quickly take a look out my rear-view mirror and no cars are behind me – this is good. I open up Instagram and hang my arm out the window of the car, trying to get a straight picture because we are on an incline. Then….all at once the boys start yelling….”MOM!, there’s 5 cars behind us!! GO, GO, GO!” And then lots of “Mom, that was really embarrassing! Mom why did you take so long?” Followed by my laughter – sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. And be thankful that none of the 5 cars waiting patiently for me to get my photo-op honked their horns!

(Right after that little incident I was told to park along the side of the gravel road in a semi-wet field, where I would drop off Kayla. Not a good combination. Trying to leave I’m burning a little rubber, spinning some mud and thinking, “Where is my husband!!”. So, I find another husband. The poor victim was walking up right at the perfect time and I say, “Hi! Hey, uh…would you mind driving my car out of this? I’m a little stuck?” And thankfully, he saves my day…and once again, I’m laughing and embarrassing my kids yet again.)

Now, on to the fun last night!

The Challenge Course is where Kayla has got to be all week. Specifically for Jr. High-adults. They even made some of the elements specifically for the Trail Blazers years ago. Pretty cool.

Kayla has walked logs 35 ft. up in the air, dangling on wire. She’s done the Trust Fall, the Leap of Faith and even climbed 120 ft. up a tree on pegs….all with just a few mini-panic attacks!

After hiking and playing around, we found this spot to camp out with our picnic blanket and dinner.

After we ate I read a chapter out of “Hatchet”, our read-aloud at the moment. Talk about a book you don’t want to put down! (Note: it’s for children 8 and older.)

We walked the swimming area…this seemed so much bigger as a kid….

Did a little canoeing…

Summer camp, making new friends, singing “peanut…peanut-butter….JELLY!”, being dog-tired at night. This is what life is about. Love this season we’re in with the kids, knowing it’ll be over quicker than we know.

(Oh!! forgot to mention I have ALSO been slightly enjoying the quiet of the house, hearing my own thoughts and having the house stay clean for more than 2 nano-seconds.)

Keeping it real for ya 🙂

Cannon Beach fun!

Originally we were going to watch the Cannon Beach Sand Castle building contests…something we’ve never done…but, because this mama is SO good at seeing the details, we missed it by a day! Ha ha! Big oops. I really could go on about all the reasons justifications as to why this happened, but I’ll spare you.

In place of the sand castles and chaos of people, we found a quaint gravel side road that led to this little trail, which took us straight to warm, sunny sand and wide open beaches.

We actually came at low tide for the day and so, we found a camping spot for our beach quilt, food and chairs and headed straight for Haystack Rock. We had no idea that Haystack Rock is now a protected wildlife area and has very limited areas that you can walk on (or touch). And if you think you’re getting beyond the “Birds Only Beyond this sign” sign then think again! Just ask Max about the Haystack Rock “police” 🙂

I love how Tad loves to explore as much as the kids. How he can sit and point out things to the kids and often times, other onlookers.

We even got to look through some amazing telescopes that were all zoomed in on the rare birds up on the Rock.

The kite. This kite brought a little frustration to daddy…he he he. He spent hours fiddling with it, trying to help the boys fly it. His determination payed off and the boys flew to their hearts content.

My little Ruby is getting too big! How does this happen?

And speaking of getting too big….this beautiful girl almost woman is something else. I honestly cannot wait to see what God calls her to in the future…she’s thinking it has something to do with orphans in a distant country. No surprise there, right?!

Sisters. Love.

We picked up this little rocket at a garage sale and it has already had hours of play! Endless contests of who can get the rocket the farthest and Tad felt he needed to get in on this too.

Speaking of garage sales…I scored this fabulous skirt (CAbi) for $2.00!!! New, this cost over $60 and I LOVE it for the beach when I’m wanting comfort and cuteness all at the same time.

Can’t go to the beach without one of these shots. Almost 17 years with this man and I love him more every day.

Last stop of the day was Camp 18. We all did a our part in polishing up a yummy dinner…and if you’ve never been, you must stop sometime!

Oh! And for the car ride we bought and downloaded a new Lamplighter Audio Drama called The Wanderer. It was sooooo goooood!

This will never get old…

If you know me well, you know that impromtu dinners with friends ranks HIGH on my list of to-do’s! That’s what last night was all about. One invitation late in the afternoon to join us for dinner led to another invitation and that led to a fabulous night with 3 families, 10 kids running wild, good food and great wine, and yes, even the FAMOUS BB story around the camp fire!

These things will never get old, especially….

Girls having who-can-run-the-fastest races in pink cowgirl boots.

Playing “kitchen” with pieces of bark and rocks from the fire pit. Love these girls’ imagination.

Strawberry marshmallow s’mores and all the stickiness that ensues when 3 year olds eat them.

Daddy racing all the little girls and making fun memories.

Just pure cuteness.

Boys seriously roasting s’mores.

And the famous hammock that I’m sure will grace many more summer pics to come!

Summer is truly the best and this year I intend to capture every little moment and focus on the positive, joyful days we will have…knowing there will be many days I’m sure I will want to pull my hair out…but that’s not what I want to remember and look back on.

Wounded Healer

That was the title of last week’s sermon. Emerson Eggerich came to give this message and here is the link for those wanting to grasp an idea of what to do with that “wound” in your life that just doesn’t seem to ever go away (no matter how many times you try to stuff it, ignore it) ….waste it? curse it? hate it? or USE it?

We’ve all had some kind of wound in our lives. Maybe it was long ago or maybe it was just last week for you. The cliche, “it’ll either make you bitter or better”, really has more truth to it than we know. I’m still learning to be a Job (praising God even in the hard times) and not Job’s Wife (cursing God when life doesn’t go my way)…especially when it comes to losing our little boy just 11 months ago. 11 LONG months. But I know deep down that God is so good and life is so hard. So I cling to Him and try to use the painful times in life to bring healing to others….

this picture is of 2 heart shaped rocks that we found (searched for) after our little guy was taken from us…we needed something to represent our broken hearts and the love we have for him always and forever…

WARNING: This message is life-changing…kind of like open-heart surgery. If you will let the Healer in and do surgery, your life, your bitterness that springs forth when that certain “wound” comes to mind, can and will be used to help heal other wounded hearts out there.

I thought this so appropriate after sharing about the book, Bloom. Though it’s not a Christian book and yes, has some swearing, it’s her story of how she USED her “wound” for other people’s good. For her family’s good, her friend’s good and actually, all across the world (thanks to the internet). It’s a beautiful read and I hope you get to chew on her words, digest them and use them as energy to propel you on to help others out of your own hurt.

I’ve felt compelled to write this all day…praying that this was for someone specific out there today.

Bloom

This is what I’m reading at the moment and it’s one of the most beautifully written books I can remember reading. I’ve been following Kelle’s blog for about a year now, and love, love, love her attitude towards life, hardship and finding joy in the midst of everyday trials.

I was given Bloom by a friend, who handed it to me and said, “I’m sorry, but you’ll be crying in the first 10 minutes….but it gets better, I promise.” “OK”, I say, having no clue how this book would really touch my heart. I sat down Saturday afternoon on my sunny deck, propped up my feet, with my shades on ready to drink in this book and found myself a crying mess by page 10. My pour husband came home at about chapter 3 and gave me the “what in the world happened to you” look and so I explained, re-did my makeup and then made myself put the book down for our date night.

Moral of the story: DO NOT read until you can cry your eyes out and not have anywhere to go in the near future!

I don’t want you to have the idea it’s just a sad story. It’s so much more. You will be laughing out loud, re-reading the hilarious parts to your husband late in bed, and then, yes, you will cry again….BUT, it will grow you, encourage you, and spur you on in your personal life.

 

I’m in love….

…with the Instagram App! Of course I have more love for my Nikon, but in a pinch or just for a different look, I’m having so much fun with this little camera app.

I realized I wanted needed a picture of myself with my camera…because that’s what all photographers do, right?! And I love this one that Kayla took. I know, it probably sounds narcissistic to admit that out loud, but I think we should be more accepting of ourselves and less critical 🙂 Believe me, I know my flaws!!, but there are times when I can ignore them and be thankful to God for who He created me to be (and look).

Nothing puts a smile on my face more than hearing sisters giggle and play in a hammock. Even though they are almost 5 years apart, they still enjoy each others company and that brings joy to a mama’s heart.

And yes, once again, the famous fire pit. New friends (city dwellers) came to visit and LOVED our “outdoor camping lifestyle”….too funny. Taco soup, S’mores, running wild, swinging high, and good laughs around the fire…THIS is what summer is all about for us.

….oh! AND running through the garden sprinklers fully clothed in rain boots!