Monday, July 28, 2014

All About Esther

I can't think of a better word to describe Esther than SWEET!

She's beautiful and quiet and cautious and serious and adorable and tiny and just precious.

And her smile...worth the wait! She makes you work for it but her face lights up!

The visits with her went well. From the moment they walked her down the stairs of the group home and she just ran right into my arms and melted in for a long hug until the absolute joy at her meeting her baby sister for the first time, there was no doubt that she was ours. Esther was just enthralled with baby Ruth and I'm so glad I brought her on the trip and was able to see how she interacted with her. We have the sweetest pictures of her nose to nose with her. Most of our visits were of Esther watching and inspecting her, or else wanting to do everything Ruth was doing...from playing with the same toys and sitting in her stroller to eating her baby food. She loved being pushed in the stroller or helping to push Ruth in it. 

They said she chooses who she likes and has chosen to like her new mama <3 She was accepting of me holding and loving on her. I was glad to see she wasn't crawling into the laps of everyone there though. She was accepting of my touch and liked being sung to while looking right into my eyes. She liked being tossed into the air and spun around...so thankful she was light or my arms would have fallen off! She's observant and copied what I did whether it was how to operate a toy or the sound pattern I made with the nesting cups on the stones. If I used a specific color cup, on her own she would find the other cup that was the same color to copy what I was doing with it. She liked the music box and the necklaces. She has to hold something in her hand at all times, usually a piece of plastic bag or the beaded necklace or a duplo type block or a leaf that she will twist in her fingers. They said she won't go to sleep without something in her hand. They said she likes balls and we learned quickly that she loves to blow bubbles and is very good at it. She wasn't as interested in the baby doll I brought, though who could blame her when there is a live baby doll to play with. She kept sharing all her toys with Ruth, which was sweet, though Ruth wasn't so sure about the large pile in her lap. She is not potty trained. She liked having her hair brushed and brushing mine, but wasn't as interested in all the hair things being put in her hair. They agreed to let her hair grow out until we come back to get her. 


When she was 3, Esther was moved to the group home that she currently lives at. It couldn't have been a better preparation for what she is coming home to! Family environment with multiple aged children who treat her and love her like their own baby sister. There are about 8-10 children in the group home and ages 5-12, Esther being the youngest and only one of two girls. She shares a room with a 10 yo girl who is just precious and gentle with her. Good preparation for all the big sisters waiting for her at home. They have 5 caregivers that alternate shifts caring for the children. The group home is connected to an orphanage that holds approximately 25 children (that we counted) ages 3-6. All the kids were so well behaved and so cute! Other than strabismus, it did not appear any of the orphanage kids had SN. The other kids in the group home were on the balcony when we arrived and were more than happy to tell us all about Esther. Every day they went for a walk while we were having our visits and returned towards the end of our 3 hrs and would come over to talk with her, us and our translator. 

Esther appears completely healthy and we are so thankful for that. She has delays, how much are due to her premature birth or just growing up in an orphanage in her early years, I don't yet know. She has something going on in her mouth, similar to the issues Ben had, but thankfully her teeth are not ground down to the gumline bleeding and infected. She does grind her teeth and makes a noise with them. They said she does it most when she is concentrating but I noticed her doing it less with each visit as she was more relaxed. Ben had awful reflux symptoms, and she may have similar to a point but does not drool like he did. They said she doesn't like her teeth brushed, and the smell in her mouth gave that away. She is small and whatever is going on is affecting her ability to eat. The kids told us she eats a lot but yet she only weighs 26lbs at 5yo? She will only eat mushy foods that don't require chewing, same as Ben when he came home. We were able to see her eat her snack one day...a large bowl of yogurt with mushed fruit. She has a good appetite and eats very quickly. It was cute when she stopped to blow on one bite as if it was hot. They said she loves ice cream and I'm looking forward to getting her some on the pickup trip!


Esther doesn't have the same fine motor skill delays Ben has. She was able to color on the paper and hold the pencil and spoon correctly. We went through about 100 stickers, I would hand them to her to stick on a piece of paper. She still has a very slight unstableness when walking down the stairs and running, despite starting to walk at 2yo. She doesn't have near as many orphanage behaviors Ben had. 

She doesn't talk a lot but she was able to repeat things I said in English clearly. She said all the names of her siblings, learned and said "round and round a garden' while drawing circles on our palm (a little rhyme I taught her that ends with tickles). There were some hand games she did with the caretaker. 

When a few of the orphanage kids escaped and came over to play with her toys, she handled it well and didn't get upset, just more stared them down. 

I don't know if it's her age or what, but I saw spunk as well. She has an opinion and has her own facial expressions she will make when she isn't happy about something. Reminds me so much of her sister at home, also 5yo! They are going to be quite a pair, haha. 


I brought this dress and they put it on for her visa picture and it fit her perfectly! Size is 3T. The shoes she was wearing were too big but were a European 25, which is equivelent to 8 1/2-9 US. 

We got to tour the group home and see her bed. She sleeps on a twin bed, no pillow and there is a shelf with a couple dolls and her shoes on it.. There is a wardrobe with her clothes in it. The home is simple but clean. Bathroom, living room, tv with shelves on either side holding stuffed animals, balcony where they hang clothes to dry. Table to eat meals on and tiny kitchen. 

The whole experience of Ben's orphanage and adoption and Esther's is so different from each other. As hard as it was to leave her there, it was very comforting to know they are taking good care of her. It was exciting to learn we would be able to Skype weekly with her and would be able to get occasional pictures via FB. Never so thankful for technology! It will be so nice for her to get to meet her siblings before she comes home and to help make the time easier to bare until she is officially ours forever. 

We appreciate continued prayers for Esther during the wait. That we'll be able to build bonds during our weekly sessions and her heart will be prepared to join our family when the time comes. Prayers that the wait to bring our beautiful daughter home will be short! 

Heartbreaking Decision

I want to thank everyone who prayed for our family, for our trip and for the children we went to meet. This journey really began a year ago when we received confirmation that Little G was Ben’s brother and our hearts knew we had to step out in faith to bring him home as well. Never imagined the ending would be any different than him becoming our son in the near future, especially after fighting for him so long. We wanted this to work out in the worst way.

After spending time visiting and getting to know Little G and learning more about what his needs are, lots of prayer for clarity and peace, lots of tears….we confirmed what our hearts knew, that we wouldn't be bringing him home. One of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make…I’m heartbroken and grieving. We aren't the right family for him. I do believe he will thrive in a family but he needs a family without younger children that need protection, he needs and deserves a family with lots of experience and time/attention to devote to him. That’s just not possible in our large family and little support system. God has given us complete peace that we've made the right decision but it doesn't take the heartache away for how we thought he would be our son, the sadness that he is stuck there waiting until his family finds him.

We may never know why God led us down this road only for it to end this way. We may never know the role our part has impacted his future. Our prayer is that what we have learned about him will be helpful in finding his forever family and that he won’t be waiting long. Even though I’m sure the boys didn't have a brotherly bond, I’m hopeful to keep in touch with Little G's family once he is home. I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet Little G, to show him love and pray for him. He’s a child of God, worthy of love and deserving of a family. Just wish it could have been our family :’(

Trying to find the blessings that came out of all this…we wouldn't have even been thinking of adopting again if it weren't for Little G, and waiting for his file to be found….we would have completely missed seeing our daughter, Esther, listed. I’m thankful for the memories made with Little G, the videos and pictures I have to show Ben when he asks about his brother someday. I hope that our fighting for Little G's file to become available was the push needed to help him be seen and for his forever family to find him.

We are asking for you to keep our family and Little G in your prayers. I ask for no judgment about our decision as only my husband and I could make this decision, knowing our family dynamics, what we can handle and keeping in mind our ability to meet the needs of all the children already in our home at the same time. It would be wrong to bring him home if we couldn't fully meet his needs and love him as he deserves. Every family is not the right fit for every child but I know his family is out there waiting and I’m happy to share more with anyone seriously interested in adopting him.

Thank you friends for your support, prayers and understanding 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Home...and updates



I have returned from trip 1 and meeting both children! Feeling rather jet-lagged but will blog more about the trip and the children once I get a free moment. Some very sweet moments, some surprises and decisions...it's been a blessed, eventful and prayerful two weeks. So thankful for the experience to visit their birth country and learn more about the beautiful people and culture there once again. So thankful to be able to take this journey with my sister there for support and baby Ruth there to cuddle with, get us to the front of the lines and help break through the language barrier among young and old everywhere we went with her big smiles.

One huge step in the process complete, now we just finish the last of the paperwork, wait for the final stages...court and the pickup trip. Praying that will happen before the year is over! Our i800 paperwork was mailed out the same day we met Esther so hopefully our approval letter will arrive next week or shortly there after. Our Visa interview likely won't happen until September due to the August shutdown but hopefully by the time that is done, we will have the last of our stage 2 dossier in hand and ready to be submitted once it is all translated. Our part of the stage 2 dossier includes redoing our FBI clearance and updating our medical exams.

~*~*~*~

As for finances, we are trying to get our adoption fund to $6,000 by the end of the month. Only $194 to go to get there!

Once our fund reads $8,000 we will have enough to pay the last of our agency fees due ASAP!

Once our fund reads $16,000 we will be fully funded!!

We've had no response from our Mustard Seed letters that were mailed out to over 75 churches across the country.

Still about 5 grants we are waiting to hear back from...

Our Thirty-One bag fundraiser has ended and we raised just over $100 through that. Thank you all so much for your orders!


Our Norwex party ends tomorrow so you still have a little longer to get your order in and get some great products while helping with our adoption. When ordering please be sure to put my name, Amanda Sutton, (as your hostess) when you check out. www.jenniferwojcik.norwex.biz

~Thank you so very much for your prayers and support~

Friday, July 11, 2014

One More Day!!


We had $510 in donations since yesterday-wow!! So very thankful for everyone's generosity <3

Just $296 away from $6,000 and I then I can share Little G's new name :)

Can you help us get there before our plane takes off tomorrow?

Don't forget to check out our Norwex and Thirty-One Bag fundraisers and invite your sisters, mothers and friends! Links are in the previous post :)



Thursday, July 10, 2014

2 days!! Ways you can help :)


The bags are packed and we are all ready to go other than a few minor details, like charging all the electronics and getting some pictures printed up. Today I picked up a few outfits for Little G and some pretend jewelry for Esther...stickers for both and a pad of paper to use to put the stickers in and hopefully trace their hands and feet in. Those were the last of the items needed before closing the suitcase for the final time before we check it at the airport. 

I can't believe it is almost time!!

4 days from now, we will be asleep after our first full day of visits with Little G. We have been blessed to to get little updates on him from another family visiting their daughter there this week. No new pictures but just glimpses into his personality and interests. I'm thankful for that as I prepare to meet him. 

We will spend 5 days in Little G's region, and then drive to Esther's region and spend 5 days there before heading back to the capital and flying home again. 

BTW...I guess no one wants to know Little G's new name?? Still working on getting our adoption fund to $6k!

In the midst of packing, I also got the I800 forms completed for both children. That will be mailed out once we give the go ahead to our caseworker after we have met them and decided for sure to move forward with their adoption. That approval will be send directly to our children's country and be used for the visa interview/Article 5. Once we return from meeting the children, we will come home and update our medicals and redo our FBI clearance again. That is all part of the 'second stage dossier'. Our end of the paperwork part of this adoption is very close to being completed. 


*~*~*~*~*

We've had 7 grant denials, very discouraging of course, but trusting that God will provide just when it is needed! No response from our Mustard Seed letters yet. 

As for funding needs, we are still over $3k short to cover our final agency fees. Adoption fund goal number for our upcoming fee due at the end of July is $9,150. Right now it is at $5209. We currently have two fundraisers that you can participate in that will help get us closer while we are meeting the children. I won't be able to fund-raise easily while out of the country so I was very grateful some friends offered to set these up for us. 


Here is our Norwex Party info! 

I am new to using their products but they are great, chemical free and safe for kids! We were blessed with some of their items as baby gifts at Ruth's baby shower. Please take a look and invite your friends! It has already started and will end on the 19th of July 

FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/314727182019482/

When ordering please be sure to put my name, Amanda Sutton, (as your hostess) when you check out. www.jenniferwojcik.norwex.biz


Here is our Thirty-One Bag Party info!

40% of the proceeds benefits our adoption! This event has already started and ends on July 16th. 

FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1479912375586513/

SHOP: https://www.mythirtyone.com/djenkins/
CHOOSE under "Events": Thirty-One Fundraiser for the Sutton Family


Feel free to share the links and invite anyone else you know who may be interested! 
The more the merrier, our parties can't be too big :) m

Think ahead to birthday, wedding and Christmas gifts!


Please help get us closer to being fully funded for our adoption! 
We are only about $13k away!!

Thank you so much <3

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Single Digits!!

 Yesterday was:
 days until we go meet our starfish!

Today is just 9 days until our trip begins! 

9 days from right now we will be over the ocean heading towards Eastern Europe!!

My bags are about half packed, the house is about half ready and the freezer is full of about half the meals I was hoping to put away before I took off. Resisting the urge to eat from it now with everything that has to be done before I go.

We found out our translator for this trip, even though we didn't have him with our last adoption, has already met Ben and 'Little G'! He was the one who helped translate when we sent a birthday gift with another family to Ben in October before we brought him home. That same week he also met Little G...and a few moments of those visits were recorded by this other family and months later discovered to have Little G on them. Those videos were what was sent to us in July of the following year... Exactly a year ago from this week! Never imagined that exactly a year later we will be just a week away from completing one major step to bringing him home.

We now have "Little G's" name chosen!! 

I'm not going to share it until our adoption fund reads $6,000, though. Our prayer is to get it there in the next 9 days! We need your help, though...If those reading this would consider donating just $5 or $10 each, and then challenging a friend or two to match that amount, we would get there really quickly. It really does add up...no amount is too little to make a huge difference in the lives of two precious children. 

We received a couple generous donations to our Adopt Together fund, totaling $790! Now we are only $3500 away from having the funds needed to pay our final agency fees due right after we get home from this trip, at the end of July. I have nothing left to offer in return besides a very heartfelt and grateful thank you... I won't be able to fund-raise while I'm gone so we are just trusting in the Lord to provide right when it is needed!

Esther has been without a family for the entire first 5 years of her life. Little G has been without a family for the first 6 years of his life, and away from his brother for 1 1/2 years now. 

If you haven't already, please consider helping be a part of their miracle, a part of giving them a family! 


Thank you so much!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Getting closer! 16 days :)

16 days until our plane takes off! 

We have all our hotel information and the dates we will be visiting with each of the children. I'm working on getting the last of the kids stuff packed, and mine gathered together. Cooking meals for the family staying home and getting the house organized to run as smoothly as possible. Still have to decide on Little G's name. 

We got tiny updates on the kids.

Esther is very small for a 5yo at 26lbs and 37 inches. She is actually only 2 inches taller but 6lbs lighter than our two year old son :( She has only grown one inch and one lb since her fall update. 

"Gideon" is 6yo and is 41lbs and 42 inches. Ben right now at 7 1/2  is 43lbs and 44 inches...so they are going to look like twins! 

*****

We have not had much of a  response to our Mustard Seed gift as I had hoped....only 4 requests to receive one and to let us know they would be praying.. Over 190 left to be mailed out. If I can get my printer to cooperate, I'm going to start mailing them to churches in our state and praying that hearts may be touched to help us get over this mountain. I'm out of fundraising idea and energy to do them. Time is short and the pressure is on. A month to go (12 of those I will be out of the country) before it is due and we are $4,150 away from having the funds to pay our final agency fees. Our 6th grant denial request came this week. Always hard to see but I know God will provide the funds just when they are needed! There are still a handful we are waiting to hear back from....please pray!

******

In other news, Ben starts summer school next week! I am nervous about how it will go. I think he will enjoy it. My worry is that he is going to test them and whether they will abide by our wishes on different areas and how to handle different situations. It's only 4 hours a day and will be a good practice for going full time in the fall, which is what we are considering doing depending on how this goes. He will have OT and ST during summer school. As soon as these 3 weeks are over, we will be starting his neuro-psych evaluations to get a better idea of where he is at developmentally and what services he will qualify for in the fall. Everything we are doing for him now will also be laying the groundwork for Gideon and Esther once they come home.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How big are they?

Trying to patiently wait to receive our translated referral and updates on the children...

I've been wondering about how big they might be right now. I want to bring some outfits for them, partly to have to give them, but also to help determine clothing size I need to bring back on trip 2.

Here are the most recent stats we have:
Esther: 25 lbs and 36 inches at 4 1/2 years old (Oct 2013)
Little G: 37 lbs and 41 inches at 5 1/2 yrs old (Sept 2013)

To compare...

The update we got on Ben right before we met him on trip one, at age 5 1/2, he was: 30 1/2 lbs and 37 inches. When we met him, he was wearing size 2t clothing. 
Now, at  7 1/2 years old, he is 43lbs and 44 inches.
Little G is a lot bigger compared to his brother was at the same age and it wouldn't surprise me if he is bigger than him when he comes home also!

So...how big do you think they will be when we get their updates? What size clothing should I bring?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Surprise Gift!

After my update post today on our funding needs, it was such a wonderful surprise to check the mail and find a check for $1,000 from a family member! 

Our Mustard Seed is growing!! Praise the Lord :)

This check 'exactly' covers a bunch of our upcoming expenses...

* The last of what is needed for trip 1 expenses ($150)

* What is needed for our I-800 for child #2 ($720) 

* The fee to update our FBI clearance ($100) 

* Covers the copay ($30) to update our physicals for our stage 2 dossier! 

God goes before us, knows and meets our needs...He answers prayers and always provides!

Just had to share :)

BTW, I changed the thermometer on the right to reflect our next goal of raising the funds for our final agency fees due by the end of July, the week after we return from trip 1!

Update On Our Mountain!

We are only $151 away from being funded for the trip! Our goal is to get to $4,800 in our fund by the end of June, but the end of this week is even better! We can do it with your help :)

The week after we return from meeting our children, our final agency fee is due. We also have to submit the I800 form and fee for the second child. Lastly, we have to update our FBI clearance, once again.

Part 2 of Phase 3 Fees
$6,000 Final program fee- $1,500 funded so far with a grant
$720 USCIS for second child
$100 FBI Clearance Update


So in total, by the end of July, we need an additional $5,320. I will be a little preoccupied and unable to fundraise while I'm out of the country. ;)

Most of all, we need your prayers that some of the grants we have applied for, will come through to help knock down this mountain. We have raised/saved the funds for $21,000 of our adoption expenses so far. Less than $15,000 to go-wow! I believe it will happen, I just don't know how! 

*~*~*~*

Don't forget our Mustard Seeds! I need addresses to send them to...will you be a part of our journey? Would you be willing to invite a friend or family member to pray?








Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Then...Now!

Here is a picture comparison over the past few years:



One of the first pictures we saw of Ben from when we committed to him. I think it was taken fall of 2011, but we committed end of Feb 2012.

Next is from our first trip meeting him in July 2012.

Third is the second day after bringing him home in January 2013, fresh after a haircut.

Finally, the last one is from May 2014.

What a change!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day...and Grand Prize Winner!

Thank you to all who gave yesterday....we met our matching money!!

Thank you so much for giving the gift of a Father to two children! 

I'm so grateful for my own father and also the father of my children. They are both wonderful, hard-working, loving, Godly men <3

~Happy Father's Day~

*~*~*~*




The winner of our 50 States Game Grand Prize was Melissa T!!

We are only $219 away from being funded for trip 1, wow-that isn't much at all. Our Adoption Fund needs to read $4,800.

Once we meet that, then we can start working on the next big mountain ahead of us!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Matching Money!!

We have a $200 matching money offer!

Our fund needs to read $4510 to meet it.

Once we get the match, our 50 States Game will be complete and we will only need $290 more to be funded for trip 1.

Can you please help us reach that today??

Btw...did you see our countdown over to the right? Only 28 days until we get on the plane to meet our children!

28 days!

Our tickets are booked!!


We are flying out July 12th and coming home July 23rd!
(This is very close to the same timeline of Ben's adoption :) )

Lots to do to prepare between now and then so I know the time will pass very quickly!

We are still $350 away from finishing our 50 States Game. Really hoping to get there this weekend, can you please help?

Just $690 away from being funded for trip 1! We are still aiming for our adoption fund to read $5,000 before we leave.

 
 

Can you please help us get there today?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We have travel dates!!

We are working on finalizing the details before I post them, but it will be July for sure! :-)

God has answered our prayers about weekend visits with one of the children so that our trip will be 1 1/2 weeks vs two whole weeks!

Please consider helping us raise the last of the funds needed for trip 1 so we can focus on getting ready to meet our children instead!

Our 50 states game ends this weekend and we still have 25 states to complete...



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

50 States Game Ends This Week...

We are in the final week of our 50 States Challenge Game fundraiser. 

Yesterday, 10 states were finished off and winners posted! 

25 more states to complete! 

We are only $848 away from being funded for trip 1!!

Our fund needs to read $4,960 to meet our goal :)

 Soon, very soon, I'll get to hold these two!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Anticipation!

Looking forward to seeing if this week is going to bring some exciting progress!

I will post again once we have travel dates, won't be long now :)

~*~*~*~

We received a letter in the mail yesterday with some wonderful news...

After receiving 5 almost identical letters in the past two weeks, it was hard to stay hopeful that this one might be a little different, but it was! We have been awarded a $1500 grant for our adoption-yay!! This will be applied towards the $6k agency fee that is due when we return from trip 1. 

Praying that this is just the beginning of these types of letters, as our mustard seed grows and moves the mountain ahead of us. Thank you so much for praying, and please continue to pray as we wait to hear back from all the other grants we applied for.  

We have only had one person give us an address to send our Mustard Seed gift to so far...

~*~*~*~

As of now...
~ We are only $1,120 away from being funded for trip 1! When our adoption fund reads $5,050, we will have made it. We have the funds for the plane tickets (unless our estimate skyrockets) and we have the funds for both children's visas. We are now working on the funds for the in-country expenses (food, lodging, etc). 

~ Our 50 States Game ends on Father's Day. We will draw a winner for the grand prize then. We still have 33 states that need to be completed first, but we are getting very close. 



Thursday, June 5, 2014

~Faith~

~ Faith~


This whole adoption so far has only been possible due to God moving mountains despite our doubts and little faith that it would be possible. We don't know God's plan for Esther and Little G and the part we are going to be playing as they join our family and become our children. It is humbling and has been a huge faith-growing process. With God, ALL things Are possible!

I've always heard that "God funds what He favors" and "If He brings you to it, He will see you through it". In other words, God provides...and I have seen that time and again throughout my life. Our adoption has not been an exception. He has provided $19k in the space of 6 months. I know in my heart and have faith that He will continue to provide the remaining $17k, just when it is needed. It is hard not to worry and wonder how it will happen because we can't see the bigger picture. 

I'm out of things to offer, out of ideas on how to make it happen. I realize that it never was in my power to make it happen...we are just God's children, obediently doing as He asks despite the sacrifices. God has blessed our efforts! 

He gets the glory!

I know He has also blessed those who have responded to God's urging in their hearts to join in our journey by giving what they could, sharing and praying. I feel sad for those who have looked the other way, ignored the need before them, missed out on the blessings they would receive. The blessing that these children are!
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

I don't have any fancy words. I can't express what my heart feels right now.

I do have this....

A heartfelt plea and the Faith of a Mustard Seed

We have a mountain ahead of us that we need moved. A man-sized mountain that is nothing to God because He owns the cattle on 1000 hills. We need God's people to come together to be His hands and feet. To help us carry the burden, to meet this need. To help us spread the word and give others the opportunity to serve. 

~PLEASE~
~If you have already (or plan to in the future) donated to our adoption, whether it is $1 or $100...
~If you have prayed for our family, prayed for our adoption process or prayed for the children we are bringing home and their adjustment into our family...
~If you know someone who would be interested in being a prayer warrior...
~If you know someone who has been touched by adoption...
~If you know someone who is looking for a ministry to support...
~If you know someone who loves children and would be interested in investing in the lives of two orphans to change their lives forever....

Please let me know by leaving a comment on this post or emailing us (amsutton@va.metrocast.net) with your address or a friends address (it won't be posted publicly) so we can send you this to thank you:

A letter about our adoption journey, a Faith magnet, a packet of mustard seeds, a double-sided bookmark and a prayer card picture of the two children we are in the process of adopting. 

I know it isn't much, just like the size of a mustard seed, but it's all we have at this point. We are praying and believing that God will grow our seed into a huge tree...that this little seed will move the mountain! 

We have 200 of these ready to be mailed out today. I need 200 addresses to mail them to!


 Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

If Abortion was Overturned, Would the Church be Ready?

An article worth reading...

P1000654

"If Abortion was Overturned, Would the Church be Ready?

Getting the kids packed!

It's always fun to start gathering items to take to do with the children during the visits on trip 1!

From our experience last time, we know anything with lights or noise/music will be a hit. Anything that you can play with to interact with your child is preferred, such as bubbles. Ben also loved to spin the wheels on cars so I am bringing some of those for Little G. I also want to bring some things to help assess their developmental levels and interests.

It's a guessing game at this point of what they might enjoy because we know so little about them. Anything that you can play with to interact with your child is preferred. Last time, I took a few 'new' toys during each visit to keep it fun. It's hard to spend a couple hours twice a day with someone who don't know, talking through a translator, while jetlagged, emotional, exhausted, nervous and excited!

We know Esther likes to play with toys and likes music, but no idea what kinds of toys. I found a little huggable brown skinned doll for her and a bunch of other little girly treasures that I hope she likes.

Here's what I have so far...



The items that are the same in both pictures, are shared and I will be taking to both orphanages for visits.

I have some other music toys plus coloring paper and crayons to include. I hope to trace their hands and feet, to get a better idea of shoe size.


I have picked up two of these little board books to leave behind. 
Thought it might be fun to see if we can name the pictures, 
and how quickly they might pick up English words by looking and talking through it together.

I also have a few outfits per child, so we can figure out what sizes to bring on pickup.
I will buy some snacks to take along to visits once we are in country as well.