Sunday, December 8, 2013

I am beyond amazed and astounded to announce that Jennie's Angel Tree goal has been met! She is now $1000 (+/-) closer to the love of a forever family!!
Let me back up,...
I had the pleasure of spending some time at my mom and dad's for the week of Thanksgiving, enjoying some time with our extended family. I had big plans for schoolwork, eating well, and even selling stuff (you should have seen my "to take" pile, it was a real "Brink" moment :) Well you know, best laid plans and all... The kids and I did not do ANY school work, I ate ALL the wrong foods (and way too much of it), and I brought home most of my sell pile. Some items sold while we were there, and it was nice to be able to ship them, explaining my project to extended family members.
But the real excitement was Jennie's angel tree account. With all the busyness and excitement, I hadn't checked her grant account in probably a week. After shipping some items and calculating the net amount for donation, I went to to donate the sold amounts, only to find her grant account had TRIPLED!!!
I could not believe my eyes; I erupted with excitement, telling everyone the good news! I found myself really wishing there was some way to know who gave it, so I could properly and profusely thank them!! All the glory goes to the Lord for raising what might as well have been a million dollars to me.
Now we just need to find her a family :)
Speaking of which, FOURTEEN children have "found their families" during this years Angel Tree! That is exciting!! 14 children, Lord-willing, will never have to spend another Christmas alone.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds;
    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.
 God sets the lonely in families.
Psalms 68

Stay tuned, next I plan to help another Angel Tree warrior reach their child's goal!
Thanks again for your support in this Family Christmas Project! If you'd still like to donate to Jennie, go here. Use ctrl-F to search her name.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

That Still Small Voice

Hello friends!

Well we all survived,... pizza night without Tony's, I mean. We ended up having homemade pizzas on leftover (read: OLD) hamburger buns and bagel bites from the freezer. I tried to cheer everyone up by promising the canoli kit we had gotten at Costco the week before; major fail! Apparently my family doesn't like the finer things in life, which unfortunately leaves me with a lot of canoli to eat...

But it was a success on the Jennie front!! That left us with a little extra money to give to Jennie's future adoption fund, and it looks like a few other donations were made as well!!
If you donated, I'd love to hear from you to personally say thanks. The kids would like to offer thanks as well in the form of rainbow loom bracelets! If you have kids, you may be as sick as I am of finding stray rubber bands on the floor, or piles of bracelets "charging" under a lamp (the glow-in-the-dark ones are pretty cool!). But their heart is in this, and they'd love to send you a custom colored bracelet in gratitude!

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On the fundraising front, I've continued cleaning out and purging our home in order to find more things to sell. Pretty much, nothing is safe here!! If you want to keep it, hide it! Not really, but I am doing my best to earn money for Jennie and God is blessing the effort.

Last week, His hand was evident when a sort-of big ticket item we had listed to sell NO LESS THAN 10 times, finally sold. I wasn't even in the same state, my generous dad had to do the dirty work for me. Last year when we moved to SC, we left a set of tires and rims at my parents house, planning to sell them in Atlanta, which has a much larger Craigslist audience. Over the last year, we proceeded MANY times to try to get those tires sold and out of my parents garage, to no avail. Last week I listed the tires again, knowing we would be in GA for thanksgiving and hoping to sell them while there. A few days later, I received a reply and the details just fell into place, including the buyer driving over 2 hours to pick them up, and my dad being home to show them to him, inspite of his busy schedule. FINALLY! Useless (to us) junk gone, and money in hand!

That small windfall wasn't dog-eared for anything, As I pondered what we might be able to do with that money (Christmas, a plane ticket to visit a new baby in the family, etc), it occurred to me that WE were not successful in selling those tires. Over and over, we tried and there they sat. That money came in at this time, and I believe, for this reason. God had much bigger plans for those funds. As we continued to think about this, that Still Small Voice kept whispering to me "Whatever you've done for the least of these..." And it became very certain, this was not our money to begin with. So giving it to Him, for this purpose of caring for a fatherless little girl in Asia, couldn't make more sense. Not my plans, but His. I'm really hoping to still find the funds to visit that new baby though!
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'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40

Thanks again for your support in this Christmas endeavor. If you'd like to donate to Jennie, go here. Use ctrl-F to search her name.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Every year, Reece's Rainbow helps raise adoption fees for orphans with special needs. Jennie is one of many children wishing to get the gift of a family this Christmas season. She is a 10 year old girl with down syndrome in Asia.

Jennie is included in this short youtube video, featuring a BEAUTIFUL song, "Please" by Hanna Sophia.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thank you!!

Wow! Thank you so much for your generosity! I have no way of knowing who has donated to Jennie's account but it is growing!! Again, THANK YOU!!

We would love to know if you have donated any amount to help fund Jennie's future adoption, and we would like to thank you with an ANGEL BRACELET. My kids are making these constantly, and their hope is to give them all away for Jennie!! Leave me a comment, or an email and we will put one in the mail to you!!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Update and a Challenge

As an Angel Tree Warrior, I have enjoyed being a part of an online group for such persons. There are countless raffles being held, homemade goods being offered, even husbands offering to shave their head for donations! Its very exciting to see the progress the other warriors are making toward their angel tree goals. I'm hoping to implement some of their ideas in the next few weeks!
Many people thinking about adoption consider the financial aspect to be one of the greatest hurdles.  I have read some incredible stories (like this one) of the provision God imparts to the families who step forward in faith, even when the total seems insurmountable. Jehovah Jirah. My God will supply all my needs.
Part of this endeavor for Jennie is to help remove the financial barrier between her and her forever family. God has many ways to meet the financial need of adopting families, and He gives each of us the opportunity to be a part of His plan to care for the fatherless.
My original vision back in October at the concert was to "sell stuff online". Since then, I have been busy listing things for sale on ebay and craigslist, and have managed to make a few sales. Even the smallest amount helps to fund Jennie’s future adoption. Purging unneeded items from my house is an added benefit! Think Landon would notice if all the legos suddenly went missing? We could stand to purge a few legos, OMGoodness.
Even better than the funds raised though is all the people coming face to face with Jennie and her plight in each of my listings and packages being shipped. I pray some seeds are being planted, and that the seeds grow to become action, hands and feet serving others.

Now for the Challenge:
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Our family enjoys family fun night once a week, in which we order pizza, eat M&M's and drink soda (my reputation is ruined,…), while enjoying a movie or games.  Every Friday, we call in our order for 2 pizzas, some wings and a soda and we go pick it up from Tony’s. $21.59. This week, I want to challenge my family to forego the pizza, and give the $21.59 to Jennie. I’m not going to pretend I make good pizza, because the truth is, my cooking gets complaints more often than not (I can’t compete with junk food).  But one night without Tony’s wont kill my kids. Or Lance. I'll let you know how it goes...

Would you consider planning to give up one restaurant meal out for Jennie? Make your lunch and give Jennie the $5 just once this week? Your gift is truly the gift of LIFE, HOPE, and a FAMILY for an orphaned child with Down syndrome.  I can't think of a better investment with that $5.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

You may be thinking,...

"Sure, you go ahead and adopt. That is definitely not on my radar."
I know. Me neither. Not on my radar.
Until last summer.
After asking a friend of a friend for advice about our dogs, I came across Catherine's blog. I was astonished at the pictures of her adorable little Ukrainian girls she had adopted the summer before, and how much they had changed since being home, in a family. I was intrigued. Although she's not currently blogging, her story is certainly worth reading. Start sometime back in early 2011 before she brings the girls home. Read all the way up to the post where the girls who "wont ever be able to do anything" are walking and talking and recognizing the flags of the world.
What a difference a family makes.
So I'm the kind of person who likes to jump into new things, with both feet. Lance is usually there to pull me back from outer space. This has been no exception. And really I am glad. There is a lot to learn about adoption. Not to say someone with the heart can't jump right in. Just saying.
So anyway. There are actually lots of ways to help the plight of the orphan. Like join Angel Tree to advocate for one. Or better yet, donate to Jennie, my Angel!
I love the list Linn at A Place Called Simplicity put toget of ideas of tangible ways to help the orphan.  As Linn says:
True Enough: Not all can adopt.
But ALL can do something.
Sponsor an Orphan.
Support missionaries who have dedicated their lives to caring for the orphan.
Write letters or encouragement or send care packages to these missionaries. Pray for them.
Foster a child/children.
Provide respite care for those who do foster
Pray for families who are in the midst of adopting/fostering. Consider donating.
Make a meal for a newly adopted family.
Pray for reunification of families, but if that's not possible, pray for families for these children.
Shop at Orphan Wares where 100% of your purchase feed street orphans.
Christmas shop by buying from an adoption fundraiser.
Talk about the orphan crisis.  
Talk about the orphan's needs.  
Talk about their lives.
 Talk about what hope does.  
Talk about what a difference a family makes.
So maybe I can't adopt, but I can do something.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Be Brave

Over the past few weeks, the Lord has been telling me something.

First it was in our small group, studying the book Multiply by Francis Chan. Chapter 3: Why do you want to make disciples? ..... .... Taking off the "why", the question becomes "Do you want to make disciples?" And that was a question I really needed to ask myself.
It all comes down to LOVE.

A few days later, we trekked to the next town over to see my brother play with the Passion City Band on a small tour they are conducting. The music and message was powerful, and I found myself asking God this question: What do you want from me?
It all comes down to LOVE.

Meanwhile, lots of ideas were floating around in this scatterbrain of mine. Ways to make money became ways to RAISE money. But for who? There are so many waiting. So many wrenching my heart. Enter Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree Program. I've never done anything like this before, but I pray God is going to use me somehow.

Now its time to be brave.

This Christmas season, our family is making plans to do something a little out if the ordinary.  My heart breaks for the tragedies this world sometimes inflicts upon children. This past year, my heart has been broken for the fatherless of this world. There are estimated to be 153 million orphans world wide, many of whom are barely surviving horrific situations and lack the most basic needs, with love and affection topping that list. Their futures outside the orphanages and institutions are bleak in their own countries.
We have signed up to be an advocate for one of the least of these through Reece’s Rainbow’s Angel Tree Program. Meet Jennie. She is a 10 year old, forgotten little girl in Asia; cast out in a culture that views her as a burden. Jennie has down’s syndrome. While she may be limited in her abilities due to the downs and the years of neglect, her greatest special need is a family.

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My goal as Jennie's angel tree warrior is to not only raise $1000 to help decrease the financial barrier to her future adoption, but to spread awareness for her situation, and the millions more like her. My prayer is that God will use the efforts of all the Angel Tree Warriors to bring forth a families for these children.

So where do you come into this?

~Pray. Consider putting Jennie's picture on your fridge so you and your family can remember her throughout the day. Pray for safety, for loving caregivers, and for a family.

~Give. Consider how your family might be able to contribute to her fund. A gift of $35 will be recognized with a picture ornament. No gift is too small. Donate here:  using ctrl-F search Jennie
I will also have a simple challenge or two over the next several weeks that I will extend to you. Additionally, I hope to have my own gift with donation to be able to offer you. My kids are working on a project to raise money for Jennie and I am selling stuff on ebay and the like, with the profits going to Jennie.

Pray that God will break your heart for what grieves his.
Ask Jesus what he wants from you. And Be Brave.
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