Friday, April 18, 2014

Gifts to Graduates Project

Our friends, The Bible Orphan Ministry, have begun their annual project to buy gifts for graduating orphans.

They would like to bless the graduates with some kitchen utensils and Bibles. They already have the money for the Bibles and have 25% of what they have left to raise.

Our son, Andrew, will be in Ukraine, Lord willing, to help deliver the gifts! He's planning to leave in a little over 2 weeks.

Please go read more about the project HERE and pitch in whatever you can to help. They only have a short time to raise enough, so every little bit helps.

Thank you!!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More Opportunities to Help

Rachel made some things for two adoption auctions. Both auctions are running this week and benefit families adopting children from Bulgaria. Both auctions have a lot of nice items.

My friend Mandy's auction is part of a 6 family auction. The items are divided by family so the items for Mandy's new children are listed under The Sutton Family.

Rachel made these items for Mandy's auction. You can find the auction HERE








The other auction is the Hidden Treasures Auction. This benefits the family adopting a little girl named Brandi.

Rachel made this apron for Hidden Treasures.


The adoption auctions are great places to find unique items. It's a nice way to find gifts that you are going to buy because you help an adopting family at the same time!

And just so you can see how great Ally's doing, here are a couple of pictures of Ally with her best buddy...her brother Ryan.




They get along so well and are so cute together. Ally sure isn't the baby we brought home. She's getting to be such a big girl.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Opportunities to Help

When we adopted Ally, I had a great friend to go every step of the way with. We helped and encouraged each other and passed the time chatting about adoption and our new children who waited on the other side of the world.

Now we have Ally home and are just starting to feel settled, but my friends' family found out shortly after getting their little guy home that he had a biological brother back at the same orphanage.  So, instead of just settling in, they're off again. Adoption paperwork, appointments, fundraising.

My friend, Mandy is going back for Ben's brother and another little girl. Both children are Roma and, because of their skin color and ethnicity, have no place or future in their birth country. We got to see this prejudice first-hand when we were there. These two sweet children will be so blessed to have a family and Ben and his brother will grow up together!



Please consider encouraging their family and supporting their adoption. They have a matching grant to meet and donations toward the matching grant can also be entered into their ipad giveaway! Go to their blog, Blessings Eternal to learn more.

I know any help would sure mean a lot to them.

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Another friend is doing a fundraiser for The Bible Orphan Ministry's project to hire caregivers for the boys' institution. Last year, BOM raised the money to hire two wonderful caregivers for a year. They wanted to hire them this year too and enough money was raised to hire them for 6 months.


My friend, Brianna decided to do a fundraiser to raise the funds needed for the rest of the year. She has already raised enough to hire the caregivers for one more month and has almost reach the goal for another month. She has a goal of raising $186.48 by this Friday.

Please help by going to Cover Up for Christ.

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My final request for help is to ask you to pray and/or advocate for these teens.



Alla from The Bible Orphan Ministry has learned that the two younger teens are available for adoption. They could be adopted together if a family files paperwork with the U.S. government by V's  16th birthday on May 10th of this year. That is only two and a half months, but anything is possible with God.

I have been praying for them and I am just sure that it's possible. There must be a family who would be able to adopt two teens. They are not little children, they just need someone to want them. To include them. To love them and be willing to give them guidance so they can finish their childhoods and get a start to become young adults. They could finish their education and for the first time in their lives feel safe and loved.

Look at them. Can you imagine them on the streets struggling alone?



Their older brother is 18 and too old to be adopted. He will "graduate" this year. He has hopes and dreams, but very little chance of that becoming a reality. Perhaps someone could sponsor him. Sort of "adopt" him and let him know that even though he's a young adult, that someone cares for him and would be willing to encourage and support him so that he can learn to stand on his own. A letter of encouragement, a package, a regular gift sent to help with his day to day needs?

There are a lot of possibilities and opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of these teens. Go to BOM's blog to read MORE

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Just had to add this cute picture that Rachel took of Ally. She's doing so great! She blesses us every minute of every day.




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Year in Pictures

Our Alayna Grace has been home for one year. It's been an amazing and wonderful year.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to share this account of our adoption journey and Ally's first year home. I've always marveled at blogging moms and thought, "I have time to either live life or take pictures and write about it, but not both.". Now I find myself in that place.

Our little one is home and thriving. She's putting down roots and feeling a secure sense of family and belonging. And now it's time for me to get back to some very important things. I may be back to give occasional updates, but for now I won't be blogging much, if at all.

I've loved that friends, new and old, have shared and prayed along with us during this journey of adoption. Thank you so much, dear friends for all of the parts you've played in Ally's story. Thank you for loving her with us and celebrating her first year home.








































Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Gotcha Day!

The year we spent waiting to bring Ally home seemed so long, but this year with her home has flown by.

It's hard to believe it's been a year already since we drove up to orphanage one last time.


Walking through the grey gate, we could see that the yard with dry, crunchy grass we saw in August was now covered in snow.



We walked in and then waited in the director's office. We were told that Ally had spent the whole weekend in the hospital because of a "respiratory infection" and had only gotten back to the orphanage that morning. 


We gave them her clothes and then waited for them to dress her and bring her down.





 While everyone bustled around the office making the final arrangements so we could leave, Ally and I got re-acquainted. She looks so sweet and unsure in these pictures.







Finally everything was settled and signed and Ally got bundled up to leave.



We walked down the same hall as we did when we said good-bye in August. Only this time we didn't say good-bye to each other when we got to the end of the hall. We kept walking right out that heavy, black front door.


The receptionist was the only person who said good-bye to Ally. She kissed her and wished her a happy life. I was thankful that one person seemed sad to see her go and happy for her to be starting a new life.

We said one last good-bye to the orphanage...



and then walked through the gate for the last time.


The car seat didn't fit and couldn't be figured out in the time we had, but she had a place to sit. Poor little one seemed confused to be driving away with us.




After a couple of hours in the van, she enjoyed a stop to eat...probably her first ever restaurant meal. She had fries and chicken and our driver, a kind man who spoke nicely to her in Bulgarian, shared his mashed potatoes with her.


The rest of the day was a whirlwind. Back to Sofia and running to get photos taken, a medical visit for the visa and quick stop a tiny grocery to get some yogurt and milk and then finally...finally to our hotel to eat some dinner...




then falling asleep quickly after a long tiring day.


We had finally made it through the one day we had so looked forward to. She was ours and she was finally with us. We had several days to spend in our hotel in Sofia but then we could make the final trip home for good.