Friday, July 12, 2013

Visit from Asia, Journey Moms

We had a visit from a wonderful friend of one of our Journey Moms. Brenda lives in East Asia with her husband and family. She spends her time mostly homeschooling her children and visiting orphanages alongside her husband when she has opportunity. They have 4 biological children and 3 adopted children from Asia. She shared how at one point in her life, she said she would never adopt. 

Well, God has taken her down another road.  She began by having an opportunity to foster a child who has created a special bond between herself and one of our Journey Moms, Terri. This is extra special. This child, Sam, was fostered by Brenda for a year and one-half before adopted by Terri.  They shared about this bond during our time together last Monday evening, 7/8/2013.  Brenda stated how difficult the waiting was when she did not know who was going to adopt him and she kept getting different referrals and each one would fall through, etc.  She kept praying for a Christian family for Sam and was so blessed and amazed by God when she met Terri and Phil.  Now anyone that knows Terri and her family knows how much they love the Lord and seek to do His will, love Him, honor Him, etc.  It was a true blessing Terri and Phil were matched with Sam!  
Brenda was given pictures beforehand of Terri’s family to prepare Sam.  Terri said it was so neat to see the look on Sam’s face when Terri and Phil were actually there in person!  She said his eyes got so big with wonder and amazement as he sat on Brenda’s hip at their first meeting. They stayed in country a couple weeks each time to visit and complete paperwork. Then during the second trip it was transition time.  Terri and Brenda said they discussed who would ‘be mom’ for each event and meeting they had together. Brenda started out as mom of course since Sam was used to her and then slowly Terri took more responsibility of Sam over the next few days and weeks.  Terri said when it was time to leave, Sam did not cry out or have much grief at all until about 5 days later.  During that time he seemed to be thinking about his foster siblings because he was around other children in a play area and began to look a little frightful and then began some deep sobs. Terri cried as she shared and we all got a little teary eyed.  

God never planned on loss.  He never wanted loss.  In adoption there is much loss.  Loss grieved is healing to the human soul. It washes out that pain and allows memories to be cherished or remembered without so much pain later.  A child that grieves for those whom he or she lost is a healthy child.  A child also will experience loss at all ages while growing up as their understanding grows about their past.  This is time to embrace your child.  Embrace and support your child and be careful of how you feel.  Try not to allow your feelings influence the way your respond to your child.  If you have an unrealistic expectation that your adopted child will never have questions about his/her past or if you feel rejected if he/she asks then work that out on your own.  Take time to grieve your unrealistic expectation.  Try not to let your feelings influence the way you support your child.  Its healthy and normal for your child to ask and wonder.  Allow them to do that. It does not make you any less of his or her parent.  You are given the gift of raising this child, but the child is still not ours. The child is the Lord’s.  Thank God for the time to parent and love.  Ask God to show you how to parent just as He parents us.  One cute example I heard once was about a little girl after taking a bath and being wrapped in a towel, began asking her adopted mom about her biological mom. She said she just wonders what she looks like. The adopted mom took her little girl and stood her in front of the mirror. She said, ‘look at you, I would bet your mother would have looked a lot like you look.’  

Brenda shared about some of the orphanages and how some are pretty good and some are not so good. She adopted one little child out of an orphanage in which the workers were often found playing cards instead of caring for the infants.  She babies are mostly laying on a wood board inside their crib with a thin blanket or sheet under them.  They have one little diaper wrapped about them tied on with a string.  Brenda said the workers do less and less because if they do more, the children will need more.  Such as you feed you have to change, if you talk more, they want to interact more, etc.  She said the children often bully each other as well. Since there is limited supervision, they often find ways of getting along. One example she gave was a time when she was going to adopt a little girl and she saw a frightened little girl in front of her. She had not visited with her much so this little girl did not know her as a trusted mother yet.  Then this little girls eyes got real big as she looked across the room and Brenda looked over to see a little bully boy coming over to her, Brenda jumped in the way and shielded this little girl from the boy.  From that moment on this little girl was up in Brenda’s arms and felt safe.  She began to trust her as her adopted mom.  

One of our Journey Moms got a chance to talk with Brenda about her adoptions of two little girls adopted at different times from Asia. This was a helpful time she said because she helped her understand her daughter’s better.  One was from an orphanage and one from a foster home.  

We were blessed to have Brenda with us and look forward to more refreshing and encouraging times together as Journey Moms. All moms, want-to-be moms, grandmothers, just those interested in being supportive of moms that have adopted or will adopt, etc. are all welcome to our Journey Moms events. If you have a topic you would like to hear more about or have some stories you want to share, etc. please contact me at  I would be happy to set something up!  

We meet in Valpo at the Uptown Cafe the second Wednesday of every month. This is often subject to change, so stay up to date on our Journey Moms facebook page. Thanks!! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Market SALE and update!!

We have been enjoying our summer while awaiting a travel date for our adoption.  We praise the Lord that we can be advocating for orphan care to our community through the Kaylee's Hope Booth at the Central Plaza Market in downtown Valparaiso.  Derek and I both agree, its not our favorite thing to get up early in the summer and set up our booth downtown and be there all day, but it has been worth it even for the conversations alone.  So far there have been people just hearing about orphan care needed around the world that maybe wouldn't have heard otherwise.  We also had the pleasure of being prayed for by a couple that knows our 'co-booth operators', Lisa and Matt Allyn.  Praise God for that, prayer means everything and we can do nothing without it.  We met a sweet lady that had just moved here from another state to attend VU for the summer and then to see her at church on Sunday was neat. We also have had a few people come up to our booth and ask if it was for 'pets'?  pet adoption?  Well, as needed as that is, no, this is for 'people' adoption.  Imagine that?!! A community or world that knows more or 'hears' more about 'pet adoption' than 'people adoption'?!! Where have we missed the mark?

{How could we as a people care more the dying pets in our world than the dying people?  I know that sounds harsh, but think about it! At the age of 16 in EE children age out of orphanages and have no where to go, unless they are one of the few in a community with a mission available called a 'transition house'.  There is a need right there. Who is willing to be Christ and go help the orphan that needs to learn how to survive for 'thrive' in their own country?  Without this help, unfortunately, the only offers coming along their paths are the predators on the street to take them into prostitution and crime.  Imagine a young person hungry and without shelter, that person would be very willing to go with whomever promises a better life. Even if that promise is a hoax.}

We have also had friends come out and say hi and buy some items! {thank you}  We have met new friends who love and support adoption as well. We had one guy come up and say he supports what we do, he has a son from Ethiopia and would get another, but its now just him and his son.  We didn't hear any more than that, but he left us wondering. Bless him Lord. We had a couple families come up and say hello, this is so and so..and its their daughter or son from another country or state.  So cool. We had one sweet 6 year old girl that was from EE and just adorable! Her mother gave us all kinds of tips about traveling, etc. She had to take 4 trips! Can you believe it?!! We loved how she talked so openly with her daughter right there. Mother to her daughter: How many years have you been here now? Daughter: Uh, 4? Mother: Well we got you in 20....  and its now 2013.  Daughter: Oh yes. Um....said her number. It was so cute!

So a big thank you to all our new friends who now know about our blog! And thank you to all our friends who have bought from us or visited us this month.

We will be done on SATURDAY, JUNE 29th!! 
ITS OUR LAST DAY for the Central Market.
Come on out for our SALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Buy One, Get One Free at $5 jar/bag


5 items for $10!!!

Yes you read that right! 

We have a BUNCH of pizza dough, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mixes, M&M cookie mixes, body scrubs and salts left.

We have LIMITED AMOUNT of pastas, pancake mixes, oatmeal...

We just heard this morning we will not have a travel date before July 8th.  I wish that was more clear, but that is what we heard.  We also have some unofficial referrals, but we never know until we get in the country so we are not getting our heart set on anyone yet.  :)  

We will be having a RUMMAGE SALE yet at Derek's parents home in Hobart, IN in the early part of July. 

Derek and I celebrate our anniversary July 3rd!! Its our GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY! 3 years on the 3rd.  It looks like we will be taking our anniversary trip as a trip to Indy to get more docs appostilled.  Such is life!! We will make a fun day out of it this time!! :)  (these docs are just extras in case....)

Please pray for this to move QUICKLY as school begins for us mid-August and Derek especially has a lot of responsibilities.  God speed, right?! Well, that means all will work out in His timing, but we still pray for swift work this summer and back home before at least the start of school.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paper in Flight!

Our dossier is headed out of France as we speak and on its way to our country! Once it hits the ground our translator will be hard at work and get it to the MOE next week (first week of June). Then we wait for a travel date.  Our facilitator and friend says it should take a week or two to obtain a travel date.  The travel date is expected to be near the end of June. We plan on arriving in country earlier than needed to get settled and visit some orphanages.  We are thrilled, excited and nervous about this endeavor, but know it is God's calling!

 We are also nervous about being away from our kids for a month over the summer, but know they are looking forward to spending time with their dad and his family! Our daughter will be packing for college and working while we are away and hopefully we will be back in time to take her to Grace College's Orientation Weekend in mid August.  Our oldest son will be looking for a job and learning to drive this summer. Our youngest son will be going to as many soccer camps as he possibly can to pursue his passion of soccer! They will also go on a trip with their grandparents to a state park and just enjoy some down time.

As you can see on our thermometer to the right of this page we are about $8,500 away from our goal. We have over 300 jarred items to sell yet from our tasting party fundraiser. If you would like the price sheet, message me! I will also put a link of it up on facebook again. All items are $8 or under. We will also be at the Central Park Plaza Market this summer with a booth to sell the rest of the items! A new friend of ours who is also adopting from another country will be selling t-shirts there too! Please come out and see us!
We may do a rummage sale yet before we leave if we have time. Please more than anything keep us in prayer as we set out on this journey of faith!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Cost (and Some News on the Adoption)

Instead of worrying about what the adoption is going to cost, I've started thinking about what it would cost us if we DIDN'T adopt.  Yes, the money needed sometimes feels like an insurmountable obstacle.  Yes, we are anxious about how our family will blend with new children.  Yes, the setbacks have been frustrating and, at times, crushing.  However, we won't stop until we have reached the finish line.  There are children sitting in an orphanage that we know will be sitting in their bedroom in our home in the near future.  Quitting now would cost us that vision and it would mean we believed our God could not or will not provide.  The cost of not pressing on is far greater than the finances needed to complete the adoption.

Perhaps you have seen this video before.  If so, I anticipate that you will feel the urge to watch it again. If not, you must watch this brief film.  It puts into words and pictures how we feel about adoption and explains why we have pressed on over the last two years.

Like I said, it sums up the passion behind what we're doing.  We currently have about $10, 500 left to raise before we leave for Europe at some point this summer.  This includes an interest-free adoption loan of $5,000 (which we prefer not to take, but are thankful for this provision.)  To us, it is a big mountain to climb.  However, we serve a God who says through faith we can move mountains.  So, we are trusting that God in His might will throw this mountain out of the way of our progress.  We believe this because we know that God loves orphans more than we ever could and it is His will that these children be loved and cared for.  

So, we submit our plans to God in faith and we trust in Him for provision.  What are our plans?  Well, we will continue to operate the etsy store and sell our remaining jarred items as well as prints, bibs and more.  You can visit the store and support us here.  We also plan to try to sell many of these items at farmer's markets and community sales.  Second, we are planning an event that will include garage sales in multiple locations on the same day.  The idea is that friends, family or adoption supporters will host a yard sale---big or small---to raise the remaining funds.  We are working on sales in Hobart and Valparaiso, but would love to see sales across the region, state, and even the country.  If a sale like this is something you might consider hosting, please let me know by commenting on this blog or emailing me at  Third, we will probably host a couple of nights at local fast food restaurants where a percentage of profits will go towards the adoptions.  Fourth, we will pray for donations and grants to help us.  Finally, we will continue to pour as much money into our adoption account as we can over the next couple of months.  Most of you know that we work in non-profit ministry, so we are by no means wealthy (by the American standard, at least).  But, I think it is important to share that we give a large percentage of our income towards this adoption each month.  It is not much, but we want to do everything we can do if we are asking for others to come alongside us.

At this point, it appears we should have all paperwork completed this week.  We will get everything notarized and sent to Indianapolis for the apostille process.  Meanwhile, our facilitator is already translating our home study and other paperwork we have emailed to her.  Once things come back in a week or so, we will send everything overseas.  It will likely be a month or less until we are given a travel date.  That date could be a couple of weeks away or a month or more away.  So, optimistically, we could be leaving in the third week of June.  Conservatively, we could leave in early July.  Either way, we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  There is a lot of money to raise and our paperwork needs to move smoothly, but we prayerfully trust the Lord that His timing is perfect here.  Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and giving!  We've almost completed the journey!  

Then the real journey of becoming a family starts. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Updated Item and Cost List!

Check out this file to see all of our current items and the cost!  If you would like to order online, you can do so by clicking the donate button to the right and putting in the note area what exactly you want to purchase.

(NOTE:  Shipping for 1 jar is $8, Shipping for 2-3 is $12, and shipping for 4 jars is $17).

Monday, March 25, 2013


Below is a list of items that are complete and ready for sale!
We have many more items and will add them to the list as we get them done. 
We are also willing to sell items sooner if needed!
Each of the items below are DRY MIXES and require additional ingredients.
Quarts typically serve 6-8 people.
Brown Sugar/Raisin Oatmeal $8.00/Qt.
Cinnamon and Raisin Muffins $8.00/Qt.
Five-Bean Chili $8.00/Qt.
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili $8.00/Qt.
Vegetable Beef Soup  $8.00/Qt.
Texas Cornbread $5.00/Pint
Beer/Soda Bread $6.00/bag
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies $8.00/Qt.
Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies $8.00/Qt.
White Chocolate Chip Brownies $8.00/Qt.
Smores'n a Jar   $8.00/Qt.
M&M Cookies  $8.00/Qt.
Organic Beauty Products
Eucalyptus Body Scrub $5.00/pint
Lavender Body Scrub $5.00/pint

Texas Cornbread

Eucalyptus Body Scrub



Vegetarian Black Bean Soup, Five-Bean Chili and
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Smores'n a Jar


Monday, February 18, 2013


Timeline as God directs our steps!

  • March 2013
    • Tasting Party preparations
    • Decide on date and location for Tasting Party
    • Master's Dance classes begin  to raise $ for adoptions and the orphan's transition house.
    • Dossier paperwork completed including fingerprints redone, medicals completed, copies of marriage licenses obtained, home study update completed, rental agreement copied, background checks completed and income verifications obtained.
    • Continue to save $ !!!!
  • April 2013
    • Continue Tasting Party preparations
    • Possibly host Tasting Party this month--still deciding when this was written
    • Master's Dance continues
    • Send Dossier by first week of April to Indy for appostille
    • Meet with friends to prepare for travel
    • Research Visa's needed
    • Possibly request donations for May Rummage Sale
    • Continue to save $ !!!!
  • May 2013
    • Host Tasting Party-- if not already
    • Possibly collect donations for May Rummage Sale
    • Possibly host Rummage Sale
    • Wrap up the 12 week session of Master's Dance
    • Dossier translated
    • Receive travel date for summer--hoping for first week of June 2013
    • Continue to save $ !!!!
  • June 2013
    • Samantha graduates from high school!! :)
    • These 2 teachers are dismissed from school for the summer! 
    • Hopefully we will be on a plane to Ukraine!
    • Will skype with family back home!
    • Will meet our children and run around doing paperwork!
  • July -August 2013
    • Have a visit from family?!
    • Will bring our children home!