Sunday, May 29, 2011


There are conversations and questions as we go along this process.  We are thrilled that friends ask questions and are curious about the process and have many conversations in this regard.  Adoption is something we have prayed about and researched, but as you know, when you actually start the process of anything, you learn more.  So here I am going to attempt to answer some questions and share some information about our process.  Consider this the FAQ's of Kaylee's Hope.

1. Have you met her?
No, we have not.  We hope to travel in August or September.

2. So when will you get her?
Well, we are hoping before Christmas, but this process can take anywhere from 4 months to a year or more.  We started this on April 26th, 2011 and we are just starting our home study on June 2nd, 2011.  Our home study agency guarantees a 2 month turnaround on the home study, so by August 2nd we will have the home study done.  At that time, we will add it to the rest of our packet of information for the dossier (packet of paperwork that gets sent to our chosen country), send it to Indianapolis to be apostilled and then it gets sent to the country.  At that point, we will wait to hear back from the country with a referral (a statement that officially says--you are accepted to come and choose a child) ---then we plan our first trip.  We need a lump sum of funds for this first trip, we will stay for about 10 days, then come home, wait for a call about court date, then go back for about 3 days for the court date and bring her home.

3. Does she speak English?
We do not know, but assume not.  Our agency worker said that she may speak a little of her country's language, but it may just be a little due to being around children most of the time in the orphanage.  We are learning her language so that we can help her feel at home when she arrives.  We also need to be able to communicate with her in order to help her acclimate once she arrives.  We would very much like to help her continue to learn her birth country's language once she lives with us as it would be a great way for her to remember her roots and will be able to communicate when she goes back someday to visit, etc.  We very much want to teach her to honor her birth country and the people that live there.  We will teach her that God loves all people and wants them all to come to know Him personally.

4.  How did you hear about her?
Well, we actually saw a link that a friend posted.  We have been in conversation with friends that have adopted over the past few months (as well as years) and have been praying about who/when/where, looking for His answer....and when we gave it over in faith and waited on Him, being content with whatever answer we receive....we saw her post, read her profile and knew she needed to have a family.  Why not ours?

5.  What are your plans for her after she arrives?
Well, she will be old enough for school, but after our first trip we will be able to tell what she may need.  She may need more bonding time with us when she arrives, she may need to learn the language more, she may have developmental hurdles to work we will accommodate her needs.  We may home school for a while or we may have her go right to school. We will see.  We do know at VCA she will have wonderful teachers and we look forward to that! :)

6.  How is it possible, we have always wanted to adopt too?!
With God ALL things are possible.  We are trusting God for His provision.  He also equips those He calls.  He has called His church to take care of the orphan.  Our agency is walking us through each step of the way.
If you are interested in more information or links...message us!

I will post more as we have more questions come up! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Starting her room!

When I told Samantha (our 16yr. old) about our intention to adopt...she squealed, "where will she stay? OH!! she will stay in my room!!!!", as she was jumping up and down on our bed in excitement.  So cute! So we are starting on her room, or should I say, 'their' room.

Before we get to the pictures....I have a sweet item to share....we have had 2 beds in Sam's room for about one year....funny how God prepares you and provides.  During all of our prayers and considerations about adopting, we have had that extra bed just waiting for her...I have totally imagined a dark haired little girl running around as well.  Just amazing.

Sam is totally gutting her room and so far the following is what we have going on....

Sam is working on moving several stacks of books so that she can take a shelf out of the room to make room for a dresser.  Her and her books....she is totally going to be a writer...and a reader....forever!
The white shelf on the right will be leaving...and going in our rummage sale.
Part of the room that Sam will be going through yet! except the tall white shelf in the back...she did that already.
Kaylee's shelf that we will move, maybe paint and set up pretty with books for her!  There are a few on the bottom yet...and I think Sam was giving her some beanie babies...that are on the top shelf.
Cute basket that we may use for her....or Sam will use...not sure yet!! Not even sure on colors for the room yet..I do kind of like these colors though....

 This shelf will be reorganized yet.
I look forward to the day when 2 pretty heads are on these pillows! :)
This part of Sam's side is officially done if you were to ask her.  It would be nice to keep with the colors of these curtains. They are pretty....however, we cannot paint per our anyone have ideas?
Can't wait to see her little feet in these shoes! :) 

A sweet, random picture that Sam made in Art Class this year! She has an awesome art teacher!! Thanks Mrs. Abner!:)

Piles of provision...clothes that may fit Kaylee!  :) thanks dear friends!

And.....a random picture of Sam!! :) Love you Sam!

So there you have it....the beginnings.  :)  Its so neat to see God provide and we are looking forward to the next few events to hopefully meet people that are following us that we have not 'officially' met in person yet and to see others that are so supportive and loving! 

June 10th...Spaghetti Dinner at Bridgepoint Church (Old YMCA), Valparaiso, IN from 5:30pm-8pm
July 1st and 2nd....Rummage Sale at VCA (message us if you want address)---taking donations anytime....possibly the following weekend as well.
Currently planning a Birthday Party Spa Bash for all the women and girls in our celebrate my birthday (June 19th) and Kaylee's birthday (May)...we are not sure what day/time yet, but are working on the details!! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Her Room!

Well, ladies and gentlemen...I had a whole post blogged about her room and deleted is somehow! just to let you know in 'short' I will begin posting 'room' pictures soon! :) I have fun stories to go along with they will be coming!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A prayer good night.

Dear Lord,
Bless Kaylee right now and all the orphans around her. Bless her nannies and those that will be around her or see her tomorrow.  May Your light already shine on her and through Kaylee Father. May people see Your light in her Father already.  May she dream dreams that comfort her. We praise You Father that you know her heart and love her so much.  Prepare us for what's to come Lord and prepare our family.  Thank you for Your abundant provision, I am overwhelmed and overjoyed at the outpouring.  We praise You Father and look forward to all that You have in store for us and for Kaylee.  We walk in step with You, trusting You as you lead us.  We love you Father. Amen.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Help Us Add to the Puzzle!

For those of you who are newly following us or just checking out our page, we recently started a puzzle fundraiser (see pictures below).  It is a 750 piece puzzle that pictures a cathedral from Kaylee's home country.  Every time we get a $10 donation, we add another piece to the puzzle!  We write the name of the donor on the back of the piece and we plan to frame it in double-sided glass so Kaylee can one day look at it and see all the people who helped bring her home. 

You can support the puzzle fundraiser by clicking on the "Donate" button below the thermometer on the right...thanks for considering supporting us!

Getting donations already!

Thanks so much to our friends that are showing us so much support! We have a garage full of donations for the rummage sale already! We had over 5 families give us many donations cool, to be on the way back from a sweet families' home on the third trip with both of our vehicles hauling stuff to our garage, when I get a call from another dear friend saying she has garage sale leftovers as well for us! Then another fb message from another friend saying she has items as well and another text saying there are more things from another home at the first home we were at today as well! We just see God provide and I feel like I keep saying that, but I really do see Him provide and He is showing me over and over again HIS PROVISION for HIS VISION. 

This is truly a rejoicing season!  I have been rejoicing all day by all the love and support ...with tears as we truly had in our minds to take one vehicle to this first house and then---to find out we need both and not only both, but several trips with items donated!  Amazed! Overjoyed! God's Provision for Kaylee.  We are meeting new people and I just feel like God is connecting us with people that love like He does.  His people that love and care for others too. Below are pictures of our garage right now...filled!

Puzzle Update

Monday, May 16, 2011

Depraved Indifference

I know I like to post videos and maybe you will start to overlook them if I post too many...but this one is the most powerful presentation for adoption that I have ever seen.  This is a must-watch.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Puzzle Update

What About the Others?

While we work to adopt Kaylee, we also advocate for the millions of other children---young and old---desperate for love, hope, and family.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


We officially have our home study scheduled! It will be on June 2nd.  It is guaranteed by this agency to have it done within 2 months.  So at that time, we will have documents sent to Eastern Europe and wait for our 'referral'.  This means, wait to hear that we can travel over to see Kaylee.

{The other day, I posted about God's Provision--and the post was deleted here is my attempt to repost.}

The question has popped up, "and you expect to get all of this [funding] from your friends and family?!"
Well....the answer would be...Our PROVISION is coming from GOD.
We do not trust in ourselves, we do not trust in our friends and family, we TRUST IN GOD.
We know God can use 'us' to earn more in the next few months (which He is totally doing). We know God can use our friends and family to give (which He is also totally doing!--thank you!), but ultimately, we KNOW that our PROVISION is from GOD.
See God's HEART is to RESCUE the orphan and so, this is HIS VISION.
We are just tools for HIM.
We are stepping out and TRUSTING that GOD will be PROVIDING for HIS VISION.
I don't think we have anything to lose in that.
However, didn't GOD say that OUR LIVES ARE NOT OUR OWN??
He also said, Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever seeks to give his life for MY SAKE will FIND IT.
We walk forward in Him now.  Thank you for coming alongside us in this JOURNEY friends and family.
Truly, in the BODY OF CHRIST, we are all FAMILY. WE LOVE YOU ALL!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Questions for Kaylee

I was thinking tonight about just how little we know about Kaylee.  We have seen her adorable pictures and read a brief description from her orphanage, but we still don't know much.  I'm not thinking about the big things here---her health, her upbringing, the baggage that inevitably comes along with living in an orphanage for five years.  I'm thinking of the little things, the small details that bring a person to life.  I have a lot of questions about her and for her.  How weird is it to "have" a daughter and know so little about her?  So, I'm starting to document my questions tonight so I don't forget to learn all of these things about her one day.

*What do you like to eat?  What do you think is gross?  (Maybe she will somehow miraculously have my genes and love blended fruit but despise fruit in any other form.)
*Do you like sports?  (Praying for this one to be yes!)
*What's your favorite color?  (Hopefully it is purple and gold because she will be wearing a lot of it.)
*Have you ever had a pet?  (I have read that sometimes Russian children are scared of dogs because they roam openly in that country and are considered to be almost like rats...but can she really take one look at Annabelle's sweet face and not love her?)
*Have you ever been to a movie?  (I have a feeling she will love the 49er!)
*Are you scared of anything? (It makes me really sad to know that I can do nothing to protect her right now...can't wait to keep her safe)
*What do you want to be when you grow up?  (Maybe I am ridiculous or naive, but is this a question that five year old orphans think about?)
*Has anyone ever told you about Jesus? (The most important question I will ever ask her.)

There are so many more things I want to ask her, but tonight I start my list with those eight.  I can't wait to meet her and get to know her.  It is such a weird feeling to miss someone you've never met, but I'm feeling it.

May 10- Puzzle Update

Monday, May 9, 2011

Puzzle Progress...142 Pieces and Counting!

Well, the puzzle is here and we started putting it together...below are pictures based on daily pledges.  I hope you will enjoy watching this project come together with us!


147 million orphans--staggering number?! not really given what we can do.

147 million orphans sounds staggering doesn't it? Well, actually it's not if....recent statistic...IF ONLY ONE FAMILY IN EVERY 2 CHURCHES AROUND THE WORLD WOULD ADOPT THERE WOULD BE NO MORE ORPHAN CRISIS.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Does Kaylee know what Mother's Day is?

I have wondered today what Kaylee is doing on this Mother's Day.  She is probably doing what she normally does on Sunday I would assume.  I don't know if that includes any kind of church service or not.  I wonder if she even knows what 'family' is.  I wonder if she knows about fathers and mothers.  Has she ever been in a home? Has she ever seen a 'family'?  Do the nannies talk to her about having one someday?  Does Kaylee know what a mother is?  Does she want a mother? She doesn't even know that I am thinking of her today and loving her already.  My sister-in-law writes little letters to her daughter as often as she can on her blog (see Letters to Laney below) and I think I am going to write a letter to Kaylee tonight.

Dear Kaylee,
I have not met you yet.  I have seen your picture and read what you like about life.  I have seen a baby picture, a 3 year old picture and a 4 year old picture of you.  I wish I knew you when you were a baby and at each of those ages honey.  I have been praying and thinking about adoption for many years Kaylee and God has told your daddy and I to seek to adopt you.  I am very, very excited and nothing even compares to how excited I am to adopt you! Your daddy and I are starting to learn Russian so we can talk with you and tell you that 'you are our daughter and we are taking you home' when we meet you.  You do not know us yet, but we know you!  We are praying for you!  Do you know what prayer is?  I cannot wait to tell you about God and Jesus and praying to Him!  We have so much to tell you!  You see, we are loving you and thinking about you before you even know us!  That is what God has done for us too!  God has made you.  He made your sweet little eyes and nose.  He is the one that put the very breath in your mouth and keeps your heart beating Kaylee.  He made me and your daddy too.  He loves you and knows how many nights you have been in that orphanage.  He even knows how many hairs are on your head. He knows when you have cried and when you have been hungry.  He knows all the things that have upset you and how you try to 'settle the disputes among your peers'.  He even loves you way more than we could ever even love you!  We are praying that we can get you to you in time before you go the bigger orphanage too honey! We are moving as quick as we can and guess what?!! We have many, many people around us, cheering us on, praying for us and you, loving you and giving to help bring you home.  I miss you so much today Kaylee and I cannot wait to hold you! I want to hold you and read to you and tell you ya-loo-blue-tibya....I love you! 
Love, Mommy

Lord Jesus, Keep Kaylee tonight. Hold her and love her. Help her to feel safe and loved tonight.  Give her dreams of us loving her and coming to get her Lord.  Prepare her heart for our family and prepare our family for her Lord.  Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, so Lord tonight I am sure as I hope for Kaylee and certain as I do not have her home yet.  I trust You for the future and for bringing all the details together as we wait for the time to go to Russia and bring her home.  Thank You Father.  Amen.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Slow Day

Today was kind of a slow day in all things adoption-related. After the excitement of 46 puzzle piece pledges on Wednesday and Thursday, we only had a couple of pledges come in today. That's okay---God has the timing worked out. He provided exactly enough for our initial costs of the home study, passport, physicals, and puzzle. He is never late and I know he will be on time when our next bill comes up.

I think it was mostly slow because I didn't really feel like I could do anything at all today to move us closer to bringing Kaylee home. I hate waiting...I think most of us Americans do. (Try sitting in a drive through or standing in a grocery line for five minutes and tell me you don't get a little edgy...not to mention those excruciating moments when a webpage takes more than two seconds to load.) I like to be in control and it feels like things are moving when I have some work I can do to get a job done. There wasn't any work to do today. Today was a a day of sitting and waiting and praying. And that is one of the reasons God has me on this journey, I'm sure of it. My head gets the whole "Be still and know that I am God" thing, but I sure don't have such an easy time with my heart or my actions. God is teaching me how to solely rely on Him. He is the one feeding her today. He is the one protecting her from danger. He is the one making sure she has clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in. Kaylee is His daughter, first and foremost, and she will remain His daughter even when she is safe and sound under my roof. This is a hard thing to understand when you are somewhat of a control freak.

So, we sit and wait and pray. What else can you do on a slow day?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is Adoption "Radical?"

If we're Facebook friends, you might know that I just started reading David Platt's Radical (on the heels of God in the Alley, Irresistible Revolution, and a bunch of other social Gospel-centered books).  To really sum up the book---and to probably do it grave injustice---Platt writes about the comfortable American lifestyle and how that has crept into the Church.  The American dream of focusing on making life comfortable and getting what you want can subtly invade our theology and we can begin to ignore those difficult sayings of Jesus (lose your life to gain it, let the dead bury their own dead, these are your brothers and sisters, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, etc) and write them off as culturally out-of-date.  As others have rightfully pointed out, focusing too much on "radical" behavior (giving to the poor, caring for the widows, adopting the orphans, living a simple lifestyle) can lead to a new form of legalism that insists that those whose behavior is not "radical" enough are not really following Christ.  This is an interesting discussion, and it is really for another forum.  However, I have been thinking about whether or not adoption is radical or not.  Is it?

Statistically, adoption has got to be considered radical.  I heard recently that if just one family in every two churches in America would adopt, there would be no orphans in our country!  ONE family!  It really is kind of a sad fact.  James tells us that pure religion (in part) includes taking care of the orphans.  If we believe that Scripture, why don't we act?  So, given the numbers, adoption is radical.  Yet, I'm convinced NOT adopting is actually radical behavior for Christians.  When you read the Gospels---really read them, divorcing yourself from your preconceived ideas of what Jesus must REALLY mean---it is unthinkable that Christians wouldn't go to great lengths to care for the broken, the hurting, the weak, the voiceless, the homeless, the poor and...the orphan. 

Part of my heart in this entire adventure is to help make adoption a normal part of Christian's lives.  It isn't for the super-spiritual, the rich, or those who can't have children of their own (I don't fit into any of those categories).  We're normal people, not special at all, but we think this is normal Christian behavior. It's not really radical at all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God's Provision--82 pieces already!

We have been overwhelmed by the love and support from our family and friends! I know I have said this already, but I HAVE to say it again!!!  People we have not talked to in years that live far away or around the world have supported us in this effort already.  People that live nearby have supported this adoption already.  We know that God is the one bringing in the provision through all of you and we praise God for His people that have His heart for adoption. I can't wait to write all their names on the back of the pieces!!
In one week we have gone from 0 pieces to 82 pieces!  Derek just said 33 of the people that have donated are from people he has never met personally. Wow. Praise God!!! :)

God's provision is there for what He calls us to do.  There was much prayer that went before us in this journey.  We were convinced that God had called us to adopt in order to care for the poor and weak.  He equips those He calls.  Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see (Heb. 11:1). 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hope for Kaylee by Plan B Designs

Thanks so much to my wonderful sister-in-law Becky for using her talents to support Kaylee's Hope!  Visit her Etsy site to order invitations, cards, etc. and all of the profit goes towards the adoption costs!  See link below!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Conventional Wisdom

I'm sure there are some friends and family out there who are thinking that this whole adoption thing is coming at the wrong time. Alyssa and I haven't been married that long, we are still molding our family together, we are paying off debt, and adoption is kind of expensive (if you consider a $30,000 price tag expensive). Heck, I've gone around and around over these same issues. We certainly are not following conventional wisdom on this decision. It makes sense to take time to focus on the marriage. It makes sense to give the kids more attention while we are in transition. It makes sense to eliminate debt before making a very expensive life decision. Yet, when you read the New Testament, it is hard to find a command that has "when the time is right" attached to it. I fear that for many Christians the time will never be right, as there will always be circumstances that keep us from carrying out the sometimes difficult or challenging plans of God. The Bible is very clear that we are to take care of the poor, the widows, and the orphans. I don't feel like I can put those commands on the back burner any more. Yes, we have circumstances that make this adoption tough. But when did Jesus ever promise that following Him would be easy or comfortable? He actually made it very clear that we would have trouble in this life, that following Him would be demanding, and that we better count the cost before we followed Him. I look at our various circumstances and I know that God is bigger than them. I know that He blesses those who follow Him, whatever the cost. I do not doubt that He loves Kaylee more than I ever could and He is as desperate as I am to have her in a loving home. After all, God loves adoption. So, we press on towards the goal of serving Him by bringing her home. Here I stand. I can do no other.

If you are reading this, surely you care about the cause of adoption in some way.  Let me be the first to tell you that there is nothing in the world that can stop you from carrying out God's will when you are determined to do it.  And make no mistake, caring for orphans is His heart.  He makes it clear in James 1:27 that a part of pure religion is caring for the fatherless.  If we can do this, anyone can do this.  Don't let excuses and worries stop you from taking a step of faith to carry out His will.  Maybe that is adoption.  Maybe it is caring for a widow.  It might be committing some of your finances to feed the hungry.  Maybe He has a new career in mind for you that will advance His kingdom.  Take a leap of faith when He command you to do something. The time is always right to do what He wants you to do.