"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Official

Wow!  We are so excited to announce that we are officially licensed foster parents.  What an amazing adventure, not always easy, not all difficult.  The most amusing thing about all of this process is all the worrying we did about our homestudy.  The social worker who did the homestudy was wonderful.  She was kind and loved our family.  What we were told prior to her coming to our home was that she would likely not accept our homeschool lifestyle.  On the contrary!  She said she completely agreed with home education and said she wished more families like us would apply!  Wow!  God is so good and so amazing.  Now we are just waiting for a phone call that they are placing a child with us.  Thank you all so much for the prayers. 

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Life As We Know It

Wow, have we been busy lately.  I am excited to say that we have completed our foster care training!  We are CPR, First Aid, and Universal Precautions certified.  We have even had our first home study visit.  I hear there could be one more.  Apparently the next step is what they call a staffing meeting.  In this meeting the staff gets together and goes over our file to decide if we would make acceptable foster parents.  So, at this point we have no idea if we will be licensed or not.  During the staffing meeting, they could decide to do a second home study visit for more information.  After the staffing meeting, we will either be approved for licensing or we will be finished without licensing.  We should hear something this coming week or so.  All in God's will and timing! 

Our home study seemed to go really well.  The social worker was very kind and seemed to click with our family.  She was a Christian and approved of our lifestyle.  This was the biggest concern for us.  We were told that home educators sometimes have a difficult time with social workers, especially when it comes to foster care.  This lady seemed to really enjoy our kids and she wasn't even concerned about "socialization".  One thing I will share is that we cleaned frantically and doing this has led me back to the Fly Lady!  Her way of doing things is so easy, and if you follow her routines, you never have to worry about a social worker visit whether it is a home study or not.  I am enjoying getting back into Fly Lady's routines too.  I love knowing my sink is shiny and my toilet is puke ready ;)  If you struggle C.H.A.O.S.  (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) then F.L.Y. (Finally Loving Yourself) Lady is for you.

This week God has shown me a verse that I am resting in.  ‎"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17   To think that the God who created the universe and everything in it would delight in me, and rejoice over me by singing leaves me feeling so humble and loved.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We have a winner!

I want to say thank you so much to each of you who have participated in our American Girl giveaway!  This has been so much fun to do.  I also want to say thank you to each of you for donating to help us provide a home for one of God's children.  We are so blessed and so humbled by each one of your generous donations.  Thank you so very much.

I am thrilled to announce that we have chosen a winner by using Random.org.  I listed each of your names 1 time for each entry and had the list randomly generate the winner.  Our winner is Lisa Keva of Homeschool Circus!  Congratulations Lisa!  She has chosen Marie-Grace as her prize.  I am sure there is a little girl in the Keva household who is very excited today!  Maybe we can get Lisa to give us a guest post with pictures when they receive Marie-Grace!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Prayer Tonight

Thank you Jesus, for becoming my sin, giving up all You are, all You have, to save me from eternal damnation, separated from You, burning in eternal flames.  May I live my life as a living sacrifice to You, Lord.  May I be so used by You, that I would be called Your hands and feet.  May I love others, as You have loved me.  May I be the vessel You use to reach the lost, love the unloved, Mother to the orphans, giver to the needy, and friend to the friendless.  May I never forget to be humble.  May I remember that to die to myself, is to LIVE in You!  Thank you Jesus, though these mere words aren't enough, they are all I have to say, Thank you Jesus.

Proverbs 24:12

12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” 
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. 
He who guards your soul knows you knew. 
He will repay all people as their actions deserve

What will you do?  I read recently a cute little quip about the Bible, I giggled and then realized over and over again how true it was.  There is always truth to humor, have you ever noticed?  Anyway, the quote was on facebook and was posted by a dear home educating friend of mine.  You can find her blog here, although she doesn't have much time to blog any more.  She is quite busy being Jesus' hands and feet.  The quote...There's a reason the book after the four Gospels is called "Acts" not "Talks".  Let someone "see" your faith this week not just "hear" it...pretty heavy hitting words that made me think of James 2 vs 14-20

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
Thank you Lord for reminding me yet again what Your word has to say about what we should do...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discouragements and Rays of Hope

Recently I have been struggling with discouragement.  I truly thought we would be further along on our fundraising efforts by now than we are.  God has been faithful to our efforts though!  Every time I am really down because the money is not there yet, He brings in another trickle of funds.  I know He has plans to prosper us.  Plans for our good, but it will be in His timing.  I need to remind myself that my timing isn't necessarily His timing.

For every discouragement we have, there is a ray of hope.  We have decided to become foster parents.  No, this isn't a replacement for our foreign adoption, it is in addition to our foreign adoption.  We know that God has placed multiple children on our hearts.  There have been so many times that we have needed a foster care license and didn't have one, that we have decided to go for it!  We never know where God is leading and He may have chosen a child for us to raise in the foster care system also.

Please pray for us as we are in our foster care training currently, while simultaneously fundraising for our international adoption.  This is taking a lot of my time and attention, along with educating my children at home and babysitting.  Satan has been attacking our family often, and we would greatly appreciate all prayers you feel led to send up for us.  Thank you so much for the support and love that you all have shown to our family.  We are trusting God in His perfecting timing.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Boy Man

Can you believe it?  My firstborn, precious boy, is 18 today.  Where does the time fly to?  Josh is an amazing young man.  We are very proud of him, not to mention humbled by his journey with our Father.

The funny things about a boy man...

Lego creations all over his bedroom floor...

he is always ready to jump in and have fun...

The touching things about this boy man...

when he takes his brother and sister to the park to play...

babysitting small children because he loves them...

his love for our Father God, and his desire to serve our Holy savior...

The best parts of  this boy man...

his loving blue eyes...

his amazing sense of humor...

his beautiful smile...

Oh how lucky I am that God chose me to raise up this boy man, how blessed I am that this is the boy man who changed my name to Momma...I love you Joshua

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love this song! 

The Least of These...Liliana

Oh dear friends.  There is a time in life when you become broken for another.  Today, I am broken.  I cry out!  Lord, Lord help us!  Help us help her!  Oh how Your heart must be shattered, I cannot love like you and my heart is shattered!  I ask you, please to pray for this little girl, to do what you can for her.  Spread the word, give $10.  I am thanking God Liliana has a promised family, a family who is committed to bringing this sweet girl home.  What a gift she will be to their family!  Oh Lord, please bring the funds to her new parents, the parents You have chosen to care for sweet Liliana.  A wonderful blogger, Adeye, at No Greater Joy Mom is having a fundraiser so that the parents of Liliana may bring her home without the concern of financial issues.  Money gets in the way so often, Father, I pray You will bring the funds for her parents!

These pictures aren't for the faint of heart, but they are reality...

This was taken 2 years ago, when Liliana was only 9 years old.  As difficult as this is, it gets worse as it so often happens in an orphanage when a sweet one has down syndrome...

Liliana at 11 years old...weighing only 10 pounds...

Her wrist is three inches around.  Her upper arm is 3 inches around.  Her foot is only 4 inches long.  Her leg is 13 inches long from hip to heel. 

Her head is 16 inches in circumference....

She is literally starving to death.  They have left her in a bed, without love, without hugs, without kisses, without birthday parties, without Christmas.  Thank you Jesus for being with her, for holding her, for loving her, for breaking our hearts for her, for raising up a family committed to rescuing her!
Think of your 11 year old child, 11 year old American child who is loved, and imagine had they been born somewhere else.  What would have happened to them?  What would you want someone to do to rescue them?

Head on over to No Greater Joy Mom's blog and check out the giveaway that she is putting together.  What can you do for her?  What will you do to help?

Mary Kay Fundraiser drawing to a close

First I want to say a big thank you to Debbie and to each and every one of you for considering purchasing Mary Kay to support the Crouch and Russell families in our adoptions. We are so humbled by and brought to tears by the generosity of each one of you.

I also wanted to remind you that the end is drawing near. The last day to order is Sunday, August 21st. If you haven't ordered yet, and still plan to, just head on over to Debbie's website at www.marykay.com/debbieburgio and place your order. You can specify to which family or to both families you want your portion to go to. Also, in a VERY generous offer, Debbie has promised, to each person who buys at least $25.00 in product, to give them 15% off anything else they buy through December 1, 2011!!! Isn't that amazing! Thank you Debbie ♥

Again, thank you to each one of you, for supporting us, but more importantly for helping to give a child a chance that they would have never had any other way. Orphanage life is horrendous. There aren't enough words to describe what these children have to endure because they don't have a family to love and provide for them. Can you imagine feeding your baby 1 ounce of formula and dirty water for the day, everyday, because that is all you have? That is what these babies go through. You are providing their ransom when you support their adoptions. Thank you sweet friends!

The Crouch and Russell families ♥

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I am so excited to tell you that we are giving away an American Girl Doll!  Want to know the coolest part?  You get to choose which doll you want!  SO, if you already have one American Girl doll, there is no chance of a duplicate ;)  Never heard of American Girl dolls?  Well, go to the official American Girl website (click the words in blue to get there) and read all about them.  Each doll comes with a softcover book in which they are the main character!  These dolls are very popular and tons of fun. 

This would be a great Christmas bargain, and the doll will arrive before Christmas.  All proceeds will go towards our adoption.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your donation to help give an orphan a family.  May God bless each one of you.

You will have the choice of the following dolls.  Click on their names in blue for the link to their page to read more about each one.  They all come from different backgrounds and time periods. 













Kanani - who is the girl of the year for 2011!!

This giveaway starts today and will end on September 13th. 

If you donate:

$10 you are entered 1 time
$15 you are entered 3 times
$20 you are entered 5 times
and for every $5 you get 2 extra entries.

If you donate at least $10 AND blog about my giveaway with a link for me to check out your blog, I will enter you 5 times! 

Just click on the Donate button on the right of the screen to enter with your donation. When the page loads you will see a box labeled purpose, type American Girl doll giveaway in the box, then put in your donation amount in the smaller box and click update total.  Then come back here and leave me a comment.  Don't forget to leave me a comment with a link to your blog post sending people my way! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Olive Tree Promise Store

We are so excited to announce our newest storefront!  Just click the blue words to check out our storefront! Olive Tree Promise is a wonderful online store set up to help adoptive families raise money for their adoptions.  There are some wonderful products offered.  Also, new vendors are being added all the time.  If you would like to become a vendor for Olive Tree Products, just let me know and I can hook you up with them. 

Check out some of my favorites!  I just love the puddin' pop dolls.  The Superman was adopted t-shirts are just plain cool :)  Also make sure you check out the jewelry.  There are quite a few products to choose from.  The other thing about this store that is just awesome is the donation page.  You can purchase baby formula for $20 to donate to orphanages in Ethiopia.  You can also purchase a mosquito net or 5 baby chicks for just $10 to give to a family in Zambia.  There are so many more products to choose from.  All the blue words are links to the products in our store. 

We are very excited to offer this avenue for you to participate with us in this adoption journey.  God is so good to us, and we thank Him for YOU everyday.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Sometimes in life, you start to think about how this affects me, or how that wasn't what I wanted.  You start to think about all the "bad" things that has happened in the last few days or months.  You start to focus on how much of life is hard at this time.  How overwhelming the work is.  How alone you feel.  How much money you don't have.  How tired you are.  How much time you have "lost" due to this or that. And you lose focus on Jesus.  See, our eyes are amazingly single sighted.  We can only focus on one thing at a time.  If we choose to focus on Jesus, we forget ourselves, yet if we focus on ourselves, we lose sight of Jesus. 

I have been struggling a bit this weekend.  I have started to focus too much on the process, and haven't been focusing on Jesus.  I have been caught up in hearing what others have to say about our choice to follow Jesus.  See, not everyone who thinks they have a say in your life actually gets the memo from Jesus, that yes He is the one who said "GO!".  I have been hearing words that aren't the Word, ya know what I mean?  So I have sat here this weekend feeling down.  In need of a re-focus.  Then I opened my email and found a blog update from one of my favorite bloggers.  I was amused when I saw the title "When I Needed Perspective".  God always makes me giggle when He gets my attention in such an obvious way.  No Greater Joy Mom, Adeye, shared a very poignant letter from Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision.  I will share here also, so that you may giggle by His obvious wake up call :).  While your at it, why don't you click on the links above to see Adeye's original post, and check out who Richard Stearns really is, then head on over to the World vision link and donate to the people in Africa who are starving to death from this drought and famine. 

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink ..." --Matthew 25:35-36

Jesus' words are a powerful and inspiring reminder as I sit in my office browsing on news websites the stories and images of the staggering tragedy unfolding in the Horn of Africa.

Nearly 10 million people are "critically short of food," according to the United Nations, due to what UN officials say is the region's worst drought since I was born 60 years ago. Those 10 million people live in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and war-ravaged Somalia.

For some, the stories and images will be reminders of the Ethiopian famine. Twenty-five years ago, the images of bloated, dying children, images unlike any others seen before by millions of Americans, prompted a massive outpouring of donations and offers to help. That outpouring culminated in the "Live Aid," concerts in Philadelphia and London, the latter of which brought a group I had never heard of before to the world's attention -- U2.

For others, the name "Somalia" brings back the events of 1991-1994 when hundreds of thousands of Somalis were starving, prompting a U.S.-led peacekeeping force to intervene. That effort led to a military operation against Somali warlords and, regrettably, the deaths of 42 American soldiers.

I am reminded of two things.

First, the faces, the voices and the stories of people I've met in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Kenya was the first nation I visited after joining World Vision in 1998, and where I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: Poverty is not an image, or a statistic; poverty has a face, a name and a story.

Second, I am reminded of the powerful and provocative quote from Josef Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

I fear that for many Americans -- Christians and people of other faiths or no faith -- will devote little time or attention, let alone resources, to the people suffering in the Horn of Africa. Rather they are preoccupied with "First World problems":

~~  How fluctuations in the stock market are affecting my 401(k) investments;
~~  Where to go on my next vacation;
~~  Whether to buy "name brand" or "store brand" items in the supermarket;
~~  Which diet and workout regimen will enable me to lose 10 pounds in a month; or
~~  The struggle over my next computer -- a notebook, a laptop, or the new iPad2?

Or worse, they are obsessed with finding out where Casey Anthony might be living, now that she's been released from jail after being acquitted of charges that she murdered her daughter, Caylee. Thousands of Americans followed Ms. Anthony's trial closely, and expressed outrage when she was found not guilty. They wanted justice for Caylee's death. Where's their outrage or sense of justice for the millions of children at-risk of dying in the Horn of Africa? Their lack of attention proves the late Soviet premier's admonition.

Many "First World" Americans have never met a person with "Third World problems":

~~  Whose income is $2 a day and who has never heard of a 401 (K);
~~  Whose only travel plans are traipsing by foot from Somalia into Kenya to a refugee camp;
~~  Whose primary source of drinking water is infested with animal feces, and has never been inside a supermarket;
~~  Who lost 10 pounds in the last week because of too little or even no food, and who has no use for a health club membership; or
~~  Who has no access to electricity, and does not need -- and maybe has not ever seen -- a computer.

I have the privilege of knowing people facing both First World and Third World problems. It is a privilege because, I believe, Jesus would consider it a privilege. He met with, ate meals alongside and learned from those His society considered its lowest and its outcasts -- prostitutes, tax-collectors, the poor and victims of injustice.

He would have been honored to meet and serve people like Hawo, a woman believed to be about 75-years-old who lives in Kalabeyr, a remote town in northern Somalia. Thanks to my World Vision colleagues working in the region, I know more about Hawo, than I ever will know -- or even want to know -- about Casey Anthony.

After the drought killed the more than 500 goats and sheep Hawo and her eight children lived on, they were forced to abandon their pastoral way of life and move to Kalabeyr. The nine of them live in a makeshift tukul, a small room within the compound of one of the town residents.

It is Hawo whom Mark Bowden, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, might have been thinking of when he said recently: "Resources are woefully inadequate. We have an appeal that is at the moment only 40 per cent met. ... (W)e find ourselves as the humanitarian community in a position that we want and are able to do more, but just don't have the resources with which to do it."

Jesus' words about hunger and thirst, as quoted in Matthew, led me a few years ago to create an NIT version (New Irreverent Translation), one that Americans obsessed with "First World problems" might relate to:

"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water."

We did not create the desperate conditions of drought and famine threatening the lives of 10 million people in the Horn of Africa. But, as Christians, it is our responsibility to do something about it. It is our moral duty to help our neighbors in need -- here in the U.S. and elsewhere, and God commands us to help those we have the means to help. We cannot look at their situation -- on television, in newspapers or magazines, or on the Internet -- shrug our shoulders, and say, "Not my problem."   

Written by Richard Stearns.


Thank you Richard Stearns, for writing this letter, for opening our eyes yet again.

Thank you, Adeye, for sharing this with us, for being so transparent in your walk with Christ.

Thank You, Jesus, for everything...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mary Kay Fundraiser Live!

We have been blessed by an amazing friend, Debbie Burgio.  She has a Mary Kay business and is hosting a fundraiser for us.  She is donating 30% of the sale to our adoption fund.  This fundraiser starts today, August 1, and ends August 21.  It is very easy to participate.  Simply go to Debbie's Mary Kay website, place an order, and tell her it is for the Crouch Family!  This is not a Mary Kay party that is happening at someones home, it is all online.  We are so humbled and thankful for each of you and for Debbie. 

Mary Kay is a wonderful cosmetics company.  They sell makeup, skin care, hair products, and a men's line.  My favorite skin care product is Satin Hands (Peach scented or unscented).  My hands have a tendency to be very dry, and Satin hands cures this up in one use.  I love the silkiness after I use this product.  What a great gift to a busy lady!  The entire Satin Hands gift set is $34.00.  It lasts me forever! 

There is one more thing I want to showcase here.  I think this is sooo FUN!  You can do a virtual makeover on Debbie's site. All you do is upload your own photo and try on different colors!  I really like this.  Doing this, it takes the guess work out of "can I really wear this color?"  So cool!  You should try the virtual makeover today!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back and Forth

My darling husband, Roland and I were talking today.  We were discussing countries.  This seems to be a common discussion for us lately.  Roland absolutely has not wanted to choose a country.  He feels that God has placed our children in another country and that we should not limit God by choosing, and what if we made the wrong choice.  Well, recently we were talking about this and included the children in the discussion.  There were two countries that just kept glaring at us.  The Democratic Republic of Congo and Samoa. 

As we were discussing the differences between the countries the kids got caught up in the beauty of Samoa.  So when we decided it was time to vote, and truly narrow down the country we feel led to, the kids all voted for Samoa.  This made me question if God was truly sending us out to Samoa and it was just my heart that was in the Congo.  I wanted time to pray about it, and allow God to close my heart to DR Congo.  He never did. 

Today, in discussing with Roland, we went back to the beginning.  We started discussing why we are adopting in the first place.  God tells us in Matthew 25:40 "And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me".  This is why we chose to follow God's leading!  To reach out to the least of these and offer to them a life they would never know without us, without Jesus.  We chose to adopt because it is God's heart to care for the orphans, the least of these. 

Now in light of this, we had to ask ourselves, Congo or Samoa.  Why did the kids vote for Samoa that day, why did we even consider it when we felt so strongly to go to Congo?  We even said on vote day that we will go to Congo, it just may be second.  Second... Why did Congo become second?  Well we had to look at everything we had discussed.  The weather in Samoa, the beauty, the safety of travel, seeing New Zealand, basically going to pick up our baby would be more like an exquisite vacation.  We have discussed whether we would even consider taking the children to Congo for gotcha day, but they don't feel safe going there.  Well one would go, the other 2 are a bit worried about it.  Just as a by the way, never let your child watch River Monsters when you are doing a foreign adoption ;)  So I think the children were voting selfishly.  I think we all got caught up in the beauty of where we would be going and forgot the original call.

The level of care that orphans receive in Samoa is far superior to what the orphans in Congo receive.  If we are going to follow God's lead, we need to remove our own selfish desires.  Even if our selfish desires are born out of fear, we need to remove them.  My heart has always been in the Congo and after much discussion, the rest of the family has remembered. 

Now I have to ask God to forgive us, forgive us for second guessing, for forgetting, for becoming selfish. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

For those of you who question

Home At Last from dan owens on Vimeo.

The founders of Sixty Feet and their adoption video.  How beautiful...

My Prayer

Oh Lord, I come before you today knowing you are sovereign and Holy. You have broken our hearts for the orphans Lord, just as Your heart is broken for them. I thank you so much for giving us this thorn to carry! I praise You for setting us apart for these children. What an awesome God you are! How the creator of the Earth, the universe, and everything in it, could love us as You do is incomprehensible to me, but I thank you so much in spite of my lack of understanding! I know that You have placed this desire of adoption in us because Your Holy Word tells us in John 15:5 that "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing". We ask first that through this long process that we will REMAIN in YOU Lord! That we would give YOU the glory and honor and praise! Secondly Lord, We ask that You would produce much fruit in and for us. Lord we want to serve you in ways we have never breached. You tell us in James 1:27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." We ask that You allow us to participate in what You tell us is pure and genuine religion! Lord I ask that You would MOVE in MIGHTY ways for our adoption! Sovereign Father, I ask that You would MOVE the hearts of our friends, BREAK their hearts for the orphans. Father God, I ask that each and every person who reads of this fund raiser would be moved to participate, even if they don't participate financially, I ask for their prayers to You. Lord, I ask that YOU, above ALL ELSE, would be glorified through this effort. We want to please YOU Father God, we want to honor Your word and glorify Your name. I pray this in the MIGHTY name of Your son Jesus, who loved us above himself while we were and are still so unworthy...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Overcoming the Obstacles

God is good.  He really is!  I have had some major discouragement in the last few days.  Tears were shed, questions raised and answered, and joy was forgotten, but just for a second.  I want to share with you all how good our God is!  I have had the distinct displeasure of people in my life who don't appreciate my passion.  These tend not to be quiet people who grumble from a distance, no these tend to be people who make it very known to me that they disagree with me. Well, when this happens, it is usually very hurtful to me.  When I become passionate about something, I tend to go all in.  So in the face of adversity, I go back and check what I am passionate about against what God calls us all to be passionate about.  If it doesn't line up, I must rethink, if it does line up with God's word, then I am good!  Well, this time, my passion not only lines up with God's Word, it is also called pure and genuine religion!  There are those in my life who disagree with my choice to adopt, and they have made it known.  I have so little faith sometimes, so much doubt and I need a neon sign. Even through my lack of faith and in answer to my prayers, God is giving me that neon sign!  Oh Lord I ask that you would forgive me of this lack of trust!

I have some good news to share! Even though Satan is attacking, even though he is trying to steal from me, lie to me, and defeat me, GOD IS GOOD! We have sold some of our coffee, and I have been contacted by more than one friend of how they are donating, either personally or through their business. God has chosen a child for us, He has set this child apart and called a family to come, He has created love in our hearts for a child whom we don't even know what looks like, Satan YOU CAN'T STEAL THIS! God is victorious! Even in the face of adversity, GOD IS MOVING FOR US! Praise His name with me! Hearts have been moved, money is coming in, and our child will be brought home in God's own perfect timing

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teri Lynn

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Just Love Coffee Roastmaster's Friday!

It's Roast Master Friday at our coffee shop! If you buy 3 (13 oz) bags of our specialty, artisan roast coffee, a 4th bag of the roster's choice will be thrown in your order for FREE! Remember that we make $5 per bag for our adoption fund!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting started Fundraising!

Fundraising.  Have you ever considered how to fund raise?  Well, it is daunting to say the least.  When I think of fundraisers, I think of schools and the children going from family member to friends to neighbors asking for someone to please buy their too expensive items to support their group.  The people approached usually buy from them out of guilt or obligation and often times they don't really even want what they bought!  Needless to say, this creates a negative emotion for me as I think of fund raising.

That being said, adoption fundrasing is really not like that.  First of all, we don't have a few hundred children going to everyone they know, unfortunately lol!  Second, most of the fundraisers adoptive families do are services or products that you actually use or will benefit you.  Third, we are on a mission to rescue children that God has chosen us to parent, and by asking you to participate with us by donating money or participating in one of our fundraisers, you will also be counted as *in* on our rescue mission.  In James 1:27 God tells us that "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."  By helping us bring our children home, you are participating in Pure and Genuine religion.  Not everyone can bring a child home, nor should they, BUT everyone should support orphans and widows.  God's word is so clear about the way He feels about this.

Our first fundraiser will be our "Just Love Coffee" store.  If you enjoy coffee, will you please consider purchasing a bag or two from us?  It is fair trade coffee, and what that means is the coffee farmer in Ethiopia gets his fair share of the profit.  For years coffee farmers have been ripped off by the big coffee companies, they were given just pennies for their product, while we were paying a whole lot more than that.  Also, we offer organic coffees.  So won't you come on by and grab a bag?  We will earn $5 from every bag we sell.  You can choose whole bean, ground, and french press.  There are sampler packs, and even clothing  in our store.

Most importantly, thank you.  Thank you for praying for us, thank you for purchasing from us, and thank you for supporting us.  We can't say enough how much it means to us.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Moved...in more ways than one!

So we have finally moved into our new place.  Whew!  Moving is such difficult work.  Praise God we are finished.  I haven't been on my blog because we were without the Internet for a bit during the transition, but I am back!  So thankful for peace and rest <3


God is moving in our hearts!  I have been feeling an incredible urgency to proceed with starting the adoption.  Now I have to share with you all that we still don't have the funds for even the home study, but God is saying jump!  So we are jumping.  Today we have requested information from different agencies so that we can begin the process.  God is settling my heart about the home study.  I have worried and fretted over this part of the process.  I am far less concerned about flying for 30+ hours into a country that most wouldn't visit to bring home children grown in our hearts, than I am about answering some questions for a home study!  I realized today that it is ok.  They are just looking at our family and writing a picture of us on paper.  That is it.  God is giving me peace about this part.  I am truly thankful and I pray this peace lasts for me. 

He is also leading us to look at another country or two.  So stay tuned, it may not be time for us to go to D.R. Congo after all.  I do believe that we will get there someday, if not this time. 

There is a scripture I have been thinking of recently...John 14 verse 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.  These are Jesus' words to us from the Father.  When He breaks your heart for the orphans keep in mind that His heart was broken for them first.  Lord, I ask that you would continue to break my heart for the things that break Yours.  Father, I thank You for the compassion You have for us, to remind us that You will come back for us, that we will not be left as orphans.  Lord I also thank You for giving me a heart for the Fatherless.  They aren't Fatherless, their Father is sending in His troops.  I praise You for Your faithfulness.  I praise You for Your sovereignty, I thank You for Your son, and it is in His name I pray...Amen

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Keeping it strong

Have you ever wondered why so many people are opposed to decisions made for God?  I have heard so many negative comments about our decision to obey God.  I refuse to allow the negative people to cloud my judgement, I refuse to let them bring me down to the miry pit.  People in my life aren't supportive in general, but I am asking God to change that.  Some people are amazing, and very supportive, and so loving to us.  They are few and are very outnumbered, but to them I say this...

Thank you for the joy you are celebrating with us.  I know there aren't enough words in our language to tell you how much I appreciate and love those of you who are happy for the children we will be bringing home someday.  I cherish the ones who support us, for they are doing the work of God.  I am praying for those who don't, because they are trying to stand in the way of His work.  It has been a struggle for me knowing so many people who aren't in favor of adopting.  There are many who judge and many who ridicule.  I am praying that God changes their hearts. 

Adoption is a most difficult thing to go through.  It is hard to have so many strangers scrutinizing every area of your life.  Homestudies, counseling, hundreds of questions, tons of paperwork, waiting, and well waiting.  I didn't come from the best of circumstances in life, and rehashing all of that is emotionally draining to just think about.  If you know someone who is adopting, try to be sensitive to what they are going through.  Can you imagine if someone dropped a $30K to $40K bill in your lap and then told you that you had about 9 to 12 months to pay it?  I promise you that the questions of "why would you do that?" aren't helpful.  The statements of  "I can't believe you would even consider that" are hurtful.  When family and friends look at you like you have gone insane because you are bringing a child or a couple of children into your home that otherwise would live in a place you wouldn't even let your children walk into, it hurts!  It seems to me that those people who feel that way are the REASON orphans die in far away lands, in dark corners, hungry, lonely, and unloved!  God's plan for the orphans is YOU and ME!  We are all adopted people, God adopted us into His family, are we better than God?  Do these babies deserve any less than we do?

May I just ask this from those of you who are opposed to adopting...  Please, if you are against it, if you are afraid of it, just please be careful of what you say to the people who are doing it.  Please don't say such negative things to them, keep those opinions to yourself and then say them to God.  Maybe He will soften your hearts.

One last thing, if you have a heart for adoption, yet you can't bring children into your home for whatever reason, would you please consider finding someone who is able to bring children home and fund them?  God raises people up to be doers, and He raises people up to be funders, both get blessed in amazing ways, won't you consider giving an extra 10 or 20 bucks to those who are willing and able? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Divine Appointment

I had a divine appointment with God on Monday night.  There is no other way to put it.  He wanted to meet with me, and I obeyed.  It started with a feeling that I shouldn't go to bed.  It was 11 P.M. and I knew I was supposed to do something, I just wasn't sure what.  So I started to open some blogs I read about adopting and before I even got the address typed in I knew it was a book I was to read.  So I went down to get the book "The Strength of Mercy" by Jan Beazely.  What happened from the moment I started to read was God speaking to me.

About a quarter of the way through the book, I was marveling at how God spoke to Jan and how confident she was that it was God.  See I have a tendency to worry about deceiving myself.  When I "hear" (not audibly of course before you all think I have lost the little marbles I have left) God speaking to me, I often times worry that it wasn't God, it was my own ideas.  I don't ever want to transfer my feelings and thoughts to God and "blame" him for my own thoughts.  So to read of how confident Jan was that it was God speaking, I was immediately convicted that I needed to pray, so pray I did.  I asked God to speak to me like that, and that I would *KNOW* it was Him.  I also realized I needed a faith injection, so I asked for that too!  Then I knew I needed to keep reading.

When I came to the part of the book (about half way through) where Heather, Jan's daughter, heard God speak and then started immediately obeying Him, I was blown away.  I can't imagine what Jan and her husband were feeling!  I was also so very humbled by Heather's faith.  Suddenly, I found myself praying again.  Asking for faith, asking for provision, and asking for clear and concise answers.  I should add here that I have known for a long time that I would adopt someday.  I just didn't realize that day was here.  This is the least likely time in my life!  I would speak of "if we adopt" and God was telling me "when you adopt".  I can honestly tell you that the financial circumstances in our life right now are such that we aren't able to "afford" to do this.  I was having trouble having faith that God would truly fund this.  I mean come on, the cost is very close to a years salary for my husband!!  We are moving.  My husband is still an apprentice in the electrician's union and has 2 and a half more years!  So in my mind, it just isn't the time.  God told me that His timing is perfect... I went back to reading the book.

Again, I found myself praying.  In the middle of the sentence I was reading, without any forethought, I started praying again.  This time, I believe the Holy Spirit was praying words that I didn't know to pray. Romans 8 tells us this: 26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  I prayed words that I almost felt I shouldn't pray!  I asked that God would place us with people who would fund this adoption.  I asked God to place us in a house that would be big enough to hold 5 children.  I asked God that the people who had the money to afford the adoption, but couldn't bring a child into their home for some reason, would partner with us so that we could bring our children home.  I basically asked God for a check for 30 to 40 thousand dollars...  Now don't think I am going to feel that God didn't listen if he doesn't give me a check that size, but also don't think that I doubt His ability to do so!!!  He is able, what is money to God? 

I finished the book, it took me about 4 hours between reading and praying.  My divine appointment was coming to an end.  I had shed tears.  I had conquered fears.  I had grown in faith.  I also had the answers from God.  I went to bed feeling spent, but at peace.  I didn't know that night for sure, I needed to process.  I knew we were adopting and that God had a child, maybe 2, that He wants us to raise.  I fell to sleep.

After processing with my husband, and thinking about all that transpired Monday night, I know for sure.  I have a clear answer.  God has placed our babies in the Congo.  Maybe I should say God will place our babies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  I don't know how long the process will take.  I found myself praying on Monday night that God would give my babies someone who loves them and holds them, that He would give them food to eat, and clean water, and that He would protect them from harm until we have them in our arms.  I hadn't brought myself that far, but God did.  I am seeing a little girl in my head, I keep picturing her face, I can see a little boy.  I don't know for sure what His plan is and when it will happen, but He is and I am patient.  God is so good to me, to us.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Now I lay me down to sleep

It seems that I am having trouble sleeping!  So I have been praying my way through the night.  I find myself praying for all of my children, my friends, our housing situation, my husband, but I am always returning to the question, "God, please make this happen if it is Your will.  We want to follow Your wishes.  Lord, we need a house big enough, and the funds for the adoption to happen."  I find I am thinking every day of the sweet babies we will bring to our home.  It is conversed about with our children daily.  My oldest son and I were talking today about adopting, and he is so totally on board.  How many 17 year old boys do you know who says, Mom, it is the right thing to do!  He says, I am self centered, but not selfish, and I want you to do this.  We are so immensely blessed as a family.  We have 3 absolutely amazing children, who are all willing to bring home the least of these as a brother or a sister. 

We are still praying about the country God is leading us to.  We are pretty sure we know which it is, but I am always such an analyzer.  Roland, my hubby, is always laughing at me about this.  He says just go with it!  You know that is what God is leading you too :)  So as I lay me down to sleep tonight, I will pray that God will tell me that yes He is leading us to D. R. Congo.  Why oh why do I always need a neon sign to believe what I feel is really from God and not from me?  Will you join me as I pray tonight?  Will you pray that we are led to the house that is big enough, and the country where our heart child(ren) is, and that God will provide the funding in an amazing way?  I fully believe He will fund for us what He asks of us. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Heart

I have decided to blog about our decision to adopt.  As I first started to think about adoption, I felt overwhelmed, fearful, and unworthy.  I truly thought it was a "dream" or "idea" that would never really happen.  I read an amazing book Radical: taking back your faith from the American Dream.  This book opened my eyes to the complacency we have in our comforts.  God grabbed my attention in a way I couldn't ignore.  After praying about it, and "finding" adoption everywhere I look (yes literally! even doing simple google searches for something completely unrelated to adoption, adoption sites appeared), I believe that God is telling me to trust Him, be obedient to Him, and quit being complacent.  So now, even though I am completely unworthy, I am trusting God and being obedient.  I am beginning to get excited.  I am still afraid!  But then I remember Isaiah 43: 5-6  "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth"   This journey is new to me and my husband.  The joy to bring a new child or children into our home.  I pray, Father I ask you to please, guide our paths, lead the way, clear any entanglements that may trip us up, protect us as we follow Your Word, protect the child You have chosen for us, but most of all Lord, Your will be done, not mine.  In Jesus name I pray...