Angel Tree: Too Much to Ask?

Today I am sitting down wanting to motivate you to sign up while feeling shaky myself. In order to really be the uncertain, weakening the undecided I have gone to the discussion boards looking for support and suggestions. I have asked and gotten an overflow of answers and ideas. The question remains: Why are there over 100 children without sponsors with less than a month standing between now and the biggest fundraiser of the year in orphan adoption advocacy?
Motivational tool today: Pictures of children lacking Warriors. Visit the Official Reece’s Rainbow website to sign up and make one of these children one less in the number, and one more on their way to reaching $1,000 between November 1st and December 31st 2014.10696223_10152799957415561_821380478416269928_ndanielfeb2009November 1st through December 31st is the extent of the biggest fundraising event of Reece’s Rainbow, the online adoption advocacy website featuring children with Down Syndrome and other special needs that just celebrated 1200 children home in eight years.

This organization is not an adoption agency, rather it coordinates the connection between families seeking to adopt children with special needs internationally and those children in orphanages abroad who need parents.

WendyIn Twenty Three days Angel Tree starts and we are short by 103 Angel Tree Warriors. How it works:

You sign up to be coordinator of fundraising for one child listed on the Angel Tree children page, a badge is placed on their profile connecting to your blog so others interested in helping raise money for that child’s future adoption can read what you have to say about that girl or boy and participate in any fundraising activities that are being organized in honor of that child.

The goal is to raise One Thousand Dollars between November 1 and December 31. As I settled in to write this I questioned why I had hesitated to sign up. And how I can bust through those anxieties not only for myself, but for the future advocates of those over one hundred children who still need someone to speak for them

Dylan-144x300What were my anxieties and how could I break them down? First of all, I am not a marketer. Second, I’m not crafty. Third, how can I persuade people that my cause is worth supporting? To work on these questions I went online to ask who could craft, had stores, and would give a portions of proceeds to adoption support.

The response was wonderful. KayasLittleBoutique can be found on Etsy and Facebook, beautifully crocheted hats and scarves and anything else you may want she’s up for trying! This shop owner is also a Scentsy distributor. She has a blog full of crochet tutorials. There’s always room in life for learning! And who can say no to a face like Dylan‘s here, he is just one of the young children yet needing an Angel Tree Warrior this year. Last year I registered to be Dylan’s warrior. Someone else took my place who had met him, and I just know that there is another wonderful person out there to speak out and write for this 11-year-old.

DoloresAndCompany makes sweet little girls dresses, directly saying that they are helping others fund adoptions of children with special needs.

400211_323621384423698_220723702_nHooked on Hope design and make intricate afghans and smaller items such as hats, mats, baby booties.

Their orphan advocacy is genuinely immeasurable as they went above and beyond to aid in bring home a couple very dear children from Eastern Europe earlier last year and continue to speak out and donate proceeds to families working through the adoption journey.

Do you remember learning how to make hair bows in 4-H club back in fourth grade? I do! We found discount ribbon and had pretty much our first experience with hot glue guns. Those medal clasps that would bite your finger if you closed them wrong when you were pinching to secure the bow correctly on top while avoiding burning yourself? Well this mama is so far funding the beginnings of her sons adoption through the sales of what you forgot that you loved doing. Yes.

Meet McKenzieBethBows entrepreneur extraordinaire bow maker. Please visit her site, and by all means, crown the girly-girl in your life with one of her creations. This woman is the soon to be mama to a sweet boy in Eastern Europe named Cliff.

Rebecca Collier, who is adopting twin girls from Eastern Europe makes quiet books. I have seen pictures of them and know that she is doing proceeds to their adoption. These felt books are high quality and look time consuming to create, rather than putting her forward as a vendor I rather set her forward as an artist who deserves support as 100% proceeds are toward the redemption of two special girls from a life alone in a mental institution. She’s a motivation to pull together your own talented for your passion and to do your best for something and someone that you love.

This list started to promote resources to support Angel Tree confidence and has sprung into pride over how many talented people give up their profits to give to those who are going through something that they as artists are passionate about.

The Magenta Leopard, shares multifaceted interest supporting love of adoption open to special orders.
And the list goes on. I’ll add!

I also need to talk about vendors who lend commissions and ideas that former adoptive parents gave!


Kindness Keeps

When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.

This is a piece of Proverbs 31. If you live with Scripture as your guide, you know that chapter of the bible well as being the guide for what a woman ought to be. She’s an unbelievably organized entrepreneur, committed to home and family not caging herself in home and family but reaching far into the world to bring in the very best to server and better her collective family. With each verse I knock off everything that I thought was awesome about myself, this doesn’t change as the years go by.

Today I love that God takes the time to say that through all this the renowned Proverbs 31 woman speaks her words and instruction with kindness. Is not that what keep her a remembered figure. All this could be do, and without kidness…no one would remember her with a fond spirit.

I carry that message into the season of raising awareness for waiting orphans. Why should people donate? Because of me. Yes. Because of YOU, warrior. As you knock on your neighbor’s door and smile and tell them that you’re selling candles and cookie dough, bring a child along to do the talking…that’s cute. Are you respectful. How’s the message conveyed? This is a whole new idea to so many people.

143_28_10_2008_KolyoA couple misconceptions that I didn’t learn about and was blown away by, unfortunately end of season last year. You mean that kid only costs One Thousand Dollars? or, I’m not from Ukraine, why should I pay them for their children?, “That’s all the kid costs? Doesn’t this tax deductible organization know how much it costs to raise a child? Who are they kidding?” That last question coming from someone looking at my child’s FSP.

Kindness keeps.

Answer questions, be open minded. Don’t let yourself get hurt emotionally. And, don’t give up. The Bible (Old and New Testament) is covered with verses about how awesome and unavoidably noteworthy good will is! Think on Matthew 5 for example:

“…let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Back to that Proverbs 31 woman the New Living Translation sums her up just as nicely as all the other Bible translations available in your local book store.

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

Do you have to excel them all. I don’t. I do want to do well. I do want to raise $1,000. For a sweetheart who is named Kolya. He’s been waiting for so long. When you donate, you’re not paying for him. There is no buying involved. You are adding the amount of money waiting for his future family that they will have access to once they have committed to adopt him. Precious Kolya’s cost of adoption is around $32,000 which is a cost guestimate including travel, visa, lawyer fees. Your donations are not going to his government. By donating, you are not voicing support on political standings, you are only loving children and lifting one up a little closer to potentially reaching a family.

Consider kindness towards Kolya this Angel Tree 2014 season. He was on the Tree last year and his warrior, as the organizers of events and fundraiser are for each child are called, did make her way to the $1,000. It’s hard to see him back. I bought his ornament last year and plan to bring it along with me on any fundraising endeavors.

For giving $35 or more between November 1 and December 31 you’ll receive an ornament with his picture and the name of his country on it! If you believe yourself called to work towards bringing a child to the $1,000 goal and have not registered, please do at this link. There are 123 kids waiting for warriors yet.

There’s a very special reason I chose Kolya. If you’re interested to hear about it, ask me. Each child has a story, just begin for a moment to imagine what they could but possibly never will be able to express even to their future forever families about the only life they’ve known.

What will you do to bring this child closer to home? Remember, you don’t have to be the best to help, you don’t have to donate the full sum of money to make a difference. Giving does not count towards my goal until after November 1st. This really is the time that I’m encouraging you to be pumped about helping me help Kolya.

Monday I’m launching Jamberry nails, which is already open here and selling cookies and candles locally. So nervous! I wouldn’t mind if you took just a second to pray for my confidence and success! The nail stuff proceeds will go to Aurora, original Angel Tree child as that is who I told the consultant about. This precious child is now among the over 100 children yet needing warriors for the Angel Tree season that starts in less than one month. Giving proceeds to Aurora deters that feeling of abandoning her that I am left with by going for a different child and I hope helps, just even be that a little. In addition to following the link I provided above you may visit the Facebook party scheduled for October 17th.

Thank you for making your way through this whole blog post, I know it was a long one. And please do stay tuned as I keep a quick pace hopefully on helping my sweetie Kolya and other children too by noting their fundraising events hosted by other loving sponsors. Donations after November 1st count towards my goal. I will submit everything after that and before December 31st.

NEWS FLASH: I signed up.

AuroraI’ve filled out the all too easy application, friends, to be an Angel Tree warrior. My picks are Aurora who I’ve never really hoved over, she’s been in an orphanage since 2005 and sounds a lot like my personality. You could find little girls who look just like her in my family photo albums. She seems like a good fit for me to advocate for!

SilviaMy next choice is a little girl from a small country that is tipping the scales on high cost with low time to raise the funds. Meet Silvia. She’s on my heart because her program looks daunting and her photo isn’t fine. This girl’s fund is going to sky rocket, God has a way of showing that anything can be achieved! Some family will look at that image and see their daughter and that will just be an amazing day for her and those who are planned somewhere in the greater plan as her parents. That’s what Angel Tree season is about, advocating, raising and finding forever.

NE138b-Fernando-250x300Fernando! He’s my third choice. Born the same month as my second son, the same year as my first in a country that we love. The files from his country come all in Spanish and are volumes long. Travel is easy and the agency is great. Who will be this little man’s family? Will I be the sponsor to help him to the Angel Tree goal?

Waiting for my email telling me who I get to sponsor. I’m giddy with excitement! Tomorrow I’m going to overhaul my blog to be Angel Tree ready, tracking other Angel Tree warriors blog posts as they begin their journey’s soon setting up shop to race to $1,000. There are so many more children who need someone to knit scarves or whatever special talent you have. Sign up and show everyone in your world just how amazing you can be when you love an orphan and how much can be done when you set your heart to such a meaningful purpose.

“You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14)

UPDATE: I’ve switched to Kolya, please click here to read about that.

Happy birthday, Mommy!

946402_241348532687674_1813481383_nThere are a number of moments in motherhood that say, “It’s OK, you’re doing OK.” I get those when my kids give me a fist full of dandelions and tell me that it’s a gift or make me a drawing at school. Mothering is a sacrifice, it’s humbling and just the most incredible thing that ever you could be gifted with here on Earth. If you’re a mama you know that your birthday is one of those incredible times to get buried in kisses and snuggles and I’d just love for that to happen for a dear mother today…Her turn will come.

I remember in New Moms Network we had a discussion question back in 2005 when my oldest was 3 months old that will never leave me, “When was the first moment that you really felt mother to your child?”

I went home so depressed because I didn’t know. It actually has nothing to do with giving birth, some say it does and you can convince yourself of anything but that wasn’t it for me. Yes, lots of pain. But my bond was much more of a still small voice as is my whole relationship with this particular son. Stephani, the mom who celebrates her birthday today is dreaming of what her relationship will be like with her daughter who has no idea that there is a mom for her. Jesus knows, but this child does not. We’re talking about the miracle of adoption for Zola.

But the truth is, you do not need to give birth to a child for that child to be your daughter or your son. After all, we are adopted into Christ’s family.

When my newborn infants eyes are for my breast and their need is for me, I know who I am, but if I were to die, someone else could feed and clothe them. The hours that I spend with that child, nurturing and learning together those times bring us close and our bond has become incorrigible.

I would not exchange any one of my children for anything in the world. My days after my second child were so busy. Pulling fights apart, balancing wills and attentions. But through thie tense moments that siblings have, there has always been love and that goes back to mom. It begins with her and proceeds through to the children who live with each other and make up the family.

As my children come to me to share with me their achievements and desire my appreciation for the growth that they have made as individuals and as respond to that is the fulfillment and continuation of my necessary role life goes on and we grow together that’s just the way time slips by and the reason mama’s take pictures–to save those moments!

Saturday April 4th, 2014 a very special mama turns 28. Her name is Stephani Obenauf.

I only know her through the adoption community, but hope that if it weren’t through that we would have met otherwise since she seems like a really cool person. The first line of her bio is, “Stephani always wanted to be a mother.” Me too! Whatever it took, I actually really hoped adoption would be a part of God’s journey for me and have that yet to be revealed. Continuing into Stephani’s story beyond the desire to be a mom is a terrible loss that is the deepest fear of all moms who have one on the way, “stillborn” This mom’s little one missed knowing her mom here on Earth. I’ve lost a baby too, mine in 2006. Stephani’s daughter Emma would be the same age now as my son Willie who is such a treasure to my life. Zola, Stephani’s daughter who is in Eastern Europe right now is two years younger than the baby that went on ahead–both little girls born years that I had children.

My world is all about my children and I have a pretty good idea that the same is true for Stephani’s heart which is why as Stephani is turning 28 on Saturday I’m talking motherhood because birthdays are about celebrating yourself and what God’s given you and motherhood is a very special gift that he has given Stephani. While neither of her daughter’s are here to write her notes in crayon, as I have and you may also, I know all this mom wants right now is to have Zola where she belongs, which is home in Michigan.Zola-Photo-2-Apr-2013-267x300

Truly the best way that you can help is to give financially and to offer up to heaven a happy prayer of thanks. Thanks for another year and a spirit to press forward. Cheers to adventures and not too many disappointments. This mama knows that the road to a child through adoption is not perfectly clear and has to have a heart strong for whatever may come. Love from your daughter no doubt. She has no idea that you’re coming for or the fun that she has in store! I’m so excited for your future together.

By the way, I lost sleep over that question in New Moms Network and stick with my thought then these years later as I’m coming up on my son’s eight birthday as we’re working through epilepsy together. I had to share with the group on the next meeting a whole week later even though they were on another topic. My answer was I know my belonging when I feed my child. When I’m OK being soaked with over lactating for that newborn baby, fine living without sleep for my child, that’s how I knew that I was Mother.

While Stephani does not get that with Zola’s infancy, she gets the lifetime ahead of them together to learn to feed and dress to comfort and love.

Just because the infancy is not there to share, there is so much more to be mother over and it is there and beyond that she will feel and be mom. I am so excited for Stephani and for her darling daughter to become a Obenauf in God’s time. If you want to help Stephani celebrate 28, please click on one of her pictures and give to her adoption fund. Stephani writes regularly and throws her heart into fundraising with not much response. Please do visit her blog for updates and consider celebrating her birthday with a donation today. Faith, Hope, Love


Following Families

So Chelsea Claus reached her matching grant which I wrote about a few weeks back. She in now in country to meet her son–they will meet for the first time tomorrow morning.
Rebecca Jenks has met three matching grants and also had quite a few of successful fundraisers each bringing her a little closer to funded, she travels in less than a week–4 days actually, to rescue two older girls who have down syndrome from a country that she has never been. Both are experiencing an act of faith directly ordained of God. Seeing Him work through them and their families is amazing and awe-inspiring to all such as myself who have not made that stride and an witness to those are trekking along to keep on seeing that light at the end of another friend’s journey. These women, along with the others that I have written about drive me back to my blog hungry to write more to hold more for myself of their experience.

I’ve written too about 21 Days of Hope. Yesterday was March 21, 2014 and guess what. We made it. 23 children in 21 days! More than $23k raised for Voice of Hope and almost $50k gifted for these chosen children!

The Anita Vantrease family who I am family Warrior for currently have a Scentsy party in progress which I welcome you to purchase from if this is something that you like having in your home or work place. I always say that the time to buy is when the proceeds go to a cause. There is no better cause than to bring a child home which is your opportunity today. Please think of Keegan (Ian when he’s home) if you’re in the market for Scentsy, I enjoy their fragrance assortments but certainly caution you to keep their warmer out of reach of children! I used to use these products so much more when I did not have children. If you do have children, they do have their liquid wax covered for ya in a new innovative child friendly and oh-so-cute Scentsy Buddies.

Kree-2013-200x300Rachelle Feinland was my first (and only) guest blogger has some incredible news. So not only is she bringing home Della, they will also bring a second daughter home from Eastern Europe. She is 5 years old, and known on Reece’s Rainbow as Kree.  This family is up to the task on bringing their girls home, but it doesn’t come easy as they make it look! While keeping up with their two sons health needs already home from Eastern Europe, Rachelle and her husband Stephan have schedules to coordinate, planning to be done and in the meanwhile to stay alive and remember to sleep now and again. Go, Feinlands!

Why a second child? In their home study, Rachelle and Stephan were told that they were approved to have, “up to two children” in their international adoption, which is what they were approved for last time also.  On current events for the adoption there will be an auction page on Facebook soon and the sale of a few large items locally. What in my estimation would be a time consuming and hopefully well worth it project right now is a Family Fun Day at the local Lions Club. What beautiful weather, and the perfect time of year for that! I hope that they get a good amount of participation for this. They are also hopeful, but still waiting for approval on hosting a breakfast at church for the adoption, or maybe a lunch after church. On the local front, they are doing a yard sale the weekend after next. Mainly in the next couple weeks, be hanging out Louisiana so you wont miss out on anything for the Feinlands! OR! You could just donate online and send an encouraging note via her blog or on Facebook.

Missing a couple families from the group in Messing with your Mind: A Five Family Update? I’ll come back. I love them and have to keep up! I’m asking Stephani for an update with Zola, I know she is looking forward to a potential video update on her daughter and covets a new photo.

The Green Mountains Await You!

vt_barn_allHey, I got to take on a second warrior family. I know the rule book says just one, but I had to beg Laurie to bend the rules for me. How could I not for this one? A family who lives in Vermont who is adopting twins? YES! I’m a twin and started my family in Vermont. I must claim them before someone else does and soak up all the awesomeness of their journey.

I want to introduce to you first Simon and Samuel. They are twin baby boys in Eastern Europe–identical both with Down Syndrome. Like all kids in their country little information at all is given, the richest pieces are from families who have met the young people. For leap of faith individuals, sketchy details are enough. The details on these babies are as follows:


Boys, born Dec 2013
Down syndrome

We added, “These precious, beautiful, twin baby boys both have Down syndrome. What a gift to have them listed so young — they can be home easily by their first birthday!” And indeed they could be home by their first birthday.

This country has a very quick adoption process. Some families just remain in country rather than taking two trips as is done commonly in other Eastern European countries. There is currently over $100 in the little boys adoption fund, money that was dumped in by us members of the adoption community in the first matter of moments that the boys were listed as we wooed and awweed over the preciousness of these sweet faces. I’m sure I was not the only who found myself closing my eyes and saying, “Sweet Jesus, lead a family to these babies. In your name, amen.” Was it even a whole month before the twins were on My Family Found Me? It was so fast! The Lord sees these kids. I could type that so many times, and I plan to, in every opportunity that I have to speak of orphans I want to shout forth praises and thankfulness that although I cannot see these children, Jesus does. These photos of Simon and Samuel were taken March 2014. I wonder if by thanksgiving when they may be home, they’ll be sitting perhaps toddling around and have grown in some hair.

The family that I am thrilled for and thankful to be getting to know are Theresa Cianciolo and her husband. The little boys will be children 5 and 6 for them. OK. I’m busting to tell you that my Angel Tree child Mikey has been committed to and am excited to learn who is bringing him home–but to stay focused here!!

There has been an unfair ratio of girls adopted over baby boys going home, or so it appeared til recently! We’ve had so many commitments to young guys and older also. It’s thrilling to see this gap coming even. There’s also families who are picking up a second child into adoptions, that’s wonderful to see happening.

No knowledge of the state of the boys hearts or any other potential points of keen awareness that ought to be had for being prepared for welcoming home a child who has Down Syndrome. The future family of these babies sees just what you do: two sleeping children in gender neutral sleepers peacefully oblivious in their moment of restfulness. They appear healthy and are available for international adoption and as of this week (!!!) committed to for coming home.

What’s taking me so long to admit that I’m giddy to see someone from Vermont adopting? No wait, I went back and edited that into the first line or so. I am psyched.
I’ll have even that much more reason to go back and visit, if saying hello to good times again isn’t going to be enough one day. In my time in Vermont I made some wonderful friends and got the best medical care that I have had.

My life has been a struggle with epilepsy, and through the depression and failure, through the side effects of meds and insomnia and head aches through the embarrassment and exasperation I have always had my identical twin who has the same problem by my side to prop my body against. We have been each others strong hold and scratching post through the years and I think she too would have to confess that she wouldn’t know what to do without me. We would have had so much of a harder go at life without each other, and I imagine that as life goes on we will continue to need each other.

Children with Down Syndrome are often transferred at age 4 to mental institutions to live out the rest of their lives. If the boys aged to that point in their country there is far from guarantee that they would stay together. Twins have a way of knowing that there is another one of them, there have been so many studies done. Praise be! They’re going home for mama snuggles, and for Daddy to wrestle with them in the living room and take them on fun outdoor ventures. These kids will know the freedoms of creativity, nurturing and holistic living.
There are so many hopes and dreams that I have for these little guys. My children’s lives started out in Vermont where these boys lives beyond bars will begin also. It’s a wonderful place to be. Fresh air, green trees and rolling mountains. The autumn, or foliage season as we call it, is the most gorgeous collection of colors that you could ever ask for in nature. There are all sorts of fun activities and places to be for families and room to run, horses to ride and adventures to be had.

Your new world can hardly wait to meet you, Simon and Samuel. May God keep and protect you where you were born and took your first breaths until your mama and papa come for you.

Where will the fund raising begin? I want to have fun with this!
My family bringing home preschooler Keegan has an upcoming art work sale and a Scentsy candle event. They are in their first stages of adoption also and have two adoptions already. I love the adoption community and treasure everyone’s journey to their precious children.

Theresa, the twin’s future mama, has shared with me that their family Bible verse is James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

I love this family already! Be it serving those who are bringing home children, or helping in the community to ease the suffering of women and children I believe that not only is there opportunity to help, but command to do it.
Roll up your sleeves, put on your thinking cap and make some time to helping. My husband say to focus on the word “help” in this verse and to always come back to my family!

Join the Family Warrior program and lend a little help to someone in need of a prayer buddy along their adoption journey and get as excited as I am to live vicariously through someone else.

Messing with your Mind: A Five Family Update

 Where’s your best place to write? I’d love to know where you crank your creativity and how you make it pour out through your fingertips on demand. I think best while going through my day, I especially love being out with my kids. A favorite past time for me has always been going to anywhere in walking distance, for my two year old and I yesterday that was to the park.

A.J (pictured here at 2 months old) went the whole block without taking a break. From time to time she’d slow her pace to look up at me, only to keep on a little quicker as so much as her little legs would allow.

We’re for sure putting up fences this year. This one would walk and walk without worrying where her people are. Though this blog post I’m using pictures of my own kids, as they are my motivation for the love that I extend to other families and their ministry to extend their lives and hearts abroad to grow their families through adoption. These are my little monsters, I love them more than life!

OK. I have to get down to it. Usually when I ask where you write I’m actually wondering why the heck I can’t turn on exactly what I want to say in this time limited segment that I have available.  Today I don’t think it’s going to happen for me, as it didn’t yesterday or the week before that.

Credit for the Claus Clan was my last blog post. The fundraiser that I mentioned for them brought in $65. They have a grant or something going on right now also to get friends to pour as much money as possible into the Claus adoption fund as big exciting times are coming up. Chelsea is traveling to meet her son in seven days. It will be a number of months before he is a USA citizen, but this is tremendous. At this point in my life I absolutely cannot imagine getting to live the incredible emotions that must whirl around as a mom counts down and fumbles to pack for what certainly may feel like the biggest trip of her life. Months of paperwork, social works telling you what you can handle and how your house should look, organization to be done and maintained through the process that feels like infinity.

IMG_0694Then finally that plane ride! It’ll feel like forever, and Chelsea’s time with her son will be over before she knows it. She’ll treasure every second and relive the moments of their time together of the next matter of months lapsing between this trip and the second during which Chelsea and her husband Josh will take Levi away from his orphanage forever.

For the Claus family March 21 is a very special day–the day Chelsea and her dad leave to meet Levi, who will join the family later this year. Chelsea will travel with her dad for the first trip, then for the final trip in a few months she and her husband will go together. Right now a $500 matching grant is being held–when their fund reaches “8040” every donation after that point for $500 is doubled. This family also has some puzzle pieces yet for purchase for Levi’s adoption. Families often have keep puzzle piece fundraisers in action through the entire duration of their adoption as a fun way of remembering the names of people who have contributed financially through their adoption journey. The Claus’s have some pieces left, for $5 one can have your name on it. This makes a great keepsake for the child’s room or to be displayed anywhere around the house.

IMG_0700Keegan’s family finished their fingerprinting  and has almost finished collecting their primary paperwork for this adoption homestudy. Anita’s 81 year old mom lives with their family so she gets to go through all of the background check series of events also. This week she got to go to the police station and have her finger prints taken for her grandson who on the other side of the world. Best grandma ever! Up next for this family is wellness checks at the doctors office. Smooth sailing so far for Ian (Keegan)’s family. Very cool surprise of earlier today is that someone dropped a good portion of money into this adoption fund bringing the number from $52 to $106. This is a sweet surprise!

Obenauf family! Stephani is bringing home Zola  from a country that is a new addition to the international programs that Reece’s Rainbow works with in bringing home kids internationally. Stephani has recently learned that it will be 12 months before her Dossier is to be submitted to the country, what a hard waiting game knowing that her daughter is doing just that…waiting. After it is finally submitted, she will get an invitation to travel in six months then can return to pick up her daughter in the time lapse of six more months.

IMG_0037When I asked Zola’s mama-to-be if she, knowing how slow this process is compared to other countries, would recommend it she said Absolutely yes and went on to suggest that I should adopt one of the little girls who is my daughter’s favorite in that country. Currently the Obenauf family have a clothing auction happening. For $5, you’re helping decorate Zola’s bedroom with your name in the color of your choice written on her wall. The infant clothes in Zola’s clothing sale are brand new, or are in very good condition and have me wanting to have another infant in the house! Visit Faith Hope Love to learn about the ongoing “Hearts for Zola” event to celebrate this sweet child and her journey home.

Jenks are keeping on. They have another matching grant in the works and a Norwex fundraiser is currently active for bringing home their girls, Veronika and Emilija. Shop Norwex Products Online and select Rebecca Jenks at check out. Find the catalog here. Glancing through the catalog I see that these are super quality of the microfiber products that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the grocery store cleaning isle and elsewhere. The website is easy to navigate. Lots of great stuff, value over the long haul and for a good cause. Mrs. Jenks says that a couple of her favorite items are the Window Cloth and the Envirotowel.

IMG_0664The Feinland family has been visited by the FSP fairy recently! The anonymous large donation to their adoption fund and an approval to add a second child to the plan has us all holding our breath, waiting to learn who the lucky kid is going to be. I want to make the statement here, that through adoption parents are being blessed as much as the kids are! I am allowed to be excited for the suspense of looking forward learning who is coming home for who.  Rachelle has recently put in a new entry on her blog, “Piecing Our Puzzle Together” which you should stop in and read, because I haven’t. Tell me what it says, if you make it there before I do. My computer time isn’t until 10pm which is not for a number of hours. That FSP fairy? He or she is welcome to visit me if I ever get a turn to adopt. Della’s family got $2500! Know what? God provides! Each and every one of these families knows that and somehow he carries them through. It’s amazing, and I hang around to watch. Simply brilliant.

Editors note: As of 9:20pm, the Claus family have $140 to go in order to get that $500 matching grant. FSP needs to read $15,541 ($8,040 for Matching a Grant!) FSP: Blog:

This is an amazing family who has come so far.

Hello from “Della’s” Family!

Our daughter!

Our daughter!

Hello! Early in January we committed to adopting “Della,” an 11 year old orphan.  We have 5 boys: Dwayne, Tage, Silas, Andre and Maben. They can not wait to have their first sister come home!

“Della,” just like our 5 year old son Andre, has Down Syndrome.  We have a T-Shirt fundraiser currently running to help bring “Della” home. If you have a little one who Rocks their Extra Chromosome, please consider purchasing one of these shirts that will help us bring our little girl home.

It Ends Tonight: Updated

$100 for the adoption made in hair clip purchases! OK. They make much more than hair clips, but thank you

I wrote a couple days ago introducing Rebecca and Mark’s girls fundraiser for Lilla Rose hair accessories. I wrote in utter delirium of an illness gone as fast as it came and am happy to be here yet typing away. My credit card and I didn’t get to participate in the fundraiser, but thankfully someone else out there did!

Thank you again, Deb for the work in putting up this fundraiser! As I looked through the Event on Facebook I saw product reviews and video demos advertising the products which is exactly what you need prospective fundraiser participants to see.

EmilijaThe numbers are in and the orders are out! $100 approximately in orders toward the Jenks adoption of Veronika and Emilija. As I mentioned in my last post for the Jenks, the twelve year old girls are in a country that does not allow their photos to be shown publically. What they cannot stop though, is donations and support. The adoption plans and papers move forward and time draws short in so many ways.

EmilijaThe Jenks are $275 short for their matching grant to $500. If the matching grant is made, every dollar after that will be doubled for up to a couple weeks. If they do not receive $275 within the next few days they will not get the $500. While I’m talking number, which I do not do. I want to mention that Veronika and Emilija have been waiting both for over FIVE YEARS on Reece’s Rainbow without their gorgeous faces to be seen. They have until March 3rd to make the matching grant which will be their second matching grant, the first has expired. Looking forward to watching the Jenks adoption story unfold further as the months pass. They have not taken no for an answer in hard spots and have friends like Deb come forward and offer time, skill and opportunity to bring these daughters closer to home. I want next year’s Christmas card!

If you’ve thought of donating to Jenks, do it now! With this matching grant Exact numbers must be met. $489 within this two week span between when the grant was offered and March 3 won’t be enough, will have to be $500 or the offer will not come to any worth. Their last “matching grant” was different: No matter how much they made in one week’s period, up to a certain amount, would be doubled.

The Jenks far from stand by and worry about money! They have seen GOD in action with this as their second adoption. They wooed us all bringing home their darling dynamic duo in 2012 from Ukraine. This time around is as much in his hands as the last run was.

Why a $500 matching grant rather than a $500 donation?

Because it encourages others to give to help you reach that $500 goal, which if others have donated $500 to help you get the match, it ends up being turned into $1000 rather than just $500.

It Ends Tonight

The Jenks family are quickly becoming one of the most popular Reece’s Rainbow families to donate to, they are surrounded by such a band of warriors online it’s wonderful to watch God provide.

And well deserved as they are going for adoption a second time. I fell in love with this family over their first adoption of two very young children from Ukraine. They recued a couple of precious little children with Down Syndrome only to find that it was their lives that became so much richer with the addition of these two spunky spirits added to their number.

Between them Mark and Rebecca of Vancouver WA have six children. The two who they are going for now are from a country that does not allow them to show the children’s faces or intimate details of their story.

This has not deterred donations (last night they received anonymously 3500) and here is yet another opportunity to join in blessing the Jenks family.


An adopting family who lives nearby us had a Lilla Rose hairclips sale and it brought in an amazing profit. I’ve never seen these before as a brand, just hand made I believe. They actually remind me of Sophist-O-Twist that my sisters and I used to wear. Looking at the images of Lilla Rose notice the feminine beaded detailing–keep your hair out of the way and look stylish while doing it? This is the way to really pull that off. They custom for hair texture and weight which is important for an effective hold. I believe that there are also instructional videos on the main Lilla Rose site.

30% of commissions go towards the Jenks bringing home 2 twelve year old girls from overseas. I have a sister who I hope to find something for. Thirty percent does not sound like much, honestly, but it does add up.


Click HERE I hope the link makes sense. Direct questions to Deb Wielhouwer who is an independent consultant for this company. If you love the product and feel inclinded to also sell these Lilla Rose hair accessories. Information on becoming involved in this can also come from Deb W.

with their two babies from UkraineEven if you don’t make the Jenks event, you can still consider helping them along their journey. Wednesday is a drawing for a $100 visa gift card. Donate here.

More exciting news from Rebecca and Mark is the announcement that they have a matching grant of $500. When their family adoption fund reaches $12,585 that will be received. Everyone says every dollar counts, and it does.

Online sales. For me equal frustration. I can never the right balance of excitement over the product (I only sell what I care about) and advertisement–who IS the best audience and how do I reach them?!


Everyone in the adoption world seems to be utilizing Facebook event invites. They do not seem to be bringing in much. I made under $20 in a Tupperware party in December. And this party? I just found out about it so I haven’t had the opportunity to tell my husband about a potential spending at the beginning of the month. Do I put in a Will Attend to support my friend and not buy because I can’t?

Guess what. I’m going to buy and call it a gift to my sister! Do you have a sister?

There are 34 “Going” and 3 “Maybe” Perhaps you could add one more, or tell a friend and be two more. 214 people did not notice that they had an invite. I would have been one had I not asked if there were an event going on for any families right now.

Looking for bigger more ideas on promoting fundraisers!


Because, in the bigger picture, it does not end tonight…the journey to adoption and one less goes on as there is always another child and another family to buy a hair bow for.  


fundraiser for the Jenks

Lilla Rose fundraiser for the Jenks