Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mere Days to Find a Family!

Hello again!  I know; it's been far too long since I've posted anything in here, but before I get back to updating the blog, there is something far more pressing I need to share with you.  There is a young man who MUST find a family to commit to adopting him by next week or he will be forced to leave the orphanage and survive on his own at the tender age of 16!  This is unacceptable! We need to find him a family!

Please read the post below and share it in every way you can until his family is found!

No Greater Joy Mom: URGENT***URGENT***URGENT!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Are you attending? Together for Adoption Conference 2011 in Phoenix, AZ

Only a little over a month from now, people from all over the country with a heart for orphan care and adoption will be gathering for the Together for Adoption Conference.  There will be some wonderful speakers and amazing breakout sessions, and all my Project HOPEFUL peeps will be there, too! I don't know that I'll be able to go, so I may have to live vicariously through those of you who do <grin> .  Don't let me down; I want pictures, video, tweets and FB updates all weekend long, people! Lots. Of. Updates. 

So who's going?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fundraiser: Infant with Down Syndrome needs a family to adopt him. Let's take the financial hurdle out of the decision process!

A family is urgently needed for a bi-racial little boy who was born last week.  He was released from the hospital 48 hours after his birth and showed no other symptoms of syndrome. His heart was also fine at this time and now he desperately needs a family!  I want to make sure that his future family doesn't have to take the adoption fees into consideration when deciding whether or not to bless their home with him!  Please spread the word and use the Chip-In Widget to donate to this cause! ((took the chip-in down temporarily while I wait for confirmed permission to accept them - will update asap!!))

If you would like more information on adopting him, please contact me! 

Here is a video to help you pray for him:  

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Farmer's Wife Tells All Blog "Girls Only" Project

Do you remember how awkward the early years of womanhood are? I know they're burned into my own memory and I can't imagine having to go through that as an orphan, can you?!  Here is a fabulous project for us all to find a way to help with:

Please consider taking part!


Dispelling Myths about Foster Care and Adoption

Two links to share with you today~


Anyone else read some good articles this week that you'd like to pass on?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Timeline Post

Since I know that there are some people reading this blog in order to keep track of our adoption process, I wanted to have a permanent post where I will continually edit updates to the timeline.  There isn't a lot to it, yet, but hopefully it will help people to understand our particular process.  Our sincere thanks to all of those who are praying us through it! I'll put the official steps in bold as we complete them.

First discussed adoption as a couple - Fall 1991 (while we were dating)
Finally decided that it was time - November 2010
Agonizing over who, what, when, where and how - November 2010-June 2011
Finally fill out the first piece of paperwork for an adoption agency May 6, 2011 (for domestic infant adoption)
Foster Care/ Adoption Orientation Seminar at our Church - June 11, 2011
Convinced that God has called us to adopt from the Foster Care system instead of domestic infant - July 4, 2011

The Official Process:

Orientation:    June 11, 2011
Application Rec'd: July 29, '11
Application Turned In: August 29, 2011
FIngerprinting/Background Check: October 5, 2011
Homestudy Visit #1: November17, 2011
PRIDE Training #1: February 18, 2012
PRIDE Training #2:February 25, 2012
Learned about a child available for adoption: March 13, 2012
Program-changing decision month: March 2012
Saw his picture for the first time!!: August 31, 2012

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Examining Motives

This post is a brilliant treatment of all of the reasons for adopting, right ones, wrong ones, misguided and naive ones.  The further I dig into the contemporary adoption world, the more heartbroken I am for children and how serious the need is.  Adoption should certainly not be entered into lightly, naively, or for any 'trendy' reasons.  Every child who is ever adopted has trauma and grief as a part of their past; even the newest of newborns. 

Please take a few minutes to read this:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Excuses, excuses...

My blogging has all but disappeared.  I keep having ideas and start typing up a post and deleting and typing and deleting, then I move on to something else and don't come back.  It's just sad.  But, I do have a nice little list of excuses:

  • I became the Communications Administrator for Project HOPEFUL about a month ago and it has almost completely taken over my computer energies
  • I recently organized a giant (for me) yard sale to raise money for three families who are adopting and became re-acquainted with the fact that my skills lie in being an idea person, not an implementer.
  • I organized a three hour orientation seminar at our church about foster care and adoption and actually implemented it - the same week in which I implemented the yard sale...simply amazing.
  • We went public with the fact that we have officially taken the first steps toward adopting domestically.  We're only in the early 'Papercut Stage' of adoption.  The stress of sharing that information with certain people made me physically ill. I cried off and on for days. We seriously were going to wait until we were further into the process, but we can't get further into the process until we do some fundraising, so.....we just had to do it.
  • My kids just started summer vacation and we're trying to get into a good routine (and I've been sharing the computer with 5 other people...even if they only get half an hour per day, that's a lot of time!)
  • My parents are moving next week and I've been helping with painting and landscaping.
So, bloggy peeps, I'm sorry, but I just about fell off the map.  Thankfully I grabbed the edge and hopped back on, so let's just get back to it, shall we?  Here is my blog post recommendation for the day:

"Christians Should Put Up of Shut Up"


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Enter a Project HOPEFUL giveaway AND help them win the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program!

You need to head on over to the Project HOPEFUL blog RIGHT NOW!   There is an awesome t-shirt giveaway going on and you could help them in a big way, too!

Go here!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Who Will Go?

Have you come to the point where you can say " I will go if you send me, Lord!"  ?  Here are a couple of videos that I've found to be thought-provoking and can help us examine where our hearts are on this subject:

Did You Know from on Vimeo.


Monday, May 16, 2011

CAFO Summit 7 - Did you miss it?

I missed it.  I tried so hard to get to the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VII in Louisville, KY last week - it was so close!  A mere 6 hours drive away from us.  But I didn't make it.  So I plan on drinking in every moment that will be re-capped tonight on the Mother the World Momcast Podcast at 8pm EST by the ProjectHOPEFUL team.  If you missed it, too, join us!  If you were there, join us! You may be able to chime in with some of your own thoughts from the Summit.  See you there!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Every Child. Period.

Pitting cause of orphans in the US against cause of orphans globally, as though it were either/or, is crazy. Mission is local & global. ~Dr. Russell Moore
 It can be SO easy to get dogmatic in the adoption world.  Dogmatic about what country has the greatest need, what special need everyone should be passionate about, whether everyone should adopt older kids or infants.  But the truth is that EVERY child needs a family.  No child is 'just fine' or 'better off' in the foster care system or in an orphanage.
I found this blog post this morning that I thought was a really helpful perspective and thought that you would benefit from it, too. 
Rethinking Adoption: Infant Adoption

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vote for Project Hopeful June 11th!

Toyota USA is giving away 100 cars to charitable organizations over 100 days from May 9th to August 16th and Project Hopeful has been put on the finalist list for June 11th's giveaway!  They have put together the promotional video and just introduced it today.  Be sure to spread the word and vote on June 11th!!

If you join the facebook group and go to the 100 cars for good tab, you will be able to fill out the reminder form so you don't forget to vote.  Ready, Set, Go!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ATV Giveaway for orphans

There is an urgent need for funds for the family adopting Little Miss Addison and some friends took over their blog to introduce this amazing giveaway!  Make sure you read this:


Friday, April 29, 2011

Kindred Spirit

It's not often that I unleash my inner Anne of Green Gables and say that I've found a Kindred Spirit, and even less often that I would say so about someone I don't even know...someone out in the world wide blogosphere.  But there is one out there and her name is Chantelle.  Post after post after post that she writes, I find my own feelings, struggles and passions written in the most compelling, beautiful ways.  I want to be her if I ever grow up.

I don't know how in the world I first found her, but I remember vividly the first time that she shook me to the core of my being.  It was in a video where she in a very simple, brief way cut painfully through a lie that I had believed about the world without ever knowing it.  That lie or set of lies I should say, was about HIV/AIDS.  You name the lie about that disease, and I probably held it as a dogma.....but it was dogma from the Pit. And it shames and angers me every time I think about it.  I'm so thankful that God used her to defeat the Enemy's hold on that portion of my mind.

This is my shout-out to a woman who changes lives:  Thank you, Chantelle!

Money, Money, Money....and adoption

So much of the decision to adopt, our discussion about adoption and the process of adoption are about money, aren't they?  Drives me bonkers, but it is what it is.

Thankfully, there are seasoned adoptive families who are talking about it.  One of them is Julie Gumm, author of the soon-to-be-released book Adopt Without Debt.  She was interviewed last night on the Momcast Podcast and it was a great episode!  As soon as the archive is posted, I will link it here.

Then this morning I woke up to see this post by one of my favorite bloggers at Rage Against the Minivan called Why Does Adoption Cost So Much? (and why we didn't just send that money to Haiti).  I love her openness about their expenses as well as her perspective on the whole subject.

I'm getting ready to host a Yard Sale and Silent Auction here at our little house at the end of May to help a couple of local families who are adopting and I hope to come back here and tell you all of the good, bad, and ugly of how it goes.  Wish me luck!

Do you have any brilliant fundraising ideas?  I'd love to hear them!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A girl named Helen

Sometimes as an orphan advocate you just see 'that child' that you feel compelled to do something about. Maybe it's a desperate case, maybe something reminds you of a child you know, maybe you just think the child is too stinkin' cute! Well, I had a moment like that today and decided that this is the one. The one that I am going to say something about and watch and pray for and urge anyone who will listen to adopt her! For me, it was the vesicoureteral reflux. My daughter had that when she was little, too. It's such a minor condition here in the states that it almost irks me that it would need to be mentioned. What if someone actually passed her by because of THAT. It would kill me. Kill.Me. Yeah, yeah, she has HIV, too, but I've already told you that HIV is a chronic, but manageable disease, so that doesn't count, either. She should have a family and pronto. The end.

Her name is Helen and here is her story:


Date of Birth: May 2010

Baby Helen is a charming, emotional and lively girl. Her first eleven months were spent in a glass cubicle in a hospital ward. Helen is calm and she patiently endured the the pain of isolation. She babbles when talked to and she smiles often. She is in a crib now and she stands while holding on to the bar. She will be walking soon, now that she is free of the glass box. This child must be saved. How much longer could she live in such a state? Helen is living with HIV. She also has vesicoureteral reflux. More photos are available.

Helen – 2

So. Where is her family?


Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is not there!

"Weep, when ye see the tomb of Christ, but rejoice because it is empty. Thy sin slew Him, but His divinity raised Him up. Thy guilt hath murdered Him, but His righteousness hath restored Him. Oh! He hath burst the bonds of death and hath come out more than a conqueror, crushing death beneath His feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for He is not there—He is risen." {C.H. Spurgeon}

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bring home two girls by participating in this auction ~

I just found a great fundraiser this morning in the form of an auction.  Some amazing items have been donated and I had a lot of fun browsing all the options.  The auction ends on Saturday, so hurry on over!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ephraim and Manasseh were adopted

Did you know that Genesis 48 talks about adoption and is a glorious picture of the Gospel?

I just re-listened to this, one of my favorite adoption sermons, by Voddie Baucham this morning - you're gonna love it!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review: Adopted for Life, by Dr. Russell Moore

I was asked to review this book for our church bulletin and decided that I would post it here as well.

“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” John 14:18

Dr. Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church, where he ministers weekly at the congregation’s Fegenbush location.   So, when Dr. Moore and his wife after struggling through the painful losses of infertility, came to the decision to pursue adoption, he did so with his mind fully saturated with theological truths.  But at the beginning of that journey, he wouldn’t have guessed that he was about to understand God and the Gospel in a whole new, and deeper way.

At first glance, most of us may be tempted to think that this is a book only for young families thinking about the physical, horizontal adoption of children from our own community or the far reaches of the world.  And Dr. Moore does talk about that.  Dr. Moore discusses everything from the reasons that families might come to the decision to pursue adoption, to our responsibility as the Body of Christ to care for orphans, especially as those who would preach against abortion.  He teaches us how adoption is a part of the Great Commission. In a unique way we can bring those who may never hear the gospel into our own homes to hear the gospel preached every day while we live Christ-like lives in front of them, as well as participating in our daily family worship activities.

And even in this aspect of the book, I think that the audience can be larger than just those parents.  It is essential that we as a church family do what we can to understand the decisions, challenges and joys that our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing when they choose to pursue physical adoption.  Our love for one another should compel us to learn how we can best walk through this journey with them.

But this book is for every Christian for another reason.  This book is for every Christian because every one of us has been adopted and every Christian can benefit from a deeper understanding of what it means to be a part of the Family of God; of our sonship, as well as our brotherhood with one another and with Christ Himself.  (Rom. 8:12-17, Eph. 1: 4-6)

This book is a beautiful intertwining of the physical representation (adoption) and the Heavenly reality (Adoption).  It will give you a fresh understanding of both as well as a new impetus for bringing the gospel to your own community and to the uttermost parts of the Earth. I encourage you to add this to your reading list today.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's ransom Vanya!

Vanya is 8 years old and facing life in a mental institution! Why? HIV. Get involved in something amazing and help bring this little guy HOME:


Thursday, March 31, 2011

No-cost ways to be a real help to adopting families

Want to help some families that are in the adoption process in as simple a way as a few mouse clicks?  Here are two opportunities to do so:

Help bring their FOUR daughters HOME! TWO CLICKS ~ Click on the Radical Ripple fundraiser page - and then click "LIKE" ! For every "LIKE" -an anonymous donor will give $1 towards bringing their girls HOME!!! POST this and ask your friends to GO "LIKE

Patricia Heaton is donating $1 for every person that follows this great organization on Twitter! Read this story ( ) and then follow Reeces Rainbow on Twitter today - it won't cost you a thing!!!/ReecesRainbow

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Posts that make me weep...

This is one of those posts that hits me right in the gut and says "I'm talking about you". 

Of course I felt that way just reading the header for the blog...before I even got to the article.  Maybe it will be what you need to hear today, too.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great answer to the church question

As I mentioned before, I asked the question about how churches should be preparing to welcome HIV+ individuals of the Project HOPEFUL Blog folks for their series: "Your Questions Answered".  Well, this morning, they answered the question.  I hope you find this post as helpful as I did:

Be sure to check out the link to Universal Precautions and familiarize yourself with what they are.  Does your church implement these?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update on Lera's Adoption Fund

Great news!  Lera's adoption fund is fully funded!!  Read more about it in the edited post here:

Praise God!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is the Church doing to have a 21st Century understanding of HIV and AIDS?

Romans 8:15  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

As I've been spending time stalking following Carolyn Tweitmeyer's posts, blog, media spots, etc.  I've started wondering what it would be like to bring an HIV+ child into our little community.  What would that neighbor over there do?  How would the kids' school react? Would my family disown us? and most of all, What would happen at our church?

What is the best way to disclose that kind of information to our church body?  How many Sunday School classes would we have to do to convince our people about the truth of HIV and how it is transmitted?  How many people would leave the church once they heard that we were bringing HIV+ children into their midst?  Would everyone stop putting their child in the nursery if we put ours in there?

I'm certain that the initial reaction would be one of terror and anger that we would even consider exposing their families to this disease.  But once the truth was given to them and the fear was minimized, what really should be the reaction to the thought that HIV+ children were going to be in our church?

I've asked the same question of the Project HOPEFUL people and really look forward to reading their answer.  In the meantime, I've been brainstorming for some of the answers and here is what I've come up with so far:

* Pray that the hearts of the whole congregation would be broken for and genuinely, passionately love children with any disease, disability, brokenness or hurtful past.
* Pray for the church to be granted courage, a love for Truth, and a peace that passes understanding.
* Learn about Universal Precautions and implement them throughout the church building.
* Establish a nursery policy regarding training of workers, and implementation of Universal Precautions.
* Decide as a church body how/whether to disclose the information to visitors.

I'm sure that I'll come back to this question over and over as I learn more.  What ideas to you have?  Do you belong to a church that is already prepared for this?  How was it presented to your church body?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If you dare....

I dare you to let your heart be broken by this this morning.  I dare you to let what breaks His heart break yours.

Under the fluffy pajamas...


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Money Problem

As I mentioned before, we have been talking about adopting since before we were married.  I have a cousin who was adopted.  My husband has an adopted sister.  That sister was raped in high school and gave up the resulting little girl for adoption. We have several good friends who are adopted or have adopted. We really assumed that we would be have adopted by now.  However, here we are 19 years into our marriage with 5 children, none of whom are adopted.  The hindrance for us?  Money. How could we even consider adoption when it costs SO much money!  And I've found that as I've talked to family after family in our Church family about whether they have an interest in being part of the orphan ministry that I'm in the planning stages of, most of them have said, "Yes, we always wanted to adopt, but we didn't think we could afford it." 

Well, this just drives me crazy.  It is simply not acceptable to me that a whole church full of people otherwise open to reflecting God's heart for adoption have spurned it because of money.  So the greater part of my focus has been finding out how to overcome that obstacle. Here is a list of my discoveries for how to conquer that. 

Foster Adopt:  Did you know that it costs NOTHING to adopt out of the foster care system, except for a $250 processing fee which is later refunded to you?  Seriously.  

For all other adoptions:

Loans:  This is my least favorite option, but honestly, people get bigger loans for depreciating vehicles than they are willing to borrow to rescue a child from fatherlessness. I think that a temporary loan while you wait for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit that I am about to mention to be refunded to you is a small risk when we're talking about children's lives.

Federal Adoption Tax Credit:  This is great news!  The Federal Adoption Credit is now fully refundable in one fell swoop for adoptions expenses before the end of 2012! The current amount of the refund is up to
$13,170.00.  This article does a great job of explaining how it works, although at the time of writing it, the credit had only been extended to the end of 2011.  It's a good place to start, though.

Grants:  There are many, many organizations to whom you can apply for small grants of $2000-$3000, which may not seem like much in isolation compared to the $20-35k that adoption can cost, but getting a few such grants can make some real progress!  See Show Hope as an example of these.  This is also how most Church Adoption Funds work.  Often, these will be in the form of a matching fund, matching dollar for dollar the money that you raise from friends and family.  That can really make things add up fast.

Sales:  There are several applications to this category.  You could just start selling things around the house in a garage sale, and use the proceeds for your adoption.  You could recruit all of your family and friends to donate their 'stuff' for you to sell at a giant garage sale for the purpose.  But a new twist of selling things is selling new things.  Just Love Coffee and  Shades of Us are organizations that allow you to sell their products and use the proceeds for your adoption fund.  With Just Love Coffee, you can even set up your own website with them and people can choose individual pounds of coffee, or long-term coffee subscriptions and a monthly check will be sent to you with the money you've raised.  (As many coffee addicts as we know, this could be our best chance at this)  Shades of Us has some absolutely beautiful products that you can purchase and resell for your adoption fund.

Event Fundraising:  This can range from putting on a play, to hosting an adoption banquet (silent auction and all), to handing out baby bottles for people to fill with change.  Creativity is key to this option, and can be a lot of fun to pull together.  A lot of people would be more than happy to donate things they make to be auctioned off, or volunteer their time to pull together a fun play (think "Anne of Green Gables" or some other play about an orphan or an orphanage). 

Other fun ideas:  One idea I saw
around the blogosphere was a puzzle piece drive.   The family picked a puzzle and people sponsored a piece for $5 each.  The sponsor's name would be written on the back.  When the puzzle is complete, the family will glue it together and hang it in their adopted baby's bedroom as a testimony to all the people who had a part in their adoption.  I am sure there are a hundred variations on this idea that could be used.  

But aside from all of these ideas, there is one that is far more compelling and vital: PRAYER.  Our God is Father to the fatherless, and has written adoption into the greater gospel story.  He has commanded us to care for the fatherless and He WILL provide for his children to obey Him. I am convinced that money should not be an issue.  He is our Jehovah Jireh.  He will provide.

I hope that this gives you lots of ideas for your own adoption journey.  I know our family is excited about using all of this great information to bring more children into our family.

More Truth-Spreading from the Twietmeyers

A great new interview with Kiel and Carolyn Twietmeyer has been posted today.  More thought-provoking exhortations for the children of God.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Foster Care personal testimony

I really appreciated this post by a woman who 'aged out' of the foster care system, having never been adopted.  It is a very revealing look into the serious weaknesses in our country's system and our culture's response to it.

Rage Against the Minivan: What I Want you to know

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foster Care and the Church

I had a great meeting yesterday with one of Michigan's Project Open Arms coordinators.  It was so refreshing to sit down and talk with someone who has read all of the same things that I've read, seen all of the videos that I've watched, shares the same passion for the church's role in orphan care that I was excellent! I'm really excited about what I think we are going to be able to do as a church with Project Open Arms as a facilitator.

I thought I'd share the video that she showed me about the program with you.

There is such a need for families in Michigan, but not an insurmountable need!  If every church in Michigan found just one family willing to adopt out of the foster care system, the Body of Christ would have it covered.  And there'd still be plenty of families left to adopt internationally and domestically, too  :)

Browse through this site for awhile and you will notice two things; there are a lot of teenagers, and there are about twice as many boys as girls.  I have a lot to say about this, but I'll leave you to think about it for a little while first.  How's that for whetting your appetite to come back again?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Desperate Need: Bring Lera Home

Please visit the following blog for details.  This little girl has already been moved to a mental institution just because she has Down's Syndrome, and now the couple that is trying to adopt her has been told that they need $35,000 by the end of the month or they will not be allowed to adopt her.  There is a big giveaway going on to raise money for this urgent need.

Saving Lera: A Lera Fundraiser: "Hi...My name is Cathy. I'm going to be hijacking Diane's blog from time to time over the next couple of months to help her with some fundra..."

Third Day has a new video about adoption

Here is a new video to get our Adoption Advocate hearts singing

My House is My Mission Field....

I have wanted to be a missionary since I was 8 years old.  I went on mission trips as a young person, I went to Bible School and studied missions, I married a missions major, we lived in the Middle East for 15 months as interns....but for whatever reason, at least up until the writing of this post, God has not allowed us to go overseas permanently.  After fighting with discontentment for several years, I have finally been convicted to be 'content to fill a little space if God be glorified' and be the best missions advocate and missionary supporter that I can possibly be.

Somewhere along this journey, a Pastor told me that my house was my mission field and I should be more concerned with evangelizing the little ones running around my living room than people on the other side of the globe.  Now, I will refrain from the snarky remarks that I wanted to make then, and still consider making whenever I remember this episode, but it has actually spurred me to combine my passion for missions with another passion; adoption.  The two intermingle themselves well.  What better way to evangelize people who would never hear the gospel otherwise, than to bring them under our own roof, loving them to pieces, speaking truth with them every day, raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord!  We are pursuing adoption ourselves, and have wanted to adopt since we were first dating almost 20 years ago.  Who knows; we may not ever get to adopt either, but then I guess I'll just be the best adoption advocate and adoption supporter that I can possibly be.