Friday, November 29, 2013

The Ultimate Giveaway

Our dossier will soon be on it's way to China! We are one step closer to bringing Henry and Elliette home where they belong.

Here is your chance to participate in an incredible giveaway filled with incredible prizes, including a Disney vacation with tickets to Disney World!!!

You have the opportunity to win some INCREDIBLE prizes, great for Christmas, while at the same time helping two orphans home to their family!

Here is how it will work.....

Ways to earn entries....

Donate to our donate button on the right hand side of our blog under Ultimate Giveaway:
  • $10 for 2 entries
  • $20 for 5 entries
  • $50 for 12 entries
  • $100 for 30 entries
You can also receive entries by sharing this giveaway. You can share as many times as you would like. Each share earns you a free entry.

Now, this is a tiered giveaway.....meaning that we will be drawing for prizes several times during the giveaway. Each time we meet the donation amount required for the prize, we will draw a name randomly using

The earlier you start participating, the more chances you will have to win. All entries carry over to the next prize....even if you win an earlier prize!!!

Now, for the list of prizes....

  • Once we reach $500 in donations, we will draw for a $50 Visa Gift Card - WINNER Andrea Harrison!! 

  • Once we reach $750 in donations, we will draw for another $50 Visa Gift Card - WINNER Annie Trenda!!!

    • Once we reach $1000 in donations, we will draw for winner's choice of any American Girl doll on OR a $100 Visa Gift Card - WINNER Melissa Tannehil!!!!!


    •  Once we reach $2000 in donations, we will draw for an IPad mini - WINNER Stori Wann!!!

    • Once we reach $3000 in donations, we will draw for another IPad mini.

    • Once we reach $5,000 in donations, we will draw for the GRAND PRIZE, which includes 4 tickets to Walt Disney World, and a 2 night stay in a 3 bedroom condo in Windsor Hills!!!!!  The condo is just 2 miles from Disney (timing of the two days is to be worked out with the owner).

    The Windsor Hills Resort includes a double olympic size zero entry lagoon style pool, with a water slide, fountains, and hot tub.

    The resort also features a 48 seat movie theatre with HD surround sound, tennis courts, basketball, giant chess, a castle playground, and other amenities.

    Please help us bring home our two incredible children, while at the same time, being entered to win some incredible prizes!

    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Peppermint Bark with a Purpose

    All orders for Peppermint Bark have now been shipped out, and we are no longer taking any more orders. Thank you all for your support!

    My wonderful aunt and cousin have teamed up with us to help us bring Henry and Elliette home.

    We will be selling some delicious homemade peppermint bark in beautiful Christmas tins. These will be great for gifts during the holiday and Christmas season. But, once you taste it, you may just want to keep some for yourself.

    We currently have 3 delicious flavor options, and we will be coming out with more in the future.

     Our first, and favorite flavor, is Oreo Peppermint Bark. Our Oreo Peppermint Bark starts with a delicious bottom layer of milk chocolate. Followed by a yummy layer of Oreos, and topped with a layer of Peppermint and White Chocolate. It is DELICIOUS.

    We also have Milk Chocolate Peppermint Bark and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark available.

     We will be selling them for $20 per tin, which includes shipping anywhere in the United States. We have a few different Christmas tin options, as well.

    Come and buy some yummy Peppermint Bark while helping us bring Henry and Elliette home.

    You can pay for your Peppermint Bark through the top right button here on this blog.

    Thank you for helping us bring Henry and Elliette home where they belong. This will be their last Christmas as orphans.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    My Incredible Daddy

    October 23rd will be a very special day in this house from here on out.

    October 23rd is the day that my Daddy will be getting his bone marrow transplant.

    October 23rd is the start of MANY more years here on this earth with my Daddy.

    Out of his five siblings that were tested, only one was a match....only one. But, we only needed one match for a transplant, and one of his sisters is a PERFECT match - Thank You God!!!

    My Dad will be in the hospital for a month, and then they will have to live close to the hospital for months after that. My mom will be his full time caregiver, while my sister and I help her out.

    He will not be allowed to have his grandchildren visit him during that time.

    While that may be easy for many people, it will be incredibly hard for my Dad and for us, as my parents are actively involved in their lives on a daily basis.

    My Daddy is the BEST Dad a girl could ever have. I have always had a great relationship with him. Growing up, I could tell him anything. He loves to be with his family, and will do everything he can to make sure that we are protected.

    In fact, last year, in the middle of chemo cycles, he flew with Abi, Koah, and me to Ukraine. He braved the 16 hour train ride...twice. He stayed with the kids and me for two weeks. He was there as we met Ryder and Max....

    And, the only reason that he only stayed two weeks was because he had to get back for platelet transfusions and chemo.

    My Dad is not just the BEST Dad, but he is also an INCREDIBLE man. He didn't just tell me what to do growing up, but he led by example. My Dad continues to teach me, as well as my children, what it means to be faithful to God and to your family, about thinking of others before yourself, about having a giving heart, about loving God and loving others with your whole heart, about never giving up on others or on life, about being a person of integrity, and about putting your faith in God.

    I would not be where I am today, without the incredible gift of my mom and dad. I am so thankful that God chose them to be my parents. I honestly do have the BEST parents EVER! They are the most giving, supportive, and selfless people I have ever met.

    And, although this journey may be hard for a season, and the separation from family during the transplant will be difficult, we know that God will be right there giving us the strength and sustaining us. And it will be WORTH it when we are all living life together again with my Dad full of life and healthy!

    Today, marks the day of a new, and wonderful start in life for our family. We know that God can reach down and heal my dad with a single touch, and we also know that He sometimes uses doctors and medicine to heal. We are so thankful for whichever way He chooses to give my Dad many, many, many more years here with us.

    Please, I am begging you to, pray for my Daddy. Sometimes, a bone marrow transplant can be a complete cure for the particular type of cancer that he has been diagnosed with. We are believing God, that it will not just put him into remission, but it WILL be a complete and successful CURE for my Daddy from here on out.

    Thank You God, that You will bring my Daddy through this transplant better and stronger than ever, and that you will give him a long and healthy life here on this earth.

    Thank you all for praying for my Daddy!

    Bless the Lord, O my soul;
    And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:Who forgives all your iniquities,Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
    Psalm 103:1-5

    With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
    Psalm 91:16

    It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. 
    Proverbs 3:8

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Finding Henry

    On this day, 3 years ago, a beautiful boy entered this world....a boy who would later be given the name Henry. He entered this world just 13 days before our son, Isaac was born. This year, both of these boys would be turning 3. This year, they are together in heaven celebrating Henry's birthday. Both boys were loved more than life itself. Both boys were desperately wanted. They were treasured sons and adored little brothers. But, both boys did not have the same start in life. While Isaac was born into our family, Henry did not find his family until he was almost 11 months old. But once Henry was chosen, once he found his family, he had their hearts forever. Both Henry and Isaac are missed with every breath that we take. There is a deep, and indescribable pain from being separated from our boys, but there is also a deep and indescribable joy that we feel over the privilege of having them as our sons. They changed our lives forever. You cannot love incredible children like Henry and Isaac without being changed to the very core. They have blessed us beyond comprehension. And, we will never be the same because they lived on this earth. And, I believe with all of my heart, that God is still using their legacy to bring about change in this world.

    When Henry left this world for heaven, the adoption community rallied around another little orphan with Down Syndrome looking for his forever family.

    People donated to his account in memory of the Henry that everyone had grown to love. They donated so that little Henry could find his family, too. They donated so that one day he would be chosen and loved more than life itself.

    And God was at work creating beauty through the through the pain.

    Isaac and Henry have not been forgotten. They will not be forgotten. They are still changing hearts and lives.

    Loving Isaac, my son that I knew could leave my arms at any time, was life altering. I could never even begin to explain the incredible and immense love I have for him. He changed me forever and taught me how to love deeper than I ever thought possible. He taught me so much in his short life. He taught me to fight for those you love with everything you love even when your heart is being ripped out. He taught me to do hard things. He taught me that every second never take life for granted. He taught me that faith is trusting God even when you don't understand. And he brought me closer to God than I have ever been in my life.

    He taught me that every child is worth fighting for.....every child deserves a chance at life!

    He taught me the meaning of true love, true faith, and true strength.

    Because of the gift of Isaac, his big brother is still with us. When Isaac was born with a very severe heart defect, we had his brother's and sister's hearts checked.....and that is when Koah's heart defect was found and repaired via heart surgery when he was 7 1/2 years old. God used Isaac to save his brother's life.

    Because of Isaac, we flew to Ukraine to adopt our incredible son, Ryder...a son who brings so much joy to our family!


    Because of Isaac, we didn't turn away when we saw Max in the orphanage. We didn't turn away when we saw how sick he was. We didn't turn away when we saw how blue he was. We didn't turn away when we learned of his complex heart defect, because we knew....we knew that leaving him would have been like leaving Isaac. And, that is something we would have never done. We fought for Isaac until he took his last breath, and we knew that Max deserved that same chance at life.

    Because of Isaac, Abi is going to have the sister that she has been praying for. We knew that we could open our hearts up to one another child with special our 13 year old daughter in China.

    I could write endlessly about the changes that Isaac has made in our family and in those who knew him. I can honestly never live up to the incredible person that Isaac was. I am just so incredibly thankful that God gave me the privilege of calling him my son.

    Well, once again, God has been using Henry and Isaac to change hearts and lives. But this time, it caught me by surprise. On this journey to our daughter Elliette, we were convinced that we were just going to be bringing HER home...only one this time. And we honestly believed that with all of our hearts.

    That is...... until I felt a whisper in my heart.

    A whisper that said....

    There is another one out there for you.....there is another son out there waiting for you.

    There can't be....because we are only adopting Elliette this time. We aren't adopting two, remember God? But, I knew it was true. I felt it with all of my heart. And I knew I needed to listen to that still small voice. I needed to listen to what was being put on my heart. I knew that I needed to trust Him.

    My prayer was that if there truly was another child out there for us, then I really needed God to show me the exact child He was calling us to make our son.

    There were several children that I thought would be good choices for God to pick from, but, I wanted with all of my heart for Him to show us our son...whoever he was. The song "Let Me Find It" became my heart's song. Whenever it came on, I would break down in tears. I wanted so desperately what He wanted for us, but I needed Him to show us what that was.

    And, He answered that prayer. One day, a couple months ago, out of nowhere, God used Isaac and Henry to again change our hearts and lives. It was almost as if God was shouting our son's name to me through them.

    and that is when I found him.....

    that is when I found Henry....

    Our Henry!

    Our son Henry!

    The son God specifically led us to....

    a beautiful son who was not even on my list of choices for God to pick from..... 

    One of the children that I least expected.

    In fact, I thought he was in a completely different country, on the other side of the world. But, God knew....

    He knew he was in the same country with our daughter Elliette.

    He knew that He was meant to be ours.

    He knew He was calling us to him.

    He knew that He was going to once again create beauty through the pain.

    He knew that Henry's long wait for a family would be ending soon.

    Maybe one day I will share the story of how He specifically led us to Henry, but trust me when I say that it was a beautiful story that could have only been written by the God who knew Henry's name long before we ever did. 

    Henry has been listed as available for adoption since he was a baby. The picture of him in his file is over 4 years old. Our Henry will be 5 years old in November.

    Our Henry has been passed over time and time again.

    Our Henry has been discarded as unwanted.

    His worth has been stripped from him.

    But, now, our Henry has been found.

    He has been CHOSEN. 

    He is desperately WANTED!

    He is worth it all!

    And we were led to him by God through Isaac and Henry.

    If you are wondering about Henry's family....the Henry who led us to our Henry....

    God is creating beauty through their through their pain....

    They are in the process of adopting three INCREDIBLE children from Eastern Europe, and they are very close to travel. Please consider helping them out here.....

    God is once again creating a beautiful story of love and redemption. And, in His story, LOVE ALWAYS WINS!