Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Both Hands Project

What a great day we had on Saturday! We had about 15 people helping us make a difference for Louise.  Some of things include: cleaned bathroom, kitchen, repaired undersink pipes and garbage disposal, weed removal and gardening, cleaned patio, changed outdoor light fixture, vacuumed, cleaned windows, painted two stairways, trash removal and disposal, photography and videography.  Phew!  It was a really hot day and our volunteers really pushed through despite the heat.


(sorry for the way we look and sound during the interview-
 it was the end of the work day and we were, well, pretty wiped out!)

At the end of the day, we were able to share some pizza and grapes with Louise and when she bowed her head in prayer to thank Jesus for her food out loud, my eyes welled up with tears.  This is a woman who has served the Lord as a missionary for 50 years in Asia.  She is beginning to experience dementia. She is alone- but she has her Heavenly Father looking down on her.  He has not forgotten her.  I am so humbled that the Lord has seen Louise and said, "You know, my daughter needs some help.  Let's get the Zuzunaga Family and their friends over there and shower her with some love."

It's another moment for me of awe at our amazing God.  My message to you is this: if you want to be blessed  and inspired and in awe by what God can do in your life, say yes to God.  We are not special people or amazing people.  We only said yes to God.  We had no idea that God would use our adoption process to reach out and bless this dear servant of God.

If you have thought about donating to help bring Maria home and haven't yet done so, I'm urging you to please send it in soon.  We should be going to court in about 5 weeks and we still need around $15,000 more to fully fund our adoption.  We thank and praise God for those of you who have already given and sacrificed on Maria's behalf.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The BIG one!

This week we are putting the final preparations together for our BIG project!



On Saturday, a team of volunteers will be going with us to help Louise, an elderly woman, with some home repairs.  She is in need of a new garbage disposal, cleaning her kitchen and windows, carpet, repainting her porch and yard work.

In the last couple of weeks, these volunteers have been sending out support letters to their family and friends for the work they will be doing on Saturday.  God has blessed us so much by sending along these awesome friends!

You may or may not have received one of these letters.  :)

Will you consider being a part of God's story?  He, after all, has orchestrated this whole concert and we are but the instruments.

We need your help to bring Maria home- we still need to raise close to $20,000.  Please pray about supporting our adoption and we pray that your gift will also be a blessing to you.

Look at both of their faces!

You can read our letter and learn more about our project at the Both Hands project website.

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Well that was fast!

I didn't exactly expect to receive one $100 donation for the eBook Good Grief!  So Timothy, you won the Starbucks card too!

Just in case any of you were thinking about donating and didn't yet get a chance, I'm going to say that for our next $200 in donations for the eBook, I will throw in another Starbucks card for $20!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is the fundraiser info about the eBook Good Grief! that you missed:




A couple of months ago, I posted about an eBook that my friend from high school Erica McNeal wrote.  She was offering to donate the sales of her new book to raise funds for two adoptive families and a friend fighting cancer.  Well, she contacted me and offered the same deal for our adoption!

So this is how it will work: We are offering the eBook Good Grief! for a donation of $15 or more- 100% of the proceeds go to bring home Maria!  We still have a LOT more money to raise- about $20,000- but trust in God's faithfulness!  Please help us get her home!!!!

Will you consider purchasing this book?  I  already have and it was a huge blessing to me.  What an amazing journey Erica has been on!  The trials she has experienced in her young life are unimaginable- yet God in His mercy has brought Erica through,  in order to proclaim His glory!  She is also an adoptive mommy and has endured cancer and child loss.

What some have said about Good Grief!:


“I survived cancer.  Sometimes I wondered if I would survive the comments of people who meant to be helpful.  It is difficult to know what to say or do when others are experiencing life’s disappointments.  This book will help you be a true friend to someone facing difficulty.”  Diane Davis – CFO of Ken Davis Productions

“Although the Lord promises in His Word we will encounter trials in this life, nothing could have prepared me for the day I found my sweet baby lifeless in his crib. ‘Good Grief’ gives people who have experienced loss permission to grieve, while clinging to the hope we have in Christ, the only One who can restore and heal a broken heart. When often no one has a clue what to do to help, ’Good Grief’ provides ideas for meeting real and immediate needs to those who surround the hurting.”  Jen Rumley, Mom to Tyler and 2 babies snuggling with Jesus

“Good Grief! is a book that must be read!  It comes straight from the heart and deals with the reality of pain and grief- but in a way that leads to hope and healing.  It is a must for anyone looking for hope and meaning in our fallen world.”  Dr. Doug Munton, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, O’Fallon, IL

And in order to make this a little more exciting: For the next $200 donated, a prize will be offered to one of the donors chosen randomly: A $20 Starbucks gift card! 


See, that's a pretty good deal- you'd be getting your $15 back (and more) and can enjoy a Frappuccino and a little treat along with this great book!

If you're ready to purchase Good Grief! (It's PDF- downloadable to your computer), please donate through the Good Grief- Get Maria Home! blue ChipIn. Your donation is tax-deductible and will go directly to our Reece's Rainbow grant fund for our sweet Maria.



THANK YOU!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unbelievable


I read today about another adoptive family's journey to get their daughter.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I saw this emaciated, starving child.



For no other reason than because the child has special needs and they don't care enough to give her love and enough care.  It is because of stories like this, that God stirred our hearts to action.  When my husband saw this photo he said, "That's the work of Satan."  So what are we going to do, Church?  Well, I know I must keep on fighting for what is right.



Did I mention little Katie is 9 YEARS OLD!!!!!!

This is my 9 year old- all 81 pounds of her!                      

Does this not make you sick to your stomach? Does this not bring you to your knees, asking the Lord for mercy?  Are you putting on your armor for the Lord's battle?  Because it's already raging; we just need to decide if we are going to be a part of His army, or not.

To read more about Katie and her parents who are trying to save her life, visit their blog.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Good Grief!



A couple of months ago, I posted about an eBook that my friend from high school Erica McNeal wrote.  She was offering to donate the sales of her new book to raise funds for two adoptive families and a friend fighting cancer.  Well, she contacted me and offered the same deal for our adoption!

So this is how it will work: We are offering the eBook Good Grief! for a donation of $15 or more- 100% of the proceeds go to bring home Maria!  We still have a LOT more money to raise- about $20,000- but trust in God's faithfulness!  Please help us get her home!!!!

Will you consider purchasing this book?  I  already have and it was a huge blessing to me.  What an amazing journey Erica has been on!  The trials she has experienced in her young life are unimaginable- yet God in His mercy has brought Erica through,  in order to proclaim His glory!  She is also an adoptive mommy and has endured cancer and child loss.

What some have said about Good Grief!:

“I survived cancer.  Sometimes I wondered if I would survive the comments of people who meant to be helpful.  It is difficult to know what to say or do when others are experiencing life’s disappointments.  This book will help you be a true friend to someone facing difficulty.”  Diane Davis – CFO of Ken Davis Productions

“Although the Lord promises in His Word we will encounter trials in this life, nothing could have prepared me for the day I found my sweet baby lifeless in his crib. ‘Good Grief’ gives people who have experienced loss permission to grieve, while clinging to the hope we have in Christ, the only One who can restore and heal a broken heart. When often no one has a clue what to do to help, ’Good Grief’ provides ideas for meeting real and immediate needs to those who surround the hurting.”  Jen Rumley, Mom to Tyler and 2 babies snuggling with Jesus

“Good Grief! is a book that must be read!  It comes straight from the heart and deals with the reality of pain and grief- but in a way that leads to hope and healing.  It is a must for anyone looking for hope and meaning in our fallen world.”  Dr. Doug Munton, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, O’Fallon, IL

And in order to make this a little more exciting: For the first $100 donated, a prize will be offered to one of the donors chosen randomly: A $15 Starbucks gift card! 



See, that's a pretty good deal- you'd be getting your $15 back and can enjoy a Frappuccino and a little treat along with this great book!

If you're ready to purchase Good Grief! (It's PDF- downloadable to your computer), please donate through the Good Grief- Get Maria Home! blue ChipIn. Your donation is tax-deductible and will go directly to our Reece's Rainbow grant fund for our sweet Maria.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest post by my daughter- SO CUTE!

SO CUTE
                     
                        Maria is SO big and so smart and most of all so cute! She will make are family so different(In a good way.). She loved the iPad a lot.  

      Maria and the iPad

   Maria! Maria! Maria! I can’t get her name out of my mind. It is a beautiful name for a beautiful girl .So cute .  I think she is so beautiful.
                         
Maria loves to laugh .And it is so cute! It is indescribable .Well I could show you.

video

She is so cute with her glasses and all. We even got a very cute bathing suit and some outfits. She is like my little sister when she does not get what she wants, TANTRUM!!
                      But she is so sweet!  And she has a lot of flexibility too!    

 The splits!


Mom Dad & Maria                                                                   


  Maria is so beautiful

I can’t wait for her to come home! And she L-O-V-E-S art a lot and she is good at it too!  I got her one of those magnetic drawing boards and she would not let go of it. I’ll show some art that she did.

 Maria’s sun

  Maria’s leaf
                                                
 Maria’s flower
                           
 Maria’s sunflower

 Maria and drawing board

  She is so cute and I can’t wait to meet her!

(P.S. My 9 year old daughter begged me to let her write a blog post and I did not edit any of it.  In fact, I read it for the first time while posting it. This is a child who is sharing her beautiful, beautiful soul.  I love this girl so much- child of my heart!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pardon our dust...

I am trying to change the look of our blog and I'm not very good at it.  Called in backup, so we can get going.  I've got three great blog posts waiting (maybe four) and two fundraisers... stay tuned!  In the meantime, I leave you with this:


video



HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wind of Change

Since we've been home, we've been busy doing laundry (I finally unpacked, but haven't hung up my clean clothes yet!), spending time at the pool and beach (before summer ends) and trying to get our last documents finalized for court. Oh, and trying to organize our last fundraisers (how could I forget)!

But I won't post about that this time.  I wanted to share some more about our experience in Maria's country.  We actually really loved it.  If I hear anyone speaking the language I immediately tell my husband.  Not that I understand it, but now I RECOGNIZE it- which, trust me, is an improvement.  Yesterday we were in Costco and I heard a couple speaking and I so wished I could go over and talk to them and let them know we were adopting and I had just come back from their country, but I didn't.  They probably spoke English, but I just thought they might think I'm weird.

Anyway, from our experience, they love music in this country.  We brought CD's from my husband's band as gifts for everyone and they loved them.  We spent a LOT of time in the car with our driver and on the last day as we were driving away from the orphanage this song was on the radio:



I didn't think much about it, except that I hadn't heard it in a really long time, but it was a song I heard a lot when I was around the Jr. High age. You know how a song will remind you of a place in your life- that was this song.  For several days, I couldn't get it out of my head.

This song has a lot of significance in it. First it was written about the end of the cold war era and references places in Maria's country. Second it talks about changes. We realize that, now more than ever, our life is going to change.  And we're ok with it.  We have been preparing ourselves with information and resources to help us parent a child who is adopted and has Down syndrome.  Also throw into the mix that she is not an infant, but an older child, independent and verbal (and strong!)  We are not naive to all of this- but we are fully confident that God has called us to this and His grace is sufficient.

I am missing Maria now.  I am not worried, or anxious though, because she is being taken care of.  Just missing her and hopeful about bringing her home soon!