Monday, September 26, 2011

Benefit Concert Update

Our benefit concert on Friday was amazing! We had around 100 people come and over $2000 in donations.  We felt so blessed that night and were so happy to enjoy the great music and share our adoption story.

We know that God has such a beautiful purpose for Maria's life and we are the lucky ones to be chosen to be her mama and papa.

Here are some photos of the night courtesy of our friend and neighbor Shawn Dollar-

Love this handsome guy!

At the end of the concert we shared a video of our adoption journey made by my friend Mia (thank you!):

We are getting so close and we want to thank all of you for your help to get Maria home to her family! We are still around $5000 away from our goal- amazing progress! I will be making Key Lime Pies this week and on so if you want to order one- let me know!

We received an update on our case on Friday saying that our adoption facilitator will meet with the judge on October 3rd.  Please pray we get a court date! We are hoping the judge doesn't ask us to get a bazillion more documents to have notarized and apostilled.  And we also received a new photo of Maria taken recently. Her hair is getting longer and she is all dolled up! This one is going in a frame!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Maria's birthday

Yesterday was Maria's 4th birthday.  We decided to celebrate it alongside our 3 year old's birthday too.  We are really missing Maria and wonder if she got some cake or gifts.  I doubt it.  They may have given her some chocolate though.  We saw one of the nannies stuff a big chocolate in her mouth (only her, none of the other kids), one day during outside playtime.  

Here are some photos from our day:

Swimming makes them really hungry
 Special request: Ariel cake with strawberry filling

 My 3 year old picked the backpack out for Maria

 At our pool, we wear bathing suits! (at the orphanage, they were in their birthday suits)

 Love her new quilt for her bed-flowers and butterflies and polka dots! (and love Target clearances)

We are getting so close to our funding goals! Thank you for your support- when everyone helps, it really does make a big difference!  

Reminder about our concert this Friday night! My husband's Peruvian band, La Semilla will be playing and we will be sharing a video about our adoption journey.  Can't wait!

We also can't wait to bring Maria home- this is her last birthday without a family!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thank you Jesus!

We had a very capable news reporter, Lara Cooper, write a very nice article about our adoption of Maria.  You can read it here:

I knew there would be some hateful/hurtful comments and prayed that the Lord would guard my heart.  Sometimes it is not even worth it to engage the people who say cruel things, because they only want to hear their own voice.  But it does bother me that they try to influence others with their WRONG and hateful beliefs.

On a very GOOD note, however, we were able to MEET the matching grant challenge and then some!  We raised over $2200 yesterday and will receive the other $1000 shortly, a daily record for our adoption fund! Yay Jesus! All of it is because of Him and what we could not do, but He has done!

I was at an Orphan Sunday meeting last night and I loved what one man prayed: "Jesus help us as we battle Satan every day and to claim the victory that we have because of your death on the cross."


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Matching Grant

Today we received news of a matching grant offered to us! They will match dollar for dollar all donations up to $1000.  That will make us $2000 closer to our Maria!  And your donation will be doubled! You can donate by clicking on the Reece's Rainbow donation link to the right.   Please consider helping Maria- she appreciates it!

Please keep us in your prayers too! We still have not heard back on a court date and it might be later than we were hoping :(  There are so many ups and downs in the adoption process. There are always more documents to be notarized and apostilled, more unforeseen costs, more delays, more of our hearts aching to have our daughter home with us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Repentance and a Concert

These last two weeks have been pretty rough.  A friend of mine asked me last week, "Please tell me this is the hardest year of your life." "Yes" was my immediate response.

Looking back on that statement, however, I don't know if I can say that.  "Hard" is such a relative term.   I've been through "hard" things, but they aren't all been the same.  "Going through the fire" would probably be a more accurate term.  And I love that as we go through the fire, God is purifying and molding us more and more into who He wants us to become.

God is so gracious.  I cried a lot these last weeks.  I whined a lot.  I grumbled a lot.  I was really frustrated.  I was really tired.  I just didn't know what else to do.

Aha! That was the key!  I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit was able to gently rebuke me and draw me to Christ.  I cannot keep my heart in the right place, I cannot keep my faith strong- my flesh cannot!  Satan knows my weaknesses and he exposes them.  This is a spiritual battle, friends!  Christ alone can change my heart, can keep me strong and can encourage me!

Two verses that helped bring me to repentance are:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philipians 4:6-7

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:5

In fact, I would encourage you to read all of Romans 8!  Wow, what a treasure trove of blessings and promises!

I thank God for those of you who have supported us financially and prayerfully!  We cannot do this alone and you are such a blessing to us!

Now, for the exciting part!

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
6:30 PM



(Of course, I have a really awesome poster that I can't figure out how to upload to the blog...)

We are super excited about this upcoming concert! My husband's band will be reuniting after 10 years and it is going to be an amazing night!  We also will be sharing about what God has been doing through our adoption process.  I can't wait to be able to share Maria's story with our church!

Please pray for this event as it will be our last fundraiser before we travel.  
Also pray that more families will sense God's call to adopt.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Behold, God is my Helper

But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  Exodus 17:12

We did not decide to adopt because we really needed a child.  Or because we wanted another girl.  Or because we thought we would love to have a child with Down syndrome.   What happened is this:  We chose to obey.  God stirred our hearts for the orphan, he put a burning in us to act and He spoke to us.  When we saw the photo of Maria and read her story, we knew He was calling us to be her family!

In the book of Exodus we read about Amalek’s attack on Israel when Moses had led them out of Egypt and they were in the wilderness.  As long as Moses lifted up his rod, Israel would win.  But if he got tired and put his arms down, Amalek would start to gain ground. 

Now if you’ve read the beginning of the story, you know Moses did not think he could do what God was asking him to do.  But God insisted that he was the one he had chosen to fulfill his plans.  And God promised to help Moses.  So when Moses was so exhausted that he could no longer hold his arms up, Aaron and Hur were there to grab his arms and hold them up for him.  I’m sure Moses wanted to rest, but his friends couldn't let their people be defeated.  They had to press on and do what God was requiring of them to fulfill His plans.  

Like Moses, I am weak and I do get tired.  But I am 100% sure I am doing exactly what God has asked of me.  100%!!!  Thank you for supporting my arms on the days when I feel my hands falling.  We have faith in God’s promise and we will continue to do everything we can, with the Lord’s help, to bring Maria home. 

Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.  Psalm 54:4

We still need around $11,000 and are expecting a court date the first week of October.  If you would like to support us, you can donate through the Reece's Rainbow link on the right. Thank you!