Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tax Deductible Donations

We were able to set up a FIG Fund through Project Hopeful so anyone can make a Tax Deductible donation.  

Father's Day & Daddy's Birthday

When I started this blog one of the reasons was to keep up with family events so I could have something to look back on but I am not good at it so this is a catch up from Father's Day and Daddy's birthday. 

Both event's fell within a couple days of each other this year so we had a fun weekend to celebrate Josh. We got him a few new shirts and a pair of flip flops for his birthday and the girls got him a tool belt for Father's day. They had so much fun wrapping the presents they also wrapped a couple random things from the living room so he could open those too :) 
Wrapping presents (yes in Christmas paper turned inside out) 
Opening presents. 
Breakfast at our favorite restaurant 
Playing outside
Fun with daddy

We also made daddy some yummy cupcakes and homemade pizza for dinner. 
Helping clean the beaters 

I love this man whose favorite thing to do is spend time with his family and who gives so much to us everyday. He is the best husband and father and we are very blessed to call him our own. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Car Wash Results {God is bigger}

Last Saturday night I texted my friend Heather and asked "Wanna have a car wash with me next weekend? Or is that Crazy?" Well with her encouragement that's exactly what we did. My week was full of phone calls, Facebook posts, emails, and list making but it was all coming together. 
{Side note} It's obvious how much time I have had to spend making phone calls and answering messages when my house looks like it was hit by a tornado, my children and my couch are covered in markers, and when I answer the phone my daughter asks if she can have another lollipop (my distraction of choice)

So fast forward to Saturday morning - the big day! I had bombarded every person I knew or ever knew with emails, Facebook posts, and text messages and had filled the van with every possible car wash supply we could need. Josh and I loaded up and headed to our destination AKA our local Applebee's restaurant. We got close and saw people, well actually kids standing on the corner with colorful signs that read "Car Wash"...wait a second is there another car wash in the shopping center? Oh no they aren't.... yup they are set up in the Applebee's parking lot- our spot- the spot I called yesterday to confirm that yes they had our car wash written down.... I pull in and immediately told the first person I saw, "Wait we were suppose to be having a car wash here, I called, they scheduled it... and the mom of one of the cute little boys baseball players said oh we scheduled this weeks ago... ahem. So while I start crying...like really crying.... in the Applebee's parking lot surrounded by young boys and there parents.. Josh is trying to find the manager and figure out what mistake had been made. Then I make my way over to them and bawling I ask the manager {whom was the one I talked to on the phone Tues about setting up our car wash} what we were suppose to do now? He said, well I have another water spic-it in the back of the restaurant and we could set up back there. So, still crying we go to the back and start unloading. Our friends show up and help me stop crying and I finally get over myself a little and realize...Gods still sovereign and this is not a surprise to him. I have friends help spread the word that we are in the back and to look for us and we get ready to wash some cars. Well if you know anything about the awesomeness of God it wont surprise you that He totally showed up and knocked our socks off. 

I can't even express how touched we are by our friends and family that stepped up and helped. At times we were washing 4 cars at a time and had friends stand for hours out on the corner with signs {this is Arizona people, it's like 110!} to help get people to OUR car wash {despite being cute some of those little base ball players were sneaky, making a human chain to try and get cars to go to their sale} We had so many friends and family come out to support us and so many strangers stop by to show their support too. We had some friends who gave very sacrificially and we were humbled by their gifts. 
Mommy and daddy <3
Lot's of help!
We even had some old friends stop by and ended up picking up sponges to help!

Our sweet adoptive mom friend Leah came out with her kiddos and Ben was very fond of the hose!

We even sold some more beads!
The kids all really liked the hose, the adults were all very wet ;)

The kids helping Josh cool off a bit
So despite things not going as we had planned God was still bigger than our measly circumstances. I mean how easily we forget He has healed the blind, raised the dead, and created everything we know out of nothing.... What's a little car wash competition to Him any how? and without further delay the results........



I think this song best describes what I am feeling. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Car Wash

 If you are local PLEASE come out to our car wash this Saturday and support our efforts to bring our little guy home. If you are not local but still would like to support us you can donate easily with the pay pal button on the top left of this page! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big News

So I know I have been pretty quiet on the adoption front recently and it's been mostly because plans that we were hoping for fell though and we have felt like we were back at square one. So let me recap a little:

When we returned home from our trip last September, one {special} little boy that we met and cared for during our trip was weighing heavily on our hearts. Through prayer, we decided to pursue adopting him but after about 7 months into the process his caregiver felt that our family dynamic was not the best fit for his specific needs. This was something that was hard for us because we had grown to love him and prayed for him often as a family, but we were able to be at peace and trust God with his plan in it. We were so thankful to be a part of his story and we will continue to love him, pray for him, and look forward to seeing him again when we are in Uganda.

After this door closed we felt like we were a little lost as to what to do. We started praying specifically for direction with our adoption and we sent an email to the other orphanage we had established a relationship with in Uganda but we learned our contact there was on leave until the end of the summer. We prepared ourselves that it could be months before we got word on which way to proceed and started praying about domestic adoption again and hoped God would show us which way He wanted us to go. Then after only about 2 weeks a door opened unexpectedly and here we are. From a dear friend we learned of an adoption agency that was looking for a family for a little boy who is living in an orphanage in Uganda. He is about 16 months old, is HIV+, and desperately needs a family. When we heard this we immediately knew it was an answer to prayer and we knew we are meant to be his family. When we felt God calling us to adopt from Africa we wanted to meet a need and provide a family for a child who would otherwise not be adopted due to their special needs, health concerns, or age. A friend encouraged us early on in this process to open our minds and hearts to the possibility of adopting a child who was HIV+ and as we did research on what this would look like for our family we quickly realized that our views of this condition were very outdated and incorrect. In the day we live in a child with HIV that has the opportunity to receive good medical care and a healthy diet can be expected to live a long, healthy life and have every opportunity as anyone else. Check out Project Hopeful on more information, we also welcome ANY questions or concerns from family and friends. 

So what does this mean exactly? Well first we will be switching from Independent Adoption to working with an agency which increases our costs significantly and because of his health needs and that he needs to be in a family ASAP things may go more quickly than we expected {Lord willing}. Just a week ago we thought it could be months before we knew the direction God wanted us to go and now we need the first half our adoption costs {half is approximately 8-10k} in the next 2 weeks and we could be traveling in a few months!  

That's where we are asking our friends and family and even strangers with a heart for the orphaned to step up and support us. We need some BIG prayer warriors and straight up we need some big funds to make this happen. We are cancelling our summer vacation, cashing out our pension plans (will take about 6 weeks), filling our grant applications (many take more time to get than time we have) planning a car wash (this Saturday!), selling more magazine beads, sending out support letters, and making plans for some kind of big raffle! Please pray and seek God on how you can be apart of bringing our son home to his family. 

Thank you, 
Christen and Josh

I can't help but think of this video message by Eric Ludy because this is how I feel. Desperate to get to our son who has never known the love and care of a family and I am humbly asking for your help .

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finally Her Turn {Giveaway link}

During our time in Africa I had the privilege of meeting a special little girl. I had heard about her through friends in the blog world and her story broke my heart. This little one had been waiting a very long time for a family of her own. One of the evenings we were at her orphanage during the bath/bedtime rush and I had the privilege of helping sweet Esther get ready for bed. After getting her dressed, my heart broke when I had to carry her to her crib and lay her down. I so wanted to be able to sit with her in a rocking chair and read her a story like I did my girls at home but there was never even time for that with many more little ones waiting to be put to bed too. So I prayed over her and told her that her mommy was coming soon. At that time there was a family whom everyone thought was hers but that door ended up closing but praise be to God He had a plan for her all along and finally her family has found her.  
A truly amazing family has come forward and this little girl now has a mommy, daddy and 15 brothers and sisters. Yes I said 15! Esther will be the 16th child in this special family that is obviously so full of love. In the short time Esther has spent with her new mommy and daddy she has already blossomed SO much. Within the first few days Esther said the word mama {she was was thought to be pretty much non-verbal} and she has been smiling! It's been amazing to see pictures and see her face just lit up. 

Now with the help from Project Hopeful, there is a place to donate and help bring this little girl home to her family ASAP. Amazingly everything has been able to be expedited due to her health needs and her family is heading back for court in 2 short weeks! They need others to step up and come along side them and help to come up with the funds for fees and travel expenses. A wonderful fellow adoptive mommy named Love is having a BIG giveaway to help encourage others to get involved with supporting this family. So go ahead and check out the awesome prizes and get in on the fun by giving and sharing with your friends!