Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Not Our Story

We have been so incredibly blessed over the last two weeks. If you've been keeping up with our blog, you've probably noticed that our thermometer has jumped $7,000 since the last post, putting us almost at the half-way mark for our just two short months, we've raised a whopping $11,581. Isn't that amazing!?! It's miraculous! God is SO GOOD!! When he wants something to happen, you better believe it's going to happen! Just say "yes" and let him do the rest!

Most of this increase is from a fundraiser that my parents and siblings have decided to hold at their church in Hoover, AL, Prince of Peace Catholic Church (The church we belonged to before we moved. The church where we were married). Dad is making his delicious muffaletta's and his soon to be famous hummus. It's famous in our family already. Best hummus I've ever had. So Todd and I attended all the masses (ehem! FIVE masses) this past weekend. We spoke after each mass to tell "our" story and to kick-off the fundraiser (well, we only ended up getting to speak at four of the masses. We didn't get to speak at the Saturday evening mass. Long story. But four was plenty!) We took pre-orders after each mass. To say it was successful would be an understatement. When we left Sunday night, we had already raised $4100. And they're taking orders next weekend after each mass, too! Boy, my dad's going to be busy cooking in a couple of weeks.

And just in a week's time, another $2500 has come in (a $500 donation from the Knights of Columbus at Prince of Peace, a check for $1000 from a couple who was moved by "our" story at church...complete strangers! Angels, if you ask me, and two $500 checks from family members, angels, also!). After each mass, people came up to us and told us how great "our" story is. It felt a little awkward saying, "thank you". And after I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that the reason is because it's not OUR story. God is the author. He is the one writing this beautiful story. We are simply the main characters; going where he leads. If God is calling you to do something, GO! No excuses. He will provide you with everything you need. He will make miracles happen to show his power. Let him work through you. We are so blessed to have this opportunity and to witness first-hand his almighty power!

"With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts, boast about this: that he understands and knows me, than I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on Earth, for in these I delight." (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

"But let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord" (2 Corinthians 10:17)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Mayor's Granola Update

So, I mentioned before that Todd's cousin and her kids decided to do a fundraiser for us selling homemade granola. Well, we received the money from the fundraiser last week and they raised $500! We are feeling pretty blessed right now!! God is good! Thanks so much, Josh, Dava, and kids!! We love y'all!!

Art Attic Fundraiser

In the beginning, I had the idea to do a "paint party" night as a fund raiser and asked one of my friends who is an art teacher to teach it. Next, we needed to find a space. I was in the process of trying to get permission to hold it at our church, when I realized I would also need a ton of brushes and easels. So, I thought, "why not contact all the local art studios who hold classes like this and see about borrowing brushes and easels". I sent out emails to several local studios, really not expecting to hear back from anyone. Shannon Haas, from the Art Attic, called me the next day! After talking to her, she agreed to let us use her supplies. She then offered for us to hold the event at her studio and she offered to teach the class! So amazing! Again, I cannot express how grateful we are for Shannon volunteering her time, studio, and supplies and making this such a fun evening for everyone! If you are in the Franklin area, please attend an art class at the Art Attic at some point either for an "after hours" party or for your child's birthday party. She was a wonderful teacher and just an awesome, generous person! Also, please take a minute to "like" her Facebook page, too. I will be going back for sure for a girl's night and once Natalie is old enough, we will have a birthday party there, no doubt! Thanks so much, Shannon!

The Fundraiser was a huge success! We had 17 ladies come out to paint and everyone had a blast! We raised $840! And thanks so much to everyone who came out to paint for supporting our adoption!! It was such a fun night!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Puzzle Update-Week 5

We have sold 197 puzzle pieces! Only 803 more to go! We are so grateful to those who have supported us so far-from family and friends to people we don't even know. Thank you to Cindy Riley and family, Andrea Akridge, Lauren & Joel Nussbaum, Nikki Bullock, Jim Purdue, Amanda Peltz, Theresa & Martin Ellerbrock, Jeff Perrin, Chris & Stacy Barnett, Nick Strickland, Karin Conlon, Brett Byer, Garrett and Julie Rogers, and Sandra Keenan! It's so amazing to see God at work. We love how he is weaving this story into the lives of so many people all over the country. Please continue to pray for us during this journey! We are almost finished with the home study. Just a few more pieces of paperwork to gather! We'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” (Joshua 3:3-4)

It was the Christmas season right before our daughter, Natalie, turned two. She was in awe over the Christmas lights. It was just after Thanksgiving so only a few houses had lights displayed, but she wanted to see more. Christmas lights, in their bright, twinkling fashion, were a new and unfamiliar phenomenon to our little toddler. So exciting, yet with some amount of uncertainty. So my husband told her “keep your eyes peeled.” And she did and would become so excited when she spotted some. And every time, she got in the car, she would request to see Christmas lights and then would say, “I keep my eyes peeled.”

It’s sort of like that when you are on a journey following Christ. In Joshua 3:3-4, Joshua tells the Israelites, as they are about to embark upon their journey into the land the Lord promised them, with some amount of uncertainty and anxiety, ““When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” In other words, “keep your eyes peeled” and the Lord will show you the way.

As we travel along this adoption journey, I have found myself in moments of uncertainty. Are we doing the right thing? Can we really do this? Are we doing all that God wants us to do to show his mighty power? Are we doing enough? But this verse that I read this morning reminds me that if we “keep our eyes peeled”, God will show us the way. We’ve definitely never “been this way before”, so we are relying 100% on God to lead us. And he will show us signs along the way. It may not be as obvious as seeing the arc of the covenant, but if we “keep our eyes peeled” and pay attention, he will show us. Some may be big, obvious signs, but mostly, I believe, it will be through small, subtle signs. Signs that are easy to miss if we’re not paying attention. He will speak to us through his word (which if we’re not reading it, we’ll miss it), through other people, and through the miracles he will demonstrate along the way.

Some of our “arc of the covenant” sightings (aka, God’s signs that we are on the right path) have been:

• Several recent contributions from unexpected (and some unknown) people

• People whom God has placed in our lives recently. One being another family who lives just 15 minutes away from us who is adopting another boy from the same orphanage, one of The Mayor’s friends. I mean, what are the chances? And what a blessing! Another person being Shannon Haas, the local artist who has volunteered her studio and time to help us raise funds, whom we had never even met before.

• And, of course, certain Bible verses that cross my path over and over again, as if God is shouting to me these messages.

And if we keep paying attention and looking to the Lord to guide us, we will “know which way to go” for every step we take.

"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3:5)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Poker Night and Art Attic Fundraisers

Poker Night
We held a Poker Night for the guys last week as a fundraiser and next week, we will have our "Ladies' Night" fundraiser. Poker night was a blast! We had 12 guys play and raised $670. Here are some pictures of the guys having fun!

Art Attic Fundraiser
Local artist, Shannon Haas, has so graciously volunteered her time and studio to host a paint class. And 100% of the proceeds will go toward our adoption. The class will be held Thursday, March 12th at 6:30 p.m. at her studio, The Art Attic, in downtown Franklin. If you live in the Franklin/Nashville area, we'd love to see you there! The cost is $40. Heavy hors devours will be served. BYOB. Space is limited, so RSVP soon! You can comment below to RSVP.

We will painting a 12 X 12 of this beautiful bird's nest!

Check out Shannon's website at and the Art Attic at