It's time...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

for a giveaway!!

The Strength of the King

Across the nations, God is pouring out his spirit to bring his Church into unity and strength. One important response to this outpouring is a mobilization to walk out James 1:27 and Malachi 4:6. Jesus told his disciples, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” It is time for the Bride of Christ to open her arms to the widow and the orphan in such a way that they can say – when I see and know you, I see and know the Father.

I want to be called on to a life that gives more. I want to be called on to a life that loves more. I want to be called on to a life that looks more like the life of my Precious Jesus.

This book (written by members of the Orphan Justice Center) does that.

It calls me on to more.

I know that many of you desire the same thing.

You want to be called on to more.
You want to love Jesus more.
You want to love people more.

I'd love to bless one of you with an encouragement for more. If that's what you'd like, as well, just leave me a comment. I'll draw one name on Saturday and then send The Strength of the King off to the winner. The only thing that I ask of you, is that you make sure to read it! :) You'll be glad that you did!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Okay, I think that we might hold some sort of record for the number of adoption grants that we've applied for.
We've completed the application and sent in all of the paperwork for six grants, and we are in the process of finishing up one more. With all of the adoption paperwork, I pretty much feel like I've got a second job at the moment!

But, it's definitely been worth the effort, because today we received our first response. Our agency is giving us a $2500 grant for R.'s adoption!!!! We are so very grateful!!!

Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of our every need!
(And if anyone needs advice on which grants to apply for, I'd be happy to help. Isn't it a blessing that all of these people/grant agencies care so much for children that they would be willing to give money towards their adoptions?! As I said, we are soooo grateful!)

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There's one in every crowd...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

We've got some daily entertainment around here.
Her name is Lily.

Lily has been contemplating her future lately.
She can't decide if she would like to be a nurse in India
(she loves Mother Theresa),
or a pro-surfer in Hawaii
(she also loves Bethany Hamilton).

So, last night, she had a little revelation...
maybe she could do both!

"Hey! I could be the first nun
who wears a bikini."

Oh, Lil, thanks for keeping us entertained.
We love you...
whatever you decide to do with your life!

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Would you please pray?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

for precious, beautiful Abby

Sweet Abby was recently adopted by this amazing family. When they adopted her, they knew that she could have cancer. And now that diagnosis has been confirmed.

Please pray that the they are successful getting the iron out of Abby's body.
Please pray that they find a bone marrow match for Abby.
Please pray that they are able to do the bone marrow transplant before this turns into AMLeukemia.
Please pray that the bone marrow transplant is successful and that Abby is cured of her cancer.

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I hope she knows...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm thinking about a friend today.

I'm thinking about a friend whom I haven't been able to talk to in a loooong time.

This friend is really amazing.
I love her for who she is.
And I'm also grateful (so, so, very grateful) for all that she does.

I hope she knows that I am praying for her.
And that I think about her a lot.

It's such a blessing
to have friends like this one...

I hope she knows.

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Dreaming of the day...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

when all of my beautiful children are playing in the Autumn leaves together.

(R., Lily, Grace, Jadon, Yana and Adam.)

Lil painted this picture and I love it!
And I'm believing (along with Lily) that our sweet girl will be with us this Fall.

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this one's going to Ind*a

Monday, February 20, 2012

We finally got everyone well enough to take a family photo in our living room (an Ind*a requirement). I had our friend, David, take a ton of pictures to make sure that we got one where everyone was smiling. Thank you, David John, for being so patient with us!

I think this is the best one.

And it's a good thing that we did it yesterday, because Jadon woke up with a 103.1 fever...ugh! Here we go again!

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sick day

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whew! We have quite the barrage of sicknesses at our house over the past three weeks! And poor Grace is on her third round. This time, she's coughing, coughing, coughing.

We've gone through more Lipton Noodle Soup, Ricola throat lozenges, Throat Coat Tea, Emergen-C and popsicles than I care to count!

But, being sick is good for snuggling and reading.

 It's also good for some giggles while watching Shaun the Sheep.

Oh, she's getting sleepier...

and sleepier...

Grace, are you sleeping?!

Ummm...maybe not.

Definitely not!

Oh, how I love you, my coughing, reading, popsicle-loving, no-napping little girl!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A few weeks ago, our pastor talked about setting goals. He encouraged us to have individual and family goals and then to speak about them with one another daily.

We have been so blessed in this! At dinner each night, every member of the family shares their goal, believing that God will bring it about in his/her life.

"I am a young man who hears God's voice and quickly obeys."
"I am an attentive father and a man of faith."
"I am a good follower and I know how to trust people."
"I am an obedient daughter."
"I am neat and organized, and I am sensitive to other people's feelings."
"I am a woman of faith."
"I am a leader and I trust God."

"We are an encouraging and merciful family."

We're not doing motivational speaking here...we're simply stating our belief in God's transformative powers. And truly, we have already seen God at work.

It is wonderful to be able to say to our littlest treasure, "Good job doing what I asked. You are an obedient daughter!" and seeing her face beam with delight.

 It is so much fun to be able to say to one of our older children, "You really showed leadership when you helped the younger children," and know that this brings pleasure to her soul.

How about you? What goals do you have for your life in Christ? I'd love to be able to pray for you as you seek Him with your whole heart in this.

He is able to bring it about!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I've been reading about inheritance lately. And I have to tell you, I have inherited a great blessing from this woman! She is so compassionate. My grandfather was also incredibly compassionate. I'm guessing that either my great-grandfather or my great-grandmother also had a heart of compassion. I can't think of anything that I'd rather inherit.

Thank you so much, Mom, for helping me learn to care for others.
I love you.
Happy Birthday!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

I have read on my knees, with prayer and meditation, Psalm 68, Verse5: "A father of the fatherless," one of the titles of Jehovah, has been a special blessing to me, with reference to the orphans. The truth, which is contained in this, I never realized so much as today. By the help of God, this shall be my argument before him, respecting the orphans, in the hour of need. He is their Father, and therefore has pledged himself, as it were, to provide for them, and to care for them: and I have only to remind him of the need of these poor children, in order to have it supplied. My soul is still more enlarged respecting orphans. This word, "a father to the fatherless," contains enough encouragement to cast thousands of orphans upon the loving heart of God.
-George Muller

Miracle #999 (or thereabouts)...approved!!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yes, oh yes, the Central Adoption Resource has approved our file!!!!
Woohooo! We are so excited!
 Since we already have 5 children, we just weren't sure what they'd say.
But, thank you, Jesus, we were approved without any issues!

Our file has been sent on to an orphanage.
Now the big question is whether or not it went to the one we were hoping for.
Please pray that it did!
We're trusting God for miracle #1000!

the miracle of adoption

Every single adoption story that I have ever heard includes some sort of miracle (or many of them!). Our sweet Jadon's adoption is no exception! It is an absolute miracle that our Father brought this precious boy into our family.

At the end of 2002, we were contacted by our adoption agency. They told us that the CCAA wanted to match us with a particular child. We were a bit surprised because this little boy was just 6 months younger than Lily and we had requested either an infant or a child who was around 3 1/2 years old. We told our agency that we would need some time to consider this (we asked them not to send his file). A couple of days later, our agency called back with another referral of a 9 month old little boy. We were excited and assumed that this was child that God had for us. We asked them to email his file.

Our agency ended up sending the files for both boys. We decided, before looking at the files, that we would simply delete the file for the older boy before even opening it. But, we accidentally opened the wrong file, and these were the soulful eyes that looked back at us...

There was just something about this little boy's eyes. We knew that he was our son. We also knew that the 9 month old baby had a much greater chance of being adopted by another family, simply because of his age. God had used an accident as an opportunity to show us our son!

9 years ago today, we met our precious Jadon face to face. What a gift we were given in this wonderful boy!

Jadon requested brownies for his A-day.

(Hey! this picture includes a sneak-peak of our almost-completed kitchen!)

We had a Red Robin gift card that we used for a special dinner out. It wasn't our usual Chinese food, but was wonderful just to be having a fun time all together (celebrating our wonderful son).

Our Jadon is such an affectionate boy! Oh my goodness, I can't imagine not having this boy in our life! Thank you, Jesus, that we opened that file!

Jadon is super-creative and very mechanically-inclined as well!

We love you our amazing, Jadie-boo! Happy adoption day! You are an absolute miracle!!! We're so very glad that you are our son!

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His glory

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
   extol him who rides on the clouds;
   rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families...
Psalm 68:4-6

My wonderful friend, Anne, emailed these verses to me recently and I was reminded of what an amazing God we serve! Our God finds His glory in being a Father to the Fatherless! He who rides upon the clouds and has been crowned King of Kings, delights in showing His favor to the least of these.

"As a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion...he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed, v. 5, 6. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. Observe how much God's goodness is his glory. He that rides on the heavens by his name Jah, one would think should immediately have been adored as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the sovereign director of all the affairs of states and nations; he is so, but this he rather glories in, that he is a Father of the fatherless. Though God be high, yet has he respect unto the lowly. Happy are those that have an interest in such a God as this. He that rides upon the heavens is a Father worth having; thrice happy are the people whose God is the Lord."
Matthew Henry, commentary on Psalm 68

Father, we see your glory in the way you care for your precious children...for the least of these. You are the One who is exalted above all the earth, and yet You care for the littlest ones, the weakest ones. Thank you, Father, that You reveal Your heart in the way that You love. May we love as You love, our precious Father. May our glory be found in the way that we love You and in the way that we love like You. Glory to You, Lord. Glory to You!

that last little bit...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh my goodness, look at this little lovie and her mama...

Would you consider helping this beautiful family raise the last $4,000 that they need to bring home their sweet little girl? She is 8 years old, she is blind and she has lived her life in an Eastern European orphanage. She so desperately needs to be home with her family who loves her!

To find out how you can help, click here.

Thanks so much!

new designs

Monday, February 6, 2012

I love these new Wild Olive designs!

Hope Espresso

Hope Espresso

Stand Tall - BoysStand Tall - Girls

Stand Tall - Boys

If you'd like to order one of these cute tees, click here. If you enter our familly code (BANDIMERE0124) in the coupon field, then we'll get a percentage of the proceeds that we can use towards R.'s adoption!

Thanks so much for helping us bring R. home!

(The last four digits of the family code are numbers, beginning with zero.)

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the day that almost wasn't

Friday, February 3, 2012

So, after my little temper tantrum this morning, I decided that I really wanted to make the most of the day. I gathered the kiddos together and told them that we were going to all do some things together, and by golly, we were going to have great attitudes and we were going to have fun!

And guess what?

We did! 

First of all, we headed to the grocery store, for dinner-fixin's for the crock pot and a special treat for later. Then we sat down at the kitchen table to do some crafts...
(Thank you to Aunt Cindy, Uncle Mark and Aunt Joyce for the fun snowflake craft!)

and puzzles.
(Thank you for the puzzle, too!)

After a little while, we were ready for lunch and that special snack that we got at the grocery store.

Now, I know that ice cream might seem like an odd choice on a snowy day, but poor Jadon and Grace get horrible canker sores in their mouths every time they get sick. And since they were both sick in the past week, we had to get a canker sore friendly snack.

 After lunch, we had some Maple time.

Adam did just a touch of homework.

And then we had quiet times.

Grace and Lily opted for a quiet time in their snow fort (surprisingly amazing Christmas gift from Oma and Opa)!

And quick as that, the day was almost over.
David came home,
we ate dinner,
and the kids watched a movie while David and I filled out adoption grant forms...
two down,
two to go.

It turned out to be a fabulous day.

And just think...
it almost wasn't.

Thank you, Jesus.


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