Thursday, December 1, 2016

Waiting for Willow

This month I would like to introduce you to the Richardson Family.
 
I connected with Brooke first through an online support group for parents of children with Down Syndrome and then through Instagram.  We realized we had lots in common and only lived about three hours apart.  Her family is in the process of adopting a little girl from China with Down Syndrome, and we want to help!  This month half of the proceeds from all of our sales will be going to this sweet family to help them bring their daughter, Willow, home.  I have asked Brooke to share her story with you, and this is what she had to say...

"Hi. This is the Richardson crew and counting. My name is Brooke and my husband’s name is Tyler.  We have 3 childrenAiden (7) Cooper (5) and Libby (2) and we live in our favorite city everMcKinney, TX.   We are in the process of adopting a little girl from China and are hoping we can wrap our arms around her sometime in March or April of 2017.  The wait has been tough but she is so incredibly worth it! 

My husband and I prayed about adoption for a while and then God really laid it upon our hearts to adopt a child with special needs.  More specificallydown syndrome. We knew how great the need was in China for children with downsyndrome and we felt confident God was leading us in that direction.  

Back up to January of this year when God had pressed upon my heart the name Willow.  I quickly looked up a Willow tree to see what the meaning was. 

 First off, its native to China but they are found in many other regions of the world today (including the United States).  They are very feminine, pretty and most of all they are extremely strong as they can withstand harsh weather conditions.  The branches can bend a great deal and not break.  After reading this, I knew our daughters name would be Willow.  It was perfect.  A beautiful little girl, from China coming to her forever home in the States but leaving everything she has ever known and going through major changes and trauma in order to find her forever family.  It would most likely be hard on her but she would be strong as she has already been so brave in the life she has lived so far. 

From then on, I dreamed of Willow and thought about her non-stop.  I wondered how old she was or if she was even born yet. SO many thoughts about her wondered through my head.  

On July 19, 2016, I was just scrolling through facebook one day and I saw the sweetest little face of girl who looked so incredibly familiar.  In China, they did not refer to her as Willow but as soon as I saw herI knew.  I will never forget the exact feeling I had when I saw her first picture.  Overwhelmed. Speechless. Tears. Excitement. Nerves.  She was Willow! That was her! I could feel it so deep inside that she was our daughter.  I didnt even realize it when I saw her picture, but I learned that she did have down syndrome.  The more and more I learned about her, the more I fell in love. She is 2.5 years old although looks much younger. It wasnt so simple though to just say Yes right then.  

My husband Tyler was about to leave on a medical mission trip to Zambia, Africa for a couple weeks so I knew we had to wait till he returned to really discuss and pray about her.  This was our first adoption and we did not have first hand experiencewith down syndrome so at this point we were still a little nervous.  We still are nervous in some regard,saying yes to adoption alone is a huge leap of faith.  There are a lot of unknowns.  With that said though, we are so incredibly confident that Willow is ours and we are already bursting out the seams with Joy!
 
Less than a week after Tyler returned home, we sent our Letter of Intent in for her and began our homestudy.  We did everything as quickly as possible and are ecstatic to have our Dossier (all of our adoption paperwork) sent to China. Thats such a huge step to get through.  Most of what we can control on our end is over.  Now we just pray for the process to keep moving along as quickly and as smoothly as possible.  We know God is in Control and we trust him through every step of the way.  There have been bumps but they just keep making us stronger and more willing to work harder to bring her to her forever family. She deserves to have all the love in the world from a family who will be by her side always. 

Our family and friends have been an incredible support system as well. To others whom barely know us, Im speechless by your generosity and encouragement as well. Thank you!  What a blessing social media has been to connect us with other families whom have walked these steps before us.  We are so grateful for everyone praying for our family. The encouragement and prayers are definitely carrying us through.  

To follow more of our journey you can do so at www.lovetherichardsonlife@blogspot.com "

If you would like to be a part of helping this family bring their daughter home, please visit our shop   We typically only keep available items in stock, but for a short time, we have listed the majority of our necklace designs and are taking PREORDERS.  These items will ship on or before December 17th. 
 
Our necklaces make great inspirational gifts, and what better way to Christmas shop than to make purchases with a purpose! 

 

Merry Christmas, Friends!

(**Brooke's local friends and family are invited to come shop her home show on December 11th from 2-4.)





Thursday, September 8, 2016

Meet the Glasgows

One of the reasons I love social media is the friends that I have made from all over the country.  When you have a child with special needs, having an online community full of people who "get it" makes you feel like you are not alone.  I have met so many Moms that have children with Down Syndrome through Instagram, and all of them are amazing.  I am so thankful for the relationships we have developed as a result of our precious children.  One of those friends is Mollie Glasgow.  Mollie is the mother of three beautiful girls and has a precious son named Fox waiting for her in China.


If you follow us on Instagram you have seen his sweet face come across our feed.  This month we want to help them raise the remaining funds needed bring Little Fox home.  I asked Mollie to share some of her story, and this is what she had to say...

"We are the Glasgows! Jarrod, Mollie, Willow, Wren, and Pippa. We are in the process of adopting our son, Fox, from China. Adoption has always been something our family has been drawn to. After the birth of our second daughter, Wren, who was born with Down Syndrome, we felt God specifically calling us to adopt a child with special needs. In many other countries, children who are classified as “special needs” are often abandoned, neglected, and even left to die, simply for having what are considered to be less-than-ideal health conditions.

We began the adoption process in November of 2015. At that time, we had a 7 month old baby, debt from medical bills, and zero extra room at our house. A crazy time to begin the adopting process right!?! BUT we did not choose to adopt because the timing was perfect, or because we were financially prepared... we chose to adopt because God’s calling on our lives felt urgent. God was calling us to trust His plan for our family and join Him on an incredible and scary journey. We have had zero regret since saying yes to adoption.

Fox was brought into our lives through a crazy series of events. From the first time we saw his face and heard his story, we felt God speaking to us that this child is SO WORTHY. Fox was born with a complex heart condition and has had to fight so many battles, including two open heart surgeries, in his short two years of life. Never before have I known someone more worthy of life. More worthy to be loved. More worthy to have a family. More worthy to have someone fight for him. More worthy of happiness. Fox is WORTHY and wanted. 


We feel incredibly honored to be Fox's forever family. We are going to do everything in our power to give him the life he deserves."

Every child is worthy of love and worthy of a family.  Let's help Fox get to his!  You can do so by purchasing a "Worthy" necklace. They are $25 and will ship within 3 weeks of purchase.  Half of the proceeds from this necklace will go to the Glasgow family.  They will be traveling to China in the next few months, and these funds will help with their remaining adoption feesClick here to visit our shop and purchase yours.  




You can also visit www.adoptinglittleglo.com for more information and a link to donate more if you wish to do so.  

Thank you, and God bless!! 
Andrea

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Dickey Family Fundraiser

This month, we are selling "He Makes All Things New" t-shirts to support the Dickey family. 


We knew that Amanda and her family had been through a lot this year, so we reached out and asked her to share their story.  Here is what she had to say...

"JC and I met the summer of 2001, I had just graduated high school and he had just finished his 1st year of college at LA Tech.  Neither of us were looking for a relationship at the time, but things fell into place and we have been together ever since.  Early on in our relationship we discussed our desire to adopt.  Once we were married, in 2003, the desire grew stronger as we struggled for over 2 years with infertility.  Little did we know what the Lord would have in store for us at that time.  After struggling with infertility we were finally blessed with our 1st child, John, who just turned 9 and shortly after came our daughter, Ava, who is 6.  Although our family seemed complete, we still had a desire to adopt, although we didn’t know how or what that would look like for our family.  We began to pray about this decision and ask God for his guidance.  Shortly after, God began to lead me to the idea of fostering.  I didn’t tell JC about it for a while because I thought he would shoot it down.  So, one day I worked up the courage and told him how I felt and to my surprise he was completely on the same page!  We began taking classes and about a year later had our 1st placement!  Even though it is tough at times, fostering is an amazing ministry for our family. 

As if beginning this new journey in our lives wasn’t difficult enough, the Lord began testing us.  In November 2015 JC’s dad was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He began chemo and made many trips to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.  He fought hard!  Then, in April 2016 we received one of the most devastating phone calls, our home was on fire!  We had just left to go to work. By the time we returned, it was in flames. Even though that was a horrific day, the Lord showed Himself faithful to us! We ended up losing about 95% of the content of our home, however, one thing remained intact, a picture that my daughter and I made about a week before that read, “You make all things new.” Rev. 21:5 and it was hanging in the kitchen, which was the beginning source of the fire.  I had no idea at the time why that verse stood out to me.  Now, looking back, it is perfectly clear!  Out of complete devastation and disaster the Lord IS making things new!  JC’s dad passed away shortly after the fire and he now has a new body in Christ, our home is being rebuilt, and our family is stronger."



Wow.  We greatly admire this family's strength and faith during such difficult times.  Thank goodness He really does make all things new! 

The Dickey's have dedicated their lives to helping others, and we want to give back to them.  The proceeds from the sale of this shirt will go towards helping them as they work to rebuild their home.  Please click here  or select shop in the menu above and purchase yours and support this family! 



**Also, please contact us at Contact@bethelightproject.com if you would like to make additional donations to this family.  Thank you!!**




Thursday, June 2, 2016

Introducing the Hammett Family

I'm excited to introduce you to the Hammett family.  They will be the recipients of our June fundraiser.  Brent and Cassie were married in 2006.  Brent is a graphic designer and musician.  He is the creative director at Numana Inc., a hunger relief organization.  Cassie is the Founder and Director of The Hub: Urban Ministries and Purchased: Not for Sale.  The Hub is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization that reaches out to those in poverty, providing them hope, friendships, and community.  Purchased is a ministry designed to locate, love, and motivate women in the sex industry and victims of sex trafficking.  They love them like Jesus would, teaching them their worth, and guiding them into full restoration through Christ.

In 2012, Brent and Cassie adopted their daughter, Liv, from the DR Congo in Africa.  Now the Lord has laid it on their hearts to adopt a little girl from China.  They will be naming her Esther.


If this family doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will!  Will you join me in helping them bring their daughter home?  We have designed a necklace in honor of Esther.  Half of the proceeds from each necklace sold will be donated to The Hammetts.  The necklaces are $25 plus shipping and can be purchased by clicking here or selecting shop from the drop-down menu above.



If you would like to make additional donations, you can do so by clicking here to visit their Pure Charity site.  Donations made through Pure Charity are tax-deductible and are sent directly to their adoption agency.

If you would like to follow along on their journey, please visit Cassie's Blog

Also, if you would like to learn more about, serve with, or donate to The Hub or Purchased, please visit the sites below.

www.thehubministry.com
http://thehubministry.com/purchased/

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Headed to Hattie

Our first family to support is the Wood Family.  I have known Jason and Traci for a long time and even had the privilege of photographing their wedding in Las Vegas.  I was so excited to hear that they were in the process of adopting a little girl from China.  Here is what Traci had to say about their journey...

"Jason and I have always discussed adoption from early on in our marriage and it honestly seemed like one of those things we would get to, "one of those days." Well, here we are in those days! In December of this last year (2015), we finally nailed down that this is what we wanted to do. Although one of us may of had to be a little more coaxed into it than the other (you know who you are). I had already felt the Lord leading me to China through different stories and people He had placed in front of me that few months before. And since we are already blessed with our two sweet boys, we knew that a girl would help round out our little family. It honestly has seemed that since the moment we said, "YES!" to the Will of God of this in our life, that He has consistently opened door after door of encouragement, resources, and financial help. Sometimes Jason and I sit and talk about it and find ourselves at a complete loss for words at how amazing it all is! And the crazy thing is is that we have NO idea of exactly what we are doing until we do it! Thankfully, the Lord has given the two of us some unique talents that have helped us along the way (Jason is the organizer, stable one and I am the flit arounder, making mountains out of mole hills). Together we seem to balance out and manage to get things done! We are taking each moment in stride and doing our best to trust God along the way. Our verse that we've chosen to focus on through this journey is the one at the top of the blog, "Behold, I am making ALL things new.." We chose this verse because we believe through this journey the Lord is going to make our family new, our spiritual walk new, and most of all the life of our sweet girl new! Please join us as we continue on this incredible journey and finally get to the day where we get to bring Hattie Jane home with us!"



For only $25, you can help this sweet family bring home their baby girl by purchasing a "He makes all things new." necklace from our Etsy shop.  Just click here or select "Shop" from the dropdown menu above to make your purchase.  **This necklace is a PREORDER and will be shipped in 3-4 weeks.



Also, if you would like to provide additional support to this family, please click here to visit their Pure Charity fundraising site where all donations are tax deductible.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bringing Home Hai-Leigh Joy

Hey Friends.  I know things have been quiet around here, but all for good reason.  In November of 2015, we were matched with our precious daughter, Hai-Leigh Joy.  She was 8 months old at the time, and this was the first picture we saw of her sweet face.

From then until the end of December, we worked extremely hard to raise the remaining funds to bring her home...setting up booths at local craft shows, boutiques, and schools.  In January, we sold the home we lived in for the past eight years and temporarily moved into a little apartment behind my parents' house until we begin our next chapter.  In February, we traveled to China to bring our girl home.




In March, we had the honor of celebrating her first birthday with her.   It was a beautiful occasion but also one filled with many emotions.

We have spent the last few months getting to know our girl and adjusting to our new normal.  She has brought so much joy into our lives, and we feel so incredibly blessed to call her ours.



However, our hearts are still broken for all of the little ones that we had to leave behind.  Sadly, funding can be a huge obstacle for families who are adopting.  It is one of the things that slowed down our process, and the fear of the financial burden is something that can cause some families to say no to adoption even when they really want to say yes.  However, when we let our faith be bigger than our fear, God works in miraculous ways.  I know from experience! He provided a way for us when it seemed absolutely impossible.  You would not believe the number of times we received the exact amount we needed when we needed it...even down to closing on our house just before we traveled and being able to use the equity to pay for the remainder of our adoption.  Granted, we need to pay back as much of that as we can, but if we hadn't had that money, we would not have been able to bring her home yet.  I had heard stories of this before we began the process, but let me tell you, Friends, to witness it first-hand is an incredible, humbling experience.

We are currently working to pay back our adoption funds and add to our inventory, but in the mean time, we want to start helping others also.  We will begin by selecting different families to support.  We will ask them to share their story with us along with a scripture that is near and dear to their hearts.  We will design a necklace with that verse to sell and 50% of the proceeds from that necklace will be donated to that family.  Our first two families we've chosen are currently in the adoption process, but we are open to helping with other financial needs as well.  You can help too by purchasing these necklaces.  I don't know about you, but I love a purchase with a purpose!

Please follow our blogInstagram, and Facebook page for information on these new products and ways you can be involved.

Also, if you know of a family you would like to nominate for the upcoming months, please share their story and need with us at Contact@bethelightproject.com.  While we know we will not be able to financially help everyone of these families, we can definitely lift each one up in prayer.

Thank you, and God bless!

Andrea 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Power of Prayer

 One year ago today, this scene was taking place in my yard...


Friends, family, and complete strangers gathered together in prayer.  Prayer for our Little Boy.  They knelt down in our driveway, sang songs of worship, huddled up in his room, and laid hands on his bed as they lifted our sweet Hayden up in prayer.  It had been nine long, hard, emotional weeks since he was first diagnosed with his brain tumor and this was the eve of his 3rd and biggest surgery.  He had already undergone three difficult rounds of chemotherapy at St. Jude.  And as this was talking place back home, we were sitting in an ICU room in Memphis, preparing to hand our son over to the doctors, and trying not to think about the possible complications associated with this surgery...loss of vision, speech, balance, seizures, loss of short-term memory, etc.   As terrifying as that was, we were surprisingly overcome with a peace that definitely surpassed all of our understanding.  And the next day we witnessed the power of prayer and an absolute miracle. God showed up in a big, big way and answered those prayers!  We were told the surgery would last around six to eight hours.  They were finished in three.  We were told it could be days before he spoke.  (The last surgery, we waited 13 hours for his first words.) Friends, within minutes of them allowing us to see him in recovery he spoke the words, "Do you want to see my muscles?" and "Did they got that bobo out of my head?"  He was able to speak, but we were speechless.  And in awe of God's goodness, grace, and mercy! Hayden recovered miraculously from his surgery, finished three more rounds of chemo, endured six weeks of proton radiation, and is now eight months cancer-free!!!
 

We believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer.  We have witnessed it first hand.  I'm sharing this with you, because we want you to know the heart behind Be the Light Project.  We have gone through some very difficult and dark times, but even during those times, the light of Jesus still shone down on us.  He answered prayers, performed miracles, and placed people in our paths that helped us through these times.   Our eyes have been opened and our hearts transformed.  We now know that life is so much bigger than ourselves and this world that we can so easily get wrapped up in.  God used Hayden's brain tumor and Deacon's unexpected diagnosis of Down Syndrome to create a fire in our hearts.  We have a burning desire to share the light that we have experienced with others.  We still don't know what this looks like.  We are constantly praying, talking, and dreaming about what direction this will go.  But what we want you to know is that we are not at all about just selling a product and making money.  We are about making a difference.  And even if we can do nothing else for you, we want to pray for you.  We care about you and what you are going through.  We want you to share your stories and your heart with us, and we want to love on you.  You who have lost a loved one.  You who are going through a divorce.  You who are battling an illness or have a child who is sick.  You who are struggling with addiction.  You who are struggling financially.  Whatever it is that you are going through, we want you to know that you are not alone. Isaiah 42:10 says, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."  Jesus loves you, and He cares about you.  And we do too.  Will you let us pray for you? Send us an email at contact@bethelightproject.com or message us on Facebook.  Send a direct message on Instagram. Leave a comment.  Let us know if there is any way we could help you or how we could lift you up in prayer.  It would be our privilege.

God Bless,
April