Monday, April 9, 2018

The Willis Family

This month I would like to introduce you to the Willis family.
Michael, Lindsey, Ella, Ben, & Molly...

They are in the process of adopting from China.  I always ask my families to share a little about themselves and their adoption story.  Here is what Lindsey had to say about theirs...
"Michael’s parents adopted his little sister from Russia when she was 18 months old, and he has always talked about wanting to pursue adoption. My grandparents adopted my uncle, and my youth minister and his wife adopted their two boys—adoption was familiar to me, but it was never something I actually considered for my own family.
We started having more friends and friends of friends post blogs and fundraisers as they began their adoption journeys. I read all of them and bought all the t-shirts. Again, I never thought this was something I’d be doing, but I was intrigued. Michael and I would talk about adoption sometimes, but it was never very serious.
We moved to our new house in the summer of 2015, and we started getting to know our neighbors. We met our (now) pastor and his wife, and one of the first things we talked about was how they were getting reading to begin the process to adopt from China. I remember walking home from their house and Michael smiling and saying, “We’re definitely doing this.” I still wasn’t convinced, because it seemed so scary and crazy and just not like something I could ever do! But as I watched these friends go through this process and bring their precious girl home, it became so obvious to me that this was what God had planned
for our family.
We started talking to our kids about adoption, and they were ready to go to China! They find things around the house that they tell me we need to save for our “baby” when he/she comes home. They pray often for him/her, and they’re so excited! We all began learning more about adoption and how it is such a CLEAR picture of the gospel. Seeing the families around us love the kids they have adopted has profoundly deepened my understanding of God and His heart for His people.
That’s a TINY part of the story leading up to our decision to pursue adoption. So why are we adopting? Because God loves us. He loves orphans. He is about the business of setting the lonely in families. He has allowed us to begin this journey, and we couldn’t be more grateful. We know that God designed our family before the foundation of the world, and we can’t wait to add one more!

Why China? 

Michael spent three months in China teaching ESL after his sophomore year of college, and I currently teach ESL online to kiddos in China. We live right down the street from our pastor and his wife who adopted from China- we had the privilege of watching them go through the entire adoption process and bring sweet Hattie Jane home! Our other friends from church brought their little girl home from China a few months later. Michael attended a seminar where one of the speakers talked about international adoption, and he suggested that one way to choose a country was to choose based on a place you already have a connection with. We definitely have a connection with China, and we can't wait to bring our little one home!" 

It is my favorite thing to hear how God stirs people's hearts toward adoption, and many times you hear that the wife starts feeling led that direction before the husband.  That's how it was in our case, but I loved hearing that Michael was on board before she was. 

For their necklace, the Willis' chose Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only BE STILL."  I love this verse so much and especially how it relates to their situation.  Adoption is not easy.  Many times it can seem impossible...the waiting, the finances, the transition, the trauma, etc.  BUT God fights for the orphans, and He fights for the families willing to open their hearts and homes to them. That doesn't mean it's not still hard, but it means He's with us every step of the way.

You can PREORDER this necklace now from the shop, and it will be delivered in 3-4 weeks.  Half of it's proceeds will be donated to the Willis family to help cover their adoption expenses.  If you would like to donate further to them, please visit their fundraising page.  Thank you so much for your support!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Meet the Joys

March 21st is World Down syndrome day.  For those who don't know, Down syndrome is a result of there being a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome, so the numbers 3/21 are special to those of us in this community.

In honor of this day,  I reached out to the Joy family who I knew were in the process of adopting another child with Down syndrome from China and asked if we could help support them.  In the past (and sometimes still) China has deemed children with DS "unadoptable" so I love it when families like the Joys step up, shout their worth, and prove them wrong.

 I asked Marta to share some of their story, and here's what she had to say...

"We are Kevin, Marta, Greyson, Kasia and Mila — adopted from China last year. God opened our hearts to Down Syndrome right before we brought our Mila home last year. 
Around the same time we saw Elora's face and fell absolutely in love. We hoped there was a chance she would be ours. We began sponsoring Elora - so that she could receive a life saving heart surgery. Despite the doctors saying Elora was too old and that she was inoperable — thousands prayed and fought for this girl! Donations from followers poured in as Meredith Toering at Morning Star Foundation garnered support. Elora's surgery was a great success. 
The next hurdle would be getting her orphanage to write her file. WACAP - Elora's agency fought for a year to get her file to be written to - no avail. We waited and waited and finally we sent in a photo of us with Mila to show the orphanage that children with Down Syndrome are loved, wanted and cherished dearly. After 9 months of pleading and prayer we received a phone call --- Elora's file has indeed been prepared! We are so very excited to bring Elora Meredith Joy home! 
Isn't it awesome that because of their persistence and strong love for her, this sweet girl now has a family?!  I am just so excited for them!

Elora means God’s light, so the Joys wanted this included in their necklace.  Half of the proceeds from this "Shine Your Light" necklace and any other orders placed this month will be donated to the Joy family to help bring Elora home!  

Friends, let's rally around them and help bring her home!  Head on over to the shop to place your order!  You can follow along with their story on Marta's Instagram @chosenforjoy.  Also, if you would like to make a further donation, you can do so here.
Hundreds of children with Down syndrome are still waiting for their families to find them.  If you happen to feel your heart tugged in this direction,  you should visit where you can see the precious faces and profiles of some of these waiting children.  And even if not, there are many other ways to be a part of orphan should still go check out this awesome organization!    God bless, and thank you for your support!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Support The Lintons

Hello Friends.  I hope you have enjoyed the holiday season and are off to a great start this new year.  We started ours with lots of sickness along with a surgery, but thankfully we are now on the mend and getting back to business!  

I'm excited to launch a new fundraiser this month for the Lintons. They are in the process of growing their family through adoption. 

I always ask my families to share a little bit about them, and here is what they had to say.

"Hi! We are Joe and Regan Linton. As far back as when we even began talking about marriage, we knew that adoption was going to be part of our story. Now, after four years of marriage, God has made it clear through His wonderful ways that the time has come to follow through on His plan for our life. We asked God to send us and he has decided to send us all the way to India to find our daughter! We have decided to name her Gracyn Andree and will call her Gray. Y'all, she is already loved by so many. The adoption process is a scary and exciting one but we believe that where there is great love, there are great miracles. We know, because we have seen it already through this process, that Jesus is moving Heaven and Earth for our little girl. We covet your prayers for us and for Gracyn!" 

Let's help them bring their sweet girl home!  Joe and Regan selected the saying "Trust Without Borders" for their necklace, and they will receive half of the profits for each one that you order.  So head on over to the shop now and help support this precious couple. 

Also, if you would like to make an additional donation you can do so here.