BUY A T-SHIRT! Help with our homestudy fees AND help raise adoption awareness!

We are working on our homestudy paperwork, but cannot even submit our initial homestudy application without our full homestudy fee. HELP US raise the remainder of our homestudy fee by buying a tshirt!! These shirts are awesome, organic cotton, SOFT and comfy, and really cute!

We need to sell 35 shirts to raise these funds! They make great gifts, too!

You can order via to paypal links to the right, or email me using the button to the right, and let me know which ones you would like to order! Quantities of certain sizes are limited, so snatch them up while you can!

All the images and details can be viewed here.

Gratitude

Joe & Barbara

This post is long overdue. But ever since our Facebook fundraiser and garage sale, it has been a whirlwind! That does not diminish in any way our humble gratitude for all that God has done and the people He used to do it!

First: the financial update. To date, we have (God has) raised $2404.18 toward our adoption! The garage sale was a huge success---we made almost $1500 in two days! Tshirt sales have brought in some as well along with other donations that have trickled in this last week. We are blown away! We have used that money to pay our application fee of $700 as well as pay our upfront costs for our tshirts, so that from now on, every shirt sold is pure profit!

AND...we have a little over $700 still in our account towards our homestudy fee! It is a great start and we are blessed.

I have been so amazed these last few weeks how God has used the offerings of our friends--be in in time, resources, gifts, finances--to support our family in this process. And I want to take a moment to say thank you.
  • Those of you who donated money towards our adoption and have asked for nothing in return---we thank you. We know many of you have little to spare and yet you gave generously. Some of you we've never laid eyes on. Our family is so, so grateful.
  • Those of you who donated items for our garage sale--thank you. Some of you gave beautiful and valuable things that made our sale look more like an estate sale than a yard sale.
  • Those of you who came out and worked during the garage sale--we thank you for your time and presence! We had a blast with you, and your hard work made the load easier.
  • Those of you who have bought tshirts--thank you! We hope you love them as much as we do!
  • Those of you who posted our blog link as your status on Facebook--thank you. It brought tears to my eyes as I would go down my news feed list, and see post after post of our link...we have never felt so loved and supported by our friends.
  • Those of you who sent me notes of encouragement (especially after my last money post! : ))---thank you. I feel like you "get me". I'm thankful that I can vent, be heard, and still have people remind me to turn my eyes upon Jesus.
  • Micha and Monica...I love my shirts. You two are geniuses. Thank you so much.
  • And Barbara and Larry....there are no words. Only tears, as I think upon your humble service to us, never complaining, always delighting to serve us and the King. This garage sale was just one more demonstration of your incredible giftedness as hosts and the graciousness with which you share your hearts and your home. I love you.
So...what now? Paperwork! Begin homestudy and grant processes. Tshirts are still for sale, and now every dime goes right towards our homestudy costs!! See shirts here, and purchase via paypal links to the right or email me.

And now, some photos of the fun!

(Thanks Tara, for coming prepared! Without you I'd have nothing to chronicle this event!)

lots of stuff...lots of fun...


homemade signs share the cause
(Danielle & Olivia)


quality control (Skyler & Josh)
(Hey--someone had to make sure that backscratcher was effective
and the typewritter worked!)


sorting clothes
(me, Erica, & Dawnie)


Michelle sorts and organizes
(She's smiling...this was before I sold her brand new printer for $5)


Hannah tries out the ski poles
(Despite Lisa's best efforts to convince our clientel these were useful for a yoga-style workout on the beach that's all-the-rage at an upscale hotel on St.Pete Beach...
these did not sell. Oh well. But you did sell the birdhouse! : ))


Erica & Silas


the girls sell their bookmarks
(?...or bracelets..or keychains..or whatever you want them to be!)
(Olivia, Danielle, & Hannah)


Barbara & Hannah


me & Tara


This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's
people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

2 Cor. 9:12

I hate money

I know that is not a great title right after a fundraiser. : ) But in an effort to be real, I will share my heart with you this morning.

Let me start by saying THANK YOU (((said with lots of emotion and accompanied by a huge hug))) for donating yesterday during our Facebook-ATHON. As of this moment, we have $465 towards our application fee...so thank you so much. You have invested in a child's life (and ours) in a way that will change it forever.

I am full of mixed emotions. One of humble joy, as I see many of you give when I know you have little or are saving to adopt yourselves. Another, excitement to know we are a little closer to our next step in this process of adopting. And, if I'm honest, a little discouraged that we're so far from our goal.

My fussiness with God is not that more people didn't give or that I don't trust Him to eventually provide. I know He will, because He always has.

And that's just it. It seems, since leaving my home at 18 to marry the man of my dreams, we have made decision after decision that have put us in a place of financial need. Joe is a talented man, smart, hard working, and a gifted leader, who could easily get a higher paying job if he was willing to go anywhere and do anything. Instead, God has called him to ministry, not exactly a money making scheme. And then, after years of enjoying some sense of security in a steady paycheck as a pastor, we are called to church planting and leave that behind. Some of you are our faithful supporters who have made it possible to plant a church and pay the bills at the same time. But because of the economy and a drop in support, he now works two jobs, some days exhausting himself with the responsibilities of a full time job and ministry, not to mention family.

I'm not sharing that for sympathy, maybe more to brag on him. In all that he has taken on, I have never ONCE heard him complain about it. He continues to be the spark of joy in this home and humble representation of my King.

I, on the other hand, can tend to gripe a little. Again, mainly because I hate money. I hate that we need money. And I HATE the "ask". That's what they call it, for those of you who may not be familiar with fundraising. It's that point where you lay your need out there and invite someone to partner with you by providing for that need. Everyone who's ever fundraised has had to do it. And I don't know anyone who likes it.

I hate it. I hate asking. I hate that I have a need that can only be provided for (through Jesus) by others. I would rather be self sufficient, take care of it ourselves. But we can't. And it's clearly not what God wants us to be able to do. He's called us to more than we can handle on our own. He's called us to be where we are, doing what we are doing, and it means allowing Him to move in His people to provide. Why He keeps doing that to us, I may never know!! But I'm a little tired of it. I'm just being honest.

I know we are supposed to adopt. I have never been more sure of something-- that He wants us to pursue this path and rescue this orphan who is living in who-know-what-kind-of-conditions right now. And we, like many of you, are barely paying our bills. We could never afford the expenses involved.

So where does that leave me? After wrestling with Him? Apparently, right where He wants me. In a place of brokenness. Utter dependence. With a wrecked heart. Lame and needy. All I have is His, and all I need is His to provide. I will humbly continue to serve and obey.

A friend wrote me this morning and said,

I wanted to share a piece of my heart with the hope of encouraging you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and rest there with humble trust, giving thanks as you are in these days of small beginnings. Jesus finishes what He starts, He loves the fatherless...you're on good ground to remain hopeful.

And so I will fix my eyes on Jesus. And I will remain hopeful.

Welcome Facebook and Twitter friends!

Thanks for stopping by to check out our story! We are so excited to be starting our process of adopting a child from Ethiopia! Feel free to stay a while and read a little about us...

We knew when we embarked on this journey of adoption that we could not afford it. But we decided to step out in faith and trust that if God truly wanted us to do this, He would provide. We ourselves are not special or deserving, ...but there is a child waiting in Ethiopia that we believe IS.

Our current goal is to raise $3500 to pay for our first round of expenses for our agency and homestudy fees. If you feel led to donate, you can click the "Donate" button to the right. It means so much that you would join us on this journey to love with abandon...love an orphan!