Homestudy DONE & fun giveaways!!

I am happy to report that the Walser homestudy is FINALLY done! Yippee!

Well, wait...don't get too excited...What's next?!...MORE paperwork! Yippee.

I am working on our dossier and planning our fundraiser to raise the money we need to submit our dossier. We need about $3,000. I will post soon about how YOU can help and participate in this with us. Stay tuned...: )

For now, I thought I'd let you know about some FUN giveaways going on!! There is some great stuff, so be sure and check them out:

Erica is giving away a Junk Posse gift certificate here. Ok so I REALLY want to win this. Tracy just donated a necklace to my upcoming fundraiser, and since I think it would probably look bad if I won that myself, THIS is my chance to get my hands on one of her beautiful designs! She has beautiful jewelry (check out her etsy shop here), but she also does custom work! This one above was Erica's custom design---isn't it awesome?! Go enter now!

Then, Tracy over at Junk Posse is doing a giveaway of her own! Cute, cute tees! Go here to enter!

Also, this adoptive mom is giving away a blog makeover! Enter here.

Oh and one more thing: if you're a blogger and haven't joined my bog hop, do so now here! It's a fun way to introduce yourself and meet others. Just don't forget to post the hop code on your own blog as well!

Happy weekend!

Bloggy Meet & Greet party!! You are invited!!


So I've had an idea stirring around in my mind for a couple of weeks. It all started back when Linny did a Crazy Love party...I met so many wonderful new bloggy friends through that! I don't know if she intended for it to happen, but it became a wonderful way to connect with others here in blogland!

So I thought it would be fun to host a Meet & Greet Party! This could be a fun way to make new bloggy friends. For those of you who are newer to blogging and finding others with a heart for adoption, this could be a fun way to introduce yourself to us! For those who have been in this game for a while, it gives others the chance to know your story.

It should increase traffic for all of our blogs, which to me means more people, knocking at your door, and asking "So what's God doing in your life right now? Tell me all the wonderful things He's done! Tell me about how some days its hard because I need to hear that, too. Allow me to celebrate with you, weep with you, and laugh with you. And tell me you'll be someone I can come to if I just need a friend to encourage me in this journey. And then I'll turn around and praise the Lord for the wonderful things He's doing in everyday lives all over this country!" I know meeting others and hearing their stories has caused me to worship and praise the Lord on so many occasions!

So here's how it works:

  1. Post a link to your blog in the linky below--you can link to your most recent post or a post that introduces yourself--either way! Whatever you want us to know--link to it here!
  2. Create a new post on your blog, and copy and paste the code for the linky on your blog! This will copy the list onto your blog, creating a "blog hop", where we can all hop around and say hi to each other! (***Don't skip this step! This is part of what makes it a "hop". You need to post the linky in your blog. Just click "What is a blog hop? Get the code here..." and copy & paste the code into the body of a new post. This will post the list of links on your blog!)
There are so many of us, and so many who do not have the benefit of community with others who are on this journey. So introduce yourselves!!

You could win a free shirt!! Help spread the word to sell 40 shirts in 5 days!!


***UPDATE: Linny's friends: I'm linking here for the Crazy Love post!! I have LOVED these CL parties and have made so many new friends! We are in the midst of fundraising for our dossier fee (links to our adoption story are over to the right). We have a BIG raffle planned on May 22nd, but YOU can help us out by purchasing one of my remaining tees! I linked to this post because if you scroll down, it tell you what sizes are left. To see full shirt descriptions and pictures, go here. A few sizes are sold out, but there are still plenty of tees, especially for ladies and kiddos!! Hurry and get yours before they're gone! And thanks for stopping by! ((hugs))~Rachel

It has been a grueling week and there is much hard work in fundraising ahead for us. We are almost prepared to submit our dossier to Ethiopia, but cannot do so until we have the needed funds. We are planning a big local fundraiser in May for our dossier fee (details coming soon), but we need to first apply for our I600. It can take up to 60 days to process, and we cannot submit our dossier until that has been completed. I admit, we don't want to wait any longer than we have to!

We are trying to raise our needed funds of $800 for our I600A in the next week.
Our goal is to sell 40 shirts in the next 5 days. Can you help??!! If you do, I will enter your name into a drawing to win a FREE shirt!! (No purchase required to win.)

Here's how you can be entered:

  1. Post on facebook, twitter, or on your blog about my shirts and this giveaway, and I will enter you one time for each way you help spread the word. Be sure and leave me a comment or email me to let me know how many times to enter you.
  2. Buy a shirt!! There's some great ones--for men, women, and kids--and supplies are running low! See details here. Order using links to the right.
I will draw a winner on Monday morning, April 19th. Thank you so much for helping us get the word out. And please pray--we need the Lord to provide, and we also need to be patient on His timing. We are grateful!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our shirt stock is limited, so grab yours quick! Here's the sizes that remain:


Ladies cream:

Small- sold out!
Medium- 15

Large- 13

XL- 2


Adult brown:

Small-
sold out!
Medium-
sold out!
Large- 6
XL- sold out!

Kids brown:
XS (4/5)- 4
S (6)- 4

M (7/8)- 4

L (10/12)- 4


Girl's brown:
S (6)- 2 left!
M (8)- 4
L (10)- 3

Join the movement!!


****Note to Linny's friends: I posted this a couple of weeks ago, and thought it would be the perfect thing to ask for prayers for! There are funding requests here from my origional posting, but please know my heart in linking this is not for that purpose---it is for your prayers for our four families as we embark on this path of trust and faith! We need that most of all!! Thank you for praying!!


So the most amazing thing is happening in our church...our church plant, LifeBridge Church, is still training our core and preparing to officially launch in the fall...and in the midst of all the business of provisional elder boards and small group ministry launches and an AWESOME Easter service on Clearwater Beach and building our core and all the ministries that are taking shape...we are sensing a movement.

A movement that can only be God.

In the last week, two families announced that they too would be adopting from Ethiopia. That brings us to a total of four families adopting 5 kids! All from our young church! It is amazing! Erica wrote a bit about it here, and I invite you to go read her story.

So we are all at slightly different points in our process, but we are all basically working through the first round of paperwork.

I want to invite you to stop by their blogs, say hi, and pray for us all. The need is great. There's gonna be t-shirt sales, facebookathons, and all of us have PayPal buttons on our blog. Let me introduce everyone:


You already know the Waulks, who applied to adopt at the same time we did! They recently decided to adopt TWO children! Woohoo! Two for one---(reminds me of having twins)---I love it!! They are planning a pitching camp and raising their funds for their homestudy and dossier. Stop by and say hi here! Let's help them bring home their babies!!


Next, you met the Shubins here on one of my first posts. They were instrumental in God directing our desire to adopt towards the country of Ethiopia. They brought Silas home 2 years ago. And they are going back!! This time for a little girl!! Erica has devoted countless hours towards helping others prepare and fund-raise for their adoptions. And now we get a chance to return the favor! Visit their blog here! They are selling off extra mission trip shirts and holding a facebook-athon this week!


And then there's the Masers. A beautiful family with a wonderful story and HUGE hearts. God has called them out of their comfort zone, and they are responding in faith and obedience! You can get a glimpse into their journey here. They are fundraising right now for their application fee and homestudy--and every little bit helps!!

These are my buddies and I am so excited to be walking this road with them!

As for the Walser clan.....

Our homestudy paperwork should be finalized in the next few weeks, and so we are ready to begin our next round of paperwork as well as our next round of fundraising. There are actually two things we will be fundraising for in the next couple of months, and two different approaches (details on the second round will be coming soon...).
The first one begins TODAY! I am trying to liquidate our t-shirts to raise the money we need for our I600A. If you're wondering what that is, you're not alone. I'm not exactly sure either--but it has something to do with US immigration paperwork for our child--and what I DO know is that it costs $830.


SO the goal is to sell 40 shirts in the next 10 days!

We have awesome "Love with Abandon" shirts...for ladies, guys, and kiddos too! Here's the write up from my original post on the shirts...
Each of our shirts read:

"Love with abandon, Love an orphan."

We believe we have been given so much love, from the Lord and within our home, that it is overflowing. And we want to live lives that love without restraint, without inhibitions, without safety nets...we want to love with abandon. Because that's how we feel we have been loved by our heavenly Father, "who did not spare His own Son, but...with Him, freely gives us all things." (Rom. 8:32) We want to challenge those who are considering adoption but have held off because of fear, finances, the "right time", whatever....to "just do it"!! Take a leap of faith, and trust the Lord to work it out!

The scripture reference "(Matt. 25:40)" on the shirt is a reminder to all of us, that whether we are called to adopt personally or not, we are ALL called to love the least of these.
We have a limited stock left of these shirts, and so I'm letting you know how many I have and in which sizes, so you can be sure to snatch yours up right away if you see your size in jeopardy!

Ladies cream:
Small- 1 left!
Medium- 15

Large- 13

XL- 2


Adult brown:

Small-
sold out!
Medium- 3
Large- 7
XL- sold out!

Kids brown:
XS (4/5)- 4
S (6)- 4

M (7/8)- 4

L (10/12)- 4


Girl's brown:
S (6)- 2 left!
M (8)- 4
L (10)- 3

ALL money from the sales goes directly to our adoption costs. So grab yours today, for you or someone you think would enjoy it! Mother's Day...Father's Day...No-special-reason-except-you're-an-awesome-kid's day!...it works for them all! For further details, photos, and sizing information, go here. Or purchase now to the right.

Are you willing to post a link on your blog or on FB? That would help a ton! I would appreciate it! Let's see what God can do in 10 days!


Pray for us, if you would, and join in where you can! We are grateful to have you be a part of rescuing these children and bringing them home to their forever families!!

Life is beautiful

I had to post...had to share...I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I reflect on all the good gifts we are given...

God does not promise us an easy road. Jesus' certainly wasn't...and it led to a cross. This week has been one full of reflection...on the cost. What is hard about following Jesus.

I had one day this week that was a NO GOOD VERY BAD DAY. Seriously, everything that could go wrong, did. I struggled to praise God as my circumstances seemed bent against me at every turn. I realized this is not unique to me or to being a follower of Christ. This is the world we live in, and no one is immune to bad days. That's life.

I also wrestled this week with the loss of a friendship. It ended abruptly a few months ago, but this week in particular has been hard. My heart wanted to reach out, my desire was for connection and restoration of a relationship I treasured. But obedience to Christ meant I could not. I realized as I prayed, this was part of the cost. Jesus never promised I'd want to do everything He asked me to do. In fact, sometimes I'd want to do exactly the opposite. But if I trust Him, I trust my loss is for His glory, for a work He is still completing. His process, in my friend..and in me. That's life...with Jesus.

Yes, life is hard. Following Jesus can be hard. But then I remembered. Because I had forgotten. He is sooo good. And He loves to give good gifts. I know because they've been given to me, over and over and over and over.

And they've been given to those I care about. Tonight I sobbed as I read two blogs...

One: Dan and Julia. My nephew and his wife. Remember when I told you about them here? Well...go read here and see if you don't get choked up, too.

Two: Gwen. I've never laid eyes on her, but she's one of the first people I met in blog land. She's in Africa, holding her two babies for the first time. She's been waiting for them longer than I've known her. Seeing them in her arms...her whispering in their ears...go watch here...sobs...

And so I remembered. Just in time for resurrection Sunday. Life is hard. But life is beautiful.