Remember a little over a month ago when several of you gave donations on my birthday for special baby bottles? Bottles that would help feed special babies with cleft palate/lip and babies that had surgeries to repair these issues. And these babies also happen to live across the world…in China. And these babies, children without mommas or papas… They received the bottles! And my friend Karen took them along with some other supplies… Here’s a picture of the highly specialized bottles in their packaging along with other supplies Karen took with her to the Healing Home in Shanghai. They are the group of yellow/white/clear bags in the far right of the picture.

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Without your help, so many bottles would not have been sent. I am so thankful for you. For your giving. For Karen’s obedience in going to share Christ’s love through her skill set as a Speech and Language Pathologist. Without her, we wouldn’t have known there was a need. Without you, the need would not have been filled.

Here’s a picture of the front of the Healing Home.

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And here’s one of Karen working her magic with one little kiddo there.

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I was struck by her pictures from her trip. You know, that they are just children. Like my children. They smile, they laugh, they play. And yet they are not like my children. They do not have a mom or dad that will love them forever or read them a story at night or listen to their prayers or give them unconditional love for always. No. No they don’t. They are VERY WELL taken care of. Karen can attest to that. But isn’t it different?… To “babysit” or care for another person-young or old-we can do our best most professional work…but in the end..? Family. Family is different.

Lord, thank you for creating the family. Thank you for desiring a relationship with us & teaching us about relationships through our families. Help us to know how we can fulfill your call on our lives to speak the truth in love in our families & to the world.
Amen.
XO

So, I got the (*crazy*) idea to make cupcakes like I saw online for the kids’ classes for Earth Day. Because what lesson isn’t learned better with food?! (Do you speak my language?…)

There was a lil learning curve so I thought I’d share what I learned.

Make a cake mix (white or yellow). Divide the batter into approximately 1/3 & 2/3 parts in separate bowls. Mix a lot of green food coloring into the 1/3 & lots of blue into the 2/3.

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Put paper cupcake liners into muffin pan. Put a spoonful (maybe a good tablespoon?) of green batter in the bottom of each. Then with the small tip of the spoon, smear about 3 places around each cupcake up the sides of the paper. Like this:

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Then plop in a larger (I used my metal serving spoon) glop of blue batter in. Then again with your smaller spoon, put a smeary dab of green on top. Like this:

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After completely cooled, (bake as per box directions) put a small cloud of white icing on top. Then you can print, punch & tape onto toothpicks lil educational Earth Day decorations if you feel the need. The end result was fun. And all the kids’ tongues were a lovely hue. They loved it. :)

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(Mostly for our moms) I wanted to share the pictures from the last week in regards to Holy Week & Easter.

We again attended the Easter egg hunt event hosted by Dr & Mrs Noland (East Tennessee State University president)
at their residence. Here are some pictures…

Posing with “Buccy” the ETSU mascot.

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Face painting…(a pirate, a dog & a butterfly)

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Lots of eggs in the hunt…

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Fritz helped me plant some early seeds in the garden.

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Fritz’s preschool class’ Easter party…

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Preparing pierogies for Good Friday… Just like Jen taught me. (More on that perhaps another day)

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Our family’s Good Friday supper…
(Filled with firsts for this cook & my crew of eaters-Grilled shrimp, crab cakes, grilled asparagus, pierogies & chocolate chip hot cross buns)

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The table & mantle decor…

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Easter dinner…
Ham, noodles & mashed taters with rosemary, corn, garlic potato rolls & malted milk candy cake, with a cotton candy nest.

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My little sweeties…

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The neighborhood pancake breakfast & egg hunt…

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And all this to celebrate & remind ourselves of the glorious awesomeness of our Savior.
John 3:16
Deuteronomy 11:19

We received an email that today our dossier was logged into the system in China. So today is our official log-in date. This date is important because it opens us up to a whole list of kiddos that are only available to families that have their info logged in and it sort of puts you in “line” for being matched to a kiddo.

So now we wait again. Wait for a match. Pray for God’s wisdom & discernment in the process and for his provision at his appointed time.

(PS-just re-read this and it sounds very calm and boring. BUT we are actually super excited by this news and a little surprised by the speed of it’s coming! Praise The Lord for the adventures he takes us on!)

On another note, today our family volunteered at Joy Prom. Our church’s special event for people with special needs-Based on the verse from Luke 4:12-14:
He said to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

We really were blessed as we volunteered in the “paparazzi” or greeting committee. Here’s a few pics from our time there…

Getting ready…

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Shaking hands…

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Taking pictures…

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Giving High Fives…

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We got an email today stating our dossier has been delivered to the proper authorities in China!
Woohoo!
They anticipate that our information should be logged into “the system” within the coming 3 weeks. When it is logged in, that’s when we’ll receive our next email. Then we’ll wait our turn in the (unknown length of time) line for a match.

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Translation was super fast! Got an email last night from our agency that it was done and our dossier is on its way to China! It should arrive there in 3-5 business days and then be “logged in” to their system usually within 3 weeks of arrival. That is the next news we will wait for. It’s another good step!

Thank you for your prayers for us!

Big smiles around our house tonight. Got an email earlier this evening that our dossier was “perfect” and approved and already on its way to Denver for translation. I believe that process takes 9-11 business days as well and then it will be sent to China!

This led Will to ask if he could help by making and selling fancy rubber band bracelets for the adoption. We (I) have been trying to remain calm and faithful in the Lord’s timing and in His provision. I have been struggling with the temptation to panic because as an “as needed” worker, work hours are not guaranteed and lately they have been slim to none. And although we have worked and saved, we are far from the total required amount. Adoption is costly. It is reflective of our Christian salvation in that way. (Galations 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us…”)

Nick and I are in prayer frequently as of late specifically on the Lord’s leading for another job, a fundraiser, whatever His way would be. I do wish to be faithful and obedient, relying on His provision and not necessarily Molly’s provision.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his own good pleasure.

A bit of good news that I’ve been waiting to share…
I turned in all our dossier paperwork. It went out on my birthday (3/7) & arrived to our “local” adoption agency’s office in Atlanta the following Tuesday. It is now being critically reviewed for accuracy/correctness. And oh how I pray that it’s correct! Next it will be sent to Denver to the headquarters office of our agency to be translated & then off to China it will go! Then we will wait for the officials there to log all our information into their computer system. Then we wait for the computer to tell us our match based on our place in line with other families & what we requested.

Meanwhile. We’ll wait. Patiently. And pray. Daily.

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Wow friends! I am overcome with thankfulness!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
YOU gave & together we can purchase 16 special baby bottles for the precious little children at Shanghai Healing Home. Nearly $500 was given in total for them. THEM. The least of these. Sweet little children just like the sweet little children in your home or the ones you know… Only you or I are able to regularly invest in and love on the sweet little children in our homes or the ones we come into contact with frequently. THEM. Thank you for loving on them. Those that don’t have a forever family. {not yet.} And how I pray that THEY will all know the love of a family. That they will learn of Jesus’ love for them.

Thank you for your kindness to them and to me. Best birthday present!

I’ve been wanting to tell you about a  special place.  Maybe you have already heard about it.  And I know that there are many many “special places” that deserve our attention… our response.  But in the past few weeks I’ve felt God nudging me to speak out for this place.  A friend named Karen introduced it to me.  It’s called Shanghai Healing Home and it’s an orphanage in China. You can view their website HERE.

Their mission is:

“Assisting local Chinese Children’s Welfare Institutes by providing pre and post-surgical care to abandoned Chinese orphan babies born with surgically correctable deformities. Shanghai Healing Home provides a home-like environment that meets not only the babies’ physical needs but also their emotional and developmental needs.”

The precious babies at this orphanage are most likely abandoned due to their physical deformities.  That breaks my heart friends.  Especially since many/most have cleft palate issues that are correctable with surgery(s).  I understand that surgery is not a magic wand that “poofs” away all issues, but really…. how can I help these babies?… In fact, this could be one of our-my family’s babies.  We are not yet matched with our child(ren) & cleft palate is a medical condition that we said YES! to.

I am excited to share with you, how you can be involved in helping these kiddos.  My friend Karen happens to be a speech therapist & she has said yes to the Lord’s leading to go & help the staff at Healing Home to develop a lasting program to educate staff and all future volunteers on basic speech, language, and feeding guidelines that will promote positive and developmentally appropriate communication and feeding skills. This is an orphanage with special needs babies, so there are specific needs for these children.   Babies born with cleft lip and/or palate require specialized feeding bottles that she will take with her.  For instance, one Haberman Feeder costs approximately $30.00. They also plan to develop, purchase, and take general speech and language manuals that can be accessible in their library, children’s books that promote language, developmental toys, etc.

The Lord has led me here.  My 34th birthday is this Friday, March 7th and I am so excited to invite you to my “party.”  Here’s how we can party together-

Could you give $30(or any amount) today for a special baby bottle so that a special baby will be able to eat?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:40

When we all throw our “little” in together, the Lord can multiply it & use it for His work.

{link removed-thank you!}

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