Monday, August 31, 2015

Tee shirt update.

I think it's safe to say, we all assume on a blog that gets nearly 1000 visits a day...that a fundraiser just sky rockets.  :)

It's not true.

Our goal is to sell over 100 shirts to make the fundraiser worth while.  As of today, I've sold 7.

I linked a Paypal button on the right side of the blog, making it super easy. On top of that, there's no set price.  Any donation amount will get you a shirt in your color and size choice.


**update: 14 sold!**

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Because most of us are fighting a battle.

Usually a secret one.  No one knows.  But in the quiet of your heart, you do. And you are tired.

So.. very..tired.

If I were to ask you if you consider yourself courageous...I think it would be an instant, confidant response.

Perhaps a chuckle.  Coupled with an awkward shrug.

"Me...? Courageous?"

The word 'courage' almost confuses us.

We picture strong.  Like...really strong.

Brave.  Like...really brave.

What if courage is simply standing up...? When take a stand.  For truth.  For what you believe.  For what is right.

What if... courage is not laughing at that joke in the break room? Yah.  That's... hard.

What if...courage is simply facing another day?  In the midst of pain. Heartbreak. Betrayal.  Choosing to not give up.  When, in fact...that's all you think about.

What if... courage is watching someone you love go through cancer...and choosing hope? Choosing fight.  Choosing to even find joy...when it's very dark.

What if...courage is reminding yourself that tomorrow is new?  And with it...come God's new mercies.  And your's not over yet.

What if...courage is giving? Giving when your tank is so very dry.

Let's give you a do-over.   Now if I were to ask you..."Are you courageous?"  What would you say?

This design is simple.  But powerful.  So small. So insignificant.  Just quietly...swimming...upstream.

You see...courage doesn't always roar.

This was made...with you in mind.

These shirts are really high quality.  The crew neck is fitted, but a great length. If you don't want fitted, order up a size.  I find it very true to size.  S, M, L, XL.  Black, grey, bright pink, teal.

The youth shirts are adorable.  S, M, L, XL.  Please don't hesitate to email me with questions on sizing.  Also available in several colors.

Every dollar (apart from paying for the shirt and the cost to ship it to you) will go to bringing ZhenAi home.  See...she's courageous too.  She didn't choose the battle she's fighting...neither did you.

There is no set price.  Suggested donation would be $25 including shipping.  Any amount you give...please specify the color and size and quantity. Shirts will be mailed in a few weeks.

Simply paypal to and leave in the comment your choice. I will ship anywhere in the world.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mommy's Superpower.

I will often hear our children talking about their wonderful make believe things and many times...'superpowers' come up.  Tirzah will tell the young children that Mommy has a Superpower.  They all listen with rapt attention...eyes wide...what in the world could it be...?

Mommy's Superpower...? Helping people change their lives.

Overhearing your 11 year old child tell that to her 4 and 6 year old siblings...makes me tear up.

Many people would think that she's referring to our 5 amazing children we have adopted and no doubt, had a tremendous impact on their lives.

But she's talking about something else.

Seven years ago I started a business that I could do 100% around my family.  Nap time. Bed time.  Totally around my family.  That was the beginning of a life changing journey.

I matched Dean's income in less than a year.  While being a full time, stay at home, homeschooling mom of 4 little children.  As God called us to amazing things, around the world, bringing once-orphans home to our family...our business continued to grow.

Last year, there was such an amazing, unforgettable day.  Dean closed the doors of his construction business and he came home. For good.

Here we were. Ten little children, homeschooling, three with special needs....and both of us, full time, stay at home parents.

What a tremendous gift.

Tirzah's talk to her younger siblings reminds me that we have been given something super special and perhaps it's time for me to reach out to you, my loyal readers.  I often pray that God leads me to people... praying for what I so easily take for granted.

This is our life. But I realize that many dream of such a life.  Perhaps...they don't even dream. That was me.  I didn't dream of being a stay at home mom with a stay at home husband!! I dreamed of not having creditors call me around the clock. I dreamed of sleeping at night without reciting verses over and over about anxiety and fear as I truly struggled finding joy when we were up to our eyeballs in debt.  I dreamed of knowing we were going to be ok.

When God called us to a big life (literally!)...that big life takes a lot.  Emotionally. Physically.  Financially.  And He has given us this amazing opportunity to provide for our family at every level.

What I love the very helping others.  Giving hope to others. Perhaps it's you.  You often think "we are so close...just a little bit more each month and we could breathe easier." I can help.

Perhaps you have been goals, big plans for life and as it stands right's years off.  I can help.

Perhaps you know someone.  Maybe a single mom.  Maybe someone who's worked hard their whole life only to just lose their job.  Maybe someone who desperately wants to stay home with their children...but as it stands right now, cannot.  Maybe someone like my husband...dreamed of owning his own business, the American dream...but didn't plan on the economy crashing and spiraling us into debt.

According to my 11 year old girl...her mommy has a superpower.  She helps people change their lives. Moms come home with their children.  Debts paid off. Goals reached.  Time to spend with the people they love the most.

The gift I was the gift that keeps on giving.

What if...this post was for you?

My heart is helping people.  It's what I simply love.  Pass it on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What if ... it's a lie?

You have heard it...hundreds of times.  I've been comforted with it...hundreds of times.'s a lie.

"He won't give you more than you can handle!"


Somehow there are superhuman among us?  They are stronger, braver, more resilient than any of us can fathom?  They can hold their babies in their arms as they take their last breath....and they can handle that? That's not too much...?


No.  We are often given much more than we can handle.

In my reading a few weeks ago, I read this verse.  And I sat in my bedroom closet, on the floor, reading it over and over again.  The next night...I read it again...and couldn't get past it to read more.


2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (Jesus said)  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong.


We have been falsely comforted.  Yes. We are given much more than we can handle. People suffering through tremendous hardships ... they have the same emotions, struggles, fears...that you do.  They can't handle more than you can. They just have someone who can.

In my weaknesses...the power of Jesus is visible. Because I can't...and He's so obvious that it's Him, not me.

At some of the hardest, lowest points in my life...I have seen the most of Jesus.  Why? Because I needed to.

We live such self-sufficient lives.  We really can keep God in our little "Sunday go-to-meeting" box.  Pull Him out when we need to.  

When something is shaky in our lives instead of crying out for His strength...we question His very existence.  What....?  Yes.  It's true. We all do it.

When I had nothing in Africa....nothing.  Lost our baby. Thousands of miles away from my husband and children...I had no where else to draw support from. That's when I saw His love. His grace. That's when I heard His voice.  Because...I was desperate for it! Everything else had quieted. I was forced there by my inability to go on.

In my weakness...I saw His strength.

Instead of comforting each other and ourselves...which Christian-ese cliches that are definitely not founded in the Bible...let's acknowledge...we are given more than we can handle. 

We need Him.  

For when I am weak...then I am strong.  
Through Christ. 
 Christ in me.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

I can't keep silent.

Like many of you, my heart is absolutely broken over the recent news of Planned Parenthood.

I have watched each awfully-worse-than-the-previous-one video and felt like the air was being sucked out from my lungs as I did. far the mighty have fallen.  The once great nation who's motto was "in God we trust" has so quickly become "God have mercy on us!"

Right. Before. Our. Eyes.

To watch the fourth video of top Planned Parenthood officials discuss their dissection of human fetuses for sale of their individual parts has left me...broken.

Hearing the crack of a tiny skull and the laughter in the room as each limb was pulled one by one...even the exclamation of "its a baby!!!" and "another boy!!!" contradicting their own supposed belief that it's not a baby and nothing but tissue, yet she all but named him in her witch hunt.

I've been thinking a lot about this.  Do I boycott the businesses that support such a genocide? Do my purchases really have an impact? Is that merely a response in anger that I'm not strong enough to really carry out and stick with? I mean...Starbucks???

A friend and I were just talking about children being bullied. In her and my family if your non-bullied children stand by silently as one is bullied and does not tell an adult...they get disciplined.

I picture myself standing before God and as if with a smile on my face that I didn't support that...and being reminded that I did. I knowingly supported those businesses (as to not inconvenience myself...) that I knew were avid supporters of Planned Parenthood.

Yes...I know they do good things.  But their free pregnancy tests offered and other services to women does not wash their hands of the blood of millions of babies.  It's kind of like a defense attorney standing in court, saying how this serial killer and rapist serves the homeless every Saturday. That would leave me scratching my head...but would not leave me with one consideration that indeed his actions were justifiable because he does some good things.

I have lost 3 children.  When I say something about our ten children, one of our kids will say "13 you mean..." and every time I look at them confused until they remind me there are 3 waiting for us in Heaven. Oh...the veil between here and there is so thin for them.  They talk about it like they can see it.  Oh to have faith like a child.

The first pregnancy I was 5 weeks pregnant.  The grief was so extreme that Dean took a week off work. There were many days he helped scoop me off the floor and got me into the car and we just drove.  To try to find beauty again.  The hopes the dreams that died with that precious child.

After Azahria, before going to Africa the first time, we lost another baby.  I was over 7 weeks.  I will never ever forget waking in the night so many times that I started to cry. And every time I woke, I noticed I was singing "Heaven is the face of a little girl..." by Stephen Curtis Chapman.  Finally I begged God to tell me in the morning so I could sleep. I was just stepping into the shower and I collapsed to the floor in sobs. I remembered the night before. And I knew. I knew two things.  I was having a little girl. And she was about to see Jesus.

Two days later, with no physical warning at all, I miscarried our baby.

I went to Africa, came home, and prayed, sought medical help etc and was so excited that we were expecting again.  I had so many ultrasounds where we saw that strong heart beating. I went to Africa this time for 28 days to adopt our boys and the very first night...I delivered an intact little bubble of a sac with a perfect, tiny, formed 8wk3day fetus inside.  Numb.  I held that baby for so long. I can still feel the too-bright florescent light in that tiled bathroom in the heart of Africa.  I didn't sleep until the sun came up. I laid there numb.  And for the next 28 days every night I'd put a pillow in my mouth to dull the sobs as my heart broke more and more about the loss of our child.

The fetus I watched get pulled from limb to limb on the Planned Parenthood video was 11.5 weeks.

Absolutely horrific.

I don't comment on politically charged topics. And oh...there are many these days where I simply am quiet.  But this is one...I can't.  We believe life starts at conception.  We fight for life.  And I believe this fight goes all the way. It's not enough to shout your beliefs and let someone else pick up the pieces...because let's be honest...if you really believe abortion is a you have any idea how many babies would be up for adoption if it ended...? Are you going to step up to the plate and do something?

Courage. Oh how it's missing today. We give awards for people who simply have not earned them.  Yes. I said that.  When we named our son's middle name had the meaning of standing up. Standing up when it's not easy. Fighting for those who lack a voice. Putting yourself at risk if you must but you do not...sit by silently.  When the feelings are still act.  You act because you believe.  Courage.  Where is it today? Where is mine? I battled with even writing this because I know the backlash! You can unfriend me if you least you know where I stand. I cannot sit by and watch these babies being slaughtered. I will inconvenience myself.  I'll support local businesses who fund wounded veterans and foster children's summer camps.

In our house:  We. Fight. For. Life.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Thy word is a lamp...

Today we spent 4 hours writing some of our favorite Bible verses all over our new house.

It was so special to see the children finding the ones that meant a lot to them personally and writing them.

Friday, July 24, 2015


We are days away from the home study being completed and we were just approved for a cool way to raise money. It's just a donation site but there are no fees at all (gofundme is really high) and all donated dollars are sent right to our adoption agency on our behalf annddddd it's tax deductible!

Here's the link.

Thank you for caring and being a part of ZhenAi Poppy's story and her way home.