LOVE

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27


He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6


Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It Is HERE!!!

Well I have been working on a design for a shirt and I cannot wait to show you all!!! This is an idea I have had floating around in my head since before we knew we were going back again! After teaming up with Fund the Nations their professional designers tweaked my design and I LOVE it!!!!
So without further adieu I present you with our shirt that will hopefully help lead the way into our fundraiser efforts to bring our Abbi Grace home to her forever family!!!!!
My favorite part--look closely in the word LOVE!!! Awesome right?!


Adult XS-XL                                                    $20
Adult XXL                                                        $22
Youth M-XL                                                     $20
Child's sizes                                                      $15
                
                                                             
 photo belowpic-2.png
*** It is more cost effective for us if you want to send a check to us at
 8550 Pinetop Ridge Ln Brooksville, Fl 34613, then we aren't paying Paypal fees :)

*There is a $5 suggested shipping fee; obviously all help in fees help us towards our goal of bringing Abbi home but I want all to be able to show their support of Orphans and of Abbi Grace!

*These shirts are a softer material than your average tee and more fitted so FTN said if you are between sizes it is better to go up a size for a more comfortable fit.

*Make sure your address is correct in PayPal as this is the address we will use to mail your shirts to you!

We would LOVE if you'd share this blog so we can get the word out about our shirt! When you do be sure to hash tag it #ShopFTN! The more shirts we sell the better the price of the shirt we buy them for and the more money we raise for Abbi Grace!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are having a fabulous week!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Nina Update and More

Well Nina has her big appointment we were waiting for. They went over all of her tests, scans, blood work, video, every possible thing you can think of. So she has surgery November 12th. Her first surgery will be to put little sensor things under her skull to detect FOR SURE which tumers are causing the seizures. IF you look at her EEG from her hospital stay-there will be times when the EEG doesn't pick up some of the seizures that you can clearly see she is having, so the ones under the skull will guarantee where they are coming from so they are sure they are taking the right tumors out. Then the following week they will remove the tumors that need to be removed. We will need so much prayer at that time. Not only will she be having brain surgery, which is big, we will have very little time to decide which ones we should remove based on how close they are to certain areas of her brain that could effect her daily life, which we wont know till they are in there and see what they are looking at. WE have a general idea now, but wont really know till we are there.
Sooooo...that is that. I am excited that we will be starting Speech Therapy with her this Monday because I know that sweet girl wants to speak so much more than we can understand! And after a hearing test we learned that she may have mild hearing loss. We are not too concerned about that since we know she seems to be hearing us fine.
This girl is a FIGHTER! A sweet fighter guised by her sweet smile and contagious giggle! And even more than all of that-Her Heavenly Father loves her more than Gold! I can not WAIT to see what He has in store for her!
As far as things in our new adoption world...we are starting up and getting our first fundraiser going!!! I can't WAIT to show you all what is coming!!!! I'll give you a hint...it is something that can help you sport your support for Abbi! ;)
Keep an eye out for our next blog post...we will have our big reveal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you all!! Thank you ALL for your AMAZING support in our new journey to Abbi!!!!

Here's a few adorable pictures of the little's and what has been happening around here...

Levi really concentrating of writing

Nina LOVES dressing up! So beautiful!

Isac working on his letters!

First day of Co-Op for my kiddos-they LOVE it!

Jumping on the trampoline our neighbors gave us-Nina LOVES jumping!

Isac loving on Nana and Papa's puppies

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Up Next...Don't Miss It

I think of the people in the Bible, people we think of as the GREATS! There is Moses, the man who tried giving God every excuse in the world not to lead a huge group of his people to the promised land, but ended up accomplishing this HUGE act through God. Many doubted him, even those he was called to rescue. There is Noah, we all know him, built a HUGE boat and sailed through crazy storms for a year with a bunch of smelly animals and his family, listening to the cries of those outside drowning because of their stubborn pride. Yeah he was laughed at quit a bit during those days of building, but no one laughed later. And David, a young and small kid, willing to step forward past the strong men dressed in armor, and defeat an enormous giant! His brothers and the other soldiers, undoubtedly joking at David's expense at how he thought he could dare take this giant that they coward from. But he did it. And so did so many other men and woman of God, in the Bible and every year after. Men and woman willing to lay it all out on the line to follow Him and only Him. Willing to handle the doubt, mocking, and sometimes VERY unsolicited advice clothed as "godly wisdom", to listen and only hear the words coming from their Heavenly Father.
That is the life I want to lead. A life that is ready and willing to be one of the GREATS! I don't want to be remembered. I could really care less of the legacy I leave behind as being one of the greats, because that fades. Another hero will always rise, another person will always do something greater, that is just the way history works. I want to be a great because I want to know I was willing to give all to God.
 I know some think (I have been told)  us adopting more kids would take away from our family dynamic. How could we enjoy our family if we have so many kids? The only answer I have to that is my joy is found differently than it once was. It doesn't look the same as it once did. It is seeing my second child take it upon herself to teach her younger sister, just adopted, how to write, just because she wants to see her learn. It is in seeing my third daughter laugh with her new sister and tell me how much she loves being a big sister to her because they both love to giggle and Nina didn't have that before. It is watching Levi step it up to try and build a relationship with Nina and Isac that I have never seen him try and build before, all on his own. It is seeing my oldest cuddle with her new baby brother and read him a baby book. It is in watching my Nina learn the simple things that come so easily for all of us and LOVE the praise that comes with it. It is in watching Isac rest so easily in Josh's arms because he feels his love.
Getting there wasn't easy. Just like Moses I tried making every excuse I possibly could, but I KNEW God was calling us in a direction that I needed to go to. And I did not want to miss what HE had in store for us!
And...He is calling us again!!!!!!
Again, I tried making every excuse I could. I mean this time I've got good ones Lord! Things with Nina are still working themselves out. We are starting the process to move since we knew we were going back eventually, we need to be in a home that will fit our growing family. "Please God, I am willing but not now! What will people think?!"
I wrestled with this A LOT! But in the end, I saw her face, and in my heart I knew for some reason God was telling me,"this sweet girl just can't sit there any more...are you willing?"
"But God there are so many waiting? Why her? Is this you or me? LORD I am willing but please answer me?"
And over and over I knew His response..."are you willing?"
Josh and I just laid it down. Prayed hard. And the next morning in church, our Pastor preached a series called "Whatever It Takes". One of his quote was;

"God didn't call us to be average, HE died for us to be EXTRAORDINARY!"

Ephesians 3:20-2120 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


And what really hit us is when he said, "IF our own plans are not intimidating to me, it is probably insulting to God!"

Now do not get me wrong. I am not saying adopting equals to leading hundreds out of captivity like Moses or building a cruise line type boat to help save the human race. I am merely bringing our daughter home. But it wont be easy, I know people won't understand and some will doubt BUT it WILL be amazing to watch God provide all that we need once again to make it happen. HE has done it before for many who are willing, and I am grateful that we are in the front row to see it all!
I know many got to ride a long to watch us journey to Nina and Isac! I hope many will share in our next adventure to our sweet girl!

*Disclaimer: Eve is her agency name not the name we gave her.


I leave you with an excerpt from a book that has become a favorite of mine (and the Bible of course)....

Matthew 16:24-25
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Like 14:33
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

"Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that HE commanded? You'll notice that HE didn't add, "But hey, if it's that's too much to ask, tell them to just be Christians-you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything." "
"Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. 
Christians today like to play it safe. We want to put ourselves in situations where we are safe "even if there is no God". But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity."
"We ended up moving into a house that was half the size of our previous home, and we haven't regretted it. My response to the cynics, in the context of eternity,was, I the crazy one for selling my house?Or are you for not giving more, being with your Creator more? If one person "wastes" away his day spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better thing to do then worship the Creator or Sustainer, who is the crazy one?" Francis Chan CRAZY LOVE

Being the parents of 7+ kids, some with special needs, will not and is not the easiest journey to live, and our kids may not have the memories of amazing expensive trips and vacations, but as a family we are making so many memories. IF there is one legacy I do want to leave my kids it is to live a life of denying self, taking up the cross and following Him. God DOES want us to have fun and enjoy life...but I guess it just depends what you consider joy...
No doubt Moses, Jesus and David didn't "enjoy" being mocked and persecuted...but their joy was not found in the things man thought of them. I pray we can live a life of a new kind of joy.
All of our joys will look different...God calls us to different things and has in different places in life, different journeys and different desires...this this where He lead us...this is where WE chose joy.

This is a video we showed our kids and family to announce our sweet Abbi.
video