Sunday, August 26, 2012


We've been busy around here livin' up the last days of summer.  Ahhh, what a wonderful summer it has been.  This is the first summer we've had in 8 years that all of our children are walking.  I can't begin to tell you the difference it made!  We've had a newborn or a crawler every summer since 2004.  This summer has been pure bliss.  

Here's a bit of what we've been up to lately:

Addy did a theater camp a couple weeks ago and LOVED it.  She sang a little solo and did a great job.  She wasn't even nervous!  

Our friends Curtis and Sara had their first big fundraiser to bring their son Porter home from Eastern Europe.  It was a dream come true for us to be able to help and support them in person!  They're rescuing Porter from the place so dear to our hearts.  Visit their blog here and follow their journey!  

Daddy and Mommy are coming for you Porter!!  :)
We also went to church camp at Triangle Lake.  That was great fun!  I was too busy chasing Seth to take any pictures so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Dad and Maff
 My younger brother came home from New Jersey to visit.  YAY!!!  He also brought his super-amazing girlfriend Leesa home to meet the fam.  Oh the chats, oh the eating, oh the fun!  We crammed a lot of family time into those 5 days.  Oh the eating!  

We hiked Silver Creek Falls with all the cousins.   
(To help balance out all the eating...)

Poor Jed had to work, so little bro helped out with the kiddos.  I don't think he'd quite earned Seth's trust at this point...

Last night Jed and I went out on the town to celebrate our love for the 80's.  Our friends Gavin and Becki had an 80's dance party fundraiser to help bring their sweet little Pasha home from Eastern Europe.  It was AWESOME!!!!!  We had a blast and a half.  Jed was in rare form.  Check us out!

In case you're wondering, yes, I'm painfully aware of my husband's attire.  If you ask Jed to dress for an occasion there's nothing that can hold him back.  Shocking, blinding, bold, daring....all of those could describe Jed and his shorts.  
Just keep that picture in mind if you ever consider inviting us to a themed party. Hehe. (I'm sure you're already trying to forget...)  :) You can follow Gavin and Becki's journey at their blog here.

What else have we been up to?  Well, we've been selling things!
The clock is ticking and we need to get ourselves to Ukraine, so we've started clearing out the house.   

Today was a big milestone in the house purge.  Today we sold our dining room set.  It was pretty emotional.  I even cried.

When we started selling things off I felt it was pretty easy.  I'm not really into "stuff" all that much and I thought I didn't have any attachments to our things.  I guess I was wrong.  As I wiped down the table and chairs for the last time I bawled my eyes out.  I thought of all the memories at that table.  All the birthday songs sung around it, the school work done at it, the cookies decorated on it, the family meals, babies eating their first solid foods, holidays, card games, speed scrabble with Phil Collins Pandora in the background...

Life happened at that table.  We grew as people, we grew to love people around that table.  And now it's gone.

Today as we ate our Sunday lunch on a blanket spread out on the floor we talked to the kids about changes coming up.  We talked about why the table was gone and what would be leaving us next.  I looked at their sweet faces and my eyes filled with tears again thinking of all the changes our family will go through this year.  Then I remembered that the people who surrounded that table still remain even though the table is gone, and that's what really matters.

So here's to all the family and friends who have joined us around the table these past 10 years.  Thanks for loving us and sharing your lives with us.  And thanks in advance for sticking with us as we cry over dining room tables and couches.  This process wouldn't be nearly as great of an adventure if we didn't have you to share it with.   

That's our lately.  :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012


God is so faithful.  Really, really blowin-my-mind faithful.  

On Thursday I wrote a post asking for more help with getting my man Heath funded because he has a matching $450 grant that ends September 1st.  We just got back from camping and I ran to the computer right away to check on our progress.  Forget about showering, draining coolers, sorting laundry...I gotta check on my boy!  

Low and behold...Heath has already exceeded his matching grant by $214!!!!!!! 


I was shocked and awed.  God's faithfulness to one 11-year old half a world away is almost too good to be true. 

Honestly, I shouldn't be surprised at God's faithfulness and provision for Heath.  I really shouldn't.  But you see, God's got me on this crazy journey of learning to trust Him to meet needs and not looking to my own abilities or gifts to meet the needs myself.  He just keeps surprising me!

Jed and I set aside August as our month dedicated to seeking God's face about our next steps toward Ukraine.  We knew God wanted us to keep taking steps, but we were feeling a bit aimless.  We are expecting God to speak this month and He's pulling through!  (Imagine that!)  ;)  We each decided to fast something this month and I knew God was asking me to step out of the facebook world for the month of August as a "fast".  Why facebook?  Don't people usually fast food?  Well, God knew I had something to learn, so that's what He asked of me.  

When us Northwest gals started promoting our push for Heath we used facebook as a big resource for getting the word out.  Social media rocks for things like that.  Unfortunately, we didn't get the response we were hoping for.  There was very little interest in our September fundraiser for our boy.  I was pretty disappointed.  Actually, I knew in that moment I was a little too disappointed.  I took it personally.  Hmmm....what's wrong with that picture?  I'll tell you what was wrong!  I was promoting it in my own strength, trusting in my ability to 'catch people's attention'.  A good response to Heath was a good response to me.  

EEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!  Blech!  Gag. Yuck.

That is just icky.  Yep, it's God who is providing for Heath- not Kim.  It is God who gets all the glory- not Kim.  I knew God was asking me to step aside from facebook so that He could show me who's boss.  There are plenty of people who are getting the word out for Heath on their blogs and facebooks and God is using it all for His glory.  This isn't an anti-facebook post because great things have come from advocacy on facebook, and once my fast is up I hope to return to advocacy using that forum.  God just knew my heart, and He knew I needed to see Him show His power in a way where I couldn't claim any of the victory for myself.  I really love how He works.

Seeing Heath's grant grow and grow makes my heart want to burst.  Since I can't get the word out on facebook I have done so much more face-to-face promoting of my boy.  It has been sweet- and necessary.  Seeing people's eyes light up when they hear about what God is doing is priceless.  More and more eyes are being opened to the plight of these children we love so much and that is also priceless.

This heart issue that God and I are working out is a biggie.  It will be huge when we start to raise support for our family.  I need to learn these lessons now.  I need to remember that Jed and I are not the breadwinners for our family- Jesus is, and He can do a much better job of it than we could hope to do.

So, thank you every single one of you who gave.  Thank you to every one of you who passed the word.  Our work isn't done yet, but things are definitely moving right along.  September 15th is coming up and I can't wait to see what GOD does.  :)

To God be all the glory for the great things He has done!!! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gaining Momentum!!!

HEATH WON!!!!!!!!!
Our dear, sweet, precious love earned his spot on the Angel Tree.  Well done all who voted!!!!!!

I can not even describe how excited and encouraged I am by the body of Christ.  When we come together in unity God just smiles on it.  I think He gets the biggest kick out of all of us passing the word, texting, calling, facebooking, blogging, all for an 11-year old in Eastern Europe who was unnoticed by the world for most of his life. 

Heath has been passed over and forgotten for so long.  For 11 long years he has waited to be wanted.  Oh baby boy, your time is a'comin'.  I just know it.  I have so much faith right now it's crazy.  Momentum for our boy is revving up and it just can't be long till his Mommy and Daddy see his face!

First there were prayer warriors praying for Heath long before we noticed his sweet face.  To you girls, thank you so very much for your love and faithfulness. 

Then came the meeting of the minds in our backyard last month.  :)  Mutual love for Heath was discovered and we felt we just had to act on it. 

Next I found out that there are multiple Heath-lovers out there that we don't even know who have been having garage sales, selling off furniture, doing youth group fundraisers- all for Heath.


A family who loves Heath had a birthday party.  Instead of asking for presents, the children asked for money for Heath.
They ended up raising $450 for our sweetie.  But they aren't just giving it away for way.  That wouldn't be enough fun.  :)  They have offered their donation as a matching grant in hopes of raising even more cash for Heath.  Pretty sweet, eh?

I know, I know, you're asking,
"How can I help?" 
Oh, I'm so glad you asked!  There are 3 big ways you can help out.

1.  Donate money ($1, $.50, $200 every little or big bit counts!) to Heath's matching grant right here.  If we can raise $450 by September 1st that gracious birthday partyin' family will pitch in their $450.  Can we do it????  Only with your help. :)  In order to meet our goal, Heath's grant at Reece's Rainbow needs to read $9,583.94 by September 1st.

2.  Have a car wash on September 15th!  Our dream is to have many, many people washing cars for our boy all on one day.  If you can't wash cars, do a bake sale, collect coins in a jar, collect pop something!!  One family has soccer that day so the mom is donating a certain amount of money to Heath for each goal scored.  Love it! 

3.  Pray.  Pray for our boy that God would bless him and keep him.  Pray that God would lead Heath's parents to his face and that they would hear the Lord's leading and act.  Pray Heath is rescued soon and pray that his rescue would serve to bust that place wide open. 

September 15th is Heath's big day.  If you decide to help out in any way please, please let me know so when we recount the amazingness of it all we can all celebrate together!

Thank you all so much for your giving hearts.  It's hard to come on here and ask for money, but when I look at that sweet face it just doesn't matter anymore.  He deserves a family and a chance at life- no matter how I feel.  Know what I mean?  Thanks for coming back, reading, and acting. 

You are a blessing!!!!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Twenty Seconds to Make a Difference

Thursday 8/16 update:

Heath won!!!!!
Thank you everyone for helping out our boy!!!!!!
(lots of exclamation points...I'm screaming on the inside)  :)

The Starfish Story 

Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?"

The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean.  The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don't throw them back, they'll die."

"Son," the man said, "don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference!"

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.  
Then, smiling at the man, he said
"I made a difference for that one."

I love that story.  It never gets old.
When I look at  all the faces on Reece's Rainbow it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the need.  At times it can feel almost pointless to try, because I know there are so many thousands of faces that aren't listed...faces that are hidden away in cribs, the world moving along without them.  

Then I remember this story.  Then I remember that God hasn't asked me to "save them all".  He has called me to be obedient to the next thing He asks of me.  No step of obedience is insignificant.  When it comes to saving lives, no fundraiser is a failure- because it matters to that one.  I won't give up on trying to save one, just because I can't save them all.  :)  
(But I sure know The One who can!!)

"Do not fail to do something because you cannot do everything."
-The Hole in Our Gospel

God is the one who will save these children.  He alone is their Savior.  
And He asks us to be his hands and feet here on earth.  He asks us not to be paralyzed by the enormity of the need, but to step out in obedience to do the next thing.  
Because it matters to that one.

Heath is "that one" for our family right now.  God has asked us to step out and do whatever He asks to help find Heath a family.  

Wanna help?  :)

I have an easy-peasy way you can help Heath.  Listen up!

Every year Reece's Rainbow has a huge fundraising event called "The Angel Tree".  During the months of November and December all the orphans with Down Syndrome ages 0-5 who are listed on Reece's Rainbow are put on the Angel Tree.  The goal is to raise $1,000 for each child on the tree.  Why raise money?  Well, simply because adoption is expensive!!!  If we can get money into these kiddos' grants, then once their family finds them it is that much easier to get them home without delay.  Each person who donates $35 or more to the Angel Tree receives a beautiful Christmas ornament with the child's picture on it.  Cool eh?

The Angel Tree is a fantastic opportunity to grow a child's grant and to get their face out there so their Mama and Daddy can find them.  The thing is, it's only for kiddos up to the age of 5....until now!!!!!  This year the older children get their chance to get on the tree...but only if we vote!

Reece's Rainbow chose a select few older children and gave us a small window of time when we can vote for who gets on the tree.  Guess who is one of the lucky few???  HEATH!!!!!!


If we can get Heath's grant up I KNOW he will have a family.  I just know it.  This is a fantastic opportunity.  It literally takes 20 seconds.  I told you it was easy-peasy.

So, please, pretty please click on the picture below and vote for my boy.  Then don't stop there!  Tell all your friends and family to vote for him too!  Right now he's in the lead, but not by much.  The voting ends Thursday, so we have no time to waste.  

Click on the picture below and it will take you to where you vote!!!!

 Because it matters to this one. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

If Everyone Jumped off a Cliff...

--- 1 ---
If everyone jumped off a cliff, would I follow?  Well, apparently I would follow Becki.  I saw Becki's "7 Quick Takes", thought it looked fun, and promptly jumped on the bandwagon.  I'm a fan of Becki.  I'm a fan of not?
--- 2 ---
Tuesday was quite the adventure!  We dropped Addy off at the theater camp she's at this week and Ezra had spent the night at a friend's house, so it was the babes and me for the morning.  I decided to take the babies out on the town. (Havalah is 3 and Seth is 2.  Yes, I know they aren't truly babies anymore, but that's how we clump our kids together: the big kids and the babies.  Thinking in twos makes it seem more manageable to me...somehow) I had a voucher for a free drink at Starbucks, so I headed downtown to get a free slice of bread and to get my drink.  The sun was shining, the children were behaving, it was blissful...that is until Seth decided to make a break for it and dart into the middle of the street downtown with oncoming traffic!  Holy cow.   If you heard frantic screams in your part of the world at approximately 9:54 on Tuesday morning, it was just me, having a coronary.  OMG.  He got all the way out into the middle lane before I caught him.  Not my best Mommy moment.  I hope my over-the-top freak out scared him into never doing that again.  One can hope...right?  :)
On a brighter note, the guy in front of me in the line at Starbucks bought my drink!  I was positively giddy!  Thank you stranger.  You brightened my day with your thoughtfulness.

--- 3 ---
 Another thing that made my day on Tuesday was the generosity of a friend.  My super lame, super old cell phone kicked the bucket.  Poor red flip phone had served me so faithfully for so long, I couldn't blame her for finally giving up the fight.  I mentioned to my super amazing friend that my phone had died and she proceeded to have her husband bring me an extra Iphone they weren't using!  I'll miss you old flip, well, who am I kidding?  I haven't given old red a spare thought.  Now I can do cool things like...Instagram!  Thanks my generous, thoughtful friend.  You rock.

Proof of my mad Instagram skills

--- 4 ---
Wednesday was my birthday.  This past year of life was superb.  I can't even wait to find out what's in store for us this year!  While I was 32 we adopted Seth, we explored Ukraine, we made new friends, we decided to move our family across the world.  We had a busy year, full of wonderfulness.  Some sad things happened, for sure, even those moments were filled with love and grace.  God has had his hand on us in a big way this past year.  Because of His faithfulness and goodness I look forward to another year being led by Him.  Yay for 33!

--- 5 ---
Yesterday something really awesome happened in a place we love dearly.  I can't share about it yet, but I just had to put that teaser out there.  Muwahahahahahahaha!!!!!
(I hate it when people do that, but since I so rarely have a secret I thought I'd give it a try.  I like it so far!)  :)

--- 6 ---
My friend Sarah introduced me to Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt this week.  I can't decide if I should thank her or disown her.  This new-found knowledge could be the death of me.  Dark chocolate with sea salt combined with the SUPER skinny SUPER bright red jeans Jed got me for my birthday are not shaping up to be a very good combo.  Somehow I'll manage...somehow...

Old Navy jeans

(Not me...definitely not me if I continue with my chocolate spree!)
--- 7 ---
Havalah got her new glasses yesterday.  She scratched her old bifocals with her teeth.  HA!  What in the world?  Oh well, it was time for insurance to pay for a new pair anyway.  This time she chose purple frames.  I love her to pieces!  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Livin' the Dream

Today as I was driving down the road I was overcome with thankfulness.
This road our family is on is just so stinkin' exciting and amazing!!  As I was driving I was thinking, "How is it that we get to do this?"  We are preparing to live out our dream and I just can't believe it's really happening.

I bet you've heard the verse in Psalms 37,
Delight yourself in the Lord
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

We are truly getting the desires of our hearts right now and I can just hear God chuckling to Himself about the whole thing.  I mean, how great of a system did He create?  First He puts a desire in our hearts, then when He fulfills that desire we get all excited and surprised like "God!  How did you know I wanted to do that?!"  Duh.  He's the one who gave us the desire in the first place.  I just love it!

All glory just has to go to Him.  
I remember back in April when Jed and I first entered the  Romaniv orphanage.  Nervous and excited we stepped through the doors of the place we'd heard so much about.  Straight away we were slapped in the face with the smell.  Oh the smell!  Ha!  Then we were bombarded by children.  Not  just any children, but children who have been rejected by the world; boys who are considered unteachable, not worthy of a life.  Some drooled, most rocked, all smelled.  They talked too loud.  They stood too close.  

Yet...we were instantly in love.  
All glory must go to Him alone.
There was no other place we would have rather been in that moment.
In that stinky room with all those forgotten boys was one of the best times of my life.
I can still remember the look on Jed's face when our eyes met over the heads of the boys.
His eyes were filled with tears.  This is what we were made for.
I would give most anything to be back there right this minute.

In that unlikely place, God was giving us the desires of our hearts- desires that He placed there long ago, when we were just children.  Now we get to move our whole family across the world to love on those boys and others like them.  I am just so stunned and so beyond thankful.  At times it feels overwhelming and scary.  How is it all going to work out?  How are we going to pay for this?  Are we ruining our children's lives?  :)  But today, today I was overwhelmed with thankfulness that we get to live out our dream.

He's just too stinkin' good!!


Oh, and while I have your attention I just have to do another shout out for my Heath.
 (Sneaky huh?)  :)

We've had a ton of local response for our car wash fundraiser.  YAY!!!!!!
We would love to have more car washes happening all over the country.  If Heath's adoption account reaches $25,000 we are confident he will be rescued.


Can you help?

Have a car wash!
Have a bake sale!
Collect spare change!
Turn in some pop cans!
Pray your guts out!
Show his face to your family and friends...tell them about our rescue mission!

Everyone can do something.  You don't have to have $15,000...every single prayer, every single dollar counts.  God sees it all and He loves Heath so much more than we do.  I trust Him that Heath's days as an orphan are numbered.  God has a plan for His life.

Let's do this thing!!!!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mamas Joining Hands for Heath

In a small village halfway across the world a little boy sits. He sits and waits.
As life passes him by, as his childhood passes him by he sits and waits.
At one time he was lost, only a few people knew he even existed.
But then....God.
One family came in and rescued a sweet little boy from his orphanage.
Then a second family swooped in to rescue another, not so unlike him.
Those families saw this little boy sitting in his chair, playing with grass to pass the time.
They saw the beauty and potential inside of him and he is lost no more.

If you haven't seen him before on this blog, this is "Heath".  Dear, sweet, loved beyond words, Heath.
Heath waits in the orphanage far away that is closest to our hearts, "The Lost Boys" orphanage.  He's been waiting for 10 years....but can I let you in on a little secret?


I don't understand it all, and I'm pretty sure it's bigger than I can even imagine.  God is up to something ginormous and Heath is part of the plan.

If you've been reading here for a while you know that the Lost Boys are pretty big deal around here.  They are the main reason we crossed the ocean in April, and they are the main reason we are moving our family across the ocean to live.  We don't understand it all, but we know that God has called us to those boys, to that place.  Ever since we got back in May it's like people are coming out of the woodwork who love those boys and desire to act on that love.  It's craziness!

That brings me to this past Sunday night- a great example of the huge plan God's got in the works.
Can I just say that Sunday night was amazing????
Listen to this!

On Sunday night we hosted a gathering at our house for local Reece's Rainbow adoptive families and advocates.  Some of us had met before face to face, but many of the group had not- regardless, there was instant comfort.  God had already knit our hearts together for a group of children who most people don't even know exist.  It felt like a family reunion, with all the love and none of the drama.  

Only God can pull off something like that.  It was beautiful and I'll not soon forget it.

All the girls together

What does Sunday have to do with the Lost Boys and Heath?

Well, as we mamas sat around chatting about the orphans we love far away, the conversation drifted to Heath.  We discovered that there was a fierce mutual love for Heath among the mamas.  We teared up as we shared the prayers we pray for Heath, how we trust that God sends His angels to comfort, that God walks among the boys and rests His hand on their sweet heads as they sleep.  It was beautiful to see how God has placed the same prayers in each of our hearts as we pray for this boy who desperately waits.

After we went our separate ways that evening the chatting continued between the mamas:
"I can't get Heath off my mind, there must be something we can do!"
"I thought about Heath the whole drive home, surely if we all work together we can do something!"

An idea was born.

Sit up!
Pay attention!
This is where you come in!

Washing Cars for Heath

Many hands make light work- and more fun!
On September 15th, we Pacific Northwest Mamas are committing to washing cars for the day in our different cities, with all proceeds going directly to Heath's Reece's Rainbow account.  

You see, adoption costs a lot.  We trust that if the money is there, Heath will be adopted.  We believe it!  For Heath's adoption to be fully-funded his grant needs to read at least $25,000. 
 Right now Heath has $9133.94  in his account.

What if we could raise the difference in one day?  What if????
Would you join us?

All you have to do is set aside September 15th to wash cars.  Gather some friends and family and wash cars in your city.  Get the word out about Heath.  Show his face to as many people as you can!  If you can't wash cars, do a bake sale!  Collect pop cans!  Then send in your tax-deductible donation to his Reece's Rainbow account.


This boy has waited far too long.  We know about him now.  We are compelled to act.
Our goal (impossible sounding- but not impossible to God) is to have a car wash for Heath happening in every state on September 15, 2012.

What do you think?
Would you please consider joining hands with us Mamas for one little boy?
We can each play a part in his story of redemption.

Would you join us???

If you would like to host a car wash for Heath (or join ours if you're local!) please leave me a comment.  I would love to know who all is joining hands with us for Heath.  Go team go!!!!!