Monday, February 18, 2013

Like sister, like brother

When we began the adoption road to our daughter in China, I thought we would be returning right after she came home, in about 9 months (insert naive giggle), for another Chinese daughter.  But, Proverbs 16:9 played out and proved to be true, as ALL scripture is:
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Our quoted wait time for our daughter's referral of 6 months slowly and steadily stretched out to 23 months and during that time we were blessed with another pregnancy, another daughter.  I remember feeling her move and kick in my belly and thinking about my Chinese daughter wondering where she was in her life, if even born yet.  The call finally came that we had been matched with a chubby, round faced baby girl in Chongquing, China.  Much to our delight our daughters would be 3 months apart in age and turn out to be the best of buddies (at least at their current age of 6).

Our lives (and home) were very full with our two sons and two daughters.

Summer, 2010

As time passed, we became increasing convinced that the Lord had another child for us.  Our hearts were broken and eyes opened to the need of the fatherless while in China.  We absolutely had a desire to adopt again.  Not specifically from China, like we had in 2003.  We began to look into different countries, different programs.  During that time, Tim and I both, began to sense a longing for Lindsey to have a sibling that resembled her.  Even at a young age, she would make small comments or questions that led our hearts to feel that another Asian child would benefit her.  Just to clarify, I don't think that all families that adopt internationally need to follow with a second or third adoption of that same race.  We just knew it was right for our family.

We began the paperwork for China and through several twists, turns and heartaches we were led to an agency with a Korean program.  We began the mountain of paperwork, paid the insane amount of fees, started a blog and launched our Minus 1 Project.

Fast forward to April of last year.  Our spunky little Korean son came home.  Another brother to add to expand our circle.  (I'm not ready to say "to complete our circle". :)

We began to notice Lindsey's delight in his dark skin and darker hair.  After only a few days home she told me that she liked how his eyes looked like hers.  Truth is THERE IS BLESSING, ABUNDANT BLESSING, FOLLOWING OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD.  And that blessing flows far beyond the one who is walking in direct obedience, in this case my husband and me.  Our listening, hearing and stepping out in faith has transformed our daughter.

Like two peas in a pod are these two:

 This final and most recent picture is one of my favorites because I think they look so much alike.  As Carson gets older, I really think they are resembling one another more and more.
Let me be very clear on this, I would love them forever and ever regardless of what they looked like but I honestly think that there is a part of my daughter that will heal, cope, grow and embrace life in a different way because of her little brother that looks like her!  Like in all of life, there are many things that we will never quite fully comprehend this side of heaven.

"And then, my sons (and daughters), listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."
Proverbs 8:32-35

 I do not believe our God forces His will onto His children..."listen to my instruction and be wise".  Those soft calls from the Lord, those gentle pullings and/or nudgings from the Holy Spirit..."do not ignore it".

For this I know, these two children, my son and daughter, born far away from their family and each other, in two different countries, almost four years apart have taught me about life, love and the unbreakable bond that is "family".

Adoption isn't a journey to an unloved or unwanted child but a journey to a child that is fully loved and fully wanted.  If you sense that He is calling your family to step out into this journey, don't miss it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You choose...

Heart on the front:
heart on the back:

Available for a limited time at

We put the question out on our facebook page:  In one word what does adoption mean to you?
We took the top answers and came up with the above design.

I hope you agree that adoption IS  all of those things and more!

(We are happily taking preorders now and will place the order in about 2 weeks.  FYI:  We are doing a give away on our facebook page.  Go like us at Minus 1 Project (-1))

Monday, February 11, 2013

St. Valentine's day, a day to celebrate.

"You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound" Psalm 4:7

If you have followed my blog you know that I love family traditions.  In a nutshell, I think it is important to have things that you do only as a family. I would encourage you to go out of your way to come up with or copy ideas that can make your family times special and memorable, especially around holidays.  I am always pleasantly surprised at how excited even my older boys are about our traditions.  

The true origin of Valentine's Day is not easy to find. Who was Valentine? One thing that is for sure is that this day commemorates a martyrdom. History records that a young priest, named Valentine, was beheaded on Feb 14, A.D. 269 because he refused to renounce his faith in Christ. I think it is interesting how the St. eventually was dropped from St. Nicolas Day and St. Valentine's Day. I also think it is time to take them back...teach our children the true origin and celebrate in a way that keeps Christ in our celebration days, year round.

There are lots of inexpensive ways to make the day special. Just because our children will be receiving IPADS doesn't mean that yours have to!! :) Our five Valentines will wake up to pink heart shaped pancakes and pink heart marshmallows in a cup of hot cocoa. Tim has always planned a scavenger hunt (clues on hearts, of course) for each child. They find a small surprise/candy at each clue, usually 3 or 4. Last year, Tim even had the boys running around outside! We'll share homemade cards, make heart shaped sugar cookies to take to friends, read the story of St. Valentine, and we'll call it a day...that is unless someone out there can leave me a comment with another fun suggestion!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Good

This is SNOW good...all long sleeve shirts at Minus 1 Project (-1) are $5 off today and tomorrow.

Sizes are very limited.  When they're gone, they're gone!
We are clearing out and making room for spring!
Have a great weekend.
Shop on!   I mean, Adopt on! :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coupon Codes

If you are on facebook and would like to participate in giveaways, games, coupon codes, new Minus 1 Project reveals, etc...find us.  We are under Minus 1 Project (-1).  (You could find me, too, if you would like although I am trying to keep all fundraising site on that page now.)

If you are not on facebook, don't be alarmed. :)  I will still do some of those events listed above here but have found that keeping it all in one place is easier.  And right now in this stage, easier is better. :)

One day:  TODAY ONLY (ends 2/8, midnight)  code Valentine awards you with 20% off of $35 or more on Minus 1 Project (-1).

This is a great time to shop for your Valentine or have your Valentine shop for you.  We'll pack it up and mail it out Saturday to ensure delivery by Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Front Door Lift

Another fantastic, creative and unique fundraiser going by a very talented waiting momma!  I ordered my rag wreath a few weeks ago and it when it arrived, I was so impressed.  The amount of time and energy needed to create it is so impressive!
You can choose your size and fabric/colors.  They are some super cute holiday ones but I wanted an everyday wreath since I have some holiday wreaths.

This fundraiser, much like the Evans family's wooden name puzzles, are seriously a labor of love.  All I do is box up and mail out shirts and the like.  These moms must spend any spare moment (which we all know are hard to come by) working on their products.  I know they do it because their child, waiting to come home, is so, so worth it.  They are using their talent and ability to raise thousands of dollars--now that is worth supporting!  Seriously, don't give your money to Michaels, Walmart, Target, etc...

These wreaths and other creations by Valerie can be found on facebook under "Rag Wreaths by Val" or on her etsy shop:  HERE.

Wooden name puzzles (post two below) can be found here: Our Hand Picked Angels.

Take just a few minutes to click on these links.  Feel great about the items/gifts you buy.

Support and encourage these families as they follow in obedience the adoption journey to their child(ren).   They will thank you 100 times over!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Chocolate Lover

We were so excited to have another good snowfall last week.  The little ones wasted no time hopping on the sled (which conveniently was still out from the week before) for a ride.

I love the above picture.  It reminds me why I like the winters and makes up for some of those lllooonnnggg stuck-inside-everybody-going-nuts days.  I'm having a hard time getting my older two on camera lately so here is one of Ben coming home from sledding at the big hill at the end of our street.

  A few weeks before our first snow, close to Christmas, I think, Carson had his first cup of hot cocoa.  At this time, we think he might be a bit addicted to the stuff.
When I start bringing out the mugs and marshmallows, he goes nuts!

 He starts off very protective.  (You'd think he had 4 older siblings that try to snag his sweet treats.:)

Mid-mug he will turn a bit gangsta over the stuff making sure everyone in the house knows this is his chocolate and he is not sharing!

Nearing the end of his little mug, he will loosen up a bit.  Actually acting a bit loopy...maybe it's the mellows? 

In a very strange turn of weather events, about 5 days after this snowfall we decided that 60 degrees outside, after dinner, in Jan, merited a family walk to the grocery for ice cream.
See that small remanent of snow behind my cute family?

And yes, Carson is just as protective, gangsta and loopy over ice cream as he is hot chocolate and marshmallows.  He is an Apisa indeed!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February's Winner

The moment you all have been waiting for...the winner of our February giveaway is:

Cindy Bowers

Cindy-you have won this basket of goodies from our Minus 1 Project (-1) fundraising site minus the basket. :)

This giveaway had the largest response yet.  It is so exciting for us to see our fundraising site growing.  As a "thank you" we've set up a coupon code for THIS WEEKEND ONLY!  (Starting now through Sun., midnight)

Free shipping on all orders over $ code:  thanks

(This would be a great time to get your Valentine a gift or give your Valentine our site so they can get you something.  Save $5.95.)

We are planning on doing monthly giveaways followed by a special coupon code (because I wish we could give prizes to everyone :) so be sure to follow our blog or find us on facebook under Minus 1 Project (-1).

Have a great weekend.
Adopt on!