Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We made it! We made it!
We met the matching grant
are now
Thank you to each of you who have helped us get here.
We feel incredibly blessed and we stand in awe of all God is doing!
We head out in two weeks to hold our little boy and we can't wait to start posting about the good stuff- him THRIVING!!!
We pray you all are blessed immensely!!
If you feel God calling please follow. No matter how big the mountain in front of you He will get you there!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


We're leavin on a jet plane...
Like 3 weeks soon!!!!

We just found out last night that 
we have a matching grant of $4,000! 
What does that mean?
Well, if we can raise $4,000 by next Monday we will receive an additional $4,000 and be...

Please consider donating. 
You can donate to his tax deductible account here:

Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and donations! We are blown away by your love for our little guy! Blessings!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Sorry it has been quiet around here.
We have been busy working on the golf tournament and preparing for travel.
GUESS WHAT??? We are hoping to head out in September.
We are so EXCITED!!! 
It's coming up quickly. We can't wait to hold our little guy!!!
 We are just waiting on the green light known as... a travel date.
Well, that and $11,424 to make us fully funded.

So...How can you help?

            DONATE(click here)

We have worked so hard- from endless prayers, tracking down paperwork, traveling to get documents, endless calls and emails, fundraising every moment possible, and now we are just waiting for someone to say, "Come on over and hold your little guy." 
Please help us reach our financial goal. It would be heart wrenching to think that money held us up and kept him from our arms. We want that cold metal crib to turn into warm loving arms. We want him to know endless hugs and kisses. We want him to know what family means- parents and siblings.
We want him to know what LOVE means. 
Please help us finish this race and bring him HOME!

*To track our progress look at the box on the right. When it reaches $17,500 we will be fully funded!
Please prayerfully consider donating. Click donate above to be taken to his tax deductible account.

Take a second and watch this video. See what a family can do in the life of an orphan...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The greatest...

I imagined a happy post. After all we just got our USCIS approval and now we are just waiting on a travel date. Isn't that something to celebrate?? YES!! We are praising God that He is moving and directing our steps. We can't wait for the day we are walking off a plane HOME with our child. What an awesome day that will be! :)

So why such a somber start to the post? This little girl:

It was announced today that this precious little one passed away. She died an orphan. There is no family to pray for... she didn't get a chance to have one. No one came to rescue her.

As I was looking at her picture and the life in her eyes, I couldn't help but wonder if God ever called someone to be her parents. What if He did but they hesitated. What if God said., "This is your child! Go!" but it was rationalized away as an emotional thought. What if, when God said go they looked at their 10 year plan and she wasn't included therefore they blocked out the call. What if it was the numbers that scared them. You know adoption costs can scare anyone. The what if's could go on for miles.

What if a family had come. She might have had parents, brothers, sisters, doctors to help give her the best life quality possible. She might have loved watermelon in the summertime and had the cutest giggle when her sisters pushed her in the swing. She might have been a daddy's little girl who loved to curl up in his lap while watching movies on family night. The what if's could go on for miles.

Tonight I went to help pack up some of my grandmother's belongings. She passed away this year and her last bit of material possessions have been in a storage building waiting to be sorted. She lived a very simple life and everything she owned was well loved. She didn't see the need in buying new things if the old could still be used. In her generation buying new wasn't an option. She used to tell us about her mother and how creative she was in making toys for them. She would take flour sacks and make them balls to play with. She would get out in the yard and play with them. If you talked to my grandmother long you realized that with 14 kids there wasn't a lot of money to buy new just because. Her memories tell of the relationships she had with her family not the possessions they owned.

I looked at her "worldly" possessions laying out on the concrete in black garbage bags and boxes. Do those possessions replace her now that she's gone? No! Do I think she would say it was worth working extra long hours away from family just to have all those items in boxes and bags? No! None of it is worth anything now. It's sitting in a pile at the local thrift store. Possessions don't last forever. They won't eternally bring you happiness. They won't carry on your memory and ideals to impact future generations. They won't truly make you or anyone in your family happy. Relationships are they only thing that can do that. God made us relational. We all desire someone to love us. God placed that in our innermost being. He loves us and therefore we know love. We search for it if we don't have it. We need love. We need God to fill our love tank. Then what.. Well let's open the word. Mark 12: 30-31 tells us the most important commandments:

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”

He made us to LOVE! Love with abandon... ALL your SOUL, ALL your MIND, ALL your STRENGTH- that is ALL of YOU! He wants you to LOVE Him and others without walls. This brings Him glory. Riches and plans do not. Love puts a spotlight on Him in our life. There are so many people looking at the spotlight and needing it because there is no light in their dark lonely heart. Take a look again at the picture of this innocent child who was waiting to know earthly love. Is God calling you to something and yet you are hesitating? God won't force our hand. You have the option of yes or no when he calls. Their are repercussions to our choices though. Sometimes the ripple effect can cost the life of another.

We have one life to live for Him. Imagine what it would be like to live it to the fullest in obedience, pouring into other's as much as we love ourselves. It's not about our comfort although I can assure you He is right by your side and He knows you best. If He is calling it's the best place for you to be.

There are so many more just like her waiting.. for you to love like you love yourself!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fundraisers Update

We have some new fundraisers going on that I wanted to share with you!

First is the car decal. Aren't these awesome??
$12.00 (Shipping Included)

Next is the keychain which has a snug pocket to hold an id and card.
Super handy!!
$10 (Shipping Included)

"Superman was adopted too!" Shirts 
I have 6 left!! Get them while you can!!
$20 (Including Shipping)

We had a huge blessing today when Flower Child Boutique donated some of her handmade soy candles!!!
They all smell AMAZING! 
We have 6 for you to choose from!
$15 each (Including Shipping)

Here is a good description:

I am an Ava Anderson Non Toxic Consultant. If you aren't familiar with the brand please go get familiar and find out the difference in the products you are using now versus these NON TOXIC products that leave your skin feeling AMAZING! I absolutely recommend the 4 pc. skincare set.
Cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and moisturizer

I am the consultant so every cent I make will go toward bring home our sweet little boy! :)
Click here to learn more or purchase!

I also make Sock Dolls
This is just an example. I do not have a stock at this point although I am working on it. 
To order just leave a message in comments and let me know what skin tone: light, medium or dark. I also need to know boy or girl and if you want a knotted hat(for lil ones to chew) or not. When I custom make your doll I will send a picture for you to preview before it is shipped.  
These make AWESOME baby shower gifts! 
They are very carefully handmade with love!!!
$15 each

Paracord Bracelets
Adoption Awareness                    Down Syndrome Awareness
$14 each
To order Click Here

So far we have 50 quilt squares sold. My goal is to get that started in the next couple weeks.We would love to fill his quilt up with all the names of those who have prayed for and helped to bring him home. To get a square just donate $10 here: 
Come back and leave a comment with the name you want on the square! :) 
I will post pictures as soon as the quilt is finished!!! :)

Also if you are placing an order please use our Amazon Link to the left or  Click Here. I haven't figured it all out yet but we will benefit from your purchase and every cent counts!!! :) 

I will be adding to this page periodically so please check back. If you are looking for a gift it would definitely help our family out if you purchased something from or through us. We pray God richly blesses each of you!!!

If you are trying to place an order and are having an issue please leave a comment and we will make sure we help you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Window: BIG brother

I still haven't gotten the hang of  blogging. I want my blog to look like the professionals but...well... I'm not a professional soo this will have to do. One day it will be original and prettified (yeh! That's a word!). 

Window Wednesday

Window?? Yeh! Window! I wanted to give you a window into our everyday life. I want you to get a glimpse of who we are. That being said I would like to introduce you to:


**No photos are to be taken from this blog without permission!!**

3 words that describe BIG BROTHER:


Saturday, July 7, 2012


I love Saturdays!

It's the catch up day to work on those things you couldn't do during the week.

Finishing them is optional though.

At our house there is no schedule ...just a guideline.

It is the day that getting out of the house remains optional.

Most office buildings are closed so the "should do's" have to wait.

You can stay in pajamas all day.

It means the course of the day is up to you.

Cartoons are for the whole family.

Forget a shower...Saturdays- are for bubble baths!

What do Saturdays mean at your house??

Fundraiser Updates

We are selling these adorable shirts...

"Superman was adopted too."

Shirt cost: $20 including shipping for a regular Tee! 
If you want the "girly" tee in the picture it would be $23 
To order: Leave a message with your email address (to send an invoice),  
a good mailing address, and include the size(s) wanted!

We will be sending out cups the first of the week to those who would like to collect change and have a tangible reminder to pray for our sweet little guy!!  
They will say "Help CHANGE a life." 
If you would like one please leave a message with 
your name and address and we will get one to you. 
All change will be turned in here (The donate button UNDER his picture.) August 10th! :) 

The quilt is on going. 55 squares have been taken. 
If you haven't donated for a square there is still time. 
Donate $10 
(The donate button UNDER his picture.)
Leave me a message letting me know you donated and what name you want on the quilt.

Also if you are purchasing items from Amazon please use our link. I haven't figured out all the details but we will get something off of your purchase IF you go through our link here on the right of the blog.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A world in need of an awakening...

This blog has mainly been about what is going on with OUR family and how OUR process is going. As I looked at the many faces of innocent children that are waiting for their mommy and daddy to come get them I had my reality check. I have been too wrapped up in what is going on with OUR adoption. There are SO many more waiting. There are SO many children laying in a bed alone instead of in a mama or daddy’s arms.


I know not everyone is called to adopt but everyone is called to do something. You are either going or equipping those who are. If you have ever contemplated adoption- now is the time. These children are suffering and they could care less about your 10 year plan to become perfect parents- which by the way won’t happen. They need a mommy and daddy now. If it’s something you have held in your heart seek the information to show you which direction to go in. There is a direction. It may not be easy and there may be some things to work through but your child is at the end waiting for you and I don’t know of a better motivation. If there are bumps that take a while KEEP PRAYING and MOVING!! Those of us praying for these children are praying for their parents and that is YOU who are desperately trying! God will guide if you start walking. Peter didn’t stay in the boat… he got out and trusted Jesus! TRUST! 


If you can’t go, equip the parents who can go. If you can help financially- be it a $1 – then help! I promise you your dollar is making a huge impact and God will bless it and increase it because of the heart that you have to give it. Pick a child to bless with your financial help and keep adding to their account as often as you can- no matter how much it is great or small. This is helping lift the financial burden off the parents that come along. Prayers are needed. It’s not an easy road to walk and there is a lot that lies ahead. This doesn’t stop with gotcha day. They need your prayers. Pick a child and pray continuously for them. Be a  prayer warrior!
Advocate for these helpless INNOCENT children. In a day and age where everything is broadcast across facebook, twitter, emails, texts, newspaper, ect… there is NO excuse for not helping to get the word out. All they need is their parent to see them. All you have to do is share their story giving them the chance to be seen. Be their voice!!


 I have had soo many people say that they have lost friends, had nasty grams sent, and were told they were too depressing. WAKE UP! The world is in need of those who will stand up and be the voice while the cowards sleep!! I refuse to be quiet for fear that I might make someone sad by posting a child that is withering away in need of saving. Is it sad? YES! Can we do something about it? YES! There are 163 million orphans in the world and at least 2.3 BILLION Christians. It’s time to rise up and make an impact. There is NO excuse for our complacency. After reading James 1:27 I’m pretty sure it’s spelled out easily  what we are supposed to do. There is no room for gray. It’s clear and if you are a Christian – He’s talking to YOU! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Real Quick...

I wanted to make a quick post to let everyone know that we we have an auction going on!
When: NOW through the 29th!


There are a lot of awesome items that are listed and we will continue adding so keep checking back.

Please take a second and watch this video... then VOTE!
We have the easy part- just click to vote. Lets help him!
You can vote as many times as you like...refresh and vote again. My goal is 20 every time I vote! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead!
The Gardners

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Between us and Keegan

I wanted to take a second and update you all on the progress that is being made. We had our last visit with the social worker today and our homestudy should be completed by the end of the week. PRAISE GOD!! :)
Next...USCIS approval. Please pray with us for a fast approval so that we can quickly get to Keegan.

Okay...on to the nitty gritty...

My personality would rather skip this part of the post than write it. I do not do well asking for help. I would rather find a way to make it happen on my own. I don't have that as an option though...

Better yet...Keegan doesn't have the time!

If there was anyone who could make me throw aside my pride and ask for help it's Keegan. He's an innocent sweet baby who has waited far to long in an orphanage just barely getting his survival needs met. He is the reason I am asking. I want to say again... he IS facing an ADULT MENTAL INSTITUTION in a few short weeks. What does that look like? Well to be frank, a death sentence for child who cannot sit up, roll over, nor hold a bottle. It would mean the fuzzy baby hair on his head would be shaved to prevent lice. His beautiful complexion would very likely become a rash or sores because of unsanitary condition. He would likely be changed once or twice a day. He would be unsupervised in a place full of Adults with mental issues. I think that should suffice to say the urgency is REAL... VERY REAL!! He needs us and that alone is the reason I am asking...begging for help!

We have had several fundraisers and they have been wonderful!!! We have other's planned but it will not be enough without further support. We need $18,000 plus within a few short weeks. This adoption is not moving at a typical pace where we can have fundraisers and take our time planning. We have only been working on this a couple months. Bottom line: It's not about us... it's about Keegan, and his future!!! Please help us get to him!!! Help us hold our son and save him from further pain and damage in his young life. 

If you click HERE you will be taken to Reece's Rainbow's  page that is set up for Keegan. ALL donations given to this will be TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!! Please prayerfully consider helping us bring our son home!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

The Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser was a HUGE success!!! 

I want to take a second and say 
to each of you who helped make this possible. 

Our sponsors:
Southern Elegance Catering
Crossroads Cafe
Restaurant Kitchen Supply
Paradise Paper

Some of you helped prepare food. Some of you helped put meals together and hand them out. Some of you hubby's watched your little ones so your wife could help. Some of you have used your time and energy passing out flyers, sharing the fundraiser with those around you and even sharing Keegan's story. Some of you have prayed and believe me ...God blessed this fundraiser. Some of you bought dinners or donated. I want to again say THANK YOU for ALL you have done. EACH of you have helped make this fundraiser successful and we are SO blessed to have such amazing people in our lives!!!

If you missed it on Facebook yesterday...

*drum roll*

We raised: $2,800.00 

Thank you for helping us take a giant leap toward

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am thankful!

This past week was a bit hectic to say the least. We have been trying to finish up everything for the homestudy and stressing over how quickly it could be completed. We also had to promote the spaghetti dinner, find donations for some of the supplies, sign up hands willing to help, and then feed over 200 people. No problem right? During this we have been trying to work on dossier documents and also had to be at the International Adoption Clinic this weekend. It was a busy week to say the least. 

Good news...

The homestudy should be completed by next Wednesday!!! :) I am THANKFUL for those who get the urgency Keegan needs! Next..on to USCIS! Please be praying we find favor and this is miraculously returned in record timing. July is approaching quickly!! 

We drove up Friday night for the International Adoption Clinic. This was the first time my little guy had spent the night away from me and that was a hard goodbye- not for him- but for me. They were both perfectly content and had a great time hanging with the grandparents! I am THANKFUL for grandparents to love my children in a way only a grandparent can!! 

We made it about an hour into our trip when our brakes started causing the car to shake after a stop. We had just had them worked on and this was not the way you want to start a 5 hour trip. We did some serious praying and felt peace to continue. God really protected us and this problem really wasn't an issue.

Upon arriving we started searching for hotels... searching...and searching! I have no idea what was going on but I can say we had a hard time just finding a room. The nice relaxing night hanging out turned into frantically searching for a place to get a few hours worth of sleep. We had to pay more than anticipated but we found a place shortly after 11pm. So much for gaining a few hours of sleep.

The classes started at 9 am. We got to hear a pediatrician, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a social worker who had been adopted herself. What a wonderful group to soak up knowledge from. I really gained a new prospective for the children coming to their forever homes. They have been dealt such a rough start and LOVE is what they need most. What an amazing opportunity to hear from those who understand first hand what it's like to either be adopted or adopt a child. The rules are so much different. It's not so cut and dry. There is a LOT of work ahead and that's not even considering a special need. This group will also be available to help us when Keegan gets home. They will check him medically and work with us on the next steps that will be best for him. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be when one of the therapists said, "Just love him and bond with him. You aren't trying to fix Down syndrome." That's it... I am NOT trying to fix Down syndrome. I have no expectation for him and we will just work with him where he is and let God direct his steps. He will reach his fullest potential, maybe not the one society created as acceptable (not many of us could reach that even without a special need) but exactly what God has placed him on this earth for. God is smiling down on his amazing son and I am awed to be a part of the process. We were able to meet another family that is adopting a PRECIOUS little girl with Down syndrome. It was so nice to meet them! I can't wait to see their journey to their little one unfold. I am so THANKFUL for those who care about these children and want to LOVE them right where they are.
We left the conference shortly after 5 and headed to drop off some paperwork in the drop box at the agency. Simple enough right? Well, on the way back to the car TJ notices our tire is going flat? This is after just replacing one last week. *sigh* It is now after 5 on a Saturday. Who wants to fix our tire?? We drove to the nearest Walmart to find out they didn't have time to look at it. *sigh...grr* So, on to the gas station to buy a can of fix a flat, and put some air in the tire. After a few deep breaths and some much needed prayer we started out. God protected us and we made it home with no issues. 

We pulled in our driveway shortly after midnight. My son had just woken up right before we got there with a fever. I felt soo bad for him. He continued this fever off  and on during the night and until yesterday afternoon. So, instead of making it to the spaghetti dinner to help I was at home with a little guy who was fussy, and felt awful. My happy little guy was definitely not feeling so happy! We had a lot of cuddles and cartoons(which he would never usually sit for). I felt so bad for not being much help for the dinner but it turns out they had it all under control without me. *shocking* ;) I am THANKFUL for those who care about Keegan and want to help us bring him home.

I am THANKFUL for all the prayers being prayed! I hope this post shows you the power of your prayers for our family. God has been protecting, guiding, blessing, and showering us with peace! 

Next... the spaghetti dinner totals!!! :) Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I would be posting more but there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day- especially not for putting your thoughts down. From the time we wake up in the morning until well past a reasonable bedtime we are changing diapers, playing with our amazing kiddos, chasing papers, making and returning phone calls, learning to count by 2's and practicing addition and subtractioncleaning up mac and cheese off the newly mopped floor, sending and replying to emailsstopping a fight over a toy,  promoting fundraisers (from the web, phone, and feet), looking ahead to new ones, doing laundry (because there is no way to get through a day without it) and trying to figure out what the next day holds before it gets here.

Am I complaining? NO! This is what makes it all feel real! This is where God has an opportunity to shine and reveal Himself. We are constantly amazed to see Him work during this process. I cling to this every day and I am learning how much I have to rely on Him.

I have soo many ideas for blog posts and I WILL get to them but for now you will have to settle with a list of fundraisers we have going on at the moment.

1.) If you are local we have a spaghetti dinner coming up this Sunday. Message me for details.

2.) Scentsy and Velata-If you would like to order, please go to www.scentsy.com/sharvey OR www.sharvey.velata.us and click on "Fundraiser. Danielle Gardner" - Buy from Party link. closes June 15th

3) A friend is going to help make a throw quilt for Keegan. After a $10 donation your name will be embroidered on a square. We can't wait to wrap him up in this and tell him about all the people who love him and have prayed and helped bring him home. Make a $10 donation to the Adoption Chip in to the right of the blog. Then come back and leave me a comment letting me know you donated and the name you would like embroidered. I am a HUGE handmade person so I am super excited to see this come together.

4) I have a dear friend that is doing a Premier Jewlery fundraiser for Keegan. If you are interested leave your email address in comments and I will pass this on for her to get you a catalog. closes June 16

There are a few others in the works but this is a start.

We are in the process of finishing up our homestudy right now. We can't wait to update and tell you we are moving on to the next step. Please continue praying with us. We are soo thankful for each of you!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


There is not a moment you are not thought about and treasured already. I am praying you are held by the hand of God. I am praying the angels entertain you and that your giggles are a light to those around you. I am praying you go to bed with a full tummy and that you wake up with a smile. I am praying for your protection and telling your story everywhere we go. We are hurrying buddy. We can't wait to get to you! We heard this song the other day and can't wait to tell you it all in person... You are beautiful, treasured and truly loved for who you are!
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Process

“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.”– Derek Loux

I saw this quote on a blog a while back and it really hit me. We are still in the beginning stages of adoption so we are no expert! But, I can already sympathize with all of those statements. I wanted to take a second and break each down so you can get a better understanding. This will happen through several posts so follow us to keep up!

"It's costly"... is it ever! 

I get asked all the time... how much does it cost? and Why?
Well, the cost depends on a lot of factors, but we have been told somewhere around $25,000... go ahead *gasp*! Okay! Breath out...Now do you get the fundraisers???

Now, on to the "why?". Well, every step costs. I will say it feels like every piece of paper costs and there are a LOT of papers. It's dispersed in several areas along the way. I take a deep breath and concentrate on what is in front of me at this point, and I'm just praying God has what lies ahead. Doesn't that sound familiar to our day to day lives anyway? God has the future and we just have to live in the now. Wouldn't it be nice to fast forward and know how it would all work out? Yeh! But we would miss being stretched in our faith. We would miss learning to trust God with ALL the details of what He has called us to do. 

Follow me for a second. When that sweet little toddler you have asks for candy before lunch and you say "no", what happens? Typically a tantrum, right? You know the kind where feet are kicking and windows are shattering! - Hopefully that's not just my kids- ;) After the tantrum subsides and you give them the lunch it can take what seems like forever for them to finish. Anyone feeling me on this?? Will they not ask for that candy a jillion times? They are so focused on the prize right? Finally they finish (at least to an acceptable degree ;) ) and they happily take the prized candy! Even though it's hard to see at the moment, that was a lesson. Patience- because they have to wait and the tantrum doesn't help. Trust- because they have to trust that you will do what said you would do- give them the candy when they settle down and reach the goal- finishing the task. You always had their best interest at heart. You wanted to make sure they got the nutrients they needed before filling up on junk. You loved them through the tantrums and you saw to the other side- the prize. That is life and the parent is God! If we will just do what we are supposed to, He promises to get us to the goal He has called us to. 

" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Does it get any clearer than that? He has the details and I have the feet... all I have to do is get going! 

When we knew God was calling us to adoption we knew it would be costly. We know our limitations but we know a God that has none. This is where I rest with this huge task ahead. Does that mean I just sit back and wait for God to come in and save the day? No! That's not the way it works-although I have to say that would be nice. ;) We are working diligently from saving wherever we can to fundraisers almost every weekend and in between. This mountain is tall and intimidating at times and trust is taking on a whole new meaning beyond funding. 

A few months ago I was sitting at my computer crying crocodile tears over these sweet children who need a mommy and daddy. I was sobbing!! If you know me... this doesn't happen often. My heart was completely shattered and I felt so helpless. I remember saying out loud. "Ok God! I am ready!" The questions about who, what, when, where and HOW faded and I knew that didn't matter. If I stopped to rationalize it, it would only slow me down. God has the details... and what sweet details are ahead. I can't wait to hold that amazing little boy and tell Him of a God who is ALIVE and CARES for Him! A God who destined Him for our family. Wow! That blows me away. I feel soo unworthy! I feel so thankful God would choose us! :) 

I know he has the funding in His hand as well. He knows Keegan needs us quickly. He has those details already worked out. We are pushing forward and knowing that He will place it on the hearts of those He calls to help! 


What can you do to help?

PRAY...PRAY...PRAY!!! Praise God for where He has brought us. Thank Him for this child and pray for the others still waiting. Pray for the angels to entertain him while he waits. Pray for protection and guidance. Pray for His speed to get us there.  Pray for hearts to be open. Pray and seek Him on giving. The power of prayer is so much greater than the power of money. So pray first!!!

If you feel led to give you have 2 options: Tax deductible and Not Tax deductible. Both are located to the right of the blog. For Tax deductible click that adorable little face at the top- "Help Bring Keegan Home". The chip in box underneath our picture is NOT tax deductible. Let me explain this. The tax deductible giving will be available to us when we have a travel date but there are a LOT of expenses before we get to that point. For these current expenses we have created the chip in donation box. 

We are soo grateful for each and every prayer, kind word of encouragement and every cent given! We pray you are all blessed in your adventures with God as well. If you have any questions please leave them in comments and I will answer as best as I can. If you would like to know more about our Savior we speak about so often, I would LOVE nothing more than to share His plan of unending LOVE with you. If you have a prayer request... I would LOVE to pray for you. Just leave me a comment! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meet Keegan!

I wanted to take a second and introduce you to my son- Keegan. 

Keegan was born in 2011 and because of his diagnosis of Down Syndrome his family gave him up. I don't know the circumstances behind this and possibly never will. We can all quickly judge this family but I am just thankful that my son is alive and that God has BIG plans for him.

You see, he was born into a country that deemed his life worthless and sent him off as quickly as he came. He has Down Syndrome and that is just not acceptable. Children with special needs have no place there. Before you get so upset with his country though, stop and take notice that we Americans abort 90+% of BABIES diagnosed with Down Syndrome. These issues which encompass us all, whether we would like to think so or not, is rightly being called a silent holocaust . 

Keegan has survived 16 months living in a bed and a bouncy seat. He cannot sit on his own. Is this because he has Down Syndrome? NO! This is because the nurses are either too busy or too desensitized. I won't speak for them because I simply do not know. I was told the children are not even held when they are fed. They are laid on a table and given a bottle with a nipple on top. They cut the top off so the food comes out quicker. They have toys there but if the children play with them they have to be sanitized so they are not allowed. Are you catching this? He is passing his time in a bouncy seat with noone to love on him, with noone to tuck him in bed, with noone to hold him tight, to ease his fears, or tell him he IS worth something. 

The orphanage Keegan is in will be closing in July and his fate WAS an ADULT mental institution. Do you see this face?

An ADULT mental institution??? All because he has Down Syndrome??? Do you know what the fate of a child who cannot sit up nor feed himself would be in a place like that? 

He is worth something!! My heavenly father, his creator said so: 

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5"

"For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'-Acts 17:28"

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14"

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:20"

God has been holding Keegan since he was created. Prayers have been going up for Keegan since well before he was created. Remember... I have been praying for my children since I was a teenager. God knew he would be my son. 

I have been told that he is the happiest and most laid back little guy. Did you see his pictures? These were taken right after they woke him up. Yeh! He's much more laid back than I am. ;) We were told the nurses teared up when they found out he had a family and they told him about "mama and papa" that were coming. Guys... that's us!!! Little boy, your Mama and Papa can't wait to get to you!! We can't wait to finish all the details (and there are many) and hold you. I want to tell you ... you matter, you are amazing, we love you, and most of all... you ARE valuable. God's people have been praying for you to be "let go" and God has heard all the cries. Your life is meant for so much more and we know God will part the seas ahead. 

I heard this song the other day in the car and I immediately thought of him.

God's got his hand on you little boy. We ARE coming!!!

Please... help us get to him. Pray for this sweet little boy! Pray that all obstacles would be removed before we get to them or know about them. Pray for the other children that are still waiting. Be the hands and feet of God... 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Part Two – Written by THE AMAZING HUBBY!!! I'm like - a SUPER HERO - Right? Whooooosh, Here I come to SAVE THE DAY!!! 

Hi. I am Tj. I am not your normal parent. I like to have fun and make people laugh. I love my family and life. Ok that’s pretty much Part Two in a nutshell…so you can skip to the bottom or you can be a true friend and keep reading. HEY! I SAID KEEP READING! What makes me really different from a lot of people is my love for Jesus. I want him in my life and want to tell all those around me about him. What makes me different as a parent? Hmm, I have a hard time……………….. Did you guys see that movie – wait sorry different conversation – we were talking about dogs right?

Who Am I?

Theodore is my real name – I know I know – Alvin, Simon, Theodore,  BLAH BLAH BLAH  - But, MY name actually means God’s Gift. Pretty cool huh?

I believe that Jesus died for me and you and everyone in this world and rose on the third day. He is alive in me and my family and is on the move – So get on the bus and let him be your driver. I am not ashamed of My God and my life scripture is James 2:26, “ As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without WORKS is dead.”

I am the husband of the woman who wrote part one. Pretty amazing person Huh? I wouldn’t trade her if I was given anything in this world. She is my other half and only she can put up with a guy like me!

My kids are amazing and the apples of my eye.

I am super excited to be having another one running around the house. Three kids are getting me closer to a football team! J Yes my girl too! ;)

I am a DAD!

A Dad!

I have to be honest – ten years ago I didn’t see myself raising kids. None – zip – not one.Well, maybe one - but honestly that was it! I was content with a dog! No need to have little Tj’s running around. I was living the good life. Me and my dog! But then the most amazing thing happened. I had a little girl and my life CHANGED! I saw God in my child and I needed to be a man and take care of my family. This is one of the most important moments in my life. And this is when God made it official that He was going to be moving in my life!

I Love Kids
Huh? Did I say that? Wait, What were we talking about again? OH THAT'S Right - puppies! :)

What is so crazy about being a father are the ups and the downs that happen in fatherhood. Bear with me for a second. I have had days where I am just blown away by my daughter and how she prays and lifts up our whole family, or when she is running around singing – “My God’s not dead He’s surely alive.” – but then the very next day I ask her to help pick up her brothers room and it’s like I just set a bomb off. Out of nowhere either – she starts screaming and flopping like a fish. HUH? What just happened here? Where is my happy kid? This is a moment where I need a snickers bar! Or a kit kat – gimme a break – gimme a break – but I wouldn't trade it for anything – except for one of those better days again. Can we just go back to those? J And then there is my son…if you have never read “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge … DO IT … and then think about my son. He is the exact masterpiece of God, when He gave men their adventurous nature. I have seen my son fall out of a chair – only to get right back up and climb back in the chair. He loves the outdoors and wants to go to the next adventure just as quickly as he starts the first one.

Why am I adopting?

My plan since we had our first one was to just have more and more – and I knew because of my heart that they wouldn’t all be biological children. My heart is with the youth – I had some rough roads as a kid and my late teens and I want to be a mentor. My calling is to full time ministry and I know this but I am waiting for God to put it all in place. I love my kids and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I can’t wait to teach our little one-to-be about my Savior Jesus Christ and show them the love and GRACE that he has shown me. When you think about grace, think about Peter. Peter was told by Jesus that he would deny Him THREE times. Peter said no, never. Yet when the time came, just as Jesus said, he did. Yet, when Jesus rose from the grave, he made sure the angel called Peter by NAME. He still loved Peter even though he had denied knowing him. That’s grace, and this helps me with my children! I also can’t wait to teach them about football, baseball, basketball, and any other sport along the way!

Why special needs?

My wife stole my line – God! He has moved my heart towards these kids. He wants us to go after these little guys. What bothered me the most was the awful stories of the institutions and how they basically reject these children. I just don’t understand this. They are just babies. They need someone to love on them. I have heard that orphanages won’t let the kids play with the toys because they don’t want to clean the toys after they are finished. It bothers me to see children who are at least 8 plus in a circle of about 7 using a baby bjorn, naked. It makes me angry when I look at a child who is 14 and weighs 14 pounds! I have people ask all the time – how can you say that God is in this when these children suffer so much? Why would God allow this to happen to these babies? What makes me angry with these questions is  the fact that God has called us to stand up for the ORPHANS AND THE WIDOWS. (James 1:27) We are the hands and feet and need to be DOING something to help. There are many ways we can do this. Jesus was asked by the Pharisees what is the most important commandment and his response was – “To love the Lord you God with all you heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbor.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Notice HE said AND, not or love your neighbor. He puts both of them together for a reason. I have no doubt that this is my child and God has chosen me to be the parent – just the same as my biological children!

Stay tuned for some exciting news…

As for me – if you would like to keep up with some of my blogs and my sides of some of the stories – because you know men and women have two DIFFERENT stories -  check out www.james226.blogspot.com
Have a blessed week!