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!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our story! Part 1

Welcome!!! We are starting this blog to keep our friends and family up to date on our journey to adopt a child with special needs. We are SO excited about the road ahead and can't wait to get to our child. I want to take a second and start this out by sharing a little bit about us and our decision to adopt.

Who am I??

I am Danielle. My name means "God is my judge." Intimidating and freeing at the same time. ;)
I am a Jesus Freak and I can't imagine life without Him.
I am a wife to an amazing husband and father.
I am called "mom", "mama", and "mommy" at any given point in the day.
I have two amazing children and one we are in the process of praying home. 
I LOVE being a MOM!

A mom??

In just about every picture of me as a child I am carrying a baby. I babysat as soon as I was old enough. I worked with children at a Mother's Day Out program and as a nanny. I dreamed about the day I would have my own family. I prayed for my husband and my children when I was a teenager. Instead of career goal ... I just wanted to be a mom. 

I love kids. 

I'm not a perfect mom. I make plenty of mistakes and pray often to know how to be a better parent. But... I love being a parent. I love watching them grown and learn. I love slobbery kisses, hearing "I love you mom", and beautiful artwork only a mother could get. I don't live in fairy tale land. Being a mom is not all bliss. I have changed more diapers than I would like and I see no end in sight. I have had many sleepless nights and really wonder when I will ever catch up. I have been embarrassed as my child yelled out "Mommy, I have to go poop" while we were in a quiet store or restaurant or better yet "Mommy, why is her belly so big?" to the poor lady nearby who is clearly not pregnant. I have had my angel children flop in the floor kicking and screaming like it was the end of the world. There truly is never a dull moment as a parent. Just when you think you have it down ... they remind you how little you actually know. Is it all worth it? You bet!!!

Why am I adopting?

As a teen, I was privileged to get to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. We stayed in an orphanage there. We spent every day playing with sweet orphan boys. They were so eager for love and attention. It was so hard to leave them. I didn't care about the mosquito net bedding or the many bites I had received. I didn't care that a tarantula had decided to crawl in my shower(oh yeh!). I didn't care that we couldn't flush tissue down the potty. I cared that I was leaving those innocent sweet faces who longed for love behind. I was going back to my cozy lifestyle as a spoiled teen but I wanted nothing more than to take them all home with me. From this point on, I knew I would adopt. 

After my daughter was born my husband and I checked into adopting. We didn't meet the requirements. So, we prayed, sponsored children, made sock dolls to send to some children with special needs, and learned as much about adoption as we could and ...we waited... for God's perfect timing. That wait wasn't without frustrations and tears. We wanted to speed it up but it just wasn't the right time. The desire has never waivered. We always knew it was in the future, we just didn't know when.

Why special needs?

God... He said so. To be honest I had never considered special needs before. I had no idea what that meant but it scared me. I didn't have the slightest idea how God would lead us on a road we would never have thought. Several months back He introduced me to an amazing blog. This mom is an incredible reflection of what it means to follow God whole hearted. Her and her husband are currently raising 7 children, 4 with special needs. They are praying and working hard to bring another who desperately needs rescuing home as well. Reading about her family was inspiring. Learning about the plight of orphans with special needs broke my heart. I began to ache over these children. As they say, God broke my heart for what breaks His. I began to research each diagnosis listed. My eyes began to open to a whole new world. Every question or fear I gave to God was replaced with answers and peace. I realized this was a serious possibility. So, I approached my husband....

Part 2 written by my amazing hubby - coming soon!