Readying the Troops


Preparing to move overseas is quite the task.  It’s such a big task that we really have no idea how to tackle it.  Day by day, we just do the next thing that is in front of us- praying that when moving day comes along we’ll be as ready as can be.  I’m not necessarily talking about packing and all that (although I have no idea what I’m doing in that area either), more about preparing our hearts and minds for how our lives are going to change. 

When we very first started this process some very wise missionaries told us to do whatever we could to prepare our hearts and lives while we are still here in the US.  “Get your marriage right, work on those selfish areas in your heart, help prepare your kids’ hearts”.  Basically we were encouraged to do whatever we can do NOW while we are in a familiar situation and we have a great church and tons of friends and family around who love us.  Because although we will still have loads of rough edges to smooth off when we get to Ukraine, it’s in our best interest to allow the Lord to do some of the smoothing ahead of time.  Lord knows things will get a lot rougher in some areas once we get there!  Ha! 

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how to prepare our kids for this major life change.  I want to be intentional about preparations with them, because otherwise I know it simply won’t happen.  I know myself.  🙂  Like back in February when we first spoke at a church to share the vision, we were on our way to the church and I finally thought to look back at the kids and ask them if they understood what we were doing that day.  Addy understood, but Havalah and Ezra were unsure (Seth was just along for the snacks- as usual).  It was in that moment that I realized that although they are absorbing a lot just by living in the same house and hearing conversations, we must intentionally talk with them all through this process so their little hearts aren’t left behind.

Here are some things we have started doing to help our kiddos along this journey.  I’m writing them down partially to keep myself accountable, and partially to encourage other parents to be intentional with your kiddos.  We can’t assume our kids will learn what we want them to know about faith and their walk with Jesus by osmosis.  We have to have intentional conversations.  I am sure a work in progress in this area, so I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind!  But, you never know who needs to be reminded of that truth.  So here ya go!

Language Study
I started including Addy, Ezra, and Havalah in my language study.  Duh.  That should have been a no-brainer, but I honestly was waiting to find the perfect “kid” language curriculum for them.  Instead I finally realized that I started at square one and they can just join me where I’m at!  Some knowledge of the language is better than none at all.  We study Monday-Friday for maybe 25 minutes or so, and then I let them go play while I do a bit more.  THEY LOVE IT. They are such smarties too!  Addy has an awesome memory and Ezra has a great ear for the language.  It’s funny the words that stick out to them.  I’m not sure how helpful it will be to know “cockroach” and “frog” in Russian, but they’ve got those ones down perfectly!  🙂

We use Transparent Russian for our language study.  We bought it many months ago and chose Russian over Ukrainian because the part of the country we ultimately would love to end up in is mostly Russian-speaking, and our tutor we had hired was a native Russian speaker.  Now I wonder if we made the right decision, but ah well.  I think either one is a great start.  The complete program isn’t available in Ukrainian anyway, so it is what it is.  🙂

Transparent has grammar study, audio helps, and an awesome vocab-building tool called “Byki”.  Byki is the only part I use with the kids.  We study our computer flashcards and play little games with the words we’ve learned.  They are seeing the words, hearing the words, and saying the words.  It seems like the language study has given them more ownership in this process and I love that more than anything. 

We’ve been lining up speaking engagements at different churches and small groups and have been wondering how to involve our kids more in that process.  Yesterday we had a great answer to prayer in that area!  The kids and I were invited to share about Ukraine at chapel for a local Christian school where my mom is a teacher.  It is missions week for the school, so every day they are learning about different countries and the work being done there.  We opened up the week by sharing about Ukraine.  Addy and Ez helped me prepare the lesson and even shared part of it with the kids!  I was so very proud of them!!! 

Ezra and Havalah…ha!

 Addy talked about where Ukraine is located, what kind of foods are popular there, what the homes are like, and showed pictures of the capital and important monuments. 

Ezra talked about language learning, showed a picture of the Cyrillic alphabet and talked about the sound differences and shared some words he’s learned.

 Havalah had planned to show her nesting doll, but got nervous…I pretty much knew that would happen!  Ha! I could see how proud they were to share about Ukraine and it made my heart glad.  I think this was a big leap toward them taking ownership of this mission.  We were very thankful for the opportunity to share with other children!

Prayer and Discussion
Ever since we first learned about the need in Ukraine we have included the kids in prayer for the people of Ukraine. 

Our sweetie, Heath.  Still waiting!  Hint hint

And Hanson, where is your Mommy?

And Porter, we love you sweet baby boy.  Praying every day!!

  There have been seasons when we have been more faithful in that than others, but over all it’s been a constant in our family prayers.  The kids have certain orphans they pray for super faithfully, and most of those children have been, or are being adopted!  

My sweet Aiden has a family!

Our love Sasha has a family!

SAMUEL!!!!!  Has a family!!

 That has been a great faith-builder for them!  Now I’m seeing we need to start expanding our prayer time with them to include the caregivers, other believers in Ukraine, and the people we’re going to meet and grow to love there.  I want to start praying with them that God will provide them with friends they can love and enjoy life with.  Addy and Ez are particularly nervous that they “won’t have any friends”.  I know it’s not God’s heart for them- so it’s time to start praying and believing that He will provide friends.

Sometimes I get nervous and think “What are we doing? Are we ruining our kids’ lives by taking them away from friends and family??”  But then I think back to all the words God has spoken to our family along this process.  This move is something He has called our whole family to- not just Jed and me.  Life in Ukraine is something He is preparing for our whole family.  When our loving Father created Adelina, Ezra, Havalah, and Seth He knew what life He was creating them for.  He knows how this will grow them and make them into the men and women He has designed them to be.  When I was pregnant with Addy a word was spoken that “This baby will be a bridge to people who don’t know Jesus”.  I am so excited to watch God fulfill that through Addy.  I can’t wait to watch each of our kids blossom and come even more alive as we walk into the destiny God has created for of us. 


Could it Be You?

There is a little boy who sits across the ocean in desperate need of a family.

Could it be you?

He’s 11-years old and has never known a mother’s love.  He’s never wrestled with his daddy.

Could you be his Mommy?  Could you be his Daddy?

Without the love of a family he is destined to a short life in a mental institute.

Could you help rescue him from that fate?

God so loved HEATH that He sent His Son.  I am confident God will also send Heath a family.

Could you be that special family?

Over this past summer and especially this month God moved mountains to provide for Heath’s adoption.  It’s no secret that international adoption is pretty expensive.  It costs about $25,000 to adopt from Heath’s country.  Right now Heath has $21,000 in his adoption fund.  That means when a family steps out and says “Here we are God, send us!”  they will only have to pay up front costs of about $3,000-$5,000 (depending on where you live, and not due all at once).  Heath’s grant will cover the rest.  Now how amazing is that?

If you have heard about Heath before and have never stopped and asked the Lord if he is supposed to be your son, please take a moment and ask.  Please don’t dismiss this boy.  Heath will be an enormous blessing to his family!  I’m sure there will be hard times, but I know in my heart Heath will bring his family joy.  He must be a pretty special boy for God to move such mountains on his behalf! 

Heath needs a family so desperately.  

Could it be you?

PS: The family who commits to Heath already has a whole cheering section of Heath fans ready to dive in and do whatever we can to help.  Heath is loved by so many people!!!  You would not be alone in this mission of love.   🙂

If you are interested at all or would like more information about adopting Heath please email

The Real Me

I’m about to let you in on a little known fact about me.  In doing this I know I risk losing your friendship and respect, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and do it anyway because I just can’t help myself.  

Besides, if you been around this blog long enough and read any of my fundraising posts you might have guessed it anyway.

Ready for it?
I was a cheerleader in high school. 

Yes, it’s true.  Even more surprising is the fact that I loved it.  I adored it.  (Okay, maybe you aren’t that surprised…)  For 3 years I jumped, I tumbled, I clapped, I smiled, I wore a short little skirt and a bow in my hair.  It was great.  We were a competitive squad and each year we won the state cheer competition.  We even got to compete in Nationals and go to Disneyland!  I can’t begin to fathom that I did that.  Ha!  It almost makes me blush just thinking about it. 

But…sometimes I feel the cheerleader in me begin to creep out and when that happens I just can’t help myself.  I guess it’s just part of who I am.  (The cheering, clapping, jumping and smiling part….not the short skirts and bows in my hair part.  Just in case you needed clarification.)


Now is one of those times.  I’m a cheerleader for Heath and I don’t care who knows it!  🙂  

Do you realize Heath’s matching grant and giveaway was announced on Friday and since then almost $2,000 has been raised?  What in the world????  I am amazed!!!  I am excited!!!!  I am cheering!!!! 

We are only $3,020 away from meeting Heath’s matching grant goal and then he will be considered fully funded.  That means a family can commit to adopting him and not be held back by finances at all. 

This Saturday, September 15th is Heath’s day.  There are Heath-Lovers all over the country doing fundraisers for him on Saturday.  We are some of those people.  We’re having a car wash!  

Do you think the $3,020 can be raised this weekend?  Do you??  

I do!!!  Get out the poms!  

GO TEAM GO!!!!! 

 I’ll be cheering all the way with a big smile plastered on my face….cause I just can’t help myself.

Yeah…I’d show you a picture of my cheering days, but I don’t have a scanner.  Darn.  Ha.

Yup, More About Heath

What?  More talk about Heath?  Who me?
You better believe it!!  If you’re tired of reading about Heath you better stop now because I’m on a roll.  Well, actually God’s on a roll and I just can’t stop talking about my boy till his Mommy and Daddy find him and bring him home where he belongs.  I hope that won’t be too long from now…so stick with me and watch what God does!! 

Remember how we first we decided to do the car washes for Heath, then he got on the Angel Tree, then he got a $450 matching grant?  Remember all that goodness?  

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have helped Heath so far.  Every dollar we raise goes straight to my boy’s account so that when his adoptive family finds him NOTHING will hold them back from getting to him as quickly as possible.  Every prayer is working miracles in his life.
And things are about to get even better….
Now guess what God is up to?  

-My dear, sweet, wonderful, fun, amazing-blessing-that-God-surprised-me-with friend Sarah has joined me in taking up Heath’s cause.  Sarah is an author and a blogger and she featured our boy on her blog!  That is a mega blessing because not only is it helping us fundraise for Heath, but it’s introducing thousands of people to Heath who have never seen his sweet face before.  Yay!!!!  Thank you Sarah!  I can’t wait to see how God uses that for His glory.  

Sarah’s sweeties and mine…random dance party outside of a restaurant?  Why yes, yes it is.

-An anonymous donor has offered a $5,000 matching grant for Heath.  Yes, you read that right.  

That means if we can raise $5,000 for Heath by September 30th, the donor will add another $5,000 and Heath will be considered fully-funded.  O.M.G.  It’s almost too good to be true.  But, then again, isn’t that just how God works?  I tell ya, I just can’t get over how much He loves those Boys.  
So, what does this all mean for you?  How can you respond?  
– You can donate to Heath’s adoption fund right here.  Your donation is tax deductible and 100% of it is used to get Heath home asap once a family commits to adopting him.  
-After you donate (since I know you will because you just won’t be able to help yourself!) go tell my friend Julia at her blog here.  Julia is doing a pretty sweet giveaway to help meet that matching grant.  Donations given to Heath are your entry into the giveaway.  You could even win an Ipad!  Or my friend Sarah’s cookbook!  Why not give it a whirl?
-Come get your car washed this Saturday and support Heath in person!  If you’re local and you want to come leave a comment and I’ll send you the details.  
Whew!  Thanks for sticking with me through all that!  I’m almost exhausted by all the good news!  🙂  This truly is Heath’s time in the spotlight.  His family must be nearly ready to find him because God sure is preparing the way.  I just love the way He works!
This is one wild ride!  Thanks for hopping aboard.  🙂


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!!!