Weekend at the Farm

We had a great weekend.  

A rain-pouring, wind-howling, cozy-on-in”ing”, coffee-sipping, kid-cuddling, hair-cutting, late-night-chatting, friend-loving type of weekend.  After all our moving and cleaning it was just what the doctor ordered.

Friday afternoon we headed up to the Happy Hartman Farm and we’re so glad we did.  

Ben and Melanie visited us back in July with their boys, so now it was our turn to to visit them!  Ben and Melanie adopted their son Judd from “The Lost Boys” institution about a year and a half ago and that’s how we got to know each other.  We had been email friends for several months and in July we became real-life friends.  We love us some Hartmans!  

Addy and Ez were super excited to be on the road…hehe

It was pretty much pouring down rain the whole time we were there, but that was fine with us!  It was perfect just being together, slowing down, enjoying each other, letting the kids play…
Oh how they played!
Jed and Ben burned up lots of stuff.  So that made Jed happy.  🙂
Ridiculously cute Ruger.  Stop the cuteness!!!

Melanie cut my hair (she didn’t even disown me after seeing the enormity of my split-end crisis!), Judd, Ruger, and Abraham were adorable (of course), sweet Lanie made cookies (delish), we parentals stayed up late chatting and laughin’ it up (my favorite times).  It was a blast.

Of course I can’t write about the dear Hartmans without spending a significant amount of time gushing about Judd.  Holy moly, Judd is amazing.  He’s saying words now and it is so fun to watch him grow.  He says “Mama”, “more”, “no”, “please”, “banana”…and more.  

 
Judd and Daddy

  I know I bragged about him when the Hartmans came in July, but I just can’t help myself!  When I think of the life Judd would be living right now if God hadn’t plucked him out I want to cry.  He is rescued! 

 Judd is precious.  He is learning, growing, loved.  He kisses his Mommy and Daddy just because.  He hugs and signs “sorry” when he misbehaves (Havalah’s hair proved to be quite the temptation..haha).  He loves Elmo and bananas.  He is a treasure.

Ben and Melanie are so awesome.  Many people would say that when it comes to caring for the orphan they have done their part.  They chose Judd, fought to get him, and love him to the moon and back.  They listened and obeyed…and they are still asking God “What do you have for us next?  How can we continue to respond to this need?”  They are doin’ the stuff.  We are so proud of them and so thankful to have them as our friends.

***
On our way home we stopped in Seattle for a few hours for some food and fun.

  
Thank you Ben and Melanie for all the food, chats, and lovin’.  We can’t wait to come back!!!! 
We just need to rest up a bit first.  🙂

PS: Our camera is not to be found since our move…hence the sketchy phone pictures.  I promise to do better next time!  🙂







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 sarah@reecesrainbow.org

Faithful

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!!!!!!! 
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!

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!!! 

WAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Remember this face?
 Not too long ago I put out a plea for dear sweet Porter.  
Many, many people responded that they would pray.
Many, many people passed the word and passed on his face in hopes that his mommy would see.
Well, guess what?
SHE SAW!!!!!
PORTER’S MOMMY AND DADDY FOUND HIM!!!!
Praise God, Porter is not lost, he is found.  His mommy and daddy are doing everything they can to get to him as quickly as possible.
Want to hear something else that makes this even more awesome (if that’s even possible)?
Porter’s Mommy and Daddy live approximately 8 minutes from our house.
They are practically our neighbors.
I got to visit with his mommy over coffee yesterday and hear her weep with joy about how she feels like she won the lottery, the goodness of God overwhelming her.
Porter’s mommy and daddy love Jesus.
We get to see him come out of darkness into light.
We get to be a hands-on part of his rescue.
Will you join us?
GOD IS TOO STINKIN’ GOOD.  
 I can’t handle it!!!!!!
I can’t wait to introduce them to you, very very soon.
Thank you for sharing, thank you for praying.  It was not in vain.
Oh how He loves the orphan!

The Family Blind Date-Love at First Sight

Have you ever been on a blind date?
I never had- until this past weekend.
On Friday we met our friends Ben and Melanie for the first time and let’s just say, it was love at first sight.  🙂
Let me back up.
When our adoption plans did not turn out how we had hoped and we were praying and waiting for God’s direction and leading, our hearts kept coming back to one place, one specific group of people:  “The Lost Boys”.  We knew that we knew God had placed these boys deeply in our hearts for a reason.  We had no clue, and still aren’t certain what His plans are for us and those boys, but honestly, the main reason that drew us to eventually visit Eastern Europe in April, and the main thing that is drawing us to move our family overseas is those boys.  So, we contacted the people had been there before.  That was quick, because there are only 2 families that have adopted from there: Rob and Julia, who adopted Aaron, and Ben and Melanie who adopted Judd.  We contacted those families and I don’t even remember all what we said, but it was along the lines of “God has put your son’s former home deeply in our hearts…can we be friends?”  (I’m sure it was more detailed than that, since I’m a talker, but you get the idea)
Out of that developed very special friendships (after they all  figured out we aren’t weirdos).  We became co-laborers for the Kingdom; united for a group of boys that most people don’t even know exist. 
 Go team go!!!
All along our journey so far Ben and Melanie have been our encouragers extraordinaire.  Although we only knew each other over emails and blogs, it was apparent that God was doing something.  He was knitting our hearts together in a very special way.  When we finally got to Eastern Europe in April Ben and Melanie’s emails were like huge spots of sunshine.  They prayed, they encouraged.  When we thought we weren’t going to be able to see The Boys Melanie actually gave us directions to just head to the institution ourselves.
 (HA!  You go girl!) That is how passionate they are about what God is doing in that place.
Ben and Melanie live only a few hours from us, so we had decided that when we got back to the US we would meet.  The long-awaited meeting happened this weekend and it was all we hoped it would be.
 Ben joked to Melanie on their way to our town that it was like a “Family Blind Date”- kind of like our own version of EHarmony.com + 7 kids ages 8 and under.  Jed texted me Friday afternoon before they arrived and asked if I was excited.  My reply “Yep!  I hope they’re not weird.”  I was joking…sort of.  🙂
It was amazing.
When God knits hearts together He goes all out.
They arrived at our house Friday evening and when they pulled up I may have cried a little bit.  Then when Judd got out of the car and I saw his sweet face in front of me I know I cried a little bit.  We hugged, we laughed, kids ran a muck.  It was fabulous.  Judd, Ruger and Abraham are as cute as can be.  In Addy’s words “I love Abraham, his eyes are so shiny!” 
We had a great evening together, chatting, laughing, watching the kids jump on the trampoline.  Unfortunately the SD card to our camera was stuck in our Wii, so we don’t have any pictures of that night. 
The next morning we met at a park for the fun to continue.  We also got to meet up with a very special family who has a very special connection to all of us.  It’s a BIG FAT secret that I’ll be able to tell you about soon enough.  For now let’s just say that there are no accidents with God and He is too stinkin’ good to us.  He loves His kids and He loves the orphan more than we realize.
Sweet Judd
 
The littles playing together, pre-drama  🙂
A good time was had by all, minus the little spat between Ruger and Havalah.  Typical boy/girl drama that ended with Havalah wanting to talk it out, Ruger responding “I’m done with this nonsense”, and Havalah running off to pout.  Oh the drama…  🙂  They are so cute.
After the park we said good bye to the very special secret surprise family and headed off to lunch downtown (where my camera died…so no pics of lunch) then home for little rests before resuming the fun.
Pool time!
Proof that Addy and Ez were there!
Oh my word, Judd is such a water baby!  I think he drank about a gallon of pool water.  He would just face plant into the water with his mouth wide open and laugh and laugh.  He and Havalah were our fearless ones.  I think both of them were convinced they could just jump in and swim on their own and were slightly annoyed at our attempts to keep them safe.  Ha!
Judd jumping to Mommy!!!
Ruger
Next up was pizza at our house.  I think I loved this time the best.  The kids played happily and we got to just sit around the table and chat, encouraging each other, understanding each other.  It was sweet.  We told Ben and Melanie then, and I’ll say it again, their encouragement to us on our journey has meant the world to us.  They have seen the children, they have touched them, they have loved on them.  Their hearts ache like ours.  To hear them say “What can we do?  How can we help you?” were the most precious words they could say.  Any and all encouragement along this journey has been meaningful and amazing (keep it coming dear friends!!)  :), but there is something extra special about it when it comes from ones who have seen and know the huge mountains we are facing.  But- more than once Ben and Melanie reminded us that NOTHING is impossible with God.  Amen and amen.
Abraham and his “shiny” eyes
This weekend brought so much hope to my heart.  Hope that God has His big plan in place and it is better than we could ever imagine.  He brought us friends who instantly felt like family.  I can not wait to see what He wants to do with our relationship in the years to come.  Woohooo!!   This weekend brought hope in what God is able to do.  He is a miracle-worker.  When I watched Judd jumping on the trampoline, swimming in the pool, giggling in the kitchen, kissing on his Mommy it made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.  What a miracle!  God has redeemed Judd’s life.  When I think about where Judd was and where he would still be had he not been rescued it’s almost too much.  God has taken a boy who was invisible to the world, lost in a village, abandoned by earthly parents and given him abundant life.  
Judd signing “happy”.  Melt my heart!!
He is loved.
He is cherished.
He is learning.
He is happy.
He is thriving. 
He is Ben and Melanie’s sweet baby boy and we got the privilege of celebrating with them.
To God be ALL the glory for the great things HE has done!!!!
Love you Ben and Melanie.  Thank you for coming all that way to love on us.  You rock!!!!
Judd loved Havalah!
Kisses
Lucky Jed 🙂
Seth jumps high!!!
Judd lovin on Hazel