Thursday, May 25, 2017

$5600 in Six Weeks??????

Did you read this post JUST yesterday?!

$10,000 in Six Weeks

We are blown away.

Through God moving hearts...those we love giving sacrificially...our girls are even closer to coming home.  We are $4400 closer to our girls being in our arms.

We had a long and eventful...scary night.  Everyone is fine and healthy, but it's a long story.  Someone very special to us let us know of this gift...blessing this morning.  I probably looked like a crazy woman driving through the city in tears.  My husband had to breath deep as the emotion filled him when I let him know during a meeting.

We only have $5600 left to be fully funded.  We had $10,000 to be fully funded yesterday....24 hours ago..... and only $5600 today.

We didn't see it coming.  God is speaking to hearts.  Please continue to pray for the people God is touching.  Again, we KNOW this is such a sacrifice...and it's for two beautiful children that will have a family forever.  

                                          Grace (3 1/2 years old)            Hope (2 years old)


It's easy to get discouraged.  It's easy to say, "How God?!!!"  

Yet, again we are reminded this is not the first time God has flattened mountains, touched hearts, and moved governments.  

HE IS GOD!!!!

PLEASE THANK GOD FOR HIS PROVISION!!!!

PRAISE HIM WITH US FOR THE $5600 WHICH WE STAND CONFIDENT WILL COME!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

God may be talking to someone right now about us... or even you. He may be asking someone to sacrifice beyond what's comfortable.  Oh, we REALLY "get" it.  That's hard stuff!   I don't know who it is, but please (as asked above) pray for them as well.  Also, please pray if Thomas or I are supposed to act in a specific way, we see clearly the direction.  Our Heavenly Father has floored us many times...touching people we may not even know...out of the blue. 


"...for every animal of the forest is mine,

    and the cattle on a thousand hills."  

Psalm 50:10


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prayer Requests and Praises:
PRAISE: Our Heavenly Father's timing, through our groaning at times, SHINES.  HE KNOWS the perfect timing.  We have received to grants.  Our delays have even blessed us.  PLEASE PRAISE HIM FOR HOW FAR HE HAS BROUGHT US!!!!
PLEASE THANK GOD AHEAD OF TIME FOR HIS PROVISION.  PLEASE STAND IN FAITH AND CONFIDENCE WITH US.

IMMEDIATE:
1.  PLEASE PRAY FOR $5,600 in SIX WEEKS.
2. .  Please pray hearts are open and there is a "yes" for something we are requesting. (Mysterious enough? :-))
3.  Please pray for those individuals God is touching to help us financially bring home the girls.
4. Please pray for Thomas and I to see clearly where God is leading and what WE are to do.

OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:
Please Pray...

FOR GOD TO
 BE GLORIFIED IN THIS JOURNEY
1. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  That his pain is minimal.
2. For Grace and Hope, that they are healthy, loved on, and protected. Please pray that they dream of us and attach quicker than ANYONE could imagine.
3. Please also pray for Thomas and I. Please pray we can use this time before travel to gain physical strength.
4. Lastly, we have several expenses that we normally would have taken care of with our tax return, but couldn't this year. Could you please pray for God's provision for these expenses...and the things we still need to gather for the girls.  This isn't typical...unless we are in the adoption process...lol.  Please pray GOD shows up in a big way here!
5.  That we hear from ONE grants we have yet to hear from.  Some wonderful smaller grants
don't communicate as much.
6. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe.
 7. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.
8. That our families are safe while we are gone and that it is a peaceful time for them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If God is talking to you about our girls...about helping to bring them home.....
You can email us at 1thomkat(at)verizon(dot)net and we will share our address.  We have also kept our LifeSong for Orphans open if that avenue is better (For Grace and Hope).  Even our PayPal address is okay to use (using the Family and Friends method to 1thomkat(at)verizon(dot)net).  Whatever you feel comfortable with...thank you.  Thank you for answering the call that will change the life of two little girls and our family forever.  Thank you for the sacrifice...just thank you.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

$10,000 in Six Weeks

We received a matching grant with LifeSong for Orphans.  We are forever thankful to them and we met the grant.

We JUST received a $3000 grant from Katelyn's Fund!  This is SUCH a blessing!

We now have to raise the last $10,000 to bring our girls home in six weeks (and possibly only five weeks).


We have our Article Five pick up on June 8th from our girls beautiful country!!!  At that point travel is usually within weeks!

$10,000 sounds like A LOT!  Believe me, I woke up yesterday morning, fighting this bronchitis, and just felt discouraged.  It's SO much money.  How in the world?  I feel like we've exhausted our resources.  Where do we turn?

Then I look at our kids....

We always followed God.  Our faith IS bigger than our bank account (and that, admittedly is terrifying to say in a way).  God has led us to our girls and said go.

Back to back adoptions...first Timothy and now the girls.....

At times we are weary, but not weary of following God or fighting for our children, just a bit battle weary.

When God led us to Grace~Victory during the adoption of Timothy and we couldn't bring her home at the same time,  we felt discouraged.  Yet God spoke to the heart of a friend of ours.

"Do not look to the right or to the left, just follow Him." was the gist of what we were told.  I wish I could tell you the exact number of times God led me to those verses in the last two years.

Again...again...and again....

Then HE showed us why we needed to wait....so we could bring home Hope WITH Grace.

Hope (2 years old)

Grace (3 1/2 years old)

Now we are six weeks from VICTORY!!!

We stand in confidence that our GOD CAN and our GOD WILL.  He is NOT a dead beat dad.  God leads AND provides.

"How" is where the human part of me kicks in and gets scared.   Instead of letting the fear freeze us though, we are THANKING GOD for providing before He has.  We are THANKING GOD for bringing our girls into our arms.

After all, we've seen it again and again....

All of our precious children that are still on this earth...including those
 that married in and grandchildren.

and again....

Max was born in Russia.  Home for 13 years (since 2003)!
14 years old
GOD PROVIDES

and again...

Bekah was born in Ethiopia.  Home ten years (since 2007)!
11 years old
GOD PROVIDES

and again....

Gabriel and Rachel were born in Ethiopia.  Home for 7 years (since 2010)!
Almost 8 years old
GOD PROVIDES


and again.....

Jael was born in China. Home for 5 years (since 2012)!
Almost 9 years old
GOD PROVIDES

and again...

Benjamin was born in the Ukraine.  Home for almost four years (since 2013)!
Ben is almost 14 years old
GOD PROVIDES


and again.

Timothy was born in China.  He's been home one year (since 2016)!
He's 5 years old
GOD PROVIDES


Are you smiling yet?  I am...these beautiful amazing kids are constant reminders of God's provision.

So $10,000 in Six Weeks is a drop in the bucket compared to what HE has already done!!!! Praise Him for HIS provision with us friends!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 God may be talking to someone right now about us... or even you. He may be asking someone to sacrifice beyond what's comfortable.  Oh, I REALLY "get" it.  That's hard stuff!   I don't know who it is, but please pray for them as well.  Also, please pray if Thomas or I are supposed to act in a specific way, we see clearly the direction.  Our Heavenly Father has floored us many times...touching people we may not even know...out of the blue.


"...for every animal of the forest is mine,

    and the cattle on a thousand hills."  

Psalm 50:10


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prayer Requests and Praises:
PRAISE: Our Heavenly Father's timing, through our groaning at times, SHINES.  HE KNOWS the perfect timing.  We have received to grants.  Our delays have even blessed us.  PLEASE PRAISE HIM FOR HOW FAR HE HAS BROUGHT US!!!!
PLEASE THANK GOD AHEAD OF TIME FOR HIS PROVISION.  PLEASE STAND IN FAITH AND CONFIDENCE WITH US.

IMMEDIATE:
1.  PLEASE PRAY FOR $10,000 in SIX WEEKS.
2. .  Please pray hearts are open and there is a "yes" for something we are requesting. (Mysterious enough? :-))
3.  Please pray for those individuals God is touching to help us financially bring home the girls.
4. Please pray for Thomas and I to see clearly where God is leading and what WE are to do.

OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:
Please Pray...

FOR GOD TO
 BE GLORIFIED IN THIS JOURNEY
1. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  That his pain is minimal.
2. For Grace and Hope, that they are healthy, loved on, and protected. Please pray that they dream of us and attach quicker than ANYONE could imagine.
3. Please also pray for Thomas and I. Please pray we can use this time before travel to gain physical strength.
4. Lastly, we have several expenses that we normally would have taken care of with our tax return, but couldn't this year. Could you please pray for God's provision for these expenses...and the things we still need to gather for the girls.  This isn't typical...unless we are in the adoption process...lol.  Please pray GOD shows up in a big way here!
5.  That we hear from ONE grants we have yet to hear from.  Some wonderful smaller grants
don't communicate as much.
6. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe.
 7. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.
8. That our families are safe while we are gone and that it is a peaceful time for them.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Timothy

Phlegm and coughing up talking life forms, that's where I'm at right now.  I've also lost my voice.

My status on Facebook today...
No voice plus eight kids....
Is mutiny on the horizon?! 
(to be continued...)
This is a soap I'd watch.
*Ain't got no time for this* *great bronchitis showdown 2017* 

I have bronchitis....

and I'm so behind in chronicling our life.  There are a lot of things I need to share, but I'm sick enough that I haven't even let you know how Timothy is doing.

A week ago Monday he had his Spica/body cast taken off.

Thomas took him and it was pretty rough during the process.   He started the "I'm going to scream when any nurse or doctor comes near me" thing.  It really is a point he gets when he's had more pain that he can bear.  It's a fear based behavior.  We do work with him on using his words.  Screaming at people is just not something that, big picture, we want to promote.  We understand it though...oh yes.

The second picture is his old x-ray with his hips out of his sockets.
The first picture is with his hips IN his socket!

The difference inside his body is miraculous.  God truly did use Dr. VanBosse to bless our son.


Though he's smiling, he is letting us know it hurts when we touch his lower body.  He's in a lot of pain and can squirm into a position where he can loosen his AFO's (Ankle/Foot Orthosis).  These "braces" on his feet keep his feet from reverting to pre-casting/pre-surgery.  We are in a bit of a battle of the wills.  We have to win this one for long term success though.


These are his AFO's with their night time straps.  They stretch his ankle and he REALLY hates them.
He's happily not had to wear the night time straps the last few nights as he has some swelling this this specific foot.  It hung down in his car seat too long during a recent long trip.  There was no avoiding it though.  The trip was necessary and his hip and knee (from casting so long) sensitivity  was too great to position him differently.  The swelling is almost gone.

We have a long road of rehabilitation ahead.  He's had his legs in above the knee casts (with no break) for over six months.  His hip and feet hurt, but his knees hurt as well as he uses them.  We start at our local orthopedic hospital on Thursday if I can just kick this bronchitis (prayers appreciated).

I'd like to ask for prayers for reduced pain and for progress for Timothy as he wades through the journey to walking!

We do have adoption news.  As soon as my head clears, I will share it.  We need all the prayer warriors we can get.  It's good, but we are taking a deep breath.

Thank you all for joining us on this adventure!!!!


"Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;

    save me and I will be saved,
    for you are the one I praise."

Jeremiah 17:14


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Bit of Hard and A Bit of Happy

I've been taking a deep breath.

The "two year pregnancy" with Grace is getting rough.  We've known for two years, through God's blessing, she was our daughter.  We'd never ever thought of naming any child Victory, but God gave us that name.

It's easy to see why.  When she is in our arms it will be a VICTORY.  Everything came against us, but we follow a GOD that MOVES MOUNTAINS.

We know why we waited and yes, she is worth it.  God has given us Hope as well....Hope~Glory.

This week has been rough though.  It's hard to explain.  Have you ever had concern for your child (or someone else) to the point where you heart aches and makes your stomach ache with it.  It seems the last part of this paper pregnancy is the hardest.

We have beautiful distractions.  They are gifts from God, but two are missing and the gap is always noticeable.  I won't pretend and put rose colored glasses on everyone else (in other words pretending when it's hard so everyone thinks this is always easy).  This stuff is rough.

THOUGH THESE ARE PRETTY AWESOME DISTRACTIONS.....

The kids had a play a couple of weeks ago.  We packed the room.

Max played a Guard and a Tour Guide.

Bekah was a Detective.

Gabriel

Rachel and Ben

Sarah and Isabella

Anna, Gabe, Elizabeth, Alessandra, and Jael

Jael and Rachel

Our sweet Isabella

Adorable Alessandra

Our two stars!

These are LOVELY distractions.  It's just the girls weigh heavily and then the master of lies still works on us with the financial aspect niggling at the back of our minds.  You'd think having been here before (MANY times) would make this easier?! You would think our faith would be explosive!!! Our faith that our girls will come home IS!  It's just the niggling, not knowing how $13,000 is going to come about.  There's days where I just lay my head in my hands.  It WILL be okay though.  God WILL provide.  It's just in our humanity we want to know how.

Then today we received news that we didn't get the adoption waiver we had asked for...kinda.  Then again we kinda did.  They kindly reduced the $5000 fee to $4400 (reduced by $600).  We are very thankful.  The money is just necessary to help families and children.  It wasn't what we were hoping for in ONE way, but exactly what we were praying for and hoping in a SECOND way.  If it would negatively hit one person, we didn't want it to occur.  So we had our fee reduced by $600 and that is $600 we don't need to raise!!! (Smile)

We've also found our our immigration paperwork (the LAST ones) have been approved, but we just haven't received the paper in the mail (which is very necessary).  

Side note: During a "hamster wheel day" yesterday (the days where you run run run and get nothing done), my mama heart was hurting longing for ANYTHING to move forward.  I finally called immigration to see if there was any movement on the approval.  It took awhile to find the answer (that kind of day...chuckle), but they did.  We had the kindest man answer the phones.  When he looked for the girls under our name (since the numbers they usually pull up by didn't work) he said, "This isn't your first rodeo, is it?"

Now we wait for the paperwork in the mail (stalking the mail box).  We then submit another form and wait for the next approval (between 1-2 weeks usually).

We are tired and weary, but hanging in.

The kids are going constantly and that helps.  The teens are having fun as school winds to a close.

They went to a nerf battle of 3,500 people in our local NFL team's stadium.
Anna made sure she told me she met the "Chewbacca Lady" from YouTube.
(Thank you Brandy for letting me use the pictures!)

This picture is just because it was cool.

We were also able to go to a play that didn't even have OUR child in it (chuckle).  My friend Amy's son Reid was in the play "High School Musical Jr.".  He played Ryan.  AWESOME!!!

Max, Reid, and Anna

Not all is hard, but Grace and Hope are never far from our minds.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This next week is crazy busy.  Though pictures will come, I'm not sure when I will have a chance to update.  We have a party, Mother's Day, and the boys go to Philly to get Timothy's casts off!  We have one day that's normal in the middle of the week....and then AWESOMENESS at the end again.  I will share later! :-)

Thank you for continuing to pray for us friends!!!

"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens.."  Ecclesiastes 3:1



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prayer Requests:

IMMEDIATE:
1.  Please pray hearts are open and there is a "yes" for something we are requesting most likely tonight or tomorrow.   It would be an easy no, but we are praying hearts are moved.
2. Please pray that we receive our immigration paper in the mail...ummm...now.
3. Please pray that we hear from the one grant we haven't heard from and IF God Wills, we are
able to receive a grant from the one we have heard from.
4. Please pray blessing on some letters that are going out.

OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:

Please Pray...
FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED IN THIS JOURNEY
1. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  The first two weeks after his cast removal are said to be extremely painful.
2. For Grace and Hope, that they are healthy, loved on, and protected. Please pray that they dream of us and attach quicker than ANYONE could imagine.
3. Please also pray for Thomas and I. Please pray we can use this time before travel to gain physical strength.
4. We have several expenses that we normally would have taken care of with our tax return, but couldn't this year. Could you please pray for God's provision for these expenses...and the things we still need to gather for the girls.  This isn't typical...unless we are in the adoption process...lol.  Please pray GOD shows up in a big way here!
5. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe.
 6. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.
7. That our families are safe while we are gone and that it is a peaceful time for them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We still have around $13,000 to raise (guesstimate).  If God touches your heart.....

Ways to Give:

1.  LifeSong is still accepting tax deductible donations on our behalf, even though the matching grant is met.   You can also mail a check to them with our family name and number in the memo line (it can be found in "My Story" in the link below).


2.PayPal- You can send money through PayPal "Friends and Family" to our email address 1thomkat (at) verizon (dot) net 
No money will be taken out and every penny will go toward our adoption!

3. You can mail a check directly to us.  It will be placed in a separate adoption account immediately.  You can email us at the above email and we will send our address.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Easter 2017 and Random Thoughts

This is our family celebration of the Risen King of Kings...a little late.  

Easter Morning (My heart always sings on this day.)
As we prepared (scrambled around for ANYTHING with meaning...true meaning for Easter), we found Bibles on sale at our local Christian store.  Our children who didn't have "older kids" Bibles, received them on for Easter. 

Ben surprised us most.  They all loved them, but Ben's reaction was priceless. Though his thoughts are young, somewhere deep inside he understood the importance of his Bible. 

This was my post on Facebook Easter morning.

"Some of the children got their first bigger kid Bible this Easter. Ben was one of them. He has carried his Bible around all morning and keeps hugging it. He may not realize on a more typical level what he holds in his hands, but he has absorbed just how important this book is. There's something profound in this. As we celebrate this Easter, may we be like this little 13 year old boy with Down Syndrome....treasuring God's Word...our understanding resting deep in our hearts.

HE HAS RISEN!"



At Church
Our Church is a blessing from God.  Our preacher preaches the truth...meaty and straight forward.  The sermon this morning was as expected...beautiful.  

Our Savior has Risen!!!!



Our daughter in love Elizabeth and our precious 2 month old granddaughter Alessandra.
(pronounced Aless-AW-ndra)

Our crazy kiddos still living at home :-)
The sun was in your eyes, but that was the best we got (smile).

Easter for Others
Our oldest daughter Sarah and her husband celebrated with Ivan's family for a bit before coming over.  Their family is so beautiful and a gift from God that I had to share their pictures as well.


Isabella LOVES her Daddy! 


We're missing you in this picture Nathan!

The Celebration Continued at Home:

The celebration continued at our house...after a little nap.

Yes, he crawled into an Easter Basket and went to sleep.

Thomas and Gabriel couldn't hang.


Even little Alessandra dozed just a bit.  She was 
in grandmas arms and I was VERY content with this nap...chuckle.



Sarah, Ivan, and Isabella joined us for the second half of the day.
Another nap...



Isabella has her grandpa wrapped around
her little fingers.




Alessandra woke up too.  Yup, this was her third outfit.  You know babies...smile.


Aunt Sarah got to hold her niece.  THAT is the face of love!!!

HAPPY LATE EASTER FRIENDS!

Now
We have many things going on here and posting for Easter just didn't happen.  Today was the last day of school for Max and Bekah this year (at co-op).  They were both in such a well done play today and there are many pictures I will wade through and share later.  

This co-op is truly a gift for them.  One of their teacher's, Mrs. Hanson (a wonderful friend of mine), has taught all of our kids so far (except Benjamin and his unique needs).  She's that teacher that challenges the kids and makes things so interesting for them.  She gets them to think for themselves.  The other teacher, Mrs. Raike is a gift too, kind and thoughtful in her teaching.  There is no other place I'd want our kids.

So life moves forward.  I shared today in a private group that I have a bit of the "sadz" (smile).  I long for positive news, any news, of our adoption.  The "adoption silence" is normal when your government has paperwork, but my mama heart is not listening.  I long for news of our girls, even the tiniest movement of our paperwork, financial jumps...anything. (Prayers appreciated for even this.)

I will truly be glad when the adoption adventure comes to fruition and our family is finally together.  I'm tired and just want the girls home.  Just ONE year ago today, Timothy became a Marr legally in his country of birth.  (We took custody just a year ago yesterday.)

So for now I sit on the couch and rest.  I'm taking a few minutes and just sit (smile).

Praying your day is blessed friends!

(Prayer requests and ways to give, as always, are below.)


 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength." 
Philippians 4:12-13

___________________________________________


Prayer Requests:

IMMEDIATE:
1.  Please pray hearts are open and there is a "yes" for something we are requesting. (Mysterious enough? :-))
2. Please pray that the step our adoption is at now goes quickly!!! (2nd step of immigration).
3. For the waiver of one specific fee to happen and if it's not meant to be we get word.

OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:
Please Pray...
FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED IN THIS JOURNEY
1. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).
2. For Grace and Hope, that they are healthy, loved on, and protected. Please pray that they dream of us and attach quicker than ANYONE could imagine.
3. That we hear from the (now) two grants we have yet to hear from. Please pray we receive at least one grant. It would help TREMENDOUSLY!  Receiving more than one more would be almost more than we could hope or imagine!
4. Please also pray for Thomas and I. Please pray we can use this time before travel to gain physical strength.
5. Lastly, we have several expenses that we normally would have taken care of with our tax return, but couldn't this year. Could you please pray for God's provision for these expenses...and the things we still need to gather for the girls.  This isn't typical...unless we are in the adoption process...lol.  Please pray GOD shows up in a big way here!
6. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe.
 7. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.
8. That our families are safe while we are gone and that it is a peaceful time for them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We still have around $13,000 to raise (guesstimate).

Ways to Give:

1.  LifeSong is still accepting tax deductible donations on our behalf, even though the matching grant is met.   You can also mail a check to them with our family name and number in the memo line (it can be found in "My Story" in the link below).


2.PayPal- You can send money through PayPal "Friends and Family" to our email address 1thomkat (at) verizon (dot) net 
No money will be taken out and every penny will go toward our adoption!

3. You can mail a check directly to us.  It will be placed in a separate adoption account immediately.  You can email us at the above email and we will send our address.

4. Shopping with a Purpose:  Another adoptive mama, who has not even met us, is doing
a Pampered Chef fundraiser on Facebook very shortly.   We said yes knowing many use these products and maybe if someone had a need, then they could purchase and still help our adoption.  We will post a link when the time comes.



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