Sunday, May 3, 2015

We Gave BOTH Hands!! (Part 2: Photos)


Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Gave BOTH HANDS!! (Part 1: Recap)

 Here is the FANTASTIC group of people who have servant hearts and gave 100% on our BOTH HANDS Project,
expecting nothing in return but glorifying God and helping others!! 
   I am telling you, the people in this photo ROCK!  Not pictured, but equally as awesome for their dedication to all the pre-project work,
are Ben and Mindy Brown.  Thank you to each and every one of you!
Click this link to see a short 3-minute recap video of our project.
PRE-PROJECT:  This group mailed out over 570 letters to friends and family asking for sponsorship that would benefit our adoption expenses!  $7560 has been raised to date through this project!!!  They visited or called local businesses to ask for donations, secured equipment resources invaluable to our efforts, evaluated the work to be done, and corresponded with our widow to reassure her of the days events.
PROJECT DAY(s):  Our team removed bushes, did landscape work, repaired several dangerous spots on a deck, corrected a major drainage issue, cleaned gutters, removed a stump and rotting timbers, and most importantly, spread the love of Christ.  They took initiative, were patient and flexible, and super supportive!  The weather forecast for our project day was 90% rain with a tornado watch!  Although we had a rain date scheduled, the major equipment we were using would no longer be available on that day.  We were determined to do as much as possible for Mrs. Beumel and her son, so we felt the rain date reschedule was not an option.  We ended up working a day early (Friday) from 4 to 10 p.m., and on project day from 11:00 to 4:00.  People came straight from their places of employment on Friday, already having completed a full day of work, and happily and wholeheartedly worked at the residence.  God held back the rains and storms until the very moment every project was complete on Saturday!!!!!  Amazing!  
POST-PROJECT:  About $7000 is still needed to pay our adoption expenses.  We are SO close, and it's not too late to donate!  You can click here to make a tax-deductible donation to LifeSong for Orphans that will directly benefit our family's adoption expenses.  (Once you click the link, use the "Give" button on the right side of the screen.)  Or contact us for info on mailing a donation check (!
BEFORE & AFTER of the front porch area

 BEFORE & AFTER of the area to the right of the porch
BEFORE & AFTER deck stairs
 BEFORE & AFTER lattice on deck

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Both Hands

We've been accepted to do a really unique project to help bring our girls home! It's called a Both Hands Project because it creates a team that spends a day in service to a widow while helping an orphan . . . or in this case, two orphans.  One hand for the widow, one for the orphan = BOTH hands.  This concept is taken from James 1:27, and we are so excited about it!
On April 25, our Both Hands Team will spend the day doing a service project for a widow in our community.  Before the project, our team is working to find sponsors for our day of service.  Donations are tax deductible, and 100% of any funds donated go directly to bringing our sweet girls home.  It's similar to a charity golf scramble or a 5K to raise money for a specific cause, except instead of playing, we'll be serving.  Isn't it awesome?!  You can click here to check out our project page and learn more about the Both Hands Foundation.

The widow we'll be serving is Ms. Anna Lois Beumel.  Ms. Anna Lois was born and raised in Daviess County as one of eight children.  One of her favorite activities is quilting, and she is thrilled to participate in two local quilting clubs.  Fourteen years ago, Anna Lois lost her husband, and at almost 84 years of age, maintaining the home they shared has become beyond her capabilities.  A recent knee replacement further complicates her situation.  She has one son, Kevin, and his wife, who both help her in many ways while still taking care of their own home in another county.  In his fifties with a back injury from a car accident, he is just as grateful for the assistance we'll be providing Ms. Anna Lois.  We hope to accomplish various tasks at her home, including cleaning her gutters, landscaping, stump and shrub removal, deck repair, and improving a drainage issue on her property.   

Our adoptions will cost approximately $49,000.  Through part-time jobs, multiple fundraisers, selling things in our home, personal savings, donations, and adoption grants, God has provided over $33,000!!  That is cuh-razy to even type out, but He is so good and faithful!!  Most of you know that in June of last year, we brought home two little angels by adoption and have a little over $6,000 remaining in loans from those expenses.  Our rocky employment road over the past couple years has left us at a point where we have zero ability to add another loan payment.  Our prayer is that our Both Hands Project will help us raise the $15,400 we have left to fund our current adoptions.

 Serve with Us - If you're a local friend, we'd love to have you serve with us on the 25th!  The more team members we have, the more we can accomplish for Ms. Anna Lois. If you're interested in joining our work day, please contact us!
Sponsor Our Team - Any financial gift, big or small, gets us closer to bringing our daughters home.  If you'd like to sponsor our team, you can donate by mailing a check or giving online.  All donations are tax deductible.  Email us at
Support Us - We are in need of supplies for our work day.  I'll be posting a material list soon, or you can email us for details.
Share Our Project - Please help us spread the word about our project.  Feel free to share the link to this post via email or on Facebook.  The more people who hear about our project, the more likely we are to get the support we need to bring Samantha and Ai Yue home!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and to consider how you might be a part of our Both Hands Project.  We are truly excited to bless Ms. Anna Lois in a big way, and we have already felt incredibly supported in the planning stages of our project.  (Our team is AWESOME!)  Please know that your prayers, encouraging words, and financial gifts are genuinely appreciated.  Every action is a piece of our daughters' stories, making them TWO less orphans in this world!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Steps of a Stranger

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

There is a 13-year-old in Wisconsin who is setting an example in this world.  She is not letting her youth keep her from changing lives.  Matter of fact, she is not letting distance, or money, or any of the other million things that could distract her from blocking her path. 

This beautiful girl was adopted at age 8 from Ghana.  Her heart weighs heavy for orphaned children.  She could stop right there.  She could stop at the point where she feels grief, as so many of us do, and let that be the end. 

Not this girl.

Her heart will not allow her to stop there, and neither will her momma.  Together, they took that burden and sadness and bundled it into something good.  They began as consultants for Jamberry, a fun and innovative at-home nail application design company, and decided to donate her entire commission to a child who was being adopted.

And that is how her world changed ours.  She read about our Samantha and her story of feeling unwanted and hopeless.  Samantha's age and her story resounded in this Wisconsin teens' heart, and the rest is history.  Her mom contacted us and asked if they could donate her commission for a week to our adoption expenses!

A total stranger connected with our family through the miracle of technology and God's goodness.  This gal raised over $190 for our expenses, and thanks to our amazing LifeSong grant through Orphan Care Alliance, those funds will be matched!

Ally & Becky:  thank you for allowing your emotions to move you into action.  I hope we get to meet one day, when Samantha comes home.  You are a beautiful example to us of the path our footsteps should take in the future, in helping other families!!!!

Check out Becky's blog here, and even though our fundraiser is over, if you want to check-out the Jamberry site and support them, go to

Monday, February 23, 2015

Always Awe-struck!

A matching grant!!!!  Woo-hoooo!  What a relief!  What a blessing!  We are astounded! 

You know, we really shouldn't be.  We've seen God work so many miracles in our lives that it should be all calm like, "Oh yeah.  We know God's got this." 

But I'm glad we are still awe-struck and full of gratitude for His GREATNESS!!  Doing the happy-screaming-squealing-jumping-dance!!!  Thank you Lord!!! 

The 4-1-1 is that Lifesong for Orphans will match any donations they receive for our family up to $4,500!!!!!  This has been made possible by a partnership between Lifesong and Orphan Care Alliance (OCA).  OCA is one of Lifesong's "Outside the Walls" church fund partners who are willing to use their resources to reach outside of their own church family and help Lifesong fund more adoptive families!!  Here are links to these great organizations:
Lifesong for Orphans
Orphan Care Alliance

If you feel led to donate, checks can be mailed to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
In the memo, note Hudson / #5024 to assure it goes to the correct account. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 non-profit and your gift is tax-deductible!! 
There is also an option to donate through this button - I think!  If I did all the HTML stuff correctly, lol.

Along with the grant came acceptance for a project called "Both Hands".  We cannot wait to share this amazing program with you!!  Details coming soon . . .

Monday, February 16, 2015

So Much More Than a T-shirt

T-shirts are likely the first fundraiser that comes to every adoptive families minds!  We have created a design for each of our adoption processes, and they are individually personal and precious to us because they are a memento of each journey. 

Tees are also about spreading awareness.  A fellow adoptive momma purchased one of our "Jesus Hears the Orphan, So Do I" tees, and it led to a beautiful revelation in the doctor's office!  She shares her experience here:

Just wanting to let you know that your t-shirt sparked a conversation today and helped change a heart!  We were getting medical updates for our home study.  The male nurse was asking me what was needed for adoption, and asked if this was my first child.  I told him I have 3 children, 2 biological and 1 adopted, and this adoption will bring home my 4th.  He questioned my pregnancies for the form, then said, "You chose to adopt even though you could have had more of your own."  It stumped him.  He said his fiancĂ© has said the same thing, but he doesn't understand. Then he READ MY SHIRT!  And said now I get it!!!! Today gave him a different perspective.

This momma's story, combined with the questions he was asking and a message on her shirt, made a young man realize adoption is not solely about having children.  It's about understanding there are millions of children without families who deserve one of their own!  It's about understanding every child is precious to our heavenly Father, and He has given all of us the responsibility of caring for them so they are orphaned no more.  So much more than just a shirt!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Divine Appointment

It started on a snowy morning in the middle of January.  The girls and I were accompanying Jon on a four-hour drive to see his podiatrist post-op, and we had made this trek many times.  For some reason, the county departments had not been able to salt the roads.  Within 2 miles of our driveway, we saw three wrecked vehicles.  By the time we arrived in the tiny city normally less than 10 minutes from our house, cars were at a stand-still.  After an hour of waiting had passed, we learned a semi had jack-knifed and was blocking the entire highway. 

Multiple times during our wait, we contemplated turning around and going back home.  But coordinating work, school, and caregivers schedules had already been attacked and accomplished.  Plus, there was an important errand we needed to run along our way.  We decided to persevere, bypass the gridlock, and take a back road.  I was driving, and began to fret a bit as we got off the main highway and immediately saw three more wrecked vehicles!

I don't know how many back-road miles I drove, but they were full of wracking nerves and slips and slides.  The oldest girls thought it was a delightful little roller coaster.  :)  Finally, we made it safely to the first major city near our home.  What normally takes us 20 minutes had taken TWO hours!  While the roads were clear from there, it was impossible to reach the doctor's office in time for Jon's appointment.  In addition, the likelihood of getting another appointment on the same day with this "doctor in high demand" was slim.  But we called, they were compassionate, and worked us in later in the afternoon.

Everything had seemed against us, yet we arrived in that office at precisely the time God would have us be there.  We just didn't know it yet. 

I was busy keeping the girls entertained in the waiting room, when I heard another momma ask where Kalli was from.  When Jon said "China", her face lit up and she shared a beautiful family photo with us.  Turns out, she and her hubby have two biological daughters and two daughters born in China!  We struck up a conversation, sharing experiences and talking about future adoptions.  Then we discovered we were both members of the same facebook group!  (It was the very group where we first saw Samantha's little face.) 

After leaving the office, we connected officially on facebook, and had a message from this momma.  She read our blog and learned about our fundraising efforts, and her family wanted five of our fundraiser tees.  When I saw their Paypal payment for the tees, I was in SHOCK!  $500!!!!  This sweet family we met 4 hours from our home (they had driven 2+ hours themselves), at a time hours later than we had planned, was part of a beautiful orchestration of God's provision.  This is a family who not only chooses to do something amazing with the money He has given them by becoming adoptive parents themselves, but also by BLESSING other families as well!!  We are still speechless.

Every step of this adoption journey has been miraculous.  From finding our daughter, to seeing God provide EXACTLY what we needed financially.  There have been several donations received in the mail - without us even asking - that arrived right before an adoption bill was due.  Generous strangers reaching out when they certainly did not have to.  Friends met through incredible circumstances sending sacrificial blessings our way.  Loyal family, church family, and friends who have been with us in past adoptions, and still stand by our side trying to help in whatever ways they can.  New friends seeking out ways to fundraise for us.

Do you see the beauty in the connections that are made?  God stirs the heart of someone to pray.  The heart of another is then moved to help or give in some manner.  It's a continuous circle, connecting us and leading us back to glorifying our God. 

All these precious pieces, coming together one-on-one, but most certainly not by chance.  It's all by divine appointment.

About Me

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Two grateful children of God who are head-over-heels for one another, best friends and partners in this crazy world!  Parents striving to disciple our five incredible children who arrived in our arms in different ways, but fill our hearts with an uncompromising love.  Full of imperfections, but trying our best every day . . . well, almost every day (that goes back to the imperfections).  THANKFUL, THANKFUL, THANKFUL to know the love of our Savior and our precious family.