Thursday, February 6, 2014

Win an Open Heart!




                                                      

It's a Valentines Day Giveaway!! 


You can enter to win this Beautiful Jane Seymour "Open Hearts Family" necklace and earrings!  Both pieces are Sterling Silver and Diamonds worth $230, combined.  To enter the giveaway you can donate to our Reece's Rainbow account or share this post!

Share the post = 1 Free Entry
$5 Donation = 1 Entry
$20 Donation = 5 Entries

Click on this link http://reecesrainbow.org/49496/sponsorhaydon or on Zach's picture on the top right corner of the blog to donate. Once your donation is complete, email your receipt to wendyhaydon@yahoo.com to finalize your entry. 

The winner will be selected at 9PM CST on Sunday February 9, 2014.

These would be a great gift for your wife, Mom, Sister, Bestie or even yourself!  

Thank you so much for helping us bring Zach home!!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Countdown Begins...with more waiting!!

January 30, 2014



  Today was the day we have been waiting for!!  The last six weeks have both flown by and seemed like this day might never come!  The last time I wrote, our paperwork was winging its way to Eastern Europe and today it finally made it to the final destination!  Finally, our paper work was submitted to the governmental agency in charge of adoptions in Zach's country for review.  As long as things go well, hopefully, we will be given an appointment date to get the official referral.  So, now, we begin waiting...again!  Sometime in the next 4-8 weeks we will get the exciting news that our appointment date has been set.  Until then, what are we going to be doing while we wait?

  We have begun getting Zach's room ready, we have done some painting and still have more to do!  And of course we have linens and all of those fun things to buy, too!  We have not chosen a specific theme or anything like that, since we would like for him to be able to choose what he likes and help to make it his own.  
  
  We are also still fundraising.  As you can see by our thermometer we have made some great progress, but we still have a ways to go.  Our shoe and clothing drive is set to wrap up here in a couple of weeks and we are praying that we make the 15,000 lb. minimum in collections so that we can maximize our profit and make it a worthwhile project for the 4 families that have been participating.  It has been a much larger challenge than we anticipated!  We knew it was going to be hard work, just not this hard!  If you live in the Houston area, and have some shoes, clothing, linen's, etc. that you would like to donate let me know before February 15th!  
 Our T-Shirt fundraiser was a great success!  That made a good dent in our goal.  Many of you have expressed that you missed out on getting one and would like the opportunity to purchase one; so we are going to be re-launching that site in the near future so you can get one of our awesome shirts! There may also be another design option available, so stay tuned!


  We have a few more fundraisers coming up including another online auction, and a Valentine's Day Giveaway!  

  Kevin and I are so thankful to all of you for your continued love and support!  Our families and friends gave us some amazing gifts over the Holiday's that were beyond generous and unexpected and we are truely grateful and humbled. The Lord is providing and we continue to trust in Him as we follow his leading and timing (waiting!) in this crazy journey.

 "Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and he will help you." Psalm 37:5 

  Please continue to pray for us!  We have had some hard days in the last six weeks and your prayers for us and for Zach are so precious!   







Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's Getting Real, Folks!!

December 14, 2013


        Today, my friends, is a red letter day!!  Our "Golden Ticket" along with a few other documents are heading to Zach's country in Eastern Europe, making our Dossier COMPLETE!!  This makes us first in line to have it submitted in the middle of January after the government there gets back to work after the Holiday's!!  

    The neatest thing happened last night while I was at the UPS store, where we have our mailbox and I do all of our shipping.  The staff in there is super nice and have been really excited about "participating" in our adoption process with us.  They have notarized several of our documents and overnighted countless packages all over the country for us. So, last night I was telling Caroline that these were the last documents and how important they were and she stopped typing on the computer and laid her hands on mine (that were resting on top of the papers) and said a quick prayer blessing them!  I was totally blessed by her in that moment!!   

     Now that all of our paperwork is completed (for now), we have launched a new fundraiser!  Some of you may have seen it already, on Facebook.  For those of you who have not heard about it, we have been blessed by another talented friend of ours Tobin Rogers.  Tobin designed the image you see below for us!!  



     We have partnered with Booster.Com to sell T-shirts with this awesome graphic!  It is our goal to sell 500 shirts!  We launched our site a couple of days ago and have sold 28 so far!  They are only $20 and the more we sell the more we make on each shirt.  If we meet or exceed our goal of 500 we would be getting about $13/shirt, which is amazing!!  We are accepting orders until the 24th, so only 11 more days to get your order in!!  The shirts will get printed about two weeks after the ordering period and will get shipped directly to YOU!!  Unfortunately, the shirts won't be here in time for Christmas, but they do say LOVE on them, so maybe for Valentine's day gifts?! (Geez!  I sound worse the the marketing people at the stores!)  

Here is the link to our Booster T-Shirt Campaign:


     Even if you aren't able to purchase a shirt right now, please feel free to share this link on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest...you get the idea!  You never know whose life may have been touched by adoption and they may want an awesome Graphic-T to wear and share!  I love this design so much because it really applies to anybody who is part of the adoption community. Whether you are adopting, have been adopted, or are an advocate for adoption it can mean something to you.  

" Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27 NLT

"No, I will not abandon you as orphans-I will come to you." John 14:18 NLT

     We also continue to collect used shoes, clothing, bedding, purses, and belts so if you live in the HOUSTON area I am willing to come and get anything you are willing to give me!  15,000 lbs. is a lot!! 


  Also, don't forget about our Amazon Associate link!!  Anytime you access Amazon through our link and make a purchase they give us 6% of that sale!  Every little bit adds up!  You can access it through the search box on the right side of the blog or through the tab at the top that says "Amazon Associates Link."

  As always, we are so thankful for all the encouragement, love and support you all give us!  We wouldn't have made it this far without you!  Please continue to pray for us and for Zach!  He has waited far to long already for a family to love him and as we pass each of these milestones the urgency we feel to get to him increases.  We are coming sweet boy, we are coming! 

"But God did listen!  He paid attention to my prayer.  Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me." Psalm 66:19-20 NLT 

  




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Approved!!

                             

December 3, 2013

Well, today a lot of our hard work paid off!!  We got our "Golden Ticket" in the mail!  This was the last piece of paperwork that we needed for our Dossier to be completed.  The bummer part is it didn't quite get here in time for us to make the deadline for submission in Zach's country prior to the "Holiday Shutdown". However, we are now at the front of the line for submission in January when things get going again after the Holidays.  We cannot thank you all enough for all of your love and support through all of this!  

Now, we will be able to focus on our fundraising efforts and it seems like we have a lot of irons in the fire on this front!  We are still collecting used shoes, clothing and bedding for our "Shooz for Souls" drive that we are doing with 3 other Reece's Rainbow Families here in the Houston area.  Hopefully we can have our 15,000 lb. minimum collected by mid- January!  

We have also been crafting and I have been crocheting to sell our creations at our Church Craft Bazaar and to anybody else who is interested!  I've even done a couple of custom orders for ornaments and wreaths for friends and co-workers.  I'll be posting some of my wares on Facebook here in the next few days, so stay tuned for your chance to get some of these great gift items!  

There are a couple of more things on the horizon so, stay tuned for more info and keep the prayers coming!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moving Forward

Well, friends, last time I wrote it was to share some extremely sad news.  But today, I am so happy to tell you that we have been pressing forward in our adoption journey and we now have a new ADORABLE face to love and pray for!  We are so excited to introduce you to Zach!


This sweet little guy is in the same orphanage where Pippa is.  Clearly, as we have experienced, nothing in this adoption journey is a sure thing or set in stone, but we are praying very hard to stay in the center of God's will in all of this. If it is what He wants for us we can't wait for the day that we get to meet Zach and hopefully bring him home!  

We are VERY CLOSE to completing our dossier!  We are waiting for one piece of paper, our "golden ticket" from the US Immigration office.  Once we get that ONE piece of paper over to Zach's country we will begin the waiting period for our travel dates! 

Please continue to pray for us, pray for Zach, and pray that God will continue preparing us all to become a family SOON!  Thank you all for your continued love and support!

"Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.  Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident." Psalm 27:3

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In the Presence of Jehovah...in the Mourning

October 17, 2013


"For no one is abandoned by the lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love.  For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow." Lamentations 3: 31-33 (NLT)

It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words today.  The last 36 hours have been some of the most heartbreaking that Kevin and I have experienced in a very long time.  It is with great sadness that I tell you that we will not be adopting Pippa.  This is not a decision that we made, but one that Pippa has made. 

 I received a phone call yesterday that our facilitator in Eastern Europe went to visit her orphanage to help arrange the medical testing that I wrote about in our last post (which was an answer to prayer).  He was also able to talk with the children and learned from Pippa that she did not wish to be adopted because she has some family members that come to visit her and she does not want to be "taken away" from them.  If I was her, I wouldn't either. However, this was still very shocking and unexpected news. We had heard that there were some of the girls that were unsure, we just didn't think Pippa would be one of them. Unfortunately, Pippa was not the only one to make such a decision and there are two other families that are experiencing this same heartbreak.   

If you have been following our adoption journey for the last 11 Months (I can't believe it has been that long already!) you know this is not the first time we have "lost" the child we were hoping to bring into our family.  On the day after Christmas 2012, Sydney, was locked behind the doors of the Adoption Ban put in place by Mr. Putin.  As I've said before, "Adoption is costly, my friends..."  I just didn't know it was going to cost me two pieces of my heart.      

Needless to say, we are grieving this loss and are heartbroken, but I cannot tell you how much I have felt the love and prayers of friends and family that we told yesterday.  The "peace that exceeds understanding" (Phillipians 4:7) had been present today and it has been such a blessing. I have also been thinking about how much God, Jehovah, has been with us throughout this journey and about all the names of God and how true they are for me, especially today. So I thought I would share them with you along with the song that has been in my heart today, "In the Presence of Jehovah"

Eight Redemptive Names of God

JEHOVAH-JIREH

"The Lord our provider" -  (Gen. 22:14).

JEHOVAH-NISSI

"Our banner, a banner of love and protection"  (Ex. 17:15).

JEHOVAH-SHALOM

"Our perfect peace" (Judges 6:24)

JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU

"The Lord is our righteousness" -  (Jeremiah 23:6)  (Jeremiah 33:16). 

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH

"The One Who is with us everywhere for He is Omnipresent" -  (Ezekiel 48:35 ) (Isaiah 60:19-20 and Revelation 21:3)

JEHOVAH-SABAOTH

"The Lord of Hosts, our Protector." C.H. Spurgeon said this about the phrase "The Lord of Hosts:
The Lord rules the angels, the stars, the elements, and all the hosts of Heaven; and the Heaven of heavens is under His sway... [the Lord] is on our side -- our august Ally; woe unto those who fight against Him, for they shall flee like smoke before the wind when He gives the word to scatter them."
See text at Psalm 46:7.

JEHOVAH-RAAH

"Our Shepherd Who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe." - the famous Psalm 23 tells us that "The Lord is our Shepherd and we shall not want...." Being illustrated as a shepherd implies a relationship with His sheep (His believers). The term shepherd appears approximately 80 times in the Scriptures, denotating meanings of: feeder, keeper, companion, friend, pastor and herdsman.

JEHOVAH RAPHA 

"I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer - this name especially was a Name God prophetically spoke about Himself, not one that someone gave Him. Exodus 15:26.


Holman Bible Dictionary and the book All the Divine Names And Titles In The Bible by Herbert Lockyer used as source for certain material.



"This is my command-be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

  I ask you to continue lifting all of us (Kevin and I, our other adoptive friends, and all of our girls) up in prayer.  A friend of mine, Joe Arnold, posted this on his Facebook status today and it really hit home, 
"The #1 plague that spreads throughout society isn't a virus or cancer, it is the disease of discouragement.  Satan would like nothing better than to have you give up on doing God's work because of discouragement from outside and/or inside influences.  Nehamiah faces it and overcomes it and our challenge is to follow his example."
The enemy would love nothing more than for us to be discouraged and give up on loving and caring for orphans.  We will always love Pippa, she will be in our hearts and minds forever,  and we pray that someday she will come to know the Lord and that her family will be there for her when the day comes that she ages out of the orphanage.  We pray that she does not fall prey to the statistics I wrote about a couple of months ago.  

We do not know yet exactly what is around this curve in our path, but God does, and this truly is His path that we are walking; because there is no way we could do it on our own! 

 I do know that we are very close to having our Dossier completed and we will keep moving forward even though we don't know exactly "who" is up ahead waiting for us.  Waiting, waiting for us to be their Mom and Dad and to be our son and/or daughter.  We are coming!  Whoever you are, we are coming!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayers Needed!

September 24, 2013


     It has been a few weeks since I've given an update...wow has time flown!!  October is right around the corner and we are making some great progress in our adoption process!  We are hoping to have our Homestudy finished and in our hands this week sometime!  I can't believe this major milestone is going to be completed very soon!  

     We are continuing our fundraising efforts and thank you so much to those of you who participated in our Usborne Book fundraiser, those who have become a "Piece of the Puzzle", and those who are helping us out in our Miche Fundraiser that is going on through September 30th.  We have also heard from so many of you who are supporting us with prayer and by sharing our fundraising events and that is such a blessing, too.  Thank you so much!!  Every little bit helps and we still have a ways to go to be fully funded.

     I'm coming to you today to ask for some very specific prayers.  Today we learned of some news involving some additional medical testing that will be required for Pippa before she can come home with us.  We knew of this medical testing prior to committing to bringing her home.  This testing requires additional travel within her country, three consecutive days of testing, and then WAITING FOR 8 WEEKS for the results before we would be allowed to leave her country and bring her home.  Shortly after our commitment there was a compromise made to allow the testing to occur once our "application" was received in the country so that it could be completed before we traveled.  However, today we learned the the director of Pippa's orphanage and the director of the governmental agency over adoptions in her region are being difficult.  They are not wanting to give permission for this to happen until we arrive in the country, which would extend our stay from 5-6 weeks in country to 8-9 weeks!  

     This extended stay would cause several issues for us.  #1  This would significantly increase our costs while in country and our finances here at home.  #2  This could seriously impact our jobs here at home and significantly decrease the time we would be able to take off when we get home, that is key for attachment, bonding, and adjustment.  #3  It could require us to come home for more than the "ten day wait" and Pippa would end up spending more time in the orphanage. You know we don't want that!!  

How You Can Pray with Us:
1.  Pray for the hearts of the Director's (Orphanage and Regional)
2.  Pray for our facilitators that they will be able to arrange the testing sooner, rather than later
3.  Pray for Pippa and the other children that will have to go through this testing
4.  Pray for all the families affected by this requirement because we are all facing the same issues and many of the other families also have other children at home that need to be taken care of.  

    Thank you for all your love and support, we wouldn't be able to do this without you!!

Psalm 66


Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!

    Sing about the glory of his name!
    Tell the world how glorious he is.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
Everything on earth will worship you;
    they will sing your praises,
    shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude
Come and see what our God has done,
    what awesome miracles he performs for people!
He made a dry path through the Red Sea,[a]
    and his people went across on foot.
    There we rejoiced in him.
For by his great power he rules forever.
    He watches every movement of the nations;
    let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude
Let the whole world bless our God
    and loudly sing his praises.
Our lives are in his hands,
    and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
10 
You have tested us, O God;
    you have purified us like silver.
11 
You captured us in your net
    and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
12 
Then you put a leader over us.[b]
    We went through fire and flood,
    but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
13 
Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings
    to fulfill the vows I made to you—
14 
yes, the sacred vows that I made
    when I was in deep trouble.
15 
That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you—
    the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma,
    and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude
16 
Come and listen, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell you what he did for me.
17 
For I cried out to him for help,
    praising him as I spoke.
18 
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19 
But God did listen!
    He paid attention to my prayer.
20 
Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
    or withdraw his unfailing love from me.