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, 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



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 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


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


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


"Our perfect peace" (Judges 6:24)


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


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


"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.


"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.


"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 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.
You have tested us, O God;
    you have purified us like silver.
You captured us in your net
    and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
Then you put a leader over us.[b]
    We went through fire and flood,
    but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings
    to fulfill the vows I made to you—
yes, the sacred vows that I made
    when I was in deep trouble.
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
Come and listen, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell you what he did for me.
For I cried out to him for help,
    praising him as I spoke.
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
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.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Update on the Usborne Book Fundraiser

August 15, 2013

Just wanted to give you a few more details about this fundraiser and let you know about a couple of the promotions that Rebecca is running to make this an even better opportunity!  

Rebecca Adams is the consultant doing the Usborne Books & More party for us. 25% of the sales, which is her entire commission, will be given to us to help fund Pippa's adoption. 

If you purchase $50 or more in products, you will get the choice of any book $5 or less - and there are LOTS - FREE. Also, the first 5 orders will be entered into a drawing for $10 in FREE products! So many great products, and I'm happy to answer any questions. Grab up some books and activities for the children in your life and help get Pippa home at the same time. Win! Win!! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adoption is Costly My Friends

August 12, 2013

     Don't we all wish we had one of these in our backyard?!!  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Seriously though, we are so thankful that we have wonderful friends and family that have already been so supportive emotionally, spiritually, and financially already.  Thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising efforts on the Online Facebook Auction that helped us raise over $1000 dollars!  And thank you to those who have just generously donated to our accounts  and in person out of the kindness of your hearts! We were truly blessed and humbled by your generosity.  

SO, What are the costs? Why is adoption so expensive?  There are a lot of people, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of time involved and it all takes $$ to make it happen.  I thought I would break down what some of the costs are and let you know what we have already paid and what all of this fundraising we are doing and asking you to support us in is going towards.  Also, just to clarify the ways you can support us and our fundraising efforts:

1. PRAY FOR US and our fundraisers
2. SHARE our fundraising efforts with your friends that will pray for us or participate in a fundraisers too
3. DONATE items for auctions or garage sales (Coming soon! Wink, wink!)
4. PARTICIPATE in the event 

Here are the Costs:

Passports (2) $270 paid
Home Study Application Fee $225 paid
Home Study Fee $1200  paid
FBI Clearances (required for home study) $100 
Child Abuse Background Checks and State Police Clearance (required for home study) $85 paid
Reece's Rainbow Voice of Hope Fund $250 paid
Reece's Rainbow FSP fee $25 paid
USCIS Fees $890
Certified Copies of  Birth and Marriage Certificates $190 paid
Various Postage $200
Apostille Fees $ 155 ($80 paid)
In Country Document Review Fees $500
Round Trip Travel to Europe (2) $3500
Facilitation Fees $9000 ($1000 paid)
Travel in Country $500
Pippa's in Country Medical Testing $1000
Pippa's Medical Appt for Visa $110
Pippa's Visa Application $230
Pippa's Passport and Expedition Fees $600 
Living in Europe for 5 weeks $3500
Pippa's Travel to America $800
Travel Items $250 
Emergency Fund $2000

Estimate cost = $25,580.

So, what are our current fundraisers?

No Brainers!! (These don't require any extra effort or $$, other than using the links)

We have our Amazon Associates Link, by doing your normal online shopping through OUR LINK, Amazon will give us 6% of your purchase! You can also access the link through the Amazon Search Box on the right side of this blog.

Another way to support us through your regular online shopping is by signing up with iGive and typing in "Parents for Pippa" in the "Search for your Cause" box.  Once you register with the site and have "Parents for Pippa" as your cause and access the 100's of online stores through that site, we will get a percentage (varies by retailer) of your purchases!

Benefit Your Brains!!

Some of you may remember that one of our dear friends is supporting us in a huge way!

Our AMAZING friend and Christy Award Winning Author, Jill Williamson, gave us a very generous gift! Several months ago she let us know that she was getting ready to release a short e-novella as part of her "New Recruit" book series and that she would like to donate ALL of her proceeds from that e-book to help us, at the time, bring Sydney home. So now, of course, it is to help bring Pippa home. Needless to say, we were completely overwhelmed with her generosity and are beyond grateful that she and her family wanted to do this for us! What an awesome blessing! So, on 12/12/12 the e-novella was released on Amazon! The e-book is also available for the Nook and Kobo.
Jill is a wonderful Christian Teen Fiction writer! In her own words her stories are "weird!” They are speculative fiction, which is fantasy, sci fi, time travel, supernatural, paranormal, alternate history, dystopian, steampunk, or anything else WAY out of the ordinary. Her books are also fun, easy reads for adults too! So, if you love to read, have teens, tweens, or friends that love to read please encourage them to check out Chokepoint: Mini Mission 1.5! All of Jill's books are great, so check those out too!


   Our next fundraiser starts today!!  It is and online sales party for Usborne Books hosted by my new friend, Rebecca Murray Adams, who is adopting 2 girls from the same orphanage that Pippa is in!  She will be donating all of her commission to us after the party closes. Click HERE to access our party and get some great books for your kids!  This is a great time to stock up for back to school or get a great end of the summer read in for your tweens and teens!  This online party fundraiser will run from 8/12/2013-8/31/2013 so you have plenty of time browse and make your purchases!  

Upcoming Fundraisers:

Kevin and Wendy Christmas Elves
Garage Sale(s)
Others TBA

What is the difference between Go Fund Me and Reece's Rainbow Accounts?  

Our Reece's Rainbow "Account" or Family Sponsorship Page (FSP) will be available to us at the time when we travel to Europe and helps with our travel, facilitation fee's, etc.  ALL donations made to this account through Reece's Rainbow are TAX DEDUCTIBLE for you. 

Our Go Fund Me account is great because we have access to those funds right away and they can help us with some of the up-front costs like postage, apostille's and up front document review and authentication costs, which are coming up soon!  However, these donations are NOT tax deductible.  We do have a short "Wish List" set up on this account if you would like to donate toward something very specific.

Again, thank you all for your love, support and prayers!




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Don't You Want a Younger Child??

July 17, 2013

   It has been almost 3 weeks since we announced our commitment to bring Pippa home and we couldn't be more excited!  God has started to grow our love for her in amazing ways!  Thank you all for your prayers and outpouring of support!  There has been one question that we have been asked quite a bit, so I thought I would take this opportunity to give you a little insight into our thoughts about it. The question(s) go like this, "Don't you want to adopt a younger child?"  "Why are you adopting an older child?"  And the answer, to the latter version is

"Why Not!"

 Don't all children deserve a loving home and parents to take care of them?  Regardless of what age they are when they come into a family they can benefit from the love, care, and attention that is provided, whether that is for 5-6 years as an adolescent or 16-18 years if a child is adopted as an infant or toddler.  There are challenges and milestones at every stage of life, so even if we have missed a few, there are plenty more to come!  

   There are also some alarming statistics out there for kids that are not adopted and "age-out" or "graduate" from the system.  In most Eastern European countries the age at which children are no longer able to be adopted is 15-16 years old.  In 2010 there were 11,100 international adoptions completed by American Families, of those only 2,211 were over the age of 5.  That is only 19.9% of all international adoptions! I can only imagine that the older they get the smaller their chance of finding their forever family becomes.  The other statistics that are so alarming and really cause our hearts to ache for these children as they get closer and closer to aging out is what life looks like for them when they leave the orphanage any time between the ages of 15-17 years old.

  • 15% Commit Suicide during the first two years on their own
  • 60% of Girls end up in Prostitution (Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe.)
  • 70% of Boys end up in Jail or on the streets
  • The rate of drug and alcohol abuse/addiction among these kids is astounding
  • 50% of orphans in Eastern Europe will not live to see their 20th birthday
  • Only 16% of orphanage graduates have families
  • Only 25% of orphanage graduates have stable employment
  • Only 1% of orphanage graduates obtain higher education (University)
  • Only 44% of orphanage graduates receive some kind of technical training (completion)
  With statistics like these, how could we say "No" to God when he placed Pippa on our hearts and really, if you think about it, how could we say "No" to any child he placed on our hearts when we said "Yes" to adoption.  If we were not obedient, there may not be another family to say "Yes" and Pippa or Sydney or    (fill in the blank)  , could become one of these sad statistics.  

So, here is a young lady that is close to aging out, her name is Ally.  She is in the same orphanage as Pippa and she has just a few weeks left until her birthday in August before her opportunity to be loved by a family is lost forever.  Maybe one of you reading this blog today is her family, but even if you aren't, pass along her picture so that hopefully somewhere out there her Mom and Dad will see her and give her the chance to be loved by a family and avoid becoming one of these statistics.

                                           Ally (1)


"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do, everything changes." 

~ David Platt

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Renewed Hope

June 29, 2013


"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)

     We started our first blog post with this very same verse and it holds even more truth for us today than it did back in November.  I'm sure many of you have been wondering why we have not been posting about our adoption of Sydney and what was happening with that process. Well, THIS is what happened!  On December 28, 2012 our hearts were broken, not only for ourselves, but the thousands of children that are stuck in those orphanages with little chance of being adopted by families in their own country.  Please pray for them!  Pray that God the Father will be near to them while they wait.  The world has tried to corrupt our efforts of caring for orphans, but we refuse to let it!  

   It has taken us several months (obviously!) to learn what our next steps should be.  We waited to proceed for a little while because there was some thought/hope that there may be some exceptions, for special needs children, to the ban.  But after a few months it became clear that it was probably not going to be the case.  We were heartbroken and it just took us a while to heal from "losing" the opportunity to bring Sydney home.  We also took the time to pray for direction and seek what God wanted for us.  We were presented with many ideas and options to think about from friends and family and that in itself was a lot to process, pray about and wade through.  

   After feeling we were on the right path before, we kept being drawn back to Reece's Rainbow.  We also felt like the Lord was speaking to both of us about adopting an older child. We have been following the blog of another family that recently adopted through Reece's Rainbow an older child and a toddler and her words have really spoken to us.  Thank you, Amy, of Tiny Green Elephants for being God's voice to us and helping us find some direction in our time of waiting.  

    Several weeks ago Pippa was newly listed as being available on Reece's Rainbow and she stirred something in both of us.  We both knew that she was the one that we would like to commit to, but Kevin was the first to be really sure.  I was still trying to argue with the Lord a little bit because I was afraid of committing and getting hurt again.  But then, Kevin said something to me one night right before I fell asleep, "I don't think we can choose the wrong one, God knows what he's doing!"  And he was right!  I had let fear creep into my mind and heart and the Lord kept saying to me "Do not be afraid."  

    So, here we are with a renewed hope and purpose, to bring Pippa home!  We are so thankful for all of your prayers and support these last several months and hope you will continue to pray for all us and we continue on this journey of growing our family.


~Derek Loux