Monday, January 31, 2011

Shirts are in!

We picked up our shirts today! The boys were so excited, they had to put theirs on as soon as we got in the car!

They are $15.00 each. If you are out of town, we can ship them for $5.00. If you would like one, you can send us a check or pay through the chip in tool on the sidebar. Email me at


Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Chance to Win....

Things with our adoption are moving a little quicker than we had expected! While that is really also means we need to come up with some money a little sooner than expected! We have decided to do this fundraiser to help cover some of the costs!

"Under" this image is another picture. For every $10.00 donation we will reveal part of that image until it is completely uncovered. After the picture is revealed, we will have a drawing. Everyone who donated will be entered in the drawing. We will have 3 prizes!

Prize #1: A full session with Stephanie Bowling Photography
$450 Value Includes a 1-2 hour session and 20-30 images on cd
( must be used by July 2011 in Knoxville area/session does not have to be used by can give it to someone else)

Prize #2 A mini-session with Stephanie Bowling Photography
$200 Value Includes a 30-45 minute session and 5-10 images on cd.
(must be used by July 2011 in Knoxville area)

$15.00 value In the size of your choice

To enter just donate $10.00 using "chip in" on the sidebar! We will use the email that shows up on chip in to contact you.
Winner will be chosen by

We are so humbled by the generosity of God's people and the love they are pouring out for these precious children! God bless and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just Love Coffee

We are now selling Just Love Coffee to help raise our adoption funds. If you or someone you know is a coffee can buy this FAIR TRADE coffee and support our adoption at the same time.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When I was pregnant with Ethan, Chad and I made him a bear at Build-A-Bear. Then, when I was pregnant with Luke, we all made him one. It was something fun to do together. The boys still have their bears and they mean a lot to them. Since we are "expecting" again, we headed back over there and made each of the kids an animal. For Miss C, the boys picked out a pretty bunny. They named her Clara. :o) For Little B, they picked out the cutest, softest puppy. It was fun making them together. We all put hearts in each one. We also recorded a message to each child to be put in their stuffed animal. I love the thought of them being able to hear our voices and hold their stuffed animal and hopefully it will help them to know how much we love them.


We just got our kids' Social Welfare Reports from Ghana! We have been waiting for these! We now know our children's birthdates, full names, and the story of their families. It's exciting to get more details about them. At the same time, it's very sad to see what these very young women are going through. It's heartbreaking and it's not ok.

That's why I was so excited when I saw what a friend is doing. She has started Project Global Hope and they have a pregnancy resource center in Ghana for these young women. They are partnering with Feeding the Orphans. I think it's incredible how God is using them!

Check out their websites and do something to help!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Interviews

We had our first interviews tonight for our home study. We were very nervous because the paperwork has been very intense. They need to know lots of details about your life...everything from growing up to the present. I wasn't sure how it would go tonight, but, I was pleasantly surprised! The lady who does the home study is so sweet and laid back. I definitely felt like she was on "our side". She is trying to help us. I'm really not even nervous about her coming to our house next week!

We really need prayer about the financial side of the adoption. I'm learning to keep my eyes on God and realize that HE alone is our provider. This is way beyond us, but, not HIM. We need creativity, His blessing upon our fundraisers, and, most of all...his supernatural provision. We're so astounded by how giving people have been! It's really amazing. We're so thankful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

T Shirts for Sale!

We are so excited about these shirts! It's a great way to raise some money for our adoption and awareness about orphans at the same time! To place an order you can email me at or just pay using the "chip in" at the sidebar. Shirts are $15.00 each. We can ship for $5.00 per order. They come in kids sizes and adult sizes.

We have to place an order by this coming let me know asap if you are interested!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Interview Scheduled!

Things are progressing a little faster than I had expected. We got a call yesterday to schedule our first homestudy interview. I was really surprised! I'm excited. I want to meet our babies! I am praying that God speeds up the process so we can get to them sooner! Their bedroom is getting emptied out...we're making money for our adoption fund and space for them at the same time.

I am more aware everyday of this tug of war going on inside of me. My life is so self centered. Everything revolves around me, my comfort, that thing I've always wanted, etc. Even with my kids. I love them so much and would lay down my life for them, yet, I get so frustrated when I'm inconvenienced or put out.

Luke 18:18-23

[18] A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

[19] "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone. [20] You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"

[21] "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

[22] When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

[23] When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

[24] Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! [25] Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

[26] Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

[27] Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

[28] Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

[29] "I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God [30] will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."

I had been thinking about the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Luke and how much like that I am. I think if I do enough "good" then I am ok. My standard is those around me instead of Jesus Christ...instead of what He has called me to do.
Chad and I were talking the other day, and I can't help but think that you could fit "American" in verse 24.

"How hard it is for the AMERICAN to enter the kingdom of God! [25] Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an AMERICAN to enter the kingdom of God."

When I think of rich, my mind immediately goes to people who have much larger homes than I do, big SUV's, and go on nice vacations every year. Well...compared to most of the world...I am RICH! I am never hungry, in fact I need to stop eating so much. I have a running car and a beautiful home. We have more clothes than we need. We have running water and electricity. And....we have WAY more than that. My family and I are so rich and we don't even realize it! I start to seek God about what He has for us...but, as soon as it gets "extreme", my mind goes to all the reasons I couldn't do this or that. Guess's all about ME! It seems like this is the way of Americans. We are never happy with what we have. We're always on to the next new has to be bigger and better. The American churches have so much money wrapped up in buildings and programs, it's disgusting. I have heard a quote a couple of times, "If every Christian would adopt one child, there would be no orphans". This blows my mind. What are we doing? It's not just about orphans...there are so many other needs. However, my kids have been taught in the past, that church is about video games and prizes and what else is in it for me? I walk in a church and start taking notes on the band and the music, how comfortable are the chairs?, and do I like this preachers style? I can't help but think that God is grieved by this.

Francis Chan wrote recently: "Speaking to underground church leaders in China was equally enlightening. Most surprising to me was their response when I told them about “church” in America. I did not expect the response I got when I explained how common it is for people to switch churches if they find another with better child-care, better music, or a more gifted speaker. They laughed really hard. It was weird. It was like they thought I was joking. It opened my eyes to the uniqueness of our situation. Remember that India and China combined represent almost 40% of the world’s population. The U.S. represents about 4%. Too often I have looked at other cultures as being strange. I forget that we are the minority. "

I am so thankful for God's grace. Thankful that, even though I am a selfish American, He is working on me and letting me be a part of something amazing. I am so challenged by this young girl. She has truly left everything and gone to Africa to be a mother to a house full of orphans. She has feeding programs and much more. Check out her blog!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I remember when I was in about the 3rd grade and my best friend was moving from Florida to Ohio. It was so emotional and heartbreaking! We used to ride our bike's to each other's houses everyday, we had a fort in the "deep, dark, daring woods", we played with barbies together...we shared so much. Before their family left, we had a big farewell party on the beach. We had charms made with our names on them. The best part was that we sang "Friends are friends forever" by M.W. Smith!

Now, my own kids are experiencing that! Our best friends are moving all the way across the country. We are so sad about it. I've cried at least once everyday since I found out. Tonight, at bed time as we prayed for them...Luke started sobbing, and all he could say was..."The Rodgers!!!!". We've grown so close over the last several years. I just love Emily with all my heart! She is the best mom, teacher and friend I know. I've gleaned so much from her. We've had so many good times together. We loved to go exploring to different towns and we loved to go to the mountains. Our kids had their own island up at Cades Cove where they were pirates and had so much fun. They loved hunting for salamanders together this past summer. There are just so many good memories. It's going to be really tough to say good bye. But, I know that God has opened the doors for them and is leading them. He has so much exciting stuff in store for them! Today the kids came over so Matt and Emily could pack. We put away the school stuff and the kids just played hard. They had so much fun! We had cupcakes for a "mini farewell party". We will miss them so much and will always treasure the time God gave us together!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Last night, we fought Knoxville traffic for about an hour to get fingerprinted for our homestudy!!! We made it with 4 minutes to spare! Nowadays, they don't use ink. It's all done digitally so it was pretty quick and easy.
Every little thing like that that we get done feels good. It feels like it puts us a little closer to our kids. But, then I start thinking about all of the forms that take MONTHS to get approval and LOTS of money! It's easy to feel overwhelmed. It's so hard when you feel this desperation to get to your children. I see a picture of my baby boy sitting in the dirt with the sweetest smile on his face and my heart just breaks...I just want to scoop him up! I don't understand why it has to take this long. As far as the money...sometimes I wonder what we think we're doing! We DO NOT have the money for this! And then I think....God's reply to that is probably, "EXACTLY!". I know that's how He gets glory. All of this will only be because of Him!
My prayer is that He will help me to keep my eyes on Him. I know that through this process He wants to do a work in me and our family. I pray that I let Him. I want to be broken. I don't want to go on with my life as before. I don't want to go back to being comfortable with my life, while at the same time knowing that there are tens of thousands of kids dying everyday, there are little boys forced to fish all night and day and risk their lives for their masters, there are mothers forced to give up their children because they cannot feed them, and there are people who have never heard of our savior! How can I? I say that, yet, I do it everyday. I'm still frivolous and selfish. Lord, move me and break me!

I read this devotion this morning:
My face is shining upon you, beaming out peace that transcends understanding.
You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face to face with Me, your Peace. As long as you focus on Me, you are safe. if you gaze too long at the myriad problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens. When you start to sink, simply call out "Help me, Jesus!" and I will lift you up.

The closer you live to Me, the safer you are. Circumstances around you are undulating, and there are treacherous-looking waves in the distance. Fix your eyes on ME, the One who never changes. By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today's waves. The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future! Stay close to Me.

From Jesus Calling
Philippians 4:6-7
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

We are not surrounded by a sea "problems". We are so blessed! We are grateful to be on this journey. But, we are surrounded by things that seem impossible. I must keep my eyes on Him! It's not impossible for Him who has called us!

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Snow!!!

We have enjoyed seeing new pictures of our little girl online! I love seeing them, but, it makes us all long for them more. We are praying right now about fundraising. It's's hard to ask people for money! I hate that part of it! I don't want to drain the people around us. I'm praying that God will give us new ideas and that he will provide!!! This is definitely going to have to be a "God thing". I've been thinking about all of that so much lately, that it was nice to get a break and be outside having fun with my family!

We have had a great day! Chad got to work only to find out they had just called off their shift! But.....he got to come back home and spend the day with us. He helped us with our Ghana lapbooks! It was a lot of fun. We have learned a lot so far and hope to keep adding to them.

We had about 7 inches of snow here, which is the most there has been since I've lived here. There was enough to REALLY sled and all of that fun stuff. We had a blast!

Chad managed to peg me and Luke in the face with snowballs!

Friday, January 7, 2011


This Valentine's Day you can have cute valentine's to give out and raise awareness about orphans at the same time!

$15.00 for a pack of 30.

If you are not local, add $2.00 for shipping.

They are sized to 4X6 and are printed on photographic paper.

All you have to do is email me your picture!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adoption Update

We have been so blessed over the past week! A couple that we had never met before, took over the packages for our kids. They also took the money for our kids to go to the doctor. It's been so wonderful seeing the pictures of our little girl. We're glad to know that she has been loved on in our absence. It was great seeing the pictures, but, also makes us long to meet her so much more! Meanwhile, the dreaded stomach bug has been making it's way through our family. The boys have watched more tv than they've watched in their lives and I've taken advantage of the down time to get some of the required reading done for our homestudy. It's a lot of reading to get through, and a lot of it doesn't really apply to our situation, but, it's made me realize that I really need to be praying for God to prepare us and them for this transition. These kids will be dealing with a lot of loss. No matter what the situation they are coming's home to them. We're trusting God that He will comfort and help them through that time and also start preparing them now. I'm also excited because we're about ready to turn our homestudy in!!!! It's such a daunting task and it will feel so good to get it done!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Luke always has us laughing. He's such a funny little guy. Lately, he's been saying "big ol'", "fella", "right", and "like" a WHOLE lot! I didn't, however, expect to get this note. We've got the sweetest people at our church and Luke's teachers are some of the sweetest! Miss Emilie handed me this note this morning when I picked him up.....

I was shocked! I would have been embarrassed, but, they have two little boys themselves and seemed to think it was funny! I had to explain that we rented The Nativity Story to watch before Christmas. When John was born there was a circumcision showed just enough. The boys were horrified and wanted to know what that was all, Chad explained. So....that's where that came from. :o) I have to say that Chad is a great dad. He's so good about explaining things well to them when they have questions. I'm glad they ask a lot of question...but, I'm sure this won't be the last note we get like this.