Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a Race!!

Our boys have been dying to do something to raise money to help out financially with the adoption. They are so sweet. Most of the time they give any cash they find or earn to the adoption fund. Well, I heard about a group of people running in the Knoxville Marathon to benefit an adoptive family. Then, I heard about the Kid's Road Mile Race in Knoxville in May and thought it would be the perfect thing for our boys.

They were so excited when I told them about it. They are looking for people to pledge any amount of money to help bring their brother and sister home. We are quickly finding out that no amount of money is to small!

If you would like to make a pledge, you can do it through the "chip in " link in the side bar. Or, you can contact me at for our address or more information.

Thanks so much!

Here is a little video they made :o)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I can't believe March is almost gone! My boys are 5 and 7 and we are getting closer and closer to meeting our babies in Ghana. My friend just got back from Ghana and has uploaded videos and pictures all day. We've been glued to the computer! One video that I have watched at least a dozen times is of our little girl saying "Hi Mummy...I love you". Melts my heart! The boys were so excited to see her with a necklace they made her and a picture they drew for her. Oh I can't wait to meet them!!!! Our dossier is over there and we are working on raising the needed money! Exciting!

In other news....our chicks and ducklings are getting big! The chicks are so funny. The fall asleep standing up and then fall flat on their stomachs and are out!

This little on had too much fun outside and couldn't stay awake :o)

The ducks are so funny...they are like little babies. They know how to let you know when they want something. They all start squawking in unison as loud as they kidding!

Monday, March 28, 2011


A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:5

I have been feeling down tonight thinking about our kids. It feels so helpless. It's so frustrating that all that stands in our way now is money and time. I want so bad to pull them out of where they are. I feel so sad for them. I want them to be able to know their brothers and play with their feel our love for them. Sometimes I let well meant comments like " must have a REALLY big house????" make me doubt that we can do this....that we can't offer them a lot of material things. I hate the time with them that we are missing out on now. We won't be with our "brave little bear" on his first birthday! I hate that our sweet little girl sees so many people come and go, but love that she's been loved on so much over the past several months. We're so far away...on the other side of the world! It's so overwhelming. Then, as I took the dog out tonight, I looked up at the sky and was in awe. I was reminded of the awesomeness of the God we serve....our children's father....our father! As I looked up I felt so small...and God seemed so big! I realized that I'm not really that far away from my precious little ones. And...yes...I'm helpless! That's the way He wants it!

2 Corinthians 4:7 and 17,18
But this precious treasure-this light and power that now shine within us-is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.

For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come with last forever.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Ordinary Hero is doing a matching grant tomorrow for the first person to raise $100 in commissions. The sale has to be submitted tomorrow for it to count. When you check out click on "affiliate names" and choose my name (Stephanie Bowling) and we will get 40% of the sales, plus, be in the running for the matching grant.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today I got to go to my 2nd homecoming! It is one of the most precious and special things ever! What an emotional time! There were so many people there to greet these precious friends and their new son. It was so touching. This family has challenged us in so many ways. They truly live out the gospel. They put into action James 1:27. They LOVE. They love everyone around them. They love the Lord with all of their hearts. Their encouragement is part of the reason we are on the way to adoption right now...they prayed for us and encouraged us to trust God and take the step of faith He was calling us to take.
As I took a family picture for them today at the airport...I watched as a boy who was once an orphan in Ghana joined them. Then, I watched a man who lives on the streets of Knoxville jointhem. And then I watched a "lost boy" of Sudan join them. These people consider themselves part of this family...and they should. I'm so challenged by their selfless love.

I also got to hear my friend describe our daughter. She said "she's a firecracker"...."in a good way". I had kind of gathered that from the "hand on her hip" pictures. She talked about how she takes care of her baby brother and she's very sweet. It brought so much joy and also made my heart ache so much more for my children. I wonder if this is how God feels as He watches and waits for us to join His adopt US.'s so much easier. The price has already been paid and there is no government red tape. All we have to do is come to to His arms. How He loves us!

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Psalm 68:6

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Newspaper Interview

Much to our surprise, we had an interview with the Daily Times last week! It all started when Chad's mom went in to the Daily Times' office to run an ad. She ended up speaking with a reporter that wanted to run a story about our adoption. They were so nice and did a very nice article. Here it is:

Four working on six: Maryville family seeks to adopt from Ghana

By Melanie Tucker

A family of four is crossing its fingers in Maryville hoping to become a family of six — but the two new additions will have to journey thousands of miles to make it a reality.

Chad and Stephanie Bowling, married eight years and with two sons of their own, are in the process of adopting two beautiful children from Ghana, South Africa. Christiana is 5, and her brother Bernard is only 9 months old. Paperwork has been turned in, a home study has been completed, and now this young couple is waiting for their next instructions. Chad and Stephanie said they will have to make a court appearance in Ghana before they will be able to make a return trip there to bring their new family members home.

The ball started rolling on this monumental life-changing decision about six months ago. This isn’t something, however, that these two have decided on a whim.

A promise takes shape

“Before we were married we talked about a lot of things,” said Chad, a graduate of Heritage High School. “One of those was adopting. We weren’t sure about the timeline or how many.”

Chad, who works at DENSO, said they thought at first the finances should be in place before attempting to adopt. It never seems like the right time when you are trying to get every detail in place beforehand, the couple said they learned. They felt God tugging at their hearts to make this happen.

The couple attends Fellowship Bible Church in Knoxville. That’s where they became aware of a nonprofit started by an 11-year-old girl, called Feeding the Orphans. Chad and Stephanie at first began financially sponsoring Christiana and Bernard in Ghana before learning they were adoptable.

And while the Bowlings have never been able to hold the two precious children who are thousands of miles away, pictures and stories about Christiana and Bernard have been frequent. There are other families within the Bowlings’ church that have or are in the process of adopting from Ghana. They have visited and brought back lots of photos and information on how the two orphans are doing.

Christiana and Bernard were born to an underage mother whose family couldn’t take care of them. They are presently living in an orphanage with 40 or so others.

Details into place

Chad and Stephanie said they know they are doing God’s will. The money has been tight, but things have worked out as each step has progressed. Like the time they needed to raise $1,600 and were $500 short. Stephanie got a text message one day from a woman she had met only once before. She met Stephanie in Knoxville to hand her a check for $500 — not knowing that was the exact amount they needed.

“I didn’t look at it until we got in the parking lot,” Stephanie said. “Me and the boys knelt down and thanked God.”

The family has held yard sales and is selling T-shirts on their website to raise the money needed to complete the adoptions. Stephanie has her own photography business and she has set up some sessions to raise additional money.

Airfare to Ghana is currently about $1,200 per person for a round-trip ticket. Chad and Stephanie said they would like to take their sons with them when they go pick up Christiana and Bernard but that hasn’t been decided yet.

As for other children in their future, the Bowlings said they are open to the possibility of adopting more. Right now they are focused on bringing Christiana and Bernard into their Maryville home.

“We don’t have a huge house,” Stephanie said. “We are paycheck-to-paycheck people. If there is anything that comes out of this, we want people to know they can do this. God will provide. It is not about us or the money we have. He will make a way.”

Here is a link to the actual article:

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Fundraiser

Ordinary Hero has started a fundraising program for adopting families. We get 40%of all sales. Also...the first person to get to $300 receives a matching grant!!! Check out what they have to offer! You must click on THIS LINK in order for the proceeds to go to us.

Luke is 5!!!

My little Luke is 5 today! CRAZY!!! He's so excited that it's his birthday. We asked what he wanted to do tonight and he said he wanted to stay at our house. So sweet. So, we're baking a cake and he'll open his gift from us. We will also be having chocolate chip pancakes for dinner!!! Talk about way too much sugar! I love this little guy so much. Chad and I just watched Ramona and Beezus and cracked up the whole time because Ramona is so much like Luke. His imagination amazes me. It's constantly going! He can make anything fun. He does his karate moves to make automatic doors open, his food takes hours to eat because of the battles going on on his plate, and our dog apparently talks to him. He's so funny! He's also very stubborn and wants to do the opposite of what he's supposed to. He's very sensitive and hates to see people upset. He's the most generous, selfless little boy I know. He's such a blessing!

He didn't get his first tooth until he was almost 16 months!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stream Splashin'

Since we moved into our house this fall, we have loved the little pond in our backyard. We were SO excited to discover that there is a wet weather stream that feeds the pond. It's a nice, constant little stream that you can hear if when you're outside. The pond has gotten so much higher too. We've had a few ducks and a large bird that I think was a crane, hanging out in the pond. Today Chad found a salamander that boys had so much fun with. We're loving it out here. We usually take very frequent trips up to the mountains. It will be nice this summer to be able to hang out here and have tons of fun...especially with the current gas prices!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birthday Party 2011

As soon as it started to get close to Ethan's birthday, he kept saying he wanted to paint his face camo and play hide and seek for his party. Well, it's never good weather for thier birthday's. So, we tried to make being inside as fun as being outside. We got camo face paint. Chad brought home a few huge boxes from work, which turned into a tunnel/tank in our hallway and a big fort in their bedroom. I decorated their cake in camo and decorated the table with fake scat, bugs, pinecones, etc. They thought it was awesome even thought it was a little gross. :o)

They had a shooting contest and a scavenger hunt...which led to a huge treasure. They each got their own variety pack of scat (Chocolate peanuts, raisins, and clusters). It was VERY LOUD in our house for a couple of hours. But they had a blast!!!

We had a full house with only immediate family and 2 of their close friends. We are blessed. :o)