Natasha and Maxim

Natasha and Maxim
Natasha 16 yrs and Maxim 12 yrs

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God's Words to Me Through Our Journey and Puzzle Update

We are so excited to announce 104 puzzle pieces donated! The Lord has been so good to us. So far every dime has been provided for, just like He said it would be. It has been truly been a blessing to see the outpouring of love for Natasha and Maxim as we get ready for our fundraiser. Please pray as we see what the Lord does through this event. Thanks to everyone for your love and support.

Since we have begun this journey the Lord has showered me with His words each day. He has shown me so many different things through these scriptures. I thought that they may could be the encouragement to you that they have been to me, no matter what you are facing. As I read them every day He gives me the strength I need to get me to the next place He has for me to go. Read the amazing words God has for you also.

Matt. 6:33- But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Joshua 1:9- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Exodus 4:15- And though shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: And I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth and I will teach you what ye shall do.
Psalm 25:4-5- Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth, and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 32:7- You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
1 Thess. 5:24- The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Gal. 6:9- Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Jer. 32:11-Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is to hard for you.
Isaiah 26:3- I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trust in Thee.
Gal. 5:16- The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Eph. 5:1-2- Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Jer. 17:5-7- Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
Phil. 4:6- Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with
thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.
Eph. 1:19- And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
Luke 9:23-24- If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it , but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matt. 11: 28-30- Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Psalm 147:11- The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Bump In the Road

Many of you may have heard we have gotten some news that could set us back 3-4 months on bringing Natasha and Maxim home. The place that handles adoptions in the Ukraine is moving locations and changing names and will be closing down starting around the 1st of June. The lady helping us with the adoption is trying her best to get us there before this happens but says it will be a miracle. We know our God is in that business. We know that He will do it if that is what is best for us and them. But we also know that He may have another plan. Please pray about this situation. If we don't get to go till later in the year we know that it would be best for them to come back for summer hosting with New Horizons. We know the longer they are away from us the worse it will be on them, learning to trust  all over again. The hard part is that it will cost $5ooo. to host them again. As we know that nothing is too hard for God, we realize that this still is something only God could do. As big as this journey is, God has met every need in the exact amount, right on time. First we had to pay for our homestudy to be done which was $1500. Then we had to send our application package to the USCIS to get approval for our adoption which was $890. Right in time, of course, we had it to send. Just last week we had to have another $1500. I know many of you are curious about where all the funds go for adoption. Here is is a list that I received for our budget.
  • USCIS approval process
  • First half of contract fee-$1000.(already pd.)
  • Translation fee- $500.(already pd.)
  • Prepare Ukrainian dossier and apostille dossier-$90.
  • FedEx dossier to Ukraine- $100.
  • Final steps in traveling
  • 2nd half of adoption to adoption agency- facilitation fee-$1000.
  • flights- 2 trips-$1400-$2400
  • Money to take to Ukraine
  • $8500. balance for Ukraine Facilitation Fee
  • $4000. 2nd child in-country fee
  • $1000. orphanage donation
  • $1000. orphanage donation for 2nd child
  • $1050. Food ($25. daily x 42 days-a few extra just in case)
  • $1000. Internal Ukraine travel
  • $1500. Lodging (Kiev Apt. $60 x 5 nights= $300) + (regional apt. $40 x 30 nights=$1200)
  • $300 clothing/personal items for children/souvenirs
  • $400 at Kiev American Embassy
  • $400 at Kiev American Embassy (for 2nd child)
  • $2000. + extra cash to have in case some unexpected delay happens
  • $1800. Plane tickets to come home including one child
  • $700 Plane ticket for 2nd child
Please pray that the Lord would continue to meet each need as it comes our way. Also that He would bless our Spring Fundraising Festival on Sat. April 30th. The Lord has called each one of His children to take care of orphans. It is one specific way for us to follow Christ and love His children that no one else loves. The Lord has totally blessed us beyond what we can even imagine. Thanks to everyone for your amazing outpouring of love. God has used many of you more than you could ever know. From God's overflowing love, we love you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Puzzle is Coming Along!

We have sold 36 pieces,464 to go. WE KNOW GOD CAN DO IT.

What the Lord is Doing in Our Lives

Luke 9:23-24 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. 
                                                                                                                                                                  I really didn't want to share this but the Lord has impressed upon my heart that I must. My whole life I have seemed to always make everything about me. I did not want to do this because this is supposed to be about Natasha and Maxim, but I have to share what God is doing in my life. I have always lived a very selfish life like I know many people would say. I was an only child till I was 10 years old and then I was the youngest and everything was still about me or at least I thought it was. I have lived a life where I always expected people to give to me. In other words I have always been a taker. It has never been in me to be a giver. Then God called me to be one. I didn't have a clue how to be a giver, only a taker. I am the one who has always needed the attention, so how in the world could I give attention to someone else. When my relationship with the Lord grew, I started praying about this in my life. I knew to be a Christ follower, I was to be a giver. I have always wanted to be that kind of person but never had it in me. Since I started praying about this the Lord has put one thing after the other in my path for me to do that didn't seem possible for me to do. First, it was homeschooling. I knew this was something I could never do myself because I didn't have a clue how to give this to my children. I stepped out in faith and did what I God wanted me to do and let God do the rest. Now, God has called me to step out in faith again. For anyone who doubts this adoption, and says I hope they are not making a mistake, I want to say this is no mistake.God has called me and my family to do this. It is the farthest thing that I would ever choose for myself. I have many fears that haunt me everyday. Satan continues to tell me that I can't homeschool and that I can't help care and love these children. As hard as it has been I have set out to prove him wrong. No matter what, in and after this adoption it is not me leading but God. He has much to do in my life and has already done more than you could ever imagine. The Lord's plan is soveriegn and I would never want to miss what God has for me. I prayed this prayer long ago that He would help me to reach out to others instead of letting others reach out to me. I know without a doubt that God has called me to this. He has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I praise Him and thank Him for that. I want to say too that everything I have done and will do is God and only God. I could have never made it this far on my own. He is my guide so we will continue to see what all He has in store. I do know that it is exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine.

I know this seemed to be all my story but it isn't. This morning after I wrote this I took it to Brad to share with him. After he read it he said," This is my story." I was very shocked to hear this. As different as we are, God is working in us in the same way. Brad is always so strong to me and always seems like he can handle anything. I know God has given him to me to help hold me up and help me when I am weak. I would have never dreamed that he experienced the same thing in his heart as I had experienced. God is just so awesome! Remember Luke 9:23-24. If anyone wants to save his life he must lose it. God's life for us is so much better than we could ever make on our own. The question is, will we follow what we want and have the ordinary, or what God has and experience the extraordinary?

Monday, April 4, 2011

What A Great Day!!

What an awesome day we had today! What an awsome God we serve! Today was our day to call Maxim and Natasha. I still can't get over how the Lord just happened to plant a sweet, sweet lady who speaks Russian a mile down the road from us. I feel like she is becoming part of our family since she is helping us communicate with our soon to be children. They have not said much when we call other than yes or no when we ask a question. It is so hard to open them up and know their hearts. Our heart breaks for them. We want so desperatly to show them we love them and want to help them and be there for them.But because it seems so hard for us to reach them, it is awsome when we see some glimmer of hope. Today was about the 4th time we have spoken to them. They seemed really happy and much more open today. It is beautiful weather there like it was here and you know that always brings a smile to your face. Natasha told us she would like her room pink. Sarah Grace was very excited and wanted 2 walls pink and 2 green.  They said they were learning to speak German in school. I said noooo! We need English! Everyone laughed. They seemed to be opening up a little more. It was great! And then to top it all off I said to Maxim " I love you"  and he said "I love you" in his sweet little voice. We were all so excited that he spoke and boy did he speak. He spoke words of hope and healing.And I do know that those prayers I asked for went up and He was answering with flying colors. How awesome it will be to see all that God wants to do in their lives and in ours. It is amazing how something so small can mean so much. That just goes to show you how God wants to work in even the smallest things. He is such a BIG God that cares about every little aspect of our lives. I feel like so many times I just wiz by and miss the wonderful things God wants to show me in the small things in life. I have realized that God's plans are just too big and too awsome to miss and I want to stay right beside Him so I don't miss them. I pray that you do the same. I love each one of you and God loves you more than you could ever imagine!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Fundraising Activities for April

This month we are planning some exciting things. Starting the 2nd week in April we will be having a Charity Basketball tournament to help us raise the funds to bring home Maxim and Natasha. This will be at Roopville Road Baptist Church. Lots of area churches around are adding their basketball teams in to participate. If you or anyone you know would like to participate you can call Brad and he will sign you up. We will also be having a concession stand and selling bracelets, with the Ukrainian flag colors of royal blue and yellow, to remind you to pray for Natasha and Maxim.  Anyone that can help me in the concession stand would be a great help.

Next, on Saturday, April 30th, from 11:00 till 4:00, we will be having a SPRING ADOPTION FUNDRAISING FESTIVAL. This will also be at Roopville Road Baptist Church. We will be having yummy BBQ plates for $5. We will be selling these tickets in advance starting next week. We will also be having a silent auction with lots of good things for you to come and bid on.  There will be a cakewalk and also lots of fun for children like face painting, and a moonwalk and slide. We hope that you will come out and help us to give Maxim and Natasha a family.

We also need much help in making this happen. We need people to help prepare the food. We need donations for the cake walk and the silent auction. We also need help at  the different tables we will have set up. I know that many people don't have money right now to help, but I do know that God has already appointed  where every dime will come from. He knows who don't have the money but can lend a helping hand in other ways. There are many ways to show these children that they are loved. One is by helping and another is praying. Please continue to pray for them. We are calling them on Monday of every week. We have a very sweet lady that speaks Russian who comes over each week to translate. I would like for you to pray that they would begin to open up more. They rarely say anything other than yes or no or directly answer our questions. We are praying that even though they are far away that they feel all the things that God is doing in their lives even now. We know they are made to believe that no one cares for them and they will never amount to anything. I can't wait till they can see for themselves the outpouring of love for them that we have already experienced. They will then see how much God truly loves them and see how so many people love them and care about their lives. Thanks in advance for all of your help. We are truly overwhelmed by God's love shown through all of our friends and family. You all are the greatest!