Monday, December 30, 2013


For some reason the last few days I have struggled with feeling discouraged. There isn't really a logical reason why, everything is moving on schedule in the paperwork department, and we have seen God provide in so many ways. This morning I heard Steve whistling "Great Is His Faithfulness" as he got ready to go to work, and it was just the reminder I needed.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
 If I had to pick a theme for us in 2013 it would be that He has been faithful. We have seen changes in different areas of our lives this year, and in each one God has shown His faithfulness time and again. Some days trust comes naturally, and some days I have to CHOOSE to trust that He sees the big picture while I see just a snapshot. 

We ask for your prayers - for our hearts to rest in peace, for His hand of love and protection to be on Tavin, and for perfect timing in everything from paperwork to finances to travel dates! Thank you for sharing this journey with us!


P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Kindle Fire giveaway - please share with your friends and enter in the link to the right on our blog! To be legal we must provide a way for people to enter without donating, but each donation, no matter how small, would be so greatly appreciated! Thank you to all who have already so generously given!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kidle Fire giveaway going on NOW!

Who doesn't want one of these babies?

as seen here

Kindle Fire HD 7" 

Here are a few of the features:

The all-new Kindle Fire HD is a full-featured HD tablet at an SD price. With a new, stunning HD display, faster processor, longer battery life, and lighter design than the previous generation Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD offers best-in-class hardware and the ultimate HD entertainment while still being excellent for productivity and easy to use. Stay connected with fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi, email and calendar support including Gmail and Outlook, and view documents easily on the go with built-in OfficeSuite. Plus, the functionality to create multiple profiles and set time limits for children with Kindle FreeTime makes this the perfect family tablet.
  • 7" HD touchscreen with advanced polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology (1280 x 800)
  • 8GB of internal storage
  • 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, with 1GB of RAM
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi, plus updated e-mail and calendar support for Gmail, Outlook, and more
  • USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to a PC or Macintosh computer or to charge your device with the included power adapter
  • 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio engine
  • Free unlimited Cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Prime members can now download hundreds of Prime Instant Video movies and TV shows to watch anywhere—on a plane, on vacation, or in the car
  • Powered by the latest version of Fire OS—Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito"
  • Up to 10 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
  • Dimensions: 7.5"(L) x 5.0"(W) x 0.42"(D) (12.2 ounces)
  • 1 Year warranty
So here's how this giveaway works. On the right side of the blog, there at the top, is a "enter to win" tab. Click on that and you will have several options to enter - you can give a donation of $5 or more, and/or like our facebook page "Bring Tavin Home" for a total of two entries. Already like our page? You can still get an entry for that. You can donate every day for additional entries! The drawing will take place on Jan 1st, and we will ship the Kindle to the winner. Two weeks, so..... get ready, get set, and GO! 

Obviously all the proceeds donated are to our Family Sponsorship Fund for our adoption of Tavin. We need to raise $21,000 before we travel. We are currently almost 1/3 the way there!

May the best man (or woman) win!


Sunday, December 15, 2013


I've been reading Fragments that Remain, compiled by Bee Trehane from the notes and letters of Amy Carmichael. She worked in India to spread the gospel, and rescued hundreds of children from temple prostitution from 1895 to 1951. I remember hearing her story as a child and how she would stain her skin with coffee to pass as Indian. 

I am always inspired and challenged to read of missionaries such as Amy Carmichael or Jim & Elizabeth Elliott, and realize again that nothing is new under the see how they spoke to the same challenges we face daily, and the Truth they depended on is exactly the same Truth we hold today. There is something very reassuring in that realization. 

This poem she wrote especially resonated:


There are some brave souls, and God know them well,
Though magazines may not their praises swell,
Whose life breathes a frangrance, just felt, not seen,
Like the scent of the violet lost in green,
Trusted with pain in the shaded room,
Trusted with office, or shop, or loom,
Such, day by day, toil, suffer and pray,
Contented to serve their God any way.
But some there are, super-finely molded,
Who sit with hands submissively folded;
Who vegetate rather than live, and suggest
Good cabbages - doing no harm at best,
Of the poor dark world's dark need they know;
They take a great interest in missions, and oh!
At times they are almost ready to go-
But then, by some flaw in their calculation, 
They mistake laziness for resignation.

For they are so speedily persuaded
That all the reasons by which they are aided
To gravitate back to the easy chair
Are fully as solid as they are fair.
They "can't be spared", they have surely heard,
And they don't recollect the rather obsurd
Little fad that, most  certainly, never a word
Would be raised did the question involved a Ring,
For "Of course, that is quite a different thing."

They have "so few gifts", and "they cannot speak";
'Tis their "Cross in life" to be timid and weak-
Alas that we call by such sacred name,
Excuses, invented to save us from pain,
Far, far removed from the Cross and shame!
Perhaps the Society's door was locked
When with somewhat uncertain knuckle they knocked,
And everyone said "Ah! now it's plain
You cannot be meant to try again.
How terrible should you the business shirk
Of life's most serious fancy-work
For our Father's business is temple's murk!"
They sigh, and suppose so. The argumentation
Transforms laziness into resignation.
If such a deluded one reads this rhyme
Oh will she not waken while there is time?
Don't think that "Sit still" will infallibly be
A life motto written expressly for thee.
It may be the word is "Go forward" --if not,
If before the Master you stand in your lot,
He will flame your soul with a burning hot
And passionate fire, and you shall know
The joy of setting some other aglow.

And now, won't you face it, and have a cremation
Of the laziness which you called "resignation"?
It's so much easier to vegetate, but what a high cost we would pay at The End, if we miss the true call God has on our lives. All summer this was our struggle - were we willing to leave the comfort of our present and step out of our comfort zone . It's not the first time in our life we have faced that type of fork in the road, but certainly one of the more important. What is the Lord calling you to? Could it me one of these little ones?

Salome - soon to age out and spend what will remain of her life in a crib
Pearl - Unfortunately she drank some lye and didn’t get proper treatment. Until recently her tongue was stuck to the roof her of her mouth. She has had surgery but it is unknown if she will now learn to talk.
Take a minute and really see the kids listed on Reece's Rainbow. Each one could be your invitation to cremate the laziness we have called resignation. To one child, it could be enough.


We will receive our completed home study any day and anticipate travel late winter/early spring. We invite you to make a year end tax deductible donation to our family sponsorship fund. We are so grateful for each donation that helps us move closer to our goal - to bringing Tavin home.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is's like to adopt a waiting child

Adopting a waiting child feels something like getting a call from, say, your childs preschool. "You left your child here today, but it's no problem - we have plenty of food, and a place for them to sleep. We will watch them till you come, but before you pick them up there is a mountain of paperwork you have to work though, and you will need $25,000." So what do you do? You bust it every day to get it done. And every day it feels like maybe you could have done more, maybe you should have squeezed in one more form. It's always in the back of your mind, while doing anything else, that this child of yours isn't with you. It's that nagging feeling that you forgot something, the kind of feeling that never goes away. I find myself loading the boys into the car, or playing outside with them, and glancing around for the 3rd, only to realize he isn't here yet.

Does that sound strange, to feel that way for a child you've never met? Yes - it does. But it doesn't change that that's the way it is. 

We have reached a lull in the paperwork while we wait for our home study draft, then the final. It's the first time in 8 weeks I feel like I can breath, but then maybe I'd rather feel like I was doing something, anything to move things along. So I pray, release it to the Lord, rest Tavin in His hands, knowing that He cares for him so much more than we do. And we wait.


Monday, December 2, 2013

About arthrogryposis (AMC)

Today I wanted to explain a bit about Tavin's medical needs. I am by no means an expert, but I've read quite a bit and I will do my best, ok? Here we go.

Tavin has a medical condition called "arthrogryposis multiplex congenital". Memorize that and you will sound really smart. Let's just use the abbreviation for it and say AMC ok? Much easier. AMC literally means "curving of joints", and is used to describe joint contractures accuring in two or more areas of the body (that's the "multiplex" part), that were present at birth (that's the "congenital" part) It can look different in different kids, often affecting all four limbs, but in Tavin's case it only affects his lower body, primarily his feet, causing club feet. It likely also affects his knees to some degree, and possibly his hips, we just don't know for sure.

 Had Tavin been born in the states, treatment would have started within weeks of his birth, and it's likely he would have been only mildly delayed in terms of crawling, walking, etc. Since he did not receive treatment, he is currently unable to walk, and is living in a crib. Living in a crib. I don't mean sleeping in a crib, that's normal for an almost two year old, but actually living in it for most, if not all of each day. Because he has had very limited interaction or stimulation it is very likely he will be delayed in many areas such as speech, ability to chew, play with toys, show empathy or affection, will likely become over stimulated easily, and may not desire or enjoy affection given to him. All of these things are not because of any medical need he was born with, but because he has not received the loving interactions that a baby would normally experience in a family. Kids need families.
We anticipate that he will need a variety of treatments for his AMC when he comes home, including leg braces, serial casting (to help straighten affected joints), possibly surgery to clip shortened tendons and lots of physical therapy. The good news is that treatment of AMC is very successful, even starting at two years old, and we have every reason to believe he will be walking and running in a few years. 

Hopefully that answers questions you may have about our little guy!

In other news, we are in a holding pattern for a bit as we wait for our completed home study. Once we have it in hand we will be very near the end of the paperwork needed for our dossier. We anticipate that we are still on track to possibly travel to Eastern Europe for his adoption around April, maybe even sooner. We will be in country for a month and he will come home with us at the end of that time. Only one trip, but a long one.  

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Would you consider a donation to our sponsorship fund? We are currently at $6291, which is just incredible. We are only 8 weeks into our journey, and so close to $7000 which will mark 1/3 of the way to our goal! You can make a tax deductable donation here, or use the "donate" button on the right side of our blog.