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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Noel Orphanage Day 1

I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. the Noel orphanage!!! This orphanage is just outside Gisenyi. There are 600+ children in this orphanage starving for interaction and love. The workers all work very hard to keep the children fed and clean and dry...but there are just SO many children. We were entertained by many of the kids with an African drum show, an acrobat show & dancing. They really were spectacular! The children gave us tours of the grounds including visiting the pigs, cows, chickens, and two little kittens. I even got to see the cow that was being butchered for there New Years dinner. That was, let's just say...Ewwww!!! Ha! The children get meat on Christmas, New Year's & Easter so for them it is very special. I immediately had friends as I walked off the bus. I spent a big part of the day with Denise, Moses, Patrick & Patrick's brother Patrick. LOL Most of the older children get to choose an English name and apparently they both liked the name Patrick:) The girls and Sid all had buddies too & we hardley saw each other the whole day. We painted fingernails on girls & boys, made salvation bracelets, held babies, jumped rope, played soccer, played football, talked and took pictures ALL day!! It was incredible, especially to see their faces light up when we told them we were coming back tomorrow. Nothing could express to you the emotion you feel when these sweet faces say things like; "Is it ok I call you Mama?", "I want to keep you in my heart", "Are you coming to see me again soon?", and the most brutal... "You want be my Mama cause I very much like you?" Oye! Sniff! We also spent time in the special needs roomwhich was full of older children who were survivors of the genocide. Most were injured or were found months later living in the forest with animals. They loved the attention & we enjoyed loving on them & telling them how special they are & how much they are loved. It was truly heartbreaking. I am excited about returning to spend the day with these sweeties tomorrow, but would love prayers for their hearts & ours as we leave them tomorrow night. It will not be easy. God is working in the hearts of all of those on our team. It truly is impossible to step out of your comfort zone, travel across the world to hold a childs hand and not be changed. My God continue to break my heart for what breaks His.

"Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress."
~ James 1:27

Imbabawzi Home

Today was such a blessing.... We took a beautiful scenic 3 hour drive to the Imbabawzi orphanage and spent the day with teenagers, all who were orphaned by the genocide. The day was spent making crafts, playing soccer, frisbee, singing, worshipping & of course dancing!! This is a working flower plantation that was started in 1949 by American Rosamond Carr who spent 50 years in Rwanda. After leaving the plantation during the genocide she returned to rebuild and seeing the need of the orphaned children to in 40 children in December 1994. Flowers are cut every Wednesday to sell and it is beautiful!! The kids are amazing and just like any other child they just want to be loved. The children that Roz took in are now teenagers and young adults that are being educated and being prepared to transition to independent living. Please join me in praying for the children of Imbabawzi as they grow into adulthood, loveing God and learning to LIVE after so much pain. And THank You to my new friendship with Musasumbuko. What a smart and kind young man. May God continue to use you in a mighty way.

'Til tomorrow.....

Friday, December 30, 2011

The BEST Family

This morning our team went to the Genocide Museum:( WOW! No words can express what the people of this beautiful country have gone through. 1 million people killed in 100 days because they were poor. It was interesting to hear the history of how it all happened but most of all it was inspiring to see how the people of Rwanda are rebuilding their country. Every face you look into here has been affected by the Genocide and it will continue to affect the next generations. After a great lunch at Chez Robert which was close to the Hotel Rawanda, we were off to visit the Best Family. Now, this is not your typical family. This family consists completely of primarily boys(with a few girls) that were all orphaned during the Genocide. In 2001 four boys who had spent day after day surviving as orphans after their families were murdered, started The Best Family simply by SHARING. If one had a little food he'd share with the others, if one had $2 he's split it 4 ways, if one needed something the other had they simply shared. In 2004 they began bringing other children into their home who were also survivors of the Genocide, and today they have 50 orphans who not only are surviving, but are loving each other, getting an education, and loving God through it all. We were so blessed to meet this amazing family and how God continues to enable them to persevere in spite of the heartache they have all endured. These are mighty men(and women) of God, and I pray that God blesses them more than they could ever imagine so that they might continue to share God's love with fatherless. Thanks for the singing, worshipping and all out dance party!! And to my two new friends Claude & Rachel, I pray for peace, for wisdom, and for great results on your exams!!

My Feet are in Rwanda!!!

After two full days of traveling we FINALLY made it to Kigali, Rwanda!!! Wahoo!! Let's just say between the motion sickness and feeling crummy from the Malaria meds the trip seemed crazy long! Ha! We had no major delays and setteled down to recover from traveling in nice little apartments in Kigali. We will be here the next two nights. We are so thankful to God for such a peace. Rwanda is beautiful and the people are amazing!!!

AFRICA Here We Come!!!

The posts over the next week and half will serve as a journal for our family as we travel to Ethiopia & Rwanda with a ministry called Visting Orphans to do just that... VISIT ORPHANS. We are excited and blessed to have the opportunity and can't wait to see how God continues to refine and conform us in His likeness... HERE. WE. GO..............

Friday, December 16, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Looking to Adopt a Sibling Group? This brother and sister want a 
Mommy & Daddy more than anything!! They would do so well in a LOVING family. Who could resist those brown eyes & giant dimples!

Meet Alyssa & Yates

CLICK HERE to find out more about these sweeties...

Friday, December 9, 2011

When it's Jesus' Birthday, Who gets the gifts???

The past few years have been a real struggle for us emotionally as we sit in rooms full of gifts for us and our children. Some of those gifts are barely even looked at or played with, and rarely do they remember who gave them what gift as the Huge mound of wrapping paper grows larger and larger. So as we have prayed over what Christmas means and Who Christmas is really for, God clearly showed us that December 25th is STILL all about the Birth of our Savior and we have done a really crummy job of celebrating his birth. We asked our kids this morning; When it's your Birthday who get's the gifts? ME! When it's Daddy's Birthday who get's the gifts? Daddy!! When it's Jesus' Birthday who get's the gifts? ...Silence, Uuuummmm We Do. Hmmmmm.... there is something wrong with this picture and clearly our kids understood. So for our family for this Christmas each child can request Something They Want, And Something To Give. They are excited about purchasing goats and chickens for families in need through World Vision and finding people to serve right here in our community

So from this year forward we will give the gifts of time and experiences.  We will serve and share and spend time with one another. We will share what we would have spent on gifts for ourselves on those who are in need; the lonely, the needy, the poor, the orphan, and the widow. 

Thank you to Jen Hatmaker and Ann Voskamp for sharing your perspectives in words, and helping me to see that doing this for our Heavenly Father will NEVER be something that we will regret. 

Check out these Blog Posts to get a little Perspective on where our hearts are as well. 

I pray that the words of these sweet women will touch your hearts and spur you to make a change to GIVE to Jesus on His Birthday!! What a miraculous day the birth of our Savior must have been!

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince Of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Poinsetta's For Saul

I have 15 Poinsetta's left for those of you in the Midland area.
Proceeds go toward's Saul's Adoption Grant!!!!
Help me grow Saul's Adoption Grant & enjoy a Beautiful Poinsetta

Contact me & I will deliver!!

Poinsetta's are $15.00

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday...

Meet Brenna

The most spectacular eyes!!!! This little lovie needs a Mommy & Daddy!!!
Could it be YOU:)

She Just turned ONE & she is healthy outside of her HIV. She is in an orphanage
where the children have good medical care so is likely on ARV meds:)

Please Pray My Forever Family finds ME!
CLICK HERE for more info on Brenna:)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Sydnie!!!

Happy Birthday Sydnie!!!

Today we celebrate 14 years of life with you. We are forever grateful that God blessed us with you. The day you were born was sweet and you instantly stole our hearts. Since that day you have given us many memories and many stories to tell. Ha! You are talented, athletic, kind-hearted and a servant to those around you. You love to bake regardless of the fact that your mom is not a good teacher and you can always show me how to run electronics. You make me laugh even when I am trying to be mad at you, you are quick to forgive and you are amazingly patient with the special kiddos in our house. Thank you for what you bring to our family and I pray that you continue to live life to the fullest. I pray that God continues to grow you into an amazing woman of God. Remember you are loved by many and cherished by a loving God and we LOVE YOU LIKE CRAZY!!!

Happy 14th Sydnie!!!
We LOVE You!

Have An AMAZING Year!!!
We Love You!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy 8th! Tate The Great!!

Clown (noun): a comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, 
or the like; a person who acts like a clown or comedian!!! 

That is our Tate The Great!!! What an Amazing Young man you are becoming!!! We love your zest for life, your heart for the hurting and your endless questions about life. You make every day a little brighter, a little more hilarious & a little sweeter with your presence. I pray that you will continue to crave God's word and wanna know why the Bible says what it says. I pray that you continue to grow in God's knowledge and that you continue to love God more every day. We Love you just the way you are and we are so blessed to have you as our son. Hope your day is Amazing and that the next year ROCKS!!!!

Happy Birthday Tate!
We can not imagine our family without your zany personality, 
quick wit & downright craziness

Rarely Serious
Fish Man

What you let your sisters do to you:)


Happy 8th Birthday!!!!!
We Love YOU
Mommy, Daddy, Lacey, Sydnie, Baylie, Jonathan, Charlie, Emmy,  Levi, Kenlie

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Meet Melody

Oh My! Look at that head of pretty hair:)
Melody is only 5 months old & URGENTLY Needs a family 
so she can get heart surgery!!

CLICK HERE to read more about this sweet girl

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wanna WIN an Ipad 2????

Of course you do!!!!! Visit our Friends
and DONATE to Help them get their Daughter Home!!!!
Help Daniel raise the money so he can travel to bring his sister home! What a great way to be a part of someone's adoption story.
And you might even WIN an Ipad 2!!!!


Grab This!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Meet Francine

Francine has CP & delayed speech but she is walking!
She is said to be very sweet & smart by other adoptive parents that have met her
She already has $3400 in her Adoption Grant to help with expenses.

CLICK HERE to read more about Sweet Francine

Monday, November 14, 2011

Givin' It Up!

The BIG 4-0!!!
My 40th

In less than 48 hours I will be a wonderful, incredibly blessed 40 year old!!! So excited to see what God has in store for me in the next 40 years! Praying these years are crazier and more radical than the past 40... So to finish off my 39th year and begin my 40th Help me celebrate by DONATING to my Christmas Angel.

If you haven't met him yet...
This is Saul & his cute dimple

I am advocating to raise funds for his adoption grant 
so that one day when his Forever Family finds him, they will have the needed money to bring him home!

SO in lieu of Birthday gifts
PLEASE Donate to Saul's Adoption Grant
Every person that DONATES $35.00 or more
will receive a sweet Christmas ornament with Saul's smiling face on it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Awesome Adoption Gear!!

Visit the Patterson Family's blog
and check out their cute adoption gear!

Help them get Vlad & Dima HOME
by purchasing some cute T's and bags

My FAVORITE.... The car decal!!!

Help this Sweet Family Get their Boys HOME for Christmas!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Baylie!!!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy
I thank God every day that he brought you into this world!!!
You are cherished & loved and we can not imagine our lives without you in it.
We are proud of you for the young lady that you are becoming. Thank you for always making me laugh when I am frustrated, for being a fierce friend, and for loving your brothers and sisters even when they are driving you insane! Thank you for always kissing me goodnight, always saying "I Love You" and always making sure I have all my ducks in a row. ha! One day you will make someone an incredible godly wife and be a super mom to who knows how many sweet little ones. You Rock Baylie and we Love, LoVe, LOVE You!!
Happy 12th Birthday!!
Mom, Dad, Lacey, Sydnie, Jonathan, Tate, Charlie, Emmy, 
Levi,  & Kenlie
Sweet Sister
Full of Laughter
Beautiful Smile

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

16 Days

Yes, That's Right
In 16 Days I will be the 
BIG 4-0!!!!

Remember This Little Guy?

He still needs a family 
 He still needs DONATIONS to HELP that family

SO Here's The Deal...
It only takes 40 people giving $25.00
to reach Saul's $1000 goal
for my 40th!!!

SO for ONE week Give up something for Saul
Give up The Starbucks
Give up the Steak
Give up The Extra's
DONATE $25 for my 40th Birthday!!!

You can DONATE on the sidebar through the CHIP-IN or the RR button. Both go directly to RR & Both are tax deductible:)

If you DONATE $35 or more you get a sweet ornament with Saul's picture on it to hang on your Christmas Tree.

"He blesses those who provide for the orphan." ~Duet 14:29

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Sweet Nadine Needs A Family!!

Nadine is in the same orphanage that Charlie & Levi were in:) She is 16 months old & has been fortunate enough to have already had heart surgery & is doing well!
CLICK HERE to find out more about her

Monday, October 17, 2011

40 FOR 40

It only takes 40 people giving $25.00
to reach Saul's $1000 goal
for my 40th!!!
Saul's Baby Picture:)
Having fun!

Saul would do so well in a family. And oh, how he deserves a
loving "Forever Family"
Please consider making a Birthday Donation to help grow his Adoption Grant.

**Remember if you DONATE $35.00 or more you will receive a Christmas Ornament with Saul's sweet face on it to hang on your Christmas Tree**

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act" ~Proverbs 24:12

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The BIG "4-0"

Yup! That's right... I am officially one month away from my 40th Birthday!!! WOW I'm getting old! So starting today until my Birthday on November 16th, I am officially giving up my birthday and all that goes along with a typical birthday for little Mr. Dimples:)
I am Saul's Christmas Warrior
And I want to see his Adoption Grant Grow!!!

So, for my 40th Birthday I am asking that each of you make a donation to his Grant.
Just click on Saul's CHIP-IN and your donation will go directly to
Reece's Rainbow as a tax deductible donation. For those who DONATE $35 or more you will receive a Christmas Ornament with Saul's precious face to hang on your Christmas Tree!

Thank You for helping me celebrate the blessing of 40 years,
and please pray that Saul's Forever Family will find him soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Meet Sammy

What a cutie!! Sammy has Apert Syndrome and has just turned 3yrs old. He would transition well into a family. Are you his family????
CLICK HERE to find out more about Sammy

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One Year & God's HOPE

Today as I walked off the airplane returning from Haiti, I see smiling faces waiting patiently to hug my neck & I realized that One Year Ago today I was getting off the plane with Charlie & Levi. What a wonderful day that was! One Year? Wow! Oh, how time flies & i am amazed at how much we have been blessed with over that year. As we celebrate the Year Anniversary of the boys being home, God continues to reveal so much to us and teach us so much every day. My 8 days in Haiti was amazing, filled with sweet moments of seeing God's redemption, and sad moments of seeing those who God loves deeply abandoned, neglected, starved, searching for something. My prayer for Haiti and the precious people that live their is that God will fill them with Hope. That they will see that God is their healer, their protector, their Hope in this earthly world. I pray that God will continue to break my heart for what breaks his, to spur my passion for the orphan, the widow, and for justice in a world where millions are suffering.
Baylie spent the weekend at Extreme Leader camp for the 6th graders. It was so refreshing to hear her stories and hear how much she learned about how God can use her to make a difference in the lives of others. I am so proud of her for being such an encourager to her friends and helping them to see that they can do things that are out of their comfort zone or scary. I am so grateful to my heavenly Father who has touch her heart & is growing her everyday.
And..the hubby did an amazing job managing the circus while I was gone:) I am SO blessed to have such an amazing godly man that encourages me, loves me, and listens to every crazy thing I know hope God is leading us to. I Love you more than words can express & I can not wait to see where God leads us next!

Haiti In Pictures
Coming soon:)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

Are you My Mommy & Daddy???
Please Pray for Jonas:)
He looks healthy & SO sweet!
Now all he needs is LOVE!

And.... He has $3800 in his Adoption Grant!!!
CLICK HERE for more Info

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Today I am trying to gather my thoughts as they bounce from finding homes for orphans, preparing for Haiti, racing to Dr. appointments, bible studies, feeding programs, orphans, laundry, what I am gonna fix for supper, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, dance, homework, malaria, formula for starving infants, how to dig deeper into God's word, HIV, speech, physical therapy, yellow fever shots, Down Syndrome, grocery shopping, passports, adoption, budgeting, fundraising, exercising(ha!), indestructible glasses, leading and shaping my children, schedules, chore charts, Reece's Rainbow, volunteering, Visiting Orphans, church, homeschooling(what?!?) and when I will have 5 minutes of uninterrupted conversation with the love of my life. (and that's just what went through my brain in the last 5 minutes!!!)

God continues to move us into a time of Abundance...

Abundance: an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply; overflowing fullness

We are all healthy, loved and provided for. Our life is full of people who love and support us in every crazy adventure God leads us on. He helps us daily to provide in every way so that I can be home. He has provided so that I can spend 8 days in Haiti and know that my hubby & kiddos are taken care of. He has put people in our path that have mentored, prayed, and equipped us to continue on the journey God has us on. All of this is so amazing! Last week we talked about the multiple times God has DONE this or DONE that. How we doubted, how we were discouraged and THEN... How God took us and molded us, shaped us and taught us through that experience. And maybe even Rocked our world a little bit:) Oh, how I pray that I will not doubt my Father, the one who comforts me, encourages me, and never leaves me. So, let me just share how God rocked our world..AGAIN! Through all of our doubting; we have seen God raise 30K in 8 months to bring our boys home, we have seen him provide an amazing home for us, we have seen people bless us with an extreme makeover of our new home, we have seen God bring together a group of employees to join us where God is working, we have seen God provide for our kids back to school needs, we have seen God provide 4 months of tuition so that Charlie & Levi can remain at the The Bynum School, and then came an opportunity to take our oldest 3 girls on a mission trip. Ah, my hearts desire. It sounded like a totally cool opportunity, something we had always talked about but never really thought it could happen. But remember God's got this! So we pray about it, and without question we felt God telling us to GO! The thought of raising the money was a wee bit overwhelming (there came that doubt again), but we knew it was God. We notified Visiting Orphans that there would be 5 of us going and then started thinking of every fundraiser we could possibly have over the next 6 weeks and less than 12 hours; yes I said 12 hours we had someone say, "Well, How 'bout I just pay for the whole trip? God wants me to do that".... What? Are you Serious, No Stinkin' Way, Tears, Holy Cow!!!! I seriously almost passed out! and... I am crying again as I type this. lol You can not put boundaries on what God can and WILL do.
        I remember when I was a little girl sitting at my grandad's house flipping through a National Geographic magazine that was filled with pictures of Ethiopia. The peoples faces, the reality of the life they lived. I knew even at a young age that we had an Abundance compared to them, and that SOMEBODY should do something about it. Now I know God was planting a seed:) I can no longer sit back and pretend that it is somebody else's problem.

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered 
~Proverbs 21:13

A paraphrase from Matthew 25 by Richard Stearns: 
For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointe out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved. 


We will be traveling Dec. 27th-Jan 7th to 5 orphanages in Ethiopia & Rwanda
Please Pray for us as we prepare to love on orphans and share the Love of Christ with them.

We have a Garage Sale Fundraiser planned in October
This will be to raise the $600 needed for our yellow fever shots
for supplies that we will be taking to these orphanages

If you have items that you would like to DONATE to our sale please contact me: 
We can pick up if needed:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will They Come??? Wednesday

HOLY COW!!!! I would scoop this one up in heartbeat if Haiti would let us:)
Calvin is HIV+ but is really doing well developmentaly
Could this be your son, could you handle waking up to that big 'ol smile everyday:)

To Read more about Calvin

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act"
~Proverbs 24:12

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One Year Ago TODAY....

Our family was grown through the blessing of adoption....
Charlie Josiah Harper 
Levi Preston Harper

became part of their "Forever Family"
Like the birth of our other children,
That is a day we will never forget...



Is there ever the "perfect" time to take a risk? Probably not. 
But there's a perfect God in whom we can risk, imperfectly.
Thank You God for opening our hearts to the orphans & for guiding us through this amazing journey!

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act" 
~Proverbs 24:12