In November, 2010...
We were one of the top families to win the t-shirt fundraiser with Ordinary Hero!!! Thanks to our amazing family and friends, our total amount raised was $1,040 which was sent straight to our adopting agency, Celebrate Children International, to put towards our adoption fees. We are so thankful and truly blessed!!!!
And I just have to mention, November was the month that started the 30th birthdays for all of us girls and our fabulous "girls night out's"...Abby...your husband really outdid himself!!! :) And we loved every second of it! Ha! :) Limo, Holli (surprise!), shopping (Ab was quite the model), Starbucks (something crazy that day, like buy one, get one free that day...don't know how Jeff pulled that off...impressive), pedi's, dinner (Abby, your mom is the best!)...and all with the best girls ever! Such a F-U-N day!
In December, 2010...
An AMAZING memory was made...we helped welcome home an unbelievably sweet little girl from Bulgaria...Mahaela JoMae Hauter...who joined Bill and Shell's family. There really are no words to describe meeting her for the first time...and seeing her with her forever family.
Also in December, were two of my-most-favorite-girls-in-the-world birthdays!!!! My BESTEST friend Becca's 30th birthday...(Bec, you look like you're 21...GORGEOUS!!! and you gotta love Sadie in this pic! cmon Sae! just one more picture...please??!!) and my ADORABLE little niece Violet's 1st birthday...she is absolutely the sweetest thing and oh my, is she beautiful...just like her mother. (This was a pic from the invitation...Vi doesn't normally sit around sneaking candy...like her mother.) Then came Christmas...it's just the BEST! In January, 2011...Happy New Year!!!! Ummm...well...hmm...not sure anything OVERLY exciting happened in January...or February...huh, March? I can't remember back that far so...let's just move on to April. :)
In April, 2011...Our church held an event called "Light the Fire"...to raise awareness of the fatherless and orphaned children in our surrounding community and around the world. The night was surrounded with A LOT of prayer and trusting that God would be glorified and touch the hearts of the people attending...and move us from compassion...to action. It was a night to remember. It was inspiring. It brought hope to what looks like hopeless situations. I know my heart was deeply, deeply touched and knew God was doing the same to others...our verse for the night was Isaiah 58:10, "If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Inspiring, movitating, life-changing words...only with Jesus...otherwise it's all in vain.
Vicki from Vgallery (http://www.vgallery.net/) was amazing. She and her husband have a beautiful daughter, adopted from Nepal. Her blog is http://www.nimajade.com/. She let us borrow some of her photography...beautiful little ones...without families...without a home...without the love of a dad and a mom...waiting for someone to say yes...
We asked our church family at Cornerstone for donations of shoes...to send with a team going to Ethiopia...all the shoes were lined up...to show a FRACTION of the children in need...there are more than 145 million orphans worldwide...44,000 new orphans every day...every 90 seconds an orphan dies from starvation...60 million orphans go to bed hungry every night...every 2 seconds another child becomes an orphan...THEY need US...but more than that, they need the love of Jesus. Our guest speaker was Kelly Putty, from Ordinary Hero. She lives in Tennessee and has 6 kids; 5 biologically and 1 by adoption. Her story is inspiring...and that is what she lives to do...to inspire people to CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE. Her love for the Lord and her heart for the needy is awesome. Ordinary Hero's blog is http://www.ordinaryheroblog.blogspot.com/ and their website is http://www.ordinaryhero.org/. We also had Jami Kaeb speak...she has an AMAZING testimony of daily trusting the Lord. She shared about their journey in the foster care system and she has started The Forgotten Initiative, an incredible outreach to the surrounding communities. It's all about showing Christ's love! Beautiful! Her blog is http://www.lifewithapersonalgod.blogspot.com/.
Of course we wanted Shelley to get up there! :) She shared about a hosting program called "New Horizons for Children"...an international Christian orphan hosting program devoted to sharing the love of Jesus and the love of a family...http://www.newhorizonsforchildren.org/. Shell's blog is http://www.hauterhappenings.blogspot.com/. Love, love, love her!!!!!! :)
Phil Cooper, from our church, also spoke. James 1:27 "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble; and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Taking care of the fatherless and the widows is a command; it's not an option. It's not about having an opinion or a preference...it's a commandment. Whether it's through adoption, foster care, sponsorship, or taking care of the needy and helpless...whether it's in Africa or Bulgaria...China or Columbia...Peoria or Chicago...on the other side of the world or across the street...this is where God's heart is. Jesus was moved with compassion...shouldn't we be?Everyone took a candle...to show that everyone can CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE...who will be your one?It may a boy like this one...a child waiting for a family to call his own. "God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:6We had delicious coffee from Africa...Gobena coffee... http://www.gobena.org/. An amazing story to how this got started by the Leman family...http://www.solidrck.blogspot.com/."Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'." Matthew 25:34-40