Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Week, New Family! Welcome the Bernards!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Time to introduce our family of the week!
Welcome the Bernard family to our blog! They are Paul and Shecki and they are adopting 2 beautiful children from China, Luke and Katie.   These 2 newest members will be children numbers 9 and 10! I LOVE big families! Don't you??  The Bernards should travel this summer.
Let's watch their video and get to know the Bernard family..... 

Are you ready to DONATE?? Go to their blog and click the big donate button.  Your gift will go to their Reece's Rainbow fund which is tax deductible. 
Quick note about Reece's Rainbow. They are an adoption advocacy site that allows families who are adopting special needs' children to fundraise through them. They hold those funds until you receive a travel call, so this money will be a huge help with travel, plane tickets, etc.  Yes, I love Reece's Rainbow.

The Bernards also have a coupon fundraiser going on! Check it out. You can buy restaurant gift cards for cheap. A win-win!

Here's  one last look at Katie and Luke.   Aren't they the sweetest?

Enjoy your week and thanks for giving!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Supporting Jennifer and Rainbow Kids Stuff

Hey, you! I hope you're having a great week!
Have you donated to Jennifer Cameron yet?? Jennifer got an update this week that said her daughter's favorite color is purple and her favorite animal is a horse.  Too Cute! So is Olivia.  Check out her pic on our FB page.     Like us while you're there!

Questions about adopting?  Just don't know where to start? Rainbow Kids is a great site to have your questions answered. You can see country guidelines, articles about financing your adoption, what to expect once you're home, and much more. You should take a look! They also have waiting children on their site. They can put you in touch with the agency.   Some of the pages require you to have an account, but don't worry, it's free. And quick.

Keep sharing the love!

Thanks for your support!! You rock.

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Week, New Family--Jennifer Cameron!

Hey, how are ya? I'm loving this spring weather- are you??

I'm excited to introduce Jennifer Cameron to the blog.  Jennifer founded Into The Field , an organization that helps support others in their mission work, plans mission trips, etc.  She's a busy woman! On one of her many international trips, Jennifer met a little girl who really needed a family. Well, I guess you know what I'm going to say next, but take a look at her video for the rest of the story:)

                                                          WATCH THEIR VIDEO!
 From Jennifer...

 Two of my deepest dreams have been to be a wife and a mom.  And for reasons only He knows, God has said, “not now” to both of those dreams…until last June. 
Five years ago I felt called to step away from my job and to launch Into the Field, a 501c3 ministry that works with primarily small grassroots Christian ministries and serve them in a variety of ways.  In addition to serving the other ministries, I have a heart to serve others.  This has taken me to Ukraine, Honduras, and 6 times to China.  Usually when I go to China, I love on the kids and pray for their forever families to  come while knowing that it isn’t me.  And then I picked up Olivia.  Instead of praying for her family to come, I had a sense that I was her family.  When I got home, I called a friend of mine who as welcomed 6 from China – Amie Swaddling – and she laughed wondering if she would call me before I called her because she could just tell from our picture that we were meant to be a family!  It has been pretty amazing to watch the different ways that God has been showing up and affirming that this is in fact the road that I’m to be walking.  I have always been open to adoption, but just figured it would be after I was married.  (I think that parenting is difficult enough when you have 2 actively engaged parents, and that while sometimes situations result in single parent families, I NEVER dreamed that I would be initiating one!!!)  Since June we have been simultaneously chasing our paperwork.  Mine arrived in China in January and sat waiting for hers until the end of February.  We now officially have our PA and are now eagerly awaiting our LOA.  I am super blessed because she is in a foster home where 11 of the 12 kids share her medical diagnosis and dear friends of mine are the ministry leaders there – which means that I am blessed with regular updates of photos and videos!

Are you ready to give? CLICK HERE to donate your dollars to Jennifer's adoption! She's followed our blog for a while and supported our past families.  Now it's her turn! Thanks for your support--it means so much!
Don't forget to share on your Facebook! 

                                                               You Can DONATE HERE!!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting For Families

Hey there! I hope you're having a great week and enjoying some nice weather! Just a quick post to say hello today:)

LOTS of children still wait for their families.  Here are some links where you may find them...

HOLT's Waiting Child Program  They have programs in China, South Korea, Africa, the Philippines, etc.

Reece's Rainbow--an advocacy site that points you in the right direction to the agencies for children they have on their site.

Bethany Christian Services--programs around the world, including the US.

AdoptUSKids--the US foster system. There are 1000s of children available within the US.

Why do kids wait? Some are older, some are siblings groups, some have major special needs, some have minor special needs.  Many reasons. These reasons are the same, no matter where the children are from. All of these children need families.

Have you seen Sevenly this week? They are supporting Reece's Rainbow.  And they have kids' shirts!

We'll have a family to support next week! Get ready!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Traveling With Children

So, I was wasting time on Pinterest today and eventually landed on a post about traveling internationally with your toddler.  Here's some of the tips I found... 

  • If your child is crying on the plane, stay calm! Your child will read and feel your emotions, becoming upset or nervous will exacerbate their behavior.  
  • Bring plenty of diapers, wipes, jammies and clothes for your child. Remember the airplanes are always chilly, so pack plenty of warm clothes. 
  • For long trips, change your child’s clothing at least 3 times, regardless if you feel they are still clean. This will keep them fresh and comfortable.  (3 times?? I don't know...)
  • Bring toys to distract your child and keep them busy. 
  • If your child will not calm down, take them into the lavatory and run the water, gently place their hands or feet in the running water. This is a great distraction and almost always calms them down.  (Great idea!)
  • Hold children close and quietly sing to them. 
  • Bring snack foods, plenty of bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers. 
  • If you are traveling with someone, take a break! Let them hold your child while you get up, stretch and walk the aisles. 
  • Bring a change of clothes for yourself, your child may spit up or have an accident on you! 
  • For older children – brushing their hair with a brush can have a calming effect.  
  • Lightly stroking a child – their hair, arms or back has a calming effect. 
  • For infants, bring a sling to transport them through airports. Slings are easier to handle and carry and you can easily slip your child out of it at security check points.  (Sling vs stroller??)
  • Sleep when your child is sleeping.  
  • When arriving home, keep family and friends welcoming you to a minimum. The more people waiting for you, the more stressful this is for a child. Flashing cameras and paparazzi moments will only agitate and scare your child who is already overly tired.         

  • What do you think? Do you have any more tips for us? I want to hear them! 

    Congrats to "partyof6" for winning the tee this week!! You can order one from my blog for $20!

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Parenting.....Differently or Not? {and a Giveaway}

    Hey! I hope your week's off to a great start!
    So for those of you with blended families (<----what's the correct term?) whether that be with foster children or adoptive and bio kids, how do your parenting styles differ between children? From before and after you adopted, etc?  Why did they change or why not? I'm full of questions today, aren't I?
    Knowing that our adoptive children have to learn to trust us, have possibly experienced a completely different kind of life before our family, is it important to parent them differently OR do you change your parenting style for the whole family? I'm bringing my daughter home in a couple of months--I need help, folks!

    What's your parenting style? What works and doesn't?

    Here's a link to a video and the Empowered to Connect website, featuring Dr. Karyn Purvis. (I know you've heard of her!) Listen to what she has to say and tell me what you think.

    Should I Parent My Adopted Child Differently Than My Birth Children?  There are plenty of other excellent videos and resources there, too.

    Oh yeah, leave a comment and I'll draw a name to win one of my tee shirts!

    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    Life Books

    Hey there! How many of you have ever made a life book? For your adopted child (or a child in foster care) a life book is a connection to their life before they joined your family.  It can include personal details that are for them to have, but maybe not for others to know.  So, what do you put in one? A lot of people say that the child should create it. My daughter will be 3 when she comes home from Korea, so I'm going to start one for her.  I'll let her add to it as she gets older. For now, I plan on adding details about her birth family, her birth country, baby pics and other pieces to her story.  She has a story. She has a life that did not start with me and our family.
    When we fostered, our children had a book that they valued and were able to contribute to themselves.  It helped them keep their full identity.  Not just pieces. As a parent, it's our job to help our children feel whole and complete.
    That's my upcoming project.  I'm going to start putting together our daughter's book.  Will I show it to everyone?  No ma'am. It's hers to show.  My dilemma is do I include cutesy stuff or just stick to the facts? Since I've only had "baby books" for my sons, I'm a bit stuck.  But, I'll let you know how it turns out!
    Feel free to give suggestions on how you've made yours!  Here's a link to get you started from the magazine, Adoptive Families.


    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    "Find You in Shenzhen" Outtakes & Bloopers

    Sarah Tyler, the Lanz daughter who made their awesome video for us last week contacted me with some outtakes and bloopers we thought you'd like to see! 


    From Sarah: 

    It was a lot of fun getting to showcase some really cute clips that didn’t make it into the original video, -- as well as comments from the director (yours truly), and general behind-the-scenes hilarity. See the original video here:

    And no, I don’t know what Mom noticed when she looked at that picture…we’ll never know, because I really did knock the camera right off the tripod at that very moment. Yeah, who really does that? I do, obviously.

    “I want my bracelets!” however, I can explain: Mom has an ApParent Project bracelet for each of the girls, and those bracelets were a symbolic detail she wanted to include in the video. ApParent Project works to provide employment and hope for the people of Haiti devastated by the tsunami of 2010. The Lanz family worked with ApParent Project to sell bracelets as a fundraiser benefitting both the adoptions, and The Apparent Project. To learn more go here:

    The Big Sister with the obvious Baby Bump had her little one after the original video was released but before this “bloopers reel” was completed – it’s a boy!

    These folks are a ton of fun and I was privileged and blessed to grow up in this lovely bunch of craziness! Hope you enjoy seeing this little snippet of our lives.

    Sarah T.

    A huge thanks to Sarah for giving us a little sneak peek into the making of the video. If you haven't had a chance to go over to their BLOG and donate yet, there's still time! They have a matching grant, so your donation is doubled to help them bring home their two daughters from China. 

    Have a great week everybody! 

    ~ Paula
    And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    Happy Spring!

    Good morning, lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!
    No new family this week, but several on the horizon! Check out our other pages...they have families on  Africa and Europe's pages.  And if you missed us last week, you can still hop on over to the Lanz' blog and donate there! (your donation will be tax deductible through Reece's Rainbow on their blog)

    Did you notice we want you to donate on our family's blogs now? We think it connects you to the families more! We'll give you plenty of links to get there.....easy, peasy!

    Check out the ministry featured on Africa's page.  No. 41 Ministries.  Your dollar goes far over there, too! And they have a giveaway happening! I donated right on their blog page.

    Have a great week!