Thursday, May 30, 2013

Funds Update... and ANOTHER Generous Donation

I'd like to give you all an update on our funds, fundraising thermometer, and necessary payments as they stand. As you can see, we have increased our thermometer by $4155. We had 2 large payments due this week (our second Lifeline agency payment came due as well as our post-adoption fees to our Louisiana home study agency). Seamus and I withdrew the necessary funds from our savings account, in order to make these payments. This increase on our thermometer reflects our withdrawal from our savings of $3155. Between the $3155 from savings and $945 that has been raised through your generosity (which was already reflected on the thermometer), we are able to make these payments now. I have also reflected this on my "Breakdown of Adoption Expenses" page by highlighting the 2 payments made.

Immediately after we adjusted, as described above, we received a generous donation from a very special friend for $1,000 (hence the extra $1,000 raise on our thermometer in addition to the $3155 we pulled from savings)! Yes, we were totally blown away by this donation. God is really providing, y'all! This will almost pay for the entire China fee for our dossier submission (which will be the next payment due)! The funds we raise from our t-shirt sales will definitely cover the rest of this fee. I'll reflect funds raised through t-shirt sales when we place our big order next week. Speaking of... PLEASE ORDER A T-SHIRT BY THIS WEEKEND IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!

All future funds reflected on our thermometer will either be through fundraising efforts or money personally saved by us on a monthly basis. Any future payments due, where funds have not been raised, will be paid for with a loan. We are hoping that it doesn't come to this but will do whatever is needed. Fundraising would then be continued in order to pay back this debt. I'm loving the book, Adopt Without Debt by Julie Gumm, which has given us some great ideas on fundraising and how to cut back on our own expenses. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering adoption and may be reluctant because of the expense.

We plan to keep you updated on our financial standing and progress. Please don't hesitate to ask us any questions regarding funds. We welcome suggestions, as well. We want to continue being transparent and open with you, as we ask for your help in bringing home Emily Hope!

By the way, we now have a facebook page! Please "like" us at We'd love for you to help us get the word out so we can sell some more shirts this weekend! Thanks y'all!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Love is a Verb. Love is a Choice.

"I don't know if I could love an adopted child the way I do my own biological children." These are the words a precious lady shared with me this morning, behind many tears. "Cindy" (we'll call her this to protect her identity) recently connected with my blog and was touched by our story. Cindy's husband has wanted to adopt for years but Cindy shared with me that she just wasn't there yet. I don't slight her for this. In fact, I admire her honesty, her humility, her vulnerability, and her ability to express her weakness. As Cindy and I parted, my heart stirred. I began having the same doubts, the same lies that Satan loves to tell me over and over again. As He always does, the Holy Spirit intervened...

Love is a verb. And it's a choice. I promise, Cindy, that there is no adoptive parent on earth who didn't doubt their ability to love their adopted child. The truth is, we may never feel as emotionally connected with our adopted children as we do our biological ones. God often blesses families with this connection but if the emotions don't come, that's okay too. Love is a choice. Our adoptive Father in heaven proved this. He chose to love us, despite our ickyness, our selfishness, our inability to measure up. While we were literally enemies of God, He reached through the muck and embraced us as His infinitely loved children. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) If anyone understands the idea of choosing to love another, it's certainly Jesus.

Christ is the only one who ever perfectly demonstrated what love is. We can look to the cross for the example of how we are to love. Love is... "patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..." (1Cor.13:4-8) This type of love is not a mushy, feel-good, warm feeling. This type of love is messy, sacrificial, endless, unconditional, hard, contrary to our culture, perfect, and it is active.

Are we loving our spouses, our children, our friends, strangers, even our enemies with this type of love? Do we not have a natural tendency to step back and protect ourselves when we don't "feel" like loving these people? If they wrong us, we get defensive. If they don't meet our expectations, we ignore them (even abandon them). When they disappoint us, we hold grudges. And we pretend the weak aren't out there because we don't have to see them in our living rooms. This is what our flesh does, but it is not who God is or who he calls us to be when we are in Christ. We must choose to love each other and understand that this can only be accomplished with God's strength. This can only be done by remembering the one who made the ultimate choice to love us.

I don't pretend to believe that when we pick Emily up from China, that all my fears will subside, or that I will have an immediate connection with her. In fact, I expect that our connection will take some time. But I will choose to love her as my own, just as Christ chose to love me. She WILL be our own, just as much as our 3 bios are. If I'm being honest with you, I don't always "want" to love those around me. The "what ifs" exist for my biological family as well. I have to work at loving them too, because, unlike Christ, I'm not perfect. Thankfully, he does live in me and gives me the strength to choose love. He provides in all things and he will provide the love needed for Emily Hope. I have doubts and fears and I promise there will be times I can't love her the way she needs. But God can and will. And my hope in that promise is enough to move forward.

The Holy Spirit convicted me this morning, through my conversation with Cindy. What a blessing to speak with someone so in love with God and so burdened by her flesh that she was brought to tears. It's clear that Cindy loves the Lord. I pray that she experiences, in a bigger way, the freedom that Christ bought for us. Cindy may not be called to adoption and that's okay. Yes, scripture commands us to care for the orphan and widow, to love the least of these, to serve God with all our hearts. But we can all obey this command through different gifts and avenues. I look forward to sharing with you, as we climb our adoption mountain, ways you can live out God's command to care for the least of these and disciple all nations. Everyone has a gift that can contribute in a huge way!

Cindy, I love you. You are a precious sister in Christ and I am thankful that you seek to follow His will. I will walk with you on your path to bringing glory to God, whether that be through adoption or otherwise. God will lead and he will provide in all things. Rest in that, sweet sister. "Be still and know that I am God."(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, May 24, 2013

To China and Back!!!

Yes, you did see our fundraising thermometer increase by $3,000! A very special couple, who are really like family to us, has generously offered to purchase our flights to China. Our agency estimates the cost, for 2 adults to fly round trip to China, to be $3,000. This amount was factored in to our original fundraising goal of $32,000 so we are reflecting the donation in the amount raised.

Needless to say, we were blown away by this donor's generosity. Besides their love for our family, this couple expressed their desire to be a part of something big. They are excited to learn more about adoption and the need itself. They are encouraging us to bring awareness to others and they shared some wonderful ideas for the future.

To these dear friends... Thank you! (how inadequate that sounds) We are forever grateful for the overwhelming support you have extended. We love you to China and back!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

US Consulate in China closed until further notice

Our adoption agency notified us Monday that the US Consulate in China has been closed until further notice. This is where immigrant visas are issued and where we will spend some time in the process of bringing Emily home. After reading news reports, it turns out there was a white powdery substance found and this is being investigated. All visas have been put on hold until the investigation is complete. Thankfully, no one has gotten sick and it seems to be a temporary situation. However, there are adoptive families there now who are in limbo and can't bring their children home until this is resolved. If you would, please join me in praying for these families and for the staff at the US Consulate in Guangzhou.

US Consulate to reopen Friday, May 17th

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Invisible Woman

For those of us who are called "Mom"... Here's a beautiful reminder that our labor is never in vein.

Happy Mother's Day, sweet sisters!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Adoption T-Shirt Fundraiser

I am excited to unveil our latest fundraising endeavor. Seamus and I had t-shirts designed to celebrate our adoption. If you came to our Adoption Doughnut Day, you may have noticed us wearing them. We will be selling these t-shirts to help with our adoption expenses. We are asking each of you to be a part of the trend! :-) Drumroll please.........


Here's my cutie modeling her shirt...

The price is $20 per shirt and we have youth sizes (YXS, YS, YM) and adult sizes (S, M, L, XL) available for purchase. We are accepting orders until we run out of shirts. Spread the word and get your t-shirts now!
To order through PayPal or credit card, please click on the "donate" button to the right. (mobile device users, scroll to the bottom of my blog and click on "view web version" to be able to see the "donate" button) Enter the cost based on $20 per shirt. In the message, please indicate the quantity, size, your phone number and your address where we can deliver your t-shirts. If you do not live in our area, please give us your mailing address and we will be happy to mail your shirts at no additional charge! (There will be a charge for international shipping. E-mail me for details.)

If you would rather pay with a check or cash, send an email to with the requested information above. You can mail your payment to:
Seamus Loman
70452 Hwy. 21
Suite 200-130
Covington, LA 70433
Please consider buying a t-shirt for yourself, a friend, or even your enemy. ;-) By wearing these shirts, you are making a difference in 3 ways. One, you are supporting our adoption financially and directly being a part of bringing Emily home. Second, you are being an ambassador to adoption itself. Third (and most importantly), you are sharing the gospel message with all who see your shirt! You can buy them as gifts and include a note to the recipient that their gift helped fund an international adoption! It'll be so fun for us to see everyone sporting our threads and wearing the gospel message! "In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to his good pleasure." (Ephesians 1:5) 

Be sure to wear your t-shirts to our future fundraising events. Come on, y'all... Get your groovy garb on!

As always, feel free to post this on your blog, facebook page, and email to everyone you know to help us with our fundraising efforts.

Thank you for helping us move one step closer to bringing our daughter home!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Doughnut Day Rocked!

Thanks to all of you who helped us raise a good bit of "dough" through our Adoption Doughnut Day! We had so much fun seeing y'all... and scarfing down an obsene amount of sugar. It was great seeing familiar faces, meeting new ones, and hearing your own stories of adoption! God is so cool in blessing us with this community of support. This event gave us a refreshing sense of encouragement in our journey! We are thankful for the funds raised to help bring Emily Hope home but just as blessed for the hugs and encouragement received from y'all this day. It was fun watching our fundraising thermometer grow as we sold more doughnuts. Unfortunately, I think our tummies grew a bit as well. ;-)

Here are some pictures from our amazing morning...

Kids Making Signs for our Big Event

75 dozen in the back of my mom-van

From our (cholesterol-clogged) hearts to yours... Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Visit my blog tomorrow to be the first ones to hear about our next fundraiser. Hint... we were wearing them at our Doughnut Day!