January 31, 2012
Thousands of U.S. families adopt internationally each year. The Sparrow Fund is an organization committed to encouraging and supporting these families as they prepare for the adventure of adoption. We do this by providing regular training opportunities as well as grants to families in financial need to enroll in programs specifically designed to provide counsel and comprehensive medical reviews of their referred child.
Adoptive families can become overwhelmed by the financial costs of adoption. Participating in a program like this is an added expense that is difficult to manage. There are so many unknowns when it comes to adoption, and we believe that preparation plays a significant part in making the unpredictable road of adoption a little more smooth. Worthwhile training and national programs staffed by professionals offer invaluable services to help prepare the adoptive family as well as their child.
The Sparrow Fund was started because we do not want anything to be an obstacle in the adoption process. We are committed to see ONE MORE child with a forever family and ONE LESS orphan in the world.
(all info from Sparrow Fund’s website )
You can also shop at their Etsy shop to help support Sparrow Fund and get some really neat items!
January 27, 2012
Remember “L” from our TLZ auction? So many of you donated, prayed, and bought stuff to go towards his grant? And we so appreciated it!
L’s family just went to court and passed! He is officially their son!
They are now home and are waiting on Embassy clearance to bring him home! :)
I asked them if I could share a picture of them so you guys could see the fruit of your labors!
Here is L and his mom and dad :) LOVE. He also has some sweet siblings in his home as well.
Continue to pray that the rest of the process will be smooth so they can bring him home asap!
Happy Friday everyone!
January 26, 2012
Recently I have received a lot of questions on grants and fundraising. Below are some of the resources I found.
I know there is a lot more! Feel free to comment and share the ones you love and support or received support from!
Katelyn's Fund The best thing about them is that they called and interviewed us and just wanted to hear our hearts...(loved that) and then they all prayed for us (every board member) and told us that they would be praying for us by name for the length of our adoption...I love them. www.katelynsfund.org
Ava's Hope...get on their mailing list. They email when money becomes available and then give a window to apply. http://www.avashope.org/
Lifesong for Orphans. We received no interest loans both times from them. They also do matching grants. They do a lot of work in Africa as well with adoptive families. Neat organization.
A Child Waits www.achildwaits.org
http://ggam.org/apply/ God's Grace Adoption Ministry costs $10 to apply below $60K
Our Creator's Hope http://ourcreatorshope.com/Our%20Creator's%20Hope%20-%20Grant%20Applications.html they have deadlines to apply by for each quarter.
Orphan Impact http://orphanimpact.com/Orphan_Impact/Grant_Forms.html income above $30K but below $80K
Sea of Faces http://seaoffaces.org/
Foundation for Hope and Grace This is a new one started by a family. Their blog is here with the email to get info. http://life-with-grace.blogspot.com/p/adoption-grants.html
A Charity Project website assists you in fundraising. People are currently rockin’ this one and doing well with it! http://www.acharityproject.com/
Also..many organizations offer way to partner with them to earn money
www.justlovecoffee.com Get $5 for each bag of coffee you sell (and they are around $13-15 each)
http://www.ordinaryhero.org/Ordinary_Hero/OH_Fundraising.html great items to sell
January 25, 2012
I encourage all my friends to go check this out!
There are tons of great items you can win! tshirts, artwork, a mayvall bag. on an on.
I met Christi will adopting through AGCI and then from her work with Lifesong Hope for Orphans. She is a sweet gal and will serve the people with a sincere and giving heart.
I am very excited about this new journey they are on to Guatemala! From our limited time there—I know that the need is great.
and…pssst.…I am hoping that some of our family get to go over there and serve with them! :)
January 23, 2012
While in Ethiopia, I had shiro and loved it…so Fekadu stopped and we picked up some -which also gave me a chance to use my Ameseginalehu (thank you).
So…this past week I finally fixed it along with some misir wat. (that recipe coming next!)
I basically combined 2 different Shiro recipes.
Shiro for Two
1/2 C shiro powder
some chopped onion (say 1/4 cup, or more if you really like onions)
some chopped tomato (about two small-ish medium tomatoes. I skin them first) or use tomato paste
a few Tbs of vegetable oil
1-2 C. of water
salt to taste
extra berbere powder if you like it spicier
Injera for serving
Puree the onion in a food processor. Heat some oil in a pan and saute the onion until soft and just starting to brown. Puree the tomato in a food processor. Add it to the onion and saute a bit. Add the shiro powder and 1 cup of water. Stir to mix. Cook for a bit and salt and spice to taste. The shiro will thicken. Turn off heat.
and the one from http://www.ethiopianspices.com/html/recipes.asp
Shiro (This is a simple dish to make.)Measurements and Ingredients (serving for 10)
2 cups of Mitten or Nech Shiro
2 large onion fine chopped
1 cup of vegetable oil
5 teaspoons minced or powder garlic
1 table spoon Berbere
2 teaspoons salt (as needed)
10 cups of water
Preparation Method: In a medium pot, simmer onion and garlic with vegetable oil. Add berbere and simmer for about 5 minutes at low heat while adding a dash of water to avoid sticking. Add the remaining water and mix the shiro by adding a small portion of the shiro flour at a time and continuously stirring. Let it cook until it becomes thick, but runny for about 20 minutes at low heat. For thicker shiro add more shiro flour. For extra flavor finish off by adding a spoon of Neter Kibe (Seasoned Ethiopian Butter). Serve hot with Injera (Ethiopian flat bread made of teff).
So..here is what I did….used the Ethiopian Spices recipe but added some pureed tomato (I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes) and I did not use that much oil. Only as much needed to simmer the onion and garlic.
It was very good…but I used too much berbere. I think I put 2 tablespoons in? (not sure why as I am now reading that it only says 1)
no wonder it was so hot! :)
forgot to take picture of finished product!
I also made some more Niter Kibeh using this recipe ( I have another recipe that uses butter..but thought I’d try this one) From what I read, this is put in a lot of recipes!
How to make the oil (this is for one litre or about 32 oz) – you can vary the amounts to your taste:
Place the following in a heavy-bottomed, deep saucepan:
One medium-large onion, chopped
About 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tablespoon fenugreek
8 cardamom seeds, 6 whole cloves, crushed up a bit with mortar and pestle
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 or three pieces cinnamon bark (sticks)
2 tsp turmeric (mostly for that wonderful golden colour – which stains everything)
Over everything, pour one litre of olive or canola-olive blended oil
Simmer on medium heat (turn to low if bubbling too strongly) for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool. Use metal strainer to remove solids from pan, and then pass the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth. If you let the oil cool before straining, you won’t burn yourself and you can strain directly into plastic containers. Refrigerate. Pure olive oil will slightly congeal and “solidify” when refrigerated, but the olive-canola blend stays liquid.
If you try these let me know what works for you! I am constantly changing everything to suit our tastes! :) and there is a seemingly endless list of recipes out there!
January 20, 2012
Due to some recent donations we just received from Olive Tree Promise to Grassroots Heroes, my mind has been on Zambia!
PS…check out Olive Tree Promise! Great place to buy things that benefit adoptive families and great place to fundraise!!
Visiting Grippes Village in May 2008
Meeting Selita, the little girl we sponsor (and who led Greg’s heart to adoption)
Getting my hair done
Teaching eager students who had hardly any supplies
falling in love over and over again
spending time with these great gals.
sharing my story at Chikumbuso
being heartbroken over so much need
meeting young men that were full of life
seeing a shoe become a dollbaby (see her wearing it on her back?)
If you’d like to see more about the work going on in Grippes Village in Zambia-
You can also like Grassroots Heroes on Facebook! www.facebook.com/grassrootsheroes
January 19, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve done a family update!
So here you go!
Greg’s job is going well and he is very busy. There is no shortage of people in our area or in America for that matter, of people needing help with food. I am so thankful for Feeding America and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Teshale is doing wonderful! He is now 13 1/2 months. He is growing and has quite the little gut! He is starting to let go and stand on his own now! (just started last night) He gets so tickled with himself. He can walk holding onto stuff but hasn’t quite got the hang of it by himself. He usually just reaches and falls forward laughing. He is a joy. He makes us all laugh each day.
Ab loves his drum lessons (I need to upload a video of him playing!) and is always on the move-full of life and energy. He drums on everything…absolutely everything.
Greg and I were having a
discussion argument the other night. Ab was in bed…and apparently could hear us.
He came out and left us this note on the counter.
Yes. He’s our spiritual adviser. :) haha. He hadn’t really heard us argue that much and he said that it really bothered him. sweet boy.
Bekah has started her first college class. Spanish 101. She has tutored in Spanish for quite a while and has a ‘bucket list’ goal to be fluent. So here she starts. She spends her days pricing plane tickets to Guatemala and Norway.
Josh has fallen in love with all of football—playing it (in the backyard or at co-op) and watching. His little brother has joined him and the spend many hours outside (even yesterday when it was rainy and COLD. brrr.)
Speaking of football…have you seen this video? Love it.
Rachel, our social butterfly, spends her days forming play dates. She recently came to me and shared that she had a glow stick that was still glowing. She was very excited because she had asked God to let it glow for a long time so she would be reminded of His love. It lasted about a month!! It was a pretty cool thing! She had it hanging on her bed so she could look at it at night.
January 16, 2012
Don’t you love to receive a card? a real one? in the snail mail?
While I love the quickness and creativity of e-cards, I also really enjoy getting a card in the mail. A card with someone’s handwriting and love right inside of it!
During this past season of losing Greg’s mom, we have been so encouraged by the cards sent. Especially the ones where people have written notes telling us how she had touched their lives and what she meant to them. It calmed our hearts and made us smile many times.
Dayspring has a package of beautiful cards called Simply Marvelous. They contain friendship, encouragement, and birthday greetings! And they are absolutely beautiful. The picture does not do them justice!
If you go to the link above you can see them in more detail and go ahead an order a pack!
They also have these beautiful premium Thank You cards.
I love these and wish I had several boxes full to send to some of the people who have made my world a better place!
Dayspring also has the large nifty card organizer. (It’s on sale for only $4.99 right now!) It is big enough that I am going to use mine to store all our receipts and other needed stuff for the year! It is great for cards or other items! (It will hold a 81/2 by 11 paper!)
Dayspring is also allowing me to give one blessed reader a $20 coupon code to their online store! (you do have to pay shipping)
Enter by leaving your favorite Bible verse that encourages you!
I will pick a winner this Friday at 9pm eastern time!
PS DaySpring gave me the free product to review and that all opinions stated are my own.
January 11, 2012
This is one of those boys that I just can’t stop thinking about. Especially since our Ab was almost 6 when he came home and he has been such a blessing in our lives. Watching him grow and thrive has been a privilege (and yes, there have been rough times—but they have all been worth it!)
Our agency, IAN, has had this little guy waiting for quite some time—and it hurts my heart each time I see it.
Here is a little bit of info about him. To see pictures or hear more, please email
I am in process of trying to get some more info on him and will share it once I do.
Age: Six Years of age
Country of Origin: Ethiopia (Gambella Region)
Waiting Since: 08/26/2011
Summary: Very happy and intelligent little boy just waiting for his forever home
and here is our story of bringing Ab into our family.
January 10, 2012
I received this recipe from another adoptive mom. It came from Mesob restaurant and then was adjusted a bit.
Happy Injera making! Let me know how it goes!
Thank you Mesob restaurant for sharing your recipe!
2 Large bowls with lids
Small measuring cup
10-12 inch heavy nonstick flat or shallow skillet or nonstick frying pan; must have lids
Round rattan charger or placemat (minimum 14 inches in diameter)
Clean white cotton tablecloth
Ingredients for fermentation
2 cups teff flour and 4 cups cold water
2 cups all purpose flour
1cup barley flour (or 1 additional cup of flour)
2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of fenugreek powder (optional)
Mix 2 cups of teff flour with 4 cups of water in a large bowl, using your fingers to break up any lumps. The batter should be smooth and almost runny. Cover and set aside.
The batter for Injera is very temperature sensitive. If the temperature in the house is hot, allow the batter to ferment for 2-3 days. If the temperature is mild, allow 5 days of fermentation. If the temperature is cold, allow 6 or more days for the batter to ferment. If the batter is not fermented well, the Injera may stick to the pan when you cook it. Check the batter after the 6th day: if all the water has risen to the top and is separated from the batter, then fermentation is complete. If the water has not separated, allow to ferment for another day and check again.
After the batter has fermented, in a separate bowl, mix together all purpose, barley flours, and fenugreek powder, salt, and baking powder. Mix yeast in with 2 cups of warm water. Combine yeast water with dry ingredients, using your fingers to break up any lumps.
Pour into the teff batter and mix well.
Cover and set the batter aside at room temperature for 24 hours. Afterward, refrigerate for 4 hours and up to 5 days. Remove from fridge. Drain off any water that has separated from the batter into a small measuring cup and set aside. Mix batter well – it should be smooth and runny. If the batter is too thick, use the drained water to make it thinner. If the water is not needed, discard. The batter should be consistency of a thin pancake a batter.
Preheat skillet or frying pan until hot enough that water droplets sizzle on the surface. Stir the batter, and ladle one-half cup into the measuring cup. Start pouring the batter into the center of the skillet, and continue pouring in a circular motion until the batter covers the pan. Cook until bubbles or “eyes” cover 80% of the injera and cover for 30 seconds. Remove cover and check the injera; if the edges are curling, the injera is done. To remove injera from the skillet, carefully lift one edge and slide the charger or placemat underneath and pull the injera onto it. Carefully slide injera onto the tablecloth to cool.
Stir the batter well, and repeat the steps mentioned above for each injera until the batter is finished.
For leftover Injera, store in tightly closed container. At room temperature Injera can last up to 2 days but it is best to refrigerate it.
Making injera requires patience and may take a few tries before you get it right.
Note: The batter may have a fermented odor but this is part of the process.
For a less fermented or “sour” Injera, reduce the fermentation time from 5 days to 3 days. This type of injera is known as afleña injera. It is also good for people who have trouble digesting fully fermented Injera.
January 9, 2012
Our church’s Engage Service went through several books this past year (such as Radical, Crazy Love) and really considered what it was that God would have us to do as a church and as His people.
Here is what we are doing as a church:
The Radical Experiment is a one year experiment that engage is undertaking in 2011-2012. The goal of this experiment is for individuals, families, and our faith family to spend our lives for the sake of the church, the lost, and the poor around the world for the glory of God. During our Radical Experiment we are committing to five challenges:
1. Pray daily for world missions.
2. Read through the entire Word.
3. Practice consistent tithing and sacrificial giving.
4. Spend time in another context.
5. Commit to a multiplying community.
How we are living this out as a family:
We using the book Operation World (and also using their online feature) to pray for the world.
We have a map in the kitchen (great decoration don’t you think? it screams homeschool family..lol) and are putting a dot on each country as we pray for them. Great to beef up our geography skills as well!
We and the big kids are reading the Bible through chronologically using this plan:
The little kids are making sure they read their devotion books and Bible each day (thankfully, they both love their devotion books and Bible reading!)
We have started small groups to enter into community and to reach out. Greg and I (with another couple) are leading a SS small group with an outreach focus of reaching and ministering to orphans and widows (in our community and abroad.)
We had our first meeting yesterday and I am so excited! It is a great group of like minded people but with very varied background/season of lives—which I love! It will be sure to add some great diversity to our group!
Waiting expectantly to see what God does. :)
sharing what God has done in our lives recently—so grateful for His presence in our lives!
Resources to help you in your own journey http://www.radicalexperiment.org/resources.html
January 7, 2012
January 5, 2012
Not a lot of options out there..but we’ll find something. (the warm requirement is mine..I need some good ole vitamin D from the sun!) Any suggestions?? Feel free to comment or shoot me an email of your recommendation! :)
The whole family is a little desperate for some being still and being together after the past few months. It’s been an emotional year.
While looking I began reminiscing over past vacations.
Here are some pics from Myrtle Beach 2008.
These are 2 months after Ab came home. He was so little here.
Our first vacation as a family of 6.
January 4, 2012
As many of you already know, this was a hard Christmas season for us as a family.
Before Christmas, Greg’s mom was fighting leukemia. At first the prognosis (in July, right before our court trip) was very good. It was said to be very treatable and ‘old age’ would likely take her before the leukemia would. She went on chemo pills and began the treatments.
Several weeks before Christmas we were told the cancer had become very aggressive and were given a window of 6-12 months.
We prayed and prayed hard. Rachel prayed for a miracle for Grandma and asked each day if she was better.
Grandma did get her miracle….just in another form. She’s home…really home. This world was not her home.
But it’s hard for an 11 yr old to embrace that. It’s hard for all of us at times to embrace that.
Christmas was spent with the family taking turns being with Grandma and helping her. Hospice was called on Tuesday (would probably have been sooner if not for the holidays) and shecalled home on Weds evening.
Grandma is now no longer in pain—but is dancing before the Lord…and I imagine with a full beautiful smile.
The holidays, I must admit was a bit rough.
As Rachel said “it doesn’t feel like Christmas because I am not really in the mood for Christmas.”
BUT in the practice of Eucharisteo … (giving thanks in all things to lead to joy)
Things that I am thankful for this past Christmas season:
1) that Greg’s mom is no longer in pain. She is in ultimate freedom….ultimate joy.
2) that my older kids were able to spend large amounts of quality time with her. Because of our homeschooling and flexible days, they would pack up and just go spend the day with her; doing chores, or just being company.
3) Greg’s job and employers/co workers. They were very understanding and helpful as he took the time off to do what needed to be done.
4) Friends and family who brought meals, called, sent flowers, sent notes, and prayed for us. Know that your love made a difference!
5) Memories. Lots of good memories.
6) Laughter. Laughter with family in the midst of hard times.
7) The birth of Jesus that ultimately brings us the gift of eternal life.
Until we meet again…..
January 1, 2012
Thanks to an AMAZING TEAM of individuals and their fundraising efforts, coupled with the provision of our Lord, THE MATCH HAS BEEN MET! Did you hear me? All ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS has been donated for the children at the Adami Tulu and Ziway, Ethiopia schools!