July 30, 2012

It’s My Birthday!

The big 39! Yikes! How do I still think that I am about 25?

Until I look at the mirror and see all that grey. :)

As you know we are fundraising for Greg’s trip to Awassa for our Project Hopeful Awassa Initiative.

We just need 200 of you to bless us with $10!

Think of it as a cheap birthday gift for me!

See more about it here: (and you can also possibly receive some of our favorite items from our trips to Africa)


You can donate on that post or on the top left of this blog.

We will keep you updated and you will know that your making a difference for children and families all the way in Awassa!

We received profiles last night of the children that are at the orphanage our son was at and from families in the community.

Their stories broke my heart. As did many of the pictures.

Such as this one (see that saggy skin on her legs?)


Our son came into care at this very orphanage and was malnourished as well and it just made me wonder if this is what he looked like.

Sweet baby.

I am so thankful that he is here with us and has a family, love, and all of his needs met. This is what we are wanting to accomplish in Awassa-with your help. :)


July 27, 2012

Want to join our adventure?


You know how when you start something and you feel God’s direction but still you doubt and wonder “can this really happen? Are we crazy?”

I was feeling that way when I wrote A Skaky First Step.

And wow-did God ever move. and quickly.

In a matter of a couple of weeks, Greg and I are working with Project Hopeful and coordinating the Awassa-Ethiopia Initiative.


We have profiles of children coming this weekend (so excited about this!!!)  and soon we will be asking you to consider becoming a Family in the Gap (FIG) for them.

But first…

I would like to ask you if you’d like to join our adventure. Be a partner with us.

Please consider giving just $10 or $20 to help Greg fly over to Ethiopia at the beginning of October.

He needs to get over there and meet with people and see the initiatives in place and see what we can do as Project Hopeful-Awassa to support those initiatives being carried out and what new ones could be started. (women’s empowerment, income providing initiatives, education programs, facility needs) We already know he gets to go goat shopping! :)

We need to build some relationships that are crucial to carry out this work.  While there he will also deliver more needed supplies and get updates for families in the FIG program and take care packages to the children over.

This all happened really fast (Praise God!) and we need your help for his trip!

(and I will tell you a secret! I stink at asking for help. I can fundraise for others and organizations I support and love doing it—but cringe when I think about doing it for us! It’s humbling for sure!)

Here’s the deal.

I have 853 facebook friends.  Greg has 509.  I have around 200 followers for this blog. 

If we had just 200 of you give $10 each (or if 100 of you gave $20!)  this trip would be covered!

We would consider it an honor and privilege if you would join in with us in this God-story to help the children and families in Awassa and particularly the children at Ajuuja.

You can make your tax deductible donation below or at the top left.  Project Hopeful will manage and disburse all funds.


If you’d like to mail a check---send me a message at awassaph@gmail.com and I will give you the address for PH.

Now…here is the cool deal on Aug 13, we will give away 3 of our favorite items from Africa to those of you who support us in the new adventure.

 These are all NEW items. We will give to 3 different people.

A bag made by the women at Chikumbuso in Zambia. Greg visited here and picked this bag up himself. A wonderful place.  This bag is made from grocery bags and is crocheted together. It is a great all purpose bag! Very strong and sturdy!


A black beaded bracelet also made by the women at Chikumbuso.


Wooden hand carved candle sticks from Zambia. Beautiful!


If you give, leave a comment below so I can make sure to include you in our thank you giveaway at the end!

Thank you!!

July 24, 2012

Nefarious Screening in Richmond

Last Monday I had the privilege to go represent IJM at a Nefarious screening in Richmond and to share about the TVRPA act. Click on that link to find out more about TVRPA. This is a very important law that fights trafficking here and abroad and we need your help with it!

I would love for all of you to check out that TVRPA link and take the 100 Postcard Challenge!

This event was hosted by Richmond Justice Initiative which is a very active group fighting trafficking. I was blessed to meet all of them.

This is a great inside look at sex trafficking and shows a beautiful picture of rescue and redemption! I shed quite a few tears.  I hope to be able to host a screening in our area this fall.

PS. We also have a Shenandoah Valley Justice Initiative for our area--check them out on facebook!

July 18, 2012

A Year Ago

A year ago today we were going to court in Ethiopia for Teshale.

We stood in a crowded waiting area for what seemed like forever (thankfully we were told to head straight for the one and only window when we got there for air)

While waiting we watched.

Watched the kids in the street shine shoes.  Watched them discover us and smile and wave and make gestures trying to get us to come down.

Watched women with a portable coffee stuff going up and down the street serving coffee to people.

Watched a variety of people in the waiting room as they talked in in different languages.  Watched many of them go in the court room and come back out—either crying and happy or looking relieved that it was over.

Watched court officials and agency workers continually telling people waiting to be quiet.

Watched birth families—specifically one young male as he flipped through a photo book over and over and over again with such sadness. This broke our heart and brought Greg and I both to tears as we imagined our sons’ families in this room.

Watched the Ethiopian judge as she sat behind and desk and ask us if we were prepared, if our children at home were ready, if we were going to teach our son about Ethiopia, if we had met him and still wanted to adopt him.

And then it was over. We didn’t pass that day waiting on the infamous letter and had to wait for 2 weeks. Then he was our son legally (by the courts) but he had been for many weeks already in our hearts!!

Some pictures from a trip down memory lane:

This was our first look at him ever :)




Cannot imagine our life without this little guy in it. He has stolen all of our hearts and is spoiled rotten.

July 12, 2012

Awassa and Project Hopeful!

We are so excited to announce that Greg and I are going to be joining the Project Hopeful team for Awassa!


Remember this post?


Last week with talked with Project Hopeful’s FIG coordinator who was such a blessing to us. She encouraged us to walk forward and to dream big.  (She’s an awesome adoptive momma too!)

Click here to see the first announcement on PH’s website.


That contact info isn’t working right now: it’s awassaPH@gmail.com if you’d like to email us about this project.

We are still in process of getting everything set up on this and on the Ethiopia side but we are so encouraged and full of hope.

You can see on that page what our dreams are.  Our first step is to acquire a FIG for each child.  A Family in the Gap.  A family that prays for this child and financially helps to make sure that their needs are taken care of in country. A family that stands in the gap for them.

Our first set of supplies for Ajuuja will be given on Sunday and we will have our first set of profiles in two weeks.  We know of 18 children that will immediately need a ‘family in the gap’.  We have 2 already committed to being families.

Won’t you consider joining in?  Email us if you are interested in this and we will let you know as soon as we have profiles.

You can also just donate to this project to help us get off the ground and running.  If you’d like to partner with us from the beginning and be part of our “stepping out in faith” team.

We have already been amazed at how quickly and smoothly all of this has come together! God has been blessing it in amazing ways!

To donate:

through paypal: (just make sure to select FIG Families in the Gap and put Awassa in the memo)


You can also donate by check to avoid paypal fees. Send me an email and I will let you know how to do that.

Thank you so much for those of you that have already joined up with us!

You bless us!

July 11, 2012

I have to say it

I am sorry. But I have to say it. I will probably offend and I don’t mean to but I am just baffled.

Really?  All the ‘woohoo’s’ and ‘yea baby’ and all the uproar over a movie about male strippers?


And it brings up this question to me: What would you think if your husband, son, dad, or whoever was running around talking about a movie about a group of women strippers?

Would that be okay with you?

I am really not trying to sound judgmental because there is plenty of stuff that you can judge me on. But I truly don’t get why moms and women seem to get a pass on this and it’s okay to rave about.

Sunday at church our pastor shared the verse that Greg and I love. But..he focused on the ending of it..which we tend to forget at times.

James 1:27 says:

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Think with me for a minute. What does your children who are friends with you on facebook think as they see mom raving about that movie? 

Is that okay? Is that really the example you want to portray?

Is that really want your teenage sons or daughters to learn? How does this affect their opinion on dating and physical relationships and boundaries?

You know that I am passionate about fighting sex trafficking. And I know you are probably thinking “well, that’s reaching”

Is it?  We gush over a move because it contains men who are strippers.  A ‘job’ that dehumanizes people and makes them objects.  something to lust over. something to fulfill your desire. Something that many times involve people who are trapped and desperate and have deep emotional wounds. Something where money is paid so people can get their thrill.

Sound familiar to the issues of sex trafficking? Dehumanizing, objects, lustful desires, deep emotional wounds…

And we are going to glorify that? and join in the crowd? 


And don’t even get me started about that book everyone is reading.

Seriously friends.

Fill yourself with what is good, clean, and holy. Think on these things.

Do not let the world corrupt you.

July 10, 2012

A Super Derecho

2 weeks ago we had a CRAZY storm here. A Super Derecho.  yea. I had never heard of that either.


It left us desperate for electricity and water for the weekend. And very needing to take showers.

The eldest finally broke down and washed her hair in the baby pool because she had to go to work.


It was crazy hot as well and when I was in my most annoying whiny just stating the facts mode.  The hubs said (in his most cheery voice) “It’s just like camping”

To which I responded (in my I am going to knock you out voice)  “I have bathhouses when I camp!”

Electric being out I can deal with. Water…not so much.

But we survived. :)  And cheered when it all came back on. And we all quickly ran to flush some toilets.


July 6, 2012

2 boys and a lemonade stand

I have been blessed today by 2 boys and their compassion.

When we went to court for T last July we met a wonderful family. We really enjoyed our time together with them.


Their little girl and our T was from the same orphanage in Hawassa that we talked about in this post: http://forsuchasthese.blogspot.com/2012/07/shaky-first-step.html

Maria messaged me on the 4th and told me that her boys decided to go out and have a lemonade stand to help that orphanage. They were up to $50 at the time.


And it gets better!

They raised $319.10!

Their lemonade must be way better than mine! :)

Way to go Max and Charles!

Your hard earned money will be well used to buy food and formula for the children! You are a HUGE blessing and example to all of us. You had an idea, went and did it and made a difference!

Thank you!!

Max & Charles 002

July 5, 2012

A Shaky First Step

The picture came across facebook the other day and I felt that it was God speaking to me.  Greg and I had felt God leading us to do something for quite a while and we finally began to take that step.

And then all the questions..the fears..the doubts..the what if’s..the “I don’t want to fall flat on my face” started.  Asking myself “Are we crazy? Can we really do this?”

And then this came:

Thank you God for that reminder.

For those that don’t know. Our son, T, is from a specific orphanage in Hawassa.  Right after his referral there were other referrals from this specific region that the children have still not come home due to paperwork issues. These kids (and these parents) still wait.

To hear from a mom on this, read my friend Holly’s blog: http://aldridgeadoption.blogspot.com/2012/07/goosey-part-ii.html

Greg has felt from almost the beginning (even before we knew these kids were ‘stuck’) that we should help this particular place. That desire/dream/God-nudging has never left. 

And they need help now more than ever.

Our dream is for this to not stop at this orphanage but go out into the community and not just be help..but steps towards independence and self-reliance. We dream of school sponsorship, income generation projects,  health education, HIV awareness and much more. Our dream is not to come in and ‘save the day’ but to come in and support those that already doing the work. Provide the people on the ground with funding, materials, and support.

We have some things that we are nailing down as far as donations, leadership team, and other such stuff but I wanted to ask you for your prayers and support. It has been amazing as God is already proving the people we need for this! In Ethiopia and in the U.S.—people with passion, experience and most of all--a love for others.

Please pray that God would open doors, that we would be wise and discerning, and that our paths would be clear.

I know many of you have a special tie to this place as well.  If you would like to be kept updated and/or help. Please comment below or send me a message and we would love to keep you in the loop!

July 2, 2012

What love, faith, and obedience looks like

I love watching adoption unfold. From the first shaky ‘yes’ to meeting them for the first time and then finally bringing them home and beginning to learn who this little person is. It’s a road filled with many bumps, twists, curves, and unknowns.  It is filled with love, faith, and obedience.

A couple of photos moved me so much the past couple weeks. I wanted to share them with you.

This is Amy on her final journey to bring T home. Remember T from our TLZ auction?

All 3 of these boys are now HOME. with families and with love.

And they all live in the same state..a couple hours is the biggest distance between them.

Only God.

amy and T2

Don’t you just love it??

amy and T

Meet Steve and Julie and their son U.  I know them from way back with our adoption of Ab. While I was advocating for a little boy with our agency Julie and Steve jumped up and said YES!

I LOVE this photo.


How about you guys?

 Have any photos of what love, faith, and obedience looks like?

Link up below to share your blog post with photos that speak that to you!!

July 1, 2012

Village of Hope-Guatemala Giveaway!!

Blogging for Lifesong for Orphans today!
It takes a village to raise a child! – African Proverb

When God called us to start Village of Hope, we knew that HE would put together the pieces and bring those that He would have serve alongside us. We are completely blown away by all the people He has been sending our way… but, then again, we really shouldn’t be blown away by how great our God is and how HE provides to bring His work to completion.

As we prayed and asked the Lord to provide for the first $20,000 needed for Village of Hope, God’s people stepped forward to provide an incredible gift basket. From now until August 1st, you have a chance to win!
The gift basket includes:

HOPE jewelry from Funky Fish Designs
Village of Hope t-shirt (your choice of color and size)

$100 TOMS gift card

$100 Amazon gift card

$100 itunes gift card
How do you enter?
-share on facebook, twitter, or blog: 1 entry for each time you share (you MUST contact us at Christi@lifesongfororphans.org to let us know that you shared)
-each $25 donation: 2 entries
-each $100 donation: 10 entries
To make a donation to Village of Hope, click here.

Village of Hope is a ministry of Lifesong for Orphans in partnership with Project Hopeful. The vision for Village of Hope was born out the knowledge that God has a heart for the least of these. Scripture reveals a God who is passionate about the sick, the widow, the orphan, the alien, and the poor.The purpose of Village of Hope is to provide family, faith and a future to the least of these by providing holistic orphan care to special needs orphans, primarily focused on those living with HIV/AIDS in a family-style setting.
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