Monday, July 29, 2013

New Week New Family, The Rogers!

Hey guys,
First off I just wanna say thanks for last week, being on "this side" of the featured families sure was fun, and my husband and I were so humbled and the love and support we felt.  Now, I have an awesome new family that you can shower love and dollars on ;) Meet the Rogers!

They're in the process of adopting from Uganda! They have four little ones at home already and are hoping they're matched with siblings! Here's another little side note, they're also pastors.  I have a soft spot for them because well, my hubby is too! They're praying that they can be an example to their congregation to step up and care for the fatherless. I love it. It's time to step up and bless this family.  They are leading others in their church and faithfully serving and blessing.  It's time to bless them!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just Love 127

This blog post was written by Katie, who blogs over on our Give1Save1 Asia page! Did y'all know we had an Asia page?! Well, now ya do. Everyone say "Hey Katie!" Well, she wrote this awesome write up about a super fun Etsy shop and I wanted to share it with you all. Enjoy!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

There is this store on etsy that I love. LOVE.
Not only does the owner make and sell some of the most
amazing things, but she does it for the sake of the orphans!


      Just love 127 is a shop owned and operated by an adoptive momma. 
She is in the process of speeding back for their third adoption.
Did you catch that?
Go read their amazing journey on their blog!

Faith, hope and love flow freely from the lips of this lady.
She is walking this path with faith and praying with fervent hope
and she is full of love for a little boy that this world left behind.

Her little boy, Myles, came to her by way of a list of special needs children.
My heart soared when I read that. Children with significant special needs
hold an oh-so-dear place in my heart.

She is defying this world and claiming this boy as royalty.
Because he is. He will fill her life with glimpses of the King of Kings,
this King that calls him son.
He is royalty.

Since they found him so early this process is speeding by SO quickly.
They need to raise their funds fast ya'll. Super fast.
Hallelujah for an adoption process that gets these kids home quickly. 

I promise you if you go visit her shop you will not make it out without something in your cart.

See what I mean?

Head on over to her shop and pick something out! You'll also help by bringing an orphan home, it really is a win win ;) 

Thanks again Katie for the write up on this awesome shop! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Better Life Bags

Hey guys,
Steph here. First off, thank you SO much for the support you all have shown my family the past few days. I have to admit, it was kinda weird being the featured family, like-weird, but Beth's like "do it" so I did all the steps y'all do, set up a Pure Charity account, started a fundraiser and even filled out our app ;)

Anywho, on another note. Have you guys seen these awesome bags?! Um please, they are adrobs. Like, I want one-today. Last week was my birthday, maybe I can convince my husband, I mean, they are shopping with a cause.

Oh the cause, you'll wanna know that because we're all about that here, (ps, I took this straight from their website..)

"The mission of Better Life Bags is simple:  make lives better!
My family and I moved on purpose to a low income area of Detroit  in 2010.  Because the unemployment rate here is 20%, we have an awesome opportunity for BLB to give back to the community that we operate out of!
We hire women, who otherwise cannot get jobs, to work for BLB.  We rent them a sewing machine and tools while teaching them a skill set that allows them to become a primary or secondary provider in their families.  Most of these women are first generation immigrants from countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen, so we are also able to provide them with much needed fellowship and friendship as we visit their homes to deliver fabric and pick up orders. That’s not all, though.  From the beginning, Better Life Bags has given 10% of every sale to a low income entrepreneur in a developing country through "

You should go get one, like now..go on... :) 

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Week, New Family - Nunes Edition (and Addition)

Hey folks! So usually Steph is introducing you to our fabulous family of the week, asking you to shower this sweet family with single dollar bills. She's so awesome to do that. Can I just be a teeny bit honest and tell you that writing this blog takes HOURS a day. Responding to emails, scheduling families, working with Pure Charity to make sure everything is smooth, keeping up with past families, scouring Facebook for updates, reading about blogs and shops and all things Africa and fundraising and fair trade and adoption so as to keep you guys informed.... Whew! It's alot of work! And we don't take sponsors or perks or salaries or anything. It's totally a volunteer thing. I'm not telling you that to whine! I'm just telling you to brag on Steph, who does all that with a smile on her face. She's happy to help others any time.

Well, now it's our turn to bless her!  Originally I met Steph as an applicant and eventually they were featured as a family of the week for their Ethiopian adoption. That adoption is still underway. All is good there, and moving along at a snail's pace, just the way it should. But in the wait another child in need of a family was brought to their attention, a three year old boy in West Africa. Of course, they said yes! Now that adoption has been quite different! It's going rather quickly and the Nunes' are busy preparing to be parents - soon! So let's take this opportunity to not only bless them with our dollars, let's also take a minute to thank her for all the hard work and many hours she puts in on behalf of the fatherless and their families.  Give1 wouldn't exist without her! :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

These are cute

These prints are on sale through July 20th are they're super cute!

I really want this one

Ok so since it's Friday, head over to Sacred Made and get yourself a print or two, heck get one for you and one for a friend, it'll make their day.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Have any of you heard of Shona Congo? If not, you need to check them out. We all love purchasing with a purpose over here now don't we? So go purchase ladies! Well first acutally, read the story of Shona Congo... Dawn is here on the Give1 blog today, sharing their story...

One day, when I was living in Eastern Congo, I looked out my kitchen window and saw my neighbor, a sixty year old woman, carrying rocks on her head. It may seem like a simple image but it was one that I couldn't get out of my head.  This gray-haired woman was carrying these large. heavy rocks to a construction site, where she was be paid less than a dollar.  For a days work. Less than a dollar, for offering herself as a human wheelbarrow.    That was the moment I understood how desperately people want to work, to earn a living.  I understood why everyday when I would leave my house in Congo, the first thing people would ask for, wasn't money and wasn't food.  It was a job.     A few months later, I met 4 young women, disabled by polio and displaced by war.  And I realized that for them it was even more impossible to find work. For them, even carrying rocks was out of their reach.    These determined young women, on crutches and metal leg braces, with no education and no money, had left their rural homes in search of a better life.  They had learned to sew.  To create beauty.  But they were being taken advantage of, paid for a fraction of their work.  Because what other choice did they have? 

And so I started SHONA Congo, to give them a choice.  And to give you a choice, to buy something directly from the hands of these amazing women.  It is just the 5 us.  They sew bags and crafts, and I stock and ship.  100% of the profit goes back to them.  Directly into their hands.   Working with these women has been an amazing journey.  I have seen how their work has made them strong and independent. They have bought small plots of lands and built their own little workshop.  And in a complete reversal of expectations, they have become the pillars of their families, putting food on the table.  These women who have never been to school themselves, are the ones making it possible for nieces and nephews to go to school. They are the ones building homes for their elderly parents, and paying for medicine when children get sick.   To them, the ability to work with dignity and care for those around them, is a privilege and an honor.  In the past few years, they have each gotten married and become mothers for the first time.  A huge joy in their lives, and something they had barely dreamed was possible.     

Don't get me wrong.  None of it comes easy.  Last year, the fighting in Eastern Congo escalated and the women were sent fleeing their homes, looking for safety with babies on their backs and crutches under their arms.  Right now, they are in refugee camps.  They are starting over again, but they have their families and they have their faith.  And in the midst of difficult circumstances they have four sewing machines, and the knowledge of what their own hands can accomplish.  With that, anything is possible.   

Read the stories of these amazing women and see the beauty they create at  

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Week, New Family-The Trivette's!

Hey all,
I'm so excited for you to meet this family, they are just too sweet! Meet The Trivette's!

So they're adopting sweet little Ben from Uganda. Ben has some special needs which means that his case will be expedited and they hope to travel to pick little Ben up in September! You just need to go over and read this families blog I promise you're gonna fall in love with them and jump at the chance to help bring their boy home. So, it's that time again. You need to give your $1 and share their story, let's get little Ben home! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It Costs What? Debt Free Adoption

I’ve been surprised at the amount of conversations I’ve had with people who say things like, “We would love to adopt but we just don’t have that kind of money.”

Apparently, you don’t know me. Up until I was 24, I thought credit cards were made for my own personal enjoyment and when I figured out that you actually had to pay that money back, I married a youth pastor.

Here is a little insight: No one has “that kind of money”.
Well, someone does.
Bill Gates.

But if you aren’t Bill Gates, or someone in that money zipcode, you don’t typically just have $30-40,000 lying around for a rainy day.

The cost of adoption is ridiculous. This is not a myth.
The bigger tragedy, however, are children living without families because adoption is expensive.

The truth of the matter is…

I am taking huge liberties here, but I would say one of the top reasons why people don’t adopt (even if they feel called to) is because of the money issue.

When Erik and I started our adoption process, with our net worth being somewhere far in the negative thousands territory, we were 3 months into a David Ramsey money makeover. There was a part in the book that we were reading that said something along the lines of this…

“Nowhere in the Bible does God call us into a purpose and use debt as a means to accomplish it.”

And so, since we were committed to our new lifestyle changes, we made a promise.


After 1 ½ years,  $42,000, and part-way through 2 different adoptions, we have remained debt-free from our adoption process. Did you hear that?

Debt free.

And let me tell you now, this is NOT a reflection of our awesome money-saving, penny-pinching abilities. We walked into adoption with $42 in our bank account. This has been through a lot of hard work, a lot of supportive people, a lot of great resources, and a lot of prayer.
So, is this even possible? Just because we are doing it, can you? YES!!!

Here are a few of the biggest things that have helped us along the way, that I thought I’d pass on to anyone out there who, like myself, worries, frets, or looses sleep over adoption costs.

1. Get Committed!
No, not psych ward committed. (Although there are days where I feel that is a valid option). Make the commitment with your partner or support network that you are going to go forward debt-free. These days, there are a lot of options out there like Adoption Loans or Credit Card deals that make that “safe” option appealing. And sometimes, it is necessary. But, if you can commit to it from the beginning, having that accountability is clutch when you get those phone calls that tell you that you have an unknown $7,000 adoption bill that needs to be paid in 4 weeks.

After our “commitment”, a great friend of mine suggested this book to me. And it is AMAZING!! It kind of makes you feel like you can take over the world, which you sometimes need to feel when you are walking through the adoption process. She has TONS of great resources and ideas for fundraisers, grants, and resources. It took me all of like 1 hour to read (which is saying a lot). It is well worth the $12 on Amazon.

3. Get Connected!
Probably the #1 greatest thing that you can do during your adoption process is to get connected. Connect with other adoptive families, your friends and family, your church body, your yoga class, whoever! It is totally your family’s discretion as to how much you choose to share or not share about your adoption. Some people are willing to be far more open than others, and that is fine. But start off knowing that you can’t do it alone. And you shouldn’t do it alone. Adoption is a hard journey and the more people you allow into your journey, the more arms and hands you have to hold you up when you are miles down the road and exhausted!
We have found one of the most effective ways to do this is through our blog. It has been an incredible resource not just for us to connect with others, but for others to join our journey! If you aren’t “tech-savy”, ask someone who is to get you set up. That is the hardest part.
But really…just yesterday I asked Erik how to search for directions on Googlemaps. So, if I can, you can.
If you don’t feel like that is your family’s cup-o-tea, set up a group email and keep your friends and family updated. It is surprising how many people really DO want to know how the process is going! And if your family is anything like mine, not updating them will just beckon multiple phone calls on the daily.

4. Get Creative!
There are probably a billion and one things that you can do to raise money for your adoption. The book I mentioned earlier is a great tool for that. But sometimes, you have to be willing to think outside of the box to bring attention to those things. We have done several handfuls of fundraisers and found that making videos to grab people’s attention has been one of the biggest tools in helping us raise money! Peeps LOVE their media, and as soon as we started making small video updates, people started sharing, new people joined the cause, and fundraising became even more fun and more successful!

5. Get to Workin!
Fundraising and Debt-Free adoption is hard work. It doesn’t come just by sitting around clickin’ buttons. I have taken on several freelance jobs, as well as started up an entire photography business to help support our adoption. We don’t expect to sit around and just wait for people to pour out money on us or “make it rain” as the young folks would say. But I have found that even in my extra jobs, people have supported above and beyond what they have needed to give. They want to get behind us and help us bring our children home. So even just talking about our adoption on a photo shoot or when I’m working with clients has opened up the doors to new and more business.
I realize that not everyone has time for extra jobs. But you can always make it work around what you can and can’t do (i.e. offering to watch somone’s kids a couple times a week for pay if you are a stay-at-home-mom, doing yard work for your neighbors on weekends if you work during the week, helping someone set up a blog if you are a tech-kind-person). Basically think, “How would I make money if I was in high school again?” Even those little amounts of extra cash are useful for Homestudy doctor’s appointments or fingerprints!

6. Get Granted!
Grants are amazing! We’ve have be awarded grants with several places – anywhere from $500-$5,000. There are a ton of great Grants that can be applied for (Show Hope, Abba Fund, God’s Grace, Lifesong, etc.) and all it takes is a little bit of time and a stamped envelope. Most Grant applications ask the same questions, so you can even cut down on time by typing out your answers and recycling them through each application. We made a date night out of it one evening and powered through a few applications. It was basically like a 2 for 1 deal! Nothing more romantic than a glass of wine and an essay about your desire to adopt.

7. Get to Prayin’.
The whole adoption journey is really a big faith journey. I whole-heartedly believe that adoption is biblical and a reflection of the heart of God. Invite Him to be at the center of your journey and keep Him at the front of everything you do. So even when it is really hard, we’ve stopped looking at the dollar sign in front of us and started focusing of Christ before us. He is basically like the most hardcore warrior ever and I’ve come to learn quickly that He doesn’t loose. Keeping every part of this journey covered in prayer keeps your perspective in the right place.

Ok. Wow. That is so much info.

But here is the deal. I’ve learned to take a giant dose of humility when it comes to adoption.
1.     It’s about more than just me. It is about an orphaned child becoming a part of a family.
2.     I can’t do it alone. We’ve had to depend of more people than I probably would have ever thought or hoped to.
3.     You have to ask for help. (That is a hard one for me.)
4.     God is in control. (Even harder for me…I’m a huge control freak.)

Someone asked Erik one time if we ever get tired of asking for money. (Quite a bold question if you ask me.) He is kind of a rockstar and responded with this…

“If your child was half-way across the world and you were trying to get them home, wouldn’t you do whatever it takes?”

Will you?

So if you, or anyone you know, have ever been scared off by the dollar signs or multiple zeros tossed around in the adoption conversation, know this…

It is more than possible. It is necessary.

Take it from a commoner.