Family

Family

Monday, December 2, 2013

Busy November

November has been a busy month and I have anxiously been waiting to have our pictures done!!!  We were finally able to get them done and I love them!!  It has been so long since we have had family pictures taken.  Our family has grown and changed so much over the last few years.  We have been blessed by two different friends who are very gifted photographers to do our pictures.  It's not easy to get all these faces looking in the same direction!


Of course, we always have to get some playful ones of the kids too!


Thanksgiving was amazing.  My mom was able to come visit for a few days!  We love when family can come visit us since they all live so far away.


I can't believe my baby girl is 3 years old!!  She is the most incredible little girl.  God has truly blessed us with her!!  She keeps us ALL on our toes.  You can turn around for a second and then turn back and she's standing on the counter trying to get something out of the cabinet, she's very independent.  The boys think she is funny and does crazy things.  It's definitely a lot different than having boys.  Her favorite things to play with are her baby dolls.  I'm excited to see her grow over the next year!!


   

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful Hearts

As I was sitting here, I began to think about how much we have to be thankful for.  We have a God who loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us!  I am thankful for having a very loving, devoted husband.  We have 6 healthy children.  There are so many people out in the world who can't have children, and God has truly blessed us with many children.  I feel so blessed that God has laid it on our hearts to adopt a child.  It has been on our hearts for a few years, but now we are really listening to God's call and following through with it.  I know we will have to sacrifice a lot to raise the money, but the thought of providing a child in need with a family, just warms my heart! Our children are also becoming more excited about bringing a child into our home.  They just don't understand why it takes so long.  Here are some things our kids have said that they are thankful for:

Tyler:  I am thankful for food! 
Jacob:  I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross for me! 
Zachary:  I am thankful for what my parents provide me with!
Logan:  I am thankful for my parents & God!
Mason:  I love strawberry milk!
Kyndal:  I love Dana(her baby doll)!

Christopher:  I am thankful for God creating a person better than me and allowing me to have her as my wife!

The Lord has truly blessed our family!  We have a wonderful church family & friends!  My daycare is going very well and God keeps blessing us with more children.  All the extra kids that have came is helping pay the expenses for our adoption.  I feel like The Lord just continually shows us that this is what His will is for us.    





Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Six kids keep you busy, busy!

I love this season!!  Fall is by far my favorite.  I love when the weather starts to cool off and the way the leaves turn colors.  It's just so beautiful!  This Saturday we are going to be doing our family pictures.  I am so excited about it!!  It's been so long since we have had any taken.  We don't even have a family picture with Kyndal in it and she is almost 3 years old.  I guess having six kids keeps you really busy!  It was definitely an adventure trying to pick out clothes for eight people for pictures.  I will be sure to post pictures when we receive them back!!  I'm also hoping we can get a Christmas card out this year with our picture.  I don't think I've mailed one out since Kyndal has been born.  It's amazing how busy you get with six children.  It's hard to get stuff done like I use to when I only had a couple of kids.

Here's a little update on how the kids are doing.  The kids are really enjoying school, the only complaint I get from all 4 of them is that they don't get enough to eat at school. Tyler, Zachary and Logan all made the honor roll at school. Mason and Kyndal are doing well too.  I have been teaching Mason pre-k preparing him for Kindergarten next year.  He is doing really well with it.  Kyndal has came a long way with her shapes and colors.  Everyday we do calendar time with all the daycare kids and from doing that, Kyndal now knows all her colors and shapes much better.  She is also getting better at counting when we do our calendar.  It's hard to believe Kyndal is going to be 3 years old next month!  Where the does the time go?  All of my baby's are growing up, sniff, sniff.     




Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fundraisers!!!

We have some new fundraisers for our adoption.  Everyone loves to shop through Amazon, right?!?!  Our fundraiser is with them!  If you click our link to get to Amazon, and place your order through it, they donate 4% of your order towards our adoption!!  It doesn't cost you anymore than it was originally.  I know we buy a lot through Amazon, especially for Christmas and on cyber Monday which is coming up soon!  We would appreciate it so much if you could share the link with your friends and family!  This account will remain open through our entire adoption process!  The link is below and on the left side of the screen.  You can click it and it takes you straight to Amazon!
Here is the link:
http://tinyurl.com/mvwdqhb




In November, we are doing another fundraiser at a restaurant.  The fundraiser is at Arby's in Fishers on November 10. The address is 13094 Publishers Dr.  Anyone who comes in between 5pm-9pm, Arby's will donate a percentage towards our adoption.  They don't even have to mention it, they donate a portion of everyone's meal between those hours.  I thought that was very nice of them to do!  We will be there after Church Sunday Night!!  Please let all your friends know that they can eat some yummy roast beef sandwiches and help a child at the same time!!

 
 Thank you for all your prayers and support, we love you all!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting isn't Easy

I have been following this Ethiopian facebook board for our adoption agency.  It helps reading what others are going through on their journey of adoption.  Everyone is at different points.  Some are just starting and others are writing that they leave the next day to go to Ethiopia to pick up their child.  It's all so exciting and so helpful how everyone tries to help and give insight to others.  I'm sure as we are waiting over the next 2 years to bring our daughter home, all these families and us will become close and help each other through the waiting.  Waiting has never been easy for me!

We will be having more fundraisers coming soon, stay tuned for more details on them! Please continue to pray with us about our adoption!



  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Melkam Addis Amet!

Melkam Addis Amet means Happy New Year!  Today, September 11 is New Year's Day in Ethiopia.  Though the year is just now 2006 in Ethiopia.  They have a 13 month calendar that they follow.
I love learning new things about where our daughter is coming from.  I am so excited to go to Ethiopia and meet our daughter and learn even more about her birth country.



We are working hard to bring her home.  We will be submitting our formal application in October/November and starting our homestudy.  We are hoping to have our dossier finished by March/April.  It takes time to complete everything, plus we are still working on paying for it all too. 

We appreciate everyone's prayers about our adoption and ask that you continue to pray.  Please be in prayer for our daughters family in Ethiopia and everything that is going on with them now and what they are going to go through with her, everyone that we will come in contact with about our adoption, and that we will be able to get the funds needed in a timely manner(I'm not a very patient person). 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer's Over!!

They're all gone at school, summer is officially over at the Fresh house!  I can't believe it's the first day of school already.  It feels weird that I already have 4 kids old enough to be in school all day.  I pray they all have a good day and make friends quickly.  Zachary really struggled at the Ice Cream Social for meet the teacher night.  He doesn't adjust to change well and he was having a meltdown at the school.  He wants to go to his old school and say's he doesn't like his new school.  He was also struggling with getting up early in the morning again.  I have been waking them up early the last 2 days trying to get them adjusted to waking up at 7am.  He's not a fan and he has meltdowns at night when it's time for bed and in the morning.  This morning was no different, total meltdown over putting on his socks and brushing his teeth.  He was doing better by the time he had to get on the bus.  Hopefully he will adjust quickly and feel rested for school and have a better attitude.
Here are a few pictures of them on their first day of school.


 Tyler is all ready for 8th grade!

Jacob is looking cool for 6th grade!

Zachary is finally in a good mood for 3rd grade!



Logan is super excited for 2nd grade!


Kyndal wanted in on this action of pictures!!
 
So did Mason!


 
Zachary wanted to do a silly picture with Mason!
 
Logan loves his little brother and sister!  So sweet!



Mason and Kyndal are the only one's home with me now, plus my daycare children that I care for all day.  Soon, next year, Mason will be in Kindergarten.  Then I will only have Kyndal and soon after that, we will have our new little one too(can't wait)!     

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mason is 4!!

Today my baby boy is 4 years old!  We have been so blessed by Mason.  He has such a cute personality.  He is silly and loves to make others laugh!  He was such an easy baby and smiled at everyone.  I just love him to pieces!
Here is a video of Mason when he was just a little over a  year old, right before Kyndal was born.

video


I put a collage together of some of my favorite pictures of him over the last 4 years!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Night

We had such a fun night hanging out with everyone last night!  We just want to thank everyone who came out to support our adoption at Chick-fil-A!  We are so blessed to have so many friends who care about us.  We had another friend who contacted us and offered to watch our kids for us for the evening.  Such a blessing!  The total raised for the night was $117.00!  This brings us up to $2,300 raised so far!   
Here are a few pictures of the night!  Sorry, I didn't get pictures of everyone who showed up!



 This was the crowd of friends that came in late for the evening!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chicken Anyone?!?!

We are so blessed to live in a community that is so giving!  God has truly blessed us!  We are really excited for this Thursday!!  We are doing our next fundraiser at Chick-fil-A.  I love Chick-fil-A!

 So far, we have raised about $2100 towards our adoption.  We had some furniture donated this past week that I sold on FB & Craigslist.  We are really excited to reach our first goal ($5325) so we can get the process moving!  I am so eager to hold our little girl and kiss her sweet face!!  This image is what keeps me going through all this fundraising.  We are also doing one more garage sale on August 2, 3, &4!!  Be sure to come check it out.  We have had lots more donated and still accepting more if anyone has anything they want to get rid of.

If you are available and want to be apart of us bringing our little girl home, come join us this Thursday, July 25 at Chick-fil-A in Noblesville between 5pm-9pm.  Just tell them you are there for the Fresh Adoption or print out the flyer.  They donate 20% towards our adoption.  They are such a generous company to do this for us.  I hope we see you there!!  God Bless!
  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back to school

I can't believe there is only 34 more days until school starts!  This summer is flying by!  Preparing for kids going back to school has so much involved.  I registered them this week back in HSE schools.  Tyler will be attending FJH and will be in the 8th grade.  Jacob will be attending SCI and will be in the 6th grade.  Zachary and Logan will be at SCE and will be in the 3rd and 2nd grade.  Mason will be Pre K this year, but I am going to teach him at home.  Kyndal has another 3 years home with me, luckily!  They are all growing up way too fast!  I hate going shopping for back to school supplies.  Four kids in school with a list of things they "need", can be frustrating, especially when you can't find everything on their list.  I love buying clothes for back to school, except the amount of money it costs.  The kids favorite thing about school starting is seeing who their teachers are and the ice cream social.   
It is going to be weird only having 2 kids home.  Of course, I will still have daycare kids here too, but it's weird only having little kids here.  As of right now, I will have 4 daycare kids when school starts.  I am hoping to add 2 more kids so we can save more for our adoption.  I am getting excited to start our new curriculum with the little kids!  I love doing preschool with the kids!!  It is exciting teaching little ones and seeing them learn new things!     

           

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The garage sale was a Huge success!!

We feel overwhelmed by all the generosity we saw over the days of our garage sale.  We are so very thankful to everyone who helped make it happen.  Thank you so much to everyone who donated items to us and everyone who helped us set it up and put it away.  I want to say an extra thank you to Mendie who helped me all 3 days with so much!  We are so blessed to have such amazing friends supporting us in our adoption.
Here are some pictures of what our sale looked like all setup.  There was so much!!  Some called it a flea market!






      There were so many generous people that came to our sale.  The total we raised at our garage sale towards our adoption is:         $2109!!!
We still have a lot of items left, so we have decided to do one more sale on August 2 & 3!  We will be accepting more donations of items if anyone has anything they didn't have time to give to us before this last sale!  Praise God for all His blessing!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Fundraiser!!!!

I can't believe it's almost time to do our very first fundraiser!!!  Our garage sale is this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!!  I feel so blessed by all the donations we have received.  We have filled a 10x20 storage unit, our garage and our office.  We still have more donations that are going to be dropped off on the first day of the sale.  I never thought we would have this many donations.  Chris didn't even think the garage sale was a good idea, until he saw how may donations I've been receiving from other people.  God is so good!  I have been so busy this week getting ready for the sale.  We still have to go get everything out of storage tomorrow evening and get it all set up Thursday morning.  It's going to take a few hours to get everything set up on Thursday morning!  I am so very thankful to have friends that are willing to come over and help us set up and help with the garage sale!  Thank you Anna for the flyer you made for us!!  I will update everyone on how we do with the garage sale when it's over!!  Let's see how much we can make the thermometer rise!!  This is all so exciting to me because these are all steps in bringing home our daughter from Ethiopia.   I look forward to seeing everyone at the garage sale!!!
 

Monday, June 24, 2013

My sweet baby girl

To my sweet baby girl who isn't even born yet,

I haven't seen your face and I don't know your name, but I love you already.  I can't wait to kiss your sweet little face and hold you so close.  I'm so sad for your situation you're going to go through with your birth parents and all that you'll encounter in your first few months of life.  I won't be there to hold you and tell you everything is going to be okay.  But I promise I will be there as soon as God will allow it and I will always be there for you to make everything all better.  You have 5 big brothers and 1 big sister waiting to meet you and play with you.  We are so excited for you to be here with us and part of our family.  You are going to love your daddy.  He is so sweet and loving towards your brothers and sister.  I'm sure you will have him wrapped around your little finger very shortly after you arrive.
I pray daily for your birth parents and everything that they are going to go through that brings them to the point of you being up for adoption.  Things that are happening in their lives right now is setting all of this in motion for you to one day be here with us.  When I come to pick you up, I will get to see your village that you come from.  I may have the opportunity to meet some of your family and maybe even your birth parents.  I will take lots of pictures for you to see where you came from.  I promise to learn as much as I can about your culture and teach you about all of it.
You are going to experience a lot before you are in my arms, but just know that I love you and I am coming for you!  Until then, God is with you and He will take care of you.  No love is stronger than God's love for His children.
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb, Before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adoption Break Down

We are getting really excited about our upcoming garage sale.  We have had many items donated. We are hoping to get close to our first goal.  We know adoption is expensive and some wonder why it costs so much.  Here is a break down of the cost.  Our first goal to reach towards our adoption is to pay the first set of fees.  This consists of the following:
International Program Application Fee-  $400
Online Case Management-   $175
Agency Fee Part 1-   $2550
Home Study-   $1800
Home Study Review-  $250
Pre- Adoptive Education-  $150

This brings our first total to $5325. Once we complete our homestudy, then we start working on our dossier (the collection of paperwork used in an international adoption that has been properly authenticated and translated).
The second set of fees that are due for this consist of:
USCIS-  $720
Fingerprinting-   $170
Dossier Notary/Authentication-   $500
Agency Fee Part 2-   $1275
International Program Fee Part 1-   $3720
Dossier Translation-  $685

This brings our second total to $7070.  Once this has all been completed and paid for, this puts us on the official waiting list to receive a referral for a child.

Once we receive a referral for a child (which will be 12-15 months once on waiting list) more fees are due.  This consists of:
Agency Fee Part 3-  $1275
International Program Fee Part 2-  $2700
Humanitarian Aid-  $3300
Child's Visa-  $230
Post Adoption Services-  2700
Travel- Airline, hotels, food-  $12000

This brings our last total including airline tickets for 2 trips to Ethiopia to $22,205.  This makes our grand total around $34,600.  We will be working hard to fundraise as much as we can and work extra to put money into our savings account.  We would really appreciate prayers for our adoption and our upcoming fundraiser, which is July 4, 5, &6! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blessed with Donations

We have been so busy this past weekend collecting donations for our adoption fundraiser.  I feel so blessed by all the donations we have received.  I have been handing out flyer's to people having garage sales on Saturday explaining our fundraiser we are doing.  Many of them were very happy to donate the rest of what they had to us for our garage sale.  They were excited to help us with our adoption!  We have filled up our garage and now we are filling a storage unit that we rented.  We have also had some donations from friends.  We are getting very excited for the garage sale.  It is going to be on July 4, 5, & 6.  That will be Thursday- Saturday.  We will be accepting cash & credit cards.  I hope to see everyone come by and check out what we are selling!!  At least come and say hi!
Here are some pictures of our 10 x 20 storage unit filling from nine people donating in one day.

 

My handsome husband lifting and moving all the stuff we collected.
We still have about 2 more weeks of accepting donations and then it will be time for our garage sale!!  Thank you so very much to everyone who has donated!!

We are in need of some tables if anyone has any that we can borrow for those 3 days. 
I also was able to finally go and open our savings account for our adoption!!!! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Steps in Bringing Home A Child From Ethiopia

We are very excited about starting our process to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  To adopt internationally is about $30,000-$35,000.  Obviously many people do not have that kind of money sitting around, including us.  We will be doing everything we can to earn extra money for the adoption.  I am trying to start watching more children in the daycare to help earn more money and Chris is building up his business of cleaning houses.  We plan on starting the paper work in January.  We would like to have $5000 before we start.  This will help pay for our application fee, part 1 of agency fees and our home study.  I have been doing lots of research online from others who have adopted and they have great fundraising ideas.  We would like to try to pay as much as we can ourselves for our adoption, but we will do a couple of fundraisers too.  One of my favorites that I read is to do a large garage sale (which I love doing) with the help of donated items from friends and family!

On the weekend of July 4,5,& 6, we are going to have a huge garage sale and all the money will go into the adoption fund.  So, if you have anything that you would like to donate that is annoying you in your house that you want gone or would be taking to the goodwill, we would love to pick it up and sell at our garage sale.  It could be anything from baby items, clothes, toys, nick knacks, or whatever.  We would appreciate any help we can receive from our friends.  Please share this with your friends and family.  We would love to get a lot of people involved and share in our adoption journey in bringing home a child from Ethiopia.  Anyway you want to help with the garage sale would be a blessing.  I am here all the time for drop offs or we can arrange a time to come pick up any items that you would like to donate.  If anyone has any tables that we can borrow for the garage sale would be greatly appreciated.  I am working on designing some kind of a card to hand out about our fundraising garage sale to get the word out.
I also read on other blogs, that we should give our friends and family a way of donating money towards our adoption if they so desire.  So, there is a paypal button on the right side where you can donate money towards our adoption if you ever feel like your heart is leading you to.  I have also placed a thermometer to help keep track of have much we have put in the adoption account that we have made and fundraised.  I am opening the account with our first $25 towards our adoption!  Once our home study is complete, we can then apply for adoption grants to help with some of the fees for our adoption.  You can call or text me @ 317-654-0638!
God has blessed us so much by placing us around such amazing believers in Christ.  We feel so blessed by our family and our friends.          
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.- James 1:27

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Ethiopia??

Why Ethiopia??  You may be wondering why we chose Ethiopia over other countries or domestic adoption.  We have known that adoption has been on our hearts for a few years.  We just didn't know if it would ever happen.  We knew international adoption was really expensive, but our heart has always been in foreign countries with orphaned children.

We originally got our foster license hoping we would be able to adopt our nephews, but that didn't happen.  The state of Indiana would license us to adopt our nephews, but not other children.  They don't let you foster other children if you have 5 or more in your home.  We have been licensed for 2-3 years and have only had one placement for one day.  That was only because they couldn't find anyone in the middle of the night to take a newborn baby.  They took her the next afternoon and moved her.  We have never had another placement.  So adopting a infant from the foster care system will never happen for our family.

As far as trying to adopt an infant straight from a birth parent domestically is very unlikely.  It is very doubtful that they would choose a large family.  There are so many families out there who are waiting to adopt a baby locally, that we figured we would leave the US to them.

 There are a lot of countries that adopt children out to the US.  There are not very many countries that we can adopt from though.  There are only a few countries that will adopt out infants and that allow families with more than 4 children to adopt.  We have 2 friends who have adopted from Africa, we have another friend who will be starting the process soon and another friend who is adopting from Europe.  I started looking up information about these different countries that we could adopt from.  The different things I was reading and watching on the internet basically all had the same statistics.  With 150 million orphans in the world, 48 million of those orphans live in Africa, 5 million of those  children live in Ethiopia (half the size of Texas).   Half of those children will never attend school and 88% will never attend secondary school.  1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.  The average income is under $1 a day. After reading all those statistics (everything I researched, they kept coming up everywhere)and watching gotcha videos from Ethiopia, I knew that was the country we would adopt from.  I prayed about it and talked to Chris and then we both prayed about it.  We talked to some friends and they prayed about it for us too.  We know this is where God is leading us to adopt from.  This is my favorite gotcha day video that I saw!!  I bet you can't watch it and not cry your eyes out.  This is the video I was watching when Logan came up to me, looked at the tears going down my face and sat down to watch it with me.  I read all the statistics out loud and he saw all the babies and told me we need to go get one of those babies!  In my mind, I was thinking, I couldn't agree more! 



  



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Following God's Calling

We have been feeling led in another direction recently by God.  It's not the first time we have felt called by God in this decision.  But this time we are listening and trying to accept this calling from Him.  After much prayer, we have made the decision to move forward in adoption.  We have been thinking about this on and off for the last seven years.  We just tried to ignore the calling in the past due to finances.  When you are called for something great, God doesn't stop calling you.  He's there waiting for you to respond to His will.  Our children are very excited to add another child to our family and think it is wonderful that we can do that through adoption. 

It is amazing watching people around us with their children that they have adopted or listening to others going through the process of their adoptions. It touches my heart to help orphaned children in the world.  A lot of you may know that we have been licensed foster parents for the last 2-3 years.  We aren't able to adopt here locally because we have six children.  We have decided to adopt internationally.  We have chose a country that we want to adopt from and we are still checking out different agencies.  We do have a favorite agency so far, but we want to check a few more out just to be sure.  The country we have decided on is Ethiopia.  I have been reading lots of blogs and watching many videos of others experience's going over there to pick up their children.  One word, Love.  God is love.  John 14:18 says, I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.    

   
So, for the next 6 months or so, we are going to continue to pray and try to cut down our debt as we start this new chapter in our life.  We ask that you pray with us in obeying God's will for His Kingdom.

 

   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Finally Moved In!

We are all moved into our new house now!!!  Thank you so much for everyone who helped make this happen!!  We love it!  Our family has grown so much over the last 8 years and the other house was way too small for our growing family.  We have so much more space in our new house.  The kids and dogs are adjusting well.  This house is insulated really well.  You can barely hear the kids throughout the house.  I managed to get the house pretty much unpacked in a matter of 2-3 days.  I didn't realize how much stuff we have.  We managed to fill a 26 ft truck up a couple of times and we still have some stuff in our old house that we need to pick up.

It was a rough first week in our new house.  Our lawn mower broke, washer machine broke, and transmission went out in our van.  So far, we have managed to fix our van.  Thank goodness for warranties.  We also have a warranty on our lawn mower, so hopefully that will be fixed in the next couple of weeks.  Our poor washer machine has no warranty, boo.  So, it's not fixed yet!

We had a lot of friends over for Memorial Day!!  There was about 45 people that came!  Luckily we have a large back yard and home now to entertain this many people.  We love having friends over for BBQ's.  We are hoping this summer to have our youth group from church over for a BBQ. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New House

We are very excited to tell everyone that we are moving.  Not very far, but still it's exciting to be moving.  We have lived in our current house for the last 8 1/2 years.  We moved in Christmas Eve, 2 weeks before Zachary was born.  It's amazing that when we moved in this house, that we only had 2 kids.  Now we are moving out with 6 kids.  We have definitely had great times in this house as we have been expanding our family.  Most of our kids have learned to walk in this house and this house holds a lot of memories.  I would say that Zachary is having the hardest time with the move.  He doesn't want to leave our current house.  I'm sure he will change his mind once we are moved in to the new house.  We went to the new house last night and the kids loved it.  The back yard is at least twice as big as our current back yard we have now.  We are a large family so I was very excited to hear that is has 3 1/2 bathrooms.  Here are a few pictures of the house.....

   
I love the kitchen, it is very open!


The laundry room is huge, for me anyway!!  This is just one side of it!


This is one side of the backyard from the deck!  The kids had fun last night
 running back and forth across it!