Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coming Full Circle

Sometimes when God wants to show us something big or teach us something new that we may not be ready for He brings us along one tiny step at a time. That's what he has been doing for Chris and I.

Let me tell you about my sweet husband. He takes providing for his family very seriously. He is a wonderful husband and father. When he met me he got a package deal and I have been so amazed at how he so easily transitioned from being the neat, clean, routine, all alone, single guy to a never gets a moment alone husband with a crazy wife, a wacky daughter and 2 weird dogs. He has handled it all so well and 3 and a half years into our marriage I'm still kinda amazed by it. A lesser man would have run for the hills a long time ago.

About a year ago we decided to become foster parents. This was after finding out we couldn't get pregnant, grieving over that for a while, looking into all our options including fertility treatments, domestic infant adoption and international infant or toddler adoption. But being very practical my husband voted no on those ideas and being kinda practical I agreed. We knew the need for more foster parents was great. We prayed alot about this because we knew that the goal for foster kids is to be reunited with their parents. But we also knew that some kids end up being available for adoption. So we decided to go that route. We thought we could love on and minister to children and eventually one or two might get to stay and become a part of our family permanently. It was the safe, practical choice. We went through the whole process. We took the 10 week class. We filled out mounds of paperwork. We started the home study. We planned on taking in a baby or toddler. We bought a crib and lots of other baby stuff. Then something happened and our foster care plan got put on hold. Maybe in a year or 2. But not right now. God has another plan. But we did not waste our time. We learned so much. The foster parent class was invaluable and we can re-join the program later.

I asked Chris if he would write about our hosting experience:

A lot has changed up to this point with us adopting Andriy. I can remember anticipating Christmas. How excited I was. My wife and I had no plans to host an orphan during Christmas. We never even discussed it. Everything was normal.

Once we found out there was no back up family to host Andriy my daughter came to talk to me about hosting him. Then my wife and I discussed it. We had to give our decision right away, either yes or no. We said yes not knowing what to expect.

Well it was an amazing experience. It was the most fun month we've had as a family I think. Andriy has a great personality and kept us laughing. We did so many fun things together and we really wanted him to experience Christmas from our Christian perspective.

God provided everything we would need to host Andriy: Time, space, money just to name a few. He did not want to go back to Ukraine when it came time. He begged us to adopt him and not let him go. We could not say we wanted to adopt him though as that is one of the rules. So it was very hard. He didn't think we understood what he was telling us, because he would tell us again every day.

Well we got him and the other orphans off to Ukraine at the airport mid January. I think that afternoon we knew we had to adopt him. We knew he was going to be our son some day. We wish it was now to be honest.

It's a strange thing to think life was normal before he arrived to stay with us in December. Now with him gone our home feels incomplete. Not normal. We so look forward to the day we can go get our boy and bring him home for good. Hopefully this summer. This is a once in a lifetime journey for my wife and I. And to think God gave us Andriy is an absolute blessing. Entrusting us with his life and future needs is a huge gift. To actually live out God's will for Andriy's life is amazing. We are just so excited to be doing this. We thank you so much for all the help and prayers and support we have received. It is all going towards rescuing this one little boy to bring him home for good and be in our family.

So we have come full circle in a way. From the beginning of our marriage we knew we wanted more kids. We went from wanting so much to get pregnant, to grieving together very early in our relationship when we found out we could not, exploring all our options, choosing one, following through and doing everything required so that could happen. Then this 14 year old boy walks in and changes everything. I just don't know how we weathered going through all that in such a short amount of time, but by God's grace we did. I am amazed how God has protected our marriage and made it even stronger with all that we've been through already. As all this was going on it seemed like chaos was going on all around us and some even to us (struggles for our teen daughter w/ learning disabilities, death of a close family member, tornado hitting our house and a divorce in the family are just a few).

We've learned alot about how to protect our marriage when the struggles and heartaches come. Praying together and for each other, recognizing the spiritual attacks when they come, trusting each other, carving out time just for the two of us, staying connected, talking (not yelling) through the misunderstandings, learning to parent as a team & making decisions about money together. We've both seen other couples who have gone through this stuff and given up. We've seen some go through it and come out stronger. That's the kind of marriage we strive to have. And by the grace of God we will.

God has been teaching us so much in our short time together. We can honestly say that we are so thankful that we met each other in the 2nd half of our 30's. We both know we would have made a mess of things if we had met when much younger. We have seen enough bad examples to know what we don't want our marriage to look like. We have had enough good examples to know what we do want our marriage to be like. We cherish each other and never want to take each other for granted.

I didn't set out for this post to be about our marriage. It just kind of happened. I guess that's appropriate for today. It's Valentines Day. A day I used to resent but I would go through the day with a smile on my face anyway. I would try to be happy for all the people who were in love, but inside I was pretty lonely. Now I get it. It's not about getting love, it's about giving it.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be going through this life with Chris. He was totally worth the long wait. I can't imagine life without him now. It's a privilege to go through life, parenting and now adoption by his side. Just as I know God prepared him all those years to be my husband and Danielle's Daddy I know that God is preparing us to be Andriy's parents.

So Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart. I love you. Thank you for going on this adventure with me. Thank you for desiring God's will in your life and following His call to adopt along with me.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Help Us Bring Andriy Home: Tax Deductible Donation Option

Thanks to my dear friend Amy (who set this whole thing up) we now have an option to receive donations for Andriy's adoption and they are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. WOOHOO!!!!!!

You can go here and make a donation through Live4Hope.

You have several options when you get to the page. You can chose for your donation to be split equally between us, The McCoys and the Dewberrys (for all 3 adoptions) or you can choose for your donation to go to one specific family. You just have to check a little box.

You will need a Paypal account to do this.

Thank you everyone who has been asking about this option. Now you can donate and get a deduction next year.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Help Us Bring Andriy Home Slide Show

Here is a Slide Show my husband put together about Andriy's hosting experience. Please feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Help Us Bring Andriy Home

The importance of orphan hosting

Thanks to some very generous businesses who donated and wonderful friends and family who came our Dinner and Silent Auction was a success.

So thank you for coming and supporting us, the Dewberry and McCoy families.

I wanted to take a minute to make you aware of something you may not know about. We know that slavery has been abolished in our country for a long time. But did you know it still goes on not only in the USA but all over the world?

I just read this article about what goes on during Super Bowl weekend. This may surprise you. The Super Bowl is the largest sex trafficking event in the country. Thousands of girls have been brought into Indianapolis for this single event. Many of them are preteens and runaways. Chips, dips and beer aren't the only thing that sells big during the weekend of the Super Bowl. Children are sold too. This just makes me mad and makes me want to throw up. I don't know any other way to describe how it makes me feel. We live in a country where slavery is supposed to be abolished and this goes on right under our noses. Here is the article.

The fact is that human trafficking goes on everywhere. We all know it. But for the most part we ignore it. It's the dirty little secret every country in the world has.

So how does this relate to orphan hosting? Thousands of Eastern European orphans are on the streets and have turned to or been coerced into prostitution just to survive. At age 16 orphans (that were lucky enough to grow up in the orphanage instead of the streets) are forced to leave their orphanage and most end up homeless. Here are just some of the stats from Ukraine:

Ukraine has over 100,000 orphans.

About 10% of them will commit suicide after leaving the orphanage.

60% of the girls will end up in prostitution. Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe.

70% of the boys will enter a life of crime. Many of these will die young of violence or end up in prison. Most inmates contract TB in prison.

Stats provided by familyhope.org.

Did you see the part about the girls? They end up across Europe. That means they are trafficked all over the place. Guess what? Boys end up in prostitution too. Alot of these kids end up dead or in prison. Their futures are pretty bleak unless somebody steps in.

As I type this I am reminded that Ukraine is experiencing a cold snap right now. Over 100 people have died just in the last 2 weeks. I wonder if any orphans turned 16 in the last 2 weeks and had to leave the orphanage. Sit with that thought for a moment. Tomorrow night in Kiev it will feel like -15 degrees with the wind chill. Can you imagine for a moment what it would be like to be a homeless orphan on the streets in that weather? I just can't imagine it while sitting here in my house with my furnace blasting warm air through the vents and a cup of hot tea sitting on my desk.

This is why orphan hosting programs like New Horizons for Children are so important. Being hosted gives a child a chance to find a forever family before they are put out on the street. Older orphans in Ukraine have about a 1% chance to get adopted because most people who adopt internationally want babies or toddlers (which is just fine too). Getting hosted ups their chances to about 60-80%. That's a pretty huge difference don't you think? Even if a child does not get adopted the positive impact that is made in that child's life may be the catalyst that changes their life forever. They may feel love and hope for their future for the first time in their lives. They may begin t make choices about their future that will somehow prevent them from becoming a statistic.

I know not everyone can host or adopt a child. It's a huge commitment and I don't want to guilt anyone in to doing something they cannot do. We didn't think we afford to host or adopt. But God made a way for us to host Andriy and so far in our adoption process we are seeing Him provide in amazing ways.

If you can't host or adopt there are some things you can do to help save a child from the streets. Prayer is the biggest thing they need. Pray for the orphan crisis in the world. Pray for families you know that are hosting or adopting or even fostering here in the USA. Pray that God will stir the hearts of more people to adopt. Pray for governments and their leaders to do more for these children. Some countries have very substandard facilities and a lack of care givers for these kids. Children with disabilities are often treated like they are not even human.

Provide scholarship money to hosting programs like New Horizons for Children. Hosting is expensive and a scholarship can make the difference between a child getting hosted or not picked at all. Financially support your friends and family that are hosting or adopting. Let's face it. It's expensive. No these countries are not selling children. Stop believing all the money goes to corrupt politicians in foreign countries. I have seen where the money goes. An adoption takes a bunch of very dedicated, specialized people to get it done. These folks love the children and bust their behinds to make the adoption process as smooth as possible for each family. It's expensive because these folks work very long hard hours to make it happen.

Or lastly pray about hosting and possibly adopting a child yourself. People will tell you that you are crazy. That older orphans come with horrible problems and behaviors. They will tell you all sorts of horror stories that they heard about a friend of a friend that adopted a 10 year old and the kid was just awful. So far most of the kids I have met through New Horizons for Children are about as normal as you would expect for kids that have been abandoned or orphaned and had to grown up in an orphanage. They are a lot like most kids you know. They want to be loved, they want security and safety. They want to look cool in front of their friends. They love music, sports and watching cartoons on TV. They want a warm bed, enough food to eat and an opportunity to do something important with their lives. They just need someone to take a chance on them. To open their heart and home. They may will come with some issues. I bet you have some issues too. I know I do.

We didn't think we could host a child. We certainly didn't think we could do an international adoption. But we prayed about it and said yes. Above anything Chris and I love God and want to serve Him and do His will. He put Andriy in our lives and we can't wait to bring him home and make him part of our family forever. We took a chance and we are so glad we did. Sometimes we just need to step out in faith and see what God does. God is allowing us the privilege of saving a child from possibly ending up on the streets. I can't think of a higher calling. It really is a privilege and an honor to do this. He is our son and he belongs here with us, not on the street cold and forgotten where someone may come along and exploit him, hurt him or lure him into a life of crime. He is a precious child and deserves better than that.

This is why I started this blog. I want to encourage people to host, to adopt, to become foster parents or to just do something about the orphan crisis. I wonder how many of those girls in Indianapolis that are prostitutes right now should have grown up in a safe, loving foster home. For some reason they ended up on the streets instead. This is our problem. This shouldn't happen anywhere.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dinner & Silent Auction Adoption Fundraiser!

Please come join The McCoy, Collins & Dewberry Family for a Dinner & Silent Auction to bring Alex, Aloyna, Andriy & Sergiy Home!!!

We are having our super big fundraiser this Friday night, February 3rd in Apex.

Here are the details:

Mount Pisgah Baptist Church
1288 Mt Pisgah Church Road, Apex, NC


Dinner will include:
Hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, chips, cookies & water.
*Asking for a $5.00 per person/meal or $20.00 per family*

To RSVP or if you have any questions about the event please contact Nicole Dewberry @ 919.834.5753 or ndewberry@newhorizonsforchildren.org

This event is being held to help raise funds for the 3 separate adoptions. . The families hosted orphans through NHFC and are now adopting these children from Ukraine. The McCoy Family, The Collins Family and The Dewberry Family.

Please bring your friends and family! The more the merrier!

If you are interested in inquiring about New Horizons For Children, Joe & Nicole Dewberry are Regional Directors for Central, NC and will be available to discuss the program at the event.

Please visit our adoption blogs at:
The Dewberry Family:

The Collins Family:

The McCoy Family:

If you cannot make it to the silent auction, NO WORRIES! You can bid ahead of time. We will bid on your behalf. We just need to know your minimum bid and maximum bid. Here are the items up for bid that will help raise the funding necessary for 3 families to bring home 4 children from Eastern Europe. You may email bids to service@doodlebuckets or call Amy McCoy at 919-434-6691 or you can comment below with the item title and your bid and we will bid for you!

Here is a sneak peak at some of the items you will find at the auction.

Donated by Doodlebuckets.com Baby Gifts: A Baby Bunch Bouquet of Baby Clothes. Useful, Practical, and Beautiful Too, this arrangement of baby clothes made into a beautiful "bouquet of flowers" is just precious! Contains one pink bib, one pink t-shirt, one pink hat, one white hat, two pairs of socks (one pink pair and one white pair), one pair of pink mitts, two white burp cloths, one pink one-piece and one pink romper suit. All clothing is super-soft 100% cotton and generously sized for baby girls 0-6 months, or up to 16 lbs. The clothing “buds” are encircled in pink fabric and wooden rosebuds accented with green leaves; save them to craft a lasting keepsake bouquet.
Retail Price: $82.95

Donated by babygiftidea.com: The Fiesta Baby Gift Basket. Sophisticated and classy, this deluxe neutral-themed upscale baby necessities basket features several unique and useful products from the popular Baby Dry Goods essentials line. Included inside a reusable wicker basket are:

A 100% cotton So Soft Stroller Blanket by Baby Dry Goods.
A Diapering Attaché w/Diapering Blanket by Baby Dry Goods.
A Cozy Burp Cloth Set by Baby Dry Goods.
A Big Wipe-Off Bib by Baby Dry Goods.
Hooded Towel/2 Washcloth Set by Baby Dry Goods.
4" x 4" x 4" Lil' Pudgy Soft Block by Baby Dry Goods.

Retail Price: $158.00

Donated by giftbasketdropshipping.com: The Coke Works Gift Basket, what a great gift to send! This basket is huge! Features the real thing, Coca-Cola...and everything it takes to turn a Coke into a celebration. Sweet and savory snacks of all descriptions abound in this large natural willow basket. Make any event a celebration with the Coke Works gift basket.

6 Cokes
15 oz Rold Gold Pretzels
Nacho Cheese Dip
Hot Bean Dip
Planters Peanuts
Oreo Double Stuff
4 Microwave Popcorn
2 Peanut M&M's
2 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
2 Nestle Crunch Bar
2 Skittles/Plain M&M's
15 ozTostitos Chips
Crunch & Munch Chex Mix
Chips A Hoy Cookies
Pretzel Flips
Large Natural Willow Basket

Retail Price: $109.00

Donated by Amy McCoy: An Ecommerce Website. Includes domain name registration if you do not already have a web domain, one year of hosting, setup for online receipt of payments, website design and graphics, up to 25 products added for you and training in how to run your site, get top rankings in Google and maintaining your business.
Retail Price: $1000.00

Donated by The Dewberrys from Fallenbutsaved.com: A Custom Skateboard, designed by Kolya Dewberry! With This Auction You Will Get A Complete Skateboard Deck Designed By Kolya To Fit Your Child's Personality That Is Christ Centered. Each Board Will Include Wheels, Trucks, Bearings & Bolts.

Retail Price: $175.00

Donated by Staker Chiropractic Center: This auction is for (2) RBC Center Carolina Hurricanes Vs. Florida Panthers Hockey Tickets! The Game Is For Saturday, February 25th @ 7PM. They are third row seat tickets, Section 127, seats 6 & 7.

Retail Value: $160.00

Donated by Kim Photography: This gift certificate is for a 1 hour photography session (photo shoot), editing services and a picture CD with chosen photos.

Retail Value: $100.00

Donated by Starbucks: 16oz. Dark Fair Trade Italian Roast Whole Bean Coffee, Via Iced Coffee 5 Pack, Via Veranda Blend Instant Coffee 12 Pack & Two Coffee Mugs.

Retail Value: $50.00

Donated by Family Christian Bookstore: Bible Edition Scrabble

Retail Value $30.00

Donated by Family Christian Bookstore: The Courageous Collection. The Collection Includes The Courageous Movie, The Resolution For Women & The Resolution For Men.

Retail Value: $45.00

Donated by Family Christian Bookstore: Beautiful Framed Art With The Words Hope and Joy & Bible Verses Written Below These Words On Each Frame To Inspire You.

Retail Value: $50.00

Donated by Great Harvest Bread Company: 2 loaves of their yummy bread, cake mix, jam and a gift card.

Retail Value: $50.00

Featured is a red with white polka dots European-style market tote for the environmentally conscious. Easy to store collapsible basket perfect for picnics, gardening, pool, beach, grocery store, car and home storage. Aluminum frame with a soft foam padded handle and a zippered interior pocket. Velcro tabs unstrap for easy cleaning. Market tote will be personalized with initials or name to the highest bidder in their choice of color and font. Matching ribbon will be added.

Retail Value $40

Fabric Bowl & Heart Scripture Pillow made by Cindy Winter Hartley
Includes 2 Scripture Garden Stakes donated by Lifeway Christian Store

Stitches by April
the following items (pictured above) include free embroidery service.
Black Duffle with White Dots and Pink Trim Retail $21.50
Purple Medium Packpack Retail $31.50
Green Duffle with White Flowers and Pink Trim Retail $40.00
Green Market Tote Retail $28
City Blossom Shoulder Bag Retail $26

Thomas Kinkade Let Your Light Shine Basket
Framed Print "The Light of Peace" includes Certificate of Authenticity
Address & Phone Number Book
Large Notecards in Gift Box
Small Notecards in Gift Box
Retail Value $130

Thomas Kinkade Garden of Prayer Basket
Framed Print "Garden of Prayer"
Medium Tin Box with Lid
Forest Chapel Journal
Scripture Notecards in Gift Box
Retail $100

House Cleaning Package
Includes 2 Hour House Cleaning Service by Gold Standard Cleaning Service & Tina Bova
Bucket of cleaning supplies

Silver Necklace from Flaunt Boutique in Apex
Retail $46

Donated from AlderCreekGifts.com: Valentine's Celebration Gift Basket A great way to celebration with the whole family this Valentine's day. There is something in this basket that everyone will enjoy!

This Valentine's Day gift includes:

Red Faux Leather Tray
Sweet Butter Cookies 4.4oz
Jack Allen Chocolate Wafers 1.5oz
Brent & Sam's Chocolate Chunk Cookies 1oz
Brent & Sam's White Chocolate Macadamia 2oz
Almond Roca .80oz
Mocha Roca 1.2oz
Chocolate Cherry Medley 3oz
Dark Chocolate Squares in a bag
Godiva Milk Chocolate-covered Strawberries
Sign Petite Pack 1.2oz
Jack Allen Key lime cookies 2oz
Jack Allen Apricots 1.9oz
Snickerdoodle Cookies 2oz
Truffles 1.6oz
Tom Clark's Caramel Popcorn 3.5oz
Walker Shortbread Rounds 5.3oz
Walker Shortbread Fingers 1oz
Chocolate Covered Cashews 2oz.

Retail Value: $149.99

Donated from GiftBasketVillage.com: The Grand Gourmet Gift Basket. This gift basket is adorned with beautiful lifelike silk floral accents and a large beautiful bow. Indulge them in grandeur and impress them with this impeccable statement of taste.

This gourmet gift basket features:

A box of Jumbo Cashews
Toasted Almond Cookies
''Bon Appetit'' gourmet Snack Mix
Delicious Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn
Melt-in-your-mouth pure butter gourmet Caramel Corn
Tropical Honey Glazed Peanuts
Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
Cayman Island Rum Cake from the famous Tortuga Rum Company
A box of gourmet Pistachios
Almonds toasted with Sea Salt
Chocolate dipped Truffle Cookies
Dark Chocolate Wafer Cookies
Shortbread Bites
Butter Toffee Pretzels
Wine Cheese and Caviar Crackers
Thin Bread Cracker
Vegetable Cheese Spread
Brie Cheese Spread

Retail Value: $110.00

Even more Donations:
Gift Basket Village Grand Gourmet Basket
Chocolate -covered pretzel gift from Delynn Lyczkowski
Golf Package: Golf for 4 at Knights Play, Golf for 2 at RGA and Free club fitting at Continental Golf.
Omega sports gift card
Jelly beans 8 passes
Ice house 10 passes
Salsaritas gift card $50
Lisa givens embroidery
Paws in the city gift card $20
Ruckus Pizza Gift Card $25
Pet Mania gift card $25
Dazzling Dogz Grooming
Lily's Home and Garden gift certificate $30
Tanas hair Designs and Day Spa (3 haircuts $40 value)
Panda Express
Massage Envy 1 hour massage or facial
Bass Lake Draft House
Tobacco Road Outdoors $20
Fantastic Sams $25
The Ice Cream Shop
Cold Stone Creamery
A Southern Belle Tea Room
Pizza Stone
Monkey Joe's Party Package for 16 kids
Graceful Expressions Dance Camp (2 available)
Fred Astaire Dance Studio Intro Course
Fuhgedaboudit $25 from The Young Family
Kim Sharp Photography package
Custom Painted Skateboard by Kolya Dewberry
"Courageous" Gift package
$40 Kohl's Cash
Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt
Sullivan's Steakhouse

So the Question is: Why wouldn't you come? Did you see all the great items above that you can bid on. Plus you will get fed and have great fellowship. If you live locally (near Raleigh, NC) please, please, please come.

This auction will help make possible the adoption of 4 precious children. The three boys are getting older and in danger of "aging out" of the orphanage. What that means is that they will have to leave the orphanage when they turn 16 with no hope, no future, a (substandard) 9th grade education, no job skills, no life skills, a couple of bucks in their pockets, the clothes on their backs and it may also mean they have no place to go. Our 3 families are committed to rescuing these kids before the boys are too old.

These kids have spent a month in our homes. We know them. We love them. They love us and they want to be adopted. Please help us bring our kids home.

If you live out of the area and want to help us there is a ChipIn button for donations on the right column of this blog for our adoption expenses. If you want to help the Dewberry or McCoy families please check their blogs listed near the top of this post for donation information.

The Dewberrys leave to adopt Sergiy on February 6th. They need more funds quick. Please consider a donation if you cannot attend our auction.

On behalf of all three families thank you for taking the time to read this long post and learn about our fundraiser and our precious kids.