Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Thread of Hope Left...Vitaliy's Story

My sweet praying friends, we must continue to PRAY!

Precious dear little Vitaliy was not ruled for in a Russian court of law last week when my friends Aaron and Jenny Moyer went to try and adopt him in spite of the Russian ban on American adoptions.

Due to this horrible decision to ban adoptions, this beloved orphan with down syndrome WILL BE TRANSFERRED to an insane asylum.

Within. the. month.

Does anyone else burst into tears at this news!??!!

Worse yet...they had to say goodbye and LEAVE HIM BEHIND.

In Jenny's words, "It was horrifying."

Understatement of the year.

Statistics are that 65% of children will die within the first year at the insane asylum.

Anyone else ready to fall down on your knees to wage battle against the enemy for the sake of this child??

There is one final hope:

The Moyers have filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights to appeal the Russian court's decision. No date is set for this hearing.

Will you please petition the God of the fatherless on behalf of the Moyers and Vitaliy? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

When God Rains Down Love!!

I rejoice!!

New pictures of Toby have come to us this morning!!!

(This after I was having a very overwhelming morning that began VERY EARLY and many details were going wrong in some adoption paperwork I was working on for our Chinese visas...I had just cried out to God for something...and WOW did He answer!!)

Just look at this adorable face!!!
I cannot get over that he is holding our pictures! That whole book was prepared on our behalf by the wonderful women, Gretchen and Lillian, at China Adoption Help. If you are a waiting momma for a child in China, go here to visit their site! I was able to upload files from our computer and have them make this book and deliver it to him! AMAZING!!!

And then we ordered a "stuffed animal" to be sent to him. Is there any shock to anyone else that they "happened" to choose a cow??? Daddy is a dairy farmer! (Around here, we call that a God "wink" when He does some tiny detail to show you His love!)

(Anyone want me to pick you up some fun Chinese curtains while I'm there?)
And then another picture with the awesome pillow that Gretchen and Lillian made for us:
So cool!!!

And they added one final picture...this one makes my heart physically hurt. This must have been snapped randomly in the orphanage. He's totally got the "look" of living in an institution--the mismatched clothing, the shoes on the wrong feet...

...this sweet boy needs to come HOME!!!

And...funny you should mention that...

                                     ....because when it rains, it POURS!!!

This morning we ALSO got approved for a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans!!!!

That means that if anyone gives to help us bring Toby home in the next few weeks...all donations will be DOUBLED!!!

Here's how to be part of this:
Go here to the Lifesong for Orphans website.

Then click "give" on the right side of the blue menu bar. Then select "Make a donation."

Then choose "Give to an adoptive family."

When you fill the form out, use our name "SHAW" and the number "3330" so that it will go specifically to bring Toby home.

Your gift will be 100% towards Toby's adoption expenses and you will receive a tax deductible receipt.

Please note that any donations given to our "Adopt Together" account do NOT qualify for the matching grant.

Thank you SO MUCH!

We are currently waiting on something called "Article 5" which is the final paperwork approval for Toby's visa to become an American and fly home with us. Then we get our Travel Approval (known as "TA") and we GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew! Turning out to be a rather exciting Monday!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Please Meet...Two Toby Heroes!!

I'd like to introduce you to some Toby heroes:

Pete and Aaron

These dear brothers had a combined birthday party yesterday! Long in advance they told their mom, "We don't want to have people bring presents for us...instead we want people to bring donations to help Toby come home."



Mom said it was fully their own idea.

These boys gave up their birthdays...for the sake of an orphan they'd only seen pictures of on the other side of the world.

They found us in church this morning with big smiles on their faces, "We had our party yesterday," and they held up a wadded white envelope. 

Inside, $289.

That's right.

Two hundred eighty-nine dollars these brothers collected to help bring Toby home.

Tears welled up in my eyes, "So you boys had no presents at all?" my heart aching as I realized their sacrifice.

"Oh we had cards!" Pete piped up. "Lots and lots of cards!!"

They get it. I love that they get it.

Children with hearts bigger than mine. Children who walk away from me at church with the joy in their steps from giving sacrificially.

My heart swells with joy as I watch God bring a far off orphan into our family. He amazes me daily.


Toby, come home.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

URGENT PRAYER for Russian Orphan Vitaliy!

The time is NOW to rally the troops. NOW!!!

Vladim*r Putin put a ban on Russian adoptions to American families.

I'm sure you heard about this. But...what does it look like for a family and a little boy waiting in Russia who were mid-process?

I'd like you to meet Vitaliy. (pronounced Vi tall ey)

He is 4 years old.

He has Down Syndrome.

And his want-to-be parents say this about him:

"Vitaliy is the happiest, kindest person Aaron and I have met. He is beautiful, bright and precious! He is brilliant, loves to dance and comforts his friends when they are sad. He calls us Mama and Papa. He knows we are his parents and he is waiting for us."

Friends, we need to be in prayer. Like right NOW!

My friend Jenny and her husband Aaron get on a plane TODAY bound for Russia. (They've already flown across America and are waiting in an airport at this moment!)

They have a court date to complete his adoption, but a Russian judge will not be able to go against the new law.

Yet they still go.

In her words she said,

"Right now there is not much hope. We have been told to expect an unfavorable ruling in court if the judge agrees to see us. The judge simply cannot go against the law. So we are going to pour as much love into Vitaliy and spend as much time with him as we can."

Please, please pray for a miracle!!!!
Just LOOK at how Vitaliy looks at Aaron! It brings me to tears!!!

As Vitaliy has Down Syndrome, he will soon be transferred to a mental institution where he will be hidden away from society. There are some horrific tales of what happens to people in those institutions and there is no way to say which one he will end up in.

If he goes.

Normally they are transferred over at age 4 or 5. He has been kept at the "baby home" longer because of the Jenny and Aaron's signatures on his referral papers.

But now?

No one knows.

My friends have been battling the FLU on top of all of this! Please pray for their health to be restored!

They know fully well that they are walking into a spiritual battle for the life and soul of dear sweet Vitaliy. They need to KNOW that the body of Christ stands behind them and supports them!

Please pray for their hearts. That they might be filled with an overflowing peace that only our God gives.

Pray for their stay. That all logistics will go smoothly. They long to just hold and love on their boy as much as possible.

Pray for miracles in the court system and in the hearts of the Russian leadership.

Pray for dear Vitaliy. Pray that he will delight and enjoy in this emotion-laden visit that he will have with his parents. He knows nothing about all the politics...all he knows is the love of these dear people.

Pray for others to SEE and rally behind the Moyers. Pray that their story will change the heart of Vladim*r Putin.

Pray that this leader will CHANGE HIS MIND and release the precious orphans of Russia into loving homes!!!!

Here is a video that CNN did about their family's situation about a few weeks back:

Get prayin' Church!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Life is GRAND!" says Kelly!

Here's a story I've been soooooo excited to share!

My sweet friend, Kelly has lost ONE HUNDRED POUNDS!!!! 


Kelly is in my daily elite accountability group on Facebook.

She posts everyday how she has done in many different areas...

things like...

              her sleep

                      her food

                         her workouts

                                  her water intake

                                               her Shakeology

                                                                       and her particular vice habits.

And she is ONE ENORMOUS SUCCESS STORY!!! (well, she's small, her success story is HUGE!)

Listen as she shares in her own words:

Me: Tell me what life was like in regards to health and fitness. Did
you workout? Had you dieted on and off? 

Kelly: Well, prior to my weight loss LIFE with health and fitness wasn't
really happening.  I always wanted to be healthy and fit, thought I
was....really at almost 300lbs healthy?  Who was I kiddin' I had tried
every diet imaginable.......Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig,
Nutra-system,Slim Fast The Grapefruit diet, Atkins, low carbs, fat
free, no dairy, no meat....blahahaha....Every time I tried a "new"
diet, I would get soooo excited!  This is it!  I finally found the
right one!  I'm gonna get skinny!......Really? I've tried and failed,
tried and failed time and time again.  What a roller coaster?!?!?
Finally, I decided to do something in 2011. I had gastric bypass
surgery November 28, 2011.  It was not an easy decision.  Surgery?
Are you crazy?  People thought I was taking the easy way out, "all you
have to do is eat right and exercise"  I had practically starved
myself for days and the scale would never move! "all you need is will
power" Really?  I think at nearly 300lbs eating nothing but water and
protein shakes and liquids for 3 days is pretty good "will power".
Yes, I would loss some weight, started to feel good, exercise, then
the weight began to creep back up and then more.

Me: How did you feel, both physically and emotionally?

Kelly: Emotionally?  Well, it was an emotional roller coaster.  I was
depressed.  I was an emotional eater....I ate when I was happy....,
when I was sad...., when I sleepy....thought that pizza and soda would
"wake me up".  As I grew up, I realized that every family function
gathered and centered around FOOD! I ate and ate...and I felt awful,
tired and was starting to get sick.  My health was deteriorating.  My
blood pressure was high, I had headaches, asthma, my body ached and
then my biggest fear....I became diabetic.  I was on 2 blood pressure
medications, 2 diabetic meds (1 pill and 1 injectable), medication for
acid reflux, inhaler for my asthma, muscle relaxer for neck and back
pain.  Then I began to suffer from some sort of skin rash and reaction
to something. I went to several doctors, like 3 in one day!  Seen an
immunologist, dermatologist and endocrinologist all in one day.  Had
skin biopsies, blood work and was then told that I had Hashimotos
Thyroiditis..Huh?  Okay, so now I'm fat, sick and tired!  The answer
is my thyroid!  Just fix it, give me another pill and it'll get
better, right?  wrong! Oh, did I also mention that I was diagnosed
with infertility issues and was told by doctors that I was fat and  if
I would only lose weight, I get pregnant.  Depressed, again........

Me: What was your turning point? What happened that made you say,

Kelly: I had lots of reasons to lose weight, but my turning point was my
children.  I want to be healthy for my children.  I didn't want them
to have an unhealthy, fat, obese Mama....  I couldn't even play with
my kids due to being tired all the time.  My body ached, my legs hurt
and they wanted me to play blocks on the floor with them.   I
couldn't.  See, my Mom died at age 56 from diabetes complications.
She had her first heart attack in her 40's, she was on dialysis.  I
was heading in the same direction and I knew how I felt and I didn't
want my husband and kids to live without a Mama. I was going to die if
I didn't do something, NOW!  I decided to have surgery.

Me: Tell me about making that decision, to have gastric bypass surgery. 

Kelly: I had thought about surgery for years.  It was not an easy decision.
I had failed everything else as far as dieting and exercising, I
thought to myself...."what makes you think surgery is going to work? I
really thought to myself that I'll probably fail this too.  I didn't
tell may people about my decision to have the surgery.  Only a few, my
wonderful and supportive husband and a close friend.  Then, when I had
my surgery date scheduled, I told my family.  I had one cousin that
refused to talk to me about it, was mad at me and said to me "how and
why would you even think of this?"  I had asked her for support and
she wasn't there for me....we didn't talk for MONTHS!  I did have
other family members that were very supportive.  Then, people at work
were starting to ask me why I was off the schedule? What's wrong? You
okay?  So, I did tell my work family, reluctantly....  They were sooo
supportive! I had GASTRIC BYPASS (RNY) surgery on 11/28/11.

Me: What was your highest weight/size?

Kelly: wedding day!  Suppose to be one of the happiest days in my
life.  I couldn't find a dress big enough.  I was a size 28.
Currently I am 193lbs and still losing.  I am still working on my weight
loss journey.

Me: WOW! You did it!! You hit 100 pound loss! WHAT A MILESTONE!!! I could NOT be any prouder!!! :) :) :)

Me: So, did the surgery do all the work for you...or did you have to put in
effort in too? How has the surgery changed you?

Kelly: The surgery is ONLY a tool!  You gotta be compliant and work!  This
has been one of the hardest things I have ever done! (and you as well
as me know how hard adoption can be!) (Kelly is a fellow adoptive mommy to two gorgeous girls from China and Cambodia!)
I can only eat small meals.  I don't eat meat, that is only a personal
preference, others eat meat.  I have to chew my food completely, about
25-30 bites.  I can't eat and drink fluid at the same meal.  Things
"get stuck"  See, my stomach is smaller, significantly small, about
3-4oz  I can't eat sweets...I will physically get sick (vomit,
diarrhea, stomach pain, sweaty, feel like I'm dying) Carbs are only
empty calories.  I fill up on protein first.  I drink 1-2 protein
shakes daily, I LOVE veggies! And water! lots of water!  I have to
carry a water jug with me all the time.  This procedure was a BIG
surgery!  I don't absorbed the food I eat goes right through
me and BYPASSES everything else in me.  So, protein is a big deal for
me.  I needed it for healing after surgery and I need it now for
muscle, energy and strength.

Me: How did being in our challenge group impact your journey?

Kelly: I LOVE my challenge group/family.  You gals are so supportive, even
though you all didn't know what I have been through as far as my
weight issues.  The challenge group is great for accountability.  I am
more likely to do my exercise and follow the guidelines with the help
and positive support of them :-)

Me: What role did Shakeology play in your weight loss?

Kelly: I have tried A LOT of shakes!  Shakeology tastes great!  It has the
protein I need to keep me satisfied and full!  It has the vitamins and
nutrients I need, especially after having the weight loss surgery.

Me: What workouts did you do across the year of your journey?

Kelly: I was introduced to Beachbody's Turbo Jam, LOVE IT!  I also do the elliptical,
stationary bike, walk/run, zumba, I tried P90X....not ready for that
yet!  I like variety, I don't want to get bored in my exercise

Me: What would you tell someone who is struggling with their weight
and discouraged?

Kelly: Being overweight is hard on your body and your health.  It will kill
you, I was on that road, and I wanted off.  I made lots of u-turns and
always seemed to go back to my unhealthy ways of eating and not
exercising.  I was discouraged and I still have my days, but I have
the positive and encouraging support from my Beachbody friends and family!

Me: What is next for you?

Kelly: My weight loss journey isn't over yet, I still have more to lose.  I
have gained so much more!  The friendships and support have been
wonderful!  I had begun this journey thinking I was going to "get
skinny", well it is so much more!  I am HEALTHY! I have more energy to
play with my kids.  I get full bear hugs!  Before, no one could wrap
their arms around my almost 300 lb body!  I can sit in a stadium seat
without having pain from squeezing into the seat.  I can sit in an
airplane seat too!  I can buy "normal" clothes!
What's next? You ask.......I don't know.  I still want to gain healthy
tips and feel good through exercise and healthy living. This is NOT a

Kelly added a post script: I am no longer on all that
medication.  Only 1 thyroid pill!  I take my vitamins and get
additional nutrition from Shakeology!  No longer a diabetic, nor suffer
from asthma or high blood pressure!  LIFE is GRAND!

We all REJOICE for the awesome results sweet Kelly has had! If YOU have been waiting to change your life...don't wait ANY LONGER!!! 

None of us knows how many days we have...but we do know that our days are indeed numbered:

"A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." Job 14:5

“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."
Psalm 39:4

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

How many more of YOUR DAYS do you want to waste feeling fat, sick and tired? I would love love love to help you as I've helped Kelly. Click here to connect with me on Facebook and here to go to my coaching page! I can help you find the program that is best suited for you and offer you individualized coaching support! Maybe YOU will be featured NEXT on this blog! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Toby Pictures!!!!


We get to feast our eyes on this little one to whom God has called us!

ABUNDANT JOY blooms in my heart!

Just look at Toby now!!!

 And while you're here...look at the  picture in the sidebar...that was him ONE YEAR ago. He's gotten even CUTER!!! :)

Are you falling on the floor from all that CUTENESS!?!??!?!!?!?

I MELLLLLLLLLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The update on this child is INCREDIBLE too...

1) Does Toby understand that he is being adopted? Not really, he is too young to understand that.

2) What therapy is he having for his arms and hands? We asked the doctors before. They said he needed surgery than therapy for his arms. So we haven't given him any therapy yet. But we always show him to use him hands more and more. Now he can use hands to hold food to eat with head help sometimes.

3) What are his favorite things to do? Favorite toys? He likes to play games outside. He loves play toys which his hands can handle better, not balls.

4)Does he enjoy music? Yes, he loves music. He always sings songs when he hears from TV or CD.

5) Please tell us about his personality. He is very outgoing and active. He is also very loving and likes to share. So he plays so well with other children.

{oh my. "outgoing and active also very loving" YES!!! he IS my child!!}

6) Do his knees, hips or ankles have any problems with stiffness? Is he able to run as well as walk? He has no problem with his lower limbs. He can even run well.

7) Has he been healthy? If he has been sick, what sickness? He is always healthy and hardly to get sick.

8) Does he play with other children or mostly alone? He likes to play other children very much.

9) How is his language development? What words does he say? Is he talkative? His language is normal. He can say many simple words and sentences.

This is just too much happiness for me to keep all to myself!!! PLEASE SHARE!!! :) :)


      more picture...that I think is my all time favorite!

Just look at this boy's personality SHINE!!!

My friend to whom I showed these pictures immediately sent me a link to this picture of myself from last summer: She was saying how MUCH he is going to fit in with our crazy-sauce style of life!!


Oh sweet Toby, we are coming for you!! SOON!

Dear friends, please join me in praying for the remaining finances to complete his adoption. I am beside myself with JOY over this update and pictures but also really feel the URGENCY to get his medical needs attended to. It appears they may be something "else" joining the list of his special needs. We will not have answers until we meet him and then get him in to see some specialists. 

Click here to be directed to our fundraising page.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter Yard Sale!!!

What?? WINTER yard sale?? That sounds c-c-c-cold!!

Yes, if it were really outside...

but it's not!

We have a sweet friend who had offered to host a yard sale to raise money for Toby's adoption and we had discussed when would be a warmish date to hold the event. We had talked about some time in the future that would be warm...

and then our LOA came EARLY!!!

So now we are having an INDOOR yard sale with a bake sale and a silent auction and a freewill offering lunch! BOOYAH!!! :) (thank you, sweet Andrea, you are such a blessing to our family and to dear Toby!)

So here's the 411:
Saturday January 19, 2013 from 9 am - 4 pm with lunch at noon, silent auction closing at 1 pm. This wonderful event is being held so graciously at Sara's Garden Hope Center. (Thank you, friends, for the use of your gorgeous facility!!!)

Yes, we need help!

We need:
* prayers to bathe this in His love,
* donations for the yard sale,
* donations for the bake sale,
* businesses to donate desirable goods for our silent auction (Note: if you would like to donate something for our silent auction but are not local, we welcome that! Please contact me at feet2ourfaith @ yahoo dot com to orchestrate that!),
* lunch servers,
* food for the lunch (some is already being donated! Thank you, Rita!!)
* people to help set up and tear down,
* people to advertise on their social media sites and around their areas of influence,
* people to help greet and make people feel welcome!

...Yes, it's gonna take a VILLAGE to pull this off!

Please help us SPREAD THE WORD!! We need your help!!

We have two weeks...ready...set...GO!!

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