Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013~Go Out With A Bang!

As you know, we've had an AMAZING 2013!!!!

New child added to our family--TOBY!

And a calling to become a family to yet ANOTHER child--ESTY!!!

And all the approvals and funds flowing in as abundant goodness from the Father Himself!

I have a friend who is leaving for China when we are and is bringing home TWO beautiful treasures!!!
These orphans will be named Ella and Natalie…

So sweet!!!!!

They are 7 years old and 2. Aren't they precious????

The Rubenstien family has EIGHT children already…5 of whom have been grafted in by the gift of adoption.

Four of whom hail from China! Their most recent adoption from there was in 2011. One of their sweet ones was adopted from America.

I am writing to see if you would spread some of your joyful 2013 happiness to their family?

They leave in 9 days…and still need to raise $3,500.

They have already fundraised themselves crazy…their total need WAS $40,000!!!

{Take a pause here.} 

AMAZING. God has blessed them with SO MUCH!!!

I am writing believing that my amazing team of orphan loving Jesus followers will help Ella and Natalie join the Rubenstein family!!

$3,500---I can SO SEE us raising this!!!!! Can we do it, TONIGHT?????

You can give for these sweet girls' home going here: on Reece's Rainbow where gifts are tax deductible and all of your gift goes towards adoption expenses.

I'm going to see this family in Guangzhou…won't it be AWESOME to know you had a hand in ALL these orphans joining their families?!?!


Thank you for this incredible year and ALL you had to do with it. Thank you for continuing to bless orphans and families…

A PHENOMENAL END to  2013!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

FULLY FUNDED! See What God Has Done!

We have yet ANOTHER announcement to make!

Yes!!! It is TRUE!!!


Who can provide like the Lord?

Who cares for the orphan like Him?

Who sets the lonely in families?

Who comforts the brokenhearted?

Who leads us out into the depths of the ocean where feet may fail?

Who is ALWAYS FAITHFUL to His promises?

Who holds us up when we are weary and come to the end of ourselves?

Who left Heaven to live among us and then give up His own life to save ours?

Who puts a song of joy in our hearts to sing?


There were so many fears, so many questions, but all through the process God led so gently and now we are here to give testimony to HIS AMAZING PROVISION!!!

This journey to Esty began a short 9 months ago. We had fallen in love with her before going to adopt Toby. 

While in Hong Kong, God gave me a dream about this dear orphan and how she was to be named Esther because He needs her in place for the plan He has for her.


After being home 3 days with Toby, we began the process to bring Esty home.

We had prayed and fasted with two very special friends...all seeking God's face about this orphan called "Lang Han Han."

We ended up with a very special prayer and Scripture for this adoption. It is from Isaiah 41:20: 

"I am doing this so all who see this miracle
will understand what it means--
that it is the Lord who has done this,
the Holy One of Israel who created it."

We prayed specifically that it would be OBVIOUS to all who saw our adoption process that God has done this.

So I ask you, do you see?

We personally spent our savings.

We scrimped and saved.

We ate rice and beans.

We had "Storybook dinners" where we ate oatmeal for dinner in our pajamas and I would read stories while we ate. (They had NO IDEA this was to save money but rather delighted in it!!)

We applied for a LOT of grants. We were awarded 4. Their total came to $14,500!!

We sold 4 different tee shirts!

We had a yard sale.

We were gracious recipients of MANY online parties and the consultants so generously donated their commissions to our fund.

We had 2 Adopt Shoppe auctions! (One through The Adopt Shoppe and a second surprise when our dear friend donated her own purchases from there to bring in money!)

We had custom jewelry made to benefit our adoption. (You can still order these if you like!)

We sold coffee with Just Love Coffee.

We did a puzzle fundraiser.

We made a dog bed and sold it. :)

I stepped out in faith (scared to death) and painted canvases for an art auction.

A painting had crazy favor and became a hoodie and tee shirt.

It later became a necklace!

That step of faith alone brought in $4,000!!! (SEE!?!! God DID this!!!)

We had friends rally around us and campaign for us to bring in money.

And we had lots of amazing people hear God prompt them to give to bring Esty home all throughout the process.

There was one day we owed $700 to submit our dossier to China...it couldn't be sent until the money was paid.

I read the email about the money needed, prayed while in the shower, "Lord, we have no idea how to pay this! You are going to HAVE to do something!" I got out of the shower and dressed and came down and got the mail...inside was enough to pay the dossier fee. Some extended family had all rallied together and donated to get Esty home. In PERFECT TIMING.

Do you see that God did this???

So many wonderful people have love for orphans, but they fear the daunting amount of money that is required to adopt.

I am here to say, if God lays adoption and orphan care on your heart...


Trust Him in new ways.

He is the defender of orphans.

He is merciful.

He sets the lonely in families.

He created the entire EVERYTHING with a word. He OWNS everything. Do you really think if He calls you into something big that He will leave you without the money to do it?

There are MILLIONS of waiting children in the world.

Esty waits only two weeks more.

But millions more wait for someone to trust God...to obediently step out in faith to say YES.

No, I do NOT think everyone should adopt an orphan. But I think that if your heart is stirring right now...

that you need to seriously pray about whether He is calling you into this too.

You may discover you are called into orphan care, but it looks different than adoption...

...and that's AWESOME!!

But please, hear me dear one, if you are being called to ADOPT but you are too SCARED because of the money required...


You have seen and heard my testimony. THREE TIMES OVER He has provided for our international adoptions.

He is faithful.

If He is calling you to do this, He WILL PROVIDE.

(And hear me: I am not saying you sit back on your duff and checks just come rolling into your mailbox. I am saying you will work like you've never worked before and you will be in awe of God's power like never before.)

So, dear one, you have hijacked my post! I was writing about us being fully funded...but I am led to write to encourage you to step out in faith. You know who you are, with your heart beating as you read, your eyes all teary. 

God knows.

Trust Him.

Be obedient.

Let HIM write your story.

He's the BEST at it!!!!!

I'm praying for you...and your sweet waiting child(ren) too!!! :)

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Friday, December 27, 2013

The Christmas MIRACLE!!! (Esty's Announcement)

Wonder of all wonders...

Yes!!! It's really true!!!

I woke up this morning to a text from our social worker: CHECK YOUR EMAIL!!!

When I did it told me the most amazing news:


And it's in JANUARY!!!!!

We are beside ourselves with joy!!!

Esty, we will be with you in exactly 16 days!!!!

(Now seriously, this means that our social worker from Lifeline and the travel team HAD to work on either Christmas Eve or Day when they were CLOSED!!!)

(People who keep asking me for advice on which agency to use for adoption...LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES!!!!!!! We were encouraged to use them by multiple families who have done LOTS of adopting and had experience with multiple agencies. This is our 2nd time with them and I am VERY VERY PLEASED with them and can only say positive things!!!)

Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Esty's Adoption UPDATE!

All this goes on here…meanwhile she waits.
So…the question of the hour:


I so wish I could answer.

Let me explain what is going on for us…

It's a tricky situation.

So…as you (probably) saw on Facebook with our goofy song…we got our TRAVEL APPROVAL!


what we got was word that our travel approval was ISSUED and COMING from China.

That was last Friday.

We hoped and prayed the hard copy would come to our agency on Monday.

It didn't.

Then…a phone call came.

Our sweet social worker had some news: 

…because Esty lives in Beijing, we cannot have an early consulate appointment. They take 5 complete business days to get the passport processed and it is not possible to have anything but a Thursday appointment.

I was crushed.

You see, we had HOPED and PRAYED to return to the city where we lived and served for 2 years. Our hearts have ached to once again visit and share on heart levels all that the Father has been doing among them. We had hoped to do this trip before meeting Esty…but now that we cannot finish the adoption part of our trip until Thursday (which is really Saturday because you have to wait to pick up the visa in the child's passport)…it would make the time away from our other children TOO LONG.

I grieved for a good solid two days.

And I'll cry again if I think about it.

I SOOOOOO wanted to visit with our dear Pretty friends. ("Pretty" was a code name for the people we worked with years ago.)



Our agency is closed all week so they will not have our hard copy of our Travel Approval until next Monday. 

Which, by the way, is Oskar's birthday. (There are a lot of reasons why this is a crushing time for us…and THIS may be the biggest!) (If you do not know, Oskar was our beloved son who ran ahead to Jesus 7 years ago. My Momma's heart always grieves for him.)

So, the timeline now goes: Monday our agency receives the travel approval and applies for our Thursday consulate appointment.

Then we wait 2 more days now 3 more days (because of the New Year holiday) to hear back if we get the consulate appointment we apply for.

IF we got the January date, then we will immediately book flights and go in a matter of days.

This is the best case scenario.

It is also however, the most expensive scenario as flights are filling up on the return leg already and buying just before you fly is ALWAYS EXPENSIVE.

The difference of this is in the THOUSANDS of dollars. 


The other thing that is VERY LIKELY to happen is that the date we can apply for in January will be FULL. (There is only ONE THURSDAY we can apply for due to the Beijing requirement and Chinese New Year.) 



we would have to delay getting Esty out of her orphanage for another MONTH. Or longer.

sigh. Adoption is truly full of opportunities to grow in patience.

We would have to wait until AFTER Chinese New Year finishes…

which would then allow us to go for less money because we would be buying the tickets a good month in advance.

So THAT'S why I can't give a quick answer to "how much more" because even the quotes we have now for flights will still GREATLY INCREASE if we get to go in January.

Bottom line: we need to keep fundraising. (Trust me, 3rd adoption in a row, I am REALLY READY to be done!!)

I promise to let you know when we know!

In the meantime…keep sharing about our Tshirt blowout sale: 

and keep PRAYING for God to fund this thing.

*We can raise enough to purchase our tickets on the spot.
*That we can get the ONLY January Thursday consulate appointment.
*Pray for Esty's heart. Sweet girl is going to have ENORMOUS LIFE CHANGES AHEAD.

Praise God!!! She IS coming home!!!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Love with Abandon BLOWOUT SALE!!!

Hey friends! It's me, Amy, again! :)

(so blessed to have been hijacked! TWICE!!)

If you've been watching, we are pulling out ALL THE STOPS to finish our fundraising to get our dear Esty HOME FOREVER.

I have ONE FINAL thing to offer up…
Our Toby Esty Tees (also known as Love with Abandon tees!) are going to be offered for a limited time for 

That's right.


No shipping.






So if you want to bless a friend with this awesome shirt or you want to keep it for yourself…click away on the button below and I'll send them out ASAP!!!

LIMITED QUANTITIES!!! (We want them gone and Esty HERE!!!!)

(By the way, these are completely original and this is the ONLY place you can get one of these!!)

These fabulous shirts have been lovingly designed by our friend and are screen printed on high quality fabrics that you will go back to over and over again!

Our original design is so special in many ways...the Chinese character is "ai" which means "love." We "love with abandon" because Jesus abandoned His right to Heaven, nobility and so much more in order to sacrifice His life on our behalf. (read Philippians 2:6-8) We lay down our own agendas, plans, and dreams in order to love the way Jesus has called us to--and find it SO MUCH BETTER! This "love with abandon" looks differently in each person's life. How does it look for you?

The verse on the back is our motivation that propels us to act. (I John 4:19) It is only because we have been shown such a lavishing love that we ourselves can love.

All proceeds from shirt sales will help bring Toby Esty home!

We are SOOOO CLOSE to going to get her!! 


Hijacked Just Once More

I promise this is *the* last time I will take over Amy's blog. 

Esty, Amy, Brian aka Amy's Mr. Wonderful, & the rest of their darlings need us all to keep on loving, giving, being His hands and feet to them. 

These last few days have been challenging, difficult, taxing, heavy. 
As a fellow adoptive parent, I can tell you that adoption opens up the arsenal of Satan's fury. Arrows, barbs, lies, and pain fly at you like few other times in life. 
You're assaulted on a daily, hourly, constant basis, and sometimes you.just.need.rest.

The wonderful news is Christ is our rest. 
Christmas brought us into His presence, and today His presence remains. 
He invites us to bless others through Him, or more accurately, He invites us to allow Him to bless others through us. 

I know. 
I know. 
You've blessed. 
You've given. 
The Shaws are grateful. 
I am grateful. 
Might I ask you to dig deep and give one.more.time.
(There is a Facebook auction of a 
very limited number of The Adopt Shoppe Necklaces
If you'd like to bid you may go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/661733470544757/

Here's the donate button again. 
Any donation is appreciated. 
Just once more. 




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hijacked! Limited Edition Love Endlessly

Hello fellow friends of Amy, her wonderful husband Brian, and family!
I've hijacked their blog for the afternoon.

Don't worry, I'll use my new found powers only for good, not evil.
I have the privilege of doing this because of a beautifully thoughtful gift another friend gave me today.

Take a look at what my friend Hannah made me.

It's gorgeous, isn't it?
You want one, don't you?

Here are the details.
On the front side you see the Love endlessly painting design with the tiniest bit of vintage Scripture peeking around the edges.
On the back side the vintage Scripture is in full view.
The pendant measure 1.5" square. 
It has a beautiful antiqued finish and is encased in glass.
It comes on a beautiful 32" ball-chain.
(can be trimmed shorter)

These will be available TODAY ONLY for a $25 donation to Esty's fund.
Here's your way to pay!
*Put your address in the notes section so I will know where to mail your order.*
Shipping is included in price.

Keep Loving Endlessly,

Friday, December 20, 2013

WE GOT OUR TRAVEL APPROVAL!!!! (FINAL CALL for Love Endlessly shirts!)

As stated before, we will only offer our Love Endlessly shirts through TONIGHT!!!

Please consider snagging yourself or those you love (or all of you!!) a hoodie or long/short sleeve tee!! The art on the shirts comes from the art auction we did last week (was that THIS WEEK!?!?!):

The surprise blessing of this shirt is making the difference between still needing to fundraise and being FULLY FUNDED for Esty's adoption! 
Please click the above tab on the top right to order…or click HERE to go straight to the ordering page. 

THANK YOU!!!! We are ALMOST there, Esty! Hang on!!!!!
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

9 Months Home…Toby has a Message for You!

Today we mark 9 months of having sweet Toby in our family.

And he has a message for everyone.

We pray you will listen to his precious voice and know there are MILLIONS of "Tobys" waiting to be chosen!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Art Auction Surprises…

Hillsong United has a song called "Oceans" that sings how the Spirit calls us out upon the waters…"the great unknown, where feet may fail."

This is how accepting the challenge to paint 20 canvases and then (gulp) put them out there to be auctioned felt to me.

I prayed like crazy and then slid my toe out into the great, vast waters of the unknown. Boxes of blank canvases sat at my feet on the left, bottles of paint on my right.

And taking His hand, I began.

Now, after the first day of the auction…I am in utter shock.

Not only have you sweet friends and family bid on each painting…the first day's total is over $1,000!!


…Hillsong sings, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the water, wherever you would call me…"

And so, I'm walking...

It's been scary, and then downright humbling and tear-inducing.

Then the surprise of all: everyone seems to want a hoodie/t shirt in one of the designs!

Seriously, I am so blown away.

Through all of this, Esty is coming home! 

We begin the Travel Approval wait tomorrow! This approval is the final thumbs up before we buy our tickets and GO!

This wait can take up to 4 weeks. But recently I saw a family get theirs in FIVE DAYS. (double gulp!)

I thought I would share the paintings here that can be bid on through MONDAY NIGHT. If you see something you like, please jump on over to the Facebook group to add your bid!

This is the design we are working on putting into a hoodie/T shirt. If you are interested, comment below or let me know on Facebook! 

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