Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Memory of Avary

This past Tuesday, friends of ours from church had a baby girl named Avary. In January of this year, Avary was diagnosed with Trisomy 9. Avary was a fighter, and lived for about 1 hour after she was born. Her parents' wishes, in order for others to honor and remember Avary, are to have donations made to our adoption in lieu of flowers. Words cannot express the mixture of emotions we feel. We can't imagine what courage it took for Shawn & Melba to continue on for the past 4 months, and the strength and grace they have displayed. How honoring it must be to God when a couple chooses to trust God with their precious girl. We are sad for the grief that the Reidy family is going through. We are also humbled and grateful for their thoughtfulness and selflessness in helping us bring Nathan and Keira home. This is another way that God has demonstrated His love and faithfulness. Please join us in praying for the Reidy family-for God to comfort them as only He can, and giving thanks to God for Avary's life.

                         And with your final heartbeat
                         Kiss the world goodbye
                         Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and 
                         Fly to Jesus
                         Fly to Jesus
                         Fly to Jesus and live

                          (Avary means "like a bird")

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Both Hands Project II


We had a lot a great fun today. We are so thankful for everyone who showed up to work today and for those who have been praying and giving financial support.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Both Hands Project: First of 2 Saturdays


Thank you to all who helped us work on Pam's house on the 14th!
We got a lot done, and Pam is so grateful.
We anticipated not getting it all done, so we will be working on the 21st also.
This is a picture of all those who helped on the 14th (minus Amanda--sorry, Amanda).
We will add more pictures after the 21st.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't miss your chance to bid on this cute dress!!

Robin, a friend of ours, has graciously made this dress to be auctioned off.
All proceeds will go toward our adoption.
Here is her
Robin is gifted in sewing.
Thanks, Robin, for loving us and our kids in this way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Items needed for Pam's house

If you have any of the following items, please let us know(
*exterior white paint (for fence)
*paint supplies (brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter's tape)
*push lawn mower (for Pam to keep)
*cabinets (email us, and we will give you dimensions)
*countertop (39"wide)
*30"brushed nickel towel rod for bathroom
*knobs for kitchen cabinets
*2 toilets
*white cabinet to go above toilet (9"deep X 23"wide)
*carbon monoxide detector
*bathroom faucet
*backsplash for kitchen
*20ft. round handrail
*10 brackets for handrail
*small vanity or pedal stool sink

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our Recent Fundraiser--The Both Hands Project--May 14

We are excited to tell you about our latest fundraiser. It is called the "Both Hands Project."
We are excited because we have a chance, not only to bring our children home, but to also serve a widow, just like it talks about in James 1:27. Basically, how this works is: Mark and I contact a widow in need and assemble a team of our friends. Then the team (including us) would send out letters to family and friends asking people to sponsor us for the day as we work on this widow's house. All the funds go to Lifesong for Orphans toward our adoption. It's just like asking someone to sponsor you for a 5K Run for the Cure. The idea has been done over 50 times around the country already!
A local organization called "Shepherd Community" helped us find a widow in the inner city who needs some work done on her 110 year old house.
We met Pam and her two children, Anthony and Chante, this past Thursday. Pam lost her husband to cancer this past September. Her son, Anthony is 24 with Down's Syndrome. Her daughter, Chante, is 21 years old.
Our friend, Dan, did an inspection on Pam's house, and there are numerous things that need to be done. (Thanks, Dan! We appreciate you taking the time to help us and Pam.)
Right now, what we need are people willing to help fix up Pam's house on May 14th and have some people sponsor you.
Some examples of jobs that will need done are plumber,painters,cleaners,landscapers,food manager, photographer,videographer,carpenter(repair stairs & fence), dry waller, carpet layer,window installer. No matter what your experience, we could use you.
If you would like to help, please email us:
Soon, we will post a list of materials we need for Pam's house.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Newest Adoption Journey

Due to child trafficking and Hague Regulations, we are not going to blog about our
newest adoption journey. We will be updating everyone through email.
Thank you for understanding.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Adoption Update

Hope you all are doing well. We so appreciate your prayers during our time of grieving. We learned this week that Katarina and Nathaniel have been adopted by a Spanish couple and are now living in Spain. We pray they have a loving and caring family and as Ethan prayed yesterday that they would still come to know Christ. We miss them tremendously.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Adoption Update

Greetings all,

It is with a saddened soul that I send you this e-mail. As much as it pains me to write these words, it's time has come. The last stone that I could think of has been turned over and there is no more hope. We will not be adding Katarina and Nathaniel to our family. Almost exactly 2 years ago we started this journey and we find ourselves emotionally drained, angry, empty, and unsure of what lies before us in the pursuit of adoption.

I (Mark) do not have a category in which to place how I feel and how I am thankful for each of you and your support, money, prayers, sacrifices, and overwhelming thoughtfulness towards our family's endeavors to bring these two wonderful children into our home. It is a debt I cannot repay. I desire to either show you pictures of our new children or ask for forgiveness because we failed. I do not know how to respond to where we find ourselves. I cannot count the hours my incredible wife has spent the past 2 years to receive these kids, to be faithful to the call, to do everything in excellence and love. The mounds of an infinite amount of times, phone calls, e-mails, trips to the state house, 5 mammoth garage sales,planning our trip, and countless areas of service. Months of her life that can never be returned and she offered them willingly with only the hope for these kids. I am a blessed man.

Many have asked what went wrong. The big picture did not become truly clear until the past month or so. We were told often by other local facilitators while in Odessa that our facilitator was not professional and was misrepresenting us to the local officials. Because we put our trust in her we believed she was doing all she could to help us. The truth is her supervisor/team members mis-translated our home study and was not thorough in catching some key phrases that could be seen as red flags to the local officials. Once presented to the local officials there was opportunities to correct the misinformation but our facilitator mishandled the opportunity. Most of our last weeks in Odessa was spent trying to repair the damage that our family was going to financially benefit from this adoption and that our house was too small because the home study was mistranslated concerning the size of our house and the amount of rooms we have. The word 'benefit' is what caused rumors to circulate that this pastor and his family which later was referred to in the court house as the 'scandal', was going to benefit or be compensated by recieving thes children. We were not allowed to amend our paperwork with the correct information and the bias was already in place. Our facilitator, who also lived with us for most of the month kept this information to herself allowing us to believe all would be fixed and turning the blame toward the judge and social worker. In working through a new translator the past few weeks we have learned the damage to our case was too severe and there are too many levels of bureaucracy would need to be overturned in order for us to be successful. The kicker came 2 weeks ago when we learned that in Sept. that our facilitator was told that we were given a negative report she responded by saying, "you can't give them a negative report I have already used the money to send my son, his wife, and daughter to England to find work". We knew of this side story in her life because she asked us to pray for her son and their safety and give us frequent updates to their situation. So we feel betrayed, used, and violated. Yet, we know we are to forgive them, whether it was intentional or unintentional, we are called to love and to forgive and we are working through that now.

We also prepare to grieve. We as a family need to put this appropriately behind us and find ourselves in the One who makes all things new and can redeem any situation.

We received a significant portion of the money back from one person involved in the process and that money is with Lifesong which can be used for others to adopt if we choose not to pursue any further. Which to be honest...does not seem likely at least with our present state of mind and heart. In order to continue a Ukrainian adoption we would need to go over another 4-6 weeks, which is not possible at this time. We desire to be supportive of other families who desire to adopt and want to help with the information and experience we gleaned from our experience. We know that each adoption has it's own story. We truly desire to be advocates in the 'care for orphans'. Only God knows what is in store for us next.

I can't say 'thank you' enough. There are many of you who have gone way above the call of duty to support us and I truly wish I could return your monies, time, and resources. Again, I have no category for this and I can never truly repay you and your kindness to our family. So..thank you! Thank you for your service, love, and kindness. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed us.

We know the Lord will care for Katarina and Nathaniel. We pray for their 'forever family'.

To His glory and Grace,

Mark (and Diane and kids)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Home but there....

Greetings from Indiana,
We are adjusting to home. Most all of us have jet lag.
We are obviously torn. We are hoping some conversations over the next couple of days that will move our situation forward. Here are two pics we took before we left.
We traveled for 25 hours. There is so much grace in all that we have gone through
with travel, people, protection, and relationships. So blessed.
Thank you all for your prayers!
Mark (and Diane)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spending time with our new family members!!

We are working into getting into a rhythm and spending about 2 hours a day with Katarina and Nathaniel. Today Katarina told each us "I love you" in English. She is very smart and independent. Nathaniel is just adorable, with his big brown eyes and smile. He adores his sister but he is truly warming up to his new brothers and sister.
We are enduring and God has brought His people into our life here to encourage us.
We are learning life on the Odessa metro system for 2 hours a day. But it is worth it.
The kids are picking up so much of the culture and language it is fun to watch and listen to them.
Tonight we ate varenyky--kinda like a ravioli without the sauce.

Blessings to all!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Meet our new children

Greetings all!
We have got to spend 2 days with our new children. They are calling us "poppa" and "momma". They are healthy, beautiful, and so bright. We hoping to see them tomorrow or Monday at the latest. What a joy to get to know them. Everything is moving ahead on the paperwork. We even filled our their official paperwork for their passport. It was strange seeing their name written out and then signing them.
We have settled into an apartment that is great for the kids and us to get some normalcy.

In Odessa,
Mark and Diane