Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update & Lots of folks needing prayers

Time just does not slow down!  First, I want to thank everyone that came out Saturday and supported us at the area speaking!  We enjoyed each one of you that came by to speak to us!  Thank you for all the emotional & financial support!  I know this is not a buying time of the year, but many of you purchased & many of you are coming back for Christmas gifts.  I cannot stress enough how much all the prayers, support, & encouragement means to us!  Each one of you have been very special!  Thank you & thank you for coming Saturday.  

On Saturday, I had a few very nice people say to me that they hoped we were able  to bring our children home.  I didn't know what the first person meant by it.  By the second time, I realized that people were meaning they hoped we would raise the funds.  When I realized what they meant, I clarified that we  would bring our children home!  I didn't take any offense to these kind people at all, but took it as a very kind wish of encouragement!  They were extremely kind and were being very nice, but we want you all to know that no matter what it takes, we will bring our children home.  And we would love to oneday help others bring home their children - one more happy family, one less orphan! (0:  Money should not be an object when you are getting this kind of payoff & we will always support & help others that are trying to rescue  & make an orphan part of their family!

This is a mission from God & not necessarily an easy one, but we will follow His will no matter what it takes.  We feel blessed, honored,  and excited that we have been chosen to parent more kids!  Someone said kinda kidding "Did God come talk with you & Phil one day?"  Well, actually yes & no.  He did not physically appear in our kitchen and talk to us, but we have been listening to His words and asking Him to lead us.  I believe if we ask then stop and listen, God will nudge you in the right directions.  I know I sometimes ask, but forget to take the time to listen.  I ignored the calling to adopt internationally for a while because I didn't think it was something we were in a position to do.  When Phil spoke with me one night and said he thought we were being called to adopt, chills ran up my spine!  I said "I know; I've been dodging God"  You cannot hide from Him though! lol  We've never felt a calling like this before and unless you have felt something so strongly, you might not understand!  We have a feeling this is just the beginning of many missions He has for us, but we are trying to take it one step at a time. 

Update on adoption:  The social worker came to our house on Friday and I think it went very well.  She is very nice and never makes us feel nervous!  She is a blessing!  We hope to get the last 2 visits in this week so our home study will be complete.  Once we complete the home-study, we can begin the process of having everything notarized, sealed, etc.  Then, the paperwork is off to China to get translated! :0)

Also, we didn't mention it on the internet, but several people knew that we found another little boy on the site over the weekend.  We sent in a message about him, but he had found his home.  It's heartbreaking, but we knew this would happen along our journey.  I'm thankful for many things with this: 1.) I'm very thankful he found his home!  2.) Our prayers were to God that if he wasn't our child then to have a roadblock for us {found a home, we weren't eligible to adopt him for some reason, etc.}  
God again answered our prayers and I'm so thankful!!! 

There are a few people that are really needing prayers at this time.  Terry Smith's wife, Kim, unexpectedly had open heart surgery yesterday.  Most of you from Corinth probably know them.  Phil has always thought so much of Terry; he was Phil's youth minister when he was growing up.  Phil told Terry yesterday we would ask for prayers for them through this difficult time.

Also, I've asked several times for prayers for Ethan Jostad 
but he isn't getting any better.  His family is having an extremely hard time and have asked for prayers from everyone.  I cannot imagine my child being that sick; I pray my blessings for today will go to this family!

Lots of things going on & I thank each one of you for reading our posts and praying for us!  You don't know how very much the support we get means to us!  It helps us get through this grueling process so much better!  I hope you all are having a great week & God bless each one of you!
Love to all, 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We all have a story. Everybody. We have "a story of us". Most folks won't have their story made into a movie (not even a Lifetime movie!- though Sara Gilbert could use the work) The Biography Channel probably won't even notice. The vast majority of us will play-out our story and it will be quietly put on society's shelf with the zillion of other biographies placed their to collect dust. And so will be the story of your life. Seems insignificant, doesn't it. You are not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Your actions are fairly pointless.

Sadly, this has been MY attitude for....well...... most of my life. What could I REALLY do? I'm not in a high position of authority. I'm not surrounded by "yes men" all day telling me how cool I am. I don't own a Fortune 500 company. I haven't written an Oscar winner. I can't even find my flip-flops! And I LOVE THOSE FILP-FLOPS!!!

It is so easy to get caught up in the "it is other people's job" to make an impact, that we (I know "I") forget that nothing that happens on God's earth is unnoticed. It is all important. That is the cool thing about life. You are shaping the outcome of things and you probably haven't even noticed. Now, that is a BIG THOUGHT. The challenge comes with the "what will I do with this?"

I love movies. Always have. Ever since seeing Star Wars at the Skylark Drive Inn in the 70's, I have been hooked. I love a good story. I can always get "lost" in the lure of film. They say that the sign of a solid screen-play is that every scene is critical to the conclusion of the film. Have you ever seen a "boring" movie? Sure, we all have. Chances are that the STORY was not boring. Believe me, to get a screen-play made into a feature-length film takes more hoop jumping than a poodle in the Shiner's Circus. The problem, more than likely, lied in the writer putting in scenes that were not critical to the outcome of the movie- or FILLER. Filler is bad! It's main purpose on this earth is to simply take up space- to eat away at the clock! This is the way the movie business works, but this is not the way life works. What we think of as "Filler" is really having a huge impact on the outcome of our life's movie.

Look back on the last 10 years of your life. What happened in your story that did not effect where you are now? Did some things that seemed trite (at the time) determine the course of your history? The chance encounter, losing your cell phone, missing that appointment. Did it all sorta work together to make you who you are now? Entire marriages have been built on a bad cell phone bill (I'll explain later!)

The cool thing about the Bible is that everything that is induced is absolutely critical to the overall outcome of it's message. Some parts seem insignificant, but a real story lies in each passage. A really cool guy opened me to this reality tonight and for that I am eternally thankful. So much of life has passed me by without my notice. Learning and understanding have been at my fingertips all along. I just have not reached for them. Unlike the movie biz, life has no "filler". Life is sorta like an early Eagles album. Each song has legs and could be the career hit of a lesser band. And sure, some days are our "Hotel California" and some other days are our "New Kid in Town"s but they all play a small part in our very being. We don't hit a home-run very often, but, ever move has it's place.

It has taken me until now to realize that the concept of middle ground doesn't exist. The people I meet on a daily basis are either led to do good or led to do nothing (which is BAD!!) by my direct influence. No man is a "neutral" influence. I have entertained this concept in the past, but I have come to the conclusion that my actions will influence someone. If I am not a GOOD influence, I am a BAD influence. The harsh reality is that there are people who never came to know Christ because of my unwillingness to share the Gospel (or Good News of Christ's sacrifice) with them. Some I'll never see again. Some have gone on to meet their maker. Point is, the opportunity is gone. And I bear a portion of the responsibly of where their soul lies tonight.

God is working with the world now, but he is working through US as his children. He doesn't send his "GODNESS" on those he sees fit. It that were the case whose fault would it be for those who never come to know him? He doesn't pick and choose the hearts he works on. He want's all men to be saved, but it is up to us to be his hands and feet while here on his earth. It would be easy to say "its is someone elses responsibility" or God will work on him; But if we are really honest, we know that is not true. If his word is not spread by us then.... It won't be spread. Simple. Critical. It is a big responsibility. And I lothe responsibility. But, it is what we are here to do if we claim to know him. I am not "preaching" to you, I am "preaching" to me. I am in no position to cast a stone. I need to work on ME (as far as I know, that is the only person I have a proof-positive impact on!) I am trying to get my life in a position in which I can make this world a better place.

I know it is often hard to get to the places we feel comfortable given our colorful pasts. We sometimes feel so inadequate. I know that my story is not filled with great chapters that I want the grand-kids to read, but I am concentrating on the words that are written today and learning to make the most of the ones already written. I've been reading the works of a guy that was a murderer in his youth, been in and out of prison most of his adult life, been beated half to death, and been the government's public enemy #1. His life has had a pretty bid impact on me. Matter of fact he wrote a big portion of the New Testament. His name was Paul, and if God could use him, what could he do with us?


Friday, July 22, 2011

'Word of God Speak'

Hello all!  It has been a crazy week - what's new? lol  I'm very tired tonight, but I felt like I needed to quickly update everyone on all that is going on.  We will have the social worker to come out tomorrow for our 2nd home visit.  Please pray all goes well. We are set up for the political speaking at the arena for Saturday.  We will have t-shirts, coffee (yes, we got some in), jewelry, and more.  You can pick up your shirts or purchase shirts there.  Also, I mentioned the coffee.  We drank some this afternoon when it came in & it was so smooth and just delicious!!!  I think you will LOVE it!

Anyone that knows us or has been keeping up with our story knows we miscarried in September. There is not a day that goes by that I don't rejoice and grieve at the same time.   Some days weigh heavier on my heart, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish we had our Landon!   Recently, I have had a heavy heart.  I'm fine, I just wish our family could unite.  There is a song that means so much to me and always makes me think of our child we never held in our arms but have always love.  One day our entire family will unite and that gives me strength!   'Homesick' by Mercy Me is a song that is very special to me!  This group is so talented and we love their songs!  Another song I've been listening to during this journey is 'Word of God Speak'.  It's hard not having our baby that should be almost 4 months old.  I don't always understand God's ways, but I don't have to; my role is to follow.  I trust my God and will follow where ever He leads!  We are an extremely blessed family!  I am so thankful God gave me one of the best husbands and we can share our time here with 2 of the best children.  I cannot wait until we expand our family and meet our new children!  God is good GREAT!   He has blessed us in many ways & I trust Him!  Where He leads I will follow!

"Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3

Love In Christ,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"He Reigns"

Love this song!

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:11 

I LOVE the way this song brings out nations other than ours in the first verse!  I think this is exactly what was meant in Philippians - EVERY tongue!  

If you have not heard this song, you need to hear it!  What a comfort to know "He Reigns"!  It always encourages me & makes my day better!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

PIF Rules

O.K. I took a gander at our following list for our blog and no else has signed to follow our blog  so can I figure:
No one wants to PIF?
No one wants my PIF?
I'm just going to guess that no one wanted to get ahead in the game.? lol

Rules are as follows
1.)  You will not know what I'm giving you until you get it.  Hey, a smile is giving someone something so don't expect a new house! lol  You may or may not like it.
2.) I have 2 weeks to complete my PIF obligations and the person I PIF to has 2 weeks to complete their PIF obligations.
3.) You need to follow us on our blog on blogger (NOT just Facebook)
4.) The first 5 comments on our BLOG  will get a PIF from me. (0:
I will contact you today or tomorrow for an address.

See that's not hard is it?
What is a PIF?  Anything kind act done for another.  It can be helping someone with their kids,  mowing a yard, buying food for someone in line, and the list could continue.  This PIF does NOT have to be anything that causes you to spend $.  If you want to PIF that way, great; if not, great - you be the decision maker on your PIF.  

PIF acts do not have to be shared unless you want to for some reason.  This is done on the honor system.  
O.k.  go follow our blog and post a comment on our blog so I can feel better with some PIFs (0;  
SMILE and say Hello to someone -  you never know.......it might just make their day!

LAST Reminder - Only a few hours left for this special:
Buy 3 bags of coffee and get 1 FULL size (13 oz) not for-sale yet espresso for FREE!
(OFFER ENDS TONIGHT for the free bag!)


O.K. so today I feel terrible.  No belly aching here as I'm pretty sure it's just allergies.  However I thought, I want to feel better but I don't feel like getting up and doing something so what can I do to feel better?  

Phil and I have been discussing how we can thank everyone for their prayers, support, encouragement, purchasing of items, & so many nice gestures we've had over our journey.  We had already thought that a prize drawing or something would be great, but today I've decided something a little different.  It's not a new idea, but new for our blog!  

How great do you feel when you do something for someone else for no reason???  The smile and unexpected joy you give to someone?  It makes me feel great to see someone happy when I do for them!  It's easier for me to give than receive!  I've decided that today I'd like to do a Pay It Forward....not one, but 5!  There has been so many unexpectedly nice things people have done for us (I'm not adding them all so please don't think I don't appreciate something that isn't listed...we've appreciated every little {which wasn't little to us!} comment in person, writing, text, etc.)  These are just a few of the very unexpected things people have done over the last couple weeks (in no order of importance):
-a bag without a name was left at our door steps with goodies in it
-a very sweet person brought us some very yummy food out of the blue
-2 people have handed us a donation check
-a very sweet person offered to get a handout to each U.S. Supreme Court Justice about our cause
I've only included 5 above and that is not even close to the nice things people have done to help us get our cause promoted - some have handed out our fliers in their church, schools, communities, and work.  Some have helped to get our shirts sold and then placed big orders.  Others have contacted celebs that they know to get t-shirts to them.  Some have posted our links to our blog and coffee shop on tweets, their facebook, blogspot, shop fronts, and other places in the webworld.  A few people knew they might get some public attention at an event and wore our shirt to help gain more support for us.  O.k. I said I wasn't going to go on and on, but the support we have gotten has been phenomenal!  We say thank you so much but that doesn't seem enough!

I know most all  of us do things for others and never even think about it; however, today I want to start a PIF.  Later, I will post all the details on how this will work.  I will let you know that you will need to "follow our blog" by email to qualify.   See in the right corner, it says "follow by email" - just put in your email, click submit, then confirm your request in your email.  If you do that now, you will be a step closer when I post details tonight.

Everyone please re-post this, tweet this, email friends or whatever you can to get people's attention over the next few hours.  Everyone likes to get something nice even if  it's just a smile to make us feel better!  Let's get as many people involved as we can!  When others are nice to us, it just makes us feel good!  If this goes over well, I'd love to do more things like this over our journey!

Oh and if you love coffee or need special/unique gifts, please don't forget about the special that ends TONIGHT on our coffee site 
Buy 3 bags of coffee and get 1 FULL size (13 oz) not for-sale yet espresso for FREE!  
(OFFER ENDS TONIGHT for the free bag!)

"9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6:9-10  

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://ww...

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Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road...

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road...: "Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://ww... : 'Long Road to China - our adoption story: h..."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Simplifying - to God be the Glory

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Simplifying - to God be the Glory: "I wrote 2 nights ago about giving the ax to DirectTV to save $. We are trying to simplify more to save $ and I got to thinking what do ..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Wait time

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Wait time: "I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Phil has been updating so I've taken the passengers seat the last few posts. We are a team like t..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: I think we need to get Pinkie fixed

Long Road to China - our adoption story: I think we need to get Pinkie fixed: "So today Colt walks into the room followed by Macy Jade.( The following has not been dramatized for effect) Colt: I think we need to get Pin..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Ethan Jostad - Please pray for this child!

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Ethan Jostad - Please pray for this child!: "Please continue to keep this precious child, Ethan Jostad , his medical team, family, and friends your prayers! I know I've asked you ..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Areas & times 2 get shirts today & Saturday

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Areas & times 2 get shirts today & Saturday

Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina

Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina: "We've posted a link on our blog about our coffee shop but I've not introduced it to you. I just got a message about a special that is runnin..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://ww...

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://ww...: "Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina : 'We've posted a link on our blog about our coffee s..."

Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina

Long Road to China - our adoption story: http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina: "We've posted a link on our blog about our coffee shop but I've not introduced it to you. I just got a message about a special that is runnin..."


We've posted a link on our blog about our coffee shop but I've not introduced it to you. I just got a message about a special that is running on the site so I thought I would let you know about this shop.  Now through Sunday (17th) if you order 3 bags of coffee, you get a FREE 13oz. bag of a not-for-sale-yet espresso.  These coffees are so unique and where else can you find coffee from Africa, Asia, and Central & South America?  Want to give a special gift to a person that has everything?  Well, now you have it!  

Let me tell you alittle bit about how completely awesome this company is for orphans, those of us adopting, and other needs in Africa!  Rob Webb from Murfreesboro, TN started the business after being called to adopt from Ethiopia.  While reading up on Ethiopia, he also learned that Ethiopia was the birthplace for coffee.  Through his experiences, Just Love Coffee was born.  

This company is helping orphanages in Africa and building a school.  Their coffee is 100% Fair Trade coffee which means it is purchased directly from the farmers which helps their families get a fair price on the beans - - higher than standard coffee.  Last month they begin to give 5% of every sale from Just Love Coffee to fund clean water projects.  These are just a few of the wonderful ways they are using their funds.  Another way is letting adopting parents set up a shop on their site.  If you are interested in buying from such helpful & giving business, please visit our shop there http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina 

Purchase some for yourself, give a unique gift, share with friends, take to the shut-in, take to a shower/luncheon/etc.......the list could continue on.  While you are enjoying it or giving to another, you can smile knowing that you are also helping others through your purchase! So.....what are you waiting for?  Go now..........http://www.justlovecoffee.com/longroadtochina and purchase the 3 bags now through 
Sunday so you can get 1 full bag for free!  Don't forget to give our shop link to your friends,  family, co-workers, & church families!You can post our link on your blog, website, facebook account, & tweet it --especially this one since I'm not a tweeter yet! (0:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ethan Jostad - Please pray for this child!

Please continue to keep this precious child, Ethan Jostad , his medical team, family, and friends your prayers!  I know I've asked you all to pray for him a 
few weeks ago, but his treatments are not working.  I know I can always depend on prayers from you when someone is in need!  

Ethan's cancer has spread into more bones in his
body over the last few weeks. The chemo did nothing.  
The type of cancer he has is very aggressive and they 
are hoping to try some experimental treatments.  
They are in a fight for their child's life and time is not 
in their favor.  This just breaks my heart and I cannot 
imagine what this family is going through.  I just 
know they definitely need prayers!  If you wish to 
follow him, you can get all his information and follow 
him by face by Facebook or Caringbridge   

Team Ethan Jostad


These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may
have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take 
courage; I have overcome the world.John 16:33

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I think we need to get Pinkie fixed

So today Colt walks into the room followed by Macy Jade.( The following has not been dramatized for effect) Colt: I think we need to get Pinkie (our 4 lb. poodle) fixed. Macy (indignantly): Colt, she DOESN'T even have electronics! 

First of all, Colt doesn't really have a clue about Pinkie going into heat. He parrots what he hears from us. And yes, she does need to go under the knife. We have given him the "parent" version of what is going on. If you are a parent, you know exactly what I'm talking about. We lie to our kids. We do this for a million reasons. Sometimes we lie about what happened to Fido, or give the easy version of what happened to whomever has just died. So truth be told, we lie or omit or glaze over the harsh realities of life. This is understandable. We wan't to protect them from the world and in a sense, preserve their innocence. I think this way of thinking (the not telling the WHOLE truth bit) is not totally without merit. I've been teaching 14 years or so and the students that REALLY crack the code often times sorta just give up. These are usually the loner types- you know, dress in black, play Magic the Gathering, etc. When they figure out that when they get in trouble the crap is going to hit the fan, but its a different story when betty sue- my parents own this way cool business-popular gets caught in a pickle, they start seeing the world through jaded eyes. They seem to reach reality and adulthood a little bit before the rest of the pack. So, what is best? I've tossed this one around for years, but never really understood it until I had kids. The lies we tell are meant to do only good, but I've come to realize that there is some point at which we are doing the youth a disservice by perpetuating the "cocoon" effect. We sorta forget to tell them everything and (along with a constant dosing of self-confidence booster) before long we have a bunch of 18 year old's that think they can run the world. They don't have a real clue as to the "real" word REALLY operates. We have forgotten to tell them that their judgement is naturally going to stink because they are young and just haven't been around long enough know a lot and its not totally their fault. It's what some would call a Catch 22. See, this whole artificial world that we have created for them makes US feel better as parents, it creates a temporary safety net, but has its drawbacks. When the REAL stuff comes along, do they have the information they need to really make the wise decision? I grew up hearing that drugs were bad. Good lesson. I heard how they can ruin your life and etc, etc. That... is a really good half truth. What nobody tells you is that "they can cause great temporary pleasure, but this pleasure clouds your judgement and older folks with tons more maturity and judgement than you have lost everything because they eventually lost ANY judgement- so what i the world makes you think that you are the exception?- you can't even handle taking out the dog. Pleasure trumps judgement. Always has. So DON'T DO DRUGS. Life will be hard enough as it is." So, before long it is their friends that tell them what getting high is all about (the stuff that was left out of the Just Say No pamphlet) and they lack the knowledge and education to often handle the situation. Past generations didn't operate on the " I'm 18 and smart and can do anything I want" mentality. The pre-industrial folks told them (the young uns) that their judgement was crap and they pretty much understood that they lacked the skills to make it in the world without the guidance of a Yoda. This spawned the apprentice concept. They knew where they stood. Now, this approach is not flawless in the least. If we don't have a little self-confidence we will never REALLY roll the dice. As I have written about before, It is never to early to chart your destiny- to change the world; but, If you have such a warped- Mayberry concept of what goes on out there- what are you really doing? What are you really changing? So what should we be telling the youth of our nation? I don't have the answers, but I know for me I never really found my footing until I started to SEE the world in which God made for us. A 6 year old doesn't need to know every thing that goes on in Darfur, but if we want to change the world we need to know the world. A while back, I stepped out of the cocoon that I was living in and started to make myself SEE the world. I'm a creation of God, but so is everyone!! I can no longer pretend that what happens out there is none of my concern. We are all in this thing together- whites, blacks, asian, latinos, you name it. Arbitrary lines drawn in the sand are put there my man. I know it sounds like I'm on a rant, but this isn't a rant. This is just what's going on with me right now. I could sugar coat reality like I do for my kids, but you have grown beyond that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Wait time

Long Road to China - our adoption story: Wait time: "I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Phil has been updating so I've taken the passengers seat the last few posts. We are a team like t..."

Wait time

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Phil has been updating so I've taken the passengers  seat the last few posts.  We are a team like that; when one is tired/worn-out/etc. the other one picks up the slack.  Have I mentioned what a wonderful husband I have today?  God has truly blessed me with the best family!  I know we are not completed and He is still working to add more. 

We do not know any new information about the adoption.  We are constantly checking our e-mails to see if we have been matched.  It's hard for me to just wait, but there is nothing else I can do right now.  During this time, I've been very busy trying to fundraise.  Some one asked me the other day why we have started so early since it may be 6-12 months before we leave for China.  It's hard to raise a large lump sum of money all at once.  We want to be prepared and not feel so pressured for the $25,000-$40,000 (this is per child) international adoption fees.  We are saving and doing all we can to  not have any delays due to fiances.  All the fees are not paid at the end, but along the journey.  A bulk part of the financial burden is at the end of the journey, but we still have fees along the way to pay.  They do not let you continue to the next step until you pay the payments.  I know most families have to take out another mortgage on their house, but we do not want to do this until we have to.   No matter what we have to do, we will bring our child home!  This is why we have started so early with the fundraisers.  

Also, during this wait time, I've been trying to read and study; however it doesn't seem too often I have time. lol  I have been reading on adoption, Chinese adoptions, and Chinese culture.  I'm still learning so much new information!  I am reading a book (actually I've started about 3! lol) by Xinran called Letters from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love.  This book will bring anyone to tears!  I'm anxious to read more from this author.  She is a Chinese native that writes many books about China.  I think her information is going to be very productive for me and I'm hoping it will give me better understanding on some issues.  

And of course, during our wait time, our family has been enjoying our time together!  I cannot believe school starts back so soon; it is going to be so strange to me.  Both Colt and Macy Jade will be in school this year and of course Phil will go back to teaching.  This process has strengthened, changed, and grown us so much!  I never new the starting process (even prior to having our other children with us) could change everyone so much!  

Colt is such a sweetheart!  Sunday at church, we sat down from a family with a young daughter.  I thought Colt was going to go sit by her; he kept saying "Look Momma, she is so cute!"  Then that afternoon, we were fortunate enough to run into grandparents that had a 4y/o granddaughter from China.  They showed us her picture and Colt went on and on about how cute she was, how precious she was, and wondering if his sister would look like her.  When we got in the car, he said  that he just couldn't help thinking about his baby brother or sister everytime he saw a baby.  He is just a sweetheart!  Macy Jade was excited too, but Colt was just smothered with love everytime he sees a baby! 

Both kiddos have dentist appointments tomorrow in the morning so we will be in Corinth again tomorrow.  If you want a shirt or have  not gotten your shirt, you can text us at 415-0190 to meet us in town & pick it up.  We will be going by some businesses tomorrow that have ordered shirts and delivering them.  If you work in Corinth and want us to stop by your work for a shirt, please just text us to let us know.  

I hope you all have a wonderful day & if it's as hot in your location as ours (103 today) then please stay cool!  Thank you all for continuing to follow our adventure!  Say a little prayer for us and all our children tonight!  Love you all! Niki

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (NKJV)
Isaiah 40:31

Finding our purpose

So, the other night Niki and I stopped by the Slug-fest. I was interesting just walking around and talking to people. You haven't lived till you have attended a small town carnival. The coolest thing (besides those big blow-up balls with kids in them- if you were there, you know what I'm talking about) was the look of wonder in the kids eyes. They aren't bored like teens and adults. Everyday they learn something new and life is play and play is learning. What in the world happens to us as we mature? I'm no Socrates (I learned to spell his name watching Bill and Teds Ex. Adventure!), but it seems to me like our bodies mature (as we grow into our teens) and we keep on doing basically the same things we were doing when we were a kid. We hang out with friends, play video games, watch TV, etc. The difference between 6 and 16 is that we have sorta maxed out the learning potential from just hanging out with friends. It's not that doing these things is bad, but at 10, give me a backyard, my brother Jeremy Smith, a Red Ryder and I was content for hours. It was an adventure! At 18 we sat around on Shiloh Road and talked about how much we hated this small town. A lot of the wonder was fading with the current situation. It is at this time that people can start working on "difficult" things, but our brains go on auto-pilot. We are totally mature enough to undertake the significant, but we wait for God to throw us a bone. We wait for things to sorta fall into our laps. I see this all the time. My students (this could hold the same for 99.9% of folks) don't realize the impact that working on difficult thing can have on their lives. It is the not knowing of the outcome that creates the tension we need to find ourselves. We like to play a safety, but the not knowing of the outcome creates the same wonder that we had as a kid. It feels good to be the best at something- to
play within our comfort zone. We like to dominate something, but this does not open any new windows to what God wants from us. Everyone knows when they are born, but who among us really finds why they were born? We all have a purpose. Have you ever thought that there is a unique thing that only "you" can accomplish to make this world a better place? Our lives are not an accident. We can all make a difference. But what are the "difficult" things that I'm talking about? It is all about pushing the limits. Reading a novel is easy, writing one is NOT!!!!! Try to learn a new language. Will you be able to do it? Who knows? Who cares!?!!. The important thing is that you tried and the journey will open things in you that your never knew were there by just going through the automated motions of life. Try stepping out on that ledge. It is called Faith. The great men of Faith stepped beyond their comfort zone. Moses was content with his legs under another man's table, eating another mans food, but God had something bigger in store for ole Moses. He had something custom made for him. He has something custom made for me and you, but you can bet that we will both resist. It is only natural. Do you want that same wonder and anti-boredom you had when you were 6, when life was one big Slug-fest? Ask and you will receive- as the good book says. When we started this journey, I was weak and unsure. How will this all end? I really have no ideal? But God has given me new legs and a purpose. If I follow him, I will succeed. That I know. The long road to China is filled with uncertainty, but I know my child is there. And I will find him.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Simplifying - to God be the Glory

I wrote 2 nights ago about giving the ax to DirectTV to save $.  We are trying to simplify more to save $ and I got to thinking what do we really need?  We only have as much as we do by God's grace!  Why are we here and not a homeless, poverty stricken orphan in Africa or any other person?  Honestly, I don't know why God chose us to have all that we as Americans have, but we should be thankful for the simplest things in life.  I'm talking to myself because I'm so thankful for so much that I forget simplicity......food to eat, roof over our head, clothes to wear, etc.  Our children probably pray some of the best prayers when you sit there waiting to eat and they are praying "Thank you God for the sun, rain, doors, rocks, dirt, birds, dogs, cats, sky, grass, (they peek around with one eye and you think they are finishing)......and for the floor, the table, the chair, water, food, and the list goes on and on.  You know those prayers and it's the simplest things that they pray for that we often take for granted.  

We want to be obedient to God's calling and honestly serving Him is the only way to true happiness.  We've all been so conditioned to the  "American Dream" and thinking about what we should have or deserve because we worked hard.  It's alright to turn down the material things we think we need in exchange for seeking God's will - for us it's taking orphans into our home.

God calls us all to care for the orphans and the widows, I do not believe this means He calls us all to adopt  I believe that He does not call all to adopt,  but we can all help out the orphans and widows.  That may mean helping a widow shop, clean,  care for her children - financially &/or emotionally - maybe this would keep her from feeling like she had no choice but to give them up for adoption. It may mean being a support network for an orphan, supporting an organization that cares for orphans &/or widows.  Maybe for you it means helping someone bring their child home.  You can help the widows and orphans with support, your time, and prayers - it doesn't always have to be $ we are called to help with. And for a few lucky ones it means we have been called to bring a child into our home to love as we do all our other children because that is our gift. There are many things people can do to take care of others.

 We do have nice things and I think most people think we have a lot more than we really have financially.  We've always been private and kept things to ourselves, but since we are taking you on our journey, we should bring you into our world.  We've read many, many places on how to save $ to adopt so you don't go broke.  It's kinda funny because I'm so cheap, I could have written most everything I've read and expanded on them! lol  Phil says if something costs $10, I'll find a way to pay $5 for it.......and he is right.  I honestly don't think if I was a billionaire I'd not find a way to save $ on purchases - that's just me!  I've been buying stuff up in bulk when it was on sale, buying for Christmas with clearance items in July, buying off-seasons, & shopping the discount stores even before "saving as much $ as you can on purchases" was the cool thing to do.  

We work hard too and I'm not saying that entitles me to anything - think about how hard the Africans work everyday just to have food and water - I don't think i could ever carry those heavy pottery pieces filled with water on my back.......unless I had to for my family and I to survive!   But my point is that Phil & I learn how to do things ourselves and save lots of $.  When we bought our house, we got a really good price for it and  WE remolded it.  Unless it was something that was structural, we studied up on how to do it and WE did it!  We do that with everything we can.

I don't buy name-brand.....unless I can purchase it on clearance, second-hand & as cheap as anything from Wal-Mart on sale!  lol  Unless it's something I HAVE to have for an occasion that popped up, I don't usually pay full price at Wal-Mart if I can help it - I shop for bargains with food, shampoo, and those type items, but I cannot always pay cheap, cheap prices for those, but I do my best!  However, I almost always buy the cheapest brand....unless it's ketchup and I cannot handle the off brand in it.......yeah, poor me.  lol    

Ladies, Please don't get offended with what I'm gonna say next!   I read about people going to get pedicures or manicures  and there is nothing wrong with that.  But hold your jaw, I've never had a pedicure, massage, and only 2 manicures in my entire life.  2 manicures - our wedding and another occasion I'd completely bitten off my fingernails & was showing jewelry - both of those manicures came from a beauty college and they did a great job! Well, those of you that have ever looked at my hands can probably believe it; I definitely have work hands and that's o.k. with me! lol 

We don't trade vehicles often and have had 3 vehicles since we married - 1 we had no choice in purchasing because we had totaled another vehicle.  We may shop around for a year before we make a purchase like that and we have purchased wrecked and repaired vehicles to save money.  This last vehicle we purchased was strictly because we needed more room.  We've told the kids they had better take care of it because it is going to last until the tires fall off. lol

O.k. you can chuckle at this one too, but no one in the house really goes to get hair cuts but Colt. For Phil, he & I cut his hair with clippers & scissors.  I get maybe 2 haircuts a year from a beautician.  I use to cut Colt's hair, but I cannot make it look right so we pay $10 every 8-10 weeks to get his hair cut.  Why every 8-10 weeks?  Well, because I trim it up around his eyes & ears until it looses it shape.  And for Macy Jade, you guessed it; I cut her hair too.  We may not have the best hair around, but maybe my scissors are the fault of that.  Oh well, it doesn't seem to bother any of us! lol  It's just hair and it grows back.....eventually.  I'm a beauticians worst night mare when I come in to finally get the 4" dead ends cut off of my hair I've been cutting on for 6 months. 

I could go on and on about how we rarely spend full price and about how cheap I am, but I would have a book.  I think you get the idea though.  Yes, some of my cheapness has come out of necessity for staying home for the last 8 years and some of it is I'm just plain ole' cheap!   We can all make sacrifices when it's important enough to us and staying at home was another calling from God so we adapted our lives so I could be here.

The bottom line is GOD DOES PROVIDE!   Nothing here is really ours anyway. When we die we don't take it with us!  The more we get; it seems the more we want!   We just have to take that first step in faith; trust me it's not an easy step!!!  I don't know where the $ is coming from  to adopt our kids and pay all the medical bills, but God knows and I have faith in Him.    I believe we have to use our gifts to help ourselves and to have common sense in spending.  I don't think He is going to just drop down a bucket of $ into my bank account - however that would be nice.   It's about the choices we make, sacrificing (however how is leaving material things off for an orphan really sacrifice?) and just being obedient.  Please don't take this to mean we never do anything, but we decide what is important to us and cut corners to make it happen.  We have been blessed! 

What would you do to bring your child home?  Yes, we are talking about orphans, but one or more of "those orphans" is/are our child(ren) & no different than Colt and Macy Jade to us.  If you had a child in another country, would you do all you had to bring him/her home to you?  We are really doing no different than most others would do for their kids.   We are just ordinary people cutting more corners on things that aren't necessities.  We are fundraising with shirts, sales, coffee,  sitting in the hot sun all day on the 4th of July meeting some of the nicest people.......but it was HOT and any other way we can help raise the $ ALONG with changing our lifestyle too.  We  hope that along our journey, we can also raise awareness and understanding of the situations in other countries, orphans, and on our soon to be multiracial family.   It's not much to ask to get our child(ren) out of a foreign orphanage!  In our house, we are all learning to live without more and I believe we will be happier in the end for itWe have never ever wanted to ask for help, but we will do whatever it takes to bring our child(ren) home - even if it means turning off the DirectTV and humbling ourselves to ask for help!   (0:  

They say money isn't everything, but it sure helps the world turn round.....I know this may seem contradictory to my entire post.  I'm not referring to financial needs for materialistic items.  It takes a lot of $ to adopt internationally and to help these orphans and others less fortunate.   Also, ask someone that has a sick child and getting services denied because insurance will not pay and they cannot pay $30,000+ a month to help save the life of their child.  Alone, we cannot not concur much, but together I believe we could turn the world.  

We are a work in process........To God be the Glory! 

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!  You have all been a blessing & encouragement to us!  Please continue to pray for us and ALL our children! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My great husband cancels Direct TV to save for adoption fees

O.k. all I have to say is that you know you have a great man when he calls & cancels Direct TV to save $65 a month (around $800 in a year) to go toward adoption costs! I Never thought he would be without Direct TV, cable or some type of service like that! We hope to get an antenna so we can pick up the news, but this in itself is huge news! An antenna would only mean a couple channels. How many men do you know that would give up their stations to help pay to adopt an orphaned child from another race/country with unknown disabilities? I'm not saying there are none others, but I bet there aren't many! Before we got married (over 12 years ago) Phil had Direct TV service installed prior to us moving in because he loved to watch it so much. I have one of the best husbands & he has always sacrificed for us!

I know I have many messages to respond to from over the weekend and I will try to answer you back tonight. Please know I'm not ignoring you - just been busy getting ready for Jacinto.

Monday, July 4, 2011 -- Jacinto & 911

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but the crew has been gearing up for the Jay-center (i seriously can't spell it!) Jacinto? (If spell check can't catch it, It ain't gonna be write.) thingy today. I am constantly amazed at the words of encouragement, prayers, and support that Niki and I (& Colt and Macy Jade) get from you. I really can't thank you enough. It can be a crazy road- 456 degrees in the shade today to spread the message and raise some funds, but it is worth it to get to make some friends and tell our story. You are truly the salt of the earth. Today brought me to some definite conclusions: Northeast Mississippi has some great folks and the importance of sunblock (the fountain of youth is lubricated with 100spf -or so I have ....... made up.) I did want to share a little behind the curtain sample of a typical Smith family conversation before my " not 20 anymore" body crashes into the pillow. Macy Jade: I learned the number to 911. Me: Well DON'T call it (unless there is an emergency... I should have said). Macy Jade: Colt taught me the number to 911. Colt: I swear I never told her the number (to 911). Promise. Yes, Niki and I need a houseful. They take after their mother (JK!)......that is how you say Just Kidding right? Please keep us in your prayers.

Saturday at 12:06am -- I like the concept of "Genius"

I like the concept of "Genius". It makes me feel great about myself and what I have accomplished in this world. Actually, it is one of my (if not MY) favorite crutch. I like to think that if I had been born with some super talent, then sure, I would have become the next Charlie Kauffman (I threw in that reference for my friend Todd Gurley!) or let's say... Shakespeare. I would have just waved my around my Shakespearness and carved out my place in modern literature. Everybody knows that the great men of history (and ladies too!) were a race apart from the common folk like me. Their lives seemed to be a fulfillment of destiny, the mere unfolding of some innate genius. That is my comfort food that I have been snacking on for most of my life (sorry for the cliches- I really try to avoid them like the plague). I makes me feel pretty content. But the truth is that sure, prodigies exist. No one has matched Tesla (the man not the band-but i would put that guitar thing in Modern Day Cowboy up there with the finest classics of the 80s (that reference is for Brandon Gurley!) and Mozart
was layin' down some serious scores when he was like six or so (like an old school Justin Beiber- don't want to exclude those born after the 70s!). A certain class of folks operate on a different level. SURE. But, the more that I really breathe in life, the more that I have realized most of the people that accomplish greatness are pretty normal, unimpressive people like you and me. It has taken me turning gray to realize this (so you Bieber kids just got your first big-boy life lesson way early- see with one swoop I reached both Macy Jade (my daughter, age 5) and my son Colt (age 8) with my last (I promise) reference!) This is an uncomfortable thought for me. If they are just like us, then they had to work pretty hard to do their thing. That is why I like the concept "genius." It gives me an excuse for being lazy and letting way more qualified folks run the show and chart our history. Hey it's ok, it is their destiny! Right? I was at a screenwriting conference a while back and while I was standing in this big crowed room trying to act/look cool and witty, I was approached by a couple of guys and we started a very casual conversation. Small talk. The weather, where I was from, etc.- no big deal. We only talked for about 7 or 8 minutes- tops- when the lights dimmed and it was time to take our seats. So Mike, who I had just met, walked to the podium instead of the "guys-like-me" section. I looked at my Schedule of Events. It read: First Speaker- Mike Rich (screenwriter of Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Radio, The Nativity Story, and Secretariat). I sort laughed at myself. We don't REALLY wan't to believe that they are just like us. Niki and I are just about as regular as the gas in my weedeater, but we believe that together (and with your help) we CAN and WILL change the world. Will it happen? Who knows? Probably take a genius to figure it out.
Saturday at 12:06am

June 30 at 1:13am -- Kiss the ground you walk on. We did nothing to deserve this.

I've been thinking about Jesus tonight (no the sermon is not about to begin). I've been thinking about his philosophies and how they have really differed from mine. I was raised in a religious family (church on Sunday, Wednesday, etc.) I graduated from Freed-Hardeman University (undergrad and grad) so I know my way around "THE BOOK"- even studied a little Greek in my spare time. But, I took a good long look at myself and compared my road with the one of Christ. A Christian is one who emulates Christ in his life. His compassion. Strength. Meekness. He came to this world to be a servant- A SERVANT!!!!!!!

I've been thinking about my role as a servant in this world. Seriously, we teach our kids from a young age to "rise above" and "make a name for yourself", but do we ever consider how they treat others? I'm not trying to be dramatic. Not how they treat others who can help them, but how they treat "the least among us". I'm great at being cool with people who can (or could) possible help me in the future. Or with folks that are easy on the eyes, but what about the guy that's not cool or stinks or whatever. A teacher once told me to read the book of James (bible) and rate myself on how my actions compare. Try it. It's a humbling experience.

I know that I'm starting to ramble, but my "looking out for number one" attitude is difficult to parallel with Christ. I think i need to remind myself WWJD- not in terms of "Jesus wouldn't get loaded and rob the bank" but in "how would Jesus treat the meth addict that is at the end of his rope?" Or, on a more personal level what would Jesus do if he were in my shoes. This adoption process has humbled me in ways that I'm far too poor a writer to express. He has opened my eyes to the world that I live in. God has blessed me. God has blessed you too.

I found some stats that really made me think.

"If there is a meal in your fridge.."
"If you are dressed with a pair of shoes..."
"If you have a roof above your head..."
You are better off than 75% of people in this world.

Kiss the ground you walk on. We did nothing to deserve this.
June 30 at 1:13am

June 30 at 9:19pm -- Out of my comfort zone

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day! We got the t-shirts ordered today and the shop stated that they should be in next Thursday or Friday. I will update you as soon as I have them. We ordered extras and hope to be putting in more orders when we run out of these.

On Monday, we will have a booth set up at the Jacinto Fourth of July Festival with profits going to our adoption costs. We will have jewelry - pendants, necklaces, & bracelets of all kinds. We will also have a concessions stand set up next to our craft booth with snow cones, nachos, & drinks. If you have not ordered a t-shirt, we will have order forms there also. If you don't have plans on Monday, come out and join the fun. There will be political speeches - it's one of the largest in MS. You can also enjoy arts and crafts, music, petting zoo (I think), and food. If you are there, please come by our booth. I know some of you we do not know and we would love to meet you. Please do not think we will try to get you to buy something if you come by or that you need to purchase something. It just makes our day when we hear people say they are following our story.

I would like to share something with you that I told a friend in a message. Maybe it will help you all to get to know us better.

I see already that we are changing. Phil & I are very quiet, private, and independent people. We never want anyone to help us & for this to work, we have to raise some funds or grow a $ tree - & I can't find any seeds for those. lol It is making us so humble and grateful for all the people that are supporting us! Not just in the fundraisers, but with prayers, love, support, encouragement, etc.. Most people don't know Phil & I because we are quiet and private. We help others when we see a need, but are always behind the scenes not wanting to be noticed.

I've never been one to just sit down and write nor have conversations with people I don't know. I'm not a snob, but shy and feel so awkward around people I don't know well. However, I felt so strongly about our adoption that I felt the need to share God's work in us to others so that is why I'm writing about our journey. Maybe it will inspire someone or someone will see God's work and follow His way, or maybe somebody will feel blessed in some way. Maybe it will help us all see each other as ONE in the same and bring some unity. I'm not sure why God wanted me to open up to others. It's typically out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to do it for some reason. Who knows what people will get out of it. This journey has taken me out of my comfort zone on so many levels, I cannot even explain!

Let's see how I can start to explain some of the many ways I've been out of my comfort zone:

1.) I'm very shy, awkward & often feel uncomfortable around people - especially people I don't know. (This is all me and rarely ever - if ever- the people that I'm around.) I'd much rather people not notice I'm there than to stand out in a crowd or be the life of the place. Well, by God's plan, this adoption is definitely drawing attention to us through our journey and I'm meeting people that I would have never met. I know I could have been this same mysterious & private person and gone through our entire adoption without writing about it. That would have been the easy way out for me! I feel I am suppose to write this journey as it goes and maybe this is God's way of working on me and making me more comfortable.

2.) I can be a germaphobic - especially when my kids were younger.
Well, our child(ren) is going to be in an orphanage for atleast his/her first 6mo. of life --need I say more on this? lol Not to mention all the foreign diseases that we don't have over here and that we could catch - not that China is nasty, but we are not use to the same diseases/sicknesses here as they are there.

3.) I HATE to fly
You cannot get any further from us than China! I'm thinking about starting to dig a hole to get there, but Phil thinks people will think that is too weird (and trust me I know people probably think we are weird! We do march to the beat of our own drum!) or that there is some kind of law against that sort of thing. I don't know what he is thinking?
- oh wait, did I mention I really HATE to fly! No joke! You can give me the stats all day on how much more likely you are to die in a car, but it doesn't matter!

4.) I'm the type of person that likes to know where things are headed; not necessarily a control freak, but just a general direction.
With adoption, you have to be ready for anything. There is no "general" direction other than the end result is holding your precious baby! You may run & run only to wait a week or weeks for someone else to return a signed form. You may have all your forms completed and then the agency may call & say can you have this one redone or we also need this, this & this. I never know which direction I'm going!

5.) Patience - not my best virtue & probably my worst! And also, we have no idea when things are going to happen. I have people ask me all the time "When will you get your baby?" or "When will they match you?", etc. I don't mind at all the questions, but I never know the answer. It's all a wait and see, but I know it will happen. I check my email numerous times a day to see if the agency has sent a match for us. Once we are matched, we will have to WAIT until China invites us to come get our child. God is definitely teaching me a thing or 2 here!

6.) Phil and I are very independent people! We don't like to ask people to help us!
We've had so many wonderful, wonderful people that are always willing to help, but we like to do it all on our own. Not always a good thing.

7.) As I said above, Phil and I are very private people. Few people know a lot about us. We lean on each other and don't let others in. It's good for us to be strong, but we need to let people in to know us better. We are kinda strange (o.k. I know a few of you are thinking real strange.) and don't do things like everyone else. I think we may seem stranger to a lot of people because we are private and quite leaving others to sometimes draw their own conclusions about us rather than getting to know us. At least I'll say that is why they find us so peculiar - I know we are different and that's o.k. with me! There are wonderful people, but we like to make our own way.

O.k., I could give you all my downfalls, but we'd never get to China to adopt & I'd have to charge you for a book. lol
I never would have thought God would have called us at 36y/o & 40y/o with 2 kids to adopt more nor did I expect Him to want me to open up to people. It's all in His timing and He uses situations, people, etc. to prepare us for His plan even though we don't know it at the time. Thank you so much for all your support - I feel like I've said that a million times and the words aren't justification for how grateful we are by each of you! You have no idea how much it means to us!

We hope to figure out how to get our blog up so people can follow there - it's gonna be kinda strange for our blog to be on all these t-shirts and no information when people go there. I've never done a blog so I'm lost! lol I'm going to make myself uncomfortable here and ask for some help on this. If someone knows how to set up a blog or what I need to do it, please let me know. I've read up on it, but I'm confused. I don't want someone to do it for me, but to help me with things like how to put pictures on it, change the background, theme, etc. I know nothing about HTML codes so you might as well be speaking Chinese if you come to me starting to talk about those things! lol So any of you that know how to do a blog, I would appreciate so much some help on where to get me started. I've searched the web and cannot tell if I need a program for this or what I'm doing. Any help, would be appreciated. I just need to get it together soon since we are using that blog spot for people to follow us - I don't want them to think we are being our normal private self by not putting any information on there! haha

If I'm not on here before Monday, please everyone have a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend! I hope to see you at Jacinto!

"This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you."
John 15:12
June 30 at 9:19pm

June 29 at 5:23pm -- today is the last day to get an order in before we get the "One People, One World, One Love" shirts printed (first batch).

O.K. Everyone, today is the last day to get an order in before we get the "One People, One World, One Love" shirts printed (first batch). Tell your friends, family, church family, and co-workers and help us get the word out!

Phil and I have decided to charge $12 per shirt for anyone that has pre-ordered or orders today. Evey one that has already told me your size and color will pay $12 even if you only ordered 1 shirt. We are Only doing this for shirts ordered today and prior to today so get your order in today as this will be the last day we will sell shirts for $12 each (unless you are purchasing 3 or more).
Even if you don't pay today, but will let me know today your size & color they will be $12 each when you pay. Anyone that has already sent $ or paid for your shirts will get a refund of $3 per shirt if you paid $15 for them. It just makes it much easier for me to get actual colors and sizes rather than guessing what to order.

I've had several to message asking me if we can get a 3XL. We can get this size, but the shop is charging us an extra $2 more per shirt. So if you order a 3XL today, it will cost $14 - after today, it will cost $17.

Here is the information on the shirts again if you missed the message on it:

Adult sizes S, M, L, XL, & XXL (3XL available at an additional $2)
Youth sizes S (4/6), M (8/10 ), L (10/12 ), XL (14/16)

Shipping Cost:
1-2 shirts will cost $5.50 for shipping (not per shirt, but an order of 1-2 shirts)
3-8 shirts will cost $11.50 for shipping (not per shirt, but an order of 3-8 shirts)
9-15 shirts will cost $15.50 shipping (not per shirt, but an order of 9-15 shirts)

Colors can be seen here:

The first batch of shirts will be ordered tomorrow & they are suppose to be ready next week. If you live in the Alcorn or Prentiss area, we can meet you or make arrangements for you getting your shirt if you don't want to pay extra for shipping. We will deliver multiple shirts to places of work, etc.

All profits will go toward our adoption costs. Thank you so much for the support you have shown to us though prayers, orders, words of kindness and encouragement! We have been humbled by your support!

I have more to write (not about the shirts). We've just been busy trying to get shirt orders together and more paperwork done...so more to come soon!

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10