Thursday, May 31, 2012

Q & A, Part 4, Church, Children, and Time for Me

What are some of the most important things you look for in a church?

"We are also changing churches, but we were members of a conservative Mennonite church and they do not support our decision to homeschool so we are visiting around right now. We so hope to find a conservative church that supports adoption and homeschooling!"

Hi, Erin! :) Thank you for your question.

Choosing a church is such an important decision. We've always been very faithful and active in our local church, which means we'll be spending alot of time there. :)

Solid doctrine is always the first thing we look for. We are Baptist in our doctrine, and we look for a church that holds to those doctrinal truths of the Bible first.

Conservative music is also important to our family. While their are certainly varying opinions on the style of music appropiate for worship, we prefer traditional, conservative music. I play the piano, two of our children play the violin, I'll be teaching three of our children piano this year, and all of us love to sing. Music is big in our family and we desire to only introduce certain styles of music to our children, especially while they are young and impressionable.

Godly preaching/teaching---and a Focus on MISSIONS---these two explain themselves, I think.

Lastly, we desire a church home that values the Family Structure. Daddy as the head of the home, Mommy as the helpmeet, and children as the blessings God says they are. :) We would love a family-integrated church, but there aren't too many of those around, so we'll make it work wherever the Lord leads us. We would like a church that respects our desire to follow the Lord wherever (and however) He leads us---whether that be family size, ministries, children, adoption, etc. :)

It would be "nice" if there was a perfect church that met all of our preferences, but you know how the saying goes---If you find a perfect church, don't join it, 'cause then it won't be perfect anymore. :) We certainly need to grow and change daily as we follow the Lord, and we look forward to finding a place of worship where we can both be an encouragement AND be encouraged in the LORD.

Looking for a new church is never easy. I'll be praying for you and the whole Martin family as you seek the LORD for your new church home.

How many children do you plan to have?

Hi, Judi. :) Of course I remember you! Thanks for commenting.

We don't have a "set" number of children in mind for our family. I'm so glad GOD knows, though. ;) All I can say is that we have always been open to however many God wants us to have. If He blesses us with more biological children (and we're hoping He will!) we will rejoice. If we are priveleged to be able to adopt again (and we're hoping we are!) we will rejoice. And if we "only" have these precious 7, we will rejoice.

When I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to get married at 18 and have 12 children. Well, I was 19 when I got married......we'll have to wait and see on the 12.

If I had to state a number, right now, today, I'd say I think we'll have 12 children. But who knows??? :)

How do you find time to ever do anything for yourself that requires you to be away from the home (like going to the dentist, visiting a friend, etc.)? Do you have friends or family near by that you can leave your kids with so you can do things for yourself?

I love this question. For the most part, where I go, the children go. Grocery shopping (although we do this with Brent usually), doctor's appointments, visiting friends, museums, Target, thrift stores, parks, banks---they all go with me. There have been a couple of instances where my sweet sister Lauren has kept some of the children while I took a couple of other children to a doctor's appointment.

My dad is our only "babysitter". He keeps all of the children about once every 2 months so Brent and I can go on a dinner date.

Other than my sister and my dad keeping our children on a rare occasion, we just take them with us everywhere we go. Is it always easy? No. :) (We have FIVE children still in carseats!) But we chose to have these children, they're our responsibility, and truly, we enjoy having them with us all the time!

Brent and I enjoy our time alone in the evenings after our children have gone to bed. We talk, cuddle, read, use our computers, watch a movie, etc. And we take a walk a couple times a week (after we run) around our local track while the children play safely in earshot, so we can communicate and have some "talk" time.

I rarely go anywhere alone. Actually, I can't remember the last time I went somewhere alone! :) Someday, there will be a season for that again----but in the meantime, I'm determined to enjoy my days as a busy Mama. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Q & A, Part 3, Your Questions Answered, SHYNESS

I've so enjoyed getting to know my sweet readers a little bit through THIS POST. If you haven't introduced yourself yet or taken a minute to ask whatever question you'd like answered (here's your chance to get personal, curious, or even nosy, lol!) please feel free to do so now! I'll be continuing to work through the answers to your questions over the next few days......

Here's PART 1 and PART 2 of Your Questions Answered.

Now, on to your questions! :)

Do you have any ideas for encouraging children to be kind and respectful to others/strangers?

"My daughter is two years old (almost three) and tends to clam up and not want to talk to anyone when they speak to her. She even turns away from them and won't make eye contact. I want her to be respectful to adults and I know it is important for her to be friendly and make eye contact etc. We do not want her to hide behind her "shyness". I would appreciate any advice you may have!"

Great question, Sarah! We also want our children to be comfortable making eye contact and communicating with adults. For some of our children, this has come very easily, as part of their natural personality. For others, we've had to really, really work on it. ;) Some children are naturally more shy. Here's some ideas you might try with your sweet little munchkin:
  1. Train at home.    Here's how I practice with my littles: "Hi!" (prompt her to answer with "Hi!") "What's your name?" (prompt for "Gabbey" or whatever her name is) "How are you?" (prompt for "Good.") "How old are you?" (prompt for her age) "You have such a pretty dress today!" (prompt for "Thank you!") I do this all the time. Probably almost every day. I've been working with Lyssie on these answers for several months, and she just this week learned how to actually pronounce her name! Up until now, when I asked for her name, she answered with "Mama!" :)
  2. Role-play with comfortable adults.    While you're training your little one to be more outgoing, ask some adults she is comfortable talking with to help you role-play with her. Make it fun, like a game. Have the friend (Grandma, Aunt, etc) come up to her and ask her the same questions you've been practicing with her. Keep her in your lap or in your arms. Guide her little arm forward to practice "shaking" hands. If she turns away, turn her head back with a gentle rebuke, "No, you need to say 'hi' to Auntie. It's rude to turn away. Let's try again!" LAVISH her with praise when she does well. Get excited, clap, tell Daddy, try it again and again.
  3. Give your expectations before-hand.   While you're on your way to church, walking to Sunday School, heading into Wal-mart, ect, remind your little one of your expectations. You can't over teach this one. :) Tell her that you expect her to look at people if they talk to her, shake their hand, and answer politely.
  4. Be a comfortable presence for your child.    I do not expect my littlest children (probably under 4 or so) to answer adults without me present. With a really shy child, being very close to Mommy (or in Mommy's arms where adults become at eye-level) will give them an extra boost of confidence. When an adult says "Hello!", you can gently prompt your little one to answer by whispering in her ear. If the adult asks a question you don't feel she can answer (due to understanding/language capability, etc), just answer for her.
  5. Offer praise and a tangible reward.    Keep a package of gum, life-savers, or skittles in your diaper bag or purse. Remind your little one that she will get a "treat" when she remembers to be polite. A little sweet in a toddler's mouth goes a loooong way! :)
  6. Be consistent.    Once you've trained, role-played, given clear expectations, and provided a comfortable presence, expect what you have taught her to do. If one of mine refuses to cooperate after a gentle, playful reminder, I excuse myself from the conversation, take my child aside and give them a firm rebuke. Something along the lines of, "We are not rude when Mommy says to say 'hi'. You will go back to Mrs. So-and-So and say 'hi' right now or you will have a consequence." (For our family, we would make our child sit with their hands folded until they were "ready to obey"; about 2 or 3 minutes is usually all it takes.)

The only one of my seven children who currently has a really hard time with appropiate social behaviour is Johanna, and we are working on it all the time. :)  The rest of mine stick their little hands out at every adult at church who approaches them, lol. But I have had some little ones who have wanted to bury their heads and stay shy, so I certainly understand how hard it can be to train them through their shyness. If it's important to you (and it is to us) then train her accordingly. Remember that with child-training, positive training will always go much farther than negative consequences.

One of the ways we help our older children (5 and up) work on their public manners is to allow them to get "refills" at fast-food restaurants. We script them with what to say and then send them up to the counter alone while we watch from a distance. Noah (5) just got his own refill for the first time last weekend and he thought he was so BIG! :) Once they can get a refill, I send them for ice cream or dipping sauces, etc, until they're comfortable enough to even place an order politely. I've seen teenagers who couldn't treat fast-food workers with respect and it always bothers me, so I'm trying to teach my children to use respect when they're in public. Of course, we all fail at times....perfection is not the goal, just constant improvement. :)

----One word of caution here. I realize I have alot of adoptive moms reading my blog. Please understand that I am not advocating for you to push your newly-adopted child to reach out to total strangers. Quite the contrary----we keep our new little ones very close for months while we're working on bonding, attaching, etc. Stranger/adult manners aren't even on the radar for awhile. We've even had to stop one of our toddlers who came to us way too friendly at first. I am talking more about biological (or home long enough to be working on this) children in this post. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Toddler Time

Everyone knows that toddlers lack the self-control of adults. Good thing they're little and so stinkin' cute, right?

 I encourage my toddlers to learn the basics of self-control by giving them boundaries and teaching them to stay there until they have permission to do something else.

When Eliana was 12 months old, I started blanket time. I would put her on a special blanket, turn on a music CD, and give her a few books or toys to play with. A timer would let her know it was time to be "all done!"

We did blanket time with each of our four biological children. Gabbey and Lyssie didn't come to us infants, but we still did blanket time with them once they were home a couple of months.

I have found, however, that in our current stage of life--with three toddlers---that it is more difficult to keep them focused on playing on their own blanket than it was with our older children. The toys or books on the blanket next to them look more inviting then the ones on their blanket and they have a harder time obeying.

So while I do still use blanket time occasionally, I have found two alternatives that work nicely, teaching self-control while keeping tiny hands busy for a few minutes. :)

The first alternative to blanket time is couch time. We have three toddlers and three couches--so this works perfectly for us. I put each little one on a couch, give them 4 or 5 books, and ask them to "play quietly and STAY on your couch". The only issue I've found with this alternative is that sometimes, after sitting quietly for a few minutes, my perfectly well-behaved at all times munchkins will find great joy in dropping their books on the floor, one at a time.

The second alternative to blanket time that works well with multiple children is playpen time. We have two playpens in our master bedroom (Lyssie and Gabbey are sleeping in them currently. YES, Gabbey is doing well in a bed alone for the first time. So proud of our little girl!)

If I am going to be nearby (in the shower or cleaning my room, etc) I will put TWO children in each playpen.

 They think this is great fun.

Seriously. I can say, "Time for playpen time!" and they come running. We pick out some special books, toys, or puzzles and they sit and play nicely for about 30 minutes.

If I am NOT going to be nearby, I only put ONE child in the playpen at a time. They just need more Momma supervision if they're sharing a small space. :)

Lyssie and Gabbey showing Momma their "special" toys. :)

Noah and Ethan enjoying their playpen time.

All four of my youngest children have mastered the art of climbing out of the playpen so the lessons in self-control and obedience are still as effective as blanket time is, but the distraction of siblings playing nearby is eliminated.

If you've never tried this with one of your toddlers and you want to give it a try, let me offer a little advice:

  1. BE FUN. Learning self-control is not a punishment. :) Toddlers will play off of your excitement, so animate your voice and be enthusiastic!
  2. BE CONSISTENT. Try to do blanket (or whatever boundary works well for you and your child) time at least several times a week. Toddlers learn best from repitition.
  3. BE REALISTIC. Some children (often girls!) will find sitting quietly and entertaining themselves enjoyable . Some children (often boys!) will NOT. :) Push them a little past their comfort level and then lavish them with praise for a job well done.
  4. BE FIRM. Fussing, whining, crying, or screaming toddlers are NOT allowed to get up from blanket time in our home. Don't reward their disobedience. Work with them gently to get them to play nicely and THEN scoop them up and praise them.
  5. BE UNDERSTANDING. Godliness is not built through blanket time. If this doesn't apeal to you or work for your family, no harm done. :) It's just one of many ways to train little ones for obedience.
Have questions about blanket time or other toddler training techniques? Ask them in the comments below. If  I don't have the answer, I have some great readers who can also offer their insight and encouragement. :)

Another Family Picture....

I must admit I am blessed with a mother-in-law who loves to sew and is an accomplished seamstress. And while I enjoy sewing pretty things for my girls, my mother-in-law has a little  (okay, ALOT) more time than I have. She spoiled the girls and I with these lovely pink dresses for Easter.

Thanks, Mom. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Q & A, Part 2, Your Questions Answered

(If you're just joining us, scroll down or click HERE to read about the GAME we're playing, see the wonderful comments and questions from my readers AND to leave a comment of your own! The more comments, the more questions I'll answer!)

First, let me say that ya'll have given me SO many great questions! I think I'll be working my way through these for weeks, lol.


What a fabulous question! Let me start by saying that we are not wealthy---by any means! :) Since the birth of our first child, we have lived off of Brent's income alone. When we look at our income next to the cost of our three adoptions----well, the two columns just shouldn't line up!

But God is so good. Isn't He? :)

With Gabbey, our first adoption, we used all of our tax return for the beginning fees (HS, agency fees, etc). Then we used Brent's 401K for most of the rest of the fees. Her adoption ended up being far more expensive than the other two, in part because more people traveled, but mostly because we chose a cheaper agency the second time around. The $13,000 tax credit from Gabbeys' adoption and the $5,000 employer reimbursement per adoption (we recieved a total of $15,000) were then used towards Lyssie and Johanna's adoptions.

We did receive three grants and three loans (one loan from an adoption company and two loans from our parents) for the second two adoptions. Once we recieve our final tax refund (which, ahem, could be tomorrow or six months from now, depending on the IRS) we will have paid off EVERYTHING and be completely debt free again (with the exception of our 15 passenger van and our home). This is a huge blessing, because, while we certainly would be willing to make payments for years in order to bring our girls home, we have always strived to live as debt-free as possible.

I highly recommend researching ABBA FUND, LIFESONG , JSC FOUNDATION, SHOW HOPE, and A CHILD WAITS FOUNDATION if the Lord has laid adoption on your heart and you don't have 20 or 30 thousand dollars collecting dust in the bank. LOL. I personally know families that have received anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 in grant monies from these organizations.

Aside from having a yard sale, one dear couple in our church giving us the money for a plane ticket, and my sister giving us a check, we did not recieve any money from our church, family, or friends. I do know many, many families who are able to raise much of the necessary money through these outlets, though. We did cut out many "extras" for the two years we were needing so much extra cash for our adoptions.

Which leads me to the next question.....


Our family LOVES to go on vacations (or weekend trips, overnight get-aways, or day excursions). Basically, we love to pile in our van and GO! (We even have a family song we wrote about such trips....but I digress.)

Due to the high cost of the adoptions, we didn't take a true family vacation the past two years. (We did go to Family Camp last summer, but it was very reasonably priced AND we had booked it before we decided to adopt Johanna so the money was already spent at that point.)

My sweet hubby works in Business Sales. Which means he's using technology ALL THE TIME. Cell-phones, laptop, email. It's his life during the work week. So he plans time to unplug and spend quality time with our family.

As far as actually affording the vacations, well, maybe I can get Brent to write a post about this topic. Bartering, bargain-shopping, researching vacation spots, and getting the very best deals around are his specialty. I'll let him share more about that since he's the vacation planner and I'm the wash and then pack everything we own---and then some---into our van girl. :)



Our extended famlies---even the ones who we might not be "intimately close" with---have all been supportive of our choice to adopt and our girls.

That being said, they did all know that we were really crazy about children and wanted a whole bunch. So I don't think our adoption decisions came as a big shock. :)

We have faced some negativity, but not from our family. Some people just feel the need to comment on your decisions or family size. While there is certainly wisdom in counsel (if everyone you know is saying DON'T, maybe they're right?), there will be naysayers in any major decision you make as a family.

I don't know how to say this gently, so I'm just going to say it: We don't ask permission of ANYONE  before making a biological baby, and we don't need their permission to adopt one, either. If a husband and wife have taken their family size/adoption choice before the LORD and HE has given them clear direction, then it doesn't matter what people think or say, does it? Obey God. :)

Family size is clearly a GOD/HUSBAND/WIFE decision.


When we first started the adoption process in January of 2010, we had one girl and three precious rambunctious boys. :) Eliana had prayed for a sister for years. We obviously requested to be matched with a girl.

We reviewed about 10 files when we were ready to adopt the second time. Both boys and girls, with various special needs. I told the agency that we were hoping for a boy or girl a year or two OLDER than our two babies (who were not yet 2 at the time).

The last file we viewed was Alyssia. Our agency mis-read her information and told me she was almost 3 years old. Perfect in my mind! :) We started to fall in love and then we re-read through the fine print and realized she was another 2009 baby! I vividly remember sitting on the couch with Brent, gazing at Alyssia's picture, asking each other----can we really do THREE babies the same age?

Well, you all know what the answer was. She was ours. And OH MY we haven't regretted that decision for even a milisecond. (Okay, so there have been days like THIS ONE where I thought the virtual toddlers were going to get the better of me. :))

Johanna came about very unexpectedly, and her story is told in part HERE.

So there is no partiality for girls in our's just worked out that we've adopted three of them. If we are blessed to be able to adopt again, we will more than likely bring home a boy (or two!). :)

Enough for tonight, friends. I'm getting tired. :) But keep the questions coming and I'll do my very best to answer them to the best of my ability. And thanks for reading and sharing in our story.

Q & A, Part 1: Your Questions Answered

Wow. We're already over 30 comments in THIS POST. It's been so much fun getting to know my readers better!

I promised I'd answer at least ONE question for every 10 comments---and ya'll haven't disappointed me! Some of the questions will require their own individual post, so I'll start with some of the "shorter" answers.


Yes and no. :) I plan for what meals I'm going to make each week. But I don't pick which day I'm going to make each meal. My days are often unpredictable right now, so I pick which meal fits best with how our day is going. I do plan for an easy dinner on church days and Thursday (violin lessons).


Great question. :)

Definitely YES! We love children and would always welcome more.

Right now, we are praying that the Lord will bless us with another biological baby. Our children pray more for a baby brother/sister than anything else! :)

Regardless of whether we are blessed in that way or not, we want to adopt again. Our hearts will always be in China, but we're actually hoping to bring home one or two boys from Africa.

Bonding as a family is going well, but we need some time in-between adoptions, to allow our children time to adjust, so we're not beginning another adoption just yet.


Be creative. Not every child learns the same way or enjoys the same curriculum. Find what works for your child.

Don't require unnecessary busywork. Enough said. :)

Do school at their optimal learning time. For some children, this is mid-morning, for others, it is mid-afternoon.

Do schoolwork in short, intense bursts. Nathaniel (7) is motivated to do more when he knows he can go play in 30 minutes.

Reward small accomplishments. I keep a bag of small candy (jelly beans, skittles, or m&m's) for school rewards. The younger children receive one piece of candy for each page completed. This visual reminder and tangible reward have motivated even my most reluctant learners.

Feed them brain food, not junk. Pop-tarts don't feed your child's brain like healthier foods do. I find a high-protein snack (we like almonds, peanuts, cheese, or yogurt with fruit and granola) in the middle of school helps our children focus better and longer.

Be flexible. One of the greatest advantages to homeschooling is that if the child isn't "getting it", you can come back to it later.

Remember, you're the boss. :) After you've been creative, cut out the unnecessary busywork, fed their brains, and rewarded their accomplishments---sometimes they just have to do the work whether they like it or not. Evaluate whether the reluctant learner is immature or rebellious. One needs grace and TIME, the other needs a firm authority that says "You must do your work because Mommy told you to do it." :)


That's all I have time for this morning. Keep the comments and questions coming, and I'll do my best to answer them all.

Remember, I'll answer at least ONE question for every 10 comments!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Game Time!!!!

I need your help.

You know, YOU, my readers.

While I don't know who all of you are, I do know how many hits I'm getting. Alot more than the comments I get.

Of course, alot of you don't take the time to comment. Or maybe you disagree with a post. Or maybe my writing just plain stinks sometimes. I'm good with that.

But just this once, will you come out of hiding, post a comment, and play along?


You can go back into hiding after today, if you like. :)

Okay. I have 3 questions. That's right, only THREE!

  1. What brought you to my blog? (link, google, FB, etc)
  2. What do you most enjoy reading about on my blog? (adoption, parenting, pictures, toddler stuff, etc) Be as specific if you can!
  3. What is one thing you'd like to know about me or my family? Here's your chance to ask anything you're curious to know about the Bergey Bunch!
You can introduce yourself---I'd love that!---or just answer the questions. Your choice.

Here's how the game works---every time I get TEN answers to these questions, I'll blog an answer to one (or more!) of your questions. So, the more people who post comments, the more blog posts you'll see from me this week. :)

I would SO love to meet the faithful readers who take time out of their busy lives to read my ramblings and about our family. I'm also looking to see exactly what people are coming here for, so I can spend my time more wisely in blogging.

Lastly, I just think it will be FUN!

Ready to play?

A Tale of Two Daughters


There were two daughters.

One had long, blonde curls, a nurturing spirit, and a heart for Jesus.

The other had amazingly thick, black hair, a zest for life, and a free spirit.

The younger was once the eldest, displaced by the adoption of the now-older daughter.

Eliana (now 10) has spent the past few months maturing. Growing up fast. Becoming a beautiful young lady. Taking on more and more responsibility with a joyful heart. Making her parents so proud.

Johanna (now 14) is determined to never grow up and is fighting hard against maturity. Convincing her that being a grown-up is FUN is so, so difficult. In her mind, growing up equals leaving Mommy and she literally wants to stay with Mommy FOREVER.

Often people assume that parenting our virtual-triplet-toddlers is overwhelming. And it certainly can be.

But parenting a toddler in a teen-ager's body is much, much more overwhelming.

Overall, things have gone amazingly well with Johanna. She hasn't exposed our children to anything we haven't approved of (except a strong temper, lol), she loves being a part of our family, and she IS learning many, many things.

Getting her to desire maturity is proving to be more difficult than anything, though.

We have two lovely daughters.

One is growing up overnight, right in front of our eyes.

And one is dragging her feet. :)

Please join us in praying for HEAVENLY WISDOM as we travel down this uncharted path. I will admit, I'm having a hard time figuring out the best ways to teach our girl what she needs to know.

At the same time, I  KNOW the Lord is writing a story, a "tale" if you will.

A tale of our two daughters.

And we, the parents of these precious girls, are the tools in the hand of the Author of THEIR story.

May He give us the wisdom to know how to teach them, the strength to act on that wisdom, and the diligence to perservere when the going gets tough!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blog changes

I've been working behind-the-scenes on my blog layout.

I confess: I know NOTHING um, very little about blog design. :)

Trial and error are my trusty tools, lol.

Please be patient if you come here and everything is out of place for a couple of days!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Orphans and Mother's Day

The past two weeks have been C-R-A-Z-Y for the Bergey Bunch.

Brent, Alyssia and I flew to CA last week for an amazing Orphan Conference (Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VIII). 2,500 Christians united for the cause of the fatherless---all I can say is WOW.

We came home inspired, motivated, humbled, encouraged, hopeful, and convicted. To do more. So much more.

163 million orphans thought to be in the world today---What is the church doing to fulfill our responsibility to eradicate the orphan crisis, placing the children in loving families (or facilities, if absolutely necessary) where they will come into daily contact with the GOSPEL???

God, help us to SEE the need, RECOGNIZE our responsibility to help, and step out by FAITH in whatever areas HE reveals to us.

Today is Mother's Day. I celebrated with hugs, kisses, and "You're the bestest Mommy in the whole wide world!" declarations from my seven children. I'm sure most of you did, too.

But in every quiet moment of today, I ached way down deep in my soul for the millions upon millions of children who have no mother to hug and kiss them. For the children in Africa who died today from intense hunger. For the children in Sudan who were eaten alive by hyenas today after falling out of the tree they found to sleep in last night. For the teeenagers in Bulgaria who never grew past the size of an infant and spent today in the confines of their crib because of lack of nutrition and the most basic need, a loving human touch. For the children in Eastern Europe who got transferred to a mental institution (to spend their lives with the sick, mentally ill ADULTS) today, simply because they weren't adopted before they turned 5. For the little girls who were sold into prostitution at the age of 9 and whose bodies were used and abused 10 to 20 times JUST TODAY in Thailand. For the babies in America who got their limbs literally RIPPED from their tiny little bodies by medical professionals today, because somebody somewhere declared their life unwanted.

It may be Mother's Day 2012, but there's an orphan crisis in the world today.

Where is God in all of these atrocities?

He's waiting.

For His people to rise up, answer His call to care for the fatherless, and to get off their Sunday morning pew  and actively spread His love to a lost world! For us to stop saying "What can we DO about it?" and GO DO SOMETHING.

He knows our YES in on the table.

We will hold nothing back.

Our personal family motto has long been summed up in these two words: NO REGRETS.

We decided a long time ago that we did not want to look back on our lives someday and see a trail of regrets. The "American Dream" holds no claim to our hearts---we're just pilgrims on a journey, following the King of Kings!

And we want NO REGRETS.

If He wants us to move to a foreign land to work with orphans, we're willing to GO. If He wants us to raise money so others can more easily fund their adoptions, we're willing to STAY. If He wants us to adopt more children from hard places, we're willing to GROW.

But we're no longer satisfied with just keeping the status quo. God has stirred a fire in our hearts to reach the most needy, vulnerable, abused, over-looked, neglected, forgotten of the lost, and we will follow Him straight out of our comfort zone (He's done it before, remember?) without a moment's hesitation.