Friday, February 14, 2014

Six Years. This Week. Adoption. Life Changer.

Six years ago this week we found ourselves boarding a plane to an African country we only knew in pictures.  We were in love with a little boy nearly 8000 miles away and we were his parents. We had promised to love him forever and always yet we'd never met face to face. We treasured those pictures and any other photo any traveling parent would kindly send us. Just like a mother falls in love with her newborn before they are born I was smitten.  

This little boy would change our lives, challenge our viewpoints, stretch us, and God would use him to change the trajectory of our family and other families. God would use this little boy to raise awareness, to speak up for those who couldn't speak for themselves and he would see fit to let this little boy wiggle his way into our hearts, and He would let us be his family. 

 Six years ago this week David and I met our son.  Just three years old. A short, stocky, loud, smart, spunky, well spoken little man. Silas Esubalew David we're BEYOND blessed that God allowed us to be your mom and dad. That he allowed us to be your family forever and always.  Nichol, Skyler, Olivia, and Zahra are better people because of you.  Your daddy and I are better parents because of you.  I'm so thankful for you son.  Thankful that God set you in our family, thankful that He allows me to be your mama.

Silas before we met him 
(thank you Jill for this picture)

Silas the thinker.  Such a perfect capture. 
(PC: Jessica Oh Photography)

Our first professional family photo 
(PC: Ruby Rideout)

The video is long but him jumping into my arms tells the story of a boy waiting for mama and daddy to come.

I can't not post this.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Three Years Ago....

This week.  We saw her face.  It was the weekend.  A friend texted me saying she thinks our daughter is on our agencies waiting child list. (who does that?!  I'm forever grateful she did though) I texted her back that she was crazy and there were only boys on there.  We knew God had a little girl for our family and we were pretty sure she was about 2.  My friend urged me to check again.  We were out but I scrambled on my phone to login.

  I caught a glimpse of her little face.  I couldn't breathe.  I wasn't sure.  I didn't have an overwhelming feeling that this was her.  I showed David.  We were at IKEA.  Not ideal.  I just wanted to go home and read all about her.  

We finished our trip.  As soon as we got home I bolted for my room and grabbed the laptop.  I poured over every picture, every word on the screen.  I sobbed.  David came in, he wasn't sure either.  We were in shock, could this be our daughter?  We vowed to pray over the weekend and call our agency that Monday.  Tuesday December 14th we saw her file.  We prayed. We talked with all of the kids.  We prayed some more.  The bottom line was simple.  There was a little girl who needed a family.  She was older then we'd anticipated but she was waiting.  She needed a family.  We were a family.  Simple.  We were all in agreement.  We said YES on December 15th and on the 16th our agency agreed that Belaynesh would be a Shubin.

Three years ago today we had seen her face.  We had said yes.  Our hearts were all in.  We trusted that God would cover all of the unknowns - our hearts set out to bring a child who needed a family into our home and our "plans" were different then what God had.  We knew His plans were good and we walked in faith.  

Today, I'm SO glad we said YES.  God knew we needed a spicy little lady and He knew that Zahra Belaynesh Reign was to be a Shubin.  We're so honored to be her family.  David and I marvel at Gods goodness over us, we're forever changed by adoption, that God would let us be her parents, that He entrusted her to us.  

Look at her now!

We love you Z!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sheets For You, Ethiopia For My Kid

That's right!  Nichol is in full fundraising mode to help fund her second trip to Ethiopia.  This time she's going with me and two of her friends from school.  I can't begin to tell you how awesome it is to see two young girls excited to go to Ethiopia for the first time.  They've watched our family, they've loved on our kids and now they'll experience Ethiopia for the first time.  I am GIDDY to take three teens with me on my January trip!!  Yep, I know it will rock their world, I'm excited to have Nichol see Ethiopia again she's older, understands more and frankly I believe that every teenager should see extreme poverty first hand.  Its a life changing experience and I can't wait to see what God does.

Now here's a fabulous opportunity for you.  Everyone needs sheets right?  Nichol is trying to sell 100 sets of sheets by the end of the year.  She has 89 more sets to sell.  If you order by the end of Today you'll get your sheets by Christmas.  After Wednesday they'll ship by the first week of January.

About the Sheets: 100% Egyptian Cotton.  1200 thread count.  12 colors.  ANY SIZE is $35 plus $5 shipping.  You can't beat that.  We have size Twin all the way to Cal King!

Oh and lest you wonder who's packaging all of these sheets up for shipment?  Yep that'd be my 16 year old daughter.  We believe in good old fashioned hard work around here and she's sharing about her sheets wherever she can and with whomever will listen.  She's determined to step foot in Ethiopia again and we're doing our part to help her by posting/writing/etc.  She's saving her own money to go as well which we're also big fans of.  Personal sacrifice is important!  

THANK YOU in advance for your support!

Here's the details:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Shopping With Purpose Par Duex

In case you missed this post from a couple days ago check it out HERE.

Spreading Christmas Cheer to you and yours!  I wish I could just host a great big coffee date to meet each of you.  Its no secret that I love Christmas.  I love the holiday baking, the decorations, the opportunities to talk to people that wouldn't otherwise present themselves and most of all I love seeing the wonder of the birth of Jesus through my younger kids' eyes. Talking about life, growing up and the true meaning of Christmas with my older kids.

Shopping with purpose is something I want to instill in my kids at a young age, we talk about it a lot.  We talk about how our purchase power and choices. 

My girls love Toms and love that it gives a pair of shoes to another child.  Its a win win.  I bought these for Nichol recently.  

Our overall goal is to activate intentional generosity and love for others, but it’s a process. Our model is a funnel. There are millions of people who have never supported a charity before, so asking for a monetary donation might be weird :/ So we thought, let’s encourage people to donate their social influence first. Next, let’s allow people to purchase a product that gives money to a cause they support, and last, let’s encourage these donors to connect deeper with these charities.

Nichol loves Sevenly as much as I do.  Its hard to say no to a good shirt that also helps a cause you're passionate about.  My current faves are below.  This is also a great option for the man in your life.  My husband LOVES these T's so its a win at our house!

I also wanted to do a special portion of Shopping With Purpose to Support Adoption and other small GRASS ROOTS ministries.  Many of these are my precious personal friends and I LOVE to watch the Lord at work!!

Could these be any cuter?!  I may or may not have 8 pairs.  I may or may not buy a new pair every time I'm in Addis -- the gals who work the shop may or may not know me by name.  Cute shoes.  Recycled tires.  Fair Trade.  WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!  You're welcome. 


LOVE these cute accessories and of course love even more what they support!  You can't lose when shopping with a purpose friends!

Our Mission is to keep families together. ~ The Apparent Project

Beautiful jewelry and other hand made items supporting keeping families together!  LOVE LOVE LOVE this model plus they have great quality and beautiful items!  I have the bracelet below and LOVE it!

Our story is pretty simple.  We believe all Christians are called to take care of widows and orphans (James 1:27).  We know there are many ways to do this from child sponsorship, visiting orphans, praying, mission trips, adoption, etc.  Funding Hope is purely focusing on one avenue, adoption.  We exist solely to provide financial matching grants between us and the local church to help Christian families adopt.

David and I are on the board for this awesome non-profit, yes, its pretty incredible to get to be apart of this and doing something we love.  Its also amazing how God weaves families together and how friendship is forged through adoption.  This is all of that.

All of the proceeds go towards grants for families.  That means every ornament or book you buy goes towards a grant.  Pretty awesome win/win there.  Buy the book, get an ornament, they'll ship SUPERFLY.  Oh and yes we did write the closing chapter in the book so yes - you want to buy it.  ;)

Look at the cute Africa ornament!!  We have China and Oregon too! :)

I opened this store to help raise money for our Ethiopian adoption 3 years ago. Our beautiful son has been home now for 2 years and is big brother to Ezra Golden. I have reopened the store to support other families on their journey. Every week we give 20% of sales to a family in the process of adopting.

Love it when adopting families gather together to support others on the journey.  When they create cute T's and sell them its a win for all of us!  Check out these adorable T's and support adopting families in the process.  PLUS look at the ADORABLE Noonday necklace the model has on!

I started the shop after designing and selling a large amount of necklaces for a fundraiser for my sister’s move to Lesotho, South Africa to work in anti-human trafficking. 
I loved the ability to help her and The Beautiful Dream’s Society’s mission. 

How cute is that necklace?  I have earrings from Ambers shop and I love them!!  Support the fight against human trafficking and get cute jewelry!  I love the diversity in shopping with purpose and I love each mission.  

I think I'm going to do a monthly Shop With Purpose Post!  This has been SO fun!!!  Feel free to post your favorite places to shop with purpose in the comments!  Also if you shop at one of these places please post what you bought!  I'd love to see and I know others would too!

Happy Shopping and MERRY CHRISTMAS!