Friday, April 18, 2014

Puzzle Fundraiser

Once we have our home study approved, we will have our “official” referral.  With this official referral comes all the fees from our adoption agency.  The total amount of fees we are looking at is around $33,000.  We are assuming this will be due in the next 3-4 weeks.  I had my friend Tymm tell me as we were praying for our children that “the cost of redemption through adoption is OUTRAGEOUS.”  That is some hard truth there.

So, in thinking through ways to help us in this journey, we thought that a puzzle fundraiser would be a great way to do that.  Let me give you the details on how this will work…

We had a custom image made to represent our family.  (See below … but the actual puzzle does not have hearts over their faces :).  We had it made as a 300 piece 16”x20” puzzle.  The way it will work is that for each $15 donated to our adoption, we will put that family’s name on the back of a puzzle piece and add it to the completed puzzle.  So, if a family donates $60, they would have 4 puzzle pieces.  We also have a puzzle for each of our children so there are 600 pieces total.  If we can complete this fundraiser quickly, it will give us $9000 of the $33,000 needed for our official referral.

Another really cool thing we’re doing with this is if you donate puzzle pieces to our adoption, we will send you the exact piece(s) of our children’s puzzle that have your name on it (we will need your address to mail you the puzzle piece so please email that to us at luchtadoption@yahoo.com).  We had a couple extra puzzles made so that we could send the pieces out to everyone.  It will have a magnet on the back so you can hang it on your fridge as a tangible reminder of being a piece of our puzzle.  It can also serve as a reminder to pray for our children.

What’s so fantastic about this is that our children will be able to tangibly see the village that helped bring them home.  We plan to frame each puzzle with a clear back so they can see the names any time they’d like.

Another great thing with this puzzle fundraiser is that the donations will be through our Pure Charity site at https://www.purecharity.com/LuchtAdoption.  Donations are tax-deductible since the funds go directly to our adoption agency.  On our Pure Charity site, we have a YouTube video telling our story.  It’s 9 minutes (it’s hard to summarize God’s journey for our family in a couple minutes!) and I’ll include it at the bottom of this post.

Would you pray for our family that the funds will all be there for our official referral?  Would you share our story with your social media circles?  Thank you for joining us in this journey!

Here is the puzzle we made:

lucht_puzzle_4x6_hearts

Here is the video we put together for our Pure Charity fundraiser:

And here is the link again for donating through our Pure Charity site:  https://www.purecharity.com/luchtadoption.

(In the coming days, we will also highlight the other ways to help but they are listed here if you’re interested.)

Thanks again for helping us bring our children home!

BIG NEWS!!

If you’re on our blog and you see ‘Big News’ you most likely have a good idea what it is (and the new design/header/etc kinda gives it away as well) but here we go…. :)

Over a year ago, we hosted a boy in a children’s orphan choir.  We had done this before (when we were in process of waiting for Saylor), so we knew what to expect.  The boy we hosted, ‘A’, was a sweet boy and he and Silas played together well.  The choir moved on to their next location, we said goodbye and kept in touch with the choir.  We were actually able to see them a couple more times and were able to host “A” again.

In late summer, Amber constantly had this boy on her mind for some reason – especially at church.  It got to the point of her becoming emotional thinking about “A”.  She shared this with me and the first time, I honestly didn’t think much of it besides her compassion for him – the Proverbs 31 girl I married.  Skip ahead a month or two and she still has him on her mind and through some concrete God confirmations, we contacted the adoption agency about him.  He had just returned back to Ethiopia from the choir tour and the agency was compiling families that showed interest to the children in the choir.  If we were wanting to pursue him, there was no guarantee from the agency.  We would have to build a dossier as quickly as we could.  So, we did the only thing we knew to do … PRAY!  We had a few others praying with us and I still remember us taking a weekend where both Amber and I went out individually for a run to spend time with God.  I came back from this run with clarity that He was asking us to pursue this boy.  If I believed ‘A’ was my son, why was I holding back?  As Eric Ludy says in Depraved Indifference, I should be clawing through a concrete wall to get to him.

So, there it was.  We decided to talk to the agency and after a few conversations and understanding that if we did pursue him, we may not be his family.  Well, in early October we chose to dive completely in!  We knew God was leading us this way.  We filled out the application, contracts, paid the contract fees and started working on our home study and dossier.  We got almost much of our paperwork done prior to me leaving for Ethiopia in November.  I had planned for almost a year to go over to do mission work with my friend Belay who I had met through His Little Feet.  The amazing thing that God allowed on this trip was for me to see “A” a couple times while in country.  That was just more God confirmation for us that we were on the path He was calling us to. 

I got back from Ethiopia, we finished up our paperwork, got our home study approved and were about to send in the documents to USCIS when we got a call from the agency a week before Christmas telling us that they had referred “A” to another family.  Even knowing that we may not be his family, there was definite loss/grieving that occurred.  We were happy that “A” had a family … we really were.  But were we really hearing from God right before?  What was His plan in all this?  Why would He send us down this path if this wasn’t the answer?!  The answer we got was that He wasn’t finished walking down the path with us.  That He still had a plan in all this and we needed to trust.  Listen, be quiet, step back, and trust.

So, that’s what we did.  In the midst of that, a mutual friend had posted in early January about siblings from Ethiopia that needed a family.  (Sidenote - we had talked about siblings prior to pursuing “A”).  Amber told me about them but we both knew we were not ready to even think about that yet.  Amber chose to individually pray for these children and for their family.  A month or so goes by and she sees new pictures of these children posted and she emails me late one night after I went to bed asking if I would pray for them and the potential for us to be their family.  I learned a long time ago that God speaks through Amber in how He wants to build our family (reference back to Proverbs 31).  I’ve learned to listen the first time (usually) :).  So I do spend time praying for them/us and the LORD’s direction in that … I remember taking a lunch hour at work and sitting at a table with their pictures out just seeking direction from the LORD.  What came was peace.  Not really a trumpet sound of this is the exact direction but a peace in moving forward.  A friend had shared a similar peace when they were walking through a waiting child adoption as well.  So Amber and I agree to start asking questions.  Over the next month, we talked to the agency multiple times, our social worker multiple times and other professionals.  Again, that same peace remained true.

In early March, we said YES!  We had to update our homestudy (current status: we’ve been waiting on a document from another state for weeks that just came through this week).  A draft of our homestudy is complete and we’re hoping to have the approved homestudy next week so that we can accept the “official” referral and begin the next steps in bringing our children home.

We can’t show their faces until they are home but it is evident they are Lucht’s and they are part of our family!

Adoption3WithHearts

We ask for your prayers as we walk this path God is leading us on.  I PROMISE to blog more to keep you up to date on our family and our adoption process!

Friday, December 6, 2013

18 Months

Our precious daughter is 18 months old today!  She is growing up way to quickly for our liking, but nonetheless, we are enjoying witnessing every moment!

November2013 049

This girl has quite a personality that continues to develop with each passing day.  She brings such joy to our house, and she is a constant source of entertainment.  Here is a little about what she is up to lately:

1.She is talking quite a bit, and she has no problems making her needs known! Some of her favorite words are ‘me’(when she wants something to eat that Silas has), ‘Si-Si’(what she calls Silas), and ‘see’(when she wants to see pictures on daddy’s phones).

2. She loves to eat,and fruits tend to win out over most things these days.  Of course, she also loves her sweets like the rest of our family.  Her drink of choice is whole milk.

3. She loves to dance! She can really get her arms and/or shoulders moving when an upbeat song comes on the radio.

4. She loves to help us do things around the house such as emptying the dishwasher, putting in the laundry, and throwing things away in the trash can.  I am hoping this love continues for a LONG time;)

5.She is such a lovable little girl, and she is very quick to give a hug when she knows she has done something wrong. 

6. She likes her shoes!  She regularly goes to her closet and brings out shoes for me to put on her.  This is cute now, but daddy may not think so when she’s a teenager!

I could go on and on, but I will stop to let you see a few pictures of this precious girl (with a few from Thanksgiving weekend thrown in).

November2013 004

November2013 008

November2013 020

November2013 027

November2013 024 

November2013 050

November2013 058

december2013 005

december2013 028

Happy 18 months Saylor!  We continue to thank God every day for your life! You are the perfect fit for our family, and we will forever be grateful!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Silas turns 5!

Five years ago, a precious baby boy was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and today we celebrated big!  Last year, Silas didn’t have much of a celebration for his birthday due to Saylor just being home a few weeks; therefore, we decided he deserved a real party this year.  We decided to have his party at a park near our home.  They have a building called the Wilderness Station where they house various animals as well as put on a lot of educational programs.  They also do various animal themed birthday parties, and Silas chose a ‘snake’ theme.(I secretly think he did this on purpose because he knows his mama wants NOTHING to do with these creatures!)  He picked which friends he wanted to come, and he also chose to have his favorite foods at his party.  Needless to say, he had a great time as you will witness in the pictures below.

October2013 017 

Silas wanted us to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him when he woke up this morning so we fulfilled that request.  Here he is dressed and ready for his party!

 

October2013 042 

October2013 041

This sign is about the extent of my artistic abilities.  Once again, I am reminded why I was a biology major!

October2013 044

This adorable chocolate cake was made by a friend of ours who also occasionally babysits Silas and Saylor.  She knows Silas’ love for peanut butter so she sent a side of peanut butter for him to enjoy with his cake:)

October2013 035

The party started off with learning different facts about snakes.

October2013 046 

Each child then had the opportunity to pet the snake.

 

October2013 049

The program leader with ‘Charlie’ the snake.

 

October2013 051

Saylor thought it was more fun to make faces at daddy then to learn about the snakes.

 

October2013 052

After petting the snake, each child made a snake craft to take home.

 

October2013 054

After that, it was time to go outside for a short hike. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful today!

 

October2013 030

Silas and his buddy, ‘E’.  They share the common bond of both being born in Ethiopia.

 

October2013 058

Present time!

 

October2013 059

I think this was his favorite present of the day. He has been asking us for a camera for quite some time now.  Daddy did some research, and he found one that was a hit according to Silas!

 

October2013 019

We rounded out the day with dinner at Silas’ favorite restaurant.  We forgot to take pictures inside, but we managed to take this one as we were leaving.

 

October2013 060

Silas had two presents left to open from extended family so he did this before bed.  He got Laser Pegs which he was excited about because he played with these at a toy store when we were on vacation.

 

October2013 062 

He was happy to get a scooter like his cousin Ross used to have.

 

October2013 063

We had to do a trial with the scooter before bed.  Silas, mama and daddy love you to pieces.  We cannot believe you are five, but we know God has great things in store for your life.  It melted both of our hearts that you wanted to say the prayer for your party today, and you said it loud and clear.  You are a precious child of God, and we count it an honor every day that God chose us to be your parents.  Happy 5th birthday!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Fall Y’all (2013)

Summer remains my favorite season, but fall is a close second!  Our family has a lot to celebrate during the fall including two birthdays, one gotcha day, and our wedding anniversary so it is always a fun time of year for us.  I thought I would share just a couple pictures that were taken on my birthday this past Sunday.  Saylor’s dress and Silas’ bowtie were another sweet blessing from Mammaw.

October2013 003

October2013 005

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”. Galatians 6:9

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day Saylor!

I cannot even believe it has been an entire year since our precious daughter was forever placed in our arms.  I will never forget that day as we had completed a very long flight, and it was assumed that we would want to go to our hotel to get some rest prior to heading to Hannah’s Hope.  Despite our exhaustion, all we wanted to do was get back to our sweet girl!  Much to our delight, Wass(our driver) took us straight to Hannah’s Hope and we made a beeline to pick her up:)  We haven’t looked back since!  God has been so faithful to us over the past year, and Saylor has adjusted amazingly well.  We truly can’t remember what life was like before she joined our family.  I thought I would pick a picture from each month over the past year so you can see just how much she has grown.  Words cannot adequately express how much joy she brings to our family, and we are forever grateful that we are the ones God chose to be her parents!

September 2012 037 

September 2012

 

October2012 057

October 2012

 

November2012 043

November 2012

 

December 2012 073

December 2012

 

January2013 001

January 2013

 

February2013 009

February 2013

 

March2013 063

March 2013

 

April2013 006

April 2013

 

May2013 059

May 2013

 

saylorchewing

June 2013

 

July2013 013

July 2013

 

August2013 025

August 2013

 

September2013 024

September 2013

 

Tonight, we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate Saylor’s Gotcha Day.  We then came home to enjoy cupcakes!

September2013 118

She had some tomatoes with spicy sauce on them, and she kept saying “hot”; however, she kept reaching for more.  Such a funny girl!

 

September2013 119

She thought she was big stuff with her big straw:)

 

September2013 120

Family picture at the restaurant

 

September2013 117

She wasn’t sure what to think of her cupcake and the singing, but the smiles came as we imitated blowing out a candle!

 

September2013 116

Here is one last picture of our precious girl! Happy Gotcha Day Saylor!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saylor’s One Year Pictures (finally!)

We were so on top of everything for Silas, but time managed to get away from us for getting Saylor’s one year pictures scheduled. We were so blessed that our friend, Kelsey, agreed to take pictures for us again.  She has been through more than one person should have to endure in a year, and she graciously made time to squeeze us in. As usual, we loved them, and we are so grateful for Kelsey’s God given talent! So, without further ado, I have picked my top ten favorite pictures to share with you below.  Saylor was not the most cooperative with smiling, but we(o.k. mostly daddy) managed to get a few out of her!  Mammaw made Saylor’s watermelon outfit and her hat which were what she wore for her birthday party.  The tricycle is from Troy’s childhood, and the rocking chair was Troy’s mom’s when she was a little girl.  These personal touches make me love the pictures even more. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  They are a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness!

Saylor02

Saylor09

Saylor25

Saylor28

Saylor34

Saylor38

Saylor47

Saylor49

Saylor52

Saylor56