Monday, November 23, 2015

#GIVINGTUESDAY

Why choose to give to Village to Village Intl? I thought it would be good to let some of the families we have been able to help answer that question.

"We are a family of six. But we are part of a much bigger group of family and friends who supported us in our adoption journey. As often is the case with international adoption, our costs were far higher than the estimates we were given. God provided us with people all along the way who wanted to help and be a blessing to us. Village to Village was a great way to facilitate that for us. We are very thankful to V2V for their help in uniting our family." - Barkema Family


"Brad and I were really felt led to adopt our first child, and when we started digging into the process, we were very overwhelmed with questions on how we would afford the legal fees associated with the process.  A friend of the family told us about Village to Village and the amount of resources and learning material on their site is amazing, and you can feel the support radiating through them for all adopting families everywhere.  Having a vehicle to post our story and tell people why we wanted to adopt and the challenges we were facing was a huge blessing for us.  The fact that it is tax-deductible was also a big bonus for those donating and was a great start to any conversation :)  Our son Theo is now 2 years old and is the light of our life.  We continue to support Village to Village in hopes we will bless families the same we were blessed, and want to thank Matt and his team for helping us bring home our son!" - Jensen Family

"When we started feeling the tug of God on our hearts to adopt, we knew that our extended families would be excited.  We already have four adopted nieces and nephews, so we would simply be joining the club.  Our biggest challenge for God to show His faithfulness was going to be coming up with the finances necessary to complete the process.  Some good friends of ours turned us onto Village to Village, and they partnered with us to help make this happen.  Having a legitimate collection point was a huge blessing to us and our friends and family who wanted to help us.  We were surprised at how God raised up the finances to cover all the costs through lots of different people, some that we didn't even know personally.  Village to Village is one of the great partners that helped us complete our family!" - Rauch Family

"Receiving the Village to Village grant has not only been an enormous financial blessing but a spiritual blessing as well.  When I felt God calling me to adopt a second time, my heart was all in, but my head wasn’t so sure…I had no idea how I would afford it.  But I decided to take a leap of faith & trust that God would provide, if this was His will.  It took everything I had in my savings to pay the initial fees…beyond that, I prayed for & relied on God’s provision.

And prayers were answered.  Every time I received an invoice, a generous donation appeared in my account.  And every time, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness, not only to me but the child He was going to place in our family.

Throughout the course of my process, the program became unstable, at best. There were significant changes around adoption laws in Ethiopia resulting in little to no activity for long periods of time; numerous agencies began to pull out as well as many waiting families who were unable to sustain the fee increases or who simply found the situation to appear hopeless.  At a time of such great uncertainty, the enormity of God’s provision left no question in my mind of His will for me. Not only did He provide enough to cover the expected expenses but also those unexpected increases that I may have otherwise seen as a gap too great to fill. His blessings were a clear message for me to hang in there & stay the course. And I’m so glad I did. After 2.5 years of waiting, I received the greatest blessing of all…a referral for a beautiful baby boy!

I am currently in the process of obtaining (more) documents, waiting for approvals & a court date, but I have no doubt God will see us through & bring our family together soon!

Thank you Village to Village for being a vessel that God can work through to bless others!!!" - Mol Family

The Number One Answer Is...Family


'Tis the season for thankfulness. The time of year when we are purposeful in slowing down our lives and really thinking about what is important and what we are thankful for. I do find it a bit ironic that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, so we spend Thanksgiving Day thinking about and planning how we will get the things we do not currently have, but I digress...back to thankfulness...

The other day I asked this question on my Facebook page, "What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are asked what you are thankful for?" I had a hunch that most of the answers would have something to do with family, but I wanted to see if my hunch was accurate. Out of 54 responses 28 had to do with family, and the majority of the rest mentioned something about God, or their faith.

Why do so many people think of family when asked this question? What exactly is family? A family is people who love you no matter what. A family is who you can be yourself with. A family is who takes care of you. A family is always there for you. A family provides for you. A family is who you can call at any hour of the night. A family is who you can trust and confide in.  No wonder so many people are thankful for their family. Who would not want a family like that? But, what if this is not what family means to some people. Unfortunately, for some, family means broken, hurtful, dishonest, painful, abusive, sorrowful, and abandoning relationships.

I believe that it is God's plan for all children to grow up with a family, the way I first described it.  However, that is not reality. The good news is, we can all be a part of God's redeeming plan to help children be able to experience the true definition of family. We can adopt, we can do foster care, we can be a CASA, we can do respite care for foster families, we can support others with our time and resources, we can pray, and we can be a friend to hurting families.

This Thanksgiving, as you are enjoying your time around the table with your family, will you ask yourself this question; "What can I do to help children who are not able to enjoy the blessing of a family like I am enjoying today?"

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


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