Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tshirt Challenge!

Local friends of ours, the Hebbe family, are adopting twin boys from a country in Eastern Europe, Jonathan and David.

Mutual friends of ours and the Hebbe's, the M family, specifically their daughter Jenny have decided to do a tshirt fundraiser for the Hebbe's.

BUT it's not your normal tshirt fundraiser, because along with just selling tshirts to raise funds, they are doing a challenge!

Said challenge? Wear the tshirt for a month. Well, not at night, and you can wash it, but wear it everyday for a month.

Why? When Jenny went on a mission trip to Ethiopia, the bus driver there wore the same shirt and pants every day, because he couldn't afford to by more.

She wondered if people would be willing to wear the same tshirt for a month to bring an orphan home. And so she designed the tshirt and set up the challenge.

We have taken the challange... and I'm just over half way done with my month (I think).
My mom, my sister Anna, Jenny's mom and little sister Ellie, Jenny, Rachel, and I
Want to find out more?

Go to Jenny's t-shirt blog.

Go visit Hebbe's blog.

Read this article on CollegePlus about Jenny. (CP is helping me earn my dual credit, and Jenny is who we found about it from!)

And go read this story Jenny wrote about the 8th largest country.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

the Block Party

Every year we ask a bunch of knitters and crocheters to make 6" squares or blocks, and then we get together at the "Block Party" to sew them into blankets to send to orphanages and institutions that Max works with in Ukraine. I came up with the idea the beginning of 2010, and since then, God has blessed this project immensely and it has grown to beyond what I ever imagined!!

On Saturday, we hosted the 4th Annual Block Party.
All the blocks not already laid out into blankets. We had a total of 1770 blocks this year!!! Not sure yet how many blankets that will make as we are still laying them out and sewing them together.
Everyone sewing!
My sister Anna and her friend working on the rainbow blanket
My mom, Rachel's mom, and Mrs. O (Jimmy's (whom I've blogged about here and here) soon-to-be Mom)
Rachel and I ♥ How did I get so lucky to have such a great best friend??

Jim... trying not to be outdone by Gary :)
First finished blanket!!!
Anita, Betty, Rachel and I with the last finished blanket of the day! It was decided we weren't leaving until it was done!
To read more about the Block Party, or see more pictures from this year, please visit the Block Party website, or my crafting blog, For His Glory Handiwork.

So, that's what I've been up to lately! We are still sewing blankets, and still working on borders, but hopefully they'll be done soon! And we have a visit with the amazing Max himself scheduled in a little less than 3 weeks!! So excited!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

the seconds add up.

The seconds tick by. Never stopping. No matter what is happening the world, they always keep going.

A second may not seem like a lot of time, but they add up.
Every 60 moments they turn into a minute. Every 60 minutes, they turn into an hour.

And hours turn into days, days turn into months. The months, they turn into years.

A year is a long time when everyday is the same. Nothing ever changes, besides time. Always ticking, always continuing.

Years of the same. Maybe things change from year to year, because you are growing up and you can't stay in the room for babies anymore. The ones who care (or not) for you will change from time to time. Your friends, or roommates will change as you watch some get adopted and others take their place.

Then you wonder. When will my turn come? Why can't I be one of the lucky ones? Because nobody cares about me, and no one loves me, that's why. I'm not good enough to have a family. I'm worthless.

204984 thousand seconds. That's about how many seconds.
Those seconds ticked by into 3416+ thousand minutes. That's how many minutes.
Those minutes ticked by into 56940 hours. That's how many hours.
Those hours ticked by into 2372 days. That's how many days.

How many that you've been alone, without knowing what a family is.

2372 times you cried yourself to sleep, wondering what you've done to deserve this.
2372 days have dragged by, and not once have you gotten a hug from your mama.
2372 nights after work, daddy wasn't there to "wrestle" and play around with you.

And as if that's not bad enough, and life hasn't already thrown such a bad lot your way, you get sick. Terribly sick. Not just a cold, or a few day stay in the hospital, but months on end of treatment, with no promise you'll get better, or even survive.

And you don't even have a mama to get you whatever you need, or people who love you to constantly be by your side.

And then you find out that you have a chance to be adopted, to be one of the lucky ones! You are so excited, and you hope your mama and daddy will come to help you get better!

But then you find out that you've had this opportunity for years. And in all those years, in all those seconds, NO ONE has seen your picture and said that you need a family and we'll be that family.

No one wants you.

Some families have said yes, until something happens, or they find out more. And then they back out.

And you again find yourself saying: I'm worthless. I've lost all hope for a family, because no one wants me. I'm too old. Not cute enough. Not in the right country. Worthless, because no one wants me.

And the seconds keep on ticking, adding up into another year that you spend alone.

This is reality for Mark.
Please be his voice. Be his family.

Help him know it's not too late. That he is worthy. That he is wanted.

Pray for him. No child should have to fight leukemia, let alone without a family.
And spread the word. The more see his face and hear his story, the sooner his family will find him.

Monday, February 18, 2013

do something

Let's do something. Make a difference. We won't change the world by standing still.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Today, there was a knock on my door.

I said come in, and expected it to be my mom, checking on my schoolwork progress.

Instead, in come my three sisters, bearing pictures they made.
from Anna (10)
from Rebekah (6)
back of Rebekah's
from Rachel (3)
back of Rachel's
Sign from when I came home last week
Completely on their own, without it being suggested by someone else (or so I think.), they made me get well pictures.

Love them. It was totally unexpected, but much appreciated. Best part of my day.

I am blessed. So blessed.

"Encourage one another and build one another up." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

(Now I wish I could actually get well. On about 4 different meds, but not getting better. Though it is easier to be sick without the responsibility of 7 kids, and managing a household of 11 people! It's been a week since I've been home, but feels like longer because I miss that crazy awesome family too much! Max is doing great at home, minus his tummy issues.. follow the Nance family and Max's progess here!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This adventure is over.

I'll admit, I went to check on Maxim several times before I went to bed Friday night... just because I still could not believe he was there sleeping in his crib! 

After a few hours sleep, I was up again with a heavy heart knowing that in a couple hours, I would have to say my goodbyes.

Good morning, Mr. Max!

Good morning Ralphie and Ruby Jean!

Last snuggles with Maxim... minutes before goodbyes. :(
Then I had to say goodbye. I knew it would be tough. I did held it together until I got to Chipper and Stephanie, and again with James later at the airport. I blame them for getting emotional on me. ;) Then I cried most of the first flight. At least I wasn't sitting next to anyone!

You can't spend 7 weeks pouring yourself into a family, living with them, getting to know them, laughing with them, crying with them, caring for them, loving on them... and then leave without leaving a huge piece of your heart there.

I have been gone a day and a half. And they are constantly on my mind. I miss them so much it hurts. It just plain old stinks having your heart where you can't be!

But I'm back with my family, and it feels soo good to be home. My chunky monkey, Jonathan, wasn't scared of me like he was the last two times I've come home!
He was slightly wound up and wouldn't stop smiling at me. :) Melted my heart. Rachel, my 3 yo sister said "Sarah, I soo happy you are home!!" and tonight during devotions when we were going around praying she said "Please help Sarah feel better!". Love that sweet girl!

After sleeping a solid 10-11 hours last night, I came home from church and took a 3.5 hr nap this afternoon. ;) Still dealing with sickness, mainly severe headaches, but it's much easier to rest and get better without having to worry about anything or anyone. Stephanie did say that if I needed counseling or something for PTSD, they would take care of it. LOL

It's over. I'm home. Stephanie and Maxim are home. The Nance family is all together again. There is one less orphan, and one little boy whose not all alone in an institution tonight. Mission complete.

This adventure is over. Signing off on the chapter about this journey, and going to go sleep and miss my Kansas family some more. Goodnight!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Maxim is HOME!

Maxim is home. Thank you Jesus!!!
On the way to the airport!
Is that her plane?
Soo excited!
Waiting for them... Thomas, Rose, Jordan, Leroy, and Grandma with Ruby in front.
Is that them??
There they are!!
Daddy meeting Max!
Safe in Daddy's arms.
Ruby meeting Max! She was soo excited!
Meeting Grandma!
Max and Rose
Meeting Chipper! (he stayed home with the other 3 boys)
Love this picture!
Ralph and Max!
Love this picture!! Ralph and Ruby are in love with their new brother! Theo and Zhen were like ya whatever... :)
Max and Leroy
Kisses with Grandma - he already knows how to turn and give his other cheek for a kiss. :)
Max and Zhenya! I told Zhen to smile...
Max and I :) 
The 7 long weeks (total) I've spent here caring for his siblings so his mama could bring him home... it all melted away tonight holding him in my arms. He was soo worth it.
He wasn't digging the pictures... sweet boy was soo tired and ready for bed.
As my dear friend so wisely put it, I survived, and now I get the best reward ever.

I still can't even believe he is home. Maxim is home. After 8 long years. He is sleeping in the other room, in the Nance home. Max is home. Welcome home, sweet boy.

Mission Bring Maxim Home: Complete.

The countdown is on!

In a little over 5 hours, Stephanie and Max will land here in KS. Maximka is almost HOME!!! YIPPPEEEE!!!!!

Of course, we are all VERY EXCITED here!!!!

I.can.not.wait to hug this sweet boy!
To know that tonight the Nance family, INCLUDING Max will all be together under one roof is the best feeling. Even better is knowing that after eight long years, Maxim will never spend another night without a family.

We all plan on heading to the airport to welcome them home, but until then, if you need us, we'll be cleaning. :)

Check back later for photos of Maxim's homecoming!!!