Friday, July 5, 2013


That was the subject line of the email I opened this morning. Imagine my delight to read that we had court in Bulgaria yesterday. Today, I am proud to announce that Klementina Selah Rhodes has joined our family!

We're anxiously awaiting travel dates, but should have Klemi home, next month! She joined our family on her Daddy's Birthday, because God's timing is always best.

Thank you for joining our family on this journey. We're looking forward to sharing pick-up trip with you.

Hidden in Christ,

Saturday, May 4, 2013

April Update!

Sad, neglected blog. That's what this has become in the past month. Life has been happening and blogging has not. Let me catch you up (an abbreviated version). In April, we had 2 birthdays, 2 huge fundraisers, soccer practices, games, gymnastics, Spring on the farm (which means planting and helping prepare for the 30+ animals that are staying temporarily on our land), it's just plain busy here. It the middle of all of this God is doing something huge in our family, but that's for another post.

Here's where we are with Klemi's adoption. Our 2nd stage dossier documents should be submitted this week. How can you pray? Pray, that we get a signature, quickly. After the signature, we'll get a court date and after court, we can pick Klemi up!

How about a couple of pictures?

The Birthday Boy turned 8 years old! This was his favorite part of the party!

Sweet girls. Joy and Julie at the birthday party. Julie turned 8, too!

Julie and Vaylo's really awesome Birthday Cake. The un-frosted cupcakes were Julie's.

Sam is giving me a "thumb's up" to let me know he's digging the Easter egg hunting.

Dying Eggs is so stressful, especially when you want to drink the dye and no one will let you.

Wrestling in their matching shirts, cause that's what brother's do.

That's all I've got for now. Sorry to be such a lazy blogger, lately. I'll try to do better. 

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Financial Peace?

Years ago, Marty and I had accrued a lot of debt. We married young (today's our 13th anniversary) and were irresponsible with our resources (that's putting it mildly). We realized it was only a matter of time before we sunk our own ship with bad choices. We worked hard and were taught the importance of being debt free. We took some debt management classes. We were getting out of debt and checking all the boxes.

Then, we got to the "growing wealth" section of the plan and couldn't move. We froze. We struggled. We prayed. This is what the "church" was teaching. Get debt free and amass large amounts of wealth, so you never have to depend on anyone else. We couldn't find that in the Bible anywhere.

We could understand the need to be debt free (we no longer are, by the way, 4 kids and medical bills will do that to you). We could understand having a small emergency fund (don't have that, now, either). We just couldn't wrap our minds around saving and then, sitting on 6-9 months worth of income.

Someone help me understand, why? Why would/should we have thousands of dollars sitting in the bank, while children starve? So, we can have Financial Peace? Well, isn't that a crock?

I want my peace to come from knowing that not only does my Redeemer live, but He supplies all my need according to his riches and glory. I want to depend on Him!

I long to live in a way that says, "Show up, Jesus, or the ship is going to sink!"

Not irresponsibly, not because of poor choices, but because we're following so hard after the heart of God.

The closer we walk with Jesus, the more our lives look like his, the more I see it. It's not about our "best life, now." It's about laying down our lives and coming to life in Christ, so that one day we will live our best life in eternity.

When you fall in love with Jesus, you'll not be able to hoard away all your money, while someone else's child starves, while an orphan doesn't have a family, while a man sleeps under a bridge.

Your compassion will move you to act on behalf of the least of these. Trust God and watch as he shows up and gets all the Glory in your life.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Chosen Daughter...

Getting to K proved to be quite the undertaking. We left for the Raleigh Durham Airport on Friday morning around 10:00. Our first flight was scheduled to leave for NYC at 2:30ish. Well, after a full day of cancellations, delays, rescheduling, an unexpected night at a local hotel, we finally made it to Sofia on Sunday at 1:30 pm. A full day later than planned, but we were here. We had Sunday afternoon to rest and left for K’s region on Monday morning.

Monday morning we found ourselves in a familiar place. The furniture had been updated, but not too many months ago, we had been in this very room meeting our son. We had met K then, but had no idea the story that God was about to write. We had a brief meeting with the director (who is an amazing lady) and updated her on Sam. Then, the moment arrived and in walked our Firecracker!

She has grown so much and her hair is so long. She was hesitant, but gave us shy hugs after being encouraged to do so. She stayed with us for about an hour on the first visit and ended our time together by simply leaving the room. This is how she’s ended each of our 4 visits, so far. She realizes that it’s time for lunch or dinner and gets up and leaves. It’s really quite funny.

We spent time looking through her photo book and Sam’s pictures got lots of “AHH’s.” She definitely recognized him. I asked the director how she did after he left. I could tell by her facial expression that it wasn’t good for awhile. She said that for about a month and a half after we picked Sam up K would go to his room in the boys’ dormitory and look for him. She was in the habit of being up first and going to wake him.

We are smitten with this little girl. I always said we would only adopt boys and that K was just the exception. What an exception! She is joyful. She is busy. She is funny. She is too smart for her own good. She mimics everything we say to her and even tries to sign.

In our struggle to get here to this girl, God began to show me a different part of adoption than I had considered before. Over the last two days (I’m writing this post on Tuesday evening) the concept has only solidified for me and I want to share it with you. I promise, to include pictures, so you’ll keep reading.
Adoption is so much the heart of God and such an amazing picture of grace. What I hadn’t seen before is that we are the pursuer in this relationship, just as God pursues our hearts. Marty and I picked K. She didn’t ask us to come for her. She didn’t have an expectation that we would return for her. She has not been overwhelmed by a desire to return our affection and yet, we pursue her. We long for the day when she will be ours and she will understand that she has a place in our family.

A chosen daughter…


This is how God is with us. We weren’t looking for Him. We weren’t searching for salvation. We had sin in us and that alone keeps us from seeking God out. In our sin-filled state, God loved us. He loved us so much that He was willing to inconvenience Himself. He was willing to take on humanity in the form of Jesus and suffer greatly on our behalfs, even to die for us. All so that He could send His Holy Spirit in pursuit of our hearts. Once, we turn to Him and accept the great gift of love He offers, we become sons and daughters of the King. Adopted, Heirs, Chosen, Redeemed.

None of these things happened because we were looking for Jesus, but because He pursued us with His never ending, never failing, never giving up, kind of love. This is why we can love our children the way that we can, because we understand a very small part of redemption’s plan, because we are overjoyed in the process of pursuing their hearts, because one little girl may not understand how much she needs a Mama and Daddy, but we know.  We know and we will pursue her heart for the rest of her days.
Hopefully  in carefully attending her heart, we will show her the great love the Father has for her and teach her how to fall in love with Jesus.

It’s been a good trip, inconveniences aside, who really needs internet or phone service, we are busy pursuing our girl and loving every minute God allows us to have with her.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support…Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Committed to Love Giveaway-Winners!

We have winners! I'm having trouble contacting Katherine H. Katherine you won the vacation! You can email me for details at

The winner of the Keurig Brewing Station is Crystal B. Thanks, Crystal for supporting the Kirk family. I hope the Keurig is a blessing to you.

Thank you to each one who gave, shared and prayed. The Giveaway brought in a $675 to help the Kirk family bring their son home!

We leave in 4 days to go see K! We're so excited! Thank you for continuing to pray. Keep an eye on the blog, because pictures are coming of our girl with her Mommy and Daddy.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Travel Dates!

It has been brought to my attention that I neglected to share our travel dates here on the blog. Let me remedy that. We are going to see K! We leave in 8 days. We fly out on March 8th and arrive back home the 19th. We covet your prayers for us and for our children at home.

We're incredibly blessed to be here, at this step in the process. We can't wait to hold our girl. We're thankful for each of you who continues to support us. She's one step closer to home.

Be sure to keep watch. I will blog, everyday, if I'm able, while we're in country.

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Cost of Adoption

The Cost of Adoption...

This has been so heavy on my heart, lately. Everywhere I go I read or hear people talking about how they would commit to a child, but they're afraid of the cost. Let's be real for a minute...

$30,000 is the average cost of an adoption. I think, this is true for international or domestic infant adoption. Just an average, some a little less, some a lot more...

$30,000 is a LOT of money. Many a husband have absolutely refused to even look at a child's profile, because they feel the enormous weight of where $30,000 is going to come from.

I want to encourage you all. Not only can it be done, I believe and have experienced in my own life that God is faithful to the orphan. I've been around this adoption community for over 2 years, now. In that time, I haven't seen one truly committed family not bring their children home, due to lack of funding.

I want to share our testimony with you, because so many are looking for real life examples of people who God has provided for.

In late February of 2011, our family stepped out of the boat and onto the water. It was the biggest, single step of faith we had ever taken. We committed not just to adopt, but to adopt a little boy with Down Syndrome, who lived on the other side of the ocean.

The cost would be enormous for our family. We had no money set aside for an adoption, because we weren't planning to adopt. $25,000 would be the cost to bring our son home and we were starting with nothing. We began to fundraise. Our immediate need was in the $7500 range. We own a timeshare property and since, we knew we wouldn't be spending money on a vacation that year, we used our week to host a giveaway. We raised the first $2000 that way.

We didn't have the money to commit, but God had clearly spoken to us. We were walking boldly where He had called us. We signed the agency agreement, knowing that first $2000 needed to go toward our homestudy and having no idea where the $3500 commitment fees that needed to be mailed within the next week or two were coming from. 3 days later, a friend handed me an envelope with a check inside. A check made out for $3500. It was a huge sacrifice for their family. They believed in what we were doing.

We continued to fundraise, in April we added a second child and while he had a grant for $7500. It wouldn't be enough to cover the cost of adding him. We continued moving forward, sure that God had called us to this child also. Again, the money wasn't there, but the assurance of a faithful God was...

Every step of the way, the money was there. We worked hard fundraising from February of 2011 to February of 2012. We had been on first trip to meet the boys. We needed around $11,000 to complete our adoption and God began to whisper crazy things into my heart.

He told me to give it to Him, to stop fundraising. WHY?

Why would He tell me to stop fundraising? He wanted to get all the glory and I was sticking myself in the way. I was struggling with feelings of pride over what I had done. I wanted to take credit for that first $20,000 we raised. As if we could have done it apart from His amazing grace and favor.

I did the unthinkable. I wrote a post and shared that we would no longer be fundraising. Yes, we still had a need and not a small one. This was February and we were anticipating pick-up in early May. That's not a lot of time to raise $11,000.

Here's where things really got interesting. As soon as I gave it back to God, the floodgates opened up. We had friends and strangers give us thousands of dollars to help bring the boys home. $400 from a single mom, $4,000 from a young couple, $1500 from a stranger, another $1500 from a stranger in the form of a matching grant. It just happened.

God showed up and He showed off and He got all the GLORY!

Now, I'm not suggesting that you let this be your plan, unless you hear clearly from God. We have been fundraising for this adoption. To date God has blessed our efforts enormously and we've had some very generous gifts, simply given. We'll continue to fundraise, unless we hear differently from God.

My heart is in a better place than it was a year ago. My boys have taught me a lot about how really I can do nothing apart from Christ. So, we fundraise and I lean in and believe that God will bless our efforts to walk boldly on the water, with our eyes securely fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

I hope this encourages you. If God is speaking to you about a child, get out of the boat, step onto the water and watch as the one who called you takes delight in honoring your obedience with His great provision.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,