Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spare CHANGE Children's Lives Forever

My hubby put together this beautiful video. Please take a couple minutes to let us introduce you to our newest fundraising efforts for the Adami Tulu, Ethiopia school project!

Click Here for video!

Reportedly, there are over $10 Billion U.S. in coins currently gathering dust as spare change in piggy banks and old cookie tins in homes all across America.

Gathering dust…

$10 Billion…

Gathering dust…

Yet, imagine for a moment what your spare change could do?

Micah to Mommy, “What can this quarter do for the children in Ethiopia?”

Mommy to Micah, “It can provide two nutritious meals to fill their tummies for an entire day.”

“What about this dime?”

“That’s just about enough for one meal.”

From this conversation, our 5-year-old son inspired us to think about the spare change we had laying around and what an impact that random quarter and dime could have if only we allowed it to.

So we went on a hunt for spare change and this is what we found:
• $0.74 in Mommy & Daddy’s “key/sunglasses/wallet” baskets
• $2.70 in Daddy’s car
• $5.22 in Mommy’s minivan
• $6.15 in Mommy’s wallet (and the bottom of her purse)
• $28.16 in the coin jar
• PLUS $6.25 from returning 125 soda pop cans (5 cans = 1 child fed for a day!)

$49.22 in coins (and cans) gathering dust…

As we continue to raise money for the Adami Tulu School project in Ethiopia, we realize that many families with today’s economy go from paycheck to paycheck somehow making it through the month with nothing left to show for by the end of each month. However, somehow we always seem to have a bit of spare change that we have collected over the weeks that sits idly in our vehicles or on our dresser or slips through the couch cushions.

So, we have come up with a fund-raising strategy that we would like to share with you...

We are calling it:

Spare C H A N G E Children’s Lives Forever

We are proposing that you collect and save your spare change over the next 30 days, pray about what options you have, and do something with it.

Consider these 3 options:
1.) Use it for yourself.
2.) Give to someone you know directly that really needs it.
3.) Give to the Adami Tulu School Project.

As we were pondering over this idea, God put into our hearts and minds the lesson of The Widow's Offering from Mark 12:41-44.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

It reminded us that no matter where we are at in life, even if we don't have much, God still wants us to give from what He has given us.

Want to have a little more fun with this? How about a contest? At the end of March, the individual or family who has contributed the most (1) pennies, (2) nickels, (3) dimes, (4) quarters and (5) coins overall, will receive a prize! Winners for most pennies and nickels will receive a yummy "Hope Takes Root" white chocolate bar. Winners for most dimes and quarters will receive an awesome "Hope Takes Root" T-shirt. And for biggest donation overall... both chocolate and a T-shirt!

So start collecting, counting, and tallying your total... donate and then leave a comment with your totals!

If at the end of the 30 days (or SOONER!!) you would like to give to the Adami Tulu School project, there are a couple options to do so. One option is to mail a check made payable to Lifesong Adami Tulu Fund, PO Box 40, 202 N. Ford, Gridley, Illinois 61744. Please write: “Team Reece-Williams” in the memo field. The second option is to deposit your change and give online through our secure donation page through LifeSong. You can donate on-line via PayPal at using your credit card.
And THAT is other exciting news! Our travel companions from our first court trip to Ethiopia have joined hands with us to raise funds towards our goal! Ryan & Cassie we feel so blessed to have you on board!

For more information on Lifesong for Orphans:

“How blessed is he who considers the helpless…” Psalm 41:1

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let me out of this cocoon!

I've been writing the BEST blog posts in my head while showering, going for walks, making dinner... they've been just perfect! Now, here's my best attempt to get it out of my head and heart and into written words!

I've told close friends lately that our family has been in a stage of "cocooning". I didn't think much about that phrase until I was reading Shani the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar yesterday. I laughed out loud thinking of how similar I am to the caterpillar... eating a little healthy food here, a lot of junk there (seriously... I was working yesterday and 1/2 a bag of Cheeto Puffs disappeared!!!), and then filling myself up with a nice green leaf on Sunday (extra prayer time!).

Anyway, the caterpillar ate and ate, then he built a cocoon around himself and "stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and..."

Ok... let's stop there! :)

In complete honesty, this journey has been tough. In order to withstand the incredible ups and downs, I've built a cocoon around myself. I've found that sometimes God has us withdraw a bit in order to build us up, strengthen us, and push us forward to the light and life of His plans. It's OK.

However, the last couple of weeks especially have been "dark" inside this little cocoon. It has been almost 11 weeks since we last saw OUR baby girl (the caterpillar only stayed in his cocoon 2 weeks!). And, there is absolutely no indication of when we will see her again. None.

Yes, we received a beautiful, smiling picture of our little angel on the other side of the world. Yes, we KNOW God is in control and will bring her home... but our love for her just grows each day... the longing for her to be with us increases... and this total lack of control of not knowing when she will be home completely stills life somedays.

Somedays I feel like I can't stay in this cocoon any longer... it's been TOO long... it's dark... it's suffocating... So, each day my heart LEAPS at a new e-mail, at a single phone call... will this be the day we hear the precious words that we have been cleared to travel?

We are not alone in this journey and we are so incredibly thankful for our new adoption family. Not only are we blessed with new best friends living less than a mile from us whom can truly understand this journey... we have 8 other families literally scattered throughout the nation that we traveled with on our first trip for court. ALL of us are still waiting. ALL of us are still praying. We have seen families with court dates after us, go before us. We have gathered together in a virtual group hug... gathering together in prayer... all 9 families. We long to rejoice watching each family be reunited with their child God has chosen for them.

We are so ready to "nibble a hole in the cocoon", push our ways out and fly! Fly to our children, embrace them with the incredible love God has given us for them, and bring them home... to our families... to our children here who too have been through the ups and downs and confusion of the wait.

I know that these "labor pains" will soon end and we will once again be overwhelming blessed by God's faithfulness as we become a family of 5. One day we WILL look fondly back on this wait.

After all, I now remember fondly the third tri-mester of my pregnancy with Micah. As a high-risk pregnancy, I was blessed to have 3 doctors appointments every week, a weekly ultrasound, 2 weekly non-stress tests. A weekly ultrasound meant I was able to see "new pictures" of my baby weekly! 2 non-stress tests meant I was able to lay for 1/2 an hour each time and hear my baby's heart beat! At the time it was exhausting and inconvenient... now I would give anything to see weekly pictures of my Ethiopian princess, to cuddle her and hear her heart beat!

I know... long ramblings of a very pregnant adoptive Mommy. All this to say... when our family comes to mind, please pray for God to make a way for us to be reunited with our daughter quickly. Please pray for our children here to continue to bond with pictures of their sister. Please pray for us to have peaceful, patient, understanding hearts... and to continue to share His light and the beauty of adoption!

" But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31