Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

13 days.....

We are going to meet our kids in just 13 days.  I really can hardly believe it.  I am filled with anticipation and a lot fear.  My fear does not stem from the flight or the meeting or traveling, but from the fact that we are still so far from having the funds necessary to actually bring the kids HOME.  We have applied to every grant organization out there.  We have held fundraising events large and small.  We have refinanced, taken loans, liquidated every asset we have available, picked up extra jobs, extra shifts, done away with non-necessities and still we have fallen short.  It is through sheer generosity and the loving hearts of others that we will make it now. 

By going through From HIV to Home (a 501(c)(3) not for profit) you can claim any donation as a tax write off and save two lives.  The total expenses for this adoption are going to be upwards of $48,000. The money donated to their fund (and it needs to be designated for The Fenske Family at the time of the contribution) goes directly to B & H, so if for some reason we ended up not adopting them (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN), the money stays with them and helps another family bring them home. We don't see a cent of it unless it is for their adoption.  Many people may ask why we are doing this when we don't have the finances up front. That is a very valid question. It's for the same reason that people finance their vehicles, boats, other "toys", vacations and have a mortgages on their homes. We simply don't have $48,000 to plunk down all at once to complete another adoption. If we waited until we did, then the children would have to wait, too. B & H don't have that luxury - they cannot afford to wait.

So will you take the leap with us?  Could you do without 1 dinner out, 1 less present under the Christmas tree, 1 less latte if it meant that two children could be saved?  It would mean the world to us and to them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Brave Little Soul Lost

This past week, the world lost an amazing, beautiful, very special little boy.  His parents fought for him, prayed for him and waited for him for so very long.  He came into this world fighting and for three months, his parents lived the life few of us have known - trapped within the walls of a hospital.  Eloquent and adequate words escape me right now.  I simply have had none to share since I learned of his passing.  My heart hurts.  I saw him just two weeks ago, held him, was amazed by his strength and how wonderful he was doing.  There had been talk of his homecoming, there were plans being made.  He had one more hurdle to clear - a permanent shunt placement to address his hydrocephalus.  Up until last week, he had a temporary shunt which had to be tapped every few days.  For anyone who has ever had to endure or witness their child undergo shunt taps, it's an unpleasant, to say the least, experience.  I assured his Mom that this surgery would be routine, that what happened to Marissa last year following one of her shunt revisions most certainly wouldn't happen to her son.  I assured her that this was a straight-forward procedure, that he was strong and that he of course had the world's best surgeon in the world.

Surgery is NEVER without risk - I know that, we ALL know that.  Little bodies are fragile and you just never know how they are going react.  Still, we go into each and every procedure hoping that all will go as planned.  For sweet baby S, things did not.  He suffered a hemorrhage and unable to be stabilized, he passed away in the arms of his family. 

Not a day has gone by since Wednesday, February 3, 2010, that I have not relived Marissa's third hemorrhage.  I know every single event of that day.  I can close my eyes and see it playing out in slow motion, I can see what people were wearing, I can smell the smells, hear the sounds, everything.  Call it a solid memory, PTSD, whatever you want, but I don't think it will ever go away.  When a person walks that line or their child walks that line - the line between life and death - you don't get to forget.  The thing is, we got our daughter back - we got to take her home.  She has had 35 surgeries, THREE brain hemorrhages, yet she has survived and we get to go on with our lives as a family.  For Baby S's family, they were robbed of their chance to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together, to watch their son grow.  They will bury their baby and that is just plain wrong.  I know they will never get that day out of their minds and I know there is absolutely nothing anyone can do or say right now to ease their pain.

I have survivor's guilt.  I have no words to provide to them.  How do you wrap up what you want to say to someone in a sympathy card?  How can you say anything to someone who has just lost the most precious thing on Earth?  How do we just forge ahead knowing that they have been left behind?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lifesong's Incredible Holiday Project!

Make a Difference in ONE Life!

What is your holy discontent? What is your God-given passion on this earth? You know, that one thing that MOVES you to action, that brings you to tears, and causes you to lose sleep? We have a passion, a yearning to see justice for the fatherless!

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." - Isaiah 1:17

2011 Gifts of Purpose from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

It's that time of year again. Holiday music rings through your speaker systems. Decorations light up your street corners. Families gather together.It's the season of love, joy and family.  
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ during this season of giving, we often forget to give to those who NEED it most! This year give differently. Give FAMILY to the 147 million orphans worldwide who dream of belonging. Give HOPE to children living on the streets whose only Christmas wish is survival.
What if, this year, your family gave a gift to those who need it most? A gift that won't fit under the tree? 
Would you consider making a difference in ONE LIFE...
  •  Help a child break free from gripping poverty.
  •  Give the love of Jesus through Christian mentors.
  •  Give a future to an orphan's caregiver.
This year join Lifesong for Orphans in giving a gift with purpose. A gift that will speak Jesus to a child. Introducing Lifesong's 2011 Gifts of Purpose Catalog

NOW, for even more exciting news....

In Ethiopia, children need an education to break free from gripping poverty. Public schools are lacking, so kids are left behind without the  HOPE of an education or future. Our current Lifesong school is not only giving by teaching these children about Jesus, but also feeding 350 hungry children 2 meals each day. We currently have a need to build a 12-room expansion to our existing school... please join us to make a difference in a child's life.

As of last night, we have a generous donor that has stepped up to MATCH all donations to the Ziway and Adami Tulu Schools in Ethiopia between now and December 31st... up to $130,000!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? What a GENEROUS way to make the most of your giving and bless the children and families in these communities! Let me tell you first hand, these schools NEED to be expanded... these children NEED an education... they NEED to be fed each day... they NEED to hear about Jesus! Lets give HOPE to these precious children in Ethiopia!

Would you join us in prayer as we seek to make the need known?

***You can use the link above to make a matched donation OR select any of the Hope Ethiopia options below. 

Gift of $30 cares for 2 children for 1 month.

Gift in Honor of
Gift of $525 cares for 35 children for 1 month.

Gift in Honor of
Gift of $1,500 furnishes one classroom.

Gift in Honor of

Also, don't forget that you can give a gift in honor of a loved one this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tomorrow, the lovely and talented Suzanne is hosting a podcast along with two other very lovely waiting Kyrgyz mamas.  If you're able, please tune in for updates on the delays and more importantly, to learn how YOU can help.  Visit: Mother The World for details.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Scentsy for Kamila

My amazing friend, Linda, is sponsoring a Scentsy fundraiser for Kamila's adoption fund.  You can read about Linda and her incredible husband, Dan, in an article published just this morning HERE.  They truly exemplify selflessness and dedication to helping children overcome adversity.  They are amazing parents and wonderful people.  Although they have so much on their plate with work and family, they found a place in their hearts for Kamila and have on many occasions reached out to our family and offered support through prayer and fundraising for her adoption long after others in our lives gave up on her.  We are so grateful to them and they will forever be a part of hers and our lives! 

Please go to Linda's site and check out the amazing Scentsy products.  The photo here is my scentsy warmer, a gift from Linda, and it lights up my kitchen every single day.  The Holidays are fast approaching - you could not only help Kamila find her way home, but brighten someones day with a beautiful gift from Scentsy. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We have a court date!  We REALLY, REALLY do!  I'm shocked, amazed, a little freaked out and so indescribably happy!  We will be in Ethiopia Dec 5-9th - we're going to MEET OUR KIDS in like 30 days!! 

Now the real race begins.  I wish I had something incredible to give a way.  I wish I had some great contest to host, but I just don't.  We have a long ways to go to raise the ransom to spring our kids and a very, very short time to raise it.  Please link us, like us, pass our family's story along.  We have lots of ways people can support our adoption.  Our kids really want to come home!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Adoption Day Noodle!

Two years ago our lives were forever changed with the 'surprise' blessing of a very tiny and very spunky baby girl!  Marissa has truly transformed our family, our lives and our souls.  She has changed our view of the world, our values and made us, I think, better people.  Not a moment goes by that I am not grateful for every second I'm allowed to be her mom!
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How Will YOU Choose to Make a Difference?

 November 6th is Orphan Sunday