Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Friendship is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. It gets us through our toughest days. It makes us laugh in the middle of long days. It gives us companionship. It gives us purpose.

I'm bringing to you today my son's friend. His name is Darren Xiangzi and he is being adopted right now, as I write this to you. They've been best buddies in their orphanage! His family has been blessed to be chosen by Give1Save1 for the week.

You may remember our amazing week that we had with Give1save1. It was incredible. You all gave and shared and people from all over the world donated to help our sweet son.

I'm going to ask you to do the same for Darren. They are in the home stretch and could still use a helping hand. Darren is another very, very special boy who has a serious heart condition. He will need corrective surgery once he is home in the States. So, can we help them out?

I say yes!!!

We can all help and give $1.

Give $1 and share it on your facebook page.

Just for kicks I'm going to do a giveaway prize.

I'm giving away a matching set including, bracelet, ring and necklace!!!

You will get one entry for each of the following:

1. Give to their fund. Come back and comment that you did.

2. Follow my blog by email (on the right hand side)

3. Share on facebook (one entry for every day that you share!)

4. Follow give1save1asia blog and comment to me that you did!

Stay tuned on give1save1asia for a guest post from me as well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Overwhelmed by Grace

Today, I am overwhelmed by God's grace. I'm not sure how to even begin to express what all this day has brought to our hearts. 

We got an email early this morning that our paperwork had been logged in with China. I know it doesn't sound like much but it is. It's a huge milestone marker in the process and every mom that has adopted from China knows how we sit and we stare at the screen for days waiting for that email! So, so thankful. Now we wait for LOA, Letter Of Approval. We are praying for a miracle on that one. That one will let us know if they are really expediting this adoption. Miracles happen and we are begging for one.

Then after rushing out to the store for last minute items before the holiday I came home and checked my email again and nearly fell off the sofa. I had begun to get a little panicky about the rest of the finances for our adoption. I was holding up fairly well and trusting that God had a plan, but I also knew we owed a hefty chunk to our agency in the next week. There is was. An email that shocked me. A grant that we applied for from the JSC foundation came back to us. They covered every remaining cent. It said, "Congratulations to the Hurst family from the JSC foundation. You have received a grant in the amount of $13,000." Say what!?! 

We sank to our knees next to the sofa and immediately thanked the Lord for His provision. It was He who started us on this journey and He provided for every dollar that we have needed. 

We are in awe of His goodness, His miracles. I have just witnessed a miracle, and now you have too. Praise the Lord tonight. What an incredible way to start Thanksgiving weekend. 

Be Blessed, my friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shopping Online for a Cause

I'll admit it. I am usually a huge Black Friday shopper. I gather all my ads together highlighting as I study them. Then I place them all out in order by times of sales and get my plan of attack all together and then I hit the stores in those crazy wee hours of the night/morning/whatever time of day it actually is. I take those tips from the Target Shopping Lady very seriously. She was life changing. Dress in a red shirt folks. Blend in and act natural as you walk to the front of the line. Own the night.
Oh and Starbucks loves me on Black Friday. 

This year I'm not going shopping. Collective Gasp. I know, I know. I'll wear a red shirt and name tag and mourn all day long. But the thing is I'm in the middle of an adoption, the transmission on our only car is shot and the bonus didn't come this year. So, we are making nearly all our gifts instead. The good news is that I am fairly creative so don't panic if you are on my list!!! It won't be that painful, I promise!

 See? I really can make a few things... Just don't ask me to sew!

Really, isn't the world going to online shopping these days anyways. Avoid the death sentence of Black Friday shopping at Walmart. Avoid the insanity of Target. Avoid the train wreck of Old Navy and their piles of clothes all over the store because everyone is in such a rush to get to the line before the 2am cutoff. Oh.My.Word.  ...not sure I'm really going to miss it one single bit...

Alternatives? Yes, yes, yes!! I've compiled a list of families that are fundraising for their adoptions. 
You can purchase gifts for everyone in your family, still live, and save some orphans all at the same time. 

So here's an awesome list of things to purchase. 

An auction for Maya Grace from China. Ends 11/28

Momma for Maya Grace also sells thirty-one bags and gifts

Some really amazing artwork that a daddy is making for his family adoption fund

Hair bows at AMAZING prices. And 10% of each order goes to Pearl River Outreach

Creative Memories has an adoptive momma working to fund their adoption.

Another thirty-one momma. Pick one. Either one. Pick both and buy for all the ladies in your family!!

Not gonna lie. This is probably my favorite. Adorableness bleeds out of these little outfits!

Amazing family adopting two kiddos! Lots and lots of options on her etsy page.

One of my favorite families is still raising money through Zoe Clothing. Type Garrick when checking out.

Some super-duper, cute little crochet animals. Very Chinese. Very close to my heart.
Same family different fundraiser

One page for a few fundraisers for one family bringing home two kiddos.

This family gets a percentage of the profit from t-shirts sold from Olive Tree. Go to the right side of their blog and click the Olive Tree button.

Our own etsy store.

I'll also be selling those bracelets at the top for only $5 a piece!!!

If you know of others or want yours added please comment below and I'll add it to our growing list!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Black Friday!!!

Come back closer to Black Friday and I am going to put together a list of 
adoptive families that are fundraising for Christmas.

Because really, do the department stores NEED your money? 

There are tons of great things out there that families are selling.

There are t-shirts and they really are cute too! :) If you order them type in Garrick when checking out

Really cute artwork

And this one I just found today. It's a Keurig giveaway! You don't even have to donate although I put a shameless plug in that you do. :) $10 gets you five entries!! It's such a sweet family adopting a sweet little girl and we can all have the chance to help change her world!
Here's the link. Go look, enter as many ways as you can.

If you know of more family fundraisers or you have one of your own please link up below in the comments! I want to have a big Black Friday Post so that we can bring home as many of these orphans as possible!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Joydrops from heaven

I am feeling overwhelmed with blessings today. So many details and gifts that God has given me. 

First, our dossier passed authentications!!! This is truly, incredibly huge since even the courier thought we may have to redo the entire thing. Not a single question. It is stamped and sealed and approved. To say it's a miracle doesn't seem like a large enough term. But it is just that. A miracle. 

Second, we were put in touch with a volunteer at our son's orphanage and I've wondered myself a few times if she isn't truly an angel from heaven. She has updated me every day this week on my boy. *tears* She tells me what he is wearing that day and how he did in class and what he was doing during lunch. It's like a glimpse into my son's life. Every morning I wake up to a new story about how caring he is with the smaller children or how helpful he was with the nannies. 

Third, we were updated that his medical condition remains stable. Stable! Another miracle. He's not even small for his age. He is active and running around and he was able to receive his last transfusion. That transfusion buys us another month. *sobs* My boy is okay. He's going to make it! I'll actually get to hold him in my arms. Words can't express what this information has done for me. 

Fourth, a fellow adoptive momma that I have become good friends with through blogs, emails and facebook is picking up her son in a little over a week. She lives only a few short hours from us. Here's where is starts to get miraculous

Hang on, Friends, my God has been moving in our lives before I ever had any idea I had a son across the oceans. 

We both found our sons on the same blog www.cheaperbythehalfdozens.blogspot.com and this friend found me through pinterest. What are the chances right? We realized a few months back that our sons are from the same orphanage. But that means very little because there are so many children there. This volunteer...let's call her,"The Angel,"told both of us today that our two sons are best friends, orphanage "brothers." 
My dear friend went back through her files to where it listed his best friends and there in the very first spot was my son's name!!

The world has never, ever felt so small. My son will be able to stay friends with his best friend from an orphanage on the other side of the world. He will get to have playdates and sleepovers and share secrets with the same boy that held his hand when neither one of them had a mommy or a daddy; they only had each other. 

But they had a God that saw them and chose to place them each in a Christian home in the same state. What a gift. A precious, miraculous gift. My God has surely had his hand in the adoption of these two little boys. He brought their mommies to a website during the same week to find them, to a silly thing called pinterest, to form a new friendship all to allow these two boys to keep that special bond. From China to Michigan He has loved them. From China to Michigan he has been planning their reunion. He was listening when they whispered to each other their dreams of a mommy and daddy. He was listening when they wondered what they would be like, if they would ever come. He was watching as they watched out for each other. He was loving them all along.

He has always been their Father and now he has given them each a daddy to lead them to Him. 
Can it get any better than that? I can.not.wait. for them to realize that they get to stay friends! I cannot wait for them to see each other again. I cannot wait to hold my son in my arms and then watch him run into his brothers arms and I cannot wait for the day that he realizes that God did that all for Him, just because He loves him. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Adoption Awareness

During our whole adoption process we have had things said to us, lots of things, some have been hurtful but more importantly some things have opened our eyes to the indifference all around us.

We've heard the questions like, "Why would you do this?"

We've heard the comments like,
 "You don't have to be the one to do this. You don't have to take one so fragile and needy."

"Why not wait for a healthy baby?"

"Why not have another one of your own?"

"You have enough on your plate."

"Your hands are already full."

"You're not going to do this again are you?"

I confess my own indifference. I confess that I try to harden my heart daily. I don't want to see the pain all around me. It is overwhelming. I don't want to notice ALL the other orphans needing families when I pick up my own son. I don't want to hear their cries as I walk away. I don't want to look into any of their eyes and see their need. I want to pick up my son, cradle him in my arms, feel like I have done well and go home.

I'm going to leave you with this link to an amazing video that convicts and begs the questions that God whispers in our hearts. And ask you, my friend, what is it that God wants you to do for the least of these?