Thursday, October 8, 2015

3 weeks ago we needed $17,000......Where do we stand now?

those are the two words adoptive parents dream about when they begin the adoption process.  Some families are able to say those two words quickly into their process, while most have to wait.  We are one of those waiting families and let me tell you how it wrecked our family.....

My God is a God that keeps His promises.  My God is a God that you can't put in a box.  My God is a God that does the unexpected and does more than we could ask or think.

Back in December we were well into the process of becoming foster parents.  Although we were confident we  would adopt from China again, our plan was to save for another year so we could mostly fund the adoption ourselves.  You see, the memories of fundraising for our last adoption had not so easily dissolved.  So our plan was set: wait a year, save, and fund it ourselves.  But, you see, God's plans often times are not our plans BUT are Always bigger and more fabulous!

In January, through a casual conversation with a friend, she told me she was going to start praying that we adopt from Suixi, which was a new partnership orphanage with our agency.  I had looked at the kids on the Suixi page before but this piqued my interest to look again.  As I scrolled through the page I saw our girl and fell in love right away.  But God had some work to do in Tom's heart to let go of the finances and fully trust in Him to do it!

Through God's work on Tom's heart and my gently reminding him of God's provisions last adoption, Tom jumped on board and we submitted the paperwork to adopt Fallon in February.   (so many more cool details that I will have to post in another post!)

We used all our savings and tax refund to make the first two payments and home study fees, around $10,000 but that left us with a daunting remainder of $26,000.  I made hand stamped key necklaces.
We did an online auction and t-shirts, each time making the payments we needed at the perfect time.

Fast forward to 2 months ago.  God placed in my life an amazing friend and kindred spirit, Lauren, who was (and is) such an encouragement to me when I was down and had taken my eyes off Christ.  She would say to me "We are going to do this" every time I'd let discouragement take over.  She did an envelope fundraiser and a jade bracelet fundraiser all on her own (to name a few).  I just can't begin to tell you what a blessing she has been to me these past few months.

This brought us down to only needing $17,000.  I know, I know.....$17,000 sounds like a really big number, but when you look at it as God had already provided almost $20,000 up to this point, it doesn't seem like much.  By this point I KNEW God would do it and excitement took over!
Instead of worrying how in the world would we get $17,000 in 3 weeks I kept thinking "I can't WAIT to see how God is going to do this!"

I likened it to a football game (or whatever your sport of choice might be).  Blow out games are pretty boring to watch, let's be honest here.  But a game that is neck and neck, down to the last nail-biting seconds......Now that's the kind of game that everyone (even non sports people) are on the edge of their seats watching, waiting, excited to see what happens.

(Babe, like how I put your Packers into my blogpost?!!)

People have been watching.  Some of whom I never expected would care, but they were excited to see IF or WHEN or HOW God would provide.

Down to the 2 week ago mark and my two GA besties (Kelley and Jess) set up a raffle for our adoption.  

I had 2 other girls that did online parties for us.  It was overwhelming to watch God do this!

Last week we heard from 2 grants we had applied for and one that my sweet friend Ames had nominated us for, without us knowing.  We got random checks in the mail, from a $5 check from an elderly lady we don't even know to $100 from a sweet friend in Indiana who's husband had challenged her to give away her birthday money this year....and the list goes on and on.  I cried A LOT of happy and humbled tears last week.  All of these gifts of obedience in following God's leading led us to 2 amazing words:  FULLY FUNDED!!!!!!!!!
GOD DID IT YA'LL (I live in GA now and say Ya'll)

I have heard people say they don't think you should fundraise for adoption.  I just need to take a moment and say why I think you SHOULD fundraise.:

1.  When you have a need greater than anything you could ever provide for yourself, you must depend fully on God to do it.  (sounds kinda like the gospel, huh?!)

2.  James 1:27 tells (dare I say, commands) us to care for orphans.  That being said, only a small group of us are called to adopt.  So how do the rest of you care for orphans?  You can pray and you can come along side those adopting and fostering and give financially so we are able to foster and adopt.  This is your role.  You are now a beautiful, integral part of this orphans story!  How amazing!

3.  God gets all the Glory!  There is no way I could come up with $36,000 in 9 months or $17,000 in 2 weeks but God can and He did and He gets ALL THE GLORY!!

So if you are adopting, or considering adoption, and struggling with asking for help or fundraising just remember this: All our money is Gods.  You are just inviting people to be a part of your story, His bigger story, by asking them to use His money, that He has funneled through their hands, to help fund what is close to His heart - Orphans.

Thank you to everyone that is now a part of our story and Fallon's story!  Your gifts however big or small have not gone unnoticed and we thanked God for each and every one!
We leave in ONE week!  Follow our journey!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Presenting.......Fallon Grace Ai Lacock

Tom, in his last post, shared how God worked in our hearts from his perspective.  Now I will give you Fallon's story from my perspective.

In January, I called a friend of mine who works for our adoption agency to see what the upfront fees would be for starting a new adoption.  {Just trying to get info for a year or so down the road when we start an adoption again.}    She told me that it would probably be over $6000 initially to begin.  So I thanked her and in my mind was thinking.....well that won't happen anytime soon.  Before we got off the phone she said to me that she was going to start praying that we would adopt from Suixi, which was a new partnership orphanage with our agency.   After we hung up, I went online and watch a video about the Suixi orphanage and then looked at the waiting child list.  I saw our Fallon immediately and melted.   "Lord, why do I feel so drawn to this baby?"  I texted my friend and asked her if she had Fallon's file that I could peek at.   She sent it over and I read it carefully.  Fallon's special needs sounded scary but I couldn't get over this feeling of love I had for her.   I had some good prayer time that afternoon.  Praying with my hands open, I said these words "Lord, please place in my hands what you want me to have and take out of my hands what you don't want me to have."
 God gave me a sense of peace that I couldn't explain.
 I showed her picture and videos to Tom that night and we had a good discussion about her.   Tom, although he knew he wanted to adopt again, thought the timing wasn't right and it would be best to wait another year and try to save money, etc.   Again, I had an unexplainable peace.  The next day I was confident that God had given me an immediate love for Fallon because I was the one that was to be His hands and feet in finding a family to adopt her.   So I began praying for her often.  Thinking of ways I could advocate for her.  {and watching her videos weekly!}  My love was growing stronger, but the peace of submitting to Tom's decision and ultimately wanting what God wanted for me in His timing was so evident.   I was not wrestling with discontentment, as I had in the past.
Fast forward 1 month.....It was a Friday afternoon and I was on my way home from school when one of my best friends, Jess, called me.   She told me that a few minutes before our agency had sent out an email giving updates and advocating for the Suixi kids.   There were new videos of Fallon.   I rushed home to watch videos of this sweet baby walking and smiling.   Once again my heart melted.  I text Tom and told him he had to watch the videos.   He told me he was just leaving work and I said he needed to just watch one really quickly.    A minute later he texted me back and told me that I was "evil".  LOL  I laughed and told him I was just so excited that she was going to get a family now.   How could anyone not snatch up with sweet baby girl now??!!  There was a long pause and he texted these words "What do we need to do to put her on hold"    What???  Are you serious??   I was NOT expecting those words from Tom and I immediately burst into tears as I realized that God had let me fall so deeply  and instantly in love with this baby girl because she was MINE.  This was the baby girl I had been praying for for over 5 years.  God needed me at a point of complete surrender to His will before granting me my desire, a desire that all along He had given me, but I needed to want more than anything His timing and not my own.

So we are currently in the height of paperwork and training.  It will be a long journey but again, I am trusting in His perfect timing.  Please Pray with us as we raise the funds needed to bring Fallon home. It's all God's money and we are 100% confident He will provide. So join in with us on our journey!!
I am hand stamping vintage keys.  They are only $13 shipped! And are insanely cool!  I get comments all the time on mine!

I will do a post soon on God's leading in this fundraiser!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grace given

I'm hijacking my wif'e's blog to write this. Less than 1 month ago she posted a great piece about waiting on God and experiencing "grace given in the circle of grace denied." At the time we were pursuing being licensed in Georgia as foster parents. Although for both of us our heart's desire was to adopt again from China, I didn't feel peace about it. The reasons were many - the wrong time of year to start the process because of my busy tax filing season; the relative newness of our church situation after moving from Indiana at the beginning of 2014; not believing that financially it was the right time to start another adoption; etc., etc.

My wife had been reviewing and praying over the file of a little girl at an orphanage in southern China - as it turns out in the same province (analogous to US State) where our Hudson was born. For FIVE years my wife has been praying to be able to adopt an Asian daughter. We had started down that road before in Thailand, but  after 2 1/2 years of waiting we switched to a China program. We still wanted to adopt a girl, but along the way the infant/toddler girl turned into a 5-yr-old boy. God had other plans for us, and I'm so glad He did. The lessons of trusting Him to provide for the adoption, of seeing in our son's adoption a picture of our own salvation/adoption into God's family, and the awesome privilege of playing a small part in being the hands and feet of Jesus were deep lessons that I could never forget. Or could I? How quickly was I saying no to another adoption because the finances aren't in the bank? How easily did I say it could wait until things were different? How many times did I give one excuse after the other for not stepping out in faith again?

It took a gentle rebuke from my dear wife to get my focus back where it should be. She asked if I would be more willing to adopt again if all of the conditions were perfect for it. Of course, I said. Did I believe that God would ordain everything to come together if He wanted us to pursue an adoption? Didn't He do that once before with Hudson? Yes, I said. So, she asked, why do you think He can't do that again if that's what He wants? Why do you need to try to keep God from doing what He wants done? 


Most guys process things visually, and my wife took advantage of this. She texted me and told me to watch some videos of this little girl that our agency had sent to our email account. I watched a couple videos of an adorable toddler slowly walking beside a concrete wall on a playground, and my heart melted. How could I say no to THAT? In that moment God broke through to me and I let go. It's His journey and I'm just following where He leads me. It's His money that He's given me and I'm just spending it how He tells me. Or, it's His money that He's given other people, and He'll use that money to provide for this adoption at just the right time. It's His plan for an"unplanned" adoption that He has called us to pursue.

So why go through the process again when we already have 3 biological kids and 1 adoptive kid? Why submit to all of the literal and figurative poking and prodding of a homestudy? Why commit to spending thousands of our own dollars and asking others to others to help out when we reach the bottom of our own financial barrel? WHY NOT? To borrow from Edward Kennedy, who borrowed from Robert Kennedy, who borrowed from George Bernard Shaw, "Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?" In this case I think some people look at things that aren't happening and say "Why should I do that?" I look at things that should be happening and say "Why I am NOT doing that?"

I'm thankful that we aren't doing this in a vacuum. I'm thankful that you're reading this. Now that I've given a little background into how we got here again and why we're doing it, let me turn the tables on you. What is holding you back from joining us? Will you help us? Here are ways that you can help.

1) Pray for us. I can speak from experience that parenting is rough. Biological parenting is rough. Adoptive parenting is rough. The adoption process itself is rough. I'd be lying if I said it was all smooth sailing the last time. Sure we had mountain top days, but we also had hard days. We had times where we wanted to give up. We had moments where we're positive that Satan didn't like what we were doing, and he attacked us. We need prayer to stay strong through this process. Not strong in our own strength, but strong in God's strength. We need prayer that we will stay focused. Not focused on meeting a goal through our own means, but trusting God to meet it through His means. Those means involve His own timing and His own provision. I have my reasons why it would be perfect for us to travel to China in November. That's a slow time of year for me and it leads up to an extended holiday time where we could bond with Fallon before things get crazy in January and February. But what if God's timing is for everything to fall in place a year from now, when I'm working days and nights and weekends, and Steph is a single mom for months on end? It's not my journey. I'm just following where He leads me.

2) Encourage us. This sounds totally self-serving, but I do mean it. There will be times when we are discouraged by the wait to hear something back from China. There will be days when we're depressed because at the moment things just don't seem to be working out. There will be moments when I'm stressed out trying to make it all work. It's not my journey. I'm just following where He leads me, but I'm prone to losing sight of the end of the road.

3) Consider giving. Oh sure, you say, you're writing all of this just so you can ask us for money? Well, think about this. When people give birth there are medical costs. There are doctors. and nurses, and hospital staff. There are people that process paperwork to ensure that the child you "brought" to the hospital is the same child you take from the hospital. Many people have insurance to help them cover those costs. Even when insurance won't cover all of the costs up front, most people are able to pay the costs over time. Adoption is similar from a cost perspective. There are medical costs. Once again there are doctors, and nurses, and hospital staff. There are people that process paperwork to ensure that the child that we want to bring into our family is legally and ethically able to be added to our family. But this time there isn't insurance. The adoption process is truly a "pay as you go" process - or more accurately a "pay or you don't go" process. We are fully committed to using as much of our own funds as possible, but realistically we just don't have everything it takes to fund the process entirely from our own pockets. Many people support a person or family or agency that is doing charitable work or mission work domestically or internationally. After all,  that person/family/agency is on the front lines in the battle against spiritual darkness or social injustice or human suffering. Adoption really isn't any different when you think about it. A) We're missionally minded. Instead of going to the mission field we're bringing the mission field to us. B) We're fighting social injustice. A child has been abandoned for reasons we may never know. Just as our God has done for us in being a "father to the fatherless" and "placing the lonely in families" (Ps. 68:5-6), we want to provide a stable family environment to Fallon. C) We want to do what we can to end human suffering. Now I don't have any illusions that we'll be the end of Fallon's suffering. But we can do something to help lessen it. Will you consider helping us? It's not my money. Or your money. It's God's money that He has given you for a short time.

Stay tuned ... 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Draw me Nearer

The last time I did a blog post I was in China……that was 18 months ago.  Boy has the time flown by!  The last 18 months have brought a lot of personal stretching and learning; a lot of praying and growing; and a lot of laughter and tears!   I am so happy that Hudson is no longer an orphan and is now a Lacock forever and ever.   The picture of what  Christ did for me is more clearer now than ever.   With a very grateful heart I reflect on His adoption of me into His family.

Hudson is a happy-go-lucky 6 year old boy, that loves trains (namely Thomas) and anything electronic (the more buttons and noise the better)!  He is in Kindergarten this year and has learned to write his name and recognize the whole alphabet.   His progress is slow but steady.  We are excited to help him reach his own personal best, whatever that may be!

I am not really a New Year’s resolution kind of person, mainly because I don’t like setting myself up for failure…..and let’s face it, most of us don’t carry out our resolutions past the end of January!  If you are a goal oriented person and you follow through each year with your resolution, my hat is off to you.  I wish I were more like you.  Maybe we could hang out and your amazing drive would rub off on me!    Anyway, I digress.   Although I haven’t made a “Resolution” I have felt the Lord pulling me to have a closer relationship to Him.   The kind of relationship where you slowdown in your time with Him to just LISTEN.  Now, I have four kids so I do A LOT of listening, but I am also a world-class expert of tuning things out.   I mean, I’m pretty sure the fine art of tuning-out is a God-given survival skill for every mother.   The problem comes when I get engrossed in something and while tuning my kids out, I also tune my husband out!  (eeeek, never is a good thing…sorry babe)   One would think that I would be able to hone in on this amazing skill during my quiet time with God and I could pray without interruption in the midst of: our dog barking, one child running through the house with a leaf blower, another child flooding the toilet (wearing rain boots) singing “Singing in the rain”, my son jumping on the bed with a sharpie- marking the ceiling with every jump, and lastly my daughter hanging on my back like a monkey because it’s obvious that if I am kneeling on the floor it would only be for the sole-purpose of  getting  a better position for her to climb aboard.  But alas, I am afflicted with Quiet Time ADD.  Are any of you afflicted with this self-diagnosis as well?!   It is so annoying.   No matter what is going on during my quiet time I get so distracted.   I mean it goes something like this…….(Reading Matthew 26:26) “Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it….”  Bread, oh my, I am completely out of bread.  I can’t even make the kids lunch tomo.  I need to run to the store.  What else do I need at the store?  Apples, cheese and toilet paper.  Speaking of toilet, I need to clean our toilet.  Then I need to mop the bathroom and kitchen.  I really need to get in the kitchen and start making our dinner.   What are we going to have?........and it goes on and on.  By the time my brain is done ADD’ing (is that a word?!) I have such a long list of stuff that I need to do that I pray really quickly and get started on my To Do list.   I get sooo frustrated when this happens.   I was convicted after the New Year by Hebrews 10:22’s command to draw near.   This is not physical because we can’t touch God, but it is a decision and act of the heart.    I was shown my great need for this closeness and lack of dependence on God when we were giving a little girl in China’s file to look at a couple weeks ago.   Tom felt strongly that this was not the right timing for our next adoption.   We both feel called to adopt again, but it must be in God’s timing.   The problem was my heart was already melted over this little bundle of sweetness with hair that stuck straight up and beautiful deep dark almond eyes.   How could I say “No” to her?   I lost all joy in that moment of realizing the answer was, yet again, WAIT.  But over the next few days I felt like through several Bible readings and sermons  God was saying “you need to find your joy in me.   You are to do my will.  If my will is for you NOT to adopt right now, you should be so happy to do that will that you will not lose your joy.  Rather,  you will have joy unspeakable because you are obeying me and that is where you find your joy.”

The next day I read Acts 14:22 “Through tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God”.   John Piper said, “God often blesses us with a ‘grace given’ in the circle of ‘grace denied’…..In the midst of grace denied we get grace supplied”   Wow, that was so powerful to me in that moment and still now.   My prayer was that we could adopt this sweet precious baby girl.  But God said “Wait” to that request – Grace Denied.   However in the midst of that “grace denied”  He gave me grace to get through the disappointment and to trust in Him and receive joy in knowing I was glorifying Him through my obedience and trust that He will do what is best in my life, in His timing.

Since then, we had a foster care agency that we had talked to last fall, call us and say they REALLY wanted us to be a part of their foster care family and would we consider signing up right away.   Tom and I felt immediate peace that this was what God was calling us to do right now.   We are very excited as we are going through the rigorous process of becoming foster parents in the state of GA!   Pray for our family as we prepare for this!  We know, going into it, that it is not an easy calling.   The children come with a lot of trauma and as parents it is hard to let go of children you have loved on for a time.   I still miss our foster baby from almost 2 yrs ago!

If you have ever considered, or may even be considering now, fostering or adopting domestically or internationally, I would LOVE to talk to you.  Email me (, Facebook message me, or even call me!   This is my heart and I am bonded instantly to those whose heart is the same!!


Draw Me Nearer
Fanny Crosby
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; But I  long to rise in the arms of faith, and be closer drawn to Thee.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, By the pow’r of grace divine; Let  my soul look up with a steadfast hope, And my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour, That before Thy throne I spend; When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend!

Draw Me Nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To the cross where Thou has died; Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To Thy precious bleeding side.