Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
"Love is first friendship and then commitment." --Jacques Pierre Ribault
Even though this is quoted all of the time, it truly explains our relationship.
"No, I don't understand my husband's theory of relativity, but I know my husband, and I know he can be trusted."
If there is anything I know with 100% certainty, it is that my husband is trustworthy. Trust is a must for my husband - he must trust you in a relationship. He will always tell you the truth.
"Opening her eyes again, and seeing her husband's face across the table, she leaned forward to give it a pat on the cheek, and sat down to supper, declaring it to be the best face in the world."- Charles Dickens
This is too sweet for some, but it is really how I feel about him. He does have the best face in the world to me!
"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Again, may be corny to some, but this summarizes the effect my husband has on me. I AM a better woman, better wife, and better mother because of him. He holds me up, stands beside me and behind me, stands in front of me when he needs to, and carries me when I need him to do so. He lets me be myself ALWAYS.
Thank you God for blessing this world with Matthew Stever - my forever love. Our lives are richer and fuller because you are here with us. I love you.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I was fortunate enough to run across a blog that has captured my heart. This family has the strength of a million soldiers. They are fighting a war for their daughter Ashley's life and the battle is bloody and difficult and ugly. I have been praying for this little girl and her family and thinking about what I can do for them. They do not know me and I have never met them. I have only become acquainted with their lives through this blog.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Quoted by Dr William Sears MD (one of my favorites):
"Having dedicated over 40 years of my life to working with and helping moms, I’m still in awe of one special mother, my wife Martha. I personally wish each of you a blessed Mother’s Day and thought I’d share a Mother’s Day story that has stuck with me through the years. One of my favorite Mother’s Day memories involves a situation when a person once challenged my wife Martha about about having so many kids and contributing to the world’s overpopulation, Martha quipped: 'the world needs my children!' The world needs your children too! Love, nourish and cherish them. "
I love this! What will society become if there are no families? No children? The family unit is the core of all existence. Within the heart of the family lives God our Father. I, for one, cherish each and every one of my children and those that God has chosen for me in the future! Give thanks to God Almighty for big families with loving members!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
We have all of our fundraisers listed on our blog :
Just Love Coffee - Stever Adoption Family Page
Adoption Bug T-shirts - Stever Family Page
Barefoot Books - Kelli-Stever Page
Thank you so much for supporting our family adoption of a special needs child from the Ukraine. We appreciate your prayers, purchases, and donations! May God bless you and your family!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
"As I think of "comfort" I think of the 143 million orphans in our world - whether in US foster care, in orphanages overseas, on the streets, or squatting in abandoned buildings. To save, rescue, and reach orphans God does not call us to be comfortable, but to go through the lack of some comfort. To save, rescue, and reach orphans many times means entering into hostile lands or parts of our world that know nothing but poverty, it many times means leaving behind the modern "comfort" of home, and many times if called to adopt it means risking the "comfort" of your family and spending the "comfort" of your vacation time to spend weeks in another land.
Rejoice today beloved that Jesus was willing to risk all "comfort" for our sake... Oh beloved, will you allow God to use you to impact the life of a child?"
What "comfort" are we willing to sacrifice for the life of an orphan? What is the life of a child worth? My friends, our family is praying for the strength and courage to sacrifice our comforts. We hope that God allows us to endure discomfort so that we may offer one of His precious little children a loving home with us. Please pray for our family as well.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
To all the blessings in my life: please accept my heartfelt thanks for all that you are, all that you have done, and all that you continue to do for me and my family. This journey that is being led by God is not for the faint of heart. It is difficult and emotional. With your support, we will complete it and have many new adventures to come. Thank you friends and God bless all of you.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I came across this blog from another blog! It has crossed my path twice now so I must share it with you!
You must read this blog! http://itsalmostnaptime.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-dont-want-my-children-to-be-happy.html
What a perfect and beautiful way to explain adoption to our families! Thank you for sharing this with us! God bless you!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I would like to join Courtney at www.storinguptreasures.com with her campaign! Amen! She has a lot of nerve and I admire her for her candid post! I would like to attempt to share a little bit of my real life with you.
First of all, I will share a quote from her blog here:
"I am really screwed up. I need Jesus something fierce."
I also fake my faith sometimes. I try to pray the "right way" but many times I do not even know if I mean what I say. I know that God is very disappointed in me.
I am not always real when it comes to my precious children. Sometimes I even fake with them. I pretend to be Mother of the Year and work full time and look forward to weekends of zoo outings, playgrounds, book reading, etc. when all I really want to do is sleep the weekend away.
We go out for fast food - there - I said it. I wish we ate home cooked delicious meals that take all day to prepare and are filled with fresh, organic ingredients. But we do not. In fact, we very rarely eat true home cooked meals. We eat what is easy and quick to prepare. I am even faking the fact that I wish we ate home cooked meals more often. What a pain! I like the easy meals!
My home is a total wreck 90% of the time. We pick up more than clean up. I wipe off things with Clorox wipes more than thoroughly clean them. My kids eat crumbs off the floor sometimes.
I read all the articles on child rearing including time outs, time ins, creative discipline, no yelling, etc..... I yell at my kids. Yes - I yell at my kids. Sometimes I even throw a temper tantrum myself that is far more juvenile than theirs.
As I share some of the things I fake every day, I hope that you appreciate my honesty and start your own mini revolution too! I think what is most important is that we all admit our faults and try to be as real as we can. God forgives us and accepts us as we are. He is not a fake. He is EVERYTHING. I am nothing if not His daughter. And I love all of you as the fakers that you are too! : )
Monday, March 1, 2010
I have had the privilege of meeting a wonderful mother online. We met by God's plan through blogs and email. We both have a heart burdened by an orphan known as "Corinna" in the Torez facility in the Ukraine. We also both love coffee and coffee creamer and both live in Alabama! Josette has been such a sweet special friend to me and she is going 100% on faith! We will meet some day soon, but until then, I want everyone who follows our story to realize what a faithful, generous woman she is.
She parted with several items that were very special to her. They held dear memories for her and could have been sold for numerous other better causes than ours. However, she chose to donate the proceeds to our family adoption. We have not even been matched with a particular child/children yet. But - she believes in our heart for adoption and stands beside us on this journey.
I will never be able to show you the extent of my gratitude, my dear friend. Please know that you and your family have become a part of our family - you are a part of our future child's life forever. May God continue to bless your family and keep you safe and happy. I hope that one day I can give to you some of what you have given to us! Maybe our families can share a meal & fellowship together in the near future! I love you!
Friday, February 26, 2010
This family really struck a chord with me. They really do set an example for all of us - an example of faith, love, nurturing, and answering God's calls - all of them! They are a wonderful family with 10 children from age 13 down to newborn. Their family blog is as gorgeous as their children! Courtney, the mother, is a talented photographer. Just like many of us, they are facing tough times; however, they are very positive and trust in God to bring them through all hardship.
Would you all please take a look at their blog and at Courtney's Etsy Shop? The links are below:
I love how this community of adoptive families pulls together to support one another. I hope we can put our arms around this family as well and pray for them. Thank you Courtney for your inspirational posts about your wonderful family. We continue to follow along with you with hope and support.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I visited a family blog today that I follow. She had an article from Matthew Archbold. Here is a copy of it:
Why big families are easier:
Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.
Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.
Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.
Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent.
Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.
Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.
Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)
Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.
Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill.
Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.
Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes.
Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.
Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.
Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.
Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.
I could not have said it all better myself. This is so true. The link is here:
The Boyd Family blog is a great one! They are a big family! I have learned more from their blog than any adoption class yet! Visit it here:
Blessings to all the Big Families out there!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I am issuing a challenge to all Christians! I was raised hearing mottoes like these! As Pro-Life advocates, we have all advocated picketing abortion clinics, holding rallies, adopting rather than aborting, and organizing events to promote saving the unborn child. As Christians, this is an important ministry. However, I am finding that many people have no problems doing all of the above. The problem arises when we are called to ACT on our beliefs. For example, if you believe that adoption should be an option to an unwanted pregnancy because abortion is wrong, then are you actively supporting adoption? By this I mean are you actively supporting a family's adoption journey? Are you donating to this family? Are you praying specifically for them and their child? Are you helping with fundraising efforts? You see, it is fairly easy to state one's belief in something. I am urging you as a fellow Christian to ACT! Let's stand up and stand out! Let's do more than simply state, "We are against abortion. We believe in adoption as an alternative." Let's put our money and our support where our mouth is! I am challenging all Christians to actively support an adoptive family TODAY! You decide how you will accomplish that goal - by donations, prayer, fundraising, networking....whatever. Be an example - not just a mouthpiece - for adoption.
Note: I am taking on this challenge as well. Even though we are on our own adoption journey, I am becoming a stronger advocate for adoption. I am supporting my fellow adoptive families in every way possible. I am taking on more responsibility for promoting adoption in several different ways. I refuse to stand quietly behind a statement of belief any longer! I am going to ACT because isn't that what God calls us to do? I know that He is not satisfied with my actions yet! Please pray for me as I continue to pray for all of you!
Monday, February 22, 2010
I read this from my daily prayers. It goes something like this: "The concept of positive thinking is something that many people fail to do regularly. When things are going well, it is easy to think and act positive. However, when situations occur that are unfavorable, the idea of positive thinking has been replaced with doubt, confusion, and negativity. It is a shame that so many people allow situations and circumstances to dictate whether they will be happy, secure, and successful. In order for people to overcome this feeling, there must be a liberating of the mind.
Let us stop thinking negatively and start reflecting on what God has done and continues to do in our lives. Now this is a positive thought."
I lecture myself every day on this concept. I even say it out loud - BE POSITIVE. It is not for the faint of heart - being positive takes action and it is quite exhausting sometimes. BUT - it is so worth it! We are going to continue on our journey of adoption no matter what is thrown in our path. This typically manifests itself in negativity from outside sources - friends, family, colleagues. We just fight the battles one at a time. We will be victorious because of one thing: GOD. God is on our side.
A scripture for today because I just like it! "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
(Matthew 7:7-8 -NIV) I like this because if you never knock, or ask, or search, or put yourself out there - you will never succeed. You will never know what huge, cool things God had in store! We were in our safety net - comfortable and complacent. What a bore! Now we are soaring because we have answered a calling to serve and it feels so good!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Something very special happened today - something that I was not ready for. We received a donation from one of our dear friends. This young military family has five children. They are a faithful, Christian family that we admire very much. They live in another state, yet they have kept in touch with us much better than we have with them. They are truly an example for our family, and they have taught me what real, unconditional love means. They took that chance on us - that risk. They are like most average middle-income families these days. That makes their donation even more heartfelt to us. We do not deserve their friendship, but we accept it and ask them to pray for us.
This donation evoked strong emotions from me that were very unexpected. I had feelings of unworthiness, guilt, happiness, relief, and fear. It has made me look at the things in our life that are really, really important. Not money - but rather friends and supporters and children and our Almighty Father. He graciously showed me a sign - a sign of faith. It is so comforting to feel that we are supported. We know that we are following God's call to adopt one of His precious children. Not everyone understands this call and that is okay. We just have one request: please pray for us and support us in this journey.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Yes - you read it correctly! We are starting a new fundraising program that I read about from another adopting family. It is Just Love Coffee and I DO! This is a wonderful opportunity! The company is set up to give $5 profit for every bag of coffee we sell by order or online from our personalized web store. There are other products that pay commissions also such as T-shirts, mugs, etc. This company was started by a family adopting from Ethiopia. It is a truly amazing story that I invite all of you to read about. Just click on my link to the left of the blog! I really do think these people are the greatest! I am truly blessed to have found out about them. They also have a Fan Page on Facebook that you can check out! As always, thank you for your support during this adoption process. We could not do this without the support of all of you!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Today has been stressed-filled to the max! Then, I read my daily devotional and had an , "AH HA!" moment.
"Do you ever find yourself slipping up in your prayer life? God knows you're busy, but He wants you to carve out some meaningful time with Him. A powerful prayer life equates to a life full of blessings. Sincere prayer will cause God to move in your life and in the lives of those around you. Prayer that is not all about you will permit you to rise above thinking about yourself and placing the needs of others before your own. Prayer will give you peace in the midst of any storm. If you refuse to set aside devoted prayer time to God, how do you expect God to speak to you? "
These words really affected me. I have not given God the time He deserves from me. Yet I have been moaning about fundraising being a slow process and other everyday stresses. I can do much better than this. Today I pray for all of the orphans who are without families and for all of the families who are struggling along beside me trying to bring their children home too. May God bless each one of you.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
In order for us to get out of our problem, situation, and/or circumstance, we need to move and allow God to take over. God knows what to do, but we must allow Him to do what He needs to do. Whenever we are about to go through something uncomfortable, God equips us with what we need to endure it. Whenever we go through discomfort, it's to help us, not kill us. Our trial is preparing us for what is ahead.
I have to reread these thoughts over and over again lately! We are "stuck" in our adoption process. It is hard to swallow because it is simply a lack of funds. It is so hard to sit idly by while children are suffering! I know that God's plan is perfect, but it is so difficult to wait. Please pray for our adoption process to MOVE forward! Or just to MOVE! We have lively spirits that do not want to be still! We are continuing to fundraise and network with everyone we encounter!
I am so pleased to read about all of the families who are successfully moving forward in their adoptions. We pray every day for these families because they are part of our families too! Bless all of you who are on this journey with us!