family fall 2016

family fall 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just Like Her

"You look just like your mother"
It's not unusual for me to hear these words weekly, especially when someone is meeting us for the first time. I had a random lady come up to me that knew my mom in high school and say, you have to be Fran's daughter.  It is a huge honor for me to be identified by my momma. As I heard it this week, I couldn't help but think... My ebony girls will never be told they look like their momma. They may even hear the opposite. And in reality, there will be hard conversations to be had. But the only response going through my head is...
No we don't look alike on the outside but on the inside...

Thank you momma for teaching me what it looks like to look like Jesus

Monday, October 17, 2011


A sweet friend did this for their adoption and encouraged me to do it too as a reminder...

Each  puzzle piece has a name of a family member. friend. stranger. who has a piece in our adoption. They have helped through prayer, volunteering at a garage sale, purchasing a dress, shirt, or necklace, providing a home to our darlings,hosting a dress show, supporting, a random check in the mail, helping with paperwork, and the list goes on and on...there are many of you who will do things behind the scenes and we will never know. But He knows and you will be blessed for it.

 Each time we put this puzzle together with the girls, it will serve as a reminder to those who sacrificed. To those who said  "YOU ARE WORTH IT LITTLE ONES"!

Thank you for being A PIECE. The WHOLE would be missing without you. I will update the list every few months as new pieces are added. 

In no particular order....

1. Grandmother Anne 2. Kevin (dad) Lusby 3. Kristina Lusby 4.Phyllis (mom) Miller 5. Stan (dad) Miller
6. Luke Miller 7. Fran (mom) Love 8. Stan Love 9. Dale Love 10. Noel Love 11. Lauren Love 12. Connor Love 13.Jenny Love 14. Joshua Love 15. Dario Love 16. Lauren Lakvold 17. Mallary Malwick 18. Matt Rodgers 19. Emily Rodgers 20. Chelsey Childress 21. Gwen Oatsvall 22. Scott Oatsvall 23. Suzanne Mayernick 24. Mike Mayernick 25. Jan Eberle 26. Michelle Smalling 27. Jenny Carvelato 28. Carolyn Cates 29. Alisha Slimp 30. Chelse Dyer 31. Erin Vandersteeg 32. Taylor Yoakley 33. Allison Yoakley 34. Gayle Posey 35. Bessie Posey 36. Annalea Posey 37. Billy Posey 38. John Posey 39. Lisa Keefer 40. Kristie O'Leary 41. Righ O'Leary 42. Sydney O'Leary 43. Aiden O'Leary 44. Keenan O'Leary 45. Samuel O'Leary 46. Helen O'Leary 47. Josie Love Mayernick 48. Grace Mayernick  49. Michael Mayernick 50. Annabelle Mayernick 51. Miller Anne Mayernick 52. Joshua Mayernick 53. Caleb Mayernick 54. Jeremiah Oatsvall 55. Elijah Oatsvall 56. Emily Oatsvall 57. Maggie Oatsvall 58. Joseph Oatsvall 59. Daisy Oatsvall
60. Wendy Hill 61, Diane Sims 62. Mickey Sims 63. Bonney Daves 64. Amy Ayers 65. Margie Duffy
66. Robin Beebe 67. Reid Beebe 68. Stephanie Bowling 69. Chad Bowling 70. Paige Vonhagen
71. Drais Vonhagen 72. Becca Friar 73. Rachel Friar 74. Jennifer Smith 75. Erin Sanford
76. Sarah Shinpock 77. Jacquie Watlington 78. Greg Watlington 79. Thelen Wright 80. Elizabeth Newman 81. Mitzi McBride 82. Amy Ferguson 83. Janet Browning 84. Mark Browning 85. John Nyavor
86. Irene Nyavor 87. Emily Marshall 88. Stacy Omorefe 89. Johnbull Omorefe 90. Autumn Buzzell
91. Laura Crapps 92. Heather McAnear 93. Mary Harmon 94. Britney Mincer 95. Lisa Finnegan
96. Debbie Lively 97. Joe Lively 98. Monica Livingston 99. Ellen Arnold 100. Chris Arnold 101. Drew Coleman 102. Devin Coleman 103. Annsley Arnold 104. Pam Arnett 105. Luke Bowling 106. Ethan Bowling 107. Claire Lively 108. Nana (Shelbie Thornton) 109. Carter Crenshaw 110. Debbie Crenshaw 111. David Crenshaw 112. Rachel Crenshaw 113. Vicki Gesit 114. Andrika 115. Ashley Hughes 116. Cliff Horne 117. Robert Cook 118. Patti Buzzell 119. Mam Theresia 120. Daddy Joseph 121. Nosa Omorefe 122. Erica Shubin 123. ???
Are you next?! Whew... we may have to get a second puzzle soon.... what a blessing!!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not where I belong

Alone. afraid. discontent. confused. outcast. let down.  I have felt these emotions on a daily basis over the past few months. I have felt them personally and on behalf of others, namely orphaned children and widows/ single mothers. I have wanted to move to Africa because I don't feel at home here. Will I feel at home there? Probably not. Because THIS IS NOT MY HOME OR YOURS if you LOVE our MAKER with all your heart, soul, and mind. I am at the point where I am way more scared to feel at home and comfortable here than not. We were never intended to be here forever. We were not made for safety, comfort, and to "fit in". WE WERE MADE FOR SO MUCH MORE.   On this quest to live my life in a way that brings glory to the one who made me and love the things He loves, I have found hard. broken. abandoned. I am surrounded by a close knit of families who love serving the least of these, but step too far out of that bubble and you get hostility, ignorance, and lack of support to be frank. All too often, I find myself trying to defend it, prove why it's important. I hear Him whispering "Eyes on Me.... Thoughts on Me.... Heart on Me." This world is passing. What you are fighting for is worth more than other's approval.

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." ~ Colossians 3:2-3
So often I find myself saying when ___ happens (whenever I drink THAT water), then I will be happy and He will use me there and I won't be thirsty for more.

When I.... finish school..... get a job.... have children.... move to Africa.... the list goes on and on and it looks different for every person.

"...Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." ~John 4:13


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One step closer!

Our completed home study is in hand!! Now off to USCIS ( U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) it goes! WOO HOO!!! Please pray for favor and efficient processing. Thank you all for your sacrifices and prayers to help us get this far. Please continue to keep us, our children, and each and every person who has a hand in this in your prayers daily. If you would like to help us bring our babies home, please check out the "147 Million Orphans" gear below and send me a message at with your order, address, and contact info. Remember, it's never too early for birthday or Christmas shopping. I have added pictures of a small sample of things we have but please click on the link below to see all of the  28 fabulous options!! We will add cost of shipping to friends who are out of town. Thank you for walking beside us in this journey!!

Handmade Magazine Bead Necklaces from Uganda

"Helping 1 Home" Baseball Tee - $35


Lady's v- neck $25


Blue Feed 1 Baseball Tee $30


distressed hats

Help us bring our babies home and bring awareness to the
least of these all over the world
every time you wear these items!!


Monday, September 26, 2011

"Need" does not = "Do"

"I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work 
you gave me to do"
  ~Jesus to His dad in John 17:4 

 "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."
~Jesus in John 12:49

He will tell us what to do, what to say, and how to say it!!

Over the past few weeks, I have learned something BIG, something freeing!! Especially for those of us who tend to be people pleasers and " I don't really have time for that but I am going to say yes anyway" kind of people :)....

Jesus did not derive His mission, purpose, day to day activity (whatever you want to put in the blank) from need. He did what God gave him.

He left this world fully knowing there was still need here. So often I find myself jumping at the next "need." I want to fix it as quickly as possible so that there is no longer a need there. Doesn't matter if that's what God gave me for that day, I "need" to do that. No prayer, just knee jerk reaction.

Merely because we are busy, or even skilled at doing something does not necessarily mean that we are getting anything accomplished for HIS GLORY.

Satan can fool you by having you do "good" things but not the "given" thing. By simply responding to the need, you run of out money, time, and run out of you so that you are no longer able to do the given thing.  

If there was a specific work given to Him, I believe there is a specific work for me and for you.
Diligently seek and ask Him for that given work. 

How would you like to come home to Him "finished" with what He gave you?

John the Baptist finished and said this about it...

 "To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.  You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete 

He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3: 27-30


Friday, September 9, 2011

PRAY for the Unreached

 "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples." ~Psalm 96:3

Check out the tag in your clothes today and find the country it was made in. 

to find out more about your country and the Unreached people groups there! 

Let's continue in steadfast prayer for the nations and be watchful in thanksgiving!!

Pray that God may open doors for the Word in these places.
 for those who will go and send and mobilize to these places.

 Today my country and unreached people group is:

Country: Honduras
People: Turk
Population: 1,500
World Popl: 56,100,000
Main Language: Turkish
Main Religion: Islam
Bible: Complete
Status: Least-Reached
Christ-Followers: Few, less than 2%

Who is yours?!

 I anticipate this being an EXCITING ADVENTURE!

 Because of His Grace,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Windy City

We snuck away over the long weekend for a last hoorah before I start in the big girl working world :) We had some airline credit from when we got delayed in Ghana and off we went to the Windy City!! I had never been there before and Jer had only gone when he was young. I loved it there!! Take me back in the winter and I might have a different opinion :)

We rode on trains...
 ate deep dish pizza...
 visited the big bean (AKA "cloud gate")...

 ate at a very nice restaurant with a FABULOUS view of the city and Lake Michigan (Thank you Millers!!)...

 of course Jer gets the strangest thing on the menu... foie gras on creme brulee 
(no comment)...

cheered on the Cubs at Wrigley field...

 strolled on Navy Pier...

 visited the Hershey store (now you're speaking my language)...
visited Marilyn right in the middle of downtown...

enjoyed lots of quality time over meals in the city...

 soaked in the view of the beautiful river through the city...

and got icecream at the Buckingham fountains...

Overall, much needed time with my hunny!!

By far my favorite part of Chicago...... CULTURAL DIVERSITY!!

"Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-
-to every nation, tribe, language and people." ~Revelation 14:6

Because of His Grace,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who Am I?


I wrestle. Every day. Every patient. You see somewhere in my mind over the past five years of medical training, I decided that some patients deserved more than others. More time. attention. affection. love. grace. Somewhere along the way, I began to hoard my grace, giving it out when it was convenient. felt right. You see, there are priorities in medicine. Anyone who has any type of medical training knows the ABC's- airway, breathing, circulation. You know when someone is toxic and when they just need some time and rest. 

  But I have developed new priorities. None that I was taught... at least not open and intentionally in a classroom. But our natural human reaction is to rank need. Let me give you an example from my daily thoughts...  the malnourished, dying child is above the wealthy, obese adult. The child who is in the NICU fighting for his life is above his mother who has been strung out on drugs for her entire pregnancy. The patient who can't breathe well and continues to be admitted to the hospital for asthma exacerbation over their spouse who smokes in the home and car... You see where I am getting with this? I battle these scenarios constantly. 

So as His mercies are new each morning towards me (and thank Jesus that it is EACH morning, not every other, once a week, when it's convenient for Him, or when He feels like it!), I will continue to ask for overflowing and abounding grace so that I may extend it to others.. to those who I have judged and placed farther down on the priority list. And may my list start to dissolve a little more every day.

Who am I to determine rank?
May I follow His lead.

"... I now realize how true it is that God does NOT show favoritism but accepts men from EVERY nation who fear him and do what is right." - Acts 10: 34-35

Because of His Grace,

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Invest in the life of a child

I am just starting to grasp the difference between a handout and an investment in another life. My sweet friends at City of Refuge in Ghana are doing it right. For the past few weeks, they have conducted orphan and child investigations in their village to determine the need for education sponsorships. They went to the 8 village chiefs and asked for their blessing. They spent countless hours conducting surveys of homes and employment status of parents. From this information, they decided which type of coverage a child would need for school, recognizing that some truly need full scholarships, some partial, and some not at all. So... that's where we come in. They are in need of child sponsors..

 To start your sponsorship... go to and indicated which tier you would like to sponsor in the donate box.

You can also go to their facebook page!/pages/Faith-Roots-International-Academy/230644943647740     to see many of the children who need sponsors.

Friday, August 26, 2011

When "Thank You " Is Not Enough...

You know those moments when you want to say so much more but a simple "thank you" is all that comes out... that is how I feel today. When we started this adoption journey;  I never would have imagined the individuals who would step up to invest in our children's lives. Many of you know that my mother-in- law has the gift of creativity. She has taken her gift and used it to bless our adoption and little girls who have very little. Her and her friends started making these dresses last winter on their craft days so that we could take them to Ghana in January and for another person to take to Haiti. Once we decided to adopt, Mrs. Miller decided to name the dresses, "Remnant Dresses."  
...A remnant dress is one made with love from leftover fabric “remnants.”

rem-nant: a). a small surviving group
b). an unused end of piece goods

a). may every girl clothed in our dress be a part of the remnant
Romans 11:5 Eph. 2: 13-16
b). God can create beauty from anything and anyone

For each dress purchased, a SECOND dress is given to a daughter of the King living in an orphanage. 

As of today, we have sold 95 dresses and sent 99 to 
Ghana, Haiti, and Zambia!! 

194 girls are a part of the Remnant! 

35 Dresses are leaving for Zambia with the McBride's in 3 weeks!

SO... Mrs. Miller, THANK YOU!!! and thank you to everyone else who has made dresses including my Great Aunt Sarah and for all of you who have bought them and held dress shows. You have invested in an everlasting Kingdom.

If you would like to buy a dress, hold a trunk show, or make dresses; please let me know!! We have sizes 1T-12 girls. $30 each. They are adorable with leggings and long sleeve tees for the fall :)

Because of His Grace,

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. ~Psalm 126:3

Friday, August 12, 2011


"Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion 
for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet with which 
HE is to go about doing good; 
and yours are the hands with which 
HE is to bless us now."
~ Saint Terea of Avila

We are HIS...

What message are we sending to the world about the way we live our lives? As His people, we are announcing His character. 
What are we saying we care about?

If you claim to be a follower of Christ,
Jesus is living HIS life