Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Yard Sales, Haircuts, and Mother's Day Treats

Can you believe the mess? 
So, I guess none of these things really have anything to do with each other, but this is a very busy week around our house, so here it goes.  Well, I guess there is one common denominator and that is Vika.  I will most likely be quiet for the rest of the week (unless of course we get a travel date this week-I promise I will update you on that), as on Saturday, we will be having a hopefully very BIG yard sale/bake sale/ maybe hot dogs sale/and drink sale. 

Yes, that is really my garage!

Our neighborhood was so kind to do a neighborhood yard sale to hopefully attract more people to come.  We are a little off the beaten path, but when God is in it, He will bless it.  Yard sales are a lot of work, and frankly I don't really care for them all that much for that reason, but this one is for the life of a little girl, and no amount of work will make it not worth it. 
So, if you are in the Atlanta area, email me for directions to our house for some yummy Pioneer Woman's maple frosted cinnamon rolls, freshly brewed coffee, maybe a good bargain for something you need to have, AND a chance to get a $50 restaurant gift card absolutely FREE!  Yes, you read that right.  It is a fun giveaway just to say thank you for coming out to support us and Vika's adoption.  If you don't live close enough, but know someone who does, please send them our way.  :) 

As for the haircut story....  Our oldest daughter, Annalee, got her third haircut in her life (minus the time when they had to shave it for surgery), and for the second time in her life we were able to cut enough off to donate it to Locks of Love.  She has beautiful thick hair.  But because she has an extremely sensitive head, it is very hard to brush her hair without many tears.  And in my humble opinion, she also looks so cute in her short haircut.  The best part about it is that she was able to do something for another child, and that in itself is a big blessing.  I got a haircut too, and a perm, because unlike my daughter, I was not blessed with beautiful thick hair...  :)  And my dear friend Kelly, who always cuts my hair donated 50% of the cost of my haircut and perm toward our adoption!  Isn't God so, so good?!!!  Thank you Kelly! 

Lastly, if you are looking for a special Mother's Day Present, don't forget the diamond necklace giveaway the Coleman's are doing for us.  If you are looking for something delicious and sweet, you can also stop by Renee's blog, who is raising money to bring home their daughter, Paisley, from Eastern Europe.  She is offering the most delicious white chocolate toffee-which consists of creamy white chocolate sprinkled with brown sugar and a brown sugar buttery graham cracker crust.  I believe any mother would be honored that she had a part in bringing home a precious orphan and to top it off get a delicious homemade treat, or better yet, order some for yourself!  I promise you will not be disappointed.  If you are interested, you can order some here

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Adoption

I have mentioned on this blog on a few occasions how similar our adoption story of Vika is to our adoption into God's family.  Yesterday was Easter-Resurrection Sunday, and so I have been thinking about this post for a while now as I was reflecting on what Jesus did on the cross for us.    I am not very eloquent when it comes to words, but I feel these words need to be written.  We talk about the sacrifices that have to be made for our adoption of one little girl locked away in Eastern Europe.  It is nothing compared to the price that Jesus paid for us!  What price did Jesus pay?

He paid the ultimate price-the price of his life, the separation from Him and God, His father.  But not only that, if you read the story of His life here on earth, He suffered so much more than that.  And why?  Why would He take upon Him such loss and suffering?  Why would He choose to humble himself to become man and suffer here on earth for my sin and the sin of the whole world's sake?  Because He loves me and every one that ever walked or ever will walk this earth more than our simple human minds will ever be able to comprehend.  I don't know about you, but I have a hard time doing something good for someone who has hurt me.  I LOVE my girls, and I don't know that I could ever sacrifice them for anyone, especially not someone who has hurt me, cared nothing about me, cursed me, has forgotten about me, or turned his back on me.  And yet, Jesus loved me with an ultimate love to die on the cross for me-when I deserved this punishment. 

Can you imagine the amount of pain-physical, emotional, and spiritual - He went through for our sake?  Remember that although Jesus was 100% God, He was also 100% human and felt pain just like you and I do.  He felt every beating He received from the soldiers, every thorn on the crown of thorns they placed on Him, He felt the weight of the cross on His shoulders, He felt the nails driven into His hands and feet, He felt the excruciating pain of hanging on that cross for six hours before His death.  And not only that, but He felt the pain of begging His heavenly Father to take this cup of suffering from Him and yet knowing that He would have to die on the cross to fulfill His purpose on the earth.  He felt the agony of begging His heavenly Father to the point of sweating bloods of drop.  He felt the separation between a Father and His son in a way no other human has ever or will ever experience.  He felt the restraint He had to exercise not to safe Himself.  He felt the humiliation of the accusations brought against Him.  He felt the shame of the soldiers taking his clothes.  He felt the disrespect and hatred of the Pharisees and Scribes who wanted His death.  He had every right to defend Himself, and yet for our sake, He chose not to.  He suffered the pain of his closest friends forsaking Him when He was placed on that cross.  And yet, He took it without complaint, without wavering in doing His Father's will.  And not only that, but in the final hours of His greatest pain, He thought of those He was leaving behind.  He gave his mom a new son, who would take care of Him.  He asked God to forgive those who brought such great trespasses against Him, and He died, separating Himself completely from His Father. 

Why?  To give us the FREE gift of being adopted into His family.  Yes, it comes absolutely free.  It does not ask anything in return.  It does not require a certain amount of good deeds or a special way of living.  It simply requires FAITH in what He did on the cross for us.  Yes, when we give our life to Jesus, when we ask Him for forgiveness of our sins, and He saves us, we automatically become children of His heavenly family FOREVER.  And the Holy Spirit within us will cause us to change our life and live it completely for Him, but this is not a requirement for coming into His family or we would never be able to attain it.  But the beauty of Easter does not end with the cross and His death on the cross - but with His RESURRECTION.  His Almighty power over death itself!  If He is mighty to die, and He is mighty to rise again, He is mighty to do whatever we ask of Him to do in our lives!  I am thankful for Easter!  I am thankful for the empty tomb! 

I stumbled upon this song this evening after I had finished my post, and I could not have found a better way to sum up this post: 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Mother's Day Giveaway

I am amazed how the Lord brings people into our lives and uses them to fulfill His purpose in our lives.  We have been so blessed in our journey to bring Vika home.  Sometimes, I just have to stand back in awe of what the Lord is doing!!!  Here is a little example:  The Coleman Family, who is adopting Mikha from Vika's country and was submitted the same day we were, is doing a fundraiser for us to help us raise the remainder of our funds we need!  Aren't they awesome?!!  We are blessed beyond measure!  If you would like to participate in a Mother's Day giveaway, you can click here for the details.  Thank you for all your support!  I know that the Lord will provide for our every need as He has proven over and over in our lives. 

We would really appreciate your continued prayers for us and the Coleman family and the many others that are currently in the process of their adoption from Vika's country that we will get an appointment at the SDA in Vika's country VERY soon.  We are anticipating some changes to the department that will handle adoptions in the future and in order to implement those changes, there could be several weeks of delay for further adoptions.  We know that the Lord is in control and that His timing is always perfect, but we also know that prayer is more powerful than anything and that prayer of God's people does change things!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BIG Thank you

We finally ordered some Thank you cards from Shutterfly, so some of you should be getting these in your mailbox very soon.  :)  Here is a little preview.  As an added bonus, we will get a discount on our next order of our photobook we are compiling to take to Vika's country with us!  :)  And a BIG Thank You Ashley and Shea, you are WAY too good to us!!!
Pink Chocolate Thank You 3x5 folded card
Elegant thank you cards and notes by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Matching Grant and What It Means to Be Submitted

I promised to update you on what it means to be submitted, but then we celebrated with brownies and icecream, and I passed out from sugar overload.  Ah, just kidding (about the passing out part that is!)... I was busy pulling teeth instead. :)  So, let me try to explain.  We have spent the last few months preparing a pile of paperwork, officially called a "dossier."  This pile of paperwork got sent to Vika's country via a wonderful family, who handed it over to our team in Vika's country to be translated and the submitted. 
Once all the documents have been checked for accuracy and translated, they are then submitted to the State Department of Adoption for processing.  Once it is successfully submitted there, we will be issued an appointment to come to the capital of Vika's country, receive the officially referral for Vika, so that we can travel to where she is to meet her.   So, this was a BIG step in this adoption process, because we are now only about a month away from meeting her and adding one more member to the Koenig family!  :)  We should receive a travel date within the next two weeks, and from the appointments that other families ahead of us have received, we believe we should have a travel date for the end of May.  As soon as I have official news, I will let everyone know.  We are rejoicing in God's faithfulness to us throughout this process and how He continues to bless us each step of the way. 

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul. Prov. 13:19
 On other news, I briefly mentioned before that we were approved for a matching grant of $4000 through a partnership of Promise686 with Lifesong for Orphans.  This means that everything that is given to our account through Lifesong will be matched dollar for dollar up to $4000.  We are blessed beyond measure!  I have posted all the information about where donations can be mailed to on the right side of the blog.  We have sent out official support letters with a letter from Lifesong for Orphans.  If you have not received one, and would like one, please email me or leave a comment.  We are so thankful for this great blessing and for how the Lord has provided for us throughout this journey.  Since we were submitted this week, we do have to raise the remaining funds quickly.  We would much appreciate your prayers for us that God would burden people's hearts to help us bring Vika home.  And look at our thermometer.  It is steadily rising!  Praise the Lord!  Thank you all so much for all your support on this journey! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We were Submitted Today

I just found out that we we were successfully submitted today!  I will try to explain later exactly what that means for those of you who don't know, but I just had to share the good news as soon as we got it!

God is so faithful!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Spaghetti Dinner Presentation

First of all, thank to everyone who came out for the Spaghetti Dinner.  Secondly, PLEASE, PLEASE be in prayer for the country we are adopting Vika from.  There was a major change in which department will be in charge of future adoptions, and we are not sure yet what the implications will be.  There could be a possible closure for a while before our documents can be submitted.  Please pray that this is not the case and that our dossier will be successfully submitted this Thursday!!!  Thirdly, I promised I would try to share the PowerPoint presentation I put together for our Spaghetti Fundraiser yesterday.  This is the first one I have ever done, so no complaints!  :)  I don't think I can put the music with it, but I will try.  I can always burn it on a CD for you, if you want a "real" copy!  Just leave me a comment.  Thank you so much to all of you who came, thank you for you generous support, most of all thank you to all of you who spent countless hours pouring your heart and love into the dinner and our fundraising efforts.  We are blessed and loved beyond measure.  I don't have a total raised yet, but I promise to update you as soon as I have a total.  Now the promised presentation.  If I missed any of you in the credits, I am so sorry, please let me know and I will fix it!  :)  Okay, I am not sure if this worked or not.  My computer is doing something funny when I try to view it.  If you cannot view it, please let me know and I will try to figure out what I did wrong.  I am technically challenged.  :) 

How God Brought Vika Into Our Lives-Blog

Saturday, April 9, 2011


For all you local readers in the Metro Atlanta area, please don't forget our Spaghetti Fundraising Dinner tonight from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Collins Hill Baptist Church.  It is set-up walk-in style, so you can come anytime you like.  We also have To Go boxes so you can take it with you if you can't stay.  And, we will have our special Aroma Ridge Coffee brewed there and for sale, if anyone would like to buy some.  :)

And for all of you, who live too far away, we would really appreciate your prayers.  I have been working on a PowerPoint presentation.  It is our desire that the Lord would be glorified in it and that many hearts will be opened to the many orphans around the world!  I will do my best to post it here once we make it through tonight for all of you to see. 

We hope to see you there!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Matching Grant!!!

We just found out today that we have been approved for a matching grant through Promise686, an organization right here in our own community (who we were referred to after our application was received and reviewed by Lifesong for Orphans) .  Praise the Lord for his provision!  We give Him all the glory and are humbled and amazed how He is blessing every little step of our adoption!  He is proving to us over and over again that His promises are true and we can depend on Him in every aspect of our lives.  Philippians 1:6 says: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"  He will finish what He has started.  No matter the obstacles.  It will take about two weeks before we have everything set up to receive donations, but once it is set up, Promise686 will match all donations dollar for dollar up to $4,000.00.  We are so undeserving of His goodness to us!  We will keep you updated as soon as we have all the information!  Thank you so much for your faithful support as we bring home Vika!  It is coming so close, and we cannot wait!  Look at the happy dance our girls were doing after I shared the news!

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.   (Psalm 35:27)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Cup of Coffee

Yes, this post is about coffee.  If you know me and my family well, you know that we LOVE coffee.  In my humble opinion, there is just no better way to start the day.  Just take a look at Amarissa at 9 months old.  I could barely keep her from my cup of coffee (no worries, NO babies were harmed)!  Now, I know there are many of you who would beg to differ, and you are probably right.  :)  But for the time being, I am going to enjoy every good cup of coffee I get to enjoy in peace and quiet.
Our house is not exactly known for peace and quiet, but there is at least one time of the day that it is and that's when I have that cup of coffee and spend my quiet time with the Lord.  Now, I have had plenty of cups of coffee that were a far cry from a "good" cup of coffee.  So, in order for you to avoid having to ever drink a bad cup of coffee, I am offering a remedy for you: 

Aroma Ridge Coffee is a company that more than 20 years ago, their passion for the perfect cup of coffee inspired them to start a small, family-owned business. Today, they have blossomed into Aroma Ridge, offering an array of the finest mountain-grown gourmet coffees to homes, coffee shops and retailers across the country.

Their secret: hand-selected beans from the coffee producing countries, roasted to perfection by their very own Roast Master in small batches for a more even, cleaner roast. From your very first experience with Aroma Ridge, you are welcomed as a part of their family. Your coffee is prepared for you and only you—roasted and flavored to order, and delivered to your table.

They’ve grown since their early days, but they continue to honor the tenets that helped them realize their passion: buy from the highest quality growers; roast the beans to order with perfection; and deliver the best customer service possible. 

Not only does Aroma Ridge make great coffee, but they have also done something even more wonderful for us.  They have printed labels and made our own custom bags for your coffee to help us bring Vika home.  They are graciously donating the proceeds of every bag of coffee you purchase on our behalf to our adoption expenses.  We are so amazed how God allowed us to be blessed by this company!  You can order coffee directly from their website and use the coupon code "vika" when you check out or you can order custom label coffees from us and we will deliver them to you freshly roasted.  The custom flavors with our labels are:  Vika's Roast, Vika's Vanilla Almond, Vika's White Chocolate Macademia, Vika's Coconut Rum, Vika's Chocolate Mint, Vika's Creme Brulee, Vika's Jamaica Me Crazy (Yes, Becky,  I added those last two flavors just for you!!!  :)).  I only have one warning for you: be prepared to LOVE this coffee so much, you will keep buying more!  :) 

Now, since this post is about coffee, I received an email yesterday from another coffee shop that has wonderful coffee, but is local to Pensacola, Florida.  If there are any readers that live close enough, you should not miss enjoying a wonderful cup of coffee or a breakfast treat or a yummy lunch at the Drowsy Poet.  And while you are there, take a look at some of Abe's artwork they have on display to help us raise more funds for our adoption.  Not only have they allowed us to display Abe's artwork there, but they have also given us a generous donation towards our adoption!  Isn't God amazing?!  We are blessed beyond measure and thankful beyond words!