Tuesday, June 29, 2010

147 million gear is here...

Our first order came in and we decided to model our gear for you.  We want to thank all of you who placed an order, God is providing the funds as we need them and we are in awe of His faithfulness!  I will be placing another order in the next few days if anyone wants to get in on it, let me know, your purchase really does make a difference!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

All together again...

We are so happy to be together again!  Here are my happy kids with their goods from Mexico (soccer jerseys) and their favorite "thing" ~ Daddy!  Jayden has my basket on his head, and you can't really see Anaya's little basket, but he thought of us all! 

The red van was miraculously fixed just in time for them to leave{YAY God!}  However Ryan is still battling a nasty mouth infection.  All in all it was a great trip, pictures to come in the days ahead, for now we are enjoying our time together!  

Saturday, June 26, 2010

what we've been up to...

we spent a little time at the beach...

and at my parents pool...
and hanging out with cousins at my sisters pool.  I love that Anaya has the same idea of swimming as I do, "it's all good if I don't get wet!"  Yep, my idea of swimming is going near the pool, maybe putting my feet in, but do not splash me, do not make me go in, or heaven forbid under the water!!!  She fell in the pool with her life jacket on and fell feet first into a ring, never got wet above her waist and she cried for 10 minutes!  So funny!

We are surviving our time without Ryan, thanks to a few dear friends and family, but we are really looking forward to his safe return.  He is battling an infection, and one of the church vans is broken down...and they are supposed to leave in the morning, but all in all things are going well....we shall see what tomorrow brings.  Hopefully a miraculously fixed van and safe travels!  Dylan was off to camp this week too and we got him home today!  YAY!  But now Spencer is gone to Chicago with my parents to see a Sox game.  I will be happy Monday night when we are all {minus one ~ little Luisa} home and under one roof!

Friday, June 18, 2010

2 years ago...

Yesterday, was the day 2 years ago we finally arrived home from Guatemala with Anaya!  Wow, she has grown and changed so much since then!  We love you Anaya, you continue to bless us each and every day with your beautiful smile and sweet personality!

Never in a million years would we have ever dreamed that I would go to Guatemala and stay there for 7 weeks with 5 kids!!  And now as we step out in faith with another international adoption, I can't fathom that I may be spending another 4 to 6 weeks in Colombia with 6 kids!  Oh the adventures God brings us on!

If you think of it this week, please be in prayer for Ryan and the 24 youth/staff he is taking down to Mexico on a mission trip to Lily of the Valley Orphanage.  I am not able to go this year, {and am completely jealous!}  He is going to take a small group up into the mountains and minister to the people there too.  I can't wait to hear what God does on this trip.  Hopefully Linda will be able to update the blog {Our Ministry to the Orphans} or Nikki (who is taking Ryan and the team into the mountains) also has a site {On Eagles Wings Ministry} Check it out!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guess who's 5?

It's Easton!!!

We celebrated his birthday 3 times {Tuinstras, VanderZwaags, and our little family!}
He is overjoyed to be 5! 
We love you little man, thanks for bringing us so much joy!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


We have an announcement to make...

After many months of  prayer,
lots and lots of this...

and several sets of these...

 Last night we officially accepted the referral of our daughter from Colombia!!!!

Her name is Luisa, will be Luisa Joy Vander Zwaag
{affectionately called 'Lucy' at times}
She was born on December 18, 2008
{for those of you who hate math like me...she is almost 18 months old!}
For those of you who are geographically challenged {Lisa! sorry I couldn't resist}
Colombia is a country in South America

Yes, we realize that she is not a newborn, nor was she born in the USA as we started out pursuing... 
We have been on an adventure with God for a few months now, and we have some exciting stories to tell, but for now, we just wanted to share our 'joy'ful news!!

Psalm 92:4 (NIV) 

4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;

       I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

more thoughts on the Summit...

It has been over a month now since the Orphan Summit, and I am finally able to put a few thoughts together to share with you.  There is so much I want to share, but my mind has been on Doug Sauder author of "The One Factor." 

He talked about how adoption is like an infection.  He says if we can get just one foster or adoptive family in a church,  it makes it real, people will watch that family, and think "Hey, I think I can do that!"  They start talking, thinking and praying and before you know it, they DO it!  And so it goes!  Love for orphans transforms orphans, and us, and the world around us!  Amen to that!

He shared his thoughts on Haiti, and how he believes it was a teachable moment for the church.  So many people woke up to the need for adoption, by seeing the plight of the orphan.  Sometimes God uses events to produce thoughts and provoke the heart of his people.

As an orphan advocate, we build a bridge between the people who are "busy doing life" and the children with the needs.  Kay Warren once said "There are 143 million orphans in our world, most Christians can't name 5 of them!  My husband is taking another team of teens down to Lily of the Valley orphanage in Mexico in a few weeks.  I am so excited for them, it truly does change your life to visit Lily!  Our church family knows their names, and I LOVE that!(I so wish I could go and love on those precious children)

James 1:27 (New International Version)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Obviously not everyone should adopt, there are so many ways to live out James 1:27.  Visiting widows and orphans.  The poor, needy, anyone in distress, they are all around us, we just need to reach out to them. And of course keep yourself from being polluted by the world...which usually proves to be much more difficult than the looking after orphans and widows!!  {don't ya think?} 

Well, that is just one page of notes I wanted to share, there is more, so much more...