FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.
Heb. 11:1

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"From Nai Nai's Kitchen" cookbook

As you know from my previous post, we have received a $2500 matching
grant from Lifesong.  In order to get the grant, we need to raise another $2500 which
would then give us $5,000.  Oh my!!!  That's a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!!  And we are
so grateful to have been given this grant.   We leave in less than 4 weeks to go
get Faith.  I came up with a cookbook idea early last year but was hesitant to
move forward as it was pretty costly to put to print and then I just wasn't
sure if it would do well.  There I go again, doubting myself.   Of course it's
not going to do anything if it just sits.  So as I was trying to figure out how
to fundraise to meet our grant, the cookbook immediately came to mind.  The
recipes are written and the cover and artwork already drawn, by my kids.
Here's the cover:

"Nai Nai's Kitchen"
Cookbook cover
drawn by Maggie (then 8 yo)
 I know the artwork may not be professional, but it's just PERFECT for our cookbook
cover.  Miss Maggie drew this for the cover and the lady on the cover is of course
non other than Nai Nai.  Nai Nai is my mom and went with me in 2000 and 2003
to bring Emmi and then Maggie home.  She's an amazing mom and grandma!!!!  We
love her dearly.  This cookbook has over 20 recipes from Nai Nai's kitchen.  These
are recipes that I grew up and recipes that she used when the kids would stay
over.  And we still use all of 'em.  Oh, and Nai Nai's secret (shhhh) cookie recipe
is in there too.  This is the cookie that turned Emmi's tears into big 'ole smiles
on gotcha day in 2000.  Nai Nai made 'em, packed 'em up, and carried 'em half
way around the world, just for Emmi.  And she still loves 'em.  All the kids
do.  And they are super duper easy to make.

So as I tried to figure out a way around paying the upfront cost of the books, I
thought about pre-selling the books.  Basicly, all I need is for you to e-mail me
here with the number of books you would like to pre-order and then once
the books print, I will e-mail you with the total so you can pay.  The cookbooks
will be $10.00 plus $.95 shipping.  These would make great Mother's day gifts too.
No matter how many you order, the shipping will still be only $.95

We need to pre-sell at least 200 cookbooks in order to get the "best" price
on printing.   We will pre-sell through Monday April 2nd, and then I'll get the
books printed on Tues. with a quick print and pick-up time.  I'll accept payment
once the books are ready to ship and will of course notify you, which should
be a quick turnaround.  I think the books will be ready within less than 24 hours
from the printer.   Oh, and please share this fundraiser.   200 cookbooks is
a lot to ask for pre-orders, but in order to keep the cost down, it's what we need.

The kids were such a big help in putting this book together.  They all have their
favorite recipes and then they all have art work in the book too.   We appreciate
each and everyone of you and thank you soooo very much for supporting our
previous fundraisers.   We hope you will order one of our cookbooks to help
us move toward the $2500 we need to receive our Lifesong grant.

We received a Lifesong matching grant!!!

   I am so happy to post that we have received a $2500 matching grant
from Lifesong.   For those who don't know, this means that we need to
raise $2500 and then Lifesong will match it giving us $5000.  This is
a wonderful blessing as we still needed all the inter-country fees plus in-country
travel fees.  This will help tremendously.   I have to admit that I'm trying
not to freak out as $2500 is a lot to raise in such a short time.  We leave
in just 4 short weeks from yesterday.  So we need to get moving on our
next fundraiser.  I don't have the Lifesong link to our account yet to post
to our blog.  I'm hoping I get it sooooon.  I'm not sure how long it takes to
get everything set up.   I have a fundraiser giveaway planned and we'll
be making more bracelets too.  Please check back.   Again, I'm just
waiting on the link to post.  Any donation that is made to our Lifesong
account is tax deductible too, which is great!!  Thank you so much for
your prayers.  It won't be much longer and we'll finally be meeting
our sweet Faith!!!  I sure hope she likes us.  I'm getting a little nervous
about that too!!!  Saying lots of prayers about the change that's getting ready
to happen, not only to Faith, but for all of us.  It's so exciting!! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Just "believe"!

 Update 3/15/12     Thank you so much for the support through our current bracelet
fundraiser.  We only have three bracelets left and will certainly be busy making
more this weekend to get posted.  The e-mails I have received never cease
to amaze me.  One sweet friend shared our bracelets with her friends and I have
an order for four bracelets.  Thank you Mary!!!!  If you are interested in any of the
three remaining bracelets, please e-mail me here

 Update 3/10/12   I was so excited to wake up this morning to an e-mail from our
coordinator in China with a translation of Faith's letter that we received a few weeks
ago.  Here's the translation:

The letter reads,

"Dear Papa, Mama, sisters and brother,
Hi! I'm very happy to receive the gift from you. Thank you very much! I miss you very much!
I'm happy to stay in my foster home. In Spring Festival, I had dumpling, wore new clothes, played firecrackers etc. In a word, I'm very happy every day. Please don't worry about it.
I'm not good at painting, but will send a painting to you. I used the crayons you sent to paint it to express my thinking of you.
Your daughter: Zhao Wang Xia Date: Feb. 21.2012"

   Its such a relief to see that she's happy in her foster family, however, I know in my heart
that she will grieve.  It hurts so much to know that she's leaving everything
she's ever known behind.  I'm not sure how long she's been with her foster family
(whom I'm so grateful too for their love and care) but I know she will miss them
and it will be hard to leave them behind.   I've prayed and continue to pray that God
will comfort her heart during this transition and even years to come.   We leave
in just a few short weeks and I'm getting ever so excited.  So many emotions right now.
  As we are still in fundraising mode and have been blessed to have received the
funds we need so far through sweet friends from my groups and FB, we still need the
funds for inter-country travel and "all" province fees.   We are still waiting to
hear from "Lifesong" regarding a grant that we applied for.   Yesterday morning
when I awoke, I noticed a shadow reflected on the wall from the beautiful sunshine.
The word "Hope" immediatley came to mind.   The shadow was a picture of the cross.  And
it was in the right shape too.  "Hope"!!!!  So as the day - morning progressed and went to
work, I received a call from my husband.  Lifesong had contacted him regarding
some questions.  It looks like our app. is up next for review.  He had a number
for me to call them back which I did immediatley.    After work, I darted over to
our local arts and crafts store to purchase more of the "Faith" charms for our bracelets
and they were already sold out.  So I looked and noticed the "Hope" charm.  I
purchased one.  Emmi and I made four new bracelets last night.  As I looked at the
Hope bracelet, it hit me.  Yes there is "Hope".  Sometimes I just can't hear God
talking to me.  He started yesterday morning with the cross and the word "Hope".
I didn't get it, then the call from Lifesong, and the "Hope" charm.  Yes, there is
"Hope".  Now I don't know if we will receive the grant, but I do know there is
"Hope", hope in Jesus Christ our Savior.   He lead us to our daughter Faith almost
two years ago, now we are almost there.   I can't believe I didn't move on her
file immediately.  Why did I doubt what I knew God had put on my heart?  Now
I look back and think about my struggle and what we almost missed out on, another
preciouse daughter and a journey far worth more than the "stuff" we tend to let
get in our way.

  I added four more bracelets.  These pictures are much better than the first
bracelets I posted.  But you can at least see what the charm looks like now.  Thanks
dear Anne for giving me some camera helpful hints.  They worked!!!   If you'd
like to purchase one of our bracelets, e-mail me here with the letter or number of the bracelet
and quick description.  All bracelets are $21.50 which includes shipping.  Shipping has been
running right around $3.00 to $3.50 (I guess due to the weight of the beads plus I add
delivery confirmation.   I'll e-mail you back to comfirm.  You can pay through
our "donate" button to the right or pay by check.  Thanks so much for following
our blog and supporting us through this journey.  To see our bracelets just scroll
down or you can read our original post first.

Original post -
 Over the past few years I've purchased glass beads in hopes of making
bracelets and selling them in an on-line store.  Well the beads accumulated and they
have been stored in their own little box.  I was trying to figure out how I might
could use these to help fundraise to help bring Faith home.  I was at our local
craft store a few weeks ago and found these cute "faith" and "believe" charms.
The pictures look like the charm is gold, but it's silver.   I thought it was quite fitting
and was excited when I saw them.  I purchased all they had and started making
our bracelets.  I've sold 4 so far through our previous fundraiser and now hope to
sell many, many more for the month of March to finish up the amount we will owe for
our inter-country travel.   There are several different styles and they all are
made with the glass beads (other than one that has a shell bead) and have either a "faith" or
"believe" charm. 
   We began this adoption journey as a "leap of  faith", trusting in God the whole
way.  I can honestly say that it has been hard at times, but for the most part I have
had such a peace and know that this is His will.  He didn't say it would be easy, but
He did say that I could "endure". 
  So as we are now in countdown mode, we still need your help and hope that
you will purchase one of our beautiful bracelets.   Each bracelet is $21.50 which
includes shipping.   Please e-mail me here with which bracelet/bracelets you
would like to purchase and I'll reply with your total.  You can then pay through
our "donate" button on the right or I can send you a paypal invoice.  

A)  "Hope" black/white/clear/silver beaded bracelet

B).  "Believe" bracelets - shades of mauve-pink, black, gold

C) "Believe" shades of lavendar, clear, silver beaded bracelet
very soft in color and pretty

D).  "Believe" multi color beaded bracelet

1)    Glass bead and shell bracelet "believe" charm
measures right at 8" around

2)    Glass bead bracelet "believe" charm
measures right at 8" around
The yellow bead represents the one-less orphan

3)      Glass bead bracelet  "faith" charm
different shades of green
measures right at 7 1/2 " around

4)    Glass bead bracelet "believe" charm
blacks/clear/yellow/red fish
measures right at 8" around

5)     Glass bead bracelet "believe" charm
measures right at 8" around

6)     Glass bead bracelet "faith" charm
Neutral tones
measures right at 7 1/2" around

7)      Glass bead bracelet "faith" charm
Blacks/clear/amber/clear fish
measures right at 8" around