Friday, September 14, 2012

Both Hands Project Update

Wow! It's been an AWESOME time. If you haven't seen the project video, check it out below! It's not too help change an orphan's life forever! To date, as a result of the project there was approximately $20,000 worth of improvements made to Nora's house, and $8,380.18 has been raised towards bringing Eden Grace home. This (and a previous grant) is allowing us to put the dossier in the mail by the first of next week. Upon approval from the Social Worker, it will be sent to the Lawyer in Peru that we'll be working with. Upon translation, and approval (trusting God it will be done in 30 days)- we'll be able to begin to make travel arrangements. Travel (including 30 days living in Peru) and final fees/court costs etc. total about $13,000. We're about $2,000 into that phase already!!! Perhaps you'd consider donating $20 or more to the cause, it's tax deductible and every penny helps! Check out this video below to see how your "sponsorship" will have blessed a widow and her 3 kids as well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Project Update

Wow. What a difference a day makes.

Today Sherwin-Williams donated 9 gallons of paint (more than we need), a local waste management company committed to donate a dumpster, and we calculated a total of 702 sponsorship letters sent.

Another praise (unrelated to this project specifically but it relates to the adoption) is we were notified this evening that our family was awarded a $2,000 grant from Bridge of Hope Ministries! (time to start doing some updates on the donation thermometer). DONE! ;)

How can you pray now?
-Home Depot has promised to meet regarding how they will help tomorrow (Wednesday) major needs now are still some decking supplies (rails, spindles and necessary hardware).
-We need some cleaning supplies and paint rollers, trays, brushes, etc.
-Good weather for project day

Thanks, and please help us spread the news! Sure we're trying to raise the money to bring our little girl home but most importantly let's show the world what true "Faith with works" means... Share the link-


Monday, August 13, 2012

The 12 days of a Both Hands project

So it's not a song, nor will it be done like the traditional 12 days of Christmas but here's 12 things you can pray for between now and the project day (not listed in any specific priority):
1. Material donations
2. Sponsorships
3. Food donations
4. Team safety
5. Wisdom
6. Prior preparation (hazardous tree removal)
7. A construction size dumpster (for old material and clutter disposal)
8. Good weather
9. Corporate Recognition and sponsorship
10. That we'll show others what true Christianity is about
11. That Christ will be glorified
12. That through this, Nora and her family will be blessed & strengthened and that Eden Grace will be as close as the last set of paperwork.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Both Hands

Most of you have heard about this AWESOME project we're doing in just a few weeks. Fulfilling the command given in James 1:27- "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained."

We're AMAZED at how God has blessed already and how He continues to provide. If you haven't checked it out yet, PLEASE take just a few minutes to do so! Just click HERE. (Honestly, if you don't, this post won't make much sense).

Here's where we stand:
  • A local businessman and dear friend donated $500 towards stamps and getting the sponsorship letters sent!
  • Our team sent somewhere between 500-600 sponsorship letters (we don't have the final number as some letters are still going out).
  • Many of the needed supplies for Nora's (the Widow) have already been donated. Please pray for the remaining items that we need (mainly lumber, hardware and painting supplies
  • Covenant Transport has donated a 15 passenger van and they're paying a driver since we'll have to park a few miles away from Nora's!
  • Restaurants are already committing to donate food for the project work day!
  • Some dear friends have agreed to donate a Washer/Dryer set that is much needed!
  • Ooltewah Nursery has graciously agreed to donate plants to "spruce up" the exterior!

Here's some ways you can help us pray specifically for the project:

  • Good weather
  • Remaining supplies (as mentioned previously- lumber, hardware, painting supplies)
  • Safety
  • Sponsorships

Michelle and I truly believe (as do our boys- "faith like a child" right??) that this project will be the means by which we raise the final $20,000 needed to bring Eden home. Please pray with us! GOD CAN and WILL!

Humbled by YOUR help & prayers,

Jonathan, Michelle, Jaiden, Levi (and a precious little girl who will thank you one day!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Both Hands Project

Both Hands- One for the Widow, the other for an Orphan.

What is it?
In a sentence- raise sponsorships to serve a Widow for a day VIA cleaning up and fixing her house, and 100% of the sponsorships go directly toward rescuing an Orphan, in this case our precious Eden Grace.

Check out this link for more information. Send us a note if you'd like to know more and be added to the facebook event to be kept up to date.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy (belated) Birthday America!

We trust your fourth was as enjoyable as ours was. Although we didn't get to spend it quite as we'd hoped, we were still FREE to do as we wished and for that we are grateful. The words 'thank you' just don't seem to cut it as it relates to our service members and all they've done down through the years for our country. Until you've spent time in another country, you don't truly understand how blessed we are.

Adoption update-
We're headed to downtown Atlanta today at 10 AM for an appointment with USCIS for biometrics (fingerprinting). We trust it will go smoothly and the hardest thing will be Atl traffic- can I get an "oh, me?!"

We're hoping and praying we'll be able to complete our Psych eval by this time next week, the Psychologist has been out on vacation for the last few weeks. This, coupled with our emergency trip to PA for Michelle's ill grandmother(and her subsequent passing), delayed the eval by a few weeks.

Now for something we're really excited about- A Both Hands Project. We've been approved to raise the final $14,000-16,000 that we need through a project in which a team of people (yes, you're included on the team- we need you) will descend on a widow's house on Saturday, Aug 11 to help repair, clean, weed, landscape, paint, pressure wash, organize and so on. The neat part is this- each team member sends a sponsorship letter to their friends and family (letter, envelope & stamps provided). ALL 100% of funds that come in go towards an orphan- in this case our adoption. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! We're fulfilling both parts of the command found in James 1:27- "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction..." A Both hands project- pray with us about this, won't you?

We'll be sharing more information here as we have opportunity.

Please keep us in prayer.

The Walterhouses

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Car wash update...

God is good. Grand total for the car wash (drumroll please...) $1,060!!! Now pray the psych eval can happen without a hitch this week! Many thanks to all who donated, brought their cars, washed and dried cars, made and held signs, loaned canopies and for those that prayed!

When God tells you to do something (in our case- adopt) do it- He'll honor and bless your obedience and faith.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Psychological Car Wash

Like the title? Read on...

God has been so good to our family! We are now only a few weeks away from final approval from USCIS- the last part of US approval for our adoption. Meanwhile we have 2 steps to complete and then we can send off the International Dossier paperwork (providing the necessary funds are readily available.)

  1. Psychological Evaluation for Jonathan & Michelle (let the funny comments begin) This will only cost us $800, much less than the $2000 and $3000 we were originally quoted- Praise the Lord! This is being done for us by a lady in NYC who is an adoptive parent herself. She understands the financial burden and desires to help as much as possible, in addition to the cheaper rate, she granted another discount for our special needs adoption.
  2. Federal fingerprinting- this should take place in early July. (This was paid for already when we submitted the USCIS paperwork).

In an attempt to raise the $800 needed for the evaluation, we're hosting a car wash fundraiser tomorrow, June 16th here in Chattanooga. Because our Psychologist is going out of town for two weeks the end of the month, we need to have the money to her ASAP so we can complete the Eval quickly.

Please pray BOLDLY with us that God will provide this amount by Sunday so we can complete the Eval this week. If we can average $10 a car and get 80 cars in the 5 hour event, this can happen easily!

We've also been approved to receive funds through tax-deductible donations! You can go to Lifesong for Orphans donation page to find out how. Please include the following either on the "Purpose" field when donating online or on the memo line if using check VIA mail: "Walterhouse #2944 Adoption"

If you can come help, help; if you can bring a dirty car, bring a dirty car; if you can give, give; and no matter what you do, pray.

From the bottom of our hearts- THANK YOU! Our prayer is that one day in 2012 our beautiful princess will be in our arms and she'll sign to you: THANK YOU for giving me a forever family!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adoption Seminar

Just wanted to share a quick update for those interested. If you aren't interested- pretend, it makes us feel better.

I joke, but in all seriousness the road of adoption can sometimes seem lonely- yeah, your family and friends "have your back" and support you through prayer and encouraging words and even financially when they can, but other than that it can get a little quiet and dark sometime. Thoughts like: is this ever going to happen, what were we thinking, why hasn't this piece of paper been approved yet, (and many more) come to mind. THEN, something encouraging happens...

Saturday the 19th we attended an Adoption Seminar in Knoxville TN VIA an invite from some friends who are also adopting. To describe it in one word....(if you know me, that's impossible so here's a bunch of words- I don't know how many though because I haven't finished typing...and if you're name is Robert Long...Love you bro... you might count each word and then let me know how many it ended up being...) I digress... The Seminar was fabulous, we were able to network with several other families who are adopting and meet representatives from several other organizations as well. We came away with a renewed sense of hope and encouragement. Here's a few thoughts to summarize the day-

"Adoption is not a secondary plan, it's a different plan."

The big 'AHA' moment of the day was this- Adoption opens the door of Spiritual warfare like no other. The reality is Orphans (especially in third-world countries) are at a severe disadvantage, the statistics are staggering of the number of orphans that will likely end up hooked on drugs, involved with sex-trafficking, prostitution etc. Why wouldn't the enemy put up a fight for the life of our precious princess and the other 147 million Orphans?! We are overwhelmed at the thought of how many children will one day face death without any hope or peace. Lord, please help us as YOUR children to do something. What will YOU do?

"We are ALL called to Orphan Care (support an Orphan/Orphanage- James 1:27), the question is: Will you be one to take the extra step to give a homeless child a forever home?"

Many other ideas came through the people that we met and heard present there, we'll be sharing more info as time goes on. For now, here's a few things we are grateful for:

  • Completed, Certified Home Study is in the Mail! (Praying it arrives in the next few days)
  • Many have already purchased a T-Shirt (or two or three) to help promote Adoption in general and thereby donated some money directly towards our adoption. THANK YOU! If you haven't bought one yet, it's not too late. Please see the link on the right side of this page.
How you can help us directly:
  • Pray for: I800A ($750 needed to process upon receipt of Certified Home Study), Meeting with Lifesong for Orphans representative, and success of future fundraisers.
  • Donate (Please pray our tax deductible account will be set up quickly, 100% of every dollar will go directly towards the cost of our adoption, no administrative costs.)
  • That this adoption will be complete by the end of this year.
Grateful for each of you,
The Walterhouse Family

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Shirt" and Sweet

Here's the deal... We posted a link to our FB accounts at 6:30 PM on Mother's Day to encourage our friends and family to buy an Adoption friendly T-shirt and support our adoption in the process. Thanks to several quick responders who ordered 6 shirts total, we've already raised $45! That's insanely cool.

For any white or gray shirt you purchase, we'll receive $8.99/adult shirt and $5.99/youth shirt. For any black or brown shirt, we'll receive $7.49/adult and $4.99/youth. At an average of $6.87 per purchase going DIRECTLY towards our adoption fees (funds sent directly to our adoption agency), we only need 75 shirts purchased for the next stage in the adoption paperwork. We're well on the way there with 6 shirts having been purchased already. Come on, you can never have enough T-shirts and to think that when you wear it, you've got the awesome feeling of having helped a precious little girl come home to her forever family. We don't need you to do it, SHE DOES.

Go to Adoption Bug RIGHT NOW and buy a shirt...or two. Also, share this with your friends and family. It'd be awesome if we could even hit 100 shirts by Friday, May 18th.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Wow!  Its hard to believe that another Mother's Day is almost here and we still don't have our Princess home with us!  It really hit home this more as I attended our church's Mother/Daughter Banquet with a friend's daughter since her mom was unable to go.  

I was honored to take her and we had a fabulous time together but I really longed to have our baby girl go with me!  Praying that next year it will be a reality!

This whole process seems to be taking forever, fortunately though, we should be 1 step closer by this Monday!  PRAISE THE LORD!!  We should FINALLY have an Official Copy of our Homestudy in our hands!!  Once we have it in our possession, we will be able to send off our I-800a application, along with a few other items & a $720 application fee.  We are praying that the processing time for this won't take too long but we know it is all in God's timing!!

Thank you so much for all those who have lifted us and our little princess up in your prayers!  God continues to work out the details for each step of this process.  

We asked for prayer on Monday about our scheduled meeting with Keith from LifeSong on Tuesday but unfortunately it had to be postponed due to a last minute change of plans on his part.  We are hopefully going to be able to reschedule for this week.

As for Fundraising Ideas, BluSquez Photo is still offering us 50% of each booking they get from us during the month of May.  Read more about this great opportunity here.  

We are also excited to announce that has added us as one of their Fundraising Families!  This is an awesome opportunity to help us financially while receiving a wonderful product that will help spread awareness about adoption.  Please help us continue to raise funds to bring our little princess home!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekly Update

As I sit here and type, I cannot be anything but grateful for the plans the Lord has for our family!!  This process might be taking more time than WE expected but it is definitely NOT taking our Lord by surprise.

In the last week alone, He has answered several of the requests we asked you to pray about and for that we are so thankful!  Please continue to pray for this whole process as it continues!

*The Homestudy Report is almost finished - PRAISE THE LORD!  I believe this has been the longest and most grueling 9 months of my life and I'm not even carrying Eden in my belly.  

*Fundraising Ideas - the morning after I posted this blog last week, I received a text from a very dear friend who wanted to share a local fundraising opportunity with us.  You can read more about that opportunity here.  Please share this with your family & friends in the Chattanooga area!  We will also be unveiling another opportunity later this week!

*Meeting with Keith from Lifesong is still on for tomorrow at 12 Noon EST (continued prayers appreciated)

and last but not least, I had asked prayer for some friends of ours who were traveling to China to get their daughter.
*Addie Mei has now joined her Forever Family!  Check out their adoption journey here.  Be sure to have some kleenex available ;)

We will be sure to update about tomorrow's meeting as soon as we are able!

Thank you for joining us on this journey to bring Eden home to her Forever Family!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sponsored Family of the Month ;)

We are super excited to share this awesome opportunity we have been given by BluSquez Photo!

Here is a short note from them:

My husband (Shane) and I (Melodie) are wedding and portraiture photographers based in Chattanooga TN.   We are starting a fantastic new program through our company, BluSquez Photo, designed to help raise funds for families in the midst of expensive adoption processes.  

Here's how it works...
Each month, we choose a family to sponsor. The family submits adoption process verification, their adoption story and a family photo along with links to their adoption blog or website.    We share this information with our fans, and give the family a special code-word for them to share with their friends and family.   When a session is booked during their sponsored month, and the special code word is used, HALF of the session cost goes towards the hefty fees that are needed to bring their child home.
The code (12567MJW) is valid for ANY type of portraiture session including:  family, baby, senior photos, couples, individuals, maternity and even bridals!  It can also be used for session gift certificates, which are valid for a year after purchase!  Session gift certificates are often used for holiday, mothers day and birthday gifts!  Booking a session during the sponsored month does not mean that it has to be used during that month, just purchased during that month.
This is a great opportunity for friends of the sponsored family to have updated photos, while helping to fulfill their family's dreams.  
We shoot on location, and our photology incorporates creative staging with a comfortable atmosphere for stunning and true photos.  

We are so excited to have the Walterhouses as our first sponsored family! Our hope is that in some small way, we are able to help bring families together sooner!

Thank you so much Melodie & Shane for allowing us to be your first Sponsored Family!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Tender Heart

Good morning friends!!

Thank you so much for your support & love during this time of waiting!  Your texts, calls and emails have been such an encouragement to my heart!

I wanted to share a sweet conversation we had last night - 
As we were on our way home from church, we were talking with our boys about bedtime and what they needed to do when we arrived home.  After hearing two "Yes Ma'ams", there were a few moments of silence before Jaiden spoke up.  He proceeded with the next question that brought both Jonathan & I to tears.  
"Mommy, does sister have to sleep on the floor?  I know she has the bear we made her.  We should have sent my old bed to her so she had a place to sleep."
Thank you Lord for giving them compassionate hearts for others!  I am SO thankful for our boys and their tender hearts and that their daddy is an awesome example of a compassionate heart!

Thank you Lord for pricking me heart and reminding me that life isnt all about me and what I want!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blog Hiatus

I know... its been quite some time since our last post :/  And thats because we haven't had anything to report.  We have had a bit of a rough time with our Homestudy Agency... there have been a few staff changes and some miscommunications between them and our Adoption Agency.  This has unfortunately caused a rather long delay in receiving our homestudy report.  

Nevertheless, the Lord has continued to bless us during this time of WAITING!  I am so thankful that He is in control and His timing is perfect!  If it wasn't for His promises, I would be in really bad shape right now. I am really missing that sweet lil girl God has brought into our family but thankful that one day SOON we will be on our way to pick her up and bring her home to her FOREVER FAMILY!!

We have been asked by several people for specifics to pray for, so here there are:

*Homestudy report finished ASAP
*Dossier prep & approval
*Fundraising ideas
*Grant approval
*Meeting with Keith from Lifesong for Orphans (5/8)
*Completion of Adoption by December 31, 2012!!

Thank you Pastor for reminding me to pray BOLDLY!

Please also join me in prayer for some friends of ours who are traveling to China right now to pick up their little girl!  We are so excited for them!