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Thursday, September 26, 2013

57,000 minutes

1 month, 1 week, 3 days. 5.71428571 weeks.  40 days. 960 hours. 57,000 minutes (approx.) Now matter how you break the time down, it's coming up soon! That's how long until Buttercup (baby #2) is due!
Yes I'm counting. Yes, I keep track. Yes I have a countdown app on my phone. Yes no matter what I do, I WILL be keeping track! I can't pretend not to.

We are excited. Holding things as loosely as possible, but there's no denying the excitement in our home! We talk about Buttercup a LOT!  She's in our prayers, our thoughts & plans! We are looking at our calendars and all plans are made keeping in mind she's going to be making her grand entrance in just over a month! We are making extended family plans for visits and holidays with a newborn in mind. It's exciting, and nerve wracking as we anticipate life with TWO little girls! Even Karis talks about her! Only once has she said she's not ready. Other than that, she already has her long list of how she's going to be "big sistah hewper" (big sister helper): give her a bottle, throw away diapers (she's getting practice with this already with the little girl I watch 4 days a week), rub her back, brush her hair (yes, Karis is CONVINCED that Buttercup is going to have LOTS of hair at birth), sing her lots of songs, and make sure everyone is quiet when baby sister is sleeping! It's seriously the most precious thing to hear her tell me in her best big sister voice all these sweet things. My heart is overflowing.

Baby clothes & blankets are being sorted, washed, & hung. Cloth diapers are being stripped & stuffed. Even though Buttercup is our second girl, our girls are/were born in different seasons, and even if it was similar times of the year...we now live in Kansas! Big weather difference! Bins of baby items are spread out and the nursery looks like a baby boutique exploded in it! It's so fun! I always knew we'd have girls, but I never realized I'd embrace pink, lace & frills as much as I'm loving it!!! :) Bows, frilly dresses & skirts...yup my girls have lots of those!!! :)

As we are filled with excitement and anticipation, someone else, very important in this process is making plans for after Buttercup is born. Birthmom. S is making plans for her and her daughter I. She's been looking for a job, a car, a new place to live closer to where she wants I to go to school, and a new place to begin their lives, have a fresh start as she says. So in the midst of our excitement we very much think of her and pray for her. As we are anticipating new life and family growth, she's anticipating loss. We will be carrying a baby home in our arms. Her arms will be empty when she leaves the hospital. My heart already aches for what she will be going through. Yes she's choosing an adoption plan (she's not "giving up" her baby) for her baby, but honestly, keeping the baby is the easier decision. Choosing another family to raise a child you love and want the best for is the most selfless, difficult, heartbreaking decision anyone could make in this situation. She is a woman of honor in my book. My girls are going to grow up hearing the name of their birthmoms spoken in love.  S does not share much about what she's going through emotionally as she prepares for placing Buttercup in our family, but she does allow for us to pray for her, and has asked for prayer in finding a job, house & car. So I honor that request and daily pray for her, and pray for her heart. Please join us in praying for her. S is a very strong woman, who's already faced lots in her life, and I know she's strong enough, but I also know she needs Jesus. And I know Jesus loves her. Please pray that in these next 40 days and beyond that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus, or "Jesus with skin on" as I heard said once.

James 1:27  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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Adoption Matching grant!!!!

This is a HUGE announcement!!!!!! We are in Awe of God's blessings towards us!

Lifesong for Orphans has generously awarded us at $2500 matching grant! Now that's not $2500 that they're sending our agency immediately, but for every dollar given towards our adoption through Lifesong, they will match it dollar for dollar until they have donated the full $2500. That means we have the potential to receive $5000 towards our adoption!! How amazing is that? We would be honored if you would prayerfully consider joining with us to maximize the full potential of this matching grant! Any amount helps!!! All you have up do is give through our Lifesong account! (Info below) Our goal end date is October 30th!!

 Here's a letter from the Vice President of Lifesong on our behalf:

September 16, 2013

Dear church, family, and friends of Cheyenne and Alison Kroeker, 

God desires orphans of all nations to be adopted into Christ-honoring families so they can hear the Word of God and ultimately be adopted into God’s eternal family through faith in Jesus Christ. While God calls us to fulfill James 1:27 and “visit the fatherless” not all are called to adopt. Some are called to pray, some to give financially, some to go on mission trips, and some to adopt.
Lifesong for Orphans is a non-profit Christian ministry dedicated to help meet the needs of orphan children around the world, and to obey God’s call to “visit the fatherless...in their affliction” (James 1:27). With over 147 million orphans worldwide, Lifesong seeks to mobilize the Body of Christ to love and care for orphans. Lifesong serves families, churches and orphans through adoption funding. Additionally, Lifesong brings joy and purpose to orphans globally in seven countries and domestically through foster care initiatives. Please visit our website (www.lifesongfororphans.org) for more information.
Cheyenne and Alison have sensed God’s call to care for the fatherless and have joyfully stepped out in faith and obedience to adopt a child from the USA. As you may already know, adoption can cost $25,000-$35,000, and this financial burden prevents many godly families from adopting. Lifesong believes God has called this family to adoption and has committed an Adoption Matching Grant of $2,500 to help bring this child home.
Funds donated to Lifesong for Orphans will be given to help cover adoption expenses. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your gift is tax deductible. 100% of all funds raised will go directly to cover adoption costs--nothing will be taken out for Lifesong for Orphans administrative costs.
Will you invest financially in the life of this child? It will be an investment with eternal return. God bless you for laying your treasures up in Heaven.
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For His Glory,
Andy Lehman Vice President 
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To Give by Check
Please make checks payable to Lifesong for Orphans.
In the memo please note your gift preference with
Family Account Number and Family Name.
(ie: Preference #4013 Kroeker) 

Please mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all US administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the need...helping orphans. 


To Give Online
1. Go to www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number & Family Name Fields(#4013 Kroeker)
*Please note that PayPal will charge an administrative fee (2.9% + $.30 USD per transaction). Your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee.

Individual donations $250 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax- deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $250 will gladly be sent upon request.
Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.

If you have any questions about donations please contact us at info@lifesongfororphans.org.
“How blessed is he who considers the helpless...” Psalm 41:1











Good News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're at the sage where when the phone rings I hold my breath and check caller ID.  I never know who might call, or what news they might share. :)

This morning the phone rang. Caller ID read "LifeSong for Orphans".  This is the organization we had applied for a grant through, and I knew we were going to be hearing soon if we were going to be awarded one. I was nervously excited when I answered. Becky was on the other end and she was wanting to know how things were going & how our birthmom was doing. Then...she said she'd received the decision back the board had made about our file...

And the news is..........

We have been awarded a $2500 matching grant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now $2500 might not sound like much, but that's where the matching part comes in! For those unfamiliar to matching grants, this means that every dollar up to $2500 donated towards our adoption through our Lifesong account. Which in the end means $5000 towards our adoption costs!!!!!!!!!! and $5000 is HUGE!!!!!!! Especially when we've only $6000 left to raise!!!

How great is our GOD for providing!!!!!!!! We're blown away by Lifesong's generosity. We know there are so many well deserving families who need help funding their adoptions & we're humbled that we were chosen for this matching grant!

I'm going to put together all the info in a following blog post! In the mean time...PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

We'd love if you'd rejoice in God's provision with us above all else!!


Blessings,
Alison, Cheyenne & Karis

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shopping for a cause!!!

Another Fundraiser!!!! And this one is FUN!!!!

Don't you just love the products that Pampered Chef puts out??!! Has there been a piece (or a few!) that you've been eyeing or wishing for but you just haven't ordered yet? Well here's your chance!!! You can buy it and 10-15% goes towards of setting our adoption costs!! How awesome is that!!!

Here's all the info you need:

This is an online Pampered Chef Fundraiser to raise funds for the Kroeker family to help off-set the costs of adoption. So why not start your Christmas shopping early while helping with such a beautiful occasion! The fundraiser will close September 29th so be sure to get your order in before the end of the month!
Here's the magic link guys!!! www.pamperedchef.biz/mreinbold
You'll click SHOP ONLINE, enter Alison Kroeker in the host name spot!
~Pay online with credit/debit cards
~ANYONE in the US can order! So SHARE this link and Alison's host name for others looking for kitchen tools!
~If you live close to Alison or see her occasionally, choose "ship to host" to get the awesome shipping rate for parties!
~If you can't afford to purchase items, you can still donate without spending any money! Contact me to set up your own catalog/cooking show--for each party booked, Pampered Chef adds an additional $3 to the donate money!! How awesome is that!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Prayer Requests!

It's a nice cool evening here (finally!) here in Kansas. We enjoyed being outside today & finished up the chores here on our farm, making sure all the animals were fed and got attention. Karis has to make sure to spend enough time in each of our barns so the animals are happy! She's a farm girl through and through!

This afternoon we got a call from a sweet lady at Lifesong for Orphans (Lifesong offers adoption grants, loans and awesome support through adoption) about the grant application we mailed in 2 months ago! Becky was super friendly and wanted to know a bit more about us & our adoption. She also said that our application is up for review and we should find out if we get a grant in a few weeks! Please pray for favor on our file! Our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and He knows exactly how He's going to provide for our adoption fees and who He's going to use! We aren't worried at all! Working hard fundraising & writing grants yes, but not worried!!!!

Saturday we are spending the day with our birthmom S & her daughter I again! We're looking forward to it. We will be taking them to the State Fair & enjoy exploring and eating! Please pray for positive & relaxed conversation, cooler weather (this is Kansas after all...anything can happen!), and just an overall good day together. As we approach Baby's due date there are conversations about how hospital time will go, what the plan will be, and what expectations are on both sides. Please pray that God direct all our conversations and that S can communicate her wishes, we can ours, and we can all be comfortable with what's decided. Only 8 weeks to go!!! (that's 57 days y'all!!!!!!!)



Thank you all for walking along side us on this incredible journey, all the ups and downs included!!



Fundraising Update!!!!

We have the total in and a huge THANK YOU to all our Southern California friends who ate at TK last month!!! You've helped us raise $128.31!!! THANK YOU to TK Burgers for hosting!! We are very blessed to have such awesome friends who come along side us as we desire to grow our family through adoption!!!

A huge thank you to each one of you who've generously given towards our adoption costs!!! We are beyond blessed!!!!

Humbly,
Cheyenne, Alison, Karis & Baby Kroeker