Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Precious. Adored. Loved.

I look forward to the day I can  show V every single blog post, comment and message throughout this journey. 
To show him just how loved and adored he truly is.
Due to his age we are racing against the clock to get him home and working hard to raise the funds needed to complete his adoption.
And I starting praying about a fundraiser that could also be a tangible gift to him.
A gift that would allow others to plant precious seeds
 To encourage his precious heart.
Strengthen his soul.
And from that prayer this beautiful idea was born.
So how does this fundraiser work?
1. There are cards numbered 1-100

Each number on the cards represents a $ amount.
You sponsor a # card.
 Example: #5 = $5 donation toward bringing V Home!
And this is where it gets so very special.
You can include a special message, quote or verse for V.
 I will translate and print your  message and place them on the back of your # card.
One day very soon, these precious cards will placed in V's hands.
And a boy who once had no hope, no future, no family.
Will begin to see just how
Precious, loved and adored he truly is.
To sponsor a card for V you can visit our families You Caring page here:
You can then pick your # card and place your corresponding donation and then in the comment section state your card # and leave your message, quote or verse you want to share with V!
Thank you so much for loving and investing in our boys life in such a powerful way! God Bless you sweet friends! 
Smith Family

Monday, August 11, 2014

Glorious Unfolding...

So many of you have asked how our journey to V began and so I wanted to share this beautiful glorious story from the beginning...

I have a few friends that hosted last year and I remember stalking their pages watching their beautiful stories unfold and tucked it in my heart that someday we too would be able to open own homes in such a way.

Then this past April, God resurfaced this calling through another precious friend of mine who was preparing to host this summer. I read her posts. God spoke. 

 I dismissed it.

Our house is too small.  Now is not a good time to add another kiddo to our clan.

Not right now God. Maybe later.

God persisted. Drawing me back in. Calling me upon the waters.

 I cried out HOW? How can we do this right now? We are two weeks away from closing on our house. What if something happens and we don't get this house? I just can't make a commitment like that and not be able to follow through with it. 

Not right now God. Maybe later.

God persisted. Drawing me back in. Calling me upon the waters.

For days I wrestled with this decision. 

I finally decided to mention it to Adam. I spent years "convincing" him of my crazy God ideas. Sometimes He follows but most of the time I get the "look" :-) 

And I just knew this time I would get the "look" and honestly it was one of the first times I wanted it. Because then I would have him validate what I was feeling and we would be off the hook to step out in this right now. 

So I presented the hosting video to my husband. And waited. Waited for that famous "look"

And I waited. 

But the "look" didn't come. 

He then turns to me and says " How do we sign up to do this?"

Whaaaat?! The one time I want you to say not right now. You say YES.

 Ah God seriously has a sense of humor my friends :-)

I start praying " Ok, God. I don't understand how this is suppose to work. Nothing makes sense right now. Nothing is in order for this work. Please onfirm this.

And 10 minutes later I am scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and see this quote...

" God does not call you based on your circumstances right now. He calls you based on where He knows you will be AFTER you obey Him"

And that was it. I knew it was TIME. Time to step out of the boat and start walking toward Him.

I  filled out the application and began searching through the photo listings of the children praying over which one God was calling our family too.

Our first choice was a sibling group. A girl and boy. But after talking with their  previous host family God made it clear those were not the children we were to host. And so we kept praying and looking...

Our initial choice was to host a girl. It just made sense considering our daughters are the older ones. And it just seemed like the more "comfortable" option.

But then...

 I seen V. My heart skipped a beat. I knew God was up to something.

I read his profile over and over again. And then showed my husband. His response was a " I am not sure about a teenage boy"

And then the fear crept in... A 15 year old boy living under the same roof as my 13 year old daughter for 5 weeks?!

We had fears and concerns as would any parents. We knew V was ours but in that moment our faith was colliding with our fears.

And we brought all of those fears before God and asked Him to help us trust Him and He began to remind us that He would be with us, to have courage even when doesn't make sense, and to not let the fear of the unknown keep us from stepping out and to trust Him with every detail of this journey.

And so we gave Him our YES again!

And  made the decision to place V on HOLD! Oh the joy that was to come from that decision!! :)

And over the next two months we watched God show up BIG time. We raised the funds needed to host him in TWO weeks. We closed on our house ( after waiting 13 years to own our first home) a MONTH before V arrived. And God provided us with a new van a WEEK before we picked him up!

Seriously yall. God was in EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL. of this journey.

 And little did we know THIS moment right here was only just the BEGINNING of this Glorious Unfolding...

" A boy who once had no hope, no future, no family. Now has ALL of that and more!"

V changed our lives in so many ways. From the moment I seen his precious face I knew God had sought this boy out and flew him across the world and placed him in my arms. He was my son. And I was his momma! We will forever be changed because of this incredible experience. And we just stand in awe of all the things God has done and continues to do in our lives as we take the steps to bring our boy home FOREVER.  And may God's glory continue to shine through this beautiful story that is still unfolding!

Throughout our journey, I have gotten so many messages asking about how YOU too can host a child. Oh what a BLESSING to be apart of not just V's life and story but also to now advocate for so many other orphans looking to be hosted and possibly find their forever families!


What is hosting?

Christian families (like you!) can invite an orphaned child from Latvia, Ukraine, and the Philippines to become a member of your family for a period of time.   We offer orphan hosting programs twice a year.  5-6 weeks in the summer (Late June – Early Aug.)  and 4-5 weeks over Christmas Holidays (Mid Dec. – Mid. Jan.).  Being included as a member of a family and receiving unconditional love gives an orphan HOPE for a better future. Learning they do have a Father, the same Father in heaven who loves us all, gives an orphan the promise they are never alone.

How much does it cost to host a child?

To host a child from Ukraine or Latvia, the actual cost of their travel and program expenses is $2950. (This covers the child's  airfare, passports, visa, insurance etc)

How do I find out more info about hosting??

NHFC website:

NHFC facebook page:


Go here for more details:

YES its scary. YES you will be walking on some DEEP waters.  But follow HIM into deep waters friends. I promise you He is there waiting to give you a life beyond anything you could ever imagine. He is faithful. So very FAITHFUL. Amen.



Monday, August 4, 2014

There is PAIN. But there is PEACE

3 days.

Since I seen my boy's precious face.

3 days.

Since I have spoken him.

3 days is a LONG time ya'll. Especially when for 5 weeks he was glued to my side. And now he is halfway across the world with no way to contact him

. Oh my heart :-(

I did finally hear from someone  that V is safe at camp. Which I am so happy about. But that also means that the Wifi is very bad if any. And it may be next month before I hear from my boy. :-(

My heart is aching.

I miss His voice. His laughter. His smile.

We all do.

So many tears I shed daily. Pleading with God to bring him back home soon.

Morgan wraps herself in his blanket and sleeps in his bed every night now. My poor girl. She is missing her best friend :-(

Me and Adam have not slept  much the past few days. I wake up every time I hear the ding on my phone.

Praying its a message from our boy.

Our hearts have been ripped out our of chests and now lives halfway across the world. And we are grieving.

Trying to find our new normal. While desperately missing the old one.

Life just isn't the same without our boy.

And we are doing everything we can to bring him back HOME forever.

I have immersed myself in the adoption paperwork and fundraising. Using my broken heart as the driving force to bring my boy HOME.

We have three planned this month so far.

1. Garage Sale- August 9th
2. 31 Bingo Night-TBT
3. Parents Night Out- August 23rd

We have also had numerous friends offer to host fundraisers for us!

Currently running online fundraisers

Chole and Isabel Jewelry :. ( My precious friend has offered to donate ALL commission and personally match money raised!)

If you have a fundraiser idea or would like to host a fundraiser for us PLEASE let me know!!

You can also donate online via our You Caring page:

Due to V's age we are having to moving very quickly with paperwork and raise the first half of the funds very quickly!

 And God is so FAITHFUL. He just continues to overwhelm us and  pour out His blessings upon our family.

He loves V more than we can ever imagine. And I have watched him pursue and love on my boy through us in such amazing and incredible ways.

There is PAIN.. But there is PEACE.

I know my God. I know His promises.And I have seen His faithfulness.

And because of that I am clinging to the promise that my boy WILL come HOME.


"God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tears. Laughter. Miracle.

"A family that never opens their heart up is never heartbroken. A family that never opens their home up will never miss them when they leave. A family that never embraces life's risks never fully lives."
The car ride to Charlotte was one of the quickest car rides of my life. Never before has that ride went by so quick.
I wanted time to stand still. I wasn't ready to let my boy go.
Making eye contact in the mirror. Seeing that precious face smile back at me. Oh my heart.

How can I ever let him go?

Arriving at the airport was so very hard.  :-(

Oh the bond he shares. With each of our children. He is their BROTHER. There is no denying that.

We got into the airport and V started chatting with some of his  buddies. And we chatted with some other host families.

We then checked in his luggage and waited.

And I just watched him. His smile, His laughter. His precious soul. Oh my boy. How momma loves you.

We then heard "5 minute warning"...

And I lost it. The tears. Oh the tears.

V comes running over and starts hugging us over and over and kept saying " No cry momma. No cry"

I told him that I loved him, that he was so very special to us and that we were going to miss him so much. That we were his family always and that momma was going to come for him. I was going to fight for him. And bring him home forever.

I then seen my boy that was trying to so very hard to be strong and wouldn't allow himself to cry,  Fight back tears. And I just hugged him tight. And told him it was all going to be ok.

They then called for him to get in line and he gets halfway and then turns around and comes running back to hug us one last time. And said " I love and  miss you family"

As I watched him walk away, I felt a piece of my heart go with him. There is no words to describe what that feels like. It was seriously the hardest thing I have had to do in my life. I wanted to run after him. But I couldn't. I had to let him go.

We then watch him walk through security  and he waves and smiles at us. And then he was gone.

Oh the tears. So many tears.

We had to stay at the airport until his flight took off. I just sat down and cried and started pleading with God to let me see my boy one more time. Just one more time.

I watched to see that orange shirt and black hat to come back around that corner. Pleading. Waiting.

Flight delayed. Praise you Jesus!

And then there he was! Looking for us. I jumped up and ran back to the banister. It was hard to be separated by practically a hallway and not be able to run to him! ;-( But he was smiling and waving.

 And then threw his arms up in the air and yelled " I love you my family!! " And we started blowing kisses back and forth. And he starts making hearts in the air. And saying " I love you momma" with his lips. Making all of us smile and laugh.

 Oh my sweet precious boy how momma loves you!

And then he was gone....

But it was just what my heart needed. V was not going to leave as long as he knew we were upset. He was going to bring laughter and joy to our hearts before he left. And that he did. Oh how I love him so.

I was ready to go...But God wasn't finished with this night ;-)

I began chatting with another host mom and she was asking what our next step was in this process. And I told her the first thing we need to do is file the form on the US side to keep him from aging out and that we needed to file in before he turns 16 which is the end of this month. And that we were just going to use all our savings to pay for it. Because I wanted it done. I couldn't risk not seeing my son again.

And she asks how much we need.  She then says oh I can take care of that. I will write you a check right now.

Ya'll. This momma hit that floor in the middle of the airport and just bawled like a baby! In that moment it wasn't about money.

It was my God showing up and whispering to my broken heart...

"V is coming back. I WILL bring your son HOME to you!"

So overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and goodness. V is so very much loved and my heart just swells with joy knowing that. A boy who once had no hope, no future, no family. Now has all of that and more.

Oh my goodness. God sure writes the BEST stories!! And this is only the beginning of this GLORIOUS UNFOLDING!! Amen.

If you would like to help support our journey of bringing V home forever you can do so here:

We are so very thankful for each and every one of you for your love, encouragement and support. I wish I could hug every one of you! From the bottom of our hearts thank you for loving on our family and our boy!!


Smith Family

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I choose to be grateful

"You have a decision to make. You can be angry for the time you missed or grateful for the time you had"

A hundred times I have watched this movie.

 Every single time God speaks a new message.

This was mine in this season. My heart hurts. God spoke.

Newborn smell. Middle of the night feedings. Cuddles.

First tooth. First steps. First Word.

Big hugs. Snuggles. Holding my hand.

When I look at my boy. My heart aches. I have missed so much of his life.

I wasn't there to rock him at night, to stare into his little eyes and have him wrap his little finger around mine.

God was there.

I wasn't there when he got his first tooth or took his first steps.

God was there.

I wasn't there to take care of him when he got his first boo boo.

God was there.

I didn't get to tuck him in a night and tell him how much I loved him.

God did.

As much as it breaks my heart to know that I have missed out on so much of my boys life. So much that I will never get back. Never know.

I am grateful that Jesus has ALWAYS been there. Always loving my boy FOR me.

Preparing his precious heart to receive me as his Momma someday.

And now...

I have been incredibly BLESSED to watch him love on my boy THROUGH me.

I get to be the one who...

watches him read God's word.

  rubs head

watches him ride his bike

learns about his interests.

gets his hugs.

I had a decision to make. Be angry for the time I have missed with my boy or be grateful for the time I do have with him.

And I am choosing to be GRATEFUL. So very grateful.

So many firsts yet to be experienced with him. So many hugs left to give. So many memories waiting to be made.

And I am grateful.

So very grateful. That this precious boy now calls me...


"A child born to another woman calls me Mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Where do we go from here...

So many of you have been following our hosting journey of V and have prayed, supported and encouraged us during this journey and words can not express how THANKFUL we are for each of you. This boy is in our home this summer because of YOU! And we are so grateful.

V has been apart of our family now for TWO weeks. He fits so well in our family. Its like he was always suppose to be here. I really can't imagine life without him here : (

We have had SO much fun these last two weeks ( I promise I will do a recap post soon full of pictures! ) laughing until our stomachs hurt, learning new things, late night translating chats, dealing with hard stuff, shedding tears, and lots of hugs.

I have never felt Gods presence in my life as much as I have the last two weeks. He IS  here. On this journey WITH us.


It is so incredible to watch God love someone so deeply through you. It takes my breath away.

I knew before I even met V, he was my SON and after I seen him coming down that escalator I seriously thought my heart would leap out my chest.

There was no denying it. God had sought out my boy, flew him across the ocean and placed him right in my arms. He was my boy and I was his momma!

And so a new journey has begun. The journey of bringing V home FOREVER. We don't want just 5 weeks out of the summer with our boy.

We want EVERY summer. EVERY fall. EVERY winter. EVERY spring. EVERY day. EVERY minute.

  We don't ever want to have to say goodbye again.

The journey to bring V home is a little different because of his age. V will turn 16 the end of August. Which means he will age out on the US side at that time.

Because of that we get to ask V if he wants our family to adopt and will do this sometime next week along with our adoption agency and a translator.

If he says YES we have to file a specific form to keep him from aging out. And this form will need to be filed two weeks before his birthday(which is the end of August)

So how can you pray for our family as we begin this new journey?

*Pray for V and his heart for the rest of our hosting experience and as he considers joining our family FOREVER.

*Pray for us, that God would continue to love our boy through us whatever it takes.

*Pray for the funds to file the form to keep V from aging out. It is $890 to file this form and it would be due around the 2nd week in August.

*Please pray for spiritual protection for our family. We can't storm the gates of hell for our boy and not expect a fight. The battle is REAL but the God of Angel Armies goes BEFORE us, BEHIND us and stands BESIDE us. He's got us covered!

There are MANY more steps we will take in this journey and these mark the beginning.

But it's TIME.

TIME to bring our boy home FOREVER!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

All of me...

I have went back and forth on whether to blog about our hosting experience. So many friends asking if I would so they could follow along.

And my biggest drawback was keeping up with it everyday. I do good to get photos and short summary on Facebook everyday.

And then today happened. And I felt God nudging me to share more in detail of this beautiful story. ALL of it.

It was one of the first tough days we have had in our hosting V. It wasn't a horrible day. Just a lot of uncomfortable stretching for us both.

Testing. Resistance. Withdraw.

That was pretty much the pattern with V today. He tested my limits. I stayed firm in my word. He resisted it and withdrew.

And I was getting mentally and physically  exhausted and I had to constantly ask God to put myself in his shoes...

What if I...

Was in a new country. Surrounded by people speaking a foreign language at me and around me all day. Leaving all my friends and freedoms. Learning what it means to live in a family. Feeling loved and accepted for the first time.


That's what my boy is feeling. He's struggling between clinging to all he's ever known and this embracing this NEW love. NEW hope. NEW acceptance. NEW life.

And the battle is raging inside my precious boys heart. And there are just no words to describe how much it breaks my heart to see him struggle.

I so desperately want to be his mom. To be there for him when he needs me. To comfort him when he's upset. To understand him when he speaks to me.

And I ran to the foot of the cross with that ache and desperation and cried out to God...

"I don't want you to make this easier. Its not suppose to be easy.  Just love my boy through me, whatever it takes."

And then my boy walks in and sees me crying..."Momma, no cry." And he sat down with me and gave me a hug."

We then spent the next  hour translating back and forth.

Every.Single. Word. completely orchestrated by God.

He told me he loved me and that he wanted me to be his mother because I was so good to him and the others. He said that he wanted to take English courses when he goes back to Ukraine so that we can talk together without translate.

He then made me dinner-fish and vegetables and made my vegetables into the shape of a heart.

Oh my sweet precious boy. I will fight for you. Always. I am not afraid of the dark hard places. We will go through them TOGETHER. You are my SON.And I am your MOTHER. I will storm the gates of hell for you. Because you are WORTH it. So very worth it.

I translated the lyrics to this song for him tonight and told him it was our families song to him. It was the first time I have seen tears in his eyes.