Scrap to Treasure: An Adoption Story

In today's society, there are so many things that get scrapped or thrown away.  I drove past a metal scrap company the other day and was simply amazed at all the piles of thrown out pieces and rubble. BUT I love how God can redeem what we thought was scrap or unusable.

If you have come to this blog post due to our bunting sneak peek's on social media, you may have figured out after the first few lines, that not only am I taking our Two Little Fish scrap and turning them from scrap to treasure, but I am talking about so much more.

We are releasing our scrap bunting today, in three different varieties and if you know about the mission over at Two Little Fish, you may know that we give 100% of our proceeds away to help Put Poverty to Bed and support various organizations and individuals that focus on reducing local and global poverty. You also have probably noticed by our donation of mattresses to the AIDS orphans in South Africa, that we have a heart for orphans.....and this is where the story gets interesting.  Keep reading, I don't want to miss this announcement.

If you are not familiar with my personal story, I was divorced with two small kids and I married a widower who had four children in 2011.  So now, I am a mother of SIX kids age 7,8,8,11,13, and 16. There were so many things that God whispered to me while leading me to Steve, marrying a widower was one of them.  I felt at the time I met Steve that God had also impressed on my heart that I was not done having children.  We were not quite sure what God was going to do with this as Steve and his late wife had decided they were done having kids.  We trusted God to lead us and trusted him that if he wanted to expand our family, he would lead us in that direction.

Blending a family of eight after death and divorce, as you can imagine, was not seamless.  There were many emotions and much counseling that needed to occur before we were healthy enough as a blended family to even begin to think about what expansion looked like....BUT he knitted our family together through the adoption of Christ and HIS family, our hearts began to stir.

It was Christmas 2012 when we were driving all the kids down to grandma's house that it happened. Steve began to tell me about a dream he had about changing some kids diaper and immediately, I wasn't ok!  We had a few days to ourselves over our two year anniversary and we just began to pray.  It didn't even take Steve 4 hours until his spirit was settled with the idea of another baby....AND then I began to hyperventilate.  WHAT?!?!  7 kids..were we crazy?  But there was a peace that settled over us and we knew that God ordains life, if he wanted us to have another child, he would ordain that.

We went down the most predictable path we thought for our situation and we sought out a Dr. to attempt to have a biological child.  It then seemed like the first month, it worked, but sadly that excitement ended just a week later in what most would term as a chemical pregnancy.  We were saddened, but also excited at the same time, because we felt that it worked!  We continued to try for around six months until we decided to make sure all systems were a go at the Dr's office when hadn't yet ended up pregnant.  Our first test came back as a 0.  When we started this process, the Dr told us we would have a 95% chance of success and a natural pregnancy.

BUT GOD had already been preparing my heart.  As Steve and I were on the path of trying to have our own biological child, I had TWO separate friends tell me about stories of Embryo Adoption.  Friends that they knew had adopted embryo's and had them implanted.  They were not telling me these stories in regards to our situation, they were just sharing with me, but God intrigued me.  I began to read these women's blogs and after reading felt encouraged and curious.

It was then, at our second Dr's appointment and receiving the confirming result of 0, that instead of my spirit being crushed, I excitedly asked "What about Embryo Adoption?".  The Dr began to tell us how this process worked and gave us a referral for a fertility Dr.  I came home and began searching through all the information and found the Snowflake Agency.  The embryo's they have up for adoption are called snowflake babies :)

(Picture taken from Snowflakes Webpage)

Isn't he CUTE!!!!!  I felt peace and excitement regarding this, but Steve wasn't quite sure yet.  So we both began praying.  I felt led in a certain direction, but I didn't share with Steve as I wanted to be absolutely sure we both got the same message!  It was about 3 months later that he states from the kitchen "there it is".  "huh?"  I said, confused.  "Snowflake, she just said snowflake, I have been praying over the word snowflake." In a random TV program, God had affirmed this path in Steve.  Now, I of course, thought the TV program we were watching was silly...ha ha, was this really the confirmation?  It was the very next day that I was driving our two oldest to youth group in the beginning of November and as we passed a Subway restaurant sign, my eyes were drawn upward.  It said, "Grab your snowflake today".  I think I laughed out loud. I LOVE how when we are open to the ways of God and his direction, he WILL speak to you and lead you exactly where he wants you to be.

If you have not heard of Embryo Adoption yet, it is the process in which we adopt an Embryo (or two) that has been conceived through In Vitro Fertilization that is NOT our own DNA.  We then implant this adopted child into my womb and pray that it will implant.  There are MANY couples today that go down the road of IVF, but what many doctor's fail to mention or emphasize is that if you pull 15 eggs from the woman and fertilize them all, the eggs that fertilize successfully and begin growing and multiplying have been conceived and in my eyes, is a special God ordained life.  But what happens when the couple implants 6 of their 10 embryos and they end up with four kids?  They feel their family is complete and they should not have any more children, but they still have four embryos left that they have not implanted.  What do they do?  Do they SCRAP them and throw them away?  Many do. BUT, some choose to place their embryo's up for adoption and give them a chance at life.

So, why in the world am I telling you all this in regards to our bunting?  Well, God gave me the analogy that just as we have turned our TLF scrap into treasure as adorable bunting, he wants to take these Embryo's from "Scrap" into the LOVE of Adoption.  That sentence alone brings tears to my eyes.  This process for me has brought me so close to God in understanding his heart for adoption and for our family.

When I got the news that the medical intervention Steve and I sought to form our own biological child didn't work, I wasn't heart broken, as the point was never just to have Steve's baby.  The point was the opportunity to restore what had been broken about our past, the opportunity to enjoy this momentous occasion of pregnancy and childbirth with the man of my dreams and the idea that all six of our children would love this one child equally.  BUT GOD, had a better story.  What would that speak to all of our children if we were to implant an adopted child into my womb and love on it as our own.  How would their adoption into our blended family be affirmed?  Would they finally get the beauty that God ordains our family, NOT BLOODLINE?  Again, teary even typing this.  I believe THIS is the point.  Our fertility Dr actually asked us out of curiosity why Steve and I didn't just decide to do IVF as we could have that opportunity.  We responded with "Honestly, we just didn't feel led that way, we think God wants to show us the beauty of his adoption into the family of Christ and to minister to our children that it doesn't matter what your bloodline is.  As they watch this child grown in my belly and help us raise him/them, all eight of us will be loving someone perfectly that has no blood relation to any of us.  Just God's ordination to our family"

Our fertility Dr. then jumped up and said "Let's do this!  That is exactly why we do what we do...sign me up!"

So, we have started the process to adopt.  We will adopt two embryo's and implant them.  God will decide if we have 2 kids, 1 child or he will take them both to be with him.  Our chances of a pregnancy through Embryo Adoption of two embryos is about 50%, with a 15% chance of twins.  Just like any other adoption though, Embryo Adoption is not free nor is it cheap.  This is also how it ties in with our scrap bunting.

Many of you know that I do not take an income for my work with Two Little Fish.  That is just where God called me to serve and I love it.  Our family gets by.  Many times it is tight, but compared to the rest of the world, we have plenty and I want my children to see this and know that we are not always given everything we desire, but we always have what we need.  So, after LOTS of prayer, I felt led for my family to take the scraps from TLF and make them into bunting and for THIS PRODUCT ONLY, I will pull an income and use this income directly to fund our adoption.  Please also know that with every 10 buntings purchased we will still send a mattress to an AIDS orphan in South Africa.

So, the bunting ranges in price from $35 - $40 and comes in lengths from 4 feet up to 12 feet.  There are three kinds, Tied Scrap Bunting, Triangle Bunting, and Ribbon Bunting. All bunting is also made using fabric straight from the hands of village women in Ghana, Africa and can be special ordered in specific color combinations of your choosing.  The bunting also comes wrapped on an uber cute shiny gold card that could also be used for decoration.

 Medium Ribbon Bunting

Large Tied Scrap Bunting

Medium Triangle Bunting

If you feel led to support our adoption through donation and do not wish to receive a bunting, you can donate at the bottom of the blog page as well using the donate button.  Please know that your prayers and support are so very important to us.  We are also aware, that not everyone may agree with this choice, and that's ok.  We are confident that this is God' path for our lives, regardless of the outcome.  We are also so very happy about the idea of Embryo Adoption and feel God has already ordained the spirit on these special frozen babies, but we also know that not everyone will want to follow us on this journey and that is ok too.

I am SO SUPER excited to share this with you guys today AND to create this bunting out of our "leftovers".  Even if you do not purchase a bunting from Two Little Fish, I hope you hear from this story, that God leaves no leftovers...he has purpose for every fiber of your life.

Love you guys!



What's that Pastor sayin? That can't be true?

The last week has been a whirlwind.  We had a week full of joy and grief regarding two different events in our seems so unexpected when those two things collide.  BUT, that is the reality of our world.  We are constantly sitting in the middle of the unseen....the victories of Christ amidst a broken world.  

However, what I want to talk about today is the reality of truth and does it really exist?  Is what the Pastor says REALLY true? Our messages the last couple of weeks at our church, Northview Church, have been regarding our stuff....our money, our material possessions and who really owns that.  Did YOU work really hard at getting that promotion, or was it God's hand in making all the pieces fall together.  I simply love our church and the way they are so relevant to our culture today.  Here recently our church gave out $83,000 to our congregation and simply stated it was God's money and they wanted us, the congregation, to invest it wisely....knowing that GOD would return their investment to them.  REALLY.....Does that really work....when you hear of all this talk from "the church" do you believe that to be true?  Well, I want you to do two things....

1.  Check out this article written by the Indy Star and the last sermon series titled Trust Issues.


2.  Listen to our story.... 

So, if you missed it, Two Little Fish was recently awarded a $20,000 grant through CWAM!!!  I thought in order to truly express how amazing our recent grant money win was, I needed to tell the whole story, so here goes.  

We started Two Little Fish shortly after my husband and I got married.  He had just recently lost his former wife to breast cancer.  From that he had a life insurance settlement that he stated he wanted to tithe, which is giving 10% away to do God's work.  This then gave us a nice percentage to put forth towards our ministry.  However, when praying about what to do with this money that God had entrusted us to invest into his kingdom, we decided to do the following.  With the large amount of money we had to start this ministry, we gave 80% away , yes 80%.  50% went to help a family adopt a child, and 30% went straight to the women in Ghana at Global Mamas So this left us 20% of the original amount to begin this ministry.  As some of you may imagine, starting a ministry and business is expensive, so we quickly went through those start up funds, however, God had led us with the direction of our giving. So we continued to trust him.  There were major needs that continued to pop up and each time, God provided us with the right person for the of charge or supplied by someone else.  We were taken on as a pro bono client from an international law firm, we were blessed with graphic design, web design, video work, accounting, printing services...all free or at a very minimal cost.  

However, with the kids ALL going back to school for the first time all day....I had been spending every day downstairs in our "Two Little Fish office" or better known as the basement, trying to be all things to keep the ministry a float.  We reached a point where we were literally running set to set in order to meet our bills that come in each month.  Christmas vacation came and it was such a nice break as I was burnt out due to fulfilling SO many roles all on my own.  And this is where the amazing God ordained timing of HIS will comes in.  

We had $150 left in our bank account and each month our steady bills are around $150.  My assistant, Paige, came over to help me on Wednesday prior to the CWAM grant winners announcement party and my exact words to her were, "Paige, I really need you to pray about this grant money and what happens afterwards, I am afraid if we don't get any funds......I can't do this anymore"  It was a statement out of desperation, a statement of a woman desperate for BALANCE once again in her life.  I didn't mean I would let Two Little Fish fail, but it looked impossible if we did not receive any of this grant.

Thursday is the night of the big reveal with CWAM and we had been snowed in for three days!  It was the first day the kids had returned to school and we live an hour away from Indy, so we were going to have to leave the kids that night to make it to the awards ceremony.  It began snowing again and my assistant Paige is pregnant.  She decided that she just couldn't risk the drive and I agreed.  So, I was left with the choice of whether I still made the drive alone in the weather.  I will admit it, I really didn't want to go by myself.....who wants to go to a party and sit and talk to themselves! Ha.  So, after some prompting, we made the decision for my husband to come with me and leave the older kids at home to take care of the little ones and keep them on track with their homework.  And I am SO glad that we did!  One of my best friend's even got to stop by and visit with us as we now had an extra ticket to share.

Isn't she gorgeous!  She is an AMAZING make up artist in Indy should check her out...Beauty By Crystal

There were 2200 teams that competed NATIONALLY and Two Little Fish was chosen for a second place prize of $20,000.  I still am pretty speechless about this.  They announced the 10,000 winners and when TLF was not mentioned, I simply assumed we had received one of the $1,000 or $5,000 prizes like last spring.  They began to list the $20,000 winners and I whispered to Crystal, "These are the big dogs, like Habitat for Humanity and Kids Against Hunger".  So, I sat....all the butterflies had left and I was simply listening in support.  Then I heard them say Northview Church, but it still didn't sink in as our church entered around 10 teams.  Apparently they then said Two Little Fish and put up our web banner, but I honestly don't even remember hearing our name.....I just stared at our web banner up on the screen.  My husband then looks at me and says..."That's us", Kinda like....."wake up you dummy"!  I was in such shock and disbelief, that I thought maybe I had missed something...did they go back to the $5,000 prizes?  Did they really just announce us for $20,000?

And they had!!!!!  I am still sitting on the enormity of this.  Just the day before I had stated that I couldn't continue at this pace, that we were out of money.  And here I sat now, in the blessing of God, with FOUR TIMES the amount of money that we had ever operated on.  As I started feverishly sending texts and posting on Facebook, I got the next affirmation.  It was a simple statement from the mother of the adopted child our initial funds had gone to and it stated. "Congrats!! Double your initial investment....Right?"  And the awe of God and his blessing back to us began to sink in.  WE HAD GIVEN AWAY 80% OF OUR FUNDS, WE WERE OPERATING ON FUMES, and God stepped in and said, HOLD ON, LET ME GIVE THAT BACK TO YOU.  When we started, we had $20,000 and we gave $16,000 away.  God replenished what we gave away AND MORE.  In fact, the blessings are still rolling in.  That night the National Christian Foundation of Indiana gave additional funds out and we received another $1,000 in Grant money! 

The cycle of God' blessing didn't stop there......Remember the challenge I just mentioned that our church gave out by handing out $83,000 to our congregation to put to work in the kingdom of God.  A member of our Northview Greater Lafayette congregation was present this Sunday and received a $10 bill.  As she prayed, she just recently shared with me that she was led to put that money towards Two Little Fish and also have it "grow".  Her $10 turned into $2000 for our ministry!!!!!   WHAT?!?!

My hope is that by sharing our story with you, that you will BELIEVE that our Pastor's words regarding giving ARE TRUE, because they are scripturally based on the Word of God.

Malachi 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows"

And that's my husband...isn't he a doll face? :)

I am NOT amazing, I am NOT superwoman, BUT I am OBEDIENT.  YOU too ARE CAPABLE OF GREAT THINGS when you walk with God and trust where he leads you.  WE must take the steps to follow after him and trust that he will provide for us and lead us to safety.

Keep following and watching to see all the GREAT things Two Little Fish will do with this money in 2014!  You can find our e-store HERE.


** Please note, the title and commentary of "Is what that pastor says really true" is simply meant to draw you into the conversation, we are not expressing an opinion that what comes out of any and every pastor's mouth is the truth.  EVERYONE'S words must be checked against the TRUTH that is contained in the Holy Bible, as God's word is the only inherant TRUTH**