Friday, February 25, 2011

Sweet Homecomings!!

 We have had some new additions to our community this past weekend. I have to say we have a strong adoptive community in the greater Nashville area. We are blessed! This is always my favorite part of doing what I do. I meet these kids while they are still orphans as they sit waiting in their orphanages, and then I have the absolute JOY of seeing them finally come home in the arms of their forever family, to be orphaned NO MORE. There is just nothing like it!!You will recognize some of these faces if you followed my trip in December.

Two families and 5 new kiddos adopted from Ethiopia between the two families, were welcomed by crowds and cheers.  I love airport homecomings! They are just so exciting. I'm always a little nervous for the kids first arriving into America as the swarms of folks are standing ready, all geared up to shower them with lot's of kisses. I wouldn't blame them if they said "Who are all these crazy people?" and didn't want anything to do with anybody. I am ALWAYS so amazed at these kids who have just flown clear around the world for the first time in their life. They step off the plane to be faced with swarms of white faces whom they do not know, and yet they have more love shining off of them then you could ever imagine. Im sure that is not always the case but this day....these kids blew my socks off!! As you can see above, the first family to come in at 2:30 in the afternoon were the Green Family. Many stood ready to meet this beautiful sibling set of 3 that this family is adopting.

Lucy Lane, pictured below, was part of the festivities and actually unglued from her momma long enough to let Uncle Shane hold her :)
 So as everyone anxiously waited, we finally saw the first glimpse of them coming up the hallway. The oldest adopted child with her new sister. What beautiful sisters they are!!
 Here is the whole fam as they all arrived through the gate. Welcome home Green kiddos!!
 This was just the sweetest thing ever. Mamo, pictured below, has been home about two months. He lived in the same orphanage with these kids. He was adopted by Gina and her family, who traveled with us on our July trip last year and met him then. These kids saw his little cute face and they all lit up with delight and ran straight to him to give him big kisses. Mamo could not have been more excited to see them. He had been talking about them before they got there. These kids all live like brothers and sisters in the orphanage and it was the sweetest thing ever to see them united with their brother once more.

Mamo was busy filming it all while he was getting drowned in kisses :)

Then these kids were just the sweetest. Instead of getting all the kisses, they were giving them too.

Lot's of excited folks were ready to greet these adorable kids.
 Beautiful sisters!!
 Instant new friends!

Now fast forward to 11:30 pm and we are back at the airport waiting on the Flores family to come home with their two new little ones from Ethiopia. Some of you may remember the post about the Little Hero I did on them not too long ago. Their son is truly a hero. Check out that post if you haven't already. Amazing story!

You see their two children along with some friends waiting in the almost empty airport for any glimpse of their mom and dad and new siblings to arrive.

For such a late arrival, they still had quite the crowd.

And finally......here they come with their new son and baby daughter!! Home at last!!

Little Abenet doesn't seemed bothered by the crowd at all. He actually LOVES it, while momma is getting a hug from her girl she hasn't seen in over a week.

First hug from Grandma.....how sweet. He just LOVED her!

A hug for her little man she had been missing.

These brothers hugged like they had known each other their whole life. It was the sweetest thing ever!

He just loved everyone!

Are you kidding me? What beauty!!

Catching up on some overdue love makes the sweetest moments....

Watch out! Sister is on the loose!

Checking out her uncle's cool toy...

Another Grandma gets some first time love from her new grandson.....

Me and Amanda and baby Hannah.....

Look at these three siblings! They are gonna have some fun together.....

Loving on her new sissy :)

Rick and his two sons.....

And I have to end with what blows my mind about all these kids.....
I met all these kids in Ethiopia while sitting in an orphanage waiting to be chosen by a family....

Mamo, who I mentioned above was the friend of the Green kids, went from WAITING here.....
 To his FAMILY HERE.....

The Green Children were in the same orphanage as Mamo in Ethiopia and went from WAITING here.....

 To their FAMILY HERE....

And the Flores children I met in Ethiopia, went from WAITING here......


To a FAMILY HERE.......

Now you see why I'm so passionate about finding these waiting children homes. It literally changes their worlds. Bethy and Mahlet, TWO SISTERS (ages 9&11) I have been advocating for and met on two different OH trips, are STILL WAITING. If you haven't seen them yet and are praying about adopting older siblings, please email Kristi@OrdinaryHero.org and request the link and password.  Let's all step up the prayers for those two and pray them in a family for sure. THANK YOU!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten in Illinois!!

 We had a great weekend at the Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten Conference on Saturday in Carlock, IL!
 I want to give a big thank you to the Connecting Hearts team for having us and I must give a HUGE shout out, thank you to Rachel (pictured above on the left) for manning our OH booth for the day. She put together a beautiful booth for us......all the way down to painting the big OH banner pictured above. She is so talented.
 I will be coming to speak at Cornerstone Baptist in Morton, IL on April 9th. Super excited!! They passed out flyers for that.
 Our product was available.
 We featured some of the waiting children in order to spread the word that "they need a home."

 It was a great event. Thank you Rachel, and thank you Connecting Hearts for hosting OH at your event. And thank you to any of you Illinois folks who came out to this event to learn more and support orphan awareness.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

***Connecting Hearts Conference Today in IL****

We will be at the
 

TODAY 

in IL !!

February 19th, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
East White Oak Church
11922 E 2000 North Rd
Carlock, IL
Stop by the OH booth and say hi to Rachel. She is one of our OH volunteers who happens to have traveled with us to ET on our July trip and will be heading back with us again this coming July. She is an awesome Ordinary Hero! You will have the opportunity to find out more about OH in Illinois and view waiting children.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lots of Great Things Going On.....

First I must brag on the amazing kids who entered the T shirt contest. I have gotten some very sweet emails from some kids who didn't win, but wanted to tell me how much they enjoyed entering. I have also seen where a few kiddos who were entered in the contest have congratulated the winner.  These kids are just amazing!! Once we get our silicone bracelets printed (coming soon) I want to send all the contestants one to thank them for entering this contest and doing such a great job. So make sure I have your address if you entered.

I have lots to tell you about.....

Next I will give you a behind the scenes peek at our OH photo shoot yesterday. We are working hard to get this new cart and site ready to launch in order to benefit your adoption or mission trip. We hope to have it launched by the beginning of March.

We had the best time yesterday sporting the OH gear. I had some fabulous models and a wonderful photographer who is helping us with this project.  You can take a sneak peek of a few of the real shots on her site. Soooo fun! It is really going to be great and help you sell our stuff to raise money for your adoptions or mission trips :)

Here are some of our gorgeous models!!


















Thanks, Karen, for the awesome photo shoot!

Are you interested in signing up for our fundraiser??
We are offering this to adoptive families and those fundraising for missions through a church or nonprofit. When we launch our fund raiser in March, there will be an official page that you sign up on. In the meantime, if you would like to get us your info then we could go ahead and be verifying everything and then when you sign up in March, you will be ready to go and not have to wait on verification. What we need is your name, address, contact info and then the name address, contact info, and contact person of your adoption agency, or church, or nonprofit in which you are traveling with. When your friend or relative purchases an item through your link to benefit your fundraising, then you get 40% of the purchase price applied toward your acct. It is that simple! We send the check to your agency, church, or nonprofit with which you are signed up, to be credited to your account.

I also want to introduce, Karson, our new Fundraising Rep......

Welcome Karson to the OH team!! I am especially proud to have her because she is my sister :) She is giving of her time to make sure all of your questions are met concerning fundraising. She will help get you up and going with this. She has a true heart for the orphan and helping get their needs met. If you have any questions regarding this fundraiser or if you would like to send us your info to sign up, then email Karson@ordinaryhero.org


Would you consider giving toward this fundraising launch?
The goal? To help as many adoptive families and those fundraising for mission trips reach their goal, as we can. If Ordinary Heroes want to help a child in need, and Change The World For One, whether that be through adoption or missions, then we want to help! We are working hard to prepare for this launch. There is much product to purchase and design and a whole new cart system to set up. We are very excited about it! We hope that it will prove to be VERY beneficial to your adoption or mission. If you would like to give toward this project, which will prove to help hundreds of adoptive families and those traveling to serve the least of these on missions, then you may do so by CLICKING HERE, or visiting our DONATE page on our site.  We appreciate it VERY much as we try to count the cost to get this all up and running and be able to offer adoption grant matches to adoptive families.

Speaking of sisters......I want to introduce, Kristi, our new Waiting Children Inquiry Coordinator. 
My sister, Krisit, could not be more perfect for the task.
 She will be the one answering your emails concerning waiting children and sending you the password to view them. She is always on top of it and in the know, much better than me. She has cleaned up our waiting children list and she will be posting on this blog occasionally in order to advocate for specific waiting children who are in great need of adoption. So if you have a question about any of the waiting children or would like the password in order to view them, email Kristi@ordinaryhero.org . You can see below, as she hands a child in Ethiopia her package from her parents she had never met before, that she has a true heart for the orphan. Not to mention that she is an adoptive momma, herself, to little Lucy Lane, and Wes will arrive soon ;)

Speaking of sisters....again....we have a court date!!
Kasey, the third out of all of us, pictured on the far left, has reason to celebrate! She just received her 1st court date for her newest addition from Ethiopia, little Lincoln. She will be traveling to meet her soon-to-be son in Ethiopia in March!! There will be 4 Ethiopian cousins between us ;)

Now for some shout outs and announcements!!
First, The Shrock Family passed court. I put out a prayer request for them a few weeks ago. They had some paperwork issues and had failed court 3 times( I think).  Well....NOW THEY PASSED!!
You can hop over to their blog to see their brand new cutie additions. Congrats to the Shrock family!!

Second, Click over to Angela's blog and check it out. They are having an Adoption Auction to help benefit their adoption. Angela says...."We are  walking in faith and praying that the auction will be a huge success,  since finances are the biggest obstacle at this point. "  


Third, Check out Julie's blog. They have adopted one child from Ethiopia and one child from China. Julie says.....We left our hearts in Ethiopia and want to do more! So, this year, we're giving up our birthdays to build a water well." Check out what they are making possible through Charity Water. 


~ We will be at the Connecting Hearts Conference this weekend in IL !!

February 19th, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
East White Oak Church
11922 E 2000 North Rd
Carlock, IL
Stop by the OH booth and say hi to Rachel. She is one of our OH volunteers who happens to have traveled with us to ET on our July trip and will be heading back with us again this coming July. She is an awesome Ordinary Hero! You will have an opportunity to purchase product and find out more about OH in Illinois.

~ WANT TO RUN FOR OH? 
In the Chicago area? Meggan is heading up an OH marathon team to run in the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon. Interested in joining the OH team? Email me at Kelly@ordinaryhero.org if you want to run for OH. Money raised will benefit all the many ways that we help children in need. It could sponsor a child for school in Africa, it could help buy food and supplies for orphans, it could support an  orphanage in need. Wherever the need is met, your team picture will be placed to show what a difference a determined group of athletes can make in the lives of children in need :)
If you are not in the Chicago area but would like to raise funds and run for OH in your community just email us and let us know. We will send you OH running tanks made out of dri-fit for your team. Kelly@ordinaryhero.org

~ Online Auction Coming Soon!
While in Ethiopia in December I purchased some BEAUTIFUL authentic, handmade dresses, as well as a couple of necklaces, some handmade dolls, and a handcrafted chess set. I will have these available for auction soon. This will help with our fundraising launch and grant give aways.

~ Spring Benefit Dinner
This proved to be life changing for families who attended last year. April 7th you will hear some of their testimonies as well as see the heart of OH at this amazing benefit dinner. Tickets are $50 and include an awesome dinner. More info coming soon, but if you know you would like to attend and purchase a ticket or a table please email our event coordinator, Elizabeth@ordinaryhero.org. Can I say that I have the best event coordinator in the world? Yes! Elizabeth and her hubby adopted their son domestically. She sits on the board of OH. You will be blessed by this event.

Since I am showing off our OH crew I want to show you the people who run all the behind the scenes admin stuff. These are the people that often sit in the shadows but these folks are the reason OH exists. They keep this organization up and running and do such a fantastic job!

Let me start with Charlene. I call her my right arm :) She is who keeps me in line and helps me run OH. She handles all our money and contact lists, emails, etc. You name it, she does it. She is amazing! She and her husband have 4 children, one adopted through the foster care system. She also sits on the board of OH.

Next we have David. He sits on our board and runs all the 501c3 part of our organization. All that stuff that you need to be real smart to understand, he does it. I am very blessed to have him keep it all straight. He is the best at nonprofit business skills. He and his wife have three children.


We have some new faces to OH. These awesome ladies have volunteered to be administrative assistants, which prove to be HUGE helps to Charlene and Elizabeth. Thank you, Thank you, beautiful ladies!! You are truly a blessing to OH!
 Angel

Colleen


Melissa

So there you have it! All these folks are the reason OH exists and is able to press forward into all that God has for us. We have amazing volunteers that show up at all our events and outreaches to help and serve. We want you to know how grateful we are for each and every one of you who serve alongside OH. THANK YOU!!