Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gifts of Purpose

We wanted to point out some of our gifts this year that are BRAND NEW to our Gifts of Purpose Catalog...
PADPT1Provide Post-Adoption Resources
Raising children from hard places isn't easy. Because Lifesong believes in supporting adoptive families in all stages, post-adoption training scholarships are available to equip adoptive & foster parents with the tools to help heal hurting children. $200 | $450

MENTORFund a Foster Care Mentorship Training
Many children & vulnerable adults affected by the foster care system want to know that they matter. The Forgotten Initiative Mentoring provides the opportunity for the Body of Christ to show children that they are loved & valued. $500

vohSponsor a Family at Village of Hope-Guatemala
Children were made to be in families. By providing Guatemalan house parents, vulnerable children can feel belonging & that there is someone investing in their life & future. Our children are provided food, home & a mother and father figure to pray with them, help them with their homework & mentor them as they grow. $42 | $500

ZAMEDU1Give Opportunity to Zambia's High School Students
Known as one of the best in the city, the Lifesong Zambia School strives for academic achievement. With the recently built high school, our students now have the unique opportunity to join the 5% of kids in their country that receive a high school education, giving them hope of a future free from the cycle of poverty. $48 | $782

GOP 300,000 matching gift-01Join Lifesong for Orphans in giving a Gift of Purpose. Until December 31st, a generous donor will MATCH each donation with a gift to Lifesong, up to $300,000. $75,857 remaining to reach the goal! Give a Gift. Bring Joy & Purpose to a Child in Need.
 Gift in Honor Card for email

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's NOT about us ~ through the eyes of an 8 year old!

Greetings ~
 I really had no idea HOW materialistic I was (I actually thought I really wasn't!) until Tariku entered my life.  When you live a life with less than the bare necessities it is AMAZING what you think about on a daily basis.  For Tariku his mind often wanders to how he can do for someone else, what he can share or give to make another person's day.  About 5 or 6 times a year he comes to me and says he has to go through his toys and give some away.  This past week was once again that time and so he did - 1 by 1 he went through toys and books and asked Teddy to go through his.  In the end they had a large bin, a trash bag and a box full of toys.  Typically we load them in the car and off to goodwill we go but being so close to the holiday I took to facebook to see if there was a place we could take them so Tariku could SEE the difference he was making.  Within minutes and thanks to the power of social media I was reminded of a most amazing event happening on Dec 7th called Help Portrait. (please take a moment and check out what this fantastic group is doing around the world)

Fast forward to Dec 7th - I had a wedding in the morning and as I was leaving Tariku reminded me mama today today is the day to deliver the toys to boys who may never have had any.  So just after noon as I returned from my wedding he and I loaded the expedition and off to Cross Point church in Nashville we went.  I wasn't really sure what we would see or if he would actually get to SEE the joy he spreads when he does what he does. But I did not need to worry - the doors opened and there were lots of kiddos having their pictures taken for the very first time!!  With the help of some wonderful elves we brought in Tariku and Teddy's toys and dropped them off at the foot of Santa.  IMMEDIATELY Tariku said look mama look they really like the toys look at them playing.  And in that moment I was reminded in this season it really is NOT ABOUT US.  It is rather about what we do to make someone's day, to feel valued, to feel important, and most importantly to feel loved - all which we so often take for granted.  So thank you Micah, GraceAnn, Jeb, Myrick and Jeremy for allowing Tariku to SEE the true reason for the season with his eyes.  He hasn't stopped talking about since we left!

Some photos from our time @ the Help Portrait event.
Jeb and GraceAnn take a look at the goodies 

A sweet boy already ready to check out the goodies

Tariku and Jeremy (aka Adler's dad from school!)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's Giving Tuesday ~

Greetings ~
YAHOOOOO - you have survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday and made it to Giving Tuesday!  I want to know who you give to - so I am going to randomly give away 2 copies of the book Orphan Justice by Johnny Carr.  All I want you to do is share with me who you are giving to on this fantastic day.

So here is how it will work ~
Leave me a comment on who you are giving to - 1 entry
Share my blog on facebook/twitter/instagram - 1 entry for each share (but you need to come back here and tell me you shared it!!)

Than tomorrow morning at 8am I will give away 2 copies of this most amazing book!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Going Mainstream ~

Greetings ~
If you follow me on facebook or twitter than you know last week I was in warm sunny florida at the annual association of bridal consultants conference. I ALWAYS look forward to the week of conference as a time to re-connect with industry pals, learn amazing new things, and come back inspired and ready for the next year. This year is no different EXCEPT I can truly say it was soooo much more than I ever expected.
 I have always been a public speaker, my first formal time on a stage speaking was in 3rd grade and I spoke to 1,500 adults in Hawaii about why my mom was the best shaklee mom. As I went onto high school and college I spoke and competed and became a nationally ranked speaker. In my professional life I have been asked to speak, submitted topics to speak, been paid to speak and created speaking opportunities. What all of these have in common is they were safe. I always knew the group WANTED to hear what I was saying. 
 This brings me to the last speaker on the last day of conference. His name is Simon T. Bailey  I have known Simon since my earliest days with the Walt Disney World Company when he was over new business development for the Disney Institute.  I have followed him and heard him speak time and time again.  In fact in one of my presentations I give away his book!  But this time his talk was different.  It was talking to a different part of me - as per usual he has the group (376ish of us) work through an exercise with what we will STOP doing, START doing and CONTINUE doing.  As he went around the room asking people what their stop and starts were I thought about my continue - imagine my surprise when he landed right in front of me with Courtney what will you continue to do?  I knew it was a moment not to be wasted and so in front of 376ish believers, non believers, atheists and everything in between - my answer was simple - I will continue to be a voice for the 147 million orphans worldwide.  As I went to hand him back the microphone he told me to keep it - he asked me what exactly my continue meant and there in a mainstream room I was able to share what my eyes and heart had been opened to over the last 5 years.
I share this story with you today because you never know when you will get the moment to share your story - so be ready - the lord continues to work in mysterious ways in my life but one thing I know for sure is that I need to seize my moment whenever it comes. And if you are so inclined check out Simon's books.  Great reads such as The Vuja de Moment and Release your brilliance.

Many thanks to my dear friend Lisa with Gabbi Grace Events for capturing this amazing moment on camera!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gifts of Purpose

Gifts of Purpose Catalog

The Christmas season is just around the corner! As you make and exchange Christmas lists, we invite you to rethink Christmas.

To give a gift that doesn't fit under the Christmas tree.

To give a gift that gives joy & purpose to a vulnerable child.

With Lifesong's 2013 Gifts of Purpose Catalog, you can do just that! The catalog is full of a variety of creative gifts that can match any calling or price range. Gifts that impact ONE child. A child like... 

GOP - Andrei
Andrei, an orphan graduate who is developing agriculture and business skills through Lifesong Farms-Ukraine (Give Employment) or
GOP - Isaac 
Isaac, who was brought home from Uganda into a permanent, loving family (Give Forever Families).

GOP 300,000 matching gift-01This year, join Lifesong for Orphans in giving a Gift of Purpose. Until December 31st, your gift will be MATCHED up to $300,000! A gift that will show Jesus, the reason of the season, to a child in need.

To give a Gift of Purpose, please visit
Gift in Honor Card for email

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ornaments 4 Orphans

Greetings ~
I hope that Nov is going oh so well for you.  It is so hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner and with that comes ALOT of Christmas trees.  I wanted to introduce you to an organization based around just that ornaments and Christmas trees!  I know I know what you are thinking how can an ornament and/or a Christmas tree make a difference in the life of an orphan?
Well let me introduce to you Ornaments 4 Orphans (an initiative of Pearl Ministries) - the concept is really pretty simple - Buy an Ornament. Bless a Child
Today there are 3.2 million ugandan children orphaned due to AIDS and you can make a difference all while decorating your own home for the holidays.  Proceeds from the sale go directly toward enriching the lives of vulnerable children and building their communities.

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Horizons for Children ~

Greetings ~
I promised you when I returned from Together for Adoption that I would share with you some of the amazing organizations I met.  We all know that not everyone is called to adopt and I totally and completely get that - but we are ALL called to help the widow and orphans and to defend the fatherless.  So here is my first resource

New Horizons for Children is a international orphan hosting ministry based out of Acworth GA.  To be honest when I first heard about Orphan Hosting I wasn't real sure about that idea in fact I wasn't real crazy about it but as I talked to the ladies I learned something that SHOCKED me - I had no idea that some of the orphanages in Eastern European countries actually "close" for the summer and these children have to go somewhere. Well with programs like this, the children are going to Christian God centered homes and experiencing life as a family.  Yes, some of them are adopted by their host families, some are adopted by friends of host families but most importantly they are learning about family love in a family setting.

The programs run  5-6 weeks in the summer
                             4 weeks around the Christmas holiday
                             5 weeks for the Chinese New Year holiday   

Children available are 
Healthy Children ages 8 - 16
Siblings groups of 2, 3 ,or more
Special needs children ages 4 and up
Some children who are not adoptable but could benefit from the program

Want more info on orphan hosting check out

If this is the ministry you are called to be sure to stop back here and share the experience with us.  I would love to hear all about it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mother Son Kickball Tournament - Oct 2013

Greetings Friends ~ We are so blessed at our elementary school every year they host a Father/Daughter Dance as well as a Mother/Son kickball tournament. Though usually in the Spring we were fortunate this year that it happened at the most BEAUTIFUL time of the year FALL!! So after school the moms scoop up their boys and we head to the back of the school for a pizza party and some rockin good music to get us warmed up! And than it is time to hit the fields!!! Boys against the mama's and a few awesome DUGOUT DAD's to be our rollers! It is truly a time I cherish with both my boys. Watching them with their friends and catching up with some of mine all while playing a spirited game of kickball! Without further adieu the photos from KICKBALL 2013!!
Huge congratulations to both the boys classes for once again beating their mamas! And way to go Tariku on your AWESOME homerun!!  
Thank you PTO for putting your heart and soul into our school each and every day so we can continue creating these most amazing memories with our boys!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mission Moments ~ Orphan Sunday

13-10 MM Email

Orphan Sunday. From many sources, one voice. On November 3rd, 2013, thousands of events will echo across America and around the globe, all sharing a single goal: that God's great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well. (from

One Day. One Voice. One Purpose. // Orphan Sunday

Does your family, small group or church have plans for Orphan Sunday? There are so many ways that we can honor orphans collectively as the Body of Christ on Orphan Sunday. Here are just a few:
  • Advent for Orphans Calendar -- see explanation below
  • Orphan's Table -- share a meal eaten by orphans around the world. Gather with family, small group or church for the meal, discussion and prayer.
  • Partnership Packages -- easy-to-follow Orphan Sunday event plan, enabling you to partner with an organization to create a simple event!
Other Resources -- videos, prayer guides, sermon notes, t-shirts & more!

To learn more about Orphan Sunday or find an event near you visit

Advent for Orphans Calendar

Advent Home Page Slide
This year, make Advent about more than just eating chocolate.

We are so excited to announce this year's Advent for Orphans Calendar! What is Advent for Orphans? It's a creative way to celebrate Advent with your family, small group, church, etc. while loving and providing for orphans around the world. It's especially great for families with kids!

Request your free Advent for Orphans Calendar today at


Impact of Advent for Orphans -- Read about the impact Advent for Orphans had on Blake & Christine's family last year. Read More

More Orphan Sunday Event Ideas -- Struggling to think of an event for Orphan Sunday? Read through examples of past Orphan Sunday events. Read More

I AM LOVED -- Watch Christian Alliance for Orphan's Official Orphan Sunday video!  Watch Video

Share Orphan Sunday -- Share the joy of Orphan Sunday with your friends by posting badge & banner on your blog or facebook page. Get badge & banner

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A look at Adoption Funds ~ Courtesy of Lifesong

church 100Adoption Funds. Helping the church financially support couples as they bring home children into their forever families through adoption.

MEETING THE NEEDS // Adoption Funds

win win win 100
We see Adoption Funds as a "Win-Win-Win" solution: the local church is actively involved on behalf of orphans, the financial roadblock for families is removed, the orphan child is adopted into a permanent Christian family...all with minimal administrative burden for the church.

Using the adoption matching grant and interest-free loan processes already established by Lifesong, churches can easily navigate through the details of adoption funding....all with no cost to the church.

Church Fund Children

ALWAYS WITH YOU // Adoption Fund Story

Cameron and Sarah experienced the love of their church family through their adoption journey. His Kids Our Homes Adoption Fund, at North County Christ the King Church have blessed this family and others as children are brought into forever families. Listen in on their journey...

mouse copySee how your church can benefit from establishing an Adoption Fund by visiting our website.

Read More

Bringing Churches Around Adoptive Families - Dave and Carrie, directors of His Kids - Our Homes (Lynden, WA) share how they have experienced the blessing of having a Lifesong Adoption Fund.  Watch Video

"God Worked to Bring Them Home" - Scott and Kathy bring two more children into their home through adoption with the help from TAMBA adoption fund. Read more

God's Revealing Love - Sam and Maria share how God continued to reveal His love for them and their 7 children, through their local church, North County Christ the King. Watch Video

Adoption Fund Testimonials - Hear what Adoption Fund partners have to say about their experience with Lifesong Adoption Funds.  Watch Video

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My thoughts post Together for Adoption Conference-

Greetings ~
I have just returned from a great weekend in Louisville, KY.  The conference was EVERYTHING and MORE.  I am in the process of processing all that I learned and heard and saw.  But I did have to stop by here and say just a few things.

* The orphan crisis is an overwhelming thought and I think often times we are frozen just by the sheer magnitude so over the next few days, weeks, months (whatever it takes) I hope to share with you ways you can make a difference and NO adoption is not the only way!!

* Thank you LORD for re-breaking my heart for what breaks yours

* I was blessed beyond measure to catch up with old friends and make some new ones and for that I am incredibly grateful.

* I want to leave you with one tangible thing that you can do TODAY - read this story and PRAY not only for Davion but for the family that is out there for him.  Pray for all the kiddos in the USA foster care system that they know they are not alone and were not abandoned by God. (Click the link below the photo)

* Want to know more about Together for Adoption? Click here

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Once you have seen you cannot stay quiet ~

Greetings ~
In just a few days I am headed to Louisville KY for the Together for Adoption conference.  4 years ago my eyes were opened to the ORPHAN crisis around the world - 3 years ago I saw the crisis with my own eyes in a way I will never forget - this summer I learned I was to speak for those who have no voice and so I will go this weekend and learn.  I will pray that the direction I am meant to act in becomes that much more understood.

Earlier this week I received an email from one of the founders of this conference with some prayer requests and so I am sharing them here in the hopes that you will add them to your prayer list

  • That our Father would grant safe travels to everyone joining us in Louisville.
  • That He would provide much grace so that each person will both receive and give timely encouragement.
  • That the ripple effect of this year's conference will be to the rich benefit of orphaned and vulnerable children all over the globe.
And finally I want you to know there is still time to join us ~ 

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Greetings ~
Since coming home with Teddy 2.5 years ago one of the hardest things I have struggled with was how to educate him.  I have scoured and read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on.  I have joined every facebook group I can find and I have badgered the 3 friends with deaf experience (I am probably lucky they are still talking to me!!)  But I made a promise to Teddy's birth mom that I was going to do everything I could to help him succeed in school.  At the end of last year we made the decision to remain in 1st grade for an additional year - truth be told I had made that decision at the start of last school year but alas it would not be until the end of the year when everyone would agree.

You see ASL (American Sign Language) and English are 2 VERY DIFFERENT languages and I just couldn't wrap my mind around how he was going to learn both while knowing his brain still thinks some in Amharic.  At school he works with his teacher, his interpreter, his deaf educator, and his OT.  We also work with an outside speech language pathologist and countless other professionals.  But in my mind we are ALWAYS way behind.  His expressive language skills are that of about a 3 year old while I know he knows so much more the language just is not there YET to see him share it.  So as I prepared for our IEP meeting last week I wondered what this year was gonna hold.  How would we proceed to get him where he needs to be.  And as is ALWAYS the case I should not have worried - you see GOD had it taken care of.  He had placed all of these amazing professionals in our lives and they were working to get him caught up.  And his teacher was so excited to tell us that on the state standard test that he had just taken for reading and comprehension - HE TESTED OUT OF INTERVENTION and at entry level 1st grade!!   

So this post is to thank every single person that has helped us get to this 1st milestone!  I know each and everyone of you were placed on this path with us for a very special reason and please know not a day goes by that I don't pray and thank God that he has placed you on this journey with us.  And to use the words of Meredith (his deaf educator) as she reminded me today - STOP looking at the big picture and ENJOY where he is today - because this my friends is a huge accomplishment.

Way to go sweet boy!  Keep on reading

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The CHAT with Priscilla ~

Greetings ~
On Monday night I had the very blessed opportunity to travel to the North Star studios here in Nashville with great friend and fellow adoptive mama Rebecca to see a taping of The CHAT with Priscilla.  Now I will admit I was not familiar with Priscilla Shirer prior to a facebook post from Gwen Oatsvall (co-founder of 147 Million Orphans) but you see her post well it had me at adoption. And I didn't  really had no idea what I was getting myself into but if Gwen and Kelly Putty (founder of Ordinary Hero) were to be the guests I KNEW it was gonna be an AMAZING not to be missed event.
And all I can say is that it did not disappoint!  Not one bit!!!

Both Gwen and Kelly shared their journey to and through adoption and were also joined by the most adorable Emily Chapman Richards (aka daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman) ~

I wanted to share a few photos from the evening but I really want to encourage you to watch the episode when it airs.  You see I know not everyone is called to adopt BUT everyone is called to care for the widows and orphans and these 3 ladies not only share their heart they shared concrete, viable ways you could make a difference.  And afterall is that not what we are ALL called to do!!  If you want more info on any of these ladies and their organizations I am gonna include the links after the photos so be sure to check them out!

Oh Yeah I almost forgot - the details on the show - Mothering the Motherless - A Discussion on Adoption - Airs Nov 5th Tuesdays and Thursdays 7pm ET | 6pm CT | Replay: 7pm MT | 6pm PT

Neck Tie Tuesday

Well Hello Again ~
We have now successfully completed day 2 of Spirit Week @ Lipscomb Elementary.  And I must say these photos really say it all!  The boys version of how mama wanted the photo taken followed by mama's version of the photo!
Boys will be boys!

Mama's compliant photo

So there you have it another day in the books and now we move on to Wednesday!  Which means the week is halfway complete!!