May is kind of a big deal...

I don't know about you, but for me, May is kind of a big deal. Not only is it the month that I first became a mom {happy birthday to my sweet pea on May 8th!}, but it's also the time of year here in Minnesota where the neighbors emerge from their homes and we all join in celebration {meaning the kids ride bikes in the street and the adults visit/catch up} after successfully hibernating through yet another loooong winter {especially this year}. To me, May signifies "new life" in a sense.

Well, now May is an even bigger deal for me because I'm teaming up for the second year in a row with an amazing organization called The Sparrow Fund as part of their "Build The Nest" annual fundraiser. This organization essentially "brings new life" to both adoptive families and the children who are being welcomed in to the families God's designated for them. I got connected with The Sparrow Fund last spring after being contacted on Etsy by one of their founders, Kelly. What hooked me besides the fact that, without adoption, our {extended} family wouldn't be what it is today {did I mention I've got 7 adopted nieces & nephews!?}, was their "About Us" page on their website:

"One cannot adopt and stay the same. Adoption is a powerful force of change. It changes the child as well as the parents. The Sparrow Fund was founded because the change involved in adoption is a wonderful, life-altering experience. We desire to see others experience the joy of change that comes through adoption.

In the book of Luke, from the New Testament, we read, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7). In some places around the world, children in orphanages may be considered only as valuable as simple sparrows. But, God, because of His great love, has not forgotten any of them. Though the cause of the millions of orphans in the world may overwhelm us, God knows each one of those children and loves them dearly. Each one of us on the leadership team has a relationship with this God of the Bible. We believe that adoption was God’s idea. We were lost and orphaned, and God sent his son Jesus to provide a way for us to be adopted into His family. And, we desire to have a heart like His. We want to serve orphaned children by serving the families who are going to welcome them home. Our desire is that ONE MORE child will experience the love and belonging to a family and that there would be ONE LESS child living life with no hope."

*BAM!* There it was. And I was all in, wanting to help this organization in whatever way I could. The thought of being able to help others {even if in a very small way} be radically changed as parents, while also radically changing the life of a child was something I desperately wanted to be a part of. The words that kept ringing in my ears and heart from The Sparrow Fund's website were, "God has not forgotten any of them". Many of us think about the millions of orphans/children waiting to be adopted around the world and it's mind boggling. But what's even more mind boggling is that God knows each one of them and loves them beyond what you or I could ever imagine. HE created each one of them and they are HIS. And best of all, HE has a plan for their life! I can't help but think of two of my "newest" {adopted} nephews when I think about this:

Meet Elias Malik. How adorable is he? Ugh, I can barely stand it. My twin brother Aaron and his wife Katie welcomed Elias {born in Texas} home last summer and what a joy he has been! He's often "Mr. Serious", but boy oh boy, can this little man give snuggles that MELT your heart! His big sisters Matea {5 - adopted from Ethiopia} and Adlee {2 - biological} ADORE him, and watching the three of them together, you just can't help but smile. It's pretty great. Sweet Elias will be turning 1 on May 2nd...which is another reason why May is kind of a big deal!

Meet Tucker Qian. This sweet face calls for endless kisses {sorry, Ted, I'm not talking about yours - love ya, though!}!!! I can't wait to get my hands on this little one. My sister-in-law Therese and her husband Ted just brought Tucker home from China a couple of weeks ago. They've been working on getting Tucker settled in to his new surroundings, and it sounds like he's going to keep Therese and Ted on their toes! Tucker undoubtedly had no idea what an incredible family he was being welcomed in to. Therese and Ted have 4 biological children, Teddy is out of college and over teaching English in China, Reba is just about to finish up college, Grace is wrapping up her first year of college, and Hope {who has Down Syndrome} is enjoying her high school years as a sassy 16 year old. But God wasn't done adding to their family, even though many people thought so. Therese and Ted felt a real calling to adopt children with special needs...specifically from China. Tucker is their 3rd special needs adoption from China, with their 1st being Eli {11 - cleft palette} and 2nd being Millie {8 - hand/finger deformities}. On Tucker's paperwork from China, he was diagnosed as having Cerebral Palsy. Therese and Ted had been pursuing this adoption for quite some time {during which, Kelly from The Sparrow Fund was praying alongside us for a speedy process}, and when they were finally cleared to travel and saw Tucker {who is 3 1/2} in person, they were thrilled to see how typical he appeared. They were even more thrilled when they arrived home and had Tucker checked out by their pediatrician who confirmed that Tucker DID NOT have Cerebral Palsy and was a completely healthy/typical child. Praise God! 

Yep, May is kind of a big deal...and like I said, we've signed up again as one of the vendors who will donate 10% of our sales {and probably more} from Red Letter Ink for the month of May in an effort to "Build The Nest" {raise money to support families going through the adoption process}. We're so excited to see how God is going to use the funds raised for The Sparrow Fund to change families around the United States as they bring home their kids!

So hang on tight, because May is going to be a AWESOME! And we hope you'll be a part of it, whether that's through prayer or through purchasing some Red Letter Ink prints or stationery {for yourself or as gifts – think graduation gifts, new baby gifts, adoption gifts, birthday gifts, baptismal/child dedication gifts, wedding gifts...}. Keep an eye out for some great giveaways we've got coming up, too!




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