Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

For yonder breaks,

A new and GLORIOUS morn!

May your Christmas be filled with joy, laughter and love.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Advent: In the Waiting

It is Christmas time. The stocking are hung by the chimney with care, with one little sock missing, waiting from afar.

Not missing from our hearts. Not missing from our minds. Not missing from our prayers.

But missing from our home. Missing from our arms.

It is difficult.

This season of waiting.

To know that NEXT Christmas will be different.

One more Fedell stocking.

Will it be a girl stocking or  boy stocking? It is like the world's longest ultrasound...waiting to find out. Waiting for a peak at our Little One.

There is also the longing in the wait. Is our baby safe? Is our baby warm and fed and loved? Every night that is our prayer. Keep our baby safe, protected and loved.

But there is hope in the waiting. An expectancy.

As this season of Advent is winding down and the birth of our Saviour approached, the joy increases with the impatient waiting and longing.

For while we wait, while we hope, there is GREAT joy! Joy in knowing that our arms will soon be filled, that our home will soon be open and that,regardless of our plans, God is in control.....

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

* We are still doing our Puzzle fundraiser to help bring our Little One home. If you would like to make a tax- deductible donation before the end of the year, please click HERE. We are so honored to have you partner with us in the journey.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday: Kids Need Families

 After giving thanks on Thursday followed by the material gluttony that is Black Friday, small business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it is time to detox from accumulating and focus in on my favorite aspect of the Christmas holiday season. Giving

Today is #givingtuesday and it is a time to give back to those in need, to make charitable contributions and to invest in the future of those around us....both here in the United States and those abroad.

When we decided to adopt, we initially looked into the Foster Care system. Due to some square footage restrictions and other such things,and very wise council of a foster care social worker, we had to put that idea on the back burner. Foster Care is something that is near to our heart, but it was not the next, best step for our family. Maybe it can be your next step? If you are local and would like to help out, click here.

When we moved forward with international adoption, the plight of the orphans laid heavy on our hearts. Most of the children are not placed in a home-like foster care systems. They are in large, sterile orphanages, usually with a large number of children to workers ratio.   Amy Eldrige, CEO of  Love Without Boundaries, wrote about the importance of international adoption here. It is worth reading, especially if you have questions about the validity of international adoptions.

"None of us should kid ourselves or try to make our own hearts feel better by saying that a nice orphanage nanny can take the place of a mom or dad. Would any of us want our own babies raised in an institution? Of course not. And if it’s not okay for our OWN children, why then is it okay for the kids currently living behind orphanage walls? We all know that the longer a child stays in an institution, the more they will suffer cognitive, physical, and emotional delays which can have lifelong implications." Amy Eldrige, CEO of Love Beyond Boundaries

Here is the bottom line. There are children that need families. We are a family that is going to make room. It is that simple.

 "Every child on this earth has a basic human right to be raised in a family, regardless of country. Children are NOT supposed to be raised in institutions. It’s really not rocket science. Kids need families." ~ Amy Eldrige

" Every time we fill a bed here{their home in Va Beach, VA}, that's one less orphan's bed that is full." David Daulton, adoptive father to 9 children, all with Downs Syndrome.

So, on this #GivingTuesday, I challenge you to partner with those who cannot speak for themselves. Every life is valuable. Every life is important. While the number of children that are orphaned may seem daunting, to be able to change one life, to give that one precious soul a family...that is something we can do. If you would like to help us on this journey, you can click HERE.

Whether you are interested in domestic, fostering or international adoption, I urge you to get involved. Foster Care centers are always in need of supplies and manpower. The cost of an international adoption is at least $30,000. Don't let the cost stop one family from bringing a child home. Show Hope, Love Beyond Boundaries, AdoptionBridge, Adopt a Lovestory, all of these organizations can offer support, information and help for all types of adoptions. 

So get involved, imagine what could happen?! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

In All Circumstances


What a year.

In this year, I have been reminded more than ever to give thanks in ALL circumstances.
The good and the bad.

It is so much easier said than done.
I have struggled at times to truly, honestly give thanks.
Personal and selfish desires are such strong emotions.

It is easy to give thanks when things are going well, when blessings seem to pour forth.
It is not easy when things are not going your way, or the way you planned.

So, today, I am challenged again.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances.

Because when the dust settles, the blessings are so abundant. So excessive.
Health, family, love, laughter. They are all there. They are all around us.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, I choose to give thanks in all my circumstances, today and every day forward.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Logged In

Well that was fast.

We are in.

We got our Log In Date today from China. They logged our paperwork and now we are able to start receiving referrals and our agency is going to start going through them looking for a match for our family.

We sent our Dossier on Friday.
We were logged in on Monday.

 There are still a few more steps that China will do with our dossier that includes translations and reviews, but we are eligible to start looking  for a child and be able to be matched.
We made it.

 One BIG piece of our story was completed today.

So now we are waiting and hoping and praying. Referrals can take anywhere from 3 months to 9 months.  Since we do not have a gender preference, it will probably be shorter for us, but nothing is exact in adoption...or life. Patience is a virtue, right?!?!

If you want to be apart of our adoption story and would consider buying a puzzle piece, we would be so grateful. From this point on, we will be saving and working and fundraising so that finances will not stop or hinder us from bringing our child home. One less orphan. One happy family.

Click HERE to go to our puzzle fundraiser page.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Piece of My Heart: Dossier to China

It is an exciting day for the Fedell family. Right now, a little pile of papers, which just happen to be anything and everything that you would want to know about us called our Dossier, is jetting it's way across the ocean. It's destination is the Peoples' Republic of China. Once that little bundle of papers make it's way to China, careful hands will delivery it right over to the CCCWA (China's Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) and then...we wait.  We wait to be logged into the adoption match system and we will wait to get a referral. A referral is a child's file and paperwork that is a match for us. It means ONE LESS child will be an orphan and we can bring our son or daughter home. It is an exciting step, this Dossier to China.
We have passed the State and Federal level approvals, and now we are onto China, the home of our baby.
We are getting so close!

To celebrate this great big step across the oceans we are launching a new fundraiser.
 The puzzle above is something that we created to be apart of our Little One's room.  We love that it shows our heart here in Michigan and also our heart over in China. For a while our family's heart is in two places, but soon we will all be together. It is a long distance love story that we are piecing together, day by day. And we want YOU to be apart of this story. The story of our new child coming home.  The story of love, hope and redemption.
Our next adoption payment is over $4,000 and then we start to tackle the cost of travel, lodging and orphanage donations. It is a seemingly impossible mountain to climb, but we are trusting and working and ready to move mountains.
We want you to join with us.

Here's how it works.

1. There are 252 pieces to this puzzle we created.

2. We are "selling" each puzzle piece. You can buy one for any amount.  It can be $10, $20 or $100. It doesn't matter to us. Anything helps. No amount is too small or too big. We are grateful and thankful for anything.  (If you're wondering, the total cost of adopting from China is approximately $35,000.  We are still trying to raise around $25,000)

3. For every donation we receive, we will write YOUR name on your puzzle piece. (For those that have donated before, we will write your name on your piece!)

4. Once every single puzzle piece has been "sold", we will put the puzzle together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame in their room. It will be a beautiful reminder of who had a "piece" of bringing them home, and all those that joined together with us and became apart of our own love story.

5. If you would like to buy a piece of our puzzle, please click HERE. There are buttons on the right side of the page for any size donation and every donation is tax deductible. If you do not want your name on a puzzle piece but would still like to donated, just let us know.

We are so grateful for your help in our journey of adoption. We love having people join with us and bring one more orphan home, one puzzle piece at a time!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Doss ay what?!: An Adoption Update

Miss Macy, holding our Dossier, ready to mail to our agency in Kentucky. Was I nervous letting her hold all those documents? Yes, yes I was. 

Well, we did it. We worked for 6 months compiling, notarizing and authenticating a whole plethora of documents that come together to form our dossier (pronounced Doss ee ay)

That blue folder held by that smiling lady is in Washington D.C, waiting for Federal approval and translation into Chinese. Once it is approved and completed, it will be mailed back to our agency. From that point, all those papers, all our pictures, all our personal, financial and pretty much anything you ever wanted about every aspect of our life documents will fly their little way to China.

Once it lands in the People's Republic of China it will be hand delivered to the  China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA)

 And then, we will wait for the approval from the Chinese government.

Once we are approved for a Chinese Special Needs adoption, we are on the list!!

We will be ready and approved to start receiving referrals. What is a referral? It is a child, with all their little documents, medical information, any known family information and usually a picture or two.

How long will we wait for our referral? They are estimating anywhere from 3 to 9 months. All of this is dependent on what our wants and needs are for our child.

For us, that means we are looking for a child that is younger than Macy. We do not have a gender preference and we are pretty open to the special needs. That area is hard to narrow down, as it depends on so many things. Will that keep us in the 3 month range or will that have us wait longer? We just do not know.

So for now, the fervor  of paper work is mostly behind us. We now will wait for the Federal government and the Chinese government.

We will wait and we will pray. We pray for the baby, for safety and peace and comfort in a orphanage filled with beds of babies. We pray that our funding will come in and that we will not have any delays because of finances.

The reality of adoption is that is it very expensive. There are many people involved who are paid to do their job. It cost money to file papers, to advocate for the orphans and communicate with the orphanage.

Our next payment is $4,000.

I am not sure how we will make that payment.

But we are trusting that this is what we are supposed to do. We have had checks come in that we did not expect, extra bonuses and so far, we have covered over $9,000 ourselves.

We will be doing a few fundraisers coming up, we have grant applications out and are awaiting response and we are praying. So much praying.

We have less than 20 days left on our Adoption Bridge account. This account goes directly to our adoption agency and 100% of it goes to help cover our adoption costs.

We would love for you to partner with us, and help us empty one little bed in an orphanage.
Need to make a charitable donation for tax purposes before the end of the year? Our agency is a non-profit, so it will be a tax write off. Own a business or know someone who does and needs that write off? Send them our way. We would be so grateful.

Click here if you would like to go to our Adoption Bridge page. We would love for you to share it on your social network. The more eyes that see it, the more the plight of orphans is brought to the forefront.

Regardless, we covet your prayers.

We are on our way. One step closer to China!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

10 Things I Love About You

Today we celebrate our ten year anniversary. Double digits. 10 whole years. That is a long time, but yet, it seems like yesterday. So many things have happened, changed, evolved in those 10 years. We are no longer the bright-eyed, newly graduated babies. (Seriously. We were such babies!) New to the work world, new to adult responsibilities, new to married life.

While I could expound about some much, reminisce for hours, I decided to find just 10 of my very favorite pictures of you.  They say a picture says a thousand words, so I will let these few little memories speak for themselves.

Our very first Christmas married. You let me put you in an very ugly Christmas sweater. And I loved you for it.

We were about to become parents. Babies having babies. Little did we know the joy, love and hard work that would follow.  Now, I would tell my younger, pregnant self to savors those last few moments of just us. They were short and fleeting. Just savor.

And than we became parents. No longer was it you and I. Now it was the three of us. We were a family.

 A new house and and new baby. Colin made our family a foursome.

And than there were three. Three children that we created together. Three little lives, three little loves.  Our very first little lady.

 But in-between the moving and the houses and the babies, there was still us. 
We were in it together.

Piles of babies on pillows. Cuddling and loving on their Daddy. You are just the very best Daddy to our children, a true example of how to act and live. Our children are so very lucky.
Every day something of this sort is happening. Cuddles and loving on Daddy. They may be bigger and heavier and wrestle harder...but they still love to be on the floor with you.

Ten years later, we are still happy, still thriving and still loving deeply. 
I still like you.
Even after I have lived with you for 10 years.

 And now, we are on a new adventure. A new Fedell to bring into the fold. A new little life to call our own.
I love that you want to adopt with me, that you want to take a beautiful little life that was left alone and bring them into our family.

I loved you than, I love you now and I will love you always.

Happy Anniversary, Ryan.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Pickin'

Last week, Michigan decided to show off. 

Sunny skies, cotton clouds and just a hint of coolness in the breeze, hinting of cooler weather to come.

It was a beautiful day to head to the apple orchard and pick ourselves a peck.

Unfortunately all of Detroit Metro had the same idea, so parking and donut/cider lines were insane.

But we were able to head to the corner of the orchard and have some space for ourselves.

Apple picking with my people.

It is a fall favorite.

Welcome, October.

I am so glad to see you again!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Oh, Three.

My girl is three today. So very big. So very sweet. So very funny.

Macy lights up our world with her sweet smile, her funny laugh and the never ending stories.

Sweet and sassy, she holds her own in a world of big brothers. Never short with a pose, an idea or a song, she keeps us on our toes.

We are so thankful that you came into this world, three years ago.

We will never be the same and we are so glad that you are ours.

We love you Macy Elizabeth. Thanks for letting us be your parents.

After all, it's Macy's World...she just lets us live here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Daddy: An Adoption Post by Ryan

* This post is written by my husband, Ryan. We will both be writing about our adoption in this space.


This word has the power to move me like no other word.  To laugh.  To cry. To worry.  To smile.  To protect. To hold. To encourage. To listen. To miss. To help.   


This is one of the most precious words in the world to me. 


This word can mean so many things.  In the middle of the night it means I’m scared.  At the playground it means come play.  In the kitchen it means I spilled juice all over the place and I’m not sure how to tell you.  In the living room it means chase me and tickle me.  On the soccer field it means did you see the play I just made.  At the beach it means do we really have to go now. 

But the word means so much more than that.


Will you protect me?  Will you love me?  Will you be there for me?  Will you help me?  Will you lead me?  Will you understand me? Will you still want me?


Every little boy and girl needs a daddy.  This is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about adoption and knew we had to do something about it. 


It’s a title for me but it’s not about me.  

Every child needs a daddy to protect them, to love them, to be there for them, to help them, to lead them, to understand them, to want them.  


This word has changed my life.  


 Adopting is one of the most exciting and overwhelming things we have done as a family.  If you’d like to help us, we would love your support.  To help us cover our adoption cost, click here.

I think this video does a great job of capturing the emotion, reality, and power of daddy.    

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1st and 3rd

And it is over. The first day of school. The first drop off, the first friend, the first lunch time, the first recess. The first day of first grade. The first day of third grade. It's in the books and it was successful.

This letting go thing is not easy. It is so much easier to cocoon those sweet boys in my home, in my arms, with my watchful eyes on them. What if Colin's teacher doesn't realize that he needs alone time? How does a 6 year old find some space in a school of 400?! Will Jack's teacher let him be creative or will she just move forward with the schedule? SO many "what ifs", so many questions that unsettle this momma's heart.

But, I am proud of these boys. Colin was brave and stoic as he walked through the hallways crowded with kids and made his way slowly to his classroom. He took in everything around him, trying to commit everything to memory, so he could repeat it on his own. On our way down the hallway, just as we reached his classroom door a new little boy that he was introduced to minutes before the bell rang turned around, grabbed his hand and told him that this was their classroom. He was going to be alright.  I watched Colin and the little boy walk hand in hand into the room. Mom didn't even need to walk him in.(Don't worry. I cried when I told Ryan that story...and every time I think about it)

Jack is the pro now. The big bad third grader. He put his arm around his "bff" who was feeling a bit nervous with the new teacher. He put his lunch in the basket and got all of his new school supplies out, ready to start.

I was anxious and nervous and teary about Colin being in a big new school, full day. I paced the house, checked the clock, looked at the schedule a million times. I gave myself pep talks. "It's fine. He's fine. Everything is fine."

And it was.

Colin WAS fine. He did great. He engaged with both his teacher and his music teacher. Jack was bummed that he could not check out new books from his new teachers yet. He has his reading placement test today and was excited/nervous.

So on this second day of school, I want to remember those first few nerves. Those first big steps. The oversized backpacks and the shuffling feet. Because all too soon, they will be moving out of elementary into a whole new world. Mom is just not ready for that...yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

We Are Ready

The air hung heavy and thick, the humidity so dense you could cut a knife through it. Sweat, earth and the sweet scent of tropical flowers scented the air while the ground left a perpetual covering of a deep red dust.  Laughter and shouts filled the air as groups of kids ran and played, begging to be picked up, thrown in the air, spun around. A dark, chubby little hand rested on my thigh, a bright smile with big dimples smiled back at me. His name was Moses and he was an orphan, living in one of the Watoto villages, a small grouping of building that held 8 orphans and one housemother.  Almost all of the occupants were affected by the AIDS crisis in Africa. Widowed, orphaned, left alone all due to the severe outbreak of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Moses’ bright eyes lit up when you talked to him, his smile wide and inviting. Next to him sat his house brother, another orphan. He did not smile back. His eyes lacked sparkle, as if staring into a deep abyss. He had missing fingers on one of his hand and he kept close to his house brother. Two boys, both orphaned through no fault of their own. Both having seen things that no child deserves to see.

It was then, in 2002, in Kampala, Uganda that my eyes were opened. I could not pretend I did not know. I had seen with my own eyes, felt with my own hands, hugged with my own arms. The plight of the orphans was not just a moving commercial for partnership. It was bright happy eyes and very, very sad eyes. It had touched my heart, grabbed my soul and never really lost it’s grip.

Fast-forward 13 years. It was August of 2015 and I was at the playground. It was a hot and sweaty evening and my children were tearing around. Somehow, Ryan and I started talking about kids, our kids and what our future was going to look like.

We both took a deep breath and shared our hearts.

After four pregnancies, three beautiful, healthy children and almost 9 years of marriage, we both separately had been praying for our next step.

On our own, individually, we both came to the exact same conclusion.


We were ready.

My heart had felt the call years ago, the tug and the pull always intensified with every adoption story that I heard. Ryan has his own journey towards adoption and maybe one day I will have him share it here.

But for now, we were united.

We wanted to add to our little family. We wanted to bring a child in. 

So, almost one year later we are FINALLY and HAPPILY able to announce.


We have our approved and sealed home study, our request to the United States Immigration for the approval to adopt sent and we are wrapping up the last of our dossier, which will be sent to China.

Many, many things have happened before we got to this place. I will share more of how we got here later.

But for now, celebrate with us! We are adopting a child from China. Pray for our little one. Pray for us!

Here are some quick facts so far.

1.     We are adopting a special needs child from China. We do not know if it will be a boy or a girl, and we do not care. We have no preference. Boys, however, wait much longer than girls. We love boys! We don’t want them to wait for a family, but if we are matched with a girl, there is a very excited sister waiting for her.

2.     Special needs?! What does that mean? We don’t know. It could mean anything from missing digits, some mental or physical delays to cleft lip and palate. Maybe less, maybe more. We just don’t know until we receive our referral.

3.      The cost of an international adoption to China is around $35,000. It is a daunting number that gets broken down into lots and lots of small (and a few very large) payments. A large part of the cost is traveling to and from China and the lodging.

4.     How are going to pay for it? Well, we have been saving and not taking vacations for the last year. We can also now start applying for grants. We are also hoping to do a few fundraisers as well. The Lord has been so faithful. Every time we had a payment due, we were able to cover it. So far, we have put in around $5,000.

5.     How can you help? Pray with us! Pray that we keep meeting our financial goals.  We are working with Nightlight Christian Adoptions, a non-profit agency, so all payment given to us are tax deductible! Own a business and need a tax write off? Consider donating to our adoption. We are on the site and all donations will go 100% to our adoption. You can read our profile here. Feel free to post and share it with your friends! Every little bit helps.


 Many thanks for reading this far and for celebrating with us as we welcome a new member into our family!