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Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The Results are In!!
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in our Barbecue Cook-Off. The turn out wasn't as great as we expected, but for those who did attend we are so grateful!!! For those of you who did not attend... your loss. The food was out of this world! I can't believe the variety of dishes we had. Everthing from Smoked Ribs to Lamb, Potato Salad to Snicker Salad and every type of pie imaginable.
I had some requests to post the results, so here goes.
In the Barbecue category: The winner of a $25 gift certificate to The Warthog BBQ was Stan Solmonson. Stan made Smoked Ribs that were incredible. Everyone just raved about them!
In the Salad category: The winner of another $25 gift certificate to The Warthog BBQ was Kersten Shaffer. Kersten created the most unusual dish, Snicker Salad. No this isn't snicker because it is funny, but Snicker as in the candy bar. It was like eating a carmel apple with a fork! Apples, Snicker Bars and a sweet creamy dressing... what more could you ask for?
In the Desert category: The winner of a dinner with a good friend was Danielle Lemieux. I had requested that Danielle make her famous Apple Crisp. I must have good taste, because she won! So she gets the best prize, dinner with me!
All in all the event was a success. Even if we didn't make thousands of dollars, we had great weather and we got to spend a fantastic afternoon with some wonderful people! Thank you all for your support.
We are inching closer to our financial goal, but I promise... no more fundraisers. You have all given so much as it is.
Blessings, Lisa
Thursday, August 18, 2005
A call to action!
Throughout this process we have received so much love and support from all of you. We often hear from people "We wish there was something more we could do to help". Well now there is something that everyone can do. Some of you may or may not know that there are those in political power in Russia that are looking for a moratorium on foreign adoptions. Most of those anti-adoption sentiments are against US families and come from ultra-conservative, anti-American voices. It is time to make our voices heard. We have learned from the ONE campaign that individuals can and do make a difference. I have posted a link to the American Foundation for Orphans Abroad. From their website you can find a letter that urges our politicians to take action to prevent any further delays in the international adoption process. They also have links directly to the sites where you can find the addresses, phone numbers, and emails of your senators and representatives. I know that we have asked a lot of all of you in this journey. So now we ask you once again for your help. Please time some time out of your busy schedule to fight for the rights of the orphans that don't have a voice, even in their own government. We ask that you use the letter on AFOA's website or even write one of your own and send it to your legislators. Some will tell you that it's better to write a letter or call than to email your thoughts. I personally think that contacting them any way possible is better than not at all. Remember that these people work for us and that we pay their salaries, it's time that we get something back in return. This is finally a chance for us to be proactive rather than sitting around and waiting for something 'bad' to happen. This issue affects the future of not only our son, but the other 700,000 orphans that languish in Russian orphanages everyday. It's time to take a stand and let our politicians know that this is not just about adoptive parents rights, but about human and children's rights. I know together that we can make a difference.
Our own prayer chain
I firmly believe that as a body of Christ we can move mountains. I have asked for your prayer support in the past, and aI am asking for it again. People ask us if we know when Alexander will come home. I say we have no clue. The response, "so you really don't know?" This is true, we really have no clue at all. We can't even give you an estimated time line. So here is what I am proposing. Please say a small prayer. Ask God for the Russian government to think of the children waiting to come home. that they might finish the process of giving agencies back their licenses. This is the first step in the process. Then I ask that you ask one other person to pray also. If 50 people read this and ask 1 other person that will be 100 people praying for these children. I know this sounds like one of those chain emails. "Forward this to 7 people and in 4 days you will get a check for 1 million dollars in the mail!" I assure you no million dollar check will show up in your mailbox. You will just be part of a small effort. You will ask God to help bring hundreds of children home.
This is one mother asking for help from other mothers, sisters, fathers, sons and everone else that might happen upon this. Take 2 seconds and post a comment. It is easy: click on the "comments" link at the bottom of the post. Type your comment, prayer, a bible verse or anything else in the "Leave your comment" box. You don't have to leave your name if you don't want. I plant to print out your prayers and tack them to a board I have at home. This will serve as a reminder that we are not alone in this process. As brothers and sisters in Christ we really can move mountains.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Happy Birthday Alexander!
We are sending all of our birthday love to our son. Even though he can't be with us on his birthday, we will be celebrating nonetheless. Please remember him in your prayers today. We hope against hope that things in Russia are resolved soon so we can bring our son home.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Barbecue Cook-off
This is an invitation to all of you in the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area!! On August 27th at 12:30 we will be hosting a Barbecue Cook-off and Bake-off. The event will be at St. Mark's Lutheran Church by The Narrows. So what excactly constitutes a Barbecue Cook-off? Well here is how it works.
You have 1 of 2 options...
Option #1 - Be a contestant. We are still seeking people to be our contestants. You don't have to be a world famous chef! Anyone can participate. As a contestant you can sign up for 1 of 3 categories, BBQ, Salads, or Pie. You provide the food and BBQ, if applicable. Set up time starts at 9:30 am. The amount of food you provide is up to you. But remember, the more people you feed the better chance of winning.
Option #2 - Be a "judge". All of the guests are judges. Each contestant will have a jar at their station. As a judge you sample all of the food and place money in the jar of the contestant you think is the best. The contestant with the most money wins.

So you want to participate? Just send me an email and let me know. I will send off a registration form and the guidelines. If you want to be a guest join us on the 27th at 12:30.
We are hoping to make this a very successful event. We are very close to our financial goal and this is our last big effort! The best part is as a contestant you get to participate in a fantastic fellowship event and as a guest you get to have a great Barbecue Lunch!

Blessings to you all!
Monday, August 01, 2005
An Ink Drive!
We have a very good friend in a man named Nathe Lawver. We met Nathe at our church. He and I serve on the youth and family ministry committee at church together. The interesting coincidence about Nathe is that he spent some time in college studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is one of the only people we have met that truly understands what the "Russian experience" is really like.
Nathe has a theory. Russia does not do anything without there being an official stamp placed on a piece of paper. Actually, there must be about 30 stamps to make it really official. If you don't believe me, ask him about the time he had to have some medication shipped from the US to Russia. No kidding, 30 stamps on one piece of paper.
I believe the Russians stamped our passports 4 times each, the official form to adopt Alexander twice and a few other miscellaneous items a few times.
Nathe was convinced that the reaccreditation was not happening because the Russians needed a larger stamp. I got to thinking about this. I don't think it is the stamp that is the problem. I think they ran out of ink! I also believe that the ink comes from some remote village in South America, and must travel via burro and then into the Russian postal system. The trick is finding the swimming burro to deliver the ink from South America to Russia. Thus the slow down.
I know this may sound a little crazy, but it is the only way we can justify the slowness of the whole process. So I say we start an ink drive! This has to be much easier than teaching burros to swim!
In all seriousness, we need your prayers. I don't want this process to drive me totally insane. If I am considering the possibility of teaching burros to swim then I must be loosing it! Please add the Ministry of Education in Russia to your church prayer chains and personal prayer lists. This won't get done without a little bit of our "stamp".
Blessings to you all!