We are so excited to share our Ethiopian adoption adventure, and our CRAZY lives with all of you! Our hope is that it will encourage you to step out in faith to do what God has called you to do! There are FIELDS of fatherless children waiting for someone to care for them, to love them, to tell them of JESUS' love for them...will YOU be the one??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Follow This Family All They Way To Solola, Guatemala!!

Re-posting from the Ucherek family blog over at http://godetchedyourname.blogspot.com/2012/01/great-giveaway-send-me.html

Please go over and show your support for this amazing family who are following God's call to care for orphans in Guatemala!!:)


**Update on 1/24: Adding a new little twist to make this giveaway a little more exciting! For every friend YOU get to LIKE Songs of Sololá (Dan's music ministry) on facebook, you get an additional entry. Here's how it works - you tell your friends, they LIKE the page, THEN they comment saying you sent them (ex: Christi Ucherek sent me!)... for each comment you have, you'll get an additional entry! Questions? Let us know at ucherek1 AT hotmail DOT com.

When we spouted out those words from Isaiah 6:8, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"... we knew we were in for the ride of our lives!

While we've been preparing, we've continued to pray that God would show us HOW He would provide for this journey! As you know, missionaries rely on the help of their partners to pray for them, encourage them, walk the journey with them, and support them financially. Our sending organization (CTEN) recently sent us an email with this quote that really hit home -
"Each person called to missions has been given certain skills and talents and God will equip them to do what is necessary, when it is necessary. We have to remember that Paul wrote often to ask for help and he identified the need for people to come alongside him. God was always faithful to meet his needs and we trust that He will meet ours as well!"
What an encouragement this email was to us as we were preparing for this FUN giveaway. Ok, I'll stop talking now cause I know you just wanna see the LOOT! :)

We've been blessed by the generosity of several individuals and organizations who have all DONATED these items. There's over $500 worth of goodies in this giveaway... AND we'll ship just in time for Valentine's Day!

Kindle Fire
*This was donated by an amazing family that we traveled with on BOTH of our trips to Ethiopia. They hold a special place in our hearts!

Features include:

Movies, apps, games, music, reading and more, plus Amazon's revolutionary, cloud-accelerated web browser
  • 19 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Thousands of popular apps and games, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and more
  • Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle - same as an iPad
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Favorite children's books, graphic novels, and magazines in rich color
  • For more info on the kindle fire, click here.

147 Million Orphans Mayvall Bag
*The sweet ladies at 147 Million Orphans donated this GREAT bag! Wish I could win!

TWO Beautiful 'Homeward Bound' Cookbooks (1 for you, 1 to give away)
*This was donated by a sweet AGCI (the agency we used) family that is currently VERY close to receiving a referral from Ethiopia! They are still in the process of fundraising... just in case you want one of these great cookbooks and don't win. Check it out here.

I *heart* Africa T-shirt
*This was also donated by another AGCI family that JUST brought home TWIN boys from Ethiopia... I could EAT THEM UP... they are so cute! MacKenzie has all sizes available except small in this t-shirt. Check out her blog here - you've seriously got to see the cuteness going on!

Adoption Rocks T-shirt
small image on back (love it)
*This t-shirt is a women's XL, but runs small. This was donated by another gracious AGCI family that is currently waiting for a referral. Check out Shannon's blog here.

Africa Painting (12" x 12")

*This beauty has been sitting on my dining room table and just might have my drool on it... it's GORGEOUS! The shades of blue and green are just beautiful! It was donated by the talented Emma who is also waiting for a referral from Ethiopia. Check out her work here.

Set of Coasters (4)
*These coasters (as well as the following SIX items) were donated by some dear friends that we traveled with to Ethiopia. They brought home a (now) 5-year old little guy that is just precious! In addition to being a fabulous crafter, Leigh is also a culinary master... follow her cooking blog here. You will definitely find some recipes you'll love... we have!

Kids Headbands (3)

Adult Headbands (2)

Handmade Cards

Tukula Bag AND Clutch
(the clutch is a bit hard to see in this photo, but is right in the center of the photo hanging on the bag)
*This is such an incredible ministry is helping Ugandan entrepreneurs rise above the cycle of poverty. Through working with Tukula, these women are gaining confidence, joy, and the opportunity to empower others. You can view their site here, their handbags here, and their cluthes here.

Small Wreath

Baby Legs
*You can find more info on baby legs here.

Bring Hope Home T-shirt
*Winner can pick size (all adult sizes up to XL and a few kids sizes available). This t-shirt was donated by another family in IL that is adopting from Ethiopia... made such a special connection with Andrea! Check out their blog here and if you like this tee help them out!
5 Million Minus 1 T-shirt (*winner picks TWO)

*Winner can pick TWO of these t-shirts, available in sizes S to XXL, colors are gray, blue, or white. I had the privilege of meeting this sweet family almost 2 years ago at an orphan care conference while they were waiting to bring their son home. He's home now and they're fundraising for adoption #2! Check out their blog here.

Where You Live T-shirt

*This was donated by a fellow adoptive momma, Erica. Dan and I both have this shirt and it's SO comfy! Only available in size small. Check out Erica's blog here - she's currently raising money for a mission trip to Ethiopia.

How To Enter -
Giveaway will be open from now through February 1st at midnight. Winner will be drawn and announced on February 6th. Items will be shipped just in time for Valentine's Day... wouldn't this make a GREAT gift for your sweetie?!?!

There are SEVERAL ways to enter this giveaway, so please read carefully!

1. Make a $10 donation to help cover our ministry expenses - 1 entry
2. Make a $25 donation to help cover our ministry expenses - 5 entries
3. Make a $50 donation to help cover our ministry expenses - 15 entries
(you don't have to leave a comment for donating, we will be notified)
4. Share this posting on facebook or twitter - 1 entry **be sure to leave a separate comment on THIS post for each time you share (1 entry per share)
5. Like Songs of Sololá (Dan's music ministry) on facebook - 1 entry **be sure to leave a separate comment on THIS post for this entry.
6. Follow @songsofsolola on twitter - 1 entry **be sure to leave a separate comment on THIS post for this entry.
7. Follow our blog (right hand side) - 1 entry **be sure to leave a separate comment on THIS post for this entry.
8. Re-post this giveaway on YOUR blog - 3 entries **be sure to leave a separate comment on THIS post WITH A LINK TO YOUR BLOG for this entry.

ex: If you post on facebook once, on twitter once, and on your blog once, you should leave THREE comments on THIS POST- one for each time.

Click here to donate.

*Commission to Every Nation (CTEN) is an inter-denominational missionary sending organization that is dedicated to helping ordinary people partner with God to accomplish the extraordinary. CTEN makes it possible for your contribution to be tax-deductible.

**If you donate via EFT through the CTEN website or donate at the last minute, please email us at ucherek1 AT hotmail DOT com to let us know how many entries you should receive.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Bummed.....

So, I was apparently WRONG in quoting that we are Number 2!!! We are Number 3 of the families requesting ONE little girl, and there are around 3-4 families ahead of us requesting 2 children, putting us at Number 6 overall....make sense? I was totally confused...

Our coordinator explained it this way....the families requesting two children COULD opt for just ONE child if they choose(which of course would leave us at the higher number on the list) OR, they could just say they'll wait for two...which leaves us at number 3....it just depends on how the referrals for the children come in.....ages, gender, etc...is all unpredictable of course...

SO who knows WHEN we'll get a referral...but the GOOD news is that new referrals are still coming in as I type this! WOO-HOO!!!

My concern is this....court is about two months after referral, and then embassy SHOULD be two months after that, but the way the embassy process is going(delays, RFE's, etc.), that part of the process may take longer than expected, and what I DON'T want to happen is to have this drag out until August, when everything shuts down in ET...and have to travel right at the beginning of school or shortly after.

SO, getting a referral this month or even in February would be ideal to HOPEFULLY keep us from having to deal with the rainy season shutdowns, etc....

Like I can control ANY of this... LOL!!!!!:)

Would you just pray for us....that if it would please the Lord and bring Him glory, that we might receive our referral quickly?

I would also add that I'm beginning to already DREAD the flights over there... TERRIFIED of flying(or actually just DYING by airplane crash!!) And it looks like there really is no way I'm going to get out of flying on THREE DIFFERENT planes.....!! YIKES! But that's another post...;) But you can start praying NOW....:)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Near To The Heart of God

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Today I'm sharing a post from a bloggy "neighbor", Renee Loux... Pray...pray for the Lord to move in the hearts of those who commit such acts of abusiveness in orphanages and homes around the world..pray about what you can do to be the hands and feet of Jesus!!

Will you be His hands and His feet?

// January 13th, 2012 // Loux Family News

Many of you probably saw the CBS news report a few years ago, regarding a scene that was so shocking that it even stunned soldiers hardened by trial and conflict – naked, listless, emaciated Iraqi orphans lying unattended in their own excrement while covered in flies and tied to cribs on a concrete floor. Meanwhile, in the adjoining kitchen of this government orphanage in Baghdad, three ‘caretakers’ were cooking themselves a hearty meal while the twenty-four special needs children were starving to death in the next room.

Even more troubling is that the orphanage storeroom was well stocked with food and brand-new clothes, yet the staff was allegedly selling these items to local markets instead of providing them to the children.


Sadly, it’s just another example of the exploitation and abuse that can occur in government-run orphanages, especially those in poverty, disease and war-ravaged countries where accountability is non-existent and corruption is extreme. Below, are photos and they will shock you. I think sometimes it’s good that we are shocked into the reality of what’s going on in our world. We, as the church are going to have to rise up and walk out what we are “preaching.” Christ is the only answer for these horrifying injustices. We must link arms together to bring awareness, to give financially and through our time, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these ones who are His priceless children!

Please don’t turn away, thinking there’s someone else out there who will act….let this be the year that YOU will act.

Instead of writing anymore, I’ll let the photos and captions speak for themselves…


“They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball to try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down.”

- Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson


“I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face”

- Staff Sgt. Michael Beale


“The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste – feces – and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids”

- Lt. Stephen Duperre


“There was a boy with thousands of flies covering his body, unable to move any part of his body. We had to actually hold his head up and tilt his head to make sure that he was OK, and the only thing basically that was moving was his eyeballs.”

- Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson


“There were hundreds (of flies) in his open mouth. They were crawling out of his nose and ears and anywhere they could feed on his flesh and bloody, open sores from sleeping on the concrete, in what appeared to be the last few hours of his life.”

- Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson


“The smell was so bad, that you could smell it from outside in the street. It even overpowered the smell of the food cooking in the kitchen.”

- Anonymous soldier


“How could you take the most vulnerable children and subject them to such torture?”

- Lara Logan, CBS Correspondent


“Two women working there posed for pictures in front of the naked boys as if there was nothing wrong.”

- Lara Logan


“I can only imagine they (the caretakers) thought this was absolutely normal. Or that these special needs boys, who could not talk or communicate properly, were not human to them.”

- Lara Logan


“Violence is creating widows and orphans on a daily basis, many of whom are left to struggle for survival. Iraq’s children, already casualties of a quarter of a century of conflict and deprivation, are being caught up in a rapidly worsening humanitarian tragedy.”


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Not sure why my kids don't look so thrilled here!;)
(Plus two cousins at Grandma's)

Wow, it's been a while!

I know, I'm a total slacker!;)

Christmas was wonderfully peaceful at our house! Lots of yummy food and goodies, playing with play-doh, watching A Christmas Story...and the list goes on!

This year we made the decision to have the children pick out gifts to purchase from the Samaritan's Purse catalog, in place of one of their own presents. They LOVED it! So important to me to give them a "world" perspective!! We even cut out the pics from the catalog and attached them to gift bags to put under the tree, and before we opened gifts on Christmas morning we prayed over them. What a blessing to see my kids giving!!!:)

And now...we're back to homeschooling and chaos as usual;)!

During the break though, I did manage to pick out their curriculum for next year!!!:)

As far as a referral....we were told right before Christmas that it would be a month or so longer...so we're hanging in there:)!

We were so blessed over the holidays as well, with some extra funds for the adoption! YAY! We have about $2500 to go for the next program fee installment, and we would ask that you continue to pray for the Lord's provision for us. All of our fundraisers are still going on, so you can still be involved in that way if you so choose.:)

It's going to be an amazing 2012! And I'm starting it right by standing firm on the promises of God my Savior!:)

Happy New Year All!