13 October 2014

Our Village, at it again...


...but this time it's not our family about to be changed, it's our friends'.  Our friends wrote a letter to reveal their plan to host, so instead of botching up an already beautifully written thing I would like to just share it here with you:




Dear Friends and family, 
I wish that I could sit down with each one of you over a cup of tea and tell you this amazing story. But we are separated by distance and time! So thank you for reading this, and sharing in our life.Last week one of my best friend’s, Kara called me heartsick for a little girl she had seen on the New Horizons for Children Facebook page. For those of you who are unfamiliar with New Horizons, they are a Christian organization who facilitates hosting orphans from Eastern Europe and China during the Christmas and summer holidays. Over these holidays the orphanages close down and the children are sent to foster homes and other camps within Europe and the United States. The children who are hosted in the US are introduced to life outside of the orphanage and families who could potentially adopt them or support them in someway in their future.So this one little girl had captured my friend Kara’s heart and she was calling because despite the immense love and pull from God towards this child, her husband and her had decided it was not the right thing for them to host her this Christmas. As we talked about the beauty there is just in hearing God’s voice and feeling that Spirit led love that can come from no other, I asked her what the little girl’s name was so I could join her in praying for a host family for her. When she told me that her name was Oksana immediately my heart skipped a beat. Two years ago I had woken from a very vivid dream about a girl named Oksana, who was about 8 or 9 years old from the Ukraine that would be a part of our family. I felt so strongly that this was God speaking to me that I searched every adoption page for a girl that matched that description. I found no child that even came close, so I let it go and gave it back to God.I shared the dream with Kara while we were on the phone and asked her to send me a picture of Oksana. When we were done talking I looked at the picture in disbelief—she looks like one of my kids! Shocked and excited I relayed this whole story to Ethan who was intrigued and told me to find out more information. Over the next several days we filled out pre-applications and waited to hear if she was still available to be hosted and if we would be a good fit for her. We finally heard back last night that they have put her on hold for us and once our application, background checks, home inspections are all completed she will be able to come and stay with us for Christmas!The kids are very excited to share our lives with her and have been praying every day for her. As I put Ada to bed the other night the Holy Spirit was clearly speaking through her as she prayed, “Dear God I pray that you will tell Oksana your story, I pray that you will tell her that you created the world and made her, and that you love her. And I pray that you will send her here so that we can love her. Please protect her tonight and all day tomorrow.” Of course we were both wiping away the tears to hear our child praying for someone she hasn’t even met yet with such love and empathy.This is so much an expression of what we want our lives to be about. We are fully aware that we could open our hearts and home, be vulnerable in loving her and that she may be too hurt to accept it. But we are praying Ada’s prayer over Oksana, and we would be so grateful if you could join is in praying that as well.The cost of bringing her here is a little over $3,000. That cost covers her plane ticket and a chaperone’s plane ticket as well as processing fees and fees for things like our background checks and home inspection. We know that God has brought this girl into our life and will provide all that we need financially and emotionally. If you feel like you have a little extra to donate to help bring Oksana here for hopefully what will be a very love-filled Christmas, we would be so thankful for even the smallest donation.Thank you so much for being in our lives and walking with us through this journey of listening to God! 
In Love,Juliane, Ethan, Eliot, Ada and Finn
This experience is so gloriously awesome and incredibly hard at the same time. We are so excited to experience it again from the perspective of supportive, loving friends much like they were to us two years ago. As you may all remember, this is where we ask for your support with us. Please be praying for this family and their host daughter. If you want to help them through this time, you can comment here and we will pass it along. Most importantly though, we are asking for your financial support. There are the hosting fees, through the agency, that are mentioned above but also the incidentals and family outing costs when she is here. If you want to make a tax-deductible donation directly to the hosting agency you can do that here New Horizons for Children, please make sure you specify in the notes in "make a donation for a specific child" that you want it to go to E0354.

We have a couple other ways you can help them out financially too. The first is with our popular "It takes a village" tees, however, we have only youth sizes left. We are asking for a $10 donation for each shirt and we will donate 100% of that to the Worthington Family. Your kids are just as much a part of this village, in fact sometimes they are the village to these kids coming for hosting. The children coming for hosting are so greatly impacted by the love they feel from their peers when they arrive, why not let your kids know that they are part of this great mission with a t-shirt. You can comment here that you want one and I'll contact you to get the details.
We have 6 youth small, 7 youth medium and 1 youth large. $10 each!
The last way to donate, is by letting me do your Thanksgiving baking for you through our popular Thanksgiving Pie fundraiser! We have had great success for years with these pies and in fact last year they were so popular we sold them at Easter to raise money for our adoption too. We are offering Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple and Apple Crumb and can make them Gluten Free if you are into that, for a small fee. They are $30 each or two for $50. We are accepting pre-orders now and will be donating %100 of the cost to the Worthington Family, our donation will be the cost of the ingredients. Again, comment here if you're interested and I'll contact you for the details.

Thank you for all you have done for our family, we will never be the same after receiving such love and generosity. Our son is home.
And, thanks for considering sharing some of that same love and generosity with dear friends of ours as they embark on their life-changing journey!

20 June 2014

Real gratitude

As I sit here on our porch, waiting for my husband and oldest son to come home from an overnight trip to NYC, (for musical enrichment, a la Daddy) I am full of gratitude.  This is real gratitude, the kind that comes on the heels of worry, when I accept that what I am worrying about cannot be changed and know that God will guide us as He has since the beginning of this journey 20 months ago.  It’s that guidance that can’t be seen, it is not tangible, but it is the most real thing I have ever felt in my 33 years.  It’s for that, that I feel grateful.  At a time like this it brings such peace to my weary heart.
We had some idea of what we were getting in to. We knew it would be mostly challenging with a few glorious moments of wonderful!  We thought about this for over a year and still knew it was right. We are so proud of our son and all of his growth in the past three months since he has been home.  We have had some really hard times, but some of the most beautiful moments as a family of six ever!
Raising a teenager is not easy; this is something everyone should know and believe me we knew. However the parts about being this boy’s mamma that are so exceptionally hard are the parts that are NOT “normal teen” stuff, and they are being mixed right in with some of the hardest “normal teen” stuff.  
With the children we have raised since birth there was trust almost immediately.  They grew inside the body of a mamma that loved them immediately and was proud to nourish them and provide a safe place for them to develop and grow.  They were born into wanting, loving and safe arms.  They have had basic needs met almost immediately as infants and have had boundaries and consistency in everything since they were born and perhaps, the most important, they have had Love from the first moment of their existence.  Fierce love.
With our son, trust has come, but it is shaky and love is there but he does not have any reason to know it is unconditional, he doesn’t even understand what that means.  So as these normal teenage “growing up and testing” issues come up, the normal parental response needs to be carefully considered and patiently pondered.  We need to come at this at a different angle.  When there has been deception and lies we must consider the effect of setting him up with success, with just one more opportunity to be open and honest, to watch him be brave and to trust that we love him enough for that.
Boundaries will tighten back up.  And with that we expect some pouting and anger, but we are confident that love and trust will grow again as it has in the recent past.
Parenting teenagers requires some serious creativity and patience.  But also, in a family where the concept of unconditional love is a work in progress, there are some really uncommon practices that come out.  This is the most amazing journey.
I am nervous about how this weekend will go.  How we will address these new issues just right, how he will respond to us.  In this gratitude though, I am reminded that we will grow, all of us, but especially our son.  He has such potential.  These opportunities are being guided by Him, I can feel His presence and for that I am most thankful.

27 May 2014

You did it, friends!

Danielle and Reno are probably heading out to dinner, soon.  Hopefully afterwards, stopping at the store for more of that good Latvian yogurt I love so much.  Maybe blueberry?  Could be cherry again, I know I'd repeat that one not before too long.

You all filled our coffers so we could pay for all of the agents, lawyers, registration fees, administrative fees, processing fees, surcharges, handling fees, airfares, hotels, taxis, translations, bus tickets, meals, photos and so forth to finalize an adoption.  You all gave so generously.  We thank you again.  All six of us.

Now, Danielle and I are up to the plate.  It's our turn to do the parenting.  Thanks for believing in us and getting us here.

06 May 2014

Shhh..It's a surprise!



This is R's first birthday with his family and in his new home! We want it to be unforgettable and feel so honored to celebrate this boy with all of you. 

When:  Sunday, June 1 at 4:00 PM  for more details please email or call, or just comment here and we'll get in touch with you.

His birthday is 5/22 but we are heading out of the country f
or our second of three trips to make this adoption official so please keep it on the DL!
We will provide drinks and meat, if everyone could bring a dish to pass that would be spectacular.Please RSVP by 5/20 by email or phone! Can't wait!!

13 April 2014

A warm evening of gratitude!

I can't help feeling the words flow tonight and feeling so grateful for it. I have been thinking about how to make this announcement since Friday night and have felt that anything will be lacking. This has been quite a week, to end quite a year!  We have our son here, sitting with us on our porch, spilling his feelings and history with a tender trusting nature.  It has not been a breeze this weekend, it has been challenging! In fact the most challenging yet, but we are growing, so much. We are experiencing progress every day together, trust is growing and truly Matt and I are having trouble remembering what life was like without R here.  He is sweet, he is strong, he is so smart.
Okay, so the announcement, WE ARE DONE FUNDRAISING!  I can't believe I am saying that.
We are still making pies this week, and if we have a surplus when all is said and done (there are always unexpected costs in this process) we will make a scholarship for a kid to be hosted.

Big day! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you. For praying, for loving and for donating so generously!  You are all why this has happened so smoothly, thank you thank you.

05 April 2014

Follow our Matching Challenge progress here!

Follow our progress here!

Gifts received:   $1000, $100, $700, $100, $100, $1000, $125, $150, $1000, $1000, $100, $100, $100, $100, $100

Potential match amount:  $1000, $25, $350, $25, $25, $1000, $31.25, $37.50, $1000, $1000, $25, $25, $25, $25, $25

Potential total raised :  $10, 293.75

Special thanks to: Don and Marie Henry, Deb Shaffer and 
Margie Lundy, The Worthington Family, The Berg Family, The Assimon Family, Anonymous, The Pavlov Family, Jason and Jeanette Tauvers, Anonymous,The Rossman Family, The Riedl Family, The Moynihan Family, The Jacobs Family, Deidre and Charlie Williams and Anonymous.

Our goal  is $41,759.  At this point we have raised $41,012.75, including potential match amounts for this Matching Challenge.  We will be fully funded for our adoption, including current and future attorney/adoption agency invoices and estimated travel expenses with approx. $746.25.

Thank you to each of you who have given so generously, every dollar has made a difference, we feel overwhelmed with gratitude.  So many of you are giving generously for the second, third or forth time, it's amazing! There is true potential to be fully funded and done worrying about fundraising at the end of this week. Remember to participate in this matching challenge you need to make your donation by this Saturday, April 12th.  

Big Day, Big Challenge, Big Love

We have really big news, our latest fundraiser could be the biggest and could be our last. How you ask? Well listen here.  Today we launched:

A MATCHING GIFT CHALLENGE!

We have recently been offered a matching challenge from a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous. For every dollar we raise, from April 5th through April 12th, he will match it! This is a chance to double the impact of your donation!

For all donations received this week only:
From $100 to $499, he will match at 25% (making $100 = $125)
From $500 to $999, he will match at 50% (making $500 = $750)
From $1,000 on up, he will match IN FULL! (making $1,000 = $2,000!)

Our anonymous donor is someone that shares a lot in common with R. As a child he too spent years in foster homes,without parents, facing a life of hopelessness. However, at age 15, a loving couple took him into their family and changed the trajectory of his life forever. Our donor is really just an acquaintance, but has apparently kept a close eye on our progress through two hostings and our adoption, feeling a special connection to our journey. He is not a family member, or even someone we know well. However, his level of commitment to offer this matching challenge is astounding.

This morning, we sent out letters to those that have already been able to donate above a given threshold, asking them to consider donating more, before the matching challenge deadline of April 12th. We know those people believe in what we're doing and that it is the right thing for our family.

Since sending the letters out this morning, we have already seen some donations. So far, we've seen $1800, which means after the matching, we have raised $3175 total, from folks who have already given so much to us.

Asking for money is hard. If we were rich and famous, we'd just keep this to ourselves. But we aren't rich or famous. The only way we can do this is to put our egos aside and keep asking for help. We thank all of you who have donated, who are donating, and those who are following along with us, wishing us good progress towards the final goal of making him a real, official, bonafide Synborski.
We'll post progress throughout what I hope will be an awesome week.


Thank you for reading, praying for our family and sharing our story.

Lots of Love.


26 March 2014

As my sweet husband said a few posts back, I like to put it all out there....

Here it is, out in the open, what we have spent all of YOUR money on and why we still need more....

There still is no amount too small to move my heart, every single donation makes me stop for a moment. Every.single.one. Thank you.  And truly, since our boy is home (can't wait to call him our son publicly) it is even more moving.  We know how confusing it must be to know we have him here, under our roof, in our care but it is quite complicated still and quite unfinished as far as adoption legality goes.  So, friends, we continue to fund-raise!

As you can see to the right, we have raised about $27,500 but our estimate of need is accurate at $41,759 now.  We had not considered the true cost of travel before and our estimate includes the expense of all three trips now.  Crazy huh?!

We still have to raise $14,250 for two more trips (airfare, food, lodging) and the rest of our attorney's fees (~$8K)  and after so much waiting we are now moving so fast it makes us a bit nervous.  We have seen God move mountain after mountain.  We have seen the most mind-blowing generosity and love from far and wide. We know that this is nothing to Him but to us, right this moment, it seems nearly impossible.  That's because it is humanly impossible. It will continue to "take a village" and Gods amazing power and grace.

What did all that money go to before? Caseworker fee, agency application, Hague adoption management, Hague home-study, post adoption reports, apostilles, translations, USCIS fees, visa fees, DHL/FedEx, airfare/lodging/food for trip 1 and summer ‘13 re-hosting.

Please continue to pray for us, but also please continue to share our story, it's gotten really good in the past few weeks.  I mean come on, the impossible has happened, this boy is living with his family, learning what it is like to be a part of a loud, smelly family that will love him forever!

You may have seen this on our Facebook page this week, I had to share it again here.  This is what it is all about. Totally. 


and please, if you have made a donation and do not see your name to the left and wish to, please email or message us on our Synborski Family Adoption Facebook page.  It's been a little harder to keep track lately and we haven't appreciated any of you less.

Thank you! XO

24 March 2014

What's next?

In case ya'll are wondering, we are home and doing very well.  It's hard to remember life without all four kids in our home.
I remember the first night home, I woke up the next morning for the first time in almost a year and a half and realized my heart was at total peace.  I had woke up every morning prior to it thinking, what do we need to do today to get him home? What did he do today? What did his director do today? Is he safe? Is he healthy? Will we ever get him home?
We have started homeschooling, in small doses and we are ironing out kinks in it each day.  We've never been teachers and he's never been taught by two teachers who love him so much so it hasn't been easy but we are getting through it just fine.

Many of you know that this process includes three trips, one is done but we have two more trips to his home country this year! We need to continue asking for your help, fundraising and this is hard to do with him home.  It may appear confusing to many because it looks all done, he's home, right?  He is here on a visitors visa, for a fostering period.  It is no where near finished and two more trips can be an overwhelming expense to think about.  We have seen so much generosity and faithful support of so many all across the country and we thank you! Words will NEVER be enough! Please know how much we appreciate each of you.

For our next trip we are starting the fundraising with Easter Pies!  Key Lime, Sweet Easter, Apple and Pecan.  All can be made gluten free.  $30 each or 2 for $50.

Place you orders soon and please share this with your local friends and family.  We appreciate it!


21 March 2014

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS EASTER PIE FUNDRAISER

Hello everyone!  We're putting on another delicious pie fundraiser for Easter (April 20).
Orders in by April 15th, please.

Thanks for your support!
-Matt and Danielle