Date Day

It’s Tuesday, and at our house, that means “Date Day”. Today, Ethan had some money he wanted to spend so he requested we spend our time this afternoon at Meijer. He was especially interested in looking at the HexBugs but we spent a fair amount of time looking at and talking about Legos. In the end, he purchased a new HexBug and some bands for his Rainbow Loom. He is so much fun to be with and, what a gentleman! He opened my van door for me when we were heading out. Be still my heart.

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Date Day is a favorite tradition in our house. In 2012, in an effort to spend more quality time with each of our children, we implemented Date Day. Every week (for awhile it was Monday afternoons, now it is every Tuesday) we take turns having one-on-one time with each of our older children. When Lillyanna graduates from afternoon naps she’ll get in the rotation too, but for now it’s just Cody, Ethan and Allie. It is very systematic: Ben & Cody, Me & Ethan, Ben & Allie, Me & Cody, Ben & Ethan, Me & Allie, and so forth and so on. While everyone else is having rest time in the afternoon the pair heads off for time alone together, usually 1-2 hours.

This time looks different every week but our goal is to make it cost little to no money. We have done things such as a bike ride, a trip to the library, a visit to the zoo, playing at the children’s museum, time at the park, building things in the garage, a spa party in the bathroom, the play area at the mall, games or crafts in the basement, Lego building, ice cream, soccer in the backyard, shopping, errands and one time even snuggling on our bed and listening to the Frozen soundtrack.

I realize that none of these things are super spectacular in and of themselves, and often times we selfishly don’t want to give up that time in the afternoon. However, it is incredibly important and awesome for our kids, and therefore, it has become an increasingly important time for us. Life is busy and noisy and when four children are clamoring for our time and attention, inevitably someone gets neglected or pushed aside. As long as we are able, we want to fight for this special time with our kids. We don’t want to lose them in the hustle and bustle, and this is our little way of showing them how important they are to us. We treasure these little ones and these times we have together.

Here are a few pictures of date days gone by…

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Adoption Costs What?!?!

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Bracelet sales are over! (Truthfully, we’ve been done for over a month but I am just now getting around to finishing this post.) Thank you to so many who supported this awesome fundraiser. We sold 125 bracelets! That’s $1,000 raised — $500 for Haiti and $500 to go toward our adoption! Now, many of you have bracelets of your own to remind you to pray for Haiti, to pray for our family and to pray for the little one who will one day become a Hodgson. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Some have asked how much adoption costs. Some are wondering how we are doing on fundraising. Some of you think it is completely outrageous for us to spend this kind of money on a single adoption. Some of you are very supportive and want to help in any way you can. Many of you have shared that you’ve also desired to adopt but could never imagine affording it.

Me too.

When God laid adoption very heavily on our hearts while we were in Haiti, I just couldn’t get over the hurdle of how we were ever going to afford it. Toward the end of the week I was losing sleep over it. When we returned from Haiti, on a Friday night, I had 2 almost sleepless nights. I tossed and turned and had bad dreams. In my nightmares all I could see were Haitian orphans who desperately needed rescuing and I could do nothing about it. We simply don’t have the money. That was our biggest hang up. As only God can arrange it, that Sunday morning, May 4th, Pastor Jim preached a sermon and a testimony was shared that spoke directly to my heart and gave me the answer I was searching for. OBEY. That’s all we have to do. When God, who can see the big picture, is asking us to do something, we are only required to take that step of faith and obey, trusting in Him to work out the details and provide for our needs. He is faithful and He WILL!

Though wobbly, our steps of faith have already been rewarded with peace that passes understanding, joy in the journey and the opportunity to see our friends and families work together to raise the needed money. All of this because He loves a little orphan in the Caribbean more than we could ever imagine. We feel immeasurably blessed to be a part of this!

We are unsure of the exact cost of this adoption and associated travel expenses but know it will be somewhere around $30,000. So, our goal is to work hard, save and raise the money needed. We are certain God will bless our efforts and provide every last penny. We don’t wish to go into debt nor do we think God would desire that for us. He will make a way and we would love for you to be a part of this miracle.

So far, we have raised just shy of $4,500! That is HUGE, friends! Who knew a few bracelets here and there and a little benefit yard sale would add up to that much money?!?! Isn’t it awesome to see how little parts can add up to something big? God is good and he is continually revealing his goodness to us. We are so thankful.

We will have a few fundraising events over the next several months and we hope you will want to take part. Thanks for joining us in this journey. May God bless your heart for orphan care.

Brothers and Sisters, if you have room in your heart, home and family to rescue an orphan but can’t see a way to financially afford it, don’t let that stop you! Money is a tiny hurdle compared to our BIG God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21