an easy + real way to help.

Statistics and numbers and pictures of sad + lonely children can overwhelm us. We feel disconnected. We know that the multitude of orphans is sad and it’s wrong and it’s not what God intended, but we feel a disconnect. A void. How could we possibly help? How do we do more than put a band-aid on the hurt?

I’ve recently been introduced to the story of sweet Esther in Uganda. She is a little one with special needs who has been waiting awhile for a forever-family to love her…and God has come through in a big way! I am also excited because the family happens to live in Iowa. (Represent!)

I heard someone say this, and I think it’s 100 percent true:

"Really the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just saying yes."

It only takes a few yes moments for God to work in amazing ways in our ordinary lives. Please consider spreading the word + maybe donating a few bucks to very tangibly help this little girl get the care she needs + the love God has always intended for her. You can do so here. (And in the meanwhile, be eligible for sweet swag, including an iPad, custom clothes, artisan jewlery, etc!)

Here are the deets from another blog:

who is ready to help Esther HOME with the dad, mom & siblings that already
love her so much?!  they just returned home to iowa & will return for Esther’s court date
 in just a couple weeks.  you don’t know who Esther is?  you can read about her on my blog
by clicking her tag at the bottom of this post. you can follow her family’s journey here.
the short version is that Esther is a little girl that has lived in Clayton’s former orphanage
for 3 years where she arrived weighing little more than a newborn at age 3. she has waited
and waited and God has finally brought her forever family.  she is so loved & cherished
by them.  of course, adoption is expensive [especially when it is moving so quick] and in
order for the family to pay for the adoption expenses and to properly prepare things
for some of Esther’s special needs, let’s help Esther’s adoption fund!

making adoption affordable.

Jonny, Joseph and I spent the day around Iowa with Congressman Bruce Braley, who played a big part in helping Joseph come home.

(Click the link above or go here to see the video.)

Braley announced the Make Adoption Affordable Act today.

The bill will be introduced in Congress next week and will expand + extend the current $12,360 adoption tax credit, which is set to expire this year.

Finances can be are a huge obstacle to adopting. It’s pretty safe to say that most families who adopt make a lot of financial sacrifices (which are 100 percent worth it!), and this act would definitely be a huge help.

We try to be very conscious about details of Joseph’s story and respecting his privacy, and we felt comfortable sharing a bit of how we became a family in support of the adoption credit.

The day began with a small conference in my parents’ living room at their house in Waterloo. It was an early morning, but Joseph woke up everyone by pretending my lapel mic was Chapstick. Where does he come up with this stuff?! He was a natural with the mic and wooed the cameras — such an extrovert when he wants to be!

Jonny, Kayla and Joseph Craig interview.

I’m used to being the interviewer, not the interviewee. Awkward!

Luckily, if you know me, you know I like to talk. And there’s not much I like to talk more about than Joseph. Here’s the story about the Make Adoption Affordable Act from the WCF Courier. KWWL also ran a story about the bill, which you can catch here.

Our next stop was in Cedar Rapids, where our little man was so well-behaved! Proud Mama right here. Here’s the story from KGAN — the end almost made me cry. How perfect is that exchange of looks between Joseph & Jonny?

Our last stop was Des Moines! Joseph was tired (OK, we all were) but still cute as ever (I can’t say the same for myself). It was held at the library’s central campus, and WHO-TV ran a story tonight (not online yet — sorry!). My old stomping grounds, The Des Moines Register, was there, too, so maybe we’ll see a little something in the paper tomorrow.

I hope that we were able to be an OK representation of the many families who foster + adopt. I hope that the bill leads to more loving families for the many waiting kids in our state, country, and world.