Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adoption Fundrasier This Sunday 2 till 4pm at our home. Come get your Uganda Magazine Necklaces!!!

Drop by our home and BROWSE FOR YOUR BEADS this Sunday from 2-4. I have approximately 100 beads on hand. WARNING-- THEY WILL GO FAST! So get here early to get the best selection!!! I also have the COW HORN earrings too! There is a limited supply of the earrings so get them while you can!! They match so great with your necklaces! These are one of a kind, gotta have them, coversation starter beads! They come in ALL colors and are so original. They make FABULOUS gifts!!! The Payne family receives $10 for every necklace and earring purchase to go towards their adotpion costs. The necklcaes are a $25 donation and a $15 donation for the earrings! The remaining funds go back to Uganda to employ the women who make the beads and to a feeding program ran by local girl Katie Davis.

We fell in love this summer, on a mission trip to Ethiopia, with a 3 year old boy who lives in an orphanage!!! Now we are trying out best to make him a PAYNE and bring him HOME!!! I can't wait for all of you to meet him!!!! I miss him sooo much!!!

We live in the Bridgeton Park Subdivision in Brentwood. Take Concord Rd to Concord Pass. 2nd left on Concord Pass is the BP subdivision. We are at 1259 Wheatley Forest Drive! See you there!!

Thanks so much for all of your support! Those of you who already have your beads I would love for you to stop by! I need to get some pics of all my friends and family wearing their beads, so at least stop by and say HI if you can! and bring that friend who keps asking you where you got yours! :)

Repost this link today on your FB/Twitter page, let me know, and your name will go into a drawing for a FREE necklace Sunday at the event!!! Repost again on Sunday and get another chance at wining the necklace :) Thanks for helping us market this shoportunity!!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Contact us for Uganda Bead Necklaces and Authentic Cow Horn Earrings!!!

Thanks to ALL of my friends who are supporting us by creating awareness of our Adoption and partnering with us to sell these FABULOUS, CONVERSATION STARTING, GOTTA HAVE THEM, MY FRIENDS WANT SOME magazine beads from Uganda!!! They are so like the hottest thing ever and I can't beleive how many we are selling! You guys ROCK!!!

This post is for everyone you told to go to our site to order beads from us!!!

Contact me at

and I will get you information on how to get your beads and/or earrings!! They make wonderful gifts!!!! Thanks for finding us!! :)

Click here to learn the beautiful story behind these beads!

Click here to view our adoption announcement!

Go to our July posts to read about our mission trip to Ethiopia! So glad you joined the journey!!!

You gals and guys keep wearing those beads and tell your friends, neighbors, relatives,the lady that you just met in Publix, your sales rep at Banana Republic :) and your dentist to GO TO OUR BLOG to get THEIR beads! Each purchase helps fund our son's adoption, you provide an income to women in Uganada who make the beads, and you feed children in our friend Katie's feeding program in Uganda... all of this happens from buying a ONE OF A KIND NECKLACE necklace!! How awesome is that!!!

Thanks Y'all!!!
Philip, Gina, Robby, Caitlin, (+PLUS ONE!!!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Approvals rolling IN... Money beginning to roll OUT!

Late last week, we got our homestudy APPROVAL.Yay!!! That document is now sitting in our agencies hands. Hopefully later this week, Philip and I will be signing the HomeStudy Review Final and the first check (other than our $250 application fee) will be written! Last Friday, we also received approval for our Adoption Agecny to work with us! Yay! We are using Celebrate Children International and Robby and I met the agency director and her husband while in Ethiopia! From what I can tell so far, and what I am hearing from others, SUE IS AMAZING to work with on this lengthy process!!! We are so excited to be working with her to bring our son home!!!

The ball is rolling folks!!! All that paperwork is starting to have a purpose now! As we printed out our paperwork last evening "to accept the approval" (only 30 pages or so of MORE paperwork-haha), we both had panic attacks. You see being approved means MONEY is NOW COMING DUE! And a LOT of it is coming due in the next 30-60 days! Total adoption cost package is approx $30K. It is a bit overwhelming and we are telling each other and ourselves that HE will provide this for us!

I am writing all of this to remember HOW we felt all day yesterday and to remind all of you to PLEASE let us know if you have any fundraiser ideas for us that you would like to share with us or even head up! We are going to need the help of our friends and family-- no doubt about it!

We are selling the Uganda Magazine beads to help fund our adoption (we make 10$ profit for each necklace). Would you like to take 10 or so and help us sell them? Would you like us to run up to your work on your lunch break and show your office these beautiful beads? Would you like me to bring them by your girls night, ask a bunch of school moms to meet us at Starbucks? Anything like that?? Does your child's school have a fall festival where we could set up a booth??? Any and ALL ideas are welcome! They are simply stunning and all one of a kind! You touch so many people with this purchase! We will probably be selling them soon one Saturday at 9 Fruits in Coolsprings. More on that to come! Would those of you who already bought some beads take a photo of you wearing your beads? ---Then post on your FB page with a note that tells all of your friends where to get them? :)

Also, we are now collecting items for a fall garage sale-- end of October. Can you please donate any clothes, house items, furniture, toys, anything that you no longer want to our yard sale? That would be great! Tell your neighbors too!!! We are happy to come and get it! Our gargae is going to be a mess until then, so close your eyes when our garage door opens, OK? :)

We are also working on some raffe ideas and we will hopefully be starting our first BIG raffle fundraiser SOON!!! I will need all of your help here too! Social Media will be the key to the success of this raffle! We hope for it to be a BIG one--more info to follow in the next few days- so stay tuned!!! :)

There is also that nifty little PAYPAL link at the TOP of our blog and it is "ready and able" to accept donations of all sizes at any time if you feel led to help!!! :)

I was so happy yesterday morning when I woke up. Ashli York, a sweet beautiful girl from our trip shared with me that she was MOVING to Ethiopia on November 1st! How amazing is that???? She has offered to go visit "our little one" for us and to take him some stuff from us!!!She will be able to see him, hold him, love him for us while we are over here waiting patiently to bring him home!!! Ashli, please cover him with KISSES!!! Oh, I cant wait to hear her report of HOW he is doing!!! God is so good! Ashli is going over to work with Sumer with the kids program in the trash dump!!!-- What a calling!!! I am sooo proud of you girl!!!!

There are so many things that are so wonderful that are beginning to happen as a result of that trip to Ethiopia 5 weeks ago. No doubt GOD handpicked each one of us to go on that trip! It was truly so amazing. Even though Ethiopia has become a 2 trip country for adoption, that raises our expense to bring our little bit home by quite a lot, I am thrilled that we get to see, feel and smell Ethiopia 2 more times!!! God is good!!!!

We are so ready to get this fundraising In full swing!!! We hope to open hearts of others by telling our story!! There are 147 Million Orphans out there who need a forever home!! Could it be yours?????

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adoptive Advice for Family and Friends

Ok, so I saw this post on a friend's FaceBook post and so I am now dragging this over to our blog. We have support from our friends and family regarding our adoption from Ethiopia! We do get some CRAZY comments though-- We were told by other families to expect them!! If you know someone considering adoption or in the adoption process, then please read the below post. A little guide to the DO's and Dont's and how to support Adoptive Families on their journey. I think most of our family and friends get this, but wanted to pass along anyways. Some of this is rather comical!!!! :)


Having been through both the adoption experience and the child birth experience, I found that all kinds of people know how to take care of you after you give birth, but hardly anyone knows the right things to do when you bring home your adopted child. Most people also don't know how to respond appropriately when you tell them that you are adopting in the first place. This is meant to be a guide for the friends and families of adoptive families in the praying/planning/dreaming phase as well as families in process and newly home. Link it up, cut and paste, email it out to your family. I will say all the things to your family that you are afraid to say or maybe that you yourself don't even know that you need yet! (I don't mind being the heavy!)

1. When your loved one comes to you with the news that they are planning to adopt:

•Do not say, "Oh, don't give up trying for 'your own'" or "Don't you want to have one of 'your own' instead? Adoption is not something people enter into lightly. And prospective adoptive families already do consider this child that they do not even know as 'their own'. By saying this to an adoptive family, it insinuates that you will not be accepting their new addition as your 'own' grandchild/neice/nephew/etc. Also- many families that consider adoption have been through long periods of time dealing with infertility and adoption may be a very emotional decision. It signifies the end of one dream and the beginning of a new dream. Supporters need to be very sensitive to this and be positive!

•Share your concerns about the finances of adoption, but do it in a non-judgemental way. Yes, adoption is expensive. But you need to understand that there are grants, fundraisers, and ways to aquire the money. So instead of looking at the people who want to adopt and saying, "Oh my gosh- you are so poor, you will never be able to afford this!" say something like, "I know that this will be expensive, how can we help you plan a fundraiser?"

•Do not recall in gory detail every terrible adoption story you've ever heard. This is the equivalent of telling a pregnant woman that her baby will be born with 12 arms and she will be in labor for 3 weeks and her boobs will fall all the way down to the ground after breastfeeding. Just don't do it.

•If the family is adopting internationally, do not condescendingly talk about how there are so many kids here in America who need home. Each person needs to do what feels right for their family. Sometimes that means adopting domestically, and sometimes that means going international. Either way, a child who needs a home and a family will get one. Focus on that fact and leave your personal opinions about which you think is best to yourself. Remember- they are BOTH awesome (and BOTH necessary!)

2. Once families are in process:

•Check in with the adoptive family's (from here on out called A.F.) emotions! Adoption can be a very emotional process. There are days where you are in the dumps and days when you want to celebrate. Give the A.F. the space to talk about their feelings and their frustrations. When they call super excited and say, "I got my I-171h", pretend like you know what they are talking about and jump up and down and throw a party.

• Throw a baby shower just as if the A.F. was pregnant. Make a big stinkin' deal over the mom to be. Obviously, don't play the how big is your belly game. But do everything else the same!

•Support A.F. fundraisers. They need your help! Better yet- host a fundraising dinner, pancake breakfast, auction, raffle, etc. to help the family raise the money to bring their child home.

•If there are other children already in the A.F. offer to babysit them leading up to traveling so that mom and dad get a few last dates in before the new addition.

•If the adoption is international, educate yourself about the child's birth country.

•If the adopted child will be of a different race, educate yourself about transracial families by reading articles, books, etc. Just googling transracial families will bring up a wealth of information.

•Offer to keep siblings, pets and housesit for the A.F. when they are traveling.

3. Once families are home:

•All the same rules apply as when you bring a baby home from the hospital. Bring food, offer to coordinate meals and food dropoffs for church groups. Come over and clean. Wash clothes and put away laundry. Wash dishes. Do not believe the A.F. when they say they do not need help. THEY DO!

•Respect the A.F's rules regarding holding their new addition. Many families may wish to not have any outsiders (this includes Grandma!) holding their child so that this child who has been with many caregivers can learn who mom and dad are. A.F's do not do this to hurt your feelings. They are only doing what they feel is best for their new child. Do not make them feel bad about this.

•Also- sometimes to foster attachment in our adopted kiddos, the parent's don't want to leave them with a sitter or family member for a long period of time after coming home. Understand that this is not because the family member or sitter is not trusted or loved. It is just to help give the new child the right sense of family and permanance.

•Offer to run the carpool, run errands, cut the grass, babysit the siblings, pick up items at the grocery. New moms are notoriously sleep deprived- even if this is the 10th child they've adopted. Drop over a huge cup of Starbucks. Say hello at the door with said cup of coffee and leave.

•Give gift cards for takeout and pizza- so that long after the food welcome wagon has stopped coming, the family can still eat without having to cook! Seriously- who wants to cook when you've been up all night with a crying baby?

•Even though the A.F. did not give birth, families who are bringing home new children will be exhausted from long nights in the hospital (domestic adoption), long flights or a week or two in a foreign land with a new baby who has most likely been screaming non-stop because the child has no idea what is happening to them. Give the A.F. the forum to share how ragged they are. Do not judge them. Every single part is not going to be perfect. Let them get how hard it all is off their chest without feeling guilty about it.

•Watch for post adoption depression. It is a real thing. Just because a woman isn't flooded with pregnancy hormones, doesn't mean that she can't develop depression. There is a lot of leadup going into an adoption and sometimes the reality is tough and can lead to lots of emotional ugliness. Be supportive.

•Do not expect adoptive parents to be "super parents". I find that there is a huge stigma that adoptive families should have it all together because they "paid a lot" for their children. All families are on a learning curve- no matter how they got their children. Do not be quick to dispense advice if you've never adopted a child (because parenting an adopted child in the early days is a lot different than a biological child), but be quick to say, "How can I help?"- Then be willing to actually help!

•Most of all, share in the joy that comes with bringing a new child into the family!
If you've done a post about this topic- or want to write a post about this topic and put in ideas that I've left off- PLEASE link it up!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ya Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yay!!! Thanks to all of you who read our post yesterday about the 20 kids left unsponsored in the trash dump in Ethipoia!!!Thanks to all of you who prayed for this fogotten community. Thanks to all of you who stepped up and sponsored. Thanks to all of you who prayed that people would sponsor!!

GUESS WHAT??? News hot off the press is that


Those kids now KNOW that they are NOT forgotten! Did y'all see that cardboard house that 15 boys were living in at the actual dump on the Ordinary Hero blog? Oh my gosh.... I would have LOVED to have seen their faces this morning when all 15 were told that they are going to school!!!! And that they will have food. and shelter. and books. and clothes. and an American family!!! And we did it in ONE day!! God is sooo good!!!.... and they all said AMEN!!! Thank you! Thank You!
Thank YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

Alright, now back to the grind of getting our little one home!

Update: We are making HUGE progress here on the paperwork trail and I believe we will be ready next week to start sending off our dossier items to be looked over to see if everything looks right!! I will keep you all posted!! And PLEASE keep those bead orders coming!!!We may be selling one Saturday soon at a local buisness in Coolsprings! I will keep you posted on dates and location!! In the mean time you know where to find me and we ship also!! :)They make fabulous gifts!!

Thanks Y'all!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Urgent- Sponsorships Needed-- Help get these kids out of the trash!!!

Ok, so does anyone remember my post about our favorite place in all of Ethiopia? It was the beloved trash dump. I know some of you know the name of this place, but for security reasons I am not naming it in this post. :) Here is the deal; there lies a need that I need YOU to look into your finances to support and it needs to be THIS WEEK! There are 20 kids that still need sponsoring from the trash dump. If you sponsor they get to leave the trash dump and go to a TOP boarding school in a beautiful countryside. They will have shelter, food and basic hygene provided, as well as an outstanding education that will forever change their family tree. They will call YOU their American Mothers and Fathers. They will write you and have a relationship with YOU. This is REAL. This is NOT the stuff you see on TV that you wonder if your money really makes a difference? I have seen this operation and it is legit. This operation is led by many angels who care more for these people than their own comforts. This time your money really will SAVE A CHILD!
You will rescue them from scowering though the dump to find food. Do you know they look for jelly jars that yield a birr and a coke bottle that yields 2 birr? They know which drivers drive the trash with the Hilton leftovers, and the Sheraton's.

I believe there were 200 kids total to sponsor and we are down to the "least of these."- 20 left!!! My heart hurts tonight as I type this knowing that they have been photographed and told they MAY have a chance to get an education and get out of the trash.... There are 20 kids left. Ouch. Can you imagine if the 20 don't get to go to school like they were told they MAY get to? These kids are the least of these. They have seldom, if ever, had anyone tell them that they believe in them or have given them a chance. You see, they didn't really believe they were going to get a sponsor. No one has ever cared for them, some don't even believe God cares about them, so why would they be able to dream of another life? Are you able to show them differently tomorrow when they wake up? They could actually hear the news that they are going to be given the CHANCE to go to school and to LEARN and to DREAM! We need 20 sponsors by August 31st, actaully by next week or myself and my trip mates are going to be a hot mess.

Forget helping fund OUR adoption for now-- God has already told us he will provde the funds for that. I am asking, begging, for those of you reading this blog to PLEASE help 1 of these children. They NEED a chance. They NEED someone, anyone, to believe in them and to get them out of a landfill for the Love of God. I smelled it, I saw it, my SON saw it. There were pigs wallowing in it. It was awful. We have to get them out!!! I can't sleep knowing they are there! These children are sooo precious and sooo deserving of sooo much more. I beleive that GOD is commanding us to rise up and share our blessings with them. They have nothing-- yet they don't complain. It is ALL they know. They BELIEVE they are cursed. Can you please change the life of ONE?

It will cost you $700 a year, or $58.33 a month. That is about the same price as your phone bill or your internet bill. This year and next and next. Until they finish school. Tonight we disrupted the birth order of our children. Tonight we adopted Getahun Tadusa and he LIVES in the dump. Selfishly, I thought we couldn't pay for him to go to school... You see we were trying to "figure out" how to get our liitle man home from Ethiopia who is 3 so I thought that was more important. I saw a post last night that there were 20 kids left, un-sponsored. Ugh. That hurt. God had already told me he would fund the adopton. Last night I didn't sleep. This morning I told my husband we HAVE to help. Take the money out of the emergency fund- wherever. These kids NEED a chance and we gave it tonight.I can't belive it took me this long to get that he WILL fund what he favors. I had heard him tell me this, but I didn't fully believe. HE has been telling me this all along, and now he is asking met to tell YOU. If you can help here is what you need to do- email
Erin Allen at and she will get you all squared away with a child. You will be helping the "least of these". Their lives will be forever changed...and so will yours.

One last video of some of the footage we witnessed while we were in the dump. This is a MUST SEE video. Click here to see our beloved trash dump, filled with promise.

Ordinary Hero is the group I went to Ethiopia with. We were in Ethiopia with this group ONE month ago. Here is the OH blog that just posted out a cry for help last night as well. Check it out and please spread the word-- I know God will find sponsors for "the least of these"!

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me."


The Payne Family ( of 6 now) Philip, Gina, Robby, Caitlin, Getahun and Mamo :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sometimes the Truth HURTS!

A friend (Tracy Mihnovich) wrote this on her blog and I liked it so much I wanted to share it with you.....

“What is happening to orphans right now as I write?

They are hungry.
They are eating trash.
They are chased away from the trash.
They are naked.
They are exhausted from running scared all the time.
They are tied up.
They live without shelter.
They live in fear of being abducted.
They live in fear of being eaten by wild animals.
They are raped.
They are prostituted.
They are beaten---in unimaginable ways.
They witness their friends being sold.
They live in fear being sold themselves.
They are forced to lie.
They steal out of necessity.
They are burned.
They are bruised.
Sometimes they wish they were never born.
They feel invisible.
They wonder why God doesn't like them.”

They are crying out to the Lord because of their oppressor. Isaiah 19:20

“And in a world where one third of the population claims to be Christian--- there needs to be no one left behind.
We know better.”

Another friend (Katie Davis) wrote this last year on her blog:

"I am sad and I am angry. Between no sleep and a million doctors appointments and Bible club on Thursday and Saturday program tomorrow and trying to raise 13 children and spend enough time with each of them, maybe you will right my saddess and anger of as the rantings of an exhausted mother and maybe they are, but this is my blog and I am going to say what I feel like. I am MAD. I have been sad and broken for these children for so long and it has finally turned into a hardened anger. I am angry that this culture so lies to women that Michael's stepmother believes that she does not have to care for this child who is not biologically hers, though she has ample means to. I am angry that in the "Pearl of Africa" and the most fertile region of it at that, a mother has litteraly NO food to feed her baby, not to mention herself or 6 other kids. I am angry that the result of this is that these sweet ones suffer in their innocence. I have said it before and it still holds true: I DO NOT BELIEVE that the God of the universe created too many children in His image and not enough love or food or care to go around. In fact I believe that He created the Body of Christ for just that, to help these little ones, the least of these. And I believe that except for a handful, the Body of Christ is failing. And its not just me who thinks this. When I'm angry, I like to research so that I can at least feel a bit justified in my rage ;) According to several differnt resources, there are an average of 147 million orphaned children in the world today (this statistic includes children who have lost only one parent as well), 11 million children starve to death each year or die from preventable, treatable illness. 8.5 million children work as child slaves, prostitutes, or in other horrific conditions (making things like that cute baby Gap dress Jane wore today...) 2.3 million children world wide are living with HIV.

That is 168.8 million needy children like Michael and Patricia. Seems like a big number, huh? It shouldn't, because there are 2.1 BILLION people on this earth who profess to be Christians. Jesus followers. Servants. Gospel live-ers. And if only 8 percent of those Christians would care for just ONE of these needy children, they would all be taken care of."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lots of emotions!!!

Ok, so by now I am sure you know that we have started fundraising our way towards our little one's adoption by selling Uganda beads!!!! Click here to see our post and find out how to get yours today! I know some of you are wiped out from back to school shopping and writing all of those checks to your school!!! I know, I am too! Just know I will be selling these for a while, so I have them when you are ready- No worries!!! We have ordered more beads this week, which means they are moving!!!!Yay!!! I have even sold 12 sets as GIFTS for Christmas!!! So hats off to you who are knocking out your Christmas lists! They are very ORIGINAL gifts so keep it in mind! If you have ANY ideas on how we can sell more of these, will you please send me a message? I need to be in front of people-- maybe if you have a booth opportunity at your elementary fall festival or church? anything like that- please let me know!!! We will travel by car to share our story- just let us know if you have any ideas!!! (

Thanks already to those of you who posted our links to our blog on your facebook page and blog pages! Yay! We had 300 views the day we started fundrasing!! That is wonderful!!! :) Thanks to those of you who have bought your beads! Please keep wearing them!!! If your necklace doesn't look good with your outfit today, remember to wrap them around your arm as a bracelet!!! PLEASE, when you start collecting your compliments tell them about us and if you know them take their order for us!!!

I have been so happy to reconnect with some friends from high school and college that I have not spoken with in some time!! :) It is sooo great to catch up and thanks for all of your support!!! So awesome to see my NEW friends getting behind us too!

I love the pictures you are all sending to my phone of YOU wearing your beads!!!Keep them coming!!They so make me smile!!! We are so grateful for the support of ALL of our friends and ALL of our family!!! Thank you all soo much!!!

Thanks to those of you who are sooo creative and are printing out our fundraiser blog post and passing around and posting at your work place! What a great idea!!! I have one friend who is selling a bunch for us like this-- I am getting ready to ship her some beads and I can't wait to see how many she sells when she OPENS her box of beads at work!!! She works with a whole lot of women and that is sooo our target audience!!!:) Thanks Kathy!!! :)

Thanks to those of you, who continue to support us and those of you who will in the future!! I LOVE this fundraiser opportunity, because it touches sooo many people. We initailly started fundraising for Katie in Uganda by having a yard sale for her in our neighborhood. We were so impressed that this little girl from Brentwood, who went to Ravenwood HS, was doing so much for the children in Uganda, Africa! We weren't even thinking about adoption at this point, we just loved her heart and wanted to help HER. I read one of Katie's posts on her blog that changed MY heart forever. God has worked so fast, placing us front and center on this adoption journey! We have been to Africa, seen this beautiful county and have heard the cries of his children there. I miss Africa so much everyday.(I will save that for another post.) We know this is HIS plan for our family! It's crazy, but I am so glad to follow him and I beleive HE wants us to spread the word about the orphan crisis that exists in this world. You can read here how Katie taught these beautiful women how to make the Uganda beads. She changed their lives forever and with every bead purchase YOU continue to provide an income to these women. You allow us to collect a portion of our sales to go towards my son's adoption and half of the money goes back to help fund Katie's feeding program! You help 3 different causes at once with your purchase! I am so happy to be able to continue to bless Katie with our fundraising efforts!!

We have A LOT of fundraising to do. Here are a few ideas we are tossing around. Bead sales, garage sales, consignment sales, family t-shirt sales and raffles. We have had a few friends mention holding fundraiser parties for us too! For those of you wondering HOW MUCH this adoption will cost, brace yourselves. It will be around $30K. Yes, I said that right. We are looking at possibly a late Winter/early Spring homecoming for our little guy, so that is a LOT of money to raise in a short time!! God keeps telling me "more than enough". My husband texted me those words yesterday too, so I believe that he is hearing that from him too. We beleive he will provide "More than enough".

Here are some ways you can help if you want to.... donate to our adoption fund- we have a paypal link at the top of our blog. BUY some beads for yourself and your friends, tell your friends, help us sell some beads!! If you are about to toss out or goodwill any clothes, toys,furniture or other items would you PLEASE consider doanting to our garage sale? We will hopefully have that in October.

If you are creative can you throw out a tshirt design idea if you have one? All we know is we want the continent of Africa on our shirt... that is all we have.. we need help!!!

If you have a business or know someone who does who could donate some goods or services would you send ideas our way? We would love to do an online raffle or online silent auction.

If you have any car connections will you let us know? We would LOVE to get a car donation that we could raffle off....that would be so awesome!!!

If you know someone in the MUSIC industry that would like to help us with a charity concert or an autographed "something", that would be amazing!!! So many ideas, so little time! If you want to help please call me and let's talk! 615-516-4401

So last night was a tough one for me. You see, ever since we got back from Ethiopia, we have been busier than a bee. We are living in mountains of paperwork, trying to get "paper ready" once the courts open in October. There is sooo much paperwork. We wake up everyday and tackle another piece of paper/task on our list. We have been dealing with homestudy visits, more doctor appointments, TB skin tests, ordering birth certificates, sending those off to get seals from the Secretary of State, collecting tax info, collecting employment letters and reference letters,... there is just so much more to do. It has kept us really busy, in addition to our kid's carpools, and yes, we both work outside the home. Last night, I was a little teary and Philip picked up on it immediatley. I am tired and I miss my little guy. All I have is a few pictures and a few videos of him, and my memory of spending a little time with him. I have already memorized them. I know this is progressing at record lightning speed and I signed up for this, but my heart is breaking for that little boy who is sitting half way across the world in his new orphanage. I wish I could hold him and tell him I am coming. He is so little, what is he thinking? His whole world changed the day before I met him. He was brought to this orphanage and I wonder what he thinks is happening to him? Oh, my heart just breaks, and breaks. I miss him and love him so much already. This is going to be emotional for me and I realize I have been so covered up in paperwork that this has been a distraction. I know others wait so much longer than us, so I dont want to complain. I just want this paperwork to be DONE, I want it submitted to the courts and to pass on the first try, and I long for our first travel date so I can SEE him again. Today, I am praying for patience. I know there is a lot to do to get him home and that needs to be my focus, but it's hard. God has been so faithful; and I know all things are done in HIS time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

READY, SET, FUNDRAISE !!! Magazine Beads are HERE!!!

LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALL PURCHASES WILL HELP BRING OUR SON HOME FROM ETHIOPIA, AFRICA!!! We are fundraising the money needed to help bring him home, and in the process we hope to educate others of the Orphan Crisis that exists in this WORLD! There are 147 Million Orphans in this world that need a Forever Family!!! Will YOU support us???

These necklaces are made by women in Uganda, Africa from the Karamojong tribe . Katie Davis with Amazima Ministries taught these beautiful women a trade, so that they may provide for their children.

These beads are handmade from recycled magazines and paper! There are no 2 alike!

These faboulus hoop earrings are COW HORNS!!!!

Come on people, how many do you want??? My advice here is to buy 2 earrings in different colors so you can change out with your outfits!!! FUN!!!!

We are asking for $40 donation for the set (necklace and earrings!) I am starting with 30 to sell. I want to buy 300+ more, so let's see how fast we can move these out! I just love the story behind these gorgeous beads!
If you want to buy a necklace with 2 earrings to mix/match it is $55 donation! Necklaces by themselves are $25! Time to stock up!!! Thanks so much for your support!!! :)

147 MILLION ORPHANS, a local buisness run by my high school friend, Suzanne and my new friend, Gwen, support these women of the Karamojong Tribe by buying their necklaces. This allows these women from Uganda to support their families, and in turn they help adoptive families, like us, raise money to fund their adoptions!!! The Karamojong women create these beautiful necklaces by hand and from re-cycled paper. The goal is to help these women of Africa maintain sustainable income for their families, without having to resort to begging, digging in the trash for food or even prostitution.

AND 50%+ of the profits back to a feeding program run by Katie Davis. It is a beautiful full circle story of the body of Christ. If you remember this is where our journey all started-- BY HELPING KATIE! See day 1 of our blog-Living a Better Story!!

Buy a necklace and you feed a child in Africa, employ an amazing group of women in Africa, and help us bring our son home from AFRICA!!! Tell your husband this was a shopping moment that HELPED so many people-- and you get a cool necklace and earrings that EVERYONE is going to be talking about!!! It's a Win,Win,Win,Purchase!

You can wear them all different ways-- as a long necklace,


and some you can triple,

or as a cool chunky bracelet!

They make GREAT gifts so stock up!!!

Buy one for yourself,for your mom, your sister and for a friend! Email me at and tell me how many you want or leave me a comment on this post! Please wear them everywhere and when you have someone ask you about it, will you please send them our way?

***If you are interested in helping me sell these, to help bring our little guy home from Ethiopia,Africa please let me know! Once you start wearing the goods you will see how many compliments you get! I get compliments ALL THE TIME when I wear mine! Every little bit helps, and we really appreciate your order of one or ten!!! So please consider helping us sell a few necklaces when you start getting all of your compliments!

We are so excited and cant wait to see what God can do with this opportunity to help sooo many people!!! If you would be so kind, would you please scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the Facebook or Twitter link and share with all of your friends? We need to get in front of as many people as possible! Thanks for helping us market this fundraiser!!!Thanks Y'all!!!

There are many ways to pay for your purchase-there is a "Payne Adoption Fund" Paypal link on our blog that you may pay by credit or check card! You can also mail me a check or drop by the house! We accept cash, check and credit!! Our ADOPTIN FUND IS NOW OPEN!!!!
If you pay by paypal don't forget to send me an email about who you are and how many you want so we can arrange a way for you to get your goods! (via mail, in person, etc..) *There will be an additional $5 fee for all mail orders to cover shipping! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WE ARE EXPECTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, you heard that right! WE ARE EXPECTING!!!!.... a child from Africa to join our family early next year!!!!! We have completed our Home-Study visits and we mailed off our paperwork to our adoption agency!!

We are pursuing the adoption of that sweet, sweet 3 year old boy that we blogged about on Day 5. It is really a sweet story. I had a heavy heart when I blogged that post that evening. I was already in LOVE with him, and selfishly wanted him to be part of OUR family. We weren't paper-ready and I knew others out there were. We had not heard anything back from the Adoption Agency that we were considering since that Monday, when I asked if she could wait for us to get paper-ready. She had told me she had to check her list first, and I assumed someone must had accepted him already.

We were starting our homestudy process the next day. That Thurday morning when I woke up, I had 3 emails in my inbox from the agency director. I took a deep breath, and opened the emails. She was willing to work with us!!... under the condition that we move at warp speed to be paper-ready by October when the Ethiopian courts re-open. (They aren't seeing any new cases right now, since they are on winter break.)

Yes, Yes! We will be ready! Ready, Set, Pray People!!!

We can't share at this time his name, any video or pictures of him, but we will as soon as he is "officially" ours!!! I can share with you that he is a DOLL! So sweet, so precious! We recieved a video of him yesterday in the mail from Sue, our agency director, at Celebrate Children! It is so great to see more footage of him. He is so stinking sweet- even if he is dressed in a girls pink shirt! Philip informed me immediately that he would be wearing some Titan's gear as soon as we get him home!!!!

This whole process is happening so fast! We are buried in paperwork, but it's ok! We are moving swiflty through it, trying to get him HOME as soon as possible!

We do believe God wants us to share our story of our journey, so we will be fundraising like crazy to go towards his adoption. By doing this, we will be creating awareness of the Orphan Crisis in this world. . There are over 147 Million Orphans out there who need a FOREVER family. Maybe we will be able to share our story, and open the hearts of one or two families along the way. We really need your support and prayers as we begin this journey!!!

We are so excited and so happy to finally tell all of you of HIS plans for our family!!! Ok, we've got to get busy... toddler proofing the house!!!!

So much to do!! Someone pinch us! This really IS happening! God is so Good! This all started when we started our "Living a Better Story Journey", which was the first post on our blog! Ok, BUMC-- did you expect this? We didn't, but we are so thankful for that $35 we recieved that Sunday morning. We have been faithful and God has led the way!

Philip, Gina, Robby and Caitlin Payne :)

Watch this video. Robby and I are ready to go back right now!

Click Here and grab a box of Kleenex. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Trip to Ethiopia By: Robby Payne

This was really an eye-opening trip for me. It really helped me realize how well off we are & how lucky we are here in America. Here in the States we always want more & are never satisfied with what we do have. Kids in Ethiopia were just as happy as could be with 1 flat soccer ball & rocks to set up as goals.

Their shoes are falling apart & their clothes have holes everywhere. They are just happy with one pair of decent fitting clothes. They would be overjoyed with our old clothes that we think, "aren't cool anymore."

The orphans there really knew how to make the best of a bad situation. Their parents aren't there with them anymore & they are sent to a new place to live with nothing to call their own, yet they will make friends & find ways to have fun & be happy with the little that they do have. I'm really glad I was able to go on this trip with my mom. I met new people, made new friends, & really found out what the other side of the world is like. It's full of orphans, just wanting to be loved.

Before this trip, I didn't want to have anything to do with a soccerball & now I have newly found respect for this sport. Soccer is the only escape many of them have, yet they'll play it & have a great time no matter what. There are so many reasons for them to lose hope, but they don't.

The trashdump was definitely my favorite place we visited. They amount of need there was unbelieveable. I can't believe that they have to dig through the dump to find there food & other neccessities. There are so many kids, and adults too, that need help there. Too many people. If we go back I would for sure want to go back to the trashdump. To see how great the need is there, you really have to watch the video that we will be posting soon.

They keep going everyday, hoping someday to have new hope. Ethiopia is a country that really needs our help. This was an unforgettable trip & I really hope to go back sometime soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last day in Ethiopia!

Today we loaded a lot of empty bags back on to the bus with a final destination to the U.S.! Not much to pack returning home-- thanks so much for ALL of the donations that all of you helped pack for the kids here who have so little! They were all so thankful! We loaded up our last bit of goodies and this morning we took them all back to the kids who live in the trashdump. We, as a group, just couldn't get enough of this place and their beautiful people.

Kelly, our fearless trip leader was asked to come photograph some of the children here with hopes to have them adopted. You see there are no agencies that work here to help these children. This unbelieveably poor village rely on each other to help care for thier children, with very little resources to do so. We weren't sure what to expect, but once we got there women and men began lining up with their children to be photographed in hopes of a new and better life for them. There were just so many.

Remember, most people here have leprosy, or HIV, or have lost their spouse. Many kids have lost both parents, and live with neighbors. I saw the individual school sponsor forms for hundreds of kids and their stories were very similar regarding their background. Many wer living with one parent with leprosy, or living with a grandmother or neighbor. I never saw a child with 2 parents that were healthy. We will have to see what God has planned for these children. I truly believe that we are to act as his hands and feet to help this community. I can't wait to see what God has in store for this forgotten community!!

The church ministry in the dump was holding their summer camp, and we went to help teach in their classrooms!! It was great fun and a great way to see how this ministry is serving the children who live here!!

Melissa, one of my trip mates taught our group the song and movements to "knees, shoulders, heads and toes", "heads and toes!" and it was a riot!!!

Rachel, my roomie, taught them how to play "Heads up, 7up! They just ate all of these American games up! They then sang a bunch of songs for us! Carol, our amazing prayer warrior, was singing and dancing all over the room with them!! I helped with their recognition of English numbers by having them come up one at a time to write the number I asked them to on the chalkboard! They were about to take a test, so I helped them review!

It was aweome and they were all trying so hard! I was so thankful to have 2 teachers in our room! Rachel and Melissa you are awesome and have such an amazing gift to teach!!! After this, we went to help serve lunch for the kids. No goats today, but injeria for all! Injeria is what they ate everywhere we went! It is a kind of spongey bread that they spread a pastey sauce over. We had it a few times while we were on our trip.

I was so sad that I missed one of Robby's most memorable moments of the trip. We were getting ready to leave and Robby, my son, went into the school where all the kids were and he gave his shoes that he was wearing to a boy about 15 years old.

He said the kid's shoes were falling apart and that he needed them more. Now, what happend next was amazing. You see, he gave one pair of shoes, in front of a hundred kids or so, to one boy. The boy who recieved the shoes stood up, questioned Robby that they were really for him, then he got a little choked up. What the rest of the kids did at that moment was atand up and cheer! They were so happy for their friend! They didn't bombard Robby and ask them for another pair. They were gracious and just so happy for the boy who received the shoes!

After he told me what happend, I followed suit and the same ritual happend again as I gave away my tennis shoes. The child was so grateful and my heart was so full! I am so happy that Robby was able to experience this and FEEL the love behind his actions! What a proud mama I was!

We left our beloved trash dump to do a bit of last minute shopping, visit the National Museum, enjoyed an early dinner, then off to the airport! I was so ready to go home to see my family, yet so sad to leave Ethiopia! (I set off the alarms at the airport when we were checking in, beacause I still had 2 "makenas"/matchbox cars shoved in my pockets!! Ha! Ha!) We were ready to get back to see those we loved at home, but we vowed to not forget what we had seen!

I hoped and prayed as we got on the plane, that our family would be returning sooner than later to adopt a child from this country! Hopefully this was just one of our many journeys to this beautiful country and I so can't wait to go back!!!