Thursday, December 26, 2013


We wanted to give everyone a chance to get through the holidays before we started but now...the Holts are in full fundraising mode!!!! Our goal is to raise about $15,000 by the end of March-yikes! We hope to cover as much of the adoption from our own income but need to be fundraising as much as possible so that we have all we need as fees are due. Any funds left in our adoption account will be donated to either another adoption fund or an orphanage. Maybe we'll take a vote when the time comes?
I am happy to answer any questions about when and where the money will be used. We have already had so many friends and family helping in this area and we want to keep everything out in the open for you.
We have a few fundraisers coming up and I will be updating this blog and posting to facebook as they are ready.

Sister's birthday is just a couple of weeks away. It's her last birthday without her family!!!!!!!!! Last year while we "celebrated" her birthday, it was a hard day as we grieved her absence. This year we celebrate with hope and full faith that she is coming home. We are having a Birthday Giveaway in her honor. My hope is to raise $500 by January 11. On the 12th if our goal is reached, I will draw for 3 names.

The first will receive this beautiful premium Scentsy warmer and your choice of 3 bars from my stock. 

The second will receive this Introduction to Essential Oils Kit which includes the introductory audio CD and booklet and a 5 ml bottle of dōTERRA's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils.
The third will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

There are 2 ways you can enter.

Share this blog post on Facebook or your blog for ONE entry. Be sure and tag me or send me the link!

Make a donation. $5 for 2 entries. $10 for 3 entries. $25 for 10 entries!!!!

Where to make your donation

Donations can be given in person or mailed to 

Holt Family Adoption
2110 Fort Worth Highway
Weatherford, TX 76086

Or you can donate online at our Reece's Rainbow Family Sponsorship Page. Donations made here are tax deductible. If you donate online you must email a copy of your receipt to ( to be entered in the giveaway.

Thanks for helping us bring our babies home!

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Provider

This week has been HARD. I like to be tough and independent and a glass half full kind of girl, but I was physically, mentally and emotionally broken over the past few days. Do you ever have one of those moments where no one thing has been devastating but just so many little things come at once that you feel defeated? I know adoption plays a huge role in this. There's no way to explain the heaviness you feel constantly knowing that your little ones are still waiting for you on the other side of the ocean...still.  In addition to that I had just found out that I will have to make the big trips to Eastern Europe with Jacob for the adoption and while I'm thrilled at the chance to spend more time with Captain and Sister, I am nervous about leaving the kids, traveling with a new born and of course the travel expenses (a large portion of our total cost) now doubled. Anyway, this week... Jacob was out of town. That's never a good start. I forget how much I need him until he's not here. We were down to one working toilet, washing machine quit working and to top it off we caught the flu. With our new insurance plan I spent about $700 in one day on urgent care and medicine! Naturally I had really started to stress out over our finances. Jacob has been blessed with a wonderful job that provides nicely for our family but adoption expenses wiped us out this month. Knowing we still had to come up with another $20,000 for the adoption was just overwhelming and really felt impossible. My faith was fading fast.
 This morning I was telling Jacob how glad I was that I had cooked up so many freezer meals last month because our grocery money for the next few weeks was gone and that we would need to at least get some fruit this week especially with everyone fighting the flu. I just needed to wait until we had paid all of our bills and put gas in the cars to do it. At nap time I walked over to mom's (next door) to put a load of clothes in her washing machine and when I got back just a couple of minutes later would you guess what was on my porch? A box full of juice, crackers, a sweet note and FRUIT. I'm sure the sweet friend who dropped it by has know idea the magnitude of this gift. To anyone else it was a box of fruit but to me it was a message from my heavenly Father saying, "Daughter, I've got this. Just trust me. I've had it all along. Put your trust in Me, your Provider. Sit back and watch Me work." In that box was the one thing I had said we needed today.
So with all that said I want to tell you a little more about the journey we went through last year and how we got to where we are now. If you remember it was September of 2012 that we first committed to making Captain and Sister part of our family. In reality it was an email sent but in our hearts we became a family of 8 and they have been a part of us ever since. Of course just a week or so later we received the news that the kids were not available for adoption and likely never would be. They would just grow up in the orphanage until the day they aged out(15 I think). Statistically about 80% of girls who age out end up in prostitution and boys in some form of crime as well. Of course, they are still children with nothing and that is their hope of survival. It's absolutely heartbreaking and just wasn't an option for us. So we decided to fight for them. You can read more about that here. Please do, its a beautiful part of this journey that I am grateful for as painful as it was.
 I guess it was October 2012, just a few weeks later, that I first saw Beatrice. I knew God was calling us to her but didn't understand His intentions. I even begged Jacob to let us adopt her too but he knew she wasn't ours. Reece's Rainbow has a fundraiser every year where you pick a child from the Angel Tree and commit to raising money for them over the holidays. I realized that was why God had showed her to me but I was still reluctant. We had our own adoption to raise money for and we still had no idea how we were going to get the kids. Nothing had changed. They were still unavailable. He wanted us to starting fundraising for this other child who didn't even have a committed family??? I questioned Him and He answered. If you don't believe God speaks to us, you need to just be quiet and listen. Sometimes it's a still small voice and makes no sense. This time He told me to take care of Beatrice and He would take care of our children (Captain and Sister). So we did. We signed up and fundraised our little hearts out all the while wondering what He was up to. A few weeks into Angel Tree a family committed to adopting Beatrice. I was so excited! The family was wonderful and the mom and I became fast friends. I shared with her what had happened in our adoption and she knew someone who might be able to help! Did you catch that? We were taking care of Beatrice and God in His sovereignty brought someone into Beatrice's adoption story that knew someone that could help us! Just like He said! This person was an attorney from the country where our children are and she has done such amazing work! God used her to get our kids registered as orphans and available for adoption. She has been such a blessing to us and our kids. I can't help but wonder how things would have played out if we had not obeyed God.
So in continuing with obedience and trusting God to be our Provider, I am going to ask you for money. It's not for us. I know we may need to start some serious fundraising in the near future, but I have faith that God is faithful and He will do it just as He promised. I can't wait to watch. Right now the Tannehills who are adopting Beatrice are still short about $13,000. They expect to travel in January. I am asking the Body of Christ to rise up and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Trust Him with your finances. Give up something else and give to the Tannehills. I don't preach a doctrine of health and wealth, but I do believe that obedience is followed by blessing. Take a little step of faith. Just see what happens.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November-National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month so I'd like to spend a little time discussing ....adoption.
I'd love to write a happy feel good post but this just isn't it. Honestly as a Christian it's just embarrassing. So if you want to avoid conviction, go ahead and check out now.

I said in my last post that I would spend some more time addressing the question "why adopt?"

Honestly, its pretty simple. There are an estimated 132 million orphans in the world. We are a family. We have a home. They have neither. Adoption is the answer. It drives me crazy that adopting families have to spend so much time defending their decision to adopt, especially amongst other Christians!

Really? Have we all forgotten how we were saved? Were you born into the family of God? Or maybe, you were broken, unwanted, alone...and Someone saw value in you. Someone was willing to risk His own pain, discomfort, vulnerability...was willing to give up riches, to pay the ultimate price...all so you could be...ADOPTED.

  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12

  "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father."For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children."  Romans 8:14-16

  "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." Galations 4:4-6

 There are some common traps we Christians fall into. The first is that our calling is insignificant(just a mother, just a teacher... )  We envy those with "greater" ministries- because we were called to stay at home instead on moving overseas or called teach a Sunday school class rather than preaching to the multitudes. We forget that we are all part of a bigger picture and our job is to be the very best_____ that we can and do everything with excellence as unto the Lord.

 However, the even greater trap is that because we were called to be ______ we are exempt from other ministries. What a great job the enemy has done...and we let him. We have convinced ourselves that taking care of the orphan is someone else's calling, so much so that there are an estimated 132 million orphans in the world!!! That's just embarrassing! But but but... Look at our church! The sanctuary is overflowing! Look at this community event we put on! See how we donated to the food bank and pray for this missionary and volunteered in this fundraiser?... All while the most vulnerable are left helpless because we are too scared to step out of our comfort zones. Because we are so caught up in material things that we can't possibly pay the ransom for a lonely hurting child? Because we are too busy, too tired, too old, too young, too poor, too ....disobedient, selfish???

So if you are waiting to hear the call, here you go

  "Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed." Psalm 82:3

  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

" So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:17

Please visit our Family Sponsorship Page to see where we are at in our adoption journey.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Our Adoption

I guess this serves as our official announcement...we are adopting. I know we've been "adopting" for a while now but this time the kinks are worked out and everything is really happening! I get asked A LOT of questions and wanted to take some time and answer all of them for everyone at once. Skip the ones you don't care about and read the ones you do. This may be long.

1. Why are you adopting?

This question needs a post of its own and I think I will do that soon. For now I'd like to just share this beautiful post by a man who was adopted as a young child. Please read it. It's worth your time. 


2. Who are you adopting?

We are adopting a 4 year old boy and 5 year old girl from Eastern Europe. They are siblings. They are listed as "Charlotte and Jaden" on Reece's Rainbow because their real names can not legally be shared. Our kids call them "Captain and Sister" and that is what you will see them as in our blog. We will call them by their given/birth names once they are "ours."

3. 7 kids! You are going to have seven kids? But you are expecting? Why are you still adopting if you're pregnant?

Yep-7!!! I know, it even sounds a little crazy to me when I think about it. After Caleb was born and we felt the call to adopt we thought, "Five, we can handle five." Of course we found two little ones and decided six didn't sound so bad. Number seven of course was a huge surprise for us! So what now, do we leave them as orphans because we are pregnant? Of course not! God knew all along. His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in my weakness. I'm not worried. How much love and laughter will my home and heart be filled with!!!

4. Do you have enough room?

We are currently in a 3 bedroom house. Yeah...its a little crowded. We have 3 sets of bunk beds and everyone sleeps comfortably. It forces us to spend lots of time outside getting exercise and soaking up vitamin D. How wonderful! Of course we have plans to move into a bigger home or add on soon. However right now our focus is to get the adoption paid for and bring our kids home. After that we can start making plans for some more space.

5. What will you drive?

O boy! our little surprise blessing kind of bumped us out of the "normal"
 sized vehicle. No more minivans or SUVs for this family. We are officially in the market for a 10 passenger van. I've got my eye on the Nissan but we'll see what the best deal is when the time comes. We are going to wait until the kids get home to purchase it. Right now we are trying to be frugal and put every penny toward the adoption and worry about the van after its paid in full.

6. How will you afford 7 children?

I am not really worried about that. Things are tight for us right now because a significant portion of our income is going towards adoption expenses. We are confident (as is the social worker who reviewed our finances and approved us) that if we spend and save wisely we can provide for our family of nine just fine. They may not be spoiled with expensive toys and clothes but they will have everything they need and an abundance of love and family! 

7. How much will the adoption cost? and how will you pay for it?

From this point on, it will cost us roughly $25,000 (give or take a few thousand)
I have no idea how we are going to pay for it! Worst case scenario, we empty our 401k which has almost enough to cover it. Obviously that is not a wise choice so we are hoping to use it as a last resort. We are not opposed to taking out a loan either. As much as we hate debt, THESE ARE CHILDREN not material things. People take out home and car loans all the time and think nothing of it. I'd take rescuing a child over driving a new car any day-debt or no debt.
Ideally we will scrimp and save and pay all we can from our income and raise the rest. Donations welcome;)

8. When will they be home?

The plan is to submit our dossier in March. I think we can expect to travel 6-8 weeks after that! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! They are coming home!!!! As in all adoptions, nothing is set in stone. If I've learned anything this year its to trust God's perfect plan and timing.

9. When is the baby due?

End of March(ish). Do babies ever come on time? Certainly not ours! They like to keep us on our toes. Yes, we are growing by 3 in a matter of weeks. Would I have planned it this way? probably not but I'm not afraid. We have a great support system and I know I will look back one day and think how I wouldn't want it any other way.
Did I mention it's a GIRL! We are thrilled that sweet Abigail Ahava Holt will help balance out this family of mostly boys.

10. Why overseas when there are thousands of kids in the US in need of families?

You are absolutely right! There are so many children here that need families! Please look into it and find room in your heart and home! We felt called to Eastern Europe for a number of reasons that I will address in another post. The bottom line is there are so many orphans everywhere. Everyone should be doing something. So if you are concerned about the kids here in the states, do something about it! I would love to help you get started!

11. Reece's Rainbow is for kids with Down Syndrome and other special needs. Do
 your kids have needs?

Reece's Rainbow is an adoption grant foundation for children with special needs. Captain and Sister do have some medical issues and that is why they were listed with RR. We have chosen to keep the details private at this time.
We were completely open to adopting any special needs and chose them simply because we "knew" the moment we laid eyes on them. I would still love to adopt a child with Down Syndrome some day when the kids are older. Having special needs does not make a child less deserving of a family.

12. What if they are ruined?

Yes, I heard those exact words (and have been asked the same question in nicer ways). This person actually said that in front of my other kids too. Let me just start by saying DON'T EVER use the word "ruined" to describe my babies or any human being for that matter. I believe in redemption. I don't believe that any person is beyond "fixing." Yes, my kids have lived their lives in an institution and yes, there are a lot of negative effects of growing up that way. We are not naive. We know the statistics. We have done our homework. For every horror story there is a beautiful one and a whole bunch of others in the middle somewhere. We choose to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Our prayer is that God is preparing our hearts for each other. We are not adopting for the warm fuzzies or the applause of man. We are adopting because there are children who need families and we are a family. It's that simple.

 13. How can I help?

I am going to lay down my pride and accept any and all help. Obviously we welcome donations. If you would like to contribute you can do so directly or through our family sponsorship page on Reece's Rainbow. Donations made here are tax deductible. We would love for you to do a fundraiser-garage sale, bake sale....get creative.
Also I may need help when Jacob is overseas for a few weeks getting the kids. I will be home with a newborn and the other four! I won't turn down meals, help with the kids or even just company.
My family is close and I know will help as much as they can but I hate for them to bear all of the burden.
Most of all we need your prayers. Pray for things to move quickly and smoothly. Pray for God to provide every penny. Pray for Captain and Sister's hearts to be prepared and ours too. Pray for a smooth transition. Pray for us to bond quickly....just pray

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

This time last year we all fell in love with a little girl called Beatrice. We pulled together, worked hard and gave till it hurt...and we prayed. We prayed and prayed that God would help this precious little girl's family find her. He was and is faithful. The Tannehill family is hoping to travel in December to rescue their princess and another precious angel they couldn't live without! They are still in need of funds to make this dream a reality.

Soon to be siblings!

October is a special month. Sweet Beatrice turns 2!  I want us to pull together and do everything we can to make this her last birthday in an orphanage. I have some awesome ways for you to help and a HUGE prize to give away at the end of the month! So here are the ways YOU can get involved.

 2.Some lovely ladies have offered to set up parties for their home businesses to help out. All of the profit from these parties go straight to the Tannehills. Please check out all of these links and get a head start on your Christmas shopping.

Every purchase from one of these parties enters you to win a DoTerra Family Physician Kit worth $150! Not into Essential Oils?- no problem-I will buy it from you and you can spend the cash as you please.


April Lane 
Grace Adelle-Making the path to great style simple

Jennifer Graham
Tupperware-One of the most trusted names in housewares
(In order for Beatrice to get credit, there is a "find a fundraiser" tab and if you select MD for the state it will pull up Tannehill Adoption and you can order there)

Stephanie Lucas
Norwex-A unique product line ranging from household cleaning to
               personal care products

Jamie Dorsett
Thirty-one-From organizing your home to carrying everything
                   you need while you're on the go

 Leesa Gemeny
(Must enter hostess code MYM3HMQM)

Rachel Haugaard
Save the Starfish Boutique-Custom jewelry and etched glass

Ginger on a Mission-Handmade wallets and totes
please put "Tannehills/"
in the comment box when you place your order.

Renee Dresser
Mary Kay-Makeup, skin care and fragrance

Scentsy-A safe way to enjoy fragrance

 3. Buy this amazing E-book that will save you time and money! It contains 20 freezer meals that can be cooked in your crock pot or oven. Aimee is donating 100% of the profits from her book to the Tannehills for a limited time!

 4. Buy one of these cool shirts to support the Tannehills

 5. Just donate! All donations made to this link are tax deductible. Every penny counts.

 6. Set up your own fundraiser. Have a business-donate the profit from a party. No business?-get creative. Make something to sell. Have a yard sale. Collect change. Donate an old vehicle. Ask others. Just let me know and I'll advertise your fundraiser too!

Don't forget EVERY donation or purchase puts your name in the drawing. Please email me ( a copy of your receipt for purchases or paypal receipt for direct donation.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Its only been 5 months...;)

Let's catch up on the last 5 months. If you'll stick with me I'll let you in on a surprise at the end.

I guess I should start with our adoption. I honestly hate this part because while I know progress is being made, it feels like it's taking forever. I have been asked (a lot) if we were quitting and I try not to take offense. When God calls you to do something you don't quit because its hard or it hurts or its taking too long.... I wonder how things would have been if Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Paul....had just quit. They would have missed out on the great rewards at the end of their journey whether here or in Heaven. So no, we are not quitting. We move forward in faith toward the redemption of Captain and Sister because we know that He who called us IS faithful and works all things for the good of those who love Him and are CALLED according to His purpose.
That said, we ask for you prayers as we continue.

Spring was BUSY! This was our first year to have 3 kids playing baseball

Melo and Joshua made lots of new friends on their teams, Isaiah turned out to be a pretty good catcher, Daddy learned not to make bets and poor Caleb just wanted to get out there and play so bad!

...and of course we made time for the Rangers

Somewhere in the middle of it all I managed to run my first (and last) full marathon. The lead car took the runners on a wrong turn at the start and we ended up running 27.7 miles! That extra mile and a half felt like eternity. My sweet husband surprised me at the finish line with the kids! He always knows just what to do.
May and June are really busy for Jacob so I decided to take the kids on a 7 day road trip by myself...

 We spent a lot of time in the car.....a lot

 and ate way too much McDonalds

 We stopped in Austin and spent time with Papa Phil

and got lots of sunshine!

Then we headed to Houston to see Peyton
If you've never been to Kemah it's a fun and inexpensive place for younger families. The kids and I have made it our yearly tradition.

Of course we found some time for fishing

I was so excited after days of sleeping on different floors to finally have a bed....
...well I found some room at the end to share with 8 little feet

When we got home I literally pulled in the driveway, left the kids with Jacob and went straight to the car wash....for obvious reasons

                                                                      Car floor - day 7
The rest of the summer has been full so far. The kids went to VBS at Willow Park (best one around). Isaiah and Melo went to Noize Camp at New River and Pine Cove Base Camp.  I finally understand how my parents felt when we got home from camp!

Joshy brought home a new pet which he cleverly named Guinea Pig.
It turns out that Guinea pigs really aren't great for families with dogs. Now I have 2 cages, plenty of toys, bedding and even food FREE to anyone interested.

A couple of weeks ago I got to run the Jalapeno Half Marathon with my friend Natalie. It was
Hot Hot Hot! but lots of fun....Ok, my friend Tiffany was there too but her 6 month pregnant self must have gotten tired waiting on us to finish. Its ok, I make a habit of finishing behind pregnant women...and the occassional wheelchair...true story

Alright, I promised a surprise...and trust me-no one is as surprised as me! Looks like the Holts will be growing even more than we thought this more ways than ever imagined. When we chose the path of adoption we knew that meant no more newborns and that was ok. That season had ended for us and we were embracing the next. Well God (who is not surprised by anything) had a different plan. Baby Holt #5 should make his/her appearance in March...but probably April cause we know these Holt babies like Mama's belly.