Tag Archives: changing hearts

Be the change…

It has been a personal goal of mine over the last couple of years to find ways to “lend a hand” and give hope to as many people as possible, while in return, growing into what I hope is an improved version of myself.  While this is certainly not an easy-do-over-night task, it has been, and absolutely will be, worth it in the end.

Striving to make these my "eulogy virtues".

Striving to make these my “eulogy virtues”.

Shifting my thoughts from selfishness to altruism, is part of my ever growing moral bucket list and a definite work in progress.  I would say this intentional living thought process was initiated when I married my favorite person.  It began to evolve once we had kids, and took a drastic hold after going through a very eye-opening and heartbreaking loss in the murky depths of international adoption.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

In the midst of this journey we met some incredible people that are stepping up, taking risks, and showing the love of Jesus to the poorest of poor.  These women and their families are doing amazing work and have started organizations that promote family preservation, health, and education to those that would otherwise not have access to these “basic” needs through monthly or yearly sponsorships.  We have the pleasure of helping a family through A Heart for Korah and a “street kid” through Life Thru EDU.

For the full details of how we moved from a heartbreaking loss to a story of sharing hope see my earlier blog post “Beauty from Ashes”.

http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/beauty-from-ashes/

It is truly a blessing for us to have the opportunity to bring a little hope and love to these “strangers” lives.  We have been able to communicate with our sponsored families through letters, which they impart how grateful they are for our support, but I’m not sure they will ever know just how much they have impacted my life, all while I was attempting to change theirs.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Because we have become passionate toward helping others and looking for more ways to make a greater impact on others, I was drawn to Trades of Hope.

Be a world changer... Photo credit: personal photo from the Hine family farm

Be a world changer…
Photo credit: personal photo from the Hine family farm

Trades of Hope is a company that gives women in poverty an opportunity for a better life, a life that they now feel empowered to change.

These artisans have been rescued from sex slavery, others are single women raising handicapped children, some are in war torn countries, and others have aids and leprosy. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They hope and dream of a better life for their families.

Here in the U.S., we are helping by marketing their products through the home and online party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, receive medical care, and provide an education for their children. We want to tell their stories to the world.

Check out their stories and beautiful products here:

www.mytradesofhope.com/stephaniehine

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

All women really want is to feel strong, loved, dignified, and respected.  And what these artisans create allows them to feel this and when you wear their products, this feeling can trickle into your own heart, mind, and soul (I know it does for me).

A word from Sanskrit and Pali, spoken in India that has no English counterpart.  Considered one of the Four Immeasurables in Buddhism. Photo credit: Pinterest

A word from the Sanskrit and Pali language, spoken in India, that has no English counterpart. Considered one of the Four Immeasurables in Buddhism.
Photo credit: Pinterest

So, after being introduced to what this company stands for, my support of them only grew.  Which is how I decided to become a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope.  I’m able to purchase their beautiful products for myself, give them as gifts, tell others about the artisans, raise awareness, empower women, and most importantly give hope!

This new journey is not a business for me, but an avenue to further my global impact.  I will be donating any and all of my earnings and free products to A Heart for Korah and Life Thru EDU to provide hope and opportunity for others.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Please visit my website www.mytradesofhope.com/stephaniehine for more information on Trades of Hope, to shop, ask a question, book a party with me, or join my team!

For information on A Heart for Korah visit: www.aheartforkorah.com

For information on Life Thru EDU visit: www.lifethruedu.org

 

Be blessed

❤

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and my very raw and torn feelings on adoption are still present. Seeing all of the posts celebrating adoption is wonderful and there are truly amazing stories out there. We happen to live one right now. Our beautiful daughter came to us via domestic adoption and we wouldn’t change it for the world. But, we have no idea how she’ll feel about it when she becomes a tween, teen or adult; nor would we dare to guess. One thing I hope and pray that she feels is loved! Loved by us and by her birth mom. (You can read more in depth on our adoption journey below in previous blog posts) 
However, we have also lived through an extremely difficult loss of a beautiful boy from Ethiopia, that we pray has made it into loving arms of someone in his first family. That time we spent in limbo, opened our eyes to the stories of great loss felt by first families and adoptees themselves and their very real struggles. You can read about them here:

https://theadoptedones.wordpress.com/

http://www.thelostdaughters.com/

I believe all children deserve loving families and adoption is certainly one option, but not the only option. I feel that so much more can be done in areas of family preservation, adoption regulation, and improved vetting of adoptive and foster families.

In the end, we will celebrate this National Adoption month for the joys that our little girl has brought us. However, thoughts of those that are dealing with the struggles of loss that may never go away, will continue to be in the forefront. My perspectives on adoption are always changing and evolving as I grow in this beautiful mess of life; and looking forward to what my precious girl will teach me in the future!

Beauty from Ashes

This may be a long post, but it’s a beautiful one and it has me almost giddy to share!

I know my last post may have left a negative feeling toward international adoption…please see part 2 for details:  http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/the-hard-road-to-changing-hearts

International adoption is a beautiful thing.  And I’ve had the pleasure of watching this beauty unfold in the lives of many of the friends I’ve made through this emotional journey, however, their ending is much different than ours.

Even though our journey did not end as we would have hoped, God has paved a new path that is just as beautiful!

As we have waded through these last ten months, we have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know several people that are doing amazing work in Ethiopia.  They are literally “the hands and feet” of Jesus!  I’m excited to share about them, their organizations, and how my family is able to be a small part in it all.

Many months before God derailed our adoption plan, social media led me to follow several organizations that were working in Ethiopia, particularly with family preservation and child and family sponsorships.

I cannot wait to introduce you to them!

In June, my family had the opportunity to meet several families that have had, and were currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia.  Surprisingly enough, one of the ladies we met had started an organization that I followed and it sat heavy on my heart.  It was like a mini-celebrity encounter…at least it was for me :). This organization is A Heart for Korah!  And let me tell you, if you don’t know anything about the city of Korah, you really should look into it.  It’s heartbreaking and will make you think twice about your first world struggles…it did for me.

A Heart for Korah logo.  Photo credit: Tisha

A Heart for Korah logo. Photo credit: Tisha

What Tisha and her family have started with this organization will make you smile.  They bring food, shelter, medicine, hope, love and most importantly the word of God to these people through family sponsorship!  We currently sponsor a wonderful family that will hopefully be able to rest a little easier at night through this program.

Our monthly sponsored family...Meseret and her family!

Our monthly sponsored family…Meseret and her family!

While we were in Indy meeting these great families, that I’m happy to now call friends, God was apparently working in one of the couples’ hearts. Brandy and her family were preparing to bring home a precious little girl from Ethiopia, as well as helping to advocate for several “street boys” they met during their travels.  They, with the help of an amazing man in Ethiopia, started Life Thru EDU, which is an organization that helps these boys receive formal education through sponsorship.

Life Thru EDU logo…photo credit: FB page

Life Thru EDU logo…photo credit: FB page

We have the privilege of sponsoring a young boy named Mohamet, who has a smile that is absolutely contagious!

Our sponsored "street" boy…Mohamet

Our sponsored “street” boy…Mohamet!

Back in July, our church brought the Ugandan Kids Choir through Childcare Worldwide to perform during our Sunday service…it was awesome and so are these kids.  My parents were able to host three of the girls and the groups’ teacher Agnes!  We were able to spend some time with them and they are precious and polite, innocent and beautiful, energetic and so full of life.

 

The girls enjoying a little bubble time

The girls enjoying a little bubble time

Performing during our Sunday service!

Performing during our Sunday service!

The girls loved holding and playing with Amelia!

The girls loved holding and playing with Amelia!

My parents with the guests they hosted and Griffin.  Agnes, Lukia, Diane and Brender

My parents with the guests they hosted and Griffin. Agnes, Lukia, Diane and Brender


We loved meeting these girls and watching their group perform and praise the Lord.  So, we now sponsor a young girl from Uganda. Our sponsorship supports her education. And we all know, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Our monthly sponsored young girl from Uganda…Sheldon!

Our monthly sponsored young girl from Uganda…Sheldon!

Recently a group of 4 ladies that I happen to follow via social media, got together and flew to Ethiopia to advocate on behalf of a community called Gunchire through the work of an organization called Help One Now.  This organization works worldwide at the community level to seek sponsorship for children and families that may fall victim to the poverty orphan crisis.  These four ladies happen to be very well-known in the adoption world and you may have heard of them, Jen Hatmaker, Jillian Lauren, Kristen Howerton and Korie Robertson.

Photo credit: Help One Now logo for Ethiopia

Photo credit: Help One Now logo for Ethiopia

The stories and pictures they shared while visiting this community were amazingly inspirational and moving.  So moving that we felt the need to add to our family of sponsorships.  Meet Abreham, our sponsored boy from Gunchire.  I fell in love with his picture and his name!

Our monthly sponsored teen boy through Help One Now, Abreham!

Our monthly sponsored teen boy through Help One Now, Abreham!

Although bringing our little Abrahim home was not in God’s plan for us, he sure has opened our hearts to be able to help these awesome kids and families.  As well as advocate for other avenues besides adoption, which is orphan prevention and family preservation.

If you feel your heart strings being pulled toward this type of charity after reading this, then please feel free to check out these wonderful organization as well as many others out there working for the same thing…a changed world!

Here are the links to the organizations that we sponsor if you’re interested in learning more!

A Heart for Korah:  http://www.aheartforkorah.com

Life Thru EDU:  https://www.facebook.com/educationforallethiopia

Childcare Worldwide:  http://www.childcareworldwide.org

Help One Now:  https://www.helponenow.org
Thanks for joining along in this 3 part adoption series

See Part 1 here:  http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/everyone-has-a-storypart-1/ ‎

God Bless

The hard road to changing hearts

This has been a hard post to write and even reflect back on.  It has been a long and emotional journey that life has lead us on this past year.  Thankful for God’s grace and mercy.

A little background on our story.  While we were in the “waiting to be matched” phase of our domestic adoption, we decided to pursue international adoption through the Ethiopia program.

Please please take more than a few months doing your research on this or any international program.  We were extremely naive in the fact that surely anyone working in this type of area has compassion, morals and high ethical standards toward the prospective adoptive parents, first families and children involved.  That is not at all the case for our situation or in many other cases.  It’s heartbreaking how often the vulnerability of first families, children and adoptive parents are taken advantage of.  Hindsight is truly 20/20 in our situation and sadly left me with feelings of shame, guilt and sadness.

Here’s how we got here:
We received a call at the end of January from our agency that we received a referral for a precious 3 month old little boy in Ethiopia, named Abrahim. He stole our hearts through a picture!

We cannot show his beautiful face due to the instability of his case and the unknown's of his current situation…but it is precious!

We cannot show his beautiful face due to the instability of his case and the unknown’s of his current situation…but it is precious!

But a week after we accepted the referral, our world fell apart.  The agency out of Georgia that our agency in Indy used to complete their Ethiopia adoptions had charges brought against them.  Charges brought by the U.S. department of Justice regarding fraud and various other things.  Reading the full indictment was just a glimpse into the corruption that we have seen through this journey.

We waited months with very few answers along the way.  There were moments of hope that seemed to slip away and overshadowed by more bad news. We had periods of not knowing Abrahim’s location followed by news that MOWA (the ministry that oversees all adoptions) was going to step in and help us.  This is such a very small glimpse into the details of how things progressed over the last 10 months.  I have never felt so much fear, hate or anger at a situation, but so thankful for my faith in God’s sovereignty and undeserving forgiveness.

God lets the storm rage

In the end, we were unable to move forward because of the orphanage director.  The director at Abrahim’s orphanage was unwilling to work with our new assigned adoption agency due to unethical financial reasons.

Currently, we have no “official” answer or closure to our case.  All of us families (7 total) affected by this situation are assuming our children have been re-referred to new families and have been moved to a new agency’s transition home.  If it is not God’s plan for us to bring home our children then we pray they all end up with new, happy, and healthy families.

If you could all say a prayer for peace and comfort in our hearts and for Abrahim, that he will be loved and well taken care of.

Although this is not the way we were hoping for this to turn out, we have been extremely blessed by some amazing new friends we’ve met along the way.  Our hearts will be forever changed by this experience.

Blessings

Part 3…how we have overcome heartbreak and are changing lives… http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/beauty-from-ashes/

See Part 1 on domestic adoption here:  http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/everyone-has-a-storypart-1/

Good things fall apart