Friday, February 22, 2013

Do You Shop on Amazon?

What a silly question, of course you do! We all do! We're prime members, so we shop there fairly often and I have a lot of little boxes with that cute little smile on it. Let's face it, Amazon has great stuff, and usually at a good price.

We signed up as affiliates on Amazon to help bring Viktors home! When you shop on Amazon via our link, we can earn 7% of your sale and it'll go straight into our adoption fund! How cool is that?!?!?!

So, hop on over to Amazon and do some shopping and help bring Viktors home to his forever family! That's killing 2 birds with one stone. (But I don't condone killing birds with stones, so don't call the PETA people.)

I even put a cute little Amazon button over on the right side of the blog, so when you're ready to shop, you can just click straight on there and shop away! Thanks for your support on this journey and happy shopping! 

Hope you see lots of these cute Amazon smile boxes on your doorstep soon! 

~ Paula 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I MUSTACHE You a Question - Will you be my Valentine?

It's pretty sunny out today, so we're a little squinty! But we MUSTACHE you to be our Valentine! 


Love , 
The Sloans

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Viktors' Life Verse

I've been praying for God to show me a verse for Viktors - a verse for me to pray over him and into his life. I've been thinking over a few over the past week or so, but hadn't really come up with one I just knew I wanted to claim for him. That is, until today. 

This afternoon, I was on the phone with Shelley, Viktors' host mom from last summer. Their family loved him so deeply and unconditionally and with everything in them. I loved hearing her heart for this boy that we share. Oh, how she loved him and knew they would not adopt him, but chose to love him like crazy anyway (even though she knew it would hurt when he left - and it did).  This is the Gospel in the flesh.  

When Shelley and I were talking today, she was telling me about the day Viktors left. They were taking a 2 week vacation in Hilton Head and Viktors was leaving after 1 week there. They were all saying goodbye to Viktors - hugging him, telling him they loved him, and at the very last second as Viktors was climbing into the car, their little four year old daughter (adopted from Bulgaria) hollers out (yes, I say holler - we're in the South!): "Nothing is impossible!" It was the last thing he heard before he left. Shelley said it so clearly today when she said, 'that's just one orphan to another. Giving him hope!' As we both sat silent on the phone in that moment, both crying, and soaking in the truth of those words, God spoke to me. This is what I'm supposed to be praying for him in his life. 

With man this is impossible, but with
God all things are possible.

- Matthew 19:26

This is so true for his whole story. He could just be another one of the 147 million orphans. He could go back to Latvia and just come to America at Christmas and during the summers. He'd age out of the system and be out on his own in a few years, but God's writing a different story. And Hallelujah to that because with God all things are possible!

From ORPHAN to SON - with Him this is possible. 
From ABANDONED to CHOSEN - with Him this is possible. 
From ALONE to FAMILY - with Him this is possible. 

Will you join us in praying that with God all things are possible into Viktors' life? We're believing that for him - as he comes here this summer to be with us, pray that God would move every foreseeable (and unforeseeable) mountain to Viktors being here forever.

I have to admit, I need to claim this verse around this whole situation. Viktors' hosting fees are $3,200 - his adoption fees are close to $30,000. But we know that with God all things are possible! We're going to believe it - and trust Him for every bit of it.

If you are not currently adopting or hosting a child, would you consider helping us bring Viktors home?  You can donate right HERE and all the money goes straight to New Horizons for Viktors hosting fees.  (Your donations are tax deductible.) Thank you for your prayers and support on this journey - we can feel your prayers - keep 'em coming!

Love y'all, 

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Story of the Starfish

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean." "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one." 

I love this story of the starfish. As an adoptive family that advocates for the orphan, we are sometimes asked why we do what we do if we can't save them all. Well, let me tell you, I'm so glad Jesus doesn't have that approach with us. I'm so glad God didn't say, "I know they aren't all going to come to me, so it's not worth it to save any of them." 

Our Zoe was an orphan in the sea of the 147 Million faces, but she's not an orphan any more! She's our daughter. 

The first picture we saw of Zoe - March 2010

Zoe at Christmas 2012

"If I look at the masses, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will." ~ Mother Teresa

God has brought us another ONE to love. It's not the plan I had, but it is the plan HE had. It's in the form of an 11 year old boy waiting in Eastern Europe for his rescue. I believe in redemption. I believe in rescuing and freeing a heart. I believe that making a difference for the ONE is enough - it's worth it! 

Victors during his hosting in North Carolina - Christmas 2012

"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes." 
David Platt

It's time for a rescue. There's really no other way to put it. The future of an orphaned child in Latvia is bleak. This child asked his Christmas host mom to help him find a family. I cannot be okay in a world where children have to ask for families. It's not okay with me - please tell me it's not okay with you either. Let this be the thing that keeps us awake at night.

This was Viktors the day he arrived in North Carolina for his Christmas host program.
He looks so scared. His eyes look empty, but we know he's in there.

This was him with his Christmas host mom after being with them for only 3 weeks.
He looks so happy and his eyes and smile are just lit up! The boy God created
him to be is coming out!  

What a difference, right? That is redemption. That is healing. That is the face of a happy, healthy boy who is being nurtured and loved. That is what love can do in only three weeks. Can you even allow yourself to imagine what a forever family would do for this boy? 

Friends, I'm going to be blunt here. Let us not get wrapped up in the 147 Million Orphans to the point that we feel our actions are insignificant, and therefore do nothing. Let us remember the starfish and remember that we can make the difference for one. If you are not currently adopting or hosting a child, would you help us make a difference for this ONE? If you don't feel called to adoption or hosting, this is how YOU can make the difference in the life of an orphan. 

Viktors' hosting fees are $3,000. We will also have to provide food (LOTS OF FOOD) - this boy is hungry in Latvia. His host mom said their grocery bill doubled while he was there over Christmas. He will need clothes, and some other items while he is here. His adoption fees are near $30,000 and will require THREE trips to Latvia. But our God is the God of redemption; He's the God of Rescue. He's the God that can move that big 'ol mountain in front of us. Nothing is impossible with God and we believe that HE is going to use HIS PEOPLE to rescue this heart.

Please be a part of Viktors' journey to home. You can give via PayPal clicking the donate button at the top of our blog OR you can donate HERE and the money will go straight to New Horizons for Children for Viktors. (If you give via that link, your donation will be tax-deductible). Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support in this journey. 

          I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. - John 14:18 


Best Question E-V-E-R!

"Is your husband silly and goofy?"

You cannot possibly understand how hysterical this question is to me. Well, maybe a few of these pictures can help you understand why I literally laughed out loud when I read the question that Viktors' Christmas host mom asked me: 

yeah, that's a moose hat! 

only REALLY confident men wear a Princess crown, bracelets, and necklaces. 

This guy LOVES a good Party Hat! 

 He's the daddy IN the pool with the kids during the Summer Dive-In Movies

 He's always willing to volunteer in Kid City at Church - even if they make him wear a skirt! 

 He actually has FUN at Chuck-E-Cheese

 He does stuff like THIS in photos. 

He loves a good slide! 

He also does this thing with pretzels where he sticks 2 pretzel sticks in his mouth and pretends to be a walrus. I can't believe I don't have a picture of that! This man brings SO much joy to my life. He is constant FUN! He doesn't do serious very well, but that's part of the reason I love him so much. He's a great husband and dad. He has so much fun with me and the kids. This guy is a FUN guy! I am so blessed to get to do life with him! 

So, WHY would Viktors' host mom ask me that? What does FUN and GOOFY have anything to do with Viktors? It was just one of the confirmations that Viktors is to be with our family! Viktors is a fun, silly, and goofy kid! Laughter and fun can be such a source of healing for children from hard places. Just to laugh and play and run around and romp with a kid that hasn't had a lot of that in his life can help restore what he's been missing for a long time! It was just one of the many little things that confirmed that Viktors belongs with the Sloan family! 

Make no mistake, Michael Sloan is a hard worker, kind, compassionate, patient, loving and - well, just a GREAT husband and father. He provides well for our family; he spends time with me; he PLAYS with the kids; he snuggles the kids and reads to them; he leads us well; he prays with and for our family; he pops popcorn and is content to sit and watch a movie on the couch with our family at night. He is EXACTLY the man that God chose for me to do life with and I count myself blessed. 

Is he silly and goofy? Um, YES! 

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Can you help us bring Viktors home, by contributing to his $3,000 hosting fees? You can give via paypal (top right corner of our blog) or by clicking the link HERE - and give straight to New Horizon's for Viktor's fees specifically? Thank you! 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hosting Viktors

The Sloan's Journey to Bring Viktors to Tennessee
"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
Matthew 18:5

Viktors is an amazing 11 year old boy living in an orphanage in Latvia. He has been hosted twice before through New Horizons for Children (Summer 2012, and Christmas 2012).

In January, we connected with Viktors' Christmas host family. From the moment we saw his face and read about him, we felt an undeniable pull to Viktors. Initially, we thought we would come alongside his host family to advocate for him, to pray for him, and to help him find his forever family. However, God was writing a different story.

God has blessed us with the incredible opportunity to host Viktors for 5 weeks this summer!

His Christmas host mom said this about Viktors: "Viktors is an amazing young man. Our family was so blessed to have him for 4 weeks at Christmas. He was easy, laid back, and up for anything. He is very social and loves to be around people. He loved us spending time with family friends and got along well with every single person he came in contact with. He is active and loves all things boy. He loves to ride bikes, play sports, and do anything outside. He is eager to try anything. He has no problem at all bonding. He is easily affectionate and bonded well will everyone in our family, including our children. I particularly recommend him to be hosted by a family looking to adopt. Viktors would really come alive with a loving family and he is available for adoption. He would do well in a family with any age children."

Sadly, the future is bleak for an orphaned child in Latvia. When they leave the orphanage, they are left to make their way in life with minimal education, few practical skills, and no guidance in one of the poorest countries in the European Union. Is it any wonder current UNICEF reports show more than 70% of orphan boys end up as criminals by the time they reach 18? That 60% of the girls become prostitutes? Or that 15% will commit suicide within two years of leaving the orphanage? Latvia has one of Europe’s lowest life expectancies, one of the world’s highest suicide rates, and the fourth highest rate of HIV/AIDS in all of Europe. These statistics tell us that like so many others, Viktors doesn’t stand much of a chance without intervention.

But Viktors' needs go even further beyond the practical, and physical needs he has; Viktors needs a family. He needs love, home, acceptance, and hope. He needs to know he is not alone in this world, that he has the support of a loving family, and he has a soft place to fall. He needs to be a kid - the young boy that God created him to be. We believe that Viktors will come alive in the love of a forever family. We are hosting Viktors with the intentions of pursuing his adoption.

Not all hosting families adopt, but many are adopted by their host families or by someone they meet while they are here. To learn more about NHFC, read about their program here:

Please pray for our family as we embark on this adventure to bring Viktors home. Your prayers for us and Viktors are coveted! Our first need is to raise his hosting fees. You can donate through our active page
RIGHT HERE and it will go directly to NHFC for Viktors' hosting fees (and your donations are tax deductible). Or you can donate to our Paypal Account (just click the button on the top right of our blog). Please be part of this boy's journey home. Every contribution brings us one step closer; no gift is too small. Thank you for your support on this journey!

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. - John 14:18