Tuesday, December 27, 2011

God is still moving!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to update you all! I wanted to say that God is still active in this process! The Forum (Fargo-Moorhead newspaper) contacted us, and wanted to do a story on our adoption journey! Oddly enough, the wonderful lady who interviewed us went to highschool with me! She is a year younger than me, and did a WONDERFUL job interviewing us! She is kind hearted, and very caring!

I just wanted to share the link with you all to check out the story she did! Thank you to God for still moving in our lives. We trust YOU with our lives, and everything in it!


Last of all, thank you to all of you for your continued support and prayers! It means so much to our family!
Love you all!

In Christ's love,
Josh & Marissa

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

T-shirt Update!! Please Check this Out! It's important!

We have a t-shirt update for you! There have been some difficult challenges with t-shirt orders! I will not make you read the whole story (if you want to know it just let me know! lol) We have run into some issues, but it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be, thanks to a good friend! 

Here are the changes: 1. We are so sorry, but because of the changes, we will not be able to have them for you before Christmas. Last I heard, the latest they SHOULD be here is December 30th....BUUUUUT I am not going to say that for sure! We will email you again once they finally get in! 2. There had to be a slight change to the "flower" shirt. We can no longer have multiple color inks on the shirt. We had to change the design to all black ink. So instead of the flower petals being orange, and red, they will just be black. I'm so sorry for that change! If you do not want to purchase this t-shirt anymore just let me know, and we will refund you! I will be receiving proofs of the flower shirt once they have changed the ink color, and I will forward that on to all of you, so you can see what it will look like!

Those are the only changes. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have them! Marissa's cell number is: 701-388-1726, and Josh's number is 701-361-5136. 

Enjoy your day thoroughly!  And thank you for all of your support! We love you all!

In, for, and with Christ,

the Svaleson's

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Svaleson Adoption Update!

Hello everyone!
It's been a while :)

So here's what's new! First, we have both completed our autobiographies!! (17 pages each!) Let us tell you, it was a JOYOUS day in our household!!!! Words cannot describe! Thank you God! We are now just finishing up the rest of our paperwork, hopefully this upcoming week. That means we will be able to "officially" start our home-study in just a few weeks. It's very exciting for us!

Here is an update on the "Clothe Yourself With Compassion" campaign. We sold 54 shirts which is awesome! Thank you everyone for supporting our adoption! We will keep you updated as far as when pick up will be (for those of you who live in the Fargo-Moorhead area). We are hoping they will be done the week before Christmas....it might be the week of Christmas, but we will keep you updated once we find out more information! It looks like we may have extra t-shirts available once we finally get them. We will let you know what shirts, sizes, and colors if and when we get them!

We also had something very exciting and UNEXPECTED happen! The local FOX news station asked to do a story on our adoption journey. They came over to our place and interviewed us regarding why, where, how and what we are doing! It was lots of fun! And, they did a great job on the story! They didn't take anything out of context which was really nice! :) So thank you, FOX news, and in particular, Candace! If you missed it, you can view it at this link!: http://youtu.be/2sbNQSPAVYI

Here is an update on the "Adoption for a dollar" campaign! Currently, God has provided for us $5,265.33 through people!!!! We are between 1/5 and 1/6 of the way there! WOOHOO!!! God is good! We have also, due to requests, begun setting up a bank account that people can deposit directly into, instead of directly mailing us the money (if they want to do that). It is still getting set up, so we will let you know when that account is ready, and how to deposit into that account.

We have a prayer request for you all. Please pray for the adoption situation in Ethiopia. Things are a lot more difficult than it has been in the past. Younger children are very rare to adopt now, and the placements take a lot longer than they used to. Things are very uncertain at this time in regards to adoptions out of Ethiopia. Please pray for our nerves, for God's hand to move in Ethiopia and/or that He would bring clarity to where we are to adopt if Ethiopia is out of the question.

Thank you for being supportive and invested in our family! God's blessing us richly through you. It is quite fun to be a recipient of so much grace and love. :)

the Svalesons

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Updates!

Hello everyone! We just wanted to update you on some information! WE ARE EXTENDING THE T-SHIRT SALES TO NOVEMBER 27TH!!! We will be cashing checks shortly after the closing day, which is November 27th. We wanted to let you know that so you could plan ahead! Also, if you plan on writing a check, you can write it out to Josh & Marissa Svaleson. One more thing....you do not have to pay taxes on the shirts!! woohoo!!!

Also, God's story of adoption was covered by FOX news, and will be on THIS FRIDAY (November 18th) at 9:00 p.m.! God is good!

On a totally different note, God deposited $3,000.00 in our adoption account at the Village on November 7th through an anonymous person! This takes care of our HOMESTUDY! Which is the amount of money we were trying to raise for our "next step" in adoption!

God is good all the time, and provides for HIS children! Thank you all for you support, and THANK YOU GOD for providing for our every need, on your timing! :) We love you!

the Svaleson's

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clothe Yourself With Compassion...

In John 15, Jesus beautifully explains to his disciples about the love he has and what life in him looks like. In verse 12 he says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” That’s a BIG statement. And it gets even BIGGER. Verse 13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

And so, Christ laid down his life for us, to demonstrate his own love (Romans 5:8) He demonstrated it through 1. Purchasing us to be brothers and sisters. We have been adopted by the blood of Jesus Christ. And so in Christ’s love, he has compassion. He feels for us, and he acts for us. 2. Jesus also demonstrates his love by simply helping others out, especially in times of need. For instance: he heals the sick, and feeds the hungry.
In light of the command to love one another as Christ has loved us, we are demonstrating the love of Christ by bringing a child(ren) into our family as Christ has brought us into His. It is important to note that God adopted us, because he loved us. In the same way, we have already developed a love for the children that God will be bringing into our family, though we have no idea who they are.  And so in that love, we are “laying down our life” , in a sense, in order to bring these children home.

So as we love because of, through, for, and with the love of Christ and have compassion, we are asking others to love as Christ has loved. We are asking for compassion upon children w/o homes, as well as the families that are giving these children their homes. And so “Clothe Yourself With Compassion” has been set up for you to do just that, to “lay down your life” just a little bit, with the love of Christ.

“Clothe Yourself With Compassion” is an opportunity to buy t-shirts that raise awareness and shine the light of the gospel. The t-shirts are designed to show God’s heart for orphans and widows, as well as His chosen people. Being that they share God’s heart, it is in fact the gospel message being portrayed. In addition to raising awareness, the love of the gospel is being displayed by helping us with bringing the child home; to bring them into our family, and to display the love of God-which is the gospel being lived out. We will be taking orders until November 21st, so that we can get the shirts before Christmas! If there is enough interest after the closing date, we will eventually submit another order. If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know at svalesonadoption@gmail.com

So, if you would like to demonstrate the love of Christ in this way (this is obviously not the only way to love as Christ has loved), please click on the following link  t-shirt order form to download an order form.
The real point in what Jesus is talking about is for us to love with our entire being as he has loved, and with his love. Whether it’s partaking in this particular opportunity, or not, all we really want to see happen is for God’s name to be lifted high, so that His love is demonstrated and proclaimed by His people.

We want to give a BIIIIIIIIG thank you to Kayla Goebel who designed the t-shirts, made the order forms, and helped pull this whole thing together! God has blessed you with an amazing gift, and you are investing it well in God’s kingdom, just as he desires! So…. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In, for, through and with Christ’s love,

Josh and Marissa Svaleson

Friday, October 28, 2011

The First(ish) Part Of The Plan...

God is unveiling His plan for us to adopt our child(ren).

In June, when we started the adoption process, we found out that there would be a workshop that was offered in October, that would be needed to complete the Assessment (home study) that wouldn't be offered again until February of 2012. Two weeks prior to the workshop we got our official invitation, and were talking about whether or not we should go. We had planned to wait until February because of financial reasons. It was $300.00 to attend. BUT....then, God brought something to our attention. He reminded us that at that point in time, he had provided us with about $350.00 (ish) through our "Adopting for a dollar" event. We then realized that God had given us enough money to attend the workshop!

We were thinking about waiting until more money comes in, before we spend money we have, so that we could make sure we would have enough to continue the process. However, God said, "I'm providing for you now, and I will continue to provide for you as we go along. Just trust me." So, we went!

Outside of simply being a requirement, the workshop was VERY helpful. Our eyes were opened to a lot of new things. We saw that the main purpose of this process is NOT about us, and our selfish desires, but about what is best for the child(ren) that God will be bringing into our lives. This seems like common sense, but we were really challenged to truly evaluate why we want to adopt. We realized that we want to adopt to fulfill the wants that we have to be parents, and also to give a kid the best life possible, and show them the love of God. God brought to the forefront of our minds what is at the core of adoption, and parenting in general. And that is that it's ALL about the children.

We learned that it's important for us, as adoptive parents, to make memories for the child(ren) we bring home, while we are in the country. For example, learning about their culture, the environment they have (so far) been brought up in, their rituals, their routines, who was caring for them etc. are important. This gives the child(ren) a sense of identity.

Other things that we found to be important are: taking time while we are there to be with our child in their native country. Doing things in the city, or wherever it is they are from. Doing their normal cultural activities, and taking pictures (if possible), which gives them documentation, and concrete things to hold on to, about the beginning of their life.

Overall, it was really refreshing and helpful to see & learn from all the different angles of adoption.

If you have questions or want to know more about our past couple days at this workshop, let us know!

God is good. He cares for His children. He leads us beside still waters, and makes us to lie down in green pastures. He is generous, gracious, powerful and sovereign. He has provided for us in time of need through people. And so we thank God for using you, and we thank you for being obedient. God is good.

The Svaleson's

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What God has been teaching...

Hello everyone! I know it hasn't been that long since I first blogged, but I just felt like sharing some things with you all! I wanted to clue you in to what God has been doing through "Adopting for a dollar." He has been doing GREAT things, and continues to show up when we least expect it...especially on the days that I doubt. When you look at the amount of $25,000-$30,000 to adopt a child...I get overwhelmed! I think thoughts such as, "We are NEVER going to raise this much money" or "I don't know how God's going to pull this one off...." etc...I have more of those days then I do positive ones. I know that God provides, but I (and God) have been examining my heart, and he has shown me that I haven't been FULLY trusting God. Nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26-Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.-NIV) God was showing me, and saying to me, "Yes Marissa, when you try to raise money on your own, and do things on your own, it is impossible to raise the amount you need...but you have to have faith and trust, and KNOW that with me (God) all things are possible!" I praise you God for showing this to me.

Our God is so faithful, and provides for us. And for that I (and I know Josh is too) am VERY grateful. I just want to share with you something that God has been showing Josh and myself. He is showing his generosity through people here on earth. People, and their generosity have been BLOWING us out of the water! Our "adopting for a dollar" fund is now up to $541.30!! We were NOT expecting this at all. Man, did we put God in a box. The support from people has been so GREAT, and it gives us so much encouragement. We are so thankful for support from our friends and family. We have been getting letters/money from people in California, Minnesota....people that WE DON'T KNOW....but God knows them, and has blessed us by putting them in our lives, and in our story...which is GOD'S story.

I just want to end with these verses that applies to our family's situation right now in life, but I know that it applies to EVERYONE'S life and story.

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Seek FIRST His kingdom...and these "things" (anything you ask for within the Father's will) will be given to you.
Thank you all SO MUCH for everything, and thank you to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom without Him, we would have nothing, and would be nowhere. We love you, and worship you, and glorify you Lord Jesus!

The Svaleson's

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The beginning ...

In March of 2010, God told us that we (Josh and Marissa Svaleson) were going to adopt children. We didn't know when, or from where...we just knew that we were supposed to adopt children. So, we looked into it. We found out that we weren't old enough, AND we hadn't been married long enough in order to begin the adoption process. So, we began to wait. And while we were waiting, the Lord prepared us more, and showed us that we were going to adopt somewhere in Africa, probably Ethiopia. Now, we are old enough, so we applied with the Village here in Fargo, and was accepted. We also think we may have found our international adoption agency as well.

We found out that adopting is going to cost somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000...and that's A LOT of money! :) We are currently at the point in which we need $3,000 to do our home study which "officially" begins the adoption process.

We created this blog to document our journey, but also to inform everyone of where we are at in our adoption process! We know that God is in control of our lives, and has a purpose for this adoption. We are trusting him, and know he will provide for our every need. He deserves ALL of the glory for everything that happens in our lives. 

We currently have started a fundraiser "Adopting for a dollar"...where we only ask people to give a dollar to our fund! God has worked WONDERS through this simple fundraiser...he has blown our minds with showing us the generosity of people! To hear the full story on how this fundraiser started, and to get updates as to where this fund is at, click here http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=288489077845181

Because of the money raised so far from "Adopting for a dollar", we were able to sign up for a work shop that we need to do to get our home study done! We are so thankful that God has provided for this! This will get the ball rolling for adoption, and we are very excited!

Stay tuned for updates, prayer requests, fundraisers and other fun stuff (like how God is working/providing)

Thank you so much for taking the time to invest in our lives and in this part of HIS story.

In Christ's love,

Josh and Marissa Svaleson