Thad and Loryn's story (which is Jacob and Peggy's story too!)

We love telling stories of these amazing families who step out of their comfort zone and head straight for the will of God to love and help children heal through adoption.  Today we present to you some people who are very near and dear to our heart who have done just that over and over again throughout their lives.  And they are doing it once again with a sibling group of 9!  Here is the story, straight from Loryn!  

"Several months ago, we were sent a picture of a sibling group of 8 with the a message attached....'Will you consider this?'  We were done adopting, because most of our children were grown and out of the house.  We were looking forward to a new phase of life....but after 4 or 5 similar messages about this group of siblings, we knew we HAD TO pray about this situation!  As we prayed, we felt very led that God was asking us to be open to this.  As Thad and I prayed and talked and talked and prayed, we knew 8 was just too challenging to be able to ensure everyone's needs were met.   As we sat in our living room and discussed this with our adult children, our son Jacob and our daughter-in-law Peggy spoke up and said 'We will take some of them!'  As they said this a peace settled over all of us.   We each knew we could do 4 children well, while allowing them to grow up in the same family together.   It was time to move forward!

Then there were 9!  Baby number 9 was born as we moved forward with the adoption process.  It was determined that Jacob and Peggy would take the youngest 4 children and Thad and I would take the 5 older children.

We began moving slowly and cautiously to ensure we were directly in the center of God's will, we were not wanting to hurry this process without that!  But then all the sudden things snowballed!  An emergency in the foster home the younger 4 were placed in necessitated that they needed to be moved immediately! 

Jacob and Peggy accepted the placement and overnight went from a family of just 2 to a family of 6!!!  When that happened we knew God was asking us to be the parents of the other 5 children.  

Our children have a target move in date of December 22nd, just in time for Christmas!  This also allows them to finish this semester in school before they move.   We have started visits with them already and are preparing as much as we can before then.  

We've heard so many people say 'You're crazy!  What are you thinking?  You were down to one child!'  and 'Don't you know you can't save the world!'  Our response is, there is no doubt we are crazy we have parented 15 children full time and fostered over 100 children through our years as foster parents.  But we choose to be crazy for the sake of the Gospel rather than living and empty and self-centered life.  We feel it boils down to this....If not us, then who?  

We received a card tonight from our 10-year old soon to be daughter, in it she wrote 'Thank you for letting us be in your home, you saved us from being separated!'  Isn't that what Jesus did for us?  So we move forward in hope and confidence that adoption is God's story and His story is playing out in our family's life through the additions of 9 beautiful children!"

We had actually seen this sibling set of 9 in the Heart Gallery and were ecstatic to hear that they would have the opportunity to grow up all together with this amazing family. THEY BOTH HAVE AN IMMEDIATE AND CRITICAL NEED FOR LARGER VEHICLES!  SO WE ARE LOOKING TO RAISE $40,000 FOR 2 NEW OR GENTLY USED HONDA ODYSSEY'S OR TOYOTA SIENNA'S SO THESE FAMILIES CAN ACCOMMODATE THEIR NEW AND MUCH BIGGER FAMILIES.  YOU CAN DONATE HERE OR PLEASE REACH OUT TO US AT INFO@PROMISELOVEFOUNDATION.COM IF YOU HAVE CONNECTIONS FOR THESE VEHICLES TO BE DONATED. 

Welcome The Smith family X 2 to the Promise Love Family!

Please help us welcome 2 amazing families today to the Promise Love Family!  Thad and Loryn Smith and Jacob and Peggy Smith!  These 2 families are actually part of one larger family that has decided to adopt 9 beautiful siblings between them both!  Yes, you heard that correctly....NINE CHILDREN!!!  Because of these 2 families and their willingness to answer God's call, these siblings who have been in separate homes in foster care, are now going to be able to come together so they will no longer have to be separated!  

We can assure you, this is a story you DO NOT want to miss!!  Stay Tuned...the story will be right here, live tomorrow.  

In the meantime, here's what they need!  Both families are driving smaller vehicles and are unable to transport all the kids together.  

They both have an immediate and critical need for larger vehicles!  So we are looking to raise $40,000 for 2 new or gently used Honda Odyssey's or Toyota Sienna's so these families can accommodate their new and much bigger families.  You can donate here or please reach out to us at info@promiselovefoundation.com if you have connections for these vehicles to be donated. 

Please come alongside us to help these families have a family vehicle that can fit everyone!  Stop by tomorrow for the full story! 

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Eliana is home!

After about a month in the NICU little miss Eliana is home!  She was born 8 weeks early at just over 3 pounds and she is doing very well at home with Mary Jo and Gil!  They've had lots of love and visitors as you can see:-)  They have just over $19,000 left to raise to meet their adoption goal.  We thought today was the perfect day to give you an update as it's World Adoption Day! Will you celebrate with us by donating to their adoption?  DONATE HERE

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support of Mary Jo and Gil we know they have felt it the whole time!!!  

Welcome to the World Eliana Isabel

Mary Jo and Gil had a little surprise happen last week! On 9/15/17 little miss Eliana Isabel decided to come 8 weeks early.  She was a born at 3 lbs 4 oz and 16 inches long and is doing well and Mary Jo and Gil are officially parents!!  They got to meet her yesterday, here's a little video and photo of her.  They chose the name Eliana in December last year before they were matched and before they knew if their baby would be a boy or a girl.  It means, "My God Answers", and He did!  She will have to stay in the hospital in Panama City for a few weeks until she is 5 lbs.    If anyone has a contact of somewhere they could stay up there during that time, they would be so appreciative.  They still need about $22,000 to reach their adoption goal, so if you would like to be a part of their story donate HERE!!  We so appreciate your continued support and prayers for them.  Congratulations Mary Jo and Gil we are SO incredibly happy for your family of 3!!!

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Be Beautiful Do Good!

This event hosted by Michele Renee the Studio and Sarah Sukhram was amazing!  Sarah wanted to be in a fun class about makeup, Michele taught it and they raised $1000 for Mary Jo and Gil!  It was awesome!  We are so thankful and humbled by people like these 2 ladies who support what we do and spend their time giving back.   Michele Renee the Studio for hosting and Nothing Bundt Cakes for the sweet treats!  Photography by Carrie Wildes Photography

Mary Jo and Gil are Matched!

Guess what?  Mary Jo and Gil are officially matched with a birth mom!  She is due on November 29th with a little girl:-) We need you to keep up the prayers for them through this journey as well as donating to their adoption goal which they are $24,584 away from reaching.  Help them reach this goal by donating HERE!! Thank you all for your love and support it means so much to them and us!! 

Long Family Official Party of 5 Update!

Today was the day! Adoption day for Evelyn & Zach's 3rd adopted child, 3 year old Carson!  So we wanted you to give you a little fundraising update!

So far we have raised $1171 of the $5000 goal that they need to complete this adoption!

That's $3829 that we are hoping to raise in the next few weeks.  You can help this family by donating here

I can't tell you enough how amazing this family is. Please partner with us to bless them by completing their fundraising goal.  God has put them in our path and on our hearts to help as they so selflessly help children who need a forever family!   Thank you so much for all of you who have walked along side them and donated already. 

Update and Another BIG suprise for the Long Family!!

      You may remember our Valentine's Day surprise where Carrie and I went to Zack and Evelyn Long's with a BIG check for the remaining balance of their adoption of little miss Stella!  Stella has been doing amazing as a part of their family, and the Long's finalized her adoption just a few weeks ago!  Here's a photo of everyone there to see them officially become a family of 4.

     BUT.....that's not the end of their story!  Just a week or so after this finalization with Stella, they got a call out of the blue, asking if they would be willing to take Stella's 3 year old brother.  After much thought and prayer, they decided to accept placement of Carson just a couple of days ago. This means that Stella and her little brother will get to grow up together as a part of the Long family.  
     As you know, the cost of an adoption is not easy to come up with especially when it's unexpected, so we are asking for you all to walk alongside this amazing family and give as they have given their hearts to these beautiful kids so willingly! 
    They need $5000 to pay for this adoption that will not only keep these siblings together but also change their lives forever.  We are so honored to get to know this sweet forever family and are encouraged by all they are doing to help kids!  Let's get this done, come join us!  DONATE HERE!

Meet the Martinez Family

We are so excited to share with you our 2nd Promise Love Family for 2017!  Check out Gil and Mary Jo's family story below.  We are partnering with them to raise the $27,000 they need to make their adoption possible!  Click HERE to donated and help be a part of their adoption story! 

2016 Photos with Santa

Happy 2017!!!!  This thank you is a little over due but we wanted to share what our photos with Santa event looked like this year.  We had some very cute Santa lovers and haters!  It was so much fun and we can not thank everyone enough for their time and help in pulling this off.  Jeanna Graham created the fabulous decorations for our set with Santa.  Laura Walsh, from Olympia Catering, had a super fun cupcake decorating station with all different festive toppings.  And of course Jordan Prosser (AKA Santa), the team at Ivy Astoria for the perfect space, and Kandice Helms from Carrie Wildes Photography. These people all made it amazing and everyone who attended, we so appreciate your love and support.  
Venue | Ivy Astoria | Cupcake Station | Olympia Catering | Linens | Linens by the Sea | Face Painting | Sarah Sinteff | Photography | Carrie Wildes Photography

Ending 2016 on high note! Congrats to Team C!!

If we are being completely honest, 2016 has been a bit of a rough year for Promise Love and a few of the families we are privilege to walk alongside in their adoption journey. There are so many happy endings we are privileged to be a part of and share with all of you, but there are losses that come with stepping out in faith to bring kids into forever families.  Sometimes, decisions are made we don't understand, cases are dragged on longer than ever anticipated, and children are left waiting once again for their forever family.   We just haven't shared much with you this year, simply because its been tough.  Its hard to put into words the loss families feel when these things don't play out the way we were hoping.  But the reality is it happens. 

However, a new year is upon us and no matter what 2016 has thrown at us, we will not give up on the pursuit of helping families bring kids home!  And as I pray over Promise Love and our direction for 2017, the verse that comes front and center is from Isaiah 40:31!  It says, "But they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."    For 2017 our plans are to be renewed by His strength.  We will not grow weary or faint in doing what God has before us because our hope is in HIm! 

So in order to usher in the New Year on wings of Hope, we want to bring you the amazing story of The Calzada family!  This is a story of a family who in their waiting allowed God to renew their strength.  They did not grow weary of following the path God set before them!  This is one that's been in the works for a very long time, but the evidence of God's hand throughout this adoption journey has been so evident.  We have felt beyond blessed to watch these boys come home forever!

Although fundraising may seem like our main focus, its actually not what we do the most of.  Alot of time is spent connecting with families, helping families figure out which adoption path to take and advocating for kids.  Early on, the Calzada's had felt God was calling them to foster care/adoption.  While they were in the process of getting licensed, God was already preparing the right kids for their family.  Promise Love became connected with a family who was a relative caregiver to 2 brothers, Angel, 9 years old and Alonso, 4 years old.  This family was in a tough spot and knew they couldn't provide a forever home for them, but loved them dearly and desperately wanted to see these boys thrive in a forever family.  As the picture of the boys came through, God put on our heart The Calzada family.  Although they weren't completely licensed yet, the striking resemblance of these boys and their family was undeniable and we knew God was up to something.  After praying and talking together, The Calzada's agreed, God was definitely up to something!  

So they began the very long journey to bring these boys home!  I can't even imagine the tireless effort that was put in as they maneuvered all the twists and turns of the state.   But they never gave up on them and their love and acceptance of these boys is beyond measure.  I have seen it first hand and truly they are one of the most inspiring families you will ever meet! On October 18th, 2016 that journey finally ended at the courthouse with the adoption finalization!!  Angel, 12 years old now and Alonso, 7 years old are officially Calzada's, 2 years after their first visit!!  And all the glory goes to God for this amazing story and journey.  And how adorable is this family?!!  

 

 

 

Come Celebrate the First Official Promise Love Day on 7/22/16!!

Hi Everyone!

We couldn't be more excited for our FIRST EVER OFFICIAL PROMISE LOVE DAY on 7/22/16 and we want ALL of you to come celebrate with us!

Go HERE to purchase Promise Love adult t-shirts and Here for kids tees.  On 7/22 we would love if you would wear it and post to any or all of social media accounts to celebrate!

The icing on the cake is for every t-shirt we sell, a portion of the proceeds go to the adoption of 3 beautiful little girls!  You can't beat that!

But don't hesitate, these are only available for 5 DAYS!!  Purchase NOW!!!  

5.26.16 Sips and Sweets at the New Kendra Scott

The very first Kendra Scott store just opened in Hyde Park this past weekend!  They have gorgeous jewelry, and a color bar where you can pick the type of jewelry, stone, and metal right there on a big screen.  In about 2 minutes your custom jewelry is ready to go home with you! Perfect for gifts, bridal and bridesmaids' jewelry. 

Come out on Thursday 5.26 to shop with a purpose and enjoy sips and sweets. Kendra Scott will donate 20% of anything you purchase to Promise Love Foundation! 

If you can't attend but want to order, you can call into the store - 813-644-8999
from 6:00-8:00pm to place your order. They will ship for free or you can pickup later!

Happy Mother's Day - Boyers Story

To celebrate Mother's day weekend we wanted to share with you what the Boyer's family of 5 now looks like and how it came to be.  Happy Mother's day to all you moms, grandmas, foster moms and people who have taken on the role of mom for a child.  We know this holiday isn't a happy one to everyone, so to those of you who aren't moms yet and long to be so badly, we want this story to give you hope that it can and will happen!!!!  A huge thank you to James Blankenfeld for the is amazing film:-) 

Welcome The Swobodas to The Promise Love Family!!!

We are SO EXCITED to announce our newest Promise Love family!  Please give a big warm welcome to the Swoboda's!   All adoption stories are different and unique, Cody and Ashley Swoboda are adopting their 3 of their nieces.  You may be wondering, why would it cost to adopt family members?  All adoptions have a range of fees involved, which include court costs, attorney fees, birth certificates, etc etc.   

THE TOTAL goal We are partnering with them to raise which will give these 3 sisters a permanent forever home IS $15,000.
Help them reach their goal by Donating now

And without further ado, please read their story, straight from Cody and Ashley!  We'll be posting updates on their goal and story so be on the lookout! 

 Cody and Ashley with their soon to be daughters!

Cody and Ashley with their soon to be daughters!

"We came to realize the full depth of our longing to adopt these three beautiful girls one night in November 2014.  Cody was standing in the kitchen making dinner (as is characteristic of our little duo since Ashley only knows how to properly make Ramen noodle soup), when all of a sudden he held his face in his hands and began to weep.  Through tears he said, "I just love them so much, Ash... and... I think God's calling me to be their father."  What Cody didn't know is that Ashley had been having a recurring dream for months on-end wherein the two of them welcomed these sweet girls into their forever family.  In that moment, it was clear that God had been uniquely and individually preparing our hearts and minds for something extraordinary.  He was calling us to truly consider adopting our nieces into our family to raise them as our very own daughters.

The road to doing so, however, was clearly laden with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and so we began the process of intentionally seeking the Lord in prayer.  Though we wanted desperately to share our hopes with the decision-makers involved in the girls' lives, time in prayer continually yielded a call to wait on His timing.  And so, we waited.  For months, we waited.  In the season that followed, our relationships with the girls deepened and we began to recognize a strong and indescribable connection with each of them.  And although these seemed like indicators that the Lord was moving and that we ought to be too, we again heard His distinct voice of wisdom urging us to wait on Him.

It wasn't until October 2015 that we finally were granted an open window of opportunity to share our hearts with one of the decision-makers.  And although the response was a resounding, "Thanks but no thanks," we knew that this conversation was the seed that God would use to take root and eventually bear fruit.  The very next day, something extraordinary happened.  Someone in our community of faith, with whom we had little to no interaction at the time, approached us and shared a vision God had given him about us... and friends, it was a vision of adoption.  "God is going to give you children whose childhood has been taken from them and you're going to teach them how to be kids again, you're going to teach them how to play, and you're going to model the love of Christ for them."  These words, these prophetic words, cut straight to the core of us, and we wept like babies.

These girls have experienced more heartache, more disappointment, and more pain than any seven, eight, and fourteen year old should ever know.  And no matter how hard their parents tried, they simply could not provide the kids with a safe and stable living environment.  As a result, they were removed from their home in May 2013.  Although we all waited in hopeful expectation for their mom and dad to complete their case plans, change their lifestyles, and bring their beautiful children home, after three years they have yet to do so.

Friends, there is no denying that God has so masterfully orchestrated the events of our lives in such a way that His redemption can be known intimately by us all.  And this divine union of familial love is so tangibly laced with the grace of God.  We could not be more grateful nor humbled to know that our lives might be granted the honor of speaking for the lives of these beautiful girls.  Will you join us in raising the needed funds for private adoption as we seek to finally give these girls what they desperately need: permanency and stability found in a unified and loving family?  May the Lord bless all that you set your hand to for the glory of His name. " - Cody and Ashley Swobod