Family Adoption

THE REDEMPTION STORY! THE BRIGGS STORY (PT. 2)

Hi Friends and Supporters!

As we approach the end of March and the end our fundraiser for the Briggs family (To donate to the Briggs family, go here), I am reminded of whats coming!

Easter is in just a few short weeks and it’s the time of year where we are reminded of God’s Redemptive Power!

How he takes a hopeless heart and fills them with joy! How he takes our broken pieces and makes us whole. That’s only something He can do! As you go into the celebration of the resurrection of our Savior, remembering what He did for us, be reminded as well how He has adopted you into His family through His only Son. We are all adopted and we are all redeemed!

Here’s the not final piece of the Brigg’s journey but the redemption story He has given them through a tiny little baby….just the same way He used a tiny little baby to redeem us all.

Here’s the story in Hannah’s own words.

“We have our little girl. God is so kind to give her to us.

Looking back, we clearly see why God had us walk down the path we did, to be scammed out of our adoption savings, to cry more tears than I have ever cried,and to go through more heartbreak than we have ever experienced. It was all for this little bundle.

We received a text from our adoption agency on Monday, November 26th, that a baby girl had been born and that she needed a family. We didn't have much information at all but felt a complete peace about the situation and decided to present to the birth mother right away. In a matter of hours, we were chosen to be her parents! Birth mom signed over her rights the very next day and the days that followed we prepared to travel to our baby.

OUR baby!It seemed so surreal! We were parents!!!

We were told Coco could be in the NICU for a few weeks because she was born 7 weeks early and only weighed 3 pounds, 10 ounces. Josh planned to stay the first week and then travel back to work and I would prepare to stay until Coco was discharged from the hospital, however long that would be. We traveled to her later that week and when we walked into that NICU unit, we were motioned to the little incubator that housed our baby. They removed the blanket covering the incubator and we looked on our beautiful Colette for the first time.

What a little beauty she was! Josh gave me a delighted exclamation, "She's so precious!" and I stuck my hand through the glass window to lay it over her tiny body and whisper, "Hi, baby girl. Mommy and Daddy are here."

The baby girl that we had been praying for all along was right in front of our eyes. Our prayers had not been wasted. The Colette that we had talked about and prayed for was this tiny beautiful little creature. God had taken those prayers that we had thought were going toward a particular child and had administered them to her. He had prepared us to be her parents all along. Before the foundation of the world, this child was meant to be in our arms, and our hearts forever. God miraculously protected our little one and she has amazed the doctors and nurses over and over again.

One of our beloved NICU nurses even told us that in the 30 years that she had been a nurse, she never saw a case quite like Colette's and the progress she had made. It is all a testament to God's protection and the answer to so many prayers by not only her parents but the countless people that have prayed for her since the beginning.

Our days in the NICU were such a blessed time as we bonded as a new family of three. We spent time reading and singing to, feeding, changing, bathing, cuddling, and studying every little feature of our baby girl. She is so beautiful and such a picture of God's grace and faithfulness to us. She is far more amazing than we could ever hope for and we can't wait to spend our days treasuring her and showing her the love of Jesus.

This past year has been one of the hardest of our lives but also the most rewarding. It has been so amazing to witness God's faithfulness to us first hand and to have a daily reminder before us that He is sovereign and He is good.

We want to thank every single person who has prayed for us, sacrificed financially to bless our little family, and have encouraged our hearts along this adoption journey. We have had family and friends spend countless hours helping us raise money, given sacrificially, and have come along side us when we wanted to give up. You guys will always have a special place in our hearts and your gestures have meant more to us than you will ever know.”

Josh, Hannah and Colette Briggs

IT WAS ALL A SCAM!! THE BRIGGS STORY (PT.1)

Josh and Hannah experienced something recently that was heartbreaking! The kind of thing that makes you question where you went wrong or how did you not see this coming? It makes you stop and question if you should continue on the journey to adoption or maybe this isn’t meant to be. Emotionally it’s hard, but also financially it’s hard too.

Josh and Hannah had saved and fundraised for a long time in the hope’s of becoming parents through adoption, just to have that money lost by someone who was scamming them the whole time. Read firsthand here the blog post Hannah wrote during this time on her personal blog Thistle Harvest and join us in helping re-coupe a portion of what was stolen from them here as we continue our March Madness Basketball inspired fundraiser for the Briggs family.

Hannah and Josh Briggs.jpg


“As many of you may know by now, we heard the heartbreaking news last week

that our adoption match was a scam. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the

email informing us of the FBI investigation, telling us to reach out to some

lawyers that we had never spoken with, to receive more information. We had to

find the hard facts out for ourselves and determine if this birth mom we had

spoken with on the phone was a figment of our imagination.

After some investigation, we were told (and proved it to be true) that our birth

mother and baby were completely fabricated and that a woman was hired to

speak to us on the phone on different occasions to make us feel safe and secure

about the placement. I told this crooked social worker and her accomplice (our

"birth mother") how excited we were to be parents, how I was purchasing things

for our little girl, preparing her nursery, and that I prayed for them every single

day. "Birth mom" even asked me if I was excited to find out that it was a girl and

our gender reveal video was shared with our social worker who seemed

genuinely excited for us.

I know it is difficult for others to understand, but this was the closest we had ever

been to becoming parents. We have been through many fertility treatments but I

haven't ever had the privilege of carrying a baby, even for a short amount of time.

This baby girl was very real to us and had already taken hold of our hearts. We

called her by name and dreamt of what the future held for the three of us.


I will never fully understand why we were chosen to walk this path. Our trust has

been severely broken. There have been times that I have cried so hard that it's

been difficult to breathe. We had to close the nursery door for a few days so that

we would not be reminded of the deep pain we both were feeling.

We have taken some time to grieve our loss and while we are still fighting the

gross injustice, heart-wrenching pain, and breach of trust, we are trying to move

past this nightmare and fulfill our dream of having a family. We won't let this

horrible act discourage us from pursuing our child. God never stopped pursuing

us and we refuse to give up. We want our children to know someday without a

shadow of a doubt that we loved them fiercely and pursued them with everything

we had. Throughout this whole ordeal, I am constantly reminded of the Father's

love for us and how He pursues us and loves us with a perfect love. We are his

children and He will never stop fighting for us.


Our plan now is to fight for justice. To do everything in our power to get our story

out there when we are able to speak out and advocate for adoptive parents, for

birth mothers, and for their unborn babies. No one should ever take advantage of

some of the most vulnerable people in the world and if they do, they should know

that they will pay dearly for their crimes.

We are fighting to try to recover the devastating financial blow that we have been

dealt. We are desperately trying to get our money back so that we can continue to pursue adoption.

We know our baby is out there and at times we have become so discouraged that this circumstance has delayed our journey to find them.

Just the other day, I was speaking with Josh and I was frustrated that we were

going to be delayed in our adoption and didn't know when we would finally be

able to add to our family. I felt like the Lord spoke to both of us in different ways

but revealed the same truth: that His delay wasn't a denial. Nothing catches Him

by surprise. We fully trust in His sovereignty. Everything He places in our lives is

divinely orchestrated by the God of the universe. He makes no mistakes. Even

these unfortunate circumstances and the timing will lead us to the baby that He

has always meant for us to have

.

We are stepping out by faith and our continuing our adoption journey. Please

pray for us, pray for our baby and birth mother, and pray that God would restore

what evil men have taken. “


Come back for part 2 of this story next week! It’s gonna be a good one!

Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For All

Today we want to tell you a little bit about the little guy you are pouring into and loving on through this time! The little man the Tobey’s have fell in love with and can’t wait to be able to hold and hug him everyday!

Luke has been in the orphanage since the death of his mother in March of 2012.  His mom died when Luke was just a couple of weeks old and his father and his aunt brought him to the orphanage certain he was near death.  Brenda and the team arrived in the morning and as you heard on the video, met Luke for the first time and stepped right into the role of caretaker for him. She fell in love with this tiny baby and strongly felt this one was different from the rest! This one was meant to be in her arms for longer than just a week during her stay.

 Luke’s biological father knows where he is and has come to the orphanage a couple of times to see him, but is unable to care for him. He also has other children and even when offered the support to reunify with the family, desired to have Luke stay where he is.  He has come to meet The Tobey’s during their visits to see Luke and has expressed his happiness in their relationship with Luke.  He has verbalized to the authorities as well that he has a strong desire for Luke to be adopted by the Tobey Family.  

The name of the orphanage Luke currently lives in is Cabaret Haiti Mission, Inc. You can check them out here!

https://www.cabarethaitimission.org    


Luke's parents at the orphanage are Mike and Bonnie Snider or Papa Mike and Momma Bonnie as they are called by all the children who live there. They have lived in Haiti at the Children's home since 2010 and are the loving parents to the 50 kids living there!! Luke is actually pretty spoiled:)  Since he's been there since he was several weeks old, he has made his way "upstairs" where the kids are only allowed on special occasions, he can often be found sharing a cup of coffee with Momma Bonnie in the am or even stealing a snuggle in bed.  When Brenda goes to visit Luke, she stays at the orphanage with them and Luke is her wake up call:-) He likes to come into where we stay and sneak into bed for cuddles. 

Mike and Bonnie have made the adoption process tolerable for The Tobey’s because they know he is loved and cared for so very well.  They do an incredible job of loving on all the kids!  

Luke's parents in haiti.jpg

Currently Luke is obsessed with Captain America.  He attends school and loves to play soccer like all kids at the orphanage.  He loves praise and worship and he likes to perform dances and singing on open Mic night every Saturday night in the commons area of the orphanage.  

Luke's Orphanage.jpg


Luke will turn 7 in January.  This is 7 birthdays, 7 Christmas’s, 7 of everything that we have missed sharing with him.  Many firsts of walking, talking, playing, days of school etc.  Though these firsts haven't been experienced here at home with his family at the orphanage, the Tobey’s have been able to share in much of the joy of these special events because of the contact with Mike and Bonnie and their regular visits.   

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It's Lemonade For Luke Kickoff Day!! (A Love Swarm)

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little quiet around Promise Love the past few months! We hit our goal with the Smith’s and they are all riding around in vehicles that fit their beautiful families and that was so exciting!!

And then we heard of an amazing family, the Tobey’s, who have been waiting SIX years….Yes, I will say that again….SIX years to bring home their son, Luke, from Haiti. Luke is currently in an orphanage and Brenda (mom) met him when she was on a medical missions trip there 6 years ago. She is a nicu nurse here and often takes medical missions trips to Haiti with a team to help babies coming into the orphanages. If you missed the story and this beautiful family, please be sure to watch it HERE….it is truly an amazing God story!

After we shared that story with you, things got a little hectic with our lives and work and kids. But we are ready to kick back into high gear and get this little boy home to his forever family! God surely knows they have all waited long enough!

So the next 7 days…ONE WEEK…is dedicated to this LOVE SWARM!! Whats a Love Swarm you ask? Well just like bees swarm to build their colonies to produce something sweet like honey, we want to swarm this family with love so they can continue building theirs and bring this special little guy home forever! But it takes alot of us to do that!

Will you help us swarm them with LOVE?!

Here’s how you can get be a part of the swarm!

  1. Go like our facebook event Here!

  2. Buy a glass of Lemonade!!!

  3. Host a lemonade stand in your neighborhood this Saturday! (printables loaded on the fb event page)

  4. Share this page this event and challenge 5 or more friends to buy a glass!

Thats it! And by the end of the week, watch how much love is swarmed on the Tobey family! Check back here for updates, videos and announcements throughout the week!

Luke Lemonade.jpg

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