Promise Love Foundation

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

Smith Family Vehicles!!

Guess who can all ride together now?  Jacob & Peggy with their 4 littles and Lauren & Thad with their 6 big kids can travel as a family with their new vehicles!  We are able to raise $30,000 and help with a majority of the cost of getting them these vehicles.  THANK YOU to everyone who donated, shared their story, and prayed for their family.  We are so grateful for you and your heart to support families!!!!  

PLF Family Update on the Boyers!

In October of 2015, Josh and Cricket Boyer partnered with us and opened their hearts to a new addition to their family: a sweet newborn girl named Breeja. Since then, Breeja has grown into a rambunctious, lovely little lady who loves bouncing around with her brothers and cuddling with her parents. Blaine and Braden adore their sweet sister, and Breeja loves her home with her loving parents and siblings to play with!

The Boyer family made us this adorable video in order to encourage everyone to give to families, like the Boyers, by supporting the Promise Love Foundation on Give Day Tampa Bay, an occasion in which over five hundred nonprofits will join together for a 24 hour online giving challenge on May 1st. If you enjoyed hearing about the Boyer family’s story and wish to contribute to families like them, make sure you mark your calendar for Give Day Tampa Bay on May 1st!

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!

Photos with Santa 2015

Photos with Santa were a hit:-)  There were some lovers and haters of santa, some of our favs are below. Thank you all for coming out and supporting adoption through Promise Love Foundation.  Our biggest thank you goes to Bronwyn Fowler, and her amazing ladies from High Hopes in High Heels.  We could not have pulled it off without their time and hard work, THANK YOU!!  This event raised over $1300, and this along with other donations received, allowed us to actually exceed the goal amount for the Pucovsky family’s adoption. We also want to thank our event contributors and venue that made it all possible!

Santa | Venue | Creative Loafing | Face Painting | Sarah Sinteff | Santa’s Chair | Tufted Vintage Rentals | DJ | DJ Astylez | Linens | Core Concepts | Photography | Carrie Wildes Photography

Photos with Santa 12/6/15!!

Who wants to wait in long lines at the mall for photos with Santa right?  High Hopes in High Heels is partnering with us for some holiday fun! Come hang out with us and support adoption!!   We'll have Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and your family can get your photos taken with Santa!!! I happen to own Carrie Wildes Photography as well so we'll be taking the photos:-) 

Sunday 12/6 from 2:00 - 5:00pm at Creative Loafing in Ybor! 

Click HERE to buy your tickets and once you do we'll send you over an email to pick your time slot!

1 Year Anniversary!

Today, July 22nd is the official day we got our 501c3 non-profit status 1 year ago! We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given of their time, services, and money to partner with our families!  You truly are helping us make a difference for future generations and we have been amazed by all the love and support.  Here's a little highlight film of what that impact looks like.  THANK YOU to Voila Cinematic for creating this awesome film and the Devries family for being a part of it. We can't wait for everything the future has in store!

Welcome Team Boyer to the Promise Love Family!

We are so excited to announce to you our newest family joining the Promise Love Foundation!  Meet Cricket and Josh Boyer and their adorable 4 year old little guy, Blaine.  You are going to love them just as much as we do;-) This family's story has captured our hearts, and attention.  Our goal is to help them raise $20,000 for their private, domestic, adoption of a little girl due in July.  Help make their dreams come true and DONATE NOW 
or by check to:
Promise Love Foundation 

PO Box 47432 
Tampa, FL 33646
**if donating by credit card there is a small processing fee

Not only are they in process to adopt, Cricket is also pregnant with her 2nd child due just one week after their adoptive child is!  She has had many complications so far in her pregnancy and between the medical expenses and the adoption expenses, they really need our help!  We are itching to tell you the whole story, but we are going to let you hear it straight from them!   Please take a few minutes and let your heart be captured by this incredible little family of 3, that soon will be growing by 4 more little feet!!!

Photo Credit - Melanie Porter

Photo Credit - Melanie Porter

"We are Josh and Cricket Boyer. We fell head over heels in love in high school in 2002 and were inseparable throughout college and ever since. Josh and I share the same passion for striving to be the earthly hands and feet of our Lord through our everyday lives at home, work, in the community, and in our church.

In 2007, after being married only a few short months, I started feeling incredible abdominal pain and underwent subsequent surgeries. We were told at that time that children might not be a possibility for us. We were crushed but knew that if the Lord put the strong desire in our hearts to become parents that He could make it happen. And He did! We were surprised to welcome our precious miracle baby boy, Blaine, into the world in May, 2011. We rejoiced at the Lord’s grace and mercy!

However, I endured some complications during delivery and postpartum. We were devastated to be told by four different infertility specialists that I would not be able to conceive a child again. We went through years of fertility treatments, procedures, emotional heartache, and prayer in attempt to defy the odds to expand our little family of three.

Josh and I have always shared the desire to make a difference in the world by opening up ourselves and our home to adoption. During our emotional infertility roller coaster, we felt the Lord really tugging at our hearts that this was the time to make our lifelong adoption dream a reality. We enrolled in the foster program, in hopes of eventually adopting. We spent a great deal of time and effort attending the classes, preparing to become foster parents. Then miracle #2 happened: we discovered we were pregnant! 

We were more overjoyed than words could express. We had prayed for so many years for a miracle. We even prayed for a baby by name: SAM (acronym for Shadrach, Abednego, and Meshach). In Daniel 1-3, the Lord worked a miracle in the lives of these three young Hebrew slave boys. When threatened with excruciating death in a fiery furnace for refusing to worship an idol, they replied that their god (Jehovah) was able to miraculously deliver them, but even if He chose not to, they still would place their faith in Him. This Bible story was laid heavy on our hearts while fighting the feelings of infertility defeat. To this day, we still call our unborn baby SAM to remind us of the love, faithfulness, and sovereign grace of our Lord in providing the divine miracle of life inside of me.

Shortly after discovering our second miracle pregnancy, we were presented with the beautiful opportunity to adopt an unborn baby girl. Our hearts swelled as we humbly accepted this perfect gift from God with tears streaming down our faces. The Lord orchestrated this most precious baby to arrive only a week before our due date with baby SAM: virtually twins!

But even while our hearts were overwhelmed with joy, my newly-pregnant body was quickly declining. I was diagnosed with a rare and serious complication of pregnancy at week 5, called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). I was uncontrollably vomiting and losing so much weight that I was forced to cease my part-time work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, Massage Therapist, and Homeschool Teacher to Blaine. I became very ill because of my inability to keep liquids or solids down and my body became too weak and dehydrated to independently perform basic self-care tasks. My organs began to fail from malnourishment.

I have since been through quite a lot to sustain this precious life inside of me. I received full-time home healthcare for several months, including 24/7 IV treatments and a medicine pump inserted into my abdomen in an attempt to reduce the vomiting. Unfortunately my dehydrated veins would not withstand the IV needles any longer and my condition became increasingly worse by the day. My HG was crippling. I was then hospitalized and underwent the high risk “last resort” procedure of receiving a PICC line. I was immediately put on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) which provided full medication and nutrition intravenously, similar to what a coma patient receives.

After several weeks of TPN, I began to make small improvements. Sadly, it was short lived. A sudden decline, high fever, disorientation, and convulsions sent me into the intensive care unit for a week. I had gone into septic shock from an unknown virulent systemic infection. We were told baby SAM and I were fortunate to have survived the attack.

Josh has been picking up as many extra shifts in his work as a Law Enforcement Officer to try to compensate for my lost work wages, childcare costs (I have been too ill to care for toddler Blaine), and the many pregnancy-related medical expenses. He has worked himself to the bone and comes home to be Nurse, Husband, Daddy, Errand-runner, Chef, Landscaper Extraordinaire, Chore-Master, and Boo-Boo fixer. He is our family hero in all aspects of the word. 

We are truly humbled as we continue to seek God’s will while preparing our hearts, home, and finances to nurture and raise three children. We look forward to the day of finally holding our precious “twins,” Blaine meeting his two new siblings, and striving everyday to fulfill Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Although everyone may not feel the tug to adopt as the Boyer's do, anyone can be a part of this by giving towards their $20,000 goal!  We, at Promise Love, want to help them reduce the financial burden so they can focus on getting these babies home.   Thank you so much for being willing to open your hearts to them!  All funds raised go directly to the Boyer's adoption fees. Promise Love Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible. 

Help make their dreams come true and
DONATE NOW 
or by check to:
Promise Love Foundation

PO Box 47432 
Tampa, FL 33646
**if donating by credit card there is a small processing fee

Team Devries Adoption Day!

April 28th, 2015 is a very happy day for the Promise Love family!!  Dan & Davina Devries finalized their 3 children's adoption today!  Xander, Prudence, and Levi officially became a part of team Devries forever!!! Holly, Saul, David, Carrie (me:-) and all our kiddos got to witness it in court. Now these 3 siblings will get to grow up together in an amazing home.  We could not be happier or more proud of them for making a difference in 3 tiny lives.  Thank you to all of you who have been a part of it and supported them as well, we couldn't do it without you!

Fun-Raiser 2014!

Our very first event was a success!!  Thank you to all who came out to have fun!  We had 2 goals, the first to was to start getting the word out so we can raise funds to help more families with adoption.  The 2nd was to celebrate the adoptions that we've had this year so far, which are Lisa & Fred's 3 children, David and I's 2 girls, and Holly and Saul's little girl.  It was an afternoon of games, gelato, pizza, sweets, face painting, princess hair and lots of fun!!  THANK YOU to all the amazing volunteers, and professionals who shared their services and donated their time and raffle items.  This event would not have been possible without Michael and his staff at NOVA 535, and Linda and Danielle from Linda Marie Events. They all went above and beyond to make it a success and we are so thankful!  

The Official J Team

Tuesday 9.23.14 was adoption day for Lisa and Fred's 3 children!!!  It's the end of one chapter and only the beginning to many more.  I absolutely love photographing this amazing and emotional event. They had about 28 friends and family members there in the court room to celebrate with them.  Lisa even had her parents on Skype so they could virtually be there.  Some family members surprised them by coming in from out of town, teachers they had, and the foster family that the children lived with for 2 years was there for this occasion.  Once the judge made the final ruling, she had each child come to the stand and gave them a build a bear.  She explained that inside the box was an adoption certificate so each child could name their bear and officially adopt them.  What an awesome gift and way to explain it to them.  We are SO happy for team J!!!! 

Wall of Pretty Faces:-)

Thank you for sending us a pic of you in your Promise Love shirt!!  If you haven't yet don't worry we plan on just adding and adding and adding over time so please keep on sending them!!  Each of you are faces of support and represent the kids we want to help to find forever homes.  We have shirts available again as well!!!  Here's the links:

Kids - www.teespring.com/promiselovekids
Baby Onsies - www.teespring.com/promiselovebaby
Women's - www.teespring.com/promiselovewomen
Men's (with camo logo) - www.teespring.com/promiselovemen

Send us your selfie!

We have some exciting updates on Lisa & Fred's project coming soon!!  In the meantime, we had over 60 people order Promise Love shirts and they are shipping this week!!!!  We thought it would be fun to have all of you send us a photo of yourself wearing your Promise Love shirt so we can post a collage of all your pretty faces.  Seflies and phone pics are totally fine!  When you get your shirt snap a selfie and you can post it on our Facebook page that is at www.facebook.com/promiselovefoundation or text it to Carrie - 813-480-0324 or Holly - 813-0758-4964.  We can't wait to see!!!! 

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Promise Love Bracelets!

Yesterday, my heart and home were very full!  Heaven, my sweet 8 year old daughter, decided after hearing Mr. Fred and Mrs. Lisa's story that she wanted to help them!  So we invited some of her bracelet making girlfriends over (with music and ice cream sundaes to keep them motivated) to make as many official Promise Love Foundation bracelets as possible to sell and raise money so these 3 beautiful kids can finally be home forever!  So proud of these girls and all there hard work.  It was a blast!  And I know they will sell like hot cakes!

Saul and I, for obvious reasons, have always stressed the importance of helping orphans find there forever homes in whatever way God calls us to help.  It's pretty amazing to watch how God works in their little hearts and minds to reach out to people on their own!  Going through the process of launching this foundation with us, my kids have truly taken on the prayers, excitement, love and commitment to helping families and kids find each other!  They have learned the ups and downs, ins and outs, hard times and amazing victories and miracles that come through adoption.  I am truly thankful to God for the journey He has placed us all on and what impact it is having on my own children.  

If you are interested in buying a bracelet they are going for $5, but well worth more with all the love that is put into them:-)  Just message us and we can mail them to you or stop by our booth at the No More Event this weekend, Sunday, May 18th @ 5pm at Bay Life Church and there will be a very cute 8 year old selling them!  

A BIG Thank you to all the girls who took time out of their day to come make this a huge success!  And thank you to the moms for bringing your girls and allowing them to be part of this awesome mission! 

Our First Promise Love Family - Lisa and Fred's Story

This is Lisa and Fred.  We got connected with them through Facebook when Carrie’s friend Karen saw the launch of the foundation.  She thought they might be a great family to help and we think so too!  They are an amazing couple that is matched with a sibling group of 3 children ages 4, 6, and 7.  Two girls and a boy.  They are adopting these kids from the foster system, which means the children’s biological parents’ rights have been terminated and the children are ready to find a forever home.  May is also national Foster Care month and so this is also very fitting:-)  We immediately fell in love with Lisa and Fred, their hearts, and their story.  It is VERY rare that people are open to siblings, especially 3 kids that are a little bit older.  They will get to grow up together as a family which is so awesome!

Adoption, especially of a sibling group isn’t for everyone, but, ANYONE can get involved and be a part of Lisa and Fred’s dream to become parents and give these kids an amazing family. 

Lisa and Fred's home is a 1390sq ft 1958 bungalow. They need some help turning into a more accommodating space for 3 growing youngsters!  What they are going to do is turn their 1.5 car garage into a master bedroom so that the 2 girls can share what was their room, and the boy can have his own room.  

They need to raise $5,000 for the renovation and that’s where we want to help!
There is a big 
DONATE button on our site or you also can mail a check to the Promise Love Foundation: PO Box 47432 Tampa FL 33646

It doesn’t matter if you have $1 or $1000 every little bit helps and 100% of the proceeds are going to this project.  It’s also a tax deductible donation for you! 

You can also meet Lisa and Fred at the No More Event THIS Sunday 5/18 at Baylife Church. They will be joining us as we support this awesome event!  We can’t wait to show you their finished space and their new family!!!!!

Here’s their story:

How did your story begin?

Our story began almost 20 years ago when we met, fell in love and decided to build a life together! We figured that once we built our foundation, we’d include children to our family and live happily ever after just like in all of the fairytales.  In life, all tales aren’t so grand and free of complications.  We weren’t able to successfully bear children of our own due to infertility issues, so we sought the alternative to adopt!

How did you and Fred grow up?

Coming from a large family, I’ve always been blessed to be surrounded by children, their laughter, their cries during accomplishments and triumphs and their infectious thirst to learn daily.  I get great satisfaction of being privileged to share those experiences with them. We have volunteered at Metropolitan Ministries, Paint Your Heart Out, HCSO, BBBS (Big Brother and Big Sisters), and Medical Reserve Corp within our own communities throughout the years. We both come from loving and stable families, our Parents have been married for over 40 years, although Fred’s are both deceased now and we understand commitment in healthy relationships. Through good communication, we always talk out our problems, come up with solutions and work past it.

Tell us about you and Fred?

I love watching Fred when he’s helping children with completing a task, showing them various sites at amusement parks, teaching them about history or just having a moment to discuss life with them.  He lights up as they recall how they saw or experienced something that he has shared with them and I always catch his eye when he is in the midst of having his heartstrings tugged by a child.

He often tells me that he knows that children like me because I’m very ‘motherly’ in my job of working with Mentally Ill Adults as well as with all of the children that we’ve been blessed to have in our lives.  However, I remind him of what a big ‘kid’ he is and loves to play!  Fred not only loves children, but he is affectionately nicknamed, ‘Ace Ventura’ due to his extreme love of animals.  If Fred could live in a big open land filled with children and animals, he’d be in his glory.

 I am completely a ‘City Girl’.  Fred grew up in New York and I grew up in Chicago.  He visited his Godparents and other family during summers in Puerto Rico. 

 We both have a very strong relationship with God and plan to introduce that to our children as well so that they’ll know, they’re never alone. We want to build strength in them so that they can turn those obstacles into positive experiences and allow it to help with their moral character and spiritual walk with God.

What do you want to share with these children who will become part of your family?

Though it’s been a real blast being ‘babysitters’, we long to have our own children to teach and show about how wonderful life can be, despite their previous obstacles and challenges.  Our hearts spill over with love that we can give to children that will thrive in a stable, loving and positive family!

What do you look forward to most becoming parents?

We look forward to tucking them in at night, reading bedtime stories, listening to how their day in school went, what field trips they want to go on, watching their eyes glow when we take them to Busch Gardens, taking the dog for a walk with them, shopping for Christmas gifts for them, eating dinner together, helping with homework, so many things and EVERYTHING!  We want to instill in our children a strong work ethic, and that they have the opportunity to do amazing things and make a difference in this world.

In 2 sentences why do you want to adopt?

I’d have to say, “I want our children to know what it’s liked to be loved in a healthy way and give them a chance to know that they DO MATTER!  Most foster care Children express that they feel ‘forgotten’, ‘unloved’ and other negative feelings that just aren’t true at all.

Why did you decide to adopt from the foster system?

We want to adopt children, specifically a Sibling Group since we’d like to give multiple children a chance to stay together, remain a family and grow in a loving, and nurturing environment. 

Want to be a part of making Lisa and Fred's dream come true and giving these kids a forever family?

DONATE on our site or you also can mail a check to the Promise Love Foundation: PO Box 47432 Tampa FL 33646.  All gifts are tax deductible and 100% of proceeds will go to this project!

April Fools Day

So most of you know today April 1st for being April fools day right?  I'm going to share with you how meaningful this date is for the Promise Love Foundation!  On 4.1.13, David and I got our very first call from placement having just become foster parents.  It was for a little boy named Justice.  David got the call and we talked and anxiously accepted!  A couple hours later, placement called us back and apologized that they had been mistaken and Justice would not need placement.  We were so disappointed, but we knew we were ready.  Then, on April 3rd, we got another call that said they had a little girl coming straight from the hospital, 2 days old that needed a home.  2 hours later they delivered her to our house and instantly we were foster parents!  My very good friend Andi Diamond did her newborn session, which is the first picture.  Since I'm a photographer as well, I did photos of her every month for the 6 months we had her and for her 7 month birthday in November, because that's the last time we got to see her.  

Today is her birthday, she's 1 year old, her name is Promise Love.  

Even though we don't get to see her, we pray for her often, that she will beat the odds, stay safe, and know that she is loved and grow up to be amazing and change the world.  I even pray that she will run this very foundation some day, it's named after her.  We know that God put her in our home for a reason, she stole our hearts and made us love like we never have before.  If He hadn't, Holly and I probably wouldn't have started this foundation.  For me, April 1st every year is Promise Love Day.   ~Carrie xoxo