Many of you have messaged or wondered what does this process actually look like going forward for the Tobey’s! Will this just be another round of disappointments and lost money for them? Or how is this time different….Brenda did this write up for us after her most recent visit with Luke! We hope this helps you understand the complexity, but also the hope that this time looks different for them! Read what Brenda has to say!
“Mid October afforded me the opportunity to head to Haiti on another medical mission trip. It was an exciting time for me, but also a time filled with great anxiety over seeing Luke. It had been two years since my last trip.....the longest time frame that has lapsed in all of my trips to see him and I knew in my gut what that meant. He wouldn't remember......
Sitting at the kitchen table upon our arrival, Luke told Momma Bonnie what I has suspected would be true, he didn't remember me….
Truth be told I wanted to break into a million pieces. My heart was shattered. It was one of those punch in the gut moments that makes you question all things in your life in one second. I wanted to cry like a child, both because I was crushed and because I was overjoyed that he hadn't been wondering why I hadn't come back for him.
The good news was Luke wasn't feeling the pain of our adoption process the same way I was… and for this I was grateful.
It has always been a huge blessing to me that Luke was so young during this adoption process that he had not idea what was going on (or rather NOT going on with our adoption,) Throughout the process it has been my goal to protect him from knowing that we are adopting him for fear of him being hurt by the time and troubles.
Adopting from Haiti has been the most unreal and frustrating experiences that doesn't even make sense to most adults let alone trying to explain it to a child.
Luke's health, happiness, and well being has always been my priority and he is blessed to have that covered in his current living situation so my job was to keep him safe from the heartache of his adoption. He understands us to be his "sponsors." Sponsors help cover the costs of the children at Cabaret Haiti Mission and often are even able to visit with the children they sponsor while on mission trips to the home so its not uncommon to have a relationship with your sponsored child. Luke understands that our family loves him, prays for him, visits him, AND most importantly bring him special presents :)
He's no different than our children here in America...... an adult comes home with a suitcase and they want to know what we brought them right!?
This trip was filled with many blessed moments of serving my Haitian friends and providing medical care they would otherwise not have access to. It was also filled with lots of great Luke moments that I cherish.
In addition, I was able to connect with some new contacts that are helping with our adoption on the ground in Haiti and that is extremely important. Most people in my position have had to move to Haiti for a period of time, usually a few months or so, in order to complete their adoption. Literally being there in Haiti working on the adoption and being in the face of the people that make the decisions is like no person I could hire. It’s really the only way to complete an adoption in our unique situation. So as we work diligently on paperwork, process, and relationships/connections we also work on a plan for one of us to relocate and be the force that wraps this up and brings our boy home. The idea of that seems overwhelming, but we know ultimately God is in control and He has all the details already worked out, so we will just trust in His timing!
Right now we have the attention of the right people and we must move now to continue moving forward and gaining momentum!
I am so excited and so scared all at once but mostly I am confident Luke is our son and he is meant to be here as part of our tribe. The gratitude I have for you all joining us in whatever capacity you are able to is the greatest blessing!! WE are making this happen! WE are bringing Luke home, together! A million thanks still could not convey the gratitude we feel for for this LOVE SWARM that’s surrounding us during this week! “
When we first started throwing around ideas of how we were going to raise the money to bring Luke home forever, the Tobey kids were excited to get in on the action! They came up with a great idea to have kids and families around the city or even country do their own Lemonade Stand for Luke! And even came up with a graphic that you can print and post on your stand!
We thought this was such a great idea and wanted to incorporate the Lemonade theme into the entire event! Besides who doesn’t love a good glass of lemonade and here in Florida it’s pretty much always a good time to drink Lemonade since it’s a million degrees outside all the time!
So recently when Brenda went to see Luke she had a glass of lemonade with him and took this adorable photo together! We love how the Tobey’s are involving their kids in this project and they want to challenge you to be a part of the fun this Saturday, November 10th!
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!
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!
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 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.
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!
Go like our facebook event Here!
Buy a glass of Lemonade!!!
Host a lemonade stand in your neighborhood this Saturday! (printables loaded on the fb event page)
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!
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!!!!
We are excited to share that April 23rd, was adoption day for the Smith Family. Thad & Loryn, and Peggy & Jacob are so grateful for this new step in their journey as a family and everyone's love and support. We have raised $30,000 of their $40,000 goal to date and hope to complete fundraising for them the end of this month, there's still time to donate here!
With a home full of love and laughter, Evelyn and Zack Long are so grateful to have been blessed with their adopted children Carson, Stella, and Jackson, in addition to baby Judah. They began adopting over four years ago, and since then they've loved seeing their children initiate prayer, smiling until their adorable dimples show, and greeting dad when he comes home from work with excited hugs. Evelyn and Zack can't imagine their lives without their children- there's always something new and exciting going on!
The Longs credit the Promise Love foundation as a source of support through their adoption process, and encourage anyone who wishes to help families like them to go out and donate to the Promise Love foundation today, through Give Day Tampa Bay!
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!
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.
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 $12,000 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!!!
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!!!
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!!
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.
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!
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:-)
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!
Today we are celebrating #GivingTuesday! Its a day that people around the country will give back during a time of year where our focus should be on giving to those we love and also those who are in need of help.
A few weeks ago we posted about The Pucovsky family! They are in need of that help today! We have ONLY $1890 to raise to complete the adoption of Zaniya, their 14 year old daughter. In just a few short weeks we have been able to raise $1610. If today, 38 people gave $50 we would accomplish our goal! Will you partner with us today? Donate Now!
There is no better day than today to give back to a family who has literally changed the course of a young girls life and given her a forever family after much heartbreak. And the joy they have brought to her is written all over her face!
We had the honor of spending time with them at their home, at events and now at their adoption finalization of Zaniya. Check out their story here if you missed it! I can honestly say, they are a rare kind of family. They are full of love for each other, for their heavenly Father and for kids in need. They have willingly and openly opened their home to this beautiful girl and they have BIG plans to help more in the future. We can't wait to see the rest of their journey!
But first, enjoy some pictures from their adoption finalization that happened last Tuesday. It was such a blessed and beautiful event to watch! They had so many friends and family their to support them and The Heart Gallery presented Zaniya with her framed photo, which will now be retired from the gallery.
Teens often get overlooked or age out of the foster care system, never having a family to call their own. We pray this may inspire other families to take the risk on adopting a teen. Everyone deserves a family to call their own!
11.24.15 Jen and Ryan had a full courtroom of friends and family to celebrate Grant's adoption day! Holly, Saul, David and I, and all of our kids were honored to be there with them. It's always just some of the best moments life has to offer. Grant's first birthday was a few days later so we also got to see him smash his first cake, he loved the frosting:-) Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and we have another adoption finalization to share with you and how you can get involved and continue helping make these moments possible!