tacomafamily

sharing… our journey. our story. our lives

Updates

Oh I wish I could click that insert photo button!  Yesterday we received 6 sweet gifts – new photos of our kiddos!  We saw 7 year old seriousness, smiles, dirty feet, sweetness and teeth (I had been hoping to see a smile with teeth!)  We saw 4 month old smiles, big eyes, drooly chin, chubby arms and precious mostly bald head (yes, it’s confirmed – baby girl is an 11 pound 4 month old!)

We have been reveling in new information, she loves to be talked to, he love soccer, she can almost roll over, his favorite subjects are science and english!  It’s all making this picture more real.  The paperwork pregnancy continues and just as it’s so hard to imagine the person inside of you being REAL, it’s difficult to believe that these kids that we’ve talked about and prayed for, for so long are living, breathing, alive on the other side of the world!

Next week we get to send them photos of us and small toys.  I just can’t even begin to imagine how their hearts will begin to take us in.  I know we have a long road ahead of us in becoming a family, but these first small steps are exciting ones.  

Now Ready for Tax-Eligible Giving

Hi, everyone!  We officially have an account under YWAM’s 501(c)(3) for donations. So, I just wanted to give instructions for how you or your company, your family/friends, or anyone else can give towards our adoption and receive a tax receipt for your donation. Here’s how: It’s pretty specific, but totally easy…

  1. Write a check out to “Adoption Ministry of YWAM”
  2. DO NOT put our names anywhere on the check; leave the “Memo” line blank.
  3. Include a note that says, “Please use these funds towards the Ethiopian Adoption Fund. We request that funds be directed to the Klevjer family if possible.” We have a great relationship with Adoption Ministry and trust them with the donations that come in on our behalf. This language is necessary to keep in compliance with the rules of the IRS.
  4. Include your address on the note so they can send you a receipt.
  5. Mail your donation to

                     Adoption Ministry of YWAM, PO Box 512 Puyallup, WA 98371

YWAM will keep a record of all funds that come in for the Klevjer’s.

Also, if you aren’t real concerned with receiving a tax deduction for your donation feel free to see the Side Bar on this blog and use our “Donate” button or just mail a donation to our address.

My brother revealed a beautiful truth to me the other day when we were talking on the phone. He too is raising support as a city missionary in Seattle with Artist Reformation. He helped me see that calling people to give is actually ministry in itself. Here’s why: when we give from our hearts it’s actually an act of worship. Whether it’s to a missionary, like my friends, Tim and Chie in Japan, or my brother in Seattle, a local foundation/charity or your neighbor who’s in a tight spot- when we give to bless others it is a sweet aroma to God. When we give, knowing that it will be a stretch, (or impossible), we are saying to God, “I trust you. You are my good provider- you’re my Dad who always takes care of me. Please bless these people by your goodness, power, love and provision.” So, I unashamedly ask you to enter into worship with my family and me and help us by giving to us and our children. And, please keep praying for us! We have our first of three home studies tomorrow morning. We are feeling the pains of this paperwork pregnancy- there’s a lot. It feels like a full-time job sometimes. It’s also my off-season. I don’t get many customers from January to April, so it gets real tight this time of year. However, God has always proved faithful to us. We have never gone hungry :o)

Too Wonderful

Cold Tacoma Morning, But Our Hearts Are Warm In Ethiopia

Cold Tacoma Morning, But Our Hearts Are Warm In Ethiopia

Wow! I identify with King David when he wrote in Psalm 139 about being created and loved by God that “such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too lofty for me to attain.” When we look at what God has done through so many people to raise funds for these children because He loves them we are almost in disbelief- it is too wonderful, too lofty! This is what is true of these children, and of you and me:

God formed our inward parts;
He knitted us together in our mother’s womb.
Praise Him, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are His works; our soul knows it very well.
Our frame was not hidden from Him,
 
When we were being made in secret, 

Intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 

His eyes saw our unformed substance; 

In His book were written, every one of them, 

The days that were formed for us, 

When as yet there were none of them. 

How precious are His thoughts of us! 

How vast is the sum of them! 

If we would count them, they are more than the sand. 

When we awake, He is still with us.

This is the truth of all humanity- fashioned by the hands of God, known and loved. He does not leave us. So this is true for a 5 year old boy and his baby sister in an orphanage in Ethiopia. All the days ordained for them were written down before one of them came to be. Every morning, (which is 11 hours ahead of our mornings here in Tacoma), they wake up, and God is still with them. His thoughts are continually on them. Such care! Such Love!

In the middle of December, when we got the call about these two beautiful children and decided to move forward in the adoption process we had only saved/raised a third of our goal of $36,000. Because God loves these children, He has caused, through so many giving people, our funds to more than double in just a few short weeks. We are now at $26,000! Is that not too wonderful, too lofty?!

We thank our Father in Heaven, and we thank you! Wow…

If you or someone you know, (or don’t know) would like to give to these children you can give through the “Donate” button on the sidebar of this blog, and you can learn more about the different options, places and timelines for giving from our last post “Giving Spelled Out”.

I can’t wait to see what else God will do!

Giving Spelled Out

Since we last posted almost 2 weeks ago we are now up to $18,000- that’s half way to our goal of $36,000! Thank you SO MUCH! Family, friends, and people we don’t even know have donated or made commitments to donate in the next few months. This is huge!

I wanted to outline our need and the different ways you can help us.

In short, our need is to have the total funds, ($36,000) accounted for within the next couple weeks. We don’t need to have all the funds in our account, or under our mattress, but we do need to have it all accounted for.

If you are able to give what you want now, please do so! (our “donate” button and address are on our Sidebar for quick reference.)

If you aren’t able to give, or give all that you want right now consider committing to a future donation. Maybe you know in a couple months that you will be ready to give $x… commit now and donate later. Or maybe you are able to give $x/month over the next 6 months. Let us know the total amount you are planning to give, then break it up in chunks. Whatever creative means you want, we just need to be able to communicate with confidence to our agency and all other governing entities where the funds are coming from… and fast. We are working on submitting our first application packet as soon as possible to Children’s House International, the agency in Ethiopia, and will need to inform them of how we are planning to pay for the adoption. Just saying, “Fundraising…” is not an option. All funds must be accounted for.

Thank you so much for considering me, Jamie, Lily, Beau, and these two beautiful children in Ethiopia who need a family and a home. Pray for us! Pray for God’s provision, for the readiness of our family, and for the comfort, care and protection of our* children in Ethiopia. Here is an excerpt from Psalm 68, “Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom..”

(*I mean no disrespect by saying “our” children when we have not yet adopted them. I know nothing is final or certain at this point. However, in this process we mean to love these children as our very own, even if this whole thing should fall through.)

Klevjer 2012 Christmas letter

Merry Christmas, Everybody!
The Christmas season seems to have come early this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the late summer that seemed to run right into Thanksgiving, or that I’ve been installing Christmas lighting for my customers since the first week of November… but nevertheless, I am very excited to celebrate. My family has a lot of Christmas traditions, but one of my favorites has been reading a series of Advent stories each night at bedtime. They follow the stories of a few children, just slightly older than Lily and Beau, living in Palestine, and their adventures that wind up intersecting with the young Mary and Joseph and their new born baby.
It’s quite thrilling just to imagine being there. Imagine noticing a bright new star in the sky, much brighter than any other, that seemed to want to be followed. Or, being a shepherd out in the dark field, just shutting your eyes when something like all the lights and amplifiers of Cheney Stadium turning on at once all around you- almost blind and almost deaf at the same time from God’s glorious angels and their singing. Imagine the contrast from our homey-yet-sterile birthing suites today to the noisy, smelly and cramped manger where Jesus was born. It’s funny how one character seems to escape our attention… Joseph. Sure, we give him kudos for not divorcing his pregnant betrothed, but what about adopting her son as his own, raising him to carve and shape wood and to fear and obey God. Not that he’s the main character in the story, but let’s not miss out on acting out the grace and goodness of God towards others.
Our family has been on a journey to adopt children from Ethiopia since this time last year. We have learned and grown a ton in our readiness as a family. Many of our family and friends have shown great generosity in helping us raise funds for the adoption. We are praying hard for God’s wisdom, direction and provision. It may be sooner than we think…
But in the meantime, it’s been a great year. Beau is 8 and in 3rd grade. He is still the shortest boy in his class, but he has really grown as a student, a soccer player and a young man. One of my favorite things I do with Beau is pray at bedtime. For as rough, wild and passionate as he is as a little dude, there really is a tender, thoughtful and compassionate heart inside him, and it comes out when he prays.
Lily is 10 and a 5th grader! Wow! She too is part of the Short Club and co-president with her brother. Make sure to ask her about her new teacher, the Puerto Rican rockstar. She’s doing well in school, has a great little pack of friends, loves to dance, and is very excited at the prospect of being a big sister again. Lily has a mother’s heart. She loves caring for little kids and babies. She is loving, gentle and responsible.
Jamie is wonderful! She is the Queen of the Behind the Scenes. She serves her family, church family, and school in countless ways, and I’ll probably get in trouble for writing that.
And I am so blessed to have this little family who help me grow as a husband, dad and business owner.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
– Kyle, Jamie, Lily and Beau Blog: http://www.tacomafamily.wordpress.com

Catch Up

FUNDRAISING: So we had our photo shoot back in October with Kurt Gordon and it was a blast. We prayed and prayed for the rains to hold off so all our families could have their family photos taken in the park without getting drenched. Praise God! The rain held off till the very end… or at least only sprinkled a tiny bit for our last family. Such a blessing!
Then, Kurt also threw a sushi making party, hosted by my Sister, Katie and her husband, Matt. It was so much fun! And really, it turns out I make a pretty mean sushi roll! We made five different types and ended by splitting the party into three groups and having an “Iron Chef” secret ingredient challenge. Secret Sushi Ingredients: Orange, Milk Chocolate and Whipped Cream. It was so cool to see the party transform from a fun, informational gathering to a full on competitive culinary challenge! In the end, seaweed and chocolate should never be paired together for any reason! Between Kurt’s two events we made about another $2,000. And we did hardly anything! Kurt, you are such a blessing to me and my family. I can’t wait to introduce you to our new children. And HUGE thank-you’s to all of our attendees at these events. Your generosity and love mean so much to us!

DISCOURAGING NEWS: Back in October while checking in over the phone with one of our YWAM directors about our fundraising progress I was pretty discouraged to learn from her that there had been quite a slow down of children coming to their orphanages and being placed within families. This made no sense to me, in light of the fact that the hardships of Ethiopia were still alive and just as oppressive. She explained that a certain governing authority in matters of international adoption was putting a lot of pressure to not allow international adoptions from Ethiopia. So, we began to pray about what this meant for us. And not just us! What about all the families in Ethiopia who were struggling so badly? What about the children? We would pray for Ethiopia every day, that God would send relief. We would also pray for wisdom and leading.  Many times driving to my customer’s homes or up on their roof I cried out to God, that He would not let this door shut. Truly, He enlarged our hearts for Ethiopia and their hurting children and we longed to adopt. On nights when I felt that I just couldn’t pray about our adoption, my son would. “God, please bless our kids in Ethiopia and help us be ready to adopt. Please keep them safe and help them trust you if they are sad.” These moments were very encouraging for me- my own son holding me up with the strength of God’s hope. What a blessing!

Also, during these unsure months we continued to receive financial support, even though we were not doing any fundraising efforts. I received donations from my customers, some friends of ours gave $1,000!, another check in the mail from an adoptive family we talked with at a 4th of July party. All these plus random opportunities to talk about God’s love and adoption of us into His family would encourage me and keep me hopeful.

EXCITING NEWS: Last Thursday, as I was getting the kids ready for bed, about 8:30, I was shocked to see the number of one of our directors come across my phone. I answered, trying to not sound too freaked out. She told me they had recently received word from a sister orphanage in Ethiopia that they had two children, a young boy and his baby sister, who they were hoping to match with a family as soon as possible, given the unsteady adoption climate. Now we were being asked if we were ready. Funds were obviously a big deal.  We were still quite a ways off. They asked us to pray over the weekend and said they would call on Monday. We quickly put the word out with friends, family and church family to pray and ask God for His wisdom in moving forward. That Sunday we “just happened” to have a church Family Meeting and many of our brothers and sisters prayed stood and prayed with us- so encouraging.

On Monday we told the directors that we would like to move forward. They told us that they had one other family they were considering and asked us to continue to pray for God to illuminate His will for these precious children.

While at my customer’s house today, I got a call… We have been picked to officially start the adoption process for these two beautiful children!

When things progress further we will be able to post a photo and their names. For now, we have a ton of paperwork to complete. Please pray for diligence as we climb this mountain one step at a time. Also, we still need to come up with the remainder of our funds. We have $12k now, but need approximately a total of $36k. That’s $24,000! Would you please consider helping us? I have a loan with our bank waiting in underwriting for approval, but… the more we are able to raise, the less we will need to borrow and pay back. Another way to give is by donating airline miles. Because we have to travel to Ethiopia twice, we will need 4 round trip tickets and 2 one way tickets. This is obviously a huge part of the adoption cost and would lower our total significantly. Please contact us if you are able to donate in this way.

*Note: Normally we wouldn’t move this fast and would continue with saving and fundraising efforts. But, because things are so uncertain right now, we need to move as fast as possible to get these kids home before the doors do close indefinitely.

Family Photo Shoot

Well, we’ve been a little silent for the last couple of months, but a lot has been happening.  We’re working on a post to sum a lot of that up, but for now, I wanted to share something really exciting that is coming up in just a week and a half.  Our friend Kurt Gordon has given us the opportunity to offer two days of family mini photo shoots!  This is an awesome way to get beautiful, professional photos taken of your family for potentially a fraction of the cost!  For $150, you get 30 minutes in a beautiful location under Kurt’s expertise and then a collection of the edited photos either online or on a disc to print however you like.  I’m getting excited just thinking about it!  🙂

Here are some details:

Next Saturday, September 22nd, will be our first day  and we’ll have time slots available from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, so you can work around soccer games, yard work, etc.  This day will take place at The Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake. Check them out at http://www.thekelleyfarm.com/!

Then on Sunday October 14th, join us in Tacoma’s beautiful Wright Park (http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/wright-park/) for slots in the same time frame!

Here is the link where you can sign directly up for the time slot of your choice: https://www.google.com/calendar/selfsched?sstoken=UU1OYllqeGgwckQ0fGRlZmF1bHR8YTMyZTIxNzBhY2JmN2M5OWRhMGVjNjExYTJmNzE0NTY

If this is confusing then just let us know and we will plug you in!

What a tangible way for us and our kids to see the beautiful faces that are helping to literally bring them into our family!  We need you guys, through every step of this process!  If this is something that would bless your family and then again bless ours, then please sign up today!

Garage Sale Success!!

 

Here is just some of our fabulous team, who worked round the clock to make this event a huge success!

 

When we first started to talk about ideas of how we could fund-raise this summer, a garage sale was one of the first ideas to come to mind.  And honestly, I wasn’t very excited about it.  I just couldn’t imagine that our junk and maybe some of our friends junk would come together in a way that would be worth it.

Wow, was I wrong!  On so many levels!  We were just blown away by the amount and the quality of things that people donated!  Some of you gave items that you could have easily sold yourselves and pocketed the money.  You helped us sort and organize, you baked cookies for us, you brought us food, you made signs, you hung signs, you bought stuff!  All of it led to an extremely successful sale!  To the tune of $2,055.64!!  With more coming in – we listed a bunch of the furniture that didn’t sell on Craigslist!

I just have to give a huge shout out to Kyle’s sister Katie and her hubby Matt … they hosted our sale at their house because of their awesome location right off a main street and a block off a major intersection.  This was huge for traffic flow!  They have truly given of their time and resources to make this event happen.  Katie spent all day pricing and organizing with me and then two whole days selling, reorganizing and supporting us.  Matt’s heavy lifting skills were a huge blessing, he made quick work of hauling furniture in and out of their garage.  They also were the ones to take photos and post everything to Craigslist!  And so much more!  They stepped up in so many ways, without even being asked.  They have been such examples to us of servant leaders and these kids will be blessed to meet their new aunt and uncle!

And I really don’t mean to leave anyone else out, so many of our friends and family have helped out in so many ways, big and small, each offer of help and willingness has touched us deeply.  We are blessed!

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Thank You!

Kyle here. I just want to say a big “Thank You!” to all you wonderful ladies (and respective spouses at home) for coming over to our Noonday Collection Trunk Show fundraiser. Thank you for entering into our story on a new level with us. Thank you for purchasing beautiful, hand-made jewelry to support our adoption, Sara’s adoption and the artisans and their families all over the world who make each piece. We greatly appreciate you giving of your resources to help us. And we especially appreciate you giving of your very selves- your hearts.  We know we still have a long way to go, but we also know we are not alone.  You coming around us today and supporting us means so much.  You are all very good family to us.

Oh that  God would give us a greater vision. Just think! Even this one little effort today… the effects right now are that the Klevjer’s are a little closer to their adoption fundraising goal, and we are super encouraged by you and God’s love worked through you. And, think of the future effects- two children rescued and grafted forever into our family. Think of the artisans and their families who are being loved and equipped to work hard and provide for their families. God loves this stuff! When Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of Heaven and what it means to serve Him as the King now, in this life, He talks about feeding the poor, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned. You have served the “least of these” and served Jesus today. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27

I know there were many who were not able to give up a Saturday morning to be here for the show, but you can still support us and order until Wednesday.  Make sure to select Sara Brinton as your Ambassador and put “Jamie Klevjer” in the Trunk Show Hostess box.

Thanks so much everybody!

Massive Love!

Dancin in Dirty Feet

Lily and Beau have really been some of our biggest supporters during this waiting time … they pray every night for our kids and even argue about their desire for girls/boys/one of each.  🙂  I appreciate hearing their hearts and their love for the safety and protection of our kids.  I know it’ll be a long time before they really understand what our sweet kiddos have been through, but in some ways it’s already really opened up their worldview.  

The other night we were driving home and listening to one of our favorite artists – Alex Mabey – we discovered her a couple of years ago on a family trip to Lake Quinault, which is where she’s from.  Well the title track of her CD is called Dancin’ in Dirty Feet and due to Lily’s love of Alex’s music, I’ve probably heard this song 500 times, but for some reason this night, I heard it and thought of our kids.  I was driving and tears were falling and when the song was over, I asked Lily and Beau if that song ever made them think about our kids.  They both almost simultaneously said, “I was just thinking that”.  It was such a precious moment to remember that The Spirit is working to soften our hearts all the time and often at the same time.  What a blessing!

Here’s the song … Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxKxZ1KnUmM&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLCA75725107D3CFD1 

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