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Behind the Shirts

We are amazed at what a difference a shirt makes!  When we designed and sold our first Hope That Binds shirt we were overwhelmed by the response of supporters.  It seemed as if it was a green light to continue this form of fundraising.  So we did, and thousands of dollars later you are still showing your support by purchasing our apparel!  We’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll say it a hundred times more—THANK YOU! 

We feel that it is time we share with you the stories “Behind the Shirt”.  Believe it or not we start working on the shirts several months before they are actually sold.  There is a lot of thought and prayer that goes behind each design.  It’s important to us that each design reflects our overall vision as an organization and ultimately brings glory to God! 

We also have some amazing designers and partners that have come alongside of us to make these designs possible and fabulous! 

Natalie Thurmond has so graciously volunteered her time to design the majority of our fundraiser and event announcements.  We recruited her to also help with our tshirt designs.  Two of our shirts for the fall were designed by Natalie!  Check out her business website The Tea Cookie.  

Last spring we began a partnership with an Etsy shop, Gus and Lula.  Gus and Lula design beautiful prints and donate 50% of profit to charities, ministries, and adoptions.  Gus and Lula graciously provide Hope That Binds one of their designs each season.    


Slugs & Bugs concert will celebrate families, adoption

Hope That Binds is celebrating families with a Slugs & Bugs concert on Friday, Oct. 16 at Hardin Baptist Church. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and local organizations will provide free concessions. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Slugs & Bugs brings a joy-filled musical experience with animated videos, energetic vocals and fun music, including piano, guitar and mandolin. Singer/songwriter Randall Goodgame (former “Silly Song” writer for VEGGIETALES) is a former worship pastor and the driving force behind Slugs and Bugs.

The concert is geared toward kids 10 and younger and their parents, but people of all ages are welcome – and will have fun too! Gospel encouragements are woven throughout the concert, and Goodgame’s desire is for each child to leave with a deeper understanding of Jesus’ love for them.

An adoption and orphan care ministry, Hope That Binds’ vision is to bring glory to God and the demonstration of his love through the death of Jesus so that we may be adopted as sons and daughters. This drives the organization to serve others with adoption grants, support adoptive families, and advocate for adoption and orphans.

Hope That Binds is excited to partner with Slugs & Bugs.

“Hope That Binds’ vision is to support adoptive families through various means. Providing a family event with Slugs & Bugs is such a unique way of allowing families in local communities be an active part in that support,” Hope That Binds co-found Wendy Wilson said. “It truly excites me to see families helping families!”

An adoptive father himself, Randall Goodgame included “I’m Adopted” on Slugs & Bugs’ “Under Where?” album. The song is an anthem of celebration of how earthly adoptions mirror spiritual adoptions into God’s family.

Admission to the concert is $5 per person. Children 1 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased online at hopethatbinds.com/products.html or at the door the day of the concert. Hope That Binds T-shirts will be available for purchase at the concert. All money Hope That Binds raises goes to adoption grants for area families.

To find out more about Slugs and Bugs, visit www.slugsandbugs.com. For more information about this event or Hope That Binds, contact Wendy Wilson at hopethatbindsministries@gmail.com


Afternoon at the Pumpkin Barn

Hope That Binds invites families to spend an afternoon at The Pumpkin Barn! 
 
Family activities will be organized from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at The Pumpkin Barn at 2102 Owens Chapel Road in Melber. With a suggested donation of $5 per person, this even will help raise money for the adoption grants Hope That Binds gives area families. 
 
An adoption and orphan care ministry, Hope That Binds’ vision is to bring glory to God and the 
demonstration of his love through the death of Jesus so that we may be adopted as sons and daughters. The organization serves others with adoption grants, support for adoptive families, and advocacy for adoption and orphans.
 
Activities may include face painting, hay ride, small obstacle course, corn pit, and crafts. Watch Hope That Binds’ Instagram and Facebook feeds for additional details of coming activities.

Engaging the Church

Thanks to Beulah Baptist Church for raising more than $2,000 during its VBS this summer!  We are grateful when churches and ministries come alongside us to help support adoptive families.  All the money we raise through donations like this goes to help families directly through grants.  

If you are interested in getting your church involved with Hope That Binds please email hopethatbindsministries@gmail.com.  


Volunteer Spotlight

Kristin Taylor informally joined the Hope That Binds team less than a year ago.  In that short amount of time, she has made a big difference. She designs and edits the Hope That Binds quarterly newsletter. She also prepares and distributes press releases for all Hope That Binds events. As an adoptive mom, she has also shared her experiences to potential adoptive parents at Hope That Binds’ Education Seminar and Moms Retreat.  

“When mutual friends connected Wendy and me, I was excited to be able to help a ministry that supports adoptive families,” Kristin said. “We’re currently in our third adoption process, and I know the value that comes with community.”

Kristin blogs regularly — often about adoption — at www.kristinhilltaylor.com and wrote an ebook that tells her family’s adoption journey. “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family” is available at Amazon. She lives in Murray, Ky., with her husband, Greg, and their two children.


Meet the Wynn Family

Caldwell County teachers Brian and Johannah Wynn have two biological boys – Jaxon is 3 ½ and Jamus is 9 months old. The Wynns are getting ready to become a family of six! They’re in the process of adopting 2 ½-year-old twins from Haiti. Carter and Chloe have been in an orphanage there since they were 5 months old.

“Yes, we are crazy! Four children three and younger, but we wouldn't have it any other way,” Johannah said. “We love to travel and to spend time together as a family. Running is a passion of ours and we still participate in this activity as a family by pushing double running strollers. We feel blessed to what God has provided our family and look forward to what the future holds.”

Johannah felt called to adopt when Jaxon was three months old. After having recurring dreams about adoption, she shared this with her husband, who was immediately on board about adoption. “We originally said that we would only adopt one child. We always said we would only have a maximum of two children,” Johannah said. “Well, as you can see that number has changed!”

Throughout the last three years, the adoption process has been an emotional roller coaster. We started with plans of adopting from Congo. After three failed matches, we switched to Haiti. The short version: All the trials and heart aches were part of God's plan.

We are adopting a sibling set of four with our good friends. They are adopting the two older children and we are adopting the two younger children. The thought of keeping all siblings in one place is heartwarming. “If you would have asked me three years ago if our adoption would take more than three years to complete, I would say you are crazy,” Johannah said.

During our time spent in Congo, the Wynns had a son pass away from dysentery and their other referral for twin boys failed because of child trafficking. After much despair, a conversation with their friends adopting from Haiti led them to where they are now.

When we received our referral, Johannah was 34 weeks pregnant. The Wynns were faced with losing their referral or traveling this late in pregnancy. “It was a true test of fait to say the least,” Johannah admitted. “The reality was if I would have gone into labor, the baby and I would not have made it.”

Upon arriving in Haiti, the Wynns faced more battles. Their twins were sick, near death. At 2 years old, they weighed less than 16 pounds. The Wynns fought for them to receive the necessary care.

“This adoption has been an ongoing battle, but the Lord has provided along every step of the way,” Johannah said. “In the beginning, we didn't understand all the heartache, but now it makes perfect sense. Chloe and Carter were chosen for our family from the very beginning. I could rattle off ‘It's a God thing’ experiences, but I want you to know that he has had his hand over it all.”

Turns out those dreams Johannah had about adoption were around the same time Carter and Chloe were conceived. “They’ve been on our hearts from the very beginning,” Johannah said. “My advice to others considering adoption is to go in with an open mind and expect the unexpected to happen. Live in the moment as your adoption progresses and be present for your family already at home. Adoption is hard and is not for the weak hearted. The end result is complete miracle and worth the tears, blood and sweat to get them home.”

As the Wynns approach the end of the adoption process, pray their children get to come home soon. Carter has some developmental delays that need to be addressed by physical and occupational therapists as soon as possible. They are currently waiting for visas and an exit letter.

Hope That Binds has been a blessing in the Wynns’ adoption process. Johannah attended an adoption retreat with other women who have adopted or plan to do so. The Wynns also received a Hope That Binds adoption grant. 

 

 


Business Spotlight

Hope That Binds has been fortunate not only to receive individual support but also support from local businesses.  The donations provided by these businesses allow the organization to host fundraisers with little or no expenses.  This has a direct impact on the funds raised and the families that we are able to assist.  

For the past three years, Randy & Andrea Orr, originally from Carlisle County, have donated to Hope That Binds, helping offset the costs of the BBQ on the River fundraiser. They help to cover registration costs and supplies, so that what profit HTB makes is freed up for adoption grants.  

Thank you Randy and Andrea for making a difference one by one!!!


Volunteers

In our vision as an organization we state that "our goals are to award adoption grants, support families pursuing adoption & be an advocate to the orphan."  These three goals could not and are not met by the work of one person.  We would like for you to meet just a few of the volunteers that help us to make a difference one by one.


April Jewell

April has served on the BBQ on the River committee for the past two years and has been one of the singers at Mingle & Jingle for two years. She coordinates the other musicians. 

“I had never given much thought to adoption. That is before one of my dear friends started the journey. I definitely had never thought about how adoption related to my own life through Christ. What began as praying a friend through some hard times, ended up showing me my true identity in my heavenly Father. I support Hope That Binds whole heartedly in hopes that I can show God’s love to others through this ministry.”


Jennifer Williams

Jennifer serves on the planning committee for Mingle & Jingle Murray.

I volunteer for Hope That Binds because it allows me to use the creative gifts that I have been given in a way that serves a purpose greater than me. I love serving alongside my friends and family who have a passion for adoption, and supporting those families dear to us that have been blessed by this miracle. Hope That Binds gives me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children that I would never have the chance to impact otherwise, and that is as much of a blessing to me as it is to them...


Jasey Fleming

Jasey has volunteered at BBQ on the River for the past three years. 

I volunteer for Hope That Binds because as a Christian I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to help everyone that I possibly can and to share God's unfailing love. Hope That Binds is devoted to helping the orphans and adopting families through the love of Christ.


Meet The Allen Family

The Allen family lives in a 200-year-old home in Evansville, Indiana, and has the unique experience of spending weekdays in the same school together. Mike is the principal at Evansville Christian School, where Kim teaches and 7-year-old Isaac and 5-year-old Ezra are first-grade and pre-kindergarten students. They also have a dog, Marley, and enjoy watching movies, reading, playing outdoors, traveling, and all things LEGO.

The Allens are in the process of adopting a little girl from Ghana.

“It is something we believe God has completely called us to.  We entered into our marriage with the open dialogue around our heart for adoption,” Kim said. “And nine years later, after moving back to our hometown from Nashville, Tennessee, we felt God nudge us to begin the adoption process.”

And talk about a process.

“When we began, we felt God's call to Africa.  So, we stepped into the Ethiopia Program, learning
that it would be eight to 14 months before bringing home our little girl. That was two and a half years ago,” Kim said. “Through a long journey of unpredictable turns, our agency has encouraged us to explore other options as the Ethiopian program is just not moving. After much conversation and prayer, we recently made the decision to step away from the Ethiopian program and into the Ghana program. With this comes lots of heart, lots of money, and lots of time, but we believe it is a step closer to bringing our little girl home.”

Hope That Binds has been one consistent part of the Allens’ journey.

“Hope That Binds has been a constant through the highs and lows of this adoption journey. The ministry has been a support through its provision of resources, wise counsel, prayer, and fundraising support. Hope That Binds offers hope through its willingness to tell the story of Jesus through their love and service to orphans all over the world.”

Continue praying for the Allens as they continue growing their family through adoption, especially
God’s provision as they move forward with the Ghana program.

“May the paperwork move, the finances come, and our family truly become prepared for welcoming our little girl home,” Kim said. “Please pray for our boys – that God would prepare their hearts for a sister, one whom they will embrace and walk alongside. Please pray for Mike and I as parents – that God prepares us to love our little girl well.”


Meet The Wolfe Family

Tyler, Carlin, Court, and Dean

Carlin and Tyler Wolfe expanded their family through adoption – and what an adventure the process was!

The Wolfes live in Murray, Kentucky, where Tyler works as an insurance agent and Carlin stays home with their two boys – Court, 3, and Dean, 1. She also owns a small gift shop in downtown Murray. Dean became part of the Wolfe family through adoption.

“We have always known that God was calling us to grow our family through adoption at some point,” Carlin said.  “When we felt him tugging at our hearts and urging us to take the steps in the
summer of 2013, we didn't hesitate for a second!”

Dean was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in November 2013. He’s been with Carlin and Tyler since he was 2 days old. His adoption was finalized April 17, 2014.

“We found out that we matched with Dean the day after he was born, so it was a whirlwind to say the least! We had less than 24 hours to book flights, hotel, come up with a large chunk of money to pay deans hospital and the adoption agency, to make childcare plans for our oldest son, and hit the road to get our new baby!”

At that time, the Wolfes had only been home study approved for a month, so they didn’t have a nursery ready for the baby. Even though they felt rushed, they had peace they were doing what God wanted for them.

“All the uncertainties we faced that day and week built our faith and trust in God and his plan in a huge way!” Carlin reflected. “He provided everything we needed from lining up financial provisions to laying it on our sweet friends hearts to set up a nursery completely for us while
we were away! I tear up every time I think back to that chaotic, yet blessed week. Our God is so big and is so sovereign. To ever doubt his hand in adoptions is foolish! He is so faithful!”

Another way God was faithful during the Wolfes’ quick adoption process was the opportunity to work with Faithful Adoption Consultants, a Christian adoption consultant agency.

Carlin said she and Tyler liked the consultants’ stance on adoption, their hearts toward orphans, and the ways they love birth mothers and birth families through adoption placements.

“They are truly an amazing group of women doing what the Lord has called said. “Such a blessing was felt and tangible to us at the time of our adoption! The them to do,” Carlin said. “Because of the trust they have built up in the domestic adoption community, they tend to match their families with expectant mothers very quickly. God is doing amazing things through them. We felt God leading us to trust them with our process and we are so, so glad that we did!”

Hope That Binds also provided important support – financially, spiritually and emotionally.

“The council and prayer we received through HTB was irreplaceable!” Carlin grant given to our family helped ease the financial burden associated with adoption and was – and still is – so amazing to our family!”

Prayers continue to be important to the Wolfes while they parent both their biological and adopted sons. “Continue to pray for Dean to grow big and strong with a big heart for the lord and his plans for him,” Carlin said. “Pray the Lord gives us the right words and spirit when talking to our boys about adoption and what that looks like in our family!”


Meet The West Family

Daryn, Brooke, Grace, Lyke, Anteneh, JoAn

The West family recently brought home their daughter JoAn from Uganda. Wendy Wilson, president of Hope That Binds (HTB) was able to chat with Brooke and JoAn about their families experience with the adoption process

Wendy: Tell us a little about your family.

Brooke:  We are Daryn and Brooke West. We have two biological children: Grace (12 years), and Luke (10 years). We have an adopted Ethiopian son, Anteneh (10 years and adopted at age 3). We just recently adopted a daughter from Uganda with the help of Hope that Binds! Her name is JoAn and she is also 10 years old. JoAn has been home for 7 months. We have finalized the adoption here in Indiana, which officially made JoAn a member of the West family, although in our hearts she has been a member of our family since 2008 when God had us start praying for our future daughter! 

Wendy: You spent an extended amount of time in Uganda trying to bring JoAn home.  Tell us a little bit about that.

Brooke:  We had to raise almost $40,000 for our adoption, and ended up getting 'stuck' in Uganda for an extended and unexpected time of 2 1/2 months. The Hope that Binds matching adoption grant was a HUGE blessing to us. We could not control all of the circumstances that surrounded our extended time in Uganda, but we could rest in the fact that our fundraising was going to support our time there until we were able to get JoAn to the USA. At one point in our time in Uganda, after some unexpected setbacks, our Ugandan lawyer told us to go ahead home without our daughter because he did not think the adoption would go through. We knew God had called us to bring this little girl home, so we stayed and waited for the Lord to move. And of course He did! We came home, victorious, on January 25, 2014. Her transition into our family has been amazing. She has transitioned so well that it's like she has always been here!

Wendy: JoAn, share with us a little bit about being united with your family. 

JoAn: My favorite things are...everything! I love fishing, swimming, and riding a bike. I like my school and I have a lot of new friends. And I like eating! (hahaha). I like that my brother Luke is funny. My brother Anteneh is nice and funny. Grace, my new sister, is a good sister.  My new dad is a good daddy, and my new mommy is the best. We are going camping this weekend for my first time!


Wendy: Brooke, how can we pray for your family?

Brooke:  You could pray for us as parents to balance working full time with parenting our new bigger family! For me as the mom, it's difficult to juggle working full time and being a good mom. JoAn has adjusted beautifully-there are no real prayer requests there! 


RECENT UPDATE:

The West Family is moving to Uganda in December 2015.  They will be working with Youth Encouragement Services Uganda (YES).  Check out their website to learn more about this journey and how you can provide support. 


 

 


Meet The Ashburn Family

Ben, Jennifer, Caleb, Katie, Nathan, Noah

We wanted to capture what a family seeming to grow their family through adoption might experience. So, the president of Hope That Binds (HTB), Wendy Wilson, was able to get feedback from one HTB adoptive family regarding  the experience of entering into the adoption process.


Wendy: Tell us a little about your family.

Jennifer: Ben and I have been married for 19 years and have four children.  Caleb is 15, Katie is 12, and Nathan and Noah are 8.  Ben teaches Civil Engineering Technology at Murray State and I home school the kids. We are originally from Northeast Missouri, but have lived in Kentucky for two years.

Wendy: Why did you decide to continue expanding your family through adoption?

Jennifer: Adoption was not even on our radar for a long time!  About four years ago, we met a family that challenged our ideas and beliefs in a lot of ways and one of those was adoption.  They had five children when we met them and we journeyed alongside as they adopted a little boy from the Ukraine. Through this experience, we came to see adoption in a whole new way.  It's not at all about us, but about those sweet children who need to know the love of a family and ultimately the love of Christ.

Wendy: How many children are you or have you adopted, where were the adopted children born, and where are you in the process?

Jennifer: We are anxiously awaiting a referral from the country of Haiti for three siblings.  We have requested at least one of the children be a girl and that all three children be under the age of eight.  Our agency has proposed a match for our family with a specific sibling group, but they can't tell us any details until the Haitian authorities issue our referral letter.  In April, Haiti officially became a Hague country.  Because of this, things have slowed down drastically, but our agency is confident that they will begin issuing referrals in the near future.  As soon as we accept our referral, we will go to Haiti for a two week socialization period to meet the children and spend time getting to know them.

Wendy: How has Hope That Binds been a part of this process?

Jennifer: We initially planned to adopt through the foster care system simply because we were afraid of trying to pay for an international adoption.  Through a series of events, we began to see that was exactly what the Lord was leading us to do.  And, if that was what He wanted, then we would have to trust that He would provide all that we needed to make it happen.  A sibling group of three means international fees times three!  There is absolutely no way we could ever work enough extra jobs or save enough pennies or anything like that to pay for it ourselves.  We had to rely on outside help.  We took this leap of faith knowing that there are organizations like Hope That Binds that want to see orphans placed in homes just as badly as we want these children in our home!  What a blessing and encouragement for us to know there are people who have been working to help provide for our adoption before we even knew we would be adopting!!

Wendy: How can we pray for you?
Jennifer: Pray that Haiti would issue that referral letter very soon so we can travel this summer to meet our children!


Making a Difference One By One

Over the past several months, specifically during the holiday season, our organization was overwhelmed with support through the purchase of shirts and also monetary donations.  The total from shirt sales and monetary donations is over $10,000!  WOW! It seems so insignificant to simply say thank you. 


Hope That Binds Thank You from Hope That Binds on Vimeo.


We would like for you to know more specifically who you are supporting!  Each penny raised through our organization directly impacts a child's life.  Providing grants to adoptive families allows them to partner with Hope That Binds for support to overcome the obstacles of adoption. 


Throughout the month of February we will be introducing you to these families.  We are excited for you to get to know them as we have and see first hand how you are making a difference one by one.