Monday, January 29, 2007

Write a Comment

Hi everyone! I changed our comment section so that anyone can enter a comment. That was my fault, I had no idea what I was doing. People kept asking me how to leave a comment and I didn't realize I had to tell my blog "anyone" could comment, not just bloggers. So, definitely leave a comment if you are checking out our blog!

Below is a picture of the poster we sent with our care packages. A friend of mine at work translated it for us. Thanks Ping!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Care Packages are sent!

The fun package for the children in the orphanage. The kids helped me get this together and we packed it as tightly as we could! We had to leave some things out but we'll put them in our next one.

10 pairs of gloves, candies and lotion for the nannies - this is what the nannies requested when we asked what they would like :-)
Well...we did up 2 packages for Alyssa's orphange. One for the kids with all the fun stuff and one for the nannies. There are 10 nannies who work at this orphanage.
I've emailed a whole list of questions to our contact in China and she is going to speak with the Director this week to find out the answers. We wanted to know if the orphanage needed heat, air-conditioning units, formula for the babies, special cleft bottles/formula, crib mattresses, toys, etc... We are very excited to get started with our next project!!
By the way...the name of Alyssa's orphanage is Fenghuangyuan Orphange which is in Yongzhou City, Hunan. If anyone who reads this blog knows anyone who adopted from this area, PLEASE have them email us or leave a comment so we can get in touch! We have started a book for Alyssa of children who were in the orphanage when she was. We've been in contact with several families who've adopted from her orphanage - they live in the U.S. and Australia. So far, we haven't found a child in Canada from this same orphanage.
The orphanage will receive their money for the snowsuits THIS WEEK. Stay tuned for pictures of the children wearing their new duds!!!
With a happy heart,
P.S. I added a new Tip to the "Spend Less, Give More" section on my sidebar...

Friday, January 26, 2007


We sent off the donation to Alyssa's orphange!!! YAY! Unfortunately the bank charged me $45 for the transaction. We sent $320 to the orphanage to buy the 30 snowsuits, $50 to our contact in China for her services and then paid the additional charge of $45. I'll have to see if there is a cheaper way to wire the money. I checked with Western Union and it would have only cost $30 but for some reason, our contact in China said it was difficult on her end to use it. I'll check with her again on this.

We should hear something next week about how the orphanage did with purchasing their items. Our care package is just about ready to send. We are adding some gloves/lotion for the nannies and a picture of our family holding a sign that says "We hope you like your gift!" in chinese, of course!

Can't wait to see the little beauties from the orphanage....


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Comfort and Prayer

Most times when I become involved in this kind of work...helping children (or people in general) I become very overwhelmed with all the pain and suffering that goes on in our world. It seems so unfair and too huge a task to even make a difference. When I read stories or listen to the news or find out information about the pain of children, my heart breaks. If only there was more I could do. People are always telling me, "baby child at a time...." I know this is how it is done but sometimes it just doesn't seem enough.

Recently our family found out that 2 very close friends of ours have family members who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. There are no words "good enough" to help with the pain. My friend, Peggy, introduced me to the song "When I Call On Jesus" and I have been listening to it over and over because I am so sad about what is happening around us. For my close friends and their all the little children around the world, our prayes are with you and I hope you remember Jesus is real and He is with us through our pain.

When I Call On Jesus (by Nicole C. Mullen)

I'm so very ordinary
Nothing special on my own
I have never walked on water
I have never calmed a storm
Sometimes I'm hiding away from the madness around me
Like a child who's afraid of the dark
But when I call on Jesus all things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call.

Weary brother, broken daughter
Widowed, widowed lover
You're not alone
If you're tired and scared of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on...
When you call on Jesus all things are possible

When your heart is broken and you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said He'll be there
When we call on Jesus all things are possible
We can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When we call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue us when we call.

Isn't it amazing...He will move heaven and earth to rescue us when we call.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gotcha Day Anniversary- 2 years!

Mommy & Ayssa on Gotcha Day - Jan 24, 2005

Daddy & Alyssa - Jan 24, 2007

Two years ago today we held Alyssa for the first time. WOW! The time has flown by. Alyssa has grown a lot and changed so much. You can read updates at

There are still so many children looking for loving homes. Please don't let slow downs in China or policy changes stop you from considering adoption. There are many other countries with beautiful children waiting for their forever families, too. Check out the link on the side of our blog for information.
With a heart filled with love,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


We have the final amount for our January project. We raised a total of $375.45 for this month's project - snowsuits! Our 3 street bottle drive brought in $65.45, Caleb's generous quest for birthday donations brought in $80 and friends donated $230. We have also received many calls and emails from other people wanting to help with our projects. This is so encouraging for us! I can't wait to find out what our next project will be. We've had others volunteer to help with a "real" bottle drive (we will wait for warmer weather, I think!) so we should be able to finish more than 3 streets.

We are also sending a fun care package to Alyssa's orphanage and we've purchased markers, notebooks for each child, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair bows and clips, bouncy balls, dinky trucks, rings, lip gloss for the older girls, coloring books, stickers and pens. I found out there are 10 nannies so we are getting gloves and lotion for all the nannies. I also included some red wrapped heart chocolates to go along with the Chinese New Year theme. This is so much fun!!!

If anyone has any creative ideas for fundraisers our family can do or things to include in our next care package, we would love to have your feedback!!

With great excitement,

Tammy, Chris, Caleb (10), Dylan (8) and Alyssa (3)

Monday, January 22, 2007

A bittersweet story

I put this picture as my desktop background the other day and when Alyssa saw it she said, "Who's that?" I said, "It's you when your name was Duan Li" She says to me, "Oh, I'm looking for my mommy". I was quite taken aback and said, "What do you mean?" Alyssa says, "My face...I'm looking for my mommy!" I am SO GLAD she has found her mommy!!!
This picture was taken in Alyssa's orphanage when she was 8 months old. (We adopted her at 15 months)

Friday, January 19, 2007

RESULTS...from the bottle drive & more

My friend, Mari Lynn, and I took most of the bottles in to the Superstore today. What a hoot! We had 154 pop bottles to put through and at one point the manager came out to tell us to stop because we had backed up the moving belt! When he came out and saw we had another whole cart full of bottles he almost dropped. We were laughing and having a great time with it all! We wanted to take the bottles to the Superstore because you get the full deposit back. If you take bottles to a bottle exchange place they only give you part of the deposit. We managed to fit all 154 bottles in and we got $45.70. We took 98 beer bottles to the bottle exchange and got another $9.75 for a total of $65.20. Not too bad considering we only did 3 small streets! Mari Lynn and her family offered to go with us next time with their van and help us collect.

Caleb raised $70 so far from his birthday collection. There are a few cards that haven't arrived in the mail yet. We'll keep you posted.

We also received $180 in donations from friends so far. I have a few more bottles and donations to pick up this weekend and we'll let you know the final count.

We are wiring the donations on Monday or Tuesday to China. We are hoping the children will get their new snowsuits by the end of next week! Exciting! I can't wait to see pictures of them wearing them.

Just a note...Chris and I have received some really wonderful emails and encouraging notes from people all over wishing to help our family with this adventure. Because so many people have expressed an interest in loving these beautiful children we will be adding a donate button on our blog. It may take me a bit to get it up and working so stay tuned :-) If you want to join us in sharing our love, that would be wonderful. If you want to share in our adventure in other ways you can pray for the children in Alyssa's orphanage and all the nannies who care for them. You can also add us as a link to your blog or website. And please, tell all your friends about our blog. It is our prayer that families all over the world will be inspired to reach out and love these children.

With much anticipation...

Alyssa in her orphanage at 14 months (Dec 2004)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cold but Fun!

We packed the family in the van and headed out for the bottle drive. We had very good intentions of doing our whole subdivision in one night. Afterall, there are only 7 streets! was cold, blistery and slippery and we only finished 3 streets in 1 1/2 hours. Phew! We recruited a friend of Caleb and Dylan's and he was a great helper. We handed out little business cards to let people know why we were collecting bottles. It was pretty fun but after about an hour the kids were ready to go home. We haven't taken the bottles in yet but I'll post when I know how much we made.

I hope this picture isn't a look into our future!

The Navigators!

Getting warmed up!

Our first donation

We sent a small donaton of $50 to Alyssa's orphanage back in December as a 'test try' for this new adventure. Here is a picture of what was purchased for the children!

Here we go...

Our family has begun a new, exciting adventure! 2 years ago we adopted a darling little girl from Hunan, China. ( We have been praying for a way to stay connected to Alyssa's orphanage and all the children who are still living there. God led us to a wonderful lady who is going to help our family share love in a small chinese orphanage.

Why the name "Two Homes, One Heart"? There are a couple of reasons we chose this name. In Alyssa's case, she has had two homes (here in Canada and in China) but she is one heart. For our family, we want to share love from our home to the home of many children still living in China. "Heart" represents love and love is the same, whether here or in China so that's also where the "Two Homes, One Heart" stems from.

Our family is committed to raising funds for Alyssa's orphanage so we can provide them with much needed items. This could be anything from clothing, blankets, heaters, air conditioning units, washers & dryers, food, special formual & bottles, toys, etc...

JANUARY'S PROJECT: We are raising $315 for snowsuits for all the children in this particular orphanage.

REACHING THE GOAL: Our son, Caleb, is turning 10 today!! He has asked all his aunts, uncles and grandparents to donate money for our January Project rather than buy him birthday presents. Our family is also doing a bottle drive in our community. Friends have been gracious in donating funds to this month's project as well.

WHAT NEXT: We will send our donation of $315 to our lady in China and she will take it to Alyssa's orphanage and will purchase the snowsuits for the children. We will then receive photos of what was bought and receipts from the store and the orphanage. We'll post photos when we get them!!

Stay tuned to find out what our next project will be! We'll post more photos and writings of our fundraising adventures as we do them.

Another thing I wanted to do on this blog is provide ways to LIVE CHEAPLY! My husband and I have very different ideas on how we should spend our money - especially now that we have decided to take on this "mission". I will add ways for families to save money and perhaps use that extra money to help people in your community or around the world.