My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Friday, February 21, 2014

March Madness

Coming Soon...

Please stay tuned for a chance to win up to $300 and help us bring BABY M home from the Congo! Details and brackets will be available Sunday, March 16th! Spread the word..or donate just for the heck of it right NOW!


Love Jen, Tony, Max and Baby M

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Here we go again....

So over the last year, I have been spending a good majority of my "free time" applying for grants for our adoption.  You all have given SO much.  Some of you, above and beyond the call.  We got a phone call yesterday, and we have received a $3000 matching grant! Which is so exciting because if we can match it, we may have raised and paid for the whole adoption.  BUT...we have to match it.  We are so blessed to have received a grant..just so grateful... but there is a voice in the back of my head saying, "how can we ask people to give more?"  They have given so much.  We need this grant to cover our travel and our babies foster care ($500 a month!)  So basically, by helping us match this grant, you are putting a roof over our little one's head and you are helping us finally meet him!

 My pride is telling me, you can't ask for more.  My heart is telling me God is bigger than my pride and fear of asking.  I thought we were done asking,  I was just praying for a grant to cover the rest of the expenses.  God answered our prayer, just not in the way we thought he would.  Kind of the story of my life! God always has bigger plans than us.  Always.  SO with all that said...we have a new host fundraising site.  Again, you will be able to receive tax deductions.
Your friendship and investment in our family is so appreciated and we would be honored if you would consider helping us in one or two ways;
1. Pray that God would tenderly care for baby M in the Congo until we are able to bring him home; that God would prepare Max for the upcoming changes to our family (he actually told his preschool teacher the other day that he was going to be a big's sinking in and it's so precious); that God would give us wisdom, discernment and insight as we raise baby M in a country that is not his own.
2. Lifesong for Orphans has committed an adoption matching grant of $3000 to help pay for adoption expenses.  Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us meet this matching grant to bring baby M home? Our goal date is April 24, 2014 but funds will be accepted towards our adoption until he's home and/or the adoption is complete.


 Please use this button (and not our sidebar button) to donate to Lifesong for orphans indicating:  Schmid #4391

Stayed tuned for our March Madness contest...proceeds will go to fund our matching grant! Cash prizes included!

Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans. In the memo, note our family account number and family name: "Schmid/#4391" to assure it goes to the correct account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744. Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fund-raising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption


Another option is to give online on the Lifesong site. Go to Select “Give to an Adoptive Family.” Complete the online form and fill in “Family Account Number”  (4391) and “Family Name” (Schmid) Fields. In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. 

This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use. Individual donations of $250 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $250 will gladly be sent upon request. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. 

And to tease you some is a recent pic of baby M!