Friday, June 14, 2013

Two Boys and their little sister!

When Anne and I returned home from Haiti about a month ago the question of the day, EVERY day has been, "When can we go see Gracie" or "Is this the day Gracie comes home?"  We have tried our best to explain the length of the process in 8 and 5 year old terms but it just doesn't seem to help.  So we have resorted to saying "If you want to go see her, you need to get an airplane ticket!" 
We thought that would deter them for a while as both boys tend to spend money faster than they can take it in.  Usually on LEGO's or candy or something completely lame that breaks within a few days. 
This time though they were really listening and have taken a little action of their own. 
The word on the street from our agency is that at some point this fall they will be doing another family weekend like the one we just attended.  Our boys are dead set on going along this time.  They can't wait to see and touch and play with little Gracie!
And they are going to make sure they are along for the trip!!
So today we sat down and put together a little plan, inspired by our friends Anna and Lydia.
Isaiah came up with the captions and told Mikah exactly what to do!
We hope you enjoy their little video... Bring Gracie Home!
Please feel free to pass it on!
If you want to know more about the pictures please contact us for details, They actually have a couple different ideas for pictures if you look at previous posts, here and here!  Those will give you an idea of what they have in store!  Isaiah has actually used his own money from a Hobby Lobby giftcard to start buying his own materials! Thanks Sissy!
And if you want to know more about the hats, and the story behind them click here...Isaiah 40:31
We have a couple different sizes and they are pretty incredible, we think!

If you have any questions or anything please feel free to contact us at

We obviously could not be doing this journey without all of you and we are so grateful for all of the love and support!  Please keep praying for Gracie and her health and that we can bring her HOME soon!! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Doubt, Faith and Gracie!

Sitting in the Chicago airport watching flight after flight get canceled, I could feel my blood pressure start to rise and my attitude start to change, for the worse!  Just a few short hours before we had boarded a plane from Haiti headed home and were eager to hold our two boys in our arms and love on them.  We had just spent the past 4 days loving on our "hopefully" future daughter and saying goodbye had been tough.  Spending those fours days completely devoted to her and loving on her had been one of the most incredible experiences I have ever been a part of but saying goodbye was quickly becoming more devastating as we sat and waited for our last of three flights home.  Just one hour separated us from our boys, our bed and a schedule that would help keep us busy with the last week of school.  We needed to get home and quick!
Our time in Haiti had been amazing.  Filled will love, reassurance we were on the right track, confirmation that our "faith" in God had led us to this point and some blessed time with others on the same exact journey.  At one point I sat around the pool talking with another adoptive dad about our faith and how doubt still creeps in.  We decided it was okay to have that doubt, to a certain degree, because God truly wants to rock our world in those times.  We sat and told story after story of how doubt had shown its nasty face and then God swooped in and showed us exactly how in control He really was!  It was some of the best moments with complete strangers I can ever remember. 
Then our trip home began.  Coming off of an extremely emotional goodbye our day in the air started to unravel...
Let me give you an example of just how much God was in control even though I doubted him!!...
~In the Miami airport I was quickly stopped going through TSA because I had packed a brick from the Creche(orphanage).  It was a cool reminder of where these kids are coming from.  Apparently on an x-ray it looks a lot like another type of brick that is NOT allowed in the USA!  All was well though and I got to keep my brick!
~Once to our gate in Miami our plane was delayed.  Great!! Our connection in Chicago was shortly after landing and this was making it look improbable.  On top of that a message came from our agency asking for Passport photos.  So we quickly downloaded a passport photo app on the Ipad and took our pictures right in the middle of a busy terminal.  Done!  The delay had given us time to breath and take care of this pretty major task! Still doubting though...
~Once in Chicago we booked it to our departure gate and were greeted by a plane that was still waiting for its crew.  An hour passed, then another.  Our chance of leaving on time was shot and it was now 10:30pm.  The crew finally arrived but to a plane with no power, we waited for the power to be restored and boarded.  Upon boarding we notified that the air conditioning was out and we would now have to exit the plane and wait for word on the next steps.  The next steps came at 1:30am when we were told we were not flying home that day, given hotel and meal vouchers and sent on our way. 
We would have to take the following day off of work without pay and I was NOT happy about that.  Our profession really dings us when we take days off like this and just thinking about that got my heart racing!
~We slept well that night, knowing we didn't leave for home until 3:15 the next day.  However we were woken by a phone call from our agency again.  They needed a picture of our actual passports immediately as they were presenting our paperwork to Haiti for approval.  I quickly sent picture after picture until we got ones that looked good and we packed and headed for the airport. 
~At the airport we killed time eating and just hanging out and waited for our flight to board.  Boarding time came and our flight was delayed...another air conditioner problem.  Fumes shot from my ears and tears ran down Annes cheeks.  It was more than we could handle and that doubt crept in big time.  Why is this happening and what is God trying to say.  This whole time I kept getting messages from my mom saying things like, "God just doesn't want you on that plane at this time, keep the faith".  Shortly after the last message like that we boarded a new plane and were ready to head home!

~~Sitting on that last plane, ready to fly home our lives changed forever and our faith in God truly became reality again!  Just as the pilot asked for electronics to be turned off we checked our emails, text messages and of course Facebook one last time.  Right there in our Facebook messages was an update to our adoption families that the Peters family had been approved by Haiti to adopt Gracie Marie!!  We shouted, scaring everyone on the plane, and cried!  It was the perfect end to a day filled with doubt.  God came through in one of those perfect moments like He always does!  I can just picture his belly laugh, shaking his head and saying, "You crazy kids, you make me laugh, I told you it was going to be okay.  Look at this beautiful little girl and enjoy!"

Amazing.  A quick recap on our flight home went like this.  The delay in Miami allowed us time to get our passport photos in.  The cancellation in Chicago put us in a hotel and made us cancel work for the following day.  Not being at worked allowed us to be in a hotel room, with our passports at the exact time we needed to be sending them to Haiti.  If we would have been at work we would not have had those documents.  If we would not have had those documents to send we WOULD NOT have gotten in to the Haitian system called IBESR. 
And finally if we would have been on time for our flight home we would not have found out about our acceptance until we got home to Sioux Falls.  That would have been fine but with God's perfect timing we were able to spend the entire flight reflecting on Gracie, God's beautiful orchestration of this all and soaking up His ability to renew or strength and faith! 
So with great excitment we are able to say that we are expecting a baby girl.  Gracie Marie is 18 months old, 16 pounds and amazingly beautiful!!
Because of our doubt AND our faith we are able to be constantly amazed at how REAL and TANGIBLE and EVER PRESENT God really is.  He is here Hallelujah, He is here Amen!

Doubt + faith= Gracie!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wish List

Here we are!  In the final stretch before our first ever visit to Haiti.  We will be leaving Wednesday night and coming back soon after on Sunday night.  A great trip, but much too quick.  We will be meeting the children at Giving Hope Rescue Mission and taking part in lots of fun activities.  They will be having birthday celebrations, time on the beach with the kids and just a lot of loving on all of these special little folks!
Since this is our first time traveling to Haiti we are excited but also nervous.  There are a lot of people that have helped coach us through this maiden voyage and yet the uncertainty of it all still leaves a knot in my stomach.  Maybe it's nerves but more it is probably just straight up Excitement for what God has in store. 
We have asked you all for a lot of prayers and support and we thank you immensely for that!  Without you we certainly would not be at this point in the journey and we owe you all more than we could ever repay!
Dancing with the Staff was a great time and a big success!  Our current garage sale is going great and it is fun to share our story with so many strangers!  And the pure randomness of God providing is unbelievable!!
It is all crazy!!

But like I said we are leaving on the 15th and are wrapping our heads around the trip.  One thing that we keep hearing and getting are requests from the orphanage in regards to their needs.  Unlike us they do not have the luxury of running down the street to a Target or WalMart.  If they need something they generally have to ask someone to bring it with when they visit.  And we are taking this opportunity to ask for them!!
This time it is ALL ABOUT the people that take care of these incredible kids!
We are filling four large suitcases with supplies and other requests from the missionaries and the children.  If you have any desire to drop off any of the items listed below please let us know as soon as possible so we can pack things in the best possible way!! We hope to have our big bags packed Monday night so we can enjoy our boys on Tuesday night!

Some of the items requested:

Soccer balls
Balls can be used or new and we will flatten then before we go

Beef Jerky
Fruit Snacks
Dried Fruit
Prepackaged snack foods that won't melt
Hard Candies

Baby Formula-Up and Up- Found at Target
Baby wipes

Clothespins- wooden
Snake for a toilet- This one should be new, ha

Thank you and God Bless!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dancing, Garages and the Internet!

Wow!  What an amazing few weeks we have had!  The support from our community, family, friends and even some outstanding strangers has left us in shock!  We set a goal a few weeks ago with the help of an anonymous donors matching funds and by the time the smoke cleared (from my sweet dance moves) we reached our goal.  We are completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from all of you!  Turning in our payment to VOTO was an unbelievable feeling!  To know that we are that much further along in the process truly makes this feel just a little more real! 
Before I go on though we need to thank some people...The staff and students of Brandon Valley for thinking of us and supporting us with Dancing With The Staff!  It was a blast!  Thank you to the many people that supported us with our matching funds drive and especially to our Anonymous Donor!! What a blessing you are! And a big thank you to the many people that have stood beside us on this journey and watched it unfold in only ways that God could think up!
Now down to some exciting stuff and updates!  In just two short weeks Anne and I will be traveling to Montrouis, Haiti to visit the Giving Hope Rescue Mission (Facebook Like them).  We will have an opportunity to meet the children and staff and get to spend some very special time with them!!  It will be an amazing time for us and one that will provide some out of this world experiences I am sure.  If I had time to write a book I would tell you about all of the unbelievable things that have happened to make this trip a reality and why we are so excited for it!  Please stop by or give a call for the details if you are interested!  We won't disappoint you, promise!
Along with that we are praying that our paperwork will miraculously make it into the doors of the Haiti Offices!  It is an up and down time for them but we have high expectations that God has got this one taken care of also! 
Once we make it into IBESR we will be "official" and the games begin!!  That is when we start the next phase of this crazy journey and put even more Faith in God to do his thing! 
It may sound crazy but our fundraising is going to be an ongoing thing for a little while yet.  There are fees all throughout this process and although we have covered a huge percentage of them already we are trying to be prepared for anything that Haiti may throw at us.  Between future payments, travel costs and "closing fees" we expect we will need around $4,000 to $6,000.  And with the every lingering possibility of a certain young boy becoming available we need to be prepared as well.  We have a start but also have a few super simple ways for you to help if you are interested.  Check them out below...
Garage Sale- May 9-11- Our garage is quickly filling up but if you have any items just laying around you would like to get rid of please let us know!  We will be having a free will garage sale with the hopes that people will support our mission.  The boys will also be selling popcorn and lemonade which they are pumped about!  And a good friend of ours has given us some golf accessories to sell so please come check things out also.  Our address is 1612 River Oak Ave in Brandon.
Pure Charity- This may be the easiest way in the world to help out!  Do you enjoy shopping?  How about shopping online?  Then we have got the ticket for you!!!!  When you register with Pure Charity the businesses that you order from online donate a portion of your purchase to the charity of your choice.  We have have set up a link to the right-----> that will take you to our site.  You simply sign up, choose to follow our fundraiser and then when you make purchases those businesses donate a small amount.  Old Navy, Gap, Best Buy, Verizon, Nike, Walmart, Home Depot, Target...You name it and it is probably on there.  You really don't have to do anything other than register.  It is that easy and you get to feel even better about your shopping experience!  If you have any questions please let us know.  But also please SHARE our page with your friends, family and facebook world!! Together we can shop our way to Haiti!!
God Bless!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dancing With the Staff and Garage Sales Galore!

While we patiently sit in this season of waiting for things to move in Haiti I just wanted to update you a little bit.  We have been spending our days praying for movement like always but also completely trusting that God is in control of our future! 
A very exciting future, but still one that is always developing, and taking crazy twists and turns. 
While we wait though, we are still trying to prepare our house and lives for the changes that will take place in the future and that always seems like it brings it's own challenges.
The biggest challenge for us has been trusting God to take care of everything!  I am generally a "doer" and if there is something that needs to be done I just figure out how.  This situation doesn't allow for those opportunities so sitting back and allowing others to "do" things has become my norm!  We have been blessed with amazing friends and family, and even strangers that have chosen to walk with us on this journey, and we have leaned heavily on them.  Thank you to all of you for the prayers and support. 

Since I haven't updated in a while I just wanted to let you know of a few things happening in our lives:
I know these all deal with finances, and I apologize ahead of time for that (feel free to stop reading now unless you want to find out when I make a fool out of myself dancing), but currently that is what takes up most of our time with the process!  The sad truth is that adoption is not free and it takes a small army to get these kids home.

Matching Funds.  An extremely generous, anonymous donor put up matching funds of $3,000 for our adoption expenses.  We will be taking a trip to Haiti in May to visit the orphanage and get a feel for what we are really doing on this adventure, and our big payment is due before we leave!  We are so close to matching those funds with the help of a bunch of you and we just say thank you!
 Also, if you haven't gotten a "faith" bracelet yet and would like one please let us know!  We just ordered another batch, which means right now there are over 250 people showing some "faith"!!!

Dancing with the Staff-
 I(Jon) will be participating in this crazy event at our local high school.  A group of about 40 teachers, matched with high school students will be involved in a dance contest similar to the TV show.  We have practiced for two weeks and I am ready to unveil some pretty awful dance moves! Truly, I am a terrible dancer, all elbows and thumbs! 
The really cool part of this is that the proceeds from a free will donation will be given to our Job Jar account that the boys set up.  I am not sure who caught wind of this and made the decision but this community is truly remarkable and we couldn't ask for a better place to live! 

Brandon Rummages
We will be having an Adoption Rummage sale!  If you have any gently used items, big, small or whatever please consider dropping them off!  All money from the rummage will be used to bring a beautiful child home!  We will take anything you have to offer, and what does not sell will be donated to charity afterwards.  We have a passion for the St. Francis House in Sioux Falls so anything they can use will be given to them also!  If you have anything you want to get rid of please give us a shout and we can leave a door open or even come pick things up!  

Again, thank you so much for all that you do for our family.  This process has been amazing but also something that we never would have been able to do without all of you!  God has a crazy sense of humor and you only have to look at our family to realize that!  This is completely above our heads!

If you are just curious why, Check out this video:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love to ALL!

We just wanted to take this opportunity to say a very heart felt thank you and let you know how much we Love each and every one of you! 
The turnout for the Fundraiser that Anne put together was awesome!!  A lot of people showed up and gave support emotionally, prayerfully and financially! 
We are so blessed to have such incredible people in our lives!
We were able to add to the Job Jar and to date have passed out 150 Faith Bracelets!!! (More coming if you haven't gotten one yet) 
How cool is God!
We aren't sure how to say Thank You enough so we just want to say we Love you ALL!!

Now for the winners of the drawings:
Skyforce Tickets--Baylor Folkens
Stampede Tickets--Amanda Viau
Isaiah's Faith Painting--Rentschler Family

Isaiah even took three orders for more paintings!  He is going to be a busy little artist.

Thanks again to the ladies that donated their products and services:
ViBella, Renae
Usborne Books, Kari
31 Bags, Angela
Scentsy, Gina
Advocare, Wendy
FrassyGirl, Heidi
(You can actually still order through the day today if you weren't able to attend, just contact us for details)

Also a huge thanks to those that helped with the bake sale by providing the amazing food, and those that helped with any aspect of the day!

You are all a huge blessing in our lives and we thank you so much! Love to ALL!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Join us at Embrace!!

This Saturday Anne will be hosting an Adoption Fundraiser at our church, Embrace!
The details of the event are as follows:
Saturday, February 23

Open House 10:00-2:00
Where: EMBRACE Church
2800 E. 57th St.
Sioux Falls

Frassy Girl Clothing
ViBella Jewelry (jewelry made by Haitian women)
31 Bags
UsBorne Books
AdvoCare Nutrition Products

We will also have a fresh new set of FAITH Bracelets for a donation!!

There will also be a chance to win some tickets to a future Skyforce game and Stampede game! 

Finally you will have an opportunity at one more masterpiece from the amazing Isaiah!!
(not quite finished in this picture)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Birds of a Feather!!

                                                                          ~Matthew 18:5

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mikah and his Big Dream!

As you can probably guess, we are extremely proud of Isaiah and his painting that was sold last week.  He was able to raise $57.50 for the Job Jar!  He was so proud and excited.  His art teacher even let him come in and show it to the class at school.  What a nut!

But as brothers go Mikah decided he needed in on the excitement.  His painting took a little longer and he used A LOT more paint on a smaller canvas but it turned out amazing for a four year old!  I am so excited for him.  He used a little bit of inspiration from Isaiah's painting but put his own twists on some of it!  Notice his giant backwards signature at the bottom!  It actually looks like it fits!

So here we go again.... Mikah wants to see himself on here and see how he can do now!  Apparently we have some artists that also like a little sibling rivalry.  Who would have thought?!?!

Here is Mikah's masterpiece.....

Again, we will do the auctionish type thing!!  I will post on Facebook and keep you updated there as well as the comments here.  Or feel free to email me at
I am only going to have this last until Thursday at 8:00pmOne day and it's yours! Note: It is not the big size of Isaiahs painting, I think we would have run out of paint!  It is about 8x11 but done with Love and Precision!!  We will also throw in one of our FAITH bracelets to the winner!  
Happy Bidding!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Isaiah and his big Dream!

For quite some time we have known that we had an artist on our hands.  Isaiah is constantly doodling or drawing something on almost everything!  He loves to create things and has a super imagination. 
One of his artistic passions recently has been painting, and drawing, crosses.  He drew a picture last summer that was pretty amazing when compared to my abilities, and then at his cousin Ella's birthday party he replicated it on a canvas painting! 
While talking last week about our bracelet fundraiser and the adoption process he decided he wanted to get involved.  He wasn't sure what he could offer so we just told him to brainstorm.  It didn't take long and his eyes wandered to the small canvas painting hanging above his bed.  He immediately knew that he wanted to paint the picture and try to sell it.  He wanted to do it so badly that he wanted to use a giftcard that Aunt Sissy gave him to Hobby Lobby, to purchase the products.  We never made it to Hobby Lobby so today while walking the aisles of WalMart he spotted his dream.  So, two canvases, 15 colors of paint and a set of brushes later we walked out ready to Dream some more!
Here is the final product!  Over an hour of brainstorming, mixing colors to get just the right hue and then finally putting brush to canvas we have a master piece....
Isaiah wants to sell this painting for the Job Jar, but he would like to take it to school first to show his friends on Monday! We thought we could help him make it open to you all, in a hopefully simple silent auctionish kind of way. 
I will be linking this blog to my facebook account.  If you are interested in helping him with his project please private message me with your offer.  I will then post the offer, minus your name, in the comments section of the facebook link. That way others know what the price is!  Or just post your price if you are comfortable!
Isaiah truly hopes to sell it for $10!  I think we can do a little better.
I am posting tonight, 1-31-13 and will be closing it at KICKOFF of the Super Bowl!  The highest bidder when the ball goes in the air will take home this one of a kind master piece!

IF by chance you are seeing this and don't have access to Facebook feel free to email me at 

Thank you so much!
Love to All!

PS. Mikah has one started to but he is a very picky so it might be a while before it hits the market!

Monday, January 28, 2013

It just takes a whole lot of FAITH!!!

And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes Me ~Matthew 18:5
Dear Friend,

We are not sure when adoption actually came into our lives but we can tell you when God came into our lives! For the past 5 years or so our family has tried to follow God’s lead in everything we do. He has become the center of our household and our lives. Isaiah and Mikah have shown Anne and I the love that little kids can provide if we truly have the faith of a child. For that reason we believe that God is leading us down this new path.

Almost a year ago we were introduced to a little boy in Haiti named Job. Our hearts were instantly broken, and God began to work. We didn’t know why, or how, or even if we would be able to adopt. We have actually had several serious discussions with God trying to tell Him we are not the ones to do this. And every time we have had one of those discussions, He has always answered with a strong and resounding, “Yes you can, and yes you will!”

So, we have stopped arguing with Him and have started to just follow His lead. If we could tell you all of the “God-incidences” that have occurred on this journey, I am confident this whole thing wouldn’t sound so crazy! However, God just keeps putting the right person in the perfect spot or sending the right sign at the perfect time. There is absolutely no way we could ever doubt that what we are doing right now is wrong.

The journey has already been trying at times and yet the support of so many friends, family and strangers has strengthened our desire to do what we feel called to do.

On January 8th our Homestudy was approved, Haiti opened up for adoptions again, and the Voice Of The Orphan(VOTO) Agency asked us to join them on an incredible journey! All in one day! Did I mention we were thinking Haiti was closed for a long time and the Congo was calling our name?! So like we resolved a while back, when God calls we are going to follow. We have officially begun collecting paperwork for our Dossier and hope to turn it in to the Haitian Government sometime in the next month.

Job is currently not adoptable through his orphanage but our house and hearts will remain open for him when that time comes. So at this point we are going into Haiti and trusting VOTO to match us with one of their amazing children! We even asked for a little girl! That would be a huge change for our boy dominated house. The timeframe in Haiti to complete an adoption and bring a child to a forever home is about 12-18 months and this is something we are completely prepared for and excited to wait for! We are ready for the journey that God has already taken us on and excited!

This brings us to all of you. We have been told numerous times that this journey is NOT something a family can do alone, something we are finding out quickly. We have had some time to save up for the Homestudy and other costs that have come with our Dossier completion, however, beyond that our FAITH in God is going to have to lead us. At this point we are actively applying to various grant and adoption loan programs.

Our financial situation with the amazing VOTO family is an astoundingly low $12,000. Compared to other agencies and countries this is an incredibly low amount of money to give a child a forever home. There will certainly be many unexpected costs along the way also which is why we are trying to prepare early and be ready for any surprise that God throws at us!

Our plan to raise these funds is simple, a ton of prayer and hard work! Anne and I will be putting every penny we make from our Advocare sales, her FrassyGirl income, and my work with Thomas Financial straight into our “Job Jar” account at First National Bank in Brandon. We also plan to have a garage sale during the Brandon Rummages and are asking friends and family to donate any items they may not need, for us to sell on the rummage.

Finally, we are simply asking people to prayerfully consider helping us along the way. We know that not everyone understands this journey and why we are on it, and that is okay. Believe us, at times we don’t get it either! We are probably the least qualified in a lot of ways. But our hearts are open and God has spoken.

If you feel that you are being led to help us bring a child home, we would like to give you a simple token of our gratitude. We have had donated to us bracelets from Our bracelets will be made of clay and string and marked with the word “FAITH” on each one. Without the FAITH that we have in God, this adventure would have ended a year ago! An awesome thing about the bracelets is a portion of the proceeds when they were purchased is used to provide clean water to children in Africa. The proceeds that we are able to receive will go 100% to bringing home a Haitian child! It truly takes a village to raise a child and we have been fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing community of believers and prayer warriors! We truly appreciate all of your support, prayers and love! This is a God inspired journey and we couldn’t do it without Him and You!

Please let us know if you have questions or would like to learn more about joining us on our journey! We would love to share our stories of excitement, struggles, Love, and FAITH with you! God Bless!

Love to ALL!

Jon, Anne, Isaiah, Mikah and ?????

Contact info:

Jon and Anne Peters
1612 River Oak Ave
Brandon SD, 57005

Jon- 605-376-5231
Anne- 605-376-4469

Friday, January 25, 2013

FAITH~Coming soon to a wrist near you!