Tag Archives: adoption

Making a Difference, Everyday.

SONY DSC

Most of us like to do things that make a difference, am I right?

We volunteer our time, give money to our favorite charities, bake for our neighbors, etc.

As a follower of Christ and an active member of my church, I serve in the youth ministry alongside my husband who is our youth pastor. I love being with the teens, helping them sort through drama, theology and the inevitable spats with parents.

I knew there was a piece missing to my service, my “activism” if you will, though.

Ever since the hubs and I met on a HIV/AIDS prevention trip to South Africa, my life was forever changed. Seeing the faces of poverty, disease and heartache up-close-and-personal is just something I will never be able to “shut off”. Nor would I want to.

Issues of social justice have been near-and-dear to my heart since that trip in 2005 and my passion for awareness and to help educate others on these issues has only grown since then. Orphan care, human trafficking, issues of poverty/hunger/lack of education and clean water have consistently moved and stirred my heart.

Fast-forward to 2013. My sweet friend Erin started posting on Facebook about how she was so excited to be an Ambassador for Noonday Collection, where she was selling beautiful, hand-crafted accessories on behalf of artisans world-wide, with the purpose of helping lift them out of poverty.

Esperansa_Astrida_Rwanda

And I saw the jewels.

250x150_Blog_Button_1

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

And I read more about the mission of Noonday.

And I was all: “Did someone seriously read. my. mind?! Like, for real, here. Someone actually combined the worlds of trendy accessories with social justice? No. Freaking, Way.”

Caleb_Uganda

Noonday Collection is a company that provides a sustainable income for over 2,000 artisans in over 10 countries. Their goal is to empower the artisans through dignified work that will have a long-lasting impact on the artisans and their communities.

Through trunk shows, I get to set up a marketplace for our artisans. I display the gorgeous pieces, tell some amazing Noonday stories and women gather for food, laughter and playing dress up! I get to style women in the latest accessories, and meet some world-changing women that believe in using their purchasing power for good.

2014_Spring_Customizable_RGB_Web

Even Charlotte likes to get in on the action!

Even Charlotte likes to get in on the action!

My husband, Jason, will tell you I’m constantly saying “I’m SO glad I’m an Ambassador…for so many reasons!”

Noonday, is also helping us bring our son home from South Africa! We’re that crazy family with 3 biological children under the age of 5 who still has more love to give. Through my earnings with Noonday, we are putting it toward our adoption expenses and getting one step closer to fulfilling our dream.

I love that with Noonday, I can now rest assured that the artisans are receiving 2-4 times more than what they would in their local marketplace. I like to say it’s “more than fair trade”.

It’s beautiful. It’s life-changing.

For everyone.

Ruby_India

You can shop Noonday Collection for yourself or gifts for loved ones anytime at: www.lauraloewen.noondaycollection.com.

Maybe you’ve got a social-justice itch and/or love for on-trend jewelry like I do. Consider becoming an Ambassador and joining an amazing group of women with a heart like yours! 

We all like to make a difference. I hope you’ll join me in sharing these artisans stories, and changing their lives {and the lives in your community} forever by purchasing Noonday, hosting a trunk show or becoming an Ambassador.

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura

Advertisements

New Chapter, More Insanity

running for adoption

As some of you know, Jason and I are in the process of adding to our family through adoption. Our family of five will soon become a family of six (I can’t even stinkin’ believe it and sometimes most of the time, it leaves me feeling like we are totally insane).

I mean, really.

Landon is 4, Charlotte will be 3 next week and Aiden just turned 1.

 

Jason and I discussed adoption seriously when I was pregnant with Charlotte. With both agreed that it was something we absolutely wanted to do. We thought that meant we would start the adoption process after I gave birth to Charlotte.

God had other plans.

One day, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I needed to get pregnant again. At the time, Landon was nearly three and Charlotte just turned one. Jason and I talked it over, and we agreed.

Time to get to business. 

A month later we were pregnant with Aiden, and while all three of my pregnancies were actually quite wonderful (stop it with the ‘I’m-going-to-kill-you-glare’ women who had challenging pregnancies. I’m sorry! It’s just the way it all worked out 😉 ) I knew that it was the very last time I wanted to be pregnant.

I wanted my body back…err…some semblance of the former body I used to have….so we decided that we’d move forward with the adoption process like we had tried once before.

This time, I felt a huge peace. Even an urgency from The Lord.

This was it. This was His timing, not mine.

After having Charlotte, and moving to Northern MI, we started fundraising for an adoption. However, the entire time I felt this check in my spirit like “Laura, not now. This is good, just not now.”

Note to self: don’t ignore those little checks in your spirit again.

So, we pressed forward as we choleric’s tend to do, and a minimal amount of money came in.

Sometimes  Most often, it takes us firstborns awhile to concede to an idea other than our own.

For us, adoption is a beautiful picture of what God has done for those who believe  in the spiritual realms. 

God’s Word, the Bible, tells us that…

He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:5

 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15

We also know as Christ-followers that we are to follow James 1:27 which tells us: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Add that to the fact that there are approximately 147 million orphans worldwide –

Let that sink in. 147 million orphans.

147 million babies with no mama to kiss their boo-boo’s.

319386_704217495445_1589547697_n

147 million little ones with no daddy to cradle them in strong arms.

1558575_845054966025_1110013683_n

147 million precious children with no one to tell them ‘I love you’, care for them.

– and Jason and I knew we needed to adopt.

We’re adopting from South Africa, as it has crazy-special place in our hearts, since we met there some 9 years ago.

So, that’s totally crazy.

But were doing something additionally crazy.

WE ARE FREAKING GOING TO RUN A HALF MARATHON FOR OUR SON.

download (1)

People.

Laura Loewen.

The girl who hasn’t been on one, no not one sports team in her entire life.

The girl who hasn’t given working out an honest effort in six months.

This girl (and her cute husband) are running a half marathon!!

September 6, 2014 on the shores of Holland, MI for the Holland Haven race, you will find us (inevitably toned, less fatty…) rockin’ and rollin’ after training for the spring and summer.

So will you join us?

Will you be a part of our story? Of our sons story?

We will be raising funds for our half marathon and every last penny will go toward funding our $40,000 adoption (yes, it’s true).

If you’re interested in blessing our family and changing a little boys’ life forever, you can go to:

http://www.abbafund.org/blog/the-loewens-family-adoption/family-adoption-fund/#/step1

Through Abba Fund, you can give via credit card, debit card, even cell phones and commodities!

Thanks for considering this – what a journey we’re on!

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura

 

 

Word count: