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Smith Family Update


Over the last couple weeks our family was given an overabundance of good news. Some came with tears and confusion and some came with joy filled anticipation.

On a Wednesday we received a phone call from our adoption agency that they had a referral for us of two precious little girls.  We feel in love with them immediately and in our hearts we were ready to jump on the plane to go get them!  Their sweet faces beam with personality and there is a special twinkle in their eyes.

However, the Lord is sovereign and had already given us an amazing gift that we were unaware of yet, until two days later.  The Lord has blessed us with a baby due in December!

Our hearts grieved and were sad to let go of the girls (our agency does not allow you to adopt when you are pregnant), yet we trust that the Lord placing them in our lives is a good thing. We are able to pray for them and rejoice with the family He has planned to give them.

God is so good to us.  We can see so clearly that He is the giver of good gifts and that His hand is directly involved and orchestrating the events in our lives.

We are filled with joy at the thought of holding our precious baby and can’t wait to watch its personality blossom!  Please be in prayer for a healthy pregnancy and join us in praising the Lord for this sweet little one.

Please continue to pray for our adoption also.  Our agency will put us “on hold” until our baby is six months old.  Will we change the age of our child request? We do not know. How long will it be until we are offered another referral? We do not know.  We are taking life one day at a time and trusting that the Lord will guide us toward whom He has for our family at that time.

We do know that He has once again confirmed in our hearts that He is calling us to adopt and that we can trust his sovereign and good plan for us and for the children waiting for families.

Thank you for your loving support as we continue to walk this journey!




Salem-area friends and family!  Join us THIS FRIDAY from 6:30-8:30pm at a community-wide, family friendly HOE-DOWN to benefit our dear friends Mike & Kari Lovely’s adoption from Costa Rica!

It will be a fun night of dancing (with a professional caller!), pizza, drinks, cookies and old fashioned good times in the Schilling’s Barn!

Grab your cowboy boots (or tennis shoes like us!) and come on out – see the flyer below from more info.




What a day!  63 people joined us in working around Ms. Barbara June’s house to raise funds for our adoption.  Life changing, memorable, bursting with love…

Both Hands Team

Click on the YouTube icon to view our Both Hands video and see the amazing transformation!

Both Hands You Tube video

We would be honored if you would share the video and help us spread the word!  $7,914 has come in so far! Which means that we are only about $5,000 from our adoption being FULLY FUNDED!!!!


It is not too late to give!  Lifesong for Orphans will collect funds on our behalf and pay them straight to our adoption agency right up until our child(ren) come home.  Any money that is collected above our needs will be given in grant money to other adopting families – so no matter what, the funds will go to help bring orphans to their forever families!

During the weeks leading up to the project there were several times when we realized that the Lord had gone before us and orchestrated provisions in a way that could only have come from Him.

For instance, at one point we were at Barbara’s house scraping, sanding and getting it ready to be painted… however all of our leads for paint donations had fallen threw that morning.  So, as we were prepping the house I was praying “Lord, please, we need paint, please bring supplies!”  A couple hours later as we were finishing prepping the house, someone lovingly showed up and started unloading their van with 23 gallons of paint.  Praise the Lord!  Not only that, but later we were contacted by friends who wanted to donate paint, so the Lord also supplied paint for Barbara’s office inside her home!

House before after

Another gift was the RORS lumberjacks coming and falling two tall trees and trimming huge oak trees on Barbara’s property.  It would have been a very difficult job, but the Lord provided a lift (thank you Jeff for all of your hard work!)  Not only did the dead trees, limbs and hazardous areas get removed, but five families now have firewood to keep warm this winter!

Trees before after

The night before the project, I noticed in the rafters of the shed, rolls of insulation.  Jack (Barbara’s husband) had started a project, but wasn’t able to finish it before he passed away.  When we began our workday, we found that there were men with tools and handyman skills!  The team was able to clean, organize, install glass windows, prep and paint and also finish the walls of the shed.  Now Barbara can enjoy her shed!

Shed before after

Inside Shed before after

Before the project, as we walked the grounds with Barbara and created her “wish list” there were a couple items that I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be awesome if we could…” Honestly though, I wasn’t sure if I was asking too much.  I felt comfortable praying for paint for a house that obviously needed to be painted, windows for a shed that sorely needed them, trees to be cut that could fall and damage her property… but there were a few items that I added to the list and prayed for but wasn’t sure if the Lord was going to help us get those donations or not.  What I found out was that the Lord gives generously and lavishes love on us with such an amazing abundance!  I had hoped for roses to plant in her rose garden where there were spots where roses had obviously once bloomed… then someone knocked on my front door and I found these sitting there (thank you Stutzman Family for dinging our doorbell and dashing to leave such a sweet gift!):

Roses.let your light shine

We still had one garden bed that was completely empty.  While on the phone with Ruth Cheney I told her that Barbara had mentioned that one day she would love to have an herb garden.  Ruth was sitting in her dentist’s parking lot and saw a garden center across the street and decided to see if they would be willing to donate.  The owner had adopted her daughter from Cambodia and was thrilled to donate all of the herbs we needed!!!  Seriously, only the Lord could orchestrate a dentist, a daughter from Cambodia and a dream of an herb garden!  On the workday while cleaning out the shed, we found the originals plant markers, so we were able to restore her garden to how it was when she and Jack originally moved to Oregon from California!

Garden before after

I am learning that it is okay and good to pray for the “icing on the cake”… may I desire for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, trust in His good and perfect plan, and marvel at His generosity, goodness, unending love and redeeming work!

thank you cards

Looking back over the past year, He has invited others to give toward our adoption and SO MANY PEOPLE have generously given.  Our hearts are so full of gratitude, thankfulness and songs of praise.  It makes us excited to see how He will finish the good work that He has begun… oh the sweet day when we will meet our child(ren) and hold them in our arms!

Thank you Lord for this good and hard journey.  Please don’t forget to share our video and continue to pray for us!

Both Hands Project



THIS SATURDAY, August 17th we have the amazing privilege of leading a Both Hands project!

Both Hands is One Hand for the Widow and One Hand for the Orphan.  It is a beautiful picture of caring for widows and orphans at the same time!  Our friends, family and community are coming together to work on Ms. Barbara June’s house.

Barbara June 001

Ms. Barbara June, a widow from Salem, is a sweetheart and our team feels blessed to be able to serve her! Ms. Barbara has three sons, one daughter and four grandchildren. A little over six months ago, Ms. Barbara lost her husband Jack after 44 years of marriage. Today her home is in need of labor intensive repairs. With the help of many hands we hope to help fix these!

The volunteer team is also sending out letters asking people to sponsor their day of work (like a jog-a-thon or 5k race for a cure) and since the supplies for Barbara’s house are all being donated, 100% of the funds raised will go to support our adoption!


We are getting closer and closer to bringing our little one(s) home and can’t tell you all how excited we are to make them orphans-no-more and welcome them into our family!  We are $13,000 away from being fully funded.  That may sound like a lot, but after we have watched the Lord provide in amazing ways this past year we are eager to see how He fulfills the plans and purposes He has already begun.

Our family was able to serve at dear friends of ours Both Hands project recently.  Getting to help at the Lovely Family work day, made us excited to invite others to join ours, because it truly is a joy filed day getting to be on a team serving a widow and orphans!

We would like to invite YOU to come join us THIS SATURDAY, August 17th!

We will be painting her house! 20130729_0469

Organizing, painting and putting windows in her shed! 20130718_0440

Pulling weeds, laying bark and pea gravel and planting flowers!20130718_0448

RORS (a lumberjack ministry of Salem Alliance Church) will be falling two large trees and trimming large oak limbs – we will be helping them remove the debris and get the lumber ready for a family to use as firewood!


If you are able to come, please let us know and we will give you more project details! 

We also invite you to join us in what the Lord is doing through our adoption by donating toward our Both Hands Project.  Your gift makes an impact!

Your prayers for the team, remaining needed supplies (more bark dust and additional paint), and our adoption are a great gift to us.  Thank you!

We also want to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to our project donors!

The Sassy Onion Grill- coffee/tea service
Great Harvest Bread Co.- muffins
One Treasure Church/Craig & Susan Smith- lunch
Johnston Family- cases of bottled water
Dallas Glass- windows
Envirocare- pea gravel and bark dust
Witt Family- flowers
Willamette Valley Transport- printing of sponsorship letter
RORS- lumberjack service
Capitol City Video- videography service
Willamette Valley Fruit Company- two pie gift cards and harvest festival wrist bands
Broadway Coffeehouse- coffee gift card

Much Love,

Matt & Kristina


Family Movie Night!


you're invited movie night

Join us for food (desserts, drinks and POPCORN!!!), raffle prizes and

the classic movie everyone loves

“The Swiss Family Robinson”

Friday, June 14th at 6pm


Grab some refreshments…  We just scored a real theater popcorn popper to use for the night!  Also, some amazing baker friends are making cookies and desserts.  We’ll have some candy choices too.  So save a couple bucks for refreshments and grab a seat.

Feel free to bring bean bags, pillows, or blankets to cozy up (we’ll have chairs if you prefer).

KIDS! Bring in some coins to donate and get a raffle ticket!  We’ll raffle off a bunch of prizes before the movie and during intermission. (Our kids did this for the Lovely Auction and it was a highlight of our week.  The kids worked hard cashing in our pop cans to fill their change jars.  I also passed out coins to the kids each time they said or did something kind, giving or helpful.  They loved being able to tangibly take part and had such giving hearts! They truly understood that they are helping bring kids home to their new families.  LOVE IT.)

We’ll give a quick update on where we are in the adoption process and a share a couple exciting tidbits on what the Lord is up to in our lives. Then we’ll get the movie rolling!

We know that the Lord has a purpose and a plan for our child(ren) and is moving mountains in this adoption journey.  We’d be honored if your family would grab our hands as we strive to bring our child(ren) home.

Suggested Movie Night Donation: $5-10 per person or $20 per family.

We don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun because of money, so this is just a suggested donation amount.  Conversely, if your heart is burning for orphans and you feel led to give more, we are blessed and get closer to bringing our little one(s) home by every penny.

See you Friday, June 14th at 6pm upstairs in the Grant Room at Broadway Commons (1300 Broadway St. NE, Salem)… it’s going to be FUN!