The Adoption Journey of Chris and Lydia Bischoff
Monthly Archives: May 2012


by Lydia

What an exciting day!!! Today we found out that we are fully funded for K & D! That means all the money we needed to raise to get them here has come in! Woohoo!!! So, now, everything else that comes in (t-shirt sales, etc) will go toward buying them the things they need while they are here and for the special stuff we plan to do with them this summer. We are so amazed and so thankful to everyone who has been a part of this adventure, and mostly to the Lord for all He has done!

We also received the kids’ flight itinerary today! Man, if that didn’t make it feel 100 times more real, I don’t know what would have! They’ll arrive the night of June 28th… which is only about 28 days away!!!

We’re also doing one last push for t-shirts! We need to get these orders wrapped up so we can make sure they come in and are mailed before all the kids arrive this summer, so if you still want one, but haven’t ordered it yet, this is your chance!!! Go do it!!! (See the link at the top of the blog page.)

So blown away that this is happening, and so excited I feel like I could jump out of my skin!


Yard Sale = BIG SUCCESS!!!!

by Lydia

I have never been a big garage sale person. I’ve been to a couple and had maybe two, but it’s not something I would say I’m experienced in. So, when a friend suggested I do a yard sale to raise money for K & D, I thought, “Ok, we can try it. Maybe we’ll get $200 or so out of it, which can only help us.” We set a date and asked our church and friends for donations. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Was it coincidence that 2 friends were moving that weekend (read: sorting and getting rid of stuff) and that a friend’s parents were downsizing, as well? I think it was more of a God thing. :-) Donations started pouring in, and I had no idea how much we even had until Friday morning when I made it over to our Yard Sale hosts’ home.

We spent all day sorting, pricing, and setting up in the hot Texas sun. We had the BEST “Guy’s Corner” ever, filled with tools (like a belt sander and a band saw), electronics & even a skeet launcher!

We went to bed at 1am (spent the night over there, since it would be so much easier), got up at about 5am, and started moving tables and making sales. We were praying to make $1000, since our church was matching up to $1000. Through the sale, I purposefully did *not* try to keep count of where we were. I wanted to be surprised at the end. At one point someone asked if we thought we’d broken the $1000 mark. I said I thought we were close. Chris guessed that we had.

After we cleaned up and headed home we counted our pile… and we were shocked. This morning we announced to our church that we had made $1728 at the sale! Our church matched the first $1000, and we received another $200 donation at church… bringing our total for the weekend to $2928! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are now only about $500 away from being fully funded, and we are amazed!!!! We are so thankful to our church, our friends, and the strangers that have helped us reach this goal! And, of course, to God for making all of this possible! We are amazed and blessed, and can’t wait for the kids to arrive, just one week from tomorrow. :-)

(Now for a nap! I’m exhausted!)


Beds, Garage Sales, and Training… oh my!

by Lydia

You know that scene in the movie where a main character is walking in slow motion, and everything around them is flying by so quickly that you can’t even recognize what it is? That’s what I feel like. There is so much to do, so much going on, but I feel a calm peace in the midst of it all… like God has placed me inside a bubble, protecting me from being smacked in the face by all of the chaos around me. I’m so thankful.

This week we started rearranging things in our home to make room for K & D.  Their bedroom is the office right now, so the office must move, beds must go in, and the living room (which now holds 2 couches instead of one, thanks to our BFFs!!!) must be shuffled.

Women's shirt frontIn the meantime, we’re also accumulating items for our yard sale on Saturday! Donations of items are coming in and it looks like it’s going to be a great event! If you’re in the Tyler area, please come by! We’ve got furniture, books, kitchen items, baby items, and I’m told we just had a saw of some sort donated to sell! (Can I hear a grunt from the guys reading???) We’ll also be selling our awesome t-shirts (as well as taking orders for them), AND, remember, our awesome, amazing church Harvest Church International is matching what we make on the sale, up to $1000!!!! Help us meet this challenge!

Part of the requirements for our hosting is to attend a training session with the organization. The date for the Texas training has been set for mid-June and we’re very much looking forward to it! It will be our chance to meet others who have hosted and ask all of the questions that swirl inside our heads, as we try to fall asleep.

K & D arrive 5 weeks from tomorrow! EEK! I can’t remember being this excited about anything in a long time. :-)

40 days and counting!

by Lydia

Wow, what a week! We spent last week in Colorado, celebrating my college graduation and taking a little side trip for something akin to a vacation. The mountains in Estes Park were beautiful, the air was crisp and clean, and I actually got to rest! In addition to spending time with friends, we also got to meet up with some important people… we were able to spend sometime with our friends, the Paynes, who adopted, not only from Latvia, but from the same orphanage as K & D! Their daughters are friends with K & D and were able to give us some inside information, a bit of history, and some insight into where they are coming from. Wow… such a blessing to us! While I’m near bursting at the seams to share all of it, I won’t be doing that. We really feel like we need to protect the privacy of these two special children whom we care for so deeply but haven’t even met yet. Suffice it to say that they deserve to have a family, and we are blessed to be able to do that for them this summer.

Our next fundraiser is coming up this weekend! If you live in the Tyler, TX area, this is especially for you. We will be having a yard sale on Saturday starting at 7am. It will be held at the Watters’ home at 3913 Fry Ave., in Tyler. There are 2 ways you can be a part of this.

  1. We are accepting donations of items to sell. If you have something in your closets, attic, or garage that’s in good condition and you need to part with, we’d love to sell it! Please contact me about details on that!
  2. Come on Saturday and get some great deals while also helping us bring K & D to the US this summer!

Ok, so, wanna know the REALLY cool thing?!?! Our awesome amazing church, Harvest Church International, has committed to match anything we raise at the sale, up to $1000!!!! So, if you come and spend $15, it now becomes $30!! We still have about $4000 to raise, so this sale could REALLY help with that! So please stop by and bring a friend! And spread the word!

We’re also still selling t-shirts. We have some in stock but will be placing another order for more, so get your orders in soon!!! Click on the link at the top of the page for more info.

Just 40 days until they arrive! So exciting!!

Mother’s Day

by Lydia

Hello to you from Denver, Colorado! We’re here for the week, spending time with friends and celebrating my college graduation from Colorado Christian University! It was a great day and a big accomplishment for me. But I digress…

Today is Mother’s Day. I spent the majority of the day with Chris and my BFF, April. She came to Denver for my graduation and her family is back in Tyler without her. It was a fun day, filled with friendly, familiar laughter, and the comfortable presence of familiar people who have become like family. This is obviously important to me, especially as we do not live close to our families.

I also spent the day thinking about two kids on the other side of the world who had no one to give a homemade card to, or to pick wild flowers for, or to attempt to make breakfast for… no one to call Mom.

K & D will be coming in less 7 weeks. We are so excited, and cannot wait to meet these precious children! From some perspectives it looks impossible to get them here. Honestly I often wonder how God is going to pull this off. But I heard something at church today that struck a chord in my heart. Pastor Chris at Bridge Church said, “Indifference finds an excuse. Love finds a way.” I don’t want to be indifferent to the needs of these children, their need for love, stability, safety, provision… I don’t want to find an excuse as to why we can’t help these kids. I want to find a way.

“Indifference finds an excuse. Love finds a way.” We still have a good amount of money to raise to bring K & D here, and we’re doing all that we know to do. We’re doing what we can to find a way. Is it possible for you to find a way to help us help these children? Please see the link below (if you’re reading this in email) or on the right (if you’re reading this on our blog) to make a donation, or to buy a t-shirt to help our cause.


by Lydia

What is your favorite childhood memory? (Feel free to leave a comment with it, below!)

I was listening to the radio on my way home from work this evening. There was an ad about home and family. It was talking about how the particular radio station can feel like home, but it hit me differently. I started thinking about childhood memories, things that make a home, “home”. We still don’t know exactly why K&D are in an orphanage, but rarely do kids end up there without going through some kind of trauma or tragedy. I started thinking about all the things we take for granted in life that they probably don’t have. I’m not talking about “things,” but more like memories.

Have they ever been on vacation? Caught ladybugs on a summer evening? Been on a sports team? Gone on a picnic? Ridden a bike? Seen a live bear or giraffe at the zoo? Had a watermelon spitting contest? Spent the weekend at Grandma’s house? Gone fishing? Been to a parade and caught candy that was tossed to the crowd? Had someone come to watch just them in a school program? Laughed until they cried and their stomach hurt so much that they had to laugh more? Gone shopping for new clothes, just for them? Do they go to bed feeling safe? Do they feel special? Do they feel like anyone loves them at all? I have to wonder.

Next week we’ll be in Denver (for my college graduation!!!) and we’ll be meeting with some friends who, just this year, have finalized their adoption of two Latvian sisters.These two grew up in the same orphanage as K&D and are friends with them. I can’t wait to find out more about them and their story… and maybe get some of the above questions answered.

After talking and brain storming with a friend this weekend (thank you Michelle!), we have some more fundraiser ideas in the works and I feel encouraged that this is, in fact, possible! Orders for t-shirts are coming in (don’t forget to order yours!!!), and more donations are being given. We are so thankful for everyone who is partnering with us to give these to precious children a home this summer! I think we’re currently at about $4100 that we have yet to raise. I know we have a payment that is due on May 15th, as well, which could be about $3000. So, if you’ve been thinking about making a donation to help us bring K&D to the the US this summer, this would be a great time to do it! (All donations from this page go straight to our account for hosting at New Horizons.) If you’re reading this in the blog online, there is a link to the right that will take you to the same page. If you’d prefer to write a check, contact me for the address and details to get it to New Horizons and into our account.

And don’t forget to order your t-shirts!!! Details in the “It’s Official and Awesome T-shirts!” entry. :-)

Psalm 68:6a: “God places the lonely in families!”

P.S. Just got word that the t-shirts are being sent to me this week! First bought, first shipped! (We’ll order more if we need to, but it will just take longer.) :-)

Hosting Misconceptions

by Lydia

A friend shared her blog today, concerning misconceptions of hosting. In response to the question of “Is it cruel to do bring children here and then send them back?” the director of New Horizons wrote an email answering this, and sharing her observations. An interesting read. Find it here.

“It’s Official!” and Awesome T-shirts

by Lydia

We received an exciting email today!!! It said:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bischoff!
We have received your online hosting application and the payment and we are happy to inform you that your family is approved to host with New Horizons for Children.  Your children have now been placed in the “Hosted” section of the photolisting.

Woohoo!!! That means we’re official! K & D are coming to stay with US!!!!! As soon as we get back from Colorado (going for my college graduation next week!!), we’ll start working on their room and getting all of those things together. We’ll also need to do a safety inspection before they get here, too.

We’re also launching our first fundraiser! We’ve got these awesome Latvian t-shirts that we’re selling to help raise money for K & D’s fees.

These shirts are so cool and unique! I mean, who has a t-shirt with the shape of Latvia on the front?! :-)

Remember, this is for fundraising, so we are asking $20 for a shirt, or two for $35, plus shipping (which should be about $5 per order, unless you have a huge order, then we’ll talk about it).

We have a few varieties of these. The women’s shirts can be in normal cut, or in a junior’s cut (which is running about 1 size smaller than expected). The men’s shirts can be with or without the back graphic. If you would like to purchase one (or five :-) ), the following is the info we need:

Shirt style:  Men or Women (If men, include back graphic?)

Size: S, M, L, XL   (If women’s, normal cut or junior’s cut?)

Quantity of each

Mailing address (for USPS)

You can pay securely via PayPal (using the button shown here)

Or you can mail us a check. (Please remember the shipping charge!) Please either email me at

with the above info, or if you pay via PayPal, you can include it in the “Special Instructions” spot provided when you check out. Either way, we’ll send out your order as soon as we get the shirts in. After you’ve completed your order, feel free email this to your friends and tell them they need a shirt, too! :-)

Thank you so much for your interest in what we’re doing for these kids! We still have about $4500 to raise in just a few weeks, so feel free to spread the word about our adventure!!!

Just Imagine

by Lydia

I read this on a friend’s page today… I believe it is re-posted from the New Horizons site. I wonder if these are things that K & D feel, things they think about.

Imagine that you are eleven years old, that you live in an orphanage in Latvia, where there is food to eat and clothing to wear. But, there is NO mama to kiss you goodnight and NO papa to carry you on his shoulders. There is NO promise of a future for you. There is NO hope.

Then, imagine that one day, you are selected by a group of kind American missionaries to visit their country, where you will stay four weeks in the home of a real family, with a mama and a papa, and perhaps brothers and sisters. You will ride in a real airplane, and once there, you will surely be happy, because you have been chosen, for the first time in your life, for something that is good and fun and special.

Such is the goal of New Horizons for Children, an International Orphan Hosting Ministry that organizes two hosting events per year: one at Christmas, and one in the summer. According to founder LeAnn Dakake, NHFC gives children hope for their lives, because of the opportunity to travel to America, to experience unconditional love and “to learn that they do have a Father, the same Father in Heaven that we all have, who loves us dearly and is always with us.” Without intervention, upon leaving the orphanage, 60% of the girls will end up in prostitution, 70% of the boys will be on the streets or in jail, and 15% will commit suicide within the first 2 years on their own.

Through the efforts of NHFC, some 2000 orphans from Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine have traveled to America. Although it is not an adoption program, Dakake is pleased that 65% of the children who are hosted do find their forever families.

Imagine that.

I imagine them tucked into bed in our home, feeling safe and loved.

From my perspective…

by Chris

I’ve not been open to orphans in the past, and I’m not proud to admit that. But over the last few years, the Lord has been opening my heart more and more. This song by Amy Stroup has been the jackhammer to break open my hard heart over the last several weeks. And this opportunity to host Dita and Kristaps was the final wedge to crack it wide open…

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