Saturday, April 16, 2016

Our Summer Adventure: Part Two

In case you haven't heard!  We got approval from all necessary parties (Nhfc, host country and internat) to rehost "M" this summer!  We are so excited and as time gets closer to her arrival we are getting even more anxious to see our girl again!

I've updated friends and family in person and via Facebook and Instagram but I've been slacking in my blog updates on the matter.  I wanted to update everyone on the exciting news as well as share about the successful fundraisers we have had so far and the ones that we have coming up!

Thankfully, having hosted "M" before, we have a much better idea of what were headed into as far as what she "needs" while she's here.  Since I knew there was a chance she would be back I saved all of her clothes from last summer that she wasn't able to fit in her suitcase to bring back. I am so excited to break out those bags and transform our craft/play room, that we still reference to as "M's" room back into in fact just that... "M's" room.  I am forcing myself to wait until after school is out and for now just focus on raising the hosting fees we need to simply bring her here.. first things first right?

Hosting fees are roughly $3,250.  We've done two fundraisers so far.. The first one we "egged" over 20 houses the few nights before Easter!  It was so much fun and I was overwhelmed with the amount of help that I had for that fundraiser! 

Next the Terry's so graciously did a Chicken Alfredo take out dinner for us!  We sold 105 take out dinners and the night could not have gone better!  Again I was completely humbled by those who so willingly helped us in our efforts to bring "M" back this summer! 

With those two fundraisers we've raised almost exactly HALF of our hosting fees!  The next fundraiser I will be doing is a day of mini photo shoots!  Click here for more information on that! 

Others have said they would rather just donate to our host fees.. so for those of you that would like to do that the best way to do it is directly to New Horizons for Children.  Follow the instructions below to ensure your tax deductible donation gets applied specifically to "M".  

Thank you all so much for your continued love and support on our journey of loving "M".  This morning Brian and I completed our "rehost" training.  We were reminded that even if the first hosting period went flawlessly that doesn't necessarily mean the second will be the same.  We were reminded of the affects that trauma as a child can have on the brain and how often times those wounds will be evident through their actions even many years later.  Most of all we were encouraged with the reminder that we have the ability to show "M" the unconditional love of a family and try our best to be God's hands and feet in her life so that she will leave here knowing there is a God who loves her even more than we do! Please pray for us as we continue to prepare our home, our hearts and our finances for this summer's adventure with "M" (part two!).

Instructions on donating directly to NHFC on behalf of "M"

use THIS LINK and choose donate to a specific child. Notes will indicate this is a donation for A SPECIFIC CHILD!!  When given the chance enter "E1076 - Gudgel family" in the notes so they know who to apply it towards.  Thank you so much!

Photo Mini Sessions!

Photo Mini Sessions!

Our next fundraiser to raise hosting fees for "M" will be a day of Photos! Photo Mini Sessions, Saturday, April 30th 2016!  Morning and evening sessions available!  For $40 you will get a 15 minute session and a link to download your edited high quality digital images for all of your printing and sharing needs!  This is a great opportunity to get that quick family shot you've been putting off for years and/or to get head shots of the kiddos! Morning sessions will take place at Rahilly Park and evening sessions will be at Fahrens Park near the parking on Buena Vista for the frisbee golf course.  Email me at to sign up for one of the following sessions.

Rahilly Park
8:00 am:Open
8:20 am:Open
9:00 am: Open
9:20 am: Filled

Fahrens Park
4:00 pm: Filled
4:20 pm:Open
4:40 pm:Open
5:00 pm: Open
5:20 pm: Open
5:40 pm: Open
6:00 pm: Open
6:20 pm: Open
6:40 pm: Open
7:00 pm: Open

Sunday, August 9, 2015

So much love and support

So M has been gone for about a week now and we've been left to process our time with her.  Over all we had a wonderful hosting experience.  This is not always the case for all families.  All of these kids have gone through tough times as children and a lot of times their behavior stems from those tough times.  M didn't show many of the issues we were warned about and trained on. We are so thankful.  She was a very typical teenager in our eyes.  Not perfect, a lot of sass, but also had the capability of connecting and loving.  We know if we end up hosting her again we may have a totally different experience since she would be a bit more comfortable, but bottom line, we were so surprised at how well adjusted she seemed to be.

We had A TON of support through this journey.  The prayers, hugs, texts, calls, emails, gifts we got from our friends, family and even acquaintances was a HUGE encouragement for us.  It was so awesome to have you all along this journey with us.

In addition to people we also had some wonderful organizations and companies help us make this time in America special for M.  Dr Goodin and his wonderful staff, Dr Lee and his wonderful staff, The San Jose Earthquakes, Stitchfix, Wild Water Adventure park in Clovis, Christina's Fine Clothing and probably others we can't even think of at the moment... but one we really want to recognize is a wonderful organization called Father to the Fatherless.  They helped us with a large portion of our hosting fees and they have also helped Todd and Amy a number of ways to help with their adoption.  In addition the founders of the organization are good friends of Todd and Amy who have also adopted from Eastern Europe.  They want to help other families be able to host and adopt.  They are a newer organization so please help get the word out and if you would like more information you can visit their website at

We are so thankful for the internet and the ability to communicate with our sweet M while she is across the world. We do a lot of messaging on social media and have even used skype for a phone call.  This girl has forever changed our lives for the better.  Hosting was one of the best decisions we made as a family.  If you would like more information on hosting you can visit The next hosting is over Christmas break!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Two weeks from today!

In two weeks from today we will be getting ready to head to the air port to pick up "M".  Her flight gets in at 9pm so when the kids should be getting ready for bed we will be getting ready for out little adventure to pick up this sweet girl!

There are still quite a few things we need (and want) so i've made a list below in case any one wants to help us!  I will update this list by crossing off what comes in so you all can see what's been claimed.  Just so you know, her favorite color is pink!

  • Bible in Russian 
  • Cute Journal 
  • Highlighters 
  • Duffle Bag
  • Cheap Mp3 player (CAN NOT BE APPLE BRAND) Something like this.
  • Cute Teen Backpack 
  • Swim Suit (Guessing size small but wont know until she's here for sure)
  • Winter Coat (Guessing size small but wont know until she's here for sure)
  • Sandals (not sure what size yet)
  • Running Shoes (not sure what size yet)
  • Casual Tennis Shoes (not sure what size yet)
  • Clothes (not sure what size yet)
  • Socks (size small)
  • Sports Bras (one size fits most?) to get her by her first few days here
  • Pajamas (sizes that will work the first few days she's here before we know her size)
  • Yoga pants/lounge clothes (sizes that will work for the first few days she's here before we know her size)
  • Sunglasses
  • Fun jewelry (not sure if her ears are pierced) 
  • Other accessories 
  • Teen approved purse
  • Small Wallet
  • Hair Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Bath and Body works products, shower gel, body spray etc)
  • Makeup bag
  • Hair Accessories (Teen approved? I'm new to this age!)
  • Gift Card for make up (we will take her to pick it out while she's here)
  • Hair Accessories (Teen approved? I'm new to this age!)
  • Pedicure gift certificate
  • Manicure gift certificate 
  • Gas cards to help with trips to air port, Yosemite, waterslides, beach trip, etc.
  • Gift cards to clothing stores (Target, Old Navy, forever 21 or other fun stores)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Only a few weeks till "M" arrives!

When I used to think of hosting the first thing that came to mind was the cost.  When God put it on our hearts to host it was a month before the money would need to be turned in and although I was dreading that part,  He provided! We raised the money needed to cover her hosting fees.  Each time I saw a pay pal email, fb message, Someone giving me a check or cash at church, or new horizons account statement update, I was humbled by the generosity of the people in our circle!  I can not wait to show "M" her puzzle and explain that all the people whose names are on the back are people who made it possible for her to come here this summer!   

God continues to show me he knew this was a good summer for us to host- I was disappointed that our family vacations (that we planned and paid for back in January) were taking place before "M" arrives on June 29.  I wanted her to be able to go camping and to Montana with us but God knew better than me.  We've never had trips this close together before but it just happened that way this summer.    In a Facebook group I'm a part of with other people that are hosting this summer someone shared that one thing we need to be intentional about before our host child gets here is filling our bio kids love tanks and making sure we are being intentional about spending time with our spouses so that we can go into hosting as relationally healthy as possible.   After spending the past 5 days with my family and doing nothing but focusing on our kiddos and spending time with them, building sand castles,
sitting around the Bon fire, eating every meal together, even all six of us sleeping in a tent together has been so good for us.  My sister and her family went camping with us, they recently adopted my nephew who they first met through the hosting program and this was the first year he was here to come camping with us.   Getting that time to see how he's adjusting to his new family almost brings me to tears.  He is so brave, helpful, positive and has more energy then I could imagine... He is respectful and kind.  He isn't perfect and had his moody times (although not as many as my own kids) He misses his friends from where he is from but he likes America.  When we were walking on the beach we passed a section that was owned by a private highschool- a boarding school.  I told the kids that it was a boarding school and his response was "that's horrible".  While I'm pretty sure the ocean front  $20k a year boarding school is different than his boarding school he attended his whole life until he moved here, it made my heart break a little and made me so thankful Todd and Amy followed Gods calling for them to adopt this sweet boy.  

In a couple days our vacation continues as we get to spend a week in Montana with more people that we love.  One thing that I want to do while we're there is make "M" affirmation cards.  I want to give her one each night before bed- something that tells her how much she is loved and how God created her in his image, tell her that she can Trust in Him.  I ordered her John MacArthurs study bible in her language, I would love to have each affirmation supported by a scripture so she can become familiar with her Bible and hopefully she will continue to turn to that source of comfort when she goes back home.   So If you have a favorite verse please Facebook it to me and I will find the translation and put it on a card for her!   

I have had a few people ask me what else she needs while she's here.  I started a list I will post later for those that are interested in helping with that.  Thank you all for your love and support.  We are excited to meet "M" in just a few weeks! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

5 Days Left!

This week "M" most likely found out she has been chosen for summer hosting!  She doesn't know who we are yet or where in the USA she will be spending her summer but she knows she was picked out of over 200 kids to join a family for 6 weeks!  We are so excited!

This Friday we are supposed to have all of our hosting fees paid.  I am in awe of how God has provided the money needed so far to host "M" this summer.  We only need to "sell"  80 more puzzle pieces at $5 each in order to cover our hosting fees.   We get weekly statements from New Horizons and each time I get a statement I almost cry over the generosity of people.  This has been a very humbling experience.  With each sign I take the time to paint I think of how the person that ordered it is helping this sweet girl this summer.  I have already been blessed through this process and she's not even here yet!  In addition to the puzzle pieces, signs and very generous donations I did school pictures for the preschool and kinder last week and put all of the funds towards our hosting fees.  Thank you so much to the generous families who ordered pictures to help support our summer adventure!  

So... 80 more pieces ($400) in 5 days!  I know this will happen!  Will you help?  You can donate to me in person, on pay pal, ( or directly to the New Horizons Website ( make a donation and add E1076 in the notes to ensure it goes to us).   If you would still like to purchase a sign let me know and I can let you know an estimated wait time on that too!  Thank you all again for your continued love and support, we couldn't do this without you! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hosting Fees Update!

We have raised just about half of what we need to cover the cost of our hosting fees for "M" this summer!  This is so exciting!  We have two weeks left to come up with the other half!  Will you help us by completing this puzzle of California?  Each piece is $5.  I will write you name or message on the back of your piece and "M" will get to take the puzzle home with her.  Thank you all so much for your love and support.   For more information on what and why we are doing what we are doing you can click here!   

You can make a donation through paypal using  or straight to new Horizons For Children by visiting  Please select donate to a specific child and enter  E1076 in the comment field! (It seems you may have a problem specifying a specific child on an ipad so it may be easiest to use a computer.  Thank you!)