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Adoption

Let’s Fund Planned Parenthood’s Alternative – Update 4

September 27, 2016

Jonathan here, picking up the conversation from yesterday’s update.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider. In 2013, they performed 591 abortions per day. That’s 2 children killed every 5 minutes. And that’s just Planned Parenthood.

The alternative, is of course, to choose life. While the conversation might often end there, in real life it’s a little more complicated than that. So a mother chooses to not have an abortion. Then what? Sometimes they choose to parent and other times they choose to make an adoption plan.

In order to make choosing the alternative to abortion an option, we need to throw our support behind these two alternative outcomes. Supporting these options fleshes out the pro-life position and is vital for providing positive solutions to the problem of Planned Parenthood’s abortion operations.

Today is your chance to be a part a solution.

The needs of a mother and/or father raising a child she/they weren’t expecting are many and often carry financial and emotional price tags (food, child care, baby items, healthcare, etc). These are real and valid concerns to raising a child and if they are going to choose life but lack these basics – we ought to help out! If they want to parent, we as a pro-life community must come to their aid.

Let’s look at the other solution: adoption.

There are times when expectant parents decide parenting their child at that time isn’t the best overall option and they make an adoption plan. Choosing to make an adoptive placement typically comes with counseling, support, selection of prospective parents, and sometimes a few financial burdens lightened for a little while. All things it should entail!

Families being ready to welcome these children into their families are a vital part of supporting the expectant families’ pro-life decision. Thankfully there are a number of laws, regulations, and systems in place to make sure children end up in a safe and loving home. Paying all fees associated with the necessary checks as well as services for the birth family a part of an adoptive family getting ready.

Our family is currently getting ready to adopt and the fees will total $37,500+

Naturally, we’re doing a fundraiser.

This is where you get a chance to take a stand. Where you get to say to the abortion industry that you are supporting alternatives.

I invite you to please consider joining my family in making this adoption possible by sponsoring some pieces of the puzzle that will hang in our child’s room. Your name will be on the back of the pieces you sponsor, visible when it gets framed between two panes of glass. (More about the puzzle)

Joining our puzzle fundraiser is a concrete way to be part of saying YES to new life – By helping us be in a position to welcome any life God brings our way while also supporting the birth family’s decision they feel is best for them and this precious little one.

You can donate by PayPal (yellow button) or Square Cash (green button). If you’d like to send a check, use our contact form to ask for our address. You can learn more about our story on our Adoption Hub page.




Donate w/ Squarecash

 

Here’s an update on our progress through Day 4:

  • 185 pieces sold

  • $4,630 raised!!!! (+ checks on the way)

  • 12.4% of our goal of $37,500

Here’s a virtual picture of the puzzle’s progress:

 

If you would like to donate, please do so below. If you know of anyone who has a heart for adoption or pro-life issues, please share our story and invite them to consider joining the journey.




Donate w/ Squarecash

THANK YOU!

Adoption

Help Us Complete Our Adoption Puzzle!

September 23, 2016

Thank you for joining us here at True Good & Beautiful as we publicly kick-start our plans to adopt Baby Tex #2!

I can’t believe we will be a family of FOUR! Praise you Jesus and someone pinch me quick so I know I’m not dreaming! 🙂

Here in this post, we have the details on how your story and our story can interweave through a puzzle fundraiser. We did a puzzle for our first adoption two years ago and its been not only a beautiful artwork but a reminder of how many kind and generous people there truly our in this world. When we found out we were blessed to be chosen for a second adoption, we knew another puzzle was the perfect idea.

This specific situation is estimated to cost around $37,500 when all is said and done. And a lot of that is due soon. We know that with God and your support it’s more than possible to achieve. We are humbly asking you to join us financially and prayerfully as we say YES to adopting again.

We’re running this fundraiser as a novena to the St. Therese. She’s the patron saint of missionaries, and both her parents are saints, too. (#FamilyGoals) The novena prayers end on her feast day, October 1st, and that’s our goal date for hitting our financial goal.

The Puzzle!!!!

Please note: The puzzle above is not the actual puzzle, but a mock-up with a picture of the back of Josie's puzzle. See below.

Please note: Because time restraints, the puzzle above is not the actual puzzle, but a mock-up paired with a picture of the back of Josie’s puzzle. See below.

Since this situation came together super duper fast, and there isn’t much time to spare, we have to do the fundraiser without the puzzle in-hand. The real puzzle is ordered and will be here in a few weeks. Once it comes in, we’ll be putting names on the pieces and framing it, just like last time. We’ll be sure to update you as it happens.

Here’s how it works:

  • We have designed a beautiful 1,500 piece puzzle
  • Each piece can be “purchased” for a $25 donation or more
  • You can buy one or many puzzle pieces
  • Your name will be written on the pieces you purchase scaled to size
After the puzzle is completed, we’ll frame the puzzle between two pieces of glass and hang it in our child’s room. This will be a wonderful keepsake to see all the people who loved Baby Tex 2 before he/she was even born!
And please join us in our novena! We’ll include our novena prayer at the end of this post and in each of our updates posts throughout the novena/fundraiser.

How to Donate:

  • Click on the Donate button below and pay securely through PayPal
  • Write a check or donate cash and hand deliver to Jonathan and/or Amanda Teixeira
  • Mail a check to us (use our contact form to ask for our address)



 

We are very excited to sprint through this journey once again and to have you alongside cheering and praying us onward. You can get updates on the fundraiser and our adoption journey on our adoption page.

Novena Fundraiser Prayer

We pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus and Mary, I approach you with childlike confidence and simple humility. You pledged to spend your heaven doing good on earth. Please do good by bringing this petition to our faithful Savior, Jesus, in heaven:

I ask your intercession for the Teixeira family and their upcoming adoption.

May their family become saints as you and your family have. Ask our loving God for an abundance of blessings to rain down on them.

You teach us in your writings to trust God completely. Ask God to bless me and the Teixeiras with absolute trust in our Father. Together with them, I entrust their fundraising efforts to God. Our Heavenly Father is good, and he provides for his children. May this fundraiser’s success be a witness to the world of his abundant and providential love for all his children.

St, Therese of the Child Jesus, Pray for us!

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Catholicism, The New Evangelization

Essential Lenten Infographics

February 9, 2016

Jonathan here. Six of my Illustrated Guides are part of FOCUS’ Lentsanity Campaign. I designed these to help you have a great Lent. Check ’em out:

ash-thumbThe 10 Types of Ashes You Might Get on Ash Wednesday

fasting-guideAn Illustrated Guide to Lenten Fasting and Abstinence

lectioDo the Lectio 3-Step: A Guide to Praying with Scripture

solemnitiesWhat’s the Difference? A Guide to Solemnities, Feast Days, and Memorials

triduumAn Illustrated Guide to the Triduum

paschal-candleAn Illustrated Guide to The Paschal Candle

If you like those Illustrated Guides, be sure to check out the rest of FOCUS’ Lentsanity and download the Lentsanity App!

Intentional Living, Money

One Simple Thing to Dramatically Reduce Your Anxiety

January 25, 2016

Your future. Your past. That big decision you’ve got coming up. Work. Holidays. Kids going off to school. Travel. Your living situation. There is no shortage of sources of anxiety and worry and stress in our lives.

What if there was one thing you could do that would affect every aspect of your life and make each one easier? Would you do it?

What if it took a little discipline? A little time? A little saying “no” to one thing so you could say “yes” to another? Would you still do it? Or would you rather keep living a more stressful life?

I hope you’re committed to severely reducing stress and are ready to do this.

The one thing you can do to dramatically reduce the anxiety you feel in every area of your life is:
Budgeting.

That’s right. Budgeting your money affects every area of your life for the better and reduces anxiety, worry, and stress. Here’s how:

Budgeting – creating a plan for your money and sticking to it – takes the guesswork and the worry out of your money. And because money touches every part of our lives, when we make money easier and more pleasurable to work with, we make every part of our lives easier and more pleasurable.

  • If there are money issues from your past, budgeting helps you clean them up and move on.
  • Big decisions to be made? Budgeting gives you the freedom to make the best choice – either by enabling you to save money up or simply using money more wisely – so the best choice – even if it’s something with a financial impact like quitting your job to start a new career – can be made.
  • Stressed out because there’s always more cool stuff to do with your family or roommates than there is money to do it with? Budgeting patches the “leaks” in your wallet so there’s more to use AND trains you to prioritize your activities so you can identify and choose what’s most important for you to do.
  • Big projects at work got you stressed? Budgeting works your planning muscle, which you’ll be able to flex in all sorts of situations!

Now that you’re sold on the benefits of budgeting (or at least interested), here are some quick tips for getting started:

  1. Budgeting is easier than you think.
    • You can do this.
  2. It’s a simple income – outflow equation.
    • Take the money you have (income) and plan how (groceries, cell phone bill, etc) you’ll spend it (outflow). Your planned spending cannot exceed your income.
  3. Every month is (slightly) different, so every budget you create should be (slightly) different.
  4. Start With Cash
    • While budgeting software like YNAB and Every Dollar can be very handy, it’s probably best for you to start out using cash and the envelope system (grocery envelope, clothes envelope, etc. one envelope for each budget category) so you can feel your money.
  5. Be Ready to Say No
    • Budgeting helps you set priorities and stick to them, which means it involves saying no to some things (like going out with your roommates, again) so you can do other, more important things (like saving for a car, or paying off debt). Your “yes” to better things will involve “no’s” to lesser things. Be ready. (And don’t feel bad about it!)
  6. Be Patient
    • It’s going to take a little while (3 months or so) to get a good handle on the right amount for your budget categories. Don’t get discouraged in the meantime. And don’t feel bad if you need to adjust your amounts. Just make sure it all evens out. (Adding $10 to one category means taking it from somewhere else).
  7. Ask for Help
    • Getting started with budgeting can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know who’s been budgeting for a while for help. They’ll be glad to help. You’ve always got our contact form, too.
Marriage, Parenting

4 Lessons From My First Year as a Dad

November 13, 2015
One year ago, our lives changed when Josie was born and joined our family. Josie may have tripled her weight in the last year, but I’ve grown a lot too. Here are a few things I learned this year:

1. Love’s New Dimension

It’s a simple idea, but one that I’ve really come to understand: we love different people differently. The love I have for my Mom is different from that for my wife which again is different from that for my brother.
I don’t love any of those people more than another, I love them each differently.
The love a father has for his daughter is a whole different type of love. It’s deep, rich, and like nothing else. It’s like a new color was added to the crayon box of my life.

2. Sleep is Overrated

Some babies sleep really well at night from early on. Others get there a little later. And then there’s Josie, who only recently started sleeping until 5:30am. Before that she was up (read we were all up) 2-4 times every night.
My sleep hasn’t been this poor (in amount and/or quality) in years, and it takes a greater toll than it used to. But it’s okay.
I’ve been functioning just fine, and even if I’m upset/angry/super tired when that kid starts screaming 20 minutes after I fall asleep (and again a few hours later), it all melts away when I go in there to try and calm her down. I love that booger so dang much.

3. My Life is Not My Own. And I Love It.

We used be more spontaneous. Going to the movies on a whim. Taking weekend day trips without much advanced planning. Running errands when they needed to be done. Taking free time to pursue new hobbies.
All that’s gone.
Babysitters, nap times, and spending time with Josie have taken over all that. And forget about flying somewhere with just a carry-on.
I don’t have as much free time. And things that used to be quick and easy take time and planning now. I haven’t touched my hobby electronics in months. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My days are made up less of chasing my own wants and needs and more of doing my best to provide for Josie’s wants and needs. I am living less for myself and more for my family. And that’s making me a better man.

4. A Better Understanding of God the FATHER

Because I now understand the love a father has for their child (see above), I have been able to gain a better understanding on how God sees me.
One of my greatest joys is watching Josie interact with her world: exploring a room, playing with her toys, ransacking a bookshelf or the diaper bag. I love interacting with her: picking her up, listening to her babble at me, playing peek-a-boo.
I translate the joy I find in my daughter to what God must feel for me, his son. He loves watching me interact with my world: exploring new places, enjoying his creation. He loves interacting with me: when I come to him in prayer.
His heart overflows with love for me as mine does for Josie. Except even more, because I’m a broken man, and when it comes down to it, I stink at loving. He’s God. His love is perfect. He loves me so much more than I can ever love Josie, and that blows me away.
I’ve learned many things, but those are the big ones I want to share with you today.
And to the mom’s out there, check out Amanda’s post on what she’s learned as a mom.
Marriage, Parenting

The Husband’s Guide to Breastfeeding

November 5, 2015

Guys: If your wife is breastfeeding your baby, be prepared: breastfeeding is one of the coolest, hardest, most interesting parts of being human. Moms get (and deserve) the glory for breastfeeding, but you have a role to play. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Breastfeeding is Really Cool
We’ve come a long way in creating modern baby formulas, but nothing compares with all natural 100% free-range human breast milk. It contains all sorts of compounds and nutrients that aren’t found anywhere else.

Your wife’s body will be able to tell how old your kid is and adjust the composition of the milk accordingly to provide their changing nutritional needs. And get this: if your wife feeds your newborn from one breast, and an older child from the other, the two breasts will work independently to produce the right type of milk for each kid! WHAAAAAAT?

Breastfeeding also provides awesome opportunities for your wife and baby to bond. It’s been really cool to watch little Josie bond with Amanda. I’m sure it’s a major reason they’re so close to one another. We adopted Josie, so Amanda had to induce lactation to breastfeed. (Yes, a woman can breastfeed even if she didn’t give birth!) Breastfeeding Josie really helped us catch up on the nine months of her life (in the womb) we missed out on.

2. It’s a lot of work
Breastfeeding: pop the baby on the boob and there you have it, right? Wrong.

All sorts of issues can prevent themselves along the way: latching issues, lip and tongue ties, supply issues, plugged ducts, and nipple blisters (ouch!) are just a few. And if this is your wife’s first time breastfeeding, she’ll be adjusting to having a new bodily function and its consequences (like getting comfortable nursing in public).

If your wife is inducing lactation, you can throw a whole other set of hurdles in there on top of it all.

3. Prepare to Feel Useless
Breastfeeding might be one of the hardest things your wife ever does, and it’s easy to feel like there’s precious little you can do about it. You can’t offer to step in a take care of that hungry baby yourself, because our bodies just don’t work like that. There will be times when the only thing your baby wants is a seat at the milk bar, and you need to be okay with that. You might feel useless, but you’re not. In fact, you’re vital to your wife’s success.

While you can’t help breastfeed, you can help your wife breastfeed. Here’s how:

Help Out in Practical Ways that Support Breastfeeding

  • Give your wife pep talks when she’s feeling defeated by breastfeeding difficulties.
  • Make sure to pack the nursing cover (if she prefers to use one) when you pack the diaper bag.
  • Offer creative solutions to problems you run into while out and about with a hungry baby. (I asked and they don’t have a nursing room, but if we go over there, I could arrange the chairs and stand in a way that should give you some degree of privacy.)
  • Make sure your wife is staying hydrated by refilling her water bottle and remembering to bring it with you when leaving the house.
  • If she’s taking supplements to help her supply, be the one to refill her pill-box each week.
  • If she’s pumping, take care of everything related to that you can. (Cleaning the pump, bottles, store the milk, etc)

Help Out in Practical Ways that Have Nothing to Do With Breastfeeding
(this will allow her to focus on feeding the kid)

  • Change. The. Diapers.
  • If using cloth diapers, do the laundry.
  • Pack the diaper bag, and carry it when you go out.
  • If utilizing donor milk, pick it up, thaw it out, prepare the bottles.
  • Buy her some flowers.
  • Communicate how much her mothering means to you and the family.
  • Bathe the baby.
  • Entertain the baby and give your wife a break.
  • Cook dinner.
  • Clean the house.

4. The F Word
Whether it’s supply issues, latching issues, crazy schedules, or something else, sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work out. While donor milk is an option, I’d wager most parents go the formula route.

If you’re feeding your baby formula, remember this: you’re not bad parents. Your child will not be messed up because they didn’t breastfeed. Your wife is probably going to feel this pressure more than you do. This is your time to be the man. Let her know it’s all going to be fine and screw anyone else who tells her differently.

Sure, your family won’t experience some of the cool things related to breastfeeding, but that’s okay. You’ll get to experience some of the positives of bottles like baby accepting a bottle from a babysitter more easily or Dad taking his turn feeding the baby.

Husbands: I hope this guide has served you well and given you a good start. Breastfeeding is crazy. You’re going to need to be present for your wife in ways you’ve never imagined. This is your opportunity to step up and be the man she needs. You’re going to do great.