“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Monday, December 28, 2015

One More....

Victoria is HOME!  Amazingly, she was released from the hospital last night and spent her first night sleeping in her very own bed.  

One more precious orphan, Christopher, will be sprung from the same orphanage in just 18 days.  

We still have spots in the gift card giveaway.  Let's wrap this up and get them awarded!  Someone will win $100, Folks! 

$100 at Shop Source
$25 at iTunes
$25 at Target
$10 at Starbucks
$10 at Target
$10 at Target


Entries are $10 to mamato5girls@yahoo.com.  Forward the receipt to bornagainandproud@yahoo.com.

This little boy is so valuable.  Let's push through to see him HOME, too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


After a very long and sometimes difficult trip, Victoria has arrived in the US.  She is currently admitted to the hospital, where she will remain for days, at least, perhaps a few weeks.  Please pray.

Thanksgiving prayers for her survival through the flight.
Against re-feeding syndrome and other digestive troubles.
For comfort as she endures IV's, blood draws and other procedures.
Strength, for me.

More later. 
Love you all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Victoria Ann......Victory is Yours!

Victoria Ann......Victory is Yours!

Sweet girl almost seems to know she needed LOVE maybe more than nutrition. 
She is such a cuddle bug.

We arrived at Victoria's orphanage on Monday after having gotten permission to make a stop to put flowers on sweet Heavenleigh’s gravesite. Such an emotional visit....but that is for a separate post.

It was about a three hour drive from her orphanage back to the capital city where we went immediately to get Victoria's passport photo taken (in her car seat as she cannot sit) . We then headed to the hospital and had her admitted and settled into her room, along with a basketful of diagnosis that the admitting Doctor seemed to think had little to do with the fact that she spent eight years in a crib systematically being starved. But I digress.

The stay in the hospital was unfortunately not a good one and as soon as Nurse Maureen arrived on Friday we were able to have Victoria released and we returned to the hotel where we are monitoring her blood sugar with heel pricks, monitoring her O2, and feeding her every three hours round  the clock via NG....
Refeeding Syndrome is a real concern for a child who is not even 10 pounds at almost 8 years old...and who's body has fed itself on its own muscles...

Today, Monday , we will go to the US Embassy and have our VISA Interview, and we will also go to a local clinic and get a complete blood panel done to see if we are safe to fly home.

It is literally unbelievable how quickly this little girl has changed.....last Monday she was a shell of a girl...her eyes dull and flitting aimlessly, her body and spirit turned in on themselves, no life to be found....no hope. Five days later her eyes are bright, she seeks me out, she coos and smiles, her body is relaxed. 

Oh Lord....how blessed I am to be able to witness this miracle unfold.
When we picked Victoria up from the orphanage her paper work stated Deep Mental Delay. When we checked her into the hospital we were told she had Severe Neurological  Impairment.

We don't know what the coming years hold for this precious girl or how her development will play out.  We do know that her development does not determine her worth, her potential does not equate to her value, the love we have for her is not dependent on her accomplishments.

She is a girl who LOVES music.....we play it for her and then we help her sign "more" .....and we play it again.
Take a look at this video....the "experts" did not account for the Power of Love.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Matching Grant

Great news!  Lauren was offered a $500 matching grant by the Anonymous Angels!  You can 'double' your donation AND enter our Gift Card Galore giveaway for every $5 you donate to Lauren by paypal (and don't forget to send $5 to Lynda Collicot, too!)

Donate to Lauren by Paypal to dadhorton@comcast.net

Donate to Lynda by Paypal to mamato5girls@yahoo.com

You can also help match the $500 grant by donating tax deductibly to Lauren's FSP account.

Victoria (Hope) is slowly being rehydrated and nourished. Please continue to pray against refeeding syndrome, as her body learns to digest, for extraordinary wisdom for the doctors treating her, and for the final paperwork to be finished quickly so she can endure the flight to America. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In Hospital, Please Pray

Lauren and Victoria have reached the hospital and Victoria is getting treatment.  Her condition is very precarious and she is unbelievably tiny and fragile. Please storm heaven for this little one's precious life.  Please pray that the doctors would make wise choices in her care and that she can be stabilized and on her way as soon as possible.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

On Her Way!

Lauren is traveling now, crossing the ocean and continents to bring home a hidden treasure.  Please pray for traveling mercies, ease of transfers, safety....Please continue to remember Victoria in your prayers. May she need little stabilization before flying home.  

We still have entries left in the Gift Card giveaway that benefits Lauren and Lynda.  Details from the previous blog:

Entries are $10; with $5 sent with the friend/family option to EACH family.  Of course you may donate more and earn more entries.  We are limiting this giveaway to 50 entries. Time is so limited, so please share this post. If you share, let me know by leaving a comment and you will get a free entry.

Paypal Lauren's donations to dadhorton@comcast.net.

Paypal Lynda's donations to mamato5girls@yahoo.com. 

Send your receipt to this address and your name will go into the drawing. I will draw for the cards in the order listed above as soon as all 50 paid entries have been claimed.

I will post pictures and updates as soon as I am able. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gift Cards Galore!

$100 at Shop Source WINNER-Katie L.
$25 at iTunes WINNER- Heather N.
$25 at Target WINNER-Denee L.
$10 at Starbucks WINNER-Anna K.
$10 at Target WINNER-Laurel F.
$10 at Target WINNER-Swaddles

These are the gift cards that are available in this giveaway.

It's a barebones affair.

We are all worn out.

Lauren leaves to pick up Hope in just three days.

Lynda Collicot is picking up Christopher January 15th.

Both children must be hospitalized before they can be flown to the US for more hospitalization.

Two fragile, discarded children from one orphanage in one country. Two families called by God to sacrifice greatly to bring these children home.  Two, who know no love, who are about to experience a whole new world.

Can you help these two families with their final push to fully funded?

Entries are $10. Of course you may donate more and earn more entries.  We are limiting this giveaway to 50 paid entries. Time is so limited, so please share this post. If you share, let me know by leaving a comment and you will get a free entry.

Paypal Lauren's donations to dadhorton@comcast.net. (Lauren is FULLY FUNDED!  Any donations sent now will go toward medical care here in the States.)

Paypal Lynda's donations to mamato5girls@yahoo.com.

Send your receipt to this address and your name will go into the drawing. I will draw winners for the cards in the order listed above as soon as all 50 paid entries have been claimed. The more you donate, the more chances you will have to win! 

Thank you for praying for these precious children and their families.

"God sets the solitary in families;

He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;" 
Ps. 68:6a

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gratitude and Coconut Oil

How can I be so excited about transferring coconut oil from our big jar into a little plastic container so that I can sooth our sweet girls tiny, dry feet?  Oh my goodness.....I get such joy just thinking of being able to do this in less than ONE WEEK.

Less than one week...yep, it's true!
.....we still do not have an accurate estimation of what hospitalization in country will cost us....but HALLELUJAH ...we received an extremely generous gift from dear friends that will definitely put a dent in the hospitalization fees.

I have to tell you the story. 

This incredible couple are not "rich". She is a nurse and is recovering from a serious work related injury and is in pretty much constant pain.  He is a disabled vet who drives long haul truck to make ends meet.  After years of fighting the system he received a small settlement from the VA and a slight increase in his monthly stipend.
What did they choose to do with that settlement??
Yes......that is why we now have some of the funding needed to hospitalize Victoria!  What a gift, what an honor, what a blessing !

We are $2215 from fully funded for actual adoption expenses........
Our fsp will need to read $22,900.

We have a $170 matching grant right now ...when our fsp reads 20,745.37....... The "Angel" will donate $ 170.

Would love to have all adoption expenses covered by the time I leave on December 12th.

So grateful for each and every one of you who have come alongside us and encouraged us with prayers, kind words, and financial support.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cha Cha Cha

We got some amazingly comforting news this morning.
Our attorney contacted the orphanage director and we got this update. "She is doing well and is not unstable"
Oh my......the knowledge that Victoria (Hope) is so very fragile....and the lack of updates (very typical) has been stressful. So to hear those few words....sigh.... "Thank you Lord!!"
In ELEVEN DAYS we will take her from the orphanage and admit her to the hospital I country.
......and that is where the cha-cha-cha dance begins.
One step forward
Two steps back
Good think I love to dance.

We had been under the impression that part of Victoria's hospitalization in country would be covered by her insurance supplied by that government. However..... Once her new birth certificate is issued she is no longer covered by that country's insurance.....and until she is an American citizen (when we land in the U.S.A.) she will not be covered by our insurance. 

One step forward ~ two steps back.

May I have this dance?

We anticipated that $22,900 in our Reece's Rainbow FSP was our fully funded number.
Now that amount is an unknown....we will have a more specific estimate on Friday.
Would you dance with us?
Would you help us finish this dance?

Our Victoria is a miracle......

I wonder .....will she love to dance?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sliding Into Home

So thankful for the incredible support shown to us as we slide into home plate with this adoption fundraising.

Seven months ago we saw (Victoria) Hope's photo.....

We inquired about her and found she was in the same orphanage that our Sophia had been in.  Here is Sophia's orphanage photo:

They are eleven months a part in age.  I often wonder if they were roommates....When I think that Hope was there...in her crib...and we probably walked past her ....that she stayed there for 2 1/2 YEARS before we even knew about her....when I think how many children, how many hurting people, we walk past every day....it overwhelms me.....

Seven months ago we KNEW we were to adopt (Victoria) Hope but it was our fourth adoption in less than three years and we were overwhelmed by the financial aspect. 
We look back over the past seven months and the support we have received is unreal. Your participation in the MULTITUDE of fundraisers has been so very humbling. It truly does take a village and it is abundantly clear that (Victoria) Hope is loved and supported by the BEST and most GENEROUS village ever!

Ongoing fundraisers are at Hooked on Hope, Hope's Boutique, Keep Collective, and Doll Faced Diva's Buy It Now Page.

Frankie Miller .....our family warrior has been with us every step of the way. Supporting, advocating, donating, sharing, praying, talking sense into me, crocheting....and crocheting some more.

We can never repay the generosity of so many .....but we can promise to not only embrace Victoria as our precious daughter but to pay forward the generosity you have shown us to other adopting families.

So where do we stand financially?

We are $2,583 from fully funded.
What?!  Seriously......That in itself is a true miracle!

Update.....Our Reece's Rainbow FSP needs to read $22,900 ......
We had a very successful auction and the proceeds were distributed to our personal adoption account....therefore our original goal 25,000 has been modified. Hallelujah!

In two weeks I will walk out those orphanage doors with Victoria in my arms.....we will have a long road ahead of us...but no matter what she will know she is loved and wanted and worthy.

I don’t know how much we will be able to post when we are in country, but updates and pictures will be available on our Facebook page A Family For Gary and Marnie and Hope.  I will also keep this blog updated occasionally, of course, but more will be posted there. Please follow along our continuing journey! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Please pray!

Hope's health is heavy on my heart. Please take a moment when you see this to say a prayer for her.  We're coming, Little One!  Hold on!

Monday, November 23, 2015

But First Let Me Take An Elfie

Have you been hearing Christmas carols at stores yet? I sure have. Thanksgiving is drawing near, and it is really starting to seem like the holiday season!  

Molly over at Tall Enough For This Rollercoaster had an excellent idea for ringing in the Christmas spirit AND helping bring Hope home

Let me introduce "But First Let me Take An Elfie"! 

The idea is simple. Challenge your friends to a simple and silly act and donate!  


1.  Post an elfie (selfie with an elf hat).  Elf hats are sold at grocery stores, dollar stores, and drugstores so no worries about not being able to find one.  If you don’t want to pay for it, take an elfie at the store =)
2.  Post a video of you singing part of your favorite Christmas Carol.   We know this option would make Buddy the Elf smile because the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
After you post you picture or video you must call out THREE people to take on the challenge!  If your friends take on the challenge you must donate money which I will explain next (most important part so don’t stop reading)!!!
 Donation breakdown:
Friend posts an elfie: 5$
Friend posts a video singing their favorite Christmas carol: 10$
Friend posts a video singing a Christmas Carol in a public place: 15$ 
What could be funner or easier!  Get started today and let me know if you are playing.
Donate to Hope

But First Let Me Take An Elfie

Thursday, November 19, 2015



Twenty four days.

576 hours.

On the morning of December 14th I will walk out those orphanage doors and Victoria will be set free.

How can I be so busy.... yet that day seems so far away?!

I think it is that fear, that ever present pit in the stomach, that knowledge.... That there is the real possibility that 576 hours is too long for her to hold on.
So...time seems to drag, the days on the calendar seem to just sit there.
Yet....there are kids to feed, bathe, clothe, love, be silly with, read stories to. Homework to be done, Thanksgiving meal to prepare, Christmas gifts to buy. Recitals, concerts, competitions. 
Yes ....Victoria....we are busy as we wait. But you are always with us.
Yes, my almost eight year old girl....We have your stroller and your car seat (so thankful for friends who pass along such things) 

We have sweet jammies with snap fronts....as I learned from our adoption with Sophia that those work best in the hospital for access to ports and lines. We will be direct admitting when we arrive home on December 23rd....and our Children's  Hospital is two hours from our home....so I need to plan ahead.

Christmas in the hospital....must have something festive yet practical!

We have cozy blankets made with love . (Thank you Ms. H ...for loving ALL our children so well.)

We have teeny tiny diapers .....a huge supply passed on from a dear friend.

They do seem tiny......but then again

And so....
We wait
We pray
We cry
We laugh
Life goes on....
And we can't wait until you dear Victoria are part of it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The words are hard to find.
To know another precious child died.
Never having been told that she was loved. 
To never feel the heartbeat of her mother.
The soft breath of love on her little head as she slept on mama's chest.

But she WAS  loved. So loved.

She was loved by a mama who was working quickly to ransom her, a mama who's heart is broken today because her greatest efforts were not enough. Oh dear mama, I cry with you.

She was loved by me. We tried all we knew, took it as far as we could, to have her added to our adoption of Hope (Victoria) as we were well into the process and knew we could get there quickly. 
We were denied. Told that two children with such needs would not be possible. Not possible.
Instead she died.
I am saddened.
I am angry.
I am helpless.
...and I am frightened. Sick to my stomach-can’t breathe-frightened.
Because I know.
I know the building, I know the mindset, I know.
I know that it very easily could have been our Victoria (Hope).

I know that it STILL could be our Victoria.
Yes...the adoption is final. She is officially our daughter.
Our almost eight year old girl....our ten pound love. 
But we can't get her...not yet. There are still forms to be signed and hoops to jump through. Money to be raised.
We will take her from there Dec 14. ....and at that time a whole new set of concerns. Refeeding syndrome. Transatlantic flight.
Colds, flu, germs. So fragile, so very fragile, this daughter of ours.

I think back to our Sophia and of my ignorance and Gods grace.
She too was ten pounds .....she too was a few breaths away from death....and now? Now the most beautiful, joyful, incredible girl! 

I have no answers.
I have many questions.
I falter,
I waiver,
I weep at the injustice.
I feel hopeless.
So helpless.
.....but I do not want to live my life knowing.....I could have made a difference, and I turned away.

How about you?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Praises to the Lord!

Introducing our daughter......Victoria Ann Horton! 
Orphan no more. 
Loved and cherished.

Please pray for her health...it will be mid December before we go to get her. It is cold and flu season. Her little body has no defense for any illness.

Please pray for all those forgotten ones....Still waiting to be held and whispered to and told they are worthy and adored.
These sweet ones are just a few in ONE of the orphanages in
Victoria's country.....all available for adoption. Waiting. Simply wanting to be loved in a family

Please pray for funds needed for airfare and in country hospital.
We are not yet fully funded.

Thank you .......this would not have been possible without the incredible love and support we have received.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayer Request

Please keep Hope in your prayers, as I am concerned about her fragile health. We have court coming up on Friday, so we need you to lift us up as this crucial date nears. Thank you.

Also, the Changing Lives Auction is up and running.  Such incredible donations!  I am overwhelmed with how many people and companies donated!  Hope, Christopher, Sam and Ella, you are cherished!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Want to Change Lives?

We are so excited for our upcoming auction with the Sutton and Collicot Families!  I can't begin to describe the incredible number and variety of items that have been donated. I have NEVER seen items like this offered in one auction!  Well over 100 BRAND-NEW items, all donated to benefit four orphans being brought home by three families.  

Here's a glimpse at some of the goodies: 

A brand new, in-the-box, no longer available in stores, American Girl doll!
Natibaby Wrap!

A RadianRXT car seat!  
CHRISTIAN HEROES: THEN & NOW donated a complete set (books 1-42)!!

There's a Scout Zip Hammock from Hennessy Hammock!

THREE winners receive Universal sets of Math-U-See!

 THREE winners receive a complete set of Spelling You See!

Really, truly, there's something for EVERYONE in this auction!  Come take a peek at more of the items available at this link: Changing Lives Auction.  

Bidding will start on Nov. 1 and continue to November 15th.  I hope to see you there!