Friday, May 31, 2013

The table, Phase 1: Sanding

Recently, Kyle and I found an old beat-up table on the side of the road near his house. Because we are huge fans of upcycling and reusing materials we decided to take in this castaway (which is a secretly large, beautiful, solid-wood table!) and restore it.

So, armed with a few pieces of sandpaper and having read a grand total of zero Pinterest tutorials on how to refurbish furniture, we settled in for the long haul of hand-sanding a giant table. After about 10 seconds of this labor, I suggested we get a power-sander, but my little environmentalist partner insisted it was better not to use electricity and more fun to do it by hand, so our painstaking process continued.

Day 1: The table top.

Day 2: The base.

After a few lengthy sanding sessions we are probably half-way done with getting the thick finish off of the wood. It may be a while before I post about the next step of this project! We are, however, enjoying our time in the sunshine working together on this piece of furniture for our soon-to-be home!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Adoption Fund

(Photo credit: Suzanna Stercho; Adak, Uganda 2010)

  Over the past few weeks, Kyle and I (but mostly Kyle!) have been working to create an Adoption Fund that people can give to instead of giving us wedding gifts. We both have the strong conviction that we will build our family through adoption instead of biologically. There are a lot reasons why we have chosen to do this, and we would gladly sit down with you if you would like to know more about our decision. Here are a few reasons why we have created this adoption fund:

1. We don't need much stuff... we tried making a traditional wedding registry at Target and after adding about 15 things we were done. We have both lived on our own for a while so we've accumulated the basics. Plus we love thrifting and gifting - Goodwill and other people's closets usually suffice in providing us whatever we need. And the success of an awesome three-dollar-Goodwill-find is much more satisfying than one from a department store!

2. Adoption can be expensive! (Especially international adoption.) And rightfully so - there are a lot of steps required to ensure the children's safety and to make sure everything goes as planned. When you think about it, all children cost money - you pay for a hospital, birthing center, midwife, etc. to ensure that your biological child enters this world safely. We are willing to pay a little extra to support an organization that helps bring children home to their forever families safely and ethically. Although it is expensive, we believe it is worth it to ensure that a child who is living in poverty, in an institution, with no one to care for him or her, with untreated medical and mental health needs, and without hope of a bright future can be brought into our family where we can provide him or her with love and care. You can not put a pricetag on family.

3. Over the years the experiences that Kyle and I have had both separately and together have opened our eyes and our hearts to the needs of so many children in our city and around the world who are in need of families. We have both been blessed with the opportunities to travel to developing countries - I to Costa Rica, Mexico, Uganda, and Kenya; he to Peru and Mexico; together to India - and have seen the many children living in orphanages or on the streets in need of homes and families. We have both worked (and Kyle lived for a period of time) in the inner city of Milwaukee, and I am currently interning with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. We see this great need in our own poverty-stricken and crime-ridden city where many children (and their parents) are trapped without means of escape. While we can not solve all of these issues, what we will have to give is love, stability, and nurturing care, and we will offer what we have to a child.

4. We can't do this alone. If you have children, you probably know where the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" comes from. Even healthy, emotionally-stable, and typically developing children can be a handful, and all parents need assistance sometimes. We know that many children who have experienced trauma, abandonment, neglect, and abuse have needs beyond those of typical children; therefore, we want to seek out support from our community, family and friends to pray for us and support us as we embark on this journey in the years to come. This adoption fund is a way that you can support us from the beginning, and we hope that you will also pray for us along the way!

So there you have a few reasons why we have created this fund. There are countless stories, people, and experiences which have led us to this place. But the one thing that has drawn us here most strongly is our conviction from God that this is how we are to build our family. This is not a decision we have made lightly (nor should it ever be), but thoughtfully and prayerfully. We ask that you please honor our decision though it may be different than your own

If you would like to sit down and chat with us about this, we would love to do that! Just let us know. More details about the fund are on our wedding website:

If you would like to give to us, you can do so by writing a check to 
"The Kyle Hines and Leilah Korban Trust Fund" 
and either giving it to us at our wedding or by mailing it to:
9541 W. Hadley St.
Milwaukee, WI 53222

Just as Jesus promises his followers in the Gospel of John, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you," so we wish to manifest this love in our lives. If you support us through prayer or a gift of money, we want to say thank you for helping us in this process! 

Glacier Bay National Park, 2016

If you'd asked me 5 years ago if I wanted to go to Alaska, I would have said "No way." But here I sit, just back from our...