About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, February 21, 2016

From the other side

So I finally got to attend our church's adoption conference from the other side of an adoption. It hit me about half-way through the conference that I'd never attended one from this perspective.

I'll never forget the first one we sat through as a couple, over-the-moon excited to gain enough information to begin our journey. (2007)

Then the following year, we went to another one while in process to adopt two specific older children we'd met through a hosting program. (2008)

The year after that, we grieved. (2009-2010) And we kept to ourselves for quite some time, processing the unexpected turn of events in our journey. We completely withdrew from the adoption ministry. Period.

Once we met Julian, everything changed. Our hearts broke for the older orphan, the ones starting life on their own without a family. Rather than hiding our story and covering our heads in shame and embarrassment, we wanted to share it with anyone and everyone. Not just our story, but Julian's story, too.

Yesterday Mike took on the responsibility to transport the boys back and forth between their soccer games and their D-Now weekend activities with church so I could spend the day in Rockwall at the adoption conference. For the first time, I welcomed all the post-adoption information.

I loved the breakout session called Adopting the Older Child, where I heard both Julian and Juan David's voices through the speakers' words. They talked about their own experience adopting a 15 year old boy, and then they gave the daunting statistics about the ones who never get adopted. What a privilege to now encourage others to prayerfully consider adopting an older child, just as we had done.

I'm so thankful for a church with such a big heart for adoption and a passion for foster and orphan care. What a great resource to have at your fingertips, no matter what stage of the adoption journey you find yourself in.

(I wish I'd gotten better pics. I took a few of Jason Castro while he sang, but they didn't turn out very well. Here's one I stole from the Adoption Ministry's Facebook page. :))

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lots of stuff in my head

I had to chuckle when a student walked into class the other day with a new excuse as to why she didn't bring her materials to class.

"Es que mi mama tiene muchas cosas en su cabeza." (It's just that my mom has a lot of stuff in her head.)

It made me chuckle, but it also hit home because I've been feeling the same way recently. Between cramming 48 parent conferences into one month (30 in the first week), keeping up with my boys' school, church, and soccer activities, managing my house with Mike out of town for a week, doing a final proof of my book, and gathering a book launch team--yeah, I'd say I've been a bit overwhelmed. I've had a lot of stuff in my head and no time to collect my thoughts.

I'm happy to say, though, that I made some good progress this week, despite thinking the contrary. My launch team is growing, and I'm encouraged to see the wide variety of social circles that my book advertisements can start reaching. I created a trailer for the book that I am anxious to start sharing, but I think I better wait until the launch date is closer. Looks like we're still 61 days away.

I apologize for skipping a week or two on the Unexpected Tears blog. I updated it today and scheduled all the remaining posts, which will take us up to the weekend of the Painful Waiting launch. Good timing! I hope you'll consider purchasing a copy of Unexpected Tears even if you read it all on the blog.

Yes, the truth is, by blogging the book, I really did give it all away for free. But when my publisher asked me to do it, she reminded me, "Rachelle, it's not about sales. It's about maximum Kingdom impact." That's why I love ABH. Sales or not, let's reach as many people for Christ as we can. I hope our story challenges you in some way to draw closer to Christ, to increase your faith, to believe for bigger things, to take God out of the box, and to lean on Him when nothing in life makes sense.

I can hardly wait to share Painful Waiting with you. Bear with me if I over-advertise, or if I seem a little scattered at times. I really do have a lot of stuff going on in my head, all of different ways to spread the word. It's such an amazing story of God's faithfulness, and I want to give Julian, Juan David, and their sister a voice to tell their story between the lines of my own. I hope, more than anything, that you hear their voices above my own.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Launch team

I would love for you to be part of my team!  Here are some things you can do to help me get the word out to as many people as we can about the book, Painful Waiting. You can pick and choose whatever you are comfortable with and have the time/ability to do.

Level 1: (I will consider you to be one of my bestest and dearest friends.J)

·         Share any of my posts from Surviving the Valley Series on your own page or even in any other groups you are in.

·         Share any Pinterest quotes from the book on your own page, in other groups, or on your own Pinterest account.

·         Share any of my posts from Surviving the Valley Series or any of my Pinterest quotes on your  Twitter account. #PainfulWaitingbook

·         Write a review on Amazon after it comes out.

·         Write a review on Amazon for Unexpected Tears if you read it (or if you read From the Mountain…to the Valley…and Back, since they are the same book.)

·         Talk to your friends about it! J

·         Advertise it in any adoption groups or circles you are a part of.

In addition to any of the Level 1 support, I would love to express my appreciation in a tangible way for anyone who would like to go above and beyond into levels 2 and 3.

Level 2: (I will send you the PDF version ahead of time so you can pre-read it, as long as you will commit to at least two of these things.  That’s right! You will get to read it before anyone else. The absolute most important is the book review on Amazon!)

·         Blog about the upcoming book before and after it launches.

·         Share other people’s blog posts about the book.

·         Find quotes that stand out to you and create a pin to add to our Pinterest page.

·         Write a review for the book to post on Amazon within the first week that it comes out.

·         Write a review (likely the same one) to post on Goodreads.

·         Allow me to do a guest blog on your blog.

Level 3: (I will send you a free autographed copy of the book as soon as I am able to order copies).

·         Help me connect with a radio show, newspaper, etc. to advertise the book.

·         Help me connect with a local church, group, or event where I could possibly tell our story or speak on behalf of the older orphan.

If you have other ideas, I welcome those, as well! And, of course, I will start a private Facebook page and e-mail group so I can be in contact with you to give you any important updates. Please e-mail me at ralspaug@gmail.com so I can add you.

With thanks from the bottom of the heart,