Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Shopping & Supporting Our Adoption

Looking for a unique way to help with our adoption?  Simply click on the Amazon link in the right-hand column of our blog.  Do your regular Amazon shopping.  That's it, super easy! For every sale, Amazon gives a % of the total to our adoption fund.  The more orders, the more they give.  Would you consider doing your Christmas shopping on Amazon this year and help us bring our child home?  Thank you!   MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saturday Sale

Come out this Saturday to shop and help us raise money for our adoption!!

A HUGE INDOOR sale to raise money for our adoption!
There will be tons of stuff:
home decor
handmade items
holiday decor
vintage Tupperware
Longaberger Baskets
vintage jewelry

Saturday November 15th 8-1

We will be accepting CASH and CREDIT CARDS! $5 minimum purchase to use your card!

Inside One Community Church
1415 Kemper St, Lynchburg, VA 24502

Come out and help us raise some money for our adoption!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Houston, We Have A Problem

Sorry for the lack of posts today.  My computer died today.  So, I spent this evening buying a new one and then setting it up.  Check back tomorrow for something awesome!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Giving This Week

This week, through Give1Save1, we have raised $110 so far!  With the matching grant we are at $220!  It's not too late to give $1 to help bring Mahesh home!  It's simple:  Give $1 and then ask all of your friends to do the same!  Click HERE to view a new video!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oh That Voice!

  Oh that sweet little voice!


Excited to announce that this week we are the featured family on the Give1Save1 blog!  The idea behind G1S1 is to have a lot of people giving $1 to the featured family.  Then, share the family story with your friends and ask all of them to give $1 as well.  So excited to be featured this week!  Click on the donate tab and give your $1 today!  Then, head over to G1S1 and check them out!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh That Smile

Some friends went to India a few weeks and brought back a few pictures of Mahesh. Cannot stand how stinkin' cute he is!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Vote & Help Bring Mahesh Home

As you may have noticed, I (Tobey) never really cut my hair. Todd likes it long and plain and  it is super easy to manage. Brush it & pull it into a ponytail. Takes me like 5 minutes to get ready in the morning.
So, what if we let YOU decide on a style change. GULP! What a unique scary FUN way to help bring Mahesh home.

Here's how it works:
Starting at 3pm on Sunday, October 5th, you can click HERE to vote for one of the styles shown below. 
$5 to vote for a style
$6 to vote for a style with highlights
Simply make a donation (of $5 or more) and put A,B, C or D in the comments section with your donation.
The style with the most votes at 8pm on Sunday, October 12th wins!
That week, Sarah Kline will cut Tobey's hair into the winning style.  Tobey will take the cut hair and donate it to Locks of Love.

So.... get voting and help us BRING MAHESH HOME!

Yes, option A is to keep Tobey's hair the same!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

India On My Mind

Today I found my mind drifting to India.  I want to be there right NOW with my son (just keepin' it real!).  What is it like when we go?  Check out this awesome video our friend Justin made during one of our trips.  And, you may recognize the handsome young man at 1:55.  My sweet boy! 

The Big World from Abandon Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


A few weeks ago, we officially registered with a placing agency.  And this week we signed with an agency to do our home-study.  That means we have been up to our eyeballs in paperwork!  We have spent hours filling out forms and making copies.  It seems overwhelming at times (hey, just keeping it real!) but we are making our way through it.  Just a few of the many steps we need to take to bring our son home.

Now that we have signed with our agencies, we have a more accurate breakdown of our expenses.  From the beginning we thought we would need to raise around $20,000.  Today we tallied it all up from both agencies.  What do we actually need to raise?  Approximately $32,000!  We were a little discouraged (again, just being honest!).  We are currently at $16000 raised towards our expenses.  We thought we were almost to our $20k goal,  We wanted to look on the positive side of things.  So, the good news is...  WE ARE HALFWAY THERE!!

Wonder why it cost so much to adopt?  Yeah, me too!  Click on the tab at the top of our page to see the adoption expenses breakdown.

Thank you for the prayers and support during our journey to bring Mahesh home!

I have been reading "Adopt Without Debt" by Julie Gumm.  There is a quote in the book that I really love: "There is not one example in the Bible of God calling someone to do something and then using debt as a tool to accomplish it!"  God has been with us EVERY step of the way and I know He will provide the rest of the funds we need!

Now.... on to planning the next fundraiser!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Hearts Are Full!

We started the adoption process just over 7 months ago.  Since then, we have been blessed with $13,050!!!!  We are almost 75% to our goal!
We are so thankful to each of you for your love and support. This whole process has been so peaceful for us.  We know that is because of all of the prayers we receive everyday.  THANK YOU!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Frequent Flier Miles - Got 'Em? We Need 'Em!

Looking for a unique way to support our adoption? Donate your frequent flier miles! Click HERE to donate. And, until June 30th, if you give miles, USAirways is giving bonus miles (For example, Share 50,000 miles & we will get the 50,000 miles + 25,000 bonus miles (75,000 total miles) and you get 25,000 bonus miles in return!). We can use the miles on our flights to bring Mahesh home!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sale Update

Yesterday, we did a joint fundraiser with another couple that is adopting.  It was a HUGE sale.  We were blown away by God's blessings on the day!
Thank you so much to everyone that made our day so awesome. Some gave items to sell or auction. Some prayed. Some shared. Some shopped. Some volunteered. ALL blessed us in a mighty way! The total amount raised was $4673.28! That is $2336.64 per couple towards our adoptions!! God is so amazing and we are grateful beyond words. Thank you for loving and supporting us! 
We are now 64.7% to our fundraising goal!

Sunday, May 25, 2014


We have partnered up with Emily and Michael Dunn  to do a joint fundraiser to bring Mahesh and their baby home. You can shop from home and help us.
Here is a link to start shopping with Thirty One Gifts now. 25% of all sales goes to bring these babies home!! (Thank you Shawna Ireson for setting this up for us!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Small Town Love Then & Now

Ah Babylon.  The small village on the south shore of Long Island.  This is where I (Tobey) lived until I was 21.  No matter where life has taken me, Babylon will always be home.  I loved growing up in a small town.  A town where everyone knows each other.  A town that helps each other in times of need.  A town that felt safe growing up. In the 19 years since I left NY, I have returned several times a year to see my family.  I can walk down Deer Park Ave (the main road that runs down town) and see tons of familiar faces.  It is a great place to grow up and then to stay and raise a family!

A few years ago, when my brother was diagnosed with leukemia, people that I hadn't heard from in years reached out to see how they could help. At that time, we started Chip's Army.  A support group for Chip during his battle with cancer.  One fundraiser in Babylon raised almost $4000 for Chip's medical bills.  During Chip's final days, Babylonians flew to San Diego to see him one last time and to pay respect to the family.  And, in May 2012, there was an amazing memorial service on the beach to celebrate Chip's life.  If you're from Babylon, you get the enormous amount of love & support we felt during this difficult time for our family.

Flash forward 2 years to Mother's Day 2014.  I come home from work and decide to check email before bed.  I received this message, along with a $500 donation to our adoption fund:

"A few fellow BHS Alum hope this helps bring your son home sooner. We'll send an email on your Facebook Page with the messages included with donations. Happy Mother's Day Tobey!!"

I shared with Todd and all we could do was hug and tear up as our family once again feels the love and support of Babylon.

Thank you to the gals that set this up. Thank you to those that gave. Thank you to those that can't give but support us in so many other ways. Thank you to those that pray for us and Mahesh everyday. And thank you Babylon for being Babylon! Your Mother's Day gift put us over the half way mark for our fundraising goal!

We cannot wait for the day we can take Mahesh to visit Babylon and to share all of the encouraging messages we received during our journey to bring him home.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Letter To A Waiting Mama

While stumbling across other adoption blogs tonight I came across a great letter that a woman wrote to all "Waiting Mamas" and I wanted to share it.  I know so many people adopting right now and the waiting is definitely the worst part!  Here is what I read:
To my many friends or readers who are in that purgatory — that hell — of waiting, I’m hoping to give you a little encouragement today. I know what it feels like. I know the constant ache of your heart, the struggle to be fully present for your family and friends when you feel like half your heart and half your brain (or more) is always wrapped up in something else. I remember all too well sneaking out of the bedroom in the middle of the night so I could secretly check my e-mail and see if there was any sort of paperwork update from the Congo, who was eight hours ahead. I remember bursting into tears whenever certain songs would come on the radio  (though I now love the song “Home”, I was convinced God was trying to torture me with its popularity and incessant radio time). I remember wanting to punch the people who said, “God has a plan.” I remember being torn between wanting to talk about my son all the time and dying for someone to ask me about him and wanting to hole up in the house so I could just stop answering the well-meaning “When will he be home?” questions. I remember feeling like I had nothing left to give anyone because I was so emotionally exhausted.Waiting Mama — this, too, shall pass. I know it doesn’t seem like it. It seems like you’ve been in this forever and maybe you have. Maybe you have been fighting for your child for years. Maybe you are on your third or fourth referral because the others have fallen through or because you’ve lost a child. It’s okay to be angry and upset that this takes so long. It shouldn’t have to. Children should be with their mamas and not in an orphanage and it is not part of “God’s plan” that your child is suffering hurt and pain while he waits for you. That’s part of the sinful, broken world we live in. You have a right to be outraged at the system that is keeping you apart. You have a right to your tears, to your void, to your heartache.

Just remember that you are not alone. Even though it may seem like you are out of control and you are the only one advocating for your child, God is fighting for you and for your child, too:

The Lord your God will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

I know those words won’t suddenly make your wait joyous. I know they won’t necessarily take away the deep ache you have for your child. But I hope that they make you feel less alone. And I hope knowing that there are other mamas who have shared your same pain and longing and are now on the other side is somehow encouraging to you.
One day your child will be in your arms.
One day you will no longer be waiting.
And I promise you this, waiting mama: that moment is so very worth the wait.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teaming Up For A HUGE Sale

We are partnering up with another couple going through the adoption process for a HUGE sale to benefit both of our adoptions!   We are asking for your help! Cleaning out the garage? Playroom? Closet? Why not donate the stuff you no longer want to our adoption fundraiser! Sellable items can be dropped off at two locations or we will arrange a pickup. If you have furniture or other large items we will be able to pick those up! We will be accepting donated items until June 15th. And the sale will be June 21st.  Message us to arrange drop off or pick up.  THANKS!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Give The Gift of Miles

Looking for a unique way to help us bring Mahesh home?  Have tons of frequent flier miles you are never going to use?  You can donate them to us to use towards our tickets!  You can even purchase miles for us!  Click here to get more info.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Ready for our next fundraiser?!  This one is AWESOME!  The winner will receive a brand new freezer.  Inside the freezer is a month's worth of dinners!  Hello... no cooking for 30 days!
So here's how this giveaway works. On the right side of the blog, at the top, is an "enter to win" tab. Click on that and you will have several options to enter - you can give a donation of $5 or more, and/or like our Facebook page "Journey With The Thurstons." Already like our page? You can still get an entry for that. You can donate every day for additional entries! The drawing will take place on April 30th at 11:59 pm.  We will DELIVER the freezer full of food to the winner (within 25 miles of Lynchburg,VA). This giveaway starts tonight at midnight and lasts for 10 days, so..... get ready, get set, and GO! 
All money raised will go towards our adoption expenses. We need to raise $20,000 to being Mahesh home. We are currently 42% of the way there!
May the best man (or woman) win!

Thank You!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Newspaper Article

Look who made the FRONT page of today's paper!  We were so excited when we were contacted about being interviewed.  What a great way to get people involved in our journey to bringing Mahesh home!  You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hope: One Drop Changes Everything

We invite you to join us on our journey to becoming parents. Over the last 8 years, we have longed to start a family, but because of our infertility we have been unsuccessful. After a ton of praying, the Lord placed the desire in our hearts to begin the adoption process. During a return trip to India, we felt led to adopt Mahesh. He is a sweet, kind 10 year old boy that we got to spend time with over the last few years. How awesome that God would place it on our hearts 2 years after meeting Mahesh to adopt him! We have partnered with Chrome Buffalo to sell this great t-shirt! We will receive $11.00 for every shirt that is purchased in the next 10 days and each dollar earned will go towards bringing Mahesh home. Also, we would LOVE to receive a picture of you wearing the t-shirt you purchased! It would give us such joy to one day show Mahesh pictures of those who loved him and helped us bring him home!

Go to to order your shirt today!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Who Doesn't Love A Good Kitchen Gadget?!

Cooking is fun, right?  At least with all of the right tools! 
We are pleased to announce our current fundraiser to help BRING MAHESH HOME!
Now through April 15th, go to

and order some amazing products.  The more that is ordered, the more that is given to our adoption fund.  The best part.... you do not have to be in Lynchburg to participate!  

Share with your friends too!

Thanks for helping us get closer to bringing Mahesh home!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Adoption Prints

My friend Shelby over at  Honeysuckle {Blog + Shop} designed these awesome prints for us to sell. They are $10 each (frames not included).  Message me on our Facebook page  if you want to order one!  These would make a great gift for a nursery!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thank You!

A HUGE thank you to everyone that helped make Girls Night Out a huge success!  We were able to raise $1000 to help bring Mahesh home!

Special thanks to:
Debby Ruffin @ the James River Conference Center
Katie @ The Burnt Orange
Shelby Goodman @ Honeysuckle Design & Things
Shawna Ireson @ Thirty-One
Freedom 4/24
Joy Johnson @ Stella & Dot
Tamara Walston @ Trades of Hope
Megan Ringi @ Premier Designs
Dayna Shesko @ Arbonne
Lin Thurston
Deb Dalrymple
Aimee Blanks
Jess Sanders
Amanda Farrell
Amber Gray
Brittany Harris

We could not have done it without you!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

We Made The News!

Yesterday, we were contacted by the local television station about them interviewing us today.  They wanted to highlight our adoption story and help promote our fundraiser this week.  Check out the story here .

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014


Thanks to all of you, we have raised 36% of the funds needed to bring Mahesh home.  THANK YOU doesn't even begin to describe how much we appreciate each of you that have prayed for us and have given funds towards our adoption.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Got Mine, Did You?

Look what came in the mail yesterday! It's not too late to order one for yourself! $11 from each shirt ordered goes towards bringing Mahesh home!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Heart Is In India

The past few days I have felt weird different. I don't know how to describe it really.  My heart had claimed Mahesh as my son months ago.  However, the last few days, my heart has ached to be with him. I find my self wondering:

-Did he have a good day at school?
-Are the other kids being nice to him?
-Did he sleep well?
-Did he have enough to eat today?
-How does he feel?
-Is he sick? If so, could I get to him?
-Does he think about us?
-Does he know how much we love him?
-Does he feel God's loving embrace when he is feeling down?

These are just a "few" of the things running through my mind lately.  I cannot wait for the day that I board a plane and travel for 40 hours just to hold him in my arms.  My heart is so full of love for him. 

I ran into our friends, Lou and Karen, while out to breakfast this morning.  I shared how I have been feeling.  Karen told me that what I am feeling doesn't go away, even when your children are near.  I guess I had my first feeling of parenthood.

Counting down the days until we bring him home!

"For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart." 1 Samuel 1:27

Monday, January 27, 2014

Live Love

Everyone loves a good tee shirt.  How about a cool looking shirt AND a good cause?!  For the next 10 days, we are partnering with Buffalo Chrome.  $11 from every t-shirt sold goes towards helping us bring Mahesh home.  Please share this page and get everyone you know to order a shirt. This is just one small way we can Live out Love!

Order your shirt today!                              

Friday, January 17, 2014

Shop And Help Us Raise Money

Looking for a way to support our adoption but not sure how?  Ever shop on  Well, now you can shop on Amazon WHILE helping us raise funds for our adoption.  Yep, simply go to: 

OR, click on the link on the side of our blog.  You will be taken to "our portal" for Amazon.  You do your normal Amazon shopping and they give us a % of the sale towards our adoption costs.  How awesome is that?!

Please pass this link along to your friends EVERYONE you know and help us bring Mahesh home!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little Bit Here & There

As we have been trying to think "outside of the box" to raise money for our adoption, I stumbled across a website with lots of interesting fundraisers.  I thought that for now, instead of trying to do another big fundraiser, what if we did a few small, practical ones.  So, here is one way to help:

Love coffee?  There is a company called Just Love Coffee that was started by a family that went through the adoption process to start their family. They realized that the cost of adoption is so expensive and that many people simply cannot afford to adopt, even though they want to.  They started the company and allow people that are adopting to fundraise through their company. In their first two years of business they have given over $200,000 to adopting families, non-profit organizations, and the arts.   What can you do?  If you buy coffee, simply start buying it through our "store" on their site.  A portion of  the sales will go into our adoption fund.  You get great FAIR TRADE coffee AND you help us.  WIN-WIN!

Go to  or simply click on their logo on the side of our blog!

Stay tuned for other ways to support our adoption.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thank You!!

We are blown away by all of the love & support we are receiving. THANK YOU!! We had our first fundraiser 2 months ago and we have already raised 33% of our goal!

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's a Boy!

Introducing........ MAHESH!  

We met Mahesh during our trips to India.  He is 10 years old and a student living at Jackson Mission School.  Here is a little of his story:

Mahesh was born into a very poor family. His father passed away when he was three. He has an older brother and sister.  Mahesh had health issues from the time he was born, including a form of tuberculosis, that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. He has since gained back full use of his left side, except for his hand.  After his father passed away, his mother struggled to feed Mahesh and his siblings and to be able to pay all of the medical expenses. Due to lack of medical attention, Mahesh grew terribly sick.  During this time, Mahesh’s mother heard of Global Gospel Ministries and the Jackson Mission School. She contacted Dr. Kadari, who  invited Mahesh to live at the school. He now enjoys good food, medical attention, schooling and clothing.
Last summer, one of the guys we traveled to India with spent time helping Mahesh do physical therapy on his left hand. In addition, a team member gave a $100 donation to allow Mahesh to receive more medical care for his unusable hand. After three months of physical therapy, Mahesh’s arm has been almost completely  healed and he can use his hand for the first time!!

We have enjoyed getting to know Mahesh since visiting India in 2011, 2012 and then again in 2013 (Todd stayed home in 2013).

It was during the 2013 trip that God started laying Mahesh on my heart.  Todd and I had made the decision to pursue adoption. We just weren't sure which direction God was leading us.

After returning home, we spoke to a local attorney about how to find out IF we can even adopt Mahesh, since he is not really an orphan.  Our first step was to find out if his mom would allow him to be adopted.  After hearing more about us (and our love for India) and seeking counsel from her Pastor, she agreed to sign off her parental rights and allow us to adopt him!  I could not imagine having to make that decision but she knows he will be well taken care of.  

Our second step was to hire an attorney in India. His job was to find out if Mahesh is "adoptable" by Indian government standards.  They normally do not like to split up sibling groups.  However, we found out today that he is adoptable!  This is based on his mom agreeing to give up her rights, her inability to care for him and, because of his arm/hand issues, he is considered "special needs."

We started this journey just 2 months ago and have already claimed him as our son.  We talk about what life will be like when he comes home. We have done some fundraising (the adoption will cost approximately $20,000!) and have raised just over $6500 so far!

Check back often for updates on our journey as well as more pictures of that sweet little boy that will one day call me mom!