Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Good Intentions" has a home

Random Act of Kindness (RAOK #2 )

The food that I purchased on Monday has a home (read July 4th's "Good Intentions" post)! My mother shared with me that FreshStart Resources was doing a food drive for single parents. I looked at their list of needs, and knew immediately what I needed to do. God is so good!

FreshStart Resources currently has 46 families on their roster that represent 122 people. They will be receiving donations Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm through July 18th. Please call 615-822-6772 if you are interested in helping.


Taking care of our dog, Gnash, is Austin's reponsibility this month.
Gnash received a bath from Momma!


The GREATEST mom on the planet received flowers this week from her FAVORITE CHILD! Oh! I mean her favorite daughter. Hee! Hee! I just had to put that in there for my brothers to see.

Not only is she my mom, she is one of my closest friends. I can always count on her to be there for our family. It doesn't matter what time it is or where she is, she's there if we need her. AND...she is the PERFECT Grandma. I really believe that our children would live with her if we gave them the opportunity. If our children read this post, the answer is NO! Don't ask! I'm keeping you all.

We love you, Mom, Grandma, Gram, Golden Graham, G-ma and G!

RAOK from Taylor

Taylor made her brother, Austin, his favorite food, BANANA BREAD! She made it ALL BY HERSELF too! She LOVES cooking, and enjoys experimenting with different flavors.

RAOK from Kevin

Kevin enjoys cooking too. He made breakfast for our entire family this morning. He gave his brother, Christian, plenty of water to help him feel better (102.5 temp). Also, Kevin was opening all the doors for the ladies yesterday. He is becoming quite the gentleman!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Good Intentions

Monday was unpredictable, to say the least. I drove to Nashville for a doctor's appointment only to find out that I was a week early. As I was leaving, I saw a woman standing next to the street. She was holding a sign asking for help as her three children were sitting nearby.

I must be totally honest with you. I have never given money to someone standing on the side of the road, because it totally frustrates me. I thought about my Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) goal, but I still couldn't do it. Then something happened. The car in front of me pulled over, rolled down her window and handed the woman a couple bags of groceries. The mother was grateful, and handed the food to the children. They immediately started pulling out food and started eating.

I knew what I needed to do. I drove a few miles down the road to Kroger and filled a grocery cart full of food. When I returned, the family was gone.

At first I thought I had completely failed at my RAOK #2. After several hours of reflection, I realized the important thing is not necessarily the completion of an act of kindness; it's being obedient to God's calling.

Now, onto RAOK #3.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

46 in 46 Days

I've always tried to teach our children the importance of random acts of kindness. When Christian and Austin were little, we had a "Star Chart." They earned stars for chores, reading, and acts of kindness. They would spend their stars on different things, such as bowling, movies, sleepovers, money, etc.

I'll never forget the look on Taylor's face when I suggested she do some random acts of kindness. She picked out five balloons to give to five different children and one beautiful bouquet of flowers to give to an elderly woman. She was excited at first, but then the look came. She was terrified. I asked if she wanted me to help her, and she said yes.

We sat in the car and prayed for God to show us who He wanted us to bless that day. Taylor would see a particular person, and say "that's not the one." We were driving around the shopping center when she spotted her, the perfect child! We stopped the car in the middle of the road, jumped out and walked up to the little girl and her parents. Taylor said "Merry Christmas" as she handed her a balloon. The sweet girl smiled, looked at Taylor and said "Feliz Navidad." It was beautiful moment for both girls.

I will be 46 years old in 46 days. Instead of being sad about getting older, I've decided to CELEBRATE with random acts of kindness. MY GOAL: 46 Random Acts of Kindness over the next 46 days.

RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS #1: Clean up all the toilet paper in my neighbor's yard from being rolled last night.

I would like to add that it was over 100 degrees and our 17 year old son, Christian, helped me. We are so proud of the man he is becoming!

It's really weird to ASK for a birthday present, but I am! Please consider joining me with a random act of kindness. Either comment on our blog or shoot me an email at with the details of how you blessed someone. This truly is the greatest gift you can give to a person, to yourself and to me.

Check back often for updates. I'll be including YOUR random acts of kindness too.

Have fun blessing others!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Widow's Project Completed

On Saturday, June 2, 2012, the Emerson family and 38 friends worked on a widow’s home and raised funds to bring home an orphan from Haiti.

Enjoy the below video!

It's not too late to donate!

Simply click here or mail your tax-deductible check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
P. O. Box 40
202 N. Ford Street
Gridley, IL  61744

IMPORTANT! Please write "Emerson #2388" in the memo line of your check.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Both Hands

Think of it like a charity golf outing; but instead of us golfing
to raise money, we are going to support a widow in need.


In May 2010, Trey and Cindy Emerson obeyed God’s call to be part of a medical mission trip to care for Haitian orphans. The unexpected part of their calling was meeting Beatrice, a beautiful 11 year old orphan that God meant to be the newest “Emerson kid.” We didn’t know how, when or why. We just knew God called and we have no choice but to obey.

Adoption is scary, overwhelming and frustrating. God is steadfast, trustworthy and replenishing of grace daily. We have grown to live Phillipians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Two years later, we still know God is faithful and we love our daughter even more.


Trey and Cindy met 11 year old Beatrice on a medical mission trip in Les Cayes, Haiti in May 2010. One evening after treating almost 600 orphans, Cindy walked into the bunkhouse to find Trey lying in bed looking at his digital camera. Cindy asked him what he was doing. He replied, "I'm looking at an orphan that I've fallen in love with." She replied, "I've fallen in love with one too. Let me see yours.”


They learned that both of Beatrice's parents were murdered in her presence. She then went to live with her grandmother who took her to the orphanage that the Emerson’s church, Long Hollow Baptist, is supporting. This, in itself, was a blessing since many Haitian orphans end up as child slaves, or restaveks.

Today, Beatrice is 13 years old. She is sweet, sassy and full of energy. She loves to sing and dance, and even enjoys a good game of football.


Lisa Hoover lost both her mom and her sister to cancer at a young age. As if that were not traumatic enough, she lost her husband, Scott, to cancer in 2004, her brother, Terry, in 2006 and her father in 2010. Despite these losses, Lisa is full of the true joy of life and is helping to care for her deceased brother’s two children and five grandchildren.

She loves the Lord and attends The Church at Indian Lake in Hendersonville, TN. She has three dogs and one ferret. She always has a smile and hilarious story to tell. She is FUNNY, FUNNY, FUNNY!

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father,
is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflications
JAMES 1:27


With your help, we have found a way to assist both Lisa AND the Emersons! On Saturday, June 2, 2012, our team will be doing repairs and a major landscaping project at Lisa’s home. We are asking you to sponsor us while we repair and improve Lisa’s home. Your sponsorship will go to Lifesong for Orphans and be given as a grant for the Emerson’s adoption. Think of it like a charity golf outing; but instead of us golfing to raise money, we are going to support a widow in need.

Watch this video of a past Both Hands project.

You can watch additional videos by going to and clicking on the names underneath PROJECTS. Click here for the direct link.

God desires orphans from all nations to be adopted into Christ-honoring families so they may ultimately be adopted into His eternal family through Jesus Christ. God calls us to fulfill James 1:27 "visit the fatherless…" but not all are called to adopt. Some are called to pray, some to give financially, some to go on mission trips, and some to adopt.

Trey and Cindy have sensed God's call . . . and have joyfully stepped out in faith and obedience to adopt Beatrice from Haiti.  As you may already know, one adoption can cost between $25,000 and $35,000 and prevents many godly families from adopting. Lifesong for Orphans believes God has raised up the Emerson family "for such a time as this…" We have partnered with Both Hands Foundation to provide an innovative method to help remove the financial barrier to the Emerson family adoption.

Will you sponsor us or one of our
team members as we
work on the widow’s home?

Instead of playing in a golf tournament or running a 5K race to raise money, we will be serving a widow and an orphan at the same time. Your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Best of all, 100% of all funds raised will go directly to cover adoption costs--nothing will be taken out for Lifesong for Orphans/Both Hands administrative costs.

There are two easy ways to donate:

1.  Click here or on the “Donate” button on the right-hand side of this page.
2.  Follow the online instructions to pay safely with your credit card or PayPal account.

1.  Please make your tax-deductible donation to Lifesong for Orphans.
2.  To ensure proper credit is given to the Emerson family,

     please write “Emerson #2388” on the memo line.
3.  Mail your check to:    
           Lifesong for Orphans
           PO Box 40 / 202 N Ford St
           Gridley, IL 61744

Every Dollar Helps!
  • $25      
  • $50      
  • $100      
  • $250      
  • $500      
  • $1,000      
  • $2,500      
  • $5,000      
  • Other $______
*100% of all funds raised will go directly to cover adoption costs—nothing will be taken out for Lifesong for Orphans’ administrative costs.

*Please note that in following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the non-profit organization Lifesong for Orphans. They retain full discretion over its use, but intend to honor the donor’s suggestion.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Need More Volunteers

Our Both Hands project is THIS SATURDAY on June 2nd where we will serve the needs of our beautiful widow, Lisa Hoover. Our rain out date is the following Saturday on June 9th. If you have no idea what this amazing project is all about, then click here.


We need people to help us work at Lisa's house on Project Day. We will be doing landscaping, painting, minor home repairs, etc. We would love to have you join us in this opportunity to bless Lisa. We are not asking you to send out support letters. We simply would love it if you could give us your time and muscle for the day.

Breakfast and lunch have been generously donated by Chick-fil-a, so we'll take care of feeding you.

Please let us know if you can help us all day or even a few hours.

Trey and Cindy Emerson

Thank you!
Trey and Cindy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Drum Roll Please

I write a sentence and then delete it. I write and sentence and then delete it. I write a sentence and then delete it. This is how it has been going for the past several minutes. I cannot put into words how excited, amazed, overjoyed, and blessed I feel at watching God orchestrate our Both Hands project.

Starting this project was exciting, but then reality hit. I freaked. How were we going to pull the team, resources and donations together? Have you really looked at the extent of this project? There's a lot to do and with NO MONEY! Why do I ever doubt God? When He makes the plan, He provides the way. He has shown me this over and over again, and yet, I still worry sometimes. Lord, thank you for never giving up on me, loving me and always providing a way for your perfect plan to come together.

Soooooo, drum roll please...

We have been blessed with more donations for our widow, Lisa Hoover, from these companies. PLEASE thank them with your support.

Rogers Group donated 2 loads of gravel valued at $700!

Publix donated 5 cases of bottled water for our work team on Project Day!

The Church at Indian Lake (our widow's home church)
donated landscaping valued at $550!

Todd Hunley, owner of Chick-fil-a at Rivergate, donated
breakfast and lunch for our work team on Project Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Perfect Pair

We just learned that we are GOING TO HAITI at the end of July! Trey and I are traveling with one of our sons, AUSTIN, and our niece, SALLY. These 14 year olds are so excited and cannot wait to GO and SERVE the orphans. They are even raising their own money to GO - $1,800 per person. We are incredibly proud of these two!

While I'm on the subject of raising money, please look at the below picture. We are selling these PERSONALIZED pictures for our adoption fund. We made a couple of these last year and gave them as wedding gifts. Then, of course, I had to make one for us too! YES! That is our picture frame below!

Wedding Gifts, Anniversaries, Just Because I Love You
Just Because I Want to Help Bring an Orphan Home

Picture Only
5 x 7 - $10
8 x 10 - $15

Picture in a White Matted Black Frame
5 x 7 - $35
8 x 10 - $55

Shipping is Available


To place an order, please contact Cynthia Emerson at
to give her the names and date for your personalized frame.

Thank you for supporting us!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We are in IBESR!

Recently, IBESR (Haitian Social Services) stopped accepting new dossiers until June 1, 2012 (it's been extended to July 31, 2012) in order for them to get caught up. I quietly kept praying that our dossier had made it before the cut-off date. we received our answer!

Thank you, Lord, for blessing us today!

What is a dossier? A set of legal documents and adoption papers used in international adoptions. The adoption papers include our home study, marriage license, birth certificates, health certificates - to name a few. Basically, our dossier took months to prepare and several thousand dollars. 

What is IBESR?  It stands for "Institut du BienEtre Social et de Recherches." See why it's simply called IBESR! Here is a great description that I found online:

Your child's paperwork is put together with your documents and
the file is then presented to IBESR (Haiti's Social Service Department)
where a social worker will look over all of your documents and decide
whether to approve your adoption request. The director of IBESR,
the IBESR lawyer, the head of adoption services at IBESR, and the
IBESR social worker must all sign off on your dossier.
This is four stages of approval.

For those of you who are great prayer warriors: Please pray that our dossier comes OUT OF IBESR before they start accepting new dossiers on June 1st (extended to July 31st). We've known families to be in IBESR for months and months and months. However, with their department being closed to "catch up," I firmly believe that this is a possiblity.

Some new pics!

Aerial shot of the orphanage where Beatrice currently lives.

My new friend, Carly, and Beatrice!

Walking by Faith Alone,


Thursday, May 3, 2012


So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
- Luke 11:9

I was on my way home today when the phone rang. It was Christian asking where we were (Austin was with me). Thank goodness we were only a mile from home, because Christian couldn't wait to show me a SURPRISE.

He met us in the garage, and then walked us into the kitchen. Christian had neatly arranged our surprise - God had answered one our prayers! Seriously love it when God shows up!

Cordless DeWalt Drill, DeWalt Circular Saw,
12 pairs of a brown jersey work glove,
1,000 pieces of 1-5/8", 2-1/2", and 3" wood screws for attic,
24 tubes of a clear caulk sealant for windows, and two caulking guns. 

Marty Martin with Triangle Fastener is one of Christian's soccer coaches at Beech High School. He saw a Facebook post about our Both Hands project we are doing next month for a widow. He said "that is a great story" and wanted to help. YESTERDAY, we sent him to our website where our needs are listed to complete the widow's project. TODAY, we received some of the materials!

We didn't know how we could afford the cost of adoption, but we knew that God had called us to bring Beatrice home. When we are faithful and ask, God will provide!

Thank you Coach Marty and your business for blessing us, a widow, an orphan and for being an amazing example to our son, Christian!

Please take a moment to look at our list of needs. Maybe you or someone you know can help donate some of these items to help us complete the project for our beautiful widow, Lisa Hoover.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Do You Think?

I added two new pages to the blog tonight - BOTH HANDS OVERVIEW and BOTH HANDS TEAM. Let me know what you think!


Sunday, April 29, 2012


Just a quick reminder that our KICKOFF MEETING is TOMORROW evening at 6:30 pm. Please call/text us at 615-417-3377 or email us at for directions to our home.

If you have no idea what we're talking about, then please read the previous post on how you can help and orphan and a widow. IT'S FANTASTIC! WE ARE SERIOUSLY PUMPED!!

Our amazing and beautiful WIDOW, Lisa Hoover...

Our sweet and sassy ORPHAN, Beatrice...

We hope to see you all there tomorrow night!

Many blessings,
Trey and Cindy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Orphan and Widow

Dear Friends and Family,

Our Kickoff Meeting has been scheduled! Read on to find out who our surprise host is going to be and how you can help us.

As you know, we've been going through the process of adopting our beautiful little girl, Beatrice, from Haiti since May 2010. Initially, we were told the adoption costs would be around $6,000. However, as time went by, we learned the harsh reality that the fees could be over $30,000. We are confident that God called us to adopt Beatrice, so we firmly believe and trust in His ability to provide every single penny needed to bring our daughter home. 

There has been a very interesting and exciting fundraising idea that has been presented to us. We have a chance not only to raise the ransom for Beatrice, but to also serve a widow just like it talks about in the Bible.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the
Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their
affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
- JAMES 1:27

This is the heartbeat of a Both Hands Project: ONE HAND FOR THE ORPHAN

Please read this short message from JT Olson, the founder of Both Hands:

“If you told me you were working
on a widow’s house, I might help you…”

The idea for Both Hands came as a result of a simple letter for a friend. I wrote to ask if he’d sponsor me while I golfed. The funds would go to a wonderful ministry for women in crisis pregnancies. My friend sent back his letter with a handwritten message in the margin saying that he’d gladly support my efforts if I was working on a widow’s house instead of playing golf.

For five years that letter stuck with me. When another friend, who was adopting four children from Moldova, expressed his need to raise funds to pay for it, the idea for Both Hands grew legs. We recruited friends, found a widow’s house in need of repairs, got local businesses to donate supplies and food, and hundreds of people sent in checks (all tax-deductible) to sponsor the workers that day. It was a day that I will never forget! We raised enough money to put a dent in my friend’s adoption expenses, and totally transformed Miss Lucielle’s house: Success story number one and two!

- JT Olson

To give you a better understanding of how it works, please take five minutes and watch this video of a past Both Hands project:

Click here if the above video doesn't work.

You already know the orphan, Beatrice. Now, let us introduce you to our widow, Lisa Hoover

Lisa lost both her mom and her sister to cancer at a young age. As if that were not traumatic enough, she lost her husband to cancer in 2004, her brother, Terry, in 2006 and her father in 2010. Despite these losses, Lisa is full of the true joy of life and is helping to care for her deceased brother’s two children and five grandchildren. She truly needs our help!

She loves the Lord and attends The Church at Indian Lake. She has three dogs and one ferret and always has a smile and hilarious story to tell. She is FUNNY, FUNNY, FUNNY!

Here is our request: Will you please help us in one or more of these areas?

  • Pray for God’s blessings.
  • Share our story.
  • Volunteer to be a sponsored worker.
  • Help us by sponsoring a project volunteer.
  • Donate supplies for the widow’s house.

We are THRILLED to announce that JT Olson, the founder of Both Hands, will be hosting our Kickoff Meeting! Whether you are ready to jump in and help serve the orphan and widow, or have some questions, we hope that you will attend our first meeting.


RSVP is not required, but certainly appreciated.

Monday, April 30, 2012
6:30 pm
Home of Trey and Cindy Emerson

Due to internet security reasons,
please email or call us for our home address.


Thank you, in advance, for your prayers and help!
Many blessings,

Trey and Cindy

Friday, March 16, 2012

First Experiences

Our son, Christian, has a soccer game this evening in Mobile, AL and one tomorrow in Daphne, AL. Since we were so close to the beach, we traveled down to Gulf Shores on Tuesday. Christian and Austin have been here before, but it was my first trip. Oh, how they loved showing me (MOM!) around. Kind of weird, but fun!

Another first for me was seeing DENSE FOG on the beach that lasted ALL DAY LONG. Absolutely incredible!

Christian, Austin and their friend, Gage,
playing soccer on the beach

And yes, another first! LAMBERT'S CAFE! There were lots of staff walking around giving you food, playing jokes on you, and throwing rolls everywhere. One roll was thrown from across the room, hit the flag above us, came crashing down onto our table, hit Austin's BBQ sauce and then went all over me. Oh, and then there's the BEST, MEANEST AND FUNNIEST WAITRESS that I have ever had in my entire life. I seriously can't wait to go back just to see her.

Just down from Lambert's Cafe was a Creole Bistro. I'm sure Beatrice would have loved this place! One day, in God's perfect timing, we will be walking through those doors with her.

My parents came down in their motorhome, so Austin and I have been staying with them (Christian is required to stay at the hotel with his team). I LOVE spending this time with my parents!! As we were all soaking up the sun on the beach today, I just kept daydreaming about the day we would be able to take Beatrice on a trip. I can't wait to share in her first experiences! Just imagine all the possibilities.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Picture!

Mike Morris took this picture of Beatrice yesterday.
She looks absolutely amazing!

Some of you couldn't view the video from yesterday's post.
Try clicking this link:

Praying Beatrice is home THIS YEAR!
Trey and Cindy

Friday, March 9, 2012

Long Awaited Update

A lot of you have been asking for an update. First, let me say that I'm sorry for not blogging sooner. The truth is that I've been in an emotional "funk" since my trip in November. I'm tired of feeling this way! Today, I am CHOOSING to hold onto God's hand and allow Him to walk me through this journey. I'm sure there will be times that I will want to let go, so I need your help to kick my tail. Yes, I'm giving you permission to hold me accountable.

Now, the update...

  • A team left for Haiti today at 6 am. They have already arrived and loving on all the orphans as I type this post. YAY! I'm seriously stalking the team's Facebook pages in hopes of finding any pictures of our daughter! I'm not kidding; I really am!
  • Sonia, our attorney in Port-au-Prince was able to get the extracts for Beatrice. Extracts is just a fancy word for her parent's death certificates. This alone took a few months. Crazy, huh?
  • The team took some updated paperwork to our attorney today. This will allow Sonia to move Beatrice to the creche and enter IBESR. We ask that you pray with us that this process will move quickly.
Lifesong for Orphans, a non-profit organization, approved us for a Both Hands project! We are extremely excited about this opportunity!

It is a program that helps
an ORPHAN and a WIDOW!

Well, we have the orphan, our sweet and beautiful daughter, Beatrice! Now, we need a deserving widow.

Do you know of a widow
that we can serve?

I would sincerely appreciate if you would take the time to watch this video. It will help you understand the Both Hands project, and hopefully, inspire you to be a part of it.

Click this link if you can't view the above video.

Please consider being a part of this project; we cannot do this without you!

  • Do you know a deserving widow? If yes, please call me at 615-417-3377 or email me at We need to make this decision ASAP.
  • Pray for blessings over this project: pray for Beatrice, pray for us as God guides us to choose our widow, and pray that God pulls together a mighty and powerful team to help serve both the orphan and the widow.
  • Be on our team. Help us to send out sponsorship letters and make this one-day event a huge success.
  • Be a volunteer. Work on the one-day event.
  • Donate supplies for the widow's project (we will have more details to her specific needs later).
  • Sponsor our Both Hands project. Every single penny donated to this project is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE and will go to our adoption.
  • Spread the word to your friends and family about our Both Hands project.

Please let us know if you are willing to help, and in what specific areas. Simply call me at 615-417-3377 or send me an email at

"Religion that is pure and undefiled
before God, the Father, is this:
to visit orphans and widows in
their affliction." James 1:27

Thank you for walking the journey with us!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    A Letter from Beatrice

    We want to thank Jamie Blackwell for loving on Beatrice last week in Haiti, and for bringing us back a letter from our sweet daughter. Also, we want to thank Brian Jackson for interpreting the letter for us.

    Here's a copy of the letter...

    FYI before reading the translation...When I was leaving Haiti last November, Beatrice started crying. Through a translator, I told her to always look at the moon at night and know that I would be looking at it too. It would remind her how much I love her.

    Now, the translation...

    Good Morning Mama,

    How are you? I pray for you each day. I think about you mommy. I don't forget you. I remember you, a lot. Each night, I go to sleep, I think about you. I go outside, I look at the moon, I remember you, I cry mama. Please greet Papa for me. Mama - Sandals you gave me can only fit Claudia. Please bring sandals for me and clothes for me.

    Bye Bye Mama

    And now some great pictures from last week...

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Still Here

    I just wanted to take a moment to ask for prayer. It's been almost two months since we returned from Haiti, and I still can't blog about our trip. It was great seeing our daughter, and witnessing my mom meet her granddaughter for the first time. However, there's a lot that I can't talk about. It's just too hard.

    God called us to adopt, but He didn't say it would be easy. Please know that I would sincerely appreciate all your prayers to help me get through this rough season. I can't do it alone.

    On a good note, our friend, Erica, is in Haiti right now. She sent the below picture of the four children being adopted from this orphanage. She titled the picture "Four very patient kiddos." How true!