Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Something that kinda changed my life.

My name is Claire and I’m 10 years old. When we adopted my brother and sister from Ethiopia In 2011, My heart began to swell with love for the orphans in the world. My mom and dad work for a ministry that cares for children who are put into prison for many reasons. They may be hungry and choose to steal a banana, or they may resort to pick pocketing. They could be homeless, or abandoned. Some kids are in these prisons for real crime, but no one is there to represent them in court for long periods of time. When my dad came home from his trip to Uganda he showed me his pictures of these kids and I was totally changed. I began to realize that the world was way bigger than I could imagine.

Inside these prison facilities Sixty Feet is providing for the kids immediate needs: food, clean water, medical care, clothing and bedding. They are trying to build strong relationships with these children through love and friendship and presenting the Gospel message to them. In addition, they are also trying to Improve the facilities themselves through power, water, sanitation, gardening, and building projects.There are some very amazing people who work at Sixty Feet in Uganda, such as nurses, counselors, social workers, teachers, and pastors who care for these children.

Someday, I want to go to Uganda myself and see all of the work that we’re doing with the kids. I want to meet these kids in real life. In the meantime, I’m doing all that I can here to help make a difference in their lives. I ran my first 5k with my mom, on Thanksgiving morning, November 28 2013 and raised $700 for Team Sixty Feet to offer hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa.

This April I'm going to be running again with team Sixty Feet at the Glass City Half Marathon/5K with my dad as my coach!!! I’d love for you to help me reach my goal of $1,000 for this race.

Here is the link you can use to join me in giving to these children. http://www.runsixtyfeet.com/rsf/myrun.php?refid=819840

Please pray for me as I continue to work hard to run and provide hope to some very special kids that desperately need it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

our new and exciting journey...

I've decided to emerge from the land of blog silence. It's funny how when you're going through an adoption, every day there is something to blog about...but once it's finished, there seems to be a lag in the information that one feels should be shared with the entire world.

Although we're not adopting again (yet?) there has been a lot of exciting and crazy things happening in the Seevers' home over the last several months that I've been dying to blog about...but alas, I wanted to wait until things took a bit more shape.

Many of you know that Jeff left his longtime job after 16 awesome years because the Lord was tugging on his heart to "step out of the boat". Jeff has been dreaming over the past few years for a career that would allow him to do what has been burning in his heart...working to help those that need it the most...the least of these. His desire was to work for a faith-based non profit organization, exploring ways to use communication in a way that would help people understand, connect to and ultimately change the world for the better, which in turn would tap into his passion to make a difference for the least of these...children around the world that have no one to stand up for them...to be their advocate.

About the same time, I was feeling a strong desire to pray that wherever the Lord led Jeff, it would somehow include me as well...my heart was also broken for the orphans and widows, as we had met, interacted with, and fell in love with so many of these precious people in Ethiopia while on our journey to adopt.

Mama Catherine with some of the many children Sixty Feet serves.

So pray we did. We prayed that the Lord would lead us to an organization that would be working to help "the least of these" and that somehow we could use our passions, as well as our talents to make a difference.

During that same time, I was asked to write a blog post for Sixty Feet's running team sharing my passion for running. They were planning their first half marathon and were launching a team to participate in the race. Well, one thing led to another and I was privileged to lead the team.

From the beginning we felt a real connection to the work of Sixty Feet. They work with children that are neglected with no hope. Down a winding dirt road in a secluded area outside the capital city of Kampala, Uganda, is a place where children are placed in prisons. Chained to bars, with no medical care or advocacy. No hope or restoration was in their future. Imprisoned? Yes. We can't possibly comprehend what that looks like because we have nothing like that here in the US. But indeed, it happens around the world. Maybe they steal a banana...or pick pocket. If caught, they're sent to a remand home (think juvenile center, but with cells and bars). Yet, in the third world, there are little to no resources to advocate for them or provide due process in court. Yes, there are also children that have actually committed real crimes, but they often end up in these jails right along side small children who are there because they're homeless and have no place to go.

Sixty Feet seeks to provide medical care, education, the Gospel, counseling and justice.
Sixty Feet provides hope and restoration to these imprisoned children, in Jesus’ name. These children are in this place as a result of abject poverty. AIDS, lack of education and medical care provide no alternative than for these children to fend for themselves. What the children need is an advocate. Someone who will stand in their corner and offer them hope that there is a brighter future.

Winston Churchill described Uganda as “the Pearl of Africa”. He was describing the beauty of the land. Indeed it is beautiful. There is no shortage of water in this lush African country. Yet like other African countries, much of Uganda’s water is polluted. Experts say that  that crystal clear, clean water is often less than 60 feet below the ground. Water that changes these people’s lives forever. It is humbling to think that less than sixty feet below the dusty little feet of these orphans is the purest water they could ever drink. However, it is just out of their reach. Everything seems just out of reach of these children, but Sixty Feet is doing something about it.

So, the need is great. But what does that mean for us? That is where you and I come in. You can build a bridge that connects them to their hopes and dreams for a brighter tomorrow. Hope born out of the gospel...being the hands and feet of Jesus.


The Need:

  • We are currently aware of six remand homes around the country of Uganda that are in various stages of disarray and neglect.
  • Our prayer is that through the work that we are doing, in the capital city of Kampala, we can provide a similar model of care that ensures that all of the needs of the children are addressed.
  • In addition to Uganda, other countries have invited Sixty Feet to discuss similar issues and assist them with solutions. 
  • Your support will enable us to equip these centers with the proper tools and structure needed, offering these children a brighter tomorrow.


The Solution:
We can not do this work alone. A holistic approach involving other partners is critical.

  • Ugandan government officials, Ministers of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Justice have provided great insight and partnership.
  • Ugandan pastors and educators have stepped up to ensure that the children are loved and cared for.
  • Sixty Feet team and parters are providing counseling, medical care and judicial support to those who are in great need.
  • Friends of Sixty are community members who include people like you, who believe in developing systems to support the growth of the ministry.

Last month, Jeff left his job to take up the cause for these children. Together, we’ll be working full time with Sixty Feet to develop communities of change...engaging people and organizations alike in understanding the challenges that these children and countries are facing. And to become part of the solution for this and future generations. We will also be traveling routinely to Uganda to minister to these children in tangible ways, as well as helping the in-country staff accomplish the goals together that we have set out to achieve.

We need to gather support for this effort. We are asking you to invest in these children by supporting Friends of Sixty Feet financially. Your contribution will go toward the costs of developing these communities of care as well as the work of solving some of the largest problems affecting the children of Uganda, and other countries in Africa.


If you would like to join us in this effort, please follow the link to donate. http://bit.ly/Seevers-FriendsofSixtyFeet. Your support is tax deductible. Friends of Sixty Feet and Sixty Feet are 501(c)(3) Corporations, and the ministry is an ECFA member and a Silver participant with the GuideStar Exchange.

If you have any questions about Sixty Feet, please feel free to message me.

Thanks for considering this amazing opportunity to be Jesus to these children.


Katie and Jeff

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Letter to Jamie Grace

Dear Jamie Grace, 
I'm gonna tell you one thing, I love  your songs and your relationship with the Lord!
ok... I'm the girl that you met at the concert in Michigan!  What is your favorite song on your Cd? My favorites are Show Jesus, You Lead, One Song At a time, and Hold Me! (with Toby Mac!)  I like him too! did you know that he's 49? Wow! By the way thank you for letting me meet you! I was screaming when I got down stairs! I told mom I would never wash my arm again because you wrote your signature on MY ARM!!!! I mean totally cool! And everybody thinks I got a tattoo?! I'm like what?... are you talking about.   


Love you, Girl!


P.S. for future reference I'm a God Girl!
P.P.S. you are a great singer!!!!
P.P.P.S. I used a lot of exclamations points!!!!  
P.P.S.S. my birthday is coming up, wanna come to my partaaay? ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tonight.


Tonight was one of those nights. It doesn't happen all the time, I mean how could it with a family of eight always on the go? Rushing from here to there and everywhere in between. We are constantly in motion, even if we're not. But tonight it happened. We played "duck duck goose". And "simon says". We read a story and cuddled in bed. We did "this little piggy" and prayed. 

I spent a little extra time tonight with each of my kids tonight...pouring into their little spirits. Hugging them a little tighter. What was different than other nights? I'm not really sure but tonight I saw each of them through the Father's eyes and it floored me. They are amazing.

It's so easy to get caught up in the daily to do list or the enormity of raising six kids. Yet, tonight I had grace. I pray for it daily, but tonight I decided to tap into it. 

As I was sitting in bed with Bedilu tonight telling him that he has THE CUTEST feet EVER ( really! You must look at them sometime), and that I love his laughter and his spunk, I felt the Lord nudge me in remembering... He's only been home for 15 months. and what a privilege it is to be his mom. I mean to really love him unconditionally. And I felt it. I ADORE that boy. Like way down deep in the recesses of my heart, deep. As my eyes filled with tears I found myself so forever humbled and grateful that The Lord would choose us. He chose us to be his family.

I moved on to our next child and the next. Filling up each of their tanks with affirmation and attention. I couldn't help but feel the love spilling over. Each one is so individually different and yet so amazingly incredible.

I am floored at how it's even possible to love my kids this much. And I was again given a glimpse into how much my FATHER must love me.

I am thankful for nights like tonight where the laughter fills our home, drowning out any stress or feelings of, " I can't do this again tomorrow". It really is true that His mercies are new every morning. I'm just glad that I got to see it first hand tonight. 

Although the "days are long... but the years are short" as my dad always likes to remind me, my time with our kids tonight will be etched on my heart as one of my favorite memories.

"Thank you God, for the reminder. And thanks for your redeeming light in our family."

Adoption has forever changed us. I never want to go back to the way things were. I'm thankful tonight for these six incredible children in our care.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Running for Justice and a whole lot more


Running gives me such a sense of freedom. I have room to think, pray and dream. After seeing poverty first hand during our adoption, I often wonder what it's like not to have these simple freedoms. What's great is that my running can actually do something to help others who don't have the same freedoms that I do. I'm running another half marathon this coming April that I'd like to share with you.


I’ll be running for cupcakes. Well, sort of. The Cupcake Kids began in the heart of a child who wondered if she could make cupcakes to change the lives of imprisoned children in Uganda. Since that time, it has grown into an amazing ministry supporting the work of Sixty Feet, an organization that provides hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Uganda in Jesus' name.

Their work aims to provide the following;

  • Counseling - Healing bind emotional wounds
  • Education - Training and development
  • Medical - Providing medical care
  • Justice - Supporting through legal guidance
  • Gospel - Sharing the gospel message of Jesus


My heart is moved by the justice piece, so I run to bring JUSTICE to the unloved children of Uganda. 

Together our team (Team 60 Feet) will run on April 27th in Nashville, Tennessee. Training for and completing the half marathon although challenging, is an exciting experience especially when running for such a great cause. I am motivated by the support of my friends, family, team members, and also by knowing that my work is benefiting an incredibly important and worthwhile cause.

I am turning 40 years old next month. As I think about the freedoms I've been blessed with, I want to be able to share my birthday with those who do not have the same freedoms that I do. I'd like to request that you stand along side us and sponsor me to see these children's lives changed.

In honor of my birthday, would you consider donating $40 for this incredible work? I'd like to raise $5,000.  100% of your donation will go directly to their work on the ground in Uganda. What tugs on your heart? Which of the five pillars speaks to you? You can donate in honor of whichever area speaks to you.


I’m excited to be able to be a part of what God is doing; to know that we're making a difference in the lives of these precious children, makes all the sweat and hard work worth it.

Thank you in advance for helping us achieve this goal.

Please visit this secure link http://bit.ly/ktruns4justice to make a tax deductible donation. Or, if you’d prefer, you can always send me a check made out to Sixty Feet with my name in the memo line. Simply detach the bottom of this post and send it back to me with your check.

I/we would like to make a donation to Sixty Feet by sponsoring Katie Seevers, running forIRFC in the Nashville Half Marathon on April 27, 2013 
My tax-deductible donation: $__________
Please print your name: __________________________________

Please email me for the mailing address.

Thank you again for making a significant difference in the lives of the least of these. James 1:27

Let’s get moving because “Love is never stationary”. Bob Goff







Friday, August 24, 2012

Running.

I love to run. Really I do. I can't believe I actually just typed that. Seriously. This feeling of love toward running is pretty new... well, I've been watching this love grow over the last 6 years. It was at that time that I started training for my first half marathon.



Me and my dear running friend, Kim





 Since then, I've had a baby (gaining 50 lbs, thank you very much. sigh.), lost the weight, started homeschooling, moved, run four half marathons, adopted two kids from Ethiopia and the list goes on and on...



I've found that my love of running has grown into a great stress reliever for me. It's also provided time alone (a rarity with six kids) and much needed time with God. My life verse that I've been hanging on lately is Psalm 46:10  He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." So, that is what I'm trying to do... Be still. For those of you that know me, this is a big feat. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Running also gives my brain rest. It allows me to think about random things like what smells I like/dislike while running. I'm sure you also want to know about these deep thoughts... so, I'll share them with you.


Things I like to smell while running:

dryer sheets (ahhhh fresh smelling laundry. love it!), lilac bushes (one of my favorites), gardinia bushes, cologne or perfume coming from a passerby, fresh baked donuts (this one almost does me in... and I don't even like donuts!), fresh brewed coffee (need I say more? well, actually I do need to say more. I loathe the taste of coffee. I know, I may lose a few friends over this admission.... I can't help it. I've tried and tried to like it. I force myself to drink it. blech. it's just gross.) and the creme de la creme?... my favorite thing to smell while running... a freshly lit cigarette. Yes, I admit it. I LOVE the smell of cigarette smoke. I've never smoked in my life. seriously. cross my heart. and I LOATHE the smell of smoke on a person's body, clothes, hair... and in their mouths. I used to be a hygienist and let me tell you it's NO fun cleaning a smoker's teeth. ICK. But... there's something about smelling the cigarette outside. ahhhh... I even take a deep breath. ha.


Things I dislike to smell while running:

fresh garbage (ewww), exhaust, bacon (makes me nauseated), dog poop (gag), stink bushes (not sure if that's their name, but  you know... those bushes that really stink), gas leaks (time to get Columbia Gas out to close the big gaping hole in the road with the exposed gas line) and yes, I do hold my breath while running by.

But even more than smells that I don't like... are people who make judgements on misinformation. In only two short weeks, I will run again. This time I'll be running to put a stop to stigma related to HIV. I'm teaming up with Project Hopeful (PH) and Team Truth (http://www.projecthopeful.org/team-truth). This organization is doing awesome things for many orphans around the world... as well as educating so many on the truths about HIV, and breaking down the stigmas and fallacies that have been circulating for 30+ years. Because of the amazing education given to us by PH and lots of prayer, we made the decision to open our hearts to the most overlooked orphans in the world... those with HIV. And Man, did we get blessed.




As much as I love running and the things that go along with it, my love has really grown into so much more than just time alone and staying fit. It has given me time to reflect on how much I love my incredible God, my amazing husband and my awesome kids. All 6 of them. Which is why last year, when I ran the Toledo Glass City Half, I did it in honor of our two kids from Ethiopia that we hadn't even met. In fact, we received our "unofficial" referral call just 5 days before the race. This was something that I had specifically been praying for and many thought that I was praying for the impossible. It was "unofficial" because they could only tell us that they wanted to match us with a boy (3 1/2) and a girl (18 months old)... we wouldn't actually see their faces for another (painful) four weeks. But on that day, I ran knowing that there was a little boy and baby girl waiting for us in Ethiopia. And that the Lord did indeed answer my prayer.

Knowing that we were adopting two children that both had been diagnosed with HIV, my dear friend, Jackie sent me some red laces... for my shoes.





I ran with pride on that day.






It's hard to believe that was only a year ago.


I'm honored to run with Team Truth as they continue to raise awareness, and break down barriers all around the world for so many orphans. But I need your help! Part of the deal with this race is that it's a fundraiser. Thanks to several generous friends, I'm soo close to raising $3000 for Team Truth. My total at this point is $2735. That means I only need to raise $365 to make my goal!!

Would you prayerfully consider making a donation to this race. Just go here. Scroll down, find my name and click. It's THAT easy.

As I've said before... I will do all of the hard work: training, sweating, dealing with blisters, dehydration, chafing, fatigue, sore muscles, pulled muscles, bone spurs, bunions (did I just type that??) etc. All you have to do is donate! And all of the money goes to help PH further their education to the masses... as well as help fund adoptions to families that are willing to adopt, but don't have the means. All children deserve homes. Loving homes. Let's all work together to bring more children into their homes forever.






Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.






Saturday, May 5, 2012

positively motivated

Have you ever seen the movie Chariots of Fire? I remember seeing this film as a kid. Forget the fact that I fell asleep during the middle. But the end…whoa. If slow motion running doesn’t put goose bumps on your epidermis, well…never mind.

Katie will be participating in a race of her own this coming September 9th, the Chicago Half Marathon. In it, she will be running for more than just herself. She will be running with TEAM TRUTH and ProjectHopeful.







You see, two of our children live with HIV.  It’s honestly not a big deal. Which is why you'll never see trumpets blowing, banners flying or any other crazy announcements. They are, first and foremost, incredible kids with an incredibly bright future.

If you’re like us, then you’re still sitting there, saying “okay, so what?”. But there might be others that just saw a giant elephant walk into the room…well, let us help you show that elephant the way out.

The elephant:

We saw the elephant too. But it has taught us that love is bigger than any fear, doubt, or stigma.

When we were led on the journey of adoption we knew that it would be a trans-formative journey. An exciting Indiana Jones adventure that leads you into uncharted territory, where you will be tested and tried, and come out on the other side with some kind of priceless historical artifact...or, maybe just some bumps and bruises.  

But as our journey began to unfold, God laid it on our hearts to be open to adopt children that others have looked over. Although initially intimidated at the thought of the unknown, we began asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. And for those who are still walking the elephant to the door, here is what we discovered;

Truth about HIV:

The CDC states: "Only specific fluids (blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk) from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. These specific fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the blood-stream (from a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur." (source)

In case you missed it, you can only contract HIV in three primary ways.
  • Unprotected sex
  • Sharing of needles
  • By birth/breastfeeding
That’s it. There’s never been a documented case of anyone contracting HIV in a normal household setting. You can’t get it by drinking out of the same cup, by giving hugs or kisses, wrestling, or just being plain goofy. What every normal family does.

Oh and here’s the other thing. If you are taking medication regularly, it can suppress the virus to undetectable levels. Did you read that last part? Un-detect-able. Virtually non-existent. This is the case with our kids.

Again…not a big deal.

These facts opened our hearts to these two awesome children. For those of you who have met them, they are incredibly special additions to our family.

Running the Race:

Katie will be running this race for our kids and to raise funds for the work that Project Hopeful is doing...spreading the truth about adoption and HIV.

So what does this have to do with Chariots of Fire? Well, everything really. In it, Eric Liddell said…
...I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape... But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.’ (http://youtu.be/7yoDE-3dTvU)

Life’s realities can be painful. And for our kids these realities could have been dire. But there is always hope... and truth.

To that end, we would like to raise $1000 for Project Hopeful as they continue to spread the truth about HIV and adoption. Would you please consider partnering with us by contributing to this worthwhile cause?

Hope and truth needs to be shared.

Donate at the Project Hopeful TEAM TRUTH site, scroll to the bottom and look for Katie's name.

Thank you.