It’s that time of the week again – Fundraiser Friday! If you haven’t heard about our weekly fundraisers, head back to our blog and Instagram to find out who we’ve featured so far and read each of their stories.

This week we are featuring another adoptive momma, who’s fighting for her little girl with everything she has. Rebecca moved to Ghana a few years ago to run a program for children with special needs. Through her journey there, she met her daughter, Ellie Grace, who has cerebral palsy and microcephaly. She has the sweetest smile and a giggle that makes you smile from the inside out.

Over the last year, they’ve hit roadblock after roadblock trying to get Ellie back to the states for medical treatment and surgeries. Just when everything was starting to move in the right direction, they hit one of the biggest roadblocks yet. Instead of being defeated and giving up, Rebecca has handled each setback with grace and patience, relying solely on the One who has their path figured out.

While exciting things are happening, Rebecca and Ellie must stay in Ghana a little longer than expected. Our hope with this fundraiser is to help them with living expenses as they continue to fight with everything they have. You can read more about Ellie’s adventures here on their blog.

For the next week, $10 from each wood-burned sign and 100% of the proceeds from each digital print go towards Rebecca and Ellie. You can find both on our Etsy shop here.

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You may have seen our post last week announcing our new fundraising campaigns when we shared our “It Takes a Village” fundraiser to support the Wall Family adoption. If you haven’t heard, each week we will be choosing a different family/individual/organization to feature for one week, where $10 from each wood-burned sign and all the proceeds from the digital print go to the featured recipient. Each design will be custom to the campaign and will be retired at the end of the week! Thank you guys for supporting the Wall Family as they work to bring their sweet boy home from Uganda!

This week we want to introduce you to someone who is near and dear to our hearts, though we haven’t actually met in person. Today, we want to share a little bit of Mandie Joy’s story as her and her kiddos are walking through challenge and heartbreak.

Three years ago, Mandie Joy adopted two sweet girls from Uganda. Not only have they walked the hard road that adoption brings, but Mandie also became a foster mama even before adopting her beautiful girls. They have kiddos going in and out of their house, providing a safe and loving space, even if just for a short time. They have cultivated a home of rest and healing for whoever may need it at any given time.

Fast forward to last month. Mandie Joy was diagnosed with cancer in her leg. After undergoing surgery, they found that the cancer had spread more than they were hoping. Not only does this mean a much longer recovery time, but also will affect what she is able to do physically for the rest of her life. Her sole income comes from nannying (which she has not been able to do at this time), as well as her cute little Etsy shop (which you can see HERE). We are so excited to feature her as our next fundraising campaign to help supplement her income, as well as help with any other costs associated with her surgery and recovery.

Through all the trials and heartbreaks Mandie Joy has walked through, she’s never stopped pointing people to Jesus. He is still good through it all, making all things new – no matter what challenges may be in front of them. We are so thankful for the way she displays strength in a way that is God given and hope-filled.

To support MJ and her kiddos, you can purchase the wood-burned sign HERE & the digital print HERE through May 12, 2016.

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We’re excited to start a new blog series called “Things We Love”, where each Thursday we share a few of our favorite companies & products with you! We love trying out new products and want to share some of our best finds with you. Here is our first week of “Things We Love”.

1. Mr. B’s Necessities

Not only did we share a shop several years ago, but we are good friends with the founders of Mr. B’s, Shem & Lara. They have an amazing line of natural skin care/bath & body products that we just can’t get enough of. From the BEST candles ever to their new natural deodorant, they make some of the best naturally scented and produced products out there. They only use essential oils for all the scents & use all natural ingredients in all of their products. I just started using their natural deodorant and it’s a game changer. We also almost always have one of their candles burning in our house. We just can’t get enough. Definitely check out Mr. B’s on their website here or pop into their shop if you’re ever in San Diego.

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2. Lovishly

You may have already heard of Lovishly through our Instagram or recent collaboration with them (check out the BRAVE LOVE necklaces here), since we barely go a day without wearing one of their beautiful necklaces. Not only do they make the most stunning jewelry, but their ultimate goal is to support and give back to the community they live in. They partner with a different non-profit each month, developing a necklace spreads the word and financially supports the chosen organization. We love the mission behind Lovishly, as well as the people behind the scenes who make everything possible. You’ll want to head over to their website to check out their amazing collection and you can find the necklace pictured below here.

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3. Perfect Bar

If you asked the kids what their favorite food is, they would most likely respond “bar”, which basically translates into any flavor of Perfect Bar they can get their little hands on. While my personal favorite is the Almond Butter, you can’t really go wrong with any of their flavors and they even have mini bars! They are all made with completely natural ingredients, complex carbs, and a ton of protein, making them not only delicious, but good for you too. We’ve been able to work with them for many years and have loved watching them expand and grow. Check out their website here to find out where you can buy them. But I hear you can get that at Costco in bulk ;)

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Hugs,
Keary

IT IS FINISHED.
Happy Easter from The Cheneys!

Our hearts are overjoyed to introduce you to our beautiful children, Oliver Brave and Zola Jo. We’ll share more later on the story behind the kids names, it’s pretty amazing. After living in Uganda for the last 15 months fighting for our kids, we are finally HOME!

We left Uganda on Good Friday and woke up in our home in San Diego for the first time as a family of four on Easter Sunday. His redemption has been so evident in our journey, it only seems fitting that he would end this chapter of our lives on the same weekend we remember His ultimate sacrifice and the beginning of the world’s redemption story.

There are no words for the way our hearts felt walking off the plane yesterday and being welcomed home by friends and family! It was truly the best and sweetest day of my life!

Through His grace, and His grace only, we have made it through the most challenging 15 months of our lives. We experienced many trials – from Ollie fighting for his life, to me ending up in a coma in the hospital where I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) at the age of 26 in the middle of Ollie’s adoption. 2.5 months after my diagnosis, we were asked to foster a sweet girl in Uganda who was also just diagnosed with T1D, which led to her adoption and making her a part of our family forever. I knew there was purpose to my diagnosis the moment we heard about Zola. It has been the most humbling experience to be used by The Lord in this way. The last year has been far from easy, but our faith has been increased far beyond what I knew possible. We have seen beautiful redemption, we know love deeper because of these two children, and we have been wrecked by the love of Jesus. I am overwhelmed by a God who chose to show us His extravagant love for us through this journey. Words cannot express our gratitude for the ways you have fiercely loved and supported our family. We are forever changed because of glory.

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Our first day home has been filled with the most precious moments and I have said “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” probably 100 times already. We were welcomed at the airport yesterday by friends and family, we cried all the tears, and have been soaking in all the firsts with the kids. Zola asks a thousand questions and their faces are filled with such joy as they discover new things. Watching them seem their own bedroom for the first time was the sweetest thing and to meet people that have prayed hard for these kids! Most of the time it doesn’t even feel real that we’re home. We have longed and prayed for this for so long, and it’s finally here! Today has been the most precious gift! God is so good and we are forever changed!

In case you’re new to our story, you can catch up over on Instagram > HERE

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Thank you Kandis Marino Photography for capturing these moments at the airport! 23Getting ready to board our 16 hours flight from Dubai to LAX. The kids did way better than we expected, no meltdowns, and a whole lot of laps around the plane to keep Ollie entertained!

Dexcom has literally been a lifesaver on multiple occasions living in Uganda with Type 1 Diabetes!

5Dexcom twinning! 67Thank you Nina & Wes for capturing our sweet family on film!89We’d told Zola all about Starbucks and she loves green tea. We weren’t even in the car 5 minutes leaving the airport and she asked where Starbucks was. It’s pretty safe to say she LOVED having her own cup with her beloved tea. And it was the first time I had coffee in months. All the praise hands for knowing the exact amount of carbs in my drink every single time…thanks Starbucks! Oh how I’ve missed iced coffee!

Easter Sunday…the first morning we woke up as a family of four in our home in San Diego. This was the first time I have ever pushed my kids in a stroller. We walked to Starbucks with our dog, Milo, and loved watching the kids ask questions about everything they saw. I think we’ll be logging a lot of miles in this thing!

Thank you Kelly for loving our family well and capturing this sweet moment!1

Be sure to stay tuned as we’ll be posting lots of photos of the kids over the coming weeks from our 15 months in Uganda!

We are so excited to get back to work and building, and in the meantime, we listed a ton of new bracelets and necklaces that were handmade in Uganda. These go fast, so grab them while they’re available!

VISIT OUR SHOP > HERE

Instagram > @graceandsalt
Instagram > @type1brave
Facebook > Grace & Salt
Facebook > Type 1 Brave
Youcaring.com/t1djunebug

e-mail: kearydee@me.com or use the contact form on this site

We could not have done this year without the love, prayer, and support of all of you. You have truly carried us through a hard season! We weren’t expecting all the delays that we had with June Bug’s adoption, as in things taking about four times longer than expected, and because of it, we are running low on medical supplies. I even took my Dexcom out of my arms because we are so low on sensors that we won’t have enough for both June Bug and I till we get home, and it’s more important for her to have one than for me. We have brought or had someone bring over supplies several times now since nothing is available here and we are nearing the end of what we have left! Because our bodies rely on these things to stay alive every single day, it’s fairly urgent that we replenish our nearly depleted stock.

Tomorrow is 11 months since the day I ended up in a coma and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Two and a half months later, June Bug joined our family who had just been diagnosed with Type 1 as well. In case you missed the whole story, you can read my diagnosis story {HERE} and about how June Bug joined our family {HERE}. Between the two of us, we have pricked our fingers and tested our blood sugar over 4000 times. And we have given ourselves over 3300 injections. In 11 MONTHS! Some days I can’t believe it’s already been almost a year since I was diagnosed, and other days I feel like I’ve had it forever and have forgotten what life is like prior to diagnosis. I have forgotten what it’s like to just grab a snack from the fridge and run out the door, or to leave the house without a purse full of supplies, or what it’s like to sleep a solid night without dexcom alarms going off and nightly blood sugar checks. I have forgotten what it’s like to order anything I want off a restaurant menu, or to not freak out when I’ve taken insulin and then the server comes to tell me they’re out of what I ordered, or without asking swap out food in my meal that just doubled the amount of carbs on my plate which I didn’t take insulin for. This disease consumes your mind all day and there’s never a break or a day off. I have to be on my game 24 hours a day. And living with T1D in Uganda is 100 times harder than in America. BUT…God redeems and he brought so much purpose to my diagnosis when he brought June Bug into our family! He remains sovereign!

Thank you for the ways you have lavishly loved our family, fervently prayed for us, found unique ways to meet tangible needs, and been such a source of encouragement! Any words just seem so inadequate to express our gratitude!

If you know someone coming to Jinja, Uganda in the next week or so, can you please send me an e-mail at kearydee@me.com. Since shipping is not an option to Uganda, we would need these items brought over by someone already coming ASAP!

Below are some of our current urgent needs

URGENT NEEDS
-Dexcom G4 Sensors (we’ll take expired ones too)
Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Test Strips
Accu-Chek Smart View Test Strips
-Freestyle Lite Test Strips

We can use any of the above strips since we have all three types of meters that those match up with. Those links above are where supplies can be purchased from Amazon.

 >>>  ITEMS CAN BE SHIPPED TO  <<<
Keary Cheney
PO BOX 230209
Encinitas, CA 92023

*Packages MUST be address to Keary Cheney or they will be returned to sender by USPS*

My friend, Lis, will collect everything and ship it to whoever is coming to Uganda the soonest! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus!

Donations can also be made through YouCaring that allow us to continue to buy supplies. We are so incredibly thankful for the way you have loved and supported our family in this journey!

{ DONATE HERE }

THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU

keary-3Justin has become a master at inserting Dexcom while I hold this sweet girl! He can do the whole process in under two minutes!

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After inserting the new sensor into her arm, we re-start the sensor on the transmitter and in two hours it will be ready to calibrate by testing her blood twice to make sure it’s nice and accurate!

“I WILL CHANGE THE WORLD” tee from Camplight Apparel.

01.13.16-10 copyThese two are the best of buds. I love watching their sweet little relationship grow. June Bug is such a big helper to Ollie, and Ollie asks about her nonstop if she’s not in the same room as him. Oh my heart.

09.18.15 re-sized-6 copyThis one is a throwback to September on new dex day (we call it)…gosh her hair has grown so much!

Headband by: Jjajja Baby Co