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  1. Deanna says:

    I found your blog through Goruck and I’m completely taken aback by the humility and selflessness of your family. To say I’m addicted to your blog, experiences, and family is not enough. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. Many blessings for health and continuous love to you and yours!

    • hugs & punches says:

      Oh Deanna, you warm my heart. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. It’s certainly not all peaches and cream all the time but Ben and I feel that if God gives you a calling for something, who are we to ignore it?! He has given us the passion, love, patience, & strength to go through it all together and feel so blessed to have support from our family, friends, and even new friends whom we’ve never met {you!}.

      Thank you so much for being part of our journey. xo

  2. Molly Sheffield says:

    Hi Teresa! WOW — haven’t caught up with your family in YEARS. Probably Dave and Ben keep up via Twitter or something. Your family stories are amazeballs — reading about your most recent two children is heartwarming. What a blessing! Found your bloggy via one of our mutual friends — keep up the good, hard work. I’m adding you to my feedly.

    • hugs & punches says:

      Molly! Wow, it’s been TOO long! So excited you’re following along in the craziness that is Ben & my life, haha. So fun to hear from you! Would love to catch up : )

  3. Brad Horne says:

    Hey Teresa,

    It’s Brad, I hope you and Ben are enjoying the new additions to your family! Send me an email when your able, Mindy and I would like to get to know you guys better.

    God Bless

    • hugs & punches says:

      Brad! My long lost plane buddy. I’ll shoot you an email and see when you and your sweet family might be in town…we’d love to get to know you and Mindy better!

  4. Jenn says:

    So I’ve just stumbled across your blog, and am in love. With you, the hubbs, the kiddos, all of it. We, too, are talking adoption. I have a somewhat crass question: How did/do you afford it?!…he kids, the adoptions, the travel that comes with international adoption, the house, looking so darned trendy…in the midst of it all?!

    Seriously. The money part frightens me a bit. I’d love to know how you and your family work it all out.


    • hugs & punches says:

      Hi Jennifer! Pleeeeease don’t let the money part deter you from making the decision to adopt! I agree, the cost is frightening…but there are SO many resources to help. Our 1st 2 adoptions, we had saved for. These 2 sweet kids we just brought home a few weeks ago though, we needed major financial assistance with.

      First of all, we used Ordinary Hero {http://ordinaryhero.org/} for fundraising. Through them, we set up our own fundraising webpage {which is a 501c3 so it can be a tax write-off for those who donate}. {http://ordinaryhero.org/Ordinary_Hero/Fundraising.html} We raised, I forget the total…but something like $17,000 just through family, friends, and even people we don’t even know who’d heard our story and wanted to be a part of it.

      We also started a Facebook Auction Page where friends would donate something {kid clothes, things they’ve created, home decor, restaurant gift cards, etc} and we’d post it on the page starting at $1 and people would begin bidding. We raised a few hundred doing that.

      You could do a BIG community garage sale, all proceeds going to your family or fundraising dinners, concerts, parties…where people would buy tickets and proceeds would go to you. If you’re really ambitious, you could set up a 5K or fun-run.

      I don’t know if your family attends church but many churches have Adoption Grants, as do companies {the company that my husband works for gave us $6,000}.

      There is also an adoption tax CREDIT of 12,650 {not deduction, straight credit} which you may qualify for {http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Adoption-Benefits-FAQs}.

      Again, there are tons of organizations you can contact and apply for a grant through. In fact, I did a blogpost last week on the most fantastic app that is created by an AMAZING organization who works with orphans with special needs, as well as giving grants to adoptive parents. Here’s the link to my post…scroll to the bottom for the link: http://hugsandpunches.net/the-most-inspiring-app-ever/

      There are SO many avenues for financial help. If God is placing adoption on your heart, He will certainly bring it to fruition…don’t ignore it and don’t let $$ be the only thing to hold you back!

      If you need more advice, etc feel free to email me: benandteresa@gmail.com : )

  5. Ittira J says:

    I represent the Media/net Publisher Partnerships group and am interested in advertising on your website, hugsandpunches.net.
    I have reviewed your site and have identified a few opportunities that we would be interested in.
    Please let me know if you are interested and I will send you more details.
    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

  6. jessica says:

    Hi Teresa!

    I have been reading along with your blog for awhile, and love it! I found you on the jones design company round up… I also took Emily’s blog class. I just did a post on Christmas gifts for little girls (ours is still a bun-in-the-oven) but I also linked to your want-need-wear-read post. I have had so many friends telling me what a great idea it is… I hope my link will bring some more love to your site and awareness to your beautiful adoption story.

    Merry Christmas!


    • hugs & punches says:

      hi Jessica!!! oh.my.gosh. can you please come do a party with me?! You are so super talented, wow!! Thank you so much for linking back to my post! I can’t wait to get to know you more!! stay in touch! xo

  7. Hallie says:

    Hi Teresa,
    I have just recently found your blog and each post I have read has done nothing less than worn heavy on my heart and furthermore has brought an unruly amount of tears from my eyes. My husband and I are pursuing adoption from Ethiopia and our journey has just begun. We have just begun filling out our pre-application and will soon be turning it in. It took us a while to determine which agency to go with but we have decided and truly believe that God will guide us. We are both in our 20’s and this will be our first child. I am excited to experience all the emotions that come with adoption and becoming a parent. I just wanted to share how thankful I am that I found your blog and how it has motivated and inspired me even further. I will continue to follow you for further details and tips on how to make this journey a little less bumpy. God Bless!

  8. Joël Malm says:

    Hey Teresa!
    Long time no talk. I’ve been checking out your blog. I like it!

    I’m particularly interested in your blogs about adoption. So I was wondering, would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog about it?

    I come at each blog from the angle of how to live an extraordinary life. I talk about extraordinary people I know and what makes them that way. Your family seems to fit the bill. :)

    Think you could write a blog about that with adoption as the focus?

    I usually keep mine super short, but I don’t expect that from guest posts. Actually, now that I think about it, you’d be my first guest post ever! Geez!

    I’m thinking maybe the first week in February would be a good time for it if you’ve got time to put it together before then.

    Let me know if you are interested. I love what you’ve got going.


    • hugs & punches says:

      Hey! It’s so fun to hear from you! I’d be honored to do a guest post on your blog! Could you tell me more what you’re looking for? Are you wanting our story or more of a general post on adoption? Photos or no? About how long are you thinking? Just want to make sure I write what you’re looking for. : ) And that time frame sounds great. Let me know where to send it to.

  9. Paul says:

    Your blog post “Really, That’s Your Reasoning?” is excellent. I am the executive director of Children of Promise, a Christian child sponsorship agency who serves 4500 children in 27 countries, offering nutrition, education, health care, and spiritual nurture. I would like to talk with you about the possibility of using part of your blog post in a newsblast from our organization to its constituents. I know this public comment forum is not the place for that discussion, but I could not find any other place to communicate with you.

    My email is plm@echildrenofpromise.org and our website is http://www.echildrenofpromise.org . I can also be reached at 765-648-2111.
    Thank you for your consideration.

    Dr. Paul L. Maxfield
    Executive Director
    Children of Promise, Inc.

  10. Susan says:

    I absolutely love your blog and following you on instagram!!!! I love and admire everything you stand for. You have inspired me in so many areas of my life; faith, home, family, love, beauty and joy! Thank you!!!
    Prayers to you for your book! I can’t wait to get a copy in my hands and read it!

  11. Hi there,

    I love your blog and would love my company to collaborate with you on a guest post. Could you send me an email if interested? Thanks!

  12. Rick Malm says:

    Hi Teresa:
    I just read your guest blog on Joel’s site and wanted to say hello. How wonderful to hear of the road the Lord has led you down. HE is a most dangerous and wild God for those who are willing to venture into the unknown with Him. It only gets sweeter and better as you pursue His plan.
    Rick Malm

  13. Hi there,

    I love your blog!

    I work for Monkey Bar Storage, a garage storage and organization company serving the US and Canada. We’d love to write a guest post for you on organization tips with kids. Let me know what you think. I’d love to discuss the topic further with you.


  14. Netsuhe B says:

    Hello ,
    I just found you through Instagram in the popular page . You have such a beautiful family! You guys are beyond adorable and I pray that The Lord blesses your family! Being Ethiopian myself , it makes me so happy to see how how much of the culture you have embraced for all your beautiful children! God bless !!

  15. Paige.Rose says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I LOVE your blog. It’s not only decor wise awesome ,but life wise as well. It’s amazing the life you have given not only your biological ,but non-biological. Such an amazing gift adoption is. My husband along with 4 other family members are also adopted..it’s a special gift . Maybe someday I will get the pleasure of changing ones life as you did so honorably ! Your house is amazing as well…actually your whole story!!! Very inspirational to someone life me for so many personal reasons & as a young { new} blogger !



    • hugs & punches says:

      Paige- Thank you so much for reaching out, it’s so fun to hear from you! Adoption IS such a blessing, you’re so right. Thank you for your sweet words about our home and family. It’s not always easy…but it sure it worth it! Please keep in touch! xo Teresa

  16. John Meyer says:

    Teresa, I was touched by the kind words in your blog about my time in your home yesterday. I am honored by what you wrote and am proud to be a new friend. Are you on Facebook? I think you had your hands full with the little ones yesterday when I mentioned the Christian writers group I’m in. We just published our second e-book, and I can share it via Facebook if you will friend me. This writers group is very new — just two monthly meetings so far — and was formed by some Red Rocks Church folks but is not exclusive to them … I am so blessed by your family and by this story, and very grateful.

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