Sunday, January 30, 2011

Show us your life- Adoption Stories

I am linking up over at Kelly's Korner. She does a weekly "show us your life" feature. This week it's adoption stories. So far 217 bloggers have joined!! Talk about inspiring. You can check it out at Show us your life-Adoption Stories.

Our adoption journey.....

Our journey began about 5 years ago. Before we had our last bio daughter, God began to plant the seeds of adoption in our heart. We had friends at church who adopted a baby boy from Guatemala. And we were hooked. We had our daughter in 12/06 and were settling into life with 4 children. We had complications in our pregnancies that made it clear that having anymore biological babies wasn't a wise decision.

I had another friend by this time who had adopted 2 daughters from China. We had a prayer time for her one evening and she shared her story. And my heart changed forever. She had two grown sons and shared with us that she always knew God had a daughter for her. Hearing her story gave me the freedom to realize that my heart longed for a son here on earth. We have a son, Jacob who was born with Prune Belly Syndrome and only lived on this earth with us for 6 short hours.

Over the next couple of years God continued to close doors for our adoption dreams. We believed international adoption was the only way for us and God continued to show us that this was not true. Countries doors closed to adoption, finances were not suitable and we couldn't meet some of the requirements. We continued to pray and ask God to show us the way.

In May of 2010, I went to coffee with a friend of a friend who works for a domestic agency. I was not counting on much coming from the meeting. I thought that domestic adoption was reserved for those who couldn't have bio children. One of the first things she asked me was were we open to a child of another race. Absolutely! And she shared a truth that I was very unaware of. African American males are the least adoptable children in the US. That absolutely breaks my heart even now.

We began our homestudy the next week. We were given the name of an agency here in GA with vey affordable fees and we began the process. We are currently waiting for a birthmom to choose us to love her baby. It is all in God's hands and His timing will be perfect.

Friday, January 28, 2011

An incredibly sad truth

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January Reflections- Dance/Movement

Dance/Movement: Do you enjoy your body? Are you coordinated? Are you particularly good at dancing or running?

I love to dance. Love, love, love it!!

I believe it is good the mind, body and soul.

Now, I am not saying that I am great dancer. Once upon a time, I was a dancer. I was in a show choir in high school and learned the art of many types of dance. I was taught to be coordinated. I am not sure that it really comes naturally. It does go hand in hand with my love for music. At any point in time, you might find a spontateous dance party breaking out at my house.

I also embarass my husband frequently at weddings. He does not share my love of dancing. So you will likely find me with a group of women at a wedding, tearing up the dance floor.

I am actually using my love of dance now to help me lose weight. My parents got the girls a Wii for Christmas and we got a broadway dancing game for it.

How about you? Does your family dance? Or are you more conservative in that department?

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January Reflections-Grateful

Grateful: Would you describe yourself as a grateful person? Make a list of 50 things you can thank God for.

This is a tough question. My first instinct is so say, "Of course I am a grateful person!" But taking a deeper look at my thoughts and my actions may offer a different view.

My prayer is to be full of gratitude.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Ps 136.1

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam 3:23

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28

Do my thoughts and actions display gratitude?

We have had an exhausting week. We have things happen this week that were completely out of our control. Those things don't feel good. It feels like I am a grape and I am being squeezed beyond recognition. But in the midst of the storm, God's love is constant and His mercies are new every morning. My treasure is in those truths and not what I see crumbling around me.

 I heard a great quote from a Casting Crowns song yesterday...

"I'll take a shack on the rock, over a castle in the sand."

50 things that I am thankful for ....
(some are in random order as are the thoughts in my head sometimes)

1. My relationship with the Lord
2. My husband
3. My children
4. Our health
5. God's provision in our family
6. That my husband has a job
7. That I have been able to stay at home with our children for 7 years
8. My children's teachers and school
9. Our extended families
10. That my mother had us in church every-time the door was opened
11. That I had such a great relationship with my grandparents growing up
12. That I met a lifelong best friend in the 6th grade
13. For God's word
14. That I have friends and family who pray for me and my family
15. For a pastor who loves God, loves his church and teaches truth
16. For Godly friends that Mackenzie has made in school
17. For freedom to worship
18. For freedom to hear Christian songs played on the radio
19. That God has opened my eyes to the call of believers to serve orphans and sometimes adopt them
20. For all the pink in my house
21. For the talent to be able to sing
22. For my outspoken personality
23. That God helps me calm that outspokenness when needed
24. For the friends who walked away from me
25. For the friends who will never leave me
26. For the unique personalities of my children
27. For the experience of having a precious child who has gone to be with the Lord
28. For the freedom to educate our children in the way that God leads us
29. For the legacy that I will leave my children
30. That God is leading Tim and I to step out of ourselves and focus on others
31. For a church that God used to heal our hearts when our hearts were so very broken
32. For the "new baby" smell
33. For modern technology and the discernment to use it wisely
34. For the online adoption community
35. For coffee
36. For transparent people who aren't afraid to admit their faults
37. For parents who will have those tough discussions even when I sometimes don't want to hear it
38. For women who give the gift of life to their babies knowing that they will not be able to care for them
39. For the different seasons we have here in the US
40. For my nanny and her prayers and Godly example for me throughout my life
41. For my parents support when I decided to choose life for my baby at 16
42. For the lows in my life that forced me to turn to the Lord for my strength
43. For the deliriously happy times where I feel my heart will burst
44. For this blog that has become my children's story book
45. For chocolate
46. That God saw fit to grow our family even when we thought it wasn't the right time
47. For growing up in a "blended" family
48. That God saw fit to make all of his children different in color, size, abilities, gifts, etc
49. For my love of decorating and using old things to make beautiful new creations
50. For missionaries who give up their luxuries and sometimes their lives to spread the Gospel to all nations

What are some things that you are grateful for?

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January Reflections- Friends

Friends: Do you have any 25-year friends in your life? (These are friends you are committed to for the long haul.) What do you do to keep these friendships going?

Friendships are not easy. They are relationships that require work, much like a marriage. Friendships among women are even more difficult, in my experience.

I have a 25-year friend. Her name is Harmony and we have been friends since we were 10. We met in the 6th grade. It was love at first sight with my completely opposite-twin. :)

We have been through good times and bad times. Growing up we both had our share of family troubles, boy troubles, friend troubles, etc. We walked through them together. We were separated by schools in high school, but that didn't stop us from remaining best friends. We have fought hard and loved even harder. We have had very dark days together as each of us has already lost one parent. And we have had awesome days as we both grew to know the Lord.

We are both busy as I have four daughters and she has three sons. And like many 25-year friends, we don't see each other as often as I would like. But I would do anything for her and she for me.

Love you Harm!! And this reminds me that we need to get together for a mexican lunch soon.

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Reflections -Fun

Fun: What have you done for fun this year? When is the last time you played? Do you need to add fun into your plans for 2011?

In the last several years "fun" has been a different sort of fun. Fun for us has been our kid's fun. Toys, games, outings, etc that the kids enjoy. Over the last couple of years, God has really showed us that we must also engage in grown-up, married folks, fun. We do not want to wake up one day not knowing who the other is because we have been so engrossed in the children that we forgot to spend time with each other. The marriage relationship is the permanent relationship. And as much as we love our children, they are temporary and will one day find have their own families.

One of the things we like to do for fun is to watch football. When Tim and I met, I was a Ga Tech fan and he was a GA fan. When he found out that my dad had gone to Tech, his love for those bulldogs grew even stronger. :) For years, I rode the fence. Finally in 2009, I decided that in the spirit of having fun and spending time together as a couple, I needed to make a choice. So I chose my hubbies team and became a die-hard bulldog fan. We love to go to the games but more often watch on tv. My dad taught me well and so I know what's going on for the most part. We have also started a tradition of taking the girls with us to "G Day" which is a free, scrimmage game. It's a lot of fun because we are not concerned with really watching the game. It's more about being together and getting good pictures in Athens.

We also love music in our family. If I can understand it and it's not vulgar, it usually works for me. We have a tradition of going to see Rascal Flatts every year. Just last night we took Mackenzie and some friends to Winter Jam. There's nothing like seeing 15,000 Christians praising the Lord together.

We have actually spent the last few weeks having lots of fun. It has snowed here twice, which is way out the norm. So we have been snowed in and stuck together. It's probably the most time we have spent just relaxing as a family. We love playing games and we just got a Wii for Christmas which has provided hours of entertainment. The Wii fit is a must have. The broadway dancing game is another one that has gotten us up off the couch and laughing hysterically.

For 2011, I anticipate more of the same. We love spending time together as a family and as a couple.

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BUILDING THE BLOCKS...: Why we adopted...

Check out a wonderful post on a blog that I read. This really sums up the reason that we are adopting.

BUILDING THE BLOCKS...: Why we adopted...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


In trying to build my blog, I am also trying to find affiliate programs to help me make some extra cash.

I was just referred to a website that sells really cute beaded watches. They have an affiliate program where you can earn up to 30% commission or 45% in-store credit. Use the link below and check it out. And I will get a kickback for referring you. Thanks!!

Beaded Watches

Another affiliate that I have had good success with is E-mealz. And it's a great service that I actually use. Click below to check it out.


Life is Good

Thank you so much to my bloggy buddy, Ashley, for giving me the "Life is Good" award! I really enjoy reading her newly-wed, new-mom moments. And her kiddo is just about the cutest baby boy I have ever seen!

The rules for the Life is Good award:

1. First, thank and link back to the person that gave the award (obviously)

2. Answer the 10 survey questions

3. Pass the award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic

4. Contact the bloggers you have chosen to let them know about the award

The questions!

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you aren't anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I am not anonymous. Sometimes I wish I was. I have really contemplated this more and more during our adoption process. But in the end, hubster and I decided to keep it this way. God is in control!

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

There is no "inner" about it. What you see is what you get with me. I definitely have my first-born, my-way-or-the-highway, stubborn moments.  But by God's grace, I think I have become more teachable over time.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

It depends on the day.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

A Java-chip frappuccino

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

blog and read blogs. I used to read actual books, but my attention span has gotten so short that I struggle with those.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life?

Tons! I want to adopt. I want to get involved with orphan care and help others see how important the need is. I want to raise my children to be lovers of God's word and to communicate well and stand up for what they believe in. I want to learn how to use my camera so I can get really cool shots of my kids.

7. When you attended high school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I don't really think I fell into any of those categories. I was outgoing and involved. I was majorly involved in chorus and our show choir, which my husband says made me a geek. haha But I loved it!

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Seeing my son, Jacob. I had such a short window of time to spend with him.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?

I find it pretty easy to be myself here. I am really an open book, so truth about myself flows easily for me. I want to encourage others and I am most encouraged by "real" bloggers. I want to see the good and the bad.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

I would pick the phone. I feel like I have very little phone time these days. It's not a bad thing. My time is spent shuttling children, helping with homework, etc Things that need my focus. And I am happy to live that life. But it's nice to chat with friends from time to time.

I would like to pass on the award to the following bloggers;

Maryanne ~ Maryanne is my "great thinker" friend. She has a wonderful mind and knows how to use it. :)

Christie ~ A blogland friend who encourages me as she walks the path of adoption.

Angie ~ One of my "for-real-life" adoption buddies

Monday, January 10, 2011

January Reflections-Stuff

Stuff: Do you like stuff? What stuff do you have that you could do without? Is your stuff well used? Organized? Burdensome?

This is a topic I know all too well. I come from a long line of "lovers of stuff."
When I was growing up, my mother had lots of stuff. And her mother had lots of stuff. And I fell right in line.

My grandmother's "love of stuff" had an innocent start. She grew up during the Great Depression. She remembered truly going without and when she was able to get excess of something, she did. We used to joke about the brand new gifts she had tucked away, waiting for just the right moment to be used. Or the 20 sets of sheets she had for the bed.
My mother continued the trend but more in a trinket sort-of-way. Also, I inherited from her my tendency towards "the pile."
Being that my mother and my grandmother have both went to be with the Lord, I have held on to a lot of their stuff. Their memories are my memories. I treasure the stuff because I don't have those ladies in my life.
I also like to shop. And I don't love to throw things away. When Tim helped me move my "stuff" for the first time, I thought he might back right out of the engagement.

Over the last 10 years, I have gotten much better about throwing things away but the most important thing that I have learned is not to bring it in, unless it has a specific place. Being the bargain shopper that I am, I gravitate towards buying because it's a "good deal" but if there's no home for it at home, it's not a good deal.
I still struggle with piles. On any given day, you can find one lurking.

The pink folder on the bottom of that pile is my school binder. Having three children in school this year has really put my tendency towards piles into overdrive. There are papers galore. So I came up with the idea of having a binder with sections for each child. It's a great system and works best when not buried underneath a pile.

I definitely struggle with being organized with the stuff. Living in a house with 6 people, there is a lot of it. We have systems in place for clothes, shoes, etc. I am teaching my children that there's a place for things and the machine runs well when you pay attention to detail.

Like all things though, there's a balance. And that's where I try to live. I don't want the "stuff" to dictate my time or my attitude.

For more January Reflections check out The Glorious Impossible.

January Reflections

In the spirit of wanting to write more, I am joining up with a fellow blogger.

A month of reflections.

Contemplating last year.

Planning for the future.

Thanking our Creator.

Improving our writing.

January Reflections '11 - 250 x 250

Check out her blog at The Glorious Impossible.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jack has gone to be with the Lord

Please pray for this sweet boy's family and friends. His brother is a friend of Mackenzie's from school.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Disturb Us Lord


2:30 Change Of Plans Trailer from on Vimeo.

Adoption Timeline

June 2006~Began talking about adoption

July 2007~Heard an adoption story that changed my heart and my life

August 2007~ Began researching agencies

Sept 2007-Dec 2008~ God closed one door after another but continued to show us that we needed to press on in our search for a way to serve Him through adoption

Jan 2009~ Began the process of foster to adopt

March 2009~ Pulled out of the program, just not feeling it was right for us

April 2009-April 2010~ Continued to pray and ask God for guidance on our journey

May 2010~ Finally contacted a woman who I had been referred to years
before, regarding domestic adoption.

Late May 2010- Talked with Tim and decided to begin our homestudy and pursue domestic adoption

June 2010~ Working on homestudy paperwork

July 2010~ Working on paperwork, collecting documents, dr's visits, etc

Aug 2010 ~ Adoption seminar at our agency

Sept 2010- Waiting on a form from DFCS

Oct 2010~ 2nd seminar at adoption agency and fundraising yard sale

Nov 2010-Last meeting with agency, profiles out to birthmoms, officially waiting to be matched

Blogs of Note

I have been thinking and praying about when, if and how I should take my blog to a new level.

It's always been just a place for family and friends to check in and see how things are rolling along. However, I am passionate about many things and I love to blog and love to read other blogs. And reading the thoughts of others has really helped me over the years. Now one of my favorite bloggers is promoting others, so it feels like the time to jump in.

I stumbled across Courtney's blog a few months ago and was instantly hooked. In some ways we are very different. She homeschools, I don't. She has ten children, I most likely will never have that many. But from her writing, I have concluded that our spirits are very much on the same page. The thing I love about her writing is that it's REAL. She blogs about the good, the bad and the ugly. And that's my kind of world.

So head on over and visit Courtney @ Storing Up Treasures.

And if you're not already, become my follower. All the cool girls are doing it. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution

All over bloggy land, I have seen folks putting up their "decade-in-review." I see the point, and I think it could be therapeutic to do so, but honestly I haven't gotten the strength or the brain cells. A lot of loss and a lot of blessings seems to cover it for me.

I also have thought about resolutions for the new year. What do I want to do, give and be this year? This seems much more doable for me. A look ahead rather than a look back.

I have several things that I would like to change.

My weight for one. I have pretty much never gotten back to pre-pregnancy from 14 years ago. Now, I realize that THAT weight is never to be again. However, I would like to be healthy, not easily exhausted, and energetic. So that's number one on my list.

My anxiety level. I don't really know where this originated, but I have been on edge for quite some time.

Spending QUALITY time with kids. Not just running from place to place and talking in the car, but true face-to-face, sit down, quality time. This one is probably the most challenging because 3 of them are in school all day. But that just means that I have to better manage our after school time.

More time in the Word. Ok, so this one really should be first. But again, I am being realistic. I know that God loves me even if I am not in the Word daily. However, I also know that reading His Word is food for the soul and we will starve without it. So I am heading back to a women's bible study, which I absolutely LOVED before and have pushed to the back burner for a year. I find that when I am in a bible study, it really helps me be accountable with my bible time.

Of course, I have the normal resolutions ie. be a better wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, etc. But those things flow out of the resolutions listed above.

Happy New Year!