Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 months home and a winner!!

Yesterday we celebrated 5 months home!!!

It still doesn't feel real some days. 

We finalized our adoption on Mon. Now the twins are US citizens and it's officially official. 


The winner of the giveaway for the Veggie Tales movie, The Penniless Princess is....


Thanks y'all!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My first giveaway-Veggie Tales!!!

I know, we have been awfully quiet over here. 

We are all doing really well. We soaked up every bit of summer and the girls all just started back to school. 

Being a mom of 6 is CRAZY!!!!!!

It's awesome and the twins are adjusting so well to our family. But man, busy doesn't even begin to cut it. 

But I do want announce that on AUG 15th, in honor of 5 months home, we will be having our first giveaway at the Brown Brigade. 
The awesome folks at Veggie Tales have sent me a copy of their new DVD...The Penniless Princess to review. It's a cute, cute "rags to riches" story of an orphaned girl. 

My girls loved it! Even my "not-so-girly" "way-to-cool-for-veggies-tales" 8 year old. 

The dvd will be available on Aug 14th for purchase. 

Or you can win it here on Aug 15th!!

Rules for the giveaway:
1. Post a comment here on the blog. 
2. "Like" The Brown Brigade on Facebook for a 2nd entry. Come back here and post that you liked us. 
3. Share this link on your fb page or blog for a 3rd entry. Come back and post that you shared.  

And rejoice with us that on Aug 15th, we will celebrate 5 months of having the twinnies home!!!!

Thanks y'all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Ugandan Adoption Journey

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How things are going...

Really, really well.

Seriously things are going great. We just hit the three month home mark. All the other kids are home from school. We have time to just relax and spend time together. And I love it!

Some happenings....

We have been going to the pool with our friends. And after 4 days Easton is jumping in!

Leah and Vivian have been "texting" each other on our old phones. It's so cute because the tell each other what the "text" says and then they say, woosh" like the sound that our phones make when they send a text.

Evie loves to dance. I mean LOVES it. She entertained our small group for an hour the other night. So I am putting her in dance in the fall.

Leah, Madison and Vivian are all taking gymnastics for the summer. Madison is doing tumbling and Leah and Vivian are doing traditional gymnastics. They are all loving it but Leah is a natural. She has a real talent but when the woman asked her about moving up to a higher level class, she said no because she didn't want to leave Vivian.

Mackenzie is loving volleyball practice and babysitting. Oh and sleeping in. ;)

Madison got her black belt. She is a warrior!

Evie and I are having a great time leaning all about hair. She loves when I do her hair and will sit for over an hour!

Friday, June 8, 2012

My son

My son is a mommy's boy. I am quite good with that. I told him tonight that we were going to be playing with friends tomorrow. He said," Don't like friends. Like mommy." Well, I guess that settles it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A glimpse into the life of me

We have been hit with a virus and are now on kid # 3 being down for the count.

The victim this week is Leah so she stayed home yesterday from school because she just wasn't feeling herself.

She did normal things like lay around, watch tv, play on the ipad, etc.

She got worse last night, so I was sitting with her on the couch when I got a text.

My friend said, "Did you see Leah's post in Pinterest?"

Ummm, My Leah?

She said, "Yes!! Go look at your handmade gifts board."

And this is what I found......

Apparently she wasn't too sick to figure out how to take silly pictures of herself and upload them to Pinterest.

Did I mention she just turned 7?

Someone help me!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I really try to be real and open about my life. 

I want those around me to know that I am human, I struggle and needs God's grace just as much as everyone else. 

I am not super woman. 

Recently I had a friend walk away from our friendship because of the hard truth that I shared about adoption. As hurtful as that is, I am not sorry that I shared. I wouldn't be a very good friend if I didn't share the whole truth. And the worst part would be for anyone to miss the beautiful restoration that God is doing in our lives through this adoption process. It's messy and hard, but that's where redemption happens! In the pit of despair, we reach out to the Father that allowed the crucifixion of his son for our mess. I share because I don't want anyone to miss that.

I recently shared my STORY over at A safe place to share

Monday, April 30, 2012

The difference in boys and girls

One of the things that we have never had to consider before is the difference between boys and girls. 

Remember, 15 years of girls only. 

Then, one day, we put a two year old boy in the mix. 

Something we have never had to think about is what to call the part that is different. 
So we have been taking a poll of our friends to see what they use. 
Easton is well aware that he has one and he talks about it a lot, but he hadn't given it a name. 
Or so we thought. 

And we hadn't gotten a clear answer from the Lord on it yet. 

Ok, we just haven't found something that doesn't make us crack up laughing every time. 

But two nights ago, our son informed us that he already has a name for it. Beena. Not sure if this is actually the Lugandan name for it or not. But he knew that "Mommy no have beena." So he knew the context. lol

Being that he has a twin sister who wants everything he has, this has become a sore subject. 

Evie says, "My want beena!" And cries when he tells her that she doesn't have one. 

Sorry, honey. I just can't help you there. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Today I celebrate.....

My sweet Leah who is 7 years old!!!!

Sweet baby!

So laid back


Such a character
Beautiful blue eyed girl
Always getting into something

So funny

Always willing to cheese it up for mama

Immediately willing to share her most prized possession in the world, Brownie!
Such a sweet big sister
Loves animals
So curious 

Always ready to do a "show" with her sisters

Stepped right into big sister role again

Always putting others before herself

We love you Leah. You have such a beautiful heart for others. 
You are such a blessing to us!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Random thoughts

We have been home 4 weeks now. 

The fog has lifted. A little bit. 

Here are some thoughts for now......

In those years when the girls were little and I thought that having children close together was pretty much like having twins, I was wrong. Having twins is whole different ball game. They really do have their own language. They really do have a competitive nature. They both have their own personality. 

My older girls all love to help. It's a wonderful thing. However, there can be such a thing as too much help.

This mama has only ever known girls. For 15 years. And every single thing Easton does amazes me. Going down the slide head first. Going into the restroom at Target and seeing the handicap bars on the side, jumping up on them and saying, "Mommy, it's time for swinging!" Throwing his ball to try to hit the ceiling fan with it. His little brain never stops trying to figure things out. It's awesome!

Having 6 children is louder than having 4.

Adoption is beautiful, amazing and hard.

Monday, April 9, 2012


It's amazing to me how children crave structure and familiarity. I have always loved it when my girls would do something because they had seen me do it or because we talked about it so much. The twins are already picking up on their familiar things around here. 

Before nap and bedtime every time now Easton says, "No talking!"

Today they were helping me clean out my closet and Evie saw the clothes that I wore home on the airplane and said, "We went on the airplane with mommy!" 

When I lay them down to change their diapers, I always hold their head and when it lays down I say, bump. So the other day, I was laying Easton down and before I could say it, he said, "Say bump!" 

Tim has been telling Easton that his truck is Easton's truck. So today Easton said, "Daddy go bye bye in my truck!" 

It's just amazing to me how fast they are picking up and how "normal" it feels for them to be here. 

We are blessed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The double big sister

My sweet Vivian has been the baby for 5 years.

And she has played the role REALLY well.

We even call her "Sweet."

But she has now passed the torch. And I have to say, it's going pretty well.

We went for our first grocery store trip the other day and she announced, "Now that I am the double big sister, I don't sit in the cart anymore. I will walk and help you pick out the groceries."


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

IMPACT lives in Zambia

 Join us to IMPACT lives in Zambia...   


"Hi.  My name is Richard.  I am in grade 7.  I stay with my sister, Josephine.  I have three brothers and two sisters.  My other sister attends Lifesong and is in grade 5.  Her name is Emelia.  My mother stays in a village far away.  My father died in 2006.  Thank you for supporting me and may God bless you and add more days to your life.  My favorite subject is art."

Richard is just ONE of the 253 students that we are blessed to serve at Lifesong Zambia.  He is also one of the students that will be moving on to grade 8 this fall.  

Without the construction of new classrooms, Richard may join the 95% of Zambian children that are not able to attend High School. 

Will you join us in impacting the lives of children like Richard?

To add to the excitement--thanks to a generous donor, all donations will be matched up to $225,000!!

If you decide to be a part of this project, make sure you tell them that Audrey Brown sent you!  

To join the Impact Zambia 100 team, email!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


We are home!!

After 37 days away from my family, we have been reunited. 

And it is oh so sweet!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We are coming home!!!

Finally after 5 weeks in Uganda, we are coming home!!! Our plane gets in at 3:40 on Thursday.
All are welcome to come and get a glimpse at the miracles God has given us.

Thank you all so much!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A HUGE thank you

I am sitting in my guesthouse in Uganda today MARVELLING at what the Lord has done.

Through all of you!!!!

I just want to tell you thank you.

Thank you for praying. Thank you for sharing our story. Thank you for buying our gear. Thank you for giving towards our adoption. Thank you for the notes of encouragement.

We could never have done this on our own. We have shared this journey with so many family and friends who love these children that they haven't even met yet.

The only explanation for that is God's love. It is on display big time in our life.

And we appreciate all of you from the bottom of our heart.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Travel blog

We started a travel blog and we will try to update it daily while we are gone. Please email me for the password.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Restored is how I would describe how I feel after my weekend at Created 4 Care.

I have to admit that the last few weeks (and months) have been hard. I have been discouraged at times. I have felt so broken. And I am tired. 

And then just at the very perfect time. God took me to a place with no distractions. A place of encouragement and love. A place where there were other moms who have know the pain of this wait. 

If you have not been, this is an absolute must for any momma who loves adoption. 

There's something about being in a place with 400+ other adoptive mommas that's good for the soul. 

We worshipped. We prayed. We learned. We laughed. We cried. 

But most of all we were restored in the Lord. 

It's like getting the high octane. The REALLY good stuff. You can do well all year long on the regular but then you go and get that extra boost that makes you feel so renewed. 

For me, this boost came at the opportune time. 

We are leaving for Africa in 8 days. 

8 DAYS!!!!

In 10 short days we will be meeting the children that we have prayed and longed for. 

We don't know if the needed paperwork will be done. We don't know if we will get to go to court. We don't know if we will come home with the twins. 

But we will serve the ones who care for them. We will love on them. We will worship in Africa. 

And we will see what God has in store for us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When things don't go according to planned....

Sometimes in adoption things don't go the way we plan. Even when you have done everything right. 

That is my friend Lauren's story. 

Please pray for this sweet family and click below to help if you can.

My husband and I started researching options for our second adoption in early 2011. We loved Ethiopia, where our now 2-year-old son was adopted from, but knew there were too many concerns about corruption and fraud in the process to feel comfortable starting another process from there. We found a pilot program with a reputable agency in Uganda. We were open to either a single child or a sibling pair, ages 3-10. We found out about a sibling pair on a waiting child list through our agency, and things got rolling. We asked all the questions we could think of to ensure that international adoption was the last option for then 8-year-old Winnie and her then 6-year-old brother Richard. We knew all too well that bad things can happen when people start thinking that international adoption is the best option without ensuring it is even necessary.

We moved forward with the referral of the kids, and had a court date scheduled in October. With ten days notice, we boarded a plane, our little family of three, and headed to Uganda. A few days later we met "The Biggies." We were an instant family, and we were all very happy. We traveled out to the countryside and questioned members of their family. The stories were consistent. Their adoption appeared to be a sad necessity. We were sure that we were the right family for these children who had lost so much.

We were thrilled when we were granted Legal Guardianship of the children October 28th, and contacted the US Embassy in Uganda to begin the process of gaining visas for the children so they could immigrate to the US with us and we could finalize their adoptions (this is the way Uganda's international adoption system works).

We spent a total of eight weeks in Uganda as a family. Trips to the grocery store, baths, books, fights, soccer, cuddling, working on attachment and bonding, talking about our lives in the US, Skyping with family at home, coloring, cooking, learning to love each other, all out of our element. A family.

When the Embassy did their orphan investigation (as is required by the type of visa we were requesting for the children), they discovered fraud in The Biggies' "histories." They were unable to approve visas for the children based on this, and our case was referred to the field office in Nairobi, Kenya. We would be given the opportunity to appeal the denial through mail correspondence with Nairobi.

We were shocked. We made arrangements for the children to stay with a foster family in Uganda. We explained to them that people had lied and we would not be able to bring them to the US. We said goodbye. It was the hardest day of my life. It is still very difficult to even type this out. My husband, 2-year-old and myself boarded a plane for the long flight home, without Winnie and Richard.

Upon coming home, I began "investigating" based on what the Embassy had found, and was sick to find out the fraud was rampant and involved just about everyone in Winnie and Richard's life. We knew we would be able to appeal, and we still had a chance to bring them here, as we now knew more than the Embassy appeared to. But we also found out that some other adoptive families kept warning signs to themselves. Other people were more concerned with getting their own children home that kept quiet; were afraid to rock the boat. Knowing what a difference they could have made in our children's lives, my husband and I knew we could not be a part of this. We could not appeal to bring Winnie and Richard here. Heartbroken as we were, we knew we could not fight a battle we did not believe in. We made the agonizing decision to not appeal.

Our attorney assured us that our Legal Guardianship was still valid until anyone challenged it. So with that in mind we researched schools in Uganda, and with the help of a few people on the ground, were able to get The Biggies enrolled at an excellent boarding school in Uganda. We miss them every day but are trying desperately to give them a better life in Uganda.

We are trying to pick up the pieces of our broken little family. Our son asks for them every day. He cries. I cry. It has been the most heartbreaking time of our lives. We get to speak to the children every week or two, but it is difficult to have a good conversation, as they haven't spent much time on the phone, and are a little confused by it. Richard told me a few weeks ago, "Mama, when I remember you, I cry." I couldn't have put it better myself. It has been such a tough road, but we still feel strongly that we are making the right decision for everyone.

All this is to say, we had planned on being finished having children. This was to be our family of five. We acquired debt to pay for this "adoption." In anticipation of being a larger family we bought a minivan, and will have payments for several more years. We will not be able to claim them as dependents, will not be able to take advantage of tax write-offs since we did not finalize here in the US. There is also the cost of their tuition, school clothes and sundries, as well as foster care expenses for during the breaks for the next 9 years for Winnie, and 11 years for Richard. We are committed to sponsoring Winnie and Richard in their schooling and fostering costs until they reach adulthood. We just aren't sure how realistic it is to take on such costs long term if we would like to have more children some day, so we have started a fundraiser to help cover some of the costs over the coming years. We are reaching out for help from anyone willing to give it. If anyone would like to help, we will always update people on where their money is going.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quick fundraising update. 

In four days we have raised $1595!!!!!

That's incredible. 

We are so grateful for all of the support and love. 

We still have a few t-shirts and necklaces left in our adoption store above. 

We are $3405 away from our goal. And 32 days away from getting on that plane. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

5k in 35 days!!!

35 days until we leave!!!

The time has finally come. 

We are going to meet the twins. 

We want to thank you all so much for all of your support over the last year. We couldn't have walked this road alone. 

We are so very close to our financial goal of bringing the twins home. 

5k away!! 

That is a large amount to think about. But we know that it's not impossible.
God has paved the way for this adoption every step of the way.

Please help us spread the word about this opportunity to join our team.