Welcome to our Adoption Blog! If you want to know about our story and why we are adopting please go to the sidebar down below to find the archive and find our earliest posts. We also are writing as Adoption Journalists for Red Letters Campaign.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Can You Relate?

Ok, so I thought I would post on something that has kinda been bugging me lately to see if my wonderful readers could not only relate but possibly offer some insight and suggestions....

So here I am, a couple months into the adoption process, and more and more people (not close friends, just people we come in contact with) have been finding out and wanting to talk about it. That's cool. I love spreading the word about adoption. Until the person hears a little bit about where we are in the process then tilts their head and says, "You are such a good person! That baby is going to be so lucky to have you!" Yada Yada Yada, then some more of how great I apparently am.

So, obviously I know that we are the lucky ones getting this child and will be completely blessed by having her...and I try to articulate that in between showers of gratitude and expressions of my so-called greatness. AND most importantly I want any and all glory to go to God in this and not to us. But I just feel so weird when people just start going on an on about what great people we are and how wonderful it is that we are doing "this".

I am not sure how I really would like people to react when they hear about our adoption. I guess, ideally, I would want them to be instantly interested in the plight of the orphan and immediately want to do whatever necessary to help them. You know, then I could quickly respond with many resources and then we would unite in a power mission to save orphans and children in poverty everywhere!....but I live in the real world where people would rather talk about how great I apparently am instead.... Did you know that only great people can help children? no just kidding. This is all to say, I AM NOT GREAT. I am just a simple girl who loves her God and wants to serve Him in all the ways He calls me to.

If you are one of these people who do this....please don't take offense to this post. I am pretty sure I was doing this before also. I realize people are probably just inspired and excited to see ordinary people trying to make a difference. I only post this because I just feel weird when people just go on and on about me when I want it to be about how awesome God is.

So if you can relate to being put in this super awkward position or if you have any suggestions to bring the focus and glory back to where it needs to be, comment me. I see that as we progress this will be a great way to show people Christ's love, I just have overcome the weirdness of diverting people away from my awesomeness over to Christ's....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dangerous Surrender Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Gloriously Ruined
Click Here for the book club. Join in we are only on Chapter 3!

"I'm simply not the person I used to be, although who I was before wasn't a bad person. But I've been shaped by these new experiences and I will never be the same. Moreover, I don't want to be the same. I can't see what I've seen, met the people I've met, experienced what I've experienced, only to turn away and return to life as usual. I now look at life through a different set of lenses."

I think this is my new theme song.

She talks about existing in 3 worlds. My world where I am a wife, a mom, a member of Trinity Bible Church, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, and a sister. This world includes trips to the grocery store, leading games for VBS (even though my kid is WAY too young for VBS), finger painting with pudding, giving my son 3 baths a day, calling my husband to make sure he remembers things, having it out with the copy machine 5 minutes before my school starts. These things are important to me, and this is where I need to make my faith real.

The suffering world. This is a world full of "spiritual emptiness, extreme poverty, corrupt leadership, pandemic diseases, and crippling illiteracy. You and I have the opportunity to be Jesus' hands and feet to these brothers and sisters, making him known by our love."
This is the world God calls us to serve in.

The spiritual world. "This is the unseen and most real world of all- in which I am united with God through a personal relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the world I draw the strength, courage, integrity, and love I need to live in the other two worlds. If I didn't experience the spiritual world with its eternal perspective I would burn out from fatigue or emotional overload. God's Word, quiet times of reflection, worship music that refreshes my soul, and the companionship of other "ruined" friends keep me spiritually healthy. Because of that I am happy and content to be a citizen of all three worlds."

"Living with my feet in all three worlds is a challenge as I constantly evaluate where to spend my time and energy on a daily basis, but being spiritually grounded makes it all possible."

I think that this is so important because I have a really hard time balancing my worlds sometimes. I know God has called me to be a wife and mother first. But I also know he has called me to serve his people. I know that when one world gets out of balance then everything tumbles down. Keeping my spiritual world first keeps things in perspective.

"When suffering becomes personal with faces and names, and when you hear their stories, you won't be able to remain disconnected."

I think this is the adoption community for sure. We are all touched by our children's past and we have been "gloriously ruined" by it.

As always, comment me with your perspectives:)

Monday, June 23, 2008


Is it possible that we have a home study scheduled for July 7th?? Oh my, I think I have butterflies in my stomach......

I also watched some videos on hair care from Shuruba and now I am kinda scared because I can barely make my own hair look descent!

Anyways, just wanted to update you on the homestudy.... I should probably start cleaning now.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Our hard work came out to 1,552.82! AND we didn't sell our nice dining room set and I think I can get 400 for that on Craigslist:) So I am SO HAPPY and thankful for everyone who helped us. We seriously could not have done this without you guys:) I forgot to take more pictures with all the crazyness of the sell but let's just say it was about ten times bigger than a normal yard sale. There was so much stuff, it was unreal! We had lots of shoppers (and a few theives....) and GREAT weather. Anyways lots to be thankful for but especially for our 7 friends who went above and beyond in helping us! You know who you are and I am forever grateful for you:) I seriously could not have done this without you....

Friday, June 20, 2008

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Adoption Fund

This is just a small taste of what my house has looked like for the last week. I forgot to take pictures of the actual sale this morning so I will try and do that tomorrow. Ok let me just tell you how faithful God has been. I got this crazy idea to throw a yard sale 2 weeks ago and how much stuff was donated? well, 4 couches, 2 recliners, a pool table, a crib, 2 desks, 5 bookshelves, 2 dressers, a king size bed set, a stroller, 2 pack and plays, a macy's store worth of clothes, and about a billion other things. Yeah. Then it was supposed to rain and storm today and all week I was praying for no rain. NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY and it's about the temperature of the surface of the sun. So the grand total for day one: about $670:) Not too shabby for a Friday and a ton of the big stuff is left so I think we should do a lot better tomorrow. Let's all pray for shoppers!!!! ok time to collapse into a heap and fall asleep.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Thought Provoking Post

So I just finished my morning coffee and journey through adoption blogland and came across this post. I have never been to this blog before but I found this post super insightful and actually reassuring----maybe I am not the only person that thinks like this. Anyways, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about it. Comment me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Jackson, who is 15 months, finally took his first steps last night. Let's just say we are beyond thrilled that soon our 27 lb kid will not have to be held quite as much:)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yard Sale Confusion

Ok I mentioned that we are having a yard sale this weekend to help us raise money for the adoption. Then I got a very nice comment from someone living in Portland. So this is to say that we live in Dallas and if you live in the area, send me a comment and I'll let you know where it is! So sorry for the confusion!!

Choosing a Country- Blog Buzz

This week's blog buzz question is How do I choose a country? With so many options, how do I even begin to narrow it down? Where do I start?

I think this is an awesome question and it is what I was asking myself for the last 6 months. Where do you start? Pray. I had some criteria for where we wanted to adopt from and I laid it out to God telling him what I wanted.... now I didn't get everything I wanted, but now looking back that's ok. For me, it's more that just which country is the cheapest, shortest travel, shortest wait time. I mean those things are definitely factors but I wanted to honor my child's country and her heritage. I asked God to show me a place where Paul and I could unite as a couple to be passionate about. I asked God to show me a country that had a true need for international adoptive parents. I asked God to show me a country that needed a Savior. I asked God to show me a country that had MANY opportunities for us to serve the people in Christ's name. God showed me Ethiopia.

So for a few weeks, after many prayers, Ethiopia kept popping up. EVERYWHERE. It was not the nice Latin American country I had hoped for so I decided to ask Paul what he thought. He was totally fine with adopting from Africa ( I kinda had hoped he wouldn't be so I could again focus on Latin America.) So then we decided to go to a Gladney Seminar to find out about all of the countries and their criteria before we decided to officially pick one. Now Gladney doesn't have ALL the countries but they have a lot and they definitely have the big ones. As we sat in the seminar, every other country did not work for us. EVERY ONE except Ethiopia. It was like it was a perfect fit. I stared at my sheet of papers with x's next to each country and how Ethiopia seemed to shine on the page.... I couldn't seem to deny it anymore.

Now I am in love with Ethiopia and couldn't even dream about adopting from anywhere else.

So what do you do? Go to different agency websites, compile a list of countries and criteria, pray, and figure out which one best fits your family. I hope that you remember that this is a country that you should honor for the rest of your child's life. Will God show you a country? Maybe, maybe not. But I bet He will put an incredible peace in your heart when you find the right one:)

To find other blog buzz questions and answers click the tab.

Orientation Call

We just had our orientation call with AGCI and I am very excited! We have finished up our homestudy information and are ready to send that in today, too. There is only one thing, we have to make a pretty big payment to AGCI before we can do anything else. Pretty big, like half the cost of our adoption. We knew it was coming so we are taking the steps to make sure we have it all but I know that there are some possibilities of it getting held up. So if you think about it today, would you pray that it just works out smoothly? Thanks:)

Other than that I have been completely blessed this week by our friends and family. We decided to have a HUGE yard sale next weekend to help us cover some of the fees (like fingerprinting, birth certificates, mailing costs, etc.) that we know are going to sneak in and add up. So many awesome people have donated things! We seriously could open our own furniture store right now. So if you live in the area, comment me and I will let you know where the most awesome yard sale of the century will be held. Two of my friends also made over 250 cookies to sell as well! It is going to be crazy. I just have to make it this week with my house literally packed FULL with stuff. Jackson isn't making it easy since he is kinda sick today and we can't escape the cave! I have also taken a "do not clean until after yard sale" approach to life and have a lot of down time:)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


We have been accepted by AGCI! YAY! I did a little dance around our kitchen when I read the email and Jackson thought it was hilarious. He was happy that I also agreed to a fourth helping of grapes!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another CNN story

Here's another story from CNN about the famine in Ethiopia. What can we do? Check out this post from Tom Davis' Blog. This is one small way. Join in with Hopechest to help. Have any other ways? Comment me.

Oh and pray for me around 4 central time as I go to get fingerprinted because I don't think I have the right form but I hope they let me anyways:)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Small Problem

Ok, so I have my application all filled out and ready to mail off. Just need to check off two boxes. Will your child be covered by your medical insurance upon placement? And will your insurance cover any pre-existing medical conditions? So I call our insurance company to make sure we are all good on this front. So they say my husband has to check with his HR department about when exactly she will be covered and that we will wait have to wait some 12 months waiting period for any pre existing conditions... What? First of all insurance is like a foreign language to me and my hubby is in a meeting so I am venting because I don't know what to do now. I called my agency but my lady is at lunch (of course) so, yeah, you guys get to hear my first drama of adoption:) Feelin' Lucky aren't ya? I can already hear your chuckles... I know, I know!

Got any advice? Comment me. Jackson is napping and I already missed the mailman. So much for mailing it out today.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Blog Buzz

Ok Blog Buzz is something new that RLC is doing and I think it is pretty cool. Basically, RLC asks some thought provoking questions and we as bloggers answer them. So get on and answer one! You can read more about it here.

So I think I am going to answer the question about researching agencies since I have just spent the last two months doing that and it is fresh on my brain.

What advice would you give someone choosing an agency? What questions would you advise they ask? What resources or organizations would you suggest they reference?

Ok so I don't know how well my research really worked since I am just starting but I will offer what I did to maybe help those who dont know where to begin.

First off I kind of became a blog junkie. I found blogs of people that seemed like me and were using an agency I was considering and pretty much read from start to finish. Hence my stalking of Amy Bottomly (oh another shout out, you are a lucky one). I found hers and MANY others on Gladney's website.

Then I joined Adoption Agency Research Group Yahoo group and started researching in their database and asking members there lots of questions.

THEN I found Adopt Ethiopia Yahoo Group and did the same thing. That is how I found a list of pretty good agencies. (There is also a yahoo group for Ethiopia adoptions for Dallas called Ethiopia Babies but all three is probably overkill.)

So after all of that I started talking to people I know, which included the bloggers I was stalking:) We also started going to Tapestry's waiting families group at Irving Bible Church and got to meet LIVE adopting families. I know, imagine that! I recommend them if you live in the Dallas area.

Then after narrowing my list down to 3 0r 4 we went to 2 local orientations and called the other 2 asking for information packets. Then we decided on AGCI based on how it fit with our family but I was seriously impressed with all 4 agencies. That was probably the hardest part.

As far as questions, I would stick to asking them to the families that are in process with that agency or have recently brought their child home. I feel they are the best representatives of what the agency is about. People that work there are probably just going to tell you what you want to hear regardless if it's the truth.

Please know that every agency is going to have faults and that every agency is going to have families that do not have good experiences. That is just adoption. I would say make sure the goods outweigh the bads by a lot and you feel comfortable with your decision. And of course bathe this in as much prayer as possible.

Wow long. Don't miss my other lengthy post of the day underneath:)

A GREAT Weekend

Ok so Friday night we went out with friends to the Queen of Sheba to celebrate finally starting the adoption. It was so good! The sambusa was awesome and the doro wott was pretty tasty too. We got another chicken dish that was better than the doro wott but I can't remember what it was called. Really only the word doro wott seems to stick in my head:) The "skin" or injera did kind of remind me of skin but I was more weirded out by its color and the fact that it really looks like a dirty kitchen sponge. BUT if I didn't look at it, I really enjoyed it. Also Jackson and his friend crawled all around the restaurant causing all kinds of havoc so it was a great time for all:)

Then on Saturday we dealt with some home remodeling issues and went to an African Unity Festival soccer championship game. It was pretty fun although Ethiopia had lost a few weeks ago so they were not in the game. It was Liberia vs. Sierra Leone and we only stayed until half time so I can't report to you who won. Someone was VERY tired. But one cute little boy walked past us and said, "There are white people here!" in the funniest bewildered way.

Then Sunday our now great friend, Russ Weir, joined us for church and lunch. Although we were zombies from only having a few hours of sleep the night before it was great to talk about RLC and what we can do to help. We are very excited to team up with the Bottomly's for Launch Ethiopia as well.

So yeah it was a African Adoption weekend here and we are looking forward to possibly mailing off the application tomorrow if I can get the pictures printed!