Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
"Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world? Time is short and lives are at stake. Right now God is inviting our families to become part of a bigger story- a vision that will engage hearts to make a greater difference. One Million Arrows is a inspirational call to raise our kids to impact their culture, community and world for Christ. If we want our kids to discover their purpose, if we want them to live with passion for the Kingdom, if we want our family to go down in His-story, accept the mission and leave a mark for eternity. "
You can buy your own copy of this fabulous book by going to www.onemillionarrows.com/amazon Enjoy the promo video:
**Happy Sunday to you all, kj
Friday, May 28, 2010
Happy Friday to you all, kj
ps...next post will be HOW her siblings and Daddy handled the adoption, how they bonded and dealt with it all...just an fyi if you were wondering :)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"T is a bit of a social butterfly...She is sweet spirited, smart and enjoys going to school. She is always at the top of her class and she describes her favorite subjects as being Math and English. "
Please consider HOW YOU could change the life of this child!!
***So...who is THIS CHILD:
Well...I know MOST of you already know that she's MY oldest daughter!!! Why is she pictured?? Well, because she's Adorable T's AGE!! She is 8!! And, well...8 is just a FABULOUS age!! I can't imagine my sweet girl having to be photographed knowing that she is getting her picture taken SO SOMEONE CAN PICK HER!! It just breaks my heart!! This is just one of those times that I just think life is so unfair!! I can find this random pic of my daughter where she is sporting a million "silly bands" on her wrist..she has braces..she has enough to eat..she has freshly washed hair and a nice outfit on and MOST importantly: TWO PARENTS that are alive that think she hung the moon!! Yet T has lost everything!! I know in my heart that someone once thought Adorable T hung the moon!! My guess is that she had someone that used to hug and kiss on her just like I do my babies.....My guess is that someone cared enough about her to get her to an orphanage when she had NO ONE LEFT TO CARE FOR HER ANY LONGER!! You know.... I prayed and asked God to KEEP BREAKING MY HEART FOR WHAT BREAKS HIS....AND well....the orphaned child just keeps breaking my heart folks!
***So, I just need to end here and say...."is Adorable T your daughter?" I know God doesn't intend for her to be alone the rest of her life...so all it takes is ONE PERSON to step up and say YES to this sweet child!!! Will it be YOU??
**If you at ALL feel a tugging or a pull in your heart for this sweet child...please contact AGCI to get more information on her...and to see her sweet face!! You can call the Inquiry Department at 800-214-6719 or email at email@example.com OR go directly to their website at www.allgodschildren.org and find additional ways to contact!! Adorable T is NOT on their website...so you'll have to call to see her pics and get more info on her!! You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help at all!
***So, yes, connect to this post..pass this post along...do whatever it takes to find Adorable T her forever family that I KNOW exists out there!! Thanks everyone...and KNOW that I'll be praying THE RIGHT PERSON finds this post!! Happy Wednesday to you all, kj
I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you - John 14-18
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
*Hmmmm, lets see.....I handled it GOOD at times..and other times...well..I was slightly impatient!! I get asked ALL the time "What was the wait like?" People email me and say: "I feel like I'm losing my mind..is this normal?" Well....YES!! If adopting doesn't send you over the edge a few good times...then nothing will!! :) When people say that ADOPTION is a roller coaster ride....THEY AREN'T LYING!!! :) I seriously started off thinking: "I have 4 young children...I'll never get anxious and crazy like all these other people are acting..I have PLENTY to keep me occupied!" Yea, right!!! LOL Ok, so there is just something about messing with a Momma Hen and her babies!! We WANT our babies AT HOME in our COZY little NEST NOW...and no one better get in our way...No AGENCY, NO COURT, NO Ethiopian Government, NO U.S. Visa issuing place...NO travel agent..and certainly NO airlines......NOTHING CAN STOP A DETERMINED MOMMA.....cause we're likely to lose our minds, act nuts and be embarrassed later if SOMEONE dares and tries to slow us down!! :)
**Ok, so REALLY..I handled the paper work fine...I felt great during the first 6 months of my wait on the wait list....THEN...it happened...I WENT OVER 6 MONTHS!! :) Yes, all you that have waited years can laugh at me now!! So, I waited a total of 6 months and 3 weeks for our 1st referral and the last 3 weeks was an eternity.....You start playing mind games with yourself thinking: "I've been skipped" or " They've forgotten about me"...then you start begging ON LINE for PATIENCE and PRAYERS (first sign that you're starting to come unglued :)!! Then the REFERRAL comes...and well...I can finally breathe..I've seen the face of my child....OH, BUT WAIT...Now i've seen her face...and NOW I must GET HER HOME!! Suddenly then comes anxiety and impatient feelings that I'd never felt before....IT WAS THE MOTHER HEN SYNDROME COMING OUT!! I couldn't get the paper work returned fast enough...NOW I KNOW this baby girl is waiting on ME to get my paper work back..and well..I'm now panicking to make it go as fast as humanly possible!!! Then..OK...deep breathe..paper work returned...wait a month and get issued a court date...find out court date...then WHAM....THE DREADED CALL CAME.....
**We LOST referral!!! Our baby girl was gone!! The next 3 weeks waiting on a new referral was the hardest part of the adoption process....Every day as the AGCI offices closed and I didn't have a new referral...I just wanted to CRY!!! Oh, but...the PERFECT baby girl was waiting...The stars were aligning for our Lucy Lane to become ours!! Finally...the REAL call came..and we had our new baby girl!! Hallelujah...Life is GOOD Again!! :)
**Then all the same...panic to get paper work back...hear we couldn't keep same court date...wait for new court date...and WHAM....New Court Date was finally here....It was ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK THAT WE WENT TO COURT FOR OUR LUCY LANE MARTHA!! I thought I was going to have ulcers worrying so much about our court date....We were at the ball field ONE YEAR AGO EXACTLY when I looked down and saw this:
Yes, one of the kids dropped their snow cone and it formed AFRICA!!! I yelled at my hubby..."It's a sign...we're going to pass court!!" AND WE DID PASS THE FIRST TIME! PRAISE GOD!!!!
*** I officially DID LOSE MY MIND when waiting for our travel confirmations though...You'd think I would have been through the worst part...but no...waiting to find out WHEN I would get to travel proved to be one of the hardest parts...We passed court on Memorial Day..and I traveled two weeks later on June 13th.... I had a weeks notice to get my tickets and fly out and...I truly finally could breathe when I sat on that plane and it took off in the air headed for my baby girl!! So, yes...I cried to any case worker that would listen to me...I begged and pleaded in the end to let me on a plane...and well...IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!! :) Surely, the next time around I'll be much more patient...SURELY!!! :) And, it is just like pregnancy...you forget the painful parts and want to do it ALL OVER AGAIN!! :) (side note: AGCI was very kind and good to me...they listened so well as I cried and begged for my baby...I think they'd dealt with a few other crazy mommas before :)
****So...I'll post NEXT on my TRAVEL and BONDING with LL!! But I just wanted everyone that DIDN'T know me a year ago during THE WAIT to know...that I WASN'T COOL AS A CUCUMBER!! I was SOOOO anxious to get my baby girl home I could't stand it...I had NO FEAR of flying to Africa...I never worried ONCE about bonding with LL...I just WANTED my baby girl HOME WITH ME, and I wanted to throw up most days waiting on her!!! :) Ok, so...the next part was EASY....and I'll post about that soon!!! :)
**And, for your viewing pleasure....here is another Momma's Take on THEIR WAIT....JUST TOO CUTE: (oh, and pause my music at the bottom of the page...and see if you spot a baby girl that might look familiar! :)
Happy Tuesday to you all, kj
Sunday, May 23, 2010
We go out to dinner Friday night after a late Softball Game at the local "Steak and Shake" (yummy, i know :) AND there walks up a set of grandparents introducing themselves letting me know that their daughter was adopting from Ethiopia and that they read my blog...too fun!! Then I sit at our table and look beside us and notice another set of grandparents with two beautiful brown girls that I just KNOW are "Ethiopian"!! I just had to ask..and well...yes, THEY were sisters adopted from Ethiopia about a year ago..and they run/own Just Love Coffee that so many of you are fundraising through!! Just too cool!! I told them I had some of their coffee at home..and well...just a lovely family!! :)
*Then Saturday I get the opportunity to run over and hang with Katie Davis for a bit!! Yes, she's another local celebrity living in Uganda changing the world!! If you haven't ever read Katie's blog: http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/ well, then..you're really missing out!! And, yes, she's from RIGHT HERE IN OUR TOWN TOO!! And, if you ever read her VERY FAMOUS blog then you know who this little one is in this pic:
Yes, my LL and Katie's Patricia got to play and share snacks on Saturday morning!! So fun!!
***Well, then on Saturday night (last night) we head to my nieces Graduation Party....and I snapped this pic:
And, finally..a shot of my beautiful niece (sister Kelly's oldest daughter) and her boy friend WHO both graduated last night!! Congrats guys!! Kelly's oldest is 18 and my oldest is 8.......
Friday, May 21, 2010
***Before we decided to adopt..I mean REALLY decided to send in our application....I too was lying in bed at night COMING UP WITH EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE over WHY we couldn't possibly go through with this!! I mean..I had 2 girls and 2 boys...why in the world would I ever rock that boat? Things were SO PERFECT in the eyes of the rest of the world....but I knew God was saying, "Didn't I answer your prayers? Didn't I give you the 4 healthy children you asked for?" I knew I'd been blessed WAY MORE than I ever deserved...and God was NOW asking ME to be obedient to HIM!! He was asking me to NOW give a home to ONE OF HIS MANY BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN IN NEED!! BUT...before I could completely OBEY...I had a FEW MORE EXCUSES UP MY SLEAVE....
I look back and think about ALL the questions I asked Tracy Mihnovich and Emily Alexander....Some of my first initial questions were:
- What will people think of me and our family?
-What do people ask you when walking through the grocery with your brown child and your other white children?
-Did you lose any friends over this?
-Have people ever been mean to you over your adoption?
And...the list goes on and on...I'm sure they wanted to reach over and slap some sense into me...but instead of slapping me...they showed me love and patience as I wrapped my little mind around the idea of adopting internationally!! :) I WAS scared at first....I do think it is VERY normal to be scared over something you've never done before....but it was through prayer and others that had adopted before me that I found PEACE!!
**I look back and remember the night I was lying in bed and I decided, "that's it...we cant' possibly do this...we just don't have enough bedrooms!" Seriously, for a brief moment, I was willing to STOP everything over an idea that came into my head about "bedrooms"!! Seriously....Did I mention that adopting is as much a HUGE spiritual journey as it is anything else!! You will grow more than you ever imagined possible...and I grew....I grew suddenly in my faith when I realized that THESE DUMB THOUGHTS ABOUT BEDROOMS, AND WHAT EVERYONE WOULD THINK OF ME, ETC.....WERE NOT OF THE LORD!!! I had to stop and realize that GOD would never want me NOT to adopt an orphaned child because I DIDN'T have enough bedrooms in my house for all 5 kids!!! I mean, come on...was I really going to stand before HIM some day and say..."Sorry, Lord...yes, I heard you burning my heart for the orphaned child but I couldn't go through with it because I didn't have enough bedrooms!" Ok, so yes, I obviously got over that one fast...and yes, it makes me want to throw up too to think I could have missed out on my LL over an excuse like "bedrooms"!!! :) Geez..i've changed a lot!!! :)
Ok, so that leads me to WHAT ARE YOUR EXCUSES TO NOT ADOPT? Maybe some of ya have some REALLY great ones that really would keep you from getting accepted into ANY adoption program across this nation...but my guess is...that very few people would actually fall into that category!!
*Lets see..I've heard MONEY as one of the most popular....ummm...I'd sell my right arm, my house and every belonging I own if it meant I could parent my LL!! :) The money thing is hard..I wont' lie...but I know that MOST of America could CUT BACK, NOT GO ON VACATIONS, NOT GET THAT NEW CAR, ETC...AND MAKE IT WORK!!! For most people, the money thing will never be easy...but I see people with NO EXTRA money adopt every day...so if they can do it...WHY CAN'T YOU??
*One of the most popular EXCUSES to NOT adopt is "MY HUBBY ISN'T ON BOARD"!! Yes, I hear this one every day!! And, I know..some of you really mean it...you've tried and he isn't budging yet....but others throw out the "oh, my hubby would NEVER go for that" and really...no one has even asked him!! Or you "kind of" dropped a hint ONCE and got a snarl or negative response and well...you never tried again!! Ok, people...that isn't good enough!! I can promise you this....IF you pray for your hubby for the next 365 days..day and night...and let him KNOW your heart and your desires to give the orphan a home...and you let him know that this is coming from GOD...well...IF YOU DON'T GIVE UP..I can promise that the husbands will come around...WHY??? because God works way bigger miracles ever day than working on your hubby's heart!! So..the question is...IS IT YOUR HUBBY'S HEART THAT NEEDS CHANGING OR IS IT YOURS? I'll let ya know that there isn't a day that goes by where I'm NOT praying for my hubby's heart to allow us to adopt for child #6 (yes, I know my MIL just passed out :) and it might not be any time soon that he budges...but I believe in my heart that THE DAY WILL COME...and I'M NOT GIVING UP!!! (i'll keep yall posted on that one :) So, if i have to work for it...well...so can you!!! :)
*Well, i've heard a LONG list of "other excuses" I could share with ya like:
" my family would never understand and never support me" - Well..how do you know if you don't give them a chance...I"ve watched MANY times where families DIDN'T support adoption..and well...I've seen EVERY time where those family members have to eat CROW because they LOVE that baby/child that comes into their family/life!! God has the ability to change ALL hearts...I've seen it happen!!
"I'm afraid of the teenage years..Is it really fair to bring a child into a bi-racial family?" - Ok, so is it fair to leave a child in an orphanage the rest of his/her life so YOU didn't have to face the teen years? I'd face a million years of LL's teen years if it meant that I could be her parent!! I haven't been a parent to a teen yet...but I can promise that I'll be there to support and love her through any hard times she might face!!
" If I only lived in YOUR area it would be easy to adopt...I'd have so much support..but no one where I live adopts" - Ok, so WHAT IF TRACY M. thought that same thought and never adopted LEVI?? Imagine HOW different our community would be!! When she adopted from Ethiopia..she was ALONE...she met a few others in the same pilot program..but they were virutally alone in our community...Their fellowship group consisted of like two families..seriously!! Now there are well over a hundred families!! I know God has many other "Tracy's" out there...that must be the FIRST.... it might seem scary..but there are hundreds of children in this world relying on YOU to say YES!! BECAUSE YOUR YES will make it ok for the NEXT person to say YES..and so on and so on!!
***Ok, so it is getting too late and I could go on for days with the "excuses" we all come up with....but my point here is to just let you know that I was ONCE there..I was scared and made up excuses too....but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IS THE FACT THAT I GOT OVER IT....WHY/HOW???? I GOT OVER IT BECAUSE I KNEW IN MY HEART THAT THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL RELYING ON ME TO COME AND GET HER....I GOT OVER IT BECAUSE SHE NEEDED ME TO GET OVER IT:
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
So, with out any further ado....I'm proud to introduce you all to ...The Precious Curly Headed brothers with their new Daddy:
I hope you'll all join me in praying this family home safely into their Momma's arms this weekend!! Praying for your safe return, Nelson Family!! God Bless!!!
**Happy Wednesday to you all, kj
Monday, May 17, 2010
I NEVER dreamed of adoption a day in my life!! Seriously....never even considered it...I was VERY focused on "getting pregnant" and having a BIG family the old fashioned way..plain and simple!! I don't know if I "IGNORED" the fact that there were so many orphans in the world or what...but I do believe God's plan was perfect for us....birthing 4 children in a row WAS FABULOUS..and my doctor called it "QUITS" for us since I had 4 c-sections!! That was it...we got "fixed" and story was over!! (or so I thought :)
We were seriously BUSY!! We had a new 5 yr. old, a 3 yr. old, a 2 yr. old and a new born....2 girls then 2 boys...what more could anyone ask for, right?? Well...when our baby George was 10 months old....I was busy praying to God to let me know "WHAT WAS NEXT"!! I STILL never dreamed of adoption....I thought I'd make a difference in the world by helping the homeless (like my sister Kelly was busy doing) and my hobbies consisted of surfing Realtracs... a website announcing the latest homes for sale in our area (really meaningful hobby, i know :) I had never even heard of the word "blog" before!! :)
When one fateful day...I received an email....it was like any other email...it was sent from my friend Nicole in my Sunday School Class..and it said, "Kristi, forward this on to your sister Kelly..I think she'd like it" The title of the forward was "Gotcha Day Video" !!! I didn't even know "what" that meant...and ALMOST sent it straight on to my sister...but I decided to open it first instead....and well....God was there at that very moment as I watched that Gotcha Day video...I had never seen anything like it in my life...I didn't know you could even adopt from Ethiopia...Here is the video:
God changed our lives at that VERY moment!! It was a fateful MOMENT in my life where God used someone else's journey to let us know that our FAMILY WASN'T FINISHED!!! We had a daughter waiting for us in Ethiopia....
Then began the next few days of RESEARCH!! I had to find out ALL I COULD about this orphan crisis Tracy M. talked about in her video...I traced back emails until I got in touch with Tracy (who I had never heard of until that video was sent to me) and I found out she was actually local!! I emailed, invited her over..and asked her a million questions (those are to come in a future post in this next month). I couldn't believe what I was hearing...children needed a home...and we had one...simple as that!!! Oh, but I then had to let my hubby IN on my new found passion...and well...let him know too...that well...I felt certain God was telling us WE WERE TO ADOPT!! So, I prayed about it...and I asked God, "How you sure you meant for US to get this message? I mean, we already have our hands full...did you really mean WE WERE TO ADOPT???" And, I knew in my heart God was telling me YES!!!
So, what did my hubby say? Well...he certainly was never against it..but he gave me the old, "sure honey..maybe in a few years" comment....BUT I knew in my heart we weren't to wait...so yes, there were many late night discussions over timing, money..all that stuff....but in the end of it all...he trusted what God was telling me...and he jumped on board too...and got excited...and well, then took over ALL the paper work and did the entire dossier himself since he said I wasn't doing any of it right!!! :)
So, that was it....we started the paper work application and all that fun stuff on George's 1st bday....and a year and 2 months later....Lucy Lane was in my arms!!! What a miracle!!! Oh, and we can't imagine our lives without her!! She's dreamy, yummy, and amazingly wonderful!! :) And, we truly could have missed out on all of it!! In a blink of an eye the Lord presented me with a fork in the road...WHICH ONE WOULD I TAKE?? HIS ROAD...OR MY ROAD??? I will forever be grateful for taking HIS ROAD....PRAISE GOD!!! Our family picture is now God's Family Picture....I had to just QUIT thinking about HOW I envisioned our family and turn to the Lord and ask HOW HE envisioned our family....I would never have been able to see ALL the wonderful things that HE had planned...I just had to trust (which wasn't always easy :) But in the end..the reward is sweet:
That's it folks...We adopted because there are 147 Million Orphans in this world...and God let us know that ONE of them was our daughter!!! So, that's WHY we adopted, we've been home almost a year, it has been a year filled with many blessings...and well....we'll just have to wait to see what God has in store for us next!! :)
***I ran across this AGCI family's "waiting" video the other day....I think it is just adorable...Again...this is a family with ONE girl and ONE boy...they could have "stopped" with the "perfect" family in the eyes of the rest of the world....BUT...they listened as God laid Adoption on their hearts....check out their cuteness and be inspired:
**Happy Monday to you all, kj
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
***Here is their awesome promo video for their shirt (yes, they are workin hard for this one :) :
Too cute...You can find this shirt at http://www.4boys1girl-kchiolis.blogspot.com/ I need to jump on over and order mine..... Isn't this family adorable...they certainly need to add a girly to that mix :)
3. Now let me introduce ya to the Kirk Family....I know...just too cute:
You can find this family at: www.growingbytwofeet.blogspot.com They are partnering with www.goseeklove.com for 6 weeks where all the profits from these adorable tshirts goes towards their adoption of baby #7!!! This partnership with the Kirk Family starts on Sunday, May 16th....so get your goseeklove shirt starting then!!! This family is also another AGCI fam!!!
#4. 2 shout outs go out for my friend Becky and her family!!! Becky is my "Target" friend that I blogged about in March....She had a great story...go check it out here!!! Anyways, they have since accepted a referral for a 5 and 8 year old child from Ethiopia...they have a court date..and things are moving VERY QUICKLY at this point...You can see their blog at: www.therutlandjourney.blogspot.com They are doing some fundraising events coming up:
1. They are having a spa day on Monday, May 17th...all day....where you can be pampered and purchase items from Beauticontrol and all proceeds go towards their adoption..... AND...
2. They are having a large yard sale on Saturday, June 26th at Bethel World Outreach Center in Mckays Mill, Franklin!! If you are interested in helping or donating to either of these fundraisers please contact Becky at email@example.com She can give you more details!!
#5. My sister Kelly with www.ordinaryhero.org is taking donations for the Flood Victims of Nashville AGAIN this Friday at a local drop off point!! They are in need of ALL household items..including clothes, personal items, furniture, etc.... You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything you'd like to donate...They are NOW up to about 7 families they are helping and believing that God will provide all the things needed to get these families back on their feet!! Imagine having NOTHING....all donations are greatly appreciated!!
#6. I have one more fam to introduce ya to...I'm introducing this family because I've had MANY emails lately from people "scared" to get started!! They all feel God is working on their hearts for adoption...but they feel scared to get started!! I hear lots of "i'll be the first in my community to adopt"..."what will the teen years be like"...."my parents/inlaws aren't supportive"...."I live in a community where racism still exists..what will that be like for my child?" All I can say is...I don't have all the answers...but God DOES!!!! You might just have to be strong enough to be the FIRST in your community like this family: www.lovinmuch.blogspot.com This sweet family is open to talking with any of you that might have questions like: "How did you get over your fears..and decide to adopt when you are the 1st to do it in your community?"
#7.....Ok....I have my OWN SHOUT OUT!!! My sweet friend Karen (who made my Gotcha Day video) is making a 1 year home video...coming out in June on our 1 year anniversary home!!! Yes, sequels are hard...but hey...we're given it a try anyways...So.....we were chatting today and throwing out ideas...when...we came up with something good!! :) I would LOVE for anyone that has been touched, moved, inspired, or pushed over the edge to adopt BECAUSE of our adoption/video/LL, etc. to please email me a picture of your current family so it can be used in our 1 year home video!! It can be a pic of your fam currently holding up a number on the wait list, or just a picture of your fam, or if your adoption is complete then it can be with your new child....Is this making any sense?? So, I've lost count of HOW MANY people have written me to let me know they are NOW adopting....and I'd like to use you all in our video...to let the world know what happens when you adopt JUST ONE CHILD!!! Everyone has a ripple effect...I'm nothing special...but I know so many people think that it is just helping ONE CHILD..when really it is helping hundreds of children every time someone adopts an orphaned child!!! Ok. if that makes sense..then please email me your picture at email@example.com and give me permission to use it on our video!! Ok, so the pressure is on ya now Karen....as if you weren't busy enough..I know..I'm a high maintenance friend!!! :)
****Wow...that took a while to post...so now my arms are falling to sleep from typing so much..and well...my brain is turning off for the night!! :) Happy Wednesday to you all, kj