Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Just a quick post to say Happy Memorial Day from our 5 little people to YOURS.... And, our YOUNGEST little person was feeling quite dramatic and DIDN'T want to pose for Mom's Memorial Day pic in her WAY TOO CUTE Poppy Dip skirt :) So...she threw herself onto her brother Hal and refused to look at me....
And, she then hid behind Hal basically choking him which caused ALL KINDS OF LAUGHS from her siblings (which she's always going for :)

Julia "peeling" her off of Hal.................

Now she attaches herself to Julia and STILL refuses to look at me..............
Julia successfully turns her around just in time for George to run away, Hal to get his "rabbit fingers" up and LL to start crying....Oh, well....the cute pic just isn't happenin' today :) LOL
Ok, Mommy to the rescue...and now Hal ran away too...Oh, well...You win lose some :) Hey, but the Poppy Dip Skirts are still VERY CUTE either way..and yes, you'll see them again for the 4th of act surprised!! :) Oh, and you can find them at if you are interested...All proceeds go towards their 3rd adoption from Ethiopia!! :)
**Happy Monday, Happy Memorial and certainly remembering and honoring all those that went before us so that we can stand here today in FREEDOM!! kj

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One Million Arrows....

Well, I have a GREAT book to share with you all on this Sunday afternoon....
I was contacted by the author of One Million Arrows and asked to do a "BOOK REVIEW" for this amazing book.....and it is just that....AMAZING!! I'm always honest..and well..I'm not finished with the book yet...but that has nothing to do with HOW GREAT it is..I really can't wait to finish it...well..and to finish Crazy Love, and The Hole in Our Gospel, and There is No Me Without You...and're seeing a pattern here..I read WONDERFUL books..I just never seem to get to finish them. It would be because of the 5 little people in my life (and yes, they are peering over my shoulder right now..oh, and climbing on my head..which is George's favorite thing to do while i'm on the computer :) So, yes, I will some day finish ALL these great books...but for is a good one!! Let me tell ya a little about the book you need to add to your collection:
All profits from this book go to International orphan care and ministry, including their personal work with orphans in Haiti.

Book Summary by Julie Ferwerda, author of One Million Arrows:
"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 Enjoy the promo video:

**Happy Sunday to you all, kj

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bonding and Attachment with LL....

Well, on to my NEXT topic in my series of POSTS leading up to our 1 year home with LL: Bonding and Attachment!!! This is a fascinating many people spend many hours researching and planning for....AND, I'll share with ya WHAT WORKED FOR US!! This necessarily won't work for everyone/anyone else!! This is JUST WHAT WORKED FOR US....I pass NO judgment on those that do things completely different than I do...cause I'm sure some of ya will find me QUITE NUTTY after reading our "BONDING with LL" after 1 year home post!! BUT..I will have to say, that we've had a WONDERFUL and SUCCESSFUL one year home...and it has been completely 110% EASY to bond with LL!! Again, I'm no professional...just sharing what worked for us....So, here goes.... ***So, I never for one minute THOUGHT it would be hard to LOVE a child that I didn't birth!! I just knew I could/would love an adopted child the same. I think what proved it for me was losing our FIRST referral....The pain and tears were real...and it let my hubby and I BOTH know that we obviously felt feelings for a baby girl we'd never even met....So...then came second referral....and well..I was just head over heals AGAIN!! I couldn't wait to get to my baby..and I couldn't get there fast enough.

***So, I truly think the trip to Ethiopia was awesome and wonderful!! My only worry was leaving my 4 other children behind...and when my hubby decided he should stay home..well..then I had nothing else to worry about!! I headed to Ethiopia on a Saturday morning with my big sister, Kelly...and well..we had a GREAT TIME!! She knew not to touch or even look at LL too long...cause we were going to be BONDING!! :) So, it was just the two of us the entire trip....Once Almaz handed LL to me....I was in love and I wasn't putting her back down. Now this was very similar to HOW I DEALT WITH MY BIO NEW BORNS...I was very much a BABY HOG...I didn't want anyone else to hold my babies, help me with them, or to really even touch them...and that pretty much includes my hubby too...I never wanted him to get up at night or to change a diaper..cause I honestly wanted to do it all my self...Yes, crazy I know!! :) Control issue there, maybe?? Hmmmm, Maybe!! :) So......after 4 bio babies..(and I FELT the same way over all 4)..I knew I'd be a GREAT adoptive Momma!!!

***So, I was given LL...and well...I just never put her back down...I lugged her around Africa never letting anyone else touch or hold her basically. I slept with her...took her in the bathroom if I was going, and attached her to my body with a sling and there she stayed!! The trip was wonderful!! I got more sleep in Ethiopia than I ever get back home with my 4 other little I actually came back home feeling GREAT!! I napped in Ethiopia when she did..and she slept better ONLY getting up a few times a night THAN my George was doing back home!! I hadn't slept through the night in getting up with LL was a breeze..I was very much used to it!! So this gets me to WHY DO I THINK OUR ADOPTION AND BONDING WAS SO EASY/SUCCESSFUL??

1. I was already in the midst of babies, diapers, sleepless nights, no showers, exhaustion with my other 4...LL just mixed right into it all...I find people have a hard time with adoption/birthing a new child WHEN THEY HAD GOTTEN OUT OF THE BABY STAGE AND TRIED TO RETURN BACK TO IT!!! When you are right in the thick of it already...adding another one just doesn't make that big of a difference!!

2. I had already birthed a "highly sensitive", "colicky" , "high maintenance" baby ONCE BEFORE...I was determined that NO ONE could be any harder than that experience...and well...LL was just EASY compared to my past experiences. I'd also birthed a sick baby that was hospitalized and was taken by ambulance from her sicknesses as an infant..and well...I was mentally prepared for a sick, screaming baby if that was what came my didn't!! LL seemed to like me from day one!! She wasn't a screamer...she was actually kind of funny and smiley!! She seemed to LOVE all the attention she was getting..and well...I really liked her too!! Oh, and she was VERY healthy hospital stays or weekly doctor visits like I'd done in the past with one of my bio babies!! So, already...things were easier than what I'd dealt with in the past!! Perspective is everything!!

3. Ok, Ladies...this will be the hard one for ya....You must reach in deep and find your "Laid Back Bone"!! I know...some of you are thinking YOU JUST DON'T HAVE ONE!!! But, i promise you do....Instead of getting stressed at the situation of being in a third world country and up to your eyeballs with baby poop and bottles and no water, no electricity (we seriously had none all week), no food, no hot showers, no computers or phones...LEARN TO LAUGH AT IT ALL!! I LOVED experiencing such a place cause I knew it might not ever happen again!! And, I hear all the time, "Oh, I just can't go with out my sleep"...Oh, really you can!! I used to think the same thing...and I promise your body will adjust..and you can go on way less sleep than you think you can!! You will survive!! Now, doing it with a good attitude might be the challenge though!! :)

4. Ladies, STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP!! Ok, so I find that most people having a hard time with their adoption experience is because THEY ARE PUTTING SO MUCH PRESSURE ON THEMSELVES!! I hear things like, "Oh, NO i'm failing....I don't feel LOVE at first sight..I feel like my child is a stranger" Ok, so WHO CARES!! YOU will eventually feel something for your child ONE the professionals say: FAKE IT UNTIL ITS REAL!! You won't be able to NOT LOVE a child that is attached to your body 24 hrs. a day after a few weeks...For some people, it just takes time...AND THAT IS OK!!! I have so many friends that didn't feel a thing for their new borns and called me to ask me IF THEY WERE CRAZY!! No...this is normal for some people...Some people really need to spend the time with their child whether birthed or adopted before some day waking up and realizing "Hey, I kind of LIKE you now!! " Which leads me to:

5. Raising Children is just HARD whether you birth them or adopt them....I have talked MORE friends OFF the fence after giving birth than I've ever done in the adoption world. We as American Citizens are just selfish and spoiled...there is nothing harder than realizing that THE WORLD DOESN'T REVOLVE AROUND US ANYMORE!! It revolves around this new person in your life...Again..some people handle this with ease...others FREAK OUT and really resist this new way of life...And, again...everything levels out eventually: The new mom gets in a groove...the mom going from one to two learns how to juggle...the mom who births a screaming baby that won't stop while two other toddlers stare at ya wanting your attention EVENTUALLY learns to calm the screaming baby!!! Everything CALMS down eventually and it is just learning to smile during the difficult times and ALWAYS praying to the Lord asking HIM to give you the skills to get through the hard times with GRACE!!

3. Just REALIZE that you don't know what your getting whether you birth a child or adopt a child!! All of my 5 children look different, act different and react differently to the same situation put before them. It is just the way of the world. You may birth a screamer or adopt a screamer...You may birth an easy child or adopt an easy child....Either way....that child is YOURS..and I promise you that God has a plan to help your GROW through the difficult times...and well...we could all use some spiritual growth in our take it, accept it, smile and move on!!

4. So, my hubby said once that " I " just thought LL was easy because I was SO used to kids now and "IF" someone else had adopted her that they probably would have thought she was "hard"!! LL hard?? NO WAY HUBBY!! :) Ok, so he meant that she isn't perfect...BUT SHE'S SO NORMAL!! She, from day one, LOVED for me to hold her all the time, SCREAMED very dramatically and could break glass if she didnt' get her way, didn't sleep through the night for the first 7 months home, and LOVES to make huge messes to get a reaction out of us!! She's gone through her "hitting" stage, her "throwing her self back" stage, etc. BUT all this is normal...She acts just like all my other kids did at certain, I'm used to it...but children are children..and there would be something wrong with them IF they weren't throwing fits!! :) So, I say...bring on the fit...I praise God and thank HIM for allowing her to be SO normal and NOT BROKEN after going through the loss of her birth mom and her orphanage workers, her country etc.

5. Ok, so I personally think the things I did for the FIRST YEAR home made it VERY easy to bond and attach to LL...Here are some of them:

* I seriously held her and comforted her as much as humanly possible...If she grunted or made a noise, I ran to her to let her know I was there for her.

* I've been co-sleeping with her for a year now..I did this with all my children..and it really makes for great bonding.

* I've still FOR ONE ENTIRE YEAR never left her. She's never been out of my sight day or night except for a hand full of times where my hubby watched her while I HAD to run to something for a VERY short period of time..and even then, I tried to make sure she was sleeping. So, that means: no nurseries, no babysitters, no family watching her, nothing...just 365 days/24 hrs. a day of us being together...Ok, so i know this is the time you're thinkin i'm nuts..but hey, I promise it works for me/us. :) I gave up all girls nights, book clubs, etc. for this entire year...

* I did/still do all the feeding, diaper changing, putting down for naps, getting up at night, etc.

* I KNEW we weren't going to be able to "stay at home" once we were LL in the sling all the time is what kept us close and her comfortable to her new surroundings...She never cared where we were as long as she was in the sling.

***Well, I'm tired and going to wrap this LONG WINDED sucker up...My point here tonight is...Do what works for you and your child..and realize that ATTITUDE is about 99% of the game. YES, there are some incredibly HARD situations out there that have NOTHING to do with attitude..I get that...but for the majority...take it slow...pour love into your child whether it feels REAL or not..and eventually...all the hard work will pay off....because ONE YEAR LATER..I can honestly say that I'm so thankful for all the sleepless nights, the constant one on one with LL, and all the work cause it has made us CLOSE and we share a BOND that can't be broken!!

Happy Friday to you all, kj 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

Is This Your Daughter???

Tonight I have an adorable little girl to tell you ALL about....AGCI let me know of ANOTHER "waiting" child in NEED of a FOREVER FAMILY!! My prayer is that God will use this post and connect the dots so this child can find her FOREVER FAMILY NOW!!! I will be calling her ADORABLE "T"!! Adorable T is just that....ADORABLE!! She is a 7 or 8 year old child on paper...but Almaz at Hannah's Hope thinks she could be more like 9 or 10!! So....think 7, 8, 9, or 10 and you should be about right!! :) It is simple people....Adorable T needs a HOME!! She is in need of a Mommy and Daddy....T is considered a FULL Orphan because she has lost both of her parents!! She is healthy, beautiful and vibrant and this is what AGCI had to say about her:

"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 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 OR go directly to their website at and find additional ways to contact!! Adorable T is NOT on their you'll have to call to see her pics and get more info on her!! You may also email me at if I can help at all!

***So, yes, connect to this post..pass this post 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

The Wait, Court...and Heading to Africa...

So, here goes POST #3 in my Re-cap of our Adoption Year....#1 was "Why did we Adopt?" #2 was "Excuses" we all make...and #3 is "WAITING" So, HOW DID I HANDLE THE WAIT?

*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 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 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 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 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

Yes, It's TRUE..I LOVE Where I Live!!!

I'm interrupting my "Series of Posts leading up to our 1 Year Home" AGAIN for some CUTENESS......AND, to say, "Yes, it's true...I LOVE where we live!" Yes, on any given day, any where I go....I see other families that look just like ours!! I meet other people that "get it" and share the same passion for the orphan and adoption!! For example:
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: well,'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!!
And, above, here they are posing with the famous Katie herself!! I had no idea WHO Katie was when we started our journey...but my friend Gwen brings her over to my house for breakfast one morning about a year and a half ago..and well...she's been a huge inspiration in my life ever sense!!

And, I've been waiting to meet my friend Suzanne's new daughter "Josie Love" too!! What a great pic...I had thought all day HOW I couldn't wait to get these three girls together!!
Josie Love was lovin her some LL!! :)
Me, above and Josie Love....You'll have to read Suzanne's awesome blog and testimony about bringing Josie Love home from Uganda...simply amazing!! You can read it at And, we were all at Gwen's house buying Katie's new tshirt for Amazima!! You can find katie's tshirt for yourself at !!
(And, above, Josie Love stole my camera and took this pic of her Momma and Katie...I thought it was too funny!!! : )
***Ok, so on to more WHY I love my area...the other day I had some mommas over and I looked around and I had Gwen from , Kelly from, and my sister Kelly from !! These are all local women CHANGING the world...and they were all standing in my kitchen!! But it hasn't always been this way...someone HAD to be the first...and well, when we started our adoption, I didn't KNOW any of these people (well, except for my sister of course :) My point is that God just kept putting these incredibly GREAT, AWESOME women in my path!! And, believe me, you can't help but be inspired and changed by hanging out with these ladies!! :)
***Well, then we went to Costco and a couple other ball games through out our day yesterday (Saturday) and I see people EVERYWHERE wearing Gwen's and Suzanne's 147 tshirts... It is a "chat fest" everywhere we go... people stopping to chat adoption or to ask where LL is from!! One guy walks up and says, " your baby wins cutest baby award...where is she from?" I always answer, "There are millions more where she came from"!! I bet I see at least 4 or 5 children adopted from China while out that afternoon too!! We just all give each other "the smile"!! It's "the smile" from one adopting momma to another!! :)

***Well, then on Saturday night (last night) we head to my nieces Graduation Party....and I snapped this pic:
3 adopted children at the party...all adopted from 3 separate parts of the world...all with slightly different stories...but ALL with the SAME NEED....the NEED for a mommy and daddy to tuck them in at night and to give them the security and unconditional love that they deserve!! Wow...I look at these 3 and think...How could anyone NOT WANT TO ADOPT!!?? :)

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.......
The hubby and I went to bed last night stating TWO things...1. Wow, what a GREAT community we live in...we were both AMAZED at HOW many adoptive families you can run into in ONE 24 hr. period.... 2. We both were SO GLAD that we have 10 more years before anyone graduates high school in our house...oh, my heart is SO not ready for that yet!! :)
Happy Sunday to you all, kj

Friday, May 21, 2010


Well, my first post leading up to our one year home was entitled "WHY DID WE ADOPT?" My second post in this series is "EXCUSES"!! Oh, my goodness...we're SO FULL OF THEM!! Yes, we're a "don't make me slightly uncomfortable", "i can't step out of my comfort zone" nation!! When confronted with someone that "is adopting" OR when you hear of someone REALLY doing amazing things for God like "Katie moving to Uganda" OR all the things my sister Kelly is doing through Ordinary Hero....Well...our first thoughts are of all the EXCUSES WHY WE COULD NEVER DO THOSE THINGS!! Believe me people...I was/am still one of those people making excuses every day....let me share:

***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 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've tried and he isn't budging yet....but others throw out the "oh, my hubby would NEVER go for that" and one has even asked him!! Or you "kind of" dropped a hint ONCE and got a snarl or negative response and 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 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 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" - 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:

**Happy Friday to you all, kj

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Curly Headed Brothers Have Gone Home!! UPDATED!

I had an entire DIFFERENT post planned for tonight...that is...until I got the MOST amazing pictures sent to me!! I woke this morning to an email that made my heart just flip and tears roll down my face. Before I share those TWO pics...let me UPDATE some of you that may not have a clue to what I'm talking about!!! Do any of you remember my post PLEADING for someone to step up and adopt the curly headed brothers? This is how it came about:I went in June to pick up my lovely little Miss Lucy Lane...While there, my sister Kelly took pics of ALL the waiting children that were not placed yet with a family!! It was heart breaking to say the least!! She came home and successfully got all the kids placed by sending out the pics via email EXCEPT for the Precious Curly Headed Brothers (pictured above and below)! These brothers were weighing HEAVY on my heart ONE particular weekend... I truly couldn't get them off my mind...I was hangin with my sisters when I asked my sister Kelly, "Are those brothers STiLL not placed yet?" She said, "NOT that she knew of"!! It broke me!!! It was at that moment that I declared my blog WOULDN'T just be a "cute LL reality show" but should/would be an "advocating" blog too!! I told my family MY PLAN..and decided at that moment that my NEXT POST would be for THE CURLY HEADED BROTHERS!!
You can't meet these precious children and NOT feel some connection to them....Not only were they beautiful with the MOST fabulous hair I'd ever seen, but they were sweet and kind and wanted more than anything to have a family!!! So...I advocated for them...I used all these same pictures I'm posting tonight...I prayed over my post and prayed that God would deliver it to the family he had intended for these boys from the beginning of time...and my complete and utter surprise...HE DID JUST THAT!!!

I was blown away when I received an email from someone I'd never chatted with before saying that "she felt these boys were hers"!! I just about fell out of my seat!! Within 24hrs. of my post...these boys had a family actively pursuing them!! It was at that VERY MOMENT that it hit me like a ton of bricks...all this...our adoption..our trip to get LL...WAS WAY BIGGER THAN i EVER DREAMED POSSIBLE!!! It had nothing to do with ME and everything to do with God's Plan!! Yes, I always felt our adoption was something God had "called" us to do...but I still thought it was so we could give one baby girl the family and home she needed!! So, yes, that was a small part of it..but the bigger picture is something ONLY God could have orchestrated!! I learned it had nothing to do with me or even LL...but everything to do with Glorifying God's Plan he had set for these children!!

(Older curly headed brother on bottom and his friend Micah Shewit doing a back bend over him...Michah Shewit now lives locally here and I saw him swimming at the local pool things have changed for him since being at the orphanage...He's another child my sister placed with her pics :)

So, that's the story....two brothers needed a home and God connected the dots to make that a YEAR later...the PRECIOUS CURLY HEADED BROTHERS are in the arms of their new daddy: (mom had to stay home because they had a child graduating this same weekend...I know she was bummed to miss out on the trip :)

So, with out any further ado....I'm proud to introduce you all to ...The Precious Curly Headed brothers with their new Daddy:

***I you get any cuter than their matching outfits together? Praising God for this precious family that had the heart to open their home for two more!! These two pictures just made my entire day!!! All Glory to God!!

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!!!

*** FYI....UPDATED!!!! I just heard from our list serve that THE SISTERS have found a family!! Praise God!! I don't know the story at all, and assuming it had nothing to do with the 4 times i've advocated for them on my blog...I've seen several other people advocating for the sister's I'm assuming that they found their forever family that way!! I couldn't be more excited...this truly made my day (again :) So....more good news to share..the curly headed boys are headed home....and the beautiful sisters have a family coming!! :) God is so good!!! Happy Thursday to you all, kj

**Happy Wednesday to you all, kj

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Did We ADOPT???

WHY DID WE ADOPT?? This is probably one of my top questions I get all the time!! I know I answered this in the beginning of our journey a couple of years ago...but that old blog is now retired and I thought I'd take this next month leading up to our 1 Year Home with LL to answer some of the MANY questions I get each day....Some of you already know all these answers...but some of you are newer and may not have known us back when we started our Adoption Journey....AND..since these are commonly asked questions still....I'm hoping to link to some of them on my side bar for future newbies that stop by Blog Land!!! :) So HERE GOES:

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 was like any other 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 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:

Waiting from G Miller on Vimeo.

**Happy Monday to you all, kj

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy 1/2 Bday LL and Happy 11 Months Home!

Wow, I can't believe LL has been in my arms for 11 months TODAY!! I certainly can't believe that our ONE YEAR HOME ANNIVERSARY is coming up next month!! ( Oh, and thank you for all the GREAT pictures I am receiving of YOUR families!! You guys are blowing me away with all this!!! If you missed my last post, we're asking for anyone that decided to adopt, was inspired to adopt, or was simply pushed over the edge to adopt FROM our video, family, LL, blog, etc.... to please send us a pic of YOUR FAMILY and we want to use it in our upcoming 1 YEAR HOME VIDEO that will be out next month!! So, keep sending them...and I'll give you a cut off date as soon as I hear from my friend Karen who is making it for me :) You can send your pics to ) Ok, so back to this post: Above, is 11 months ago TODAY......LL had turned 7 months old on that very Gotcha Day we picked her up....Above, she is pictured with her travel buddy Silas......Then......Today........
Lucy lane and Silas were reunited on their 11 month Gotcha Day Anniversary!!!! Oh, and Silas was quite happy to see LL.....

He couldn't stop kissing her (Ok, so I hear he kisses everyone...but I'm going to pretend that LL is special in his heart for now :)

Well...she never quite felt the love for "kissing" like her buddy Silas did...but...well...we're teaching her well...No kissing boys until she's at least 35 :)

The kids having fun with some Chalk..............

A cute pic...Ok, so we were at an adoption picnic today if you can't much fun!!!
Some of the moms at the picnic...Gwen and I carpooled out together to attend this picnic...It's always fun gabbin with my girl Gwen!! :) And, what a fun way to spend LL's 1/2 birthday and her 11 months Home day!!

Well...I think LL had a fun 1/2 bday...we celebrated tonight by eating at Cracker of our favs!! :) Then we came home and the kids ran straight for the $5.00 baby pool...They've had more fun with this thing....It was meant for George and LL...but...their older siblings seem to LOVE it too!!! No one takes the time for a swim suit!!! :) Don't ya wonder what the neighbors think!! LOL The pool fun ended when LL did a #2 in her bloomers (she had no diaper on :) and George did a #1 in the pool...seriously at the same time...that sent the older kids runnin..and I had to drop the cam to grab them both out of the water!! :) too funny!!!
****Oh, what a difference 11 months makes!!! She's just our little dream come true...all that spunk and all!!! :) I can't believe you are 18 months old LL!! We love you more than you'll ever know!!! Happy Saturday to you all, kj

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Amazing Shout Outs This Week (and make sure you read #7)

Lots of great things to tell ya about this week...and then a SUPER DUPER BIG REQUEST FROM read that at the bottom...pretty please!!! :)

1. Oh, how I LOVE this new shirt...Definitely one of my new favs!!! I loved this family's LAST shirt..but this one is just GREAT too....Their blog is: They are adopting from Ethiopia...They are with my agency, AGCI....and well...they have huge hearts that I adore!! :) Here is their new shirt:

***Here is their awesome promo video for their shirt (yes, they are workin hard for this one :) :

And, you can also order one by going to I can't wait to get mine!!

#2. Check out this family's' new tshirt they are selling for their adoption:

Too cute...You can find this shirt at 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: They are partnering with 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 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: 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 She can give you more details!!

#5. My sister Kelly with 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 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: 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 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 and give me permission to use it on our video!! Ok, so the pressure is on ya now if you weren't busy enough..I know..I'm a high maintenance friend!!! :)

****Wow...that took a while to now my arms are falling to sleep from typing so much..and brain is turning off for the night!! :) Happy Wednesday to you all, kj