Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Cheer!

I don't have time to blog, but thought I could hold you over with some beautiful pictures of my Christmas angels!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Adopt Shop

I am now addicted to Etsy. Late nights, early mornings are spent with Jack on my chest and computer on my lap searching through pages of beautiful, artsy things that I wish I had the time (and two free hands) to make.
But anyway, while stumbling upon "Russian Jewelry" I found this cute little shop "The Adopt Shop", owned by Kate.
She is adopting from Taiwan and the proceeds from her shop go towards getting her little angel home.
Check her out HERE
And perhaps buy something for someone who really likes this. (hint. hint.hint)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Open mouth, insert foot

This is an oldie I never finished, but I thought you would love this! (This is a pre-Jack post as you might be a little confused...)
I was shopping at the grocery store alone on one of those rare occasions and I was standing in line behind someone with a lot of stuff. One of the store employees approached, an older woman, and tried to convince me to switch lines. I told her, really it's fine, my mom was in town and I had a free babysitter! I was just enjoying the silence!
At that point, she asked "an infant?" I guess because I was buying newborn diapers with some stellar coupons. I said "well, we have a three year old, but we are adopting an infant soon"
Preparing myself for "oh that's wonderful..." NOPE.
She asks "from where?" I tell her: "it's a domestic adoption".
At this point she launches into a soliloquy about how she "was so happy it wasn't one of those foreigners" and "what kind of people sell out and forget their own country" and "what did China, Russia, etc. ever do for us?" I just let her go on forever. I mean forever.
When she was done bashing every country under the sun, she said "what does your 3 year old think of all this, is he jealous of sharing?"
I smile and say "well he is the most kind and loving child, he is really doing well with the whole thing. Maybe it's the fact that he's adopted too. FROM RUSSIA." Then it was my turn. I told her a little bit about the orphanage Charlie grew up in. I told her that I was fairly certain that a three month old baby being raised in an orphanage really didn't care about politics or history or hard feelings between our countries. That all he ever wanted was a mama and papa to tuck him in at night. He didn't know about a Cold War or any other war for that matter. He just wants hugs and kisses and a backyard to play in. I told her that orphans from any country were causalities of ignorance, like hers. And unless she had personally visited an orphanage and decided little babies were responsible for the World's woes then her point of view was not valid. Then I turned and started unloading my cart.
I bet she'll think twice before opening her big fat stupid mouth.
Agrhhhh. Meet the Mama Bear. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Love Seat

My Parents

Chad's Parents
Chad's Parents

Chad's Parents

My Sister, Aunt Nene!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conversations with Charlie

Well, we all knew it was coming.
Since Charlie has mastered the following questions:
"What you doing?"
"Where they going?"
and..."Who's that?"
We knew the dreaded "Why" was only short behind.

Why this new question? Explaining Christmas movies with subtle themes and complex emotions have been a real challenge. While watching the "Grinch that Stole Christmas" Charlie asked "Why" approximately 8,342 times.
"What's he doing?"
"He's stealing all the Who's Christmas decorations"
"Because he's bad"
"Why he bad?"
"Well, you missed this part because you were asking me what he was doing, but according to Dr. Seuss he's bad because his heart is three sizes too small."
"Oh. Why?"

And repeat. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

As this day comes to a close (for the majority of the working world, NOT those with newborns) I would be remiss to let the sun set without thinking about all that we have to be thankful for.
Chad and I were talking about last Thanksgiving. We were on our way home to Florida when we got a phone call from our agency. Get your paperwork updated. We're going to try the Judge again. At this point we were emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and otherwise completely exhausted. Reluctantly, we called the doctor's office, our friend at the Sheriff's office to start the ball rolling on redoing everything once we arrived home. Ugh. Little did we know that this "try again" would actually be successful and we would be traveling in the new year.
This year, my how things have changed. I just sat and stared at not one, but two sons. One took two years to get home, the other two months. Trust me when I say that your heart knows no difference. It was surreal that both Jack and Charlie celebrated their first Thanksgiving together.
Tomorrow, we kick off the Christmas season. Shopping (most likely not) Decorating (Lord willing) and changing pace into somewhat of a frenzy (Definitely). But, just for today I am counting my blessings and thinking about what a difference a year makes! God is so good and I will never stop counting my blessings! Thank you blog friends for lifting us up in prayers and pulling us through. I am thankful for each one of you as well!

Friday, November 11, 2011

We're home!

Jack is home! Healthy, happy, hungry! Thank you for your prayers and continued prayers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome to the World Baby Jack!

Baby Jack was welcomed into the world today at 5:40pm weighing in at 7lb 7oz, 19 1/2 inches long. Everyone is healthy and happy. Its 2am and I am currently "sleeping" in the worlds most uncomfortable chair right by the birthmom. How many people can say that? What an honor.
Tomorrow at 6pm we can sign documents, until then I just can't rest. Maybe it's the chair, maybe it's the machines beeping, maybe it's the hourly entry of nurses and medical staff. Nope, pretty sure it's my nerves. Please say a prayer for us, we are a bundle of nerves. It's funny how 2 adoptions can have 2 entirely different sets of worries and emotions. I am feeling a little out of sorts. Well, a lot out of sorts. It's 2am. Did I mention that? Oh, and he's perfect, absolutely perfect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Charlie's Prayer

Tonight it was just Charlie and me. I was making spaghetti for dinner, getting a pot of water boiling for the noodles. Charlie came in and said "Ohhhh EGGS, Mama??" (The child LOVES a hard boiled egg, he would eat them everyday if he could and if our noses could stand the ahhem..."after effects" of the eggs) I told him, I was making spaghetti. He looked disappointed, but said "ok mama" and went back to the living room to play. So, I decided while the sauce was simmering, I could boil some eggs for tonight and for breakfast this week.
Well, Charlie was so excited to see an egg on his plate. (I'm telling you he is the easiest child in the world to please.)
We sat down, held hands. I asked him if he would like to say the prayer tonight. This is how it went:

"Thank you Jesus,
Thank you Jesus and God
Thank you for yum-yums,
Thank you for baby Jack and Eggs"

Well, that about sums it up. A crying Mama at the dinner table, eggs, and the joy a child's prayer brings. What a sweet, sweet boy and a great, great God. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christmas Clothes!

Can't wait to put the boys in these! They were a gift from my childhood pediatrician, who is still close with my mom. THANKS JILL! She has two precious boys from Russia and she and her husband have been so kind to us. We REALLY can't wait to get our boys together.
FYI: (Yes I am addicted to things with ears) post coming soon of all the things I have bought with ears- hats, blankets, onesies, towels, hoodies. Yup, if it has ears I must buy it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

14 days!

Due to the fact that Jack is now weighing in at -SEVEN POUNDS, SIX OUNCES!!!- the c-section date has been moved back to Friday, November 18th. So that means we are exactly 14 days away from d-day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Conversations with Charlie

Charlie's new favorite phrase? "What you doing, Mama?"
Facebook ain't got nothin' on my kid. I update my status at least 300 times a day.
"What you doing, Mama?"
"I'm folding clothes, baby"
(Three second pause)
"What you do now?"
"Yup...still folding clothes"

So today, seeing where this conversation was heading, I thought I would one up him.
Charlie: "What you doing, Mama?"
Mama: "I'm driving us to church buddy"
(Three second pause)
Charlie: "What..."
Mama: (Interrupting) "Hey, What YOU doing Charlie?"
Charlie: (Taking a moment and then busting out a big smile) "I ASKING WHAT MAMA DOING"
Touche, Charlie. Touche. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

We're ready for the Great Pumpkin!

We've dressed up...

We've ridden the bull (facial hair intact)

We've had some fancy cupcakes

We've made good use of the Halloween stickers

We've worked on our mad scientist look

We've gone incognito in the "bone man" gear

We made some cookies....
We are ready for the Great Pumpkin!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Well, the clothes are washed, the room is ready. I am starting on the 10 million thank you cards I have to write, other than that it's just waiting, waiting, waiting...
Something you would think we would be good at by this point.
We're not.
Birthmom calls or texts and I jump out of my skin. I need to think of a better name than birthmom, at least for blogging purposes. It sounds so...formal. Something we really aren't. I could abbreviate it. BM. Oh wait, that's gross. She calls me "Baby Mama" which is so funny to me, so I can't call her that. I think I'll call her gift giver. Does that sound hokey?
I wanted to check in with you, I feel like I haven't blogged in forever...I feel like this is such an important time, I should have a lot to say but I really don't have much important to say.
I am so wrapped up in baby gear- it's like my cryptonite. I am fighting the urge to have a 36 picture post of all the awesome things we received or bought. ITS.JUST.SO.CUTE.
So what am I currently fixated on? Even though Jack won't be eating solid food spring, I am in the market for a baby food maker (one that steams and chops in the same bowl) Does anyone have any experience with these? I would love a weigh in and I know if I put it on Facebook, my non-baby friends will have a hayday with the comment section. Anyway, I am up for suggestions.
Because all I doing is waiting.
And writing thank you notes.
And working full time.
And chasing around a 3 year old.
And cooking, cleaning, and wife-ing. :)
And thinking of ways to get the mylar balloons off the vaulted ceiling (other than knife throwing, which Chad vetoed.) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Feeling Thankful...

Today we went for ultrasound #2 and we are thrilled to tell you that Jack is healthy and right on track. During the  ultrasound, when we were zoomed in on his hand, he gave us a perfect thumbs up! His way of saying "Everything is A-OK!" Right now he weighs about 5 1/2 pounds, has moved into the "action" position, and his due date has changed from November 18th to the 21st. (Not because of size or any physical reason, its just that the 18th is booked up for scheduled c-sections)
Circle Shower
I feel as if we have been given this amazing gift. I am just feeling so thankful. 
My ladies group held a shower for me on Tuesday and I got a lot of really nice things including this awesome stroller that holds an infant seat, has a regular seat, but also a bench seat in the back for Charlie to sit on stand up on. Very handy!
Then on Sunday my sister and very dear friend and co-worker hosted a church wide shower for me. It was amazing! My mom was there and I felt so humbled to be surrounded by such a group of wonderful, supportive people. We got EVERYTHING we need for this baby! Yeah!
Cute clothesline!
Now, you may wonder why it has taken me over a week to post this. Well, our house, as my sister said best, "looks like a Babies-R-Us exploded all over your house" We had stuff EVERYWHERE. I have finally dug halfway through the rubble. 6 loads of laundry later, all the clothes, linens, and tiny socks have been cleaned, folded and put away.
My mom's "clothesline" that stretched around the room!

Charlie's Angels!
As my birthday weekend approaches, I just can't help but think how thankful I am. I am thankful for all my friends and family, thankful for this new little life about to make his way into ours. I am thankful that Charlie is growing and changing and is so happy. I am thankful for my husband and how patient and kind he is. I am thankful for the family that God is building for us. Looking back, even five years ago, I never would have imagined what He had in store for 2011. What a wild ride! I am so thankful to be a part of it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Funny. I guess when you take a room (originally and ironically a nursery when we moved into this house...) and turn it into an office/daytime dog kennel because you don't have kids. Then have a kid and turn it into an office/play room. Then, when preparing for a second child turn it back exclusively into a nursery again. This room has had more looks than Cher and Chaz Bono combined. I am really happy with the way everything turned out!
Charlie has the robot on his door and we suppose Jack needs
something to rattle and slam when he walks in and out of
his room too. That and it's a good warning when you hear
the rattle, you know you are about to be woken up from
your peaceful slumber :)

I put this together myself! Just don't look to closely
to the front. I accidentally nailed the back onto the
front. Darn you Ikea instructions.

The crib lives again!
LOVE! This Firetruck print by NoJo. I had to have it! And
it matches the consignment sale chair. Bonus.We left the
cute license plates and book shelf up, cause it's cute
and it would have left giant holes in the wall.

I made these! 

Check out the tire toybox! Craigslist, how I
heart thee...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things are looking up...

Nursery is almost done. A good friend is coming over to help with the final details on Friday (pictures to follow...)
Found an attorney that will do a great job and for MUCH less (hallelujah!)
Baby showers on Tuesday with my ladies group and again next weekend (thank you church friends, for supporting us once again...) to get some last minute much needed items. Yeah!!!
And I am reminded daily that God is in control and I'm not. And it's a good thing because I am quite a pessimist with tenancies to panic. When will I ever learn???
Things are looking up. Just remind me to do the same :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You are....

You are brave

You are brilliant

You are independent

You are fearless
And I love you!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Today we met with the domestic adoption attorney. Like THE adoption attorney, who happens to live in our town. He is associated with our church and we've heard glowing reviews of his practice, so after waiting a while we finally had an appointment with him today.
Let's just say, he was a really nice man. The absolute expert in his field. I felt he was a man of integrity and knows everything there is to know about the legal aspects of what we are about to embark on. But....
We grossly underestimated what this was going to cost.
It's that old familiar feeling of coming up short. Now, Mr. Attorney, being the genuinely nice man he is gave us some options. So, we are going to have to explore those options.
I wish we could just write a check and have this guy cross every "t" and dot every "i" without any worry, but maybe this isn't the path we were meant to go down, with him at least. Either that or maybe someone who was planning on giving us some funds for Russia missed their chance and wants to pull out their checkbook and sign away....right.....
I feel as if we have completely exhausted our "adoption fairies" and we need to come up with a plan b.
I am so overwhelmed and didn't realize just how exhausted we are from the constant scrimping, saving and fundraising from Charlie's adoption. I guess I was a little foolish to think this was going to be simple.
And maybe it still can be. Please pray that once again, God would make a way for us. Pray that some of these other options pan out and we are worrying over nothing.
Now, my second wish. I wish for a personal assistant that would just take care of all this for me. Because I.AM.SO.TIRED.OF.THE.ADOPTION.PROCESS.
I am fairly certain that God didn't intend this to be so hard. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Disturbing Ebay finds

Ok, I'm bored and purusing Ebay (never a good combo) and I found these three disturbing auctions when putting in the key word "baby". The good news is you have plenty of time to bid and very little competition.
"Male Baby Carrot" bidding starts at 99 cents

"Keep your baby floating in the tub with this baby head raft" (Also sold in Pink)
And the winner....Some (ahem..."person") in Wichita Falls, Texas is letting you name their baby girl. The middle name set as Merci and the last name is Tabor. Bidding is at 99 cents. I triple dog dare someone to bid and name her "Lordhave". 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I know I'm bias....

But is this not the cutest kid you've ever seen? We had a great time at the youth's fall retreat! It's like Charlie was born to be a youth pastor's kid- he LOVES all the attention, the busyness, the silliness, the absolute chaos that seems to follow teenagers wherever they go!
We also rode this crazy bumpy hatchback Hummer up the mountain, unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that because I was literally, holding onto him for dear life. But, oh my gosh, he had his arms in the air "like the big kids" and giggled and screamed the entire time.
We also rode the paddle boat, and for the same reasons, there aren't any pictures. :)
But we had the best time!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hellloooo Baby Jack!

Today we met Jack via ultrasound technology. It was quite an amazing experience. I am used to seeing the little "blob in jello" ultrasound, not the "oh my gosh you can see his hair" ultrasound. The technician was banging on his "tank" trying to get him to turn around and smile for the camera and he opened his mouth and howled at her, like "Heeeeyyyy!!!! I'm sleepin' here!!!". I thought, oh boy, he is going to give Charlie a run for his money....
When his heartbeat filled the room, it brought tears to my eyes. I never thought I would experience this feeling in my lifetime. I feel blessed. I feel stressed, as in....uhhh that looks like a baby and I need to get 10 million more things ready!!! I just keep buying things to fill up the room when I should be doing things like assembling the crib in our garage and cleaning all the odds and ends out of the closet.
But, he is HEALTHY and we are so thrilled. He is right on track, and for that we thank God.
Please continue to wrap baby Jack in your prayers. This is uncharted territory for us and for his birth mom. It's amazing how different this is than an International adoption. Different joys, different worries.
So, until then, I have A LOT of work to do, cause now I've seen with my own eyes, there's a baby in there!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Paperwork is evil. It must be stopped.

Yesterday we called in a few favors, AGAIN. SLED checks from my old law firm, background checks from Kevin the Sheriff hero. Today, we sat in our doctor's waiting room and ask him if he would PLEASE sign the adoption form he had signed 15 times in the last year.
No kidding, I had an out of body experience tonight digging through the ol' adoption box in order to scan in income tax returns. I thought- what the heck am I doing? I honestly thought those things would stay in that box until well, the end of time.
Then, after the SLED checks and medical reports were scanned in, same thing. I had to shake my head to make sure I was still on this planet.
With the paperwork involved in Charlie's adoption, doing and re-doing and re-wording and re-scanning paperwork gives you a physical feeling under your skin and in the pit of your stomach. It's like a never ending battle. Just when you finished, they had all expired and you started over again. Unless you've been trapped in this vicious cycle, it's hard to explain the power these pieces of paper have over you. I always felt guilty if ANYTHING expired. Expired documents=the more time your baby sits in an orphanage. So, it's safe to say paperwork and I aren't really on speaking terms.
I had to keep telling myself....this document will not expire. These, if done correctly, will be done once and we'll be lucky if the ink is dry on November 18th. Our problem is reversed. But that doesn't mean that I hate paperwork any less.
BUT....THE REWARD COULDN'T BE GREATER! So, I'll make nice and tell the paperwork it's my friend. (but I'll still talk about it behind it's back) 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Home Study Part Duex

Today we had a home study. Again. Yeahhhh.....I thought you might enjoying laughing at me by reading my post from over two years ago when I was bright eyed and bushy tailed starting out on the whole adoption endeavor. I even made a little poem about it! Read "Twas the Night Before Our Home Study" HERE
Now, for your reading pleasure I have composed a "this is our fourth home study for pete's sake" haiku. (I am even too lazy for a poem)
"Shove it in the closet
Quickly, quickly, she'll be here at 6
When will this be over?"
First Home Study

Fourth Home Study

Thursday, September 15, 2011


On Tuesday, August 23rd Charlie and I were enjoying a leisurely vacation nap at the beach when I was roused from my sleep by a strange shaking sensation. At first I though Charlie was kicking the bed. I looked over at him and he was sound asleep.
I closed my eyes again. The shaking got worse. I looked over at him. His eyes opened too with a look on his face, like "Why is Mama shaking the bed?" Then I thought, maybe it's the washing machine I turned on before naptime. Nope. IT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE! Not something I had ever experienced! Now this wasn't a huge one mind you, but enough to wake me from my slumber and get my attention. The funny thing was, that earthquake wasn't the last time that my world was rocked that day. God sent two earthquakes our way that day.
Later that night, a message came through from a person I hadn't spoken to over a year. A person that I always thought fondly of, a good person, a sweet person. A person pregnant with a baby that she couldn't keep. And then those words you can never imagine hearing-would you and Chad consider adopting the baby?
In case you missed our August 31st post (SOS) the next three weeks were a roller coaster of thoughts, emotions, and prayer. I had a hard time blogging because this baby consumed every waking thought in my tiny little mind. We questioned God's timing. We questioned our sanity.
After fighting for Charlie for over two years, this baby just drops into our laps. At that point, in less 12 weeks this little boy will make his grand debut. With Charlie we filled out paperwork, paperwork, paperwork and then when it expired filled it out again. Fingerprinting, fundraising, homestudies, doctor exams, chest x-rays, blood work, certificates of home ownership, tax returns, the list goes on and on. And now this. A simple question, a not so simple answer. It still seems too good to be true. It's like God knew that another adoption nightmare might just send me over the edge. He gently nudged us and said "take this baby, I'll make this one easy on you...."
So here we go. In 64 DAYS, Baby Jack will make his grand debut and take up residence in our arms. It's funny, he's already found a place in our hearts. Less fighting to get him home has not made me love him any less. It's funny how fiercely we can love someone whom we have never met, never dreamed of and didn't even know existed till the day the earth shook twice.
It's funny how little baby clothes are. It's funny how many brands of bottles are in the store (it's even funnier to see the look on my husbands face while trying to decide which bottles to register for....) It's funny the way Charlie wakes up every morning and says "Baby yet?"  It's funny how God blesses our socks off when we are least expecting it. It's funny how we "plan" our lives and obviously God finds humor in that too. It's when we cross our last "t" and dot our last "i" that He shakes the earth under our feet to get our attention.
So ready or not, we will double our family size in less a year. We are buying tiny things and cleaning out closets.
Thank you so much for your Charlie prayers, now we need Jack prayers. Pray that he is healthy. Pray for his birth mom, I can't imagine what she will go through in the next two months. Pray that she will remain strong and brave. Pray that our path through this adoption will be smooth- I am scared to death considering our less than illustrious track record when it comes to smooth adoptions....Pray for my sweet husband and for big brother Charlie too. We just need some intense, solidified prays in the next two months. You had two years to pray for us last time, so this should be short and sweet, but much appreciated!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet my son, Baby Huey.

In January, Charlie was in the 5th percentile for his height. Now.....drum roll please......
Holy moly!
Now, his weight has never been an issue, he's held steady in the 90th percentile his entire little life, but we are so thrilled about his height!
Over 5 inches in seven months ain't too shabby.
Welcome to America, land of healthy food, plenty of yard space, and sunshine! Turns out kids really do grow exactly like weeds.

What brought this discovery to light (other than my arm feels like it's breaking off when I carry him for longer that 2 minutes) was getting ready last night to go to a friend's house.

It was a little cool outside, so I decided to put him in jeans. Jeans that swallowed him up last winter, size 3T. Well, now said jeans are jean capri's. I mean, you could see the top of his socks. Then I tried on a pair of his size 9 slide on shoes. Nope. His toes were crammed into the ends of them. Next, the fruit loop shirt, size 4T. BELLY SHIRT. He looked like he was going to an 80's rock concert (minus the Bon Jovi hair).

So today, we got out the scale and the measuring tape. Yup. He is officially Baby Huey. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Trying this from my new phone! Pretending to be all this rate I could type a paragraph in 25 minutes. Still haven't reached a decision...Thanks for all your advice, but can't you just tell me yes or no?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I need some help friends. I have been in a major funk.
Have you ever had to make a decision that would ultimately effect the rest of your life?
My brain is like a ping pong ball. As soon as I make up my mind, it makes a lightning fast ping move in the opposite direction.
Lately it's been stuck between two pins. You know when it goes "pooooo--innnnnn, pooooo-innnnnnn" so fast you can't even see it?
Last Tuesday a friend ask us if we wanted to adopt her baby. Like, her still in the womb till November baby.
Heart says "YES!!!" Head says "NO!!!!"
Maybe it's because we fought for 2 years to get Charlie home. We don't know what to do with ourselves when something like this drops into our laps.
Last night I was ready to call her and explain 1,000 of the reasons why we can't have a baby right now.
I didn't call.
This morning I was going to call her and say "We can do this. When's your next ultrasound?"
I didn't call.
My little brain is stuck between those pins, back and forth at lightning speed.
When do opportunities like this arise? Well, for us, once in 11 1/2 years.
Are YOU CRAZY? You can't afford a baby right now. Charlie has been home 7 months. Homestudy? Paperwork? Insurance woes (we haven't gotten Charlie's even figured out yet) Doesn't Charlie deserve to have a Christmas all to himself? He's been sharing and vying for attention his whole life. Could I love another baby as much as I love him? What about the health concerns? What if she changes her mind?
Are YOU CRAZY? Your family would be complete. Charlie would have a brother. They would be a perfect 3 1/2 years apart. You could have a baby. Lots of people have babies. There is never a "perfect" time to have a baby. Babies are so cute and precious and small. I could buy those tiny socks. You know the ones that look like shoes?
I have been trying to keep this private because I know it's a decision Chad and I need to make together. What's right for Charlie and our family.
But I am failing miserably going at this alone. I am making myself sick.