September 29, 2011

Another giveaway!

I think it is a good time to give away 2 more tickets to our benefit concert and silent auction...don't you think so?
And I might as well give away a couple of t-shirts as well. So if you can't come to the benefit, you can still play for the t-shirts. 

This one is pretty easy. There are 2 ways to enter.
  • Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment that you did so. Or if you already follow my blog,  you can leave a comment as well.
  • Tell you friends about our benefit concert and silent auction. You can email your friends, post it on facebook, write a blog post, anything works!
You can do one or both, but be sure to leave 2 separate comments if you do both. The giveaway closes on Sunday evening.

Happy Thursday!

Update: and the winners are...well the only 2 people who participated :) Thanks Tiffany and Karen!

Oh my cuteness!

Do you see this face?

This cute, cute, face?

I am so in love with this boy!
Enjoying some one on one time with this little guy!

September 22, 2011

A different country. A hard choice

If you have been here before you may know that I have had doubts about our adoption from Ethiopia. You can read about this here and here.

Over the past few months, God has been doing a lot of work in our hearts. As comfortable as we were sitting on the wait list for Ethiopia, we began to see that might not be what God had for us.

Last week, we left our Ethiopia program.
Yes, we are still adopting, but God has led us in a new direction and to a different country. He is showing us truths about special needs children.

We have been praying like crazy over the past months. I have looked into many other countries in Africa and several different options for adoption. I have spoken with adoption agencies, orphanages, attorneys, and families who have adopted from Africa.
All doors seemed to be closing, all except one.

We are now pursuing adoption from Uganda! We are drawn to the country, its culture, and the children there. Our hearts have also been opened to the possibility of adopting a child with special needs. Read more about that here.

Why would God lead us to Ethiopia only to ask us to switch 6 months later? Were we just not hearing God correctly? As much as that thought runs through my head, I don’t think it is the answer. I do think God led us to Ethiopia, but for some reason He is now asking us to go in a different direction.

This has been a HARD decision. We both felt a strong pull to Ethiopia only months ago. But ultimately this is God’s decision, not ours. His plans for our adoption are much better than our own and we have to give full control to Him.

Special Needs

When you apply for adoption, there is this dreaded check list that you have to go through. You have to “pick” what preferences you are willing to consider and which ones you are not. There is everything from the age of a child to Downs syndrome, from poor vision to HIV. It is pretty brutal. It is such a hard process to determine what is right or not right for your family.

Mark and I have done this checklist. There are some items that we left unchecked, but when considering special needs, we want to be as open as possible.  

We are still uncertain if adopting a child with special needs is what God has for our family, but at this time we want to be open.

During our journey, we have done much thinking and praying about our child. We have done research and want to share something that we have been learning over the past couple of months, specifically related to HIV (taken from
  • HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact.
  • HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way.
  • It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).
  • HIV is considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives.
Some great website for information about HIV:

As we continue our adoption journey, I will keep you updated about what we learn and where we are on this road. We would love prayers for wisdom and clarity as we seek what God has for our family.

And the winner is...

True Random Number Generator  
I had major issues with trying to get the "widget" on the blog. I entered a max of 10, but for some reason it showed up here as 100.

Karyn, you are the lucky winner!!! I guess since you and Andy had a 40% chance of winning the odds were in your corner :) Let me know your t-shirt size and I will get everything to you. And since you and Andy put in the extra effort, I will give you a family ticket. Wouldn't want those sweet little girls of yours to miss out :)

September 19, 2011

If I could go back…

I would hold my babies more and not worry about “spoiling them”

I would take full advantage of cuddle time and not let a to do list get in the way

Tonight, I was rocking Noah before his bedtime, and it dawned on me, I am not going to have this opportunity much longer. Taylor hardly ever wants to be rocked or cuddled. Noah rarely sits still long enough to be held.

What if I lost the opportunity to sit and cuddle with my children? With Taylor I worried that I might “spoil” her.  And with Noah, I did not have the same cuddle opportunities because Tay was still so young when he was born. And when I did have the opportunity, all I could think about was what needed to be done. So instead of cuddling with my baby, I moved on to my checklist.

Tonight, I took full advantage of rocking Noah, knowing that these chances will too soon be gone.

September 18, 2011

ticket and t-shirt giveaway

Tickets for our benefit concert and silent auction are now officially on sale! To help promote the event, we are going to give away 2 free tickets periodically from now until the concert. Each time, the parameters will be different, but the result will always be the same…FREE tickets. Yay for free tickets!
And since this is the first giveaway, I am going to also include one of our adoption t-shirts!

To enter, leave a comment (or two) telling me what you are looking forward to most about the benefit concert and silent auction. It can be anything!
This giveaway ends Wednesday, September 21st. I will choose a winner at random (using
 If I don't have your contact info., be sure to leave that in your comment as well. Two comments max per person.

Thanks y'all!

September 15, 2011

One more month!!

Our benefit concert and silent auction are only one month away! Click here for more details. We hope to see you there!


September 13, 2011

They're here!!!

And we are SO happy about it!
My brother and his family just moved back to Tennessee from Texas. I got to watch the girls while Brandon and Blair went house hunting. Tay thought she was in heaven! I don't think she gets that they are here FOR GOOD this time!!! Yay!!

September 9, 2011

Love our neighbors!

We love our neighborhood for so many reasons; the friends we have made, all of the kids who we have grown to love, and the endless possibilities of play dates.
We are also grateful for how supportive they have been surrounding our adoption. One of our neighbors organized a fundraiser for us and another adoptive family in our neighborhood. All we had to do was show up and eat ice cream!

Since the 2 wonderful photographers who live in our neighborhood either forgot a camera or the battery ran out (ehem Tiffany and Diane), I was on camera duty. Out of about 100 shots, this is what I had to work with.
Thanks neighbors!

September 7, 2011

And she thinks we’re just makin’ cookies

I will be the first to admit, I don’t always spend the time that I should with my kids. Yes, I stay at home , but there are times when I hardly interact with them.

Lately, I have tried to make it my goal to do more activities with my kids. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting on the couch with them while they watch an afternoon movie.

Today it was making cookies with Taylor. Let me first tell you this, I am major OCD! I absolutely despise having a messy kitchen. It drives me nuts!! So baking cookies with a 3 year old stretched me to my limits. There was flour all over the floor, on the walls, on the countertops, on us! Tay even “helped” watch dishes, which meant soap and water everywhere!!! It was rough to watch, but I tried my hardest to let go. And when I sort of did, we had a blast! And made some yummy cookies, which is always a nice bonus!

Notice that in most pictures, the counters are clean. That is because this OCD lady cleaned in between every step. It was just too much to have that flour everywhere. Good thing Tay also enjoys cleaning :)

September 5, 2011

lazy holiday

Enjoying this rainy day with my family.

Morning snuggles (ignore my lack of make-up and sleep crusted eyes face) and afternoon yumminess!

Tay's fashion sense. She is going to be a trend setter, I can feel it!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

September 2, 2011

twinkle toes

Taylor is officially a ballerina...if officially means that she has started dance classes. She actually started last week, but because I am a slacker mom, she did not have her dance gear until this week.
I love that her belly still sticks out.

In other news, I have been an emotional wreck the past couple of weeks. I choke up at random unnecessary moments. For example, this morning I was putting Tay's hair in a bun for dance class. All of a sudden, I got teary eyed. Seriously, what's wrong with me? For years, we have made fun of my mom for crying ALL the time (sorry mom). Well mom, looks like I may be taking after you on this one :)

September 1, 2011

how we roll

You've gotta love these little hillbilly kids!

And this one was just too cute not to share. Tay and our neighbor's little boy grabbed their chairs and went to the middle of our common area. Then they just sat out there like a little old couple.

Yes, my children seem to be missing clothing in most pictures. It's hot outside, they are messy, and they tend to have nothing on by the end of the day. Redneck? Maybe. Comfortable and easy? Absolutely!