Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Ethiopia

Good Morning and Merry Christmas Blog World- I am writing from sunny Ethiopia where it is at least 70 degrees and I am a bit jealous of our TN snow that I heard all about on Facebook. Facebook works great here, blogs not so much, so I am actually facebooking you right now and my sweet hubs will copy and paste it for me. I wanted to give you a quick update and if I pass court he will handle the pics from there just so there will be no delay in cuteness. First thank you for your prayers, Mercy's fever was gone by the time we got here so now we are just nursing a runny nose. Also, her Ethiopian name that we can never pronouce is Shhhh-why-a (long a) as a random fyi. She is TINY, 2-t and a size 5 or 6 shoe. (As a side note when I picked her up she had on like a 6-9 month outfit :( All the shoes I brought are too big. She is so cute and little which works out great because she does love to be held and snuggle. We are on the 3rd floor of our guest house and I am getting a workout carrying her up and down. She is playing calmly beside me right now like a complete angel. We had a very hard day the first day so I cannot tell you how relieved I am now. She was scared to death to leave the orphanage and then was very defiant. You don't want to come to another country and traumatize a child and then have to be stern with them but God kept telling me over and over, you are the mama, she does not know what is best for her, you have to show her. That was so hard and topped with the fact that I was utterly exhausted from not sleeping much from London to Ethiopia just almost sent me over the edge. I messaged J and told him I was going to take a nap before I made any major decisions about whether or not I could handle life and it worked. She needed a nap too I now know. She LOVES her new (well probably only) sippy cup. She is super smart, will repeat most English words and says Mommy, Daddy, and Cross (with a rolled r which is the cutest thing ever). We were looking at the photo book and she out of the blue pulled it up to her face and kissed Cross. My friend Whitney and I almost cried. It was precious! Her skin is very dry and I think her tummy is off but other than that things seem good. It is just hard knowing the lack and loss that she has had. It breaks your heart knowing that she was really scared to death to leave the orphanage to go to (what she has no idea of) a better life. I will be so glad when J and I are back here for our final pick up. I never want her to wonder again. Ok, signing off now so I can share the internet. Love you guys to death and can't wait for you to meet our angel! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bullocks are Better

Hey guys, I just had to get on real quick and thank you a TON for your prayers. I felt them possibly more than I have ever felt prayer before in my life. I had a good day yesterday and a great day today. I was smiling so big in the little girl section of Old Navy today that you would have thought I had hit the jackpot and I HAVE. Quick update cause I need to go hug my man's neck, London and flight=problem. Pray Pray, my flight has not officially been canceled so just PRAY. Secondly there was a little miscommunication about where I was going to stay (aka they don't have my name down and I booked it in October) SO pray God puts me right where I am supposed to be and pray that I am a big girl and a sweet girl about it. Finally, I just read a blog for a group that got home this week from Ethiopia and there is a precious little story about my girl and a picture that will give you a small taste of what is to come. *See Link Below* Oh how I wanted to scream MOMMY IS COMING baby girl. Oh and one last prayer, a friend of mine who now lives there visited Mercy today and she is SICK AND she feel and bonked her head. I have never been so motivated to get on a 16 hour flight in all my life. Please pray she is totally healed and that I can get to her sooner rather than later. I am praying it is just a cold but without treatment............oh just pray! Ok, gotta go! Love you guys! Will keep you "posted" hahahaha Get it! hahhahah

http://weloveourlucy.blogspot.com/2010/12/our-last-day-in-ethiopia.html

K

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Emotional.....................

Hey Blog World,

I have about 451 million things to do in the next 3 days so I am doing what any normal human would be doing in my situation, blogging. What a great use of my time but I knew you of all people wouldn't mind and wouldn't judge me. So on to my title, topic at hand. I told Jeremy this morning "I think I may cry a lot at church today" (I am sure he thought to himself O GREAT) but he nicely said "why" and then I told him what every man loves to hear "I am just feeling a bit emotional" and honestly that word bit is a bit of a lie. To be totally honest I feel excitement, fear, anxiety, thrill, panic, amazement, the list could go on and on and on. I want to cry my eyeballs out one minute and the next I want to jump for joy. One minute I want to run get on a plane this second and the next I want to run away altogether. One minute I think A DAUGHTER, MY FIRST DAUGHTER, and then the next minute I am thinking, could this all really be happening?

People keep asking me as their eyes gleam with joy, "are you so excited?" I want so badly to say YES and sometimes I just do, but really I feel like saying, "no I am freaking out to be totally honest." I am flying very far away without my husband. I am leaving my son for Christmas who is also sick of all things. I have only met this child 2 short times and now she is about to be our daughter, I sure hope she likes us. And then the OCD planner in me wants things all organized and perfectly planned and that is NOT humanly possible in Ethiopia and to top it all off there is 1 FOOT of snow currently in London. I don't even know where to begin with that.

But the the good news of all this emotion is, I have Jesus. In the morning I will awake, I will drink hot chocolate, I will talk to the King of the Universe and He will calm my fears. Today at church our pastor got up and said (very loudly I might add) "do not be afraid". I thought how nice it was for him to give just little ol me a perfect and timely word. I felt sorry for all the other people who were there and didn't need that word because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had sent it just for me. So I (by His amazing grace) am going to attempt to take it one moment at a time. I am going to throw some things in a suitcase and come Wednesday at about 6 p.m. I am going to walk on a plane and then there will be no turning back. I will do it afraid. I will obey this calling. I will take whatever medicine is needed to calm my anxious nerves and I am going to go get my legacy regardless of my fears and reservations. I was born to mother this child. I was created to give her a life her precious mother could not give. I can do all things (including meet her mother, speaking of that) through Christ who gives me strength. God will give me the words to say while I am in court, I will pass court, I will NOT listen to satan's lies, I will bring that baby girl home soon and forever!

So while we are on the subject and while it is EXTREMELY obvious that I might need a "bit" of prayer, let me just go ahead and do what I really do best and just make you all a nice/neat list!

1. Pray that I will get what NEEDS to get done, done, and walk away. When I leave town I obsess over having everything perfectly set up for Cross and J (can we say CONTROL FREAK). I am partly just so thankful that Jeremy is so gracious to let me go on trips and I want to make his life so easy, but he is a BIG boy and he doesn't need me to (or ask me to for that matter) buy enough food for a month or lay out Cross' clothes for a week. They can handle it without me just fine!
2. Pray for my travel, I am not thrilled about our numerous layovers (other than the fact that it assures me some better meals along the way) because of the snow issue. I am out of my comfort zone ENOUGH as it is not to have to rework the flights or have delays and stay in OTHER foreign lands where there is not a guest house and interpreter waiting for me.
3. Details, there are 101 million details that I do not know right now and I am not the best at that "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of living that Ethiopia oh so loves. It is good for me I know, but pray I am FLEXIBLE yet not clueless!
4. My men, pray for my sweet men, pray J has an awesome Christmas, pray that Cross is not sick any longer and that he has the best time ever with Daddy.
5. My meeting with the birth mother. When things really freak me out I ignore them in my mind, it is an art really, but in a few days I will not be able to ignore the fact that I will possibly get to hug the woman who bore and so graciously "gave up" her daughter in order to make sure she had better nutrition. Mercy also has an older brother and I just want them to see Jesus. I want them to know we are forever indebted to their loss. I want them to find hope for their future through the hope of hers.
6. My travel and my friend's travel (pray a million blessings over her for going with me and her sweet family (she is an only child) who is letting her go and miss Christmas). Last time I didn't do so hot. I was so sick on the way home that I honestly at one point prayed to die. I knew satan wanted to torture me with the flight so that I would not be brave enough to make it again (twice technically). I remember saying out loud, try as hard as you want satan but if God opens the door for us to come back and get Mercy, I will make this flight again, I WILL! I need to eat more, a lot more than I did last trip. I need to take more meds, a lot more than I did last trip. And finally, I need to move around more which the layovers will allow for certainly.
7. And finally, keep praying for the funds, we have two grants that will be looking at our family this month. Pray that our paperwork has unmerited favor on it and that we get the fullest grant amounts possible. That would basically complete our fundraising and with her coming home in less than 2 months that would be huge! We had an amazing blessing this weekend that I will tell you more about later, but in one day, one ordinary day, we received over $1300.00. That is a Jesus surprise for certain!

Ok, I am getting off and probably going to snuggle tight with my sweet husband in order to get in a few more together nights. He is the best man, the best husband, and by far the best daddy on earth. Little Mercy girl has no idea the blessing God is giving her with that man. She is going to be the absolute love of his life I know and I can't wait to witness every single moment! I love you guys and I can't thank you enough for your prayers! Next post.......................................will be PICTURES!!!!!!! Stay tuned!

K

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Wilderness and the Fight to Emerge

*Hey guys, just a quick note about adoption stuff. I leave for court in one short week and then as long as all goes as planned, J and I will pick Mercy girl up and bring her home in February. We have raised $15,000 (can we all say THANK YOU JESUS) and we are waiting to hear back from 2 grants so pray pray! Also, beads, if you need beads, especially for Christmas presents, let me know right away. If you are local I can meet you and if you are not I can mail them out this week in plenty of time for Christmas. They make beautiful gifts if I do say so myself! I will do another t-shirt order in January so it is not too late for those either. Love you all! Ok, back to the topic at hand...........

Hello Blog World,


This is the 3rd time I have sat and attempted this post so we will see if it actually comes to fruition this go around. This is a hard topic for me to type and although I have several myths about adoption that I still want to post, I know that this post must come first. It is my real life, my real journey, my real pain. I have avoided the topic at times in an attempt to not be so wo is me, but I know deep down that it will minister to you and I pray deep down that you will know my heart ahead of time, people have lived through much worse, but this is my cup and it hasn't always been pleasant.


To give you a bit of background, especially for those I have only been dear friends with through cyberspace, I did not grow up with a family who was madly in love with Jesus. I have awesome parents who both did the best they could with the dish they had been served, but I suffered a lot and I mean a LOT of heart ache growing up and the previous part was not one bit my fault yet the 2nd half was almost solely. At the ripe young age of 23 I was living in Clarksville, freshly out of college, and I had an encounter with Jesus that has rocked my life ever since. He met me in my deepest pit of sin, said enough is enough, and He rescued me. From that time up until Cross was born, God showered down His blessings upon me, almost 24/7. Within weeks of overcoming my last addiction I met the man of my dreams. That handsome guy you see at the top of the blog is my husband of 6 years, Jeremy. God gave us a beautiful home. Jeremy got a great job right out of college, I got a great job at Hope Pregnancy Center, and then finally, the surprise of our life, little Cross was created and we couldn't have been more happy. Now please hear me say that those years were not gloriously perfect. We have both said many times before that year number one of our marriage felt often times a tad too close to HELL. We were two people with plenty of baggage and we worked through so much, but over all we were just so incredibly blessed. I was so in love with my Father. I loved life. I knew He had a GREAT plan for our lives, the list could go on and on.


And then 2008 hit. We had our share of financial problems in 2007, but things were okay, Jeremy was in seminary, we were pregnant, but God had provided. I really don't remember all hell breaking lose until 2008. In one short year we had a son, moved as far east as the states would allow, battled loneliness and the start of my adrenal fatigue, went from an adorable house to a rental that was not so glamorous to say the least and then ran head on into the largest decision of our lives. Jeremy and I both felt God was calling him to resign from his current job without knowing what we were going to do next. So we did obey but with great expectations of the doors that were going to swing wide open. Except...........they didn't. It seemed more like a crack in the wall was the only opening we could find.

Let me back up and tell you another tiny detail, I was also newly pregnant, again, and sick as a dog at the time. I remembered this mom who had joyfully made all of Cross' baby food, who had probably never even let his diaper get too wet, and now I was laying on the couch 24/7, the house a complete wreck and I was dumping a box of Cheerios on the ottoman for Cross as a snack. I remember God sending my precious friend over to my house and her pulling me into a chair while she scurried around and changed Cross' diaper, fed him a real meal, gave him a bath and started our dinner. I was a HOT MESS!


Then to move this portion of our story along, we moved back to Clarksville, I lost my sweet baby boy, Cade. One year later I lost my dearest friend Shawnna to breast cancer, and all along Jeremy never found another job that would pay the bills. That precious man applied for literally hundreds of jobs and not one, NOT ONE, came through. So he took the only jobs he could find making very little money (not much more than minimum wage) and working extremely long hours just trying to make ends meet.


I remember hours and hours of begging God to reveal where we had gone wrong. I would have turned and repented from a tooth ache if it would have stopped the insanity of what honestly felt like a curse. I remembered Joyce Meyer talking about a wilderness, hers with finances had lasted 3 years, THREE WHOLE YEARS, I remember specifically thinking I would just DIE if ours lasted that long. During all this time too I was (and have been) in constant battle with a new term that is oddly growing dear to my heart, adrenal fatigue. I was diagnosed with this in North Carolina, given what I for sure referred to as my happy pill, an all natural supplement, and I was good to go in a matter of weeks. After losing the baby it came on again in overwhelming force. I literally could not stay awake for much longer than 3 hours at a time. I would get up, go for a few hours and then drag myself to the couch for Cross' 3 hour nap, then I would muster up everything my body could give to make it from the deathly long stretch from 3-7p.m. and then I would crawl in the bed for the night. This time I made the possible mistake of going to the "real doctors" who after hundreds of dollars in medical expenses (that we obviously couldn't spare) I was told that I was perfectly healthy. I thought that was great news and all except for the fact that I could hardly DRIVE without falling asleep. I went back on the supplements and again, a million times better in a matter of weeks. Not to mention and this is worth mentioning because it is a huge deal, especially for a woman, I lost several pounds in a weeks time as well. When you are exhausted, you eat to try to fuel yourself to go on with life and when that was fixed, pounds literally fell off. Really that whole topic was another journey in my wilderness, no money for clothes, hair, couldn't get rid of weight. I felt horrible inside and then daily I stared at what seemed like horrible on the outside to match. I remember days thinking to myself, "what has happened, I used to be so positive, I used to enjoy life". This was another sign of adrenal fatigue and now after just getting my hands on a book to read about it, I had gone through almost ever single stress trigger that was listed, tragic loss, major life change and a constant stressor (sometimes financial), can I say check, check, check.


So with all of that, I have now stared in the face what I am certainly coming to terms with and that has been a wilderness. God has promised me over and over that although we have certainly not been perfect these past few years that we have not rebelled against Him or stepped away from His will. He has shown me a million things, too many to list really, but a few include that we are being tested to make sure our faith will withstand suffering, that we are being humbled and reminded that REAL life is really hard so we will have grace and mercy on others and then certainly, we are not exempt from the curse and the fall. Loss happens, even to good people. Death strikes, even when you pray your little heart out. Life sucks sometimes, even when you are madly in love with Jesus.



And then finally, we are learning the fight to emerge. Good gravy does life often give you a spoonful that will just about make you wanna quit. I have never longed for Heaven so much in my life. I am staring at the decision daily, where will I go from here? I am sure someone else quoted this great phrase and I have read it along the way, but I thought a few months ago, "The greatest successes in your life may be how you emerge from your failures". I look at Joyce Meyer now and think to myself, she doesn't even seem to have ever had a bad day, but I know that is very far from the truth. She put in her time in the hot desert and now she is reaping the harvest. I wanna get to the other side, heck, most days I just want to really believe that there is another side. I have had to force myself to find and then fork out the money to buy the supplements for my fatigue so that I could go on with life and further the Kingdom. I have had to forgive myself for being a not so great mom these last two years of Cross' life. I have been short tempered and just plain tired for the most part, but I can't change the past, I can only change the future. I have to dream again although most days my dreams don't seem to go any further than paying our bills for the current month. I have had to KEEP reading my Bible, KEEP my butt around crazy sold out women, KEEP singing songs of praise in church even when my chest was caving in and then I think most importantly, go rescue this little girl from Ethiopia, even if I think God's timing in the call was a bit odd. I have to obey what He has called me to do, even when I am desperately awaiting other break throughs.


So that is it my friends, even if it seemed long, I can assure you that was a very short account of our recent wilderness. Daily it seems to be disappearing, daily my Spirit tells me we are ALMOST on the other side. I will never probably wish for it to return, but I can say with total certainty, I have grown more in the wilderness than I did in the promise land. I pray I cling to my Savior just as much in the years to come. I pray that when the prosperity is there that I cling to the only One who gives just as closely as I had to cling when He took away. I pray that we exit this season, but I pray that the scar that is left will be a reminder to me as I minister to other women that life is just dang hard. I pray that anyone watching our crazy life unfold will know and remember that there is no greater joy than that of the living Christ. I have said a million times over when satan temped me to turn my back because God didn't seem to be listening that better is one day is His courts than a thousand elsewhere. I have lived well over a thousand elsewhere and I know my best day there couldn't even shine a light on my worst day here. He is it, He is everything, He is worth it!


Kelly

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Handsome.............

Good Morning Everyone, I wanted to introduce to you our newest 3 year old on the scene. Three years ago today a doctor put this little guy in my arms and things most certainly have not been the same ever since. He is growing into the most handsome young tot and at times using the nicest manners a gal has ever seen. Cross, Mommy and Daddy love you more than you will ever know! We pray you love Jesus madly some day! Thank you for being the perfect, first born, love of our lives! I included a few photos of our rootin tootin cowboy trick or treating! He sealed the deal that day in those cowboy boots. My heart was forever stolen!

Mom and Dad




Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Blog World.................

I hear a sweet little boy in the other room coughing a bit which means this post may or may not ever actually make it to the term published, but we are going to give it an attempt at least. I wanted to say THANK YOU, thank you to all of you who have prayed us through these past few months and really years. It has been a wild ride and never a dull moment around here, but we have been beyond blessed all the same. Our Jesus, who even this morning was gracious enough to give me a personal word to encourage me to truck on one more day, is so much more giving and gracious and patient than I ever deserve. I feel like a slacker in blog land, especially in pictures of the fam (mainly your concern being Cross land) but just know that despite that he is being well taken care of (relatively speaking) here in real life. I feel like every day I am trying to soak him in because I know once there is another tot to trot it will be different, not bad by any means, just different. I want to enjoy his sweet only childness every last second that I can.

We just came off of an amazing get-a-way to Disney. We often feel like the only people on earth who are blessed with such amazing gifts during such hard financial times. My sweet mom blessed her family with a once in a life time kind of trip to Disney and my sweet man made sure we did it 110% all the way. You need a man at an amusement park to make sure you don't just give up and prop your feet up by the pool. Cross rocked and rolled like a champ. We were able to spend time with my precious nephew and sister and my mom who I have so many similarities to that is darn near scary. She and I chatted the morning after we returned at 8:00 a.m. and sure enough we both had our laundry a going. She was nearly 2 loads ahead of me and 37ish years my senior. If you ever wonder where my a.m. personality comes from, the apple certainly does not fall far from the tree. But ask us to do something after say 5 p.m. and we'll bow out without the blink of an eye, but we are southern so we will try to do it politely. I love my mom so. I think as you grow as a mom yourself you forget all of your parent's mistakes and really know that any you don't make yourself will simply be a miracle of Jesus. Mom was ready to start planning a beach trip this summer with Mercy girl and when she said that I stopped for a bit in my tracks. Like this is really happening you guys. We are really adopting a little girl and SOON!

Well, that sweet door just cracked. Mom's ears can tell noises and what they are and what they are not from miles away and I love (most days, ones when coffee and Jesus time have already occurred) the sound of that door a crackin. It means "it's show time" as another early bird hops out of bed. I must go grab him because some certain someone in our house doesn't share the same love for the a.m. and I don't mean Snicker girl. So long blog world and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Kelly

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shop till ya drop......................

Hey gang, ok this is our last big official batch of goodies for our fundraising! Just to give you an idea of where we are in our journey called fundraising, thanks to some glorious friends my entire first trip is paid in FULL! We have heard a little back from our grants so we are starting now to work heavily on the $15,800.00 bill to the agency and then we will end things out with raising the funds for our final destination, pick up that sweet baby girl time!


I have a VERY cool announcement to make as you begin shopping - we have been approved for a matching grant which means as long as one is found, ALL of the funds we raise through these sales will be MATCHED! You heard correctly deal lovers, so shop til ya drop and know that we are BEYOND thankful for your blessings!!!!!!!


LOVE,
THE BULLOCKS


Up first are the beautiful Uganda Beads. These can be worn as necklaces or bracelets (my personal favorite with a kiddo). Here are a few photos (modeled by my dear friend) to highlight. They are $25 a piece and come beautifully tagged to make a great Christmas or whatever occasion gift! They are ALL different, but ALL beautiful. They make the most boring sweater look like a fancy new outfit. That is probably my favorite part, how they change an entire outfit and match almost everything. I literally wear mine every day!




Up next we have the Cow Horn Earrings being flown over this week from Ethiopia! They too are all different, but all so fun and you will love knowing you are supporting someone who has been able to use their trade in Ethiopia as well as an adoption. The Cow Horn Earrings are $15 a pair.
If you purchase a Set of Beads and Earrings you will get the most bang for your buck at the discounted price of $35.00 for the set.


And finally, we have what I am calling the Mercy Girl Tee! We were planning to make t-shirts for Mercy's homecoming at the airport and then they were so cute we just had to make sure they were available to whomever might want to partake, even out of towners that will be there in spirit! Let me begin by telling you about the t-shirt itself because the design will speak for itself. The shirt we got for our trip to Africa was the softest shirt EVER so I specifically requested this same kind of t-shirt, they are a little more expensive but worth every single penny because you will actually wear this shirt all the time. I probably wear my Africa one a few times a week (as often as it is clean at least). They are even great for working out because they breath and they are true to size for certain. I bought a medium and could even really do a small. They are NOT the girl cut so they don't cling in to all the things you don't want them clinging into, but because of their material make up they look so much cuter than a boring ol' Tee. Another detail about the t-shirt is that we are doing pre-orders only for this item. We just want to make sure we are wise with our money and that we order just enough in each size to make sure that we are making the most funds possible. As soon as we get to the minimum order for the bulk rate we will order so if you need some for Christmas that may very well be possible, but I probably can't guarantee it until I see how they sell. I also don't have one made up yet so I am just showing you a picture of the design and then a link to the tee so that you can get an idea, but neither will do it justice I know! These shirts are $20 for adult sizes (S, M, L, XL) and youth (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) and there may be a small upcharge for larger sizes (2XL and up). A link for the shirts themselves is http://www.americanapparel.net/morephotos/viewer.asp?style=tr401w&n=Unisex%20Tri-Blend%3Cbr%3EShort%20Sleeve%20Track%20Shirt&p=4
*Please excuse the models! You will see what I am talking about! The shirt will be the Athletic Grey.


And finally, how to place an order, just shoot me an email at bullockfamily77@gmail.com and we will get you squared away. We are NOT using paypal if at all possible because that would take away the matching grant aspect. We will discuss details once I know if you are in town or out and then the shipping will depend on how much you order, but it shouldn't be more than a couple of dollars regardless! If you make a HUGE order we will work out a deal on shipping I can promise you that! So..............shop away!!!!!!!!!!!







Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Myths about adoption...............

Hello sweet friends. If any of you got through the last long post, you will be thrilled to know that I am going to attempt to take this next topic at hand and present it in bite sizes instead of bowls full. These "myths" are things I am still working through myself and they are going to take a bit of chewing for us all so I wanted you to be able to do just that, chew on them. I am only capable of sharing what God is showing me and please know that I am NOT making any absolute statements along the way. Also, know up front that I do NOT think God calls all people to adopt, any more than I think He calls all people into the ministry (vocational that is) or to one type of church, you get the point. These are just things I have had to wrestle through in the past few months so let me know what you think. November is National Adoption Awareness Month so I thought this was the perfect topic to celebrate during this Thanksgiving Season! Also, I am working on a fun "store" filled with earrings, beads and Mercy t-shirts so keep an eye out for a post and a link on the right of the screen with all of that info! Guilt free shopping, great Christmas presents (ordered from home in your pj's), all the while helping bring a little girl to love, nourishment and safety, what more could you ask for? hahahaha Ok, on to myths, hope you enjoy!






Myth #1 "I can't adopt because I don't have $30,000 sitting in the bank." Well, I can say with confidence, that is a MYTH! I am going to be very honest with you and say that myth was my (our) biggest defense in the 731 reasons the Bullocks could not adopt in this season of life. I will also be very honest and tell you that we did not even MAKE $30,000 last year, so to say adopting in this season seemed ludicrous is an understatement. We told God over and over and over our financial situation and over and over and over He told us He already knew. But after being in Africa and seeing the poverty and knowing that at least if I could get one child here I could darn sure feed and cloth the kid, it was honestly just more than I could bare. My definition of "financially stable" got rocked and I was staring my excuse right in the eye. As far as the large fee of $30,000 for the adoption, God just kept asking me "Do you trust me?" I had trusted him for small amounts of money for years, please give us $1,000 to do this, done, $500 for that, done, but 30,000 dollars..........I don't know. Other myths busted in this area are the fact that very FEW people who adopt have the money and very few people do not fund raise. Even my friend in Franklin has fund raised until they met their needed goal, even if it wasn't for the entire thing. There are grants, interest fee loans, and even that Jesus guy who owns the cattle on a thousand hills!




So let me challenge you, ask yourself, have I dreamed of adopting but used finances as an "excuse". Ask yourself if you would be willing to raise funds (or give up some of your own) to change some one's life. Ask yourself if God is showing you that finances are A part of adoption, but that they do not determine the fate of adoption, He does! Yesterday someone asked me how much it was going to cost and they had the greatest reaction, "Oh, a car!" WOW, how many of us have bought a few of those..................



Just a bit to chew on, to get you thinking, to bust some myths! I can't thank you guys enough for your prayers! Keep praying as we raise funds! Keep praying that the Provider will provide and selfishly for my peace of mind, sooner rather than later! Love you all!



K

Monday, October 25, 2010

FAQ's

Hey gang, I thought it would be fun to do a little post called Frequently Asked Questions about the adoption. This has all happened SO quickly and because of the mountains of paperwork I have been hiding under I have had very few awesome "catch up" conversations with my girl friends. It seems like groceries, a few days of work, dinners, laundry, and an occasional house cleaning are more than I can handle considering I am also supposed to be raising a child and filling out enough paperwork to write a book and did I mention I have a husband. With all of this I thought a fun update would be at least a little more personal than me falling off the face of the earth. Considering this schedule I greatly look forward to saying good bye to work and hello to stay at home mom land filled with fun memories, coffee dates and play dates with friends and I am also praying for some road trips to make the time with nonstop kiddos loads of fun.

So we'll start there, attachment, that's a word I am not at all familiar with, but will most certainly be learning. Cross was literally attached to me 8 times a day and I stayed at home full time until he was almost 2 and he is attached, we are certain of that. But this sweet baby girl will take much more focus and attention and I know God is going to give me the grace to do it well, rarely does perfect exists this side of Heaven, but I am shooting for well. Toddler adoption takes even more attachment concentration. One thing we are going to attempt is to make certain that at least for the first 6 months she is by our side! I am praying that I am finally going to get my cuddler and that she will get to be the receiver of my much neglected love language for many years to come. I got a husband, touch is last on his love language list, I got a dog, low on hers, I got a son, even lower on his............I think my day is coming. I picture this calm little girl that I can take anywhere because she just wants to snuggle in mommy's lap. Anything past that detail I have no clue. I am going to read tons and I am going to pray gobs

Ok, next question "why a toddler?" Ok, so no one has really asked this out loud, but I know they are asking it in their minds, I would be. The answer is really, because that was what God gave us the desire to have. We were so heart broken when we lost Cade who would have only been 18 (I think) months apart from Cross. Then we started noticing Cross HATING to share or having no clue how to interact with other kids. One day a friend who I am super close with even said, "he needs a sibling" and I said, "I know, I'm trying but it looks like the only way they will be close in age is if we adopt a toddler". That was God. As far as the girl thing, I just knew it was supposed to be a girl. God told me I would meet her at the first orphanage and I did and so far He has confirmed that word with a million open doors. So that's why a toddler girl.

"How is Cross doing with it all" and the answer is most certainly so far so great. He shakes his head yes and smiles if you ask if he is getting a sister. He did rip her new back pack with her name on it out of my hands and yell "my pink pack pack", which was about the cutest darn thing I have ever seen in my entire life. I went and got him a back pack that was put away for him and he was thrilled. I want to be very cautious that although I know it will be good for him to share life, I don't want him to be shell shocked and start to resent his new sister. He loves to talk about her and he calls her "Mercy girl". We are going to let them share a room and I am hoping to put her bed up in December so he can begin to tuck a doll in, etc, just get used to the whole idea, slowly but surely. It is happening fast, but we are trying to introduce it all to him slowly. He knows mommy went to "see the babies in Africa". Now when I go back he will know I am going to see Mercy and then when Jeremy and I go together that we are going to get her, you get the point. He really has no clue, but he will!

Next question on what now is the longest post known to man-kind, pictures, when can we see pictures?" Not until the court date is final and we are approved can we share pictures publicly, sorry!!!!!! But OH WILL THEY COME!

Will I get to meet the birth parents? Yes and no, there is no known birth father, but I will get to meet the birth mother at court, obviously pray for that even starting now. She had to give her sweet baby girl up because she could not feed her. She was VERY malnourished when she arrived at the orphanage. It breaks my heart!

What are the health issues you mentioned before? Because of her severe malnourishment the doctors quickly diagnosed her with mosaic down syndrome after arriving at the orphanage. She did not have all the traits, but several. There is no way to do genetic testing until she arrives in the states so we had to work through a lot of emotions and a thousand "what if's" but God has given us great confirmation that she is to be our baby girl. She has made vast improvements in the year that she has been eating well (that is relative of course) in the orphanage so when I saw her I saw no signs. The news took me by shock and I ran for a while, but I stopped and so did my sweet J and now we are thrilled no matter what, she is ours!

When will you go back and get her? Approximately 6 weeks after court, but I found out today that we may not know an exact date until the week before we need to leave. Just what 2 type A planners loves to hear! Februaryish! I did have a great talk with our pediatrician today who will actually be in Ghana in February. He is so excited and plans to work out all the details of her needed tests and visits as soon as we get our last travel date! Thank you Jesus for a missionary pediatrician who loves some African babies!

And finally, "how do you feel about all of this". And I can honestly answer, blessed! This has been a crazy ride of what I will call quick surrender. Some people say "God worked on me in that area for years" and although I have adoption stories going back to when I babysat a sweet little girl in high school from China, woven throughout my life, if you would have told me we would be adopting from Ethiopia in 2010 in say, April, I would have told you that you had lost your ever loving mind! It has been a roller coaster, but the greatest thing I have seen is that a God that has moved VERY slowly in VARIOUS situations over the past few years, can move at lightening speed when He wants! He is in control of the entire universe and when He wants to teach you something through a slow circumstance He will, but He may chose to teach you through the ride of your life all the same. I went from never stepping foot outside of the country (other than Cancun, but that does NOT count) to making 3 trips to Ethiopia in just a little over 6 months. That is Jesus if you ask me! So today I feel great! I am thrilled I have a friend going with me to court and I am thrilled life is moving on! Even though this is not what I envisioned, it is certainly MOVING on!

Finally (if you are still reading, what's a few more lines) something I will ask that you pray for me and for yourself because I am fairly certain most of us struggle in this area. Pray that we don't chase things, circumstances, children, houses, cars (or even mini vans) to make us happy. Pray that we are so incredibly in love with Jesus that He overtakes our entire lives to the point that these things are just icing on the cake, that they are not attempting to be the cake themselves. He is the cake! He is it! If I never get Mercy girl, or Chapel, or if we live in our 1100 square foot rental with no dishwasher for the rest of our lives, that we will be content in Jesus! I love you tons!

K

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So what the heck does that mean.................

Ok gang, you all made me smile so big last night as I sat in a beautiful ballet, attempting to avoid the ugly cry with all of my emotions knowing that this was only the beginning to girly! My phone blew up between facebook messages and sweet texts, so I thought I would just write a very practical post stating what the heck all of this means.

For starters, Ethiopia is a two trip country which means we have to go one time for court (Dec 27th) and then back again 6 weeks later for the gottcha day! It looks like that will now be in February since our court date is not until the end of Dec, but I will obviously keep you posted, especially for you airport joiners who will be welcoming our sweet Mercy girl on to good ol' Tennessee soil in Nashvegas.

The tough part for us was the big decision about whether or not Jeremy and I would both travel both times and we pretty much knew up front that would not be best. All around that would not be best for finances and I as a mommy really didn't want Cross to go 2 weeks in 2 months without either parent. His world is about to be rocked for sure, I just don't want it to tip. So with my big girl pants on, I have been mentally suiting up for a trip, alone, to Ethiopia. THANK GOODNESS our sermon last week was a wonderful, practical message on fear because man did I need it. There was one TINY possibility that a precious friend of mine could join me who was traveling to Africa for a pharmacy rotation, but ONLY if my court date was at the end of the month...................yep....................you guessed it! GOD ROCKS! I have a traveling buddy now! My sweet mama was so funny, she said "I would have died if I had known you were possibly going alone". God spared her from that freak out because by the time she got details, I already had a partner in crime!

So that's it in a nut shell, yes I will miss Christmas, but that is so a-ok in the context of this situation for certain! This baby girl needs to come home and EAT and get better medical attention so postponing it just didn't seem like an option. My motto in most of life is the sooner the better! hahhahha

As for now, PRAY PRAY PRAY that the grants we have written say a huge yes and that we keep selling beads, which by the way we are heading to Brentwood in a few hours to get a ton more so by all means, get em while the gettin is good! I really cannot thank you guys enough for all your prayers, financial support, encouragement, and the best phone party of my life last night! I love you all dearly and I am SO thankful you are all along for the ride!

Sailing soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kelly

Friday, October 22, 2010

Drum Roll Please.......................................

And we have a court date!!!!!!!!!!! December 27th!!!!!!!!!!! One little Christmas missed will not compare to a baby girl coming closer to home! Thank you so much for your prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

K

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hello Sweet Friends................

Good Morning Blog World, from a very bad blogger friend! I have missed you all terribly and feel like I haven't really gotten to say a "real" hello in weeks. I am trying to sneak on here before a certain little guy comes barreling through his bedroom door to start the day. He starts each day with such zeal that it works much better if I am awake and alive before his little feet hit the floor. A few sips of coffee do wonders to my attitude in the a.m. God is showing me how much I must cherish this precious time I have left with only him to tend to! We are going on a special date today to Brentwood to pick up beads and hit a local park, just a mommy day and I am leaving that cell phone (with fully functioning email that is just another distraction to me) in the car and loving on my baby! -The door just opened so I will have to type fast.-

Speaking of beads, let me also say thank you to everyone who has ordered some! They are selling like hot cakes and with each bead sold, God is using that to build my faith one strand at a time! -I am now back from a quick diaper change, "milk and a bar" (you can just call me Susie) and "Credibles" (Incredibles) which have officially been my adoption babysitters and no I am not proud, but yes I am beyond thankful!

I really just wanted to get on and praise Jesus! He has rocked my world over these past few weeks, months, and years. We got a video yesterday of Mercy and I told Jeremy I think we have no idea of the joy we are in for in getting her! Just think about how good you feel when you make someone a meal or help someone financially, if my heart is right, it gives me the greatest high ever. I think this is going to be "it is more blessed to give than to receive" on steroids. Please know that I am fully aware of the struggles that are going to be involved, but the joy and blessing that this is adoption is holding I know are going to far out way any bad. When you birth a child you would be insane to focus on the "terrible twos" (or nursing or labor or spit up all over your couches) instead of the tremendous blessing and that is how I feel. Language will be hard, the transition will be hard, but the joy of changing some one's life I think may far outweigh! There have been seasons of this short journey where I would have to be honest and say that I was walking more in obedience than excitement (that happens a lot when following Jesus) but God is taking me into the "I can't hardly wait to get my hands on that sweet baby girl" stage. Jeremy has gone through the same - hold on "he wants some mooooore"- highs and lows, but yesterday he met me at the door with "we got another video" and his smile said it all! It is hard following Jesus sometimes, but I have never followed Him all the way through and not been blessed so I know that is the case here as well. ALL and yes ALL of our paperwork is in! Great friends have blessed us this week even with the funds to finish the rest of our paperwork fees so those are out. It seems crazy, but it really is a good feeling to know that for the most part all I have left is fundraising. That hill for a bit seemed like such a mountain that it was too overwhelming to even begin to climb, but in the good moments God has given me the great grace to do (and be at peace with) what I need to do for that week without being a stressed out maniac to my entire family. He has allowed me (when I have let Him) to trust in His perfect timing and calling for each week. My goal now is simply to sell beads and try to send off 1 grant per week. My personality would like to send off 1 grant per day, but He is showing me that will NOT carry His blessing and that technically that is leaning way more towards the side of works with NO faith so I am sticking with 1 per week and sanity, a much better option.

Well, I think my time may be officially coming to an end as a little guy just said "lets turn it off and play letters" what can you really say to that! hahahaha I think Credibles may have lost their power so I need to jump off and spend some much needed and much neglected QT! I love you guys! I THANK YOU for your prayers and even the ones to come. We are hoping to be traveling before the end of the year and the estimated time frame is that we will have a court date in 3 weeks. Until then I will be climbing the fundraising mountain so not a single prayer will be wasted on that hike! I love you dearly and I can't wait for you all to meet sweet Mercy girl! Her eyelashes will make certain that she is another love of our lives!

K

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beads, Beads, and more Beads......................


*beads modeled by my sweet friend Gina who is adopting a little boy from Ethiopia as well!

Ok gang, I told you fundraising was coming, but I kept the secret that it involved JEWELRY!!!! Yes, my sweet girl friends (and if there is one guy reader out there your wife/significant other/mother will think you are awesome if you buy these for her) the fundraiser is beautiful necklaces made in Uganda!
I just loved the idea of having a fundraiser that would bless everyone involved. Let me give you a little background about the beads and how the money is split up. First and foremost, I was thrilled that YOU would get something out of the deal! The necklaces are beautiful and can also be worn as a wrapped bracelet. They will make GREAT Christmas presents for many many on your list. Think of teachers and loved ones who are hard to buy for. They will be great for the person who has everything or for the gal who deserves something super special. (Sales pitch #1) :)
The second person who benefits is obviously us. The cost of the necklaces are $25 and we get to keep $10 from each purchase for our adoption. So every time I sell 100 necklaces that would equal $1000 raised! There is no overhead for me, just a quick trip to Nashville and if you are out of the area, you could include a couple of extra dollars in your donation and I could mail them right out to ya, in PLENTY of time for Christmas!!!!!!!! Just think, you could actually be ahead of the shopping game this year. And for you moms that wouldn't take your crew into the mall if someone paid you, this is your online shopping sweepstakes! (Sales pitch #2)
And finally, the remaining $15 goes to the precious ladies in Uganda who actually make the beads (from recycled materials none the less) as well as supporting a missionary named Katie Davis who runs a feeding program in Africa. And finally, you will also be supporting an organization called 147 Million Orphans who helps bring awareness for orphans both domestic and international.
So it is that easy! I was thrilled when I heard about this opportunity because I thought about the college student who could swing one necklace and the mom who could buy 10 and knock off a chunk of her Christmas to-do list! I really do thank each of you for ALL of your support! God is gracious and I believe this is His will and is ultimately His bill, but I do believe He is calling each of us to do our part.
All you have to do to place an order is shoot me a quick email to bullockfamily77@gmail.com. Just let me know your name and the number of necklaces you want and we will chat about payment and me shipping or me dropping them off to you locals! I think this is so fitting to watch the entire body of Christ (that is connected to me that is) pull together and take care of the orphans! Thanks again and happy shopping!!!!!!!! (Sales pitch #3)
Kelly

Hello Long Lost Blog Friends..................

Hello Blog World and let me begin by saying I HAVE MISSED YOU! I have been a super blog slacker lately, but I promise with good reason. As all of my Facebook friends already know (which is telling on myself that I have been on fb and not the blog) but the Dossier is DONE! Yes done, as in on it's way to D.C. DONE! I am thrilled to say the least! It should arrive in D.C. by 10 tomorrow morning so please pray favor on that little doc all the way until it hits the top of the stack in Ethiopia to assign a court date in order to bring Mercy home! To say I feel like a huge load has been lifted off of my life would be an understatement at the least. I feel like everything else will be seem like a cake walk, even if it is an uphill climb after that stinking document. It was over 50 pages and just so you can laugh (or cry) with me I will share the craziest story ever. On the day I was headed to Nashville to get my final seal I found out that the notary that had done all of J and I's docs was NOT a valid notary. Yep, you read that right, NOT. So, in an hour's time (and by God's great and amazing grace) we reprinted all those docs (twice because we forgot to change the dates), got them re-notarized, got 2 of them validated and then I literally drove to Nashville on pure adrenaline and then slid into Kinkos to Fed Ex the doc right in the nick of time! What a day that was!

So now to give you a quick time lineish. We have no clue! hahahhahhaha We are praying and asking God to perform a miracle and get her home fast, but we will know nothing until we get a court date. BUT in the mean time...............we have another task at hand and that task is labeled fundraising and the games are beginning whether I want them to or not because now the big bills are coming due. The agency needs to be paid and the airfare needs to be in place in order for us to book as soon as we get a court date. So........... we still have a lot of work to do. God has given us a great opportunity to where anyone and everyone can help regardless of their budget so we are thrilled about that. I am going to try to post on that, possibly even tonight, but just keep all of that in your prayers if you would! If you can help out that would be great, but regardless, just know that we are so thankful that so many people are excited and encouraging us! It is such a blessing to know that Mercy is so loved even now!

Love you guys!
Kelly

I

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy.........................



Your cupcake was delicious!!!!!!!!
Love,
Mommy, Cross, and Snicker Bug

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tommy da Twain..................

Cross got to go on a glorious adventure Saturday with the Bullock men and as you can see in the first picture, that crew included a very grandfatherish Granddaddy...............



They had a great time and I got a LOT of adoption paperwork done. I hated to miss a moment of mommy fun, but I think they did just fine without me! Cross buddy, your "cheese" and that stinkin hat are going to have my heart for as long as we both shall live!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dream BIG.................

Hello Blog World! With a great big smile I can tell you that I am trucking along in the adoption paperwork extravaganza. I thank you so much for your prayers. After my break down the other night I got organized and made a "getting started" to-do list and put as much as I could fit on one sheet of paper in my oh so favorite list form and then decided I would just wait and make a new list next week once I actually got a few things marked off. It is hard when you have a husband, job, but most of all a child because you most certainly don't want to awake 4 months later from the paperwork fog and notice that your precious son has grown a foot and doesn't remember who mommy is or what memories mean. I am trying to make a very conscious effort to not obsess over the timing I have in mind and faithfully work when the door naturally opens, not when it has to be beaten down. I also wanted to ask for prayer in regards to a bump we hit today in regards to our health insurance proving that they will cover Mercy immediately. This is a BIG deal because it is a requirement by Ethiopia and there are some serious medical concerns (that I promise to discuss once we have processed them ourselves and I know that the insurance ordeal is going to be resolved). So ALL prayers will be appreciated. I feel like a selfish prayer friend so send me yours too because I actually do a much better job at having faith for you than I do for myself.

Which actually leads me to my point of posting. It is after 10 so I am thinking this may be short and sweet, but my desire is for your dreams (and mine) to be big (not at all short and sweet). I am a dreamer by nature. One of my top strengths in the Strength's Finders is futuristic so this dreaming thing is the most natural place for me to go. Obviously, this "strength" comes with a million weaknesses, but we aren't going to go over those details in this post. It is meant to be fun. One time in some much needed counseling during our last two years of "not so heaven like" reality, our pastor gave us some of the greatest counsel ever, to dream. He said don't ever get so defeated that you stop dreaming as a couple. Jeremy likes to dream just about as much as a snail likes a steady sprint, but he has been ever so willing for the sake of our sanity. But recently I feel like we have both stopped dreaming to some degree. So I want you to dream this week and I am going to dream with you in order to give my sweet man a break.....................

I dream of several rug rats running through a home that we own and picked out and painted and hung pictures and scriptures up everywhere! Oh and a backyard with a fence where Snicker girl can rome too.

I dream of a mini-van (yes you read that correctly) packed full of car seats, rocking out to some Veggie Tales and to the point where the base is bumping.

I dream of a kitchen that is larger than the size of my pinky nail where I can possibly toy with the idea of actually enjoying cooking, oh and GLORY hallelujah, it will have a GINORMOUS dishwasher to boot.

I dream of our finances putting us back in the position to bless instead of having to be blessed. I want to live radical, like really radical! I want to die and think, man, Jesus used us to rock the world for Him, what an honor that would be!

I want to fellowship with our Savior, by the day, by the minute. I want to FEEL Him more!

I want to walk more, be busy less, be my man's bestest friend and laugh and drink coffee with my dearest friends whom I selfishly want to be my next door neighbors.

I want to buy things for people, send kids to school in Africa, and have college funds set up for the ones we actually own.

I want our entire family to be radically sold out to Christ!

I want my friend's husband to go to work for a child trafficking organization because he is brilliant and I want them to step out!!

I want my other friends', plural, husbands to come home from war and never go back.

I want another friend to adopt sooner than later.

I want to be big and pregnant (well while we are dreaming, cute and pregnant) with a little red headed girl named Chapel Elizabeth Bullock.

I want Mercy to be totally healed and be Cross' bestest friend and I want to home school them in the same grade because she is NOT behind in the name of JESUS!!!!!!!

I want my parents to quit smoking. I want my cousin to quit doing things that are killing her body, mind, soul and spirit. I want Jesus to come back SOON!!!!!!

Yep, I for sure think dreaming is good for the soul! Feel free to comment dream or to talk your hubs into sitting down tonight and dreaming with you. Dream over email if he is 1,000 miles from home, but let's never stop dreaming and let's never doubt that Jesus has more than all we could ever ask, think, or imagine in store. Let's take Him at His Word and dream big, if we obey Him, He will trump them, guaranteed! Yes there will be hardships along the way, this is earth, not Heaven, but oh the saddest of days will come when we buy into the lie of doomed despair! Let's turn our dreams into prayers and just see what God might do, I dare ya! Have a great rest of the week sweet friends!

K

*ignore errors, I am hitting publish post and closing my eyes, it is 11 PM!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

UPs and downs, HIGHS and lows...............

Hey gang, as I sit in front of this computer compiling a list of the 5,001 things I will need for the Dossier and then I scanned over the EIGHT page document I will need to fill out for just ONE grant, none of this is counting a glorious form called the I600a (which I have not even thought about), I am a bit paralyzed. I thought a plea for prayer would be a better use of my time right now. I am usually good at paperwork. It is like one big list and I LOVE lists, but this was more than I could handle, especially considering it is night and you all know just how well I do at night. In the strangest of ways, had I looked at this at 5 a.m. it may have felt like a good challenge, but at 9 p.m. it is making me want to cry. In addition to the paperwork we still need a miracle in the approximate amount of $28,425.00 NOW, that requires a LOT of faith! So here's my prayer this Labor Day Weekend Night, that I will TRUST JESUS, to get these docs done, to give me the time to do my part (a two year old, a part time job with an event a few weeks away and this thing I would like to somewhat keep called a LIFE are all making time a very valuable commodity). Please also pray that I will LEAN NOT ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING in regards to the money. That is almost easy considering the amount, yet I keep trying to think of "ways" but they all include time and time is what I don't have. So just pray that I will trust Jesus. And finally, pray for me to trust Jesus and not carry guilt. If I think too much about all of this I will beat myself up for not locking myself in a room for hours and knocking this out. This paperwork to me represents a life that gets a modest piece of bread each day for her meal (singular). You get the point. I feel guilty for everyday that goes by and I don't have my paperwork in. I KNOW that God's grace will cover her until we can get to her, heck, long after we get to her for that matter, but pray that I FEEL that grace myself! Ok, thanks a ton, I have never been so thankful for your prayers. Have a great long weekend! Pray I can take it one step at a time!!!!

Kelly

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bullock Family UPdate.....................

Hey guys, just a little update from the Bullock home this Sunday evening! I am going in list form again as my brain slows by the second, but I wanted to give you a quick run down of our crew!

Jeremy: Is very handsome still and God is blessing his work and he is loving every minute of it. We are certainly adjusting to a crazy work schedule, but he has been such an awesome husband to work faithfully when needed but to know when enough is enough and shut that phone off and say "no" and spend q.t. with his fam!

Cross: Oh good gracious he says something or does something everyday that assures me he really is the cutest and smartest child on the face of the earth. I am sure all the moms out there know someone(s) similiar. Some recent cutestness has involed the need to wear a baseball hat to bed and he puts it back on first thing in the morning before carrying 5 (or 20) cars and a blanket or two out into the hall to announce his morning arrival. A baseball hat and pj's is JUST about the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Cute sayings are: Tommy da twain (for Thomas) and I help you (instead of will you help me) and then all kinds of ABC cuteness and smartness, but I will spare the bragging! We have a solid 6 months of a strict diet before we can start adding things back in, but his tummy is improving each week.

Snick: Well, let's just say she IS alive. She is so low on the totum pole that it is truly sad and she acts out and whines about EVERYTHING! I did give her a walk Saturday without Cross so we could go a little faster than a slow snail, but I am praying it will not the be last one in 2010. The girl needs her exercise for lots of reasons.

Kelly: Well, Jesus rocked my world this weekend. I am not allowed to share details, but let's just say that the adoption is ON thanks to some very dear and generous friends!!!!!!!!!! We are having our first homestudy meeting on Wednesday, we are mailing out our application in the morning, and we are about to be full throttle in Dossier (or Dozzier as I called it and please laugh with me and not at me, I'm from TN). So that leads me to our next family member.....................

Mercy: Mercy is the name the Lord gave us several months back for our one-day to be adopted little girl. We have been praying for her this entire year, long before we even knew she was Ethiopian. We have not been offically matched so we are still praying for the Lord to seal that deal and for us to be able to go and get her sooner rather than later. I will give way more detail when the match is complete and if I am permitted will post a million pics as well, but as for now, just pray pray pray, please! She is beautiful and I am praying the Lord will bring beauty from ashes in her precious life! Her life verse is Psalm 23:6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all of the days of my life." That is most certainly our prayer for her!

So as you can tell, this is certainly an UPdate! Life is moving forward, Jesus is rocking our worlds in a million and one ways. I feel like screaming "I knew He was faithful, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!" In regards to the adoption and a timeline we have none at the moment, but God has given us a sense of urgency at least on our part not to slow down, not to put this to the side, to be ready for Him to blow open any and all doors. With that said, we know we need to start preparing for each and every step of this process. With a tall bill of approximately $30,000 we are going to go ahead and start setting aside money for our travel to Ethiopia. If God does open a quick door I am assuming it will be vital that we buy our plane tickets on the spot so we just want to be as ready as we can be! Jeremy also needs shots and a passport and that alone is over $600. We are posting a "donate" button for anyone who wants to support us in this effort. Please know that every penny will be a blessing and no "donation" is too big or too small. A dear friend gave me $25 and you have no idea how much that increased my faith! We are certain that God is going to continue to overwhelm us with His grace to bring Mercy home. We are beyond thankful for you guys and your prayers for us over these past few years and the awesome months to come! We'll keep you posted, promise!!!!!!

J and K

Monday, August 23, 2010

Night Night

Hello Blog World, rarely will you catch me doing much of anything after say, 8:00 p.m., but tonight I am wide awake for several reasons. One being because my sweet man has gone to a football game and it is a very odd feeling being all alone and the television being off, but two I think I am VERY in love with Jesus this evening and just had to get on and share.

God has obviously taken the Bullocks through the ringer these past few years and some days I am truly amazed that I have had the grace to live through it and even still tell about it. I was thinking today as my sweet man told me that TWO contracts were a no-go, I have to trust God, I have to believe Him, not my circumstances. A friend told me yesterday about a message involving the mid-night hour and how many of us are sitting on 11:59. I also heard the most amazing quote of my entire life yesterday at church, "Our destiny will be made up of a collective number of yes's to God". WOW, if that one doesn't blow you away I think you might just be stuck. I kept thinking to myself, THANK GOODNESS that a few times along this ride we have said "yes" and a million times along this ride we have said "no" to the opposite voice speaking into our ear.

I also have tons of friends and family on my mind right now, I know their circumstances, I desperately pray that they will get to their God given destiny by saying yes. Maybe their yes is to adoption or a no to abortion. Maybe their yes is to stay in rehab or to quit smoking or to finalize a plan to clean up their house. Maybe your yes is to stay married to your man or to STOP worrying about finances and trust Jesus (oh wait that's mine). Maybe your yes is to quit your job, sell your house, or call the Hope Pregnancy Center and become a volunteer. A got an email today about a gal who went on our trip who said yes to moving to Ethiopia to work in the trash dump, in NOVEMBER. How's that for a destiny rocker. She is a single gal and I already have a VERY good looking African man in my head wondering what IF that is going to be her man. Just think, she said yes to a trip, then a yes to fight satan long enough to actually get her butt on the plane to the trip, even on the plane ride there she said she had NO CLUE what God wanted her to do with her life! :) Oh, I love our Jesus.

For me personally, I have said yes this past two years to a job taking and a job quitting, a church change, a sermon series about Toxic Thoughts in a moment where my mind was full of them. I have said NO to drinking, smoking, but a not so good yes to cussing and sometimes WAY too much of it. All my Jesus following yes's over the past 7 years have brought me to blessings that far out weighed my wildest of dreams and all my disobedience or even complacency to say yes to a quiet time have brought me pain. Yes to an alone weekend after losing a baby, life changing. No to tearing down my man in the midst of some anger and terrible PMS, didn't make my life any better let's just say that.

So I leave you with this, say yes to whatever the heck it is He is calling you to do or not to do today. Don't worry about the list of yes's you will need to fulfill your destiny, just take it one yes at a time. Don't worry about the pain or pride you will have to endure or lay down, just trust that He is worth it. Don't compare your life to anyone else's. Just say yes to your call and leave their yes's to themselves. You know what He is calling YOU to do and it will be worth it let me tell ya! It could be as simple as doing the laundry or apologizing to your man. It could be as massive as selling all of your possessions or taking a MAJOR risk, but the options really are simple, glorious God-designed destiny, or well, crap! I'm just saying! Ok, my man is here! I love you guys tons! I am too tired to proof so give me lots of grace!

K

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello Blog World

So I should totally be sleeping right now because each day by 2:00 p.m. I feel like I could fall asleep standing up, but I could not resist saying a quick (ok quick for me) hello this evening! I have a great confession to make and that is I have officially sold out and joined Facebook and my blog routine is all in a mess. I feel so pulled, but I am bound and determined that I am a Blogger first and a Facebooker second, not counting follower of Jesus, awesome loving wife, phenomenal mother, great event planner, and friend, daughter, sister, and aunt. POINT proven for my next announcement, I am officially signing off of "Come with me to Ethiopia". I just can't wrap my boxed brain around keeping up with all of this and from the list above it doesn't seem like a wise time choice as you can tell. SO, from now on we can sit tight here on Bullock Family AND still possibly make certain that we go back to Ethiopia all the same.

I have pondered how on earth I could tell you guys this news, but it seems that telling is really the only route possible. WE ARE GOING TO ADOPT A BABY GIRL FROM ETHIOPIA. Now cheer, cheer! I can hear you!!!!!!!! When I say baby girl, I really mean toddler girl (hopefully), that is just how we southern mama's speak. Tonight I am super excited yet beyond curious about how the Lord is going to perform the 1 million financial miracles that will be needed along the way. God has already done several cool things this past week and we are just faithfully trucking through our paperwork and getting ready to mail out packets as soon as the funds roll in. Jeremy and I are both beyond over the desire to ask people for one more penny, but we have experienced the joys of giving over and over and the Lord is showing us that "bringing home a baby" thrills everyone involved so we are going to humble ourselves again and just let God work! He may work through Jeremy's job or grants or friends and family or random coins found in the mouth of a fish. Ok, so probably not that, but I just read that story in the Bible the other day and my chin dropped and I remembered that God is BIG. Ok, so that's that! I love you guys and I can hardly stand holding in even the smallest bit of news so you can imagine I have been busting at the seems about this. God will confirm through the next few months if we have heard Him correctly or not, but as for now we have more peace moving forward and no peace sitting still. We thank you for your prayers, your celebration and most certainly, if God lays it on your heart to give of your finances to save a life in Ethiopia we will not turn you down. I just kept thinking the entire time I was there what I would do if that were Cross sitting in that orphanage, getting only bread for a meal and no one giving him one million kisses at night. I would beg, plead, work, and take out a loan the size of Egypt if that was what it took to bring him home. I feel like we have a daughter over there, Mercy will be her name, and Cross will be her BIG brother, and so why wouldn't I do the same for her.

God has crazy plans for us all. IF we will in fact surrender our own. I am getting a glimpse of His plan and He is making me smile. He hated any pain that we have had to endure these past few years, but He knew all along where He was leading. He is writing a life story for me that never in a million years could I have dreamt, but let me promise you this, He wants to do the same for you. Every time you face a fork in the road tell yourself that the narrow road leads to a blessing. His ways works guys, just you wait and see!

K, a/k/a Mommy again to be!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cross

Hello Sweet Friends! Obviously from the title of the last post and the length of time in between these two I am thinking I need to spend some more time stopping and smelling the roses. My sweet son waived good-bye to us tonight as we dropped him off at his BB's and Granddaddy's for a MUCH needed hot date with the hubs. When you have no clue where to begin as a couple alone on a Saturday night that is a bad sign. We had a wonderful night together and I think smelling the roses is going to happen much more frequently here at the Bullock home! I also wanted to share with you guys some oh so sweet Cross moments from the past few months. He is talking up a storm and just flourishing as a little boy. We did find out some not so great news this past week, Cross has some horrible food allergies that have got to be addressed. Please pray for me over the next few weeks as we come up with a game plan which will most certainly mean more work for all of us, but also a whole lot of "no's" for my sweet boy. Pray that God gives me some James 1:5 wisdom in the areas of what and how to do everything in my power to get my little man back up to speed before we start reintroducing foods and figuring out just what it is that is an absolute NO. Ok, you guys have a glorious week. I personally am in great need of some Jesus tomorrow after a week of doing childcare and not being able to make it to service. Also, please be praying for my sweet Daddy. He had another scare this week and has GOT to stop smoking. Let's pray him up, he has probably been smoking for 50+ years so he needs a Jesus size miracle, but He is so good at those!

Ok, so here we go, Random Cute Things Cross Says/Does That I Want to Remember.........

1. No, go dis way. He is VERY bossy while you are driving.
2. Tank you daddy, tank you mommy. I can't even type it how he really says it. It is almost more like dankdo, but it is SO cute. I can always tell he has plenty of food and sleep when he says this. It is so sweet to see your manner's training pay off!
3. Hi, HI, Cross is the personal greeter everywhere we go. You should see him at Chick-fil-a. He feels VERY at home there and welcomes each and every customer that enters the door. He doesn't quiet know how to carry on a conversation so he just starts talking, "The mon mower, and the tractor, and the truck, and the mon mower."
4. Max (his buddy at school) is always cwying. That is another random conversation peace that frequents our home.
5. I also love seeing his necked little butt running back and forth to the potty and the way he slams down the toilet lid, all boy, Jeremy grins with proud approval, I shake with fear.
6. A BIG no-no. When he sees things that he has touched and suffered the consequences (please know I am certain 10 warnings were in between) he says they are a BIG no-no.
7. "W" say it out loud, now hear Cross saying "double y". So sticking cute. He changed a week or so to "double x". Those moments almost send me over the edge with his cuteness!
8. And lastly, poooooooooooooooor Snick. She gets bossed, chased, and the ball taken away often. She keeps her ears up most of the day. I wonder what goes through her head on days when we leave. THANK YOU JESUS FOR GIVING ME A DAY OF REST FROM THAT CHILD. HE IS A BIT TOO HYPER, EVEN FOR ME!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Overwhelmed.............................

Hello Sweet Friends,

I thought I would try for a much lighter post here in Bullock Family Land. Come with me to Ethiopia can be a bit overwhelming, especially to me because I am still almost fainting at resturants when someone says "no thank you" to a to-go box or when I had to clean out my fridge or when each day at lunch I throw away enough food from Cross' plate alone to feed a hungry child so I think we all need a good laugh. I thought I should get on and attempt to make some jokes while my son is acting completely horrible in the background and my sweet husband is trying to make the best of it. Cross goes to daycare all day now on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I have asked God 100 times if it is too much because it appears to be too much. He is like a blood sugar depleted, exhausted mess each day that he returns, but he does in fact know how to count to 10 and he is tracing his name and has a new bff named Max who I finally met on Tuesday. Max cries a lot according to Cross, but Cross cries a lot according to me so who knows. I am going to attempt the feat of potty training tomorrow. I think I would rather plan an event or run a non-profit any day over tackling such an overwhelming task. Pee on my couches and Heaven forbid poop happening anywhere other than a diaper is a lot to take in. I am trying to schedule it around a few days at home which also gives me palpitations because at home often turns into a very bored stir crazy little boy. Let's just pray that the Thomas the Train underwear are so near and dear to his heart that he would never dream of tarnishing them with any unthinkables.

Ok, so where was I? Oh yes, overwhelmed. I am also CERTAIN that my dog is going to lose her life over begging for that stupid ball that goes under the couch every single time it rolls. I am swearing that our next couch either has to be flat on the floor or high enough so she can crawl under and out without making a single peep. Didn't she get the memo that I now have a REAL child that demands a large portion of my responsibility.I find myself day dreaming about hurling her out the door or when Cross is pitching a fit about something in the front seat I promise you one day I am going to calmly roll down the window and chuck it out the door and keep driving as if nothing happened. Is that healthy??

So this is me, knee deep in mommy land, wondering how we can have such a love/hate relationship. Wondering how on earth one child can walk in my house with a horrifically mismatched outfit from a daycare accident and steal my heart and then within 30 seconds start whaling on the floor and cause me to have to take deep breaths and start quoting scripture about anger. I really do love being a mom, but I have said it before and I am certain I will say it again, this job is one that I signed up for with NO CLUE what I was getting myself into. Sometimes when he rams my boob (so sorry if there are any male readers) into my back I am certain I am going to bite my lip clear off trying not to cuss and other times when he runs without any inhabitions I am praising God over and over for giving me that little guy. When Snick picks out the pieces of food that she doesn't prefer and leaves them on my 1X1 kitchen floor it makes me want to take her food away forever, but when she snuggles right up to me on the couch I think what on earth would life be without her. I probably have the same feelings about my husband quite honestly (and he does for me) but he can read so I will refrain from posting them. I have a good set of years until Cross reads and surely he won't look back on July 29, 2010. If you do little buddy just know being a mommy is hard and had Jesus not given me the grace to raise you AFTER submitting to walk with Him God only knows where you and I would be.

So until next time blog world, I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the calls of life. I am a bit overwhelmed with the things that you were certain would make life perfect falling far from the mark. I am a bit overwhelmed with "will I do this potty training thing right" and will I ever get good at reading to Cross consistently, brushing his teeth daily, AND spending enough time with Jesus in order to ensure that it is all done with a smile! You guys have a great weekend and when you go to the potty, your kid goes to the potty, or you change a stinkin' diaper, think of me, pray for me, and smile at the laughs you would be certain to have in the event that you get to beam down as a fly upon my fall!

Off to bed!
K

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kelly is in Ethiopia!

Hey blog world, this is Kelly's hub's reminding everyone that she is in Ethiopia for the next ten days. She should actually be landing sometime in the next hour or two. Anyways if you would like to follow her along check out her blog she made for the trip. Also, please pray for her and the team as the visit the different orphanages and love on the different babies and children.

http://www.comewithmetoethiopia.blogspot.com/

Thanks,

J

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Man................




My man is the best father in all the world.

My man offered up some DNA that is most attractive for our son.

My man LOVES Jesus and his son will see that and that thrills me.

My man does the right thing when none of you are looking and I see.

My man was born to be a father, it comes so natural to him.

My man is building a legacy that will make some mighty fine fathers.

My man is my best friend and being a parent with him is my greatest honor in life.

My man is my son's hero.

Happy Father's Day! I pray you know that Cross and I really do think you hung the moon!
K


Friday, June 18, 2010

One Last Hooo Rahhhhh







Hello Blog World, I am so all or none, no posts for a few weeks and then three in three days. If you only knew how true that is in all areas of my life. I thought I would get on and give one last hello, share some family photos, and probably sign off from the Bullock Family for a month or so in order to focus on the Ethiopia Blog. You can come along if you would like at http://www.comewithmetoethiopia.blogspot.com/.
Several realities have hit today. As you know we were supposed to be beaching it this week so I kept thinking "I'll focus on Ethiopia once we get back from the beach". That is how my box brain works, but now as there is no beach I am ready to switch gears.

With that, the one thing I dread most is missing my family, but I know that always makes me VERY close to the Lord which is never a bad thing. I feel insecure sometimes even coming to Winchester without my man. I call him OFTEN and can hardly wait to get back to him. Cross, well, I am usually honestly thankful for the break for the first day or so and then well, there really hasn't ever been a then. I can't remember exactly, but I am thinking no more than 4 days have I been away from him. 10 will be hard. I haven't felt this in a while, but I know the Lord is saying "I have planned it this way baby, that you would know no one and take no one with you, even your phone must remain here, it is just going to be me and you." That's how it was in 2003 when we first started walking together. I had to give up ALL of my relationships, some of my family even took a few steps back, it was just me and Jesus. I talked to Him almost every second of every day. Now I find myself calling J, calling you, calling humans and begging them to meet my needs, fill my security and love tank and they always fail because they are not capable of succeeding. Ethiopia will bring back that intimacy, telling Him my every fear, begging Him to come closer and allow me to feel His presence more and more. People will be all around, but I know I will feel very much alone.
I will put all of the details of Him calling me to the trip in the first place in the blog, but know that although I am excited, I more so know that I am called. I will not/can not ask myself how I "feel" about any step of this venture. He has called me and He will fully equip me. I cannot be a double minded man or I will miss His blessing! He has made it clear and confirmed it a million times over so this is not up for negotiation at this point, it is up for obedience, and by His grace, I will obey. So thank you for your prayers! I depart in a little over 3 weeks and after reading an email today with lots of do's and don'ts the uncomfortable reality has set in, pray for me that excitement will override any and all fears! Actually, pray for those sweet babies that are certain to break my heart instead of praying for my poor heart. We/I am the person who "must do something about this". Pray God gives me a deep vision for how I am to help, even how my smile is to brighten their very dark days. I can't wait for Heaven. I can't wait until orphans are a thing of the past, but in the mean time, may I love them madly, lavishly. May I hug them so tight when I miss my own sweet baby and may I pray bold prayers while I am there that will move mountains on their behalf. So until Augustish, "Come with me to Ethiopia", we are certain to have an eye opening, heart wrenching, good time!

K