Monday, October 25, 2010


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!


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 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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!


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 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)

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!