Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope that you all had a Very Merry Christmas! Ours was good! Blessed with busyness I guess you could say :) Sorry I have been "M.I.A." on blogging! I was thankful to get back to a routine this morning and am hoping to pick back up this week with some blogs.

We have a new number on the Unofficial waiting list.......

for an infant boy!!

Our number for toddler boy hasn't moved in a while, but we are thankful to see any movement!

I also wanted to share this sweet, sweet gift that Lee's sister gave us (Malachi) for Christmas! I absolutely LOVE it!! I cannot wait to put it up in his room.

I love how it has all of the countries, major cities, etc. It even has Addis Ababa (which is the city where our agency's transition home is located). This is where we will meet and pick up Malachi, but he may be born in another town or village in Ethiopia.

Honestly, it seems surreal. I was sitting there looking at that map tonight thinking "God, is this ever going to really happen? Will I ever step foot on Addis Ababa soil?"

And the answer is... yes! This will happen... one. day.

One, Two, or Three years from now?    Probably.

Will we still be waiting and ready to meet little man?  YUP!!

Do we think of him often??   All the time!

I remember a time when I waited 7 years for something. I never thought the day would come when I would finally marry Lee :) Then... One. Day.... it happened!

I think he was worth the wait :)

Thanks for following our journey!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Walk Down Christmas Card Lane

In 2009, the year that Lee and I were engaged... I decided that I wanted to keep record of our Christmas cards. I began a scrapbook that was very, very bare for the first 2 years... but I pulled it out today and my, oh my, how time flies!

Here is our walk down Christmas Card lane (spoiler for my 2012 cards because they haven't been sent out yet :)) So don't look if you love a surprise!

Oh and DO. NOT. JUDGE. the lack of creativity with each page. I vowed to make it SIMPLE so that I would actually do it every year! It's a guilt free book :) I do reserve the right to go back and edit pages when time allows... you could do the same!





I love how my sloppy handwriting is making all of you OCD people cring right now!

Oh. If you know this Santa in "real" life, I apologize if I have come across as offensive. I think he was just tired by the end of the day :) It gave us something to laugh about.

Merry Christmas guys!
Enjoy your holidays!
Fashionably, I have not even BEGAN my Christmas shopping yet!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good & Bad News

Well... The good news is that we moved up another spot on the waiting list!! Now for an infant (0-12 months) we are number....

And for a little guy (18-24 months) we are number...

We are so thankful to have moved up so many spots in the month of November. Our agency issued approximately 12 referrals in the month of November, which is awesome!

However, (oh the dreaded "however"), overall the wait times continue to increase. The families that received referrals this month had been waiting 24-25 months. Because of this, our agency sent an email today saying that families should "currently" expect to wait 24-30 months before a referral. The "old" estimated wait time was 18-24 months. When Lee and I started this process, the estimated wait was approx 12 months :( so you can see how much things have changed.

Paperwork continues to be the hold up. By "paperwork" I mean the children's paperwork. The Ethiopian government has to issue clearances for these children to be adopted and with the new guidelines in place (in effort to make sure all adoptions are completely ethical) it is taking increased time. Our agency said that "the final clearance could take 1 month or 1+ years to obtain."

Please pray that the Ethiopian government finds a more efficient way to process these clearances.

For now... We wait! We wait in expectation and we rejoice in the Lord's continued work in Ethiopia.

The sad truth: We have been officially waiting 3 months. So, 30-3 = 27 more to go (if things don't change again). Geez that makes me sad to type!

Please keep following, encouraging and praying! It means a lot guys!

Friday, November 30, 2012

3 Months Waiting & NEW NUMBERS!!

We have OFFICIALLY been waiting for 3 months today! In a way, it seems like forever and in another way, it has flown by! One thing that helps is so many REFERRALS going out over the past few days!! Our yahoo and facebook group (for our adoption agency) has been filled with excitement!

So far- referrals that WE know of are:
4 Boy referrals!!
and 3 Girl referrals!!
 *Referral is when a family is matched with a child*

Of course, there could be more, but these are the ones we know of for sure.

Sooooo.... That means that we have FINALLY moved on the "unoffical waiting list!"

We were number 82 for a boy 0-12 mos, but NOW we are.....

And we were number 38 for 18-24 month old boy, but NOW we are....

Praising God this week for all of the movement in our agency!! All of these sweet children will soon be placed with there forever family! And of course, one step closer to Malachi!

I am excited to finally take numbers down on our countdown wall in the kitchen!

Please continue to pray for children to be matched with families and paperwork to be processed ethically and quickly!

Happy Friday, guys!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Perfect Parent - Budget Series

Miller has learned how to talk. He is quickly learning the language and surprises us daily with new words. It's fun. Just the other day, he pointed to a newly bought bag of Cheetos, spit out his pacifier, and said "cheeto!" Of course, I gave him one. He ate it, then pointed again and said "cheeto." I gave him another. This cycle repeated itself MULTIPLE times over the next 20 minutes. And finally, I looked at him and said "no" when he asked. He looked at me like "Excuse me... what did you say?" As reality sank in, he gave me that sad look like "why??" Then... his face started turning red, his bottom lip folded over his chin, a tear fell down his cheek, and he began to wail! Stomped his feet. Swatted his orange hands. Fell on the floor. And cried.
I kneeled down, not saying a word but smiling.
He ran from me. I stayed right where I was. A few seconds later, still crying, he poked his head around the corner and with his lip still folded over his chin... He ran to me saying "maaaa maaaa." I hugged him and he sat in my lap on the kitchen floor. We just sat. He cried. I kissed. Then, interestingly, he started smiling. Started laughing. Wanted to play. I cleaned him up (orange cheeto everywhere). I cleaned all the places he had touched and swept the crumbs he had left. Life was good again.

Soon after I became pregnant with Miller, I went part time at work. God waS very specific with me years ago about making an effort to be at home more than work. I never knew if that would be a possibility, but when the opportunity presented itself - I took it! Needless to say, our lifestyle changed drastically with me going part time, adding a baby, and a new house. It was (is) hard. Don't get me wrong, we live in such luxury compared to a majority of the world. We still have cable, Internet, a beautiful home, Etc. I will not say that we are "poor" but I will choose the words "on a budget" to better explain.

When we first began our "on a budget" journey, it was EXTREMELY hard. We never went without needs, but we definitely have gone without many of our "wants." Prior to this past 1&1/2 years, I would have argued that I didn't necessarily "love" the world and all it's stuff. But up until now... I was never denied anything that was within reason.


I am denied things that appear to be "within reason." I am denied luxuries." I am denied things that you wouldn't consider "luxuries" such as random food items that aren't on my specific grocery list. No random shopping. No extras.

Just two days ago, I texted Lee in all seriousness and said "I bought two luxury items at the grocery today. A 5$ candle and a 5$ travel mug." In his sweetness, he replied "yay!" One gift was for me and the other for him! We were truly thankful. However, we haven't always had a grateful posture. As a matter of fact- we were far from grateful in the beginning! We were angry!! Sounds silly huh?

It was hard. For the first time in our lives we were denied the things of this world, and we realized just how much we LOVE this world. We LOVE comfort. We LOVE Security. We LOVE to shop and to buy the things our eyes see. We covet and are envious. We want more, more, more. The lust of our eyes was revealed to us when we were denied things we wanted. Our hearts were filthy with a love for worldly things.

But God, in His loving kindness, looked down at us and said, "no."
At first we were shocked like Miller was when I said "no" about the cheeto.
Then reality sank in, and we began to pitch a total fit! We wailed. We kicked our feet. We fell on the floor.

And God just kneeled down, smiling.

We ran from Him. We ran around trying to make sense of it. Trying to understand. We tried to "figure" it out on our own.


Still crying, we poked our head around the corner and we began to run back to Him. We climbed in His lap. We cried. He kissed.

And as He loved on us, we realized that we actually LIKE being dependent on Him. We were glad He had told us "no." We were thankful that He began cleaning our "orange cheeto" hands. We were glad He was cleaning our hearts and everything we had touched. He is slowly replacing our love for the world with a love for Him... And it is good! Still hard, but good!

I would never deny Miller the things he needs and I am a sinful parent. But I will deny him things he "wants."

God is teaching us that He is a perfect father. He will say "yes" some and He will say "no" some. But always, whatever He says... I can trust that it is best! I need only to sit in His lap.

Life is good again. We need only Him.

I will posts a few more blogs on our budget and ways that we have "survived" living on a budget!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Embrace The Noise

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

I am thankful that I come from a very large family. My grandmother had 7 children and each of them have children, and all of those children have children, etc. :)) I have heard from family members that my Grandfather would have had 15 kids if my grandmother would have agreed! My mom said that even "back in those days" people thought my grandparents were crazy for having so many kids. (No offense to people who don't desire to have many children).

But I often wonder.

Behind my grandfather's quiet, sincere smile.... Did he know a few secrets that bring true joy in this life?

Noise. Laughter. The blessing of a new life welcomed as family. Snotty noses. Dirty hands. Hugs. Kisses. Rocking chairs. Lots of food.

A house with standing room only during the Holidays.

Some people see noise as annoying... But I wonder... Have they ever experienced true silence?

I stopped dead in my tracks while reading in the book "Kisses From Katie" this week. Below is the few paragraphs that captured my heart. Katie was a missionary, but now she lives in Uganda and has 14 little girls that she has adopted (so when she refers to "girls" you know she means SEVERAL children)!

In this chapter she is talking about an elderly woman that lives in a very poor village. The woman's house is made of mud and is about 4 feet by 4 feet. She had no family left.

Here it is:

"I was not prepared for the sight that met my eyes.
Grace was indeed old and blind, but those realities only scratched the surface of her troubles. Frankly, I stood there looking at her for a few minutes, marveling at the fact that she was still alive. Her body was hardly strong enough to sit upright, certainly not able to stand or walk. She had not eaten in three days, and she hadn't been able to see for the past five years.
She can't weigh more than eighty-five pounds, I thought.
What most caught my attention was the eerie silence that surrounded her house, in the very back of the village near a trash pile. All of her neighbors had gone to work their menial jobs or do whatever they did to pass the time.
Even the wind seemed quiet that day.

I thought for a moment that Grace's tiny mud house was exceptionally dark inside, and then I remembered that for her, it was already dark anyway. I embraced this sweet woman, patted her back, and kissed her cheeks; and I told her that Jesus loves her and I love her.
"He does!" she exclaimed. "He has sent me visitors as I asked!"
Her excitement turned to a whisper. "I wanted to stop believing. I did not think God cared for me. Lord, I believe in You."
Tears streamed down both of our faces and together we began to pray to our Father, who sees and hears even the smallest of our requests.
That day was just the beginning of lots of time spent with Grace. I immediately began to take her food a few times a week, and her neighbor helped her cook it every day. We went to many, many doctors' appointments getting treatment for her TB, blood transfusions and lots of vitamins. When I took the girls to meet her, they instantly fell in love and immediately adopted her as their jja ja (grandmother).
Before long, the girls and I had developed a habit of packing a picnic lunch and heading over to jja ja Grace's house to share a meal with her, read the Bible, sing and dance. The girls loved it and Grace loved having her home filled with noise and laughter."

Can't you just see it? An old, sick woman alone in her tiny hut filled with hopelessness and sadness. A home filled with an eerie silence.

And then.

God gives her a family. And soon, her home is filled with 14 little girls laughing, dancing, kissing and hugging. No doubt it was standing room only in a 4x4 house.

I am sure that a joy radiated from Grace on the days that Katie and her girls came to visit.

In my selfishness, I sometimes miss out on the joys of life. I see "crowds" as a nuisance.

But when it comes to a noisy household, I think my grandfather was wise. There is joy in the noise. I can just see him sitting quietly in his chair during holidays.... Listening to all of the chatter around him... And smiling.

Embrace the noise this holiday season. You would miss it if you had only silence!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2 years ago...

Two years ago today (November 17, 2010), God confirmed His call for Lee and I to adopt. It is a day we will never forget. My tear filled eyes met Lee's tear filled eyes and an overwhelming sense of joy filled both of us! We didn't even have to exchange words. It was as if time stood still for a moment.

We knew.

The call was clear.

We were going to be parents and we were ecstatic. On that day, we didn't know any details about when or where we would adopt from. On that day, it didn't matter. We were just so excited to begin the journey!

Today. We celebrate 2 years!

God loves details. If you have ever studied the Bible in any depth, you are fully aware of this. He loves details and He loves to make his children smile.

We went to visit my cousin, Jill, today. She surprised me with an "Africa Coloring Book" that she had found on her recent trip to Birmingham. She explained to me how she had planned to send it by mail, but things didn't work out so she decided to give it to me today :)

Jill had no idea that today was our "adoption anniversary."

God did.

I also received an email this morning. It was an email explaining that today is none other than:
"National Adoption Day!"

I just smiled when I read the email.

As if National Adoption Day and an Africa Coloring book were not good enough "anniversary gifts" from the Lord... He kindly put the icing on the cake when I arrived home tonight. I checked the mail and there it sat.... Another check from Pinelake Church supporting our adoption! (more on that later).

Oh How He Loves Us!

I knew today was something to be remembered, but honestly, I thought it would be "just another day." I didn't expect ANY of the above things. I don't deserve any of them. But I am thankful for them.

In all honesty... Above all else, I am overjoyed at the thought that God loves me enough to make me smile. He knew that today was special for Lee and I. Nobody else knew, but He did. He knew that I had mentally marked this day in my mind weeks ago. He knows it is a special date to me.

And honestly.

I think today is special for Him too. Today marked a day that two of His children said "yes" to His call. A call that would forever change them and their relationship with Him. A call that would not be easy, but would totally be worth it!

Thank you, Lord, for sweetly and continually confirming Your call on our lives!

The coloring book! Thanks, Jill.
It's almost as if I could see God whispering to you in the store, "buy this for Abby! I need to give her an anniversary gift." :))

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remember the Shoes?

Remember the shoes that I talked about (Ethiopia and Ukraine)? If not, here is the ORIGINAL POST about giving to a missionary in Ethiopia to fund shoes for some of the street kids there. Last night, the sweet friend who was collecting the money posted a more detailed blog about the kids getting there shoes!! She has lots of pictures included! I thought it would be fun to share and to thank any of you who may have given. We do not always get to see the result of our giving, so it is sweet when we see a glimpse of the impact. Thanks guys. Click on the link below to read about the kids.


Oh, and I cannot forget the shoes for Ukraine! My friend, Gray, does not have a blog. However, she returned to work last week and said that her mission trip to Ukraine was awesome! She said that she was able to buy all of the girls who live at Hope House a Bible and some boots! She said that the girls were thrilled to receive these items. She said, "they were happy about the boots, but they were most excited about the Bibles." Yay! We know that these sweet girls have Hope in Christ! For a re-cap, these girls have "aged-out of adoption" and are now living in a transition home. They may never know an earthly mother and father, but praise the Lord, they are invited to know their heavenly Father!! Pray for these sweet girls!

Thanks again guys for helping make a difference in the lives of sweet kids all over the world!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Today was Orphan Sunday! I know that many churches are becoming more and more aware of Orphan Sunday, and it is exciting to see the movement in churches to answer the call of caring for the fatherless.

Adoption update:
Our "unofficial numbers" for the month of November are still the same.

Number 38- for 18-24 month old boy

Number 82 - for 0-12 month old boy

The movement is s.l.o.w.
Painfully slow.
This month, our agency placed some older children in homes, but no toddlers or infants were matched. That is why our unofficial number did not change.

Please pray for a flood of referrals in the month of November! November is such a special month.
In November 2010- God spoke specifically to Lee and I that adoption was His plan for us.
Interestingly enough, the month of November is national adoption awareness month :) God loves the details!

Join us in praying for God to place the lonely in families this month! We will keep you updated on any movement that takes place!

Trusting in His plan.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2 Months Waiting!

Today, we have been officially waiting for 2 Months! I have not seen any referrals going out, so I am "guessing" that we are still unofficially the same numbers that we were a few weeks ago. :(
Just because I haven't seen any referrals does not mean that there weren't any. I will have to wait until our agency sends out the "official" referral report for October sometime next week! I will let you guys know.

But for now... 2 months closer :)

Please keep praying for us!

Oh and Happy Halloween!!

Our little monkey loved trick-or-treating! (actually he just loved riding the hayride, running with other kids to and from houses, and staring at everyone :))

It was a good night!! We were treated by some sweet friends and family to Chili and dessert after trick-or-treating! Hope y'all had a great night!

Our little monkey!


Boo Y'all!

Me & my monkey

Family Pic!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Made To Worship

I love Art.

Some of my deepest times of Worship come when I am painting.

But Art can be... Frustrating. Stressful. Messy. Expensive. Exhausting.

Take a look at our costumes for a Halloween Party we attended last weekend.

I know! I know! The bulldogs got smoked! We still love them!


These costumes were more work than I originally thought they would be. They took longer to make than I ever intended. The whole process got messier than my husband would have liked :) and took time to clean up.

There were times of frustration, physical exhaustion, worry and joy. It was a process. There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel. I learned some valuable "art" lessons. In the end, I found myself putting the final details on the project, listening to music, thanking God it had all come together and I was worshipping!
I wasn't worshipping bc I had finished the project. I was worshipping because I had just received a phone call from Lee that went something like this:

Lee: "Abby, Guess What?!?!"
Abby: "What?" (knowing this was good news based on his excited tone)

Lee proceeded to tell me that someone had spoke with him and said that she had been referred to Lee by a friend. She proceeded to tell Lee that her son had recently been dx with plagiocephaly and would have to wear a helmet. Lee had the opportunity to encourage her purely because he could relate to how she was feeling.
She told him that she had been crying for 3 days straight. He simply said, "my wife did too, but you will overcome all of that. You will make it through this season"
(those probably weren't his exact words but it was something like that)

Those words, "my wife did too" rang in my ears even after we got off the phone. I did. I had cried. I had been sad. And now, I was praising my Father that I had been all of those things so that I can relate to and encourage others who are walking the same path.

Lee wrote me a message that simply said, "Abby, it is so awesome to be used by God to encourage others. I hope He continues to place people in our path."

In that moment, the only human who was capable of speaking words of life and encouragement to that heartbroken mama was someone who had once been in her shoes. Someone who had once ached like she was aching. I am thankful the Lord chose Lee to do that.

All of these thoughts and this conversation were taking place when I was finishing up our costumes.

Aren't some seasons with the Lord like an Art project?

Exciting yet exhausting.
Short yet painfully long.
Joyful and frustrating.
Weary yet gaining strength and knowledge.
Messy... Yet. Perfectly. Orchestrated.

All in all... There is worship.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may DECLARE THE PRAISES of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

1 Peter 2:9

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Countdown Wall

About a month ago we put up this countdown wall.

We planned to countdown our adoption by the months. Well... There has been "talk" amongst families in our agency this month that the waiting time frame is about to increase again. :(
Currently the waiting time frame is 18-24 months, however it is projected to increase to 24-30 months very, very soon. It makes me sad. I recently told a fellow adoptive mom that I hope to have Malachi home in 4 years. Part of me is hoping it will be 3 or less, but reality is that this could really take a while.
The reason for the increase in wait times? Paperwork.
There are still millions of orphans in Ethiopia. There are families waiting on children. The extensive amount of required paperwork is the hold up in getting these adoptions processed. I am thankful for the paperwork. It helps keep adoption ethical. I just wish there were a more efficient process.

So needless to say, it's going to be a while. Please continue to pray for us. It pains us to wait month after month not knowing when this process will be completed.

Malachi may be our second child, or he may be our third or fourth. Only the Lord knows! We are thankful that our agency allows you to grow your family through pregnancy or pursuit of other adoptions during the wait without impacting your adoption. However, right now we are just praying for God to do miracles with paperwork. We are praying for children to be placed in forever families. We are praying for Malachi to come home!!!! :)

So why the new countdown wall?
Because I just couldn't handle continually adding months to the wall. It's just too hard.

I decided to use our "unofficial " agency wait list!

I cannot take credit for this precious countdown wall. I found it on a fellow adoptive mom's blog. Hilary was selling them to raise money for their adoption! They are currently #4 for a little boy :))

Look how cute!

The two colors are 2 different age ranges.

The blue is for an infant, 0-18 mos.
We are currently number 82

The red is for a toddler, 18-24 mos.
We are number 38

We cannot wait to begin taking down numbers! Each number represents a child matched with a forever family and will be one step closer to Malachi!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Passions - Helmet Series

Sometimes God allows me to use passions I already possess to encourage others. This could be a passion for art, or for sports, or whatever. These passions are natural and familiar. They're comfortable.

And then.

I am learning.

That sometimes, He births new passions in me. I do not always invite these passions. In fact, at times, I resist them. You could almost imagine me as a little kid with my eyes squeezed tightly shut saying, "please God, don't ask me to go down THAT road." But He does. He often asks me to walk through things that I would rather avoid completely.

And in the end.

He is always right. He is always faithful. My heart is always more full at the end of those journeys than I could have ever imagined.

And I look back saying, "I would do it all over again!"

One example of this is absolutely adoption and a passion for orphans. It wasn't natural. It wasn't comfortable. And in the beginning, I battled the desire to "make it go away" because I was scared. But even now, even before Malachi is home, I am so very thankful the Lord moved in my heart and opened my eyes.

Another journey the Lord asked me to walk through, although seemingly mild in comparison to the orphan crisis, was the journey with Miller's helmet. Ewww did I fight it at first! I did NOT want to have to walk down that path. In the beginning, all I could do was hope for the end. I hoped that it would go by quickly, and we could just sort of "forget" it ever even happened.


God is always up to bigger things. He uses trials as an invitation to Himself. He drew me near to Him. He comforted me during those first few weeks. He encouraged me.


He changed my heart. I fell IN LOVE with my little boy's little blue helmet. Not because it was "cute."
I fell in love with it because it was part of him. My son.

I had never experienced the rawness of emotions that comes with loving someone so much that you would do ANYTHING for their good. No matter the cost, physical and emotional. Placing myself and Lee at the center of social awkwardness, extensive questioning, and emotional expense. All the while, not regretting or resenting any of it because of the love we have for Miller.


No matter what. He is our son!

We love him.

I am in no way trying to "toot our own horn." I am simply praising the Lord for doing a work in my heart and teaching me more than I would ever attempt to put into a blog post.

I often thought that at the end of this, we would close the door, brush off our hands and feet, and walk away. Never really looking back. However, I was wrong. I feel like the Lord is calling us to leave our hearts open to be used to encourage others.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, SO THAT we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God comforted us so that we could comfort others walking along the same journey. This was confirmed in a text message I received from a friend a few weeks ago.

Here is the text:

"Met a family n Chick-Fil-A in Seveirville, TN today. They seemed a little grumpy and I almost didnt stop and talk. The lil girl had a pink helmet. I shared millers story and showed pictures of him with and without helmet. They were encouraged, as they had never met anyone with a helmet or knew anyone else with a helmet. Miller's story made them smile and brought encouragement to their family. Way to go miller!!! Already making a difference in this big world."

My heart leaped. I longed for encouragement during our season with the helmet. We knew NO ONE else. We didn't have the opportunity to chat with other parents about their journey. To be able to offer someone else even a tiny piece of what I so longed for.... Well... There is no greater honor.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Comments

Several people have written me and said that they were having a lot of trouble leaving comments on my blog secondary to the restrictions in place.

But AHH HAA! I think I have fixed the problem!!

From now on when you want to leave a comment it will make you "choose a profile."
Just scroll down until you see Name/URL and click that. You can just put your name in. You don't have to put in a URL.
And BAM! You're done!
No more crazy "prove to me you're not a robot" pop-ups!

Yay! I hope it works for ya!

As for us... We are WAITING! We haven't seen any major movement in our agency this month so I am anxious to see how many children were referred at the end of October. I have a few updates on "our wait" but we will save that for another blog (because it may not be exciting news). :((

I am, however, finally picking up a book that my heart has longed to read for a really long time. I hope my emotions are ready for it! :) I'm only in chapter 2 and it is proving to be worth the "hype."

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I woke up this morning just needing some encouragement for adoption and I saw this video that a sweet family from our agency had just posted!

I watched and I cried and I cried!


 Possibly years from now.


 I will pull up to this very transition home in Ethiopia  and meet Malachi for the first time ever! I cannot wait! But for today, this is enough! I've posted the link to the video below. Check I out!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Street Kids

Do you remember THIS POST about giving shoes to kids in Africa?

Well, today as I was taking a spin through Facebook, I saw this post by the missionary in Ethiopia that the money was given to.

It made me smile! I could just imagine the sweet smiles on the faces of those children!! This image has been marked in my head all day.

Street kids - This is often so far from my mind. In all honesty, the thought of kids living on the street is almost "movie-like to me." That could not be farther from the truth. These are REAL kids. They are living and breathing this very minute... suffering from poverty that most of us will never, ever even come close to experiencing.

Could you just join me in praising the Lord today for meeting the simple needs of these children and for making them smile?!

If any of you gave.... Thank you! You may never see the fruit of your giving on this side of eternity, but rest assured that there is a sweet child in Africa walking around with a new pair of shoes on today because you gave.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

He is Faithful... Despite Me - Helmet Series

"My confession.... I have been praying that Miller would be out of the helmet by September."

"I felt prompted to pray again specifically last night about September and had to fight the doubt in my mind that that would ever happen."

"Please join me in praying specifically that Miller would be out of the helmet by September - not because we want it... We can live through a trip to the beach :) But pray because we desire to pray the things we have been prompted to pray and we desire to pray believing God can do the seemingly impossible!"

Those quotes were from my blog post on JUNE 26TH - A.M.A.Z.E.D.

I prayed fervently that Miller would graduate by September.... for a little while. Over time, my mind twisted and my thoughts became selfish. I formulated a selfish goal that not only would he graduate by September, but that he would graduate by the beach trip (first week of September). Needless to say... he didn't. We loaded that little helmet up and headed to the beach. "MY" goal for helmet graduation was over. He didn't graduate by the beach trip. However, God's whisper was "September" NOT "the beach trip." I was unfaithful in continuing to pray and believe. I lost sight. God didn't. He intended to fulfill the very word He had spoken into me back in June.

September 25th, 2012. Miller Graduated.

Sadly, on the way to the hospital that day - it never occurred to me that this was the last opportunity to bring to pass what I had prayed back in June. I was too busy thinking of other things.

Sometime later that day, I remember thinking.... today is still September! I looked at Lee and said, "God did what He said He would."

I re-read my blog post from June 26th and it made me smile to see how specifically and sweetly God was speaking to me when my emotions were still raw over the helmet. It made me sad to see that as time passed, I had become unfaithful to continue praying.

I am thankful to serve a God that is faithful depsite my lack of faithfulness.

Thankful for this lesson learned :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Miller's Helmet Graduation Day!

I am thinking that saying goodbye to the helmet may take a few posts so I figured I would begin with a simple recap of the day he graduated!

September 25th, 2012

Miller's appointment was at 1:00. This was his 4 month follow up with the Plastic Surgeon. Honestly, I didn't really have a "feeling" one way or the other regarding the possibility of Miller graduating from his helmet. I had gotten my hopes up before and just didn't even feel like "going there" this time. So to me... this was just another appointment. 
I must insert here that I had become a bit "jaded" if you will. We had survived the scorching heat of the summer... constantly being stuck indoors... the stares... the questions... and countless doctor visits. Our major family outing (the beach trip) was behind us. We were just kinda... jaded.

Here is sweet Miller waiting on his doctor.

The doctor and his crew came in. They immediately took Miller's helmet off and began observing his head. Then Dr. C. looked up at us and said, "his head is rounding out nicely, I say just keep wearing the helmet until he outgrows it." We smiled and nodded our heads in understanding.
He proceeded to put the helmet back on Miller and he noticed that it was rotating to the right significantly. He asked me if it always rotated like that and I replied, "yes, it has started doing that over the past 2 weeks." He observed Miller in the helmet very briefly, then he quickly took the helmet off and tossed it across the room to Lee. As he tossed the helmet, he uttered the words "y'all are done!!"

The moment was very surreal. So many emotions rose up in me all at once. I did the only thing I knew to do.... I asked him if he was sure and then assured him that we were more than willing to continue wearing the helmet if it was best for Miller.
He smiled and sort of chuckled a little. He explained to us that Miller's head looked great and had already achieved near symmetry. He told us that over the next several months we will actually continue to see more improvement even without the helmet.
In a nutshell... he told us to put it in Miller's scrapbook!

We talked a little more, sharing helmet stories and such. Then they left.

Lee and I just looked at each other. Shocked. Giddy. Sad. All in ONE. We were grinning so big!

The weirdest... saddest... and sweetest part of leaving the hospital is captured in this little picture right here.

His first few moments HELMET FREE! We put that sweet little helmet on the stroller and wheeled out. Seriously. Our emotions were so mixed. We went from smiling to frowning repeatedly.

HOW... WHY... would we EVER be sad to see the helmet go? That seems ABSURD huh?

I will fall short on every single attempt to explain our emotions.
I refuse to exhaust myself, but I desire to journal a few of the details of our journey (especially for those of you who were on the Front Line with the helmet).

The journey with the helmet was ultimately an invitation to draw near to the Lord and it was all for His glory.
Although Miller's physical journey with the helmet ended on September 25th... our call to encourage others who are walking through this same season has only just begun.

stay tuned for the "helmet series"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just for Fun!

Our adoption agency does not have an "Official Waiting List." However, there is a yahoo group for our agency and families over the years have created an "Unofficial Waiting List." Although EVERY single family adopting from our agency may not be on this list, I believe the majority of families are. We were added to the list this week and I thought it would be fun to keep up with our progress! So here are our UNOFFICIAL wait list numbers! Just for Fun!


For a little boy age 0-18 months!!

                                                         For a little boy age 19-24 months!!

Don't be fooled by the numbers :) They don't really give an accurate timeline. However, they will allow me to better express the movement each month (good or bad) within our agency!

Hope you have an awesome weekend!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1 Month Waiting

We have officially been waiting ONE month for Malachi. We took the number 24 down from our countdown wall :) - leaving 23 more months currently on the wall. Sadly, I anticipate for us to have to add more numbers to this wall. I pray that I am wrong, however, on a recent conference call our agency warned us that this is a possibility. Ethiopian adoptions have drastically slowed down over the past year as the country made strides to make international adoption completely legit and ethical. Unfortunately, the little ones are the ones who suffer while they wait extra months in orphanages without their forever family.
Oh well. All we can do today is celebrate being 1 month closer to our little man.

Another reason to celebrate.....

Miller Graduated From His Helmet!!!

I FULLY intend to do another post telling all the sweet details of his helmet graduation. I am sad that I haven't already gotten around to doing it. I absolutely hate this excuse but gonna use it anyway - "just been busy lately" :)

Just look at that sweet little graduate!

I don't know that I am emotionally ready to talk about the helmet graduation.

Don't get me wrong. The graduation was sweet and perfect, but there is something very bitterly sweet about all of it. Ugh. Just looking at this picture of him in the helmet makes me want to cry. A season of his life is gone. That was my child for 4 months!! All things blue :)

I am kind of an emotional Mama tonight (for Miller and Malachi). I will give you guys a better post at a later date!

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, September 24, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin

Believe it or not... the following decorations for our house were initiated by LEE!! He has been bugging me to do this. He even picked out the location in our house :) So sweet! So tonight... we drew, cut, strung, taped and measured.

We have some sweet, sweet friends THE SMITH'S who did something similar to this. Their agency gives out official numbers so they used that to countdown (They're number 1 for a little boy right now!!). They have loved on us throughout our entire adoption journey. Lee saw theirs in their kitchen. He LOVED it and has always wanted to do something similiar. We decided since our agency says we will be waiting 18-24 months that we would just take one circle off every month. We get to take number 24 down in a few days :))) Obviously, with the uncertainties in international adoption this is not a "for sure" thing that we will get Malachi in 24 months or less... but we are praying and will love moving one month closer to him!
We decided to do "zig-zags" because that's how the Smith's had theirs and it looked great.

Check it out :)

After we hung it, we were both just standing back proudly looking at it. I said "Lee.... it makes an "M."
Lee said "it sure does!" We both just smiled really big. There was something reassuring and confirming about that small, small detail.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Then and Now - Beach Series

Lee and I have been making yearly trips to Gulf Shores, Alabama since we were small children (obviously not always together). Below is a picture of our first trip together. This picture was taken one year after we had been dating. I was 18 yrs old and Lee was 17.

We have made several trips to the beach together in dating life with our families and a few trips in married life. Last week we made our first vacation to Gulf Shores as a family of 3! We knew this trip would be different having Miller in tow, but we were excited to see him on the beach.

One night on vacation, I was picking up toys out of the tub and placing them all around the edges of the tub when suddenly I stepped back... looked at the tub all lined with toys and began to chuckle. I thought to myself "my how things have changed."

To many of you moms, the following statements will be a trip down memory lane. For Lee and I - they are comical and sweet all wrapped together.

Beach Trips THEN and NOW:

  • FROM a tub lined with candles TO a tub lined with toys.
  • FROM sand in my toes TO sand in my..... bathing suit.
  • FROM choosing a swimsuit that Lee would think was cute TO choosing a swimsuit with the best coverage for holding, swimming and running after a baby.
  • FROM relaxing strolls along the beach TO literally pulling a wagon with a baby in it along the beach.
  • FROM choosing a nice restaurant TO "oh we can't go there, it has white table cloths -- look for somewhere that has an outdoor sandbox and a good kids menu."
  • FROM laying out on the beach ALL day TO up and down from the condo for nap times.
  • FROM only dipping in the water to cool off TO sitting where the waves crash for hours because that's where the baby wants to be.
  • FROM just getting the night started at 9 pm TO retiring for the day.
  • FROM wiping sweat TO wiping snot.
  • FROM looking through clean, glass balcony doors TO looking through face/finger smudged balcony doors.
  • FROM complaining about have to pay a security deposit TO Lee saying "yeah, we probably won't get that deposit back" as Miller breaks the remote, slams into the glass doors (with the helmet on) and throws his toys on the glass coffee table - all within 10 minutes.
We wouldn't trade it for the world! Our trip was definitely different, but it was also RICHER with our little man in tow. No doubt... there were several  some "I really think I am going to scream" moments! Some of my selfishness was revealed, as always. And there are things that Lee and I missed about being on vacation just the two of us. But the truth is.... we know that our children will only be little for a little while and oh too soon we will reverse to vacations where it is only Lee and I. :(

We cannot wait to take Malachi to the beach. We discussed him often while we were there! We imagined him and Miller playing together. I hope Malachi is a better "beach napper" than Miller (who just plain refused to sleep on the beach). Below are some pictures of us doing everything in our power to get that child to sleep so we could enjoy the sun!

Yes... that is Lee pulling Miller along the beach :) We actually took a really long stroll pulling him. We all enjoyed it! The wagon was easy to pull on the packed sand.

A back view. The float was actually VERY great at keeping Miller in the shade... we had just almost finished riding in this pic so no more shade!

Don't hate! We did what we had to do!! Yes... we pulled him like this TOO!

Boo Yaaa!! Baby is asleep. The ENTIRE beach now thinks we are crazy but we don't care because it was a success.... He slept for 15 WHOLE MINUTES!! :)


Like I said.... life is different  :)) but RICHER!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Expanding Our Knowledge - Beach Series

           There is something sweet and funny about being on vacation (physically and mentally). The mental vacation allows you time to think about things that you have absolutely no time to ponder on a daily basis. I noticed this when sometime along the middle of vacation our conversations switched from things like finances to "why is the ocean salty?" Below is a list of the questions we discussed - just for fun :) Also a little competition between Lee and I. Of course all the answers come from google :))

Question 1
  • CONTEXT: Lee and I were sitting outside eating at Shrimp Basket. I noticed the salt shakers had rice in them... which I see this all the time. But this time I asked out loud to Lee "why do they put rice in salt shakers?" Lee began talking about how the rice absorbs moisture etc. etc. I listened to him, smiled, then laughed and said "where did you hear that?" He responded "I don't know, but I am telling you I am right." His answer sounded goofy to me. He then said, "well, what do you think they do it for?" I stared at the salt shaker and came up with the best answer I could think of.... "because it keeps the salt from pouring out too fast :) "
    • Question: "why do they put rice in salt shakers?"
    • Abby thinks "keeps salt from pouring out too quickly"
    • Lee thinks "moisture"
    • Correct Answer:  Rice absorbs moisture and keeps salt from clumping. You will see it in just about every restaraunt (outside) in humid climates, unless the restaraunt changes the salt shakers daily.
    • Lee - 1      Abby - 0
Question 2
  • CONTEXT: We were sitting on the balcony eating dinner (around 6 p.m.) watching the people swim in the ocean. Lee states "I was always out of the ocean by this time of day when I was younger." Me: "why?" Lee: "SHARK FEEDING TIME!" Looking at me like "duh." I smiled and said, "Lee, that's probably just what your parents told you so they could get you out and go eat!"
    • Question: What time do the sharks feed?
    • Lee thinks "early morning and evening"
    • I think "ANY time!"
    • Correct Answer: They can feed anytime but generally they feed at dusk and dawn. I call that a TIE!
    • Lee - 2     Abby - 1
Question 3
  • CONTEXT: Sitting on balcony, Lee says very enthusiastically and seriously "Abby, did you just see that fish? It had WINGS. I promise."  Is it even necessary to type my response??? :))
    • Question: Does Gulf Shores have flying fish?
    • Lee thinks "yes!"
    • Abby "those were fins you saw and the fish was merely jumping!"
    • Correct Answer: Per google - there are 8 different species of flying fish in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 50 worldwide.
    • Lee - 3     Abby - 1
Question 4
  • CONTEXT: Sitting on balcony, Lee points to the ocean and says "oh my gosh! That was a sting ray jumping out of the water." This came about an hour after the flying fish so I said, "really? Lee. Come on." He said, "look for yourself." Nothing ever jumped when I was looking. "Lee sting rays don't jump out of the dang water!"
    • Question: Do sting rays jump out of the water?
    • Correct Answer: yes :(   At this point - Lee is grinning from ear to ear at this competition.
    • Lee - 4      Abby - 1
Question 5
  • CONTEXT: Me... pondering.... "I wonder why the ocean is salty?" Lee responds, "it's from the rocks." Me... pausing... thinking.... rocks??
    • no need to drag this out..... He was RIGHT! It's from dang rocks!!!
Okay. I quit. :) I lost 5 to 1 and only scored because we tied. Lee just said, "Abby, if I say the sky is falling you better duck." :)

Glad we could expand your wealth of useless knowledge along with us!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shoes for Ukraine

This is the second half of my post Help put shoes on their feet.

A sweet co-worker of mine, Gray Pace, is helping lead a mission trip to Odessa, Ukraine on October 19th-27th. Gray is currently helping fundraise money to build a transition home for orphaned girls. This transition home is called Hope House 2 (part of World Hope Ukraine), and it will house girls who have aged out of adoption :(  These girls have aged out of the opportunity to have a forever family with an adoptive mom and dad. They will now be raised in the transition home until they reach an age where they are "sent out into the world on their own" so to speak. This particular mission trip will center around assisting with construction of the transition home, as well as ministering to orphaned girls who live in Hope House 1.

A few weeks ago, Gray was sharing with me about the mission trip. She stated that she REALLY desires to buy each girl a Russian Bible and a pair of shoes once she gets there. I asked her  how much that would cost and she said around $30 per girl. I then asked "would you accept 30$ from people and use that money specifically to buy shoes and Bibles?" She replied "absolutely!"
Gray has approximately 20 orphaned girls that she wants to buy Bibles and shoes for. If the Lord prompts you to give... would you? Help change the world for one girl across the world who is searching for hope.

If you would like to give, just contact me and I can give you details... or if you know Gray, just go directly to her :))

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25: 37-40

A Quick Rewind

Last week ended in a whirlwind. I confused some people about Miller's helmet, while other friends were left reading about my wreck on this blog followed by a "p.s. I'm done with my phone for a week :)" I guess you could say I left a lot of "loose ends." I will attempt to clear those up on this post.


The confusion came with these P.R.E.C.I.O.U.S cookies made by Rhiannon Bethea.

Seriously. She is so talented! Aren't they adorable?!
Anyway. I know we are getting close to helmet graduation, but can't ever say "for sure" when it will be. After his last appointment in August, I decided to go ahead and order the cookies from Rhiannon "just in case" he graduated! Rhiannon likes to have a 2 week heads up, so pre-planning an unknown graduation date is tricky.
I got the cookies on Monday of last week.
On Tuesday, I wrecked on the way to the appointment :( the cookies survived the wreck! Needless to say - we missed the appointment.
On Wednesday - Lee took Miller to his helmet visit (with the cookies in tow). They loved the cookies and Miller didn't graduate from his helmet. I would give more details, but my sweet, sweet husband is a "man of few words" so those 2 sentences are virtually all I learned about the helmet visit :)
His next appointment is next Tuesday! Will keep you updated.

Totally and completely my fault. I smashed into an innocent car. I was blessed that the guy I hit was nice and was more worried about me and Miller than himself or his poor car.
My car is totaled (it was old and not worth a WHOLE lot anyway).
We are praying and trying to make the best financial decision we can, so you will probably be seeing me in Lee's big truck for the next few months! Love the truck... don't love to drive it, but I am willing!

The beach trip was so good. I have a few blog posts to follow about the trip.

We are finally on the waiting list!!! Yay! Our agency tells us to expect an 18 to 24 month wait before a referral. I feel like we have just buckled in for a REALLY long car ride :)
This blog will continue to be a look into our adoption journey and I am sure other topics will come and go as we continue to live life (i.e. Miller's helmet :))

Thanks for following and encouraging us in this wild and crazy journey.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


My definition of being unplugged - to disconnect from social media and/or socialization with others outside my immediate family for a period of time.

Facebook. Email. Texting. Twitter. The list goes on and on for the different forms of social media we engulf ourselves in daily. It's entertaining. It's addicting. It keeps us up to date on the latest. It is downright exhausting at times. Before I brush my teeth in the mornings I have already checked my email, responded to any late night texts, and skimmed through Facebook seeing how late you stayed up, pictures of your kids, and your plans for the day. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy it. At least most of the time.

But still... I crave silence. Not just physical silence, as in a quiet house (ok maybe I crave that some too :)). But to truly disengage from the world and to allow my mind to rest. Seriously. This has become a foreign concept to me. My mind is constantly running 100 mph. Lee would argue that it runs more like 200 mph. Lee once read the book, "For Men Only" which is a book about how women think. :-) Lee said that in one chapter the author contrasts the way men and women think. He used the example of a computer. For men, they pull up one browser at a time. They completely close out of that window/browser before they switch to another. Symbolizing that men think about one thing at a time.
Women, on the other hand, open multiples browsers at once and instead of closing out of them, we just minimize them and switch to another.. and another... and another. All while the previous browsers are still open. This symbolizes how women think of MULTIPLE things at the same time.
Lee sometimes looks at me and says, "Abby, how many browsers do you have going??" He knows me too well.

Anyway. I say all this to say that I am long overdue for a mental detox!

On Tuesday morning, I woke up and bustled around getting ready for Miller's helmet visit. We were running late. What should Miller wear? Oh this outfit looks cute. He needs shoes too. I need to pack his bag. Diapers. Paci. Extra outfit. Don't forget the sippy cup. Grab the helmet cookies. Crank the car so it's not hot. Make sure to bring your purse so we can run by hobby lobby and wal mart on our way home. What groceries do we need? Dang I need to change Miller's diaper before we leave. Miller finish your oatmeal then drink your milk in the car. Buckle him in.
Ah. Finally pulling out and headed to the helmet visit. I need to make sure I call the photography lady later today. I can't believe we are running late. Crap. Miller is pouring the sippy cup all over his outfit!

Then it happened.

I smashed right into the innocent car sitting at the red light! Air bags deployed. I lost my breath for a moment. Scared. Shocked. Gathering my thoughts. Instantly remembered that my precious son was sitting in the backseat. I turned to look for him. There he sat. Perfectly ok.

Relief. Guilt. Embarrassment. Thankfulness.

Miller and I were ok and the guy we hit was fine too. His car was pretty banged up though :(

Abby. Slow. Down.
The rush is devastating. It hurts you, Miller, Lee and others. The results of my crazy busy thinking were devastating. The evidence was tangible. I smashed into that guy because physically I was operating a vehicle, but mentally I was thinking of 10 other things.

Slow. Down.

I'm not saying that to think of multiple things at once is always bad. In fact, that's how God crafted women... Distinctively different than men. But the rush of my mind has become a lifestyle. I have forgotten what it is like to be still. So that is what I am going to attempt to do. Rest my mind over the next 5 days.
We are headed to the beach this afternoon and won't return til Tuesday. I have pledged to Lee to put away my phone for the vacation. No phone calls. No texts. No other forms of social media. Just me, him, Miller and the Lord. I am praying that our time at the beach is refreshing!

The car wreck was just the icing on the cake. I actually started typing this blog at the beginning of August.

On a happy note! Our Dossier has officially landed in Ethiopia!! Eeek!

9/06/1212:02 AMADDIS ABABA 99999, ETOn FedEx vehicle for delivery

Officially been waiting: 6 days! It's a start :)

Have a great week! Thanks for following! See y'all next week :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

We're Officially Waiting!!

Today was the day.

August 31, 2012.

Our Dossier was FINALLY  sent to Ethiopia!! For those of you who have been following my blog, I have been talking about this day for a loonnnggg time!! Why? Because the day a family's Dossier (ALL of the paperwork we have been completing jammed into one envelope) is sent to Ethiopia, that family is officially placed on our agency's waiting list! Before now... we were simply collecting tons and tons of paperwork to make us eligible for a referral. Finally - we are here!

Most popular questions:

"So, now how long?"
Right now families with our agency should expect an 18-24 month wait before a referral.

Yep :(

"Do you really think it will take that long?"
Unfortunately, yes. At this time I do not anticipate a referral outside of this time frame. This time frame is subject to change (for better or worse) so I will be praying over the months to come for the process to speed up!

"Will you have a waitlist number?"
No. Our agency does not give out waitlist numbers. There are different methods of "anticipating" approximately when we might receive a referral, but unfortunately even with agencies who have waitlist numbers - it is still a guessing game. It is all completely in God's hands.

"So how will you keep up with where you are on the waiting list?"
We will use several different means to estimate this.
1) the 18-24 month time frame. Example if we have been waiting 2 months and the time frame is still 18-24 months... I probably don't need to start painting the nursery right away. However, once we have been waiting 19 months and the time frame is still 18-24 months... we can start getting some things ready for little man to come home.
2) We will get updates every month on referrals that went out that month. Along with these referrals are the family's DTE date (Dossier to Ethiopia). Our DTE date is today 8/31/12. So once we start seeing referrals go out for male infants/toddlers with DTE dates of June or July 2012 we will know that we are getting close.

It is all quite complicated :)) I will do my best to keep you guys as informed as possible! Thank you so much for your continued support. Please continue to pray for us. We have a long wait ahead of us filled with ups and downs. Please continue to pray for the Lord's financial provision. HE has provided so much this far! Lee and I are amazed that in 7 months the Lord has provided approximately $12,000. Yes. Just seeing that number amazes me! Thank you so much to all of you who have given!! We still have anywhere from 13 to 20 thousand left to raise.

Malachi... sweet boy... I say this all the time... you.. are.. worth.. it.. ALL! Every blog post. Every dime. Every piece of paper we fill out. Every day we wait. We would do it all over again at the drop of a hat. We are coming for you! You will not be fatherless. You will be ours.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18

We have embraced today.

A few precious sentences from the email I received from our agency today:
I teared up re-reading the email time and time again.

"Welcome to the Waiting Stage of your adoption from Ethiopia! You have successfully completed the paperchasing process..."

"Remember that the whole adoption process is a journey, and the steps toward bringing a child home have begun!"

One last thing I want to share.
One day this week I was talking to some co-workers about our hurting world... from sex-trafficking to orphans. A coworker said, "you know... that's what happens. Once our eyes are opened to the hurt... something rises up in us and there is no way we can ignore it any longer. We have to do something about it." It was as if her words pierced me. I am in no way perfect or even coming close to meeting the needs of a hurting world. However, every once in a while the Lord is gracious enough to remind me of the journey He has taken me on so far. When she uttered the words "our eyes are opened and something rises up in us. There is no way we can sit back and do nothing" my mind flashed back to the months when Lee and I were praying about whether or not the Lord desired for us to adopt. Our eyes were opened to the fatherless. I distinctly remember nights when I LITERALLY could not sleep. One night in particular I rose with my stomach churning and heart aching. I said to God, "they are hungry, please Lord give them a bottle. Help them." The thought of a child being without a bottle haunted me. The thought of a child being without a mother, or a father.. a home.. a bed.. clothes.. Christmas. It all haunted both of us. We are thankful because our eyes were opened and our lives will never be the same... Praise God.

Some blogs I read leave me thinking... aching...
I read this blog yesterday. She is yet another example of the Lord opening someone's eyes and their life will never look the same. Check it out if you have a minute :)

The Boy With The Finger
Have an awesome weekend!!

1st Saturday of College Football tomorrow! :))

Monday, August 27, 2012

Help Put Shoes On Their Feet


Something we in America often take for granted. My personal closet is full of them. This is not the case for everyone in the world. In fact, shoes are one of the main items that some people long to have.
I love TOMS one-for-one. I love giving money to organizations that reach out to provide things such as shoes to people all over the world. But WHAT IF we could skip the large middle-man corporation and instead give the money directly to the individual who would buy and hand out the shoes to those in need? See a need and meet it. No fancy advertisements. No big websites. No major ministry. Instead, simply giving money to someone and saying "go buy those sweet kids some shoes!"

The Lord has recently presented this opportunity to me on 2 different occasions... For 2 different countries.

Africa and Ukraine

Below are two different stories of kids in need of shoes. I am naming it the 30$ challenge! For 30$ you can have a hand in directly giving a child a pair of shoes and even a Bible. No, this has nothing to do with our specific adoption, but our hearts are falling in love with children all over the world.

Ethiopia, Africa.

Brittni Huff (another adoptive mom from our agency) recently read a blog from a missionary in Africa. The missionary was not in any way asking for money in her blog post. She was simply describing events that were happening in Africa. However, the Lord stirred Brittni's heart to move in action and help the kids that the missionary described in her story. The specific need.... SHOES. I love how God moves in the hearts of those willing to take action. I pray that you would read the following blog posts to learn more about this specific need in Ethiopia.

Click HERE to read Brittni's post on how to help!

Click HERE to read the original story.

NEXT POST... How to help put shoes on the feet of orphaned girls in UKRAINE.