How Much is That Doggy in the Window?

Saturday we went to a harvest party at First Assembly.  There was lots of craziness going on, but we had a good time.  Max was a dog...in case you couldn't tell.

We met up with some friends.  Olivia just happened to have the same costume as Max.  His other friend, Emme, was also a dog.  Must be a popular costume for one year olds.


Her costume was missing something...

...but she still looked as cute as ever.

Max was in a car race {one of the many games that he was too young to participate in}.  See that girl?  She was pumped that she won.  I didn't have the heart to break it to her that she really didn't have much competition.


We're heading to Georgia tomorrow night for our anniversary trip.   

Can you call it an anniversary trip if you're taking your 16 month old?  Anyway...we are excited to see my brother and have a few days to get away.   A getaway from our normal daily schedule, from blogging, from cleaning, etc!

I'll see you back here some time next week.


I'm Adopted

So, here we are...It's the last day of my 31 Days of Adoption Series!  I've been thinking since October 1 about what I would write on the very last day.  You have to write something pretty important on the last day, right?  

I've decided to write about my adoption story.  I bet you didn't know I was adopted.

It happened when I was 9 years old...in my parents bedroom.  Strange place for an adoption to take place...I know.  

On that day, I became a part of a new family - God's family.  That was the day that I realized I was a sinner.  I realized that God had sent his son Jesus to die for my sins.  My little 5 year old sins of whining and being disobedient to my parents, my 9 year old sins of huffing and puffing around the house doing chores with a bad attitude and my future 31 year old sins of snapping at my husband or being selfish with my time.  

Jesus died for it all and I was no longer a slave to my sins, but had a new beginning of being a child of God.  

I didn't become perfect when He adopted me.

He accepted me as I was and as He knew I would someday be.  

With all of my imperfections...He loves me.

With all of my unkind words and thoughts...He loves me.

With all of my doubts of His perfect plan...He loves me.  

My adoption story isn't over yet.  It's a work in progress.  

Daily - I have to commit myself to my relationship with Him.

Daily - I have to ask for His forgiveness.

But it's a story I am so thankful to have.

I wonder if you have been adopted.  It's the best family to be a part of.


Thanks for coming along with me on my 31 day journey.  I hope you enjoyed the series.  As much as I loved doing it, I will be happy to get back to my not-blogging-every-day-life.  I think I'm going to go have a party with myself...maybe Max will join me...




I had other plans for today's post, but I want to share this.  My mom wrote this journal entry during a difficult period in her life.  I thought it was very appropriate for anyone going through the adoption process who has a difficult time letting go {like me} of control.  I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

My life is a journey.
God is the one who plans that journey.
Because He is in charge, He will pack my bags and make sure that I have all that I need.

But I pack my bags too.
I know where I want to go, so I pack for that trip.
I am headed for the beach, I think.

The journey starts and all of a sudden I find myself in the mountains.  
That's where God knew I was going...
but not where I thought I was going!

Instead of going along with the One who knows what is best, 
the One who can see the end from the beginning, 
I complain.
I struggle.
I whine.
"This isn't where I thought you would take me."
"This is too hard."
"I didn't pack for this."

All the while, His suitcase for me is loaded with everything I will need.
He will personally go along with me.
I start to climb in my flip-flops telling Him how hard it is and He stands there with hiking boots in His hand.
He won't make me put them on but they are available if I take them.
How much easier would it be to leave my suitcase behind and use His?

Who knows, I might end up at the beach eventually.
And you know what?
He will have packed for that too.

Lord, help me be willing to go with you without my suitcase...
let me use yours that you have packed with everything I will need.



Adoption Videos

Here are some of my favorite adoption videos.  I wish we would have done one, but we were to busy worrying about being responsible for another human being to think straight enough to put something like this together.  

Grab a cup of coffee {or in my case, some chai}, some tissues, get comfy and enjoy these videos displaying the miracle of adoption.

Kelly at My Overthinking has a great video they created to remember their adoption of their sweet, little Lydia.  I was going to put the video directly onto this post, but I think you are really going to want to see what she has up her sleeve starting Monday and going through Christmas.  I know I can't wait to find out more!

Do you have an adoption video?  Please tell me where I can find it!  I haven't cried enough today...



Max Day 2011

I know that Max was already ours before our adoption was finalized.  Even before he was born, God knew he was ours...

But we still consider October 28 a special day and so we celebrate.  Definitely nothing outrageous {as you will soon see}.  Another date that we can say a few extra prayers thanking God for Max.

First item on the agenda...

We thought today would be the perfect day to turn Max's car seat around.  This picture is a little deceiving because he spent most of the car ride with a super serious look on his face.

Last year, after we left the court house, we celebrated at Bazbeaux's.  We love pizza and this restaurant has amazing pizza.

When we went a couple of weeks ago to our home study class at the agency, Wes and I had lunch there.  We enjoyed our entire meal watching this little guy outside the window...

We have decided that pizza will be a tradition on Max day and so we headed to our favorite pizza place in town.

Gramma and Grampa joined us.  

Max was this excited about pizza...

We played pinball.

We pretended to drive cars.

But this wadded up straw wrapper was the best game of the night.  

Nothing like flicking a piece of paper around the table to make a kid happy.

Maxwell, we love you so much!  Happy Max Day!

How about your family?  What do you do to celebrate the finalization of your child's adoption?


He CAN smile!

 It's a miracle!  Look at all of these pictures of Max smiling.  Don't get me wrong...I love my serious boy, but it's so nice to capture some sweet smiles every once in a while.  No furrowed brows in these pictures...

Max already knows that it's so much cooler to sit in a chair backwards.

Today is Max Day!  I'm looking forward to sharing the festivities with you {don't get too excited} in my 31 Days of Adoption series.

Sunday Snapshot


Interview with Myself

How long did your adoption process take from start to finish?
We went to an orientation at the adoption agency in October of 2009 and Max was born on June 27, 2010...so 8 months.
Why did you choose adoption?
We tried adding to our family for about 4 1/2 years the old-fashion way and were unsuccessful.  Even when I was younger, I told people that I would like to adopt someday.  Once I was ready, Wes took a little longer to be on board, but God's timing is so perfect.  

Sidenote: Wes always told people when they asked when were going to start a family that he and I were already a family.  Isn't that so sweet?
Why did you choose domestic adoption?
We never really considered international adoption mainly because of the traveling.  The cost is cheaper and we just felt like there was a big need for domestic adoption.
What adoption agency did you go through and how did you decide?
Adoption Support Center in Indianapolis - Our friends' neighbors adopted their two children from ASC. I also liked what I saw on their website.  Before we went to the orientation, Wes and I decided that if we liked what we heard and had that "feeling", we would stick with the agency.  There are so many good agencies out there, we could have been looking for a long time.  

How old was your adopted child when you brought him home?
We were in the delivery room when Max was born.  It was an amazing experience!

He was 2 days old when we took the 2 hour drive home.  We were worried that Max would hate his car seat. Thankfully, he liked it and we had a peaceful ride home.

What was the hardest adjustment for your family?
Making sure that Wes and I were communicating and expressing our expectations for all of the new things that were coming our way.
What surprised you the most about the adoption process?
How involved Max's birthmom allowed us to be with the entire process.  In addition to being able to see Max come into the world, we were also able to go to a few doctor's appointments.
Tell us about your child’s name.  Is there a story or special meaning behind his name?
Max's first name is John.  So, he's actually a John Maxwell.  Max is a fourth generation John.  His great-grandpa was John B.  His grandpa is John Michael and Wes is John Wesley.  

What has God taught you through adoption?
I can't say it enough.  God's plan is the best!  What I looked at as a very unfortunate situation {not being able to get pregnant}, God turned into something absolutely beautiful and amazing!
How much did your adoption cost?

Have you been asked any awkward/funny questions or comments that you would like to share?
Check out my Four {Funny} Things post
What is one thing you would tell someone who is considering adoption?
Pray about it.  Take a leap of faith and check out a couple of agencies.  God will close the door if it's not part of his plan for your family.  



Home Study

Tomorrow, we have our home study for adoption #2.  I am so much more at ease than I was the last time.    I think I cleaned every square inch of our house the first time around and was a little disappointed when our social worker didn't open every drawer and every closet wasn't peaked into.

So my anxiety is replaced with excitement.  Excitement that we are one step closer to being on "the list" and one step closer to growing our family.

Along with the walk-through of the house, the social worker will gather information to be put in the home study.

Here are some topics that may be discussed during your home study visit.  (source)

  • Personal and family background-including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what was learned from them
  • Significant people in the lives of the applicants
  • Marriage and family relationships
  • Motivation to adopt
  • Expectations for the child
  • Feelings about infertility (if this is an issue)
  • Parenting and integration of the child into the family
  • Family environment
  • Physical and health history of the applicants
  • Education, employment and finances-including insurance coverage and child care plans if needed
  • References and criminal background clearances
  • Summary and social worker's recommendations

The moral of the story:  Don't be stressed or overwhelmed.  You won't be denied a child for having a dusty light or chipped paint on your deck.  And the topics you are going to discuss are things you know a lot about.  Enjoy the process.  It's all part of your journey.

How was your home study experience?



International Adoption {Ethiopia}

Our worship pastor, Korban and his wife, Tonya adopted a little girl from Ethiopia.  Here are some questions he answered for me.  

How long did your adoption process take from start to finish? 17 months
Why did you choose adoption? Ultimately, we chose to adopt because God designed the church to care for orphans.  I grew up with 3 biological siblings and 1 adopted sister from Korea.  God grafted her into our home in a miraculous way and we see her as a vital and irreplaceable part of our family.  When I got the chance to have my own family, I always wanted adoption to be a part of it too.
Why did you choose international adoption and why Ethiopia?  We chose international because of how difficult some countries make it on orphans.  Many of them cannot be cared for into adulthood simply because there is no available means to sustain their health, nourishment, and education.  We selected Ethiopia for those reasons and because their restrictions and timetables were the best match for our family’s stage of life.   
What adoption agency did you go through and how did you decide? We chose Holt International.  A friend of ours who had worked many years helping couples adopt highly recommended Holt.  They also had an affiliate agency in our hometown that could do our home study.  This was a huge plus for us since we were caring for two other young girls during our home study.
How old was your adopted child when you brought him/her home? She had just turned two.
Tell us about your child’s name.  Tanash is the name she was given at birth.
What is one thing you want to tell people about adoption?  If we all just adopted one...what a different world this would be.

Korban, Tonya, Tanash, Myah and Vivi


My Diagnosis

We tried to get pregnant for 4 1/2 years before we began the adoption process.  No diagnosis was ever determined for me. I remember thinking that, in some ways, it would have been nice informative to have an answer to why we were not getting pregnant.  That way we could either have closure or fix the problem.

Now I know my diagnosis.  It's called, "God-had-other-plans-that-are-better-than-mine."  His plan far exceeded my expectations.

Pretend that there is a sweet picture of our little boy right here...  My computer has crashed and I can't figure out Wes' mac {not a fan by the way}.

As we are beginning our second adoption, I find myself reverting back to my old ways and forgetting that His ways are best.

When will I learn?  Probably never.  It's a constant battle with me, but I am so thankful for God's grace and patience.

Today, I'm asking you to pray for all of the couples that are in the adoption process right now.

Here are some things you can pray for.

*As my friend Abby put it...that each couple would RIP {rest in peace}as we wait to see how God's plan unfolds?  Isn't she so cleaver?

*That God would remove the financial burden from each couple.  God will provide!

* The adjustment of a new life joining the family.

* Wisdom for any decisions that need to be made during the adoption process.

* Patience for the waiting.

* That each couple would let go of the control and release their longing and desires to the Lord.

Thanks for praying!


The Gift

I came across this picture today.  I'm so thankful that Wes captured one of the sweetest and hardest moments I have ever experienced.  

I am forever grateful to Max's birthmom for giving us the priceless gift of a 7 lb. 11 oz. baby boy.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her.  

We love her dearly.  

We pray for her daily.  

Will you do me a favor?  Please make it a point this week {or as long as you feel led to} to pray for birthmoms and their families.  There are moms at this very moment who have chosen adoption as the best option for their baby.  

Here are a few ideas to pray for.

* peace about their decision

* healing - physically and emotionally
* that they would have a loving support system
* that they would feel God's love for them


Adoption Love {Blog Style}

Here are some adoption blogs that are on my lovely list...

I also linked to a favorite post that they each have written.

My Over-thinking - We're Adopting - adopted from China

Our Little Hope - My Favorite Desserts - adopted 2 girls domestically

Anderson Family Crew - Adoption and Love. - adopted from Ethiopia

Given to Love - 10 Things - adopted from Uganda

Ni Hao Y'all - The Ugly Beautiful Truth - adopted {many} from China

Happy Reading!

Any adoption blogs that you love?  Please share!  If you have a blog with adoption as one of your topics, share that too!



Adoption Love {Pinterest Style}

I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon.  I typed adoption in the search box and here are some lovely things that I found.

I linked each picture to the board where I found the picture.  I'm sure that's not the correct way to do it.  Sorry Pinterest for breaking the rules...



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