Saturday, October 29, 2011

Golf Tournament a Success!

I am happy to announce that the 2nd Annual Birdies for Babies Golf Tournament was a success! We were able to raise about $1300 for the Ellis Family and the Leinen Family - all that money will help them bring their babies home from the Congo!
Here are a few photos from the event today....

 Julia, Me and Kathleen
 Kathleen likes to hot rod the golf cart! We had a good laugh crusing around the course
 It was a tad bit chilly and windy
 John, his dad, sister and brother-in-law
 John and I
 Clint and Kathleen
 Here's an example of the hole sponsor signs we did this year. Way to go Julia! They were awesome!
 John, Jason and Clint
The six of us supporting adoption! 

Another Month Closer to Sweet Ethiopian Faces

We celebrate six months today! I honestly can't believe it's been six months. I feel like we have at least another year before a referral and then add in the travel time and it's going to be a while, but we will continue to wait and to pray for God's perfect timing!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Party in the Waiting Room

My mom's surgery went really well! Lots of prayers were answered. The cancer had not spread and it wasn't in her lymph nodes. Praise Jesus! We had a ton of people waiting in the waiting room so we decided to have a little fun and take some photos to show my mom how much we love her!

Mom will be in the hospital for a few more days. Recovery will be tough, but she's tougher!
Besides, with this awesome support system, how can she not make a full recovery? We're going to love her through it!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We're Going To Love Her Through It

It's 5 a.m. and my sister and I are about to head to the hospital for my mom's surgery, which will be at 9 a.m. I wanted to post the lyrics to Martina McBride's new song "I'm Going to Love You Through It." Last night mom and I were watching Dancing with the Stars and Martina sang this song live. Um...tear jerker!

This song describes my mom and dad to a T. The love they have for one another. They are best friends and I think it's going to be there song through this cancer journey. Cancer, no cancer, hair, no hair, boobs, no boobs - he's going to love her through it!

She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight
Cancer don’t discriminate or care if you’re just 38
With three kids who need you in their lives
He said, "I know that you’re afraid and I am, too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you"

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes

When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

She made it through the surgery fine
They said they caught it just in time
But they had to take more than they planned
Now it's forced smiles and baggy shirts
To hide what the cancer took from her
But she just wants to feel like a woman again
She said, "I don't think I can do this anymore"
He took her in his arms and said "That's what my love is for"

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes

When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

And when this road gets too long
I'll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.
I’m gonna love you through it.
(Martina McBride)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three Years Ago, One Year Ago

Happy 3rd anniversary to my wonderful husband! We have been so blessed the past 3 years and I continue to be amazed that God new John was the man I would need.

He has stood by my side through infertility and through the emotional roller coaster called adoption.
We are beyond excited to see what the next year holds - the arrival of Jackson, getting in the groove of being parents and hopefully seeing the faces of our Ethiopian children. Speaking of Ethiopia, today also marks 1 year that we officially started our Ethiopian Adoption process.

God has rocked our world this past year. Providing more than $22,000 so far for our adoption, giving us a heart for Africa and the orphan, bringing amazing friends into our lives who are also adopting. It's definitely a day to celebrate!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our High Priest

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." ~Hebrews 4:14-6

My mom will have surgery on Wednesday. However, all the prep begins tomorrow. She is strong! And she has a High Priest who is walking each step of this with her. The sermon at church yesterday was on the verse above. Perfect timing, don't you think?

Mom is having a double mastectomy. We won't know until after surgery whether or not she will have to have chemo. My mom thinks she will have to. I am praying for healing without chemo. On Tuesday she has to do a dye test to target all of her lymthnodes. She faces a tough battle, but God is bigger! Please pray for my mom this week. Please pray for my Dad. He doesn't show it, but I know this diagnosis has rocked his world. He and my mom fell in love at a young age and have been married for more than 30 years. He has already told my mom there's no need for her to wear a wig if she does need chemo. That's love!

God is good! ALL the time! Whether you're facing cancer or not, He is good and He is in control. Thank you in advance for your prayers for my mom! Prayer is a powerful, powerful thing. I know God has this in His hands because our family has a peace that only God can give. The peace that surpasses all understanding!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


"I felt deep in my spirit that He was teaching me to care for the one person in front of me...I see thousands of deep brown eyes and feel thousands of little brown hands and I know that even on the hardest day, stopping is worth it. A life changed is worth it, even if only one. God's love made known is worth it, even if only to one. I will not save them all. But I will keep trying. I will say "yes". I will stop for one." ~Kisses from Katie

I don't live in Africa, but I work in a place where people are hurting, desperate to know the love Jesus. Each day my prayer should be "Lord, make me aware of the people you place in front of me. Even if it's just one person who needs to see Jesus. If I can only be Your hands and feet to one, show me who that is."

Showing the love of Jesus doesn't usually mean you have to do GRAND, EXTRAVAGANT things. It's the small things.

  • Stopping (even if I am super busy) to listen to Jennifer and her passion to help sex trafficking victims. Helping her do research. Sharing the Kisses for Katie book with her because she dreams of moving to Africa some day.
  • Holding Kaleigha each morning during chapel, even if it's only for 30 minutes, so her mom can have a break.
  • Handing out candy to the kids who bombard my desk and eagerly await their daily treat.
  • Letting Levi crawl in my lap while I work and answering his MANY questions.
  • Giving Maya a piece of paper and a pen so that she can color at my desk
  • Cheering on a little boy with frail legs as he runs and plays hockey - never letting his disability get in his way.
  • Praying for Adrienne - a little boy who I pray knows that Jesus loves him.
  • Tying Maya's shoelaces
  • Helping Sunshine start a resume so that she can go out and find a job
  • Helping a mother get to OKC so that she can be with her daughter during surgery
"We aren't really called to save the world, not even to save one person; Jesus does that. We are just called to love with abandon. We are called to enter into our neighbors' suffering and love them right there." ~Kisses from Katie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adoption Photo Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak of the photos John and I had done yesterday! Casey Linde did an amazing job! These are just a few. There are SO many that I love! I wanted a few photos of just John and I since we will be adding to our family soon and I also wanted some adoption "maternity" photos! Hope you enjoy! For those of you in the OKC area, I HIGHLY recommend Casey. She did my bridals, wedding, adoption maternity and I will be calling her for newborn photos in December.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Not a Choice

I'm currently reading "Kisses from Katie" - Katie moved to Uganda at 18-years-old and now in her early 20's, she is the mother to more than a dozen Ugandan girls.

Many things in her book have touched my heart and challenged me, but last night one story she shared brought tears. She told of an area in Uganda where poor, poverty and starvation don't even begin to describe the horrific conditions where people live. Desperate to feed their children, women are forced into prostitution and other unfathomable situations.

She writes:
"Elizabeth, whose husband left her after her third child was born, had recently taken in her sister's 5 children after her sudden death. 'What was my choice?' she asked when explaining the situation to me. 'God says I look after orphans, I look after orphans.' Elizabeth and the 8 children sleep together on the floor in a home about half the size of my kitchen table."

Elizabeth has nothing, yet she obeys God's call to care for the orphans. We have everything, yet we ignore it, pretending it's not our problem.
Many Christians think it's a choice whether they care for the poor and the orphan. God doesn't give us a choice. His word is clear. We are to help the poor, the orphan and the widow.

Last night I was sitting in my comfortable bed, writing these words and I was disgusted with myself. I am too comfortable. I have too much. I do not do enough. I spend too much money - on things that have no eternal value. I desire things of this world that I don't need when there are millions of people around the world who would give anything for a bite of food.

Too often we sit in our comfy church pews, talking about how we're going to be the hands and feet of Jesus, yet we never put our words into action.
On November 6th, our church will host Orphan Sunday. I pray hearts will burn with passion and the people in my church and churches all across the country will do something, anything to obey the call God has placed on all Christians!

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself from the world."
~James 1:27

I pray God will shake us to the core, that we will step out of our comfort zones and be Jesus' hands and feet. That we will be obedient to His call.
It's not a choice!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

All We Need's A Baby....

The nursery is finished! Well, for the most part! We still have to get the dresser from my parents and hang one more thing on the wall. Here are photos of Jackson's room. I am super excited about how great it turned out! Thanks to my friend Marcia for her expertise.

 Here is a shot from the doorway of the nursery. The cradle will eventually go in our bedroom and the dresser will go where it is.
 I can't wait to rock and feed Jackson in this chair. I have dreamed about the day I would rock my babies and can't imagine the emotion I will feel the first night I am up rocking him.
 This book wall turned out better than I could have imagined. My mother-in-law bought the shelves for us and I made the ABC art. I love, love, love how it turned out. John is NOT a handy man AT ALL. Usually when we try and hang things we end up with a zillion holes in the wall and lopsided pictures. He hung these ALL by himself and they are level and have yet to fall off the wall. Go hubby!
 This toy box was mine when I was a little girl. Made by my grandfather (G-Dad). I am so glad Jackson will have something so special to put all of his toys in.
 Here's the crib, bedding and the wonderful verse that is so dear and near to my heart. My friend Liz painted the verse by hand. She did an amazing job!
 I bought these letters at Hobby Lobby and they are SO perfect!
 Pretty much everything on the shelf has sentimental meaning. The air force plaque was my Pop's, the small airplane was John's grandfathers, the baseball gloves and baseballs are John's and I added my Cardinal hats for a little extra pizazz....
 We also added Optimus Prime because every newborn little boy needs the Transformers to watch over him. At least John thinks so....
 This is the dresser my mom bought for the nursery. We will get it in a few weeks. The canvas below will hang above it and the globe will sit on the dresser. Thanks Pinterest for the neat art idea!

On Friday we received our copy of the Adoption Petition, which WAS filed with the court on October 12th. Another step closer to our little man....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Less Than 2 Months....

Jackson Henry will make his arrival into the world!

I can't believe we are so close to his due date! The time definitely won't drag by for John and I. We have SO much going on from now until Thanksgiving. My mom has surgery, we have our golf tournament, we host Orphan Sunday at our church, I have a baby shower, my sister gets married and then it's Thanksgiving. And did I mention that the holidays are the busiest time at my job? We are preparing to hand out 2500 food boxes to the near homeless the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

So our schedule is jam packed all the way until Turkey Day and really and truly, little man could come anytime after that. We are going to blink and Jackson will be here. Life is crazy right now, but it will keep us busy while we wait for December to roll around.

We went to the attorney on Tuesday and signed the Petition for Adoption that will be filed with the court. Right now our attorney is focusing on making sure the baby daddy doesn't cause any grief. We were relieved to find out that his rights can be terminated before Jackson is born (unlike the mother's). Please pray that this will be a smooth process. I truly believe with all of my heart that God is going to honor the desire of the birthmother - for Jackson to be raised by a family who can provide all that he needs. Please continue to pray for our birthmother, for Jackson and each step we must complete to make him our son.

Some of my sweet friend's are throwing me a baby shower November 12th and I am so excited. At first I was hesitant about the shower, but we are going to celebrate with our friends and family and continue stepping out in faith. This baby is coming and we need to be prepared.....

John and I are almost finished with the nursery. Just a few finishing touches (and a baby!) We need to paint a shelf and hang it. I need to finish an art project for the room. (I plan to do that tonight while I watch Grey's Anatomy). I am making this awesome canvas that I found on Pinterest.

I also found this great globe, which will sit on the dresser under the canvas.

Speaking of dresser, my mom bought this really pretty refinished dresser for the nursery. My sister and her fiance are bringing it to us when they come for the golf tournament. I can't wait to see how it looks in the nursery (and fill it with itty bitty baby clothes!)