Thursday, January 28, 2010

He's still got it

Do you remember this post? Well, this is proof that Brody still looks good in jeans and boots. Today was western day at school. People mistook him for George Straight!

(This picture was of him being silly. He was walking around the pool singing, "Cowboy Baby!" over and over...just those words...not the whole song.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Stolen" Game Ball

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you've probably come to the conclusion that my life is an open book. I love to share the stories of my life with others (sometimes sharing more than I probably should). Last night something rather embarrassing happened. In fact, as we were falling asleep I asked Mike not to tell anyone about it! You might wonder why I'd be mentioning it on a public forum like my blog? Well, it's because I'm not good at hiding things! If I don't just go ahead and admit to it, every time I see these people I have a feeling of guilt...even though they wouldn't know that I did it! It's really not a big deal. In's kinda funny! However, I have a feeling that it's something that I'm gonna get ragged on for doing.

Last night Mike's softball team had a double header. Mike, Caleb, and Brody went to the batting cages before the game and then Audria, Barrett, and I met them at the game. It was a good game (at least what I saw while trying to corral the boys and talk with friends in the stands while still keeping an eye on the game) and I know Mike hit at least 2 home runs. Our team (PR Black) won the game! After the game was over, Brody got to play catch with Mike on the ball diamond! He was sooooo excited about this. He even (much to my dismay) practiced sliding. He was filthy when they walked off the field!

Since the 2nd game didn't start until 7:50 pm, I decided to take the boys home and get them to bed.

I knew we'd be getting home way past bedtime, so I told Brody that he was going to get to hear his bedtime story in the car on our way home. As soon as we got in the car I started telling him a story about a boy named Cody who had magic boots. We were already engrossed in the story as we pulled out of the parking lot. I was driving down the dark street when I saw a bright yellow softball in the middle of the road. I felt like I'd just struck gold! I know that they guys are always contributing money to buy game balls and here I'd found one that had obviously been forgotten about from a previous game! I backed up the car, opened the door, leaned out of the car to pick up the ball, and then put it in my purse in the seat beside me...all the while not breaking stride in the story that I was telling Brody.

We arrived home 20 minutes later and I hurried to get the boys in bed. After they were in bed I pulled the ball out of my purse and was a little surprised to see "BLACK" printed in sharpie on the softball. That's the name of our team! I thought, "I'm glad I grabbed that ball! They'll be happy that I found one of their lost softballs! I can't wait for Mike to get home so I can show him!"

Mike arrived home a half our later and I asked (proudly), "Did you see the ball on the desk? I found one of y'alls softballs in the middle of the road!"

Mike's eyes got really wide and he said, "That was you?!?!?!?"

I said, "What do you mean?"

He responded, "One of our guys hit a home run. He went to retrieve the ball and came back empty handed. He told us, 'I was almost to the ball when a white car stopped, grabbed our ball, and then drove off! I've never seen anything like that before! No one's ever stopped and stolen our ball during the middle of the game!'"

WHAT?!?!?!? I guess I was so engrossed in the story I was telling the boys that I didn't even realize that I was directly behind the ball diamond...and it never even crossed my mind that I could be "stealing" the game ball!!! I was mortified! Thankfully that wasn't their last ball. Can you imagine if I'd caused them to lose (a game that they won) because I'd "stolen" their last ball! I knew I'd never hear the end of it from Mike's softball team. I told Mike that I'd never be able to go to a softball game again. He just kept laughing about it (which was making it worse). He finally told me that he'd just sneak the ball back in place with the other balls at the next game. I felt like I'd gotten away with something and decided to try to go to sleep.

As I was falling asleep, I couldn't stop laughing. All I could think about was the player running back and talking about the "white car" who "stole" the game ball...and thinking about how I was the white car! I finally decided that I'd feel better if I just let everyone else in on the joke. You can all laugh about it with me...and then I'll be able to show my face at the next game. I'm sure I'll still get a few comments...but it's ok. I'll be laughing right along with them. Good thing "stealing" a game ball isn't a felony in the state of Texas! I'd hate for my "act of kindness" to put a kink in our adoption process!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blessed at 30

Daddy Steve took a few pictures of me and the boys after church today. Namaw made a big lunch and a lot of our family came over to celebrate my 30th birthday! I couldn't pick my favorite out of the pictures that he took. Which one or two are your favorites?

(In this picture Brody is looking at my birthday present. It's a bracelet with Brody, Baby K, and Barrett's birthstones on it. It's beautiful!)
Barrett's had a virus and hasn't been feeling very peppy. There was no way he was going to smile for a picture...but he doesn't have to! He still looks precious!

I'm so blessed!


Friday night Mike and I got dressed up and got in the car to go to dinner to celebrate my 30th birthday. He said that we needed to drop off his racquet for Audria to use when she went with Caleb to go play racquetball. I was surprised when Mike took the racquet to their door and they stepped out of their house dressed up...ready to go to dinner with us! I was excited that they were going to join us, but I still didn't know where we were going.

We drove to downtown Ft. Worth and parked in Mike's parking garage (for work). Then we stood around on the street talking for a little while. I was beginning to wonder what we were just standing around for when I turned around and saw Tyler and Ann walking towards us! Mike just grinned at the surprise that he'd pulled off.

We walked to Texas de Brazil for dinner. If you're a vegetarian, this is not the restaurant for you! It's an all you can eat restaurant. You can start off with salad and side items (soup, potatoes, etc) or, like Tyler, you can go straight for the meat. The servers come around with different kids of meat and cut off pieces for you. There was everything (chicken, pork, bacon wrapped fillet minion, ribs. and all cuts of steaks).

We ate until we were stuffed and then we headed back towards the parking garage.

On the way we decided to stop at Starbucks for some coffee (it was a little chilly with the wind blowing). (I know that some people's eyes look a little strange in this picture...this was the best my red eye corrector would do!)

When we left Starbucks I thought we were all going home. I was wrong! Instead, we stopped at the improv comedy club (4 Day Weekend). It was hilarious! We were all laughing so hard we were crying.

It was such a fun night. Mike did a great job of surprising me and planning out the evening. We didn't get to bed until 1 am (and had to get up at 6:15 am on Saturday for our adoption training)...but it was totally worth it. Thanks Mike (and Caleb, Audria, Tyler, & Ann) for making my 30th birthday so special!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Answering His Call - Part VIII

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

This morning we got up at 6:15 am to finish proofing our adoption application and make copies of everything for us to keep. By 8:30 we were in the car headed towards Covenant Kids.

There were 3 other couples who attended the training class with us. CK limits the number of verified, waiting adoptive parents to 12 couples. I guess that means that 1/3 of their couples were at our training session.

The day was spent (9 am - 5 pm) talking about CK's adoption process, challenges we might face in raising an adoptive child, openness with the birth parents, and various other things. We also received encouragement and advice from the social workers that will be helping us thru this journey.

We learned of a few things we need to do before our home study. The main modifications to our home include getting a gun safe, building a fence around the pool pump so that we can have it under lock and key (CPS standards), and putting locks on the cabinets that house our medicine. Some of these things seem a little silly (like the fence around the pool pump...not sure what they're afraid of there?!?)...but if we have to jump thru a few hoops...then that's what we'll do. We know that it'll be worth it in the end.

The social workers will be reviewing our application and contacting us within the next few weeks to conduct our home study. In the meantime, I'm going to start working on our profile book. This is the book that we'll give CK for them to show to potential birth parents. I'm a little overwhelmed with the importance of this book. For a person that had over 300 pictures from just Christmas day...I have a lot of pictures to narrow down!

Continue to pray for the birth family and for us as we prepare for the home study.

Friday, January 22, 2010

13 going on 30

On January 24, 1993 I turned 13 years old. My mom came up with a birthday present idea that she thought would be a great mother/daughter event. For my birthday I received a makeover. Mom and I went to the home of a lady who specialized in make up. She did my colors and figured out what make up worked with my skin tones. She also showed me how to use make up and sent me home with a bag of make up (base, blush, eye shadows, etc).

What 13 year old girl wouldn't love this birthday present? A girl named Staci! This was my attitude at 13...

I had fun playing with my brothers. Yes, some of my friends at school had begun to wear make up...but I was not one that was in a hurry to look like a teenager! I was very gracious to my mom and to the make up lady during the makeover (little did they know I was holding back tears). I got home and hurried to my room with the bag of makeup. I then shut the door and started crying! I realized that this was one gift that I couldn't pretend to like. I remember walking into Mom's room crying and her asking me "what's wrong?" I remember saying, "I don't want to wear makeup! I don't like the feel on my face." She was very loving (she didn't even let on if she was disappointed) and she took me in her arms and told me that it was ok. She said that I didn't have to wear the make up if I didn't want. She told me that she had thought it would be something that I would like. I felt terrible for not liking my birthday present...but I was glad that I was honest and expressed my feelings to Mom.

Little did she know that she would have to wait until I was turning 30 before I'd willingly ask for such a present! That's right. When Dad & Mom asked what I wanted for my birthday this year I told them that I wanted to get Bare Minerals make up. Mom was excited to make a day of it and go with me to get a makeover (and tutorial) at the Bare Minerals store in the mall.

I'm a minimalist when it comes to make up, so I may have felt a little like Cleopatra when the lady put eyeliner on my eyes (the make up lady couldn't help but laugh when I said that because she'd used the very thinnest brush and applied the smallest amount possible)...but I had fun learning how to use the new makeup and am actually excited to start using it on a daily basis.
Thanks, Mom, for being patient...and for waiting 17 years for me to enjoy the present that was intended for my 13th birthday!

Answering His Call - Part VII

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

On December 7, 2009 we had our orientation meeting at Covenant Kids. Some of our questions were answered…and we were given many more papers to fill out and obligations to meet. We've had background checks, TB tests (yes, for the boys too), and our FBI fingerprints are scheduled to be taken today. We had to get a statement from our physician saying we're physically and mentally capable to be verified as an adopted parent. Our doctor wrote the following on my physician's statement form, "Well developed, well nourished female free of communicable diseases." LOL!!! Should I take offense to the "well nourished" part? When I hear someone say that a person is well fed, it usually means they have some extra fat on their bones! We've also had to make copies of every legal document that we own (or so it seems) and fill out several pages of thought provoking essay questions.

January 21, 2010 (yesterday) we had a Fire Safety Inspection of our house. We passed with flying colors (whew!) and the nice didn't cost a penny! Thank you to our wonderful "little" city. When the fireman left our house Brody said, "Did he say yes?" I asked what he meant and he said, "Did the fireman say we can adopt a baby?!?" I told him "yes" and he proceeded to jump up and down with his arms in the air saying "yes! yes!" He's excited! The Health Safety Inspection is still to come and will be a part of the home study that CK conducts.

On January 23, 2010 (the day before I turn the big 3-0) we will go to Covenant Kids for a day of training. At that point we will turn in all of the paperwork that we’ve been gathering and (hopefully) after our training day we’ll be ready for our home study!

I think I’ve now caught you up to date on our adoption journey. I hope that you will join us in praying. Pray for the birth mom and dad. Pray for the precious child that will join our family. Pray for our family as we wait and prepare. Pray that God will use this journey for His glory and in ways that we can’t even imagine!

Don't worry...this is only the beginning. There will be many more editions of "Answering His Call". I'm sure I'll have lots to blog about after training tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Playin' in the Dark

Last night on the way home from church Brody said, "Can we play Ghost and Explorers when we get home?" I was suddenly taken back. Taken back to a time where I was laying in bed listening to my dad tell me stories about when he was a kid. I remember him telling me all about the game called Ghost and Explorers; but I don't ever remember playing it. I know that we played hide and seek in the dark...but not Ghost and Explorers. As soon as those words were out of Brody's mouth I knew that Daddy Steve had been telling him stories.

I asked Brody if Daddy Steve told him a story about playing Ghost and Explorers and he said, "We played it before church, but Daddy Steve said it works better when it's darker." I asked him how you play (just to see if he really knew what he was talking about). He responded, "One person has a flashlight {the Explorer} and they count to 8 while the other person {the Ghost} goes and hides. Then the Explorer looks for the Ghost with a flashlight and when they get close the Ghost jumps out and scares them!" He described the game just like I remembered from the stories I'd been told as a kid. When we got home, we grabbed a flashlight and played 2 times before going to bed.

As soon as it got dark tonight, Brody begged to go outside and play Ghost and Explorers. Mike and Barrett were playing inside, so I headed outside with Brody (or Bubba as he's called a lot around our house...don't know if I've ever mentioned that on here...but that's all Barrett will call him!) We played game after game after game. It was fairly easy to find Brody because he'd start laughing uncontrollably whenever I'd get within 15 feet of him! I tried to hide where it was a challenge to find me. After Brody looked for maybe 45 seconds, he'd start shouting, "Mommy? Where are you???" I'd clear my throat or rustle some leaves to get him moving in the right direction. He'd laugh so hard he'd fall down when he'd find me. Of course, that had me laughing too!

I could tell he had a lot of pent up energy, so I suggested playing tag. It's a little more challenging to play tag in the dark (and avoid running into trees, the shed, tripping down a hill, etc). Thankfully we didn't get hurt...but we did have a lot of fun! When we started to get tired of chasing each other, we sat down in the grass and looked up at the stars. Brody exclaimed, "WOW! There are MILLIONS of stars up there!" We talked while we looked at the stars and then we used the flashlight to look at the tops of the trees. We talked about everything from how God made the stars to what worms eat to "why do leaves have to die?". Such is the mind of a 3-year-old boy. I love it!

When we came inside it was almost bedtime, but the boys couldn't go to bed without a few races on Brody's race car track. Mike, Brody, and Barrett all took turns racing. Brody and Barrett were pretty disappointed when I announced that it was time for jammies.

At bedtime tonight, Mike got out a photo album that had pictures of Remington as a puppy. He told Brody stories about when we first brought Remington home and what life was like our first year in Kansas. Brody soaked up every word that Mike told him...and I'm sure I'll hear the stories repeated tomorrow.

We had a wonderful night as a family tonight. I'm so in love with my boys (all three of them)!

Answering His Call - Part VI

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

We received information from Covenant Kids that we poured over and prayed over. By October 15, 2009 we submitted our first application to become adoptive parents.

At this point we began to tell our friends and family about our dream. Everyone is excited for us; however, almost all of them have asked the question, “Why?” They want to know why we would adopt when we could have more biological children. What an absolute joy it has been to be able to tell people about how God has worked in our lives to bring us to this point in time. Not only will we be adding a new member to our family, but just the beginning process of adoption has allowed us to share our faith with friends, family, and even total strangers!

Barrett is still a little young to understand, however, Brody is super excited. He prays for our new little baby on a daily basis (multiple times). He asks if the baby will be in my tummy and I tell him “no” and then we talk about the process of adoption. He currently insists that he wants a baby sister (but a month ago he was insistent on another brother). We explain to him that we don’t know what sex of child God will bless us with, but the baby God gives us will be a special baby that was meant to be a part of our family. At least once a week he asks me when Mike and I will be going to the hospital to get our new baby. It’s fun to see the excitement that I feel in my heart on display in my 3-year-old son.

I marvel at each new change I see in myself as a result of simply saying “yes” to God. I find myself burdened on a daily basis to pray for a woman out there who will make an incredibly hard choice…to parent or not to parent? Mike and I want to be able to show our child’s birth mom and dad how much God loves them and in turn how much we love them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Name This Picture

What should this picture be titled? Leave your idea in the comments...

**** Edited to add****
I have no clue what Ann and I were discussing in this picture. Here was the first picture that Daddy Steve captured of our conversation. It looks pretty serious. Ann is either counting off something that she's telling me...or she's examining her nails while we talk (meaning maybe not quite so serious).

Just moments later he captured this picture. You can't help but laugh when you go back and forth looking at the two very different pictures! Whatever was said either scared us both...or made us both laugh really loud, open mouth laughs!

Answering His Call - Part V

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

About 4 years after Mike and I got married, I was ready to start having kids. Mike, on the other hand, needed another 3 years before he’d decide he was ready. That time in my life was very difficult emotionally. Looking back…I’m sooooo glad that we waited…but at the time it was hard. Every time I’d see a pregnant woman or a new little baby, I’d feel jealousy rising up in me. It was a nasty feeling, but one that was very hard to overcome. Last summer those feeling begin to resurface again. I was ready for another baby and when I saw a pregnant woman, I knew the joy she was experiencing and I was a little jealous. It wasn’t all consuming and it wasn’t something I thought about all the time, but it was there when I had visual reminders.

Back to when I knew that God’s desire had become my own…
I was sitting in the patient room of my midwife’s office waiting for my yearly exam. I could hear people in the room next to me and suddenly I heard it… “thump thump …thump thump”. It was the sound of a baby’s heartbeat thru a Doppler machine. What a glorious sound! I waited for it…for the feelings of jealousy to wash over me. For the thoughts of, “I wish that was my belly that was producing that sound.” I waited…and waited…and waited. Instead, all I felt was immense joy! I felt so much joy for the people in the room next to me! Tears were streaming down my face as I sat there and listened to the miracle of life thru the thin walls of a doctor’s office. I immediately began praising God and right then and there I began praying for the woman that will carry our child. My heart was overflowing with love and joy and I struggled to hold myself together and make small talk with the midwife when she came in for my exam.

I left my midwife’s office with my shoulders high and a heart overflowing with joy. I called Mike and he was just as overjoyed about my experience. Later that day we began talking with agencies and friends trying to find out where we needed to start our journey. After talking with Angela and a caseworker at Covenant Kids, we knew that CK was the right fit for us.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Answering His Call - Part IV

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

The week after Angela left, I finally decided to broach the subject with Mike. I think, in a way, I was hoping that he wouldn’t feel the same way as me and then I’d have an easy out. It wasn’t like I would try to force my husband to adopt a child against his will! It was a Tuesday evening (just after Mike got home from work). The boys were still taking naps so the house was quiet. I told Mike the story I told you (about my experience while at The Village and about the burning of the Holy Spirit in my heart). I was also honest with him and told him that this still wasn’t something that I was 100% wanting to do…but that I felt it was what God wanted us to do. I was surprised when he quickly agreed and told me that he’d been feeling the same way.

After talking with Mike, it was like I finally was able to tell God, “Ok! I’m ready to obey now.” Over the matter of a week or two my heart and thoughts completely changed. I went from resisting the idea of adoption…to wholeheartedly desiring adopting a child. The only explanation for this change is God working in me. There was actually one moment in time that I will never forget…the moment where I knew for a fact that God’s desire had become my own.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Warmth of a Fire

Most days I get Barrett dressed immediately after his bath. The other day he insisted on putting his boots on as soon as he got out. I decided to clean up the bathroom before getting him dressed. I guess the boots didn't keep Barrett's entire body warm, so he took his warmth into his own hands.
A boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do to keep warm!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Answering His Call - Part III

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

Of course, no one around me had any clue I was having this conversation with God. My wonderful husband sat next to me holding my hand, listening to the sermon...thinking I was doing the same. By the time we left The Village Church, it was like the Holy Spirit was burning my heart with one thought, "I want you to adopt!" Tyler & Ann, Morgon & Lauren, and Mike & I parted ways after church (agreeing to meet back up for the Cowboys game that night). You might think that I shared my thoughts with Mike as soon as we were're WRONG!

I kept these thoughts hidden. I think that I was assuming that if I kept talking to God, I'd be able to convince him that he didn't really want us to adopt. For the next week I argued my case before God like I'd been to law school. I thought I made some pretty good points; however, the God of the universe wouldn't budge. The Holy Spirit was still burning that same thought into my heart and mind, "I want you to adopt!"

The Saturday after we were at The Village, Mike and I took our boys to the Pecan Festival (our hometown fall festival). There were numerous vendors there along with lots of food and games. Mike and I are pretty practiced at walking past vendors in our own world (meaning not giving in to their sales tactics). We tend to focus on where we’re going and avoid sales people. It was ironic when we both heard a voice thru the crowd say, “Are you interested in foster care or adoption?” Instead of continuing walking (and acting like we didn’t hear), we both stopped, turned, and answered, “Yes”. We talked with the agency rep for a little while and then continued on our way. We didn’t talk about it anymore…just continued on with our day.

Wouldn't you know, that very weekend God sent a social worker to spend 6 days at our house (my sister-in-law, Angela). Angela works for Covenant Kids (a Christian foster care and adoption agency). Numerous times during her visit Angela and I talked about adoption. In talking with her, my heart began to soften a little towards the idea.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Look Ma...No Hands!

I'm guessing Barrett was getting frustrated with his spoon tonight. I looked over to see him eating his fruit like this...
"Oops! Did Mommy just see that?"
"Guess I should at least use my hands to pick up the fruit."

Early Birthday Present

Yesterday Mike picked up pizza and brought it over to Daddy Steve and Namaw's house. He told me that he had to drop something off at home before he came over (I was still at work). We stayed at Daddy Steve and Namaw's to watch a movie and didn't get home until after 11 pm. I had forgotten about him "dropping something off" until we got home. After carrying Barrett to bed, I walked back towards the garage and stopped in my tracks! This was sitting by our front door.
I was so excited! The mirror actually came with our bedroom set and for some time now we've been wanting to get a table so we could put them both by the front door. What a great early birthday present! Thanks, Mike!!!

Answering His Call - Part II

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

September 20, 2009 - I surprised Mike with a birthday trip to Grapevine complete with steak dinner and a night in a hotel. On Sunday, Tyler and Ann had us and Morgon & Lauren over for breakfast and then we went to church together at The Village Church. Their preacher, Matt Chandler, is a gifted speaker and really has a way of making God's word clear and easy to understand. You can listen to his sermon from that day by clicking on this link (download the MP3 or the transcript for the 9/20/09 sermon). The worship service at The Village was amazing. I loved to just close my eyes and worship God as we sang together.

I sat there soaking in every word that Matt spoke that day. The sermon was very convicting. He talked about how we, as believers, should be growing more and more like Christ. It was an awesome message (from what I hear, every sermon he preaches is amazing. He can really use our prayers as he is now suffering from cancer.) Anyways, he got to a part in his message where he told us a story that went something like this:

"I'm what you'd call tight. I don't like to spend money. My wife and I save up our money before we purchase something so that we don't have to take a loan. We had been saving for several years to buy new floors for our home. When we had just about saved all the money we needed, I began to feel like God was wanting me to use the money for something else. I didn't really know how he wanted me to use it yet, so my first inclination was to tell my wife and kids, 'Get in the car! We need to go to the flooring store NOW and buy this flooring before God shows me how he's really wanting me to use this money!'"

Matt when on to talk about how he realized that wasn't the right attitude to have. He repented of the sinfulness of his heart, turned to God and asked God how it was that he wanted to use him. Matt talked about how wicked his heart was in that moment...when he could only focus on his desires rather than the desires or will of God.

Now I know that this sermon had nothing to do with adoption and you may wonder where I'm going with this....but in that moment it was like God was sitting next to me in church and speaking directly to me. This was how the conversation (in my head) went.

God - I may have spoken to Matt Chandler by telling him to use his money to help spread the gospel...but I'm asking something different of you. I want you to adopt.

Me - Well, that's not what I want.

God - I didn't ask if that's what you want. I've been telling you for some time that I want you to adopt, and like Matt wanting to rush out to buy the flooring, you've been ignoring me!

Me - But, I want to have another baby that looks like me and Mike.

God - Do you look like me?

Me - No. No matter how hard I try, I still fail in that area.

God - Didn't I adopt you into my family?

Me - Yes. And I'm forever grateful.

God - Then why does it matter if this child doesn’t look like you? You don't look like me and I love you so much that I sacrificed my Son for you.

Me - But, adoption is so expensive.

God - I will provide.

Me - But, our insurance is so good. It wouldn't cost that much to have another baby. It would cost thousands of dollars to adopt a baby!

God - I will provide. There is a child that I want to be a part of your family. This child needs a loving home. A home that will teach this child about my Son.

Me - It's still not what I want to do.

God - I love you. I know the plans I have prepared for you. I want you to adopt.

Me - *insert whiny voice* I don't want to!!!

God - I want you to adopt.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Answering His Call - Part I

(Start at the beginning Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII,Part VIII)

The dream began before we even laid eyes on one another. Mike and I have always had a desire to adopt a child. When we got married in the summer of 1999, we talked about how we'd like to adopt one day. We wanted to wait 5-7 years to have kids, however, we decided ahead of time that if we had any trouble getting pregnant, we'd adopt rather than going thru fertility treatments.

August 14, 2006 - Brody was born (yes...a week past our 7th wedding anniversary). Thoughts of adoption were put on the backburner as we adjusted to life with a newborn baby. We loved being parents and we loved our new little boy. Mike told me that he'd be happy with just Brody. I convinced him that we didn't want to have an only child and that it'd be fun to have siblings for our son. We planned to wait until Brody was 3 years old before trying for another baby.

April 13, 2007 - My period is late and 4 pregnancy tests confirm that I am pregnant. Yikes! Not exactly the 3 years we were hoping for. (Brody was only 8 months old!) I cried at first. Mike laughed. We were shocked, but very excited about another baby. We waited to tell our families in person and everyone joined in our shock and excitement. We were sad beyond words when over a month later (when I was 8 weeks pregnant) our little baby died. I had a very rough miscarriage which ended in a blood transfusion. Losing Baby K was the hardest thing either of us had ever suffered thru. We grieved together and, thru our faith in Christ, we grew closer as a couple and a family.

October 27, 2007 - Surprise...again! After the second surprise, we decided that it must not be God's plan for us to wait until Brody's 3 years old to try for another baby. Barrett was born on June 27, 2008 and has added so much joy to our lives. He's now at the age where he and Brody enjoy playing together. I love watching our boys interact with one another and look forward to all the years ahead where they will be not only brothers, but friends.

July, August, September 2009 - I start talking to Mike about the possibility of another baby. I was, after all, already pregnant with Barrett when Brody was Barrett's age. I was beginning to get that itch. Mike told me that he'd been praying about this for some time now and did not feel like God was leading us to have another baby. I was very disappointed to hear this. I would love to have a little girl (not that another baby would guarantee a girl...but at least it'd give me a chance at one!) After many discussions, Mike mentioned (in passing) that he was afraid that if we had another biological child we'd never adopt. There it was again. The idea of adoption. I put that idea aside. That wasn't what I wanted! I wanted to be pregnant again. To feel a child that was part of both of us moving inside my belly. I set to work to change Mike's mind...thru the power of prayer. I prayed that God would show Mike that he wanted us to have another baby. I just knew that it would work out my way in the end. I'd pray and then I'd work my charm on my husband and he'd give in to my desires. I forgot about one little piece of the puzzle...the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Monday night was the first winter league game for Mike's softball team. Brody woke up excited on Monday morning because Mike had told him that if it wasn't too cold, he would get to go to the batting cages with Mike and Caleb before the game. He talked about it all day long. Brody was so excited when it was finally time to leave for the batting cages. He informed me that it was "for boys only" and that I couldn't go. Mike tried to convince him otherwise (that it wasn't just for boys)...but I guess Brody wouldn't agree. That's ok. He just wanted a little "Daddy time".

Barrett and I met them at the game. Barrett (who was more than a little upset when Mike and Brody left him behind earlier) was so happy to be at the softball game. Last season he could've cared less about the game itself. This season is a different story. He was fixated on the field and kept yelling "bay-ball!" over and over whenever he saw the softball in play. He'd also run over to the dugout yelling "Da-dee!" whenever Mike headed to the dugout. I don't know what was more entertaining to watch...the softball game (we run ruled the other team 20-4!) or Barrett's excitement over the game.

Brody was a different story. He'd watch the game for a second...long enough to yell "Go, go, go!" (no matter which team was at bat)...and then he'd run back over to the patch of dirt that he was playing in. A few times he brought handfuls of dirt over to show Barrett who seemed just as intrigued as Brody by the granules of sand.

We shared the stands this week with Audria, Wendi, Ron & Jan, and Paul & Sharon. I'm not sure that the team realized there were that many fans though because our clapping was muffled by the gloves on our hands. The weather really wasn't too bad, but it was still a little cool for a softball game. I don't think the boys noticed the cool weather at all. Brody is already asking when the next game is. He'd be there every night if he could!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Growing Group

Our Grow Group (or small group, or home Bible study group...our church calls them "Grow Groups") began meeting in September 2008. We didn't start the group with the intentions of literally growing...but grow we did! Two kids have already been added in the last year and a half and another one is due any day now! Robin had the idea of taking a picture of all the kids together this past Sunday. I'm so glad she did! It turned out so cute! I'm sure this picture will change a lot over the next few years as more and more children are added.

From left to right: Grayson, Reagan, Barrett, Avery, Brody, Sarah, and Autumn

(In posting this picture, I noticed that ALL of these kids have blue eyes.
I wonder who will be the first one to have a brown eyed baby?)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How did I forget to say...


Saturday night was a great game to watch. We can't wait for the next game...and to watch you prove to the world that you are still America's Team!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Last Sunday Barrett graduated from the Cradle Roll (nursery class), where he'd been since he was born, to the toddler class. Yes, there is actually a Bible class for the babies. It's so cute! They sit in chairs (or bouncy seats) around a table and the teachers sing to them and tell them stories about God's love.

We are so grateful for the teachers that he had in the nursery. For months and months Barrett struggled with being attached to one Yes, I was a parent to one of "those" kids. The ones that the nursery workers see coming and think, "Oh boy. Get ready. Here comes Barrett." The crazy thing is that none of them had that attitude. Instead, they looked at the whole situation as a challenge that they wanted to beat. The came up with different techniques and finally figured out what worked. A few months ago he finally stopped crying and actually wanted to go to class! Of course, the ladies in the nursery loved this! I guess since he was their "project child", it made it even more exciting when he wanted to go see them. They are all such sweet ladies and I'm going to miss having them as Barrett's teachers. Hopefully it won't be too long until we're seeing them again with a new little one. Of course, our church isn't that big. We still run into each other in the hall...but you know what I mean.

I love love these ladies! Here's Barrett, Amy, and Leslie.

Amy was actually late for church one Sunday because she took time to fix her hair down. She had noticed that Barrett liked to play with her hair and didn't want to come to church with her hair up. I'd call that sacrifice! I still can't believe that she fixed her hair a certain way because of our child! Leslie is in charge of the nursery department. She does an amazing job and was one of the key players in getting Barrett to like his class.

As I was taking Barrett to the toddler class last Sunday, Julie (the main teacher in the Cradle Roll) ran down the hall after me and said, "No! They can't have Barrett! He's mine!!!" She is so sweet. For my Kansas friends, her personality reminds me of my friend Sarah E. She has such a passion for teaching these little ones and the love of Jesus just oozes out of her. This isn't the best picture of her (both of her eyes are usually all the way open! lol), but I wanted a picture of her for my blog book. Julie's husband, David, helps in the nursery on Wednesday nights and he called Barrett his "little buddy".

Here is a poem that was handed out at church yesterday. Julie wrote this poem.

I know that Barrett probably won't remember his time in the Cradle Roll class...but it's a time that Mike and I will never forget. We thank God for so many amazing women (and men) who love our little boy like their own. What a blessing they have been!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

More Cuteness in Camo

This morning Mike and Carl braved the wind chills in the teens to cut firewood. They got back to our house just a little before lunchtime. The boys were excited to go outside and help unload all the firewood. I couldn't resist taking pictures of Barrett. He looked so cute in his Wranglers, camo jacket, boots, and John Deere stocking hat!

Brody took his toy chain saw outside so that he could "help" cut some of the wood into smaller pieces.
They boys would carry one (small) piece of wood around to the pile while the men took the wheelbarrow. On the way back to the trailer, the boys got to ride in the wheelbarrow. Barrett liked it at first, but as soon as I snapped this picture he started crying and wanted out!
We have a big stack of firewood out back now and have been keeping our house nice and toasty thanks to Mike and Carl!

Baby Shower

Last Sunday the girls from our small group threw a baby shower for Anna. She's due on January 27th with a little boy that they're naming Caleb. (My brother, Caleb, likes to thank them for naming the baby after him...he's not really being named after my brother...they just liked that name.)
The shower was at Shelly's house and she busted out her chocolate fountain for the special occasion. It was a hit. She kept telling us how much oil was in the chocolate...but I don't think anyone cared. It was so good!!! Anna was the first to dig in.
After the shower, Audria showed Avery (Shelly's daughter) how to eat chocolate covered food. Avery got a little messy, but it didn't seem to bother her. I bet any kid would get messy for chocolate covered marshmallows!
Only a few more weeks until baby Caleb arrives! We can't wait to meet him!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Question for my medical friends

Why does the longest wait in a waiting room have to be at the pediatrician's office? I'm beginning to wonder if they do that on purpose?!?

Today I had 3 doctors appointments scheduled. A few days ago I moved Barrett's 18 month appointment from 9 am to 8 am so that I would have time to drop the kids off with Daddy Steve and Namaw before my 10 am foot doctor appointment.

I arrived at the pediatrician's office at 7:59 am. I was the ONLY patient in the waiting room and was the first appointment of the day. I waited patiently with the boys in the waiting room. Barrett was still in his jammies (since he doesn't even wake up until after 8 am on a typical day). I had grabbed him out of his crib, put a coat on him so he didn't freeze in the sub freezing temps Texas is currently experiencing, and rushed out the door to make it on time. I fed him his breakfast while we waited. At 8:25 another patient arrived (another well-check baby) and was taken immediately back to a room. I went up and asked if my doctor was at the office yet and the receptionist responded, "Yes. Her car was here when I arrived." (Which means she'd been there since before 8 am.) She said she'd alert the nurse that I was waiting and a few minutes later she returned to tell me the nurse would be right with me. At 8:40 I requested that she send another message to the nurse. I told her that I needed to leave by 9:00 am to make it to another appointment and that I had rescheduled from 9 am to 8 am so that I could get out of here on time...and here it was 8:40 and I was still sitting in the waiting room!!!!!

Here's my questions for my medical friends......
If I'm the first appointment of the day at 8:00 am...and my doctor and her staff are in the office...and I'm in the waiting room...why did it take until 8:45 AM to be taken back to a patient room? Why do doctors schedule appointments for 8:00 am if they have no intention of seeing patients at that time?!?!?

It was not like this at the other 2 doctors appointments. I had a 10:00 am appointment with my foot doctor. I was in a patient room by 10:05 am and was talking to the doctor by 10:10 am! Later, I had a 1:30 pm appointment with my general practitioner. This was my first visit with this doctor. I arrived at 1:25, filled out new patient paperwork, the front desk entered my info, and I was talking to the doctor by 1:42 pm. The ironic thing is that these are the doctor's offices that I wouldn't mind waiting at! I was all alone (meaning without kids)...reading a book...and within 5 minutes was called out of the waiting room. I almost wanted to say, "You can let the next patient go ahead of me. I'm enjoying my quiet time!" Almost, but not quite ;)

Is it just pediatricians...or is it just MY pediatrician?

I asked the GP if he treated children and he said yes. I may just take Brody there from now on. I'll probably wait until Barrett's 2-years old...but then I think I'll say "goodbye" to the insane waiting room of a pediatrician's office and "hello" to a GP who seems just as caring and knowledgeable.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

One Year

Has it really been that long? So much has happened in the past year. So many things that Grandpa Jim missed. It's hard to believe it's been a year since my father-in-law died. I still think about him every day. There are several things around our house that I use on a daily basis that were given to me by Jim. Every time I use them, I think about him and it makes me sad. It makes me sad that he's not still here with us to share in the joys of our life. It makes me sad that our boys will never remember a relationship with their Grandpa Jim. A year is a long time when you take life one day at a time...but it's a short time for a grieving heart. If only things could have been different...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ready for Guests

Isn't our log daybed gorgeous?!? You have no idea how long I've been looking for something like this. None of the furniture stores around here have anything even close to this. Only Angela can tell you how excited I was when I found a guy at Canton who said he could build me a log daybed!

Yes, I agree with Mike that this room is now a little furniture heavy...but in a few years (when the crib is gone)'ll be perfect! There is a trundle underneath that will raise up to the same level of the bed making it into a king size bed. Super exciting!!!

Dart War

On Saturday, Mike and I went to Canton with Daddy Steve and Namaw. Caleb and Audria watched the boys for us (thanks guys!) Our main purpose in going to Canton was to pick up the log daybed that I ordered when I went to Canton in December with Angela. We got the bed and have it set up in Barrett's room...but for some reason the card reader on my computer refuses to see my card (even though it worked yesterday) and I can't find my camera cord. Maybe I can get the pics off my camera when I get to work. Until then, you'll just have to trust me that the bed is BEAUTIFUL!!!!


Last night I was sitting at our desk working on the books for the Lyons Rec. I kept hearing Mike and the boys giggling and laughing in the other room...then they'd all run past me at lightning speed. Before long a dart whizzed by my head and I realized they were having a dart war. They were having so much fun running around the house shooting darts at each other. I'm not sure who was having more fun...Mike or the boys! It warmed my heart to see them laughing uncontrollably and having so much fun together. As I type, there are still two darts sitting by my keyboard. Yes, they also thought it was funny to try to shoot me while I was working. At least we're still at the nurf dart stage. I didn't like it when my brothers and Mike bought guns that shot little pellets. They weren't supposed to hurt...but they did leave a sting and I didn't like it when they shot at me with those! I should have a few years before I have to worry about that again...