Room for More, Part 2

People have been asking all sorts of questions about our upcoming adoption.  I am so excited about that.  One of our prayers, is that others will want to adopt because of our experience.  So I thought the  easiest way to answer them all would be in a questions and answer format.  So here we go:

1. Domestic or International?

2. Boy or Girl?

Our house has loads of estrogen so we are looking at adding some testosterone into the family.  We         are so excited to add a little boy or boys to our family.  Yes, we are boldly praying for twin boys.

3. What agency are you going through?

We signed a contract with Faithful Adoption Consultants in Georgia.  We have friends who have used them and had wonderful experiences, so we were very excited when they accepted us.  We have loved everyone that we have talked with at FAC so far.  The neat thing about their agency is that everyone who works there has adopted at least once, many multiple times.  They know what it's like to be in our shoes.  They also fervently pray for their waiting families.  I love knowing we are being covered in prayer.   If you aren't familiar with a consultant agency let me explain.  FAC works with about 75 or more adoption agencies all over the country.  Going through a consultant agency helps speed up the process because they work with so many agencies.  Most of the agencies they work with have a relinquishment period of 24-72 hours.  More than likely we will travel out of state to pick up our son(s).   FAC's average waiting period is 4 months.  They've never had a couple wait longer than 10 months.  Some couples go live and within the week get the call the baby is on the way.  This is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  So, as you can imagine I am trying to finish paperwork, decorate a nursery and now start homeschooling on top of it all.  It's a crazy time, but my heart could burst from all the excitement and anticipation.

4. Who did you home study?

Joanne Zambo at Adoption Promises in Smyrna did our home study.  She rocked!  I can't recommend her enough.  Not only was she the least expensive, she was able to get it done in 3 weeks. That's crazy fast.  She also only required 2 visits instead of 3.

5. So where are you in the process?

So we have signed on with FAC and are compiling all the paperwork they need.  Y'all I am not joking when I say that I have over 100 pages of agency applications to fill out.  Plus we are working on our birth mom book.  This is the most important piece of the whole process.  So thankful I have an awesome husband to help out with everything.  He has taken over the book as his project and I couldn't be more thrilled.  We are blessed to have a friend who is going to make it look pretty.  He's a graphic designer so this is a no brainer for him and y'all he's good.  I can't wait to see the final result.  By doing it ourselves we are saving around $750.  If you have adopted, you know that the average cost is about $40,000 so anyway we can save money, we will do it.

I think that answers most of the questions.  Thank you for being excited for us.  We covet your prayers for us and the birth family.  Adoption is a beautiful journey, but not one without pain and heartache.  I love this quote by Judy Landers.  Even though we don't know our birthmother yet, we pray for her daily.  She is already a hero in our eyes.

Room for More, Part 1

It all started with Sydney.  For over 2 years now she has been praying for a baby brother or brothers.  She has such a sweet sensitive heart and she loves little children.  She is so good with young kids and it's a joy to watch her care for them.  (Here she is reading to Ladd.  This is such a beautiful picture to me because we helped Ladd's parents bring him home).

After we lost Jonathan over 5 years ago and after suffering from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy last year, the chances of getting pregnant and having a baby were slim to none.  However, I do believe God can and still performs miracles, so I have always been open to that.  I prayed that if that was not His plan for us that He would take the ache away.  That longing to have another biological child finally went away, but not the desire to continue to grow our family.  I often hear from women who say they had a peace in their hearts when they knew their family was completed.  I have never had that peace.  Brian and I both come from large families and that has always been our desire from the day we said "I do".  We just never knew the heartache that would come trying to build our family.

I was thankful to have a music career in my twenties and early thirties.  I always knew I wanted to be a singer.  I am so thankful God blessed me with those years of ministry and being on the road.  Those will always be some of the best years of my life.  The only other job I ever wanted to have was that of wife and mom.  I love being a mom and I love homeschooling and being home with my girls.  Nothing brings me greater joy.  I am molding and shaping my children and trying to raise young women who will follow and serve the Lord.  It's exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.

Am I nervous and scared about adopting, absolutely.  Here's the deal though, nothing in life that is worth anything is ever easy and without sacrifice.  Do I want to hyperventilate when I think about the fact that I will most likely have 8 year olds, when my girls go to college? Yes.  I quickly have realized though that what God calls you to, He will provide the courage and the strength to do it.  We aren't called to a comfortable life friends.  We are called to care for the least of these.  If you've adopted you know this verse very well.  James 1:27  "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world".

Room for More, Part 2 coming tomorrow......

Our family news

We are excited to share with y'all our happy news.  It's official.  We are adopting!  

More news to come.......

Come Alive

The older I get the more I come into my own skin.  I know who I am and I know who I belong to.  I also become more aware of the spiritual world and the forces around us at work, both good and evil.  I desire to raise children that know the Holy Spirit on a deep and personal level.  The other day I had a conversation with the girls about why we left our last church.  I won't mention the name, but in a nutshell I never heard the name of the Holy Spirit mentioned from the pulpit.  I enjoyed the pastor and the people and that's what kept us there longer than we probably should have stayed.   As we were chatting about it Sydney said, "Mommy you can't have just Jesus and God.  You have to have the Holy Spirit too".  At 9, she gets the Trinity.  Jesus left a free gift to us in the Holy Spirit.  So many Christians, including myself, forget this crucial part of Christianity.  We walk around hopeless and defeated, racked with anxiety and fear.  This is not living friends.  He has so much more for us.

I am thankful the Holy Spirit led us back to a place that is familiar to us, with an amazing pastor, one who is longing for revival.  We are getting ready to embark on something life changing for our family and I will tell you I have had many thoughts of inadequacies and "what the heck are we doing moments".  These thoughts are straight from the pit of hell.  We know God has called us for such a time as this.  That's where I must rely on the Holy Spirit to put the devil in its place and to ask for more of Him.  Doubt, confusion, worry, fear, etc. all come from the enemy.

What are you fearing today?  What are you believing God for, but questioning if He will really come through for you?  Brian and I had a lunch meeting today and I was reminded that anytime you step outside of your comfort zone and believe God will show up and doing the remarkable, you will always be faced with opposition.  Satan is on the prowl and ready to devour anyone standing in his way.  We are living in times where Christians must take up the armor of God and go to battle.  The battle that is fought and won on our knees.  We have to pray like we have never prayed before.  I am constantly talking to the Lord throughout my day.  It really is the only way I make it.  It may sound cliche' but it is so true.  I continually have to ask Him to fill me up.  One way we do that is to listen to worship music in our home.  We are huge Lauren Daigle fans at our house.  We have her record on repeat at our house, that is if I am not listening to a podcast.  That's another blog post coming soon.  Enjoy this video of one of my favorites and be reminded that the Holy Spirit is waiting for you draw near to Him.  Breathe O breath of God, Breathe.

He Makes All Things New

I've sensed a calling in my spirit now for sometime to come back to blogging.  A month ago I decided to get off Facebook.  I knew it was taking up to much time.  When you've spent more time on Facebook than time in the Word, it becomes an idol.  I knew that had to change.  I meant business this time, so I told Brian to change my password.  I didn't want to have the opportunity to log in when I was feeling a moment of weakness.  That made all the difference in the world.  I have been faithful to what He has called me to do. Y'all it has been life changing.  I told Brian last night that I don't miss Facebook at all.  If you know me, however, you know I love to share my heart and thoughts.  Facebook gave me that platform.  Although, I know at times I didn't use it well.  There is only so much you can share in so many words and I am afraid at times I came off harsh and insensitive.  That was never my intent.  With blogging, however, I am free to bare my soul in more just than a few words.

God is moving in our family and I am excited to share some things with you in the next few months.  We are on a new and crazy journey and I invite you along for the ride.  It's been a long 12 year journey, but He is making ALL THINGS NEW.  The heartache He is replacing with Hope, tears with Joy and mourning with Dancing.

Lord I worship you above all others. You carry me through the storms and valleys and you set my feet upon higher ground.  To you be all the Glory, Honor and Praise forever and ever.

Delight in Him,

Tuesday's Tip- Building a cleaning bucket for your kids

Ok moms, you are gonna love today's Tuesday's tip.  I guarantee it.  A few months ago, shortly after Sydney turned 6, I decided it was time to teach them how to clean a bathroom.  To be honest, I did it out of sheer exhaustion.  I figured if we lived on a farm (that's my secret dream), they would've been working by now.  So instead of collecting eggs from chickens (sigh!), they get to learn how to clean a bathroom.  When I told them what we were going to do that day, you would have thought I had just announced we were going to Disneyland.  They were that excited.

I divided the girls up.  Sydney basically begged to clean the toilet.  Um, ok sure.  Have at it.  Brooklyn wanted the sink.  They actually did a really good job on their bathroom.  They had so much fun.   Who knew?  Wish I would've started it earlier.

So here is my tip to get your kids to enjoy cleaning.  Give them their own cleaning buckets or pails.  Here's what you need:

1 bucket or pail
1 "magic wand"
1 sponge or rag
1 water bottle filled with water
an apron (optional)

You may have all the supplies you need already in your home.  If not, you can create a bucket for around $5-$20 depending on how elaborate you want to get.  Here's my cost breakdown.

Pail: $1 at Target.
"Magic wands": $2.99 at Target.
Rags: I already had them.  Two pack from Trader Joes.
Water bottle: $1 at Ikea
Aprons (not pictured): Already had them
My total cost: $4 per bucket

Here's another tip.  Fill the water bottle with plain old water.  That way they can clean almost about anything and if they decide to have an impromptu water fight, it's not a big deal.

For the magic wand, I use half vinegar and half liquid soap. I love it.  It works fantastically and it's non toxic for the kids.

A bit of caution.  If you are a control freak like me, let me give you one piece of advice, Let it go!  Chances are they will end up making more of a mess for you to clean up, but you know what,  it's all worth it to see them learn and grow.  They are not perfect.  Far from it, but as I watched them  clean my bathroom tonight, I got a small glimpse of the beautiful mothers they will make one day. My other piece of advice is stay close by.  I was downstairs when they got started and by the time I got to my bathroom, here is what I saw.

So I had to give them a few rules, like don't climb up on a slippery counter.  Yikes.  Do you have any great ways you get your children to help around the house?  I'd love to hear about them.

Ode to my husband

I am blessed!  Even when life is tough, I try to remember the blessings in my life.  One of those blessing is my husband, Brian.  Almost 12 years ago when we said, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health," we never could have imagined how much we would be tested.  This amazing man has stood by me over the last 8 years as we have suffered loss, not once, but twice and has watched me suffer debilitating dizziness every day.  So, if you don't mind, I'd like to share with you a little bit about this man I call my husband.

He has an amazing heart for those less fortunate.  He loves to serve the orphans and the widows.  This is one of my favorite pictures that was taken while he was in Haiti just a few short weeks ago.  He hadn't been to Haiti since the summer of 2010.

He is an amazing dad to our daughters.  I love to just sit back and watch the way he gently instructs the girls and how he makes them think for themselves.  I love to listen to him read to the girls at night.  He has passed on his love of C.S. Lewis and the girls enjoy hearing him read the Chronicles of Narnia. I love how he takes them to dances and on dates.  It's so important that my girls know how a man should treat them when they starting dating. Daddy makes sure they know how loved and valued they are.

Brian loves to run and compete in triathlons.  I was so proud of him this last weekend when he competed in the Birmingham Mercedes Marathon and beat his PR by a landslide.  This was his 3rd marathon (Boston 2008 & Miami 2010) and by far his fastest.  I also love to watch how he encourages others to take up the sport.  I can't tell you how many people have started running because of Brian's gentle encouragement.

Brian, I wanted to publicly thank you for being an incredible husband and father.  I didn't want to wait until Father's Day or our anniversary to let you know how I felt.  Today just seemed like the perfect day.  I love you with all of my heart and I want to thank you for being such an amazing example of Jesus to me.  I know at times it's been hard to watch me suffer and know there is really nothing you can do to help me, but pray.  Those prayers mean the world to me.  Thank you for helping around the house and caring for the girls, when I just simply can't.  You are more than I could've ever asked for and I am so thankful God chose me to be your wife.


I've missed blogging.  I've missed you.  That may sound strange because most of you who still read my blog, I probably will never have the chance of meeting, but I feel a connection to you.  That's the funny thing about the blog world, you feel a sense of oneness with people you've never even met.  For my sweet friends who know me in real life and have told me they have missed reading my blog posts, thank you.  You don't know how much that means to me.

Most importantly, I've missed blogging for my sweet babies.  Every year at Christmas time I make a blog book for my girls.  They love them.  I felt guilty that this Christmas there was no blog book for them under the tree.  I was reminded of this the other day when Brooklyn took all 3 of her books to bed and was reading them.  Then Sydney, who is just learning how to read her sight words, chimed in and asked if I would read them to her.  They love to read the stories and look at the pictures of when they were much younger.  This is why I blog.  I miss giving them these stories. 

With that said, I'm back.  I have alot of catching up to do.  Yikes.  They are getting so big and I want to remember these times, because they go by so fast.  So, Brooklyn and Sydney, mommy is back to blogging.  I can't promise that I will blog every day like I've tried to do in the past.  It will be, as the Spirit moves, as they say and I promise to get last years posts in a book for you soon.

Happy Birthday Brooklyn

My sweet Brooklyn turned 7 over the weekend.  I can't believe how big she is getting.  It's almost hard for me to remember her as a baby.  Anyone else feel that way with their kiddos?  I went up to her school on Friday and spent time with her at lunch and bought ice cream for all the kids in her class to help celebrate.  I love to watch her interact with her friends.

Brooklyn, I am so proud to be your mama.  You are becoming such a beautiful girl inside and out.  You love to read and you still love maps.  I don't think that will ever change.  You love to play with your hermit crab.  You take him out and let him crawl around on the floor and on your hand.  I have to remind you sometimes to put him back in his cage so he doesn't run loose.  You are learning to ride your bike without training wheels and you just completed your very first triathlon.  Soccer is starting and I cannot wait to watch you play.  Most importantly, I love your heart.  I love how you love Jesus and your desire to help others warms my heart. 

I love you to the moon and back sweet girl.  Mommy

Back to School

Where did the summer go?  Did anyone else feel like it flew?  I'm actually thrilled that Fall is on the way.  It's my favorite time of the year. 

I can't believe my babies started school.  Brooklyn actually started last Thursday and Sydney started today.  They are getting so big.  Brooklyn is so excited to be in first grade.  She loves to read and loves art and I am so thrilled to watch her grow.

I wasn't sure how Sydney would handle her first day of kindergarten in a brand new big school.  She surprised me when she just walked right into class.  She was a little shy, but she didn't cry.  Mommy on the other hand, shed a few tears.  I tried not to let her see because I didn't want it to make her sad.  She has such a sensitive heart.

Tonight when I put her to bed she told me she didn't want to go to school tomorrow.  She's a mama's girl through and through and I think she's having a hard time being away from me.  She's got a great teacher, Brooklyn's teacher from last year, so I know she's in good hands.  Praying she'll feel differently in the morning.

It hasn't really hit me yet that I'm a mom of grade schoolers.  What will I do with all of my free time? 

For starters, I will tackle my house.  It looks like a bomb went off.  I don't function well in a dirty, unorganized home.  It actually affects my mood.  I hate that.  Does that happen to anyone else, or is it just me? 

I'm actually excited to be on a schedule and get some routine back in my life.  I desperately need to start a new Bible study and get into a good workout routine.  My other goal is to get a good meal plan scheduled so I can have healthy and yummy dinners every night.  Cooking is not one of my strengths, nor something I enjoy.  Hopefully I can change that. 

Last but not least, I can't wait to blog more.  I am so far behind it's almost overwhelming.  It was all worth it though to be able to spend that time with my girls.

Has school started for you?  If not, enjoy the rest of your summer. 


Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations