January 29, 2011

jaws of life

when in doubt, my sweet son harper tends to err on the side of being terrified of things. last night, after tucking him in... he called for me repeatedly to come in and make the "woof" go away. there was (obviously) not an actual wolf in his room. when i mentioned that there was no wolf he replied "yes there is! he's pretend and he's right there!"

this is not the first run-in with imagined predators in harper's room. one night a while back, after tucking harper in with his blanket and little stuffed shark, i closed the door and stood outside his room to see how the scene would unfold. here is what i heard outside his door:

upon the click of the door, harper instantly began saying "oh nooo, mama... oh nooo." he sounded desperate and heartbroken that i would ever leave him alone to nap. as if that wasn't enough for me to feel awful, the scene escalated. his "oh nooo's" quickly turned to "no! no! NO! NOOOOO!!" he was screaming as if he was literally being eaten alive by something with very sharp teeth. i thought that something had actually gotten in his room and he was actually in danger... his screams were so real, and so urgent!

then i opened the door.

sitting on his bed, harper had streams of tears pouring down his face. his eyes were shut as tight as he could squeeze them, and his chubby hands were wrapped around his little stuffed shark, which he was holding up to his throat, mid-shark-attack. he had opened the mouth of his shark, pushed it up against his throat and let 'er rip.

when i went in, it took him a few yells of his name before he realized that i had even come in. he was, obviously, quite busy being eaten alive and didn't hear me come in. i calmed him down, banished the shark to the playroom and forbade him from using his imagination during naptime ever again.

whenever i give my mother an inaccurate account of my childhood, she always says "if that's how you remember it, it might as well have been that way." i think of that sometimes with my own kids. i think of what they will report back to me someday about their lives, about me as a mom, and about how they felt growing up. what will be my failures in their mind? what will be my shortcomings? the injustices they endured in this house? who knows... but, their fears, their experiences (real or imagined) can be pretty traumatic.

i am keenly aware of my faults and shortcomings as a mother, trust me on that one. but, in spite of a million weaknesses, i know of one strength i have for sure: i will fight for my kids. come hell or high water, i will take them back from whatever it is that has them by the throat, and i will fight for them.

the other night, my sweet friend sam gave me a bit of encouragement about this whole adoption process. she said, "if you were adopting internationally, would you feel just as guilty about doing a fundraiser? if you thought of it as raising a ransom for your child, would you still have such a hard time asking people to buy a t-shirt?" she also said to me, "when this is all said and done, and your child looks at you and says 'mama, was i worth it?' what will you say?"

ugh. friends like her are so obnoxious with all their conviction and rightness. but, the girl's got a point. i don't care what it takes, i will fight for my kids. even the one i don't have yet. so, while it may take me a year or even two... i am going to grab the shark and tear it away from the throat of this kid. whether that shark be expenses, or self-doubt, or fear... in the name of jesus, i am going to tear that shark a new one.

January 28, 2011

as i said... fork=comb

London's new surprised face. don't be fooled, the fork is just for show... she is still using her hands to smoosh food in her face, the fork is apparently to comb her hair.

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January 26, 2011

based on the branch that just came off with the ornament... i may be taking my tree down a little too late this year.

January 23, 2011

like father, like son

harper: "do you see my handsome eyes?"
me: "i do, those are handsome eyes!"
harper: "who do i look like?"
me: "you look like a handsome guy."
harper: "no, i look like jesus! and a little moses too."

not sure where moses came in, but if you gotta choose two guys to look like, jesus and moses are pretty solid picks! and for a kid who may always wonder who he looks like, it is nice to know that at 3 years old he already knows (at least in part) that he looks like jesus.

genesis 5:1 "when God created man, he made him in the likeness of God."

January 22, 2011

breathing into a paper bag and other fundraising excitement

i'm not sure what i expected, exactly, when we decided to try fundraising for this adoption. i couldn't even say what i was hoping for, or expecting, or even what i would have considered failure or success to look like. i just did not expect it to be this hard for me.

as it turns out... i am outrageously bad at this whole process. here are my reasons why:

1) i do not like asking for help.
2) i really do not like asking for money.
3) i hate personal rejection.
4) i can interpret almost anything as personal rejection. (this one may actually be a sickness, but i'll have to look into that further.)

based on these four things... doing a fundraiser is actually my personal nightmare. but, it's a little too late to change my mind, and a little too early to throw in the towel. so... we are selling shirts. and i am not handling it all that well.

i will say that the dress we are selling has had more than 650 views on our etsy site, and so many friends and family members have tried so hard to "spread the word" and elicit some sort of support. (i especially appreciate those that have tried verbally abusing people into purchasing something.) this makes me think that this can't be the worst decision we've ever made... that maybe it will prove to be a really effective fundraiser and we will be able to show our little one a list of every single person who helped us bring him/her home to our family.

until then, i am going to try really hard to meet the following goals:

1) do not live in a perpetual state of fundraiser-related anxiety.
2) trust the Lord to provide all the funds necessary to move forward with the home study, even if it is not through this fundraiser...
3) pray my way out of my personal rejection problem. (see #4 above.)
4) be patient. if more than 650 people looked at the cutest dress that ever lived... some of those people are going to buy it. (note to reader: if you view an item, but don't buy it... the seller may or may not interpret that as personal rejection. the seller is probably going to work on that, but in the meantime, viewer should consider purchasing the adorable dress, this would really help said seller to make some strides in his/her respective recovery.)

so there we are. i am in the stage of listing obstacles and goals. publicly. low point, for sure... but, i have vowed to keep people posted on this adoption journey and, unfortunately, the big update is that i am freaking out a little. that being said, i know that we are doing the right thing. adoption isn't for everyone, i get that, but for a baby who is born to some warrior of a women who loves her child with enough ferocity to give them the best chance at a good life... a family is a pretty basic gift we can offer. i know that despite all my hand-me-a-freakin-paper-bag moments... God is well pleased with our heart's desire to bring home one little baby who needs a family. and knowing that we are pleasing an all-powerful God, i've got to believe He is going to force some people to buy shirts from us.

January 18, 2011

answering the big question.

with our recent social media blitz promoting our adoption shirts, i have found myself answering a lot of questions in my mind that i assume people might be asking. one big question is this: if you already have 4 kids and can't afford the adoption fees... why would you adopt again?? some people have actually asked us that question to our faces, some have asked that question behind our backs, and some have asked themselves silently... i'm sure.

i understand the question... i really do.

i could get in to all the reasons we love having a big family, or how we have felt God tugging at our hearts, asking us to open our home to a child who needs one, and to trust that He will provide the funds to make it possible. i could explain why adoption is so expensive, and i could even break down our budget and spending, and explain why we don't have $15,000 just sitting around. but, i don't think that would really help anyone understand why we want to adopt again.

but, perhaps this will help.

today, harper came over to me, batting his long, curly eyelashes kinda slow, and said "(sigh) i just really love you." then he laid his head in my lap and sighed again, bigger this time. then he looked up at me with those huge dark eyes and said "i just can't believe you."

i laughed and said "i really can't believe you either, bud."

and he replied, "because i'm your wish come true?"

"yes, harper, you are."

so, maybe that explains why we want to adopt... yes, again. because since i was a little girl, i dreamed about harper. i dreamed and i wished for a child of my own, one that would not be born of my womb, but of my heart. i wished for that. adoption is the means through which our family has been made extraordinary and God is generous enough to call us into this process yet again. so whether we sell t-shirts or not, God will provide for this miracle of joining a "forever mama" with the babe of her heart.

January 17, 2011

pregnant on paper

so, it's probably obvious at this point that we started the adoption process again. my heart is so heavy for all things adoption: birthmothers, orphans, foster care, home visits, expensiveness, fundraising, profiles, speaking events, social workers, and on and on it goes...

it is exciting and scary to be back in the adoption game. the process this time around seems like it is going to be a long one. we simply cannot afford to move forward at this point (hence the mass social media blitz regarding our t-shirt and dress sales!) so, we are waiting on the lord to provide the funds we need to complete our home study. in order to proceed with this adoption, we need to raise nearly $7,000. and that is just for the home study. adoption is costly and we can't do it this time around without support. it is honestly my personal nightmare to ask for help from people, so my guess is that this experience will be very painful for me, but also growing.

last night i had an opportunity to speak at the sanctity of life celebration. it was an intense night to say the least... but a great time to share our heart for adoption. people always seem a little surprised that we are adopting even though we are able to have biological children. that is why i like the slogan on these t-shirts. adoption is the new pregnant. it's cute and catchy, but the real reason i love the phrase is because it reminds people that there is more than one way to grow a family, that adoption is just another way of birthing a child into your heart, life and family.

so, i think that adoption is, in fact, the new pregnant. at least it is for us. and i cannot wait to see what this journey will end up looking like for us. i plan to track any developments on this blog, so stay tuned! and thanks to my wonderful friends and family members who are being so helpful and supportive as we undergo this huge and exciting endeavor!

adoption is the new pregnant

we have officially launched our etsy site where we are selling t-shirts, dresses and totes that say "adoption is the new pregnant." they are super cute, super comfortable and 100% of the proceeds go directly to pay for our adoption costs. we cannot express our gratitude for any support we receive. check our our store below!

January 16, 2011


We're at the 4th annual Sanctity of Life Celebration where I have a few minutes to talk about adoption. We also have a table set up where we are selling our wears! Check out the goods and pray for our big fundraiser kick-off! Ahhh!

January 15, 2011


Well, tonight is the night we are launching our etsy site to sell shirts, totes, and dresses to raise money for our next adoption. Tom and my bro-in-law jonathan are in the basement printing like wild. Here is a sneak peek at the totes drying on the line! They say "adoption is the new pregnant" and the shirts have the silhouettes of each of our kids across the bottom.

More info to come!

January 14, 2011

london discovered the fruit bowl

January 11, 2011

baby's first vintage sneaks.

January 8, 2011

my baby is one year old. not a newborn anymore. she's old. i have an oldborn.

January 2, 2011

toothless twins.jpg

My girls are losing teeth like nobody's business.