Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love & Marriage

So Jason and I went to a A Weekend To Remember put on by Family Life.  It was AMAZING!!!  If you ever have the opportunity- GO!!!  MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!  In fact I pray that every couple will seriously consider going to a weekend.  They have them all over the United States.  Hey they even have a cruise if you can spare the time and money. 

You see this handsome man?  He's all mine!  He is MY GIFT.  We have been married almost 18 years and those years have many many happy memories!  As with all marriages though....there are struggles.  Being real sometimes there are in depth struggles.  Sometimes there are extended times of just plain hard.

 Add in moves, new jobs, children, activities, home schooling, church, serving, and so much that can get into your way!  Things from your past creep into your life and explode into all the areas of your life.  Those things that drew you to your spouse are the same things that drive a wedge between you. 

 Then throw in a huge dash of good old fashioned selfishness on both sides, and you have a classic case of - UGH!  This is getting complicated and hard.  Those struggles can feel as though they are coming faster and more often. 

Hang in there and DON'T GIVE UP!  You know this is just ridiculously hard and yet it seems as though no one else is really talking about that part of marriage.  No one wants to stand up and say hey our marriage is struggling.  So I want to say it out loud.  It's ok!  Really go ahead. 

Think of it as a roller coaster ride.  Jason and I both have a huge love for rides as is obvious from our weekly trips to the theme parks.  You get in the seat so excited to blast off.  Along the way there are many highs and many lows.  Drops, twists, turns, flips and all at lightning speed. 

I don't think God intended for our lives or our marriages to be easy.  If they were then the flowers in that first picture that Jason bought for me - just because- would not be as sweet.  Those moments when God is moving your marriage forward and teaching you both how to love more deeply with more care for the other person.

Oh let's be honest marriage is hard work and requires 100% from each person.  Not the junk you typically see in our culture which is simply ridiculous.  It requires for us to move past ourselves, work on our issues and talk.  Better yet seek God with all that we are and go deeper than just talking.  We need to really listen, really interact, and be very patient. 

This miracle boy has taught me so much about patience.  So much about what it means to keep going, keep struggling, and keep learning.  I have so much more to learn!  We have so much more to learn.  You see it isn't actually about changing the other person, but about growing in how we treat each other.  How we show our love and respect.  Most importantly how we grow in God!

 I am going to continue to cheer you on in your marriages because I have seen literally miracles happen in our marriage.  I have seen how God can use simple steps to really change our perspectives.  I will be sharing some of those shifts with you. 

Of course keep in mind that as you are growing there are many many growing pains.  That patience that I mentioned is because you will both mess up, a lot.  So you have to really be in control of that feeling to throw in the towel or just say whatever.  Put one foot in front of the other. 

Oh yes it is required to get a little crazy.  I mean come on you can't be normal because it really doesn't exist.  So put your pride aside and leave it there.  Humble yourself, lower your voice, and create a safe environment for conversations.  Silly ones and serious ones because we can't just be stuck in the hard all the time. 

Pray for me as I will be helping volunteer the next couple of weeks at camp with our Emerge (Jr & Sr high ministries at our church).  I am thrilled as I really love working with the youth and I really miss camp.  I love sharing Jesus with them and getting to be a part of building God's Kingdom. 

Of course you know what that means right?  That means that Jason will be on his own the first week with Abigail and then Sarah on down.  The second week with everyone but Abigail and I.  So that is huge and he will be needing prayers too! 

So it may be a couple of weeks, but I will be back and hopefully sharing more of what God has been speaking into our marriage through Jason and I.  Until then be encouraged because I always say if God can work through me then He can work through anyone! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

To My Gift! Happy Super Hero Father's Day!

Many of you may know about our family, but this person right here is the ring leader!  I don't talk about him often enough, but it's true.  Our lives revolve around adoption, home schooling, church, activities, our faith, our family.  BUT FIRST- God created our family with Jason and I knowing Him and getting to know each other.

Jason is fun loving.  When I say this some people have different things in mind, but he has a type of play with our family that is fun to enjoy.  He loves doing fun quizzes that the kids have to answer to get their desert after a meal.  He loves to make silly faces, pretend with them, sit down and put together a lego set with them.  He has the ability to share and connect with them through play. 

He enjoys his work and gives it his all!  Even with all 10 other people interrupting ;).

He is a great leader!  He wants to do his best to share Christ with our family, to do what is best for us, and to grow in his relationship with the Lord!  I am so thankful and so very proud! 

He has a passion for cooking- which we all benefit from!  God knew what He was doing giving this man a large family to help feed! 

He also loves theme parks - another perfect match! 

 He cares for me well!  Sometimes he will surprise me by saying I got the kids why don't you go enjoy a long bath.  Why yes please and thank you!  It's not just what he does for me, but the fact that he serves so well.  To his family and his church. 

I have to say the fact that he perseveres through it all and that is impressive.  I mean there is a lot going on in our home.  Jason was the one encouraging me to go the Empowered To Connect Conference and thought it would be even better to go on to do the class to teach others about ETC.  We have been able to lean on each other in the hardest thing anyone could ever do- PARENT a child!!! 

He support me in our homeschooling adventures and has never questioned me, but fully supported and helped me so very much. 

Jason has a deep love- for God!  He wants to remind us and himself of God's Word and seeks to make sure he is growing and healing in God's love as well as his family. 

 He lead our family- through 9 adoptions!!!  If you know the emotional train wreck I can be when it comes to the adventurous ride of adoption - he pretty much deserves a huge reward in heaven just for dealing with me through all of that.  He has sought God through our journeys and welcomed 9 children into our family. 

He also finds time to set apart for us.  It is not easy to communicate with several little people around all the time, but he still thinks of ways to have fun and talk. 

Seeing this picture - I mean..... a man who not only stands up for children, but a child that has many needs.  This makes my heart burst!!!  Jason celebrates with every step any of our children make, but there is something special with loving someone who can't always communicate that with you.

You see these beautiful ladies-  he loves us all and treats us like princesses.  He encourages them to search for a man of God in their future.  Or he can show them his "knife collection". 

 These young men he is raising to lead others and their future families!  Training all of our children to respect and how to love well.

 You know we were talking how sometimes it can be so very difficult with our family.  People put you on a pedestal- which is so easy to fall off of because Jason and I are just people.  However, we love our family.  We imperfectly parent and raise our children in the perfect love of Christ! 

To the man who is my gift!  To my super hero!  I love you and am thankful daily that God gave me you to have and to hold.  Our children are such a blessing and I am excited to spend the rest of our lives loving each other and our children. 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Hello Everyone,

I can get swept up and very busy so easily!  So here is a link to our other adoption blog.  We have helped 50 babes into their adoptive families now through Christian Adoption Consultants!!!  This is huge and the reason why sometimes I get behind on blogging.  Well that and you know having 9 kids, homeschooling, he he he he.... you get the picture. 

We are thrilled to work for Christian Adoption Consultants because it is our passion to help families adopt.  It is such a privilege and honor!  Of course if you go to the post there are many beautiful babies to look at too ;). 

I will try to be posting is Abigail's 13th Adoption Day!  Can't believe it has been 13 years since we became an official family.  That is just mind blowing to me. 

Jason and I also went to Weekend To Remember this past weekend..... I am thinking I need to start unpacking some truths with parenting, marriage, and family.  It is on my heart and I want to share.  Now to find time! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Special Discount for Adoption Consulting This Week Only!

Last month, Christian Adoption Consultants had 33 families grow through adoptions. 20 of our families were matched with a brave and courageous expectant mother and 13 babies were born into their adoptive families. That's over a baby a day!

Over the last nine years, hundreds of families have chosen Christian Adoption Consultants to help them on their journey to adopt. Our passionate and Christ-centered approach offers support and guidance to adoptive couples.  Here's what Jennifer said about why chose CAC:
“Dawn and Jason prayed for us, advised us on situations that raised questions for us, and walked us through our match with ease, calm, prayerfulness, encouragement, and excitement. I felt like I was Dawn’s only care in the world . . . which, of course, I wasn’t! Her own family and her other adoptive families surely required her energy and attention too, but she was always there for us when we needed her. And we seemed to need a lot! We felt completely free to ask any question that we had, knowing that Dawn would give us wise, God-centered counsel. We are so grateful for the information that CAC provided us as well as the personal help that Dawn gave us on an almost daily basis as we awaited our match.”
Jennifer and Micah and their family with the sweet baby boy they adopted with the help of CAC
Christian Adoption Consultants wants to help your family adopt by offering a $100 discount. Any new families who sign up between May 13-15th will receive $100 off of our full service consulting packages. (This discount does not apply to our self serve consulting package, returning families, or special needs consulting packages).

Want more info on Christian Adoption Consultants?  Click here.
What does it mean to hire an adoption consultant?  Click here.
Want to get started or get an info packet?  
Click here.
What if you have more questions?  Click here.
Have friends who are thinking about adoption? Make sure you share this post! 
We’d love to chat with you about adoption. Send us an email: or call us at (813) 360-7368 and we can send you an application and information packet.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Adoptive Mom's waiting, and Birth Mothers......

Come on over and check out 2 posts on our professional adoption blog:

This one is about Happy Mother's Day to those waiting in adoption.  My reality check and encouragement to you! 

This one is my Happy Birth Mother's Post

I pray wherever you are in your journey- birth mother, adoptive mother, hopeful adoptive mother, or all of the above that you have a beautiful day.  That you give yourself space to remember Whose You Are in Christ!  That you grieve and give joy - then hand it all over to the One Who Sees You! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Joanna turns 5 & her special day out

 Joanna Faith Wright was our surprise package!  We were reeling from pain of a international adoption that was halted because of technicalities.  The pain was REAL!  It was more than we could handle.  BUT GOD! 

God brought us to Christian Adoption Consultants and within a week she was in our arms!  It was a miracle, one that we are grateful for daily!  (Not to mention now we get to work for CAC which we love!!)
 (I know this is a post about Joanna, but Joanna loves her "twin" brother) Michael being adorable! 
 Not only did Joanna come to us through a "stork drop", which is what we call those cases where an expectant mother already has a baby or is going to very soon, but she just has such a joy about her. 
 I mean that face!  It kind of tells who she is in so many ways!  We will forever miss our daughter we lost, but are thrilled God brought us to Joanna!!!  She rocked our thoughts about domestic adoption.  About if large families can adopt, and how the process works. 
 She also has broken all kinds of molds for what we thought was typical for children!  ;) 
She loves meat, skipped baby food, loved being a baby burrito (wrapped tightly as a baby and now), loves to laugh, and as always loved her snuggle time!! 
 I am still no good at switching the picture...sorry.  But isn't she cute with her Aerial outfit and wig? 
 She is our first to have an "obsession" over one certain character for more than a year.  She chose strawberry ice cream cake (with Oreos on the base and side). 
 I have to admit I cried!  I mean she is our baby and she is now 5!  Both Michael and Joanna are now 5, and my mommy heart just wishes at times I could keep them all small.  Of course I love watching them grow up as well.  I just love all the stages really. 
 Posing as she has daddy help her with her Aerial Lego set. 
 Big breath! 
 I so love her enthusiasm, her spunk, and her crazy faces! 
 We LOVE YOU JOANNA FAITH WRIGHT!!!!  (By the way her birthday was March 23rd, but hey I am only a month late). 
 So at least once a year we take a day and spend it with both of us and one child our kiddos have coined the term "special day out".  This year Joanna wanted to go to Aquatica and since we have tickets we headed there with just her, mommy, & daddy. 
 Then because it is low season and they closed early we headed for Pizza at Mellow Mushroom and on to Sea World. 
 Yummy food!  We had never been to a Mellow Mushroom.  It was great food and we all loved it. 
 Hey mommy.....take a picture she says. 
 Sea World has an all new Antarctica area with a new penguin ride and viewing which is fantastic.
 Play time with our angel! 
It was a great day!  I love getting some one on one time with our beautiful children.  It is a true blessing!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Noise

 So today's pictures brought to you by Mission's Week with jr/sr high EMERGE from The Crossing Church :).  I have been working with Emerge Missions for about 3+ years now.  It pretty much allows me to still enjoy youth since I miss that part of the time when we worked at camp and when I was a teacher. 

This week we did a "home makeover" for a widow who is taking care of her grandkiddos.  We also did some food sorting for a local food bank, visiting the nursing home, did some repairs at a home for battered women and at a home that helps people who are homeless get back on their feet, helped a homeless man one on one, and putting on a fun day for families that are migrant workers nearby.  We got the chance not only to "do stuff" for others, but to pray with them, to witness to many, and to build relationships with each other! 
 So THE NOISE!  It sometimes feels deafening.  It feels as though it surrounds your brain and you can't hear the things you love anymore.  It can drown out your sanity and worse yet it can overcome you. 
 This past week has been hard for me.  I am not sure why really except tonight I realized I needed quiet.  Now don't pass out.  If you know me well you know that I crave and thrive when I am with people and going a 100mph - henceforth the 9 kids, and a very extroverted personality! 
 It wasn't my kiddos- they are fine and beyond our normal crazy it hasn't been anything ultra nuts.  I mean the AC went out in our van.... again... for the 3 time since last summer.  The dog chewed Micheal's 2nd set of glasses.  We did home school and I did work and Jason has done work.  There were appointments to keep.  It's pretty typical week you may say. 
 We have gotten back into a routine!  And all the people who are type A like me said Ahhhhh........
 So why then do I feel like there is NOISE? 
 It happens quite easily.  It starts with not getting your quiet time- due to sickness, or bad scheduling, or plain ol' skipping.  Then in creeps bad habits and then you forget.... 
 Forget who you are in Christ.  When this happens the noise creeps in.  Just a little pitter pat type noise at first. 
 Then before you know it, it gets out of control!!!
 You start second guessing everything- your mommy skills, your home schooling skills, your ability to parent much less 9 children!  You second guess your ability to be the wife you know your husband needs.  You second guess that you are even of value to anyone.  You second guess yourself in every aspect. 
 Then that critical judgement of yourself! 
 The one that points out every mistake that you made that day!  EVERY SINGLE ONE! 

Believe me people there are a lot of mistakes to be made in just one hour let alone one day! 
 You realize how horrible you have acted, you replay what you should have said and done, and you make yourself feel like a total loser. 
 You are plugging away, but the JOY is missing.  Where did it go?  Can I ever get it back?  I can't even hear or feel the good things anymore it is like they have disappeared. 
 The noise is now deafening!  It hurts your ears.  You feel ashamed and unworthy of love. 
 Then GOD!  Then God whispers and you finally hear it.  You finally hear that loving still small voice that you have been longing for.  You rejoice at the voice of that old friend who hasn't left your side. 
 The tears flow.........
 And you ask questions like- Am I even in your will?  Help me to remember who I am!  What should I be doing about ..........?  God guide me in what you want me to be.  Lord I can't keep carrying all of these burdens they are just too heavy.  I need rest.  I need quiet time with you.  I need to put away all of those "super important" things and remember you are my most important relationship! 
 My first love.  My King and Savior. 
When that noise kicks in- be sure to kick it to the curb!  Don't let it eat you alive and spit you out. 

Step back into God's presence..... and let HIM remind you of WHOSE you are. 

As for me- I am the Daughter of the Most High!  I am complete in Him.  I am worthy.  I was chosen to be my children's mother.  I was chosen to be my husband's bride and help mate.  I was chosen by God to play a role in Emerge.  I was chosen for so many great things!  I just can't do it on my own.  I have to listen for that sweet voice of my Savior for direction.