Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy 3rd Adoption Day Joanna!!! (Last Friday)

Happy 3rd Adoption Day Joanna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 3 years ago we got to adopt Joanna when she was 6 months old :).  She was our cute ball of baby chub with a smile that stole our hearts. 
 She has a lot of "cheek", and has an amazing crazy fun personality :). 
 She loves princesses.....
 LIP GLOSS (as in if you want to be her friend- give her lip gloss and it will seal the deal ;).....
 She got her first lego set! 
 She loves her bedtime snuggle stories! 
 Fairyland fun :) 
 and dressing up! 
 Our Joanna is truly one of a kind.  The only toddler I know that loves meat and onions :).  She loves her snuggle time with mommy and daddy and does not like it if we ever leave the house without her.  She definitely likes pink.  She likes to listen to our favorites on You Tube when I do her hair (hey it keeps her distracted).  She is amazingly crazy fun all at the same time and then some. 
 As you can see----- our parties get out of control ;)
 I mean we totally know how to live it up! 
 And miss diva here is totally a nut! 
 Her cute cupcakes! 
 Cutie pie....
And then there is this??  Oh yea....I know I am sooo fashionable!!!  ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why did we adopt?

 Today's pictures are brought to you by- family time during my GG's funeral now weeks ago..... 

I thought I would cover the topic of Why did we adopt since this is still Adoption Month! 
 At first it was because we couldn't have biological children.  I mean we still can't - I had cancer when I was 8 and a total hysterectomy.  Me being here is an amazing miracle!!!  :)  PRAISE GOD!  You can read more about my miracle life- HERE
 So that was obvious.  I think when we first looked into adoption we looked at domestic adoption, but thought - well the things people still think's expensive and takes years!  He he he....several adoptions later!  I know a lot more than we did back then!!! 
 So we started with foster care- which is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now along with that comes the fact that the children may or may not stay with you forever.  In our case Abigail stayed....although there were many, many bumps in that road. 

Then along came her biological sibling Andrew.......and he stayed.  By then Matthew was also born.....and he stayed! 
 When we moved to Louisiana I think we felt that we could do foster care again because there is a need to.  I don't think in that moment we were really worried about adding to our family permanently, but said that if a child needed a forever family we would be that family for them. 

Then God sent Joshua and Sarah....then Elizabeth as well!!!!  And after a 3 year roller coaster- they all stayed as well!!! 
 You know the saying if you are doing this much what is more?  Not sure exactly how the saying goes??  Obviously my brain needs a break ;).  Well at this time I think we though we have 6 kiddos.....why not add more??  We came to a place of wanting a break from foster care.  That 3 year journey took a lot out of us!!!! 
 We had learned of the need for adoption around the world.  I mean the numbers were staggering!!!  Over 143 million orphans!!!  We thought we can bring another child home.  So we picked a country where we wouldn't have to stay too long keeping in mind we had 6 kiddos at home.  We found Ethiopia and at the time it was one trip for a week.  :) 
 Our last two adoptions came out of a lot of pain and loss.....of our lost referral.  But we really felt that the Lord had more children out there.  I mean at this point we were experts at making a dollar stretch, and we had open hearts and minds to what God called us to do.  So after not getting to go back to Ethiopia......
 we found Christian Adoption Consultants!!!!  PRAISE GOD RIGHT :)!!!!!  Within a week of signing on Joanna was ours legally!!!!!!!!!!!!  CRAZY STUFF!!!!!!!!
 Then came the next time we used Christian Adoption Consultants- before we became consultants ourselves :).  We felt called to special needs adoption, and of course Christian Adoption Consultants had just started a new special needs program (which is for children over the age of 3, siblings, or a child with a known diagnosis).  Perfect timing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 We then applied to many situations, but a month later- Michael came our way.  You can read his story- It is the most read story- Our Son's Story (scroll down the page a bit and you will see the most read stories). 
Every time we felt God prompted us in that time, in that moment to open our homes.  It hasn't been easy.  We have faced years worth of back and forth with foster care, our Hannah Grace went to be with Jesus before we could bring her home from Ethiopia, then us cis gave us issues and we couldn't bring home our Naomi, we have sacrificed way more money than I remember, way more time than really matters, and paperwork- don't even go there!!!!  We have had more social workers in our home than should be legal ;) along with CASA workers, and homestudy updates!  CRAZY STUFF! 

BUT THE BEST PART- is that GOD WROTE OUR FAMILY'S STORY!!!!  The best part is that God has helped us through all the ups and downs, the losses - ours as well as our children's.  God has given us strength to keep going even when we thought we couldn't any more!!!! 

Every time we said YES LORD we will......HIS ANSWER WAS I will give you strength, finances, and perseverance to run this marathon.  IT. WAS. WORTH. IT. ALL.  Pretty sure that is what our Savior says about us as well :).  PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what is your story?  If you have adopted- why did you adopt? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deep Hits Concert & THE WINNER IS...........

 This was all of us trying to contain our excitement at getting to meet Toby Mac!!!!! 
 While we were there we also got to meet Carmen Brown, Bill Martin, Dave Cruse from the JOY FM!!!! 
 THIS IS OUR FAMILY MEETING TOBY MAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  For real this was pretty amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :)  Of course none of this would be possible without his lead female singer - Nirva Ready who was able to get us in to see him!!!!  Nirva and her husband Seth go to our church and he is the pastor for our Sub 30!  They are amazing and have such a heart for serving the Lord and leading others to Him.  Nirva of course helps lead worship and you would never know that she travels the world with Toby Mac.  Both her and her husband have amazing voices and they lead worship with their whole heart!  It is evident WHO they serve!  We love them both and have had them over to our home as well.  These people are the real deal!!! 
 This is our family as we wait for the concert! 
 And it begins!!!!!  Can you guess who all these artists are? 
 Without looking up who is on the Deep Hits tour? 
 I know my camera isn't exactly the world's best. 
 They almost took it away from me, but they asked if it had a detachable lens- HA!! 
 The crazy part is that we ended up sitting right next to my in real life friend and wonderful bloggy friend too- Sonia!!!  How crazy is that?  They were literally sitting across the aisle from our crazy family! 
 We had a couple of other friends there too that came and saw us during the break!  :) 
 It was a great concert and night of worship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 This is Nirva!!!  So if you are going to a Toby Mac concert- look for this special person!!!  She has an amazing voice, a huge heart for others and the Lord! 
 Ok........are you ready? 
 I picked Joshua to do the honors today.......
 Yes, this is my technical way to do a drawing because I am behind the times!!!  I a ok with that! 
And.......the winner is - Annette Nielson-Eslick!!!!!!  I know sorry I put down the full names from FB ;).   YOU JUST WON A $100 GIFT CARD!!!!!!!!!  WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will fb you for your address :).  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED US SHARE ABOUT CHRISTIAN ADOPTION CONSULTANTS!!!!!!!   We appreciate you sharing!!!!  We want to continue to help more and more families find out about domestic adoption and how we can help your family :). 

Friday, November 15, 2013

What Thomas and Kristi say about Christian Adoption Consultants!

Recap of Kristi and Thomas' Story: 
Kristi and Thomas started with Christian Adoption Consultants November 21st!  After completing their profile with CAC they started their journey.  
On April 16th this little miracle was born!  They were matched on the 17th, called me early on the 18th with the wonderful news!  Have I mentioned how AMAZING my job is?  Because there is nothing better in the world than seeing God form families. 
Another blessing for me personally is that we brought our Jonathan home through All God's Children International.  Kristi and Thomas will also be bringing home another little one through the same Ethiopia program.  So within a couple of years there will be another bundle of joy added to this beautiful family! 
 Here is what Thomas and Kristi said about using Christian Adoption Consultants. “We are so blessed to have been matched with our sweet son and we cannot imagine walking this adoption journey without the support and guidance from Dawn and Jason Wright and Christian Adoption Consultants. 
 The process can seem overwhelming and daunting at times, but the Wrights were always there to answer any questions we had, lend a listening ear when we needed support, and really hold our hand every step of the process. What a journey it has been and we could not have walked this path alone. The Wrights not only shared their knowledge and experience about the process, but also their deep love and compassion for adoption and finding forever homes for these precious children. We are forever grateful for their help, and they will always be a part of our story ."
WE LOVE THIS JOB!!!!!  I mean those sweet precious faces and the families together melt us daily!!!!