Wednesday, March 27, 2013


So we have finally restarted this whole adoption thing. Again. Paperwork and checks are winging their way across the country right now. It feels a bit overwhelming at the moment. So much to do- paperwork to file, money to save/raise, house to prep, kids to prep -though, they are convinced we should have gotten our kids like, yesterday, so I think they'll be alright. It does feel like it will never actually happen, but hopefully there will be no major reason to stop the process this time. *sigh*
 The kids wanted to choose names for our new kid/kiddos this morning. So far, they like Judy (why?), Zechariah, Zaccheaus and Frank. Ha. Guess who will NOT be naming our new kids? Hope is hoping for a "twin"- a girl close to her age. Grace wants a baby boy. I keep telling them we will just have to wait and see, but part of me agrees with them. :-) A baby boy, another little girl...I could get used to the idea.
Anyways, we'll be working on new fund raising projects in the near future. Check back and see what God blesses us with.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tax Returns, Adoption and Other Stuff
We sent in our taxes two months ago and recently received a request for more verification before they release our adoption tax credit. Big surprise there. From what I have read, that has been pretty normal for most people trying to claim the adoption tax credit. So we sent in the verification and continue to wait.
We are getting excited about our Congo adoption. The girls and I are planning how their room will be set up when we start making the house ready for a new baby (or two). We have always planned on adopting two children from the DRC at one time. However, we had my brother in law and sister in law's kids living with for three weeks and that has us questioning whether it would be wise for us to adopt more than one at a time. We'll see what happens. We are open to two, but are not sure we will specify that we want more than one...make sense?
Also, if anyone has suggestions for a good agency to get your home study through in Minnesota, please let me know. We are looking, but haven't decided on one yet.
We found out that our neighborhood has a neighborhood garage sale planned for early in August, so we are planning on having our Adoption Garage Sale at the same time. I've started sorting through stuff and have a pile that is growing. We are excited and antsy to be moving on with this adoption! I want to hold my baby (or babies)!
Grace and Hope are growing like weeds...well, mostly Grace is growing like a weed. Hope is growing, but at a slower, steadier pace. Grace grew out of all her pants seemingly overnight in February, and when we bought her new pants, she only fit in them for about a month before moving on to the next size. Sadly, though, she still won't be able to hand down her month-old pants to her younger sister, because even in that short amount of time, she wore right through them. Ah well. Eventually, Hope will be thrilled that she doesn't get many hand-me-downs from her sister.
We've decided to continue school throughout the summer, though at a more relaxed pace. We missed a full month of school when we moved and the kids just get so BORED without school. On the days I have declared "No School" days, Grace inevitably begs to have some schoolwork to do in the afternoon and Hope is just restless and a tad bit crazy. So we will continue going through workbooks, reading A LOT, and playing educational games as much as we can. We are hoping Nana can come down for a day and teach a watercolor painting class. The kids would eat it up! 
We've recently joined a new church that is pastored by one of my husband's old friends from college. It is a small church about twenty minutes from our house. For such a small church, there are a lot of children and our kids love being able to play with so many friends at church. It has been a bit of an adjustment as it is much different than the big church we were members of in Louisville, but the change has been good for us and is growing and stretching us in ways we were not expecting. It has been amazing to watch this church change and grow a lot in the last few months. There is a love of scripture and a growing love of the Gospel. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We Are Still Alive

Our lives have changed SO much in the last two months! We moved across the country (again), to a place where we basically knew no one, though extended family is only a couple hours away now. Everything is different. Our house, Steve's work schedule, our church, our daily schedule, the grocery stores (don't get me started on that one), the people/culture here, we're in a totally different kind of neighborhood (definitely a good change), have no close friends nearby, and the list goes on and on. I think we were in a bit of culture shock for the first few weeks. Our bodies revolted against the move to a new climate/state and we were constantly sick the first three weeks we lived here.
Thankfully, we are starting to get into a routine and are finally feeling a little more at home in our new town. I can find my way around fairly easily, a huge blessing for my directionally challenged brain. I have not yet figured out a good strategy for grocery shopping, but I'm working on it.
 We are thoroughly enjoying our new home, which is three times bigger than our last house. The first day we lived here, I hardly even saw the girls. I just heard their voices as they moved from one part of the house to another, exploring every nook and cranny. Pictures of the new house will be forthcoming, but I wanted to get a couple rooms painted and decorated before showing everyone the house. We bought a rather dated 1950's ranch house with 3,000 sq. feet. Yay! The space is amazing. I have pretty much unpacked all of my kitchen and still have empty cupboards. Just last week, I realized that there were drawers in my kitchen that I had never even opened! Our basement has been taken over by all the boxes we have yet to unpack, but the main living area of our house is coming together and feeling more and more like home all the time.
We are currently having our taxes done and are excited about possibly starting the ball rolling once again on our Congo adoptions! I have not yet restarted my Etsy shop because I haven't unpacked my craft stuff yet, but hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll get to that. The girls keep talking about their "brothers". They cannot wait until we are able to bring their new siblings home. Maybe this year or next year. Lord willing, it will be soon. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Countdown Has Begun

14 days. That's all the time we have left in Louisville before we head for our new home in Minnesota. Well, our temporary new home at least. We can't close on our new house until mid-February, so we will be staying in temporary housing for a few weeks. The mixed emotions of moving are becoming more intense as our time here grows shorter. We are so excited to finally be moving, buying a much bigger house, and living in a much better neighborhood, but with all that comes the huge sadness of leaving our beloved Immanuel Baptist Church and all our friends here.
The girls and I were given an unexpected blessing of being able to spend an extra day with one of my closest friends this week. Though the cause of this extra time was not fun- a broken furnace and a gas leak scare- we just loved spending the day with our friends. We are going to miss them SO much. My favorite baby boy gave me lots of smiles and hugs that day too-another added blessing. :)
This week will be spent packing and cleaning and trying to cram in some more time with friends. It feels like it has taken forever to get to this point, but I am pretty sure that from here on out, the time is going to FLY.
Once we are finally in our new home, we will hopefully have more to say about our Congo adoptions, but at this point, that is on the back burner as we are gearing up to move across the country. I've been following a few blogs of other people adopting from the Congo and have been encouraged by the progress in their adoptions. Lord willing, we will get things moving soon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Steve got the job in Minnesota!!!!!!!
It's been a bit crazy over here the last little while. We finally sold our house in late November. Yay! Thankfully, the new owner is allowing us to remain on the property and rent from him until we are ready to move to Minnesota.
 In December, we finally received word that Steve had, in fact, gotten the job, so the day after Christmas, we headed for Minnesota to do some house hunting. Can I just say that house hunting is a tad stressful? For our family, the most important part of the house is the kitchen/ dining area and we are looking for a house we can comfortably live in for the foreseeable future, so we wanted to at least like that part of the house we will buy. Let me just say, WOW. Who knew so many people thought of the kitchen as an afterthought? Seriously, some of the kitchens we saw looked like they had just been thrown together after the rest of the house was finished. Yikes.
After two days of house hunting, Steve and I were both hit with an awful stomach bug. I have never been so sick in my entire life. We are still feeling the effects of the stomach bug in that food just isn't as appealing as it once was and we get full a lot faster now.
Anyways, we found a house we both love and put in an offer. In typical "Minnesota nice" fashion, instead of asking the sellers to respond in a certain time frame ("We could ask them for a specific date, but we just don't do that"), the sellers are given "reasonable time" to respond. Which could, of course, mean anything. We are definitely hoping to get this house, but have our eyes on other houses hitting the market just in case. If we get this house, we are hoping that we will be able to move in early February and I can't wait to start painting and decorating. :)
On the adoption front, DRCongo's elections are over, and while they were not perfect, things seem to be settling down. As soon as possible after we move, we will be having our home study redone and then will send in our dossier and get on the waiting list. The kids are having a hard time understanding how long it could be before we get their "brothers from Africa". Grace is convinced we are getting two boys. They seem to think that as soon as we move, Steve and I will go pick the new kids up. Sadly, it won't be quite that fast.  But I think we will finally get the ball rolling and be able to get on the waiting list. I read this article yesterday. Life in DRCongo is hard. We are praying that God would bring our babies home quickly.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It Is Good To Give Thanks To The Lord

Pastor Dom preached from Psalm 92 this morning. I have been thinking on it ever since then. Is has stirred great thankfulness and praise in my heart and I hope to share that with my kids as we work on our thankfulness journals this evening.
At this time last year, I was in the middle of depression brought on by long, hard trials and was so angry at God, I hadn't picked up my Bible for almost a month. We had been waiting and waiting for the girls' birth parents to have their rights terminated. I had testified in court at the Termination of Parental Rights hearing, we had waited for the judge's decision with great hope and were overjoyed when the decision came back...parental rights had been terminated! We were finally going to be able to adopt these kids! There was a 30 day waiting period, during which time, the birth parents could file an appeal to this decision. No one really thought they would, and it was wonderful when we got to the 30th day and were told that there was no appeal and therefore, we could move forward with adoption. The kids were told that it was over and that they were going to be a part of our family forever.
Two days later, our world seemed to come crashing down around us when we received a call saying that there had been some mistake, the birth parents had in fact been able to file an appeal on the very last of the 30 days and it would be 6 months to a year before we knew what the ruling on the appeal would be. It was the trial that just would not end. Even now, my chest hurts just thinking about it. I was so angry, so weary, and very much doubting God's love and care for me. I couldn't sing to him. I wouldn't read his Word. As far as I was concerned, God had failed and the enemy had won. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed in the morning and take care of the kids. But God, in His never failing love for me, sent friends to speak the gospel into my life. I was reminded of his faithfulness over and over again in the following months. Thankfully, I can now joyfully say:

12Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law, 13to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; 15for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers? 17If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. 18When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. 19When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (Kindle Locations 23942-23951). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

PSALM 92 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; 2to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, 3to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 4For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. 5How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! 6The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: 7that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; 8but you, O LORD, are on high forever.9For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. 10But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me [212] fresh oil.
 11My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. 12The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 15to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (Kindle Locations 23911-23920). Crossway. Kindle Edition. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Waiting for a job to open up in MN.
Waiting to move to MN.
Waiting to sign papers and officially sell our house.
Waiting to unpack (half of our possessions have been in storage and awaiting a move since our house went under contract last summer).
Waiting for the DRC Elections to take place. (Scheduled for November 28, and maybe will know the outcome by December 15?)
Waiting to take the next step in our Congo adoptions.
Waiting, waiting, waiting...
It seems like that has been our lot in life for the past few years...waiting. I have been reminded a few times lately to not JUST wait, but to live and to enjoy our lives during the waiting. I have started having a few minutes of "Thankfulness Journal Time" with the kids every night. We each have a thankfulness journal and we talk about all the things we are thankful for that day. The girls each pick one thing they want to write in their journal. Grace writes a sentence (working on vocab and handwriting), Hope traces a sentence (just to get her used the drawing the letter shapes) and colors a picture of what she's thankful for and I say aloud what I am thankful for as I jot them down in my journal.
As we have done this exercise, it has caused me to realize some of the benefits of waiting. One big benefit is that the longer we wait to move, the further ahead in our adoption we will be able to get (hopefully) before needed to redo our home study and such. We are praying that the November 28th elections go well and that adoptions will stay open.
Also, and this may seem rather trivial, but our neighborhood junk day (this happens twice a year) is this weekend and we are going to go through our belongings and get rid of anything that is broken, or in other ways just not worth taking all the way to Minnesota with us. Hopefully, that will cut down on some of the clutter and help keep me sane through the winter. :)
We have no idea if or when a position that Steve would want will open in Minnesota. We are praying for sooner rather than later, but are trying to enjoy our time here as we wait. We definitely made use of the fact that we live so close to Huber's Orchard and Winery and have a bunch of homemade apple cider in the freezer.
We also fully intend to enjoy the fact that autumn lasts so long here and the winter in Louisville is mild. We miss Minnesota, but the -0 temps in the winter will definitely be something we'll have to adjust to.
While waiting for our next two kiddos, I'm purposely trying to enjoy time with the kids we have now. I've instituted a weekly date night (Wednesday evenings), where one child gets to stay up with me for an extra hour. On Hope's week, we watched The Cosby Show together and cuddled on the couch. For Grace's date, we painted and talked. These have both been stretching times for me, as after bedtime is my time to get things done in the peace and quiet, but both date nights went very well and because of this date time, I was able to speak the gospel into my daughter's life last night.
I am enjoying the fact that Hope is still small enough for me to pick up and hold...I know this won't last long, and also realize that once we have two new little ones, I'll miss out on holding her so much as I'll spend a lot of my time carrying the new kiddos. So I am savoring the times that she still asks me to hold her.
Waiting is hard, but God is faithful, and for that, I'm thankful.