Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This Christmas: Part 1

Well it's so hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone.... But I must say, this Christmas was the BEST!!!!! It was filled with joy, worship and thanksgiving. There was only ONE thing missing...... our sweet Esther. She wasn't home this year but I did receive a few very sweet gifts that were visible reminders that she is coming home. I will share more about those gifts in the next post.

Earlier in the month I posted about our family's hopes and dreams for this Christmas; and we were blessed to see many of those dreams come true. One of the best things I checked off my list was my plan to spend less time shopping than ever before. CHECK!!! My gift receivers may not have been overjoyed by what they unwrapped but I did not waste one minute running all over town to find the "perfect gift" for anyone. You may be thinking that sounds pretty rude but we had a family discussion about gift buying right after Thanksgiving and we decided that our priorities had to be shifted this year. Everyone was on board, so it was really very simple.

We started the month out by being part of our church's quarterly Kid Jam. We always love this event and this time it was the largest one we've had so far. Several of us drove around picking up van loads of kids and brought them to a local community center where we do ministry every week. The kids played games, danced, sang, and then heard the beautiful message of our Savior. Several children and at least one adult received Christ.

It was barely December and we were already full of joy. We had brand new brothers and sisters in Christ!!!! I can't think of a better gift for Christmas! Below is a few pictures of this joyous day.

I was still on a van route when the games began, so I missed this. I was so excited when someone sent me this sweet picture of my (sometimes shy) Levi getting his game on!
These kids make up the praise team for our children's church and they did a great job of leading worship for the kids.
Below, our pastor is sharing the "TRUE" meaning of Christmas.... that the baby in the manger, is our KING! Our pastor and his wife are dear friends of ours and I am always amazed by their love for others. They are such an inspiration to our church family and many others. We are so thankful that when God gave them a vision for our city, they were obedient!
As David told the story of the birth of Jesus, our very special friends, Kenneth and Rochelle (above) joined us to play the role of Mary and Joseph.

What an honor to get to hold these babies while they heard the NEWS..... that Jesus came to bring us HOPE and SALVATION!

Another very special night, was our Christmas party for Expecting a Blessing! We usually take our girls out for dinner on special occasions; But this time, we decided to have them come over to my dear friend and ministry partner, Lisa's house. Lisa's husband grilled steaks, we baked potatoes and fixed a nice salad and rolls. Of course, we had yummy deserts too. :)

We played dirty Santa, showered them with gifts and spent hours just fellowshipping. These girls and their babies honestly bring some of the greatest joy to mine and Lisa's lives. We call them "our girls" and we actually try to devise plans to move them all in with us. You just can't help but fall in love with them.

We let Lisa's sweet hubby, Eddie join us for dinner since he was so kind to grill the steaks for us. At the end of the night, he had come to realize why we are so crazy about "our girls"..... he was hooked too!

Can you tell we've got lots of babies coming soon?!!! One sweet baby girl was born 2 days after our party!

Since we did very little school work during December (ok basically NONE), we had lots of time for fun things like Christmas crafts......

and baking yummy goodies.....

and reading some of our favorite Christmas books.....

We also spent several nights having dinner with friends, looking at Christmas lights (that might be a southern thang) and watching Christmas movies. Oh those of you who know me well, know that last one was a hard one for me. I am not a movie or TV kind of gal!

It's been a wonderful Christmas season and this was only a little bit of what happened in Our Lives. Stay tuned for post 2! More to come...... but not tonight. My oldest "baby girl" had her wisdom teeth removed today. It's been a long day and this momma is worn out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is Christmas a Burden?

I'm sure most of us would answer that question by saying, "of course not,.... it's the most wonderful time of the year". Really?? If you have felt a bit of stress over Christmas then I'd say, that equals a burden. I confess.... I awoke early this morning to worries swirling in my head of how I have not ordered Christmas cards, I have barely bought any gifts and I still have empty Christmas decoration boxes sitting scattered through out the house. For a few moments, I felt stressed. I then heard the Lord remind me that several weeks ago, I resolved to let this Christmas be about Him and not about "others" or my shopping list.

Yes, I do plan to do some shopping. I'm certainly not trying to make it sound as if we just plan to sit around the house singing Christmas carols and retelling the story of Jesus' birth for the next month. That sounds wonderful but probably not real practical for our family.

I have made a Christmas list for the people that I "hope" to buy a gift for but I've also made a list of the things that are more important to me than shopping and stressing. That list does include Christmas carols, digging deep into the story of Jesus' birth and it also includes lots of dinners with friends and family, several ministry opportunities in our city, a special dinner and fellowship with our girls at Expecting a Blessing, baking with my kids, making crafts with my little guys, relaxing and enjoying our time off from school, looking at Christmas lights and truly just worshiping our Savior.

Now all of that may not happen but I'm hopeful that most of it will. I guess this post can also serve as a disclaimer to those of you on my Christmas list..... if you don't get a gift, I'm sorry, I do love you but I'm determined to make sure this month is filled with joy; and joy and stress just don't go together.

Last week I read a quote by Ann Voskamp that puts it all into perspective. "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, its a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ. Any weight in Christmas has to be of this world."

This video also helps us keep our eyes on Jesus this Christmas season. Please pause my music at the bottom of the page and, worship the King!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Thankful to say the least. This has been a year of blessings for our family, and as I've spent the last few days reflecting on all that I'm thankful for, I'm overwhelmed. I actually attempted to journal about all the blessings in my life this year, but realized a few minutes into it, it would take a really long time and a ton of journal paper.

God has blessed us this year with new family members, restored relationships, and new friendships, healthy children and renewed health for our parents, amazing ministry opportunities and wonderful brothers and sisters to do ministry alongside. We've had a year full of good times with our sweet kids and I have had another year of being married to the most amazing man that I've ever met. It has been a year of blessings, and to the Lord I am so thankful. Some blessings this year came in the form of a trial, but as a result, I have experienced growth that could not have happened any other way. Even for these trials, I am thankful.

We've been blessed to watch friends and family bring home sweet babies, including our dear friends Mark and Heather, who brought home their new son last week.

Baby Cruz had a huge fan club awaiting his arrival!

These three babies have all come home in the past couple of months, including my sweet niece, Daria.

Speaking of Daria and being thankful. Im thankful that right after this airport homecoming, Sonia decided to wash Daria's car seat cover, then realized she had to go to school to pick up her big boys. Guess what that meant??!!!

Aunt Polly got to babysit! Another thing I'm thankful for..... living next door to this sweet girl baby :)

It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend at our house so far. We've spent time with all of our family, decorated for Christmas, my boys have been in the woods hunting, and we are spending tomorrow with friends watching some silly football game. We might be wearing some red and white, and that's all I'm saying ;)

Jesus, I am so thankful for the life you've given me. To YOU alone be all the glory!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fundraisers and the Big Reveal

We have spent the past two week-ends doing something we absolutely love doing. Raising funds to help bring babies home. Last week, we had our final fundraiser for Esther. God is so good and faithful. We are set to bring her home, unless she has brothers or sisters ;)

Several months ago, my friend Andrea, who is an amazing artist, offered to help us raise money by doing a canvas painting party and donating all the proceeds to us. What a fun idea!!! My sweet friend Carol, offered to have the party at her church so we would be inviting girls who have not been invited to the other dozen or so fundraisers we've had. What a brilliant idea :) You may remember, this is the fundraiser that we postponed back in April due to the devastating tornados. A few families from Carol's church were left homeless as a result of the storms and we felt like their primary focus should be on those families.

We decided to wait until a better time and last Friday night proved to be the perfect night for our fellowship. I was able to share with the ladies about our adoption testimony, which I had planned to do the first time. But, now I was also able to share with them about the launch of our non-profit called, Altar 84. In addition to sharing our vision as a ministry, I was also able to encourage them to attend our Know More Orphans Conference in March. It was such a blessing to see the excitement in these girls eyes and be able to share our desire to see "the church" link arms for the sake of the orphan.

Had we had this fundraiser back in April...... I would not have been prepared to share any of that. Just reminds me how God's timing is ALWAYS perfect. BTW, to find out more about Altar 84 and the conference keep reading!

Here's a few pics from our painting party.....

Me, my sweet momma, and Maggie had so much fun, painting these Christmas wreaths.

The painting party came and went, and we were on to the next fundraiser. Only this time, it was not for Esther. It was for her little Asian friend, Gia!

Our friends, Kevin and Malerie are in the process of adopting a little girl from South Korea. A month or so ago, Maggie told me she wanted to do a bake sale to raise money for them. We've never done this before, so I called a local church that was having a craft show and then called all my friends to help. My idea of baking is making those cookies in the box with a snowman already stamped on them. Baking is not my specialty. Fortunately, many of my friends are culinary pros. Maggie and I baked some cupcakes and cookies to add to the yummy goodies and here's what we had.....

We had more stuff delivered to the bake sale including 3 cakes, a couple dozen brownies and lots of cookies. Maggie has started a ministry called, Children of God, and here she is at her very first fundraiser.

This sweet girl worked her booth for 12 hours Friday and 5 hours today. If a person even slowed down at her table, she was quick to tell them that if they purchased any of her goodies, they would be helping our friends get their baby girl home. All while directing their attention to this picture on my ipad.
Who in the world could say "no" to that?!!!..... Kevin and Malerie, holding a picture of their beautiful daughter. Maggie sold lots of stuff and she can not wait to hand the money to them in the morning at church.

To all of my amazing friends that helped make this happen for Maggie (and ultimately for Gia :), thank you so much. As I said to a couple of my friends earlier today, by "linking arms" we can bring these babies home.

What a blessing it is to get to be a part of Gia's story. Lot's of friends are waiting for you, sweet girl!

Last of all, it's time for the Big REVEAL!!!! We are so excited about the launch of our website for Altar 84 and the Know More Orphans Conference. Keep in mind, it's brand new and we've got more details to be added, but please take a look at both sites and feel free to email me if you have questions or you are interested in learning more about our ministry or conference. This has been like our baby that we, along with our friends, Jodie and Eric, have been preparing to birth for months. We feel like we are sorta in labor now. Literally, some days.... but God has been so faithful to provide a team of people who love orphans and are way more intelligent than us. We could have never gotten this far with out so many wonderful people coming alongside us in this effort. God has brought us to tears many times with His gracious provisions. Thank you Jesus for this journey!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Showers, Birthday Parties and Orphan Sunday

Last week was our quarterly baby shower for Expecting a Blessing. This never gets old. When God calls you into a place of ministry, it just gets better all the time. That's certainly the way I feel about these girls. With every group of girls, I sorta dread them delivering their babies and possibly being gone from my life, but God replaces ever single group of mammas with another special bunch of friends and we get to do it all over again. God has been so sweet to allow us to build long term friendships with so many moms that we met through this ministry. Here we are with our moms-to-be enjoying a very special day of celebration.
We have the MOST fun making these adorable baskets full of goodies. We are so grateful to the many people that donate all the items to fill these baskets up. It always makes me so happy to see how excited our moms are when they start digging into their goodies. Lexie, Maggie and Christen joined in the fun. Are these three girls beautiful or what?!

Lilly helped my friend Paula, from Grace's Kitchen serve punch.

Have you ever in all your life seen such an adorable baby girl? Baby K had all of us drooling over her cuteness :)

Thanks to our partners at Christ City Church, Hunter Street Baptist Church, and Grace's Kitchen for caring for these sweet babies and their mommas by making this a super special day!

We went from baby showers to birthday parties......
Guess who turned TWO!!!!!

We can not believe our baby Cash is two years old! What is wrong with me y'all? I have never let a baby have a paci for more than a few months and here Cashy is 2 and still loving his gaggy (yes that's what he calls it). Daddy and the kids give me a very hard time about this but its funny how the more kids I have, the more I want them to stay little. I also never let one of my boys have long hair until Cross.... it just fits his personality. He is long on rebellion..... and the older sweet Cashy gets, the more he learns from his partner in crime, Crossy. Cross + Cash = Crash! Lord, help me :)

I hope all of you are gearing up at your church for Orphan Sunday this week. I just heard about a great opportunity this morning and wanted to share it for those of you who are interested. You can go to Orphan Sunday's official website HERE and register to attend an online webcast this Sunday night at 6 p.m. central. This webcast will be LIVE and will include worship and guided prayer for the fatherless. Registration is simple and quick.

Last of all, if you are in Birmingham you should consider joining us at Lifeline Adoptions annual fundraiser banquet next Tuesday night, November 8th. This event will include a silent auction, followed by dinner and featured speakers David Platt as well as my pastor, David Nasser. With these two guys leading, I'm certain we will be challenged and encouraged to care for the orphans in our city and around the world. You can find more information and register HERE.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Waiting on God!!!!

One of the questions that we hear constantly these days is, "when will Esther be home?". My, how we wish we knew the answer to that question. Only God knows and unfortunately He doesn't share His calendar. Not that this momma hasn't asked Him a million times for a sneak peek at it. :) But we are trusting that He had that date on His calendar long before the foundation of this world; and in His perfect timing He will reveal that day to us.

Ethiopia has recently closed down several unethical orphanages and shuffled the children in them into upstanding, ethically run orphanages. Of course, this means lots of back tracking has to be done on these children that don't have proper paperwork on file. This, along with the government taking every measure to make sure that every child adopted from their country is a "true orphan", has caused a slow down in the process. Of course this is a very good thing for everyone involved and it's hopefully paving the way for a much better system of adoption in Ethiopia in the future. I'm thankful that the government in Ethiopia has the children's best interest at heart, but I'd be lying if I said that makes it easy and painless for us to wait.

This photo portrays a pretty accurate picture of our hearts right now.....
Like this picture, the details are blurry and uncertain, but our hearts are longing for this chair to be filled. And yes, this picture will be retaken when this chair is no longer empty. Praise God!

We strongly believe that one reason for this extended wait is because God had a much bigger plan from the beginning than we could have ever imagined. I even thinks its likely that if we knew the whole plan from the beginning, in fear we might have said, "NO" to adoption. We have spent a lot of time lately praying over this adoption and we are so excited to see what God has in store for our family. In the meantime, God has laid a message on our hearts of what He is requiring of us right now.... He wants us to trust in Him while we "wait".

It would be so easy to waste this precious time by sitting idle and wishing for a phone call, but instead we are choosing to use this time to worship Him and serve Him. We are learning so much from our Father right now that we would likely miss out on if He were a God who was more concerned with "my agenda" than HIS. Thank God He knows what's best for us. I am certain I would miss so many of His blessings if I were in control. Don't think there's not days where my flesh says "I'd just as soon miss the lesson and get on with this process".... but deep in my heart I know that Shawn and I will both look back on this season and know that the wait was worth the gain.

I have revisited this song on my ipod many times lately. If you are in that place of "waiting" for God to move a mountain in your life, I encourage you to watch this video and focus your thoughts on what God is calling you to do "today".

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18
(pause my music at the bottom of the page)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Too Much to Share!!!

That's how I feel right now..... like I have too much to share, but I'm going to try and squeeze in the most important things real quick. I've had several things on my mental list of blogpost and now I need to drop 3 or 4 at once.

If you LOVE orphans.... please don't check out because you expect this to be a "way too long" blog post. I'll keep it short and to the point... Promise :)

First of all, our friends, the Wilbanks need your prayers. Their sweet daughter in India especially needs our prayers for a miracle. Please check out Bella's story on their blog and help us pray her home by Christmas! I know they are grateful for your prayers :)

Bella Button Blog Final

Next, we are so happy for our friends, Mark and Heather who are adopting a baby boy in just a few weeks. They have been on a domestic adoption journey for several months and God has led them to their birthmother. They were just matched in the last few weeks and their baby boy will be born very soon. Therefore, they need to raise lots of money, very quickly. Please visit their blog to check out their cool t-shirts and other ways you can help them bring their baby home. You can visit their blog HERE!

This one has been on my blog list since last week. On Thursday I went to the mail box and this was waiting inside for me:
Thank you Lynsey and Kari for this wonderful birthday present! Y'all are awesome girlfriends :)

Anyhow, I came in the house and snapped a picture of me with my new book and sent it to Shawn. He responded from his seat at the Catalyst Convention and told me that he was sitting in front of Katie at that very moment watching her receive scholarships for ALL 13 of her girls. How cool is that?!!! But, YES, I was a bit jealous. Ok, I was very jealous that I was thumbing through this new book while he heard from Katie in person. Not fair!

Earlier that morning, a friend sent me Katie's new promo video. Turn my music down and watch it.... this servant of a sister challenges me to sacrifice more of my life for the least of these!

This sister ROCKS!!!!

Ok, last thing (see I told you I could share a lot in a short time:).... I must confess that even though I know we (Christians) ARE NOT all "called" to adopt, I still catch myself trying to talk other families into adoption. Yes, we ARE all commanded to care for the orphan in some fashion, but adoption must be the will of our Father. It is serious business and we should not take it lightly. Not that I'm downplaying the seriousness of caring for orphans without physically adopting them. As a matter of fact, I have recently made a new friend who has never adopted, but she is running orphanages in several countries including Uganda. She and I had lunch last week and it blows my mind to hear all of her stories and to see the impact she, with the help of many others, is making in the lives of hundreds of orphans. I'm sure I will be sharing a lot about all that she's doing and how you can help her organization be the hands and feet of Jesus. Actually, she's trying to arrange a little "trip" for me, her and Lexie, to a faraway land where lots of beautiful little brown kids live........ I bet you can't guess where it is ;).( Lex and I are waiting until we have all the details before we ask Daddy for permission. HeeHee!!!)

Anyhow, I don't know how I got so sidetracked in that last paragraph, so back to the point. No, we aren't all called to adopt but we certainly need to let God be the one to tell us whether we ARE or NOT. When you ask God about adoption, He will speak, I promise.

Today I read an article by Russ Moore and it reminded me that we (I) should never try to "talk others into" adoption. Instead, we (I) should encourage them to pray and then pray for them. Pray that God will speak clearly and boldly. Russ reminds us in this article that adoption is risky. It's often times ugly and even disappointing. However, doesn't that sound much like raising biological children. Having children period is risky, can be ugly and sometimes it's even disappointing. If you are considering adoption, you should read this article and then continue in your prayers. Please don't let it be a discouragement, just enlightenment.

Sorry for so much randomness. This is actually a picture of my life right now. Trying to do way too much in a hurry! I'm sure most of you mommas can relate :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Baby and Another Shower!!!

Expecting a Blessing would like to introduce you to our newest little blessing,..... Sweet Baby Girl "K".
She is so tiny, you can barely see her in my arms. She only weighed 7lbs.... which is itty bitty to me. I had to have twins that came four weeks early to get a tiny baby and even then, I had almost 12 lbs of babies.

Anyway, Mom and baby are both doing great. This little lady is very blessed with a sweet momma. I have had the joy of walking through this entire pregnancy journey with this dear friend; so this was quite a celebration to finally get to hold her precious little one.

On a different note, Expecting a Blessing has another new edition that I just can't stop thanking the Lord for. My very dear friend Lisa, in the picture above, just joined the E.B. team and she is such a blessing to our ministry. We have a team of ladies that dedicate their time to this ministry each week but we were still in need of someone else. When Lisa joined us, she jumped in with both feet. This Sister has one of the most beautiful servant's heart I have ever seen. The women we minister to will be blessed by Lisa's love for Jesus and her heart for young women in need of Hope.

We are gearing up for our next shower and if you would like to help us, that would be GREAT! Our fall shower is scheduled for October 26 at the Lovelady Center. God is always so gracious to provide every single item we need for the showers..... and I'm confident He will do it again. If you would like to donate items, please email me at pollybice@aol.com

Thank you friends for your support and prayers for this ministry. Below, I am listing the items we will be collecting for each "baby care package".

*receiving blankets
*burp cloths
*hooded towels
*wash cloths
*newborn outfits

Please remember, we ask that all items be new, and newborn in size.

I want to give a shout out to our friends at Grace's Kitchen. They will be providing cake, punch and refreshments for our shower again. If you are not familiar with their ministry, please check them out HERE! These sisters encourage me to be a doer of the Word.... they are making much of Jesus, and I am thankful for their friendship.

Be on the look out for pictures from the baby shower. I can't wait for you to see how cute these sweet mommas are :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Please Journey With THIS Family!!!!

Many of you in blog world already know the Block family and have followed their journey for a while. If you do not know them, please let me introduce you.

The Blocks have 4 bio kids and 5 adopted sweeties and they have recently sold everything, packed up what was left and moved to the mission field full time. They are currently serving in an orphanage in Guatemala, called the Eagles Nest.

I am constantly amazed by their faith in God and their love for others. I have never met Amy, but she is on my list of "sisters I must meet". Please follow their journey and pray for them. They need us, but trust me, we need them. We need to be inspired and encouraged by their selfless hearts. They need us to pray for them and support the babies they are taking such good care of. Wait until you see the pictures of these precious babies..... you might just want to run get a few of them.

"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." James 1:27

Monday, September 26, 2011

She's HOME!!!!

Our little Korean princess finally made it home with her momma and daddy last night. All week, we have skyped and it's been so fun to get to see her every day via the computer screen, but it made me want to get her in my arms even more each time I saw her. Then last night..... that moment came when I finally got to do THIS!!!!
I did let her big brothers see her first and I snapped a couple pictures of them. They were smitten with their baby sister as soon as they laid eyes on her.
They had waited so patiently for the plane to arrive and I know Mom and Dad had missed these boys so much all week.

Then Sonia and I got to have that sweet moment together where we just held each other with Daria squeezed between us, and cried. Tears that represented joy, loss, gain, and answered prayers. God is so good, and we were holding one of HIS miracles in our arms.
Then it was time to head down the escalator for lots of friends and family to welcome this sweet family HOME!!!

My sweet Lilly waiting patiently for them to come down.

Cousin Lexie getting some love from our new girl!

Is this precious or what? She went right to her Pawpaw (Sonia's dad) and put her head down on his shoulder :)
Grammy, mine and Sonia's sweet mother-in-law, also got lots of love and hugs!
How about this one?!!! Daria has an instant BFF.... our dear friends Jason and Liz brought their baby girl, Hannah, home from Korea earlier this year. These two girls looked so adorable together.

After a full 24 hours of traveling with little to no sleep, Sonia and Brandon were so happy to head home. Maggie and I went to their house because we were not tired!

At 12:30 this morning, we were feeding the princess yogurt and her favorite, Gerber Puffs. Opening new toys and riding her on a pink pony. Then Sonia let Aunt Polly dress her in her pjs, feed her a bottle, get her to sleep and put her down for the night. For all of you BTDT mommas, we are well aware that we broke several Attachment 101 rules last night. We are praying for favor :)

To those of you who have been praying for this sweet girl, thank you so much. Sonia and Brandon have seen the hand of God all over Daria's life and I can't wait for Sonia to share some of those stories on her blog. Please continue to pray for them and follow their journey at HOME!

On a different note, I have not been blogging as much lately for a couple of reasons. Mostly because I have not had the time. My plate is more full now than it has ever been and I have recently had to lay it all on the table and ask God to prune what needs to go. I considered letting the blog go altogether but God showed me that was not the best option. However, my time on the computer is very limited and therefore, I can't justify blogging unless I have extra time. I'm hoping that as my time management skills improve (I'm praying about that and accepting any ideas from homeschooling mommas of a bunch of kids with more on her plate than she can do in a day...... got suggestions? please send them my way :), I will find a few days a week to set aside for the purpose of blogging. I need to figure this one out because one of the things keeping me busy these days, will actually have me blogging more in the near future.

As many of you know, and I've made mention here on the blog in the past, my husband and I, along with our great friends, Jodie and Eric, have started a non-profit called Altar 84. We are currently working on the website and blog and we hope for it to launch in just a few weeks. I can hardly wait to share some of the things we will be doing! Be on the look out because we will need YOU to join us in our efforts!

Last of all, I haven't blogged as much lately about our adoption because on one hand there hasn't been much to tell. We are still slowly moving up the wait list. On
the other hand, there has been a lot going on in our hearts during this time of "waiting". Just when we thought we knew what God was asking of us in the form of adoption, He began doing a number on our hearts again. I would love to share some of those things with you but we don't have it all straight in our own heads yet. If you've journeyed through this season of waiting during an adoption before, you can probably relate. If you've been there, please pray for us. Please pray that we would see and hear clearly from the Lord. We don't have it all figured out yet (then again, do we ever?) but we are certainly trying. We just want to be fully obedient and that's what we are praying for. I'm sure there will be more for us to share about that soon. For now, we are praying and seeking HIS face!

Thank you Jesus for the many families who are making much of YOU by caring for orphans.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For this child, we have prayed!!!!

Many of you know my sweet sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Sonia and Brandon are adopting a beautiful baby girl from South Korea. We have prayed for this baby girl since we first laid eyes on her last November. We found out the day before Thanksgiving last year, that she would be a Bice..... How amazing that this year on Thanksgiving, she will be in our arms!

Brandon, Sonia and one of their sons, Mason, left early Friday morning for Korea. Sonia and I packed suitcases until midnight Thursday night while our hubbies were in charge of weighing the suitcases and shuffling the contents of them around until they got each one to weigh in at 50lbs. Sonia and I have spent many nights preparing for labors to be induced the following morning, but this was definitely a different experience for us. It was very surreal packing SO much stuff. It wasn't like the other times when I could simply say, "if you forget something, I will bring it to the hospital in the morning". So, we were trying to make sure we remembered everything they could possibly need. I'm assuming we did a pretty good job :)

Anyhow, I was hoping I would find the time this week to post a few updates of their time in Korea, but our dear friend, Liz had a much better idea. She set up a blog for Daria, and now Sonia can post pictures and blog about this amazing experience each day. Our communication with Brandon and Sonia is very limited. We can skype and use facebook, but no phone calls or texts. So this blog will be a wonderful way for us to see pictures from their trip and hear details. Please follow their journey HERE, as they Bring Daria Home. They will pick her up on Tuesday morning at 9:00 (Korea time) which will be 7:00 Monday night for us. Can't wait to see her sweet face! Please keep their family in your prayers this week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't wait.... get "kisses" now!

I know I have promised all kinds of pictures and follow up stories but folks..... it's crazy busy around here. School has started, Shawn and I joined a new leadership team at church that we are super excited about, we are knee deep in non-profit preparations and planning a conference. All while trying to do the normal everyday things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, chasing littles, reading, and playing. It's wild, but oh so fun!

I've had to prune some things from my plate lately in order to keep my priorities straight and my time on the computer is limited. Most of the time I spend on the computer is doing research for the orphan care conference we are planning for next March. I haven't shared many details on that yet.... but I will very soon.

Anyhow, if you've been reading "Our Lives" for a while, then you know we are big fans of Katie Davis. She is Maggie's hero and I can totally see my sweet Mag's living in Africa when she grows up and being a mommy to a dozen or more brown babies.
Well, guess what Katie has done now... she has written her own book. I can't wait to get it in my hands. Actually, my sweet friends Lynsey and Kari pre-ordered it for me for my birthday.
I have a feeling this will be one that as soon as it comes in the mail, it will be fend for yourself around this house for a couple days. Yes, it will be that good!
If you want to pre-order you can do that HERE!!!! Thanks L & K for my birthday present..... you always know what I like :)

Kisses from Katie will be released in October. I encourage you to order your copy and plan to be inspired by one of the most courageous, orphan loving sisters I know.

Well, that's all for tonight..... I will get those promised pictures posted soon.
(I hope;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A brief update and a sweet gotcha day video

The past few weeks have been especially busy around our house. We've had a few extra special and really fun events on our calendar. Events we have spent the entire summer excited about.

Last week-end we spent 3 days in the woods of Tennessee at Loretta Lynn's Ranch watching hundreds of guys (and a few girls) including my very brave teenage nephew race dirt bikes. Not just anyone can ride in this race. It's the absolute best riders in the nation. My nephew, Drew, trained and worked very hard to qualify..... and he made it. He did great! It was a super fun week-end spent watching races, playing in a cold creek and riding around in the mud on golf carts and ATVs. Yee-haw! Fun times :) Pictures coming this week!

Next was our oldest daughter, Lexie's sweet 16th birthday party! It was a little late (her bday is in July) because one of her closest friends was a camp counselor this summer, so we waited until she got home to have the party. Lexie has been planning this party all summer and I think she enjoyed every minute of it. Her one request was that her daddy hang large Christmas lights over our pool. Well, she's always had her daddy wrapped around her finger so of course she got the lights. About 6oo lights as a matter of fact! She is blessed to have lots of wonderful friends who came to celebrate her special night. I think we had around 50 teenagers plus about 25 more friends and family. Who said homeschoolers are boring. Over half the kids here were homeschoolers :) Again, I will share pics later in the week.

Our last big event was last night and it was one of the sweetest! If you've been reading my blog for long or you know our family, then you know Kelsie. She is like a little sister to me and a big sister to our kids. Last night, she married her best friend in the world. I had the privilege of being her matron of honor and Lilly and Levi were the flower girl and ring bearer. We have loved this sweet couple for years and have prayed for this day for a long time. Pictures of this will definitely be coming soon. Kelsie was gorgeous and I must say, Lilly and Levi were the most adorable little pair I've ever seen. I can not wait to share the pictures and lots of details. It was a very special day for more reasons than the obvious. I will let that post brew in my heart for a week or so and then share.

As you can tell, we've been a bit busy around here the past few weeks. We would normally start school tomorrow morning but guess what...... we're NOT! Another plus to homeschooling!... momma decides when we start. I need this week to regroup and prepare, so we will kick off our official school year next Monday.

We do have one more HUGE event on our calendar and this one we've been praying for since last November. Our niece is coming home from Korea.... Praise the Lord! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law got the news last week that we'd been waiting on. Their sweet little girl Daria was approved to leave Korea and come home to her family. Hopefully, she will be in our arms by the end of the month or the first of September. Please join our family in praying her home. She is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to share her homecoming! Lots of pictures of Daria coming very soon!

Ok, since I shared some details of the past couple weeks at our house but NO pictures..... how about a very special "gotcha day" video. Turn down my music and enjoy watching this family's journey to Mareto. Adorable!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Adoption by Tony Merida

HERE is a great post from Tony Merida, co-author of Orphanology, titled "Why Adoption". It's a must in my opinion .... I'm just saying :)
(Incase you are wondering, I'm not receiving proceeds for promoting this book.... its just that good!!!!!)