Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Shy's party...

We did FINALLY get around to throwing Shy her first birthday party. We invited a few close friends and family. Our family is quickly outgrowing the huge party scene. Did I already mention that? Deja vu! We penciled the party onto the calendar, the day after one of our successful fundraiser yard sales. This was one pooped Mama after this weekend was over.

I tell you, I can decide to do some of the craziest things on a whim and at probably some of the most inappropriate times (can anyone say Nesting Kitchen??). I took on my first real birthday cake baking and decorating. My Type-A, perfectionist mind was put to the test. For me, the babies' first cake is special, heck who am I kidding? So far they have all been special. I think with the limited time I had to train (thank you YouTube) and prepare (Sunday morning while the rest of the family was attending church) it turned out decent for an amateur. 

She got to play with her besties, Millie Kay and Cooper. 

She opened a few gracious gifts, 

ate her very own smash cake, had an overstimulated meltdown and crashed before the party ended. I call that success!!! 

We love you, sweet Shy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adoption T-Shirts are in!!!!!!!!

They are finally in!!!! We just received our shipment of our adoption t-shirts. We designed them ourselves and had Mike Hopper Promotions print them! I have to give props to Mike for his patience and diligence with us (me) to perfect our shirts. We love them! Our design is uniquely ours and has meaning behind many of the features on the shirts. We, of course, chose the continent of Africa as a symbol of the birthplace of our children, the culture in which they are a part of and where they currently reside. The heart placed in the specific region of Ethiopia, because a piece of our heart is there, and will forever remain even after our children are home with us. The puzzle feature is unique to this specific adoption. God is really placing the pieces together for us, step by step. He has not sent us a lump sum that would provide for the total need of the adoption. Instead He has stayed true to His character, walking with us through each step, hurdle, celebration and praise. He is keeping us dependent on Him daily. With each step we take toward reaching our financial goal, He has placed beautiful stories, encouragement and the opportunity to share our faith with others. The puzzle is also unique in that each and everyone of YOU can be a piece of the puzzle of deliverance for these children. It will all fit together into one fantastic story that brings glory to God. The distressing effect on the continent symbolizes the plight of orphans everywhere. Distress can come from lack of love and nurturing, lack of adequate food, water and sanitation, lack of medical needs being met, lack of support and encouragement, lack of family and any combination of these. There are too many needs that go unmet to be named. This is felt here, there and everywhere the orphan can be found. It is the distress of the orphan crisis in our world. We have added one of our favorite scripture verses found in the chapter of John to the front of our shirt, that sums up exactly why we are in the midst of such a seemingly crazy venture. "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." Jesus said that. The same Jesus that whispered to us...."Go."

I felt very adamant that we tie everything together for anyone who made a purchase on the back of the t-shirt. It reads "I am one piece of the puzzle that is solving the orphan crisis!" Anyone who takes a part in bringing relief to the orphan is a piece of this grand puzzle. This does not merely represent our adoption. There is a much bigger puzzle to figure out, but if we all do our part it can be solved. Do I think that means we are all supposed to run out there and adopt? No, not necessarily. There are so many ways to be involved. We can sponsor children through various programs to help assure that these children do not become victims of the orphan crisis. Support your local families with fundraising. Go on a mission trip to help serve in an orphanage. Send supplies! There are so many other ways. And we ended the shirt with another verse "Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8; words to live by daily!

Our shirts are for sale for $20 each. We have sizes ranging from 12 months all the way to 3XL. We would love to see nothing more than familiar faces amidst a sea of blue! Not only because it means money for our adoption, but because it means we are maybe bringing some awareness to the orphan crisis. If you are local, you can pay directly to us and we can hand deliver your shirt, or they can be purchased through paypal on our blog site and mailed out. Just click the DONATE button on the left column of our main page and it will take you directly to paypal. Consider supporting our adoption! YOU GET A REALLY COOL SHIRT!! If you do, send us photos of you in your shirt! We could use the encouragement!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The week that will go down in infamy...

Have you ever had that kind of week? A week that you cannot even put into words? One of those weeks that you will look back on in ten years, laughingly no doubt, and say "Remember the time..." Only this time it will sound more like "Remember that one week we survived that...." We just had one of those! We are just coming up for air after a killer-typhoon-of-a-week! We have been on the go nonstop, organizing several events, accepting disaster and at some points, if I can be real, not even wanting to speak to one another. It got ugly. I finished out my latest Bradley series and got notice that I PASSED my final exam! I met with the AWANA RoadShow at our church, while Marcus and a good friend went to pick up two loads of stuff for the second night that week.We had the world's largest yard sale. Not really, but it felt like it! Got rained out on day #2. That is a whole different post that is COMING SOON!!! The same day we had the yard sale, Marcus left the house to simply run errands and for all intensive purposes, totaled his car when it overheated. The temperature light came on. He pulled over and waited a few minutes. Then only being less than an eighth of a mile from our church, he proceeds to continue to his destination where he could look the problem over and try to take care of it. FAIL! After cranking the engine, he made it another 40 feet and BOOM goes the dynamite (I know you have seen that YouTube video!) He ended up having it towed to a shop, who later in the week, quoted our two fix-it options at $5900 and $3700. Marcus mentioned our dilemma to another friend who was dropping by donations for our next fundraiser. He says "Wow, that's going to take all the money you raised at your yard sale!" To which my husband replies "No, that's not what that money is for and that wouldn't be ethical." So proud of him. Did not even miss a beat. After much prayer and thought, we just had it towed home. Our Pastor, who is one of the most generous men I know, offered his truck to us " long as needed." That is exactly what he said, so if we need it for life, we are good, right? My brother-in-law, a mechanic for the Lauderdale County School System, and a co-worker are graciously coming to pick it up and take a look to assess the damage and tell us what he thinks needs to happen. And, they have homemade meatball subs waiting on them!

I say all of this to testify to God's grace. The entire time we were, and still are to an extent, in the midst of such disaster, God's faithfulness shined through. He kept sending his faithful servants with donations. He kept sending his servants to be his hands and feet to help us. Satan obviously seeks to slow us down in this adoption process. He took our car, but cannot slow us down. We continued on with our two scheduled personal interviews with our social worker. We kept both doctor appointments for our physicals for our dossier. We did postpone one of our yard sales by one week, but we are not stopping. As we keep our eyes on Him, we will not sink. He brings along just the right person at just the right time. He is faithful. 
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and these things will be added unto you." - Matthew 6:33

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bittersweet Birthday

I am forcing myself to write this post! I hate it as much as I love it. I hoped if I just did not think about it, this day might not come. Nonetheless it has come. I find myself wondering if I hated all of my children's first birthdays as much as I do this one. I hate that my baby is growing up! It is absolutely breaking my heart! I love to watch her give achieve new milestones! She is so proud of herself, and so are we! Shy is my girl. We have come a long way in this short, short year. She captured my heart this day, one tiny year ago this very day!  I love her, oh do I love her! 

Since last month she has cut her two top, front teeth. Those little buggers were tough on her. And, those little buggers are SHARP!! She is sleeping all night, most nights. She did wake me several night while cutting those new teeth. When she wakes in the morning, she is standing...sometimes jumping to greet me, always with a smile. She nurses five time a day and eats just about everything! she loves cottage cheese, tomatoes, cantaloupe, avocado, cheese She has been walking almost two weeks. She can now pick herself back up to a stand if she stumbles. She dances with the other kids. She still squeals with utter excitement if she catches your gaze! She points to things, nods and shakes her head when you are speaking to her. She does not know what the motions mean, but she likes to mimic us. No new words, but that would just be too much for me to process. To celebrate she got her first bite of cake. She waited a whole year and it was worth the wait! She loved it!!!

Happy Birthday, sweet Shy!!