Saturday, August 27, 2011

I CANNOT WAIT for January 27th–29th, 2012…

Because on that weekend, I will be back at the Created for Care retreat for adopting mommas.  I went last year, and it was incredible!  I have been looking forward to it again ever since I left it last year.  This year, Andrea, who is the ring leader in putting this all together, did an amazing job of encouraging us with speakers, videos and awesome breakout sessions.  Even if you are just interested in adoption, I would encourage you to come. 

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Registration begins September 1st!! You can register at, and you can also find lots of information on their site about the retreat.  Last year, the conference filled up in less than 48 hours!  This year, though, because of the great interest in it last year, they have increased the number of ladies that can attend.  In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the retreat will be the only thing going on at the awesome conference center/hotel. 

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It’s going to be AWESOME!!!!  I cannot wait!!  Hopefully, I will see you there!


Also, my new adopting momma/blog friend, Meaghan, is having a blog giveaway and selling adorable t-shirts to help bring her baby boy home from Ethiopia.  Hop on over to her blog and show your support!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


I REALLY want to change the widths of my blog, but I have no idea how to do it.  I want the middle part, where all of my posts are to be wider, and my sidebars to be all the way to the outer edges of the page.  Can someone help me???

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lots of Steps Closer…

I wanted to do an adoption update, but I didn’t want the post to be all words, so I am adding some pictures that have nothing to do with the post itself, just so it won’t be so boring!!  Although our latest news in anything but boring!!!


{Selah is completely obsessed with books these days.  She will let you read to her for as long as you are willing!  Myla even “reads” to her sometimes!}

Okay, so on the adoption home front, it has been a very exciting week!  On Monday, Michael and I traveled to Memphis to have our biometric fingerprints taken at the US Dept. of Homeland Security.  We really had no idea what to expect.  His appointment was at noon, and mine was at 1:00 pm.  We waited for a little while because we were early, but they called me back a little after noon, then they called Michael back and we were both done by 12:15 pm!  It was quick and easy.


So, we came home and prepared to WAIT for our Favorable Determination Letter (the letter that basically says you can bring an orphan back into the country) that you get after your biometric fingerprints.   From what I had heard, it could take up to six weeks to come back.  In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Okay, I’ve got plenty of time to get those last few things done for our dossier.”  All I have left to do is get one document notarized, arrange our pictures on a piece of paper, and get our two recommendation letters from our friends that are writing them.


Well, I was SHOCKED TO DEATH, when I went to check the mail today, and a mere THREE days after our fingerprints, our Favorable Determination Letter was in our mailbox.  I thought when I saw the envelope from the US Dept. of Homeland Security that it must have just been a receipt or something from our fingerprint appointment.  I opened it up and literally started shaking with excitement!  I couldn’t believe it was already here!!   This is such a big deal because it is the last piece of paper we need to complete our dossier.  Once our dossier is completed, certified and authenticated, we will finally be on the waitlist!!!


{Obviously, something was really funny!}

So, tonight, I pulled out my thick dossier file folder and double checked everything in it to make sure we were good to go.  I am going to get the things notarized that we need tomorrow and collect our recommendation letters, and then it looks like I’ll be taking a trip to Jackson (hopefully Monday) to the Secretary of State’s office to get all of our documents state certified.  I so hope everything we have is good and nothing will have to be changed.


{Selah got some new, sparkly shoes for fall/winter, and when they came in the mail, I had to try them on her!  They squeak, and she loves them!}

The next immediate step is the state certification, then our agency will send our dossier to Washington, DC to be authenticated.  After that we will be on the official waitlist.  At that point, there is nothing we can do except wait for a referral.  No more paperwork, no more notarizations, no more fingerprints, etc.!  Our agency’s average wait time for a referral after the dossier is authenticated has been seven months.  This could obviously change because with adoption, nothing is a definite or a sure thing as far as a timeline.  BUT, we know that it is all in God’s timing, and it will be perfect.  (Also, if you are unfamiliar with the process, after we get our referral we will have to wait a little while to travel to Ethiopia.  Ethiopia requires two trips for adopting families.  On our first trip, we will meet our daughter and get to spend some time with her, and we will also have our court date.  We will have to leave her there (I can’t even imagine that separation), and return several weeks later to actually bring her home).  We are praying that we will have her home by the end of next year!


{Seriously cute shoes!}

I knew I would be excited to get our Favorable Determination Letter whenever it came, but I was way more excited than I thought I would be.  I was almost downright giddy.  I can’t imagine what the day will be like when we get our referral and get to see our baby girl’s sweet face!  I love her so much already and find myself thinking of her so often.  Has she been conceived yet?  Has she been born yet? What is her birthmother like?  What is the situation her sweet birthmother is in?  What will she look like?  When will she be in our arms?  We cannot wait to meet her and have her home!


This adoption journey has been incredible up to this point, and I know it is only going to get better.   One of the main themes of adoption is waiting.  Waiting to get paperwork done… Waiting for documents to come to you in the mail…  Waiting on a referral…  Waiting to travel… Waiting to travel again…  The Lord has already taught me a lot about patience, and I know He will have to continue to teach me as the time will seem to drag on and on before we will have our next daughter home, but He gave me this scripture this morning during my quiet time, and it ministered to me so much….

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,and he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what HE has done and will be amazed. 

They will put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:1-3

We pray that through this adoption that many will see what the Lord has done and be amazed…I know we have been!  He is so good!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Letter to Write and Mail…

One day last week, Myla wrote and mailed her first letter.  The recipients were Mimi and Bodie, and she was so excited about doing it!  I had been writing notes, so she decided she needed to write a note too.  Her handwriting has gotten really good, and she loves to “practice her letters” over and over!  She even picks practicing her letters over playing Pretty Pretty Princess at nighttime before bed!


Here she is with the finished product.  On the back, she put about 500 stickers!


She even wrote on the envelope!


She did the honors of sending it off, as well!


Can you tell that she felt “big” doing this!!


She couldn’t wait for Mimi and Bodie to get their letter!  Mom reported that they got it, loved it and put it on the refrigerator!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen…

This morning I made muffins for breakfast, and I had plenty of “helpers”.  Myla loves to help in the kitchen, and it usually causes quite a mess!  Now we have another two hands to make messes with us!


Probably not the safest way to help, but they felt so big standing up in their chairs!  This is Selah’s “cheese” smile…whenever she sees the camera now, she immediately starts saying “teese, teese”. 

Notice that even Oskie was in on the muffin making!


As we cooked, the girls ate a granola bar.  Selah thought hers taste a lot better dipped in the muffin batter!


“This is really good, Mom!  You should try it!”


Myla smiling… Selah dipping…


Myla had it all over her hands by the time we were done!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Way to Help...

Baby A Shower

My friend, Lara, over at The Farmers Wife Tells All, is adopting a little boy, "A", from Uganda. They are so face they are just waiting on a court date! As all of you know, adoption is expensive! Two of Lara's friends "hijacked" her blog and are throwing her a virtual baby shower. But, not the regular gifts are wanted this time! They are trying to raise money to travel to Uganda to get "A" in the very near future. You can go to her blog and help by donating some money! To make it more interesting, they are offering a giveaway along with it. The grand prize is a fancy schmancy Canon camera with a big lens!! I don't know anything about cameras, but I know this is a nice one! There are also several runner-up prizes that are fun! This is one opportunity for you to live out the scripture James 1:27! We are ALL called to do SOMETHING!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It’s Not Everyday….


…that you get a letter from the US Department of Homeland Security, but I was so excited when I saw this envelope last Thursday in our mailbox!! Almost five weeks to the day that we mailed our I600A Application, this notice came that we have our biometric fingerprints appointments on Aug. 22nd!!  This is our last big step to complete our dossier.  After we have had our fingerprints done, we will again wait for another envelope from the Dept. of Homeland Security that will have our “Letter of Favorable Determination” in it!  This will be our final piece of paperwork.  Yay!!  At that time, we will have to take all of our papers to the MS Secretary of State to be State Certified, then we will be able to send it all to our agency and get on that wait list.  I keep telling people that we will start “officially” waiting at that point!  We are slowly but surely getting closer and closer!  We can’t wait to bring our baby HOME!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Markers, Rain Puddles, and Dress-Ups…

This week has been pretty low key for us.  Myla got some type of yucky bacterial infection in her eye, so we stayed home a good bit.  We had several days that we stayed in our pajamas most of the day.  Those days are sometimes fun, but after several days, we all begin to get cabin fever!  It’s really to hot to do anything outside, and trying to keep these two active girls entertained inside can get very tiring!!  I’m ready for some cooler weather so we can get outside more!


One morning, Selah got very quiet, so I came to the den to investigate.  Sure enough, she was quiet for a reason. Myla had been coloring, and Selah had gotten a hold of one of her markers and colored all over herself!! 


She kept saying, “Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh” and pointing to her arms and legs where she had colored!  We took a quick bath, which happens a good bit with Little Miss Selah Sue!  We have lots of impromptu baths most days.  Sometimes she takes 3 baths a day!  She knows how to get dirty!


By Friday, cabin fever had really set in!  I was so thankful for an afternoon thunderstorm.  After it rained, I took the girls outside to play in the water puddles.  It had cooled off a little bit, and the girls were thrilled!


Selah loved the water and just squealed and laughed the whole time she was out there!


Myla loved it too, and they were both pretty soaked by the time it was all said and done!


We had not been out there long when I noticed that it was still lightning.  Talk about “raining on our parade”!  I would have stayed out there the rest of the afternoon had it not been for the thunder!


This was Selah’s face before I uttered the words, “We’ve got to go inside because it is lightning.”


And this was her face after.  She was NOT happy and she had a little pity party for awhile before I ask the question, “Do you want a popsicle?”  After she had a popsicle, things were MUCH better, thank goodness!  We were so happy when Daddy got home from work.  It was one of the those days where I felt like I needed a badge that said, “I survived the day!”


Daddy came home bearing gifts!  One of his patients had brought the girls dress up outfits, and they were so excited and wanted to put them on right after dinner.  Myla looked lovely as Tinkerbell and Selah looked darling as Minnie Mouse.


After a grumpy afternoon, this really brightened their spirits!


Sweet girls!!!


Soon, Selah decided that her Minnie outfit needed the wings! Silly girl!