We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So... if you are friends with me on Faceb0ok you will know what my birthday wish was.  My birthday was this past Wednesday.  Exactly two weeks to the day since we first learned of our Sara Joy.  Well, the only thing I wanted for my birthday (besides time with my family) was for us to hear something about a court date.  Well, that didn't happen.  We did not hear about a court date for our Sara Joy yet.  Just the opposite, we were told it may take some time to hear.  I reminded myself to be patient.

I did have a wonderful birthday though.  Tim and the kids always make my birthday very special.  We have decided as a family to do more "making" of things, than "buying" of things.  Granted, we still buy one another a gift, but we have decided that home made cards are better and so are home made cakes.  The birthday person gets to choose, or have the baker choose... either way.  We started this with Tim's birthday and this was my first birthday of the hand made card and cake.  It was 100 times better than having a store-bought card that someone signed their name to and a cake that took about 10 seconds to pick up.  Each of the hand made items were made with such care.  Tim picked the cake and he made me a lemon pound cake.  It was wonderful.  We took the extra into work and our fellow colleagues got to enjoy some as well. 

Cameron was in charge of making the card.  I will scan it and post it when I have a chance.  Even if you have a heart made of stone, it will melt you heart.  It was precious.  I will frame this card and keep it forever.  I won't ruin it by sharing some of the words with you... I'm sure I would get some of it wrong... I will wait until I figure out how to upload the scan and you can read it on your own!  It is truly wonderful.  He did an awesome job.  I think those two things meant more to me than anything.

I got to choose our place for dinner with the family and I decided on Olive Garden.  The kids like it and both Tim and I like it, so I thought why not pick some place we ALL like rather than just somewhere I like.  We had a good time out together as a family.

When we came home, I opened my gifts.  I got a beautiful necklace from Tim and Anna.  I'll have to share a picture of that as well.  It is modeled after the gates in Charleston, SC.  Very beautiful and intricate details!  Cameron picked out a beautiful journal for me.  I love writing and wanted a special journal to keep track of this very special time in the life of our family.  He also got me two dark chocolate raspberry Godiva candy bars... yummmm!

Since my birthday things have been busy.  Pearl has decided she needs to eat more and has decided to eat paper and pony tail holders.  After about a day of trying to digest it, she threw it up while she was at work with me.  Nice.  The truck had an issue and we had to take that in.  A nice chunk of change later and it is back running like new.  Tomorrow we go to Carowinds with the kids for our work family day.  Sunday we move all the furniture in the main floor of the house to have our floors sanded and refinished.  Monday, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Friday next week the floors will be in various stages of being finished.  I will stay at a friend's house the first part of the week then on Thursday I leave for my mom's (where the kids are staying for the week) to be with Cameron to celebrate his birthday.  Hopefully sometime next week our house will be back in order, our floors will be done, my fridge will no longer be in the den and we can have a functioning kitchen again.  In the meantime, life is not going to be fun.

Oh yeah, forgot that we need to take the kittens to the vet to get their stitches out too... hopefully we will have time for that at some point!

It's about ready to storm and I would love nothing more than to open the front door and watch it rain....

Love from SC,
In Christ,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

This Father's Day is a very special one for Tim and for our family.  This Father's Day Tim gets to celebrate knowing the face of his new daughter.  I'm sure that is a very special feeling for him.  The other day he said something about "our second daughter" and that just made chills run down my spine.  We finally know her name and we finally know her face!

I want to wish Tim a very happy father's day this year.  I hope he has a wonderful day with his family.  He is very deserving of a special Father's Day.  He is a wonderful dad and also a wonderful step-dad.  Tim's boys, Cameron and Anna (and Sara) are very lucky to have him for a father.  I personally don't know of many men (although I know they are out there) who would take on full responsibility for his step-son; who would not only take on the responsibility of another daughter (Anna) but legally adopt her as his own as well.  And then to agree to travel around the world to adopt yet another little girl... it's amazing.  He is a wonderful example of a father.

I have a hard time with Father's Day every year now that my own dad has passed away.  This is the 10th Father's Day I have had without my dad.  It still hurts.  I really loved my dad and I miss him a lot.  He never got to meet my Anna, he barely got to meet Cameron and he will never know of our Sara.... until we all meet again in Heaven.  I'm looking forward to that day!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!  I hope you all have a great day!

In Christ,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Exciting possibility

So, the other day when we got our referral, I was talking with our agency contact and she said that she was traveling to Ethiopia in July and that she would be able to get us some recent pictures of our Sara Joy.  She was also willing to take a care package with her to our little girl.  I was thrilled with the opportunity to not only see my little girl as she is today, but to be able to send her something personal from her new family.  So, I spent some time trying to think of what to send her.  Maybe a soft blanket or a cute little stuffed animal?  Maybe a doll?  Definitely some pictures of her new family.  Maybe a book or two - one that she could leave there for the other children after she was brought home?  I guess I had some time to think about it and really plan something that she would like. 

Then I got to thinking - which can sometimes be a dangerous thing for me.  Since our agency contact is going over there in July... maybe I could take a trip over there as well.  Maybe I could meet her over there.  Maybe then I would get to see our Sara Joy up close and personal.  I could take her a package and give it to her personally.  I could do the proverbial counting of thet fingers and toes that happens when a child is born to you.  I could kiss her sweet little face, tell her that I love her, and leave her with something from me - leave her with the warmth of my hug, the feeling of my arms wrapped tightly around her, the sight of a huge smile indicating how precious she is in my eyes, the sound of me telling her that I love her dearly - and in return, I'd get to take so much of her with me.. the feeling of her in my arms, the feeling of her hair against my lips as I kiss the top of her head, the feeling of her tiny hand in mine, the sound of her breathing as she rests in my arms, the sound of her voice (hopefully not screaming to get away from me, but even that would be precious to me).  Wouldn't that be great!  And the best part of it would be (ok, maybe the second best because the #1 best would be seeing Sara Joy) that I could love on all the other kids that are there with Sara.  I could take a million pictures for the families still waiting to bring their children home.  I could take care packages with me for them.  I got excited at just the possibility of being able to go.  I hadn't talked to the agency about it yet, so I was WAY ahead of myself.  I hadn't even talked to TIM about it yet!

So, Tim and I chatted.  He agreed that if I did not have to be there alone, that it would be a great opportunity for me to go over there.  I couldn't believe that he agreed to it.  Not that he agreed that I could go, but that he agreed that I could go alone.  I would have a hard time if Tim went over there and got to see our daughter without me there.  I would be so jealous of him for being able to hold her and love on her if I could not as well.  But, I guess that is the way Tim is.  He would love for me to be able to go and hold her and tell her that we love her.  He just wants her to know that she is loved. 

So, I sent a message to our agency and asked when in July they would be going.  I also asked our coordinator if she needed a travel companion.  I said I would hate for her to have to lug around a ziplock sized package for Sara all the way to Ethiopia :)  I offered a free set of hands at the orphanage (or transition home) as well.  In the meantime, I would get to see my SARA JOY!!!  She said travel with her is definitely a possiblity.  SERIOUSLY???  So, Tim and I talked about it some more and depending on how things work out with a court date, whether we will have to travel for both court and to finally bring her home - I may just go. 

Here's my concern (besides the expense)... as much as I want to go, do I really think I will be able to pick up my baby girl, get to know her, love on her, see her sweet smile and those dark brown eyes - and then just give her one last hug and come home?  I may already have to do that once if we have to appear in court.  I'm DREADING having to have to do that.  Am I really that strong?  Uuggghhh.  I know when I got Anna, you would not have been able to pry that little girl away from me with a crowbar.  She was mine and no one was taking her from me.  It would break my heart to have to give her back.  Do I really think I can do it twice?  Or should I live like I am now, never having laid eyes on her physically.  It seems less difficult.  But then again, what is best for our Sara Joy?  Not sure at this point in time.

I would however also have the opportunity to impact the lives of other orphans while I am there, and that should weigh into the equation as well.  I would be able to relieve some of the burden of the nannies if only for a week, or maybe even only for a day or two.  I would be able to use my arms to hold children that otherwise would have less time being held.  And I would be able to take photos for families who are still waiting to get their children. 

Not sure what will end up happening, if I will end up going or not, but the possibility, to me, was extremely exciting.  We will continue to pray that God places the answer on our hearts (my guess is God would never say no to someone loving on an orphan though.... ) 

I found one more picture of Sara Joy.  She was being held by a nanny.  She is so sweet-looking!

In Christ,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Remember that "patience" thing???

So, in one of my posts right after referral I said I was going to be patient... that God would deliver Sara Joy to us in His time.  I still believe that... all but the patient part.  I have never been a patient person.  You would think that going through four adoption attempts (hopefully the second of which will end up successful) would have taught me some sort of patience.  I guess I am a very slow learner.

I wish I could share the pictures with you, but unfortunately, I can not.  I was on a photo site over the weekend though that our agency set up for people who are traveling to Ethiopia.  When they travel, if they have the opportunity, they take pictures of other children at the orphanage (along with the names alongside their bed) and they upload them to the site when they get home.  This way, people who have not yet traveled, but who have been referred their children, have an opportunity (if they are really lucky) to get a picture of the child they are waiting to bring home.  I looked thru about a million pictures and I found THREE of our Sara Joy.  She is SOOO cute! 

For any of you who are working with the same agency that we are, trust me when I say I am going to snap pictures of EVERY child that I can and will load them to the site as soon as I get home.  You have no idea how excited I was to find pictures of our Sara Joy in the pictures.  Some were from as long as about 10 months ago!  I know the value of these pictures and would LOVE nothing more than to provide that joy of seeing their child's face, to a family that is still waiting to bring their little one home.

On Monday we formally accept the referral of our Sara Joy.  We accepted her verbally last week, but then needed to wait for a referral packet.  We got that on Friday and will send it back to the agency on Monday.  I guess at that point they will work to get us a court date.  I'm DYING to get a court date!  I'm DYING to go and see my Sara Joy!

Until we are "officially" Sara's parents, I will leave you with a brief description of her... other than what I have already said that she is BEAUTIFUL and CUTE! 

She is tiny.  All records indicate that she will be small.  She has lighter skin that I would have expected... almost the color of Cameron and Anna after about a month of summer has passed.  Her eyes are HUGE and brown and almond shaped.  She has a perfect little nose, tiny rosebud lips, a little chin and WILD hair!  I mean WILD.  It's not super curly like I kinda expected, but it is VERY wild.  I can not wait to take that beautiful little girl and put some pretty ribbons in that wild hair of hers and just love on her!

I wish I could share her cute little face with all of you. 

Pray with me that we get a speedy court date.  Sara has been in an orphanage long enough.  She is ready for a family and her family is ready for her.  I knew, without a doubt, that God would give us our daughter from Ethiopia!  I knew, knew, knew it.  I am so glad I waited.  I was not fond of the journey we had to take to get to her, or the time that had to pass for us to be united with her... but I'm so glad God gave us her.  I'm so glad we followed where God led. 

God is SO good!

In Christ,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sara Joy!

It's still hard to believe that I now know the face of my daughter!  It is a strange feeling having a daughter on the other side of the world, who you have never touched, held, kissed or even laid eyes on... but with all of your heart, you love her.  Unconditionally.  Endlessly.  Forever.  This little girl will have a home... and not just ANY home, but HER home.  The one God had planned for her.  The one I can't wait to bring her home to.

Sara got  her first present today.  My sister is in from Connecticut, staying with my mom for a few days.  They came over today to spend some time with us.  When Robin came, she brought a gift for Sara.  It is a beautiful pink and white dress.  It will look beautiful on my Sara Joy!

I guess this is not really Sara's first gift.  My wonderful friend Megan thought of her before she even knew who Sara was.  She remembered how I said I could not wait to put bows in my little girl's hair.  Bows on a head that has probably never had beautiful bows put in them.  So one day she came over and brought me bows for my Sara's hair.  It was very sweet.  I can not wait to put those bows in my little girl's hair!

So, right now we don't know much.  Right now we just wait.  We wait (again... sigh) for a court date.  Courts close in Ethiopia for a good bit of time during the summer due to the rainy season.  There is really no good rhyme or reason for when they close or when they will open again.  Maybe... just maybe... if we are lucky, we can get a court date before the courts close.  That would be so cool!  Right now we are not sure if we will have to go to Ethiopia for our court date.  No one seems to know right now.  I guess we will just have to wait and see - and be ready to go.  But Lord knows, I'm ready!

After court, Sara's paperwork will be prepared for her to come home.  I guess it takes about 6-8 weeks after court to be able to go and travel to bring her home. 

Here is my wish... that my Sara Joy is home for Christmas! 

In Christ,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And then there were THREE!!! REFERRAL!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  I was sitting at work today, just having come back from a meeting.  I was on the phone with a co-worker when my work phone rang.  I saw it was a number I did not recognize.  Then, as I was still talking with her, my cell phone rang.  It was the same number.  Thinking it strange that someone would have my new cell phone number, it had to be someone that I knew, so I answered it.  It was our agency.  They had a referral for us!

I started shaking and crying immediately!  She told me she was a 14 month old little girl and that she was very cute.  She was forwarding me the referral information.  I called Tim (who I could not reach right away) and left him a message.  Then I waited.....and waited.... and waited....

Finally, the e-mail came thru!  In the meantime I had talked to Tim and told him.  He had to meet with his boss so he said it was fine if I opened it and sent it to him.  I opened it and immediately knew I was staring at the face of my daughter.  She is beautiful.  She is tiny, but she is beautiful!  We only have one small picture of her, but one is enough... for now!

She was born April 16th, 2009... so she is almost 14 months old.  We don't know yet the details of when we will be able to get a court date or when we will be able to go and get her, or truthfully even how that whole process will work.  We are just SO thankful and so happy!

I am so in LOVE with GOD for giving me the daughter he promised me.  I KNEW our Sara Joy was in Ethiopia.  He told me!  The road was long and it was not easy - but we are one step closer to our daughter.  I have not always demonstrated patience in this process - but I have always said "My feet are firmly planted in Ethiopia unless the doors close to adoption because God sent us here!"  And so he did!

I am a mom to THREE!!!!

I thought I would be anxious when we finally got our referral... but I'm not.  God will get us there and God will bring her home.  In HIS time!  I pray that it is soon, so I can love on my sweet little girl - but until then she is in God's hands.  He will deliver her to us!

I wish I had more than this one, tiny little picture of her.  She is so tiny in it.  I'm hoping we will be able to get more pictures of her.  But for now, one is enough.

Thank you God for our newest little girl!  I pray you keep her safe until we can bring her home!  Hold tight Sara Joy - your mom is coming!

Thankful to God who gave her to us,