Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Aftermath

After a great Thanksgiving day and a partial day of shopping with Mommy and Noni, my poor Amelia came down with the stomach bug. She puked once on Friday and has had diarrhea ever since Friday. Poor thing, it's miserable!! She still acts pretty happy, eats fine, sleeps good, plays some, but she is a little more clingy and cuddly than normal (I'm not complaining about this one!) but we are having to change and wash her clothes several times a day, that's definitely no fun! Then Sunday, Kenny and I got to do something for the first time in our 10 years of marriage.... we were sick at the same time. Of course, this had to happen after we had 2 little girls and had to try and take care of them in the midst of running to the bathroom. Yes, we as well as my mom came down with the bug too. Thankfully, Isabella hasn't gotten sick yet. And thankfully my dad wasn't sick either because he ran around for all of us. I did take Amelia to the dr today because I was a little worried about her losing weight, 8 month olds don't have much weight to lose so any scares me, and I wanted to make sure I was doing everything to keep her from getting dehydrated, etc. The doctor did say she had lost weight, but that everything else looked Ok so far. I have to say that I am very thankful for our pediatrician -- we always see the same dr and nurse when we go in and they always seem to know my girls (I'm sure they can't remember everyone perfectly, but they seem like they do). I'm constantly telling Kenny that anytime I go in or talk to them they are such "cheerleaders", like "You're really doing a good job ...." I love that!! Anyway, hopefully my sweet Amelia will get better soon and Isabella will still stay healthy. Isabella has never had anything more than a little cold, so I'm not sure how she would handle being sick. I hope everyone else out there stays healthy, this bug seems to be going around quite a bit!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I am just barely making this in on Thanksgiving, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it was wonderful for all of you. We had a smaller Thanksgiving this year - which is very unusual. My brother and his family weren't with us because this was the year they were at his in-laws. We had hoped to travel and get together with family, but due to alot of things going on we had to pass on that as well. It really is just a crazy year! And then, normally, my parents have other people over to their house, but not this year. Although, its always fun with alot of people, we had a very nice Thanksgiving. Isabella spent the night last night with Papa and Noni and enjoyed watching Cinderella and eating Princess cereal (didn't realize until recently they actually made a "princess" cereal!) Then she "watched" the parade with them, or at least parts of it. It was definitely a more relaxed day, which is kind of nice every now and then. And with less people means extra pumpkin pie! Mom still had everything decorated really pretty. We cooked in the morning, had a wonderful lunch and then after we were done and things were cleaned up we put the girls in the wagon and took a walk and played outside because it was a gorgeous day. We then finished off the night by watching a movie -- Isabella had picked out that she wanted to watch the Grinch (the newer one with Jim Carry) we weren't sure how she would like it and sure enough she got scared of him, so we turned it off and gave her an early present - "Cars". Anyway, no matter how big the Thanksgiving, we definitely have alot to be thankful for!!! I know that God has so greatly blessed me in many ways -- too many to go into (I do only have 7 minutes until its Friday)

And how many are planning on going shopping Friday?!? Or are some of you already getting ready to wait at the doors right now. :) My mom and I normally go -- honestly I have most of my Christmas shopping done, and I rarely find any better deals on that day, but its just kind of a tradition -- you know such sweet memories of terrible traffic, hours of fighting to find a parking space, dealing with rude people who think Christmas shopping means shoving and dirty looks, and then standing in line for hours because you found one good deal - or better yet you just forgot to buy diapers the night before. :) I am looking forward to dressing my girls in Christmasy clothes -- I had hoped to make them something, but I'm so far behind on this that I will be spending lots of time sewing the next week. I know I should have started this earlier! OHHHHH and to make it worse, ur I mean better, they've decided to have a tax free holiday so that not only will people be out for any good deals they think they can find or because it just happens to be the busiest shopping day of the year, but now they will also be out to buy EVERYTHING tax free!! And do you think I'm disappointed that I have most of my shopping done and I didn't get to save on the tax -- yeah right, I might have saved up to $10 -- a nice amount to save, but its worth it to not have to fight over those items or wait hours in traffic or lines. But not to worry, I will still be fighting the crowds, and waiting in the traffic, because it is still a tradition and we can't break tradition!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas Giving

Before we had children, Kenny and I always talked about wanting to find ideas when we did have children, to help them learn about giving to others. We would get so frustrated at how materialistic the world was and how kids were so spoiled that they were unappreciative. We want to buy them gifts, we know others will buy them gifts, but we don't want them to become ungrateful. You know the kids that open a gift and say "I don't like this!" I want to teach my kids to be thankful for anything that anyone gives them. And we hope that as they get older we can continue to find ways to teach them about truly giving. This year we took Isabella shopping a couple times for other people and I thought I would share about me trying to teach my almost 3 year old about giving. The first shopping trip was for her friend Briana. Since her family just moved to Ireland as missionaries their family here got a list together of things we could buy them for Christmas and they are going to ship it all over there as a nice big care package. So I took her out and told her we were going to buy something for Briana -- she did good knowing that the toys we were buying weren't for her, I wasn't sure if she would understand that or not. This went well, so I thought she would be ready to learn about true giving. The next time, we went out and got toys to fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. I love this ministry and definitely want to continue it with my girls and thought, maybe she is ready to learn about it this year. So here's the little conversation we had:
Me: We're going to go buy toys for a little girl that doesn't have any toys.
Her: Bella?
Me: No, Bella has too many toys. Its for a little girl far away...
Her: Nona?
Me: No, not Briana. We already have Briana's, its for...
Her: Nona's far away.
Me: Yes, Nona is far away. But these toys are going to go to a little girl far away that we don't know.
Her: Makenna?
Me: No, not Makenna - we don't know this little girl.
Her: Who is it?
Me: Sigh and laugh (Oh never mind!)

So then we bought toys went home and made up the box. When I got home I was looking at the list (because I had forgotten to take it with me) and noticed it mentioned a couple little things that I should have gotten -- so since Isabella had these I put them in. (I know, it says no used toys, but it was only things like bracelets and a little bouncy ball - nothing that was "used" looking, so I think its Ok, plus I once again thought maybe I can teach her about giving) She did good putting the gifts in there and knowing it was for another little girl, then she took the sunglasses that she was playing with and put them in the box.
Me: Do you want to give those to the little girl?
Her: Yeah, sure! (I wish you could hear her say this)
Me: (My heart swelling with pride) That is So sweet Isabella. Jesus likes it when we give to others.
Her: Yeah
Me: Mommy is so proud of you for giving to the little girl
(she walks away, a couple minutes pass and comes back)
Her: Ok, I get the glasses now.
I guess she was thinking she was just sharing. Oh well, so much for really teaching her about giving. :) I didn't fuss about her taking the glasses back out of the box -- I don't think she is quite ready to totally grasp the idea. And I honestly can't complain, I was afraid that maybe she would fuss when we bought the toys, thinking they were hers and she didn't. She did let me put a couple of her things in there, just not the glasses. :) I do hope as the girls get older we can continue this ministry, as well as find other ways to reach out to others at Christmas. Anyone have any suggestions of ways to teach your children about giving, especially around Christmas?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some new pics

I thought I would post some new pictures and updates. Most of the pictures are from this Saturday, we had beautiful weather here for part of the day so we decided to see if there was any fall color left and take a little hike. Isabella was very excited about this because we kept telling her we were going up to the mountain. The picture where she looks like she is climbing the rock - she said "Wow, the mountain!" :) The picture of Kenny and Amelia isn't the best because it was too overcast to see all the pretty colors. We hadn't really prepared on taking a long hike anyway, but our hike lasted for a while, but we didn't get anywhere. As soon as we started walking Isabella was picking up all the little rocks, sticks, and leaves her little hands could hold. When she saw the big rock (the one she is sitting on) she told daddy she wanted that one - she thought for sure he was strong enough to get that one for her. I was actually wanting to get a picture of her trying to pick up that "rock" because she was trying so hard and had the funniest little face, but by the time I got my camera up, she turned around and gave me a cute little pose instead. Then she gave me the little pose by the tree. Then we got a little way down and Amelia got fussy, so I gave her a bottle and since she was out of the backpack, Isabella wanted to ride on Daddy's back. Honestly, I didn't plan very well -- I should have brought the sling or other backpack to carry Amelia and we might have been able to go farther. It did actually start getting cooler and looked like it was going to rain so we had to turn back anyway. Another couple was up at the start of the hike looking at the trail maps and asked us "How far is this hike, is there a waterfall on this hike?" We just laughed - we hadn't made it that far. But all together it was still a fun day, we might not have made it very far, but Isabella had a ball looking at everything and that's what it is all about right now. We used to take long hikes, now they may be shorter, but the fun we have seeing things through her eyes is wonderful!
And have you all noticed the little bit of hair Amelia is finally getting up top? Its so cute and soft! I had to add the little cheerleader picture of Amelia in the mix. This week Amelia has started saying Ma Ma - but only when she is crying (go figure!) For instance, yesterday I was getting ready to feed her, put her in her chair, sat the bowl on the table and went back into the kitchen to get a spoon and her little cup. Well, she was quite upset thinking I wasn't going to feed her and she starts crying then "mmmmmmm mmmmmmmm mmma ma ma ma" I'm really starting to wonder if she is recognizing this word. She'll sit and say Da da at any time, but ma ma is only when she is crying, like when she wakes up, when she gets tired, or if she happens to bump herself while crawling everywhere. I guess I'll take it, maybe she is starting to want her mama in those "crisis" situations. Then yesterday it was so cute, she was eating and I started playing a little game with her, kind of the "I'm gonna get you" type of game and she started just giggling, which made me laugh, which made her laugh more, which made me... you get the picture. It was so sweet, we were just sitting there giggling with each other.
Yesterday Isabella made a new little friend - whom we may never see again. We went to the mall and ate lunch with my mom and noticed they had built a little play area. So after lunch and a little shopping, I took her down there. To begin with, my child cracks me up. She was trying to get into this one car - which actually was pretty high with no easy way to get in it for any of the kids and I see her climbing in it and asking all the kids passing by her "Please help me" :) Later another little girl was in the car and Isabella decided to climb in and join her, it was so cute a little boy was jumping on the car and sliding down it and the girls were both just laughing as hard as they could at him --- Hmmm, didn't realize flirting started this young. So for at least the next 30 minutes, Isabella and this little girl played together. The little girl was 5 - and was adopted from China. Her grandmother was the one that brought her and she and I sat there talking about the girls, adoption, etc. We decided we should probably both leave at the same time or both of the girls might be upset. When I went to get Isabella, she hugged the girl and said "I need my new friend! My new friend go to Bella's house?" Then for the rest of the day she talked about seeing her new friend again. I'm happy that Isabella makes friends so easy and then I'm a little upset about the fact that she doesn't have alot of little friends that she gets to play with on a regular basis. I guess I'll have to work on this - hopefully as Amelia gets older they will be good buddies! Ok, I think that's it, just a little update on life here. Oh yeah and for my husband, who will probably not notice me or my girls tomorrow unless we're dressed in blue and maize -- GO BLUE!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Isabella's Adoption - Part 3

(This might be long, but I want to wrap this up today!) The next couple days were filled with lots of busyness as well as many answered prayers. Since Cathy was a facilitator, this still meant that we had to have an agency or attorney that could go out and get the relinquishments. Cathy recommended some people out in California and we were able to figure this out quickly so they could go by and get things signed. The only problem was that there might be a "situation" with the birthfather. E had contacted him and he never showed up at the hospital like he said he would and Cathy was afraid that he probably then not show up to sign the papers either. Although E told him to come by, she didn't think it was likely that he would. This would mean that it would drag things out longer, they would have to send someone out to try and contact him, and if they couldn't find him they would have to fill out for abandonment -- and of course all of this extra work would also cost more money, none of this sounded great to us. So Kenny told her that we were going to pray about it as soon as we got off the phone. That night around midnight Cathy called and said "I know its late, but I had to call you -- the birthfather showed up and he signed the papers - we are totally done with him! Tell Kenny it's a Godsend!!" I got of the phone and just cried when I told Kenny. God was so good to smooth everything out. The next day was filled with talking/emailing family, telling people at church, buying things for our new daughter, etc. From Monday night until Thursday morning- I don't think we actually slept much at all and everything we did was in high speed motion. On Thursday, my dad took us to the airport. When we finally got to California it was 9pm (later our time) and Kenny asked if I still wanted to go to the hospital or if I wanted to sleep and go in the morning. Well, OF COURSE I wanted to go see her. When we got to the hospital we were told to scrub in and then we were taken to the "Sandbox" NICU. When we walked in, we saw a nurse in the back right corner holding this tiny little baby with the most black hair we had ever seen on a baby. We knew that was our little girl!!!! I can't even express the emotions that flooded us. She was beautiful, she was tiny, she had gorgeous hair and big brown eyes and she was OURS! We were both in love already! After she was done eating, the nurse gave her to us to hold. I couldn't believe I was holding my little girl. She was so precious - at that time she was 4 pounds 6 ounces and looked SO much smaller in person than she did in the pictures. :) I don't think either of us imagined how much love we could have for a tiny little person that we just met. I'll probably never be able to fully describe to Isabella how we felt that night when we held her. Not only did we love her so much instantly, but here we were holding the answer to many years of prayer. Not only were we holding this perfect little baby, but were were holding God's perfect plan for us. Somehow our trial now seemed insignificant because God had given us a blessing beyond belief. As we left the hospital I was flooded with alot of emotions, one of which I didn't like - Worry! The nurse that night was nice, but I wonder if she was new because she made us feel like Isabella was a thin piece of glass that you could break at any second. Thankfully the next day the nurses were swaddling her up and passing her around like a loaf of bread and helped us see that she wasn't any more fragile than any other newborn. I am SOOO thankful for the nurses we had. For the next week, we would be at the hospital at 8 am for Isabella's feeding, would stay for her 11 feeding, then get some lunch, come back to feed her at 2 and 5. Then we would leave and get dinner, go shopping, call family because everyone had to leave the nursery until 7. Then we would go back for her 8 and 11 feedings and go back to the hotel. One day, Isabella started not eating well. The doctor came in and didn't like the result of a test so they said they were going to put her on antibiotics and IV fluids to feed her to fight a possible infection. To start this, they said they were going to have to "take all the food out of her stomach" that we had just fed her. I was so upset! We left for a little while so they could do things and Kenny took me to Target to register and take my mind off of things. I cried most of the way through registering and when we got home, I couldn't remember half of what we registered for. :) On Friday, Cathy came by and was so sweet to take pictures of us and Isabella and e-mailed them to our family! It was wonderful to know that our family was getting to be a part of this. The next week we got a call saying that they tried to get the divorce certificate for the birthmother and her "ex" husband, and they found out the divorce was never final. This threw another kink in the process. Now even though they weren't together, they legally had to treat the "ex" just like they did the birthfather. They were going to have to get him to sign some papers. The same problems could come from this, not finding him, taking more time, he might refuse to sign just to cause problems for E, etc. Once again, alot of praying to do. The next day they did find the "ex" husband, he was in prison not far from there and she was going to see him. She had to tell him about the situation and would then have to give him 24 hours and go get him to sign. Well, she went out and he said he would sign - no problems! But then she told us that he was supposed to be moved the next day - to a place that was alot farther away, which would mean she could go, but it would cost us alot more money for her to do that. We just prayed that God would keep him there one more day. Monday and Tuesday were the hardest days, finding out all of this, not knowing if he was going to be moved, Isabella was just slowly starting to eat again, and this was the only day we had a nurse that we didn't care for. But then God once again showed us how GOOD HE IS! They didn't move him and Jennifer was able to go and get him to sign the papers the next day and everything was done!! We also had a WONDERFUL nurse the next couple days . Another huge answer to prayer came on Wednesday. Our airline tickets were for us to leave on Thursday, but since Isabella was still in the hospital this wasn't going to happen. We knew it would cost alot of money to change the tickets and then if we changed them, when do we change them to? So Kenny called the airlines and asked the guy what we could do. He said there was nothing, so Kenny asked if there was possibly a supervisor or someone that he could talk to just to see. Kenny talked to a supervisor, explained the situation and she said "Ok, how about this -- we will waive the changing fee and you just call us and tell us when you want to leave and we'll get you on the next available flight" WHAT? Once again, above and beyond what we asked of GOD! The one nurse, Kasey, really helped us out - she told us things to ask the doctor, to see if instead of daily "upping" her feedings, maybe they could do this each feeding and see if she would continue to eat more and if her tests came out Ok that she could be discharged. He agreed! By Thursday, Isabella was eating good and her tests were fine. So miraculously, God worked it out and the doctors let us take her home on Thursday night!! Even the nurses said they were surprised that we were going home - they said the doctors don't normally do things this quickly. The funniest thing for me and Kenny was that even though I didn't give birth to Isabella they had to wheel me out to the car with Isabella. :) After the nurses gave us TONS of stuff to take with us, we were on our way to the hotel and we have the cutest picture of Isabella, asleep in her carseat with a big dimpled grin on her face. For the next couple days I didn't leave the room at all -- Kenny would just go get food and bring it back for us to eat. We had hoped to leave Saturday, but the Lord had other plans. They weren't able to get the info to our state in time to give us approval to leave. God had answered so many things, just like we had asked, but now He was showing us that He was answering things according to His plan and what was best for us. I really believe that He knew that we needed a few days with Isabella all by ourselves and especially daddy, would had to go back to work as soon as we got home, needed time with his little girl. I won't go through everything, but we did decided to get out and do some sightseeing -- we did the tourist thing and took pictures of us holding Isabella with the Hollywood sign behind us. :) Then that Sunday was SuperBowl and Kenny sat on the bed with Isabella on his chest watching the game. And as much as we tried to have her sleep in the little suitcase "bed", she didn't want to stay there too long and normally ended up sleeping on one of our chests. Already, wrapping us both around her little finger. On Monday, Kenny checked out of the hotel and said that hopefully our paperwork would be done and we could fly home. I was so READY to be home. We spent the day near the airport and called the agency to see about the paperwork, etc, etc. when we didn't hear anything for a while we thought for sure we would be checking into another hotel, but then we heard that the lady in our state said she would stay late that night and look at our info! We were so EXCITED!! A couple hours later we said we were free to go home. Then we called the airlines and at first they said that we would have to pay the difference in the ticket price. I said "Oh... Ok" They had already waived the changing fee so I was not going to say a thing because I was ready to be home. Then the lady put me on hold and came back and said she talked to someone and they weren't going to charge us anything extra. I was amazed!! We didn't want to pay extra, but I just wanted to be home, and God gave us another blessing! Another blessing when we got home was that the guy at the hotel took some money off the bill I guess because he knew we had been there for a while and Kenny would go and talk to him and (of course) had mentioned why we were there - such a proud daddy! So we left California, and early Tuesday morning we were home and my parents met us at the airport. We were finally able to share our little gift with everyone else! Isabella's name means Devoted to God and her middle name means Gift from God. We are amazed not only at the goodness of God, but also how perfect His way is - His will, His timing and His plan. Almost 3 years later, I am still in awe of how God gave us Isabella. I am thankful for all the many blessings along the way. I think of E alot, wonder where she is, wonder how much she thinks about Isabella, still hoping that some day maybe she would like some contact. I think about the other families whose babies were in the NICU at the same time. I can remember each of the babies and the families. I still talk to Cathy and she knows how much we appreciate her. We were actually able to see the nurses last year when we finalized Isabella's adoption in California and I will probably as long as they are there send them at least a Christmas card every year and let them know how much they meant to us. God led us each step along the way and when I think of Isabella's adoption the main verse that comes to mind is Psalm 18:30 "But as for God His way is PERFECT."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Isabella's Adoption - part 2

Ok, so I left the story yesterday that we had just sent our profiles in -- that was the second week of December. For the first time in years this Christmas was better for us. We always enjoyed Christmas, but it was an extra hard time because it made us wish for children more. We enjoyed our Christmas at home with my family and then were able to make a trip up to Michigan and spend time with Kenny's family. It was such a fun time up there -- not that we hadn't had fun before, but the weather was perfect! Normally we would get snow and freezing cold weather so you can only be out for so long or there would be no snow when we went up, this time there was snow but the weather was also nice and the whole family was outside riding the snowmobiles and 4 wheelers. Anyway, one night we decided to take a ride on the snowmobile alone and as we were sitting at the top of the hill I remember us talking about how much fun it would be to finally have children and how fun it would be for them to play in the snow and "wouldn't it be so cool if we actually were able to adopt before next Christmas" (this was all said at the beginning of January 2004). When we got home we had Kim come over for our homestudy on January 6th. Actually all during the holidays we kind of had our own little secret because we hadn't told any of our family yet that we were going to adopt and we had only told a couple friends that had to do recommendation letters for our homestudy. We did this for a couple reasons. One, we weren't really sure when to tell everyone because we didn't know how long we would have to wait and didn't want everyone constantly asking us "have you heard anything yet?" Two, I , as the dramatic or creative that I am, had always wanted to tell my parents in some "unique" way that we were pregnant -- and I decided I still wanted this for adopting too. We decided to kind of start decorating the nursery - neutral, of course, so we painted it a pistachio green, painted a very small little armoire white, got out the decorations I had collected for years and we had found the crib I wanted cheap, so we bought it and put it up. We knew this was probably pretty early, but we decided we wanted to start telling people and by golly if I wasn't going to get my creative way! We had planned on Sunday afternoon, January 18th, that we would invite my parents up for dinner have them go back to the room (we would have a video camera set up for this) and have them walk in to a nursery with a sign saying we are adopting! Well, they decided to go out of town for the weekend and weren't getting back until Monday night, so we would have to wait. On Monday, January 19th, Kenny had gone up to our church to play indoor soccer so I was home alone. At around 7:30 or 8, I got a phone call and it was Cathy. I thought she was going to ask me about something or better yet, maybe a birthmother would like to talk to us..... Instead she said "I have a birthmother who just had a baby girl." Then she told me about this beautiful little girl who was only 4 pounds 11 ounces, born a little early, she had big brown eyes and a head full of black hair. She explained the situation and how Isabella's birthmother, I'll just call her "E", had spent 7 hours looking at profiles and that she had chosen us. Then she asked if we wanted this little girl? I probably screamed "YES!!" She said, "Why don't you call Kenny really quick and let him know and then call me back" So I did, I called Kenny and he immediately thought something was wrong because I sounded frantic. Instead I said "Cathy called, we have a baby girl and we need to be in California tomorrow!" He said "What?! You're kidding! Are you serious?" He started to come home right away, but I told him to stay and he was able to pray with some of the men there. When he came home, we called my parents to see if they were home yet (remember our planned surprise - now it was even bigger!) and asked them if they could come up to the house because we had something to show them. (My dad later said he thought it was a new puppy. :) When they came up, Kenny was in the nursery with the video camera. I opened the door and we had a sign on the crib that said "We're adopting, sooner than we expected....You have a Granddaughter!" All I remember my mom saying was "What do you mean?" over and over. Cathy then called us and said she was going to e-mail us some pictures of the baby. So Kenny and I and my parents were all here to see the first pictures of our baby girl. And these are the pictures we received: (It was obviously love at first sight!)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The only problem we had was that since we had only sent our profiles in a month before, we just finished our homestudy 2 weeks prior, we hadn't finished our home equity line to be able to finance things. Cathy had told us that we needed to be out there Tuesday because E was getting discharged so they would be discharging the baby as well. For the next few hours Kenny was frantically trying to figure out what we could do - the next morning! As much as I wanted to be out there right then holding my baby, I remember saying "Well, lets just pray that maybe there is some way that we don't have to go out tomorrow." Shortly after we prayed, Cathy called and said the hospital decided to keep the baby for a couple days because she was a little jaundice and they also needed to have her on some antibiotics, so it would be better for us to wait for a couple days to come out. That way, they could also get the relinquishments signed before we came out, etc. As much as I wanted to be out there and I definitely didn't want her to have to be in the hospital long, I knew God had intervened. This gave us time to buy a few things to take out there, get the tickets, get the money in order, etc. The next couple days were filled with answers to prayer. I'll tell you all about those answered prayers tomorrow. :) (Oh and I forgot to mention up top, that Isabella was born on Sunday, January 18th, the day that we had planned on telling my parents!)

Isabella's Adoption - Part 1

I decided that since it is National Adoption month that today I would start writing about Isabella's adoption story. I might do Amelia's as well - although I probably covered it when I first started this blog. I guess I can start by saying this was not the way I had envisioned my life to be. I know there are many people that God gives them a desire for adoption before they are even married, but that wasn't the case for us. Ten years ago we got married and when we were ready for children, we assumed we would get pregnant and have children -- simple as that! I won't go into all of our infertility journey, it was pretty much just praying, waiting and hoping for years. And going through alot more emotionally than anyone ever realizes. In 2003, we had found out a couple things we surprisingly hadn't found out before and spent a couple months going through some tests, decided to do a couple IUIs (the inexpensive non-invasive procedure) but we knew that we would never do IVF. Not that I think that is wrong, it just would have been wrong for us. I personally didn't want to spend $20,000 on a slight chance that I would get pregnant and the possibility that I would have a miscarriage in a normal pregnancy was already increased, when I knew that we could spend the money for adoption. Yet, I got so tired of people, in my opinion uncompassionately, saying "Why don't you JUST adopt?" I didn't want to JUST adopt. I wasn't opposed to adoption, but I wanted God to show us His will and give us that desire. I totally believe the verse that says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." We prayed that if our desires were wrong that God would change them. But He hadn't done that yet. I was still struggling with the desire to get pregnant and then we were worried about all the questions you have in adoption. From important ones like medical history, attachment, will I be prepared to deal with issues they may have as they grow up to the less important ones like "What if the baby isn't cute?" (Oh come one, you can pretend that doesn't matter, but you know we all want cute children and if my children ended up with chubby cheeks or crazy curly hair I could blame it on my genes ..... Oh wait.... :) ) Then in October 2003, I was listening to the radio and heard about an agency that was having some type of meeting or expo and I decided to look it up on the internet. This wasn't the first time I had looked up stuff about adoption, but normally got discouraged about different things. But this time it was different (obviously it was now God's timing!) I started showing Kenny some things and honestly to me it was the very first miracle in our adoption journey -- God gave us both this overwhelming desire to adopt! I honestly can't really remember the website, it was just totally God showing us that THIS was His plan. I don't know if its because I'm not a very patient person or just because we tend to "run with things" but we became as proactive as we could. I started talking to someone I knew was in the adoption process, she gave us the lady's name that did her home study and I called her and got lots of information and probably drove her nuts talking to her so much. As a side note, she knows that I think she is amazing, and I know that God sent her to us to do our homestudy and just encourage us along the way! Then in November 2003, we went to an international adoption seminar. We weren't sure if God was leading us to go international or domestic, but I was so excited about this seminar. I remember going to this meeting, tearing up during the video of people bring their children home yet after that sitting around listening to people, talking to some people and then leaving terribly discouraged. Have you ever been somewhere that you just felt you weren't supposed to be? That was how I felt - not at peace at all. I remember getting in the car and crying and Kenny asking me "What's wrong, I thought this was what you were wanting, are you not wanting to adopt now?" and it wasn't that, I was just so sure that God was going to show us which way to go and yet now I felt kind of empty. Once again, I thought God wasn't showing us, but He was by not giving us the peace to go this way --- its amazing to me to think now that Isabella's birthmother was pregnant with her at this time and God was just working us both toward each other. Then I went back to the internet and I stumbled across a website for Adoption Consultants in California. Cathy worked with domestic adoptions and I honestly got a wonderful peace as I looked at her website. I called her that night and when she called back we talked for over an hour. We spent time praying about it, thinking about it, and decided that this was definitely the way God wanted us to go. Our next step was that we had to create a profile - I remember spending several evenings doing this right after Thanksgiving. We then printed them out and got them ready to send to Cathy. I remember the day we sent them out - it was HORRIBLE!!! Honestly everything was going wrong! That night Kenny and I went to Michael's Craft store and while we were there I told Kenny that I felt like Satan knew that we were going to be getting victory and that God was going to bless us because he was doing everything that day to attack me and discourage me and trying to stop us from getting those profiles out. Right then in the middle of the store Kenny said "Well, let's pray about it!" OK --- I'm getting long, so I will write more tomorrow - obviously you already kind of know the outcome and that we did get our special blessing! But there is lots of things you don't know, so come back. :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Absence (I know you missed me?!?)

This is my 100th post, BUT I just don't have time right now, nor could I actually think of 100 things to tell you about myself if I did what many do for their 100th post. I've been away from blogging the last few days because my in-laws came in Friday and were here until yesterday morning. Then my sweet Amelia has been sick with a little cold - thankfully, she is like Isabella and doesn't get cranky when she gets sick, but Oh the snotty nose and coughing! And then Isabella - Oh my Isabella - boy has she just been trying us lately! Its been one of those weeks of telling her to do things like "When you go to the front of the church for the lesson (which they do right before Children's Church) you need to behave and listen to Pastor" just to have her go up front, sit on the step for 2 seconds, then decide to fall backwards with her feet up in the air showing the whole church that not only does she have tights covering those panties, but Kenny and DeAnna must not know how to control that child. :) The bad thing is that everyone else thought it was funny which just encourages Isabella's little entertainer personality and Isabella thought it was funny too until she stood up and got the look from both mommy and daddy. :) And she's done many other things that were much less "entertaining". I've been in tears thinking I must be doing something wrong for her to constantly turn around and disobey -- although now she will do it and then quote the verse we've been teaching her (obviously her own translation) she will say "Obey Bellas parents!" I just have spent alot of time praying that this is just her trying us and that God would cause her to be tenderhearted to things of Him. I know she's only 3 (almost), and I don't expect her to always obey (obviously), I just pray for her heart as she gets older that she wouldn't have a rebellious heart. I know she has a stubborn will (I believe I'm getting my payback) and I don't want to break that will, I just pray that it will be moldable! On a lighter note, we did have a really nice visit with my in laws. They had come down in April to see Amelia for the first time so it has been 6 months since we've seen them (and actually that's pretty good, it seems like we only see them once a year) And no, I'm not just saying we had a good time because they will be reading this, because they won't - they don't have a computer. It really was a very nice visit! Isabella had so much fun with her grandparents and even Amelia warmed up to them fine. As soon as they got here, Grandpa tried to hold Amelia and she pooched her lip and cried, but then after a little while she was fine sitting on his lap. Isabella was very sad to wake up yesterday morning and Grandma and Grandpa not be there. So now, I am off to do the laundry that has been piling up and get some cleaning done around here, but hopefully I can get back to my normal blogging (or posting pictures) soon.

I also wanted to post a link for Adoption Month. Alot of you have probably seen this video on other blogs, I saw it on Faith's a while back and then just recently it was posted here for Adoption Month. Its Mark Schultz and a song that he wrote because he was adopted.
This is what he says about it on his website: Cindy and Mark discussed the love and courage it must take for a woman to give up a child, knowing she could never give her child the things he needed. "I've had such a good life. I have the best parents in the world so I wanted it to be a song to thank my birth mom for giving me the opportunity to live, " he says. "It's almost like taking her hand and walking her through my life when I was little and playing baseball with my dad, the prayers at night with my folks, and my mom reading 'Goodnight Moon.' Then back to what would it be like if we met on the street. Would you know it was me? Would you just kind of know?" HERE's the link again - I figured I would just post the link rather than try and get it for myself. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


How many of you asked your parents for a pony for Christmas? I did, I remember telling my parents if they bought me a pony/horse that I would never ask for anything else ever again! I think this was probably shortly after I went horseback riding for a field trip (I think I was 7?) Well, I guess this year Isabella will probably be asking us for one. And I doubt she'll be happy with a My Little Pony toy! Today, we went to our church bazaar for some barbecue and right down the road from our church a farm was having "Farm Day" (I told you our church was in the country) Just about everytime we go to church we see horses and Isabella is constantly saying "I want to ride a horse" (Of course, she also informed me a few weeks ago that she was a COWBOY!) When we passed by the farm we noticed that they were giving rides, so we decided to stop and see if they would let her ride. They did and boy was she excited. We just happened to have her wear her cowgirl hat today too. And she did amazingly well. I thought she would be afraid when the horse started moving, but she grabbed on to the saddle and just smiled! The lady there said "Uh-oh Daddy you're going to have to buy a horse now!" But Isabella is just going to have to be happy with her little pink rocking horse for now, then maybe some day she can take lessons --- who knows. Enjoy the slide show, I think you can either watch it or click on the pictures below it to see them individually. I wish I had her wear little boots today it would have been cuter in the pictures. (I still can't copy and paste the slide show into the post, has anyone else figured this out?!)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


A couple of you asked about the song -- It came from a CD I bought called "Do You Have a Little Love to Share" from the Lundberg Company. You can go here or here if you wanted to get more information or buy the CD. It has alot of pretty songs on there all about adoption. You can go to the About Us section and read about the people that wrote the songs. They were really kind to us, I called in to ask about ordering it and if there was some way to get the sheet music and I ended up talking to one of the ladies that helped writing the songs. Then she took my e-mail and had someone send me the sheet music - free of charge - so we could have it sung. (Actually go here and you can read about the CD itself)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


To start off November as National Adoption Month - here's a little photo montage I put together of my 2 girls. Click on it to play. Listen to the song, its the one that my sister in law sang at Amelia's dedication -- its a beautiful song and fitting for any adoption!!!