Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New t-shirts - Go. Be. Love.

So a few months back this headline came to me to use on a great photo of one of our Visiting Orphans team members in Uganda holding a baby - Go. Be. Love. So fast forward to now - it's on that photo on our website and we're now using it on t-shirts. They're super cute and comfy. AND I get to fundraise with them for my adoption. When you buy one, you'll be supporting my adoption and Visiting Orphans at the same time - it's a win - win!!! Check out my Love Store to purchase yours today. Available in mens, womens and junior/petite girls in a variety of sizes and colors. $25 each!

Also - there's still time to get a Simply Love coffee mug - those are on the Love Store too if you scroll down to the bottom. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tons of new items for sale

View the "My Store" tab on the top right and check out all the super cool items I got in India that are now for sale on my blog to support my adoption. Lots of different kinds of tea and sets, cute purses, jewelry, etc. Shop for friends and family for Christmas or for yourself. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm Ready - No Turning Back

I'm sitting in the Newark airport on a layover right now - flying home to Nashville in a few hours. Ready to pick back up on this adoption process after an amazing 10 day journey to India. It was a great trip and an amazing team. So glad I went. Being with those kids just made me long to be a mom and get my little boy home from Ethiopia asap. Just came across this picture of him hugging me so tight. I can't show his face but this is the back of his head so I wanted to post it. I can't wait to bring this sweet little snuggle bug home. I was talking with my team member who has 3 daughters and she was talking about family vacations and I had mentioned how I don't usually take vacations anymore. I either go to Michigan to see family when I have time off or I go on mission trips with my job. But it got me thinking that of course, I will want to start the tradition of a family vacation when I get my little man home. I'm sure many will be to Michigan to visit family but I'm excited to think about all the other adventures we can have together. If somehow I could bring him home tomorrow - I would not hesitate - I am SO ready. Obviously, there's more to the process so tomorrow won't be the day. But I am so looking forward to the day when I get on an airplane to head back home with my little man in tow. And from that moment on, I'm a mom. Forever. No turning back. I feel like my whole life has been leading up to this. I've known I've wanted to be a mom since I was a kid. I always thought I would have been married with kids years ago. So while the plan is very different than my early ideas about it - I have such a peace and joy about this plan. I trust God knows exactly what he's doing. Me, my little boy and our dog Auty - a family. I've seen those placards that say Love Makes A Family and I fully agree. It's not the "traditional family" and not everyone will understand but I'm ok with that too. I'm ok with every part of this. More peaceful and ready than I would have even thought I would be if you had asked me a few months ago as I was praying about adopting as a single. I've been listening to this song called "I'm not gonna leave you here" by my India team members Abner & Amanda from the duo Johnnyswim (they're awesome - you should check them out) and I feel like the chorus so captures how I feel about that sweet little boy in Ethiopia. I am NOT gonna leave him there. I am going to do everything I can to bring him home. I will sell all I have, do a million fundraisers, yard sales, concerts, whatever stacks of paperwork - whatever I have to do to get him home. I already feel like his mom so I am just praying for the Lord to move heaven and earth to keep opening doors to bring him home! I'm ready. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Got his bedding!

Got his bedding - someone donated it so it was FREE! Sweet. It's perfect. The leaves will match the tree of love I'm painting in his room and I'm gonna paint the walls a golden yellow and I'm going to do some paintings to go along with the animals on the bedding. How fun!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adopting as a Single

Sometimes when you tell people you're adopting as a single - you see this look on their face that hurts your heart. That look of - are you crazy? And then the questions and comments start coming "Do you really think you should adopt a boy? Boys need a dad." and "Don't you want to be married first? Being a single mom is gonna be hard." My heart hurts when I hear those questions and comments. And I think Jesus is saddened by it too. First of all, I don't think parenting in general is easy. I don't know of any parent friends of mine who have ever said "this is a piece of cake" whether they have a husband or not. And who says easy is better anyway. The things in life that build the most character and are used the most by God to transform us to more of a likeness of Christ are usually not the things that are easy. Quite the opposite. Secondly, I never said I didn't WANT a husband but I don't have one so I'm just trusting God in it. Also, I agree that boys need dads but I also think girls do too - just as much. But at the same time - I see and hear stories EVERY day about dads who aren't very loving or good to their kids or dads who are absent or end up leaving their families later for whatever crazy reason and then there's a single mom who has no choice but to be a single mom because dad just jumped ship. That is tragic but it happens. People get pregnant and don't end up staying with the father of the child and sometimes those kids are boys. The moms make it work. And you don't say to a pregnant woman - hey, better not do this - your child needs a dad. Yeah, a little too late for that kind of a comment cause the baby is on the way. So why is it any different for adoption? There is a child and that child needs a parent. The baby is on the way - it's a paper pregnancy! And isn't one parent better than none? Isn't one loving mom who will devote her life to this child, who will care for his every need and be intentional to keep Godly men around him to be a positive influence and who will teach him about Jesus and how God adopts all of us into His family and how this mom chose him and wanted him and went to the ends of the earth to bring him home - isn't that better than a child sitting in an orphanage waiting, hoping, praying that someday maybe he'll have somebody to love them? The bible doesn't say "care for orphans and widows once you're married"! We are all called. And for some, married will come first. For others - they'll care for orphans in other ways like going or sending or financially helping or all of the above. But for me - I'm gonna keep working in orphan care at Visiting Orphans and sending people out and I'm gonna always have a heart for what I do because I've gone, I've seen, I've held and I've loved orphans around the world and I have God's heart for them. But it's no longer enough for me to go and love and then leave - I want to make an eternal impact - an everyday investment into a child that deserves a chance, deserves someone to put them first, someone to tuck them in every night and someone they can count on for the rest of their lives. God is calling me to be a mom. So if you ask me if I'm sure - I will answer 100% yes. I've been feeling this tug for a long time and the tug has gotten stronger since Dec 2010. Since then, I've prayed and prayed and prayed. I've gone back and forth between two prayers - "Lord, I don't want to get ahead of you if you are telling me to wait. I don't want to get impatient and run ahead of you and do it unless you are calling me" and "Lord, if you are calling me to adopt as a single woman then I do not want to be afraid or hold so tightly to the order I thought things would happen (marriage first) and miss out on your plan. I want to be open to your plan looking differently than mine and trusting you in it." I had to grieve the plan I thought was gonna happen. It's not in the order I would have chose but you know what - God sees a bigger picture and I trust Him. And so the order it's in is the right order. And who am I to question that? So am I sure - yes. Why now after all these months of praying? Because someday changes to now when you hold a child in your arms that feels like yours, who lays his head down and holds on tight as if "he's home". It changes when it's not just the idea of a child out there somewhere but it's a real child you hold in your arms and he falls asleep and you cannot fathom this child not ever having a home and you can't imagine him not being part of your family.

I wasn't even supposed to go to Ethiopia with that team originally. We were all along going to Uganda and Ghana. It's been planned for over a year. And literally the week we were about to purchase the flights we had on hold for 2 months - I felt like we weren't supposed to go to Ghana but instead were supposed to go to Ethiopia. I wasn't totally sure why but I knew all the in-country details of Ghana were NOT coming together, the cost of the flights to go there were crazy high and when it came down to it - we would only have 3 full days there as opposed to 6 days in Ethiopia. My team of 24 people were presented with 3 options - keep with Ghana and only have 3 days, go to Uganda only for the whole time or do Uganda and Ethiopia - we'd have 6 days in each. Every single person chose Uganda/Ethiopia. I knew God had something big in Ethiopia. For 24 people from all over the country who had never met to be in 100% agreement to completely change countries at the last possible minute - that is truly amazing! God was in it and I was excited to be on a team that was already so flexible. I knew something big was gonna happen but I didn't know it was going to be me meeting my son! But God knew. And He gave me this amazing team to encourage me - they have been so amazing in this whole process. I've been blown away by them and almost everyone in my life who has been encouraging, supportive and positive. So while I talk about the looks you get and the questions and comments people make - I'm thankful to say that has been few and far between. I honestly thought I'd get more of that. I got more of it when I was "thinking" about adopting as a single than I have now that I am actually pursuing it. And even those who do ask those things - I don't think they have bad intentions. I truly think they are trying to be helpful and realistic. But I just think God is so much bigger than all of our fears - we can't let less than perfect conditions keep us from moving forward. We can't let our own ideas keep us from being open to God's. If we do, we may just miss out on the best decision we ever made. I am not afraid. I am also not naive. I know it will be hard. But I'm not gonna miss out on all the good stuff just because it might be hard. I'm called to be a mom. I've always known. It's who I am. And sometimes when God calls you to something, it may take awhile before you see that dream fulfilled. But if He called you, He will be faithful to bring it to pass. I'm excited to be a mom. I'm excited to watch God move and provide and orchestrate details to make it happen. He is already writing this story and I hope that the more I share about what He's doing in it, the more it will glorify Him and encourage others to step out in faith too in whatever He's calling them to. I'm excited that Jesus loves that little boy even more than I do and I know He will move heaven and earth to get him home. God is so much bigger than any fears I have. He's so much bigger than the $30K it costs to adopt internationally. To Him, that's nothing - He is the God of the Universe after all. And I'm just excited to see what He's gonna do!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. - Ephesians 3:20(NLV)

I love how the Lord works. Turns out the exact same blog that really encouraged me earlier this year is one that several other single moms I know that are now adopting had come across and been encouraged by too. This is the link of any of y'all want to read this awesome blog about single's adopting: http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2009/08/should-single-woman-adopt.html
That blog has probably the most comments on it of any blog I've ever seen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Little Boy's Room

I love thinking about decorating my little guys room. I am thinking of doing a jungle theme to go along with the tree of love that I'll be painting on the wall. The top two bedding sets I liked the best so far are below. And then right after I posted this initially - I found two more (below that). The carpet in there is blue so I had started looking for something that worked better with that. I may just look on craigslist, second hand stores, etc and see what I find. So hard to choose:) His bed will be transformed into a toddler bed with a rail so the crib bedding will still work best as opposed to larger toddler bedding. So, I'd love to get a vote and see which one y'all like best. I'm not going to get all the extras cause he's 2 and certainly doesn't need a mobile or a lot of the other things and I don't want to go over the top with a "theme". I'm going to do some paintings myself to match and keep it simple. I didn't want it to be too babyish since by the time I'll get him home, he'll likely be around 3 years old.

Option #1
Jungle Adventure Animal Safari 9pc Crib Set
By: JoJo Designs

Option #2
Beansprout Safari 6-Piece Crib Bedding Set
By: Pem America

Option #3
Trend Lab Sweet Safari Blue 4 Piece Crib Bedding Set
By: Trend Lab

Option #4
Carter's Blue Elephant 4-Piece Crib Bedding Set
By: Carters


By definition Perseverance is: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, o...