Thursday, November 28, 2013


Two years ago, we spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee with Brian's family.  The week prior had been a mad scramble to put together a nursery room, gather baby items, and mentally prepare ourselves for our first foster placement. 

Though we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with family, our minds were on a two-week old baby boy that would be placed in our arms the very next day.  He had lived two weeks without us, and we didn't want to lose another day.  

The four hour drive home was spent talking about schedules, feedings, future possibilities, and the unknowns that go along with a foster placement. 

Our lives were about to change forever.  And we couldn't wait. 

Last Thanksgiving, that baby boy, now a one-year old, flew with us to visit my family in New Jersey.  TD joined us as well for his first ever airplane flight.  

We had become a family of five, but one member had not yet been placed in our arms.  Tyson had legally been our son for a month, but we were still waiting on a few more pieces of paperwork before we could travel. 

Though we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving week with family, our minds were on a Congolese baby boy a thousand miles away. He had lived four months without us, and we didn't want to lose another day. 

This Thanksgiving, we are back in Tennessee, as a family a five.  No more waiting, no more wondering when we will hold a little one in our arms. 

It has been loud, chaotic, and utterly exhausting.  This week has also been amazing. There are giggles and sounds of little feet running through the house.  There are snuggles, and kisses, and little ones calling "mama" from another room.

This Thanksgiving, our arms and our hearts are full.  We are thankful. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Details

On Sunday, I wrote about needing a miracle.  

People got to praying very quickly. 

And they asked their friends, co-workers, and families to pray. 

Pretty soon, we were hearing from people all over the country who were praying. 

We needed some big mountains moved. 

Those involved in J-man's case were doubtful it could happen today. 

We were hopeful. 

And people prayed. 

This afternoon, those mountains were moved. 

We witnessed our miracle. 

All of the social workers and lawyers involved in J-man's case did too. 

As we walked out of the court room, tears abounded in quite a few of those eyes.

They were flowing freely from mine. 

I know, I know, I know. . . 

You want the details.

I still have to be annoyingly vague.  

BUT. . . hopefully not for long.  

Keep praying, dear friends, as you are such a vital part of J-man's story.  

Your encouraging emails, texts, and messages have supported and surrounded us through this journey. 

We are grateful for each one of you.  

And we are so humbled and blessed to be a part of J-man's life. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Meet Cody and Willie

I'm thrilled to be able to share two brothers with you today who are waiting on their forever family.  Loyal brothers, shuffled from too many homes over the past few years, yearning for a stable and permanent mom and dad. 

Meet Cody, the older brother - He's the protector, always looking out for his younger brother, Willie.  On the edge of becoming a teen in foster care, he's ready to have a place to call his own. His home. 

From Cody's Heart Gallery of Alabama profile ~

Cody, born February 2001 is very sweet and well-mannered. He enjoys landscaping, building things, playing outside, and riding his bicycle. He is involved in special education classes and attends additional private classes. He struggles with reading and writing, but is making steady progress. He tends to be his brother’s caregiver and protector. He would love to live on a farm or rural area and deeply desires a dog of his own.

Meet Willie, the younger brother. He is ripe for someone to invest in his life and help him reach the possibilities and opportunities he hasn't yet imagined for his life.  

From Willie's Heart Gallery of Alabama profile ~

Willie, born February 2002 is very sweet and quiet. He enjoys playing video games, riding his bicycle, and playing outside. He is involved in special education classes & attends additional private classes. He is steadily making progress in his academics. His interests are undeveloped and he needs to experience what life can offer him. 

Additionally, from their Heart Gallery Page: 

The boys share a close bond, have been in and out of foster care for a number of years and greatly desire a permanent home with a loving and active family. They need a family who will provide a structured, nurturing home environment. They need assistance developing hobbies/interests. The boys need lots of assurance and attention; therefore, it would be preferable if they were the only children in the home. 

Could you be their family? 

Does another family come to mind when you see their precious faces? If so, would you forward this on to them? 

Let's pray, advocate, and share their story until they are home.  


Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Miracle

"Everyone wants to experience a miracle but no one wants to encounter an impossible situation in order to see one."  D. Bellar

This is a big week in the life of our family.  We have been anticipating this Wednesday afternoon for months, filled with a mixture of hope, uncertainty, and excitement.  

We will stand before a judge who will hear J-man's story for the first time.  We are asking for you to join us in praying for this meeting. 

  • Please pray the judge would hear his case with an objective and open mind.  
  • Please pray she would make her decision on his case THAT day.  (She is not required to make a ruling for thirty days.)
  • Please pray that she would make her decision based on the facts and in the best interest of J-man's future. 

We have been told that it will be a miracle to achieve the outcome we hope for at the hearing Wednesday. Not because of the facts of his story, but simply because the way this court system works.  

Not one person, out of all of the people involved in his case, have indicated Wednesday will go as we hope.  They've pretty much indicated that it's impossible.

BUT, we believe in miracles.  More importantly, we believe in the Miracle-Maker and Mountain-Mover. 

In just the past few months, miracles have already happened.  Mountains have moved in ways we NEVER anticipated. Prayers have been answered and our hopes renewed. 

One day, I hope to be able to share more with you about the events that God has orchestrated in the last few months in ways that only He could do.  

For now, I will share these pictures.  We celebrated J-man's birthday yesterday. This is his GREAT-GREAT grandmama.  She is 92.  He met her for the very first time yesterday.

He has a GREAT-GREAT grandmama.  That is a miracle in itself. But the fact the he was able to meet her, (and introduce her to his Elmo), and that she joined us for his birthday in our home was such a miraculous blessing.  

This is J-man's Great-Aunt, her boyfriend, and Brian's parents. His Great-Aunt has become one of his biggest advocates and a part of our lives.  She's an answer to our prayers and she loves that sweet boy so very much. 

There are so many more amazing stories I wish I could share with you now.  Maybe one day.   

For now, would you join us in prayer for this Wednesday? 

Thank you, friends. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thankful it is O to the VER.

I will end my goal of writing about 31 Days of Thankfulness by stating that I am thankful October is O to the VER. 

November, nice to meet you. Your neighbor, October, officially kicked my rear end. We are no longer friends. 

I have taken my candy corn and gone home. 

October was a huge lesson in finding a spirit of thankfulness despite hard circumstances.

Apparently, working on being more consciously thankful every single day is an open invitation for chaos, mayhem, and gross diseases to enter your home. 

Dang it, someone should have warned me. 

Dealing with a horrendous Hand, Foot, and Mouth for Tyson and myself, an ant invasion, and a husband who ended up in the ER this week for weird esophageal issues that still haven't been resolved left me weary, irritable, and downright unpleasant some days. 

It was a hard month that left me convicted about my focus and the things I way too often take for granted.  I've found there is no joy without a spirit a thankfulness, and it's not a place I want to sit in for very long.  A good reminder for every single day, not just one month out of the year. 

As I finish out the month and look back on the past week, I can say I'm thankful we were able to get quick medical attention for Brian.  We have a diagnosis and are still waiting to hear back on some tests that were run. 

I'm thankful for hand-me-down Halloween costumes, because who in the world wants to pay $30 for a costume when there is a 98.5% chance your toddler will refuse to wear it that night? 

In our case, we put the boys in their costumes and went outside for pictures. Miraculously, they loved wearing them, despite the 80 degree fall weather. 

Mr. Giraffe made it his goal to try and gain entry in all of our neighbor's homes. Without knocking.  He hit up four homes by way of two front doors, a back door, and a side door. Successfully entered one home and came running right back out with their dog on his tail. (Literally) Good times.  

This puppy dog loved being upside down.  Our actual dogs don't feel the same way.  

While brother attempted to enter homes around the neighborhood, Mr. Puppy Dog enjoyed crawling up and down sidewalk.  

Our Halloween fun last about twenty minutes, just long enough for mama and daddy to work up a sweat chasing their puppy and giraffe, who were headed in different directions at all times.  

Welcome November! So thankful you are here!