Sunday, August 24, 2014

Considering Adoption or Foster Care? (And the winner of the giveaway!)

Since moving to Asheville, we have had the privilege of again working with our church to help grow an adoption and foster care ministry. 

Over the past six months, we have seen door after door open with local foster care agencies who are willing and excited about partnering with our church to train families throughout the year. 

In the spring, three foster care agencies, one being a county agency and the other two private agencies, agreed to work together to teach the ten-week foster care training that was hosted in our church building. 

To watch three separate agencies put aside egos and agendas in order to meet the need of foster children in our surrounding counties was tremendously exciting. This just doesn't happen on a normal basis between state and private organizations.  Yet, we are seeing it happen and work in Western North Carolina.  

Over thirty families completed the training and are now being licensed by one of the three agencies.  This is encouraging and amazing news, especially because there is a shortage of viable foster families in our local area. 

This week, Brian and I will be starting a six week study for families considering foster care or adopting a child domestically or internationally.  It is so vital to work through scenarios, questions, and doubts when considering this journey.  I wanted to share a great resource that we will be using to facilitate the discussion with those who will be involved in our class. 

Pam Parish is a foster and adoptive mom who has written a thirty day devotional entitled: Ready or Not, 30 Days of Discovery for Foster and Adoptive Parents.   It's a resource that anyone can walk through; either as an individual, couple, or small group.  

I'm sharing this because it's difficult to find resources that ask the hard and direct questions families need to consider before fostering or adopting. 

Honestly, when we started the adoption process four years ago, I believed that adoption was for every family.  I've gotten a little wiser over time... and know now that this is not the case.  While I believe there should be MORE families stepping up to foster and adopt, I don't believe that it is for everyone.   

This book is a tool to help people walk through scripture and process through real-life scenarios and "what-ifs" with one another before beginning the process.  

If you are local to the Western North Carolina area, we would love for you to join us this Wednesday night, from 6:15-7:30pm at Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, North Carolina as we dive into this topic.  All are welcome

And a big thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway from last week's post! The winner of the Rodan + Fields Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream is . . .

Traci Hudson!  
I'll get that out to you this week in the mail! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Questioning, Dreaming, and Launching

I'm a questioner.  That's probably not a word, but let's go with it. That's also a nice way of saying I'm a skeptic.

Before I agree to take part in an event, join a group, try something new, I question it, flip it over, turn it inside out, and examine the heck out of it.

I want to know where my money goes when I give. I want to understand the WHY behind how an organization works and operates.

I'm sure this is an endearing trait for those that have to deal with me. Or not.

Let me share a little story. 

This is my good friend, Robin.  (back when I was blond, we could have passed as sisters. Am I right???)

About a year ago, she started posting some pics of herself on Facebook.  No, not selfies, but more of some before and afters of her face. The reason I took notice was because we have really similar skin issues, (pale/freckled/prone to breakouts).  She had started using a product and actually was seeing her skin heal quickly.

I've been to plenty of dermatologists over the years and every time they prescribed something, I'd try it and never see any change.  And hello, why the heck was I still breaking out at 30???? I thought that was supposed to end the moment I left high school.  Such a letdown. And I'm not even going to go into the sun damage issues I'm now seeing on my skin...

Back to the pictures. I was intrigued, but let's be honest, with two toddlers running around, the last thing I thought I had time to focus on was me.  At this point in life, it's about quick, easy, and low-cost.  I dye my own hair out of box, shop the sale rack at Target , and buy dollar iced teas at McDonalds.

Because of that, I put off asking Robin about what she was using. But, here's the funny thing. My face kept getting all up in my business.  Every time I looked in the mirror, another brown spot would be waving at me, wrinkles were multiplying like rabbits, and those pesky pimples would keep popping up.  

I called Robin.

We talked and she told me about what she was using, a product called Unblemish from Rodan and Fields. I was skeptical. (Shocker). So I researched the company, the brand, and the product.  The more I read and learned, the more excited I got about the product and also the opportunity to even get behind the company.

Since moving to Asheville six months ago, I've become a full-time stay at home mom.  It's been SO needed for our family, and has given me uninteruppted time to invest in building stronger attachments with my boys.  It's also been the hardest dang thing I've ever done.  (Can I get an amen?)

While I've cherished this time I've had over the past months, I've also felt lost at moments, because there is a strong part of me that misses working outside the home. (There, I said it.)

There is also a HUGE part of me that has wanted to be able to do more in terms of advocating and helping families who are adopting.  Our journey to adopting Tyson was filled with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers stepping up and helping us raise the funds needed to bring him home. It was one of the biggest blessings of our lives.  I have been yearning to find an avenue in which I could minister to families in that same way.  

If you know me in "real life," you know that I'm not naturally a salesperson.  I'm not about gimmicks.  I am about sharing what I believe in, and if you've followed along the blog for even a little while, I'm normally talking about adoption, faith, and family.  

I'm taking a leap and sharing this with y'all because I am that confident in this company.  I truly believe in the way this product works and will be beneficial so many people. 

After months of dreaming and questioning and praying, I'm incredibly excited to announce that I am launching a new business as a Rodan + Fields consultant!  

Each month, 20% of my profits will be donated to a different family in the adoption process.  

I can't wait to get this ball rolling, so lets get this 
started off with a little giveaway!!!

Do you have a face? Skin? Perfect! You can play!

No strings. Five minutes. Learn more about which Rodan and Fields products can work for you.

Head over here and take a quick skin care analysis. Important: Finish the survey all the way to the end and enter your name/email.  You're entered to win the Multi-Function Eye Cream from the Redefine Regime! 

Have a friend that you think would be interested? Share this link on your facebook page or twitter and you'll receive another entry.  (Let me know by commenting below if you shared on social media.)

I'll pick a winner on Sunday Night at 8pm! 

Whether it's pesky wrinkles, sun damage, acne and blemishes, or sensitive skin like Rosacea and Eczema, these are products that can bring relief and healing to men and women.

We've all got one face to walk through life with - the question is what are you going to use to care for it? 

If you're a natural skeptic like me and have questions about the products or the company, shoot me an email at leslieharris77 (at) gmail (dot) com. Would love to chat more. 

If you are considering adopting or already an adoptive parent, I'd love to talk with you about some things I'm dreaming for this business.  Please email me.

Let's launch this thing! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Musings of a Hormonally-Imbalanced Pregnant Mom of Toddlers.

Oh, how I've missed writing.  

There are thoughts, (lots of them), swirling around in my head, but I just can't seem to formulate anything of substance these days. 

Perhaps, I'll blame it on the 2 pound, 14-ouncer who is currently holding my brain cells and ability to sleep for ransom.  She's a feisty one, this baby Word, and she's doing a number on her mama's rib cage and her ability to form complete thoughts. 

If it's two syllables and above an eighth grade vocabulary level, chances are, the word has exited my brain.  I've resorted to a type of charades when trying to get a point across to Brian because the words just won't come... and obviously, that kind of nonsense doesn't translate well to a blog post. 

Or maybe I'll blame it on my two, two-year olds who make up 90% of my interactions on a daily basis. The extent of my conversations throughout the day go something like this: 

Me: Jayden, do you need to pee-pee in the potty? 

Jayden: Me no want to. 

Me: I didn't ask if you wanted to, son, do you NEED to. You may not pee-pee in your underwear. 

Jayden: Me no pee-pee in my undawear.  Me no touch my poopy. Me no put poopy on my head.  

Me: Thank you for not touching your poop.  Let's try and go potty.  

And then there is the endless round of "Wheels on the Bus" that I am asked to sing ALL. THE. LIVELONG. DAY.  It's the extra lengthy, unedited version, which includes a separate verse about every single person in our extended family, various construction vehicles, and random farm animals.  

With a reduced vocabulary that revolves around snack time, going the potty, and phrases like, "don't sit on your brother's head," I'm limited in what I can write these days. 

But, let's not forget the hormones.  Ohhhhhhh, the hormones.  SO. MANY. FEELINGS.  Most are not good and rather ugly.  And I hesitate to write some days, because I'm afraid I'll look back five months from now and cringe at the hormonal rantings of a deranged woman in her third trimester. 

For now, the title of my blog rings scarily true, once again, as I'm waiting on a word, (or a bunch of words that when strung together make complete thoughts and full sentences.) 

Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of our summer. Because who can resist super cute two-year olds? 


Jayden is our baby-whisperer... he LOVES all little ones and is so gentle.  
Let's hope the trend continues when baby sister arrives! 

Tyson turned two and seemingly got even cuter overnight. 

Miracle. Everyone was looking at the camera.  

Need to give Little Miss Thing her photo-op too. 
Making her appearance hopefully no earlier than October. :) 

And someone please confirm, the fully-functioning brain cells will come back after she's born.  Right? Right?