Monday, August 31, 2009

not me!! monday

welcome to not me! monday! this blog carnival was created by MckMama. you can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

*i didn't actually think our house was being robbed on friday night when ryan came home early to surprise me...not me! and no, it wasn't me who tried to arm myself with 2 large guard dogs for protection...not me!!

*i wasn't crazy enough to think that it was a good idea to offer my cleaning services to my parents for rental properties on saturday when my own house looks like a pig pen, just to make a little extra cash...not me - i value a clean house too much!

*i did not gag for 10 minutes before composing myself enough to clean out a stinky, nasty, disgusting fridge in one of the rental properties on saturday...not me!

*i wasn't the one who told her nieces that buying the $300 motorized scooter would be something their daddy might consider at toys-r-us for them...nope, not me - i wouldn't want to have a very angry brother-in-law on my hands!

*i most certainly did not prance around our kitchen with purple and pink clip-in hair extensions, much to my nieces' delight saturday evening...nope, not this girl!

*i did not decide that eating 2 funfetti cupcakes, deliciously baked by my sister were a balanced and nutritional sunday, not me!!

*i am not crazy enough to get a rush of exhilaration while driving down through the iron man triathlon route on sunday amongst the way, not me! - i knew the whole time that they weren't cheering for my driving of an SUV but were indeed cheering for those pedaling in front of me at the same speed.

*i most definitely did not scream at the top of my lungs this morning when i saw a grand-daddy long leg spider creeping around in our laundry room...nope, not me! and, i also didn't try to play it off like i was just joking when my dear husband came running to my rescue...un uh, not me!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2nd placement call

we got another placement call on monday, and it was for 4 kiddos again. i guess the cabinet is pretty desperate for somewhere to put these larger sibling groups, and i wish that could be with us, but it really just is not. we are going to be learning to care for just 1 or 2 more than ourselves as it is, and that already seems pretty daunting...

anyways, i saw the number for the placement team come up on my phone and i was so excited. then, when i found out they were looking for a home for 4 kids again, my heart broke. not really for us so much but more for this other set of kiddos that really need a good home. the kids were coming out a meth lab situation, which means they probably have nothing - no stuffed animals, snugly blankets, favorite toys or even familiar clothes. everything in these situations is trashed because of the potential toxins on the surface. i know it's just stuff, but to kids, it may not be. how sad to have nothing that you can call your own or that is familiar.

i was venting to my mother-in-law later that night about how hard it is to keep getting calls and having to turn them down, and she had some really good insight. she said that maybe the reason we keep getting calls for kids we can't take is so that more people can hear their story and be urged to pray for them. i think that's a great way to look at it so i hope that you all will pray for them too! they are all under the age of 7 and probably very confused about where their mommy and daddy are... pray that the home that they got placed in will genuinely love each one of them and treasure their time together. pray for the foster parents to have an extra measure of patience with them as they adjust to their new situation. pray for the health of each of the kids as they have been exposed to the chemicals involved with producing meth. pray for the birth parents as they are probably not looking to get their kiddos back any time soon. pray that the birth parents would learn from this experience and make better choices in the future. pray for the 2 older kids as they will most likely be switching schools depending on which foster home they were placed in.

thanks for lifting these kids up with me!!!

"this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." - 1 John 5:14

lions, tigers, and diaper bags, OH MY!!

yesterday i was on the prowl - the shopping prowl. i sometimes get into this weird obsessive online shopper mode, and yesterday i felt it coming on. i've been thinking for awhile now about what it will be like to get "the call" - you know, the one with the right child or children, where we can say, "YES, YES, YES!! we're coming to get he/she/they right now!!" anyways, every time i think about this, i imagine racing out the door with car seat in hand, stroller packed neatly in the car and armed with a diaper bag full of necessities that every prepared mom has ready and waiting. only, yesterday i remembered that there is one glitch in my plan...i have no diaper bag!

as ridiculous as it sounds, considering anyone who knows me, knows i have a slue of oversized bags that i try to pass off as purses - i really began to worry yesterday about not having said diaper bag. i'm sure i could easily use one of my many "purses" if i needed to, but something about having an unofficial diaper bag made me feel like an unofficial mom. maybe it's this first time parent thing, but i want to be prepared (well, at least in the arenas that i can be prepared in).

so, all this diaper bag drama led me to a shopping frenzy. i began searching countless websites to find people's opinion on "the best diaper bag in the whole wide world and of all times, because such a thing definitely has to exist". and...i found it!! ok, so maybe it's not the bag that is the best in the whole wide world and of all times, but i found one i really like. i debated quite a bit and jumped back and forth to mommy blogs and other review sites to see what people think, but i went ahead and splurged on this one. it's made by baby bee bags, and the style is "eglan". i got the black and white dreams pattern since our travel system is black, silver and red, and we don't know if we're getting a little boy, little girl or both. (a little feminine, i know, but that's how i roll!!)

since i am now a diaper bag aficionado, let me tell you some of the features that i loved about this bag:

1. i love BIG bags. i don't know why, i just do! maybe it's some kind of power complex i have because i'm only 5'2" or something, but i just love them - and this one is just that! 13"H x 15"W x 6"D -- plenty of room for extras like my cell phone, lipgloss, a hair brush, flatiron, jewelry, extra pair of flip flops, changes of clothes, burp cloths, bibs, plastic bags for stinky diapers, toys, snacks, etc.

2. this bag is soooo versatile. all the straps are removable, and it can be worn as a backpack, messenger bag, shoulder bag or stroller bag. now, i don't love the idea of the backpack as a fashion statement, BUT, desperate times call for desperate measures. carrying a heavy baby on one hip and a heavy diaper bag on the other is not my idea of a good time!

3. the bags has 2 external and 2 internal stretchy storage pockets for sippy cups or bottles. i know i will totally be that crazy lady fishing in the bag across the car for a bottle (considering i already do that in my purse for my cell phone), so having the external bottle pockets is always nice. it also has a pacifier holder clip so you can easily locate that as well.

4. it has a detachable pouch with a shoulder strap where you can store your keys, an extra diaper and small pack of wipes in case you want to just run in somewhere quickly and not take the whole bag. i seriously love this! even though big bags are my thing, there is a time and place when that's just not appropriate, so having a built in diaper pod and place to throw my keys on a quick errand will be great.

5. there is a front zipper compartment that unzips into a removable diaper changing pad. thankfully, the changing pad is also completely washable! i may have rethought things if not :)

6. finally, there are magnetic closures on this bag so you don't have to bother with loud velcro every time you just about get the baby to sleep but need something from the bag.

anyways, maybe these features are pretty run of the mill, but according to my research (i'm a total geek, i know!), i think i did pretty good! now, i just hope it gets here soon and so does a sweet bundle to love :)

ps- no more internet shopping for me for awhile! i thought my head would start spinning around if i didn't find a coupon code so i could at least get a good deal on the bag - but after a long and hard search, i finally did!!! woot!

Monday, August 24, 2009


this time last year, i was returning from here:

and these faces were making impressions on my heart:

a year later, i still want to go back. who's going with me??

baby sam update

this weekend i got to spend time with my most favoritest little guy in the world - sam!!!!!! my sister and jason got to keep him for the weekend, now that his bio mom officially has custody of him back. jenn went to get him friday morning from daycare, and as soon as he saw her, he took off crawling in her direction! he obviously still knows her, and to my delight, still knows me too :) i saw him for the first time at lunch on friday, and was overwhelmed with how much he has grown in 6 short weeks! he's still tiny for his age, but looked like he'd grown several inches taller. he has always loved to play with my jewelry, especially a certain necklace, so i made a point to wear it friday, and sure enough, he played happily with it. at lunch, even though it was chaotic to have an active little one year old around again, i was so happy and life felt normal again!

we had a fun weekend spending time together, but unfortunately, he wasn't feeling real great. he's got an ear infection and a pretty wicked cough going on, but hopefully, the meds he's on will getting him cleared up and feeling better in no time. saturday night, he was at our house with the whole clan and we got to try out some of our baby set-up on him. he got a bath in our tub with all the baby wash, lotion, etc. that jenn has given us, then i got to rock him for awhile in our newly recovered glider. i loved holding him and rocking him while he slept. i just listened to his sweet baby noises and prayed over him. it was emotional for all of us, but especially ryan. he was having a hard time opening that wound again since he had just felt like he got it to close a bit.

yesterday, i went with my sister to take him "home" but i kinda wish now that i didn't. it was harder than i thought to see where he was living and the kind of interaction he has with his "family". it seriously felt like a live version of those cereal box puzzles where you find what doesn't fit in the picture...what doesn't fit in this apartment?? sam!! in my mind, he will always fit with us, and a lifetime can't change that, much less 6 short weeks.

anyways, last night was rough. i found myself welling up with the same sorrow and fears that i did 6 weeks ago when sam first left. i doubted God. i doubted that His plan is perfect. i doubted that we are prepared enough to be foster parents. thankfully, my sweet husband was there for me to pray me through a give me the right perspective. he just kept asking, "why do you think you're having such a hard time with this? do you think you are really believing God? do you really trust Him?" it's so hard to trust that God is in control when things seem wrong to me, but i know that this is the time i need to trust Him the most. i am trying to offer forgiveness and a chance to his bio-mom but it's just so hard. i know the type of forgiveness she needs is the same type i need from my Savior, but that's much easier to type out than it is to live out. i'm struggling. i'm wondering. i'm praying this doesn't happen again to us and to our sweet friends. i cannot do this again but i know that if He calls us to, we will not have to do it but He will carry us through...

ahhhhhhhh! i wish i could just push all this emotion back in but it's out there, and now for all to see :) anyways, i'm hanging on but not by the skin of my teeth but by the grace of my Savior.

Friday, August 21, 2009

placements DO happen!!

**SORRY, meant to post this on thursday, and must not have hit the "publish post" button**

our friends got a placement this week!!!! we have been praying for them to find the right match for about 5 months now and we are sooooooooooo happy for them. they got a sweet little 2 month old girl, and she is an absolute doll. we got to visit with them tuesday night when she came home and are really looking forward to getting to know her better. after hearing about their placement experience and seeing their sweet baby girl's face, things are starting to feel really, really real :) imagine that.

tuesday night, i hardly slept for more than an hour straight at a time. something about seeing that kids DO actually get placed and walking through this journey with our friends, made things feel less like a dream for us. while we've had the nursery ready for months now, the thought that a baby could be sleeping in OUR crib any day now just sends me in a stir of emotions. i laid in bed wondering if we're really ready to be parents, or if we'll know the best parenting techniques, or how to properly discipline, or how to raise our kids to love the Lord, etc. then i realized that not only do i have all those things to consider, but also the added scare factors that come along with parenting through the foster care system. YIKES!

anyways, for now, i'm trying to stay focused on other things and see how our lives can bring glory to God during this period of waiting. (but boy, is it hard!!!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

i <3 me some sundays

i love sundays.  great church service this morning. a baby shower for a dear friend this afternoon. a nice nap on the couch with my puppies. now thai food and a little grocery shopping with my husband.

thank you Lord for a great day of rest! i think you knew what you were doing when you planned it :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

happy birthday little guy

i can't believe that one year ago today, you came into the world. you were not born from my sister's body, but you were definitely born into her heart, and the hearts of the rest of our family. we love you more than you may ever know and are so glad we could have you in our lives for as long as we did. i hope one day we can meet again because i already miss you so much! i pray that you will grow up to be a strong, smart, man of God. i love you and hope your 2nd year of life is even more wonderful than your first.
auntie yea yea

Thursday, August 13, 2009

come home soon

sweet child of mine, how i wish i knew you already, or even knew your name! we pray for your safety, comfort, and health constantly but only know to call you "baby". i look at the blank walls of our nursery where i want so badly to scroll your name, but i don't even know what to write. i cannot tell you how many times i've stood in an aisle looking at baby stuff wondering what size clothes you'll need, or even what colors to buy. we have a closet full of blue hand-me-downs for you that we wonder if we'll soon be trading out for pink. we long for you to come home and sleep a night in your crib, finally - safe and sound. we dream of what you will look like, smell like and sound like, but can only dream for now. we wonder what your favorite foods will be, how long it will take you to sleep through the night, how you will like the dogs, and if you will be happy here. we wonder how much of your first family you will remember and if you'll be scared that the neglect or abuse will continue here as well. we pray that you will feel safe and comfortable and home. for months we have thought about how sweet it will be to call you our son or daughter, no matter how long we have the privilege of loving you for. we are willing to take a risk for you but only because He has taken a huge risk on us. YOU are so worth it and we can't wait to meet you! come home soon!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

our first call

we got our first call on friday! while i am really excited to know that we are actually on the list and we could get another call at any moment, i am also sad for these kiddos we had to turn down.

ryan got the call as he left work on friday. the placement team worker said that they had 4 siblings that they needed to place together - ages 6, 2 1/2, 4 months and unknown. **i'm not sure how a child's age can be unknown, but i guess it happens in a crazy system??** when ryan heard that they needed to place 4 kids, he immediately knew that we would be turning down the placement. he explained to the placement worker that we had no biological kids yet and this would be our first placement, so he didn't really think we were ready to jump on the 4 kid bandwagon yet! this is one of those times when i'm so glad they called ryan with the placement because i am too easily swayed, especially when there's kids involved! i probably would have wanted to say yes even though i know that we definitely don't have the resources and support system in place to take care of 4 kids right now. even though i know that we would not be a good fit for these kids, it still breaks my heart that we cannot help them :( we have been praying all weekend that they got settled in with a good family and did not have to be split up!

now, we're back to the waiting game... i almost think getting our first call made things a lot more real and now the waiting is even harder! ryan just keeps saying how crazy it will be to become a daddy in a matter of minutes! being the planner that i am, i spent most of yesterday afternoon in our nursery preparing things, refolding clothes, making sure the closet is in order and dreaming of what it will be like to have a little one finally fill up that room. i don't want to be crazily surprise but i want to be ready to jump if we need to! one part of me is more than ready and another part of me is really, really SCARED! we don't know what it is like to be parents, much less parent a child with possible developmental/medical issues and the possibility of being reunited with his/her birth family. we just keep trying to remember that our plans are not God's plans and trying to make ourselves an open vessel for what He has in store.

"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil." - Proverbs 16:1

for now, we'll wait some more and continue to pray that we would know when the child/children are the "right one(s)" for our family.

Friday, August 7, 2009

my husband - mr. talented toes

a friend in our small group couldn't resist taking this photo several months ago of my husband and his talented toes. i saved it on my computer for blackmail purposes and just ran across it again, and it made me laugh. he sat there during most of small group maneuvering his phone between his toes like this...WEIRD!!

way to go sis!

my one and only big sister is going to be graduating college this weekend and i seriously could not be more proud of her!! while we are alike in many ways, our attitude towards school and learning has always been different. let's just say that i've always been the book worm while she's been the social butterfly. anyways, after high school she did some college and then moved to maryland when she got married. since then, she was busy raising 2 kids (plus sam for the past year) and working for my dad's engineering firm. however, she has always been determined to go back to school and finish what she started, and that is exactly what she's done. for the last 3+ years, she has been completing night classes to earn her bachelors in business management.

tomorrow we get the pleasure of watching her graduate!!! I'M SOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU, SIS! i don't know how you can juggle it all. and in the words of my all time favorite hallmark graduation card, "did you earn that tassel? you bet your assel!!!" :)

love you, jenn! way to go!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

adventures in vacation part 3. & fost/adopt update

on tuesday morning, we left georgia and headed to florida to meet up with some friends for some r&r by the beach. we had been planning this trip for several months so we had taken a lot of time to examine our travel options. we looked into flying the whole way, driving down and flying back, flying down and driving back, driving the whole way, etc. after much debate, we decided that it was cheapest and easiest to just rent a car in georgia and drive down to florida, then ride back from florida with our friends. **CHEAPEST being the key word here. ryan is thrify to say the least. anytime he can save a few pennies, he will.

so, tuesday morning we hit the road about 8:30 a.m. and were making great time, plus we were going to gain an hour when we got to destin. we stopped for breakfast, a quick lunch and one other bathroom stop but hadn't hit any traffic or construction so we were pleased. however, about 40 miles from the florida state line, i stupidly announced, "this has been the smoothest trip ever!" - famous last words. ryan immediately reprimanded me for stating something so bold before we made it to our destination... murphy's law - about 15 miles down the road, ryan is driving 73 mph in what we assumed was a 65 mph zone. he spots a cop coming the opposite way and doesn't even really brake because he doesn't assuming he's really speeding that much.

then, to both of our dismay, the lovely alabama state trooper flips on his lights and turns around. the car behind ryan begins to slow a little and i think we off the hook, but once again, i assume something too soon. the trooper speeds in front of the guy behind us and motions for ryan and the other vehicle to both pull over. now, i love a BOGO (buy one, get one) deal as much as the next girl but this is not my ideal BOGO scenario. our friendly state trooper slapped ryan and our friend behind us BOTH with a fabulous ticket for going 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. stupid me, i should have kept my mouth shut!!

now, the icing on the cake happened about 25 miles up the road when we passed this sign:


foster to adopt update:
we are approved and still waiting for a placement. after a lot of prayer, we really feel like we are supposed to wait and see what happens with a placement through foster care rather than just trying to adopt from foster care without fostering first. over the past few weeks we have inquired on many kids that are available for adoption and have not gotten a good response. many of the children's workers did not return our calls at all or if they did, would not recommend them as a match for us because of their severe behavioral problems and our lack of parenting experience. (lack of parenting experience feels like a major understatement!)

anyways, we are at peace with this decision and are currently just praying to have the right child or children placed in our home in God's timing. we would rather wait a little longer for the right child than try to pursue a child on our own that may not be the child God has in store for us. waiting is never fun but thankfully, we are both pretty busy right now so that is helping keep our mind off things.