Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!!!

A few things I'm thankful for tonight...
--finally having my son home with us for the holidays
--a family that loves me, even though we're all a little on the crazy side
--people who are willing to dress alike for family photos
--Black Friday
--wearing my hubby's pajamas when he's not here to cuddle with me
--having enough faith to dream big and believe "it" is actually going to happen
--waking up early and having time to myself
--free Christmas light tours where so many local businesses aren't afraid to spotlight Jesus
--a God who is patient with me
--the way my little one loves his Pa Pa

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Adoption Month--Soap Box Please

I had never heard of National Adoption Month until we began the adoption process. Naturally, as an adoptive parent, I wish that I could do some big, wondrous thing for National Adoption Month, but the best thing I can come up with is to show others how happy adoption has made us.

I do want to reiterate that not being able to conceive a child biologically is not the only reason that people adopt. That is not the reason we adopted. No matter how many times we tell people that, it still seems to be what people think. I can't tell you how many times we have heard how funny it would be if we got pregnant as soon as we adopted. (No hard feelings if you were one of those people!) Well, it wouldn't be funny. Not because God would be pulling one over on us, but because children, no matter how you get them, are a blessing from the Lord. We wanted our child and we knew God was telling us that our first child was in China. So we tried NOT to get pregnant. We wanted an adopted child, so we tried not to get pregnant. Having an adopted child was not our second choice. It was not our only option. It was the option we CHOSE, because we felt that's what God wanted for our family, therefore, the option we wanted for our family. Will should never feel that he's here because we couldn't have a biological child, that we would rather have someone else, but we settled for him. He was our FIRST choice.

We also plan to do it again. Biological children are a "maybe" for us. But we DEFINITELY want to adopt again.

Another thing I would like to educate people about is the phrase "a child of your own." I understand that most people use this phrase out of ignorance, meaning no harm. I've even had this conversation with my own family. The truth is, asking if someone plans to have a child "of their own" or asking if they couldn't have a child "of their own" insinuates that the adopted child is not their own. The politically correct term is "biological child." The truth of the matter is, even when said by a well meaning party, the phrase "of your own" hurts.

Will is "my own." I've prayed for Will every day since before he was conceived. I've shed many a
tear for him and spent many a penny to ensure his well being. When he's bleeding, I clean him up. When he's crying, I kiss away his tears. I dress him, bathe him, eat after him (and I'm a germ freak!) and play with him. I'm with him 24/7 most weeks. I take pictures and scrapbook all his important moments. I mourn for the time I didn't get to spend with him during his first few months on this earth. I sing to him and read to him and love him more than I love myself. He has my love of peanut butter and dancing, my optimism, my wild hair that sticks up all over his head when he first wakes up, my love of kisses. He has his father's natural inclination for guitar and all other instruments, love of books and bread, ability to take things apart and put them back together, and heart for sharing. He has his aunts love for talking. He has his grandmother's love of quilts. He has his grandfather's knack for cleanliness sense of humor. He has his uncle and his grandfather's name. He is definitely "our own."

Everyone isn't called to adopt. But God does ask everyone to care for the orphans. And adoption is VERY expensive to a common person. Yes, there are grants and fundraisers, etc, etc. But we only got one. And yes, we applied for many. So if your heart is moved by National Adoption Month and you aren't planning on adopting, consider making a donation towards someone's adoption( or giving to a charity that helps orphans who need surgery. If it weren't for such a charity, our Will may not have had the VSD surgery he needed when he was a baby.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge. Adoption is a wonderful thing. Will is a wonderful child. We are very blessed. We hope that, in some way, you are blessed by adoption as well.

"Wiggle" It!

One of the things that we had to write and/or verbally promise a few times when we adopted Will was that we would give him every opportunity that he could have as an American. Now that's a pretty big bill to fill! So when when we found out the Wiggles were coming to town, we knew that Will would love it. After all, our little musician sings into microphones; plays guitar, mandolin, and xylophone; and loves to dance. Unfortunately, however, my staying home with Will means that we must make some cutbacks, so one of the things we reluctantly decided to cut was Wiggles tickets.

I'm a firm believer that God blesses those who try to be obedient. A few hours before the concert, I read on Facebook that one of my friends had access to free tickets. The post had been made a couple hours earlier, but no one had claimed the tickets yet. We had just enough time to finish up our projects for the day, get the tickets, and head to the concert. We figured we'd have to at least pay for parking, but one of John's friends was working his parking lot downtown, so we even got a primo spot right across from Rupp for free! Will loved the concert. To be honest, John and I did too. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!

We managed to get a few pictures before Will danced so hard that he smacked the camera right out of my had and broke it. Luckily it wasn't one of the SLRs. But Santa, now I know what I want for Christmas!

Will is inspecting one of the free sticker booklets that you can use to make your own Wiggles stage.

Will was completely fascinated.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Our church just concluded a series called Kingdom. It was a reflection of what the world would look like if God's kingdom were to come crashing down to earth and God dwelt in the midst of us. The main idea was that we are God's hands and feet, so we should be living out God's kingdom here and now. We may not be able to stop wars or global warming, but we can impact the lives of those around us.

During this series, the church was challenged to actively participate in God's kingdom. One of the ways we were challenged to do that was by taking photographs of God in the ordinary. I've included a few of the photographs that I submitted. You just can't deny God's existence when you see Him in nature, but unfortunately we don't take the time to stop and appreciate it enough.

This picture was taken a couple of years ago when we were still waiting to adopt our precious little one. It was taken while the Moon Festival, a huge family holiday, was taking place in China. I thought about how the birth parents, and perhaps my little one, were going to be staring up at the same moon even though I was half way around the world. It gave me the hope that I needed at a time when I felt like my baby was so far away.

Aren't flowers amazing? Here they are in the midst of a busy campus, at the arboretum, a little haven in the middle of a crazy world.

Ah...vacation. God wants us to rest, just as He did. I don't ever feel closer to God than when I'm somewhere on the water.

We don't take enough time out of life to do little things to appreciate or encourage people. It's the little things that let people know we care.

This says "kingdom" to me the most. If you want to know what's in my heart, take a good look at this picture. My sweet, wonderful husband sharing the story of Jesus with the most precious treasure, my son. My favorite time of day is reading Bible stories and praying with Will and John each night. No matter how crazy and just plain stupid John's work schedule is, he's here with us at this time. We as a family are sharing and learning about our God. This is the most important thing that we do all day, all of our life.

So there is a peak at how God's kingdom looks out my window. What does it look like to you?

Round Robin

A Round Robin (at least in quilting) is when one person makes the center block and then passes it on to someone else to do a border. The quilt goes around to several people who all continue to add borders until everyone in the group has added a border. This Round Robin group is from the Quilters' Guild of the Bluegrass. Since Will isn't quite ready to be left yet, he came to the unveiling with me. (See him screaming at the side of our new quilt?) We hadn't seen our own quilts since they left our side nearly a year ago, so the result was quite a surprise to us, but a pleasant one. It's fun to know that a little piece of you will be hanging in someone else's home and they in yours.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I am sitting in the floor of Will's room typing by night light. We've reached a new stage in our relationship in which Will doesn't like to let me out of his sight for even a second. In a crazy kind of way I guess that is proof of how close we've become and how much he loves me. I love that little guy tossing and turning in the bed beside me. I guess that I now know, however, what my mom meant when she said that sometimes you just want to go to the bathroom alone.

Monday, November 3, 2008


It was my first official trick-or-treat in 19 years. I've handed out candy, but it's just not the same--especially since we've only had a few trick-or-treaters the past couple of years. So John and I were both extra excited to go trick-or-treating. We decided to go to the mall since we only know a few neighbors here and there. Definitely a good choice. We got to see the Kentucky Wildcat, pirates, and a giant cookie passing out candy, among others. There were lots of Tootsie Rolls, which Will can actually eat, but there were a couple fresh cookies and caramel corn thrown in the mix. Yum! Will knew what the jack-o-lantern was for. We had a hard time keeping him out of it!

Then it was off to Aunt Jo's house for the best treat of all--a giant Reese cup. Will shares the same love of peanut butter as his dear old mom.

Will seemed to have a good time, but probably not as much fun as John and I did, especially me. Only 365 days until next Halloween. And we've already picked out his next costume!

Halloween Howdown

Our local library hosted a Halloween Howdown early Halloween morning. The library was packed with so many people that we had to park at the bank down the street. We sang Halloween songs, marched in the costume parade, practiced trick-or-treating for the upcoming night (see the cute little trick-or-treat station in the photo), and did a scarecrow craft. We'll definitely be attending again next year.

Sophie Throws a Great Party!

Sophie is one of Will's friends from church. (You may recognize her as Pebbles in the front row, next to Bamm- Bamm.) This was our first official party with friends. Will did a great job keeping his costume on, even his hood. We had a great time making pumpkin crafts, eating Halloween goodies, and playing with other people's toys! Thanks for the invitation, Sophie. You throw a great party!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Huber Farms

There are some good pumpkin patches around here, but for us, if you haven't been to Joe Huber's, then it really isn't Halloween. I don't know what it is about it--the country food, the beautiful ponds, the winery, the cute gift shops, the ice cream and cheese shop, the long hay ride, the large pumpkin patches, the barnyard playground, the apple launch, or the corn maze--but for some reason I think it will always be our favorite pumpkin patch. (And it's not too bad during the strawberry festival either!)

Pumpkin Patch Party

Every year Crossroads Christian Church has a giant Pumpkin Patch Party. We've volunteered before when we use to go to church there, but we were especially excited this year because we had our own little one to take. There was so much going on, that I'm not sure Will knew what to make of it. I'm sure however, that the highlight was getting Mommy to take him up a giant inflatable slide. (Take that, Boyd's Orchard!) For you parents who have never done that, you haven't lived until you've tried to climb a giant slide with a 28lb weight in your arms. Very funny to watch, but I thought I'd spare you the pictures of that!

Will's First Football Game

For someone who doesn't understand a thing about football, I sure love the atmosphere of a good football game. In spite of that, we managed not to make it to any of my nephew's games until the last one. Sorry, Josh.

I love watching Josh play and figured Will would too--and I was right! Here he is cheering on his one and only cousin, Josh. Will clapped and screamed with the rest of the crowd (sometimes for the wrong team!). Will did manage to scream, "Go!" and give a high-five. At the end of the night, he also managed a few, "Yeah, Josh!" s. (Big deal since we have said very few multiple word phrases and never said Josh's name before.) And, with Will's encouragement, our team won the game.

Boyd's Orchard

Our second AND third pumpkin patch trips were to Boyd's Orchard. The first time we tried going there with some friends, it rained. We shopped the gift shop, but that was about all we could do. On the bright side, we did get some very yummy apples.

So when some other friends asked us to go again, we thought we'd give it a try. This time we got to go to the petting zoo and the patch. Much to my and Will's disappointment, adults were not aloud on the playground slides, so we didn't get to go. (Mommy had been down one of the giant slides on a field trip with her k-1s a couple years ago. Big fun!)