Saturday, October 30, 2010

The BEST birthday e.v.e.r.

Do you see this beautiful woman? She's ONE HUNDRED years old on Sunday.

This is Mammaw B and she's one of a kind. She's Russ' Mom's Mom's Mom.

A few weeks ago we all gathered in Little Rock to celebrate this wonderful woman. It was the party to end all parties, frankly. I'll blog a whole post solely for that event but this post needs to just be in honor of her.

We love you, Mammaw B. Hope your birthday is amazing. We admire you so much and wish we could spend more time with you. Thank you for telling us your stories over and over. (Thank you for the peanut butter cookies.) Thank you for being the woman that you are that has shaped so many lives. Thank you for loving Jesus.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let tradition reign!

Until they figure out what we're doing...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


Eliot: Hey Mom? Baby T is kinda like a boy-sister.
Me: Do you mean a brother?
E: Yeah, a brother.

Friday, October 15, 2010

link love.

Wanna get a kick to the gut? (in a good way)Read this.

Still processing this one, same idea.

This is my new obsession! Food of all fun shapes and sizes and themes!

I'm assuming you've seen the Fail Blog, right? Sometimes inappropriate but funny.

This one? Also funny but sometimes PG-13 language, so don't let the kiddos read it.

Holy freaking cow, this Dad is creative!

She loves adoption and she's funny. Double bonus.

My friend Lindsey was recently diagnosed w/ Lymes disease and is selling stuff on Project Lyme-Aidthis cute site to help pay for her medical expenses! You can also donate stuff to her to sell, too, if you want to help!

Have $10 and want to save a life? Go here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2 week update

It's been 2 weeks since we've added to our family. How are we doing? um. I'm not sure how to answer that. We're better than we were a week and a half ago but not where I thought we'd be. There's a whole lot more processing than I anticipated. I don't want to candy-coat this, it's hard. It's really hard. On so many levels.

Let me back up though and answer some questions. 2 Thursdays ago we got an email from our licensing worker letting us know she spoke to a coworker about us who was attempting to place a little guy. We spent the afternoon emailing back and forth, made the decision to accept the placement, and then were put in touch with Baby T's case worker. Thursday evening we met them at the hospital (there are some medical issues), got instructions on some meds and left with a child we've never met before. He had no shoes and was wearing an outfit too small for him. (to be fair, no one thought he'd be leaving w/ strangers when they admitted him to the hospital...)

Over the last two weeks I've had to continually remind myself what his world must feel like. How holding him, changing his diaper, feeding him, playing with him, smiling at him, choosing patience with him, bathing him, singing to him, etc is a necessity if he's going to build trust in me. If we can't build that trust, we'll all be miserable until he's returned to his family. He's old enough that it's more complex than just basic needs. He knows something's up. He knows he doesn't know us. He continually tests us. It's not really love-at-first-sight when there's so much brokenness involved. He's scared, angry and sick.

Another aspect I hadn't thought of was the sacrifice we would make as a family of our regular lives until a new foster kid gets used to us. We really can't expect him to just jump into the pace we run on a regular basis. I know that may seem shallow considering what he's been through but it's hitting me harder than I'd like. Turns out I was pretty attached to all those things.

This isn't to discourage you if you were considering the foster system. This is for journaling's sake. This is for other foster moms who are struggling with the transition. This is for honesty. Do I wish/hope/believe that more of you should foster? Heck yes. The classes will prepare you but I don't want to give you any delusions about the reality.

1 Peter 1:6-7 "For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

I like that 'result'. I like that it's not the expectation at the beginning of the trial, but the end. One day at a time. One toddling step forward, two hundred time-outs backward, isn't that how the saying goes?


boxes from work + fav book + talented husband= Not-a-box rocket ship.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some catchy title that makes you want to read the whole thing.

Warning: if you've ever pondered adoption, this video will only push you over the edge:

Isaiah's Story from 31Films on Vimeo.

Back in May on our flight to Dallas to pick up our Baylor girls to take to Guate, Eliot and I were in a row with a stranger while Russ and his iPod were sitting kitty corner across aisle. (read into that, honey, go ahead.) The stranger, S, was a very kind Dallas local returning from a business trip.

We started the normal chit chat:
S: "Do you live in Dallas or are you on a trip?"
Me: blah blah stopping overnight on our way to Guatemala
S: "Oh! Wow! Guatemala? for vacation?"
Me: "Oh, haha, no. We're meeting a team and leading a mission trip."
S: "What will you do there?"
Me: blah blah mission trip stuff blah blah
S: "Wow. How did you get started with that?"
Me: blah blah, eliot, blah blah, adoption
S: "So, you've been to Guatemala before?"
Me: blah blah lived there with Eliot for 8 months to finish the adoption, blah
S: "Wait...what?"
Me: repeat story
S: silence. Looks away.

Few minutes pass

S: "Is that a tattoo?"
Me: "Yeah!"
S: "What does it say?"
Me: blah blah beloved is mine, blah, husband (guy with the iPod and no goldfish) has other half, blah.
S: "Hmph. Wow."

Few minutes pass

S: "So, do you think you'll adopt again?"
Me: "Well, Guate is closed right now but we recently became foster parents so we'll start getting domestic kids soon. We won't be adopting most of them, just fostering them, of course."
S: silence. staring at me. full eye contact.
Me: starting to get awkward. act like eliot needs something.
S: still staring.

Few minutes pass.

S: "Why do you do it?"
Me: "Do what?"
S: "All of it, why do you do all of it?"
Me: stumped silence. ramble about something that doesn't really answer the question.

I didn't have an answer. There's a million reasons but I couldn't pick the one that was truly the answer. (In)fertility? Sort of. Call to serve God in the city? Kinda. Feel called? I guess. For each story shared I had a different answer as to the reason but this guy strung them all together and wanted to know the motivation. Tattoo? I love Russ. Mission trip? We love Guatemala. Fostering? We love the city, kids, etc.

Bottom line? The reason we do all of it/any of it? We are loved. We are pursued passionately by God more than we imagine.

It's not like we wake up each day and declare "God loves us so we should go serve Him today!" and then find ourselves in all kinds of wacky adventures, but it does mean that we have passions for the things He's passionate about. Not because we're awesome or cool or better or holy, in fact we're pretty messed up. But we have made a decision as a family to be available.

This topic has been in my thoughts about 95% of the time in the last week. Part of that is because I'm in over my head with Baby T, but part of it is the blog world. There was an amazing conference in Austin last weekend and the blog world is exploding with posts. I'm posting a few of my favorites. Check them out, bookmark them, whatevs, just make sure you read them.

This post about christians and adoption.

This post about why she chose to adopt when all was comfortable.

This post is a letter to foster parents.

This post got me all fired up. Like only a peppermint mocha followed by a Mountain Dew can do. Oh my. Good luck.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet PBG

**This post was written before my NY trip! I can't believe I forgot to publish it!

What? You don't see him? He's buckled in right next to El.

While Eliot was playing last week he came to me and said that he had squished PeanutButterGuy and was laughing. When I asked him who PBG was, he said, "he's my friend, Mommy."

PBG has been with us ever since. I keep learning new things about our house guest. Such as he isn't very good at football, he's short, he's not potty trained at naptime, he doesn't like chips but does like carrots (cuz he's trying to get taller, of course), he likes to listen to Thriller but doesn't like scary monsters and most often I've heard that it bothers him when I don't listen to him. (Mom! PeanutButterGuy is TALKING TO YOU!) He also like to help me cook, is working on his basketball skills and needs to wait in the hallway when Eliot goes to the bathroom. Oh, and he's a doctor.

At one point while Eliot and PBG were buckled into the back seat, Eliot started laughing. When I asked him what was so funny he told me that PBG got jelly on his face.

Of course he did. Crazy PBG.

***Update to add: At small group Monday night we went through a series of questions to Eliot (since PBG was there, too) about who he was and figured out that he's this guy! Phew?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010



We were trained. We heard stories. We prepared a room and gathered supplies.

From the moment we got the call to 48 hours later, I felt like the wind got knocked out of me. This has turned our world upside down. On so many levels.

We're 5 days in to our first fostering experience now. The outcome is far from being determined. Progress has been made with Baby T, but there's still a road ahead of us.

The last few days has revealed a lot to me about me. About Russ and E-man. About our friends and support network. I've discovered I'm weaker than I thought, more prideful, lazier and more selfish. I've discovered even more so what incredible hearts Russ and Eliot have. I've discovered how quickly I've become protective over a child I've barely met. I've discovered how very unorganized we are and that "baby-proofing" a house means very different things with different babies. I've discovered how very little I know about parenting and yet how well the trainings prepared us. I've discovered how unwavering the support network is for foster parents, how amazing this community is. It's taken me a few days but I've discovered that my world getting turned upside down is nothing in comparison to the tornado of confusion and fear Baby T must feel.

I want to be honest about this for a couple reasons. I want to remember this first run. I want other new foster parents to know that we certainly didn't/don't have it all together and that if they get overwhelmed, that's okay. I read several other fostering blogs and most of them have been around the bend a few times. I expected to react like they seem to from the get-go. But I just didn't.

All that to say, we're rallying. Russ and Eliot started rallying .4 seconds into the process it seems, but it took me a little longer. And that's okay. Baby T and I are taking 2 steps forward with plans to take more.

Monday, October 4, 2010

And since we're comparing old photos to new...

Bottom photo courtesy of Jodie from FreshArt Photography (before she was FreshArt)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We keep running into friends out in public and they seem to be confused unless they happen to catch the news on the good ol' book of face.

We got our first foster placement. I will explain more at another time but it doesn't look to be anything permanent.

It sounds exciting but remember what had to happen in order for this to be the case. Something went wrong in someone's family. This isn't necessarily a good, shiny happy part of the story.

Speaking of, we won't be sharing his story. For multiple reasons but mainly because it's his story, not ours.

Pray for him, for his family, for us as we all transition.

And know that my husband is the greatest foster dad ever. ever.