Hello (2014), Goodbye (2013)!

I sit lonesome tonight by the glow of Christmas lights and NYC ball dropping tv. A perfect evening to reflect on the past year, on life, and on what I hope and dream for my...for our...future. It, life, seems to move at warp speed these days. Particularly as it pertains to my sweet girlies. They get gone from me for a week with their dad and there is just enough time and space and SILENCE that I get removed from the chaos of everyday life and MISS them and know all the ways that I want to be better as a mom, to make more time with each one individually. They are so precious to me. It hurts how they are growing up so fast. How Lilah is the age Lizzie was when she first came home to me. How is that possible?!?! When did I become the age that I thought about time passing too quickly? That I wanted to grab it and hold on tight? More and more with every year, time is bittersweet. It's taking these growing girls and turning them into young ladies, and school aged children. But, with each year brings memories, trips, struggles and growth. I love this life. I love this family. Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours!



Hello friends and Happy New Year! We are alive and well despite our absence. We made it through the holidays though they went by WAY too fast. I would be a terrible momma if I didn't show a few pictures so here ya go...

Kissing cousins! Lilah and Caroline get some love in at GG and GrandB's.


My big girls who are growing up to be very musical and artsy! They got their wish of ears being pierced (Sam) and Nintendo DS (Liz) and all is right in the world!


I did not get the Sony bloggie but instead took a giant leap from the cheapest cell phone available into the world of the smart phone. Now I wonder how in the world I survived without this thing. Phone, camera, video recorder, internet access, phone book, dictionary, facebook, text messaging, you name it (!) all in one device. Hello convenience! I don't think I will ever be without my cell phone again. Those of you who know me well know that this is a huge statement for me!

So it's a new year, and certainly a new start this time around. I've been away, yes. I've been readjusting, thinking, trying to wrap my brain around where we are and where it is we are going. It's usually all about the girls around here. If you don't mind maybe this time it will just be about....well, me.

In this time of unexpected change there has been much confusion in my mind. I've needed a map...surely enough people have been here that one has been created, no? But no, there is no set direction. No one to tell me for sure what is the right or the wrong thing to do. So I have wandered. Really I still do. Two constants have been my family and my faith. My mom in particular has spent HOURS on the phone with me. Time for which I am forever in debt to her because it has been invaluable. And then there is Church of the Highlands...wow what a Godsend. I really can't say enough about how week after week I am renewed in this place. And really this is all that matters. God is good, all the time.

It's hard to look at my big girls and then think on where our family is now and see how that fits in to God's plan...but I trust and have faith that His plans are larger than my own understanding. I have to believe that. I have to. This is a tough one, I'll be honest, but we are surviving. I can honestly say we are HAPPY even! It's a process. It is a time of self-reflection and on-your-knees type of praying...but we're making it through.

There have been some very positive changes in my life. One such change has been an investment in people. It's amazing how there have been certain people in my life for YEARS that I have never taken the opportunity to really know. Situations have arisen where some of these people have shared stories of their life with me and I have been blown away by the experiences that have changed and enriched them, and thus me by listening to the wisdom they've gleaned from their trials. One of my favorite moments like this was with our babysitter. After sharing so much about her life's journey she told me: When you get through all of this stuff you are going to have an incredible testimony that will bless so many people who are going through the same thing. Before you can have a TESTimony, though, you have to go through the test. THIS is your test.
Wow. Yes, absolutely. This is certainly a test I want to pass and it was wonderful to gain this perspective...to be able to see that even life's biggest challenge can be turned around for God's glory and someone else's gain {eventually}.

The hardest for me has been being at a starting over point as a 30-year-old mom of three. I've thrived as a wife and mom. I've wanted nothing but that. Now that half of that is missing...I don't know...there has been such a question mark. What do I do? What do I want? Does it even matter what I want? The correct answer is: no, it should not. Yet I am human and my mind, heart and soul seek. I don't know what to say beyond this. This is where we are. This is where I am. This is what is real. As before, I hesitate to publish because maybe it's too much exposure but at the same time...what else is there to say?


Oh it doesn't show signs of stoppin'

And I've got some corn for poppin'...


We are not big fans of the cold weather though we do welcome snow if it's gonna be cold. We are counting down the days over here until Santa comes!

I know that repeatedly torturing Lilah with visits to Santa seems cruel but I will remind you that I have been involved in none of this. This time it was Granddaddy and Mimi who took the girls to see St. Nick! {I will claim responsibility however for allowing my toddler to sit on top of the table, eating popcorn and drinking (luke-warm) hot chocolate from her sippy. I'm sure all of those things are no-nos in the parenting manual, however, we threw that book out long ago!}

Lilah really does like 'Ho-Ho' just not when he's up close and personal:


Our dear Santas are as follows:
Samantha's biggest wish: Getting her ears pierced and earrings. We are growing up people!
Lizzie: A Nintendo DS. This is the third year she has asked and though my initial response was the same, "We aren't getting a DS." I had to question why I was saying 'no' for the third year in a row. No reason. WE ARE GETTING A DS! Can't wait to see the look on her face Christmas morning!
Lilah: ? She likes best unrolling toilet paper and pulling spices out of the cabinet so I'm pretty sure she will be happy with anything.
And for me? I think MAYBE I will find this under the tree. I'm still reading reviews though...if you have opinions let me know.



I've been meaning to introduce Samuel for such a long time now. SO without further ado, meet Samuel.


Samuel is a child our family sponsors through Compassion International. He is fourteen now (which blows my mind). He was nine when I first "met" him. Samuel lives in Uganda with his father, mother, and siblings. His mother, along with approximately 1.2 million others in Uganda, is living with HIV/AIDS.

Words can't say how humbling it is to know this kid. I sit over here and live my American dream and this young boy, in whatever his circumstance, writes to me and asks what he can pray over for me. It knocks the wind out of my chest.

He has told me he thinks of me as a second mother. He asks will I be able to come one day to visit him. Several years ago his sister had a baby and what did they name her? Jessica.

I am absolutely undeserving of this level of affection from Samuel but I'll take it and love on and pray for him and his family in return. He has been such an unexpected blessing in my life.

Compassion is an incredible program that not only allows you to correspond with your child but also arranges group visits to the various countries they support. In the five years I have sponsored Samuel, I have known of two group tours that Compassion arranged (to Uganda). One of those was while I was in nursing school and one was just after Lilah was born. It just wasn't in the cards.

I will go one day.

I can't wait!

The new year is coming up. Along with it many resolutions. Maybe, just maybe you might be looking for a way to make a difference in someone's life...to take action in something that is bigger than yourself. If so and even if not, I challenge you to think and pray over sponsoring one of these children. I believe it to be life changing. To all parties involved.

This is what it's all about, right?


Merry Christmas!

It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas around here.


A toddler calls for toning down of decorations but that does makes life a whole lot easier.


Lilah believes me to be a wretched woman because I will not let her play with the nativity set. The donkey and Gaspar still have a way of disappearing now and again but thanks to this set:


we're doing pretty well.

All the normal holiday stuff is in the works complete with parties and school activities. GG took the girls to the first Christmas party of the season this past weekend. It was put on by the state for current and adopted foster children. This was snapped:


Just so you know, it will go directly into a frame where it will stay and be brought out every Christmas for the rest of her life. Is it bad that I love it so?

In other news, we went right on through November without my even mentioning Adoption Month! Congrats to those of you who had adoptions processed! Especially to my friend Kelly who added four {you amaze me!}. For those of you still waiting on forever keep patience about you. It can be so tough! TPR happened for us in late October and we had great hope for an adoption on National Adoption Day. It wasn't until seven months later though that our day came. I don't know if that is encouraging or discouraging (!) but it is meant to be the former:) Your day will come!
Philippians 4:6

If I owe you an email it is coming! Thanks so much for your kind words, prayer, and support!


So Thankful!

Today we give thanks! We girls are thankful for the big things of course: An incredible family, our God, good health, freedom, friends, and plenty of everything we need. But we are also thankful for the small things.

{Girls with Aunt Debbie}

Sam says she's thankful for: thanksgiving, my teacher, water, this world, my neighborhood and neighbors.


Lizzie says she's thankful for: air, a place to go, plates and bowls (are you all laughing too or is it just me?), words, and toys.

{Two of my favorite people in all the world}

Lilah is thankful for: the ability to say her favorite word "no", ears (especially mine), O's (which is any variety of cereal) and her ba-ba (paci).

{At least Kit stayed awake for the ride home}

And I say thanks for: sunshine, fall colors, a two day work week, Auburn Tiger football, and adoption of course!

Hope yours was wonderful.
Happy Thanksgiving!


This one is tough

More so than any other.
The truth is I would rather shut our blog down than stand before you exposing what has been broken. The bigger part of me, the less prideful part, recognizes that there are so many of you who have followed our family's story for years and have wrapped us in your love, thoughts and prayer. Why then, when we need it more than ever, would I take that away?
Though staying vague for the protection of my children, I will reach out for your continued love and support of our family.
I've been long on thought and short on word as I have tried to make any sense of the difficult changes that are going on in our home. After months of searching and coming up empty, I have given all to my Savior and trust that He is standing here beside me and that His plan, as a dear friend recently reminded me, is more than I could ever imagine. He remains my one true thing. He and my three precious little girls.
I know in time His love will pour into our hearts and make us whole again. For now, we are working through it.
Please above all else remember these three when you speak to God today.